I’ve recently donated a piece to the Santa Cruz Arts Council Hearts for the Arts program.
All of the proceeds from the silent auction go to the Arts Council’s arts education programs, SPECTRA and Mariposa’s Art.
The artist reception was last Sunday and I was quite impressed with all of the pieces that were there. There were a total of 86 pieces on display, hopefully we can make a good size chunk of cash for the Santa Cruz county public school children who want to experience the joys of art creation.
Here’s a few shots from the event. The silent auction will continue until Feb 13th. If you are in the Santa Cruz area I would encourage you to stop by the Artisan Gallery on Pacific Ave and make a bid or two.
“Tito alba” The last painting of 2016
So 2017 has started and it is going to be BUSY! I have been diligent at promoting myself and I guess it has worked because I have 4 solo shows during the year ahead. I am excited about it all but getting a wee bit nervous that I won’t be able to pull it off. 2017 has had a rough start to it and not all that much painting has been done so far. We had some rough weather and no power for almost a week! I did what sketching I could by window and flashlight but it turns out that a nice strong light source is essential to painting. However the power is up and running and I’ve started to get busy. The first show of the year is nice and mellow, a exhibition at our local library for the month of February. I’m going to do all my bird paintings at this exhibition. All the paintings for this show have already been completed already.
The next show is a little bit of a bigger deal. It’s at the Mckinley Art Center in Reno and I have gallery west all to myself. This show will be up for 6 weeks starting in May. I am mostly done with the work for this show but I would like to have at least 4 more pieces than I currently have ready to go. 2 out of the 4 are almost done, the 3rd has just been started and the 4th piece is only in my mind so far. Since this is a painting show I have to finished the pieces at least a month ahead of time so that they can dry, be varnished and also photographed. So we are talking the end of March deadline here.
The third show will be at a local art print gallery and will be featuring the black and white insect pieces. We are going to take my drawings and make polymer plates out of them so that we can do print runs out of them. I’ve never done this before so I’m very excited. I also think it will be a nice break to do a bunch of drawings after the months of painting I will have just completed. This show will be in July. So I’ll have April and May to do the drawings and possible early June to get all the drawings done. This is a tight amount of time for how much work I would like to show but it’s so much faster to do pen and ink rather than oil paints. So I think I will be okay.
Then the final show is another painting show (maybe with a few drawings thrown in). This show is a another local gallery and will feature animals, birds and insects that are local to the San Lorenzo Valley. Basically the beasts that I see in my back yard. This show is in October so I have some time to think about it. I know that I for sure want to do a banana slug piece just because. I also got to see a bobcat a few weeks ago while I was hiking and I think that would be freaking amazing subject matter. It was smaller than I expect but extremely beautiful.
As I’m writing this I’m starting to stress out about how much work I have ahead of me! I think I can do it all but there won’t be much time for experimentation. I’ve learned in the past year that I can be somewhat lazy in the planning of a piece. I don’t work out all the potential problems in the sketching phase and then have to do it while the piece in progress. This adds a ton of extra time and sometimes a piece just ends up failing. So I’m going to be diligent about the planning and sketching stage and hopefully each piece will flow.
I just finished up a very busy weekend participating in the Arts Council Santa Cruz Open Studio event that happens every October. It was my first year being a part of it and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had participated in the San Francisco’s Open Studios for several years in the past when I lived up there but now I am living in the mountains and it’s pretty difficult to get to where I live and paint.
Anyways I went into this with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Over the two days I had over 80 visitors come to my studio space! Everyone was very enthusiastic and had many questions and comments. I felt like I managed to interacted with pretty much everyone who stopped by. I was very tired by the end of Sunday night but it was a good tired and I will be participating in this event again next year.
I sold a total of 13 giclee prints and one original drawing so I managed to cover my participation and advertising costs and then some. It also opened a few more doors for me. I have been asked to be a part of Boulder Creek First Friday Art Walk and will get to show my work at the next month’s event taking place on Friday November 4th. And then a gallery in Santa Cruz, the Artisan Gallery on Pacific Ave has asked to show a few of my pieces in November as well.
I am very thankful to all who made it out to see my work. I am also very grateful for the hard work my husband put in to this event and to my two girls. It was a very long and social weekend for them and they were super stars.
The quarterly magazine, Nature Inspired is a published collection of writing and art that explores our deep connection to nature. I’m excited to announce that five of my pieces will be part of the new Animal Edition coming out in late August. Be sure to order yours!
Chalcosoma atlas 2015
In other news I’ve been busy prepping for my busy autumn. I’m going to be a part of Arts Council Open Studios this coming October. My home studio will be open from 11 am t0 5pm on October 8th and 9th. I’ve been working on getting postcards made, getting an ad in my local paper and the long and painful work of updating my website. (It’s not updated yet but will be soon, I promise!)
Corvus brachyrhynchos 2015
Urocyon cinereoargenteus 2016
I just finished this painting of a grey fox yesterday. It has a bit of a mystic or fantasy feel to it. That’s just the way that this animal spoke to me.
I was actually fortunate to have a close interaction with a grey fox a few months ago. We live in a redwood forest and I was walking early in the morning when I came across one. The fox did not act scared or threatening, it just looked at me and I looked at it. The exchange was probably less than a minute but to me it seemed very long and important. So I came home and started planning out this painting. The red geometric shape behind the fox is based on a memory I have of my great grandmother’s garnet ring.
Here’s a few shots of the work in progress. I made some changes along the way, I first painted the garnet more realistic and blended but I decided that I could still show the essence of the garnet with the simple geometric shapes. This way the jewel wouldn’t compete with the fox but rather compliment it. It also relates better to my previous paintings. I also decided to take the green out because it contrasted too much with the red jewel. The last stage of the painting was making many minor adjustments so that everything seem just right. For example I didn’t like how the garnet seemed to have this perfect red triangle pointing right down to the head. It was too obvious and distracting to me so I brought the values closer together in that area so that it doesn’t stand out so much.
Overall I’m very proud of this painting. I’m not sure how to explain it but I feel that I took it up a notch with this one. I always enjoy the creation of my work and usually I’m satisfied with the results but this one was extra pleasurable to create and it looks so freaking awesome.
So I’ve had a little bit of success in actually being accepted into art shows lately. My odds of getting into a show I’ve applied for has increased, I must be doing something right! The first show coming up is at the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Dowell Maryland. Two of my beetle pieces will be in their up coming show: Swarm! Invasion of the Insects.
Chalcosoma atlas 2015
Goliathus orientalus 2016
The second exciting news is that a few of my pieces will be a part of the summer edition of the Nature Inspired Anthologies . The edition is not out yet but I’ll be sure to send out blog post when it’s available.
The third (and most exciting) is that I’ve been accepted for a solo exhibit at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center! It’s not until May of 2017 but it’s a 7 week exhibition and it’s a whole gallery of JUST MY WORK. So it’s a good thing it’s a year away, it gives me time to complete a whole bunch of drawings and paintings.
Anyways things are looking up!
Junonia coenia 2016
Tamias striatus 2016
Aphelocoma californica 2016
I’ve been trying out a new medium for me, colored pencil. I haven’t work seriously with colored pencil since probably high school and there was a big learning curve. But it’s working out. I like the soft details I can get and then still use the pen and ink for the geometric stark lines. One of the first things I learned was to never use pencils that have been also used by children, even if they are really high quality pencils. I didn’t want to spend the money on getting a brand new set of pencils for the first drawing in case I didn’t like it, so I used the old set from graduate school that I have loaned out to my children a bunch of times. Well, they drop the pencils all the time and each time they drop it the lead breaks inside the pencil. So I would get about two little marks in and the the lead would snap off. Needless to say I decided to cough up the money for a new set of pencils and was much happier.
Like I said before there’s a very nice softness to colored pencil that is good for doing fur and feathers. I also liked that I could stick with the stark sharpness of drawing and still get color. There’s also good deal of layering different colors on top of one and other to get the perfect shade. It’s a really pleasurable experience, slowly seeking out colors and building them up, until it’s exactly right. I do alot of layering while oil painting as well but since there is drying time between each of the layer the build up is very slow. So the relatively fast turn around in colored pencils is a joy.