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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Getting Creative

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"Sailing Medley"
Oil, 30" x 40"
Click here to purchase this painting.

We all need to be more creative when it comes to selling our art. This week's Artists Helping Artists show was titled "How to Use Pinterest and Facebook to Drive More Traffic to your Art Website". Most of you probably aren't aware that it takes three to four hours every week to research the show topic and create the show notes. Every once in a while a topic comes around that really gets me inspired. This week's show was one of them. 
The challenge we all have with social media is that it's always changing. It's nearly impossible to keep up with what's new and it's frustrating to even try! That's why I love the AHA show. I often pick topics based on what I want to learn more about. The reason we do a lot of AHA shows on Facebook is two fold. First, it's the best marketing tool I use. Second, it's the only way I can attempt to keep up on what's new.
We started this week's show with a lot of great Facebook ideas. But the Pinterest tips were what really got me excited. For example, if you want to see what’s being pinned from your art website just use this URL, http://www.pinterest.com/source/saetastudio.com/ (but put your website in the last part instead of saetastudio.com). You will see every photo that has been pinned from your website. It also shows who pinned it which is a great way to learn who likes your art (hint ... potential collector or workshop student). 
Another suggestion on the show was to create visual images with words on Pinterest. Your pins will be a lot more successful if you add words and tell people what to do. I like to use a more subtle approach. Here is an example I created this week:

You can use any of the free online photo editors to create this collage such as Picmonkey or Ipiccy. They are fun and easy. Just make sure you always include a link to your website where a potential client can get more information.
Here is another one I created for Facebook to promote my Monday Open Studios:

I highly suggest you listen to the "Artists Helping Artists" show. It's free and there are four and a half years of shows archived on the site. 

Check out the remodel blog for our beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte NC, Richmond Va and Atlanta Ga. Click here for more information!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding Time to Paint

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"Resting in the Harbor"
Oil, 11" x 14"
Click here to purchase.

I had a conversation last week with an artist friend who was having a hard time finding time to paint. I empathized with her struggle as a few years ago I found my self in the same dilemma. It was December of 2012 and I hadn't painted in about three weeks. Prior to that, I hadn't painted in two weeks.

At the time I was struggling with my schedule. I was making the transition to working full time as an artist and yet I couldn't seem to find the time to paint. It wasn't until I sat down and looked at my schedule that I recognized that the problem was. Painting wasn't a priority. Of course htat makes no sense if I was an artist!

I was stunned at how many appointments and meetings I had on my calendar that had nothing to do with painting. Somehow I had managed to fill my daily schedule with personal and volunteer obligations. I also was spending a lot of time doing marketing, which is important. But my "career" as a painter hadn't quite become a priority if I wasn't in my studio painting.

That's when I came up  with the idea of "Thirty paintings in 30 days". I figured if I painted every day for 30 days then painting would become a priority and a habit. It worked. Plus, I was lucky enough to find about 200 artists to take the Challenge with me.

I developed new changes to my daily working schedule. I limited all meetings to Fridays. I blocked off the Monday - Thursday "workday" from 9 - 4 for painting. I started Monday Open Studios so other artists could come to my studio and paint with me. And I repeated the Thirty Day Challenge three more times. (FYI, the fourth one will begin on September 1, 2014!)

I also became more organized in my studio and re-organized all of the photos I use as "inspirations" for paintings. It's important to be organized when it comes to painting so you don't have any delays or excuses not to paint! Now when I walk in my studio I can begin a painting within a few minutes. I also added two large video screens to my studio which are great for projecting reference photos.

If you are having problem making time to paint, don't hesitate to schedule painting time on your calendar. Make it a priority and stick to your painting schedule. Painting is addicting, the more you paint the better you get and the more rewarding it is! I appreciate how lucky I am to be an artist. We are truly blessed!

Good luck!

Check out my remodel blog for our beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Richmond Va, Charlotte NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Painting Silver

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"Ready for Tea"
Oil, 12" x 12". Click here to purchase.

