ArtsyFartsy News
Our shameless, irreverent self-promotion newsletter... February 2007

Welcome back...

This is our second online newsletter. Last month we were overwhelmed and frankly, surprised at how many of you signed up for this free monthly news. Last month was our Kick-Off issue and, of course with the "learning as we go" technique, our webmaster Bo and Kate jumped thru impossible hoops to smooth out the techno-glitches. Great job! Now if I only knew how to spell and write better sentences this newsletter would be flawless! But who cares? It's all so ArtsyFartsy anyway. Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic responses and notes. It's really great to hear from so many painter friends. Special thanks to my proof reader extraordinare, Capt. George Burridge.
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Bob in his studio.
Bob in his studio.

New Product Update

The positive response to my current show in San Francisco at Carla Schmidt Fine Art Gallery has nudged my marketing brain into reproducing 6 paintings on notecards. Introducing (ta da!) BobArt Cards! A pack of 12 notecards and envelopes, 2 of each painting and blank inside. Some images have whimsical messages on the front and plenty of room inside to write your personal notes. Red Square

BobArt Cards

For info on ordering go to:

Burridge Workshops

Bob in Workshop
Bob in Workshop

Workshops to Watch! This year we are traveling to many art organizations and art materials stores conducting painting and marketing workshops. However, for something new, we have two workshops coming up this year that are being produced by individuals! We met both Suzanne Jenne and Jennifer Stone at Burridge Workshops. Each thought they could get groups together for a workshop in their own areas -- it's working! If you have an interest in going to Colorado or South Dakota for painting and then how to sell those paintings, give them a call!

May 17-20
"Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting and Painterly Collage"
Plus -- "Art Marketing: The Business of Selling your Art"
3-day Painting Workshop and 1-day Art Marketing Workshop in Larkspur, CO
Contact Suzanne Jenne, (303) 681-0274 or email or

June 25-29
"Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting"
Plus -- "Art Marketing: The Business of Selling your Art"
4-day Painting Workshop and 1-day Art Marketing Workshop in Watertown, SD
Contact Jennifer Stone, (605) 882-1396 or email

Aerial View
Aerial View

And... if you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime -- Explore Guatemala Art Workshop /Tour.
Visit the website
See itinerary below:

Robert Burridge
Art Workshop/Tour in Guatemala
November 12 – 21, 2007

Mon 12th - Fly into Guatemala City. You will be met at the airport and taken to the colonial city of Antigua, staying at a 16th century Monastery transformed into a hotel, the Casa Santo Domingo.

Tues 13th - Awaken to the raucous sounds of Macaws chattering and sights of bright bougainvillea, emerald volcanoes, and richly textured ruins. Bob will do an introductory demo and review workshop itinerary as well as individual goals. Visit the Jade Factory and hear of the "lost mines of the Maya".

Wed 14th - Paint on location at the ruins of Antigua. Bob will demo painting a series in one location. Visit the Church of San Francisco, a Monastery of the Franciscan Order. Here you will find the tomb of recently canonized Saint Hermano Pedro de San José de Bethancourt, a Franciscan friar of the late 17th century, known for his great charity and love for the poor. In the afternoon Bob will give a short demonstration on painting light and shadows.

Thurs 15th - Tour the main Plaza and Cathedral; we will walk to a pre-selected sight for some painting time. Colonial architecture surrounds us everywhere and will be the instruction of the day.

Fri 16th - Leaving Antigua, we take a scenic drive to Comalapa. This village has become an important center of Naïf painting largely due to Andrés Curruchich, whose paintings are in galleries the world over. Today is market day in Comalapa. Enjoy the colors, the people, and let your senses run free. Next we will travel through the magnificent Guatemalan highlands with spectacular vistas and scenes of the Maya in a world not too changed from hundreds of years ago on to the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Atitlán. Here we will be staying at the Hotel Atitlán, surrounded by botanical gardens, towering volcanoes, terraced mountainsides, and villages with beautiful lake views.

Sat 17th - Today is reserved for a special paint-out in the gardens of Hotel Atitlán, and we'll visit the local town of Panajachel.

Sun 18th - Travel to the world famous Chichicastenango market; colorful, exciting; a maelstrom of furious commerce and the best place in the country to buy textiles and handicrafts.

Mon 19th - Take a boat across the lake to the village of Santiago for some local color and a little shopping. Then to the unique home of Candis Krummel, built in the traditional style of Tz’utujil architecture and featured in Architectural Digest, August 2002. She and her Maya cooks will prepare a delicious traditional Tz’utujil gourmet festive lunch for us over an open wood fire. Tonight a wine and boquitas party to share experiences of the trip and show off your work.

Tues 20th - A free morning to paint, explore the hotel environs, hike the nature walk, visit the local town of Panajachel, sketch, photograph, or just sit by the pool with a good book. This afternoon we say "adios" to Lake Atitlán and return to the beautiful Hotel Quinta Real in Guatemala City, overlooking volcanoes Agua and Fuego.

Wed 21st: - Departure flights home. Red Square

Click HERE for the 2007 Burridge Workshop schedule.

Burridge Exhibitions

March Exhibit New Landscapes for Kinion Fine Art Gallery Show in Sedona. If you are near Sedona in March, stop in!

"Canyons and Headlands at Kinion"
First Friday, March 3, 2007 5-8 pm
Kinion Fine Art
431 Hwy 179, Sedona, AZ

Kinion Landscape Series
Kinion Landscape Series

Art Marketing Tip

Sign your work. There is a weird idea out there that signing your work somehow gets in the way of the "artistic-ness" of the painting! PUH-LEASE! The buying public needs to know who the artist is! Don't hide or camouflage your signature, but also don't put it right across the center either. Choose a signature, whether painted or script, but keep it consistent. It's one of the best marketing tools you can do for yourself! Oh -- don't be cute and only use one name, like "Bill" or "Cindy." There are very few people who can get by using only one name... Picasso, Cher and Madonna come to mind! Here's another big no-no.... regardless what you have seen in the past, the front of your painting requires only your name. Do not put all those art memberships and organization initials after your name. Your buying public has no idea what all that means. It's just a distraction from looking at the painting. Also do not put a copyright () on the front. Your painting looks like a print if you do that!

Put all that stuff on the back of the painting: the , your name and the year you created it. All those membership initials and personal accolades go on your bio and resume, not on the painting.
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Bob at SAF 9-06
Bob at Sausalito Art Festival 9-06

How to Live Your Dream

Everyone should be so lucky to live their dream!

• Invest some time in yourself.
• Surround yourself with supportive people.
• Lean over the edge a little.
• Test out your dream.
• Talk to others.
• Be passionate about it.
• Take the high road - you'll look and feel better.
• Stick with it - even though you don't want to.
• Be out of touch so you can get away.
• Cut away all the extraneous stuff that does not serve you.

Do not allow others to influence you if they do not have your same dreams! No person has the right to instill or insert their "baggage" on your dreams. I continue to be aware of others who attempt to discourage me from doing things that they can't imagine doing themselves! Keep your brushes wet!

Something New for Bob

Last month, I wrote about how to have more meaningful intentions in your artwork. It was about writing down your goals and the reason for doing a painting. It's something like an artist statement before you even begin the painting! It keeps me focused on the task at hand. This month, I am explaining a new technique for me in exhibiting my latest work. In my workshops I paint mostly with acrylic paint on watercolor paper, to save me from packing a lot of canvases each time. Consequently, after a few months of teaching workshops, I have many, many acrylic paintings on paper to frame for the galleries, festivals, etc. That would be a lot of framed pieces and a huge framing bill. Plus I needed 15 pieces framed immediately for my current gallery show. To save time and money, I figured out a way to have a unique gallery presentation and get the job done in two days. I thought of gluing the 21" x 21" paper pieces onto 22" x 22" canvases. The canvas sides and the top 2 inches were painted a color. The paper was then glued on to the canvas with a 1/2" canvas border showing all around. The paper was deckle edged all around and the end result was a totally cool visual presentation. Just think, 15 canvases with watercolor paper glued on them. No frame, no mat and no glass. The entire show was shipped in one box and weighed only 20 pounds. The gallery was delighted with the ease in hanging the canvas, no scratched frames or glass breakage AND no bothersome reflections. Okay, those are the advantages... now for the step by step. Quite simple and logical to do.

Bob at Gallery Show
Bob at Gallery Show

1. I use 22" x 22" Masterpiece Artist canvases because they are the sturdiest and most professional of all the others I've tried.

2. I choose a Holbein Acryla acrylic color and paint the sides and an inch or two all around the canvas front. Let dry.

3. The finished art is Holbein Acryla acrylic paint on 21" x 21" watercolor paper, 300 lb. cold press. Note: This is not a watercolor painting.

4. Using acrylic gel medium as my adhesive, I squeegee it all over the entire canvas surface and ALSO on the back of the watercolor paper.

5. While both surfaces are still wet, I position and center the paper on the canvas, making sure the canvas 1/2" borders appear even all around.

6. Using a large moist sponge and working from the center, I squeeze out any air bubbles and excess gel medium, making sure the deckle edges are smoothed down as tight as possible. The exposed deckle edge give the presentation a "crafted" look. I would never try to line up a 22" x 22" paper exactly to the canvas edges... because you can never have a perfect alignment with a flexible canvas. So I show the edge. It is what it is! I don't try to conceal or hide the technique.

7. Under the canvas I stack foam boards between the stretcher bars to block it up so the canvas won't push down in the center.

8. Next I place a 24" x 24" plastic sheet (like a slip sheet) on top of the mounted painting, then I place a 24" x 24," 1/2" thick board on top of the plastic. Finally a weight, such as a cinder block or heavy books, goes on top of the board -- to squeeze it all down.

9. After 24 hours, I remove the weight, the board, the plastic slip sheet and lift the canvas off the underside stack of foam boards. The entire process results in a very strong adhesion of paper to canvas.

10. The final step -- I brush on acrylic varnish over the entire top surface, including the sides. The hanging wire is screwed into the back of the stretcher bars as normal.

This may sound labor intense but the results are beautiful. It's lightweight, no frames, no mats and no glass, and is very contemporary. You might ask, why not just paint on a canvas? As I said in the beginning, I have many, many paper pieces ready for exhibition and did not want the expense of framing every one. Hey, it's only an idea I've tried and it worked! Try it out and see how you like it!
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Winging It
Winging It
22" x 22" acrylic on paper mounted on canvas

Caribe Bouquet
Caribe Bouquet
22" x 22" acrylic on paper mounted on canvas

Why I Paint. Not How I Paint

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of giving a lecture and slide show for the Women Painters West in Studio City, California. What a luxury, giving a talk instead of splashing paint around at a demo! I spoke on the Creative Process... my Creative Process, actually. I had a blast. Great group of responsive, excitable artists! Here are some notes on this subject.

The Creative Process... How I Stumble Through it and How I Make it Work for Me.

My Studio Paint Time - Random Thoughts and Observations:

How can I know when a painting is finished? How do I know when the painting has arrived if I don't know where it's going?

My work habits are a bit of a paradox. I practice a methodical approach to automatism by planning ideas, writing and drawing conceptual ideas in my sketchbook, which seems to set the stage for impulsive, gestural and automatic painting. My goal is very clear -- I plan and execute it to represent my intentions.

I write down my intentions first. I feel a painting that has no intentions to start off is not worth doing or worth looking at. And there are a lot of those kinds of pieces hanging in galleries... for a very long time. I call these paintings the "phoney-farouts." There is no depth, goal or intention in the artwork. In my own observation, artwork that survives, reflects the artists who have something to contribute -- something to say and who have that consuming passion when you look into their eyes. Think of some of your favorite artists and you will notice they are the ones with "fire in their bellies" - no fire, no art!

The "Good Life" series finally exhausted me. After all, I had been exploring it since the mid 90s. I'm usually searching for newness in my work, constantly inventing "what's new?" for me to do. I am reminded of the fact that a painter is not afraid to try something new. Never be afraid to try something new! Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

My new paintings are abstract pictures with old stories. Personal stories. I have heard on many occasions, over and over, that I should write a book about my life. I can't write about my life because I'm still living the dream! So I paint and the stories continue to unfold. Stories of my close friends, relationships, my secrets and my dreams. This new body of work, new theme, new big idea, was a breakout moment for me.

Pants on Fire
Pants on Fire
22" x 22" acrylic on paper mounted on canvas

Golden Girls
Golden Girls
22" x 22" acrylic on paper mounted on canvas

Goofing Around Time in the Studio

We don't goof around enough! We don't take the time to play with ideas, to dream or even sketch our thoughts. We go straight for the "finished" painting and eliminate the very heart of why we paint in the first place... because it was fun to create and make things. Imagin-ation comes about not by having all the answers but by being open to all the questions. Puttering about in your sketchbook is 50% of your next best painting. If you can imagine something, it already becomes reality. Call your sketchbook of doodles and scribbles and thoughts your Dream Book.

A successful painting finally arrives after much pleasure creating it. After doing a series of paintings that were a pleasure, I soon concluded that painting is a pleasurable experience. So then you proceed to the next canvas until you have exhausted your time and your intentions for that canvas have been realized. Then on to the next pleasure of painting and so on. So I've concluded that what drives painters is not necessarily the pleasure it brings, but from hope to hope, dream to dream, your next intention. Nothing happens on your canvas until first you dream.

Part of the creative process is calling the place where you create, where you paint and where you make things, "Your Studio." Saying the word "Studio" will encourage you to be more creative and sends a very clear message to others that this is the place where you work and create new things.

To truly live a creative artist's life is to paint full time and never having the fear of being wrong. At times, I'm more fearful of being right because now I have to spend the energy and do something about it.

Painting is easy to do. Intentions are harder to do.
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Bob with Painting
Bob with Painting

Robert Burridge

Burridge Workshops

Copyright 2007 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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