Skip navigation

Category Archives: art

Well here I am again. What a few weeks. It was going so well. And then the Law of Sod took hold. My hard drive failed taking with it weeks and weeks of work that hadn’t yet been backed up. The circuit board is currently en route to the other side of the world where some clever chaps reckon they can put the right chip onto the right new board and send it back to me so I can talk to my life again. All this going on with temperatures in the high 30s/90s which doesn’t turn anyone in my house into a saint believe me.

I’ve also been researching like crazy to try to make the right decisions about how to sell my work, I’m extremely serious about it at this point in my life and on a mission. Things are pretty bad in Greece. About the only hope is to look to overseas customers and artwork is a perfect product from a country whose greatest gift is beauty.

But what a nightmare jungle it all is. Ebay? Etsy? Half a dozen other sites? Or just rely on my site, good SEO and social networking to build the traffic? I am sorely tempted by the latter I really am. I am trying to keep in mind that I am starting out and it might all get to be easier and faster but honestly I feel like I will never be liberated from filling in forms and reading dense rules and regulations not to mention having to serve rookie time virtually giving work away on these sites in order to get established. Trouble is for an artist like me is that I don’t do things by halves. I take time and really want to make a product that is a joy to hold in your hands let alone look at. I also don’t do cutesy which seems to be the style with the Wow Factor that attracts the collectors but I wonder if I am right about this. Will collectors like my work too?

All the same, meanwhile I have been painting furiously making these great little miniature ACEOs…I’ve taken to it like a duck to water. I like painting big and loose but there is almost a whole separate stream of my art consciousness that really gets off on tiny brushes and intricacy.  I’ve been loving it and finding the tiny format oddly liberating. I’m very happy with the results too, I’m dying to do more.

But what to do to sell them? These painted pieces are worth I think at least ¬£40 each. I’ve never done an Ebay auction and the whole idea fills me with terror to be honest.

I’ve put a page of them up My First ACEOs. I wonder what other people think.

Advertisements
Agios Antonios HandpaintedACEO Print Copyright Luigina Ware 2012

Fishing Boat at Syros Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

Lalakia Garden Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

Wave: Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

I spent last weekend on an experiment, albeit one that I thought would succeed. Here are the results. These are my very first efforts at ACEOs* (see below for an explanation of what an ACEO is). ACEOs can be made in any media but they must be right size – these are quite tiny – only 2.5 by 3.5 inches. I had a particular aim with these ones which was to see what I could do with an image by painting onto a canvas print. I chose these four as they each offered a particular challenge – some like Agios Antonios and Lalakia Garden were originally paintings and Fishing Boat and Wave were both digital art. I originally got into making these digital pictures when exploring photographs I had taken in Photoshop with a view to painting them. They then became digital artworks in their own right. Now I am painting over those prints so I suppose you could say these images have come full circle. 


I have tried to photograph them so that the very nice zingy sharpness and vivid colour come out well and also so that you can see the scale – there’s a 1 euro coin in some of the pictures. They are still sitting on my chair in the kitchen in the afternoon sun and I just went to have a look to see how accurate the colour reproduction is. Hard to tell what you are seeing – always be aware when viewing art online that different monitors and computer equipment display colour somewhat differently. But I really don’t think anyone buying these would be disappointed in the contrast between these photos and the actual objects. I am really pleased with them and they were great to work on. I’ll photograph some of the print ones later, they also look pretty far out.

The little canvases are mounted on good quality mat board, the edges are all blacked and they are gloss varnished.

I’ve made up my mind to put them to auction on Ebay and see if I can catch the eye of some collectors. Might work, might not…let’s see what happens!!!
Click on the images to visit the relevant pages on my websites where you can buy the full size prints and read something about the original artworks.

 *ACEO is an abbreviation for Art Cards & Editions, sometimes also known as ATCs – Artist Trading Cards – other people might just call them Miniatures. The rule with them is that they are made on card and must measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches – no more no less. They are loved by artists for the scope they give to experiment without the commitment of a major piece and because there is a certain amount of craft in them. It also means you can offer customers a genuinely affordable artwork.

My desire to make pictures, even the digital ones, began firmly with a love of paint. My heart absolutely sang when I found this great blog post at one of my favourite Facebook ‘Likes’, Retronaut (highly recommended, one of the best little blue and white buttons I ever pushed). Feast your eyes on photographs of actual palettes of Seurat, Van Gogh, Renoir and Delacroix with images like these:

Seurat’s palette reveals clues to his technique as well as
use of colour
I have something in common with Gustave Moreau
at least, my palettes are as messy as this.

Colourlovers, another fascinating site for those who are intrigued by how great painters actually went about things uses colour analysis tools to explore the palettes of specific paintings. I really like the idea of being able to draw out a basic colourscheme from a painting that affects me visually. I think one of the greatest ways to learn anything is to look at things you admire and try and work out how they began. I went looking therefore for some tools to analyze palettes. I found several but  far and away the best one was this: http://www.cssdrive.com/imagepalette/index.php.
I chose my image Northern Lights because it has quite a broad spectrum of colours and fed it into the app and this was the result:

That site actually allows you to save the colour scheme as a CSS style sheet which means you can base the theme of a website or page on the colourscheme of an artwork or photograph you like. This app gives much much more colour information than the others I tried too. Give it a whirl, it’s loads of fun and the possibilities for artists and designers who want to get under the skin of what makes a particular image pop are endless.

Handpainted print of Lemons & Garlic

    To tell the truth, like a lot of artists the very idea of selling my work makes me want to go to bed for a month. It’s downright scary. ‘I have spread my dreams under your feet…’ just about sums it up. It’s also massively time-consuming getting it altogether so one can give people enough assurance that they feel able to order a piece from someone they have never met.

I didn’t realise how much it all meant to me, the months I have spent putting my online shop together until I got an email from a happy customer in Texas on the other side of the world the other day and I burst into tears!! I did something a little bit extra for her, I hand-painted one of her prints – something struck me as I was putting the pieces together. She wrote this to me:




Thank you so much!!!  I cannot believe you did that!  The painting is beautiful and I feel so honored.  I cannot wait to get them framed and hung in my house.  You are a very sweet person for doing that….I cannot imagine anyone else doing the same.  Thank you again!   I am so excited!”


Isn’t that lovely? I’m so happy to be really selling through all this. We are all a bit terrified here in Greece with one thing and another, it’s a bit alarming to be trying to kickstart a new business in this economic climate. But on the other hand I just feel that somehow this venture has a glow about it, maybe I just want it that much.

So finally after much deliberation I am now offering hand-painted prints on the websites, not of all the images, some are not suitable for the technique. It’s sort of a halfway house between a giclee artist print and a fully original painting and a very affordable way of hanging a real painting on your wall. The print is made on very good quality premium silk canvas (it’s lovely). But there is no doubt that the canvas tends to absorb some of the colour. Some of the images, especially my more classic paintings like Kyperoussa, Island and Agios Antonios, come out fine but I do think that people looking at my site and purchasing one are probably a bit taken with the vivid colour. I can get it on the top of the range Ilford Galerie gloss paper but the canvas is a bit subdued. However – wow! What a solution painting over turns out to be. I had been a sceptic having seen some pretty awful travesties – cheap canvas, plonked on cheap paint…no no NO! But over a weekend painting into my Lemons & Garlic I became converted and the end product was fantastic. It was a nice job to do too.

Above is a picture of the finished handpainted print before it was packed away for sending – I photographed it hanging on a kitchen cupboard and it has come out slightly wonky but it was actually rectangular!!

If you would like one too you can order from here. I’ll soon be offering handpainted ACEOs of this piece as well.

When I first started to paint one of the driving forces was the desire to create something special and unique you can hold in your hands. Not just an image but a satisfying object to treasure. Recently I stumbled upon a little craze for collecting Artist Trading Cards – they are known as ACEOs or ATCs to the cognoscenti. They are only 2.5 x 3.5 inches and are collected and traded by all sorts of people.
Now over the past few years I have had a bit of a tendency to think in terms of really large pictures but all of a sudden, with a bit of influence admittedly from gaining full understanding of shipping costs – small is beautiful! I really really want to make some of these cards! So I have been preparing with all the fervour of new obsession and have just taken the first batch to the printers to collect tomorrow.

I have made some from details from paintings like Island and Northern Lights. I’ll be offering straight off glossy prints, handpainted prints on canvas (this is where I make a print from my work and handpaint over it to create an ‘almost reproduction’ each with individual unique features), and as soon as I have all this organised I will make some original one-off ACEO-sized paintings.

I managed to source all the materials I need here in Greece (well the polypropylene pockets have come from Cyprus) which pleased me a lot. I am blessed with an amazing printer who is so helpful and encouraging even of my smallest project and a lady called Margarita in Syros’s new frame shop who cut all the black mat passe partout cards for me – I am sooo pleased with them!

