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Showing posts from May, 2017

     I have posted on BRANDING. Now I want to talk about your BIOGRAPHY.  Simply put, it is your story.  But there is a way to write your story.  You want to answer certain questions and give appropriate information about yourself.  Remember though, this isn't a novel, it should be fairly brief. A few paragraphs or so is great, certainly no more than a page.

     Here are some questions you can use to help you decide what to say in case you aren't sure:

1.  Where is your studio located?  How about any previous studios?

2.  Where were you born?  Where did you grow up?  Where do you live now?

3.  What was your childhood like?

4.  How old were you when you decided to become an artist and was there a particular moment when
      you knew you wanted to become an artist?

5.  Anyone else in your family an artist or artistically inclined?

6.  What is your educational background and/or artistic training?

7.  What …
If we want to be successful in any business, we need to market ourselves.  As artists, we are always looking for opportunities to make new contacts just as a salesman does. The purpose is to get our work seen and purchased.

     Last week my husband and I went to the hospital to visit some friends and of course I noticed all the artwork on the walls.  I have enjoyed the art each time we go there, but this time I decided to do more than just look!  When we got home, I looked online for the head of administration for each of our six + hospitals in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area.  I then proceeded to write each one of those CEO's and introduce myself as a local artist, giving them some very brief information about myself and my work, and explained how I had appreciated the artwork they displayed and that I would like to be added to their list of artists who had works in their hallways and offices.  I also included a business card and, of course, my website for them to …
I am in the process of getting all the teaching materials together for the Beginning - Intermediate Acrylics class I will be teaching and working up the lesson plan.  I went to the craft store here to check on the cost of a "gray scale /value finder".  Unfortunately they don't even carry them.  So I had to go home and make a dozen copies of mine, then glue each one on a 4x6 index card and proceed to cut out 10 holes on each card. That took most of the afternoon. Then I made copies of all my other papers to hand out.  Thankfully, copy paper is cheap.  It is a lot of work to do all this, but I feel it is very important to get a good base of knowledge before we pick up a brush.

     Actually, we may practice a little with the hake brushes on the first day, but it depends on how much time we have.  We will actually start a painting on the second lesson and that will be fun for all.
We will learn how to create depth, mix colors, use a color wheel, a value finder, creat…
Friday morning, I went to pick up my money for the painting that sold and to hang another painting. There was no one able to open the safe, so I came back around noon.  When I went in this time, the manager was there and she said, "Here for your money I presume" and we laughed as she handed it to me.  There was an elderly gentleman sitting at the counter watching us and he joined in the laughter.  I went out to my car and got a flyer for my art class I had forgotten to hang.  On my way back in, that elderly gentleman was heading out.  He came over to me and said, "I didn't know you were Dara.. I bought one of your paintings!  I purchased the rowboats...I just love your work!"  I kindly thanked him and we spoke for a few minutes.  He was a very nice man and I was happy to have met him.

     We just never know whom we will meet on any given day, but we all wonder who it is that purchases our work and why they like it.  It is always really nice to be able t…
I sold another of my "Scenes of St. Augustine" collection!  I am down to just a few now.  This has proven to be a successful series for me and I am happy about that.  I need to get busy and paint more St. Augustine scenes!  After all, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation and tourism is going through the roof, so to speak.

     It is a beautiful little city, so I can see why people want to come here.  We have it all, history, beauty and the beach. (punny) What more can we ask for, right?  I enjoy walking around town and taking photos for reference material.  It gives me a chance to get a good look at our architecture and I now also take photos of people enjoying themselves.  I want to include people in my paintings more.  I have read and heard that the human element makes paintings more desirable.  Especially if the people are just impressionistic enough so that the viewer can imagine they are the people in the painting!  So start paying attention in the near…
The final decision has been made by me as to which paintings I will submit to the "Nature and Wildlife" show at the St. Augustine Art Association.  1. The Connemara Horses, "HOME TO THE HIGHLANDS". 2. "MATANZAS RIVER INLET" and 3. "SEAGRASS AND PELICANS". I wanted to submit my painting "A WALK IN THE RAIN" but when I read the detailed rules, no people are allowed in the paintings.  Oh, well.

      Of course I have photos of them below.  My husband and I took photos of each with my good camera on a tripod so they are as high-resolution as possible for the submission.  The photos cannot include the frames and if we submit more than one photo of each, the entry is disqualified.  The submission deadline is June 5th.  Only one painting per applicant can be accepted into the show and accepted entries are notified by June 21st. These must be delivered to the Art Association on July 15th or16th, and the show runs  from July 22 to August…

     Ok,  it is done and ready to submit.  This is a painting of the St. Augustine area salt marsh on the Matanzas River. I am going to name it "Matanzas River Inlet".  It again has a lot of detail which is necessary for this show.  I am not sure what my third submission will be, but at least I have time to think about it.  We cannot submit any paintings we have shown there before and they must be for sale which knocks out the one I was going to submit.  I don't want to sell it!  So when I decide on what I want to do I'll let you know, ok?  The photo is below, I hope you like it!

I let this set for a couple weeks to see if I thought it was done.  It wasn' just needed more.  So I added more birds, more orange to the front left grass to give more depth, and increased the height of the background trees on the far left. Plus I added more purple to increase the depth of the shad…

     For those of you who live in my area I have a list of supplies for my upcoming Beginning-Intermediate Acrylics class through the St. Johns Community Education.  But even if not, this is a good list to use when you shop for supplies for your own work area.  I have a photo below of the list. Since I put this list together, I came up with some more optional, but good to have items, and a caution!
      If you want the phone number to sign up for the class it is 904-547-7565.  The class is on Tuesday from 10-noon at St. Augustine High School located at 3205 Varella Ave, St. Aug, FL

I mentioned extra items you could use for your art. They are:

A VALUE FINDER- I strongly recommend one of these
A COLOR WHEEL- Again, strongly recommended
A RULER or YARDSTICK- these can also be used as a MAHL stick.  It is used to support your    working hand to prevent touching wet paint on a vertical surface. The advantage of a Mahl…

     While I was sitting at the Jacksonville Beach Art Walk, I was watching customers as they moved along looking at the vendors goods.  It was interesting to observe their reactions.  In this day and time we are all encouraged to pursue our talent.  And so we hear many saying I am an artist.  Therefore, the question now arises.. what is the difference between being an artist and a "fine" artist?

     Well, there are artists who do illustration for books, artists who do crafts, artists who do pen and ink or graphite, graffiti art, and so on.  Don't misunderstand, this is all art and all are credible as art.  But what sets "fine" art apart?  When we think "fine" art we think of museums and galleries.  Work beyond what the average person creates.  It usually takes years of practice and study to achieve this level of ability.  Some get there through school and others are se…
I have not finished the commissioned painting, but I have made tremendous progress on it.  As you will recall I posted the first part of it earlier this week.  I am working from the top down, or I was. When I actually got to the immediate foreground or at the bottom, if you will, I changed back to my normal painting method of underpainting and then building up from there.  That is because the foreground has a lot of detail and that can only be accomplished this way.  I have a few photos below to show the progress and to explain what I am doing as I go along.

At this point I am still working from top to bottom of the painting and the paint is more a watercolor treatment.  From this point on I change over to my traditional way of painting.

Here I have begun the foreground details.  I enlarged the elephants and added three bears on the left meadow.  then I started the house, water and steps down to the river.  The cliff on the left will have a family standing on it looking out ove…
I have started on a new venture.  I now am making prints of my art. Not all of it,  just the ones I particularly like and I feel are my best work.  I started by ordering them from  This is where one of my mentors gets her prints as this company is reasonable and does quality work.  If you ever want to try it you will want to order the prints on archival heavy-weight poster paper.  Then you must order backer board, mats and clear sleeve bags.  These can be purchased through  Again, this company is reasonable and has quality products.  Two things to keep in mind are you must keep the price low enough to make a profit and when you order the bags or sleeves, they must be just larger than the mat and backer board.  The "fold-over" sleeves are the most professional looking ones.  The advantage of doing this is that people can purchase your art at a more reasonable rate when they get a print AND the painting can be sold multiple times.  More bang fo…