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ArtsyFartsy News
Our shameless, irreverent self-promotion newsletter...
April 2008

Welcome back...

About Bob by Linda Gunn
"About Bob" by Linda Gunn

Isn't this cool? Linda Gunn, a fabulous painter and founder of the International Society of Acrylic Painters surprised me with this image! What a wonderful painting Linda! Thanks for letting me put it in the ArtsyFartsy News!

Red-Winged Black Birds
Red-Winged Black Birds

It's early Monday morning. All quiet in the studio... peaceful. Many kinds of birds in the feeder along the studio deck: Goldcrown Finches, Red Wing Blackbirds, Towhees, and my favorite cutie - California Coast Chickadee. All chirping away! Studio time started early today - I'm getting ready for a month filled with workshops. I'm doing my daily warmup exercises to get me in the groove for my day-- and this issue of the ArtsyFartsy News features a new "Try This Assignment." You guessed it -- Warmup Exercises! We will feature warmups for three issues. Better than pushups!

Butte College Workshop
Butte College Workshop

April kicked off with my "Postmodern Painter Meets the Contemporary Collage Artist" workshop at Butte College outside of Chico, California. Simone Senat, who heads up their Art Department, put together this three-day week long workshop and filled it with twenty-five painters -- paper and paint flying everywhere! I had a few days back in my studio to begin a black and white painting series for an invitational group exhibit in Santa Barbara at the Fielding Graduate University. Then -- Kate and I taught a day of Art Marketing at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. A very full class, an indication that today's artists are more savvy in making a living as an artist.

And, we have an "OHMYGOD!" Newsflash - May 5-8 (that's right, next month) the Mendocino Art Center has scheduled me to teach our new hot workshop - Fix & Finish! Bring your "turkeys" and together we'll turn them into Thanksgiving Day Dinners! Scroll down and see more!
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Product Spotlight

Loosen Up Workshop Notes Pack
Loosen Up Workshop Notes Pack

Can't get to a Burridge Workshop? This is just like being there! Create Show Stopper Paintings with These Eleven Loosen Up Workshop Notes.

These are the exact painting workshop handout notes from Robert Burridge's "Loosen Up Workshops for Artists" series.

Individual Workshop Notes include:
1. 20 Top secrets for Loosening Up
2. Making a Painting Outdoors
3. Loose and Juicy Floral Still Lifes
4. Making Abstract Paintings
5. How to Critique your Painting
6. The Creative Process
7. 12 Design Compositions for a Painting
8. Quick-Guide about Light Source
9. How to have Meaningful Intentions
10. Why Varnish your Painting
11. Suggested Reading List
These class notes as well as many other subjects are featured in Robert Burridge's Workbook & Studio Notes.
12.95 + shipping & handling + sales tax (CA residents) For info on ordering go to: www.robertburridge.com/Products
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Workshops in the Spotlight

Guatemala Workshop
Views of Guatemala

Join Us for the Trip of a Lifetime!
November 24 - December 3, 2008.

Special side-trip to Tikal, November 23-24!
Join us in Guatemala this November and December for a painting workshop and cultural tour! Brochures are ready now! Contact Kate at kate@robertburridge.com to have a brochure sent to you or contact John Korte for more information regarding registration and costs at www.exploreguatemala.com

Click HERE to view photos from the November 2007 Guatemala Workshop.

Click HERE for Message from Bob.

We had such an amazing time last year-- we're looking forward to going again!

Don't miss this one!

Cloudcroft Art Workshops

Dark Sky Paradise! And we're 9,000 feet above sea level! Welcome to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Join us for a five-day dynamic On-Location workshop in "The Most Enchanting Part of the Land of Enchantment!" Cloudcroft Art Workshops - Named New Mexico's #1 Art Workshop by New Mexico Magazine.

Cloudcroft, New Mexico is...
• 40 miles from casino wagering and golf at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.
• 50 miles from Ruidoso Downs.
• 16 miles from the Space Museum, Alameda Park Zoo, and Toy Train Depot in Alamogordo.
• 40 miles from White Sands National Monument.
• 150 miles from Carlsbad Caverns.
• 90 miles from El Paso and the Mexican border.
• Within 50 miles of 8 magnificent golf courses.

The workshop space is big and airy, we saw big puffy clouds, pine tree forests and trestle trains! A week you won't soon forget! For registration information, go to www.CloudcroftArt.com. You can also contact Jan Rasch, janrasch@tularosa.net or phone 505-682-2889.

Just Announced - Special Burridge Workshop Change Those Turkeys!

Permission to Change Those Turkeys!
Permission to Change Those Turkeys!

