A Squawking Rookery

What beautiful weather we are enjoying here in the Northwest!  I am a little confused about the time of year it is right now–this is typically one of the coldest parts of the winter–and I think maybe the birds are confused as well.  Every time I’m out walking or hiking I’m hearing birds making mating calls.  This last Sunday, again in preparation for the next painting in The Bird-Watcher series, (subject matter–Great Blue Herons) we headed to ‘the bottoms’ in Woodland, WA, to see if the Great Blue Herons were nesting.  I was not disappointed!Continue reading “A Squawking Rookery”

Ducks Drying On My Easel

Preening ducks
Preening ducks

I THINK I’m done with this.  This is just a phone shot of the painting and as you can see there are reflections from the lights.  I will let it dry and check it out in different light, but currently, I’m inclined to step away from the canvas.

This has been a fun piece to paint.  It may not look like it, but I really loosened up on this painting and had some fun pushing the colors.  My brain is tired so I have nothing more to say but this, enjoy and have a great evening!  Oh, and if you have an idea for a title let me know.

The Value of Values

This is the messy stage of painting.  When I first started painting I thought everything needed to be perfect from the very get-go.  I would spend hours on one spot, move to another and there discover, everything was off.  At that time I didn’t even really know what was off, it just didn’t feel right.

Value study
Value study

Then I took a color theory class from William Cochran–teacher extraordinaire.  The first course was on values.  There lies the key to a good painting.  You can have all the colors and perspective correct but if your values are off the painting is flat, there’s no star of the show and to the untrained eye, like mine was when I first started, you stand back and wonder what is off.   Continue reading “The Value of Values”

The State of My Art Address

This is a repeat of my newsletter I just sent out to all the people on my mailing list.  It states where I started last year but more importantly, it states my goals for 2015.  The bar has been set…now to jump over it.  This 18″ x 36″ canvas below is the first hurdle…paint goes on tomorrow (after my dentist appointment–ugh!).

Sitting Ducks on my easel
Sitting Ducks on my easel

The State of My Art Address

I don’t know how many of you watched The State of the Union Address.  Somehow I missed it this year.  Just in case you did too, I thought I’d provide you with some equally interesting and pertinent information–The State of My Art Address–here’s where you picture me standing on my soapbox, tapping on the microphone, clearing my throat and in my best Daffy Duck voice saying:

Dear Fellow Art Lovers, Bird Lovers, Collectors, Clients, Friends and Family,

I’d like to begin by saying THANK YOU! Your support has been invaluable to me in the past and particularly in 2014 as I changed my focus from faux finishing/murals to fine art.  Many of you supported me with encouraging words, many by attending shows I participated in, many by purchasing cards and prints and others by becoming ‘collectors’ of my original work.  All of you have brought tremendous joy to me.  I am honored by your interest in my art, which in turn encourages me to press ahead in this adventure.

I have to be realistic…it was scary when I first sat down to address the state of my art on paper a couple of weeks ago.  But in the end, I was quite pleased.  I feel like I made great strides forward, building a foundation that I can continue to build upon this year, to infinity and b-e-y-o-n-d . . . . . . . . .

My Year and Fine Art Focus Began April 1, 2014–Here’s the majority of what I accomplished

  • Business and Branding–
    • Redesigned website and rewrote all content (more changes coming this year)
    • Rewrote artist Statement and Bio
    • Wrote history of The-Bird-Watcher series
    • Developed inventory list
    • Updated and fine-tuned mailing list
    • Conceptualized and developed framing/display ‘branding’
    • Started blog–The-Bird-Watcher.com
    • Read three books on art business
    • Narrowed down subject matter and painting style
    • Participated in a 4-hour Webinar on art marketing with Xanadu
    • Met with an art mentor for brief but focused problem solving
    • Attended Art Law School 1-day workshop on licensing/copyright
    • Remodeled garage to double as a gallery for future open studios and class space
  • Shows/Sales events I Participated in–
    • Six group shows
      • Battle Ground Art Alliance Spring Show
      • Bird’s, Beast and Beauty, its last stop on an 18 month tour, Concordia University
      • Masterpiece Christian Fine Art Foundation Yearly Conference/Show, Ashland, OR
      • Clark County Fair–I know that seems small but hey, I got my work in the public eye
      • Eugene Artist Group Show, special invitation, Concordia University
      • Clark County Open Studio Tour Artist Reception
    • Solo Show at Lava Java, Ridgefield, WA
    • 2nd Annual Clark County Open Studio Tour (A juried show/tour)
  • Paintings completed
    • Painted the 3rd piece in The-Bird-Watcher series–‘Look! Flying Jewels’–36″ x 24″
    • A diptych made up of two 41″ x 30″ canvases
    • One 48″ x 60″ painting
    • One 15″ x 30″ painting
    • Several plein air pieces–at least 10

2014 was a real transition year for me, with a lot of thought and praying going into my business.  There was not quite as much creating, as I would have liked.  However, without all of the above I would not have the base on which I can now begin to create.

This is where things get really exciting–GOALS and PLANS FOR 2015!!

  • Paint or draw daily
    • Paint from 12-5 each work-day
    • Create two paintings for The-Bird-Watcher series this year
    • Paint at least one ‘smaller’ painting a week
    • Paint en plein air one day a week–another small painting
    • Participate in Free Model Guild two times a month
  • Find at least two galleries to represent my work
  • Post on The-Bird-Watcher.com blog two times a week
    • Create a gallery where art can be purchased from blog
  • Write a quarterly Newsletter–published to mailing list on the 15th of April, July and October
  • Develop residual stream of income from The Bird-Watcher concept–be looking for announcements on what that will look like by the next quarter’s newsletter
  • Open my studio for visitors three times this year–
    • March 27-29; 10-5 each day
    • July 24-26; 10-5 each day
    • November 14 & 15–if juried into Clark County Open Studio Tour.  If not juried in I will choose another date and let you know.
  • Create line of holiday cards–to be made available by September
  • Offer MONTHLY CLASSES–contact me if you are interested, by leaving a comment or emailing me at kmcgheeart@gmail.com
  • Group Shows–
    • I am delivering two pieces of art January 31st to North Bank Art Gallery for a show called Diverse Works–Dedicated Artists.  It is a juried show, made up of Battle Ground Art Alliance members.  Artist reception and opening is February 6, 5-9 p.m.
    • This section will continue to fill as opportunities arise
  • Solo Shows–at least one
    • Lava Java is already on the calendar for October–during Ridgefield’s Birdfest
    • One other is still in negotiation–to be announced if it comes to pass

Yes…I have big dreams for this year and a lot of ‘showing up’ to do.  Besides all the specific line items above I will also be participating in several competitions.

The silly thing is, when I write out my goals I get excited about seeing how all this will pan out by the end of the year.  Hopefully the State of My Art Address will be much more impressive for 2015!

Thanks for reading–I’ll see you back here soon with an update on those sitting ducks.