Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Looking for Consistency in Art and in Writing

"Circles and Butterflies" acrylic painting ©Mary Montague Sikes
Earlier this year, I was pleased to be a semi-finalist in the Xanadu Gallery's Mentorship program. I've long been a fan of Jason Horejs, owner of the gallery located in Scottsdale, Arizona who offers helpful blog advice to artists all over the world. "Circles and Butterflies," a 48" x 46" acrylic painting on canvas, was one of the pieces I submitted in my application.

As part of the program, I now have the opportunity to follow the progress of the two final artists through 15 bi-weekly podcasts that will document their journeys to an exhibition of their work in Xanadu Gallery during April. This is the first time that Jason has selected two artists for the program. Sculptor Phyllis Mantik deQuevedo and painter Kimberly Ferrell will compliment each other in an exhibition of their figurative work.

This week Jason discussed the importance of having consistency in the art an artist puts out for public display. I take notes throughout the podcasts and was pleased that he listed his six criteria for consistency. They are: subject matter, theme, style, palette, medium, and presentation. I thought about how authors also can benefit from using those same criteria for consistency in their books and their covers.

Jason says that artists should discover their own mix in the six criteria as they seek to find their individual brands. This reminded me of the time a few years ago when I met with the cover designer of my first novel, Hearts Across Forever.  She told me about branding, a subject I had not considered much before that day. Although she did not give me the criteria for consistency, she made me understand the importance of developing a "look" for not only the books, but the author as well. The art on the cover of Hearts Across Forever is my pastel painting of falls that are part of the story. It is interesting to note the similarities of the color palettes of my painting and those of my book. I had not thought about that common element until I put photos of both of them in my blog today.

From now on, I will give special attention to the six criteria for consistency as I develop my art work. I will also consider it in my book writing and in the art for my covers. Thank you, Jason Horejs, for your thoughtful suggestions.


5 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We can apply those things to our writing. It's important readers know what to expect from us, at least in general.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

You are right. Your books have that consistent look readers want to see!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - what a great post ... and so applicable to us bloggers and authors. We can't vacillate around ... I know my voice is there - I was told by a blogger friend in Aus - she said if I ever saw anything of yours: I'd know you'd written it. Must be the ellipses!

But series for books ... would need the same application ... and I can quite see a theme for your art work (or that series) would make sense too ...

Branding is important ... well done on being a semi-finalist ... and now you can learn from the two finalists as they explore and continue their work ...

All the best - Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Hilary. Branding is more important than ever. Sometimes I forget its importance!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Medium might not apply, but the others do. Unless it might refer genre.