I used to do a lot of hitchhiking around North America in the late sixties and early seventies. A lot of people did, fellow hippies, if you will; Dead Heads, and the like. And because there were a lot of people hitchhiking, particularly along 101, it would not be an infrequent occurrence that there would be a dozen or more people standing around a freeway entrance. In towns, like Berkeley, there could be twice that many. When a driver determined to offer one of us a ride you could see him (or her) scan the crowd as they drove by. When the driver made their selection they would pull over and let one of us travelers in.
It was obvious to me that in order to get a ride in any reasonable length of time I would have to do something to get noticed. I am not female, and I almost never hitchhiked with a woman. That alone put me half-way down the candidate list. To compensate for my lack of allure I choreographed some dance moves for myself that always ended with a snap of the wrist and an extended thumb. Mimicking Fred Astaire didn't guarantee me a ride, but it got me noticed. Plus, it was more fun than just standing there waiting, listening to my hair grow.
Announcing the Century Watercolor Extravaganza! The faster you go, the cheaper it gets. So, don’t hesitate, click away and buy.
If you want to take a moment to find out what you are buying I will explain the “Century Watercolor Extravaganza!” or “100 in 100”. For one hundred days I will complete a watercolor painting or a colored pencil drawing. Upon completion I will post an image of the artwork on my website, one painting or drawing every day. Each painting will be made available for purchase the morning after it is completed. The first painting will be offered for $1.00, the second for $2.00, and so on, the last will be priced at $100.00. Now you see why it’s the “Century Watercolor Extravaganza”.
I didn’t originate this concept. Jolie Guillebeau is a creative and enterprising artist who originally conjured 100 in 100. It’s a way of shaking the tree. Of course, we are trying to reach more collectors, but there is the added benefit of putting the demand on myself to do a painting every day. It’s kind of like speed chess. It’s a different and challenging way to approach my work. I am eager to see where these hundred paintings will take me.
Anyone else up for some fun? If so, get on the list. The Extravaganza begins June 16. I will send you the link for the daily painting as soon as it is uploaded. Of course, I encourage you to share the links with everyone you have ever known...well, maybe not everyone. You be the judge.
Hooked on Art
I remember very clearly the first time that I put brush to paper and was awestruck by what happened. I was ten years old and was in an art class with Lydia DePole, a talented and inspiring artist. She showed me a few techniques and then told me to paint from memory. I had been living on a small Fijian island for many years, so the first thing that sprung into my mind was a palm tree on a beach with a wave coming in. Lydia said to me, “Don’t think about it; just start painting.” I dipped my brush into some paint and quickly painted the outline of the palm tree. Then I moved on to the water, and what surprised me was how real the crashing wave looked. It was like magic to me, I didn’t know how it had happened. I was taken with the entire process; that I could actually paint something that reflected what I envisioned in my mind. This was the beginning of my love affair with painting.
I have been painting ever since. I am so glad that I got hooked on art at such a young age. I had many gifted teachers over the years, but this first moment with Lydia I consider my touchstone moment. By the time I was a teenager I knew that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to live with another artist and create art together. When you know what you love to do, you just want to do it.
Decades later I am doing exactly what I imagined. I live and work with my partner, Jeff. We collaborate on projects, talk about art, share a visual language, and an appreciation of the beautiful. Jeff is an accomplished goldsmith, woodworker, and sculptor. He also has enough technical agility to build my website and blog, and to get this newsletter out to you. We see eye to eye in terms of design, and I always trust his input. Together we make a great team.
Now I am at a crossroads moment. I have primarily sold my art locally through galleries, shows, and private art events, and though I have had a website for several years I have not really used it to extend my reach. This year feels like the time to get a lot more expansive. The first step in this process was a beautiful new website which Jeff has recently completed. The next step is a fun, informative, and lively blog, which will be up by the time you read this.
Comment from Jeff...
I am reminded of Forrest Gump’s maxim, “Shrimping is hard”. That’s how I am feeling about writing a newsletter. It’s hard.
I mean, anyone can pound out a bunch of words on their keyboard. But it’s not so easy to write something so engaging, so compelling, so scintillating that people hang onto your every word and eagerly await your next post.
I know that if you want people to read what you write, you have to tell a story. To that end I enrolled in Malcolm Gladwell’s online course in writing. He is a great communicator and storyteller, and I thought I would get a few tips from the master. I didn’t know that there was a course assignment that required the authoring of an eight thousand word article for submission to The New Yorker or some similar publication. What have I gotten myself into? I just wanted a few words of advice.
So, what am I doing writing for Nara’ s Newsletter you may wonder. I am Nara’s partner. We work as a team quite a bit, and because I don’t paint I am authoring this. You may be thinking, “You don’t write, either,” to which I respond, “Yeah, I know, but I’m working on it”.
The purpose of this newsletter, and Nara’s website, and the blog she will be publishing soon is to find more collectors and sell more art. You probably knew that, ‘cause you’re sharp. But don’t worry; we don’t expect you to buy any art just because you are subscribed. This is a “no pressure” newsletter. I’m just practicing my wordsmithing and hoping to tickle your fancy enough so that you’ll share it with your rich relatives.
Oh, and if you didn’t subscribe, or you would like to unsubscribe just reply to this email and in the text area type an 8,000 word article, edited and proofed, and ready for submission (No copying).