Hudson River or Bust!

July 28, 2010
By L Diane Johnson
Hudson River or Bust!

HAVE YOU EVER DREAMED of going to a place for a very long time? I will be visiting just such a place late this week. Among my top three historic painting movements is that of the Hudson River School. Not a school per-se, but a movement started and still thrives along the famous river of the same name in New York State. Well, I was there as an excited tot of three, on my uncle’s sailboat in Nyack, NY. If only I had an inkling of where I was at that age – all I could have done then were a few crayon pictures on manila paper anyway Anticipation I cannot hold a candle to colleagues who have spent a lifetime painting in this exquisite region, rich with facts about the birth / early growth of North America – and dripping with beauty. The paintings by Cole, Church and...
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Grand Canyon as Painting Instructor

July 26, 2010
By L Diane Johnson
Grand Canyon as Painting Instructor

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME! The last twenty years have landed me here in 2010, and 1990 seems just a few moments ago – not two decades behind me. Most people do not know that the late 80s, early 90s were a transition period for me artistically. I migrated from creating very tight representational paintings to a more loose, Impressionistic (bordering on Expressionistic) style. Nineteen ninety marked the year my husband and I bought a beagle pup, Miss Maggie, who would sleep beneath my easel as I painted Canyon Song. This was a 2 x 6 foot depiction of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim with a bend in the river was one of my ‘teachers’. What I Loved I so much “got into” this painting that I hated to stop. The changes in light peering down into the canyon captivated me. One of the Seven Wonders...
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Publishing a Book About You & Your Artwork

July 22, 2010
By L Diane Johnson
Publishing a Book About You & Your Artwork

EVERYONE SEEKS THEIR FIFTEEN MINUTES of fame. One way to achieve this goal is to have their body of art work bound in a beautiful book. Here are just a few of a multitude of considerations. Publisher or Self-Published Decide whether you want your work published in a book by a publisher or if you wish to self-publish. Both are viable, however, with the inception of lulu.com and other order as-you-go companies many artists today are going the self-publishing route. Emerging or Known If you are a “known” artist, you are more likely to be picked-up by a publisher that you approach with a proposal. If you go this route, research which publishers print books about individual living artists, how to put a professional package together to send to a publisher, then submit. Important: only submit to one publisher at a time. If they decline your submittal, send to...
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Weathering and Winning in an Art Market Slump

July 17, 2010
By L Diane Johnson
Weathering and Winning in an Art Market Slump

IF YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST AT ANY SKILL LEVEL, you have probably have felt a more significant downturn in sales now more than in recent years: years that have been lean at best. Most significantly, fluctuating gas/housing prices and more profoundly, the economic issues facing our country on Capitol Hill. At this writing the price of most everything including art are dropping incrementally. The economic outlook by workers/investors is still shaky and impacting all of our lives. I still remember the 1980s boom in sales. Everyone was selling their art: from the highest to lowest prices. We were all winners. Emerging artists were catapulted to star status in some quarters, and established artists’ careers flourished daring to test higher prices in the marketplace. Oh what a time that was! Remembering the “hay days.” When the 1990s hit, so did what I call the “wall of art sales stagnation”...
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Survey: Artist, What’s Your “One Thing?”

July 16, 2010
By L Diane Johnson
Survey: Artist, What’s Your “One Thing?”

REMEMBER THE MOVIE, City Slickers? Billy Crystal played Mitch, a man who was dealing with a mid-life crisis who went on a trip with his buddies to “find himself” again. Or, as his wife had put it, “Go find your smile again.” Jack Palance, played Curly, the authentic seasoned trail boss who lived an uncomplicated life – a real cowboy. As Crystal and friends took their adventure to move a herd of cattle,  Mitch was riding along side Curly as they discussed life: Curly: You know what the secret of life is? Mitch: No. What? Curly: This. Mitch: Your finger? Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the “one thing?” Curly: That’s what you gotta figure out. Throughout the rest of the movie, Mitch sought after that one thing....
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