Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Paintings and Events

I painted several small seascapes recently, each one is just 4"x6". The size of a postcard. Each painting is just $49, including domestic shipping. Every now and then I take a little break and paint a few little gems like these. They are great warm-up exercises before I start on large work, and they are such fun to work on. The pad of 4x6 watercolor paper that I'm using was a gift from my friend Lori at Wayne Art Supply and Framing, and it has inspired me paint a whole series of these small paintings. This size is like jewelry for art collectors -- they are wonderful affordable accessories that can be displayed anywhere and anytime.

This photo shows my drawing, and the reference photo for one of my paintings.

This photo shows my painting about halfway done, with the sky painted and most of the water values layered.
The finished painting. Point Udall, St Croix, USVI. 4x6 Watercolor, Sold.
Hawaii Sunset, 4x6 watercolor, Sold.
Salt River, St Croix, USVI. 4x6 watercolor, $49
Sailboat, 4x6 watercolor, $49
Outer Banks, 4x6 watercolor,   SOLD

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:26 PM   2 Comments

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Paint a Stormy Seascape in Watercolor

Here's a new painting tutorial for you -- How to Paint a Stormy Seascape in Watercolor! Step-by-step directions and photos describe my painting process for this watercolor on the Dynasty Brush blog!

In other news, have you seen my tutorial on creating a watercolor triptych? Check it out here, and be sure to click on "vote" if you like it!

In preparation for Fall plein air season, I'm teaching another one-day workshop in my Kennett Square Studio on drawing and painting trees. This workshop will cover drawing in pencil and pen and ink, and watercolor. These workshops quickly sell out, so send me an email to reserve your space! Thursday, October 10, 10am to 4pm, $45 per person includes lunch.

I've got a busy schedule coming up with tons of classes, workshops, exhibits, and plein air events -- to much to list in this blog post so please check out my Calendar Page to see the full listing of upcoming events! Come on out and join me at any of them -- I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:24 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Paintings!

The last couple of weeks have been hectic! I only had a couple of weeks' break from teaching at Artists' Network University this summer, and then right back to teaching new courses. Add to that a catalog shoot for Fredrix Canvas Panels, an article assignment due for Professional Artist magazine, a guest blog post for Dynasty Brush, and the usual volunteer work... and I barely had time left to go to the beach! I got a little caught up on some of my work and had some time for a few new paintings.
Pensacola Beach Sunset, 10x13 WC
Rainy Beach, 8x10 WC, $95
River in Montana, 5x8 watercolor, $79.

posted by Annie Strack @ 5:34 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Artist Tip: How to Ace your Next Media Interview!

How to Ace Your Next Interview
By Annie Strack © 2007

As professional artists, we all know the importance of sending out press releases, and most of us are pretty good at maintaining publicity for our marketing purposes.  But what happens when your publicity efforts result in a request for an interview?  Are you fully prepared to talk openly about yourself or your work, and respond to questions quickly and articulately?  Amazingly, a lot of artists aren’t.  Having experienced both sides of this issue, as both an interviewee and an interviewer, I’d like to share some useful tips to help artists through the interview process. 
Most importantly, you need to respond swiftly when an interviewer contacts you.  Writers will often initiate contact with several artists when they are researching a potential topic for an article, and they are likely to only follow up with the artists who immediately reply to their emails or phone calls.  The interviewer has a deadline to meet, and he needs to receive your answers to his questions quickly.  A prompt response is also needed when you are asked to provide photos or images, and any other supporting materials.  Don’t leave the interviewer in hanging in suspense, waiting to hear back from you.  If you can’t provide what he asked for, tell him immediately.  If you just need more time to get your thoughts or materials in order, then say so.  The interviewer needs to know if you are going to come through for him, and if so, when. 

Always answer the interview questions in depth.  The writer will want to see as much detail in your answers as possible, and the more information you provide, the more he has to work with.  That doesn’t mean that everything you provide will be included in the article – the interviewer will edit your information to include what he considers to the most interesting or pertinent segments, and then an editor will likely edit that information even more. 

Do not respond to interview questions with pasted excerpts from your artist statement or bio.  The interviewer has already researched you before he made the decision to contact you, and he has already read that information.  He wants original information, and does not want to reprint sentences and paragraphs that have already been published.  If you really need to include information that’s already in your statement or bio, be sure to rephrase it so that it presents a new and different view of you or your work. 

If you’re going to be interviewed on TV or radio, make sure both you and the interviewer have discussed your topic before the tape starts rolling.  To make sure your necessary information gets in the interview, prepare a list of questions that you would like to be asked, and discuss these with the interviewer in advance.  And be prepared for an extra question at the end, in case the time runs long and they need to fill an extra minute or two.

The most popular type of interview is the featured profile article, in which a specific person is the subject of the article.  This type of article is meant to tell an interesting story about a specific person, and will often include the subject’s background and experiences.  You may be interviewed for this type of article several times over the course of your art career, and although the questions may be similar each time, you will need to be able to provide new information each time so that the writer can create a fresh story that is original.
Another common type of interview involves providing technical information for an article or story.  In this case, the interviewer’s questions will be geared towards gathering information about a subject with which you may have experience or expertise.  For instance, a writer may be researching a specific art technique, and may be interviewing several artists to gather their knowledge of this technique.  Or a columnist who is writing a story about shipping artwork may want to know the details about your packaging, shipping, labeling, insurance, billing and costs that are related to shipping.  The more useful information you can provide the writer about his specific story topic, the better you will be represented the article.  But, the information has to be pertinent to the topic!  He is probably not going to be interested in shuffling through your answers if they contain extensive information that, although may be important to you, is not pertinent or relevant to the subject that he is writing about. 

Interviews can be intimidating, but with the help of some advance preparations and some understanding of the needs of the media professionals, you can make the process easier and more rewarding for both of you.

Let’s play twenty questions!  This is a sample list of questions that are commonly asked during a standard featured artist interview.  Write down your own in-depth responses to these questions, and next time you get asked for an interview you’ll be prepared with ready answers! 

  1. List your name, the name of your business, your location, your website, and your full contact information. 
  1. Where are you from, how long have you lived here, and have you lived anywhere else that was interesting?

  1. What are your other occupations or hobbies, besides art?

  1. How long have you been an artist, and how many years as a professional?

  1. Describe your art and it's unique qualities; tell me about your particular style, your preferred subjects, etc.

  1. Describe your artistic process; what media do you use, how do you choose your subjects, etc.

  1. Why do you create art?

  1. What is your favorite part of your process?

  1. What is your educational background, artistic training, and experience?

  1. Can you describe how your creative process has evolved into your current style?

  1. What motivated you to become an artist; was it a teacher, friend, family member, other artist?

  1. What was your first big break?

  1. What is your creative inspiration, your muse, or what artists do you admire?

  1. What message do you hope to convey through your art?

  1. What are your most important artworks, and where are they now?

  1. Have you won any major awards, or have art in important collections, or other major accomplishments?

  1. Where can your art been seen or purchased?

  1. What will be the next big step in your artistic career? 

  1. What advice would you like to give to other aspiring artists? 

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

This article was first published in Art Calendar Magazine, 2007

posted by Annie Strack @ 7:52 PM   4 Comments

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fredrix Canvas Panels for Painting en Plein Air!

I got this new case of Fredrix Canvas Panels nearly a month ago, but the weather has been too hot and wet to go out and paint en plein air. I finally went out this last weekend but I stayed close to home (and air conditioning!).

I love Fredrix Canvas Panels because they’re perfect for painting en plein air. Their durability allows me to paint in all sorts of weather, even pouring rain, frigid cold, or strong winds. The canvas surface provides the texture that I want for oil painting, while the rigid backing board prevents dents or punctures in the canvas when sudden gusts of wind tip over my easel. Panels have less than one-fourth the depth of stretched canvases, which saves space and makes them easier to pack when I’m traveling to or from plein air events. I use the smaller ones for painting oils en plein air because they take up so little space in my travel kit, and I also use the larger ones as backing boards to tape my paper onto when I paint watercolors.
When I’m painting en plein air I need materials that are strong, dependable, and portable, as well as archival. Fredrix Canvas Panels are the perfect product that meets all my needs.  

I'm thrilled that Fredrix asked me to try their products, and asked me to be a featured artist in their catalog! You can see some of plein air paintings in the new Fredrix Art Canvas catalog in 2014!

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:45 PM   0 Comments

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All images and content copyright Annie Strack 2018 Although I occasionally receive compensation for some posts, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.