Nine Blue Dogs Painting – 120cm by 100cm, oil on acryl and canvas inspired by the Pharaohs & our Labrador Buddy

The background of this painting is highly structured Acryl (unlike many of my other paintings I used only little sand or pigments), the dogs are in oil. Each dog differs slightly from the other, yet they all are very similar; I’ve used a paper template and some spraypaint to create and position the initial outlines. I developed this template technique in 2013, and it allows the creation of shapes in exactly the right position very quickly, yet as I soon discovered the risk is that the painting may look sterile and as if it came off a printing press. So the placement of the template in a deliberately deviating position and the final step of painting by hand with a rough brush is key to make the motives come alive.

A bright painting, with strong contrasts between the pale background and the dark blue of the animals. Ancient Egypt is mostly reflected by the shapes, not the colors.

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Going virtual! Tips and tricks on how to sell art without a live event.

Originally I had planned an art exhibit of my work for June, and the organization of this live event was already initiated back in January, together with three other artists. But then the pandemic struck, and it became quite obvious that a live, on-site event was out of the question.

Luckily, through my previous job in business, I have experience in organizing remote events, so the decision to turn this “viral disaster” into a “virtual exhibit” was a relatively easy step to take. In the end, I managed to hand over a surprisingly high number of paintings and books through this approach. Perhaps you are interested in doing something similar, so let me share some tips and tricks on how to make this work.

Set the theme. I called my virtual event “the fundraiser against Corona” as my objective was to donate any proceeds to the WHO corona fund. This was the red tread through all communication.

Choose the timeframe. I took the month of May as the running time for the event.

Connect to your audience, I have a e-mail list with many subscribers, and emailing was centerpiece to the campaign. You can’t overwhelm people with continuous emails, so I designed just three emails: one for April with the general announcement, one for half of May, and a final closing email announcing that the event was almost over, with a final call to action.

Use a website as the central information resource. The link to that website should be simple so that it can be typed in by hand or communicated during a conversation, e.g. over the phone. Here’s mine: www.clemenssuter.com/papa.

Use all channels available. Not all people receive information through the same channel, as it turned out some customers heard about this campaign through Instagram, others through LinkedIn, and others through email. I pushed out the campaign through my website, email, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, two sites on Facebook, YouTube… and a few others that I have in the meantime forgotten about ;-) Naturally you can also use any other way: even written letters or postcards.

Use a single, simple and unique hashtag across all social media. Check out my tag #cps_d2c. That hashtag allows all participants to find your work in their personal favorite channel, and it connects all channels.

Post and communicate continuously. Make sure to provide some piece of news every day, across many of the channels. Indicate which day it is: “today is the tenth day of the fundraiser” or “only five more days left for the fundraiser”. As an example, I shared details of a painting each day, or posted about one of my books every couple of days.

Use video. I made short movies that I posted on YouTube, telling why I was running the campaign. Even three weeks in, not all of the people that I had addressed understood what this was about, so you must keep on reiterating your goal. Vlogs are a great way to supplement blogs.

Talk about successes. If you sell your work, tell the audience about this right away. Also mention if you have successfully shipped a painting, or when it has arrived at the buyer. People will want to know that you can deliver. Also provide some guarantee that you will take the picture back if the buyer doesn’t like it. Naturally some buyers will want to look at the art too; so I organized live visits (in line with corona limitations).

Join forces with other artists. Actually, this is a call to action for YOU, if you create high quality art and literature. Imagine such a campaign with a number of artists, each with their own channels! That would lead to an impressive multiplication. If this approach interests you, contact me.

Goldfish. Painting offered during the fundraising campaign and delivered to the UK.

Find more info about my adventure books, which in 2010, predicted the corona pandemic: www.clemenssuter.com/books

„Mountains“ (oil, sand, pigments – on canvas, 30 x 30 cm). A Buddhism-inspired #Mountainscape.

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Several years ago, I started, inspired by Buddhist art, to paint landscapes. Especially mountainscapes, I should emphasize: I saw a few paintings by an Indian artist in a documentary and liked the bright colors and tranquility of the depicted  scenes. I add a personal touch, in that I use very rich oil colors for the mountains, yet sand and pigments for the sky. Some of the paintings (not this one) you could theoretically view upside down as well. Concerning the process: creating the sky may take quite long, as the layers of paint and sand need to dry in between and the structure had to be „just right“… yet painting the mountains may take only an hour or so. If the mountains do not look good, I scrape off the oil paint completely, discard it and start again.

The frame of this painting is wood with black pigment (don’t touch the frame: you will get black hands :-)

Click on the tag „painting“ below for more of my work.

„Red Fish“ (oil, sand on canvas, 130 x 90 cm) – inspired by a visit to Osaka aquarium

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The Osaka aquarium is truly worthwhile to visit: it has a huge tank with millions of liters of seawater, that goes across four floors and holds meter-long sharks. The glass of this tank is 30cm thick – and specially made.

I snapped dozens of photos; which due to a slight error involving two left thumbs, a few glasses of cold sake and a Japanese kindergarten-teacher, spontaneously erased themselves from my camera. At 2 a.m. in the morning.

In creating this painting, I thus had to resort to my hazy memories of a somewhat smaller sweetwater fish that I recall having seen in one of the little tanks on the second floor. A friendly chap with a broad smile – this species wasn’t actually red but gray, nevertheless I’m sure he wouldn’t have objected to a splash of color.

This painting has a twinabout the same size and about the same fish. But the latter painting was bought by a fan and is now located in a home in Northern Greece.