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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The small pieces are finished!

As a follow up to my last post, I wanted to share with you the finished pieces.  I really love they came out.  Enjoy!
#25 matted and ready to go!
#6 matted and ready to go
My My
Pretty in Peach


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Starting large, Ending small

paint and handmade papers
I have been having the best time lately working on large sheets of watercolor paper that that I will use to create small 5" x 5" pieces.  I start by painting the base coat  randomly.  Then I add more paint, some handmade paper, some photographs, some magazine papers, and tape to create the next layer.  More paint detailing is next.
4-5 layers in
I  use a cut up piece of cardboard to create a 5" x 5" opening so I can pick the areas I want to work with to create my final small pieces. I love working large and then not really knowing how the small pieces will look.  I love the randomness of it all.
I draw the squares in pencil, cut them out and end up with quite a few small pieces that I will matte and possibly frame.  I will add a few more layers to these small pieces and then they will be ready for my show in Manayunk http://manayunk.com/signature-events/manayunk-arts-festival/ at the end of June.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Selling paintings is so much more than about the money

This week an old friend from PA contacted me about purchasing a fairly recent painting I had for sale and had been publicizing  a lot.  She said it made her happy every time she saw any photo that I posted.  She said she really wanted it but was having some marital problems and dealing with a lot, not all good.  She said she really wanted to hang it in her own place one day but if it sold she would contact me to paint another painting just for her.   So I put it up for sale at a show I had on Sunday and it was getting a lot of attention.  I thought for sure it would sell that day but around lunch my friend got back in touch with me and told me to mark it SOLD!  She wanted it even if she had to make payments on it.  She said that my painting had become her inspiration to move forward and to find peace and happiness.  I am so touched.  And moved.  And most importantly, I do hope that it will give her the happiness and the strength she needs to move on with her life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

PainterPaige hard at work

I thought you all would be interested in seeing all of the hard work that goes into my booth set-up each and every time I sell at a local show.  First we have to pack up the car with everything, drive to our location, figure out where exactly our spot is, then unload everything.  Then we have pop up the tent, put together all of the display panels, hang all of the artwork in the best spots possible and set up the table that holds my smaller pieces along with marketing materials and the ever important sign-up sheet.  But I love the way my booth looks when its all done.
My assistant hard at work
Early in the set-up stage
Have to get it just right
Ready for business!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The story of how I became PainterPaige

I think I was an abstract artist as a child.  As long as I can remember  I have always loved drawing and doodling.  As a kid I would sit for hours with a box or crayons and a pad of paper.  I will fill pad after pad with scribbles and doodles that I  would then spend time filling in with different color crayons from my box of 64.  I would do this endlessly.  My father used to be able to copy pictures he saw and I was in such awe of him being able to draw so well.  I think this was when I realized that people could actually draw things that actually looked like the real thing.  It seemed impossible to me.
Me about 10

The first time I knew I had some talent was in 3rd grade.  All of the 3rd graders in my city were asked to create “Be Friends With Animals” posters.  My teacher pulled me aside and asked me to stay after school to keep working on mine.  I didn’t really think much of it.  That is until the principal interrupted our class one day and I was called to stand in front of the room.  My first thought that I was in trouble, but no she told everyone that I won 3rd place and she presented me with a certificate and $3. My poster hung in city hall for a month.  It was a huge deal for me back in elementary school.
My elementary school in Allentown, PA

But art for me became a thing of the past when I started to get self-conscious and intimidated by my peers.  No way was I going to put any art out there for their review  or possible ridicule so I stuffed down my love of art for many years.  Even when I wasn’t creating art all of those years, I always knew that I wanted to be an artist.  How to become one, I wasn’t so sure.  Since I didn’t create anything while in high school  I had nothing to submit to art school.  Plus my parents were way too practical to let their daughter study something like art.  So I majored in communications where I knew I would at least have a chance to take some art classes as part of the curriculum.  

Fast forward 10 years later, I am married with two small children.  I still desired to be an artist or something in a creative field so I went back to college to get my interior design degree.  I was obsessed with decorating my home and thought I had some real talent.  But after two years of study I dropped out when I had no more money to invest in the program.
My family back in the day

A few years later I took  a floorcloth painting class  and that class changed everything for me.  I fell in love painting with acrylics and loved the entire process of taking my ideas and seeing them actually take shape.  I put a few floorcloths around my house and starting getting a lot of compliments and was encouraged to start selling them.  It went well right away and the response was really positive.  I sold  floorcloths for about 4 years until the economy took a turn for the worst and trying to sell anything became extremely difficult.   Many of my customers and admirers kept asking why I didn’t paint canvases but I honestly still felt so intimidated.  Painting floorcloths were one thing because I didn’t consider them “real” art.  
One of my favorite floorcloths
Another fun one!

 I don’t know what exactly made me paint that first canvas but I know I haven’t looked back since.   My love of painting has grown with each and every painting I create.  And slowly the intimidation has worn off.  People say my paintings make them feel happy.  I can’t think of a better compliment.  I’m living my dream.  And I guess I can finally call myself an artist.  
At a recent indoor art show

Monday, March 23, 2015

Scenes from my encaustic workshop

I took a 2 day workshop in encaustic collage this weekend.  The word encaustic originates from the Greek word encaustiko, which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting or collage to be called encaustic.  Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added.

The first piece we did was pretty simple and it was just for us to learn how to apply the wax to the top layer of our collages.  But even getting that perfect  was out of reach for all of us in the class.  The wax has to be applied, then heated so it melts and then hopefully it will behave itself and lay flat and not create lumps and bubbles.  Here are my first two pieces.    In the second piece we also learned how to carve into the wax, apply ink and then remove the excess without having a big smeary mess.

Our next piece we created another collage and learned how to layer the collage with other papers and other flat elements.  Here is the collage in progress with one piece of painted deli wrap over the bottom photo.
Here is the piece as it progressed

On the final day of the workshop we learned how to embed objects into a collage.  Here is what I did for my first piece.

And here is my final piece.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work.  Not sure if I will pursue this seriously but learned so much during this process.

Our teacher said that you need to be working in encaustic for at least 7 years to be considered an encaustic artist and to be taken seriously.  That's how long it takes to really master this technique.  Needless to say, I don't see myself spending that amount of time on this method but I really enjoyed the class and if nothing else, I rediscovered my love and passion for creating collages.  I have put collage to the side for the last year to concentrate on my painting but I do feel this is what I am really good at.  So I am going to jump back in and can't wait to see what I come up with.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Art Business 2015

I have been working hard the last couple of months concentrating on how to build up my client/follower base in order to sell more paintings on-line.  I am happy with my in-person sales but I have been researching other sites that would be a good fit for PainterPaige paintings.  ImageKind was recommended to me so I have been working furiously for the last week to upload my pieces to this site.  It is a place to go where you can purchase prints or canvas prints of your favorite art for a very reasonable price. I feel very positive that this will a new revenue stream for my business.  I'll keep you posted on how its going.  My address is painterpaige.imagekind.com.