Friday, January 11, 2013

Leaving 2012

Finally! My 2 daughters were unable to come up to my house to celebrate Christmas until a few days ago...3 very cool days with them, one of their husbands and the giving, good food, some sightseeing in town, lots of laughs and the chance to hug my now 21 and 22 year old daughters.

My young little ones
I have always found it interesting that I see my children in all of the stages of their lives everytime I see them. They can be talking to me and I listen but see images in my mind of them learning to walk, feeding them babyfood and the smiles they had...hearing conversations with them when they were small. My oldest daughter once asking me how long it will be before Santa comes down our "chimely". I remember the bad times too...having to spank my daughter for not picking up her toys in her room, scolding her for not wanting to do her homework, sending them to bed early for acting up...stuff all parents should do that you hate doing inside but can never let them see that you feel that way. 
Christmas 2012 Jennifer left, Amanda right
Parenting was tough. I'm glad I was the way I was with my girls because they make me proud today. They understand hard work, helping others, being kind and treating people with repsect. When I hug them it isn't like hugging that one's like hugging 21 and 22 different people. I'm glad for the visit with them....glad they are still good people. I painted them both a snowman painting for Christmas so they can hang them each year at Christmas time.
 Getting that worn out look, hahaha. Amanda's baby at 5 mo old
I'm not so sure how art will go this coming year. Sales were dismal over the last 4 years with each year getting worse than the last. Because of the slow sales I have been jumping online searching around and reading articles about how to drive up sales. There is a lot to read and the popular consensus is to use social media to drive up traffic and your visibility as an artist. Of course, this is mostly pushed by internet marketing guru's trying to sell you their "how to promote yourself and drive up your art sales" videos, software and newsletters...not to mention the traffic your visits bring to their websites. Have you ever had the feeling that you were being conned.....well, that's the feeling you end up with after reading dozens of these articles. I'm not mad about it....everyone is trying to make a living somehow. I've learned a long time ago that you should trust your first instincts. They really are usually right. My first instinct after reading all of these articles always tells me to go back to the harder at trying to paint better. I enter shows, I'm in a gallery, I have a website, 2 Blogs, 2 Facebook pages, a Twitter account, I'm on LinkedIn, I've just joined Pinterist, I'm a Moderator on an art website, I'm a member of several art organizations, I eat sleep and drink art and am typing this...I also paint. I make frames, canvas boards, stretcher bars, do my framing, snap my own reference photos, deliver my work, buy my supplies, keep organization of receipts, bills, sales, expenditures, advertising, web master of my site, read read and read more about what is going on in art and see what is selling out there. It all can be very frustrating at times but no one is going to do it for you. I remember my art teacher in high school asking me if I was going to go to the Art Center once I graduated. Art Center was astronomically expensive back then and my blue collar and proud of it Dad was not going to pay for that. I told me teacher that I liked art as a hobby and that I'm sure it was really hard to try and make a living off of it....first instincts at work again. I love being an artist but just like parenting, it is hard. We'll see how the year goes.......


Dianne said...

It sounds like you had a lovely and reflective family New Year. The best kind. Ours was the first time all the next generation was spread all over the globe. It was probably more noticeable because the "baby" and his wife are thousands of miles from home now too. We were grateful for cell phones with video, though.
I like your step-by-step of the Coast Guard painting, Thanks!

Ron Guthrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Dianne,
Thanks for the good words on the CG painting step by step pics. I'm happy you were able to keep in touch with those you love. Some things are great about technology. I remember being stationed in Germany back in the 70's and waiting to 2-3 weeks to get mail from home...seemed longer at Christmas time. Glad you had a good holiday time Dianne.