Featured

Ask the Expert…Ann Larsen

Question: There are problems in my latest painting that I can’t seem to solve, what should I do?

Answer: Don’t Give Up on a Painting…it Might be a Winner!

annlarsen_-clear-sailing_32x32_oil
“Clear Sailing”

How many times have you worked and worked on a painting and then just quit out of frustration because parts of it you love and other parts you just can’t get to work. So, you let it dry thinking you will come back to it later just to see if you can save it. It might sit in the corner for months or even years.

Sometimes we can save a painting and sometimes it should just be scrapped down and set aside. Recently I had just such a painting. My photographer husband and I had taken a wonderful trip to Glacier National Park and up the Icefields Parkway into Baniff National Park. What a spectacular artists landscape! This is a area that was so wonderfully captured by the Canadian Group of Seven and Canadian artist Carl Rungius.

acceptedannlarsen_bow-lake_16x20_oil
“Bow Lake”

After returning from the trip with studies, photos and sketches I was energized to start some larger studio pieces while my memory was fresh from the field work I had done. I quickly got my composition worked out and started the painting. “Bow Lake” (16×20) started as one of those paintings that seems to paint itself. Everything was working so well and I continued to refine and tweak the painting for several days. But, I kept thinking so much of the painting was strong, but I felt I had hit a roadblock. Sometimes this happens if I am away from the subject for too long. So, after looking at the painting until I was so frustrated with not being able to resolve it, I put it facing the wall and started on something else.

Occasionally over the next several months I would bring it out and try and resolve what was bothering me. There seemed to be no ready solution.

Then the 2016 Oil Painters of America national exhibition was coming up and I wanted to enter, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to enter. Then I remembered the “Bow Lake” painting that I loved. So, once again I propped it on my easel and began to think critically about how to resolve the issue I was struggling with.

Sometimes in our artistic development we have to work through problems with composition, value or color harmony by just putting brush to canvas, by painting miles and miles of canvas, working through problems on our own until we can do what we couldn’t do before. Sometimes we have to keep reminding ourselves that we are creating works of art and not being slaves to a scene or idea. This is what had happened with this painting. I began to give myself permission to create a piece of art. I now knew how to resolve the problem!

In my studies and photos there really was no foreground, only water with beautiful reflections. Those were the elements that had attracted me to the scene in the first place. But, the painting needed weight and to be grounded so to speak. So, I added more color, reflections and downed logs that pointed into the painting and towards my focal point. Now I was happy and felt it was worthy of entering the Oil Painters of America exhibition.

annlarsen_fading-light_11x14_oil-award-of-merit-ops
“Fading Light”

Let me deviate a moment and talk about altering a scene to create a stronger painting. There is a wonderful painting of Bow Lake in the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole, WY done by Carl Rungius. Now I can’t be certain of this, but after having stood virtually on the same spot Rungius stood to capture one of my studies, his painting has a grove of trees in the foreground. But, there aren’t any there. I believe he put those trees in, or emphasized them, in order to ground his painting, to create a better composition. Altering nature for this purpose is perfectly alright. Also, this is a good reminder that we are creating a painting, a work of art, we aren’t just recording. That is what we have our cameras for.

So, back to the subject of not giving up on a painting. Getting into an OPA National is no easy feat. They have many, many entries to go through and their shows are top notch to say the least, but low and behold the painting got in! An award in itself from my perspective. It was a great honor to have my painting hanging with such wonderful artists’ work.

Now to make my argument about not giving up on a painting because it might be a winner, I needed a piece to send to the American Women Artists National exhibition in Bennington, Vermont. To my absolute surprise and it won Best Landscape!! One of the jurors wrote me a nice note to say “… I was proud to be a part of the jury and pick your piece. It really stood above most every other landscape in the show with it’s strong design, color and in the confident brushwork. Loved it.” What better testament to not giving up on a painting than that!

annlarsen_scottsdale-artists-school-workshop-11-15
Ann Larsen, AWAM, AIS, OPS

To learn more about Ann and her beautiful artwork CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 


Today is the last day to enter the November Art Muse Contest.

Don’t miss your chance to be eligible to win 6 months of gallery representation and be part of the Art Muse Contest Winners show at Jack Meier Gallery in Houston, TX.*

We are the only online art contest where you compete at your skill level.

Monthly cash prizes are $500, $250, $100 plus other prizes!

Click here to enter.

*(Only Emerging and Master Class Artists are eligible. See contest info. for details.)

Art Muse Logo and Tag Line

Featured

Ask the Expert…Kim VanDerHoek

Question: I want to paint more expressively but how do I loosen up?

Answer: Failure is the Best Teacher

underbelly-sm
“Underbelly” Oil on 48″ x 30″ Canvas

Perfection. The word brings to mind overly manicured gardens at historic French villas, straight lines that you’re not allowed to color outside of and predictability.

When you are learning to paint you struggle for years just trying to make your stuff look like stuff. You spend time trying not to make mistakes, hoping you’re doing it right and figuring out how to make your stuff look darn good.

One day it dawns on you that your stuff actually looks like stuff! Then you spend a whole lot more time (a lifetime, in fact) trying to make your stuff look as amazing as possible.

fly-with-me-sm
“Fly with Me” Oil on 16″ x 20″ Panel

The path I’ve found most effective is to embrace destruction or deconstruction. Every studio painting I’ve worked on this year has almost been wiped entirely off the canvas. What seems to happen in this, I do some sketches and color studies, then I transfer my idea to a larger canvas, I block in all my big shapes and then I passionately hate every single inch of the painting.

The dark side of my brain whispers, “That’s it, you lost it, you can’t paint worth a damn anymore. Hang it up. Sell off your equipment and go back to work as a graphic designer.”

Then my stomach reminds me that it’s lunch time and I’m “hangry.” I get very “hangry” (that’s hungry and angry mashed together in case you weren’t aware) and tend to be negative until I’m fed. After eating I remember that I love painting, it’s my compulsive obsession and I don’t want to be a graphic designer again. So I take a look at the painting.

shelter-sm
“Shelter” Oil on 24″ x 24″ Canvas

I still hate every inch. I plan on wiping it off first thing after dropping my kids off at school the next morning.

However, I refuse to let it be a complete loss. I plan to experiment with it before wiping it off just to see what I am able to learn by pushing paint around. More specifically, I plan to destroy parts of it by breaking edges, scraping away large areas with a palette knife, drawing on it with a pencil, slapping thick paint through passages where I see a sharp line and using tools can only be found at a home improvement store.

Why not, right? I was going to wipe it off anyway.

6th-street-bridge-reflections-r-sm
“6th Street Bridge Reflections” Oil on 24″ x 24″ Canvas

And that’s when it happens – the interesting stuff, the stuff worth keeping, the stuff that makes the painting worth looking at – the fun stuff. The more risks I take the more interesting the painting becomes until eventually I don’t hate it anymore and I don’t plan on wiping it off anymore.

To do this I have to be willing to fail spectacularly. I have to be willing to sacrifice passages of the painting that I like for the good of the whole piece. It can not be precious or I won’t take any risks.

Do they all turn out well? No. I wipe off my fair share but, at least in the process I learn something from each one.

entity-sm
“Entity” Oil on 16″ x 20″ panel.

One thing I keep in mind is this, every single artist I admire has painted a lot of truly horrible paintings. Most of them are never shown in a museum or printed in books, so, what we see of their work is only the best. Ask any living artist you admire and I guarantee they will tell you that yes, they still paint bad paintings, maybe with less frequency than when the first started out, but they still make some.

So, the next time you’ve spent hours working on a piece and find you hate every square inch of it, take a break, eat something and then see how far you can push it and what that painting will teach you. You might be surprised at what you learn.

kim-at-crystal-cove-2

For more information about Kim and to see more of her work visit www.KimVanDerHoek.com

 

 

 


Win a set of M. Graham watercolors simply by entering the October Art Muse Contest.

adobe-spark-3

Why enter?

Art Muse Contest is the only online art contest where you compete at your skill level for monthly cash prizes and the opportunity for 6 months of gallery representation with Jack Meier Gallery in Houston, TX.

See exactly how many entries are in the contest each month on our website. We don’t hide our numbers.

Increase your reach and following. We promote our winners and finalists on all our social media channels each month.

To enter visit www.ArtMuseContest.com

The winner of the M. Graham watercolors will be selected by random drawing announced on November 9th, 2016.

Featured

Ask the Expert…Debra Joy Groesser

Getting Your Work Out There – Tips on Entering Juried Shows

by Debra Joy Groesser, CEO/President American Impressionist Society

Why Enter Juried Shows Anyway?

gone-to-check-the-lobstahs-9x12-oil-linen-panel-med-res
“Gone to Check the Lobstahs” 1st Place Signature Award Winner at the Plein Air Artists Colorado National Juried Show

There are juried art shows out there for all experience and skill levels. Entering a juried show can take some courage, as not everyone who submits work will have their work accepted. Knowing and accepting that going in, juried shows can be a great way to get exposure for your work. Juried shows can offer:

-Exposure to galleries, collectors and the media (all but one of the galleries I have ever been represented by found me through a juried or invitational show.)

