Art Collectors Wanted!

EtsyPromoI recently decided to collect art from other artists. Why collect someone else’s art when I can make it myself?

I once heard only 2% of the population buys art and of that 2%, a high percentage of them are artists! This may not make sense if the artist can create paintings themselves. Why buy someone else’s work? I admire many artists work, some work similarly to the way I work and some are totally different. Here are some of the reasons I buy art:

  • I admire the execution and technique of the artist. Same subject matter but different technique from my own work.
  • The artist is more accomplished than I am and not only do I admire it, I want to study the original to learn from it.
  • I like supporting the creative spirit and I usually feel an affinity with the artist as well as the piece I buy.
  • There is a unique approach, something out of the ordinary that the artist has done that speaks to me.

During this Holiday Season I encourage you to buy an original piece of art from an artist whose work you admire. I am offering a substantial discount until December 10, 2014 on many of my original works in my Etsy Shop. It doesn’t have to my art……. just don’t buy it at WallMart or Bed, Bath and Beyond! Buy it from a real live breathing artist for yourself, a friend or loved one.

What kind of art do you collect?

Happy Art Collecting and Happy Holidays!






Choose the “right venue” to exhibit your art

Io Moth Lifecycle. Painting by Mindy Lighthipe ©2012Eclosion- Art Exhibit to open in Austin Texas

For the month of November and into early December there is a wonderful exhibit going on at the Art.Science.Gallery in Austin, Texas. I am honored that my painting of the Io Moth Lifecycle was selected by the jury out of 290 submitted works of art by 125 artists. This exhibit is exactly the type of venue that I look for when choosing shows to enter. The call to entry was listed in the GNSI newsletter and when I saw it I knew I had to enter. They were looking for insect paintings especially ones that show their lifecycles. How perfect could that be? I submitted 3 pieces and got one in. One of the reasons I submitted 3 is that I knew that I had 3 paintings that fit the criteria, but I also knew that the competition could be high and if someone else had a similar insect I might decrease my chances by only submitting one piece. Entering shows can be a tricky business. One of the things an artist must remember is to NOT TAKE it PERSONALLY if you don’t get in to a show. It happens all the time and happens to very accomplished and successful artists. I always recommend that you go to the show and see what was chosen. Evaluate your work honestly. Here are some things to think about:

  • Does it fit into the show? Check out sizes, price ranges and number of paintings being exhibited.
  • Is your work up to the same standard as the others?
  • Are the other paintings similar in style to yours? Is your style in keeping with the others?
  • Is there a huge range of mediums and techniques? Maybe there is a variety of techniques in the show or the technique you work in is not represented.
  • Who are the jurors? What are their backgrounds? Artists, Scientists etc. Check this out before hand. Do a Google search and see what you can find out about each juror.
  • Make sure that you follow the application procedure. Check that your images are in the format specified on the application. Make sure they clearly represent your painting and are the highest quality. You can not make a second impression in this situation.
  • Join organizations that represent the kind of work that you do. I belong to art organizations but also have joined Native Plant Societies, Entomological Societies etc.  Other organizations often have calls for entry for specialized exhibits.

I hope that this helps you into the very scary world of exhibiting your art and how to handle applying and dealing with the possibility of getting rejected. I still get plenty of rejections and I am able to brush them off. I try to gather insight as to why my work didn’t get in. The insight has given me a tougher skin and I am making wiser choices and now have a higher success rate in getting into shows.

What is your experience in applying for shows? Do you have any other thoughts on the subject? I would love for you to share it here with me and my other readers.

If you are in the Austin, Texas Area click here for the specifics on the show.

Please share my painting with your friends on Pinterest! 14″ x 18″Archival Prints available from the artist $200 with free shipping! Contact Mindy at

Insect Photography with Nancy Richmond

Buglet by Nancy RichmondA Bug’s Life Photography Exhibit

I am thrilled that my super duper friend Nancy Richmond has gotten 4 of her insect photographs into the permanent collection in the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. The juried show is titled, ” A Bug’s Life” and opened in Los Angeles on August 17, 2013. She used a Canon EOS 50D and a 100mm macro lens to shoot her insect photos. Here are 2 of her photos. (Check out the link above to see the whole show.)

Nancy and I have been friends for over 25 years. We met at a Kayak Show in Princeton, NJ after we had both just returned from traveling in Costa Rica. It was an instant, life long friendship. We have been traveling together ever since; Nancy with her camera and me with 400 pounds of art supplies! (My supplies have gotten lighter over the years!)

Buggy by Nancy RichmondNancy’s career started as a photo journalist for the Asbury Park Press. In 2012 she got her MFA in Fine Art Photography from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has experience in shooting every kind of subject imaginable. She shares her unique vision of the world through her amazing photography. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her knowledge of photography is amazing.

In 2001 Nancy started working with me teaching photography on our Artistic Adventure Tours.  We have taught in the Galapagos Islands, France and Costa Rica. Both of us are passionate about nature and have found Costa Rica to be one of our favorite destinations.

Nancy Richmond

Nancy and friend in Costa Rica!

Would you like to learn how to take better photographs? Would you like to become confident in taking reference photos for your paintings? Not that I am biased…. but you gotta take some lessons from Nancy Richmond. She is awesome!

Join us in February in Costa Rica.

See more of Nancy’s Photography

Follow me on Pinterest!

Kanapaha T-shirt

Hi Everyone and Welcome to Spring!

I had many inquires about purchasing one of my t-shirts from the Kanapaha Garden Festival. I had to wait until the festival was over to see if there were any shirts left. We have a limited quantity in Women’s and Men’s sizes.

The women’s sizes run small, so if you normally wear a medium, go for the large. The cut of the women’s t-shirt  is more feminine, and softer to the touch. They are both made of 100% cotton and screen printed in Gainesville by Wild Cotton.

Click on the t-shirt below and it will take you to where you can purchase the t- shirt.

100% Cotton T-shirt All Sizes $12.00 + $2.95 shipping

Cedar Key, Florida

Nature’s Eden

“Blue Heron” Original Watercolor by Mindy Lighthipe ©2012
On exhibit at Cedar Key, Fl

I am pleased to write about a new organization I joined here in Florida. It is called Florida’s Eden. They are a group of artists, nature lovers and business people who all care about the delicate and amazing environment here in Florida. They are the voice for positive, solution-oriented approaches to Florida’s economy, environment and education. They have an amazing website and I highly recommend that you take a stroll through and see the amazing things they have listed on their website. Not from Florida? Their ideas can easily be adopted and translated to any area that you are from in the world. See how you might help preserve your local  environment, educate others, while boosting the local economy too. Local=WIN, WIN, WIN!

My painting of the “Blue Heron” (#40 of my 52/52 Painting Challenge) will be included in a Florida Eden’s Art Exhibit coming up in December. Here are the details.

If you are in the area I hope to see you at the artist’s reception!

“Visions for the Region”

December 1-30, 2012
Opening Reception:  December 1st, Saturday, 4pm – 6pm

Cedar Key Arts Center
457 Second Street
Cedar Key, FL
Upstairs, over the Cedar Keyhole Arts Coop
Open 7 days, 10 am – 5 pm

Hope to see you there!

Black & White at Salmagundi

Drawing Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club

"Mark", by Artist Lea Collie Wight, graphite ©2012  Salmagundi Club

There is a new juried exhibit at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Lower Gallery, September 17, 2012 – October 05, 2012

The Salmagundi Club was founded in 1871, and is one of the oldest art organizations in the USA. The club is located inside an historic brownstone mansion in Greenwich Village in New York City. It offers programs including art classes, exhibitions, painting demonstrations, and art auctions throughout the year for members and the general public. They have three galleries. In its 140 year history it has a membership of nearly 850 artists and patrons,  such as Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, Louis Comfort Tiffany, N.C. Wyeth and Childe Hassam. The Club provides a center for representational art in America.

I recently was accepted as a " juried member" into the Club. The first exhibition I submitted my work to, is the current "Drawings" exhibit.  It is currently on exhibit until October 5, 2012. I love to draw and I love graphite. I was allowed to submit 2 pieces for this juried event. I packed and FedEx-ed my 2 pieces hoping NOT to get a phone call. A phone call means that the work was not accepted into the show. I did not get a phone call and happily I received "Honorable Mention" for my drawing , "Weevil" in graphite dust on mylar. I have included both of my pieces in the show in this post so that you can see them. I highly recommend that if you are in the neighborhood to go see the show. I am really excited that I got in and that for my first show there I was recognized with an Honorable Mention!

"The Cotton Club" #32 Graphite Dust on Paper- MLighthipe ©2012

"Weevil" Graphite Dust on Mylar  MLighthipe ©2012

#33 of #Paint52, Honorable Mention in "Drawings" at the Salmagundi Club

Botanical Art- Your first Solo Exhibition


My first botanical art and natural science illustration solo exhibition was at Cyanamid Corporation in Princeton NJ in 1999. I was so excited at doing my first solo show that I jumped in head first.  The company had a huge hallway and I was given this great space to show my work. Cyanamid was a company that researched and manufactured insecticides so I was excited to show my insect and plant paintings. Here are 3 mistakes I made (and they were whoppers!) and 3 solutions I offer to you.

Mistake #1:  I jumped at the opportunity before I really knew what it entailed. After looking at the corridor  I figured I needed 50 paintings to fill it.  I had an inventory of about 40 paintings and I had to produce 10 more. I had 6 months to do the paintings, but I hadn't thought about all the other things I needed to do for the show.

