Tag Archives: contemporary

LAST CALL: To See This Solo Art Exhibition

This is the last week to see my newest paintings in “Shapely pleasures”
It comes down the afternoon of Sept. 26!
  So if you want to see it, this week is your last chance.

CoexistingPeacefully
Solo Exhibition  •  September 2 – 26
United Arts Council of Wake County
410 Glenwood Avenue, Ste. 170
Raleigh, NC  27603

Painting above:  “Coexisting Peacefully” • 24″ X 24″ • Acrylic/MM on Canvas • $1400.  To Purchase a Print on Fine Art Paper or Canvas from Saatchi Online click here.
There is so much turmoil and hate in the world today so this painting tries to present a view of people of the world coexisting peacefully next to each other whether near or far away even though they think or look differently.

What do you think about the world trying to coexist peacefully?  Do you think it is possible?  Comment and let me know how you feel (fearful, hopeful, confused or other).


Thank you for supporting my work.  Please sign up for my news and events to receive a monthly email from me.  And visit my website often to see my newest paintings.

Art Lovers, Where Are You? 5 Realities of Our Time…

Are you an art lover? Then let me tell you the realities facing the artist today. Full-time artists devote a lot of time creating their art, as well as, marketing it if they are serious about their profession.  As a full-time, acrylic/mixed media, painter I spend 50-60 hours/week researching materials and techniques, educating myself on social media, painting, marketing in print and online and the 100’s of other chores necessary today for an artist to be successful.

At one time, all you did was create your work and show your work in exhibitions and galleries.  There are fewer galleries today to show our work and some of those galleries are inferior just like in any business.  They just open their doors and hope someone walks in.   The job of an artist today has become so cumbersome with so little results that one has to wonder where it will end for both the admirer and the artist.

Acrylic/MM on Canvas • 24" X 24" • $1400

Hills & Valleys of Life • Acrylic/MM on Canvas • 24″ X 24″ • $1400

To Purchase Original
To Purchase Prints on Fine Art Paper or Canvas

I know many artists question whether it is working or whether it will ever be worth their time because the buyers are an elusive bunch of people we can’t seem to find.  There is a lot of talk lately about finding your “tribe” or people who like your style or type of work.  It threw me for a loop recently, when I talked to several very good artists at different events, and they said they were thinking about just throwing in the towel.  Their canvases were piling up, they spent too much time and money they don’t have on their creations and trying to find customers on social media just wasn’t working out.  With the only people showing up at opening night exhibitions were other artists and their friends (even with all the advertising), artists are beginning to feel deserted and not getting the feedback they need to keep going.  And statistics show that very few people are commenting and liking on social media for most things.

1. The Good Artists Are Starting to Question The Job

In the near future, if more artists feel that it is just not worth it, and they cannot make a living selling their art at a fair price, you may find it more difficult to find high quality art.  Believe me, the less desirable art will still be around but the artists who give it their “ALL” and devote their time to creating a unique piece of art will not be around.  They will find other ways to express themselves.

2. You Are Not Supporting Their Work

Very few of you are showing up at exhibitions to view their work.  Very few of you are sending them confirmation or comments about their work whether by social media, email or in person.  And because the economy hasn’t fully recovered, very few of you are purchasing original art. Even if you can’t afford the work or have nowhere to place it, it would help the artist if you would give validation to an artist’s work that you feel is good.  Ask for the artist’s contact information or business card and let them know how you feel about their work. Give them leads if you know of someone else who might appreciate their work.  If you see their work on social media and like it, leave a comment. Or if you have a suggestion, let them know.

3.  We Don’t Know Where You Are

Because very few are taking the time to comment or like our work and show up to view the work at exhibitions, we don’t know where you are, what you like or how to keep you informed.  Think of it as a 2-way street, we need to have some information if we are to continue to make things that you might like and purchase in the future.  If we don’t have feedback, we are floundering in space and don’t know if we are going in the right direction.  So please come out of hiding and make yourself known.  We promise we won’t harass you, we just want to keep you informed and get feedback.  We can’t afford big, expensive marketing campaigns and expensive webinar series to try to find you (believe me, they are out there in full force trying to get artists to sign up).  Just let yourself be known and let us know what you like and don’t like.  We can take the criticism.

4.  We Waste Many Good Hours Trying To Find You

We waste countless hours on learning social media tips on how to find you.  We are told you have to write a blog and write something everyday to attract you to our work.  We have to be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and post to our blog interesting articles that will make you flock to our sides.  Do you know how much time it takes out of our day, week, month, year that we could be using to create something spectacular?  And statistics show that only 5% or less purchase art on the internet.  Why are we doing this?  Because we can’t find you!  And marketers say that is what we must do to find you!

