Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Interview

Yesterday Michael and I met with a journalist and photographer from the Star Banner newspaper at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to be interviewed for his "Masters of Racing" exhibit. Amazing how I can talk a blue streak about paintings, mine or otherwise, until I'm being set down for the interview. Thankfully, Michael is always articulate and never at a loss for words, as well as is Dick Hancock, the Executive Director of FTBOA.

That's Bob Judy's paintings, above. One is "Real Quiet" and the other is "Forego". So this is something that I intend to improve on, this tongue-tied reaction to basic, friendly questions. Not wanting to be known as the interview nightmare, I'm going to ask Michael to coach me with a mock interview.

To the right is Modrea Seiler's painting called "Mud Runners".

The article is scheduled to be in tomorrow's "GO" section of the paper. It's the weekly events - stuff to do - listings and stories.

To the left is a pastel rendition of one of several mural preliminary compositions that I've created for a client. The previous comps have been scrapped and this new direction is fascinating - horses playing in the surf. I met with the client and achieved a definite, focused direction.

To the right is another comp, this time in oil. I was struggling to get the sparkling light into the drawing with the pastels, opting for oil which I think illustrates it nicely. I also experimented with a textured acrylic ground of glass beads to convey the spray and mist of the surf. I'm excited to get on with the project.

My most wonderful gallery in Lexington, Kentucky, e-mailed me today with the news of a sale. Yes! So glad to be on board, check them out: Fayette Gallery.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Goodbye Barbaro

Farewell to the champion Barbaro who painted a portrait of courage, heart and extreme bravery. We who love you are so saddened by your passing but you leave an entry in the history books which will remain unsurpassed. You will never, ever be forgotten.

To all his connections - my sincerest sympathy. I feel your heartache and I know a part of you goes with this great, great race horse.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

This Week in Review

I feel like I'm neglecting the blog posts, especially since I committed to updating often and candidly. This has been a very busy week, however. I've been focused on producing a couple of new mural comps for my client via a new concept direction. Out of respect for privacy, I won't publish the images right now. Suffice to say, I'm excited and eager to present them.

I started an artists "salon". We had our first meeting last Monday and all ten of the invited participants showed up enthusiastically. Our objective is to explore marketing and business aspects of being an artist. The members are all professionals dedicated to achieving success with their artwork and the energy of the group is vibrant with ideas and contributions. Monday served as an introduction and the next meeting will bring us together prepared for the serious stuff.

My brother from Rhode Island came by to visit Thursday evening. He's attending an optical seminar in St. Pete this weekend. He looked fit and healthy and we caught up over a delicious meal that Michael prepared for us. We discussed "gag orders". Huh? That's right. His was resultant from a law suit that's recently been resolved and mine is in place through Michael who wants the dust to settle on a serious issue he's involved with. It has to do with horse racing. Once he gives me the green light I have a lot to say about this troubled industry.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hewlett Packard Un-ethics

Michael produces all of my giclees. We purchased an awesome HPDesignJet5000PSUV printer a few years back and have been supplied with HP Studio Canvas throughout. Now, I mean a printer, in the range of $20,000. Business has been great for four or more years and we've been quite satisfied with the quality of the machine outlay and the canvas. Giclees have been beautiful, vibrant and true to color.

We recently tried to order a few rolls of Studio Canvas and have been informed by our suppliers that the line has been discontinued. What? A call to HP Customer Care ensues to question this information. By golly, don't you know it's true. Of course, the tech support person wasn't even aware of this decision by HP. Can you give us the manufacturer of the canvas? (thinking we could hunt down the source who may have re-sold to another company) "Uh, here's their name but that's all the info I'm allowed to reveal. Can I offer you the latest model with a trade-in?" Googling this company, Channel Logistics, revealed zip.

What's with these mega-giant companies? For those in the know, it's not a simple matter of just ordering another brand of canvas. It means installing new profiles and most likely a nightmare of color correction on existing files. How can they do this, but even more, how can they not provide contact information to the canvas manufacturer? Why would they be confidential at this point? Seems it's no skin off their nose.

Let this serve as a heads up to those of you considering purchasing any HP products.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Always a Bridesmaid?

