Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flatrock update

I've had my fingers in several pies today from gyotaku printing and painting to framing.  I have several pieces on the go at once which is my usual state of operation.  While one dries, I can move on to another and keep the flow going. 

Here's another small update on the Flatrock rocks piece in watercolour.  The detail is taking time.  Another reason to keep a few pieces in production, so the detail doesn't bog me down too much.

Rock detail

One of the other pieces I've worked on today is a gyotaku piece that's become multimedia with different supports, media and techniques.  Here's a little peek at what I've been up to.  More tomorrow...

Gyotaku starfish detail

Friday, January 28, 2011


This little piece came as a result of me experimenting with a digital photo box that I received as a Christmas gift. At last, functioning lighting that allows me to set up still life pieces, light images that I need to photograph and it doesn't matter what time of day it is!  Bliss.  I also have another daylight lamp that helps light my work table in the studio.

These are two little ceramic decorations, one a tealight holder.  I hadn't given much consideration to placement, but the little green bird seems to be gazing at the chicken with that look that kids get who need to ask something and it always starts out with 'Mommy?'

This is 5 x 7 in acrylics.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art management software

Here's an update of the watercolour of 'downtown' Flatrock.  I'm still building rock shapes and colours and as the rock is quite detailed, this could take some time.  So while I paint, I think.  This can be good and can be bad.  This time I'm thinking about organization.  That usually happens when I can't find something.  I swear to myself that I will become completely organized.  Of course that doesn't happen and so the cycle begins.
One of perhaps the less interesting, but very important aspects of art is tracking what you have created, what you have sold, who to, for how much, who bought it, exhibitions, donated pieces, etc.  It is vital from a business perspective as well as marketing and archival purposes to track this information, but we don't tend to do it well or consistently.  Its often a scramble to pull information together, find who has what as well as locate images, etc.

I know I'm guilty of this. I've used Excel spreadsheets for most of my tracking of production, sales and marketing but don't always keep on top of it as I should.  I presumed that some clever souls have created a solution to my dilemma in the way of software that would make the task easier and keep my tracking visible and in one place where I could access the many arms of information about my art that I need.

So I'm on a quest to find an effective, reasonably priced software package that will do this.  I've tracked down a number of options for artists to use and will be busy reviewing them and road testing a few also.  Here are some of the software packages for artists that I found.  Note: they are not in any order of preference

If anyone uses any of these software packages, I would love to know which one and whether you would recommend it to others.

Pricing for these software packages varies from $30 up to $170.  Each package varies in what it offers in management capability from basic inventory control to creation of CDs and catalogues for gallery presentations as well as invoicing.  

Of course once I decide on one of these packages then I need to push myself to keep it updated.  Let's hope that the beauty of having everything in one spot, combined with a routine will help.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rocks - WIP

I probably need my head examined for starting another very complex painting, but start I have and will take my time to build layers on it.  The rocks leading out into the sea give Flatrock its name and consist of blocks and many thin layers, looking almost like a multi-layered cake at times.

I spent most of the afternoon drawing the piece onto 200lb paper and have starting the first layers of colour.  I used the same reference piece which was taken in early morning so the sun was catching the edges of the rock with a pink/gold light, the blues and browns and purples seemed to stand out and give the view more interest.

Its interesting experimenting with different colours for the rocks and these initial washes are Italian Deep Ochre, Moonglow, Lunar Blue, Indigo, Turquoise and Mummy Bauxite with some touches of Lunar Black and Rich Green Gold.  All these are Daniel Smith colours and I do love their watercolour pigments.  I'll continue to build colours with glazes and keep my fingers crossed.

This a similar view of the same rocks in Flatrock, which I completed in pen and ink in 2009.  That piece was submitted to the Arts and Letters Awards and got Honourable Mention with some hanging time in The Rooms in April 2010.