5.  It Makes Us Question: Are There Really That Many Buyers Out There Anymore Who Appreciate Original Art?

Of course, there will always be art collectors at the top, investors who look for art and can afford to collect art from Sotheby’s and those well-known artists of the past (before 1990).  But what about us emerging artists?  The signals say to us, that you don’t want to be found or don’t want to buy art or don’t appreciate our best efforts at creating unique art.  You need to let us know so we can stop this time-consuming job of trying to vie for your attention.  I am sure that most people, including yourself, doesn’t like wasting your time on  research and educating yourself on techniques that don’t work, so I am sure you understand the artist’s plight.

I hope that you understand that the point of my article was not to admonish you in any way but to inform you on the artist’s plight since the 2007 downturn and the increase in social media marketing and the toll it takes on our creativity time, etc.  We need the feedback, we need the connection to the outside world, and we need the connection to the people who appreciate our work.  Even if you are not ready to buy or could possibly be a buyer in the future or won’t be a buyer but appreciate our work, we need to have a connection to you.  Help us stay motivated in this fast, changing world of ours, so that we know that there are people out there that are truly interested in what we are doing.  Comment on our posts, like our pages, and email us how you feel about our work.

What about you? Are you giving artists some feedback? And if not, why not? We would be interested in your views on this issue.

Thank your for your continued support and while you are here, if you would add your name to my mailing list so I can keep you informed, I would greatly appreciate it.

5 Tips on Starting A Conversation With An Artist

As an abstract, acrylic painter, I am always amazed at other people’s perception of artists.  They are either fearful of saying the wrong thing or feel they don’t know enough about art to stop and have a conversation with an artist.  I am sure that some people think we are from another planet, and as such, are just too hard to understand so why bother!  There are others that put us on a pedestal and think we are just too (fill in the blank).  And then, there are those, that feel that if they stop and talk to an artist about their work, they will have to find an excuse not to buy their work.

Nothing  could be further from the truth.  I am sure  that you will find those type of people in all professions that are hard to approach and have a conversation with that is genuine.  But you will find that most artists are timid and hate to intrude on other people’s time.  Most are not sales people and feel that their work should speak for itself and that they shouldn’t have to have a sales pitch.  Whether that is right or wrong, that is the place that most artists are coming from when you meet them at an event where their work is being presented to the public.  The painting below, “Rectangular Peg In An Oval World”, © Joyce Wynes, (24″ X 24″ X 1.5″ • Acrylic/MM on Canvas • $1400) explains exactly how most artists feel at an event, the artist being the rectangle.  Or maybe, you, as the viewer, feels like the rectangle!

RectanglePegInAnOvalWorld

So what is a person to do when they would like to know more about a piece of art and have the artist standing right in front of them?  Here are some tips that can get the conversation going that might help you with that situation.


1.  Don’t Hesitate.  Start A Conversation.

Most artists are just starving (or at the very least, hungry) to talk to other people about their work or even other topics that might be of interest to a person.  Because most artists are alone in their studios a great deal of the time, they don’t have the experience of most professions to be social with coworkers, meetings with other people and other events that are a part of working in an office situation.  So whether it is about art, their work or another topic, you can bet that artist has a lot of bottled-up conversation waiting to get out.  Artists don’t get a lot of practice or opportunities conversing with others, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t great conversationalist once stimulated to talk.

2.  Ask An Artist About The STORY  (behind a specific art piece or with their work in general.)
Nine times out of 10, they will have a great story behind their passion for their art.  It just has to be asked of them to tell it.  When asked, I can go on for a long time talking about my work and what inspires what I do and how I do it.  And a funny thing happens as that conversation evolves.  The viewer and myself usually spiral off into other topics about that story.  Or the viewer starts telling me their stories.  What a great way to get to know each other.

3.  You Can Ask How They Got Started As An Artist.
Again, another great story in most instances.  You might hear about their struggles to become an artist and what they did to overcome those struggles.  For me, my story is one that revolves around the art world for most of my life.  But I wasn’t able to fulfill my passion for fine art painting until 2008, when the economy came crashing down on my head and my successful graphic design & professional illustration business suddenly went dead in the water.

While I always painted my illustrations and illustrated for many of the top magazines in the US and abroad, I tried to paint non-commercial art in my spare time. It wasn’t until 2008 that I threw caution to the wind and said, “this is my time”.  I could either waste my time trying to get business out of an economy that was dead in my market or take the time to build up a portfolio, explore my creative abilities and find out if I had what it took to become a successful painter.  But there are hundreds of little stories that I have that happened along the way in getting to that place.  So ask and start a conversation.

4.  What Medium Do You Work With Most Of The Time?
This is another topic that most artists will readily talk about.  And it will probably lead into a history of how they got started and where they are now.  It could lead to a discussion on what they want to try in the future and where they see themselves in 5-10 years.

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5.  Ask Where Else They Show Their Work.
And, if you wanted to see more of their work, where you could go to see it? Or where they have shown their work in the past, etc.  Again, this can lead to a conversation about how they got started and a history of where they have been up until now.  It gives the artist an opportunity to give you a business card with their information on it for their website, social media sites and phone number.  Take it and pass it on to someone you know who would love to look at the artist’s work if you don’t want it.

Most of all, tell the artist if you like their work.  Artists realize that just because you like their work, it doesn’t mean you are going to buy it. But that once you understand their art, it might speak to you in a way that nothing else can.  Talk to them about it.  That is the only way they get feedback about their work and it is very important that they know that someone is attracted to it.  You could let them know that you like the colors used, the technique (you don’t have to know what the technique is to like it), or the way it is shaped, etc.  If you want to find out more about what questions to ask as a beginner collector see my post, 6 Tips for the Beginner Art Collector.

As you can see, these are 5 conversation starters where the artist would do most of the talking if you don’t feel comfortable talking about art yourself.  However, if you do join the conversation, you will find that you will go away from the adventure a little wiser about what it is like being an artist.  Do you have a 6th tip that you would like to share?  Please let us know what you think.


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An Artist’s Perspective: “Unraveling the Family Tree”

Do your know your family history?  Do you know where you came from & the route your family took to get here?  And do you know the stories & feelings behind their journey?

UnravelingTheFamilyTreeSm

 

That is the thinking behind my current painting, Unraveling the Family Tree, 30″ X 40″ X 1.5, Acrylic/MM on Canvas.

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.  All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Where we come from is so important, but unfortunately as in my case, we think we have forever to find out. I continued to shove it aside other than gathering bits and pieces in conversation with relatives at family gatherings.  You get so busy and have your young family to take care of.  I now wish I had paid more attention and asked more questions.

Of course, I know the basics.  My grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side came from southern Italy when they were very young, both at different times.  My grandmother was promised to my grandfather in marriage and came to the US when she was 15 years old to marry him.  He was 22 years old and had come to the US at a younger age.  I can’t imagine how frightening that had to be for her and to marry someone she didn’t know!  And the worst part, not to have a voice in her future.

But what I want to know is how she felt about it.  As a woman myself, who stands up for and votes for women’s rights and equality, I feel so much empathy for my grandmother or any woman who had to live under that paternalistic society.

I wish I had been able to ask my grandmother questions then that are in the forefront of my thinking now.  With the women’s movement and women’s rights issues, I would have loved to question her on her feelings as a woman on how she felt about her life choices or lack of life choices.  What her secret interests were in life.  If she could do anything what would it be.  What were her feelings and stories about the trip from Italy to the US.  And would she feel able to share them or hold them tight to her breast for safekeeping?

Many of my extended family either never knew much more, have memory problems because of age or have passed away so it is going to be a much harder journey to find out more information now.  But it is mostly about feelings and stories that I am after in general and my grandmother in particular and her voice is no more, lost to me forever.  Anything I learn now would be only guessing and speculation.

It is not until you are older that you begin to wonder about how you fit into the picture of your family structure.  Who and where did I get my talent.  When you think of the history and stories that are lost, it is just so sad that future generations lose the connection with that voice.

I am curious, though, after painting this piece, how much of your family history do you know and do you really think or want to know?  Does it make you feel disconnected?  Did you ask the important questions?  Do you still have time to gather that information?  If so, keep a journal for the next generation because one of your relatives will be grateful to have the voice of the past revealed to them even if it just starts with your voice.  If nothing else, start recording your journey.  Don’t wake up to regrets.

Please share this with someone who will benefit from its contents.  It might start a conversation.  Follow my blog to get the stories behind the paintings.  Comments to this post are most welcome.  Let’s start a dialogue.

Visit my website to view more of my paintings.  And as always, thanks for all your support.

An Artist’s Perspective: “Up, Down and All Around”

UpDownAndAllAround

 

“Our lives take us in all different directions. Detours are a part of life but it depends on how you view them that tells the difference.  Some detours have enriched my life with information that I would not have had any other way. Some detours were not as productive.  Experience lets me readily identify them and decide how long I am willing to travel on that road.”  That is a description of the painting above, “Up, Down and All Around”, one of my latest acrylic/mm creations on canvas, 24″ X 36″.

