The creative journey of an artist inspired by animals and life by the sea

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Home

Today was one of those lucky days for an artist when you have a sale you aren't expecting!  I recently joined Etsy, an online selling gallery for artists and craftsmen.  I sold this little watercolor painting of a Shih Tzu to a collector in Virginia, whom I have never met.  It's always a great feeling to sell a painting, especially when I work on commission most of the time.  This little guy was just so cute, I had to paint him!  I find it difficult sometimes to balance what I want to paint for myself with my client's portrait requests.  I joined Etsy at the suggestion of a gallery owner, and it looks like it is proving to be a great outlet and I feel energized to add more new work to the online gallery.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Dog for Christmas

As Christmas nears, I am usually painting away till the last minute.  This year, I didn't take on too many painting commissions so I could be a little more relaxed during the holidays.  I just delivered this watercolor portrait of "Nelson" to a wonderful couple who have also become great friends.  This little guy seemed to be full of spunk when I first went to meet him, but his owners later learned he was in pain due to cancer and not really himself.  He had to be put to sleep only a month after I first saw him.  When I showed them the finished painting, they both commented that they could almost see just a touch of that pain by the look in his eyes.  They were both so happy with it and I loved doing it for them.  Now I am planning on painting a little something for myself, the possibilities are endless!  I will keep it a surprise till my next post.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Times have Changed

I had an appointment yesterday with a local art gallery owner. I have spent the last few years doing almost all commission work but have also had the ongoing problem that many artist's have. Where do you market your originals? As much as I love doing commissions, I also enjoy doing art for "myself". In the 80's, I would bring along originals to galleries, but also my various portfolios of work. These consist of photographs and original tearsheets from magazines and companies I did illustration work for. In 2011, I brought along my trusty portfolio, but also my computer. I have all my work available and it can be brought up to see in the blink of an eye! When getting my originals together, I realized that I still have the big portfolios that I have had for 30 years. They have gone with me to more galleries and art shows than I can count. I have done many outdoor shows where my watercolors literally started dripping inside the glass from the heat, or storm winds blew my art off the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ. I clearly remember trudging through almost a foot of snow one Friday evening to set up an indoor show in PA. Needless to say, it didn't get the best turnout! So, what is an artist to do?

I learned yesterday, that technology has developed in leaps and bounds for artists and the "virtual" art gallery of today. I got my first laptop in 2003 and since then have developed my own website and tried to learn as much as I can. The gallery owner suggested various web based ideas for me to pursue. I left there not feeling "shot down", but energized and positive. He is a terrific business person and I am so thankful he took so much time to educate me in other marketing concepts that may work for me in these changing times.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Horses in your Blood

I recently completed a Pastel and Pencil commission for an old high school friend who found me through Facebook. The family I did the drawing for now have a son who owns a beautiful hunter. In high school, I was lucky to have a horse and walked to the barn every day after school. I never participated in high school sports for that reason, horses were my love and still are. My parents would pick me up from the barn, smelling of horses, manure and very happy. There were also those days I was sad and dejected from falling off in a lesson. A few other girls in high school also had horses, and Lori contacted me when she wanted to surprise another friend's family at his graduation. They all have continued the tradition of riding and showing horses. Once horses are in your blood, they are there forever.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Dogs

I have to say I am partial to big dogs, but these little yorkies are so cute and were really fun to paint. An artist friend asked me to put her dogs all together in the watercolor painting. I decided on a garden setting to add some additional interest and a few soft colors to the background. I'm not sure what's next, I am feeling the itch to paint something for myself and take a break from the commissions for a bit. As much as I love painting the portraits, I love the creative freedom of "doing my own thing".