Lynn Ricci's Musings

How Does a New Artist Get Gallery Representation or Build Art Relationships? January 05, 2017 11:10

What Does a Girl Need to do to Get Noticed in the Art World? It's a question I ask myself a lot . . .

Unemployment Offers New Opportunities to Create March 15, 2016 16:56

I'm officially unemployed. It took me awhile to come to that conclusion since I seem busier than ever - but, "officially" I am unemployed. Which brings me to a little problem . . . I'm enjoying being unemployed.

Preparing the Paintings for Paint Nights June 13, 2015 17:08

Paint nite 050615

It seems like overnight different variations of paint nights have popped up all over -- and people are enjoying picking up a paintbrush and creating.  After many friends asking over the years about painting, wondering if I could show them how, and starting to attend paint nights and raving about them I decided to start offering paint nights in my own home for friends -- hence the name Paint Pals. 

Paint Pals has grown quickly and I am now receiving requests for private girl's night out parties, as well as requests to go other places like church groups, sales meetings for team building, and private parties in homes.  It has taken on a life of its own in the last few months. But for any of you who do this, what I find as a challenge is creating the paintings that a non-painter can paint well in 2 hours time.  A few nights stretched into a third hour as people struggled to complete the painting - never mind the finishing touches I might have added myself. 

It has made me step back and really think about the teaching element when I am relying on nearly 35 years of ingrained painting experience, and finding the right level for a group of people with varying skill levels. I am reminded of my art teacher in school and I wonder if they ever got frustrated - teaching a class with different artistic skill levels and keeping the class moving at the right pace to keep the artistic kids challenged and the ones with no skills motivated.  All teachers for that matter need to teach to the common denominator -- but in small at home classes, I find I can give individual attention that the big classes at restaurants and bars and storefronts can't give given their class sizes. 

I've been creating paintings to build a Paint Pals calendar and I force myself to paint differently - modifying my style, number of colors, etc to offer paintings that people can complete and be happy with. I'd love to hear from other artists that get involved with teaching these types of classes -- what works and doesn't work! What subject matters are most wanted? How to keep students moving along? How to gear subject paintings skill level? In the meantime, I will continue to hone my skills as a teacher to hopefully deliver the best customer experience I can to those who sign up for my classes!


Use Your Gift as a Gift May 17, 2014 08:17

A dear old friend did something incredibly nice for me.  They wouldn't let me help pay, waving their hand to shoo away the idea like a bothersome fly.  "I am happy to do this, I don't need the money", my friend said in their very generous way.  And so it was done.  But was it?  I didn't feel so, especially when they followed up with another generous offer of tickets for my two boys and me for a sporting event - and we Bostonians love our sports.  Great seats, great time.  Now I really wondered how could I pay this friend back when they are so generous to me but won't take money?  Give them a gift back!  An offer they couldn't refuse. . . a painting.

 

Image I am sure all of us that dabble, or do mare than dabble, in some form of art have given pieces of your work away as gifts from time to time.  The joy is so much greater to see the recipients face light up and know how you have given a one-of-a-kind expression of your friendship or appreciation.  We also, more often then we let on as artists, have doubts up to the point of unwrapping if the work is really good enough.  No matter what the level you are at, its the gesture - the time spent thinking, planning, creating - that goes into the piece that is what gets appreciated.  That person knows you thought of them the whole time and it wasn't a quick run to the mall to buy something, you made it.

I am including a picture of the painting here.  It was from a special photo they had taken and I hope that my friend has a chance to hang it, enjoy it, and know how much I treasure their friendship when they look at it.

So, think about sharing your gift as a gift more often!  And if your talent isn't painting, pottery, sketching, jewelry-making, or photography but something like gardening or baking -- do that!  Make up beautiful pots of mixed flowers that can be enjoyed or their favorite cake or pie. Better yet - don't wait to use it for a thank you or birthday gift - just do it to be thoughtful. It's an old-fashioned gesture that is missed!


Drawing Skills Are Fundamental September 06, 2013 13:32 1 Comment

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."Pablo Picasso
When I was a child, I liked to draw.  I would copy anything that I saw: pictures on a lunchbox, a scene in a magazine, animated characters from comic books or MAD Magazine.  As I got a little older, I would get up very early on Saturday mornings and draw along with Captain Bob (You need to be from the Boston area and of a certain age to remember Captain Bob). My teachers were never happy with my "doodling" in class but I just couldn't help myself. ImageLike many budding, young artists, I took art lessons with grand aspirations of working for Disney someday, or Hallmark, or even moving to France and spending my days with an easel and fresh canvases.  My family would visit the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and I would dreamily drag my feet, slowing my family's progress through the giant museum.  All I wanted was to spend long periods of time staring at the paintings; thinking about what the artist was striving for, how each brush stroke was formed, what paints were mixed to get the desired color and the creation of light, or stare at the finely carved statues and wonder how the artist saw the finished form in a block of marble.  Later, I attended MassArt and was able to spend as much time at the museum as I wanted without anyone saying "move along, slow poke . . .".  For practice, I would fill sketchbooks with vignettes from famous paintings and shaded sketches of statues from Boston museums. Thoughts of a career in art still filled my young mind. Fast forward, let's just say a good number of years, and I now live in Burlington and have two children, a dog, a cat, a mortgage and I work in a finance department.  Not exactly the carefree artist lifestyle I had imagined for myself, but I'm very happy.  The bonus is . . .  I still get to paint! No, it is not my day job; however, I paint for enjoyment, satisfaction, as a challenge, as therapy, a creative outlet and even take on commissions every now and again. And sometimes in work meetings I catch myself still happily doodling like a child in class. Challenge for the week:   Perfecting your drawing skill is essential to any art form.   Keep a sketchbook and find subjects to sketch for practice.  For example, there are plenty of interesting places around your town or city that you could sketch outside.  Or, set aside time and explore some great works in person, or at least online, for inspiration.  I am lucky to be close to Boston with so many great museums such as the MFA or The Harvard Art Museums or, one my favorites, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  What is your favorite place to sketch?