Saturday, December 5, 2015

Watercolour workshop we had with Ruth Reid November 2, 3, 2015

Ruth Reid doing a demo
https://m.facebook.com/ruth.reid.961?tsis=0.3662740066647596&source=typeahead


Samples of our work

Willing workshop participants take a picture to post to SAC

Sample works

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mixing Flesh Tones and more...

Artist Tips (source: Jerry Yarnell newsletter)
 
 
How do I mix flesh tones?

You begin with the same two basic colors, alizarin crimson (both oil & acrylic) and thalo yellow green (Grumbacher Oil) or vivid lime green (Liquitex Acrylic). You will add white to these two colors to create a Caucasian skin tone. To create darker skin tones you will add Prussian blue, burnt sienna, and dioxazine purple. All flesh tones vary so you will need to experiment with the various mixtures of paints. For a redder skin tone, you will add more burnt sienna. If you need a lighter skin tone, add white.
 
Can I mix different brands of paint together?

You can mix different brands of paint. The difference between brands is the strength of the pigment. A different pigment may change the color. It does not hurt to mix as long as they are both water-based or oil-based. You cannot mix oil and acrylics together.
 
Can I use Masonite board to paint on?

Yes, Masonite boards can be used with acrylic & oil mediums. It can be more affordable than canvas and you may prefer the surface to canvas. Most importantly, use untempered Masonite board and you must apply at least two coats of gesso to prime the surface. Sand between each coat with fine sandpaper.
 
Use untempered hardboard (masonite) because tempered hardboard contains an oily resin that in time could impair the adhesion of the gesso.
 
To check if the hardboard is treated is to take a piece of masking tape to a smooth untempered surface, right away fibers will stick to it, if it's tempered it won't. If it's the masonite it has a wax coat, tape will take a while before the sticky reacts with the wax.
 
Duron is a hardboard that is untempered. You can buy it from a building supplier. The sheets were untempered 3/8 x 4' x 9'. Very smooth both sides fairly dark, very subtle small pattern can be seen (not felt) on the surface. You will not find this product at Home Depot, but they may special order the product.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Six Most Common Mistakes Artists Make When Approaching Galleries for Representation

The email-article below was written by Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs and I felt it was worth passing on to members of the art community. Please note it has been edited for content due to the fact that Mr. Horejs was promoting a workshop at the time I received the email.  Although most of the article is very informative, you will come to the conclusion that Mistakes #4,5 and 6 offer no real solution. I guess I should have taken his workshop to find out!

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Several years ago, I began to wonder why artists were when inept talking to galleries. I quickly realized most were unsuccessful because there is very little information explaining the best strategies.

That lack of information leads to these blunders:


Mistake #1: Presenting an inconsistent body of work.
Artists generally love their freedom. They want to experiment. They love a challenge. They crave variety. All good things, except when you are presenting your work to a gallery.

The work you present to a gallery needs to be unified. It doesn't need to be repetitive or formulaic, but it must present you as a consistent artist with a clear vision.

Often I feel I am looking at the work of multiple artists as I review a single portfolio. To avoid this problem you need to find focus in your work.

If you work in several media and a variety of styles, focus on just one for the next 6-12 months. Create a body of work that feels like a "series". Once you have 20-25 gallery-ready pieces in this series, you will be ready to approach a gallery.

You can further create consistency by presenting the work in a consistent way. Use similar frames for paintings and photographs, similar bases for sculpture, similar settings for artistic jewelry. Make it very clear all of the work is by the same artist.

If you simply can't rein your style in, consider creating multiple portfolios, one for each style.

Don't confuse the galleries you approach by presenting multiple styles in one portfolio.


Mistake #2: Producing insufficient work to sustain gallery sales. Many artists create marketable work, but in quantities too low to make a gallery relationship viable. Successful artists are consistently in the studio creating artwork. You may be surprised to learn the results of a recent survey I conducted.

I asked artists how many new works they created in the last twelve months. Painters responded that on average they were creating 53 pieces every twelve months. Sculptors 31. Glass artists 500!

