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Skill Growth

February 9th, 2019

Skill Growth

When slugging away creating art we sometimes wonder if our craft skills are improving or just making it. When a new growth spurt takes place it is so
rewarding and satisfactory. I recently had that experience! I am a self-taught artist. I never attended college for art, or any art specialty school.

However over the years I have attempted to self-school myself. Reading various books on art history, art craft and technique. I’ve noticed some
improvements, but nothing radical until recently.

In my efforts to raise the level of skill, I sometimes review various art instruction video’s on YouTube. Artists are so lucky, at our fingertips and
in the privacy of our studio’s we have access to thousands of self-instruction video’s.

One must use a discerning eye, because you can go down a rabbit hole as they say watching all the available video’s and waste a lot of time.
But now and then one pops up in the search that excites and actually can improve your art skill.

That’s the case with a series of video’s from artist/teacher Stefan Baumann! I’ve come across his video’s in the past but ignored most of them, because he is a Plein air, outdoors artist. What caught my interest this past week, was his discussion on composition, focal points, eye magnets, lighting,
shading, don’t paint things.

I’ve never heard such talk! While watching and listening to the video I was working on some pieces for my Junk Car & Truck water color series. Voila!
To my complete surprise and under fascination I had incorporated these concepts in my work. However at the same time maintaining my style!

If you review most of my previous works, only a few jump out at you as he states. Something special, meets your eye’s. Stefan Baumann say’s that
untrained artists with talent will occasionally incorporate these composition fundamentals in their works and not know why or how they did it.

That’s so true with me, but going forward not any more. With each new work before picking up the pencil, and paint brush. A complete review and thought
process about lighting shading, focal points will take place with my eye. The subject matter doesn’t come into play with these principals.
I have to think I’m NOT painting things!

Craft skill growth is such a satisfying thing for an artists. Stay tuned and look out for what’s coming! Oh by the way don't worry about your style, it
will come to you. Mine did!

Junk Car and Truck Series

January 25th, 2019

Junk Car and Truck Series

Introducing my new “junk car” illustration series. I have always enjoyed old vintage car photographs. Especially, the 1940’s and 50’s black and white photographs of vintage cars and trucks. When I was a boy, growing up in Indiana, we lived nearby a car junkyard, and I spent many hours playing around those fantastic rusting heaps. If we were lucky a car or two would still have the steering wheel and seats. Hours of racing in the Indianapolis 500 race way!

My imagination was filled with solving the mystery of why these old cars were there. Who owned them, what adventures did these cars endure?
Now all grown up maybe these old cars stand as a metaphor for our lives? As we grow old, and reflect back on our own lives. We were proud, and honorable in service to our families and society. Just like these vintage cars!

Using various photographs, I “junk” the cars up. Adding rust, and broken windows, but still attempting to keep the proud essence when new.
Abandoned and forgotten, but not lost, resting in wooded areas and fields, around the world. Weathered, and worn, resisting time, representing man’s
mobile achievements.

Movies For Your Ears

January 18th, 2019

Movies For Your Ears

What if I told you that you could watch four or five movies in two to three hours? All in high definition, superb quality! No, I’m not talking about some new high technology or gizmo. Actually it is simply vintage tech, radio!

In previous postings I’ve expressed my love for vintage old time radio programs. I really love the drama plays, based on vintage period movies. The radio series Lux Radio Theater, Screen Directors Playhouse, and Screen Guild Theater to name a few. These series feature radio productions and most often the cast members from the original movies, along with the directors.

These talented screen play writers take a two or three hour movie and condense down to one hour or half hour radio plays. All the action, and excitement from the movie is retained and performed on a stage before a live audience. In some cases I prefer the radio play rather than the original film.

These are “movies for your ears”, all in superb color! Your imagination creates the scenes. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself clapping with the audience after a performance! Listen for yourself Mystery Play Internet Radio.

