J.A. Geiger Studio http://jageigerstudio.com Fine Art Stained Glass Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:28:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Adding New Artwork http://jageigerstudio.com/adding-new-artwork/ http://jageigerstudio.com/adding-new-artwork/#respond Sat, 28 Jun 2014 02:34:57 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=1033 I have a show at the Westfields Hospital in New Richmond, WI that starts next week (more details here), and as I was compiling the inventory list to submit, I realized that of the 7 pieces I was showing, 5 of them had never been uploaded to the website!

The City Dance triptych is based on the movie ‘Chicago!’, and all of the little dancers are cut with an exacto blade out of paper, then sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass. They are dancing in the windows of a series of bevel skyscrapers…

City Dance triptych

City Dance triptych

Fireflies and 100 Trees are both inspired by one of my painting sketches. Fireflies was based on an encaustic sketch of birch trees outlined by a deep blue night and 100 Trees started with a watercolor sketch.

 

100 Trees

100 Trees

Fireflies

Fireflies

 

Two Sisters was a piece I did to celebrate the bond between siblings, with the copper mesh twining in and out, front to back, and slowly turning a beautiful verdigris.

Copper sisters

Copper Sisters

 Arise and Bonsai were the only pieces already uploaded!

Whew, I need to catch up on my updating and uploading… stay tuned for more.

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Please, take some Photos! http://jageigerstudio.com/please-take-photos/ http://jageigerstudio.com/please-take-photos/#respond Sun, 15 Jun 2014 19:11:05 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=1018 People are always taking photos of artists’ artwork. And at a show, most people never ask if it is OK – which is pretty annoying most of the time. But in this digital age of cellphones and social media sharing, it is inevitable… I am just as guilty as the next person (but I always ask first).

This is the photo I took of my set-up at Art-A-Whirl in the Grain Belt Bottling House this spring:

2014 Art-A-Whirl

My Art-A-Whirl display during a lull in the afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now contrast this with what another artist sent me the week after the show:

Photo taken by Garrett Bartholme.

Photo taken by Garrett Bartholme.

We are more than happy to let you photograph our artwork when you ask, especially especially when this is what they send you after the show!

 

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Studio Greeting Cards http://jageigerstudio.com/studio-greeting-cards/ http://jageigerstudio.com/studio-greeting-cards/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2013 15:21:24 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=915 Studio Greeting Cards, plus a Calendar!
2014 Studio Calendar

The calendar is in the clear CD case that opens up to sit on your desktop – how cool is that?

Fall is in the air, and you know what that means… the Holidays are almost here! In the studio this year, that means that I have been busy designing a new series of greeting cards and a special 2014 Desktop Calendar in a CD case – all featuring art glass images.

Brief Anatomy of the Envelope and Greeting Card sizes

Why do cards have such odd size designations like the A2 and #9? The “A” actually stands for ‘announcement’, but it also is a designation of the type of envelope that has flat side seams and a squared off flap. The Baronial envelope series has a lot of the same sizes as the “A”, like the 5 1/2-bar is the same as the A2, but the flap is pointed and the seams are diagonal. The Squares also refer to the envelope sizes, but can have pointed flaps with diagonal seams like the Baronial or side seams and a flat flap like the A series. Did you also know that the post office charges more for postage on square cards because the cards are not as easily ‘read’ by the automated system. But they are still my favorite size! The #10 envelope has become the standard business size, and it gets a fancier look when made with a squared off flap, rather than the common point. And you guessed it, the #9 is a slightly smaller version of the #10.

Who knew?

2013 Greeting Cards

Here is a peek at the cards…

Cards in my studio typically have the A series envelopes, though the #9 is in the Baronial style.

    • A2: card measures 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.
    • A6: cards are 4 1/2″ x 6 1/4″.
    • Square 5×5: card is 4 3/4″ square.
    • #9: this is the small business envelope type. The cards are 3 5/8″ x 8 1/2″.

 

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But it Doesn’t Match My Sofa! http://jageigerstudio.com/but-it-doesnt-match-my-sofa/ http://jageigerstudio.com/but-it-doesnt-match-my-sofa/#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:28:22 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=832 Does this match my sofa?

Well, no, but you will have the artwork a lot longer than you have the sofa, so is that really important? And contrast is good, which in designer speak is called ‘accent colors’, so go ahead, buy that painting, pottery, art glass that you love… it truly will compliment your home, even if it doesn’t match the sofa. The simple secret to collecting artwork is to LOVE it. All else will fall into place, and you will find a place to display it – even if you think you don’t have space.

This pair of windows coordinates with the interior, but they weren't designed to match. And actually, the right hand panel was designed to hide the deck railing just outside with the lower 'branches'.

This pair of windows coordinates with the interior, but they weren’t designed to match the sofa. And actually, the right hand panel was designed to hide the deck railing just outside with the lower ‘branches’.

I come from a background as an architect, and while those projects all have individual designs, every one is a response to the client’s desires, budget, site constraints, building codes, etc. I approach my artwork the same way: so the client wants a red palette because the room has red accents, no problem. I still work in my style, but I also think of it as a creative driving challenge. I make the artwork speak to the client AND satisfy my own creative outlet.
Is this considered commercial, ‘selling out’ to the masses, or simply survival? I would say that is just the way I work – the way I LIKE to work. I thrive with the challenge of creating within tight constraints. The result is still fine art – and it is customized.
On the other hand, when I get requests for sunflowers, magnolias or copies of Frank Lloyd Wright’s windows, I will politely decline the commission and offer various referrals to other glass artists…

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Watercolor Sketches http://jageigerstudio.com/watercolor-sketches/ http://jageigerstudio.com/watercolor-sketches/#respond Wed, 05 Jun 2013 03:02:07 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=853 Some artists cannot talk without sketching, like my friend Tracie Thompson. I have never really been a doodler, but I was one of those kids always drawing horses instead of doing my homework as kid. So with inspiration from Tracie, I have been making an effort to explore the artiste part of my psyche by finding joy in some old mediums.

While off in the north woods of Wisconsin working on my business plan I took some time to sketch a couple of rough landscapes. Then I stole Tracie’s watercolor set and tried my hand with them after a twenty year hiatus. Not exactly Rembrandt, but I am happy with the results and can’t wait to get back in the studio to to translate these into some new windows.

HoinvilleLake

Hoinville Lake. The play of greens was simply too rich… and then an eagle was soaring overhead.

pine

White Pine and a twisted cottonwood trying to find the sun from the shadows.

purple clouds

Purple clouds and a blue sky, even though the rain was falling just a few minutes later.

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Marketing, Goals, Mosquitoes, oh My! http://jageigerstudio.com/marketing-goals-mosquitoes-oh-my/ http://jageigerstudio.com/marketing-goals-mosquitoes-oh-my/#respond Wed, 29 May 2013 20:25:57 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=837 Retreat to the woods

Hiding out this week in the Wisconsin north woods… the Heartwood Conference Center just out side Minong to be specific. Beautiful setting, quiet in terms of people and traffic but very melodic with birds and frogs where you can sleep with the patio doors open all night long and wake to the call of a loon. But in truth, the mosquitoes have not been too bad.

While this photo was taken a few years ago on Madeline island, it is still a potential window... and I forgot my camera, so new photos are not an option at this time.

While this photo was taken a few years ago on Madeline Island, it is still a potential window inspiration… and I forgot my camera, so new photos are not an option at this time.

Marketing, Goals, and Focus

I have been doing some sketching of the great spring landscapes, crooked pine trees, and the lake, but mostly working through business strategies. This is the second year I have done this, and I love the time away from the studio to think and plan for the future. Last year my focus was on my business identity, brand, and direction. This year my focus is on marketing goals. I will revisit the notes and plans from last year to make assessments and adjustments as well. While I am not creating a traditional ‘business plan’, I am defining my why, the how and a plan to keep myself focused. This self-imposed retreat helps me to figure out what I need to do, and where I want to go, though I tend to get fuzzier in planning the path to get there.

But now that the sun has come out from behind the clouds, I think it is time to get the sketchbook back out…

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Memorial Day Memories http://jageigerstudio.com/memorial-day-memories/ http://jageigerstudio.com/memorial-day-memories/#respond Tue, 28 May 2013 01:25:59 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=827 We all have lost a loved one or we all will some day, and Memorial Day is dedicated to the remembrance of those who have passed. It has been many years since I lost my grandmother – I was only 9 – yet she had a huge impact on my as yet short life. She always encouraged me to just try it, whatever it was. She was trying to teach me to make lefse  (the cooking stuff never did stick) and I would go to the church quilting bee with her and help tie the quilts. My grandfather passed away when I was in college and I still have some of the letters he wrote to me because email was not yet around and it was too expensive for a lot of phone calls. I remember with fondness and exasperation how we used to watch the Packer games together. Every time I plant a tomato, and most of the time when I just slice one up, I think of Gramps’ garden of tomato plants surrounded by marigolds.

Charlie's last kiss

Memorial Day is not just about the loss of people in our lives; pets play just as important a role – we lost Charlie 10 years ago and this image is still my computer background.

When my father passed away about 12 years ago, that was one of the hardest losses yet. Not because we had been so close, but because we hadn’t. We had just started getting to know each other, and it was to worst thing in the world to know that time was running out. But when I hit my thumb with a hammer or a 2×4, I think of my dad. Come to think of it, every time I use my saw, I see him trimming branches up on a ladder and then he wasn’t because he cut the saw cord – the yellow tape now holding it together reminds me every time. Yes, some things that you wish were not genetic, really truly are.

While life marches on, Memorial Day helps remind us that we come from someone, not just somewhere. And I am very grateful to have my memories.

And yes, I still occasionally cry when I think of how short of a time we had together.

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Getting Ready for the Spring ACC & Art Crawl http://jageigerstudio.com/getting-ready-for-the-spring-acc-art-crawl/ http://jageigerstudio.com/getting-ready-for-the-spring-acc-art-crawl/#comments Sat, 13 Apr 2013 03:03:01 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=793 Early glass layout for a piece I am calling Fall Creek - though you can't see the water yet.

Early glass layout for a piece I am calling Fall Creek – though you can’t see the water yet.

I have been working around the clock – well my feet feel like it has been like that – in the studio getting ready for the spring ACC and Art Crawl. So far, there are 7 new window panels are on the table and ready for cementing (this post tells a bit more about that process).

blue, clear iridescent ice, bevels and more blue

blue, clear iridescent ice, bevels and more blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I couldn’t resist working on a couple of new birch and maple trees, most of these new pieces reflected the blue wonder of water.

Caribbean turquoise reminds me of Key West.

Caribbean turquoise – reminds me of Key West.

2013-Soldered-P2

Some of the new windows ready to be soldered – you can even see the arrows and notes I use when working out the cuts.

 

 

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11 Open Studio Tips http://jageigerstudio.com/11-open-studio-tips/ http://jageigerstudio.com/11-open-studio-tips/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2013 21:59:03 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=776 2013 Spring Art Crawl postcard

Brenda Brousseau, Tracie Thompson and Christy Johnson will be joining me for this April’s open studio.

I have an open studio 3-4 times a year. Two of them are in conjunction with the Saint Paul Art Crawl and I invite guest artists to show their work with me. It has become a fun collaborative event!

Here are 11 things you must do to promote your open studio event:

  1. Postcards – mail and hand out to everyone I know and many I don’t. Make sure you have contact information, address and a small map (or QR code linking to a Google map)
  2. Email blasts – I try to limit this to only 2; one announcing the event, and the second a simple reminder that it is this weekend so as to not annoy my clients.
  3. Write a press release and send it out to the news-people you know. And if you don’t know any, look them up and find out how they like to be approached.
  4. Facebook/social media/blog – make an event page, invite people, talk about it on the page and the blog and your personal page. And make sure the other artists are doing the same. Nobody wants to be the only one marketing and bringing in customers for everyone else (it creates tensions for obvious reasons).
  5. Variety: like a traditional gallery, you need to have items for sale in a range of price-points. It is sometimes disheartening to only sell greeting cards or a small print, but if the experience is good for that customer, eventually they will come back for something original.
  6. Have some refreshments, but NOT a lot. Too much food, and people just eat. A few nibbles and they browse and are more likely to shop.
  7. Try to have at least one artist working in the studio – people LOVE to watch and ask questions.
  8. Talk to EVERYONE that walks in the door, with a SMILE. Even if that person is the only one to show up for the last 2 hours, if you welcome them and they have a good time, even if they don’t buy something now, they most likely will come back and brings friends because it was fun.
  9. Make the experience pleasant and don’t try to force a sale. Tell your story. Why are you an artist? Why are you doing this? You are in this for the long haul and not just for the weekend, so start to form a relationship with your potential customers.
  10. Have a sign-up sheet for invitations to future shows/events – if you don’t have a way to invite anyone back, then they for sure will not be coming back.
  11. Follow up with the people who walk in the door: send a thank-you note (especially if they purchased something), send an email, post a thank you blog, etc.

Aspen Winter

I do all of this IN ADDITION to whatever the Crawl organization is already doing. The first 2-3 years I had an open studio, only friends and family came; we played Rummikub one afternoon for 3 hours…

Repetition is the key, so don’t give up if the first time if it is a flop – learn from the mistakes. Now we average around 100 people and we artists are not the only ones sampling the refreshments!

Almost forgot – be careful with pricing your work at an open studio. You need to make absolute sure that your pricing structure is the SAME as in the galleries where you have artwork. Remember, your gallery relationship is important and undercutting them will destroy it. Not to mention that you do have time and expenses with an open studio: postcards,  display set-up, refreshments, lost work-time, and the time it takes to run the show. You will be earning that gallery commission on your own this time.

 

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Artwork Inventory Software http://jageigerstudio.com/artwork-inventory-software/ http://jageigerstudio.com/artwork-inventory-software/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:58:04 +0000 http://jageigerstudio.com/?p=760 Artwork Archive is FANTASTIC. I signed up in December 2012 after looking for a couple of years for software that both did the job AND looked good (Seriously, this is the ONLY artwork database software that actually has a nice looking interface. Hello! When the target market are visual artists, should just a little bit of effort be put into designing a decent dashboard that doesn’t look like it came out of a beginning programming class?), was intuitive to use and did not have so many bells and whistles that it bogged down its effectiveness and created a steep learning curve. I first looked at Artwork Archive in August, but I didn’t have time to do anything then, so I renewed my search in December and made a decision right then.

snow dogs

the studio dogs playing the snow… not monkeys that can work a input data for Artwork inventory software, LOL

At first, a major draw-back was the single image limit, but that all changed in February when they did a massive update. I have high hopes that some other features that are not yet available will be soon…

I love it, it is easy to use, I can now upload multiple photos (though it is a pain going back to upload the additional images into the database) and since it is online, it is accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection. While the yearly subscription to Artwork Archive is not the greatest aspect (I am partial to buy it outright software with a one-time cost), it does give you a lot of bang for your buck. And seriously, $79/year is a whopping $6.58 each month – 2 coffees anyone? Not to mention that this seems to be the trend for new software, like MS Office365, Cloud back-up storage and photo-sharing sites like Flickr.

More pluses: they respond quickly to questions, they just had a major awesome update last month, and it may seem trite, but because the interface is friendly looking and very easy to use, it makes it a pleasure to actually upload and create archive records of my artwork.

Now if I can only find a ‘monkey’ to do the uploading grunt-work…

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