Fix & Finish Painting Workshop at the Mendocino Art Center
May 5-8, 2008
4-Day Workshop, (Monday-Thursday)
Contact Linn, Registrar
P.O. Box 765, Mendocino, CA 95460
Call (800) 653-3328 or (707) 937-5818 for a schedule.
website: www.mendocinoartcenter.org

Check your ego at the door. Bring in your turkeys, your dogs, your biggest embarrassments, your unfinished "bad" paintings… Robert Burridge, nationally known workshop instructor, can help you refocus your painting intentions and your goals to get your painting finished, signed, varnished and out the door!

Once your painting is "fixed," we continue on with a looser series Burridge calls "cool down" paint sketches. Be prepared to paint more confidently and have the answers you're looking for to produce more meaningful paintings. Daily demos, handouts, lectures and constructive critiques.

If you've always wanted to take a workshop at the Mendocino Art Center, but couldn't get in before, now's your chance! Call Linn today, 800-653-3328.
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Recommended Book

Art Class
Art Class

"Art Class - A Complete Guide to Painting"

Get this book and keep it out. You will refer to this book many, many times in your studio. This book represents the work of twenty very popular and successful painters.

With plenty of color examples, this book covers everything. Really. From "Where do I start?" to "What should I paint?" to "What are the basics?"

With pages and pages of artist-led clear instructions, helpful color photos and practical tips on techniques, this book will be one of your "secret" favorite books -- you will look at it and actually read it! If you never went to art school, or even if you are an experienced painter, you will be grateful for this concise publication. It has everything you need to know to paint successful works of art. The title says it all - ART CLASS.

Art Class: A Complete Guide to Painting
Simon Jennings and Sally Bulgin, Editors
Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA 1999
Paperback - 192 pages
ISBN-10: 081182537X
Buy at Amazon
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Ask Kate about Art Marketing

ASK KATE! With every newsletter, Kate will post your questions and her responses on the subject of marketing, sales, and promotion. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you will receive a Burridge Permission Mug. If you have a burning question that you would like to have answered -- for your benefit and everyone else's -- email Kate at kate@robertburridge.com

Janet B. from Ventura, California asks: Is there a "waiting period" between the first showing of a piece and the offering of it as gicle?

Dear Janet, I have never heard of a waiting period between showing an original painting and introducing a glicée. At our gallery in San Francisco, the owner would often exhibit a brand new original PLUS release the print during the same show. The only reason I can think of to wait is to give the piece a thorough "test market" to be certain you will have an audience that is interested enough to purchase your edition. For instance - Bob has a beautiful still life painting titled Burgundy & Blue. The painting was created for his "BobLand Show" in 2000. The painting sold on opening night, then Bob was commissioned to do several variations for different customers. He has probably painted versions this painting at least twenty times since then. In 2007 we released Burgundy & Blue limited edition giclée prints. On the other extreme - Party Animal was released as a giclée the same time as the original was shown. Gut-feeling about this one - we knew it was just quirky enough to be very popular! Thanks for your question!

Michele M. from Mission Viejo, California asks: I do many different types of art - should I do a name change on myself for these very different types - does it really matter from a marketing perspective? It seems to get confusing the thought of using different names - cause then I would be doing different marketing materials, bios, etc.

Dear Michele, I appreciate your question - there really seems to be a lot of confusion about artists' names and signing artwork lately. The answer is in your question -- You also ask the following: "I am 'not known' for any particular art yet… but hope to be someday. When 'someday' comes, would it hurt me to do names changes or should I play the 'keep it simple' game of just using my name - my real name and be done with it.I know authors use other names a lot - should artists do the same?"

Keep it simple -- My advice is to stick with your own name -- straight across the board. You are right that the marketing would be a nightmare if you tried to separate facets of yourself and your talent. I always say, first and foremost, your customers and your potential customers need to be able to find you. By using different names, you are diluting your marketing and probably driving yourself nuts too. This affects the artists who use only ONE name too - if someone googled you, would you show up? Hope his helps!

For more info, click HERE to check out our Hot Art Marketing Workbook.

Thanks for asking Kate!
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 Kate Your Art Marketing Girl and her assistant Sophia
Kate Your Art Marketing Girl

Click HERE for top of page.

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The Composition of the Month

Uneasiness - Number Ten in our featured series.

Uneasy Black & White Sketch
Uneasy Black & White Sketch

"Uneasy" Composition… What exactly does this mean? Have you ever looked at a painting and felt uneasy, uncomfortable or just generally tense? Did it make you feel uncertain, off-balance or unsure of why this painting was so difficult to look at?

Uneasy Black & White Painting
Uneasy Black & White Painting

First, I need to tell you, the artist set out to create this impression. The artist WANTED to throw you off -- and succeeded in doing so. While this is not exactly a "design composition" as in my previous articles, it falls into more of an "emotional design" category. I refer to it as "Uneasy Composition." Some paintings simply make me cringe! Not because it was poorly executed, but because the artist either placed objects in questionable areas or the subject matter was unsettling. Recognize that there is a difference between Uneasy Composition and Uneasy Subject Matter.

