Selling ART at a Holiday Bazaar

I will be participating in a Holiday Bazaar. I’d love it if you would come by and say HI, buy some of my art and see what new things I’ve been up to. There will be a lot of other local artists selling their art there as well. Remember, how awesome it is to support local artists, and local stores. I know from experience that people love getting handmade local art for the holidays! I will have Encaustic Paintings and Monoprints as well as handmade journals and notecards for sale.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

7:00 am – 3:00 pm

Panama Bay Coffee Company

289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo

HERE IS A SNEAK PEAK AT WHAT I’LL BE BRINGING!

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The Crafter’s Workshop & Encaustic Painting Demo Success

How many of you have either wanted to or have demoed art materials before?

I love demoing/teaching about art supplies and all the different ways one can use them. There is nothing like showing and sharing what you know and seeing that light in someone’s eyes when they realize all the possibilities. Believe me when I tell you – what we can accomplish with art is endless and there is always something new to learn and explore.

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I have done a lot of demos and sometimes I have just “winged” it and sometimes I have planned it down to the very last detail. I want to talk to today about planning, what strategies I use when preparing to share my knowledge and teach fun projects or just basic techniques. Today I want to share with you how I plan and execute a successful demo using Encaustic Paint, Mixed Media supplies and my favorite thing – The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils.

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There are a few things to take into consideration when planning a demo; who will be there, what could I possibly need, what can go wrong, what can go right, how can I be sure to have everything I need for what I want to demo and last but not least – where will I be during this demo.

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Last weekend I was asked to give a 45 minute lecture on encaustic painting and then demo for the rest of the day. I thought about what I would bring, what I would need for a successful demo and lecture. I think I may have brought too much, but I felt better to be over prepared than underprepared.  One of my favorite things to use in encaustic painting are The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils. They are so versatile and easy to use, easy to clean up and they are great for demoing from beginners all the way to  professionals. There is nothing like using a stencil and seeing such immediate and awesome results with stencils.

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Ok, so I thought about what I needed to bring – Next I needed to think about who was going to be attending the lecture and the demo. I asked the manager/owner of the store who he thought would be attending and he said all new encaustic students will be attending the lecture and he wasn’t sure about the demo. It is always best to teach to the lowest common denominator. I talked about the basics; how to set up your studio and safety. Next, I talked about all the fun things one gets to use in the studio. There is so many fun things one can use in a studio such as heated pallets, colored bees wax, professional and found tools,  blow torches and practically anything else you can think of.

After my lecture I went out into the store to demo for the rest of the day. It was great fun! I was able to work on a bunch of different projects all at one time. I talked about the projects along with teaching all types of techniques. It was like a bunch of mini classes all during the day. I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. It was great fun!

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The last thing I wanted to do to prepare for this demo was to make a list of all the different things people could do with encaustics. I made a list of all the different projects and brought more than enough material for each project along with extra substrates incase something got messed up. I have found that it is important to go with the flow and not worry too much, it seems there will always be something you weren’t prepared for. That day it was electricity. The extension chord didn’t work – no big deal – just finish setting up while it got fixed. I sometimes forget that people attending are flexible and will wait.

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I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. I guess the most important thing to remember about demoing: HAVE FUN!

Here is a picture of me having fun!

torchey

Selling on Esty & Goodsmiths

I have been wanting to get a website together but feel very overwhelmed by the whole prospect. I am very smart when it comes to many things but haven’t put a website together before. I think I can do it but feel scared so in the meantime I have put all my art on Esty and Goodsmiths on line stores.

I have done pretty ok during the first year, selling a few things here and there but not great. I was beginning to wonder if it was really worth all the trouble. This past year I participated in 6 different shows and sold quite a bit of my art and was beginning to think about putting my own website together and taking my stuff off of Etsy and Goodsmiths. Lately my paintings, handmade books, journals, photo albums and address book sales are taking off. I have sold quite a few things on Etsy – including selling to a woman who lives in Spain. I think it’s pretty cool to send my paintings overseas.

