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 (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!

Blog Post 12.6.13 (Working on Art Commissions…)

I recently got my first painting commission.  I won’t lie, for a long time I thought that I would never do commissions, the thought just struck fear in me!  The idea of doing the perfect painting for someone just did not seem like something I could handle, after all, as an artist I always have that voice in the back of my head that makes me question a lot of what I do (I work hard on silencing that voice!).  But a few years ago I got great advice from a fellow artist.  He said he always does 2 paintings because it takes the pressure off.  It was a fabulous idea!!!  The idea of working on 2 paintings has lots of good points.  Beside just taking the pressure off of ONE perfect one, if the customer gets very specific with what they want (even if you don’t agree), you can do one their way and one with your vision.  Chances are they will like yours better, after all, they chose you for a reason! (They already like your art!).  Doing 2 paintings has an additional plus side to it… they may want to buy both, which is what happened with mine!

Now, I have heard horror stories from some artists, and I don’t think I would take on a commission if I get just bad feelings from the customer (like they would be difficult to work with) or doing paintings that are just plain not my style, I think I would refer them to a fellow artist that works in the style they want.  That would just be a pressure I don’t want.  I LOVE painting, and I want to try and keep it that way!

This is the painting that they saw and wanted a larger version of.  I did it 2 years ago and it sold this past spring.  I will be exploring versions of this painting further, it was really fun to do!

Bubbles

Bubbles

By the way, my work is abstract, so I don’t know if this would work if you paint realistically.  🙂

 

Blog Post 5.19.13 (Teaching, Sharing & Inspiration)

People that know me, specially artists, know that I LOVE art.  I am in love with the process of making art.  I find so much joy creating art that I automatically share details freely with my fellow artists.  I think it comes naturally for me to share, so that maybe others can find the same joy I feel doing it.paint closeup 2

I had several friends tell me I should teach, that I am a natural at it.  Well, I can tell you that I never thought of myself as a teacher of any kind!  I guess the difference is that sharing something you love does not feel like teaching, so it does come naturally.  So I finally decided to give it a try and did a small test workshop.  I invited 4 friends to take part (several that encouraged me to do this in the first place), so I could figure out how to structure it for other students.

paint closeup 1I thought about what to name it and how to describe my workshop, and it’s so hard to put into words what I would like to teach.  Mostly I want to share fun techniques, tips, and play, to inspire those that are too afraid to “be” an artist, or remind those artists that lost the “fun” and “joy”, why they became artists in the first place.  I want them to come out of the workshop with their creativity wheels turning, ideas running through their heads and inspiration overflowing.  I feel it’s those little surprises that come out during play and experimentation that excite us and allows us to come up with something that no one else has done before.paint closeup 3

I also love working with other artists.  The inspiration you get from working with others is contagious, and in teaching others you come up with new ideas while you are explaining a process.  I know also that many artists do not share their ideas.  They are afraid that someone will steal or copy them.  Well, with the age of the internet I think that can happen anyway, without teaching someone!  Also I have seen that when you have a group working on an art project, each person has their own artistic vision in their work, which makes it different from the others.  I believe true artists want to come up with something uniquely theirs, that makes them stand out from the rest.