Saturday, April 28, 2007

Today's Happenings

Today I took new photos of two portraits, Corporal William G. Taylor, seen below in my post of March 30th titled "Art From the Heart", and Katie. Both of these photos have been updated here tonight.
I spent a good part of today cleaning up my home studio, having just finished two new commissions, these not exactly fine art, more of a commercial nature. But the one with all those little portraits was quite time consuming! Worked in acrylic on this project. It was fun! The other resulted from a client seeing the sign I painted of our Carriage House logo, a realistic horse and carriage, complete with riders. You can see the nature of the client's business in this oil painting on wood. (Images above.)
I am ready now to do some really small oil paintings with the idea of selling them at auction, perhaps on Ebay. These will be good buys for anyone interested in bidding! I plan to begin tomorrow. See you then!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Getting a Likeness Versus Capturing Emotion

Photo: Alexandria, graphite on paper, 8 x 10
After years of drawing and painting faces, since I was a child, in fact, I find it relatively easy to achieve a likeness of the person I'm "doing." Not as simple, however, is capturing the emotion I believe I see in that person. In the first place, my interpretation of what I see may be erroneous. A subject may appear to me to be serene and at peace when, in fact, melancholy may be the source of a still and quiet stare. Secondly, subjects holding a pose for an extended period tend to lose themselves in an emotionless limbo, one in which the brain seems to power down to a mindless state.
A physical likeness is essential in executing commissioned portraits, but when one is able to reflect some of the subject's inner vision, strength, or soulfulness, there is a vitality and reality to it that does not otherwise exist. There are several facets inherent in achieving this, including the pose, the lighting, the medium used, the tilt of the head, the direction of the eyes (up, down, askance, looking straight at the artist), how open or closed the eyes are, the posture of the model, the body language, the set of the mouth and the open or closed lips, how relaxed the model appears, etc. Sometimes the outcome looks mechanical; other times I feel I've captured what I was after.
The head study above, which I just completed about a week or so ago, is one in which I was satisfied that I had gotten not only a good likeness, but also a sense of the serious intelligence of this young girl as well as her sensitive romanticism. I hope to express in paint what I feel I found in graphite. I would love for this to be my version of the Girl with the Pearl Earring, after Vermeer!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Administrative Arts

Photo: My students in a recent workshop in palette knife painting at my studio

If you are reading this and/or enjoying my blog, then I assume you might be interested in receiving updates as I post them. Even if you have been notified before or asked to join the Patzart Group, please now just use the simple subscription form to the right and you will be notified via email when an update has been posted. And I thank you!
It would seem, at first glance, such a simple thing. Create a blog, email your friends, your students, your family, your patrons, your collectors et al and share with them your latest paintings, your thoughts on art, your painting or drawing tips, etc. Another one of those half-day jobs that turns into days of trial and error and, in the trials, causing those on your email list to never want to hear from you again! First, email lists that contain a large number of email addresses, as mine do, don't get past my outbox (on several different mail services, e.g., aol and gmail) because the mail police are afraid they might be spam. So I spent hours of entering email addresses into address book "groups", which "they" told me to do, only to then have the whole group rejected as a security risk.
Google then said to create a google group (not within the mail service) and I would then be able to email everyone in the group with one email. They have a system wherein you can either add email addresses or you can invite people to join the group. I tried to add my list and the numbers were too high. So I had to let them invite the people on my list, which then causes these people to have to join, and fill out paperwork, etc. I am so sorry!
So now I have been researching ways to make this simpler, to communicate with those who have shown an interest in my work, in my writing, in my teaching, in my thoughts, to market to those who may be future collectors, to share with other artists. And I found Feedblitz, a subscription management tool that will make all this manageable. I welcome your subscription in the upper right corner and you won't have to join any groups or go to any further trouble. And if you wish to unsubscribe at any time, they make it simple for you to do that, too.
Being an artist is not only about making art, but also about public relations, marketing, advertising, selling, branding, getting your name out in the public eye, giving back to the community through donations, teaching, maintaining your professional relationships, etc. All of the latter takes time away from the former, but one without the other is fruitless. So there is art and there is business, and better the twain shall meet.