Future Artists from Central America
This issue marks our first year anniversary of our free artist newsletter!
Super Bowl season is finally over; thank goodness it's February! We got thru the pressured December Holidaze and through the depressive January life-renewal commitments of more exercise, weight loss programs and other lies. Thanks for February, huh? Now we can get on with our journey to paint and create our own stuff. It's February - it's about love, hearts and closeness - to others and to our own art. After spewing about all that, our December and January had been, fortunately, exhilarating.
I taught a nine day workshop in Guatemala right before Thanksgiving. The people in Central America are beautiful, gentle and respectful of our talents. They admire artists - what a concept! We stayed in five star hotels in Antigua, Lake Atitl‡n and Guatemala City, enjoyed the sights of the cities, the rural markets and interacted with the Mayan people, who inhabit Guatemala. John Korte and Anita Rogers of Explore Guatemala were the perfect workshop coordinators - they handled all details, including baggage, travel in Guatemala and made sure that we all had a very culturally rich experience.
To see more of our Guatemala photos, please go to the Workshop Photos section of our website: www.robertburridge.com/workshop_photos
Painting in Town Plaza
Bob Painting with Crowd
View from Hotel Window
This trip was so spectacular, we have decided to do it again! November 24 - December 3, 2008. Let us know if you're interested and we'll send you a brochure with an itinerary and cost breakdown. Also, go to their website for more information - www.ExploreGuatemala.com/ Join us for the trip of a lifetime!
Check this out - I am on the faculty of the Sedona Arts Center and we have a Faculty Blog, "A Painting A Day." We all post artwork at least once a week, describing techniques, materials, intentions and creative process - all to create an ongoing educational experience.
Go to www.sedonaartscenter.com/ and scroll down until you see "A Painting A Day" Faculty Blog. It's very cool!
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The Index is updated monthly so you can always find what you're looking for.
Hope this helps!
Loosen Up DVD Cover with Disk
"Robert Burridge's Loosen Up with Acrylics DVD"
Burridge shows you his personal techniques to successful acrylic compositions. Joe Miller of Cheap Joe's writes: "He is constantly moving, painting - talking and you can't help but have fun watching and learning from all the great things that he has to say! Watching Bob paint is a lot of fun - learning from him is even better!"
67 minute DVD
$35.95 + CA sales tax (if applicable) + S/H
For info on ordering go to:
Available on our website or in Cheap Joe's catalog. This DVD was produced by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff and filmed in a TV studio in North Carolina. It's great for beginners and explains why I start off with an orange-colored background.
Toning the Paper - 3 Steps
Letting Orange Show - Pears
Letting Orange Show - Trees
Workshops in the Spotlight
Don't miss this one!
Yosemite Art Tour - Painting on Location
May 5-9, 2008
5-day Workshop in an over-the-top scenic paradise!
Contact Cora Bieler, Yosemite Art Tours, (858) 945-1817 or (949) 553-9130 or email
Painting on Location Setup
Art Marketing Workshops Coming Up in 2008
Want to sell your work? Even if you have read all the art marketing books, get the practical guidelines you need firsthand from the artist and his marketing manager who do this everyday. Bob and Kate tag-team-teach this workshop. It's full of good info, fun, entertaining and you will learn a lot!
Hot Art Marketing Workbook Cover
Art Marketing: How to Cash In Without Selling Out
March 9 • 1-day Workshop (Sat), Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
Contact Sedona Art Center, (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809
April 12 • 1-day Workshop (Sat), San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA. Contact Karen Kile, Executive Director at (805) 543-8562 www.sloartcenter.org
April 26-27 • 2-day Workshop (Sat-Sun), Minneapolis, MN. Contact Susan Voigt (651) 353-5045 or email email@example.com
May 24 • 1-day Workshop in Larkspur, CO. Contact Suzanne Jenne, (303) 681-0274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
August 9 • 1-Day Workshop, Jerry's Artarama, Raleigh, NC. Contact Sharon DiGiulio, Workshop Coordinator (919) 876-6610 www.jerrysartevents.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Phyllis Coniglio of Massapequa, New York asks: When an original painting is sold, who has the right to produce prints? Can I continue to sell reproductions from my photos?
