Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Tips: How to be Taken Serious as an Artist

It’s Not a Hobby!

To this day, after 30 years as a teaching professional, people still don’t take my job seriously. They think because I call myself an artist, I don’t actually do any real work. Recently a distant aunt said, “It’s so nice you’re doing something with your hobby.” She’s old, she meant well and she lives far away. She doesn’t get it. I understand. But I still felt compelled to validate my career choice by rattling off the numerous tasks I do to keep my business and career relevant.  

I’m guessing a lot of you have experienced the, deer in the headlight look from someone after revealing that you’re an artist. “Oh. That’s cool,” they say. Then they panic and look for the easiest escape route. Then, while you’re punching your password, they ditch you before you can prove your worth with the pictures stored on your phone. I get you. 

We’re artists. We’re proud. We’re a strong, viable community. And we work hard. 

Just because we love what we do doesn’t mean we’re not business minded. Our attitude about our trade is just more abstract. 

With our plight in mind, I’ve compiled some tips you might use to assert your profession.  

5 Tips: How to be Taken Serious as an Artist 

1 Wear flamboyant clothes. Billowy and bright make the best statement. Finding flashy garb is easy. Head to the back of the store; it’s hanging on the deep, deep discount rack.  

2 Think like an indecisive squirrel crossing the road. In conversation, don’t be shy. Speak your creative ideas and random thoughts freely, uncensored. Having two sentences follow the same train of thought is for geeks. (No offense to geeks; I respect their straight forward approach to fixing my computer.)  

3 Have crazy hair. The wilder the better. Let it go. Give your straight iron to your accountant. 

4 Explain to friends, in detail the deeper meaning of a wet lump of clay. 

5 Surround yourself with original art that speaks to you. Don’t fall prey to main stream home decor picked by an interior designer from a catalog for the masses. If you really want to make a statement and show how vested you are to your profession, penis art always gets a rise. 

Good Luck!

Mark your calendar for these hands-on workshops! 

Advanced Glass Fusing, May 10 – 13, 2016
4-Days, Hands-on Workshop
My private studio, Wesley Chapel, FL
There’s still time to register!

Meet me in Colorado and we’ll Get Fired Up!!  

Take it to the Next Level – Advanced Mixed Technique 2-Day Workshop, June 13-14, 2016
D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.

Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Artwork 2-Day Workshop, June 15-16, 2016
D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.

D&L Art Glass Supply Workshops, register here:
Check out the D&L Art Glass Supply workshop video here:

Upcoming Webinars: Bringing it home to YOU! 

Webinars, register here:

Back by popular demand!
Make a Fused Glass Sink with Lisa Vogt, Webinar
May 24, 2016
Make the fused glass sink of your dreams! Learn how easy it is to design, construct, fuse, slump, drill and cold-work three different style sinks.

Back by popular demand!
Fusing with Frit with Lisa Vogt, Webinar
July 7, 2016
Lisa will show you how to apply several methods she uses to add the striking; painterly-quality she’s developed to improve the impact of glass fusing projects.

For tutorials visit, YouTube channel
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 Color Theory Tips to Elevate Your Art

There’s such a boom of beautiful work being made today that its overwhelming, and frankly hard to keep up. If you want to rise above the rest and get your work noticed, you have to dig deeper into the artistry of creating. By building a strong foundation with art theory basics, you’ll soon be the one forging the new path, rather than the one lagging a few steps behind. Let’s get going!   

There’s a science to color. Don’t worry. I know you are artists and science is the last thing on your mind. But understanding, even minor elements of this concept, is empowering, because art and science are more closely related than you might think. 

As an artist, you have the power to move people. I mean this both emotionally and literally. With active color combinations, you can create a mood that makes people feel peaceful, excited, quizzical or even upset. With particular color placement, you can lead your viewer around your design; you can encourage them to look, or not look, anywhere you want. That’s huge!

How you use color and combine it, can dramatically increase the positive interest in your artwork. By keeping just a few basic theories in mind, when selecting your colors, you’ll take charge of how your audience interacts with your designs. 

 Color Basics 

Primary colors are those colors all other colors come from when mixed. Primary colors are red, yellow and blue. These three colors are the anchor of the color wheel. Connect them and you create a triangle. All color combinations, including primary colors, that can be connected by an equilateral triangle on the color wheel, work well together. A grouping of these colors is a consistently pleasing combination called triatic harmony.  

Secondary colors, orange, purple and green are made by mixing primary colors. Since they are also positioned in a triangular fashion, they too make a pleasing combination. Combine them and you have a fail-safe grouping that is sure to get noticed.   

Complimentary colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel. Complimentary color couples are: yellow and purple, red and green, orange and blue. These colors, when used side-by-side cause a mutual vibration that enhances both colors. These pairs are used together when you want your artwork to really pop. 

White attracts the eye more than any color. When used, it dominates the artwork. It’s used sparingly and intentionally to draw attention to a specific area, or design element. (White is your super weapon. With it, you control the viewer and dictate where they look first and what they see, as the primary focal point. Wield it wisely.) 

Black creates a visual hole in artwork. It’s used sparingly and intentionally for high contrast. (If the project allows, I try to avoid using black and substitute super dark blue, purple or brown instead. I apply this idea frequently in projects that have a pictorial theme. When I want to create deep dark shadows, I use dark blue instead of black. Then my high contrast areas have warmth, without the negative void.)  

For a better understanding of the influence of white and black on artwork look at a color photograph, and then squint your eyes. By blurring the details, the high contrast areas become obvious. The white areas come forward, while the black fields recede to nothingness. Try this when no one’s looking or they’ll wonder about you.


5 Color Theory Tips

1 Pick a Color Palette and Stick with It  

With so many crayons in the box it’s hard to stick to just a few. But I promise, the desirability of your artwork will greatly improve if you show restraint. Sticking to your colors indicates conscious thought and planning. It also suggests that the artwork has deeper meaning, which viewers find intriguing and therefore worth further study.   

2 Work with Primarily Three Colors 

Consider one of the three colors, the one you intend to use most, as the primary color. Use the second color to a lesser degree, so it complements the primary color without competing with it. The third color is used the least. Select one that enhances the primary and secondary colors. 

When working with a monochromatic (neutral, muted or single color) color scheme, I like to throw in a zinger. A zinger is an unexpected complimentary color; it’s used in moderation to serve as an accent. Visually, the unexpected color gives the quiet field points of interest that lure the viewer in.  

3 Use Multiple Shades of the Same Color

This is especially important when working with glass. Introducing different hues extends the color palette, bringing fullness and depth to an otherwise flat material. Asian Poppy is an example of this approach. For my primary color, red, I used cherry red, red opal and flame. For the secondary color, amber, I used light amber, medium amber and dark amber. My accent color was yellow. For the zinger I used olive green stringers. I chose green because it’s opposite red on the color wheel, and therefore a complementary color.

4 Repeat Colors 

If you use a color in one place repeat that color in at least two more places. This creates continuity which prompts full exploration of the entire piece of artwork. It’s not necessary to use the same amount of color in each application; it’s actually more interesting to vary the color concentration here and there.  

5 How to Find Your Own Fresh Color Palettes 

Pay attention to the different color combinations you see daily and expand on those. I’ve found inspiration to make a fused bowl with a color palette I found at the mall. I liked the mix of blues on a man’s shirt. Inspired by a random pile of brightly colored pony-tail bands in my daughter’s bathroom, I made a really pretty clock. The colors for one of my signature series pieces was inspired by a picture of a New England beach. In it I combined grey-blue along with, pale amber, bronze and pale green. Another one was inspired by a volcano. It was made with shades of red, orange, grey and black. Open yourself up to new sources beyond the studio and the ideas will come in a flood.  

These are guidelines. They’re intended to give you a more in-depth understanding of the important role color plays in the appearance of your art. Nothing here is set in stone. There are exceptions to every rule, and I’m usually first in line to break them. But with this background knowledge, you’ll make more educated decisions about your construction. 

And hopefully, that will take you to the next level.

Until next time, happy fusing,


Upcoming Workshops
I’m teaching two new hands on workshops at D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.
June 13 – 16, 2016 where you’ll learn how to apply these color theories first-hand.
The classes are open to everyone, not just wholesale customers.
I hope you can join me!

Register here
Check out the video here!

5 Awesome New Things You’ll Learn in
Take it to the Next Level – Advanced Mixed Technique 2-Day Workshop, June 13-14, 2016
D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.
1 NEW Free-Flow process for artful blends and washes similar to blown glass.
2 How to create dramatic effects with color, pattern and texture.  
3 How to build complex, multifaceted works.
4 How to give your art unique form that stands out from the crowd.    
5 How to combine multiple advanced techniques for engaging artwork.  

5 Awesome New Things You’ll Learn in
Breaking Through – Making Exhibition Quality Artwork 2-Day Workshop, June 15-16, 2016
D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.
1 What it takes to make break through exhibition quality artwork.
2 How to develop your own unique design style.
3 How to create drama with color, texture and pattern.
4 How to combine advanced techniques for the wow factor.
5 Innovative, sculptural ways to present and display your art.
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