October is coming to a close, the election of a lifetime is about to occur, the world seems to be spinning on its head, upside down and yet life goes on. There are days it is hard to motivate but evening comes, I go to bed and another day starts. That is when I find solace in routine, making plans, looking forward to the things that seem ‘normal'.... that I can control. I go into the studio, paint something, read, watch an old familiar movie, take a walk, listen to an uplifting podcast!
Lately it is 25 Days of Minis that has kept me on track. This is my 2nd year participating. I suggest you read last year’s blog about it, if it's new to you. This year 45 artists from across the country will reveal 1 new painting a day from Dec 1 through Dec 25. It's a fantastic way to meet new artists and find unique gifts! Last year I did Plein Air and Urban Landscape. My plein air series was specifically steeples. I thought that would strike a holiday note. I really enjoyed doing that series and was happy with how they turned out but they were not as successful as I’d hoped. I was advised not to try anything new but decided to do the abstract series anyway and it was quite a success. Go figure!
What a wonderful Open Studio!
I fully admit to being a bit more anxious than usual this year. I simply did not know what to expect....if anyone would show up, either in person or virtually. I think I can speak for many artists in saying, I don't need crowds of people knocking down my door...I just need a few to let me know that what I'm doing matters...is striking a nerve, stirring a memory, making someone smile.
It's a joy to share art and experiences with each other. I didn't realize just how much I missed that till this past weekend. I thank those of you who came by in person and also attended my virtual sessions on Facebook. The comments and thumbs up I look forward to when we can do these things with out such precaution in the future.
In the meantime, if you want to check out Open Studio #5 replay you can do that on my You Tube channel ! Enjoy and feel free to share!
Open Studio gallery Tour Part 1
Open Studio Gallery Tour Part 2
In the Studio - plein air set up demo
In the studio - what I'm working on and what's coming up
Anyway, Open Studio is still ON. It will be different than any other year. That seems appropriate for a 5th anniversary celebration, right? It’s actually possible that the changes will make for a better experience for everyone. I just have to climb my learning curve mountain...which I am happy to do. It is time to mix things up, try some new things and so THAT is the plan!
Changing gears is not always easy or fun. But to be honest, I come out wiser and better in the end, altho...I hate to admit that... it’s true. So the TOO many hours on the computer I have spent lately, and the TOO few hours painting...all to make sure this Open Studio happens...will be worth it. And the Live time on camera (no I’m not nervous about that at all ....hahaha) that’ll be fine too, right?
Okay Okay...enough already...you want the scoop. There are 2 BIG CHANGES:
Wish me luck and try something new...we'll compare notes later!
A few pictures from last years Open Studio.....
I wonder how has this all affected your schedule or your work? I know many are loving working from home now. Is that you or are you looking forward to getting back to the office? Back on more of a regular schedule? Or maybe, like me, you worked from home before and this hasn't changed much, but you are looking forward to getting out more...? I'd love to hear from you!
Anyway, all my events for the summer are cancelled and postponed. The only one up is sometime in July IF it goes…keep those fingers crossed…. But that seems like light years away right now. So my focus will be getting back to doing some plein air. It will be interesting to see how my interior work will show up in my urban landscapes. Will it at all?
Other than getting out to do some plein air painting, I am not sure what the future holds, quite honestly. I plan on taking it slowly and seeing what happens. Cherishing every day that I can breathe and I can paint!
To see what I am up to check me out on either Instagram or Facebook. I post on Instagram a couple times a week and on FB just once or twice a week.....And don't forget to sign up for my email list to keep up to date and for Big News Flashes right in your inbox!
Do be well and stay safe...and enjoy a beautiful summer!
On the other hand, absolutely everything else has been turned on its head. My wife is working from home. So that makes life quite different. Not bad…just different. Shows are cancelled and galleries are closed. That’s not just missing income, but it’s also vital networking, painting inventory as well as plain ole inspiration. Sooooo, now what?
One of my answers you know about…the Quarantined series. I kinda stumbled upon that idea and it has kept me grounded I have to say. I’m learning that having a project or a deadline helps keeps me on track.
So we have schedule here. Jacquie, my wife, is working from home. That is an adjustment in itself. I like to be in my studio by 8:30 - 9 AM. Painting is part of my job as an artist. The social media, computer/website and other biz logistics can eat up my time and has always been more difficult for me to manage than the art side. We also try to get out and walk or do some yard work now that it's getting nicer out. So, some art, something business, meals, a bit of exercise. IF we get all that in...it's been a full day!
We are finding our rhythm in this new normal, but it's does feel a bit odd on some days. If I look too far out I can feel overwhelmed by all the uncertainty of what I see, or don't see...that's right, we're back to no events, closed galleries and income. I've found that being a bit more mi-optic works for me. Traveling this uncharted territory, I just try to put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Do what I can on this day because tomorrow isn't here yet.
The Quarantined series has helped me focus and given me that project I've needed. The offshoot has been the joy of sharing my home, my paintings and my process with you and others through this craziness.
So what has been working for you? And what hasn't been? I'd love to know. Comment below, email me or find me on Facebook.
Keep on keeping on.
But I don’t do the January Challenge for the sale result…although that is nice, don’t get me wrong. I’d paint every day in January…Flash Sale or not. The best part, besides me painting, is the comments I get that someone has started to paint again, or is painting more or is going to take a class. That is priceless and I love that!! That inspires me to speak louder, make another video, paint another painting.
Oh, and I want to share this with you.....
I am excited to announce that I have added a Getting to Know Me page to my website. This will be short videos. Initially they will be about my background and how I started painting. Then I will add videos about my material, my painting process and perhaps even full painting videos. I will be launching a new video every 3 weeks. If you have a question send it to me and perhaps I’ll make a video to put on my website!
To check out the new page and my very 1st videos CLICK HERE
Remember to check out Upcoming Events and mark them on your Calendar! Especially those 1st Fridays that are coming up! And if you are not a subscriber, Sign Up now so you don't miss any Big News or Exclusive offers!
Till Next time.... Sarah
I did a blog about this last year with some pictures of my 1st couple paintings and a video explaining this process a bit. If you'd like to check that out, you can do so Right Here. You can also see ALL the paintings I did last year by following this link: 2019 Daily Painting Challenge. Might be interesting for you to see.
Anyway..... this year I am doing my Studio series again, but rather than doing a panorama around the studio, I am doing vignette's, art supplies etc.. These are all 8x8 and I hope to have 12 completed by months end.
For my 2nd series, I am going abstract again this year. Last year I learned that abstracts take time and layering so I am working on more than one at a time and not trying to finish one in a session, but just making marks and progress. I am using older plein air paintings as my starting point as that gives me something to respond to right away. My goal is to complete 10 abstracts by the end of the month.
So, if you are up for the challenge...feel free to jump in! If you just want to follow along I do post on Instagram at @sbaptistart just about every day. You can also SIGN UP for my email list in the menu above to get updates too...right in your inbox!
So here's just a bit of what I've been up to so far this month.....
Thanks for tuning in. Please comment and let me know what you think. I am always open to suggestions and ideas. Appreciate hearing from you!
So, I decided to board this 25 Days of Minis bus and paint 25 paintings. What was I thinking? Now I had to decide WHAT TO PAINT!! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read my blog about it HERE). I don’t really paint scenes that lend themselves to holiday-ification..... but it will be the holidays when these are seen and I don’t want to ignore that. Hmmm.
One thing I've been sure of from the start was that I wanted to do 2 series ....break things up a bit. That’d make the painting more interesting for me and it’d make the presentation more interesting for YOU. It did make the beginning process a bit more difficult…Deciding What To DO!! Ah yes, we are back to that.
SERIES 1: I knew I wanted to do plein air, to keep my urban vibe, because after all, that’s what people know me for and something I enjoy doing. But how do I give that a holiday twist? I knew I’d be painting in the fall so snowy scenes were out and it’s not like we get much snow in Delaware anyway. Christmas lights and decorations…same issue, it’s too early and not my shtick really. Hmmm. Think. Think. Think.
AhHa or maybe HARK would be apropos! Hahaha What’s that…? Streets and Steeples? Has a nice ring to it…! I wish it had come to me that quickly, but at least it came to me!
So, 13 of my 25 paintings will be plein air paintings aka… Streets and Steeples. It’s just the right amount of Urban Holiday for me. Maybe I have created a new genre!
Enjoy these in progress and detail shots. You’ll have to wait just a bit longer, till December, to see the finished version. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
SERIES 2: Call me a rebel but I really wanted to throw all caution to the wind and try something VERY different with this series. Something unexpected, colorful and playful to match that aspect of the season. I was excited, apprehensive, even a bit scared of blowing it completely but I had to try this…. even more so for those very reasons.
To start, I took all 12 panels and put them together. Then I painted a simple sketchy urban scene on them as if the large panel were a single painting. Then I threw some paint around trying to be free and random. At this point every small panel had marks and color on it. That’s all I needed. Now I could separate the panels and react to each small panel on its own.
Curious enough, I initially found I worked on 3-5 panels at a time. I think this helped to keep the series cohesive. Plein air is do it on the spot, go, respond, paint, done in a matter of hours. These I have been working on for months now and the process is quite intuitive. I make marks, then step back and analyze, contemplate, then make more marks, add more layers and keep going until the thing seems to mesh as a painting. But I must say, I am liking what is developing. I LOVE that it is so different from what I have done before but relates to my past work too.
This whole experience has been a learning curve and developing these 2 series has been a different approach for me. I hope you'll tune in for 25 Days of Minis to see the results and also expose yourself to so many other talented artists work. Register at www.25Daysofminis.com for a daily email from Dec 1 - 25 so you won't miss a thing.
You can also Bookmark/Favorite my page of minis and check it out every day too...altho I recommend you register for that automated email so you do not have to remember for yourself every day at this busy time of year!
I know I am looking forward to seeing what the other artists have been up to. Please feel free to comment and let me hear from you. I want to know what you think of my 2 series. In the meantime...Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
25 Days of Minis started a few years ago as the brain child of artist Teresa Haag. It began with a few artist friends on Facebook and has grown into 42 artists juried in from across the country. I have watched this grow, know many of the artists involved as well as Teresa and for numerous reasons have held back participating until this year.
But this year I have thrown all caution to the wind and decided to throw my hat into the ring. Why this year?
Well….as I said, I have watched this Holiday event grow over the past couple years and I like what I have seen. I LOVE that this is such an out of the box approach to Art, Holidays and Gift giving. I think this is a fantastically fun way for Artists and Art Lovers to access unique gifts for friends and loved ones in celebrating their unique Holiday traditions.
But isn’t this, also, a fantastic way for Art to come into your home? For you to see the Art of so many different artists and so many different styles of art? From the comfort of your home or any place you decide, when you have time! There are so many varieties of art styles you might try something a little different or give one of these gems as a unique gift because all of these are one of a kind, original artworks. How cool is that?
Realize that the painting is just half the work for us artists. We also have to photograph the work, edit those photos, upload those photos to the 25 days website as well as to our own selling website. We also have to write descriptions, frame the work, do social media, write newsletters, blogs, etc. So starting in the fall is not starting early, if that’s what you are thinking!
At this moment, I am a bit worried about how much work I still need to do to pull this off but, honestly, I am happy that I decided to throw my hat into the ring and become a part of this event. After all.... Art is a celebration of the human spirit and of human connection and what better time of year to celebrate that then now and with 25 Days of Minis.
So to recap...42 artists upload 1 painting a day from December 1-25. That's 42 paintings a day! A total of 1050 paintings over 25 days!! To see the new paintings every day Register at 25Daysof Minis.com and you'll receive an email link every day in December! You can also bookmark or favorite my page of 25 days of minis and be sure to check it every day to!
here are just a few fun pictures to tickle your fancy and maybe spark some curiosity! Stay tuned...more coming sooooooon.