Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

On the Hunt

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

Open Studio, Busy Studio

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 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

peacock and the buffalo

I've been losing steam on this one in terms of emotion, personally its lost its meaning for me (which is a very good thing actually). Otherwise, I'm getting more and more happy with it. I'm enjoying the pattern and the learning process that has come with trying to do something a little new. There will be several more layers on the face, more value range and more glazing. I need to figure out how the image of the buffalo will work out and I want to build up the background considerably. I also need to fix something that is a little off in the eyes. I'm officially sick of painting myself, but I may have to for a little while longer in order to follow through with some ideas that are stirring inside. I plan to incorporate more patterns in my work and more elements aside from the figure. I also plan on doing some smaller pieces for a show I have lined up in January. I may stay away from the human figure for a while with that new series. I plan to revisit painting on mylar or do some graphite and charcoal drawings. Mylar as a creative surface has been calling me for years and I'm feeling ready to take the plunge I've been envisioning. It is a surface of many possibilities in terms of light and translucency. It also is so wonderful to scratch into or wipe away from. When done right the effects can be breathtaking. It's the whole 'done right' part that is tricky.

New Studiomate

I am now sharing my lovely studio with another fantastic artist, Scout Coumo. You can check out her work here . 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.

Yes and No make quite the pair

I'm currently back in the studio, painting everyday. I'm finishing up "Yes Sayer" since I've sold it as a pair with "The Gift". It's coming along very well. I anticipate that it will only need a few more layers, some more dark and light values, more work on the chest area and several more layers in the background. Now that the two paintings are officially married as a couple I want them to carry the same weight technically. I want to make some color and brushwork decisions that intentionally bring them together as one. They will still function on their own as individual works of art but they do feel much more powerful together. Once the "Yes Sayer" gets to the same finished stage as the "The Gift" I hope they speak even louder. That's the intention anyway.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

dancing birds

This painting is an experiment, a large scaled one at that. I'm not really feeling it as an image or composition, but I'm still really drawn to the process of painting it. I'm playing with thick impasto using cold wax medium in the birds. It's so luscious! Painting the grid is the opposite sensation, tight, thin and rigid. Painting them is actually very meditative and addictive. I have an idea what I want this to eventually look like, there will be an emphasis on atmospheric perspective to give the sense of a receding horizon. I want to play with color and texture considerably more as well. Whatever comes of it, it is a refreshing change of pace from the two other paintings I'm working on. Working on multiple paintings at once keeps the flow of creative energy moving.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010


working title: "on poets....on patterns/the peacock and the buffalo"

still in the underpainting stage.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"The Gift"

Every "No" is a gift if you listen closely. You have to strip it of your emotional reactions and look at its core. It is an expression of a need.

a departure

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!

a year of perseverance

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


people ask me why i paint self portraits. i tell them a truth, i'm my most available model. another truth: i paint myself because i want to be seen. to be understood, to be others and by myself.

Monday, February 1, 2010

painting development

This is my first time painting with a yellow ground. It is fascinating how colors work and play off each other. It makes for interesting color choices. So far, I really like it.

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 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

familiar territory

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 I have done before. Art is a is love, as is life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Studio!

This is the building to my new painting studio. It's kind of a dream come true! I'm on the 4th floor, the wing on the left. My windows face the other side.

Bottom left: Huge and bright, the dream begins here!