3John3Madison3

Art that is Personal

Connecting your creations to the viewer is another skill altogether and I think the artists at the top of heap are masters of both mechanic and the transcendent.

Picking up the Pieces

Good art festival tent weights are like good insurance, you will wish you had them when it’s too late.

Reading The Signs

If you’re not on a rocket ship to the top of the art world, it can be difficult to read the signs of success. Getting outside your own art box can help.

Learning from Artist Magazines

Paint what you want, but go big or go home. Portraits seem to interest people more than anything because it brings in the human factor and story to a painting.

The Little Art Exhibit

Wine and art, a complimentary yet toxic mix that can easily empty a buyers pocket book at auction.

Small Watercolors & Small Steps

Perseverance: Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. In spite of myself, good things have come my way.  Reflecting on my last blog post, I can see how it could be construed that I’m bitter, jealous and possess expectations that are, perhaps too unrealistic.  “Who does that @*& Madison think he is?” "He ought to be grateful for even getting into any show!" If you know me beyond what you read on this blog, you quite possibly might agree that I am usually a pessimist but I think most would agree I’m not the jealous type, nor bitter or even too unrealistic.  Ok before you rattle off a bunch of things I am or am not, stop reading and think about this for a minute. Out of all your friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers and people who you see daily how many of them are artists?  Out of that list, how many are artists who earn a living solely by art?  I know a lot of artists, mainly because I am one.  I’ve read about a lot of them, met some, but I only really know two that earn their livelihood on selling art, and I’m not one of them.  If I were to take that risk and leap, quitting my day job, we would be bankrupt.  Somehow two of the people I’d like to consider my mentors, survive in this economy as artists, and live well doing it. My persistence or perhaps its stubbornness, led me to these artists whom I’ve learned enough from to keep my course of action straight.  Good advice is hard to come by, and often those wise enough to [...]

Paying to Play

If I’ve learned anything about art festivals it’s this:  Juries are fickle, shows unpredictable and having high expectations, No! Having any expectations is foolish.  The only consistency I have observed is inconsistency.  Last year I applied to six, maybe seven art festivals and about five exhibitions.  I was juried into four festivals and one invitational.  Not bad really, but not great either.  It was my first year doing festivals and I really didn’t know fully what I was getting into and it really wasn’t until the last show rolled around that I really figured out the nuances of showing outdoors and knew exactly what I wanted to do the next year. I was very energetic back in January, the entire show season was ahead of me.  I made my lists of festival and exhibitions I was going to apply for.  I had a short season of experience and was showing improvements in my painting, so I figured my chances were better than hitting four out of eight festivals and a mere one out of five exhibitions.  I labored off and on for six months on a painting I thought was amazing.  This was going to be my centerpiece for the big art shows I was hoping to get into. I started in on Zapplication ( https://www.zapplication.org/index.php ) first rounding up the local shows list first and then extended my tour to places where I could stay with friends.  Columbus Ohio, Bloomington Indiana and Kansas City Missouri were the furthest shows I was looking at.  I reapplied to the watercolor society exhibitions I was a member of, joined  new one and was waiting to join more. Queue the rollercoaster…. I guess the details aren’t really worth going into, lets [...]

The Good, the Bad and the Disappointments

Once again I find myself long overdue for a blog post.  I should have taken the time during my first art show to write something. God knows I would have had time between the three customers I had over  a seven hour period.  It's been over a week ago and just thinking about this gets me irritated all over again.  Last year I broke even at this same show, which isn't saying much but in 2010 I had no experience, no expectations and really was just getting used to the 'fine art festival' concept.  Breaking even has never been the goal, though I was grateful to have done such last year. The BAD: When a show turns out to be a sales flop, I begin to second guess everything.  Assumptions I made about certain things now seem like a series of bad speculations and guesswork.  Most of the finger pointing is at myself, but sometimes I think the show itself it part of the problem.  Economics and weather also play their parts, the former perhaps the most influential piece of the puzzle of poor return.  I guess time will tell and I'm not about to pass final judgment until I give each show at least three attempts.  If my opening festival in 2012 completes the trifecta of failure, it will be my last, and in turn if things don't continue to improve I'll find another means to get my art out there for people to view. Right now it seems I'm back at square one.  The Columbus show is next and I have a good 60 days to prepare.  It is supposed to be a great show and has had great reviews by Sunshine Artist.  I'm thankful [...]

Losing Momentum

Weathering the storm of art rejection and staying the course with your goals.
By |January 31st, 2011|Watercolor|2 Comments|

First Salvos

The art of persistence in the art world: Simple ways to establish yourself and your art nationally.
By |January 20th, 2011|Watercolor|1 Comment|