Plein Air Podcast 245: Carl Bretzke on Painting Sunrises and Sunsets

In this episode, Eric Rhoads interviews Carl Bretzke on how light behaves, how to paint sunrises and sunsets properly with a special palette, and much more, including:

– Carl’s process for attending plein air events
– How to plan out your drawing in advance
– Thoughts on students copying the style of the teacher

Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, addresses pricing your work and getting into galleries, and mistakes that could quickly make you irrelevant.

Listen to the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Carl Bretzke here:


Related Links:
– Carl Bretzke online:
– PleinAir Magazine:
– Fall Color Week:
– Plein Air Convention & Expo:
– European Fine Art Trip:
– Submit Art Marketing Questions:

The Plein Air Podcast has been named the #1 Painting Podcast by FeedSpot for two years in a row. New in 2023: FeedSpot has named Eric’s Art Marketing Minute Podcast as one of the Top 25 Art Business and Marketing Blogs on the web.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of this Plein Air Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Plein Air Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Eric Rhoads:
This is episode hard to believe number 245 with artists Carl Bretzke and we’re going to talk about how light behaves, how to paint sunrises and sunsets properly, and a special palette to consider. Let’s get started.

This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air Podcast, we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint and this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher, and painter, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 1:18
Thank you Jim Kipping. And if you want to know more about plein air painting, this is the place to improve your painting to learn about it the lifestyle the mindset of the artist. Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. I started this I was plein air painting. And I started plein air painting. And then I thought, well, you know, we need a magazine. So I started a magazine then I started a conference and we started the podcast anyway, we have massive amounts, like couple of million downloads on this podcast. So thank you for that people in I think 120 Different places countries. So welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Today is going to be a red letter day because our guest today is going to tell you some things you’ve never heard I guarantee it. Because I had been painting for 20 years and I never heard him. Say you’re gonna like that. Coming up soon after the interview. In the marketing minute, we’re going to talk about pricing your artwork, how to get into art galleries, and the stupid mistakes that artists make that create irrelevance make them irrelevant fast. These are important marketing principles. And by the way, the plein air podcast is the number one our podcast two years in a row on Feedspot thank you for that. And Feedspot also just gave his top 25 Art marketing, business and marketing blogs on the web. So that’s nice. Thank you very much for making that happen. So you know, in let’s see, in minutes, it’s going to be May you know what April brings, right April brings showers. So may brings the plein air convention coming up in Denver, and yes, there will be flowers. And everybody’s going because it’s the 10 year anniversary celebration. It’s gonna be five days, five stages, at top painters, probably close to 1200 people attending, which seems like a lot, but it’s actually a very intimate affair. And you’re going to like learn from all these top artists, you’re going to be painting together. It’s it’s really a lot of fun to paint with 1000 other people, it’s so much fun. We’re going to be painting in iconic spots like Rocky Mountain National Park, which by the way, national parks limit the number of people who can paint together in the parks. We had to get special permits took us two years to get those so you don’t want to miss this one. Pretty cool. It’s historic. Alright, And you can also attend online of course, and that you won’t be able to go to the payouts and you get the main stage. But you, you it’s not the same but it’s also a great experience. If you can’t make it just go to either way. Okay, so this October. I don’t know whether we even have a graphic for this yet. But this October, I’ve just announced I’m doing a special art collector trip. My Magazine Fine Art connoisseur always does these art collector trips, and a lot of painters go and they’re world class. And we love doing it this year. We’re gonna go to Madrid, and we’re gonna go to Stockholm. I think we’re going to Stockholm first. There’s so much art in those two cities, we can fill up a 10 day trip easily. So we’re going to do that and soon I’m going to be announcing a an international painting trip. That’s for next spring, so you’ll have to be thinking about that. Anyway, let’s get right to it. We have an amazing guest with us. Carl Bretzke, welcome to the plein air podcast.

Carl Bretzke 4:51
Thank you, Eric.

Eric Rhoads 4:52
Nice to see you sir.

Carl Bretzke 4:54
Yeah, I’m back.

Eric Rhoads 4:56
So you’ve been a busy guy you you’ve been out painting a lot you you did a big event in Jupiter, Florida. Tell us all what you’ve been up to

Carl Bretzke 5:08
actually cut back a little bit this year. But yeah, I probably do one plein air event every other month? I would guess. It’s a lot. Yeah, it gets to be a lot. But it’s over a week each time and yeah, but actually, it’s good for me. I feel like if I don’t paint in competition for a week, straight every month or every two months, I think my skills would get diminished somewhat. It really forces me to paint outside.

Eric Rhoads 5:36
You have a different mindset than most people because in your former job if you if you screwed up, people would die. So I guess you like putting yourself under pressure.

Carl Bretzke 5:47
I don’t know if it feels like pressure. It’s more like doing homework on Sunday night. You know, you have to get it done.

Eric Rhoads 5:55
Last minute cramming. Yeah. So tell the people who are listening to this who might not have ever experienced being an artist in a plein air event? What are the things that you have to think about beforehand? What’s What’s your process?

Carl Bretzke 6:13
Oh, man, let’s say. So I, unless it’s a local event, which there are just a handful, I fly. So I’ve got a I figured out how to do it in two suitcases. One is my studio, and the other is all my other stuff. And you have to you can’t fly with turpentine. So I have to arrange that in advance. And I have all my frames shipped in advance. So yeah, it takes a little bit of forethought. But after a few events, it’s it’s very knee jerk for me. I can do it quickly.

Eric Rhoads 6:47
So you have framing supplies and hooks and all that stuff. What how do you?

Carl Bretzke 6:53
Well, I’m fortunate the framer that supplies my frames, he’ll put all the hardware on for me, including clips, so I don’t have to think about that part. So do you want to give him a shameless plug? JFM that I use others as well, but JFM more recently, but there’s a lot of great ones out there. Randy Higby out in California and others.

Eric Rhoads 7:16
Yep. Both both very good about them. And usually they’re at the plein air convention. I don’t know if they are this year or not. I know that I heard from at least one of them and said they were working on it. So I haven’t actually heard. That’d be nice. So you like the pressure? So typically, kind of go through, you know, the first day arriving an event? What’s the process like, at one of these events?

Carl Bretzke 7:45
Yeah, well, first day, they always do a kind of an orientation for new people. But also a refresher for people that have been there before. I actually like to go scout the first day as much as I can. So that by the time you get a canvas stamped, and you’re ready to paint, I already know three paintings that I’m going to do. And that that really saves time. By going around looking for, you can drive for hours. And anyone that’s done that knows that you’ll drive around for an hour. And you’ve seen a couple of things, but you want to just go that extra 10 miles just in case you see something better. And then it just repeats itself until hours have gone by. So yeah, I try to scout in advance. And that will include I used to get there the night before. And I will actually spend that first night looking for night paintings. Because by the time I’m done with the first day of painting, I’m pretty tired. And if I had to go search at that point, I think that would be

Eric Rhoads 8:52
typically do one day time and one nighttime every day.

Carl Bretzke 8:57
Well, the other thing that I’ve been doing lately is I’ve been trying to spend more than one day on a painting. So a typical night painting, I’ll get it locked in pretty well the first night. And because nighttime doesn’t change very much from day to day, I can easily go back and keep working on the same scene. So that’s one advantage of doing the night painting. But the other is that it gives me one more painting that I can do. So I mean, most people I think do two, maybe three paintings a day, during the day. And this one just gives me one extra painting.

Eric Rhoads 9:34
So how many by the end of the week, how many will you typically come out with?

Carl Bretzke 9:38
I bet you somewhere around 10. Yeah, the rough average.

Eric Rhoads 9:42
Yeah. And then and then there’s talk about some of the events that that are kind of standard. We haven’t really ever talked about this on the podcast very much and I think I would be curious about it. The ones that I’ve done you mean well just you know in general what you know, what are some of the things they all do?

Carl Bretzke 10:01
When read the things that they all do, okay. Oh, you know, like, you know? Yeah, so I guess standard would be, there would be usually four days of painting four or five, with a gala at the end that they’ve marketed for the whole year, so that you get a good turnout of patrons. And during that Gala, they’ll have the sale of your work. And they’ll also judge the work and have an award ceremony. And then somewhere within that week, there’s usually quick paint, which has become pretty standard for most events. And those are sometimes judged and other times not. But they’re typically two hours once in a while, 90 minutes. And it’s shocking to me, but those quick paint paintings look like the one week long finished painting. Quite often, it’s just amazing what people can do in two hours.

Eric Rhoads 10:59
So and do you think that’s because they’ve been tuned up all week?

Carl Bretzke 11:04
Probably a little bit, but I think that they’re just that good. I mean, I’m proud to be part of this traveling group of painters that do these events. Because they’re all really good.

Eric Rhoads 11:16
We refer to them as gypsies.

Carl Bretzke 11:21
I have to tell people, it’s the Traveling Circus. But yeah.

Eric Rhoads 11:26
Well, that’s, that’s, uh, you know, it can be a hard life, especially if you’re driving. And we both know people who, who will do 15 events a year and drive to every one of them. And they never spend any time at home. It’s it and you know, that, that for the people who listen who go to these events, buy paintings, buy paintings, because, you know, these people do it not only for entertainment, they do it because they want to make a living.

Carl Bretzke 11:54
Yeah, I’d say there’s a very good percentage of people that that is their living. And anyway, they can save money by driving. But driving is also nice, because you have your whole studio supply with you. But But yeah, they count on sales and some award money. So it’s definitely a good thing to support if you’re into the arts.

Eric Rhoads 12:17
Yeah. And once in a while you hear somebody say, you know, they did an event and nothing sold. And that’s, that’s not not helpful. So that’s why everybody should just buy something. So Carl, I want to talk about a couple of things you did. You did a couple of videos with us that were tremendous. One of them was on Nocturne painting, so I want to talk about Nocturne painting, and then the other one was about sunsets. And in both of those instances, I learned things. Obviously, you’re gonna get more from the video, then you’re gonna get visual, you know, because you get the visual, but I learned things from you that I had never heard in 20 years of painting, about how light behaves at nighttime, how light behaves at sunrise, sunset, and I assume it’s pretty much the same at sunrise. But we’ll talk about that. So let’s start with sunrises and sunsets. You know, the big the big issue. I think for most of us, especially people who haven’t, you know, really learned the tricks to that yet, is you know, you get out there and you get that golden light, and then everything’s gone. And you just don’t even have a chance to get it all down and you’re scrambling. Your colors look wrong may look garish, I’m speaking to myself, of course. And and, and then you know, it’s it’s over. So what’s your preparation process like?

Carl Bretzke 13:49
Well, I can tell you that my preparation process initially involved lots of study. I mean, I actually I got textbooks, I Googled sunrise sunset, I googled the physics of atmosphere. And there’s a lot of information out there. And it turns out that the better I understood what was going to happen, the more frequently I would see it. And once you see it, you can paint it quick. Or once you’re able to see it, you’ll be able to paint it but you’ll also be able to remember it. So so to me, it’s understanding that helped by helping me prepare in advance with the colors that were going to happen. And that helped me see the colors as it did happen. And then it helped me remember after the effect was gone. And

Eric Rhoads 14:46
do you find that they’re consistent? Do they ever change?

Carl Bretzke 14:51
Well, I think what’s confusing to people is that sunset looks so different every night. That how would you ever have a formula for that? Yeah, but It turns out that the only thing that really makes it different is the clouds or the haze. And the way light hits that part of the sky. But the background sky colors are pretty much always the same. And it’s because white light, I don’t want to lose anybody here. But white light, which is what’s emitted by the Sun that we can see, is actually composed of the different colors of light, which are the colors of the rainbow. And each of those colors has a different wavelength. And because of that they are they react differently when they hit particles in the atmosphere, so that the more particles that that white light hits, the more you’re going to get the longer wavelength light, which is yellowy red light. That’s why late sunset, everything turns this kind of golden color, because that’s the only color of light that’s getting through. Everything else is being scattered away. So there’s a scientific formula for my my video, I hope I put it in a sequence that everyone can understand and make it’s makes it simple. But just for the purpose of purposes of today, it’s because those colors of light all react differently in the atmosphere.

Eric Rhoads 16:18
So there is a there’s an order, though, right? There’s, you always find that, that certain things happen in the same order.

Carl Bretzke 16:26
Exactly. And it’s the order is what’s been referred to as the prismatic sequence. And it’s simply the colors of the rainbow in that order. And it goes from long wavelength to short. So it’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. And if you look at the sky at sunset, or sunrise, and if there aren’t clouds in the way, those are the colors that you’ll see. And they may not be vivid colors, but there’ll be at least those hues. And you’ll you’ll see it at the horizon, you’ll see more of a reddish color. And then as you go up, it’ll become more orangey. Yellow, and then finally green. And then blue.

Eric Rhoads 17:07
No, is it the exact opposite sun? Sunrise?

Carl Bretzke 17:11
No, it’s exact same at sunrise it Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I mean, the sequences are the same, because

Eric Rhoads 17:18
No, but you’re upside down. No, I like to it’s

Carl Bretzke 17:24
the same. It’s the same. Some people say that it because the sky is usually a little clearer in the morning. Because all that moisture is kind of dropped out of the sky in the cold of night, that you’ll have a little more vivid color in the morning. Well, that would

Eric Rhoads 17:42
explain because I was the next question is you oftentimes, I oftentimes see more, more pinkish colors and purpley colors in the morning than I do in the afternoon. And that would be for that reason, I assume? Because they’re, they’re of a different wavelength.

Carl Bretzke 17:57
Definitely a different wavelength. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Anyway, with that in mind, now you know what the background sky color is, and now you put clouds and haze in there. And clouds can be kind of any color depending on how high they are in the atmosphere. And that again, that formula I kind of go through in my video. But I guess basically, the closer you are to the setting sun, the more you’re going to have warm colors in your clouds, and then as you go away to become cooler. If that helps?

Eric Rhoads 18:35
It does. Okay, so let’s talk about the palette because you talked about the prism, the rainbow, the prismatic Matic sequence sequence, and you use a prismatic

Carl Bretzke 18:50
palette. Yes, I got my color palette from Joe Paquette, who was my teacher for many years. And he got it from John Osborne. And then it goes up through this lineage to Frank Vincent do mon and Frank Vincent Demone. I think he’s given credit for originating a prismatic palette, but all it is, is laying color out in the sequence of a rainbow. So my I lay out my warm colors, red, orange, yellow. And I lay out my cool colors kind of a manganese are really in blue, to cobalt to Ultramarine. And then all ultraviolet or violet. And so each of the the warm colors and the cooler colors are each laid out kind of in a sequence of a rainbow. And that’s so you can easily access access them when you’re painting a landscape. Because and this is what Frank Vincent Demone said. He told his students that silently glowing over the entire landscape is a rainbow. You must learn to see it it is always there. And he was talking about On the prismatic sequence in the landscape as you’re moving away from from near to far. And the other person who mentioned that is John F. Carlson in his book, he would say that as you look at landscape, and you start looking into the distance, you’re going to lose yellow, and things will become bluer. And that’s because the yellow is a shorter wavelength. And as you go further away, that light has to travel farther through atmosphere so that a yellowy green will not become more of an orange green. And then further away, it becomes more of a reddish green. And you can actually paint it like that. And it’ll lay the flat plane down nice and uniformly flat to your eye, because that’s how we see it.

Eric Rhoads 20:52
A great way to think of that our sheets of glass was was spray droplets on it, you know, lineup multiple sheets. But you know, I’ve often done that when I’m teaching somebody that principle. So do you in your palette, do you lay out a warm and cool of each color?

Carl Bretzke 21:12
I did not know. But I am always mindful. Let’s say I’m painting greens, and I’m painting a bunch of trees going backwards, or going into the distance, I will start with kind of a yellowy green, I’ll mix my cad yellow light with ultramarine blue, I get a nice rich yellowy green. And then if I see a similar tree, another 100 yards in the distance, I’ll start mixing a little bit of orange in with that. And then eventually a little bit of red into it and so forth. And it’ll, it’ll regress them as I’m looking at this row of trees going into the distance. And

Eric Rhoads 21:50
we’re gonna say it blew up, make them bluer. But these are trees, these are trees that are in sunlight.

Carl Bretzke 21:56
So that confused me for a long time. What, what loses yellow and becomes redder, is the light that you’re looking at. So an illuminated portion of a tree, what’s getting bluer are the shadows. So where there isn’t light, you’re gonna see local color, let’s say in a in the shadow of a tree up close. And that will become bluer as you go back. So you kind of work in light and shadow at the same time. And that’s why Carlson said you lose yellow and you get gained blue while you’re gaining blue in the shadows and you’re losing yellow in the lights.

Eric Rhoads 22:36
Carlson has a great chart in his book that shows that she was really wonderful. Yeah. So. And the reason you’ve laid them out in the in the rainbow is, is because it helps you mix them more based on the color wheel or is is it just a preference thing, I don’t understand that.

Carl Bretzke 23:02
You could have them scattered on your palette in different areas, but I typically move so commonly from a yellow to an orange to a red, that to have them lined up in sequence is helpful. Okay, and the part that I haven’t mentioned is that, you know, I’ve just kind of explained how I use a prismatic palette during the day. But it really comes into play, when you’re painting, Nocturnes and sunsets, because sunset as I just talked about, that is the prismatic sequence in the sky. And you can easily transition between those layers by just going down your, your paint piles down your palette. And then the other time is when you’re doing a Nocturne. And you have, let’s say an artificial light illuminating, let’s say the road underneath it. And it’s kind of a yellow light, you’re going to have more yellow directly beneath where the light is where most direct light hits. And as you move away, as it gets darker, you don’t just put less and less yellow, you start mixing it with some oranges and some reds down the sequence. And so I guess to summarize that, I would say, as value drops off, there’s also going to be a color shift that is prismatic. Going from a lighter part of the prison to a darker part of the prison.

Eric Rhoads 24:30
So the tendency that I had before I learned this from you was I would typically put a white, almost a pure white, you know, like a highlight in the middle of that street lamp and maybe a touch of Yellow. But you’ve you actually have figured out you know how to create a sense of making that glow, or is that essentially using the same principles? It’s exactly

Carl Bretzke 24:59
the same principle. There’s a prismatic color shift as as the light drops off. So you are correct to put a little bit of weight, right where the light source was, yeah, but beyond the the white at the light source, I almost never use white, when I’m showing this glow around the light. Because the glow, the light has to be so much brighter than the glow. Here’s an example. So you can see there’s white in this light. And as you move away from it, it’s yellow. But keep going further away, you can actually see there’s going to be some red in the dark shadows of those trees. And and all of that glows on a grayscale is probably five or six instead of though the light itself which is about a one.

Eric Rhoads 25:48
So the so when when you’re painting a sunset, you know now what the colors are going to be your know what the spectrum is going to look like the sequence but are you? Are you laying out your drawing in advance, are you painting part of it in in advance?

Carl Bretzke 26:08
What Yeah,

Eric Rhoads 26:09
because things tend to get a little silhouette a

Carl Bretzke 26:13
while they do. And actually, that’s not a bad thing. If you know you’re going to paint, let’s say late sunset, or early dusk, or even late dusk, you can go out to your site ahead of time and do a drawing. And you can do silhouette. But the minute you start trying to put the light that you’re currently seeing ahead of time into the ground plane, it is going to look way too light later on. And part of that is just knowing what’s going to happen if you go out at dusk. And look at the foreground landmass, it’s going to look like a dark silhouette. Even though 30 minutes earlier, it didn’t. So I just go out and draw it as a silhouette. And I put it in and dark paint. And then I wait for the exact moment of Sunset that I like. And I’ll put that background sky color in. And then as fast as I can do it, I’ll start putting those clouds in the cloud color in. And if there’s any time left, I will start putting in a little bit of additional light in that silhouette ground plane. And

Eric Rhoads 27:21
but you can actually keep painting once the sun goes down because you kind of know what’s going to happen. All right did happen.

Carl Bretzke 27:27
I mean, to actually paint what’s actually there, you’ve got to at least have that 20 minute timeframe where you are trying to paint exactly what you see. But you but as soon as that’s done, as soon as that light effect goes away, don’t keep chasing the light. Now you’ve got to remember it. But if you’re still standing there and you’ve got a Nocturne light on your, on your painting, you can keep working on that sunset painting. Because with knowledge, you know what that had looked like? And helps you remember it.

Eric Rhoads 28:00
So when you’re painting in your silhouette, or and you said paint it with a dark, are you painting with a cool, dark or warm dark?

Carl Bretzke 28:09
Again, kind of foreknowledge of what’s going to happen, where that sun went down, that landmass that silhouette is going to be warmer than it is as you move away from the setting sun. So I typically use a warm kind of a brownish red color near where the sun has gone down to paint in my silhouette. And as I move off to the side, that becomes cooler, I’ll start adding blues to that blues or greens.

Eric Rhoads 28:43
All right, well, I think we’ve covered that subject one. Okay. I have nothing else to talk about.

Carl Bretzke 28:50
Wow, listen, I’m just kidding. It’s a very complicated subject, but it’s well worth learning because I actually have so much fun painting night scenes and sunsets now that I kind of forced myself to do the other other paintings as well.

Eric Rhoads 29:05
Well, you don’t have a scientific mind, you know, having been an MD, and a surgeon, you know, you know, science and so, learning that science really sounds like it has benefited you and certainly benefited me I actually have I’ve made a little chart that I just carry with me in my in my case, just to remind myself until it gets to the point where I’ve done it enough times I’ll remember it. Yeah. And I think it makes sense. You know, one thing we’ve you know, we’ve done another podcast with you in the past we didn’t have video at the time for those who are watching on video, go back and you can hear the audio but you know, we’ve talked a lot about your career and so on, but I thought it would be kind of nice also to talk about some of the painters who have inspired you in the past because I think that’s so important. You know, we we all have a tendency to say the same maybe two or three people. And I suspect that some of those people inspired you as well. But what are the ones that that we don’t talk about very much that have inspired you?

Carl Bretzke 30:13
Okay, yeah, I can easily name all the ones that you’re thinking of it that everyone mentions, and it would be true that they are inspirations to me. But I guess, one that a lot of people don’t know is that when I was in college, I was an art minor. And I mainly did pencil drawing. And specifically, I did kind of a pointillist style of pencil drawing. And one of my heroes back then was MC Escher go. And, yeah, there’s one. So that’s the kind of way I put graphite down was in a kind of us a pointless style kind of rubbed it in. And in a way, I think it’s closer to painting than classical drawing, where it’s mainly done in line. But the only thing I liked about Escher was beyond the image itself. There was a lot of interest in what was going on in the painting, kind of a narrative or in the drawing. He had a lot of narrative stuff going on, and, and some kind of optical tricks. And to me, that was fascinating. So whether or not I accomplished some of those things in my own work, I don’t know, but I do kind of tend to like that kind of narrative style, I

Eric Rhoads 31:38
guess, yeah, he must have been doing some good drugs. He was just amazing, I was very into him as a teenager, I still have those books. And you know, you’d study them, because you could look at them for a long period of time and discover things in them. And I think that’s also kind of the mark of a good painting. You know, I used to, I used to, I think I told you this, I take my kids when they were little, you know, four or five years old. And I want to go to a museum when I was when I was taking care of them on the weekends. And I mean, we had them all the time, but mom needed a break. And so I’d take them with a sketchpad each and I’d say, okay, find a painting here in the museum that you like, sit on the floor, and draw. And the one thing they always said is, well, first off, they complained, then want to do it. And then after, it was time to go, it was like, Dad, we don’t want to go, we keep seeing more and more things in these paintings. How do you create little I like to call them easter eggs, elements of surprise? What? What are you thinking about when you’re creating that composition?

Carl Bretzke 32:45
Yeah, I guess I’ve had a couple of paintings where I specifically wanted to put something almost hidden, that you’d have to look around for a while to see it. And especially in a night scene, for instance. Because there’s so much contrast between the lit area and the dark area that it’s easy to by just changing your value a little bit too high to figure something in the dark area. And I kind of get a kick out of doing that. So you’ll probably see a few of those in my work. But yeah, I guess the big shapes kind of define your composition. And once you have that well defined, you can put those little, little highlights or little details anywhere you want in the painting. Really,

Eric Rhoads 33:34
did you start painting before you started studying with Joe Paquette? Or did was he your beginner? Your your teacher from the beginning?

Carl Bretzke 33:43
Well, I said I was an art minor in college. So I definitely had tried painting. But I was kind of drawn to this drawing thing. And then my wife is a painter. And she’s, of course, a big influence. So fine. And so even before I started taking from Joe, I was kind of experimenting with paint. And then she ended up taking classes with Joe and she’s she said this about 20 years ago, she said, you know, do you want to get back into your art? Why don’t you take classes from this guy too? And I did. So that’s how it started from Yeah, and

Eric Rhoads 34:19
I’ve always wished I lived in the Minneapolis St. Paul area for that very reason. What a great teacher. He will go down historically as a great I truly believe. Yeah. So go ahead, go. No, you go ahead.

Carl Bretzke 34:34
I was gonna say I’ve mentioned before that Joe is my main teacher. But over the years, I’ve done workshops and classes with other artists as well, which I find helpful to get input from different styles. Yeah. And then I decide which ones I want to incorporate into my pain. But it definitely was great foundation to have Joe at the start.

Eric Rhoads 34:58
You struggle with anything thing now. Oh, man,

Carl Bretzke 35:02
I look at Instagram and I go to these events and it just amazed at how good painters are.

Eric Rhoads 35:08
It really is a wonderful time to be alive. Yeah.

