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  • Oops! I did it again...

    I had just put the finishing touches on "The Sum is > The Parts", and thought it might look nice hanging up in our bedroom before finding its Forever Home. Little did I know how PERFECTLY it would match our winter bedspread...

    I swear, this matching colour scheme was completely unintentional! As I hung it, my jaw dropped.

    It's fascinating how the colours of everyday life will sink into your subconscious and affect artistic decisions. Had my bedspread been neon green and hot pink, would that influence the colour palette I chose to work with? I imagine it would!  

    Want to see another freaky example? Check out the photo in my blog Taylor-Made. This painting "Hold me Under" was obviously inspired by our summer bedspread...again, totally unintentional. Clearly I have a knack for interior design (so long as I'm not trying!)

    My kitty Katana looks fabulous all year round :)

    Want something to match your bedroom? Send me an email! I do commissions.  

  • Dollars and Sense – Part Two

    A common question that many artists struggle with: How much should I charge for my work?

    Art supplies are expensive (as I tried to illustrate in Part One of this series), but artists also have to consider the price of further education courses, transportation costs and participation fees for art shows throughout the year, studio space rental fees, and your most precious resource: your time! If you are a full-time artist, you have to factor in the cost of benefits, health care coverage, and vacation pay, too. Few people that enter the fine arts field are able to survive (let alone thrive) as full time artists. Like me, many artists work at a completely separate job and have a very different identity to make ends meet. Geologist by day, painter (and crazy cat lady) by night!

    Again: how much should you charge for your work?

    Obviously, artists want to make sales (so they can create more art!) and they don’t want to discourage people with ‘hefty’ price tags…it’s a delicate balance to strike. Many artists haven’t done a particularly good job at justifying their price tags, and I think many consumers are unaware that the manufacturing costs for original artwork can be so extreme. 

    If you are in love with a piece of art but can’t afford it, I highly encourage you to talk to the artist about it! They will be flattered by your compliments and who knows…perhaps you two could work out a deal! Belinda Fireman offers art rentals for her paintings (a great concept which I might adopt in the future! Check it out: belindafireman.wordpress.com). Many artists can afford to be flexible with their payments and/or prices (so long as you’re not a dick about it)

    Chances are, many artists feel a tinge of guilt requesting the prices they do---BUT THEY SHOULDN’T! A lot of time, effort, and love went into creating that piece of art. Don’t make them feel crappy about earning a living wage.

    If you are an artist struggling with charging an appropriate value for your work, just remember these two weird facts to avoid any guilty feelings:

    This tiger shark (preserved in formaldehyde and displayed in a tank, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living) was purchased by Steven Cohen, an American hedge fund manager and 106th richest person in the world, for $12 million in 1991! Artist (pictured here): Damien Hirst. Damien was not a “starving artist” who rose to international stardom…he was sponsored and his famous piece was fully commissioned by Charles Saatchi, an art enthusiast and British businessman (also the owner of the world’s largest advertisement agency in the 1980’s. Current net worth: $100 million).

    Do you have any millionaire/billionaire sugar-daddies to help your artwork make international headlines? Neither do I!   

    This large, colourful abstract painting by famous German artist Gerard Richter, titled Abstract Bild, sold to an anonymous bidder for £30.4 million in 1986 (equivalent to ~$46 million US today). “The records keep being broken and every time my initial reaction is one of horror even if it’s actually welcome news. But there is something really shocking about the amount,” Richter said. (No kidding! At least he has remained humble about his fame and fortune.)

    Perhaps you found this blog depressing, but that was not my intention! I was merely showing that people are willing to pay for the artwork they enjoy, even if the art seems absurd to some, even if the price is absurd to some. Keep believing in yourself and don’t get discouraged!  

    Related blog entries:

    Prices are about to increase (and I'm not talking about oil)

    Taylor-made Commissions

  • Commission Complete!

    Commission Complete!

    The latest gigantic commission painting 'Easy Come, Easy Go' was hung up in its new space, and it looks GREAT! I'm so happy with how the orange and yellows coordinate with the Ottoman. I swear, this isn't an advertisement from an interior design magazine (although perhaps it should be?)

    Would you be interested in a custom-made painting to complement your home? If so, check out this blog post: Taylor-Made

  • Taylor-Made

    Taylor-Made

    This is my bedroom. One of the great joys of creating your own artwork can be rotating paintings from room to room, constantly changing the look of things! This painting is from 2014's collection, Hold Me Under, and it just so happens to match our current bedspread perfectly. 

    Did you know, you could have an original, custom painting like this for your very own home? 

    Here's how it works:

    1. Contact me at: taylor.olson86@gmail.com to book an appointment

    2. We review the space together, talking about lighting, favourite colours, textures, and artistic preferences. I will suggest a canvas size to work with and will shop for all the necessary materials. Once I am prepared to start working, I will forward you the receipt for reimbursement (consider it a deposit against your final product!)

    3. When it is 99% complete, we will review the painting together. Once it has been approved, I will apply all the finishing touches: varnish, hanging wire, signature. 

    4. The finished painting will be delivered to your home and we all live happily ever after!  

    The best part about commission work is: It costs the same! I will not charge anything extra above and beyond my current price matrix (Yes, I have a formula). You can have something special, custom-made, and unique to fit your space without breaking the bank. And, of course, 25% of your purchase will be donated to charity! 

    "I think the collectors have made an enormous contribution, not only to the market but to painters themselves... These people that buy, that set standards, make everyone else itch to emulate." - Philip Johnson, American architect and founder the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

  • One Classy Baby

    One Classy Baby

    When my pregnant friend asked me for a commission piece for her baby's new room, I was thrilled! Armed with four blank canvasses and a mosaic teddy bear for colour inspiration, I quickly got to work (her due date is early March! Hard deadlines are the best kind of motivation). It was the first time I had worked on a set of paintings before, and I quite enjoyed the process! Bouncing from canvas to canvas was good fun, and I could leave one layer alone to dry while I moved on to the next (something I have always struggled with). 

    As I have recently learned, newborns don't comprehend shapes and figures very well...but they find colour contrasts very attractive. Hopefully the wee babe will find comfort gazing into the light and dark shades of these pieces (and will give Mommy something nice to stare at during 4 AM feedings!). 

    This set is titled "New Beginnings", for obvious reasons. 

    Love, 

    Auntie Tay

    Xoxoxo

  • Metallica!

    Metallica!

    Working with metallics is a relatively new experience for me. I have always loved how they look in paintings – so rich and luxurious! In the past, my attempts to incorporate metallic paint into my art has usually ended terribly… the colours became very dull and finish was matte-like…definitely NOT the effect I was looking for!

    Making metallic paint look subtle (but awesome) has been my steepest learning curve to date. Even after learning these tips from the lovely Samantha daSilva, it is still a struggle:

    1) Never mix them with opaque acrylics!

    2) Student-quality acrylics dry VERY pale and subtle, so you end up using more…it’s better to invest in higher pigment artist quality paints when working with metallic hues

    3) Powdered metallics are great for intensity, but tend to float above the water/paint base until it’s dry…so be careful not to remove it when attempting to lift paint away from the canvas (or drip it off the edges!)

    4) In some cases, old makeup can be an appropriate substitute! (Almost makes me wish I never tossed my lime-green eyeshadow from my teenage years!) 

    Here are a few images from my latest WIP, showing the 'before' (powder sprinkle) and 'after' (sprayed with water)

    ...it reminds me of T-1000 from Terminator 2!