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Homepage: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com

Marketing of Art – parallels in the marketplace of the arts

Yesterday I watched a film about the comic strip artists and how they are adapting to the new markets since the demise of most of the newspapers and hence the syndicate marketing that went with it.  It was as they said a time like the previous generation of book illustrators who had to adapt and become comic strip artists in order to survive.  I was struck by the parallels of the comic strip artist and the fine artist with the gallery system which is slowly modifying and evolving into something different and the rise of the era of the independent artist.

The search for what’s next is always on my mind as I have another 30 years as an artist if I’m lucky and I want to accomplish a number of things.  How to go about doing that is the question, what is the best way to approach the marketplace for the fine artist….

The comic strip artist’s have done what many of fine artist’s have done, i.e. they’ve created websites and created a means of direct sales on these website.  http://muttscomics.com/ They outlined their process in the film see the following:

1)  comics put online for free building an audience and following by creating story lines for their work.  Creating a story line is not new, since this is how comic strips have been since their inception.  The thing which is new is that they an offering these for free, no syndication process which builds an audience.  We’ve seen this also in the book market as well, where publishers offer entire chapters for free online thereby creating a market for the book and in music as well where on YouTube musicians offer parts of albums to create a market for the downloaded album.

2) Step 1 is designed to create a large readership for the things which people like about the strip.  Some of these comics have developed millions of readers which of course is a wonderful way to get the word out.  In old marketing one use to say each person knows 5 people.  So if you have 2000 readers x 5 you are actually reaching 10,000 readers.  In old marketing you where you had a brick and mortar show you had the numbers of 1 in 20 would result in some sort of sale.  I suspect that the numbers are not the same in online marketing.  I generally go by the quality of the number, those people who view a site for more than 5 mins or see more than 6 pages are truly interested art lovers  1 in 20 of that type of viewer is your real market.  Art is like eating a fine meal, it requires some time to savor so anyone who looks at a page for 20 seconds just isn’t getting it…

3) Monetize you site.  The comic strip artist is selling books, prints, t-shirts etc… while fine artist’s can not do all of these things they can sell original art through the site by simply making a contact work on the site, ie email me if you have a question , you can sell prints, books, and instructional DVDs .  The principle is the same.

4) Once the website is large enough you can advertise i.e. sell advertising space on the site if you want which is another means of making income.

5) They also said cut out the middle men.  While I wouldn’t recommend this 100% for the fine artist, I do believe that in the present marketplace it is possible to be independent and work a show schedule as well without harming either.  Actually I believe and have always thought so, that it should boost the market of both and thereby increase the health of the marketplace for the fine arts.     Art is like fine wine it actually becomes richer with exposure, repeated exposure.  I’ve always said that art isn’t like selling Bread there is NO sell by date.

 

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2nd Art Auction Coming Up June 1st-15th

My first Auction On-site went quite well, especially since I’m just getting it started and I didn’t know if it would work.    I was really pleasantly surprised.    At any rate, I’m adding up some new pieces this week for the second set of auction pieces.

See my new auction pages starting here:  http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/silent-auction-page/   Paintings and announcing the auction the third Tuesday of each month and you’ll be able to sign into the site and bid on the work the first through the 15th of each month going forward.  The second Auction begins June 1st and ends June 15th starting with  another 3-4 pieces listed.   If you have any questions feel free contacting me for information.     This gives people a chance to buy art pieces some of which have never been exhibited and to shop my studio in the comfort of their own home.  The choice of the artwork is up to the artist, although if you are interested in something in particular I’ll take suggestions. Contact the Artist

* to subscribe to auction go to http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/wp-login.php?action=register to  Register.  Enter a username (which may be anonymous and an email address that works so that you can set your own password)  you will be invoiced should you have the winning bid.  You will have the option of paying by Paypal or by personal check on an US bank.  See the Silent Auction Page for more details.

 

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Business Card ~ Deborah Chapin

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Contemporary Art in Book of Water – Underwater Portraits The Beginnings

To continue…  this portfolio of Book of Water  began in this series with underwater portraits of Cameron portrayed here in the liquid mirror. See “Break Through” 16 x 24 inches, oil painting.   A young, enthusiastic swimmer  Cameron has an effervescent presence.  Cameron was a particularly pliable subject since she was so comfortable making underwater portraits.  She had no problem halting her breathing while holding a natural expression although she frequently puffed out her cheeks to make a face at me in jest . There were several challenging aspects to doing these portraits, one of which was your’s truly since for the first two years I couldn’t figure out how to sink. For this reason sometimes my models were below water while I was frustrated with not being able to stay below water.   Gradually however through a number of revisions in my own gear and my own breathing I began to sink and this led to the next level of work in the underwater portraits..  This was the first painting in the series.   I painted it primarily as a landscape portrait, rotating it only after each session

Art Gallery Portfolio, Underwater Portraits: Mid Tone - Drawing ~ Cameron Break Through by Deborah Chapin

Art Gallery Portfolio, Underwater Portraits: Mid Tone – Drawing ~ Cameron Break Through by Deborah Chapin

starting with the grisaille portrait drawing in sienna and continuing through the mid tone stage to development. I don’t draw out the water as you can see because that isn’t my way.

I started the underwater portraits with the reflections since that was a continuation of a theme throughout my career. I have done a lot of reflections starting with my marine paintings

 

Windward Passage, reflection example in Marine Art, by Deborah Chapin

Windward Passage, reflection example in Marine Art, Grand Central Galleries NYC, Deborah Chapin

almost all painting required some concept of reflections or bouncing light and color on the surface of the water. Advancing as I went through landscape paintings

Color Beads, Original Sold at CMRussell Auction, by Deborah Chapin

Color Beads, Original Sold at CMRussell Auction, by Deborah Chapin

to eliminating the horizon line and just depicting the reflections with the only reference to reality being either wildlife or plant life.

 

 

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Business Card ~ Deborah Chapin

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Progress Report

Well the début of the Water Portraits last month went very well with 1,036 pages viewed.  Thanks for all the support and encouragement everyone.  I am busy working on new pieces and continuing my series on the book of water at the same time working on revamping the house and studio and raising the funds with auctioning off some of my work for building a new studio.  It is a very exciting time and going well so in general the new beginnings are going as hoped.

Now I know that I had planned to order my materials for the taboret this month, however slight SNAFU, my large printer gave up the ghost so I had to buy a new one.  I was very disappointed in Canon’s service they promised much more than they delivered and they charged an arm and leg for it.  Moral of that story is go online, find a maintenance manual and check out the error codes yourself because Canon is going to go for the option which makes money for them.  Don’t be guided by a salesmen in technical support clothing.   In theory a new one will be here mid-May but then they said it would be here last month also.   At any rate the budget took a hit because of it, so this postponed the Taboret.    Since I will be working a while longer with the setup that I have a took some time to reorganize the space

to make it into something that would work a little better.    It won’t win house and garden award but it works.

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New Auction Site at Gallery.DeborahChapin.com

As part of my new site I’m trying out a new Auction format.  Looking to move and build a larger two-story studio for the next 30 years of work and would like to sell as much as possible before I move.    To this end I’m also working through some inventory with a new idea that benefits both the collector and the artist i.e. auctions.  I’ve never liked the auction layout at eBay, never thought it showed the work off, and I’m not much of a fan of the auctioneer set up either… picky picky,  which is highly risky for both the artist and collector because so little time is allowed for people to see the artwork and hyped atmosphere of the auction transpires over a period of less than a couple of minutes.  I did like the silent auction that I saw used at the Artist of America Shows at the Denver Art Museum when I participated in that.  This is what I decided to do, allow collectors to bid on a work, over a period of two weeks giving the collector time to look at the work think about the selection and ask the artist questions.    See my new auction pages starting here:  http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/silent-auction-page/  It is more conducive to selling art.  I will be putting up paintings and announcing the auction the third Tuesday of each month and you’ll be able to sign onto the site and bid on the work the first through the 15th of each month going forward.  The first Auction begins May 1st and ends May 15th starting with 3 pieces listed.   If you have any questions feel free contacting me for information.     This gives people a chance to buy art pieces some of which have never been exhibited and to shop my studio in the comfort of their own home.  The choice of the artwork is up to the artist, although if you are interested in something in particular I’ll take suggestions. Contact the Artist

* to subscribe to auction go to http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/wp-login.php?action=register to  Register.  Enter a username (which may be anonymous and an email address)  you will be invoiced should you have the winning bid.  You will have the option of paying by Paypal or by personal check on an US bank.  See the Silent Auction Page for more details.

 

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Business Card ~ Deborah Chapin

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Introducing the Newest Portfolio of Paintings

NOTE: I’m going to aim at publishing my New Portfolio news on the 2nd Tuesday of the month since I am developing several fronts at the same time.

Introduction:

2015 will be the third year of working on my newest portfolio of oil paintings and to date unseen works.  It has been slow going… but it would be misleading to say it only took me three years to arrive at this point.  I’ve not been one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to study 4-5 years in an academic setting but this doesn’t mean I haven’t been studying.   I took classes along the way,  starting with a workshop with Mary Ekroos , Daniel Greene back in the 80s somewhere, then Raymond Kinstler and then Sam Adoquei’s Academic Atelier at the National Academy in the 90s while I continued actually earning a living with landscape /seascape plein air paintings.    Through all of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I kept exploring until all the puzzle pieces began to fit.   My final leg of the artistic journey will be the combination of what I have been painting, water, with something I have only touched upon until now, portraiture.

