This Month in the Studio, the April Edition.

I bet most of thought I’d forget/procrastinate or just put it off until it was too late! Ha! And yes, I’ll give you that it’s closer to the end of the month but still, it’s April!

It’s been steadily busy here in my home studio, getting ready for the show next weekend, working full time and looking after my dog keeps me busy. Oh and don’t forget painting!

Two weeks ago I sat down and made my pre show “what pieces to bring list” and it’s already been revised a few times. But my strategy is simple this year- bring lots of smaller pieces and a few (2) of the big ones. As much as I love painting big pieces, they need a buyer with some big wall space.

Lake Louise is 24”x36” acrylic on canvas.

Today I started to pack up the small pieces: the birds, the garden series and a small landscape or two. I’m doing so I found 4 pieces that are not ready so that’s my work for tonight. I always find it a bit sad when the art work comes off my wall but hopefully after next weekend many will have found new homes.

Some of my bird paintings.

I am still participating in my year long colour and mixed media exploration over at Paint Wisdom Studios. It’s a wonderfully supportive artistic community and Monopalette is absolutely free! I highly recommend it if you want to try something new and explore colour.

Shell pink, our colour for April.

I also treated myself to a travel sized watercolour kit from my local art store! In my art journaling for Monopalette I found I was watering down my acrylics so it seemed like it was time to learn how to use them! Plus that’s what I’ll be taking to Scotland in 2024 when I finally plan on getting back there!

I’m still managing to produce new paintings thru all the show prep, I can’t not paint! In one of my workshops someone said the following statement: paint and you love. It really struck a chord with me so I have taken it to heart this month, exploring more florals and birds simply because they make me happy! I still love my landscapes but at times they can be overwhelming challenging.

My Hummingbird Garden will be going to the show!

It will be good to be at another live show and I am looking forward to it even though it’s exhausting! In next months blog I’ll let you know how it all went, until then, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

On the Chopping Block

I read somewhere that a famous artist once said that it’s better to paint over any older unsold paintings than it is to discount them and sell them at below the artists market value. I have 8 such paintings, truthfully I have about 15 of these pieces, older and unsold, sitting in a box, standing in the closet in my studio or hanging on my walls. I live in 600sq.ft. Space is limited here, wall space is ever shrinking as a continue to create and evolve.

In the past I have sold a couple of older pieces either at an art fair or through Facebook at a reduced price so I know it’s a possibility but as I have previously mentioned in previous posts and blogs, my style changed in 2020. These pieces were created pre 2020 and it’s fairly obvious if you are a regular follower.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t love them; I learned from each of them on my artistic evolution but I need to let them go now. So I guess this is “Last Call” on these pieces. Don’t be sad, it’s just part of my process. At least I have learned to wait for a few months and in some cases years to paint over them because I used to only wait days or weeks before getting the gesso out! A friend recently asked me how I could do that, paint over pieces, compared it to erasing them from my artistic journey. Since I have the digital images on file I am technically only repurposing the canvas; it’s a practical decision.

I am not in a rush to paint over these, it will be a project for the dreary days of the fall and winter, and it also requires me to be in the right headspace. For now, I will be taking the ones off the wall and standing them in my studio closet, which strangely enough, is the hardest part for me.

The journey and the evolution continues,

Anne

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the Home of AnnesCanvas

Welcome to my blog and online gallery. All of my original one-of-a-kind paintings can be found in the Available Artworks Gallery. Dimensions and prices are with each piece so please do not hesitate to contact me for more information. Shipping can be arranged within Canada.

Cedar Moon Series

Cedar Moon Series

This month in the Studio

Marketing is hard. I’d much rather be painting or walking Mable or just about anything else but it’s a necessary part of being an artist. The mysterious and ever evolving algorithm on Facebook and Instagram make it that much harder. My audience grows very slowly, I’m just at 300 followers on IG and that took 6 years! My Facebook hack last summer pretty much decimated my art page and followers.

I was listening to a podcast the other day that got me thinking about how to draw my followers, collectors and friends to a non IG/FB platform and it dawned on me that my very much under utilized blog and gallery is right here on WordPress.

Introducing: This Month is the Studio! Each month, I say with the best of intention, I will be putting out a newsletter type blog taking about what I’m working on: my ideas, success’, failures and general goings on from my home studio and of course my new pieces ready for purchase.

March 2022 (because why not start now)

Since January I have been taking a free, weekly online workshop, painting and creating with a group of women from all over the world. Paint Wisdom Studio is the creative baby of Connie Solera and this workshop is called Monopalette. It is so refreshing and inspiring for me to learn and share with this wonderful and supportive community.

My Warrior Women and my Ladies art series’, which I’ve been playing with for the last little while, are finding their voice lately. I’ll be sharing these pieces in my blog as the months unfold. But here is a sneak peak to a few pieces that I sketched out while I was at the off grid cabin last fall.

I am not going for super detailed with my Ladies, just an impression and a feeling of who they represent.

I’ve also recently started to keep both an art journal and a studio log. I’ve always only painted on canvas or canvas paper so it blew my mind to see the art journals of my fellow participants! One journal is even an older hardcover book that I paint in! A radical, mind blowing idea that found a perfect home in an old copy of the Sword and the Stone. I finally have one place to keep track of my ideas instead of pieces of scrap paper taped to my wall!

A page from my art journal

In next month’s “In the Studio” I’ll talk about getting ready for the show at the end of the month; how I decide which paintings to take and of course my creations!

Thanks for reading my little blog! See you next month! 🎨 on!

Show Prep

Two weeks from now I’ll be taking part in my first show since October 2019! Crazy! Before Covid I had already decided to take 2020 off from shows and focus on building my skills. I was pleasantly surprised that I had a pretty successful 2020 and early 2021. The set up part has been so long that I am feeling a little rusty! I am trying to spend a little time each day getting everything organized all while continuing to paint and work full time. Good thing I like lists!

I’m looking forward to the show that’s happening here in CP on September 11th and 12th. It is looking a bit different this year because of Covid rules but it will be good to see my art friends again and of course my art followers. My style has changed since October 2019 and I think people who know my art will see the difference.

I sat down the other night to plan out what my booth will look like and I quickly came to realize that I’m taking too many pieces for the size of my booth..great. Now I have to pick and choose which pieces go up when, and all I can think of is what if the perfect buyer is at the show and their perfect painting is in the back storage area? That’s how my brain works!

I have been spending some time deciding what goes up and when and I did a little creative planning earlier today (yes, it’s on my living room floor) and under Mable’s watchful eye I now have a basic layout for the big wall; I feel better now. Often though, when it comes time to setting up, I do end up changing my mind anyways! Later today I will work on the 2 side wall layouts as well. We will only have 2 hours to do our full booth set up (I think it normally takes me 3 hours) and I feel much calmer now that I can visualize what the big wall will look like. My labels are printed, business cards are on order and I’ve assembled almost everything that I need for my booth. I still have 2 weeks, thankfully!

In the meantime, and because I need to paint everyday, I’m developing two new series: one called Warrior Women/ Forest Guardians and a second series originally entitled Stand, an idea that came to me 18 months ago and has been nagging at me ever since. If you follow me on Instagram you will be able to follow my creative process on both series.

Happy Sunday everyone!!

🎨on!

Anne

New Coordinates, Same Webpage

It’s like a new beginning! A fresh Facebook art page appropriately named annescanvas and a new personal site but honestly I don’t remember it being this much work the first time around! So many details to remember, not to mention adding in all the photos of the art work with their individual details and price.

Maybe I’m feeling like it’s so much work because I’m still grieving the loss of the original pages. Facebook doesn’t seem to give a s**t that I’ve lost my pages: how can a company that big have zero people to assist someone? It’s beyond me ..

So I plod a few minutes everyday, coming up with new bits of info and fill in the blanks to rebuild what a hacker stole in under 8 minutes! Crazy!!

I did manage to post a message on my original art page that appears to have been sent to my followers even though it’s not visible anymore if you open the page. I don’t know, I can’t explain it!! At least I am painting again.. I wasn’t for the first few days, I realized and accepted that although I am grieving my lost information I can’t stay stuck there.

I like the rise-from-the-ashes mythology of the Phoenix: maybe I’ll get there one day but today I feel like a baby goose floating on the water.. now to figure out how to change with FB link….

🎨 on!

Anne

What Happens To my Art Community When I Lose Access to Facebook?

This has been a difficult 36 hours. I woke up yesterday to find my account on Facebook was hacked; passwords, email address and phone number all changed! Just like that! I tried every tip found on the Facebook help page and nothing worked. I am not overly computer savvy, I am not overly Facebook savvy but why oh why is it so hard to recover your hacked account?

According to my friends, my personal page is just gone, removed from friends lists and contacts, no trace of any online presence from the last 12 years. The only thing left is my now inaccessible Art by Anne Forsythe page. I can deal with my lost memories and photo’s; I’ll be able to reconnect in some fashion with my friends and family but what upsets me the most of I can’t get into my art page. Unless I can resolve the hack, it will just go on, no new uploads, no new art. Very upsetting. I cant reach my followers to tell them what’s happened, again, very upsetting.

