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“Sunshine” 9X12″ Oil on Canvas – NFS

So this past week I have been focusing on creating a better schedule for blog posts, gathering and organizing my blog information, and of course painting. This includes taking an online course on blogging at Blogelina.  I signed up on a lark and didn’t have high expectations, but have been pleasantly impressed.  I am someone that has read all of the ProBlogger books and thought I knew what I was doing. The online course has been a eye opener.

I am still creating paintings for a show at the Bowlus in October, while also working on a book proposal.  I also came to the conclusion I was trying to juggle too many things at once. So the frame of mind here of late has been to simplify. No more following that distraction of seeing something shiny!

Some of you know I am a knitter. But, knitting has taken a back seat. For now.

How do you stay on task? Are you a list maker and scheduler? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

OK, what is a MOOC? “Massive Open Online Courses”, or free classes you can take online. That’s right, free.

Long ago Amazon.com offered courses you took for free. They had a text book of sorts that you purchase from them, or not. Then by way of a message board you did assignments, and had discussions with other students. It all has since gone way of Web 1.0. But, apparently the concept never really went away.

So I have been looking for a grammar/writing class. I could never find a fit. So last week I am reading a Money magazine article (May 2013) “College is Free”.

Long-story-short I am now signed up for “Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade”. It is being given by Mt. San Jacinto College, and yes it is free.

There are Art courses, Computer Science, Literature etc… Taught by professors at MIT, Berkley, and Harvard among others.  You can pay to get college credit for some, others you can only audit without charge. Some are self directed with no time limits, others are set up as a traditional online course with deadlines and discussions. Many that sign up do not finish.  I have read as high as 90%.

A few that may be interest readers:

At Coursera.org you can take a class at Penn State “Introduction to Art”

Saylor.org offers “Art History” coursework with a major

Udacity.com you can learn how to build a blog through “Web Development”

And at edx.org you can investigate the “Ideas of the 20th Century”

So if you sign up for one of these courses, please leave us a comment and let us know what you are taking and/or what you thought of courses you took in the past. Curious minds want to know!

I have been working on a series of small paintings of vintage cameras.  Yesterday I completed the 7th one. I randomly placed them on my studio wall, as seen below.

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8X10″ Oil on canvas – Studies of vintage cameras

This past weekend I was honored to have received ‘Best of Show’ in the Chanute Art Gallery Annual Neosho Valley Art Exhibit.

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Steve Greenwall critiquing exhibit

I am slowly catching up on the work I became behind on while ill this past month. (Cold gone bad) I have also started running again, in preparation for a 5K happening in three months. I am SO out of shape it is not funny. Would be nice to not be the last one over the finish line!

I am a fan of the Couch-To-5K program.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a running program that gradually takes to you running a 5K or for 3o minutes.  Much like running, I have not been blogging on a daily basis.  I could do it, but it would not be of good quality or look pretty.  It makes much more sense to ease into it and build up slowly.

So although I would love to be “blog shape” enough to do a program such as NaBloPoMo, it makes more sense for me to build up slowly.  So the “daily posts” will actually be coming more like every-other day this month.

Right now I am working on finishing the small series of vintage camera studies. There are at least two more to go. Then I will get back to doing portraits. There is also a portrait painting book about to begin. So thank you for coming around and keeping me on my toes!

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A vintage camera study on the easel.

The last few weeks I have had the crud.  The crud then became ear drama. Drama in that I could whistle through my right ear, and just felt like general crap for a while there.

To help get things back on track, studio wise, I signed up for NaBloPoMo. What this means is that I will be posting a blog every day this month. I am sure some posts will be more exciting than others. But, I am going to use the opportunity as a kick in the pants to get refocused.

So today is the first day I have really been back full time in the studio. First on the agenda is getting everything in order, and conducive to my usual working environment.

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Just part of the clutter and disorder….. (Hangs head in shame)

As I work through the piles, that is my work area, I will post them the following day. To give you an idea, there is another small vintage camera painting in progress on my easel, portraits to paint, notes that need gone through, webinars to complete, sketchbooks needing worked in, and outlines to be completed.

Oh and of course the usual posting schedule will continue. This includes the final installment of the Painting in Oil series!

Wish me luck!

 

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8X10″ oil on Canvas – $175

Slaving away on a larger piece, but took a break from it to do a quick study.  I have a number of vintage cameras I will be painting on 8X10″s. I love the minty green color!

There has been a show at an area gallery (Bowlus) I had been meaning to see. FINALLY took the time to view it before it closed. The work on Kimberly Young.

Bowlus Art Center Gallery

Bowlus Fine Arts Center Gallery

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Bowlus Fine Arts Center Gallery – Kimberly Young

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1. Website – Does not have to be expensive. Start with a free blog such as blogger.com or wordpress.com and direct your own domain to your page.

2. Blog – Can again be a free service as mentioned above.  But if using a blog for your site, also have a separate page(s) from your ‘Site” specifically for your regular blogging.

3. Business Cards – Be sure to include all pertinent information (contact email/website/store front URL) and at least one image of your art.  I personally prefer to use Moo.com but there are a number of other options including VistaPrint.com.

4. Artist Statement – Write up a paragraph or two letting people know what you would tell them in person about your art, if you could stand next to them viewing an exhibit of your work. You will add this information to your website, brochures and anything else that is appropriate. More information here

5. Facebook Page – Social networking presence is important these days. Facebook is the best place to start in my opinion. More information here

6. Pinterest Page  – Can work along with your facebook page. Aimed specifically at visual sharing, so wonderful for artist! Alyson Stanfield information on Pinterest

7. Elevator Pitch – Write up a sentence or two that breaks down exactly what it is that you are creating to sell. Be able to clearly and concisely describe to someone in less than 60 seconds. More information here

8. Brochures – Not everyone is online. Brochures will show your work and explain a bit about you and the work in a concise manner. A must have for an exhibit. More information here

9. Your own domain – You can do a lot of things online to promote your work, but without your own domain you are missing out. Having one will make it much easier to find you and helps to build your branding. One only has to do a simple search to be buried in places to purchase a domain. I personally use GoDaddy.com.

10. Quality Images of Your Art – Probably THE most important thing you can do is to have quality images of your work. Nothing says amateur like bad photos. You want to be seen in the best light possible, bad pun I know!  These will be used on your website, business cards, brochure and press releases. The ideal situation would be to have a professional take them for you. If a tight budget is of concern look to hiring a student, or bartering for what you need.

Additional:

Postcards/Note Cards – Not necessarily a priority when just starting out, but I would shoot for them eventually. Are an easy way to get images of your new work out to be seen, as with images on your business cards. Collectors appreciate them when tucked in with a purchased item.

Mailing Labels – Also not a high priority at first but are nice to have and help to reinforce your branding.

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