• Uneasy Composition: Think Pre-Raphaelite; Magritte, Dada.

• Uneasy Subject Matter: Think Lucien Freud, Odd Nerdrum, Joan Brown.

Uneasy Composition - Safe Harbor
Uneasy Composition - Safe Harbor

Uneasy Composition - Whisper Secrets
Uneasy Composition - Whisper Secrets

For example, drawing attention to the edge of the painting by placing objects along the edge or at the corners can create weird tension. It looks like the artist ran out of room or didn't plan ahead. In other words, the placement of objects or hard-edge lines that draw your attention away from the center of interest may not make visual design sense if you don't have another object or edge to draw your eye back into the painting. If your focus leads you out of the picture, it may send a confused, uneasy message. If that is what the artist intended, then the painting is successful! Red Square

Try this Assignment

My Daily Warmups - Part One in a series of Three

Before I begin my panting day, I play around with small paper pieces. I "goof around" with color and design; I finger paint. I make sure to keep the fun in painting. I got the idea to do daily painting warmups by watching athletes warm up. Before doing strenuous competition, athletes, dancers, actors and musicians all do warmup exercises. Why not painters?

I have found that it's a good way to ease into doing a much larger painting. I play like this everyday in my studio - pure goofing around play with no intentions other than stretching my imagination.

After a few minutes of making several small, colorful exercises, I put them aside and go to "work" on larger paintings.

Getting Started with my Daily Warmups

Bob with Warmup Grids
Bob with Warmup Grids

1. On a full sheet of orange-toned watercolor paper, I mark off eighteen 5 x 7 inch or ten 6 x 9 inch areas.

2. I either paint abstracts or I'll paint a single object over and over in each marked off area. Pears, cups, a glass, etc.

Multiple Floral Warmups on Board
Multiple Floral Warmups on Board

Coffee Cup Warmups
Coffee Cup Warmups

3. Warmup by painting quickly - work fast, loose and wet. Only a few minutes on each.

Think PAINT SKETCHING - not perfection or a "finished painting." In fact, it's Perfect Play Painting!

Bob and a wall of Warmups
Bob and a wall of Warmups

By doing these small daily warmups, by the end of the month I'll have a huge pile of pretty interesting exercises. Some are even finished enough to frame. Not all of them are good, however. That's okay because this exercise is not meant to create a finished painting. As I like saying, "Many are called, but few are chosen! In the next ArtsyFartsy News --- Part 2 "Why I Tone my Paper"! Red Square


Music to Paint (and Move!) By

We are always asked about the music we play during workshops! So here is a small beginning of jazz, island, progressive, trance, world and nonstop club!

Click HERE on to go to my favorite Workshop Music. We will post more favorites and new finds every month in our ArtsyFartsy News and on my website.

Groovin & Movin
Groovin' & Movin'

I always play music in my studio - it gives me energy, keeps me in the groove and makes me happy! Red Square

Product Review

BeeZolio Products
BeeZolio Products


This is what I put on my hands daily before painting. This hand-barrier protective product is what I've been using for over ten years. I rub it on my hands before I start to paint. Because I don't like wearing gloves while I paint, I needed a hand and skin protective that I could easily wash off -- and get the paint off too -- at the end of the day. Violá! BeeZolio to the rescue!

This product is cool on many levels: First it is hand-made by artist Shelley Arrowsmith in her farm kitchen using old recipes. She raises bees and makes her own beeswax. She uses pure olive oil from Greece. Imagine being in Sonoma, relaxing in her flower gardens and watching Shelley mold her honeycomb shaped cakes of BeeZolio - she has been making and selling BeeZolio for years to friends, farmers, artists, cooks, mechanics and paper shufflers. I like and highly recommend this product for its natural ingredients and for the ease of getting paint off my hands!

Shelley Selling!
Shelley Selling!

And besides, Shelley Arrowsmith is one of the nicest farmgirl/artists in the world.

To order BeeZolio and view the entire line of products, go to www.BeeZolio.com.
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Useful Studio Tip from Bob

Using a Discarded Mat
Using a Discarded Mat

Use a Discarded Mat to Help you See

Here's a great studio tip! Whenever you need to isolate what's REALLY happening on your painting table, use a discarded mat to "see" what you need to do - or if you need to stop because it's finished!

Another technique to achieve the same result is to put your painting on top of a oversized piece of white watercolor paper or foamboard. By putting your painting on this "place of rest" you can easily see what you need to do next.
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Think about this...

"Believing you are creative is 50% of the creative process."

Bob with Aiden & Sophia
Bob with Aiden & Sophia

Robert Burridge

Burridge Workshops

Copyright ©2008 Robert Burridge. All rights reserved.
If you wish to copy this material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for permission by contacting:
Robert Burridge Studio
Arroyo Grande, California

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