Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Buying art, a few insights

       I was recently asked to write my ideas, from an artists view, on purchasing art.  Not sure how helpful this is, but I'll give it an honest opinion.

       The first thing I see quite often, is that most buyers do not negotiate when purchasing art in person. Personally, I do not take offense at a lower offer.  If I have room to come down on the price of a particular piece I will, especially for a returning client.  

      There are many reasons a particular piece of art is not ready for sell yet, or is priced higher:  The photography may not be completed yet, or it is registered for an upcoming show, or the paint hasn't cured long enough to varnish it yet.  Whatever the reason, don't be afraid to ask again at a later date, the artist may be ready to sell, and may even accept your offer.

       Along the same lines, I love it when someone wants a custom painting similar to one that I'm not ready to sell.  We can create it in a different size, change the color scheme, add personal touches, and create a new original that can be purchased with installments as we progress through the painting.  This is great for those purchasing art for personal benefit, and not just as an investment.

       If purchasing art on line it is important to remember that monitors vary, and that the colors usually look better in person.  If looking to invest in art, it is best to do some homework.  One place to do this is Invaluable, a fine art auction platform, which recently published a blog post of a Guide to Buying Fine Art.  I recommend you research the artist, check to see how he or she compares to other artists, and whether they have reproductions available or not.  The reproductions are not as valuable as the originals, but if prints are selling, then it is a good indicator that the originals are worth quite a bit more.  Remember some artists are just getting started, and one day their work may be extremely valuable.

       That's my professional opinion, please feel free to leave feedback, even if you disagree!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Healed, girl on beach, inspirational painting


"Healed"
20 x 24 inches

This inspirational painting is full of symbolism. 

I started this as just a wave. Made it up for fun, but It kept making me cry as many of my earliest memories are from when my family was stationed in Hawaii. My step father was in the Coast Guard. He abused me, even burnt me once with a hot iron. So I prayed about it and began to see the root of the lies: believing I was unwanted and unloved, a terrible person from the start. 

As I worked on it, The Lord gave me a new perspective and his words of truth from scriptures in the Holy Bible. Forgiving others, renouncing the lies, forgiving myself, and accepting the Father's love have helped me overcome years of battling with bouts of depression. 

Life was hard: a different step father, more abuse, foster homes, and then failed marriages. 

While praying, I saw Jesus and me playing on the beach, and decided to put a little girl in the painting. Then I added the shadow of a cross, and the face of Jesus. I made the rain blowing away.  I added an angel dancing in the clouds, and a dove coming down the wave near the girls head, to symbolize the Holy Spirit. 

Then I noticed the shallow wave encircling the girl actually resembled a heart, so I enhanced it to symbolize the love of God our Father, the Good Father, who makes life turn around for good in spite of everything that comes against us.

Click here for prints and gifts of this painting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

revising

Due to learning more about what publishers are looking for, I have been revising my book.  Turns out that the genre of woman's fiction, that I pitched the book as, didn't fit the criteria.  So I am changing the genre to speculative so that I don't have to leave out the supernatural elements (like dreams, visions, and angels) which I had tried to be subtle about.  It is fun to enhance and add more supernatural elements.  It is becoming a whole new story.

Anyway, I am plugging along with new ideas, and a different approach: learning as I go. I like it.

Click here to read about the original story that I am revising.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Christian Fiction Writers Conference

 ACFW has a writer's conference each year, and this year it is this month, the 25th - the 28th. I just became a member last month, and wasn't sure I could afford the conference.  So I missed the deadline, and decide to count on it for next year.  

 Last week I saw a post asking if anyone was interested in taking someone else's place.  I looked into it and now it has all come together. WOW!   Plus I get to share a room with a published author!  I get to take seminars on revising, editing and pitching book proposals, along with a workshop on writing like a pro..... And I get to speak with an agent. I am more than a little excited to see what the Lord is going to do next!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Not my job?

Been keeping my grand daughter for a couple of weeks.  She is 9 now, so I expect more out of her than I used too, but she doesn't seem to get it.

My husband says it is not my job, to back off and leave her be.  Hmm. in some things maybe, but for the most part I disagree.  If she isn't learning to be polite, and she isn't learning to be patient and not interrupt, and she isn't learning to tie her own apron for art class, or brush her teeth well, then who's job is it?

She is told to go and do this or that at home, but it doesn't seem to me that anyone is paying much attention.  I get it. She talks back, she argues, and she is not always the sweetest child, but someone needs to discipline her, teach her, show her by example, help her understand.  Someone needs to love her enough to be the tough parent, be the one that to take the extra time and face the battles.

Again, I only have her for two weeks, so I am sure I won't be a huge influence, but I am also sure that I cannot turn my head and act like her behavior is fine when often it is completely unacceptable. So I make a big deal out of it when she is polite, and I reward her when she does get it!

Yesterday she told a friend some hurtful things, and she is very excited to leave and not put up with me any more. Honestly I want to ignore her and be angry and not do anything nice for her now.  After all, I have gone out of my way everyday to do art classes for her, make things fun, buy the foods she likes, and even purchased over a hundred dollars in school supplies and clothes for her.  But she is just a child, and how will she learn to be grateful if I am not forgiving and kind?

It is my job, and I am the adult, and I won't give up on her!  I love her too much.  I think too, that this must be how Daddy God, Abba Father, loves us so patiently.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Faith, the substance of things hoped for

So much sorrow in the world.  So much pain and suffering.  Not only from terrorists and evil forces, but just in everyday living.  We all have loved ones we ache for.

My pastor's wife recently shared a truth with me that has helped me walk through the shadow of death with my mother-in- law.  My husband also faces serious health issues. Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around suffering and death.

"Hold your hands out, palms up and say, 'Father, I receive the strength and the grace you have already provided for me for this situation,' instead of continually asking.  It's alright to ask, but we also need to receive!"

This is especially helpful when my faith is not so strong, and the tears have taken over.  Now I am seeing the Father's hand at work. Prayers are being answered, and faith grows.  Not just in me, but in those I pray for too.

May Daddy God, Abba Father, put his truth in your mouth as you do the work and study his word! May he bless you and your loved ones mightily!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fiction novel

Been working on a book for years.  Started over many times.  Finally settled in on turning my life story into a fiction novel.  Changing everyone's name was the hardest part! But I love the freedom it gives me to finish parts that I don't remember, or rearrange the order of some events.  Now it has become more about the main character, Christina, and turning it into a good story.


This version begins with Christina waking up in the hospital after a fatal car accident, where her horse didn't survive.  She has broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a concussion.  She struggles with some memory loss too.  I chose to begin the story here, because every time I got to this part of the book there were too many gaps in my memory.   This resolves many issues because I can go back and forth in time to to tell the story.

Now it is becoming an exciting novel, and I can remain objective instead of getting emotionally tangled as I recount the child abuse and foster homes that were part of my life. I also have the freedom to exaggerate or down play as much as I want too.  Instead of just a sad story, it is one of victory and truth as the point of view is from heaven instead of from my own perspective.

I have a lot to learn about publishing, but I am doing the work and hope to get it out there soon!   I am revising, having it edited, and researching literary agencies and publishing companies.

This is the beginning of a whole new journey for me!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Not walking in the shadow of death

My life has been enveloped in the sick and dying.  My mother-in-law (98 years old) has been in and out of the hospital many times the past few years.  This time she gave up for over a week.  My husband of 16 years, who is quite a bit older than I am, has also been through many serious life threatening events.  We have come through cancer, respiratory failure, two brain surgeries (non cancer related), and now severe COPD.  He and his mother have both been in the hospital at the same time this past week.  It threw me for a loop.  Spending so much time at their bed sides can be emotionally draining to say the least.

I started to head into a deep depression again, but this time I took some time out and went for a walk to clear my head. This is a splendid time of year in Florida.  The cool breezes and warm sun are amazing. I went for a walk at sunset up on the levy at the lake.  This is one of my favorite things to do to rise above the circumstances.  My husband is home now, and his mother is doing better, so that helps too.

While I was out walking, I saw this little area across the rim canal that was lit up with pinks from the sunset.  I have seen this little stream coming into the canal before, but this time I decided I needed to paint it.  So after supper I pulled out a large canvas and painted it! It was exhilarating to be inspired and motivated and stay up late to create something so compelling!  It pulled me out of the downward spin I was giving into.  

This world is on a downward pull, always throwing things at us to destroy us.  If we don't fight it, it gets overwhelming!  I am finding out some things that help me fight back: getting up early to have time to pray and have devotions, painting at work (even if for just for short periods of time), walks at sunset, playing Christian music, and painting at home in the evenings.

Looks like the shadow of death has moved on, and I am living again. Currently I'm working on some animal portraits, which is always my favorite subject matter! It is amazing that even in the middle of the pain and chaos I can find joy and see goodness and truth!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Goals

Trying to get back to painting more often and posting more too.  Seems like the most important thing (painting) gets put on the back burner more than anything else. Feels good to get up earlier to paint, and get back to better habits than watching tv or oversleeping!

Have to stay with it this time, and not give up.  Hard to be inspired these days.  Most of the time I am teaching art classes or creating frames, so I am really tired, and certainly not motivated.  So I have to make my painting time come first.  Then the rest of the day can fall into place.

Having said all that, now I must make it a personal challenge, and find ways to stay inspired. Paintings that have a deeper meaning, or that have things hiding in them seem to hold my interest the most.  But if they do not come together right off the bat, then I tend to put them aside and resolve them later.

 I need to plan ahead better, and stick with it.  Also, I need to not start the new ones until I finish current paintings.  When I enter some art shows I tend to get excited and finish up a few more too.

My problem is that I don't see  results very often.  A sale now and then, A commission.  A ribbon or an award here and there; it is all encouraging, but hard to make enough to make a living.  So I teach more classes, or take in more framing jobs. Then I don't have the time to paint.....not a good cycle.

I am open to hearing ideas on how you get inspired or what helps you stay on track.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christ- Mass

It was called a mass for Christ.  Yet we focus on all the rush and business of this time of year.  Me included.  Just breath.  Slow down.  It isn't going to all be perfect, it isn't going to make every one happy, and I am not able to make it all as I think it should be!  So take a step back, laugh at all the stress and expectations and set them aside.

If I don't send the cards out on time, oh well.  If I don't get a certain gift for a certain child, oh well.  We have the whole year to give and bless and love each other!!!!  Why do we wait for one day out the year?

There, now I feel better.  Enjoy the beauty of the season, pray a lot, and ask God to show us how we can do something to help those in need, all year.

Merry Christmas!