While the studio stockpile is being tidied and the bear is galloomping around the studio, let's chat for a second about online art sales and best practices. Artists, feel free to listen in! Collectors, thank you for letting me bend your ear for a moment.
Online galleries are wonderful places to be introduced to new collectors and to be tantalized by art from around the world. But they also charge artists a percentage of each painting sold - less than a brick and mortar gallery, for sure, but still a sizable chunk. Then Square or PayPal grab a slice of the pie. It gets whittled away pretty fast.
When collectors purchase directly from the artist (like on my website here, or in person), there is no commission paid to anyone - just Square or PayPal fees. The artist gets to keep most everything! So, for me personally, this means two things:
1. I love it when people buy from my website! It is a huge help.
2. There is more flexibility in prices on my website. This lets me work with your budget and help you get what you want for less cha-ching.
So, to encourage you to take a few minutes exploring my gallery, here is a coupon for 25% off anything on my site. It is sort of like I am paying YOU the commission instead of a middle-person. Let's be rebels together! Enter REBEL25 at checkout - good until 1/21/19.
Thanks for listening. Now go out there and cause a little trouble. :)
"Rearranged" - charcoal and pencil on toned paper, 18" x 24" "Blue" - acrylic and charcoal on paper, 11" x 14" . Ready to frame. Each available here and at Artfinder.
"Inevitably, certain experiences rearrange us."
Oh, Mark Nepo! How did you know? Rearranged. I have been rearranged. And still sorting out where the pieces fit well together.
This puddling into the new year is a bit off-putting for me. Plans? Schedules? Calendars? These have always been my crutches. They're still here, of course, but I am keeping them just out of reach. Careening through each day like a drunken bull and letting the terrain beneath my feet determine which way I will meander.
This isn't a graceful method for navigating through life. But it is something new, which leads to, well, more new things. Like an urban hike after dark with my sisters - standing on the muddy bluff of Overlook, peering down at the sparkly lights of the rail yard and the glistening Willamette river, navigating flooded back alleyways and streets. Graceful? No. Exhilarating? Yes.
For those who attended my "Once Upon an Artist" demonstrations this past fall (or anyone else who is interested), Andrew Simonet, author of Making Your Life as an Artist now has a workbook you can download for FREE here. The book is also available for download. It's a little roadmap toward making your artsy dreams come true.
If you freed your heart and mind from just one less-than-stellar habit, where else would you put them to use? Maybe toward bravery, or making home-made ramen (like my soup goddess sister, Wendy), toward understanding something elusive or maybe just daydreaming of the many things you can put your newly-freed heart and mind to use on. :)
My hands are working gently at slump softening. One drawing at a time. One leave-it-all-on-the-table-in-a-heap-of-exhaustion life-drawing session at a time. Thank goodness I now live in the land of caffeinated goodness on every corner.
This week's PDX recommendation is Sweedeedee, where you can start your day with a savory porridge and a slice of honey whiskey bread. And where the staff will dazzle you with vinyl LPs played continuously while you eat. You'll get a kick out of saying "Sweedeedee" all day long, too.
And that is truly the beauty of a well-run session. The leader carefully times, announces, forces a pose change and starts the clock again. You are at the mercy of the tick tick ticking and forced to shut out all of your hesitation and just do it. While others are watching. And there, in that space between thoughts, you are awakened.
Every fiber of your being is in the moment, in flow, observing and responding, not thinking, just being. In a packed classroom, "the sea of all beings" is right there, ebbing and flowing around you, touching but not touching as you are completely alone but not alone. Finally, finally - the monkey mind (of which I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN I am the QUEEN) is hushed. Oh bliss! Oh perfection! Let's do that again, shall we?
Wherever you are in the wide world, as the new year opens the door to unending possibility, I wish for you a return to wonder and the unwavering belief in a trail of breadcrumbs that points to the best life possible. And, of course, a liberal dose of malarkey along the way. Happy New Year!
This week's picks in PDX!
Hiking: Tryon Creek Park. This park in south west Portland is a great hike when you can't commit to a full day. Lots of small trails, plenty of incline and interesting bridges and gullies. And it's dang pretty!
Dining: Wayfinder. Great beer, great food. Try the Freedom Hash (vegan) or the Chicken Schnitzel. And they deliver through the Caviar app (when you don't want to get out of your pajamas). Easy peasy.
Fun and Games: Guardian Games. The largest selection of board (and other) games I have ever seen. And a pub. And some super helpful game nerds who will make sure you leave with the best game ever. We really appreciated their IRS sale (The IRS really sucks inventory reduction sale) and so did half of PDX who stood in line with us.
That kind of bravery is exactly what we're called to do in art. Paint without boundaries, censors or inner critics. Ignore the masses and break new ground - even if others cannot yet appreciate it (or never do). It was a much needed kick in the pants for me, and has me more determined than ever to bushwhack a wildly creative path in the new year.
And so a sword-wielding warrior woman has taken over the studio. I love it when that happens.
This is also a lesson in surrounding yourself with the right people. Creative people need creative people. No timid Tinkerbells or passive Petunias (or Peters) - give us brazen Berthas and courageous Clydes! We rise (or fall) to the bar set set by our peers. A high bar pushes us forward and helps us feel unfettered. I am darned lucky to be surrounded by artists who don't stop pressing forward.
Now where on earth did I put my sword?
Be patient. Love the questions, Sit with what is unresolved.
There it is....the dreaded "P-word" again. But somehow, here, it is easier to wait. Easier to pause - delightful, even. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, stops to exchange pleasantries, offer a smile, ask if you need help. I have to stop myself from rushing and bustling through the day, because I think here that would be downright rude! Just like in lovely Listowel in Ireland. I am doing a lot of sighing and smiling here. It is sweet relief.
In the studio, there is a temptation to resolve my direction - who am (artistically) here in Oregon? What will I create? Who is my muse? What does she want? Ahhhhhh. But here, too, I will love the questions themselves and strap myself in for the journey. If I listen closely, there might be magic along the way.
For those of you contemplating a visit to the PNW, I will share my favorite new spots as I find them. These might be cool places to visit if you're ever out here (which I hope you will be!)
Today's lunch spot, and my new favorite AMAZING Mexican restaurant is Tamale Boy in the Dekum Triangle. It's just blocks from my house, and super delicious. Try the cauliflower.
This week's delightful shop discovery is actually a favorite from a prior visit to PDX, and I was thrilled to find it still thriving: Woonwinkle. Who can resist this?
Though blog posts will continue in December without new paintings, Malarkey Art Headquarters and Pongo Shipping Services are closed for the month as the Great Westward Migration commences. If an original painting here or at Artfinder has grabbed your heart and left you white-knuckled in fear of it flying away, you may still purchase! It will be shipped once unpacked in Oregon.
However, if your needs are holiday driven and time-sensitive, please enjoy art in re-printed form at Red Bubble or Fine Art America.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation