Friday, December 18, 2009

Creative People and Cats

"The Cat"
© JLicsko 07
24"x 48"
acrylic on canvas




It seems many work-at-home creative people have cats. Cats seem to be the perfect companion for a painter or writer with just the right energy and few demands. I have been blessed with the perfect feline companion who seems to enjoy my studio time as much as I do. I like to get my chores and obligations done before I paint, and she will often go to the studio and wait for me.


My cat, dear Sophie, likes to be where I like to be. I mean exactly. If I am standing while painting, I must remember not to step on her because she likes to sleep at my feet. Painting with a cat on ones lap is lovely in some ways, but it is not good for serious work. It is usually her choice to be on my lap, but, too much movement by me and she will remove herself indignantly. If I get up from my chair, she claims it immediately. I wonder sometimes if like dogs who clearly love to sit in the drivers seat when it becomes available, if cats don't feel that our chair is the seat of power and therefore rightfully theirs.


Sophie has some peculiarities, she was hired on originally as a mouser. She is an excellent hunter, and she did rid us of all of the household pests. As if she feels obliged to prove her worth, she now persists in bringing them in to the house and letting them go until she can catch them again at her leisure. Sophie is very quiet, hardly ever a meow. She only eats expensive cat food, graciously leaving human food alone. She never walks on the kitchen counter or table if we are at home. On all my canvases, one could probably find at least one cat hair unintentionally worked into the paint or varnish.


My son Adam, who also makes his living as an artist, had a sign in his studio which read "Dogs have masters, cats have staff". His cats spent many long hours keeping him company while he worked. MeMe, an intense personality in a small fur package, was an inspiration for many drawings featuring her Jekel/Hyde personality.


There is a facebook page, Artists and Cats created by Todd Pendu with 603 members http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=61949694304 , and a website too. http://www.pendu.org/exhibitions/artistsandcats/2008.htm


"Working with a group of artists is like herding cats" is an expression that I heard first this year when our arts organization was doing a fundraiser with thirty artists. I volunteered to be the link between the association and the artists. For the most part, it was a wonderful experience. Each artist as an individual was charming, cooperative, and delivered on time. As a collective, they were difficult to get all in the same place at the time. I have forgotten who said it first, but once we heard the phrase, it became the final word on dealing with a group of artists …. "Its like herding cats". If any of you are in that position of trying to organize a group of creative people, I recommend website essay written by Anne Miller, Director of The Creativity Partnership. http://www.tcp-uk.co.uk/docs/4022%20cat%20herder.pdf and David Parrish's Leading Creative People http://blog.davidparrish.com/tshirts_and_suits/2007/06/leading-creativ.html


Sophie has been the inspiration for several paintings. She is almost completely black. In the painting above, it is her sleek silhouette that inspired the painting above. Another painting is almost totally black with only her glowing eyes and blue highlight on her luxurious coat illuminated. Both paintings were for my own pleasure and not intended to sell, but they did. No complaints, because replacing them will be a labor of love.


Below is a few quotes about cats from a list of some of the world's most creative people. For more interesting facts and quotes about cats: http://www.greatdreams.com/cats/cats2.htm


Leonardo Da Vinci "The smallest feline is a masterpiece".

Adolf Hitler is known to have despised cats.

Garrison Keillor "Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function".

Edgar Allen Poe "I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat".

Sir Isaac Newton, (theory of gravity) also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats.

Albert Schweitzer "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats".

Aldous Huxley "If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is keep a pair of cats".

Friday, November 6, 2009

PAINTING GLASS








"Late Afternoon Red"
© J Licsko 09
36"x 36" oil on canvas







I live in the Paso Robles wine country, up on a hill, surrounded by grapes, amid hundreds of wineries, and a multitude of tasting rooms. At almost every social gathering, local vintners offer samples. In the five years I have lived here, I have witnessed first hand the subtleties of the seasons in the vineyards. From bud break (that's the first sign of leaves in the spring) to the rich red and gold colors of harvest, I have watched enchanted, but never been inspired to paint the scenes.

Recently, I was asked by one of my art dealers if I could paint for a show that featured wine culture as the subject. He had a specific nationally known artist's style in mind, when he asked. It is my observation that one always learns from stepping outside my comfort zone, so I took the challenge. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed painting all the sparkles of light on the glass, the sumptuous curves of bottles and glass, and the deep rich reds in the wine. I felt restrained by the requested style of painting, but overall the experience was very stimulating.

What I like best about my new series of wine paintings is the curves. Those who have gone to art school may have done endless exercises in creating the perfect curves, but it is relatively new to me. I have been learning as I go. Each glass offers the chance to study how light changes as the curve does. Curves change abruptly if two glasses are layered one in front of the other, or when a reflection breaks the line. A line that appears to be too long is very often too thin.
The most important lesson for me is that there is an noticeable emotional satisfaction when the line becomes correct. Either intuition, gut feeling, or visual recognition ( I'm not sure which) confirms in the most satisfying way that it is right.

"Late Afternoon Red" is my first painting of this series.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DONATING ART TO FUNDRAISERS

"STARS ON THE WATER"


Most artists today are not selling as many works as they produce, and for many of us, the art is piling up in the studio. So, when we are asked to donate paintings to fundraisers, we can easily be tempted by the idea that it is good to be seen, important to gain exposure. And of course, if we believe in the cause, we would like to help.


While non artists are entitled to a Fair Market Tax Deduction for the artwork donated to charities or museums, artists can only claim a income tax reduction for the cost of their materials, not for their labour, or for the established recorded value of their work. There is no "write off value" to us.


Art auctions can be risky, as too often the artist's usual price for the work is not reached in the bidding. The artist has to accept that most often the charity art auction is a great place for a bargain hunter, and the only consolation for the artist is that we have helped a worthy cause. It is not uncommon for works of art to go for less than 20% of their established value. The best results come from auctions that have a trained auctioneer. Your local TV stations anchorman may not be able to get the bidding wars going. It's a good idea to ask in advance about the auctioneer.


Some art collectors will wait for auctions to get a bargain price for an artist they want. If they know that every year their favorite artist donates to the fundraiser, they have no reason to buy from the artist's gallery. It might be a good idea to stagger charities over time. Donate to a worthy cause this year, a different one next year.


Money is tight right now, and bidders have a smaller budget regardless of the desirability of the art, it may be better for you to give prints instead of originals if you are concerned that your prices will not hold up.


Some fundraisers ask for a total 100% donation, others will give the artist a percentage of the winning bid. If you feel you can only give 30% to the charity, it is perfectly OK to negotiate. Example, if a professional artist works on the donated painting for a week, it is a substantial gift to give 30% of your week's income.


I learned an important lesson this spring, painting to help raise money for an arts organization teamed up with a city project with a specific theme. Occasionally, I am inspired to paint a landscape, but I don't enjoy painting endless leaves. With this fundraiser, I believed in the cause, and I wanted to be included among the group of artists working for a new vision for our city. The problem was the subject. We were all asked to paint our local river. An even bigger problem, the river bed rarely has any water in it.


It was a struggle to find a part of the dry river that has any aesthetic value for me. In the end, after scrapping the first half-painted canvas, I stripped down my view of the river to the only part that I liked, the little bit of water there was, a 200 foot puddle of murky water. Sitting by the edge, at the right angle, the late afternoon sun sparkled like "Stars on the Water" (above). When I chose that view as my subject, I had a great deal of fun painting it, and I learned enormous amounts about light.


However, the painting did not sell, so the fundraiser did not benefit financially from my entry. I still own the painting and it does not fit in theme with any other painting of mine, so it will be harder to sell. The struggle to find the right subject matter, and the time it took away from my "real" work, left me with a deep dissatisfaction. The lesson for me is now clear. Inspiration is the heart of any painting. Artists owe it to themselves to be in love with their subject. I should have said "No, not this time."


