Tuesday, September 23, 2008
With the cost of gas and food at an all time high, how are you doing, I mean really? I know you are worried, I mean after all, it's hard to sell art in a good economy, never mind a bad one. I have some suggestions on how to handle the idea of a bad economy. Yes, I said the idea of a bad economy because the state of the economy is in part, a perception of reality. In other words, if you think it's bad, it is, if you think its good, it can be.
1. Don't read the paper or listen to the news. I know it sounds extreme, but I have been doing it for several months now, and I still manage to find out about the important things. But I don't have to hear the doom and despair stuff over and over again. When CNN first went on the air, I thought it was great, now I am not so sure. They rarely report good news and the more people hear bad news, the worse they feel, and panic is not a good motivator, in fact it can kill creativity. The bad stories get a reaction from consumers and that is what sells, therefor, the bad news will be reported over and over again by many different news media. This can actually contribute to a bad economy.
2. Stick with your plan. If you were mailing out packets to galleries, keep doing it, even if you work at Wal-Mart during the day, just so you can sleep at night, knowing the bills will get paid anyway. If you were planning to start teaching workshops or classes, do it. Our weekly classes were at an all time high attendance this summer. There will always be people who spend money on creative endeavors.
3. Keep painting. There are people who still have money even in a bad economy and if they are in the habit of buying art, they will keep doing it. If yours isn't out there, they won't even see it.
4. Believe in your work. There is a market for every type of art. I will not tell you it is easy to find yours, but you can do it. Keep going. If YOU can't be confident in your work, how do you expect others to be?
5. Believe in yourself. You have stuck with it this far, now is no time to quit.
Don't use the economy as an excuse to pack it in. You are the only one who does what you do. You are the only one who tells your story.
6. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting, people, places and things. Just a partial list: someone who thinks you are an art Goddess, your kitty who loves you unconditionally, motivational books and CD's, movies with happy endings.
I will tell you some of my uplifting things:
A vision board with copies of my favorite paintings, copies of my largest art paychecks, (including my first book royalty check), and photos of myself with favorite people. On my ipod (a gift from a good friend), I have Esteem Aid, (it's free!) and it tells me I am awesome, beautiful, etc. Every time I shake it, it says something else nice about me. (And it doesn't even know me!) When I am walking for exercise, I listen to music from my high school years. It makes me feel young and happy and energetic. A gratitude journal that I use to record what I am grateful for. Did you know that it is a proven fact that you cannot be frightened or depressed when you are being grateful? Books by Louise Hay. She makes me feel worthy and deserving and loved. And finally and most important of all, I have discovered that I can turn around a bad mood of any kind using positive affirmations. We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what we do not want in our lives, affirmations remind you of what you do want and bring it to life.
I would say good luck, but I don't' believe it really has anything to do with luck. Keep working and keep believing.
Peace and love,
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I'm posting this in memory of the coolest cat in the world. We lost Sneakers this past Monday. This is an oil painting I did of him a few years back as a gift for my son. He was quite the character and he'll be missed greatly.
I've been playing with watercolor pencils quite a bit and really liking it. I've also been using regular colored pencils with heat. That's been interesting too so check back again soon. There'll be more to look at.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Oh....the flowers. They were lush and beautiful at the market. If I had seen them our first day there I would have brought some back to the hotel room. The market there is fun, of course we did see Pike's and the fish tossing too.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Once again it's been a month since I've posted anything. Wearing too many hats is what does it. Well, this month was a real treat. I went to Seattle to teach a workshop at the CPSA convention. For those of you unfamiliar that's the Colored Pencil Society of America. What a fabulous group of people and a tremendous amount of work it takes to put on a convention like this. AND what a great show! When I saw all the pieces together in one room I was blown away by the quality of work. Go to http://www.cpsa.org/ to see the award winners. After seeing the work there I was truly honored to have been included. My piece above is Earth Passage 10 and it's also an award winner at the show. If you're in the Seattle area the show is hanging until Sept. 29 at the Washington State Convention Center. You can find the details at the CPSA website.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The photos are from the reception last Friday at Gallery East in Ocala, FL., where we are featured artists for the month of July.
It was well attended and we gave away a small piece of original work. The top photo shows one of our long-time students, Drena and her significant other. The second photo shows some of our work and the third photo is starring Carlynne on the right and our friend and fellow artist and OoHA member, Margaret Watts.
The food was good, the people were very nice and the exhibit runs all month. We strongly recommend you stop in at Gallery East in the Six-Gun Plaza on East Silver Springs Blvd. The Gallery is a co-op and has some very fine artists displaying wonderful work all the time. Our work will be there until July 31, 2008. Thank you Gallery East!!
