10/9/09

Change is in the Air!

Many businesses are affected right now by the slowing economy. And if you're a working artist like me, you might be noticing a difference in sales lately too. The trick is...
DON'T GET DISCOURAGED!
Just look for different ways to do things! Little adjustments can make a difference. Like....

lower your prices on your artwork. But be careful NOT to lower them too much. Keep in mind if you go too low in price you'll actually cheapen your work, which could cause you to loose buyers, rather than gain them.

If you usually make large expensive pieces of art, try making smaller less expensive variations of the same. Selling several smaller pieces can add up fast!



Another thing I'm doing is...

adjusting my $ need. So rather than paying for a website now I've gone to a FREE version. And I'm actually quite pleased with them!... the templates to choose from... the easy of setting up. If you're like me and would rather pour your energies into your artwork instead of all the time it takes to set up a website you might appreciate this place too....
http://www.viviti.com

And while you're there.... check out my new website! ;^)
http://www.ShirleneLascurain.viviti.com

Seasons

I can't choose a favorite season. I love them each for their own characteristics. But I especially enjoy the changing part, from one season into the next. I get excited when I see the first flowers of spring, and the first snow flakes of winter. It absolutely delights my eyes to see the first colors of fall. And I've noticed that my artwork often reflects my enthusiasm ;^)

9/26/09

DON'T THROW IT OUT!!

How many times have you heard "DON'T THROW IT OUT! You may use it someday!" ?
But I was in a clear-it-out-of-my-studio mood this last week. (remember I had just sold a bunch of paintings and rearranged my studio?) And this unfinished piece had sat in my studio for nearly 5 years! This doesn't happen very often but... for some reason I'd started this painting and stopped in the middle of it. It was like I'd run out of inspiration mid stream ??? And I was seriously considering just tossing it because it had so much texture that it'd be impossible to work over the top of it.
But WAIT! Today it suddenly looked DIFFERENT to me!!! And I added some papers, tissues, ink, paint and....
I'm glad I didn't throw it out now (smile)

9/25/09

What do you do with an ugly cabinet?

...to the tune of "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor" ?
(can you hear it? lol!)
So, I sold a BUNCH of paintings over this last week! My art sales seem to go in spurts. And I was SO excited by the space (that selling all those pieces gave me) that I launched into a rearranging the studio mood to see if I could gain even more space!
Organization and spaciousness inspires me!
In the process I pulled out a cabinet that I'd been hiding in a closet. The trouble was... it was dark and ugly, and just didn't go well in the surroundings! So I drug it out onto the back porch.
Primed it one day. And painted it the next.
The PERFECT weekend project!

8/13/09

OH NO! I've run out of ANGELS!!!

Making ANGELS!
(a good place to start a blog!)



My artwork is used for multi different things. It's an income. On holidays it often becomes a gift. It's a teaching tool. It's something that GOD often works through to express HIS current heartbeat. And.... it has become a way for me to share hope in a world that desperately needs hope!

The idea of these little angels actually came from a dream where I was instructed to deliver bread to our community. I was to deliver large loaves of bread to large businesses. And slices of bread to smaller businesses and individuals. When I awoke from the dream, I clearly understood that this was GOD instructing me to share HIM (the Bread of Life) with my community. The question was then 'how do I go about this?'
And that answer would come in a following dream.

To make a long story short.... doors suddenly sprang open to display a large scripture based painting, in a large downtown business. I recognized that as delivering a large loaf of bread to a large business. And these little angels that I hand out everywhere I go now, are the slices of bread that are delivered to smaller businesses and individuals.

What is cool about these little angels is.... they don't get thrown away like a gospel tract often does! And even if the message gets ripped off of it (which I'm sure happens sometimes) the image of the angel is still a reminder that there's more to this life than what meets the natural eye. Angels are among us! They are on assignment from GOD to help get us through this life!


I have had absolutely WONDERFUL responses handing these out. They have often brought tears to the eyes of the receiver, and opened the door for me to pray with others. And they've inspired many to tell me their stories how GOD met their needs through a miracle, or their personal encounter with an angel.


Perhaps it's the generosity of just giving a stranger a gift? Or even the thought that someone cared enough to put a little effort into the message? But these little angels seem to cause the theological barriers to fall, redirecting a focus to GOD and HIS promises found in scripture.
It's a rare moment of unity - one that I just can't get enough of.



All that said.... lets roll out the clay! ;^)



The clay I'm using is Laguna Ovencraft Clay. I roll it out between rulers to keep it as consistant in thickness as possible. The thickness is about 1/4". Then I stamp multiple designs all over the surface.


Then I take a metal cookie cutter, and reshape it into the body of the angel I want to make. And I go on a angel cookie cutting frenzie! I make hundreds of these at a time (smile)

Then I roll little balls, and press them onto the bodies for the heads.
They are ready to dry now!
So I place them between newspapers (top & bottom). Weight them with a book or 2 on top (to keep them from curling in the drying process). And I will flip them every day until dry. That usually takes 3 or 4 days.



Then I sand the edges and the top. I don't worry about the back.
I really like using a sanding block for this to assure a flat even surface.

Then I place them on cookie sheets, and baked them at 350 degrees for an hour.

Next....
When cooled, I stain them (sides & top) with a water-based stain.

The particular color I like to use is Rosewood.

Then I brush the raised parts of their designs with acrylic paints - starting from the darkest color and working to lightest color. In the pic here I used metallic green (as the darkest) first. Then a patina metallic bronze. And finished with a metallic champagne gold (the lightest). I find that sponges work great for this!


Now I attach my message. I glue it's edge between the magnet and clay.
And WAL-LA!! I'm ready to put them in my bag, and hit the streets again!
Who knows what will happen today (smile)