Blog Post 3.1.13 (It’s going to be a Great Year!)

So far this year is starting out pretty good for me.  In January I started out with my first really big solo show.  I set up this show about a year ago as a way to force myself to create a good size body of work, so I can start submitting to different galleries around the country.  As it got closer to the date of hanging the show, I started panicking, wondering if I had enough art!  Well, the amount of work turned out to be just perfect!

"Beyond Limits" North Hills Gallery 2013 Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

“Beyond Limits” North Hills Gallery 2013- Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

At this event I sold 3 paintings, and was pretty well attended, which was just wonderful!  I had lots of positive feedback on all my work, from artist friends as well an others that I did not know.  (I also got a video of the show but have not done anything with it yet. That will be a new project for me to learn how to do! 🙂 )  Once the show came down, I decided to take one of the most popular pieces to my office at my ‘day job’.  Well, it did not even make it up on the wall before someone decided they had to have it! (see it below)

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30"x40" Mixed Media on Canvas

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30″x40″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Then yesterday morning, during a break I pulled up Facebook and I noticed that SkinnyArtist.com posted their yearly 21 Artists to Watch in 2013 list, which I love to look at every year (I find great artists to follow on Facebook and Twitter), and to my surprise I saw my name on the list!!!  I feel so honored to be mentioned with so many wonderful artists (and thank you so much Drew for the wonderful words and support)!

I am now preparing for the West Austin Studio Tour, which will be taking place over 2 weekends this year, April 27-28 & May 4-5, 2013.  I hope my momentum just keeps going, I am ready!

Blog Post 10.30.12 (Favorite Art Supplies)

I thought I would share some of my favorite art supplies and stores with you.  I paint mostly with acrylics, and lately I use them pretty watered down or liquid (for my Cosmos Series).  My new favorite place to get paints is Nova Color (in California).  I found out about it through Artist Robert Burridge, when I took one of his workshops.  First of all I LOVE the price, they are extremely economical.  The colors are highly pigmented, and I have not been disappointed yet.  I have been using bold primary type colors so far, but I just ordered several earth tones that I can’t wait to experiment with.  You can also order large quantities, which is nice if you use a color a lot!  Also they are super nice to deal with!

One of the coolest things EVER is the Gold Gesso from Daniel Smith.  It’s like liquid gold! I have not experimented a lot with it yet, but I have used it as gesso and painted over it with acrylics and you get a wonderful metallic sheen that comes through the color.  I have experimented doing some drips with it and it’s beautiful, but it is on the thicker side, so keep that in mind.

I also love the high pigment content of the Holbein Acryla Artists’ Acrylics.  I usually get them through Dick Blick, they are pricey compared to the Nova Color paints, but they are worth it, specially for specific colors! The violet purple is my absolute favorite!  I have not found one with the same intensity.

I am still searching for the best deals on canvas.  I may stretch my own, it is more cost effective, but it does seem harder to do the larger the canvas, so my local Jerry’s Artarama get’s most of my business on that.

Almost forgot!  Also super fun to use are the FW Pearlescent Acrylic Inks by Daler Rowney, I like the very liquid metallic consistency.  It’s easy to drip them since the bottles come with a dropper.  I also get these at Jerry’s and they have a ton of colors!

Hope you try some of these out if you have not done so yet.  Also share with me any other great places to shop for art supplies!

Blog Post 10.26.12 (Great Pinterest Idea)

Well, I LOVE Pinterest! But it can be quite addictive!  I joke around that it just sucks hours out of your life, but I have found great ideas.  I have found art inspiration, handy ideas, and more info than I need!  One of my favorite ideas that I found is one of the simplest! I can’t believe I did not think about it on my own, it’s genius.  I have tried to find things to place under my paintings when I apply varnish to them, to keep them from sticking to the table, but nothing I did was perfect.  Until now… Push pins! Just pin them to the wood under the  canvas and it’s evenly away from the surface.  Here’s a couple of photos:

 

I also realized they I don’t have a Pinterest button on my blog! One of those things that I will try to work on soon!  By the way, you can find me on Pinterest under my name!

Blog Post 4.10.12 (The Abstract Painting Continues…)

I have had several paintings in the studio I have been “stuck” on.  I just have not know what to do next on them.  I have started and finished other paintings and those still sit there, staring at me.  Am I afraid of “messing up”? Waiting for them to “speak to me”?  That’s one of the things I find fascinating, challenging & frustrating about abstract painting.

Finally yesterday I decided to take desperate measures and just add paint to them.  I feel that at least something changes on them and maybe then they will “speak to me”.  This is the experimental part of my painting.  If I am stuck, the painting will never get finished, so if I at least add paint, whether good or bad, the painting has changed.  That is when I have found some of the most exciting things happen in painting!  Sometimes it’s a happy accident.  Sometimes it’s just something I would have never thought of that just comes out in frustration!  But it sure is exciting!

Here’s a few photos of my stuck paintings in progress… (excuse the photo quality! cell phone photos at dusk!)

I finally know where I am going with this one… stay tuned for the final version!

Red in progress

Red in progress

Works in progress

Works in progress

Please share what you do to get unstuck! Would love to hear!!! 🙂

Blog Post 3.28.12 (It’s been too long!)

Well, I thought it was time for me to write a post, and when I pulled my blog up I could not believe it’s been that long!  I guess I do have a few excuses, I have been pretty busy.  But that has not stopped me before.

View from the new place

View from the new place

One major thing was my move!  I have not decided if I love or hate moving.  I don’t like all the work involved and the hassle involved in moving, but I love the change, the “new”, the “starting fresh” part of it.  Lot’s of great things about my new place.  #1 cheaper, #2 walking distance to my art studio, #3 free cable & #4 direct route to work.  So it’s definitely a good thing.

Rachael Ray at SXSW

Rachael Ray at SXSW

Another major “distraction” was SXSW.  I volunteered again to work SXSW EDU & SXSW Interactive.  I love it!  I actually took vacation time to do it and it was lots of work, but ended up getting in to see Bruce Springsteen in concert!  I was right by the stage, and it was an amazing concert! We also made it to Rachael Ray’s free breakfast! (but never got near the food! my friend waited 2 hrs!).  Here’s a few photos taken with my phone camera.  Boy I wished I could have had my big camera there! 🙂

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

I got a bit of painting done in February (one day I actually painted 5 minutes!).  I submitted a piece to the #TwitterArtExhibit in Norway!  The exhibit is a fundraiser organized my artist David Sandum.  This is the 2nd year he has done it and it sounded fun!  Plus I love the idea that I will have a small piece of art in Norway!

Little Blue Cosmos #3

Little Blue Cosmos #3

I also did a couple of paintings for the Arthouse 5X7 fundraiser, which I got to participate in last year and was fascinating.  If you happen to be in Austin and want to check it out, they will be having 2 events next week, the 5X7 Splurge & the 5X7 Social.  Look at their website for details.

Now I have no excuse to just get busy with my art.  I am a few minutes away from the studio, and I will be participating in the West Austin Studio Tour in May.  So I have lots to get ready for.  This is the first time I really get to participate with my studio in the tour!  I am very excited.

I will get back to posting more regularly.  I have a lot of art “business” to take care of, so I will share some info!

Blog Post 1.5.12 (Another painting- in progress?)

I have been working on several new paintings in my studio.  Some of them I know where I am “going” with them, some are just plain experimental.

A bit of history about me and abstract paintings.  I love abstracts.  When I go to museums and galleries, the paintings that are my favorites are usually the abstracts, or very loose paintings.  My history with art has been mostly drawing.  As a very young child I started drawing everything I would see.  I learned by copying, a lot.  As a teenager I drew faces for fun (yes, I really did!).  As a result my artwork was very “tight”, realistic.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but the abstracts are what has always excited me, what I am drawn to.  Since I am mostly self-taught, I have struggled with how to even start an abstract painting.  I have bought several books that have guided me through the process, but as any of you artists know, it takes a lot of work to make some of that very “simple” looking artwork.  At least for me anyway.  You can look back at some of my previous posts (last year) with some of my abstract paintings, which I have been very happy with. The workshop this last summer also helped me a lot, learning some techniques, and also knowing to just trust my instincts and have fun.  (And I am having a blast!!)