Here are a few examples of the new cards. Do please message me if you would like to order – prices will be very low with discounts for buying several at a time – I’ll be venturing onto Ebay and Etsy for the first time with some trepidation once I have figured out postage costs and the like.

Detail from Island

Detail from Island 

I’ll be featuring most of my images in this new format and will soon add a selection of other small prints – 4×4, 5×7, 8x ll in and so on. I’ve made some lovely little certificates which I can sign and each one will have be an exclusive item. More news soon.

Detail from Northern Lights

How much there is to do to create an online presence for one’s art and hopefully sell some. I am not a full time artist – I want to be of course but life doesn’t permit it so I work at other things for a living. That isn’t even a sob story, it’s just that the artist in me is almost a separate function from the worker, I like my job and am lucky to be able to do it from wherever I am.
So, we thought, I’ll set up a website, sell some prints. Maybe I can win back a day a week to have for myself and start creating some more work, get at the paints.  Keep going, keep going!
Exploring the web I find myself in awe time and time again of the work to be found. Then you look and the date of the last post on the blog is months, even years ago. I want to make a flow. I guess it is the early posts that are the worst to deal with, one coughs and feels self-conscious. Everything seems pretentious.
So here’s the plan. I won’t have one. I’ll keep sticking something on here, sharing the picture that’s on my mind today or whatever and let the thing invent itself. I can see how it will be because I know what I do and what I want to share and I also know my objective, it’s just starting it that is weird.
Here on this island it is the most perfect time of year, beautiful, warm and sunny but not too hot. This little painting I did of a garden in a back street is the one most on my mind right now, were I to be able to paint today this is the sort of thing I would be doing:

Lalakia Garden: Painting of a Garden in the backstreets of Ermoupoli, Syros by Luigina Ware. Visit website to buy print

Well it has taken me just a bit of a while but finally, at last, after much wailing and gnashing of html, hollow-eyed nights wrangling with prices and sizes, angst over logos and layout and a really horrible state of consternation and misery over the copy I have finally launched two websites where prints of my work can be bought. If I had had any idea how long it would take I’d probably have printed a few off and made for a beach somewhere but truth to tell I am really proud of them now. Please come and visit:

The first one shows all my Greek art work:

www.aegeanlight.co.uk

 the second is for everything else – right now the digital work and some reproductions of paintings:
www.anotherlight.co.uk

A big part of the work involved was getting the test prints made. I had fantastic help from my printers in Syros, PrintIt Today who couldn’t do enough to help. The samples look really wonderful – better than I hoped. The colours are vivid, the paper and canvas choices are lush and the images are sharp – all in these are products I am very happy with and will be proud to show.

So now there is just the small matter of getting my social network fired up and operational.

For this blog in particular, I have made no rules. I am just hoping that good labelling and tagging will make sense of it all…..

agios-antonios.jpg

I have now made prints available of the this painting of the little church of Agios Antonios at Megas Yialos on Syros.

You can find them at my website Aegean Light www.aegeanlight.co.uk/agios-antonios.html

Come on over and see the new work there and at www.anotherlight.co.uk as well.

 

flame3.jpgstarburst7.jpg

The Hippy in Me is a Happy Bunny tonight. I just made such a cute little psychedelic Slideshow of a few of my digital art expeditions into the heart of Photoshop…..very enjoyable.

See it here at the page called Digitalissima

I’m loving Slide.com – this is the third slideshow I’ve made there and this one gave me a chance for a little unrestrained fantasy indulgence in their feature set.

I’ve also installed a new set of photographs of Syros to give you a flavour of this lovely island.

Find that one here at the page called Syros Photographs

Syros Pharmacyapanomeria1-72.jpgSyros Greengrocer

mikedrawing1-72ppi.jpg

I’ve begun a portrait of my brother Mike the poet who posts verses here under my various paintings. Michael has decided that time of life has been reached when a portrait would be appropriate. I’ve got the job and what a pleasure it is too. Here you see the first working drawing which will be used to lay down the shadows onto the canvas. The technique I am describing in Work in Progress has seldom been so much use to me as with Michael’s image – a face so familiar to me. Any artist will tell you that you have to get past what you think you see and draw and paint what is really there – and what is really there is light. Light and not light. Concentrating purely on the shadows absolutely liberates you from the psychological effect of the image. There were several times in creating this drawing that I lost sight of where I was but persisted in studying only the enlarged portion I was working on and transferring it to the paper via a grid. It is to be recommended – I have just completely rediscovered a face I have known quite literally since the day I was born.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank