Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. In this episode Eric interviews impressionist artist Kathie Odom about her past decade of painting outdoors, including her advice for beginning plein air painters.
Listen as Kathie Odom shares the following:
• The advantages of being a hard worker when it comes to art
• The benefits of having a partner to help with your art career
• The value of taking a break when needed
• Knowing what to leave out and what to put into a landscape painting
Bonus! Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, shares advice on how to get your art seen (and sold) in a small town, and how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to advertising dollars in this Art Marketing Minute Podcast.
Listen to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Kathie Odom here:
– Kathie Odom online: https://www.kathieodom.com/
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericrhoads/
– Eric Rhoads on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.rhoads
– Sunday Coffee: https://coffeewitheric.com/
– Plein Air Salon: https://pleinairsalon.com/
– Value Specs for Artists: https://streamlineartvideo.com/products/paint-by-note-red-glasses
– Paint by Note: https://paintbynote.com/
– The Great Outdoor Painting Challenge TV Show: https://thegreatoutdoorpaintingchallenge.com/casting-call
FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
Eric Rhoads 0:00
This is episode number 175. Today we’re featuring artist Kathie Odom.
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 0:55
Thank you Jim Kipping and welcome everybody to the plein air podcast and happy Summer I’m not sure it’s officially summer but when I think of summer being, you know, June 1 and on, we’re into summertime, of course here in Texas. It’s really really, really hot. So been summer for a while here. We all deserve a little bit of summertime. We’ve all been kind of stuck inside, so it’s nice to be able to get outside a little bit and get beyond the cold weather. I don’t know about you, but my goal is to do more plein air painting than ever before. I love being out. I love doing painting. I’m tired of being cooped up. So I’m going to leave my easel setup right outside the house and just do more painting. Even though I can’t necessarily get out every day I’m going to do a painting of something and just try to get really good at it this summer. I’m looking forward to a grand celebration of being able to get together again of plein air painting at the plein air convention this August in Santa Fe our first summertime convention. It was originally going to be in May in Denver, but we had to cancel that and postpone it. So Santa Fe, we’re going to do it safely. And if for some reason we do have to cancel or you have to cancel because of quarantine issues or safety issues, please know that we will guarantee that you’ll get your money back or you can apply it to a future event if you wish to go to pleinairconvention.com and look at the faculty. Everybody’s still planning to come and we’re going to have a great time. Also, if you’re new to plein air painting, make sure you get our free ebook called 240 plein air tips at pleinairtips.com. Coming up after the interview. I’ve got some art marketing questions answered in the marketing minute. First right to our interview with Kathie Odom. Kathie Odom, welcome to the plein air podcast.
Kathie Odom 2:45
Oh, it’s so good to be here.
Eric Rhoads 2:47
So, for the benefit of everybody listening, it’s nice to be able to picture where one is. Where are you?
Kathie Odom 2:57
Ah, East Tennessee. About 10 miles from the entrance of the Smoky Mountain National Park.
Eric Rhoads 3:05
Oh, what a beautiful area. It is. Now are you a Tennessee native?
Kathie Odom 3:10
I am. I grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, which is West and came to the University of Tennessee met my fella and stayed in the east part.
Eric Rhoads 3:26
All right, terrific. Well for the benefit of the people who may or may not yet know you, tell us a little bit about what it is you do and what your secret sauce is. You know what makes you unique.
Kathie Odom 3:39
Ah, well, I paint and paint a lot. Mostly plein air. Absolutely love it. It changed my life about 10 years ago, and now trying to get more and more into the studio but honestly daylight today I would be outside. It’s just beautiful. My secret sauce…
Eric Rhoads 4:08
Well Are your superpower, what’s your superpower? What is it you do?
Kathie Odom 4:12
Well, I work hard. I am a worker. And so I don’t play around. I want to be serious about my art. And but then again, I want to stay where I’m really loving it and enjoying it. I think that’s when the best art happens.
Eric Rhoads 4:37
You know, they always say that, 90% of success is showing up and that hard work that idea of having a good solid work ethic, there’s just almost nothing that can overcome that.
Kathie Odom 4:50
Well, I would agree with you. I come from hard work and people and I think that it it really is helps me and gives me an advantage. For sure.
Eric Rhoads 5:06
You said that 10 years ago, plein air painting changed your life. Let’s go. Let’s go into this. Tell me were you painting before 10 years ago. what transpired that plenty or changed your life?
Kathie Odom 5:21
Okay, I was I was an art major and just got scared about staying in the fine arts department and went into art Ed and did not teach a day. If not taught a day in my life in a school
Eric Rhoads 5:42
You graduated with an art degree in art education degree.
Kathie Odom 5:46
Yes, yes. And got married pretty soon after graduating and so , life took on a whole nother look. When you’re crazy about who you’re married to, they’re about good things that you want to help with. And actually, I just pretty much put art to the side. And when I did start working in some jobs, they were all creative. I have been a picture framer, a photo finisher, a decorator. What else can I say? several jobs and just different creative realms, and then all of a sudden got a gift of a workshop at the John C. Campbell folk school and at the age of 50. And another thing is I had my nest to empty, my children, how dare them left me? How dare they? How dare they. And also, which was sad lost both of my parents during those years, real real soon after the…, as the kids were flying away, and actually to get a little bit more to say a little bit more about that my mother passed from ALS and it’s a horrible, horrible disease and I just adored her, and the fact that she could not move and she missed out on so much of what she loved to do. That was like huge for me. All of a sudden, it was a way of saying Kathie, don’t neglect what you really want in life. any more. And so that really helped the whole starting up into art be very significant for me. And I think the giver of the birthday gift, really saw that. And so the minute after the workshop, I was pinching myself wondering if I was still here.
Eric Rhoads 8:32
Who was the workshop who taught the workshop and what was the subject?
Kathie Odom 8:37
this is really embarrassing. I cannot remember the instructor.
Eric Rhoads 8:44
this is a good reason to have branding. You know, as I say, that I can tell you, that I’ve gone through the same thing. It’s like there are people I can’t remember it. It’s like they didn’t continue to stay visible to me. So it’s not my fault. It’s their fault.
Kathie Odom 9:01
Maybe so, but I’ll tell you that the true teacher in the health thing was just grasping a few techniques. And immediately we were thrown outside. It was it’s a beautiful farm where this craft school is and, and gorgeous. And it just spoke to me and I’m sitting here pinching myself going outside. I love this and I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do for years. And it was, it was it was a great start. And after that, I couldn’t I just couldn’t stop it. It It was like a drug.
Eric Rhoads 9:49
Oh really. So the workshop. The workshop was a plein air workshop though.
Kathie Odom 9:54
You know, it wasn’t set up to teach me that was not the wording of the workshop, but there was, in fact, a building dedicated to painting. And we started indoors just talking and getting and watching a demo. And then they started talking this outside thing. And I went, Oh, you gotta be kidding. This is gonna be great. So that was a, I think such a gift to me that it included the plein air experience Right off the bat.
Eric Rhoads 10:37
So you, you go to the workshop, you take the workshop, then you start going outdoors to paint.
Kathie Odom 10:48
Well, I got home and thought, I’ve got to find somebody. I’ve got to get somebody, a mentor and One ended up finding a great mentor. And actually real close to where I’ve just moved. And his name is Jeremy Doss. And he had been he had studied a little bit under Richard Schmid. He has definitely studied Richard’s work and he was teaching in that realm and that style, and it didn’t take long for me to know I had landed in the right place. And he immediately started taking us out outside to paint and that was and then I guess I sat under him for about a year. And it was it was a class there were several of us and but ad just couldn’t get enough of it and I learned a great deal from him. And then he moved. And we then started, I say we there were a few students and myself that started a Plein Air Group in Knoxville, Tennessee and surrounding areas. And it has been going ever since which I would say it’s been about almost 10 years.
Eric Rhoads 12:27
Well, it’s very rare that I talk to somebody who has accomplished what you’ve accomplished in a 10 year period of time to think that the yes you had some art education but you also took probably close to 20 years off. And then you took it again. You started plein air painting and now you’ve got successful workshops, you’ve got a video out you’ve been on stage at the plein air convention you have developed a career you’re selling a lot of people endings, how does this happen?
Kathie Odom 13:03
By the grace of God is the answer I have that and a lot of work plein air events came into the picture. And if you want a good teacher, you, put yourself out there and you enter these wonderful events. And then you paint up to three paintings a day, during the events or at least add do because I’m there to work, I’m in a new area. It’s beautiful. I want to capture everything I can. I’m trying to slow down and really get more thoughtful about things but Gosh, when you’re around, I mean advancer only in beautiful places. And so that that just got under maskin and but if you want a good teacher, you will, like I said, put yourself out there, get invited to one of these and use it as an opportunity to just put paint to Canvas.
Eric Rhoads 14:15
Well, let’s talk about that because I think that’s an important thing. First off putting yourself out there, you’ve got to figure out how to get invited to an event. How did that happen for you?
Kathie Odom 14:28
I hit was in the middle of a workshop with Roger Dale Brown and learning from him. And at some point in the workshop, he said, Kathie, I really think you’re ready for a plein air event. At the time. I had no idea they existed. Yeah. And I said, What are you talking about? Well, it took other people Yours overhearing that. And to be honest, this husband, a man has just fallen for art. He has fallen for what I do. He sees the need for an artist to have a helper. And he didn’t have to hear it twice. And he was then just looking for, studying, looking for what is this? He’s talking about? I’m going to get Kathie summed up,
Eric Rhoads 15:32
and Buddy has been, essentially like your manager. I assume. That’s the impression I get the you know, he’s been kind of helping along handling your career. Is that right?
Kathie Odom 15:43
Absolutely. I think we take a lot of grief for that in some ways, because I know there’s some artists out there working double time and doing a lot on their own.
Eric Rhoads 15:58
well, there’s no reason to give grief for that. I mean, it’s like giving someone grief for being organized and figuring out how to delegate things. I mean it it is a gift that a lot of people don’t have the ability to have, some of us have very gifted spouses who can help us in various ways and that’s a beautiful thing if they can do that some of us have spouses that don’t have the gift and some don’t have the time. But it’s a great mixture if you can get it because it can speed your progress because now you got two people working full time on you and or maybe one of them part time on you.
Kathie Odom 16:39
Yes, yes, he does have a job, another job and in he has got a capacity that I am just amazed that but if he were sitting here with us, he would say every artist should get a helper should hire somebody. Even if It’s their teenage kid that knows the computer better than you do. He, he said they need an allowance, you know, pay them a little money and get some help. I would say that what I hear from him and which has been the greatest thing for me to hear is I want to keep you at the easel. And, you know, I started this late, and I really appreciate that the more I’m in front of the easel. I believe that I hope the better I will be.
Eric Rhoads 17:38
Well I want to talk about that because I think that’s a really also important topic is that there is a distraction factor that takes us away from the evil and and it’s I’m not being critical of anybody because we all have to do what we have to do and some of us have no choice but to do everything herself. But what happens is because we’re struggling to make living, we’re trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Next thing you know, we’re doing things like, we’re adding stuff to our plate. So now instead of painting full time, you’re doing workshops or you’re doing events or you’re doing other such things and those things are all positives, but sometimes they can turn into negative, you know, I I can think of an artist who told me that she was doing so many events that she wasn’t able to do studio painting anymore. And as a result, she wasn’t making the kind of money she wanted to make because she made more money on studio paintings than the smaller paintings. And so, there’s always a give and take. And if you’re stretching yourself too thin, you have to understand that If you’re leaning towards doing something yourself that somebody else could be doing for you, you’re gonna suffer one way or the other. This is a classic business principle. And it sounds like this has been a real blessing having your husband involved. And I think is, I think his advice as good as if you’ve got a buddy, somebody who, you can pay a little bit of money to, that money will be amplified, so that small amount of money you’re going to spend for the helper will amplify your career in some way.
Kathie Odom 19:32
Absolutely. And just to go back even further, when I started painting, there were a multitude of distractions because I was living my life in a different way, you know, when I was started, and I had to learn to take time to do my art and that it was okay. I had to give myself permission to do it. One of the great helpers of that was taking a class weekly, and then starting the plein air group that met weekly. And I had to let my world know that Tuesdays were off limits to anything else I was painting unless there was an emergency. And of course, I have a friend that says people first I said, Well, maybe people first it depends on the problem. It is.
Eric Rhoads 20:34
You know, I think that, that we as artists tend to allow other distractions to take us over. And, it’s real easy. If you’re a full time artist, it’s real easy to allow yourself to be distracted by you know, all the stuff in life that we have to do but you know, if you were going to a nine to five job that Eight hours a day you would not schedule those doctor appointments during that day or certain things to happen during that day, you’d schedule the cable guy to come after work or whatever, if you could. And yet, what happens is we are not putting our putting in our our eight hours or 10 hours or whatever it is on the things that are going to make us the most progress. And so it’s really easy to get distracted. So I like you to say I like the idea that you say, look, this is a non negotiable, that on Tuesdays, for instance, no matter what’s coming on Tuesdays, you know when I’ve got my plein group on, that’s all I do. So at least you’re forcing yourself to get out at least once a week.
Kathie Odom 21:41
Yes, that’s true.
Eric Rhoads 21:43
So you’ve got your non negotiables you’ve got your your events that you you do your plein air painting event, or your your thing with your friends and so on. Yes, that’s terrific.
Kathie Odom 21:54
And of course, that has all really changed in that it has become A career for me and I have to protect the time even more. Right now, on this day because we moved a couple of months ago, the distraction now is our new place. And I keep seeing things that I need to do to get us here living, you know, and get up into a routine. And but you know, Eric at I’m trying to embrace that because I have really done a lot of events as we talked about earlier, and put myself under a lot of deadlines. And every now and then I take a break. I walk away for a little while.
Eric Rhoads 22:53
Yeah. And value does that bring to you
Kathie Odom 22:57
Ah, such freshness when I’m reading really ready to get back into it? I get myself to the point that I’m just as excited as when I just started. But I have a whole lot more tools in my toolbox. So the start is like, what can I experiment with? What? What about even learned while I’m not painting, I’m just observing things and letting life teach me a little bit more, which always goes into somehow matte painting.
Kathie Odom 23:40
So you told me when you were in Austin, Texas at our soundstage, shooting your video and I interviewed you then. And I want you to share this again because I thought it was valuable. You said that there was something that ignited something deep down within you. Can you talk to me about that?
Kathie Odom 24:18
That the fact that I can turn around and paint something that has always been, well, let me take it in another in another way. If I can paint the life that I have never lived, or wish that I had had the opportunity to live some nostalgic things. Some, my granddaddy was a builder I had another granddaddy that was a welder. Construction, being creative, or that’s in my genes. If I could ask them questions today what a gift that would be. But as I stand in front of a structure of building a man made thing and I can sit there and paint it and and want to know exactly how it went together There is something about just a board of wood that is there on that barn or that building and I want to paint it I want to paint the board I add add don’t simplify always when it comes to that, because that’s the part of the story that really touches me. And it’s developing my style. Bad go into those deep within me maybe it’s sentimental Thoughts
Eric Rhoads 26:03
so you when you’re driving down the road looking for a place to pay new screech on the brakes and you get out you find something that you love. And what what is it that you What’s your process to, to really capture the emotion that you’re feeling?
Kathie Odom 26:20
I put myself in the buildings. I wonder what it would be like to live there. I wonder about the people that live there. There’s an area in the Smoky Mountains where city people had wonderful mountain cabins and I’d go up there and get in the middle of those cabins and just hear the kids laughing. hollering each other to go the swimming hole. I’m smelling whatever the the parents are putting together for dinner at it. There’s something about pulling nature, man made things. And then the people that fill them that fascinates me and weight that into a painting.
Eric Rhoads 27:18
How do you get that sense of emotion onto a Canvas?
Kathie Odom 27:25
Well, I hope I do some. I think it’s just having those thoughts that run through my heart that run through my arm that pick up the paint and put it on the canvas. I’m looking for any little tidbits of color, if it’s one leaf that has turned early in the fall, or just how the light will hit The boards I talked about earlier? Um, I don’t know. I don’t know, other than what I’ve just said, other than I feel that I’m pulling from something within me when I’m painting.
Eric Rhoads 28:19
So what is your goal? What? When someone is looking at that painting, trying to decide whether or not to buy it or once it’s hanging on their wall, what do you want? What do you want to have occur?
Kathie Odom 28:36
Well, what has occurred? That is very encouraging to me, is I will get responses that just took me back in time. Or I remember my grandparents living in something much like that home that you painted, or that reminded me of began in the Smokies and Little River that’s running through the campground where we used to camp. You just took me right back there. Anything like that is very, very encouraging to me. I want things hanging in my home that are not just beautiful, but have a little piece of me in them that take me somewhere.
Eric Rhoads 29:29
Those are the most powerful stories when when you’re working a show, and somebody walks up and says, You know, I remember that that spot or that reminds me of that thing. When they have an emotional response like that, that to me is the best compliment.
Kathie Odom 29:47
I would agree. I would agree.
Eric Rhoads 29:52
So you’re doing some teaching, and I always like to try to get people on the podcast to teach them Little bit too. How do you translate some important lessons to people? You probably never have listened to the podcast before. But I guess
Kathie Odom 30:12
let me say that it’s my walking partner a lot of nice love it.
Eric Rhoads 30:18
So the idea is huge. So you know what we do. And the idea is that we have people all over the world who are tuning in. Some of them are little bitty baby plein air painters, some of them have never painted before, and of course, others deeply experienced. So, I’d like you to impart some wisdom upon us that we can take and apply it to our painting our work, no pressure. Can you do that?
Kathie Odom 30:46
I think so. I can do a little bit. I would say first thing is courage and welcome to A scene. And one of the greatest things that was said to me once was I wonder what that looks like if it’s painted, if it’s white, and if it’s painted, and I say to myself, I wonder what it’ll look like if Kathie Odom paints it and it takes a lot of pressure off. I don’t have to completely render what’s in front of me. But then I would go on to say, get the sketchbooks out. No matter the timing how hurried you may be. Or I would say my best paintings is when I have sketched when I’m about to paint. I know the scene a lot better. I know what to leave out. What to simplify what would really be the focal point at I know the lay of the land, even if it’s a still life, I know that still life and I call it getting the lay of the land. I really really enjoy my sketches. And because they’re my memories and as paintings are bought and leave the nest, I always had that sketch and that sketches the memory of the experience so yeah, I’m really high on that. I used to go out at first and get so excited that I would just dive into the paint and I can see a difference in my work by the sketch. Then as far as my paintings Go I’m more of an Allah prima painter. I love a brushstroke. And when one happens that I fall for, I am going to try my best not to disturb it. And I love the freshness of that. A lot of people say that my paintings are fresh and the color is good.
Eric Rhoads 33:26
So how do you accomplish that? Because that’s easier said than done. What do you do to make sure that you’ve got a nice, good, thick fluent brushstroke and what do you do to make sure your colors are fresh?
Kathie Odom 33:42
I don’t dig in. I don’t do a lot of blending on my canvas. I use a Rosemary three set to 79 brush that’s very soft and it can lay On my drawling my painting drawing on the canvas in a way that doesn’t disturb the color in it. It let it lays on and I’m very I spin I guess it’s a natural thing, but I add there are different pressure points on a painting for me when I know to take that brush and just get that paint on and scrubbing but then I know when to lighten up.
Eric Rhoads 34:41
Now you use a medium with your paint Do you use it straight out of the tube? Do you do something to thin it out? What are thicken it up? What do you do to get the juicy brushstroke.
Kathie Odom 34:51
I use solvent free jail by Gamblin it and I think that came from being planeteer painter, you get out there and you’re painting and you, you know that the painting is going to be for sale wet. And I was starting to lose some some life about the paint colors, you know when the oxidation happens and they go down on you and that solvent free jail will keep a painting even as it starts to dry. It still has a lot of life about it. So I actually did it just to help me sell a painting
Eric Rhoads 35:35
so it doesn’t sink in. Like like especially if you’re using a bird tumbler or something which dries out and goes flat. That doesn’t occur.
Kathie Odom 35:45
If I remember to get a dab in there, sometimes I’m so excited I forget. But also I used to use an all primed canvas. I’m a big fan of turian and I use it and it tends to stay on top of the canvas and not soak in. So I use the lemon obey. And then also the way I love how it works is I can pull off I can pull the paint off when I need to get back to some brights. It’s a very workable surface and i also use Ray Mar which does the same thing all primed but on the radar version, it has a little grit and some texture and depending on the same when I walk up to it, I choose between that Centurion that’s a little smoother and and the ray Mar which has a little texture And I let the same tell me which one to go to.
Eric Rhoads 37:04
So you’re using your golf clubs properly, you know, the idea that you’ve got to have the right club for the right job. And that’s, that’s something you’re doing is you’re you’re selecting a canvas based on the scene and what you envision. So do you paint that painting in your head? you’ve drawn it out, but have you painted it in your head and know what the finish painting is? Kind of going to look like before you start it?
Kathie Odom 37:28
And I love that question, because I’m kind of blown away when anybody says they, they know what the painting is gonna look like, when it’s done. For me, it’s a complete surprise. Every painting is it. I mean, I have my, my hopes, and I had my tools, and I’m learning how to manipulate things. But to be honest, it’s exciting for me still, because I don’t know exactly how it’s gonna turn out. And I want to keep it that way. But to say that I, the more I learned, the more exciting it gets also, I just don’t want to get bored with it.
Eric Rhoads 38:21
you talked earlier, Kathie about knowing what to leave out and knowing that you don’t need to put everything in. Can you explain that concept to the people who might not really understand what that means?
Kathie Odom 38:37
Yeah, yes. When I started painting outside, everything interested me because I wanted to know how to paint it all. And as I’ve come along, and watched other great painters and taken great workshops from them, I’ve learned more and more about this simplicity thing. And it’s, hey, you can paint a second painting of the other part of the scene. You know, zooming in and, and, and take hold of one of the subjects in your scene, and that tends to make the shape stronger, and the painting stronger.
Eric Rhoads 39:23
So what I hear you saying is a primary a single focal point rather than the temptation of I like that focal point and I like, I like that tree, but I also like that tree. Is that kind of what you’re saying?
Kathie Odom 39:38
Well, yes, but in my mind, in from things that I’ve learned is, if I’ve got that one tree, that’s my focal point, a little more detail a little bit sharper lines there, but remember, that other tree would make a great surprise. According actor, but just paint it looser, had the edges softer, um you know, make it go further back in space
Eric Rhoads 40:11
don’t put everything in focus.
Kathie Odom 40:13
Exactly. And then you get to let the brush just dance and be you know more painterly and so I I get really excited about finish a painting after the focal point may be done already and and then just let it happen and that’s not easy to learn. You know finishing a painting sometimes can be harder than anything but I think it’s a lot. The reason it’s hard is that we won’t let go and we won’t free ourselves up to not do as much detail
Eric Rhoads 40:58
interesting So, what else can you teach us? No, no pressure at all?
Kathie Odom 41:13
from the beginning, values were just so hard for me. Because I love color. I’m looking at a mountain that’s in the distance. But in the Smokies, the mountains are pretty close up, you don’t have the distance of mountains that you do in the West. Because you’re if you’re in them, you know, and, and I’m sitting here looking at a mountain that’s green, but yet it needs to go into the distance and, and then the things in front of them are even greener into the city. So there’s this just pushing the color might be seen thing but I’m also using my head and knowing what atmosphere does and making it a little bluer in the distance. I don’t always see that. And so it’s studying the scene a lot more squinting, really squinting down, I can then see value. And it’s a simple thing, but it’s taught me a whole lot.
Eric Rhoads 42:30
Yeah, makes a big difference. Yes, a huge difference. Now, one of the things that you find that you have to work on the most when you when you’re working with students,
Kathie Odom 42:47
A lot of patience. I mean, it’s just so much fun and they’re excited. And I find that a lot of times students will be saying Excited about painting, they forget that they’re there to learn. And I would really, really highly suggest to anybody that takes a workshop is to sometimes put the paintbrush down and really observe what’s being taught. And then it’s just a delight. It’s it’s what happens when you’re in a plein air event or you’re at the plein air convention and so many people are painting and the subjects are the same, but yet each person’s personality as an artist comes out. And they’re all different.
Eric Rhoads 43:47
That’s what I love. And when when when I’m at the plein air convention or at in the Adirondacks or fall color week or any of those events. I can be standing next to 25 other people painting the same scene. And as I walked down the path, not one of them is the same I mean, every single composition is different. Everybody’s got their own vision. I I think that’s the most exciting thing about it.
Kathie Odom 44:14
Abbott agree. I would so agree. I used to go to workshops and would just come on my way home devastated that, now I’ve learned a completely new way of painting. And I thought I was doing okay before I went, and then you know, all this new information comes to me. Now I go to a workshop, and my one go is to see what one thing I come away with. That will make me more Cathy. Then maybe that teacher that I was watching Or painter that I was observing, and trying to take the pressure off myself to, to realize that each little tidbit wherever they come from is making me more me as a painter. And all the sudden that made so much sense to me. I want my paintings to be unique. And that that took a while but and I still have to tell myself that every day but, but just to walk away from each one with an aha moment is ago for me. Wow, that’s
Eric Rhoads 45:45
Yeah, that’s tough to have an aha moment with each one.
Kathie Odom 45:50
Well, I believe, even if it’s tiny, you know, something that makes you better outside or or in the studio. Yeah.
Eric Rhoads 46:05
So what’s next for you? You obviously have, you’ve got a thriving career. What are you going to do next? What is it you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
Kathie Odom 46:16
This is really exciting for me and with the pandemic going on. It’s right here before me, but it’s to paint my backyard. I think it was Matt Smith, at a workshop that I was a part of down in Georgia said, you know, we all should be painting our backyard. And it’s definitely way down deep in me to love it. And sometimes what I love is harder for me to paint to be honest. Probably the, the emotions are a little bit too much. But I want to know my backyard as a painter, and I want to share it with people where I live, how the people live around here, what structures they built or what rivers go through here? That’s that’s my goal. And not that I want to quit traveling. Absolutely love it, but I do feel that I should be painting my backyard.
Eric Rhoads 47:25
All right, well, you better get better get good.
Kathie Odom 47:29
Yeah, I already have, but but I want to dive in a little deeper.
Eric Rhoads 47:38
So, lightning round. I do this once in a while. The idea is give me a tidbit of wisdom on a subject.
Kathie Odom 47:47
Eric Rhoads 47:48
are you ready? All right. Clouds.
Kathie Odom 47:54
Ah, I want to do better at clouds. No, I’m putting really a warm, warm white into them to let that that the light of the sun work. Yeah, definitely not one of the things that paint a lot of
Eric Rhoads 48:18
No, you don’t have any clouds in Tennessee.
Kathie Odom 48:20
Oh we do. They’re beautiful, but I tend to hone in on the low words in the clouds.
Eric Rhoads 48:29
Well, okay, let’s talk about that cropping.
Kathie Odom 48:32
Yeah, um, well, goodness, this composition is huge. And being able to sometimes a sky isn’t even needed in a painting but the light you’re feeling the light hit off of your subjects. That’s a lot of fun. Sometimes I have a sliver of sky, and every now and then I’ll break loose and Put my landscape down low. And when the skies just irresistible, give it a go. Normally in my paintings, the sky is painted last. I just work that way. But if I walk up on a scene and it’s early morning and that lavender is out there and the the fog is, you know, kind of it’s just soft and there’s just a moment with the sky. Then I get it in first because I know for sure it’s gonna change. As a plein air painter, you got to get on what you want to paint pretty quick.
Eric Rhoads 49:45
All right, at what point do you stabilize because you have you know, you have constantly moving light. And, you could have been working on a painting for an hour and then all of a sudden you get like this incredible light that changes Is everything and you say, I want to capture that, or do you do that? Do you not do that?
Kathie Odom 50:07
Um, if it’s a streak of light and it’s hitting the ground or the roof of the building, and it’s just happened, I will I’ll do it who can resist, but I pretty much try to stay with the, what was going on in my sketch. And, and in my sketch, I make reference to where the shadows were, where the light is. I will even write down and, and draw a line to something special that was happening. I very much I have tried to chase the light before and it’s not a good idea. But I do have a visual memory that I’m very grateful for and Keeps me in check. Most of the time, most of the time.
Eric Rhoads 51:07
Greens – painting greens.
Kathie Odom 51:09
Oh wow, I’ve got to know how to pay greens because I live in to the city.
Eric Rhoads 51:14
Yeah, well tell us what’s what’s the trick because you manage. We have a painting here that you left at the studio. It’s now hanging on our wall, by the way. And when Laurie saw it, she said that’s going in the living room. And so but it has these brilliant greens yet they don’t have that Bidi overly tacky feel to them. So what’s the key to getting that right?
Kathie Odom 51:44
Well, okay, I have at least three yellow some four yellows on my palette. I use Rembrandt veridian I won’t use any other brand of her And it’s clean, it’s clear. And I can do some great greens with it. But if I want to soften a little bit, I had this little mud pile in the corner of my palette where I’ve scraped from the last painting. And that little mud pile doesn’t get used tremendously in my paintings. But I will always test it in some of my greens, and it doesn’t take much that is so intense when you you scrape all of your paints together and make that mud pile it. It’s very intense. So you just use a little bit and, and I can get some really beautiful I think colors of green with that. That sometimes yes, sometimes No, it really depends on what’s in front of me. And what I’m looking at I don’t spend a lot of time just trying to kill myself to get it right. But if it’s beautiful on my palette, I believe it’ll be beautiful in my painting. And I have just some recipes, you know. And I’ve got them all in my head. And that helps to know your colors and your palate and what they will do is
Eric Rhoads 53:34
Kathie Odom 53:35
Ah, I have done color charts. I haven’t done the extensive ones. Shame on me. I need to get that done. I’ve just been too busy painting. But I have I have done a green color chart with my palette and I can get a purple for mixing With grain and a beautiful lavender purple. So to experiment with your colors is huge from you know what you can find is a great thing.
Eric Rhoads 54:17
Well, Kathy, this has been an absolutely delightful time. Do you have any any final thoughts that you want to share with everybody before we roll?
Kathie Odom 54:24
I really appreciate you. You were a really a worker too. And I’ve witnessed that. And thank you for all you’re doing with the the Facebook things, especially now that we can’t really be with our friends when we’re painting. That’s been a huge help to me. And thanks for having me to Austin. It was just awesome.
Eric Rhoads 54:48
There was fun. It was really nice time and I think you were about the last of the people we were able to visit with and I think we were already starting to social distance. So remember, we couldn’t give each other hugs. It was kind of like high fivesin the air.
Kathie Odom 55:07
Well, I’m really glad that I got to do it. And I really look forward to Santa Fe.
Eric Rhoads 55:11
Yeah, we do as hell yeah. So what are you gonna do at Santa Fe?
Kathie Odom 55:16
Well, I am demo wing and the pudding y’all call the room where everybody selling everything?
Eric Rhoads 55:24
Oh, the exhibit hall?
Kathie Odom 55:26
Yes, I’ll be there doing a demo when they are but I will be there with my my sketchbook and trying to get one of those aha moments from really great artists well,
Eric Rhoads 55:42
and you’re gonna work in the field as a field painter as well to help people if they need a little help, right?
Kathie Odom 55:47
Yes, yes. And I really look forward to that.
Eric Rhoads 55:50
Well, well, Kathy Odom, thank you for being on the planner podcast.
Kathie Odom 55:55
Thank you, Eric. What a privilege. Thanks.
Eric Rhoads 55:59
Well, thanks again. Take care. The autumn I’m very impressed with her. Are you ready for some marketing ideas?
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 56:16
In the marketing minute I try to answer your marketing questions which of course you can email me, Eric, at artmarketing.com. Here is a lesson. Here’s a question from Carla. I don’t know where Carlos from it says, How do I get my art seen. I live in a small town and they want my work. They just don’t want to buy it. Now, Carla, you’re not alone. Sometimes people value things more if they are at a distance. It’s called the consultants rule. You will not hire a consultant in your town but you’ll pay more for that person and hire him if they live 100 miles away, or even more if they’re thousand miles away. It seems to be true in the art world too. So you’re not alone. You know people often sometimes think that buying Art in New York is better New Yorkers won’t buy it in New York they’ll buy it in LA you know it’s kind of funny. But you know it’s it’s true to some extent in people’s heads you know they’ve got this hang up. So it can be a distance thing so you could just be in a gallery elsewhere and then make a living and and that’s a cool thing. Not everybody though wants it for free. Usually people who can’t afford it want it for free. So I say always say stand in the river where the money is flowing, find it a fluent marketplace, where do the people with money, who could buy paintings hang out in your area, do a show at a local affluent restaurant, do a show at a high end Country Club or a golf club or some place you know hair salon where all the wealthy affluent people go do something and you will sell you will have success. They’re assuming your work is holding up and you got to be ready to make sure it’s holding up but it probably is and so people are willing to To pay for things that are of quality and so get it out there. The key to marketing is your presence, get it known build awareness, build your brand, and repeat, do charity events, raise your profile and it will raise your sales.
Eric Rhoads 58:13
Next question comes from Amanda. Amanda says, if I’m going to put some really big marketing dollars behind advertising, what is the biggest biggest bang for my buck paid social media ads, printed publications, how much in each 5050 or 3070, etc? Well, Amanda, I honestly can’t answer that question. Because I don’t know your strategy. And you can’t answer it either. Till you know your strategy, you have to pick one single goal. This is the mistake. Everybody says, you know that they’re like, well, I want to sell some paintings, but I also want to build my brand. I also want to do this. I also want to do that. Pick one goal because that one goal will determine how and why Where you spend your money? Now you will get side benefits with one goal no matter what, but you have to focus on that one goal. So there are steps to each goal. Most goals of any substance take two to three years to accomplish, sometimes more, sometimes less. So what is the one thing you absolutely must get done in the next three years as if your career depends on it, because it does in terms of how much each. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t dilute your effectiveness. Now, I’m a big Facebook advertiser. I spent a huge amount of money just last week, but I also am a huge magazine advertiser, online advertiser, I do a lot of advertising for a lot of my projects, because I’m a marketing guy. Of course, I advertise. But I don’t recommend you spend money in social media unless you have a giant war chest. A big war chest and Quite frankly, unless you know how to do it, you have, you’re competing to outbid companies for proper ad space. And honestly, I don’t think it works very well for art. I’ve seen some people do it, but I’m not really convinced. And it can work well for branding. But you got to make sure you’re branding to the right people. It’s very expensive for branding. And I think the key to most media is that you want to own it, dominate it, one media property, one magazine or one website and dominate it for three or more years. And once you’ve dominated, then you’ve got to keep your momentum and just kind of be committed to that. But once you’re getting fruit out of it, then you can start spending money at other places as well. But you if you divide it up, you’re going to slow down your effectiveness, you’re going to slow down. You know, it’s like I see people say, Well, I’ll buy a little in this issue and a little business magazine, a little in that magazine, and then you dilute it and you’re not being effective people the same exact People need to see you seven to 10 times over and over and over again before they’ll even make a decision to buy. So focus on dominating something. That’s one of the reasons our magazines are in business. We teach people to dominate, dominate. That’s what will happen. And of course, you will see a huge shift in your career if you do it that way. But what happens, happens so many times, people are like, I’m not seeing enough results fast enough. So they stop and they kill their momentum. And they’ve already got like five or six impressions. They just need a couple more impressions with certain people and those people start buying, but they back out too soon. It’s very frustrating anyway, don’t throw your money away. advertising is expensive. You got to do it right. And only big advertisers like Coca Cola or Mitsubishi or Mercedes or somebody can afford to dominate a lot of media. I can’t afford to you probably can’t afford To some people can but you dominate one thing first keep it alive for years it will pay volumes to you. volumes. Anyway, I hope it’s helpful. This has been the art marketing minute.
This has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com remember to check out the plein air convention at pleinairconvention. com.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:25
Remember to check out the plein air convention at pleinairconvention.com. We’re going to have a great time if you’ve not seen my blog where I talk about art life philosophy, stuff, and very important things. Check it out. It’s called Sunday coffee. You can find it at coffeewithEric.com. Well, this is always fun. We’ll do it again sometime like how about next week? I’ll see you then I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of plein air magazine. Remember, it’s a big world out there.Go paint it. We’ll see. Bye bye
This has been the plein air podcast with plenary magazine’s Eric Rhodes. 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 Eric at plein air magazine calm. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening