Jeanette Jobson Fine Art
winter sky
Jeanette Jobson Fine Art Newsletter

In This Issue
Framing Your Art
Twelve Questions - Casey Klahn
Monthly Collector
Tutorials - Part II
Print Winner!
Quick Links
Coming December 15th
  • Twelve Questions - Nicholas Simmons

  • FREE! Duckling drawing tutorial

  • FREE! art gift tags

  • Monthly Collector

  • Strategic planning for artists
  • Artists' Resale Right
  • Ask me!

Find me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Join My List
Join Our Mailing List
November 2010
me penGreetings!

November already! Halloween is behind us. Remembrance Day just gone and now for my friends south of the border, Thanksgiving is on the horizon.

I've had my hands full since we last spoke. I've been working on my gyotaku series, creating new pieces and starting the framing process. My studio is a mishmash of all kinds of paper, paint, frames and general chaos. I tell myself that I will sort it out over the Christmas break when I have a little more time on my hands. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thank you for the wonderful emails and comments on the October newsletter. I so appreciate you taking the time to tell me what you like about it. And wasn't Jonathan Aller's work amazing?

I have a bevy of equally amazing artists lined up over the next few months to share their work and their thoughts with you. I can't wait to see what they will offer. Casey Klahn, The Colorist, was kind enough to answer my Twelve Questions this month. Casey is a generous artist and holds a wealth of knowledge, I am delighted that he will share some of that with us.

Enjoy the newsletter, enjoy the season, continue to send me your comments and questions. I love hearing from you!

Best wishes

Jeanette Jobson
Framing your Art
Tips for collectors
When collectors purchase art directly from the artist, it rarely is matted or framed. This is done for several reasons.

One is that many people prefer to make their own choices in colours of mats and styles of frames. You may want something to fit in with your decor which could be contemporary or traditional and a piece framed to someone else's taste may not be what you want.

The other reason for selling art unframed and without a mat is shipping concerns. Framed art becomes very heavy, especially if glass is used and shipping becomes a nightmare as well as being very expensive to ensure that the piece arrives intact at the buyer's residence.

So now you have your piece of original art. What should you consider when framing and matting it?

You can use standard size frames if your piece fits into one. If you are using a mat (and most pieces of art do look better when bordered by a mat) make sure your picture extends about 1/4 of an inch beyond the frame of the mat. This allows the picture to lay flat and not fall out of the mat.

The mat and frame should enhance the artwork, not overwhelm it. Choose muted colours that don't clash or become the focal point, drawing the eye away from the art itself.

The art itself often steers the direction of the mat and frame. Perhaps a strong accent colour in the painting can be picked up in a mat layer or core colour.

Traditionally most oil or acrylic paintings do not use mats or are housed behind glass. They are often varnished which acts as the protection for the surface unlike paper based paintings such as watercolour or graphite which need to be protected from the environment.

pelican frame 2
White pelican - J Jobson watercolour
Do you want to get an idea of how a piece will look with a particular mat colour or frame type before you head to the framer? You can do so online through a number of different options. Here I have used Matshop's MatoMatic
program. Just upload a photo of your image and then play around with mat colours and frame types until you find something you like.

This pelican is a crop of a watercolour that I did earlier this year. I added a double mat and frame from the online options I chose colours that reflect or complement the colours in the painting, not compete with it.

Glass, acrylic or museum glass?
One of the purposes of the mat is to keep the artwork from touching from the glass. If you are framing an extremely large piece you may want to choose acrylic because it weighs much less than glass and will be safer.

Acrylic should not be used on chalk, pastel, charcoal or any other powdery surface, as static electricity may disturb the surface of the piece.

Conservation clear glass gives sharp clarity to the art but can also have a glare in the some lighting conditions. Conservation non-glare will not have the glare but will blur out at certain angles. Non-glare does not work well that have a sheen to them such as glossy photographs.

Museum glass is expensive but has such good visibility it seems almost invisible at times. Your budget and what you want the finished piece to achieve will influence your decision about how to glaze your art. Very often the most common form of glazing is glass due to pricing appeal.

Choose the right frame for your piece of art. A thin steel frame on a luscious European oil painting just won't look right. Choose a frame that complements the art and doesn't overwhelm it. The art is the focal point, always remember that.

Don't have your mat and frame the same width. You want one to set off the other and complement your art. Tradionally, the mat, if using one, is wider than the frame.

Choose a reputable framing shop and shop around to find one that you are comfortable with. A good framer is there to advise and guide you in choosing the best way to enhance and protect your piece of art.

Wiring your frame
Avoid using the sawtooth hangers that come with many frames, they are rarely strong enough to hold a piece on the wall and you don't want your newly framed art to fall and risk breaking the glass, the frame or damaging the art itself.

Use D hooks, or eye hooks and wire to hang your art piece.

Place the hooks 1/3 of the way down from the top of the frame, making sure they are an even distance from the edge of the frame.

Loop the wire through the D hook twice, then wind the excess along the main wire like a noose

If you purchase your frame from a frame shop, wiring will already be on the piece in most cases.

Where to hang it?
All pieces of art should be hung away from direct sunlight and sources of heat or smoke, such as a fireplace to avoid potential for fading or discolouration. The majority of pigments available to artists have various levels of lightfastness, which means that they are resistant to fading under normal circumstances. For those looking for more technical information on pigment lightfastness have a look at this article in Handprint.

Don't hang your piece too high. Commonly, eye level hanging is recommended, but what is eye level for one person may not be for another, so judge where to hang the piece by the activity and furniture in that room. A large piece of furniture such as a sofa or side table can have art hanging starting 8 - 10 inches above it.

If its a hallway, most people will be standing while passing by, so the average 'eye level' would work there - 65" to 68" above the floor level. In a living room where people are seated most of the time, art can be hung at a lower level and tie in around a larger piece of furniture either singly or in a group.

Here are some more tips on hanging art from The Art of Hanging Art by Michele Symonds.
klahnTwelve Questions

This month I'm so happy that Casey Klahn - The Colorist - has agreed to answer my Twelve Questions. I have followed Casey's blog and admired his strong pastel images for quite awhile. I'd encourage you to explore his art and rabsorb the information that he so readily shares. You won't be disappointed.

Casey Klahn is a husband, father and artist living in Washington state. His art is influenced by the art of post impressionists and abstract expressionists. Casey likes to leverage the strong suits of his medium, which is pastel. He is a member of the Pastel Society of America.

1. When did you realize you wanted to make art a career and how did you pursue that decision?

I was always considered "the artist" at home and in grade school. Drawing was something I did for hours on end as a kid. Luckily, my dad was a janitor at a paper factory. Not only did he bring home whole reams of surplus paper, but pencils that the engineers threw away.

My wife encouraged me to pursue the career in my mid or late forties. Actually, I had taken a night class in Seattle with the long name, "Start your art career now," or something like that. It opened my eyes to the fact that I could be in fine art, not just illustration or commercial art. That was what I really felt right about.

clear river
Clear River
7.5" x 9"
Casey Klahn

2. Which artists have influenced your work and how?

I know the first fine artist I admired was Vincent van Gogh. Everything he does is electrified - exciting. All elements are in motion.

I did read a lot of comic books and draw from them, so all of those illustrators count in my upbringing. My current lights are Wolf Kahn, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Willem deKooning and recently I've had a thing for Modigliani's art. Also I recently have been looking at Andrew Wyeth. They are figurative guys - even Kahn does nature.

3. What subject matter inspires you most and why?

Trees and liquid, but mostly moisture in the air, not neccesarily bodies of water. Many people incorrectly describe my paintings as being about light. The Impressionists painted light, and we ought to be well past that now. I didn't have any light growing up on the Washington coast, and so I am lucky to have a "pass" on that element. I paint gloom, and if anything, diffused light. I work hard to avoid shadows, except to use them as value sumps. Those are Modernist ideas. Once you undertsand the Northwest School painters, like Morris Graves and Mark Tobey, you begin to see the effects that the coastal environment has on an artist. Think of "Twilight," except for real.

4. Every artist has his or her favourite brands of pastels, papers or paints. What are your every day favourites that you reach for over and over?

I'm doing my pastel work on Sennelier La Carte paper and on Rives BFK Heavyweight paper. In every session that I paint, I reach for Diane Townsend's terrages, and my own homemade sticks. It isn't often that I fail to use Sennelier le a'clu sticks. My palette has a lot of Schminke and Unison, too.

5. You received the First Place Award in the Drawing category, at the Sausalito Art Festival for the last two years in a row. How important do you believe drawing ability is to the process of creating art?

The masters were great daughtsmen, Matisse and Degas for instance. Two years ago I changed from marking in my initial lines with a hard pastel, to drawing a charcoal design first. All of a sudden, I was rooted back in drawing. I had always done a thumbnail sketch in graphite, but getting the drawing on the board has now become a big thing for me.

People ask me about my simplification - how do I spare the details and get the big masses and elements? It baffles me, really. Its just the way I draw - the way I approach the landscape. I don't think consciously about eliminating details. I guess in making a good image, you have to generalize first and foremost, and assess the details very closely.

7. Art marketing and the business side of art are necessary to promote art work. What do you consider important areas to concentrate on in the business of marketing and selling your art?

colorist dailyThe Colorist Daily

8. What other interests do you have besides creating art?

I am the stay-at-home daddy. The Mister Mom. Other than church and kids' activities, I try to stay healthy by hunting game like deer and turkey. We live way out in the country - wheat land and forested canyonland. Of course, the farm needs maintenance, which is like a hobby in itself.

We don't farm, though. Our thirty acres are retired, and so its just a matter of maintenance.

9. When inspiration hits the wall, as it does for most artists at various times, what motivates you to keep going?

I look at my recent works that I consider good. I can't copy them, then things get stale real quick. But, I use them as inspiration. I seem to be okay in the inspiration department - for me the trouble comes with not enough time in the studio, or else I might be tired, or my work just isn't any good and I need to get in the groove. I am capable of making really bad art sometimes, and then I make sveral of those in a row. I don't let that worry me, though. I know I am the same guy who made those ones I love, except I can't remember how I did them. I just keep plugging away until they get better.

little hoquin
Hoquiam River Bright
10" x 14.75"
Pastel & Charcoal
Casey Klahn

10. Your series of essays in your How to Paint for the Prize series of posts are very informative and useful for artists aiming for success in competition and exhibition. Why did you decide to create these essays?

I was gob-smacked to get the award the first year, and then I realized that I had actually set out to do that. I didn't have hubris, though. I didn't really expect it, but I knew I needed to do my best - try my hardest. I thought that was a good story, and felt that others could use it for motivation and maybe get some tricks to use, too. It was a lot of fun to write, and I think the series on artist's traits was essential to my studio life that year.

Then, this year, I just felt pressure to paint at that level. I thought that I would either crump, or do better, and considered it a clutch play. I don't mean that I wanted the award again - I just wanted to feel that I had done well. I thought that if I got the award again I'd probably cry. I didn't, but I almost did.

11. What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given that has influenced your art career?

I'm still looking for that.

12. What advice would you give to an artist just starting out in their career?

Draw a lot. Keep up your drawing, it is the first link in being your best.
Show your work. It is imperative to exhibit whatever you are doing, and so this should drive you to improve and also to make your best presentation of your work. But, be self-critical. Show the best few things you've got, but that comes later in one's career. At first, just get it out there.

Monthly Collector
Special offers only for subscribers leaf 2
On the edge of autumn

Winter Solstice officially begins in the northern hemisphere on December 21st, the shortest day of the year, but until then, I'm firmly hanging on to autumn.

This watercolour is of a maple leaf from one of the trees in my garden. Shorter days changed its colours to oranges and reds but it defiantly hung on with a little green. It mimics how I feel about going into winter. I don't want to!

This original watercolour will keep a bit of fall with you during the coming months. The sheet measures 5.5 x 8.5" and the image is approximately 4.5 x 4.5"

$35.00 + $3.00 shipping
$10 off the regular price

Buy Now

Tutorials - Part II
The art of simplicity
If there is any way that a person can misunderstand something that is written, they will. That is the principle that I learned early on in writing the text that goes along with my drawings for tutorials. And that fact has nothing to do with the intellectual level of the reader or the artist. It has everything to do with the ability of the artist to put into words what they have created without the benefit of the reader actually seeing the process being done live.

This information is based on tutorials for beginning artists. The principle of clarity remains the same for intermediate and advanced levels.

sphere 1
Let's try it. Draw a circle and fill it in with graphite. Now explain exactly what you did. " I drew a circle and shaded it." That's perfect if you're talking to another artist who knows the techniques already, but its a foreign language to someone who doesn't know where to start.

These are some the questions that need to be explained in a tutorial: How did you draw the circle? Was your arm resting on the paper or not? What type of pencil did you use? How much pressure was used in applying the pencil to the paper? What kind of paper was used? What technique did you use to cover the circle with graphite? Did you blend it? How?

See what I mean? What the average artist does without even thinking, becomes challenging to put into words at times. A whole new language of simplicity needs to be considered when explaining art techniques when the viewer cannot see the actual process being done. Yes there is an option of video to share information and that will be looked at in a future article. But the most common form of tutorial is the written one, using images to further explain and clarify what is being written.

Clarity of form
When writing a tutorial, using the same terminology throughout helps avoid confusion for the user. Explanation of art terms, techniques or equipment can be placed in boxes to highlight them.

Formatting tutorials is fairly straightforward and can be completed in most word processing programs. There are some points to remember when creating your tutorial that will help make it look professional and be a useful tool for your audience.

1. Image size Use high resolution images that should be scanned at a minimum of 400dpi or photographed at high resolution. Yes, the files will be large, but can be adjusted in the document. You are relying on the images to convey information and they need to be crystal clear. Blurred images or images too small to be seen well are not useful to readers.

The image should be take up at least 1/4 of the page so that it can be seen clearly. If you are showing a technique, readers need to be able to see that level of detail.

Scans are best for the progress shots as the white of the paper stays true. In photographing images, backgrounds tend to become blue or grey and compete with the greyscale of the image itself. It can be adjusted with photo editing software, but is rarely completely successful and few artists have the technical knowledge to do this well.

2. Tutorial size
The average file size for a tutorial is usually no larger than 2MB, smaller if possible, so that it is not rejected by servers and a manageable size for users with slower computer systems or who may still be on dial up.

3. Converting to PDF file
To condense file size and make the tutorial easily accessible to everyone, converting the document to a PDF file is common practice. It also protects the tutorial from any changes that could made if it were in a basic word processing document.

Adobe is the most well known name for converting files to PDF and you can download a free trial to try it. There are also many other other free or shareware programs that can be easily used to create generic pdf files. They may not have all the features that a program such as Adobe has, but they'll get the job done for you.

Tip: The more you resave a pdf file, the smaller it will become. Also review the options that you have for saving the file. You can have larger images or compress them; make the document available for reading online only or for printing. Check out the options before deciding on your final piece.

Next month - A free download of The Duckling tutorial in the December newsletter just for subscribers!
And the winner is.....
middle cove fogLast month I offered a free print of 'Middle Cove Fog' to be drawn for on October 31st from the list of new subscribers to my mailing list.

The winner of this print is Connie Mullen of Digby, Nova Scotia.

Congratulations Connie, I hope you enjoy the piece!

There will be other giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!

Get a head start on Christmas shopping
candy canes
Candy Canes - J. Jobson
Coloured pencil
If you're looking for some gift ideas with an art theme, then have a look at the Seasonal page on my blog. I have put together some unique gift creations as well as a variety of holiday cards that can be purchased singly or in packs of five.

I've also added the option of gift certificates that may be purchased and used towards a piece of my art, a portrait commission or for a place in my gyotaku workshop in March 2011.

You might just be able to finish some of your shopping early this year!