Thursday, December 31, 2015

Getting Ready for the 30 in 30 Starting Tomorrow

I'm down in Savannah, Georgia for the New Years. We came down Monday to celebrate my husband, Mark's, 60th birthday. As you know, the season is unusually warm and we have been enjoying temperatures in the high 70's. Meanwhile home has been slammed with snow and ice.

I've been taking a lot of pictures of this beautiful city for the upcoming 30 in 30 starting tomorrow. I haven't been able to post the pictures from my ipad to my blog. Ugh... but I will by tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting back to painting after the holidays and shows etc.

There's still time to sign up for the 30 in 30 tomorrow here

This being New Year's Eve I don't usually make any resolutions but I certainly make goals for my art business.  This year, I have decided to turn things up a notch by hiring a professional marketer to look at my business and make suggestions. Her husband is also a financier so he will be throwing his 2 cents in too. They've been looking at my goals and stats and will be making their suggestions in January. I can't wait. I will be sharing my thoughts on the process and some of their suggestions later in the month.

Have a wonderful New Years Eve everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let There Be Light.

Last month I did a show in Madison, Wisconsin at the Museum of Contemporary Arts.  
It was strongly suggested that all vendors bring lights. I didn't.
I just didn't want to add the extra expense to the show costs.

The lighting was fine in my booth, or so I thought. 
It looks alright from a distance right?  But in truth, you couldn't see my art. Soon the other artists started telling me, "Get some lights in your booth." Sales were slow Friday and Saturday mornings, due to the first large snowfall of the season. Very few people ventured into my booth to view my paintings.

Samantha went out to Walmart and bought some inexpensive lights. By 11AM she had them installed.

My sales got better!

For $60 at Wal-Mart we were able to get 5 lights, extra bulbs, 3 extension cords and zip ties.
What a difference lighting made! It was easy!
Thanks Samantha for all you do.

Do you use lighting in your booths?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Painting Plates with Alcohol Inks

Today is my plate painting class at 
317 Studio & Gallery.

In preparation, I've painted Christmas themed plates.

Starting with a clean plate, draw the outline of the image you want.
I use a Faber-Castell black artist pen but you can use any marker you want.

The good news/ bad news is that the pens are alcohol based so they easily rub off when you want to change your drawing. This can be frustrating as you paint and watch lines disappear. But it's not really a problem if you limit the amount of alcohol you use.

Then paint the plates with alcohol inks and rubber alcohol. You'll want to use less rubbing alcohol and more saturated inks so they don't run as much as maybe you'd want them to on Yupo paper. They still blend very nicely on the plates and dry quickly.

The colors are wonderfully vivid. When adding layers of color I stipple the brush more than using long brush strokes. This allows the colors to blend more. When your done painting go back with your marker to outline and redefine the picture.

When your plate is completely dry you may seal it.

 I use Liquitex Gloss Varnish. This is tricky because all sealers dissolve the inks and pen marks. So start with a very soft brush and apply a first coat very lightly, passing over the image only one time. After it has dried for three hours you may apply another layer. This time it may be thicker. Repeat for a third time.

When you compare my unvarnished plate to the picture with varnish above, you will notice some of the lines holding the ornaments has vanished. (See the yellow bulbs.) I will go back and reapply these lines after the varnish has dried.

It is important to note that these plates are NOT food safe. There currently is not a brushed on sealer on the market that is.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trimming the Tree with Toulouse

Last night was our art guild's Christmas party. 

I was asked to decorate a table for the event and was told I could use a known artist as inspiration or  create my own design. I choose Toulouse-Lautrec. I mean who can say no to Can-Can girls around a Christmas tree?


I started at Google images and collected some of my favorite drawings.
I wanted some free standing figures and of course, some posters. 
 For the free standing figures I used Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels. This would add a course surface to foam core board so it would accept pastels.

I drew the figures I wanted free standing and added the ground.  After it dried, it was wonderful for the pastels. These would be the figures around the tree. I added a few ornaments and strings of lights so it would appear they were in the process of decorating. I sprayed them with fixative and added a stand to their backs.

For Ornaments, I used one inch canvas boards for the posters and drew the images in pen. Then, I added some color with Dr. Martin's Watercolorsand hot glued ribbons to the backs.

A picture of Toulouse is used as the tree topper. But I still needed something to explain why I picked Lautrec and then I remembered why I love him so. It all has to do with a yellow line. That yellow line became my garland for the tree and was the reason why I draped several yellow ribbons on the table. So people could make their own fabulous lines. I added some of the alcohol ink bulbs I've been making and some lights and I was done.

I printed this on card stock a left it on the table.

The most beautiful line I’ve ever seen was drawn by Toulouse-Lautrec. It was a yellow line… the bottom of a Can Can girl’s skirt. It was perfect in its spontaneity and its movement. I stood in front of it for 15 minutes or more wondering, “Did Toulouse make this line quickly and with joyous abandonment as it appears, or did he meticulously paint this line knowing the significance it would play in the entire painting? 

You may ask yourself, “Will anyone ever stand in front of one of my pieces and ponder over how a certain element was done? Can I create such a piece?”

Maybe the answer is in one of Lautrec’s paintings…. Yes you Can Can!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have a Merry Christmas.
                                                                                 Jill Rae

People seemed to like the table... everyone loves Toulouse-Lautrec.

Over all, the whole night was a big success and a lot of fun,