Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art

Paint Mentally While Observing Your Subject

Memory Exercises

We are often in the habit of glancing very quickly back and forth between viewing the subject and looking at our canvas. This enables us to judge how closely we captured what we see, but it hinders our ability to strengthen our memory. It also hinders our ability to filter the unnecessary out. We become dependent and as a result are more apt to simply replicate the scene rather than create an interpretation of the scene. [...]

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Build your own value

Be an Artist: Donít Settle for the Status Quo

Be impatient. Donít wait. Take your art and art marketing into your own hands. Build your own value. Produce art that others will gladly pay for. Enable yourself to dream. And take initiative to act on those dreams. [...]

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If you do this assignment, you will take the first step in moving your career or art to the next level.

An Assignment for You

Iíll be the first to admit that goal setting has never been my strong point in the past. But I have reached the point where I want to take more control of my business. I want to grow it, not just get by... [...]

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If you create works that are authentic, you can find an audience.

Sage Covered Hills

The point of the article is that you should not worry about anyoneís voice but yours. Create what inspires you. Create authentic and honest work. Be true to yourself and your art. [...]

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Keith Bond's continued discussion on having confidence in your artistic abilities.

Confidence, Part 2

Just like muscles need exercise - just like you need to constantly practice your craft - your confidence also needs exercise. [...]

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You need enough confidence to believe in yourself and know that you can express yourself through your work.


You need enough confidence to believe in yourself and know that you can express yourself through your work. Yet, you need enough self-doubt to be humble and realize the need for constant improvement and learning. [...]

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Donít let fear become the saboteur that hinders your career.

The Saboteur

Many of us put off doing certain things out of fear. Iím not talking about putting off menial tasks like cleaning the studio or doing your book-work. For most of us, procrastination of those things is not fueled by fear. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's follow-up post, pain of discipline vs. the pain of regret or disappointment.

The Pain of Disappointment

ďBut what if...I fail?Ē This is your fear talking. Let me turn it around, ďBut what succeed?Ē Is it worth the gamble? Is it worth the sacrifice? Is it worth the discipline? [...]

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ďWe must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.Ē

The Pain of Discipline

You really do only have 2 options. You can have the discipline to pursue your art - which requires sacrifices, or you can look back years later and wish that you had. You will have regret or disappointment in the dream you never dared pursue. [...]

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Keith Bond shares some helpful tips to develop your emotional voice in your art

Cultivating Emotion

Spend time developing your emotional voice, coupled with your technical development. If you do, your work will have much more meaning. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses how important both passion and mastery are to your art

Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Your Art

Some artists think that pure expression and feeling is all you need to create great art. It isnít. Other artists spend years training and master technique, but fail to find their voice. A pity. [...]

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Ketih Bond shares some insight on how to keep your creativity fresh.

Safe, New and Risky

Maybe you arenít in a rut. Maybe you still find enjoyment with your subject, but you want to continue to explore and try new things to keep your creativity fresh and alive. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's advice on how to find your personal style

The Most Fulfilling Art

So, in short, find what your muse is telling you. Explore, experiment, try new things, but be honest with yourself. Create the works that give you the most fulfillment and satisfaction. Look at your work and see if you can identify your voice. Create the works that are you. Be you. [...]

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Ketih Bond shares some advice on how to express meaning in your painting.

How to Understand What You Want to Say

I have found that if I spend a few minutes trying to articulate on paper what I see and feel, then I gain greater clarity and understanding. Searching for words helps me understand what I am feeling. You will find that your understanding as well as your emotional response will deepen over time. You will begin to respond on multiple levels to your subject. You will begin to have a relationship with your subject. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses whether you should purchase or prepare your own canvas.

Should You Stretch Your Own Canvas?

I often get questions regarding whether to purchase or prepare your own canvas. The truth is there are pros and cons of each. Even still, you will save a lot of money if you learn how to prepare your own canvas. [...]

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Keith Bond shares why you should keep all aspects of your art business separate

Compartmentalizing Your Art

How do you compartmentalize your art Ė or do you? [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how to be a giver with your art.

The Giving Artist, The Taking Artist

My intent is that you look at yourself and at your own motivation. What does art mean to you? Why do you create? What role do you think art has in society? Do you share your art or just sell your art? [...]

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Keith Bond shares how to use studies as hand-made thank you cards

Hand-made Thank You Cards

I (and many others) have suggested that you should send ďThank YouĒ cards on a regular basis. Most of the time I send a card that has an image of one of my paintings printed on it. But recently, I wanted to send something a bit more personal and significant. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the completing a plein air painting outdoors vs indoors

The Two Plein Air Artists

When painting on your own, the only rule is to do what works best for you to achieve your vision. Be it completing the work on location; finishing it in the studio; or using the study to inspire a new, larger studio work. But again, the questions. Should there be a standard at an organized event? What should that standard be? Where do you stand on the issue? Or does it not even matter? [...]

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Keith Bond shares how organization can foster a creative atmosphere

Benefits of Being Organized

Becoming organized is liberating and allows you to focus on the given task at hand rather than being distracted by other tasks. During your art creating time, you can focus all your energy on creating. During your business time, you can focus on bookkeeping, marketing, organization, emails, cataloging, etc. [...]

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Ketih Bond shares some tips on how to bridge the conversation with potential art collectors

Bridge the Conversation

There are countless opportunities when you will be asked specific questions about your art (whether by the media Ė including local newspapers or national magazines; curators; gallery owners; collectors; students; or Joe Neighbor). I recently learned a few principles that I wish I had realized long ago. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses the many ways to keep your art career thriving.

Irrigating the Fields of Art

There will be times when your river seems to be flooding and you will be creating and selling Ďtil your heartís content. But there will be other times when droughts come and your river will be reduced to a trickle or may dry up completely for a season. If you have a network of irrigation canals tied into a reservoir, you can still find success and income even if your artwork isnít selling as well. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses the two different ways to share your art story

How versus Why

As you speak or write about your art, as you share your story, remember tell WHY, donít worry about telling HOW. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the "Sight-size Method"

Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Sight-size Method

The problem with sight-size is that if you have become dependent upon it, you may not have the confidence (or worse yet, the ability) to accurately draw something that isnít exactly as you see it. You become dependent upon copying. Creativity suffers. Works become technical craft and less about feeling, mood, and expression. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses keeping values simple and linking shapes into a larger abstract shape for a stronger composition

Shape Welding

So, the lesson for today is to see the values in your subject. Organize them into 3 to 5 values. And weld like value shapes together to create fewer shapes. Yet, within each shape, you can have all the color, texture, detail, interest that you want. Just donít lose the integrity of each shape Ė which lies in its value. [...]

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Keith Bond shares some tips on how to keep your palette organized

An Organized Palette Leads to Intuitive Color Mixing

Mixing through intuition doesnít mean that I resort to formulas, either. It merely means that I know by heart where the needed color is on the palette. There are many challenges to painting. Searching for the colors, because they arenít organized, simply adds unnecessarily to the challenges. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses changes or reworking in a painting

Everything is Subject to Change

Remember in your work this one important principle. Everything is subject to change if it will improve your work... [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the benefits of starting strong in your paintings

The Strong Beginning

So again, I encourage you to take the time to have the strongest beginning possible. By the way, taking the time to do a thumbnail before you put paint to canvas will contribute to a stronger beginning. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how each painting decision determines the next

Understanding the Why Informs the How

You are faced with many decisions as you approach a painting. First is what to paint. Second, and probably most important, why do you want to paint it? Once this second question is answered comes the many Ďhowí questions. These Ďhowí questions involve things like composition, value, color, drawing, edges, just to name a few. Each of these principles is interdependent and a change in one will affect each of the others. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's discussion on the "center of interest" in a painting

The Center of Interest isnít Always Your Subject

It is the interaction between characters and the plot line that were composed that create the center of interest. Sometimes if you merely try to copy things just as you see them in front of you, you will have no center of interest, because you arenít composing a story. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the advantages of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

Donít Just Play it Safe

The purist in me says that you should always paint what inspires you most, even if that includes pushing yourself and tackling something more difficult. But the realist in me recognizes that it is very difficult to do that when you feel the pressure to perform. ĎSafeí looks very tempting. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses why you should still create, even if you're "not in the mood"

Iím Not in the Mood

If you want to be a professional artist, you will have deadlines, commitments, and maybe even demonstrations. You will need to perform and will need to show up to do the work. Even if you have no audience such as the demo, you cannot just blow off your responsibilities when you ďdonít feel like paintingĒ. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the mastery of greens

Green - It's Everywhere

To recap, mastery of greens only comes through careful observation and practice. Avoidance is not the answer. You may not paint a summer landscape which is nearly entirely green. But you will still need to understand green to paint a winter scene which seems devoid of green, a portrait of a woman wearing white, or a still life with teapots and eggs. You need not be a master to paint greens convincingly. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how to speak about your art to art collectors

Geology and Art

Yes, many of us like to talk about art and many collectors like to learn about it. But remember, they arenít experts. Speak on their level. With time, they will become more experienced and well-versed in art principles. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the pros and cons of painting large on location.

Painting Large en Plein Air

So I am completely satisfied working both plein air and in the studio. They serve different purposes. I can say and do different things. Yet, they are interdependent. Each discipline leads to learning and growth in the other. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses spontaneity and freshness in a plein air painting and how to capture that in your studio.

There Must Be Another Reason

My plein air work is about responding emotionally to the moment. But, I have realized that my studio work enables me to explore other ideas, push compositional choices, or push color to create a mood. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's continued discussion on his workshop series

Pieces of the Puzzle

ďTeachers open the door. You enter by yourself.Ē [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's part 2 in his series about workshops

Learn To Fish - Part 2 in a series about Workshops

So, when you decide you are ready to take a workshop, determine not to seek out fishes, but rather seek out an artist or artists who will teach you how to fish. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how workshops can help improve your art skills at any level

Workshops - An Investment in Yourself

So, some of you may have painted for many years. You have taken workshops in the past. You might even teach them now. But if you have reached a plateau or you simply want to understand art at a higher level, then consider attending another workshop. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how to feel inspired when creating commissioned art


Is there a way for you to feel inspired and excited about the work and still fulfill a clientís request for a commission? Can you do it without feeling like you are selling out to commercialism? Can you maintain your artistic freedom and integrity while doing a commission? [...]

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