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 4.2.12 (New Painting…in progress?)

Finally got back into the studio to do some painting.  I do find it hard to get “warmed up” after not painting is a while.  I should have done some painting or drawing exercises, but being impatient, I jumped in and wanted to work on some paintings in progress.  I wanted to do “something” to all the paintings that are started in the studio.  But I kept looking at this one and I am really liking what’s happening so far.  Not sure if I am done or not with it.  I may have to stare at it a bit more.

I would love some feedback!! 🙂

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 1.11.12 (My Artist Epiphany)

(The reason I have been sharing my experiences as an artist are so that other artists out there can relate!  I hope that in me talking about my experiences, others can realize that there is not right or wrong way to do this.  And it is not just to talk about me!)

I sat down with an artist friend this afternoon talking about being an artist, and trying to figure out how to be full-time artists and make a living at it (now, THAT is the question!).  We got together at my studio, since she had not seen it before, and she spoke about the artist “30 second elevator speech”.  She asked me if I had one.  Well, I feel like I am still discovering my “style” as an artist and I told her I didn’t think I had one.  I had explained to her how I came to do my latest paintings, but to me is sounded childish, not professional, like I am just “throwing paint on a canvas”.  Well, I thought about it after she left, when I was by myself, painting, and my Pandora was playing some soft mystical music, and I realized that superficially that may seem like the explanation, but it is so much more than that!!!  As I was working on some paintings in progress, I asked myself:  “Am I just randomly putting paint on a canvas?” “What is it that I am doing?”.  I analyzed what I was doing and it came to me!  I realized that it’s a relationship with the paint and canvas.  It’s experimental, it’s instinctive, it’s learning from the paint, the canvas, the process.  It’s almost like being one with the painting!  I know… I started thinking about those artists statements I have read in the past that were so “deep” and I wondered what the heck they were talking about, and realized “that’s me”!!  Am I one of them now?  Oh!!!  I am now an “Artist”!  🙂

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

Blog Post 12.22.11(Making Art Paper!)

Well, not exactly making the paper itself, but making papers for collage.  If you have not tried it yet, you can make some really cool papers using Citra Solv cleaner and National Geographic magazines.  They even have videos on their website and a whole artist section with fabulous ideas!

This is one of my pieces I did using some of the Citra Solv collage papers:

Ruins at Night

Ruins at Night

What you do is drizzle the Citra Solv on the pages of National Geographic magazine as you flip through the pages.  It does not work on the ads (they are printed differently than the rest of the magazine).  Close the magazine and squeeze the excess liquid out of the magazine.  Let it sit for a few minutes (this depends on the temperature outside I think, it seemed to take longer with it being cold outside).  Then tear the pages out and let them dry.  The colors and patterns are amazing, and some of them are inspiring, that is how I came up with the idea for the piece above! Most of the images will be completely gone, but sometimes a ghost of an image remains, which is really fun to work with!

Here are some of the papers I came up with today:

Citra Solv Paper

Citra Solv Paper

I can’t wait to see what I get inspired to make with them!!