Category Archives: Jean Smith paintings

Unpacking September

The Realiy Sandwich interview I posted yesterday is the second in their series of interviews with writers, artists and musicians who use Facebook to reach audiences that often don’t expect to find them here. So, that got me to thinking about the details of my sales success. I guess I could have included more information in the interview, but I prefer to do it here for two reasons. I control the content access and it’s a much smaller audience.

My FaceBook sales story has a definite spike in activity based on a feature that appeared mid-September. Three months later and sales are still higher than they were, but I’m cautiously neutral about the feature’s long-term impact. It’s not too good that we’re halfway through December and I’ve only sold 5.

2017
September = 35
October = 22
November = 25
December so far = 5

I use deadlines, internet-generated accountability and a variety of milestones – mostly sales by month – as motivation. The Jealous Curator’s feature on September 14th was a huge motivator. With new eyes on my FaceBook page, I wanted to paint and post new work in my usual way, which is aiming for almost daily, but, I have to admit that the business and packaging side of things got pretty intense!

35 is a record number of sales for one month. 31 of those were after The Jealous Curator’s feature. That is to say, September wasn’t looking too good, which is why I sent The Jealous Curator a press release.

By September 12, I’d done 8 paintings with 4 sales – including “No Hat #250” (below)falling into a best ever category (meaning either very popular or a personal favorite). Not wanting to give the impression I was going to paint as realistically as this from then on, I got a little more I got a little abstract. Actually, I did one more that same day (September 4) aiming to hit the same degree of intensity as “No Hat #250”, but “No Hat #251” (below) was its own thing and it was not received particularly well on FaceBook, but sold some time later. After this, my records show that I didn’t paint again until September 10 (likely to allow some breathing room in the overall project), but that next painting didn’t sell, nor did “No Hat #253” on September 12 (below) even though it’s a damn good painting. Sales throughout the summer hadn’t been great. I sold 8 in June, 10 in July and 4 in August – I need to sell 9 a month to meet my expenses and so far in 2017, at that point, I was averaging 8.25 sales a month.

2017
January = 4
22 in February with Studio Visits and a couple of multi-painting sales
March = 10
April = 9
May = 9
June = 8 
July = 10
August = 4
For my second year of business, things weren’t looking too good as far as growth or meeting my expenses. I’d hoped that more people would share my paintings on FaceBook to broaden my reach and increase sales that way, but it became clear that people didn’t share my posts – even when I asked. There were only a handful of shares and almost no new connections came from them. I had hoped that there would be collaboration in this way, since I frequently promote what my customers do, but that whole side of things hadn’t rubbed off. I hoped people would see that sort of reciprocity and build on it.

By mid-September, I had a feeling I’d set the bar too high with “No Hat #250” and I wasn’t sure how or when sales would get back on track. This is when I composed a press release to the Jealous Curator which included this detail (below), which, now that sales are stronger than ever, I feel FaceBook sales will continue.

“I’ve been selling my $100 USD paintings directly from my FaceBook page for the last 18 months, but as the pace of sales slows (200 sold) I’m considering gallery representation.”

I got an auto-response email back saying she got tons of submissions and then, about an hour later: “GAH! i love them, jean! post going up tomorrow!”

“First, oh my word I love these portraits {acrylic on canvas panel} so, so, so much. Second, Canadian rocker turned painter Jean Smith sells these paintings on Facebook for $100 a pop. WHAT? Yes, true story. Are you wondering what you’re still doing here and why you’re not over there buying a whole bunch of these 11×14 beauties? Me too. Here you go… Jean’s Facebook page. You’re welcome.” – The Jealous Curator

With the pressure on, I returned to a subject I’d worked from quite a few times already and painted “No Hat #254” which didn’t sell right away, but I felt the style took into account how I perceive The Jealous Curator’s audience.

No Hat 250 500
Best ever category. “No Hat #250″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel)
September 4, 2017. SOLD to Kenny Mellman of The Julie Ruin
 

No Hat 251 500
It was it’s own thing.
“No Hat #251″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel)
September 4, 2017.  SOLD
No Hat 253 500
“No Hat #253″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 12, 2017.
$100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 254 500
“No Hat #253″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 12, 2017.
SOLD to a Vancouver collector

I did 24 paintings in September
16 of those were after The Jealous Curator feature

85 paintings have SOLD since the Jealous Curator feature

Here are SEPTEMBER’s paintings

 

Fox #10 800
“Fox #10″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 2, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

Fox #11 800
“Fox #11″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 2, 2017. SOLD

Fox #12 800
“Fox #12″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 2, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 249 800.JPG
“No Hat #249″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 3, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 250 800
“No Hat #250″ (after Peter Paul Rubens) (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 4, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 251 800
“No Hat #251″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 4, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 252 800

“No Hat #252″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 10, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 253 800
“No Hat #253″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 12, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 254 800
“No Hat #254″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 15, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 255 800

“No Hat #255″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 15, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 256 800
“No Hat #256″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 16, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 257 800
“No Hat #257″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 20, 2017. SOLD


No Hat 258 800

“No Hat #258″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 21, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 259 800
“No Hat #259″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 21, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 260 800

“No Hat #260″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 22, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 261 800

“No Hat #261″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 23, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 262 800

“No Hat #262″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 23, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 263 800
“No Hat #263″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 24, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 264 800
“No Hat #264″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 24, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 265 800
“No Hat #265″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 26, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 266 800
“No Hat #266″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 27, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 267 800
“No Hat #267″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 27, 2017. SOLD

No Hat 268 800
“No Hat #268″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 28, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

No Hat 269 800

“No Hat #269″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) September 30, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

Paintings Currently Available

 

All content on this page (c) Jean Smith, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Painting of “No Hat #310”

No Hat 310 800

“No Hat #310″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) December 8, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

After I posted “No Hat #310” on my FaceBook page yesterday, former Bitch Media culture reviewer Jim Burlingame commented, “Awesome! I’d love to read a breakdown of your artistic choices, with each stage of a painting like this.”

So, I replied.

Whenever I take a break from painting, which is usually only a few days, it always feels like a significantly new time or phase is about to begin. I feel a lot of pressure to do something good so that there isn’t a kind of comparative downward sense. I knew I wanted to use a different subject and move away from the women I’d been painting, but I didn’t have anything in mind, until I saw a screengrab I saved from footage around the same era as the Rolling Stones paintings I did.

It was a very blurry black and white image, very low contrast where the features were mostly obscured – very different from what I’ve been doing which is all very brightly lit faces. I wanted to use something other than black for the darkest areas – which I painted first, before the lighter areas of the forehead, nose, upper lip and cheeks. To a certain extent, I usually paint eyes, nose and mouth to look like those things, but with this one, I’m painting light into the dark to give the sense of mass and contour, so I went back and forth cutting in with the warm skin colors, then back into it with what turned out to be black and not some slightly warmer color. Overall, it became more about looking at all the components together at the same time to see how believable it was in terms of what would be in shadow and what would be catching the light with a singular light source from above.

I frequently use blue in the background because it recedes, so it can help a painting like this, which is about what pushes forward out into the light. I did a bit of what John Singer Sargent did and made the right side of the head (his left) – the hair – a hard line and the other side softer. To make it softer I painted a thin layer of the background color over the dark , but I want to indicate that the light wasn’t simply cutting into the dark there, that the light picked up another color around the hair and that was the warmer color – a purple because the hair was made of black with red in it and the blue of the background with red makes purple. As soon as I had that purple in I knew I wanted bright yellow for the clothing percentage of the surface because purple and yellow are complementary. I couldn’t wait to get the yellow on the panel, but then I muted where the purple was so it wasn’t reaching out and working with the yellow, but more as a hint under the blue, after that I adjusted the darkness on the face and it went too dark and became like a stylized silhouette, I’ll call it for lack of a better term, whereas I wanted it to look like it was someone in a certain light, not a stylized image, so I needed to alter the intensity of the black coverage – but not by changing the color or cutting into the black with the skin color. At this point I knew I was going to take it to the sink and use a scrub brush. I kind of checked in with my confidence level and quickly noticed no apprehension (a way to describe a sense of assessing that I’m not about to do something reckless for some other underlying reason). I also knew I needed the paint to be a certain amount drier before I got it wet or it would just run off out of control, so I got the hairdryer on it and recognized how much this part is based in experience, having gotten to know the paint and how paint of various thicknesses and wetnesses will behave when I get them under the tap. I knew which areas were set and which were vulnerable to the water. I was thinking about other disciplines – like cooking and baking – during which various consistencies have to be achieved during complicated processes.

I used to do a lot more at the sink, removing a lot of the paint in frustration and experimentation, but water from the tap has become much more of a tool as I’ve become more experienced. Sometimes I do it just to loosen everything, as a final step in what might have been headed towards over-painting.

I ran it under the tap quickly and pulled the scrub brush (a nail brush, actually) over it once and got the lines I wanted. I walked back to the board allowing the water to run off the surface, watching to see what was happening on all areas. I mopped up some of the water carefully with paper towel and got the hair dryer on it again, and felt very good about being able to add the final gradation, the alternating values of light and dark, around the eyes and under the nose. Oh, and the swipe of paper towel moving the paint horizontally off the left is a compositional addition.

 

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Mobile Exhibitions

12
Deep Cove, North Vancouver, summer 2017

3
help me
Granville Street Art Walk, Vancouver, 2017

1
Commercial Drive Car-Free Day, Vancouver, 2017

 

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Paintings Based on a Photo of Bridget Bardo

My objective has more to do with emotions that aren’t essentially expressed on her face in the photo. My paintings hold multiple tensions and micro-energies that transcend the split second of the shutter opening and closing. There’s emotional history involved because of who I am and how she looks. Most recent paintings (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas panel) at the top.

No Hat 294 800

No Hat 256 800No Hat 254 800

No Hat 255 800No Hat 242 800No Hat 247 800No Hat 234 800No Hat 235 800

Singer #7 800Singer #4 800

No Hat 158 800

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Animals Available

Fox #10 800
“Fox #10” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

Fox #12 800
“Fox #12” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

Wolf 800
“Wolf” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

Wolf #2 800

“Wolf #2” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

Wolf #3 800“Wolf #3” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

Wolf #4 800

“Wolf #4” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) $100 USD plus shipping

PAINTINGS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE  FaceBook and WordPress
Email me: meccanormal@hotmail.com to check availability

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300th painting SOLD

300

I started the series of $100 USD contemporary portrait paintings back in January, 2016. Most of these sales were directly from my regular FaceBook page, which is where I post paintings first. Add me as a friend and see paintings as soon as they’re dry enough to photograph!

Jean Smith on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/jean.smith.1806

Here’s the 300th painting SOLD! An art instructor at a Vancouver college bought it!

No Hat 297 800

“No Hat #297” (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel) November 24, 2017

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Video: paintings currently available

When you buy a $100 USD painting (11 x 14″) as a gift it can be a GIFT CERTIFICATE allowing the recipient to choose, or I can send the painting directly to the recipient.

  • GIFT WRAPPED
  • handmade CARD (by me) with your note inside
  • TRACKING NUMBER
  • $100 CAD INSURANCE
  • BUY NOW to be mailed early December

PAINTINGS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE  FaceBook and WordPress
Email me: meccanormal@hotmail.com to check availability
payment via PayPal $100 USD plus $10 USD shipping
TOTAL $110 USD

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“The Hat” after Vermeer

The Hat 55 800
“The Hat #55″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

The Hat 56 800
“The Hat #56 after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

The Hat 57 800

“The Hat #57″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

The Hat 58 800

“The Hat #58″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

The Hat 59 800

“The Hat #59″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

The Hat 61 800
“The Hat #61″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel).$100 USD plus shipping.

The Hat 62 800
“The Hat #62″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

The Hat 63 800
“The Hat #63″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Vermeer in Landscape 800
“Five Women in Red Hats After Vermeer Walking Through the Reflection Landscape With Significantly More Ice to Prevent Them From Falling Through, Thus Creating a Safer Environment for Them With the Tools at Hand in This Case Paint” (11 x 14” acrylic on paper) November 14, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

Ideally this will go to someone who has paintings from both “The Hat” after Vermeer series and the “Reflection” series to make it sequential art within one home.

Reflection #8 800
“Reflection #8″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

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Landscapes

“Winter scenes are known to be universally strong in the art market,” she said with some degree of confidence, knowing she’d heard someone say it, hoping it wasn’t a character in one of her own novels. It was trickier now than it used to be, before she’d invented and honed a handful of significantly solid personalities and walked them through the emotional landscape of their own lives, lives she manipulated for her own amusement. What did that make her? Aside from a typical novelist. If making up people to write crazy stories about them wasn’t culturally acceptable, it would sound downright questionable.

“I wanted to have a lot of one image in stock, in part to mimic an aspect of consumerism and mass production — which these aren’t, of course…. mass produced,”  she said, her voice trailing off as she wondered if she wasn’t making associations to exactly the wrong things, yet, she trusted viewers and she knew they’d think what they wanted to regardless of what she said.

“I started out as a landscape painter,” she continued, wondering why she always found her way back to the very beginning of time. Was it really necessary to keep posting a photo of her painting at age 2 on her FaceBook page? Who doesn’t paint at 2?

“I’m best known for my portraits, but I started wondering if faces are perhaps too personal for gifts,” she said, once again wishing she wasn’t putting negative ideas into potential customers’ heads. “But I can also do a Gift Certificate if there’s any hesitation.”

The whole matter of gift-giving was irksome to her since her own family committed to not giving gifts, but she was keen to wring some fun out of being a craftsperson… scratch that… a painter with work available for festive gifting. She knew she shouldn’t get involved in giftwrapping and handmade cards, but to her, this was fun and fun was something she was determined to have more of! Her idea of fun was getting up early to paint and posting finished paintings on her FaceBook page as soon as they were dry, to marvel at how many people loved her work and how quickly they sold!

The Brass Tacks of Joining the Fun

When you buy a $100 USD painting (11 x 14″) as a gift it can be a GIFT CERTIFICATE allowing the recipient to choose, or I can send the painting directly to the recipient.

  • GIFT WRAPPED
  • handmade CARD (by me) with your note inside
  • TRACKING NUMBER
  • $100 CAD INSURANCE
  • BUY NOW to be mailed early December

PAINTINGS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE  FaceBook and WordPress
Email me: meccanormal@hotmail.com to check availability
payment via PayPal $100 USD plus $10 USD shipping
TOTAL $110 USD

Reflection 800
“Reflection” (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

Reflection #2 800
“Reflection #2″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). SOLD

Reflection #3 800
“Reflection #3″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Reflection #4 800
“Reflection #4″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Reflection #5 800
“Reflection #5″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Reflection #6 800
“Reflection #6″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Reflection #7 800
“Reflection #7″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Reflection #8 800
“Reflection #8″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Vermeer in Landscape 800

“Five Women in Red Hats After Vermeer Walking Through the Reflection Landscape With Significantly More Ice to Prevent Them From Falling Through, Thus Creating a Safer Environment for Them With the Tools at Hand in This Case Paint” (11 x 14” acrylic on paper) November 14, 2017. $100 USD plus shipping.

Ideally this will go to someone who has paintings from both “The Hat” after Vermeer series and the “Reflection” series to make it sequential art within one home.

The Hat 59 800

“The Hat #59″ after Vermeer (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

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