Friday, September 26, 2014

Blogging for Forseti: A Massive Meh

I'm really sorry, my lovely spiders. I don't know what's been up with me lately. You probably do, since you have access to all my personal information and internet habits. So you know that specifically this past week and weekend, I've been feeling under the weather. But even before that, things just haven't been amazing artistically. Since the big push for my show, I've been fairly drained.

Since the show went up, I haven't made a single new print, or even coated paper. I'm pretty unhappy about it, so I just need to get up and DO something about it. But it's hard, my spiders. It's very hard to work up the energy, enthusiasm and activity to do something creative. I'm running short right now.

I'm going to explore some ideas, spiders. Maybe some of them will kick me in the pants and get me back to work.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blogging for Sol: Bloody Late!

Unadjusted turmeric dye, which turns red with low pH!
Hello, Spiders! I'm sorry this post is so late. On Thursday I lost track of time, on Friday I was busy and I was out of town this weekend. I think I've already paid for the lateness; it rained both days I was trying to visit friends and go to the zoo. Thor was displeased with my lack of attention.

On Friday, I was a visiting artist at UNCC again! It was great, for all the same reasons it was great last time. Engaged students who were really interested in what I had to teach them, willing to try it out and even experiment on their own!

I demonstrated anthotypes using red cabbage juice, which turns from violet to teal when the pH is lowered by adding baking soda, washing soda or borax. In this case, we used washing soda. That went over really well, and one student in particular tried experimenting with the other dyes I had brought: turmeric and sandalwood. To my surprise, the turmeric experiment showed very interesting results!

When its pH is lowered, turmeric dye changes from goldenrod yellow to bloody, garnet red! It's truly a lovely color. It fades a bit when applied to paper, but it can be applied in a thick, paste-like form and the paper stains pretty darn well! I assume, though I have not yet tested, that it could also be used to soak the paper and create a strong red in that way. I assume all the normal problems with soaking paper would be present in that case, though.

This new potential color source for a bright red is fascinating and I hope to do some experiments in the coming week, despite the rain and clouds. I'll update this post with photos as soon as I'm able to mix up a batch, coat and image!

Edit: DAGNAMBIT!!! I finished this post juuust before midnight, but the time to insert the image rolled it over and now it's logged as being posted on Monday. Bugger. All hail the Moon!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blogging for Freya: Formulas and Funds

I've been busy this week, preparing for a show in Asheville. I'm displaying my parchment and bone cyanotypes up there, at the Silverspace Gallery. Today, I head off to meet Bridget Conn, the director of the Asheville Darkroom, to do the installation. Working late last night on paperwork and framing is why I missed Thor's deadline. But, in honor of Freya and Freyr, I've got a short post for my Spiders.

Artists make money by selling their work, either directly to customers or by using galleries and shows to gain exposure. In the latter case, the gallery generally charges a commission on sales. That commission is a percentage of the sale price, which means the artist has to pass that charge on to the customer, building it into the final price of their work so that they receive fair pay for their labor, materials and training.

It can be a bit confusing, trying to figure out what to charge for your work. There's a whole blog full of entries about how to price your work, but most of those are issues related to your exposure, your expenses, your effort and other things. Specifically, I'm talking about how to calculate the final sale price of work so that the gallery gets their commission and you get the amount you want back from the work. Here's the formula.

X = Y / (1-0.Z) where X is the final sale $$, Y is how much $$ the artist wants to make and Z is the commission rate!
If commission is 30% and you want to make $100, then the final sale price is $142.86. $142.86 = 100 / (1-0.30). Pretty cool, right? I had some help working out the formula, a friendly computer programmer offered mathematical guidance. Now, I pass that on to you, Spiders. Go forth, and sell!