A gallery owner needs to feel confident you will replace sold art quickly and maintain high quality. They want to know if you are successful that you can replenish their inventory.

Don't despair if you are far from reaching this goal. Rather, look at your creative production for the last year and set a goal to increase the production by 25% in the next 12 months.

Several suggestions to increase productivity:
1. Dedicate time daily to your art. Maybe your schedule will only allow for two hours daily, but you will produce more by working for those two hours every day than you will by waiting for big blocks of time.

Treat your studio time as sacred. Train your family and friends to respect that time. You don't interrupt them when they are at work; ask them the same courtesy when you are in the studio.

2. Set a production goal. If I could tell you the secret to producing 50 or 100 pieces per year, would you listen? Here it is: create 1 or 2 pieces of work per week.

I know it seems overly simplified, yet few artists work in a concerted and disciplined way to achieve this goal.

(A common objection I hear to this suggestion is that quality will suffer if an artist works this quickly. In my experience, the opposite is true. A certain level of quality may only be obtained by putting miles on the paintbrush, spending hours in the darkroom, or moving tons of clay or stone.)

3. Remove distractions from the studio. Relocate your computer to another room. Unplug the telephone. Nothing kills an artist's focus faster than the constant interruption of technology. Your inbox and voicemail will keep your messages safe while you work.


Mistake #3: Delivering a portfolio in a format inconvenient for gallery review.
   Often your portfolio is your only chance to show your work to a gallery owner. Poorly formatted portfolios are rarely viewed. Your portfolio should be concise, simple, informative, and accessible.

25 years ago, formatting a portfolio was simple. A portfolio was either a literal portfolio with sheet protectors and photos, or a slide sheet.

The choices have since multiplied. CD? Digital hardbound photo-book? .Pdf file? Email? Which format is the most effective? None of these, actually. Each has drawbacks limiting effectiveness. They are either too much work for the gallery owner to access, too easy to delete, or too hard for the artist to maintain.

A couple of things to keep in mind with your portfolio:
1. Your portfolio should contain no more than 20-25 of your most recent works. You should not create an all-inclusive portfolio. A gallery owner does not want to see your life's work. They want to see your best, most current, most relevant work.

2. On each page you should include pertinent, relevant information about the art. Include the title, the medium, the size, and the price. Don't include the date of artwork creation.

3. Place your bio, artist's statement, and resume at the end of the portfolio, not the beginning. Your artwork is the most important feature of the portfolio- don't bury it behind your info. Limit press clippings and magazine articles to 2-3 pages.

4. Include 2-3 images of sold artwork. You should try to include at least one photograph of an installed piece. These images will establish your credibility more rapidly than any resume ever could.


Mistake #4: Lacking confidence and consistency in pricing.
Is your work priced correctly?
One of the greatest challenges you will face as an artist is knowing how to correctly value your work. Many artists price their work emotionally and inconsistently. Galleries can't sell wrongly priced art.

Worse, nothing will betray an unprepared artist like not knowing how to price his/her work.

Many artists mistakenly under-price their work. They do this because they feel they are not established. They do it because their local art market won't sustain higher prices. They do it because they lack confidence in their work.

   
Mistake #5: Approaching the wrong galleries.
  My gallery is located in an art market dominated by Southwest and Western subject matter. My gallery stands apart from most of the galleries in Arizona because I have chosen art outside the norm. Yet I am constantly contacted by Western and Southwestern artists. They seem surprised and hurt when I turn them away. They could have saved us both some discomfort by researching my gallery before approaching.

Which markets should you approach first? How should you research the galleries? Is it safe to work with galleries in out-of-state markets?

    
Mistake #6: Submitting art through the wrong channels.
Conventional wisdom and even some highly respected art marketing books will advise you to send your portfolio with a cover letter to a gallery. You may also hear it's best to call a gallery and try and make an appointment to meet the owner. You might visit a gallery's website to learn of their submission guidelines.

In my experience, these methods all guarantee failure. I will share with you a more direct, simpler approach; this approach will tremendously improve your chances of success. The approach is no secret, and yet most artists don't employ it.

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