Many of my non-representational, abstract paintings show twists and turns, lines going in different directions, vertical then suddenly horizontal, shapes breaking through another section and turning into some other shape.  And it turns into a pleasing landscape of colors,  shapes and patterns that work together to create balance and purpose.

But, is that how life is today?  All these things thrown at us to make our lives more purposeful and balanced.  Think about it.  Everyday I get tons of email from marketing solicitors wanting to make my business more productive or giving me advice on how to make social media work for me.  This is where I took my detour in December 2013.  And I am quickly getting out of that line and back into my more productive pattern.

For example, they send screaming headlines that you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and have a blog and website, etc., etc. and how to make each of these better for you to get LIKES and more followers. whether to use #’s or not, FB is a Must, Twitter is a Must and How to Use It, Is Everyone Leaving FB and Should You (this after I had just signed up & paid for a FB class on how to use it???), Twitter is Going Down (just after I purchased their stock for my retirement portfolio???), Tips to Boost your Twitter Conversations, Topics to Make a Great Blog and Get Followers, How Often to Post – I could literally go on and on.  And at the end of each of these is an advertisement that wants you to buy a book or sign up for classes or listen to a free informational video and then sign up for their class.  Oh I forgot, I need to make videos now to engage people to my site.  Just signed up for that course!

They are out in full force lately.  And now want you to be one of them-they offer a course on how to do that; a coach selling your advice on whatever you know about.  And I know a lot about various subjects because I was a graphic designer with my own business, a professional illustrator illustrating for many big magazine companies and a fine art painter.  At one time I worked in marketing research for a large company doing statistics (I am good at math), I know how to market, I’m a mother, etc., etc, etc.  But I would not want to inflict myself on the masses in the same way as these marketers are doing today just to get a client.

It is enough to make you go crazy.  Anyone trying to market their small business probably knows what I mean.  I question myself, am I doing it right, did I say the wrong thing, am I supposed to post this here, and the what if’s . . .   There was an article I read just recently talking about decision fatigue and how making many choices saps your willpowerAre any of these things adding anything significant to your business other than more work and a stress-filled schedule?  That is the important question for each of us to answer for ourselves.  Come on be honest.  Are you just a slave to these new things that were supposed to make our lives easier to market ourselves or stay in touch or do you really enjoy them.

I, for one, am going to be much, much, much more selective.  Why?  Because to be a painter and run a business you need to FOCUS. I am going to sign up for less because when I read these advice blogs and take the coaching classes, I realize that in most cases I already knew most of the information or the information does not apply to me and my business.  I am going to take a cold, hard look at what is working and what is not and let go of the baggage, the extra stress and the lack of focus.

Social media is still a good use for marketing but I am not going to get crazy about it and give more importance to it then it deserves.  My website and my blog is most important and those are my priorities. Who is deciding FB is great one day and dead the next?  That little guy in the corner office?  (You know guys, this would make a great little humorous, illustrated book. And I might just create it.  Would you buy it? OMG I am turning into ONE of THEM.) FOCUS

My new pledge is: if I need more information on a subject, I will buy a book.  They don’t leave email and they just sit on my night stand.  If I get stressed seeing them there because I haven’t read them lately, I will move them to another location, preferably under the bed.  See I learned some information that enriched my life from this detour and I am once again focused!

Please comment below how you feel about the detours your life is taking lately and if they are productive or making you go bonkers.  I love to hear from other people and learn from their perspectives.

Usually my paintings let loose a philosophy lesson as I splash on the paint (I loved my philosophy courses in college).  So I am starting this as a series.  Every time I finish a painting, I am going to do “An Artist’s Perspective” article explaining what the story is behind the painting or what feelings or questions on life the painting brought out as I was creating.  Each painting on my website has an artist’s comment but this, “An Artist’s Perspective”, will elaborate on the subject.

I guarantee you won’t be bored.  You don’t have to agree with my ramblings because that is what makes us individuals but you will get a first-hand view of my thinking as I paint.  Please become a “follower” and sign up to get a notice when it arrives.  Thanks for your support of my art and vision.

Solo Art Exhibition in Asheville, NC

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Curated by Wendy H. Outland, Owner and Art Consultant of Who Knows Art at www.whoknowsart.biz
Showing 15 of the latest Abstract Paintings by Joyce Wynes

April 7 – July 14, 2014
MAHEC Eductaion Building
121 Hendersonville Road • Asheville, NC 28803

OPEN:  8am – 5:30pm Monday thru Friday • 828 257-4400

Wynes describes her process:
“Did you ever wish that you could recapture the carefree, playful, questioning feelings of your childhood?  That is what happens to me every time I put my brush to canvas.  My Acrylic/Mixed Media paintings are a reflection of carefree memories and internalized images, flavored by my still apparent “childhood” influences.”

Bold colors and stylized, primal subjects in both representational and non-representational abstracts have entertained collectors for years.  Try to recapture your playful, questioning side by visiting the exhibition.  You won’t regret it.

You can see more of Wynes’s paintings by visiting her website.  See what her art can do to stimulate your senses.

Giving Up…Ever Want To?

GreenPiece1_S

There was a post in my email yesterday, Ever Felt Like Giving Up?, by Doug Hoppes written on FASO’s blog.  He was asking artists if they ever felt like giving up their art career.  And it got me thinking…why would an artist want to give it up?

Artists are a lucky lot.  They have found their passion and can work at something that fills them with a feeling of purpose and worthiness.  You would think that, if someone found that in their lives, that the rest would be so easy!  Very few people find their passion in life and can work at it too.

But artists have their trials and tribulations also:

Most artists don’t make enough money to live on so most have to supplement and take away from their art “time” to do another job or two.  And most can’t afford health insurance.  The “Starving Artist” theory, perpetuates the idea in society (i.e. buyers of art) that artists should not be paid enough for their products in order that they can make a living wage or be paid for their creative talent.  Where did that theory come from anyway?

For some reason, working 40-60 hours/week on creating art plus all the marketing & social media time, material and studio costs, paying 30%-60% commissions and research time, that has become so much a part of their job, isn’t worth as much an hour as someone out there working in the “corporate world” or outside of an art studio.

Crazy isn’t it?  The people creating the art are the only people who can’t make a living off their own art and most times comes out at a loss?  The art store employees make a living selling art products to them.  The galleries and alternative spaces make a living selling the artist’s work by making a sales commission on the art.  Colleges and universities make a living teaching art.  Website designers and developers and all the online businesses make a living off the artist.  I could go on and on, but really think about it.  The real creator of the art doesn’t.  They are the ones with the original, creative idea in the first place.  And they can’t price their work high enough to cover all their costs to make a living off of their product because society thinks they should starve for their art!

Selling your art and the steps necessary to being recognized is another process that leaves most artists exhausted and discouraged.  Applying to juried shows, getting into galleries and alternative markets, finding your tribe, educating yourself on the market and social media, updating your website and the research hours are endless.

Why do they do it?  Yes, some quit along the way or stall at a certain level because they don’t have the time, money or equipment to keep marketing themselves or pay someone else to do it for them.  Or some just don’t have enough passion and fall by the wayside.

Would I give up painting?  The thought has come into my head several times, usually at stressful, personal times in my life.  But quit painting?  Never.  I might give up some of the other stuff that goes along with being a marketing guru for selling my art but I hope I perish with a brush in my hand.

It is sad in a very serious way how society treats their creatives.  Most people revere artists, their talent and creative spirit.  It is a commodity in business (or should be) to hire creative-thinking people.  Most people I meet get this starry-eyed look when I tell them I am an artist.  They say, “I wish I had that talent”.  Or, “I can’t draw a straight line”.  Or  something to that effect.  But you can see that they really wish they could do that!  For many it brings back memories of a simpler time when they were children and did art projects for fun and not competition.  And shouldn’t that be one of the purposes of surrounding yourself with art, bringing back memories or giving you a certain feeling, whatever those feelings might be?  Some people are afraid to even approach an artist because they feel inferior in their presence.

Artists are just ordinary people doing what they do best in life.  And they should be able to make a living at it without having to sacrifice their salary so everyone else can make a living off of their creativity.  We pay you or your company for your services so that you can continue to do your job and that is all artists want as well.  To be paid a fair price for their work so that they can make a profit (salary) for their job after paying for everything else.

So the next time you see a piece of art that you would like, remember that artists have the same costs to performing their job as you or your company does.  I am hoping that educating the buying public will erase this title, “Starving Artist”, forever.  As an educated society, it should have been eradicated years ago.  And remember, you could be buying a piece of art that will go for millions or billions at Sotheby’s someday.  You lucky person!

Please take the poll below and give your thoughts on this issue.

Please share this post with others who might want to know a little about life as an artist from an artist’s perspective.  And thank you for your interest in my work.  Coming soon: An article you won’t want to miss on what goes into pricing a painting.
Painting above:  Green Piece 1 • 12″ X 12″ • Acrylic/MM • $425