Well, my submissions to Art Comes Alive were not among the ones chosen by the judges. There are so many outstanding artist who have been working on their craft longer than I have. I'll be interested in seeing the 150 pieces selected to determine what style of work is being noticed.
I fear that the bright and non-descriptive lines of abstract or impressionistic paintings are gaining in popularity because they are versatile with any decor and not limited by theme as are realism paintings.
However, there are those who recognize the work involved in painting realism and appreciate the style of those who paint them. In fact a husband and wife purchased three paintings and commissioned a third. After showing them my progress on the commissioned piece they asked for painting lessons. They are the first students and we painted for two hours today. The wife wanted to learn realism while the husband is interested in impressionism. We had fun and next week they want two lessons, which I gladly accepted.
Giving lessons to beginners make me realize how far I've come over the past six years. Am I an expert with credentials, hell no, but I know I can give them the basics and the rest is up to them. I have gained a great deal of knowledge from the hundred and fifty paintings.
Several months ago I entered an art competition held by Art Design Consultants located in Cincinnati Ohio. Since I have been purchasing space on their "Blink" website I received a discount on the cost of submitting four images. Out of the eighty paintings I have accumulated it was difficult to select four that would be strong enough to wow the panel of distinguish jurors. The show is open to all artist who want to submit their work, which last year number 1,600 artist, and from those only 160 paintings will be selected.
I won a spot last year, but I'm not sure how my work compares to other artist and the jurors who make the final decision. As of 8:10pm I have not received an email one way or the other. Either way I plan on attending the awards program in July so I can meet other artist and gallery owners.
On a positive note, I received an email from the art director for Blink magazine stating Art Design Consultants has selected my work to display in their 8,000 sqft gallery. I had to sign a contract with states they will take 50% of the sale of a painting and I agree to allow them 20% to negotiate the sale and then take 50%. Now most people find this way out of line, but it is the standard for most galleries, unless your well known and move a large quantity of work, then you can dicker on percentages.
I have to raise the price of my paintings in order to reflect the gallery's price so if you had your eye on one of my paintings you better act now before the price goes up.
I have been a vendor at several art shows and most people who attend think the price the artist places on his/her work is high. However, if you like their work it is the best price you'll get. If they are attached to a gallery the same piece will double or triple.
Some artist shy away from galleries because they want to market their work themselves. I'm not getting any younger and Parkinson's will hinder my attending art shows so for me a gallery is a logical choice.
Age is only the number of years you've been on this planet, which ages a slower rate than its occupants. I have discovered a disconnect between the age my brain thinks I am and the years my body knows I am. As my mother use to say, "My mind makes contracts that my body can't keep." Back when I thought it was funny but now it a sober summation of reality.
Another realization crept into my frontal lobe, how the symptoms of my Parkinson's blend with the side affects of medication I'm taking and both for mentioned abnormalities mirror old age. As an example, one of the symptoms of Parkinson's is loss of balance which is also a side affect of medication and old age. The only symptom that distinguishes Parkinson's from the other two are the tremors.
In the morning if someone asked me how old I am I would estimate 120 or one step away from rigamortis setting in. I wonder why I agreed to purchase a bed that requires a stepladder to get in? Actually I can pull myself up and into bed, but exiting after a night's sleep is about as graceful as a new born calf trying to stand. It would be easier to roll out of bed and fall to the floor but it has its drawbacks; broken bones and bruises to mention a few. However, if someone ask me what happened, I say my wife beat me up, which she would like to do on certain occasions, but she suffers from Fibromyalgia, which has symptoms similar to Parkinson's except for the tremors and stiffness.
With both of our health issues it seems we are in competition to see who becomes more disabled first, so far she is winning.
Since this is a website promoting my artwork I question the reasons behind this current blog. However, this site is also about Parkinson's and I believe it fitting to discuss how the disease affects me and why I decided to sell my paintings to raise money to find a cure for this hideous disease.
Painting everyday is difficult when you are travelling and there is reasons why. If you are an oil painter and flying to your destination your paints can not travel with you - combustible material. A busy schedule also interferes with finding the time - unless you become anti-social.