At least, I have a painting ready to donate to another fundraiser.


A few questions to ask yourself before donating:

How many works am I willing to donate in one year?

Does this auction have too much art or too many items which will cause all donated items to go for very low prices?

Can I live with it going for a small fraction of it's value?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

CAN ART CHANGE ANYTHING ?


"Nipped In The Bud"

© J. Licsko 09

12"x36"

oil on canvas





The painting shown here was painted as my response to a very disturbing subject. The painting itself looks mild mannered enough and it is unlikely that anyone would guess it's true inspiration without accompanying words. It's raison d'etre is that I saw something that disturbed me greatly, and have been bothered by it for a long time.


It is said that the painting Guernica was Picasso's response to the atrocities of war. In my youth, I said many times with mocking irreverence that Guernica did nothing to stop wars. I questioned whether art in general had any real influence that mattered. In truth, I must confess that I have never seen Guernica in person, and I have been told I should reserve my judgement until then. Good advice for any subject, but I feel now that I have come to understand Picasso's Guernica with the struggle over my painting "Nipped in the Bud".


For those familiar with my style, you may have noticed that I like to paint pretty subjects. They frequently have a suggestion of something deeper, occasionally even sinister, but always it is my desire to add beauty to the world, and not add to the pain. There is enough already.


With "Nipped In The Bud" I felt challenged to use the pain that I felt, and still feel for the subject, but doing so while remaining true to my own style. It took many months before my muse dropped it on me. It felt like that.


I searched for a venue that might be looking for the subject matter. I searched the competitions lists, fundraisers that might benefit the victims or subjects of the paintings. Nothing showed itself. In the end, I painted it for myself, and here is where the reference to Guernica comes. In no way, am I comparing myself to Picasso, but I now understand when an artist is tortured by something, painting it is the best way to calm the beast. A small peace comes from the expression of it. I never had any illusions that my painting will change the ugly practice that it speaks of, but I have been able to put the thoughts of it into perspective. I can live with them, and if perchance there is the possibility that even one person was influenced by it and stopped their cruel intentions...well, one can dream.


The finished painting hung in my studio for several months before I heard of a planned exhibition by the South Bay Area and Peninsula Woman's Caucus for the Arts. They published a call for entries. The subject was "Control". It was to be juried by the Guerrilla Girls West. Most of you know that the Guerrilla Girls, whether East or West, have been bringing attention to the fact that women artists are underrepresented in the art world, past and present, in historical accountings, museums, and galleries. I am a fan of their work.

"Control" the exhibition, is a display of 79 women artists, all making a visual statement about the countless variations of control. There were no restrictions, we were invited to be even politically incorrect, control could be seen as positive or negative.


"Nipped In The Bud" , my entry, is my reaction to the 2002 film of Israeli director Doron Eran, created from a book written by Dorit Zilberman. The film "God's Sandbox" while having mixed reviews of it's directorial quality, stabbed me in the heart. I have wanted to find a way to express with my art my grief and outrage over the cruel and barbaric practice, female genital mutilation, more politely called female circumcision. According to the World Health Organization this practice has affected between 100- 140 million women and girls worldwide. Though illegal, this is even going on in Europe and North America. This protest is not against men specifically, this practice is thriving because of the heavy influence of grandmothers.


The image of a rose whose bud has been cut off before it's bloom, it is a metaphor not limited to female genital mutilation, but to all forms of oppression, including the seemingly innocuous verbal abuse. Someone who suffers the negative affects of control will never fully blossom to their full potential, never really know their full self.


I spoke in my post of June 3/09 Finding the Right Titles For Paintings about the significance of titles. This title "Nipped In The Bud" still sounds flippant to my ears, and not respectful of the subject. Nothing else appropriate came to mind. I stopped searching when I found that the phrase first appeared in a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1607. "Yet I can frowne and nip a passion Euen in the bud". The play is called Woman Hater.



