This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a newcomer to EBSQ, but she’s already made a lasting impression with her rich still life paintings and her wonderful character!
Who and where are you?
I am a painter. I paint pictures for a living. I refer to myself as a painter more often than as an artist. I paint representationally, and believe that self expression is a given, so I don’t try to “express myself.” My unique perspective is imbued in every painting I create, whether I try to put it there or not. I am interested in the beauty of light describing the human form. None of my teachers ever talked about teaching me to paint, or draw. Just how to “see.” I am just emerging from my academic training and don’t fully know who I am as an artist. That’s something I aspire to. So, for now, I call myself a painter. My home and studio are in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I live with my husband.
It was the perfect answer to my dilemma of finding myself living in a city that doesn’t have any representational fine art galleries, at least not ones dealing with contemporary classical academic and alla prima styles such as I paint in. I was working in my studio every day, but, feeling increasingly discouraged over the past three years, about not having a local place to show my work, that I liked. Paintings were piling up, and I was beginning to think I should get a “real job”. So, my husband thought I should start my own presence on the internet. My son, who is a computer programmer, had also been after me to do something on the net. I liked the idea of taking matters into my own hands and having full control over how I market my work. Plus, something I’ve discovered about blogging, is that I can help people by sharing truly useful information. That was a powerful realization. I get almost as much enjoyment out of turning people on to the Google Art Project, as I do when I receive positive comments on one of my own paintings.
I’m pretty new at this game, but I’ve learned that there are a few things that are working for me:
1. Showing up on a regular basis so that there is some predictability to my blogging. I try to have a post about a new painting up at least twice a week, and if not, I’ll post some of my older academic work to keep it fresh and the energy moving (only pieces I feel really good about,) while I finish a day painting. My larger canvases can take up to several weeks to complete and I post those whenever I can. The day paintings are good for me both technically and in terms of momentum to keep the energy on my blog moving.
2. Being helpful. At least every two or three posts is about something that I am passionate about that is art related and that will be useful to other artists and art lovers. To date, my biggest viewership came from sharing information about the Google Art Project. That single post attracted hundreds of new people to view my blog, and my paintings, that I didn’t have before.
3. Brevity. I write succinctly when it’s an article. When posting a painting, I let the painting speak for itself.
4. Key words and phrases. I am just learning more about this, and now believe it is important to pick words that that are targeted to my marketing plan for search engine attention so people can find me.
5. Search engines can’t see or find images. If you are only posting images of your art or creations, your post is invisible to search engines and won’t exist for search results. You must use the “alternative text” HTML code with the image or at least a chunk of descriptive text to accompany the image.
I also check my Blogger stats and Google Analytics data regularly, and have learned (with a long way yet to go…) how to read and interpret them. It is useful to know which posts and words your readers and collectors are responding to.
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?
My painting day starts with classical music, such as Bach cello concertos, or Mozart. The most important ritual is the first thing I do when I am getting ready to go to my studio, and it’s called “turning the colors”. I take my paint box out of the freezer, and with my pallet knife turn each blob of left-over paint from the day before onto my wooden pallet, peeling off the skin that naturally occurs on oil paint, and making sure I have enough paint on my pallet for the day. This takes about 20 minutes. This simple action is necessary functionally but, also it settles me and prepares me for the intensely focused experience in which I am about to engage. Later in the day, if the painting is going well, I put on increasingly rowdy music, like upbeat Rick Braun, flamenco guitar by Marc Antoine, R&B, a-capella groups like Take Six. Then I may turn to the incredible operatic countertenor, Andres Scholl if I need to calm myself down because I am frustrated when I’m not “seeing” well.
I am working on a large portrait, 78″x 89″, oil on canvas, called Shangri-la, which is intended to launch my project area in painting sensual couples portraits. The link to the image of the in-progress work is: http://flic.kr/p/9mESxy
Thank you Pati for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!
If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?