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     I got a phone call from the St. Johns County Education System the other day.  They asked me if I would be willing to be the judges for an Art Show for middle school students.  It is being held at the St. Augustine Art Association here in St. Augustine.

     Since I teach art to both youths and adults, I decided this would be so much fun! I really enjoy children and their creativity levels can be through the roof, so to speak.  It was very interesting to see what each one came up with.  There were quite a few categories of art to be judged, ranging from drawing, painting, and photography or graphic arts, to 3-D art, or sculpture and paper mache.

     Held on Thursday, April 5th, it took a while to go through all the 128 pieces of art and narrow it down to the winners, but in the end we (me and the 2 ladies at the art association helping me) made a decision.  The winners are...I took some photos and posted them below fo…
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     Some artists paint individual paintings as they are moved by a subject or feeling.  Others work in a series of paintings.  Is one better than the other?  Should we as artists work in "a series"?  Good questions indeed!

     Let me start by saying, Yes!  That is exactly what a gallery likes to see!  It usually means more followers, collectors, and sales for the artist and the gallery that represents him or her.  It represents consistency to the gallery, and we all know consistency is a good thing for an artist.  It is the foundation of our work.  We want to tie our work together, or make it cohesive through our style, colors, theme, palette, medium or subject matter.

      Most galleries will choose to represent an artist based on their consistency.  Strength in composition, style, and quality of work is the most important factor in getting representation.  But, working in "a series" can also be a …

     We want to present our paintings well and often that means putting them in a frame.  But, frames can be very expensive.  So what do we do?  Learn to make a frame! Now, I'm not talking about fancy ornate frames here.  I'm speaking of making the float frames that are so popular these days.  And, thankfully they are not difficult to make if you have the right tools.  This frame is for a 3/4" deep gallery wrap canvas, not the 2" deep gallery wrap.  The directions for the 2" deep canvas are at the bottom.

     My husband and I purchase 1" x 2" x 8' SELECT PINE boards at Home Depot.  These run $5.82 per piece.  For a 36 x 48 painting, it requires 8. I save the leftover wood for smaller paintings.  So let me run you through the process.  To do this you will need:

enough wood for your frame (according to your measurements: it takes 2 pieces of wood per side)
Power saw or compound mitre s…

     It has been crazy getting ready for this art show!  One would think that it's not that big a deal.  We just put up a tent and hang art, right?  That's kind of what I thought but I was wrong!  I have been working for two to three months at least getting paintings done, finding and buying all the necessary supplies without breaking the bank, and then getting everything prepared and assembled for the show.

     I had to go to all the locations where I show my art and remove the paintings I wanted for the show, while replacing them with others. Then I had to paint more paintings!  In the meantime, I located and purchased display panels and all necessary accessories, not to mention the tent and carpet.  I ordered a banner, and painted a sign for the tent and made flags to draw attention to my art tent over the 100's of other white tents that were there.  I painted an old plant tower to match my theme colors of b…

      We as artists all need education.  Now, we can teach ourselves or we can be taught by others. But when it comes to motivation, it MUST come from us!  No one can teach us motivation.  I had never really thought much about this until I read a recent report.  And after I thought about it, I realized that this was absolutely correct.  Motivation cannot be taught.  It comes from within us.

     We can be encouraged, given reasons to be motivated, but the actual motivation to get out and actually DO something has to come from us.  We must want to create, want to sell, want to promote our art. We cannot be forced.

     If we aren't motivated, then it doesn't matter how many years we study, or how many books we read, or how many classes we take.  We are wasting our time and money.  So the question becomes, how do I get motivated?

     Motivation is what causes us to put forth the effort to move, create, sell our art.  We need to sit down and ask ourselve…

     There was a time when we went to a printer and had a physical book made of our paintings.  Then we changed to making up a CD that we gave out.  Some still hand out a USB drive with their portfolio on it.  However, most places will just toss those out, worrying about viruses contaminating their computers.  So, what do we do to get their attention?

      We can give the gallery our website, but quite frankly, most will not look at them because they don't have the time it takes to navigate the site. Then, what do we give them?  Most gallery owners want to see a brief PDF file.  If professionally done, they are quite effective.  There are apps we can purchase like Adobe Maker, but it is expensive because you pay for the year, all up front.  On a month-by-month breakdown, it's not so bad. As for the PDF format, it is recommended that we only have one painting per page with the name, size, medium, and price bel…

     You may have seen some videos on YouTube of this technique.  That is how I got interested in doing it.  I was searching for something new to depict my ocean scenes.  There are a lot of videos to choose from, and they can get confusing to say the least.  The best advice I can give you is go through them paying attention to the person doing the video.  Each one has a different approach and if you see a style or method you like, then take note of that person and look for their videos.  That way you learn a specific technique and it is not as confusing.  The three people I recommend you follow are AnneMarie Ridderhof from Holland, Carl Mazur from California, and Caren Goodrich.  Each of these is skilled and are good teachers.  They also use sound methods that can be used to learn the technique.  Others are easy to watch, but are more for entertainment than actual learning in my opinion.

     I learned from these three…