wildlife art

i met you in the summer

So last Friday was my first gallery showing. It was a pretty small show and at a city community center art display showcase, but the show was so sweet and really touching. It was in honor of a local artist that passed over a year ago, Anthony Caponi. Tony built an art park that I worked at just after college during my graphics career. When submitting artwork to be considered for the show you were asked to include a short essay about how Caponi influenced you, whether that be through his art, the park, or knowing him in person. I wrote about my time working there and what it meant to me not knowing that if chosen to show that the story would be printed alongside the artwork on display. So seeing my story and everyone else's stories on display was really exposing at first but also very sweet. There was so many touching stories about how one man's art really reached so many people on more than just a visual aesthetics level.

I had a couple guests that came out for the show and that was incredibly sweet of them to come. So a big thank you to them.

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

here is the showcased piece, matted and framed up

So next month I am doing my first outdoor show. It not a solely art dedicated show, its a festival that has crafts and food vendors as well but it more art leaning than your regular run of the mill arts & crafts fair. It is a 2 day festival called Night Market which surprise takes place at night. It seems really fun and I am excited about it. I do have a pinch of nerves/fear of not selling anything but I am hopeful that I can gain some audience and reach more people. 

I've been trying to fit in art more often because I can see improvement the more often I work at it, which duh but seeing actual improvement is a real motivator. 

I really love doing the women and wildlife/nature drawings. I find them super fun to make and relaxing I love how they look. Now, whether or not they are something that appeals to people remains to be unseen. 

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

I just love drawing cartoony fish, THEY ARE SO FUN

Fish are incredibly fun to draw. I am so into doing almost cartoon-like animals and women. I can see areas I need to tighten up, but I for sure don't want to head towards realism. I like graphic look to art. Big bold lines and colors, like I wish drawing tattoo flash was an art path I could take. 

I have been playing around with the idea of making travel artwork. I obviously already have a heavy North American landscape and wildlife influence but taking the work and marketing it as travel art. I don't know I need to formulate the idea a little further. I want to make some of my landscapes into postcards. We'll see how it turns out.

I am also excited to try more oil paintings. I finished 2 last month and they were fun and challenging but I really liked working in the medium. It makes you slow down, which is a good thing. 

my little salmon guy

my little salmon guy

colorado scene

colorado scene

Now the first painting I will say plays more to oil's strengths, the landscape I think I tried to approach it like I do acrylics and that's why it isn't as new feeling. With oils it feels like you have to think bigger picture than you do with acrylics. With acrylics I can lay one layer down in the background and work my way forward and its almost like you have to work opposite in oils. Which can lead to cool things like the sunset for the salmon. 

I need to play around with it more, I am always too worried about wasting or ruining a painting but I really need to be okay with making mistakes to learn so I can improve my skillset. Which duh, but it's one of those things you know it but until you do it you don't really KNOW it. 

balance

Couple things to get out of the way. I decided to roll the dice and do some art/craft fairs. I know they are a gamble and most likely I won't gain any audience or sales, but I gotta get out there somehow. As we know I am not a fan of the gallery scene just because its all concept no substance and its not about engaging with the audience, its more selfish type art, which I think is important but isn't my main focus. I like working with people I like hearing people, I like making artwork for people. So I am betting on my artwork and taking the plunge into arts/craft shows.

If you are so inclined [whoever if anyone is reading this] the shows are:

October 22nd 10am-3pm @ Knights of Columbus KC Hall in Hastings, MN

November 26th 10am -3pm @ Holiday Inn Hotel Conference Center St. Paul NE in Lake Elmo, MN

So I finished my commissioned bear painting.

"Bear Family" 18" X 24" acrylic on canvas

"Bear Family" 18" X 24" acrylic on canvas

I like everything about it, except baby bear's face. That little face caused me more trouble than I care to admit. I am satisfied with how it turned out but wish it was better, my reference photo was so tiny that it didn't give me much help so I did struggle getting his little face in there and looking cute. The mama bear was a breeze, as were the lupins, I really had a fun time painting those. I just love adding flowers to paintings. I actually really like the willow branches, and how the bark turned out. I know I am not hitting it on the nose for photorealism but I am not sure if that is where I want to be heading. 

I also worked on a couple other paintings this weekend. I tried doing some experiment paintings where you just go with it and it usually turns out crap, so I'm still on the fence if it did turn out crap.

Ok I kinda love how this looks and also see the problems. I love the gold on blue, omg I love the gold. I get Klimt's obsession with gold leaf. Gold is fun. I think the elk photo I chose as reference was taken at odd angle so when it is silhouetted his body looks stumpy. I still like it though, real talk, I'm into it, as of now. I am sure I'll look back at this in a week and be like ew junk. 

I also attempted another northern lights painting, because I miss and obsessed with my old one.

I went too dark with the sky and too pastel with the northern lights. It is hard to find that balance yo. My blue's weren't doing it so I added a little black which darkened the sky too much. I think also this is a kind of painting that needs to be large, I keep trying to make it work on a small canvas and it isn't working. I think I need to go big with this and try again.

I have started a new dripping bird piece and am pretty excited to see how it turns out. I am pretty settled on an osprey but I don't know what bird to pick. I also toyed with the idea of doing another animal instead of a bird, but birds have the most fluid motion, that translates to the drips. 

I feel like I am in a better swing of things, now having weekends generally open to work on my artwork. Whether it be actually painting or preparing for art/craft show, or getting reference materials. I am hoping that I am able to keep at it like this and make the transistion to doing this as my main gig instead of my side hustle.