Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

No Ordinary Bird

October 28, 2014 in Art,Art Gallery,Artists | Comments (0)

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Male Cardinal by Larry Szabelski

Did you know that the Cardinal is the only red bird in Eastern North America?  On average it lives 3-9 years but has been reported to live as long as 15 years. You can read some interesting facts on a number of web sites including http://on.natgeo.com/TcyAB1.  What does this have to do with Hunter-Wolff Gallery?

Many artists are inspired by nature and there are few birds more colorful than the Cardinal to be inspired by. Wood-carver Larry Szabelski has carved blue birds, sharp-shinned hawks, sparrows, chickadees, warblers, and more but none take the spotlight like the cardinal.

Larry uses a hardwood called jelutong, which is a species of tree in the oleander subfamily.  This tree grows over 200′ tall and sometimes measures 5-6′ in diameter and is found in low-elevation tropical evergreen forests like southern Thailand. He also uses acrylic paints for color and glass eyes and other natural elements to keep his sculpture as realistic as possible.  This particular carving was further embellished with a wood-carved  morning glory flower  that took over 18 hours to carve.

To see more of Larry Szabelski’s life-like birds, stop in at Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Old Colorado City, just minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, or visit Larry’s  webpage at http://bit.ly/WPDB8Q

 

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Affordable. Durable. Practical.

October 4, 2014 in American Made,Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Colorado,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Pottery | Comments (0)

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TH1259traycup_tn TH-Red_tn TH1395_tn TH_oil cruets_tnComfort food–the ultimate hug for the soul this time of year! Even though Hunter-Wolff Gallery doesn’t sell comfort food, you can find Colorado-made pottery for serving your favorite meals for that ultimate hug. Tony Heslop, a fine potter in Colorado Springs, creates an array of colorful, practical tableware for everyday living. Everyday doesn’t mean not special!

Tony’s “pots” are a feast for the eyes and when you add your own home-cooked recipes, it is a combo your family and guests will come back for more. There is nothing like filling the kitchen with the smell of home baked bread and pastries and a bubbling treat on the stove or crock-pot and serving it up on beautiful clayware.

Fans have been collecting Tony’s work for nearly 40 years and several generations of cooks keep adding pieces to their own collections and for gifts. Each year he adds new designs, colors and shapes and his work continues to evolve to keep the kitchen kings and queens happy. His glazes are food safe and kitchen-friendly because they work in the microwave, dishwasher and oven. If you like adding a bottle wine to the table, check out his wine chiller. Place it in the freezer for a few hours and then on the table and your white wine and champagne will stay chilled throughout the meal, and they are so affordable, you might add several to the table.

When you are looking for a wedding, anniversary, or shower gifts, and have a modest budget, consider finding something special from the Tony Heslop pottery collection. We know the gift will be welcomed and cherished for years to come.

Buy local. Buy American. Buy treasures for a lifetime.

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Your Pathway to Learning

August 29, 2014 in American Made,Art,art education,Art Gallery,Artists,Justin Clements oils,Oils,Old Colorado City,Paintings,Personal Development | Comments (0)

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OnionsAGlass Bottle12x161Artists are inspired by all sorts of things that can lead them down a new path causing a change or improvement in their style. One of Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s up and coming artists Justin Clements, recently delivered a  dozen or so new paintings that grabbed my attention.  I noticed he was doing something new with bits of color that looked like confetti over his painting.  This new addition to his work has an interesting effect and I  specifically asked  about the little pieces of color. At first, he smiled and was pleased I noticed but  didn’t have a ready answer.

After leaving to return to his studio, he  started  thinking about my probing question and realized something that had not occurred to him before. The last six months or so Justin had been studying the French impressionist movement and, specifically, the timeless works of Claude Monet. Monet’s work truly moved him and had a profound affect on Justin. Although several days had gone by, Justin contacted me to let me know he believed studying Monet’s style  influenced him to look at problems of light and color in a new way. Justin thanked me for noticing the tiny change that made such a big difference in his work and mentioning the detail that lead to this fun realization.

You never know where, when or how your questions might trigger deeper thought.  This is what art does.  Original art makes us think and stimulate conversation.  Take time today to look deeply at a piece of original art and see if you can come up with several questions for the artist or owner of the art.  You never know what path your question will take you. Learning about art is fun. See more new original paintings today at Hunter-Wolff Gallery.

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How Did They Do That?

August 4, 2014 in Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Colorado,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Pottery,Raku,textured | Comments (0)

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith more than 30 years experience in visual media, Marc Jenesel is a graphic artist and animator but dedicates every available moment for his passion creating Raku. His signature pots, ‘Glow Pots’, truly glow from the interior and the first response seeing them in person is, “Is there a candle in there?”.

