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Because art is personal, it reflects emotions, passions and aspects of me.


As an artist, I create works of art. Sometimes the work flows and it’s done quite quickly and other times the pieces take time, effort and rework. ALL of my pieces are personal, there’s a story and they reflect parts of me. It’s that visceral, deep down reflection of my own perceptions of what I’m trying to convey. My hope is that it will grab someone with the same type of reaction or perception of a piece and they will be conveyed to buy.


Because it’s of me, I’m looking to interest people in my ART.


As an artist, when I talk about my work on social media it’s specifically about that art or piece I’m working on that others are interested in or what I’m doing next to promote that art. The art is usually from my wanderings in the natural world, perceptions of that natural world, or who I’m with at that moment and their perceptions. I don’t put things out there because I’m trolling, I put things out there because of its importance to me. I’m relatively transparent on who I am, what I do, and the relationships I’m in. Again, it’s about art.


Artists are vulnerable to predators. Being an artist, creating art, protecting art, protecting the integrity of it all is hard work.


Because a piece of art is a visceral, personal part of that artist we are more than happy to share and hope that one wants it. Artists get excited and emotional when one wants to purchase a piece. The negotiations begin, we try to stay in the moment - think with our “business” head but so many times our hearts get in the way. We have to use our heads because for most of us, this is our livelihood. To sell a piece of art pays for the supplies and fees (of which there are many), memberships, room and board for us to survive to create more.


It’s hard work because again it’s personal. Our hearts are involved. We have a deep connection with that piece of art, the story we are telling, and our perceptions that we want to convey. It’s that squishy, soft, feeling of “AH!” It’s giving the benefit of the doubt of “Oh! They want to get something nice for their husband/wife/significant other” AND “They want to do that with a piece of my art!” Unfortunately, this is the scam that many/if not all artists fall under the most. We try to be a little jaded in protecting ourselves and “think like a business” - which it is, but it is still very hard in doing that business by getting sucked in, and the consequences of it all. Artists only hope that they can catch on to the scam before it gets too far and the monetary consequences are dire. For me, it’s a lesson learned - especially when I’ve caught it before it gets too far. At which point, I don’t want to be too smug because I’ve caught on, BUT to learn and remember the experience.


When the economy is tight, more of these types of experiences happen. That’s a sad commentary about human nature.


Protecting from the unsavory folk out there who are predators of artists and their art.


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I sit here on my front porch, watching the sunrise, drinking my coffee, contemplating the day; I wonder about the creative process, the thinking, planning, and execution of it all. Many times it’s very organic in that I just jump in with both feet and do. As I work through the project; I see what I want to do, tweak it, change it, sometimes start over, so that it is what I need to show. My hope is that my creation will instill in others an emotional reaction, speak to them, or instill the desire to have my creation.


Working through the creative process is a personal and not personal thing. We all have routines that we do to get those creative juices flowing, keep them flowing and to come to the conclusion of the thing that we are working on.


It’s personal…


  • it’s that thing that you’re trying to convey to others so that they may react.

  • it’s something that you pull out from your soul that evokes emotions.

  • it’s something that you want to say or show.


The creative process is also not personal. It’s routines that we use to do whatever it is we do. When I was teaching; my creative process was to show interest, and spark an emotion or reaction in my students, but also at the same time educate them so that they have another perspective. In my artistic process, it’s very much the same. I may go on a hike, walk or paddle, see something that I need to convey my interpretation and perception.


It’s not personal in that many of the routines are just that, routines. It doesn’t make the project, it’s the set up to start, flow and conclude the project.


For me, when I have a project, I jump in. Like this blog, I had been mulling it over for a couple of days. As I was mulling, I realized that I was using the creative process to think, ponder and wonder. I also thought, “Oh! Others do the same thing.” Sometimes when we put things in writing, it becomes more clear. Also, when we write the story about the thing, it gives it more value and opens up the window into the author’s or artist’s soul.


For example, I just did a short series of paintings on the sky here in Colorado. Here I’m in the foothills of the front range - right before the Rocky Mountains on the west with the Plains on the east. It’s often where the wind and weather collide. The sky here is so vivid, thought provoking with motion and emotions that makes me think, “How can I show this?”


I had three prepped small canvases. My thinking is do something small to start with and see if I can show my perception of it. I had taken several photos this one particular evening, with storms rolling in so my thought was to start with just the clouds. Then the next photos show the sky and storms that roiled over the farmland. Again, it was, “How can I show and convey this energy?”


I just jumped in and worked through the three pieces in one sitting. Many times it is just like that, you’re in a groove and you want to work through the work. Hope you enjoy it.


This is a 4”x4” canvas that I wanted to just show the clouds in the sky.

 


This is a 5”x5” canvas that I wanted to start with the farmland.

 

This last piece is a 7”x5” canvas that shows the colliding blue sky and the storm rolling in over the farmland.

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I write this in the midst of moving from one place to another. We’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for a long time. I’ve done some amazing things, had and raised children, entertained life’s complexities, had one career that I loved, retired and continue to have another - in art.


I’m still in the “west”, but in NoCo - Northern Colorado. In my short time that I’ve been here, I’m enjoying the differences between the PNW and NoCo. Such as, the green in PNW is everywhere, whereas in NoCo, you have to look for the dusty shades of green. OR when you step out your door you smell the Douglas Firs in PNW, but in NoCo you smell the sage and grasses. Originally, I was born in southern New Mexico, and in many ways this feels like coming home, geographically speaking. But, I know that there are things that have changed and many have remained the same.


By packing up everything, I’ve had to look at how my art has evolved. Pieces that I painted in high school, college, thirties, etc. they show my own natural evolution that continues to evolve. It’s energy and color and composition is vivid and alive through the evolution. I look at this interesting collection of work and feel that this collection can only get better.


Another thing that I’ve had to consider is the works of art themselves. I have this inventory that someone needs to buy… It is on the website for the most part. There are pieces there that suit most any mood or idea or concept. The pieces are varied as the weather and relationships that I have had along the way. I think that’s part of cycling through pieces that I’m connected with, some I don’t have a connection with anymore or pieces I didn’t originally have connection with, but just tossed them off.




How I’m evolving through art is interesting, frightening, satisfying and rewarding. I’m cycling through…Connections include emotions and feelings - emotions that spur me to paint. Emotions that resonate with me as I paint and those emotions / feelings that resonate when I look at the piece to try to decide - “Is it done?” Or “Is this what I wanted to do?” Or “Do I need to start again?” And yes, those connections are from folk who really like a piece or would like one similar or the theme is hitting them or yes, those who don’t like it. What is one person’s “like” is another’s “dislike”.



In thinking about all of this, I’ve made some realizations about me and what I’m doing. I’m also thinking about, “Where do I want to go with my art?” “How do I want to go about it?” “And in some ways, Do I really care?” Lastly, the thoughts that need to be front and center: “Enjoy!” “Explore!” “Evolve!”



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