Monday, December 12, 2016

Gearing Up for A Big Show

Prize-Winning Painting by  member Craig Ford
In our previous post we talked about Visual Impact as the number one criteria that impresses a judge but, there are many other qualities that go into a prize winning painting.
      As you prepare to enter our 4th Annual Juried Invitational Show:  People, Places and Thingamabobs, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
  • Does my painting show sound craftsmanship -- am I painting to the best of my ability?
  • Is my subject creatively different -- does it stand out from the rest?
  •  Does it  have artistic flair -- does my work have style and is it painterly?
  • When the viewer gets up close -- is my surface personal and is it a joy to see what I've done with it?
  • Does my work have gestural energy -- do I use a variety of brushstrokes and mark making?
  • Have I given myself a "technical challenge" or have I stayed with what I know I can do well?
Responding to these concepts will not be easy but  they will certainly be worth the effort when your artworks are  selected by the judge and proudly on display.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


If you talk to almost any art show judge and ask what criteria is most likely to draw his/her eye, chances are the response will be "the painting's VISUAL IMPACT".  As artists we have heard this term and read about it in lots of different places but we rarely hear how to create that impact in our paintings, collages and drawings.  Here are some suggestions to help you get your art noticed.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Multitasking by Alle Craig

        Lots of people on Facebook issue challenges to their friends to do a variety of things and post photos of them.  We’ve decided to issue our RFAA members an ART CHALLENGE.  Use the list below to set some goals for your art work in the next six months.  We'd love to have you share your responses, please post them in Comments at the end of this entry.  As you begin to explore your goals, send us photos of your works in progress. Send photos to  We’ll post them on the blog.  Don’t worry if you aren’t producing masterpieces – the whole idea is to explore and see what works for you and what doesn’t.

·         Words I’d use to explain my work right now are:
·         My paintings will make me happy when they:
·         In the next six  months my 3 goals are to:
·         To accomplish these goals I will need to:
·         Right now I’m most curious about:
·         A few things I’d like to try that I’ve never done are:
·         My favorite subject to paint is:
·         The reason I like painting this subject is:
·         I could paint several paintings about this subject because:

If you get stuck finishing the prompts above, try these:
·         Three artists whose work I really like are:
·         These artists inspire me because of their:
·         I could learn from these artists by:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Art Hack #4 The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a compositional tool that dates back to the Renaissance and even before.  It is used primarily for landscape painting but is a very useful tool for still life, figures and even portraits.  The basic idea is that the strongest areas of a rectangular painting lie where the red lines intersect.  You can use the The Rule of Thirds to place your focal point or to create the weighted areas of the composition.  Just remember, the one place you DON’T want to place your focal point is in the center square ( unless you intentionally want a boring composition or you are sophisticated enough to know how to counterbalance that space!).  If you are a more advanced painter and want a challenge, try pushing the hots spots slightly away from the intersections while still maintaining your painting's balance.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Introducing Art Website Reviews

One way to learn more about art and art techniques is to spend time viewing the work of other artists and learning from the methods they have developed.  If you are new to art, it's an easy way to have free art lessons right in your studio.  For experienced artists it's a way to add to your repertoire and reinforce what you've already learned.  RFAA's bloggers would like to share some of the websites we've found along with a little review of what you'll find in each.  Here's our first one:

                If you are into entering art shows, this site is for you.  It lists all sorts of Calls for Artists by region of the country + international shows.  It also gives grant opportunities, art tutorials listed by medium, workshops, a market for selling your art (at a fee of course) and much much more.  Check it out when you have lots of time to browse all has to offer!