This morning I've been spending time online researching articles on making a living as an artist.....looking for new inspiration or approaches I hadn't considered.
One suggestion was to go to ebay and look at the self representing artist paintings that have sold, kind of see what people are buying and what they're willing to pay.
So, I went to ebay and pulled up the listings of paintings that have sold....starting with the highest priced (we all want to make as much as we can ;-)
Well, after looking at several that had sold, I'm still sitting here an hour later with this crinkled perplexed look on my face. Some of the first few that I found......I thought, is this some kind of joke??? Of all the gorgeous paintings and/or inspirational, thought provoking works of art for sale these are what had sold?
These two are by the same artist, listed as Brenden McVeigh who I could find no information on......maybe its a child whose grandparents bought them? Or maybe they were part of a charity auction or something? An old folk art painting?.....no they're acrylic, and acrylic isn't that old. I'm certainly no educated art critic, but come on..... These are listed as selling for $2500. each. (see a larger image on the ebay site...when you get to the page just click on the 'ended' icon/picture and it'll come up larger)
OK.......well maybe there's hope for me yet, I mean if these can sell for $2500...I'm not that bad of an artist, am I?
So.......... curious...........I continue looking.
Awwww no.......really?
This sold for $1721.00
OK.....this can't be right, let me look some more.
This one sold for $1100. Alright who the hell is this guy, this artist?. His name is Mikey Teutul......anybody ever heard of him? Wait...wait....here's another one......rush to ebay cause there are more for sale and this one is just $5000. This one is called Three Little Birds. (must be those three little dots down in the left quarter)
OK give up? Never heard of him?....then you don't watch American Chopper, you know, the show where they build those hot, sexy, gorgeous custom bikes and fight a lot, Mikey is one of the sons. You may recognize the father, that's a portrait of him above, the green blobby thing. To see more of Mikey's ummm art?, you can go to his website.
I don't know whether to just finally give up, or hook up to a reality show and just start painting really really bad.........sigh.


The last couple of days its like my brain has gone off on this trip to yesteryear. I've been googling for old friends, remembering things I hadn't thought of in years........I suspect its because of the 'big' b'day coming up in July, or maybe I just needed a break from painting, I don't know, but its weird, almost out of body.
Yesterday I stopped at a local thrift shop and found myself inexplicably drawn to a set of How-To-Do-It books from 1961......and I bought them?! Ok, they were only $.25 a piece so I didn't do that much damage by buying them.....and I also thought my son (who loves to create things) might enjoy looking at them. But really!....one day I'm trying to get rid of 'stuff' and the next I'm buying junk. I'll tell ya though looking through the books really brought home how fast things change.
Back then you would dare to learn to fix your own TV
Or learn to make a voice activated switch
Maybe turn your radio into a short wave receiver
Have a shop downtown? Have your business phone call you at home when the fire alarm goes off
But I think what really brings it home as to how far we've come might be this....
I mean really..........


The clients were so happy with their screen portrait that they order a canvas one (big beaming smile :-)
Portraits installed in their RV's window...........


My daily painting today was not a painting at all, but a sketch for a 5'x 7' painting the client and I are trying to put together. The job is a definite go, I'm just following her direction until she loves it. This is my/our third attempt to get it right......I'm waiting to hear :-) The front giraffe was originally looking to the right and she asked to see more face, so I turned its head to face forward. I do want to separate them a little because now they are too 'lined up' and they're also too low in the composition in relation to the zebra that she wanted added. I'll also probably add a tree frog or two and maybe some butterflies. I'm hoping I can just work that out on the canvas and not have to continue working on this sketch. I'm always anxious to put brush to canvas :-)


After I had already made an ad for Craigslist I realized I didn't really remember what ACEO stood for, so I looked it up.......Art Cards, Editions and Originals. Art cards that can be traded was the intention of their origin. So I guess I need to stop calling my little paintings aceo paintings, cause they're not cards they're stretched canvas (sort of, more like laid on and glued I think, lol). So I went to my blog and deleted the aceo reference.
I finally sold this small buffet/cabinet that I had to bring home after closing the shop, I posted it on Craigslist.
I kind of hated to see it go, but my apartment is only so big. The buyer got a really good deal, and so did I....she wants to order some dog portraits too.


Another tiny painting to add to the new blog....is it too predictable?......a Tuscan scene?
Well, its good practice anyway. This measures 2"x4".

I started a new blog.  Any paintings that I'd like to sell will get posted there. The blog is called Karen Hetzer Daily Paintings.  So far I have the bird paintings listed and a dog and cat portrait that I'm sure you've all seen.  I am actually hoping to start doing a small painting now every day.  The secondary plan is to build up an inventory of paintings that would allow me to start doing outdoor venues.


Finishing this up, a few more tweaks and then I'll clear coat it. Dog #2 seems to be challenging me....I kind of had to piece him together using several different photos.
Wow! I just realized how much painting I did this past week!



Finally got the screen started........
This is how it looks from the back when its in a window (not a sign of it).....


When I was young I would stop at a friends house after school even though I wasn't suppose to and I would tell myself 5 more minutes won't hurt, 5 more minutes won't hurt, 5 more minutes won't hurt, until 45 minutes or so would go by and I'd run home only to be punished (have I written this before?). I'm seeing a trend here.........once again I chose to paint birds instead of the screen......ok, there is no set deadline for the screen to be done ( I keep telling myself) but it is money I need to get that rent check in the mail. I think its cause there are two dogs in this screen painting thats putting me off it. Painting screens is tedious already, and animals are also a bit tedious to paint..........not to worry I'll get over it and get it done (I keep telling myself).
So here's what did get done today..............
What a happy bunch of birds :-)


And The Flock Grows

OK...I think I'm done for awhile..maybe, I gotta get that screen done. I'm selling the birds on Etsy and on Bonanza (a site I just discovered) for $50 each and they come with their own easel.
Looks like my mini collection is going to grow faster than the super sized.....#3 Blackburnian Warbler.


OK....I lied. I'm addicted to these small paintings....I didn't work on the screen today. Instead I went to JoAnn's Fabric and bought an inexpensive magnifying glass and some cheap tiny brushes (til I get money for good ones).
So here is tiny bird painting #2. Its a Painted Bunting.
Today I must get back to the dog portrait window screen (the rents coming due:) cause yesterday I focused on getting another large painting started...this next one will be a blue heron. Then I spent the evening seeing..... how small can I paint? I've known about aceo paintings for a couple of years and even tried painting tiny in the past but I thought I'd give it another whirl. I did a bit of snooping around online first to see how the world of aceo paintings have evolved, and man have they. I saw a listing for one that was priced at $495 :-0 my goodness I thought, I've got to see this. Check this out.....
And another for $295.......
Keep in mind, aceo's are 3.5"x 2.5" and you usually see them listed for sale for between $1 and $20 on places like ebay, and most are absolutely dreadful. These are the work of David Coalburn, a self taught Alabama artist. You can see more of his work here.
Hard to post this after seeing his work but I'll give myself a break and say this is my first serious attempt and, I could use some finer brushes for sure. Most of my brushes are geared towards mural work and.....my canvas was even smaller 2"x 3"! This is a Northern Parula. I wonder where mine would fall on the price scale? Hmmm....don't think I'm quite at the half a grand level yet....lol.


Two Day Pelican Painting

I'll leave it up on the wall for awhile to see if I catch anything, but for now I'm calling this one done, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It measures 36"X 30".
Taking a break from 'should be' painting(s) and working on something I just wanted to do. Its the first in a series of large scale bird paintings I want to do. I started this yesterday. You'll see that I like to do things in sections, its seems less daunting that way.


Vanity can be a good thing

I want to be vain again. I used to be, not in a bad way (I don't think), but just enough to at least care about what I looked like. This is an old friend of mine from way back. She's the same age as me.......and that would be 60 my friends......and yes, the picture is recent. I start my power walking commitment tomorrow morning on the beach 6am sharp! I think the final straw was safety pinning my shirt closed this morning in lieu of just sewing the damn button back on and thinking that was OK. Well that, and I could stand to loose a good thirty lbs!
I've got a couple of projects in the works. There's the three panel ocean mural, the client has asked for some changes to the design and I'm just waiting for final approval on the changes. Meanwhile I've started on another pet portrait, these guys are the subjects, and they'll be going in a RV window.
The ocean mural client had also commissioned two pet portraits and I've finished one of those.....
and nearly the other.
Yesterday I was thinking about what sort of subjects I would like to start painting. I've been wanting to do some very large paintings like I used to do........
And while I was looking through a book on North American birds it hit me.....I felt a real connection to the pictures I was looking at, so there you go.......it will be birds.
Then, I was doubly inspired when I came across this etsy shop and saw these beautiful little bird paintings.
Aren't they gorgeous! They also have a blog here.


Finished an airplane portrait for my son's mother in law and now I have a few sketches to get done for some other projects.