"Life is Just a ..."
Oil, 12" x 12". Click here to purchase.

I have been teaching Monday Open Studios for over a year now and I love the experience. They are more informal that my three-day workshops and each Monday has a pre-determined theme. The themes have included painting boats, painting larger paintings, painting fresh flowers, painting street scenes, etc. This year I am teaching 16 Monday Open Studios and I think I have about 12 different themes.
Yesterday's theme was "painting silver". You might think this was an odd theme but since painting silver is really just painting reflections, it might make more sense. If you know me well, I LOVE to paint reflections.
I went through my silver collection and found quite a few items that I thought might make a good still life set up. Of course, they all needed polishing ... ugh.


I took about 30 different photos of the items in the photo above and finally settled on two simplified  arrangements which included a bowl full of cherries and three of my sterling silver Rose Point spoons. All of the class finished the silver bowl painting and I must say, their paintings are amazing!


I finished my "three spoons" painting after the class was over.  We only had 7 hours to paint which included lunch! We had a great time and we were all pleased with our completed paintings.

For more information about my Monday Open Studios, click here


Check out my remodel blog for our beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chasing Light

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"Chasing Light"
Oil, 6" x 6" on canvas panel.
$200.00 with display easel.
Click here to purchase.

Painting workshops are where amazing things happen. Teaching a workshop is one of my favorite parts about being an artist. This week I taught a three day workshop in Ventura. We had five incredibly talented artists, beautiful weather in the high 70's and lots of time hanging in the beach house talking about art and marketing. And yes, we ate well too! I have lots of photos to share and paintings to post so stay tuned to my blog for the next week.

This painting titled "Chasing Light" is the first painting we completed on the morning of the first day. The carnation is a great subject matter for a lesson emphasizing values, temperature and palette knife strokes. And look at these completed paintings. Aren't they amazing?

Who knew we could have so much fun?

Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Capturing Light in Your Painting Subjects

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"The Lemon Cup"
Oil, 6" x 6"
Click here to purchase.

My outdoor "photo studio". 

As artists we often struggle in finding the "right" subject to paint. I have always believed if there isn't a good light source on your subject then it's not worth painting. I often find my best subjects to paint in my own back yard. Literally.

In two weeks I am teaching a one day Open Studio class titled "Painting Glass". I was lucky enough to find these beautiful glass colored bottles and today I set up my outdoor photo studio to get ready for the class. Because I have multiple students I can't really create a still life set up for each student so I have to photograph them in advance. 

Capturing light is the most important element when it comes to taking good pictures. And sunlight is the best light source there is. Plus it's really cheap, as long as you can catch it on a sunny day! To photograph my objects, especially glass, I wait until the light is shining behind my photo source (which is morning in my back yard). I use a blank ampersand panel as my background. It's that simple!

The subject used for the painting titled "The Lemon Cup" was photographed in my studio using an inexpensive light from the hardware store. I used a direct light source instead of sunlight because I wanted to only show a strong light source on the right side of the objects.

Try to set up your own photos studio. You also don't need a great camera to photograph your painting subjects. I usually use my iPad. 

Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Looking forward to Hawaii

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"Sunset Marina"
Oil, 24" x 24"
$1250.00 framed.
Click here to purchase.

This is one of my favorite scenes in Hawaii and I am so happy I am going there tomorrow! I am looking forward to some time on the islands and can't wait to take a million photos for my "Painting in Hawaii" workshop which is June 28 - 30th in South Pasadena. Please note this workshop is Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It is one of my few weekend workshops! Click here for more information.

Don't miss this week's Artists Helping Artists show which is titled "Artists with Day Jobs … Working Full Time and Having an Art Career". The show airs Thursday at 9:00 am PST, 12:00 noon EST. You can listen to the show anytime as it is pre-recorded. Click here to listen!

Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Catching the Sun

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"Catching the Sun"
Oil, 11" x 14"
Click here to purchase.

