Monthly Archives: April 2015

WHEN A PAINTING DOESN’T WORK

It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes a painting gets laid off… because it isn’t working.

This painting was fired because it wasn't working!

This painting was fired because it wasn’t working!

When that happens an artist has to decide whether to destroy it, donate it, or salvage it in which case you have to figure out when a painting doesn’t work.

Such was the case with a painting that I completed in 2012. It was shown in a couple of different galleries and it just languished on the wall without selling. It did receive some compliments regarding the colors in it, but still there it was on the wall. It wasn’t what I would call a bad painting, but something was certainly lacking.

So, I took it home and decided to give it a good look over after having been away from it. My response after seeing it with a fresh eye was Yuk! No wonder it hasn’t sold. The painting was…well…YAWN, boring!

When I painted it I was using a different studio, and despite being a nice set up it was prone to having distractions. I never felt at home in that surrounding and wasn’t very happy. So maybe my mood was influencing me. Now in my comfort zone and regular studio space I realized that my painting never achieved what the original scene upon which it was based offered.

I realized I needed more contrast, punch up some of the color intensity, redesigning some sections and even eliminating some distracting areas that didn’t support the composition. So I removed the varnish on the painting, and reworked it. Now the painting is back to work in that it captures the mood I experienced when I happened upon this scene. Now, I don’t yawn when I look at the painting.

So what do you think about the changes? Click on the images for a larger view.

Cypress Colors Original

Cypress Colors Original

Cypress Colors Revised

Cypress Colors Revised

As an update to this post, I placed the above painting in one of my eBay auctions with a Buy it Now option. It immediately sold through that option at my asking price. So, rescuing the painting and making some adjustments gave it new life and a new home. If you’re an artist perhaps try such a approach with your own paintings that have been “fired.”

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How to Collect Art

For some, the idea of buying art and building a collection can seem intimidating.  But it shouldn’t be. Read on as you learn how one enthusiastic collector built her collection and how one special painting ended up being aired on the PBS program the Antiques Roadshow.

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First let me ask you; do you think you can be a collector of art? Of course you can! Do you know what foods you like to eat and which ones you don’t like? Do you know what kind of movies you want to see? What about your clothes; do you like certain styles and colors to wear, while others you wouldn’t be caught dead in?

 
If you know the answer to those questions then you already possess the top requirement of how to collect art and that’s being true to your taste. If you’re not sure what your taste is, then it’s not difficult to learn what your taste in art is. For starters you can visit various galleries, art fairs, antique malls, look at artist websites and check out good art books and periodicals at the library. Take note of what art works appeal to you most. Likely a pattern will develop and soon you will begin to understand your taste in art. It could be eclectic or narrower such as in a particular style or genre. You start by purchasing art you like and that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break the bank. You can start small. There’s a lot of very good art at reasonable prices. You can even start a savings fund just for art purchases.

 
However, buying art to simply fill a void on an empty wall or to compliment ones decor isn’t the same as being a collector although a collection of art can still fill those roles. Like most things that are collected they tend to have a theme of sorts and consideration is given in how a potential work of art fits into the overall theme. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have variety. You may also have different rooms in your home dedicated to art around a different theme. So buying isn’t just random, but purposeful. Even if a work doesn’t fit your theme, but you still love it anyway, go ahead and buy it. There’s no art police who will come and arrest you.
Through my eBay sales of my own art I met a collector who I’ll call Janette for privacy reasons. I’ll use her example of how to collect art.

 
Regarding her collection of oil paintings she said: “I have collected forty plus vintage Texas oil paintings, by the old vintage artists. My house has no, absolutely no, wall space left. Paintings are hung gallery style, one on top of another. I love them. All are wonderful works, in my opinion. In my home office alone I have 22 paintings and other rooms have the Texas lupine in abundance as well. One daughter thinks that I have ‘too much’ art. However, it has not deterred my collecting. And the beauty of it all is that my collection is for my enjoyment. And I do enjoy it. Some days I look at one or another, and I think and appreciate it, separate from all the rest.’

 

Some have some interesting stories. I have an 8 X 10 painting of the Alamo in San Antonio Texas. When I saw it come up on eBay, I went aggressively for it. It was painted by a Doctor, possibly in Corpus Christi in 1930!  The Alamo in 1930!

 

I believe that as a collector, I gather paintings that have a message to me. I enjoy them. Their dollar value and worth is not the emphasis, for me. Their message, their beauty and often times their age, is of most interest for my collection.”

 

Janette also related another story about one special work in her collection.

 

Around 1937 her Grandmother wanted to give a lovely old friend of hers a Texas bluebonnet painting. The old woman was a world traveler, even in those early days. She had come to Texas to visit her Grandmother. The old woman saw beauty everywhere and was especially fond of the bluebonnets.

 

Janette’s Grandmother made a day long trip to San Antonio to search for a painting to give as a gift. Evidently her Grandmother had a very good “eye,” for she selected a painting by a rather unknown painter from San Antonio and at that time probably spent about $25 for it. She sent the painting to the old woman in Illinois. After the death of her Grandmother’s friend, the family returned the painting still in its original frame that had been gifted and it has been in Janette’s collection ever since.

When the popular PBS television program, The Antique Roadshow was in Corpus Christi, TX Janette’s daughter took it there to have it appraised. They knew it had value but were astounded when it was appraised for $10,000.00 – $18,000.00

 

The painting was by famed Texas painter Porfirio Salinas. Click image for a larger view.

Bluebonnet oil painting by Porfirio Salinas

Bluebonnet oil painting by Porfirio Salinas

 

That episode of the Antiques Roadshow was originally aired January 21, 2013. You can watch the full video or read the transcript of the appraisal from the show’s archive.
Janette collected art that she loves with a theme around vintage Texas artists and living artists whose works fit well into the collection. Some have histories with interesting anecdotes, so be sure to write those stories down and keep them with the works.

 

And what does Janette think about my own Texas art works? She said: “My regret is that I had not found YOU and your wonderful style and talent sooner. I love, love, love all of your paintings that I have seen. You are blessed. Perhaps, perhaps…if I can gather the coinage necessary….and find a blank spot on a wall…or move some around, perhaps someday I might have a Hagerman also.” Happy to say Janette has been bidding on my eBay works and I’m so honored!

 

If you feel the same as Janette about my work and you too would like to start a collection this way or add to an existing one you can access my eBay profile at http://ebay.com/usr/hagermanart

 

If I have something currently listed it will be shown there. Alternatively you can also become a follower on eBay. Simply click the green follow button next to my profile picture. I also do commission work in both my realistic and impressionist style.
So what do you do when you’re collection starts growing and you have limited space? This other article on How to Display Paintings Gallery Style show some of Janette’s collection and how even when wall space is limited, you can still have an abundance of art using this technique.

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How to Display Paintings Gallery Style

In the article: How to Collect Art, I introduced you to a collector named Janette who now shares some of her art work as it’s displayed in her home. Here we will see how to display paintings gallery style. I’ll make some comments on how you too can arrange your art collection based on the photos. Even when your have limited wall space you can still surround yourself with wonderful art. You can click on the images for a larger view.

In the image below we see how several works are arranged in the dining room. There’s a common theme with regards to color with red being dominant. You can see how other accessories such as the red flowers on the table compliment and visually ties in the art to its surroundings.

paintings in gallery style display

paintings in gallery style display

In the following we see several paintings displayed with three similar sized paintings and two smaller equal sized paintings above the organ. Works are unified with similar style frames. Again we have some notes (no pun intended) of red that are in the paintings and then repeated elsewhere such as in the candles.

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Next we have similar sized works on each side of the beautiful cabinet display of dishes.

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Here in the home office we see the continuation of the vintage Texas themed art works giving multiple windows to an otherwise windowless office space.

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Here’s in this bedroom you see again how accessories help tie in the art  through similar color, plus the continuity of the theme of Texas vintage art is  seen. Also as I mentioned in my other post on collecting art, you don’t have to worry if you break the theme as is seen by the work in the hallway visible through the door opening. Well maybe it’s still by a Texas artist. Who cares right? You love it. Buy it. Again it’s enriching life through art and it should reflect your own tastes.

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I so much appreciate Janette for sharing some of her collection and hope it gives you ideas how you too can start on the path of collecting and displaying it in your own home.

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Colors of Spring Flowers

It’s always inspiring when the colors of spring flowers put on their display. In this post I wanted to simply share some recent photos that I have taken. You can click on the image for a larger view.

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This was taken here in my hometown of Midland. The mesquite tree had yet to leaf out. I liked that there was also a sprinkling of purple flowers among the yellow which is the complimentary color of yellow.

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These vivid red cactus blooms are in a corner of our backyard along with some weeds. But a few have some pretty colored flowers as well.

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Here was a field of Indian Paint Brush near Poteet, TX. Some of the morning fog was lifting and produced a soft light.

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Another vivid field of Indian Paint Brush with some distant bluebonnets. There’s also some Agave plants along the distant fence line. Notice the remnant of the large Agave bloom to the right of the oak tree up against the sky. Very much light a century plant. Amazing how tall they can shoot up. We had one like that in our backyard.

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And what would a Texas spring be without bluebonnets!

And some more bluebonnets!

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There are several species of bluebonnets. This particular variety doesn’t have the noticeable white caps on top of the flowers. Still very pretty though.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Three new paintings are currently on eBay inspired by this years display. The auction ends Tuesday April 21, 2015 at 6 PM Pacific Time.

 

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