art career

in the year 2000

Apparently I am on a 3 blog posts a year streak.

I started another new job and the biggest shock of all is I love it. I feel almost paranoid saying that out loud like I’m going to jynx it but I truly do enjoy my new day job. I work at a school for special needs students and I do admin work and a bit of design, and it is really rewarding.

Lets see what else happened, oh yes got married, took mega road trip honeymoon, got settled into house and job, now there’s time for ART.

photo credit to Pamela Berry   www.pamelaberryphotography.com

photo credit to Pamela Berry www.pamelaberryphotography.com

Wedding was lovely, it was like 97 degrees out that day but the day was amazing regardless. All our family pitched in to make it happen, like legit so many people helped it was so touching to be surrounded by all that love. Drew, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned him by name anyways Drew my now husband was such a trooper that day. He’s a keeper.

I don’t often share photos of myself on here but our photographer did such a good job I had to share at least one. Also we wrote our own vows and damn near wrote the same thing, how does that happen.

taking a little nappy nap

taking a little nappy nap

The honeymoon was amazing we saw so much wildlife! We saw a moose 20ft away.

We also got to be in bunch of national parks with hardly any other visitors, it was amazing. Almost every trail we took we were the only people on that trail. it was John Muri-esque.

lamar valley, my second home

lamar valley, my second home

Ok one more photo from the trip.

We camped all over Tetons and Yellowstone the last night we stayed at pebble creek and camped among the lamar valley wolf pack and heard them howl all night. It was amazing. We then woke up early and met some career “wolfers” who spot with their scopes and track the packs of Yellowstone. A wolfer named Dusty let us look through his scope and we saw the soda butte pack. It is an experience I will never forget, so glad that me and Drew got to share this time together.

So now I have a billion arts I need to art. I have a couple commissions on the docket for holiday season so that’s nice.

I have had a long break from art since my last art show in Northfield. I am a little worried I will be rusty getting back in the swing of things. Strange as it is, it is harder working on a 2nd job when you like your first, when you hate your day job the hate becomes driving force to make your passion job work. Don’t get me wrong I would not trade back AT ALL, I just need to learn to have more discipline to dedicate time to art in my spare time. Maybe the hate of a job that drove art didn’t create authentic art maybe having a job or life that is rewarding will yield more rewards within art. That’s my hope at least.

i can has artz?

I think my first post on my website was exactly a year ago. So I've been arting it up for a year officially. Real talk, I am feeling kinda like a bummer. 

I feel like all I do is bitch and moan on this blog "I wish I had more time for art" "I wish my job was art" "the art community is so up its ass" "how do I find an audience?" and its all sour grapes. I acknowledge this. I am complaining about things I can't change which is just... useless.

But its also frustrating because I legit feel these are the things holding me back. I know I have a chip on my shoulder, I just don't know what to do about it. I want to be positive but honestly it is hard when it comes to getting my work out there. It feels like beyond just the standard hurdles of creating an audience and finding your nische, there have been additional intentional hurdles placed [mostly financial] to weed out up and coming artists of a certain economic background. 

Its hard not to take it personally. I for the life of me do not know how artists who don't come from money start from the bottom up. It feels as if things are set up to help established artists further establish themselves. I don't know what the stepping stone is between no audience/no establishment/no expendable cash to having a client base large enough to be able to afford to appear in art fairs, and it bums me out.

OK, venting complete, I feel better.

So positive stuff. I am so into drawing currently. It makes me happy and I am more apt to work on an illustration after work because its 1000% less set up, I can just dive in. I know a lot of my illustrations are made pretty much just for me, like beyond me there is probably no market for them but I'm not mad about that because I just like making them so much. 

like how gorgeous is this, I am in love

like how gorgeous is this, I am in love

I figured if I am doing American landscapes, I should include some native american women, this is based off a photo of a shoshone woman

I figured if I am doing American landscapes, I should include some native american women, this is based off a photo of a shoshone woman

my beautiful Celeste in that moment you felt her heart sink into her stomach, I try not to post the fan art I make onto my professional site but she was toooo pretty, big little lies so good

my beautiful Celeste in that moment you felt her heart sink into her stomach, I try not to post the fan art I make onto my professional site but she was toooo pretty, big little lies so good

I love them. I love my women. I could draw them forever. I have collected a bunch of reference photos and want to branch out in body types and races and what not. Mix it up more. 

I am also still working on landscapes and wildlife because I love them too. I love mountains and animals so much I can't even. 

so far improved from my zion painting from this time last year, so thats a plus

so far improved from my zion painting from this time last year, so thats a plus

some dog portraits I did for a friend's sister, the dog on the right was challenging with such short fur and all one tone but I am happy with how they came out

some dog portraits I did for a friend's sister, the dog on the right was challenging with such short fur and all one tone but I am happy with how they came out

Sometimes I feel as far as art that all my positivity goes into the artwork and all I have left is sour grapes to promote the work. When I think about drawing or painting my work I feel calm, happy, peaceful, when you ask me about selling/marketing my reaction is blechhhh and anxiety. 

So despite all my bitching I did enter in a couple of art shows, and god if they read this blog I am sure my applications will end up in the bin but hey I am being honest. I am not about to drink the koolaid. I need to get out there and meet my market/create a market and I need to learn how to not be such a bummer about promoting my artwork.  

oops its feb

Long time no writey. Well I decided this year I want to make a lot more art, and considering its only February I think I have a considerable amount of new artwork made in the last month. 

