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.

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

 

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

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.

A special thank you to Charles van Heck

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

Writer, poet, photographer and teacher Charles van Heck.

I want to take a quick moment and thank Charles van Heck at Woodhull Arts Journal for taking the time to get to know me and my art.

Yesterday he publishing a wonderful interview on his site entitled American Experiences; Visions of History and the Business of Art: An Interview with Chrissy Mount (Kapp).

Charles’ interview process is based on a thoughtful and thought-provoking interview where he made time to consider my art and my business before he even spoke with me. He read all of my blog posts, perused my website, examined my art and researched my painting styles and influences before he decided to profile me in his online art journal.

He is a true professional in a world where narcissistic self-promotion all too often hides behind a mask of journalism.

His introduction utilized a wonderful analogy that not only accurately portrayed some of the issues I face every day as an artist but also made me a bit hungry for a really good salad.

I hope you will make the time to read his journal – and the other interviews with other artists – and get to know him for his writing, photography and poetry.