Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marketing Tip

Like me, I'm sure you've found yourself in a situation where you're talking to a new acquaintance who says he or she would love to see your work. Wouldn't it be great to have several examples at your fingertips to show off on those occasions? Well, here's one easy way I just discovered.

I used a website called Shutterfly ( to make a photo book. It was super easy, not very expensive, and it looks great. Basically, I uploaded a bunch of pictures of my paintings into my private account within Shutterfly. Then I laid them out in a little 5 x 7-inch, 20-page book. There are dozens of different layouts I could choose from for each page, and I also got to choose the background colors, type styles, and borders. In addition to my paintings and bio, I included a few favorite quotes and a poem.

The cost for this size, with shipping and handling, was about $15 for the single copy of the book, so it's probably not something I would give away to potential clients, but it's certainly a nice way to carry a portfolio in my purse. A larger version would also make a great coffee table book (how many artists can say they have their own coffee table books? everyone!) or a fabulous thank-you gift for a repeat collector.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Local Color, The Post-Viewing Discussion

My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Local Color, the art-related movie by George Gallo, last night. One of the things we liked best is that it's about so much more than art. The movie's story line touched on a lot of subjects that would appeal to plenty of non-artists, like the value of mentoring, and parent-child relationship challenges, and the power of love and friendship. Of course, the main theme of the movie, however, was the age old debate over the supremacy of traditional/representational art versus progressive/avant garde art.

The movie takes place in the 1970s, so it was a timely topic of debate then, but sadly some are still debating this very thing today. Or at least they are here in America. Having had the opportunity to see a lot of art and meet a lot of artists from Canada and the UK in particular, I can tell you that artists and the public at large outside of the US laid this debate to rest years ago. Their attitude is this: "There are all kinds of art in the world, and all are equally valid. Within each kind, there is good and bad art, but no one category of art is superior to any other. All artists have the right to make whatever type they prefer, and all people have the right to like whatever appeals to them most." That's why you'll see all kinds of art exhibited together in any kind of group show abroad, unlike American shows which are always very exclusive, one way or another.

So why are Americans still, after nearly a century of debating, still arguing over which is better? One possible reason that comes to mind is the lack of art education here in the U.S. As is often the case, when people start to wade into an area of discussion that they don't know a whole lot about, they cling to whatever "experts" say and hang on absolutes, rather than seeking to further their own understanding by acknowledging they have more to learn. Isn't there some way we could all come to appreciate each other?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Local Color - the Movie!

I just wanted to let everyone in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area know that the movie Local Color is playing at the Carnegie in Covington this coming week. It will be shown on Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9. This film has been around for a year or two, but for those of you who don't know about it, it's the story of a young man who wants to learn how to paint in the traditional ways, so he seeks out an elderly reclusive artist for training. Looks like an inspiring story! For more info, go to: