Friday, June 29, 2012

New Painting and First Etsy Sale!

What a surprise to find someone bought a painting from my etsy shop today.  I have only had paintings listed since June 3rd, and this particular painting I listed only six days ago.  I have heard from other sellers how long it can take to sell the first item from a new store that I wasn't expecting much at this point.  I was focused on tweaking my titles, tags, and other SEO factors, interacting with the etsy community, and getting this blog going.  So having someone actually buy a painting was a total surprise, but very very welcome!  Yay!

I started a new 30x40 painting as a gift for my daughter, who is moving out this summer, for her new apartment.  She found a photo online she loves and I'm painting it just for her, but I'd like to share my progress as I go.  Here is the first day's work, from last weekend.

This is mainly the underpainting, which goes over the pencil sketch I started with.  I paint a loose, thinned coat over the entire painting.  Sometimes I do this in one color, with lighter and darker values to define the areas.  But on this one I used the deeper tones of each color.  I worked on the sky and distant land and water after finishing the underpainting.  I generally work back to front on landscapes but it's not a hard and fast rule.  

I worked on the painting for a while this afternoon, and this is the progress I made:

After more work on the clouds, I spent time on defining the horse and the stone fence in a rudimentary way.  I plan to paint this weekend for at lease several more hours so the painting will change a lot I'm sure.  Sunday night I plan to make another blog post and will have new photos to update my progress.  

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Post-Storm Post

I want to share part of a newsletter I receive from a successful artist, Robert Genn.  He writes about many aspects of being an artist and I always find his letters valuable.  

Today his letter was contrasting the proliferation of digital photography in the art world versus painting.  I'm not sure I agree with some of the points made, but I did find these paragraphs thought provoking:

Paintings are handmade. Unlike the old Kodak ad, "You press the button, we do the rest," paintings take hours or even days of contemplation and hard-won private process. The art of painting can be an "event" that is felt by the viewer. 

Paintings are distinguished by texture. Texture is a mark of integrity and passion that the digital world has not yet mastered. Fine artists abandon texture at their peril.

Paintings are tangible. They don't float in clouds. Paintings have pride of place in prestigious museums and noble homes. Framed for strategic walls and inner sanctums, paintings become the love-objects of our lives.

Paintings, like bars of gold, are assets of investment and hoarding; a treasury that may span generations. "Artists," noted Salvador Dali, "are manufacturers of wealth."

Unlike the grinning and contrived poses snapped at barbeques, or the mug-shot of an uncle whose schnoz is memorable but whose name you've forgotten, paintings are true connections with a singular and real person. That person is you. When people collect art, they also collect the maker.

I'm still thinking about what he said here. 

On another note, Tropical Storm Debby is moving away from us today.  We still have wind gusts and an occasional rainstorm that passes by at 35 mph or so, but nothing like Sunday's deluge.  And in this area we were lucky to have no damage or flooding.  It was much worse in other areas and will be some time to clean up.  I hope everyone will stay safe as it crosses Florida and moves away.  I was sad to hear of a young mother who died in a tornado while holding her baby safely in her arms.  Also a mother manatee that was found on Bayshore Blvd in Tampa which was flooded.  I'm grateful for the many people who spent today trying to move sea turtle eggs to higher ground as the high tide washed the sand away from nests.  I hope tomorrow will be a better day for everyone affected.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tropical Storm my yard

Tropical Storm Debby parked off shore of Florida's west coast today, and is dumping buckets of rain on us!  Wind gusts and flooding and some tornadoes passing through in bands.  As long as it stays stalled out there we'll have these conditions continuing, probably the next day or two anyway, they are saying right now.  

I spent the afternoon in my studio corner, watching the storms pass through from our Florida room windows.  On and off we had a lake in our backyard.  We've had between 12 and 20 inches of rain already according to the weather news.  I took a few photos of our backyard I'll post here.

 Yes, it's really wet out there.  We are fortunate to be on high ground and not prone to flooding in our neighborhood.  However many areas do flood, so I'm not looking forward to driving in to work early tomorrow morning!  

I spent most of the afternoon starting a new painting, a 30x40 inch canvas, that is a commission/gift for my daughter.  She chose an image she found online; no idea who took the photo so I can't credit anyone, but it's just for her and I won't be making prints of it.  But I'll share my progress with you as I go along.  I'll try to get a photo of it up tomorrow.

Hope everyone's week will be great...stay dry if you can!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This and That

Today I listed this painting I recently finished onto my etsy site.  I'm up to 15 paintings and ACEOs now, which isn't a lot I know...but it represents a lot of time at my easel!  So I'm happy.  I've had many views of my shop and paintings there over the last week, and some have been 'hearted' a few times too.  That's fun!  

Of course I have a long list of favorite shops and items on etsy.  Great artists and craftspeople on that site and I'd like to share a few of my favs with you now and then.

I've been spending a lot of time online getting things going, which is necessary of course.  This weekend I'm going to make some time to get back to work in my 'studio' though!  My studio is really just a corner of our Florida room!  It's a good working space overlooking our yard and the busy birdfeeder.  One of our cats, Luke, keeps an eye on me there quite often.

I miss painting when I'm away from it for awhile.  I have a lot of ideas I'm working on for paintings, and also for painted Christmas ornaments and crafts.  I haven't made them for awhile and always enjoyed it.  I hope they will be perfect for etsy.  I'll be sure to show you some of my ideas as I develop them and then the works in progress.  It may still be June but Christmas will get here way faster than it seems possible.  It's that way every year!  This will be my first Christmas offering my work on etsy.  I'm thinking of opening a second shop for listing things that aren't fine art paintings, to keep things organized.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend. 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gotta Start Somewhere...

This feels very much like starting a new painting.  Blank canvas, somewhat unformed ideas, the creative urge pushing me forward, and a certain hesitation in putting the first marks down.  

But, I've gotta start somewhere.  

I love art.  Looking at it, learning about it, creating it.  Painting is my first love, but I never met an art or craft I didn't like!  I taught myself to decorate cakes as a kid.  I sew ballroom dance dresses for my daughter.   I did ceramic sculpture and pottery in college. I learned to knit (but forgot how.) I've painted furniture, murals, crafts, and canvases.  I love home decor magazines.  I adore the colors of water, sky, and growing things.

I'm kind of shy.  Kind of reserved.  Maybe that's my cultural and genetic heritage, the stoic Swedish reserve I remember in my parents and grandparents.  I don't tweet or tell everyone what I ate for dinner!  (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) But I do love to write, and I do long to connect with people.  So this is me, reaching out to connect. I truly hope I can create a blog worthy of being read and enjoyed.

My purpose in this blog is to journal my experiences as an artist: the joys and frustrations of painting and crafting, sharing creative ideas in art and crafts, and living life as it comes.  I'd like to show you works in progress, photos that inspire new paintings, and perhaps a video or two down the road.  Maybe talk about the great artists whose work inspires me and whose lives fascinate me.  Share with you beautiful things I find online and out & about.  My art adventures!  

I invite you to join me, and thank you for honoring me by reading what I write.