Ask the Expert…Gone Paintin’

Ask the Expert is hanging up the “Go Painting, Fishing, whatever sign” for the next 3 weeks. We will re-post some of our favorite guests.

Adobe Spark (1)

Today, it’s Terry Miura’s post on “Anatomy of a Landscape Painting”.  An impactful post with great information.

Click here if you missed the post the first time around or just needing a few reminders, it’s well worth the read.

CLICK HERE to enter Art Muse Contest for your chance to win cash and gallery representation!


Weekly 15 Minute Challenge

The question isn’t whether you like your website but is it inviting visitors to stay? Did you know that you have less than 10 seconds (actually more like 5 seconds) to grab someone’s attention? Sure you have needs that must be meet by your site but it doesn’t work if your visitors won’t engage. Keeping your site clean, easy to navigate and showcases your artwork should be your #1 goal. Can’t tell you how many artists’ websites I visit in a week but a large percentage don’t grab my attention and it has nothing to do with their artwork. You should be looking at your site as if you were the visitor. It’s like critiquing your own work…pull the emotion and personal views out of it. Here is this week’s challenge…it’s a 2 Part Series.


15 Minute Challenge, Part 1 – Does your website pass the test?

  1. When was the last time you updated or actually looked at your website?
  2. Are you capable of managing/updating your own site?
  3. Would you describe your website template as clean or cluttered?
  4. Are your website background colors neutral?
  5. Do you have so many categories and tabs that your navigation bar is more than a single line?
  6. How many categories of paintings do you have? i.e. florals, still life, landscape, figurative, oils, watercolors, drawings, mixed media, impressionism, small works? You get the idea.
  7. How much artwork do you have listed on your site?
  8. What is your oldest image currently on your site? Does it reflect where you are currently as an artist?
  9. Does your website have bells and whistles? i.e. music playing in the background? If so, stop immediately and remove!!!
  10. Is your email listed on your website? This does not include a contact page.
  11. If you have a logo, does it over power the images on your home page?
  12. Do you have a way for visitors to subscribe to your latest announcements and news?
  13. Do you use any “Call to Actions”?
  14. Do you list painting information and prices on your website?
  15. Do visitors have a simple way to purchase or inquire about your work?
  16. Is there a picture of you on your website?
  17. Do you have an Events page that is blank or just lists previous events?
  18. If you have a contact page, how often do you check for messages?

Now, keep these answers for next week. I’ll be back with some suggestions on how to improve your website.

Reminder: If you have any tasks that you are struggling, please email me. If I use your suggestion as a 15 Minute Challenge, you will receive a free 30 minute consultation with me.



Check our monthly Art Muse Contest. Great cash prizes, opportunities for gallery representation and exhibition plus other cool prizes.


Ask the Expert…

Ask the Expert is hanging up the “Go Painting, Fishing, whatever sign” for the next 3 weeks. We will re-post some of our favorite guests.

Adobe Spark (1)

Today, it’s Elizabeth Robbin‘s “What are the key elements in making a strong still life painting”. Elizabeth discusses everything from concept to harmony and much more.

Click here if you missed the post the first time around or just needing a few reminders, it’s well worth the read.

CLICK HERE to enter Art Muse Contest for your chance to win cash and gallery representation!


Taking Stock and 15 Minute Challenge

Taking Stock

Adobe Spark (20)

Want to hear a confession? I used to keep my inventory of paintings and sales on Post-It Notes. Yep, I admit it. When I started this “system” Excel was about the only platform in use and I couldn’t stand Excel, so color-coded Post-It notes in a folder was my system. You can only imagine how well that worked. But today we have lots of options available. I got wise and became a professional (actually it’s easier than the color coded Post-It notes)! No matter whether you are currently using an inventory system or aren’t at a stage in your career to spend money on an inventory system , there is one SIMPLE and FREE option (up to 2 GB) that you should consider and not just as a way to track inventory. DROPBOX!