I have been painting people all along, friends posed for me while I was on location and I’ve painted and sold most of those as I went.  Another friend taught me a great deal about Waterhouse, Leighton and Rossetti with their dreamy quality in classical realism and  Flaming June (definitely one of my top three all time painting) and I started to leave the ground with Mucha, Lalique and Maxfield Parrish.   I’m getting closer to what I want to create at this point and I’m beginning to like what I see.  I like to get a thrill from painting and those things that thrill me most are painting movement in water and it’s interaction with light and color on the subject, this is what I wanted to incorporate into a Chapin Water Portraits.

So I have followed Sargent‘s advice, following the path for 35 years of exploring and painting everything else first and finally portraits.    My kind of portrait, with water untethering the model from the restraints of reality and gravity, developing the interaction with line and color and dreaming in reality.

closeup ~ Water Portrait by Deborah Chapin http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio/water-portrait-by-deborah-chapin-invincible-hair-portrait-underwater/

closeup ~ Finishing up with removal of horizon line soon, see it as it progresses on my site today or  tomorrow. Water Portrait by Deborah Chapin Invincible, 24×36 oil on linen by Deborah Chapin

The models and I experimented, to create and depict my ideas and together we’ve started the creative process and exploration of the subject.  Can’t wait to see how this evolves.   This is the beginning of my project, you can see the work as it develops and we’ll see where it will go from here as I begin to compile the works on my website in my newest category: Water Portraits: In, On and Around Water by Deborah Chapin see: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/water-portraits-figurative-by-deborah-chapin/   At the same time I’ll be developing a Book of Water which you can see develop here: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/portfolio_category/book-of-water/

For those who still like to be tethered to the beach fear not, I’m working on one as we speak for the Mystic International. So, I am still working on those as well and still love doing them.  The figure en plein air.   There are many facets to an artist’s career and the artist must be an explorer.

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Business Card ~ Deborah Chapin

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The Making of a Taboret ~ Debbie’s Folly Part I

Ok I decided since I am doing a portfolio of studio paintings as well as the plein air paintings and a combination there of I wanted to upgrade and organize my minuscule studio space with a Taboret workbench.   So I went about shopping to see what I could find.  The price tag sort of put me into a deep funk for a minute or two until I started really looking at them and saying “hey I built my own workbench so I can do this too” .  Now granted my Taboret is going to be more of the functional front line type rather than the Thomas Moser fine furniture variety.  I decided that I could use 8 set of sterilite drawers for the drawers for supplies under the palette area and create storage and a very functional piece for my use with just a little time and effort on my part and 2×4’s, 3/4 ” plywood etc.  I can stain the end results and hand rub with  Minwax wipe on Poly  and maybe I wouldn’t win a furniture exhibition award but I would have a very functional and strong work table/taboret for my purpose.  This is the beginning of a series on this construction project.

The first step is to come up with a plan of construction.  Using my existing workbench as a guide I decided to basically construct it at the same height of 33″ since that works well for me.  I also decided that the strength and stability which my workbench has is largely due to the platform base that it is built on rather than putting annoying brackets to brace the bench.  Also since I’ll want to move this Taboret,  the platform has to be removable so that the table can be moved separately to go out the door.

Taboret Construction - Layout and Start of Project Gallery.DeborahChapin.com

Taboret Construction – Layout and Start of Project Gallery.DeborahChapin.com

The top of the Taboret is basically like building a crate but with legs and accounting for the drop for the various compartments, then putting in two braces into the box so that you can mount a platform on top for a palette area and then building a base to add stability then plopping in all the various dividers etc for storage.  You can always attach a drop leaf out of nice wood that you could cover over the work area in case you have clients into your studio later.  So I’m drafting up and outline:

Taboret draft outline - Deborah Chapin

Taboret draft outline – Deborah Chapin

I have a few things that I have to correct on the measurements but that I’ll do on my printout i.e. the interior height of the studs will be 25″ length  instead of 23″  so there will be other modifications along the way, also this drawing was done free hand on my computer so don’t hold that against me, I’ve not used that tool much.

