Many artists are not able to commercialize their products properly and therefore they are not able to get a fair price for their work. Lynne Taetzsch is not only a well know and respected artist but she knows how to market her work. What follows is and interview with Lynne:
Andrew Spriegel: Your website is very easy to navigate and you seem very computer savvy, why is that?
Lynne Taetzsch: I’ve had a website for 12 years, beginning with Netscape’s built-in web designer, moving on to HotDog, and then Dreamweaver, learning along the way. I read books about good web design, subscribe to newsletters, and take constructive feedback seriously. I look at other artists’ websites, too, noticing what I like and don’t like.
I also love working on the computer, so it’s fun for me to manage, update and promote my website on the Internet. The first computer I owned was an IBM System 23, where I used a database management system to operate my direct-mail publishing business.
Andrew Spriegel: Who does your packaging for your art, the painting I received from you was the best packaging I had ever received?
Lynne Taetzsch: I order specially made boxes just the right size for my paintings. They are packed at a local Pak-Mail in Ithaca, where the owner carefully protects the paintings with Styrofoam insulation to be sure they are safe.
Andrew Spriegel: How much do you use social networking?
Lynne Taetzsch: I have just begun to use social networking over the past six months to a year, although I guess I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for a lot longer. Several of my art collectors are on it, as well as other artists who exchange advice.
I have a Facebook Fan Page now, and my fans continually increase. I post to it 5 or 6 days a week. But my most active social activity is blogging. I’ve been doing my abstract art blog for years, and try to post 5 days a week. I talk about my latest artwork and post images as they are being made. My blogs are automatically sent to Twitter now, also.
I have videos on YouTube, one of which has received over 57,000 views. In the blog I talk about the meaning of abstract art.
Andrew Spriegel: How do you do so much writing in between your painting?
Lynne Taetzsch: I’ve been a writer all my life, and have published 11 books. I always loved both art and writing, though art is my first love. The writing often helped me make a living, though.
I write fast (like I do everything), so it is not a problem for me to keep up with my art blog. That material is then used again on Facebook, etc. Or I will simply post an image with a description, which just takes a few minutes.
Andrew Spriegel: If you had to live your life over what would you do?
Lynne Taetzsch: Probably the same thing, unless I could do it with the knowledge I have now. If so, I would have moved less often (25 or so moves throughout my life); would have painted more; would have stuck with things longer.
Andrew Spriegel: How much marketing do you do?
Lynne Taetzsch: All the blogging, social networking, etc., is part of the marketing. I have also tried advertising in contemporary home magazines. I spend 40% of my time making art and 60% of my time running the business and doing the marketing.
Andrew Spriegel: How did you learn how to market?
Lynne Taetzsch: I worked in direct mail marketing for a number of years, which taught me a lot. Once the Internet became a place where I could market my art, I learned through observation, reading, and trial and error.
Andrew Spriegel: Do you like to market?
Lynne Taetzsch: I am terrible at face-to-face marketing, not that great at phone marketing, but if I can write something, I can polish it until it works. Websites are about content, and I’m good at creating that. So yes, I like to market on the Internet, but not face-to-face or on the phone, though of course, I do it when necessary.
Andrew Spriegel: Are your Limited edition Giclée prints on canvas printed on demand?
Lynne Taetzsch: Yes, that way I don’t have to keep an inventory on hand. It also means I can offer many different sizes for each image. It takes about 2 weeks for a print on canvas to be made. My printmaker, Jim Kirsner, is a perfectionist. He photographs the original painting and gives me a proof (small sample) to approve before he goes ahead with the final print.
Andrew Spriegel: How often do you paint?
Lynne Taetzsch: Every morning 5 or 6 days a week, unless I’m traveling. Then I like to take a pad and markers with me so I can draw.
Andrew Spriegel: Why did you choose to live in Ithaca, New York?
Lynne Taetzsch: I lived here in the 1970s and loved it. It’s a great place to live if you’re an artist, but not a great place to sell art. Fortunately, I sell my art all over the world through the Internet, so it doesn’t matter.
Ithaca is a small college town with Cornell University and Ithaca College, so there’s plenty of culture that’s easy to get to. But what I love most is the natural beauty. We’re in the Finger Lakes region, with wonderful hiking trails, waterfalls and gorges.
Finally, my daughter and grandchildren live here, so when I was able to retire from teaching and paint full time, this seemed like the perfect place to be.
Andrew Spriegel: You have a PhD in writing, why did you pursue your PhD?
Lynne Taetzsch: First, I’m bipolar and my attention tends to jump from one thing to the next. I am always looking for a challenge, a change, a new project. So although I was happily living and painting in San Diego, writing one day a week for a direct mail publisher, I decided to go back to school. I began with one course in creative writing so I could polish up the novel in my desk drawer. That led to an MA and then the Ph.D. at Florida State. But I kept painting through it all, and through five years of teaching creative writing at Morehead State University in Kentucky.
I didn’t go back to school for an MFA in art because I already knew how I wanted to paint. My art is the one thing I’ve always had confidence in ever since my days at Cooper Union Art School in NY.
Andrew Spriegel: If you had your life to live over, what five things would you do differently?
1. Spend more time making art.
2. Spend more time with my daughter when she was growing up.
3. Spend more time developing my art career when I was young.
4. Appreciate my family more.
5. Spend more time outdoors.
Andrew Spriegel: Why did you write a book on poker?
Lynne Taetzsch: When I lived in Ithaca in the 1970s, I played in a weekly game with grad students and professors, all men. One of them was a self-proclaimed “expert,” and since I was a writer of “how-to” books, I asked him if he wanted to write a book with me. He laughed at me. So I wrote it myself and used him and the other players as characters in the book.
Defining Abstract Art
by Lynne Taetzsch
Summary: “Abstract art” has many meanings, depending on the context in which you define it. You can look at it historically, tracing its use in movements such as the New York “abstract expressionists” of the 40s and 50s. Or you can enter the search term in Google and see how the term is used today. Other related terms are “modern,” and “contemporary.”
Lynne Taetzsch is an artist and writer whose contemporary abstract paintings have been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the world. Described by collectors as “vibrant” and “exciting,” her colorful paintings and prints can be viewed on her website at
The term “abstract art” is like the term “modern music” in the sense that it is a very broad umbrella sheltering a wide variety of art. But like “abstract math,” the general sense of the term is that it is the opposite of the concrete, or “realism.” At one end of the continuum is a painting of a violin so perfectly rendered that we feel we could reach into the frame, pick up the instrument, and play it. At the other end is a canvas painted pure white or black all over. There is nothing in it to reach in and touch.
A simple, common definition of “abstract art” is “not realistic.” Yet many artists who call their work abstract actually do have a subject in mind when they paint. They take a figure or landscape and simplify it, exaggerate it, or stylize it in some way. They are not trying to imitate nature, but to use nature as a starting off point. Color, line, and form are more important to them than the details of the actual subject matter. They want to give a sense or feel for the subject rather than an exact replication.
Historically, the term “abstract” has been associated with a variety of art movements. The cubism of Picasso, Braque and Cezanne was a geometrical abstraction. In the United States, a group also known as the New York school of action painters was defined by critics as “abstract expressionists.” Yet the individuals in this group varied greatly in their approaches. Jackson Pollock did overall drip paintings. Mark Rothko painted shimmering color field canvases based on a simple square pattern. Willem de Kooning did not abandon subject matter like the others, but abstracted the female figure in much of his work.
Art that has no intentional beginnings in any subject matter is sometimes referred to as “non-objective,” or “non-representational.” A related term is “minimalism,” or the tendency to take as much away from the painterly surface of the canvas as possible. A white square painted on a white background is an example of minimalism. The end result is not so much the point as the daring it took to get there.
“Modern art” is another term commonly used to refer to abstract art, though originally this term was used to differentiate the experimenters of the twentieth century from the traditional European painters and sculptors. Thus, “modern art” began over seventy years ago, and is no longer new. Many movements in art have come and gone since then. For example, “pop art” incorporates popular culture such as comics and movie stars. Well-known artists of this genre include Andy Warhol, who painted Cambell’s soup cans and portraits of Marilyn Monroe; and Jasper Johns, who did a series of flag paintings.
“Contemporary art” is another one of those terms that covers a wide variety of art. The best definition of “contemporary” is the work of any living artist, though the term has also been used to mean art that you would hang in a contemporary home. This sense of contemporary is more like the term “modern,” in that it means the opposite of “traditional.” Thus, “contemporary art” is also sometimes used to mean “abstract art.”
Another way to define the term “abstract art” is to enter it as a search term on Google or Yahoo and look at the results. There will be millions of them, proving that the term is used today to cover a vast amount of art. I use the term “abstract art” to define my own painting because I know that people who love my art tend to define it this way. They often find me by entering the term on Google. Others use the term “modern art” or “contemporary art” to find me.
So where does that leave us in our definition of abstract art? Like most definitions of art movements, the answer is complex. We can look at abstract art historically from an art critic’s perspective, or use it as the general public would, to mean something other than traditional realistic representation.
How to Select Art for Your Home
by Lynne Taetzsch
Selecting art for your home can be an exciting adventure and a source of enjoyment for years to come. Keys to success are figuring out what kind of art you like, how it will fit in with the rest of your interior design plans, and how to exhibit the art to the best effect in your home.
What kind of art do you like?
There are many opportunities to browse art within your community at local exhibitions, art fairs and galleries. Even small towns usually have a not-for-profit gallery space, or cafés and restaurant that exhibit local artists. In larger cities, galleries often get together for monthly or periodic “gallery nights” where all the galleries hold open house receptions on the same evening. It’s a great way to see a lot of art in a short time.
Today the internet provides the largest variety and depth of fine art available worldwide. You can visit museum websites and see master works from ages past, check out online galleries for group shows, and visit hundreds of individual artists’ websites. One advantage of using the internet is that you can search for the specific kind of art you are interested in, whether it’s photography, impressionism, bronze sculpture, or abstract painting. And when you find one art site, you’ll usually find links to many, many more.
Should the art fit the room or the room fit the art?
If you feel strongly about a particular work of art, you should buy the art you love and then find a place to put it. But you may find that when you get the art home and place it on a wall or pedestal, it doesn’t work with its surroundings. By not “working,” I mean the art looks out of place in the room. Placing art in the wrong surroundings takes away from its beauty and impact.
What should you do if you bring a painting home and it clashes with its environment? First, hang the painting in various places in your home, trying it out on different walls. It may look great in a place you hadn’t planned on hanging it. If you can’t find a place where the art looks its best, you may need to make some changes in the room, such as moving furniture or taking down patterned wallpaper and repainting in a neutral color. The changes will be worth making in order to enjoy the art you love.
Sometimes the right lighting is the key to showing art at its best. You may find that placing a picture light above a painting or directing track lighting on it is all the art needs to exhibit its brilliance. If you place a work of art in direct sunlight, however, be sure it won’t be affected by the ultraviolet light. Pigments such as watercolor, pencil and pastel are especially prone to fading. Be sure to frame delicate art under UV protected glass or acrylic.
How to pick art to fit the room.
Size and color are the two major criteria for selecting art to fit its surroundings. For any particular space, art that is too large will overwhelm, and art that is too small will be lost and look out of proportion. The bolder the art, the more room it needs to breathe.
As a rule, paintings should be hung so that the center of the painting is at eye level. Sculpture may sit on the floor, a table, or pedestal, depending on the design. Rules should be considered guidelines only, however, so feel free to experiment.
When selecting a painting to match color, select one or two of the boldest colors in your room and look for art that has those colors in it. You’re not looking for an exact match here. Picking up one or two of the same colors will send a message that the painting belongs in this environment.
Another possibility for dealing with color is to choose art with muted colors, black-and-white art, or art that is framed in a way that mutes its color impact in the room. A wide light-colored mat and neutral frame create a protected environment for the art within.
Style is another consideration when selecting art to fit a room. If your house is filled with antiques, for example, you’ll want to use antique-style frames on the paintings you hang there. If you have contemporary furniture in large rooms with high ceilings, you’ll want to hang large contemporary paintings.
How to create an art-friendly room.
Think about it. When you walk into a gallery or museum, what do they all have in common? White walls and lots of light. If a wall is wall-papered or painted a color other than white, it limits the choices for hanging art that will look good on it. If a room is dark, the art will not show to its best advantage.
If you want to make art the center of attraction, play down the other elements of the room like window coverings, carpeting, wall coverings, and even furniture. A room crowded with other colors, textures and objects will take the spotlight away from the art. Follow the principle that less is more. Keep it spare and let the art star. Then relax and enjoy it.
Selecting and displaying art is an art in itself. Experiment to learn what pleases you and what doesn’t. You’ll be well-rewarded for the time you invest by finding more satisfaction both in the art and in your home.
Corporate and Institutional Collectors
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Real Capital Analytics, New York, NY
Stratum Developments, Inc., Alberta, Canada
Advanced Liquid Logic, Cary, NC
Matrix Public Health Cons., Inc., New Haven, CT
T-System, Inc., Dallas, TX
Kaiser Permanente, CA
Cubist Media Group, LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Parkside Partners, Atlanta, GA
Sheridan In Home Care, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Clear Perspective Group, Medina, OH
Spark LP, New York, NY
Star Promotions, LLC, Indianapolis, IN
Samwoo Chemicals Ltd., North Point, Hong Kong
Midway Industries, Reisterstown, MD
Logansport State Hospital, Logansport, IN
Scholar Corporation, Lafayette, IN
Pine Restaurant, Salt Lake City, UT
Full Sail, Winter Park, FL
Georgia State University, Alpharetta, GA