Friday, May 26, 2017

Painting from The Water

I have an exciting new project...I know that I say that a lot but this is really exciting.
I am, with the help of my glamorous assistant, (he is doing all the hard work) restoring this beautiful little 8 foot, clinker built, dinghy.  

Because, this is where I live... I want, need and have to go out onto the water to paint.  I want to be under my own steam.  Painting is a solitary discipline, it takes time and therefore must be attempted when I need a little boat.
This is she, in the back garden getting a lot of love and attention, Dutch oil for the wooden interior.  She has wooden oars and will will have a little center board and rudder, I will make a sail, called a dipping lug, out of stripy fabric, (not traditional but I dont care)
She is being painted a beautiful bright red,
and rather obviously will be called "Poppy"
So very soon she will be up and on the water, with me and my paints and I can do paintings like this
and this
while sitting on her new stripy cushions and bobbing gently in the river.
Happy Days!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Your Website...Part One

These days, if you make art you probably need a web site, you might already have one but do you have control of the steering wheel? Is it up to date and does it look professional?

I use Artlook to power my website.  It is very easy to manage and allows you to get into the habit of updating and keeping your website current and relevant. The biggest plus for me is that it virtually builds itself using the work that I have put into my inventory.

This is how it works…
I finish a painting, photograph it, and pop the photograph onto my computer.  I can edit it on my phone and use it directly from there if I want to.  I make a scale image as well and for my own sanity I title the image and scale image with the title of the painting.
Then I add this as a new item to my Artlook inventory. I fill in the details, title, price, medium, category. I add tags (one word descriptions of the work) dimensions then check or uncheck “the publish to web” buttons at the bottom…and click save.
If I want to add details like a link to where the painting is being exhibited or a more detailed description of the work I pop it into the details section… and click save.

Then I add images, as many as necessary, by clicking the add image button and collecting them from wherever I have stored them…and click save.

Then I add them to a grouping by clicking in the big box and choosing from the dropdown menu of groupings that I have already created, click amend groupings…and then click save.

If I have chosen a Grouping that is a “Web_gallery” a “Web_page” or a “Web_exhibition” then the new item will appear on my website…as soon as I click save!  
It is that simple, in the next post I will talk more about Groupings and the choices for the website templates.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Making your Art Business a Success

I am celebrating because yesterday I had my first big sale as a direct result from my brand new website and it made me think about writing (especially to to my online artist friends) about "the Business of Art"
Seriously...How serious are you about your Art.  Do you want to make your Art Business a success? Do you take yourself seriously, Do you value what you create enough to grant it some respect... do you respect yourself enough to call yourself an artist? These are always good questions to be asking.
You don't have to have been nominated for the Turner Prize, you don't have to have a degree in art, you don't even have to sell very much in order call your self an artist but you do need to have a burning desire to create, to keep creating and to strive to learn and improve. Plus you need to be organised.
So now I have another bunch of good is your record keeping?  Do you know where your work is, do you know which galleries have your work?  Do you know how many paintings, pots, sculptures, prints that you created in 2016, do you know how many sales you had in 2016?  Who are your most loyal collectors?  How much did you spend on materials in 2016?  What competitions did you enter, and what did you put up for selection? And above everything else, do you have a good, easy to manage (for you) and up to date website?
If you don't do or have any of the above, you really should think about it.  Might I suggest that you don't just think about it, ramp it up a notch, take your self seriously, grant yourself the respect that you deserve and get sorted...

Have a look at Artlook , It does all of the above, plus a lot more.  You can have a fabulous system and a great looking, clean and easy to manage website from only £6.00 per month.  That is under $8 per month...for it will work in every country there is.  You also get a great team (including me) to help you with anything that you don't understand.
Sign up for a free 30 day trial, be prepared to put a little effort in, you will need to upload your images and enter their details but be assured that if you decide to carry on and subscribe all of your hard work (on the free trial) wont be lost. So, no time to loose, sign up and get organised...because you are worth it.
You can check out my new and lovely Artlook powered websites one for painting and one for illustration for examples of what the websites can look like, there are lots of templates to choose from. 
Do let me know if you are going to try it out, I am writing this as a very personal top recommendation because I use Artlook and the more that I use it, the more impressed I am with it and I would love to hear your opinion.