Really. Jelly fish. Blue ones. I have no clue from what part of the brain these little creatures decided to pop out of, but there they were, a bunch of blue jelly fish bobbing around my canvas…hmmm…and it’s a bloody big canvas too, complete with swirling blues and greens and well, water like stuff…but JELLY FISH?? ugh…must have been watching too many cartoons with my kids these past few days. I’ll post a pic once I take one.
While pondering my rut, I went over all the things that I would like to paint…laughter, love etc etc…and somehow while standing at the kitchen moving my feet ala a ballet wannabe…why not paint dancing feet…or rather have the dancing feet do the painting…and then, make it the dancing feet of small children! All those teeny tiny toes, splashing and stomping and twirling on colours…now where to find a giant canvas to accomplish this on, how to tack it down so that it doesn’t slip slide with the kiddes…and I guess as much as I would love oil, acrylic would be the way to go here…now whether to let one dancer’s colour dry before doing the next…hmmmm…more and more possibilities…
Things are moving swimmingly along and again I am stuck. Sigh.
I went to the fabulous Koolen Art Gallery in Stratford over the weekend to talk to Colleen about framing a few pieces. Colleen and Robert are just fantastic. If anyone is in the market for some Canadian classic art pieces or you need some restoration done, you really do need to go for a visit as Colleen works magic, and they are just both in general wonderful people. While there, a group of ladies rang the bell and came in and toodled around. On the way out, they noticed the pieces I had brought in and just loved them. It was a phenomenal feeling having people who do not know you, who have nothing to gain to express delight over your creations, telling you what they love about them!
Along that note, everyone decided that they should not be framed. We really did not see anything suitable for them with the exception of a possible large blockish style floating frame. Even then, as soon as it went up, rather than “finishing” the look, it almost seemed to suffocate them-for lack of a better more artsy correct term. So, no framing, just painting the edges for now. Perhaps some day I will find something more suited to them.
But, back to the stuck. I really don’t want to paint any more lily scenes right now, even if that’s what people seems to be drawn to. Am not in the mood for ginormous swirling, splashes of colour…hmmm…and hmmm…again. Damn. Hate feeling like this. I did go out and buy a new palette knife (plus a replacement for my nicked one). And I did go and buy 3 12by36″ frames, so perhaps can try to do a three panel of some sort with the big old square edged palette for fun….ahhh ptooey. Methinks it’s the silly blah weather today. Just hate being stuck. Maybe I should just go outside and throw some acrylics at the canvases for fun and let the raindrops take the paint where it will :o)
So, having a burst of inspiration, I sat down to let the creativity flow. I had my base colours ready and set up to do one of my more details “lily” kind of works. The base on, in the music groove, the idea coming together, I started applying the dashes of thick paint and…scratch, , scratch…hmmm…these lines etched into my paint blobs were not what I had in mind…try again…nope, more scritchy-scratchy things. Take a look at the palette knife…hmmm..perhaps I didn’t clean it off as well as I had thought…scrape, scrape…ok try again. You have got to be kidding me. Now the creative flow is turning into frustration. In an attempt to keep going, I switched it up for another knife, narrower. Wrong idea. The flow and momentum was just all wrong. Damn. Picked up the original knife and tried again with thicker paint. Ahhh…ok, now keep going. Nope. Scritch. Took a closer look at the knife (being a bit challenging since I don’t wear my glasses when painting for fear of goobering up my lenses…and sure enough, on the end of the knife was a teeny, tiny little minuscule, gigantic pain in my butt nick. Sigh…so, it would appear that a) I need to be much more careful not to drop said knives onto concrete floor, and b) I will be heading out to Curry’s before I thought I would.
Biggest fear…not getting juried in for a juried art show.
Get juried in and biggest fears are:
How the hell am I going to pull of all these details since it’s my first show?
How many paintings does one bring to a show?
And we are back to the pricing dilemma?
Where do I get grid wall or some other system of display?
How will I set up the tent space to market thing best?
Should I go to the expense of framing one of the ones I plan on keeping just to show people what they might look like framed?
Will I get all the edging done before the show date?
Should I put a temporary varnish on the ones that I can before the show date?
How am I going to sit there for 10 hours on Saturday?
What if no one buys ANYTHING?!?!?!?!
Interesting question that, and one that I’ve been chatting about with a few other artists over the past little while. Once again, it deals with how do you put a price value on your precious creations. I realize that some people approach art from a more business mass marketed approach, eventually getting into volume prints etc etc. But for myself, my art has so much more of a personal feel to it-as I said before, they are somehow my little ‘babies” who I “birthed” at some point. I can remember the mood I was in, the songs that were playing, the techniques I used, the process as it developed, the visions of the piece as it unfolded, and my happiness or not so much with its completion. Sentimental, emotional connections do not belong in a serious business per say, but then I suppose I am more interested in the art than the business most of the time.
I was talking with other artists who have encountered the same dilemma. Do you price you art at prices you think will sell, just for the sake of selling some–and given some pricing, I have no clue as to how someone can offer a 24 by 36 oil painting on canvas for $125 or less.I think that if it came down to that point, I’d rather give to good friend because I know that they truly love it. Other artist have formulas they use to calculate price, for example, find the total square inches of a painting and multiply that by your price say.55cents/square inch.Their time factor is sort of evened out over the multitudes of paintings (one took 2 hr, another 20 for example)…
So, as you can see, I’m still not sure. I don’t want to price myself out of the market, but neither do I want to feel like the walmart of the art world just to sell something. And why am I debating this so much in my head recently?
I just received word that I was JURIED IN for the Elora art in the Yard series this summer!!! Always nice to have fellow artisans look at what you’ve worked on and give you the two thumbs up…so, MAJOR excitement…but there’s the pricing dilemma (nothing of mine is really under 24 by 24) and I really need to look up more specifics on booth set up. It’s outside so some kind of canopy is needed…other that than display on easels or set up wire mesh walls ..and so it continues…all you are show buffs/veterans out there, suggestions greatly appreciated!
…that is the question. the answer? I have no clue. As my pieces build up, I know that I will be selling some of them (40 or so canvases in my “studio” just cannot fit lol). So, the question is, how to go about this. I’ve been exploring the art show route, and hopefully will hear something regarding acceptance into one later this week, however that is but one show. A few people have suggested “loaning” works to cafes or restaurants until they sell. Another possibility, but I will have to work myself up to get the nerve to approach some business person to see if they want to exhibit my works. I guess for many artists, each work is like a baby in the sense that you work on it, grow attached to it, love it and it’s hard to let it go to just anyone. Hence, the Etsy question. A number of people have suggested that route to me as it is a well known web site and there are so many people using it both to sell and to find art. But, is that what I want? On the one hand, it seems so impersonal. Ok, I know that seems a bit weird given that you’re selling a product to a consumer. But, part of me wants to see a person’s face when they see one of my works that they really LOVE and MUST have, rather than feeling like a Sears catalogue where someone picks out some kind of print-kind of like the big print fairs they used to have a University once a year. I guess it’s seeing the connection that someone makes to a piece of what I have created that somehow makes it more comforting to let it go because you know it’s going to a good home with someone who truly appreciates it. And when you can have that conversation with someone, to hear what they see in your art, how they interpret it, what bits they love and are attracted to, their interest in how you created it…to me, that’s what makes the difference. Good business sense? Nope. Good “heart and spirit” sense? Yup…and the debate continues I suppose as my space becomes more limited and the canvases keep building up.