Jennifer Keeney-Bleeg is a contemporary artist and freelance writer living in Bristol, England. This is her third installment in a four-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence.
You can view more of her art on Instagram or Facebook @jkbleeg. Visit her website at jkbleeg.com and join her monthly mailing list to be the first to get access to new releases of art.
Like pretty much all artists I know, I appreciate a lot of different kinds of art and have dabbled in many forms of it. Perhaps as a result of that, I have sometimes struggled to get clarity about the kind of art I want to put out into the world.
I’m also a bit of a people-pleaser (hopefully a recovering one) and when determining where to focus my work, I have put more weight on external sources of validation than I should – whether it came in the form of a positive note from a gallery manager or a supportive comment on social media from someone I respect. Getting clarity about my own vision is an ongoing challenge for me, particularly as I learn new skills and evolve as an artist.
I try to regularly evaluate what I like about my work and what I’d like to elevate within it. I also keep – and add to – a look book of art images that I find moving in some way. If I feel repeatedly drawn to a certain artist’s work, or even to a color or texture or use of line, I try to experiment with it and see where it might help my own work develop.
Two books are inspiring me at the moment — Painting Abstract Landscapes, by Gareth Edwards and Kate Reeve-Edwards.; and Life Force: A painter’s response to the nature poetry of Ted Hughes, by Louise Fletcher (below).
Every month, 1-3 artists show up in our Artist Strong community to share their artistic process, journey, explorations with us over the course of a month.
The goal is to normalize the MANY, VARIED experiences of being an artist.
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I’ve always been a creative woman at heart. Vine weaving, gourds, a bit of everything. I’m 5 years into painting with flow art techniques and I LOVE it. I have given away so many paintings to friends and as gifts but would now like to make the jump and sell my work. I would love some good advise!
Hi Suzanne! I don’t know how I just spotted this after all this time, but I’ll reply now. I love hearing about your varied creativity, that is amazing. The easiest way to start selling your art is to set a price and announce it! 🙂 It’s really not harder than that. The scary part is you just don’t know what will sell. And that’s OK. It’s not a measure of the value and worth of your artistic efforts. After you first sell to family and friends you can ask yourself where else would you like to test selling…markets, online, etc. and then move forward from there.