Last week rejection, is this weeks winner

I entered two of my encaustic monotypes into the “Construct” show at Artserve in Ft. Lauderdale.  My membership to Artserve will expire in Sept.  It was last year’s birthday present to myself.  I had been a bit disappointed by the “call to artists” that they had all year. I decided to be selective of how and where I place my work.  I attend many of the artshows at the local guilds, and even thought they have a theme, I never can see it in the art that is on display.  Maybe it is just me.

So I decide to submit my small prints (4″ x 4″) into the show. The theme “Construct” was asking for artwork that would be used for home decoration. Since my prints have that “look” of decorator art (again, what I think it should be) I decided to put in 2 pieces. One piece I had professionally framed. This piece was going to be my “showcase” piece, so that people can see how a tiny piece of work, when framed, can create a look. My second piece I framed myself in a small frame.

So I enter and a week later I attend the opening.  I go, the gallery is packed and do not see my work hanging, so I thought, “Oh great, rejected again” as I start to leave a fellow artist, Susan Clifton, says, hey AJ congratulations and I say for what, my art is not even hanging.  It was behind her work and she said in the program it stated I won best in show.  The reception started at 6, but I didn’t get there until 7 and all the programs had been distributed.

I was amazed.I met the Judge, an architect and painter from Germany who teaches at the university in Boca Raton. He wanted to know how I did it and loved the piece. Even the Board of Directors  came up to me and said, it was unanimous, when we had the final selection, we all said “that one” .

And what did I win, a full year’s membership to Artserve.   But what I really got out of it was confidence and validation.

The highs and lows of the art world.

a picture from my iphone of the winning piece
Advertisements

Starting New Years resolution early…

Since I never plan my New Year’s resolution, I just announce it on Jan 1 st, I decided this year that I need advance planning. I am sure that this is why the resolution never comes to fruition. This year I decided to being a full time artist who supports oneself from their art. Well, just announcing it is one thing, making it happen is another. I just thought I would twitter, facebook, and blog my way to accomplish my resolution.  All of those vehicles have a purpose, but without a strategy it just makes me very efficient of learning every iPhone app to keep them all updated. And I don’t have a strategy for that either.

As I sit here planning my strategy for my day job ( I handle $9m in sales) I realized that I would have to start to plan my art career strategy. I have always been successful in my careers, but always for someone else. So tonight instead of working on my sales plan for work, when I am home it is about me.

I guess tomorrow I will not have my strategy ready for work, but I will have one ready for me. At this time in my life, that is more important.

Come this New Year when I announce my resolution I would have laid the groundwork this year, to make next year happen.

Shawna Moore at Jackson Hole

I just attended Shawna Moore’s workshop at the Jackson Hole Art Association. It was well worth the 5 hour flight from Florida to Salt Lake City, Utah, and then the 5 hour car drive through the farms of Idaho and then through the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. The facility was great. I found Shawna from a movie that she has posted on You Tube and had to take a class with her. I have to say that I am so happy with what I learned  from her. Not only did it confirm that this is what I want to do, I want to do it NOW!!!! Each time I take an encaustic painting class I know that I am one step closer in developing my own voice. Since I was a commercial art director for my entire career, I am use to designing product and art to what the customer wants and not what I want. So I am very, actual excellent at making the client happy, but now it has to be about me.  See Shawna’s movie  

and I hope you are as inspired as I still am. thanks Shawna

Thanks Shannon

Thanks to Shannon from http://www.beeswaxteam.com for introducing herself to me. She has a group of artists that work in encaustic and sell on Etsy. Thanks for letting me join and very interesting site. I hope to be participate in some of their activities come the New Year. Since I work in retail, this is the busy season so I have little time to work on my art. During the holiday season I end up working what feels like 2 months in a row. And it takes my until Feb. to recover from Black Friday. I am already having nightmares about that day. If shoppers think it is hard to stand on line and shop. Think how hard it is for the retail employee. I work about 17 hours that day after cooking thanksgiving, cleaning up, getting up at 5am to get to the store by 7, open the registers, open the doors at 8 and shoppers are waiting outside. I am lucky if I have time to go the bathroom, let alone get home for dinner and then get up on Saturday and do it all again. It is sheer madness. You see, I was writing about the beeswaxteam and I am already consumed with Black Friday.

this word really does exist

During my last art workshop in Santa Fe, I learned a technique that everyone in the class came to refer to as “transparentized” the paper. Of course we all decided that it was made up word in the class. It is the process of taking your paper and adding beeswax to create a transparent appearance. So everyone started calling it transparatizing, as in “I finished my monoprint but now I want to transparentize it…” So it was the on going word that we keep using, but always thinking that the word was just created by use in the workshop. It became one of my favorite techniques. So last week will visiting my hometown of NYC, I went to MOMA and there was my word. William De Kooning has a work on display and the info card reads “transparentized”. So of course I took a picture (not of the artwork, just the card on the wall). So the word really does exist

A Call for Artists…

A few  weeks ago I put out a call for artists who use encaustic/wax in their artwork. I am looking to form a group in South Florida so that we can exchange info, start workshops and create our own group shows. If you are in the South Florida area and interested please send me an email. I know you are out there!!!!

Time to build a web site

I have finally decided that it is time to build a website to showcase my work. I have been putting it off for over a year. I have designed many websites over the past few years and have decided that “I hate it”. As a former art director and graphics designer, one would think that it would be just another creative “thing” for me. In the past the web sites that I designed were for doctors, consultants, non-art related businesses. Real boring stuff. I even took a course to learn dreamweaver so that I would not have to deal with”code”, but I learned nothing. (the teacher only wanted to teach color theory to all these techies in the class as I was the only artist). So with that all said, I dread the job ahead of me. But I know that it is important for me to help promote my artwork. If anyone knows of a create program that can help me do this task, I am all ears?

A Call to artist who work with wax

Since I started working in Wax for over a year now, I am always looking for workshops, other artists, venues that also use wax. I have found many on the west coast and the north east, but none in the south. So I started my research and contact the other organizations to see if they wish to have a south east or Florida representation or to assist me. Kim Bernard (www.kbernard.com) was very helpful as to how to start a “group” of artist that work in wax. So this is the call to all artist that are in South Florida (we need to start local) who use wax in their art (painting, sculpture, mix-media etc.) and looking to be part of an artist organization that can promote and create our own shows, conduct workshops and to better give our art more exposure. If you are out there, please contact me. I do not want the group to be “my” group, but a group of artists that are looking to form a our own community for artists that work in wax. Please contact me if you are interested.

Is a painting of a tree “eco-friendly”?

A few weeks ago I attended the Broward County Red Cross Designer Showcase. When I got to the beautiful houses on Las Olas, I was told that the art was all “eco-friendly”. What I discovered was the paint used through out all the homes was a new low-odor, evironmentally friendly housepaint. But I was also told that all the art/painting on the walls are “green”. I think the host was confused as to paint on the walls being this new enviromentally safe product, to what he thought was paintings of seashells and palm trees. But it did get me thinking. All the art in the houses had a nature them, beaches, sand, seashells, ocean views, florals etc. But all the art was made from oil or acrylic paint. All of which use chemicals, mineral spirits, turpentine, mediums, and what is not used is tossed in the garbage or washed down the sink. This is probably why I work in encaustics. The stuff is beeswax and it never goes to waste. Almost everything that I use is recycled. I paint on wood, there is no washing of brushes, the beeswax has no chemicals in it, the damar is from trees, I don’t waste any paint. Once I mix a color, I can just remelt it and it never goes to waste. Wax, to me is the true “eco-friendly” product. The only thing that I really use is electricity, which is generated by some plant that adds to the carbon output. But I can’t eliminate everything. To me the real “green” art is not the subject matter, it is the media.