February 3rd, 2021
As a self-taught visual artist, sometimes one feels a little intimidated by other artists that list their credentials, schools attended, and qualifications. However, it is the quality of works that’s important.
But one can always improve in their artistic craft, but where? When you study art history you read about the old masters that were understudied with a master artist. All the great masters would start their art careers with a master artist. This has been true throughout the ages!
Self-taught artists may be at a loss to find a master artist to study with, maybe? Now in the twenty-first century with social media and the internet, that task is at your fingertips. One can spend hours upon hours watching YouTube videos at no cost. Any medium, any technique you want to learn is available!
But what about the special one-on-one teaching? The student, master relationship? Plus there needs to be respect between the student and the teacher. Not all art teachers or artist coaches, mentors are the same and for you. How I judge the quality of an art teacher is after a lesson, can I implement successfully what was just taught? This is no reflection on the quality of the instruction. Because I do have a hard head, sometimes things don’t always register with me. However later when I’ve thought about the lesson and reviewed the technique. Then I feel like I’ve successfully achieved a positive result. For me, that’s a good teacher!
Returning to the master-student relationship, concept. There are more opportunities available than ever before. Depending on what artistic craft or skill you wish to improve or learn. All available at your fingertips for various fees. I have enrolled in Kelli Folsom’s Vital Art Life sessions on a monthly subscription basis. Kelli teaches painting techniques and concepts from the old masters. With each video lesson, I find something new to learn. I pick up on a unique tip that I had never heard before.
Plus, she is available for question and answer sessions. What I have come to realize the master-student relationship is here and now. Her course is self-paced, however, she encourages daily or weekly painting. She is always saying, “you need to put in some brush time.”
Even though I am almost old enough to be her Father! I find myself in the position of the student at the master's feet.
June 29th, 2020
It has been a long time since posting to this blog, and my art career has been on a continuous upward trajectory. My lack of posting has more to do with me being not much of a writer. However, blogging is one of those tasks an artist must do.
Because of economic reasons, I started entering my works of art in on-line gallery exhibitions and art contests. I have kept a pace of four to five entries each month since September 2019, with two main purposes in mind. First, to create works of art specifically for each contest to improve my craft and skill. Second, to establish and display my works of art in the international market.
Since the pursuit of this artist's journey I have been awarded seven awards for “Special Recognition” and my work has been included as a finalist in various international contests.
My artwork has been exhibited digitally in Europe, and during Art Basel week in Miami Florida. The fascinating feature of these art shows and gallery exhibitions is that along with physical works of art, digital displays are installed.
I don’t claim to have futuristic powers of observation. But since the coronavirus pandemic the art world has changed and fully embraced these digital forms of exhibitions. The strategy that I pursued was because of economic reasons, not having the funds to ship my physical art to galleries and art shows.
However, just maybe my artist guardian angel is looking after me. What do you think?
March 14th, 2020
The real story from the FRONT Lines of the coronavirus war! For those here that don’t know my two daughters live in Italy. I frequently talk with them via Facebook video. At least once a week, sometimes twice a week. They are confused as to why I’m so worried about them. My daughter Erika lives in Northern Italy, in the RED ZONE. Below is a picture she sent from Friday 13 March. She’s 7 months pregnant and doing fine. However this morning Saturday she canceled our call because she is in the hospital for an overnight stay. She has been having problems with high blood pressure and headaches. So the doctor wanted to keep her overnight for observation. NO coronavirus… just pregnancy problems.
Plus when you watch the news they say there are not enough hospital beds for the sick. That story doesn’t match up! Both of my daughters say no police or military patrolling the streets. People are wearing a mask if they have them and stay at least a meter distance, etc. My daughters don’t have any masks because they were sold out. However, they wear a scarf around their face. It’s considered bad manners now to go out in public without covering “brutta figura”.
The small shops in the neighborhoods are OPEN and no hoarding! They’ve been grocery shopping, drug stores, etc. However, big supermarkets and big box stores are either closed or partially closed. Thank God for the small shops not being pushed out of business by the big box stores! To enter the shops they need to stand in a single file one meter apart and only two or three can enter at a time. So it takes longer to shop… But everyone is laughing joking, and the small shop owners are family. Kinda like the way it was in the '50s and 60’s here in the US….
This is not to say… the virus issue is all blown out of proportion. There are real concerns and people are sick and have died. But the Italians, are having fun with it… well. their grandparents and great grandparents survived World War Two… They will survive this… and so will we!
March 7th, 2020
Once again I am pleased and honored to participate in an Artbox Projects exhibition. For the entire month of March and April my art piece titled "Saint John, Repent" will be on digital display on their 8 foot flat screen monitor in the Zurich Switzerland Artbox gallery. Located at: Giessereistrasse 1 8005 Zürich
right at the "Schiffbau" in the urban art district of Zürich.
From March 18 - 22, 2020 The same piece will be on display in Barcelona Spain located: at Valid World Hall, S.L.C/ Buenaventura Muñoz 6 08018 Barcelona Spain Hours: 10 am to 8 pm 18th - 22nd March 2020
Please if any readers of this blog are near these locations. Please take a snapshot with my art and send to me. Thank you so much for your support.
December 31st, 2019
It is amazing when I think about all the achievements for 2019. I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Let’s list them?
1. Finally all my art postings across the various platforms, Fine Art America, Red Bubble, Society6, Artpal, Zazzle, and Shop Vida have paid off. My art is on home décor products, and apparel, prints, and has sold one or more items from five of the platforms eleven months of the year! Economics was not
the goal, only presentation and representation of my art. However it is very flattering and nice when a stranger orders a dress, scarf or pillow or blanket with my art on it.
2. To improve the quality and craft of my works I watch a lot of video’s on YouTube. One particular series of video’s that I enjoy is from Artists Stefan Baumann. I have implemented many of his teaching and found success. I have been awarded “Special Recognition” for my art works Sep, Nov, Dec in three
international jury shows.
3. My art work has been exhibited in digital format in my first brick and mortar gallery show for the entire month of October in Zurich Switzerland.
4. The first week of December my art was on display in a Miami Florida gallery during Art Basel 2019.
5. An increase in outside commission works for the year.
6. Creation, production of the Artists Friends Podcast distributed across the internet with thousands of listeners. I am very grateful for the participation of my two good artists friends Diane Hunt and Constance Brosnan. We’ve been meeting weekly in video conferences and having so much fun motivating and inspiring each other. So, why not record part of our sessions and share with the world?
7. Substantial increase in social media presence due to the advice and recommendations of Gary Vaynerchuck. I follow his postings religiously and have attempted to put in practice his advice. I am a long way from achieving the maximum recommendations.
2019 was the year of education and partial implementation. I think that years in the future my memories will return to this year as a major mile marker in the art career. It’s hard to believe that I only launched this fantastic journey in 2017!
2020 Set For Success!
Once again my art will be exhibited in Zurich Switzerland for the entire month of January. Following in February I have several international contests in the works. I’ll announce dates and locations when and if I am accepted. Plus, in March I’ll be participating in an international gallery show in Barcelona Spain.
During 2019 my studio art production exploded! So many works and now the unique problem of storage. However I am fired up for setting new increased works production for 2020.
What a wonderful life. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this recap of 2019. I know that I have forgotten many achievements for the year, so please have a blessed and Happy New Year.
December 5th, 2019
I am so honored and humbled that my art work is on display in Miami FL this week Dec 02 - 08 during Art Basel week. The work will be on digital display on one of two of the big 7x7 foot monitors. If you're in the Miami area visit the gallery located at: Eduardo Lira Art Gallery 2065 NW 2nd Ave,
Wynwood Art District, Miami, FL 33127 open 11 am to 8 pm. The Art Basel Artweek in Miami is probably the biggest art event worldwide! Over one hundred thousand art lovers visit Miami during this week each year. Various art fairs, galleries in the art district Wynwood and art events
inspire the visitors year after year.
November 16th, 2019
You don’t have to be wealthy to start collecting original works of art. Especially works of art that matter to you! We’ve all read about art collectors that choose pieces based on how much they’ll appreciate in value over the years. You should be buying art because it moves you emotionally, it touches your soul and gives you some kind of fulfillment.
Let The Art Inspire You!
Collecting starts with “knowing what you like and what you can afford.” Research, and research! Look for artists that inspire and capture your imagination. Attend local art walks and fairs, you’ll find art for your collection, and make meaningful connections with local artists and galleries.
Make the most of your money
You don’t have to have millions of dollars to start building an art collection. But how you allocate your art collecting budget matters.
Let’s say you have $100 to buy art with. You have a decision to make here: Do you want to spend that money on several less expensive pieces or one to two more impressive ones? Choose quality over quantity, but what about covering the white space on your walls?
I once read a statement from an art dealer, “If you’re just looking to fill space to avoid visual boredom, that’s decorating, not collecting.”
Forget “Good Investment” Thoughts
With emerging artists who are still experimenting with their styles and working to grow their fan bases, it’s “impossible” to make such predictions.
There is one area where you can improve the chances the value of a piece will hold or increase. When you find artists you like, choose iconic pieces that best represent their body of work. For example, if a particular artist paints both nature scenes and portraits, but is best known for their paintings of mountains at sunset, a mountain painting would be the better buy.
Be choosy about your source And Set A Purchase Budget
It’s best to buy your art directly from the artists or a gallery. Either way, there’s a guarantee that the work is authentic. Establish an art collection budget, on a monthly basis, put way in a savings account a few dollars specifically for art. Based upon how large your budget grows, plan on purchasing at least (1) new piece each year. Of course this is all up to how fast you want to grow your collection and how much you spend on each piece. Creating an art collection budget may seem obvious. Sometimes we have to be reminded of the obvious. Setting aside a few dollars each month specifically targeted for collecting art, can and will grow!
What a wonderful feeling to know that not only are you collecting something of beauty. But you’re helping another human being grow in their potential and provide a living for their family, the artists!
November 2nd, 2019
Recent success with my art career has prompted me to think about and investigate why? What is it that I am doing now that I wasn’t doing a year ago?
To help me improve in my art marketing, and craft/skill achievements, I watch a lot of YouTube video’s. One series of video’s that I follow religiously are those of Stefan Baumann. He is an art coach, teacher and professional artist. If I could afford it, I would join his personal coaching program! Since I’m a poor starving artist I have to be satisfied with watching his video’s on YouTube.
He repeats his teaching philosophy in several of his video’s, but the points that really work for me are the following:
1. We don’t paint things! With each piece of work we create, it’s practice for the next one. We should work on each creation as though it was going to sell for a million dollars!
2.You have to get your work out to the public. Look for art contests and exhibitions, and research the winners style and art.
Look for juried art shows and enter, them. Don't think about it! Enter your creations.
3. Create works of art for the show or contests! When you work in this manner you are improving in your skill without thinking about it.
4. When your persistent in entering these shows are contest. Your chances of winning an award are increased. Maybe not first place around, but special recognition or finalists is a nice start. (One caution, research the shows, to make sure they're valid, and look for low or free submission fees.)
The past three months I have followed his advice, and seriously worked hard to improve my art craft and skill. Success, success! Combined with interactions, conduct on social media, my art is gaining attention.
Another, secondary achievement with entering “International online art contests” and you win awards. It’s YOUR ART that has spoken for you! How many times have we heard artists say they want their art to speak for them? Well, here is your chance!
To answer the blog title question! The reason to enter art contest and exhibitions is not vain glory, it’s to improve your art skill, and to let the world know you are a working artist, and your art has something to say! Now get to work, and be successful!
October 25th, 2019
There's only a few days remaining to see my art in my first gallery exhibition. Located in the Artbox Gallery Zurich, Switzerland. Giessereistrasse 1 8005 Zürich right at the "Schiffbau" in the urban art district of Zürich. The exhibition "Show It" has been running the entire month of October, and it has been a GREAT honor to participate. My work can be viewed in digital format on the Artbox 55in monitor. Gallery operation hours: Monday thru Friday 10 am - 6 pm and Sat 10 am - 4 pm. Sun Closed.
If you're in the area, please visit the gallery and take a snapshot with my art and post on social media. Thank You!