Who benefits from art and artists

When you look at art for sale, it can sometimes seem the artist is probably under drugs and wants to extremely profit from their paintings, drawings or other type of art. It seems so.
I once asked a lady who was enquiring about my paintings: do you know anybody who would work for about two months, every day, about 6-8 hours a day and then receive for all this work 200 bucks minus materials? It isn’t that I tried to get her to pay more or whatever, it’s just the reality.
She was a nice lady, and she honestly said she didn’t know anybody who would work on such terms. I could add to this that I don’t know either, except fellow artists who for different reasons are in the same boat.
A brief list of these who benefit not only from  full-time artists, but anybody who creates art and tries to sell their art:
companies that make pencils, papers, tracing papers, graphite papers, drawing sketching, watercolor and all kinds of art papers,
companies that manufacture canvas, canvas panels, canvas boards, stretcher bars and canvas fabric,
companies that make paints, pigments, mediums for paints, solvents, vanishes, and all kinds of chemicals that are necessary for putting paint on canvas or paper at different stages or preserving the ready art,
companies that make easels, supports and all kinds of frame manufacturers, framing places and manufacturers of framing supplies, that includes mats, matting paper, glass, Plexiglas and similar materials;
every artists needs a website or blog, as well as social media presentation, so there are lots of platforms and hosting companies which sell everything from security certificates, to software for managing website, hosting, themes, plugins and many tools in order the website stayed functional;
companies that manufacture computers, tablets, ipads, cameras, video cameras and phones since we need to get the image somewhat captured and transferred to online space;
any landlord who leases studio or showroom space;
any utility provider who sells power, gas and water to the studio;
any show, gallery, exhibition, fair, including juried shows, online competitions and online shows which charge a fee for putting the artwork out there;
any online sales or art print sales provider which charges membership fee and commission;
money collecting and payment processing companies, i. e. Paypal, banks, etc.
That is not the entire list, and to some extent it is similar to expenses that are inevitable for any freelance or self-employed person, but the creation of art is definitely at the higher end of expenses, costs of materials and time consumption.
Artist obviously pays for paints, paper, canvasses, frames and framing, fees for shows and gallery representation and any utilities, as well as monthly payment for studio regardless of whether there is going to be some profit or not. Even when the art ends up in the waste basket, it still involves cost.
I know one would say: anybody who creates a product must create it first and there is never a guarantee of selling it. True, however, most products which are 100% unique, handmade and original sell for much more than the materials and labor that goes into them.
So, we have arrived at the most crucial question: who enables the artist to benefit? Who makes it possible for the artist to profit from their talent, work and efforts?
The artist can only profit from his or her clients who purchase the work whether as a product with art image on or in it, or as an original painting and drawing.
That is you. Somebody who loves and appreciates art. Somebody who has some money and is willing to spend it not on food, not on outfit, not on make-up or furniture, but art. Art is not a medication and it won’t cover you as a blanket, but it can feel that way, too. I know people who can stand for half an hour at some of my paintings and they feel exactly that: warmth and energy, and healing power.
I hope when you go to an art show next time and when you look at some painting, you will be aware that along with artist’s efforts, talent, time and soul there goes in a lot of other expense. That is an expense which is not covered quite frequently.
Being a freelance writer and artist is not easy by any means. There is a lot of insecurity: I do not know when some new work request arrives, I cannot ever guess with certainty when some painting will sell. I obviously cannot work when I’m not well, and that causes other problems. The domino effect.
Why to do this? At the present moment, this is the only option I have.
I am not sure if I will have to post something else before I fly to Latvia next Monday, yes, I unintentionally have chosen the full solar eclipse day, but whatever; I am presenting a few paintings which come as result of giving the flower painting class.

Lovely pinks

I compared also Arches 300 paper with Saunders Waterford 300.

Saturday rose

Sunday rose, Daily Paintworks, Sunday rose

Unfortunately, both papers were not bright white. If you have enough time to dry paper decently between layers, Arches is better. It is very easy to paint on it. However, I did not have time to dry paper, so Saunders Waterford was better because it does not keep flowing that much.


Anyway, Sunday rose is for sale on Daily Paintworks, and everything is always available from me and on this website.

Illustration or sketch: one, two, three: ready! How to start sketching

Illustration or sketch can be simplified in order to get it done outdoors or to complete indoors because sometimes the weather can be quite bothersome and not cooperating with our intentions.

I have had a chance to watch numerous people when they first learn painting or drawing.

I would love to share some observations because they might inspire somebody to just get a pencil, a brush and paper and go ahead.

Do we need rules in art?

It might sound strange, but most people believe there are many rules when we draw or paint. Maybe the instruction on some sites makes one feel that if you do not follow rules you cannot paint or draw. That is not true. That is actually completely wrong.

While there are lots of tricks, shortcuts and favorite ways to get things done faster and better, one should not try to stick to something which we call rules. Not with creativity. Not in art.

That would mean the small kid who does not have an idea of rules and instructions should not be able to draw. But the small kid is able to draw. Every kid is able to draw and paint.

As people grow up they find out that life wants us to comply with requirements, regulations, rules and certain instructions. It’s no surprise they want to apply rules to everything what we do. I know artists who would call the way of paint application a rule, or the way of drawing something on paper a rule.

No rules, just do your best!

I would love to encourage these who want to try art, to just go with their intention.

I hear quite frequently: I don’t know anything about painting or drawing. Well, you don’t have to. You just have to start trusting your eyes and trying to draw or paint whatever you intend to.

What to use for watercolor sketching?

Everything you can afford or like. If you do not know whether you will continue or not, why would you buy $75 watercolor brush? We always use the largest watercolor brush that still allows achieving what we want. It’s pretty much common sense. You could survive with just one number 10 watercolor brush if it has a good fine tip. 20-brush sets from Dollarstore won’t do anything, don’t go for these.

If you are applying wet paint on your sketch, traditional sketching paper won’t allow that. It is too thin. That’s pretty much common sense, as well; it could tolerate dry pencil or some pen, but not washes, especially repeated washes or paint lifting.

I would advise to always use watercolor paper for drawing, sketch, illustration, practise, color or flow practise because that is thicker and can be made wet.

If you are a beginner, you can live with just beginner’s watercolor paint set.

You can do illustration or sketch any way you like

If you are afraid to draw right away with pen, do the initial drawing in pencil and go over with pen afterwards. Keep the best lines and erase everything else, and here you have a nice, clean, attractive drawing. Why to use pen? It is simply easier. Pen makes the outline clearly visible, all image looks finished and elaborated even when the drawing is far from perfect and watercolor washes will bring your artistic attempt to life.

There is no wrong or right way to sketch, to draw or to paint

All artists develop their own style over time. Should you expect the first attempts to be perfect? No, don’t do that. Always tell yourself: Let us see what happens. Treat all of your first year’s art as a practise, as an experiment. Some will be god, some will fly into the waste basket, and that is absolutely fine.

People call everything which did not come out perfect: a mistake. That does not always apply to art either.

Some artistic mistakes and flaws can become the foundation of your personal style. Some experiments can set the tone for anything you do in the future. Therefore: experiment, experiment and experiment!

I am attaching some works from previous sketching session.

Illustration or sketch can be carried out in any style you prefer

I am advising to use pen just for simplicity and speed. It really helps. I also love the accomplished look of such sketches which can be definitely used as completely finished art on the wall or for any other purpose.

 

First we draw with pencil the main lines. We draw lightly without using pressure. After that we repeat the best lines in pen.

Choose whatever colors you love and would want in your sketch. Activate with water. Test on testing paper how transparent the watered down mix is. Apply small amount of water onto the main image area. You can use spray bottle if it creates mist. Check against light: if the shine is about to disappear, that’s the best time for first washes.

More washes or less diluted paint, and we are done.

 

If you allow first layers to dry and then make your paper wet again, nothing will happen to the dried out first layers. It is safe to go over with water. Don’t rub or scratch with the brush; that will definitely take some paint of.

Corrections are done with paper towel when the painting is wet: pressing paper towel onto paper will take off most of wet paint. When the paper is completely dry, apply washes and use damp brush or paper towel to lift color or paint you don’t want. Repeat until you like it.

The thicker the watercolor paper, the more things you can do with it.

Cheap watercolor paper is for tests and some practice only. It is simply too thin to do something more.

You can choose any pen you can afford or like. Your pen can be different color, too. Black simply fits any other color and makes it stand out more.

Large sketch using much wider pen

All watercolor illustrations and sketches look great. If you want them to be better: practice more and don’t expect immediate perfection.

Watercolor mania? Yes, incurable

It isn’t so that I am completely obsessed with painting, but I have given thousands of workshops and classes just within the last 4 years. There were moments when I had 5 or 4 every week. Every class or workshop required some reference painting, plus, I certainly wanted to paint something on my own, as well. My problem is that preparation for any class and workshop and my own paintings always took so much time that I never really got to selling anything seriously. I would put on the “Open” sign, and that was pretty much it. I am realizing now that I have so many paintings which would easily fill up the largest gallery.

Watercolors up to 11 x 14 in (28 x 36 cm)

Some are framed, some matted 

 

Most of them make great greeting cards, as well, and look fantastic in white or light grey frames

Most of these paintings are in piles and wrapped up because classes involve a lot of splashing, so nobody actually gets to see them. That includes me, as well, because I rarely have time to sort things out. These are just some of small size (7 x 10 and up to 11 x 14) and medium size (12 x 16 to 22 x 18) watercolors.

Flower power

 

 

I did not even realize that, but the number of paintings has reached sort of tipping point. I would need at least 3-4 times larger space to either hang it all or display in any other way. It is time to reconsider everything and become more serious about doing something with all this art which, quite honestly, has taken numerous hours of drawing and painting. I always enjoyed that, but I am short for storage and space. What good do these paintings if nobody ever can see them? Therefore, I would be very happy some of them found new walls and homes.

Anyway, most likely I will have to repeat this before Christmas and holidays, but still, I believe, these are very attractive paintings which would look great in any place, especially in a proper frame.

All details and separate images are on  Fine Art America.

You can view all images and then let me know if you would like to see if original is still available. Shipping will be extra.

 

Everything $100 to $350. Shipping extra. Thanks if you checked them out!

If you ever doubted whether to start drawing and painting, just go for it. Being addicted to painting is not the worst that can happen. It is an entirely distinctive new world which never stops surprising.

Please accept these unpretentious flowers

How did flowers evolve?

From happiness.

What gave them their fragrance?

Love.

I hope all moms received plenty of flowers today. They are a thing of enormous beauty, and they can say everything without words, just like art.

I also hope you are showing your love to your mom while there is still time enough, and you are not too late with your “I love you mom!”

It is so easy to love a small child; it takes more than superficial attraction to love genuinely very old people. To understand them and to appreciate, and to be grateful they are with us. Moms of people who belong to my generation are getting close to 90.

Thankfully, my mom is still doing lots of good things, sewing and gardening, not to mention small daily stuff like dishwashing, or cleaning. She loves flowers, so I sent her some, although, the Ocean is between us, that cannot stop us from exchanging some words on the phone or over Skype. The distance has the ability to make things clearer and more valuable. Simple words can get a new meaning.

Well, I was not very productive recently, but I have made some watercolors for cards, something unsophisticated, but sincere.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, grandmother and great grandmother! I hope your kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren are blessings to you.

Pansies for Mother's Day

Please accept these unpretentious flowers as small thank you for everything you are to your children!

The irreversibility of our life and pleasurable projects in pink

There is no “undo” command in our life. This makes everything we pursue, experience or achieve absolutely irreversible. Everything is a small moment, frozen in time. As I’m typing these words or you’re reading them, the past washes this second away and puts it in the big folder of our lifetime’s history. The cold sunrays of this disappearing day are pouring over the nearby rooftops and higher tree branches. This creates an illusion of warmth in the air. Yet, it is an illusion: as the quiet stream of twilight starts streaming in, we will find ourselves in even colder conditions, minus thirty or so.   How does this relate to pink projects? Very simple: when the environment is unfriendly, we should try doing something pleasant. Pleasant for me is drawing and painting something which takes me far away from this cold winter day and places in surroundings where I’d love to be. No tears, no regrets, no lost hopes: this is an easy mental transformation into a feeling-better-myself. We actually did similar project in the classroom. One project was all about yellow and orange, and the other was blooms and pink. These projects can be done by absolutely everybody whether they have any experience or not: they are as unsophisticated as one, two, three. Blossoms in pink watercolor project One: choose the reference image and draw the main lines with pencil or do a drawing from memory. Apple blossoms drawing Two: draw over lines which appear as being the most suitable with a black pen. Black ink can be used, as well, if somebody has it readily available. Apple blossoms drawing for art class Three: follow the reference image and your own feelings and apply colors which seem to you most fitting the drawing: one leaf or one petal at a time starting with light shades and going over in some spots with more intense color. Wash out connection lines with pure water. Drawings which do not look perfect at all become extremely beautiful with this approach. Pen and watercolor apple blossoms We were applying various shades of simply yellow, red, crimson red and dark red with blue. Apple blossoms pen and watercolor illustration These projects took us about 3 hours in total. Pink rose in watercolor, botanical illustration The rose was done in similar way, just skipping the black outline part. I had taken very many pictures during the last few weeks, but the flow of my time was so rapid, that I did not get a chance to share anything yet. I will have to post students’ works separately because there are quite a few. Pink blossoms: watercolor project for teens and adults It is amazing how it was impossible to get the correct colors in picture, so I took some photos just to compare with these paintings in context of surrounding environment, and they look much closer to how they are in reality. Just one more thing:  everybody can draw and paint and, therefore, create for themselves a beautiful rescue place from different troubles and hardships. However, we have to learn seeing things at first. This is almost like developing a much better perception of the surrounding world. We are used to see everything just walking by and running over. Now, it is time to stop and start noticing every line, every shade and later take a distance from it. That is the moment when we can put it on paper or canvas. Glue and watercolor cards We also created some three-dimensional, very quick glue and watercolor cards. They were effortless and fun to make, still look very nice. Hearts and red berries: glue and watercolor The instant internet presence in any move we make has also led people to slightly wrong understanding of being: everybody is comparing oneself to and competing with somebody else. I was reading the other day how one blogger felt unhappy because he thought his blog would be the best (how is that even possible, like generally the best?). Many people feel the same way when they try to express themselves artistically. The truth is: do it for yourself and your loved ones first and later you will see where this initiative or passion takes you. Mass media wants that: look at this and realize what you cannot. That is just so misleading, and it is also the wrong reason to become upset or unsatisfied, thus, giving up some nice thing which one has just started. Watercolor rose and apple blossoms: watercolor for teens and adults I’m also sending prayers to everybody who is on the road in bad weather conditions or those who need warmth. May you get home safe or find a cozy shelter.

Try something different: painting with sponge

I decided that adding some new technique wouldn’t disturb. Why not to give it a try?

This time it was application of watercolor using a sea grass sponge. It worked well with acrylic (I will post these pictures separately), it seemed it could work nicely with watercolor, as well.

I could see after the first attempts that it is advisable to test colors first. There are lots of brands, many types of paints, it’s hard to know whether the chosen colors will or won’t mix well. The big fear was not to overdo right at the beginning. Sponging sort of takes away easily, and it takes no time to lose focus and to forget where exactly was I intending to place any particular paint. I did not plan for these paintings, I just got straight to sponging. I would advise anybody who is trying this technique to plan a small bit ahead. Sponge allows to create beautiful watercolor backgrounds, like distant trees or forests, it is amazing how quickly some spots get textures, and it is a fantastic for layering watercolor paints. Simply don’t forget to test your colors.

It seemed that Hooker’s green light and dark in combination with French ultramarine, Cobalt blue, Payne’s grey, Lemon yellow and Burnt sienna or Burnt umber worked better than Sap green in any combination unless I mixed only 2 or 3 colors in all layers.

Sea grass sponges are inexpensive and available at any art store, that’s at least where I got them. Every sponge is slightly different, so will be textures created using these sponges. I cut my sponge in smaller parts, and used every time that part which seemed to be the most fitting. Sponge has to be made wet at first, and we should squeeze out all excess water before picking up the paint with it.

Sponging works on wet paper (wet in wet application), and we can paint nice distant backgrounds this way. It creates thicker layers and attractive irregular shapes when applied on dry paper. It is possible to create the entire painting this way, and it looks especially great when we combine different techniques.

Generally speaking, application of a sponge helps loosen up, and sponge is a good tool to vary paint application techniques.

These paintings look somehow better not photographed. The light hasn’t been too suitable recently, but regardless of how hard I tried, I did not get the balance on photos which is present on paper. This might be due to the distinctive number of layers at each part since camera sees everything not in the same way as the human eye sees. These things were tough to photograph, it was almost as bad as taking pictures of pastel drawings.

 

First layers of watercolor using a sea grass sponge

Different colors and textures: watercolor forest painting with sponge

Layering quite a few colors with sponge is interesting: we never know how it will look at the end!

Spring forest painting: watercolor

Simple sponge painting exercise

The distant forest is painted using sponge: the darks in the background look much darker than on paper, like I said before, camera picks out some spots and reflects colors differently from the human eye.

Sponge painting with watercolor

Sponge applied for background and some spots in the front

sponge work and winter csene 012

Spring forest: watercolor painting using sponge

Mother’s Day card: check it out

I recently finished a watercolor painting which already initially was intended to serve as image for Mother’s day card. We started to draw birds at our teens painting class and got the painting done during 2-3 classes.

Chickadee mother's day card

I worked out two versions: one without text (when ordering, anybody can place their own text on the inside) and with short text.

Mother's day greetings

Both versions can be found and ordered as cards via Fine Art America website:

http://fineartamerica.com/pdfartworkmenu.php?artworkid=7289106

http://fineartamerica.com/pdfartworkmenu.php?artworkid=7289435

It’s needless to say that any painting can be bought as a print of many different types and with hundreds of framing choices at very reasonable prices and in excellent quality. Any purchase comes with 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with some aspect.

Fine Art America offers to download a free app if you are using any kind of smart phone, iPhone, iPad or similar device which has camera to view the particular painting in the chosen frame (there are really hundreds) or without a frame on the exact wall space or room space where you intend to place it. The app will apply your chosen size, therefore, you can see everything according to real proportions.

http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/inese+poga/all

Spring time watercolors: bright, sunny and cheerful

Teen class has been very busy, as well. Some students were not present during March break, some could not attend classes because of Easter holidays, but we just keep going and enjoying the pleasure of being able to create something great, cheerful and uplifting.

Blue anemones: watercolor painting, teen class

Elaine’s vision of blue garden anemones

Purple anemones, watercolor painting

Mary’s painting of purple spring anemones

I have noticed, it’s so much in fashion to write books about anything, including art, all these books and e-books are supposed to be innovative, thoughtful and informative “how to” books.

Pink spring anemones: watercolor floral demo

Watercolor painting of pink garden anemones: demo version for adult watercolor class

While there’s some useful advice contained in a few of them, it’s most often a description of very common, very basic and very well-known stuff. The same about lots of DVDs, online art classes, tips, ideas, etc.

Kristina with her chickadee paintingKristina is genuinely happy since the chickadee painting came out extremely nice

However, there’s a big difference when painting on your own and in reality, and reading about it, or watching somebody else painting. You won’t know how that is until you try it on your own with a real brush or pencil in your hand.

 

Presence of a live teacher is extremely important. That not only speeds up everything, but also provides students with plenty of information in a very short period of time, allowing to experience and apply everything right there and right away.

This is a very direct and very immediate “how to”. Any question receives answer on spot, any problem gets solved straight at its origin.

Watercolor painting of chickadee in progress

Mary’s watercolor painting of chickadee in progress

Watercolor demo: chickadees in apple tree

Chickadees on blossoming apple tree background: demo version

Spring anemones, watercolor wash

Watercolor wash: spontaneous and simple application of watercolor

Well, those ones who want to learn something are very happy with my classes, and so am I because it’s always a pleasure to see fast development of young, talented artists, and to know that I have contributed quite a lot to this development.

When there’s a will, there’s a way

Some of teens have started attending art and painting classes at a very young age. Since we are dealing with a bit more complicated stuff and techniques than general art classes which actually are more play than learning, I prefer teaching teens from 12 years. We are working to achieve results, to make things happen. This is an excellent age for absorbing new knowledge and developing the personality. While many parents support kids’ involvement in artistic activities, there shouldn’t be put any pressure on choosing some particular activity. It is very noticeable straight from the beginning who is genuinely interested in drawing, painting and creating art, and who is just a passerby, somebody who does not really know yet whether he or she would like this type of activity, or not.

Our classes involve personality training, development and growth opportunities along with acquisition of typically necessary artistic skills, since the discussed matters are never limited to only color choices, composition and subject research. Creation always takes some effort; even though, we are trying to never show the difficulties we experienced during this process, but the great effortless final product of our imagination and artistic skills.

There are impatient teens and impatient adults. The same applies to seriousness, devotion, commitment and willingness. It is obvious that those with a goal and genuine interest always get faster and better results. This is something to consider before you sign up your daughter or son for art classes: will your kid have discipline and interest enough to attend the class regardless of any other issues? Isn’t that just a mood, a desire which will never get fulfilled?

It is easier to deliver excellent results in a small size teaching environment because I can teach taking into account specific individual needs and personal features of a particular student.

Watercolor painting of seagull

Bird paintings with watercolor

Some students enjoyed painting birds more than painting flowers, it always depends

Seagull watercolor painting

I am proud that our mutual efforts are resulting in fantastic achievements.

I am also sure that age actually does not matter: when there is a will, there’s a way.

Tulips in watercolor: artist Elaine

Since I’m documenting our achievements as we go, the progress is so obvious when I compare how some students were painting a year ago and how they are painting now.

Watercolor painting of tulips: artist Mary

Some paintings were just started during this class, and some got the final touches.

Watercolor painting for teens class: demo

The most important thing is that we are moving, and “We are moving fast” as one girl said after the previous class.

Painting classes: becoming more confident and artistic

To create  something from nothing takes creativity, knowledge and commitment.

We were doing some negative painting exercises, and after that we were getting ready for the next painting which will be seaside with some birds.

Psychologists are certain that everything is based on confidence and high level of self-esteem. Art helps reach these goals tremendously, and the acquired awareness that I CAN CREATE, I CAN ACHIEVE MY GOALS, is a new stepping stone when walking through the life.

Step by step, brush stroke by brush stroke: big things start with small accomplishments.

Everybody benefits from engagement in arts, and it is something valuable for the entire life.

Some artists of adult acrylic painting group completed their first painting, some their third paintings.

 

We are overcoming the fear from blank canvas and learning to apply paint with confidence, and results speak for themselves.

Adult acrylic class: nature paintings

It is never too early or too late to engage in creation of something artistic. We sometimes need 30 or 40 years to realize that art is what we want to learn. It is a pleasure to watch this happening as we progress more and more with every single painting.