Copyright April M Rimpo

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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Want to understand more about Email Marketing?

Earlier this month I was invited to speak to the Ellicott City Arts Coalition (ECAC) on Email Marketing. I've spent much of the last few years learning about this subject through research, practice, and testing what works and what doesn't work. 

Since a couple of other groups have also asked me to speak on this topic and other business of art topics, I decided it was time I put together a class.  I have the longer three hour class on Online Marketing that includes: Social Media and Newsletter, but I also have a shorter one hour session that covers just Newsletters that covers:
  • The importance of newsletter marketing
  • The frequency of the newsletter
  • Content
  • Email newsletter Services
  • Branding you and your art
  • Getting a list 
  • Getting readers to subscribe
I have heard too many webinars or attended classes that spoke in such generalities it was difficult to get a grasp of what to do, so I included examples to help bring reality to the information.

ECAC is composed primarily of small business owners, so we didn't spend time discussing how their goals affect the content of their newsletter, but knowing your goals and having a plan for achieving these goals is an important element to determine what to include in your newsletter and what not to include.  If a subject won't help your goals, then don't waste your time including it.  Also consider your target audience: is it customers who have purchased from you, prospective customers, friends, gallery owners, the press? 

Be sure to focus on what your audience needs, not sales. Some say not more than 20% of your content should be sales oriented or you risk losing your readers. Pay attention to your open rate (the percentage of those who receive the newsletter open it) and click rate (the percentage of those who open the newsletter follow a link in the newsletter.) Obviously getting the newsletter opened and not deleted is the first goal. Since your readers must opt in they likely open the first few newsletter they receive, but do you retain them as readers? If you have a variety of audiences be sure to segment your email list to sent the appropriate content to each reader type.

The average open rate for the arts and crafts industry is about 17%. I have managed to achieve 45 - 55%, but I pay a lot of attention to who opens the newsletter and the links they click. When I see the open rate begin to decrease I evaluate what people are exploring further (i.e., which links do they follow) and which aren't of interest. As long as you pay attention and tailor your content to the audience, you will do well. 

If you feel you don't know what to talk about, there are lists available on a variety of blogs that provide suggestions. 
Tip: I've found that when I think of a new content idea, I immediately place it in my next newsletter as a reminder. A few days before publishing the newsletter I review the content removing what seems of lesser importance and refining what I decide to keep. 

My husband serves as my proof reader. His critique has improved my writing style so there are now fewer and fewer edits necessary. If you don't have a family member who can proof your writing, find someone. Thoughts from someone else can only help.  It is nearly impossible to proof your own work, so a trusted editor is an important person to have. 

Interested in April's artwork or taking one of her classes? Consider becoming a Studio Friend by signing up for her twice-monthly email. April segments her newsletter so you can select topics you'd like to hear about when you sign up. For those who Select the General Interest topic you will receive emails about twice-monthly. If you are only interested in classes, then the emails will be much less frequent discussing upcoming classes and how to register. Select as many topics as sound of interest. Thank you for your support of April M Rimpo Art. And don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time if you decide its not for you.

Contact April and see more of her art on her website

You can also stay up to date with April M Rimpo art through Instagram @aprilrimpo - join me

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"A Friendly Chat" acrylic on paper

A Friendly Chat by April M Rimpo

A Friendly Chat
Fluid Acrylic on Paper

It's interesting how the personality of a painting evolves from start to finish. When I finished the design I was thinking all about light and shadow and how I could really use this painting to show the influence of light on its surroundings. I started with a violet and yellow orange wash over the surface of most of the painting to separate the two sides.  

I liked how the figure on the right would be partially shaded and the other would be more subdued. I stuck to that part of the plan, but as I gradually worked through layers of the painting I let the result of the previous layer influence what I did next.

In between working on this painting I worked on a couple other paintings that were much more abstracted figures where the shapes were what was important and not the details, so the dichotomy of working a little on this and a little on those no doubt also influenced how this painting proceeded.

As time passed I decided it was the interaction between these figures "conversation" that was important; I wanted the gesture of their postures to communicate their intimacy and that the details would shift more to the flowers and their surrounding. My goal was to portray the beauty of this friendship through a lovely setting that captures their warmth. By the time I finished I wanted to know more about them and wondered what they are talking about. How did this painting make you feel?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Movie Review: The Woman in Gold

ArtistGustav Klimt
TypeOil, silver, and gold on canvas
Dimensions138 cm × 138 cm (54 in × 54 in)
LocationNeue GalerieNew York
Last weekend my husband and I went to see the movie Woman in Gold named after Gustav Klimt's painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer painted in 1907. The movie follows the the legal and personal struggles of Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece, Maria Altmann, and a young lawyer, Randol Schoenberg, who was the son of a friend in their attempt for restitution of several seized Klimt paintings, including The Woman in Gold (Adele Bloch-Bauer I). Interspersed with the long legal battles from 2000 through 2006 are flash backs to Klimt painting the portrait of Maria's Aunt Adele, life in Vienna just before the Germans arrived,  through the time when Maria fled from Germany with her husband. In the movie Helen Mirren plays Maria and Ryan Reynolds plays her lawyer, E. Randol Schoenberg.