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Business Card ~ Deborah Chapin

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New Canvas Print, Tranquility

I’m adding a new canvas print to the repertoire of landscape paintings.  This piece exhibited in the Arts for the Parks top 200 in Jackson Hole WY and the SEWE exhibition in Charleston, SC  The original is sold but the life-size print would make a spectacular focus wall in any home.  Tranquility, 16×34 archival inks on museum canvas.   Depicting the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge on the Chesapeake as scene on PBS.    http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/shop/landscape-painting-tranquility-canvas-print/

Tranquility, 16x24 canvas print by Deborah Chapin

Tranquility, 16×24 canvas print by Deborah Chapin

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New Portfolio getting there, show deadlines coming up …

Been working on a new portfolio of paintings, it is slow going and I feel good about the work so far.  I have several pieces completed and loads more to reach my goal, I keep looking and checking out the work to be sure I’m not deluding myself …  it is challenging, lots to learn refine and develop.    I’ve been through this before having evolved my career through 3 different phases before.  When I started out in marine art I remember one of the primary things that I was searching for was a unique vision for the subject I had chosen to do, then I had to learn how to depict it, composition, perspective, my particular painting quality of style etc…  Once I had that I evolved it into plein air painting, I again had to hunt out the subject matter focus but also conquer the hurdle of going from a studio painter to a painter on location and the timing of that, overcoming the certain mental resistance inherent in doing so and keeping all that I had learned before…. When I evolved into a wildlife and plein air painter I combined the two world together and sought to keep a unique vision through both…. Now I again am evolving and have chosen a subject matter which summons all that I learned before and the rest is a matter of working out with each piece.  Although I have considerably more tools at my disposal than I did when I was 26 there are still the challenges that were there at the beginning and the discovery of new things.    It is a sheer delight to keep discovering new levels of ability and the exploration of what it can do.   That is why I wanted to be a painter in the first place, it wasn’t a 9-5 job from which I would retire, it is something that I can do throughout my life.

I remember with the first national show that I entered back in 1982 the ASMA exhibition at Grand Central galleries in NYC.  I had already tried to enter a number of local art shows and because they were mostly water colorist I was never accepted.  I’d tried regional shows with much the same result.  When I entered the ASMA exhibit, my then husband told me “don’t plan on being accepted and if you do get one in, it will probably be only one. ”  Well I entered three and three paintings were accepted and from there a number of opportunities arose.  I’m getting ready to enter my first show with this new portfolio of work and maybe the work will be accepted perhaps it won’t but just like the lotto you can’t win if you don’t enter.  The truth is however that I’m already a winner because I am happy with the work, I’m actually a little amazed myself, and I’m still learning.  I really feel at this point that is the best part of working as an artist, the exploration and discovery,  so it is just a matter of finding the right moment and right way to reveal.

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New Paintings ~ New Life ~ New Experience

I have been working on a new series of paintings for the past couple of years and scraping down, starting over and over and over.   I didn’t want mediocre, I wanted something uniquely beautiful, I didn’t know whether or not it would be successful, and like any new venture we are always full of self doubts.    I mentally revisited my firsts of the past where the unknown truly had no boundaries.  Everything was an unknown.   The mental game an artist plays is really quite something.  I remembered painting three pieces for my very first national show and wondering was it good enough, did I miss something? what if… but I screwed up my courage and scraped my entry fee together and lo and behold all three works were accepted.     That was the beginning of my first incarnation as an artist.  I have since metamorphosed myself several more times.    I realized while painting this new work that I was having a deja vous experience.     A fresh start but with all the experiences of the past.   Art is really a journey into the possibilities of self discovery, what are the limit? are there any limits to your imagination? what next?   For those who have been painting a particular subject for a while you know that you gain confidence that the public will like your work, an assurance that you are in the flow of the work and that the subjects are worthy of paint.  That collectors will come knocking at your door and want what you have created and that you will ultimately succeed.    Whenever, you are venturing out of your comfort zone you know that your gut is responding to the risks of failure (this is your lizard brain talking).   Despite this, fear of failure is NO reason not to risk it.   It is death to a creative spirit to stop poking your talent into new venues,  to quit exploring what you can do, finding limits or discovering none.  You must see if you can, when all the evidence is on the side of “you can’t”.   A creative mind will create no matter what and it is a waste of abilities NOT to explore every aspect of it.

I have been painting on the edge between realistic and abstract for a long time.   That and the subject of water seem to by the common thread throughout my 30+ years of painting,  whether painting meander of the sea pieces, or florals abstracted from their background, or marsh landscapes or painting reflections with gliding wildlife or kids on a beach, all these experiences have been incorporated into this new subject matter.    I am very proud of myself (can I say that?) that I have taken the journey to this point, and not flinched from the rocky road.  I am also pleased that despite a lot of obstacles that I am still working on me, tweaking abilities, honing skills and refining my thinking.  Trying to go beyond what I’ve done before stretch myself.    This is what I wanted my life to be.   I didn’t want to settle and fortunately the “times” wouldn’t allow me to either, it kept pushing me on to the next thing.   Since I can’t travel at the moment what I chose to do with my time has become a perfect subject to challenge myself.    I’m busy working on a series of pieces getting ready for the next opportunity, seeing new things and challenge my mind with new puzzles to solve.   After all I’m not dead yet, I still have time to discover what else I can do.

 

 

 

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