I keep thinking I want to get my own website together but I wonder how much exposure I will get by promoting my site myself. I know that I have the potential to have a much larger audience on Etsy (not so much Goodsmiths because it’s not as well known) than from my own website but eventually I will get over my fears, sit down and act on what I have wanted for awhile. I know that there are many sites out there to help me with my website, I just have to find the right one.

I will let you all know when I have a website and will link it to this blog. I just want to share with you the painting I have sold this past week that will be heading out to Spain on Tuesday.

Je t'aime Paris

I am FAMOUS!

Well, semi- famous, I got mentioned in the SF Chronical’s SF Gate. I had a show 2 weeks ago with support of Urban Solutions, San Francisco Arts Commision and 2 Blocks of Art. It was fantastic show, I sold 3 paintings, did 2 interviews, got invited to a friend’s Open Studio in December and made some dough. I couldn’t have asked for more.

I am working on 4 new paintings right now and will be showing them along with some of my past work at the Open Studio, December 15th and 16th and my friends Studio/Gallery. It is called The Clay Underground. Here is the link to my   friends place. http://www.theclayunderground.com/

Here’s the link to the article in the SF Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/The-stroll-that-became-a-headlong-run-3972369.php

Here is the link to my etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

 

 

New Encaustic Techniques

I am trying out some new encaustic techniques this week and I have been having a blast. I have been given over the years pan pastels and regular pastels and I wanted to see what would happen if I used them with hot wax. This is not something the “teachers” ever recommend so I TOTALLY had to try it.

For my first technique was to lay some wax down on a clay board. After the wax cooled, I applied the pan pastels with a foam brush and a triangle of foam that is the same as a make-up applicator that you can purchase at any drug store for cheap. After laying down a bunch of pastel on top of the wax I laid down another layer of wax on top and when I was fusing the wax I got the coolest texture. Check it out!

I then painted my raven on top of the fused wax and this is the finished painting. I used extra damar in my black and indigo wax to get a high gloss as well as a thicker wax and was able to get really good height on my bird.

I did this a couple of times just so I could see what the different colors of pan pastels would look like with the wax. The 2 paintings shown above that are the completed paintings after I used technique I spoke about.

I then decided that I would like to try using pastels directly on the board under the first layers of hot wax. This is the image of the pre-wax pastels.

For this board, I decided to use some inexpensive pastel sticks that I had laying around that are super hard and crushed them up in my mortar & pestle and then applied them with the foam triangle as well my gloved hands. Below are the samples of pastels and the mortar & pestle.

It looked cool but it just looked like color pigment under wax so I needed to push it further. I added more pastel on top of what I had already done. I put white pastel on top of the yellow moon and different colors of blue around the moon and then put another layer of wax on top of that. And this is how it turned out. I will be painting some images over this base layer but was really excited about this new technique that I wanted to share it with you.

Preparing for Shows – September & October

My last post I talked about thinking like an artist. Well, I have been living the life of an artist which includes NOT being on the computer, that is why it’s been awhile since my last post. I have been trying to get my art out there into the world. I have applied to be in a book, I applied for a juried encaustic show in New Mexico. I should hear back from both of them by the middle of September.  I am feeling pretty good and no matter what happens, whether I get in the book or in the show it will be okay. I am trying, I am working to become a true artist and I feel my art is good enough for all those things and more! I know it’s just a matter of time before other people know it.

Recently I was asked to participate in an art walk put on by Urban Solutions SF, a non-profit organization here in San Francisco. I will be participating September 28th  as well as October. It is very exciting because it will be 2 blocks of art with live music and art at every turn. The Central Market area of San Francisco is an up and coming art mecca and I am proud to be a part of the new growth. I am really looking forward to have a show with all my art and talk to the people in the neighborhood. I want to do what ever it takes to put myself and my art out into the world.

I will also be participating in the Mulford Gardens Art & Music Festival, September 29, 2012. It is located in San Leandro, California and will be from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. I have been making a lot of handmade note cards,  handmade journals and handmade address books for this festival.  I will be selling a lot of other goodies that I have put together for this show along with all my art.

Here is a slide show of some of the stationery sets and handmade journals I will be selling at this festival. I hope you all come out, it should be quite fun.

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Thinking Like an Artist

I had a friend of mine tell me the other day that she is starting to think like an artist. WOW! What a great feeling to be able to connect what you are doing in your life to how you are feeling on the inside. I have decided that all my free time is going to be dedicated to making my insides and my outsides match!

I spent a few weekends working on my artist statement and my CV. It took a lot of revisions and reworking but and a very patient friend (the same friend as previously mentioned) helped me with the editing. I am very thankful to her and her help.  I feel really good about my artist statement and think it’s time. It’s time to let the world see what I have been up to and show them that I am indeed an artist and they would do well to pay attention to me. I feel so much happiness and joy when I am creating my work that I have a hard time staying inside my body. I move around like a little kid who has to go to the bathroom. I get all wiggly and can hardly sit still. I am going back to my meditation classes this week which should help ground me. The Saraha Kadampa Buddhist Temple really brings peace to my life, my mind and my world. I am very excited to be able to find a place nearby that I can get to once a week. The Dalai Lama said, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness”.

Bringing kindness to myself and others is one of the ways that I help bring the balance in my life. The balance of myself (inside and outside), balance of life vs. work vs. art vs. friends.

I am going to do it, I am going to start thinking like an artist and put my art out there in the world. I just sent an application in to be in a book. It’s called Embracing Encaustic, by Linda Womack. I think it is very fitting that as I am embracing my life as an artist I am embracing a book that is embracing encaustic art.

Encaustic Painting Diptychs

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I have always loved painting with multiple panels. Whether it is with oil or encaustic. I love being able to bring the viewer from one side to the other with my painting. It feels more complete to me; maybe it’s because I have had 2 families –  growing up with an adopted family and as an adult meeting my birth family. I think in twos….two mothers, two fathers, two families etc.

I also love layers; when I was growing up I would always look into other homes, through windows to see if that was my birth family. I think being able to see through to another world is one of the reasons I love encaustic painting so much.  The wax is the window and even though it may be distorted; if you look close enough you can see what lays beneath. You don’t always see everything but you usually get the feeling of what is there. If you look closely to my work you will see what lays beneath. Have a look!

You can also see what else I have been up to at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

 

Getting ready for the World

I feel like I have been at this for a long time and yet I still get freaked out when thinking about preparing for a show. My head plays all kinds of games: is anyone going to come? Are they going to like it? Will anyone buy my paintings? Will they think they are original and will they get it?

The list goes on and on, but I have to stop and listen to my heart. I am doing this because I love to paint. I want to share what I love with the rest of the world. Yes, I want people to come to my shows. Yes, I want people to buy my work (they already have). Yes, they are original and people so get it. I have to keep remembering that people like my work; they have actually said so – to my face.

Working with Encaustic is very difficult for me, coming from an oil painting background and having control over the paint to using wax, heating it up and feeling totally out of control really has been a learning experience for me. Sometimes I love the outcome and sometimes I think – what the hell just happened? Is is good? Do I like what happened? Should I just leave it? Should I throw it away? I have done both in the past and feel fine about the decisions I made about each one.

While trying to get ready for the last show, I was frantically trying to make sure everything was perfect. Well, being that I am human I forgot that I needed to put signs up for the titles and the prices but what happened was in the last minute I came up with a great idea and people like it.

I have to remember that I may not always be prepared, I may not please everyone but as long as my work makes me happy and brings me joy all the other stuff will come. People who matter will eventually see my work, I will start to remember all the things I need to have a successful show, I will sell my work and my life will be great! If I can stay positive and keep putting out into the world my work, great things will happen. I had 7 pieces in the last show and I would like to share them with you.

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