This is a great way to get started if you have no system or worse, my Post-It note system in place. It’s also the best way to have your images all in one place with all relevant information. Don’t be intimated. It’s as easy as attaching an image for an email.

Dropbox can serve as an inventory platform as well as a way to share images with your gallery(s), interior designers, etc. Instead of attaching huge files to an email or just sending them to your website, you can customize a set of images for a targeted audience and send them a link to view. So professional.

Once you’ve built it (which takes no time) it will be so easy and efficient!!!

Here’s the 15 Minute Challenge

Sign up for Dropbox. Pick 5 images of paintings that you have created (include at least one that was sold, donated, gifted or destroyed) and follow these steps:

  1. Add folders (i.e. 2016 paintings, collectors, etc.) to Dropbox
  2. Upload images to the correct Dropbox folder. SIDE NOTE – Name your painting images (from your computer) in this manner… TitleSizeMediumSupportYearcreated – EXAMPLE:Yellow12x24OilLinen2016. *If you don’t know how to name your images on your computer, click here.
  3. Take a sold, donated,gifted or destroyed painting and rename the image in the Dropbox folder by right clicking on the image.  You will see a drop down box. HIT rename. Then simply type in the changes. Example: Yellow12x24OilLinen2016Sold.
  4. Create a simple word document to list your collector information: List the name of the collector(s). If it is a gallery sale and no collector name is available, list the gallery. Include the title of painting purchased, price and date of purchase.
  5. Save this form to your Collectors’ folder in Dropbox. You can then add your collectors’ emails to your MailChimp or other email marketing services at your convenience.
  6. Drop your price list into a Dropbox folder for easy access.
  7. Add the Dropbox app to your phone and/or tablet. That way your images are always with you.

You’re done! See how easy this can be. Everything at your fingertips in one place. No more searching to find the image, to track down the size, medium and location (is it available, destroyed or sold).  All that is left is to start adding more paintings as you create and sell them.


While this isn’t the long term answer for inventory management, it gets you started and will carry you through your career as your “GO TO” place to find all your images and information.

NOTE: If you are represented by galleries and need a way to keep track of what painting is where, create folders for each gallery including one for your studio. Then as you send or receive work to and from your galleries, just place a copy of the image in the designated folder and you know the exact location of any painting. I do suggest, however, if you are represented by galleries that it might be time to invest in an inventory tracking system but Dropbox can bridge that gap.

If you have any issues that you are trying to tackle, drop me an email and let me know.  If I use your suggestion for one of my 15 Minute Challenges, you will receive a 30 minute free phone call consultation with me.


Ask the Expert…Becky Joy

Don’t Tell Me Don’t


Don’t tell me I can’t build my own website. I learned and built two. Maybe my time could have been spent more wisely, but I’m happy about it now. Don’t tell me to not touch a cactus. I did it. Ouch! Don’t tell me to not do some electrical work in the house. I did it. (Just in case, I hired an electrician afterward. It was OK.). Don’t tell me I can’t make a living as an artist. I do and should have made the decision to do it earlier. Don’t tell me not to use black. That’s ridiculous. Don’t tell me not to mix more than three colors together. I do it all the time and even use the results. Don’t tell me to not over mix my colors. I mix as long as I want.

I’m betting that you are much like me, the word “don’t” is a green light.


Just the fact that you are an artist makes you a risk-taker to some degree. You may feel you had no choice but to be an artist, it is who you are. Ultimately, that is how I feel. Although, I tried to suppress it for a time, it didn’t work.


I’m much more likely to jump into something when someone tells me I can’t, shouldn’t or don’t. In fact, I have to admit I occasionally get myself into things I shouldn’t be doing. But, most of the time I learn and expand my horizons.

