Thursday, April 29, 2010

Step in to Fun

8 x 10 Oil on Canvas

At the Art City Austin, this last weekend, I got to talking to a fellow artist who was one of the participants of the event. Imagine that, an artist striking up a conversation with another artist. Anyway his name is Geoffrey Aaron Harris. His art is very fun and playful.  As I was sharing that thought with him, he offered something up which I thought was very interesting and inspiring.  He had not always done these fun imagines. But, at one moment in time he asked himself what would I like to put on my walls, what would I like to paint vs. what would people want to buy. Which is another way of saying he started following his heart. He said once he started doing this he started selling more art  than ever before. Isn't that neat?

I went home and tore the landscape off my easel, put a new canvas up and did another of my shoe paintings.  I can't explain it, but they are just so fun to paint.

So my question to you is: Are you creating art that you would like to have in your home and is it fun for you to create? Would love to hear your story.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Play Date for an Artist

Art City Austin

What to do when feeling blocked?  I don't know if you have noticed or not, but I have not been painting or posting much in the last week and the other interesting thing is many artist I follow are saying the same thing, it's in the air, how 'bout you?  It's such a strange phenomenon, I want to paint but just can't seem to do it.  What I tend to do is tell myself I'm lazy and yet I know I'm not a lazy person. Gosh what a great motivator, being mean to myself, yeah so I asked myself how's that going for ya? Not so well.

Moving on to Plan B, thanks to Julie Cameron and her wonderful book, The Artist's Way, she has a cure for this. She talks about having an artist play date with one's self. Instead of being mean to myself, I'm going to show myself some love and fill up my artist's well. So today I went to Art City Austin with my good friend Debbi Smith Rourke.  What a great way to touch all the five senses; this is how the Going Austin web-site describes it:
"Upon entering the temporary art utopia, expect to hear live music from Austin musicians, smell fresh, organic food prepared by local chefs and experience visual art of various mediums."
See more pictures on the Austin Art Buddies facebook page

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corner Love

14 x 11 Oil on Canvas

There is nothing better to paint after a dry spell then my little muse,  Sophie.  This scene is from a corner in my painting room. I swear Sophie knows when I'm taking her picture, just like supermodels she poses this pose and that pose, what a little ham.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Viral Vibration

12 x 12 Oil on Canvas
Spring Sunrise
One of my friends used to say to me, "You can't expect to meet the love of your life walking from your car to the office".  It made me laugh and, rrrrr,  I knew she was right. I did need to get out and meet people, but I was so busy working it was hard to get out there. Blogging is a wonderful thing, not for finding Mr. Right (got that handled), but for a new desire to meet more art enthusiast and also find my tribe (such a funny expression, but so descriptive). I can now meet my  readers, potential buyers and like minded folks without even leaving my home, how wonderful is that.

 As Walt Disney said "if you can dream it, you do can do it".  My dream is exposing my work to hundreds and thousands of people. In this case, I love the idea of spreading a 'virus' that lots and lots of people get. Can you hear my devilish laugh?  I really mean it in the nicest of ways.   Not only am I inspired by Walt's quote, but I am also inspired by the fact that many others before me have created a living selling their art via blogging and the internet. By having a connection with others and making it possible for people to give me instant feedback, I will have the opportuntiy to know if something is working and resonating with people.  In my opinion, people purchase art when they resonate with it and with blogs you now get a glimpse of the person behind the art...feeling the vibration?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Who are You?

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas
Daybreak in East Texas

Part II continuation of: "Who I am wanting to attract to my blog"? The second part of my answer also lies in the intention I have for my art and my blogging.  It is my intention that my art brightens your life and my blogging inspires or ignites a change in your world. You are given a peak inside my journey, my thought process through my stories, my struggles and my successes. I want to empower you and think to yourself, "If Amy can do it, so can I." Whatever your journey is, I hope you can use my insights for whatever you are undertaking.

