SF BLOG

March 25, 2016

Art Business Tips to Jump-Start Your New Year

Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle it’s easy to lose our focus on the new year ahead. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that you can do right after the holidays to get a jump-start on your New Year! Craftedweb.com asked me and four other creative entrepreneurs to share our year-end planning methods, favorite techniques, and tools in a blog post. Below is my contribution to the article… Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016 Year End Planning and Review Like most other artists and crafters, I prefer spending time creating in my studio rather than crunching numbers and pushing papers at my desk. But as a creative entrepreneur, I know I must think like a small business owner. The end of another year means a fresh start ahead. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to tighten my belt, and improve my organizational skills. Here are a few of my year end preparations to jump-start 2016. Maybe a few of them will inspire you… 1. Unclutter: This is the first order of business in getting ready for the new year! I am so busy; I am guilty of collecting clutter. I’d rather be painting and not wasting time cleaning my studio! But, research shows there […]
March 22, 2016

Turn a Wine Cork into a Plein Air Painting Carrier

On a recent trip to Venice, Italy I learned how to turn an ordinary wine cork into a lightweight  plein air painting carrier. Lori (pictured in the middle) painting in Venice with Florida artist, Cory Wright and artist Mo Teeuw from England. Traveling the world and plein air painting with International artists is a wonderful experience. However, lugging around a heavy backpack with a portable studio inside quickly becomes tiresome. Finding ways to minimize the load is a must. Commercially designed wet panel carriers are great for short backpacking trips or car painting. But, these carriers become too bulky and heavy if you are carrying more than just a few wet paintings. In Venice, we were on our feet painting and maneuvering the busy streets from dawn until dusk. We would break for dinner, and then we painted past midnight! I loved painting with my handy Strada Micro pochade box at the Fish Market After a long day of painting, a relaxing dinner in Venice with my talented friends! Florida artist, Cory Wright, artists Mo Teeuw and Felicity House of England, and California artist, Wyllis Heaton. (Lori is picture in the middle). Fine Art Tips in Venice! Using my wine […]
March 19, 2016

Easy Way to Get More Facebook Page Likes

Nowadays most of us use Facebook, and hopefully by now you have a business page. Recently, I learned an easy way to get more Facebook Page likes. A Facebook Page is a great way to promote and grow our businesses, but getting new ‘likes’ can be frustrating at times. My artist friend, Jane Hunt has a popular Facebook Page for her art business. Jane showed me the following technique she uses to get more Facebook Page likes. Step 1 First, from you Facebook Profile click the Facebook icon (the ‘F’) to the left of the search bar. You will get a dropdown menu. Step 2 Look for your FB Page in the dropdown menu. Find your Facebook Page and click… Step 3 This will take you to your Facebook Page. Here is my Page, Lori McNee and Fine Art Tips below. Step 4 Next, find one of your popular posts that has ‘likes’ and comments. The left arrow below points to the number of ‘likes’ underneath the post. Click on the number of likes. A black box with a list of names will appear. Click again on the list of names. Step 5 This time, a white box will appear. This […]
December 13, 2015

Perfect Gift for the Naughty or Nice Artist

Santa has the perfect gift for the naughty or nice artist on your Christmas list! Whether you are a novice or an advanced painter in need of new inspiration, or you want to break some bad painting habits, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee: Painting Techniques and Professional Advice  (available on Amazon or in the North Light Shop) is sure to help. Santa loves my popular art instructional book, and you will too! Fine Art Tips goes “behind the paintings” to show how 24 of today’s top artists transform paint into incredible still lifes, landscapes, portraits and wildlife art. Brent Cotton shares secrets to painting water and light Each artist shares practical, real-world tips for representational painting in oil, acrylic, and pastel. Learn how to provoke emotion, paint monochromatically, paint light, develop a focal point, and so much more! Famous for her roses, Elizabeth Robbins share her tips Christine Debrosky demonstrates light filled techniques for pastel painting The advice in these pages can be life-changing for artists, both aspiring and established. For art-lovers in general, Fine Art Tips is a brilliant showcase from 24 of today’s most highly acclaimed artists. A master at painting snow, Michael Godfrey share his secrets These artists share their […]
December 10, 2015

Conquering Mental Illness Through Art

Contrary to popular belief, mental illness can be overcome through art. Artist David Sandum is a shining example of this. In his new book, “I’ll Run Till The Sun Goes Down,” David shares an intimate journey of courage, self-discovery, and awakening the artist within. We’ve all heard how artists suffer for their art, but undeniably some art is created from suffering. According to The Stanford Journal of Neuroscience, contradiction of the genius who creates great artwork despite (or because of) mental illness has been part of Western legend for thousands of years. Since the days of Plato, the ‘tortured artist’ has long been the subject of myth and legend. Examples range from depressed actors, self-destructive musicians, suicidal writers, to tortured artists, all who suffer for their art. Many prominent artists in history have struggled with depression. David seems to find comfort with them. In fact, David filled his book with the works of Van Gogh, and Munch, plus other kindred spirits who have inspired him, as well as samples of his own drawings and paintings. Poetically written, David’s emotionally charged paintings are perfectly placed within the pages to illustrate his poignant words. David’s brave story recounts his struggle with debilitating mental […]
December 2, 2015