Peace and love,
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Well, it's been quite a while since either one of us has been on the blog. I've peeked occasionally but haven't had time to do much else. We've had a lot going on recently both in business and personally. I just this minute finished uploading my entry to the CPSA show. I finished the painting yesterday and the deadline for entry is tomorrow. I really wanted to get it in though. Since I'll be teaching at the convention this year I figured I'd better enter. If I miraculously get in it'll be fun to see the piece hanging in Seattle. There's so many great people working in colored pencil now that it gets harder every year to get into the show.
The piece above isn't quite finished yet. It's at that stage where you have to put it away for awhile and look at it with new eyes before making any more decisions. This one is on a wood panel. I normally work on canvas so this felt a little different - haven't decided if that's a good different or not. I really like the feel of the brush against the canvas bounce. Anyway, this one has crumpled tissue paper collaged for texture on part of it and sand texture gel for the other part. It was fun flowing color on the wrinkled paper and seeing the pattern emerge.
Back to the studio for me. There's some new stuff brewing, we'll keep you updated as things happen.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Back again. I wanted to show you the next piece in the textured landscape series. This is called a Chorus Line for obvious reasons, (I hope). I love the texture, which is not so easy for you to see, but I think you can get the idea. This is super heavy acrylic gesso on canvas with Interactive acrylic paint. It is not completely done, I am going to add more yellow and do a few other things to it.
The thing is that I don't know where I am going with this series yet. I like the color and the textures in both of the first two paintings, but am not entirely happy with the hard edges yet. I have ideas for working with that part and making some changes, but not on this piece. My plan is to soften the edges and make the whole feel a little less sharp in future works, if that makes sense. (Don't you think it's hard to put the visual language into words?) I guess that is one more thing which points up the difference between the left brain and right brain.
Now, I want you to tell Carlynne that I was working while she was gone. OK? Any questions?
I have a new favorite quote:
"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."
Peace in 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Carlynne may not have mentioned that she would be in Las Vegas this week. You know what that means, don't you? Yes, the blog is mine, all mine, wa-ha-ha-ah-HA-HA!!! Sorry, got a little carried away for a moment there. I am not used to such power and it went straight to my head. I better get myself together or she won't think I can handle responsibility.
Now what should we do while she's gone? We could just play games and tell jokes, but I know you, you'd tell her and then I'd be in trouble. Well, I'll give this some serious thought and get back to you tomorrow. Same time and place, OK? Remember this is just between you and me, understand?
Peace in 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Well I wish I also had some pictures to share from last night at the gallery with Bobby Goldsboro and Mel Tillis but I didn't take my camera! Bobby's work will be hanging for the next month and tonight is the opening reception so if you're in the area get down there and enjoy.
The painting I posted above is still on the easel but I thought I'd share anyway. I'll post it again when it's done. This is from a photo I took on the gulf coast. I played with it a bit in photoshop before printing it out for a reference. If you remember the last post I did - that piece had some extreme texture on it. (It's not done yet either, I have to work on more than one thing at a time.) Anyway, I thought I'd be different this time and leave the canvas smooth and I'm using Interactive Acrylic - love the stuff!
The canvas I'm doing this painting on was given to me for Christmas. I just thought I'd share what was stapled to the back of it...
"This canvas was a gift. I can paint on it and then hang it in my home, give it away or throw it in the road and let the traffic run over it. I don't have to worry about selling it because it was free! I will paint like I am retired."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
What's going on in your world? We are still trying to figure out what is most important to spend our time on this year. We need to paint, market the work, teach classes and workshops, and write the book. It seems like a lot, and I for one, feel overwhelmed most of the time. However, I am learning to focus a little better and the truth is, when I am in the studio painting, I don't think or care about anything else.
Here is a list of the worskshops we have planned for 2008:
May 17, 18 in Rising Sun, Indiana Mixed Media-Not Just Another Colored Pencil Class
(Colored Pencil combined with various media)
June 20, 21, in Ocala, FL Mixed Media Lab (based on our book Creative Colored Pencil
Workshop Colored Pencil combined with various media)
July 31, August 1, in Seattle , Washington The Unconventional Portrait (do a unique self-portrait taught by Carlynne Hershberger)
August 29, 3o in Ocala, FL Interactive Texture Lab (Interactive acrylics combined with
acrylic texture mediums)
November 7, 8 in Ocala, FL Printmaking Lab (Printmaking at home without a press)
For additional informaton on any of these events, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to have you attend.
Peace in 2008.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
This is the first layer of a new canvas. How I wish you could run your hand across it! I get such a kick out of this kind of thing. What you're seeing here is a combination of Cheap Joe's gesso which is nice and thick and holds the knife strokes, tissue paper and those wonderful little circles - spheres actually - are itsy BEAD sies. Have you seen these at the craft stores? When I discovered them I had to buy a couple of bags. I didn't know what I would do with them at the time but I figured if I had them on hand I'd come up with something. They're made out of styrofoam so they're light as air.
