Elizabeth BaumanNewsletter December 2009, Volume 3
Things are changing a bit here in my little art world. I went to a lecture in late November given by jewelry artist Nancy Worden and suddenly many things have shifted. The lecture was about promoting and marketing your art, so I figured I might pick up a few tips. I had no idea that it would be so much more. When I have an experience like this, it often takes weeks for me to process what I've learned and then to make changes so during the actual lecture I was just listening. Afterwords, I was mulling over one of the ideas she put out there including: what are your goals with your art? Who do you want to purchase it? I have goals, naturally, but they are definitely more short term: sell some art, approach some galleries, keep painting. I realized I had not gotten much further than that. So I've been seriously thinking about what my long term goals are and, as she suggested, focusing on how to obtain those goals. It is so easy, especially in the internet age, to focus simply on the day to day selling of art. And my long term goals are becoming much more than just that.
After I really mulled over these questions I went to the Hallie Ford Museum(Salem, Oregon) to see the exhibit of Nancy Worden's jewelry. Some really fascinating pieces and I wanted to know more so I bought the book that went with the exhibit. Once again, there was a giant shift in my thinking (it's so funny where you find your inspiration, in art so different from my own). For awhile I have been struggling with the next step in my paintings, deciding where I wanted to take them because I have felt I was not quite there yet. Although I have been pleased with the landscapes and interiors I have been including in the portraits, I always feel like there is something missing. I found that missing element when I read the book about Worden's jewelry. Unlike many jewelry artists, and many other artists, rather than starting with a found object and building her piece around it Worden begins with an idea or concept and then finds what she needs to explore that idea. That was it, the key I was missing. Starting with an idea, something in my own life perhaps, then telling that story in a painting rather than starting with an inspiring photograph. Suddenly this gives my painting more meaning to me and the possibilities are endless.
This will not probably create a huge change in the look of my paintings, at least not for now, but I think you might notice some subtle new things. The first painting, the painting that has been holding up my sending out the December newsletter, is below. Titled "Planting the seed" it shows a parent (in this case a mother, but it could be a father too) holding that seed filled with all the hopes and desires the mother tries to pass to her child. I put several other elements in the painting, but I'm not sure I want to explain each one of them hoping instead they might tell you a story on their own.
A little more to share
Next month I will have a gigantic painting to share with you (I hope anyway). Despite my initial hesitations due to the size requirements (huge) of the Keizer Mayor's Invitational (in Oregon), I have purchased a 24x36" panel to paint, finish in time (early January), and submit for this juried show. I don't know if I will complete it by the turn in date, this is the largest painting I have done in years and yet I just could not pass up the challenge.
Just these three paintings this time. The last one took up quite a bit of time.
Lila and Fern on a holiday, Acrylic on 10x10 inch panel
A little shy, Acrylic on 8x8 inch wood panel
Planting the seed, Acrylic on 12x16 inch panel
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! No new special discounts for this newsletter, but remember my print discount is good until the end of the December: Buy one, get one ½ off. Buy two, get one free. Simply put the desired prints in your cart and checkout but DO NOT PAY (unless you are buying 2 and getting one free, then you can check out and let me know which is your third choice). Then, either e-mail through Etsy or through my e-mail with this special code NOVEB09: email@example.com and I will send you an updated invoice through Paypal. Good through the end of December (or as long as I have them in stock, whichever comes first).
Thank you for reading this very wordy e-mail. Next month I hope there will be less words and more paintings.