Yesterday was the first of my sixteen Monday Open Studio workshops for 2014. We painted flowers and had a blast! The day started with a visit by yours truly to the Los Angeles Flower Mart. 


I bought lots of flowers for my students to arrange and paint! We painted sunflowers, tulips and irises. What a great day. All of my Open Studios have a different theme so if you want to know more about my Monday Open Studios, click here.

The painting shown above was my demo. I loved that we were able to paint flowers and glass in the class. My next class is all about painting glass!

Here is one of the paintings completed in the class. I think it was her first time painting flowers!


Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Creating a Collage to Show a Collection of Paintings

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These paintings are all available on my website.

Painting a series or collection is one of my favorite things. These paintings are some of my favorites and I think they would look great in a craft room or sewing room!


I also did a series of paintings for a "grandkids" nursery and wanted to share the concept on my newsletter last month. So I created a collage using Pickmoney.com. It's free and let's you create any type of collage and save it as a jpeg file. I also used picmonkey for the collage listed above.

I included this in my January newsletter and the response was amazing! If you have a collection of paintings you want to share be sure to create a collage highlighting your paintings. It's a great visual presentation for potential clients.

Join me this Sunday for a one-day website building workshop in South Pasadena. Learn how to build a website for your art business in one day!

Check out my new remodel blog for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Using Collages to Sell More Paintings

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I was a bit tardy in sending out my January newsletter but at least I got it out while the calendar still said January. One of my previous collectors responded to the newsletter as she was interested in a painting.  She also mentioned interest in buying two paintings to hang side by side. She asked for suggestions of any of my other paintings that would compliment the one she liked.

I frequently use a free online program called PicMonkey to create collages of photos. So I used Picmonkey to create these three collages of suggested pairings of my paintings. The end result was that I sold five paintings to two different buyers. You might want to try PicMonkey and create a collage of your own!

My upcoming workshops:
March 17 - 19, Painting in Paradise at the Beach, Ventura, CA
June 28 - 30, Three Days "Painting in Hawaii" in South Pasadena!
Check out the website for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach and renting out the house. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Basking in the Sun

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"Basking in the Sun"
Oil, 11" x14"
Click here to purchase.

I am in Atlanta teaching the most wonderful workshop. We have had a blast and the 16 artists in this class are truly my inspiration. We have worked very hard and laughed very hard. Just take a look at these first paintings with a palette knife:
Tonight I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for this wonderful group of artists. We had a great meal and were able to spend some time sitting around the fire and talking about art. What an inspiring conversation!

I should have more more photos of all of the boat paintings shortly. I will post them soon. And our last day of the workshop is somewhat pending due to the ice storm that is supposed to hit Atlanta tonight. Just my luck!

My upcoming workshops:
March 17 - 19, Painting in Paradise at the Beach, Ventura, CA

Check out the website for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am teaching workshops at the beach and renting out the house. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Looking Back at Thirty Paintings

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Here is my "collage" of the 30 paintings I completed this month. I created it with an on-line program called picmonkey. Just go to PicMonkey and select "create a collage". You can use one of their designs or you can design your own. To make a collage with 30 photos you will need to design your own. Then you can drag your uploaded photos in to the collage until you are done. (When you drag in a photo, you can see where to place the photos as you move them around. If you move them around carefully a small gray bar will appear and you can create columns and rows by adding more photos.)

It's a fun tool to use. You can change the width and color of the grid lines between the photos and then save the completed collage as a jpeg on your computer. Post your collages here! And it doesn't matter how many paintings you completed. Create a collage to show off the paintings you created this month.

Thanks for joining me this month. Happy painting!


My upcoming workshops:
Feb 3 - 5, Painting in Paradise at the Beach, Ventura, CA

Check out the website for our new beach house in Ventura, Ca. I am now teaching workshops at the beach and renting out the house. Come stay and paint with me! I have workshops scheduled in the next twelve months in South Pasadena, Ventura Beach, Newport Beach, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga. Click here for more information!

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