Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shipping tricks and tips ...a peek into my email box

I am including a recent email exchange I had with another artist about shipping techniques.  We both agreed that if I posted this to my blog some other artists would get something out of it, so here it is.....

Q:  This is an amazing painting! I am an artist here on EBAY, and also on ETSY, I also sell in local Galleries. I don't sell here all the time because I become some frustrated with finding boxes to ship my paintings in and also the cost of shipping.. My question to you is how to you ship for only $12.00 and where do you get your boxes? Thanks for any help you can give, me..I am frustrated!

Me: Hey there - and I know - I struggled with shipping for awhile but I figured it out. I get my boxes either from uline or papermart. The shipping is a bit expensive but I buy in bulk so I don't have to order too often. USPS as soon as the box gets over 4 inches (even slightly) gets ridiculously expensive. I found fedex is the cheapest way to ship. Insurance is cheap too. I opened an online account and print the labels from home (gives an extra discount) and then drop off. Sometimes I lose a couple bucks on shipping just for the boxes and bubble wrap but it's not too bad. The only time I use USPS is for small pkgs where I can use their boxes or International. I wouldn't rec fedex for intl. Oh and for really big paintings I usually rig up my own box by taping two together. Pain in the butt but saves a lot of $. Hope this helps. Are you on fb? If so look me up - Carrie Joy Art

Q:  Wow, you are so kind...yes I am on FB...

Me:  It's my pleasure. I wish I would have known all that a lot sooner. I was thinking of posting the question and answer on my blog. I won't use your name - unless you want me to link to a blog or website or something. I like being part of an artsy community and helping each other. Have a great weekend!

Q:  You should post it to your has been a serious problem for me! And, I have asked other artists and you are the first person that has had an answer for me...every one else said that they scrounged for them. (I didn't ask Jane). I will be putting new paintings on EBAY soon!

So there it is ....please excuse the typos and abbreviations - we were just shooting back and forth. 

Oh and I swear I will have something on ebay tonight.  It has been a weird creative week but I have something great to share.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sisters of the Moon......

For those who like the time elapsed painting videos I do, I have a new one up on my facebook page.  Facebook was the best way to get this one into cyberworld.  Just click the fb link to the right and it should take you to my page.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hold on listing coming.

This is my lady as of a couple days ago- she looks quite a bit different now.  I am still learning this fresco thing so sometimes learning new techniques slows me down.  I found that Golden has a facebook page where you can ask tech support questions and chat with other artists- loving it!  Did you know they are a completely employee owned company?  So Cool.

I did not use water on this one at all and as a result there was much deeper cracking.  I also used a thicker layer of paste which I think contributed to deeper cracking and more texture.
her face had a lot of texture which is what I was going for but the texture showed up in the wrong places and I didn't quite like it so I sanded it - just looked messed up then....started over with the pastes (included light molding paste this time) and paint.  She's looking up now!  Should be up tomorrow or the next day.  This time I am going to apply the medium layer and varnish before I list.   The Graces (remember them?) came out great but I tested small spots first because she already had bids- very laborious.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goofing off pays....

I just kept tooling around the internet today.  I actually did get a lot done in the art room and around the house but I kept going back.  I started to feel guilty but then...
I have this fresco I am so nuts about and usually when I paint a painting the finishing is so by rote for me.  I take the pictures before I varnish because I feel I get better photos.   I always varnish the same - I make my own mixture of 1/3 gloss and 2/3 matte.  I find this keeps the painting the same but evens out some glare and pulls out enough color without making it look plasticky. 
In all my tooling around/ goofing off I went back to the Golden website just to check in on the whole fresco process and I found out I am going to have to finish this baby in a different way.   Just applying varnish because of the absorbency would give it a frosted look - whew that was close.  I need to apply a soft gel/water medium first.
I am going to A.C. Moore tomorrow.  I always go there when I need just one thing because they always have a 1/2 off coupon for one item on their website.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Three Graces Fresco on Canvas

The Three Graces
18 x 18

Hmmm where do I begin with this one?
Okay I will start with technique.
I got some Golden Crackle Paste because I felt like experimenting.   When it came in the mail I looked at it and thought what am I going to do with this?   So I went on the Golden website and looked up product info and it said that you could use the paste to do Fresco.   Now my heart was starting to beat.  
I used a palette knife and spread the paste all over the background- not the women at first because I knew I would have to work fast.   I then spritzed the canvas and my paints with water to keep it wet.   You don't need a lot of paint - a little bit tints the plaster.  