-Discounted advertising opportunities with show media sponsors

-A way to build your resume

-Awards and recognition

-Sales potential

If any of these are part of your career goals, then juried shows may be worth your time and money. A word of caution: you will not be accepted into every show you enter. You will face rejection (in fact more often than acceptance usually) and must be prepared to accept that it is a part of the process and your growth as an artist. More on that later.

How to choose which shows to enter

Choose shows that are appropriate for your skill level and quality of work. You may be ready for national shows or you may want to start with more local or regional shows. National shows are normally much more competitive than local or regional ones.

breezy-morning-ephraim-beach-10x20-oil-med-res
“Breezy Morning, Ephraim Beach”

Make sure your work fits the show’s criteria (examples: plein air, impressionism, a specific medium such as oil or pastel). If you enter an abstract or non-representational piece in a show which is for realism or representational work, your work will be disqualified for not adhering to the show criteria.

Check out the reputation of the organization or organizer sponsoring the show – beware of scams – talk to other artists who have been in the shows you are considering.

Larger shows often have online catalogs of previous years’ shows so you can check out the type of work that is accepted. This will really help you get an idea if your work is a good fit for a particular show.

Check out the number of entries vs the number of accepted works (if that information is available). Some shows may accept up to 50% or more of the submitted entries. This year, the American Impressionist Society received 1349 with 140 accepted (about 10%). The higher the percentage, the better your chances are of being accepted…if you enter your best work!

On Judges and Jurors: The judges (who give the awards) are nearly always publicized. The juror or jurors (who score the works and whose scores determine the pieces accepted in the show) are usually anonymous in the larger, national shows. There are several reasons for this. When jurors’ names are publicized they are sometimes contacted by artists who are not accepted into the show, expecting to get an explanation or a critique. Occasionally they are openly criticized on social media (please don’t ever do this!). Although jurors are usually paid a small stipend, they are not paid to do critiques in addition to jurying. Some people enter shows based on who the judges and jurors are…they try to “paint for the judge” thinking if they paint the subjects or style the judge does it increases their chances of acceptance or awards. This is just usually not the case. In my experience, you have a much better chance of acceptance if you enter your best work regardless of who the judge or jurors are.

gentle-cascade-24x18-oil-hires
“Gentle Cascade”

You’ve chosen a show to enter…now what?

Read the show prospectus carefully. Note deadlines and follow the instructions to the letter. Avoid having your entry disqualified because of careless errors or omissions.

Nearly all shows use digital images for their entry submissions. You will need high quality photos of your work…use a professional photographer if necessary. Your photos must not show frames or any extraneous backgrounds…only the image of the artwork itself. They must be in focus and oriented correctly. The jurors have a very short time to view each image and they have to score your work based on the image you submit. If they can’t see the work clearly, it will hurt your score or could even disqualify your work. Make sure your image is sized correctly according to specifications for the entry system.

Fill out the application and make sure all your information is entered correctly.

If you are entering a show sponsored by an organization, where membership is required to be eligible to enter, be sure to pay the membership fee before submitting your show entry. These type of shows usually require a show entry fee in addition to membership.

last-light-olivias-overlook-6x8-oil-medres-1
“Last Light-Olivia’s Overlook”

If you are entering a show that will be held in a gallery, work will almost always need to be for sale and must be priced according to your established sales prices. Do not overprice your work because you don’t want it to sell. That is not fair to the hosting gallery or the organization sponsoring the show and can put you at risk of disqualification. If you sell a painting that’s been accepted into a show and then pull out of the show, you risk being ineligible for subsequent shows.

Submit your entry well before the entry deadline. The majority of entries for juried shows usually come in during the last week prior to the deadline, many on the very last day. For shows using online jurying systems, once the deadline has passed and the system has closed, it cannot be reopened to accept late entries. Inevitably problems can and will arise at the last minute, so it’s best to plan to submit your entries a few days ahead of that final deadline.

Enter your very best work and again, double check your entry before you submit to make everything is complete and correct.

woodland-water-lilies-8x16-oil-med
“Woodland Water Lilies”

Jury Results – Elation or Deflation

This is the nerve-wracking part of entering juried shows. The waiting and anticipation is hard! Every show will list notification dates for the jury results. Mark that on your calendar and note if the results will be posted online or if you will receive an email notification.

If you are accepted:

Note shipping and delivery instructions and dates on your calendar. If you don’t ship your work to the show on time, you risk disqualification from that show and subsequent shows.

Make sure to include any crate fees, return shipping labels, bios…whatever is required.

granddaddy-willow-10x20-oil-med-res-1
“Granddaddy Willow

What if your painting sells before the show? Usually the gallery hosting the show will handle the sale and take their commission according to the show prospectus. Normally, you will be required to send the painting to the show regardless. Again, adhere to the rules as stated on the prospectus to avoid possible disqualification from future shows.

Try to attend the opening reception if at all possible. This is a great opportunity for networking, meeting gallery owners, collectors and other artists. There’s a higher chance of selling your work if collectors can meet you and connect with you.

If your work is “declined” – the dreaded “rejection” letter

This is the hardest part…hands down. I once heard OPA Master Neil Patterson say: “If you’re accepted, you’re not necessarily as good as you think you are, and if you’re rejected you’re not as bad as you think you are. Just keep painting the best paintings you can and eventually you will be accepted.” It’s true!

Don’t give up. It took me 13 times entering the Oil Painters of American National Juried Exhibition before I was finally accepted. Persistence, hard work and perseverance do pay off. The only way you will never get into a show is if you quit trying and not enter. The only way your last rejection will be your last is if you never enter again.

groesser-seascape
“Reverence”

Personally, I take each rejection as a personal challenge to try harder, to make my next painting even better than the last. Do I get down and discouraged? Absolutely! Go ahead and have a pity party for a few hours or a day, but don’t let it overwhelm or defeat you. Above all, be gracious and be professional…refrain from complaining to or about show organizers, judges and jurors about not being accepted.

Know that in EVERY show, there are always a lot of deserving works that do not get in. Every show has limits as to how many pieces they can accept. Every juror or panel of jurors is different. Every show you enter a particular painting in, you are competing against an entirely different group of paintings. Most artists, myself included, have experienced having a painting rejected from one show only to win an award with the same painting in another show.

Bottom line…juried shows can be a great way to get your work out there. It takes courage and you will have disappointments along the way, but it’s all part of the process of growing in your work and your career. Be patient, keep trying, keep working hard and growing…and don’t give up.

debra-joy-groesser-garrapata-1

For more information about Debra Joy Groesser and to see more of her beautiful artwork CLICK HERE.

Debra is CEO and President of the American Impressionist Society. For more information about the AIS including their national art show CLICK HERE.

 


Banner Ad For AMC

The September contest is now open.

Don’t miss your chance to win gallery representation at Jack Meier Gallery in Texas, $500, $250 or $100 and many more prizes!

CLICK HERE to enter today.

Ask the Expert…David Grossmann

Question: How do I simplify my painting and not get distracted trying to include every detail I see?

Answer: Hold on to that initial spark.

 

In Open Winter Spaces, 40x30 inches, Oil on Linen Panel, small
In Open Winter Spaces

 

My friends and family have been swept into the recent fad of tidying. They are tidying their clothing, their freezers, their toy car collections. By tidying, mostly they mean eliminating. They are slowly purging through their possessions, asking each object as they go, “Do you bring me joy?” Often, the answer is no, so out goes that shirt, that frozen meatloaf, that broken plastic car.

I am sort of like that when I compose my paintings. I wander through the landscape until something strikes me, something catches my attention and brings a spark of what I might call joy. Much of the remaining process is about holding on to that initial spark. Anything that detracts from the feeling that I hope to convey gets eliminated.

 

sketches 2
Sketches for “Aspen and Shadows on Bright Snow”

Once I know clearly what I want the painting to be about, I do several pencil sketches to finalize my composition. The concept and the composition are what will make or break the painting, so it is better to invest the time into really understanding what I am aiming for than to launch haphazardly into a vague idea.

 

My sketches are just enough to cement an idea in my mind. They are scrawled, like my handwriting, and usually illegible to anyone besides myself. I first draw a rectangle, then inside the rectangle I arrange and rearrange the main elements of my composition until I feel my idea is visually interesting. Usually I break down a scene into three to five elements, and when I arrange these elements I play a game with myself…the rules of this game are that no spaces should be the same, no shapes should have the same volume, and each value should be distinct.

Aspen and Shadows on Bright Snow, 7x12 inches, Oil on Linen Panel, small
Aspen and Shadows on Bright Snow

This process helps me be more objective about what I am composing; many times after sketching for a while I decide that whatever struck me initially about the scene does not translate well into a composition. Then I move on until I hopefully find something else that does translate well.