At the:

Somarts Cultural Center,

Main Gallery,

934 Brannan St.,

San Francisco


I invite you to attend the opening of this very special exhibition August 6th, 2009, 6 - 8 p m, and watch the interview of curator Karen Gutfreund on Talk TV www.somarts.org.






Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choosing the Right Frame For A Painting










"Accessories"
© Joanne Licsko
10"x14" oil on canvas


Fellow blogger, and artist Rahina QH in her June 7th post, mentioned that the cost of framing was extortionate.  I agree.  But money spent does not guarantee that you will get the perfect frame.  She got me thinking about all the unused frames that my husband and I have piled up, plus the money invested that will never show a return.

The painting "Accessories",  shown above, was expensively custom-framed with many layers of molding, nearly six inches deep total, all in the perfect colors found in the painting.  It was a beautiful frame, but it overpowered the painting.  After much anxiety, I removed and replaced it with a thin strip of bare wood molding sprayed mat black.  The painting stands best on it's own.

This month, I was part of a team hanging a group show for our local art association.  The artwork itself was loosely following a central theme, but there was little else each work had in common.  Something became distinctly obvious to me as we tried to make a cohesive exhibition.  For the most part, the framing was detracting from the artwork.  A small seascape was one of the last to be placed.  The image was a large crashing rush of white water over a very dark, almost black wet rock.  The "white" water was actually made up of very soft colors of grays, pinks, and greens but it was only because I took a closer look that I could see the subtle colors, and that it was a superb work of art, hidden by the wrong frame.  The frame was a typical, standard size frame that is always available in chain art supply stores.  The manufacturer has tried to make an "all purpose" frame including a little wood, some green, a linen mat, a little gold.  My heart goes to the artist; I think I bought the same style frame years ago.    It was cheap, available in many standard sizes, and quickly attached when one has to make a deadline, but it didn't work for my painting, and certainly doesn't for hers.  


I could take up a lot of space with my theories about suitable framing, and I can't say I have all the answers. I will limit myself to just a few points and I hope, dear readers,  you will add some theories of your own to the comments below.


A mat should not be brighter, or whiter than the highlights in your artwork.


There are some very talented framers, but not many.  A framer wants to sell frames.  

Some have wonderful moldings, but be wary of the beautiful frames that overpower the paintings.  I once heard these words at an opening.  "What do you think of the show?" "Nice frames." Let the painting be the focus.  Keep the frame very simple.  


If you must frame, find a basic frame that supports your style of work, and use it consistently. If you want to bring some together for a future exhibit, your frames will provide the continuity that will put the focus on your paintings, and help define your work separate from others in group shows.


Good framing is the bridge between the painting and the room decor.  Frames are more furniture than art. Potentially, the best outcome is when the experienced collector, or their decorator chooses the frame. They know the environment where it will be hung.  Sadly, not all art buyers have the sensitivity.


Anyone who tells you that you can always reuse the frame for another painting is rarely correct.  


My personal solution:  


I refuse to frame my work. I now use gallery wrapped canvases for all my work. They cost a little more, but with no staples showing they are accepted into juried shows and galleries almost everywhere.  I paint the sides, top and bottom either black or some harmonious color.  All my canvases have a united look when displayed together. 

 

If a gallery wants the work framed, they may, but, I do not buy the frames if the work does not sell. The profit they may make on the frame is theirs, therefore, the expense does not come out  of my percentage.


If the collector wants to frame the painting after they have purchased it, they are free to do so. In fact, asking to see the work after it has been framed may provide an opportunity for further contact to enhance your relationship with your collector


I am interested in hearing from other artists to know what they have learned that helps with framing issues.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"IN THE BAG" EXHIBITION AT THE OLIVE HYDE GALLERY












"Wrapture"

© Joanne Licsko 07

oil on canvas 30"x40"





 I am feeling pleased these days, and I owe some of this good feeling to generosity of another artist


I am very proud to have four of my paintings included in an exhibition "In The Bag" showing the works of eleven women artists.  The theme is "Purses or Satchels - a mobile container or personal accessory that often hints at the personality of the person wearing it."

