May
12
2010

Artist Statement: Sell the Sizzle by M Theresa Brown

Sizzle! That's what an artist's statement should be! It's not your biography or your story. It's about what makes you tick as an artist in your particular field. To quote Elmer Wheeler, "To sell the steak you have to sell the sizzle!"
What does that mean? Well we have observed two very relevant target areas of interest here. That of the person looking at your art or browsing your website, and that of the Gallery who is getting ready to show a few of your pieces.
When we are representing our own work, the average viewer asks predictable questions similar to: "When did you first learn that you had this talent?" or "How long have you been doing this?" To which we all answer something like "Oh, since I was a child" or "forever" or "I just started" or something along those lines. In self representation we are rarely asked what awards we have won, what galleries our work is in, or who else had bought our work. So it is easy to see why, when an opportunity arises for an artist to present or show his work in a Gallery setting, we might easily write our artist statement based on the questions that our clients ask. It makes plenty of good sense!
Save the Gallery some time and impress them by re-thinking your bland artist statement. If you are not marketing yourself, then these people are. They have to write blogs or post on Internet sites or insert a piece to the local arts calendar to market and promote you. YOU can actually do it best if you think outside the box.
Galleries also want specifics. Interestingly enough, your awards or who you studied under or who most influenced your art are of most interest to Galleries as it is their job to make you interesting to a prospect. Even if you don't have a wall of awards, the Gallery (as we were told) will "puff it up." That's their job!
As a general rule, when self promoting, your client is face to face with you and so your artist statement is, in essence, you. You are building a relationship with that client as part of your artist statement..
So how are you going to present yourself in that statement? How are you going to deliver the sizzle? Art galleries will tell you that the biggest mistakes that artists make when creating an artist's statement is make it predictable and boring. For starters, don't begin your statement with "I loved art as a child" or something to that effect. Everyone loved art as a child or started with a box of crayons! That sentence alone brings in the "ho hum" factor before the next sentence has even been read.
With that in mind, no one really wants to read a chronological history of your life leading up to your career as an artist. Use adjectives to add sizzle. Use a thesaurus to help you replace predictable words or boring phrases. There is nothing wrong with studying how another artist writes a statement but remember that you need to make it your own. What would happen if several artists decided to copy an identical statement and they all sent it to the same Gallery? Or all put it on their blogs?

Think outside the box with your artist statement. Be unpredictable but readable. Can you surprise a Gallery? You can if you back away from the standard statement and don't go all wordy and predictable. You may think that all of this is obvious but you are just one of dozens sending an artist's statement to a Gallery. Make yours the one that stands out!

ArtCareerExperts.com

May
12
2010

Tips on Composition of a Painting by Tom Jones

 


Composition is a very important part of the painting process. A good composition makes your painting more pleasing to the viewer and will enhance your chances to sell more paintings. Let me start by suggesting that you use a pencil to draw a very light vertical line down the center of the paper and likewise, draw a line horizontally through the center of the paper. This will help you avoid placing objects of importance in the center of the painting. The other reason for the lines is to help you from ending or starting object at those lines such as a horizon line or the edge of a tree or building.

(Example) Avoid having your horizon line in the middle of the paper, but rather have it no more than one third of the way from the top or bottom of the paper. An example for the vertical line is do not have the edge of a tree or building stop or start on the vertical center line.

Have the painting set up so you have three planes: something in the foreground, middle ground and background. This gives the painting depth and allows the viewer to walk into the scene.

When painting each corner area should be different. This avoids repetitiveness. When painting or repeating objects, such as buildings or trees, have different shapes and colors. As an example, when painting two trees in the foreground, have one warm in color and one cool. Have one thick and one thinner or one slightly closer in the scene. Overlap buildings to improve interests and design. Add life to the scene with people, animals or birds. Place your center of interest slightly left or right of the center line and slightly above or below the horizon line. Try to have objects such as the tops of trees or sails go out of the frame. Clouds also should go out the sides or top of the frame. This will give your painting a more realistic and professional appearance. When placing objects in the foreground, have trees and fence posts end above the horizon line as this will give you more depth and better perspective in the scene.

After completing a painting take a few days or even a week to study the painting and turn it sideways and upside down. This will help you see little things more clearly. Ask a couple friends and fellow artist to critique your painting. By following my suggestions in this article over and over you can't help but to become a happier and more skilled artist.

You may send comments or questions to me at by email at Tom@TomJonesArtist.com
And please check out my interactive web site. TomJonesArtist.com
May
12
2010

Good Night, Sweet Prints by Wilson Bickford

Okay, ........so I know I'll probably ruffle a few feathers with this week's entry, but I'm just going to state my own personal opinions regarding art "prints". I've never been an advocate of the print market and here's why.
Is it just me or has greed taken over the print market? And I don't mean just recently, because it's always seemed that way to me.
The concept is simple enough; take an artistic image and reproduce it for mass sales at a more affordable rate to the common man.
But I fail to see the sense of charging $400 - $500 for a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. Especially when there are 2 or 3 thousand of them in existence.
Now, the consensus is that, "The price of the print is relative to the price of the original." The bottom line is that it's still a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. I can't get past that, I'm sorry.
In the old days, we had offset lithography as the main means of reproducing artwork. To get the "best price per unit," the artist had to order a very large quantity of said image. I know of several fellow artists who have stacks of prints left in storage, having sold 20 or 30 out of 1,500. Why? Because with that many around they are not really considered rare anymore and they were priced too high.
With the advent of the Inkjet printer and "Giclee’s," it seems anyone with a desktop printer is trying to make their own prints now. Of course, the advantage of this type of printing is that you can print 1, 50 or 100 and not be forced into a huge lot. You can literally "Print as you go." But, as a result it seems there are nothing but "open editions" whereby this image can be printed indefinitely and exhausted until there's no demand left whatsoever.
Does THAT add to the value?? Knowing that it's possible to replicate an unlimited number of copies kind of takes away the appeal, doesn't it?
Well, at least it does for me. Hey, it's just a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it!

www.wilsonbickford.com

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