Friday, December 3, 2010
Feeling motivated: applying to shows, researching galleries, getting professional photos of my work taken, redoing my website, updating my digital portfolio, updating my resume, updating my artist statement, creating a mailing list, and painting.......while also building two new careers as a yoga instructor and crossfit trainer! sounds nuts when I write it out.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I've been on hiatus from blogging, but fret not, I've still been painting. I've been super busy between my new "day job" teaching Bikram Yoga, coaching Crossfit, painting and getting ready for Open Studios. Scout (my studio-mate/ girlfriend) and I spent many hours making the studio look cozy and professional. I've posted some photos of the new look. Open Studios was a big event, it took lots of energy. Hundreds of people came through. I didn't make any sales but I'm hoping that it will lead to something in the future. A lot of business cards disappeared, so who knows. I'm feeling motivated to create a new body of work. I have a show lined up for January and am currently putting effort into more exhibiting opportunities. I'm dedicating time each week to the art marketing side of the things. My new teaching schedule allows me big blocks of time off mid-day during the week so I have quality time to paint and work in the studio. I know myself, I only feel creative and motivated during the day. Plus the light in through the studio windows is best then, it's so inspiring.
I'm moving in a new direction right now. I'm working on a series of work that focuses on images of Crossfit women. Crossfit is a unique strength and conditioning program that produces amazing results. It also has a very interesting online history and culture surrounding it. I'm really interested in the images that are posted on the main website Crossfit.com that depict these strong women performing these cross training movements. I'm interested in the display of strength and power, but am equally interested in how these images look when taken out of their original context. The compositions become strange, mysterious, interesting and start telling a new story and (hopefully) start asking new questions. I'm excited to be painting new images, new figures and am learning to embrace the unknowing that comes with working outside my comfort zone. I'm really just excited about creating a new body of work. I'm still collecting ideas for my more political and emotional work, but I'm putting them aside for the foreseeable future.
I left Colorado for art, love and adventure and it didn't disappoint (it just ended up looking a whole hell of a lot different than I planned!) I always wondered what my art would look like if I lived in a place that had an art culture and was accepting of who I am. Now that I'm finally in that place the results are a lot different than I thought. But who knows where this will all lead, I'm just happy producing art and growing as an artist. Life is pretty sweet!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I am now sharing my lovely studio with another fantastic artist, Scout Coumo. You can check out her work here http://scoutcuomo.wordpress.com/ . She paints, draws and makes charcoal animation films (which I find fascinating!) So far it's a great fit for both of us. I had more space than I ever could need and she was cramped up in her tiny attic trying to paint. That just sounds miserable in this heat. We have a little AC unit that brings both of us here often, nothing like making art in light and comfort. Having prolific creative energy around is so inspiring and contagious. I'm so grateful for her presence in the studio, she is a valuable peer and is becoming a new friend.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I'm trying out something completely new. Might as well, change and risk is the theme these days. I started with a blue chalk-line and made the grid pattern from two points, one at each top corner. I'm a sucker for blue and orange together, but this will most likely be covered up by other layers.
I've had this weird visualization that blue lines of energy connect people, that they connect us all. It has been more of a visualization tool rather than a literal interpretation. I've wanted to express this idea for a while but hadn't figured out a way to convey it with out being overt and cheesy. I found the chalk-line at the hardware store and the visual now unfolds.
There will be figurative elements, but I don't plan to use people. It's still undecided which species will be my stand-ins. I don't see this piece fitting in my general body of work, but perhaps it will take me in yet another unexpected direction. I'm excited to see what develops. This process will take a while since I will be leaving soon. I'll be away from my studio for 9 weeks. Other life goals beckon!
I've been working on this piece for a year now. It has gone through many a change through out that time. (So has the artist) At this point it is still not complete. There are several more details to add in the hands and eyes. I also need to do a coat of dark-value glazing. The back ground will probably see more work too.
At one point I lost hope that I would have the desire or energy to bring this painting back to life. It went along on the rollercoaster of this year with me, fluctuating between looking right and looking really wrong. Now it could turn out to be one of my favorite paintings, if not one of my best.
There is a subtlety that has come over my technique. I was resisting it for a while, just like one often does with change. At first, it was easy to think of it as being rust and frustration. I wasn't sure where I picked this new paint application up, especially since I had taken such a long break from painting. As it always seems to go, it is proving to be the change I was needing. I might be getting ahead of myself here, but there is a maturity and strength that I am finding in my new brushwork. I think it lends to my subject matter in a more refined, cohesive way. It has less of a caricature stylizing than my older work. It's pretty interesting to see my old paintings next to my new ones, the progress is obvious and that is a very satisfying feeling.
i left my old life with hopes of love, art and adventure. Indeed, this is what the last year has gifted me.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I can't say this enough, I LOVE my studio. It's a dream come true in so many ways. I feel at home in these 600 square feet. The white walls, the bright light, the tree top view, the creaking pipes, the dusty smell, the warm air are blessings each day. Never has a physical space of my own been more inspiring, more conducive for creativity. The head space helps, but I find myself being pulled here from the moment I wake up. There are few places I'd rather be. For the first time in my entire life, even during graduate school, I can tangibly feel what it would be like to paint for a living. It always felt so far away, but it is here, I am in it. Not only can I feel it, but I finally know I can do it, I could sustain it and I want to. It consumes my every thought, I want to be creating, I want to be painting. If I'm not painting I want to be reading and generating ideas. I have found myself in the cycle of passion, to be honest I worried my time had passed me.I am happily wrong. I feel so blessed, so grateful, so overwhelmed with bittersweet emotions. I see the manifestation of intentions and dreams before me. How could I have known that it would have taken this path? How beautiful, how heartbreaking. This is my way of accepting what is. Still, I find myself wishing I could share....so I write this. Maybe it will be read. I can not run from myself, in fact this could not have happened with out diving into solitude. I used to fear the sense of separation that could come from locking myself in a studio, but I feel more connected and more alive than I do in a coffee shop full of people. I now have the "art residency" I was looking for and the "other reasons" for uprooting. It never ceases to amaze me how life unfolds.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
On the eve of starting new paintings, I find myself in touch with familiar feelings. To commit to an image is a vulnerable process, just as most commitments are. I see two blank canvases in front of me waiting for me to choose from all the ideas and options. Which ideas are strong enough to give form to? Will the best ones rise to the surface? Which path do I take? Do I express a broader theme or one that is close to my skin, straight from the heart? What are the consequences of this articulation? What are the benefits? Who will see it? Who won't?
I had a conversation not that long ago about my fears and concerns about this very process. I wanted to be honest about the vulnerability it stirred in me. This is the very struggle that I feel right now rising up, the same emotions I have before I embark on my loudest and most passionate work. Unfortunately, that conversation ended up being a pivotal moment in my recent past, it pushed me here. I found myself at one point wishing I could take the truth back. However, it was genuine and more than that, it is what makes art important for me. It is the space that presents me as a whole being. It isn't easy, it isn't comfortable, it asks me to say things I'd rather keep inside, it makes me visible and obvious, appreciation is not guaranteed, it beckons the question "are you strong enough?" Somedays I don't really know, and that is a healthy exploration to make before any commitment. If this process was without fear and doubt what would I learn from it? Would it be worth the time and effort? Would it even interest me?
So here I am asking myself "why does this feel familiar?" and "is it ok?" This is what makes art so beautiful and so terrifying. It not only speaks profoundly but it asks of you, it asks for all of you. I can not escape by hiding behind comforts and security blankets, it strips me to the core. Sometimes it scares me, it's easy to run away. However, I know that although it may not always be pretty, when it is, it's well worth it. So, I am approaching my fears yet again. It seems to be a common occurrence for me lately. I can finally see these fears and vulnerabilities for what they are, just pieces of the whole. I can embrace them and I will move past them....as I have done before. Art is a practice...as is love, as is life.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sunday, November 29, 2009
i've never painted myself as anyone other than who i am
yet each viewer has their own interpretation
independent of the artist's intentions.
there is meaning in the space between.
in the end that is the risk of art
the beauty of art, the beauty of life
the risk of love.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This is my newest painting, it's still in progress. It's only about a week old at this point. Working title is "....I am" (Feedback would be appreciated.) I'm back to doing self portraits, I'm my most available and consistent model!
My intention is to try to paint more positive images. Nothing is more affirming than "yes", right? Granted the image may make some people uncomfortable. Implied nudity will do that. The color palette is pretty cool and subdued at this stage, I'm kind of liking it but I'm worried that the flesh will look lifeless. I'm unsure how the background will develop at the moment. I'm liking the grey wash, it's kind of symbolic as to what I'm currently feeling. That could change.
More writing on the body, I can't help myself. (side note: If you haven't read Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson, I highly recommend it!) This "yes" idea has been floating around in my head and my notebooks for quite a while now, at least 6 months. I like to think of it as "yes is the answer to your question".... is the subject male, female, happy, sad, peaceful, alive, meditating? Is the subject aware of what is written on their chest? Did the subject put it there? Is the subject a willing participant to this "yes"? What does the nudity imply? Is this meant to be sexual? Is there a personal narrative involved? To that question I can say.....YES!
This painting is finished, which is appropriate. So is the message, the original intention. Now it acts as a symbol of transformation, change, manifestation. It is a personal narrative of what was, what is and what I wish would be. I decided at the last moment to add 'I' and 'U' to the heart, a choice I am happy about, it adds a lot more meaning (personally and compositionally). "I love you" carries weight, it implies. As evidenced in my other work, text is a tool for me. The idea of words and meaning being written onto the body, whether literally or metaphorically, really interests me. In this case: is this a message from the artist to the subject? from the subject to the artist? from the artist to the viewer? the subject to the viewer? how do these words make each participant feel? Is there vulnerability in this kind of declaration, is there seduction? discomfort? Also, why is this written on the body? Is it a tattoo? is it graffiti left over from an exchange between lovers?
The element of concealment is often at play in my work. I'm interested in its societal and personal implications when it comes to sexuality and gender. It can be a subtle or blatant element in my work. In this case the hoodie both conceals and reveals. I find that idea interesting, when it comes to how homosexuals interact in society, voluntarily or not.
I am very proud of this painting. It marks a return of confidence in my work and about my application of paint. There is less struggle in my brushwork. This painting looks very different that any of my other work, it's technically more superior than most of my other pieces. Unfortunately, the digital picture doesn't do it justice. Personally it is very significant as well, it's been a challenging process, I wanted to see this painting through, to make a beautiful ending...after all.