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Create a Strong Brand for Yourself and Your Artwork

Artists create! We create music, we write, we dance, and we create art for the purpose of self-discovery and self-expression.  Our need to express is an inherit part of our being and is truly the essence of being human. Our need to communicate with others is the highest form of art.  The process of sharing our creations, in exhibitions and art shows or selling them online or in galleries, all require a solid business approach to be successful.

When you are ready to sell your art, it is important to create a brand name for your company.  A brand name is used to establish your identify so that the public will know who you are and will recognize your artwork when they see your paintings.  Most artists use their name as their brand but I have adopted “The Grand View” as my primary company name and as the umbrella that I do my business under. I also use my name, “Stefan Baumann” as a second brand name along with “The Grand View.”  This means that I have two brands that I work with when growing my business.

The first step in developing your brand identity is to define your artistic interests that you want market under your brand. Collectors appreciate consistency.  If you are an artist who paints Abstract art one day and Plein Air the next, your collectors may not know what to expect from you. So ask yourself, “What is it that I want to create to sell?” A strong brand can positively influence collectors and create perceived value for your art.  It can create an emotional attachment with the collector to your work while providing a consistent focus on what you’re marketing and will project credibility in the marketplace. It also creates “client loyalty” and “repeat buying” along with generating positive word of mouth advertising. Consistency in creating your style, your quality of artwork, and your marketing approach is extremely important.  If your collectors associate positively with your brand, they learn to trust your ability to create quality work and experience fairness in your business practices.  They are more likely to talk about your work and display it for others to see, which may result in new collectors who purchase your work.  To change any aspect of your brand, your style or the quality of your work may create a situation where you could have to start your business over again.

The second question to address is do you want to create a small business or a big business? Are you going to be a person who sells a few paintings a year or are you going to be like Thomas Kinkade and paint large numbers of paintings? Most artists are happy to manage a small, personal business. Success in any business comes from presenting your business in well-defined terms by highlighting the attractive features of your artwork and your business practices to your customers and collectors.  Your long-term growth is generated by building relationships that help your collectors connect with your name, brand and your artwork. Your collectors are the foundation for your art business. If your collectors have confidence in your brand, and know who you are and that you consistently introduce new artwork with familiar themes and subject matter, collector loyalty and repeat purchases will follow.   Branding can influence clients’ purchasing decisions, especially if they want to become collectors and increase dollar value for your art business. Your brand needs to reflect your vision and what you love about creating art as an established artist, what you want to offer them, and what they will get from owning your art.  Branding also helps your customers identify you and recognize you out of the crowd, and it tells your collectors what they can expect when your name pops up in conversation or in the news.

Branding your art business takes time and consistency. Finding new ways to promote your brand must be worked on everyday, every week and every month. Doing this takes follow-through, perseverance, and patience.  It might take time, but remember, marketing your work and living your dream is better than working at a job you hate.  Think long term, stay focused and you will have loyal clients for life and a business that generates cash all year.

The post Create a Strong Brand for Yourself and Your Artwork appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

This commissioned moth is my first painting of the year,…

This commissioned moth is my first painting of the year, completed last month. Some spiritual breakthroughs occurred in this one…the concepts of raising our vibration so the unseen may become visible. The camouflaged moth will become visible once we train our eyes to focus in this dim earthy light.

Memory Drawing: An Essay on a Form of Memory Drawing With Examples

Thinking About Memory Drawing.

I have been thinking lately about memory drawing. The topic was sparked by one of the books I’ve been reading about drawing by the director of The Arts Student’s League of New York City. The book is “The Visual Language of Drawing” and is by James L. McElhinney and several of the instructors at the League.

Memory Drawing: Still Life With Toy Pony Series

“The Natural Way To Draw”, Kimon Nicolaides.

At one point in the book, Mr. McElhinney mentions the 1930s instructor Kimon Nicolaides and his approach to teaching drawing.  As a point of reference, the book  “The Natural Way To Draw” is derived from the teaching notes of Mr. Nicolaides. James McElhinney lists some of the exercises that Nicolaides had student do and it includes  “memory drawings”.

Now then, my copy of “The Natural Way To Draw” is stuck away in storage. However, when I was starting out on my drawing and painting path, I read through Nicolaides book. At the time, I did not have access to a life drawing class and was struggling to find a way to start developing my artist’s skills. When I reached the memory drawing exercise I thought “Aha! This is something I can do anywhere, anytime!” And, so I did the exercises, or  at least my version of Nicolaides memory drawing. I would say that memory drawing lead to my eventual “Peggy” style drawing which is a blend of memory and imagination.

The first “Still Life with Toy Pony Drawing, March 2009.  I drew this version from life and imagination.

Intentions.

From time to time fellow artists have asked me how I come up with my designs, especially for series like “Still Life with Toy Pony”.  Oddly enough, that is a hard question to answer.  But, drawing from memory is a start toward explaining the process.  If such a question interests you, please read on.

Other times, people just like and enjoy to see the drawings and paintings.  In which case, the narrative about memory drawings may not be so relevant.  Instead, I hope you will find the works shown here interesting and enlightening.

What Is Memory Drawing?

So, what is memory drawing? Its a way of drawing without direct observation; that is to say you are not looking at a model while drawing.  So, this is what I learned and remembered from Kimon Nicolaides’ book.

Sidebar: Disclaimer!

Disclaimer time first, though! I ought to mention that this is how I interpreted the lesson.  If I read the book today, I might interpret it differently.

Memory Drawing Exercise.

In any case, here is the gist of the exercise: draw something you see during the day from memory; not from life. You might want to set aside say 20 minutes a day to do this type of drawing. Maybe you draw a car door handle, or a person opening the car door. Another idea might be to draw a person you meet on the street, in a coffee shop, or on a bench at a bus stop. And, the subject doesn’t have to be people. It might be a cat crossing the street; a horse in a field, or a plaster cast angel in your neighbor’s yard.  Or, it could be a still life arrangement you find or set up.

Memory Drawing, Still Life With Toy Pony Drawing 60

This is drawing number 60 of the Still Life with Toy Pony series. By this time, I was drawing exclusively from memory and imagination.

How I Did It.

Back to my personal experience and perspective. My routine has been to go out and do a jog most mornings. I have been doing this for years. After reading Kimon Nicolaides book, I thought I might pay attention to the people I pass while jogging. I would look at someone then try to remember an impression of the person.  Then, I would set aside 20 minutes after breakfast and get to work drawing the person I’d seen while jogging.

Results:  What I Learned.

As you might imagine, at first the figures were stiff. The label “not very good” would have been appropriate. But, what I learned was that I became better at the memory drawing over time, especially if I saw the same person doing the same action – say walking down a beach.

I would like to share what happens. Each time you see someone doing the same action, you take better mental notes. You see “what the legs do”, in other words the shape legs create while they are walking. Another day, you notice how the arms swing naturally while a person is walking. Next, you might notice the tilt of a head or how a jacket bunches up at the elbow. Each little observation becomes a mental note that helps you with your next memory drawing.

Oh, and, yes, the first memory drawings I did are stuck in storage along with my Nicolaides book.  But, the process took!  I still do this type of drawing when I start a series.

Drawn from Memory and Imagination

Variations on a Theme: Drawing #22

Life Drawing.

Now, for those of you who like to draw from life, remember this is an exercise. And, life drawing is a form of memory drawing. Consider this, drawing from life is “look, remember, draw, look, remember, draw” and repeat. Unless you are doing a blind contour drawing, it might be said that you are doing “memory” drawing pretty much anytime you draw from life. In this case, you are holding a bit of information in your memory for a short time rather than the time I took to do my 20 minute memory drawing.

Abstract Drawing.

Since I mentioned life drawing, I thought I’d talk about abstract drawing for a paragraph. Drawing from memory is one way to “abstract” the essence of the subject.  You simplify; you remember the main movement, gesture, color, or shape.  That something that you remember can become a point of departure for a stylized, abstracted design.  The memory of people, nature or things observed in life becomes the source of inspiration, improvisation and intuition.

How Memory Drawing Influenced My Artwork.

So, how did this memory drawing have an effect on my artwork? After awhile, I found that I saw interesting shapes while drawing. I gradually freed myself from trying to recreate my subject and started experimenting. Drawing became a type of dialogue between me, my memory, my drawing and my imagination. I can best describe the process as a “push and pull” type of drawing: pushing lines and shapes one way; then pulling them an opposite. I work this way until I gain traction and the drawing emerges on the paper.

Memory Drawing: Design 4, Still Life with Toy Pony

Variations on a Theme.

This type of “seeing, remembering, exploring” drawing is perfect for variations on a theme. That is to say, you start from what you see in life, then draw variations, allowing memories and imagination to influence your drawing. If you get stuck, you might go back to drawing from life.

For me, this was a great way to get started on developing my drawing skills. All I needed was a sketchbook, a pencil, a kneadable eraser and off I went. OH, yes, you may erase. I did because it helps to push and pull the drawing into shape! And, another rule I employed for myself, don’t give up until you have given the drawing a serious try!

“Still Life With Toy Pony” Series.

OK, nice, all these words.  But, how about results?  I have attached some of the drawings and paintings from my “Still Life with Toy Pony” series.  The series was started by a drawing from life.  As I started working variations, I worked from memory, then I transitioned to imagination.  Imagination, in this case, might be said to be a modified form of memory drawing too.  I incorporated what I remembered from the original still life plus all sorts of other ideas that popped into my head while drawing.

The “Still Life with Toy Pony” series marks a leap forward in my drawing, composition and painting skills.  I’ve worked on it periodically over a six year period.  And, who knows, I may yet re-visit the theme!

Still Life With Toy Pony Design 32: Memory Drawing

How About You?

Do you do a form of memory drawing?  What are your experiences?  Please feel free to share and add a comment.  Thanks!

Update, February 13, 2017.

I found more about drawing from memory on a website:  Studio Rousar.  Artist Darren Rousar has written a book titled “Memory Drawing”, plus he has several exercises and insights available for you.  His exercises are different from mine and, incidentally, I thought I try a few out myself.  Thanks!

 

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The Power To Create Painting Better Paintings

The Power To Create Painting Better in this video Baumann talks to a class about creating better paintings by thinking out of the box. PaintingsInspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post The Power To Create Painting Better Paintings appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Close to Home

My friend David Rosenak is a landscape painter who found himself working closer and closer and closer to home and realized he had a lifetime of paintings to make without leaving his property.  When he first revealed this to me I thought it was a little odd, but perfect for him – see more about him by clicking here. I compared my practice at the time to his and I was attracted to the convenience of it but couldn’t see how it could ever work for me. I tend to want to paint everything I see, all the time, everywhere I go. But I struggle to get things done and finish what I start so, David’s method stayed in the back of my mind.

We got a dog two years ago and started taking her on walks along this ditch trail about half a mile from my house.  It’s a wonderful walk.  You see close mountains and distant ones, close and distant trees, houses, shacks, weeds, farmland — there are just endless compositions to experiment with.  And there are never any other people down there.  So I started painting there a lot and have made five paintings I’m pleased with in the last year.

These are the latest paintings are from the ditch trail.  Painted last fall and late summer.  The evening one was painted when my mom was sick and I didn’t fully realize she was dying, but I was extremely stressed out and painting this was a good way to take my mind off of things.  The last one was painted in the month after she died. The reason I bring this up is that when I look at these paintings I travel emotionally to the joyful feeling I had while making them. Writing this post, my mental sequence was, “Wait, when did you make these? Was it before mom got sick?” And I realized it was during her illness and right after she died.  It is kind of shocking, but somehow there is life and spark in being outside and making landscape paintings, despite this generally being a terribly tough time.  However, I don’t think I would have been able to do it if I didn’t have this comfortable and easy location to go to.  Since my mom’s death, I feel like staying home (or closer to home) all the time.   I really miss her. I think as the spring comes I’ll feel a little less like a hermit.  And I don’t know if I have more paintings to make down on this ditch trail.  It’s impossible to commit to something like that.  Time will tell.  But I do like working where it’s comfortable and safe.