 

For several years I have a been inspired to work a theme based on women's shopping experience, focusing particularly on the brightly colored shopping bags that retailers know we love.  "Wrapture" is my favorite of the series so far.  It is a celebration of the ecstasy women feel upon the return of a successful hunt in the retail jungle.  Bags of different shapes, colored tissue paper in excess, even the brand name tastefully displayed on the bag that says Chanel, all enhance the thrill.  The chiaroscuro effect of black to white, the pink and cream tissue, the reflected and transparent lights, were all pure pleasure for me to paint.


"In the Bag", curated by Sandra Hemsworth, is currently on display until July 11th at the Olive Hyde Gallery in Fremont, Ca.  Mostly 3D works, the work is both insightful and delightful.  The reception on June 12 th, gave me the chance to admire  the work of all the artists, and meet with carved cardboard artist Judy Johnson-Williams.  Her brilliantly constructed bag made to look like breasts is a work few will forget. 


San Francisco artist Marni Mutrux graciously sent an email to tell me of the show, knowing the theme was perfect for me.  Thank you Marni!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

FINDING THE RIGHT TITLES FOR PAINTINGS













"Abundance"
© Joanne Licsko
18"x20" oil on canvas


Giving a title to a work of art is not mandatory.  Some artists are content with no title, some will simply number their works.  In my own work, I prefer to give some direction to understanding where I my feelings were, or where the inspiration came from.   A title may prompt a viewer to take a second look, to go deeper.  To please myself, I strive for aesthetic pleasure, therefore, making it too easy for the viewer to assume the painting is just a pretty picture.  Usually, I have a theme, or a serious statement behind what I consider to be my better works.   An appropriate title will help make the connection I am hoping for.

Of all my paintings, my favorite title "Wrapture" came from a rapid fire, verbal duel with my friend Joe who possesses a great wit.  Showing the newly finished work to him, I mentioned I had not yet found a satisfying title for it.  He started in with all sorts of ideas, mostly humorous.  His playfulness took me out of my ineffective "search mode".  Spontaneously, and mindlessly, the title flew out of my mouth.  We both new instantly that it was perfect.

Rarely, the title for a painting will come before the painting has begun.  This can happen when a juried show has a theme, and one knows the subject before the vision.  

Most frequently, my muse delivers the title near the completion of the painting.  Sometimes, I think she must be on vacation, or having an affair with another artist, or maybe she just doesn't like the painting, because the work never seems to find a title with any sparkle to it. Example: Bowl with Peppers.

To my dismay, the painting shown above, sat on the gallery wall much longer than I expected.   The painting was the unintentional result of a late summer trip to my farmers market.  I had returned home with a big bag of exotic peppers knowing they would be greatly appreciated by my Hungarian born husband.  I poured the peppers into a stainless steel bowl, and placed it on a table already covered with a leopard print cloth.  The scene was lit by the late afternoon sun from a west window.  I fell in love with the sight, and a series of chance events became a painting titled "Bowl with Peppers".  

Recently, I changed the title.  I didn't tell my gallery, but in my computer files, I changed the title on all references to the painting to reflect what I at last understood was my genuine inspiration -  the harvest bounty, abundance.  Within two weeks of changing the title, it sold.  Coincidence?  Perhaps. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Example of Consignment Agreement for Visual Artists

"Melina's Rose"
©Joanne Licsko
12"x9" oil on canvas


I admit I have somewhat moved on from wanting to think about consignment agreements, but I said I would, and who knows maybe it will help a fellow artist.  I'll try to make it brief.

First, I have included a copy of my personal contract.  I am concerned that the format may be altered when trying to publish it on blogspot.  Sorry if that happens. I work in the old Mac Appleworks application and it is clearly outdated and clumsy.  I plan to change when I have the time to learn a new and improved one. The "drawing" format allows me to include a thumbnail photo of my painting. This is very important! Things happen.  A photo allows everyone to know exactly which painting is missing, etc.
 
About copyright, the law requires one to claim one's copyright and having an image floating around cyberspace or anywhere else is risky.  Insist that it is included always.

Number 5 is essential. It helps to protect you should the gallery sell your work and not pay you. That's a big help if the gallery goes bankrupt.
The rest is self explanatory.  

This contract has been developed by me over many years of dealing with galleries, and private dealers.  My attorney would like it to be many pages longer, but I have found that when I have presented small businesses like galleries with too much to read it turns them off (as it would me).  This small and simple agreement covers all the issues that have come up over the years, and not one gallery has refused it. 

Disclaimer:
By publishing this example of my personal consignment agreement I am not saying it is all that you need.  Please take the initiative and customise one for yourself.  It is meant as a sample of what I have found works for me, and in no way will I take responsibility if it isn't enough to protect your circumstances.  It is meant as an example of the minimum requirements for me.  I clearly state I have no legal background



                              __YOUR NAME HERE___ CONSIGNMENT AGREEMENT


                                   It is agreed between  artist _your name here__and the undersigned that  the    ________  Gallery accepts the following  _your name here______ works of art as consigned for sale:


                             Title                      Medium             Size         Wholesale     + Frame                                                                                                                                                   ______________________________________________Price________Cost 


 photo here            “title here"       ”  ? on canvas      ?”x?”       $0000 .          + $???.

 photo here            “title here”         ? on canvas       ?”x?”        $0000.       unframed

_________________________________________________________________

Terms of consignment:

  1. Gallery will pay the artist __your name here___ 100% of the wholesale price within __days after sale has been agreed upon and gallery has received payment.    If gallery chooses to accept partial or layaway payments, gallery will pay artist 100% of the wholesale price within 30 days of initial sale agreement.  
  2. Gallery acknowledges that the artwork(s) were received in good condition, and will insure the artworks listed above until either the artwork is returned to the artist or the artist has been paid in full.
  3. Gallery will not discount work without artist’s permission on each individual piece.
  4. Gallery will affix ©_your name here__ to all publication of artist’s work ( especially anything electronic).
  5. Gallery acknowledges that it is receiving each artwork on consignment only and will not acquire title to the works.  Title of artworks will pass directly from __your name here___ to the purchaser upon the artist’s receipt of payment in accordance with this agreement.
  6. Artwork will be hung prominently in gallery at all times while on consignment with the exception of specified times when the gallery is showcasing another artist.   
  7. The artwork listed above will be on consignment for a time limited to________ months, beginning from the date of this signed agreement, at which time both parties will either renew agreement or return the unsold artworks to _your name here_____ in the same good condition as when its was delivered.
  8. Gallery agrees to pay for the repair or replacement of artwork or consigned frame if damaged during consignment.  

    _Your name here____ and _________Gallery hereby execute this agreement in their respective names and by their duly authorized officers, effective as of the date of the latter acceptance below:

                                                                        

                      YOUR NAME HERE                                              GALLERY

                                        

                  __________________________                 By:_____________________


                Date: ______________________                Title:_gallery director or??__


                                                                                       Date: ___________________

Sunday, May 3, 2009

10 Tips for Artist's Consignment Agreements





"Poetry in Red"
©J Licsko
12"x9" oil on canvas
(lost but not forgotten)


All four members of my immediate family are professional artists, but sometimes we are unprofessional where it matters most.  Just recently, we had a scare when we thought perhaps a gallery might have sold a work and neglected to tell us.  Our first thought was that our consignment agreement would back us up.  That comfort faded quickly when we couldn't find the agreement for that one painting.  
Under these circumstances, what does the artist do?  Well, in our case, we have had a long term, friendly, and profitable relationship with our dealer, and it turns out that the painting is still in the gallery. All is well. 
Well, no it isn't.  There is a lesson here.  Sloppy records and filing of those records, can cost thousands of dollars, and leave a bitter taste in one's mouth.
Two years ago, I took several paintings to a well known gallery in Carmel, Ca. that had been in business for over 20 years.  An agent had taken my work there initially. My relationship with the agent had ended, and I went to the gallery  to establish a more personal relationship with the director and sales staff.  It was my intention to deliver some originals, and verify the inventory of the prints they still had in stock.  It turned out that they were a disorganized group, and together we made some errors.  I will accept responsibility for the error, because after all, it was my art, and my money.  I thought I had been careful, but the one painting "Poetry in Red", that I was so proud to put in the gallery was not entered onto the final consignment contract
Living  about a two hour drive away from the gallery, I did not go often to check on the status of my paintings and prints. I relied on emails to keep me up to date.  The gallery was mostly a print gallery, and the originals were not selling.  Nearly a year later, I decided to take them out, and was quite surprised that my favorite  painting,   "Poetry in Red" was not in the gallery.  They, in fact, told me that they had no record of ever having the painting.  Of course, I referred to my consignment agreement; my heart sunk as I saw it was not listed.  I had been so focused on proper display, relationships, being perceived as an "easy to work with" artist, etc., I forgot to include the painting in the consignment agreement.  
The gallery staff appeared to be very concerned and helpful in finding the painting no one could remember, but it has never been found.  The gallery has since closed it's doors and the painting is lost to me forever.
I am pretty sure I know who has the painting.  Just a gut feeling, that's all I have.  All I can say is I hope it gives them pleasure.  It would be sad to think that it was locked in a drawer some where and it would never be seen.

So,  I offer some tips to all my fellow artists:  
  1. Accept that every so often, we must take off our arty beret, and wear a business hat.  During that time we must be very organized. It is just as important as creating the painting.  
  2. Create a personal consignment sheet matrix that covers what is important to you and use it each time, only having to add the specific information such as gallery name, art work title, date, length of consignment and so on. 
  3. Get everything organized before your meeting, and make a check list of what must be accomplished before you leave the gallery.
  4. Visit your gallery often, getting to know you helps them educate  potential clients about you and your work.  Seeing you often keeps you in mind, and tells them you are keeping track of your business.
  5. Immediately after your appointment,  file your signed copy of your consignment agreement in a file created for each gallery.
  6. And/or, keep a hard copy of each consignment agreement in a three ringed binder.
  7. As fences make good neighbors, a well worded consignment sheet protects both gallery and the artist, and your relationship.
  8. If a gallery won't sign your consignment agreement, reconsider the value of your relationship with them. Make a counter offer on the details that concern to you.
  9. Don't sign a consignment agreement created by the dealer without taking sufficient time to read it, and paying full attention to how the details might affect you the artist during a dispute. Go have a coffee and read it.
  10. You do not have to accept what might be called "a standard contract". Everything should be negotiable.
Next post, I will list the points I think are essential to an artist's consignment contract.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Passion for Painting Award


I am very pleased to announce that artist and fellow blogger  Marina Vicari Lerario living in San Paulo, Brazil, has kindly chosen me, along with six other talented artists, for the award "A Passion for Painting".  I am always watching to see what she will paint next (check out her recent water color Vórtice 3).   She is very modest when speaking of her art, but I like her work very much, and admire her very obvious passion.  I believe she is a student of the fantastic floral painter/blogger Fabio Cembranelli.  In the tradition of this award, I am to list seven things I love, and to continue the flow by naming seven artists whose work I admire.  In both cases, I find it difficult to limit the list to only seven, and certainly the order is random.


I love:

1. Family and friends.

2. The Higher Forces.

3. Rural living.

4. The arts, music, particularly the words and melodies of Leonard Cohen and those who sing them.

5. My cat Sophie.

6. My studio, and the time spent there.

7. Anyone who is willing to focus on the bright side. 


Seven artists who now are the deserving recipients of "A Passion for Painting" from me:  

(Please forgive what looks like nepotism, I love the work of the other three artists in my family, unfortunately only two have blogs).

Pierre Raby

Marni Mutrux

Jelaine Faunce

Jeff Hayes

Sally Tharp

Frank Licsko

Adam Licsko