Friday, 28 March 2008

Competitions – Naming Artwork

This topic has come up in a couple of my groups this month. Do you give your pieces titles? How do you come up with a name? Why name them? How can you think of interesting titles?

I generally name my work. I pick pretty lame names too, depicting what the subject matter is-Sunflowers; Scottish Urn; Copper Jar-rather than thinking up a really good name. So my mission for the Alberta Zone Competition is to give my work interesting yet meaningful (to the painting) names. I am entering three paintings in this show. I have originally named them-Watercolour Jewels; Pottery Jars and Copper Jar. Thanks to Geoffrey in my group The Artists Den I have a really good name for my Copper Jar painting. It is now renamed First Discovery. This title relates to the goal I had for what I wanted that particular painting to reflect-that of a copper jar found at an archaeology site.

So now I have to think of interesting names for the other two pieces. Here are some websites that offer tips on naming work.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Competitions – I Did It!

So OK, I actually did it. I entered a competition!

Maybe I should have practiced putting entry forms in the mail. Who knew that just doing that would be so nerve wrecking? Anyway, it’s in the mail…I can’t get it back. I can go back to breathing now.

This contest is one I came across just recently. I subscribe to a free online magazine Canadian Brushstroke Magazine. I sort of blew my criterion out of the water by entering this competition as it is not a juried show and it has a short deadline-the entry form must be RECEIVED in their office by March 30. The subject is “Flowers, Gardens, Still Life”. The paintings must have been completed within the past 2 years. I went through my paintings and the two that I entered are below. The Sunflowers are Mixed Media-Acrylic, Tissue Paper and Sand. The Scottish Urn is Watercolour on Gesso.

So yesterday I got to work and prepared the CD and entry form. I almost blew my chances by not reading the rules well. On second check I realized that I had not prepared cover of the CD properly. Lesson Learned-Read the Rules don’t just gloss over them!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Work in Progress – Copper Jar Part 5

Well, I believe I have finished. I distressed the jar some more and I think I have achieved the feeling I was going after-that of an ancient jar found in a cave or archaeology site.

Please feel free to provide constructive criticism. I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Work in Progress – Copper Jar Part 4

I worked on my painting today. I added some holes and dents to the jar and basically just roughed it up a bit. It is now in the “sitting on the other side of the room so I can check it out for changes” stage.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Competitions - Pricing

The juried show I’m entering is asking for a dollar value on my paintings for insurance purposes and they want to know if they are for sale.

The easy part is “yes” they are for sale. The hard part “how much”? I have no idea! How do I figure this out? In the past, I just went with gut instinct…how much do I think someone would pay for this?” Not a good way to go. I either under priced or over priced.

I need to price my work correctly so that the prices would be comparable to other artists, comparable to each other and fair for me so that I can continue to buy paint. I need to set the prices for not just the pieces I am entering in competitions, but for those that I set up on my website that is under development.

From all the information I have read on the subject, I will have to do math (shiver). Have you noticed that math is a four-letter word? I hate m*#h! There is no way around it though so I’m off to get my pencil (a big) erasure and a calculator.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Work in Progress - Copper Jar Part 3

The jar is now painted. I did an undercoat of the copper colour and then added some shading and highlights. This still needs to be refined. I don’t really like the hard edge of the shadow on the lower left and need to blend it in more. I also feel that the background in the upper right-near the jar should be a little lighter. I also plan to have the jar damaged in some way and add a little patina around the rim.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Work in Progress - Copper Jar Part 2

I did some more work on the background added in some pictographs to the cave wall. I used burnt sienna, burnt umber, titanium white, thalo blue and ivory black. I don’t normally work with black out of the tube, I prefer to mix my colours to get a good dark, but I need it for mixing the copper colours in the jar and felt it had to be used elsewhere in the painting. The black is mixed with the burnt umber so it is not in its pure form.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Website Tips

I just finished reading an article in this month’s (March 2008) edition of The Artist’s Magazine-Top of the Web by Lisa Hazen. She uses the sites of 5 artists and says there is “something to learn from each of them”. Ms. Hazen critiques these sites and points out what works and why it works for each of the artists.

She has some great tips, some of which I plan to use in my website which is currently under development.

The sites that she reviewed are:

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Copying Artists

Has anyone tried to copy an artist’s painting and then use that same technique on one of your own? This was an exercise I was required to do in one of the continuing education classes I took.

I was working in oils at the time and I wanted to try something different so I chose Frank Kupka’s Plans par Couleurs.

This painting is huge! I reduced it to a 16 x 20. It was an interesting exercise trying to determine the colours he used and his techniques just from a picture. It took a lot of work on my part but I tried something different and learned a lot in the process.