Raw Expression

Sunday July 29, 2007

The purpose of this blog is to explore the next step in my current painting project "Raw Expression". This is a body of work of 18 mixed media abstract paintings currently showing at the Sojourner restaurant in Santa Barbara. So the work is up and the question is: so now what?

I painted this work to apply to galleries and to show myself I could do it, and for the artist I would become doing this series. So the paintings are done. The show is up and now I move into Phase II of this project - getting the work to work for me!

("I learned I was enough" Deb Chaney 2007, mixed media, acrylics, collage on 300 lb paper. Currently on display at Sojourner Cafe in Santa Barbara)

So, as much as I'd rather be in my studio, I knew it was time to learn about marketing and promoting my work. I've got myself a super -duper art biz coach (I'll tell you all about her later...stay tuned) and her first suggested was to start a blog - so here I go!

So why did I cal this series 'Raw Expression'? Really it all started out at the annual watercolor retreat at Kanuga in North Carolina March 2007. I met a bodacious group of woman artist; Katja, Patou and Alice-Marie who really inspired me to well, be me. I had come to the retreat with the intention of working on something else - some other paintings- which I was really struggling with. After taking off from the retreat center one evening and having a fabulous gourmet dinner with extremely titillating conversation I came back and these paintings started to unfold. Unplanned, unrestrained, pure raw expression.

Katja, one of the women in our newly formed Kanuga art click, was telling us about how she and an older gentleman she was dating had decided to, well, 'get together' one evening. The event took all night and all morning appearntly because the viagras her lover pooped took well into the morning to finally allow him to "get the job done" if you know what I mean. All of us women listened to this story at the edge of our seats, laughing hysterically . I came home that night and started painting. These were the paintings that emerged. I felt free. It was divine. This was new for me.

(first painting in the series; "She Fucked him for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and still it was not enough" Deb Chaney 2007, mixed media, acrylics, collage on 300 lb paper. Currently on display at Sojourner Cafe in Santa Barbara)

Six paintings were completed while I was at Kanuga and then the next 12 were completed in my home studio in Santa Barbara from March through to June. Yeah, production slows down when you get back to your 4-year old, husband, business, house, laundry, life distractions…you know the deal.

A little bit into the painting mechanics for the curious artist readers ( Personally when I see work I like I always want to know how it was done)

I started each painting by laying down texture using Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso (great stuff!) and then pushing and indenting it with everything from corrugated cardboard to pieces of floor grip and bath matt to make cool textures. Then I did the under painting with several layers of Quinacradone Crimson ( I use Golden Liquid Acrylics) mixed with gloss medium. Obviously each layer had to dry before the next one could be added. And then came the fun part – writing down the thought or feeling that consumed me at the time, using white gesso from a squirt bottle, right over that brilliant red base layer. The last part – finishing of the pieces- ( I always worked on 6 paintings at a time for this series) – was all about playing with the collage pieces and adding black and white paint to balance out the compositions.

(Photo of Deb at the Annual Kanuga Watercolor Retreat Clotheline Show with her first six Raw Expression pieces in the background. March 2007. Thank you Katja for the photo.)

So now begins the business of marketing my art and here is what I have on my to-do list:

  1. Email an art show announcement to current (old) database.
  2. Continue building the new database in ACT!
  3. Consider lowering original painting prices to incentive sales
  4. Get Credit card processing – Costco Merchant Services has best prices.
  5. Continue uploading images and setting up www.cafepress.com/debchaney to sell prints, posters, mugs and t-shirts based on my art images.
  6. Research sites for high quality art prints (get site names from Tammi again)
  7. Make a meeting date with my web woman regarding
    New 2007 Raw Expression Brochure
    Websites for just art prints
    My website image updates
    Overall website update/re-vamp
    Html newsletter template
    Blog dashboard creation
  8. Blog thoughts -
    Put up dashboard
    Learn how to create side snippets ( really like the favorite books Claudine Hellmuth put on her blog)
  9. New 2007 'Raw Expression' Brochure
    Choose 8 favourite images
    Re-write Feng Shiu and art relative to Raw Expression paintings
  10. Newsletter
    Keep adding ideas
    Talk to Tam about template that mimics website
    Find out where I could get snippet little facts about art
    Think about different sections to write about: creative inspiration, mixed media painting techniques, events/shows, other.
  11. Photos – get black and white professional photos of myself in my studio for the new brochure and updated website. List an add on Craig list.
  12. REsearch if I can convert digital images to slides? Find online sight
  13. Application for 3 art organizations Lana mentioned
  14. Find out date for entry to SB and LA Art organization
  15. Call Natural History Museum about Art walk show in September
  16. Learn how to write a kick-ass query letter to submit to galleries – choose 3 galleries to submit to. Maybe pick up the Artists Market book
  17. Organize binder with promotional tools, tips and resources for art marketing.
  18. Prioritize this list (!) - do on next blog
  19. Breathe!!!

    Meanwhile, I am continuing to paint daily. I paint every morning and I’ve started working on a new series of techniques, paintings, and ideas. I just got back last week from a week’s painting in Door County Wisconsin at the Peninsula Art school where I studied with Lana Grow. So there is plenty of new stuff to keep me busy. I will start to post some of the new emerging works as it appears as well as some studio shots. I've got lots of great stuff to share with you. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading. Deb