After having a presence on Redbubble for years, it's nice to see they're offering some really wonderful products to showcase artist's creations. I'm particularly thrilled with their tee and A-Line dresses. I'm really enjoying updating the products offered on my page there.
For this year's Twitter Art Exhibit which will occur in March in NYC, I decided to try something different - something I rarely do, and that's to paint something scenic. I was deeply inspired by a photo a friend who lives in Palm Springs posted to his FB page. Luckily, the size for the art for the exhibit is small - post card size. So, if I really messed it up, I would be able to start over without feeling too depressed about it. :-) I sketched free hand ( which I always do, whether from my mind, or reference ) the scene making minor changes. I marked where I will be cutting it to size in pencil, but I always work before cutting out the exact size I need the art to be. This allows complete coverage of the area and I feel it gives me sort of a psychological freedom to extend a bit beyond the area allowing me to design a better piece. I worked in watercolor and gouache, which I love. And for once, I didn't outline anything in black, which I normally love to do. I'm always willing to paint new things, and experiment with new mediums and styles. I feel it keeps me on my toes. I love the challenge.
If you want more info on the Twitter Art Exhibit and have a Twitter account, click HERE.
Thought I would give my iPhone time lapse feature a try and realized I could have really used a tri-pod for my iPhone. iPod sounds kind of cool. Anyway, a normally fast sketch for me to do seems to go by in a blink of an eye here. Just a little fashiony face I saw in my head while sitting at the kitchen table with a pen in my hand and a napkin that was hanging out on the table.
An intersting thing happened recently. I signed up for email from Artist Patience Brewster's website after reading a wonderful article about her and the wonderful Christmas ornaments she creates, and then separately a few weeks later, I hear she is reaching out to bloggers and inviting us to talk about our art in honor of Artist Appreciation Month. When I received that encouragement from her, I realized once again how important it is to blog!
Now for the fun part, and the part that I think is the most difficult for most artists to do - talk about themselves. Wouldn't we much rather hide behind that curtain of anonymity and keep creating? Of course, but the followers of our work would love to know more.
Instead or rattling forever and losing you to a sea of words ( because I personally rather see more visuals than words ), I will break out the answers to her questions in separate Blog posts. And I hope you'll come back for more.
Question #1 - As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?
My ability to draw was apparent at an early age. I have a very strong visual memory and drew a giraffe from my memory in kindergarten. My teacher raved about it, and my mother took it in stride. I think she saw my talent as something fun and and no way a future source of income for me when I grew up ( neither my mother or father were artistic in any way ). No one else in class could draw without copying from something. I sat there whipping out things I saw in my mind. I started to feel more freakish than born with a gift. I was never one to tell anyone I was an "artist." My friends would say it for me. As I became more aware of my surroundings, I would have to say that the world of fashion, not a particular artist or artwork, was my greatest source of inspiration. I think I've been a "Vogue" subscriber since the age of eight. Well, not that young, but I know it feels like forever. I would sit and draw fashiony kinds of figures and loved drawing the outfits ( illustrations below were in my head at the age of 12, no reference material nearby ). And when Twiggy became the rage ( yes, I'm seriously dating myself here and you can see the visible influence of her in my art in the far right figure ), I was in heaven. And Jean Shrimpton. Need I say more? Google these fashion icons. You'll know why I was so obesessed, at least for that time period in fashion.
As I grew into my teen years, I would write stories for my High School English teacher complete with illustrations. He said they were the highlight of his Monday mornings. I can only imagine. Then in my free time in the evenings, I would draw and write comic books about my friends. I would actually draw for hours alone in my room getting out every now and then for more moments of inspiration. My Dad even scored me a huge drafting table to create on when I was about sixteen. It overpowered my bedroom, but what did I care? Drawing was my life. The bigger the table, the better.
Hang in there, I will answer the next question next week!
Now a little about Patience. I read a wonderful article about her in a FB Art Licensing Group I belong to. She is a true visionary, and focuses all her energy in creating a magical Christmas every year with her designs. She is also a brilliant combination of creativity and business. Two things, that no matter what art field you are in today, is sorely needed. The businees part of art is seen as the less desirable part, but a part that is becoming more and more important. Many art colleges are acknowledging this fact and are offering courses for artists to understand and feel more comfortable with this aspect of art.
Have a look at Patience Brewster's beautiful ornaments. They're magical and whimsical, and the culmination of hard work and talent. I hope you love her work as much as I do!
It's happening again in Moss, Norway. The Twitter Art Exhibit!
My art is on its way as I write this. I worked in watercolors and watercolor pencil on Arches paper. The title of my art is "For the Love of Owls." The two owls I painted are indigenous to Norway.
I was happy to be able to participate again in the exhibit. Sure wish I could be at the event. Maybe one year!
It's always a bittersweet experience to sell a painting. It's like sending your child off to college, only you will never see your child again. This ( art ) child has been created solely for the purpose of creating something that I love, and also with the hopes of connecting with a buyer and making them happy. Granted, not every painting an artist creates sells, and the creation process in itself is what brings the ultimate joy. But to me the ultimate satisfaction is connecting with someone who feels a connection to my work. I make it as easy as possible for a buyer to own my work; many times placing the payment on a lay-away type payment plan. When the art is paid for in full, it is shipped. I package the art myself with the help of my husband and the process takes about half an hour. I use UPS to ship and I'm grateful to say that my art has always arrived at its destination in perfect shape.
But as I place the art in a huge, plain, white box I feel there is something missing. The box becomes a blank canvas to me and I put myself in the receiving end of this box realizing that what's on the outside does not match what's inside. There should be some sort of art on the box "announcing" the arrival of what the buyer has invested in - something to make the buyer feel special. So with each box I ship ( and they have been pretty large ), I get my trusty markers out, roughly outline a design in pencil, and go to work on a piece of art on the box. Nothing super elaborate because the likelihood of it getting to the destination unscathed is pretty slim. The above photo collage is from the buyer of my painting "Amphitrite" as she photographed the steps upon receiving the art. She was thrilled. I believe in making the buyer feel special, because that's exactly as she/he should feel when they make an art purchase. It's a bond between creator and buyer that there are truly no words for. Expressing it visually is the closet I can get. Happy Creating!