I mentioned in one of the past blogs how doing something everyday toward my goal of making art was a new mind set for me. Since I enjoyed submitting paintings to the miniature show so much, I decided to subscribe to Art Calendar to see if there were other shows I would be interested in. I have known about this magazine which lists shows, grants and fairs and festivals for at least ten years, but I never felt I was doing enough art to make it worth subscribing to.
The second issue I received was all about art and the internet. We had looked into selling art on Ebay about twelve years ago, but we didn't think it was worth the time to do since it didn't seem like the artists were making much money from the sales of their paintings. The other issue was that we didn't have a digital camera or a scanner to get our images online. Our top priority was building the house, so all extra cash went to that project.
There are all sorts of things about marketing art online now. One of the things they talked about was blogging and letting people know what you are doing and why you are doing it. I want to thank two artists Justin Clayton and Elise Tomlinson for their excellent advice about blogging and how to get started. I wouldn't be writing now without their help. You can find Justin's blog at www.dailypaintings.blogspot.com where he posts an original beautiful painting everyday and sells them on e-bay. Elise Tomlinson talks about Alaska and posts her paintings. Google her site at Alaskanartistblog
Twelve years ago, I was juried into a co-op gallery, where a group of artists get together and share the costs for rent for the space and do all the work like sales and bookkeeping. It was a good experience for getting feedback on my artwork, but it was really frustrating on how few people actually saw the art. I only made enough sales to cover the cost of the rent and I left after a year and a half. What I like about the internet is the possibility that more than a bus load of people can get a chance to look at your artwork. There are artists making good money on Ebay now, such as Patty Baker and Vana Howell. They often paint two or three paintings a day to make it happen which is amazing. They also gave some good advice about how they have succeeded.
Of course all this interesting information made me want to get a computer and encouraged me that maybe there were some other ways to make a living with my art. Our last good computer had been ruined during a lightning strike and we have not had good luck replacing it. We had been using the computer at work for almost two years. Enter the Economic Stimulus Package. We bought the computer we were hoping for and more batteries to power it. Is the change in my thinking bringing things together? Is it just coincidence?
I posted last week my first oil painting in twenty years. I asked Jeff if he would like to post his first oil painting ever, if you don't count the paint by numbers he did as a kid. Jeff's passion is trains. I'll turn the blog over to him if he has anything to say.
Jeff's corner: It was awfully nice of Uncle Sam to help us out with our careers!