Now to my latest piece.  I “think” I am happy with this new one.  It has gone through many many layers and reincarnations.  I think it looks like a loose landscape.  This has been a painting that I have had sitting in the corner of my studio and I keep looking at it and adding to it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.  With the last layer I decided I like it.  Let me know your thoughts!!!

Blog Post 12.31.11 (What I learned as an Artist in 2011)

I think this has been a very good year for me as an artist.  No, I did not sell tons of art, but I think I finally realized how seriously I want to be an artist.

Up till this year I passively was waiting till something would happen so that I could be an artist full time.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was just waiting.  Now I feel this determination to just make it happen!

After The Storm

After The Storm

Several things happened that I think made me feel very strongly about it.  Starting 2010, with an artist friend’s encouragement, I read the book “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron.  I had it for a while, but I had a hard time getting into it.  My friend was going to join a meet-up group to go through the book and asked me to join her.  It was the best way for me to get through the book, and even though I did not think I got much out of it, everyone I know said I definitely got a lot out of it!  Then this year, another thing I think helped me a ton was investing in an art workshop for myself.  I took a 5 day Abstract Acrylic & Collage workshop from Robert Burridge.  Well, let me tell you, it definitely lit a fire under me to get painting!  Since the workshop (5 days of painting, a bit of eating, painting, sleeping and more painting) all I want to do is paint all the time!  I think also, just watching a successful artist paint and go through their “process” was fascinating, and made me realize that I “do” know what I am doing and I am not doing it “wrong”.  Watching someone go through their creative process was amazing, and I could understand what was going through his head while he was painting.  It was just awesome!!!  I strongly recommend all artists invest in themselves and take a serious art workshop.  Last but not least, thanks to an awesome friend (that I met during the “Artist’s Way” group- talk about serendipity!) I got a studio space to paint.  It has made such a difference!!  Now I can paint for hours non-stop, have several paintings going at once, it’s just too fun for words!!!

I think also getting involved with social media helped me.  There is a lot of information out there from different artists, and a lot of encouragement also.  Doing blog posts sort of regularly about my art, sending out info on Twitter and Facebook, and also helping other artists with their social media needs has been good for me.  I started “Flourish Social Media” this year, after I had artist friends wanting to pay me to help them set up their Facebook pages, Twitter & blogs.  I hope that with that on the side I can support myself with just than and my art!  That is the goal anyway…

In the works...

In the works...

I am really looking forward to what 2012 has to offer.  My goals are to paint as much as I can, and get my work out in the world.  Along with a few other artist friends we will be brainstorming together and encourage each other to be able to make a living through our art.  It’s a scary “art world” out there, but I am determined to do it!  Life is too short to not do what you love and were meant to do!!

Blog Post 12.29.11 (The Finished Product- Photo of my Painting)

Ok, here it is.  This is a better photo of the finished product.  Let me know your thoughts!  This photo is better than yesterday’s.  You can see the detail better.  This is not the official photo of it.  The glare was terrible, so I had to work on this image.  I think I will take this one to get photographed by someone with the right photo studio space.

My latest painting

My latest painting

Blog Post 12.28.11 (New Painting: Done? I think so!)

I walked into the studio this afternoon, planning on adding more layers to my painting.  But, when I looked at it I really liked it the way it was!

To know when a painting is done… That is the question.  I think that is when our instinct as an artist has to step in.  If we take one look at the painting and love it, we need to listen to that.  Artist Robert Burridge told us in a workshop, “If you have to ask, the answer is always YES!”. I like that.  Also, what’s the harm in putting it out there and if you decide later it’s not done, you can always take it up once more!  Here is the photo I took today.  Not a good one, just with my phone in bad lighting and bad angle.  I did not do anything to it from the last post.  I will try to get a better photo in the next few days.

By the way, I decided to try different color combinations with the same techniques and see what happens.  I love the organic shapes in this painting, and I hope I can recreate it! 🙂

Blog Post 12.26.11(Painting Progress- 3rd layer)

I added another layer to my painting today.  I was not happy with what was happening when I mixed my own purple, once I added alcohol or it was watered down (done on another piece).  So I added some already mixed violet color to add a bit of a different color.  also added more blue, black and gold drops.  Here is a shot with some of the up-close details also.  I just LOVE the details!!

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail