Tag Archives: anchorage artist

Important Dates for Real Art Is Better this Holiday Season

~ by Maria Benner

For those of you who are considering ordering gifts from Real Art Is Better this holiday season, here are some important dates to keep in mind.

HOLIDAY SALES EVENTS

  1. First Friday Annual Holiday Open Studio Event
    1. What: we will transform our studio into a pop-up shop for the evening. Complimentary refreshments included.  Receive a free 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall poster with every purchase of $20 or higher!  Enter a drawing for a Clendaniel art print of your choice.
    2. When: December 1st, 5:30pm – 8:00pm.
    3. Where: Real Art Is Better Studio. Inside the 4th Avenue Market Place in Suite 4. 333 W 4th Avenue.
  2. Winter Maker’s Market
    1. What: 30 of Alaska’s most talented artists and crafters will set up shop at the Church of Love in beautiful downtown Spenard. Complete your holiday shopping all in one place.
    2. When: December 2nd, 12pm – 5pm.
    3. Where: Church of Love Spenard, 3502 Spenard Rd.

DEADLINE TO COMMISSION OIL PAINTINGS

The last day to order a custom painting is Friday, December 8th if the painting needs to be mailed, and December 14th if you’re picking it up at the studio.

IMPORTANT SHIPPING DEADLINES

When you order from us online, your order will be shipped within one business day.  Here are the last days that your package can be shipped in order for it to arrive by December 25th.

 

 

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How to Commission a Painting

~ by Maria Benner

There are few gifts more unique and personal than a commissioned oil painting.  If you’re considering giving one as a gift this holiday season, but don’t know how to commission a painting, here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1. Decide on the subject matter for the painting: a place, person, or thing (or all of the above).

Step 2. Contact us at least two weeks before you need the painting.  During busy times, like the holiday season, the earlier you place the order, the better.  Now is actually a great time.  We will need to know the size, and when you need the painting.  Then we’ll send you a price quote.

Step 3. Send us photos.  The more, the better.  Don’t be shy.  You can either e-mail them to us, or stop by the studio to discuss the concept in person.

Step 4. Scott will create sketches of different options, or just one sketch (if the concept is straight forward), and send it to you for approval.  This is the time to make changes, and dial in the painting concept.

Step 5. After the sketch is good to go, Scott will start painting.  When the painting is done, he’ll send you a photo.  Then you’ll have a very short window to make any small, last-minute tweaks, if necessary, before the paint dries.

Step 6.  The oil paint will take about 10 days to dry.  Then Scott will coat it with a clear protective varnish, and frame it.  Then you can pick it up, or we can mail it to you, or to the recipient.

You can order a custom beer painting, or a custom bike painting online at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or just send us an e-mail, call or text.

Another option is to give someone the experience of commissioning a painting, by giving them a Gift Certificate.

Here are a few examples of recent commissions.

My Art Show at Crush Wine Bistro

A year and a half ago Maria (my wife and Business Manager) contacted Crush Wine Bistro about the possibility of me having a First Friday art show there.  That’s definitely the longest waiting list we’ve been on for an art show so far.  That gave us a lot of time to think about which paintings to show.  Then, about two months prior to my art show, we found out that Sacks Cafe closed, and that Crush moved into that space.  We went with the flow, and adjusted the number of paintings to hang on the walls, since the space was now totally different.  This is my first time showing at this venue, and so far I’m pleased with the exposure and sales that it has generated.  If you haven’t gone to the new Crush location yet, check it out this week.  My art is coming down on Sunday, October 29th.  You can purchase paintings and prints directly from Crush.  The best part about this venue is that the commission is only 5%!  That’s unheard of in this town.  Normally, it ranges between 20% – 50%.  That’s one reason I like having First Fridays at my studio.  Speaking of which, we’ll be hosting one in November.  Our studio is inside the 4th Avenue Market Place in Suite 4 (333 W. 4th Avenue).  Stop by between 5:30 – 7:30.  We’ll clean up the painting studio and turn it into a pop-up gallery for the evening.