No candles, trick lighting or any other  light sources are added to make Marc’s Glow Pots glow.   They are beautifully created by an accomplished potter, Marc Jenesel, then fired at 1800 degrees, removed from the kiln at their maximum temperature, cooled and embellished with layers of copper leaf which catch the ambient light fork a beautiful soft glow.  Before bringing his finished products to Hunter-Wolff Gallery, there are a number of steps in between, quality control checks are made and only perfect pots are delivered. The waiting is well worth it.

Through his science background and experience, he is able to obtain the range of textures and glaze colors using chemistry and post-firing reduction. He explains, “Much of my education is in the sciences. I believe art and science run parallel. As science has become more abstract and out there, so has art. I think a well-rounded education in the arts requires some study of the sciences.” His results are remarkable and formulated for rich color and texture before they are made available to collectors. Stop in and visit Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs, and discover how Marc creates Raku pottery like no other potter.

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Beauty from Devastation

August 2, 2014 in Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,trees | Comments (0)

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BLKFtreeThe last two years have been trying for many Coloradans in the Colorado Springs area because of terrible wildfires.  At the time, it was hard not to think constantly about all the devastation and wonder how people directly affected would get through it.  The summer of 2014 is quite different for most residents in this area because of better weather conditions and lots of rain—almost daily.  But it is still hard to see the thousands of burned trees and chared hillsides where the flora and fauna once flourished.

Out of all that devastation, a creative artist and woodturner named Vinny Luciani at Hunter-Wolff Gallery has taken something so horrible and made something beautiful.  With salvaged Ponderosa Pine from the 2013 Black Forest fire, he makes lovely little tree ornaments.  His little trees include burned and unburned sections of the tree and are accented with crushed turquoise from one of Colorado’s turquoise mines in Cripple Creek.  These little jewels are a reminder of how quickly our natural resources can be devastated and how important it is to stay hopeful about the future.

We hope you have a safe summer and always return to find the home you love exactly the way you left it.  More information about Vinny Luciani’s Christmas tree ornaments can be found at our website or by calling 719-520-9494 during normal business hours.

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Uninspired? It’s Only Temporary

in Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Paintings,Personal Development | Comments (0)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWe all have moments, or maybe even years go by, when we  feel uninspired and wish we could find that magic  to do something creative or rewarding. Inspiration is about the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something special but it might be simply just to DO SOMETHING.

In the art world, we often talk about inspiration and where it comes from and how get it.  There are even workshops to help with “inspirational block” similar to writer’s block. If you talk to a dozen artists about where they get their inspiration from, each has a different answer. It is particularly important to artists to learn how to tap into that magic as it is critical to their livelihood.

Whether an artist or not, inspiration can be just as important in ones everyday life. Being inspired allows us to respond in a positive way from the right mental stimulation, feel something extraordinary, and do those things that bring joy and added excitement. Those who feel inspired tend to have a more rewarding life filled with unexpected pleasure.

For example, I learned a valuable lesson years ago when I met a man who was a master gardener and his property was surrounded with beautiful gardens, gorgeous plants and flowers artistically displayed. It was a masterpiece and inspired many in our neighborhood to plant and learn more about gardening.  But the biggest reward was how this man brought our little neighborhood together where friendships grew as much as the interest in gardening. Because of this one experience, gardening is a special time for me.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment and often becomes a gateway to new friendships.  The inspiration we collectively felt by this one individual was a turning point for our little neighborhood and I often think about how it applies to life in general.

The key to tapping into inspiration is to be aware of your surroundings, those around you and your own thoughts.  For artists, taking time to visit an art gallery might  be the impetus to finding the inspiration they need to create their next masterpiece. For the rest of us, inspirational block is typically temporary and the key to unlock ones creativity can be closer than you know. Walt Disney said it best, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”

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No-No Signs Not Here

April 21, 2014 in American Made,Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Teaching | Comments (0)

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Do NotDon’t you hate those signs in some stores that seem obvious? Do Not Touch;  You Break It, You Buy It; Checks with Proper ID Only; No Food, No Cameras; No Smoking; No Pets; No Cell Phones; No, No, No As a responsible adult, would you ever bring food into an art gallery or engage in a private conversation on your phone without considering those around you? Yes, some people do these things but it is a rare occurrence. Personally, I don’t need a sign to tell me how to behave and I believe my customers feel that way too. I understand why some retailers feel the need to display this type of signage but it just makes me want to leave their store.  How does it make you feel? 

