Friday, January 31, 2014

30 Day Challenge

January 31, 2014

Thank you to Leslie Saeta for doing another 30 day challenge.  If you have the chance, look at this link to be inspired by the work of so many artists.  You can look at their blogs and be inspired all over again.  

I confess to not doing all thirty, maybe only 1/3 of that.  If it were not the challenge, I might have spent the month of January just trying to organize my studio and be distracted by other things. 

Here is my mini-challenge.  I learned how to do collages from Leslie's marketing challenge.  Go to "ipiccy" to make your own. 

This month I've been adding more paintings to ETSY and still trying to improve my photos.  At least I stopped using my phone for pictures and use my little camera.  I'm not doing that well on using a big fancy camera.  (the picture of the apples posted  on ETSY recently is one of the worst).  I 'm giving myself a year to improve. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Learn to Paint

January 30, 2014

Part of my reason for having a blog is to include lessons and exercises that will help someone learn to paint, but with blogs that information gets lost in the archives.  I was thinking that a "search button" on my blog would help with that problem.  I hate to admit this, but I  installed one awhile ago, but forgot that it was there.  I moved it to the top right of this page.  I checked it out and it really does work.

There are  lessons embedded in old archives. 

Search for:

color mixing
how to start a painting
color boards
painting loosely

 (other search words work, but I know these do)

The topics are on one of my pinterest boards, too.  (Click on "pinterest")

Emphasis on loose brushwork - listed on Daily Paintworks

(This reminds me of the wonderful pies my mother used to make.  The napkins belonged to my grandmother.  It is a very sentimental painting for me.    My daughter-in-law has tried to teach me to make pie crust.  She makes great pies, too, and so does my son.  I am better at eating pie. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Accidental Still Life

January 28, 2014

I brought this box home from my studio and had nowhere to put it so I placed in my light box.  I needed a subject to paint for today and was thinking of the ginger jar and just placed it in front of the box and there is was, a composition.  I liked the way the black balanced out the ginger jar and created just enough interest.

This experience told me to always be on the lookout for a composition, it could be right in front of you. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daily Paintworks Challenge and 30 Day Challenge

January 27, 2014

I haven't done that well with the 30 day challenge, more like the 10 day challenge, but this painting covers two challenges, both 30 and dpw and that must count for something. 

My own challenge is concentrating on abstract shapes and values.  The paintings I am happiest with always include that approach. 

This is one that I painted awhile ago, but I have always liked it because of the abstract quality, editing out detail.   I'm gradually adding all my paintings to ETSY

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

I just listened something on  youtube, first seen on Facebook, that was very encouraging, especially when it comes to learning to paint.  I'm putting the link here. 

The topic is about how it doesn't really take 10,000 hours to learn something new.  It takes 20 hours to learn something new. 

The speaker breaks it down into four steps:  (of course, I was applying all this to painting as I listened).

1.  Deconstruct the skill.

2.  Learn enough to self-correct.

3.  Remove practice barriers.

4.  Practice for at least 20 hours.

LEARN to PAINT or anything you want to learn.

Thank you to the author, Josh Kaufman, of the #1 international bestseller, 'The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business', as well as the upcoming book 'The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything.' Josh specializes in teaching people from all walks of life how to master practical knowledge and skills. In his talk, he shares how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way.

I'm still learning, but I know I've put in 20 hours.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Painting the same thing twice

January 22, 2014

Daily Paintworks Challenge Take #2

The DPW challenge offers ideas and lessons at the same time.   I was happy with the first one of "Max" that I did, but wanted to experiment with more intense colors, stronger values and even more color.  Last year I took a workshop from Dreama Tolle Perry who paints so beautifully and often includes her cat in her paintings. 

I included a summary of what I learned in her class in older blog posts (April or May of last year).  I decided to follow what I learned in her class by using a transparent layer first,  concentrating on big brushwork, and using lots of color. 


  Which one do you like better?  Please leave a comment.  I removed the "roboty thing" so it's easy to leave a comment. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Challenge at Daily Paintworks

January 20, 2014

I remembered to do the challenge on Daily Paintworks.  It turned out to be harder than I thought.  I spent most of my time trying to get the eye right.  Once I got the darks in, it turned out all right.
I decided to stick with the tertiary colors doing this one, a favorite color scheme of mine, used even to make the black.  I just used the three colors magenta, blue-green and yellow-orange.  (more about that on earlier blogs)

Here is a link to the challenge so you can try it.  The photo is provided and it is a good lesson in understanding value.


Available at Daily Paintworks or ETSY - 6 x 6 - oil on panel

Sunday, January 19, 2014

30 Day Challenge

January 19, 2014

Now that I finally got my studio organized I'm back to doing a painting a day instead of one a week. 

6 x 6

Yesterday's painting was from a photo that I have been saving for over 30 years.   It is of my son who is now 36.  He was taking his first train ride and concentrating very hard. 
I want to paint bigger and keep things loose.  The art of Anne Blair Brown has been helpful to study.  I would love to take a workshop from her, but most are too far away for me.  Quang Ho's DVD is really good at learning to stay loose and pick the spots that need detail. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another study of Freesias

January 16, 2014

I did another study of Freesias and am not satisfied with the results.  Yellow is always a tough one to do.  I like the composition, but shadow color could improve.  I guess I will have to do another in this series.
6 x 6 on board

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

30 Day Challenge

January 15, 2014

I've at least added paintings two days in a row on the 30 Day Challenge with Leslie Saeta.  More than that I've done another study of the flowers with the inspiration of Qiang Huang.  I admire his devotion to staying with a subject to learn everything about it. 

It is true that doing the same subject improves your understanding and skill of whatever you are painting.  I hope to master the lights and darks and the variety of edges. 

Qiang Huang has many paintings listed on Daily Paintworks and he has a blog.

Here is the second study of the same flowers.  (The photo of the still life is on yesterday's post)

  Painting is 4 x 5 inches

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Painting Studies

January 14, 2014

I am always  inspired by the work of Qiang Huang.  I subscribe to his blog and look at his paintings on DPW.  He likes to take one subject an do multiple studies of it.   These are one of  the type of flowers he studied.  I'm on the second study and since I bought a big bunch I will do a few more.  I think I will try different ways to begin, e.g., white canvas, toned, darks first, etc. 

Photo of still life


Started on white canvas, painted light of flowers first
Final Study
PS - I dropped off more magazines at LibertyTown, Studio 26.    This is includes my supply from the basement so I am nearing the end of my collection.  Sad to good-bye, but I have read them all and thank them for the help.  Please help yourself.  They are on the table in my studio.  The whole first batch is gone. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


January 12, 2014

A couple of days ago I mentioned how a newsletter is such a great marketing tool. Yesterday I discovered that I lost all my email groupings for my newsletter so I am at square one.  It took me a year to compile a list of emails.

The reason for this loss is because our computer had some kind of meltdown.  My husband was able to revive it, but my email list for newsletters was a casualty. 

I'm not sure what the lesson is or how to avoid this, but now I have to start over and will give Mail Chimp a try this time. 


Just to have a photo, here is a photo of the studio I share with Larry Southworth at LibertyTown Arts Workshop. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

30 day Challenge

January 11, 2014

Today I thought I would try the challenge on Daily Paintworks.  It's a great place to get ideas of subjects to paint and a way to challenge yourself. 

Here is my effort, trying to keep loose brushwork and using what I learned from Quang Ho's dvd about painting the light and tonal painting as an approach.   I was also thinking about what I learned from the dvd about figure painting. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

30 Day Challenge

January 10, 2014

Over the holidays I watched the DVD set by Quang Ho.  It was so inspirational.  He summarized the important concepts so well and demonstrated while describing his ideas about what is important in a painting. 

While I was painting this little one (6 x 6) I kept thinking about what he said about shapes and values and painting the light.

I'm including this in the "30 Day Challenge", but am embarrassed to say this is only the 3rd painting for me and it is day 10.  I was obsessed with organizing my studio and it is still not finished, but I can let go for awhile and get back to painting.

I'll put this on ETSY.  So far that is working well.  I'm mailing the salt and pepper shakers today.  Here is a photo of that one.  I figured out how to put the mini-ETSY shop on the side of the blog.  The instructions were pretty good.

Wow, this photo is really bad, that is why improving my photo taking skills is one of my goals.  The painting looks better than the photo.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Still Organizing

January 9, 2014

NEWSLETTER  - one last item for goals from last year

I forgot to add sending out a newsletter  to "Things I did last year that worked".  I am mentioning this because it is probably the best way to publicize your art.  I think it was the most helpful so if you are just starting to market your art, it is probably the first thing to do.  I use Microsoft Publisher to do mine.  I've looked into "Mail Chimp" and other online services, but they are still too complicated for me. 


1 - I left lots of magazines on the table at my studio for anyone who would like them.  It is hard to give them away, but with downsizing on the horizon, it must be done.  There are more come.  I started working on the basement, too. 

2.  I reduced the prices on some of my gallery paintings at LibertyTown.  I need to make room for new paintings.  I have more paintings at home to take to LibertyTown, that's next.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Goals for New Year

January 8, 2014 - time to think about goals for new year

I have almost finished re-organizing my studio.  It was out of control and I couldn't even work in here.  It's taken me over a week to get about 50% of that finished.  I haven't even painted very much. 

 It was about this time last year when I decided to do my annual reorganization of my studio and  learn more about marketing and online resources.


Joined Daily Paintworks website in January 2013and currently have 289 paintings listed.

Started a website.  FASO is the one I use.  There is a link to it on the right of this page.

Participated in Leslie Saeta's "30 Day Marketing Challenge".

Participated in Leslie Saeta's "30 Day Painting Challenge" in September.

Started showing paintings at Heather Boutique.

Joined ETSY last month as another place to sell paintings.

Added Facebook business page and advertise on that page:  Carol Josefiak Fine Art


I've sold a lot more paintings and feel that I have improved my painting skills.

Keep learning and improving skills.  Take at least one workshop.
Create a group of paintings with a theme (a body of work)
Work on photography skills.
Paint in a larger format.
Continue 6 x 6 paintings.
Utilize existing marketing plan

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

Thank you to my grandchildren  Maggie, Lillie and Cece for these creative gifts.  I'm using the book filled with ideas to paint and encouragement. They are awesome!  I'm blown away by their talent. 

Here is my painting from yesterday for the Leslie Saeta challenge and Daily Paintworks.  I'll put it on ETSY, too. 
"Lounging" would be a good title for this one.  Darwin likes to lounge on the couch. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014

I'm already behind in the "30 Day Challenge" with Leslie Saeta.  This is my first entry.  My granddaughter gave me a fantastic present for Christmas.  It is a book that she made with ideas for painting.  I'll post some pictures of it soon, along with photos of the creative and beautiful gifts each granddaughter made.  That will be for tomorrow. 

For now here is one of her ideas and perfect for the snow that we got here in Virginia.