So who are you? You are someone who is pursuing an art career, a new job, a dream you always wanted, a goal you thought was unobtainable. I would love to hear from you and how you're doing on your own path, so I'd definitely love to have you share your comments aloud.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brush It Up a Little

A little corner of my studio

I think I may have gotten an F on my first homework assignment in my blog triage class. My blog doctor, Alyson, wrote me a comment on my April 8th post pushing me to dig deeper and think harder.  E-gads, talk about feeling like a kid again, ouch.   As you may recall from my previous post our first assignment was to describe the type of readers I would like to visit and read my blog. Here is the ironic thing, I pride myself on being pretty open and vulnerable on my blog and I had written about the type of people I want to attract to my blog and didn't post it. It made me feel too vulnerable, Ha, how funny is that? So here goes, I'm going to try it again.

I find it difficult to describe my ideal readers without talking about the intention I have with my art and with my blogging.  The intention I hold for my art is that it evokes a feeling of warmth or joy or happiness. That it in some way brightens the lives of the people who view it on-line or decide to make it theirs. I love beautiful things and beautiful surroundings, it creates a shift in my body, mind and spirit, like when the sunshine is out.  So I want my art to be a little piece of sunshine and create a papable shift in my viewers lives.

So my art blog visitors are people who appreciate beautiful things and like to create beautiful warm surroundings, this may be for their own home or they may be creating the environment for someone else.  They are also people who are happy, positive and optimistic or would like to be more so, since my typical subject matter is light and playful.

Since this post is getting a little long, I will divide it into two and post the other part tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't Think, Paint

18 x 14 Oil on Canvas
Sunset on the Ranch

So how do you do something your not good at? I am currently working on creating some paintings for an upcoming show that I would like to submit to a jury, but they want landscapes. Not my strong suit. It is a great opportunity so I really want to submit some work, what's an artist to do? As I was struggling with this quandary, I was reading a post from my good friend Wendy ( life coach extraordinaire) and the answer appeared. I love when that happens. With Wendy's permission, I have included a portion of her post:

Ever since Nick was small, getting his ideas down on paper has been a tremendous struggle. He'd spend hours on homework that involved any form of writing. Over the years, his teachers have tried all kinds of creative ideas, from allowing him to hand in assignments that were taperecorded rather than written, allowing his dad or I to write down his assignments for him, etc. Even as recently as last year, when he was in grade 9, his English teacher recommended he get remedial help for his writing skills.

Fast-forward to last night - Parent-Teacher interviews. My husband and I haven't even sat down in our chairs when Nick's history teacher starts gushing about what an outstanding writer he is, how he gets his written work done so quickly, how interesting his writing is to read, etc. Everything she is saying is the complete opposite of what we've been hearing for 10 years. His mark in the class is an astonishing 97%! I'm not much for getting choked up, but I was holding back the tears. We couldn't have been more surprised. 
Later, I asked Nick how he did it. He said, "The trick is that I just can't think about what I'm writing. If I try to think, it takes a long time. If I don't think and just write, its easy."
Isn't that great?  So I decided to take young master Nick's strategy and apply it to my landscape, the above painting is the result. I am happy with it, considering that I never do landscapes.  Imagine how we could apply this to other areas of our lives.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Old Guys with Hats

36 x 24 Oil on Canvas

I am using the month of April to refresh, revamp and rev up my blog.  To assist me in this undertaking I've enrolled in an on-line class from Alyson Stanfield called +Blog Triage: Maintaining a Healthy Artist Blog.  One of the desired outcomes of this project,  is to receive more comments from more readers, because then I get mail; mail in my in-box, yea! Who doesn't love mail?

 This is all Fritz's fault, and who, you may ask, is Fritz?  Fritz, of course, is the mailman.  Not just  any mailman, Fritz was the  mailman I had growing up.  He was a really happy little man, you know the kind. The kind that loves what they do and make others around them feel happy.  In the summer you could hear him all the way up the street because he was always whistling in his open mailman truck.  He wore a cute little hat and always, always greeted you with a smile and a funny  little saying to make you laugh.  My mother and I would walk down to the mailbox have a little chat and smile and then Fritz would personally hand us the mail; he reallly made me feel special.  I know, I know it sounds like some Disney movie, but it really happened.

Our first homework assignment is to describe our desired readers for our blog.  So needless to say, readers who like to  look at and buy oil paintings and...  leave comments is at the top of my list.