30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- Challenge Complete!

Wow, got my 30 paintings done! It was tough to really get paintings done every day, life does get in the way.  But I was determined.  I did find that I was more willing to try new things since I had to finish so many paintings, which I loved because it really expanded my creativity.  And also found out some things worked & some didn’t, but you have to be willing to mess it up in order to find that perfect ‘something’.

Here are the rest of them:

(23/30) Nature's Symphony 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(23/30) Nature’s Symphony 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(24/30) Mini Ruins #14 5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(24/30) Mini Ruins #14 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(25/30) Supernatural 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(25/30) Supernatural 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(26/30) Mini Ruins #15 5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(26/30) Mini Ruins #15 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(27/30) Somewhere in Time 6"x8" Mixed Media on Canvas

(27/30) Somewhere in Time 6″x8″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(28/30) Whispers #2 6"x6" Mixed Media on Canvas

(28/30) Whispers #2 6″x6″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(29/30) Whispers from the Earth 6"x8" Mixed Media on Canvas

(29/30) Whispers from the Earth 6″x8″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(30/30) Jeweled Mystery 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(30/30) Jeweled Mystery 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Close up detail of Jeweled Mystery.  I added some iridescent paint just for fun!

Close up detail of Jeweled Mystery. I added some iridescent paint just for fun!

30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- The latest…

Here are the latest in my daily painting challenge.  Numbers 17 & 18 I have been working on for a while, but I think I finally finished them.  Also had a hard time photographing #17 so I will need to go get it scanned.  Number 18 is a large version of a small 6″x12″ painting I had done several months back.  I really liked it so I wanted to try a larger version of it.  I am not as happy with the large version for some reason.

Numbers 20, 21 & 22 I did while on a trip to the beach.  I did not want to take my paints down there so I took my Aquatone Watercolor sticks.  I love those things!  I did have to play with them and did several versions before I ended up with these three.  They were fun!

(17/30) no name yet, 24"x36" Mixed Media on Canvas

(17/30) no name yet, 24″x36″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(18/30) no name yet, 18"x36" Acrylic on Canvas

(18/30) no name yet, 18″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas

(19/30) Mini Ruins #13  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(19/30) Mini Ruins #13 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(20/30) Flowers in Purple Vase  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(20/30) Flowers in Purple Vase 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(21/30) Beach with Stormy Sky  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(21/30) Beach with Stormy Sky 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(22/30) The Ocean  5.5"x8.5"  Watercolor Sticks on Paper

(22/30) The Ocean 5.5″x8.5″ Watercolor Sticks on Paper

Well, 8 more paintings to go!!! I guess I should make a trip to the studio…

30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- New Update

Tough trying to keep these in order! I noticed I counted wrong so I had to re-number my previous ones.  I did new versions of my crosses because I was not sure about the first ones, but I ended up giving Gold Cross #5 as my gift.

I am having lots of fun doing this, and it’s good for me to paint every day! I hope I can keep up with it after the month is up.

(12/30) Gold Cross #7  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(12/30) Gold Cross #7 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper

 

(14/30) Peaceful Whisper  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(14/30) Peaceful Whisper 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

30/30 Daily Painting Challenge (I think I’m caught up!)

Yay! Here are #9, #10 & #11! As you can see, I am working quite a bit on my Ruins Series.  I want to create more of these and stretch my boundaries with the series.  I figured this is a perfect way to do it.  I think this is the series I want to submit to galleries, so I definitely need lots more! :)

Mini-Ruins #9  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #9 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #10  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #10 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #11  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #11 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing any of these!

