#109 Betty Krause: Painter of Abstract Florals and Master at Videos and Instagram

Artist Betty Krause paints beautiful abstract floral pieces. She also shares her techniques through her Youtube channel and Instagram posts and stories. We talk a lot about the methods she uses for taking her videos, transferring them to her computer, and editing them. She also shares many tips for promoting your business through Instagram. I always include key takeaways at the end of the interview, and I’m giving you a heads up that this episode has 21 takeaways. That’s the most ever. Betty shared so many amazing tips and techniques for your art business, that I wanted to include them all.  

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Betty Krause

There's No Place Like Here, 30" x 40" acrylic on canvas
Summer Scene, 20" x 20" acrylic on canvas
Smiling in Sunlight, 22" x 30" acrylic on paper
Promises, 24" x 30" acrylic on canvas
Paradise of Being, 24" x 18" acrylic on paper
Golden Meadow Glow, 24" x 18" acrylic on paper
Betty teaching at one of her workshops.
Meditative Moments, 36" x 36" acrylic on canvas
Peeking Over My Shoulder, 36" x 36", canvas
Cozy Oblivion, 24" x 24" acrylic on canvas
City Views, 12" x 9" acrylic on paper

Here are some of the things we discussed in this episode (click on the names to follow the links).

Betty Krause has a website that is called bettykrauseart.com.

Go to the Contact tab on her website, and then Quick Links, and you will find her links for her Email List, her Favorite Art Supplies, her Youtube Channel, and more.

You can find her on Facebook at Betty Krause Art and on Instagram @betty.krause.art

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. Pick a gallery that goes with your art and your personality.
  2. Bristol paper and paints are great materials to bring when you’re traveling and you want to make some art.
  3. When shipping canvas art overseas, the least expensive way is to remove the gallery wrapped canvas from the wooden frame, and mail the canvas in a shipping tube. Then your customer will have to get the canvas re-stretched onto a frame.
  4. Betty does cross-promotion over many platforms. So for example, when she puts a video on her Youtube channel, she will put it in her Instagram stories, on Facebook, and she’ll mention it in her Newsletter.
  5. Betty shared a lot of tips for filming process videos. One of the tricky things she faced was that Instagram prefers portrait videos, and Youtube prefers landscape videos. So she makes separate videos for each platform. She also discovered that using your phone to film a long sequence will fill up its memory, and then it stops recording before you are done with the video. She got around this by investing in a camcorder that she can use for all her filming.
  6. She can film an hour-long painting session, but then speed them up for a smaller video. She will add voice overs for this, and she’s invested in a good microphone to record the voice overs.
  7. She uses PhotoShop for videos to edit her videos.
  8. I suggested Windows Movie Maker for editing your videos.
  9. Betty uses One Drive to automatically upload her photos and videos to the cloud, so that she can retrieve them on her laptop for editing.
  10. Betty also suggests that if you can’t figure something out, search for a Youtube video that will explain how to do it.
  11. The best way to market your artwork is to market yourself to. People want to see videos of you making art and describing what you’re doing, because they want to purchase from someone they feel like they know.
  12. As a final protective coating for her paintings, she first uses a matte spray, then she brushes on a Liquitex varnish, either matte, satin, or gloss. For protecting her paintings on paper, she uses a matte spray, and a gloss liquid.
  13. If she does not use a mat when she frames her paintings on paper, she will use spacers so that the paper does not touch the glass.
  14. Betty uses a company called Skyline Printing out of Austin, Texas to create the prints of her paintings. Their website is skylineartprints.com.
  15. When offering different print sizes, she makes sure not to offer to large a size, or the image might get distorted.
  16. When teaching a workshop where you may get students from out of town, be sure to offer them lodging options for their stay.
  17. Betty has a great way to protect the table surface when she sets up for a class: She covers the tables with 4mm plastic sheeting, which is a little bit thick, and the bonus is that the students can use the plastic as their paint palette.
  18. The best way to get more followers on Instagram is to let people get to know you. You must engage and connect with your followers.
  19. Keep your Instagram feed focused on your art and your business, and be consistent with what you post and how often. Your Instagram stories are a great place where you can show a little more personal things about your life.
  20. If you post to IGTV on Instagram, it now shows up in your feed as well, but a shortened version.
  21. One last thing that Betty mentioned after we were done with the interview: She said that Cory Huff of The Abundant Artist has a book called How to Sell Your Art Online, and that was instrumental in helping her get her art business off the ground. Betty includes a link on the Quick Links section of her website where you can buy that book.

