When it comes to hanging art on my wall, I personally like to just go with what looks right to me. Then again, I am an artist so that may be a little easier to do than for others. So with that in mind, I’ve found a few short, visual, and helpful articles online to give you some help on how to hang your art, where to hang it, how to arrange it with other art, and how to light it. The visuals alone are great ideas.
I’ve discussed donating art a few years ago on this blog, but since this is such a debated topic, I thought it would be useful to revisit it. It’s great to have someone think so highly of your art that they believe it would help their organization to auction it off. On the other hand, as your career progresses, you’ll find that you are being asked to donate your work to auctions A LOT. Sometimes one a week. At that rate, you won’t have any art left to sell. So what’s an up and coming artist with a heart of gold to do? Well it won’t be easy, but you’ll have to pick the ones you want to help (and feasibly can) and politely let the others know that you can’t.
Sounds simple enough, right? There are a few considerations to keep in mind first. Obviously if the auction/charity/event is to benefit something close to your heart, then those are the causes you’ll want to start with. Some causes may not be in line with your beliefs- for example, I am a vegan, therefore I will only donate to charities that do not test on animals. While you are narrowing down your favorites, also take a look at the event details:
Where is the event venue? Is it a venue that you are proud to be associated with?
What is to become of your donated art- is it going to be hung on a museum wall or is it being used in an auction?
If it is an auction, what happens if the work is not sold– do you get it back?
Do you like the other artists’ work that will be seen with yours?
If it is an auction, is the starting bid price at a reasonable rate so as not to devalue your work? Can you set the starting bid price yourself? Can you set a reserve amount?
Do you get a percentage of the sale?
Will you receive free tickets to the event (presumably for you and a guest)?
If you cannot answer these questions, then don’t be shy- find out from the event organizer or coordinator. Many organizations, while they mean well, do not realize that artists get these requests quite often and that they are essentially asking you for a donation worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, so don’t feel bad about looking out for yourself. Also, be aware many organizations will try to sell you on the idea of donating as a tax write-off. This is only partly true. You can only deduct the supplies/materials used to create the piece. Youcannotwrite-off the actual art donated. (This only applies to collectors of art that has appreciated so they donate to museums and get out of paying income tax on the appreciation.) It’s unfair, I know, but that’s how it works, at least in the United States. If you’re looking to get some sort of deduction, you should just write a check to the organization. If you are happy with the event parameters and have available work to donate, go ahead with it, attend the event, and do some networking. Perhaps the auction winner will become your next collector…
Occasionally I get asked if I ship my work, which is a common question among artists and non-artists alike. The thought of packaging an original work of art and handing it over to a carrier is scary. I will admit that it makes me anxious. However, after reviewing the methods of other shipping companies, as well as researching the internet, I have been successfully packaging my own work for transit for a few years now. I have to say that this was not only a financial decision, but also based on a bad experience in which one of my paintings was damaged by a shipping company. So here are the steps I follow when shipping my paintings:
– Wrap the front and sides of the canvas with glassine paper. This can be found online at just about any art supply shop. Be sure to tape the paper to the back, not the front of the canvas.
– Then wrap the painting front and sides with a sheet of mylar. I like Grafix Dura-Lar which you can find on Utrecht.com. This helps protect against moisture due to climate/temperature change.
– Bubble wrap the painting with large bubble wrap, covering the back as well. I like to then wrap it again with another sheet of bubble wrap. Try to limit the tape to just along the sides to help prevent someone from cutting into the painting when removing tape.
– Prep your box for transit. I like the ones offered by U-Line (uline.com) since they have boxes specifically for artwork. I suggest getting one that leaves a minimum 3 inches of space around your painting.
– Tape one end of the box together with clear packing tape, covering it horizontally and vertically as well as along the seams of the box and corners.
– While the box is empty, I like to mark it with a permanent marker, writing “Fragile” on all sides of the box and I put an “up” arrow along where the top is. Also, it helps the gallery if you write your name (I just use my last name since it’s unique enough) on the box as well. Just be sure that it is away from the “Fragile” signs to help with visibility.
– Before stuffing the box, I use a few extra sheets of cardboard to protect the “body” of the box and the painting. I like to have 2 sheets on either side of the painting, but if it’s really thick you can use one on each side. The cardboard should be cut to cover the painting but be just smaller than the inside of the box to ensure a good fit.
– When shipping a larger painting, I like to use a couple of sheets of thin wood such as luan, which I get at Home Depot. I will also add a couple of sheets of cardboard as well, if space allows.
– Line the bottom of your box with crumpled brown kraft paper or tissue paper. I advise against colored tissue paper or newspaper in case of bleeding. Magazine pages are okay, but don’t look as “professional” so maybe consider where this is going first. Pack the bottom well, especially the corners of the box.
– Place the wrapped painting in the box, between the sheets of cardboard so there are even amounts on each side. If using luan, place the painting between the luan, leaving extra cardboard evenly on each side.
– Line the sides of the box with more kraft paper or tissue paper. If the box is large, you may need a dowel or broomstick to help push the paper down the sides to ensure they are properly stuffed.
– Finish with kraft paper or tissue across the top of the painting. If including a gallery contract or other paperwork, I put that information in a 9×12 envelope and place it across the top of the painting before adding kraft paper. Then seal with clear packing tape, again going horizontally and vertically.
In cases where the work will be shipped back to me, I like to include a typed packing instruction sheet for the gallerist. Make sure your name, contact info, and the name of your painting is on the sheet as well. This way you can ensure that your painting is packaged in the same manner as it was received.
Also, I won’t promote any one carrier, but I will say that I prefer 2-day Air shipping. It can be expensive depending on the size of the piece, but it goes through the least number of hands. (Other than overnight, which is $$.)
My latest work may be strange or grim or surreal, depending on whom you ask. So I thought I’d lighten things up a bit and show that I’m capable of painting a variety of things. Babies, for example. I do commissioned paintings every so often, so for this piece, I painted this delightful little boy for a collector of mine. The painting is titled “Pierce” and is 11 inches wide by 14 inches high, acrylic on canvas. The pose works great for this piece since he’s practically popping out of the canvas. And who can resist that face? The photo here doesn’t quite do it justice, but you can get a better look at it on my website under the Portraits category of the Gallery at www.AmyGuidry.com.
I thought it’s only right to post some photos of my events and exhibits since I talk about them enough. So I’ve taken a few photos from the recent Fire and Water Festival and posted them here. (By the way, you can see a slideshow of all the photos from the event on my website www.AmyGuidry.com.) The festival was last weekend, but my artwork will be up through December 21st. Take a gander over to NuNu’s when you’re out doing your holiday shopping in Arnaudville, LA and see my work in person.
The show’s curator, and organizer of the entire event for that matter, is George Marks. George is an artist and also has work up in the gallery. (That’s him in the photo with me.) The installation photo is of my paintings from my New Realm series. While viewing my slideshow on my website (hint, hint), you should can check out the entire series while you are there.
In addition to the artwork, there was also plenty of music for the entire 3-day event. There are a few pictures of the band The Figs which were playing on Friday night when I was in attendance. And, of course, some bonfire photos. (Not that I really want to partake in bonfires, given the environmental impact they have and all, however, seeing as it was freezing out, the bonfire was greatly appreciated.) Sorry, no water photos. Maybe next year. But I’m sure you’ll be entertained by all the other photos- http://www.amyguidry.com/events.html.