Friday, December 19, 2014

as the year comes to an end, i am wrapping up a few 

projects and will be taking time off  to spend  with my family 

and friends.  thank you for visiting  this year.  whether you have 

left a comment or not, i know you are busy and i appreciate 

that you have taken the time.   this week i have found a new (to me) 

obsession....instagram where i have begun to post some

photographs and paintings.  you can visits me there

as well at irenerafael.  

happy holidays to all!

today i am sending all who participate throughout the year with 
kristin and ava at paint party friday many thanks.  you feed the creative fire 
and bring inspiration each week.  i will see you in the new year.


Friday, December 12, 2014

hosting a solo show, part 3

this is the final section in a series of three.  you can check the previous two
posts to read other aspects of hosting a showing of your work.


 create a numbered inventory list for each show
listing the title, media, price with a photo of the work so the person
taking the money can easily recognize the painting.   one list is kept 
at the check out.  i also print out wall tags to be put along side
of the painting with this same information (your have seen this in galleries), 
including the number of the painting so it can be matched with the list.

mistakes to be avoided....

have all your work ready to go well in advance of the show.  this 
includes signatures, final finishes, arrangement for hanging
and photographs.  i have created unnecessary stress for myself
by deciding i wanted to paint fresh new paintings at the last minute.
there is enough work to be done before a show without this.  i have done it 
both ways.  you will enjoy your show much more if you are relaxed 
and not adding backings, etc. at the last minute.  something always goes 
wrong and then you are in a bind. 

invite people, tell folks what you are up to.  art is a great equalizer,
people of all ages and backgrounds can appreciate it.
it is fun, beautiful, colorful and people like to see it in a relaxed
environment.  for my first two shows i did not send out my own
mailers until the very last minute.  i didn't want to 'bother' people or 
make them feel obligated.  this is not the case.  people want to know
and want to support you and want to see your latest work but 
they won't know about it unless you tell them.  think of all the 
people who have asked you about your art.  include them. 
i have met many new people and have heard first hand responses
to my art.  it is encouraging and exciting beyond what i have ever imagined. 

its personal.  people tell me i should charge more.  my answer is that i will
when i am ready.  i have had people want to give be a business lesson so that 
i will make more from my art. 
i love that people can afford and enjoy my art.  close to one hundred of my paintings 
are in homes throughout the world.  that makes  me feel very good.  
 i am prolific, i paint daily. i don't want my paintings stored forever. 
i want them out and hanging.  each artists needs to make their own decision on this.
there are no rights or wrongs, no comparing, it does not make your art
better because the price tag is higher.  i talked to a young gentleman who 
bought two of my piece yesterday.  he was mentored by an art
collector.  while some art was out of his price dance,
 he was grateful he could afford to have my art in his home. 
i like knowing this.

putting your art out in the world...

i cannot believe that i am writing this.  although i have been painting for 
less than four years, it has taken a lifetime for me
to feel comfortable putting myself and now my art out into the world.
i have discovered that while it is difficult, it has many rewards.
i have met many new people some of whom have started to collect
my work.  i have heard personal stories through art, have been
surprised at what my art has meant personally to people.  i don't think
is is personal to me.  i believe if you put your heartfelt work, 
whatever it may be out, the response will surprise and delight you.
(in my opinion)

do not second guess yourself or what other people might like.
i could have sold the painting that my least favorite five
times over.  it surprised me.  i would have left it home but
i decided at the last minute to take it.  you never know
what touches another.  another example is a set of three
sketches i took to my last show in august.  the person hosting
the show did not like it so it took it home.  sunday, i sold
the set and took orders for several duplicates.

i hope you are encouraged to try this means of showing
your beautiful art.  i would love to hear about it if you do.

happy paint party friday to all.  thank you, 
kristin and ava for hosting this creative group.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

sold paintings waiting to be picked up 

solo show alternative, part 2

time of day, number of hours how to advertise or announce the event.
i have held shows for 4 hours, either in the late afternoon,
4-8PM or
midday, 11-3PM.
this has proven to allow a nice stream of  people streaming through
with enough time to greet,talk to each person and answer questions.
we have sent out emails, handed out  post cards and
posted on Facebook and on my blog.  a follow up notice a week or so
before the date is helpful.  i like to include directions to the event.
it is a good idea to ask for rsvps so you can plan for the refreshments.

i offer light finger foods and beverages.  i love proseco and find it
festive so i serve it along with non alcoholic drinks.  it is lovely if friends
offer to bring food as it takes on more thing off of your long list.

also decide on whether there is a commission to be paid,
who is going to hang the work, whether  paintings can be sold
in advance of the show, whether to keep the paintings up 
throughout the show or let people take them as they are 
purchased, what form of payment will be acceptable to 
be taken (cash, check, credit cards)

hanging and display options....
there are a number of ways to display your work
from the traditional d-rings and wire with nails on the wall 
to alternatives methods.    i have tried all of the above.  at one venue
we hang paintings in an outdoor patio, some are sit on tables, on the patio wall,
on wrought iron dividers, on easels and on music stands.  the variety only
adds to the festivities.  at the latest show the walls had special delicate paint
treatment.  we did not want to use any nails nor did we want them to sit on 
surfaces or on the floor.  this was challenging.  we discovered command hooks
and not permanent double stick velcro.  for the most part it worked well
though not perfect.  

you will need to decide whether you want to have all of 
your paintings framed.  in the past i have framed all of my work.  for sunday's show
i  wanted to present a series of paintings and mono prints done on paper.  there were about
twenty.  i wanted them to be hung but did not want to frame them all.  also, i have
storage issues at home already and the bulk of framed work would cause more problems.
i decided on having all pieces matted only and hung.  i think it was 
a viable alternative.  you have seen the photo above in yesterday's post.  
the non framed  paintings are displayed on the right.

tomorrow, paperwork, pricing, mistakes to avoid

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

altered photo collage, sold

a one person show of your art is a viable 
alternative to gallery showings.  it is personal,
intimate and a lot of fun.  and you can create it to suit yourself.

evie, the birthday girl and curator with friends, jerry and nancy

i have been asked what it takes to have a one person show.
although having three shows does not make me an expert,
i can tell you some of the ingredients from my experience.
i have broken up the content  and will be posting on this topic
over the next few days.

cynthia, which deciding, finally buying five paintings

the first is to have a person who supports your art and is 
willing to hold the event in their home or place of business.
i have been fortunate and the people hosting the shows 
have approached me but since this is a relatively new concept
of showing art, you might think of people or businesses
who you can  approach with this concept.

some of the things you will need to start thinking about...
a mailing list of people to invite, both your list of friends
and the host's

a body of work.  look over your work.  are there any gaps
in the content?  can you see a theme?    how would they look
hung together?

tomorrow i will include other decisions you will need to consider.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

over 70 paints hung.  here is a portion

of the village that has helped put this show

together.   it is always good to break bread together.

 i am beyond excited.  one more sleep.


i hope you get some time to visit the art 
created at paint party friday 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

wip, mixed media on board

if you look hard enough you can see a face off to the left.

in gathering up paintings for my upcoming show i found 

this little painting.  i was about to have it framed when 

i noticed that her head that i thought so charming was way off centered.  

my workshop teacher, frank minuto, said that when

his mentor wanted to change apart of a painting

he glued something on top of it and repainted.  hmmmm,

i could do that.  so i glued tissue on top of it.

but before i got a chance to paint a new face, i framed, matted,

delivered and helped to hang over 40 paintings and there are 

more to come.  almost everything else has taken a back seat

to impending deadlines.  this painting is a reflection of my state right now...head on a 

little crooked and wanting to right itself.  my wonderful friends, 

evie and joann

are creating a stunning solo show.  their  efforts and enthusiasm has filled my heart.

if you live in the area, i'd love to see you on december 7.

wishing you a wonderful weekend.

posting with ava and kristin and the creative folks at paint party friday.

Friday, November 14, 2014

a peek at what is on my easel

acrylic on bristol paper

"life is not a straight line.

life is a zig-zag."

maira kalman

i am a maira kalman fan, her wit, her eye 

and her sensibility and humor. 

her  a new children's alphabet book 

is irresistible....except for the fact

that i am still decluttering, a bag out 

of my house a day, minimum and i am not

adding anything to until i have 

completed the process.  but i just wanted you

to see how charming her pages can be.  maybe you 

can buy the book and tell me about it :)

 i tend toward the obsessive in the sense that whatever

i do, i do it one hundred percent.   things get

confusing when several important events or activities

coincide.  as it does now, where i am decluttering and

have an upcoming solo show.   i do my best.  

thank you for visiting today.

i would love it if you had the time to drop me a line.


today i am posting to paint party friday.
an online community of artists hosted thanks to
 eva and kristen.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

not all

who wander

are lost

j.r.r. tolkien

have a lovely weekend and

thank you for stopping by


posting today with the lovely folks at paint party friday.
i am grateful to our hosts, kristen and eva for their
continued dedication to developing community and 
to all of the friends i have met here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

journal page


i will spill 
the dust from my lap,
climb the great
wide trunk

inspiration from anthropologie displays

of an ancient tree
fingernails embedded
in the bark,
scramble up the 
most elegant branch,

and drink sloppily from the luscious juice
from the ripest vermillion fruit.

painted canvas

i met rosanne while we worked with sharon olds on a small workshop

at esalen.she was a promising poet and talented musician as well.

i don't know how i got the nerve to apply but  was honored 

and so nervous to have been accepted to  the workshop.  

i will never forget the experience working  with other poets in the 

garden landscape along the big sur coast,

the scrumptious vegetarian food grown from the gardens and

the lively conversations with people from all over the country. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

acrylic, pencil, oil pastel, wip

one of my first painting teachers was jesse reno.  he 

starts paintings with colors you love, applying with his hands.

then looking for any images or visions within the paint

i have been revisiting this style of painting in preparation 

for an upcoming show in december.

the palos verdes art center currently has on display

photo by the palos verdes art center

the creations of mark newport.  he hand knitted these 

super hero costumes, extra large in size.  very dramatic.

also showing are these mixed media costumes by

photo by the palos verdes art center

kerelle levy.

photo by the palos verdes art center

and an interactive living room.  i wish i had time that day to

sit and reminisce all of the hours of holding knitting needles 

in my hands.  i will return for sure!

a note to visitors,  
blogger deleted this post which i had posted earlier.
my apologies if you commented earlier.

posting today along with hostesses eva and kristin 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

a wee packet of papers

stuffed to the brim

with unique papers, each a delight.

a perfect gift for a mixed media artist sent to me from

my friend jacki long, collage artist extraordinaire. 

 i can only imagine how long it took to compile these treasures.  

i take this packet to coffee shops when i collage 

in my journal.  each time i use a paper i think of her.

“It's not how much we give 
but how much love we put into giving.”