Dawn Wayand

Refreshing a Room by Rotating Works of Art

Refreshing a Room by Rotating Works of Art

Each year, we decorate our homes and offices during a season or holiday with festive decorations to celebrate that season or holiday. It’s nice to see our environment in a different light every once in a while. It’s fun and creates excitement. However, it’s not the only way to shake up the monotony of our everyday surroundings. It’s also good practice to rotate your wall art in each room every once in a while to create a new, refreshing look.

While rotating your artwork can include incorporating new artwork into your art collection, it does not necessarily mean entirely getting rid of old artwork. It simply means moving pieces around, possibly into different rooms with a different combination of pieces. It could mean storing a piece temporarily for a season or two while something new hangs in its place. Or, yes, it really could mean retiring an artwork entirely.

Refreshing a Room by Rotating Works of Art

The point is to refresh a space that has looked the same for a period of time, change has to occur, and rotating artwork within your home or office space may be something that you never thought about before. It also gets rid of the excuse that you can’t buy new art because you don’t have the wall space for it.

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Tips, 0 comments
Why I Decided to Start Creating Desk Art

Why I Decided to Start Creating Desk Art

About two years ago, I was working at a real estate development company as a paralegal with a team of about approximately eight (8) attorneys and another paralegal and I sat next to and was friends with the company owners’ executive assistant. At the end of the year, there was generally a gift swap game that we played at work for the holidays but I was feeling generous and wanted to show my team my appreciation for being such awesome people to work with. So at the end of the summer, I racked my brain for gift ideas that would be personal for each of them and that would impart a little bit of my other life, some of my creative talents.

Early Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand

Early Desk Art

 

I was painting a lot of general-sized paintings that year and it hit me – I could paint them each a painting! But then I thought it would take me a great deal of time to paint a regular-sized painting for each person on my team (plus I wanted to include the company owners…) Then I had an epiphany. I could paint smaller paintings for their office walls. But again, not everyone on my team had an office or even office walls to hang a painting on. That’s when I thought about small easels and making them paintings for the desk instead. What a unique gift this was shaping up to be!

 

Above image from top left clockwise: The main attorney I worked with loved golf, so I created a mini painting of a golf club about to hit a golf ball into a hole on a nice sunset background for him. One of my favorite attorneys to work with was just everything to me: a mentor, a boss, a colleague, an entertainer (he was always making me laugh), a counselor, and a friend so I painted “He Who Wears Many Hats” for him. I had learned that the female attorney on our team had a secret talent learning to play piano, so I created a painting of curvy piano keys on an abstract and incorporated notes on paper for a mixed media touch. Our construction attorney had just bought a Peloton and while I didn’t know all that much else about him, I thought about those crazy bicycles from the 1800s and painted him “The 1871 Peloton”. I caught the owners’ executive assistant constantly printing recipes on our shared printer so I thought about making her a painting revolving around food, called “Cooking Italian I”. Our litigation attorney was constantly traveling someplace around the world so I thought painting him a mani painting incorporating travel icons would be appropriate and it was called, “Where Next?” There were others but these were some of my favorites.

Current Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand

Current Desk Art Pieces (some sold)

 

The following year, I started creating more desk art as after presenting the paintings to my team in a group setting – they seemed to be a big hit and I felt that adding a little unique decor to someone’s desk could really be that one thing that makes someone’s bad day better, or is an escape, or even a conversational piece while sitting at one’s desk at work.

 

I had the opportunity to sell my work at a small store downstairs from where I live last year in November and thought table and desk art would not only make table decorations for the holidays (my holiday desk/table art) but also super unique gifts to give any time of the year so I started thinking of every possible thing I could paint on a 5×7” or 6×8” canvas that might embody a person’s interests to make the gifts personal. Some of the works I went mixed media on for a three-dimensional effect. Again, they were a hit.

Desk Art by Dawn M. Wayand in the Store Window

Store Window with my Table/Desk Art for Sale Last Year

 

One night very late, I happened to be taking my trash out and noticed an older gentleman standing at the window of the shop looking at my artwork through the window after hours. Without telling him right away that I was the artist, he started going on and on about the ideas, the uniqueness, that they were all “really amazing”. When I admitted they were my work, we ended up standing there talking for about an hour, about the technique, the thought process behind them, how I came up with the ideas, etc. He told me to keep doing what I was doing and commended me for the work.

 

This is why I create. I love meeting people and getting feedback on my work. I love the reactions I get to something I create. I love putting the beauty of art into the world. Even if it’s not on a wall, but only on someone’s desk.

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Behind the Scenes, 0 comments
Finding Inspiration for Art

Finding Inspiration for Art

Artists sometimes face an interlude in creating new art or continuing existing works due to a “creative block”. They may find it difficult to conjure up a new idea or finish an artwork they’ve already started. As an artist, you may feel like you’ve painted everything you enjoy painting or you’re not even motivated to pick up your paintbrush anymore because you’re fresh out of ideas on what to paint. 

Mixing real life with canvas.

 

When this happens, it can feel like the end of your world (or at the very least, your art career), but there is actually is hope! Below are 10 tips that have worked for me in the past to help overcome a creative block and to help get you back on track to create new and more amazing artworks.

 

  1. Assign Yourself an Art Project. There are a variety of books as well as articles on the web that are dedicated to daily, weekly, and monthly art project ideas to aid artists in getting their creative juices flowing again. 

A few recommended art project books.

 

     A few book examples are:

 

  1. Paint the Same Subject 10 Different Ways. I am also a photographer, and one exercise that has helped me wriggle out of a creative block has been giving myself a time limit and shooting the same subject 100 different ways. However, canvas can be expensive and with the time it takes to paint a work of art, you may have broken your creative block well before painting #100. Restrict yourself to one subject and paint that same subject 10 different ways. Think different angles and perspectives, sizes, crop in close, etc. Try different mediums and textures.

 

  1. Paint Anything. Prepare your canvas and paint any subject, even if it doesn’t interest you. Paint a still life of things from your home. As long as you are painting something, you are getting your juices flowing and this is a great first step on the road to recovery.

 

  1. Experiment with new media. Break out your camera and shoot something that catches your eye. Then try drawing or painting one of your photographs. I very often will take my charcoal pencils out and draw one of my photographs. 

My photograph of the pelican on the pier (left) and my drawing from that photograph (right).

 

Even if you feel like you’re not much of a photographer, attempting to draw or paint a still object or scene from a photograph is a great way to try to beat a creative block.

My photograph of a scene in Eze, France (left) and my drawing from that photograph (right).

 

Flirting with other art mediums can not only assist in getting the creative juices flowing again, but you may find you like practicing in a new type of art!

 

  1. Don’t Limit Yourself To Just One Media on Canvas. I found my art world opened up when I started incorporating objects onto my canvases such as dried flowers, faux butterflies, actual musical instrument parts, etc. It not only made my works more 3-dimensional, but it gave me a niche. Artwork doesn’t have to always be 2-dimensional. Sometimes letting the artwork flow out of the canvas and come alive also helps with creative inspiration.

Incorporating actual guitar parts onto the canvas for a 3-D feel.

 

  1. Study the Great Masters and Try to Emulate Their Work Adding Your Own Twist. Research the great masters of art in your area of interest and study their works as well as other artists’ works. Try painting in their style and form, possibly even try to replicate one of their paintings, but adding your own twist. By emulating the works of artists that are of interest to you, you find yourself newly inspired and developing and/or practicing new techniques that you didn’t know before.

 

  1. Look To Magazines, Books, and Other Media for Inspiration. Along the lines of studying the masters and other artists’ works, look through your favorite magazines for inspiration and new ideas. Other forms of art can also be just as inspiring and motivating to cause a boost in your creative juices. Things such as a good song, a movie, a tv show, a work of art or even a good book can help generate new ideas for things such as still life portraits, scenic paintings, a new painting technique, and much more.

 

  1. Start an Art Journal. An art journal can be a great tool for artists to get the creative juices flowing. Keeping a small notebook with you at all times can come in handy for jotting down that fleeting idea that you might have during the day (or night) that you may forget after 10 minutes otherwise. Art journals can also serve as a place to create sketches of ideas you may have for paintings.

An art journal can be a great tool and record to save you when you go through those times of a creative block.

 

An art journal can serve as a record of your thoughts and ideas – something you can refer back to during those times when you might have a creative block.

 

  1. Take an Art Class. There’s nothing more motivating to get you painting again than to take an art class. Taking a class can force you to paint, learn new techniques, and share different visions with fellow art students. An art class also forces you to produce work in a more structured environment. You might find that the exercises and assignments that an art instructor might give you help to open that creative door again.

 

  1. Have patience. Creative blocks are not the end of the world. They are just a small bump in the road to becoming a better, more creative artist. Creative blocks can provide you with opportunities to look at other works and try new techniques granting you continued education, practice, and production. Have patience. Don’t look at a creative block as an obstacle, but as part of the creative journey.
Posted by Dawn Wayand in Tips, 0 comments
Best Practices for Safely Preparing Artwork for Storage Until It’s Sold

Best Practices for Safely Preparing Artwork for Storage Until It’s Sold

I recently had an explosion of creativity over the last 18 months and an urge to get it all out on canvas, however, I was painting faster than I had been selling my work. Living in a small one-bedroom apartment just outside New York City, I had to find a solution for storing my work until it sold so I rented a public storage unit. 

One may gasp at the thought of placing your valuable art in a potentially hazardous space where it could not only be stolen but suffer from mold, mildew, or rodent damage. However, there are many precautions that can be taken to help ensure your precious works of art do not fall victim to these circumstances. In this article, I will provide you with some of the best practices for safely preparing artwork for storage until it’s sold.

 

Preparing the Artwork

First, I typically like to make sure my art is ready to hang for the customer, so I will make sure that I have added the screw eyes to the back of the canvas and threaded the artwork with wire to make this possible.

Canvas wired for hanging

 

Next, I’ll wrap the artwork in glassine paper and use either a white gaffer tape or masking tape to secure the closure of the wrapping. I don’t use saran wrap or bubble wrap because plastics can invite moisture under the right temperatures, which can lead to mold and mildew. 