Carl Bretzke 35:13
So yeah, I struggle. But I have become more consistent now more recently, so that if I go to any event, I might scrap one painting out of 10 or so. Yeah, that’s pretty good average. Yeah. But in the in the old days it was. I kept my fingers crossed that I would have something at the end.

Eric Rhoads 35:32
Is there any particular thing I was talking to somebody recently no names, but pretty well known painter. And I asked him that question. And he said, Well, you know, the one thing I really struggle with are my skies. And so I said, Well, how do you deal with that? He says, Well, I tried to figure out who was the best sky painter out there. And I, I went and took a workshop. And this is somebody who, you know, who, who you would never think of as doing that. But putting putting yourself out there and trying to better yourself, I think is always always good.

Carl Bretzke 36:04
Oh, yeah. Like, five years ago, I think I wanted to learn how to paint rocks better. And I took Mark Burgesses workshop out in Arizona. And it was interesting, he, I love how he paints them. So I learned a few things.

Eric Rhoads 36:20
So how do you make sure when you’re teaching students that they are not becoming? Excuse the expression, Carl Jr.

Carl Bretzke 36:33
I mean, they can become whatever they want to become. I don’t, I don’t, I haven’t seen it happen, honestly. But because everyone has their own, some, some some connection in their brain that makes them pay in a certain way.

Eric Rhoads 36:47
You see some times where, where there’s somebody who has a very, very noticeable visual style. And they do a lot of workshops, and they get a lot of people who are knocking off that style. And, you know, I don’t know if that’s by design, or if they’re encouraging that or if that’s just happening, because people happen to love it.

Carl Bretzke 37:09
Yeah. So I’ve got a friend who paints in a very loose, impressionistic style. And I really wanted to paint like that. And so for a couple of years, my work kind of looked like that a little bit. And then eventually, I just tightened up again, to a more refined brushstroke, or whatever. And I just decided, I’m just gonna go with that, because it just feels like me. Yeah. And I think that if people do, you know, mimic a style, it probably won’t be forever, you know, just be fair, as long as they’re thinking about it. And eventually, they’ll paint like themselves.

Eric Rhoads 37:48
Do you find that you ever get bored? And you’re just like, Okay, I’m, I need to just shake it up and do something completely different, different approach different style? Or do you know, that happens to me, I’ll, you know, I have the blessing and the curse of being able to have all you folks staying here at the world famous artists cabin and the studio, you know, and it’s like, oh, man, I got to do that. And then I’ll start doing that for a couple of weeks. And then somebody else will come in, and I’ll start doing that I finally had to stop going to the shoots, because it was screwing me up so badly.

Carl Bretzke 38:23
Yeah. Well, again, if I ever go to another instructor and look, try to learn something, I’m trying to learn something very basic not Not, not how they flick their brush or whatever. Yeah.

Eric Rhoads 38:37
All right. So we talked about Asher, who else would be on that list of inspirations that are not going to be the sergeant Suraiya Zorn, you know, the big three.

Carl Bretzke 38:52
I was hoping you weren’t mentioned my other big three then because I besides Escher, I’d say Edward Hopper. And it’s because when I was a child, my aunt would my mother and my aunt would switch children every week or so or one week, a month. And we’d go into Minneapolis, and we take us to all these art museums. And I think Hopper had a he had quite a few at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for a while. So I remember seeing those paintings. And it got to the point where my aunt’s would then give me posters of Hopper paintings. When I was in high school, when our Christmas came around or something, so it was someone I got really used to looking at and and I liked his sense of light, everything you could see a light coming from somewhere, you could see that actual fall off of light in a night scene. So it seems that I still try to copy today a little bit.

Eric Rhoads 39:56
Also a brilliant storyteller.

Carl Bretzke 39:58
Yeah, it was very narrative, the style of painting and often without the without a narrative without an answer. I mean, you kind of can make up whatever you thought was going on.

Eric Rhoads 40:11
When you’re trying to do some of that

Carl Bretzke 40:14
a little bit sometimes I have I think

Eric Rhoads 40:17
I get that that sense a lot in your Nocturne paintings. It’s kind of a you know, it’s like you’re trying to tell a story.

Carl Bretzke 40:26
Yep. Yeah. I guess another one. I haven’t known about his work for that long. But Edward Segal. I think he paints with just the right amount of detail

Eric Rhoads 40:43
in the UK, right.

Carl Bretzke 40:46
So you go, I’m not sure if the UK or if he’s Italian. I don’t know. Our viewers will know. Edward Segal. No. And then Arthur Streeton. Australian painter. I admire his work. He, he he keeps everything very light compared to my work. And I’m always impressed at how people can do that, and have it still look accurate. But he does it very well. And then Russian painters, we have the Russian Museum in town, we the last podcast, so lucky. Yeah. And I’ve actually been to the warehouse and seen a lot of the paintings that aren’t shown there, but are at rotate through there. And it’s just amazing the consistency of these Russian painters and how, how great their work is not only in drawing and value and things like that, but their brush handling. Everyone knows how to put enough paint down, which is something I struggle with sometimes

Eric Rhoads 41:51
are so well trained. Just just blow me away. You know, and I knew nothing about these guys. Until I met somebody tried to tell me and I looked him up. But when I saw those works in person, it just, I had tears in my eyes.

Carl Bretzke 42:06
Yeah. Yeah. And among those, I guess, I think Louboutin, and Ivan Shishkin, probably my favorites. And one thing Joe Paquette used to say about Levittown is that everything was put down for a reason he didn’t, he didn’t put anything down just to be stylish. You know, he just saw what what was there. And he wanted to paint it accurately. And he just put it down the best way that he could. And I guess that’s kind of how I feel like I paint now. I’m just trying to capture the scene. Put down accurate color of accurate value. And it turns out the way they do, what more could

Eric Rhoads 42:51
you ask for? Yeah. So what have you got coming up? What’s on your agenda for the next few months?

Carl Bretzke 42:57
Well, I’m going to see you in Denver. Oh, you’ll be at the convention to me. Yep. I’ll be at the convention. And then in the fall, I’ve got kind of a lineup of things. I’ve got the Catalina Wildside show out in Newport Beach, and Laguna plein air Invitational. And we have locally that Grand Marais Plein Air, which is a fun one for us. And then a Papa event, plein air painters of America event out in Santa Fe. And I like being home in the summer, so I don’t.

Eric Rhoads 43:32
I’m your summer. You’re so short. There they are.

Carl Bretzke 43:38
That’s right. Yeah.

Eric Rhoads 43:40
So I was gonna ask him another question that escaped me. But oh, I was. Oh, I was gonna ask you your perceptions of the convention from an outside perspective from the first time you went. I think people sometimes don’t understand what it’s all about. And when I say it, it’s, it’s they’re like, Okay, you’re hyping it? What? What is it about that event that you find to be so special?

Carl Bretzke 44:11
Okay, well, I’m a good one to ask because I’ve been to every one except the very first one, which really, really? Thank you. Yeah, it was Las Vegas. Was that the first one? I can’t remember. But anyway, from two onward I’ve been there. And I go because my friends go for one thing. And we’ve made a lot of new friends there. So I guess the social aspect of it is kind of number one for me. But then the, you know, you can spend a lot of money to go to different workshops. But here for the price of one workshop or even less than one workshop. You get teaching from all these multiple, you know, great instructors. So it’s nothing to I’m not making paired up it’s to me it’s like a great value in in plein air instruction. Alright, you

Eric Rhoads 45:06
know I look at it like a, you know, you used to go to the candy store, they’d have these what was it Whitman samplers or something you get a little piece of all these different chocolates. And I’ve had people tell me that they thought they wanted to study under a particular instructor. And then they watched their two hour demo on stage and they said, you know, this person is not the right fit for me, but they found five or six others that were the right fit. So I think that’s a great, great way to kind of see what works for you.

Carl Bretzke 45:36
Yeah, the expo hall where they have all the merchandise to is every you can tell everyone loves it, because it’s just packed all the time. But, you know, you can see what’s new in the plein air world, you can talk to people who actually make the brushes and Yeah. I think like the communication that goes on in there,

Eric Rhoads 46:00
it’s fun to see, you know, all of a sudden, you know, people are setting up in the expo hall or they’re in the hallways, and you know, there’s people painting everywhere indoors, and then going outdoors together. I think that’s, that’s, that’s a hoot. And this year is gonna be really special because we’re going to be painting we’re Bierstadt painted in the Rocky Mountain National Park, which was not easy to make happen. So right probably never happen again, but at least this one time, so we’re pretty happy about that. Well, you know, you

Carl Bretzke 46:32
guys are gonna say, Well, I look forward to going to Colorado. But I graduated from University of Colorado in Boulder with my minor in fine art. And I only regret that I never painted the area. Back when I was doing that. I would draw it sometimes he has colored pencil but I would sure like to have done it as a painter as well.

Eric Rhoads 46:56
Well, she’s stay a couple extra days. There’s plenty to paint. Yeah. And where did you go to medical

Carl Bretzke 47:02
school? Back at the University of Minnesota. Okay. Yeah.

Eric Rhoads 47:06
Well, Carl, thanks for being on again today. I want to remind everybody, there’s a previous podcast Carl Paretsky was on five years ago. And that talks a lot about his history and background, a lot of other things as well. So you want to check that out as as well and Carl’s videos, sunset secrets, and also Nocturnes painting the night are available at And at Carl Gretzky art on Instagram. And let’s see, Karl dot Gretzky on Facebook. Right. That’s good, right? I guess. I hope so. Yeah, you guys give Carl a follow because it’s fun to see what he’s doing and see his paintings. Carl. I appreciate your friendship. I appreciate you being here today. Thank you so much.

Carl Bretzke 48:05
Thanks, Eric. Alright, see you later. All right,

Eric Rhoads 48:07
bye bye. Okay, now we’re gonna get to the art marketing questions and answer some of your questions in the art marketing minute.

Announcer 48:14
This is the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller, make more money selling your art proven techniques to turn your passion into profit.

Eric Rhoads 48:27
So my goal is to help you I’ve been marketing my entire life, which is a long, long time. And I learned a lot about marketing and I did not learn about art marketing. And so the principles that I teach really are not art marketing principles. They’re just standard marketing principles, right? I mean, I have picked it up over the years helping a lot of artists helping some of them become just super successful hopefully. Anyway, if you want to make a great living art marketing minute is a good place to help you do that you can email your questions, Eric at art Or if you you want to send in a video we have a video first timer All right, we have a video. Let’s let’s run with it.

Speaker 4 49:14
Hello, Eric and Amandine. So from Canada, I started painting in February 2017 to work on my phobia of painting. But four months after I started painting, I was commissioned for an art piece just by showing random little projects I was working on after selling that first piece the idea that I could eventually maybe make a business with my art. And so I decided to do this I sold two small eight by eight paintings for $1370 I have a website where I sell prints and and merch And those two, but it’s not really, it didn’t really get started. The problem is I’m getting self-conscious. It seems I was more now even doing things more spontaneously. But as I go, I realized that I’m selling at higher prices than than most would do, and hearing our professionals saying that you can’t sell for higher than that when you start. And so I’m wondering, is it can it be detrimental for me to sell at those prices?

Eric Rhoads 50:40
Don’t let them get you down. The one of the first and important principles that I learned in business, is that everybody always tells you all the things you can’t do. You can’t do this, because it’s not done that way. You can’t do that. Because nobody does that. Just ignore it, you know, just follow your heart and do what you believe in. There’s not a right or wrong. There’s not a manual. I’ve tried to write one. But you know, there’s really not a manual, most. Most importantly, is you put yourself out there, you started out at a higher price. You’re getting a decent price for first time paintings out there. You mentioned, I think you said 900 or more, and you’ve sold some. So what’s wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with that. Now I can understand why some people might say, Well, you got to start out slow, it is start, you know, edge up. Why? Why edge up? Why should you have to do that. Now, a gallery might want to say, look, we have to edge you up and build a collector base, and then increase your prices over time. That’s where that thinking probably comes from. You’re not selling through a gallery, you’re selling direct. And if you don’t want to sell in the gallery, I’m gonna talk about that later. But that’s, that’s just fine. So you said that, that in your original comment, I don’t think you said in the video. But I read your question, too. And that is you said that $900 is a lot of money? Well, it is a lot of money to some people. But it’s not a lot of money to other people. Right? So we tend to get hung up on perceptions of money. A lot of artists do this. The big problem that I have constantly, I’m constantly coaching artists to say, Look, your prices are too low. I had a world famous artist staying in the world famous artists cabin recently. And I said how much are these paintings? And she told me and I said, wrong, that you they should be selling for four or five, six times this amount of money? And they’ll sell? Well, I don’t know, I don’t think so. And I said no, no, no, you you have to have that confidence. They’re fabulous, you don’t realize the the importance of your, your ability and your career. So we get hung up on these perceptions of money. If especially if we never had money, right, so the one thing that we as many of us as artists never grew up with anything. And so, you know, so to us, you know, spending $900 on a painting may not be possible or may not something we want to do. And yet there are people who will drop 900 bucks like you and I would drop a 10 And so you have to understand that now the key to this is environment environment plays a huge role in selling if you’re selling at a flea market you know, you’re gonna have to attend dollars is a lot at the flea market, right? You’re not going to sell a Rolls Royce. at the flea market, Rolls Royce is going to be where they’re going to be at the Palm Beach art show or the LA art show or they’re gonna be where the money hangs out at the country club or whatever, you know, they’re looking for environment environment makes a difference. Well, why aren’t you looking for environment? Sounds like you already found it. You found people willing to spend money. So there’s lots of different levels in money, right? So you know, my cardiologist is probably a really wealthy guy. But he’s not wealthy, compared to Elon Musk, right? I can’t imagine. But he’s still a wealthy guy. I mean, this is different levels of wealth. I have a buddy that I grew up with who has become, I’d say probably a billionaire or pretty close to a billionaire. You know, he’ll he’ll drop 40 $50,000 Over dinner with movie stars and people like that. And you know, buying $10,000 bottles of champagne. I mean, it’s just money to him. And so it doesn’t affect him. You know, I’m not doing that. But that’s why hitting money targets is so important if you’re selling works that you want to price well, I’ve had dealers tell me that my magazine Fine Art connoisseur has sold million dollar paintings. And because we have, like three 400 billionaires who read it. And I sold, I had a real estate company sell a $20 million house from two ads in that magazine. And the person who bought responded to the one of those two ads, and ended up it was $20 million house that was 10 years ago is probably equivalent of $100 million house today. And it was, by the way, a billionaire. So you just never know you got to be in the environment. So where you advertise matters, where you hang out matters where you, you know, they always talk about the people you hang with influence how you are, you know, if you want to sell to rich people, you need to learn about him, you need to hang out with them figure out you know, go go do a lessons at the country club or something. So you know, rich people don’t need bargains, everybody wants bargains, but they don’t need bargains. Some people need bargains. So your question, is it detrimental in the long term? No, probably not. I think, right now, you’ve only sold 234 paintings at these prices. But you’ve got a consistent track record. So now what you got to do is figure out how to sell more paintings, if that’s important to you. And it might not be but to increase volume, you might lower price. But there’s something people don’t understand. There’s a great book, I wish I could remember the name of it, it’s on pricing. And it says that if you reduce your price by 10%, let’s say you have something that’s $100, you reduce it by to $90, you have to sell 18% more volume to make up the amount of money. So be careful with that because otherwise you’ll price yourself out. I think higher prices are generally good. You need to build a brand, a brand helps you get a higher price. Now brands have different meaning McDonald’s is a brand that’s a low price brand. Louis Vuitton is a high price brand. So you need to figure out what brand do I want to be where do I build my brand? How do I build it? Where do I stand out where where do I want people to see my my ads, my stories, things like that, because you want to be where the rich people are, if you’re selling to rich people, if you want to, you want to sell to school teachers and you know who who are not going to spend $900 Sorry, I don’t mean to be a little school teachers, not my point. But the idea is, you know, then advertise someplace that they’re reading. But the idea is that you want to you want to go where the standard, the money where the river is flowing is always say, Look, you need to feel that you deserve it. And you did that you set a price because you feel you deserve it, Bravo for you. You tried it, it worked. Congratulations. Now raise your prices more keep going up and see how see where you get price resistance, you know, if you, you go from 900 to 10,000, you might get price resistance. I was once in a gallery, I said I want to be the most expensive person in the gallery. And they said, but nobody knows who you are. So I know that but somebody’s gonna walk in there and they’re gonna see two paintings and they’re gonna see one that’s $10,000 in one that’s $2,000 in aid like them both, but the one that’s $10,000 must be better. I couldn’t get the gallery owner to agree to it. So I don’t know what what would have happened. Anyway. Good job. Congratulations. I’m proud of you keep it up. All right, next question, Amandine.

Amandine 59:15
The next question is from Laura, from Berlin, Maryland. How does one get into a gallery when you’re not an already established artist? I’m told not to approach a gallery but how else can one do it?

Eric Rhoads 59:30
Well, you know, again, just because I say something doesn’t make it true. And I have some strong feelings about this. And I have strong feelings because I was sitting in a gallery one day. gallery owner said Do you mind while we talk I go through the mail and he’s going through mail. It was actually kind of rude actually. Now that I think about it, but he’s going through mail so what are you looking at is he look at peeking something and throw it away peeking something, throw it away, and he had a stack a big status, what are you going through? He says, Oh, we get 50 100 submissions a week. And I feel obligated open them in case there’s something in there that I should see. But he says, I don’t even look at the artwork. You know, I can’t do it. He says, I get hundreds of emails soliciting the gallery I people, he says I was the other day I was in front of a customer, the customer is ready to buy. in walks this guy, he interrupts us. And he says, hey, you know, I’m kind of interested in being in your gallery, I’d like to talk to you about that. And meanwhile, the customer walks off, he loses the sale. Alright, he says, I don’t want somebody walking into my gallery to talk to me about this stuff. You know, the reality is that galleries are they’re a business. Right? They’re busy. And what questions to galleries ask themselves? Here are a couple of them. Is this artist good? Is this artist consistent? Do they have a body of work? And they do one good painting? Or can they do hundreds of good paintings? Because I have to sell a lot of work. I can’t make a living from one artist and one painting typically. Will it sell? What price? Will it sell for? Is it a price that fits my price point in the gallery? Is it too low? Is it too high? You know, and how much is my wall space worth, you know, shelf space and wall Smith space is worse something I got. If I have a small gallery, and I got to meet a you know, let’s say $100,000 a month, I and I can put 10 paintings up, I know I have to be able to get $10,000 a month out of each of those paintings that are hanging there. That’s wall space. Right? So can I make it with this artists? Can they do it? Do people know your brand? Do they know who you are? Is this artists selling well elsewhere? What’s the evidence of that? Can I make a lot of money on her? Can I make a lot of money on her over the next 510 20 years. And I had a gallery owner say, you know, I told him about an artist. He says yeah, I’m aware of that artists. But quite frankly, you know, he’s good, he’s very good. But I don’t think I can get 20 years of business out of him. So I would rather invest in somebody that’s going to be around for 20 years. Sad, but true. So you know, everybody thinks differently. So now, if you do want to go through and being a gallery, by the way, there’s no rule that says you have to be I like the idea of having a gallery, I have three of them. And I like it, because they’re talking to me, they’re talking about me, they’re selling me when I’m sleeping, right. And I don’t have to do all that work. Now, I don’t sell anything direct on time, I barely have time to paint for the galleries, I have scarcity, I have that because I don’t have much in the galleries, and they probably don’t push me very much because they know they’re not gonna, I’m not gonna give him enough stuff. But if you want to be, then keep in mind a couple of things. First off, you are handing your future over to a gallery, which I think is stupid. Now, I’m not an anti gallery live galleries. But what I mean is, don’t rely 100% on any gallery. First off, you want to spread your risk, you want to have two or three, ideally, minimum, some people don’t. But if if you’re going to have exclusivity with a single gallery, you know, then you want to be in someplace like forum in New York, or a kta Gallery in New York, because they are gonna make you a lot of money if they get behind you. And so you want to make sure that you still have control, you want to make sure you control the circumstances, the deal, the stakes, you got to motivate them, you got to help them, you got to cooperate with them, you got to brand yourself, still control your branding, you got to have other outlets to sell if they let you some artists will have like a certain category or a certain amount of money. So you’ve got to control everything, because the minute you lose control, if they all of a sudden they stop working for you, you’ve got a bigger problem, right? So you don’t want to have that. So I would say if you want to be in a gallery, I like the idea of getting invited in and the way to get invited in. I go into excruciating detail in my book, but the the essence of it is find somebody who knows them. Ask them to evaluate your work, ask them if you feel that you would be a good fit for their gallery. And if they do ask them if they would be willing to mention you to somebody don’t push it. You know and you have to your call it a favor. So you got to be kind of careful about that. But that’s overall one of the best ways now. Here’s the other trick that nobody realizes which is probably the biggest way that galleries find artists. Well It used to be just ads. Now it’s Instagram, Facebook. That’s why I always say don’t post unfinished paintings. And don’t post your bad paintings. You know, we all do bad paintings don’t post your bad paintings. Why? Because not, you know, people are flipping through and they see a bad painting and they see your name, what do they do? They say, Oh, Eric does bad paintings. So put your best work out there. And then, of course, we have I had a dealer, I interviewed one time and he said, I watch who’s advertising in your magazines. And I said, why? He said, because I want people who are committed to their career, they’re so committed that they’re willing to spend money to brand themselves to try and sell on their own. And also, they’re going to eventually keep spending money. And they’re going to mention my gallery and their ads. And I’ll mention them in my ads. And so it’s it’s a win win. And he says, I’ve got this one guy, I’ve had my eye on him for five years. Since I’m about to go with him. His work was a little inconsistent. But it’s getting better and better. And now I’m about to go with him. So be patient, you know, there are people watching, you don’t know or watching. So I’ve also seen galleries and this is the thing I alluded to earlier. And that is that I’ve seen galleries who have decided not to work with established artists, what why would that be? Well, there are people out there who established themselves, you know, 1020 years ago, 30 years ago, they became big deals, they were known they were household words, were household names in the art industry. And they’re no longer keeping up. They’re no longer promoting themselves no longer doing shows no longer doing ads. Because they were, they thought they could rest on their laurels. But the reality is that unless you stay at the forefront, you’re no longer going to sell. I heard from an artist who called me one day since you know, five years ago, 710 years ago, he says I was making so much money I was selling just I couldn’t believe it. And I said, Well, what are you doing now? Are you doing ads? No. Why? Why should I do ads? Everybody knows who I am. I said, are you doing shows Nice. Too much work. Everybody knows who I am. You know what, through the whole thing. And, and I said they forgotten you, you know there’s a thing called attrition. Right? So every year, a gallery loses 10% of their audience. Every year, artists loses 10% of their buyers, right? attrition. People die, people move people retire, people don’t buy paintings anymore. People get sick people change their tastes, you know, there’s a lot of things that happen. And so that’s 10% a year in 2008. When a bad economy happened, it was like 60% in one year, right? So you have to constantly be bringing new people in and galleries have to do that. And that’s why people keep advertising because you’re always bringing people in. You know, if you lay low for 10 years, you’re gonna feel it. You’re gonna feel it after a year, quite frankly, you feel it after six months I I have a very well known artist who, who advertised with us. And the discussion was, Well, I think I’ve been advertising a long enough time. I’m just going to stop and I said, Okay, that’s fine. Here’s what’s going to happen. Oh, no, that’ll never happen. Everybody knows who I am. I said, Okay. Six months later, phone rings. You’re right. phone stopped ringing gallery stopped calling sales stopped happening. I said right out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, those are some thoughts on galleries. Bottom line is you got to build your brand. You got to control your brand. You got to get invited. That’s best. Don’t just barge in. If you do decide you’re going to go that route, at least email call, try to get an appointment and explain to them the answers to those questions, why you’re a good investment, why they’re going to sell give them evidence. Let them watch you. And also make sure you’re producing the best possible work. You can you know, some of you are not gallery ready. And some of you think you are you know, it’s just something you’ve got to get advice from other people to find out. Anyway. It is today’s art marketing minute.

Announcer 1:09:21
This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at

Eric Rhoads 1:09:30
Okay, I want to remind you guys to come to PACE in Denver, the plein air convention. If you can’t come in person, come online, you can sign up. It’s our 10 year birthday. We’re bringing birthday gifts for everybody. And Jane Seymour’s coming to help us celebrate, CW Mundy, Alvaro Castagnet. A and you know many many, many, many others Lori Putnam, Jane hunt. Can’t even remember all of them. Let’s see if I can remember some more. Camille Prezwodek, Christine Lashley, Daniel Sprick, Don Demers, Joe Anna Arnett you want to be there. It’s the 10th Birthday may 21 through 25 and there’s a pre convention workshop Lori putting them on the 20/20 and a beginner’s day or essential stay we call it now on the 21st also, so come to the convention and also would love you guys to subscribe to plein air magazine. If you’re not. We’d love to have you I have a blog on Sunday mornings. If you haven’t got it, just go to and get it and comes to you every Sunday morning but email all right. Also, I’m on the air daily on Facebook, and YouTube. It’s called Art School live we do art lessons every day. Love to have you there. Just go to YouTube and look for art school live and hit that subscribe button so when we go live you are notified. And please give me a follow on Facebook and Instagram. Always appreciate that. I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of plein air magazine. Remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it. Bye bye.


This has been the plein air podcast with PleinAir Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email [email protected]. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.


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