My first solo art exhibition - "Emerging". Sunday May 7th, 2017. This show was a success. After months of careful planning, lots of hard work painting in my studio, I had my first solo and I am very grateful and proud of the success I had that day. What kind of planning goes into your first solo?
1. The date. I carefully picked the date. I knew that the beginning of May is when a lot of people are getting their income tax return and might have some extra money to invest in my art.
2. The materials. I took advantage of the Black Friday sales and bought all the required canvas and paint needed at 70% off. It was 2500 worth of materials for a fraction of the cost and it meant I had the canvas to look at and envision what pieces would go on what canvas.
3. The subject matter. I carefully picked through collected images and sketches to imagine what would be most successful to sell at my show. Even though I pre-selected images I still left myself open to new ideas and inspirations. My goal was 20 pieces and I was very happy with 19.
4. The Framing. Months before my show I contacted the framers to ensure I had the correct timeline and enough time to get my work properly framed.
5. Advertising. I thought carefully about what advertising would be effective for the show and what free advertising could be available to me. I made brochures and a new business card design with enough time to have everything printed and ready for display at the show.
6. Catering and venue. I used the same venue and caterer for my show. Although I am represented by a gallery I wanted my first solo art show to be completely under my control. In the past certain paintings were rejected from the gallery because of their subject matter. I wanted to make sure that all of my paintings would be included in this exhibition. It was a risk covering this cost myself but well worth it in the long run.
7. Budget. I was careful to plan out my budget and figure out how much money I needed for the show. All in all it cost me about $7000. I was fortunate enough to cover my costs and walk away with a profit.
8. The Title. Having a title and theme for your art show is important. I felt that after many years of working for other artists and planning group art exhibitions I was finally emerging as a solo artist. My family obligations were lessening as the children got older. My artistic professionalism and work ethic we're becoming fluid and my ability to focus was much easier. My true abilities were EMERGING hence the title.
I am am proud of my accomplishment and look forward to many more successful shows. I have already started planning my next solo in November.
If if you need help or advice in planning your exhibition feel free to contact me.
My first SOLO ART EXHIBITION - EMERGING
Date and Venue to be announced. This piece is one of twenty pieces I will be painting for my first solo exhibition. The excitement surrounding this task is palpable. I have planned and dreamed of my first SOLO since childhood. It is no easy task with the work and concentration involved but I look forward to the challenge!
The paintings are already there in my mind and putting them, translating them to canvas is the joy of creating.
For this exhibition, all the work will be available for purchase from the creation date however the piece must be displayed at my show. Ownership of your beautiful art will happen directly after. Downpayment will secure the piece for you and you will have until the show to pay in full. This way I can use the art for my show and still create income for purchase of canvas and paint for the show. This artist is truly excited and hopes that you will attend!
Outside Your Comfort Zone...
"Battery Twist" - 36" x 36" - mixed media on canvas framed
This landscape I painted for a December art show was unusual for this artist. Personally, the close up view of life is what speaks to me as an artist so why paint a landscape? The gallery was looking for artwork that was themed for downtown St. John's, Newfoundland and after searching around downtown for an image I came upon this scene in the Battery - a small community at the base of Signal Hill. The community has the feeling of being secure in the Rock and also that it is sliding off the rock and heading towards the ocean. The narrow one lane roads are inviting but also leave the worry you may get stuck in there (never happened to me but I always think it).
Painting outside my comfort zone helps my art grow. It helps me see the world around me and reminds me of the colours I fell in love with as a child. Not just the brightly coloured houses of St. John's but the sky and rocks as well. It inspires me as well as unnerves me. As artists we want to stick with images that sell and are sought after, however, it is important to create past that. I want to paint at a micro image level, but sometimes it's good to look at the big picture as well. Step back, take it all in and paint the view :)
Have you tried Time-lapse on Apple’s iPhone 5/6? It is amazing all of the different ideas you can bring to life with software like this. As a creative person who enjoys making videos I have now enlisted the use of Time-lapse in creating my art. The painting I recorded took about 15 hours to paint. By recording it with Time-lapse the whole process magically happens in just over two minutes. I edited the different days of work together into one movie using iMovie on my Mac. My friend Rea let me use her music for the soundtrack (sounds amazing), I popped it up onto Facebook and Youtube and voila… within two days almost 2000 people have viewed it. It is beautiful to watch my work this way… I get just as much of a kick out of it as others have told me they did. I plan to use this for every painting in the future.
I recommend artists try this if you can, it is fun and a great way to get people interested in your art if you share it on social media. As well anyone wishing to learn from my painting and try it yourself please do. Feel free to email me with any questions.
When the winter days shorten and the sun lowers in the sky, something interesting happens to the light of day. It takes on a golden hue, something this artist finds very inspiring. I love winter colours! People might look at snow and sky and see white and blue alone, but for the trained eye of the artist, many colours can be seen. When I started painting in my youth I would gaze out the window of the car while on some family road trip and wonder… what colours would I mix to make that shade of sky? Which yellow and blue would mix to create the green of the pine trees.
When I look at the winter snow, it is not ‘white’ that I see, there are many different shades of blue in my vision. Nothing is more breath taking then the low winter sun creating hues of yellow, orange, purple, gold…. and those colours mixed in my vision with the many blues of the snow create a colour balance, a compliment, that cannot be met. At night when the snow is freshly fallen and the street lights shine, the snow appears to sparkle like diamonds with all the colours of the spectrum. Next time take a long look at the snow and sky and see how many colours you can discover. -JJ
“The Golden Eggs” - 30” x 48"
Eight years ago while I was pregnant on my first child Jackson, I had a dream. I dreamt that I painted a huge bird's nest. In my dream I can remember vividly the feeling the painting gave me. I felt like I could crawl into the nest and curl up in it’s warmth and safety.