Solutions #1: Look before you leap. Check out the space. If you have 10 paintings and the exhibition space is huge think about how you could make the art fill the wall. For instance; grouping paintings together in sets of 2 or 3 and then leaving big spaces in between can be visually attractive. It makes more space for people to look at your work. Groupings give viewers the idea that they would make a wonderful ensemble together and may increase sales with multiple purchases. Furniture can also break up the spaces as well as plants or possibly a small table with business cards, promotional materials, resumes and price list. If the establishment insist that you fill the entire space with your work, perhaps it is better to look for another venue. They are out there so don't bite off more than you can chew.  I did..indigestion and insomnia…not recommended

Mistake #2: I thought I needed to fill this enormous space so I chose 50 paintings which were all different sizes. Custom framing and matting is very expensive.  I gained recognition, sold a few pieces and the corporation purchased a painting for their corporate collection. Sounds good right? I went broke doing this show. If you figure I spent $50 per piece on framing ( I know I spent ALOT more) the cost was $2500. It was probably more like $3,000- $3500. My sales were under a $1000 and this was when the economy was good.

Solution #2: Pick a few standard sizes and paint to those sizes. Your first reaction may be that you don't like the constraints of painting to a specific size but when your framing bills start to escalate out of control, you will think twice. Standard frames can be purchased at art stores and online. One of my favorite frame sizes is 20" x 24". I make my paintings 14" x 18". The mat size is 3 inches all the way around. This standard size can be bought anywhere and you can get a wide variety of frames from metal to gold leaf.  You can even go into AC Moore, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Pottery Barn and find nice frames, use a coupon and get it on sale! There are other standard sizes to choose from. Go to these stores or shop online to see what other frame sizes are readily available if you want multiple sizes.

Mistake #3:
I spent all my time, money and energy in painting and framing that I didn't save anytime to get promotional materials together, send out invitations or press releases. This was at the time when the internet was just beginning to be used for marketing but I was not computer savvy enough at the time to know how to take advantage of it.

Solution #3: Start backwards and give your self a time line. Let's say that the show is April 1, 2012 and it is now September 1, 2011. This gives you 7 months to prepare. Start by making a list of all of the things you would like to do for the show; how many pieces, framing, invitations, press releases, blog posts, e-mail blasts, postcards printed etc….. Then with a calendar work backward. All the frames need to be purchased at least a month a head of time if you are going to do the framing yourself. If you are hiring a framer,find the framer and  what the shop leeway time is. Don't show up a week before the show in a panic and expect the framer to be available. If you have to put the framer in a time crunch it will cost you more in shipping fees and expediting fees. Find out deadlines for newspapers and internet sites.Mark them on the calendar and have the copy written a least one week before it is due. Make sure you have the correct person and an image to send along.

Are there any questions that you have about getting started in exhibiting? I would love to hear from you. Learning from my mistakes is always a valuable journey. I hope this helps and I see your solo show at a gallery soon!

Attention: Newbie Botanical Artists- Go LOCAL

Would you like to exhibit your art?

You have been painting for a while and you are beginning to think that you might like to exhibit your work. Where should you start and what are some of the things you should think about? Here are a few tips and suggestions to get you started. Start local -Join a local art organization. Many times they have members shows. They are sometimes juried, but sometimes they have members shows that all the members can participate in. It doesn't matter that the art organization is not a group of botanical artists. Look for a local watercolor group. Go to art exhibits to see what is being shown in your area. Are they showing abstracts while you are painting realism? Doing some research can help you decide where your work will best fit in. The more at you see the better you can prepare yourself for future events. Local shows provide the following advantages:

• You can hand deliver the work and pick up- no shipping fees

• You can attend the opening • Your friends and family can attend the opening and if they can't make it the day of the opening they can see the show at another time.

• You can invite acquaintances to the show who have shown interest in your work. • You will meet other artists who will support you and visa versa

• You are more likely to get local press because small time newspapers are always looking to showcase what is happening in area.

• Jury fees and membership fees are usually affordable as are the commissions.

There are many local venues that are not traditional gallery spaces but offer opportunities to exhibit your work. Here are a few ideas:

• Any office that has a waiting room needs art! Doctors Lawyers and Professional offices often have art on their walls. I find that the art is either awful or pretty good. Is there an office that you could spruce up? The office gets a face lift and you get exposure by having a discrete sign and promotional material nearby. You can rotate paintings as you sell work or having something new to show.

• Coffee shops, restaurants, and even beauty salons are great places for people to gather. After my first solo show I had so many pieces that didn't sell ( more about that later!) that I was storing them in my studio. It got so overcrowded that I needed to find storage. A friend of mine owned a beauty salon and asked me if she could have a few pieces to show. At first I didn't think it was a good idea, but I figured I needed to move them out of the studio and no one was seeing them except me. My friend loved my work and was a actually really good at talking about it, showing ti to people and ending upsetting a bunch of paintings right off the wall. I gave her a commission for each sale which gave her more incentive to keep selling.

• Your local library may be a fantastic place for you to display your work. Perhaps you have a small collection of smaller works that might go nicely in a display case or a series of paintings that could go into the children's section for story time.

In the beginning you should focus on exposing your art to people, not on selling you work. If you focus on how many pieces you sell, you will be disappointed and feel that all your hard work has gone unnoticed. If you sell a piece or even a few pieces, this is a bonus. What you are really after is making a name for yourself, getting exposure, creating a following and gaining experience. Do you have any experience with a local solo or group show? Are there any other venues that you have used and want to share? I would love to hear from you and I am sure the readers would also.