Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting ready for a show

It isn't a big show I am getting ready for. I am featured artist in February at Arts Alive, the Co-op gallery in which I hang in Breckenridge. It has been a very good gallery for me and I had great sales this summer. I am very active in the Summit County Arts Council, which is the non-profit organization that runs the gallery. We feature a different gallery artist each month, and February will be my month. I am treating it as if I had a one person show opening in a big, fancy gallery. It will be good practice if nothing else, and perhaps it will also generate some sales. I have put together about 100 invitations for the reception on February 13, so I hope to have a good turnout.

I have been spending a lot of time painting. This little one above is a 6x8 called "Golden Pond". I was pleased with the way it came out and will probably use it as a study for a larger piece. I have several larger pieces for this show. My biggest piece in the gallery to date has been 11x14, so the other artists will be surprised to see larger work from me. I started out painting small and am comfortable with it. Because the gallery is in a resort area, many of our clients are from out of town, and they prefer small pieces for ease of travel. Also, we sell mostly less expensive (under $300) work in the gallery, and it makes sense to paint to the price range that sells.

After I get all the work hung next week, I will post a photo of the display.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Where is the best place to buy art supplies?

It is a frequent question I get from local artist friends. I live in a resort area, about 60 miles from Denver, and art supplies are very limited locally. Our Jerry's Artarama store in Denver just closed. Meiningers is a very well known Art store that has been here for years. They always have a good selection of product, but still, it takes most of a day to get there and back with a couple of other stops on the way.

Hurrah for the internet! Jerry's, Dick Blick and others are available online, but my favorite is ASW (Art Supply Warehouse). They have great prices, a fabulous selection of items and shipping is only $6.95 per order. With many websites, the shipping costs can eat up the savings you get by ordering online. Periodically ASW emails coupons for 15% off your entire order of $125 or more. I keep a list of what I am getting low on and when I get the coupon, I can order right away. It is usually only good for a day or two. They ship you a catalog with your first order, but now that I am familiar with their website, I don't use it as much. Hower, it is easier to find a specific item if you have the catalog number for it.

Above is my latest painting, a 16x20. I did a little study first to make sure it would work, as I don't paint large very often. The photo I used as reference is one I took on the Park County side of Hoosier Pass in September. I love the color we have at that time of year!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Painting with friends

In a prior post about finding time to paint, I mentioned that I paint weekly with a group of friends. That group, the Blue River Artists, now has a north location in Dillon as well as our old location in the Arts District of Breckenridge. Tonight was our first night to get together. From left to right you can see Joe Dennis, me, Diane Johnston, then really small in the back, Kris Lee, Bonnie Norling Wakeman and Marianna Duford. We paint at the Lake Dillon Art Center, a new art center that is the brainchild of Matt Lit, the photographer who took this photo tonight and kindly allowed me to lift it from his facebook page.
We had a great time and plan to be back there next week for more painting time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A blogging tip

While I have been blogging as an artist for only a short time, I have been a Realtor for 16 years in the mountains of Colorado. I have had a real estate website for 15 years and have been blogging about resort real estate for three years or so. While I might not know much about painting yet, I know considerably more about blogging. I plan to pass on a few tips here from time to time, in hopes that others will benefit from some of the things I have learned in my real estate business.

Here is today's tip: Set up a google alert for your name. Part of the reason we blog and use other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc, is to get yourself exposure far beyond what galleries and traditional marketing methods will do for you. But how do you know when someone else is talking about you? Google will tell you. Just tell google that you want to know. Here is the link to set it up. It is easy!

Perhaps you also would like to know when information about a certain breed of dog is posted, or plein air painting, or an art workshop. Set up a google alert for that information too. I have an alert set up for my name, but I also have it set up for "vacation home" and other terms that bring me information that will help me in my business. I found one day that my real estate blog had been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and I never would have known about it without the google alert. Set it up to notify you via email, daily or as they find the information you need.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Breckenridge Poster contest finalist, that's me!

In November, I posted that I had entered two oil paintings in a competition for the 24th year of the Bach, Beethoven and Breckenridge poster. In the past, the posters have sold well as a fundraiser for the Breckenridge Music Festival. I often see them in homes here in Summit County, Colorado. My two submissions brough the total of entries to 22, and I found out recently that one was selected as a finalist! The photos above were the two I submitted, both 18x24, and the lower landscape is the one that made the finals.
There are no specific requirements about whether the poster should feature music or just be representative of the beautiful area in which we live. Mine was a local landscape with fall color, and the other finalist is a watercolor by Linda Dice of a woman leaning against a tree, playing a flute. Linda is a fellow New Zealander who also hangs her work in Arts Alive Gallery. Needless to say, I am thrilled, but I wonder if the poster will even get printed this year. Apparently, with the economy affecting many aspects of the art world, money for this project is in short supply. If it doesn't happen this year, it may not happen ever again! That would be unfortunate. Wish us luck!