I think it was Vincent Van Gogh who sold but one painting while he was alive. With respect to making a living, choosing to be an artist must be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, decisions to make in a lifetime. How does one take that leap into the big wide, unknown future? Read on to find out how another of my California Crafter’s Club of Etsy (CCCOE) colleagues did it.
Laura M. Iverson’s work first attracted me because of her frequent cat depictions! A full time artist in Northern California, she is prolific in producing painted oils, acrylics, and clay items.
GOLDEN FLOWERS IN MOONLIGHT - 5x5 INCH SQUARE FINE ART PRINT
HOUSE WITH A BLUE DOOR – 8x10 FINE ART PRINT (GICLEE)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY IN GOLDEN GLOW – 5x5 INCH SQUARE FINE ART PRINT
PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: The two dominant features in your work are the vibrant and subtle coloring, as well as the light sources. How do you form these images in your imagination.
LAURALI: It's an organic process. I seldom sketch anything first. Some of the pieces come entirely from my mind. For others, I use reference photos of tree branches from my walks, or of the animals (a number of my animal models come from photos my etsy friends have sent of their pets). I start with the sun/moon, then build the glow, deepening to the base. I often have an idea of what I want to do with the canvas but I sometimes just start with the color and see what occurs to me.
STARGAZER LILY PENDANT ON CORD
SEA DANCER IN PURPLE MOONLIGHT PENDANT ON CORD
YELLOW SUNFLOWERS ON GREEN PENDANT ON CORD
PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Give us a little background of your education and artistic experience.
LAURALI: I did my first oil painting at 12. Although mostly self taught, I have an A.A. Degree in Fine Arts from West Valley College in Saratoga, CA. I am a second-generation artist. My father, Walter Sears Milnor (1936-2001), concentrated on painting large canvases of the California missions:
I started the zen series in 2004 with this piece: http://zenbreeze.com/store/falleaf.htm
Originally, they were just going to be autumn leaves then evolved into all sorts of colors and themes.
In 2007, I started making pendants from my paintings, using polymer clay. I start off with an image transfer of the painting, then hand-sculpt a unique piece around it.
PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Making a full time living as a fine artist is almost an impossible dream. Do you agree or disagree?
LAURALI: Since 2000, it became increasingly harder due to the economy and general overall state of worry and depression in the US. Another problem plaguing us is copyright theft. Sweatshop theft decimated my eBay business and I know it has damaged other artists too.
Still, I feel that, if the election goes well this year, we may see a return to not only prosperity but more value of Art. Hopefully, the market will improve.
NEVERMORE – ORIGINAL SQUARE PAINTING
SIAMESE CATS IN SPRING BLOSSOMS
PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: What will you be doing in 5 years, 10 years.
LAURALI: This is the first time in my life I can devote myself to my art business (I've been a stay-at-home mom and my son just graduated high school). I hope to make a go of it, now that I can concentrate on it, and still be doing that in 10 years. It's very time consuming running an online business and, of necessity, I had to let opportunities slide.
PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Leave us with a quip/quote/puzzle/tip to remember you by.
I have lived on the lip of insanity
Wanting to know reasons
Knocking on a door, it opens
I have been knocking from the inside!
MOONLIGHT SONATA OVER CARMEL – ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS