Mi Mancherai Video

I have been doing some figure drawings this morning and listening to music. I picked Josh Groban and specifically "Mi Mancherai". The song brought tears to my eyes and I had to stop drawing. Yes, the song is beautiful, but what tugs at my heart and makes me want to cry is seeing the performance. (Thanks to Dave the Painting Guy for the link) There is something about watching people do what they have a passion for that strikes me at the deepest heart level. Watching the passion in Lucia Micarelli's and Josh's faces gives a deeper and more intense meaning to the song. Now I can carry the video of their performance in my mind and "watch" it whenever I listen. Do you have something that strikes at your heart? I'd really like to hear about it.


If The New Trend Is "Generosity", I Agree!

As I read the opening lines of the current Trendwatching brief:

February 2009 | Has there ever been more urgency for corporations to ditch the greed and embrace generosity? It's something that countless individuals have already started doing, of course: giving is the new taking, and sharing is the new giving.....
| "Captures the growing importance of 'generosity' as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy—and while that same upheaval has them longing more than ever for institutions that care—the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.

I immediately thought of the experiences I've had over the past year in my little world of art and business. I am continually amazed at the generosity, encouragement, support, and information I find through my online networks. I have met several artists/business people online who have helped by sharing information and/or providing encouragement and support. Just to name a few: Dave The Painting Guy has answered countless questions and does a free live painting class on Ustream several nights a week; Torrie Smiley spent 45 minutes on the phone with me giving advice about selling art online; Tara Reed, who I found through someone online, happens to live a mile from me and is an expert on art licensing and is always willing to help; Alyson Stanfield's website and book have been a constant source of help; and you can read any of the comments on my blog entries to see the wonderful encouragement from different artists. Most of whom found me through Karin Jurick's blog Different Strokes From Different Folks. Karin has given A LOT ( I can't imagine how much!) of her time to work on this blog which has created a new community for artists. In fact, because I have participated in her challenges, I was fortunate enough to be featured along with her and two other artists in an article in the January edition of Southwest Art!

(my version of "Jack" is the last one on the right)

I could go on and on and this has all happened in just the last few months! I am continually thankful for the generosity and spirit of support and collaboration from my online network!


Jefferson Memorial At Night

11"x 6"
acrylic on canvas board

Here is my latest entry to Karin Jurick's challenge, Different Strokes From Different Folks. I'm not sure which was the bigger challenge, doing the painting or trying to take a decent picture! It is hard to get the purples and yellows to come out right in the photo. So much to learn!
Click on image for larger view.


"Inspiration From You" Painting : "Getting Ready To Ride"

8"x 8"
acrylic on masonite

At the end of October I asked for "Inspiration From You" and received several wonderful photos and quotes. My hope was to pick a photo or quote and paint or draw one a month and give the gift of a print or note cards of the artwork to the person who provided the inspiration. Obviously, I didn't meet the one-a-month goal.....yet(!)....but now that the busyness of the holidays is over, I should be able to stay on track!
This is a photo from a couple who have 78 beautiful acres in Elk, Washington. Jo & Steve have 12 horses and 5 Labradors. Their animals are their children and they treat them with the utmost love, care and respect. In this painting, Steve is adjusting the stirrups for Thomas to take a ride on Buck.
Please continue to send in photos or other ideas and any kind of story to go along with it. The story gives the painting more meaning!
Click on image for larger view.


Dynamic Figures

I recently came across the art work of two local artists (Portland, Oregon) Mona Jones Cordell and Martin French who do a beautiful job of drawing and painting the dynamic figure. Here is a link to a wonderful video about Mona's work: http://www.monajonescordell.com/video_files3/index2.html I have always been impressed with artists who can capture the gesture and fluidity of the moving figure. Since seeing their work, and because I have four kids playing basketball and volleyball and I spend a lot of time watching games, I've been inspired to work on this aspect of my art. I checked out the book, Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth from the library and am using pictures from magazines and newspapers and Pose Maniacs to draw from. Pose Maniacs has a variety of images and you can select the poses to change every 30 seconds. This is helpful for me to work on capturing the gesture and the mass of the pose. I hope to get to the point where I can draw from life instead of a picture. I'd love to hear if anyone has other resources to recommend!


The Portrait

acrylic on canvas

This is my current entry for Karin Jurick's weekly challenge. I debated about posting this painting. It was hard for me. I always struggle with wanting to get a painting "right", whatever that means! And sometimes I have to stop working on a painting even when I don't think it's "right" because I don't know what else to do. Those are the times when my basement studio feels very lonely and I miss having input. But I am so very grateful to have the library down the street and so many online resources to refer to. I painted this portrait while watching "Dave the Painting Guy." David Darrow is an excellent portrait artist who generously invites anyone into his studio (via Ustream) to watch him paint.
The learning and the struggle is part of the journey and I do appreciate it, but I also look forward to the day when I can just paint and it feels "right".


Looking Back At 2008 & Forward to 2009!

When I went to college, I majored in illustration, but for some reason the course work didn't include any business or marketing classes. Last January I made a decision to learn about the business of art and marketing. Since then, the learning curve has been straight up and I know I have a long way to go, but I thought I would share some of the resources that got me started and have helped me along this past year.
First of all, I took the smARTist Telesummit, a professional art-career conference for visual artists.
The creator and host, Ariane Goodwin, put together a panel of several professionals who addressed all different aspects of the business side of art. I recieved a notebook full of notes and was able to listen to the presentations at my convenience. She has put together another promising panel of experts for this year.
I also took and organizing class from the Artbiz coach, Alyson Stanfield and purchased her book, I'd Rather Be in the Studio. Her class, book and her blog have been invaluable tools for me.
Another important resource has been David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. He provided the basic organizing skills I so desperately needed.
And for those of you in the Portland area, I took sereral workshops from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. There were several available, taught by local experts, and some of them were only $25 for three hours!
Also having an online presence and participating in social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have been very valuable.
Now to the task of reviewing, refocusing, reorganizing and implementing for the coming year!
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