Mittwoch, 27. Juni 2012

A leap of Faith

I think it's time for a little rant.
Just a little one, and not really a bad one.

Did you know there are "trust issues" of a different kind?

Sometimes, people trust someone too much, or trust them on the wrong plane so to say.

I do a lot of comission work. Therefor I have to communicate with customers on a multitude of different planes.
About motivs (of course), techniques, sizes, and colour range.
Usually my customers trust my opinion. I offer different techniques, suggest colours, sizes.
When I'm told the motivs or see the photos of which I am told to make a portrait I can tell what would be the best technique etc.
And my customers trust me.
That's good.
Sometimes my customers have more faith in my skills than I have. Sometimes they have too much faith.

From time to time I hesitate when it comes to difficult motivs and it's pretty nice to have someone tell me "I trust in your skills, you can do it!"
But there has to be a line.

Lately I had several customers whom I told that I couldn't do the requested paintings with the material they offered. sometimes the photos were too bad, sometimes the research was incomplete....
In those moments I stand there and tell them "I can't do it with that data." or "those photos are nice but they won't do as a painting."
And my customers tell me "I trust you, I have faith in you."
But faith has nothing to do with it.
They trust me and my skills but aparently they give a shit about my professional opinion.
Recently I had such a customer "overpower" me and the result wasn't that nice.
The comissioned work turned out okay but we had some majour difficulties. ending in dissolving the contract.
So now I am more careful.
And I stick to my standarts, even if that means that, from time to time I have to decline a comission when the data doesn't suffice.
I just wonder; why do these people listen to me when I explain techniques and used colours but completly ignore me when I tell them; the better the data to work from the better the outcome?

I guess I'll never get an answer...

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2012

sold a painting today

Today was a rather weird day.
It started off with a doctors appointment to get my hands checked out....
Good news; ts not carpal tunnel (at least not this time...)
The doc made a lot of fuzz but the chances are high i just trapped a nerve somewhere.
i'll get over it, as usual ;) hopefully i get a prescribtion for some nice massages :D

It was my day off, well afternoon off... and i had another doctors appt planned, dentist this time. i decided to skip it. the early morning appointment emptied my resources for medical talk and waiting rooms... so after work i went to bed to watch some tv and stretch out a little.
little did i know.
i was just getting comfy when my phone rang.
the customers who wanted to drop by this week to see me about that comission had just dropped in....
of course!
so i went to work, talked with them, they bought the painting i suggested
(yay for me)
and we went to my place for some tea and cake :)
and for a little strole afterwards.
and by then it was already time to go feed the cats and meet with uli for some tshirt printing.

so much for my day off.
and of course we didn't talk about definitive prices...

but i got money in my pocket :D and some more coming my way soon.
that'S good i guess.
and if my hands don't get better i can still paint with my mouth and charge higher prices :D

Sonntag, 10. Juni 2012

painting, painting, painting...

When I go on like this I'll end up like Monet with the brushes tied to my wrist.
I've had some issues with carpal tunnel lately. That plus a possible (untreated) boxers fracture 2 years ago... I should go see a doctor, I know...
Or, at least, I should take it a little easy on the painting and writing.
But, alas...
The new technique is such fun and I can't keep my hands away from the brush for long.
But I really should.
I guess I will if the pain gets worse.
Right now tis just hindering my piano play (found that out the hard way, recently) and picking up and handling small things like needles...
as long as I can hold a brush I guess I will...

On the schedule for next week is;
working on with that oil portrait I have been dabbling with for a while now.
a possible watercolour comission.
and probably making a new (comissioned) sweatshirt design.

This leaves me enough time inbetween for some more working on the new technique.
see? I can't keep away.
Tomorrow is "office day" so I might give my hand some rest.
wish me luck!

Montag, 4. Juni 2012

Thank god it's monday!

Yeah I'm serious!
Never underestimate OCD when you left an unfinished painting at work.

Usually I can compartmentalize, but I was trying out a new technique which prived to be a lot of fun. And when OCD meets fun it gets difficult :D
Since saturday afternoon that half finished watercolour kept nagging me.
So you can imagine when monday came I was relieved to go back to work.

And what a great day it was!
I finished the first test painting:

And whilst still adding the last strokes I already had the idea / urge to paint something "original in the same technique.
I had a photo in mind which I had found a few days ago.
My all time favourite singer, Melody Gardot. The few times when her music isn't inspiring me her amazing photo shoots usually are.
So putting the first on the side to dry in peace I grabbed my sketch pad and got at it again :)

Turned out quite OK I think. 
Basically I'm still using too much colour but I think I'm getting there.

This technique is basically a common watercolour technique. 
You start with really light colours and then start blending in the darker shades and details. I'm working on dry paper, only moistening the parts I'm about to paint so I get clearer lines. 
Everything is allowed, I use straws and tissue  to move the colour across the paper.
It helps to stay within a narrow colour range. not too many different colours 3 maybe 4 are enough otherwise it'll crowd. 
A neat trick is using Derwent Inktense Blocks cause they become permanten once they're dry. so you can put different colours on top of each other without ending up with a huge brown blob :)

So if you want to try it out:
go for it!
here's some music to inspire :D

Sonntag, 3. Juni 2012

Music vs Painting

I do both.
Schooled in several painting techniques I also can play a few instruments and used to be a singer, too (ugh in another life, so to say)
I've always been better at painting tho. 

Painting is quiet. no one notices you. You can sit in your little room and paint and no one will notice. When you sit in your little room and practice piano every neighbour will tell you when you hit the wrong key.
(I know that first hand...)

On the other hand... no one notices you. 

For me, music has the deeper impact. It's intimate, intensive, emotional. 
When I look at paintings or prints they touch me in one way or the other. They make me think or smile, I ponder about techniques or brushstrokes. About the artists message... There are paintings at which I can look for a long time and just feel content doing so. 
But tis still shallow somehow. 
With music it's more umpf! There are songs that immediately make me cry. Not because they're so sad but because they're so beautiful. I have that a lot with piano music. 
Just today when driving to a friend my playlist jumped to Michael Nymans the heart asks pleasure first. 
I know it's probably a little cheesy but this song always touches me. At that moment it made me smile feeling whole and warm. 
I never had such a feeling when loking at a painting. 

Perhaps that's the reason why I have no issues showing my paintings but keep my music close to me.

Making my art public, selling it. I have to take a lot of crap. Including things like
- customer throws painting away
- painting given as present gets stowed away so no one sees it
- customer giving so many "helpful tips" that finished artwork is ruined

and of course the usual
- uh that's ugly !
- don't you think that's a bit pricy?
- don't you think that's ways to cheap?

A long time ago I found ways to seperate myself from my paintings. 
I can't do that with music.