I've started making some mixed media illustration drawings of naturescapes and faces of women. I am super into it and I know it is totally artwork just for me and no one else probably is even into it but I am loving them and they are so fun to make. I missed drawing people, I have shyed away from it because I also really want to capture nature in my art. So I guess this my atempt of satsifying both desires for my artwork?

fishy is my favey

fishy is my favey

The bottom right drawing was my first, and it turned out a little more "cartoony" looking just because I am getting back into the swing of things drawing people, and even my more realistic portraits still look a little disney, I just don't like hyper-realism I like a little bit of stylistic type look to my stuff. 

This fish is so dope, it looks like a sticker and I am loving it. I for sure want to do a million more woman and fish paintings. Maybe I will do a series of endangered or threatened fish species. This one is a cut-throat trout currently endangered and numbers dwindling fast from Lake Yellowstone; shout out to my cut-throat buds stay strong my friends! 

I think I am going to do at least 2 more of these based on Yellowstone flora and fauna, but I want to do other parks too. I think it would be cool to do this as an illustration series of different national parks. National parks and art are my 2 passions , as you've probably gathered by glancing at my portfolio, so it only makes sense to mush them together.

I have also started trying to sketch daily. I get in at least 1 a day usually. Here are the greatest hits so far. 

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

dying to do some Finnish goddess stuff too, but again nische market if there ever was one

I am super into my animals, they look so cute and disney cartoony. I used to think realism is the goal but now that I have my fundamentals down I am leaning more stylized. Which I am ok with because I love how it looks, whether or not other do or will is another question entirely.

I LOVE the bison. I could draw bison and pretty woman all day long I tell ya. Bison have somehow become my sigil I should really work on making them my logo and ensignia.

I have also experimented in palette knife painting. It is hard. I want to keep practicing but omg it is for the very light of hand, and I am of the heavy handed variety.  

pinky mountains are purrty

pinky mountains are purrty

I want to do some mountain paintings with oversaturated "alpenglow" the pinky snow at sunset, I am obsessed with how it looks and want to do a high contrast pumped up color redention of it. I am working with mediums in my acrylic now to get a thicker consistency to try to paint these mountains with a palette knife; so it is a lot of new stuff at once. 

LOVE the island on this one

LOVE the island on this one

On this one the mountains got a little more pink than I would have liked but again finding the slight of hand balance is hella hard. I love the water and island in this one, but water and silhouetted trees I could paint with my eyes shut, its one of my favorite things to paint. I also really love the cloud, its so fluffy and soft. I think this one is better than my first try but I chose slightly the wrong color for the sky and mountain. I want to play with new colors on scenes but still am finding my color scheme it seems. I'll get there. 

So in conclusion... I'll keep making more stuff I guess. Still haven't figured out how to get it out into the world... idk Ebay? We'll see. 

trial and error

Well we are coming up on the end of the year here; classic reflection time and member berry season. So in looking back on this year these are my observations.

I'll start with the lows. Arts & crafts shows aren't for me. It's not my crowd. I know that galleries aren't my crowd either though. I don't know where my crowd exists. I don't know where to go with my art. I don't know how to sell my art. I have been trying to share and sell my art for going on 5 years but more of a real effort this past year. 

A long time ago I was told that it is selfish to hold onto my art and that is meant to owned by people other than myself. I have hit many walls trying to pursue art as my fulltime career, and my kneejerk reaction to failure is to think "omg, this isn't worth it, obviously it wasn't meant to be, there is no room for my art in the world" That negative funk lingers for a while but always fades away and those words said to me take its place.

it's selfish to hold onto my art, it is meant to be owned by others

I don't know if this is even true. It could have just been nice words to placate me. Yet, I can't shake them. It has become absolute true concrete fact for me somehow. My artwork is meant to be owned by others, it belongs to people, it doesn't belong locked in my storage unit or the shelves of my closet. My art belongs in the world. So knowing that fact means I need to figure out how to do this, and this figuring out how business is the bane of my existence. 

Ok some of the highs. I made more artwork this year than any year prior, and by a lot, at least tripple my normal output for a year. I completed my first ever outdoor mural that was 14ft long, so also my largest artwork to date. I had more requested artwork this year than any year beforehand. I started the year with 10 followers online [all family/friend relations] and as of this morning have 50+ followers online, not thats anything really in the scheme of online but hey 5 times as many as I started out with.

On a more personal note, my family and friends have more supportive than ever this year in my endeavor of pursuing my art career. They are the best part of this journey and I don't know where I would be without them. 

So I will wrap up this member berries blog post with the most recent / probably last finished painting I will do this year. 

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

turned out more fall like than intended, also a little more bob ross like than intended lol

Fall somehow crept into this painting but I am ok with it. Overall I like this painting. I wish I could have captured a little more vastness, this seems a little close feeling for me. The lodgepole pine on the left is meh, only because I had no reference photo for it, I clearly need to go get some more reference photos in person is the answer! *wink* I also would like to work on blending but spoiler alert, that is a goal for next year as I step into the world of... oil painting.

Original oil paintings coming 2017, lets see how awesome or how awful it is.