Jan 10

Silk Painting Can Be Made Into A Profitable Business

It is difficult to make a living from art, even silk painting. Most artists work towards an exhibition where they can display and sell their art. But as the gallery usually gets 33% and the framer gets 33%, there is only 33% for the artist and it may have taken them a year to paint sufficient work to have an exhibition.

The main way to build an income is to commercialise your work. This means that you paint to suit what the customer wants, rather than what you want to produce. And the marketing of your product is very different too. You do not necessarily depend on an exhibition but may decide to sell via retail outlets and/or the Internet.

I found silk painting easily allowed me to satisfy potential customers; specifically the tourists. Silk is light weight, therefore makes a great gift for the traveler to ‘pop into their luggage’. Tourists wanted something specifically ‘Australiana’ so I concentrated on Australian fauna and flora for my motifs. As I was a ‘kid from the bush’ (I even had to do correspondence schooling), the subject matter suited me to a ‘T’!

Tourists also wanted something that was not too expensive and was eye catching. I had no difficulties making my work eye catching as the colour of dyes on silk painting is nothing short of extraordinary! But when it comes to low priced product, artists always struggle. They put so much time and effort into their work that there is no way they can get paid a reasonable amount for their labour.

I solved my problem in a very specific way. As my training was as an art teacher, I decided that I would teach others to paint in my style and therefore I could meet the growing demand and allow myself the time to produce works of art that could be sold at exhibitions. During my busiest time. I was producing silk painting for a variety of stores around Australia. I also held five exhibitions where my work sold out.

For my staff, I created the designs and painted a sample silk painting (usually a scarf shape). I clearly wrote on the original drawing what each colour was that I had used. Then I showed an employee how I would do it and allowed them to try completing a silk painting by themselves. I would watch and when necessary, give advice on how to get a better result. It would only take staff three or four attempts before they were able to produce a reasonable silk scarf.

Payment to the painters was by piece rates; they got paid per product rather than receive an hourly rate. Also, if there were mistakes made, those pieces of silk were sold at a market for cost only; so I never was out of pocket. This worked extremely well and I was able to provide thousands of silk paintings as product and make a comfortable profit.

As long as the artist is not too ‘precious’ and doesn’t place a stigma on commercialising their skills to make a living, then the silk painting artist can make a good living.

Barbara Gabogreca is an artist, author, entrepreneur and supports home based business. Her silk painting sells well from her website and she has commenced a blog where she encourages other silk painters to write articles which she will publish allowing them to promote their work.

Jan 10

Three Ways Make Money Painting Murals

Mural painting is something that has been used throughout the ages by professionals and amateurs alike to publicly display their individual attitudes, a current theme or outlook on life. It is a colorful way to both express ourselves and the times we live in.

It seems that most mural artwork these days is more like abstract art and colorful cartoon-like styles. A good example is The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” style of artwork. This simplicity in design makes mural painting reachable for any artist who loves to paint.

Murals do not have to be real life types of scenes that only the most advanced artist can create. They can be vibrant, exciting works of color, attitude and style.

They can be murals for kids rooms. They can be artwork for public places like libraries and artwork that is suitable for teens or adults to have on their walls.

Anyone that can map out a wall so that his or her work will have proper form and be in the right proportion can do some nice mural work. Mapping out a large area using grid lines is half the battle. The other half is choosing good colors and design. And also using the right paint medium and then taking the time to do neat quality work.

Below are 3 popular types of murals that you can make money painting…

Murals on Stretched Canvas Frames – I like the idea of canvas frames because you can do all your work in your shop and then bring it to the customer when it is finished. You can even have one piece of art or theme carried out on three large canvas frames.

I have seen some nice abstract artwork done this way. The colors are bright and exciting and will look great in a nice home that has contemporary colors throughout the house. You could sell your work online or in consignment shops.

