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)

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!

Blog Post 12.6.13 (Working on Art Commissions…)

I recently got my first painting commission.  I won’t lie, for a long time I thought that I would never do commissions, the thought just struck fear in me!  The idea of doing the perfect painting for someone just did not seem like something I could handle, after all, as an artist I always have that voice in the back of my head that makes me question a lot of what I do (I work hard on silencing that voice!).  But a few years ago I got great advice from a fellow artist.  He said he always does 2 paintings because it takes the pressure off.  It was a fabulous idea!!!  The idea of working on 2 paintings has lots of good points.  Beside just taking the pressure off of ONE perfect one, if the customer gets very specific with what they want (even if you don’t agree), you can do one their way and one with your vision.  Chances are they will like yours better, after all, they chose you for a reason! (They already like your art!).  Doing 2 paintings has an additional plus side to it… they may want to buy both, which is what happened with mine!

Now, I have heard horror stories from some artists, and I don’t think I would take on a commission if I get just bad feelings from the customer (like they would be difficult to work with) or doing paintings that are just plain not my style, I think I would refer them to a fellow artist that works in the style they want.  That would just be a pressure I don’t want.  I LOVE painting, and I want to try and keep it that way!

This is the painting that they saw and wanted a larger version of.  I did it 2 years ago and it sold this past spring.  I will be exploring versions of this painting further, it was really fun to do!

Bubbles

Bubbles

By the way, my work is abstract, so I don’t know if this would work if you paint realistically.  🙂

 

Blog Post 5.19.13 (Teaching, Sharing & Inspiration)

People that know me, specially artists, know that I LOVE art.  I am in love with the process of making art.  I find so much joy creating art that I automatically share details freely with my fellow artists.  I think it comes naturally for me to share, so that maybe others can find the same joy I feel doing it.paint closeup 2

I had several friends tell me I should teach, that I am a natural at it.  Well, I can tell you that I never thought of myself as a teacher of any kind!  I guess the difference is that sharing something you love does not feel like teaching, so it does come naturally.  So I finally decided to give it a try and did a small test workshop.  I invited 4 friends to take part (several that encouraged me to do this in the first place), so I could figure out how to structure it for other students.

paint closeup 1I thought about what to name it and how to describe my workshop, and it’s so hard to put into words what I would like to teach.  Mostly I want to share fun techniques, tips, and play, to inspire those that are too afraid to “be” an artist, or remind those artists that lost the “fun” and “joy”, why they became artists in the first place.  I want them to come out of the workshop with their creativity wheels turning, ideas running through their heads and inspiration overflowing.  I feel it’s those little surprises that come out during play and experimentation that excite us and allows us to come up with something that no one else has done before.paint closeup 3

I also love working with other artists.  The inspiration you get from working with others is contagious, and in teaching others you come up with new ideas while you are explaining a process.  I know also that many artists do not share their ideas.  They are afraid that someone will steal or copy them.  Well, with the age of the internet I think that can happen anyway, without teaching someone!  Also I have seen that when you have a group working on an art project, each person has their own artistic vision in their work, which makes it different from the others.  I believe true artists want to come up with something uniquely theirs, that makes them stand out from the rest.

 

Blog Post 1.2.13 (So you want to be an artist, now what…)

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

So, it’s the beginning of 2013, you have always wanted to be an artist, but you have been discouraged from pursuing your artistic interest by most people.  But now your creative urge is strong.  You feel that something has been missing in your life, and just maybe that may be it.  Well, get to it!!  Start drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever artistic medium you feel compelled to do!  Yes, it’s overwhelming, and if you think you have to wait till you can go to art school, DON’T WAIT!!  Just do it!  Otherwise you may never do it.  My decision to start painting was one of the best things I ever did.

Early work- Leaf- 2002

Early work- Leaf- 2002

I had a friend ask me today about how I got started painting, how long it has been, etc.  She has had that creative urge, and luckily decided to listen to it.  So I thought that would be a good topic to write about and share my experience, since I kept waiting until I realized that if I waited till the “perfect time” it would probably never happen!

