Monday, October 31, 2011

questions for visual artist friends

where have you had the most success selling your work?

in a traditional art gallery?

an artist cooperative gallery?

a vanity gallery? (pay for the privilege of exhibition)

a restaurant showing?

on-line marketing efforts?

how much time on a weekly basis do you spend marketing your work?

do you sell prints of your work?

how many on-line sites do you have?

if you donate work to non-profit fundraisers/auctions...have you ever made additional sales?

if you belong to an art association, do you make sales to cover your membership, get referrals?

My answers follow:

I ask this because the traditional route of showing through galleries, responding to calls for artists, etc has not worked for me.  I did this in my early career, got some press, got some awards...but the attention was not directed so much to me as a valid artist, the attention went to the 'causes'.  social art was (may still be) very big then.

artist cooperative gallery:  founding member of Local Colors Artist Cooperative here in Gloucester.  member for 8 years...spent most of my time making cards, crafty items to pay the gallery rent, which rarely happened.  i started making reverse glass paintings during these years and demonstrated/painted in the window every day for a month...this got me my first big commission 'lucky break'.  an art consultant also found me through the cooperative, resulted in a modest sale to a corporation.

vanity gallery:  have never done a vanity gallery show.  will never pay someone to exhibit my work, unless it is a cooperative gallery.

restaurants:  have had shows in restaurants.  great openings, the restaurants looked good, no sales. clarification:  my first big commission/lucky break was to a restaurant.  i received 2 referrals, one turned into my second major commission.

on-line marketing efforts:  no sales through print on demand sites.  have started to make sales through the web during the past 3 years, and an up-coming gallery show in Maine through facebook connections.

prints of my work?  nope.

on-line sites/social networks:  3 photo sites, 4 blogs, 1 journal, facebook, google+, twitter, saatchi, youtube, and 2 print on demand sites.  so far facebook, goodmorninggloucester and live journal have produced consistent interest & sales.

non-profit auctions/fundraisers:  been there, done that.  just kissed the work good-by.  no sales, referrals. clarification:  i made the paintings of verre eglomise fish at the top of page for The Cape Ann Museum's 'Making Waves' show (it was a show about the fishing industry, the declining fish species, there was data, b&w pics of fishing boats, the fishermen, fishing gear, weight equipment, etc.  they needed images of the fish (the life blood of the industry!).  i made the paintings, gave them the work; which was on display for about 10 years.  i received lots of referrals (mostly for prints, which i do not sell); however, 2 major commissions came out of these referrals.

art associations:  none will have me, so i no longer give them my money to review me to tell me no.  money is dear and I would rather buy paint and canvas and gold leaf with $40-$50-$100-$150 required to get approved, then get in by paying the dues.

and i rarely respond to calls for entries, but I do like working with those involved in the revitalization of historic places through contemporary art. am thinking it would be cool to do an art revitalization project at The Oak Grove Cemetery.  That's where Twachtman and few other noteworthy bones lie.

looking forward to your responses/thoughts.


Good Saint Anthony come around!  We all seem lost and must be found.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Something Fishy!

working from my imagination. 
this is a small reverse glass with oil, marker, copper leaf. 
size:  8x10, detail

to the left, 12x12 ".  imaginative fish heads: reverse glass with oil, marker,kodak holographic laminate, digi print transfer.  this detail does not scan/photo true.  the overall tone of the work is silver, not blue.  the glass will be offset to allow the layered holograms to 'float'.

I have a lot of work in progress.  Today's objective is to cut down the backing boards on some of the larger works that were started a few weeks ago.  I can 'see' the pescado, no one else can because they are so undefined.  beginning to see fish in everything, pushing me into new directions, new media ideas.  this must be what the art folk mean when they talk about 'pushing an idea'.  still using leaf, but i'm trying to not be too dependent on it.  leaf is very seductive in it's beauty, it needs some grit and structure to hold together as 'ahht'


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Holy Mackerel!

the first 2 images are source digital prints that are details of one of my earlier foil laminated construction of Mackerel.  i printed out several copies of these prints on some 96 bright white paper, with the intention of creating some photo transfers onto laminate.