Dear Phyllis, I am so glad you asked this question - so many artists that Bob and I encounter in our Art Marketing Workshops have the same question. The simple answer is - YOU DO! The artist retains the copyright in all cases. When you sell an original painting the copyright does not transfer to the purchasers. While your collector owns the physical artwork, you own the copyright and can license the image, make prints and continue to use in your business promotion. The US copyright laws are on the artists' side. For more information on copyright, go to the website for the Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/copyright
Hope this helps!
Clarice Wallace of Pass Christian, Mississippi asks: What type of ink does Robert use to sign & number giclee prints?
Dear Clarice, Bob uses an OIL-BASED signing pen, such as a Pilot pen (gold or silver), a Zig Painty pen (Scrapbookers also use this brand) or the new oil-based Sharpie. Of course, a fine point is essential. He uses an oil-based pen because his giclŽe prints - both paper and canvas - have a final overlay of varnish from the printer. The pens flow on nicely and will not fade. Remember, all pens will have to say "oil-based" somewhere on the pen. That said, your old Sharpies will not work well. Your signature will eventually fade. Thanks for asking!
For more info, click HERE to check out our Hot Art Marketing Workbook.
Thanks for asking Kate!
Kate Your Art Marketing Girl
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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The Composition of the Month
Overlapping Frames and Squares - Number Seven in our featured series.
Overlapping Frames Black & White Sketch
This month's featured design composition is about Overlapping Frames and Squares. Once again we're talking about a painting design with a strong pattern of squares -- open or closed of all sizes, creating an overall pattern that resembles either rigid and structured repetitive squares or frames of all sizes. And of course your focal point (center of interest) will be the part of the design pattern that will be the most different or distinctive. Think of a round shape in a sea of squares... voilá, your focal point! Because I'm not into mechanical design tools anymore, I begin each painting design using a variety of available square shapes, such as box lids, children's wooden blocks and cardboard cut into squares or frames. I utilize these tools as templates or "stamps" throughout the design structure. At first, this may appear kind of crafty (God forbid!) but this procedure kick-starts me into a strong design direction and still allows me to stay "WET, LOOSE & GOOFY!" (Sounds like a vaudeville act to me!)
Try spending a whole week painting everyday using these squares and frames as your composition for a painting series. By the week's end, you will most likely have a terrific new body of work with a strong frame and square design composition. This self-imposed "painting assignment" keeps me focused with a sense of purpose.
Collage, Overlapping Frames & Squares Composition
Interior, Overlapping Frames & Squares Composition
Useful Studio Tip from Bob
For a Better View of your Painting Subjects...
You can easily see if your painting has a structurally strong design composition without standing back. I have heard that quilters love this tool... they can see the overall pattern.
Isolate your painting with a black matted Reducing Glass Lens.
You will need:
1. A three inch diameter reduction glass
2. Mask off a rectangle format with black vinyl tape.
Reducing Glass for Isolating Painting Subject
Inside the viewing area you will be able to see and judge your work while in progress. It's like a "peep hole" in a hotel door. Every artist should have this Reducing Glass in their tool box. (It's the opposite of a magnifying glass) It's great for quickly finding your composition and to look at your painting to see if it is finished.
You can buy a Reducing Glass from Jerry's Artarama online catalog, jerrysartarama.com. Here is how they describe this tool: "A reducing lens has many applications for fine & commercial artists. Their primary function is improving your field of vision by reducing the image size of objects being viewed. This is accomplished with concave lenses. They are a worthwhile tool for any studio and for field use."
I recommend buying more than one! (You'll lose one... I did!) I highly recommend this product.
Nine 10x10 Warmup Sketches
My latest inspiration... Birds. I have no idea where or when this all started. For sometime now, I have been wanting to create a series of black and grey paintings of Red Winged Black Birds. Also I wanted to use my water soluble drawing pencil - a Derwent 8B. See "Product in the Spotlight" for more info! I like the soft wet effects I get when I mist the drawing or brush on a waterbased acrylic varnish. Having done these nine 10 x 10 inch warmup sketches on a full sheet, I painted a Chickadee on a full sheet.
