The Refreshing Art of Entrepreneurship by M Theresa Brown

They started early in the morning, long before most of the tourists were up and about. From the balcony of my sixth floor room I saw the sellers park in the distant empty lot by the ocean and trudge through the sand with their goods. A few had  umbrellas. They needed the umbrellas on this beautiful but hot sandy strip of shoreline where the  Sea of Cortez mingled with the distant Pacific Ocean.

Cabo San Lucas resorts in Mexico are justly proud of their pristine beaches and go to unusual means to keep them beautiful, clean and safe for the huge tourist industry. There was a low rope stretched across the entire length of the beachfront property with guards posted at either end to keep the sellers from harassing the tourists. But of course if the tourists stepped over the ropes and went to the sellers, well, what could one do?

Virtually anything they thought that tourists would want from Mexico was being offered for sale. Wood carvings, scarves, woven textiles, straw hats, jewelry...some was souvenir junk.  But some of the sellers were the artists  and they had some beautiful silver jewelry and painted carvings. They would sit patiently all day behind the rope barrier and wait for curious tourists to come to them. Some would walk the beach holding up their goods and waving them to catch the attention of diners on the terraces.

When I stepped over the ropes, I was in their territory and they all saw, with certainty that I was indeed a buyer.  Their initial prices were high but they had learned that what was "too much" for one buyer, was nothing to another. They had nothing to lose so why not start high? Everything was negotiable. What I found myself admiring was not so much what they were selling, it was the persistence and perseverance that I admired.  I knew that this scene was being played out virtually everywhere, someplace, in the world. People and artists who needed the money and would tackle the public every day in the hopes of bringing in a steady income.  No embarrassment, no excuses. They all gathered around me because it was just possible that after I bought from one, I would buy from another. They did not sit quietly hoping to be noticed. They made sure that I knew they were there! The transactions were energizing, flat out fun and an inspiration to reticent artists everywhere.

There is a direct correlation between need and motivation. None of these artists had motivational issues.   Excuses did not enter into this picture. They had families to feed,  bills to pay and they were delighted to have buyers.  None of them pondered the academic world of artist angst. None of them wondered if they were "one with their art" or if they were feeding their souls or growing in their art.  They created their art. They sold their art. The sales paid their bills.....and for them, that meant life was good.

So why do we, as "educated" or trained artists, make the whole process so introspective and complicated?


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No Painting is Safe! by Deb Bartos

No painting of mine is safe, that is, until its hanging on someone else’s wall. There are just a few, actually, that are sacred, for personal reasons, and I will never touch again.
However, there are quite a few of them that go in the “gosh, there is just something not quite right with that work” pile and with time, I see what it is. The biggest factor, I think, is in learning more problem-solving skills that help me to get past whatever block I had the first go-around. The eye-connection learns faster than brush-connection. Vincent Van Gogh said at one point, “I no longer stand helpless before nature.” I have remembered that since the beginning of my struggles to get something I like on canvas. I think the best advice is “keep on painting.” It really does solve a number of problems. The more you paint, the better paintings you create. And you really can salvage stuff that has been waiting for you for years! Here are some before-after photos with discussion.



It was not enough color for me in version 1, even though the flowers really were white.

The orange/yellow seemed zingier, and I may even add more deep red. I changed them to roses.



This one of the little shepherdess was competing with the background. I love fall colors, and yet it seemed way too busy and unbalanced. I changed the scene to a greener cast, and the background seemed to recede more, as cool colors do. I wanted the shepherdess and the sheep to take the interest first, and not the foliage. Sometimes, I think, “it was better before I started to mess with it again,” and that is always the risk you take. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the collector likes work from my “not quite right pile” just the way it is and gives me a new perspective.

It’s interesting that art (and life) is so subjective, but the satisfaction of problem solving with a more experienced brush is very rewarding. I have heard of several famous artists (you would recognize the last name alone) who have come to their shows before the opening with brush and paint in hand for final revisions. This makes me feel better, as validity of my processes is always appreciated. So, keep on painting, (and sometimes re-painting!)



In Memoriam by Jacob Joubert

"In Memoriam" is a massive undertaking of twelve 10x10 feet paintings, one for each major conflict of the United States military. I am painting one line for each United States service member killed in war, nearly one and a half million lines in all. The project was started on Memorial day and is expected to take six months working at least four to five hours per day, concluding on Veteran's day.

This project is designed to provoke thought.  These paintings are anything but polite.  Using the simplicity of a single line repeated, slashing like a machete into the canvas, I want to reveal with a simple abstract gesture the cost of war on America.  Just as the deaths blur throughout our country's history, these lines blur as the viewer is shuttled along at great velocity within the canvases.  The juxtaposition of the work will allow the viewer to come to terms with the sacrifice, life, death, and cost of freedom.

Unearthing a specific subject in the work would be a slippery task out of context.  I'm not using this series to lecture about a specific idea but instead to provoke thought.  My desire is to guide the viewer toward a certain kind of imagery that ultimately encourages them to connect with the often ignored subject of war.  In this process I allow the viewer's curious mind to investigate further and uncover their own meaning upon and about our culture.

As human beings it is difficult to conceptualize large numbers.  The underlying goal of the "In Memoriam" project is to help people process the sheer magnitude of what has been sacrificed and force them to question the value of a single life.  Often times it is easy to relegate the lives lost to history, forgetting the impact they have on us today.  My goal is to create a piece of work that forces the viewer to come to terms with the massive amount of lives lost to warfare and to feel that loss on a personal level in the way loved ones feel when a single life is lost. I don't want the viewer to see lines, I want them to see sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and friends.  I want them to see heros.






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