Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Throwing Shi...err...Stuff, yah, Throwing Stuff!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Getting Recognized...(Part 2)

In Retrospect...

In reviewing my stats as I resurrect my blog, I couldn't help but notice that one post stands out as my most frequently viewed. After re-reading it, there are a few changes that I'd like to make, and some info that I'd like to add...

 I think I'm still having some volume issues, so turn it up!

We Are So Screwed!

It's The End of the World as We Know It...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Don't Sell yourself Short... (or you might not sell anything at all !)

(You need to turn your volume way up... )

If any one can help me with that volume problem, please let me know below. It's fine until I upload it to YouTube.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Opening A Discussion on "Making A Living As An Artist"

My blogging has been a slow process, documenting my journey for the last seven years. Recently, I have decided to update my methods. I now have a YouTube channel which will be another way of sharing what I've learned over the years. Below is my first attempt at sharing how to make a living as an artist. Please check it out!

As usual, I would love some feed back. Comments, suggestions, requests...
Please fill up my comment section below.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Finally, Some New Work...

Rough Winter...

It really was a tough winter. ( and last couple of years...) It started last summer where fatigue had taken over my life. I was supposed to start at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University In Boston in the Fall. (That's a long damn name for a college! How are they going to fit that on a sticker for the back window of your car?) I had some huge shows planned and thought that I'd come up with what little money that I hadn't received in grants and scholarships without a problem. I had had some fatigue issues as well as some joint and muscle pain over the course of the last few years, but had been brushing them off as a distracting annoyance. Doctors hadn't found anything, and they were running out of tests. Through a series of mishaps my big shows were falling through one by one. By the time August came around the heat induced fatigue that I was feeling had pretty much shut my ability to work down. Feeding myself and showering were about as much as I could handle and any slight act quickly became too exerting and ended up in a much needed nap time.

A couple of weeks into August I started dropping my paint brush... A lot. I could barely hold onto it. And, when I did hold it it felt like my wrist was broken. The Doctor scheduled an MRI and the SMFA ( that fits on a sticker!) deferred my enrollment. In September I started classes again at the local community college so that I wouldn't have to start paying back my fafsa loans. One class was a lecture series that I thought would be an easy A. We sat and looked at slides of Art and discussed them for three hours a week. Trying to look at that screen and take notes in a dimly lit classroom made me realize that I couldn't see. No, really, like, at all! I hadn't read much since finals. Over the course of the summer, my vision had not just faded, but had become lousy, and the light from the projector and the glare from the screen made it worse. It was October before I got in for that MRI. The conclusion; MS. The diagnosis left me reeling for a bit. How can you be an artist when you can't hold a paintbrush, or see what the hell you're doing? 

When you start believing that everything is going to go wrong, it does. A couple weeks later, my dog died, then I lost my health insurance a week before I was supposed to meet with the Neurologist, then something else, and something else... ( things too personal to tell to strangers reading my blog, but if you want to buy me a beer I'd be happy to sit and talk about it for a while. ) 

Ironically, during my series of interviews with the Museum School, I had a discussion with one of the admissions counselors about how I was an Artist with a lack of angst. I told them that my life was good and that my work, unlike some artists, was not an emotional release, but a haven, my safe place, a dream. I think  that there may be some angst now.

I have never told this to anyone, but when I can't paint, I end up in a dark place, a very dark and scary place. I start to think of ways to get out of that place. When I go to bed at night in this very dark and scary place, and know that I'm going to wake up in the same very dark and scary place, I start to wish that I just won't wake up, that not waking up is my way out. I don't ever contemplate killing myself, but wouldn't hesitate to welcome death should it knock on my door. This is a place that I've been to many times before; standing on the edge, looking out over the darkness. It is this place, my fear of it, and contempt for it, that gave me the courage to say,"Fuck it!", and ignore others disapproval of my choice to live as an artist, to ignore their telling me to grow up and get a real job, to ignore the fear of possible homelessness and self-imposed poverty, and embark on a path towards my dream. This time, to deal with all the shit, the heartache, the worry, and uncertainty, the fear of losing it,  I stepped back from the edge and painted.

I can't see a pencil line, so there are no sketches. The color in my left eye has faded to near grays. My hand throbs as I hold a brush, my knees and feet ache as I stand on the concrete floor of my studio. Yet, I stand there, with a patch over my left eye, a cane in my left hand, and my paintbrush duct taped to my right, and I fucking paint. My whole life I have dreamt of being an artist. When someone asks me what I do for a living, it is what I tell them. Until that moment where the pain didn't matter, that moment when you're willing to lie on a cold concrete floor and paint with your canvas lying next to you because you are no longer able to stand. The moment where you have to lift your legs out of bed and place your burning, tingling feet gently on the floor, and walk down stairs slowly, one step at a time, back to that cold hard floor to do it again, and again, and again, to finish your work. Until that moment saying that I was an artist was all lip service. Until that moment I was never truly an artist. But now, I know I've never been anything but. 

If you look back over my blog, you'll see that my painting has never been perfect. It wasn't about the finished product as much as it was about the learning process. Looking at the pictures of my work on here myself, I cringe at some, still like others, and learned a bit from each of them. Betty Carroll Fuller, my painting instructor for two semesters always told me to loosen up. Now, I have no choice. My paintings are a far cry from the idilic little Cape Cod scenes that I painted to sell to tourists. There may now be an underlying darkness. They are abstract. They are bolder than anything that I have tried before. They are of a process that is still evolving. I'm not sure if they are even good yet. But, they are real. They come from somewhere inside and I will face anything that comes my way to get them out. 

Here are some of my recent experiments. They are a far cry from old attempts, yet I can see a logical progression. Please take a look and tell me what you think of them in the comments section.

12" x 12" x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel

Untitled Tryptic 
36" x 10" x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel

24" x 24" x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel

36" x 30" x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel

36" x 24" x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel

(painting at the top:
12" x 12' x 2"
acrylic on mahogany panel)

Thanks for reading!

Let me know what you think.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Increasing Your Visibility on the Internet

When I sat down to start my writing today I had planned on writing about a new style of painting that I have been working with. I was going to put some images up, tell you how I did it, link it to my stores and other websites share the blog with social media, and be done.

The first thing that I did was open my iPhoto application and gather up the pictures. I had been using the news "Photos application for a while but found it way too buggy. So, I decided to switch back to iPhoto the other day when Photos wouldn't let me upload some edited images. I looked at the images in iPhoto and liked them so much more than how they appeared in Photos. I started editing them for todays blog. I decided that since I liked them so much more I'd do a bit more tweaking and use them in my online stores....


Unfortunately, as of late, these types of activities are rushed. I AM "Making a Living As An Artist", finally, and with my recent shows and starting my new Art Business, the business end of things, and everything else for that matter, has been a bit rushed. Today I had an unplanned day off from selling. Last night when I went to bed I had checked the weather. Thunderstorms all day. I decided to get up early and check again hoping that it may change. I hadn't. I got out of bed anyway. Since I wasn't out selling, I figured that this was as good a time as any to catch up. I edited the photos, started to upload them and when I got to my online store, realized just how much I had brushed over in my haste.

(The links from the following post have broken down, I no longer use Yessy to sell, I have my own online store now, CapeNative.com , the information however is still valid and applies to most of the current popular sites. Please read and feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below.)

Staying On the Radar

(Keeping your work on the host sites front page)

The examples that I'm going to give you are based on the site that I'm using, Yessy. 

As you may be able to see above on Yessy's Home Page, "Max Powers Gallery-Greg Lindberg", is right there! If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I've been using them to sell my work for years. So how am I a "NEW" gallery? I cheat! Well, the NFL may call it "cheating", but I call it, "using the rules that are in place to my advantage." You need to be your own Bill Belichick. (Yes, I'm a Pats fan.) Know the rules. Before you list your work a site, read. Use them! Go there, see what they have to offer. Can you use it to your advantage? Read the fine print. On Yessy, I had the opportunity to list as either an artist, or a gallery. The latter allowed more flexability. I went with that. It fit my split personality as an artist. I am Max Powers, But I'm also Greg Lindberg. Even just as Greg Lindberg I paint in several different styles.  So, I have can a Greg Lindberg  "seascapes" gallery, and a Greg Lindberg "still life" gallery. I can have a "Max Powers" gallery. What about a gallery just titled "New Work"? when that works it's way down the page into obscurity, start a new gallery titled "My Latest Work", and viola you're back at the top of page one! Now this does take a little time because you'l have to re-load each work. (Don't worry, I'm going to teach you short cuts.) On Yessy that is the way it works on page one, but page two is also important.

So, now we've got our Name, at least, on page one. Page two is the actual image. You need to keep your artwork on the first or second page! I will show you how to do this in five minutes a day. These tricks will also keep you on the front page of your section! That word should be "sectionS", don't worry I'm going to show you that too.

That's is a really small image. But if you look closely, that yellow sailboat in the upper left hand corner is mine! That position will rarely last long, but you can stay on the first page or two for years by following this simple trick. Only put one painting on the site at a time!!! After that, stand back and watch your traffic. It works the same with Fine Art America, Artsy, and any site where the first filter is "recent works". So don't spend hours sitting there adding all of your artwork to one site all at once. It all depends on how you work. If you create a work, finish it, photograph it, and upload it this will fit with your patern nicely. I DON'T! I work on a series of artwork, there's stuff everywhere, it's usually chaos... I'm going to a show or sale with these works in the morning, I knock stuff over, There is no room to photograph them. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda... Even I can do this! Set up a way of doing it that works for you. Whether you photograph your work one at a time, or fourty-seven at a time, when you load them into your computer (which with the iCloud really isn't even a necessary step any more...) or sit and edit the images, here is what I want you to do:
  • Start a word or pages file for each Artwork. This should include all of the things that the website that you use requires from you. Images, title of the work, size info, a description... Don't just say picture of a boat. If the site that you are using allows you/ limits to use a certain number of characters know that and tailor it. If your using multiple sites know which requires what, and in the file keep a rendition of it for each. It does not have to look pretty. All that you are going to use this for is cutting and pasting. If you have your own online store, make sure in you artwork info that you include that this work is also available at your site and give the address. Mine all say right under the description of the artwork,"*** Also available at CapeNative.com ***" You may need to keep a separate image file as well. If so, start a file on your desktop for each individual artwork. This will make the process flow so much more smoothly than hunting for all the info scattered throughout your computer.
  • Make checking your stats a habit. This way you don't find yourself on the last page! If you miss a day, no big deal, just pick it up again tomorrow. If you can't do it every day. Find out the peak hours on that site. Make sure you do it as close, but prior to, those hours or that day as possible.  You may not need to do it every day. Watch those stats. If you have a slow steady drop in visits or views have number in mind that you don't want to drop below. When it gets close to that number, think about adding another work. Go to your file and cut and paste the info into the appropriate spots and watch your numbers rise. 

Reginald Henry didn't take my advice...

The next step is to get your work in as many categories as the site your on will allow. With Yessy, they allow me three categories to list each artwork in. Stretch. If I have a painting that is a seascape, what are the sub categories allowed? What else does it have in it? Are there categories for color? subject?  Fit it into as many as you can. You never know what filters your next buyer may be using. By using more categories you're exposing yourself to more potential buyers. This also magnifies the appearances of your work in these categories. Below you can see that two of my works show up on the first page of "Landscapes & Nature".

When we narrow it further down to the next filter, "Beach and Ocean", I have Six art works on one page, even though they were uploaded over a series of days. Reginald Henry has six as well but all of them were loaded within a few hours. Over the course of days and weeks his name will move further and further back, whereas my name will still be on page one. There will be different images, but my Name will still be there. As people click back page by page they will eventually find Mr. Henry, but guess what, my name will be there as well. While this doesn't guarantee a sale, it does certainly up my visibility. If we go by percentages, the more people that see you work, the better the odds of selling one.

That's about it for today, my brain hurts. But I still have a whole lot more to say!

Thanks for reading!

Click above to check out my SQUARE store
(I no longer use Yessy, that doesn't mean you shouldn't.)