Betty is also offering a free PDF titled  TOP 10 THINGS TO DO on INSTAGRAM. Click on this link to receive it.

#108 Melissa Mastrangelo: Artwork Inspired by the Beauty of Nature

Artist Melissa Mastrangelo is inspired by the natural beauty in Florida, painting sea life and nature scenes. As she develops her art career, she has added many different art projects to her business, like painting classes, murals, and public art. She paints in acrylic, often on 3D objects like guitars and ukuleles.

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Melissa Mastrangelo

Melissa’s website is dreamincolorartfl.com

Her instagram is @dreamincolorart

Her Facebook is Dream in Color. 

Her painting class business is called Mobile Masterpieces, and her website is mobilemasterpiecesfl and you can also find it on Facebook.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. If you want to try an art income concept, like the paint and sip-type parties, start out first with another company before you start out on your own. That way you’ll know if you truly like it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask photographers if you can use one of their pictures as a reference for a painting. But do ask them before you use it.
  3. Talk to other more established artists about helping you to get into galleries, especially if you’re new to the area.
  4. The best resource for finding print makers or T-shirt makers is other artists.
  5. Look into city art programs for other art project opportunities. Melissa heard about a city Call to Artists, she applied with some sketches, and she got the opportunity to paint on a children’s play house that was part of a charity fundraiser.
  6. If you notice that a business is rotating its artwork on the walls, reach out to them and see if you can have a show of your own artwork there.
  7. Another great reason for booking a solo show, is it will provide motivation for getting some of your works in progress finished, since you’ll have to have a lot of pieces ready for the show.
  8. Chalk art with acrylics is another popular trend right now. You can find chalk art jobs for restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops that want that look for their signage and menu boards.
  9. Melissa is participating in an event called Sharkcon, which is for marine biologists, shark enthusiasts, and ocean artists. Look into different types of events like that to show your work and sell T-shirts and other merchandise.

#107 Kellee Wynne Conrad: Helping Artists Find Their True Colors

Artist Kellee Wynne Conrad created an art community simply by sharing color palettes on Instagram. She now has a very successful program where she shares art and business lessons, and includes great ideas from guest artists. We talk about her art palettes that she called Color Crush Creative and how they evolved into her True Colors Art Program.

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Kellee Wynne Conrad

Kellee’s website is kelleewynnestudios.com

You can find Kellee on Facebook at Kellee Wynne Studios.

She also can be found on Instagram at @kelleewynnestudios

You can find Kellee’s in person classes on her website here.

Kellee’s online classes including the Experience True Colors Online Membership can be found here.

Her newest online class is called Timeless Arches and will be available in October. This class will take you on a virtual trip to Europe where she recently traveled and was inspired by their wonderful architecture.

In 2020, Kellee will be traveling to France to teach a workshop. You can sign up for that today here on her website.

Be sure and go to the Home page of her website and sign up for her newsletter to discover her latest offerings.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. Seek out art groups in your local community, no matter what your medium or skill level. You can start participating in local art shows and meet other artists who can give you feedback
  2. Go to art gallery shows. Go to artist talks and listen to other artists talk about their experiences. Don’t let your art community exist only in the virtual world. Get out and meet other artists in person.
  3. If you have a gallery you’re interested in, give them a postcard of your upcoming community show and invite them to come and see your work. That’s a good, non-obtrusive way to make an introduction to a gallery.
  4. If your desire is to get your artwork into galleries, then go to all the galleries in your general area and visit them to see if they would be a good fit for your work.
  5. When bringing your artwork to a gallery, make sure it is finished, ready to hang, and you’ve put your name and title on the back of each piece.
  6. Take a little bit of time to create art and really develop your voice before you start showing or selling your art.
  7. Follow your wild ideas, because you never know which one will really make it. Kellee started with a new Instagram account called Color Crush Creative, and it became a huge, vibrant, community of artists.
  8. One of the best ways a beginner artist can give themselves some positive self-talk, is to accept any praise for their artwork, and respond with “Thank you for taking the time to look at my art.” That’s better than responding in the negative, and saying “Oh no, my art isn’t very good and I have so far to go.”
  9. Surround yourself with supportive friends who you can talk over ideas with and get advice for your business.
  10. There’s nothing like being able to go away for an art retreat. You get to put your job and other responsibilities on hold so that you can really dive deep into your art.
  11. A great way to get experience teaching at a retreat overseas is to first teach locally. Then move up to being a guest instructor at someone else’s retreat.

#106 Francis Sills: Landscape and Plein Aire Artist

Artist Francis Sills lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where he does a lot of his oil painting outside, in the style of plein aire painting. His landscapes are influenced by his surroundings, including the changing of the light and colors. He shows his artwork in two galleries, one in South Carolina, and one near his previous home in New York City. I also interviewed his wife, artist Faith Evans-Sills in Episode 102. If you listened to that episode, you’ll soon discover that their artistic styles and the paths of their art businesses are very different.

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Francis Sills

Flora Shifting, Oil on Linen, 40" x 32"
Magnolia Oak, Charcoal on Paper, 22" x 30"
Fallen Tree Swamp, Oil on Linen, 24" x 30"
Boneyard Beach, Oil on Linen, 24" x 30"
Garden Summer, Oil on Linen, 48" x 30"
Floral Still Life, Oil on Linen, 20" x 24"
Living Room Interior, Oil on Linen, 24" x 30"
Wild Summer Garden, Oil on Linen, 42" x 52"

You can find more photos of Francis Sills’ artwork on his website francissills.com.

He also can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

He is represented by two galleries: Horton Hayes Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina, and Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont, New York.

His art will be included in the upcoming Manifest Gallery International Drawing Annual book. 

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. Look to artists in history for inspiration in your art, like Francis did with Lucian Freud and Alberto Giacometti.
  2. When looking for galleries to show your work, look around and find ones that have a similar look to your art.
  3. When painting with oils, be aware of how it will affect your home and family. Francis paints in a separate, detached studio so that the smells don’t come into his home.
  4. Plein aire painting is a wonderful way to go outside and paint in nature. You can bring a French easel, which is easy to carry, your supplies, and you’re good to go.
  5. Painting outside allows your setting to be part of the painting process. You are observing the world and reacting to the light while you are creating.
  6. When painting outside, you’ll naturally receive questions from people walking by. This is a great way to get used to talking about your artwork.
  7. An alternative to plein aire painting is to paint the nature that’s in your backyard, or to set up still lives in your studio.
  8. When showing artwork at galleries in different states, make sure the artwork would be attractive to people living in or visiting that area.

#105 Wendy Brightbill: Gathering Beauty in the Everyday

Artist Wendy Brightbill has lived her whole life in Colorado, where she is raising a family with her husband, making art, and teaching classes. Wendy grew up in an artistic home, but really just came back to art after she had a serious car accident. She developed her art style, using oil, acrylics, and watercolors, and she now has many classes on her website where she helps others to find their artistic voice.

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Wendy Brightbill

Wendy's latest class offering is Playing Big Botanical.

Wendy’s website is wendybrightbill.com

You can find her classes at class.wendybrightbill.studio

Her instagram is @wendybrightbill

You can also find her on Facebook.

Her etsy shop is A Girl and Her Brush.

Here is the link to her FREE class 30 Days of Creative Practice.

This is her latest class called Playing Big Botanical.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. This first one is actually something Wendy mentioned before we started recording, and it’s such great advice, I wanted to include it here. Wendy suggests offering a free class on your website. That will allow people to get to know you, you’ll gain a sense of trust from them, and they will understand your teaching style. That will make them more likely to sign up for one of your paid classes.
  2. Artwork can be done because you love the process of making, and you don’t need to worry about what the final product will be.
  3. You need to just show up for your artwork. For Wendy, that means continuing to paint, continuing to post it on Instagram and other places, and continuing to just be an artist, every day.
  4. Wendy believes that every time she creates an art class, she gets better as an artist. It allows her to tap into something differently than she normally would. That’s a great reason to make classes!
  5. Wendy started teaching classes through another artist’s website. That was an easier way to start because they will support you and walk you through what you need to do. The first of these sites that she used is jeanneoliver.com.
  6. Wendy now hosts her classes through Teachable and they are accessed right through her website.
  7. If Wendy is offering a big class, she may start promoting it as much as two months out.
  8. Yupo paper does not absorb the paint, it just sits on top of it. So it’s a great choice if you’d like your paint to really flow across the surface.
  9. You can use acrylics mixed with light molding paste and applied with a palette knife to give your painting a thicker appearance.
  10. Just keep making art. You really want to establish a practice of creating art.
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