Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gallery Hopping in Scottsdale

As an artist I find it inspirational and instructive to visit galleries in communities outside my local area.  So when my husband agreed to work a trade show in Wickenburg, Arizona I hitched a ride so I could explore some Arizona Galleries.  I had one day to explore the galleries in Scottsdale and on my second day I visited the Celebration of Fine Art Festival in Scottsdale. 

So for my artist friends in California and else where that follow this blog and gallery friends Elliott, Cynthia and Michelle, here are my observations of the Scottsdale art gallery scene:

Not one artist painting watercolors on Aquabord....yes!  no direct competition for my latest work.

A lot of oil landscapes that look pretty much all the same, especially when it comes to paintings of the Southwest.   Quality and prices vary but oil landscapes are clearly the most popular here.

This is the Southwest so there have always been an abundance of galleries showing Indian, Western and Cowboy art and artifacts here, and that has not changed.

Not much in the way of abstracts, just a couple of galleries that really specialize in them and one of those galleries was big on acrylics on metal.

I saw a few Photo Realists of very high quality like Jane Jone's still life paintings at the Bonnor David Gallery.

I found one oil painter creating large florals also at Bonnor David but her compositions are different than mine so that's good.

The last time I was here, 2007 I think, I thought the prices in general were higher than in Sacramento.  This time I don't get that feeling, prices vary by artist and size of course, but don't seem to be all that different than prices in Sacramento.

Most galleries were friendly and welcoming.  But one was completely empty: door open, lights on, music playing, no one working there.  I was there too long for them to be taking a bathroom break, weird, good thing I am not a thief!

I enjoyed seeing so much art in one neighborhood but I did not see anything that inspired me to do anything different than I am currently doing in my own work.

As for trying to gage how the art galleries were effected by the economy, I observed the following:

I was there on a beautiful Thursday afternoon and there were plenty of well dressed pairs and groups of ladies and couples strolling in and out of the galleries and eating at the sidewalk cafes. 

I saw an oil landscape sell in one gallery, a bronze sculpture being sold in another and in a gallery showing very commercial "contemporary" art I saw a man hand over a credit card for a big abstract horse painting, that was not very well done. 

I had to look for a street parking place cruising around blocks a few times.   I did not use the parking garage so do not know how full it was. 

I saw some "For Lease" signs on empty buildings, I counted 5 on retail spaces that had obviously housed galleries.

A couple of big well known galleries I visited in the past, the Marshall Gallery and the LeKAE Gallery have combined in one space as the Marshall-LeKAE Gallery.

One of the few galleries specializing in abstract work, the Charoscuro Gallery is  now the Gebert Contemporary Gallery.

I did not see "Sale" signs nor witness any big discounts being offered.  No one tried to hard sell anything to me even when I showed interest in a particular painting, no discount was offered (as happened in Santa Fe last February).  In short I did not get the feeling that the gallery owners were desperate to make sales; perhaps the worst is over economy wise here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips for snagging the dates you want using frequent flyer miles


CREATING WATERCOLOR MEMORIES OF TUSCANY the workshop I am teaching in Cortona, Italy is scheduled for September 4 - 11, 2010.   We have 5 deposits in so far, we need 8.

I have 50,145 frequent flyer miles with Continental's awards program.   I need 55,000 for the "Saver" seats otherwise its 100,000 for the "Anytime" seats.   So, do I book my flights using my miles now so I can get the saver rate, or wait until all 8 deposits are in and lose out on the saver seats?

Answer:  I telephoned Continental and asked what happens if I book and later have to cancel.  I learned I can cancel or change my dates up to a couple of days prior to the flight and may be charged $75.  (If I do it early enough, no charge.)  If canceling the miles go back into my account.  This varies airline to airline so always ask.

OK, I book now, but not on their web site, Here is why: 
The web site only shows the Saver seats available on that airline.  So, for my dates the Continental web site  showed nothing available.   If you call the live agent you may pay a $20. booking fee, but you discover possibilities not shown on the web site.

I telephoned a Continental agent and she said, "no problem I will check all our partner airlines, be patient it will take awhile."  She scrolled screen after screen on her computer for what must have been 10 minutes checking several airlines, through many different airports all the while telling me what she was finding.   Her persistence paid off I have Sacramento to Rome round trip tickets on the dates I wanted.  She did it for the 55,000 Saver miles using two other airline partners of Continental.  And it only cost me $30. for the four hundred or so miles I was short plus airport taxes and fees.  I saved around $1,300. the cost of the tickets not including the taxes and fees which have to be paid no matter what.  And I can cancel and my miles are returned to my account if need be. 

American Airlines Awards program allows you to "hold" an itinerary for 5 days before you have to say yes or no.  They  will request award seats from other airlines during that time if what you want is not immediately available.  You can buy the miles you are missing for a small fee.  United works in a similar way, and also allows you to buy miles if needed.  But all of this detective work is best done with a live agent who will go to bat for you, now on the web site. 

Hope this is helpful to all of you frequent flyers out there. 
Have paints will travel!  Sandy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

After Critique


First a photography explainer -  The last photo was shot in daylight, this one was taken tonight under my studio lights so it looks more yellow.  The color is more accurate in the previous photo.

The River City 8 Critique Group was helpful as always, as were some of you out there in the blogisphere.  Thanks everyone!

So, no one seemed to be bothered by the red sash being the only red accept me as the group said, "that is what tells the story that the big guy is a distinguished teacher".  And this is a story painting;, its about the group of chefs standing around waiting for the school to open so they can learn from the big man.  By the way I still have no title.....any ideas?

As the Critique group suggested I darkened the cast shadows below them and the wall behind them so as to pop the figures more.  Also darkened the shading on the 3 on the far left a bit as they seemed a bit week as compared to the others.  I also put a blue glaze on the one shutter so they match better.  No one seemed to find fault with my drawing, even the hands seemed to be OK, hands always drive me nuts!  Several of you and the group told me to some how disengage the pants on the teacher and student assistant from each other.  I lightened the ones on the assistant in the front and now they read as separate from the teacher's. 

So that will have to do.  I have been painting all day on the other piece for the figure show and it is not done yet.  I want to get them both to Cali-Color tomorrow to be photographed.  My pictures are too lame to give to the gallery for their website and Cali-Color does a great job at a very reasonable price.

Hope to see you all on this Saturday night for the Second Saturday Artist Reception at Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento where my good buddy David Lobenberg is one of two featured artists in the main exhibit hall.  I will be in my studio in the rear of the gallery, so stop by and say hello.  David and I will be happy to see you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How do you know when a painting is done?

Is it done yet?    This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from students and even professional artist friends of mine.  Here are some ideas for answering that question:

Critique from other artists - Ask another artist or two (who have not seen previously seen the painting) to critique it for you.  Better yet start a critique group that meets regularly and then you are motivated to paint more because there is a Critique coming up.   Kathy, Penny and I started River City 8 in 1992 and the group is still going strong.  I will show them this painting at our meeting today.

Ferment - Patrick Dullanty used to let his paintings "ferment", he would stash them away in a closet and then pull them out 3 months later and look at them with a fresh eye.

Look at it in an alternate way - Look at them in a mirror or take a photo and look at the photo.  When I look at the photo above that I took 10 minutes ago I can see that I need to put another layer of blue on the right shutter so it better matches the left one since they are suppose to be on the same building.  I am also bothered by the fact that the teacher's red sash is so in your face, perhaps I need some red somewhere else in the painting, but where?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sandy's Semi-Regular Art Stuff Newsletter

For a couple of years now I have been writing Sandy's Semi-Regular Art Stuff Newsletter nearly every month and sending them to my e-mail list of artists.  Of course it is a vehicle for advertising my classes and workshops, but I try to make it valuable to my readers by including Painting Tips, Art Business Tips, Travel Tips, Calls to Artists, Shows to see etc. 

I am working on the February Newsletter and it contains the following articles:  PAINTING TIP an article by a guest artist from Canada, BUSINESS TIP an article on making your computer do the work of recording your art business tax deductions, and TRAVEL TIP an article on making your computer do the work of finding the cheapest airline flight for you, CALLS TO ARTIST and SHOW TIME.

Writing a newsletter that is of value to other artists is not as easy as it sounds.  Sometimes I stare at the blank computer screen and no light bulbs in my brain come on.  So if you have suggestions for articles in future newsletters, questions you would like me to try to answer, or any other comments I would appreciate hearing from you.   

If you would like to receive my newsletters but have not been getting them type the following email address into your contact list and send an email to me using that address requesting the newsletter.  (Be sure to use the underline key between the first three words.)  If you do it prior to February 3 (tomorrow), you should receive my February Newsletter.   If you don't get it done until after that date and would like to receive the February newsletter, email me and I will send it out again to you.

If you are getting the Newsletter and do not wish to receive it ever again, you can go to the end of the newsletter and click on "unsubscribe" and it will no longer be sent to your email address.

May your next painting be a Masterpiece,
Sandy Delehanty