March 4, 2018…What’s in a Fortune Anyway…

From the MInd of the Manic, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

 

“My Favorite Bunnies” ©2018

“You are only as strong as the alcohol you drink, the tables you dance on, and the friends that hold you together” 

I had lunch with a friend of mine some months ago in Calistoga California at the only Chinese restaurant in town. In typical, commercial, Chinese restaurant fashion, two cellophane wrapped fortune cookies appeared along with the check.

I will admit, when the fortune cookies arrive, something comes over me, (some of you do this too, just differently, and it is OK). I become over the top superstitious, count to 6, three times…tap my left foot a few times, blink twice, wave my hand over each cookie, hoping to feel the magic and juju I so associate with fortune cookies. I mean for God’s sake, they are, “FORTUNE”, cookies…I make major decisions based on what’s wrapped up in that tiny stale, sometimes spongy treasure chest…part of my superstition is being the last to take the remaining little pillow of fate…at least that way I know destiny has clearly chosen me by the process of elimination and what awaits, I follow like the Boy Scout motto…

I do have an out though if the fortune really sucks, I don’t eat any of the cookie, that way the fortune is null and void…whew!! The most memorable fortune I’ve ever had in my life created this null and void ritual… here goes:

“You will have a very unusual operation”

So with great anticipation, my friend made his choice, cracked it open and read his fortune…it was something about straight lines and life, had no relevance what so ever, so he said…I’ve yet to check with him though…I quivered with anticipation as I cracked open the vault of whatever fortune cookies are made of, and there on a slender piece of paper my fate awaited me…

In all seriousness, it was the most profound fortunes I’ve received, I look at it every day, and see how it works for me…not to mention, I’ve memorized the Chinese word on the back of the fortune, “Busy”,  Mang or Fan, depending of course….

Here’s what I’m listening to as I write this, I hope you enjoy it….

Hope your fortune comes true…

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth’, and so it goes away”

558. August 7…Selling Art…Doesn’t Require Perfect Vision…at least not always….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Art…Representing Manmade Stuff” ©2011 Robert Redus

“While all deception requires secrecy, all secrecy is not meant to deceive.” – Sissela Bok

I found while taking some photographs yesterday…while waiting for the art supply store to open…so I could purchase some gel medium for a friend who was teaching an encaustic class…that… “Composition”… is one of the integral elements of producing art…(not selling it)…

Composition is defined as: “the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.”…boy are they not kidding…

it is essential to produce art yet it really can’t be qualified…to be a fighter pilot…you have to have perfect vision…but you don’t have to have perfect vision to fly a plane…so composition is as relative as the question of our existence and…why…

We rely on “Art critics” to dispel any question of composition and the success of a piece of work…granted they like most everyone else are in this for themselves first…then…the rest…matters…fundamentally if a critic aligns themselves with higher priced more recognized art…they too become higher priced and more recognized…and it’s not what they say…it’s the artwork they are saying it about that…matters…

The flip side is…selling art work…has nothing to do with composition…it has to do with selling…it could be vacuums…doughnuts…tractors…air conditioners….or wombats….and what matters is the ability of the sales person to sell the product… a highly recognized gallery in the part of the world I’m from that sells expensive art …their top sales person…readily admits they know nothing about art…and for years sold construction equipment…and was very successful at it…so what then does the art matter…it’s sort of …. “What’s it going to take to get this painting above the couch in your living room” …mentality…that counts…not composition…

I’m really beginning to see this for exactly what it is…and for a long time I will admit I was troubled by it all…and why…I don’t know…it is the way it works…I know nothing about the origin of most everything I buy… and I have to say I don’t really want to know about much of it…I just want what it is I want…and I’d like the story to be an OK story that goes along with it…something I can live with…and that’s really about it…

So selling art and making art…they like anything else are mind sets…if you’re great at making art and terrible at selling it…own it…and find somebody who does what you can’t…and if your art work always leaves you with questions…that nauseating feeling in your stomach….but you could open up a booth selling Ice Cubes in the arctic circle and making $750,000. a year…doing it….it’s all about the calling….and that thing about composition…well who really cares….

Artists are different thinkers …not thinkers like sales people think…artists want the story the immortality of it all to be part of it in the end…the sales people…well they want numbers…$$$ and that’s really it…less attachment…more vacations….

 “Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of it’s own accord.” – John Cage

545. July 7… “Art”…How much do you really like all that stuff hanging on your walls…anyway??.

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“It all floats” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.”  Gustave Flaubert

“always one step closer…and how’d that work…knowing tomorrow was maybe there…and maybe not…it was like being on the Pinta…and wanting feet on the Santa Maria…what did one matter more than the other…dog bites…were his greatest fear…kept him awake on those fall afternoon naps…not really awake…just an eye part open…scanning for the unfamiliar sounds….the dragging noises…or something buzzing…behind a piece of furniture…clickity click…clickity click….those amusement park sounds…that made night to day and day to another place…there by the corners where all the whores stood on the Friday pay days…wanting some of something…and that was enough to make sense…so it worked and it worked all around…all the time… ‘so stop asking the questions like that’… she snapped…. ‘momma’s little helper’ came a lot more ways than the little pills that kept the string tight…or the moaning noises from the room next to mine ….and whoever he was…and the water  dripped…everyday…filled the old metal bucket….clear all the way to the bottom…and that’s where my dream went…there at the bottom…still I could see it…but you’d have to know where to look…the prints were in the mud…the scratch marks on the door…Ellen Magellen…tried to whistled every morning in the backyard…she wasn’t scared…she wore Mary Jane shoes…dreamed of being a stewardess…traced  her finger on every crack of…the sidewalk”…from The Black Eye Project

the first thing I do every morning after brewing French pressed coffee is sit down and read the 5-7 art newsletters  I receive  via email…as I’m reading each…the first question that always surfaces is… “Are these people artists?”….question number two…If they are not artists… “How pertinent is this information they are offering?” and if they are artists, “Why are they not in the studio but rather making a career out of giving people advice about promoting art that they themselves are not doing or at least I think they are not doing (my stuff)?”…and it makes me wonder if you’re helping me with my art career for a mere $20.00 per month…who helps you …or are you just that good…

seems sometimes…people have great ideas…even greater ideas about what “You” could do with “Your” stuff”…than they have for their own stuff…and by occupying their plate with your delectables…the focus and attention on them and their particular journey is less important…I know I’ve been guilty of that…and when I’ve found myself designing another person’s plan or strategy…I have to stop…ask myself what is it I’m doing…why I’m doing this and step back…usually respond…with …”Good Idea”…(that’s when I know I’ve recognized my intrusion)…take myself home address all of the stuff on the calendar…have  lunch regardless of the time of day and a quick “Come to Jesus” meeting…look at my list of things that need to be accomplished and realize I have overwhelmed  myself with my stuff…therefore somebody else’s stuff…becomes like the garnish on the plate of enchiladas….do you really eat it or is it for decoration…

Marketing is difficult enough…let alone marketing art…as art is often seen as a “Luxury”…and in economies such as these…luxury is usually out of the loop…many artists think that just getting exposure is the be all end all…but showing your work to people who don’t buy it is pretty pointless or worse…sitting all day long at an art venue and making $58.00 for the day is not only deflating but humiliating…not to mention you probably said something like this… “I make everything by hand…made from recycled materials,…all acrylic paint on canvas, water based oils…it’s about my dreams…places I’ve traveled…my thoughts on the injustices of humankind…the duality of mankind…sure it’s easy you just”…a few thousand times…that in itself has to be worth more than $58.00…

I don’t know the secrets to marketing…but there are common denominators that success in the art world is built on…they seem to be…mailing lists…repeating the processes that have worked….networking  (make it the right people though…the ones that you can benefit and can benefit you)… Constantly being visible…and visible to the right people…devising a business plan for you art work…and keep doing what you do…all of the time…a good friend of mine who has been painting well over 50 years and has had some wonderful success selling art says …”If you’re not doing it everyday…you’re not really doing it”…I believe him because it has worked…and I realize that re-inventing the wheel rather than emulating the successes of those who are already successful in art makes no sense…

sure…the previous step was defining “WHAT IS SUCCESS IN ART”…and that is as individualized as what is love…we all have to qualify and visualize what success looks like in our individual art world…once there…and all of the magic…karma…excuses… reasons …becauses…I wishes…not fairs…and all of the other things that cloud the vision and make it unreal…have been removed from the equation…there just might be the naked part of the idea… the “art world blueprint”…just sitting there waiting for…”What’s next”….

I’m finding in my “art world  blueprint”…the most important part of all of this is “Truth”…and telling myself the truth about….what it is I’m doing…why I’m doing it…are things realistic…what  must be done to get to _______….how much of that doing am I really doing or wanting to be doing…what must be changed…reviewed…redefined… remade…and is working smart outweighing …working hard…

The giant myth to art is…just produce the art the rest will take care of itself…what I’ve been reading is…40% of your time is producing the work….60% is getting it seen and marketing…those numbers change as visibility increases…develop a good mailing list…find any way to be prolific…as my mentor says… become an…“Athletic painter”…and just keep doing it…

While I was in art school…one instructor came in with statistics…as we all know is there any truth in statistics…yes…there is…if you want there to be…and no there is not…if you don’t want there to be…his statistics said… (in a really nice French accent) …5 out of 100 people who pursue professional careers will  succeed…and of those 5…1 will be a successful artists…the remaining 4 will be in the support fields of art…whether it’s true or not…who knows…

so my solution…I get 100 people together every couple of months….95 people get T-shirts that read… “I am not the artist”….4 people get T-Shirts that read… “I am not the artist either but I Support the Artist”…and you guessed it…I wear the T-shirt that reads… “I am the artist”…it’s the visualization that helps….you know….the repetition as well…. “I am the Artist”… “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….

