Monthly Archives: June 2012

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

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I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

~William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” 1804Image

I took this picture in San Diego in 2010….I found it fitting for this poem….even IF they are not daffodils…they are gorgeous nonetheless.

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Raw Beauty…..just because

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I was walking to an appointment in my beautiful city of San Francisco last week and I almost tripped over myself in a very public place.  To my left was the most gorgeous flower….one of my all-time favorites:  the hydrangea.  I was so taken aback that I started snapping picture after picture.  It was perplexing to me that so many people could walk by this amazing display of God’s artwork and not, at the very least, pause to admire its natural beauty and purple glow.  As I was happily distracted, one man walked up to me and looking rather confused said, “What are you taking pictures of?”  Really, I thought?  I wanted to ask if this was a rhetorical question, but I bit my tongue, thankfully.  The interesting thing was….once I showed him what was blazingly obvious to my eyes…he became transfixed by this flower.  He then turned to me and said a heartfelt “thank you”.  

I usually try to limit my conversations to mostly art related topics….but a flower IS art, isn’t it?  It is almost 4 a.m. in SF and I could not stop looking at this picture.  I just sent it to someone that I love….and I just had to share it with you….not because it is a fantastic picture….but because the hydrangea is complex and beautiful and magical…..and we all need a little beauty and magic in our lives every once in awhile, right?Image 

Good morning and happy Saturday…..

Until we meet again,

k  i  m  b  y

Sunrise…Sunset

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As the day comes to a close I wanted to to share a photo of a painting that I sold.  This is the final piece in the frame and mount my client had made for the oil.  They waited three weeks for it to be finished.  It is a really unique and creative way to mount a gallery wrapped canvas.  I am so thrilled that they are happy with their purchase.  I am grateful that they think enough of my art to proudly display it in their home.

On another note, before I sign off, I just want to say to everyone this:  we never know what our words, eye contact, or a warm smile may mean to another human being.  Kindness is oft forgotten in this crazy, messed up world we all find ourselves embroiled in on a daily basis.  Sometimes a smile or a kind gesture…or even holding a door open for someone behind you while you look them in the eye and acknowledge their presence in the world…can make all the difference.  It can make the difference in their day, in your day, in those around you who observe this action, and even in those that didn’t directly witness (or know about) your kind word or action.  How?  Because kindness is infective.  It is seen and sensed even when you think no one notices….because when we are loving and kind this energy wraps itself around you like an invisible cloak of warmth….and others sense it. Sometimes in life it truly IS the small gestures that can make the difference for someone in need.  May we all remember that as we go about our day tomorrow…..and everyday thereafter.

Good night,

k  i  m  b  y

8 Habits of Highly Effective Artists

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Happy Monday fellow bloggers!  It is a beautiful, sunny, WARM (not the norm) day in San Francisco!!!  I hope you all had excellent weekends.

I wanted to share my notes from the internet’s #1 artist radio blog-talk radio show (that I happily discovered). The blog radio show is called: “Artists Helping Artists” and the link is:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artistshelpingartists.

For those of you whom are not already aware, Leslie Seta, the show’s host, runs a weekly blog-talk radio program from her home in Pasadena, CA. Her radio blog is both informative and enlightening…for any artist…be it emerging (like myself), mid-career, or just plain stagnant.  Her blog focuses on the business of marketing your art effectively, i.e.:  how to manage your art business, sell your art, and potentially make a living from your passion.  She speaks from experience as she is a successful oil painter.  Her blog provides artists with a wealth of informative and achievable tips & pointers for artists to more successfully manage his or her art career.

The most recent show I listened to garnered its’ idea from Stephen Covey’s wildly successful:  “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.  The host, Leslie Saeta, tailored it to artists, specifically.  Below is a summation of my notes…it is all paraphrased in order to keep it relatively short.  I hope you find it both inspiring and helpful…I certainly did.

HABIT #1:  CHOICES ARE ALL OURS.  My life is carefully designed by me.  We can choose courage or we can choose fear.  Every situation provides a new choice and we have the option to do it differently.  Remember the joy and love of painting.  Sometimes painting is difficult but you can say, “I may not like this painting today but what was it that I learned and why didn’t it work?”  Be positive.  Have a focused and consistent approach.  This is difficult for artists.  You are in charge.  Remind yourself to maximize any opportunity that comes your way.  Try one idea that is different every month.  Be proactive.  You won’t know until you try.

HABIT #2:  BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.  Have an ‘end’ in mind so you can determine the path and how you are going to get there.  To plan you need a vision.  Successful artists see themselves achieving and working towards their goal.  Take  for example, getting into a gallery.  Talking about it and doing it are two different things.  We must understand the steps and the path it takes to reach your ‘end’ which is a synonym of ‘goal’.  Is your art selling?  You must do the research and due diligence which entails reading and investigating and planning to ensure you have a valid chance at success.  When we don’t plan, we set ourselves up for failure.  Enter into shows for galleries!  Make a goal:  “I want to start teaching workshops.”  You have to plan in detail.  Not every artist is a great teacher.  Start with open studios once per week or once per month.  Reach out to your local community.  Do your research locally.  Where can you publicize?  Where can you hold the event?  Be flexible.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t get discouraged.  Get into smaller shows in order to get into bigger shows.

HABIT #3:  PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST.  There is no need to over-extend yourself.  Focus on your #1 priority.  It is ok to say no.  Painting needs to come first.  You need to develop habits in order to be successful.  Learn to say no and focus on what is important.  CREATE STUDIO HOURS AND STICK TO THEM NO MATTER WHAT!!!  The most successful artists are those that adhere to their studio hours….always! Turn off your phone and your computer.  Lock the door.  Adhere to the goals you set for painting…no matter what!  Force yourself to have the dedication.  Create a balance between painting and your time spent online marketing.  First things first!  Set goals by the number of paintings you complete or the number of hours spent in the studio.  Make sure your studio is in ready, working order so there are no barriers to starting a painting.  Focus on what you need to get done.  Be careful about distractions…creative people are easily distracted!

HABIT #4:  THINK WIN-WIN.  This is someone who sees life as a cooperative arena not a competitive one.  The best solutions are the ones that solve problems.  Understand who your audience is.  Understand the people you are working with.  Get testimonials on purchased art pieces.  Understand exactly what it is your client wants.

HABIT #5:  SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND RATHER THAN BE UNDERSTOOD:  Are you missing (or have you missed) communication in regard to client commissions?  Verify and validate that you understand what the client wants….NOT what YOU want.  Communicate with your customer.  Tell them what you can deliver.  Teaching workshops should be about teaching and giving….not egos.  Understand your students, listen, be flexible.

HABIT #6:  SYNERGIZE.  Two heads are better than one.  Creative cooperation-teamwork-open-mindedness.  Find new solutions to problems.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Art can be isolating.  Surround yourself in a supportive art community.  When you are part of a community your peers can help you with painting problems & share inspiration.  Go to galleries, enter new contests, schedule shows for the group.  Share on Facebook.  Join local and national societies as well as professional organizations.  Find art co-ops and non-profits in your area.  Join open studios.  Join on-line art groups.  Reach out for support.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, opinions, or guidance.  Read and comment on other’s art blogs. Visit local museums.  Artists understand artists.  Be “part of”!

HABIT #7:  SHARPEN THE SAW.  Preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have:  YOU!!!  Having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life:  physical, social, emotional-mental, spiritual.  Feed  your creative energy and strive to learn.  Take a class or workshop, try a new media, go to an art gallery or bookstore to see what other artists are doing.  Keep a file of photos for inspiration.  Stay motivated, learn, try new things.  For instance, paint upside down (the canvas, not you silly!), paint using the opposite hand, take a drawing class or a local art class at a community college.  Feed your creativity and strive to learn.  Stay healthy and fit.  Get much needed rest.

HABIT #8:  SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW AND GIVE BACK.  Remember it is not a competition.  Volunteer to teach underprivileged children art.  Donate your time and knowledge.  Be of service to those in need.

In closing I wanted to add my two cent’s worth…..BE A BLESSING TO ALL WHO CROSS YOUR PATH.

Have a beautiful week…until we meet again.

Gratefully yours,

k  i  m  b  y

Cypress

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The photos that follow below are close-ups, and finally a full shot, of the painting I worked on over the weekend.  I painted every night into the wee hours of the morning (4 am this morning)!  It is done in  oil paint on gallery wrapped canvas that is 3/4 of an inch wide and its’ dimensions are    24″ x 12″.  It is the largest landscape I have worked on, to date.  I am quite pleased with the outcome. I hope you enjoy it as well.