Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Law of Supply and Demand

Artist Harriete Estel Berman has written a very good article about how the law of supply-and-demand affects artists. In this economy, we experience very keenly that we are most definitely not exempt from that economic law! Some artists are making a living as artists, but most aren't. The competition is keen, especially now that baby boomers are retiring and jumping in to make art full time, just when demand has decreased substantially. I've shocked some of my artist friends with the frank statement, "Excellent artists are a dime a dozen." It may seem to be a harsh statement, but it's true. The trick is, how does an artist rise to the top and make a living at it? Being excellent at what you do is a given; the hard part is doing the marketing and business part. Kudos to any artist who is successful at it.

The comments by readers are very interesting, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free downloads of books by illustrator Andrew Loomis

Andrew Loomis was one of the premier illustrators of the 20th century. If you're lucky enough to have one of his now out-of-print, art-instruction books, you have a real treasure. For those who don't have these fabulous books, the blog "Escape From Illustration Island," has provided links to PDFs of six of them. The amount of work that went into scanning in the pages of these books was huge. They're in the public domain, so it was OK to copy and distribute them.

June 14, 2014, note: the PDFs are no longer available at the link above. They are now on this "Illustration Age" page.

Here's an image of one of the pages in "Creative Illustration."

"Creative Illustration," page 173.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Take advantage of QR Codes

QR code for
If you're an artist (or any businessperson) and you haven't taken advantage of QR codes yet to drive people to your web site or Facebook page, it's easy to generate a QR code, print it out and post it in your window, on your car, on your business card, or anywhere else the public can see it. Go to the web site at the link below and get your QR code. It's free! To create the QR code for your web site, for example, just type in your web site's address, choose the image size (larger for signs, smaller for business cards), then click "Create QR Code." Right-click on the image it creates and save it. Then you can add it to your business-card design the next time you order new cards, and/or print it out and post it wherever you want people to be able to scan it into their smartphone or tablet. There are free QR readers available for both the Android and Apple devices.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Moonrise - acrylic on canvas - 3 panels, each 48" x 24"
Moonrise - triptych, acrylic on canvas, each panel 48" x 24"
Friday, June 22, 2012, was downtown Salisbury's first annual Arts Night Out. As part of this event, Rail Walk Studios & Gallery, where I have my studio, and Looking Glass Artist Collective, which is next door, collaborated on a street festival with an "Evening in Paris" theme.

The artists at Rail Walk did demos. My contribution was to do an alla prima triptych painting on 48" x 24" canvases. I was able to complete 95% of the triptych. I did the final bit yesterday. This piece will be on display in my solo show at Rail Walk in September/October.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Astral Convergence - acrylic on canvas - 24" x 48"
I just finished Astral Convergence about an hour ago. It will be on display in Rail Walk Studios & Gallery's show, "A Round Paris," which consists of two themed exhibits by Rail Walk artists. One is a display of artwork expressing all things round. The other is Parisian-themed. The combined show runs from May 24th through July 28th, 2012.

The exhibit will also be on display during Salisbury's first annual Arts Night Out on the Town, on Friday, June 22nd, from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Rowan Arts Council, through a grant from the Rowan County Tourism Authority, is sponsoring this new arts event. There will be art, music, food vendors, outdoor movies, an art scavenger hunt, and many other activities downtown, making June 22nd a great night for everyone who loves the arts to come join the fun. Rail Walk Studios & Gallery and Looking Glass Artist Collective, which share the same building, will be participating in Arts Night Out by hosting a street festival with an "Evening in Paris" theme. There will be food vendors, plein air artists painting from a model, music, magic, and many other fun activities.

I will be doing a live demo where I will paint a large acrylic painting and complete it before the end of the evening.
Rail Walk Studios & Gallery is located at 409 N Lee St. in Salisbury, NC. Regular hours are Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. See for more information.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Interesting article about drawing ability

Click the link to read an interesting article about drawing ability. I paint far more than I draw, but I do draw fairly well. Below are two samples of my drawings. The top drawing is of a friend of mine who runs an exotic animal rescue organization. I had planned to do an oil portrait of her with one of her less than exotic rescues, a chicken named Maury, so I took photos and did the preliminary drawing from the one shown at top, left. The bottom drawings of the dog are sketches done from life. Click the image to read the notes.

