Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

To Do Or Not Do Art Commissions?

Hot Fields, Cool Mountains
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
mixed media on canvas
12 x 12 inches
(new work in my abstracted landscape series)

Recently I was checking the latest post from an artist whose work I find absolutely spectacular.   While I was admiring her latest painting I noted that she had written "no longer taking commissions, indefinitely".

I was quite surprised at the tone of the statement.  It gave potential buyers a big sign saying "go away" which could not have been her intention.   Asking for a commission should be a starting point and not an ending.

Some artists work entirely on commissions; a painting is not started unless it has already been sold.  Others refuse commissions entirely like the artist described at the top of the blog.  However most artists are somewhere in the middle with an "it all depends" and I am one of them.

The middle ground of "it all depends" serves everyone's needs.   Often the buyer seeking a commissioned work has not seen all of the work available by the artist.   Once the entire inventory is viewed the desired painting may already be completed and ready to buy.

Sometimes immediate obligations and commitments prevent the artist from accepting any new commissions.  It is always a good idea to ask about the buyer's timeline.  The buyer could be building a new home and not need the painting for another year or more thereby allowing the artist time to complete the commission at a later time.

Lastly, after discussing the commission with the potential buyer the artist may realize that he/she is not the best match.   In this case, the artist can draw upon the local arts community and suggest other artists that do the type of painting that the buyer wishes.  

I recently accepted a commission to do a dog portrait.  It has been a while since I have painted a commissioned work and the last one was also for a dog -- well actually three, together in one painting.  I accepted this offer for several reasons:  I am familiar with the breed,  the timing was good as I have work already finished for fall art shows, painting something a bit different always seems to provide inspiration for other works, and it is an opportunity to form a new friendship.

The drawing is completed and the design has been approved and colors have been selected -- it is time to paint that puppy!  Be sure to check back for updates.   If you have not done so, sign up to receive my blog by email.

(Hot colors in the perennial beds this week.)

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  
And please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on commissions.

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 2016 NewsBlog- new monthly feature

My attempt a few years back to create a newsletter for my readers and followers was a dismal failure. I then chose to spare everyone additional emails in their in-box and instead to use my blog to announce events, shows, workshops, etc.

After much thought, I have decided to revive my newsletter.  However this time the newsletter is published in the blog.  It will be scheduled the third Monday of every month.  The blog will be easy to identify from its title "NewsBlog".  Eventually I hope to have it as the featured blog.

To insure that you will automatically receive this blog, please sign up in the box on the side of the page.  However, if you only check my blog on occasion you can still keep up on happenings by searching for the NewsBlog on the third Monday of each month.

Stone Coal Studio NewsBlog Monday June 20, 2016

Events this month are all with the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge:

(Inspiration for the workshop painting is the lavender blooming in front of the garden shed.)

June 25 (Saturday) Paint the Lavender Fields in Bloom at the Evergreen Lavender Farm in Appomattox.  10AM-12 Noon.  $40 with all supplies included.  Registration required at
Evergreen Lavender  An afternoon class will be scheduled if the morning class fills.

July 5: Art delivery to Goose Creek Studio in time for 2nd Friday's in Bedford July 8, 4-8 PM

Then it will be time for the "Lazy Days of Summer or so we wish!
Plein air days are planned along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
And work will also be happening in the studio for upcoming fall shows.

Looking ahead:
September 2, 2016 First Fridays Lynchburg at Lynchburg Humane Society.
September 17, 2016 Lynchburg Art Festival at EC Glass High School

Please let me know your thoughts or suggestions for this first NewsBlog.  
And thank you for stopping by my blog.

Naturalized Daffodils
by Judith F Lochbrunner
18 x 18 inches
currently available at Potentially Chic

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Not Big but Better: Improving My Presentation On-line

The Feel of the Land 
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic/mixed media 
14 x 11 inches

This past week marked the completion of the many improvements to my on-line presentation.  I knew the improvements would take several weeks, persistence and patience to do everything.  

It all began in March when I was able to schedule a photo shoot with Natalie Gibbs Photography.   She came to my studio; photographing me there as well as outside in the backyard.   I was impressed with her professionalism.  And I agree with my daughter who says that Natalie seems to know when to take the right photo.   Having a selection of professional photos has made a huge different in the appearance of all my on-line sites.  It truly was an instant upgrade.

Next on the list was spending more time with my Facebook page Stone Coal Studio - Art by Judith F Lochbrunner.  After working the page for the past few weeks, I have fallen into a "rhythm" and with a better understanding of how Facebook works.  I hope to build an audience by earning your attention.

The biggest task, however, was marketing. While I have had a shop on Etsy since 2012, regularly maintaining the shop always seemed to be the one thing that never got done when things got busy.  I also had a gallery page on my website that connected to a Flickr account that also needed my time to regularly update.

With the help of my website administrator, the gallery page on my website is now my Etsy shop.  (It is called an Etsy mini.)   My intention is not to be a "pushy salesperson" but to make my time more productive.  By eliminating a web page to update,  I will indeed do a better job and make the Etsy shop page very current and hopefully of interest to you.  

And here finally is the connection to the painting at the top of this post.  It is the newest addition to the Etsy shop/website gallery page.   The painting is another in my series of abstract landscapes.   This work highlights the textured canvas to suggest the "feel" of the land.

Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions.  I hope these improvements enhance your viewing and engagement with my on-line sites.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Place for Pollinators - New Painting, "A Taste of Honey"

A Taste of Honey 
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
8 x 8 inches

When I visited the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg back in April with the Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, we found beehives on the grounds.  Volunteers care for the hives and provide the cemetery with honey to sell.  

There are currently several initiatives to increase the number of pollinators.  Bee populations have been in decline due to disease and other environmental pressure.  Click on this link to learn how you can help  

Intrigued by the color of the hives, I looked on Pinterest to see other examples.  And quickly found hives decorated with flowers, bees, and even a cityscape.  

I decided to add some more color to my hives and even have painted the sides of the canvas and orange to match.  The soft color palette is a bit different for me and it proved to be a pleasant change.  

This painting will be up in my shop on Stone Coal Studio Eaty Shop  by the end of the week.  It will be joined by several other new works to add summer excitement (summer is after all a very exciting time).  

Thank you for stopping by my blog.