 

October Undertow, 18x24 inches, Oil on Linen Panel, small
October Undertow

All of this so far has been about my process working outdoors. My studio paintings unfold in a similar way and are often based on the smaller paintings I have completed on location. Usually I combine thoughts from several of these small paintings when I am shaping ideas for my larger compositions.

 

 

I think of my paintings as visual poems, and much of that has to do with simplifying, pairing down an image to its essence so as to best convey emotion and to allow viewers to step into it with their imaginations unfurled. A beautifully, thoughtfully composed poem carries depth and life in ways that abundantly descriptive prose cannot; we are built to love elements of mystery that draw us beyond what we can see or describe. Brevity often allows the space that our imaginations need in order to step in and engage.

The idea of simplicity has become central not only in my approach to art, but also to the rest of life. Some of the most influential advice I have received was from one of my mentors, Jay Moore, when he told me to live simply and focus on relationships. Simplifying creates space for the pursuit of what makes life meaningful and fills us with that spark of joy.

davidgrossmannpaintingTo learn more about David and see his portfolio of work CLICK HERE.

 

 


Banner Ad For AMC

Click here to enter today!

Ask the Expert – Buddy Odom

This week’s post is from a different perspective, it’s written by Buddy Odom husband of artist Kathie Odom. Buddy writes for Kathie’s blog and he does so in the form of letters. In this week’s post he writes to a friend and examines what he feels being a supportive spouse to an artist and wife truly means.

Dear Matt,

We often get so caught up in the hurry of life that we forget to ask about the things that matter. But after our lively conversation over drinks last week, I was reminded how good it is to simply catch up with an old friend.

IMG_1578

You were very curious about my relationship with Kathie. And you often seemed puzzled over the amount of time and effort I invest into the pursuit of her art career. Most striking to me was your statement as you were leaving, “Well, I guess it’s my wife’s turn to do her thing now!” I think I was misunderstood. Right or wrong, here are some truths:

-­‐ Yes, as soon as Kathie and I married, I gladly took on the burden of financial provision for our family.

-­‐ Yes, we worked hard to find a vocation that intersected with my passions.

-­‐ Yes, I found a great measure of personal satisfaction upon finding that job.

-­‐ And yes, even while shelving her creative gifts for almost thirty-­‐five years to raise kids and send me into my new found mission, she deeply enjoyed watching me thrive!

I can see, Matt, how you might think I have allowed Kathie to now “have her turn” in this rocketing art career of hers! And I can see how it looks to watch me champion, promote and support her in every way I can think of.

IMG_0952

But her new path was not mine to give. Plus, this cheerleading of mine was not born out of a need for equity or fairness. Instead it began with an honest look at two things.

First, I started to look at my own ignorance. (I mean this word in the truest, not meanest, sense of the word). I ignored several things that were perfectly within my vision to see, mostly Kathie! I was so consumed with good things that I quickly began missing this young woman with whom I made vows. A few years ago after her career started to blossom, she asked me, “What were you thinking when you married an artist?” Frankly, I had no answer for her because I was busying myself with the pursuit of a wonderful life. You know… three kids, two cars, one house and a full belly.

Secondly, Kathie conveniently hid behind this wonderful life we had (have). But it was easier, much easier for Kathie to not paint. While extraordinarily demanding, it was somehow simpler to be the generous and kind woman who loved and encouraged a family and worked odd jobs while neglecting that once-­‐fascinating and forever-­‐stimulating joy of creating! Sure, she kept her juices flowing and hands busy with productive endeavors, but something was missing.

Make no mistake, Matt. While this life together is not completely ironed out, both Kathie and I are living with no regrets. And we know this crazy life cannot be settled with simplistic rules of fairness. Meanwhile, we want to live vibrantly today while not knowing what tomorrow holds. But (and this is a big but), there are longings deep within one another that need a lifetime of careful and intentional conversations to uncover.

FullSizeRender-36

The poet, Rainer Rilke, puts it this way: I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Clearly, there is a celebration going on over Kathie’s quiet success. Her oil paintings continue to evolve as do her relationships within a vast art-­‐loving community. She is not hiding as much… and I am, thank God, not quite so blind.

As you know, I am one proud husband that will follow her anywhere she wants to go. But I must remember. She is a book written in a foreign language.

Man, I love this book,

Buddy

IMG_5723

To learn more about Kathie and Buddy Odom click here.

