The Comfort Zone…

Comfort zone. Sounds safe, predictable, familiar… and boring. Sure, some people may be happy in that zone, but what if you were brave enough to go outside that zone?
The unknown is scary. Why? Why are we wired to be afraid of what we don’t know? All those “what if’s” will keep us from truly living our life.
What if I fail? But, what if I don’t fail?? What if I succeed?
What will people think? But, why does it matter what people think??
All our life experiences shape us, our childhood experiences make us crave security or freedom, depending on what we go through. My whole life I have craved that security, to be safe and taken care of. But really, ‘Life’ was telling me something else all along! I always felt different and alone, shipped off to different relatives at a very early age. I just wanted love, comfort and security, but it seemed that when things were comfortable life had different ideas for me.
I believe that the universe was preparing me, because it knew that I would be independent, take care of others and be strong. It wasn’t till my life turned upside down a few years ago that I was able to see that all the roles I played, the person I thought I was and what others saw, were not the real me. I had to have my mind stop in order for my soul to show me the ‘real me’.
All I know so far is that every ‘unknown’ I have experienced the last few years has been anything but scary in the long run! They have been the best experiences and decisions I have made in my life! It makes me wish I would have known things sooner!! But even knowing that, making big decisions are still scary. But I am glad I now know to just look past that fear and just keep taking those leaps of faith.

Leap Of Faith 30″ x 40″ Acrylic on Canvas

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Crazy World…

“…something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Sometimes it feels like nothing makes sense anymore. From the political climate, to mother nature, it feels like the world has gone mad. Why is all this happening? I believe the universe is screaming at us to wake up!
I think everything (really everything) has gotten out of sync. There are too many people so deep in their heads, so unconscious to what is truly real, that the only way they will wake up is for their world to fall apart.
Why do we as humans have to reach a point of falling apart before we awaken?
We are at such a divided place as a country. People are being manipulated like pawns in a game, being played by people with power-hungry egos. What can change people’s thinking at this point, when we are so afraid to admit we may have been wrong? We are so afraid to admit that what we believed our whole lives was wrong.
Catastrophic things happen. Disasters are equal opportunity. Disasters don’t care about your race, social standing or money. In the middle of a disaster everyone is at the same level.
In the middle of chaos, the mind stops. When you can’t think anymore something else takes over. Your inner being, inner voice, your soul. THAT is the real you. Listen to it. Experience the world from that place, not with your mind.
Notice that at that moment that people that you may have judged, condemned or hated are still willing to help you and show you compassion. Talk to people, get to know people different than you, love people. THAT will change the world. LOVE.

“Crossroads” 30″x30″ Acrylic on Canvas

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Well…. Hello there!!!

Wow, I can’t believe I have not written a post since 2014! A whole lot has changed for me, and life is great!

I have learned a lot over the last few years and as I collect my thoughts I will try my best to share.  One thing I know for sure is, doing what you love definitely helps you align with your true self, the person you were born to be.  And when you do that, you really and truly notice the universe working with and for you!!!

I have been painting a lot and traveling some the last few years.  It’s what I am passionate about.  I used to tell my friends that when I paint, magic happens.  And it does!  When I noticed nothing was really happening for me “art-career wise”, it was because I was not painting.  As soon as I started painting I got invited to do a show this summer, be a juror for a statewide competition, and I have two shows lined up for 2018!  When things like that happen, I know I am doing what I am meant to!

“A New Earth” 12″ x 12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

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30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- Challenge Complete!

Wow, got my 30 paintings done! It was tough to really get paintings done every day, life does get in the way.  But I was determined.  I did find that I was more willing to try new things since I had to finish so many paintings, which I loved because it really expanded my creativity.  And also found out some things worked & some didn’t, but you have to be willing to mess it up in order to find that perfect ‘something’.

Here are the rest of them:

(23/30) Nature's Symphony 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(23/30) Nature’s Symphony 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(24/30) Mini Ruins #14 5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(24/30) Mini Ruins #14 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(25/30) Supernatural 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(25/30) Supernatural 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(26/30) Mini Ruins #15 5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

(26/30) Mini Ruins #15 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

(27/30) Somewhere in Time 6"x8" Mixed Media on Canvas

(27/30) Somewhere in Time 6″x8″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(28/30) Whispers #2 6"x6" Mixed Media on Canvas

(28/30) Whispers #2 6″x6″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(29/30) Whispers from the Earth 6"x8" Mixed Media on Canvas

(29/30) Whispers from the Earth 6″x8″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(30/30) Jeweled Mystery 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

(30/30) Jeweled Mystery 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Close up detail of Jeweled Mystery.  I added some iridescent paint just for fun!

Close up detail of Jeweled Mystery. I added some iridescent paint just for fun!

30/30 Daily Painting Challenge (I think I’m caught up!)

Yay! Here are #9, #10 & #11! As you can see, I am working quite a bit on my Ruins Series.  I want to create more of these and stretch my boundaries with the series.  I figured this is a perfect way to do it.  I think this is the series I want to submit to galleries, so I definitely need lots more! 🙂

Mini-Ruins #9  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #9 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #10  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #10 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #11  5"x7" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #11 5″x7″ Mixed Media on Paper

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing any of these!

 

30/30 Daily painting update…

Well, it has been tough finishing a painting every day!  I do have about 6 paintings going at the studio but not many finished.  Interesting thing I found with the cross paintings, I was trying to recreate an old series and it’s not working the same.  I think it’s because 1. my paints are different and 2. my style has changed.  Not sure I like these as much. I was going to give one as a gift but not sure now…

Here’s a few of the ones I finished!

not named yet. 12"x12" Mixed Media on Canvas

not named yet. 12″x12″ Mixed Media on Canvas (3/30)

not named yet. 7"x10" mixed media on paper

not named yet. 7″x10″ mixed media on paper (4/30)

Mini-Ruins #9  6.5"x6.5" Mixed Media on Paper

Mini-Ruins #9 6.5″x6.5″ Mixed Media on Paper (5/30)

Gold Cross #5 8"x10" Acrylic on Paper. I was working on a gift for someone and was trying to recreate an old series. Not sure I am as happy with these.

