What defines Sucess?

I participated in an art show this past Thursday and only sold one painting but received a commission for another painting. At first I was feeling a bit blue that I only sold 1 painting but I had to step back and think, what defines success for me? I was successful in selling a painting, I was successful in getting a commission for another painting. I was successful in meeting some really great people that evening and I was successful in meeting people who live in Marin and know gallery owners. I really want to get my art into galleries in the north bay. Marin, San Rafael, Healdsburg, Sausalito and places like that. I think I accomplished that. I have to remember that every time I get myself out there and people see my art it is SUCCESS.

I believe in my art, I believe that my art is really good and that I can make a success in my field. I just have to keep getting out there and meeting people and having little success stories and selling my art.

Here are some of the images from my show.

My next show will be on the 18th of July. It will be at the community center in Point Richmond California from 5-8:00pm.

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Please join me at an Art Walk Thursday 6/20

I will be participating in the Art of Point Richmond Art Walk, Thursday June 20th. It will be from 5-8pm and bound to be a lot of fun. There will be loads of other artists along with a farmer’s market filled with delicious fruits and vegetables.

I will be showcasing some new encaustic paintings……

Here is a sneak peak!

seascape study in red woodgrain

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 having a show and nobody knows

There is an open studio happening on December 15th & 16th and nobody knows. I have  a friend who invited me to join him for his open studio and I accepted. He is an awesome ceramic artist and owns a ceramic studio in San Francisco. The studio/classroom space is called The Clay Underground and it’s a beautiful space. It is located in the heart of the tenderloin on 187 Eddy Street between Taylor and Mason. It is in the basement of this old building and is fantastic.

My friend Kevin has really fixed it up and it has a bunch of studio spaces along with area for teaching and classes. I have shared a link below for the spaces that he has on offer. There are still studio spaces available for all artists, not just ceramic artists. I know there is a painter that is renting a space there too.

This place is so beautiful, my friend has done such a great job!

Studio Tour

Please join me in the Open Studio December 15 & 16; I will have my encaustic paintings hanging in this lovely gallery. Please stop by between the hours of 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

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SEE YOU THERE!

Shop for the Holidays while Supporting Local Artists

Participation in a local Holiday Sale in Point Richmond, California, will be fun, exciting and impactful. Whether you’ll be shopping for the holidays, getting out and seeing some great art or just spending some quality time with your loved ones – what ever reason you have for coming to the Arts of Point Richmond Holiday Sale, YOU can make a difference.

Shopping locally and supporting artists has more of an impact on lives than shopping at Target, Walmart or any of the big box stores. Make a commitment to help the people in your area before making the fat cats fatter. Isn’t that what the holidays are about? What a wonderful way to support your local artists and get your holiday shopping done all in one fell swoop.

There will be all different types of art being offered by talented artists – myself included.  The participating artists will be selling their cards, stationery, jewelry, metal work, ceramics;  I will be selling my handmade books, stationery and a few Encaustic Paintings.

Arts of Point Richmond Holiday Show is on Saturday, December 8, 2012. It will be held at the Point Richmond Community Center, 139 Washington Street, Point Richmond, California. The hours of the show will be from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. It’s FREE, and there will be coffee, hot spiced cider and cookies.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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.