This issue of our free artist newsletter is a August/September combo -- with the goal of being closer to the first of the month, rather than the last. Thanks for your emails -- your positive feedback certainly confirms my feeling that we artists need to hear from one another. We all go to our respective studios and go to work. Socializing is usually not on our "to do list" hanging in our studios - heck, we don't even have a union! This informal newsletter is my way of reaching out and staying in touch. Thank you for your feedback and kind words.
Bob with New Work
Well, after teaching at the Vermont Art Event for Holbein, I did a "touch and go" for one day home, then up to Bend, Oregon for a beautiful week of teaching at Art in the Mountains. Debra Prater and her two daughters do an impeccably, super-organized job of running a very smooth operation. Art in the Mountains workshops are conducted all over, not just in Bend, Oregon. I am scheduled to do AITM workshops in Taos in 2008 and Vancouver in 2009. www.artinthemountains.com
A real nice feature at the workshop this year was doing my daily demos without that pesky overhead mirror. On the wall behind me was a forty inch plasma monitor and a small camera hangs from the ceiling on a very thin wire above me. Modern technology is a refreshing experience in a painting classroom. As an added bonus, my demos were replayed during lunch break.
Two big moments for me this month -- besides being in the studio for several weeks -- we licensed four more of my painting images to be made into fine art lithographs for Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines. This is our second time doing this - we have a total of ten prints in an edition of 400 each. It continues to amaze me that people buy art during a cruise. I like it because it's an alternative to the slow gallery scene right now... and hey, it works for me right now!
Paintings for the Cruise Ships
The second news for me involves Zimmer Gallery in Mendocino, CA. After a gazillion years in business, they made the decision to close their gallery in Mendocino and concentrate on the International Expo Shows. They are featuring my latest work at this year's SOFA Expo in Chicago. (Sculptural Objects & Functional Art Expositions - www.sofaexpo.com)
Bob with Circus Series
And yet, another gallery is about to officially open in Snow Hill, Maryland - The American Art Gallery," owned and operated by Barb Dougherty. Several "Wingland" pieces have made it to the east coast! She will also feature my "Good Life" series. You may recall that Barb was the Publisher of Art Calendar Magazine for several years. She's edgy, original and always with a strong point of view... and she's a great painter!
Last month we added yet another feature to our newsletter: An ArtsyFartsy News Article Archive. We even have an Index - so if you are looking for a specific subject or article, go to our website and click on the Article Archive (here's the link -
robertburridge.com/newsletter/index.html) The Index is updated monthly so you can always find what you're looking for.
Workshops in the Spotlight
Drum roll, please... our entire 2008 Workshop Schedule is on our website! You can download it and print it out! Kate is scheduling 2009 and 2010. If you are interested in learning more about my workshops, contact Kate.
There are a couple of workshops coming up early in 2008 that I would like to mention...
Kate with the Burros of Wenmohs
February 18-22, 2008
Wenmohs Ranch in the Texas Hill Country is having us back in February! We were there last year and had a super time. What a great place! Dena Wenmohs has created a wonderfully creative space for artists to work in and a Bunkhouse to stay in during the workshop. We created a new workshop for Wenmohs Ranch titled "Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage." You can read the description, see a photo and the materials list on my website - click
HERE for the link. For information on the workshop, fees and The Bunkhouse, contact Dena Wenmohs, (830) 825-3465 www.wenmohsranch.com.
Bob and Dena Painting
February 29-March 2, 2008
Another new workshop titled "Fix & Finish" created for Jim Ferry's 20th Street Art Gallery in Sacramento, California.
Here's the description:
Check your ego at the door. Bring in your turkeys, your dogs, your biggest embarrassments, your unfinished "bad" paintings... Robert Burridge, nationally known workshop instructor, can help you refocus your painting intentions and your goals to get your painting finished, signed, varnished and out the door!
Once your painting is "fixed," we continue on with a looser series Burridge calls "cool down" paint sketches. Be prepared to paint more confidently and have the answers you're looking for to produce more meaningful paintings.
Daily... demos, handouts, lectures and constructive critiques.
For more info, contact Jim Ferry at (916) 448-8546. He keeps the 20th Street Art Gallery hopping! There is always lots of stuff going on -- www.20art.net
Conversations in Paint Book Cover
Conversations in Paint
A Notebook of Fundamentals by Charles Dunn. Workman Publishing.
So you think you know it all or maybe you wished you went to art school. Okay, this book is for you! Conversations in Paint has in it everything you ought to know. It is an excellent resource with easy-to-read explanations on almost every aspect about making a painting... or creating any art project! This inspiring book explains it all from perspective, color and design relationship, seeing, painting and The Crit. You will never learn EVERYTHING, but this book will be used as a resource when you need to delve into a subject.
Mr. Dunn has designed the book layout to be easy to read and quick to understand. He keeps the subject matter light with lots of painters' quotes and subject ideas. This book will be your new best studio friend. I dare you to not go through every page after you first get it.... but you will! And to think, I'm recommending a book that has none of my work in it!
Conversations in Paint - A Notebook of Fundamentals by Charles Dunn, Workman Publishing, New York, 1995. ISBN 978-1563056642 Buy at Amazon
Ask Kate about Art Marketing
ASK KATE! Every month, Kate will post your questions and her responses on the subject of marketing, sales, and promotion. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you will receive a Burridge Permission Mug. If you have a burning question that you would like to have answered -- for your benefit and everyone else's -- email Kate at email@example.com
Wyn Kalagian from Ontario, Canada asks: How does an artist prepare a portfolio and what should it include? I want to carry around with me a sample of my pictures...
Thanks for your question, Wyn! These days, an artist's portfolio consists of more than just photos of your work. Your portfolio can also include your resume, a bio, artist statement, price sheet AND photos of your best work. When I prepare copies of Bob's portfolios for submissions, I generally gather all the above materials + add brochures and catalogs that are appropriate and place everything in a folder so it is contained. There is usually a place to put a business card in the folder too. Sometimes I will add 35mm slides or a CD of images (jpegs). Your bio, resume and statement can also go on the CD. I can submit portfolio packets just like this to a variety of venues: galleries, media, interior designers, corporate art consultants, etc. If you know in advance that you are sending a CD, make sure you are prepping the proper format so your client can easily open and view it! Being both prepared and professional is very important.
Now, if you are looking for a more "casual" presentation, put together a small photo portfolio with your business card and an invitation to visit your website to view your portfolio elements of resume, bio and statement. We even use our DayRunners to publicize Bob's work --- we carry the 5.5 x 8.5 inch DayRunner --- you can order 5 x 7 inch clear plastic pages to fit. We always have a small selection of Bob's latest work to show -- On each page we show a painting, along with the size and medium, then Bob's name and website address. If someone expresses interest, we just take the page out of the plastic sleeve and give it to them! We can also print out another one (use photographic paper!).
Maryjo Floryjanski from Venice, Florida asks a 2-point question on pricing: How do you determine the price for a framed piece in which the framing costs are $100?
... and what do you do about pricing work hung in an exhibition in which a 30% is taken? Do you raise your price by 30% to cover the commission?
Maryjo, thanks so much for asking these questions about pricing. I have found that the more consistent you are in your pricing, the better off you will be. Pricing and the "extras" that surround it, like framing and commissions can easily end up as a fuddled mess, unless you set your own standards and policies. I always start with the retail price - the price the artist sells directly to the public. So-- once you have established your price structure (go to ArtsyFartsy News archive for June 2007) you do not raise or lower to accommodate locations, exhibition commissions, gallery commissions, etc. Your price is your price - Clients expect uniformity and consistency. To answer your second question first -- No, you don't raise your price to cover the commission. That is part of your cost of doing business. Just the same as when working with a gallery that takes a 50% commission - don't double your prices! And you NEVER want to only charge 50% for a painting from your studio because that is what you would get after your gallery takes their 50%.... retail pricing is retail pricing, no matter what you net after commissions.
Now for your first question: When we frame artwork, we markup just the COST of the frame. We do not try to make money on the framing. When we are working with a gallery that shows framed work, we make certain in our contract it is written that we receive our normal 50% + the cost of the frame (be prepared to show the gallery your receipts!).
Speaking of framing - one of the best things we ever did, in respect to framing, was to standardize our sizes and made sure we were using regular commercial sizes - no custom sizes. That saved a lot of money right there! Secondly, we selected one durable style that we framed EVERYTHING in, i.e. white linen mat, white-washed wooden frame. That small detail gave a consistant image to everything plus made it easy to price, as we could also work out mathematically the retail prices of framed piece with confidence.
For more info, click HERE to check out our Hot Art Marketing Workbook.
Thanks for asking Kate!
Kate Your Art Marketing Girl
and her assistant Sophia
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Half Price Summer Clearance!
Three different videos - Three different subjects - All with my 20 Top Secrets
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
Features my warmup exercises and how I use them to create larger works. 40 minutes.
Loosen Up your Aquamedia Florals
I paint on one 30"x40" canvas! 50 minutes.
Loosen Up your Aquamedia Landscapes
Includes warmup exercises, four landscape compositions and half-sheet ethereal landscapes. 53 minutes.
Each VHS Video $12.50 + CA sales tax (if applicable) + S/H
All Three VHS Videos $30.00 + CA sales tax (if applicable) + S/H
For info on ordering go to:
The Composition of the Month
Curves Black & White Sketch
Curves! They are organic and biological. Lots of round things, either overlapping circles and dots or squiggly curves and gooey amorphic forms. It's like looking in a petri dish through a microscope.
Black & White Curves Composition
This can be a great beginning design format to loosen you up! One of the initial decisions I make prior to actually painting is to decide on only one strong, committed design for the painting. If it's curves and an organic look I'm after, I'll begin very wet - with huge brushes or paper towels and tubs of paint! Loose, wet and juicy...
Finished Curves Design Compositions:
Studio Tongue Depressors
Stir things up with tongue depressors! In my studio I'm always in search of some disposable thing to stir up paint or to ladle a dollop of paint onto my table palette.
I've used scraps of foam boards, real paint stirrers and twigs. All very cheap and I throw them away. It's not a big studio problem, but I have spoiled myself with a better solution. I found a box of 500 tongue depressors for $13.00 in our local pharmacy supply store. The tongue depressors are not sterilized (unnecessary for my use) and manufactured by a company called "Puritan." That's the only info on the box. Again, not necessary to have, but a very convenient luxury! I have also used them to paint, scrape and draw back into my paintings.
All Children are Born Natural Artists.... and Painters
(Continued from July Newsletter)
Bob Gets a Painting Lesson!
All children make the most amazing art!
Teaching Points and Additional Ideas:
1) Have the children talk about their creations, not explain their creations. Never ask, "What is it?" Never correct or assign a grade for their paintings. The child is the authority; the art teacher would be advised to refrain from judging or comparing.
2) Keep your negative opinions about a particular art style to yourself. They may shut down the children's open-minded curiosity.
3) Call the children "artists."
4) Encourage risk-taking, not imitation.
5) Keep adult expectations out of the children's time for creating.
6) Wild and wacky and unreal should be the norm.
7) Teenagers will want to conform and add detail. This is a good time to begin teaching and demonstrating proper academic drawing techniques; stressing however, individuality and nonconformity.
8) Never expect a "pretty picture" and never suggest it.
9) Focus on the process and not the end result.
10) Play more with intentions and have the children write down their goals before painting.
11) If possible, do not "reward" or give grades for doing "correct" art; rather encourage individuality.
12) Have a Dress-Like-an-Artist Day (not good clothes) with painting aprons, etc.
13) Near the end of the class calendar, have all students carry their own materials, easels, etc. outside and paint landscapes on location after a talk about Van Gogh.
14) Always do a demonstration (visual learning) and explain what you are doing (audible learning) and a written handout explaining what you are doing... more papers for the inquisitive parents who need to know.
15) Music is essential! A small FM radio near the art table is ideal. "My mother listened to opera on Saturday mornings while baking. I didn't understand the stories then and I still don't, but the same music is a comforting ritual I listen to when painting today. I feel safe creating in unknown territories and paint with no fear."
Bob Paints with Granddaughter Kylan
When You Are Teaching Your Children...
•Discard everything that is unnecessary.
•Aim to be simple.
•Relax, abandon yourself. Fear nothing.
•Compress time. Aim at succeeding, don't waste an instant.
•Don't take yourself seriously.
•Don't hurry, don't rest.
•Don't be afraid to be a little foolish.
•Have endless patience.
•If faced with overwhelming odds, occupy time with something else.
•Have endless capacity to improvise.
•Bring abstract ideas to concrete form.
•Assume that students enjoy learning.
•Believe that children are perfect, and we're just building on their strengths.
•Support everything with a visual aid.
•Insure no possible way to fail.
•A teacher must be upbeat and positive.
•If the goal is only to learn facts, then we lose the chance to know that learning exciting.
Bob Panting with Lexi
Just Say Oops!
My style is still developing after thirty years of painting. Your style is where you are today and don't be concerned about being true to any specific style, thereby forcing yourself to stay within that box forever. One of the greatest natural gifts you already have as a creative person is your ability to change your mind. When something isn't working out for you in your painting, change it!
Thomas Edison knows one thousand ways the light bulb does not work. It worked at one thousand and one. He didn't give up. In painting, anyone who doesn't change his mind... doesn't have one.
And please know, to be a better painter is about "risk-taking." Risk-taking is failure prone; otherwise it would be called "sure-thing-taking." Painting in a creative spirit mind is full of the mind ploy of "what if..." What if I change this? What if I make the grass red? What if I paint the ocean orange? If it does not work out, I just smile and say...oops!
Think about this...
Vision without action is day dreaming.
Action without vision is a nightmare!
Vision with action is a painting worth doing.
Bob in Studio
Copyright ©2007 Robert Burridge. All rights reserved.
If you wish to copy this material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for permission by contacting:
Robert Burridge Studio
Arroyo Grande, California
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