First of all, I have always been artistic.  I have been drawing since I was a toddler (please don’t let not growing up drawing stop you!).  I was intimidated by the idea of painting.  I didn’t know anything about materials, how to use them, what I needed, and I let that stop me for many years.  I finally decided to sign up for a painting class at our local art museum.  It was very helpful!  Once I got that out of the way, I decided I could try and teach myself some techniques.

Early Work- Flowers in the Stream 2003 (I think)

Early Work- Flowers in the Stream 2003 (I think)

One of my favorite pastimes was (and still is), going to a book store, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a pile of art books and magazines.  When I found a favorite, I would buy it so I could try some of the techniques at home.

As I got some paintings done, I was brave enough to hang some in a group show at a cafe I was working at, then at the hair salon I went to, and eventually joined The Creative Arts Society, one of our local art guilds.  Some of the artists I have met through that group are now some of my closest friends!   By being a member of the group and participating as a chair & member I learned painting techniques, how to frame, how to hang shows, and just talking to people about my art!

The next step I took was going to a week long painting workshop.  THAT changed my life!!!  I think I was finally ready to take that big jump into taking my artwork seriously.

Early Work- Peach Rose 2004

Early Work- Peach Rose 2004

Some of the most important things I learned are:
-Get lots of art materials, if you just have a few, you will worry about “wasting” what you have.  I bought a lot of materials with my weekly 40% off coupon from Michael’s (you can now sign up online to receive the coupon in your email, or if you have a smart phone you can download their app).  And don’t be afraid to “waste” materials, you are not wasting, you are learning.
-Give yourself permission to “play”.  By playing around with the paints I learned how to work with them.  And painting should be fun anyway!
-Draw, even if you don’t think you can.  If you can’t come up with things off the top of your head, get beginning drawing books to guide you.
-Join a local art guild if you can, or try to meet other artists.  It’s wonderful to be around “like minds” and you learn a lot from each other.  If there is not a good art group in your area look online.  You can also find other artists on Twitter & Facebook (I have found many of them very encouraging).
-Go to art galleries & museums for inspiration!
-Read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.  I know many artists that say it has changed their life (including myself).  You can find links to my favorite books including this one on the “Favorite Books” page.

I can say that I am definitely not ready to quit my day job to be a full time artist, yet… but I have not given up on it.  I am working hard to realize that dream.  I have set goals for myself along the way, which has been helpful for me.  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions just let me know!  You can also find me on Facebook & Twitter, and I am always happy to share what I know!
Above you can see samples of my early paintings.  You can find my latest work on my Facebook page and website!

 

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 8.28.12 (Just doing it!)

I have been having a lot of conversations with a lot my artist friends lately, trying to figure out the future, figuring out how to be an artist & make a living at it.  Also have come across a lot of articles on the subject (funny how these things pop in front of you just when you need them).  One thing I noticed is that the more painting I do, the more thinking I do! I guess it opens my mind, to think deeper than I have before.

Tranquility 36″x48″ Acrylic on Canvas

A thing I came to realize is that if you want something, really really want it bad, you will work really hard to accomplish it.  I noticed a lot of people want things now, they expect it to be easy, or they say they don’t have the time to work as hard to the depth they need to to accomplish that goal.  Then in the next breath, almost always is “I don’t know how you do everything that you do!  I’m just not you!”  Well, I know I am no super-woman, I just have this emergent urge to reach my goals.

I always wanted to be an artist, or I guess I always “have been” an artist.  But I was waiting until the time was right, when I could quit working and go to school so I could learn how to be an artist.  Well, time kept coming and going and the time to go to art school was not going to happen.  So, I decided that I could just do it, teach myself.  I have read everything art related I could get my hands on.  Got brave enough to try different techniques, got over the fear of “wasting money & materials” (you have to do that!), took some painting classes at the local museum, joined an art guild, learned how to hang exhibits, learned how to publicize, learn to inspire other artists, finally took a painting workshop, got a studio and have been painting like crazy!  And, all this while working full time at a non-artistic job!

Maybe I am a bit crazy, hyperactive, or just desperate to get my art created before time runs out.  Either way I am having the time of my life!!  I don’t have the answer on how to get my goals accomplished, but I am figuring it out along the way.  And I am still determined to make a living with my art!!!

(The photo above is not perfect.  Taken with my phone camera)