Tag Archives: ideas

Maybelle Loves Patrons, Work and Theme Connections

Have you ever looked at an artwork and thought, “Ehh…”?  You don’t hate the work, but you certainly don’t love it either.  You’re not alone. This happens every time I look at art online. Why does this happen?   It’s because a connection did not form between you and the artist.

When an artist creates artwork, they are working towards creating a connection on some psychological level between themselves, their artwork, and hopefully, a patron.  The connection is an internal meaning that both the patron and the artist can mutually identify with.   It’s of paramount importance to creating any art form and specifically to continuing the artist’s particular artistic vision.

Making a connection is a risky affair for most artists. It means sacrificing the need to please everyone approach of your work and instead selecting a particular topic as the subject of the artwork.

Sadly, not every piece of art produced will create the connection that the artist so fervently works for. It’s even possible for the artwork to make connections with other viewers that was never actually grasped by the buyer. That’s the gamble and struggle of art.

Some artists seem to create these connections effortlessly.  For example, Leonardo Da Vinci was famous for creating art that glorified his patrons while insulting them at the same time. He was obviously a genius at making meaningful connections to be able to produce such results consistently. But for the rest of us, why are these connections so difficult to create or manage?

It’s not really our ability to create that is the problem. Instead, the answer lies in our individuality as a consumer. As Carolyn Edlund of Artsy Shark suggests, it’s about themes. When we go art shopping, we usually unconsciously purchase things according the theme in us.

If a rancher goes online looking for western artwork, he or she is probably very attached to art portraying life on a ranch. It’s something the rancher can identify with and it becomes personally important. This makes it highly unlikely that he/she will purchase Japanese Anime.


Anime is not an interest of the rancher and has very little sway in making his or her purchasing decisions. On the other hand, a wonderful metal print of a cow that is for sale will grab the rancher’s attention. People only tend to purchase what they are truly interested in.

Every patron of the arts will differ in opinion about what is worthy of their consideration as a collector and what is not. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.

So, when a photographic artist looks at an image and wonders whether to sell it or not, they must try to select what theme would produce the greatest chance of that shot being sold.   In fact, the mere act of placing a picture under a particular theme is also an example of the artist trying to make that ever-elusive connection.

So, what’s your favorite art theme?

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Floating on By with Updates, Gallery Activities, and More

Today’s discussion is on recent events at the gallery and what people have asked about A&A Photographic Arts , why we are successful and what’s on the way.

First, this is an exciting time to be both a photographic artist and a gallery owner.  Photographic art becomes more and more accepted into the mainstream art community everyday.  Patrons and collectors are discovering that photography has the staying power of an art form and is not just a social “fad”.


  1. More and more people are enjoying photographs as fine art.
  2. Generally, people do not buy or own art they do not like.  Today, people are much more open to owning a fine art print of a photograph than ever before.
  3. Fine art photography is not only printed in the traditional way using dark room and chemicals, but also now with technology, it is possible to print on mediums such as archive quality papers, canvas, acrylic and even metal.
  4. Fine art photography prints are available in multiple sizes.  Unlike sculpture, or painting, photographs taken with modern equipment can easily be enlarged from 5”x7” greeting cards sizes all the way to large 30”X36” sizes, or even larger.
  5. People want quality in their fine art and photography delivers. With the latest inks and programs, the color the artist sees is the color printed.  Archival materials and even the use of UV resistant glass means that photographs will last for decades.


Pardon my promotional soapbox, but I have to exclaim that these reasons contribute to why the gallery is experiencing the exciting action in our recent show Walking Through the Zen Garden.  Our web page visits have increased by more than 200% and sales are inspiring. People from as far away as India and Korea and 40+ countries engage in gallery activities.  While, over 300 people get our latest gallery updates and news from email, Twitter, Facebook and other popular social media outlets.


Who are these people?  Our friends include interior decorators and designers, computer coders, app designers, restaurateurs, art collectors, art galleries, and other artists of every media.  This includes our special milestone 200th follower on Twitter: TotallyHomeImprove (@Totally_Home) An informative blog about home improvement ideas. After all fine art is definitely a home improvement!  http://www.totallyhomeimprovement.com/


What’s coming?  Why more art, of course!    We are working on an as of yet, untitled series of Texas sunflowers and a recent trip to the Texas Railroad.   Stay tuned!


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Pictures, Laundry, and Archival Prints?


We have created a system that empowers you to order artwork directly from our site to the printer and have it printed on a special paper called rag paper.  Curious, I did a little research into this popular type of paper.

Rag sorting at the Mt._Holyoke, Massachusetts Paper. American Writing Paper Co. Public Domain

Rag paper has been around for centuries. The normal everyday white papers found in schools and notebooks are made from wood pulp.   However, in the history of paper this is a relatively new way of manufacturing it.  For centuries the world used a paper called rag paper.  Rag paper is not made from wood pulp but, as the name suggests, rags.  Specifically, cotton rags. Though some other fabrics are sometimes used, it seems universal that cotton is the go to fabric for both the ancient and modern worlds.

