Monday, December 31, 2018

Anything Goes 2018 Ending Reception

Well the month for the exhibit surely came and went very quickly. Unfortunately I didn't place in the exhibit and I didn't sell my "Awake" piece but that's okay. Sure it's a little discouraging. I would by lying if I told you I didn't feel a twinge of disappointment from not placing and/or not selling my artwork. We all will feel disappointment or feel discouraged at some point especially when it's a career that you put your heart and soul into, but it's best we don't let that deter us from meeting our goals and dreams.

To all of the dreamers and doers - Keep on dreaming and doing! You WILL get there in due time.

Not every artist (or whatever your field is) made it overnight. Seriously. I believe every artist I've EVER come across or talked to have said that they didn't make it overnight. For some, it took a few years and some it took over a decade before they "made it" to a more satisfactory state of their career.

Some days I feel like What's the point? and other days I feel confident and thinking to myself I got this!

I look forward to submitting to more exhibits and call for artists and more importantly to just keep creating more art.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Unexpected Happiness and its Inspiration

"Unexpected Happiness" is a product of instant inspiration.

I wanted to mimic the colors as close as possible from the bouquet of flowers that I received from my sister and friends when they surprised me at the group showing/juried show at Litmus Gallery in Raleigh (Anything Goes 2018)!

I was completely taken aback and was so happy that they came out to support me. God has truly blessed me with some amazing and thoughtful people in my life.

I hope this painting brings a smile to your face like it does mine because I associate those feelings of happiness and love when I see it. The colors are bright and wonderful and certainly brighten my day!

The inspiration for "Unexpected Happiness":

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Opening Night at Litmus Gallery!

Last night was absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better opening night. I got to network with some great resident artists at Litmus Gallery as well as local artists.

Another major thing that happened was my sister and friends came to support me. It was a complete shock for me but of course I was pleasantly surprised and on the verge of tears at their sweet gesture. They brought flowers (inspiration for an upcoming piece or two?) and after awhile we all went out to eat and celebrated my opening night. How marvelous, right?

I am absolutely blessed to have such love and support from friends and family.

P.S. The hubs didn't mind all of the gal talk and banter. He is a relatively quiet guy but he's my #1 cheerleader and I love him for it!

Me pictured with my 8x8 abstract piece entitled, "Awake," for opening night at the Litmus Gallery for the "Anything Goes 2018 Exhibit".

Me pictured with my sister and our mutual friends who surprised me with flowers and their support by showing up for opening night.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wake Med North Exhibit

I dropped off some art pieces at Wake Med North today and what a beautiful display they have available for local artists. This is a great area because it is high traffic and the artwork IS the main focal point so you definitely can't bypass the area and overlook the artwork that is displayed.

Even though I may not make any sales from this, at least it is a great opportunity for exposure and that is very important for an artist. Self promotion and exposure are two major things that artists need to keep in mind especially when starting out.

I was lucky enough that the "Artist of the Month" for November was available via the local artist guild that I'm a part of (Wake Forest Guild of Artists). A huge thank you to them for coordinating things like this for the artists.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Anything Goes Juried Show 2018

Exciting News Announcement!!

My piece, "Awake," was chosen to be a part of an upcoming show Litmus Gallery & Studios!!!

"Awake" is an 8x8 abstract piece that I completed awhile back.

I'm so honored to be a part of this great opportunity and if you're in the area, please be sure to stop by during the exhibition!

Exhibit Calendar:
Friday, November 2: Exhibition opens / Wine Reception 6 – 9 pm

Friday, December 7: Wine Reception 6 – 9 pm / Exhibit closes 9 pm

November 2 – December 7: Exhibition opens Thursdays 10 am – 2 pm and by appointment.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

When do I consider my artwork to be "complete"?

I recently came across a posting from Zen Art Supplies on Instagram. They asked their followers/viewers "How do you know when a work is finished?".

Ironically I JUST  had this exact discussion with my husband the night prior to seeing their post.

So, when do I personally consider my artwork to be complete? Is it every really complete? 

Well, I suppose I could just say, "It's just a feeling." Even though that's an extent...there's more to my process. I do love texture, movement, and a color with my paintings but what is something that can add an extra element to my paintings?

A few months back I started to really think about ways to help me make my pieces more dig a little deeper into my mind and my soul on what else can inspire me to achieve this. 

Once I got lost in thought, I thought to myself What if someone was colorblind and looked at my painting? What would they see? Would they be able to enjoy my painting just as much as a person who sees color?  Will they be just as moved by my painting by seeing the variations of lights and darks as opposed to a person who sees the colored version? 

That's when I decided to use the B&W feature on my phone's camera. You may be thinking Dana, that's not really a big deal...there are plenty of artists who use B&W on their cameras to view values. Yes, it really helps to see the color values.  For me, it was so much more than that. It was more than seeing if there are too many areas of lightness or darkness? It helped me see my paintings in a new light, so to speak. This became another way to help me connect with viewers.

I used this for the recent painting I was working on for an upcoming juried show. It's one thing to see your painting with the colors you used, it's another to see it in a different way using B&W. Prior to viewing it in B&W, it seemed to be missing something...seemed like there wasn't enough contrast in my painting. After seeing it in B&W, I realized my suspicions were true (in my opinion) and I added a few different "areas of interest" by using more color and brush strokes until it looked and felt complete not only in color but also in B&W. 

I wanted to include Before/After photos of the painting so hopefully help you see what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, a photo never quite does a painting justice since they are better when experienced up close and personal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Anything Goes 2018 Juried Show Submission!

I found out some INCREDIBLE news today!

When I saw the opportunity to submit for this show, I actually created the 20x20 piece entitled, "You Are Loved". I was instantly inspired to create that abstract piece and took on a color story that I had in an art journal of mine.

When I submitted, I saw that you could actually submit up to three pieces so that's when I decided to also include "Awake" and "Arise" into my submission.

Wish me luck!

The three pieces that I submitted are below:

Arise – 8x8 original abstract piece inspired by Southwestern color stories.

Awake – 8x8 original abstract piece inspired by a moment in time when I felt most awake in my art journey. The white represents being awake and that feeling being more dominant hence taking over the dark.

You Are Loved – 8x8 original abstract piece inspired by a moment in time when I felt most awake in my art journey. The white represents being awake and that feeling being more dominant hence taking over the dark.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Find Time for Creating

Over the last several months, I've found it hard to find time for creating or even the want to create sometimes. Do I have any excuse? Sure, I have...well, had, plenty of them! They were even legit excuses and reasons; however, there comes a time where you have to stop making excuses and start remembering WHY you create and, more importantly, why you SHOULD keep creating. Once I start thinking about my WHY and SHOULD, I remember how much those reasons outweigh and are much more important than my excuses as to why I wasn't or stopped creating. 

It's so easy to get caught up in responsibilities and obligations that you soon find yourself not creating. Does this mean you have to create something profound? No, not necessarily. I've literally had to talk myself into creating even if it's just a doodle, and at other times I can't wait to create and just go wherever my creative energy flows (isn't it awesome when it goes like that?). Sometimes you have to push past the mental, emotional, and/or physical exhaustion and keep your creativity going. I always feel much better for it. If I were to be highly critical of myself, I would probably say something like, "Ew, that's the worst doodle I've ever done!" but again it's not about creating a masterpiece. Now, I'm sure you've heard it keeps the creative juices flowing and it exercises your creative mind. There is actually some truth to it believe it or not! I find the more that I create, whether a doodle or my next painting, the easier it is (usually) to be creative and I don't get artist's block as often. 

Now, in a magical land of fairies and unicorns (or cupcakes and rainbows...whatever tickles your fancy) you could create anything and everything at the drop of a hat! In reality, it doesn't quite work out that way. For me, between kids and daily life and getting distracted by all of the things I should get done for the house and others ::: BOOM ::: it's 10 p.m. and I'm wondering where all of that time went. With it being summer now, I definitely will have to be even more disciplined in divvying up my time for everything and still creating art. I've got so many things planned for some upcoming pieces. I can't wait to share what I am and will be working on! I typically write down or sketch my ideas in a small journal so I don't forget that moment of inspiration or that idea for a painting. I highly suggest doing that if you aren't doing so already. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Brush hoarder??

Okay followers, stalkers, and fellow artists...what is your obsession or which art supply do you feel you can't get enough of? Pens? Pencils? Markers? Paints? Brushes? I would have to admit mine are obviously paints and brushes. I just love trying new colors or brands when it comes to paints.

When it comes to brushes though, I could spend a long while in that department at the local art store, Jerry's Artarama. I like to feel the bristles of just about every brush. Weird? Probably, but at least the awesome employees at Jerry's don't judge me. haha I would ask them if it's weird to do what I do, but I have a feeling they completely understand...almost like a "We're all mad here." kind of feeling.

Now, hopefully Jerry's won't be too upset, but I do hit up Michaels occasionally (because of closer proximity) and sometimes order via Blick Art Materials as well. While on the topic of brush obsession...what does an artist, who also likes to partake in photography from time to time, do during some downtime (aka waiting for paint to dry)? Take pictures of well-used and well-loved paintbrushes of course!

If you have any questions about the brushes, please feel free to ask. What are YOUR fave brushes? Leave a comment below!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Michaels Small Art Haul

I hit up Michaels recently and saw the Artist's Loft watercolor markers and knew that I had to add them to my art supply collection. I grabbed a pack of 48 at Michaels. Originally they are $49.99 USD, but I had a 40% off coupon with me so that worked out quite nicely in the end. Also, they had Strathmore art paper pads on sale (i.e. mixed media, watercolor, sketching, drawing, etc.). I snagged 2 of the 6x8 mixed media pads to try out the watercolor markers as well as wanting to use some of the sheets for future paper pieces for sale.

All in all I would say it was a good trip; although, I did originally go there for some frames and ironically walked out without any frames.