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.

Where would we be without the beauty?

Beauty is the most universal, self-expressing phenomenon that does not require words or language knowledge. It is present in all walks of life, but it becomes something extremely perceivable due to art.

As we rush our daily schedules and spend most of the time running, we might not notice the moment when a bud opens. The magic moment when the fragile petals unfold and when the sun and rain pour life into it. It becomes a mediator of beauty. Every smallest vein and line, every nuance of color is so unique.

The biggest advantage of being able to create, draw and paint is the feeling of being a creator. We can do anything with the sheet of white paper in front of us. It’s our choice what goes on it. I choose the never-ending, personality enriching and mood uplifting divine features of the nature. It is a cheerful activity on its own. It is more than meditation, it is much more than immersing in oneself, it is the imperative life-continuing reveal of the underlying essence of life, and the essence of life is beauty.

Cherry blossoms, watercolor painting. Beauty unfolding

 

Apple blossoms, watercolor painting. Beauty in a very visual way.

Enjoy! Happy Mother’s Day! I know my mom will love these paintings.

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.

Artistic freedom and risks taking to a higher level of ourselves

Time … Time … How to make it slow down and stop for a moment? I have the answer, but unfortunately, this doesn’t help me getting done everything. We can capture a moment in a painting, and that doesn’t mean we can capture only the scene we are drawing or painting, we are also making impressions of our senses, our mood and feelings.

Although, I’ve been working hard and working a lot, my art and lifeschool blog were left alone again. Well, if I’m so tired that I’m almost fainting, I certainly won’t be posting anything. I believe doing our best can be not enough sometimes, but that is the only result we are able to have here and there. I do not push myself, as well. Rest is important, so is sleep.

My classroom got a face-lift. There are so many flaws with easels which are sold at the art store that I had to finally get to the issue and design my own easels for the use in classroom. They are extremely light and perfectly stable; nothing dances around, falls off or turns over. They allow painting when sitting and when standing. That took a while, and thanks to my husband and his skills, we have these easels working well now. I had to make also some smaller things like cardboard trays because I am seeing very often how disorganized the work-space is. That does not help. Work-space has to be easily approachable and everything has to be in the right place.

Acrylic painting for adults, new classroom

New easels

Art classes Whitby Ontario, new classroom for adult artists

Arranging everything

Acrylic painting classes Whitby Ontraio

New classroom settings

Artistic freedom Thursday class has 6 students

Pleasure lives here

Garden demo, too bad on cardboard

 

Garden demo for Wednesday, here only starting out, lots of work required yet, we will work on this for 2 more weeks

Acrylic painting Poppies Demo 1.5 hours

My less than 2 hours demo today

Talking about supplies which we use: we shouldn’t try using the entire art store. I counted last night; we need 14 paint tubes at most. We can paint very well with just 8. That means a bit more mixing. We normally won’t be using 6 or even 10 brushes during a few hours. Most often, we can perfectly paint acrylic with just one medium size flat brush. Watercolor requires minimum 3 brushes, but not 10 either. I can understand why somebody tries to take everything to the class: it’s called just in case. The negative aspect of too much art supplies is that it causes confusion. Especially when somebody is starting out, they won’t even notice what each brush does, and they will get to using it even less.

We had a fantastic group painting today. I have 3 hour painting sessions on Saturdays. We start on blank canvas and at the end of these 3 hours we usually have something to show for. I loved that nobody was disappointed because sometimes people imagine they can go within 3 hours from “never painted or was holding brush in my hand” to “perfect art created by a master”. That does not happen, so I am happy with people who have reasonable expectations.

Creation of art has to be fun and relaxing activity. When I hear people saying I am afraid, I am really wondering how so? I can imagine how one is afraid from a surgery, even dentist, test, speech to thousands of TV viewers or a job interview which can change the entire life. What is the worst that can happen when we paint something not as we think we should? With acrylic, nothing at all. We will need a bit more paint and possibly time to start that particular spot from new. Therefore, being afraid to paint sounds strange. Most likely, that is why kids and people who love taking risks have very good results. Once we get over the barrier we placed in front of ourselves, we are fine. I wouldn’t even call this courage. I’d rather call this: pleasure to experiment, take plunges into unknown and experience freedom.

Artistic freedom is like no other freedom and it is the most uplifting one. When somebody tells me there are very many rules in art, I’d like to disagree. There is no one single other person who can see and experience the reality in the same way we do. Why our imagination and creative potential should then be squeezed in some kind of frame of regulations? It shouldn’t. Any other freedom comes paired with duties and obligations. Artistic freedom of creative self-expression is a complete alone standing freedom. There are no and there should not be any restrictions. There are tips and tricks, and common sense how to get things done faster, better, more sufficiently and more impressively in art. Yes, there are. We can either accept or disregard them and try to discover everything from new. Art and creativity  mean a new world every single time we take the brush or pencil in our hand, I think we should build this new world in accordance with our personal preferences, likes and our vision.

I believe, many people like my approach, so my art groups have grown a lot. My space is limited to 12 participants, but I prefer not more than 10 artists for acrylic.

My wish to everybody starting out in art: do not take it too seriously, enjoy, have fun and you’ll find over time how nicely everything works out and falls in place. The above does not refer to people who make their living with art. That is a hard work, one of the hardest I know.

We and our creations are one of a kind

I recently read an art blog, and the artist was sharing her doubts whether to paint simple nature objects or not since there was nothing new to say about them.

It’s definitely tough because when we check out all the art which has been created during the last two thousand years, we have to come to conclusion that practically everything has been painted, written, composed and done. It’s amazing, but abstracts and minimalism, modernism and naturalism, naivism, impressionism, symbolism and so on and on existed way ago. Not always the style and genre was given a name, and art was not categorized like nowadays, but it existed, it was created and it still reminds the simple truth: there is usually more of everything than meets the eye. However, stubborn as we are, we keep writing, painting, doing.

Have you ever seen the happiness in child’s eyes when he or she has drawn or painted something for the first time? Tree, flower, house, mom or himself. These may be just some lines, some attempt, some distant capture of what we would assume painting or drawing should be. For kid who painted his or her first painting, this is the biggest discovery, the hugest achievement, a whole new world, an excitement and satisfaction, belief in himself. The kid has seen something wonderful happening. The kid does not really care that there exist millions of other paintings, probably way better since they are based on theories and knowledge and practice. This one is the best, the most wonderful, the most amazing.

Being an artist quite often requires becoming like that kid: we sure are aware there is everything imaginable and unimaginable available already, there was and there will be, but we grab the brush, we take the pencil, we through the paint on canvas, and the magic is happening. Right in this moment, straight with us, and something wonderful is being created. Regardless whether it is the best or the worst painting of the century, we have turned our vision into something touchable and visible which other people can perceive and experience, as well. We are sharing our vision about the being, existence, life, future, past, birth, death and eternity. Whatever our subject and it does not really matter whether one paints breakfast dishes or streetscape of a huge city, we are all drawing, painting, writing ourselves and telling the story about us: who we are, why we are and how the world looks like according to us.

That’s why it still makes sense to paint pansy, rose, road, fence, some face, some scene, some tree, sky, fog, field even though we know somebody has already painted this all, and maybe the other paintings were better. They were definitely different, and that is all what matters: we are unique just as our DNA is, as our fingerprints are. We are seeing every single object completely distinctively and we are painting it that way, too.  Therefore, we can say: welcome the millionth version of rose, of street scene, of sky and water! Since this is one of a kind.

The garden of my dreams acrylic painting

As you walk along this path, you may understand what I wanted to tell you. At least people who were looking at the real painting could.

The studio-gallery entrance

I got a chance to display some paintings straight on the porch. If you happen to be in downtown of Whitby, Ontario, drop in. I’m always happy to meet people who enjoy art.

4 piece commission for beautiful room

My clients told they were unsuccessfully looking for a group of similar paintings for quite a while. Therefore, I got to paint four 24 x 18 inch paintings for an attractive living room. Everything else was done, only walls needed some refreshing accent pieces.
Red wild roses painting, commissioned art

These paintings actually had more functions: they had to serve as a bridge for the chosen color scheme between 3 rooms, add the finalizing touch to the walls and simply bring more life to the fairly neutral settings since the living room is connected to an open upscale kitchen area and to the dining room on the other side.

Acrylic painting: red wild roses

All 4 paintings needed to be similar, but have slight distinction in the layout of painted objects and background color.
My client was extremely satisfied because these paintings really made the look of this room more complete and more saturated.

Wild rose paintings for living room

It felt, they started to live and breathe in this room right away. Adding groups of paintings makes a lot of sense, and they can often suit the style better than one large painting in a medium size room. It’s an easy way to update, change or refresh the look of any room.

Style and desing: acrylic paintings of flowers

My clients told they’d send me a picture when paintings are on the wall. I suppose, they are going to look even better.

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.

Check this out: Results speak for themselves

I’m very proud that all students have found my classes very useful and exciting so far. They admit, they have learned something new and improved their skills every time they attended my studio-gallery classes.

Most students were absolute beginners, some of them were having art classes at school before. It is great experience to watch my students progressing so fast and developing nice technical and surprising creative approach.

My studio-gallery is a place which really inspires, it also has increadibly artistic atmosphere. I have learned patience working as a high school teacher back in Europe for many years, and I also happen to have profound methodical and theoretical background along with practical drawing and painting skills.

We usually start with creation of a pencil sketch.

 

Drawing flowers and different still life objects develops the specific visual qualities which are very important for an artist, especially in early stages. Students elaborate skills of being able to capture real 3-dimensional objects at first; it’s their own choice later whether they reproduce photos, or continue painting and drawing the real stuff.

We are doing not only floral paintings, but it comes to us very natural to engage in floral art during springtime.

These are just the first steps. Some students like the drawing part more, some prefer application of paint and color.

Whatever we would paint, we usually have to decide on color palette which will be applied in painting as we go. It is great to implement unexpected effects (positive accidents) when some paint splashes occur exactly on that spot where they were needed.

 

I paint along with my students and provide demonstrations as we go. This includes small corrections or new approaches, anything, which helps to reveal the chosen object.

Spring daffodils

Sketching is an important preparation step. In my opinion, being able to draw allows an artist to employ so many opportunities. If there were no cameras or computers all of a sudden, drawing would still allow to capture any scene or object as good as photography, if not much better; because there would be nothing between vision and perception of the artist. Research suggests that our visual abilities are very unique, just like our finger prints. This means there’s no other person who sees the same thing exactly as you do.

Diana’s painting is very careful and incredibly patient, and results are great.

Spring crocuses: Diana’s painting

 

Diana has been attending my art classes every single week since July 2011, and she has decided to go to an art school.

Jerica’s Easter lilies

I think, art classes keep student busy, develop unique mental and visual perception, allow to obtain new skills, and they are fun, as well. Besides, students create impressive paintings which can be framed or varnished for use without any frame, and that way, they can already decorate their house, give their painting as a gift, or even sell it. Some students have sold their paintings.

I am participating in Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour which takes place on May 5 and 6 between 10am- 4 pm.

Everybody, interested in art, is very welcome to attend my studio-gallery and get the tour brochure and list of all included artists. I will post additional OAA Spring Tour info next week.

Wake up and get in mood for spring

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Living in more and more civilized world, we are loosing our ties with nature and seasonal cycles. Light and sunshine are very important factors which can tremendously facililate our energetic resource regeneration and our recreation, but lack of these essential elements causes inevitable destruction and death of anything organic and alive.

Lux aeterna – the eternal light, is the light in its highest meaning, light as a symbol of timeless flourishing and development.

I don’t think, it’s coincidence that “luxury” and Latin “lux” (light) have the same linguistic root. And, yes, the sunlight is a luxury which we are taking for granted.

Animals and plants are more involved in natural processes, and, no wonder, they thrive and bloom, and are at their energetic top-levels in spring. I suppose, humans were pretty much the same, but the artificial surroundings, which allow us to imitate any season and, thus, facilitate our functions regardless of the weather, don’t require us to feel and understand nature any more. Most of us have our shelters, and who actually cares, how long it’s going to rain or snow.

However, those of us who have still maintained the extraordinary sensitivity to underlying processes of nature, would probably agree that spring has not lost its importance as a driving force of the new seasonal cycle.

Nature wakes up, live juices start to circulate in trunks of trees, grasses and weeds lift up their tiny heads, buds are getting bigger and bigger with every second, first blossoms show their faces to the sun, and birds give the best concert of the year, especially when the day is bright and sunny.

Well, it’s really the right time for new initiatives, new challenges and wake-up activities. This is the renaissance time of our town, city, area, land, country, hemisphere. This is such a breathtaking renewal of our mind and soul, and our body shouldn’t be left behind.

We are welcoming the return of spring with our colourful floral paintings in my studio-gallery, and I will show  in my next post how we are drawing and painting these artworks.