Using Pinterest as an Artist’s Tool, And a Few Recent Pieces of Abstract Art

Here’s an article I wrote about Pinterest for a variety of uses relating to art (Click here). Whether promoting, buying, selling, inspiration, reference or developing your own work.

SLIDESHOW:  Here are a few pieces of artwork I’ve created recently.

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Here are a couple other places to follow me online.


Abstract Art Reference Photos

My online art store.


I also run Refined Crude

And my Food photography website.

My new Flickr account.

On Twitter: @rawveggies (Not much art talk here.)

You are welcome to repost any artwork by Terry Aley, as long as you source the artist name and provide a link to and/or

-Terry Aley

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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE


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Completed Large Mixed Media Abstract on Canvas by Terry Aley

Size: 5 feet wide x 7 feet tall (on canvas, unstretched)

What starts as a simple abstract develops more complexity as I continue adding layers of color, definition and depth. A couple years ago I became fascinated by the combination of urban decay and the street art you might see in an abandoned inner city building. Layer after layer of artists stopping by to leave their own creative mark, as the elements contribute character by continuing to weather their artwork down over time.

Everything visually pushes you back towards the center. But it’s meant to be viewed as an overall punch of organized chaos. You’ll notice the use of E@MC2 to imply energy in the modern quantum reality we’ve entered.

Abstract art works so well with contemporary interiors because without the color and often discord of this style to break it up, you often end up with a sterile uninspired atmosphere.


This is approximately how the piece would look after it’s stretched over a wooden frame. Depending on the size of the frame and how it’s stretched.


Inside the studio


Close up detail.


Closeup detail


The full piece cropped in to show approximately how it would look after stretched over a frame.

This piece is designed to be rolled up and shipped. There is plenty of extra room on all 4 sides to pull around and stretch over a wooden frame. Check with your local frame store and often they can easily construct a wood frame and stretch this for you. This will be a few inches shorter on the width and height once it’s stretched, depending on how it’s stretched and the type of frame used.

A couple other places to follow me.


Abstract Art Reference Photos

Abstract Photos I also post on this website you’re reading.


(Just opened this).

I also run Art Listed.

And my Food photography website.

My new Flickr account.

My art store.

On Twitter: @rawveggies (Not much art talk here.)

You are welcome to repost any artwork by Terry Aley, as long as you source the artist name and provide a link to and/or

-Terry Aley


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Art Reproduction Going Way Beyond Canvas

Maybe two weeks ago I was driving through Lake Havasu City’s main street late at night. Out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw what looked like an art gallery that wasn’t here before. Now, if you’re an artist living in a small town in the middle of nowhere (well, 40,000 seems small to me after living in L.A.), seeing what appears to be a big city type gallery is quite a shock. Havasu is a kind of resort community, so it’s a mix of locals, retirees, and a lot of people on vacation from California and Canada (I asked a friend from Canada why there are so many Canadians here, and she simply replied “Because it’s warm there.”)

So today I was running by the health food store which is right across the street from this gallery, and decided to drop by. This business is still in the process of officially opening. But they gave me a tour and discussed the interesting way they make art reproductions. I’ve posted their business card below (their website isn’t up and running yet). You can follow them on Facebook to learn more about them.

Anyhow, out of fear I’ll explain this wrong, let me try to summarize what they do. They reproduce artwork using a “printer” they had custom built. They can emboss the surface with patterns or by following the structure of the image to give it a 3-D raised/embossed look. They can “print” artwork on anything from doors, to lightweight aluminum, to even wall fountains. Previously, I’ve only seen art reproductions in art giclée format (i.e., reproducing artwork directly on canvas with an ink jet printer). The size of these reproductions can be huge, as you can see in some of the photos below. If you want to reproduce artwork on non-traditional surfaces, this is the only place I know it can be done anywhere.

One of the reasons I love this technique is that you can have a reproduction on a strong, lightweight surface (if you choose). I have an abstract painting in my garage behind glass that’s so heavy I’ve never even bothered to hang it. I’m so afraid it will just fall off the wall and break under pressure. You shouldn’t have to hire a professional to bolt a piece of artwork to your wall studs!



Large scale piece.


This was one of my favorites. This image was “printed” on to a simple board. This piece would look great in a loft apartment. I couldn’t believe I was seeing this kind of interesting work locally!


Art “printed” on a door. There was a totally different image printed on the reverse side.


4 panels combine for one bigger piece.

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Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Large Art Giclees by Terry Aley

I’ve been working on a collection of giclée canvas art reproductions to sell in my online store. Finding the right company to produce these has taken me several weeks of research. I was struggling between using a company who really inexpensive/cheap, but with horrible customer service. Another company with “ok” customer service, a good product and good prices. And another company with a great product, great customer service and higher pricing. I finally decided on the higher priced company, even though that would make my giclées more expensive than many other artists. I figured, I’d rather have someone who isn’t too concerned about the price, who wants something unique and also wants good quality. There’s is a lot of great art out there, original and giclée, in every price range. You can pick through the home decor section of Target/Ross/Marshalls and find something affordable that looks great in any home. That’s a different market than what I’m targeting.

My goal is to eventually have several hundred or more giclée designs available. Since I create a wide range of styles, there would be something available for any taste. Most of the pieces are designed at larger scale, so 30″x40″ all the way up to “monster size” at 55″x115″ (about 4.5 feet by 9.5 feet). I wanted these to all be on high quality 1.5″ wooden stretcher boards, and arrive fully assembled. So all you have to do is unpack and hang on the wall. Offering giclées means I can also produce multiples of any design (hotels and chains might like this option).

These are reproduced on 19 mil canvas (poly/cotton blend) with a glossy finish that I would describe as a sheen. “Matte” finish is also available by special request. The image extends over the sides. Framing is always good, but not required for this style of art.

One other benefit to “digital” art is that I can often resize these. So if a person loves a giclée in 30×40″ but wants it in 40×60″, it’s fairly easily to rescale and adjust to fit.

I’m posting some photos from the giclée series below. I’m constantly adding new pieces to the store each week, so it will continue to expand and evolve.

You can visit my store by clicking this link.



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Big Art

One of my favorite things to paint? Gigantic abstracts on canvas. I’m about 20 articles behind, so I thought I’d combine two “stories illustrated with photos.”

The big dilemma with painting on a grand scale are the logistical problems. I can paint something 5 feet tall and 15 feet wide, but you probably live hundreds, or thousands of miles away. You might want to buy my work, but getting it from Point A to Point B is a problem. And it can be an expensive problem.

From an artist perspective, I have to deal with a couple issues. How do I store a huge painting and keep it in good condition until it moves to its new home? I’ve always thought the best way to keep a painting in good condition is to hang it on a wall. This keeps it off the floor (safer from random occurrences like bugs, pets or water damage). And because it’s hanging against a wall, the wood frames are less likely to warp (from being stacked or leaning against a wall). An artist has to deal with getting the unpainted framed canvas (or lumber if they’re constructing their own frames/stretcher bars) from a manufacturer to their studio. And while my SUV is spacious, it’s not exactly a U-haul. Once a large painting is sold, I then need to transport it again to UPS or the post office (if I don’t have them pick it up). I also need to deal with carefully packing a large item that’s basically in the shape of a huge pizza box.

When I lived in L.A., I once purchased a couple huge canvases on stretcher bars. Since they had delivery, I took them up on it. I assumed they had a big truck that would pull up in front of my apartment. But what actually happened was one of their employees strapped these canvases on top of his small car and slowly drove across town. It’s very similar to that college student who can’t afford a moving truck, strapping their king size mattress to the top of their car. I was so caught off guard over this method of transportation that I don’t believe I ever asked this art store to “ship” canvas to me again. It got the job done, but I felt badly for the driver.

If you have a large studio and your gallery is up the street, and they do “pick up,” none of this affects you.

I calculated that the biggest painting size I could reasonably ship (on stretcher bars, ready to hang) without it turning into an ordeal was 30″ x 40.” This is a substantial size, but without most of the logistical issues. But let’s face it, going really big is fun and I hate creative restrictions.

So I decided to return to rolled canvas, which I did frequently during the 1990s. It has benefits, but it also has its own set of complications. It does allow me to sell art for a lower cost because I’m spending less on materials. I can bulk order a 90-foot roll of canvas which can be cut down to any number of large canvases. Here’s a roll I recently purchased.

These rolls weigh about 10 times as much as they look. Pure dead weight.

So I cut off the size of the painting I want. I then paint all the way to the edge, but allow about 4″ of clearance on all sides of the painting. This is because once it’s shipped, it will need to be stretched around a wood frame on the buyer’s side (i.e., you take it to a local frame shop, they construct a wood frame and stretch the canvas over the frame for you). Then you call your cousin who has a truck and they drop it off at your house. The costs of having a canvas custom stretched would vary depending on the size of the canvas and what your frame shop charges. Oh, back to the 4″ clearance. You need to have flexibility on the sides so that you can stretch the painting around a frame and staple it on the reverse side. And you need to allow for a variety of stretcher bar widths. If you painted to the edge, then signed it 1″ from the bottom, your signature would end up on the back of your painting. Though most of my paintings don’t require a frame, adding a frame can take any painting to a higher level. And if you’re having a canvas stretched over a frame (i.e., stretcher bars), you might as well have them frame it at the same time. Even a simple minimalist frame will do.

So there are cost savings in production and shipping, but there’s the added step of custom canvas stretching.

The reason I’m having this conversation is because I want to be able to link people back to one source once I start listing gigantic canvas paintings. Then I simply roll them up and ship anywhere. This makes it particularly easy for international buyers. I remember working with a woman in the UK in around 1998 who purchased one of my large canvases. Then after she received the painting, she sent me a couple emails as she worked through the stretching/framing process. And I hope this painting is still being enjoyed on her wall in a London suburb as she’s sipping tea, eating crumpets and sharing gossip about the Real Housewives of Berkshire.

Part 2 of this story involves a painting in my house. I was originally planning on stenciling this design on my bedroom wall. But then I thought, if I decided to move in a year or two, I’ll have to paint this over. A lot of time wasting. So I decided to paint this on a large unused canvas I had on hand. Then I could just take it with me to the next house. Or even move it to another room if I wanted to change things up. To make this painting, I did a pastel type multi-color effect on the white canvas. I then covered this with a white/blue mix of paint, leaving open patches to reveal the “multi-color” paint. Then I rough stenciled the ivy. To get a perspective on the size of this painting, it’s 48″ x 60″ (4 feet by 5 feet). Actually, this painting has nothing to do with rolled canvas being stretched. But it does show an example of one of my larger pieces or artwork.

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Abstract, Modern


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Seascape Painting

For something a little different, I found this seascape painting I did in 2007. Even though it’s in oil, it has a bit of a watercolor feel to it. I had this in a simple gold frame and it really looked nice. Great for that “cottage along the beach” feel.
Click here for the eBay listing.

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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE


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Spa Blue Expressionism Abstract

I saw a tub of blue paint at the art store and realized I couldn’t live without it. There’s something about that color. It’s so vintage-y. The label calls this color “Spa Blue.” It’s somewhere in the realm of “powder blue,” baby blue or teal blue.

I’ve had this problem, like many artists I’m sure, you can’t paint all the way around your canvas. You end up placing your painting on an easel, but you can’t paint the side on the bottom until the other three sides dry. Otherwise you ruin your paint or it sticks to your easel. So you end up painting three sides, waiting for them to dry, then coming back and painting the last side. If you place your canvas flat on a table, you can’t paint the sides without painting the table. I concocted an idea in my head where eventually I would make a table with a levitated screen. Then I could paint the entire surface of the canvas. The extra paint would just drip through the screen on to a pile of newspapers.

So I was walking through my local Hobby Lobby store and a package of red pyramid plastic doodads caught my eye. (You can see one of them in the top photo.) They aren’t super stable, but you put one of these on each corner of a canvas lying flat. This allows you to paint all the way around the sides of your canvas without a “stop and dry” and without painting the table as you paint the sides. Not a perfect solution but it basically works.

Click here for the eBay listing of this abstract painting.

If you aren’t already an email subscriber, you can add your email in the field that says “Follow this Blog via Email” on the right side of the website.

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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Artwork by Terry Aley FOR SALE


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