Thursday, September 7, 2017

I am not sure if I will have a physical art show this year

Well I have been trying to build up money for an upcoming art show.  I needed the money by  9/15/17 it's 9/7/17 so I am not sure it will happen.

I wanted to do an art show in Windham CT it occurs in Oct but you have to apply and pay before the show.

I try to do a physical show of some sort every year.  I sometimes wonder why I bother however not being negative; its just that I make my money online.  Seems like a better fit for me.  It fits my schedule as I am always working my "normal" job on the weekends when most shows occur.  Seems to me like more and more art business is being done online and you should go to where things are going to be instead of where they are to stay on track. and not fall behind.

I wonder if I am the only artist that feels this way?

I recently went to a local gallery to seek representation and she was more then willing to represent me but I wondered looking at the other art there whether it made sense for me to display there.  The art looked like beginner works and there is nothing wrong with that but I am a little more seasoned and didn't think it would match her place.

  I wonder if seeking out a gallery in Willington CT is realistic as there isn't much of anything to choose from; which brings me back to doing business online.  It so much easier to show, share, and collect funds.   Other  functions are also easier; such as setting up displays (because there is non except your gallery should look nice); also giving a percentage to charity is easier; calling for friends, family, co-workers and past customers to help out is also easier most of the time.  Though that being said some sites will not let you contact the buyer or past customer outside of a sale that they are involved in; this depends a great deal on what website or sites you are using.  Still advertising is so much easier with a with clicks and a few dollars, sometimes free, your done.  So again this question comes up why do actual shows.  I know there are many reasons but for today I am just going to ask me this question and leave it at that.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Well here I am reflecting on almost thirty years of creating art.  I am turning the big 40 on August 24th.  I have been painting and creating art with "real" art supplies since I was twelve.  (Not thirty years but close.)

I have looked at my old paintings and thought of how I have changed and how I have stayed the same. I have always had a impressionistic leaning. I still do.  My drawing skills have become much better of course. 

It seems like I have finally been selling my work consistently for some years now.  Lately especially this last month I have seen room for hope; as I get better at showing and marketing my art.  That is my greatest challenge.

Selling has gotten to be such a dirty word in our society and yet it is necessary and good.  I am sharing my passions with others and giving back.  All products and services need passion and a use otherwise they wither and die. 

I will always create art. Sell or no sell.  Somehow art is more alive when people are actually making it a part of their lives.

People make it a part of their lives by painting or admiring or purchasing; visiting a museum.  Seems too often the visual arts that aren't related to television, sports, video games, or dance these days get left behind.

The internet while flooding the market making it easier and cheaper to afford original art work gives me hope; despite the fact that artists are as far I as I can tell making less big ticket sales.  Selling has become easier and freer as an artist doesn't have to censor themselves are stick to painting just one thing as in the old days were traditional art galleries were masters and artist must do as they say or not sell or work.

Selling is now global or in my case national were before I could only sell to people within my adjacent towns. This is very helpful for consistent work and sales.  Which equals less years of no profit or no sales because you are selling pool is huge and at times maybe a bit overwhelming.   It means there are plenty of people out there looking to own.

The future seems bright.

I sit here and reflect on this and that.  I have been doing this a long time.  Seems at times an almost cruel joke as I work and get little in return at times.  Still I have customers who have contacted me  at times years after the sales and have told me how much my paintings have meant to them.  I wake up everyday excited about work and I am these days generally happy as I know it is my choice to be happy.  For some a "normal" 9to5 job is just right; for me this is just right.  I work part-time and am an artist part time.  At times I have done a more "normal" job.  But for me art is a major part of my life and not a choice I have to paint and draw.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Finding a subject to write about?


Well it is July 18, 2017  as I write this and I am wondering what to write about.  I always just write about my days as an artist and what that is like.  I wonder if it is a bit boring?  At any rate I guess I will write about my day again.

