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lark stratton
**How can I contact you?

Email lark@larkstrattonart.com or select the little envelope icon at the top of any page on my website.

**Why are your paintings so affordable?

I feel strongly that original art should be available to everyone, not just wealthy folks, so I do my best to keep my prices affordable for anyone. This is why I also offer specials and sales to those in my VIP email community.

**How can I join your email list?

Just select the “newsletter” link at the top of any page of my website! If you follow me on Instagram, you can also find a link in my bio. I send one or two emails each month sharing my most recent/favorite paintings often before anyone else has seen them. My goal is to beautify your email box!

**Do you sell prints of your work?

Not currently.

**Do you take commissions?

Not usually; sorry! But you can always ask.

**Do you frame your small paintings?

I sell them mostly unframed. For 8x8 and larger I often offer the painting framed since I feel that the frame really enhances and is part of the complete painting.  

**What kind of frames do you use?

I order wooden frames, customized to my specifications, from a company in Tennessee. For panels smaller than 8x8, I often like to use floating frames. If you’re interested in finding your own frames, I can recommend a few online framers that are very good (from least to most expensive):

www.webpictureframes.com - Web Picture Frames (floating frames for panels)

www.frankenframes.com - Franken Frames

www.kingofframe.com - King of Frame 

www.metroframe.com - Metro Frame

**What medium do you use?

I use acrylic paint. I love that it dries quickly, usually in less than 30 minutes, so I can easily layer paint and make changes. Also, it has none of the toxic fumes that often come from oil paints and the products needed to clean them, like turpentine. I do my best to avoid toxic chemicals in paint and use cadmium-free paints. One of my cats took a stroll through my palette one day and then ran across the carpet and up the carpeted stairs. Since the paint was acrylic, clean-up was quick and easy!

**What is your palette?

Paint colors that I use most are: cadmium-free yellows and reds, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta, sap green, dioxazine purple, yellow ochre, ivory black, and titanium white.

**What brushes do you use?

My favorite brushes are Trekell Opal Flats. I also like Princeton Aspen Flats. They are synthetic and have a nice crisp edge. I mostly use sizes 4, 6, 8, and 10. 

**What panels do you use?

I currently use 1/8" Centurion LX linen panels, but I used 1/8" cotton canvas panels for a long time and like them too. I switched because I paint rather thin, and I felt that the texture of the cotton panels was competing with the texture of my brush strokes. I rarely paint on canvases; I like the rigid surface a panel offers.

**Do you varnish your paintings?

Yes, I use a semi-gloss, polycrylic protective finish, which I apply when the paint is dry. I am also able to paint over this if I want to make changes at any time.

**How do you ship your paintings?

I use clear, protective bags; I ship framed paintings Priority and all others either First Class in a cardboard envelope or in a Priority Padded Envelope. The packages are insured, and domestic orders generally take 2–3 days to reach the buyer. 

**How long does it generally take you to finish one of these small paintings?

It has taken me painting every day for 3+ years to get to the point where I can paint one small painting in 2 to 4 hours and be satisfied with it. Anything bigger than 8x8 takes longer.

**How do you photograph your paintings?

I mostly use the northern light that comes into my studio. If I have already coated the painting with a semi-gloss varnish, it is somewhat reflective, so I have to use a photo tent to cut back on reflective light. I take the photo with my iPhone; I can then crop it, change the image size, and use Image>Levels to adjust the values. Finally, I save it as a JPG file. My monitor has been calibrated to match the true colors of my paintings, so photos are fairly accurate though all monitors may not be.

**How long does it take each day to post a painting? Compose your emails?

Posting takes me 30+ minutes, from photographing, listing in my gallery, and sharing to Instagram. I tend to agonize over what to write about my paintings, so sometimes it takes even longer. My emails usually take me a few hours to put together. I want them to be informative and beautiful.

**Where/how did you learn to paint?

I began painting in 2019, a painting a day. This was, for me, the best way to learn and improve. I spend most of every day in my studio working on paintings. I have also taken classes, both from a local painter and online.

**Where do you find the things you paint for still life?

I find flowers in my garden and other subjects around my house. I also like to paint from my own photos and find copyright-free reference images online.

**More questions? Please contact me:  lark@larkstrattonart.com
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