Many successful artists have used black including Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas. The use of black should be a personal choice. I have seen artists that I believe abuse the use of black, having “dirty” looking paintings, black shadows or using black for graying of all colors. It’s easy to contaminate or overwhelm colors with black. But if an artist learns to control black and use it wisely, it can be very effective. Which is really the case with any color. I went through what I call my “yellow” period. I was told not to use white in my paintings to instead replace it with yellow. This must also have been a compliant period for me, for all my paintings had an overwhelming yellow tone to them.


Then there is the “gray issue”. Don’t mix more than three colors together. Come on, this just doesn’t make sense to me. By definition, gray is the mixture of all three primaries in various amounts. Does it really matter how you get there? Say I need my gray to be more violet. I’ve already mixed my three primaries to get my theoretical gray, but it’s not quite right. The dilemma: Should I just take a violet (that would make four colors in my mixture) or do I go back to the primaries of red and blue. Does it really matter? I’ll go for the violet every time, to quickly mix the violet-gray that I want. Now, this is a really big NO, I continuously clean my palette, gathering all the paint together creating a gray which I modify for whatever I need. Whoa! I didn’t stop to count how many colors I mixed together.


And of course, don’t over mix your colors. Why not? I want control of my colors. When I’m mixing colors together, they are often different values. If the colors are not mixed thoroughly, they often look too busy, muddy or not unified. If I purposely want several colors juxtaposed together, I will mix each color, thoroughly, and then place them next to each other. But, each of those colors that I mix and place together in a space will be the same value. To me it looks more cohesive and stronger. I’m not sure that I can suppress the urge to stand up and quietly defy when I’m told “don’t”. But then, it’s not something that I really want to do. I have learned many things on this journey and have continuously evolved on my own path. So don’t tell me “don’t over mix your colors”. I’ll mix as long as I want, besides, I love playing in the paint.



Visit Becky’s website to find out more about her work, online classes and workshops.

#beckyjoy #artmusecontest #intheartiststudio #paintingtips #oilpainter



CLICK HERE to enter Art Muse Contest for your chance to win cash and gallery representation!

AMC Banner AD March



Easel-ly Successful and a Weekly 15 Minute Challenge

Adobe Spark (16)Besides being a painter, teacher, co-creater of Art Muse Contest, assistant to a successful artist, I’m also the Artist BFF. And I’m adding a new blog, Easel-ly Successful, Marketing Tips and Practical Advice for the Busy Artist.

What? Another blog with tips? Lots of great advice, but who has time to follow through? Precisely why this blog will be different. I work with artists every week struggling to create and market their work. I find that it’s must easier to break things down into smaller bites. Each week I will post one 15 Minute Challenge for you as well offer practical advice, marketing tips and updates on the latest trends in social media.

Adobe Spark (13)So, are you going to join me and take the 15 Minute weekly challenge? These 15 minute challenges can help cross off lots of items on your To Do list or ones you didn’t even realize should be on your To Do List. Remember at the end of day, it’s your business and no one will work harder for your success than you!
Click HERE for the first Easel-ly Successful  post and 15 Minute Challenge, “Up your Instagram Game”.

To learn more about me, visit my website.



Ask the Expert…Studio Storage

Question: My paintings and art supplies are scattered all over my house. Can you show or suggest studio storage solutions?

Answer: Here are some ideas we found showing how artists store their supplies.

Paint and Brush Storage




Paint Tube Storage






Brush Wall Storage


Canvas/Frame Storage



Works on Paper Storage


Paper Hangers


Other Storage Ideas


Most art storage takes creativity. Always look for ways to adapt an item for
your best use. It doesn’t need to be beautiful, just functional.

Ampersand Feature

Don’t forget to enter June’s Art Must Contest. Lori Putnam is our judge. If you enter, you will be eligible to win a set of Ampersand Gessobords.

Click here to enter today!

AMC Banner AD April


AMC Banner AD April

#artmusecontest #ampersand #gessobords #artstudiostorage #artsupplystorage #artiststudiostorage #artiststorageideas