A Note To Artist

January 14th, 2019

A Note To Artist

In my last blog posting I posted the message from the founder of Fine Art America. Something that all artists should take the time to read through.
In past conversations and on-line discussions with fellow artists a plethora of negativity comes up.

Such as, “I don’t want to sell prints on-line” and “I don’t want my art work to appear on home decor or apparel products.” or “I don’t want my art work images to be copied or used”. My answer to ALL of these negative comments is “Don’t”. You can still utilize the promotion power of the Fine Art America site without putting any of your art up as prints, products etc. Plus, the site gives you the opportunity to
place a water mark in your image to help prevent theft!

When you upload an image, as you go through the settings, simply leave the product area’s blank. Only use the “Original Art For Sell” option, and if you’re concerned about art theft, complete the water mark option.

Another very negative comment is “I’ve been on the site for a long time have not sold one print or product” and “There’s to many artist on the site”.
Within the article this problem is addressed really well. I suggest you re-read and understand. Fine Art America is a business like Amazon.
It is a platform for artists to present their work to the world “FREE” there’s no fee’s or cost of any kind. However it is up to you to promote yourself throughout the internet. When you make a sell, your work is pushed to the top!

I have been listed on the site since early 2017. I made my first sell five months ago! Then two more sells within three weeks. I made only a total of $20.00, nothing to brag about. But think of it in this way, out of millions of artists on the site. Someone found my art and ordered a product. When you search on Google with my name, my Fine Art America profile comes up FIRST.

Marketing on the internet is all about ATTENTION gaining eyeballs, all about reaching out to potential collectors. Why not utilize the worlds largest art market site?

Something About Fine Art America, Interesting Read

January 10th, 2019

Here was something posted on the Fine Art America site, from the owner. An interesting read, and thought provoking.
Why Every Artist Should Be Selling on Fine Art America

Internet Only Art Popup Shows

January 4th, 2019

Internet Only Art Popup Shows

Everyone reading this blog is invited to visit my on-line art popup show. Water Color Popup Show Early in 2018, I and five other artists from across the United States put together our first ever on-line popup show. We created an introduction video, and separate video’s for each artist briefly talking about their works of art. Images of some of their art and links to their web sites for purchase information.
As part of the participation, each artist was required to send out press releases and social media postings about the show. The main goal of the show was to publicize and increase the presence of their art work throughout the internet. After review and analysis of search results I think we achieved the goal.

Since the first show, I have held two other solo shows, and one group show with two other artist. Utilizing the power of the internet’s “attention” these shows are a great way to “get your art” before thousands of viewers. I hope to put together several more group shows in 2019. My current solo popup show will run through February. Please take a few minutes to visit, and let me know what you think about it. Plus, if you’re an artist and would like to participate? Please contact me: info@artpopupshows.com

Exotic Pet Love

December 27th, 2018

Exotic Pet Love

Our pets give us so much enjoyment and unconditional love. Dogs and cats provide hours of entertainment and cuddling when we did it the most.
However, exotic pets are also worthy of praise. Recently during a conversation with a collector he told me a beautiful story about their pet land turtle.

Marshal the turtle! As a Christmas gift I was commissioned to create a water color painting of this delightful turtle. With delivery of the piece, the collector said I captured Marshal perfectly. Scaly, and green and brown coloring,with Marshal munching on some pieces of Kale.

My collector said that Marshal provides hours of entertainment playing ball! Yes, he uses his head to flip and push these small multi-colored balls around the living room. Slowly, as a Turtle is only able to move, but none the less actively seeking each ball. This reminded me of an exotic pet that I had as a child.

My step father gave us a talking parrot, a miniature green Macaw. His name was Pretty Boy, and lived for five years with us. He would have lived longer, but my brother’s young cat got at him. Pretty Boy’s first words were cuss words, taught to him by I and my brothers of course this didn’t please Mom! During a visit from my Grandfather, Pretty Boy displayed his knowledge of these words. My Grandfather, said that bird just called me an “SOB” oh this certainty embarrassed my mother.