I must say I loved the movie. In part because I learned more of the story of the painting, but also because of the emotional investment of both Maria Altman and Randol Schoenberg. They took turns convincing each other to continue their battle as their passion and feelings of frustration regarding the reality of restitution rose and fell. When one was ready the give up the other kept the fight going. The interplay between Maria Altmann and Randol Schoenberg was as gripping as the painting is beautiful.

Now the painting The Woman in Gold is located at Neue Galerie New York, Museum for German and Austrian Art, which is holding an exhibition titled  "Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in GoldThe exhibition is opening in conjunction with the movie and running through September 7, 2015. To learn more about the painting and the exhibition click on the link provided.

Friday, April 17, 2015

And the Excitement Begins, a 24" X 18" fluid acrylic

And the Excitement Begins by April M Rimpo

And Let the Excitement Begin
Fluid Acrylic
24" X 18" 
Mounted on 2" deep cradled wood panel

In And Let the Excitement Begin the lighted billboards in Time Square are the real stars. They tell you at a glance where you are, but what would Time Square be without the people? They communicate the fascination the world has with the city and the excitement it delivers. Many of the people are simply silhouettes since their presence is what counts; some show a bit more with the goal of showing something about our times. Some people are dressed up for the theater; others are casually dressed and appear to be out to just take in the event called "New York City." 

I love painting light and shadow to catch a moment of time, but I also love to include people in paintings.  They help me tell the story of a place and times. I generally don't know the people and am not striving to make them recognizable. It is their posture and what they are doing that is important to the story.

Some say paintings with people won't sell.  
I find that hard to believe.  I frequently notice paintings in a variety of public places that have people in them.  And what about famous artists like Winslow Homer? He frequently included people in his work.  His motivation was also to tell their story. Perhaps this is why I so love his art.

In fact, many workshops are given on the topic of including people in the landscape. The workshop descriptions often say something like, "Improve your landscapes with figures that engage the view and create a personal involvement in your painting."  

What do you think about paintings with people? Do you like them or not? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Ring Around a Rosie" a 21 X 25" watercolor

Ring Around a Rosie by April M Rimpo
Ring Around a Rosie
21" X 25" image
29" X 37" framed with white mat in brushed silver frame
$1290 framed
$1050 unframed

I was so surprised when I saw children in Guatemala playing Ring Around a Rosie. I knew the games origins are supposed to be from Europe and the Europeans certainly traveled to Central American at the same time they traveled to North America, but none the less my reaction was surprise, followed by a big grin.  There is something so amusing about children.  Some are so focused on the game they look toward the leader (off page of the painting) attentively, while others stare at their feet, likely watching a passing bug, and some chatted with their best friend totally ignoring any instructions they may have been given. I watched the organizers of the game attempting to get the game started for at least five minutes.  It was a very large group of about two dozen children. By the time I refocused on the painting demo that was going on by our workshop instructor he had made lots of progress, but the game was still at a standstill.

These little moments of everyday life speak to me whether here in the United States or when traveling abroad. This is why I call my art Exploring Cultures through Color. I somehow feel compelled to share these little moments with you.

Another of my paintings with children at play is Day at the Fountain, inspired by a trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

And here are other paintings inspired by Guatemalan culture:

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Portraits and Profiles: Inspiration in my Life Exhibition

Pie Anyone? by April M Rimpo
Pie Anyone?
Fluid Acrylic
22" X 22"
26" X 26" in white mat and frame

Pie Anyone? is my entry in this exhibit.I chuckle a little bit each time I look at my painting of my mother inspired by a family photograph of her in her late teens or early twenties.  The chuckle is because when my mother first saw this painting she laughed and said, "That must have been a pie my mother baked, because I don't think I've ever baked a pie." 

My mother was very non-traditional in many ways. She attended college, graduating in 1946 with a mathematics and physics degree, a brilliant woman who could have done anything with her life if she had grown up in a different era. She married and moved to New England with my father, where she was turned down for jobs in her field. She ended up working in the accounting department for Mass Mutual Insurance and later did the bookkeeping for a business my father started. She always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted; I listened and received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and worked in that field for 32 years before retiring to pursue my art full time. 

My mother always took adversity in stride. I read once that people who grew up during the depression often have the strength to take whatever is thrown at them and move on; that describes my mother. She would have liked to have pursued a career using her education, but accepted the times weren't right and focused on family instead. When she got ill with breast cancer in her early 80's, she had surgery, snapped right back, and return to work as soon as the doctor allowed. Yes my mother was working in her 80s. 

When she learned at 89 she had advanced cancer of the pancreas and that there was nothing they could do, she accepted her prognosis so naturally we wondered if she understood.  She did of course, but chose to leave this life as she had lived it, calmly and with style.

Since this painting is so meaningful for me, it will not be for sale during the exhibition. However, I wanted to support the Cancer Resource Center so I ask for permission to sell prints of Pie Anyone? at the Columbia Art Center during the exhibition. The prints are 10" X 10" on a gallery wrapped canvas. I think this print would look great in a kitchen. Because the photograph was taken in the era as the Rosy the Riveter posters, I decided to use a similar color scheme.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

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