Art Smart – Under Promise & Over Deliver

Part of being a little art smart is knowing what you can’t do. Most of us end up learning this the hard way; or never learning it all. Making a promise that you can’t keep is no way to build a relationship, a business, or an art career. Start now to know what can do, what you can’t do, and what you won’t do. When you learn to under promise, and then back it up with an over deliver, the stress level in your professional life drops off a cliff. The sooner you do this on a regular basis the better off you will be…

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Why Should Anyone Buy Original Art?

Why should you or I buy original art? Certainly we all could buy a cheap poster to hang on our wall, or a mass-produced figurine to sit on the end table. Many people do the aforementioned and are quite content. But for those of you who do buy or are thinking of buying original art, there are a host of reasons to feel good about it…

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2013 Craig Shillam

Still Life Painting Featuring a Vintage Gumball Machine

Still Life Painting with Vintage Gumball Machine, Craig Shillam

“Gumball Machine” Craig Shillam, 14″ x 11″, oil

Still Life Painting with a Vintage Gumball Machine

Having just painted a still life painting of a gumball machine and having a lot fun doing it, I thought I would write a post about it. Imagine that… I recently had the opportunity to  participate in a fundraising auction for the local museum in the town where I live. It was a great night, and very successful for the most part, I think. For this small still life painting, I was able to borrow the vintage gumball machine from the lady who cuts my hair. She has had the machine for a very long time. Every time she cuts my hair cut I look at that thing and want to do something with it. I actually want it for my house to tell you the truth. So I finally asked her if I could borrow it so I could do a painting of it. She said yes. The original plan was to (and probably still will) paint this still life painting much larger than the 11″ x 14″ shown here.  But this auction was coming up and I felt like it would be a good subject matter for the event. The painting was started in my home studio, and then finished as part of a quick draw/quick finish before the auction. Some artists do the whole thing right there, some, like me, finish what they have started at the event. I prefer to finish at the event because there is always people mingling around, or I see somebody I know, and I want to visit. To me, this time as a good time to meet and greet more than paint like a madman because the painting need to be done before the auction starts. That’s just me, others feel differently. The still life painting I did at the last auction I paricipated in turned out pretty well I thought, and I did a lot more painting on it at the event than on the “gumball machine”. Fortunately this painting was bought, as my other auction entry did not sell this time. I didn’t think it was the right crowd for a painting like that, but oh well. One thing I have noticed is that my still life paintings sell a little better than my landscape paintings at auctions. Still thinking about that, not enough study samples to verify!

Still Life Painting with a Gumball Machine

As for the painting itself, I took a somewhat looser approach, because I wanted to put some “feeling” into the man-made machine. This still life painting did not take very long, and I view it as a warm up for a larger piece down the road. I felt the two key parts of the painting were to ge the red body of the machine right and the glass right. I guess it was kind of important to make the gumballs look round and clean also… nobody wants to look at dirty, unappetizing gumballs.

 Thanks for reading, if you feel like it, drop me a line and say hi…better yet, get free updates by subscribing with your email address, or by subscribing in a reader at the top right of this page. It’s free, confidential, and it’s easy.


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Craig Shillam

Five Facebook Stats That Really Matter for Artists


Facebook Stats...CashArtBlog

Every so often someone throws a few Facebook stats out there and exclaims how Facebook is “taking over the world.” Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. The Facebook statistics are staggering however, and it’s up to each artist to decide if Facebook is a marketing platform or a social tool, or both. Either way is fine, but some Facebook stats are more important than others when it comes to marketing your art…  [Read more…]

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2012 Craig Shillam

Art Marketing – The Push and the Pull


Forget everything about your art marketing for a few minutes, and just think of two concepts. Push and Pull. Push and Pull Marketing is not new, but let’s talk about it and the marketing of your art.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Craig Shillam

7 Ways to Earn Money when Art Sales are Slow & You Need Cash

I am writing this article after having a recent conversation about art sales with an artist whose work I really like. I have seen this artist at shows, he’s been around for years and years, and I think his work is fantastic…but after I was done talking with him I felt a little depressed…

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Craig Shillam

Important Internet Strategies for Marketing Your Artwork

This post about marketing your artwork is from one of two seminars I attended at the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibition. In my previous post I wrote about some  great oil painting tips from a couple of well known painters and teachers. This second article in a three part series will deal with the business side of things from an internet point of view…

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