Exhibiting Your Art Work

January 16, 2016

I know…its been quite awhile since I've posted. I've been using the time to make my own work which really is a good thing. But I came across this article today – thanks to Cynthia Tineapple, for pointing it out! I think it is important enough to share since it's about the 5 crucial things to do AFTER an art opening. It's great info and really made me think about the exhibition process:


Typically we work like crazy to finish the work for an exhibit. Everything leads up to the exhibit and then once we get past that blip on the calendar we pat ourselves on the back for getting through the work of it. But there are some really good things you can do to stretch the momentum of an exhibit and resulting PR. Alyson Stanfield is known as a creative ArtBiz Coach. Check out her simple ideas here:


To add to her ideas would be to:

1. Photograph the exhibit in place. Photos of an exhibit are useful for showing a professional display, future PR and adds credibility. Images for future postcards, etc. are always useful.

2. Always thank the gallery formally: send them a nice note. The personal touch from you recognizing their effort in your behalf helps to create a good relationship with the gallery. Fostering that relationship can only help you in the future.

3. Ask the gallery for PR materials to help promote your exhibit and periodically see if there are other times/other exhibits you can help to promote for them. This is good pay back and will ultimately pay YOU back in the long run because you have made a lasting impression with the gallery.

Good impressions, positive relationships, great connections accelerate an art career.



Garson Kanin said it: Amateurs hope, professionals work.

So what does that mean? Think about the words 'art practice'. To have a practice infers consistency, regular hours, a schedule. It also implies that there is practice going on – a masterpiece isn't made every time one creates.

There is a great blog article on this here: http://jamesclear.com/schedule

Simplifying 101

December 28, 2012

Well it's about to be a new year and traditionally a time for 'out with the old, in with the new'. Do you clean out a drawer or closet this time of year? I have a few places that I keep saying this is the year I'll get to that…but I've been saying that for many years now! Here is the best article on decluttering and simplifying I've ever read, and believe me, I have read whole books on this subject! This is an easy read and I bet you'll find something that makes you think: AHA! What a great idea!


Enjoy and Happy New Year!

 Okay, it’s a new year and the proverbial time to start afresh.  It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates every year and how much I find to donate or get rid of.  Truly there must be some mountain of stuff somewhere with my name on it.

  So here I am mucking out the studio so I can get more productive this year.  I have a monster show in Switzerland in November and know from the last time I did this show there were 8,000 people opening night.  I am not a production artist so I have to get with it now to have enough stuff for that show as well as the two galleries that carry my things.  So back to the business at hand: I’m re-organizing some things in the studio and refining the space like I do from time to time.  I think I have a dream of the uber organized space that I can walk into feely, sit down and start creating…why is that do hard?  I can rarely do that in my studio so thank gawk I can do that at ArtWorks.  Anyway, in scoping out options and trying to get a handle on that tiger named ‘DISorganized’ I found an interesting website I thought I would share: lifeorganizers.com 

Maybe you’ll find something there that is helpful.


Artist Wants Anvil

July 26, 2011

I have been shopping for an anvil. Which apparently Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a hard time with. So far it’s spelled Annville, amble, and a variety of other funny things. Anyway, back to the point: I am looking for an anvil. In my shopping for this particular item that Dragon NaturallySpeaking has a hard time spelling properly, I have learned some very interesting things. Consider this an educational excursion. Or diversion. Or maybe it’s just an all-out straying.

What I found is this: not only are and voles and making of them and art, see what Dragon NaturallySpeaking did?  I think I’m not going to correct these errors and see what we end up with. It could end up being an hilarious post.  Okay back to the subject of and. Oh you know what I mean.anyway I have learned that there is an art to finding the right and will, I mean and evil, let’s try and pull, darn it! Alright so there is a learning curve with Dragon NaturallySpeaking what can I say? Going on, I learned that to find the right one that works well it has to ring. So you take a hammer and you All around the top surface and listen to the sound. The top surface should ring everywhere you tap with the hammer. If you hear a dull thunk or client, what? I said slunk, this is getting really funny. I can see you now laughing all over yourself on the floor. Me, I’m just trying to talk. Okay as I was saying if you hear a song it means, how did I get song when I said sunk, do I just give up?

I’m going to try this again. When you tap all around the top surface you listen for the ring. If you hear a different sound like a dull flood then you may have a broken handle. That’s not what I said. I said if you would hear a dull funk then you have a crack in your amble. For an ample to work right it needs to be one solid piece. There needs to be mass behind where you pound with the hammer. The point is to move metal and shape it with a hammer. So the surface that you’re pounding on should be really hard and not springy. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter if it’s cast steel or cast-iron as long as it’s hardened enough. You don’t want the surface to become pitted or dented when you’re trying to move your metal. The other thing I’ve learned is that and. Can be sold for as much as $3000! Some and bowls go up to hundreds of hundreds of pounds. The heavier the handle the more it costs. I just like to get an 8 pound Annable.  And someday I would like to know how to say gamble so that Dragon Naturally Speaking can get it right.

Real Simple magazine has a bunch of tips available on their website, www.realsimple.com One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen is to use a toothpick to hold the edge of a roll of packing tape.  Brilliant.  They have lots more for free!  Go see!

Wire-Sculpture.com has all sorts of stuff on their website: a daily jewelry making related tip, blog, articles, tutorials and video tutorials – all for free!  They have a resource center on the site that includes free wire patterns, articles on  inventory and pricing your work, home business tips, all about gem stones and a lots more.

My friend Dale Cougar Armstrong writes the blog and is the face in their videos because she is the square wire jewelry maker extraordinaire.  We teach together in Tucson.  If you like to work with wire I suggest getting her amazing DVD’s . Even though I work very little with wire I watch Dale’s videos in the Wire-Sculpture booth when we’re in Tucson.   I am always marveling at how efficient Dale’s communication is when she teaches.  It’s cool.  An excellent lesson in teaching for me.

Tips, Tips, Tips for Artists

February 17, 2011

Remember who you are: don’t try to be someone you’re not, EVER!

What’s your brand? How do people identify you or what you make? How is that different from what’s out there already?  This is your brand.

Always get GREAT photography of your work. Don’t let poor snaps portray your work.  You want the best presentation at all times.  This is critical.

Have business cards everywhere you go.  No exceptions.

Show your best work only. Don’t ever throw in that piece you did as a student or whipped out just to “have enough pieces” to show.   This works against you.

Never apologize for your work. Never point out flaws.  Never mention “this is an old piece”.  It isn’t old to your viewer.  Don’t taint your own work.

Always present and finish your work professionally. A great painting in a salvaged frame so you could cut costs isn’t a great idea.  I’ve actually seen artists do this thinking it’s just fine… what?  As a buyer,  I don’t want to pay for your moldy frame!  I’d rather get my own frame then, thank you very much.  If you’re doing this sort of thing, ask yourself why you’re sabotaging your own work?  Figure it out.

Know the value of your work: all of your experience to this point has gone into each piece.  That is your life and it must be worth something, right?

Make a good impression. Always put your best foot forward: contact people in person, call if you can’t do that.  Email as a last resort wherever possible.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  If you can’t do it, don’t say you will! The complaint I hear most often about artists is that they don’t follow through.

Pricing: ask what you believe it’s worth.  It should cover your cost of materials and your time.  Pay yourself a salary.  It’s okay to make money on what you create.

Pricing Again: This is a fluid subject.  There is no simple formula because most art work is one-of-a-kind original work.   There is a market for everything and if it’s not selling in a particular venue your choices are to go somewhere else or re-price the work.  I would go somewhere else first. Dropping the price of a work creates a perception of de-valuation.


I have talked a lot about mentoring and teaching and I thought I would share someone who is very good at all of that: Tory Hughes.  Tory is a vital, vibrant and brilliant artist living in Santa Fe, NM.  I met her in 1994 and was struck by how authentic she is.  She is herself and none other, something I always appreciate.

Tory has created amazing jewelry, sculpture, vessels and other art pieces, a lot from polymer clay, wire, mixed media and found objects.  She carries a delightfully whimsical color palette into most everything she does.  Her life is always full of content and I treasure our chances to have long conversations though they are far between.  Her perspective and wisdom are uncanny.

5 Simple Directions - a book built for artists.

Her new book, ‘5 Simple Directions’ should be in every artist’s library.  I was lucky enough to see some of it before printing and I just wanted to read and read.  That’s one thing about Tory:  I can never get enough of her ; her thoughts;  her presence or her art.

This book is a five-part self coaching manual written for artists and it’s pure gold.  It’s interactive, pro-active and yet fun despite covering some serious topics that all of us artists struggle with.


I’m always struck by her grace.  I swear that woman dances when standing still!

If you get a chance to check out her website: www.toryhughes.com do so.

Here’s an Artist’s Gift

December 8, 2010

I come across a lot of cool sites and stuff and a gift I can give to you this season is a great nexus page at Etsy.  Etsy Labs has a lot to share.  You can find projects to make and tutorials on things there.  I ‘re-learned’ this fact today when researching about fusing plastic bags to make a fabric that can be sewn, etc. as a way of recycling the ubiquitous plastic bags we all have.  How did I get to fusing plastic bags?  I was refreshing my memory on how to make PLARN…PLARN?  It is PLastic bag yARN.  I have been looking up crochet patterns to help rehab my recently surgeried arm and hand when I came across fusing plastic bags.

Anyway, the Etsy Labs page you will want to check out is:


Notice the huge list of fun stuff on the right that include making boxes from recycle paper, making lip balm, and T-shirt reconstructions but also notice a bit lower on the page on the right about accepting credit cards at shows, shoe box shelves and more.  I plan on checking out the staple altered t-shirts tutorial for sure…(MARIE: check it out! Could be SteamPUNK!)  =)

Have fun: what’s the point otherwise??


My most indispensable office tool is my digital camera. I know that sounds weird but let me explain:

I have a very portable, somewhat nomadic life hence I also need a portable office. My specific needs are to be able to record things on the fly, for example, when i’m traveling. Things like receipts, student rosters, inventory sheets for different places and so on always seem to get misplaced under piles of paper work…sound familiar? And who has time to drop everything to find one piece of paper or receipt? Not me. So instead, I use my most indispensable office tool. A digital camera is also a scanner! I shoot pix of receipts, rosters, confirmations of orders, shipping info, checks for deposit, contracts, boarding passes and more. This puts all these crazy bits of info into digital form that I can easily file and search for records in much less time. They take up little space, too!
A side benefit of using your digital camera this way is that you’ll really get to know your camera. That translates into being able to photo your own art work better, too. Look for making whites really white or black truly black – not green tinted for example. Practice goes a long way and shooting text is excellent practice for getting the right distance, color and clarity in your photos.