This month's Critiquing was full of information. Not only did we change the location for something new, we did a demo. Our location this month was at Melinda's studio in Dripping Springs. Melinda's studio was awesome, lots of creative space to work in, with inspiration surrounding you on the walls.
Our first mini talk was about networking and selling paintings. Some of the area that were suggested were getting your artwork into galleries, belonging to art groups, doing shows, and talking with owners of different venues to show your art like small cafe's. No matter where you live there is at least two places you can have your artwork, look at independently owned salons, cafes, or other places where there is lots of traffic. Art groups are always a great idea. Most cities have an art guild or something similar to learn, explore, and share information. Art shows can run anyway from a weekend up to a month if there is a competition/gallery involved. You need to show your work to potential clients so they know you are an upcoming artist.
What do you use to paint on? We have a variety to choose from. Yes we have the typical canvas stretched on a wooden frame, but have you tried untreated hard board nailed to 1 x 2 strips of wood, then add some Matte Medium, and several coats of Gesso? Melinda talked about how she creates her own painting surfaces by this technique. Amazing. Michael Skalka wrote about this technique in an artist magazine.
There was a demo on how to stretch your own canvas. I used the following tools framers square clamps (4) Canvas Stretcher tool, staple gun, and measuring tape. One thing we found out is not all stretcher bars are created equally or should I say work with other brands. So when you purchase your bars be sure if they are from different companies or they work together. Some company's male tab that fits into the next frame is in the opposite position as others. I started with placing the framing bars in the framers square clamps after putting the square or rectangle together. I measured the opposite corners to verify the frame is absolutely square. I placed staples on the same side but opposite ends of the same framing bar. Then working from the center of each side pulling the canvas tight. The next staples are place on the right of the first center staple then the left of the opposite side so the second staples are on the same side if you are looking at the canvas. Then the opposite ends are done the same way. Back to the first staple side. A staple is now placed on the left side and the opposite end is on the right and you work your way around using the canvas stretcher tool to pull the canvas tight each time. Each staple is place about an inch to an inch and a half from the next. When you get close to the corners pull the first initial 4 staples so you can continue with the stapling to about 3/4 of an inch from the corners. Now there are two ways you can do your corners, one way is like a linen fold for your bed sheets or the second is pulling from the center of the corner then staple each side of the corner.
We talked about pricing our paintings and what seems to work best was length x width x price per square inch.
Our critiquing was so much fun. Kirsten had a small abstract that was not of a woman. It had great lines and lead our eyes around the canvas with great resting places. Her second piece was much larger 24x36. The painting was done with the width being 24, but I felt that it needed to be turned and what a difference it made. Melinda had a well started pastel stick abstract; it had a great red in the center. Her next piece is a still life with a great composition and dramatic shadows. Kitty did something new an abstract sunflower. Great colors and composition, with a deepening of some shadow the piece is done. Kay reworked a previous painting and it was well done; however I need to remove a shadow that now cuts the painting. The second painting just needed a little shadowing added to one plant and we can call that one done too.
Our next meeting will not be till Jan '10' so we are taking a break for the holidays. In the meantime I will post toward the end Dec. Have a great few weeks.