I've been listening to some mixed reactions from horse people concerning the $10,000 minimum opening bid for the preferred consignments. It's supposed to elevate the quality of the "select" session. Some were concerned that some horses received no bids, others thought it was a great idea, and still others grumbled that OBS is trying to compete with Keeneland. Please. Kentucky is still "it" when it comes to horse breeding. Our best mares in Ocala are on Kentucky's bottom rung. However, as elitist as that sounds, Ocala is second in the thoroughbred breeding business and always nipping at Ky's heels. Florida-bred runners reign as competent contenders.
It was a perfect weather and a good excuse to get out of the studio. I'm simultaneously working on the multi-canvas piece and preliminary comps for an awesome mural.

I've organized an artist's "salon" with the direction of Alyson B. Stanfield. We have our first meeting this coming Monday. The emphasis is on marketing and business which is an aspect of an artist's career that's usually sorely lacking. Stuff not taught in art school. After I attended an intensive Bruce Baker workshop last year, I was amazed at how much I didn't know about my own business. I made the decision to get pro-active immediately and discovered that I really enjoy taking control of my business. I want to spread the word that although it's a huge amount of work, the process and resultant rewards are amazing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Masters of Racing

Michael and I hung the "Masters of Racing" horse racing art exhibit in the beautiful gallery space at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. It officially opens Monday the 15th and will run through February 28th. It coincides with the OBS Winter Mixed Sale which begins next Wednesday, January 17th and the Select Two Year Old Sale being moved from Miami on February 13th. In the background are paintings by Robert Clark, Maureen Hahn and the big one is by moi.

This is the natural light which fills the space (we don't have the lights turned on). It's a square space, the middle being open to the first floor. This beautiful wrought iron railing encloses the opening. There is an equally beautiful double staircase leading upwards. Background paintings are by Tom Chapman, Robert Clark and Maureen Hahn.

Here's "Blue Blinkers" (and a rod leaning) and a painting by Terry Lindsey of Vermont.

Here are two little gems by artist Booth Malone, 2006 Breeders' Cup Poster Artist.

Tonight we attend the opening reception at Gallery East for Modrea Seiler. Not only is she a great friend but we also have one of her cool pieces in the exhibit. More photos to come.

Monday, January 08, 2007

eBay, Again

Michael is taking on ebay again, a man on a mission. He's done the research and reading and has decided to learn by doing. The category and the search words in the "title" are of prime importance. He's listing this image "Florida Runner" in both the Limited Edition Giclee Reproduction and the poster.

Is it a coincidence that the jockey silks and blinkers are the same colors as our Florida Gators playing for the grand championship tonight?

The original is long gone but it was painted with a palette knife and surprisingly reproduced true to the technique. If you'd like to bid or check it out: Giclee or bid on the Poster.

Go Gators!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Radio Interview

Well, I got through the radio interview yesterday at WOAC News Talk Radio. Larry and Robin were most gracious hosts and made it comfortable and easy. What pros. And Dick Hancock, Executive Director of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association is seasoned at speaking with large groups, so this was just another PR gig for him. I love hanging out with people like Dick - I can learn so much. He saved my butt on two occasions during the interview and he also gave me some solid advice. Michael printed up some sheets with the who, what, where info which was sooo helpful. I was of course concerned with sounding stupid or not having answers to questions therefore I spoke s-l-o-w-l-y, too slow. Michael taped the show and I listened to it afterwards constructively. More of my personality which is laid back with a fun sense of humor needs to come through. Looking back on the experience, it wasn't so bad and I'm looking forward to the next opportunity to speak about myself and my artwork. Yep, stepping out of that comfort box!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Painting for POD

Being in the marketing state of mind for the New Year, Michael and I have been doing some research on POD or, Print on Demand. I created this painting which leans towards generic equine to have a wider appeal to horse enthusiasts/collectors. The original size is 30"x40" but it can be enlarged up to 25%. (40"x50" approx.) The edition will be open which reduces the price by an estimate of 30-40% depending on size. Therefore, the original size of 30"x40" in a limited edition giclee is $400. and with this new open edition will be $250. This is our first experiment with an open edition POD service. I failed to mention that these prices are for stretched canvas which means prints on photo paper or other substrates will not only be available but even less expensive.

Tomorrow morning I leave my comfort zone to do an interview on WOCA 1370AM News Talk Radio along with Dick Hancock, Executive Director of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. We'll be discussing the horse racing art exhibit that Michael and Renee Downs have been working so hard to organize. It will be hosted by the FTBOA in their beautiful light-filled gallery upstairs. More on the details to come.