The first thing I did was apply some acrylic gel medium to the canvas where I wanted the beads to stick. Then I threw them, yes, I said threw. If you don't throw with some force behind it you'll never get them off your hands. These little things stick to everything! Throwing them also gave them a nice random pattern. Then I glued some crumpled tissue paper on top of some of them (I left a few of them uncovered) and squished it around with more gel medium. Fun. My last step was using a palette knife to spread gesso around the canvas overlapping the tissue and beads here and there. Now all I have left to do is figure out what to do next.
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein
Monday, February 11, 2008
I am almost done with the first painting in this series. Actually I thought I was done and Carlynne told me I was not. (I have learned to pay attention when she tells me something.) The funny thing is that I am much more likely to overwork a painting than to leave it unfinished.
When I start a new series, I never know how it is going to work out. I have a vision in my mind but sometimes it goes in another direction. What I know for sure is that the texture is the most important element for me. That means that I have to use the paint in a way that makes it show to best advantage. The simplest thing can take much experimentation. The biggest struggle for me in this series is whether it should be hard edged or soft or both. I have decided I won't know until I get a few more paintings done.
I hope there is creativity in your life. Look at artwork, listen to music and make something.
World Peace in 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Peace in 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I know these aren't the best photos but it gives you an idea of what I've been up to. Having just finished a series of paintings - you saw a few of them on here recently - I've been a little stuck on the next group of paintings. I needed something different to clear my head so I started rummaging around the craft stores, book stores and Goodwill. For a while now I've wanted to play with the idea of altered books. I've always loved books and the thought of turning an old one into a work of art appealed to me. These are a couple of pages out of my first attempt, the book isn't done yet and I won't post the finished product on here either because it's actually a surprise for someone but I can give you a glimpse of it.
I found the book at Goodwill, it's great to find old children's books. They're sturdy and sometimes even have illustrations or words that can be used in the finished product. I don't know if you can see it but above the gator head it asks "what's the biggest living reptile?" Elements I included in the pages are photos that I took, fabric, oriental papers, tissue paper, acrylic paint, stencil and a feather. I used acrylic medium for glue. Turning each 2 page spread into a work of art is a lot of work, not to mention what it does to my studio, but I think it also clears my mind and is getting me ready for the next series of paintings. Sometimes we need to regroup and work on something totally different so we can be refreshed and ready for the next vision.
Kelli and I are also getting ready for the new year. We're planning some workshops and we'll keep you posted on dates and locations as they come up. The first one we're doing is for the Citrus County Art League. We're doing a demo on Feb 14th and a workshop on Feb 16th. Then in May we're heading to Rising Sun Indiana to teach a 2 day workshop based on our book Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. We'll do the same workshop in Ocala in June, then in July I head for Seattle to teach at the CPSA convention. There's more after that - we're even doing a workshop on printmaking without a press - I'm really looking forward to playing with monoprints again. It's such a fun process! Ok, one thing at a time...... back to the altered book.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The hardest part of being a professional artist (for me) is the marketing. I don't want to be a salesperson, I want to be a creative person. However, like any small business, we have to promote and sell ourselves and our work in order to make a living. AAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!!!!
Our marketing salon group, OoHA has been a huge help for me in getting my act together for self promotion. I did not know what to do nor how to do it before I was invited to join this group. Last year I accomplished more in the marketing portion of my business than ever before. Thank you OoHA and especially Sharon Crute for starting our group.
Here is my list of marketing goals for 2008:
Update and maintain Working Artist software
Develop and maintain a mailing list
Blog at least once per week
Make file of blog ideas (already started this)
Keep in better contact with students
Complete brochure for Beach series
Finish contract for new book (we are waiting on our publisher to assign an editor)
Develop list of galleries to contact
Pursue more workshop venues
Pursue possible development of gift products
There is a lot to do and sometimes I feel overwhelmed, OK, most of the time I feel overwhelmed. However, Lynne and I have accomplished a lot int he last few years by taking it one week at a time, setting deadlines and being accountable.
I have already started a file of blog ideas. (Who would have thought getting organized could make such a difference!) I have also wanted to have a better system for keeping in touch with students whom we haven't seen in awhile. This may seem easy, but our students are mostly retired and some travel extensively and some have health problems. Some use email and some do not. I always have new students fill out a form with contact information and then the forms pile up in several places and I cannot find the one I want. Organization, or lack thereof, rears it's ugly head again!
Here is my new list:
1. Get organized
2. Make money
Peace in 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Our Art marketing salon (OoHA) met last night and we went over our goals for this year and divided up into groups of two. Lynne and I usually work together, but Mary Verrandeaux and I were randomly assigned to be partners in this project. (See the link to Mary's website to the right. You will love her work.) The idea of the partnership is to help encourage one another and hold each other accountable. It is much more difficult to face a partner and admit that you did not do what you committed to do.
