Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Here a Painting, There a Painting...


For a while now, I've been a bit unorganized... trying to work on so many things that I really haven't been focused. Have you ever done that? It seems like the more I try to do, the more scattered my efforts become. Rather than plowing right on through, I think I need to take a break, make a list of things I need to do (which will be endless!), refocus, and work on just a thing or two at a time. Much of what needs to be done is home related, inside and out, so my artistic endeavors will have to be put on the back burner for a while.

Before I decided to temporarily put away my paint and brushes, I tried a few colorful, whimsical florals with mountains in the background...
{look for these in my Lana Manis Designs Etsy shop here and here}

and then I just had to try miniatures. These are only 2 1/2" square!
{my miniatures with easels are only $20 each and are listed in my Etsy shop}

Over the next few weeks, maybe a couple of months, I have some paintings that I will be listing on eBay... just to try it out again. I'm not quite sure how the art market fares over there but I'm curious to see. As far as my handmade items are concerned, I haven't seriously done eBay in years. Back when I was in a few active folk art / prim groups (Simply Primitives, The Primitive Gathering, and TDIPT), we stayed pretty busy... then things slowed, Etsy moved in, groups dwindled, and many folk artists went off on their own adventures instead of staying in the co-ops.

{Fauvism inspired painting listed on eBay today - here}

So... here I go! :)
If you are so inclined, I'd love for you to visit my eBay page once in a while. I won't have many things listed for a few days, but I hope to have near a dozen art pieces up by the weekend. This is one of those instances in which I will be discounting my art... starting the auctions below my selling price... since I suppose that's what most folks expect on eBay.

Thanks for stopping by... and when you get a chance... say hello! :)

Take care and God bless,
Lana

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Few Words from Soapbox Girl...





First let me say, I LOVE my customers and collectors! You make it possible for me to work from home and I am so thankful for that!


This is about something I've encountered different times over the years and would like your opinion. I try to stay positive and don't want to start a negative campaign here but let me explain something about artists / crafters and money. If they do what they do for fun and don't mind not covering or barely covering expenses... that's perfectly fine. I've done that in the past and was just thrilled someone actually wanted something I made. But, if an artist or crafts person is working at this for a full or part-time income, please don't expect them to discount their work as if it were a yard sale item --- they have bills, too! Asking an artist to knock off a good chunk of money (unless you are buying in bulk for wholesale or consignment for your shop) is like working 5 days a week and your boss saying they only want to pay you for 3 days.

Would that be acceptable?

I think a lot of individuals who do ask for discounts, don't think about that and hopefully we can educate them (in a nice way) so they understand --- we are a business and we have expenses such as materials and supplies, overhead costs, and gasp ---- an hourly wage! Having said all that, I do have scheduled sales from time to time and offer discounts, so I'm not saying discounts are never acceptable, there are always exceptions.
 

So, for those of you that have encountered this, how would you politely answer customers that want you to "give them a deal"? Your opinions are welcome but please keep comments positive and nice.

Okay... I'm stepping off my soapbox now. :)


Lana

Saturday, May 31, 2014

In the Past


Just a few years back, I painted and sold several little doll portraits. I called them Petite Poppet Portraits and modeled them after the Queen Anne dolls of the 18th and 19th centuries.


This week I decided to paint more of them (8 to be exact) and gave each one a name of one of my female ancestors. You can read more about them and see more photos here.

If you know someone who collects dolls, these would make sweet companion pieces to their collection.

That's it for May. Now that June is here, I have to finish up items for the Lavender Festival... it's just a few weeks away! :)

Take care and God bless,
Lana


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Whatsoever Things Are Lovely...


This first painting's titled, Let Happiness Bloom. I named it this because I was so happy while painting it! I don't even attempt to paint realistically, don't think I could, but I absolutely LOVE mixing colors! I normally only use primary colors and white, burnt umber, and sometimes black. 


I love watching the colors blend, or not, seeing the brush strokes, and then hoping others see and feel what I see and feel when it's finished. I just want to share my art and help someone have a happy moment and smile when they view my art. :)



I've been retaking photos of some earlier paintings, as well. Whenever possible I use natural light to get more true to life color.

Come to the Church in the Wildwood

In the Pink

And while taking photos of paintings, I sometimes focus on the accessories to have some pretty images for things like this:

inspired by Philippians 4:8

Have a lovely, blessed day!
Lana

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Church, a few Abstract Still Lifes, and an Owl


I have really fallen behind on sharing my art and goings on in the studio. In the beginning, I wanted to post every few days and talk about my process and things I'd learned, whether through accomplishments or failures, because I believe that we learn from both.


For now, I'll just jump right in and start sharing again. Some posts may have one or two new things and another post may have half a dozen projects. At least I'll do that until I've caught up.

The first three photos (2 above and 1 below) are of a painting I recently did for my son's mother-in-law... or my daughter-in-law's mother... or better yet... my friend. When we first met (after our kids were engaged) we hit it off immediately. There was no awkwardness or tension as future in-laws. We were family and kindred spirits.


Below are some small paintings I did on Gessobord. I think I had some cad yellow and cad red left on my palette / freezer paper and instead of throwing it out, I painted the backgrounds on the three small panels.


Then I decided to paint the abstract flowers and vases.



The one below is my favorite. For some reason I love the background...


Here are two more small paintings using the same colors...

...and last but not least... the sweet white owl vase that my sister bought for me. I'm using it to hold my larger brushes. I love it!


Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings,
Lana

Monday, May 5, 2014

Something Different


Sometimes I have this urge to do something creative and even if I don't have the time or the space cleared out for it... I just have to do it! I'd been studying other people's art techniques last week, watching youtube demos and tutorials, looking at brush strokes, admiring the use of color, reading art books, etc. and I got so inspired I just couldn't wait to try something different! I'm out of canvases (or so I thought) and pulled out my watercolor block to use. After brushing on a coat of gesso, I sketched a scene and started laying in the colors. I really don't know what I thought I'd do, but I kept adding thin layers until I had something I was pleased with.

I ended up with the painting at the top, but earlier it looked like this:


Maybe I should have kept it like that, but I just didn't like the way the tree was turning out.

Now that I'm seeing it again... I like it more than I did before.

I also changed a row of flowers. I use that term loosely because they resemble flowers about as much as the painting looks like a Monet or Renoir, but I had mounds / rows of lavender in mind. I guess if you stand wayyyyyy back and squint a lot, it could be a landscape with lavender in the foreground.

{compare this closeup to the painting at the top and you can see where I changed to look of the lavender.}

I had fun painting it anyway! :)

When I finished that one, I saw a canvas in the corner that I'd forgotten about and grabbed it up and started loosely painting a few stems of lavender. The canvas is 8" x 24" and is perfect for long stemmed flower paintings.





I'll do several layers, filling in more of the background and slowly defining the flowers... but not too much. I think I may try using a palette knife on it. We'll see how it turns out in a few days!

What have you been working on lately?
Any new artwork, needlework, decorating, gardening?

Have a blessed week,
Lana



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