Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pushing Paint

For the longest time I used to paint from memory, than from photos, and than from just bits of photos and yesterday in an afternoon of painting I experienced several shifts of thought and realized very distinct differences in painting and the feeling you have when you are deeply involved in a painting.
I think teaching painting has very much pushed me to not be happy with the idea of pushing paint around, the feeling is very enjoyable if not frustrating which depends on your place and mood.

I have several waterfalls started-one of Petit Jean in Arkansas which has been pending for about a good two years and another of Turner Falls in Oklahoma-you notice a trend here-waterfalls. I don't want to paint another landscape that is as good, even closely to anything I have previously created, I want the water to be so clear and so crystal the viewers get at least a cold feeling or even barely the feeling they get sitting in front of a waterfall. I want the viewer to look for the movement and clarity and try to find the key to how the painting has captured that feeling so well-this is a tall order for a painter but something that I believe is a process that has showed me the place where painting from memory can only fail. The simplest things we don't notice are the reasons why we see a waterfall and feel things in a landscape-these small details are the first things we lose in a painting from memory.

Here is the experience that I noticed first hand. Usually I start painting with the idea that I have a short time to do as much work as I can get done and I must feel whatever painting I decide to start. If I am in the mood for a cold winter scene, I have a hard time painting a sunny landscape. If I am extremely detail oriented, I will chose to paint something that has lots of details I can get lost in and not  a water scene that begs for less detail and more quick responses to atmosphere and image. I have always said the less you put into t a water scene the better because the details are often in what you don't see or barely see rather than the great use of details.  I have a rose painting that people have remarked about the droplets-it's the simplicity and lack of paint that actually captured the droplets-this image was actually created from life which brings me to the next idea and supports the idea that memory often fails us. When we try to capture something beautiful and simple our memory tends to overdo the image-we fill in the gaps with details and ruin the fresh simplicity which will make the image what the viewer has a dilemma and begs the question-how did he or she do that?

I painted the Petit Jean image and departed from the original idea that escaped me and made me push paint back and forth for the last six months, granted in overlapping the strokes of paint the skeleton image beneath was actually necessary and made the overlapped detail work but at the time it seemed tedious at best-ask my student about painting rocks-notice the second painting she did was void of details-that says a lot. So suddenly after looking at a photograph the image came together and suddenly every stroke was called for-I knew where the paint went and what color went where because it made sense and the photograph although missing much information allowed me the direction to support whatever memories failed me.

After having a great flow of work with the one painting I switched to a commission I am working on from a photograph, the image is very detailed but extremely well positioned and thought out. The lines are clean, the execution is almost without surprise-which is the drawback of painting from a photograph where the knowledge of the scene increases the quality of the image being captured, much of the surprises and mistakes that occur from memory are lost. Much of the freedom of stroke and movement are somewhat toned down-there are drawbacks to both. After a very successful time painting this painting I switched to a portrait for all of a second or two but I just wasn't in the detail oriented mode and feared ruining what I started. So on to the Turner Falls image-painting from memory and some poor pix-I felt like I did more harm than good-the colors muddied quickly, the depth and clarity of the water turned more into a bunch of lines and colors that just didnt' capture any depth, coldness or clarity of the water-I was pushing paint again.

I quickly got off before I did too much damage and worked on an ocean scene that has gone through many changes in form and focus-it's kind of a wild card but here is the fun of painting from memory-freedom-almost working in an abstract feeling-enjoying the movement in lines, the change of form and colors-I created an ocean scene but nothing in the scene was clear as a wave or a rock, even the boat was somewhat an afterthought. The only success I felt I had achieved was a great depth of the painting, a change in the light and movement and it was a really free enjoyable process-I will in the future look at an ocean scene to capture some of the intangible details that I feel I missed in the execution. It is just funny how the brain reacts to different processes of painting and different needs are achieved by different approaches we take to capturing realism/impressionism/expressionism., which brings me to the new year and the new process I am excited to embark on-Plein Air- I plan on painting outside from life more often and I'm excited to see the change of works and how the eye and brain depicts realism from life instead of photographs or memory.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Taking Chances with Style and Technique

Too often we fall into a safe rut with our artwork or creative endeavors, choosing subconsciously to stay with what we are familiar with. A portrait artist may tend to stay with portraits, a landscape artist with a certain landscape style or even region they paint. Over the years I have painted many landscapes and unfortunately at times find myself attempting to stay within a particular style or using the same mediums and colors.

As I have gotten older and perhaps more confident with my mediums I have gotten more eager to try new things and open to new directions. I have painted more people in the last few years than I ever have, I will try anything once, being unafraid to not succeed is the key to many recent successes. I have recently started to revamp a painting that had sat on my wall for many months waiting for a new direction. The painting is a simple landscape of Lake Ray Hubbard and the original image is a late afternoon moon rise over the lake. Originally there were the wild sunflowers in the foreground which were small and barely gave any direction in the painting. They turned into an area of flowers that didn't do much for the scene but maybe lessen and distract from any depth. I did like the direction the moon was taking and the light in the scene was headed somewhere but the foreground was just blah.

The painting sat unfinished, I even added flowers, deleted them, adjusted the light and the water but nothing seemed to spark the creative vision that originally motivated me to start painting. This particular image was not even sketched out or envisioned which might explain the loss of direction in painting it.

I drive through the country and see many sunflowers on a daily basis and have gotten the idea of a field of wild sunflowers with dashes of blues and violets. I thought of the image as a rough, almost violent scene of sunflowers in a simple field. Suddenly the image that lost all its inspiration became a place to throw paint and enjoy strokes of raw color. I didn't care about the quality of each flower or the grasses and detail it was more the whole image with the vibrance of the sunflowers and dashes of violent color and suddenly from no mood and direction an image finally appeared in my mind.

Another element that appeared in the new image was that of a young girl staring into the distance, the departure from the original and the chances I took with colors, style and subject matter turned something mundane into a vibrant place that restored my excitement and inspiration. I believe the creative mind needs to be challenged, pushed beyond its comfort zone and allowed to play.

The need to create what will be a masterpiece can often turn into a mundane task that loses all its vigor. Sometimes taking chances with color and form and having no fear of failing miserably is the shot of inspiration and passion a painting is desperately missing.


Have any other artists had the same process? Do you always know where the painting is going and how often are you surprised by the final work? Do you often enjoy just the process of playing with form and color instead of being afraid to not perfect the inspiration?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Art by Gordon: Criticism, the Best Learning Experience I've Ever ...

Art by Gordon: Criticism, the Best Learning Experience I've Ever ...: Criticism, the Best Learning Experience I've Ever Known Artists can become blinded by their own sense of accomplishment and tend to recrea...
Criticism, the Best Learning Experience I've Ever Known

Artists can become blinded by their own sense of accomplishment and tend to recreate the same image and the same mistakes over and over again. Another drawback in this point in the creative career is that we tend to feel we're better or further along than we are. I had the good fortune about twenty years ago to meet with a very talented professional artist and teacher as well as a gallery owner. My first expectation at the time was that they couldn't get over how amazing of an artist I was and that they just had to have me in their gallery at any price I wanted. Of course, this was not the case, luckily for my beginning career as an artist-I learned humility and much about what makes descent art much better.

I learned that what I knew about perspective and depth was lacking and learned to think about depth, color, light, value-Immediately I learned what I might be doing right and what I needed to do better.
So many of the bad habits I had picked up and the lack of being able to be objective enough to truelly see what I was creating opened a whole new scope of ideas and a wealth of knowledge I had just started to process.

Unfortunately my first feeling of painting was awkward at best. I started out questioning every movement I made, I had a hard time going into a subconscious state of creating because the things I had learned were not second nature yet and I was thinking and processing every lesson I had learned. I found myself pushing paint-a term I use for what seems like painting a strangers painting. I saw the process and instead of being able to paint fluidly and without thinking, every stroke I made was awkward and clumsy. I had several failed series of works, many that never saw the light of day.

Over the years I had come to the point where the new lessons I had learned became second nature and I no longer had to think of how to create in varying shapes to create interest or to change values or colors to illustrate depth, everything became second nature to me again but instead of going back to painting the way I had been, I had a new way of seeing my own work and a greater arsenal of tools to use in my painting and I learned to use them with the instinct of an artist that had grown from the criticism and objectivity of the lessons I learned from other artists and art lovers.

I welcome criticism, I want to know what hits and what doesn't, I know it is a subjective process and one persons' art is anothers' garbage but I believe the more we can step back and really see what our art does to the viewer and learn other ways of judging our own work, we open a door to an amazing insight into what makes us artists and what makes great art.

QUESTION: What was the greatest lesson you learned through a viewers opinion or the criticism of artists or art lovers that were critical of your art? How did it change you as an artist? How did it change your art?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Art by Gordon: This post is a question to all creatives and I hop...

Art by Gordon: This post is a question to all creatives and I hop...: This post is a question to all creatives and I hope we can get a dialog going about the creative processes. I would like to know if there ar...
This post is a question to all creatives and I hope we can get a dialog going about the creative processes. I would like to know if there are commonalities in the creative process. I will lay out the questions and I hope readers will include their comments about their process of creativity.

Question 1: What motivates you to create the image, work of writing, etc?

For me, there is an initial stimulus, it is usually an atmosphere that I encounter while in a landscape, that feeling creates the mood and usually there is a feeling of temperature which drive the colors and a feeling of mood which drives the light or lack of it. The initial inspiration is very quick and the image is clear in the mind but the feeling and the image disappear very quickly. This initial inspiration is the impetus for the sketch which can often sit in a sketchbook for years and will often change and adapt in several different sketched versions. I feel like the layout is decided by this process of the idea fermenting.

Question 2: Do you finish a painting or work of writing before you start on something else?

I work on multiple works simultaneously, I have a short attention span when it comes with the inspiration and the details.

Question 3: Are there rituals you go through or certain processes you go through while creating?

When I first start painting, there is excitement and enthusiasm about painting. I will quickly go into somewhat of a blur while painting or writing and often forget details after finishing for the session. What often appears to be incredible in that state often turns out afterwards to be nothing but mistakes-The view I have of my work changes every time I look at the work which often is why it is hard to finish paintings. It all depends on the mood I am in and the paintings tend to take a life of their own, much of the details I don't consciously remember creating-they tend to work themselves out in the process. After a series is done, there is usually a period of somewhat depressive state with much doubt of the finished product hit the mark. Over time I will know if it was a success or failure.

The creative process is a very intangible working of the brain, I think we work between conscious and subconscious and being able to turn the creativity on and off can be a blessing or a curse. I have felt the euphoria of creating and the opposite side of that feeling and believe it is a common thing among creatives-we are constantly working between both sides of the brain and continually grow the parts of the brain that see our surroundings in a way that others might not. I hope many of my readers will chime in on this process and answer these three questions adding whatever creative thoughts or ideas of the process you see fit. Thanks for reading my blog.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Art by Gordon: New Paintings About to be Updated on Site After t...

Art by Gordon: New Paintings About to be Updated on Site

After t...
: New Paintings About to be Updated on Site After teaching two painting classes, I have learned many things about my trade and the act of pa...
New Paintings About to be Updated on Site

After teaching two painting classes, I have learned many things about my trade and the act of painting. I will be creating several posts about the processes of teaching, the lessons that I shared with my student and how I was able to decipher what I do subconsciously into terms that the layperson could understand. Articulating the process has really helped me in the process of my own painting.

I am planning on posting probably twelve paintings or so in the next few weeks. I have finished eight paintings already and after photographing, signing and finishing they will be posted to the and with each painting on the site I will either include poetry to describe the place if appropriate or the mechanics of the original inspiration and how long it was on the list of paintings to be done. This I hope will give a better insight into the process of the creative experience.

I believe my paintings have really come full circle-they have gone from very dark, to ridiculously light and now back to somewhat darker but much more colorful and rich in color. More changes that are coming to the website is a page on photography and a page on writing. I will also be highlighting some upcoming stories that will be published on the site. Please check back and I will keep posting about the upcoming paintings.

Art by Gordon: Capturing Depth in a One Dimensional Frame In rea...

Art by Gordon: Capturing Depth in a One Dimensional Frame

In rea...
: Capturing Depth in a One Dimensional Frame In real life, the brain deciphers reality and the depth of a scene by visual cues but much of t...
Capturing Depth in a One Dimensional Frame

In real life, the brain deciphers reality and the depth of a scene by visual cues but much of the dimension is filled in by certain assumptions that the brain makes by experience and reason. The assumption of reality often hampers the effects that the artist tries to create, what we assume of reality is often more complicated or visually incorrect, in creating droplets of water the initial conception would attempt a complex process of capturing the depth and clarity of water when in actuality the process is very simple and basic, the less detail you can achieve especially trying to create water the more believable the end image.

