SF BLOG

April 13, 2017

Bloom On An Oil Painting and A Disgruntled Art Collector

Finding a happy home for one of my paintings is always a joy. I often receive emails, cards, and notes from happy collectors. That is why a recent phone call from a disgruntled art collector came as such a surprise. ©2010 Lori McNee, A Bit O’Gold, 24×12 oil on panel In 2000, I sold my very first still life painting which featured a bird. At that time, the art collector saw some something special in this piece and she encouraged me to paint more like it. Well, I listened to her. In fact, I wish I would have kept this little piece because it was monumental to my art career! (I don’t even have a photo record of it!) Since then, I have become known for my still life paintings with birds, and this little painting was the impetus. Anyway, according to the disgruntled art collector, my painting had deteriorated. Over the phone she explain how the background of my painting had begun to fade. Here’s where I made THE biggest mistake in dealing with an unhappy customer. I attempted to solve the problem over the phone! Without seeing the painting in person, I made a diagnosis. After listening to […]
February 23, 2017

Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun in Lucca, Italy

Join me and Art Escape Italy this October in for Plein Air Painting Under the Tuscan Sun in Lucca, Italy! Immerse yourself in the beautiful Italian countryside for a week of plein air landscape painting. October 15 – October 21, 2017. My workshop will be based out of beautiful, Casa Berti, a 17th Century Tuscan estate 14km from the beautiful Renaissance city of Lucca. Over 5 days and 6 nights, participants will discover how to observe, study, and interpret the light, color, texture and rhythm of the rich Tuscan landscape. Traditional oil painters, watermixable oil painters, and open acrylic painters of all skill levels are welcome. I am a trained master artist in watermixable, solvent-free oils, so this would be a great opportunity to learn to use them. Click the button below to learn more about Art Escape Italy and this workshop! You will find the workshop itinerary, materials list, accommodation information, what to bring and much more. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE I will guide you through simplified steps to paint a believable landscape. Each day you will focus on the fundamentals of design, value, edges, color mixing and harmony, as well as brushwork. With plenty of one-on-one attention, I will help you discover how to cultivate familiar and […]
January 6, 2017

Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art

We all have an imagination. But, it takes a special skill to hold an image in thought and turn that imagination into art. ©2016 Lori McNee, Summertime, 20×20, encaustic on cradled birch panel Art-making can be a natural gift, a learned skill, or a combination of both. Making art is difficult and it takes perseverance, imagination, and a lot of hard work. Throughout the ages, even the most talented artists have had to work for years to perfect their art. I often get asked how I continue to find fresh ideas and inspiration for my paintings. Most often I am inspired by nature, color, light and shadow, patterns, and design. Sometimes I am inspired by another artist, or an abstract painting. Or, it might be an old Japanese screen or unique vessel that triggers my imagination. I thought you might enjoy discovering how I turn my imagination into art. The paintings in this post are my recent series of works which are on display at Kneeland Gallery in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Please contact them for more information. (208) 725-5512 or email me, lori@lorimcnee.com  Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a popular Americana […]
December 16, 2016

Documenting Art and Preserving Your Story

Documenting art isn’t something that usually comes to mind when you are busy creating in your studio. But, it’s so important for artists to catalog their work! Has it been years since you’ve written down the story of a piece? Well then, it might be time to set aside some time to remember as many details as you can. I’ve been an artist for many years and I wish someone had told me to catalog everything better. I wish a good inventory management system had existed. I don’t know where a lot of my painting are and who owns them. Documenting art has benefits ranging from increasing the value of your pieces to preserving your history. And, the earlier you start, the better it will be. Here are some important points to think about when it comes to inventorying your artwork: Increasing Value for Collectors Typically, many artists don’t think about documenting the history of their art. We like to think a work speaks for itself. But, savvy collectors are advised to learn as much about a piece as they can before purchasing. So, imagine the benefits of being able to tell an art collector a piece’s history, awards, exhibitions, and […]
December 13, 2016

Charcoal Drawing Using The Grid Method

Young artists always inspire me! I discovered wildlife artist, Taylor Nichezynski, on Facebook. I was impressed with her drawing skills and asked if she would share her helpful Grid Method tips to help my readers. Before we get started, here is a bit about The Grid Method: Since ancient Egyptian times, artists have been using The Grid Method as a drawing tool to improve accuracy. The Egyptians used this method by ‘snapping’ a string soaked in red dye against their drawing surface to create their grid lines.  The Renaissance artists used The Grid Method a bit differently in their works. Using a wooden frame, they would hammer in nails spaced equally apart and tie lengths of string from one end to the other to create their rows and columns. The the frame would be placed in front of the model or painting subject so they could look through the grid.  Throughout history many famous artists have used the Grid Method for drawing including M.C. Escher, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, Van Gogh. Since the invention of the camera, the Grid Method has evolved to where artists print out a photo and draw their grid directly onto the photo or overlay it with transparent film. I hope you […]
December 11, 2016

Valuable Lessons Learned at the Plein Air Convention

Each spring, some of the best landscape artists in the world along with novice painters and top art vendors, congregate at the Plein Air Convention and Expo. Pictured: Kim Lordier, Richard Lindenberg, Lori McNee, Anne Nelson Sweat, Lori Putnam, Eric Rhoads, Lori Wallis Feldpausch This amazing convention is the world’s largest plein air event founded by Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein Air Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine and the helpful blog, OutdoorPainter.com. Eric and his talented team make this a not-to-miss annual experience. Over 80 of the world’s top painters serve as faculty members to nearly 1000 participates ranging from aspiring to professional artists. During the convention everyone enjoys networking and painting together. Attending the event is sure to give artists new techniques and valuable information to elevate anyone’s painting and business skills – plus we share lots of laughs together! This year we met in beautiful Tucson, Arizona for a week of plein air painting, and intense learning. Again, I had the honor of being on of the faculty and also represented Royal Talens as the Cobra Artist Ambassador! Each day, I spent time in the Royal Talens’ booth demonstrating Cobra’s watermixable, solvent-free oils. I painted on universal primed linen by Multimedia […]
December 7, 2016

Plein Air Paint in Monet’s Garden with Lori McNee

WORKSHOP IS FULL!!  To put your name on the waitlist for 2018, please email info@artcolony-giverny.com  Follow the footsteps of great art masters and enjoy a week of French Country Living and plein air paint in Monet’s Garden with me, Lori McNee! I am so excited about this exclusive plein air painting workshop opportunity! I hope you join me on this 7 day painting adventure in the charming, historical village of Giverny, France from May 9-16, 2017. Hosted by Art Colony Giverny, Royal Talens, and me! Cobra paints on my (Lori’s) Strada easel at the Plein Air Convention 2016 I will enjoy sharing my painting secrets with you! I’m an exhibiting member of the American Impressionist Society and Oil Painters of America, and also the author of the popular Northlight Book, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee. Paint in the same French landscape that inspired many famous artists, among them Renoir, Sisley, Cezanne, Degas, Pissarro, Cassat, and Morisot, just to name a few! Each day we will have the RARE opportunity to plein air paint and photograph in Monet’s Garden!  While we are there, the Gardens are closed to the public. This will be a small class so you will receive my personalized attention. To sign up call: (770) 977-3434 (404)-285-2961 […]
December 5, 2016

Simple Twitter Tips to Stand Out From the Crowd

Twitter is an important ingredient to my art business success. Since 2009, I have effectively used the following simple Twitter tips as a way to brand and market myself and my art business. For me, Twitter has proven to be the fastest way to build my online presence. Twitter has literally changed my life, and propelled my career! In fact, Twitter has changed the way in which businesses, and customers communicate with each other. Twitter gives small to mid-sized businesses (like artists) a way to reach a larger target audience. However, getting your message out to your audience and heard is critical. Here are a few simple Twitter tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Twitter Handle Your @Name is the first think people see, it is your brand. For example, I am @lorimcneeartist – right away you know I am an artist! Profile Create a catchy profile description. This is a branding opportunity. Use relevant hashtags to help you get found. Here’s a helpful article about customizing your Twitter profile. Note, hashtags in the profile are clickable too! Profile Picture Studies show that an image with a smiling face gets more click-throughs. Followers and potential followers want […]
November 29, 2016

Simple Twitter Tips to Stand Out From the Crowd

Twitter is an important ingredient to my art business success. Since 2009, I have effectively used the following simple Twitter tips as a way to brand and market myself and my art business. For me, Twitter has proven to be the fastest way to build my online presence. Twitter has literally changed my life, and propelled my career! In fact, Twitter has changed the way in which businesses, and customers communicate with each other. Twitter gives small to mid-sized businesses (like artists) a way to reach a larger target audience. However, getting your message out to your audience and heard is critical. Here are a few simple Twitter tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Twitter Handle Your @Name is the first think people see, it is your brand. For example, I am @lorimcneeartist – right away you know I am an artist! Profile Create a catchy profile description. This is a branding opportunity. Use relevant hashtags to help you get found. Here’s a helpful article about customizing your Twitter profile. Note, hashtags in the profile are clickable too! Profile Picture Studies show that an image with a smiling face gets more click-throughs. Followers and potential followers want […]
November 19, 2016

Easy Tips for Packing and Shipping Encaustic Art Safely

Painting with encaustic wax is a joy. I love the organic, translucent qualities of the finished piece. But, shipping encaustic art can be a bit tricky, and even mysterious. I have been a serious encaustic painter for nearly 5 years. My work is exhibited around the West, but I have avoided shipping my encaustic art for fear of damage, special crating, and huge shipping costs. Encaustic art is prone to chipping and damage in extreme temperatures. It can crack or shatter in cold conditions, and melt in heat. Encaustic art should be treated like you would an living creature. For example, you wouldn’t leave your pet in an overheated car in the middle of summer, nor freezing temperatures during the winter. Because of this, I have always hand-delivered my paintings! ©2016 Lori McNee “Spring Moment” 12×9 However, this past summer my painting, “Spring Moment” was featured in a special juried exhibition at the Encaustic Art Institute in New Mexico. The exhibition showcased artists and myself from the book, “Encaustic Art in the Twenty-First Century” by Schiffer Publishing. My piece was selected for the Encaustic Art Institute’s permanent collection!  Great, but I had to get my fragile encaustic painting all the […]
Central Fine Arts A blog about learning the techniques of classical and contemporary artists and the community of SF.