Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alma Mater

OK -- not a desert painting. But sometimes ya jes' GOTTA do other stuff, too!

I attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (in California) to get my science degree. One of the things I like about Cal Poly was the fact that one can find relatively wild areas on the outskirts of the campus. In fact, some of the biology classes would go hiking around in these places, learning to identify native plants and taking measurements that would be done for environmental impact studies. The lab section of my Principles of Ecology class went out there several times into the "coastal sage scrub habitat" typical of this region.

This painting shows a slightly idealized view of the area (although, unfortunately, the colors never come out quite right on my digital camera). I opened up the view somewhat and added more of the California poppies that do occur here. Lots of California and black sagebrush as well as sycamore trees live here, hence the title of the piece: Sagebrush and Sycamores. Mule deer also hang out here -- it was fun when I arrived on campus in the early morning hours, and I'd see a deer wandering around on the landscaped grounds of the college, venturing away from the natural areas. But the painting depicts mid-morning -- the deer are already relaxing in their out-of-the-way spots, away from humans.

I enjoyed exploring this area of Cal Poly, and I'm thankful I took a class that exposed me to a place I never knew existed prior to taking the class. I plan on making more paintings showing a slice of California at its most beautiful.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 -- A New Hope

A new year! While I was never into making resolutions, I have made commitments to increase my art production (especially from what it has been the last couple of years) and generally have a more positive attitude about things. At the same time, I need to be more careful about decisions I make about pursuing sales of paintings and, even more generally, to avoid people and topics that get me stressed out.

A New Hope is a painting I finished just before 2012 ended. It's a scene of the local desert at dawn, but beyond that, I'd like to think of this piece as a new beginning for me. Trying to make an income in art is hard -- one artist I know referred to "the meanness of the art business" -- and that's an accurate description.

So what's the plan? To keep painting and let sales happen as they will -- or won't. Either way, I have to keep my mind off of the business side. That approach doesn't work if one is serious about chasing sales with art. But it's the way I have to do it.

I'll keep looking for art shows that I can enter that offer minimal expenses. There aren't many of those. But I'll have to see what I can do.

And, of course, I'll keep my website up, doing what I can to increase visibility and to (hopefully) make sales that way.

As always, wish me luck. Oh...Happy New Year!!!