As a business owner, my philosophy is to give people the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to demonstrate that they are responsible adults accountable for their own actions. If someone decides to walk into my gallery with their four year old eating a drippy ice cream cone, then it is easy enough to politely ask the parent to come back when their youngster is done with his/her treat.  I prefer to address that small percentage of the population who display bad manners in a way that helps that person understand why they’re behavior is unacceptable. 

We enjoy visitors who bring their pets and children (without ice cream) and touch the touchables. Touching is a great way to learn and almost everything is waiting for you to explore it. Of course, we prefer visitors to  study the paintings with their eyes only. If visiting an art gallery is a new experience for your family and you are unsure what is acceptable, just ask if you can pick up something to admire it or ask if it is okay to bring your refreshment into the store with you.  We don’t operate like a museum or a library where there are strict rules. Visitors do not need to feel compelled to whisper either.  Hunter-Wolff Gallery and its staff are here to share information about everything we offer and want you to experience art first hand.  Often it takes both hands to experience what a burl feels like, for example.

Bring the dog, the kids and if possible, leave your cell in your pocket and let us help you learn about something new that could possibly change your life and give you new appreciation for art made by American artists–without a bunch of signs making you feel uptight.

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Are You An Art Junkie?

April 15, 2014 in American Made,Art,Art Gallery,Artists,Events,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Paintings,Shop Small,Small Business | Comments (0)

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PoppiesRecently, I spent an evening with a few friends at an event enjoying the NBA (No Boys Allowed), a walking tour of local shops.  Because I tend to be a workaholic, I knew it would be fun to get away from work, visiting my neighborhood small shops and meeting some other business owners.

What I did not expect was that I would be buying art. I really do not need more art, but I admit I am an Art Junkie.  Isn’t that an odd confession for an art dealer who has their own shop full of hundreds of art objects?  Plus, there is scarcely a spot for more paintings in my home. What’s an art junkie to do?

At my gallery, Hunter-Wolff Gallery, I represent 37 fine artists and there is always something coming in the door taunting me, calling my name.  But, like working in a chocolate factory where workers become immune to the smell of chocolate, I too can resist buying my gallery art every time I fall in love with a new arrival.  And, the truth is, I fall in love all the time.

What does this have to do with last evening?  It just goes to show that no matter how disciplined you are about spending and collecting, sometimes it just feels good to give in to ones cravings.  I’m glad I did.  Now when I walk by these paintings on my wall,  I see not only three delightful little oils but have a special memory of my friends and the nicest business owners in my neighborhood town. It was a great evening and I’ll cherish that night just as much as I cherish my new art.

It’s okay to be an art junkie!  If it makes you smile and helps you connect with humanity, go for it!

When was the last time you purchased a must-have painting, when you least expected it? How did it make you feel?

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Gallery Representation: A Strong Relationship

April 8, 2014 in Art,art education,Art Gallery,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery,Personal Development | Comments (0)

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WherepiritDaVinciAs an art gallery entrepreneur, artists frequently ask what I expect from an artist. Getting your foot in the door is one thing, but after representation is offered, the difficulty many artists have is staying on course with the gallery.  Too few artists understand that their long-term success in a gallery depends on one thing – “building a strong relationship”.

When two people come together, one business and one creative, the expectations need to be clear from the start for the relationship to thrive. Much like marriage where opposites attract, the relationship becomes an opportunity to learn from one another and appreciate each other’s strengths.  

Entrepreneurs assess opportunities and weigh the risks. They are planners and have financial goals. A new artist is a risk but their potential is important to the gallery’s goals.  Depending on the artist’s potential, the gallery determines how much time, money and display space to invest.  The artist gains an advantage when he/she comes to the table not only with potential but with commitment, personal goals, and core values that align with the gallery.

There isn’t anything more disappointing than having invested in an artist who decides to leave shortly after arrival because they decide to promote their work in a different way or do something else with their lives. Research also shows that the absentee artist and one-hit wonders are disappointments that make galleries cringe.  Galleries are also super cautious about artists who are capable, but show signs of limitations, are unreliable, change style frequently, or simply behave unprofessionally.

From a business perspective, I appreciate artists who have some knowledge of business and recognize what a successful business partnership involves. Those lacking business experience need to show a willingness to learn and accept the terms of their new relationship. Everyone values artists who understand their role in the partnership, even in times of hardship or adversity. The relationship can only blossom when players are cooperative.