 

Oil Painitng of Persimmons by Sarah F Burns

Evening Looking Toward the Siskiyous

 

Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns

Cascade/Siskiyous from the Ditch Trail

Both measure 20″ x 35″.  Painted en plein air over a number of sessions.

Filed under: Inspiration, Landscape, Paintings

Improve Your Painting by Selling Your Art

Improve your painting by selling your Art, Stefan Baumann talk to his class about entering shows and galleries will improve your art. Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Improve Your Painting by Selling Your Art appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Paintings Showing At Downtown Starbucks

Starbucks In Ashland, OR.

Showing at Starbucks has been a goal of mine since I painted my first “coffee cup” series painting some nine years ago!  Finally, I have just the opportunity to do so!

Starbucks Show

Three paintings showing at Downtown Starbucks, Ashland, OR.

I am pleased to say that I am showing three of my paintings at one of our local Starbucks coffee houses beginning Sunday, January 29th 2017 through April.  There are two Starbucks in Ashland and the specific location of the coffee house is at 120 East Main Street, downtown Ashland, OR.

Art2Business

Most importantly, I’d like to extend a special thank you to Wanda Pepin of Art2Business (Artist Services LLC) for coordinating this venue for me.

Business Hours:

You are invited and welcome to come by during normal business hours and enjoy the paintings.  Business hours are as follows:

  • 5:30 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday;
  • 5:00 am to 8:00 pm Fridays;
  • 5:30 am to 8:00 pm Saturdays;
  • 5:30 am to 7:00 pm Sundays.

Purchasing Information:

All paintings showing are available for you to collect.  To purchase, please contact Ms. Wanda Pepin, Art2Business (Artist Services LLC) at phone number 541-261-9794.

My prices include the matting and framing.  Shipping and handling costs are extra, if necessary.  Feel free to contact me either through the contact page or by leaving a comment below.  Please be aware that the prices are good through the end of the show at Starbucks.  I may increase prices at a later date in the future.

Should you have any additional questions about the paintings, feel free to comment below or send me an email.

About the Paintings.

Starbucks Show

Old School, New School.  

Watercolor; $800 Framed; 2015; Inventory #445.

“I am amazed at the growth of personal digital media in our society.  Laptops, cell phones, tablets and digital books are so common place. In this painting, I wanted to portray new media next to old media.  Two friends are at a coffee shop and they are enjoying a reading break.  Old school is reading a traditional hard cover book; new school is reading on her laptop screen.  As an echo, I added two different kind of coffee cups: the old school porcelain cup and the new school paper cup.”

The Watercolor Society of Oregon juried accepted Old School, New School into its 2015 Spring Aqueous Media Juried Exhibition where it was awarded fourth place. 

Starbucks Show

Coffee Break Conversations.

Watercolor; $800 Framed; 2015; Inventory #444.

“I had a moment of inspiration while visiting a niece in Athens, GA.   To explain, my niece, husband and I were having coffee in a cafe and noticed two young couples came in.  The couples sat down to a table and each of them immediately brought out their smart phones.   The three of us looked at each in awe and amusement.  You see, it seems that the people on the other end of the line were as much a part of the conversation as the people at the table.”

The Watercolor Society of Oregon accepted Coffee Break Conversations into its 2016 Spring Aqueous Media Juried Exhibition.

Starbucks Show

Cafe, Espresso & Daisy.  

Watercolor & Acrylic; $800 Framed; 2008.  Inventory #212.

Café, Espresso and Daisy is one of a series of paintings exploring the theme of coffee and an espresso café.  The daisy was inspired by a particular arrangement I saw in a Portland, OR, café.  The cups, chairs and composition come from my imagination.  I tipped the table top up for fun and because of the shape.  “Café” is the French spelling for coffee.”

I have had the honor of having Cafe, Espresso and Daisy in two Juried shows:  Associated Arts of Ocean Shores 2008, Ocean Shores WA; and Collective Visions Gallery 2009, Bremerton WA.

Thank you and Enjoy!

Most of all, I do hope you will go by the Ashland Starbucks downtown and see these three paintings.

Stermer-Cox Showing At Starbucks

Three Paintings At Starbucks, Downtown, Ashland, OR.

 

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Painting What’s Your Niche And How To Sell It!

In this Video Stefan Baumann talks about ,,, What’s Your Niche
And How To Sell It!Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com.
Private Coaching information is also on our website alone with Plein Air Workshops.

The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Painting What’s Your Niche And How To Sell It! appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Motivation – What Gets Me Going & Keeps Me Going

Motivation – That Which Keeps Me Working.

Hi!  I have been wondering how personal motivation contributes to overcoming artist block.   Put another way, I would like to examine what motivates me and keeps me plugging away at my art.  By looking at what motivates me, both positive and not so positive, I might learn something about making art and life in general.

Coffee?

I was thinking  about how to tackle this idea of motivation.  During a little brainstorming session, I asked myself “what gets you out of bed in the morning?”  Perhaps not such a good question after all since the first thing that popped into my brain was “coffee”…and then maybe some more coffee.

Motivation; Study: Egg Not Fried

One motivation – learning something new to me. “Study, Egg Not Fried” done in acrylic during Gabriel M. Lipper’s still life class.

List of Motivators.

Pulling back from my personal narrative for a moment, I started wondering what might be some things to motivate people to make art and be “artists”.  Here’s a few of the ideas:

  • Money… as in income, award or the joy when someone purchases our work.
  • Prestige and fame; this can be local or on the big scale!
  • “Talent” – being good at something.
  • Discovery – examining the world around us.
  • Because we love art so much we need to try it ourselves.  In other words, learning something new.
  • Oh, and because a parent or parents were artists.
  • Maybe we have art materials and wanted to play in order to see what will happen.
  • To maybe “touch the gods” – that is to say that we begin to understand the Masters of art by experience making art ourselves.
  • The process of putting paint on canvas, engaging oneself in the act of drawing and painting is deeply satisfying.
  • And, then on the negative side
    • If not now, when?
    • What will I feel like if I never get around to the business of drawing and painting?

Motivation Defined.

Come to think about it, how do we define “motivation”?  In my mind, I’m talking about the inner, personal reason(s) to do something.  I checked the on-line Webster’s dictionary and it said pretty much the same thing; its about the reasons we are caused to act.

All of the reasons I gave above have influenced my motivation to draw and paint at some time or other.  As circumstances change and evolve, motivations change.

Current Motivators.

So, what is my current motivation to draw and paint?

  • If not now, then when?
  • Understanding and discovery.
  • Fun; that is to say being in the groove and focusing on the act of drawing or painting.
  • Mastery.  I really want to be “good”, or improve.

I came to the realization that this is what motivates me today indirectly.  It was while looking at Diego Velasquez’ portrait painting, Juan de Pareja, that the light went on.  There is so much to learn and experience in this world of drawing and painting.  I have just begun to scratch the surface and I want to learn more!

Motivation. Study, Asparagus

“Study, Asparagus”; Acrylic. Another study done in Gabriel Lipper’s class.

About the Paintings.

Local artist Gabriel Mark Lipper gives mini workshops at Enclave Studios and I jumped at the chance to take one.  It is a still life class that he titled “Classical Drawing, Vicious Painting”.  The title alludes to the painting fast and furious approach to still life painting. Put another way, “direct painting” – or lay the paint down and move on.

My usual mode of painting is layer upon layer; more of a sneak attack that takes a LONG time.  Its been a fun and interesting challenge to try to paint more directly.  I am definitely out of my comfort zone.  But the class fits the personal motivation of learning something new and challenging.

What Next?  Goals?

NPR had an article about a writing assignment that changes lives.  It talked about writing down what motivates you (me) and linking it to goals.  The article sites research that shows that this can be a powerful method for achieving personal goals, etc.

So, I’m thinking, the logical next step for me is to work on updating my goals.

How About You?

Please feel free to share your thoughts on what motivates you and how you link it to your goals.  Thanks!

 

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Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio

in this video Baumann discusses Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio. What should one do? In this conversation we ask the hard question do you have to paint on location, from life or from photos. Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.