Hours of entertainment, and unconditional love from Pretty Boy, in spite of his sailor language. Pretty Boy, would wake us up for school each morning.
He knew the exact time we needed to rise, with screams of “get up, get up, get up.” He always figured out, how to get out of his cage and sit on top yakking and cussing at everyone. This is how the great battle between Pretty Boy and the white kitten happened. It was a horrible fight! Green and yellow feathers all over the house, and the cat had blooded peck marks all about it’s head.

Exotic pets are just as enjoyable and loving in their own way as dogs and cats! Let’s raise our New Year’s day cup of cheer to Pretty Boy the parrot and Marshal the turtle, thank you for the love and fond memories.

Artist Christmas Story

December 21st, 2018

Artist Christmas Story

The other day I received a fantastic Christmas gift from a collector friend of mine. During delivery of a recent commission piece for his family he told me about a Christmas gift he gave to his young daughter last year.

Last year he commissioned me to create two water color works of his daughters beta fish for her birthday. During a shopping visit to Walmart his daughter was excited about a large pillow with a fish design. As a good father, he told her NO, and said wait for Christmas. This started him to think about something that would make an excellent gift for his sweet little girl.

After returning home, this wonderful father, remembered that I also place my works of art on various home and apparel products for purchase. He searched my various shops, and found the largest pillow, a floor pillow with the image of his daughters beta fish printed. The perfect gift!

Ordered, and shipped due to arrive for Christmas. However, they were visiting a relative’s house during the Christmas season. He told his daughter that maybe Santa Clause will not know that they are out of town for the special day.

The story has he joyfully told me is as follows. His entire family involved themselves to create a tale of theft, house robbery, large foot tracks in the snow, Christmas gifts ripped off and all for his little girl. With glee, he said when they entered the victims house with his daughter by his side. There under the Christmas tree was the large floor pillow!

This collector friend, said that to this day, his little girl sleeps with that pillow of her beta fish, created by me. It’s hard to tell this story without tears in my eyes. He doesn’t know just how great of a Christmas gift he has given to me. A true artist Christmas gift! Merry Christmas and wishing everyone that reads this a very Happy New Year.

Neapolitan Presepi, Memories

December 18th, 2018

Neapolitan Presepi, Memories

During this time of the year fond memories of my life adventures in Naples Italy, come forward. In particular the various presepi displays in the churches throughout the city. Naples is considered the center of the world in the presepi creation craft.

What are presepi? They are Nativity scenes, hand made ceramic figurines. With the manger presenting the child Christ, and animals, and standard figures. An entire village representing daily life, humanity displayed in elaborate Neapolitan settings.

Workshops and artists who specialize in these creations work all year long. Craftsmen constantly carve and paint figures that illustrate Neapolitan life and the joy of play. Neapolitan presepi can be traced back to 1025. Church historians say that St. Francis of Assisi is responsible for the first Nativity scene.
In 1223, he found himself in the little Italian town of Greccio and realized he needed a place to conduct Christmas Mass. He found a nearby cave for the ceremony and constructed a manger for Mass. He added live animals and willing parishioners to dramatize the birth of Jesus.

The displays go up with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. The presepi will stay up until Epiphany, January 6. The local Churches setup elaborate displays of entire villages and zones representing ancient Naples. There is only one rule: No matter how elaborate the presepi, Baby Jesus is not added to the scene until Christmas Eve.

Walking around the city and visiting these inspirational displays, while munching on roasted chestnuts purchased from a street vendor. Ah dolci vita! Christmas season in Naples Italy, fond memories indeed.

Kissed From A Water Buffalo

December 15th, 2018

Kissed From A Water Buffalo

Here's a story that really happened to me during my first year after arrival in Naples Italy as 19 years old. Serving in the United States Navy.
I created this early podcast episode of Clyde's Art Story Episode 02 I hope you enjoy it.

 

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