Thursday, 5 August 2010

Figurative Artists

Last week I was pleasantly surprised to receive complimentary comments on both this site and my Semi-Abstract Figurative Paintings blogsite. Nothing new in that I hear you say since I get them all the time (or at least only the ones I allow you to see) but this time there was an added compliment which I was extremely pleased to accept at first asking - to join a new online registry of Figurative Artists being created by the loudest artist (her own words) I have ever met in Bloggerland: Paula O'Brien.

This would provide me with a direct link into my own principal website ( which I set-up five years ago.

The big issue, common to many artists I hear, was that for the past two years while I was focused solely on the OCA Course, my own website was languishing in the doldrums. I often thought it was about time to re-jig the site and make it much more specific to figure painting but was always far too busy. This invite from Paula was just what I needed - no more summer holidays for was time to get down to business!

With inclusion in Paula's new registry I could not allow any unsuspecting visitors to freefall into the assorted ragbag that was my official website. So I set about re-building it from scratch. And here is the results if you wish to have a look yourself:

Now all of this raises the next, obvious, question - what do I expect from this sooper-dooper streamlined website? And more importantly, what do I expect from the production of my fabulous artwork?

Originally I had dreams of my opening show in New York, but with the passing years I will be lucky if I ever get anything accepted in Glasgow. You see, I have been hiding my talents under a bush. I know I need to promote myself more because I have always wanted my art to be at least be self-sustaining. So over the next few weeks I will be turning my mind to developing a strategy to try to sell at least one painting before the year is out.

"String of Pearls", oils on canvas, 40x30cm.

Any offers?


Melinda said...

Your work is worthy of a show in New York.

The thing is, if I am reading the times correctly, the economy is tough for galleries, the world lacks art education, galleries want to represent artists who are popular at the moment and we're just not able to compete with that.

On the bright side, people still love art and when they have money, and they can see your work, they will buy.

We artists must try other things and not give up. Have you read "Seven Days in the Art World"?

This will give you quite an education about the system in place.

We need a new paradigm!

I love this portrait. Yes, indeed, you have a "distinctive painting style" and I hope you'll keep going.

Watching the documentary about Alice Neel is reassuring (kinda sad too) when it comes to following your vision--no matter what. It really is all about the work. Well, having artist friends helps a great deal!

Thank you for the links. I'm enjoying your website, work and Paula's site.

Wishing you every success,
Sista' Melinda

P. S. I am passionately against vanity galleries. They are the kiss o' death, in my humble opinion, for the professional artist. Submitting work to legitimate "calls to artists" can be good for the resume...

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Dear Melinda,
It is always a pleasure to receive your comments and, of course, the compliments. Does my heart good it does.

I should apologise for being overly negative about gallery owners - I've had one extremely bad experience with what I can only term a "hooligan" and it has soured my desire to fall into any of their clutches again.

I have just now placed an order for "Seven Days..." and should get it delivered by next week so I'll let you know what I think of it, so thank you for the recommendation.

Two other things:
i) You mentioned that you liked my 'Sun-Loungers' pastel elsewhere, so if you give me an address where I can post it to I'll send it forthwith.
ii) You also said I could email you direct which I would like to do, not to bore you with my sad life, but to seek your trusted opinion?
Your Brither in Paint,
ps: I take it you mean by "call to artists", submissions to Open Exhibitions? I also see that as a primary route to building a reputation. So I'm gonna give it a try again!

my croft said...

So very many ways to approach this "selling of one's artwork" goal.

One thing I suggest for the revamped website -- sizes and prices. And start the new work section with the Planets series -- it's an immediately recognizable "hook and story" and therefore seems the most immediately commercial of what's on offer.

Check out Nelda Warkentin's site. She's a fiber artist, so the approach is slightly different, but I think she does a great job of showing just enough stuff (as you do), showing it to great adavantage (framed and hanging in Real Places), and providing background of herself and the work.

Remember also, that selling your work is an active process, a job in itself. It's not enough to post and hope, you have to work it.

Great news though, and I'm thrilled for (and inspired by) your determination.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks for your comments and observations, Melanie, and also the link to Nelda Warkentin's website, which I have had a look at and like very much. Some beautiful work she does.

Melinda said...

Hi David,
Just checking in. I'm not sure if you're out and about or if you've not received my email. I sent a note to your website contact email. If you have not received it, you can always email me at artoday at and I'll reply with my personal email addy.

Wishing you many productive art making hours!

Anonymous said...

Good fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Hi David, that's wonderful that you'll be included in that registry but it's especially great because it's made you reasses your marketing strategy. Your art is amazing and all the time you put into marketing will be well worth it. But gosh, I think marketing takes a lot of time, I don't do much of it either. Hardly any at all. I'll be interested to see what your strategies will be. Best of luck to you, your art does need a wider audience.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Oh, just saw Melinda's comment about that book "Seven Days . . . ". I've read it too. I hope you'll post your opinions when you get the book and read it.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thank you, Anonymouse, for visiting and commenting!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

And thank you too, Joan!

With the completion of my semi-abstract figurative Course and other events, especially being included in the Figurative Artists registry, has made me think more about what I should be doing in the future.
I can't say that I have anything particularly earth-shatering to tell you at the moment, but I can tell you that instead of wrestling gallery owners to the ground anytime soon I am more likely to be finding some sort of balance in what I do. Marketing ones-self is very time-consuming, as you say, and I know I am not prepared to put all my hours into it. I will be looking for something more suitable for me to pursue and if I never make my millions from painting, so be it.
At least I can count on such moral support from yourself and my other friends in Bloggerland to sustain me.
Thanks for that!

As for "Seven Days..." I can report that I have started it but I also have many other recommendations from Melinda in particular I am trying to look at.

All this, and camping to :o)