Thursday, 29 March 2012

What better combination?

It's time for WineArt again.

It's being held at the Creston & District Community Complex.tomorrow, March 30, 2012.  A fabulous evening hosted by the Creston Valley Rotary Club , it features some wonderful samplings by B. C. wineries, delectable appetizers, and local artwork.

The art display is being curated this year by Sandy Kunze on behalf of ArtWalk.  Since 10% of the proceeds from artwork sales goes to the ArtWalk coffers and 90% to the artists, it is a win-win situation .

You'll see some of my work there
Evoking Water

Humanity, Hanging

Gifts from Gaia

Quest for Light
Some of the other participating artists include Laura Leeder, Carol Schloss, Linda Bullock with her gorgeous silk and woold scarves, Andy & Elaine Alfoldy, Leah Wilson, James & Nora McDowell, Pridham Studio, Howlin' Dan and Lori Wikdahl.

I'll be taking some photos for the ArtWalk blog, and look forward to seeing you there - you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Colour, again

I'm heavily into workshop season right now, from Colour Boot Camp (in progress here in Creston) through to planning for the fall and winter of 2012/2013.

It's probably not a good idea to let you know that we do have a great deal of fun in Boot Camp, in spite of the name.  One of the best things about workshops is the interaction between participants.
Donna and Linda pay attention, but not to the instructor!
 In spite of the scintillating repartee, work actually gets done in class, so participants can go home and then REALLY get to work.
Jennifer works on greying her colours
The exercises are comprehensive and encompass a huge knowledge base, giving students a new appreciation and understanding of a massive subject.
Here Jennifer assesses her work
You'll note from my list on the right that I've added some classes for the fall session (and one or two for the winter one as well).  I have left some open space in the winter in case you're interested in requesting a workshop in your area of BC or Alberta.  I'd love to come and infect your community with the creativity virus.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Something new...

is always in process here in the studio, and this week is no exception.

I got so excited about the painted mat boards I chopped last week that I rushed to do a little study.  I just love the wide variety of blues and greens - can you tell I'm a colourist?

Ocean Bytes  6 x 6 mixed media on board by Win Dinn
I've also been working on another piece, this time in orange tones.  It's in my 'Play' series, and really makes my mouth water.  The topmost layer of paper is a hand-painted  'leather' paper that I teach in my mixed media class, the second paper is a Thai paper purchased many years ago, the third is a magazine 'steal', the fourth is painted canvas support and it's all resting on a mat board portion, topped with a torn paper orange.

Playing with Oranges  8 x 8 mixed media on gallery wrap canvas by Win Dinn
I could undoubtedly do three more paintings with this theme, and not even make a small dent in my orange stash of paper - life is SO good.

Friday, 16 March 2012

In the studio...

today, I've had more fun than I think is strictly legal.  When I teach the mixed media classes, I encourage great use of the matboard cutouts provided by Louise Olinger at Olinger Art & Custom Framing for mopping up leftover paint.  It's a great way to get rid of White Support Anxiety.  During the first Colour Boot Camp on Wednesday, I scored some left-over paint on students' palette paper.  Slapping mat boards onto them was quickly accomplished and the following 3 painting starts revealed themselves..

This colourful matboard looks like flight to me.

Interplanetary journey, perhaps?

I feel a maelstorm coming.
I don't always use these boards in a painting, of course.  I've been collecting them throughout the years, and finally got a start on a project I've had in mind for some time.  Emmie Roelofse at Creston Professional Framing & Art Gallery very kindly loaned me some time on her guillotine chopper and I spent a couple of happy hours on Wednesday chopping to my heart's content.

It was no surprise to me that the pile of chopped blues and greens was so large that while I was sorting, some of  them escaped off the pile on to the floor.
Some of the escapee blue/green pile
The yellow and orange pile really got my juices flowing.
Yellow and orange
I was surprised at how small the red pile was in comparison - may need to do something about that.
Mostly red
The range in the purple pink pile was fun to see.
Pinks and purples
Even the neutral pile was interesting.
Black, white, neutral
I'm excited to start using these gorgeous pieces, and wonder what your muse sees for them...all comments gratefully accepted!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Is it universal?

With the end of any of my mixed media workshops, I am interested to learn what was a hit with the students.  One of the handouts with the group that finished on Saturday was sheet music to incorporate into their work (see this month's previous posts for further examples), and I thought I'd share my own study:

Grand Music  Mixed Media on mat board by Win Dinn  5.5 x 8.5  2012
Another concept that seems to be universal  is coffee, and my morning ritual is ecstasy for me.  I find it difficult to imagine starting a day without my double dose of sugar-laced latte.

Must have...  Mixed Media on canvas by Win Dinn  7 x 5"  2012  
Students were astounded when I showed them that the sides of this gallery-wrap canvas were treated with a thick layer of coffee grounds, tastefully immersed in gel medium.  I do wish to point out that I gave up three precious coffee beans to my painting frenzy, a not inconsiderable sacrifice.

Friday, 9 March 2012

The season....

I love my 'workshop season', because I get so jazzed up about possibilities, painting and playing with colour.  I've got so many starts on the go right now I'm a little dizzy (well, more than usual, that is).

I finished another water study utilizing paper scraps that I save over the year.  The paper is a combination of found and  hand-painted papers adhered onto board, with beads and found objects added to the mix.
Evoking Water 8 x 10 Mixed Media on board by Win Dinn 
The work below uses some of my favourite motifs - keys and puzzle pieces on a background of photos transferred onto a painted matboard.  Keys normally denote spirituality for me, but in this case, the painting became about a memory that definitely does not work as it did previously!

Wish I Could Remember...  5 x 10 Mixed Media on matboard by Win Dinn 
 I'm so thinking spring, and the  hand-painted paper butterfly reflects this.  I have another butterfly piece on the go as well, so I know that spring must be on the way.  This painting on canvas utilizes torn strips of an  upcycled novel adhered onto the canvas as a ground for her flight plan.  I think she has an assignation happening in her life...

Midnight Flight 5 x 7 Mixed Media on canvas by Win Dinn

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

To market, to market...

I had a great time today at the Creston Art Club, where art marketing was the subject for a round table discussion.  I promised the group I would summarize our discussion here so their note-taking wouldn't be too onerous.

My perception is that art marketing is meant to increase others' awareness that you've continually upgraded your work, and constantly aspire to a level of excellence. There are a number of areas of art marketing which can work in conjunction with each other, because marketing is a numbers game.

There are a number of books on the subject, but one of the best is 'I'd rather be in the studio' by Alyson B. Stanfield, and particularly appropriate for artists.

To appease your eyes while I get overly verbose, I'll intersperse some artwork from this past Saturday's mixed media class throughout, so keep reading past the photos....

99% alcohol resist technique
Marketing through galleries, art shows, and local markets/fairs

Finding a gallery that is a good fit is key, and approaching a gallery even more so.  First, physically walk the gallery, and if you feel it is a fit approach the owner, preferably by email (phone works, too) to find out how one becomes part of their operation.  Some galleries have a juried process, some by application, and so on.  Please do not approach the staff or owner to do this - their time is valuable and they are busy running a business.

Most art shows have applications online with the structure/parameters clearly indicated.  Some are not what they purport to be, so check their website and contact vendors who have already done the show to understand their experience.

If you're planning on doing markets and fairs, check them out prior to signing up, and when you do sign up, plan on attending for the season.  It is by repetition that you will see results in sales.  Make sure you create a dynamite display, so that you can interact with the public who attend.  For display tactics, check out the Creative Display Design & Marketing workshop coming to the College of the Rockies, Creston on April 21/12.

More alcohol
Networking / Peer Assistance / Building Relationships

Marketing in any form is all about building relationships - with your friends, customers and anyone who expresses any interest at all in your work.

  • Take workshops, and give them to create a wider circle of acquaintances.
  • Take part in group shows, including any round robin challenges that interest you.
  • Consider starting a Mastermind group to assist each other with your goals.
  • Ask other artists you know for assistance when you need it - people love to help.
  • Network as much as possible, in as many ways as possible - get out in the community and talk about your art.

Yet more alcohol - no drinking, really.
Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson is an excellent book by the man who created the form and the term.

Some ways to get recognition could be:
  • Leave your business card in random places, like a gift for the finder from the universe.
  • Do a mail out (postcards, art cards with your images), etc. to your contact list.
  • Donate, donate, donate your work, especially when public acknowledgement will happen.
  • Volunteer - great networking opportunities exist when volunteering, and you can talk about your passion to those co-volunteers.
  • Offer to do free workshops when you can (it raises your profile and helps you to be considered an authority on the subject.
See this one finished on Val's FB page (below)
Internet Marketing

Some sites to consider joining/using could be:

Blog (i.e.,, etc.)
Fine Art America
Other social network sites

In the Creston Art Club, Laura Leeder has extensive knowledge of blogging, Etsy, and Pinterest and is available for consultation for a nominal fee.  Val van der Poel is utilizing Facebook to a great degree, has knowledge of Fine Art America and I'm sure the same holds true for her.

Flexible modelling paste, painted
Additional notes:

Community Futures in Nelson, BC, has consultants who are regularly available here in Creston for one-on-one marketing consultations, as well as hosting a wide range of marketing and guerrilla marketing courses in Nelson.  You can contact Erika Woker at the Chamber to arrange one on one sessions, and view their courses here.

Mixed Media by Jackie Hiltermann
Mixed Media by Chris Ondrik 
Marketing your artwork is a huge subject, and one that can take a lifetime of marketing play.  It does help if you consider it so, and utilize the methods that best suit your own personality.  Have fun with it!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Once in a ...

while, I like to play with analagous colour.  Well, maybe more than once in a while.

I've been working on this small piece over the last three weeks.  I started with an 8 x 10 board canvas and added a circular piece of my hand-painted paper, along with modelling paste. There's something about modelling paste that just thrills me - I feel like a kid building mud pies.

Once that all dried, I started by adding a phthalo green glaze overall,

and then a phthalo blue glaze,

and a carbazole violet.

I finished by layering more glazes, including a Mars black in selected areas, and additional blue, green and violet.
Once in a...  8 x 10 mixed media on board by Win Dinn
And now I'm wondering whether we EVER grow up?  Will I be doomed to play with mud until I'm 100?  I sure hope so!
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