This is by far the biggest monetary award I have earned. In addition, my painting was hung in a primo spot, next to the works of well established and much more successful artists! Considering a few years ago, one of my best animal portraits ever, was hung as an after thought over a thermostat, where no-one could find it, I have now experienced the best and the worst. It was a huge honor to be recognized. And it came at a time when I most needed the boost. It isn’t always about the money, but in this case, I can now afford a new point and shoot camera with both wide angle and telephoto lens. Many thanks OVAL, http://www.ohiovalleyart.org/exhibits-events/ky-national-wildlife-exhibit/ for including me in your exhibition!
Miniature Series: Buzzards of Shor Park, 18 x 4" Colored Pencil on linen.Read More
"Departing" is soon to be exhibited in its fourth show this year! The fun part is the exhibition is hosted by my old boss Doug Eisele, owner of Old World Restorations, (where 20 years ago, I learned patience as an art restoration technician,) in his gallery: Doug Eisele Gallery of Fine Art. Talk about full circle! This should be interesting, right?
Please allow me to toot my horn! "Departing" is accepted into the Manifest Gallery DRAWN exhibit. 36 pieces form 27 artists chosen out of 1188 entries by 394 artists. Opening reception April 17th. This is a big deal for me. Manifest Gallery is an amazing non profit organization that shows and promotes very current work through its publications as well as exhibitions. Acceptance into DRAWN makes me feel relevant. And believe me when I tell you, it has been a long windy road to arrive at this point!!
If you have ever wondered why the real life artists aren't as happy-go-lucky as they are reputed to be, consider the expenses incurred in self promotion. For instance, did you know that an artist pays a submission fee of $30.00 to $50.00 for every image submitted to a juried show? Did you know that if the piece or pieces are accepted, the artist pays for presentation requirements, shipping and insurance, to and from said exhibition? For example, some shows require plexiglass, which is nearly twice as expensive as conservation glass. (Don't even ask about UV blocking Plexi.) I recently sent two pieces to California. My shipping plus return shipping total was nearly $400.00. Expenses like these are a calculated risk against a possible sale or the possible lead. How many small businesses take that kind of risk? As I've said numerous times, being an artist is not for the faint of heart.
The hardest thing about being a professional artist is sales. If it isn't a custom order, what sells? Does every successful artist consider this when deciding on a subject to paint? After spending the first few years establishing my reputation, should I stick to what works? Should I, in essence, brand myself ? The collector needs to be comforted by a certain predictability, right? He/she needs to "know" me a little before forking over $1000.00. But as an artist how do I continue to be stimulated? I can't do the same thing over and over without becoming stale. How do I explore and challenge myself if I don't step off the path? I guess it has more to do with business plan and intent. Am I an artist who equates success with income or peer accolades or self fulfillment? The answer is a little of all three. Of course I would love to get paid for doing something well. Who wouldn't? But, that is not my first goal. Right now, I wish to create meaningful, well executed images that resonate with one or two (OK, let's be honest here, many) viewers. My style is emerging on its own and continues to evolve. Who knows what it will look like in 10 years. I don't feel I have time to fool around with what sells at this point in my life. There's too much to learn. I hope that along the way, someone likes my art enough to buy it. So much for a business plan. I really don't have one. I just do the art, show it and enter as many competitions as I can afford. When I actually sell something it's fantastic! Go ahead, say what's on your mind."Don't quit your day job," right?