"What do you do?"



What do you do?  How many times I have been asked that and just stood dumb founded. I feel caught off guard an unable to express myself. I also feel that others can’t really understand what I do, so what’s the use and I don’t believe that they would even want to take the time to hear what I have to say.  It’s about time I take a different approach.

So, today when I have been asked to respond to the question from a workshop I am taking, by Alyson B. Stanfield, “What do you do?” and limit it to a ten second reply as well, that makes it even more difficult.  “I have a son with Down syndrome”, I reply and “I stay home to take care of him”.  As, I said time to reply differently.  My son is now 25 and it’s about time I let people know that I am not just a mother, housewife, or caretaker and that I am an Artist.

“I am an Artist that interprets your thoughts, visions and dreams into Technicolor.”  What does this mean?  I love to do commissions.  I love to take your vision for your home or office, take your lifestyle, your tastes, colors, surroundings, environment, location of piece, create the size for the scale in your room or rooms and co-create with you a unique piece of art.  My art is always vivid and colorful and will be a dramatic piece and focal point in your room, thus the word Technicolor. I’m a colorist and whatever I paint must have rich, luscious color.  My goal is for you to see the intensity and brilliance that I see in color. It doesn’t matter what I paint, but it does matter if I paint with color. My neutrals are pearlescent and are a springboard for color.  Color is my passion.

It’s important to be able to tell people what you do and if you can say it in 10 seconds that is even better. This is a great marketing tool.  If you are prepared with an answer, it will allow further conversation to develop.  You can offer more detail and perhaps develop a future customer.  It might not be a bad idea to hand out a business card, as well. Even though, this is one aspect of who you are and not to be attached to the identification, it still is nice to validate and acknowledge. Be confident, be open, let them know just enough to be interested to ask you questions, but be proud of what you do.

In Search of the Perfect Beginning

"In search for the perfect beginning," quoted by Robert Henri, painter and teacher. Have you ever painted a painting and no matter how much detail or paint you put on it, it was destined for the trash. In the same respect, have you ever done a painting that was flowing so freely that you completed it in a no time? How important is the beginning of the painting? It is very, very, very, important. Did I say very? Yes if you don't have good bones to the painting a good foundation to the painting in the very beginning, no matter what frills you add it will not work. Have you ever seen a small painting from afar and it carried; I mean the shapes, the patterns the values visible. So many times we believe that if we add more it will be a better painting, "First the dog then the fleas." Less is definitely more.

So many of us don't know the rules of a good composition. Now I don't like rules, they are meant to be broken, but you must learn them first and then you may break them. I remember I once heard that prior to being 10 years old, we easily did great compositions, because we were using the right side of the brain. But, when our brain matures and the left-brain gets involved, we sensor, we forget what was innately part of our being. So, I guess we are back to learning some basic rules.

Now composition can be done with line, color, shape and value. An entire painting can be off, but you could balance it in the corner by a dominant splash of red. Or you can have a wonderful composition and the values are to close together, so if you squint your eyes it looks like one shape. Take a black and white photo of your painting and you will see the values. All of the above aspects are very important to give you the dynamic and fabulous painting you desire. Let me give you another example, Have you ever done a still life fruit and a vase of flowers? Is every object spread out? Or did you try overlapping some and maybe even going off the page with others, using the full canvas or paper.

There are endless aspects of a good composition, but it is amazing how when we see a great one, we all know it instantly. This is the foundation of a great painting.  So, before you lay on any paint, check out the composition, search for your perfect beginning.