Gold Cross #5 8″x10″ Acrylic on Paper. I was working on a gift for someone and was trying to recreate an old series. Not sure I am as happy with these. (6/30)

Gold Cross #5 8"x10" Acrylic on Paper.

Gold Cross #5 8″x10″ Acrylic on Paper. (7/30)

"Mystic Ruins" 8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

“Mystic Ruins” 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas (8/30)

30/30 Daily Painting challenge

First of all it has been way too long since I have posted anything on my blog! It has been a rough 1st half of the year, but let’s see if I can change that.

I committed to do a “30 paintings in 30 days” challenge with a group of artists, and I thought I would post daily my paintings and any thoughts about the challenge.  I started it yesterday, so here are my 2 paintings so far…

Whispers #1 (1/30)

Whispers #1 (1/30)

Spirit (2/30)

Spirit (2/30)

It will be rough to actually do a painting each day, but I may do more than one on some days to make up for it! I know tomorrow I may not get a chance to but watch for 2 hopefully on Thursday!

By the way, if you are interested in any of these paintings just let me know!

 

Artists, do you have Business Cards?

I am so surprised how many artists do not have or carry business cards.  It’s such an easy way to share your contact information, and a way to show off your art!

Let me tell you about how I sold my last 2 paintings.  I got an email from a gentleman through my website stating that he liked my work and wanted to get more information on some of my paintings.  I emailed back and asked him a few more questions, and when he replied he stated: “Funny, I just found your card on the ground in a parking lot in SW Austin by chance.   Glad I found it.”   Well, I decided to get really nice quality cards from moo.com (this link should get you a discount on your first order, at least for a while) you can get more than one image on cards per order and I think they are well worth the money.  I really think because of the quality and the painting on it he took a closer look and picked it up.   We did end up meeting and he bought the 2 paintings and brought friends along with him!

My Moo Business Cards!

My Moo Business Cards!

I think beside having cards, as artists we should show off our art on them.  It’s so easy to do and you really do not have to spend a lot of money!  The 1st cards I got were from Vistaprint, you can add your own art on them and they are pretty inexpensive.

(Now I am tempted to ‘drop’ my card around town!  I thought my grandson had dropped the card somewhere, he likes to play with them, but I am not sure it was him!)  🙂

 

Is Web Presence for Artists Important?

I think having a web presence as an artist in this date and time is very important.  I really is the best “store-front” we have to show out work to anyone interested.  I know there are a lot of artists out there that are intimidated by the idea of doing much on a computer (I know a lot of artists that do not like anything technical!) but it does not have to be scary.

There are many “art website” companies out there that have the template set up specially for artists and all you have to do is plug in the information and images.  The first one I found out about is Artspan.  An artist friend of mine still uses Artspan after many years and still likes it.  A few others that I have friends using are Zhibit and Fine Art America, which you may be limited in what you can do or add to the site, but if you want easy, simple & basic these work.  Also with Fine Art America you can sell prints of your work straight through them.

There are also non-art related ones like Wix, Weebly and even blog sites like WordPress.com and Blogger.  Again, there may be limitations, specially on the free or inexpensive versions, but it gets you on the web.

My Website!

My Website!

I feel the fastest & easiest way to get your work out there is Facebook!  You can easily set up a “page” for your art and sharing with the public is very easy.  People do not have to have a Facebook account to be able to view your work on a Facebook Page, they just won’t be able to comment, etc.

Now, lots of artists are afraid of having their work stolen or copied off the web.  My feeling on it is you can keep your work hiding at home and no one will see it, or have as many people see it as possible!  I feel it’s not much safer hanging in the public either with everyone having cell phones, so worrying about it will just keep you from ever showing it.  There are certain things you can do to make it more difficult for anyone to steal your work from the internet.  First, you can post images that are too small for anyone to make a copy or print of.  You can make them under 800 px and 72 dpi.  You should also add a watermark across your image.  I believe some of the art websites have a feature that you can automatically add a watermark to your image.

Of course there are many more sites I did not list here.  You can always hire someone to do a website or set up Facebook for you, you do not have to do it alone.

FYI- My website www.gretaolivas.com is built with WordPress.org, free web software, but you do need to get your own domain name & webhost.

Anyone have good suggestions for websites!  Please post on the comments and hopefully it will help someone!

Blog Post 12.30.13 (My 2013 Art Year)

I started thinking about my “2013 Art Business” and I thought I would look at the paintings I sold this year.  sold 2013It was a pretty good year for me (new work, old work & commissions!), so I am trying to set my goals for 2014.  One thing I decided to do is try to do some art festivals.  I feel right now that it’s the only way to really get my art seen around the country.  The whole ‘trying to get into a gallery’ thing seems pretty impossible, unless you know someone and get an introduction.  So, I have decided to submit to some of the better festivals around the country and ones in towns I would like to have my work in.  We will see what happens, and I will definitely post my experiences here.  In the mean time, studio tours, select shows and lots of social media will be it!  Always working toward being a full time artist, and I WILL get there!
I do want to thank Gallery by Jeana Marino for believing in my work and helping me sell several of these pieces, which sometimes seems very difficult to do here in Austin!

BTW, if anyone has any great ideas let me know! 🙂 Always learning!