Friday, June 29, 2007
Blondheim Art Original Paintings
oil on canvas
Available at High Springs Gallery
See more of my paintings HERE
Rum Island is on the Santa Fe River in North Central Florida. It is one of the out of the way locally known places, and one of the most beautiful in North Florida.
Don't you just love the name? It congers up images of Johnny Depp stepping off his Black Pearl to hide rum.
I go there in the fall and winter to paint on week days, when all the kiddies are in school. It is quiet and peaceful with the mist rising over the river. The spring color is amazing.
I am involved in a long project which I started around a year ago, painting the rivers of North Florida. At first,the plan was to work on the project for about a year but I have discovered that it is going to be ongoing for me. I discover more and more that I wish to paint on these magnificent rivers. The happy by-product of the project is that people love the theme and the paintings sell well. My desire was to show people that the real beauty of Florida is it's rivers,and natural areas, not theme parks. I also hope for more preservation efforts in my beloved state. My goal at some point, is to have an exhibition from this body of work.
I think these qualities are important if you wish to succeed as a professional artist:
Determination and perseverance- You must be willing to hang on by your fingertips much of the time. No matter how bleak things look, you must be willing to stay the course.
Flexibility- You may have a game plan that you have carefully thought out, but suddenly, it's just not going to work. You have to be willing to change your ideas and adjust your initial idea to make it work.
Self discipline- Without self discipline you cannot be a professional artist, at least not an effective one. There is no one to tell you to paint, do marketing, paperwork, be on time etc. You must be willing to work the long hours.
Marketing- You must be willing to spend about half of your time promoting and marketing your studio. I have artists tell me all the time that they don't like marketing. It really doesn't matter whether you like it or not. Just do it, or hire someone to do it for you. In any case, it must be done if you are to survive. This includes having your resume/statement/bio and images updated at all times. I can't tell you how many times I have spoken with artists,giving them heads up on opportunities, who simply are not prepared to take advantage of them.
The client is right- You must be willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy your client base. If they don't like the frame, offer another one. If they want a tiny change in the painting, do it. If they want you to do the shipping for them but you don't like going to UPS, do it anyway. Art patrons usually have disposable income and some are very demanding. If you are to survive and prosper, you must be willing to cater to their desires.
Professionalism- if you have a meeting you must be on time. If you have deadlines you must meet them. If you are working in groups with other artists you must have a time line and meet it. Some of us simply can't work with groups, and I have found that out the hard way. I can't wait for people to get things done. If you make commitments to gallery shows, or any show, you must follow through even if you regret the choice to do the show. Sometimes you must be willing to leave a group or a situation when you find it is not right for your career. Though others will be angry, you must decide what is right for you and make a clean cut. Hanging on to organizations or groups to be nice, wastes your time and theirs.
If you are an undisciplined person who has trouble meeting deadlines; who doesn't have a clear focus on what needs to be done; who doesn't have any particular theme or style to your work; who has not produced a sufficient body of work; who has no network or mailing list; has no resume/statement/bio prepared;only paints when the muse hits;is unorganized; is not prepared to sacrifice your lifestyle; You are not a good candidate to be a professional artist.
Of course there are successful artists who make all of the above mistakes, but they are the exception, not the rule.