Saturday, August 29, 2015

Studio Warehouse Sale

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this but paintings have been selling at a good pace since the official newsletter announcement went out on Wednesday. I am selling off a bunch of older pieces, studies and demos for deeply reduced prices. The fact is I paint and draw almost everyday and many of these paintings have never been to a gallery or have and just never found the right collector.

 I would rather sell them to some appreciative soul than have them sitting in my studio in stacks.
So if you are interested in my work but couldn't afford it you might take a look at what I have for sale. It includes Imaginative and traditional work. All work is sold unframed and I am also offering free shipping in the continental USA. Here is the link to the sale.

If you don't see anything you like right now check back in a few weeks as I will periodically update the sale with more work until the sale deadline.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Artists block

By Armand Cabrera

I see a lot of people starting their art career seem to get over taken with artists block. They define artists block as their ideas seem banal or they have no ideas at all for subjects. It’s an interesting idea but one that ultimately is in control of the artist themselves. I think the problem stems from a misconception about the importance of subject as opposed to handling.

Most artists will tell you that subject matter is unimportant in art. It’s the execution of that subject that has worth, not the other way around. Of course that kind of facility with a medium comes at a steep price for most people. Professionalism requires long hours of boring fundamentals and lots of practice. I find that usually these people are frustrated with their abilities not the lack of ideas. The good news is ability can always be improved.

Every professional artist I know goes through periods of unmotivated creation where everything being done is mediocre or just outright crap. The way to overcome these periods is with discipline focusing on process instead of outcome and finished product. Most professionals I know just continue to work through the slow periods because that work can and usually does lead to breakthroughs. You might even find with enough facility at your fingertips anything is a subject and your problem is solved.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Artist and Their Public Persona

I had an interesting conversation with some people on social media the other day. The gist of it was about being an artist and acting “professionally” on social media by just sticking to art and never letting people know anything about your political or religious views. Sort of the old idea about never bringing up sex, religion or politics in public updated for the age of social media.

The thought goes that to maximize market share you must appear sympathetic to all of your clients no matter what their views or what they say to you over the course of a conversation. The more clients know about you the greater the chance they will find fault with you point of view and cost you potential sales.

I guess that could be true, if that is your only goal in life, it makes sense. Personally I find having a point of view shows my ability to think about things and hold opinions that are important to me and shape me as an artist. The willingness to share those opinions shows I am not afraid of having a conversation about them even with people who hold opposing viewpoints.

I understand the need to keep something of you private but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about pretending to be something you are not, creating a fictitious personality only for the sake of making money. Artists who feel the need to act that way in public says something about their personality too just nothing positive in my opinion. That kind of behavior also makes the assumption that your clients are too stupid and narrow minded to buy your work unless you pretend to be something you are not. And what does that say about your art if you think you have to pretend to sell it? 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Artistic Intent

By Armand Cabrera

“Brush strokes carry a message whether you will it or not. The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it. All the certainties, all the uncertainties, all the bigness of his spirit and all the littleness are in it.” ----- Robert Henri

Intent is often overlooked when creating a painting. Intent is different than an idea for a painting. The idea is subject or narrative of your image but just as important for the image is the why of it. Why make this image?

In my opinion it is intent that drives the creative process and affects the outcome of the final image. Why not make it conscious? I would argue the best paintings an artist can make have a clear intent from their author. The artist has found something to say about the subject being depicted.  There are more utilitarian forms of intent like only painting to make money or painting to be famous or just practicing for improving ones skill but even there knowing the purpose of your work will affect the outcome.

Every artist who has ever attempted to sell their work has had to deal with compromise. Once you put your work up for sale you begin a form of collaboration.  Better to have that collaboration at the beginning of the painting process before the artist actually starts the image than the end.

 At its best all parties respect their roles in the transaction and this allows the artist to willingly accept the work being requested or purchased outright. In its worst form selling art can be a nightmare, it is a job with the artist being little more than the one who renders the idea with little other input into the creation.  Sometimes an artist can be asked to change a finished piece of art to accommodate an interested client. To the degree the intent of the picture is embraced by the artist the better chance that artist has of creating something worthwhile.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

George Inness Quotes on Art

by Armand Cabrera

Most of these quotes come from the Inness biography Life, Art,and Letters Of George Innes which was written by his son in 1917

Details in the picture must be elaborated only fully enough to produce the impression that the artist wishes to produce. When more than this is done, the impression is weakened or lost, and we see simply an array of external things which may be very cleverly painted, and may look very real, but which do not make an artistic painting. The effort and the difficulty of the artist is to combine the two, namely to make the thought clear and to preserve the unity of impression.

Art is the endeavor on the part of the Mind (Mind being the creative factor) to express through the senses ideas of the great principles of unity

The over love of knowing is a chronic trouble with artists, and produces in their works the appearance of effort and labor instead of that freedom which is the life of truth.
Knowledge must bow to Spirit

The greatness of art is not in the display of knowledge, or in material accuracy, but in the distinctness with which it conveys the impressions of a personal vital force, that acts spontaneously, without fear or hesitation.

We are all the subjects of impressions, and some of us seek to convey the impressions to others. In the art of communicating impressions lies the power of generalizing without losing the logical connection of parts to the whole which satisfies the mind.

Never put anything on your canvas that isn’t of any use; never use a detail unless it means something.

You can only achieve something if you have an ambition so powerful as to forget yourself. 

A picture without passion has no meaning and it would be far better had it never been painted.

Let us believe in Art, not as something to gratify or suit commercial ends, but something to be loved and cherished because it is the handmaid of the spiritual life of the age.