Friday, January 29, 2010

Any Eccentric Millionaires Out There?

The "part time" teaching job has sure cut into my art-making time! I'm sure anyone with a teaching background can tell you about the all of the extra stuff teachers have to do on their own time -- and I'm finding it's true even at the community college level.

Not that I haven't been involved in art-related activities -- I posted a question on one of the online forums I belong to about whether or not classical/tradition realism has much of a market in this country. I know the economy has been bad, but some artists continue to do very well. Yet, the gallery I'm in hasn't sold anything of mine since April, 2009 -- almost a year!

That is NOT a confidence builder!

So I'll continue to bide my time, painting when I can but looking to see what I need to do to make my paintings irresistable to buyers. So far, my thoughts are to keep painting in a classical manner but not restrict myself to desert painting -- maybe the market for desert/Southwest subjects isn't there anymore.

I have ideas for what I want to paint -- now I just need the time to do them.

I think I need an eccentric millionaire to leave us a bundle of money so we can pursure the lives we want without the financial pressure to produce-produce-produce and sell-sell-sell.

Anyone out there know any eccentric millionaires?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wadda Difference a Week Makes

Last week it was short-sleeve weather, albeit a bit on the cool side.

This week -- rain and snow in the high desert! All week!

The El NiƱo thing has clearly arrived. In some ways, it's good -- California really needs the rain. Unfortunately, the rain comes all at once, and sometimes it's a bit much to deal with.

And as much as I hate being in the snow, I'll have to admit it is pretty -- and makes for fun paintings.

The photo shows the distant hills of Joshua Tree National Park as seen across the valley in our little town. I could see using the hills (without the buildings in the foreground) in some dramatic desert scenes, complete with snow-covered Joshua trees as they sleep through the winter storms.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Changes

I'm changing my status as a full-time artist to a part-time artist.

Because I'm now a part-time microbiology instructor at the local community college.

I have done some teaching in years past, and I have a Masters (and a Bachelor) degree in microbiology. But I've been away from the field for quite a while, and I've never even attended this college, let alone taught there.

So I've got a lot to catch up on, both regarding the subject and what the college wants me to do in class and in knowing how things work there. My painting will slow down for a while until I'm up to speed as a teacher.

But overall, I think this will be a good thing, as overwhelming as it feels right now. I'll be freed from the need to crank out paintings in the hopes they'll sell. Instead, I can take my time on artwork and make them irresistably beautiful. Sometimes, art suffers when one does it for a living and is still trying to emerge from the masses of artists out there.

I'll lose some painting time, but the paintings that result will be better. It'll be worth it in the end!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Continuing the Direction

If you read my last post, you noticed I'm considering adding abstract and surrealism to my usual types of painting.

Well, I have an abstract painting in progress now, and so far, I'd have to say there's a little more to it than what meets the eye.

While I do believe it takes more effort, skill and time to make the kind of paintings I do, abstract art involves more than "slopping" paint on a canvas, which is how I've sometimes heard the process described. There is obviously a way of doing it that provides a piece which is still interesting to look at. Admittedly, I'm more concerned with using color and making the paintings "pretty" so people will want them. But working out textures and many overlays of color is the part that is eluding me at this time.

So for now, I decided to put that painting aside and begin working on a work that shows Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. At least it'll be a non-desert piece, but it will be quite classical in it's look --- I'd say in the Dutch tradition. I hope it'll find a home, most likely in a show or gallery in San Diego or La Jolla.

Wish me luck!