Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Embarking on a "Southern Tour"

Tomorrow, I'm off for Houston and San Fransisco. Look for me at the Imperial Sugar Farmers Market on Saturday, February 20th from 9AM-1PM. Here's a link to the market with details:
Then, on Friday, March 4th, from 5PM-9PM I'll be in Oakland, CA for Oakland First Friday's street fair. Here's a link for details on that event:
I may or may not be posting until after returning from this trip on March 9th. While away, I'll be focusing on plein air drawing in the Houston and San Fransisco areas.

As always, prints of a selection of my drawings are available for purchase in a variety of formats at:
I will most likely be posting frequently to Instagram. Follow me at bethanyleefineart.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Today I Cast the Captain...

...in Urethane Casting Resin. The figure is 9.5" high, and there are 4 of them, total, so far.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Looking at the Landscapes

Last week in New York was a watershed moment for me. Until that point, I had been focusing on producing - just get out there and make stuff. That approach has been fruitful in that, well, I've produced. On the other hand, neither I nor my audience have been sufficiently enthusiastic about this work to sustain its practice.
So, I've decided to dig deeper and work on improving the quality of my works. That means, practically, that I will probably be spending more time on each peice, and that means I probably will not be posting every day. I will probably also revisit old pieces and rework them.
Here's the most recent piece. It's of Rock Creek in Washington, DC and is a 7"x5" colored pencil drawing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Did an on-line video tutorial today...

I've been looking for good art schools for about five month, and now I can report that I found one excellent video tutorial. Yes, my educational progress is very slow in coming. Truth is, I have a long list of schools, but none of them are quite what I am looking for right now. However, this guy, Thomas Kegler, had exactly what I was looking for. I'm starting with convenient and inexpensive (read "on-line") and working my way up to difficult to get to and costs an arm and a leg. Anyways, this is a video on plein-air painting which is what I have been focusing on. And, it's really good. What a find!


I did the video, and it helped me a lot.
So, if you've got any landscape artists looking for resources, here's a little gem.

This is what I sketched in one hour as the light was fading after doing the video:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

2nd Day Peddling in New York City

Today, I drew across the street from Union Square.
Here is View Across Union Square, 5"x7" Colored Pencil
Purchase prints of a selection of my work at http://fineartamerica.com/art/bethany+lee

Drawing on the street has been quite an experience. In New York City, unlike most other major cities in the US, it is legal to sell one's own artwork on the street without a license. The artist still needs a sales tax number, but that just requires an on-line application and a wait of a couple weeks. So, I recently got my sales tax number, and this weekend was my first weekend selling.
No one bought anything. And I was freezing.
The freezing, I can do something about. It's called layers. Lots of layers.
The nobody buying...well, I'm not sure what to do with that. Lots of people stopped and looked, and I passed out a bunch of business cards. There was plenty of admiration, but nobody said, "Ooo! I want that!" I need to put my thinking hat on and ponder this. I've logged plenty of hours on the streets and at a mall (total of about 40 hours, I think), offering my colored pencil landscapes for sale. My display is really nice now, and the landscapes are matted and ready to hang. So, I people are not buying, that must mean that the people who are passing by simply do not want the product I am offering. Or, they do not want it at the price I am offering. Today, I marked them at $20. Maybe, I am not in the right crowd of people. I mean, I have yet to sell at an actual art fair where people are going to buy art. In a few weeks, though, I will be selling at Oakland First Fridays which is an art street fair. So, I'll have a chance to answer that question.
If people just don't want my landscapes, period, however, then comes the question of whether it's my landscapes in particular or colored pencil landscapes in general. Or, maybe just small landscapes. If it's my landscapes, maybe I need to do something to improve my technique. I could take some classes, maybe. Maybe it's the size or the subject matter. Maybe it's the quality. Maybe only really stellar landscapes will do. Mine aren't ugly, but I could always improve them.
However, being that the whole impetus behind this colored pencil landscape project was originally that, as a visual artist, I am going to be drawing pretty much every day anyways. So, if that is the case, why not try to draw things that would help me to support myself. So, if selling these means I need to spend another 3 years studying landscape painting, is that worth it? Should I just focus on making sculpture since that is my specialty in the first place?
People do buy art. I know this. People somewhere do buy lots of different kinds of art. I just need to find out where those people are and what kind of art I am capable of making that these people would buy.
Anybody out there who has faced these same kinds of challenges and overcome them, please, I need input!

Friday, February 5, 2016

1st Day Peddling in NYC

Today I drew at Prince and Elizabeth streets in Nolita. 5"x7" colored pencil
Order prints of a selection of my work at www.fineartamerica.com. Just search for artist "Bethany Lee."

Here's a photo of my peddling set-up.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Philippine Glory Bowers

US Botanic Gardens, the Philippine Glory Bowers Near the Entrance, Washington, DC 5"x7" Colored Pencil
Order prints of a selection of my work at:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Small, Green Tree Amidst Tall, Straight Trunks

Small, Green Tree Amidst Tall, Straight Trunks
5"x7" Colored Pencil, Drawn in Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
To purchase prints of my work, look me up on fineartamerica.com (for selected works) or contact me directly at bethany@bethanyleefineart.com.

I will be focusing on a longer term sculpture for awhile instead of the daily sculpture sketch, so no sculpture sketches for awhile.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

This is a view of the Smithsonian from the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden. The sculpture in the foreground is Horse and Rider by Marino Marini. I set out to make it resemble my recent drawing of New York Harbor in these respects: a wild/natural looking foreground, vertical objects leading the eye to a focal point, and some object as the focal point/object in distance that was recognizably "DC." I also wanted to include a lamppost. However, lampposts placed in just such a configuration were not to be found. I actually intended to make a composition with the Washington monument. But, then the vertical lines of the horse and the vertical lines of the Smithsonian Towers and flagpole presented themselves. And, so, I put the wild/natural part in the middle ground and added some linear perspective, and voila.
There is no sculpture sketch today before I spent too much time on this drawing.