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Happy Art

Someone told me recently, your art is happy. I was both flattered and deflated. Of course, any mention or acknowledgment of what we are creating is a luxury. I should not split hairs on the quality of compliment. But the museum loving gallery junkie in me longs to make art with meaning, depth and that je ne sais pas quoi. But who am I to decide what that certain something is that makes someone stop and look twice or purchase or smile or feel good or all of the above. I’ll take happy these days.

I’ll take keep going where my natural aesthetic and creative pulls lead me. I do know that when I keep going and paint day after day, the work does evolve. And the artists I look up to and admire change over the months and years. Which means my art, too, is changing over the months and years. Is “happy” as a description so terrible? No. It’s not. In context it says this. It says it lightened someone’s moment. Maybe it inspired. Perhaps it made someone laugh. It’s likely it pulled some nostalgic memories. It made someone feel. Happy. And that is why I paint and create. Because it makes me feel good and complete and happy.

Tag, you’re it. xo

Cherry Tomatoes

The world appears to be falling apart. Or imploding. Or both and I’m scared and angry and frustrated at how helpless it makes me feel. Domestically, the word “Charlottesville” will sum up a national outrage for years to come. Internationally, Korea, Barcelona, Sierra Leone are top of the harrowing news. I don’t know what to do. So I keep going going with the small parts of my life where I do know what to do. Bringing a tiny slice of joy into someone’s life through art or an unexpected kindness through snail mail or….there are so many different “ors” for all of us.

I’m not born a political crusader, I shy away from conflict but the climate right now is so heated, so tender and raw, I can’t write without acknowledging it. And still, after mulling over this post with fingers pausing on the keyboard, I still don’t know what to do so until I do I’m going to go deeper and stronger into the creativity I do know.

I know how to capture little moments that make life sweeter. Like cherry tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. Or writing thank you notes. Baking treats and sharing. Picking fresh flowers. Running my small business with huge heart and attention to details and loving the real live kind folks who order from me. I know how to appreciate what I have and be grateful.

Today, cherry tomatoes. xo

Its That Darn Brand Thing Again! On Defining My Brand

Introduction: My Own Brand, or Modus Operandi

Lately I’ve been thinking about “brand” as it relates to my own artistic style or modus operandi (MO).  Why do I avoid defining my brand?  Choices; there comes a time when we can’t do it all.  I have come to realize that if I don’t focus on a brand or MO, I risk confusion, among other things.

To explain my thinking, I’d like to share a story then explain my situation.  Finally, I’ll invite your feedback on the cohesiveness of my own “brand” as it applies to three of my paintings.

Artist Brand: MsKitty, Toy Pony and Blue Bunny Blues

Musician John Mellencamp, And His Brand

This June, my husband Robert and I attended a John Mellencamp concert. We had a wonderful time; Mr. Mellencamp and his band put on a great show. He had the energy and sound that we like about John Mellencamp.

You see, we were not sure we were going to like the show.

Brand: Voice and Energy

I think a little background is in order here. My husband and I grew to appreciate and enjoy John Mellencamp’s music in the 80s and 90’s. So, when we saw that he was coming to one of our favorite venues, we immediately purchased tickets.   Then, a few weeks later, he released his latest music album. But,  this did not sound like the John Mellencamp we knew! It seemed that his voice was different and the energy was not there. What happened; were we going to like the show?

AHA!  A Thought Pops In My Head!

It was while thinking about this concert that I had an “AHA” type moment!  This is all about “branding”, and it applies to me and my art.  Just as Mr. Mellencamp’s voice and energy are his brand, I need to define my brand and focus!

On Brand: Still Life with Egg Cup and Rabbit Netsuke

The Kewl Payntur Case

Here’s a “for instance” scenario. Let’s call the artist “Kewl Payntur” just for fun.  Kewl Payntur might be me or any artist you might know.  Over time, our buddy Kewl builds an audience of people who like his or her particular art.  There is something about Kewl’s work that speaks to the audience.  Mr/Ms Payntur can surprise, challenge and engage the audience as as he/she evolves, as long as the “certain something” is still there.  The “certain something” instills a type of cohesiveness about the body of Kewl Payntur’s work and that it helps the audience identify and define the artist’s work.

Tormented?

So, what is the lesson being taught or tormented over? Deciding on a “brand” or style.

Two Styles! (Or maybe three?)

I wrestle with what I define ought to define as my “brand”.  Usually, I think of my brand as being a stylized, abstracted, designed approach to the subject.  In other words, I am not trying to paint from life and I purposely want you to know it.  My intention is to stylize, distort and have fun with my images.

Problem Defined.

OK, fine, so what’s the problem?  Well, I like to paint from life too. From time to time, I focus my efforts on creating paintings and drawings that achieves a degree of accuracy and likeness.

To rephrase the problem, what does having two different styles do to my brand as an artist?  Do I confuse my audience?  And, what does this dichotomy have do to achieving a degree of mastery in either approach?

Its About You: Confusing or Cohesive

So, this really is about you, the viewer.  Would you like to help?  I have posted three of my paintings and all of them include a rabbit, just because I like rabbits.

What do you think, is my “brand” identifiable?  Even if you can’t articulate it, do all three look like they were done by the same artist?  Or, do you find the collection confusing?

On Brand: Garden Bunny

Post Script:  John Mellencamp’s Voice Endures

By the way, to me, Mr. Mellencamp’s brand includes his voice and energy.  His voice has matured, but it still has the special something that I recognize as the “John Mellencamp” voice.  So, it was a good concert.

Post Script, Again: Travels

In my last posting, I spoke of traveling adventures.  Robert and I did go on the road to New Mexico and we are back home.  We had a good trip and I have started working on my blog posting.  I hope to have something to share with you soon!  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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The post Its That Darn Brand Thing Again! On Defining My Brand appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Hooked on Oils

Here’s a poetic gem from one of my sudents, Susy, that I just had to share.

“Hooked”
when i took my clothes off
i found a dot of light green on my inner thigh…
a streak of viridian running from wrist to elbow
chartreuse on my cheek.
aching from squatting
wrinkled from squinting
and
withered in 97 degrees F,
i slipped into
a parade of
kissing colors
and woke to find myself
forever
hooked on oils.
sigh

Are you hooked on oils? Let’s have an intervention – I mean, a lesson! When used properly, oils can be a safe and healthy way to relax and bring more creativity to your life.

The post Hooked on Oils appeared first on Silvia Trujillo.

How To Paint Portraits Part 2 What Beginner Artist Need to Know

IN this video Stefan Baumann teaches How To Paint Portraits Part 2 What Beginner Artist Need to Know
Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post How To Paint Portraits Part 2 What Beginner Artist Need to Know appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

August Featured Artist

“ Following the Circuitous Thread”

Mixed Media Paintings by Eve Margo Withrow –

August 2017

Art and Soul Gallery

Ashland, OR 

    “ I’m always curious to explore the edge that lies outside the box. From that perspective, I reflect on the essential feeling ingredients of an experience or place.  Many of my favorite and most exciting works are the result of finding imaginative solutions to things run amok. I play and adventure with my expressions. Following threads here and there, I enter the flow of my creative process; head and heart awake and dancing.”
 
Eve is an international award winning professional Artist and is part owner of Art and Soul Gallery in Ashland , Oregon.

Please join us on Friday August 4 from 5-8 pm for a festive evening of Fine Art, Music by Rick Millward, Conversation and some refreshing nibbles!

Sky Lake Moon, 30 x 22 Mixed water media on paper from the Solstice Skies collection by Eve Margo Withrow. ©2015

Sky Lake Moon
30 x 22 Mixed water media on paper

Valley of the Rogue

Skies and Clouds Workshop August 25

Workshop sponsored by the Sacramento Fine Arts Center
Contact me to register.

Skies and Clouds with artist Silvia Trujillo

The post Skies and Clouds Workshop August 25 appeared first on Silvia Trujillo.

Expression of Machinery, 12″x12″, oil on wood,…

Expression of Machinery, 12″x12″, oil on wood, SOLD

Number ten in my series on the nature of numbers represents the culmination of all numbers before it in which a work reaches its true completion and full potential then returns back to the monad, or number one, to start the cycle anew.

A Poem

Another gem from Student Susy.

“Hooked”
when i took my clothes off
i found a dot of light green on my inner thigh…
a streak of viridian running from wrist to elbow
chartreuse on my cheek.
aching from squatting
wrinkled from squinting
and
withered in 97 degrees F,
i slipped into
a parade of
kissing colors
and woke to find myself
forever
hooked on oils.
sigh

Are you hooked on oils? Let’s have an intervention – I mean, a lesson! When used properly, oils can be a safe and healthy way to relax and bring more creativity to your life.

The post A Poem appeared first on Silvia Trujillo.

DIY Paintbrush Holder

Normally this blog is just about my paintings and workshops, but I just had to share THIS!

A fabulous art student of mine, Susy, sent the idea along and it could easily save you $20 for a paintbrush holder. Won’t tip or accidentally get knocked over. Plus, when it inevitably gets dirty with paint, just toss it and start over afresh.

Fabulous DIY paintbrush holder for oil paints Fabulous DIY paintbrush holder

The post DIY Paintbrush Holder appeared first on Silvia Trujillo.