Welcome to the November issue of
Off the Easel
Welcome new subscribers, and thanks so much to everyone for your continued interest and support of my work! I am delighted to have subscribers and readers from around the world -- thank you all for joining me each month to share in my art practice.
If you are seeing this newsletter on Twitter, please subscribe and have it sent conveniently to your inbox each month!
In this issue:
It's OK to Make Some Ugly Paintings: the Importance of Artistic Exploration. In this article, I share my thoughts on how to balance the importance of cohesion in your artwork with the experimentation necessary to feed creativity and new discoveries. I very am excited about something special coming up during the middle of this month -- read on to find out what it is!
Website and Blog Updates. I have moved my blog so that it is now located exclusively on my website -- visit today! See the progress I have made so far with my recently redesigned website.
Private art lessons fall special, and other unique gifts! Remember to take advantage of my Fall Art Lessons 10-for-9 Special, a punch card-inspired plan for lessons ranging from beginning instruction to tailored art marketing sessions and critiques for the seasoned professional. Read additional details in the Unique Gift Ideas article.
My next Open Studio event: When is my next open studio event? The December 4th Downtown Art District Association First Friday Gallery Hop. (Please note that I will not be open for the November 6th Hop!) Will there be a Winter Subscribers' Studio Soirée this year? See the article below to find out!
I hope you enjoy the November issue of Off the Easel. Many thanks for your subscription!
All the best,
Website & Blog Updates
Blog. My blog is now located exclusively on my website! If you have been kind enough to bookmark my blog, please change it to:
Visit now to read some of my earlier posts. Now that I have the blog up on the website, I look forward to finally getting some new entries written at last!
For those of you who had originally held a separate subscription to be notified about new blog entries, at least for now, your blog subscription will be combined with your subscription to this newsletter, since I will be announcing new blog posts here.
Website: Shopping Cart coming soon! I will be installing a Shopping Cart on my website very soon, making it more convenient than ever to shop for your favorite art items!
In the meantime, you can always schedule a studio visit with me, or email to arrange payment with a credit card for purchasing best sellers like The Loch Ness Sunrise Suite greeting card collection pictured below!
Please bookmark again. If you visit my website now from a recent bookmark, you might receive a mysterious "redirect loop" notification. Refresh your browser, re-bookmark, then all will be well. I apologize for any inconvenience!
Above: My homepage in progress, www.AmyFundeburkArtist.com
© 2015 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Featured painting: South Tawton Ceiling Boss: The Green Man (Simhasana -- Lion's Breath)
oil on panel, 16" x 16"
© 2013 Amy Funderburk
All Rights Reserved
Inspired by a ceiling boss at St Andrews Church, South Tawton, Dartmoor, Devon, England
Unique Gift Ideas
Best Sellers! For those of you early planners who are considering your gift list for the various December holidays long before I will, be sure to visit my website. Check out best sellers like The Loch Ness Sunrise Suite greeting card collection above.
This five-card collection features one card of each composition. Printed on acid-free paper and signed with acid-free ink, these cards are suitable for framing or mailing.
Other greeting cards currently available include The Trees of England and Cornwall, as well as Savasana -- the Release, the first card I have printed of an oil painting from the series Images From the Otherworld.
In addition to greeting cards, I offer merchandise options at a variety of price points, including original artwork in a variety of media, and giclée reproductions of two oil works.
Clients have the convenience of paying by credit card, and yes, I am set up to take your new chip cards. I accept Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover. I also offer a layaway plan for up to six months; please contact me for additional information.
Fall Art Lessons 10-for-9 Special: Don't forget my Fall Art Lessons 10-for-9 Special! It would make a great gift for yourself or for a loved one.
Between now and the end of the year, if you purchase nine lessons, critiques,1 or tailored art marketing sessions of at least two hours per lesson at my regular 2015 rate of $35 USD per hour, you'll get a tenth two-hour lesson or session for free! I welcome artists of all skill levels, as well as those working in a variety of media.
As long as you prepay for the bundle of lessons by December 31, they don't have to all take place between now and then -- making this a wonderfully unique gift option. What better gift for a budding or established artist, not to mention that this is a gift that won't take up space!
Email me today to schedule your lessons or for more information. If you or the gift recipient aren't local, I can provide critiques,1 via your website and marketing materials, and we can conduct the session via Skype. Contact me for more information.
1 Critiques that take place in my downtown studio or via Skype may qualify for a minimum of nine one-hour sessions. With the purchase of nine such critiques, you will be awarded a tenth one-hour session.
Due to the set up and clean up times involved, a two-hour minimum is required for hands-on lessons to qualify for the Fall Art Lessons 10-for-9 Special.
Above: The Loch Ness Sunrise Suite
Greeting Card Collection
archival pigment prints; each card 5" x 7"
© Amy Funderburk 2013
Collection features one card of each composition. Printed on acid-free paper and signed with acid-free ink; suitable for framing or mailing.
Next Open Studio Event
December 4th Gallery Hop. The next Downtown Art District Association's First Friday Gallery Hop in which I will be participating will be Friday, December 4th, from 7-10 PM. Please note: I will not be open for the November 6th Hop.
Be sure to visit my studio in the Artists On Liberty Building, because this will be my last Hop for quite some time. I will be closed at least until Spring, and I am not yet sure of my 2016 participation schedule. Mark your calendar now for December 4th!