In seeing images across the visual plane we use our experience and concept of depth and color to make decisions on depth and the distance we are seeing. You know that the ocean is a great distance of space, the visual cues you record only support and confirm the distance. I recently went to a cave in California, Moaning rocks cavern-the distance to the ceiling of the cavern is roughly the height of the statue of liberty but because of the lack of visual cues for the brain to decipher the distance the distance seems much less than the actual depth of the cave. The illusion of distance and space is something that the artist and the photographer must capture and relate on a one dimensional field.

Many times you see a scene and photograph the image hoping to capture that same feeling of depth and beauty and unfortunately many times we are left with a flat uninteresting image in the end. There are two processes at work here, first the camera attempts to capture everything in a gray basic tone and will make a multitude of values a close semblance of constant gray, photographers must meter their light to exaggerate lighter or darker areas of a scene to make the camera decipher a scene in a more significant range of tones therefore allowing the depth and space of an image. Another factor that is involved is the availability of visual cues that allow the viewer to decipher the distance between the back of a one dimensional plane to the front. These visual cues capture the illusion of a distance that is deciphered on a flat plane.

Painting is the same kind of visual illusion, you must adjust, exaggerate and highlight changes in light, tone, sharpness and value-this is how you allow the eye to go deep into a one dimensional scene capturing the illusion of space on a flat plane. Surrealists often bend this illusion and often the feeling of a reality that is awkward or somewhat disturbing may be achieved, cubists capture various planes of an image and flatten the each plane on the same plane-all of these techniques is how the artist manipulates how the viewer sees the space the artist creates. Art is an illusion and the more options the artist has to manipulate it, the more options and cues that are available to interest the viewer. This is the first lesson that I taught my recent student and how we approached each area of the paintings had to do with this premiss.
Finding A Finishing Line

I  have a short attention span in regards to painting, that is why I end up painting multiple works at once. There are steps in the process of creating that are all very integral but often intangible. I call the first stage of the inspiration the fermenation period of the idea. I have no interest in painting something that is just attractive, there needs to be a feeling, an emotional response that comes to the viewer, with this in mind I believe the need for the fermenation of the original concepts captures the subtle edges that turn a pretty landscape into an emotional scene.

Over the recent years, I have gotten very scattered in my painting process which has come to equal an amazing amount of works without any sign of finishing. I have worked on paintings that originated up to twenty years ago and continue to map out creations that will eventually become sketches and finally finished works. These ideas tend to stay in the fermentation point and recently I have all images stopping abruptly at that stage, this is a dilemma for an artist wanting some product to display.

The problem with my somewhat fickle approach to painting is the original idea is often so fleeting that in the middle of creation the idea and original inspiration become barely tangible. In my recent teaching experiences an observation has occurred to me-you either work forward toward the finished product or you are pushing paint around. The pushing paint around is a feeling where you tend to just move paint around and this is often when I get the feeling I am painting someone elses' painting and I have become lost in the details, the original inspiration is gone. I have watched my recent student turn from someone that asks what next to someone that knows where the paint and stroke needs to go, almost instinctively and that is in my opinion when you are creating and not just pushing paint.

My studio is filled with so many paintings that hang on the wall in varying stages of completion, some are so far beyond the original idea I have often thought of just trashing them and often some are just never finished. I recently pulled down all the orphans of my creative inspiration and decided which needed to be finished, which needed to be trashed and the difference in the stages of their completion, in this process I was able to get closer to actually finishing paintings that before had hung on the wall waiting for the next step.

It is a very strange feeling when you pick up from a pile of paintings, each individual painting and suddenly you know what needs to be done. There are invisible cues that become real as if suddenly I  know where every stroke should go and what color goes where. There is a feeling of absence at this point just like writing poetry, suddenly you are lost in the image but your subconscious mind is completely familiar with the work and understands every nuance of the scene and what needs to be done to finish the painting. I have signed eight paintings in the last week and have started the six week process of eventually finishing them with lacquer, it is an exciting point in the creative process.

I believe one reason that it's hard to keep momentum on the multiple paintings is when I get lost in a painting's details I lose the subconscious understanding of the details and what needs to go where. Changing paintings and atmospheres disrupts that feeling of being overwhelmed by the details but unfortunately my short attention span takes over again and another painting begins its long process of becoming a finished product.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finding the inner artist again

How does an artist regain their eye, or their inspiration? I believe life gets too busy to concentrate on the small details that lend themselves to art and creativity. I have always been the one that would stop and get excited about a sunset or the way light shines through the trees on certain times of the day, I couldn't understand how others either didn't see the amazing image I was seeing or maybe I was exaggerating the beauty of what I was seeing. I believe that is what separates the artist or creative person from others, its the excitement and celebration of images or words that others find mundane yet we see them in a new exciting way.

On of the worst things I have ever done to my sense of creativity is selling a photograph for a commercial purpose-suddenly I questioned the image that was in my view finder instead of relying on the natural instinct-I asked myself how could I sell this and suddenly that intangible image that I could find from normal mundane things became clumsy. I was looking for the sale, where would I sell it, how could I market it? This form of censoring my inner artist killed my inspiration and I could not see the way I normally saw as an artist. You can not question the inspiration, you must go with it, if I write and think of what to rhyme I am doomed, I can only write what flows through and the moment I censor or question I have lost the separation from the logical side of seeing things and the creative instinct that connects things that can not be compared and find the amazing beauty out of the most mundane. If an artist tries to be creative or stand out-it always appears contrived.

So how does an artist find his eyes when he has bastardized his gift that he was given for the sake of making money. It is going back to the simplicity of seeing through a child's eye instead of an adult that judges and prepares what he or she sees to be something of worth. I remember being in a cemetery and noticing light on a grave with new flowers-instead of just shooting it, my logical thought was morbid or where could it sell and a great opportunity was lost because instead of reacting to my artist eye, the logical side questioned the purpose of the image.

I was sitting on a kayak in the middle of Lake Texoma when it occurred to me-I asked myself why am I not able to sit and take in the image like I used to. The question although not clearly answered, was simply stop and see, instead of always doing something or working toward something, stopping and just enjoying the movement of the water or the way the light danced on the water was the key that I had been missing. We move so fast and work so hard, it gets to the point that we forget the simple things that we had once enjoyed as children and that simplicity and seeing as a child is what I believe separates the laymen from the artist, the reader from the writer. 

So my suggestion-stop, do silly things, simple things that you would normally ignore in your busy schedule. Find importance in the simple and excitement in the mundane-the child inside still exists, they just need to be taken more seriously sometimes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Details in painting are always a varied preference to the artist-when is it too much, when is the painting overworked or left unfinished? They can often be overwhelming and cause the eye to lose its focus. With teaching painting I have recently learned several ways to help a student get over the hurdle of details without wanting to discard painting all together.

The simplest option is finding shapes in the painting and isolating the areas. The student creates shapes and fills in the detail of each shape and the focus can be on the shape and its content instead of the whole image with all of its detail at once. The good thing about this technique is that the shapes create interest and the creation of the detail is more deliberate and distance and changes in value can be easily formed through the creation and separation of the individual shapes. When I first started painting, I used to get a technique of texture down and would overuse it, losing depth and interest, this technique helps to avoid this obstacle.

Another option is to cut a circle out of a cardboard piece and cover the picture that you are using for reference. This technique allows the student to concentrate on a smaller image of details and the work is faster and less intense. When the student finishes a small area of the painting the mask is moved to another area.

Details can be an overwhelming part of painting and often we lose focus of the overall painting when we concentrate too much on a small area of texture or extreme detail. It is challenge enough deciphering details for the artist in their own work but when you need to help a student get past handling detail it's good to have some techniques that can help the process.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Art by Gordon: Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what ins...

Art by Gordon: Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what ins...: Tonight's questions - For fellow creatives-what inspires you to create and do words often come from pictures or do pictures follow words? Fo...
Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what inspires you to create and do words often come from pictures or do pictures follow words? For the non-creatives-what about art attracts or interests you and again do you think of images while reading a story or do images tell more of a story than words? I hope to have lots of comments and insights on both sides of the creative spectrum-maybe we'll all learn something about what inspires us and where true inspiration originates from.

In this blog I will include a painting and than the words behind them-normally that would be poetry but in this case it is more of a prose description of a time and place.

At the beginning of football season-my son was ten I think, I sat on the ground watching storms pass through the sky over the field as all the parents wondered if they would call the practice but it continued. Later we even sat on slick bleachers and ignored the fact that we were all soaked, that's parenting I guess and I can tell you not one seemed put out-okay we hide it well-another parent thing.

This first painting was inspired after the storms had subsided and a swarm of dragonflies stormed in the sky around the great burst of light that broke through the clouds. The light was amazing and the break in the rain was a welcome spectacle for us drenched parents at the beginning of another football season.

The wonderful thing about that space and time of
watching my son practice is I actually get to sit and spend time observing, the time is his not mine, we actually act like a community-If I wanted to be hoaky I would say the light coming through the clouds was hope for a winning season or maybe just a spark of hope through the storm, but I won't be hoaky-no really, I won't. The inspiration for it was the beginning of the season, my son and I enjoying a time that was precious and unable to be duplicated. It was a moment in time-the dragonflies, the end of summer and time to notice the simple things-my life stopped for that moment and even when it was a burden to go at times, even sitting in the pouring rain, it was somehow worth it and the relationships my son         and I developed were wonderful.

The bottom picture is another pastel of the same place, different time- he was more like five and the sport was soccer, another group of people to know, another great moment in our lives captured. These images were all sketched out for several years before I ever actually finished them, it's almost like they have to ferment for a while.

Now we are in football again, different group of people, again moments captured that create images that become pastel sketches and always remind me of those moments. I'll always remember the dragonflies, the light of the evening and the light of the storms that would pass-all of these feelings and moments become the colors in my paintings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you have problems finishing things? My summation of an aspect of the creative process.

Sorry for the delay in posting but I am in the process of getting more paintings together to send out and working on more avenues for writing poetry and showcasing painting. Let' start this blog out with a question as I want feedback from followers and would be followers-If you are creative than I am asking about creative projects and if not I am asking about your processes on hobbies or home projects. Here is the question, Do you tend to start multiple tasks simultaneously and if so why do you think? Secondly are you happy with the progress in finishing multiple projects?

I will explain my process and the way the creative process tends to ebb and flow for me. I think that often the inspiration is often either beyond the skill level or the inspiration is not strong or clear enough to be able to finish the image in the expected time. I will start multiple paintings, each are very different and have distinct moods, I will work through cycling between up to ten paintings at the same time in hour segments on each-it is almost as if in an hour I get too close to the image and can no longer see past the details. Each time I start on a new hour with a new image I have a new perspective and problems in composition or color seem to be more clear.

Another reason for this cycling through multiple paintings is the fact that if I am in a rainy day mood, I can't paint a sunny day and vice versa. I can't usually paint because I feel like painting, the feeling is there or it's not and the unseen cues for the next step in the painting often is completely vague. A process that has helped me get better at continuing a painting past the initial inspiration is with teaching-I believe I have learned more discipline because regardless if the thought or next step is vague you have to work through the awkwardness.

A problem I have with painting multiple works is the fact that some don't get finished for years, which could be a good or bad thing-either the inspiration grows and becomes something different or a weaker inspiration strengthens over time. I have recently begun pastel images of ideas I have sketched out ten years earlier and only now have either gotten brave enough to work through the doubt or have finally solidified the image well enough to commence to painting.

I usually paint from memory, I assist that vision with multiple pictures for details but much of the image comes from memory and depending on the day, the vision grows from crystal clear to extremely vague.
If I am in good form, the colors and the composition tend to create themselves and I tend to just be the vehicle for the image that is already pretty much created in my mind.

I am working on several paintings right now and much of them are very different than previous works, the subject matter is city images, rainy evenings, mixing the water and night sky together in an urban setting. I'm excited about getting these out very soon. I will blog about the process and how I finally decided that they were finished and actually signed a finished work-one can dream-I hope I can keep the inspiration going and finish them this year. I guess we'll see. I hope some of you send some comments and I could have more insight to the process of completing something.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Community-it's where we began and where we're going

Community is something that is innate in our culture. With the rise of the web and the increasing state of anonymity the web offers, we have grown further away from our natural propensity. Community used to be the neighborhood, where people would raise their children, live their lives and die in the same neighborhood where they were raised. Newspapers were necessary to bring us just a glimpse of the world outside the microcosm of the community. Now with a trend of job hopping and the transient nature of people today we tend to not have the roots in a given neighborhood, news isn't just available-we are bombarded by multiple mediums on a daily basis and the community has become a global phenomenon where no one knows everyone but we all know small aspects of everyone's life depending on personal interests and business priorities shared across a global scale.