 

30/30 Daily painting update…

Well, it has been tough finishing a painting every day!  I do have about 6 paintings going at the studio but not many finished.  Interesting thing I found with the cross paintings, I was trying to recreate an old series and it’s not working the same.  I think it’s because 1. my paints are different and 2. my style has changed.  Not sure I like these as much. I was going to give one as a gift but not sure now…

Here’s a few of the ones I finished!

not named yet. 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

not named yet. 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas (3/30)

not named yet. 7"x10" mixed media on paper

not named yet. 7″x10″ mixed media on paper (4/30)

Mini-Ruins #9  6.5"x6.5" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #9 6.5″x6.5″ Mixed Media on Paper (5/30)

Gold Cross #5 8"x10" Acrylic on Paper. I was working on a gift for someone and was trying to recreate an old series. Not sure I am as happy with these.

Gold Cross #5 8″x10″ Acrylic on Paper. I was working on a gift for someone and was trying to recreate an old series. Not sure I am as happy with these. (6/30)

Gold Cross #5 8"x10" Acrylic on Paper.

Gold Cross #5 8″x10″ Acrylic on Paper. (7/30)

"Mystic Ruins" 8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

“Mystic Ruins” 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas (8/30)

30/30 Daily Painting challenge

First of all it has been way too long since I have posted anything on my blog! It has been a rough 1st half of the year, but let’s see if I can change that.

I committed to do a “30 paintings in 30 days” challenge with a group of artists, and I thought I would post daily my paintings and any thoughts about the challenge.  I started it yesterday, so here are my 2 paintings so far…

Whispers #1 (1/30)

Whispers #1 (1/30)

Spirit (2/30)

Spirit (2/30)

It will be rough to actually do a painting each day, but I may do more than one on some days to make up for it! I know tomorrow I may not get a chance to but watch for 2 hopefully on Thursday!

By the way, if you are interested in any of these paintings just let me know!

 

Artists, do you have Business Cards?

I am so surprised how many artists do not have or carry business cards.  It’s such an easy way to share your contact information, and a way to show off your art!

Let me tell you about how I sold my last 2 paintings.  I got an email from a gentleman through my website stating that he liked my work and wanted to get more information on some of my paintings.  I emailed back and asked him a few more questions, and when he replied he stated: “Funny, I just found your card on the ground in a parking lot in SW Austin by chance.   Glad I found it.”   Well, I decided to get really nice quality cards from moo.com (this link should get you a discount on your first order, at least for a while) you can get more than one image on cards per order and I think they are well worth the money.  I really think because of the quality and the painting on it he took a closer look and picked it up.   We did end up meeting and he bought the 2 paintings and brought friends along with him!

My Moo Business Cards!

My Moo Business Cards!

I think beside having cards, as artists we should show off our art on them.  It’s so easy to do and you really do not have to spend a lot of money!  The 1st cards I got were from Vistaprint, you can add your own art on them and they are pretty inexpensive.

(Now I am tempted to ‘drop’ my card around town!  I thought my grandson had dropped the card somewhere, he likes to play with them, but I am not sure it was him!)  :)

 

Is Web Presence for Artists Important?

I think having a web presence as an artist in this date and time is very important.  I really is the best “store-front” we have to show out work to anyone interested.  I know there are a lot of artists out there that are intimidated by the idea of doing much on a computer (I know a lot of artists that do not like anything technical!) but it does not have to be scary.

There are many “art website” companies out there that have the template set up specially for artists and all you have to do is plug in the information and images.  The first one I found out about is Artspan.  An artist friend of mine still uses Artspan after many years and still likes it.  A few others that I have friends using are Zhibit and Fine Art America, which you may be limited in what you can do or add to the site, but if you want easy, simple & basic these work.  Also with Fine Art America you can sell prints of your work straight through them.

There are also non-art related ones like Wix, Weebly and even blog sites like WordPress.com and Blogger.  Again, there may be limitations, specially on the free or inexpensive versions, but it gets you on the web.

My Website!

My Website!

I feel the fastest & easiest way to get your work out there is Facebook!  You can easily set up a “page” for your art and sharing with the public is very easy.  People do not have to have a Facebook account to be able to view your work on a Facebook Page, they just won’t be able to comment, etc.

Now, lots of artists are afraid of having their work stolen or copied off the web.  My feeling on it is you can keep your work hiding at home and no one will see it, or have as many people see it as possible!  I feel it’s not much safer hanging in the public either with everyone having cell phones, so worrying about it will just keep you from ever showing it.  There are certain things you can do to make it more difficult for anyone to steal your work from the internet.  First, you can post images that are too small for anyone to make a copy or print of.  You can make them under 800 px and 72 dpi.  You should also add a watermark across your image.  I believe some of the art websites have a feature that you can automatically add a watermark to your image.

Of course there are many more sites I did not list here.  You can always hire someone to do a website or set up Facebook for you, you do not have to do it alone.

FYI- My website www.gretaolivas.com is built with WordPress.org, free web software, but you do need to get your own domain name & webhost.

Anyone have good suggestions for websites!  Please post on the comments and hopefully it will help someone!

Blog Post 12.30.13 (My 2013 Art Year)

I started thinking about my “2013 Art Business” and I thought I would look at the paintings I sold this year.  sold 2013It was a pretty good year for me (new work, old work & commissions!), so I am trying to set my goals for 2014.  One thing I decided to do is try to do some art festivals.  I feel right now that it’s the only way to really get my art seen around the country.  The whole ‘trying to get into a gallery’ thing seems pretty impossible, unless you know someone and get an introduction.  So, I have decided to submit to some of the better festivals around the country and ones in towns I would like to have my work in.  We will see what happens, and I will definitely post my experiences here.  In the mean time, studio tours, select shows and lots of social media will be it!  Always working toward being a full time artist, and I WILL get there!
I do want to thank Gallery by Jeana Marino for believing in my work and helping me sell several of these pieces, which sometimes seems very difficult to do here in Austin!

BTW, if anyone has any great ideas let me know! :) Always learning!

Blog Post 12.26.13 (My Favorite Art Blogs)

As a self-taught artist, I have had to do a lot of research about the business side of the art world.  Along with many artist friends I have met mostly through the Creative Arts Society here in Austin, we get together often and discuss how to sell our work and do a lot of research online to figure things out.  We have slowly come up with several blogs that we refer to often for information.  I thought I would share a few of my favorites!

I came across several of these either through friends, through other artists and on Twitter (I think it’s a great resource), or on Facebook.

Be Inspired, by my friend Maria Gatling.  She has the best ideas to spark your creativity.  Whether you are an artist or not, she has ideas that you can use every day.  She also teaches creativity workshops!  Please check out her blog and contact her if interested!

Skinny Artist, I came across Drew 1st through Twitter (He’s a great person to follow!)  I have found great posts that have been inspiring, made me think and I have even made their ’21 Artists to Watch’ list for 2013! (Which I was quite honored and surprised by the way!)

Artpromotivate, they have lots of posts on selling art, to websites, PR, and have great featured artists.  You can also as an artist submit your information to be one of their featured artists!  (And that’s where I got the idea for this blog post! :) )

Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee, she has great information on creating art, art business and social media for artists.  Lori is also a great person to follow on Twitter!  She was ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter and always shares great info.

The Abundant Artist, their goal is ‘Dispelling the Starving Artist Myth’.  Lots of resources on marketing, websites, etc.  They want to prove to us that we CAN sell our art!

Art Biz Coach is Alyson B Stanfield, she holds workshops, events, bootcamps, coaches and wrote the art marketing book ‘I’d Rather Be in the Studio’.  I also learned about Alyson through Twitter and is a great person to follow!

Red Dot Blog, has great art marketing and art business info on their blog.  It’s run by Jason Horejs with Xanadu Gallery.  They also have podcasts and hold workshops.

Artists Who Thrive, has great info from artist copyright to pricing artwork and more.  Very informative articles!

If you have any favorite blogs I did not mention please share them here!  I may have forgotten some also, so if I did I will add them under comments!

I hope this helps you on your way to making Art your career!