"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, August 22, 2011

Life is what happens while you're busy planning other things...

Trying to post this on my husband's computer as I can't get out to my computer in the studio. Gave myself an unexpected birthday gift yesterday (birthday is today)...broke my ankle. This is not how I expected to spend today. Good time to catch up on my reading I guess if I can get past the pain...hate the painkillers they gave me so I'm not taking them any more... well maybe tonight so I can try to sleep:-)

Catch up with you all later.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trying Not to Destroy A Work of Art

This morning I took courage and tackled the opening of the frame and retrieval of the pastel so that I could fix the area that had smeared a little. Like some of you commented, the blurring effect didn't bother me really but the client was very upset about it and I do want her to be happy. Below is my sequence of art restoration:-) I am not an expert, and please, Don't Try This At Home unless you are prepared for possible consequences (like ruining the whole thing).

Oh, for those who asked, the piece is titled "Possession of a LyreBird".

Facing the problem.

Slicing through the glue holding the backing on.

Didn't slice neatly (can you tell?)

All those metal clips have to be bent up or removed.

Success getting it out! Left the mat and glass in place.

Corrections were so minor it felt like a crime to open this thing.

Tested the spray on a scrap first...now for the actual art.

A bit of blobbing but very lightly sprayed a couple of thin layers - one spot went right through the paper and left a slight stain. I was afraid of that. I have been able to sort of cover it with some pastel tone - it was on the background paper colour but I'm not pleased that it happened. This why I usually DO NOT use spray fix.

Attempts to cover it are not perfect. Struggle, struggle. Erase. Try new colour.

Not bad I guess, but I do feel that the original integrity is slightly blemished. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it so have to let it go and hope the client is ok with it.

Now back into the frame. The client will have to take it back to the framer to redo the backing. I'm not touching it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spraying and Praying

Yesterday I met a woman in our local library branch who bought this pastel from me last year and had it framed. She asked me to come by and see how it looks framed and to evaluate an area where the pastel seems to have blurred and wondered if I could fix it.

The frame looks very good with the piece and is a nice professional job, which means the backing is sealed - tight! I really am not very concerned with this slight blurring that appears on the lower edge of the hands but it really bothers the owner of the piece so I will see what I can do and give an update on how it goes. It will mean breaking that sealed backing and then I don't know what I'll find, how the framer has attached the paper to the mount, etc. I just hope it doesn't turn into a real problem. At least this lady understands that she may have to return to the framer to have it sealed up again, and she will pay me to make this correction since it wasn't my doing. I didn't spray fix the piece - I hardly ever use spray fix as I find that on occasion it can blob and blotch and even change the colour of the pigments a bit. I will see what I can do and hope nothing gets ruined. I have some Fixatif Latour by Sennelier, which I haven't tried yet, so this may be a good time to do so. It is non aerosol, designed specifically for pastels and needs to be applied in several thin coats. It is supposed to be non-yellowing synthetic resin. Better do this outdoors also. Spray fixes are toxic. Keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SCAM Warning

No pics today, just a warning, which I know many of you already are aware of. I received today this email:

Good day to you.

I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search, I am interested in purchasing these creative artworks from you......................

Hydrangeas, Fruit Bowl and Two Decorative Boxes

Let me know their various prices. and how much discounts are you going to give? I will be happy to have these selected artworks hung in our new home in South Africa. As well, I want you to take out the shipping cost. I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives.

We are traveling from our Seattle home to our new apartment as soon as possible. On Paying for the artworks, I will be glad to pay you with a Money Order or Cashier's check in US funds that can be easily cashed at your local bank, please let me know on how to proceed for the payment of the creative artworks.

I will await your advise on how to proceed. Have a wonderful day.

Take care,
Rhoda Anderson

Punctuation, grammar, and spelling is just as it was sent to me (except I did put a space between sentences which the sender did not do:-). This email has been going around for months (maybe years) to various artists and some have fallen for it, unfortunately. It is a scam. There is a lot of elaborate back and forth about prices, etc., and you are getting more intimate with the supposed buyer. They send a check for more than you asked, apparently, and you are asked to send the generous shipping fee amount on to their "shipper". Their check, of course, is no good and you are out the money you "return" for overpayment of shipping cost and no shipper shows up to take your artwork. 

I have received this sort of email a couple of times before but never fallen for it, thank goodness. I am SO wary of stuff coming at me through the internet that even when something is legitimate I find myself researching it all before taking any action. It is such a shame we have to be so suspicious but better that than being taken. Even so, I was once taken by an extremely elaborate scheme set up by a con artist back in 1999 concerning a portrait organization & national exhibit - several fairly well known artists besides myself fell for this guy's line. I recently found out he is still out there and working his cons on other artists but due to legal constraints (which frustrate me no end!) I cannot name him. I won't name any of the other artists either as I don't wish to embarrass them. Most of us didn't lose anything but our pride but a few did lose a lot of their artwork to him, particularly an elderly lady artist (well known, now deceased) whom he charmed and took advantage of shamelessly. I guess he sold all her stuff...don't know. I wonder which circle in hell Dante would place him?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Petulance vs. Pleasantries

The Originals Only show kind of did me in last weekend and it has been a very busy week since so haven't posted in a while. I spent so much time getting ready for the exhibit that I neglected some things around here that I have had to catch up on now. Got a pretty good sunburn the first day of the exhibit - forgot about SUN (haven't seen it in so long) and covering up and using sunscreen. Fortunately my friend Lesley, whose place I stayed at saturday night, gave me some no. 45 sunscreen to use on sunday and kept me from becoming totally fried. I did have a hat to wear but it allowed sun to hit my chin...spent part of this week exfoliating rather obviously. 

The pastel here is, by consensus of all who saw it, finished. I had planned to do more (exactly what I'm not sure) but I'll take the wisdom of the masses to heart and call it done. I think it might have sold if it had been matted and framed...it received a lot of attention, as did my two paintings of Samanda, especially the one with the parrot. That even was published in the newspaper in full colour, which I didn't know until several booth visitors exclaimed "Oh, that's the one in the paper!" Lesley had a copy to give me which is nice for my "file of fame." 

Here I am in the booth trying to look artsy. It gets harder as you get older but the interest in the work was gratifying. Sold one of my large life drawings, which was matted and framed and almost all of my art cards, did three 20 minute on-site portraits and might have a couple of painting commissions coming my way. It wasn't as good a result as I had hoped for but certainly not a washout. Still, I am asking myself if the amount of work and nervous-wreckness is worth doing outdoor shows any more. I came home utterly exhausted sunday night. I think this may be a young person's game.

Bob and Tyler were extremely helpful in the setup and later the taking down of the tent and hinged doors (very heavy and awkward). I took them to dinner sunday evening with some of my earnings:-) I admit to being a tad cranky saturday morning as we got there a bit late and I still wasn't quite set up once ten o'clock rolled around. I had wanted to leave really early (it is an hour and 45 min. drive to the site) but that didn't happen. All the way there I was reminding myself to be calm, to be accepting, and to realize that it is NOTHING...not the end of the world if I am not quite set up on the dot of 10 AM. That effort only sort of worked as I set about organizing, hanging, and setting up while muttering to myself about punctuality. I wish I could extricate these mincing, minor, annoying, stupid tendencies in my character to get all petulant and testy over things that do not matter in the big scheme of things. 

It all turned very pleasant once people began to appear, which was even before I was ready. Happy faces and general cheerful and expansive moods helped mine immensely. While talking with some show goers I didn't notice an elderly man stroll in to look at my work until after the others left. From the back he looked very much like my father (deceased now for some four years) and it grabbed my heart...I thought for an instant that it was he. He turned around and of course it was not but I was so happy to see this man that I took his hand and told him my first reaction to seeing him. He smiled sweetly and was so nice. We talked at length about the work and he was very appreciative. He left and then about 20 minutes later returned to look some more. He saw my sign stating "Have Your Portrait Drawn - $20 for 20 Minutes". He smiled at me and said, "Why not?" and sat for his portrait. We chatted and I realized he was a bit lonely and was really enjoying this interaction. He was very pleased with his drawing and I saw him showing it to other people later on. It made me wish I lived closer so that I could become better acquainted with him and it made the entire weekend worth more than I can express.

At one point three little girls, about seven or eight years old, came by and were very carefully looking at all my work for quite some time, chatting quietly amongst themselves. As they went to leave one of the little girls stopped, came back to where I stood, and said with immense seriousness and intensity of feeling, "You are a REALLY good painter!" There is no price that can be put on moments like that:-)

I actually ran out of business cards - never had that happen before. If even just one nice commission or painting sale can come from all those who took a card I will be extremely pleased and grateful.