The Gift of Art in a Different Form

November 26, 2013
Demo in oil for a husband and wife that wanted to learn oil painting together. Private lessons make a great holiday gift for someone creative who wants to try something new.

Demo in oil for a husband and wife that wanted to learn oil painting together. Private lessons make a great holiday gift for someone creative who wants to try something new.

The holiday season is just about upon us, many artists are advertising holiday “specials” on small works, giclees, craft items and commissions. I’ve always avoided all of the above, I only offer original work (no prints) and feel that it isn’t fair to the collectors who buy my work or the galleries that sell it to risk reducing its value through discounting. Of course I’ll sell a drawing for a lot less than an oil painting, but not at a mass merchandising price. That isn’t my market.

However, that’s not to say that I don’t have anything on offer for the holidays…

Introducing: The Gift Certficate!

OK, so it’s not a new concept, but the way I’m applying it to my business is a bit out of the ordinary. It can be used in a variety of different ways:

  • As a gift for a budding artist or someone who wishes to advance their studies in art via private or small group lessons!  Perhaps you know a friend who is interested in art but who doesn’t have the budget or the time to fit an art class into their schedule. Why not give them the gift of private or small group lessons? If you’re an artist, you can even give the gift to yourself and a friend, a great way to spend some time together learning something new that you both enjoy. I offer private instruction in all media–oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, and charcoal. I’m happy to work with artists that live in the NY Metro area in their home studios. Depending on location, I can even do some weekend and evening sessions for those artists who work during the day! For those of you that do not live in the area, another option is to work online via Face Time or Skype, or to simply submit work via email for critique–there are a lot of options available. I have a student from Maine who works with me in this manner and it’s very efficient for both of us–it keeps her on track with her painting goals and allows me to work with a student I could not otherwise assist because of the distance.
  • As a gift for someone who loves collecting art! Art is so subjective, how can you possibly choose a piece of art for someone else? Giving a gift certificate takes the guess work out of giving art. It also makes giving art more feasible in terms of cost–you choose the amount you wish to spend and allow the recipient to choose how they wish to spend it.  For example, let’s say you give someone a $100 gift certificate. They can either use it to purchase a small, unframed, black & white drawing in full, or apply it to the total cost of a more expensive item, paying the difference between the card value and item’s cost.

If this sounds like something that might appeal to you as a unique gift giving idea, send me an email at Gift certificates are available starting at $50 and can be purchased in increments of $25 from there on up. I can give you details about the program and pricing for specific items such as individual and private group lessons. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Draw Your Face

November 17, 2013
Watercolor & Grey Sharpie, 6x6 in., about 10 minutes, from looking in the mirror

Watercolor & Grey Sharpie, 6×6 in., about 10 minutes, from looking in the mirror

Faces often intimidate artists, particularly when it comes to self portraits–you are not only revealing your technical skills but you are also letting the world know how you see yourself.  However, our own faces make some of the best models–they are readily available, free of charge, and you can’t offend anyone other than yourself if your efforts are less than you expected them to be.

I don’t draw myself (or anyone else for that matter) with the intent of getting an exact likeness, but I do aim to get a correct approximation of facial structure, proportion and age. I also hope to capture the personality of whomever I’m drawing, as well as a sense of their mood and expression at the time I am drawing them. I am most interested in using the medium, in this case watercolor and a bit of ink, to capture the subject in as few strokes as possible. I do this by keying in on the features that make the person unique–the more you draw the same subject the more familiar you become with it. You get to recognize the forms and their corresponding geometric shapes and how light carves them out of the shadows.

Watercolor is a great medium for drawing faces–it’s fast, spontaneous and vibrant. If you are looking for an expressive way of capturing the personality of your subjects (including yourself) give it a try. Don’t forget to have fun with it, remember, you can’t offend the model.