I have been going over my business plans as always.  I have decided to list more items on ebay even if it means non-art items.  I like picking as they call it.  These items I find get from family, buy from various sources, and find, do have value.  I have tried to do just art on ebay but seems like I get less views to my art and less sales of my art which is very counter intuitive. 

I hope to do more charity work with my sales out of genuine concern for pets.  Perhaps other charities in the future.  The ASPCA is my charity of choice for now.  I have a passion for all animals especially cats and dogs.

I hope people will help me.  Right now I can only afford to give 10% on some of my art sales because I have to pay for my own expenses and living expenses materials and such.

Today is a lazy Tuesday I woke up.  My husband had gone off to work and I blasted the radio while working on my listings and online promotions.  Great way to start the day. 

Later I'll be going to my part-time retail job.  Exercise and getting out of the house can be a bit of a challenge when your an artist.  Yesterday was paint day as I call it and I spent many hours painting not sure how many. 

My husband got a new well paying job so my fear of having to get more "normal" work is over for now. I can continue to do my online and offline sales.  I had made a decision this time when his seasonal job ended that I was not looking for more work that this is my work.  Nathan is always so supportive and tells me I don't have to work but I know things run smoother in every respect if I work at least a part-time job.  This time his job is not seasonal.  Thank God!

I thank the universe, God, for a life I enjoy and feel I have value to others!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Today so far is much like many of my days.  I woke up had breakfast and started creating art. I worked from about 8am till about 1pm; had lunch.  Now I sit here typing this.


I started a painting of magnolias that were outside my house.  (they are no longer in season but were just a few days ago.  I think the flowers against the backdrop of my house makes a great pattern.  A sense of the abstract in the natural world.  The photo I took has a flatness to it yet it also is a real scene.


Anyway not much to report.  I have continued to post on Saatchi.com  To be more accurate the address is www.saatchiart.com/tarastephanos  This is where I will be posting my higher priced items.  My ebay store is http://stores.ebay.com/blueartmouse


I love to paint but some self control is needed for sure.  Today is a lovely day and I would love to be outside.  Great thing about being an artist is that you can kind of make up your own schedule.  Still don't be fooled I usually put in well over the "normal" forty hours a week between my art and my part-time sometimes multiple part-time jobs. 

I ordered an inflatable kayak this morning and hoping it provides me with fun and inspiration.  I have used kayaks before but I had to borrow them.  Now I will own one; a two sitter for me and my husband. He's really excited his birthday is in a couple days and the boat should arrive a few days later.

Little Leeah whom is a neighbor and; I am her Aunt?   (Long story)  was over last night their was a power outage and so she came over to visit.  (We have a generator)  She flew through the house and had a great time and felt the need to look through all my artworks.  She said I was like Picasso.  I don't have kids of my own .  Partially by choice; partially because of a physical problem.  It made me feel as if I was giving the gift of art to the next generation.  I have other nephews and nieces as well.  It feels good to know I could pass down my love for art to others. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Well I just finished watching a Street Cat named Bob a movie about a cat that befriends a human trying to get off of drugs.  I was reminded of just how wonderful our fury friends are.

Few relationships last as long or as loyal as a pet and it's owner. Though owner maybe a bit of a weird term; pet parent, or pet friend, maybe more appropriate in my way of thinking.

I was reminded of my own cat whom came to me on a day when I was lonely, feeling helpless, poor, without a job, and without a child. 

My kitty picked me and I am so grateful.

He was a starving kitten in the woods near my home.  I was on a walk trying to stay trim when I heard his cry his desperate cry.  It was a kitten's cry but it was a babies cry for it's mother.  I could hear his mother and reunited them but his mother took off and as I walked back home the kitten followed.  Try as I might I could not reunite the kitten and mother.

Smokey was under a pound and his ribs were like sticks under my fingers but he was adorable. I brought him to a shelter and several vets offices and no one would take him in unless I paid them.  Seemed a bit odd to me.  I was already smitten but my apartment was a no pets zone. (Thankfully I swayed the landlord whom happen to be my father.)

