Spreadsheets and The Artist’s Life

The process of making art occupies considerable space in the stewardship of my time and energy. Not surprised, right? Isn’t that what artists do? Indeed it is. But if you imagine a day in the studio is always about me getting all starry-eyed while making the next idea tangible, I gotta pop that bubble. Yes, I do get into the zone, that right-brained flow when my sense of time stalls and nothing else matters and it’s all about the pleasure of creating. I do love that! But today I want to share with you another side of my art practice, the left-brained part that’s totally disassociated with making paintings or objects. Here’s where I trade the beret for a pocket protector.

I make spreadsheets. Spreadsheets? Really? Yes. Here’s why.

Every work of art that is going to see the light of day, that I deem good enough to make public, must be documented. Each work has an inventory number, title, and several descriptors. Knowing which pieces are off-site, like at galleries and exhibits is crucial info as well. Oh, and some pieces may have been accepted into upcoming shows. If the show is weeks or months out, those works need to be reserved. Some works are on layaway. Can’t sell those out from under the patron who has committed to making payments. It gets complicated, but my spreadsheet helps.

Spreadsheets are also indispensable for establishing prices. I use a formula of size (square inches or volume) multiplied by rate plus cost of materials plus gallery commission, if applicable. Now, to make that more interesting (or not—are you still with me?), the formula for works on canvas differs from the formula for works on paper, which differs from the one for three-dimensional art. That calls for another spreadsheet. Are we making any art yet?

Our digital world presents the expectation that just about everyone, artists included, accept credit cards. Having a service and the necessary devices to make transactions digitally requires another non-art activity: entering inventory numbers, titles, images and prices into the online database. I’ve found the art buyer’s experience is enhanced at checkout if my items are all listed, and with a swipe or the reading of a chip, it’s done. The service delivers a professional, descriptive email receipt directly to my patron.

Sharing my art gives joy to me and to the art buyer as well. Reaching the state of that particular joy requires another non-art activity–marketing. That includes gathering email addresses from interested folks, sharing images on social media, developing newsletters, and producing invitations for email, print and social media. Toss in writing blog content for good measure.

You can guess that all of this requires a time commitment. Yes, it does. But this might come as a surprise to you. I actually don’t mind the non-art tasks. I realize they are integral to making my art practice run as smoothly as possible. Having a system in place clears my head of minutiae, allowing me to plunge into an art-making session with gusto! Which is what I’m going to do next. Excuse me while I get into the zone. Have you seen my beret?

Inspiration for Making Art

Barking Up the Right Trees

Texture. Pattern. Color. Surprise. These elements attract and inspire me as I discover any and all of them in my everyday surroundings. Nature, however, serves up the richest assortment of them, often motivating the next idea to be realized in the studio. Vacations and day trips offer opportunities galore. I decided to share some of them with you today, a bit of a departure from my About the Painting series of posts.

I recently looked back through my thoroughly unorganized collection of images, noticing how often I photographed the bark and exposed roots of trees. I often find myself drawn into the mysterious beauty in the details.

I shot all these images with an iPhone 6, then used Photoshop to posterize them. Posterizing pumps up the contrast and draws out the color.

This twisted intertwining of roots and bark below presented itself on a walk through Fort Worth’s Botanic Gardens.


The posterization of this image of tree bark really drew out the blues and golds against the gray.

Tree trunk

How can you not love the bark of the pine tree! I believe this is a Ponderosa pine, a stalwart thing that rises above the pine needles in my son and daughter-in-law’s Evergreen, Colorado, home.


My recent road trip with my Portland-residing son took us through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City, California. Of course, seeing the old growth Coast Redwoods in all their gigantic glory was awesome, but closeups of the bark made for some equally compelling photos. A little Photoshop magic brought out the mossy greens, while the magenta accents were a sweet surprise.


You can see in my paintings how nature’s textures take a prominent place in my work. Browse through Large Paintings, Mid-Size Paintings, and Small Paintings, and see if you can spot those inspired by trees.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks and first postings of new work.

All art is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2017 Laura Hunt





New Art

Blue Ribbons and red dots

Gallery Night back in September was exciting for me. I participated in two art events, Art in the Garden and Preservation is the Art of the City. Imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into Art in the Garden’s exhibit space for the reception, and spotted a big ole blue ribbon on Aspen Energy! Recognition is, well, fun.


Historic Fort Worth’s Preservation is the Art of the City show was exciting as well. Six of the ten pieces I exhibited enjoyed red dots. The Grove, Birdhouse Love, Dewdrops on Canyon Wall, Blue Mystery, and Into the Woods are now gracing the walls of new homes. Enjoy the work. I’ll be back soon.



Good Times on the Front Porch

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The very first Front Porch Art & Music event is behind us, but the delicious memory of the day lingers on! Once the overcast burned away and the sun came out about 11:00, the people came out as well. I was happy to have Suzie Salazar join us with her very artistic metalwork and glass jewelry. Carol led some bursts of joy with her circle dances and drumming, while Suzie and I chatted with visitors. Joe was our technology guy and Kathy was our one-woman support team, signing people in and keeping beverages replenished. Connections were made, special orders were requested, and sales happened. Yes, a good time was had by all.

If you want to be on the email list announcing new work and upcoming events, let me know in an email. You can also be among the first to see new work by liking SeptemberArt’s Facebook page.


Art & Music November 16

Front Porch Art & Music

Front Porch Art & Music

Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 am to 2 pm
The front porch at 1401 6th Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
Coffee & apple cider served until we run out.

Art by Laura Hunt, exhibiting images to inspire you, engage you, and touch your heart

Joy-filled music-making with adults and children—and you, led by Carol Spencer, musician and educator, specializing in keyboard classes for adults.


Laura Hunt

About Laura
Laura has enjoyed a long career as a branding and marketing executive. In that role, she focuses on telling the stories of her clients through words and images. SeptemberArt is an outlet for her own story, thoughts and ideas. You’ll see how she has done that when you visit on the front porch. She’s eager to share her artistic vision with you.

Laura creates her mixed media images by combining water-color and stamping (a print-making technique), often adding a collage element as well.

She recently opened an Etsy shop where images are available for purchase. At Front Porch Music & Art, she will show a number of works that are not yet available on Etsy.

She invites you to consider her work as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and other significant events, as well as for yourself as an enhancement to your home or office.

Learn more at:
Etsy: SeptemberArtStudio
Facebook: SeptemberArt Fort Worth


Carol Spencer

About Carol
Carol has some joyful musical activities planned for the adults, children and teens who visit with us on the porch. Come and see how she teaches, experience the joy of making music with others, and add your energy to the mix.

Adult Drumming: 10:30 & 11:30 a.m., 12:30 & 1:30 p.m.
Circle Dances for All: 11:00 a.m., noon, 1:00 p.m.

Carol currently teaches adult keyboard classes at Arts Fifth Avenue. “Adults Enjoying the Piano Together” is a small-group, adult keyboard program for piano wannabes, newbies, and re-learners. Using a curriculum designed specifically for adults interested in joyful, stress-free music-making, Carol fills each adult keyboard class with enjoyable movement, focused keyboard learning, simple drumming, and easy-to-understand music reading activities. We focus on music and joy!

Carol will have gift certificates available for purchase for your favorite adult piano wannabe, newbie, or re-learner.

Learn more at:
Website: www.AdultMusik.com
Previews: AdultMusik.Eventbrite.com