Oversharing?

Ok, the 14 year old boy humor in me can’t get past the fact that I accidentally typed “oversharting”.  Ha!

So I have my very first solo art show scheduled.  This is horrifying and exciting at the same time.  But I find that I’m trying to not share too much of the pieces I’m painting.  I mean, is showing the full completed piece giving away the milk when you want people to buy the cow?

I love the process of creating and take a ton of pictures during my painting… in part for visual perspective….but how much of that do I need to share? and is there anything wrong with showing the whole piece?  Is there a real answer to this?

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Re-Eval, Re-Up,and get GOING!

 

The latter part of 2016 was not without it’s challenges.  I move being one of them.  Like most challenges, conquering them paves the way to new beginnings!

We moved into a wonderful cottage where I have a huge space for my studio!!!  Granted, health and life put off the art creating for awhile but now I’m renewed.  It was weird.  I kinda feel like one of those people that wakes up from an illness speaking with a completely different language.  Although my art language is the same, the accent has changed a bit.  Perhaps I’ve found that ever elusive “style” I’ve been chasing.  Nevertheless, the above are some examples.  The first two images are from the piece I’m calling Stroke of Genius.  The third image is from an, as of yet, untitled piece featuring a Tanzanian woman with Albinism. She is very very unfinished.

So…this is me.  Back in the saddle and trying to share the beauty of the odd…

~Crizti

Commissions…living up to other’s expectations *gulp*

For the record- this painting isn’t finished yet.  That fan scares me and will be tackled tonight!

As a novice artist, I’ve always been super hesitant to do commissions.  The terror of completing the piece and having the intended recipient look at it with horror and disgust. Living up to other people’s expectations.  I’ve kind of tried to, in my very limited experience, involve the purchaser in the process.  I send update photos to make certain the image is coming along as they would hope.  I think they like being involved and it gives me the reassurance that they are happy with what’s coming their way.  Still tho! whew!  It’s like performing.

This is probably my biggest commission.  Again, I’m super duper new to this.  But the fates aligned on this one.  One gal pal told me that she needed something for her bedroom…but she wasn’t sure what.  Another friend of mine, that same day, told me she had salvaged a cool table top from the trash and thought it would be perfect for me to paint on.  My mind clicked and I thought of this ‘ol gal.  She’s coming along nicely.  The friend who wants it is pleased and once completed and purchased, I’ll buy a bottle of wine for the friend who salvaged the table for me.  All in all, it’s been a fun experience.  I’m painting something kind of different and I’m diggin it.  See, when I paint, if I can stand back and giggle at what’s being produced?  Man… it tickles me!

Here are some pics of the table top before I started and what’s done so far.IMG_20160422_084107274

The Process of Viewing the Process

When I was a little girl, my Mother would give me little mini art lessons.  One thing she taught me was to hold my work up to a mirror.  Her reasoning for this was that it would give you a different perspective and with that new perspective, you could likely see where you would need to make adjustments and changes.

Recently I was on the phone with my Mom talking about a piece I was working on and she asked if I had held it up to a mirror.  No, in fact I hadn’t because I’ve modified and updated that process.  I take pictures of my work.  Looking at the photograph, I get that same different perspective as the mirror, without it being backwards.  It’s better than stepping back to take it all in.  I get joked a little by my Mister for taking so many photos (and posting them to facebook and instagram) of the process.  I keep thinking one day I will do little slideshows of the pieces in process.   Though, in reality, what usually happens is-  I move on to the next piece and eventually weed through the bazillion photos clogging up my phone.

It’s all just become a part of the process.  There’s the need to see the different photographed perspectives and also, it’s nice to get feedback from friends on how they think the piece is coming along.  Sure, I like that too.  And finally, seeing the progression…the subtle (or drastic) changes to a face or arm as the piece takes shape.

The piece above is my newest I’ve started.  I was gifted with some awesome wood pieces this weekend and I knew I wanted to paint a girl with a cat on this raw tree piece here.  Then, in my mind I decided she had to be an Appalachian girl holding a cat.  Yesterday it hit me that she needed to have albinism and be holding a black cat.  Her name is Opaleen and her cat is Midnight.  Now if there was a way to show the process of the story in my brain! jeezy! I’m so glad these people live in my head… and I can share them through art.

It’s all in how you view it… the process.

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Me? Prolific? YUP!

Since taking on art in my spare time, I’ve been accused of being prolific! Nah- lucky! As I sit here (at work) with my shoulders aching, and stupid tired, I wonder about it- am I prolific? I just spent a marathon weekend painting.  Luckily I had the time, motivation and supplies.  Next week, I won’t be so lucky. Saturday and Sunday I spent no less than eight hours painting- each day- and was able to produce one painting I love and two I like.  I was also able to put aside the brain chatter and mind gunk I’ve been carrying around lately (read:avoiding real life).

Needless to say, tho I will, I’m so thankful that I have this outlet.  I can stand in front of some piece of wood and bring new life to it.  I’m not obsessing.  I’m not sad.  I’m not worrying about money or planning anything. It’s almost like lost time- but it isn’t.  I’m focused and motivated.  Now I see why art is used as therapy!  Now granted, when I step back, real life is still there, but it is nice to have that break while I create. It helps and I love it!  So- my apologies to those that have invited me to do things, I’m trying to be disciplined.  In some ways, it’s work.

Aside from the therapy aspect of art, I also have a goal.  I stopped focusing on selling pieces and am trying to build a somewhat cohesive body of work.  Also, I am trying to back that body up with this blog/website, instagram and networking.  Branding myself? Am I doing it right?  I dunno. Ha!  Just last night I took a little ribbin’ at home for posting too many photos of my work on facebook.  I guess I need to find balance.  As with all things in life.  But hey- as long as I have supplies, ideas, a little time and the motivation, I’m just gonna keep this going with this!

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It’s a good day to create something…

  
I love mornings like this… After a bottle of wine and an early bed time.  There’s an old timey country singer on the TV.  The cats and dog are running around crazy.  All the while, a crisp cool breeze blows beneath a dusty curtain.  Today I will be brilliant…  Well, I can try.

Reining in the Emotions…

When I read poems or hear certain songs I’ve written, I’m sometimes embarrassed by the emotional regurgitation.  I believe that creating is a great way to try to exercise your demons.  You can only hope that your raw emotions are conveyed and resonate with someone else.  Sometimes (often)  I’ve completely missed the  mark and it comes out as self serving, whiny drivel.

Tho I don’t censor myself, I do try to keep  brevity in mind. At moments in my life  when I’m feeling emotionally raw and atrophied I find myself trying to reign it in.  I want to paint my guts and bruises… but try to do it in a way that isn’t trite.  Even now, as I’m writing this, I’m finding difficulty in explaining it.  All that keeps coming to mind is a funnel.  All my thoughts and the previously mentioned guts and bruises are trying to get through the little hole at the bottom.

*sigh*

I guess what I’m trying to say is I am sometimes inclined to paint the ugliness or sadness that I’m sometimes bridled with but feel like the wood and paint would betray me.  So I sit with it.  Then some other character comes through and I focus on them. More of a distraction then a purging.

I’m beginning to see this all as a process.  Am I denying myself by not painting the guts and blood? Am I censoring myself?  Am I scared to let go?  Am I afraid of sharing too much?  I don’t know… but I guess I’ve got enough paint to find out. 😉

If you build it… “Scenius”

Musician and artist Brian Eno has some really cool notions on artistic “scenes” and the benefit it has on individuals that are a part of that scene.  He coined the term “Scenius“.  “What really happened was that there was sometimes very fertile scenes involving lots and lots of people – some of them artists, some of them collectors, some of them curators, thinkers, theorists, people who were fashionable and knew what the hip things were – all sorts of people who created a kind of ecology of talent. And out of that ecology arose some wonderful work.”

My town has a growing art community and it’s beautiful to behold!  The thing is, I find myself in an odd place.  I’m not the young social 20 or 30 something that can be at every opening and immerse myself in the crowd.  I’m kind of an awkward loner (read introverted extrovert) and at 46 (or am I 47?) paint in the comfort of my home, when I have time.  I enjoy it.  There is a downside, tho.  I don’t know the gallery owners-  I don’t know the curators and even if I went beyond casual introductions, I’m unsure of how to make my mark.

When I seriously decided to to begin painting a year ago, I wanted to see how seriously I would take it.  I find that now, ok, yeah- I’m sticking with it.  But now, I find that I’m asking myself more questions.  How do I get noticed?  How do I get into a gallery?  How do I get into more group shows?  What are the best ways to market myself locally and globally?  I also wish I had some honest feedback.  Someone to stand next to me and say- “yeah, you’re right…that left nipple is wonky and the color doesn’t work”.  This got me thinking about Scenius and I thought- hmmm… I can’t be the only person in my area that has these questions. So I’m creating a Scenius.

My local Library is all about the arts community so I contacted them and told them my idea. They are allowing me to utilize some space and begin a Local Artist Forum. My vision is to meet monthly, have speakers (curators, gallery owners, buys, marketing specialists and more) and create a forum in which other local artists meet, share ideas, teach and learn.  The first one in on the 29th of this month… a week away.  The facebook invite has generated a lot of interest so I’m so excited about all of the folks I will meet and what we can all gain from this. But also pretty nervous about it as a whole.  Who the heck am I to take this on?!?!  Ha!

I plan on sharing on this blog and using it as kind of a log for these forums and hope that perhaps others that are not from my area could benefit, as well.  So- hey… you too can be a part of my Scenius.  Look, we can’t wait for things to happen.  Sometimes we have to make them happen.  Jeezy… I’m becoming a meme.

 

 

Doors of Inspiration

parker doors

Poverty breeds ingenuity, I always say.

I began painting on wood as a means of saving money.  I was happening across scraps and soon found that I preferred the texture of wood to that of canvas.  I have had some truly wonderful folks gift me bits of Victorian siding, porch spokes, cabinet doors and even a sailboat hatch.  I get them…and I touch them.  I’m very tactile that way.  I have to touch everything.  If I do not already have someone in mind for the wood (a character), then I rub my palm over the wood.  I stare at it.  And I wait.  Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, it comes to me.  Whomever belongs to the wood and i try to bring them to life.

I’ve had an idea in my head for a painting.  An old time Snake Pentecostal.  I envision it with a  3D arm and snakes made from willow or driftwood.  I didn’t have a piece of wood for this.   Now normally, I stick to the free stuff, but I decided to treat myself and head to this great salvage shop (Country Boy Antiques in Norfolk, VA) to look for my snake man’s wood. (mind out of the gutter, you).  This place is loaded to the rafter with doors, gates, papers, glass and just about anything and everything.  Everything but the wood for my snake handler.  BUT- I did find a few other pieces!  Gorgeous simple pair of doors from a 19th century hutch (with hardware intact) and one half of a set of basement doors.  They’ll be keeping their eyes open for the other one, which is supposedly in there somewhere.

I completed a painting last night so I expect to spend the next couple of days fondling my wood to see who I think up next!

~Crizti

Coming Soon!

So I’ve started it! No turning back.  I have spent most of my free time, in the last year, working on art.  Not perfecting anything other than my need to get these characters out of my head and to bring them to some sort of life.  It brings me joy.  It’s my therapy- tho don’t tell that to my aching shoulders!  In the coming week, I will be bringing this site up to speed, posting the 45+ paintings I’ve painted this year!  Sharing ideas, posting art and asking questions.  This will also be a place where I will share what I learn from others, promote other artists and… well… do whatever I want!   I am starting to feel like an artist.

~Crizti

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