Updates on recent adventures
Hi there! Thank you for viewing my page and reading my blog. For the most part, I wanted to use this to share in the process of making art. But there is definitely an outcome in mind after the making process!
Over the past 6 months, I've been very fortunate to meet some amazing people and show my work in a few different places. In May, I was a vendor in the Kenton Neighborhood Street fair in North Portland. The day was supposed to be beautiful, so I was really excited at having my first street fair experience. As the morning progressed, though, rain crept in and took over for the rest of the day. I was able to meet a few people who ventured out, but didn't sell anything that day.
In July, I showed my work at the Mississippi street fair, also in N. Portland. That experience was wonderful, but very crowded!! There was an estimated 20,000 people there, trolling through tented aisles looking for beer and visual stimuli. Unfortunately, I think several elements prevented people from really making a good profit at street fairs this year. It seems to be a great experience for attendees, but not so great for vendors.
On the positive side, I met a great fellow who asked me to show at his first Monday Authors in Pubs event downtown a couple weeks later. Also, I almost ran out of the stock of business cards I brought, so that made for a great networking day!
Authors in Pubs is a monthly event, whereby local writers sign up to stand on stage and read a short piece from their work. Some are published, some are looking for like-minded individuals to critique and help them find their way into the professional writing world.
My involvement, however, came from meeting the founder at the Mississippi Street fair a couple weeks prior. I was told that the event has started hosting artists as well for the past few months, just to add some extra conversation piece and possible revenue. My opportunity was at the August 6, 2012 event, where I sold more than both of the previous street fairs combined. It was a wonderful adventure, and the authors there were very talented. If you are in the Portland area, and are interested in seeing what it's all about, please check it out.
Authors in pubs is at the Jack London bar (basement of the Rialto Poolroom). SW 4th Ave and Alder. It's a free event every 1st Monday of the month, and they usually have great drink specials, a band, an artist, and some amusing authors to listen to.
I also started a new project with a pottery painting place downtown called Ready, Paint, Fire!
They have a canvas painting party every Thursday night, and I signed up to be one of a few artists who host the party and teach people how to paint an entire image in one night. My theme is "tourist Portland", so I've been trying to come up with creative, easy images that aren't all landscapes.
This is one I get to do next Thursday, August 30. Below is a bridge I painted with the class a couple weeks ago. So far it's been very fun, the classes are small and it forces me to think about painting in terms of explaining a technique and helping others visualize the painting process in an easier way so they aren't intimidated to finish something beautiful. :)
My next challenge in artistic endeavors comes in preparing work for the Autumn Equinox and Harvest Fair taking place really close to my part of town in SW Portland. It's happening on September 22 and 23 this year. The more I think about it, the more pressure I put on myself to produce some good stuff. Most of my work has a nature theme, anyway, with female figures, trees or leaves and outdoor themes. We'll see what comes of it, and I'll be sure to update with some in-progress pictures!
Leaf it to me!
Hi there! After living in Portland for a year, I've been lucky enough to meet some amazing people and have the chance to do some great art networking. It has led me to a few great opportunities to make custom art for people -- most recently some watercolors with a tree theme for a girls bedroom. Last year, I did a basic painting of a tree on a hill with a tire swing:
Doesn't it look great in its new home? I love the wall colors! After it was framed and hung, the mom decided she wanted leaves to accompany the tree. She gave me free reign on what to do with the leaves -- coloring, shape, and size. With this, I decided to make a series, with a couple different kinds of leaves. Here's the process of leaf painting:
And that was it! Pretty simple project -- and it will look awesome when the pictures are all hung together. I did really enjoy the challenge of trying to make leaves look different and use an analogous color scheme. I've done a lot of trees and leaves in my artistic endeavors; maybe this time it will lead to a gateway for a whole other realm of nature exploration in my artwork!
Family, Familie, Familia
Greetings again, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day! All too often, I get these brilliant ideas for artwork, and then don't realize how much time it will take to finish them. By the time they are done, they're 3 months late (in this case at least). Still, I thought I would share a couple of graphite drawings that I just completed for my hunny, Marco's family..... as Christmas gifts. You can't rush a masterpiece, right?! I decided to do two pieces, on watercolor paper. The first is of Marco, his mom and sister hugging each other. The second is of his sister's family, sitting on a wall. As you could guess, the portraits were much harder than drawing the whole family on the wall! Have a look-see:
My lovely workspace. So much nicer to have a place where I don't have to set up my easel every time I want to work!
Didn't take any early on pictures, but here's a good view at some mid-development... shading was huge in this one. Marco's mom in the middle was almost completely in shadow, so there was a lot of challenge in making the light source look accurate and still allowing details in her face to show through.
Not quite right... kind of dark for what I had in mind...
There, that works! Finished product -- 18" by 24", graphite on watercolor paper.
Here are the shots for the McAdams family sitting on the wall:
The Sketchbook Project.
Greetings, and thank you for taking the time to look at my art-making process. This post will give some insight into my sketchbook, which is currently at the Brooklyn Art Library anticipating a tour with The Sketchbook Project.
The Sketchbook Project is an endeavor that was the brain-child of an independent company in Brooklyn called Art House Co-op. They do a yearly tour of their sketchbooks, which come from over 100 countries and are created from over 12,000 artists. This year, they will be in Portland, OR on May 11-13. After their tour ends, the sketchbooks are archived in the Brooklyn Art Library.
The great thing is that you don't have to be an artist to be an "artist". Anyone can participate -- just send them $25 for the sketchbook and fees to participate, pick one of the provided themes, and then send it back with love and good effort by the deadline. More information on the Art House Co-op and the Sketchbook Project can be found here: http://www.arthousecoop.com/
I hadn't learned about the Sketchbook Project at all until last year, when I immediately sent in for my sketchbook to participate. This was back in October, 2011. I chose the theme to make my book about, only because it seemed the easiest for me in case I got "artist block". My theme was "I remember you". Ideally, I would have worked on my sketchbook gradually for the entire 4 months prior to the deadline on January 31, 2012. However, life gets in the way, and I didn't actually make a big dent in the book until the last week before it was due. By then, I had given up on actually trying to sketch the things i wanted to write about, and chose a few pictures I was willing to part with to slap in there instead. Hence, this year's sketchbook wasn't anything I dreamed it would be at all. It was a good process, though, and I plan on doing it again next year.
After a couple of beers and some scrap booking supplies, this is what my book turned out to be:
Not that I'm hung up on my memories, but some things just make you who you are. "I remember you" included the good and the bad. Also, my home used to include a huge Big Bird who sat in my highchair in the corner of my room when I was young. I am terrified of the color yellow to this day and never wish to decorate any part of my home with the color yellow. Ever.
Some of these pages were completely unintentional. Actually... some of the thoughts were random and virtually meaningless in relation to the other pages.They only made it to the sketchbook because I had to fill space. That's how art goes sometimes, I guess.
My Great Grandpa was cooler than your Great Grandpa.
And finally, my first "grown up" job that allowed me to really think about who I am and what I'm doing.
Learning experiences everywhere. I rushed it off, satisfied or not, to the post office on January 31, 2012 at nearly 3pm. Just in time! $27.36 later ($25 to participate and $2.36 in shipping), it's complete and ready to travel. Next year, a less personal theme, I think. It was more of a pain than I thought to come up with interesting things to include -- honestly, who is going to want to look through all of this garbage?!
Before Thanksgiving, I had Sellwood Public House express some interest in my work to display on their walls. Great news, right? Except for the fact that I showed them a piece that wasn't done. They wanted it hung ASAP, so I was trying my best to finish it within reason given that Thanksgiving was the same week. Fast forward to last weekend. I still don't have the painting done -- it's the red truck on 4 canvasses. I have been working on it, contrary to my typical habits of procrastination. However, since it's done in oil paint, it's taking forever to dry. Which leads us to the Dia De Los Muertos painting below.
Knowing that I needed to produce something big, and having a ton of other ideas in my head that I can't reasonably start until I get other stuff done, I decided to go out on a limb and try to do a large black and white portrait. This works especially well for the Sellwood Public House -- given that they aren't meant to display artwork, the light source namely comes from the several flat screen TVs that put out a green hue as football games are displayed weekly. Never the less, it's a great place, my artwork gets great exposure, and I pushed myself to do a huge (56" by 44") piece in... 14 hours. Stretched, primed, painted, done. Here are pictures of the process:
Done and Done. I'm thinking her body needs a little more shading, but the owners of the Public House actually liked it a lot, and appreciated that I wanted to try something different since I couldn't get them the other painting. Next step -- sell something!! I've gotten a great experience by displaying at cafes, yogurt shops, and public houses; now it's time to start making some money! Spread the word, Laura is breaking out into the restaurant world around Portland!!
I spent last post illustrating my skillful procrastination. This time, I have progress to report! I completed one of the paintings I was stuck on, and started 3 more. The list of things to do has to keep going, right? Here are some progression pictures of what I've been up to:
Ta-da!! This one is a re-do of a piece that I did for my brother and his wife a few years ago. At the time, it became the bane of my existence -- a piece that I started which quickly became a challenge my brain couldn't handle. The second time went a lot faster, though, once I got past the memory of the first time!
Here's another piece I made a little progress on:
Now it looks like this, although still not finished.
This truck is my latest in paintings that I didn't think would be a big deal, but have turned out to take way more time than initially planned for. Such is the way of being an artist, I guess. I've also started a new painting, which will be awesome as soon as I paint over the old project that the bottom canvas was used for!
Her name is Gabriela. As in Gabriela and Rodrigo. I even looked up the exact guitar that she uses. Research for paintings is fun, woohoo!! If you're aren't familiar with their music, I highly suggest it. It's an awesome motivator when you're being creative.
As for the Michael's gig... I did a couple of paintings for display at the front of their store, but no real bites yet. I'm thinking that holidays aren't the best time to advertise for classes -- people have Christmas gifts to worry about after all! Here's a picture of one of my display paintings:
Frustrations, for sure!
Hi there. So... I thought I had a great start to this whole blog thing, but it turns out frustration is the word of the week for me. I've been trying to finish a number of projects around my humble abode -- I've even made a list for myself of pieces I need to finish (there are about 12 on there right now. Excessive, I know). The list has graduated from a plain piece of notebook paper to a bright orange piece of scrapbook paper. Yes, this is getting serious. I've never had so much going at once, so I suppose my focus is a little scattered right now. Here are some pictures of what I have floating around, saying "finish me" as I walk by them in my little apartment:
What do you think, can I get these and about 8 others done before the new year? READYSETGO!
I do have great news, though. I stopped by Michael's today to start my display board for advertising painting classes. Add one more creative endeavor to the list, but this one should turn into a fun adventure!! I get to teach landscape, floral, seascape, and still life images -- something I don't really gravitate to myself, actually. I'm usually a "tell a story or say a message" kind of painter. Example: the tree above in fabric is off of the 4 elements.... and the other elements will get worked in there eventually! So it will be a nice change of pace, and a great challenge, to talk to people who want painting practice in areas that I normally wouldn't think of teaching.
Ok, off to stare at more unfinished work!
Welcome to my new work in progress! In effort to include more images reflecting the actual production of artwork, I've decided to create a blog specifically for the progression, successes and frustrations I run into when making artwork. It's going to be an interesting road, for sure!!
I haven't even lived in Portland a year yet, but I'm already getting great exposure and positive responses to my artwork around town. I thought this would be a great way to continue showing off some of the things I do, as well as keep myself motivated to paint and create!
Thanks for stopping by!