Weird but true: blue + brown paint = black. I mix my own colors, so I don’t actually own any black, though I use it A LOT. I learned this handy tip years ago- mix Ultramarine blue with Burnt Umber to make black- it makes a richer color (and handy if you run out of the tube version).
I was recently invited to exhibit in Les Bon Artiste Roule at the Zigler Art Museum in Jennings, LA. The show consists of artists from the Lafayette area that have previously exhibited at the Zigler. Below are some photos from the recent opening reception and more can be seen here: www.amyguidry.com/events.html. The exhibit is open through March 9th.
After reading the title of this post, you’d probably think I’m being sarcastic or just plain crazy. Actually, no. The thing is, anytime you are losing “fans” (email newsletter subscribers, Facebook Fans, etc.), you’re probably not actually losing fans, you’re losing people that weren’t really interested in the first place. There are many reasons why someone may subscribe to your newsletter or be your fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. You would hope that it’s because they just love your art, but that’s not always the case. Some are other artists just doing research on you, some are acquaintances that felt obligated to join because you asked, and some may have been interested but quickly discovered that your work is not what they expected- the list goes on.
So why is this a good thing? Because it translates to more time and effort put into those who do care about your art, and less wasted on those that weren’t interested. For every email, every phone call, every Tweet, every newsletter, every postcard, etc. etc., there is less time, money, and energy invested into those that are not interested in your art, thus allowing you to focus on those that do care. Sure, you want to know that your art resonates with tons of people- everyone, for that matter- but it’s not going to do that if they’re hitting the delete button every time you send them something. And it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong or that your art is “bad.” Some people are just not going to be interested, but this frees you up to fully invest in those that are. If you were to send out a newsletter and end up with a few “unsubscribes” as a result and one heartfelt email from a fan, that fan’s response far outweighs the unsubscribes. (More than likely those unsubscribes are people you’ve never heard from anyway.) Having a meaningful connection with your fans is much more rewarding and better for your career seeing as these are the folks that will talk about your art, come to your shows, and share your news or posts with others.
I’ve recently finished another new painting in the In Our Veins series. It’s titled Tree of Life and it is an acrylic on canvas, 4″ wide by 6″ high. The idea for this one was from one of my earlier sketches, though I modified it a bit and added the moths. View the painting online here: www.amyguidry.com/tree-of-life.html.
Tomorrow night is the opening of Les Bon Artiste Roule at the Zigler Art Museum in Jennings, LA. The show consists of artists from the Lafayette area that have previously exhibited at the Zigler. I have several paintings in the exhibit from my New Realm series. Artists featured are: Annette Aucoin, Vergie Banks, Charlotte Broussard, Amy Guidry, Louise Guidry, Michele Hudelot, Ann Ella Joubert, Deanna Meche, Mary Morvant, Mary Broussard Perrin, Paul Schexnayder, Patrick Soper, and Myra Winters. The opening reception will be held February 16th from 6-8pm and the exhibit will remain up through March 9th.
I’ve added a new painting to my In Our Veins series, which also quickly found a new home after featuring it in my recent newsletter. Nurture is an acrylic on canvas, 4″ x 4.” Nurture comes from one of my original sketches for this series and was perfect for the smaller canvas size. I comb through my sketchbooks on a regular basis looking over ideas I’ve saved and reworking others. I’d say about 95% of the paintings I do come from sketches I’ve created well in advance since I typically work on one painting at a time, hence the need to save ideas in my sketchbook.
There seems to be a common misconception among artists and even among the general public, for that matter, that I wanted to take a moment to dispel. Some are of the opinion that if they can just accomplish [insert goal here] that they will make it as an artist (although this applies to non-artists as well). The thing is, there will never be “one” gallery or “one” show or “one” award that will “make” you. I believe this misconception stems from what appears to be the overnight success of others. Anytime we hear about an artist or musician or athlete in the news for the first time (to our knowledge), we think they are an overnight success because we’ve never heard of them before and now they are famous. It wasn’t that they accomplished one particular goal and found instant fame. Sure, there is probably one particular accomplishment being highlighted in said news feature, but that’s simply because they need a hook for their story. The fact is, this person has been working their butt off “behind the scenes.” Just because we’ve never heard of them before doesn’t mean that this now-superstar wasn’t working two jobs or repeatedly getting rejected or struggling to make a name for themselves or all of the above at some point in time. I’ve heard of many artists that worked odd jobs and couldn’t get into galleries that are now successful.
In order to become a success at anything, whether you are an artist or not, is to diligently apply yourself to each opportunity. Sure, Larry Gagosian could walk into your studio, buy your work and make you a star overnight, but VERY rarely does that ever happen. And even in those instances, if you were to look backward you will see a series of small steps that led up to that moment. You have to build your career, brick by brick, layer by layer. There’s no quick-fix, magic pill, or get-rich-quick scheme that will do the work for you.
Although instant success would be nice, the good news is it’s much more realistic (and reassuring) to know that you are in control of your success. Rest assured that the steps you are taking now are improving your career rather than waiting around and just hoping for a lucky break. Take a look at what you’ve accomplished over the past year, or even over the past few years, and you will probably find that you’ve done much more than you ever thought possible. Now imagine what you could accomplish over the upcoming year, or five years from now, or ten. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown.
My work was recently featured on Eclectic Living Home’s blog. Pam Battson writes, “Upon first glance these works appear to feature beautiful women with beautiful creatures until one delves deeper and discovers skeletons, animal heads, and flower sprouting skulls. Intriguing.” View the feature online here: http://eclecticlivinghome.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/amy-guidry/.