Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Starting an Art Collection...

I was asked to post some thoughts on
“Starting an Art Collection”.
These are only my musings on the topic! If you're
looking for advice on collecting from a business
perspective, you should check out Invaluable's blog
In Good Taste which features the latest trends
in art and antiques and the people asking me to
post my opinion.

First ask yourself why you are collecting.  If you
think you are investing in art with the intention
of making a profit I suggest doing some real
legwork, study up on what’s trending, do your
research and you may need to hit some
cosmopolitan cities and find yourself a gallery
you can work with.  This is out of my realm of
information and I wish you luck!

Since I chose to make a living painting and doing
it my way, without the support of galleries my
view point is a little lower key.   I am speaking to
the average (and above average!) person who
likes art, and I also understand you may be
for the perfect piece to go above your
sofa and that
does not offend me!  
But find a piece you love.  
I believe you should purchase art you love and
surround yourself with what speaks to you and
touches your soul.   Your purchases reflect who
you are so take your time and look around. 
Plenty of great art and personable artists can
be found at local art shows and at your local art
association.  There are also smaller, well informed
galleries in every town who often feature local
work.   From the emerging young artists to us
older established artists.  You can find a broad
price range to suit your  budget.  I believe if you
can possibly afford it, purchase an original piece
of work.  I offer layaway if the timing is not right,
rather a layaway than miss out on a painting you
love.  If original paintings are simply out of your
budget, check into the artists prints. 

You should still do a little research and ask a few
questions.  What style do you like?  Are you drawn
to certain subjects?   Do you prefer a medium?  
When you find art you like you should still ask a
few questions…   Do you see a style, is there a
continuity in all their paintings.   I want people
to see a painting of mine and say…
Oh, that’s an Andy Smith.
How long have they been painting?  I can
seriously say there is a huge difference in my
work 30 years ago compared to today.   My own
understanding of the medium gained from daily
painting.  Do they have a love for what they are
doing?  I hope you can tell that when you meet
me!   Is the artist making an effort to earn a
living, working at building a name?   Google
the artist and see what comes up.  Your purchase
will not stand a chance of someday increasing in
value if someone is not working at it.   How
many paintings are they printing?  How large is
the editions?  What type and quality prints are
they making?   Who is printing the prints?  Are
they printing the full edition?   Is the artist
or gallery forthcoming with this information?
Is the artist willing to talk to you?  You may
ask me most anything and if I don’t know
my wife will!  
In conclusion… my advice: buy what you
can afford and surround yourself with art
you love!  
And if I am lucky... you love my

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Checking In...

I spent late last night finishing up a painting
started last weekend.
untitled - suggestions welcome!

Today was spent packing, getting the camper
hooked up and a few errands.
Penn State setup is tomorrow!  I will be demonstrating
all week so make yourself known to me!!

Monday, July 11, 2016


The first stage of my commission is finished. I always start
with a hand-drawn sketch on paper the size it will be 23x17"
By drawing it I am able to greater understand it.  Mentally
work out the problem areas, I do not rush this stage.
This drawing took 4 days... check out the fence!
My client ok'd it, we talked about the plantings around it
and she does not want to see sidewalk or street in the
foreground and wants a better view of under the porch with
the front door.

This is a school house in Columbia that is now an Art Gallery.
Next step is to re-draw it on my watercolor paper.  No tracing,
I will re-draw it!!  I need to put this project on hold since I
am packing tomorrow for the State College show.

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the ArtsState College, PA      FREE!
Thursday - Saturday from 10am to 8pm
Sunday from 11am to 4pm
Space A-21 on Allen Street

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016 Still Life #13

5"x 5"  Original Watercolor ~ A Painting A Day

This little gem is from Nemours Mansion.
I was interested in the color and shape.

I decided to put paintings from Iceland on hold until
after I am finished with my commission.  I need to study
the landscape and both cannot hold my concentration.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Iceland Study #1

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor ~ A Painting A Day

The thing about Iceland is that its all about the land and
water and mountains.  It was unlike anything I have
seen and it was overcast most of the time I was there.
I want to paint a few just because I should try!
This is near Reykjavik.

Most of my day was spent on my commission drawing.
I think since I stopped to paint the Iceland piece I will
need another full day on the drawing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Starting my next commission

Time to start my commission.  Here I am working on the
drawing.  I took lots of photos of my subject: a school in
Columbia, PA that is currently an artist gallery. My sketch
paper is the size the painting will be, this is where I work out
all the problems, get the feel for the building.  This phase will
take me two days then my client looks at it and makes any
changes.  So I will be glued to my drawing table!
I am going to try to get in a Painting A Day somewhere
in-between but not today!

We are back home after a fantastic family vacation to Iceland.
A week filled with lupines, volcano's, geysers, hot springs,
waterfalls, glaciers and wild landscape.  Lots of lambs, horses,
birds and puffins.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


This makes my third painting finished this week
They all just needed one more day of work so I
focused on one each day this week.  Even managed
to get them framed. Thank you for all the title
suggestions for the other ones.  I plan to pick
one!  Titles and prices when I return from vacation.

Here is today's painting.
framed 14x18 untitled.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Today brought more glass cutting, hooked up the new
cable boxes for my father-in-law.  Then painted the rest
of the day.  Below is the results of my days labor!

Untitled (again, open to suggestions)  I have a "thing"
for church pews, especially when the light shines
across them.  This was in a church in Cumberland
MD.  We went to see the Tiffany stain glass windows
they had, which was a wonderful collection and worth
the drive.  This pew was in a side room.
framed 17x21"

Monday, June 20, 2016

this week...

We leave on Thursday for a family vacation to Iceland!
I had nothing to do with picking the location, I hate the
cold...but the scenery will be fantastic.  It will be interesting
what I see to paint.  Don't worry the house is not empty,
again my house sitter will be moving in and Linda's dad
lives here, as I said before, the house sitter is here more than
we are!

Rather than work on miniature paintings I have several larger
unfinished paintings that were started over the past few
weekends that I am going to finish and post.  Today I got a
haircut, went to find cheap flip flops for the Blue Lagoon!
Dropped off moulding to be cut for frames, finished today's
painting and cut some glass.  Oh... took a 32 mile bike ride
this morning.

Here is the painting, untitled if you have some suggestions.
framed to 14x18 (from Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne PA)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Check in

Its Friday!  Today I painted a bit, did some shopping with
Linda and packed the van for tomorrows show.
You can find me in Allentown tomorrow...

Art in the Park ~ Free
Saturday, June 18 from 10am to 5pm
Held in West Park, 1640 W Turner St Allentown, PA
My space is #101 near the center
Stop and say hello!

FREE... several old burlap pieces about
3'x12' I used them years ago as show panel
covers. They have been in the basement and
need to go. Someone may have a crafty use
for them...  
Pick up only!