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“THE QUICKENING” – A Painting in Progress….

As an artist, many times I am asked what inspires a painting, what my process is and what mediums I use to create a painting. So over the course of the next few months I will let you in on my creative process and will post a few paintings in progress. This is a recent commission piece that I did for a client.

FIRST AND FOREMOST- SKETCHES, SKETCHES AND MORE SKETCHES!

“You can’t sketch enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.” ~ John Singer Sargent

When I start a commissioned painting, I will usually sketch 3 0r 4 different ideas down on paper. In this case, the client wanted a painting similar to another painting that was sold (“Awake in a Dream”). The flow and colors of that painting inspired me to do these sketches. From there. the client will choose the one they most connect with. This time around, the client choose the sketch on the left in the picture below.

Sketches sent to client....

TRANSFERRING TO CANVAS AND ADDING COLOR!

After the client has choosen a sketch, I will then transfer it to canvas. If this was a portrait piece, I would use the grid method to tranfer it to canvas to ensure proper portions. But being this is an abstract piece, I will draw it freehand onto the canvas board.

In all my mixed media paintings, I will paint a base layer of Colbalt Blue and Raw Sienna (acrylic paint) over the pencil sketch. Even though this layer is not always prominent in the finished painting, I like the subdued effect it lends to the piece.

Next comes the first layer of ink. I have used several different types of pens including Sharpies and fine tip pens but the ones I like the best are Mainstays Permanent Markers. They are inexpensive, which is great – I go through at least 3 or 4 for each painting! The ink is permanent and will withstand layers of paints. Plus it gives a vibrant black which is what I am looking for.

Transferring to canvas, adding base color and first layer of ink...

MORE PAINT AND MORE LAYERS OF INK!

As the painting progresses, I will add more color to it using a varieties of mediums. In all my mixed media paintings, I use Reeves Watercolor pencils, Mainstays Permanent Markers and Pebeo Acrylic paint. I have recently discovered Inktense Permanent ink pencils which I am excited to try out in my next Mixed Media painting. For any white areas of the painting, I find white Gesso to be the best medium to use. It’s a very vibrant and bold white. Nothing like I can find in an acrylic paint. It’s my go-to white every time. I also use it for any textured areas in the painting.

Adding more color and ink....

…AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST – THE FINAL APPROVAL!

Once the final painting has been approved by the client and no changes are needed, the painting is then varnished, mounted and framed. I use Windser & Newton UV Gloss Varnish. The varnish will protect the painting from airborne pollutants, UV damage and fading. And I find the gloss really makes the colors POP out of the painting! The colors are more vibrant and bold after I apply the varnish.

As for mounting the painting, I use 1/8″ Acid-Free White Foam Board. It’s a strong surface that can support the painting well and the vibrant white color of the foam board is a great contrast for these colorful Mixed Media paintings.

As with all my paintings, I let my awesome Facebook fans come up with a name for the piece. And in this case, my client was on board for the idea as well. The name she choose, from a list of many great names, was “The Quickening”.

Now, all that’s left to do is sign it and ship it away! Another happy customer!

Total time it took from sketching to final mounting of painting: 12.5 hours

Final Painting - "THE QUICKENING" 18"X24" Mixed Media on Canvas Board

For more paintings, please visit my website www.angellagoodon.com or join my Facebook Fanpage – The Art of Angella Goodon.

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Passion and Profession – Where does it all “fit”?

It’s been almost a year since my last post….I know…what the heck has she been up to? Well, many things, a lot of creating and painting and self exploration. 2009 and 2010 were “trial” years for me. I really wanted to push my art, to make a real attempt at one day (in the very near future) making this a career for myself. You know the old cliché….live your dreams…pursue your passion? Well, for the last 2 years I attempted to get into every show I could, paint as much as I could, market myself as much as I could….just do as much as I could to push myself forward. And I must say that I did sell a lot of art the last two years. I have a few collectors now that buy from me regularly. That is a wonderful feeling, to know that people “get” my paintings and what I am trying to express. And my collectors are some of the most fabulous people on the earth, incredibly passionate and creative themselves. That is my ultimate goal – to share my art with the world.

But with the success also came something that I really wasn’t prepared for. As the year passed I was growing increasingly unhappy. I couldn’t figure it out…why was something that I was so passionate about bringing me such unhappiness? Isn’t this what we are taught…do something you’re passionate about in life, this should be your profession. As time passed, I was becoming resentful of the fact that I had this talent to begin with. This was something that I was fearful of from the beginning. I had always wondered if I ever had the chance to pursue art full-time how I would deal with the “on demand” creativity and the business side of art. Don’t get me wrong, I work very well under pressure. It has always been one of my strengths. But when it comes to creativity, any artist will tell you that inspiration doesn’t come on demand. And I understand that when you are a professional artist creating everyday is a part of the “job” whether you feel inspired or not…you just do it. But with each impending art show, I felt more and more boxed in….theoretically chained to this talent. I was really starting to lose my “passion” for what I loved so much. And it scared me to death! Art and creativity is such a huge part of who I am, I didn’t want to lose that.