After I did the background, I did the same thing with the graces.

Now the challenge with Frescos used to be that if you wanted to change or glaze anything cracking could be a big problem.  Since I was using crackle paste and looking for some cracking I didn't worry about that.  I did lots of water/acrylic washes over the whole thing to achieve depth.

I let it cure for quite a few days - close to a week to see how much it would crack.

It cracked just like an old fresco.

I love it.

Oh- and - I did not mean for it to turn out so close to the original (Raphael) but I got so lost in the technique.   My husband said it was very common for the old masters when they were trying out a new technique to paint close to who they were studying so I guess I am in good company.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I made the facebook plunge....

You know there was a time that by choice I did not even have a t.v.  Yep it's true.   Now I have a website, a blog, an ebay shop, an etsy store, three email accounts and now a facebook page.   I dragged my feet for a long time with facebook but I guess it was inevitable.   I am a self representing artist and I need to represent.   It has not been so bad actually.   It is turning out to be a lot of fun and a great way to share my art and life with family and friends.   If you are reading this then I consider you my friend so please feel free to join me on facebook.   It is easier to do quick posts and updates and the environment is sweetly casual.  So there you go.  I have got a link there up at the top of the page and all are welcome.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Enchanted by Contrapposto

I am working on a commission and painted this lady to sort of warm up.   I use this pose a lot in my art - I just really love it.   It turns out to be called Contrapposto and has been an important element of painting and sculpture.   It is when a figure is standing with their weight on one foot and sort of twisting from the hips.   It has been important because it captures a psychological disposition in a pose.   To me it is an extremely emotional stance. 

I also thought I would share my pallette.   I often wonder what colors artists use so I will try to remember....
Van Dyke Brown
Red Oxide (I have recently fell in love with this color- but a little bit goes a long way)
Yellow Ochre
Aliziran Crimson
Chromium Oxide Green
Permanent Green Light
Hookers Green (Liquitex - it makes a difference - Golden's Hookers is much darker)
Hooker's Green (Golden)
Ultramarine Blue
Prussian Blue
maybe Cobalt?
Oh for the skin I pretty much always use the same colors with a few exceptions.  
Yellow Ochre, Titanium White, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue
I paint the skin in lots and lots and lots of thin layers.   I also often make a smoky hazy glaze out of white, prussian blue and van dyke brown if it is getting too cartoony.

It is hard for me to remember sometimes so as I paint a painting every paint I use I put in a basket as I go.  That way when I pick it up the next day I remember how I got my colors. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

With all the women and mothers I paint I had to take some time and acknowledge Mother's Day!  Thank you to all the mothers out there!   Where would our world be without you?!!?
I have always loved this picture- I want to use it for a painting because I think the harmony of the composition is excellent.

I totally thiefed these pix from my Mom's house.   She always asks - do you have those pictures where I have long dirty hair ha ha.  What a fat baby I was!   She swore I was the cutest and that the nurses didn't want to let me leave the hospital.  Do all mothers say that?   I think so.

 When she had me she was so young and a highschool dropout. The picture here is us at her University of Tennesse College Graduation where she graduated with a 4.0.    By the time I was 9 she was an attorney.   College and Law School.   I always saw what we didn't have but the older I get the more I realize how amazing that was and how much she gave me through her example.  

Christmas and I got a baby doll!!!  I guess I always was attracted to the beauty of motherhood!
Mom cut her long hippy hair.
Isn't she beautiful!

16 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas
I could say a lot about this painting but I think I will save it for tomorrow's post.

Happy Mother's Day and Thank You Mothers everywhere.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Full Breath.....

Not only have I been blessed with a wonderful husband but along with him came a beautiful, loving, generous family.   John's parents invited us to visit with them at the beach in SC last weekend and it was just what the Dr. ordered.  We had the best time.   There is something so magical about the Ocean.   We mostly relaxed but we did go kayaking which was a lot of fun.
I think my ladies followed me!

I came home refreshed and the ideas are flowing again.   Thank You!