While this winter has been warm so far here on the east coast of the US, the same is not true everywhere. Heavy, wet snow falls over a northern forest, coating the trees in white and the nearby pond in a glaze of ice.
While peak autumn color has faded here in Maryland, the trees still put on a good, though late-season show. Along a rocky hillside that spills into a stream, we see the autumn leaves change colors, and a fiery red maple dominates the scene with its blazing hues.
Wandering around internet map sites can lead to interesting discoveries. My family traces part of its heritage back to Upstate New York, in Fulton and nearby towns. One town over, in Hannibal, NY, there's a Hannum Road. There's a good chance the road was named after some distant relative of mine - perhaps a farmer who owned the property in that area - but that story is probably now lost to time. Here, we see this rural road in fall beneath the waning light of day.
On Friday, I visited a local art gallery (Benfield Art Gallery) to learn what it would take to be represented there, and it was an interesting experience. A few things I learned:
- As expected, the art market is rather saturated, even in fine arts. Considering how few people actually buy fine art for their homes, this market situation is not surprising.
- Art galleries in bigger cities (Baltimore, Annapolis, etc.) have greater reach and more customers, but also tend to cater to better known artists, with even more competition to be represented there.
- Representation can happen if you catch people's eyes during open shows, which happen once, maybe twice, a year. Still, you need a resume of sorts regarding artistic achievements and such to be considered by art galleries. (This illustrates the importance of an internet presence, where there are fewer barriers to entry.)
- Pricing for framed watercolors on paper that are comparable to my works typically range from $200 to $450. Lesser known artists charge prices at the lower end, of course.
So, while they liked my work, there is still a process involved to even be considered for representation, but the visit was still worthwhile. I recommend that any artist who's looking to sell their work visit a local gallery since it is a good way to learn more about the art market. Pricing examples in particular are worth the visit since there's almost no good information on the internet about that topic.
About a decade ago, my brother and I went on a roadtrip through the Smoky Mountains. We saw the sunset amid storms near the top of Waterrock Knob. While I painted this scene once before soon after the trip, I decided to approach it again, using what I've learned since then. The end result better captures the infinite hills and rolling, illuminated clouds, though nothing compares to actually having been there.
One of my other hobbies has been creating video games, in particular a couple of Megaman fan games. These were created in Gamemaker several years back, run on Windows, and have been updated over the years. They were originally stored on Yoyo Games (the creators of Gamemaker), but they got rid of their "sandbox" area for developers late last year as they switched to a different business model which is... less conducive to hobbyist game developers.
I then decided to put the games up on Google Drive, where they still exist, but I also recently found another website that freely hosts indie games and hobbyist games - gamejolt.com
If you search on "Megaman," you'll find the latest version of both games ("Megaman: Dr. Wily Wanders Off" and "Megaman: Dark Legacy") You probably have to create an account with gamejolt to download the games (fully self-contained executable files under 5 megs in size.)
Megaman: Dr. Wily Wanders Off
Megaman: Dark Legacy
Note that Megaman and all associated IP is the rights of Capcom. These are fan games and not to be sold. Enjoy!
I generally don't paint urban scenes since they are tricky in matters of perspective, detail, and scale, but this image, inspired by yesterday's weather, begged to be painted. Wind-blow snow roars through the center of downtown Glen Burnie, MD on a cold February night, obscuring everything for the few drivers on the roads.
Matthew Hannum, landscape artist: My artwork generally focuses on the forgotten corners of nature where we can all easily find ourselves – a winding road through a local forest, or a cloudscape above rolling hills. When adding human elements, I tend to keep them simple and straightforward as a reminder that mankind’s works are only temporary, even in the local environment. Much of my work is heavily influenced by the landscape of the eastern United States, with occasional trips out to the mountains of the west – this ties into my belief of painting what you know since it will come across as more genuine.