A little while ago, I wrote about the importance of establishing genre when marketing your novels. A similar factor comes into play when peddling paintings. One of the first things an artist learns when creating a body of work is that it needs to be consistent, i.e., the viewers/prospective purchasers need to know what to expect when they hear your name. That’s fine, except if you’ve ever been to a retrospective of the work of a well-known artist, you’ll notice that their work has gone through many stages both before and after emerging into the characteristic style for which they’re known. It almost goes without saying that an artist is, by the very nature of the craft, an experimenter. So how to reconcile the demands of the artist with the demands of the public?
I’ve always loved abstract design, so although most of my paintings are representational to some extent, they’re also colorful, whimsical, and sometimes purely abstract. There’s nothing more fun than grabbing a nice, fat brush and smearing paint on a canvas, watching the colors and patterns develop, until you have either a big mess or a delightful new piece of art. (Naturally, you never show anybody the big messes. You just paint over them, and the mess becomes part of the ‘history’ of the new painting.) But at other times, I enjoy carefully designing a composition and slowly making it come to life with deliberate, well-placed strokes. At this stage of my life, I’ve pretty much stopped worrying about whether or not a new piece ‘fits’ consistently in my body of work. I just go with whatever I want to try next.
My two most recent pieces couldn’t be more different. But I enjoyed both of them.
A definition of “whimsy” is “playfully quaint or fanciful.” I think that aptly describes this collection of small paintings, on display at the Lisle Library now through the end of January. I’ve been having a great time creating them, using the simplest objects around the house or just my imagination as the starting point for designing the various bright and colorful compositions.
The Lisle Library, 777 Front Street, Lisle, will be hosting a reception on Saturday, December 7th, from 2 to 3:30 pm. Refreshments will be offered. So mark your calendars and hope to see many of you there.
I’m continuing to follow the mentorship process offered by Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. I’ve been following the advice as well as I can. To that end, I’ve focused my body of work, streamlined my website, started this blog, and have begun offering my work on-line, through DailyPaintWorks.com. At first, I posted my paintings as “for sale” only, until one of their blog entries told the story of how one of their artists got started by offering his work at auction for very low prices. This practice has eventually led to a thriving on-line business. So here is my 2nd auction entry. It can be yours for only $20, if no one tops the initial bid.
I’ve decided to enter the on-line auction market. Just posted my first piece this evening. Whoever bids is likely to get a real bargain, although it was bargain-priced in the first place at only $90, plus S&H. But the opening bid is now only $45, with a “buy it now” option of $75.00. “Peaches,” acrylic, 10 x 10. This is one of my first paintings in acrylic. It was a learning experience, since acrylic paints don’t immediately lend themselves to subtle shadings or a lot of blending. But I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly.