Friday, June 29, 2007

Why buy original art?

Just sharing this article from a fellow artist at the gallery I'm a member of in Jackson, TN:

Why Buy Original Art?

By Roy Elmer

Why Buy Original Art? Well, most people don't. Americans especially stay away from original artwork in droves. It's not surprising, I suppose - we are used to getting stuff cheap. Stuff that is mass produced. Made by machines or by poor people all over the world for a little rice. (oh boy, you hit the nail on the head with that one! How very, very true!)

Original artwork is sweated over, worked on by the hand and mind of an artist, and that costs something. Sometimes surprisingly little to the buyer - but still something. Original artwork should be bought because it excites, entices, stimulates. It should not be bought because it is a good investment. Any dealer or artist that tells you that art is an investment should be forced to go to art purgatory and look at bad art for eternity.

No dealer knows what the future will be for art prices. The darling of the art world today may be considered a hack in 10 years time. The painting by an unknown hack may become the darling of the future art world. But more likely an unknown artist will remain unknown. And the famous artist can totter from his pedestal. In other words if an art dealer sounds like a huckster - he is a huckster - no matter what kind of art he is selling.

When you purchase art, it should be because you love the work. It should speak to you. And if you choose wisely, the piece will continue to speak to you for decades. If I choose poorly, the piece becomes a piece of expendable stuff. Fodder for the land fill or some future yard sale. (once again, you said it perfectly, Roy!)

So don't choose artwork to cover your walls and match your decor. If that reflects your requirements, buy a poster. There are lots of great ones out there. Put it in a stylish frame. It will probably fade or yellow with time. But you can replace it easily and cheaply when you get tired of it.

If, however, you want to collect things that reflect the touch of humanity - a reflection of the artist's soul - you will find yourself collecting fine arts or crafts. If you yearn for an environment that includes work that was built by hand - layer by layer - one of a kind and unique. If you do not want your entire life to be composed of regulation mass produced automata, then original art is your cup of tea.

So What is Original Art?

The first thing you need to know is what makes something original art, and why you should spend your hard-earned money for it.

First things first. Original art work is original. This means that it is a one of a kind creation. An artist may do a series of similar paintings, but should not be painting the same painting over and over again. Original art is not a copy of a famous or not so famous painting - that is not original.

Original art does not have to be avante-garde (an old term by now) or abstract. It does have to be an original vision created by the artist. That includes traditional, impressionist, expressionist, conceptualist, and all of the other -ist visions. If you don't know what these terms mean, it doesn't matter - if you are interested, you will learn. But the first thing you need to know is what is in your heart. What speaks and is important to you.

Original Art and the "Art Community"

The art community has spent a lot of time and money trying to tell people what is good and bad art, and occasionally they know what they are talking about. But too often art critics, curators, and other art movers and shakers are people who love art, but especially love THEIR kind of art, and ONLY their kind of art. They are frequently unkind to art that they do not appreciate or cannot linearly link from "art movement A" to "art movement B". The real world does not really work in linear lines - influences fan out, become divers, coalesce and reformulate into both new and old. (very well said!)

Art works this way too. In other art forms this is easy to recognize. In music, we recognize many different genres like classic, jazz, country, easy listening etc. When concerts and recordings are reviewed, most media outlets have a knowledgeable jazz critic to review jazz, or rock and roll critic to review rock. If it is well known that a critic hates Mahler, it would be unwise to have this critic review a Mahler-athon. In the art world, exhibits that do not reflect the latest trend tend not to be reviewed, or to be reviewed by a hostile critic - the equivalent of sending a Mahler-hater to a Maher-athon. The mainstream press barely reviews art at all except for the biggest and most spectacular exhibits. When they do review exhibits, they can appear confusing or childish to the uninitiated. You have to rely on yourself. Go to art shows. If there are national or regional art competitions in your area, go see what is exhibited. Take your time. This is how you learn what work is important to you. It is not necessarily important that you follow the latest trends. That is just fashion. Original art should transcend fashion - but often doesn't - the art establishment seldom allows this. And quality isn't always expensive. A collector with an experienced eye can find quality whether at an outdoor street fair or in expensive galleries. You may be surprised at what great quality work you can get without having to take a second mortgage on your house.

Don't expect to become an expert overnight. Talk to artists. Most artists that I know are good at telling you why to buy their work. An artist with the gift of gab doesn't reflect on the overall quality of his work, but it can help you know more about the artist and where he is going or where he has been. You should like to collect work by an artist who is going to continue to work and grow; who produces consistently high quality work, not just occasional gems that often happen in spite of ones abilities. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The only stupid question is the one you were too afraid to ask. We artists love to tell you about what we are doing please ask!

Roy Elmer is a watercolor artist who works out of his winter art studio in Milan, TN and his summer art studio in St. Albans West Virginia. His works are currently being sold through the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art, Jackson, TN; Serendipity Gallery in Boca Grande, FL; Good Earth in New York; and New Orleans Art Services in New Orleans. The above article is copied here by permission from Roy Elmer.

7 Reasons Why Original Art (& art jewelry!) makes the perfect gift...

I wrote this up a couple of years ago...thought I'd share:

Beauty Lasts Forever Through the Magic of Art...

...Original art jewelry holds the touch of the artist, letting you feel the movement of their hand. The creative strokes and the blended hues enter your eye and stimulate you to joy. Let art jewelry bring you the joy you're seeking. Discover & experience the serene calm of a summer's day , the soothing sight of a grand tree , the sweet face of an animal, or the purifying energy of a dazzling sunflower. Knowing that you're wearing an original, creative work of art is an incredible feeling, and a wonderful way to express yourself and the parts of life you enjoy the most! Art jewelry also makes an exceptional gift for those you care about. Below you will uncover the reasons why and some of the most popular holidays when art jewelry is appreciated and admired.

7 Grand Reasons to Give the Gift of Original Art Jewelry:

1) Your gift of art jewelry tells your recipient you think he or she is interested in the finer things in life.

2) An original art pendant as a gift, unlike a gift of 20-year-old whiskey, will keep on giving pleasure year after year.

3) If your gifts are distributed internationally you can't miss: art is the universal language.

4) Your original art jewelry gift is a refreshing change of pace from the usual presents.

5) You're giving something which is an exclusive, hand-made creation.

6) An original art pendant is a gift which will delight the recipient and ennoble the giver.

7) Original art jewelry is the perfect gift for that special someone - a permanent reminder of the gift, the emotion and the giver.

Original art jewelry is an appreciated gift for:

  • Graduation ~ As the graduate embarks on his or her "original life", your gift of original art jewlery will inspire and encourage
  • Housewarming ~ Help the new homeowner fill their space with original art ornaments...creations which will last a lifetime
  • Wedding ~ They're beginning a new life, and the gift of a unique, framed original art pendant will send them on their way with a breath of fresh air
  • Anniversary ~ How about flowers which will last forever? Original art jewelry offers an anniversary gift which won't be forgotten
  • Birthday ~ What a better way to acknowledge a person's special day than with a gift which vibrates with uniqueness
  • Christmas ~ Miniature art pendants make great stocking stuffers, and are sure to steal the show at any Christmas gift-giving event
  • Valentines Day ~ There is no better way to say "I love you" than by giving a gift no one else in the world possesses
  • In the Hospital ~ What a refreshing way to bring cheer and color to someone's world at a time when they need it the most
  • Because You're Special ~ Selecting original art jewelry for your special someone is a sure way to show he or she how much they really mean to you!

Tree Frog art pendant


I made this little tree frog pendant this week and put him up on Ebay.
I think he turned out really cute! His colors are very vibrant.

I've been really fighting hard to NOT dress these pendants up with additional adornments like beads and stones. I have a habit of overdoing it sometimes with the extras, and my goal with these is to keep a simple, clean line look, with the art being the focus.

Last night I was looking in my jewelry box. Now I don't have a whole lot of jewelry left (in my personal jewelry box) because I've had to sell most of it to survive. I have a few CZ jewels left, and I'm keeping them. I sold my whole CZ collection I'd built up about 1-2 years ago to get the money to live on. Afterwards, I wish I hadn't of done it, so I'm keeping the few I've collected since then.

Anyway, in my jewelry box, I noticed a wooden pin which is carved in the shape of my name. This pin was purchased just a few years ago (cough cough) when I was 13 and my family went on a trip out west to Disneyland, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Las Vegas, Colorado, etc. The pin was bought from an artist along the way....I believe it was bought in Wyoming. It bought for me as a gift on this trip. To this day, I still have that pin. (We're talking almost 30 years!)

The interesting thing is, I used to buy a LOT of costume jewelry when I was younger. All of that jewelry is gone. Most was old/worn/broken and it was just tossed. This wood pin has a slight crack in it, and I don't wear it anymore, yet I still keep it. So I was thinking about that as I looked at it, and I realized I keep it because an ARTIST made it. It wasn't some mass-produced K-mart special. It wasn't made at a factory. It was made by his hands and his saw. And because of that, it's more meaningful to me.

I decided quite some time ago, I wanted my creations to be meaningful and kept by those who buy it. Over the years, the customers who have purchased my handcrafted jewelry have kept it. At least many told me they still have pieces I made 7 to 8 years ago, and they will always keep them. That's kind of a neat feeling. I guess it's my way of leaving a piece of me behind in this world. Just like the artist who made my wooden pin. I don't know his name, and I have no idea where he is now. But a piece of him has been left behind for me to treasure, and that's just pretty darn cool.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New art pendants: Boston Terrier & Zebra


Fresh from the studio - two new art pendants are now available on auction. Click here to see them in my new Ebay store!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A face in the rose...

Can you see the face in the rose? Yes, it's happening again..."others" are appearing in my work. Sigh. As I said, I REALLY need to get my hormones straight and end the craziness!!!!!!!!!

I need hormone cream!

Gosh the hot flashes are KILLING ME this week! I need to raise the money, and keep it coming in on a monthly basis, that's all there is to it. I've been off of it for about 3 years because I couldn't regularly afford it. Okay, it's time for something to change...I want a FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP with NO hot flashes. I want to be able to be ONE temperature through the day and not have this sweating one minute and freezing the next. It's starting to tick me off! ARGHHHHHHHHHH

Despite the fact I've had a really rough week with these female trials and tribulations, I did manage to get some work done. Today I finished a tree frog pendant and 3 rose pendants. Woohoo! And they are in my new Ebay store I just set up today - double Woohoo! :) Take a look here if you'd like.

And speaking of Ebay stores, I am soooooooo tickled that they now have an easy way to send something from store to auction, and I love this "best offer" thing. I know, that stuff's probably been in place for a while, but I've been away from Ebay for a while and it's all new to me! So I am very excited about all of this new stuff. (doesn't take much to thrill me, does it? LOL!)

I think I've done enough for one day, so I guess I'll take my box fan and blanket and go to bed.


Monday, June 25, 2007

3 new art pendants - Peacock, Eagle & USA Flag, Bantam Rooster


Good evening! I've just listed 3 new art pendants on Ebay. I've had so many requests for this type of pendant after I starting showing them online a few days ago, I've decided to go ahead and keep making these in this style (as long as my eyes hold up, that is!)

These are the acrylic paint on polymer clay pendants. Now that I'm getting more used to the acrylics, they are a bit easier for me to create, and I like to do them in sort of an impressionist style. I did a couple of large paintings in this style way-back-when and I really liked them. Don't know why I didn't keep it up, as I really enjoy it.

I wore the Siamese Cat pendant to church yesterday and several people commented on it - which kind of surprised me. Seems the only people who have anything to say about my work these days are folks at the art gallery, and of course Ebay buyers. So I guess that might be a good sign????

I'm putting the images from the pendants on the black shirts at Cafepress. On the shirts, I'm putting them in the place where a brooch might be worn. So it's like "built in jewelry" on the shirt itself. I put the images on a couple of other products as well, but my main focus with these is to have them on the black shirts. And of course greeting cards! I love greeting cards!

BTW, If you'd like to order a custom art pendant with your subject of choice, please visit this page to see my samples and pricing.

Here's tonight's new listings - and be SURE to view my other auctions - lots of original ART & JEWELRY is ending early tomorrow - many with lots of watchers, but not lots of bids!
PEACOCK Bird original hand painted OOAK Art Pendant
EAGLE USA July 4 original hand painted Art Pendant
BANTAM ROOSTER original hand painted Art Pendant

As always, thanks for viewing my work!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bulldog, Pug, Pomeranian & Siamese Cat Pendants


Just sharing some more art. These are more of my acrylic miniature art polymer pendants. I've put up the Pomeranian, Dr. Phil the Bulldog (who I met at a dog show this year), a Pug, and a Siamese Cat. They are all up for auction for great prices! I should be able to get some more listed by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Hope you like them! Jai

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unicorn Art on Ebay!


Item Specifics - Self-Representing Artists
Tell You A Secret - From Jai's 20/20 project in 2006, Tell You A Secret is a miniature watercolor and ink painting with a dog telling his unicorn friend a treasured secret. Painted on 140 lb watercolor paper. The painting is offered unframed. Jai is represented by the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art in Jackson, TN.
Condition: New, original painting
Size: 5 5/8" x 6 1/2"
Signed: Jai 20/20/7
S/H Priority mail for $5.00. Paypal is preferred for this auction. Cashiers Checks & Money Orders are also accepted if they arrive within 7 days of the auction ending date.

Window Seat - Original Cat Painting on Ebay!


Item Specifics - Self-Representing Artists
Window Seat - A beautiful piece of watercolor pencil art, featuring a fluffy golden cat perched on the window ledge. Painted on 140 lb watercolor paper. The painting is offered unframed and has deckled edges. It's suitable for mounting on top of or behind a mat. Jai is represented by the Dickson Gallery of Fine Art in Jackson, TN.
Condition: New, original painting
Size: 14 1/2" x 10 1/2"
Signed: Jai
S/H Priority mail for $7.00. Paypal is preferred for this auction. Cashiers Checks & Money Orders are also accepted if they arrive within 7 days of the auction ending date

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I love Ebay's new one page listing form!


....I didn't realize how much until I started listing everything I can from my studio and my collectibles. It is so much easier now to get a bunch of things listed at once. I used to use the old listing form that was one page and when they went to that six page thing, I thought UGH! It took me forever to get things listed. This one is MUCH BETTER!

I listed about 20 items on Saturday and managed to get a ton more listed already today. I put up some more of my art jewelry and original paintings. As I sell all of these artistic creations, I can definitely see the journey I've been on with my art over the past several years and how much I've accomplished. I haven't even put a dent in it all yet, either! But I decided recently, it's time for me to move on with my life (personally) and I need money to do that. So up on Ebay it all goes. Woohoo! Here's photos of a couple of my art jewels I've never even put up online until today.

Hopefully I'll get more items listed again on Saturday. If you want to see my listings, click here.

Have a great day! Jai

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What's New & 222

Good morning all. Today I plan on beginning my next painting. Picked up some larger paper on Friday, so I can work a little bigger, which I think will help. I don't want to work TOO BIG though since I'm working in color pencil. The paper size is 14x17 (previously I had completed paintings on 9x12 and 11x14) will probably be a pain to scan it, but I managed to get it done with the 11x14 by scanning 2 sections and putting them together with PSP, so I'm assuming I might have to scan the 14x17 in 4 sections.

I'm not sure what I'm going to call this one...the name which came to mind right off the bat is "Looking for Mr. Right". LOL You'll see why when I get it done. :)

I listed a bunch of auctions on Ebay yesterday. In fact, I'll be listing everything and anything I can get my hands on each week now. Yep, I'm going back to raising money on Ebay. I'm in a tenuous situation here at home, and in order to further my art career, maintain whatever sanity I have left, and get out of this situation, I need to make my own money again and the sooner the better! I have a feeling when I can make these changes to my personal life, you'll see vast improvements in my work, a clearer head as to the direction of the types of works I want to do, and a happier and healthier person. There's just no sense continuing to live in this adversity, and I refuse to do it anymore. It's time for a change!

I decided to list on Wed. & Saturdays. I'm not going to list every day like I used to - I wouldn't have time for my art if I did! But 2 days a week won't be so hard on me. Friday when I was getting my new paper for my art, my change from the cashier was $2.22. Amazing! See, "2" is my lucky number. Also "22" and "222" have always been lucky for me. So I knew then when I got that $2.22 back in change, something good was going to happen. Had a hell of a night Friday night here at home, but something good came out of it - my perspective on my life is clearer now, and I know what I have to do to get back on track.

So, on Saturday, I listed 20 auctions, and since I already had 2 auctions for prints listed, that brought me to "22" - lucky number! I also put the "22" in my pricing, hoping it will bring me luck. :) It appears to be doing so, as I already have several bids and a lot of people watching. I listed some collectibles, a signed and numbered framed magnolia print by Jack Deloney (which is GORGEOUS!), an odd looking brass deer figure, which is actually a trinket box, some of my original artworks from 2006 and several pieces of my polymer clay fine art jewelry. So there's a variety of items to choose from, and on Wed. I will list another batch of items if all goes well. In the meantime, I am beginning my next painting.

So that's my life in a nutshell.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Painting: Private Dance

Just finished my newest painting. I titled it "Private Dance". It's the first in a new grouping of romantic art I'm creating. You can see a better scan of it on my website.
Thanks for looking!...Jai

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bring good luck, prosperity and positive energy to your world...

I'm still working on uploading all of my artwork to my online store. Today, I uploaded my original color pencil design "The Money Tree". The bonsai plant, known as the Pachira aquatica, is a mainstay in feng shui. Feng shui practitioners believe that the braided bonsai creates positive energy for any room that it placed in. Wearing clothing with the money tree imagery will cause good fortune to be drawn to you on a regular basis.

If you give the money tree artwork to someone as a gift, not only will your recipient receive good fortune, but you will receive DOUBLE!
Prints, home decor, and clothing items with the Money Tree artwork is often chosen for fundraisers - the magnets and buttons make terrific quick-sale items for your group events.

Get your money tree items here.

Other new designs uploaded this week include:

Taking Home the Blue - Get this design on home decor & clothing as well as prints here.

Lavender Field, available here.

BlueBell Lane, available here.

Golden Guardians, available here.

BlueBell Lane & Golden Guardians are also available in a signed and numbered limited edition of 2500 from my website.

I'll be uploading more works as the week goes on! Soon you'll see my entire collection of art!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

So no one answered my question....

Go figure. Guess I'll just have to answer it myself! Maybe I'll write an article about why many artist's commit suicide. Hey, maybe I'll actually get PAID for doing it too! Wouldn't that be unique - LOL!

Been busy this week. Looking for work. Paying work that is. I had an interview yesterday. It went well, and I'll probably get offered a position. Low pay though, but within walking distance from the house, so I wouldn't have to use my car and burn gas. There's another opportunity out there that almost pays 3 times as much. However, I haven't had a response from those folks yet. I really hope I hear back, as it sounds more enjoyable to me, and the money of course is much better. Plus, I'd work almost 1/2 the hours and make twice as much as I'd make at job #1.

In the meantime, it's back to the paper to keep looking. This is what I'm going to have to do to survive.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Question: Why do Artists Commit Suicide?

Why do so many artistic people commit suicide? Just curious for your responses as this is a question which has been in my mind recently. Click on the comments line below to leave a comment with your response if you'd like. Comments are moderated to keep out the spam, but if they have to do with my question, I'll publish them.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Free thank you cards with my The Price of Freedom art

In doing thank you cards for my husband's customers, I thought of a wonderful idea! Since many businesses send thank you cards, I thought about offering my thank you cards FREE, with a message inside chosen by the business owner. I'll hand address the cards and mail myself. The only thing I'm asking for is the postage fees. Go here to read more: JaiArt.Com Thank You Cards

This is a great way for me to get my art "out there and seen" by people, and in the meantime, the business customers get a cool thank you card which they will appreciate from the business.

I'm now thinking of my next painting...I have an idea in mind...but I want to make sure it's going to work before I share it! :)


P.S. I put one my of 8 1/2" x 11" signed and numbered artist proofs on Ebay for 99 cents NR - click here to bid!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Price of Freedom ~ New Art just released!

Good evening! I finished it! My patriotic painting The Price of Freedom is ready to see and it's available as signed and numbered prints in a limited edition of 2500 from me directly at! Stop by and take a look, and buy a print - help support a living artist! Thanks a bunch!