kristen@kristenoneillart.com

Selling A Piece of Me

“Do you find it hard to sell your art? An extension of you!” This was a question I received from a fellow artist last week. When we, the artists, spend so much time, energy and creative juices bringing forth a new work, I can understand where this question comes from. For some of us, this act of creation can feel similar to connections we make with our children or our pets. At first I did struggle emotionally with selling my art. Then a few wonderful things happened to me: I sold two paintings to a couple during a group exhibition in Omaha. I was married at the time, and my husband got laid off for a month. I used the sales of the paintings to pay the mortgage payment. That felt great. Then something even better happened. After the exhibition I arranged to drop off the paintings to the buyers. They invited me into their home. They showed me where they planned to hang the paintings. Then brought out the paint samples. They were going to repaint their living room to best show off the work! Then they explained that purchasing the art was the first major purchase that they made in building their new life together. Not only was my art to decorate their home, it was to kick off their new home together.  I consider this such an honor. In college I painted, “A Road to Home” while completely homesick. It features a mountain road going through the Coastal Redwoods. A wonderful woman bought this piece for her husband upon his retirement. He had worked for the Forest Service for 30 years and...

About Canvas and What You Should Know Before You Buy!

My Love Affair with Canvas is Back On! For the last few months you may have noticed that I have been painting on wood panels. I have been exploring options after switching from oil to acrylic paints. I have missed canvas and decided with my last order of art supplies (I miss having a local art store!) to order all canvas. There is a certain glee I get with owning a roll of canvas. It dates back to the time I went with my high school art teacher to the art store and bought an entire roll of canvas and then got to unroll the whole thing down the school hallway. Pre-Stretched verses Artist-Stretched Canvas There are many pre-stretched canvas options for artists. I prefer to avoid these options unless I am buying it in person and can do a close inspection of the corners, make sure the canvas is taut, there are no dents, and make sure there is no warping. I would say only a 5% of the time have I bought pre-stretched. I also prefer to have heavy-duty stretcher bars and pre-made often use a lower quality stretcher bar. My worst canvas pet-peeve is staples on the side of the stretcher bars. Why? It forces you, the owner of the painting, to frame it instead of leaving you the option to show the sides of the canvas and just hang it on your wall. Some artists paint the sides with the image and many times printers give you this option. This is often called “gallery wrap,” but really gallery wrap used to mean that the canvas...

Archival? How to tell if a painting is archival, what that means, and what you can do to protect your art investment.

How to tell if a painting is archival, what that means, and what you can do to protect your art investment. No one wants their beautiful relationship to dissolve into a mess before their eyes. You’ve fallen in love with a painting by an artist whose work is new to you. Will it last the test of time? How can you tell if it is archival? While nothing is guaranteed in this life, there are some simple questions to ask to get an idea of how “archival” a work may be. Before we get started a quick note about the term “archival.” It really should be more along the lines of “durable.” It has nothing to do with archives, except the fact that it might stick around in one for awhile… When we speak of archival supplies and techniques we really mean that the work will last a reasonable amount of time. We are always looking to see if the work will last longer than we do. My personal minimum goal is for my paintings to last over a hundred years. Oil Paintings Most of the older paintings you see in you see in an art museum are oil. (Acrylic painting didn’t come around until the mid 20th century.)  In oil paint the pigment is held together and turned from powder to a thick liquid with oil (linseed oil, poppy seed oil, safflower oil and walnut oil being the common choices). Over the years oil paint has been developed to hold up better over time. In the beginning of new oil colors development you see unstable colors and reactions, such...

Tips to Rotating Your Art Collection

This post is part 2. See Art Collecting After You’re Out of Wall Space for part 1. Storage If the work isn’t always on display then you have to store it someplace. Find someplace in your house that you can do this. Temperature changes: you want to keep your artwork comfortable to prevent damage. Easy rule of thumb: If you would be happy it will be happy. Moisture: if there is unused space in your bathroom for instance, don’t use it for this. But perhaps you could move linens from your hall closet into the bathroom and use part of your linen closet space. Flooding: if you live in an area that could flood make sure that you don’t store art on the bottom shelf. Other precautions may needed. Quick ideas of places you may have: Closets (hall, linen, bedrooms) check the top shelf. Sometimes there is a hard to reach area to the side of bedroom closest that works great and is out of your normal daily routine. How about behind a piece of furniture, such as an armoire, dresser, entertainment center? Just make sure you wrap them up first (see below). Larger paintings may fit under your bed. Rotate pieces of similar sizes For instance, if you have a 24” x 18” piece you can change it out for another 24” x 18” piece, then it’s hung at the proper height for its size. If you are unable to rotate piece of similar sizes think about ways to hide your adjustments (holes in walls). Store them carefully and safely It is preferred to leave a stretched canvas on the...

Art Collecting After You’re Out of Wall Space

“I don’t have enough wall space for more art.” I hear this a lot. Perhaps it’s the polite way of telling me, “Nice work, but I’m not buying it.” But, many times it really does ring true. People who love art tend to already have collected a lot of it. Their walls are probably full to the point where they are aesthetically comfortable (some go salon style, some spread out…) I’m going to solve this problem for you. And, I’m borrowing our solution from museums. The Art Institute of Chicago is a fantastic museum with an amazing collection. Founded in 1879 you can imagine that they ran out of wall space many, many decades ago. Even after expansions to nearly a million square feet. (No, I’m not saying to build more rooms onto your home for art, but if you are, can you do my house too?). In the “Department of Prints and Drawings” there are 71,000 pieces of art owned by the Art Institute. This collection is constantly growing, and due to paper being light sensitive, is rotated on a frequent basis. And that brings us to our solution: rotation! Rotation gives you two main benefits. The first benefit is obvious, you can have and enjoy a bigger collection than your wall space normally allows. This will enable you to purchase that new piece you fell in love with, to start collecting an artist’s work that you really enjoy, to allow yourself the ability to explore more options, and to be focused on your possibilities rather than your limitations. The second benefit is that you will interact with...