Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Musings - Thoughts About My Art & Business

In the Distance

Feeling blessed...
A couple of weeks ago, I will have the honor of delivering this painting to the new home of my good friend, Ms. Potts! (Her name is Becky too, so we've reverted to her last name, which is super fun to say with a British accent! LOL)

And just before the Larkspur Harvest Fest "show," my other friend & one of my biggest supporters, Rebecca (another Becky!!) bought this painting for her home...

Beau Pavot (Beautiful Poppy)
to compliment the other poppy painting she commissioned me to do…
Crimson Tide
I feel truly honored to have my artwork hanging in a few friends' homes! It's a very humbling experience to have someone like your art enough to purchase it & hang it in their home!

Fear of rejection...
Even though I put up a confident front about my art, like most artists, I fear rejection. Doing this first "show" has given me a little more confidence to try some more shows & to even look for a few juried shows, but it's scary!! (On Tuesday, 10/7, I will deliver the above painting, "Beyond," to The Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock for The National Arts Program show! It's not a juried entry, but it is judged & I am hoping to receive at least an Honorable Mention from the judges!)  I am even considering approaching a couple local restaurants to see if they would hang a piece in their dining rooms! Now, THAT'S really scary to me! It's really hard to "sell" yourself!! It's hard to be near someone as they look at my work & chat with their companion because I know that not everything I create will appeal to everyone that looks at it. During the show, I tried to avoid hovering around as people looked at my work & I have to say, that in general, most of the comments were very kind. Thank you for that!

What's it worth?

Besides the criticism that comes about, there's the whole pricing your work issue. How much did I spend on materials? How long did it take me to finish? What is my time worth? What would I pay for that piece? What kind of client would I expect to hang this in their home, office or business?  I found a few formulas online before the show a couple of weeks ago on pricing in order to price myself fairly. My friend Michelle kindly spent an hour or two helping me adjust that pricing where we felt that the original price wasn't right. Then to be told by another artist that some of my pieces were too low! UGH! I feel funny pricing things higher as I am an "unknown" artist really just getting started & although I want to make money with my artwork, I also want it to sell & for people to have it hanging in their homes where they can enjoy it. But if I price it too low, am I devaluing my ability? When I chat with other artists, they have gone through the same struggle. I guess over time, I will get more comfortable with pricing.

The value for teaching...

Another area I struggle with is the cost & time for my classes. I was pricing my classes around the same amount that store-front Paint & Sips were charging - $35-45, but I found that I wasn't making much profit at that price point. So, I have raised them quite a bit & many people ask me why my classes are more expensive than the local Paint & Sips…well, in general my classes run longer (3-4 hours), we use more supplies (expensive paints, mediums, stencils & collage pieces) & I try to offer food as well as beverages. I like that my classes offer a relaxed, non-rushed atmosphere to create in & I believe my students enjoy it too! (Check out my last class HERE.)

As I learn & grow as an artist, I must try to learn & grow as a business person too. I have joined the local Chamber & have been researching ways to make my business grow & thrive in my small community! Wish me luck! It's a long road! LOL


Class Fun: Barns & Poppy fields

On Friday, 9/26, I held a small class to paint a barn & poppy field scene on a 12x12 canvas. During the Larkspur Autumn Harvest Fest, I had a raffle for 1 spot in the class & the winner brought 2 of her cousins to round out the class of 5! We had a great time & I really enjoyed working with these ladies! It is always fun to see how different everyone's scenes turn out! Thanks ladies for coming & making it such a wonderful night!
Brenda, Barbara & Kathy hard at work!
Bev & Charity working on their barns!
Barbara's finished canvas
Bev's finished canvas
Brenda's finished canvas
Charity's finished canvas - she always takes it in another direction! :)
Kathy's finished canvas
Happy painters!
I am currently working on my next class which I think is going to be a two day event! I am hoping to make the first day an "intuitive" painting day, where we will cover our canvases with many different marks & lots of paint & see what images pop out for us. These paintings below were all done intuitively…
Then on the second day, students will have the opportunity to work more on their intuitive piece or do the Aspens like this one…
Aspens in Fall
I am still working out pricing, but the dates for the classes are the evenings of November 7th & 8th. If you would like me to send you more information when I have it all planned out, please contact me at