Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. Today Eric interviews Georgia Mansur, an American artist living and working in Australia for most of her life – you don’t want to miss this one!
Listen as Georgia Mansur shares the following:
• The best teacher for plein air painters
• Tips for painting outdoors with acrylics, and techniques in general for all media
• The best way to train yourself to “capture the essence” of a scene
• How she began designing labels for wine bottles
“[Plein air] is the only thing that I know of the challenge that ignites your head, your heart and your soul all together, meshed all at once,” Mansur says. “You’re activating all those senses. So, if you can boil down how you feel into the essence of what you see, and how it makes you feel, then that’s what you paint.”
Bonus! Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, shares advice on using social media for marketing versus paying for advertising, and tips on branding consistency in this week’s Art Marketing Minute.
Listen to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Georgia Mansur here:
– Georgia Mansur online: http://www.georgiamansur.com/
– Realism Live: https://realismlive.com/register-now
– Fall Color Week 2020: https://fallcolorweek.com/white-mountains
– 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.
This is episode number 187. Today we’re featuring Georgia Mansur, an American artist living and working in Australia for most of her life – you don’t want to miss this one.
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 1:06
Well, thank you announcer Jim Kipping. And welcome to the plein air podcast. Yep, that’s my name. I’m Eric and I’m coming to you from the wilderness in the North Country. The Adirondacks in upstate New York and the leaves are just kind of barely starting to turn a little bit you can sense that they’re like all about to want to change but there’s little spots of color here and there and some of the woods but not a lot yet, but I’m getting excited to paint it. I’m also excited to go to fall color week, which is going to be all about painting full color in New Hampshire, the White Mountains in New Hampshire where the Hudson River school painters painted their famous scenes and we have a pretty much full house. I think we had a couple of people. Well, we had a few people dropped out early on because of COVID. And so we’ve got some seats left, but it’s going to take place it’s going to be in person. And of course if it doesn’t take place for some reason, then there’s 100% money back guarantee on that. So I think we probably Got a maybe 10 maybe 12 seats left. I’m not sure about that yet. But anyway, you want to check it out. It’s called fall color week and it’s fall color week.com I’ve been doing some nocturne painting this week and that’s been a lot of fun. I did one in the rain. It was a little bit cold and a little bit runny. And I tried to be under shelter and it worked out pretty well but it was a little tough. I learned something about Nocturne painting though I had I borrowed a headlamp I couldn’t find mine and mine is pretty light. And I borrowed a headlamp from a guy I know and he’s got one of these rechargeable ones. And it was so super bright that every time it blasted the canvass, I blew my eyes out, you know, and then I couldn’t see the subject. So I stopped using it. It was it was just too much. But anyway, I normally have a better operation for that, but I couldn’t find my stuff for whatever reason I’m up here in the Adirondacks and you know, things get scattered. So anyway, I learned that and I’m trying to learn what I learned on my daily broadcast from Carl Brodski, I had Carl on the other day, and he was talking about how to paint the light and how to make the light look real. And I never had known that before and it just really made a huge difference. If you want to find that episode, I do it daily on YouTube and daily on Facebook. So just scroll through on my Eric Rhoads on Facebook and see if you can find the Carl Brodski one. I’m doing a broadcast every day at noon if you didn’t know that every day at noon Eastern 168 days in a row now I think and no days off. And so basically what I’m doing is interviewing artists. Sometimes I talk about art marketing other things, but we’re doing some demos, we’re doing a lot of stuff and we’re doing it every day. And so anyway, it’s a cool thing and you want to become a part of it and just go to streamline art video on Facebook or Eric Rhoads on Facebook or go to YouTube and search streamline art video and you can find it by the way I’d love for you to friend me but I can’t take any more friends because I’m at my limit but you can follow anyway and that way you can be getting it and you can Friend me at Eric Rhoads publisher, which is a different site, but it’s getting a lot of the same stuff. By the way, speaking of live coming up is our massive Realism Live online conference. And it’s the whole world of painters getting together. This is a conference that really is all the things we want to learn to paint, right? It’s got landscape, it’s got plein air, of course. And it’s also got still life and floral and figures and portraits and color and all the things that you want to you want to learn and it’s going to be great as five full days, actually four full days and a beginner’s day as a fifth day. And you want to take advantage of that beginner’s day is actually first and that way you get these subjects and kind of brought down to basics level, but here are some of the people and there’s more going to be added to Kathy Anderson, Juliet Aristides, Stephen Bauman, others to Stephen Bauman. So this is the figurative painter. Tony Curanaj, and Marc Dalessio, Rose Frantzen, and Dan Gerhartz, Dan Graves, Cornelia Hernes, Victoria Herrera, Joshua LaRock, Jeff Legg, Kathie Odom, Graydon Parrish, William Schneider, Daniel Sprick, John Stern, Connor Walton from Ireland, Peter Trippi. And of course me, your host. And so check it out. It’s going to be coming up in October as well. And if for about a 10th of what you would pay to go to a live convention you can you can attend this and there’s different levels and just check it out. It’s at realismlive.com. Coming up after the interview, I’m going to be answering your marketing questions in the marketing minute but first, let’s get right to Australia and our interview with Georgia Mansur, Georgia Mansur, welcome to the plein air podcast.
Georgia Mansur 5:35
Hey, Eric, thanks for having me.
Eric Rhoads 5:38
Well, we’re gonna have a slight delay because we’re going quite the distance. You’re in Australia. Where in Australia, are you?
Georgia Mansur 5:47
Right now I’m living in Palm Beach, Sydney, on the east coast of Australia. It’s at eight o’clock in the morning for me on Tuesday. And what time is it there for you?
Eric Rhoads 6:02
Well, it’s 6pm. But of course, people will be listening to this and all kinds of different times. So how did you get to Australia?
Georgia Mansur 6:12
It was actually, my husband’s family that immigrated here in 1984 is when I moved and yeah, we just we got married right after college and move straight over here to help them start a cotton farm in the outback, and 36 years later, I’m still here and loving it.
Eric Rhoads 6:32
Yeah, so it’s home now.
Georgia Mansur 6:36
Yeah, yeah, I’ve lived here longer than I had growing up. You know, I moved when I was 22. So, yeah, it’s definitely home here. My kids are all born here. You know, it’s home for sure.
Eric Rhoads 6:51
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s something I’ve not done yet. I’ve not visited I need to do that. We’ve talked about doing plein air events over there. We need to do that at some point. So, when did this whole painting thing begin for you?
Georgia Mansur 7:09
Um, I’ve always been kind of a creative person, I guess. I had my first exhibition in California when I was 16. still in high school, and at that point, I was just doing oil paint. But yeah, I think I changed over to a water media when I had young kids at home. And I needed you know, something a little bit safer. I was just painting on the kitchen table and I needed something I could pack up and put away really quickly right and not have little hands in there trying to help write whatever was easiest for me.
Eric Rhoads 7:51
Yeah, and, then tell me about your development as an artist.
Georgia Mansur 7:59
Gosh, No, it’s been an organic thing really. I think I took some electives in, in college. And I took it, you know, through high school, of course. But then over the last, I don’t know, 25 years or so, I’ve been doing the summer schools at the University here in Bathurst and got to study with some really great Australian artists over that that time in all different media and have explored every kind of genre and media that you can imagine. And it’s been just sort of evolving over the year. And then I don’t know I think, plein air painting is been the thing that has grabbed me the most because it’s just been so I don’t know, challenging, I guess is the word for it really excites all of your senses at the same time. So that’s been the passion For the last I don’t know how many years.
Eric Rhoads 9:02
And so when did that begin? And was there a particular moment that kind of made you go, aha, I need to take it outside.
Georgia Mansur 9:11
I think Joseph Zbukvic was one of my influences and teachers from 20 years ago or so. And, he, just did it all. And he basically said, you can learn as many techniques and and things as you want, but the real teacher is Mother Nature. And until you get out there and, are out in the field, you won’t know what I’m talking about. It’s just not the same as painting from photos or, from your imagination or whatever. It’s Mother Nature is the best teacher.
Eric Rhoads 9:49
Well, that’s so true. that’s a great line. Makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So what happened then, so you started studying under some people Like that, and then you’ve had quite a career. How did that all develop?
Georgia Mansur 10:06
I don’t know. It’s, crazy. I think it just sort of developed organically as I said, I think that the more that you do, the more opportunities that you have. And you get some recognition somehow, whether it’s, you know, writing for Australian artists magazine sometimes or teaching a workshop and it’s just word of mouth, other. Other people hear about you. I mean, I did some artists and residency at Hamilton Island here and the Great Barrier Reef, and I designed a program for the Emirates in the Blue Mountains and Cable Beach in a room where they have the camels on the beach and just different things like that, where you get contacts with lots of different people from all walks of life, and they recommend you and then people start bringing you to come and teach. And I guess it just kind of goes from there. But I really can’t say there was a straight path or a plan that I had for it. I just knew that I really enjoyed teaching and that’s how it’s kind of developed.
Eric Rhoads 11:20
Well, that’s kind of what happened with us is I think you attended the plein air convention. And then we we met, we saw your work and then we eventually invited you to teach.
Georgia Mansur 11:30
Okay. Yeah, I mean, Who would have guessed that? I mean, I was more surprised than anyone.
Eric Rhoads 11:38
We were both surprised. I mean, that’s, serendipity, though, is where the best things come from, I meet so many people at the convention, and see really great painters that I had never really discovered or editors hadn’t discovered. And so, we always send the editors out and of course, I’m there. So I’m the host and we will Always discover artists at the convention, it’s really been a treat. So it certainly was a treat discovering you and of course, you were you were already very prominent in the in the watercolor training circles. You are already an ambassador for some companies. Tell me about that.
Georgia Mansur 12:22
Okay, so I’m an art investor or international ambassador for Daniel Smith watercolors. And I have my own palette and then I’ve been trained and certified by golden artists colors and in acrylics and all of the gels base and grounds and different things that they have as well. And then I have my own line of brushes with Rosemary and Co our mutual lovely friends resume semi over in the UK. So those are the main main things that main brands that I represent and have the the privilege of demonstrating and love using.
Eric Rhoads 13:02
So when you’re outdoors, are you mostly doing watercolor? You’re doing acrylic are you doing both?
Georgia Mansur 13:09
Well, I started doing watercolor, but I saw that a lot of people were either doing oils or acrylics. So I’ve kind of, well I’m traveling about eight months of the year normally teaching somewhere in the world. And so traveling with oil paints is not my best option. I’d really prefer something that washes up with soap and water. So I’ll either use watercolor acrylic or the water soluble oils from Daniel Smith. And basically, if I use if I have a workshop and I’ve got watercolors and acrylic artists in the class, I can I can demonstrate, say in the morning and watercolor in the afternoon and acrylic Like, everybody is covered. And I do that often I’ll have a mix in my classes. So, you know, I like I like to be able to mix it up a bit and you cross pollinate and learn different things from different media. And, the people benefit from seeing both of the demos. And yeah, just I enjoyed them both. I can’t, I can’t choose. They’re both amazing. So that’s what I do.
Eric Rhoads 14:31
I know a lot about painting watercolor outdoors. But I don’t know much about painting acrylic outdoors. I know that you know, you hear that acrylic dries pretty fast, but there’s also golden makes the open acrylics. Tell me about painting outdoors with acrylics.
Georgia Mansur 14:49
So, the first time I painted in the south of France, I was using just regular heavy body acrylic and it was So hot and so dry that my brush actually stuck to my painting and I thought okay, this is just nuts. Because you know, and Australia has similar conditions we have really really hot and dry areas as well so I thought there’s got to be a better way. And that’s when I got on to the golden open acrylics and they they dry on on your painting, you know, within a couple hours or that day so that you can you know, carry them back to your vehicle or wherever you are. But if you put a wet sponge in your palate and feel it, you know, tightly they stay wet indefinitely. So, you know, you never waste paint and they stay wetter for longer. And so that works really well for me and whenever I’m teaching I’m always using the golden opens. They just are magic. I really can’t say enough about nothing else like them. I really enjoyed them.
Eric Rhoads 16:04
So perhaps, what a lot of people like to do is that there are people listening all over the world and there are people listening who have not necessarily tried all the mediums and so on. Maybe it would be a good idea to talk about some ideas, some tips, some techniques on on plein air painting. How about that?
Georgia Mansur 16:25
Okay, yeah, let’s do that because it is pretty exciting and challenging. I like face when I’m out in the field, I think, the most important thing that I can do is to respond to respond to what I’m seeing in front of me. And, rather than make a photographic representation of what I’m seeing, I like to kind of absorb what I’m seeing and then interpret it in and what I’m actually painting is more the way But that it makes me feel because that’s the whole beauty of being outdoors, you know, and nature is that it makes you feel it. It’s the only thing that I know of the challenge that ignites your head, your heart and your soul all together, you know, in meshed all at once. And you’re activating all those senses. So, if you can boil down how you feel into the essence of, of what you see, and how it makes you feel, then that’s what you paint. And, that is a lot easier said than done and very challenging with the light changing, the weather changing, maybe your subject drives away, we’ve all had that happen. So you have to be pretty quick in in just capturing that essence. So the first thing that I do is try to look for the big shapes and values and I do a quick little value study. In my sketchbook, just, boil it down to a few, three to five shapes of dark and light. And then I tried to link all those shapes together and simplify. And then I start looking about my color palette what mood is it creating and that’s how I create mood with color. So, yeah, that’s basically how I approach it. And, I just try to do it really quickly and just simplify and not add lots and lots of extraneous detail. If it doesn’t add to my subject I leave it out if it doesn’t add to the message that I’m trying to to create then I I don’t worry about it. I just try and get down the essence.
Eric Rhoads 18:54
And what’s the best way to train yourself to do that because that seems like you said it’s easier said than done.
Georgia Mansur 19:02
I think when I first started out, I was able to use, a few different tools. And I think that one of the tools that I really enjoy is using my phone as a value viewer, I can actually take a photo in on the scene and turn it to black and white or grayscale and immediately have a value plan for what I’m seeing there, the light, the mid tones and the dark. And that’s something that, in the olden days you had to do just by squinting with your eyes, and kind of looking through your lashes but now we have technology we can use our phone to immediately get a value plan and and it just makes it really easy to get down your shapes and values quickly and gives you a lot more time to think about your color palette. And you know, actually painting what’s before you.
Eric Rhoads 20:08
Are you using a particular app? Or is this just converting a photo to a black and white?
Georgia Mansur 20:15
In the beginning, there was a wonderful app made by Lori Putnam has been marked. So the value viewer, but I think it’s no longer available. So I just went to my photo program, or my, my photos on my phone and just changed it to black and white. And, it’s really simple to do it that way. And pretty much anybody with a smartphone can do that. So you know, it’s accessible to everyone really.
Eric Rhoads 20:49
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. So help help the beginner here. What is it takes courage to go outside and paint when you’re not used to doing that, help the beginner here and walk them through your full process.
Georgia Mansur 21:08
Okay, well first thing when when you get on site, is to look what look around, and use your fingers to create a little viewfinder and see what grabs you, what grabs your attention because, if it doesn’t grab you and you don’t know why you want to paint something, then there’s no point. It has to, move you in some way to be able to paint something well, I think you have to feel it. And, it doesn’t have to be an extraordinary subject. But it has to make you feel something in its beauty, whether it’s just the authenticity of something. That’s the truth of the beauty of what you see. I mean, we’ve all seen artists like Jennifer Christian and my tremendous and different people like that, that can just take any subject that’s, a construction site or something, a little alleyway or something that nobody would let twice that. And they turned it into this beautiful subject. So there are no beautiful subject. That’s what you bring to the subject that makes it beautiful and that you’re bringing yourself and your vision and how it makes you feel. So that’s the main thing is know why you want to paint something in the first place. That’s very important for me. Gotta get excited about it around if you’re not excited about it, nobody else was going to do either.
Eric Rhoads 22:51
I said it makes sense.
Georgia Mansur 22:54
Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s the beauty of being out there in this field is that, you got to get excited, and that it is exciting being out there so you can turn 360 degrees and find several subjects without ever moving your feet. But if you’re not excited about it, you know that there’s no point.
Eric Rhoads 23:16
Now you you will spend a lot of time doing plein air painting, you know, if you go out will you do several paintings? Will you do just one what’s your typical typical day painting like?
Georgia Mansur 23:32
It’s probably prudent to to find a good spot and you know paint a few different angles from the same area if you really want to get to know an area, really well. Get to know the light get to know the atmosphere. And if you’re in a good spot, and I know if you got to haul your gear, hike it up a mountain or somewhere. It’s, kind of my dish, well make the most of your time in that spot and, get a couple of different views before you have to break it down and pack it up and move somewhere else. So I kind of like to do that. I kind of like the paint in the same area and really explore that area if I can. And it feels like, you’ve really been there, we’ve really explored it and discovered it. Yeah, then the next thing that I that I like to do is to look for the shapes and values like I said before and just really break it down and simplify it and that’s how you do it. You break it into big shapes and values. And then another thing that I like to do with color and especially for a beginner; this is is really important because I think that with beginners they like to use every color that they have because color is intoxicating. It really is and, you just want to use them all, but that doesn’t necessarily make a great painting. You know, if it looks like visual vomit you don’t want that.
Eric Rhoads 25:13
That’s a term I’ve not heard before.
Georgia Mansur 25:16
Well, we’ve all seen it, come on. But I think, if you want to have color harmony in your painting, you pick a few colors, a limited palette, and you mix from those few colors to really get color harmony. And I think especially for a beginner, choose five, five or six colors that you know you want, want to use and mix from that pile and just make it work from that and you’ll automatically get color harmony because they’ll all be working well together. So, one of the things and I’m going to be teaching This one zooms in to for the season a black foundation in September is about color mixing, I created this thing on my easel, which is I’ve got a put a piece of glass in the bottom of my proshot box and put a piece of grey paper underneath the glass. And then I went to local paint store and I got five different swatches of paint from white to black. So it’s basically the grayscale of white to black and put them on underneath the glass. Okay on the gray piece of paper. And so when I’m mixing my paint, let’s say I looked out into the, the landscape and I see a value of three I go 1 2 3 on my on those little swatches of paint. And let’s say I have a tree that I want to mix the green, so get a little yellow, a little blue. And then on that 1 2 3, the third swatch of gray, because that particular midtone I’ll mix the teller right on top of that swatch. And when I can, if I squint my eyes, I can no longer see a difference between the swatch of that, that gray and the color that I’m actually mixing. I know that I’ve got the exact right tone or value of 1 2 3. It’s mid tone, and I know that I’ve got the right color. So I didn’t know it’s a little bit hard to describe over the phone.
Eric Rhoads 27:51
That makes sense, makes completely total sense.
Georgia Mansur 27:55
Yeah. And then and let’s say if I want if I want to Make it warmer or cooler then but I want to keep it that same value. I just bend it to warm or bend it to cool by adding either a blue undertone based paint or a yellow undertone based paint to make it cooler for a bluer, cooler or warmer with the yellow. So,
Eric Rhoads 28:26
So do you always put a little bit of undertone on your paper or your canvas?
Georgia Mansur 28:38
Let’s say if I’m doing an acrylic or an oil, I would use say Burnt Sienna or transparent red oxide is actually what I use. It’s similar to work as an as an undertone and under painting. And I do my my light my mid tone in dark with that and a white back My light while it’s still wet back to white, you can’t really do that with watercolor. So you have to preserve your white. But yet, it’s interesting to see them side by side, how it works for watercolor and for acrylic. It’s a little bit different process but the principle is the same principles the same you want your light your mid tone and dark within your first you know, path of of your painting. establish those three values straightaway and then you you work with color.
Eric Rhoads 29:37
So talk to me about the plein air movement in Australia. Is there one you know we have? We have a lot of events here in America. We have a lot of people going outdoors to paint here in America and I’m just curious about Australia.
Georgia Mansur 29:53
Well, Funny you should ask there is really no plein air movement, so to speak. However, they’re like organizing events and things like that. There was up until recently, up until this year, only one plein air prize given and that was through the Parliament of New South Wales. And they just scrapped that prize just because of funding I guess. But there are many people that go out and paint in plein air that are just painting out on location. Not nearly as many as in the US for sure. But that’s why I love coming to the US and meeting up with other you know, colleagues and then other plein air artists and friends and I’ve met so many friends over the years through the plein air conventions and, we’ve painted together all over the world, not just in the US but in Europe in other places UK and every France, Italy, you name it. So that’s been fantastic for me. But really there is our population is not huge to start with. There’s probably more people in Los Angeles space and then there are in the whole continent of Australia. Even though landmass is similar to the United States, we’re not as populated. So that’s one reason. But another reason is there’s just no real organization of planning or movement for events and activities, or competition. So yes, it’s not really a thing here yet. Maybe it will be one day.
Eric Rhoads 31:42
We need to get busy and make it happen. Hmm. What are you waiting for?
Georgia Mansur 31:50
I know, I know. Well, I need you to come over and give me a hand.
Eric Rhoads 31:54
I’d be happy to. Yeah, well, we’ll have to work on that. You get everybody to I’ll come over and we’ll do a little plein air thing over there.
Georgia Mansur 32:06
That would be awesome. I’ve had so many wonderful friends have said, if you plan something look um, but as you know, those things are pretty logistically… It takes more than one person on the planet. Let me tell you, I’ve tried, and I’ve had lots of people say, yeah, just give us the word and we’ll be there. Richard Schmidt and Nancy kurzick and Quang Ho, Scott Christiansen lots of people have said, Yeah, we’d love to come to Australia, but we just need I need a little bit of help. I think if I’m going to plan something, I can’t do it all on my own.
Eric Rhoads 32:47
Well, these things do take a lot of you know, a lot of people to do them. And, it’s a commitment and time now you traveled considerably. Under normal time, you travel to the states a lot. And that’s what so what a 14 hour flight or something? It’s pretty big.
Georgia Mansur 33:06
Yeah, yeah, that’s to the states, is easier than to Europe for me because Australia is a long way from pretty much everywhere. So I, it takes me about three days in total from door to door when I’m going to Europe because you you have to stop somewhere in Asia or, you know, United Arab Emirates or somewhere along the way, because it’s just too long, too long flight. You have to take two really, really big flights. And so yeah, and we have to allow for jetlag and all the rest of it. So yeah, when I do teach overseas in Europe or the UK, I tried to do several back to back workshop. I allow a few days for travel and read Recovery and regrouping. But, it’s big flight. So, you want to make the most of your time there. So, I’m probably there for six or eight weeks at a time. When I’m doing that, and I try to get in three or four workshops in different countries. Things are closer there. Once you get there. You can be in France and one day, literally the next day Croatia, Greece next day. So, you know, that’s not a problem. Once you’re there, it’s just getting the big flights to big international flights. And you just stop in Hong Kong or Japan or Singapore, wherever, you know, Malaysia doesn’t matter. But you’ve got to get there.
Eric Rhoads 34:47
Oh, yeah, that’s a tall order. And in under normal circumstances, how many times a year you’re doing that, that seems like it’s a long time away from home.
Georgia Mansur 35:01
If I added up all of my my teaching both overseas in Australia and New Zealand, then it would add up to about eight months of the year. But I don’t do it all with one hit. Yeah, no, I don’t do it all in one hit, I go somewhere. I teach there for a while and I come back home and regroup. Spend time with my family. And then you know, I go again. So, you know, I tried to be gone like this is the first time I’ve been at home all winter. Because today is actually our first day of spring here September 1. And the first winter that I spent at home and probably I don’t know how many years not traveling. But yeah, I like to be in the warmer weather if I can be and avoid winter whenever possible. So I go to the, the opposite hemisphere to spend that time over there.
Eric Rhoads 36:06
What’s your winter, like, where you live?
Georgia Mansur 36:10
Well, where I live, it’s it’s pretty mild. Where two of my kids live out in Bathurst, which is out in the country. And I was there on the weekend and there was snow on the ground. But that’s not normal. I mean, it gets pretty cold out there, but not big, like you had in the US. There is a little snowy mountain area in a couple of different places here in Australia, but we don’t have the big big mountains like you do in the US or in Europe. It’s just not the same. And, it’s mostly warmer here. Growing up in California, I would say that my climate is very much similar to there, but there’s just more days of summer and less days of winter, we would have three or four months of winter here where, it’s the opposite for you there.
Eric Rhoads 37:16
Under normal circumstances – obviously, these are strange times – but are you still doing a number of plein air events? Or have you kind of gotten off that circuit?
Georgia Mansur 37:29
Well, for for this year, I had all of my workshops, but overseas, and in Australia and New Zealand all has been cancelled because of you know, the pandemic. So I’m working on planning events for 2021 and 2022. But I’m sort of trying to play it by ear because we just don’t know what’s going to happen.
Eric Rhoads 37:56
Well, now Yeah, we all have time to pick up
Georgia Mansur 38:01
Yeah, and so the events that I am planning are for the second half of next year just to be on the safe side and even then I don’t know if I am being on the safe side my guess that remains to be seen. But yes, who knows you know, things go back to normal I I’ll be the first one on the plane to travel. Let me tell you I’m restless. I’m really used to flying a lot. And I love it. And, I miss all my friends and students around the world and I can’t wait I can’t wait to get back to whatever is normal or the new normal. This travel.
Eric Rhoads 38:41
So I think I remember you telling me that you designed some wine labels. Is that does that sound familiar?
Georgia Mansur 38:49
Yeah. So for the previous 25 years, I only just moved in October to the beach here where I am now in Sydney. But before that I lived in wine growing region called McGee. And it’s Maji is the name the average domain for nest in the hills. And that’s exactly what it was a beautiful little wine growing area. And so I started designing wine labels as favors for some of my neighbors. And of course, you know, they pay me in wine. So who could argue with that? And I’ve done quite a few over the years. And yeah, actually, on my way up to my grandson’s birthday party last weekend, I called him to one of the wineries and picked up you know, a few cases of wine with my newest label on it, it’s called Big Red gold. So, yeah, that’s a that’s one of the perks of being an artist. I think you can do contract trades. For wine, if you like wine. Or, you know, whatever you design.
Eric Rhoads 40:03
You do, you’re doing paintings, landscape paintings on these wine labels.
Georgia Mansur 40:08
Yes. Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. And, you just work with the winemaker. And they tell you what, what their vision is. And so you try to figure that out and then you create a few options of painting for them and hopefully they like one of them and away you go.
Eric Rhoads 40:32
Oh, it makes makes total sense it the only thing you have to be careful is that you don’t do too many wine labels because you’ll be drinking all the time.
Georgia Mansur 40:42
Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. I do like my wine. You know, with with our vineyard. I thought one day maybe we would have a winery didn’t eventuate that we did our own winery. But a did a Graduate Diploma in wine business. So I do love wine and everything about it. So I am a bit of a, I guess, a wine enthusiast, if you will.
Eric Rhoads 41:10
Well, there’s a big difference between a wine enthusiast and a wine snob. So I’m glad you’re a wine enthusiast. So what was the first plein air event that you participated in? Do you remember?
Georgia Mansur 41:22
I do it was San Clemente in California. And there I met some really great other plein air artists. And we’re still friends today and whenever we meet up we like to paint together and that was a lot of fun. They gave me so many tips. And, and things that I didn’t know that you were supposed to know about. Like when you go to a plein air event. No, you have to have your frames and everything all ready to go so that when you know we knew at the end The events, we frame it up and they’re ready for sale within hours of painting them. And I didn’t know that. So yeah, they helped me out a lot. That was Carol gray Wyman and our pal finale, Sergio Lopez. Those are the friends that I painted together with that week. That was really fun. We’re still friends today and I visited with them. The last time I was back in California, up in Petaluma. So Peggy Cole Roberts was doing workshop up there so it’s great to catch up with all of them.
Eric Rhoads 42:38
Well, this has been fun. I really appreciate you taking the time today. Any final thoughts for everybody before we wrap up?
Georgia Mansur 42:48
I just want to say thank you for having me on. And I’m really looking forward to next year’s plein air convention in Colorado, as it’s still happening in Colorado.
Eric Rhoads 43:00
It’s supposed to we’ll just have to have our fingers crossed and hope it does, right?
Georgia Mansur 43:06
Yeah, that’s right. That would be awesome. catching up with everyone. And I want to encourage everyone even if you’ve never painted outdoors, plein air before, to come to the convention, because you will learn so much it will make your head explode, how much there is to learn. And by the end of that week, you know, even if you don’t feel confident, that you’ve ever painted outdoors before you will gain so much and benefit so much from seeing all the demonstrations and being out in the field with all these artists. It’s just amazing. So I encourage you to come along because, it’s just awesome. I mean, one of my students who had never painted plein air before is now one of your on faculty at plein air convention and that’s Barbara.. Look at her, you know, she had no confidence to paint plein air when she first started. And look at her now there’s just no stopping her. I just makes me so proud.
Eric Rhoads 44:11
Well, that’s one of the best things about this entire community is that there is, first off, everybody’s really friendly. Everybody’s really helpful with one another and supportive. And we’ve made such great friends and of course we’re is That’s exactly right. We’re watching people like Barbara and others, who are rising and becoming very well known and becoming teachers themselves.
Georgia Mansur 44:35
Exactly. And it’s just plain fun. That’s, the key to it all. The more fun you have, the more you learn.
Eric Rhoads 44:46
Yeah, well, that’s a slogan, I guess, just plain fun or just plein fun.
Georgia Mansur 44:51
Eric Rhoads 44:53
Well, Georgia. Thank you so much for being on the plein air podcast. I really appreciate you doing this today.
Georgia Mansur 44:59
Oh, thank you. It’s been my pleasure and hope you have a good week as well.
Eric Rhoads 45:04
Thanks again to Georgia Mansour. I really love talking to her. She’s really great lady. You guys 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 45:22
In the marketing minute, I answer your art marketing questions and the way to submit them is just email me [email protected] there is no stupid question. That’s how we learn right? Okay, here’s a question here. This is a stupid ques- No, I’m just kidding. This is a question from Amy in Chicago. Amy is going to hate me she’s never going to write in again. Anyway, she says isn’t social media marketing enough? Why would I ever pay for advertising? Well, I’m not suggesting you should pay for advertising. You have to figure out all of us have to figure out what our strategy is and what our tactics are and what you’re trying to accomplish what you’re, do you want to sell art Do you want to brand yourself to want to get invited to events, what is the purpose of your marketing? And then that will determine what you need to do. We have these misperceptions about social media there are a lot of people think, well, all I got to do is put my stuff on social media and my stuff will sell. It’s kind of like saying, does anybody remember phone books? It’s kind of like saying, well, I just put my name in the phone book, and people will call me Well, the phone books filled with lots of people. It’s like having a website. Oh, I just got to put up a website and everybody will discover me. No, that’s not true. I mean, some might buy an accidental search. But the reality is that they’re going to discover websites when you promote them. And, and so the same is true with other things. Now, if you’re promoting on social media, and you’re doing it properly, and it works for you, and you’re making money and you’re getting your goals accomplished, then that’s all you need, quite frankly, why would you pay for advertising? Why would anybody Why do 10s of thousands of businesses advertise? It’s because they get a return on their investment. They’re trying to reach people. They don’t have, we have this belief that everybody on social media is getting our posts and the reality is on Facebook, only two to 3% ever see any post that you do that means if you had 5000 followers, which is their Max, only two to 3% will ever see that post. And sometimes it’s the same people all the time because there’s these algorithms that they use. And so as a result, you want to be aware that you’re not necessarily reaching people. Now, there’s a lot of strategies. I teach in art marketing Bootcamp, at the conventions about how to penetrate that how to make that work for you. But the reality is, you also need to make sure you got the right people following you and you’ve got to have the right messaging. So if you’re going after collectors, for instance, or people who are buying art, you got to get go after people who you know are going to be the kind of people that you want, and so you got to fill up your followers with that. You can’t be talking to artists, other artists and talking about Artists stuff that other artists are interested in you got to be talking to things that other collectors are interested in. So you got to change your tactics and most of us have our Facebook pages or Instagram pages filled with our friends and as a result we’re not necessarily getting the right kind of followers and that’s why it typically doesn’t work for people it might work for you and that’s great if it does but advertising is about reaching people you’re not reaching and the ability to target to reach people that you that are in a particular category you know, like if I if you want to target people who are known art buyers or known art collectors, then you go to places where you know they are you know, like my magazines plein air magazine, fine art connoisseur, etc. So I pay for advertising I spent a lot of money on advertising I prob I can’t even say how much it’s a lot but I it works for me and I get a return and so the more I spend the more return I typically get. And it takes time it builds up over time but then it just keeps return. As long as I feed it, so that’s why I do it.
Eric Rhoads 49:02
All right. Next question comes from John in San Francisco, who asks, How important is it to have consistency in the way that you market your brand? Do you have any tips for being consistent and branding? John, good question. Thank you. Well, think about your favorite brands think about any brand. What are the biggest? It used to be? I don’t know if it still is, but the biggest most well known brand in the world was McDonald’s. What if they started using green arches? Or what if Apple started using yellow on their logo instead of black or silver, whatever they use? These are little things that matter. People are creatures of habit, they want to be comfortable, they get to know you. It’s like a friend that you know, you recognize, right? I remember some actress can’t remember who it was had plastic surgery. And it’s like, I didn’t recognize her anymore. And so it was very uncomfortable for me and I’ve never gotten used to it. So I think the idea is that you create a look a consistent look and you want to stick with it. You want to be careful Though a lot of artists are using their signatures as their logo, and that’s okay, but you don’t want us to use signatures alone because the ad needs to have or the logo needs to have the name under it. Because people can’t usually read signatures unless it’s very, very easily readable and even that I would not assume they can read it, you know. So it just doesn’t hurt to make sure you do that. But you want to look for things like consistency, color, theme, consistency, same look, same type everything on your business cards, website, you know, everything you do your brochures, everything you want, that comfort of consistency. Also, you just want to make sure that you’re reinforcing your brand constantly. You’ve got to, we all think that everybody knows who we are, you run one ad and you think everybody knows who you are. That’s not true. You have to build it up over time. It takes time and time and time again, I always talk about repetition is the key to everything. You’ve got to have repetition to the same audiences. People don’t even read respond to things until they’ve seen you seven times in a short amount of period of time. So you got to figure out how do I solve that problem? It’s about repetition. All right. Anyway, that’s, that’s my tips on art marketing today.
This has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, you can learn more at artmarketing.com
Eric Rhoads 51:19
A reminder to register now for fall color week, there’s a few seats left and we’re going to do it live and we’re going to do it safely. So it’s at fallcolorweek.com it’s in New Hampshire just drive on up or fly across the country or maybe you don’t want to fly. Anyway, come we’d love to have you It’s gonna be fun. It’s finally we get to get out maybe. And if not, we have a guarantee on there so that you get your money back. If you can also sign up for realism live this giant online art conference. I think we’re gonna hit a world record number of people painting together live online because we are going to have segments where we paint together. And we’re going to have segments where we are interacting with one another. You’re making friends, you’re making friends with the world and of course, you’re seeing these incredible instructors check it out at realismlive.com. Also, if you have not seen my blog, where I talk about life, art and other things, check it out. It’s called Sunday coffee. And you can find it at coffeewitheric.com. This is always fun. We’ll do it again sometime like next week. I’ll see you then I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air magazine. And you can find us at outdoorpainter.com on our website for plenty of people. Remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it. We’ll see you. Bye bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air 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 pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.