How do we get to know this community when it tends to be overwhelming and how do we get to know customers without bombarding them with the same advertising we have all come to loathe? A community which we see at a coffee shop has become the atrophied muscle-we know it's integral to our nature but we're not quite sure how. When people go to a coffee shop where we all should socialize we use our laptops and cell phones that become a way to avoid social contact. Customers and people in general like to be seen as people not numbers and the state of our electronic age has calloused much of our reflex to talk with each other but the underlying need still persists. Customers need to know that the business isn't selling to them, people we connect with on the web need to know that there is a connection and their needs and interest mean more than a name on a database or information for future advertising.

The act of creating a community does not create a store front, it creates a place where people can connect with like people with similar interests that can together find a common need that might bring them to a storefront when the need arises. Brand awareness and mind share is what the purpose of the connection and not just the traditional sharing of marketing information as previously intended. An awareness grows that will slowly spread to others with similar interests-now we have a neighborhood that has grown to include strangers that might not even know us by our appearance but knows our interests and trusts our opinion. This trust is not something that can be created quickly nor faked through advertising campaigns that seek to capture the name and info and ignore the needs and interests of the customer.

I have recently created a website, what I have learned in the process is that first you send out the word about what is new and at first, friends will show interest but the interest is short term and quickly the response lingers to glances and an ocasional like. What creates the buzz is the constant flow of new information and activity but also through the engaging of multiple people who have the same interests.
What starts out with minor interest slowly becomes one person sending an article to another person or posting something on their website-the name and recognition of the information slowly markets itself.

A community can't be faked, it is as honest and natural as the neighborhood. We all desire to be connected and we all strive to be heard-todays' electronic neighborhood enlarges the scope of our community but the same rules of being genuine, honest and straightforward hasn't changed-no one likes to be sold or advertised to-we want to belong to a group that we can trust and feel our interests are a priority-welcome to the neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Getting Back to Painting

I have had a rather long break from any kind of painting, yet I have been teaching and have been learning more about my subject matter and painting. The strange process of getting back to painting is the fact that all of the ideas and images stay somewhat intact in the mind and the inspiration although often a bit changed keeps its initial interest.

I have just sketched two paintings out that have been on my list and sketched out for the last fifteen years and suddenly I know how to sketch them and have an image that is clearer than ever before. I believe the initial inspiration begins with an image but the skills and processes might not be up to the challenge. The image sits in somewhat of a holding pattern until the skills can catch up with the inspiration. I am painting urban scenes which I have never taken further than an initial stage. I am in the process of doing quick figurative sketches in pastels-they will be finished images that will be a basis for the larger oil if warranted. I also plan on painting landscapes from my trip. I believe the pastel sketch will open the door and work out the problems that might be originally awkward, in the past I would have painted a painting and worked through the problems on the canvas. I hope with this technique I will be less overworked and the viewer will have a starting place as well as several versions of the same scene.

I have always been a night and water artist but now I am combining them. I am in the process of sketching out rain scenes where the water is reflecting rich evening lights and am also including figures in the painting as well. It is a strange feeling when a totally different style and process creates itself and a new artistic outlook is explored, which brings me to the reason for the long hiatus.

I think the artist had preconceived notions of his or her own work and when the inspiration or approach strays from the original before the skills are up to the task, the logical and creative side fight each other. Instead of the fast and furious painting that usually occurs in the process of painting the inspiration and the image tend to fight each other. The same process I had when I learned from an artistic mentor, suddenly instead of painting by reflex I was thinking of every process and the process was slowed until the mind can put the two new process together naturally. I believe painting and  creativity are reflex actions and if you have to think about what you are painting some of the magic is lost. My zone begins when I don't even remember what I have written or my hand moves across the canvas as if it knows what it needs to do. My eyes and my mind don't even control or maintain the process. There are no questions in this zone and the painting pretty much paints itself.

I have sketched out two new paintings today and am well into another night scene that I started earlier in the week. When I start back to painting it usually becomes a fast and furious process almost to make up for lost time. I am excited about this series and will continue to blog as the series progresses.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's all in the details you don't see-those are the details that make an effective painting

We had a second class for the the next painting and the flow was quick and really enjoyable.
Our first process was to create zones out of the image-several areas of the painting were envisioned
as geometric shapes that were created and approached as separate colors and textures. The painting as I mentioned in the last post is a painting of a single leaf on water. There is not much as far as details to create, in the previous painting we could capture a region of the painting with detail and connect the areas of detail, in this painting the simplicity and subtlety of the image forces you to keep the transparency fresh and light and to capture the effect by the layers of each area we create.

The first task was to create a layer of soft blue sky which was not like the blue green of the water. Next was to put a dark line to denote where the bubbles of water were, this area created a definite division of value and contrast and allowed the viewer to see the sky above as a distance. The lack of detail forces you to exaggerate comparison of detail so the viewers' eyes have enough cue to know how far they are seeing into the painting.

Once we created the area of turbulence we blurred it into an area where the water turned more green and definite blue green lines created the movement, this again separated the turbulent area near the leaf from the depth of the water beneath it. This was the third zone and the layer to the left of the leaf was another area of bubbling water which interacted with the leaf.

The two areas that we are leaving alone are the leaf and the light above it- this last area of the painting will contrast strongly to the water around it and the light will glow because of the difference between it and what surrounds it. Again we are not painting the actual image, we are painting what reflects around the image and how the light reacts and the colors and contrast are affected by the comparison to the light and the leaf. After we are done with what the leaf is reflecting on and with we will further perfect the leaf and the light and either ratchet up the contrast or tone it down.

In the end complementary highlights will be weaved throughout the final image to lead the eye through the image and create the flow that make the leaf look like it's floating. The idea of this post is how detail can be seen where there is no detail and created out of the lack of detail. The changes must be in hue, texture and contrast which creates the depth and interest a painting like this might lack because of it's lack of detail. Next post will be about the subtlety of transparency and allowing the canvas to show through.

Another technique we did this time was smoothing of the paint with a paper towel instead of a brush, it softens up the image and allows the viewer not to be able to discern the difference as colors change. Another plus is the fact that the transparency is achieved by putting paint down and lifting most of it up-the canvas shows through and mimics the feeling of soft intangible light, something easily lost with using white which makes a more pasty feel.

This photograph is from and is a free wallpaper

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Painting an Effect Instead of a Scene

Saturday was the first class of a new painting. It is a totally different process from the previous painting as this painting is very simple and low on details. This makes it hard to lose focus on the overall painting because you are in the process of working the whole painting at once and all the processes support the overall effect. The previous waterfall painting was all about detail and technique and it was easy to get lost in the details-teach a technique and an idea of how to quickly render an area and let the student take over the process.

