art world

running out of sand

So I've made a bunch of cool stuff lately. I've been playing with different styles and techniques.

wild goose island in the lake there, isn't he cute?

wild goose island in the lake there, isn't he cute?

So I love this painting. I love the colors so much, the clouds I struggled with I need to up my technique for that still also I think I need to learn to use retarder for my acrylics for clouds since it dries so fast I don't get time to think before it dries down. But all in all I love how it turned out. I want to do more like this, it was a lot of fun even if it is more conceptual than my normal stuff. 

this one is hard to photograph

this one is hard to photograph

This bison also is something new I am trying. I have a bunch of old halfworked canvases that I am trying to incorporate into new artworks. I had a lot of fun with this one too. I think I should have made the orange background darker more like burnt orange to make it more like the actual prismatic spring but I still like how it turned out.

compare.jpg

Here I just painted over the original and tried again at the same composition. This is what I call a half day painting. That's what the original was as well, a painting you work on for a half a day for fun while watching a movie. Opposed to a normal painting which is worked on in days and several sittings. The original was also a half dayer so it is nice to see even my quick art skills have improved since starting to pursue the "art dream" as they call it. 

So there is a month left of the year. I think I want to make a goal of 4 paintings in this last month. This year has been not the best in general for me but if I am looking at the positive I have made more art this year by at least 3 fold from the previous 2 years. So if art is my positive takeaway from 2017 lets make the last month have even more art to try to balance out 

i want my garmonbozia back

So Twin Peaks... It was all just crazy dream logic and I was wrong, I'm not okay with it! Laura is the one! Why would Coop try to save her [aka not save her] and destroy everything?! I hate alternative realities and un-canonizing the original series. Oh well, I'm just gonna pretend season 3 never happened. Or I'll just pretend Twin Peaks ended with Eddie Vedder's song, cos I flippin' loved that. 

So I finished a painting I have been chipping away at all summer. I am so about it.

the bison I added but the rest is as it was when I was there in June

the bison I added but the rest is as it was when I was there in June

I love it but with the canvas was just a little longer. The bluffs went off so far and vast into the distance. What I remember most about the place was the rocks were so cold. I have a slight... obsession with feeling a place. Well more I really want to lock the place into a memory to store in the vault if that makes any sense, and feeling a place helps ground that. I guess because I am literally touching the ground. It was the edge of dusk where the sun is warm on your face but the air is cool. The breeze carried the pine-coney juniper scent of a million pine trees that filled out the canyon. It was quiet there, like crazy quiet but it wasn't scary like it is when your in your house and its super still it was a calming quiet. That is part of my weird memory "photograph" of the place and helps me get there in my mind and helps me paint it. 

Some of the places I've felt and kept in my memory vault are now gone. A good chunk of Glacier National Park has been lost and continues to burn. My cedar trees I felt and remember are being taken from the ages. While I never got to Sperry Chalet it was always a goal and partially why I started this venture in my life where I decided I was going to pursue art. The goal was to one day be able to be an artist in residence there. Having that goal be destroyed by outside forces does pain me a little bit but I think my drive or goal has become a larger force that can't be taken down so easily. 

Wildfire is also something that costs us many things like 100 year old buildings, the iconic vistas, the natural life of the area but it also allows for re-growth of new life. Glacier had a big fire the year after I was there on the East side of the park that scorched many of my places there. But it now has new life beginning to take the area back from the ashes.

[Photo by Saturated/iStock / Getty Images] Post-Fire Regrowth Near Gorge Trail

[Photo by Saturated/iStock / Getty Images] Post-Fire Regrowth Near Gorge Trail

Waiting on my regrowth here to overshadow the burnt, I feel like wildfire scorched my life some years ago and the regrowth has started but its a slow grow, and I'm impatient. But what else is there to do but keep going at it and wait.  

I think when I paint these places I've locked away in the mind vault, a big part of it is longing and romanticizing these places in my heart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm okay with it though. When you get to revisit these places via art or in person it is never disappointing or not living up to my memory palace of it. It is almost like the memory palace has improved the impression or feeling these places give me. So maybe that is why I still do landscapes even though I've been told they aren't my forte. [well at least yet they aren't] I want to share that place with people I want to capture that place in a box and be able to go there when I physically can't. 

Another rambly blog, but ramblin' is what I do best. #sorrynotsorry

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.  

murals, commissions, life lessons & adventures

Welp, I thought by July I would have a ton of new paintings done that I could post on here but alas nothing new in a while. HOWEVER I have been busy. Which I'll get to in a minute, first going to talk about what I learned the hard way.

MN State Parks is getting their own MN license plate and held a contest recently for artists to render designs that they would use on said plate. I made a painting but had decided it sucked too hard to bother entering and thought there's no way I could have won so why even try. Well life made sure I will always try now. They posted the 3 finalists last week and they... well they... let's just say had I known that kind of quality would be finalists I would have entered in a New York minute. I guess I know now that always try, because you never know. 

So in spirit of try, I am going to do my own artist in residency of sorts in 2 weeks. I will be going to a rural yurt with my friend Anna for a few nights on the Southern Shore of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. I plan to bring a couple sketch books and hopefully find some inspiration to make some new stuff. I took off 10 days for me to work on new stuff and work on some newly commissioned stuff. 

Recently I was commissioned for my first non-family/friend artwork. I know that sounds like oh wow finally someone who isn't related to you is asking for art big deal, but I don't know, it kind of feels like some sort of step forward? I am making a mother bear and cub portrait for her, with a forest motif. I am actually really excited to start this painting. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Here is the preliminary sketch. 

wanna do lupins and lots of pines in background

wanna do lupins and lots of pines in background

I also have been commissioned to do a outdoor mural on the brick wall on the back of my aunt's garage. She had told me she wanted to incorporate her garden and ferns but wasn't exactly sure what she wanted. I went with a stained glass motif since she is a stained glass artist herself and I thought it would simplify the large wall space instead of trying to do life like detail on enough flowers to fill a space of 14 feet, and would be something unique to her. This was my original sketch, excuse the highlighter coloring since that was all I had available when I sketch this during an overtime shift. 

I primed the wall then sketched out in marker then went over in thin black paint to create the outline I am filling in with each "pane" of color. I will go over the outline in black again once the panes are finished to give the illusion of lead soldering. 

had to modify the sketch a bit to fit the actual dimensions of the wall

had to modify the sketch a bit to fit the actual dimensions of the wall

I have started to add the color piece by piece and it is proving to be a lot more time-sucky than previously thought. I love how it is looking but I am glad I am starting with the small bits and moving towards the larger colors because I don't know I would have the patience for the small detail after doing the large scale colors.

the border looks a little gryffindor now but once the other colors fill in it will balance out the cool tones

the border looks a little gryffindor now but once the other colors fill in it will balance out the cool tones

I will take more detail photos once more of it is finished. Each pane I have painted in the illusion of stained glass with waves and reflections on the glass. I think it looks pretty cool, and excited to see how it looks when I add more and more colors. 

ain't got no suitcase

So I got the rejection email from the artist in residency program I applied to. Schwang-wang-waaaang...

Honestly I wasn't expecting to be accepted because, keepin' it real, I'm not totally ready, I don't really have a voice yet and my skill is decent but not excellent yet, and I know I need to make a larger cataloug and yada yada yada. The thing is ugggg that takes so much tiiiiime. I would love to do it everyday, but my god, how do people have the spare time to work at it daily or weekly? I honestly only have time to drag out all the art stuff once a month at most. I really think people underestimate how much time and work it takes to hold a fulltime job and work at your passion, when they say stuff like "follow your bliss." 

I also am regrettably a glass half full kind of person deep down. I know I had no chance really for this residency I know I need more development I know there are a lot more people than me that probably deserve it more and are more talented, I know all this but deep down there is a seed of "what if?..." I can't decide if I love my seed of wistful hope or hate it. The thought of "what if?" is motivational and detrimental at the same time. Hope is motivational; rejection can be debilitating. 

Do I feel debilitated by this rejection? No. However, this is my I don't know 1000th something rejection, so they just don't pack a punch quite like they used to. Of course, I mean I am a little disapointed because anytime you put yourself out there and get shot down without any critique or feedback its frustrating because you don't know where you need to focus your efforts to grow. [and a little sad I offically won't be going to Montana anytime this year now]

I think rejection is fundamental for artist growth, or personal growth for that matter. You need to be ripped down raw in order to not only toughen up your skin but to learn what it is to be raw. Raw you is real you, and real you is the you that needs to be the person you are putting out there. [if you can make any sense of that lol] Not only because learning to be your authentic self is important but because when you are always raw rejection starts to hurt less and less. I know a couple artists that were lucky enough to achieve some success right after college and have been working in their medium all of their adult career. This may be some deep seeded jealousy talking but it's my honest opinion that artists [or people] who are granted early success and faced no battles to acheive said success have their work suffer for it. Their work become stagnant and they don't improve upon their skills because they have never been challenged. Now it can be argued they don't need to improve because they have already been granted success, but I think that fights against what it means to be an artist or person.

As Captain Picard said "Inside you is the potential to make yourself better, and that's what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are."

I also feel like I know that the rejections I've faced are leading up to my destined... non-rejection?... Or acceptance, as I've heard its rumored to be called. I know that I will definitely appreciate my non-rejection more now than I would have say 6 years ago. It will a gift when it happens and not a given. 

ask and you shall receive

Not that I directly asked, but I recently had a little diatribe about my disatisfaction of art education and availability of truth and helpful information for artists. Low and behold, while youtube searching for ''artist success" I came across a video series made last year about just that.

So this guy, Tim Packer, stepped up to the plate and made some videos giving aspiring artists some real concrete advice and tips of the trade. He makes incredible artwork, his stuff is super unique and beautiful, and he has an amazing Canadian accent. [makes me long for the day MN is adopted by its true parent Canada] 

He is an established sucessful arist and he is sharing what he has learned and putting it out there in a non-condescending, totally accesible way. He's not just talking about the personal/mental side of what it takes, he's doing videos about acutal art composition. 

I also like that he doesn't stress any particular style and sends the message that there is room for any style of artwork in the art community, as long as you put in the work. Which is refreshing to hear. 

Check him out at:  http://www.timpacker.com