The Story Behind Lucian Freud’s ‘Woman in a White Shirt’

‘Woman in a White Shirt’ is a portrait of Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, commissioned from Lucian Freud, caused a sensation in British society. Now it is “probably the most beautiful thing at Chatsworth,” says the current Duke, who recalls the close friendship between Freud and the Cavendish family in the series premiere of ‘ Treasures from Chatsworth, Presented by Huntsman.’

How I wanted to be a family member after watching this video!  Imagine hanging around that place and discussing art all day?  Heaven does exist after all!  Call me the Duke of from now on.  Very well then.

The Painting has a Life of its Own

Today is Jackson Pollock’s birthday. He would be 105 years old. There is no doubt that he broke new ground with his drip paintings when they were first introduced in the 1940’s right in’s backyard of eastern Long Island. He was quoted as saying that, “The painting has a life of its own.  I’m just helping it come through.”

This quote reminds me of a book I recently read by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic. She makes the argument that creativity comes and visits those people who are ready to express it.  It is your job as the artist, writer, businessman, scientist…etc. to be prepared because one day this Big Magic will just choose you as tool to let an idea out to the world.

Remember those interviews with Bob Dylan when he was asked how did he write those songs in the beginning of his career? His answer was that those songs wrote themselves. He was just a vehicle for their delivery.

So maybe Jackson Pollock was correct. The painting does have a life of its own. He happened to spend years perfecting his craft and then one day – Boom! – Big Magic hit him.

So your job as an artist is just to perfect your craft. Let God, The Spirit, Big Magic, whatever you want to call it pay you a visit one day for a groundbreaking creation!  If you are not ready this creative force will just visit someone else.

Will Trump Eliminate the National Endowment of the Arts?

The NEA’s $146 million budget represents just 0.012% (about one one-hundredth of one percent) of federal discretionary spending. The NEA has already sustained significant budget reductions. The NEA appropriation is 14% lower than it was in 2010, a decline of $21.5 million.

The inauguration cost taxpayers $200 million dollars, but the NEA’s budget is $146 million. I’m not Trump bashing here, but this seems ridiculous! 54 million dollars more was spent on a one day party then is allocated to the Arts for the entire year?

Also on the chopping block are the National Endowment for the Humanities and privatization for Public Broadcasting.

How to Sell Art Online!

Build a Brand to Sell your Art

It is all about building a brand. Let me say that again. It is all about building a brand. Who are you as an artist? Are you a pattern designer? Are you a fine artist, a watercolorist, a comic artist, or perhaps a fine art photographer?  As an artist you do not have to pigeon hole yourself into one area, but we are talking about selling art.  If you are going to sell art, people have to know you as the artist that does a particular thing.

artzillu.comWhen I say Picasso does it conjure up an image?  Do you think of a pattern design of shoes or umbrellas, of course not. Do you think of a watercolorist who paints landscapes? No, you think of an artist who has bold broad strokes and is supremely confident that his art makes a grand statement. The same goes with Van Gogh and Georges Seurat.  These artists had a distinct style that is their brand.

So after you spent some years finding yourself it is time to let the world know what you do. I think it is important to make your art an honest expression of yourself. To copy other artists is fine in the beginning, but eventually you’ll have to express who you are through your art. Those people that resonate with that will be your audience. You are not going to win everyone over. For the same reason that some people like vanilla ice cream and others like chocolate and those few odd balls who like strawberry (you can see I don’t like strawberry), you are going vibrate with a subset of society with your creations.

How to Use Social Media for Selling Art Online instagram sample post
Instagram Sample Post

There are so many outlets for connecting with people these days and there are more coming online all the time. I think it is a great idea to either choose Facebook or Instagram to start.  I personally like Instagram, but Facebook could work better for you depending on your personality.

If you don’t already have an Instagram account then stop reading this right now and find a user name that you can use on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Try to keep it consistent, remember you are building a brand.

The reason I like Instagram first is because of the way it spreads like a virus. You tag your pictures with hashtags and those get picked up by other people looking for pictures with that tag. You can always post on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously. After all they are owned by the same company so the websites integrate with each other nicely.

When you do post on Instagram be sure to put at least 5 to 7 hashtags about what you posting. Sometime it is easier to incorporate the hashtags right into the description of the art. For example. …   Hey folks check out my #nautical scene with old #vintage #rowboats as the #sun sets.  You can then add more at the end like #oilpainting #fineart #landscape

Now if you are on Facebook you probably want to leave the hashtags out. Studies show that no hashtags give better social engagement. On Facebook you really want to communicate with people. It is a place where they get to know you.

The way to get people to ‘like’ your Facebook page or Instagram page is to first like them. It is a game but you have to play it. Go out and find people that you like and let them know it. Often they will reciprocate by liking you back.

Be Consistent with Your Posts

Always remember you are building a brand. Once you start posting be consistent with those posts. Your audience will become accustomed to seeing your posts and look forward to it. Whether it is once or twice a day or once or twice a week, never let too much time lapse between posts.

Show your Fans the Process

This is where Youtube is a great vehicle for promoting your art. For example, take Lena Danya, who has 195k subscribers to her YouTube channel. She also uses her Facebook page to widen her reach. Lena Danya’s artwork has a consistent style in look and subject matter, so her fans know what to expect. She provides the perfect example as she has harnessed her considerable artistic talent to build the “Lena Danya” brand from scratch.

Try to describe your artwork to your fan base. Let them know what inspired you to create it. Show them the process of creating some of your pieces  and let them know where it is for sale.

In part 2, we will discuss the different websites available like for you to start selling your art.