Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday wishes are in order today for one of my favorite Coming Abstractions followers, Anne Eversmann, who lives in cold and snowy Ohio. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNE!!! Anne was one of my first blog followers and via the internet we've formed a wonderful friendship sharing thoughts, musings, art, and encouragement. When I first started blogging I seriously didn't think anyone would even want to read what I wrote or see what I created. I blogged because "art marketing experts" said you had to in order to be successful. After receiving my very first comment from someone other than a friend (that was you, Anne) I was hooked! Now I get comments every week from people I haven't even met but who apparently have found my blog somehow. Some of them I don't even see in my group of followers but apparently they are there. I'm not sure how all of this cyberspace stuff works but I'm finding that maybe those art marketing people do indeed know a thing or two about marketing!  Anne--I am thanking you "publicly" for your friendship, support and encouragement. You are a bright shiny guiding light in my life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Surgery and healing by art

On January 13th I had surgery that required my staying home for five days straight.  The first day home was a blur; the 2nd day was a bit better though uncomfortable; and by the 3rd day I started getting cabin fever and needed to be up and around or I'd lose my mind.  Medicating myself with a nice little pain pill enabled me to move around and I slowly converted my newly painted dining room into a painting studio so I could paint all day and night.  And paint, paint, paint, I did!  My dining room walls needed a bit of touch-up after a few sessions of paint flinging but this experience pushed me into a whole new series that I'm producing at my gallery downtown. 

Here are a few works from those blurred days of unbridled painting.  The one on the left is called "Sybil's Escape" (see all the faces??) and measures 7.5" x 15.25" done with acrylics and charcoal on 300-lb Arches watercolor paper.  The top right painting is called "Sunset 1" and is a 12" x 12" x .75" canvas; the bottom right painting is called "Sunrise 1" and is 12" x 12" x .75".  of these are painted with acrylic paints.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Artist's Prayer

For several months I've subscribed to a wonderful blog written by another fellow artist buddy from Australia named Carl Kuerschener.  Carl is an artist; talented writer and soon to be published author on the subject of making and marketing art.  You can check out his information at:

Recently Carl wrote a post that really resonated with me and I thought I'd share it with you.  Maybe it's something to do with my Catholic school background and prayers but honestly it stopped me in my tracks and made me think!  And best of all, this prayer made me act (see item #14).  My heartfelt thanks to all of my art buddies out there -- I hope you too gleen some inspiration from the prayer below!

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An Artists Prayer
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1. Love what you do

2. Be patient

3. Do not tolerate disorder. Inspiration finds it difficult to present itself when there is chaos.

4. Don't question your talent, just use it. Focus on how, and forget about why.

5. Always remember the best way around fear is going straight through it

6. Never make excuses. Nobody is responsible for your life but you.

7. Never wait for the perfect opportunity. The path you walk will always be uneven. Learn how to step over the cracks, deal will the setbacks and learn to assess how to make the most of your time and energy in order to keep moving forward.

8. Know that as an artist, you are prone to self-sabotage.  Don't deny it, because if you do you can never be prepared to confront it.  Know that there is no greater force that will try to "remove you" from your craft than that little inner voice of defiance. Know that it is there, accept some of the crap it will try to get you to believe, but carry on doing your work regardless. Time, persistence and accepting that each day is a going to be different is what will keep you winning the fight against self sabotage and that little inner voice of defiance.

9. Don't work for applause. Be of service to your craft.

10. Know that you are not your art.  Avoid identifying yourself through the paintbrush. Society, history, family and love have given you the privilege to be an artist. If you believe you are your art, you'll dilly dally around in your own mind instead of mastering your technique.  Master your technique, use the privilege you have been given, so when inspiration hits, you will always be ready to create that masterpiece(wink).

11. Don't be too proud to seek help. Know that you cannot do it all on your own. Ask for assistance. We all need a lawyer, accountant and a coach.

12. Accept that the art industry is a breeding ground for criticism. Critics know that it hurts you when they are critical. Criticism is the weak man's way of trying to get you to be obedient. He knows full well that criticism doesn't just hurt you psychologically; it hurts you on a cellular level also. Remove the emotion and look at your art objectively. Do that and you'll be able to watch the critics tear your work to pieces while you sit back and have a laugh.

13. Know that your career as an artist and many days five, ten, fifteen years from now will throw challenges at you. Be aware of this and it will save you from being overcome by humiliation and defeat. Be aware of it so your inner voice of defiance (self-sabotage) does not wallow in it like a pig in a sty when challenges do arise. Keep your mind on what is good. Be grateful you get to use your craft and be the performer, regardless if you have to dodge a few tomatoes from the audience from time to time.

14. Acknowledge and appreciate other artists, creators and people serving your industry.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year

My favorite holiday of the year is New Year's -- most particularly New Year's Eve.  In my mind New Year's Eve is a magical day in which new personal goals, hopes and dreams for the upcoming year are created;  and mistakes, regrets, negative feelings and thoughts that occurred during the past year are forgiven, forgotten, and put aside forever. 

In 2009 I managed to pare down my hours at the development firm to part time and have committed to living a more artful life.  Obviously this has had a bit of a financial impact on my in-bound cash flow situation but I'm fortunate to have ample reserves and have decided it's now or never.  Besides--the phrase "starving artist" is NOT in my vocabulary.  Nor is it an option!

One of my many 2010 goals is to create and implement a marketing plan for my gallery and art.  I'll be reworking my website; beginning a regular newsletter; participating in more art competitions and shows; teaching classes (glass, lampworking; upcycled art and collage); consciously creating a web presence (this blog; ETSY; EBay: Artfire; etc.) and doing more networking with fellow artists.  I'm also spending more time creating -- both at the gallery downtown and in my glass studio. 

A concept I was considering was painting 100 paintings in 100 days for $100 -- I have already purchased 2 cases of 12" x 12" canvases and have started working on some sketches.   Being the commitment-phobe that I am I have doubts that I can handle the pressure of creating 100 works in 100 days but rest assured -- there will be 100 new paintings for $100 in 2010!

Baby steps.....I have to remember to take baby steps.

Happy New Year's!!