Scott Clendaniel Art Show at Crush Wine Bistro

My newest oil painting of a de Havilland Beaver sold to a new patron in Tacoma, WA.

Scott Clendaniel art show Anchorage

My oil paintings hanging at the new Crush Wine Bistro location.

How a Clendaniel Art Print is Made

~ by Maria Benner

The work beast, a.k.a. our printer.

The work beast, a.k.a. our printer.

When Scott finished the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall series, we went to a local print shop, and ordered 5-10 prints of 20+ paintings.  We ended up paying nearly $600 upfront, and stored the prints until they sold.  The hefty upfront investment deterred us from ordering more prints, until we had a game-changing idea in 2012 to buy our own printer, and make the prints ourselves on demand.  Epson had relatively affordable printers available, and one we chose, the Epson Stylus Photo R3000, was on sale.  The printer arrived via FedEx, and when we turned it on, it refused to work, because it insisted that the ink cartridges that it came with could not be recognized.  So we mailed that one back, and Epson sent us a replacement, which worked.  Our printer requires nine different cartridges, each one costing $31.99, plus shipping (they are not available in Anchorage).  I usually wait for a coupon code from Epson to arrive in my e-mail box before placing an order, but today I noticed that I was running dangerously low on one color, and ended up paying full price.  Doh!

The first step in making a print is taking a quality photo.  I take several pictures next to the large windows in our studio in the best possible light.  Then I choose the best photo and use Photoshop to adjust levels, brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., trying to match the image to the original painting as much as possible.  Next I connect my laptop to our work beast, the printer, load it with high quality Epson photo paper, and print the image from Photoshop.    Most of the time, the printer is a champ.  Sometimes it bleeds ink, or prints lines on the image, meaning the heads need a cleaning.  So we throw away the rejects and try again.  Then we consult our list of paintings that have been released as limited-edition prints, and find which number comes next, and we write the number at the bottom of the image, like 54/365.  Scott signs each print, and then we package them in plastic sleeves with heavy duty backer board, and a certificate of authenticity.  Then it’s ready to be mailed, or sold in our studio, or at a venue that sells Scott’s art, like Dos Manos, or Midnight Sun Brewing (in January and June).

Our prints come in three standard sizes that fit in store-bought frames.  Some people choose to have them professionally framed, but you can also buy a more affordable frame at many stores.  Unfortunately, the size of our prints is limited by the size of the printer, but maybe someday we can upgrade.  Our printer’s max paper size is 13 inches wide.

The name of our business is Real Art Is Better, because we believe that original art is better than reproductions, but we understand that not everyone can afford the originals.  The other major upside to making prints is that once an original painting sells, we can still keep selling the image, allowing more people to have it, and enjoy it.  Last year prints accounted for about a quarter of our sales.

Putting Together an Art Show

~ by Maria Benner

Last night Scott and I hung an art show at Midnight Sun Brewing, which was a culmination of planning, painting, and getting everything ready for the venue.  We’ve done this many times, so we’re getting pretty efficient at it.  The process begins several months in advance when I book a venue.  Then Scott and I brainstorm about a theme, decide how many new paintings he needs to paint, and what they should look like, and which existing paintings to hang.  About two weeks in advance, I submit event information to the venue, ADN, and the Anchorage Press, and a couple days later, create a FB event, and schedule on my calendar the e-mail blast, and social media posts promoting the art show.  A day before we hang the art, we work for about five hours making prints, framing paintings, pricing everything, creating an inventory sheet, and signage.  Normally we have to wait until the venue is closed to the public to set up.  Midnight Sun Brewing closes at 8 PM.  So we packed everything up and loaded it into our truck from the studio around 7:30 PM, and arrived at the brewery with just enough time to order a beer before last call.  Setting up took about two hours this time.  We always have a great time at MSBC after hours, because the employees have a lot of charisma, and they appreciate Scott’s art.  They get first dibs, because they’re the first ones who get to see all the paintings, and sometimes, someone buys their favorite piece.  Last night the Banksy beer parody sold.  The theme for this art show is Beer Art History, and it features many of the beer parodies of famous paintings that Scott released in 2015 on Thirsty Thursdays.  We are also unveiling the new Pops series, which is several bright oil paintings of poppies in front of Anchorage scenery.

Scott’s art will be at the brewery until February 4th.  We hope you stop by and check it out.  You can take the paintings and prints home with you right away.  Scott will be tapping a firkin on January 8th at 5 PM, since First Friday was on January 1st this year.  Click here for more event info.

Hopefully the firkin will do this again.

Here are some pictures from last night.

We put together this list of things to do to get ready for the art show.

We put together this list of things to do to get ready for the art show.

Art-Show5

Art-Show4

Art-Show3

Art-Show2

Art-Show1

The Evolution of a Painting

About a month ago I stumbled on a photo online that caught my eye because of its striking colors, and the combination of blues, reds and yellows inspired me to create a painting using those colors. I researched other images online with similar colors, and then created a couple basic sketches of different compositions.

Sketch 1

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

Sketch 2

Then I painted a small study of each sketch to see what each one would look like as a painting.  These are only 12″x6″.

Small studies.

Small studies.

I decided for now to continue working on the composition of the Anchorage skyline, and painted a larger study of it that is 24″x12″.  I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to paint a larger version of the Sleeping Lady composition.  I’ll wait and see what feedback I get about it.

Larger study of Anchorage skyline composition. 24"x12".

Larger study of Anchorage skyline composition. 24″x12″.

Finally, I was ready to start working on the large support, which is 5 feet x 2.5 feet.  I spent about five hours a day for three days working on the final painting.  I wanted this to be dry for my upcoming art show at Midnight Sun Brewing on January 2nd, so I came into the studio on Christmas Eve to finish the painting.  Here is the gradual progression.

Progress on day 1.

Progress on day 1.

Day 2.

Day 2.

Day 2

Day 2.

Final result.

Final result.

Right now this painting is drying in my studio, and will be on display, and available for sale, at Midnight Sun Brewing from January 2nd – February 4th.

November Art Projects

Winter is officially here with the first snow fall that didn’t melt, but we’re too busy working in the studio to notice the cold and the darkness.  Here is our list of projects for November.

  1. In October we offered a 10% discount on commissioned oil paintings, and as a result, Scott will be working on five pieces.  The largest one is 3ft x 4ft.
  2. This First Friday we are having an art opening at Resolution Brewing in Mountain View.  This is a new venue for us, in a different section of town, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things play out.  Click here for the deets.
  3. Scott recently finished building two large supports for new paintings.  He has interesting concepts for them, but today we found out that a major set-back happened.  The 8ft x 4ft panel warped.  We think this happened, because the wood fibers in the birch panel naturally wanted to twist.  Fighting the natural tendencies of wood is a losing battle, so Scott is going to dismantle the panel, and start all over with new pieces.  That’s a lot of wasted time and money, but we’d rather cut our losses sooner than later, and make a product that’s perfect.  Defects are not acceptable at this level.
  4. We will be hosting art lessons for a Girl Scouts troop in our studio.  They will be working on their collage and comic strip badges.
  5. This year the Maury Pottery sale is not happening for the first time in 30 years, so we’ll be hosting our own Holiday Studio Sale.  Scott will have new paintings and prints for sale.  Stay tuned for details.
  6. Lastly, if we have any extra time, we’re going to update our website with new images.

So that’s what we’ll be doing, in addition to managing the Etsy shop, fulfilling custom stickers orders, and maybe brewing some beer.

Have a great November!

Working on a commissioned painting.

Working on a commissioned painting.

The view from the studio has changed to winter mode.

The view from the studio has changed to winter mode.