Let Your Light Shine

Tag: plein air

Art Will Make You Rich

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Sycamore Creek 2019

Do you want to get rich from your art? What is your definition of rich? Is it boatloads of money? Is it freedom from a boring job?

There are blogs and You Tube channels that will teach you how to sell you art.

  • Market Your Art in 12 Easy Steps
  • Promote Your Work on Pinterest!
  • Instagram Hashtags for Artists

One leads to another which leads to the next. Most of them contain some nugget that’s useful and some contain claims that have to make you wonder.

Putting your art out in the world for sale is a good thing. You’re using your gifts and other people get to enjoy your work. You will eventually sell some of it.

Here’s my angle on art and riches. Yes, I have sold my work. Back when country decor was hot, I painted country scenes, animals, fruits, flowers, and cute kids. Mostly I copied designs from instruction books. I sold a lot of it and did loads of commissions on milk cans and sawblades – pretty much any flat surface you can think of. A good bit of it was “trash to treasures”.

A berry bucket I painted for a hostess gift to take to Hiroshima. I filled it with locally grown popcorn and Amish jam.

Later I sold micro-miniature snow scenes on porcelain Christmas ornaments. Each one was unique and fun, because I painted intuitively using a wipeout technique to shape the landscape and the architecture. During the summers I cast the porcelain. Then all year I’d spend an hour each evening painting (after my students’ papers were graded). I sold at craft shows and on consignment. Most of my earnings went right back into more supplies.

porcelain Christmas bells
Porcelain Christmas bells

Lately I’ve sold some of my plein air work at exhibits or just on the street while I’m painting. I’m much too lazy these days for the hard work of art fairs.

What I do know is that I have gotten incredibly rich making art. I have met wonderful people and made great friends. I’ve painted in other states and other countries. I’ve spent time outdoors soaking up the sun and shade, serenaded by birds and frogs. Once, as I was painting a pavilion, a group gathered for beautiful religious chanting!

Leaf sketches in colored pencil, ink and watercolor
Art has given me a richer appreciation for nature.

My life is rich. I have a focus for my free time and I’m continually learning new skills in painting and in technology. I meet up with friends to paint and we share our work on social media. All of those things have made my life full and busy.

So keep on making art and you will be rich!

My Not-So-Green Thumb

Day of the Lilies painted at the Saksa Day Lilly Farm https://www.facebook.com/saksadaylilyfarm

Gardening is not my key strength. The only way my thumb will ever be green is from a tube of paint – sap green or viridian, most likely. My house is unfortunately where plants go to die.

My Dad was an avid gardener. Mom canned all the produce and planted big flower beds. None of this rubbed off on me. My sisters and I were expected to do the weeding. This was not a popular chore so maybe we developed a little of our creativity as we came up with excuses. If those didn’t work, we oiled up, so we’d get a tan. I still weed Mom’s flower beds, but it’s my least favorite chore.

Pots of flowers on my porch – potential painting!

Every spring I make my pilgrimage to the garden center. I swear this is the year I will have beautiful flowers, the envy of the neighborhood. I plant and fertilize for a month or so and then it gets hot and I lose interest. Those poor plants suffer just when they needed the most attention. I’m trying to reform and I’ve done a little better this year with a container garden. So far I’ve only lost one plant that didn’t get watered when I was away for a few days.

I am very grateful for real gardeners – the kind who shop for seeds in February. They plan and plant and pamper. Whether you are a volunteer at Franklin Park and Inniswood Gardens or a home gardener, I appreciate all your efforts. Your flowers inspire me! I need you!

My neighbors’ planting next
to their mailbox 9×12 oil

I seek out flowers wherever I can find them. Sometimes I scope out a scene for weeks, waiting for the blooms and the light to be right. When I’m painting the passersby are curious about the umbrella and the easel. Some stop to chat. So I provide a little diversion in these crazy times!

We all have different talents. That’s what makes us interesting and most importantly, interdependent. It’s almost like symbiotic relationships in nature.

If you’ve got a green thumb, I’ve got a paintbrush. I love to capture the beauty you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. If you like the painting we’ll work out a deal. Then you can have your garden blooming all winter long!

Beautyview Gardens