Wall Murals – this type of mural is usually more advanced when done in a nice home. Painters that do this type of work are generally more of an advanced artist than someone who could do an outside wall mural. That is just my opinion only because I think of exterior wall murals as something more along the lines of sign painting or the artwork done around construction sites in a downtown setting.

But I do know that there is some pretty cool and advanced stuff painted on the sides of buildings. To make money you could find jobs through interior decorators and through word-of-mouth.

Ceiling Murals – like wall murals, ceiling murals are usually the more intricate and advanced types of artwork. One type of ceiling painting that is popular although very few ever master it to its full potential is “star mural painting”. This is done using special formulated paints that glow in the dark. The paints usually glow all night long.

Professionally done star murals can mesmerize anyone whether they are art lovers, stargazers or just looking for something to jazz up their bedroom or game room ceiling. This type of art is not just for kids. After all, most kids would be happy with just plain old stick-on stars on their bedroom ceiling.

This type of art, if done by a professional muralist can even have astronomers in awe. Fortunately though, anyone can do an accurate star mural if you they have a few simple tools and know a few tricks of the trade.

You could find work through showing people sample posters. If you are already in peoples homes doing service work you could leave a poster with them with your name and phone number on it.

Jan 10

How to Spend More Time Painting and Less Time Marketing

In the unforgiving world of art, a painting marketing plan can add the spark necessary to bolster a business and make it successful. With so much competition, it’s a bit daunting to get off the ground. However, in order to achieve prosperity, it is essential for the artist to have a definitive plan of attack on how to get collectors to their art website and how to keep them engaged until they decide to buy.

By having a solid strategy in place, the painter can spend less time worrying about revenue and can instead create the pieces responsible for their triumphs in the first place.

Strategies for More Time Painting

By enacting their marketing plan, the artist can, in a way, put it on auto-pilot, leading to more time available for painting.

Working smarter instead of harder is a technique paramount to a successful business and often leaves the artist with enough energy and vivacity to put out new work which attracts even more first-time clients. While it can be difficult to attract collectors, these tips will put the artist in the best position possible to advance and grow as a company.

1) Keep Your Work Current: In the beginning days of a business, page visitors may be hard to come by, making it incredibly important to have a high retention/call-to-action rate. It certainly won’t help a sale come along if the website is downtrodden, without having been updated in weeks.

The client notices anything and everything about the website and attributes that toward characteristics of the painter. In the mind of the customer, “Surely, if the website hasn’t had a new addition in some time, they must not be painting anymore, and even if they are, they don’t seem to care enough to need my sale.” Even if the artist is struggling, continuing to post new pictures and sales demonstrates a determination for success, making the client both enamored and interested in the artist achieving their goal.

2) Have a Considerable Price Range: Unless the painter is at the notoriety level of Picasso or Van Gogh, it is a good idea to have a variant price range so as not to eliminate part of the target group.

For example, if pieces are only sold for high-end prices, the artist will see far less return than if they have more moderate pricing for some pieces as well. Because page views are so crucial for an art business, an art lover who has somehow stumbled upon the site should not have to turn away because they can’t afford any piece. Especially because these targets may be some of an artist’s most admiring supporters, it is important to ensure that they are well taken care of on the site so that they feel compelled to support the artist.

Benefits of Being Present on Social Media

Keeping up with a website and having a decent price range will definitely rake in a few customers, but taking things to a new level with the addition of a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and various other platform pages will make the business more accessible and further attract the customer.

Benefits include:

· Free advertising for the business

· Potential customers are more open to a purchase

· Stress and pressure-free environment for collectors

· More personal, attracting client to new work

· Can afford to be more specific in work

A follow or like instills the artist’s work into the customer; repetition leads to completed call-to-actions

By integrating these steps and methods into their daily strategy, the artist can be proactive and confident that they are well-represented online, enabling themselves to spend more time doing what they dreamed of always doing: painting.

Jan 10

Drywall Repair – How to Make an Extra $300, $600 and More Per Week Specializing in Drywall Repair

If you have been a house painter for very long you have undoubtedly come into some form of drywall repair on every interior painting job. As a matter of fact, if you don’t get good at mastering drywall repair, your painting jobs will not be as professional as they could be.

In this article I want to reveal how small drywall repair jobs can mean big profits for you. I am talking about making $350 to $500 on average for just 7 – 10 hours of work. Each job is different of course and may turn out to be just a $200 repair or maybe a $1,500 repair.

The fact is that when it comes to drywall repair people always call someone to do the work. As a house painter I know that most people think they know how to paint and the keyword here is “think”. But when it comes to things like drywall repair they go running home to momma.

And this is why you can make good money doing small repair jobs like plumbers and electricians do. The things that most people are unskilled to do themselves are simple and easy for us that decide to specialize in them.

Some people have the money but lack the time and would rather have someone else do the work anyway. 99% of the time though, people just don’t know the trade. Drywall repair is a secret art. As for the ones that attempt to repair their own drywall themselves, the job always turns out lousy.

Where is the target market for getting business? The answer is residential, light commercial, rental properties, etc. As a house painter you can be limited to a higher end market if you wish to earn professional painters wages. But no so with drywall repair. Your market can be low end to high end simply because of the tremendous profits in smaller jobs that most people can afford.

Most of the time you get calls from people when they have water damage. Sometimes it is from reckless teens roughhousing. I had one job where bees ate a hole in the ceiling. I would say that 95% of drywall repair is from water damage and half of that can be from bad plumbing, a leaky shower that needs to be re-grouted, etc. A leaky roof is usually the other reason.

Sometimes you can get jobs hanging and taping small projects like a garage or part of a basement. You don’t have to take on these bigger projects though. Many times people want to sell their house so they are motivated to fix their walls or ceilings finally.

You may ask yourself, if drywall repairs are so simple how can I get good at doing them? First, You need to learn how to duplicate a few common textures, which is easy once you figure out which tool was used to make it. You will also get repairs for common drywall holes of all sizes, which includes plaster (thin set and lathe). And you will need to know how to repair loose tape seams.

And believe it or not, that’s about all there is to successful drywall repair. These techniques are hidden to the public but easy for you and I. If you ever have seen what homeowners try to do to repair their own drywall you will know instantly that this is an easy profitable business.

Here is the amazing part. Most drywall repairs that I see look awful. Yet the homeowner seems happy with it. The job looks like someone came in and slopped a little mud on the ceiling and left. Yet the repair guy ran off with something like $200 and the homeowner for some odd reason usually thinks the job was done O.K. I have seen this too often.

On a serious note though, doing good professional looking work at affordable prices will give you tons of referrals and repeat business. If you can learn the basics of proper drywall repair and even do a little touch up painting afterward you will do just fine. You can indeed earn $30 – $70 per hour due to the nature of the work.

How can I get business? Shopper guides, classified ads in places like Craig’s List, local online ads, small Yellow Pages ads, word-of-mouth, etc. Why should I start a small drywall repair business? Is there a big future in it? Yes for two reasons. First, self-employment is becoming the new work force and secondly, home repair will always be with us.

Who can do this type of work? Anyone who loves to restore things can do well. People who are gifted at home repairs, house painters, drywall, etc. Anyone who learns a few secrets to successful drywall repair.

Jan 10

Painting Business Marketing Tips and Ideas

Marketing is an important part of running a successful painting business. No matter how good you are at doing professional paint work, it won’t help you if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place to promote and sell the services that you offer.

In this article we look at how effective painting business marketing strategies can help your company get the painting jobs that you need on a regular basis. We also off ideas and tips on putting such a marketing plan together.

Branding Strategy

Right from the start you should set out to develop a brand. Give some thoughts to how you want to shape public perceptions of your business. A great name and logo design can give your brand visual representation but there is much more to it than that. A winning brand strategy is to have the right attitude and to adopt a business philosophy that will ensure that you slowly start to develop a good reputation. Strive to become known as a reliable company that always meets and exceeds customer expectations.

Painting Niche Markets

Before you can start to develop a marketing strategy you need to know exactly what painting services you intend on selling. Depending on the size of your local market and the number of competitors you may decide to specialize in one particular area or to be a ‘jack of all trades’.

The market can basically divided into two broad areas, exterior and interior painting. Exterior or outdoor painting work is usually easier to get as people are less likely to do it themselves due to the perceived danger of getting up on ladders. The great thing about outdoor painting work is that customers are usually less demanding then they are when you are painting surfaces inside their home. With outdoor painting you do have to consider safety to a much greater extent though, particularly for multi story buildings. You don’t even have to limit yourself to house painting as all kinds of buildings need painting from time to time.

Market Research

Do some thorough market research and identify all of the opportunities that are out there in the market. You also need to try to understand who your customers are likely to be and how you can market your service to them in a way that they will respond favorably. Put together some customer profiles and chat to a few typical customers to find out more from their prospective. Get into the customers shoes and try to understand what they are looking for in a painting company.

Networking Tips

One great way to pick up some regular jobs is to approach people who you think are in a position to be able to refer customers to you. Try to make relationships with property developers, interior decorators, real estate agents, home staging companies, property management firms and others who are out there in the market. Other networking options include joining a local builders association or the Chamber of Commerce.

Look for other well established service businesses that have large lists of clients and regular communication with them. You may find cleaning companies or lawn care businesses that will promote your service to their mailing list for a fee.

It can be great to have relationships with other painting contractors. While they are competitors in some sense of the word, they can also be helpful. If you specialize in different kinds of painting or you work in different parts of town then you may just be able to refer business to each other. If you are lucky there may be times when you have more work then you can handle. Being able to pass work on to other painters that you know are reliable will be good for your customers and good for them. They may also reciprocate and send work your way.

One great place to meet people is at home improvement stores. The painting section in Home Depot can be a gold mine if you are friendly and strike up some casual conversations. You will meet other contractors there and you may even meet a customer as well.

Advertising Campaigns

The obvious way for a new business to get in touch with prospective customers is through advertising. Test a variety of methods that will put you directly in touch with your target market. For more information see our article on Painting Business Advertising.

Marketing Materials

It helps if you have some marketing materials to show to prospective customers when you meet them for a consultation. Have some brochures made up or at least take a folder along with you with pictures of some of the jobs that you have completed in the past. Testimonials from previous customers also offer the prospect the kind of reassurance and ‘social proof’ that they want before they sign the dotted line.

What can you do if you have not completed any paint jobs yet or don’t have any suitable photos? One great tip is to purchase stock photography from an online retailer. Featuring pictures of beautiful paint jobs in your brochure or on your website is not fraudulent if you don’t make false claims about the depicted work being your own.

Fine Tune your Sales Process

To be a huge success in the painting business you do have to have someone on your team who is able to go out there and sell your services. There are many different sales strategies and techniques and they all have varying levels of success depending on the sales person and the prospect. Learn about some of the different approaches, test them out and then find out what works for you.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea that you have to sell. Sometimes if you just be yourself, stay positive and guide the customer through a pleasant conversation about how you can help them, that’s all it takes.

Try to up-sell customers on additional painting work. Once they have agreed to hire you to paint a certain area you can also start suggesting other areas of their house or property that could do with some paint work.

Ideas on Customer Service

In the painting business you have to be a good communicator as well as a good painter. It is necessary to take the time to understand every customers unique requirements. Always give them the best standard of service and make sure that they have open lines of communication with you. This should start right from the moment they get in contact with you to enquire about your services. Try to have someone answering your phone calls in person and if this is not possible then make sure that you return calls as soon as possible.

Marketing to Existing Customers

Once you have a customer and have completed some work on their home, that doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship with them. Build up a client list with notes about each property that you have painted. You can then contact them from time to time and offer to do any other painting work that they require.

There are many great guide books available online that will offer you additional ideas and strategies for your painting business marketing. If you study marketing in general you will find that most concepts relate to the painting industry and can be applied in your business.

Jan 10

How To Get a Truly Unique Work of Modern Art for Your Home

If you’re still searching for that one perfect piece of modern art for your home but can’t find it in stores or galleries, consider a more direct route: commission a work yourself.

Commissioning a new work from an artist can bring your home’s level of beauty, sophistication and style up to never before seen standards. It’s your own unique work to keep and show off at your discretion.

But how does one go about commissioning a piece? And how can you be sure it’ll come out the way you want?

It comes down to two things: artist selection and communication.

To find the right artist, you’ll have to know what you’re looking for in the work of art. It’s a narrowing down process, and it’s not really as daunting as it may seem.

If you’ve got something in mind, ask yourself — where have you seen their work? At a museum? On the walls at a coffee shop? If you’ve seen something you like, you can always ask the owner if they have the contact info of that artist, and if you can contact them for a commission of your own.

But don’t limit yourself to your own small corner of the world. Embrace the Internet! There are tons of platforms to find a style you like, and usually a way to contact the artist. Try DeviantArt, Carbonmade, or even Pinterest and Instagram. Use the search functions to find what you’re looking for and the artist who creates it.

When it comes to communication and direction, that’s all up to you. Think about yourself and how particular you’re going to be. Some people will accept anything the artist hands over, and some have distinct ideas about what’s good or not. You know yourself, but chances are the artist doesn’t. So it’s on you to communicate your vision clearly.

It’s never to soon to start forming your overall vision. Artists require communication, and if your vision is not concrete enough, the artist might fill in all the blanks for you. And while this might sound attractive, it can be a dangerous thing. Once an art project is complete, it’s not easy (or cheap) to redo any or all of it. If you don’t like the artist’s vision, then chances are it’s because it didn’t line up with YOUR vision, and that’s because you didn’t communicate your vision well enough to the artist.

To make sure you get what you want, you should narrow the communication options down to their specialty. What medium does this artist typically work in? Is that the medium you want for your piece? Be honest with yourself and your artist: are you attracted to their own style, or is it just that their style happens to most closely match the vision you have in your head?

It’s also important to find out how many commissions the artist has performed previously. If they’ve done a lot, they likely will have their own set of questions to ask you, the client. Please answer all the questions honestly and completely. The more you collaborate and communicate, the happier you’ll be with your finished piece.

Keep in mind: “surprise me” works out well less than most people think. You can surprise your guests when they see the piece at first, but you don’t want to be surprised by your commissioned artist.

Whatever your tastes are, the more selective you are in finding an artist and the more communicative you are to that artist, the better your fine art commission is bound to come out.

Jan 10

Fine Art – The Deep Meaning of Painting

Fine art is translated from the French term “beaux arts” which means that it originated from France. This art form does not only include visual paintings. Nowadays it includes sculptures, photography, opera, poetry, acting, drawings and music.

When you consider this wide scope, you will start to realize that there is much more to it. Maybe even the way you design your house can be considered fine art.

So why is this form of art a deep meaning of painting? How does one determine what is fine art? In this article, I will focus on the art in relation to paintings.

The core principle is ‘beauty’. An artist’s work which makes the viewer sees and feels it as beautiful, can be considered as fine art. Perhaps it is better to explain what it is not.

An exact painting of a family sitting on the sofa together will not be considered as this form of art. It may be a lovely painting that looks very life-like, but it is a straight forward painting. There is nothing special about it. It needs to be special and attention grabbing.

An advertisement board painting of the latest luxury sports car may attract many fanatics to an exhibition but nevertheless, it is just a painting which many skillful artists can imitate. It is rarely called fine art.

Reading the above two examples, it can be seen that it has to be more than just looking beautiful.

A painting can be considered fine art when it is not a straight forward painting of an object. It has to be beautiful, unusual, meaningful and portrays the feeling well.

A Vincent Van Gogh painting is an example which is easy to relate to because it is so famous. The chair, fruit, sunflower and the skies are not painted as they are. Van Gogh’s paintings were not an exact copy of what he saw. He painted the objects very differently but you can still recognize the object.

This style of painting is a way for the painter to show his feelings which will effectively channel through to the viewer. Fine art is imagining what the object truly means to the painter and having the ability to transfer it onto a painting.

If you see a painting of objects that are painted differently such as rectangular apples, and in addition you can sense what the artist is feeling at the time, then he has successfully created a fine art painting.

If an artist is famous then his paintings will no doubt draw a lot of attention and increase in price. However, this does not mean that you will also like the painting. The beauty of a painting is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers a fine piece of art, it may look boring and uninspiring to you.

Kenth Bender, artist, born in Sweden 1947 and began as an artist back in 1984. 1992, all his paintings were lost/stolen at a Group Exhibition. He lost all inspiration and took a 20 year break. 2010, he was invited to exhibit in Denmark, Germany and USA. 2012 invited from April to September, to 7 galleries from around the world. December 2010 he was diagnosed prostate cancer and after more than a year of rehabilitation he´s now back behind the easel.

Jan 10

Can Colors Really Escape a Painting? A Review of What “Fugitive” Colors Means

You were so proud of your watercolor painting of some roses. You had achieved a good drawing as a foundation to the painting. You loved the composition and how it encompassed the picture plane.. The light spread across the roses giving you just the effect you were after in balancing shadows from very dark to beautiful bright red highlights. It was one of your best pieces to date. In fact, it sold very quickly and that made you even happier.

But a couple of months later, the buyer contacts you. Something had changed in the painting. The buyer said that it has lost some of its brightness. You agree to look at the painting and you’re shocked at what you find. It appears much less vibrant to you. Some of the red areas that were rich in color are now dull, watered down looking. You can’t believe what you’re seeing. What happened?

Fugitive colors—that’s what happened. The artist failed to read the labels on the paints she used and to truly understand the permanence of the colors she had chosen. Maybe it was the first time she had chosen those colors. She had no idea some of them were “fugitive” colors. In this article, we’ll briefly review what fugitive colors means and how to read paint labels to better understand what you’re buying, whether it be oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, or other paints.

A fugitive color is a paint that has a pigment that can change over time. Most times the changes are caused by exposure to strong light, especially sun light. Every manufacturer of better paints places a rating on the tube by the American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM). You’ll also find this rating on better colored pencil brands. They rate lightfastness—the ability of the pigment to withstand exposure to light—on a scale of I-IV with I being Excellent and IV being Fugitive. Look for that number on your tubes of paint. It may look like this—ASTM IV or ASTM II. The higher the number the more fugitive the color. Always try to use those marked I or II no matter how much you love the color. Especially if you will be selling the work. Customers get unhappy when their paintings change over time!

Reds are the most fugitive colors, hence the rose painting example above. Historically, alizarin crimson has been fugitive, but now you should look for re-formulations like “Permanent Alizarin Crimson”. Re-formulations of fugitive colors are much more stable and can also be named “New” like some yellows. With fugitive colors like gamboge, again, look for “New Gamboge” since it’s a re-formulation. Any color with the name “madder” is also fugitive, such as Rose Madder.

Try and familiarize yourself with how different brands mark their tubes. On Winsor & Newton, for example, you’ll see permanence marked with AA for extremely permanent, A for permanent, and B for moderately permanent. They also show a Series number that relates to price with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. And finally, the lightfastness marked I, II, III, or IV.

Each manufacturer provides the same information in different ways. So, read your tubes and have fun with the colors you like. But be careful if you want permanence in your work.

Renaissance Fine Art Supplies in Hamilton, Ohio is a better quality art supply store. Rick Jones owns the store with his wife, Chris, and son, Brandt. They are located in downtown Hamilton at 218 High Street in the Artspace Hamilton Lofts building at the intersection of High and Second. They offer paints, mediums, brushes, canvas, papers, pads, pencils, graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, markers, inks, dyes, pens, easels, and much more.

Jan 10

Short Introduction to Salvador Dali’s Painting “The Persistence of Memory”

Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory is one of his most cherished works from a prolific lifetime. It was painted in 1931 long after he attended art school in Madrid and Barcelona. His early work throughout his education reflects an unusual aptitude for a wide variety of styles.

In the 1930’s Dali’s unparalleled ability as an artist was combined with his discovery of Sigmund Freud’s teachings about subconscious imagery, and his recognizable mature style was introduced to the world. Before painting The Persistence of Memory Dali had also become acquainted with the Paris Surrealists. He felt enabled to create groundbreaking art that would establish the reality within the subconscious.

The iconic imagery of the melting pocket watch has made The Persistence of Memory one of Dali’s most recognizable paintings. The painting is a splendid example of the contrast between sharp hard lines and melting softness. The watches themselves symbolize the concept of time past, and perhaps the irrelevance of time in the universe. Dali may have been commenting on the Surrealist interpretation of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Dali painted an abstract human figure in the middle of the composition that some interpret as a self-portrait. This bizarre figure is a recurring visitor in his work, and represents a soul that travels within both the realms of reality and the subconscious. Dali often drugged himself into hallucinatory states, and spent a great deal of time exploring his subconscious. The figure in the painting has only one closed eye which suggests a dream-state.

Ants crawl over a clock at the bottom left of the painting. Dali often painted ants to symbolize decay. This effectively ties in the mortal plane to work that is clearly a depiction of the subconscious.

It is likely that the clocks was used by Salvador Dali to symbolize mortality instead of literal time. And the cliffs that provide the backdrop are the impression of part of Catalonia, which was Dali’s childhood home.

This is rather a small painting, at least not as large as you would think. While this painting is one of Dali’s biggest triumphs, the actual size of this oil on canvas painting measures only 9 1/2″ x 13″.

This painting was first shown at the Julien Levy Gallery and has been part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1932, thanks to an anonymous donor.

Jan 10

Strokes, Swipes and Sweeps: Movement in Contemporary Still Life Paintings

Still Life is a class of paintings that goes back centuries, with well-known artists including Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. The subject of still life paintings has changed over time, but still life is still an imperative part of contemporary art. And one of the most important aspects of still life paintings is movement. While that may sound counterintuitive, it is absolutely true.

Movement in a painting can be described in many different ways. It can be the aspect that draws the eye to the subject of the painting or the sense of change within the painting that draws you through and makes the painting more active rather than passive. However it is described, movement brings a still life painting to life.

Taking a look at some still life works from modern artists, it is clear that the use of a variety of brushstrokes can create an incredible sense of movement. Seeing the different strokes, swipes, and sweeps draws your attention to the flow of a painting. In some of the backgrounds, you’ll see larger strokes that lead the eye to the subject of the painting. The subjects themselves have much smaller, more refined brushstrokes that do not take attention away from the still life. Having brushstrokes lead the eye can break our normal view of a painting. We may look at a painting like we would read a book: left to right, top to bottom. However, with the use of bold sweeping strokes, it can lead the gaze in new directions, causing a different reaction to a painting.

Studying the use of strokes in a painting can give us a good idea of the process an artist went through to create the piece. Bold strokes can indicate a more wild energy in the painting, leading a viewer to think that the piece may have been created with more energy. Smaller strokes that are more refined make us imagine a process that is more intricate, time-consuming, and thought-out. Using the idea of having a painting slowly reveal itself to the viewer, we can see how looking more closely at the energy and movement of a painting can reveal the intentions of the artist and even the process. It gives the viewer a better sense of connection with the artwork.

To give the viewer a connection and a reaction to a painting is important. Art has always been an expression of emotion and it continues to be in modern day. Using movement in a painting and creating an ebb and flow is critical and creates synergy in a painting, not only within the painting, but between the painting and its viewer.

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