The challenges of being in my studio and maintaining a home budget for my son & I. Sales on the art is the only way to stay in the studio, cover the essentials, and make room for the creation of newer pieces.
I've added some Special Discounts for the earlier pieces. Scroll to the For Sale tab above or click on this link for the page:
The discounted paintings have a discount seal and new price listed in red.
So what is the fascination with wood? As i am working on the current painting, with lots of time to think during the process, I was thinking about the variety of interests and styles that artists have. I've dabbled in a bit of abstract many years ago, and I understand it in other artists' work, but it isn't my natural 'go to' place. Some people have asked about conventional landscapes, and that also is not my interest, especially the typical trees and sky paintings that are done quickly and with simply brush strokes. But I have seen amazingly bold and colourful landscapes with a modern twist to them, but at this point, I don't feel it is my skill set. Maybe if I reach a point where I am more financially secure, I can take the time to explore. But for now, I need to follow my base and comfort zone.
I understand wood. I understand what I'm seeing.
I've also been asked if I've ever considered doing a painting of a newly carved totem. My answer is simply 'No'. There is no point in it for me. A great photograph of a new totem would suffice, catching all that beautiful freshly carved and painted wood. I come in once Mother Nature has had time to do her thing, performing her own evolving artistic creation.
I get how the patinas work, and how the forms interact with the light, the sun, and the weather. For me, that is the evolving beauty and strength of wood, carved or otherwise.
The painting I'm currently working on is challenging in that it isn't carved. Other then having been stripped of its bark to become pier poles coated with tar, it is still in its natural shape, with all it wood grains, cracking and splintering. My task with this painting is not to record them with absolute accuracy (cracks, splintering etc.), but to be faithful to what the eye sees, and the impact of the composition. I don't need to paint in every wood grain and every fleck of wood in order to capture what struck me about them in the first place. I am responding to the ah-ha moment when I came across these poles that had drifted onto the shore. I was moved by all the colours; the dark blues of the remaining tar, the rusts of the hardware still on the piles, and the powerful composition of everything together. I knew that I had to take as many photos of them 'now' as there was no guarantee that they would still be there another time, or whether the cluster would not have changed.
I don't have any immediate plans for another painting of these poles as I do need to further develop the totem studies series 'Journeying With The Totems'. But then, nothing is carved in stone (or should that be wood). One plans, but remains open to the reality that it may all change around the corner. But I have a library of pics of these pier poles which I can crop at will. There is one other picture that I really love, but it has a number of rusted metal cables wrapped around the poles, that have the same twisted shape as with large rope. It would be very intricate work to painting all the 'ribs' which are also ribbed with the finer strands that make up the 'rope'. So I'll think on it.
I've been minus my laptop since last weekend, while it was in the shop getting the keyboard replaced. Not a straight-forward process for the MacBook Pro as it requires the replacement of the whole keyboard top panel (and not cheap). But I am happy to finally have it back, and being able to once again access my website editor.
The high temperatures have been a challenge in my mobile home, which bakes in the full afternoon sun. The 30+C temperatures haven't helped. After suffering through the first heat wave this summer, I was fortunate enough to find a second portable air conditioner for a great price, just in time for this second heat wave. Both my son and I won't be heartbroken to have the Fall weather arrive.
With the heat wave, I've had to keep all blinds closed, so painting in my studio space has been a challenge. I tried getting a few Halogen bulbs but was really unhappy with the yellowness of the light, the glare, and the heat which they gave off. I have a stand on either side as my ceiling is lower.
Today, after doing a bit of online reading on studio lighting, and the newer LED options, I picked up 2 - 90W (5000k) Bright White LED bulbs (floods). But they are very expensive. The colour temperature is just right and they give off very little heat. They are also bright enough that I don't need to have them focused right on the canvas and minimize glare. The colours on the canvas are true. One drawback (which isn't as bad as with other bulb types) is a bit of hand shadowing while you work.
But while I was at the hardware store, I also saw these new flat LED ceiling panels of varying sizes, that mount directly onto your ceiling. That would be perfect given my ceiling height and would give a great overhead wash of light, which would be most helpful with the coming short winter rainy days. The ones I saw were a Cool White which is too blue in temperature, but I saw online that you can also get them in a Natural White. But with the cost, and the reality of my budget, I've had to add them to my wish list for now.
A few people were concerned that I was moving away from the totem series, as I am currently working on a different subject from one of my recent photo shoots at one of the beach parks. The image drew me and as an artist, it is always good to tackle something new, recharge, and learn from the experience. I have a number of totem images waiting in the wings once I have this one completed, and the series will continue.
The Sooke Fine Arts Show was a successful venture for me, and the process will begin once again in September, when it comes time to bring in 3 paintings for submission and adjudication in Sidney for the October Art Show. It too is a large show with a great many submissions by hundreds of artist. I can only hope that my paintings will fare well in the adjudication.
I took the last trip yesterday to pick up the remaining prints from the Sooke Fine Arts Show Gift Shop. There were 3 remaining unframed prints (these being inside a flip-through bin). The others had been displayed.
The remaining unframed prints are:
- Kwaigiutl Ancestor
- Raven Eagle Shield
After tabulating the overall print costs and revenues, I've broken even. But I knew this going in this testing of a print option for the Journeying With The Totems series, because of the gift shop's price limit. I could have made a few dollars if all the unframed prints had sold. But so long as i could break even, it was better to get the series into more homes. The fact that all the canvas prints did sell is an indication that they may be the best print option, as they are as close as you can get to the look of the originals.
I've added a page for the print options. I've added the image of the Blue Totems painting as I will be getting a studio photo taken of it once I receive the funds from the painting sales. If anyone is interested in a print of one of the other paintings in the series, indicate which one on the form on that page. Note: There are 2 paintings that I won't be able to do a print of: 'Bear Pole Totem' and 'Beaver Totem With Moss'. I wasn't able to get proper jpegs of adequate resolution before they were sent to their new homes.