Wisconsin residents are the country’s most extroverted. Really?

MichiganAug12 020

One of my bohemian friends in Levering, MI.

TrainGermany89

Traveling Germany by rail, 1989.

So I travel. A lot.

I’m blessed to be able to live a bit of the bohemian life style so I participate in art shows all over the country. Some of the events are high-end museum shows while others are rocking music festivals or community events. As such, I meet an enormous cross section of Americans.

It is always interesting what sells from one show to the next. I may go to 10 shows and no one looks at a particular original or print and then in one show sell a half dozen in a weekend.

You just never know.

What is more fascinating to us is how people react when you say “hello.” At some shows a “hello” will run people out of the booth – they don’t want to talk to anyone. In other regions, if you give them space they think you are ignoring them.

CMK & Michael 19

My bohemian friend, Michael. Also, in Michigan. That is weird.

And don’t even get me started on how different parts of the country perceive the art of negotiation. We won’t get into that here.

Which is why I find this article so interesting. It tries to quantify and qualify the “mood” of a state.

I thought you might find it interesting. Take the quiz and see if your mood matches your state. Check out how your state stacks up against the rest of the country by clicking here.

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What would you take? An essay on perspective and values.

shipAs an entrepreneur and artist I am always trading off one thing against another to make way for my Vision.

As such, I enjoyed this excellent article on The Art of Manliness website about the Ernest Shackleton expedition to cross Antarctica in 1914.

It was a disaster.

The Endeavor was eventually caught in an ice flow and chewed open by the grinding of the ice against her hull. They were forced to abandon ship and make their way nearly 650 miles across the frozen landscape.

Remember, they did this before Gore-Tex, GPS, cell phones, radios and a host of other modern “conveniences”.

To aid survival Shackleton allowed his crew to take only two pounds of personal belongings on their treacherous journey.

shack2

The essay highlights what they kept and what they left behind and then draws some parallels to the modern issues of American life.

I thought it was interesting essay and wanted to share it with you.

To read The Art of Manliness article click here.

Win free art!

Wausau CupcakeThat’s right! WIN FREE ART! 

Click here to sign up for my mostly monthly newsletter (I’m not that organized) and be entered into a drawing to win one of the 10″ x 12.5″ limited edition and signed canvas prints shown below. Your choice.

New winner every month.

One or two newsletters per month with updates on upcoming events, promotions and new art. Provide your city and state and I will let you know specifically when I will be in your area.

No purchase necessary. Opt out anytime.

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!

My sepia painting "Working the Fields".

“Working the Fields”.

Everything has a story.

For Christmas, I’d like to paint yours.

Repeatedly, I’m asked where I get the ideas for my paintings. The truth is my ideas come from you.

The source material from all of my paintings come to me as commission work, personal genealogy research or are donated to me. As such, I know the family and history of almost all of my paintings. I may paint them as impressionism with, or without, a flair of contemporary pop-art or in a realism style but at the end of the day what I paint is based on what I know about the people, the place, the mood and my personal style.

I paint using oil and canvas in a master’s style – no computers, no tracing. Only old school technology.

Find a favorite vintage photo from your family and let me turn it into an original sepia painting!

Order a two figure, sepia painting in my impressionism style before October 31 and have the original painting before Christmas.

20″ x 24″ $600 unframed + $65 S&H = $665 (Normally, $900)
16″ x 20″ $400 unframed + $55 S&H = $455 (Normally, $600)

Lady with Horse Original: Sold.  No prints available.

Lady with Horse Original: Sold. No prints available.

Canvas and paper prints available for an extra charge. Framing available. 50% down due at time of order with the balance due at delivery. 

Because of time constraints only 8 are available at this price. Below are some samples. Cannot be combined with other offers.

…or…

Donate a favorite vintage family photo and if I use it as source material for a painting I will give you a free canvas print of the painting.

Click here for more details. 

Three Suggestions for Success

HIghSCArt

Me. A long time ago…

Recently I was drawn to a conversation on Linkedin about the proper etiquette for using photography as a source material for other creative work.

The exact question was:

As a painter, is it OK to create a new work on the basis of a photograph that’s not mine? And should I request permission to acknowledge, even if the painting looks different?”

If you are a member of the Art Business group on Linkedin you can find the complete conversation here.

After some thought I decided to respond – since I actually have experience on the topic and not just an opinion. I think it bears repeating here because I know as a creative person sometimes I get the sense I am on an island doing this alone.

Below is my response:

As someone who makes a good living utilizing vintage and Americana photos as source material for my paintings, I will make three suggestions based on my actual experience.

1. Ignore the critics.

My partner describes it as the 10/10/80 Rule. 10% of the people are haters and will hate it regardless of what you do or how you do it. 10% are going to love it (sometimes even if it is slop). 80% won’t even remember it. Focus on the 10% that matter. Paint what you like. Snobs are snobs. Ignore them.

2. Do what you love.

I have a good friend that only paints plein air. He can’t understand why I would paint “dead things”. I on the other hand doubt the world needs another painting of a birch tree, cardinal or a barn – let alone another photo. We are good friends because we both appreciate the work and lifelong dedication to our own vision…but we certainly don’t critique each others art either. LOL – at least not face to face! lol

3. Listen to your Vision.

If your Vision tells you to paint something you see in a vintage photo, paint it. Stop worrying about what other people think. I like vintage, Americana, history, genealogy and portraiture. What I choose to paint touches all of those themes.

Sometimes I use photos I have taken as source material as in Bill’s Garage and the Magic of Junk

Sometimes I use old photos from my family The Regular Dinner.  

Often I use images that were donated to me by supporters and collectors of my work such as Seriv-car and Billboards.  

On VERY rare occasions I use found materials but always ask for permission and check on the rights. I NEVER thrift shop for images as I want to know the history and stories behind my paintings.

So there.

In a nutshell. Ignore the critics. Do what you love. Listen to your Vision.

If you do those three things then you won’t have to worry about copyrights and infringing on other people’s work. Actually, as I’ve discovered, you will end up being the one copied.

Happy Trails.

If you are a member of the Art Business group on Linkedin you can find he complete conversation here.

Vintage Painter Art Auction on eBay

Abby In Spring

Original: Abby In Spring

In the spirit of spring, I’m trying something new.

This weekend I will be auctioning off one of most popular prints on eBay. I have mixed feelings about this doing this but if I want something different for my life I have to be willing to act differently.

That means not relying so much on juried art shows (travel expenses are huge), galleries (galleries typically keep 30% to 50% of the sale price) or simply commission works. Auctions on my eBay account, promotion of a monthly newsletter, exhibiting at non-art related events and periodic sales are all attempts to act different.

The Beer Can Collection canvas print is 16 inches by 40 inches and is framed in an original, one-of-a-kind, industrial frame made of old ductwork created by a master craftsman friend. I want it to go to a good home.

Click here to go to the auction and learn the details.

The auction ends 3/9/13.

I’m going to experiment with this periodically with originals and canvas prints and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

Beer Cans

Original: Beer Can Collection

In the frame the dimensions are 24 inches by 48 inches.

Framed Print: Beer Can Collection

Framed Print: Beer Can Collection

 

Thank You

Wausau Art Fair 2013

Wausau Art Fair 2013

Last year I made the decision to do a few things differently with my business.

The result?

2012 was the BEST year I’ve ever had as an artist and 2013 is already better than last.I owe it to all of you.

I am so excited about this year I have the tingles…or maybe I have to pee.

Maybe both…

Anyway, as the show season is quickly approaching I have to make room in my van and booth for new work. As such I am having a one time clearance sale through my website. You can save up to 35% on selected original paintings. I will even pay the shipping if you are in the continental United States.

You can even make payments and I will put it into layaway for you until you are ready.

Also, in the spirit of trying something new, I am also auctioning off one of the most popular framed prints through eBay. You can make a bid on a custom framed print of my vintage Beer Can Collection. Hopefully it will go to a good home.

Framed Print: Beer Can Collection

Framed Print: Beer Can Collection

Thank you again for everything.

Happy Trails!

My new van.
My new van.

New Work

Original: Piddle

Original: Piddle

Original: Jim's Music

Original: Jim’s Music

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

A close view of Pididdle,

A close view of Pididdle,

A close up of Jim's Music.

A close up of Jim’s Music.