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fine art

Selling Art To Friends  | David Hettinger

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Selling Art To Friends | David Hettinger

A couple responses from my last blog were about selling art - that thinking about sales is the wrong thing to be concerned with. A couple of my friends would disagree with that notion. I have to say I disagree with that notion, too.

I, for one, never think about selling the piece while creating it. However, when I step out the door of my studio I am David the business man and I am thinking about sales, sales that pay the bills and allow me to return to the studio. In the 50 years I've been working as an artist, I've seen a number of talented artists toss in the towel. I know of one who committed suicide. The need to create, whether it is painting pictures or writing a novel is there inside all artists. For some, it is like breathing. When we stop breathing, we stop living. For others, it is something to do to fill their days between golf season and bowling.

I am glad for those that do not need to sell art to survive, who can decorate the walls of local restaurants and retirement homes. For some, though, sales means paying for a daughter's braces or her college tuition.

Building a name and gaining respect is a must right from the start. Going into fine art is a very difficult challenge for most artists, especially if there is no support available in times of need. I've seen marriages break up over one's desire to be an artist. I've seen very talented friends go into deep depressions and lay down their brush never to pick it up again because they did not know how to sell art. So when someone says sales are not all that important, I just think of all the artists out there who are not painting the masterpieces the world will never enjoy because they are behind the counter at McDonalds.

Why do I believe restaurants are not such a great places for showing art? If you are serious about making a living from art, you need to talk with those looking at your art, thus you need to pick a venue where you can do so. I hate being in a restaurant in the middle of a conversation to be interrupted by the waiter asking if everything is ok, so a total stranger interrupting me to ask me how I like the decor would really tick me off. Decor is what art is in a restaurant. I will admit, there are a few restaurants that it would be of some use to have one's art on their walls, but in those cases the restaurants know the value of good art and have purchased the art they show.

When I was out painting in parks, people were always coming up to me asking about my art and where they could see more. It was that personal contact that helped me. Artists at art fairs who sit behind their tents sell less than those in front of their tents chatting with people. Sales do not always come from those first meetings, but when those people are ready to buy art they'll remember the artist who took the time to chat with them. Pick places to exhibit where you can meet and talk to the people looking at your art. Should you pick a library, make a point of letting people know you will be there at certain hours of the day. Have open studio shows or backyard shows where you can do a demo. Rent a tent. Be creative. Invite other artists to show with you or form a small group and have group shows. Do you really need to spend hundreds of dollars to find out how to make it in the arts? Attend other art shows and see what will work for you. Whatever style or form of art you love doing, there are people like yourself who will see what you see. When I first started, my adviser said you will sell to friends. It took awhile to realize that I was making friends as I was talking with those looking at my art.

 

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You can view David's original post here.

Until next time

Tom

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Fine Art Print Giveaway Winners

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Fine Art Print Giveaway Winners

We were thrilled with the entries we had into our Fine Art Print Giveaway celebrating our 300 likes on our Facebook page. We now have three winners! They are:

1. Nigel Carruthers (Facebook entry)

2. Eric A Jacobsen (Facebook entry)

3. Ali Munay Holland (Twitter entry)

Thank you all for participating, spreading the word about my artwork and supporting my art.

If the winners would please email me at tom@tom-furey.com in order to select their print of choice and provide a delivery address. You may choose from any of the Modern Floral Collection, the Port Issac Collection, the Bucks County Barns and Farm Collection and select winter scenes. You can look through my paintings here in the gallery. These lovely fine art prints are a $50 value each. Congratulations again and I look forward to delivering your fine art print!

Until next time

Tom

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Rationalizing What It Is To Be An Artist

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Rationalizing What It Is To Be An Artist

Part of being an artist is reading, listening, and watching what is happening in the Art community. That is not to say you cannot do your own thing, but you should be aware of what is going on in the world. For lots of people, including artists, this is a difficult thing to do. Many of us get wrapped up in our own worlds. I came across the letter in an article, Going Aggressively Passive written by traditional artist Lori Woodward in which she suggested to read what plein aire landscape painter Joe Paquet wrote.

 
Open letter for all artists
Almost every artist I speak to these days has a profound tale of woe to spin. The common complaint: bad economy=lack of sales= “Whaa happened?” For those of us who make our living and put food on our family table, it doesn’t really matter what happened so much as what we can do to adjust. In our moments of panic, rash and destructive choices are made to turn a buck… we diminish ourselves and often do untold damage to careers which have taken a long time to build.

For so very long galleries were the way: the omniscient ones, and for a very long time most of them did a fine job of it. But in the end they were only merchants. No one knows better than you when you are on the right path.
Rainer Maria Rilke says, “A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity.” The need to say something is a far cry from the need to be heard. There is art and there is product and they are rarely the same thing.

Walking out of the final Harry Potter movie last week I was struck by something larger than the film. It was the fact that Ms. Rowling built this thing, this idea from thin air, moved words around in a personal way, created a world which had not existed and turned it into a very real thing.

That is what we get to do everyday - create. We can construct what has never existed, bring something to the world and shape it with our own hearts and hands. It’s a gift we have which is east to lose sight of.

What to do about it?

Innovation, Resilience, Perseverance, and Faith
Innovation
- Change your plan; create your own opportunities to teach or sell your own work.
- More is not better; better is better. Make an effort to improve on both vision and craft.
- A good website which represents you elegantly and truthfully with new content on a monthly basis.
- If you want to be remarked about - be remarkable.
- Quality is a habit.

Resilience
If you haven’t already, learn to take a hit and get back up. Nothing works like it used to, and when it does change it will be different than before. Get used to the idea and turn to yourself. It’s your life, make better choices - don’t be a victim.

Perseverance
Like Karma, the artist’s life has it’s own organic path if you let it unfold naturally. Work ethic, love of the job, proximity and opportunity all play a role in developing a life in art. Be clear about these and adjust your life to maximize your gifts.

Faith
Now for the most important and, ironically, counter-intuitive part of it all: Belief in yourself. Read your art history - every artist has wrestled with this one. I have always believed that humility and hubris must walk hand-in-hand; you must have humility to receive the world, yet have the ego to face a blank canvas and believe that you can add something to it.
Make a conscious choice to surround yourself with authentic words, music and art to remind you of what is possible. Above all surround yourself with those who love and believe in you and are willing to hold up a mirror. In every weak moment of my life my wife Natalie has been there to hand my words back to me.

Growth is always on the edge of uncomfortably.

Be grateful, be humble, be open and create without fear.
- Joe Paquet

Joe Paquet has many messages above and personally I agree with all of them. In fact, I have said some of the comments myself or heard my artist friends say the same. We don't enter into the art world thinking we are going to be rich. We create our art out of love and emotion. It's what we feel. It's what we do. It's what we wish to express. We do have something to say in our own way. We want people to listen, and to see and hear what we are saying without using words that can be misconstrued and twisted. We are trying to make the world a better place to live by opening the minds of our fellow man to new ideas through vision and their soul. We are leaving some piece of ourselves for the future generations to find in our ART.

Lastly I'll close in reminding every one that my fine art print giveaway ends tomorrow, April 14, 2015 at midnight EST so you still have some time to enter the competition. To find out more information on the four ways you can enter to win read last week's blog post.

Until next time!

Tom

 

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Fine Art Print Giveaway

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Fine Art Print Giveaway

It was a wonderful feeling to reach 300 fans on my Facebook page so I would like to celebrate and share that wonderful feeling with my supporters. There will be three lucky winners who will win an 11 x 14 inch fine art giclée print of their choice from any of the Modern Floral Collection, the Port Issac Collection, the Bucks County Barns and Farm Collection and select winter scenes. You can look through my paintings here in the gallery. These lovely fine art prints are a $50 value each.

You will have up to four chances to enter the competition. You can like my Facebook page and share this post on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and tweet this post, follow me on Instagram and regram or instagram your favourite painting of mine or follow me on Google + and share this post. In order for me to view your entry on each social media format you must tag me in your post as the following:

Facebook: @Tom Furey

Twitter: @tomfureyartist

Instagram: @tomfureyartist

Google Plus: @Tom Furey Artist

Each person entering the competition can only win one print to guarantee there are three unique winners. No immediate family members are eligible to win. The competition will run from now until April 15, 2015 at midnight EST. The winners will be announced on the blog on April 16, 2015.  Once announced they will need to email me at tom@tom-furey.com in order to select their print of choice and provide a delivery address.

You can't win if you don't enter so please submit you entries.

Good Luck!

Tom

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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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2015 Brings Hope and Exhibitions

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2015 Brings Hope and Exhibitions

Well another month has passed. February brings lots of hope and promise. There are many shows and exhibits coming and I will try to get into as many as possible to get my work into the public eye. I have been accepted into the Artsbridge, 2015 Member’s Show. The opening is tomorrow, Saturday, February 7th from 2pm until 5pm. I will be attending the opening if you would like to come along and meet me in addition to viewing my painting, Chimney Tops from the Port Issac Collection. You can find out more about the exhibition and how long it will be running here from NJ.com. I'll post more on the other exhibits I have entered as I hear back about my entries. As always, I'm a strong believer in the power of social media and the internet to spread the word about my work.

Last week, I completed my modern floral series and have now scanned them all. They are currently being posted up in the shop here. There is a total of six new oil paintings on canvas size 11 inches by 14 inches. Each painting presented a different challenge. I painted each subject just a little different by using different brush strokes, color temperature, and chroma. One lucky aspect of completing this project is the opportunity to exhibit in the Art of the Flower 2015 Philadelphia Sketch Club Exhibition. Their deadline is February 15th.

In other news, I'm not sure which direction I will take this month with painting. I have been taking lots of photographs with the snow we have had recently. I have several large paintings I would like to complete. The Hostas painting is one of them. I also have been working on a statue painting which has some deep hidden secrets within the layers of paint. It's my blue winter piece. I need to get back to just sketching and drawing to keep my hand in it.

Lastly, I wanted to mention how excited I am about the revitalization going on in Bristol Borough. Bill Pezza invited me to visit the recently purchased building on Mill Street for Raising the Bar. This building is part of the work Raising the Bar is doing to bring Bristol to it's rightful glory. The building will serve to expand the opportunities of all the Arts in Bristol and bring the Arts to those otherwise would not be able to enjoy them. Bristol is a great Historic town filled with wonderful and friendly people. It has slowly been revitalized over the last forty years, but the Raising the Bar committee has put that speed into super drive. You can read more on their plans here. I hope to play some small part in this endeavor. I've let them know I'm willing to do whatever I can for the Arts and Bristol.

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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