Cut rags after removing from washing drums, paper mills at turn of the 20th century Public Domain.

Paper, made of cotton and/or linen is called paper rag.  It is not unusual for cotton fabric to be recycled for this specific purpose.  It’s weird to think that tomorrows fine art could be made using your current pair of undergarments ( there’s a thought ! )   or even your blue jeans.   Any of those materials could be recycled into rag paper.

Rag paper is stronger than pulp paper.  This makes it last longer and be more tear resistant than typical wood pulp paper.  The reason is that the fiber of the cotton rags are longer and more dense than the fibers found in wood pulp.  This gives the rag paper it’s strength and durability.

Why would somebody put artwork on a piece of rag?  Simple, in the manufacturing process, the rag paper becomes Ph. neutral or acid neutral.  That means that no acid or base chemicals are left in the materials.  The pigments and inks placed on the paper absorb into the fabric and stay without any chemical degradation caused by acids and bleaches found in non-archival papers.  This is why most of today’s national paper currencies continue to be made with cotton rag.  You can wash a dollar bill and it doesn’t disintegrate after any money laundering in the washing machine .

American Writing paper Company (Public Domain)

It is this very reason antique documents, like the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, and even the Magna Carta are still around today.  Paper rag is naturally archival when made.  It will last for centuries.


Here is a video from an Indian paper manufacturing company that makes handmade rag paper.



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Why Do We Send The Same Old Cards?


Sending greeting cards is a critical element in maintaining the important social connections in your life.  It is a polite and professional way of letting the other person know that you are thinking about them.  Indeed, when you buy and mail a personal greeting card your announcing to that person that they have a powerful connection with you.

Greeting cards can also be used to project a desired image.  Imagine sending wedding gift thank you notes in a card with a display of fine art.  You could also use the cards as handwritten invitations to that special party or event, and adding fine art creates that sense of sophistication and grace that goes on the traditional greeting card.   Handwriting your card may seem a little old-fashioned, but most modern communication experts tell us that it is the most personal and meaningful way to communicate with your family, friend and future or past business contacts.

Why do we sell fine art on cards?  For years, people have shopped in retail stores and card shops and always experienced the same problems. The cards were either to emotional, used inappropriate humor for the occasion, or even insulting and stereotypical. Aren’t the bad jokes about birthday’s, the sappy lines, and the old cliché’s about the obligatory printed thank you cards wearing thin?  Writing your own message in a card is a great way to solve this.


In all, we send greeting cards for various reasons. Some of the reasons listed are traditional, some religious, and some are regional to our culture.  But they all make great impressions when said with fine art.


Anniversary Love
Birthdays Sickness
Funerals Graduations
Invitations Weddings
Thank you Thinking of you
Congratulations Sympathy
New Jobs New Houses
Retirement New baby
Christmas Hanukkah
New Years Valentines Day
St. Patrick’s Day Easter
Mothers Day Fathers Day
Cinco De Mayo 4th of July
Quinceañera Ramadan
Eid Hajj
Vesākha (Buddha Jayanti) Halloween
Thanksgiving Diwali


Don’t forget that joining our email list is the most efficient way to make sure you get to see the pictures that will make your next greeting card special.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

Impermanence of a Spring Rose


A perfect flower is going to offer up a perfect picture.  That is, assuming all of your equipment is working correctly, the light angles and levels are great, and lady luck is at your door step.


Yet, I have offered up an “imperfect” flower.  It has a little brown around the edges of some of the petals.  The color white in the center is not a perfect white but a more cream color.  What was I thinking about when I took this picture?  Most professional photographers would simply throw this image away.   That would be a huge loss.  I wasn’t thinking about photography, or it being the perfect picture.  I was making art instead.


The art of impermanence.   Things don’t last forever.

I wanted to elevate that feeling of impermanence to another level.  Sure, I could have spent many hours at my computer working in Photoshop to make it a “perfect flower”.  But it would ruin the chance to view the idea that reality shows us all nature’s beauty if we take time to look for it.

I’m looking at this rose,  and I see that it is deep into middle age.  The green at the bottom of the flower tells me that it is still got a long and prosperous life ahead of it.  But the brown?  It’s the grey hair that some people start to get in their 40’s.  It’s impermanence shown in nature.  It’s nature’s way of physically telling the world, “Hey, look whose not a kid anymore!”   It’s not demeaning to the flower, indeed if the flower could speak I think it would be saying “ I’ve lasted this long?”  “Wow.”


It’s an interesting challenge to our general way of thinking that everything has to be perfect.  Especially in photography.  That in itself Is the great thing about being an artistic photographer.  I get to see and share nature’s way of saying being impermanent is perfect.  Enjoy.


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