The prints were then deconstructed, transferred, foiled and laminated.  following are two fishy landscapes.  

Holy Mackerel landscape 1 approx 5.5x6"

Holy Mackerel landscape 2:  approx 6.25x6"
this one has a lighthouse!

have never considered myself a landscape painter, yet this island landscape of gloucester ma imposes its silhouettes into my work.  i have also transferred/incorporated some details of Hokusai's "Great Wave" into these works.  


ps:  have noticed that i am perfecting my craft as i focus on this series. work is coming through me that i have never seen before.  i think my friend Kate Somers once dreamed it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs and my AHA encounter

I was going to start a kickstarter project to raise funds for gold leaf.  Steve Jobs' ' heart/intuition' speech re-iterated on the tv, my secret inner heart decision to go another way.  what will i do?

hint:  i still have several thousand yards of packing tape.  and yards and yards and yards of reflective material to work with.  verre eglomise?  who knows?  this is an adventure.  dreamin; a roomful of fish!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It is a Rudderfish! (firm id pending)

My friend Paul Frontiero is a contributor to our community blog goodmorninggloucester.  This morning Paul posted my query about the striped fish I photographed at the Gloucester Maritime Center last Sunday.  I got an id as Rudderfish from the education director of the Maritime Center Mary Kay Taylor.  Her response follows.

Anonymous mary kay said...
Hi Deb-
I believe that it is a Rudderfish (aka Amberjack or Pilotfish) Sierola zonata. I’ve sent some photos out to some local experts for a firm identification. More information about this species can be found through following this link:

I fell in love with your paintings at CAM years ago and have visited them often. It is great to finally put a face with your beautiful work! If you have any questions about specimens, feel free to contact me at Maritime Gloucester any time.
Mary Kay Taylor,
Education Director, Maritime Gloucester
there is always a wider, deeper story behind every painting that i do.  here's a brief recap of the folk through social media that helped me.  the identification came within an hour of paul's post.

 added the entry to google+ and recieved a note from E.J. (another gmg contributor!) with the determination that the fish does not identify to a 'sheepshead porgy'.  i shared the pic and post as status updates on facebook.  my facebook friend identified it as a "Banded Rudderfish", another gmg responder identified it as a Rudderfish; he also reported seeing some off Cape Ann a while back.  it seems the Rudderfish is out of its waters.

it would be so awesome to have a glass sided room under one of our harbor piers.  i would go there every day and sometimes i would paint.


ps:  here's the link to Paul's post on gmg  What fish is this?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Kind of Fish is this?

This little fish (about 10") was found in one of the tidepool tanks at the Gloucester Maritime Center.  I couldn't find an identification/information tag near the tank.  Today I did a google image search which sent me in the direction of "grunts", particularly a 'sheepshead grunt'.  My Audobon field guide places grunts in the Family Haemulidae (perch like fish) and places 'sheepshead' in the Family Sparidae' aka "Porgies".  if you can confirm my identification, it would be much appreciated.  

another contender for the new series.  i love how the nape stripe drives through the eye and into the snout.


Monday, October 3, 2011


 Here's  another contender for the new fish series, the very skittish "Rufus". Rufus  never fully adapted after his move from Gloucester to Portland Maine after which:  he spooked easily evidenced by continual incontinentence.

.  Here's more info about this freshwater catfish, common to South and Central America, that is favored in freshwater aquariums.
  Rufus is the second Pleco that lived with us.  the first one
Magnus grew to 8 inches or so. He would rise to the surface for feeding with the other fish and would let me rub his tummy.  Magnus succumbed after a move which required the emptying and re-establishment of the tank.  


Saturday, October 1, 2011


Big Sexy

Captain Joey's photo of a sculpin.  he names this one Daddy.  I'm looking for some good underwater pictures of a sculpin.  i think people eat this type of fish.  it has dangerous spines in it's fins.  this is a face that only a mother, or artist could love.  i wonder if they live alone or in schools?   bottom fish? this fish will definitely be the subject of new work.  also looking for the latin name.


ps:  just found out from Joey.  neither sculpin, nor pogies are eaten.  sculpin are full of worms and bones and dangerous spines.