Artists: The Creative Entrepreneurs

“Artists want money so they can make more art; entrepreneurs want money so they can make more money.” – Andrew Horwitz

Spring Green 2012 Prize

Receiving my “Best of” Ribbon at Spring Green, WI Art Show. (Summer 2012).

I’m not sure I completely agree with the entire article but it raises some good issues.

Tragically, I do think we live in a culture that believes, “because artists don’t hold the making of money as their highest value, [artists] must therefore be simple and naive.”

Talk about stereotyping!

The truth is, I do everything any other self-employed small business entrepreneur does. I manage my cash-flow, I create a brand, I promote my business and search for the right market that allows me to sell my work for a profit.

And I work hard.

And, like any other good business owner, I reinvest my profits back into my business so that I can continue to grow.

Ford makes and sells cars, Nucor makes and sells steel and I make and sell vintage and Americana themed oil paintings and murals.

I see little difference in our goals, just our Visions.

Love is a Rose and Life is a Canvas

Love is a Rose Neil Young - 1My first three passions in life, after my kids, are genealogical history, vintage Americana, and what I feel is great music. All of those passions come together in my paintings.

I spent most of the 90s following the grunge and punk scene in the Twin Cities. Essentially, going to see original bands every night throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul region. My girlfriends and I spent hundreds of hours going from music bar to music bar following the best acts in the upper Midwest. On any night you could find us at the Turf Club, Uptown Bar (now gone), Cabooze, 400 Bar (also gone), and of course, First Ave.

Plus dozens and dozens of now lost and forgotten dives and corner music clubs. Live original music? We were there.

We were like postmen, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” kept us from following Soul Asylum, Jayhawks, Honeydogs, Trip Shakespeare, The Suburbs, The Phones, Blue Up and dozens of other bands from location to location across the Twin Cities.

And, like the clubs, dozens and dozens of great, but now lost and forgotten, musicians and bands.

Sidebar: Because of the lyrics this is mostly a NSFW video

In our free time we shopped at thrift stores and that is when I started picking up vintage leather jackets. I thought “I could paint these up and use them as my canvases.”  I researched paints and dyes and found a great dye that I could brush on and they would be highly wearable and not crack.  This was long before YouTube and the internet so the research was done old school.

As such, for several years I painted original themed surrealism and abstracts on a broad range of canvases including on my vintage leather coats and boots. At one time I had 30 or 40 coats I gave away or sold.  I even had one stolen when I was a student in Germany.

A few weeks ago my Partner was digging through the garage when he stumbled upon the last five of these jackets. He brought them into the house and he took pictures of me wearing them. He then uploaded them to Facebook, Google+ and a few other of my Vintage Painter social media sites.

It was interesting to see people’s reactions.

Sidebar: Yes, I know there is only four of the five here. My Partner wants me to keep the fifth one for a while. He has some plans for it.

 

Most people who have met me over the last 10 years assume I only paint vintage and Americana themes. They never thought about what else I paint or have painted. I generally only show my Vintage Painter work publicly and am very protective of my brand and my Vision. Right now that is how I want to be known but I have a large collection of other work that is in my basement and in my studio.

The hand-dyed and painted vintage leather coats were amongst them.

As an artist I am very Vision oriented. When you look at the jackets, each one is very original.  I let the jackets speak to me and they would tell me what they wanted painted.  I’m not sure non-creatives can completely understand what that means, and I’m not sure how else to explain it, but that is how it works.Love is a Rose Neil Young - 2

When I found a beautiful tan fringed leather jacket, I instantly knew it would become my “Love is a Rose,” Neil Young jacket.

This jacket features three of my loves – surrealism, dogs and Mr. Neil Young and his song Love is a Rose.

I guess that is four things.

Sidebar: This video is completely safe for work.

Nevertheless, a few weeks after my Partner posted the pictures online, the Neil Young Fan Club contacted me and they wanted to write a little post about the coat.

I was honored.

After some thought, I’ve decided to sell the coats – no reason to hang onto them – and try to do some good at the same time. The first coat looking for a new home will be the “Love is a Rose” coat.

I’m selling it through my eBay store with a starting minimum bid of $75. Of that, 25% will be going to Neil Young’s personal charity, The Bridge School. The school offers an innovative program for educating children with severe speech and physical impairments.

Depending on the response, over the next several months I will be selling the other coats too. Hopefully, they will find a good home. Please help me spread the word. Below are some pictures of the other coats.

My Partner has already started to dig though some of my other art relics. It will be interesting to see what else pops up.

“Love is a Rose”

Click to visit the auction on eBay

The Other Coats

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 for the Road, Now 35% off through March 31.

Save 35% on the original oil painting “Three for the Road” plus free shipping through 3/31. Now only $585 (Originally $900).

I will even pay the freight through 3/31. Click here for details.

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 1.56.05 AM

Original Painting: Three for the Road

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

 

Trip to Texas

Deep Ellum Art Festival 2012

Deep Ellum Art Festival 2012

Spring is sprung! Almost!

In four short weeks I will be leaving for my first show of the year at the Deep Ellum Art Festival. I can’t believe it has been a year already.

Last year was my first major road trip with my partner and we had an amazing time stopping at Bill’s Garage in Lebanon, MO and seeing hundreds of other wonderful people, places and things.

This year will be even better. I won’t be towing a trailer (because I bought a large cargo van), I have a new high clearance tent and the show promoters at Deep Ellum assigned me an end booth on a high traffic corner! It’s going to be a good time.

Plus I have new work. Check out some of the images below.

My partner can’t wait. He went and bought a CB radio just for this so we can chat with the truckers on our 20 hour drive.

Lebanon Missouri

Painting: Bill’s Garage

This year I will be in Texas for two shows back-to-back.

Obviously, April 5, 6 and 7 at the Deep Ellum Art Festival. If you will be there come see us, I’ll be in booth 127. The following weekend I will be at the San Antonio Fine Arts Festival. I will let you know exactly as soon as I get my booth number.

Either way I hope you will come see me.

We will be making a detour to Houston and Austin between shows for my partner’s business. He has to still work. If you are going to be in the area please let me know. We would love to have lunch or dinner.

We are always interested in meeting new people and lovers of art.

Happy Trails!

My new van.

My new van.

Here are some samples of the new work I will be bringing with me.

Framed Print: Bill's Garage

Framed Print: Bill’s Garage

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

Framed Original: Brains and Donuts

Original: Jim's Music

Original: Jim’s Music

Original: Piddle

Original: Piddle