career

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. 

progression

Well, this past weekend's craft show was a bust but I guess I learned my lesson about knowing your crowd. But hard to know what the crowd is or is gonna be without trying some things. The next show I am doing is crafters / makers only, so maybe the audience will be more open to art. I am really still not into the idea of galleries, maybe I should look into coffee shops but even then, they have become almost gallery like because soooo many artists are looking for their showcase.

I also learned that apparently there is always one lady at a craft show that is going to passive agressively deflate your mojo with a sly ass hatted remark. I feel like I am usually someone to just let things slide but these craft show shady ladies dig deep yo. It put me off my game for a day each time. 

But since I have the best family ever, I feel like I can bounce back from those haters. Seriously I have the most supportive friends and family and am so thankful for them. They are national treasures and I want to build them all vacation homes and make it so they can all retire because they deserve it and they are just so awesome. 

My friend Meredith requested a cardinal in winter painting for her Grandma. I had so much fun making this one.

he's a little grumpy and I love it

he's a little grumpy and I love it

I love how the bird looks and the background, I still struggle with tree branches and bark. I should do some practice pieces of just tree branches, to up my game.

So I love how it turned out, but when comparing it to an older artwork of a cardinal I love it more. 

just wow

just wow

Don't get me wrong I still like the one on the left but not often do you get to see side by side comparison of your skill level. My boyfriend always tells me that my technique has improved and being a woman you assume he is just placated you but I guess I actually have, which is really cool and awesome to see. 

I am in the midst of making a new northern lights painting, people seem to love them, and I had one ordered by my gracious aunt at my last show.

Lets hope new and more art is on the horizon and next year turns out even more art and success. 

against the wind

I finally had a legit full weekend of working on canvases. The canvases were fighting back however. 

It is becoming increasingly clear I need to work on making the switch from career to artist; not that you can really call my day job a career but still, it gots to go. I don't hate my day job its neutral to me, I have no feelings about it one way or another however it eats up all my time and sucks the energy out of me. So when I do go in to working on what is currently my weekend craft, I have nothing left in me because weekday job used it all up.

I think my current reachable goal is to be able to go down to part time / 3 days a week. I would like to be able to do that within 6 months if not sooner. However that would mean making $400 $500 a month from artwork sales, which I've never done. So we'll see. [that saying should be my family's crest]

I'm still working on my bear painting comission. I am hoping it leads to more work. I really enjoy comissions because I think I try harder when making something for someone specifically. I really enjoyed doing the mural I recently completed. It is going to sound obvious but working with that much color brought me joy. There is of course doing what you love the actual painting act which is rewarding but being around the color was what I really enjoyed. I liked playing with the colors and I miss being able to "go to work" and be immersed in color. The color gave me life almost.

So long story short I need to quit work and be able to do art, it will be simple right?

Here is the one painting I finished this weekend. I like it but yet I feel like it is missing something. I like playing with silhouettes and color, but I am not sure what I feel is missing. I wanted to capture a dusty old bison in rut running against the wind, the smell of hot summer in the grasslands where the rocks just radiate heat like an oven, and the breeze is even warm and dry against your face, where the badlands just feel so vast and empty. So yeah, that rambling, that's what I wanted to paint. 

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. 

Why website? Why now? Why no use complete sentences?

[caution: slight animosity ahead, it only lasts the first 2 paragraphs I promise]

You may be asking yourself what's the point of starting this blog/website now? 

Like so many of us, upon my arrival to college I was told to let the dream die of becoming a professional artist since its not a real job. [truer words cannot be said] I was talked into majoring in my University's experimental new major of "DIVAS" [Digital Imaging Animation & Sound] since it would combine my love of art with a degree that would lend to an "actual" career. 

It turns out real jobs suck. 

But what is adulthood if not discovering you made enormously expensive mistakes because you were forced to make gigantic life decisions at the age of 17 on the whim of suggestions from people paid into tricking you into a lifetime of debt. Dress it up anyway you like but that's what it is.

Bitterness aside, I realized I don't want a real job. I want to make quality stuff for quality people, and that's about as far as you can get from any "real job" I've had. To quote Leopold Bloom "There's a lot more to me than there is to me!" 

Art lives deep down in my core, and I bet it does for you too if you're crazy enough to be reading this. It's like the first time you see a mountain, and you feel it, you feel it almost in your spine, you feel just a primordial umph within you. You know that this [the mountain] is important and all that other fleeting stuff is blown out of the water by how incredible and simple it truly is. Yeah, so art is pretty much like that...  

Problem is now that I've seen a couple mountains and painted a couple paintings I'm hooked on that umph feeling. I want you to have that umph feeling, and I want to make it my life's work to capture that feeling in any way I can down on canvas and paper to share with people so that they can even for a brief time have their fleeting stuff blown away into the distance. 

I may be late to the game attempting to start my pilgrimage as an artist, but I know it's what I'm passionate about and I know it's what I'm good at.