So I stopped painting for a few months thinking that all I needed was a break. Maybe I was just getting overwhelmed. I was also working full-time, raising my 3 kids and trying to pursue an art career. Who wouldn’t be burnt out? But deep down inside it really felt more than that. So I stopped all creativity and decided to work on other areas of my life. In recent years, I have been very interested in spirituality. I really connected to the teachings of Sonia Choquette, a spiritual healer and teacher. One day in early January of this year I was listening to her radio show and she was talking to a caller about passion and profession. The caller was struggling to find something she was passionate about and how to incorporate this into her life. I knew what I was passionate about…no problems there. But as Sonia went on to explain to the caller was that passion can be in many forms in your life and at many different levels. She said “Passion doesn’t always have to be your profession…don’t get stuck there”.

As soon as she said this it was like a light bulb when on in my head! It was a huge epiphany for me. I had been trying to force something that just wasn’t right for me. Don’t get me wrong….painting and creativity are everything to me. I am my MOST authentic, joyous, happy self when I create, no doubt about that. I was born to create. But born to do this as a profession? I’m not so sure of that. I think in our society we are so geared to “live your passion”, “pursue your dreams”. And I think that is great, it’s wonderful to encourage our passion. But I think a lot of unrealistic expectations come along with this as well. If you’re passionate and talented this SHOULD be your ideal profession and you WILL be successful….this is what’s taught. The more we sell the more successful we are. And sometimes I think we can get stuck in this…especially creative people. Sure many artists have successful full-time careers and are very happy…they have put the hard work in and succeeded. And if this is you and you are TRULY happy, that’s great! Yet I have also seen many artists become very miserable and unhappy….stuck in the ideal that to be a true artist one must starve and struggle. They no longer enjoy the creative process, the shows or the business side of art. They lose the reason why they started in the first place along with a sense of themselves. This was me not too long ago.

So can there be a happy medium? I think so. Success shouldn’t be an all or nothing concept. Why does passion have to fit into a mould anyway? I had to find a way to have my passion “fit” in my life that made me happy. I knew I couldn’t live without it and I knew I couldn’t move forward the way it was. So I had to ask myself some really honest questions. Why was I creating art in the first place? What did I enjoy? What made me miserable? How was I going to move forward from here? I came to realize that the business side of art made me miserable. I never enjoyed the shows and marketing drove me nuts. But I knew what made me happy, C-R-E-A-T-I-N-G, plain and simple!

So I decided to drop all of the “stuff” that didn’t make me happy and move on. And something miraculous happened….my creativity came back full force! Like the cliché says “A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders”. For the past few months I have been painting like crazy. I even created a new style that I LOVE (see picture below)… a little something a little different from my usual style. I am exploring new mediums and having so much fun. I am not concerned any more if it sells (although it’s great when it does!). But coming to realize that it won’t be a full-time job someday is fine with me. Actually it’s a huge relief. I can paint when I’m inspired and do something else when I’m not (like ride my motorcycle!).  I will do the ArtWalk every year because I think it is a fabulous show and the ladies who organize it are wonderful. I will keep my website and Facebook page  and continue to sell my work. But my focus will be mainly on creating and finding my “happy” spot.

"Metamorphosis" 11"x16" Mixed Media

"Alice's Dream" 11"x14" Mixed Media

 

I guess my whole point is to make sure you are HAPPY with where your passions lie in your life. If you are working full-time as an artist and truly enjoying it, that’s wonderful! And if it is only something that you do part-time or just a hobby that`s great as well, but find where your passions FIT into your life….where they truly make you that happiest….find the right balance. They are a gift, cherish them. And if you are unhappy and need to stop to make changes to the path you’re on, then do it! Just be honest with yourself and ask the hard questions.  Success will come when you are in alignment with who you are. It comes from doing what’s natural for you, not from what you “should” do. This is your “happy” spot. This is where your passion resides.

I would love to hear the thoughts of other creative people out there! Where do you find your passions “fit” into your life? Where do they make you the most happy? Have you found the right balance?

The Daily Newb – Art Competitions – Great Exposure for the Emerging Artist

Art Competitions – Great Exposure for the Emerging Artist

It’s been a few weeks since I have blogged. I have completed my marketing plan (which I will be posting soon) as well as worked on a pop art commission. But a funny thing happened…I am running into a creative block. My brain has turned to preverbal mush and I am having hard time getting the creative juices flowing again. I am trying to figure out a way to get past this creative resistance. Any ideas out there??  Or am I doomed to draw stick people for the rest of my life?

Well, that aside, I have realized that two of my favourite art competitions are coming up – The Royal Bank Canadian Painting Competition and The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition. Art competitions are a great way to expose your art to a worldwide audience. Artists may sell work, garner commissions and become part of prestigious collections. Many competitions showcase the winning work in their publications which are seen by millions of people. Art competitions also allow fellow artists the opportunity to see the works of their peers and compare their own alongside them. And if you are lucky enough to be a finalist, I think it is a great addition to your resume/cv.

Below are a few competitions that I follow and enter every year. The fees to enter are small and if you are a finalist, the exposure is incredible.

 2010 RBC Canadian Painting Competition

This is a great competition open to only emerging artists (within the first 5 years of their careers). Artwork must be on canvas or board and be comprised mainly of painted media (archival material) with dimensions up to 72”x72” and must be completed between January 1, 2009 and May 3, 2010. There is no fee to enter this competition and you may enter up to 3 works for consideration. A regional jury panel of distinguished members of the arts community will select five paintings from their regions as follows: Eastern (Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador), Central (Ontario) and Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut). The three jury panels will then select one national winner and two honourable mentions from the 15 semi-finalists. The national winner will receive $25,000 and the two honourable mentions will each receive $15,000. The 15 semi-finalists will be announced June 2010 and the winners October 2010.  I entered last year and I will be entering again this year. Please read the qualifications carefully as there are a few stipulations of the work you submit. If it sounds like something you are interested in, here’s the link http://www.rbc.com/sponsorship/paintingcompetition/index.html

Entry deadline is May 3, 2010. 

“The Evolution of Life” – This is one of the paintings I entered into the RBC competition last year.

 The Artist Magazine Annual Art Competition

This competition is open to artists anywhere in the world. Only original artwork, conceived and created by the entrant will be considered. All mediums are considered except sculpture and computer generated artwork. There are 5 categories to compete in – Portraits/Figures – Still Life/Floral – Landscape/Floral – Abstract/Experimental – Animal/Wildlife. Winners will be featured and finalists’ names will be published in the December 2010 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Five first place awards, each receiving $2,500. There is a fee of $15US(students) and $25US (all other applicants) for each piece of artwork you submit. Winners will be contacted August 1, 2010. The Artist’s Magazine is published 10 times/year and is distributed worldwide. Finalists of this competition will receive incredible exposure. I entered this one last year and will again this year. Here’s the link if you wish to check it out http://www.artistsnetwork.com/annualcompetition/

Deadline is May 3, 2010

 “Twilight” – I entered this painting in last years Artist’s Magazine competition.

 International Emerging Artist’s Competition – Summer 2010

Visual Overture Magazine introduces emerging artists to galleries, curators, and collectors. They are now accepting submissions for the Summer 2010 edition. International emerging artists of any field are invited to apply. Juror and art critic, Kathy Stockman, will select 7 artists for feature in publication. Selected artists are presented on two pages of magazine and receive 3 complimentary copies of issue in which they are featured. This is an excellent opportunity for under-represented artists to connect with galleries, curators, and collectors. All types of media are accepted including sculpture. You can submit 3-6 images of your work for consideration. There is a fee of $17 per artist. This will be the first year I enter this competition. Here’s the link if you would like to check it out http://www.visualoverture.com/artists.htm Scroll down to the middle of the page and you find submission qualifications and a link to submit your artwork.

Deadline is April 1, 2010.

“A Goddess in Elegance” – This may be one of the 3 I enter into this year’s International Emerging Artist’s competition.

 The Art List.com

If art competitions are your thing, check out TheArtList.com. They not only offer links to art contests and competitions but to art exhibitions and other opportunities for artists. They offer a free monthly newsletter as well as a Premium paid service which provides a more detailed search with contact info, etc. It costs $27US/year.  Check them out at https://www.theartlist.com/index.php

Do you have any competitions you can add to the list? How do you feel about art competitions? Do you enter them regularly? Have you ever been a finalist?

The Daily Newb – What are the 3 most important priorities for an emerging artist?

Recently, well last week to be specific, I had the privilege of participating in the smARTist online Telesummit. Here’s a link to this fabulous course….http://smartist.com/live-telesummit/. This 7-day course provided a wealth of information….and I mean a WEALTH of information! Everything from starting a career as an artist to approaching galleries to making an income from art licensing and making art prints. I highly suggest anyone out there looking to advance their art careers to check out this course in 2011. Over the next year I will be applying what I have learned to my own art career and passing a few tips to my fellow “newbs” along the way. A good starting point for me was to figure out where I wanted to go with my career this year….and I started with this question – What are the 3 most important priorities for an emerging artist?

Well, depending on who you ask, I am sure you will get 3 different sets of answers. Everyone from gallery owners to artists to your collectors will have a different yet valuable opinion on this. From my perspective, being an emerging artist myself, these are the 3 that I came up with:

1.      HAVE A PLAN – develop a marketing or business plan. Be clear and concise on where you are starting and where you want to be. Be brutally honest about your skills and talent. Ask yourself: What do I bring to the table? What skills do I excel in? What skills am I lacking? Where can I go to get help to execute this plan? Do I need marketing help? What is your target audience? How will I reach them? Also, think about your lifestyle and personality – how much time am I willing to commit to this? Is it realistic?  Being that we are at the start of 2010, I am currently trying to develop and commit to a realistic plan for this year. I will be posting my own marketing/business plan in the upcoming month.

2.     HAVE A CONSISTENT BODY OF WORK – Well, what does this mean? Your body of work must be recognizable in style and be large enough to show a gallery – 20 to 30 pieces of art.  Here is a great article from Martha Marshall on building a body of art. http://painting.about.com/od/careerdevelopment/a/MMarshall_Work.htm. Also, consider working this into your “business/marketing plan” from above. How many pieces should I be making a week to build a consistent body of work? Do I need to increase my production? Building a consistent body of work is something I am working on for 2010. I am aiming for 2 new pieces a week. Below I have attached a series that I am working on.  

The Goddess Series – “A Goddess in Repose” & “A Goddess in Mourning” by Angella Goodon

3.     GET EXPOSED! – Yes, get exposure where ever you can. Join art groups, submit artwork to artshows/competitions (juried and non-juried), get a website, join a social networking site like facebook and twitter, volunteer for artist societies, hang paintings in doctors/dentist offices or the local coffee shops. Get your art out there…anywhere and everywhere. Currently, I have 17 paintings hanging at the District of Lake Country City Hall. Any wall can become your gallery! Getting exposure will not only build your customer base and hopefully get you sales but you will also be building your resume which is important when approaching a gallery.

There are so many more that I could add to the list. As an artist, emerging or experienced, what priorities/goals are you working on for 2010? Has these priorities/goals changed due to the economic climate or have they consistently stayed the same? What are your thoughts?

The Daily Newb – What is a “Newbie Artist” and just WHY am I doing this?

Hello everyone! My name is Angella Goodon and welcome to my blog “The Newbie Artist”! Why the “Newbie” artist and not the “Emerging” artist? Why not? Must everything be so politically correct? I don’t think so. “Newbie” is defined as someone who is new to a particular group, activity, game, field of study, etc. Also a “newb”. Lol….I love this…why not have a sense of humor about being “green”, about starting at the bottom, about being new to something! Everyone has been or is a “newbie” at some point in their life. In this blog, I want you to come along with me on my journey of being a “Newbie” artist or emerging artist (for those of you who are politically correct!).  Here’s a little background on me and my journey as an artist…

I have always been creative. From a young age, our house was always filled with creative vibes. My dad, a metal artist, was always sketching and creating. I fondly remember watching him in his shop welding wild creations from nothing more than scrap metal. My brother is a musician so music always filled our house. For me, I kept sketchbook after sketchbook of drawings and future paintings. My mind was always dreaming of its next great creation.  I knew that it was always something that I wanted to do. It is such a HUGE part of who I am. When I started a family, however, my creativity took a back seat as I focused on supporting them. A full decade went by and it wasn’t until my early 30’s that I really got my creative spark back. In January 2009, I decided to take a bold leap and start showcasing my new work. I created a website, www.angellagoodon.com and I was in several juried art shows this year, including Artwalk. As well, an amazing opportunity was presented to me in October 2009 and I am now part owner in Kelowna’s only artist-run gallery, Little Shop of Artist’s. You can visit us online at www.littleshopofartists.com.

A lot has happened in one short year. But by no means am I fully supporting myself with my art. I am very new to this journey….very green….very much a “newbie”. Always looking for that “niche”, that secret back door that will catapult me to instant success! Well, not quite that dramatic but I want what every other artist wants….to someday be working as a professional artist fully supporting myself and my family. Maybe you’re a “newbie” like me….a mom of three, working full-time, raising my family, trying to find balance as I pursue my dream of becoming a professional artist. Even if your not a “mom of three”…lol…..but you are still pursuing your passion in life why not come along with me on the journey. I will be posting the “trials and tribulations” of what I am going through….from new painting techniques that I am learning…..to the art shows that I am part of…and everything in between. I will be exploring online marketing techniques….testing out what works and what doesn’t in regards to selling my art online. Anything and everything on the road to becoming a professional artist. So come on my fellow “newbies” and join me for this journey!

“Flourish” by Angella Goodon