How To Create An Impressionist Flower Painting

Flower painting, and the ability to capture the fleeting beauty of a floral arrangement has been popular since the 1500s. A traditional still life painting by ©Joe Anna Arnett During the 1600-1700s, the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, German and French artists further innovated the floral still-life. By the 1800s, the French impressionists favored painting vibrant landscapes, but they also enjoyed exploring the artistic potential of flower painting. Still today, many art genres ranging from realism to impressionism, and beyond, challenge themselves with flower painting. One of the most notable floral painters of today is, Joe Anna Arnett. Like the Impressionists before her, Joe Anna is equally comfortable painting the landscape in plein air, or a still-life in her garden or studio. Joe Anna Arnett plein air painting at home in her Santa Fe flower garden Years ago, I first met Joe Anna in Scottsdale at one of her popular still life painting workshops. I learned some valuable oil painting techniques that I still use today. Since then, Joe Anna has remained a wonderful mentor and friend. In fact, Joe Anna generously shared even more painting secrets in my popular book, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee: Painting Techniques and Professional Advice. […]
November 28, 2015

The Relationship Between Gratitude and Creativity

There is a direct relationship between gratitude and creativity. Gratitude enhances our mood, lifts our spirits, and helps us cope with stress and anxiety. Actively cultivating gratitude increases happiness which in turn boosts productivity, and creativity. Scientific studies have proven a link between happiness and creative problem solving. Experiencing positive emotions like gratitude, joy, and play, can help us remember peripheral details more vividly, and encourages thinking outside the box which leads to more creativity. Gratitude gives birth to great ideas, and is especially beneficial to artists and other creators. “Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful, no matter what happened in my life.” ~Oprah Winfrey Nevertheless, ForTheCreators.com points out, “It’s easy to fall into the trap of relentlessly focusing on what’s lacking while you chase your next goal but it’s important to come back to where you are and recognize what you’re thankful for right now. Instead of lamenting your lack of progress, time, materials, money, support or all the other things that you feel hold you back, be thankful for where you’re at, how far you’ve come and your unique and wonderful place in this point in time in your creative journey.” But what is gratitude? Gratitude is an […]
November 12, 2015

Former Navy SEAL Launches Abrasive Art Business

Assimilating back into civilian society is a challenge for any returning, heroic Veteran. “Evan,” a former Navy SEAL Team Leader started making Abrasive Art, as way to express his graphic memories of war and combat. Although he looks unscathed, Evan has suffered from numerous injuries including a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) back in 2010 from his tour in Afghanistan. Yet, without really knowing how, Evan has quickly built a successful art business, with a large following, in a unique niche. This is his story… Former Navy SEAL Launches Abrasive Art Business Thirty Seconds Out is when the adrenaline kicks in. Jumping out of a plane at night. Flying into combat with your legs hanging out of the helicopter. Approaching a target by vehicle or foot. When the 30-seconds-out signal is given, you know you’re committed and what happens next isn’t entirely in your control. I’m trying to convey this feeling and the side effects of combat, through art. I’m barely an artist, and I know nothing of the art world. I just started to make art because I enjoy doing it. After 20 years in the SEAL Teams, I wanted to do something new. You know, feeling like a clumsy beginner […]
November 12, 2015

How To Create Mood in Landscape Painting

Like playing high or low notes on a piano, artists can ‘key’ their colors to create drama and mood in landscape painting. We do this by understanding and using value. For instance, high key colors in paintings use tints, or light values. Low key colors are shades, or dark values. Middle key colors are medium value or pure colors. In this fabulous guest post, landscape painter Shanna Kunz uses a limited scale of high values to demonstrate. Shanna also demonstrates how to create a low-key painting in my new book, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee by North Light Books! Whether you draw or paint with watercolor, oil or acrylics, Shanna’s lesson will help you create better paintings. Keep in mind, strong paintings usually are limited to 3-4 values, and 3-5 shapes. How To Use Value to Create Mood In Painting by Shanna Kunz My high-key piece below was started with an ultramarine blue ground. I picked the ultramarine color because it was so evident in the shadows of the trees, and I could use this hue as my accents. I wiped back my very lightest value masses and established my darker masses, still keeping to 3-5 important shapes. Using a rag, […]
November 12, 2015

Studio Tour Nominated for Nonprofit Excellence

Throughout the country, communities of creative people often host self-guided tours of the studios and work spaces of visual artists. I am proud to announce that my hometown, Wood River Valley Studio Tour of Sun Valley, Idaho, has been nominated for the 2015 Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Excellence Award.   “Nonprofits make a difference in communities.” ~Janice Fulkerson This great news precedes the 3rd Annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour (WRVST) which will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 22- 23rd from 10AM to 5PM each day. Extending from the Idaho communities of Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley, the free, self-guided tour allows visitors the rare opportunity to watch the artists at work in their own creative sanctuary, ask questions and buy direct from the source. The art studio of Lori McNee Art enthusiasts will be able to view the group exhibition representing all 59 participating Tour artists during the afternoons August 18 – 20th at the nexStage Theater in Ketchum, Idaho. An artists reception to be held Friday, August 21st from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the nexStage Theater. Everyone is invited to spend the evening mingling with the artists. Expect to find artistic disciplines ranging from painting, mixed media, ceramics, woodworking, […]
Central Fine Arts A blog about learning the techniques of classical and contemporary artists and the community of SF.