Please note: we are on Liberty Street, not Trade! Head to Liberty between 6th and 5th Streets, and then look for our sign in front of the Artists On Liberty Building pictured above.
Can't make it that Friday, or want to come by in November? Contact me to arrange an appointment for a studio visit.
What about a Winter Soirée? December is a busy time for many people, and since I'll be open for the Gallery Hop that month, I've decided to focus my energies on that event. We look forward to seeing you during the Spring 2016 Subscribers' Studio Soirée!
Above: The Artists On Liberty Building
521 North Liberty Street
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
It's OK to Make Some Ugly Paintings:
The Importance of Artistic Exploration
If you've been a subscriber for awhile, you may have noticed that I have been branching out lately by experimenting with new media and approaches.
From recent works such as the charcoal rubbing drawing Fictitious Pictish Standing Stone to the as-yet-untitled triptych of found aged cedar inspired by votive coin trees, I have been exploring new ways to express my ideas.
Yet how does an artist balance an innate creativity and desire to discover new working methods with the need to keep a focus in his or her artwork? As fellow artists have surely heard, everyone from grantors to curators are usually looking for a cohesive, committed body of work. Such devotion best illustrates the artist's point of view and gives a sense of dedication to his or her craft.
Another way of saying it? A focused body of work looks like the same artist did it all.
Yet, take two artists who worked in a variety of media -- Picasso and Gauguin. An influence on Picasso, Gauguin painted, carved wood, did ceramics, and worked in various forms of printmaking, including woodcuts. But despite this variety, each work, undoubtedly, looks like a Gauguin. This artist who notoriously booked a ticket to Tahiti summed up his philosophy on creativity in a very succinct, polarized manner:
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
Picasso was not only a trained painter, but also an accomplished self-taught sculptor, as evidenced by the current exhibit of his three dimensional work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And don't forget his collage work with Georges Braque. But you can always tell, no matter the media he chose as the vehicle for his self-expression, that each piece is a Picasso.
You can look to style, subject matter, and intention to thematically connect works executed in various media. To compare Picasso's Blue Period to Cubism, however, you must look for the developmental stepping stones in between. You must look for the element of artistic expansion.
One of my Twitter followers, Carrie Brummer, creator of Artist Think,1 recently asked in a thought-provoking tweet:
"Does art have to be important to be worth creating?"
Seeing this tweet was quite timely for me, because I had already been meditating on this notion. Since my previous technique of indirect oil application 2 was quite time consuming, I had already recognized that I had fallen into the trap of feeling that every piece had to be, to use Carrie's word, "important."
Stepping away from oil for just a bit to explore media in which I might work a little faster, like a charcoal rubbing, or materials where I can just explore new concepts and play, such as found aged wood, felt like freedom to me. The first step to working faster is to prove to yourself that you can, no matter what the media.
This month, I am looking quite forward to something I have not done in ages -- taking a workshop! I am taking two, actually, from among a veritable buffet of choices held in conjunction with an artists' trade show. I chose topics that I felt would directly speak to certain painting projects I have planned, and one workshop is even in acrylic. What better way to pick up the painting pace than with a media that dries so quickly?
In such an environment where the fostered atmosphere is to learn new techniques and approaches, you go with an open heart and mind with an expectation of growth. You open yourself to the possibility of artistic expansion.
Just think: if Picasso had never experimented, Cubism would never have been born. So to stay fresh and to reinvigorate your creative practice, fellow artists, remember to play.
Another artist who worked in wildly diverse art forms, including film and fashion, was Salvador Dali. He said:
"Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them."
Wondering what my response was to Carrie's tweet? I replied:
Every piece teaches and leads to the next. Break free of the "every piece has to be a masterpiece" mindset -- experiment and play! As they say, you have to break a few eggs to make a cake. Studies or "ugly paintings" feed into the "masterpiece." Thus, all art is important, even the studies, experiments, and flops that help you to get where you are going.
This is how we artists grow from our own version of the Blue Period to our personal Cubism. It's OK to make some ugly paintings along the way.
1 Indirect painting is the wet-on-dry technique of using layers. Each paint layer must dry before the subsequent one is applied. After employing the first layer, called an underpainting, the artist uses thin transparent layers called glazes to achieve luminosity on top of an opaque layer. Direct painting, on the other hand, is also known as wet-in-wet painting, or alla prima.
2 Be sure to check out Carrie Brummer’s fabulous website on creativity, Artist Think. On her About page, Carrie writes: "I’m here to help unleash your inner artist: our world is a better place because of your creativity."
Above: Primary Colors in Watercolor
© 2015 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Attention Fellow Artists
Calls for Entries. Curator Barbara Cullen is currently seeking submissions of 2-D and 3-D artwork for two locations for which I used to serve as the Exhibitions Coordinator.
The deadline for both sites is November 15th -- please contact Barbara at email@example.com for further information.
Davidson County Community College, Lexington, NC: Spring Show 2016. This group Show will run from mid-January till the beginning of May. There is a 25% commission on sales.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center 2016 Art Shows, Winston-Salem, NC. Exhibitions slots for nine different galleries rotate every 3 months starting in January. There is no commission on sales. For this location, you may also contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note there are no fees to apply for either location, but artists must install their own work.