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oil painting

Life as an artist in the art community

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Life as an artist in the art community

I have been very fortunate this year in having my work accepted into many shows and exhibits as well as appearing in some great Public Relations articles and videos. As previously mentioned, this all takes time away from the canvas. Today was spent running paintings to a show fifty minutes from the studio. I then had to pick up some work and I took the opportunity to check out a new frame shop in the area. By the time I had navigated a number of road detours and got home, the whole process had taken me four hours! Where does the time go? This is all in a days work as an artist and the part that people don't tend to think about.

I spoke about shows and membership in my last blog comments and I wanted to take the opportunity to elaborate on that subject a little. For me, the most wonderful thing about the shows and joining new groups is meeting people. If you hold the belief that we are all here to help each other whilst enjoying life to the max, then art organizations are the best example of this. Artists share information about everything needed to succeed almost by nature and even strangers are very open to conversations and discussions, artistic or otherwise. The arts are a wonderful experience for anyone and I love to share it with all I can.

Until next time!

Tom

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Why Artists are Exhibitionists

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Why Artists are Exhibitionists

Shows and exhibits are a big part of my efforts this month. Juried shows and exhibits are especially important to enter for anyone wanting to succeed as a professional artist. Of course artist are not required to ever enter a show, however if you want investors in your work to see you as a serious artist it's part of the business. Most artist will tell you that the time it takes to market themselves would be better spent creating their artwork. Unfortunately, most creatives do not have that opportunity. Today marketing has been supersized with the explosion of social media, tweeting, instagraming and Facebook posts galore. Techniques used to market yourself with social media could fill a book. I'm sure there are shelves full of books providing guidance on this at your local book store or library not to mention somewhere online.

For the actual juried shows, the entries are selected and narrowed down to those who will be in the competition. Sometimes just being accepted to a prestigious show is winning. There are many juried shows all over the world. Today with the internet and mass media you are no longer confined to your local area. The shows I entered this year require the artist to supply a good digital photograph or scan of their work which the judges will review and choose who gets into the show. Some shows are actually judged for awards by these photographs supplied so having good scans and photographs of your body of work is critical. Shows and exhibitions also come at an expense to the artist. Entry fees can range anywhere from $10 to $100 a submitted work. Some exhibits allow artist to submit two to three works as well. Whilst other shows may require membership in the organization, which again adds membership fees. This is just the tip of the iceberg with entering shows and exhibits. I'll share more soon.

Until next time!

Tom

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Bad News, Good News

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Bad News, Good News

Cold weather this week. Monday morning about 4:30 AM I awoke to find my furnace stopped running. It was one degree Fahrenheit outside. I worked on the furnace until about 6 AM when I called my son-in-law and asked him to get me kerosene. My incoming water line was frozen. To make a long story short we got the furnace running about 4 PM. I laid in my bed exhausted at 11:30 PM after all the stress and heard a dripping in the bedroom. Yes, you guessed it twelve hours with no heat equals frozen burst pipe. At midnight, my son-in-law went in the loft space and put some putty on the burst pipe I couldn't reach. Temporary fix. I hope it holds until we can replace the pipe. That was the bad news.

The good news. Thanks to my daughter, Theresa being so insistent that I paint some flowers, my work was accepted into the Philadelphia Sketch Clubs "Art of the Flower" exhibit. Since I am kick-starting my career as an artist again, one thing I needed to do is get my name and work out in the public eye. This is a great start for me as far as exhibitions. For me, just being accepted is winning. There were 315 submissions and 124 works were accepted. There was a limit of two accepted works per artist. I entered two pieces and both were accepted. They are Modern Floral I and Modern Floral III. Prize winners will be determined by the jurors visiting PSC in person on Sunday March 1, 2015. The Reception will be on Sunday March 8, 2015 from 2-4 PM where cash awards and PSC medals will be presented to the award winners. All works submitted by an accepted artist will be on view on our online gallery. Please visit the gallery at www.sketchclub.org/exhibitions.

Until next time!

Tom

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Variation of Viridian, The Hostas Study

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Variation of Viridian, The Hostas Study

I'm fortunate to have a nice front porch to sit on in the good weather and enjoy the day. One morning I was frustrated with a painting I was working on because I couldn't get the right green mixed. I was also having problems between the colors I mixed. Nothing was going right. I know I have at least three tubes of various green oil paint in my drawer I could use at any time instead of mixing a green. But one of the things that drives me as an artist is the challenge.

I decided to limit my pallet last year to four colors and a white. The colors are Alizarin Chrimson, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and Titanium White. I didn't stay with that very long because I needed to add Cerulean Blue for certain greens and other mixtures. That seemed to work just fine. I learned to mix color fairly quickly. I could make small adjustments easily. The reason behind this was to learn how to do it and color harmony. I used to think limiting the colors I use out of the tube would lead to mixing mud, but the opposite occurred. I was able to mix and change values fairly quickly and got a better handle of the old color wheel.

Okay, getting back to the green problem. While I was sitting on the porch gazing at the hostas and pondering life, I saw an amazing challenge right before my eyes. I walked into the studio and grabbed my camera. I started snapping pictures of all the foliage in front of me. It was a perfect challenge to my current problem. I entered the studio and choose the largest canvas available. I began to sketch out the plant and later referred to the photos for the color matching. The painting I ended up visualizing in my mind started out as a very abstract concept. The movement of the shapes and the variegated variations really interested me. All the negative and positive shapes that made up this painting of GREEN leaves was further complicated by a layer of morning dew. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. I was right!

Until next time!

Tom

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New Modern Florals Collection

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New Modern Florals Collection

If I'm being honest, I would say painting flowers was never on the cards for me as an artist. While studying art as a young man, I would have happily bet a million dollars I would never paint flowers. I viewed it as a subject matter that was not considered Art for Art sake. The only exception I ever saw to this was if the flower was part of some abstract art form.

As it turns out, floral compositions are as abstract as they come. So many negative and positive spaces, extreme changes in contrast, and changing colors flowing in all directions. So I welcomed this challenge my daughter put to me in turning my hand to painting some modern and organic floral paintings. Prior to this, a few months ago, I painted one flower on an 8 x 8" canvas first which was fun to do. I then received six photographs from the talented Sarah Winward of her floral work to interpret into artistic paintings. As I said, it really was something I never considered but I could have never imagined the result  and it turned out to be quite a learning experience. I like that! After all, that's what life is all about, trying something new and different. Seeing things in a different light. Some may say this comes with age, but I have come to realize now that flowers can be as complicated to paint as anything I have ever experienced. It all depends on the approach and the end results you require. I hope you enjoy my first attempt at painting florals as much as I did. You can see more on the collection here and the resulting new smart phone cases and fine art Giclée prints are available in the shop here.

Until next week!

Tom

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Tom Furey New Launch 2015

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Tom Furey New Launch 2015

Hello! Thank you for finding your way to my new website and blog! I hope you've lost yourself amongst my paintings in my gallery. If you haven't yet viewed them you can find the gallery here.

I've recently began painting full time this summer. It's been almost 40 years since I had publicly exhibited my work. I have been painting almost all my life, but nothing as consistent as I have recently. I purchased a house in order to build my studio in 2009. I had been longing to do so for the last few years, but as with many things in life, there was never a perfect time. I took a trip to England to visit my daughter and her family a few years ago and was amazed at the countryside and historic views. I took many photos while I was there along with my daughter. My eldest daughter, who is a professional photographer in England (you can find her work here) sent me her photographs for inspiration. I started off with the Port Issac Collection, which is the home page to my website. Port Issac is a beautiful little fishing village in the Southwestern coast of England. Its all so scenic-perfect for painting. It also happens to be the ancestral home to my now son-in-law's family, so the paintings hold more significance in that manner as well.

I build my paintings in stages. I usually have 6 to 10 paintings in progress at a time. This gives each stage time to dry so I can add more detail. I'll spend time in another blog post in the future discussing my work flow and technique. But know that this is how I typically work. I have been adding my works in progress to my Facebook page here and my Instagram account here, so if you are interested to see how my paintings look during construction go there and check them out.

For now I will leave you with that. Please do check out my new shop when you have some time. I will be adding more art in the following week or so and some special products especially for Valentine's Day.

Until next week!

Tom

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