Smokey as I named him (still remember the vet's secretary  asking me his name telling me I had to call him something; Lucky came to mind, but I decided Smokey sounded cooler.) Well he had fleas and he was anemic, the vet didn't think he'd live.  I knew he would because any creature who could cry as much as him definitely had the will to live.

Smokey has been my best friend for close to eight years now and I love my little kitty.

When I am sad he nuzzles me or does something silly.  He always has a purr for me and he is very good at massage.  Yes a bit weird but my cat likes to jump up on me and knead my tummy or legs sometimes my back.  I think it's cause he thinks I am his mother I guess that's accurate.

I have had some pretty great pets in my life including a dog named Blueberry, a dog named Hershey, a dog named Mocha, and a horse named Rojo; others too.   Seems to me they give so much.  This is why I paint animals and why I give when I can to the ASPCA. (I am pretty poor but every little bit helps)

I paint lots of different subjects,  not just animals. Today though I was thinking of them.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Well I realize I've been a bit crabby lately.

Anyway, money will always be an ongoing battle. 

I am happy that I get to paint and enjoy life.  Every grateful to have a man that is patient and believes in me.

At any rate I have been thinking about places to sell my art and cost effectiveness.  My own happiness is of course important too.   I haven't made any money doing physical brick and mortar shows in a few years not even breaking even on that endeavor so this year I think I will do stricktly online sales.  It costs less is less of a pain and I make sales regularly.

I am working on a pastel/colored pencil work of art right now.  It has two people drinking coffee on a porch. 

Style is always changing and evolving.  This can drive me crazy as I want to look like a coherent body of work.  Still some very famous artists in history have had evolving and ever changing styles.

The trees are in bloom, I feel good, and it's time to make and share art.  I think I will make more pet art soon as people love them and I do as well.

It's morning I just finished some paperwork and it's time to focus.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Well here I am again.

I woke up painted/drew for a while.  To me they are the same thing; as I use painting techniques with drawing techniques in the same work.  I was working in watercolor pencil and colored pencil on polyester paper this morning; with an acrylic underpainting .  Then I had lunch did some exercise, some research and took a little break.  Now I am back at it.

My guy is at work(he found a job thank-god.)  I am feeling guilty as I am only working part-time; though my artwork is easily a full time gig.  I checked and I still am not at a profit for this current year. Despite selling a ton. It makes me want to cry.  Why be so honest?  Not sure.

I have to ask for more money for my art, plain and simple.  Doesn't matter if anyone even buys it at the new prices; last year I was in the hole by a few hundred dollars despite the fact that I sold close to one a week.  Which is like selling them almost as fast as you make them.

Well it's nice out and everything is in bloom.  It's beautiful.  (I have seasonal allergies and my  sinuses aren't great.)  I guess  I am a bit moody today.  Who could blame me I work and work and try and try and nothing. I just keep digging myself into a hole. I am grateful to have time to work on art but it's not going as planned.  I must only blame myself but can I fix it?   People say it's a hobby or that I shouldn't expect much.  I think that's their problem.  Picasso, others, they made good money in there lives. So what's up? What's to fix?  More shows? Different online places? Different style? Different subject? More advertisement?  This all costs money. 

I have worked my whole life towards this one goal and I am afraid I am a rotten artist or a rotten sales person. I study art history, I study art, I study selling trends, still I am no closer to "being" an "artist".

Nathan says why do you do that?  Why do you put yourself down? I don't know why.

I am an artist? 

I have to do better.

I am a needle in a haystack, never to be found.  I don't need the limelight I just need to make more money to pay bills.  I should put my pencils and paint away and just work a "real job".  Well what one should do and what one does are two different things.  I won't ever stop creating art.

Honestly at one point this past winter Nathan and I had nothing to eat but rice and beans which I had to buy on credit.  We didn't have enough money to heat the house well; 58 degrees is a might chilly.  We lounged in our coats and used the space heater to stay warm.  Our bills were way over due . (Nice to say it's fixed for now we have food and the bills are paid.)

I sort of hate myself right now for being so honest and writing this.  I am also mad for the fact that I am having difficulty being "normal"; working and paying the bills.  

I understand why my parents never wanted me to pursue art.  I thought art would give meaning to my life's work.  Which to me was more important then money or even my own life.

People probably don't realize the work that goes into art.   I know I should probably not publish this in my blog it's pretty personal but perhaps people should get more personal and up-close with art.  Then and only then would people appreciate it more.  Or maybe I am just selfish and need a reality check. 

I never know what to write in blogs and I can only be myself sometimes I wish I was some one else but I can only be me.  I have tried covering myself in normality and playing the part; really an elephant is an elephant, no matter how hard it tries to be a squirrel.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Well here I am again today, two days in a row of blogging; that's a real achievement for me!

Anyway here I am sort of still wigging out that yesterday I quit one of my part time jobs.  In part I did it to concentrate on my art more.  In part I was way way over tired.

I started the day off right and planned out listing items and eating breakfast and relaxing slightly eat lunch and here I am blogging.

I truly hope to understand what is and is not working with my art sales.  I sell a ton.  Often one a week or more so the question becomes why am I not making much money.  (I need money for bills and materials just like any other human.)  Well honestly I have to take a hard look at expenses and the amount of money I charge.  My art is sometimes underpriced I think well really I know.  My materials costs are about what they should be in my mind. 

Anyway some of my works will now be on Saatchi.com under my name Tara Stephanos.

These works will be ones I deem as being more expensive and valuable.  I will be putting up a direct link soon but not today.  Still you can find me at Saatchi.com

I will also be continuing my ebay sales.  I will be offering a larger range of prices and sizes; or at least that is my plan.  My prices will be from around $20.00 to a little under a $1000.  I will be pricing them based on how valuable I feel they are.  Most of my items will still be on ebay for under a hundred dollars or so.

I enjoy sharing with others it's not just about money.

So am sitting here planning out some new works.  I hope to go back to some older works and rework them.  I have one of my mother with sunglasses swimming at the lake which would look great if I cut it down and reworked it.  Hope to have that up soon.

I am inspired to do some landscapes too as it is spring and the trees are budding here.

The magnolia tree outside my front door has many buds this year.  Last year it had only one as if it was in morning for Nathan's father's death which occurred right before Easter last year. This year the tree is happy.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

 Well it has been some time since I have blogged.  So many things to do in a day. 

This past year has been one of work and continued struggle.  Moving may change the scenery but your still there wherever you go.  I have been working retail as per usual and working on painting an listing and selling/sharing when I can which is almost daily.  Somehow though the blog is always the last item on my list. 

If your reading this and would like more updates as to what works I am doing and where to find more works of art of mine please visit me at my online store http://stores.ebay.com/blueartmouse.  You can sign up for coupons and for newsletters if you wish.  I would love to hear from others.

Lately my inspiration has been the process itself.  I have been playing with mixed media.  I have been exploring colored pencils, pastels, and acrylic tinted gessoes on a variety of surfaces.  I have used these items in the past but I have been really exploring them lately.  This new discovery is in part because I have sensitivities to the chemicals and have come up with strategies to keep my working environment safe and less toxic for me.  That being said I love some of the results I have been getting lately.

I recently discovered that yes colored pencil does work good on hardboard or canvas; as I hadn't tried that before.

Today I quit one of my part-time jobs (I had two plus my artwork)  I was getting over tired.  It made me feel lousy to do it but it felt like the right thing to do.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and was afraid of relapse.  I have anxiety and have had panic attacks.  Seems they occur when I take on to much.

So now as I sit here I feel pretty good.  My guy hasn't been working and money is a bit of an issue. He's looking daily and thinks he might have a job soon.  I can not be several people at once, I can only be me.

YouTube and all the artists out there have inspired me in the last few months the world is so abundant and art has such value to so many.  Why would anyone view it negatively?  Art is anything you wish; and everything you wish; it's a blank slate were all is possible; you just need your imagination.  You can enjoy some one else's vision; you can have or be anything.  Why on earth wouldn't you love art?