Sample drawings by Annette Ragone Hall

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Artwork in Hart-Witzen Gallery SHOWDOWN exhibit

I have two pieces in the Hart Witzen Gallery's SHOWDOWN exhibit in Charlotte, NC. The opening reception is Saturday, April 28th, from 6p - 10p and the closing reception is Friday, May 4th, from 6p - 10p. "Best in Show" will be determined by patron vote, which ends 9pm on May 4th. The two pieces are shown below.

On exhibit in Hart-Witzen SHOWDOWN: "Cut to the Chase" and "The Center of the Universe"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Abalone Dreams" selected as part of the FAV15%

Abalone Dreams (acrylic and abalone shells on panel, 8"x 10")
I entered "Abalone Dreams" in the February 2012 BoldBrush Painting competition. It did not win an award, but it was selected as one of the favorite 15% of the entries by FASO (Fine Art Studio Online) and FineArtViews staff members. Click here to see it and the other pieces in the FAV15%.

I think abalone shells are beautiful. So far, this is the only piece in which I have used them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Outer Banks Sunrise

Outer Banks Sunrise (24" x 30" - acrylic on linen canvas)
In 2011, my husband and I spent a week on Hatteras Island at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which is one of the areas that were so devastated the following month by Hurricane Irene. The road we had traveled up and down many times during our stay was washed out in many places by the hurricane, creating new inlets, and generally wreaking havoc. The bridge to the island was also washed out, isolating all the people on the island. Ferry service was halted as well. Man is so powerless against a force of nature this strong!

I've been wanting to do a painting of an ocean sunrise. Roiling surf at the water's edge is one of the features of the Outer Banks shoreline. You start walking out and immediately hit a trough where the waves have dug into the sand and the shells and other ocean debris have collected. It's a bit rough on the feet and you have to fight pretty hard to get past that section in order to reach the calmer area just past it. The Outer Banks ocean shore is known for rough surf. My painting, "Outer Banks Sunrise" gives homage to that energetic surf.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Protect your copyright

Do you want to control how your images are used on the web and don't want them "pinned" on Pinterest by people who don't even ask your permission to do so? Want to protect your copyright (because Pinterest isn't!). Pinterest has provided code that prevents images on web sites or blogs from being pinned. The article, "Pinterest: How to Prevent your Blogger images from being pinned," gives instructions on how to input the code in your Blogger template. Here's a link to that article: There is a lot of useful information in that article about the whole subject.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Red Sea

The Red Sea
60" x 60" - acrylic on canvas
I started this large painting in 2011, but wasn't quite sure how I wanted to finish it until I was tasked with painting a red-themed work for this year's The RED Show at Rail Walk Studios & Gallery. The show is a combination group exhibit and Red Cross fundraiser.

I had originally painted a dark, blue-green background over a gold-gesso ground (I love Daniel Smith's gold gesso). I wasn't sure how I wanted to finish the background once I had painted in all the fish, so I let it sit. When time rolled around again for Rail Walk's now-annual, group Red show, I thought, "That's it! I'll make it red." And so I did. I finished the painting late this month. I really like it.

Another interesting aspect of this painting is that I needed some good reference material for the fish. I found it in the fish illustrations by Norman Weaver in the book, "The Fresh & Salt Water Fishes of the World." I didn't want to risk copyright infringement, so I searched on the web for the illustrator so I could get his OK for my having used his illustrations for reference, but found that he had passed away. There was a web site, though, about his life and work, which is maintained by his daughter (, so I contacted her by email. My finished piece is very different from Norman Weaver's illustrations in the book, but the fish were recognizable enough that I felt I needed permission. She graciously gave me permission and thanked me for contacting her. In the case of copyright, the old adage "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" does NOT apply!

The RED Show, in which this painting will be displayed, and art donated by local artists for a Silent Auction fundraiser for the Red Cross runs from February 2 to March 31, 2012. There will be a closing event instead of an opening reception. The closing event on March 31st will be highlighted by a Silent Auction of the donated art. The event is from 6pm to 8pm. There will also be food, drink, entertainment, fun activities, and chances to win prizes. A $5 donation will be collected at the door, with 100% of it going to the Red Cross. All the proceeds of the Silent Auction will also be donated. In addition, the Rail Walk artists have pledged to donate 25% of sales during The RED Show to the Red Cross.

Rail Walk Studios & Gallery is located at 409 N Lee St., Salisbury, NC. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m, Thursday - Saturday, and by appointment. Go to for more information.l