When I decided to fulfill my dream I called the framer and had them make the largest square canvas possible. As I painted on a canvas larger than 5 foot by 5 foot I was exhilarated to be creating my dream painting.
Since that first painting I was hooked. I have painted all shapes, sizes, egg types and egg numbers. The eggs are all free drawn which is challenging. Each egg takes many layer to create a 3D effect on canvas giving the eggs a visually correct shape. A millimetre can be the difference of a natural egg and something foreign looking.
I enjoy the challenge of each painting but especially the FEELING that each painting gives the viewer. One of comfort, security and warmth. All the things I guess I wanted for my growing baby.
If you would like to commission a nest please contact me for information and a quote.
Here is my latest painting "Regatta Starter Pistols", Acrylic on Canvas 24" x 24". Since I work in a gallery as well as show at the gallery I have a dual perspective on the art. Part of me wants to paint only what I love, another part wants me to paint what I think will be more appealing to the masses and therefore sell faster.
This painting is the first perspective. I love this subject matter and this painting. It was fun and challenging and it is of a subject matter that I love... my Grandfather's old stuff :) The pistols are old-fashioned (early 1800's) starter pistols. Used by Regatta's (boat racing) and running races. There is no bullet, just a loud bang!! I have always loved these pistols. The handles are made of a beautiful wood with silky grain. The detailed hand engraved Sheffield steel. The organic shape of the curves, the old flint lock stone.
I guess I would have to find a collector who is a race enthusiast, or maybe an antique collector to buy this piece of art. Or perhaps it will appeal more to the male population considering the subject matter but I find that if I paint what I love the viewer can feel that. That is why I buy art, because I love the piece and I can see the artist's passion behind the work.
After Peter Lewis painted 21 paintings in France, after having them all shipped back to NL. Countless hours to finish them and then my job starts... First to photograph them, design posters, evites, invites, the exhibition booklet and finally the gallery. Don't forget the advertising, social media, and food and wine! I find it hard to express the feeling that I get when the gallery walls are emptied and perfected awaiting their new treasures, the truck shows up full of newly framed art! It's exciting, and energizing. The gallery is pre planned for hanging what goes where however things usually get switched around a little in the end. The paintings are hung, carefully measured centres so all the pieces are hung perfectly, they are adjusted and straightened and then they are perfectly lit up so the paintings jump to life. Finishing details involve putting up the title tags and making the gallery sparkle. Stepping back and looking at the newly created exhibit is just brilliant and one of my favourite moments.
Now I hope everyone comes down to the gallery 5 Church Hill 630-930 pm for the easy part... having a glass of wine and hanging out with the artist while you are transported, this time to the beauty of the France landscape. Paris, Provence and Annecy. Simply beautiful!! http://artofpeterlewis.com/exhibitions.php?gid=46 Here is the link for the art. Enjoy!!
One of the greatest challenges of running an art gallery is simply getting people physically into the gallery. With today's perspectives on life where most people are always in a rush and very rarely treating themselves to quiet time, it can be harder and harder to convince people to take 15 minutes and look through the inspiring walls of a gallery. Art is never as beautiful as when it is seen in person.
One of my goals is to remind and encourage people to hit your local galleries. There are so many talented artists out there and the time spent alone or even with kids in tow to see art is moving, relaxing, inspiring. Visiting the collections makes the works created worth it as it is seen and appreciated and maybe even... collected!! Support your local artists by visiting a gallery today... it's free! If you do buy something you love, you won't regret it... instead you will enjoy the gift that gives every time you lay your eyes on your art!!
As most Artists know sometimes you have to make the art happen. There are a million excuses to avoid the studio when you are a busy working mother. Last night I was up until 2 am again painting. Have to work, have kids to get up, dressed and ready for school. Have to paint.
This nest is a painting in progress that I am almost finished. Other work that I am doing is on hold for this painting which is part of my children's school's fundraising auction this weekend.
I am committed to donating one painting a year to the school in hopes of making some money for them. Right now they are trying to buy iPads. Now I still have to finish my peony painting to make money for me! I will often donate to auctions and do a 50% split with them. I think this is fair. A 100% donation to a certified charity can mean a tax break. If I have had the piece professionally framed that cost may come out of their 50% which usually still gives a donation of 700-1000 dollars. Now some auctions do not fair well and I have only gotten say 500. This is still a great venue usually as it gives a chance to get your name out there as an artist. It gives you an idea what people are willing to pay for your work as well and hey, if someone loves the work and gets it for a great price then that is a winning situation. It's always good to have people excited about buying your work and owning it. Over the next 6 years while my kids are in MDE Elementary school I hope the excitement will grow and parents will wonder what painting I will be donating in future auctions. This is my first auction for this school. Maybe my seventh auction in all. I have gotten up to 2300 for a painting at auction. Hopefully this painting makes some money for the school, and I can get back to work on art for the gallery walls.
No matter how tired I am, no matter how hard it is to get back into the creating groove, the mere act of painting and creating gives me incredible energy. More than exercise (for me Yoga or running), more than any other natural or not (coffee) source of energy. After painting no matter how late I am buzzing with creative energy. It feels great!