Thursday, August 21, 2014

"crow call"


i often wonder about the body of artwork i create. i'm always checking in with it. by this i mean, is it honest? does it speak true to who i am and what i want to say? is there depth behind it? ten years from now when i think about it will i still know where it was coming from? these things are important to me.
my artwork is an extension of myself and so i need for that to show in what i do. it's the reason i create. it's the reason i am an artist. 

"crow call"  for sale here
30" x 30"
mixed media on infrastructure canvas

this can get a little blurry when you are also trying to make a living from your artwork. you need to sell. you need to make money and so in the back of your mind you can't help but think "will it sell?". as much as i don't want that to be what drives me, i have to admit, that seed is somewhere in the cracks of my mind. it's a tricky balance you have to try to keep as an artist. you want to speak your truth on canvas, but you also need to keep in mind that you need to pay the rent. 

i always have this dreamy way of thinking that if you just present the world with the best part of you, everything else will fall in place. maybe that is a naive way of thinking, but my spirit refuses to believe anything else. i guess it's a chance, as an artist, that i'm willing to take. i can accept not selling anything as long as i know i stayed true to who i am. what?! i can hear all of the left-brained people rolling their eyes and snorting. i know. i know. 

well maybe there can be a balance (theres that word again) of the two notions. authentic creation and selling big. i'll work on that.

Food for thought:

How would my work change at all if I never showed it to anyone? 
Is exhibiting, sharing, selling engraved in my subconscious as artist?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"collecting days"

so june and a some of july were a little dry for me when it came to painting. painters block was in full effect and it was killing me. i kept trying and trying to paint anything ANYTHING! that was slightly good, but it would either get gesso'd over or hid in the dumpster way way down so no one would ever find it. it was really a struggle. i kept remembering all of these quotes about how inspiration can't find you unless you work your way towards it. remembering this just made me try harder and harder only to have another full day of nothing. again. more paint wasted. more boards destroyed.

this went on for the beginning of my summer until i was complaining to a couple of friends about this and they reminded me of the importance of  just letting it all go sometimes. guilt free. sometimes you just need those days of complete bliss. letting go of thought and your "to do list" and just giving into the present moment.

"sometimes you need to go have a drink in the afternoon and let the subconscious do its own work.", thanks timo! or kiki says "sometimes you need a collecting day". so....i listened. i went out to the beach, spent time with my family, i stayed home and cleaned (which strangely always makes me feel better), i brought my yoga mat back out, and i even started meditating again. i did all things that made me feel good and centered again. but the key was to do these things guilt free. i never once let my dry spell come to mind. i forgot how i need these things in order to feel connected to myself.

so when i came back to my studio it was like i never left. the paint just flew through me effortlessly. i had four paintings going on at one time. i felt like i was back.

maybe i didn't need to work towards finding inspiration, i just had to free myself to be open enough to let it in.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"lowering standards in june"

30" x 24"
available here

it happens after every show. i go into a bit of a slump. it's like when you prepare for a marathon (i can only imagine this). but you train for months before hand and you are just pumped for the big day. you know you are going to do well because you have dedicated all of your time in training. you are completely committed. your adrenaline is going. you feel ready. you can't wait. the day finally comes and you do better than you even thought. you actually feel proud of yourself and you're so happy with your accomplishment. 

30" x 24"
available here
the race is over and then you say well i deserve a break. i need a break. i need to refuel. i just need two days of rest and relaxation. a couple of days turns into a week. a week turns into a couple of weeks. then it's a couple of months since you've even ran a mile. now you are kind of scared because well you know you won't be where you were at and you might have to start a few paces back now.

30" x 24"
available here

this is where i'm at with painting. i felt a little burnt out after my show. gave myself permission not to paint, because when i tried it wasn't going that great. now i'm feeling a little out of shape and i want to escape with people i love and do fun summer things outside.

judy wise says, "everyone should lower their standards in June." can i come back in july and give it my all then?

Thursday, May 15, 2014


4' x 4'
acrylic on canvas (available here)
a few weeks ago a couple came into my studio and started to ask me questions about the works i had. i was setting up for a show so i had a lot of my paintings up against the wall and some where covered. they were very sweet and complimentary. they asked me what my connection with crows was so i tried to explain to them what they meant to me and i pulled out some of my newer pieces to show them. 

then the husband started to tell me he was not only an artist himself, but that he owned a very successful advertising agency in chicago. "the reason my company is successful is because i escape from it and give myself a chance to get creative with my own personal work so i am recharged when i go back to the office." he was very passionate when he spoke.

i'm paraphrasing here but he said, "we like to go around and look at artwork of emerging artists and we buy many many pieces for our home. we like to buy from artists that have a spiritual connection to their artwork that shows their passion, but are not there yet. you are close, but no you are not there yet." slap in the face, but i laughed out of surprise from his bluntness. "you are still a slave to your technique. you have to let that all go and just release." again, he spoke so passionately and really not out of judgement, just honesty. his straightness kind of excited me.

he totally called me on something i had been feeling. i had that little voice in my head that i kept ignoring. when he said this to me i knew exactly what he was talking about and i was so grateful. i knew him coming into my studio was for a reason. i could have spoken to him all day. unfortunately, i was too shy to ask for his card, but maybe that was meant to be that way. he's kind of this mysterious angel that came in here.

so this painting here was a result of this conversation and me just letting go and not letting my thoughts control me. what came to be was intuitively born. i still have more to give though. it will come.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"follow me"

"follow me"
4' x 4'
available here
a couple of months ago, i drove up to madison with some of my girlfriends for an art painting weekend (read about that here). i was in the back of my friends van sitting on a chair with ottoman i found at a nearby st. vincent de paul thrift store. our van was so packed, the only way i could bring my new chair home was if i forwent the van seat. there was only one in back because kiki took the rest out to make room for our supplies. so i sat in my new comfy chair all the way home. as i sat there, i looked out the window and saw a crow flying in the same direction as we were driving. the same thing happened on our way up to madison. three different times i looked out the window and saw a crow flying along with the car.

usually i don't see them flying along like that. most of the time they are cawing from a nearby tree or wire somewhere. so this really stood out to me.

this of course made me wonder why i saw it. what was it trying to tell me? was i following it or was it following me? i don't always have a clear idea of what it's trying to say, but i always use their presence as an opportunity to try to stay as present as i can. this was especially important being away from home and meeting new people.

this painting was born because of this experience.