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What is art?

I received two different opinions on my art pricing at the December 3 ArtWalk from two different people.
The first said that my prices were just right. “Not as high as New York City, but this is Billings, and this is just right.” She said this as if she were suggesting I could charge even MORE than I do (and she did like my work).
The second one asked, “Why is your art so expensive,” overlooking all of the cards and reproductions that are priced from $3.50 to $25.00 (which is not expensive).
I had to take a deep breath, remember who I was and where I was before I responded, “I actually don’t think it’s expensive when you take into consideration how many years it took to learn to do this, how long it takes to make each work, and all of the expenses that it takes to maintain my studio and communicate with potential collectors. Here–let me show you some very affordable pieces…” at which point I directed her to cards and prints. She didn’t buy anything.
But I like this response better, because it gets right at the heart of the value question. Thanks, Seth Godin. ????
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December 2023 ArtWalk was FUN!

Thank you for helping to make it a successful event. ????

The Holiday Stroll / Billings ArtWalk is my favorite one of the year

Thanks to all of you who turned out last night for the December 2023 Billings ArtWalk and Holiday Stroll. It is my favorite one of the year because it’s so festive and fun. We had great weather for strolling, and nearly non-stop traffic through the studio for the entire four hours. It was such a pleasure visiting with everyone who stopped by.

To get ready for this particular ArtWalk, I redesigned my website. It now has a fully updated online store full of my original artwork. There is also a link to my Pixels website where you can get all manner of merchandise with any of my art you choose. It took me a couple of months to get my website ship shape in time for the event but it was worth it. I hope you’ll check it out.

My next endeavor is to break up with Facebook. About two years ago, a glitch in the Facebook system disabled my ads account. I have been trying for two and a half years to get tech support from their help team. Instead of getting it fixed, they kept telling me that there were no flags and it should be working, and in the process of “helping” me they made it so that I can no longer access my art business page. I can see it, but I can no longer edit it or post anything to it. They keep closing the support ticket saying that they have resolved the issue, but it is nowhere near being resolved.

So, I am going to be spending more time on my own website in my blog (blogging the things I would normally post on Facebook), YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Be sure to go to those pages and Like and Follow me to keep up with I’m doing.


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Miniature purple irises in progress

I got some painting time in for the first time in a really long time today. Turns out my little home studio is actually functional, and even comfortable to work in. I set up my table and then found this little painting that got interrupted when we moved last summer. It felt sublime to disappear into a painting for a while.

If this painting appeals to you, or you think it might make a good gift for a friend or loved one, contact me contact me and I’ll be happy to talk with you about it.

Life is good and I am grateful.

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The enemy of creativity is perfectionism

I don’t normally share ads, and I’m not sharing this because I want you to buy this. In fact I’m telling you explicitly: DO NOT BUY THIS, or anything like it, just to create a mandala! You don’t need fancy tools to make mandalas or Zen doodles.

When I teach doodling and doodle-mandalas to my students, inevitably there are a few who ask if I have some things they can trace to make the rows of circles perfect, and the shapes within the rows perfect. These are the students who are focused on perfect results rather than experimentation, exploration, discovery, and fun.

When I teach adults who approach art projects in this way, I am not surprised. They’ve had a lot of practice at driving those things out of their lives in favor of the illusion of perceived perfection.
But I am always sad when I have a teenage kid wanting to take that approach, because it means that their short life has already had the fun structured right out of it and they are more concerned about failing than they are about having some fun making some art.

One of the jobs of an art teacher is to teach children to play, and reacquaint them with play, while also guiding them to more complex results through experimentation, exploration, discovery, and fun.
If you are someone who wants to be creative, but you are tempted to buy something like this, DON’T BUY SOMETHING LIKE THIS! Get yourself a sketchbook, some pencils, colored pencils, markers, and watercolor paints. Then pull up some Sketchbook Skool videos on Youtube and start PLAYING with your supplies. Have FUN. Don’t try to be perfect. None of us are perfect. Just practice every day and allow yourself to ENJOY what you are doing. Do NOT judge your results.

The enemy of creativity is perfectionism, but playful enjoyment and exploration are what cause creativity to bloom and thrive.