Below is my list of creative goals for 2008:
1. Spend more time using my camera and learn to really take advantage of its features.
2. Make better use of Photoshop Elements.
3. Develop a new painting series.
4. Complete the new book is this calendar year.
5. Meditate daily to clear mind to allow creativity to enter.
6. Do a better job of sticking to schedule.
7. Schedule time to work on impressionistic landscapes using Interactive acrylics.
8. Organize studio for better use.
9. Plan and follow through on artists dates.
10. Work on new magazine articles.
11. Strive to write in journal daily.
I will be identifying steps and setting deadlines to achieve these goals. Later in the week, I will list my marketing goals. Good achievable goals are specific, measurable and are within our control. Good luck with setting and achieving your goals.
Peace in 2008.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Earth Passage 9
This is the last piece in this particular series. This one almost had a life of it's own. It's a little different from what I usually do and that felt good. This piece happened because of a trip down the interstate. My husband and I were going to a wedding in Sarasota and enjoying the ride. For many years I loved the view of rolling green hills and orange groves on this strip of I-75. This day was different. As we approached this area all I could see was rolling hills of rooftops. One brown square after another so close together you couldn't see any air between them. I was so disappointed and saddened by the sight I couldn't get it out of my mind until I painted a reaction to it.
On an up note...I did a little artist's date yesterday and went shopping at the craft store and Goodwill. I have some new projects in mind and can't wait to get started. I've also been spending some Christmas gift cards on books and finding that my new favorite section of the bookstore is the craft section. Some of those books can spark fun ideas for mixed media canvas work. Now I'm finding the downside of working in mixed media - storage space. Oh my gosh, where do I put all the stuff. I can't throw anything out - I might need to glue it to a canvas one day!
Peace and have some fun today,
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Earth Passage 8
This is one of the latest from the easel. I'm loving the square format and now it looks like I'm leaning toward the geometric along with the organic in the subject itself. I started with a base of super heavy body gesso to give the canvas some texture. Along with the Interactive acrylics I used a wonderful copper metallic paint for accent and then I felt it needed something more. I had been playing with an idea on another canvas, it involved collaging squares of tissue and squares of paper from the phone book representing the human element in connection with earth's elements. It worked for what I wanted to say so I expanded that onto this canvas. I usually have several things going at once and sometimes the paintings end up influencing each other. This is my kind of multi-tasking. Why is that so much easier to do in the studio than in the rest of my life?
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Mine will involve studio time but I do have to take that Christmas tree down sometime! Or maybe I could put Valentine's Day ornaments on it.
Friday, January 11, 2008
So, here are the rules: 1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. If I'm working alone in my studio I'm usually singing - sometimes even dancing. Once I put the Latin music on the feet move more than the brush.
2. Contrary to what many believe Kelli and I are actually 2 people! Although lately it seems to take both of us to make one good brain.
3. Back in the day I played guitar. WAY back in the day I played the violin. I didn't keep up with either one so now I play neither.
4. Other things I've enjoyed doing over the years....basket weaving, cross stitch, crocheting and baking bread the old fashioned way - no mixers or machines. Have you ever tried pistachio bread? Yum.
5. I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren, yikes! when did that happen?
These are the folks getting tagged next.
Joanie San Chirico
Robin Maria Pedrero
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Hello again, just thought I'd post another piece in this series. I finished the last piece in the series this weekend. I ended up with 9 in this particular group. This is actually a series within a series so I'm excited about starting on the next set of paintings.
I hope the start to your new year is fabulous. Recently one of the girls in our OoHA group suggested we write down a list of our accomplishments in 07. I thought the list might be kind of short. I don't know about you but 07 was a blur. Thankfully instead of ending up depressed I was pleasantly surprised! Give this a try. Once you start writing you remember all the little steps along the way that are getting you closer to your goals. It's definitely worth doing before making your goals list for 08.
Time to get back to the studio and pretend I'm retired.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Earth Passage 2
We spend our creative lives second guessing what other people want at the same time we're figuring out who we are with each painting challenge. What a stressful place to be for a creative spirit. If we're constantly trying to please others there's a part of us that dies. If we don't even think about the market the bank account dies. We have to learn the balancing act and one thing that I've decided is to leave the marketing at the office door. Thankfully my office is separate from my studio so mentally it makes it easier for me to compartmentalize the two aspects of my art career. When I'm in the studio I'll paint like I'm retired. For me, separating the office from the studio is the only way to enjoy the process of painting and isn't that why we're painters to begin with? We're called to the process. I think we're creative from cradle to grave. As painters we don't really retire but we can paint like we are.
Happy New Year and happy painting in 08