Monday 27 February 2017

Lucky Demonstrations

Once again I was very lucky with my demonstrations for my students this week and completed a few paintings that worked very well.
#1010 - Yellow-rumped Warbler #2 - 5 x 7 watercolour
Ed wanted to work on a piece that had more detail and to have a more realistic painting. This piece involved using finer brushes and a nib pen for the smallest lines. Because of the detail Ed didn't get his painting finished during the class but he was doing a super job. I hope he brings his painting next time and I hope he will let me take a photo.

#1011 - A Quiet Place - 5 x 7 watercolour
"A Quiet Place" was a very lucky painting. A few weeks ago my student, Heather, and I worked on a scene from the Creston Valley. Heather had problems with a few elements of her piece so I grabbed a discarded piece of paper to show her how to make some corrections. The trees on the hill in the middle ground were painted first to demonstrate how to blend them together and set them down on the hill. Then, I quickly painted some evergreens to one side so I could show her how to lift the dark colour to make bushes in front of the trees. While she was making these adjustments on her painting, I just sort of doodled in the rest of the scene. I really liked the finished painting which is why I say it was lucky.
#1006 - Erickson Orchards - 7 x 10 watercolour
This is my painting of the valley scene that Heather and I were working on and you can see the locations that involved the demonstrations. Again, I hope to be able to get photos of her painting at her next lesson.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.

Monday 20 February 2017

Another Busy Week

My husband and I are always saying that it is a good thing we are retired because we don't have time for a job. We also don't have time for that other problem - boredom. There is always something to do!

I currently have three private students and, although the snow two weeks ago cancelled classes, we are back on schedule. Most of the time I don't get a completed painting when I am teaching because I am demonstrating the techniques. But, last week I was able to do a painting that I really liked.
#1009 - Sunset Memories - 7 x 10 watercolour
We worked from a photo my student found on the internet. I made some changes to my painting while Ed stuck with what he saw in the photo. BTW - Most of my students don't like me taking photos of their work - especially a WIP.

Something else that has kept me busy for the last while is adding labels to my blog posts and putting hashtags on my Facebook and Google+ posts. Using hashtags is new to me and I have trouble remembering to use them, but I think they could be a good tool. When someone clicks on a hashtag a number of posts from different people, who also use them, will be accessed. This potentially gives me a wider range of people who will see my paintings, not just my friends and followers. The labels are a bit different; they only refer to my blog. However, this can be useful too. For instance, when I briefly mentioned starting my bedding plants this year a couple of people asked me about that. Now, the labels will take them to a previous post all about that subject.

I have also been doing a bit of quilling lately. Using some photos from the internet as reference, I made some new Christmas ornament designs and some new cards.

Quilled Dragonfly with Poppy Card

Quilled Dragonfly with Primrose Card

And finally, I have signed up for Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art postcard exchange. If you haven't heard about this you can find out about it here - Kat's page  Luckily I have lots of cards on hand that I was able to modify to fit the postcard guidelines and they will be in the mail later this week.

That is just a few of the things that have been keeping me hopping. I keep wondering when life is going to slow down but I figure that busy is better than bored - lol.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.

Friday 10 February 2017

Promotion and Snow

This is a long one - lol.

It seems that this year a number of my artist friends are thinking about promoting their art as well as creating.

Last week a friend asked me about having a Facebook art page or a web page. Another friend is finally sharing some of her paintings on Google+. One of my blogging friends has started a web page with FASO and is also trying out for design stuff.  Then on February 1st, Leslie Saeta wrote a blog about blogging.

All of these things got me thinking (again) about how to promote my art and how to get my name out there. How do we go from being artists to being business people AND how to we do it cheaply? Lets face it, most of us do not make enough at our art to spend big bucks on promotion: neither do we have the skills to do the work ourselves. Plus, do we want to spend a lot of our time on promotion?

Is social media the answer? Here is an excerpt from Leslie's blog on blogging,

"Another big difference is that social media has made it a lot easier for bloggers to build a following. Create a blog and then share your message on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Find followers and entice them to follow your blog. Ask your followers to share your message and the next thing you know your blog has thousands of followers. With some work you may end up with tens of thousands of followers. For the hard working bloggers you may end up with over a million followers."

I think the key word above is "entice" which is not easy to accomplish.

Out of curiosity I decided to do a Google search of my name. Then I did a search for Mellowood Studio which is the name of most of my social media pages and my home gallery. I found my name 11 times in the first 5 pages and the Mellowood name over 10 times in the first 2 pages. BUT, the questions remain: how do people know what name to search for? and, how do you get them to follow you, once they do find you?

These are a few of the links where people can find me and my art. BTW, my Etsy shop is empty but is still getting new followers which I find amusing.

Link2Creston, My Handmade at Amazon store, my GoBC entry, my Facebook Art Page, my Blogmy Pinterest page, my Web page, an entry in artsillistrated on-line magazine, my Esty shop, my Google+ page, my Creston Arts Council profile

I could probably spend many hours a week on promotion but I think I would rather paint!

On another note, I haven't been doing any painting lately as my time has been used shovelling snow or recuperating from the shovelling. Here are some pictures of my yard.
the courtyard last week

the front walk 3 days ago

icicles hanging from the snow above the courtyard

the courtyard from the kitchen window 2 days ago

the view from Bob's office 2 days ago

the front walk today after the snow came off the roof

the view from Bob's office today after the snow came off the roof

the courtyard today
 This past week has been a real challenge; trying to keep the 200 metre long driveway through the forest clear has been the hardest part. Here is a picture of part of the driveway from a few years ago.
heading to the road
And, a couple from the same spot today.
heading to the road today

Heading to the house today
I am so looking forward to spring!