13 March 2007

Groan and Whine!

Today was just not a good day. I was busy doing stuff most of today, but I didn't get much done. And I really didn't feel like doing anything about that! I guess I do need to take a day or so off and I should have taken today off instead of half doing today.

My big accomplishment is listing my artcard for today:

This the orchid Lemboglossum cordatum. It was done in oil on 100% rag matboard. I really like the way it came out. And it was relatively quick to do. (Go bid! Like that sales pitch?!)

In a number of groups, artists are talking about how art cards are great for marketing and how some people actually are powersellers with just art cards. Others are talking about a new gimmick, OSWOA -- Original Small Works Of Art. (By the way, it's a trademarked term, so you have to belong to the group to use it.) This is art that's original and 4x6 inches, with the idea they can be sent as postcards or put in a photo album. Supposedly this is another great marketing tool.

Well, I suppose both formats are useful in introducing your work to new clients. So I'm toying with the idea of doing some of each on a regular basis. Maybe one each a week? They are a lot of work for little return, although I'm seeing more and more starting at higher prices. (And more and more of thee not ending with bids!) Still, I'd like to expand my active client basis so it may be the price I have to pay.

11 March 2007

March Madness

Yep, this is the time of March madness. But in my case it has nothing to do with basketball. It has to do with all the whackos out there in cyberland!!!

Here's a short list from this week only:

  • someone wants me to end an auction early so they can buy the piece for half the auction price

  • I join a printmaking group and then am thrown out of another group because the latter group says you can't be in the former even though the group leader of the latter is in the former so she can monitor who's in both and throw people out

  • in one eBay group I'm accused of being abusive because I quoted what one person said and then asked a question based on her own words

  • a person offers me $15 for a $250 painting I have in my eBay store

  • I emailed a website asking for the shipping on an item (it's overweight, so there's extra postage) and get no reply until Friday when I get a notice from them that my account is past due. Huh? I never, ever ordered anything from this company and it doesn't look like I will.

Maybe last week was National Whacko Week and no one ever told me! I don't know. But it really makes me suspicious when I do get emails with offers from legitimate people. I then to treat them like they are a whacko too, which really made me feel bad when the one this week turned out to be a serious, realistic offer.

Anyway, I did finish one commission yesterday.

Yep, it's a tree. This is an award-winning bonsai tree named "Sweet Thang". It was done in acrylics, although I would have prefered to do it in oils, but time was an issue. I think it came out fine although the photo above doesn't quite capture all the details and colors. It is 16x20 inches on canvas, so there are a lot of details.

Now, that leaves only 4 older commissions and the one new one from this week! One of these days I'll get caught up -- I hope!

09 March 2007

Maybe This Weekend

What a day. I've worked, mostly on this computer, from 7:30 this morning until now. And I'm tired of it. I'd much rather be doing some art, but nope, I'm stuck dealing with....

No, I won't go there. I'm trying hard to be positive and there's no use in whining on about things or people that I can't change.

Let's talk about something more pleasant.

I have new plans to do some more prints. I really enjoy printmaking, although I'm not as creative as some when it comes to it. I like crisp lines and well defined images, much like the early woodcut prints. I'm planning on using my pickiness to an advantage and try the Japanese method of printmaking. It involves multiply block, watercolor paints, and careful planning. That should fit me!

I also like mezzotint, because of it's dark tones, but I need to buy the mezzotint rocker. They run about $125, so that might be down the road. Although, I think some wonderful mezzotints of horses or alpacas would sell. I'd only need 5 sales to pay for the rocker.

In the meantime, I'll stick with the woodblock print. I do have a new block cut and ready to print, but I never seem to have the time. Well, I have the one commission almost done, so once I finish it up tomorrow, maybe I'll actually print the block up this weekend.

08 March 2007

Just Maybe...

Okay, I took one of my blogging vacations, again. I'm bad and I'll stand in the corner for a while, later.

What I have been doing is trying to finish up some portraits, doing stuff (or at least listing things) on eBay, and, (this is the fun one) diagnosising my husband's truck's electrical problems from 1000 miles away. So, how am I doing?

On the portrait front: I have another one almost done and am ready to start on two more. I think working on portraits in pairs is a lot easier than one at a time. That way, when I get annoyed with one, I can work on another. And with this pair, one is a pencil portrait, so that's very relaxing!

On the eBay front: I have managed to list things about 5 out of 7 days. Although, I'm going to skip a few days now because I need to string out the eBay pieces a bit because I really haven't had a chance to get too much new stuff done. I'm hoping that in a couple of days, I'll be able to get the portraits under control and get back to at least doing artcards.

On the truck front: I'm good!!! Hubby's been having weird electrical problems and he's been spending bunches of money to have it repaired. The problem is the mechanics kept repairing the symptoms and not the underlying problem. I finally got out the electricl schematics, traced the problem circuits, and they all met at the C8 ground stud. Then I spent most of last night (1 am or so) reading up on automotive electrical systems to confirm my diagnosis and learn the lingo. Today, hubby gave his cell phone to the mechanic and I told him exactly what the problem was, how to diagnosis it (if he wasn't convinced), and where the problem was. And I was right!!!

All this has left me tired, beyond my normal tiredness level. But since I'm making some progress in each area, I don't feel down. I'm just getting frustrated that I'm not getting more art done. Or my website redone. Or the bookshelf built. Or.....

02 March 2007

New Auction Format

It's finally the weekend. I'm not sure why that excites me, but for once, I'm glad it's here. Usually it doesn't make any difference -- I work basically 7 days a week until I need a break. Maybe I'm hoping my auctions will pick up?

Speaking of auctions, I'm trying out a few new things with my auction format.

  1. More photos so people can see the details
  2. A 'photo' of the piece framed -- this is a created photo (cut and paste), and supposedly it will encourage people to buy the piece.
  3. Something interesting about about the painting
  4. On large canvas pieces, I'll probably include a side photo and a created 'if the painting was on your wall' photo

All this is suppose to increase sales, but who knows? If you look at the eBay Powersellers, their listings range from nothing but one photo and text to really fancy listing templates. I'm not convinced it will make much difference, but the framed shot does make the piece look nicer.

Here's a northern flicker framed:

I just finished this painting today and then listed it tonight. (Click here to see the auction.) It's watercolor on print paper, 11x15. The original looks pretty good sitting on my drawing table, but it really looks terrific framed. So, okay, maybe it will encourage people to bid.

Speaking of bidding, I should go and check the marsh wren that's ending soon. I'm hoping for a bidding war.