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January 2009

Welcome back!

Bob and Kate in Snow!
Bob and Kate in Snow!

We had a White Christmas this year, visiting my daughter and her family. It didn’t take long for the workshops to start up in January.

I was in snow and mountains - then immediately to Tubac in southern Arizona to jury the awards for “Arizona Edges” at the Tubac Center of the Arts. I will return to Tubac, May 5-7 for a three day Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting Workshop. Contact Annette Brink (520) 398-2371 www.tubacartcenter.org and www.tubacarts.org

Tubac, Arizona
Tubac, Arizona

More travel! Mini Workshops at the Blue Printer & Art Colony in sunny Palm Desert, then a five day workshop in Springfield, Oregon at the Emerald Art Center. This past week I had the pleasure of teaching Larger & Looser Workshop in Santa Barbara for the Santa Barbara Art Association.

Working on a Bird Series in Palm Desert
Working on a Bird Series in Palm Desert

The Emerald Art Center Group
The Emerald Art Center Group

Last year I was asked to be the Juror for the 34th Annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition, hosted by the San Diego Watercolor Society. What an honor! The Exhibit runs from May 1-31, 2009. San Diego Watercolor Society, NTC Promenade at Point Loma's Liberty Station, 2825 Dewey Road, Suite 105, San Diego.

Part of the perks of being the juror is teaching a four day workshop at the San Diego Watercolor Society this March! It’s a Fix & Finish Painting Workshop - one of my favorites. At this workshop, you check your ego at the door. Bring in your turkeys, your dogs, your biggest embarrassments, your unfinished “bad” paintings - I’ll 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 of paint sketches based on your continuing theme. Be prepared to paint more confidently and have the answers you’re looking for to produce more meaningful paintings. For more information, click HERE for a PDF. You can also contact Sandy Schneiders, Workshop Director at sandyswatercolors4u@cox.net

Fixing & Finishing
Fixing & Finishing

This year I am also teaching Fix & Finish Painting Workshops at these locations:

February 27-March 1, 2009
San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, California
3 day Fix & Finish Workshop (Fri-Sun)
Contact Karen Kile, Executive Director (805) 543-8562

April 18-19, 2009
Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, Arizona
2 day Fix & Finish Workshop (Sat-Sun)
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

Product Spotlight

 Art Marketing Workbook Cover 
Art Marketing Workbook Cover

"Hot MARTketing: The Business of Selling your Art Workbook"

It is a new year and it is time to learn how to sell your work! Learn the "secrets" from professional painter and teacher, Robert Burridge and his marketing director, Kate Burridge, in an information-packed workbook filled with handouts and lecture notes from their successful course of Art Marketing. Even if you have already read all the art marketing books, you still need the hardworking information directly from the artist and his marketing manager who do this everyday.

• Setting Goals and Creating Your Marketing Program
• How to Get into more Juried Shows
•Successful Photography - Digital and Slides
• Goof-Proof Commissions
• Pricing your Work to Sell
• Presenting your Work to Galleries
• Planning Your Solo Show
•Copyright Info and Licensing Strategies
Over 100 pages
$24.95 + CA sales tax (if applicable) + S/H
For info on ordering go to:

Don’t forget to use your subscriber discount! click HERE

Our next Art Marketing Workshop is in March in Santa Barbara:

March 7, 2009
Art Marketing: How to Cash In without Selling Out
1-day Workshop (Sat), S.C.A.P.E. Santa Barbara, CA
Contact Peggy Buchanan, pmbfit@cox.net or (805) 879-7632
Red Sqare

Workshops in the Spotlight

Ecuador Llama & Children
Ecuador Llama & Children

Breaking News: Discover Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands!

November 26-30, 2009
Galápagos Island Adventure

November 30-December 9, 2009
Painting Workshop and Tour

Always the Clown
Ecuador Towers

Meet us in Quito and explore Ecuador in the company of other painterly friends. This is a most incredible journey – we know of no other workshop that has done or will ever do a trip like this! It is the trip of a lifetime with the Galapagos Islands cruise taking it absolutely off the charts. The itinerary will be on our website - you can also request a brochure and we’ll send it off immediately!
This workshop will be limited to twenty participants.

Join us and you will see it all - beautiful landscapes, welcoming people, bustling markets… and you’ll do it all in the company of like-minded people sharing a similar goal - to experience and paint this great country before the wheels of “progress” take over. Enjoy these photos!

Ecuador Marketplace
Ecuador Marketplace

Ecuador Marketplace
Girls in Marketplace

For more information about Ecuador - here’s a great guidebook!

