Monday, November 21, 2011


Unfortunately, I continue to feel burned-out and lacking in any confidence whatsoever when it comes to the idea of painting for a living. I'm still considering trying my hand at writing, but I'm not feeling especially confident there, either. And I feel so TIRED all the time!

On a related note, one of the art business forums I belong to had a question posted in their Art Business section by an artist who has a lot of trouble selling his traditional landscape paintings. Following are excerpts from a couple of insightful (IMO) responses:

"I finally came to believe that with regard to traditional landscapes, people HAVE FINALLY SEEN IT ALL. What with exciting computer games, camera phones, youtube, etc., it takes a lot nowadays to visually stimulate people - they respond to things that are new and different. And traditional landscapes are...well...not new and different. They ARE regarded as out-of-date - they have been around for - how many centuries?"

"...landscapes are very old fashioned and unless there is something really interesting and unique to them, you better be happy simply painting for yourself and have no need to sell. Many of the traditional galleries in this region are not moving quiet landscapes at all, mainly because there are bigger, brighter and more interesting subjects and styles which get attention (figurative works are really hot right now). As well, landscapes are seen as something which parents or grandparents have on their walls and buyers are getting younger and younger. (or we're getting older!)"

Has this been my problem all along? Younger buyers aren't buying traditional landscapes because they're old-fashioned and not exciting enough? I've also seen landscapes on that look like they could be backdrops for video games or for movies like "Avatar." Is that the look I should go for (if I want to try selling artwork again?)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Surreal Desert Paintings, Surreal Desert Landscapes and Other Art Stuff

Lots of big plans for the immediate future. Let's see if I have the time and/or energy to pull them off!

First: the end of the year holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. (New Years always seems to be a downer for me, so it's not listed). Every year, I go looking for books with neat images of these holidays -- images along the lines of something I might do. And you know what? I never find books like that.

So-o-o...I've been thinking: maybe I need to paint up holiday paintings that I would want to see in a book, and then produce/write the books myself! I do have a bent toward writing as well as art, and this would be one way to do both. In fact, I've been trying to think up writing projects for years, ever since the late 1980's when I took a class in which the teacher had us write in a way that conjures up images in the readers' minds. Lots of adverbs, metaphors, similes and such. (I wrote my biography on my Website in this style).

Of course, I'm also thinking of other writing projects: perhaps short stories or even novels. I'm also considering a collection of essays on the trials and tribulations of artists. (Well, OK, the good things about the artist's life, too!)

Secondly: I haven't been painting wall art for a while now, but I've been thinking (OMG -- he's been thinking!!!)...

Sometimes I wonder if the traditional approach to making landscapes is seen as too old-fashioned, at least among the younger art buyers. My type of landscapes are what their parents and their grandparents have on their walls. This entire style of working has been done to death, and frankly, it's a lot of work for so little financial reward. It's certainly no way to run a business!

So, as I wonder to myself as I look at other Websites, maybe I should try making desert landscapes with strong hints of fantasy or surrealism to them. I've seen images that look like they belong in video games or in sci-fi/fantasy movies such as "Avatar." The landscapes look real, but they're unworldly or etherial at the same time. Is THIS what people want on their walls? Colorful and real-but-not-real?

As usual, this semi-burned-out artist has got lots to think about. I need creative outlets, yet I need to make more $$$ than the P/T teaching position gives me.

BTW, there's always a method to my madness. The title of this post came about because I Googled "surreal desert paintings." This blog came up #5 in the list! It's the exact title I used in a post a long time ago. Knowing that, I titled this post so, if I'm lucky, someone just might discover my paintings -- including the surreal desert kind which aren't even done yet!

If you're one of those -- be patient! Don't forget: I'm at