Below is a FANTASTIC link to Williamsburg oil colors’ blog with a short, technical article about the supposed problems of using lead whites with cadmiums, vermilion (if you’ve been a student of mine, I misled us on this one!) and ultramarine colors in oil painting are not true with modern materials and production! Hooray! Now if we were only to hear it was edible… Yeah, probably won’t happen.
By Thimgan Hayden
I was talking to an artist currently living on an island in Alaska. A small island. They were struggling with feeling alone artistically and bemoaning the fact that, with so few people, there was little support for building a career there.
If you find yourself in a space like this, let me encourage you. You have a unique opportunity to own your niche! You are “the artist.” If you are one of a few artists, you are still the only one expressing yourself the way you do and you’re poised for a place of confidence.
If you are independently wealthy and an artist, that’s fantastic.
For the rest of us, I’m going to give us some tough love.
Are you blaming yourself for not being a “better” painter? sculptor, singer?
Let’s assume you’ve gotten some honest feedback and you know you’ve got something special. If that’s the case, stop blaming yourself. Your skill is probably not what’s holding you back. Everybody knows of some Grandma Moses or Expressionist painter (I’m a painter so I mostly know about other painters) that became famous in spite of their unpolished art. There are lots of them! Breathe deeply! You can do this!
There are two ways that I can think of to stay alive and be an artist starting out:
Be financially supported by someone or something else.
Be willing to have at least part of your income come from some other venture/s other than your art.
Either one of these choices comes with a mindset that may take cultivating.
Your successful creative mindset is going to look like this:
*Relax and let your art be what it is and stand on its own. Don’t force it to bear all of the financial pressure.
*Most art comes from a place of plenty in yourself; physically, spiritually, or emotionally. If you force it to bear financial pressure, it puts unrealistic expectations on your fans and yourself.
*Be willing to understand that being an artist, to the public, is like you being a story, a theme, a collectible, in their life’s narrative! You, and your story, and your art bring them something that resonates with them and helps them tell their story!
Because of this last point, I have come to accept and even love the “B” word- Branding.
In a small town, there is no one better at being you than you.
As long as your work/your story resonates with a group of people, you have the opportunity to take center stage easier than you would anywhere else.
If there is a distinct, unifying character to your town and the people that live there-even better! Try to tap into the subjects, the colors, the interests that pull a town together. If you’re a desert dweller, you’ve got sand, muted greens and bright sunsets. By waterways, you have blues and greens.
Most art consumers don’t go into the market with a check sheet of technical criteria.
Initially, your buyers or fans are drawn by your art combined with what you represent to them, then comes your increasing exposure and more people seeing or hearing your story, then come the credentials, the press, further exposure, etc. At some point, those scorecards may come out, but they tend to be judging your popularity, which may come from how you wield your technique, but a large part of that equation is the authentic you.
I hope you find this helpful in your journey. Peace
I’m wondering what you, as an art appreciator, can tell me about the role art plays in your life? What does it bring to you?
For myself, I like the kinds of art that I like because I’m aesthetic and I ♥ beautiful things. I like the decorative value of them.
A second reason I like it, is that it brings me closer to stories or narratives of what it means to be human. I love reading and learning about artists and understanding their work as a reflection of their inner life.
The third, for me as an art maker, is that I’m a noticer. I am a visual editor by nature, and making art fills a need I have to organize visual data.
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I am going through midlife changes and am trying some new things. I’m at that tenuous beginning of several projects and am not sure which project or projects will reach “adulthood.” It’s a scary but exciting time for me.
I’m playing with making an eCourse. I’m working on a traditional painting course, but I’m not sure I can handle all the video making that should probably go into it. I’m also learning so much about media and marketing, that I’m considering a course that walks a person up from zero in an entrepreneurial venture.
What else? I have a new gallery system that I’m excited about, a local art service treat (I’m REALLY excited about this!), and a new line of decorative paintings that are still just in the realm of the imagined. On top of this, I’m writing and loving it.
When I started putting myself out there, I realized the silence that comes back is deafening. I have made more of a point to reach out and leave comments etc. lately. Please feel free to do the same! Are you a creative in midlife change? How’s it going for you?
Greetings!I posted my first video with a little footage I took while tromping around in a meadow looking for amazing vantage points of peaceful Michigan farm land.
One of the cool things about photos and videos of beautiful places and things is that THEY CAN’T DO THEM JUSTICE! Yes! That’s why I paint and travel. Pictures can’t cut it. The colors are too complex to just use photo references (in my opinion) without extensive time spent in real life looking at real life. Traveling somewhere gives you an experience that cannot be made up from 2nd hand experiences. Having been there- pics and vids can be memory prompts, but they can’t make up for the true experience.
I painted 5 paintings on a painter’s retreat with PAAWM, Plein Air Artists of West Michigan https://www.facebook.com/PAAWMPainters
I’ll attach snapshots of the pieces here. I’m waiting for frames for them and then I’ll send out notes to people on my mailing list that requested info on New Pieces and my Facebook pages.
|3 oils on panel and 1 on paper, far right.|
|Another work on paper, about 8″x14″|
|Same as the first, but that’s a different pic on the far right! Very Irish looking scene of cows painted on panel.|