Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Are Happy to Inform You...

I was really pleased to receive notification that the three paintings I entered into the Portrait Artists of Arizona exhibit at the Gammage of ASU were accepted!  This is the first time I've entered my paintings in any of the Portrait Artists of Arizona's shows.  I believe there will be 75 paintings on exhibit, most of them for sale.  The theme for this year's show is "People, Places, and Things". My friend, Jean Smith, will also be displaying, and you can preview her paintings by clicking on her name.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Feeling Grateful

"Cottage at Dawn"  SOLD
"Art in the Grove" at the Queen Creek Olive Mill went well yesterday.  I met the
most interesting people.  I have to admit, the part I enjoy most about the outdoor
 festivals is chatting with the art lovers who visit my booth.  I always come home
feeling enriched by the experience. 
The season for the outdoor festivals in our part of Arizona is coming to a close.  It's time to
concentrate on marketing, painting new pieces, and applying for shows and
events for the coming season.  Today I'm full of gratitude for all of my supporters.
Not only for those who have made purchases, but for my family and friends
who are there for me.  I'll do my best to return the favors.
Life is Art...Paint Your Dreams!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Almost finshed!

I've been working on this portrait for the few days.  It's time to hide it for awhile
and look at it with fresh eyes on another day.  As always, one of my biggest
problems is getting a good photo.  I'm afraid my skills are really lacking in
that area.  Right now I'm going out to the patio to work on a 30" x 40"
still life.  I'm pretty excited about the still life.  It's larger than I
usually paint and if it turns out, it may be a new direction for me to experiment
with for awhile!
Life is Art...Paint Your Dreams!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

On My Easel

This is the painting I worked on this morning.  I need to let it dry for
a couple of days before I finish.  After running it by Melissa,
I'll take it on Tuesday to my Portfolio Studio group for a final going over
 by my painter friends...they will kindly point out
the flaws!  Check my website in a week or so for the final
I hope you're all enjoying your day.
Life is Art...Paint Your Dreams!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life's Give and Take


It’s another glorious day. Today, like most days, my French easel is set up on the back patio…a perk when living in Arizona! The birds seem to be singing to the semi- classical music I have playing in my “outdoor studio”. The lush green plants and trees are swaying gently in the breeze.  The rosemary bushes smell wonderful. 

The high block wall surrounding my back yard is both a blessing and a curse.  I’m afforded the protection from prying eyes, but denied the friendship that comes with knowing neighbors in that casual, Norman Rockwell painting sort of way.  We always seem to want things both ways!  The block walls could be a metaphor for so many things in life…only gaining one thing at the expense of another.

Yesterday I had cause to re-examine what I want from life on a professional level. I’ve been invited to be part of an “accountability group” which, less than a week ago, was just an idea.  What do I expect to gain from the group?  WHAT ARE MY GOALS?  Yikes! Will I have to put them in writing?  What things am I willing to let go of to gain those goals?  Time with friends?  Weekends with family?  Do I require semi-fame or an undetermined amount of profit to feel successful?

The “second act” is not for the faint of heart.  Raising a family while working at a full time “regular paycheck” job did have its drawbacks, but the road was pretty well laid out.  Survival was the number one goal…the only important one at the time, it seemed.  The decisions were all based on the need to survive and the other goals usually got pushed into the “someday” category.

So, on this wonderfully glorious day, I’m sitting outside at my easel and breathing in the scent of rosemary.  I’m reminded that we are human beings, not human doings (I think that’s from a Deepak Chopra book).  I’ve decided to keep my professional goals a little loosey-goosey and allow them to change daily if the road takes a turn.

In preparation for the first meeting of the "accountability group", I've put the most important things in life, spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling and appreciating nature, at the top of my goal list.  Self-employment has given me the opportunity to be a little picky about how I spend my time.  But if that semi-famous or profit thing comes into play…well, I won’t turn it down!!      
 Life is Art…Paint Your Dreams!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

On My Easel

I was able to work on this painting for awhile today.  Many washes
of color will be needed before it's done.  I'm going for jewel like tones
of purple and magenta.  I'm going to work some green in the reflections to
compliment the magenta and repeat the background color.  I hope to have this
one done in a week or so.  It is another 11" x 14" for my car series and will be
available on my website at
Life is Art...Paint Your Dreams!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Open letter for all artists reprinted with permission from Joe Paquet

  I happened upon this newsletter this morning and am reprinting it with permission.  As I'm fairly new to art marketing, I'm always looking for a way to spend as much time as I want with family and friends and create art when the spirit strikes.  If the marketing could somehow happen magically in the background, that would be super!  This seems to put things in perspective and reinforces my faith in the painter that I someday might become.

Joe Paquet's work can be seen and the original newsletter read by following this link

Open letter for all artists

  Almost every artist I speak to these days has a profound tale of woe to spin.  The common complaint: bad economy=lack of sales= “Whaa happened?”  For those of us who make our living and put food on our family table, it doesn’t really matter what happened so much as what we can do to adjust.  In our moments of panic, rash and destructive choices are made to turn a buck… we diminish ourselves and often do untold damage to careers which have taken a long time to build.

  For so very long galleries were the way:  the omniscient ones, and for a very long time most of them did a fine job of it.  But in the end they were only merchants.  No one knows better than you when you are on the right path.  Rainer Maria Rilke says, “A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity.”  The need to say something is a far cry from the need to be heard.  There is art and there is product and they are rarely the same thing.  Walking out of the final Harry Potter movie last week I was struck by something larger than the film.  It was the fact that Ms. Rowling built this thing, this idea from thin air, moved words around in a personal way, created a world which had not existed and turned it into a very real thing.  That is what we get to do everyday - create.  We can construct what has never existed, bring something to the world and shape it with our own hearts and hands.  It’s a gift we have which is east to lose sight of.

 What to do about it?  Innovation, Resilience, Perseverance, and Faith 

 Innovation - Change your plan; create your own opportunities to teach or sell your own work. - More is not better; better is better.  Make an effort to improve on both vision and craft. - A good website which represents you elegantly and truthfully with new content on a monthly basis. - If you want to be remarked about - be remarkable. - Quality is a habit.

 Resilience -  If you haven’t already, learn to take a hit and get back up.  Nothing works like it used to, and when it does change it will be different than before.  Get used to the idea and turn to yourself.  It’s your life, make better choices - don’t be a victim.

 Perseverance - Like Karma, the artist’s life has it’s own organic path if you let it unfold naturally.  Work ethic, love of the job, proximity and opportunity all play a role in developing a life in art.  Be clear about these and adjust your life to maximize your gifts. 

Faith - Now for the most important and, ironically, counter-intuitive part of it all:  Belief in yourself.  Read your art history - every artist has wrestled with this one.  I have always believed that humility and hubris must walk hand-in-hand; you must have humility to receive the world, yet have the ego to face a blank canvas and believe that you can add something to it.  Make a conscious choice to surround yourself with authentic words, music and art to remind you of what is possible.  Above all surround yourself with those who love and believe in you and are willing to hold up a mirror.  In every weak moment of my life my wife Natalie has been there to hand my words back to me.  Growth is always on the edge of uncomfortably.  Be grateful, be humble, be open and create without fear.

 - Joe Paquet