Saturday, March 07, 2009

Marketing realities

exerpt from my bedtime sketch book

I have been reviewing my art marketing methods and need to make some changes if I want to make progress.

A few months ago, I started a separate blog to put sale pieces on. I said I would give it some time and then reassess it. That time is here and the verdict is that it does not produce sales as I hoped. That may be because the public isn't in the buying mood for my type of art and it may be that I haven't put the time and effort that I should into 'selling' the sales blog.

I have on online store in Etsy and prints in Imagekind, so my presence and sales there tick over. I won't get rich from them, but there is some movement. Based on that, I am removing the dedicated art sales blog on Sunday and placing art for sale either straight from this blog or through Etsy. Prints of originals will remain on Imagekind.

I am also exploring some local opportunities using some of the fish prints and local scenes as greeting or notecards. I will be working out printing and packaging costs next week and have some contacts for stores that likely will stock these for the upcoming tourist season.

I also need new business cards and I will be also ordering those next week as well. Despite people's unwillingness to part company with dollars in this recession, there is still money around and it is being spent. It just depends on where you target your potential buyers and how you market your services. Price does factor in which is why I am moving towards prints of images. There will still be sales of originals, but often prints become the viable option for those who do not or can't afford to invest in original art.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Tripod sketches
5 x 7 sketchbook, graphite

While watching the news tonight I sketched Tripod as he shifted and changed position snoozing on the sofa. Its always good practice to try drawing something that keeps moving and changing shape. I like to see how much I can capture, getting in basic shapes before it moves again.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I never know where the years go and its very true, the older you get, the faster they disappear. Fifty-five. Wow. How did I get that old? Only a moment ago I was 20, or even 30. And now. Wow....

However, I'm happy in my skin and don't deny or hide my age. There's not much I can do about me being me so I accept it and let life take me along to where it wants me to be. And around now, its put me in a pretty good place.

So to help me celebrate tomorrow, while I can't have you all over for cake and wine, I thought I'd be both self serving and giving at the same time. For each person who comments between now and midnight tomorrow (Friday, March 6th) and wishes me happy birthday, I will put their name into a draw to receive a portrait of their choice from me.

The person's name will be announced on Sunday's post and whoever is chosen will get a 9 x 12 portrait by me, using the medium of my choice. The photo can be of you, a spouse, partner, child, animal etc. I will mail the portrait to you at my own cost.

So join in the fun. You could get a free portrait out of it and I won't feel quite so old with your good wishes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pisces indecision

Pisces Indecision
12 x 16 gyotaku print and watercolour

This is the last fish print for a little while. I have taken lots of base prints with my trout but its past its 'best by' date and will now be crow breakfast in the morning.

I am a Pisces, so fish and water always seem to play a role somehow in life. I either live near the water or have fish swimming next to me in a tank or I'm drawing or painting them. This version of Pisces has them both swimming in the same direction instead of opposite which contradicts the true nature of this zodiac creature(s).

Its more an experiment in shape and colour at this point, rather than composition and being true to the subject. I'm still seeing what colours work well with the prints and how much layering I can get away with and be transparent, letting the print beneath show through.

Its not complete but I don't want to tinker too much more, as its easily on the verge of mud. Paint will take a backseat for a couple of days while I complete the portrait of my niece and start another one.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Camouflaged Rainbow

Camouflaged Rainbow
watercolour 8 x 12

I promise my fish frenzy will be over soon and I'll get back to regular stuff. I just need to do these last few prints on the paper that I was experimenting with last night.

I used diluted acrylic inks on sheets of aquarello portofina. The print was already on the paper or will be printed there after the inks dry. With this print, I had already put the fish on the paper then used the acrylic inks over it randomly, almost making the fish look as if it were swimming through it. I added more watercolour to the print. I wanted a bold, bright look that but transparent so the print of the scales and lines of the body showed through.

I think I got there, even if the image doesn't show the brightness of the colours at their best.

I had put some of the fish cards and a print on Etsy and wondered why there were so many viewings. Then someone sent me a message saying the fish print was on the Etsy Gift Guide under Original Art and Printmaking. It was on the first page for the last couple of days and has now moved to page two.

You can find this print and others in my Etsy shop.

I also tried some pastel on one of the fish prints, but am not as keen on it as it covers too much of the print itself. The colours are fine, but the essence of the print is lost in parts. I'll have to work on that and decide how much should be print and how much colour so there can be an easy marriage of the two.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fish and cats and ice

This is what I looked out on this morning. Freezing rain had coated everything during the night turning the world into a giant skating rink. And guess where the car was. In the barn. Yep, what fun walking across that to get to it.

I really don't like freezing rain, at least not having to go out into it. It does a lot of damage to trees if it coats them heavily and bends them. However we got off easy today and the day warmed up significantly and it turned to rain and melted.

The ice makes for interesting photos however if you can risk life and limb trying to get to things. This is the side fence looking out from the dining room. The hops and little solar lights are well coated with little curtains of ice.

Finally, one of the garden chairs looking like some kind of torture device with icicles everywhere!
I'm giving this poor old trout a run for its money and getting as many base prints as I can out of it before it deteriorates. While I think the skeleton print looks quite interesting, it really does seem to come to life more when its enhanced with colour, so I'm in the process of experimenting with different papers and tonight preparing an abstract background in acrylic inks to lay another print on. Its a messy business...

I've lifted off some of the muddied colour as it pooled into the middle of the paper and may add some crumpled plastic film for texture before it dried.

I've added more prints to larger sheets of watercolour paper and will add colour to them later, as well as some additional cards.

While waiting for prints to dry and ideas to gel, I painted a tiny watercolour of Tripod. This is ACEO size and I rarely try this size. I find it difficult to adapt to the small size and it continues to amaze me how those who work in miniature on a daily basis do so and do so well.

Tripod was vaguely interested in the print process but more for the paper, not the fish. He's a strange animal who doesn't like any fresh food except tuna. He won't eat fresh fish, chicken, turkey, any kind of meat. He will only eat a particular type of cat food and dry cat food. When he first arrived, he didn't know how to eat dry cat food and would just swallow it whole without chewing it. While I figured out how to do the Heimlich on a cat, he figured out that he needed to chew.