Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lake Wylie Fall

I did this painting last fall because I have been a little busy today. It was done in the wet and wet technique. I just love these colors!

I was joking when I said to my friends yesterday, " I hope the Hurricane doesn't get me". Boy I should have kept my mouth shut! Our entry way, studio and dining area was flooded last night. I had people come in and pull out all the carpeting in those rooms. Right now, we have fans and a Big dehumidifier taking all the water out of the air and floor boards. We will live like this for awhile until we are sure no more water is coming in. They predict more rain tonight.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tulip in pink.

I painted this little tulip as a study for a larger piece. In the larger piece I thought it would be sitting next to a pitcher or a vase. Now that I see it on its own, I've decided it can stand on its own.

Once again I cannot really give it a decent name. I can't tell you why I have this affliction. I just sit here and stare at the painting, waiting for it to tell me what it's name should be, but nothing comes to me.
I have decided to change the background when I do it again, more of a graded wash which might have more feeling. The dark blue is nice but a bit flat. This painting is only painted with four colors and maybe I should put some of the Burn't Sienna in the background too. It's always good to put some of the foreground and midground colors into the background.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Shanti Marie - A Painting A Day

"Far Away" A small watercolor painting By Shanti Marie
Since tomorrow is my birthday I will place this little painting (4" by 4") up for Tuesday August 29 2006.

If any of you would like to join my "painting a day group", I will place your link on my page. Just leave your information as a comment and I'll start up a painting a day Blogger group.

Monday blues.

Actually this painting is called Rip tide, and is more turquoise than blue but It is Monday.

I painted this piece and just wasn't happy with it. It seemed to lack any emotional content and appear too flat for my tastes. When it was dry, I sprayed gouche from a misting bottle over some of it and brushed some across the top of the waves. I think I like it now.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I believe most artists struggle. Either they can't seem to get down their vision of what they want or they don't know what they want, (they'll know it, if they see it). I think this struggle is part of the process. Its too bad because of this constant push/ pull it sometimes seems not to be worth the effort. Its why some people give up doing their art. Also, I see people giving up their art because they don't have enough buyers. Buyers equate "good artist". No buyers (not counting family and friends) means not a good artist. This definitely is not the case.
We live in an age when people will buy a Persian rug for their dining area, cover their sofa in silks, and import tiles from Italy to decorate their home tastefully and expensively, yet these same people will have pictures of art rather original art on every wall in their house. They will pay more for a custom frame and mat then for an original piece of art. Go into any model home these days, same thing, prints everywhere. Most from 18th and 19 th century artists. I guess they feel pretty good or safe rather, that this art cannot be denied as good art. It has stood the test of time. The truth is... I think people don't trust their own judgment when it comes to choosing art. They need someone to tell them what is good art. But who? Do you trust Gallery owners? Especially when they are getting 50% of the profits? Do you trust your own decorator who is going to choose a piece of art because it matches a sofa? You have to admit, even I may not pay some of the high prices for some art, especially when it appears to have been painted with a stick and a rag. People don't like to be taken advantage of and they don't like to admit they don't "know" art. The other problem is a simple one, people don't appreciate original art in the US as much as in many other cultures around the globe. Now and as in the past, art was OK as long as it was something to do as a hobby but not as a career. It isn't real work. We have a very strong work ethic in this county and some parents often put creativity in the back seat while encouraging productive hard work, left brain thinking.

So, if we don't buy original art and we encourage our kids to do anything but become artists, and we don't support the arts in schools what we are we saying?

Its no wonder today artists may feel as though it isn't worth the effort, that the struggle to produce good art is just that, a struggle.

As an artist I'll remind you, of a few important things.
1. Its takes a very long time to become proficient at something as complex as art. Be a lifelong student; don't plan to figue it all out right now. It really is about the journey, not the destination.

2. Don't take the advice from lay people. Use your intuition and advice from mentors.

3. You will set yourself up for a big fall if you measure yourself as an artist by sales. Do whatever you enjoy doing, even if no one buys it. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Since I will be busy on Sat. I decided to put this painting up for Saturday, as it is definitely a companion piece to the last painting. I painted them side by side and of-course they have the same feel.

Right now I'm struggling with another large full sheet 22 by 30 piece which I thought I had this all thought out but as things will have it, something went wrong..... Very wrong....

Here it is and as you can see it is sitting on my paint table and is looking a little bleak. I painted the back ground in as I usually do and painted around the three foreground subjects but thought it would be fun to pour some ink into the watercolors. Since I wasn't too sure about this ink, I figured, I better mask over the foreground objects... Guess what? My masked stuff was too old and stuck to the paper like glue. I had to use paint thinner to get it off and as such I'm pretty sure the oil in the thinner would repel the susequent layers of watercolors. So go to plan B which was no plan at all but then I thought, I'll go with pastels...

Now its taken off in another direction and I've lost my road map. Any advice would be helpful.

This little painting measures 6 by 9. It also has a companion piece and since I have a figure drawing session for half a day on Sat. I'll post it for tomorrow's painting. They were done quickly and in a wet in wet style. I am calling this one mid morning air. I often have a problem naming my paintings and this was true with this piece. I sometimes ask other people to give me some ideas of painting names but unfortunately their names are usually worse then the ones I came up with. For instance, I did this series of Koi fish and couldn't come up with any titles for the pieces. Yeah I could have called them Koi one, two, three etc and actually did this until I had painted seven or eight. Finally, I asked my husband Art to help me out. Always the funny guy, he named then names like koincidence, koillideiscope, Koinundrum, and several other similar names, I can't remember right now but you get the idea. Now, if you have any great ideas and think you have a better name for one of my paintings please share, I would love to hear them. Most of my painting names are not exactly right, but just good enough. I don't think people realize how difficult it is to put a name on something every day.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

While drinking very sweet coffee and putting off the eventual morning dog walk, I was thinking about these little paintings. Some artists call them miniatures but since most are 6 inches by 8 inches you cannot really call them miniature. There is someone on e bay selling paintings called "postage stamp paintings" they are two inches by two inches. Now that's a small painting. I think people trade them like baseball cards and the subjects are things like one cherry, or a gumdrop, things that could almost fit into that space. The cost is very low, I believe they are 99 cents( of course the shipping is $15.00). E- Bay keeps saying they're going to crack down on people that charge high fees for shipping only because they're losing out on fees. I use E-bay, now and again but I have never really painted these small paintings. I guess I'll have to figure these things out as I go. For these small paintings, I will have a "buy it now" price of $45.00 plus shipping. Depending upon where you live the cost for shipping an unframed, well wrapped piece of art paper shouldn't be very much.
You should email me and we can discuss the situation. Since putting up this blog only yesterday, I haven't had time to get this page really together. I need to figure out a way to put up a bidding thingy. If any of you have expertise in this area, I would really like to hear from you. I could use all the help I can get. Its hard being an artist/right brain thinker and having to switch over to the computer geek/left brain doer at times. In fact, sometimes I am just happy to get out of bed every morning and be able to turn on the computer much less build blogs or figure out my new digital camera. Speaking of camera, I had a Kodak, actually two, with the docking station, and believe me if you are a moron ( no offense to morons) this is a perfect camera for you. You just take the picture, which is very easy then just plug the camera into the docking station which is always hooked up to your computer its own software takes care of the rest.
Now I bought this new Fujifilm Finepic E550 (E-bay_$149.00) which is great, It does everything and can almost feed my cat for me. But several of my pics came out blurry so obviously I'm doing something wrong and all the pics came out huge, which I still need to straighten that out, then of course no software, so I had to get the thing to work with Bills gate's "Picture it" software, ( I recommend this to anyone, not just morons). Often I get mad at old Bill cause he is one smart cookie and always tries to keep his money coming in, I guess its to feed all those poor People in Africa, but sometimes I just want lots of choices. Ya know?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I just wanted all of you to see my web site. Also: you may Google me and find many more web sites where my art is on display.
Shanti Marie watercolor are the key words to use

While thinking about all of these paintings laying about the house, studio and of course stored at various galleries, I have come upon several artists selling on e bay or making miniature paintings every day and selling these small paintings to the highest bidder. As with most things in my life I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I think; great idea, you get to paint something everyday, (the dream of any artist) and someone will actually see these paintings other then your three dogs and husband ( also a big fantasy of most artists). On the other hand I think its a bit of a gimmick. It seems less about the art work and more about the procedure of buying. But I admit, it seems to work.
I have always believed that the art speaks for itself and if it touches someone they will probably buy it. Just because I believe it doesn't make it true of course. I have found over the years as I watch people looking at art, they do not trust their own judgment when choosing art and will take the opinion of another to give them confidence that the piece their buying isn't crap. There is a need for someone to be that person, a gallery owner, art connoisseur or even just a friend, to tell the buyer, they are making a good decision. The need to be talked into buying the art. This painting a day works because it is buying on a small scale with very little commitment on the part of the buyer. It also allows one to collect and be a collector of fine art without the layout of thousands of dollars.

I understand the need for the artist to at least pay for all of these thousands of dollars of art supplies that one has accumulated over the years, plus art instruction and the need for their art to be seen. I also understand that most people don't want to pay the high prices most artists have to charge because of gallery fees. I don't understand why original art isn't respected in the USA and why artists have to work so hard to sell original works. I hate sales, I admit it, most artists aren't very good at self promotion or marketing. Somehow I can't get myself to tell potential buyers how great my work really is. So I let others sell my work.

recently I sold a small painting for $100.00 and I got a nice note from the buyer saying they loved the piece. I also got a check for $62.00 after the galleries commission was taken out. After paying for the framing, the supplies and the time of hauling it up town, I think the one thing that made it all worthwhile was the note.