Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Left Bank | My Reflection on Portrait Impressions

Portrait Impressions | a group exhibit 
September 8th - October 30th
9 AM to 5 PM Daily

Last week I posted about the upcoming exhibit at The Left Bank Shop & Gallery in McGregor, IA. So Friday, with my little one in tow, we headed over to see the exhibit. I love going to the special event openings to mingle with everyone, listen to the live music, and enjoy the wonderful refreshments, but Emmajean had slightly different plans. We ended up going just before the official start time, before the crowd rolled in, but we still got to see all of the new artwork displayed. We even got to sneak a few photos of Portrait Impressions and a couple of photos of two of the people who make it all happen at The Left Bank! 

Portrait Impressions | a group exhibit at the Left Bank Shop & Gallery 
The artists definitely had their own unique takes for Portrait Impressions. When you go see this show you will see traditional portraiture, abstraction, conceptual portraits, animal portraits, and more! I really enjoyed all of the different interpretations of the theme for this exhibit. A sense of play and fun shine through the variety of artwork.

I even snapped my own "portrait impression" of the exhibit itself: featuring Sandy and Teri who both work with The Left Bank Shop & Gallery to bring these events to life. These folks are awesome and, along with the other board members, employees, and volunteers, are able to offer northeast Iowa a truly enchanting place to view and purchase local artwork. 

Last minute adjustments! 

This exhibit is seriously fun to view. I love the eclectic mix of styles, the vibrant colors, & the variety of media! 

While everything at this special exhibit is awesome, the glass portraits by Barb McKinlay really caught my eye. Some hang on the wall, some are free standing and catch the light in different ways as you walk around the room. All are vibrant, moody and downright delightful. 

Here are a few detail images of her glass portraits available now at the Left Bank:

This shows how the piece changes as the light shifts or you view the artwork from a different angle. I think what draws me to these is the use of color coupled with the way the piece is constantly changing from the light shining through. To me, this shift in the work plays on the idea that people aren't two dimensional. We are ever changing and reacting to the environment around us at any given moment. What a cool way to take a traditional "2D" portrait and bring it to life. Very cool work, Barb!

If you haven't already been to see this show, or you missed the opening, or you just need to get back for a second look, then you're in luck! This exhibit runs through October 30th.

Don't forget to check out the plethora of other interesting artwork throughout the rest of the retail gallery while you're there! Can you spot any of my new JWebb original paintings? 

There is really something for everyone at The Left Bank!
I can't wait to share what we found for Emmajean...check back soon! 

Cheers ♥

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Left Bank Shop & Gallery | Portrait Impressions

Today was a gorgeous day for a drive along the Mississippi River! Not only did I enjoy the scenic drive, the early signs of fall, the crisp fresh air, but I also dropped off a few new paintings at both The Left Bank Shop & Gallery and The Guttenberg Gallery. Checking things off my to-do list is always a plus, but getting to see all of the beautiful new things at the galleries was icing on the cake!

I highly encourage you to take a relaxing drive up (or down) the river and visit both spaces during the fall leaves season. Either way, you should definitely mark your calendar for the upcoming opening night of Portrait Impressions at the Left Bank Shop & Gallery in McGregor, Iowa. It's happening this Friday, September 8th, from 6 to 8 pm, and there will be live music, refreshments, and mingling! Here is a little sneak peek of some of the portraits that you'll find at the exhibit...

Portraits come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Come see for yourself at The Left Bank Shop & Gallery's
final special exhibit of the season: Portrait Impressions - Sept. 8 through Oct. 30, 2017.

As you can see from these little teasers... It's going to be a really fun exhibit! 

Join the event on facebook by clicking here! 


Monday, August 14, 2017

JWebb Fine Art | Purchasing Original Art

Purchasing Original Art

As an artist and art-lover, I get asked all kinds of questions about purchasing art. How do you know if something is “good” art? What’s the difference between an original painting and a print? Should I shop online, at a gallery, or at a fine art festival? How do artists price their artwork? And the list goes on… 

Here are some of my thoughts on buying artwork from my own personal experience:

Do you love the piece of art at first sight? Does it grab your attention and then pull you in for a closer look? Does it make you happy or move you? If it does any of these things, then consider it a great buy! You're going to walk by this piece on your wall at home every day, and it will lift your spirit. It's something that happens both consciously and subconsciously. 
"Happiness" 24x24 original acrylic on canvas, SOLD. I sold this painting to a woman who had seen some of my artwork in person, began following my facebook page, and then saw me post this piece as my featured painting one month. I let her know the specifics through messages, she purchased, and I shipped it out to Arizona!  I always ask my clients to let me know when they've received a painting through the mail that it arrived safe and that they are satisfied; she messaged me instantly that she absolutely loved it! Ahhh, "Happiness."

Often I hear, "I don't have space for anything else." If you love the piece, don’t worry about finding a place for it. When you get it home, you’ll find the perfect place. You may even choose to freshen up your home by moving things around a bit. (I'll try to do a blog soon on how I hang and rotate artwork at my house).

"Run Away With Me" 30x30 original acrylic on canvas, SOLD. I loved this piece and so happy it found its forever home with a family in Illinois! It may sound crazy, but one of my favorite places to rotate paintings is above my washer and dryer. I seriously meditate on whatever I hang in this location. You can transform any room with artwork!

Original art is always my preference. I love purchasing a piece that I know is one-of-a-kind. I like knowing the artist has created it from start to finish, making it with his or her own hands. There is so much amazing original art that is affordable and unique. I am not 100% against purchasing prints (otherwise known as reproductions), I just feel that there is something extra special about an original piece. That's also why I choose to only offer original paintings. Some original paintings are not always in the budget for everyone; however, I offer a variety of sizes enabling me to offer a variety of price points. Do not feel like you have to have a HUMONGOUS painting for it to make an impact. Small pieces can be intimate and make a striking statement. In my personal opinion, I'd rather have a small original than a huge print. If you have your heart set on a large piece that is a bit out of your immediate budget, talk to the artist and see if they'll do a lay-away option. It makes complete sense that sometimes you may need to save up for a special buy. I have offered this option to patrons and work with people all the time. Most artists have their own lay-away policies, too. All of that being said, I do appreciate all art and if a print speaks to you, well then by all means enjoy it! Also, certain mediums (for example, photography and printmaking) lend themselves to be made as prints and I fully appreciate all forms of art!

These are two small, but striking, original paintings. They're just 4x4 inches each, and I matted and framed them for a punch of contrast. Find more of my small-but-striking original paintings at the upcoming fine art festival in Elkader, IA! Art in the Park 2017 will be held Saturday, August 19th from 10-5 and Sunday, August 20th from 10-4!   

Is it safe to buy art online? I say, feel safe shopping online if you have already seen the artist’s work in person previously, if they have good reviews, if there is a return policy, or if the artist can make some type of guarantee, and if there is a detailed description so you know exactly what you are purchasing. Often an artist can provide you detail photographs and photographs from all angles to help you see the artwork more fully online - just ask. Most of the time the artwork will arrive and be even more impressive in person than what the photograph portrays (I see this all of the time when jurying art images sent in by artists applying for exhibitions or festivals.) 

Here I marketed my painitng, "Tulips," online.  The addition of a side/profile image helps the viewer see that the painting wraps around the edge of the stretched canvas, making it ready to hang without a frame. This painting is currently available for purchase and being represented at the Left Bank Shop and Gallery in McGregor, Iowa.  

Should I shop at a gallery? Shopping at a gallery supports a local business and an artist at the same time! Selling art takes patience. As an artist, I know that it takes the right person seeing a painting that speaks to them before that piece will sell. Galleries enable an artist to show their artwork on a long term basis and to an audience interested in buying artwork. You also know that artwork at a gallery has been viewed and juried by the gallery, therefore it meets a certain level of professionalism and quality. Most of the time a painting will have the same retail value from the artist and from the gallery. While the gallery takes a commission from the artist, the artist is happy to give this commission knowing the gallery has done the work of providing a storefront and place for people to see and purchase their artwork. When artwork sells at the gallery, the gallery is encouraged to keep that artist's art in stock. 

Here are some of my original paintings on display at the Guttenberg Gallery in Guttenberg, IA. 

What kind of quality can you find at a fine art festival? Like a gallery, fine art festivals generally have a jury process that accepts a certain number of artists and high quality of art to be on exhibit any given year. My favorite thing about shopping for art at a fine art festival is getting the chance to meet the artist in person. You can hear first-hand what the artist was thinking when they were creating a piece or coming up with the title. There are often other perks to shopping at a fine art festival, like a bit of negotiating room or talking to the artist about their lay-away policy in person. The ambiance at festivals is fun, and there is great food and music. Artists may even be able to guide you in a color combination that suits your new home makeover. Even if you aren't on the hunt for a specific piece, attending a fine art festival is a super fun way to spend the day taking in wonderful sights, tastes, and sounds. 

I could go on and on about buying art, because I LOVE IT! However, I'll wrap it up with this last thought: When buying a piece of original art with which you connect, you're connecting with that artist who created it. Your're supporting an individual, their family, a dream, a passion. You're also investing in something that will last. Think about how much you spend every 4 to 6 weeks to have your hair cut and colored, or what you spend going out to eat, etc. All of these things are great luxuries and help us feel uplifted, but investing in artwork is an uplifting act that lasts. I often justify my art purchases knowing that, and knowing that I've helped support a local artist, a local business, and knowing I'll get to enjoy it for years to come.

So splurge on that painting that calms or excites you. I've never once regretted an art purchase!

Come see me at my booth at:

I'll have original paintings in all sizes, along with 50 other regional artists who will be exhibiting works in photography, sculpture, ceramics, woodworking, fiber, drawing, and more! 

Cheers ♥

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

JWebb Photography | Northeast Iowa Family Photo Session

A Family Photo Session at the Tree Farm:

A few weeks ago one of my friends told me that her family would be getting together for their annual canoe trip down the Turkey River. She knew she wanted to take this opportunity to get some professional photographs of the whole group, especially some with her beautiful granddaughters! Of course, I was thrilled she asked and couldn't wait to photograph this gorgeous group at their home, which happens to also be a Christmas tree farm! Even though we scouted out the perfect spot for group shots in and around their lush evergreens, we took a few quick photos of the girls perched up in an apple tree, too!  

Julie, It was so much fun photographing your precious family! I hope you all had a blast canoeing the Turkey. Enjoy the memories and these photos for years to come! 

Cheers ♥

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Left Bank | Local Inspirations - coming up!

The Left Bank Shop & Gallery 
at The McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts
158  Main Street, P.O. Box 451
McGregor, Iowa 52157

Open 7 days a week | 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

A few weeks ago a tornado tore through the beautiful riverside town of McGregor, IA, and surrounding areas. While the gallery didn't sustain any serious damage, prayers go out to all of those who did. With all of the damage in town, The Left Bank chose to postpone the opening night of the special exhibit. 

Opening night festivities have now been rescheduled, be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, August 4th! Come enjoy an evening of art, live music, refreshments, and see what inspires some of the area's most talented local artists!  

Local Inspirations 
July 21st - September 2nd, 2017

Opening night:
Friday, August 4th | 6:00 to 8:00 PM 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers ♥

Monday, July 17, 2017

JWebb Photography | Happy One Year!

This adorable family just celebrated the FIRST birthday of this little firecracker-- born on the Fourth of July! I was so happy to record this precious milestone for them.This session is extra close to my heart, with my daughter having just turned one a couple of months ago and those emotions still fresh. I could not get over all the similarities of these two little ones! Speaking of similarities... does this little guy look like his daddy or what? I will say, though, that the more I looked through each of these photos, I definitely see his mama, too! I'd say he is the perfect combination and such a funny, bright, beautiful boy. 

Enjoy some of my favorites from their session:


Thanks for visiting! 

cheers ♥