I’ve no idea what kind of calf this is, it was not photographed in the US so that makes it even harder for me to guess. Anyone wanna take a guess because it just so far along it’s gotta be obvious … right?
Here it is just a tiny bit farther along. This one will be a little more on the realistic side but still part of the “Cowgirl Collection.” My goal is to finish her (or really darn close to it) this weekend which means taking it home at night and working on it at the house. But I’m kinda excited about it. I was drawn to her (though most likely it was a him) for the googly eye (of course) the spots, and also the coloration. As I get farther along* you’ll see what I mean. It’s actually very similar in color to the original “Cowgirl” painting that sorta started this all.
At some point I think I’m gonna get brave and try to create a piece done in that very watercolor wash style. (kinda like the muzzle area) I’ll have to try to control my urges for mark making and just let the loose softness carry me away. This would require me to put in a lot of forethought and be careful with my scribbles (see ear area) but I think I can do it.
… I think.
*Actually I am farther along there’s just a lag between me posting and what I get accomplished each day. As I write this her (yes I’m going with HER) head is pretty much done.
No she isn’t done, I just happened to have the orange frame laying around. It’s actually rust colored so my color balance on this photo needs to be adjusted. (way … adjusted)So it (the frame) is how I based the cropping of her.
As the title indicates, she isn’t done but I have one week before the cowgirl show kicks off so I figure I need to do at least one more and two if the stars align. And then … I’ll go back in and finish her up. And if they don’t you ask? Well she may just go to the show like this.
An artist friend asked me “What happens if she sells?” without skipping a beat I’m like “Awesome!”
Sunday Sneak Peek Returns
So tomorrow I’ll post the piece I’m working on next. I’m kinda lovin’ her.
The early beginning of Buttercup the Charolais Heifer.
So right after I tell you I was away so long because of a death but I’m back now … well my father in law passed away. Well more correctly my ex-husbands father. With whom I was close. Even after the divorce Ray made it a point to tell me often he considered me his daughter and I would always be family. He always signed cards and gifts “Love Dad.” so … I took more time to ponder the brevity of life.
Who knew a year and a half could go by so quickly
I can’t believe I agreed to do this exhibit that long ago and it’s here in a blink of an eye. It was a good stretch for me to create an entire exhibit worth (or more accurately 1/3 of an exhibit) from scratch. I doubt I’d do it again though, but I for the most part thoroughly enjoyed the process.
The truth is this piece is very much close to done as I write this. Down to tweaking stage anyway and currently is even in a frame. The exhibition is in just a couple of weeks and I am beginning a new cow piece today. If I have time I’ll tweak her (meaning Buttercup here) before the show otherwise she’s going as is and I’ll tweak her after.
I left my camera at home or I would have taken a current photo so that’ll have to wait until tomorrow (or there-abouts)
I wonder …. after spending so much time working on a series, how does one stop? We have this exhibit scheduled elsewhere so even when this one gets under way I will still be making more to flush out the show. But eventually … I will have to stop … won’t I?
That statement has been sort of reoccurring for me for the past several years and my reason this time is the same as in previous disappearances … I suffered a personal tragedy. This time my mother passed away somewhat unexpectedly.
For the past 2 years she had slowly becoming more lost. Her short term memory faded until at the end it was pretty much nonexistent. We managed to keep her in her home until the end with a lot of effort from a lot of people. So this past year I was spending much of my emotional and physical energies with her and my blogging suffered,
While I could have blogged about it, the truth is I just didn’t much want to. I really didn’t feel like in general I had all that much to say. It was sheer force of will that kept me working, and to be honest throwing myself into my business is a coping mechanism to boot. But no … no desire to share the experience and emotions.
Perhaps it was because things were just sort of one thing after another. Marital struggles followed by divorce, my financial future resting on my ability to learn computer technical proficiency, the death of my beloved horse and now mom.
To be clear I’m not now nor ever much was depressed. Saddened and grieved yes, depressed no.
So anyway to get you all up to speed.
The gallery is flourishing, Etsy seems to have a hit a sales stride, art airs so far this year are just fine (no woohoo moments, but also no wondering why the sales gods have forsaken me) and I’m working on a painting. Another cow of course because the first cow exhibition is a mere few weeks away. (New cow painting progress photos to follow soon.)
And barring anymore catastrophes I should be back to blogging far more regularly.
I had big plans to work on this today, but got caught up in making etsy listings. It’s hard top strike a balance between making art and marketing it.
Not gonna say what it is, but I would think it should be kinda easy to guess. This is a cropped detail only a fraction of the entire piece but since all the rest was untouched suede this is all you get for today.
So you’d think having been a professional picture framer for like 25 years, I’d be able to know almost magically what frame looks best on my own artwork. Not always so. Or at least my opinion can be swayed.
Here’s an example. Daisy, my sweet little yellow heifer, the first of all the cows for the exhibit this September was sitting in my back room with 2 different samples dangling off the corners. One orange one tangerine yellow. I favored the yellow but most people who ambled into my framing room (in fact all who weighed in liked the orange) so despite personally preferring the yellow, orange is what I got.
Now I know it doesn’t look it but the frame was actually quite expensive, even at cost. It was a deal where my supplier had to special order it from their supplier. So once I got it, I immediately regretted it but couldn’t bring myself to essentially just toss away a pricey frame. I thought … “Meh, I’ll get used to it and eventually it won’t matter.”
Over a year later it still bugged me. But rather than spending big bucks all over again getting the same frame in yellow, another frame line became available which I love. It has ripples running through it which add some whimsy and I’ve actually used this frame in different colors on a couple of my other “Happy Heifers.” So I ordered it.
A Story To Illustrate My Point
One thing I’ve learned is that what I like (regarding my own art or framing) is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. In fact last year at an art festival I had a customer (who currently has an original of mine) looking at another original piece, went into hysterics over the hideousness of the frame. So she had me try to cover the frame because she just couldn’t get past her overly vocal revulsion, in order to visualize it without. This went on for 15 minutes or more with a packed booth of other people wanting to buy. Finally she left, to my great relief. The next customer in line said “Just so you know, I love that frame and think it makes the painting.”
So there ya go.
You get to weigh in
None the less I am curious, since everyone who offered an opinion at the gallery went orange, I’d like to know what you all think. Just so you know it won’t change anything but I am a glutton for market research and information.
My goal was to reach 100 items by the end of last year but … well that didn’t happen. It’s harder than you think. Or perhaps I should say it was harder than I thought. I opened my Etsy store in 2008 and sold an item or two but found that Ebay was a veritable feeding frenzy of sales, so I went that way.
But by the Fall of last year, when squidoo went belly up and I lost the hefty revenue stream that came from them, I began to once again explore online options. So I took my SEO skills I learned from Squidoo and began listing on Etsy again. I sold a print within 4 days and that was just enough motivation to keep me going.
So why didn’t I do the Ebay thing again you ask?
Good question you. Well for multiple reasons.
Making quality listings takes time. Fast and furious sales are awesome but it means I would spend many more hours creating listings than I wanted to. When I did ebay I sold around 1K in 6 weeks but it was kinda a full time job. And I have a full time job selling my art already so…
Etsy listings last much longer 4 months as opposed to a week or so of ebay.
Etsy listing are much cheaper only .20 cents per plus a small % when an item sells.
Etsy doesn’t have the bargain basement rummage sale mentality that ebay does. I can sell my art for what it’s worth. I do offer special pricings on some of my listings but mostly that’s because they are different from my website in one way or the other.
I am averaging a sale or two a week at the moment. That’s with minimal game playing (meaning team interactions for promoting within etsy.) I would guess ebay would make me more, but I like the stress free environment as well as the more artisan like setting.
Never Heard Of Etsy?
I’m not surprised though it’s far more common knowledge now than when I opened my doors in 2008. But I am pretty sure etsy is about to become more of a household name as it’s going public. I think this will be both good and bad for the site. But my hope is, more awareness equals more sales. We shall see.
Etsy is a peer-to-peer e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items under Etsy’s new guidelines.
Future Goals For Etsy
Short term: Bring 1-2 sales a week to 1-2 a day. 150 items in shop.
Long Term: 10+ sales a day. I have organized my product so the shipping end is easy. Either in a tube or flat rate envelope with the exception of a couple of framed items. I am pretty confident that I can do 10 sales a day without it interfering with the time needed to run the gallery etc. I think the max amount of items I can foresee handling in my etsy shop would be 200-250. But I won’t know until I get there.
I am a working artist living in a small rural town in Iowa. I own Wild Faces Gallery & Frame where I spend a great deal of my time in order to keep my critters in kibble and hay. This blog is is a place for me to showcase my artwork, my business and the wanderings of my mind.