Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Painting A Day

Sitting and thinking this weekend about if it would be remotely possible for myself to finish a painting a day, I would have to answer, No. Even though acrylic paints dry fast, and I have just recently finished some smaller paintings that I finished on a weekend. I would not want to think of myself as an assembly line of art.

As I talk to people who are at the show my mind is swimming with ideas, and wishing I was in my studio with a blank canvas in front of me. The greatest thing in the world is a plain white canvas, it can be anything in the world. My thoughts are going to the miniature, small canvases 8" x 24" that I could fit in between the large canvases that I normally focus on. These could be of subjects that I would not dedicate a large piece to. Like "Wedding Flowers for the Bride" or "Parking Meter" to be seen as soon as I get images to upload.( I took some photos of these but they didn't quite turn out right as I switched recently to gloss vanish- adds a lot more depth, but hard to photograph )

I am thinking on the line of a painting a week, now mind you I have only finished 13 paintings in my best year. So 52 paintings is a huge stretch for myself, I tend to periods of inactivity followed by frantic production. But even before I read the article I was thinking on the line of smaller, more specific canvases. I think I am going to try it out, stretch some 8" x 24" canvases and paint some things that I normally would not .

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Above is the painting " Addison EL " 48" x 48" acrylic on canvas
This painting is currently at the Peoria Airport- Artport Gallery
Sitting in the Rain

As I sit under the tarp at the back of my booth, I can hear the potter in the next space exchange greetings with his frequent clients. ( It seams that potters have quite a faithful following ) I pick up an article that a fellow artist had given me that she had carefully cut out and saved in a plastic sleeve. ( Lucky thing today ) I took out the folded USA Today paper and began to read about an artist in New York .
This artist also painted large scale paintings that he typically sold at galleries, this can be a spotty existence, hence the term "starving artist". He came up with the idea of painting 100 small original paintings and inviting all his mailing list to the unveiling and to sell them for 100 dollars each. He did it, sold them all, not bad 10,000 dollars, catch up on the rent, buy some more supplies, and maybe have enough left over for some groceries. Then the article got interesting.
After this first windfall, he decided that he would try to do a painting a day, for a hundred days.
He would paint little 3"X 5" card stock paintings of things he would see during his wanderings in the city. After they were finished, he would post them on his blog site with a link to an e-bay auction for the painting, starting price 100 dollars. The " painting a day " blog was born and it started to take off, his paintings rarely go for the starting bid, his paintings average 250 dollars.
This is intriguing to me how can I use this for my work. It takes me approximately 70 hours of work to finish my large panels ( 24" x 60") , how could I fit " a painting a day" into my already busy schedule. The good part for me is I have a day job, painting has always been a "hobby" something I do in the evenings and on weekends. As I start looking at the temporary status of our human existence ( I am 49 ), I look to art and my paintings as a more permanent legacy of my existence, and as possible income during retirement. How could I possibly find the time to finish " a painting a day" ?

Art Show
This last weekend I attended the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival, what a wonderful weekend for an outdoor art show. As I set up in the pouring rain at 7:00 in the morning I was wondering again ( as I do most of the time I'm setting up at any outdoor art show ) what the heck am I doing this for. The skies and my mood cleared up slightly as people began to filter through my booth to view the paintings that were at that point drying.
It is standard practice to put price tags on your work ( as I think some people actually sell things at these events ) but today I had some new pieces that didn't have prices so I left them off all of them. This social experiment I found was a great thing. Instead of seeing my prices and leaving booth like I was a leaper, the people came in looked around and asked questions. It seemed the knew, not only by the absence of prices , but by the quality of the work itself that if they had to ask they couldn't afford it.

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