What’s your story? How did you start your art or photo journey?

It was last year that I decided to try my hand at art. My husband said I needed to retire and find somthing to do. He knew that I had been dragging my art supplies 20+ years every time I moved and I kept saying I wanted to paint my pictures (see some of my photos).  The problem was, I didnt know which medium to try. I have watercolors, oil tubes, acrylic tubes, pastels and sketch pencils. I wanted to try them all, but didnt want to be a jack of all trades. I went to the local library and “ohhhhed and ahhhhed” at all the the great library books. I had no idea what mixed media was so I borrowed a book called Abstracts in Acrylic & Ink by Ohl, Jodi. The book was insightful since it took an approach to mixed media, and introduced me to types of materials, paint mixing, priming the canvas, and the painting process. The book also demonstrated the use of ink (which I had no idea that you could pour ink), with acrylics. I highly recommend the book. The painting was my rendition of the demonstartion from the book. It’s 11×14 canvas board and Daler Rowney Acrylic Sampler to complete the painting.  Although I am sure you can use any acrylic paints. I didnt have pourable ink for the splatters, so I used acrylic for the splatters and a marker to define the buildings.

Unfortunately, I am a messy painter so I look just like the canvas. Rarely do I take out my brushes, but I will when I want to finish a piece in a few hours.  Since then, I have switched to Color Pencil art, which is a slow medium,  with an occasional visit back to acrylics.  I am a little impatient so it’s nice to get a piece done quickly in acrylic paints.  I only came across the color pencil when I saw a painting that  looked similar to watercolor.  I did a few Facebook searches and found amazing artists in the medium.  It’s been a difficult for the media to make it’s impact in the art world, but the community of artists have grown to respect the artists who choose to work with color pencil.

If you get the book, feel free to post your painting demonstrations. I would love to see them.  Also, I would also love to hear your story!

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The Art Apprentice – Facebook go to for Aspiring Artists

I’ve not had a chance to continue my work on my new piece…a flamingo. I scrambled to come up with 2 entries for color pencil and the bird category.  The pieces I entered are an illustrative nature piece and an old 5×7 owl eyes piece; however, I think the owl eyes  look “scary”.  Nonetheless, I am continuing on the flamingo for the upcoming fair in September. Below is my work in progress and my scary owl eyes.  I’ll post my finished flamingo piece in a future post.

 

Owl photo reference obtained from photographer, Terence Porter

What’s exciting though, is an opportunity to moderate a new Facebook Page called The Art Apprenctice. What makes it exciting is that this group has 3000+ categorized tutorials all in one place. The artist Kim Holden, is spending endless hours searching the web for tutorials and plopping it in one group! I promised myself though, that I would spend less time on Facebook and do more art.  However, there is a plus to looking at more art, I’m able to look at art critically and see the values, contrasts, perspectives, etc.  So..if you are an aspiring artist like myself, I encourage you to join the group and peruse the site for a tutorial and an artist you might want to follow.  Hope to see you there!

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Artists Get on the Instagram Band Wagon

Well after listening to a weekly podcast, Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta, I decided to start an Instagram account. I won’t go into depth about Artists Helping Artists other than to recommend her podcast if you are an inspiring or professional artist. Leslie has several podcasts, which will take me a year to finish if I listen to one podcast a day. However, periodically I’ll post a few tidbits in future posts. Otherwise, I recommend you check out Artists Helping Artists, especially Leslie’s podcast , “Important Things I Learned About Instagram That Every Artist Needs to Do Now.”

So your probably saying, “Why do I need to be on Instagram”? Well, from Instagram’s visual nature, ease of use and social media population, Instagram might be just the way to get exposure leading to business opportunities.

Here is what I learned about why, as an Artist, I should jump on the Instagram wagon.

1. It’s a Massive Social Media World

Instagram has over 1 billion active users daily and it is one of the most active social networks in the world. That’s a massive number of participants to potentially view my art. Instagram even has a Search & Explore section where art collectors can scope out art by searching for hashtags.

2. It’s Perfectly in Line with Artists Talent

Instagram is primarily a visual platform, which means it is absolutely perfect for growing artists and art professionals. It allows art and imagery to show through in the purest forms. In addition, there are apps available which assist in showcasing art. What is even better, words aren’t even necessary so there is nothing to take away from showing an artist work. Instagram is built to visually socially-engage the viewer so people can easily follow along. An artist can tell their story, share their inspirations, disclose snippets of their creative process without words.

3. It’s Quick and Easy to Use

The Instagram platform requires no computer and from a mobile device he/she can post as little as once a day, or story snippets throughout the day. If one doesn’t have access to a mobile device, there are now computer apps allowing upload from the computer. If your on the go , all that is needed is a smart phone with a decent camera and of course, some inspiration. Just snap a photo of your work or what you are doing for the day, and use Instagram’s built-in editing tools, think up a caption and post. Just think, you can take walks, go the beach or take an instant phone camera on vacation. How convenient is that!

4. It’s a Way to Show People Art in the Making or a Slice of Life

While Twitter posts read more like sound bites and Facebook is more of a personal platform, Instagram is a combination of both art and an artist’s life! It can be an intimate photo diary, you can share studio shots, 15 second videos of your work, works in progress, textures and scenery that are inspirational, close ups of art, hangings of art, or hangings in galleries or in a collector’s home. The world just opened up from a small studio to worldwide endless possibilities!

5. It’s a Land of New Opportunity

In addition to sales, “artists are getting commissions, invitations to participate in shows or exhibitions, offers to use their art for commercial purposes, and more exposure. Having an Instagram account is not about posting your art, it’s also about interaction and building your audience. The more active an artist is on Instagram, the higher the return. You never know where a well-crafted, active Instagram account can lead to. So, always be ready to respond to direct messages about your art, have packing materials and a payment system at the ready, and never stop creating.

Well hopefully, if you haven’t started your Instagram account, or your account is stagnant, I’ve gotten you excited to take the Instagram challenge...just keep creating, sign up on Instagram, post your art, and interact as much as possible! I KNOW I WILL!

#paintspicsprose #artistsoninstagram #instragram #socialmedia