Sunday, November 19, 2017

Body

Painting at a gallery walk earlier this year.  [Photo: Claire Jenness]

This month I've been trying to focus some gratitude on the Mind-Body-Spirit triangle.  Aging is no picnic, but I do feel a lot of gratitude that I still have a lot of energy and can teach my body new tricks - like painting and learning how to look at things a new way.   These past couple of years have been deeply rewarding in a lot of ways.  I'm grateful for those experiences. 

The Mind-Body-Spirit thing also reminds me to have balance in my life.  Something I'm not good at, but have made a priority for the next year.   It's part of my quest to live my best life now.  To that end, I've started a new facebook group for other serious artists who are working on their businesses and who need a supportive place to ask art biz questions and discuss all of the issues inherent to balancing life, art, business, family etc.

And I'd like to invite you to join our Best Self facebook group where we can talk freely about becoming our best selves - and all that that entails.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

GIFT! Watercolor Meditation #1: Observation



I think about you guys a lot.  I think about what makes you happy, what makes you peaceful, what stresses you out.  We're getting into the crazy time of year with too much stuff on the calendar and many situations that might bring up some uncomfortable issues. 

I decided you needed some help relaxing.   I've developed a series of watercolor meditations especially for this time of year, when you need something calm and creative to help you balance. 

Bonus!  You can't do them wrong.

Bonus!  An excuse to try a new art form.

Bonus!   They are so much fun!  [Send me pics!]

Enjoy!


Meditation #1:  Observation

Take a deep breath and relax. 

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Relax your shoulders.

Relax your arms and hands.

Breathe.

You are going to have so much fun!


Gather your materials:  

You will be able to use these few materials for all of the activities in the series.  
  • Watercolor pigments: Tubes, pans, or sets. Whatever is easy for you to get and use. Make sure you like the colors. If you have tubes, then you'll need an old plate or lid to use as a palette.  [You can also use coffee or tea if that's all you have close by.]
  • Paper:  Any size mixed media paper or watercolor paper.   Thicker watercolor paper won't buckle if you decide to use a lot of water in one of these activities.  You'll need at least one sheet for each activity, but you'll probably have so much fun with some of these that you'll just keep playing.  6 x 6  inches or so is a nice size.  Big enough to play, but not be too intimidating.  If you have larger paper and want to cut it down, go right ahead.  [You can also use a napkin if that's all you have close by.]
  • Brush:  Any watercolor brush will do.   Size 8 or 10 round is good for starters. [You can also use a straw, spoon, etc. if that's all you have close by.]
  • Water jar:   To clean your brush in.  A recycled food jar is great.  Pint sized is great. 


MEDITATION 1:  OBSERVE

  1. Swish your brush around in the plain water.  Get it good and wet.
    • Brush that plain water around the paper. 
    • Observe what happens to the paper.  See where it is shiny.  See how long it takes for that shine to go away.  See where it pools. 
  2.  Get your brush wet again, choose your favorite color and get some of that paint on your brush.  Don't worry about how much.  You can't do this wrong. 
    • Touch the tip of the brush to one of the wet spots and let the pigment move onto the paper. 
    • OBSERVE.   What happened?
  3. Try it again in a different place.  Just touch the color to the water and watch.
    • OBSERVE.   What happened?  
  4. Try it with less paint or more paint on the brush.  Just touch the color to the water and watch. 
    • OBSERVE.   What happened?  
  5. Try it with the side of the brush.  Just touch the color to the water and watch. 
    • OBSERVE.   What happened?  
  6. Now play. You can't do it wrong.  Just touch the paint to the water and watch what happens. 

I'm here.

Thanks so very much for spending some time with this today.  I hope you've used this meditation to relax and put some calm in your day.  If you have a question, observation or photo you want to share, I'd love to hear from you!


See all of my classes here.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

16 Marketing Strategies for Artists

© Robin Edmundson, 'Colorado - Blue Tree and Brush', watercolor, 5x7 inches.


I spent last week in Colorado at a business conference for artists.  I painted some small pieces while I was there.  This is one of them.  I'm kind of in love with that blue.

The conference was amazing.  One of the sessions was about marketing strategies.   Here's a quick rundown.

16 Marketing Strategies for Artists:  Art Biz Coach - Alyson B. Stanfield
[From Art Biz Breakthrough, November 2017]

1.  Sharing:  Share everything, share everywhere [social media]
2.  Planning:  Events, etc.  Everything you do to make and show your art. Then SHARE it.
3.  Networking:  Meet people.  All the people.  Make friends.  Be genuine, not with a hidden agenda.
4.  Build your list:  ask in person, website footers and popups.
5.  Send emails to your list:  At least once a month.  Love your followers.
6.  Send postcards of your art.
7.  Whispering:  one on one conversations with people on your list about what is important to THEM.
8.  Exhibit:  Show your work.  Put. It. Up.
9.  Collaborate with other artists.
10. Write about your work.
11. Speak about your work.
12. Teach
13. Make videos
14. Test your strategies to see what works and what doesn't
15.  Track your strategies.  Do the numbers.   Do more of what works.
16.  Systematize things so it's easier and faster to do it again. 


My favorite and the one I've been using this year is #1.  That got me #4, #5, #6 and #8.  Next year I'm working on more of #2 and #3.

If you have questions, shoot me an email or a comment and we can talk about it. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mind

© Robin Edmundson, 'After the storm', watercolor 10 x 14 inches.  Framed 18 x 22 inches.  

I just got back from a week at a business conference for artists.  It was amazing.   And exhausting.  And exhilarating.  And terrifying.  And upsetting.  And gratifying.  And challenging.  And fun.  And rewarding.  And mind-blowing.

There were 100 artists there and let me tell you, artist entrepreneurs are super interesting people.  I had a million great conversations with interesting, creative and insightful people.  I challenged myself to go out to every meal with someone new and sit down with someone new every day during the meetings - and I did.    I spoke at one of the sessions and totally rocked it - and that resulted in a bunch more opportunities to talk with people later.  We brainstormed, we planned, we cried, we tried, we failed, we tried again.  We reworked things to fit our own art, circumstances and goals.

It. Was. Awesome.

I am so grateful to have been exposed to a group that helped me stretch my thinking and challenge my mindsets.   The whole experience made me thankful for a good mind and the ability to work with it.  I hope you're grateful for your mind, too.

One of my goals in my Best Self quest for the next year is to make my own path and to find groups and activities where I have a great fit instead of just a so-so one.   In that vein, I'd like to start a facebook group for other serious artists who are working on their businesses and who need a supportive place to ask art biz questions and discuss all of the issues inherent to balancing life, art, business, family etc.  Email me if you're interested.    [If you have a good name for it, let me know...although now I'm thinking that The Well Balanced Artist is a possibility.]

And I'd like to invite you to join our Best Self facebook group where we can talk freely about becoming our best selves - and all that that entails.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

So Very Grateful


© Robin Edmundson, 'Light in the Barn', watercolor, 10 x 14 inches.
November is a great month for focusing on gratitude.  I know it's cliche.  I don't care.  It's very important to be grateful.  Not just because 'It's important to be grateful', but because getting into a place of gratitude for what is in front of us is the first step in getting us in the right headspace to attract best-life things to us.

My sisters, mom & I have a daily gratitude group on fb.  No rules.  We generally post 5 things a day we're grateful for.  The lists are varied and creative and can include a very wide gamut of things:  paper clips, warm socks,  running water,  good doctors, the courage to stretch one's comfort zone, a sense of humor, spirituality, etc.  These lists are small things, but it's amazing what a large impact they can have some days in our relationships and daily activities.

Here's my list.  Today I feel so very grateful for:

  • 1.  The internet.  So many reasons!!
  • 2.  A keyboard that fits my hands.
  • 3.  My camera - and a brain that allows me to learn to take better pictures.
  • 4.  Hope:  I hope to improve myself this year, hope to improve my relationships, hope to get much closer to living my Best Life every day.   
  • 5.  Such terrific people who follow my blog.  I run into you everywhere and I love it when you say hi or follow up on something I've posted here.   I've been trying to be better at making real connections with you here this year.  I hope you can tell.  I'm really thankful for you.   


I heart you all!!  Today I'm sending you a little whisper in your ear that you have something of value to offer your world and that it's OK to offer it. 



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