What a difference a good picture makes. There is a before/after and a few of the newer photos down below.
After a long time of trying to get paintings photographed or scanned properly, it turns out the newest iphone takes great photos!! I think my man will be my go-to guy from now on (his phone). These ones were too big to scan and it is tricky to always get people to take pics for me.
Since I found out what great pictures his phone takes, I got him to retake a few from before and the difference is amazing. Here is one before/after...elk on the left was the old photo and the one on the right is the new one. Everything is so much clearer!!!! It has inspired me to continue getting better images of my larger paintings. I have already updated a few on my website...I added a few of them lower down.
Here are some of the other paintings that got to be re-photographed. I think they look SO much better.
Plein air painting with my friend, Lindsay, was fabulous. We brought our gear out to the lookout yesterday and painted the morning away...until the heat became too much. This is looking at the Peace River east from the lookout, south of town, with Old Fort down below. As Jason doesn't seem to particularly like this one, I was trying to explain to him, or justify to him, the reasoning behind it. Explain that it wasn't just a random bunch of lines and colours haphazardly slopped together (although to some, that must be what it appears). Instead, it felt like I was doing something that was enjoyable and straightforward--drawing--and then painting. Once I got past the clouds (which are fine but don't go with the rest of the painting--I may paint over them yet), the shapes and colours jumped out and were fun to paint. I followed the lines of the landscape in a general sense and simplified the rest to suggest details, instead of explicitly show them. The colours were intentional and were meant to include the various shades in nature, in a simplified and/or exaggerated fashion, and chosen to distinguish the areas in shadow and in light. Maybe he sees it. Maybe he thinks I am out to lunch. Whichever it it, I am in love and am calling it "Peace River in Colour".
Upcoming raven show at Peace Gallery North in the FSJ Cultural Center...opening night is tonight--Friday, June 3. If you are in town, check out the amazing show...lots of artwork to enjoy. These two paintings will be on display and available for purchase. I won't be in town at the opening as I am in Nanaimo enjoying the Track and Field Provincials!!
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It has been a while since I posted anything so thought I should show a few paintings that I have finished lately. For the most part, these were all too big for my scanner, so had to photograph them, which always takes a while (my delightful sister helped me out with that). A few of these are in the art gallery right now for the Points of View show and two are at Whole Wheat and Honey for a while yet. The remainder are resting comfortably at home with me:) Thanks to everyone who has been encouraging and supporting me these last few months!
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In April 2016, the Flying Colours artists will be putting on a show called "Points of View" at the FSJ art gallery 'Peace Gallery North'. Artists in the group selected 6 photographs out of at least a hundred selections...all which depict an aspect of life in the Peace River region. The challenge was to create art, in any form, from any of those 6 photographs. Many artists will be creating different versions of art from the same photograph. It will be really amazing to see the various interpretations! These pieces of art will be showcased at the "Points of View" show. This is so exciting and I can't wait to see everyone's artwork. Here is a peak at part of one of my paintings that I will be showing...I couldn't fit the whole painting on my scanner so this literally is just a 'peak'.
"Peace Hills" in acrylic on canvas.
To find out more details about the show, you can find Peace Gallery North on facebook here.
Loving this one...getting into the groove and feeling good about it. You know you are onto something when the painting seems to paint itself. With ease, my friends, with ease. So many ideas, so little time. "Looking Back", acrylic on canvas.
"Mountain Snow Trail" acrylic on canvas.
This one is for my dad. He has ridden many winter trails on skidoo over the years, for work and sport. This is a painting of one of those trails. This cutline goes through the forest and up the mountains ahead. It leads to
Pink Mountain, BC. In the original photo, which belongs to my dad and hangs on his fridge, there were two guys on their sleds riding up ahead. They are on my mind, although didn't make it into the painting...
This painting is intended for my dad but as I love it so much, I decided to do another one, which I have already started! Prints are available.
This recently completed "Red Sunset Fox" painting was fun to make. The process was similar to another painting I did a while back "Trees in Fall". Normally when I paint, I start with a coloured base, such as yellow, and add colour and black to this. But with these two paintings, the process is different. You kind of work backwards, starting from black and adding colour on top. It creates a different effect and one that I quite enjoy. It feels a little bit more like drawing and colouring. When I started painting "Red Sunset Fox", I thought I was going to keep it simple with just the sunset and the tree silhouette. However, once I finished the tree, it felt like there was something missing. So, I started adding more details, such as the lake, hills and finally, the fox. In my opinion, the sunset was too beautiful to not be enjoyed by someone or something. A friend said that this technique reminds her of stained glass...and I think she is right.
"Red Sunset Fox" acrylic painting on 12" x 12"stretched canvas.
Recently, I realized how much I enjoy painting local wildlife. Perhaps it is because of all the focus lately on the environment, including Site C and all that goes with it. It makes a person stop and think about the beauty and natural treasures around us. We seem to paint what we feel and think...a bit of a glimpse inside. I started this specific painting about a week ago. I knew that I wanted to paint another bird and the eagle, in all its glory, seemed the natural next subject. Hope you enjoy.
To all those hunters and/or bird lovers out there, you may notice that this grouse doesn't have the colouring one might expect to see on a Ruffed Grouse from around here. Let's just say that something overcame me and this is the finished painting. Trust me, this grouse started off with the typical browns, whites and blacks but certainly didn't end up that way. Somehow, I don't think this grouse would do a very good job of camouflaging itself in the northern wilderness. Regardless, he makes me happy and the colours make me happy. I hope you enjoy "The Grouse" acrylic painting:)
This grouse was based on another photograph from the talented, Miep B., who also let me borrow the photograph for "The Crow".
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Completely in love with, and inspired by, the amazing wild animals living around us. The moose is a rather special animal, as it is to many that have been raised in this area and who have been lucky enough to see them roaming around their neighbourhoods in the winter! This "Moose" painting was done in acrylic paint on a 12"x12" wrapped canvas. It was so great to have a 3-day long weekend this Thanksgiving--lots of time to spend with family and to work on this painting. Not sure what animal will be next...thinking a deer or grouse perhaps.
Thanks for your continued support!
Here is my "The Crow" painting that many have enjoyed.
Buy prints here.
This lovely girl was a delight to paint. I started last weekend while waiting for another painting to dry. Not sure what to paint, I started by painting the 12x12 canvas black, sketched the horse head with an eraser tip and started painting with random and joyous colours. Later, the eye and muzzle was finished with greater attention to detail. Loving the whimsical nature of this horse.
"Colourful Horse" acrylic on a 12x12 inch wrapped canvas.
On a completely different note, my website formatting has changed recently (and I haven't quite figured it out), so I am unable to provide links beyond what you see here. Please find Categories to the right and Tabs at the tops if you are interested in seeing other artwork or reading more about what I do. Thanks!
I recently joined the Flying Colours art group, based out of FSJ. What a blessing to have found such an inspirational and encouraging group of people.
So, a few weekends ago, while I was partaking in some art with the FC group, this crow photo was there and caught my eye. The crow hangs around the house of one of the members in Charlie Lake and it was this member who took the photo (thanks Miep!). The crow actually frequents her home and I was lucky enough to meet the crow (from a distance). I borrowed the photo of the crow and brought it home with me to work on the painting, which happened to be a completely delightful experience ! None of the usual uncertainty or second-guessing...this painting just worked for me.
This painting, "The Crow", was done in acrylics on canvas.
Wow, I am slow to finish paintings these days. But so glad I have time again this summer to work on them. There are currently 3 under way at the moment and this is the first one to officially be finished.
My newest painting..."Charlie Lake Sunset" is based on a photograph of Charlie Lake during one of the most amazing sunsets. Done in acrylic on canvas. I have a few other sunset paintings (I think I like sunsets and water...just a hunch).
On a side note, it is odd how quickly one forgets how to do things. After a few months of completely ignoring my artwork and website, I almost couldn't remember how to do basic things such as upload images and use the scanner. My partner suggested that I write myself a little 'how-to' manual so I don't forget in the future. Good idea.
Anyways, hopefully there will be more new artwork again soon--just putting some finishing touches on a few and then I will be done. And I couldn't wait to start a new painting, so I have put the background colour on a new canvas this morning that I can not wait to get my hands on.
What I Have Been Working on Over the Holidays
I haven't painted much in a few months, but over the holidays I was working on a commissioned painting for a friend and I just finished it. This is a painting she wanted done for her friend as a gift (this is the friends' horse). It is always intimidating and exciting starting a new painting, and this was no expection. When the painting is for someone else, the pressure is extra because you want it to turn out really well. I am quite pleased with how it turned out and it always gives me a boost of energy when you get close to the end and you know it will be a good one:) I hope my friend is pleased with the finished product!
See some other recent works here. Thinking of commissioning a painting? I have some more details in FAQ.
I have an amazing family. They do amazing things. Recently, I was checking out facebook and I saw a photo that my aunt had on her facebook. They were on one of their many adventures...this time with their boat...the sun was so bright and all was peaceful. What a beautiful day.
The scene was so lovely. I saved the photo to my computer right away because I knew instantly that I wanted to paint it. So far, this may be one of my most favourite paintings and it took me longer than any one before. I worked on it for about 20 hours. Well worth it, in my opinion.
Dedicated to my adventurous and inspiring aunt, uncle and cousins:)
"Beautiful Day" acrylic painting. Original is 8.5 x 11".
I just learned about another tool, or element, to make my website a little bit better.
This element, provides another way to attract and engage your visitors.
I am talking about Hello Bar and it is pretty nifty.
What is a Hello Bar, you ask?
What is a Hello Bar?
I was logging into weebly the other day and saw an article about attracting and engaging viewers with different embed code elements. There were 3 good suggestions, but one jumped out at me as being the best...something I knew I could use. This was the Hello Bar element.
Hello Bar is a service that creates a call to action bar that you can position on your site. The bar is attractive, simple and free. There are different calls to action that you can select. You can make a bar to Drive Traffic, Collect Emails and Connect/Share (point viewers to social media).
I got started right away. I decided to make a bar to 'Collect Emails', because building my email/newsletter list is a current goal of mine. I wrote a post about Mailing Lists here. Up until now, if a visitor wanted to add their email to my mailing list/newsletter, this is where they were directed. And that is all fine and dandy...but doesn't the Hello Bar look a bit nicer and a smidgen more professional??
How to Install the Hello Bar Element
The whole process of installing this element was really fast. You create an account (30 seconds), select your 'call to action' and edit the bar (2 minutes?). Once that is done, they give you code that you need to embed on your site.
For Weebly sites, I couldn't figure out how to paste it just once like Hello Bar said I could. I tried going into the Settings bar at the top when in Editing mode. I put the code in different spots in the header and footer but the bar never showed up on my site like I was expecting. Something similar happened when I tried adding my Pinterest button a few months ago.
In the end, I decided to try something different. So, I selected the embed code box (in the left side bar where title, text, etc. is) and placed it on each of the pages that I wanted the bar to appear. You can place it on one page, some or all. Your choice.
Once the code box was placed on the page, I copy/pasted the code into the box. As soon as you click off the code box, the bar showed up. And honestly, it is quite beautiful (I posted a pic of it above). This last part took me about 5 minutes. Total time? Probably about 10 minutes.
Don't Forget to Sync it!
It was funny. I was sitting there all proud of myself when I had a weird thought.
I was thinking...so, people enter their email address in that bar but then what? Where does that address go? How can I get it to link to my current email address/newsletter carrier? Then, like an angel, a prompt appeared...sync with exisiting mailing list. Ahh, a sigh of relief.
It was even easy to sync. They provide a list of possible email subscription services and you select the one you currently choose. I use Mailchimp and it was in that list. All I had to do to sync it was enter my login info. Done. Synced. Is that spelled right? Gosh, the more I write the word 'sync' the less of a real word it appears to be.
What is Next?
Well, now that I love my Newsletter hello bar element, I am considering adding more elements. The other two options are the Drive Traffic and Connect/Share. I wonder what the Drive Traffic one is all about? I will look into these a bit more and let you know if they turn out to be a good idea.
And, I just noticed that they also have a mobile phone version of the hello bar so people viewing with their phones will also see a version of this. Hmmm. Might have to check that out asap!
Now, go on and add an awesome hello bar to your site!
It's Time to Look Inward: Self-Reflection Key to Correct Pricing
Pricing art is difficult. There are no two ways about it. Especially if you are a new artist, who is just starting to sell your artwork. Prepare to sweat a little and perhaps develop stiff muscles in your neck. A slight headache? We have all been there.
The problem is that there is no one right way to price artwork. Depending on who you talk to, what you read and hear, you will soon see that there is not a one-size fits all method.
And there are many factors to consider. MANY factors. In the end, you have to do what feels right to you but don't give your art away for pennies. Does a 'starving artist' come to mind?
I have gotten some good advice from others. Here it is in a nut-shell:
On pricing artwork...
Either give it away for free or sell it to make a proper profit.
Never sell your artwork cheaply or people will think you make cheap art.
Before you can determine a price, you have to step back a bit and think if your art is even sellable. No matter how reasonably priced it is, if there isn't a market for it, it won't sell. And I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but really...come on now.
Compare your art to other artwork out there. This feels funny to do but you must critique your art and imagine walking in someone else's shoes. The waters get a bit murky if you ask friends and family about this. They want to encourage you and offer positive comments...but are they willing to be honest and risk hurting your feelings? You need family support but you also need a critical eye.
Ask yourself some tricky questions. How does your art stack up? Is it unique? Could it catch someone's eye? What makes your art stand out? Why choose yours over someone elses? Who would potentially buy it? What kind of buyer?
The good news...most art is sellable. You just have to find the right market, buyer and price for it.
If you are interested in finding out 3 easy methods to pricing your art, you are in the right place--keep reading.
Factors to Consider When Pricing Art
Personally, this question was my biggest stumbling block, the main reason I didn't sell my art earlier in life and the only reason I used to refuse to do commissioned work despite being asked many times...I didn't think mine was good enough when I compared it to other artwork out there.
I thought I would disappoint people and embarass myself.
Yet, everyone around me was saying how much they liked my art. Why didn't I believe anyone? So, I had to give myself a break and just go with it. No, I wasn't Robert Bateman, but I was me. And maybe that is enough.
If you are still in doubt, I would say to just go for it anyways. Better to try and fail than not try and wonder forever.
Why you Need a Search Box
As your site grows, you will find that a search box becomes more of a priority. Your site will have more information, more pages and possibly take more time to find something.
People don't always have the time or patience to search manually for something. Hopefully you have thoughtful navigation, but it still takes time to go through thing.
People often want to find information quickly. If they can't find what they are looking for, they might lose interest and move on. Personally, I always use the search button when using other sites and I am sure that other people do as well.
If you currently have a weebly website, you will probably noticed that you cannot add a search box unless you upgrade your account.
I don't want to upgrade. But I do want a search box. So, I went looking around for one.
Turns out, there are free search boxes out there. I am currently trying out the free google search box to see how I like it. There are some downsides to getting it free though. It sure isn't as pretty.
The weebly 'upgrade' search box looks pretty nice, in my opinion. I would certainly feel good about having it on my site pages. But, ya...I don't want to pay for it.
Let me show you what my free search box looks like...I will also share what I have learned about the different free search boxes you can use (I have provided direct links), how to install a google search box and where to put it on your weebly site...
I Didn't Want to Upgrade...