Since I've programmed myself to paint I had to find a pacifier - drawing. For less than 10 bucks I purchased a sketchpad, pencils, pencil sharpener, and eraser. What I discovered was through painting my drawings have improved and once again I found joy in sketching.
Sketching is less expensive and if you don't like the way a piece is working out, you can either erase it or turn to the next page. I'm using it to work on composition, contrast, and perspective, which are three extremely important attributes to a successful piece of art.
Composition is noticed first. The work must be constructed to draw attention. If the placement of objects is boring than the other two elements don't matter. If a picture has composition then perspective becomes important. The human eye can find those elements where the perspective is not correct. The eye assesses each element to the brain's database of objects, then determines if what you're viewing makes sense. If perspectives are off the painting looses interest.
If the first two points are correct then contrast between objects becomes important. Contrast between light and dark brings a piece to life; without it a painting is dull and looses interest.
To produce an interesting painting follow the three steps and the number one rule of art, "No two things in a painting should be the same or alike.", which includes shapes, size and color.
We're off to Michigan to attend my grand daughter's graduation from high school but this time we are flying! I have always driven to whatever destination we selected but between my wife's febermyology and my Parkinson's issues, driving for extended hours is impossible.
My sister helped purchase tickets and the only remaining hurdle is "The Dog". We have a Cavapoo, and for those not familiar with special breeds it is a cross between a King Charles cavalier and a toy poodle. He is a cute little shit with curly hair and weighs in at a whopping 16 pounds. He is a great traveler in the car but untested on aircraft.
Knowing the airline would require a carrying case for Mr Charlie I went to our local pet store and purchased an approved airline travel case, one that would accommodate our killer trained lap dog. Feeling smug in my purchase until the day before our departure, which as Memorial Day, I had second thoughts and decided to call the airlines to double check the proper size needed to fit under the seat in front of me. Giving the representative the dimensions of my pet's temporary accommodations and our flight number, which is important because the seats are different for each type of aircraft, she reported that it was to high. For our flight the maximum height for under the seat storage is 9 inches. After the initial shock I promptly questioned the airline's logic in allowing carry on animals that would fit in 9 inches. Before she could answer I responded in a kidding manor, "I guess I'll have to cut his legs off!", I did not receive a chuckle or a negative response.
Knowing she did not have control over the design of an aircraft, I proceeded to thank her and let panic set in. I purchased the carrier from a local pet store, which I had doubts would be open on a holiday, but grabbed the portable dog house and headed off to the pet store.
Lucky for me it was open but unlucky because I didn't have a receipt, which I explained and said I just wanted to exchange it for a smaller one. Getting the go-ahead from a manager I headed off to the appropriate isle only to discover limited options. The only one to fit the bill was 9 inches high, OK, 19 inches long and 11 inches wide. It was going to be like fitting Dolly Parton into a training bra!
Uncooperative and disgruntled, charlie did fit into the carried, much like a 200 pound woman fits into a size to small spandex jump suit. After several attempts at zipping up the opening, without success, I decided to allow his head to project, which was problematic since he could use his front paws to unzip and escape from his confinement.
In order to take a carry-on pet and cram it under the seat will cost $125 and a signed promise to keep it caged during the flight. Will rules were meant to be bent so I followed only those rules absolutely necessary to remain on the aircraft.
Only one of the flight attendants paid any attention to Charlie's head sticking out and requested I zip it up, to which I smiled and answered "yes" only to ignore the request. I couldn't, in good conscious, jam into nine inches, besides he would crawl out and I would have a dog on the loose, so I placed him between my legs so I could pet his head to keep him calm.
Just prior to landing the attendants passed through the cabin and the previous gate-keeper reminded me to zip up the case, to which I responded with a smile and nodded yes before ignoring her warning.
As not to bore you with other details I will finish the story by saying Charlie was very happy when we reached my sister's condo so he could form a river flowing from the nearest tree, I swore I saw a smile of relief flash across his face