When you buy art you are helping an artist continue with their craft - the money goes back into supplies to create more art! When an artist is self supporting, this creates other creative endeavors that connect to the community.. co-ops, galleries, studios, not to mention the millions of dollars that are raised for non-profit charities by artists donating artwork.
Let's say there is a small artist collaborative of five women in a small town who decides to open a gallery together. They don't have a lot of money, but they are very talented, spirited and passionate about what they do. So they gather together their resources and open a gallery in a run-down neighborhood. It's an industrial neighborhood filled with repair shops and auto mechanics and though it isn't the creative haven they've imagined, it's what they can afford, so they move on in.
In three months they hold their first exhibit and it draws the attention of art lovers who slowly begin visiting the gallery more regularly. Pretty soon someone decides to open a cafe near the gallery so that visitors can have a place to sit and drink their cappuccino while pondering the latest collection of artwork. And then there's a bookstore, and a frame shop, and an art supply warehouse who move in to attend to the needs of this new arty clientele.
One day after leaving the cafe, Ms. Latte gets in her car to notice that it won't start. Looking across the street she sees Mr. Auto Mechanic and enters his shop to ask for help, which he does. Before you know it she sends all her friends to the gallery for a gander and to the mechanic for a tune-up. And within a year the mechanic is buying magazines from the bookstore for his clients to read while they wait for their cars.
And the neighborhood is brought to life by the flow of people who just wanted to come and see some well-crafted artwork. Property values increase, festivals are planned, and people come to the neighborhood looking for new inspiration. In no time at all, by bringing a little art gallery into a forgotten part of town the business of art has revived the place.
This is the painting that I started a few days ago - I started to think it needed something more and since I've had time, I worked on it a little tonight.
For the past few days, I've just been doing what I want, no pressure on anything, just what I want as it comes to me. It's been very freeing. Because I work at home, I normally try to keep to a schedule. It's not super rigid, but it keeps me focused and on track. Right now, I feel a little burned out and so I'm just taking a "mind vacation" from pressure and time constraints.
Mostly I've been working on the house making it more of a "me" space, decorating and fixing things and really enjoying the heck out of it!
Also, since I live in a very old house, it can get drafty. I've been experimenting with creating more of a comfort space as well with weather stripping, shrink plastic on the windows, Great Stuff for cracks - it's become quite a challenging game for me. I never thought insulating would be so therapeutic and it's made a great difference.
Today I hung a bunch of paintings up at Sugar on Front Street, a coffee house book store. They have unbelievable coffee and baked goods if your ever looking for a good book, some quiet time and a cup of o' Java.
I'm posting an older painting because all the paintings I've done recently are secrets and surprises. Also, I got a new app for my iPad and I'm wanting to see how it works with blogging.
Hope everyone is have a great holiday season so far and it doesn't get to crazy!
The one on the right is appropriately named Ya Ya - love it!
"All That Jazz"
Here is the painting I donated to the Fur Ball - I made the frame out of molding from the hardware store. I think it made it look very Victorian.
This is the letter they sent to me.
It made my night!
Clair, on Behalf of The Wilmington Fur Ball (and of course Adopt an ANGEL and Pender County Humane Society as recipients of it), I would like to extend our deepest gratitude and heartfelt thanks for your delivery of an exquisite painting to be auctioned off during our silent auction. The details are absolutely exquisite---no other way to describe it and thank you so much for being such a good friend to our community.
- it took 4 weeks of an incredible balancing act of painting and graphic design. Guy really helped out a lot with the cooking and cleaning. I gotta say I'm very proud of this site - it took a lot of discipline and concentration on tedious details which for most of the time is difficult for me to muster up!!
I didn't know who Andy Irons was up until a few days ago. I had heard a surfer had died of a strange disease and I thought it was sad, but didn't really think about it again. Then I kept hearing about him and it turns out he was a really good surfer, a three time world champion surfer, big waves surfer and he died of dengue fever which is a virus carried by mosquitoes.
Dengue fever causes extreme pain all over and they are not sure if he died from the pain killers he was taking or the fever. I'm guessing it was the pain killers.
Anyway, the reason for all of this is... I started thinking it's really amazing to me that someone who battled waves the size of five story buildings was taken down by something so small, a mosquito.
Even though this is a grim analogy, I think it really does apply... when you think you're too small and can't make a difference, think again.
