Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July Heat; Summer Clean Up

Like most of the country it has been a very hot July.  It is simply too hot and humid outside.  So to "beat the heat" I have been cleaning up the studio in between painting sessions.

This is not a major re-do or re-design.  I simply need to clean up the space and clear out the accumulated clutter.  When things get busy it is too easy to "dump and go"as seen in the photo.  Although the cat did not seem to mind, it was beginning to interfere with my painting.

The shelves were stuffed with too many half-finished and even abandoned paintings.  I sorted through them and saved the ones that are studies for future paintings.  Others were returned to the re-do box for a fresh coat of gesso.   Those paintings on paper were cut down to standard sizes.   A stash of collage papers were also cut to size and attached to canvas boards. The result is plenty of room for works in progress and for a supply of small ready-to-paint surfaces. 

The top shelf has paintings in the beginning stages.  On the bottom shelf just past the magazine/envelope are 8 x 10 inch, 5 x 7 inch and 6 x 6 inch painting surfaces which are followed by plein air studies.  Yes the table is still quite messy but that the organization above will keep me on schedule for fall shows and commitments.    

The heat is supposed to back off next week but until then I will be staying in the studio working on both small and larger sizes paintings.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 2016 NewsBlog

Can it be the third week of July already?  And I promised to post the news blog on the third Monday of every month.  My apologies as I am two days behind but I do have more to report.

Gallery Updates:

First of all I am happy to report that for the first time in nearly a year I have original art back at 2nd Helpings Gallery.  Original local scenes in mats for the bin and paintings (framed and gallery wrap) ready to hang including "Buchanan Cruise-In" were delivered.   I appreciate this opportunity to re-connect with friends.

Buchanan Cruise-In
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media
24 x 12 inches

Because I work with so many wonderful small business owners,  you may not be finding exactly what you wish in a particular retail location.  Don't hesitate to contact me through my my website or or  Etsy shop   I will be happy to assist you.

August Event:
August 23 10 AM - 3 PM  Heritage Day at Montgomery Museum in Christiansburg, VA. Admission is free.

I will join the other members of the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge there.  I will have my easel and paints out that day for plein air as well as a display of paintings.   Please come by to say hello and enjoy all the festival has to offer.

Looking ahead:
September 2:  First Friday at the Center for Pets at Lynchburg Humane Society
September 17:  Lynchbrug Art Festival at EC Glass High School

In the meantime it will be studio work for me when its is too hot to head out for plein air.  Stay cool everyone!

Thank you for stopping by my news blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Time to Re-Charge; Take an Art Workshop

Today was the final day of a 4-day workshop with Vera Dickerson at the The Studio School.  The workshop title was  "Painting a Portrait from a Photo".  Vera usually teaches this class in the summer and I have taken it several times.  Every time I do; I learn so much from her demonstrations, personal attention and constructive comments.  Of all the portrait demonstrations, classes and workshops that I have taken through the years,  Vera's class stands out as the absolute best.

For this class I chose an old family photo that was only recently discovered.  My husband returned from a visit with his mom with a box full of photos.  In it he found a photo of his grandfather that he had never seen.

It seemed the obvious choice for my upcoming portrait project.  And of course I made it extra challenging since the photo is clear but faded in some areas and I opted to do a smaller size.  (Vera suggests a larger size and she is indeed correct.)

These challenges were actually good (and time-consuming) as it forced me to do some research on heads and skulls as well as practice on adding small heads and figures to future paintings.   I don't think the portrait will ever mean anything to anyone besides us or win any prizes.   But it is good to do something so different from what usually is on the work table in the studio  All art is related.   Techniques used on this portrait will be used on other paintings to make them more successful.  

A good workshop will provide an artistic "re-charge" and learning something new is always exciting.  Hope you have a chance to learn something new this summer.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Art Marketing or Where's that Virtual Assistant?

Wildflowers at Greenfield Pond
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media
20 x 24 inches

Art Marketing is probably the most discussed topic in art circles.  Today the artist needs to work both the creative side and the sales side of the business.  And art marketing involves maintaining a website, posting on social media sites, writing blogs, emailing newsletters, handling direct mail, making "sales" calls at potential retail outlets, participating in art festivals and entering art shows.  

After reading that last sentence it is a wonder that artists have time to create their art.  So how do some of these successful artists manage?  I think I found the "secret" last month in an interview published in an art magazine: they have an assistant.   

Myself and many of my fellow artists have family members who step in when needed to help packing, transporting and delivering art. It is wonderful to get that extra assistance; however what happens when it becomes a daily necessity?  Many artists have their spouse or partner handle the business side of their art.  Sterling Edwards always has a photo of his wife Diane in his monthly newsletters.  She keeps the business going while he is on the road doing workshops.    Whether the helper is a family member or employee it seems an assistant is the solution. 

Recently I found a blog about hiring a "virtual" assistant.  You apparently can hire someone through an internet-based business and have them do those business tasks that you do not do well, do not like to do or do not have time to do.    It sounds like a dream come true.

At this point, I simply need to personally focus on those marketing tasks that work best for me.   I am seriously thinking about dropping the Stone Coal Studio Facebook page.  There is a radio commercial that makes fun of someone's dismal number of friends on Facebook.  That person could be me.   I have decided to give the page another three months with regular postings to see if things improve.  

But I just can't help thinking about that virtual assistant --could he or she really make my art business better????

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog.  I welcome your thoughts or ideas on a virtual assistant.

PS:  Wildflowers at Greenfield Pond is now up on Etsy