Friday, April 24, 2015

Fine Art America, Anne Geddes, and Genealogy

If you are interested in fine art, I am sure you have probably seen the Fine Art America website.  If not, you can click here to check it out.  As I was researching ways to learn more about selling my artwork, I saw something about Fine Art America I hadn't seen before so I decided to look into it.  As I did so, I noticed something else that really surprised me.  Anne Geddes, America's favorite baby photographer sells her work on Fine Art America.  That sold me on it so tonight I joined the other artists there and created my own profile, uploading nine (9) of my newest pieces.  A really cool thing about this site is that you can set it to connect and post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts automatically every time you upload a new piece of artwork.  That takes a load off the work of marketing for yourself.  Not only that, the website is free to join, and allows you to sell directly to the buyer through email which keeps it all free for the artist and buyer as far as the website goes.  However, you can also sell through the website and have your art put on everything from greeting cards, to throw pillows, to duvets, and even smart phone cases and more.  And as the artist, you don't have to do anything to make sure the purchaser gets their product.  So, now I am looking forward to seeing how this thing works out.  Before I had completed all my nine uploads, I had already noticed that 38 people had viewed my profile. 

One of the parts of this fine art sales that bothers me is the business side of things.  In fact, this was what I was researching so I could learn more about it.  When I first submitted to Xanadu, I have to admit that I knew basically nothing about gallery sales or even fine art sales.  I was looking in totally different directions at the time.  So, even knowing how much I hate the business side of art, I knew I needed to do something to help me grow and learn more.  This is one thing that Fine Art America is already helping me with.  When I set my prices, I only have to figure out what I want to get out of each sale that is mine to keep (before taxes, of course.)  When setting my prices for art galleries, I need to know what their commission is, as well as all the other things like the cost of production, etc.  But with Fine Art America, you set the amount you want for yourself, and they show you the mark-up and the final cost to the buyer.

Another thing that totally shocked me as I looked over Anne Geddes profile was her low prices.  I found her own website and her prices are very low for her beautiful photographs.  I clicked on her puzzles link and that took me to Amazon which also has her items priced very reasonably.  I was very impressed.

Oh!  I have to add this side note which is really quite exciting for me and that is that during my recent trip back down genealogy lane this past week, I "met" a long distant cousin and we have been emailing back and forth ever since.  And get this...she is a photographer!!!  Truly amazing and wonderful.  It seems that art is in our genes as we both know others in the same lineage that are artistic in nature.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Digital Fusion With a Pineapple, a Camera, and a Computer

Pineapple is so good to eat.  But have you ever photographed a pineapple?  Okay, so what's so special about photographing a pineapple? And what is this thing called "Digital Fusion?"

Well, let's start with the last question first.  "Digital Fusion" is what I call the art that I create using my camera and my computer, specifically my Corel Paint Shop X5 photo editing program.  Over the past years as I have progressed in this specialty, I have felt hard pressed to know what to call what I do.  It's photography, yet once I am finished creating, it doesn't look much like photography anymore.  It's not actually digital painting either.  I really enjoy cooking shows, especially Gordon Ramsay's shows, and one of the things I have learned from those shows is that when you mix different styles of cooking together, say Indian and Mexican for example, it is called "fusion."  So, one day I was thinking that what I do is totally digital since I use a digital camera and everything else is done on my computer, and I am definitely fusing different things together.  Hence, the name "Digital Fusion" came to my mind.  I don't know if anyone else has ever used that terminology before or not, but I know for myself, I finally feel that I have found the right name and description of my art.

So, okay then, what about this pineapple and what are you going to do with it?  Well, I 'm glad you asked.  Let me show you.

Starting with these 4 photos, let's see what happens when I start using Paint Shop with them.  First let me say that I have added a great many more filters that you can find online for free just by looking.  The filters are plug-ins that help me create the art I so enjoy.  I didn't really do anything with the photo of the actual pineapple...yet anyway.  But I wanted to show you the different colors available from the pineapple itself.  Mostly I worked with the photo of the leaves, and the bottom photo of the single segment of the side of the pineapple.  You can see more here.

These 3 examples above show the vast amount of color that was provided just by the one photo of the pineapple leaves.  Be sure to click on each photo to see it enlarged for better detail.  My favorite among these is the center one, which I call "Florets"

Next, let's take a look at examples of digital fusion using the single segments of the pineapple skin.  With the first one, I got these final pieces of art.

The second of the above examples is actually the cropped version of the first one so that the cross itself is the main focus.  I have been using a Kaleidoscope plug-in to try to come up with different styles of crosses, and this is just one of many examples.

Now let's move on to the final individual segment of pineapple skin.  It is more in focus and also has a larger variety of colors in the palette.  

As you can see from these 4 examples above, the colors can be changed during processing.  All of these kept the brick texture simply because I liked the look it presented.  

So, there you have it.  What I call "Digital Fusion" and why I call it that.  It doesn't matter what I might find to photograph to start with.  Everything has options to be used as a final digital fusion piece of art.  With God as the Master Painter, the color palette provided by nature cannot be topped.