Today is International Artist's Day and I am honoring Georgia O'Keeffe.
I first learned about O'Keeffe in art school in 1986 (the year she died) when we were shown a film about her life. Even though I was learning graphic design, I was deeply inspired as an artist by the way she lived in peace and creativity. There were long periods of silence of her just walking though the dessert picking up bones and rocks to paint.
I love the womanly feel to her paintings, her color and originality.
When I painted this portrait it felt so familiar and it made me want to go back to Santa Fe and immerse my self in the landscape and art.
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an Americanartist. Born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O'Keeffe was a major figure in American art from the 1920s. New York Times critic, Jed Perl, in 2004 described her paintings as both "bold and hermetic, immediately appealing and unnervingly impassive." She received widespread recognition for her technical contributions, as well as for challenging the boundaries of modern American artistic style. She is chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and landscapes in which she synthesized abstraction and representation. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.
Blue and Green Music, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1921
Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven’t time – and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time.
If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
…Well, I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.
Georgia O’Keeffe 1887-1986
Oil on 20×24 inch canvas
This client wanted both of her dogs painted, so I tried to match them as if they would hang together. Both of them were at least 80 lbs each and so sweet.
I'll be going back to Bald Head the Saturday after Thanksgiving to do another painting demo and taking orders for Christmas.
I will taking a break for about a week and a half to work on a very large website that needs to be up for Christmas, so you might not hear from me for awhile. Maybe some here and there - you know I can't live without painting for very long. :)
On Saturday I went to see a painting demo by a well know artist, Charles Movalli, who is known for loose, expressive paintings and recently judged the 2010 Oil Painters of America Eastern Region Exhibit, which was held here in Wilmington, NC.
As I watched, I realized I had never seen a painting demo and thought how great it was that this was the first! Movalli was just amazing... I loved his unapologetic attitude towards his art and the audience. His idea is - "I finish the painting when I think it's done and if you don't thinks it's done, it's not my problem." "Paintings are like steaks, some people like them rare, some well done... it's really just a matter of taste."
During the demo he just seemed to have so much fun and it looked more like play than laboring over a master piece and although it looked as though he was playing, he knew exactly what color to put where and when. He had a vast knowledge of technique and color theory. It was genius and it had a huge impression on me.
I realized I really need to do this more often and I have to take some classes on technique and color theory - there is so much to learn. I have always wanted to take classes, but never got around to it. I now realize that it is crucial to my career as an artist.
If you ever get a chance to see Movalli, I highly recommend it!
Here are some quotes by him:
"On the face of it, the easiest of all activities should be seeing what we see. In reality, it's the hardest."
"The painterly painter is in the highest state of tension, and the relaxation of this tension signals the finish of the picture."
"It can't look like you've worked hard and long, even if you have. A painting should be done quickly with both your intellect and your nerves. When they give out, stop."
I was out on my morning walk and started thinking today instead of looking down when I walk, I will look straight ahead. When I did this I started to think about all the details that I get lost in when I look down and don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of details, but sometimes I can get confused and stagnant in my thinking and I'm speaking literally and metaphorically.
Anyway, I started to think about where I am in my life... at a cross road. One way points to graphic design and the other points to painting. I've been at this place for awhile. Graphic design means money, safety and security. Painting is less money, lots of hard work, putting myself out "there" for a lot of hits, bruising and not to mention pain and self doubt, but the rewards are indescribable.
I should probably give you some history... when I was young I always wanted to be an artist. I loved drawing, art, everything about being creative, it was an escape for me, it was (is) who I am. When I got to the point in my life of deciding what I wanted to support myself with, I found graphic design and fell in love with it. It became who I am and I still love it, it's just not that rewarding to me anymore. No one will be putting a brochure or menu I designed on their wall for years to come and then I think... is this dilemma, vanity? Or is it how I want to define myself and at what cost?
Toward the end of my walk I started thinking "Okay, I get it, but what do I do with all of this? Where is my decision?" and I was okay with not making a decision today, but then I looked down and saw a brightly colored leaf and it hit me! It's only when the leaf reaches the end of it's life - it starts showing it's best colors and I was profoundly jarred. Do I really want to spend the rest of my life doing something that I feel is not rewarding, that doesn't feel like the core of "who I am? 'NO!"
Well, I hope that I live longer than a leaf's life and that I can find my "color" in my journey... There are no assurances, guarantees but, I know it will be rewarding.