Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fountain of Solitude

"Fountain of Solitude"
11"x14" original oil on canvas
All paintings are protected by copyright

This is my latest painting, titled "Fountain of Solitude".

I took this photo at the San Juan Capistrano mission in Southern California. It was amazing coincidence to have taken this photo at the precise moment the sun was hitting the fountain. I added the hazy sunlight streaming down for a special effect. But, the sunlight was definitely illuminating the water on the fountain when I took the photo.

I hope you enjoy this new painting. I plan to paint more from the San Juan Capistrano mission, so stay tuned!

I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to post comments.

- Michelle LaRae

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How Does an Artist Become Successful?

What makes one artist successful and another not?

I was talking with the mother of an artist recently, and she desperately wanted me to confirm that artists cannot make a living. She's so worried about her daughter's decision to pursue art. What could I say? I'm standing in her daughter's shoes, but wisdom helps me see her perspective too.

I think it's much easier to be an unsuccessful artist -- that's why we see so many of them. If an artist wants to be successful, it requires a lot of work.

Success requires the following skills:
  • Lots of talent and versatility - There are many reasons that affect a person's decision to buy art: aesthetic appeal, financial investment, decorating decisions. An artist needs to be able to create very good art. At the same time, they need to understand current popular trends in art and decorating, and integrate them into their own personal style.

  • Willingness to learn new skills - Being successful means learning general business management, sales and marketing skills. Whether it's accounting, business licenses, contracts, tax issues, designing an exhibit, or selling your artwork directly to customers or indirectly to galleries, an artist needs to be talented in many areas.

So, you say, "I can't do all of these things. I'll just get signed up with an art rep." If that is your goal, you will still need to promote your artwork until you are discovered -- and this could take years. By learning these skills, you will become much more professional, increasing your appeal to galleries and art reps.

Alyson Stanfield offers several courses and resources to help bring up the level of professionalism of your art business.

I would like to encourage other artists out there to not give up, but be willing to re-evaluate their business approach. It's always good to have some critics that you trust who will tell you the truth about your art and business strategies.

Wisdom has taught me that I will never know everything, but to always be willing to learn from those who know more than you.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dana Point Harbor Art Walk - May 12th & 13th

Art Walk at Dana Point Harbor

I will be participating in the Art Walk at Dana Point Harbor, CA on Mother's Day weekend - May 12th & 13th.

The Art Walk will run 9:30AM to 5PM May 12th and 13th.

Please look for my tent in front of the Harpoon Henry's restaurant near the parking lot. Here are the directions:

I hope to see you there!