Always the Clown
Ecuador Guide Book

Ecuador & Galápagos
by Rachel Lawrence (Editor), Brian Bell (Editor)
Paperback: 371 pages
Publisher: Insight Guides; Updated edition (September 15, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9812586288
ISBN-13: 978-9812586285
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Buy at Amazon

For more of my workshops all over the county, check out my workshop schedule, www.RobertBurridge.com Red Sqare

Product Review

Soltek Easel and Umbrella
Soltek Easel and Umbrella

My plein aire workshops are on the rise, which means more exquisite locations to paint. I have replaced my traditional heavy wooden Jullian easel with a new lightweight aluminum Soltek easel. Get this product! It’s worth every penny. It is about time an intelligent solution and beautifully engineered product became available for us modern souls. I could go on about it’s many advantages, but all I need to know is that it’s lightweight, fits in its own backpack, sets up in 30 seconds (really) and I’m painting within a minute. The paints and brushes all fit inside the easel when closed.

Quick Easel Set-up
Quick Easel Set-up

Break down is just as fast and easy. With this efficient system, I don’t hesitate when the “plein aire” mood strikes me. For fear of sounding like an endorsement (and I’m not) I also recommend another intelligent, warrior product - The Collapsible Plein Aire Painters Umbrella and Clamp from PK Studios. It folds down small, opens extra large, has a rugged, adjustable gooseneck clamp, windproof features, reflective white outside and black underside. These two modern products might be another reason plein aire painting is on the rise again. Umbrella - go to www.pkorch.com

These new, modern products make flying worldwide a whole lot lighter and easier! Red Sqaure

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

Christine from Yellow Springs, Ohio asks:
I am new to painting and very new to selling it. How can I price my work so it doesn’t look too “cheap,” yet still have a chance of selling it? And should I have different prices for different venues, or is that tacky?

Hi Christine, Thanks for your question. The best advice I can give you about pricing your own work is to approach it with little or no emotion. You don’t price a painting according to how much you like it, how long it took you to create or by how much you DON’T want to sell it.

Before deciding on a price, do some research - Go to outdoor art festivals, galleries, co-op galleries, etc., and look at what's selling... actually selling and not just sitting on the walls! Is your work as good as what's selling? Compare yourself to those artists with your education, experience, clientele and "history in the art business." Where do you fit in? If you're brand new, you obviously can't sell your artwork for the same price as an artist who is very well known.

Then, establish a sensible price structure that is compatible with your experience. I suggest to start with lower prices rather than high ones - you can always raise your prices as you become more well known and develop a growing client base. Don’t price so low your customers think that your originals are prints, or there’s something “wrong” with your work... it is a fine line.

It is all mathematical - Determine what size painting you consider your "signature size." For instance, if you like painting on full sheets of watercolor paper, establish this size as your "starting point." All other sizes are determined mathematically from that size. Your work is sold by the square-inch, just like carpeting. It makes no difference how much you love it or how long you worked on it! A full sheet might be $1,000 (unframed, unmatted - just the painting) so what does a half-sheet sell for? $500. What about a quarter-sheet? $250. Makes sense! It isas simple as that. Having a standard Price List is a real confidence-booster! You will never again have to hem and haw over what to charge a customer! 

And never, ever charge different prices for different areas and venues. Some artists are tempted to charge higher prices when they show in a wealthy area and lower prices when they show in a more depressed area... the internet has made that concept obsolete. What do you do when someone contacts you, inquiring about the price of a painting - ask them where they are from? Standardize your prices, period.

Thanks again, Christine - hope this helps!

Special Note: We have updated the “How to Photo” Notes in both our Hot Art Marketing Workbook and the Workbook & Studio Notes. We collaborated with our pro photographer, Forrest Doud from San Luis Obispo. This new section includes more up-to-date info on taking digitals. If you would like to update your book with these notes, please send us $5.00 and a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (42-cent postage) Thank you!

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

Thanks for asking Kate! Red Square

Kate Your Art Marketing Girl with Sharon DiGuilio from Jerry’s Artarama!

Click HERE for top of page.

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Color Combinations

Goof Proof Color Wheel
Goof Proof Color Wheel

In the past two newsletters we featured successful color combinations using my Goof Proof Color Wheel. This month, the featured color is violet.

•Violet is the Dominant color
•Cad Green Light is the Focal Point color
•Marigold is a Spice Color around the Focal Point color
•Compose Blue #1 is the second Spice Color used around the Focal Point Color

Violet is Dominant Color
Violet is Dominant Color

Step One: I cover the entire canvas with various violets. I do not use just one color violet - always a variety of violets and values in my dominant color.

Cad Green Light is the Focal Point Color
Cad Green Light is the Focal Point Color

Step Two: Because I have already decided on my composition design, I place the focal point color, Cad Green Light, right where I want the eye to go. It helps me early on in the painting to determine why I’m doing this painting in the first place. The two spice colors are Marigold and Compose blue, placed near the focal point color.

Finished Abstract Painting
Finished Abstract Painting

As soon as I complete these early steps in the painting, and the color areas have been established, I then “carry on” within this framework of colors until I feel the painting is finished. Think abstractly first. Remember, under every good painting is a good abstract painting.

Finished Floral Painting
Finished Floral Painting

For a detailed description of the Burridge Goof Proof Color Wheel, click HERE. Red Sqare

Try this Assignment
Using Red Acetate Helps with Values

Bob Using his Red Gel Painting Glasses
Bob Using his Red Gel Painting Glasses

Problem - Ever wonder why your painting has no punch? Too flat? Most likely the problem could be solved by increasing the contrast of the painting.

Solution - Increase the contrast between the lights and darks.

But if you look back at your painting again and say to yourself… “it has a lot of colors!”, do not confuse the COLOR with the meaning for CONTRAST. Referring back to the gray scale 0 to 10 is white to black.

Gray Scale Show Values
Gray Scale Shows Values

Gradated Figure - Rembrandt Lighting
Effective Use of the Gray Scale

Black next to white equals high contrast. A #5 gray next to a #6 gray equals low contrast, which can result in no punch, too flat.

Use this - A red or blue acetate Plexiglas viewing filter. The filter tint of red or blue neutralizes the colors so you see only the values and not the different colors. Now you can easily tell if your painting has the contrast you are looking for. Adjust the colors accordingly.

High Contrast
High Contrast

Figures using Rembrandt Technique
Low Contrast

Suggestion - If unavailable I suggest going to a Plexiglas (plastics) fabricators shop and beg for a small scrap.
Red Sqare

Studio Tip
Isopropyl Alcohol

Special Effects - Isopropyl Alcohol
Special Effects - Isopropyl Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, aka Isopropyl alcohol, when dribbled over a very wet aquamedia painting will cause the paint to spread out in an instant pattern of dots and rings. It takes a little practice! The results dry into a beautiful, random pattern. I use this technique to break up a flat, solid section of wet paint. It adds “visual texture.” The painting above, “Winged Messenger” has the dots and rings in the lower left corner. When you try this technique, I suggest using the alcohol sparingly - and in one section only. Not overall. A little goes a long way.

Coarse salt, when sprinkled over the wet paint works in a similar manner - only it takes hours to dry. Isopropyl alcohol is safe to use freely in your studio. It is cheap, relatively nontoxic and dries quickly.

Recommended Book

An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art
An American Vision:
Three Generations of Wyeth Art

This book continues to leave me speechless and star struck. A few weeks ago I heard the news… Andrew Wyeth had just died. A sad day for me. I felt a connection to the Wyeths and their long history of making paintings. The Pennsylvania barns and landscape scenes Andrew painted were where I grew up. James was briefly in my college painting class and N.C. Wyeth’s paintings visually entertained me while I was a young reader of the classics.

N.C.’s paintings mesmerized me throughout my childhood and were my first awareness that one could actually have a job doing illustrations for advertisements. I was hooked.

The Hostage by N.C. Wyeth, 1911, for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Hostage by N.C. Wyeth, 1911, for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Today, looking through this wondrous book, I continue to study the three generations of painters - N.C.’s strong graphic compositions and visual imagination; Andrew’s commitment and self disciplined approach is inspiring; and James’ dedication to the family name, yet going off the path in search of his generation makes me proud I am a painter.

This book, chock-full of paintings, is visual joy, full of nostalgia and more strikingly, not affected by any contemporary movement in the arts. The Wyeth family stands alone.

Get this book!

An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art
•Paperback: 210 pages
•Publisher: Bulfinch (July 30, 1987)
•Language: English
•ISBN-10: 0821216562
•ISBN-13: 978-0821216569
•Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
•Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
Buy at Amazon Red Sqaure

Music to Paint (and Move!) By

Bob Drumming!
Bob Drumming!

More music! My taste in music is rather eclectic. In my studio and during workshops I play many different styles - classical, world, jazz, lounge…

This month’s artist is Brian Eno. His work and music is everywhere. From film and television scores, quiet spa background music or just plain, good, wacky stuff, his collaboration with Talking Heads’ David Bryne, Brian Eno’s playful music is in my studio this month.

Fair warning - all of Eno’s work is not for the faint of heart. It is however, an audible adventure: Early recordings of religious tent revivals, remixed over new world music is a hoot. It grew on me the more I played it. I even practice my drumming to this CD! If it’s a Brian Eno CD, you get your money’s worth.

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Brian Eno
Audio CD (April 11, 2006)
Original Release Date: April 4, 2006
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Enhanced, Extra tracks
Label: Nonesuch
ASIN: B000E5N634

Buy at Amazon

For more music, click HERE and it will take you to my favorite Workshop Music. We will post more favorites and new finds every month in our ArtsyFartsy News and on my website. We’ve separated them into categories to make it easier. Enjoy! Red Square

Doctor Bob’s Advice Column

•Mistakes don’t matter - it’s your passion that counts. - Beethoven

•Talent! What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way. - Winslow Homer

•I hate flowers. I only paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move. - Georgia O'Keeffe

•A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places. - Paul Gardner

•Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. - Henry David Thoreau
Red Sqare

Bob and Granddaughter Kylan
Bob and Granddaughter Kylan

Robert Burridge

Burridge Workshop for Artists

Copyright ©2009 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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