This morning was pretty much my ideal day. As is my habit, before rising, post the post and answer the comments. Today an inquiry for the painting resulted in a sale in the first five minutes (that doesn’t happen every day).
Off to the beach. A jaunty walk through the national park (aka the Jane Austen Field in the photo) to the beach. Back to compose another painting in the blue mood series (boats and harbour) then lunch. Paint. Coffee and contemplation, digest and savour. Paint. Reflect. Paint. Dinner. Business and planning. Buzzing thoughts and plans, try to sleep.
Ideal days are rare, but a timetable for the day and a goal helps defray the tendency for other urgent matters to consume and spit you out. When you know what your ideal day looks like you can build a routine to achieve it more often. A solid routine is the bedrock of all success.
I just want to paint…
You know the performers who spin the plates? They start one, then another, and another, then they have to get back to the first one.
There are so many things to do keep a business running. It’s like setting up plates on thin reeds and keeping them spinning. Buying and sorting materials. Composing. Completing. Framing (after sourcing wood, communicating and taking delivery of said frames). Showing the work. Dealing with people. Social media. All of this in itself is an art. A necessary art part.
The plates spin. My head spins. Just let me paint…….now, what colours have I ordered…..? .
Bombshell 1: The human brain decides in 0.2 seconds whether it likes something or not.
This is my painting "Remnants of Daylight". Where do you look first ?
When we look at a painting, regardless of the artist's intended meaning, our brain is looking for a way to enter the work. Instinctively the eye starts with the bottom and left sides, but if there's no line or accent there, no entry point, it will quickly look elsewhere. Our eyes are always scanning for patterns, we like to connect the dots, we like to see rhythm and balance. Experiment, noting where your eye travels and then rests.
Quick video showing stage 1 of my process. I will be completing this painting over following videos so stay tuned. In the meantime feel free to start your own painting and follow along. I would love to see your progress pics!
Social media is fun. You like it because you are here in the thick of it. The not fun side of it is you have to work hard if you want to grow your followers and grow your business.
You have to post good quality posts regularly. Great photos and no apologies. Engaging content and to the point. Offer value to people. No puppies unless your brand is breeding dogs. It is hard work. Ian Thorpe makes swimming look easy… he looks like he is relaxing when he is supposed to be racing. He trained hard to make it look easy.
There is no quick fix or magic wand in all of this social branding… it takes time, you have to train hard, and you will harvest only what you plant. But the good news is that science is on your side. 10X effort = 10X results.
These are my big 4... what are yours?
In Hong Hong during the art fair, the many visitors asked whether I used a brush or palette knife. Brushes were my exclusive choice but when back in Australia the temptation to try a palette knife was strong and experimenting began… broad, sweeping planes appeared in clouds and skies… different textures on fields and hills. Flat bladed things appeared strewn on the bench. The chunk of wood I call “the scraper”. Plastic and metal found a place amongst the bristles and turps. Pretty soon it became apparent that imagination was the only limit when it came to “tools of the trade”. Whilst brushes are still the first reached for - the familiar arm, the knife can allow a different dance.
Weapons of choice
That is the question. And where to show. With my online sales increasing, is there a need to exhibit at all? For me, yes. Why? It’s the connection with people. And there’s something magical about seeing all the work in one room… scrubbed up… it’s the end of year formal and I am a proud parent. But exhibitions need housing and looking for a space is as time consuming as looking for a new house. All it took was 15 minutes to decide to buy the current house but nearly 3 months to find a suitable space for the Melbourne exhibition. Location. Light. White walls. One week, two weeks? Months of searching and much chat. The ideal eludes but some light on the horizon looms.
Gallery discussions in Melbourne
Welcome to my studio. Come in and have a look. At my work, at my process. Find out how I think about things. Just sayin' really, but you are welcome to join the journey....to see where this may go. Francis Bacon never moved a thing in his studio. Margaret Olley loved clutter. Jane Austen wrote on a small desk. Jesus used a stick and sand. My current studio is a double garage. In Paris there have been closets and balconies, a seat near the Seine... and knees. In India my studio was a houseboat. In Hong Kong there was a tiny bathroom and much plastic. Yup. Studios are where ever ...and what ever.
My Montmartre "Studio in a closet"
Richard Claremont - artist. A peek into my studio. How I think. How I paint. How I run my art business. Bite sized daily chunks of goodness. Just me talking aloud, really. Join me for a chat over a cuppa.
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