I read somewhere awhile back that artists who want to be successful can expect to spend 80% of their time on the business side of art. Now I understand. I have spent the entire day researching various search engines, online artists directories, the pros and cons of listing with various sites, looking at other artists' sites and other artists' blogs. I am amazed at the number of artists out there, all trying to get themselves noticed. Myself included. It's clear to me how important a web presence is these days. That doesn't mean artists should give up on getting their work into galleries, but for me, realistically, I don't see galleries as big sales markets for portraits--which is pretty much what I paint. Few people want to hang portraits of people they don't know, unless they're famous. And let's face it, with the economy the way it is right now, even fewer people are interested (and able) to spend their hard-earned dollars on paintings. These days, artists have to be even more creative in finding ways to get their work noticed.
So I have been focusing on getting my website and blog updated and taking advantage of some of the free marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter. I'm not really sure how Twittering is going to help--I suspect it might be more of an annoyance (to those I tweet to) than anything, but we'll see. I'm thinking of giving the newsletter idea a try--but it seems a little narcissistic to send out a newsletter all about me. I'll have to think on that a little longer.
As for actually painting, I'm hoping to finish up the window scene I posted the other day, and move on to a commissioned portrait of a girl and her horse. I'd like to get back to doing small daily paintings, but with all this business stuff to deal with, that might not be too realistic.