I’ve spent the last few hours trying to reach someone, a real live person at Facebook and to no great success. Due to covid restrictions, no person is manning the phones? Really Facebook? come on..No real person anywhere to help one of their users sort out this mess!!

In an effort to communicate with FB, I opened a new account, found a few different links in which to leave messages and following a note on a community help board, my new account was then disabled. I kid you not!

I am not a well known or a well established artist, but most of my sales came from regular postings on FB, so what will it look like now? I have no idea. I have Instagram, I still have access to that, after I quickly moving to secure that account at 530am yesterday.

I am at a loss. Is there another online forum similar to FB? Has this happened to anyone? Should I just build another profile and start again on FB? ugh..this is not how I wanted to spend my long weekend!! If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Normally this would be shared to my personal FB page and I’d move it over to my Art page..so can I please ask you to like, follow and share my blog? Leave me a comment if you have experienced this an how did you resolve it? I’d appreciate hearing from you. Until I decide what to do you can reach me here or on my Instagram. I will be disabling the FB link found on my website if it hasn’t been already.

2 of my most recent Bloom pieces to keep me company while I navigate this FB mess. In the meantime, I’ll keep painting and posting here, Fb’s loss is my blogs gain!

🎨 on!!!

Anne

The Process

My previous blog post was a great video about the process of a castle, this wont be anywhere near as fancy or put together but showing the process of my then super secret commission I painted this winter. It was a gift for my nephew from his parents, recapturing a special memory of a father & son canoe trip. This is another glimpse into my creative process.

This was a first for me, my first painting with a human in it! For some, figure drawing or portrait painting comes easy, but it is not my favourite thing to do so I generally avoid it. What scares me about portraits is the symmetry of the face and body; faces in general are no my current strength. Nonetheless I did not hesitate, I said yes pretty quickly.

The scenery was spectacular so I had no reservations about capturing the mountains or the water. His easy, releaxed, taking-it-all-in pose is what I knew I had to capture. I was sketching within minutes of getting off the phone. I committed to sending off a few so they could see that I could capture what they were looking for. A few days later I sent them off for approval.

I was happy that I had the canvas in stock and could begin right away. My intention was to grid the photos; gridding is a tool used by artists that places a 3×3 grid over the reference image to help balance scale and perspective. I am a huge fan of gridding, it allows me to accurately recreate the image in proportion as I learn to be more comfortable with perspective drawing/sketching. If you saw my previous blog post, I returned to the grid reference after every stage to keep it proportioned. This one, as it turned out, was very different.

My process generally looks like this: evaluate the image, pick a canvas, prime it, grid it and get to work drawing. With this piece I was combining 2 images of the landscape with his relaxed easy pose. When it was time to grid it, I didn’t.

It was the first time I could actually see the shapes on the canvas! So one Saturday night I sketched the whole thing on the canvas using my watercolour pencils. In one 45 minute session, the guts of the painting went down on the canvas! It was an amazing and unexpected experience.

The sketches can look wonky but I knew it was ok, a base of lines to work from.

I loved the challenge of this piece and I am very proud on how it turned out. It was wrapped with TLC and delivered on time and in time for his birthday.

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my process and the evolution of this special piece.

🎨 on!!

Something Fun

Here is a little video my friend Choleena put together for me! She is the awesome artist webmaster who helped me redesign my website earlier this year. When I shared with her that I always take a lot of pictures of the process along the way, she suggested a little video..and here it is!

This was the favorite castle from an epic trip in July of 2016! This painting of Eileen Donan Castle was a lot of firsts for me as an artist and I absolutely love the way it turned out! It was a surprise Christmas gift for my Sister and travel companion and I managed to keep it a secret for 3 months! My sister and I loved this castle, and even though it was raining that day we managed to have a grand time exploring the castle with one of the onsite tour guides. We were even shown some hidden rooms and hallways away from the many tourists! Such a great day! They also had the best giftshop!

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed making this piece of art! The awesome music is

Achaidh Cheide – Celtic by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100340
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Choleena can be found at Choleena.com

Paint on!

Anne

More from The Garden Series

Looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift? I might be able to help!

The collection is called Mom’s Garden and they are mainly 8”x8” acrylic on canvas colourful garden scenes.

Mom’s Garden #2 8″x8″ Acrylic on Canvas$65

Check out the available artworks menu on my website for all the current pieces. I will be uploading more as they are completed so be sure to check in often.

Shipping within Canada can be arranged in time for Mother’s Day. Please don’t hesitate to contact me through the website or on Facebook.

I’ve also uploaded a few more pieces in Garden Series too! Prices and sizes are with each piece!

If you are looking for a custom piece from either collection please get in touch to discuss your options!

http://www.annescanvas.com

🎨 on!