 “What I’d really like to do is something extraordinary. Something big. Something mega. Something copious. Something capacious. Something cajunga!” Wayne


July 3rd…Last weeks Paintings…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Some of my paintings from  June 27- July 1….

I have a show of about 700 of these small paintings on paper

“The Space In Between” Paintings influenced by the landscape

Ralph Greene Gallery, Opening Reception November 18,  6-9 pm, Closing December 16, 2011, 6-9 pm.

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          


538. June 16…You too can afford real art…from real live people!!!!…no kidding….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Message on My Shadow” 2011

“Does any art have a practical value? People love to talk about how expensive a painting is. That’s the only way we can talk about paintings in this century.” – John Gaure

“They all said “Wow”…sort of in unison….but it sure could have been something other than excitement…maybe the fear of less is what lit the fuse closer to the explosive…than the hearing could bear…”it was courage”…I’d said…I mean really is it a blink…maybe or some choke hold that starts to make the room a little bit smaller…the light makes that…”beep” noise…just before it’s gone…and everything gets real quiet…still…sort of cotton”… The Black Eye Project

I went to art school…jumped through all of the necessary hoops…got a beautiful piece of ecru colored paper that says…Bachelor of Fine Arts…Art Studio…and the part I really do like is along with that I received “all of the rights and privileges appertaining to that degree”…I’ve wondered what exactly the rights and privileges might be…perhaps a savings while renting a car…a 10% discount on top of the AARP and AAA discount…that Just so you know….I’m not getting yet…after some thought I found the rights and privileges…are the parts of the endeavor that make being an artist something of an honor for me…a privilege to be part of an incredible lineage…of people who basically are just like me…and I like them…no matter when they were or what they did…

all of this made me begin thinking about advice…and how often advice is easily served…but rarely followed…by those doing the serving…I have really begun to notice what people do…not what they say…and if what they are doing is really right up there with slinkies….Chinese finger traps…holographs…binary numbers and a well made chicken fruit tajin…I believe in them…but if what they are doing is tapioca…sitting in the sun for a few days…I have to wonder how valuable the input is…

the first art show I ever did…I was experiencing stage fright in a small way…I had the typical artist doubt…that none of my paintings would sell and if by some remote chance they did…the buyer was only doing it…naturally because they knew somehow…I needed the money…that I ate a great deal of Ramen noodles and bologna….and stuff that came in boxes that took 11 seconds in a microwave to heat…that show I sold 3 paintings…made about $700.00…and they knew they were paying my rent for a month…and maybe I could go to Furr’s cafeteria with this new found wealth…or buy a big bag of heroin…some gin…and girly magazines…because as artists we do things like that while we listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane…have an old refrigerator…and nothing but a box in it…

nevertheless….I was wrong…my notion of worthiness to price relationship did stay around for awhile until I realized that…art only has value if it has value…now how simple is that…sort of like food tastes good if it tastes good…exactly!!!…how a value gets attached to a painting is still a mystery to me…it is economics…based on variables…like stocks…but without all of the tight shirts and insider trading….most artists do have a rather unreal sense of value when it comes to their work…and I think it’s because they are unsure of what to do next….

Art is a mystery in itself…there is a dialogue that requires an education just to ask directions to the bathroom…there’s the whole “Understanding it” thing…that if you don’t get it…or at least act like you get it…you’re going to be run out of the gallery on a rail dripping with tar and feathers…there is also a great deal of head nodding and sighing…that’s on the buyer’s end…while on the artist’s side…big prices mean good art…small prices mean bad art…it’s simple…there are no 4 dollar paintings….but there are 8 million dollar ones…the proof….

I think art should be affordable and affordable to everyone so we can eliminate mainly those horrible $25.00 posters of Vincent’s Starry Night that people spend an additional 80 dollars framing at Hobby Lobby and think there is some future value in it….I’d rather sell my work than keep it….because if you are prolific…it doesn’t take long to fill a house with mounds of art work…flat files of drawings and paintings…notebooks of “New” ideas and walls covered with work…

I just opened an online store to show my work but mainly to sell it….I paint 5-8 paintings a day on paper…let’s do the math…30 days at 6.5 paintings per day = 195 small paintings on paper….and they are affordable…under 20 dollars for an original painting…WOW!!!!…(I know you’re saying outloud…if not thinking “I should buy a few of those paintings…keep Robert from eating any more Ramen and bologna)….so check it out: Ten Thousand Paintings a Daily Adventure in Painting

I can’t say I have the new finger cuffs in a future project…or a slinky that will put the old one to shame…or some alternative to binary numbers….but since I paint…I thought it would be a good idea to see if the talk fit the walk….

so far…so good….left in front of right…ahhhh….

“I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I’m going to buy a Suburban next time.” – Jerry Falwell