Gaffers tape to secure glassine paper

 

Packing the Artwork

While I’m all about recycling, I recommend using new boxes for storing valuable artwork instead of recycled boxes. My reasoning for this is that boxes that have already been used for things such as shipping have experienced the elements of the outdoors which can cause mold and mildew. For instance, a box may have sat on a semi-moist doorstep and then dried 99%, have had little ants crawled into the crevices of the corrugated cardboard, or the box itself may be worn, slightly dirty – any of these things could be potentially hazardous. Do you really want to take a risk?

Packing the artwork with packing paper

 

At the same time, I’ll use fresh packing paper to pack the artwork in the box securely so it doesn’t slide around during transit or during shipping once I sell it since I don’t plan to open the package again. Again, I don’t use bubble wrap or plastics because those can invite mold and mildew under the right temperatures.

 

Once I’ve sealed the box closed, I’ll affix a label to three different sides of the box that includes a photo of the artwork as well as the inventory number, title, dimensions, and medium of the artwork. I affix a label to three sides of the box as, while I’m very organized, plans may change once I get the artwork to the storage unit and I’m not entirely sure how I will set up my box layout once I get there. I want to make sure that my label on each box is visible so that I can easily retrieve any piece of art once I sell it instead of having to move boxes around to find what I need.

Labeling the box

 

The Storage Unit

First of all, get insurance. Most storage rental spaces will only offer insurance up to $5,000 or less for a fee per month, which for many of us, is useless. Check with your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance company to add the value of your artwork you are storing in storage to your policy (yes, this is possible). You’ll be surprised that it may only raise your premium by $5-10/month (if anything at all) depending on the value of your artwork.

Second, make sure your artwork is stored in a climate-controlled storage unit. If not, you invite humidity in the summers and cold dampness in the winters and everything else in between.

Next, inspect the storage facility before renting and ask about pest control services. Do they exterminate regularly? You don’t want rodents making a home in your boxed artwork.

Last, most insurance policies do not protect against mold or mildew so your best defense for these are the steps I’ve provided above plus depending on the size of your storage unit, including a moisture absorber product or two (some storage rental places sell these) and changing them out every six months or as directed on the package.

Moisture absorber

 

Keep an inventory of the artwork you have in storage not only for business purposes but for insurance purposes.

I hope this article was useful to artists out there who have wondered how to store their artwork. Feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like to add anything or have a question.

 

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Tips, 0 comments
Behind the Scenes: Painting “Owl in the Moonlight I”

Behind the Scenes: Painting “Owl in the Moonlight I”

My recent triptych painting, “Owl in the Moonlight I”, was a fun painting to create. I love the owl and wanted to do something fun with it so considering October is soon approaching, I thought something a little eerie would be appropriate. I started with the moon and worked my way out in layers of color until I got to black as I let the moon illuminate some of the skies along the way.

Owl in the Moonlight I Behind the Scenes - Part I

Keeping the three canvases together throughout the painting process, next, I toned down the moon a bit and gave it a little dimension with some gold tones and blended the skies a little more. Once the skies dried, I added the spooky, bare tree silhouettes and applied a little bit of charcoal gray color where the moonlight would naturally hit and illuminate the trees to give the trees a little bit of a three-dimensional feel.

Owl in the Moonlight I Behind the Scenes - Part II

The next step before any last painting touchups for me was painting in the owl on the tree branch. Although he is mostly a silhouette, I fanned a tiny bit of charcoal gray under his neck and at the tips of his wings just to give a little bit of depth to the bird.

Owl in the Moonlight I Behind the Scenes - Part III

For a fun touch to the painting, I affixed little white gems to the canvas where what the stars would be located so that the painting would have a little sparkle when a person walks by it. The last step is deciding if the painting is done and if it is, signing it.

Owl in the Moonlight I Behind the Scenes - Part IV

Viola!

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Behind the Scenes, 0 comments
Using My Favorite Flower as Inspiration

Using My Favorite Flower as Inspiration

I love sunflowers. There’s just something about their round shape and bright yellow color that screams “happy!” So for my next triptych, I’m using sunflowers as my inspiration upon a deep violet, crimson, unbleached titanium, and parchment colored background. You can see the finished result on the Sunflowers Triptych I page.

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A Creator’s Mess…

A Creator’s Mess…

A creator’s mess is not really a mess for the creator but can sometimes look like one to the outsider looking in. I sometimes use my coffee table to paint on rather than an easel when I feel like painting on a flat surface. I pull up my paints, paint mediums, and paintbrushes and it’s off to the races! Here I’m working on Cherry Blossoms Before Twilight I.

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Color Choices Oh My!

Color Choices Oh My!

Choosing colors for my next painting… the color choices are endless – where do I begin? If I have a particular subject in mind, it becomes very simple as I’m just choosing colors that fit the subject I want to paint, however, when I’m painting abstracts, my mood usually dictates the main color I choose to work with and then I either select like colors or complementary colors to supplement the work. I sometimes dump my entire two boxes of paints onto the floor to weed through to make that decision!

Posted by Dawn Wayand in Behind the Scenes, 0 comments