Total Art Soul - for artists

" You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. "
C. S. Lewis

Gift Ideas for poor creative souls (4)

Posted by: Cathy

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I've lumped together a couple of similar ideas here because you need much the same materials. I like these because you can use recycled or natural materials which are inexpensive.  You also don't need many skills to be able to do these and it's relatively quick.

For this first idea you'll need:-

- a vase (straight ones are easiest)

- glue that will stick on glass

- strings of beads (these could be old jewelry you have lying around) or you could string beads yourself

All you need to do is attach them to the vase using the glue and hey presto!


For this idea you need all of the above except the beads, but some gorgeous handmade paper. You simply measure the circumference of your vase and cut your paper.  Put glue all over the paper, evenly and don't miss any areas and then attach to the glass ensuring there are no air bubbles by smoothing it out with your hands.  Et voila!

2 very inexpensive gift ideas I'm sure you'll agree.  Now who would not be happy receiving one of these! :-)


For tutorials on how to market yourself online, go here.

What's the best way to sell online?

Posted by: Cathy

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Whenever I say that art should not be JUST about selling, I am usually met with a mixed bunch of responses.  Thankfully some of you still think that it's about passion, freedom of expression and doing what you love in life.  Unfortunately, I am also usually met with a barrage of 'you give me shelter and pay my bills and I will stop trying to sell my art' and 'go preach to someone else'.  I am quite shocked at such hositility considering that I spend my entire life trying to help/nurture other artists. Oh, and I'm not writing this to get a bunch of gratitude.  I would just love to hear some opinions.

I feel I have to explain myself.  We set this site up for artists to have a haven, somewhere they can feel inspired and feel that their creativity is nurtured.  THAT'S THE MAIN OBJECTIVE.  Secondary to that, we feel that having recommendations is the best form of advertising and is why we promote the artists rather than them promoting themselves.  Self promotion is hard to swallow for most people and can turn off any potential buyer.  Equally, having a site that's full of links to other websites is uninteresting and is why we don't allow people to JUST post their links.  I feel I have to say JUST in capitals because so often this is misunderstood.  We have nothing against people adding their links to interesting posts/blogs.

What I don't understand, please help me out, is why some people feel that we're doing a bad thing here.   Is it wrong to want to nurture creativity? Is it wrong to give exposure to others? What could be easier, people give us interesting content on our site and we do all the exposing for you! All for free.  You talk passionately about what you love to do and people will enthuse with you.  You will hook people in with your enthusiasm and knowledge, not with  spam.

Another vitally important factor that people forget is that your online reputation is vital. Post you've made 5 years ago are still there in cyber space somewhere and will come back and bite you on the bum.  Sending people spam and aggressive or rude messages is not very professional and will not create a good impression.  I will never buy from you and I too am a potential customer.

I strongly feel that selling anywhere, online or on the high street, is about building/forging relationships.  Most of my paintings (except 2) have been sold to people who know me personally or have had some personal contact with me.  I have been doing this for 9 years and it is still so.  This is why I feel strongly that 'in your face' marketing does not work and is why I have adopted this way of operating this site.  Some of the members here have purchased from other members (including myself) and just proves this point.  Forging relationships works, building trust works, being recommended works.

Meanwhile we can hopefully all enjoy a little commercial free haven where selling is not THE most important factor, be inspired and impart our knowledge.  Smile Who knows where that could lead!


Stripped Naked

Posted by: Cathy

Tagged in: Untagged 


I watched a wonderful program on Matisse last night.  It made me realise that my new series 'stripped naked' was indeed a good idea.  Matisse started out doing relatively constrained and traditional works, paintings that fitted in to what was expected of him at that time.  It wasn't until he had bowel cancer that he started to feel free and started to do the art that was a true expression of himself.

I have felt constrained, conditioned and shackled by what has been expected of me.  People tell you what they want you to paint, parents want to be proud of you, people want to see what they expect to see, this is why people like Matisse were so important because they broke away from all of that.

The series I am working on tries to break away a little bit, but I still feel I'm not going far enough with it, I'm not being brave enough.  I feel like I'm in a straight jacket, I need to break free, I need to find what is deep inside and learn to express it.  I feel frustrated and keep going back to doing what is expected, such is the force of conditioning.

Matisse stripped his work naked. He took away more and more elements, he let color speak for itself, the emotion it creates was enough.  He put colors where most artists would not.  He played with shapes rather than get bogged down with details.

In this series, I am exploring taking elements out, stripping my work naked.  Currently I am taking the color out, letting the shapes do the talking but I need to go much further, much further...

Orchid 1 - oil on canvas

Orchid 2 - oil on canvas

Orchid 3 - oil on canvas




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