 

 

 


 

Adobe Spark-20

CLICK HERE to enter the August Art Muse Contest – To be eligible simply enter the August Art Muse Contest.

Three lucky artists names will be randomly drawn to win a Craftsy online class ($39.99 value)!

Craftsy offers online classes of all types including painting, drawing, photography, quilting, sewing, jewelry, gardening, cooking and much more.

Featured

Travel Art Kits

 

Summer is here and we know many of you are going to be traveling far and wide. Taking a break from working in the studio sure sounds like a great idea, but, you know in a day or two you’ll spot something that will have your painting hand itching to grab a brush and create. In this post we’ve included several ideas for travel art kits to help you scratch that creative itch while you’re globetrotting.

Each photo includes a website link for more information about how they were created, so click away and as you near the end of the list you might decide to hang onto all those Altoids tins you’ve been saving.

Everyday Artist Travel sketch kit

Everyday Artist Watercolor Kit

 

Billies Craft Room Kit

Billie’s Craft Room Drawing Kit

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mary McAndrew Watercolor Kit

 

Daniel Smith Sketch Kit

Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials Altoids Tin Kit

 

Altoids - Art history

Art History Essays and Art Gifts from Irina Altoids Kit

 

Altoids Content in a Cottage

Content in a Cottage Altoids Kit


Art Muse Contest’s July judge is Alan Duerr publisher of Art of the West Magazine. Don’t miss your chance to have the publisher of a major art magazine see your work, click here to enter today!

AMC Banner AD April

#onlineartcontest #onlineartcompetition #artcontest #artcompettion #alanduerr #artofthewestmagazine #westernartmagazine #travelartkit #traveldrawingkit #urbansketchkit

 

 

 

 

 

Easel-ly Successful 15 Minute Challenge

Create your Own Tribe!

Today’s post is just the starting point for gaining followers/subscribers. Over the next few months, I will be discussing how to gain followers, the best platforms for communicating and what/when and how to engage your audience.

Let’s start with “do you have your own personal art tribe”? Do you know who is in your tribe? Who do you want to be in your tribe? What is your goal for your tribe? It’s not just about collecting emails, it’s about what you want to communicate to your audience. So let’s dive in.

15 Minute Challenge

1. Do you currently have a mailing list? Is it post-notes or do you use a email marketing service?

If not, please go sign up for MailChimp (it’s free up to 2000 subscribers). Then install a subscribe button on your website and Facebook page. Don’t know how, MailChimp has lots of tutorials and guides available. Don’t say, I don’t know how…learn how. I’m not a computer code writing artist…I just took the time to learn and gained the knowledge. It’s your art business. This will be more than a 15 Minute Challenge if you don’t currently have an email marketing service but it’s a necessity if you want to gain followers.

2. Answer the following questions.

  • Do you want to just share your work with friends and peers?
  • Do you want to sell your work?
  • Do you want to be in galleries?
  • Do you want to teach?
  • Do you other art related goals?

3. Answer the following questions.

  • Do you paint primarily one subject? i.e. portraits
  • Would you describe yourself as a realist, impressionist, abstract or expressionist painter? Or how would you describe your art?
  • Do you do both plein air or studio work? More or one than another?
  • Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or do you consider yourself a professional (or working toward) becoming a professional artist?
  • How do you sell your work? Through your website and/or galleries?

3. Who should be in your tribe? That comes from your previous answers in Question 2 & 3.  If you are just interested in sharing your art but not selling, then email marketing probably isn’t worth your time. Just use social media. However, if you want to sell your art, then who should you target? Think who would be the most interested in purchasing your art. If you paint fly fisherman, then your audience should probably include fly fisherman (we’ll talk later about how to get in front of a specific audience). Each response has a different solution but you have to understand where you want go as an artist before you begin the journey.

3. Think about social media. Do you know who your followers are? Are they primarily other artists? If you don’t know, go look at your FB and Instagram followers. How can you communicate effectively if you don’t even know who you are talking to?

4. Last but not least, begin to think like a potential collector or student (if you teach). We are all consumers in other aspects of our lives, we need to learn to apply it to our followers as well. As they say, walk a mile in their shoes.

Keep your answers to this week’s challenge, you will need them as we dive more into how to gain more subscribers.

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

Art Cafe…A Day in the Life of a Museum Curator

At one point in my life, I thought that being a museum curator would be a cool job. Then I started painting and realized that I couldn’t even deal with my own stacks of art. Here is a short video about the Day in the Life of Nancy Blomberg, Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum.