What are you working on?

brianvds

Well-known member
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517
Agreed. You want to give the prospect something to take away, no matter how small. Business cards with your art on them also make you feel authentic. Zazzle and Moo have sales going on right now, a lot of online companies have sales right now.

I use ACEO-sized hand-painted business cards, i.e. every one is an actual little original painting. But that might be overdoing it. :)
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
517
Today's silly cartoon...

33 Wonder Woman in action.jpg
 

ntl

Contributing Member
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1,250
An Artist I knew used "failed" paintings. She cut them into ACEO sizes, and used a rubber stamp with her contact info on them.
 

ntl

Contributing Member
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1,250
I've been working on pen and charcoal sketches, just 2 or 3 minute sketches, and am thinking of doing 4 or 5 minute ones for a few days. Probably with charcoal.
 

brianvds

Well-known member
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517
After all that childish and irresponsible experimenting with cartoons and surrealism and stuff, I went back to something slightly more traditional... :)

22-49 Boomplaats Road, Mpumalanga Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm.jpg

Boomplaats Road, Mpumalanga. Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm.

As I often do nowadays, I used an image from Google Earth street view for reference. Being your archetypal starving artist, it's the only way I get to travel, so I seldom get opportunity to take my own photos for landscape painting.
 

brianvds

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517
Street view is a brilliant resource. I used it a lot during lockdown for landscape sketching. I also use it for trees.

I really like your painting Brian. :)

I have noticed the Google van's route sometimes takes it past nice trees - would be interested to see your work featuring Google trees. :)

It's not without its difficulties: the camera is really too high on the vehicle, so one tends to look down onto the surrounding area. And of course, the light is not always good. But I find that very often, a rather horrid photo actually makes for a better painting, because it's not overly pretty and full of distracting detail.
 

john

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532
After all that childish and irresponsible experimenting with cartoons and surrealism and stuff, I went back to something slightly more traditional... :)

View attachment 26136
Boomplaats Road, Mpumalanga. Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm.

As I often do nowadays, I used an image from Google Earth street view for reference. Being your archetypal starving artist, it's the only way I get to travel, so I seldom get opportunity to take my own photos for landscape painting.

I saw this and thought of you Brian. Maybe you should stick with the "childish" stuff. :)

 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
517
I saw this and thought of you Brian. Maybe you should stick with the "childish" stuff. :)


Fame and fortune are sure to come - only a question of time. :D

Some years ago, a gallery owner declined to take anything on consignment. He said I could paint reasonably decently, but I "have no voice." And he was right - I had no clear, personal, recognizable style. And I still don't, and it seems more and more clear to me I never will. I simply cannot pick a style and subject matter and stick to it.

Not necessarily a catastrophe. I know of at least one local artist who is doing very well for himself, and he seems to have the same problem: his work ranges from stylized landscapes...

0027_nicky_van_rensburg_landscape_lg.jpg


... to realistically painted animals ...

0016_nicky_van_rensburg_nguni_lg.jpg


...to whimsical humor:

0041_nicky_van_rensburg_chefs_lg.jpg


The thing to do when you can't settle on a style seems to be to paint in recognizable "lines" of work, and of course, some buyers don't care whether you have a voice or are famous or recognizable - they see a nice piece and they want it.

Still, it has been a source of much frustration and artistic soul searching.
 

john

Well-known member
Messages
532
Fame and fortune are sure to come - only a question of time. :D

Some years ago, a gallery owner declined to take anything on consignment. He said I could paint reasonably decently, but I "have no voice." And he was right - I had no clear, personal, recognizable style. And I still don't, and it seems more and more clear to me I never will. I simply cannot pick a style and subject matter and stick to it.

Not necessarily a catastrophe. I know of at least one local artist who is doing very well for himself, and he seems to have the same problem: his work ranges from stylized landscapes...

View attachment 26203

... to realistically painted animals ...

View attachment 26205

...to whimsical humor:

View attachment 26207

The thing to do when you can't settle on a style seems to be to paint in recognizable "lines" of work, and of course, some buyers don't care whether you have a voice or are famous or recognizable - they see a nice piece and they want it.

Still, it has been a source of much frustration and artistic soul searching.


Yeah I'm in the same boat. I guess if we just want to sell paintings to the public at craft fairs (which I will be doing this winter) and such it doesn't matter. If we want to considered for gallery shows where we need a cohesive large body of work it does. I guess ideally we do both. Get one, or more bodies of cohesive work but also play around with different styles for fun? But then do you show the gallerist all the types or just the one that fits that gallery.

But even at craft fairs, people may like to see that you "specialize" . I think that people are suspicious of artists with all kinds of paintings, even if they are good. In the back of their minds they think the best stuff must come from the specialists. That if we are doing everything we can't be good at any one thing.

I know personally it would behoove me to do a series of... something... which I've never done before, if only to learn how to paint that thing. It seems that I'm always reinventing my wheel and being confused as to how it rolls. Working with three different paint types doesn't help. But now I have more time to paint so a series is more feasible. But of what? How? What paint? What music to listen to? :)

What would sell at a farmer's/craft market in winter? Summer scenes of the beach, water and marsh I bet. Hmmmm. Maybe in different styles and paints but with the common theme, as you said.

We'll figure it out Brian, and these talks help. Like Jerry Salz says, "Don't be a baby and keep making your art" :)

 
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Artyczar

Moderator
Messages
9,532
I just purchased Jerry's book. Thanks for reminding me to actually read it! :ROFLMAO:

I hear you both about styles and making a cohesive body of work. I have been feeling the same way as you for decades! People say I have a "voice," but I never see it because I paint so many different styles in so many different media. I can't help it! Yet, it haunts me in my sleep and waking hours that I'm doing something "wrong!" Like I'm some kind of lepper to getting into further galleries and I'm lucky to have the one I have. I mean, of course I am!

But I know, it's true; if I want to branch out and get into other galleries, I have to have a very cohesive body of work and "specialize" in one thing, at least for a while. It's so hard for me to do that because I can only make what I'm inspired to do at the time. I do like making series, but not in a row! Therefore, it takes literally years for me to fill out each series.

Then, galleries tend to like "new" work, so some pieces in the series might be up to eight years old. But that's how long it's taken me to fill that body of work out because I'm working on so many at once.

It's been the bane of my existence.

Do I have a "voice" within all these series and media? I have no idea. I just keep making work and hope I get there, or at least get better at speaking my own language. But if I haven't been able to do that after 35+ years, maybe I'm screwed, and this is all as good as it gets. I should not, and I really am not complaining. I just have anxiety about it all the time and relate to this conversation.
 

brianvds

Well-known member
Messages
517
Been trying to channel Hergé, with some sketches that are kind of, sort of, in his ligne claire style...

DSC_3618.JPG


Real ligne claire is tricky to do, because nothing can be vague or sketchy or scratchy as is the case here. Hergé used a line of exactly the same weight throughout, and every detail is neatly and precisely delineated. It calls for absolute precision and decisiveness, both of which I sadly lack! :)
 

john

Well-known member
Messages
532
I've been taking photos of my paintings with my fancy camera and trying to learn all that stuff and trying to get the subtle reds correct and no glare with the lights etc. Shooting in RAW. It's a little more involved than I thought it would be. Haven't even gotten them into Photoshop yet. Fun challenge though.
 
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