Thursday, December 29, 2011

Artistic Souls and Genetic Eccentrics

(This post edited on 01.27.2012 to replace photos lost in creating Google+ Page)

From a Scientific American article earlier this year: "Not all eccentric individuals are creative," seems to be the premise of this article, but it really asks if all creative types are eccentric and profiles us with a brief list of our weirdness. It seems we're born that way! I'll admit to about half of these traits, but I'm not telepathic, don't hear voices or music, and I've never been a square peg--I can fit in anywhere!

This article really is worth the read and a fresh perspective on an old topic of great discussion and exploration. Carl Jung comes to mind. And the book Physics and Art. And the book Goedle, Escher, and Bach. Yes, artists can be capable of exploring all sorts of realms. Why Creative People are Eccentric

For years I sang with two choral groups and discovered that many of us were creative in visual arts. Did creativity include eccentric or weird? Far from it. There were several physicians, economists, lawyers, and "numbers" people galore who sang with both groups. Many of us also play several musical instruments or act, in addition to the focus on vocal performance. Most of us speak several languages, which goes along with the numbers bent and a musical ear. I had was fortunate to work with all of these singers--all perfectly normal, at least to me, a member of the group. We weren't born to sing, we worked very hard at it. Hours of practice went into each performance.

We've all heard stories about how great scientific or technological breakthroughs came to fruition due to problems being worked-out in dreams. I don't know visual artists who dream their imagery, but many painters do stand before a canvas and lose all sense of time as the image creates itself. Writers often describe creating characters who take over to flesh out themselves in fiction. We have the good fortune of experiencing "happy accidents" that move us along as we create. Everyone is born creative, most of us have happy accidents, and a few of us develop eccentric habits. Again, we work very hard at building a strong foundation of skills that give us a predilection for having happy accidents while creating.

After several hours of "Alpha Activity" this afternoon, I have to move on to a little "Gamma Activity" and get some real work done today. All my alpha activity is cerebral, though, as I've been researching great blogs and got sidetracked by a Happy Accident. My genes made me do it.

I'm trying to get to the skill level I need to build yet another website, my own domain gallery, another creative venture that simply isn't in my genes. I have to work at it since it's the hub of all my art sites. The choices to be made are strictly left brain and the right brain must create new paintings to go on the new site. Or is it the other way around? Whew! Is there smoke coming out of my ears?

Snow Day!

This photo is from my Montgomery studio window about a year ago.

Our Florida temps aren't cold enough for snow, but we've had to drag out the jackets. We'll be in the 40's tonight. So, time inside, to research my online studio activities. Time for a cup of hot tea.

Please take a few minutes to read the article if you're a creative soul. I'm sure you'll find points to agree with and points for disagreement. I did. Comments welcome--please share with friends if you find the article and post interesting.

This is my last post for 2011. Have a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hot Artists, New Artists and Gail Kent on the Horizon

(This post edited on 01.27.2012 to replace photos lost in creating Google+ Page)

For 2012, we can expect to see record prices for several contemporary artists, most notably Gerhard Richter. Painters understand (or envy!) the values in fine art auctions, sometimes, but how does an investor select the objets d'art and fine paintings to lust after to make their lives complete?

Investing in art is a combination of knowledge, emotion, acquisition means and skills, and of great advisers who will scour the markets for just the pieces to add to or complete a collection. With any investment, there are good years and bad years, and perhaps a lifetime to enjoy these special acquisitions and then pass them on. For many investors, it's strictly business and the numbers are the game they're playing. Odds are, they'll win.
Richter's Kerze

This is one of Richter's kerze (candle) images with the link to the website where I found it:  Richter Kerze image

This is truly timeless imagery touching us on many levels. It's about as minimalist as great art comes, though I'll admit to admiring much less in imagery. It's tranquility is atypical of Richter's "more German" abstract high energy, even disturbing, works of photography and painting.

How much would you pay for this image? Christie's sold a kerze work in October for  US$16.6-million. And investors eagerly wait to buy more.

“Richter is going to play a huge role in the market for years to come,” Jonathan Binstock, a New York-based senior contemporary-art adviser at Citibank NA, said in an interview. “Collectors are going for artists with proven reputations.” Bloomberg - 2011 New Buyer Sales at $1.7-Billion

Back to the real world where the rest of us live.

Maybe luck has a little to do with sales, or maybe not.

     - Are you working on your masterpiece?
     - Are you painting because art, painting, is your raison d'ĂȘtre?       
     - Are you shouting "Hey, World, look at me, my work is great, too!"?
 Keep painting, every day if you can, and promote, promote, promote. Success is built on hard work and comes on many different levels. As painters, most of us would like to sell our art, not pocket a chunk of the global economy.

Gursky Photo

Some time ago I posted an image/link on my studio Facebook page about another contemporary art piece that sold for a record price Awesome Photo - $4.3-Million worth of Awesome

This photo is in essence a minimalist expression similar to the Kerze piece.

Dark Waters

 If you know my abstract field study low horizon beach pieces, such as Dark Waters Dark Waters-Gail Kent Canvas Print, you'll see similarities in imagery and a sense of tranquility in each that convey peaceful feelings found in these two recently auctioned famous works.  In essence, mine are great paintings, too. But that's where the similarity ends, I'm still painting every day. 

What great images are you working on and how are you promoting your works?

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Painters Creating Great Art Blogs

(This post edited on 01.27.12 to replace photos lost in creating Google+ Page)

A Great Art Blog I'm exploring as I surf around other artists' sites is Artists Helping Artists.

The AHA blog was linked to me by another painter when I started my blog and I knew right away it was a keeper. Two painters, Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry, have done a marvelous job of getting their art out there and in helping the rest of us achieve success in selling our art, too.

Today I listened to one of their older radio blogs on creating a popular blog which reiterated in artist-speak what I've learned from Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett's book, ProBlogger, ( Problogger Book Link ). I'll enjoy more of AHA's posts and broadcasts after I get my domain site up in the next week or so.

The holidays have been a productive period for me as I paint larger oil works to put on the new gallery site. After listening to this broadcast on blogging, I've decided to sell the original small acrylic field studies, as well as sell them as prints currently offered at Gail Kent at Fine Art America. Though these studies are abstract and the new works are traditional, they complement one another and each has a market.

There were a lot of great ideas in this AHA broadcast, with participants also discussing favorite artist blogs and the reasons they visit these popular blogs: 
     - great instruction
     - informative tips 
     - consistent artwork
     - and voice the bloggers use in their writing--they are themselves. 

I'm looking forward to developing my blog into a helpful favorite resource, too, as I learn from pros like Leslie and Dreama. I'm gathering a list of blogs that I'll share and Artists Helping Artists will be at the top of the list.

Old Crows

Meanwhile, this was my audience yesterday as I waited for the fog to lift so I could get in a few hours of painting. I'm not sure where these old crows (or buzzards) came from or where they're headed, but this roof is definitely not their home and they're not in my painting.

Fortunately, the fog burned off around lunch time and it was a beautiful winter day.
Rocky Raccoon

This little guy stopped by last week. Picnic Island is his home and I am his guest. I've named the little mischief-maker Rocky, and taught him that he has to look elsewhere for his breakfast each morning that I'm painting.

Other guests last week were "snowbirds" from Michigan who found it curious that I was painting mountains not the beach before me. They complimented my work and moved on laughing about the 30's back home.

If you're following great blogs, feel free to comment or post your links here. Comments always welcomed.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Monday, December 19, 2011

Untalented Thief Copied Your Art Again!

What else can you say? 
They have no original talent, and they are thieves who risk copyright infringement. Yet, they make money selling your imagery on their canvases.

It happens to visual artists who put their work out on the internet. You can watermark or protect your images in a number of technical ways, none of which will deter them. Fakes, copies, knockoffs-- a huge problem for this country and others when copyrights and trademarks aren't respected. Consumers foot the bill for it because there is no free ride. If you're any good at your art or craft, you will be copied.

I recently got a little suspicious of some of the hits on my works that didn't quite fit the profile of my market--multiple hits from same source addresses was curious, too. Without searching for "similar" imagery, I decided to take a look at another less professional site many professional artists join that is heavily populated with a great variety of talents, skills and techniques.

Bingo! Look at all that copying going on over there! No respect for others, and ignorance of trademark laws, too. Do they not know that if you paint a portrait of an angry bird, you'd better have a license. Guess not. Do they not know they cannot lift my image from my website, change a little color in a little line and call it their art? Guess not. Here's a link about copyright Art Legalities. Professional artists copyright their art and give notice of that fact. We don't contact thieves, our legal teams do.

Funny thing happened on my way to that other site, so funny that I laughed all afternoon over it. I posted recently about a fellow on a paid website who had 12,000 images Keyword Worth a Thousand Pictures and I have to admit, I find it hard to believe but it's true, the works are all his original works. His style is totally unique and reflects his training. Evidently, he has been copied by the untalented thief who also copied my images.

But wait, there's more! The untalented thief who copied me and the other fellow was copied by another very successful untalented thief on that same website. Both untalented thieves "toot their own horn" quite loudly about their talents in their profiles. Amazing.

A few years ago I was in an interior design store when their "Art" vendor arrived. He pulled his truck to the back of the store and unloaded dozens of paintings in the parking lot for the design team to see. Being an observant and curious painter, I followed along and got into a discussion with the vendor about the art and the pricing. Of course I didn't tell him I'm a painter.

This load of paintings was sourced offshore for pennies on the dollar and sold to designers for "wholesale" as original art. These paintings were blatant copies of European masters. Though both the quality of the painting and framing were ghastly, they were "original art" and would be sold for top dollar. This link is an example of higher quality "original art" from one of many offshore sources michael-wolfs-copy-artists. (My old favorite, Vincent, is in this batch.)

You, too, can have your works produced offshore. Sadly, though, you probably won't be aware that a thief has taken your work. Should you discover you've been ripped-off, domestically or offshore, you can do as I did and have a good laugh about it, or you can get tough with the thieves right away. I prefer to wait patiently until they've built a very strong case of infringement. I haven't traced down the offshore multiple hits I'm getting. Yet.

Please don't hesitate to share how you've dealt with this unpleasant business on your sites, or link your blogs.

Harbor Sunset
Update on my domain : 
Year-end; Holidays, Not-Quite-There-Yet Skillset, Perfect Florida Weather, - I'm working on it! 

Plan is to list large traditional paintings done from the small field works, such as Harbor Sunset, that I've posted this Summer. I have 3 beautiful landscapes almost completed with more to come, painting daily - 

I'll have the site up soon.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studios

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Friend Me? Risks to Artists Known and Trusted

Today's piece follows-up on my last post on building an online art gallery - more about building a brand, internet presence, a community to market your art with other artists you know and trust and clients who know and trust you. how-to-setup-art-gallery-website

To quote Drew at Skinny Artist, "The internet offers us as some unprecedented opportunities, as well as some unique challenges to selling our creative work online. Since most of our customers will never meet us face to face, they have to base their decision on what we say or do online." how-to-create-and-destroy-your-reputation-as-an-artist  Skinny Artist is chock-full of great advice for beginner and sage alike.

From Fine Art America site
My new website featuring larger studio oil paintings based on field studies and small acrylic paintings will be up this month. As I stated in the steps that I followed in planning my professional brand, this site will be the center of all other online presence. These works will be fresh off the easel and most are only sketched in as I write this post. I put considerable effort into building my brand.

My reputation as an artist is Critical to my art, which until recently, didn't exist online.

 Link to Fine Art America gallery featuring prints of this painting:

The Importance of Social Media Decisions: Friend me?

To Friend or not to friend, or Like, or Favorite, or allow Following?
As I wrote in my post about Facebook's 69 billion connections ( marketing-to-your-69-billion-facebook friends ), a lot of eyes see everything you say and do online. My Facebook page is a Professional Artist Page and my Twitter account is used as a global news feed for finance, the economy, and art news, with a little humor added for my sanity.

Family and friends and personal interests are wonderful to share with - just not on a business website. Facebook and Twitter are websites - you can Google yourself and find the most interesting things once you've setup these accounts. With a professional artist page, you don't have to deal with making a decision to "friend" or not to friend. You simply have more control.

My websites, including Facebook and Twitter are friendly to all artists and artisans and people who support the arts. If you market a service or product online, social media decisions are best made early in setting-up. Your reputation is at stake.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studios

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -

Friday, December 2, 2011

How to Setup an Art Gallery Website

December already and I'm still building my online Art Gallery by constructing a behind the scenes presence on the web to move forward with my own domain and main gallery. This project started in September. By mid-month I'll have reached my goal.

This morning I garnered the simplest game plan for beginning a project-- from the Harvard Business Review tweet: Priortize Before Starting Your Project
  • Clarify the assignment. Don’t start until stakeholders agree on the goals and the general timetable.
  • Organize your troops. Get team members involved at the get-go so they feel ownership. Agree on a way of working — how often you’ll meet, how you’ll communicate, etc.
  • Create a project plan. Ask your team to help you identify project activities and how long they will take. Put them in sequence and identify which are interdependent and which can run at the same time. 
That's a pretty good summary of everything I learned in school-not Harvard-and these are, indeed, the steps I used to get started with the best brand, the most effective marketing tools, and the knowledge I need to move forward to a successful project--with a little more hard work.

I clarified the assignment:
       - build an online art gallery to sell your art so you can continue painting!

I organized my troops:
       - built a Facebook presence using Artist page and
       - setup a Twitter account and chose great following accounts; @Gail_Kent
       - networked with Etsy shop "circles" and " Treasury" lists by sharing other artists' and
           artisans' work with Facebook and Twitter postings;
           (carefully blocked and banned forever any attempted link baiting and spamming)

       - then came the hard part: planning the creative web presence embracing my "brand"

I created my project plan:
       - created a Google website about my new online studio;
       - began a blog, though I'm numbers/images minded, not a writer; A Painter's Resources
       - setup artist website to offer quality reproductions of my work as wrapped canvas prints,
           acrylic, prints, framed prints, and cards;
       - and now, having read the blogger how-to and the website building how-to, I'm ready to
           create my own domain site, without having to go back to school or study programming
           at very little cost. Others may have done my site differently, but I like that I was able to do it!

This is just the basics, but these steps will get your art online and help in building your brand. There are many other web accounts to open and some to play with while getting your feet wet.

Please share your comments in this interactive blog, then share the post with others who may find our experience helpful.

I'll soon add great blogger links on the bottom of my page. I've found some to be wonderful resources from the start of my project. You never lose anything by sharing your knowledge.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studios

Find me or my work at the following addresses: 
 Twitter -,  and Facebook -