Lansing Art Gallery

There is more than just painting to being an artist. After the painting is done there is choosing a title, photographing it, recording it in my database, adding it to my website, and deciding where to sell it—a local gallery, a distant gallery, an online gallery, in a show, with a frame or not, and of course the price. And then how to market it.

Today I delivered these four pieces and they are now available at the Lansing Art Gallery, 119 N. Washington Square, in downtown Lansing, Michigan. It’s a beautiful gallery just a block from the state capitol if you are interested.

What should I paint?

Apples and White Pitcher

Apples and White Pitcher, 10×8 oil

People think it’s great that an artist gets to paint all day, and it is. But every day I have to find something to paint. For years I painted landscapes. A couple of years ago I ventured into the still life.

Successful artists tell you to “paint what you love”, “paint what you are passionate about”.

I love a dynamic sky, flowers, and birds. I hadn’t really painted flowers or birds until this last year or two. The online class I just completed (see previous blogs) was all flowers and it was great. Eager to continue with flowers I looked into my photo reference files (we are just coming out of winter here in Michigan). My spring flowers are just beginning to peek out of the dirt, but it will be a few weeks before I have anything to paint from my garden.

I started with an Iris, then a garden scene on a 6×6″ panel—maybe too small for such a large subject.

Iris    Flower Path 2

I saw some paintings by Cezanne of some apples and got inspired. I bought some apples and set up a still life with a white pitcher on a sunny day and painted this 10×8″ oil.

Using what I learned in class I noticed old habits trying to resurface and I kept thinking of shortcuts that might be easier. I only have to step back and look to see those sabotaging thoughts aren’t working. Stepping back from the work is one of the most important parts of painting…

…So is deciding what to paint, at least for me.

FRUSTRATION! The Learning Struggle

Oh So Sweet

Every time I take a class I want to know everything NOW! Just open my head and pour it in. I am always frustrated in the beginning because in any class there are always various skill levels of people signed up and there is a certain amount of basics to get through.
My eCourse is no different. I want to paint. But there is setting up the studio, setting up the palette, loading up the brush, cleaning the brush, yada, yada, yada… all good information, and I want to PAINT. And I learned a lot in spite of myself.

I’ve always known certain pigments didn’t cover as well as others and this was annoying. These are the transparents, and now I know how to use them to my advantage. As a thin underpainting they provide a rich glow of bright color, which work with the next layer of thicker opaque color to provide depth and richness.

The second week we painted! After switching to acrylics for the past 3 years I remembered why I like painting in oils. Thick and buttery, there is nothing like it. And it’s pretty easy to wipe out and paint over if I don’t like what I’ve done (which I did several times).
So I’m getting the hang of this loose brushstroke thing, at least while I’m watching Dreama do it. We’ll have to see if I can do it on my own with my own painting. But I’ve still got 4 weeks to go.

Here is my cupcake painting from week 2 #DreamLovePaint.

New Year—New Colors

 

Gazing
Gazing, 6×8″ acrylic

Pantone Inc. is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. Annually, Pantone declares a particular color “Color of the Year”. Fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies look to Pantone to help guide their designs and planning for future products. Pantone has said that color “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.”

Pantone has chosen two colors for 2016, Serenity, muted pale blue, and Rose Quartz, a pale pink. A challenge was put forth on Daily Paintworks to create a piece or art using those colors. This is my answer to the challenge.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/gazing/438373

I Never Was Very Good with Numbers

Stone Archway
Stone Archway, 6×6″ acrylic

Ok, so in my last blog I indicated that art was 95% inspiration and 5% perspiration maybe making it sound like (some) artists wander the woods or spend hours meditating, then in an hour throw some paint around to create art.

Maybe it’s closer to the 80/20 rule. It’s just that the 80% permeates our whole life. Every trip to the farmers’ market is an adventure in color, shape, and design. I’m lucky if I remember to buy my produce.

And the 20% is hours filled with the agony and ecstasy of hard work that I love.

When I finish a work I’m lucky if 8 out of 10 are keepers. I was happy with this piece when I completed it; a week later I was ready to paint over it. I’ve had it in a few shows and online galleries and it hasn’t sold. I took it to the Saturday Artist’s breakfast for a critique and got some suggestions.

Should I keep working on it? Should I paint over it? Can I give it away?

What do you think?

95% Inspiration; 5% Perspiration

Bike Riders, 6x8" acrylic painting
Bike Riders, 6×8″ acrylic painting

Fall weather has been great this year. Sunny and warm is not a day to be in the studio. I took a day to be outside in the sun and fresh air getting inspired and taking pics. Potter Park Zoo and Hawk Island Park provided me with both.

I could’ve set up to paint on site, but I wanted to get as many photos as I could for the upcoming studio time when the weather won’t be so nice. Photos and some notes will provide the inspiration making the creation of the art just a matter of getting into the “zone” and putting on the paint. (Oh, ho! if only it were that easy!)

But for me the vision, the excitement has to be inside before anything worthwhile shows up on the canvas. And the light and colors of this fall day was quite thrilling.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/off-season-bay/385210

Cut Yourself Some Slack

acrylic painting Farmers Market
“Green Beans”
I should really paint less complicated subjects for these 6×6″ pieces. (painted with my right hand)

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/444740

It’s good to set goals, to strive, to push yourself. Sometimes it’s good to go an extra 10 reps, to walk an extra block, or to complete a painting a day.

But sometimes life pushes back and you need to take a break. Having two surgeries in one year takes it’s toll on a body. The recovery of surgery on my left shoulder, my dominant hand, is going a little rougher than the right shoulder did.

I was feeling bad that things weren’t getting done. But this isn’t a time to beat myself up; this is the time to take care of myself. So if the floor doesn’t get swept, and a painting doesn’t get finished every day, I’m going to cut myself some slack—let it go.

I found I can do other things, like at 3 A.M. when I can’t sleep because of the pain I listen to interviews of artists on my iPhone, Podcasts at the Savvy Painter (http://savvypainter.com/series/artists/). Or, since iPhone has voice recording, I can record my blog so I don’t have to type this all with one finger.

So as everyone might start gearing up for the upcoming holidays I may take a nap and as The Beatles would say, “Let it be”.

On the Other Hand…Was That the Left or the Right?

4th painting - Beach
4th painting – Beach

Surgery on my right shoulder January stopped me from painting for about a week while I was tethered to an ice machine and on some serious pain meds. I’m left handed and it made life difficult but I got by and got back to painting as soon as I could.

NOW I’ve had surgery on my LEFT shoulder! Oh boy. (My rotator cuffs have just worn out) I probably use my right hand more than most right-handed people use their left, but this is a whole new ballgame.

But what the hey, I have to paint. And I’ve wanted to loosen up my brush style. Let’s see what happens when I paint with my RIGHT hand!

3rd painting - On the Penninsula
3rd painting – On the Penninsula

What do you think?

Oh, and on the 4th one after reaching across to my paint I realized I should move my palette to the right side!

2nd painting - Grand River
2nd painting – Grand River

When I was 4 I broke my left arm and I still remember throwing my crayon across the table because I couldn’t color. At least now I don’t have to stay inside the lines.

If you have a story where you had an obstacle to your passion that you overcame tell me about it. I’ll send one of these right-handed sketches to my favorite story. Ends 9/9/15.

1st painting - bottles
1st painting – bottles

I ALWAYS Learn Something When I Paint with Others

acrylic painting 6x6
“Dock of the River”

Thursday was no exception. I go out painting “en plein air” or painting out doors with a group or artists on Thursdays. There are 2 dozen artists on the list and one beautiful artist coordinates a place and communicates to us via email. Those who intend to paint respond so no one ends up showing up alone.

Last week 5 were supposed to paint; only one other artist showed besides myself. But we had a guest.

A well-known and local artist, Tim Widener, was bicycling through the park and spotted Theresa, my fellow artist, and stopped. He had been painting nearby the day before, would like to come out and finish his painting, and asked if we would like to join him. He’d be glad to give us some instruction as well. Uh, yeah! He is also a well-known instructor.

His spot was on a lookout right on the river where you can see the boat dock. Seeing another artist’s color choices, brush choices and process is always interesting. Watching him work on Theresa’s pastel was cool too. I had blocked in my sky, trees and water and was going to put in the boats later. He said I needed that white line in there almost immediately to be able to relate to it. Seems I remember hearing something like that from an instructor long, long ago, and it seems I had forgotten that.

Tim working on Theresa's pastel
Tim Widener giving some suggestions to Theresa.

Thanks Tim. It was a joy painting with you.

“Dock of the River” 6x6x” acrylic on gessobord panel, unframed, available for  $50 via http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/dock-of-the-river/399857

When Artists Socialize

acrylic painting River Twilight
River Twilight

Making art usually takes place in solitude, not always, but usually. So many artists like to have a social outlet to keep them sane and the company of other artists allows them to discuss some of the challenges they encounter.

Every Saturday morning I get together with a group of artists for breakfast at a local diner. We catch up on the week’s activities and discuss the “Art question of the week.” Non-artists are welcome, spouses and friends as well.

An older gentleman has become a regular. I believe he has done some sketching. He is Swiss, looks like Santa with a shock of white hair, bushy white eyebrows, and white beard. I don’t always understand him. He is soft spoken, chuckling while he speaks, and telling jokes I don’t get.

I was showing around some paintings I had done the past week that I have photos of on my iPhone. This gentleman didn’t know how to swipe through the photos and kept bringing up the calculator somehow. He liked the last one I had done and asked what size it was and how much I charged. It was an 8×10″ and I told him it was $100. He said a 16×20″ would be twice as much cuz it’s twice as big as he chuckled. We said, no, that was 4 times as big, and I told him what I have charged for 16x20s. He held out the phone and said 16×20. I said that was an 8×10. He said 16×20. I said 8×10. He laughed and said 16×20. I asked the man next to me, “Does he want me to paint him a 16×20?”

He then asked if I was going to enlarge it with a machine? I asked him if he wanted a print and he looked at me and laughed. “You want me to paint you a 16×20? “Oh that will be lively,” he said. (Not lovely, lively). He took out his wallet and handed me two large bills and said he’d pay me the rest the next time he saw me. “Don’t worry, take your time” he chuckled.

So I’m painting a 16×20″ painting of the 8×10. And I’m chuckling.