Full Sheet Chickadee "You Can Never Go Back Home"
Birds appeal to me. Their flight, their delicacy, their vulnerability. Everything works inside of them. A perfect design, like an egg. So my inspiration comes from deep inside my love for birds. If I had to paint someone else's vision or someone else's point of view, I would burn out quickly. I would be copying someone else's dream. But when I paint a subject I am drawn to, I embrace it! I make it my own. I'll paint the subject over and over again. Before long, I've got another series established.
So paint what's important to you! Not what you think will sell or win an award. And finally-- need a good idea to paint? What IS a good idea? A good idea is any idea that turns you on. It may not be an original idea -- it may not be a new idea. Relax! All ideas have been done before. But not by you! What do YOU bring to the table? What is YOUR interpretation? "Inspiration is nature's energy drink."
Bird #2 & #3
Water Soluble Pencils
Multiple Drawing Tools
I love to draw. And yes, we artists don't draw enough. I draw to teach myself how to see. We don't draw because we already know how to draw... we draw to help us learn and paint how to see. So, don't beat yourself up and avoid drawing because you don't know how to draw. You draw to put down ideas for later on. You draw to teach yourself how to see and you draw because that's how we artists communicate an idea - to tell others what I want them to see. It has nothing to do with technical skill.
So, what do I draw with? Ball point pens (you can't erase them), sticks dipped in walnut oil or sumi ink, Dixon Ticonderoga #2/HB pencils, Sharpies and Derwent water soluble pencils.
Bob Sketching in Big Sur
Sketching on Location
Why water soluble pencils? When I'm out and about to sketch, I bring my sketchbook, a water soluble pencil and... spit. I love pencils that dissolve and smear when wet. I love to draw into a wet watermedia painting. I also use a watermedia varnish over a water soluble pencil drawing--- it smears, softens and surprises me with all kinds of goofy results. My favorite studio tools are Derwent Water Soluble Pencils 8B, Creatacolor, Aqua-type sticks, Caran D'ache and Aquatone watercolor pencils. They are intense, not wimpy and give me a strong line.
Derwent Drawing Pencil Demo
Try them and attack with them! Studio note: I don't put them in a pencil sharpener. I sharpen my drawing pencils with a very sharp razor-type knife, such as a #11 X-Acto blade. Hey, I was trained that way in a college freshman class - works for me!
Need more drawing skills and self-confidence? You already have this book - now this time, read it! The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. ISBN 978-0874774191 Buy at Amazon
"Art & Fear"
by David Bayles & Ted Orland
"Art & Fear - Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking"
by David Bayles and Ted Orland
This book changed my life... and my painting direction. Successful painters who are "in the know" have read this book. It has no photos, no step-by-step techniques and no color charts. This book will help you know why you paint, and not how to paint. This is one of the very few books I read and re-read over and over. It's been earmarked, underlined, highlighted, bent and very well used. I noticed I dated my original copy on the inside cover -- 1998. I still read this book today. (Buy several copies so you can keep one in your studio, one in your house and some to pass along to your artist friends!)
Art & Fear is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination; choice above chance. It is about finding your own work. This book is about YOU. In fact, you can open this small book (5-1/2 x 8 inches x 1/2 inch thick) anywhere, read four pages and swear they are writing about you (you're not alone). This book will get you out of your funk and into your studio to paint the way you have been born to paint. While reading this insightful and inspirational book, you will feel really good about being a "creative type!" We all have identical fears-- sorry, you're not that unique. You will be able to speak eloquently to yourself, your family and your friends.
David Bayles' and Ted Orland's writing style is easy to read, understandable and relaxed. They do not do artspeak, phony babble or use big words. This must be your book if you want to move on and do art that is meaningful and significant to you.
"Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking" By David Bayles and Ted Orland, Image Continuum Press, 1 edition (April 1, 2001)
Buy at Amazon
Please note! Ted Orland's new book, "The View from the Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World" is also a must read!
Buy at Amazon
Think about this...
If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing!
If what you did yesterday was great, you've done nothing today.
Bob and his Studio