Communication Is So Important

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I responded to an ad on Craigslist regarding hanging artwork in a veterinary facility.  I did get a positive response saying 'he' loved my work and would like to work with me.  A few days go by and I hear nothing else about this. Yesterday finally a reply after sending an email to him simply saying 'Hello?'  He again stated that he'd like to have my work there, told me the hours he would be there and what should we do next?  I wrote back and told him that a good place to start would be to tell me who he was and where this would be.  He neglected to tell me the name and location of this facility or his connection to it.  Googling his name I did find a possible connection to a company called My Veterinary Career, a sort of marketing service for veterinary businesses.  I'll just wait to hear back.
Today I'll be working on my newest canvas........
This belongs to one of my cleaning clients.  They're going away for a couple of weeks and are giving me alternative work to do so that I'll continue to be paid while they're gone.  They purchased this many years ago in Mexico and over the years the paint just disintegrated.  So far we're just trying to work out a design for this and we seem to have settled on an Asian sort of feel.  I found some beautiful photos of a lily pond and they are partial to Koi fish and birds, so I have a pretty good visual in my head on what I want to do, I just need to get it on paper for them and I'll do that today after my early morning (7:30-9:30) cleaning job.


What A Beautiful Double Rainbow

Outside my window this evening...........

Some Prints of My Work Available on Fine Art America

I have spent all day in front of my computer setting up galleries on Fine Art America, some prints are available to purchase there.  I had a hard time finding images I'd saved that were large enough to make prints, but did find a few.  I had fun trying different frames on some of them.
Anyway....what a time consuming process.  With a free account I'm only allowed 25 photos, I've got five more to add.


Bold Tropical Fish Painting on Ebay

Listed this painting on ebay today....bidding starts at $40.  Its pretty big at 47" wide by 39" high.  Its not mounted or framed and is shipped rolled.  Acrylic on canvas.


Why Didn't I Marry A Man With Money When I Was Still Cute Enough To Catch One!!

Just kidding of course.  Here's whats so frustrating about having to give in and commit to cleaning houses again.....work I never thought I'd end up doing again!  I got a text yesterday from a decorator I worked for several years ago, did I want to come down to Tennessee for a few days (free room and board).....nothing I like more than a good road trip.  Remember Gladys :-)  I miss Gladys.

 The decorator is doing work in a homeless shelter and needed a palm tree painted.   Doing work for a good cause.......yep, it would have been nice.  Reality?.........now I'm committed to cleaning four days a week and even if I could squeeze it into the days I do have free I have no money to get there anyway.   I could hardly ask for travel expenses along with a free place to stay, it takes what??.......about two hours to paint a palm tree if that.  It probably wasn't a very practical suggestion on her part and I referred her to the only muralist listed in Tennessee on findamuralist.com .......frustrating.

Narberth Summer Music and Arts Festival

I saw an ad in yesterdays Craigslist looking for artists/photographers to display artwork in a veterinary office, no commission taken.  Wish I had seen it yesterday, I'm sure they were swamped with respondents.  Regardless I sent them some info and photos of my little pet portraits and will wait to see if this is an opportunity for commissions.  I sent them photos of my Craigslist ad
 and the two available paintings I have for display
Not sure I'm going to accomplish much today, I am totally wiped out from the last couple of days of cleaning.  I was managing three days a week fine, I think adding the fourth may have been overly optimistic.  Actually the new client that I added to my schedule had not had anyone clean for her in about six weeks, so things had gotten a little out of hand.  Once I catch them up I'll see if the job isn't more manageable.  I really do need the income.

Narberth (the small town I live in) is having a Music and Arts Festival tomorrow........how did I miss hearing about this?!  I will certainly get myself out for that.  It will be something to think about/prepare for their next one.


Would You Like To Learn To Make These Wood Pieces?

Well....she's finally finished and I can start on the second one.
I like the little peeks of ocean in the background, I think it adds an airy feeling and adds more depth.
So aside from this second hippo painting that needs to get done, there are no more art projects scheduled.  So this afternoon I have an appointment to look at another house that needs regular cleaning help.  That will make four days a week that I'll be doing domestic work to secure an income.  It does make me sad that I'm having to do this sort of work again, but not having to stress about money is a good pay off and I've been lucky to find clients willing to pay the $20/hr I charge.
I'm thinking about putting together instructions on how to make the sturdy little stools that I make and offering those instructions for download for a buck or two....

And maybe these small side tables too............Any thoughts?


You Might Also Like........

