Wednesday, 25 February 2009

My February Art Trip - A Free Workshop

Did you ever want to take a workshop but couldn’t afford one? Well here is how you can take one – visit your local library! Your library will have many many videos on many different subjects, including painting.

My art trip today was to workshop in painting portraits in oil Steps to a Likeness: Oil Portraits with professional artist, Perri Sparks. The workshop is reduced to 1 hour and 46 minutes long showing the important aspects of the techniques being taught. I’m sitting on my nice comfortable couch not a hard chair. I’m not missing any of these techniques by scribbling down notes. I can stop and start the video at any time and rewatch any part of the video or rewatch the whole video.

My trip to the library also provided me with an art history art trip and an art cultural trip. Three art trips with one visit to the library.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Marketing Plan

I have been doing some researching on how to run a business and found that I am missing some very important documents. These documents when put together form a Business Plan. I do have a Business Plan that I created when I took a course on starting a small business in 1999. Oddly enough, even though this is 10 years old, quite a bit of that plan is still applicable with some minor adjustments.

The part of my Business Plan that needs a total overhaul is the Marketing Plan. When I first wrote it I imagined that I would be teaching painting combined with selling my paintings to the public via gallery sales. I did not envision myself selling on the internet in a shop type store.

Some questions needing answers are:
Who is my target market? How do I plan to reach that market? Do I know who my competition is? What types of customers are best for what I offer? What is my marketing budget? I don’t think the answer “I don’t know” is going to be much help.

So for the month of March my goal is to write out my Goals and Objectives for my Etsy store and to write my Marketing Plan for my store.

There are many good books and websites out there to help develop these documents. The book I am using is called The Market Planning Guide – Creating a Plan to Successfully Market your Business, Product, or Service; 6th Edition by David H. Bangs, Jr. This book explains the different aspects that make up a Marketing Plan, a sample of a Marketing Plan and blank forms to use to create your own plan.

Some websites are:
http://www.artbizcoach.com/consulting/mktgplans.html
http://www.nitaleland.com/articles/marketing.htm
http://reviews.ebay.com/Why-All-Artists-Need-An-On-Going-Marketing-Plan_W0QQugidZ10000000008576464
http://www.business.vic.gov.au/BUSVIC/STANDARD/pc=PC_62518.html
http://www.knowthis.com/topic-areas/management/the-marketing-plan.htm

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Etsy Fine Art Gallery

A bunch of artists selling, or in my case attempting to sell, original artwork through Etsy.com are working on increasing our visibility on the web. One of our artists Lisa Bartlett started the Etsy Fine Art Gallery. In it she is featuring various artists in a gallery type setting. Future plans are to feature up to six artists per week. She will be asking them to submit six of their very best paintings along with a short bio or artist statement. It was suggested to increase the wordage in the blog to get some “keywords” going and the bio/artist statement would generate that. She is hoping that this format will showcase everyone in a professional manner.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

You know you're an artist when

I was doing some searching on the internet and found this site on Art Jokes. Here is a sampling that I really enjoyed.

You know you’re an artist when…
The highlights in your hair are from your palette and not Clairol.
When viewing a sunset, you think in terms of cadmium yellow (light hue), salmon and gold, a tinted teal mixed with gold for the water...."
There are Prussian blue fingerprints on your phone.
You stay awake late at night wondering how to render on canvas the dimly lit shapes and the shadows in your room.
You explain your deplorably bad housekeeping by saying, "it's a work-in-progress..."
Dust bunnies are part of your mixed media.
You buy expensive brushes that have nothing to do with your hair.
You get a feeling of calmness from holding and stroking the bristles of your clean paintbrushes.
You know the difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
You never look at a person's face as a whole. You break it up into shadows and lines and shapes, and think how they would look on a canvas.

Friday, 6 February 2009

An ACEO is…

Dan made a comment on my last post…thanks Dan. Anyway he commented about my “ACEO…the tree I am unsure what an ACEO is. I can tell it seems to be quite a phenomenon but I can't get my head around it??”

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. They MUST be 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, no exceptions. Editions can be open or limited. Other than the size of the card anything goes.

The artwork on the cards can be either portrait format or landscape format. The medium and subject matter are as individual as the artist creating them. Abstract, Impressionism, Surreal, Naïve, any style and any support; canvas, paper, wood. All cards are either original or printed editions of original work.

When I first started creating these cards I thought it would be pretty easy and fast. Wrong! I put just as much effort into creating these cards as I do my other paintings…my thumbnail sketches are almost the same size as the card.

ACEO
What Is an ACEO?
ACEO Auctions

Monday, 2 February 2009

Holy Cow!

Holy cow! It has been over 2 months since I last posted here. How did that happen? I know, I know. I procrastinated and look what happened!

So what have I been doing since my last post?

Well, I joined the woodcarving club that I mentioned in my last post. We meet every Wednesday evening. Right now I’m trying my hand at relief carving and there is a small course being offered (for free) at the club for carving 3-D characters that I will be following.

The Daring Color workshop that I was hosting with the
ArtBookWorkshop group has ended and I am now hosting a monthly workshop using Betty Edwards Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. In March we will be working on Nita Leland’s The New Creative Artist.

My
Etsy shop is doing well. I branched out into some smaller items (not paintings) and have sold a few. The paintings, I think will take a bit longer. I set up a Facebook online store linking to my Etsy shop and I set up a Twitter account. Check them out.