Tomas Vu, mixed media on wood panel
It was a big art week in New York City. Ok, there is generally dozens of art exhibitions every week in the Big Apple, but this week featured some of the biggest art fairs of the year with the Armory Show at Pier 92/94 and the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side. Additionally, one show you might not know is the “Art on Paper” art fair down on Pier 36. I headed down to the Lower East Side to check it out. As an artist who uses collage paper in her work, I have a special love for art created on paper and/or with paper. This exhibition didn’t disappoint. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from this year’s show.
Thomas McNickel, oil on paper
Mersuka Dopazo and Teresa Calderon, mixed media on canvas
Henry Jackson, mixed media on paper
Henry Jackson, mixed media on paper
Riitta Klint, Collaged Yupo paper
Rex Ray, Lithograph of 18 colors
I just returned from almost a week in Berlin, Germany. Having never been to Berlin before, I was really interested in viewing the street art scene I had heard so much about. Much of Berlin’s street art scene started at the East Side Gallery, a mile-long section of the Berlin Wall painted in 1990 by over 100 artists from across the globe. But the street art didn’t stop there and has spread all over Berlin onto hundreds of other walls and surfaces. Below, I’ve shared a few of my favorites. Sadly, taggers (those non-artists that choose to scrawl their initials on any and every surface) have defaced much of the street art by tagging over the top of it. Of course, many people think that the nature of street art is its impermanence and that layering one person’s work over another’s is part of the process. Personally, I don’t consider that art…or at least not good art. Sadly, the last picture is also a common site in Berlin. Which side of the argument do you fall on?
Berlin Wall “Escape”
A common sight in Berlin
Last Thursday night, it was a whooping 8 degree Fahrenheit in New York City. But that didn’t stop the art lovers from turning out to attend the Atlantic Gallery’s “Over the Bridge” exhibition in Chelsea. I was fortunate to have two paintings in this show, along with 38 other Long Island City artists. The wine was flowing, the crowd was enthusiastic and the art was excellent. I’ve included photographs of that night “before” and “during” the opening to show you the crush. There is still plenty of time to see the exhibition on display until January 17th at Atlantic Gallery, Suite 540, 548 West 28th Street, New York City.
In my last post, I started a new “vine” painting and showed you the first two steps. Today, we move to step 3. To complete the “under-painting”, I added lots of pieces of colored paper to the panel. I kept the colors bright and bold, weaving and overlapping them to create a surface of bold color and heavy texture. I added several more layers of paper over these initial paper layers shown below. All of the paper was coated with acrylic medium on both sides to glue it to the surface and protect the surface. It looks like a hot mess now, doesn’t it?! Step 4 will be posted tomorrow, and you’ll see how I resolve all of this random color into a coherent design.
I knew that would get your attention! And no, I don’t paint in the nude, but this week I am featuring paintings I did of nude models in 2012. For these two paintings, I couldn’t find a friend willing to pose for me, so I had to use myself as the model (painting from a photograph). I set up the camera on a tripod, pushed the 10-second delay button and leapt onto the bed striving to strike a tasteful pose before the shutter button went off. It took me about 30 tries and it was a serious aerobic workout. I chose to mask my face in a pillow to create a more “any woman” feel and to draw the focus on the body. Now when I look at these paintings, I’m still happy with them. However, I do wonder why I didn’t think to make my ass smaller!
These two paintings will hang in The Gallery at the Watershed‘s upcoming “Elegant Nude” exhibition in Eugene Oregon from September 23 through November 1, 2014. Below are these two paintings.
“Morning Sun”, 11″ x 14″, oil on canvas, $350
“Last Rays of the Day”, 11″ x 14″, oil on canvas, $350
Okay, that a huge exaggeration. However, I am showcased in MoMA’s PS1 Studio Visit. This is a web initiative by MoMA that offers virtual presentations of artists’ studios. Emerging artists working in the five boroughs and greater New York area are invited to upload video or still images of their studios and work. Artists’ submissions will be present on the website for at least one month. Studio Visit serves as an online artistic hub and give viewers a look at some exciting new work while examining the varied artistic practices located within the New York City area. Come check it out at http://momaps1.org/studio-visit/
I recently started selling my mixed media paintings online through Art Finder. Art Finder is an online seller of “authentic art from independent galleries and artists” from around the world. That’s me…an independent artist =)
I had two mentions in their daily e-mail newsletter, which they send out to their client list. The first mention was for “New Mixed Media Artists” last week. Today, I received another mention in their newsletter under the category of “New American Artists to Watch”. I hope there are people out there “watching”. (pun intended)
If you like looking at (and maybe buying) reasonably priced original art, check out http://www.ArtFinder.com.
I was a spectator at the “Tough Mudder” today in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Labeled as “probably the toughest event on the planet”, Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Additionally, these challenge events have raised more than $3 million for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Photo (used with permission) by Dmitry Gudkov
The Tough Mudder website says, “To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity, you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 12 foot-walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind.” In fact, they make all competitors sign this pledge that stresses teamwork, camaraderie, and helping their fellow Mudders over individual success. I couldn’t help but think how important this type of attitude is in promoting success in any endeavor. This is particularly true in the often isolated life of an artist.
I recently rented a studio in Reis Studios in Long Island City. The building is filled with floors of other artists’ studios, with each artist working independently on their own projects. However, once a year, LIC Arts Open Festival organizes a community wide event with over 200 open studios, paintings, sculptures, music, dance, theater, a charity audition and more. This collaboration of arts entities, businesses and individuals gather together to spotlight the diverse artistic community in LIC. Like the Tough Mudder, it is the teamwork and camaraderie of all these people who create a successful event that works together to benefit the whole.
What goals would you like to accomplish? How can you work together with other “teammates” to help you realize this goal while benefiting everyone in the group? I would love to hear your ideas.
After several different careers in my past, I’ve finally taken the plunge to being a full-time professional artist. Such a strange description, “professional”. When I was a civil engineer or a marketing manager, I never felt the need to add “professional” before my occupation. Still, I wanted to make it clear that while I love being an artist, I also consider it my profession. I work hard at my craft, continually expanding my education, and challenging myself to grow in skill. Being an artist requires wearing many hats, the creation of the work being only one aspect of the total.
The artist at age five (that’s me). You can see I was already completely absorbed in creating art.
I thought it would be interesting to document my journey and start a conversation about the reality of being an artist. I hope you’ll follow me as I embrace my new artistic life.