Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Etsy Dilemma ~ 9.29.09

Sep 29
The Etsy Dilemma . . . I have filled my Etsy store with affordable art hoping for some sales during the Holiday gift giving season. I spent some time looking in the othe Etsy stores and have found many fabulous Etsy sellers offering really great unique products - I've even contributed to the bottom line! It's a huge nuturing community that embraces and supports their membership.
But during my research, I once again cames across the dilemma of art vs craft! I'm not surprised, I trip over this frequently in my artistic endeavors.
From the artist community I've read that:
1. Etsy is perceived as a Flea Market
2. in Etsy, the professionals compete with the hobbyist
3. the buyers are only looking for a deal

We're all looking for a deal - duh! Every professional started out as a non-professional/hobbyist. Have you ever been to an outdoor art show - along with the original paintings - plenty of prints and cards - looks like flea market to me!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Studio and the Dog Days of Summer ~ 9.25.09

I'm getting way ahead of myself - transforming my studio has to wait until I finish the Flowerhead canvases. Not to mention, the "Dog Days of Summer" in the garage are unbearable!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Etsy ~ Judy Anns Whimsy 9.22.09

I checked out Etsy - looks like a great site for the seller of Art & Crafts. However, it definitely is not a spot for upscale, high end fine art or crafts. The products offered there largely are affordable. The paintings I create for galleries, shows, and competitions, valued at hundreds of dollars, would never find a home through Etsy. But - a print of these originals would be affordable and could be sold at Etsy. I need to consider investing in giclee prints - maybe I'll use my non-existent profits to invest in giclee prints!

I already utilize "photo prints" of my paintings to make small matted prints and greeting crads. So - with my photo prints and some small original art - I opened an Etsy store. Judy Anns Whimsy, the name of my new store, going for a little personality there! I have filled my virtual shelves with some small affordable art: original, photo prints, and greeting cards.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Selling Art on the Internet ~ 9.18.09

The end of 2009 is just around the corner and the financial report from my studio is very bleak. I should be posting this in the red! Not enough sales to even qualify as a business! I did sell a painting at the gallery, but they allowed the buyer to use lay away. That sale might end up being a 2010 entry! So - I'm looking at Internet Sales again to help me through this year.

I've sold art on eBay - more like "giving it away". It's difficult to get the value of your work if you haven't built up a loyal following. The only real success I've had there is with the "Artist Trading Cards" (ATC). I've sold hundreds of them, but I don't want to make a living painting baseball card size art.

A friend recommended Etsy . . . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sources of Inspiration, 9.15.09

September 15, 2009

How many times have you been asked, "Where do you get your ideas from?", or my favorite question, "What made you want to paint that?" - you know - the unspoken what were you thinking inquiry.

I started wondering about where my ideas or inspiration really did come from. I rifled through all my creativity books and searched the internet. I came up with a very uninspiring list of expected sources: my personal creative process, favorite artists, networking with fellow artists, research, journals & sketchbooks, motivational quotes, etc.

Then, in the middle of all this pondering, I found a new magazine, Where Women Create, from Stappington & Co. Somerset Studio - love it. So how did I miss this magazine? No matter - it's all mine now!! I devoured it, every word, every photo.

It's all about the Studio/Work Space designed to inspire creativity.

I'm off to look at my studio with new eyes . . .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Uninspiring Studio ~ 9.13.09

"Whether you create in a spacious, specially built art studio, a tiny corner of the living room or a transformed garage, it has to be a comfortable spot for you inner artist to emerge."
Angela Cartwright
WWC, Aug/Sep/Oct 2009

My studio is in the garage - the only thing transformed about it is that we no longer park the cars in there. I do share it with two Labrador Retrievers, the pantry, anything car related, and the beer refrigerator - which would be great if I drank beer!

It is an extended garage, so I have the whole back end. I have filled it with a large drafting table, flat file, work table, lots of storage, and here'es the best - a small kitchen area with running water and kitche cabinets for more storage.

Is this space inspiring - hell no! It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. In the spring it smells like wet dogs. And no matter how much I try, I can't compete with the spiders for the space.

Lots of work to turn this around!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World Trade Center Steel Beam in York PA

My dear friend, and former boss, Jack Sommer, was able to obtain a steel beam from the World Trade Center. It took him a year to accomplish this. He already has an Iraq War Memorial at his cemetery which showcases over 5,000 American flags and banners. He is building a new memorial to honor our fallen heroes from all the wars – the steel from the WTC will be part of this memorial.

From the The New York Times
Sept. 6, 2009

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the steel, will invite police and fire departments and mayors and other leaders of cities and towns throughout the country to ask for pieces for memorials. The Port Authority has filled about 25 requests in the last year, and has about a dozen more pending. In recent weeks, trucks have hauled twisted steel columns that weigh hundreds of pounds to York, Pa., and Westerville, Ohio

On Friday, Jack Sommer, the president of Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, Pa., came to Hangar 17 to collect a piece, watching as a cemetery employee strapped a chunk of steel, concrete and gnarled rebar to a trailer. In an added flourish, the men had spread an American flag under the steel. A Port Authority police car escorted them out.

If you should be in York Pa on Friday, 9/11/09, here is the agenda . . .

There will be a ceremony in front of the new York County Judicial Center, Friday, September 11, 2009:
08:00 AM WTC Beam on site (on truck with Sheriff’s honor guard standing watch)
08:25 AM Traffic on N. George St. detoured prior to this time
08:30 AM Colors posted & at Parade Rest, National Anthem, Pledge (Invited color guards: Veterans, Police, Fire, Sheriff, National Guard/Reserve )
08:34 AM Invocation & Remarks by Jeff Hines
08:40 AM REMARKS by Congressman Todd Platts honor the fallen from Sept. 11: Police, Fire, civilians
08:43 AM Reading of the Names of those lost in combat in the past 12 months (Jeff Hines)
08:46 AM Moment of silence
08:50 AM Rifle Salute & Taps ,Amazing Grace
At 10 o'clock there will be an acceptance ceremony at Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PEACE ~ 9.8.09

"May there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

Saint Theresa

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Punchinello's Dog Toby ~ 9.5.09

What can you do
Punchinello funny fellow,
What can you do
Punchinello funny you,
I can do it too,
Punchinello funny fellow,
I can do it too
Punchinello funny you

Sept 5
Here is a close-up of Punchinello's dog - TOBY. He is the inspiration for this painting. Some of you might remember the Punch and Judy puppet show, Punch was always hitting his wife with a stick. We all laughed. While researching this Italian Comedy character, I learned that Puchinello was not a funny fellow. He was an abuser, that's why he carried the stick. He was also a mean despicable man that no one liked. In fact, his only friend was Toby, his dog.
Dogs are all heart!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Raven and Punchinello ~ 9.4.09

Sep 4, 2009
In July I entered these two paintings in the YAA Rottler Juried Competition. Two entries were required to show that I could produce a cohesive body of work. I won Honorable Mention with these paintings. It has taken me this long to finally take an acceptable photo. Photographer I am not.

They were painted with acrylic and collage on a canvas board (Dick Blick), that has sides like a gallery wrapped canvas. Looks like a box when it is turned upside down. The style is Abstract Realism, and as you can see, my palette is primarily primaries.

Last year I was trying to determine what my personal symbols were, and decided one of them was a raven - hence, the start of the design for the Raven. It took me a year to finalize the composition of that one. (but, the Rave symbol was lost on most of my audience, living in Ravens Football land - they think that was my inspiration). The Punchinello painting came together quickly, I have always liked the Italian Comedy characters.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Artistic Liberties

Sep 2, 2009

This organic lady is my favorite so far. I was inspired by my herb pot of Italian Parsley. I find it intriguing that I can take such artistic license or liberties, like bundling this lady up with the parsley - Italian or not - and from an artistic point of view - it's perfectly acceptable. Isn't the unexpected more interesting to look at than the everyday normal?


   Merry Christmas