This painting, because of its lack of detail and the subtlety of its effect demands light overlays of color, not a whole lot of paint piling up and an intricate weaving of light and hue to capture the focus of light, movement and hue. The main point of painting water is that you are not painting water-you are painting the sky, the landscape or anything that interacts with the water but the water because of its colorless characteristics can not be captured only by the movement and color of objects reacting with it.

Another problem with painting water and a simple image of a leaf on water is how do you explain the fact that their is water and that the leaf is not just plastered on a wall flat like it is envisioned. The  image needs visual cues to explain to the viewer what they are seeing, visual cues that are assumed and felt because of the fact that we know by watching water that the leaf is on water and we hear the water and know that the leaf is on water. In a painting there are no sensual cues to explain there is water so unless you can explain to the viewer how the leaf rests on water and that there is depth before and behind the leaf the image is a flat leaf on a two dimensional plain.

We have to notice changes in detail, contrast and color, without the changes the eye has no concept of what it is seeing and the photograph from which the rendering came from has successfully captured a three dimensional image and rendered it as a flat, evenly contrasting image. As artists we need to exaggerate certain aspects of the image and clarify what the viewer is seeing.

So how hard is this to teach? For me it is even more like trying to explain the color you see on a regular basis to someone who has never seen color but even harder than that is without certain words like warm or cold. I would move paint around as I was constructing the original painting and as it worked or didn't work I would adjust and refine my rendering of the painting depending on the process. In teaching you have to reach and move paint without being able to rely on the idea that this is an experiment, there needs to be clarity with a student and you need to show the way when your way at times seems somewhat cryptic.

We moved paint around the leaf and continued to refine the image-If I say refine to her one more time she's going to shoot me, but just as in the other more detailed painting the process begins with refining where light is, where the leaf falls in your plane of vision and how the contrast and color changes throughout the painting. As the textures and the colors form and push each other into the position on the plane the image will create itself almost like a puzzle that becomes only with the relation to its parts and how each appear. So just like not painting water, we are painting the way the sky looks and how the leaf looks and in the end we will have how the water was affected by the leaf and the sky.

I will continue to comment on the steps to getting there and have a final video of the class in the end when the final puzzle creates itself. Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

Monday, February 6, 2012

First mural painting

This is the first mural painting for a private home. It took just a week but the freedom 
of the whole wall and painting in a different medium was both exciting and a challenge.
It reminded me of when I used to work on large charcoals that I tacked across my wall-
the freedom was an enjoyable aspect of the creation. The difference between working
on my own painting across the wall and in someone's home is the discipline that creating
a painting for someone else entails. The editing process was much longer as well as
the client had the freedom to adjust the image to how they envisioned.

I was glad to be able to do passionvines as I have painted many passionvines and have
actually collected several species that I have raised. This particular painting is of the Passiflora
Violacia which is a plant I had bought on the internet. The pot was created from different options
that the client preferred.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I watched a customer walk into a shop today and stand for a while waiting to be served before ultimately leaving. I felt bad for the fact that clients are what make your business and to lose just one in this economy is a sad state of a companys' priorities. The respect for customers has gone with the idea of personalized service and actually listening to the consumers needs.

Again I believe that customers should not be seen as numbers that increase the bottom line and the more customers you have to advertise to the bigger your bottom line will be. I believe a business should personally know everyone on a database-what they need, why they are on the database and what they will need in the future. A customer knows when a company sees them as a profit margin or genuinely fills a need for that particular client.

One unhappy customer talking negatively about your business is enough to lose more potential business. I would rather direct them somewhere they can get what they need and leave them with a good thought of customer service rather than trying to sell them something they don't need. The confidence you build will more than make up for the sale you may lose and confidence is one of the most important things to build and retain in clients.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Art Meets Poetry and Vice Versa

Inspiration for paintings versus writing comes from the same place in the brain and for me the stimulus is normally somewhat similar. The big difference is that words for me come from varied glimpses-on the way to work I can see multiple images and there is no specific reasoning or place or thought-the words create themselves and the images collected are weaved throughout a series of poems-no one would see the image or anything specific about the scene but all the elements appear either symbolically or even representational.

In painting, the images are captured often from multiple images and the atmosphere is derived from the initial image but also from intangible elements that are not necessarily seen in the initial inspiration. While painting or writing most of the work is without realization of the final product and the image creates itself. The less I am aware of the painting or the words the better the end product as I think at that point the subconscious takes over and the creation is almost reflex.

I am working toward bringing together two aspects of creativity that together I think will greatly improve my final work. First of all is the discipline of technique, I plan on reworking the initial image on several mediums and several sizes until I work out the final composition and the final product. I also intend to overlay a more meticulous approach to underpainting and over painting layers. In the past I have created complementary colors next to each that create the vibration and movement in oils-I plan on adding a technique where complementary colors form from the layers beneath them and the vibration of color will be achieved by the layers of paint visually creating their color combinations. The affect will be more intangible but it will be stronger and have more of an impact on the viewer.

The second aspect  I will bring to future paintings i words that inspire the painting or the painting that will inspire words. My next painting is "Love Lies Bleeding-it is a painting of a garden-the plant love lies bleeding is in the garden and there are morning glories climbing the fence and across the yard is the moon settling into the sky. I wrote the poem first and the image became out of the words that I wrote. Love lies bleeding is the plant but it is also an image of the garden and the melancholy of late evening-I want the viewer to feel the sadness of loss and the mysterious of the garden at night. I want the colors to be rich and vivid and the moon to be mysterious. I will post the poem and the painting when they are complete.
I plan on combining more words and images in the near future.

I'm starting a new painting course next weekend and I'm really excited. This time instead of a large painting with lots of detail where the intent is the movement and feeling of water- this painting will be even a bit larger but much fewer details. This new painting will be about an effect of light passing through a leaf on the surface of water. The details are much fewer but the initial underpainting is even more crucial.

My first session will be to create the underpainting and description of how the overlayers will react with the under layer. I need to have the  light and colors beneath react with the over layers of paint. If it is overworked it will quickly lose the freshness and transparency of the light-not enough details and you will not be able to see that it is a leaf with light streaming through. Again the depth will not be as much a factor as the movement and feeling of the water.

I would have actually worked more with depth on the previous course but the main idea was to paint the feeling of the place and not complicate the course with changes in the values of the colors although I did explain the fact that colors change with distance but if I were to paint the image myself, much of the distance in the background would have been more blurred than detailed.- This is the difference also between working from a photograph and working from life or even memory. When you work from a photograph most of the image is in focus and the overall scene is flattened-the idea is the whole image clarity instead of focusing on the parts.

In the previous course I used a piece of paper with a square cut out of the  center-this was so the student would not be overwhelmed with details and could concentrate on the area she was reproducing. In this next course the focus will be more on the effect of the water and light and with the use of complementary colors-asking the question whether the light and color vibrate to the eye and if the colors have become to muted which would relate to being overworked. I intend to paint multiple very thin light layers of paint but the paint should never get too thick and some of the white of the canvas should show through the image. I will have this course layed out in steps the same as the previous course. I will also have updates of the course so stayed tuned. Thanks for listening please comment as to help me craft future writings for followers. Any input would be really helpful. Thanks

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I have been seeing on linked-in some questions about creativity and I believe there are several aspects of creativity that have to do with different parts of the brain in the physical sense as well as an openness and willingness to connect with that part of the self. The act of creating images, words, etc. for me is an act of being absent for a while. If I know what I'm painting and think of what I am painting I tend to push paint around, it's when I instinctually and usually quickly create a work of art, that's when I feel like I have truelly touched that part of the brain.

In my experience, the right brain has its own connections and relations of words and objects that don't necessarily have any comparison from a logical side. The motivation and feeling of creating art and writing is intangible and the work pretty much creates itself. The conscious side of the brain fights with the creative subconscious side and questions the comparisons which creates breaks in the creative process.
When I sit down to write, it usually is from many different snapshots of things from the day and the images and thoughts create paths in words-this is referred to as a trial web shift when the right brain kicks in adn takes over.

I collect images from places-it might be the way light hits the water or the way a field blows in the wind and when I paint all of these images come together from memory. I use photographs to support the images that I see but memory fills in the gaps. In the future I plan on getting more observation in before the act of painting and more drawn studies to emphasize more details.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Commission vs Inspired Paintings

Doing a commission for someone can often feel like selling out even if you rationalize that it pays the bills. I take it a step farther-I believe that doing a commission is an exercise in discipline. Creativity without discipline can be often without direction or a series of delayed satisfaction. Doing a commission allows an artist to step away from the canvas and the emotion connected to painting and work on the skills and sense of space and design which an inspired image may lose sight of in the passion of creating art. I believe that doing inspired art can become very subconscious and the artist almost loses his place in the scene. My best work is when I am barely present in front of the painting and I instinctually know what to do with the paintbrush. When you do a commission there is no bending on the what the image will become, there is also a bit more of a separation between the artist and the canvas.

I think one way to make the commission process more easily agreeable to the artist is to use Photoshop as a means for proofing the work. Photoshop can make the proofing process easier because you can use elements from photographs and do multiple options and ideas-you still have the option of  free creativity but it's faster and more easily duplicated for multiple options to show the prospective client. Any way you can keep the time and effort of the initial proofing of a commission down and make it easier for sending out proofs for the client-the easier and less expensive it will be for doing commissions and the more enjoyment you can get out of the final process.

Art Using the Computer Compared to Painting

I must admit there have been times when I am painting and the idea of undo comes to mind. The thing about painting vs electronic is that paining tends to be more immediate for me. Electronic art appeals to my logical side, I have many different options to get to a finished point and I have many steps and processes that I can experiment with and build upon. Oil painting tends to be more to the point and sometimes letting the painting create itself, in fact the one thing that stops the flow of painting is when I get overwhelmed by the details and can't see the whole picture.

Before I started teaching painting I would have said that painting didn't have a formal step-by-step process but after having to put it across to a student I can see that there is a logic progression an steps to creating a painting. The underpainting is the first process and it sets the tone, the very basic layout and underlying atmosphere of the finished painting. In painting images form somewhat subconciously and the intricacies form often without planning. In computer graphics I control the process and have the ability to test what may work and what won't, I have more freedom of options with undos and saving as other files or options. You can always work over with oils but the area will quickly get an overworked look and the colors can tend to go muddy.

I have recently decided to start doing multiple studies like the master painters of the past. I think the finished painting will have more of a worked feeling and the problems would be worked out over the progress of several painting options. I also plan on working more layer on layer as opposed to wet on wet, I believe I will work toward having more of a discipline logical approach to painting in the future.

The Buzz of Social Media

Just getting the word out starts the process of attention but does nothing for engagement. Consider posting something is like putting up a sign in the middle of no where-no one knows or cares about the sign-your job is to first show people how to find the sign, and second convince them why they need to read the sign and last what to do in relation to the sign. Engagement begins when people of like interests and shared needs connect, this connection can be as simple as answering eachother's questions or sharing ideas and information about their products or other products they endorse.

The new media can seem cold and impersonal and the storefronts of today anonymous and distant but the personal side of human nature still seeks to communicate. Sales has become a game of numbers without knowing customers  nor listening to their wants and needs. The sale is contingent on the ability to approach a large quantity of clients whether they are interested or not-an example is SPAM, and the customers ability or need to buy the product. The relationship between the customer and the business suffers when the customer feels like a number or a pawn in a marketing scheme. People like to be talked to ad resent being talked at, you may sell more in the short term dealing with a large quantity of contacts but the amount of return customers you will lose will far outweigh the benefit of mass impersonal marketing.

I  believe a database full of nameless, faceless customers is like a  store full of customers who can and will go anywhere including to your competitors, leaving your store for anyone who engages with them and no business wants to lose those contacts as clients. Engagement and building a relationship with a customer is so important because customers want a business they can trust-they will return to that business because that trust and sense of relationship sets that business ahead of their competitors.

Next, the difference between computer graphics and painting-positives and negatives of both.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From Art to Marketing and Back to Art

I have just started learning the processes of marketing after creating and launching a website. I am beginning to realize that if you spend all of your time marketing you never get the time to paint. Even still an artist is not like a salesman that sells a product to strangers who could buy the product from anyone but is seeking the best price or the best service. I believe artists need to know their clients more than the standard business relationship, we need to create relationships with buyers, the buyers need to know why we create art and understand the meaning or inspiration behind what they are buying  and we need to understand what about our art inspires them.

Both disciplines can be done well in tandem but I do think you need to work smarter in the field of marketing. Constant checking, posting and adding to twitter and facebook can become tedious. We need to contact the right people that are interested in buying but we also need to build relationships with people that know about art and have sold art. I have recently learned many things just by reading through linked- in and Artpromotivate-a website that has many great examples and effective techniques to successfully promote artwork. All this information is so helpful in saving time because you are learning from people who have sold art and have been promoting it for some time.

Another important aspect to selling art and connecting with other artists is a real relationship. I think that if anyone in sales treats customers like they are only patrons that pay the bills, they are missing a large portion of the sales/customer relationship. Most customers know when they are being taken advantage of or just being sold, they want to feel as if there is something more than just the sale and the salesman is thinking of their best interest. I think artists and their customers take that relationship to another level. I would rather have fewer customers that were very happy with their product and offered repeat business than more customers that only bought one painting or print.

I think community is something that people are really needing these days and the relationships of artists to artists and artists to their clients should be as genuine as the inspiration that initiated the work itself. I am learning so much every day, from other artists, web processes and social media. I will continue to update this blog on the successes and roadblocks I have experienced through marketing my art and my website.
I hope my information will be as helpful to others as the information from other artists has been for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Teaching painting

I have been asked on many occasions if I would consider teaching painting and my answer would always be sure, why not?  I  have never actually had anyone take the next step until recently, she actually bought canvases and paints the next day and I was officially teaching a painting course. One thing I can say about teaching is that the student isn't the only one learning. There are many aspects of painting and even more aspects of discipline and perspective I learned from the experience.

First of all, there are so many different things that painting consists of that the artist would never actually think about or verbalize. To actually put words to the process and try to explain the task of making a 2 dimensional form look like it is 3 dimensional solidified many of the instinctual choices I make while painting. The change in colors, size, contrast and tone are normally created without even thinking of why a specific color is being used or why different shapes are put in order but to think about them and teach them almost explained some of the second nature tasks and clarified them for my future painting.

Next, I have a short attention span for artwork, I tend to get lost in details and this is why I have so many paintings started at the same time. When one painting gets too close and too intense I change my perspective and work on another, this allows for a change in view and perspective and allows a fresh look at each painting, the drawback is the lack of finished paintings. Having to teach for 3-4 hours every weekend on one painting kept my focus and discipline and forced me not to lose sight of the whole picture. I hope this discipline I will be able to use when painting my own paintings.

Another aspect of teaching is when the student sees things that you don't and can point out things that you haven't paid enough attention to, suddenly you have another perspective to see through. Luckily, the student had a very keen eye for detail and we both were able to iron out points of composition, color and perfecting realism-it's great to have a second set of eyes, so for now on I will hire a student to paint with me-I'm kidding but it would be money well spent.

We finished the painting, which was rather large-36"x38", in thirteen classes of 3-4 hours each. I learned that my process for painting actually has a very logical progression and each class had specific processes that we accomplished. In the end the student did a piece of art she was happy with and I learned a great deal about teaching, painting and the processes of each. We will be starting another painting that is even larger and this one is less detailed and more about capturing light and simpler form. I will fill you in on the classes after we begin. My next blog will be about starting back to painting after teaching and following a long hiatus.

I will have a photograph of the painting and a flash video of the thirteen steps to a finished painting posted on my website-so check back soon-I will have a notification on the blog when they appear., I will also be posting the video on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Artwork Analysis

On a weekly basis I will chose a painting that has gotten some attention and explain the process in which it was created. Most of my paintings are actual images that I envision-the colors, the theme and the basic location. All elements are added from different places around a general area, a main focus is set which captures the overall mood and the peripheral elements add the overall texture and assist in strengthening the main focus of the final image.

I am amazed by water, the reflections, the clarity and the sound. I visited the Cascades in New Hampshire and I was hooked. The Cascade images I've included are of some of the seven or so waterfalls I followed all the way to the top of a mountain. I have a need for the viewer to feel the coldness of the water that's why the images are darker and the brighter colors play off the dark blues. I want you to be able to see the rocks beneath the water and feel like you can walk in. These waterfalls were all done during a darker phase in my painting, I have since gotten a much more vibrant palette. While I was painting this series I was surrounded by waterfalls as I built them in my studio-I had several waterfalls in tanks so the sound was always around as I painted.

I use photographs to get a basic feel for the image but all images were created from careful observations of water, both on the site of the waterfalls or in similar areas locally. I study the light and why each area of the water looks the way it looks. I have narrowed the idea down to a basic full mirror of the sky and remaining images, that mirror is than broken by the movement of the water and the play and direction of the light. All the colors are affected by the angle of the sun and the distance from the viewer. I have many notes on all different aspects of water that allow me to create water that looks like it's moving and looks like it is transparent. In the future I plan on painting more paintings using multiple layering as opposed to the wet on wet I have employed in the past.

My next blog will be on teaching art. I have recently taught a class on painting and it has changed the way I paint because it forces the teacher to see painting differently and verbalize what is usually an instinctual process.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My First Blog and Marketing Artwork-So Many Things to Learn

How do you start blogging about art? How do you explain a process that you have been so involved with for so many years it feels like second nature. I would venture to guess that you would blog about the change from conventional art, painting and pastels to the
Creation of art through the computer and the marketing of art through the internet.  I recently launched my website,,  something I had been talking about for many years and I was so happy to finally complete a task-I tend to procrastinate and I have so many different ideas for writing, poetry, art and photography, half the time I write them down and they never get completed. Starting to blog was something that has been on my list for a long time as well.

So the process starts with a website that is by all counts awkard-inconsistencies in fonts,
Lack of search engine keywords which is just as well for now as I  am trying to clean up the site and perfect the appearance before I start spreading the word. I have learned more in the last few days of working with the HTML code and editing the Meta tags and it seems every time I think I get the idea I learn something else. I don’t believe you spread the  word or market artwork by just spreading it to friends, I believe it’s a start as word of mouth is important but how do you spread the site to people that want to buy art or even learn more about you as an artist. I have learned that launching the site is such a small step in marketing and the information I am picking up will be instrumental in how I market and show my artwork. Some ideas on the horizon are an interactive gallery, a poetry blog and a photography page and I know that when doing all of these processes I will learn more from the process itself.

I have been on a bit of a break from painting which I think makes it a good time to market what I have already created but more than selling art and marketing the art is learning about the process of marketing. I will venture more into the social media aspect and actually learn more about the people that would want to buy art. I will, in the near
Future, have an art show whether it be online or at a festival and I will blog and tweet and post with the idea of seeing where I get the most interest. I tought myself to paint and believe that is how I learn the best. Doing web marketing is just another growth process
And over the next few months I will describe the options I’ve learned about social media,
Google tools and the process of what I hope will eventually be effective self marketing of my painting, photography and writing. I am excited about the prospect and hope to gain followers with interest. I guess we’ll just have to see.