After an artist lands a position in a gallery, he/she cannot assume everything is peachy because time has passed without major issues.  An artist needs to be attentive because the gallery is ALWAYS looking at the future if they want to be in the future.  Being a silent partner does not make a good partner.  Relationships will continue to advance when responsibility is shared. Communicate with your gallery and take time to ask how to make improvements. There are artists out there as qualified as you and ready to take your spot, and galleries are ALWAYS looking for opportunities to improve their future. 

Successful partners share prosperity and enjoy a rewarding, long-term relationship.  It’s not just about getting along, but showing mutual respect for what each brings to the table. Frequently gallery owners describe their ideal business relationships with artists like friendships. Personalities have to match. “It’s easy to love great art work but when personalities clash, a business relationship will never work.” It doesn’t have to be a love-fest but partners do have to get along and have respect for one another.

Here’s a few tips to keep your gallery happy and forge a relationship that will stand the test of time:

  • Become familiar with the gallery’s history, plans, and philosophy.
  • Get acquainted with all staff members and help educate your representatives about your technique and background.  Stories sell art!
  • Make promotion of your work easy for the gallery.  Provide quality images and full descriptions, videos, schedule live demonstrations, and keep up with the gallery’s social networks.
  • Stay engaged!  It only takes minutes to call or send a text message and keep communications open.
  • Be flexible about pricing and willing to work with the gallery to make sales. Do not let someone else’s advice convince you to increase your prices.  Trust your gallery; they have knowledge that can guide your strategic plans. An inappropriate price increase can push your prices too high resulting in lost sales. Be aware that it is far better to sell everything at reasonable prices than nothing at unreasonable prices.
  • Ask your gallery what they need for their clientele.  Never deliver new work without approval or push work that is not wanted.
  • Keep requests to a minimum and never make demands. Remember, you are not the business owner and the owner is responsible for the bottom-line.
  • Keep in contact without overdoing it.  Ask the gallery how often makes sense to “check-in” if you are unsure.  Some might want to communicate every week while other gallery owners are comfortable with once a month.

Stay positive and remember to recognize all the work your gallery does on your behalf. Send us tips that work for you too and they will  be shared in a follow-up post.

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Gallery Representation: Invited! Now What?

April 6, 2014 in Art,art education,Artists,Development,Hunter-Wolff Gallery | Comments (0)

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DonnaSharonHiFi2-1Congratulations, you have been invited to join other professional artists in an art gallery of your choosing! Now what? 

Now the hard work begins for you and the art gallery.  Working together your goal is to sell as much art as possible and to keep your new gallery family happy. After you signed your contract, delivered your body of work, and hi-fived, you probably thought, “I’ve done it!  I can go home and create artwork.”  Not so fast!  There’s a lot of work ahead; your job isn’t that simple.  Delivering work and waiting to collect your commissions is hardly a big step.  In fact, the big step is yet to come.

Building a strong business relationship is your most critical step and requires constant attention, commitment and desire. Rather than tell  artists how to build a relationship, I will share what Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s most successful artists do to keep the business relationship growing, the commission checks flowing and ensure long-term success.  It’s one of the most important lessons to being a successful artist. Your relationship with your gallery is a collaborative effort. The gallery  is your advocate so it is beneficial to build a strong relationship.  The top selling, highest in demand artists are the hardest working artists I know.  These artists are not only passionate and driven, they work long hours perfecting quality art  and never settling for mediocrity. They are planners, people with goals, have integrity, good communication (listening) skills, business acumen (open-minds),  good organizational skills, team players, and confidence. Aside from excellent creative skills, the one skill that stands out from the rest is business acumen.  They keep lines of communication open by taking the initiative to share information with their representatives — about what is planned and other relevant information.  They take the time to educate about their techniques and processes so information and value can be accurately shared with patrons.  They visit their representatives regularly to ensure gallery expectations are being met and needs are fulfilled.  They are honest with themselves, set egos aside, and change with economic and  market conditions. They ask how they can help.

A successful artist is accountable and takes action to correct issues when  warranted. They  manage their time,  creative energy and resources. They balance the time to produce art and to market it. They gather feedback to make better business decisions. Whether they enjoy the business aspects of the art world or not, they do those tasks responsibly to be a better team player. Successful artists are serious about business and understand how partnerships work and what benefits of collaboration are.  These are not artists who make demands but artists who delight in their shared success with business partners. They have learned the most important lesson:  with success comes responsibility!

To make a gallery-artist relationship strong and long lasting, is to understand the gallery’s role and accept the terms and conditions of your relationship. Hunter-Wolff Gallery offers consultative assistance. Take the next step to be a successful artist; call for availability 719-520-9494

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