Saturday, 2 June 2018

Cottage Beach Art

Opening - oil on wood - by Sally Chupick - $600
Back in April I listened to a podcast on Savvy Painter which resonated with me.  
The host, Antrese Wood, was interviewing social media wiz Jenni Waldrop.  Jenni's podcast was all about selling on Etsy for artists.
Back in 2012, I had opened an Etsy shop and listed some things for sale, but it never really took off for me and I lost interest, letting it die a slow death.
So I was curious when I listened to Jenni talk about Etsy for artists on the podcast.  Truthfully I was unbelieving... I had not had success with it before.  AND neither had Antrese (the interviewer) as she mentioned in the podcast that she had also given it a whirl but it had never taken off for her either.

Let me just pause here to say that these next few months for me in my personal life are all over the map.  I have packed up my studio and I'm not painting for a couple of months until I'm settled again permanently in our new home in Victoria, BC.  I have time while not painting, to learn new skills.

I'll repeat...there were things that resonated with me as I listened to the podcast.
One of those things was how Etsy can be a platform for a completely other line of work different from your main practice.  My ears perked up!
I felt like I was ahead of the game! I actually have an extensive line of tiny paintings that I create on driftwood and on cedar that is not suitable for showing in galleries or other art exhibits. Being so small that I actually call them mini's, they dont take me long to make but I enjoy them.  I find them sort of like yoga for my art practice, taking me to a place of meditation when I work on them.  So I already have a line of work different from my main practice.
Another thing that Jenni mentioned in the interview is that Etsy's platform brings a wider audience to those artists that wish to sell art prints from their work.  My ears perked up again!
I have always sold art prints of of Kingston, and done really well with them while living here in our hometown.  I realize not everybody can afford an original painting, but many are willing to buy a print of an original, for whatever reason.
So I thought...maybe there are other people who would  buy prints of other paintings?  People who do not know my work yet.  People who live far away.  People who might not come to my website to find my work or go into a gallery.  The thing Etsy has is people.  Customers.  Etsy has a pretty big reach.  It dawned on me that I could use some Etsy help.
Long story short...I signed up with Jenni for an online course about Etsy selling.  There is a ton of stuff I didn't know, that I've already learned, that I had no clue about before.

CottageBeachArt is my new Etsy shop!  The focus is on cottage and beach 'art treasures'.  Everything in the shop has this vibe goin' on!  I sell my art prints and home decor, as well as my line of cedar and driftwood mini original paintings.  Although it is my shop I collaborate with daughter Holly and hubby Jeff.  They make beach jewelry and beach decor.  We all enjoy creating; launching a shop of treasures seems right.   Although the shop has a variety of niche's, I'm hoping they tie together with my theme,  COTTAGE - BEACH...we'll see how it all goes!
It's been fun learning.  And, I'm noticing a little jump in sales.   It's a time sucker for sure, but at the moment I have time,  as I can't paint while moving!  Ugh! Moving house is a pain. It feels like it's been going on forever, as we've moved twice in the past 2 years already!  This move to Victoria is our final destination, and we are really looking forward to completing it, and living there full time!

Mr. Whale

Pacific Pebbles earrings

Morning Garden art print







Tuesday, 10 April 2018

New directions

Over the Edge - oil media on wood- 12 x 12 - $400
As some of you may know already, I have been hanging out in Victoria, BC for a number of months; I'm loving' it!  BUT heaps of changes in my home life also mean juggling changes to my art business too.  I'm considering all options:)

These past few months, I've learned to work in a new shared studio space instead of my beloved home studio, but it's actually working out okay, despite a few hiccups in my routine....ie: having to clean up after myself after every session!  ha ha...ya that's not so great, but I get on with it.

Not everything about moving is great...like I'll be leaving good friends, and I'll be much further away from my darling grand-kiddies...but overall, I know it's the right thing for us now.  And after the winter this year in Ontario...ya...well need I say more?

I'm realistic in expecting it will take a while to find my niche with any galleries in BC,  but in the interim  I'm happy to continue to show some work in Ontario at these galleries:
Studio 87, Perth, ON
Kingston Frameworks, Kingston, ON
Meraqi Art Annex, Kingston, ON 
Little Pumphouse, Gananoque, ON

*newsflash*...I am currently doing in depth study delving into new ways to share my work online; stay tuned...I'll share more about that asap!  



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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Again, Again, Again...!


What instinct is built into an artists DNA that compels them to paint the same subjects over and over?  I've often wondered about this.  I think, returning to the same subject matter for an artist, is a little like finding your way home.   You might go out exploring from time to time, but its always nice to get home, isn't it?  
"Home is where the heart is" after all.   Sorry for the cheesy quote, but  it does apply.  
An artist learning their chops needs adventures while they grow their visual language.  Exploring subject matter and different techniques is how one learns to feel what to keep and what to let go of.  Truth in painting is about getting in touch with the good feels, the ones that are right for you; your home base so to speak.  What you have to say works from this place of centre.


Children know this instinctively.  When they experience something they love, something that makes them laugh, love, feel joy...what is their squeal, shout, exclamation?
"Again... Again...!! "  


  I feel like I'm always returning to a place of flowers.  Even when I know it's a bit too 'girlie' and often considered "oh, so cliche"...even when I think I want to paint something 'way cooler'.   And so...I go out and explore other things;  and when I'm done, I head 'home' again.     



Monday, 1 January 2018

Ignoring the critics and doing what you love

3 works in progress, oil & coldwax on wood
Going forward into the new year brings heaps of new things for most people, and I'm certainly no exception.  I've got so much to be thankful /grateful for.  Most importantly my family... but also for my art practice. 

I love, love, love, to make art that feeds my soul.   This means tuning into what I love, exploring possibilities, embracing risk and yes...pretty much ignoring what others think.  It's not like I don't hear what others think, I do...but I prefer them in the back seat(or the trunk) while I do the driving.
2017 has been an exceptional year as I fit changes into my lifestyle that in turn effect my art. Moving, a ton of traveling, and consequently, loss of studio space and time has forced me to find new solutions to make my painting practice work for me. Basically, size and process's change according to the spaces. For example small space; smaller works, new larger shared studio space...well, we'll see now wont we? heh.
Thank you to all my clients and friends who have supported and encouraged my art over this past year and made 2017 an excellent year for me.  I'm excited to see what 2018 holds!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Loving the Tribe

There's a special connection between art makers; a connection akin to a tribe.  In the tribe, one feels a spark, a mutual understanding with the other tribe members what it is to share a creative path.  I have the best discussions with other artists.  It's also why I enjoy listening to the Savvy Painter podcasts sometimes while I paint.  
SOLD
They are great while I'm working on my mini wood blocks, because I paint them responsively, not too much cerebral stuff in them.  When I need to think I cant listen to any podcasts or music (only exception is birdsong).  It feels good to know there's others out there all around the world working away on their own creative paths, going through similar ups and downs as me.  I love the tribe!  

SOLD
Dec 8th I've been invited to attend the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's  December meeting.  woohoo! It's a great little public art gallery very enthusiastically supported out here in Victoria...cant wait to see what the other members will bring, it's a show & tell.  ...feel like I meet some of the tribe :)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

still painting in Victoria

Here I am in Victoria for the next few weeks; happy to find a little space in the days to do a bit of painting.   The first couple of days I was tired from traveling and fighting jetlag, but now I'm getting into the rhythm of the days here.
Yesterday I set up my paints in my mother-in-law's sun-room.  It's unheated in there but we had beautiful sunshine in the afternoon, which warmed it up enough to paint while Gma puttered in the garden trimming her hydrangea heads.

On the weekend Holly & Jeff picked me up and we wandered along Ella beach in Sooke, hunting for treasures. For Holly, that's beach glass and interesting driftwood pieces that she turns into cute Xmas crafts. For me it's inspiration for my mini wood block paintings.  I cant wait to share a table with her at a Xmas craft/art fair next Thursday; so fun to get the opportunity to hang with my girl and sell our goodies! 

Friday, 3 November 2017

fitting art-making into life

The Soul Know's - oil on wood 20x20
$600 - on view at Frameworks
Ideally I love painting in my studio with a few canvas's on the go at the same time, all in various states of flux.  The process of going from one to the other like 'a bee in a meadow' suits my flow, and encourages my voice, best.  I learn the best stuff in these moments alone, asking questions, finding my way and solving problems within each work.   BUT, this way of working only suits me when my life is ordered and has a routine, as it requires large blocks of  un-interrupted working time.


For me, art making is such an itch that needs scratching,  even when I cant be in my studio like usual, I want to make things.  I mean after all...life happens, doesn't it?  I love taking part in family activities. 
 
In these small time frames, while visiting or hanging out with family or friends, my art making takes on quite a different rhythm.   I switch to small projects, like the mini wood block paintings...they're are a good fix, letting me enjoy art-making and taking part in life too. 
They take concentration, but somehow, it's possible to work on them with other things going on around me.  I feel grateful to have a way to make my art fit my life.  I used to do  needlework when my kids were little, fitting it into small moments between naps or children's telly.  It's sort of the same way with the little paintings now.  I fit them into life's busier times.