One of my favorite blogs to read and get inspiration for projects is BetterAfter.com and I always wondered how those 'You Might Also Like.....' pictures/links were added to the posts.  And today duh, I see the link to the gadget in the bottom corner of the post and its free, cool.  So you'll notice I've added it to my blog posts and once the 'crawling' is completed the links to other posts should be more relevant.  It also made me realize I've not been optimizing my posts for the web, so I'm trying to work on that.....adding titles and tags etc.  We'll see if it makes a difference as time goes by.


A Print For Sale

I have a print on canvas of a farm mural I did a few years ago that I'd like to sell.
 It measures 36 inches by 44 inches.  The price is $150.  And at no extra charge I can personalize it for you with the childs name and birth year as in the example below (my grandson's name and birth year :-).......
 My suggestion to hang this over sized print/small mural would be to simply tack it to the wall with just a couple of staples and then use small finishing nails or a brad gun if you're lucky enough to have one to tack on some wood screen molding to frame it as I did in this mural I have hanging in my apartment.......
Contact me if interested: karenhetzer@gmail.com


Why Do Some Paintings Sell At A Higher Price Than Others?

Well.......the happy little bunny mural should arrive at its new home sometime today.  And I will finish up Ms Hippo painting #1 today......I confess I keep putting it off.
I have got to unsubscribe to Abbey Ryans announcements,  it frustrates the heck out of me to see what her small paintings go for on ebay, not that I'm in her league of course, but come on..........I'm just saying....
Here's her latest offering.....
It measures 4 inches x 6 inches and with just short of six hours to go, the bidding is currently at $450.00
If you hurry you can get in on the bidding (update: sold $450.).....or email me, I'll paint you one for half that ;-)
Personally I like this one.....vibrant color, movement....I want to squint from the glare of the sun on the water.  Its by artist Onelio Marrero.
It measures 16"x 20" and with 11 hours remaining there is one bid of $99.
I like Abbey's work, technically its amazing, I just don't seem to feel much when looking at it.  To me they're just pretty pictures.  I made a comment on her blog once something to the effect that adding leaves to a piece of fruit actually brought some life to the painting........I don't think she ever posted the comment....hmmmm? I wasn't being mean, she asked.
So you have to wonder.........is it talent or really really good promotion and marketing.  Its both I suspect.


Beatrix Potter Mural Completed

Well, its done I think.  I'll stare at it today and tonight to see if I think anything needs to be tweaked.


Does This Painting Need More?

Near end of day 2 on this one.  I want to add something to the right side so I'm checking with the client.....it needs something there........I'm thinking the edge of a rustic dining table.......we'll see what they say.


Started the Beatrix Potter Mural and Finishing Elements On The Hippo Painting

I started on the Beatrix Potter mural today, here's how its going.
Because they wanted it more horizontal than vertical I'm going to have to fill in some areas with more veggies/herbs etc.  I actually had to go online to find out what this bunny home was made of before I could start...the image I had to work from didn't really tell me........they live in a rabbit hole in case (like me) you've never read Benjamin Bunny.  By the way, you can read it here free along with over 5000 other books.

I got a response yesterday from the client with the hippo painting and she wanted the edge of the pool painted a terracotta color.  I'm not crazy about it myself, but I checked with her and she likes it, and so it is.  I've decided to put a rock in the dark space on the right....as soon as I get to it :-)  Wonder if I could put a peek of ocean in this, maybe by her arm, just a little bit........think I will.


Balancing Art Jobs With Cleaning Jobs

Here's an update on the hippo painting #1 progress
The client asked me to paint the edge around the pool a terracotta color and not to give her flip flops.  So with that, and just filling in the foliage on the right (or do I do another boulder?) and cleaning up edges this one will be finished.
Today is cleaning.  The cleaning gigs are going better than I expected, first they're both great clients, and second I'm not aching from it as much as I thought I would........well........except I stretched too far lifting a heavy vacuum the other day to put it up a couple of steps and pulled my back (ouch), but that'll go away :-)
Tomorrow I'll start the Beatrix Potter canvas mural......looking forward to it.


Small Murals On Canvas-A Great Option

I got another small mural commission today.   I'll enjoy doing this, its a Beatrix Potter image and I'm doing it on canvas, so I won't have to do the 1 hour commute to the clients home.  It will be 30" high by 52" wide.  I'll start that this weekend.
 I sent the client a picture of a canvas mural I have hanging on my wall to show them how it could look hung.  I used wood screen molding to frame it out.  I just stapled the canvas to the wall with a few stables and used my brad gun to tack the molding around it.....easy!
They didn't want to do a whole wall mural, just something for over the baby's crib.  I'm not a big fan of doing small murals on a wall and trying to fade them out at the edges.  And more often than not when I suggest to a client that they have the work done on canvas, they seem to have a hard time visualizing it.....even though there are several excellent reasons to have the work done this way that should be convincing enough. 

Tomorrow I'm going to spend time on the hippo painting and try to get it finished up.  I'm glad I set it aside for a couple of days because studying it helps me to see what needs to be done/or changed.
I am going to bring the foliage down further.  I want the ice bucket and chair to stand out more and the green background will do that better than the pale color of the pavement.  I'm also going to try darkening the hippo so she stands out more from the similar color of the weathered chair.  Yes, I thought about adding color to the chair, but I seem to be resistant to the idea.  Maybe I'll save that for last and check with the client to see what she thinks.


Marketing And Staying Focused

I was reading an article this morning on artprintissues.com by Barney Davey, I'm sure its advice I've heard many times before but for some reason it resinated with me this time.  Maybe because while flipping through TV channels last evening I saw these singers from the 50's and 60's singing their popular hits and couldn't help but wonder how one song could continue to make money for them year after year after year.  Its the same goal for artists isn't it......produce a work that will sell prints year after year.
Watching Secret Millionaire last night with artist Scott Jacobs whose name meant nothing to me (and I had to google), but whose giclee prints I discovered, can sell for thousands. 
Barney Davey:  "By not prioritizing their marketing, artists can find themselves pulled in too many directions at once when trying to get their work to market. It is common for an artist to want to make different kinds of art; that is they might be interested in working in watercolors, oil, pastels, or even sculpture or mixed media. Or, perhaps they want to do landscapes, abstracts and portraits.
Entertaining imaginative impulses is great for a creative person; it keeps the stimuli at a high level. Regrettably, it is a snare and a trap for the artist serious about marketing their work. There is a need for the artist to focus on a distinctive style, or aesthetic. Consumers, art dealers, and art galleries use continuity to help them understand the artist and their work."

Its ingrained in me, my mother telling me as a young person that I would never be happy because I flit from one thing to another.  Was I just 'entertaining imaginative impulses'?  I would get spanked for rocking in my bed at night....I swear I could move a bed across the room in my sleep.  And teachers who would say, she can't sit still and she's smarter than this, when my grades continued to be subpar all through school.......why I hated writing book reports because I could never stay focused on the words in a book, I still find it difficult and do not enjoy reading.  Why I'm happier doing physical work rather than sitting quietly with a project..... why I prefer murals over the easel (although I love both).  Why I drink to quiet my brain.
I have to wonder...... is the frustration that I always feel just lack of discipline, or a trait of the creative person,  or is it something else.  Has ADD been around longer than has been talked about.  Because like my teachers.......I know I'm smarter than this.
I think its time to find out.


No Mural Job Too Small

I spent yesterday doing a quick small mural job painting an image off of a crib blanket.

And when I finished that I stopped at a potential job to check it out.......about 40' of exterior wall.

This one is going to be a challenge.  The homeowner only had one thought as to what to do with it and that was an ocean and dolphins.  His home seems to be the 'go to' house in the neighborhood for kids, there were about a half dozen playing in the yard when I arrived, and you can't blame them, there were plenty of toys and a pool to keep them occupied.  The owner also did not have a budget in mind so I'll be trying to come up with a few options for him to choose from.
I am so happy that painting jobs are trickling in.....I'll be getting a phone call Tuesday afternoon from a new grandmom to be to discuss a mural for the grandchild's bedroom.  They'll be finding out on Tuesday the sex of the baby.
Oh, and I also got that second cleaning job just three blocks away so now I'm working 3 half days a week, it really helps to take the pressure off.......not to mention getting me back in shape :-)
And here's how the first of the two hippo paintings is going.  I originally had the 'garden' to the right set back further but it left too much dead space in the painting so I'm in the process of moving that forward.....actually now that I look at it I may bring both sides a bit more forward.  I still don't like all that empty space...I could have made the chair and her a little larger I think.
And of course I've more to do on her and the pool. This is 18"x 24"
Since these paintings are to be a potential set I suggested moving Ms Hippo from the beach.......

to poolside as shown in the sketch for the 2nd painting.......and I thought the champagne bucket made more sense poolside rather than on the beach.
Well, back at it.  Have a great Sunday everyone.