Learning Compassion

Is it impossible to change our minds? I know personally I used to think quite differently about several things, until I learned to see things from another perspective. When you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you realize that things are not as simplistic or black & white as people have made them out to be.
What does it take to make people notice what is really going on? When there’s frustration and you notice that no one is listening and everyone has their head buried in their thoughts or belief systems, how do you get attention on your plight? Your suffering and the suffering of others? That is one reason people protest. To get attention to their plight.
I guess I would love to know if there’s a way to help someone find compassion inside themselves. To really feel what someone else is feeling. If people could truly feel the suffering of others this world would be a much different place.
I guess some of my big changes in perspective came when I started painting. I often say that I don’t know if painting led to my personal growth, or if my growth led me to my painting. I feel that the act of painting, for me, is meditative. I reach a space where the energy of feelings and emotions come through on to the canvas. I have also had collectors tell me that my paintings are more about feeling and energy than anything else. They get it, and that makes me grateful for my gift. I hope my paintings touch people enough to awaken them and start to see things differently as well.

“Compassion” 16″x20″ Acrylic on Canvas

30/30 Daily Painting Challenge- New Update

Tough trying to keep these in order! I noticed I counted wrong so I had to re-number my previous ones.  I did new versions of my crosses because I was not sure about the first ones, but I ended up giving Gold Cross #5 as my gift.

I am having lots of fun doing this, and it’s good for me to paint every day! I hope I can keep up with it after the month is up.

(12/30) Gold Cross #7  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(12/30) Gold Cross #7 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8  8.5"x11" Acrylic on Paper

(13/30) Gold Cross #8 8.5″x11″ Acrylic on Paper


(14/30) Peaceful Whisper  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(14/30) Peaceful Whisper 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(15/30) Enchanted Ruins 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic  8"x10" Mixed Media on Canvas

(16/30) Finding the Magic 8″x10″ Mixed Media on Canvas

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 9.2.13 (I Love my Smart Phone!)

My iPhone Photo Apps

My iPhone Photo Apps

I saw a post yesterday asking if the old master photographers were here today, do you think they would be taking photos with their iPhone?  My bet is yes they would!!



As a creative person, I find the camera on my phone so easy and handy.  It’s really always with me, and it makes it way too easy to just photograph any little thing I see.  I love the iPhone ad that shows how much taking photos with our phone has changed our lives.  Some may be silly or pointless, but some capture just beautiful moments that in a way we can keep forever.

FX Camera

FX Camera

I started taking photos with my phone with my old Android (Evo).  Some of my favorite apps were Vignette, Retro Camera and FXCamera.   I was very disappointed that they did not make Vignette for iPhone, but I have found plenty of apps to play with.  Have I used all these loaded on my phone?  Not really.  I got carried away, and I am sure there are some of you out there that have more apps than I do!  I do find myself using Instagram, Hipstamatic & Vintique the most.












Retro Camera

Retro Camera








Of course most of these apps have many filters and settings you can choose from.  The options seem endless!

I would love to hear what your favorite photo apps are!  🙂

Blog Post 8.3.13 (Determination…)

Determination: firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

I have wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember.  It definitely has not worked the way I had originally planed, but I am determined to do it anyway.  Easy?  No way!!  It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!! But I would not change it for the world! Creating art has been one of the most enlightening and gratifying things I have ever done.  Being an artist working a full time non-artistic job is tough.  It would be so easy to give up.  But I keep visualizing where I want to be with my art and I keep on going.

One of the things that has made a huge difference is spending the time really devoting to exploring my painting style.  When I am at the studio, spending time experimenting is huge!!  It would be easy to just whip out easy paintings just to sell, but I want that “something special”, something that will make my work stand out!  I am not happy with just doing a painting, I want it to “Wow” me, and if it does that, hopefully it will “Wow” others!

As my work has been developing, I have received lots of good feedback from fellow artists, collectors, etc.  My hard work seems to be paying off.  I am so glad I did not give up, but I still have a way to go.  I am determined to be a full time artist, making a fabulous living, better than I ever imagined!!  What a ride!! 🙂

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

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!

2010 in review (This is great info! Thanks WP!)

Well, I don’t think I did too bad for my first year blogging! Below is my info from WordPress.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 180 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 369 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 48mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 11th with 36 views. The most popular post that day was Daily Photo 12.10.10 (Carnival at Night).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, en.wordpress.com, gretaolivas.com, and alphainventions.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for rolina van vliet, supreme court cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms, love nyc, and eclipse 12.20.10.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Daily Photo 12.10.10 (Carnival at Night) December 2010
1 comment


Austonian Lights January 2010
1 comment


Daily Photo 6.12.10 (ROT Biker Rally) June 2010
1 comment


Daily Photo 6.11.10 (Republic Of Texas Biker Rally) June 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,


Daily Photo 3.15.10 (MacGruber-World Premiere) March 2010