Well, here I am, by the skin of my chinney, chin chin and a few hairs. And, I sold 5 pieces the very first day...yeayyy! My son, Sal, helped me on Sunday put up the plywood and the shelves and painted it white. On Monday, I went in and hung the paintings and arranged all the rest. Now, I'm busily working on more items to bring in; my giclees on canvas mounted on wood, cards that are being printed and a few prints. I didn't realize what an expensive proposition this was going to be, but I definitely think it's worth every penny. I'm thrilled and excited to be part of this artist community.
Tomorrow is my first working day at the gallery. Everyone takes a shift and mans the store for 3 hours once a week. I'm a bit nervous but it will give me a chance to get comfortable being there and get familiar with everything. Friday is "First Friday" on Abbot Kinney where the stores stay open till 10:00, serve wine and food, music in the streets, art openings, etc. which happens every first Friday of the month. It's jumping there and definitely the place to be. Next Saturday will be the Holiday Extravaganza and even Santa will make an appearance. It seems now that I'm involved with the gallery I don't have much time for a lot of other things. I wish that I didn't have to work and that I could spend all my time creating, but I am very grateful I have a great job and earn a decent living.
Well, back to the drawing board...oh, here's what I created for my granddaughter, Izabella Renee. She loves pink, singing and dancing and takes ballet lessons.
This is a shot of where my work will go in Ten Women Venice Gallery. My obstacle is the glass tiles as I can't hang anything on them and I have a small triangular corner on the left where I'm going to have to be creative. The shelf unit will be gone so I will have a blank, flat area to work with. Because I didn't feel good all week, it's hard to pull my brain together and get creative with it so I'm leaving it until tomorrow when I don't have so much catching up to do.
I have so much to do to get prepared, do my calligraphy work, finish up last minute paintings, deal with life as it is right now (my son being with me) and packing because my honey is moving in next week and I'm making room for him. It's hard to keep all the balls in the air. I'm trying to have the attitude "it will all get done when it gets done" and just prioritize. It's difficult to make decisions when I have a full plate...boy, am I repeating myself or what? Okay, fresh start...........tomorrow.
This week I had my second interview with Ten Women, a gallery that I've been pining over to be part of for several years. I got the news that I'M IN.....yeeeeeeay! I'm very excited and honored to be part of this group of women artists...to have the opportunity to display my work for sale and to know that I am recognized as a worthy artist. This is a beginning for me, an opportunity to expose my work to viewers and receive reaction by sales and feedback.
I'm also feeling vulnerable and frightened to think that no one likes my work and won't buy it. How do they do it I ask of these other artists? I see them leaving themselves exposed and vulnerable and faced with rejection which is inevitable. Not everyone can be enamored with my art.... My work is my soul and if you don't like it you don't like me and who I truly am. I am needing to grow right now into a person that knows that whoever experiences my art and relates to it, (which is not everyone) will benefit by my efforts of expression. This seems to be a natural progression of every artist but.............I'm not every artist, hello? It's me, remember? I'm sweet and innocent and an artist that really needs to express herself, yadda, yadda, yadda. Oh well, I guess not. Okay, I will put myself and my work out there for what appeals to those who relate to me...on and on and on..... I am truly over analyzing this. I will admit that I am feeling vulnerable and recognize that this is not a positive reaction to start a new adventure and just chalk it up to being naive. Wellllllll, be careful what you ask for. I'm considering what I asked for. This is it. A Start. This is it. A Start. This is it....... Be grateful is all that I can think of and do it. No, I don't want to.... Be grateful is all that I will do and do it....I will do it....on and on.......
I am in and I am doing it. A BIG step, on my God!
I'll meet up with you at the end. Wish me luck! I'm doing it. Holy S__t! Aaaahhhhhh! I'm doing it. OK.
I am very excited to say that I received a call back from Ten Women Gallery to bring more work back for consideration. I now have a nice body of work to show and feel this next time I will be prepared and confident. Things have changed a bit regarding my moving situation and it's looking like it may take a bit longer to actually make the move to Oxnard. So, in the meantime...why not have my work for sale that is if I'm accepted.
I am having 2 canvas giclee's made from my originals so far and have the professional scans to print out for cards, and prints. This will give me the opportunity to hold on to my originals for awhile as I'm having a hard time letting go of my babies. If all goes well I'll invest and have them all done. It's quite expensive as it turns out but at least I can sell more than one. I'm hoping that that's the case. I'd love to shift to collage/painting in the near future. I'm loving it.
All the art that I hang in my home is female art. Most are created by females but none the less, the subject is of women. My pictures, my figurines, my dolls, my sculpture...all women. I've been heading in this direction for a long time and I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get here. I guess I really needed to know that all the elements were complete. I now feel I've put all the components together to be able to do justice to "my female creations". Since I'm a mixed media, collage artist that leans towards 3 dimensional and realism, I now know that I need to incorporate these elements into my paintings to feel justified that I am doing original work that satisfies my soul. I am a prolific artist that always dabbles in all sorts of artistic endeavors. My one true love is calligraphy and I've earned a living at it for over 30 years now. I still love doing it and get great satisfaction when I turn out a job well done and the client is satisfied. I also enjoy an occasional workshop involving lettering when it is mostly play and I can see some artistic results other than addressing, invitations, logos, monograms, menus, etc. etc. I will always come back to this form of art however, being prolific, I have a lot more to give. My art dolls satisfied that need in me for female creations and I really enjoyed making them. My RA inhibits my detail work which is what makes the entire look of my dolls...my dolls. I just can't hand sew without pain involved. I've accepted this fact as I have not being able to wear high heels which truly gave me emotional identity pain. I have worn high heels all my adult life and loved every minute of it. The look, the feminine feeling, the shoes, feeling sexy, completing the outfit...on and on. I was one the girls from "Sex and the City". Here's where the Serenity Prayer brings it all into perspective.
I've had a lull in calligraphic work for almost 2 weeks now. However, for the past 2 1/2 months I was working really long, grueling weeks without end, it seemed. I held on because I knew that the wave that rolled in would cease and I would come back to some normalcy. It's just how this business is. So, I decided to take full advantage of my free time and started painting on canvas. I am very satisfied that I finally move into this direction because it was nudging me for a long time. So, now I'm here, and to stay. I feel a connection and am able to express a need inside me with this form of art. I hope that what I create is received well and that some viewers will think that what I do is special.
Last week, I went to Ten Women, a women's artist co-op on Abbey Kinney in Venice, to pick up my contributing art dolls that were in their window display "Raining Art Dolls" through the month of September. The gal who was manning the post there casually invited me to show my current work at an interview of artists for an available space in the store. I said I would be interested and left with my dolls. I didn't speak with her about too many of the details because she got a call and I was anxious to return home to whatever I was doing. However, I did think about it a lot. I thought...here is an opportunity to possibly have a place to sell my "new" art, get connected to a community of women, some of whom I already know I really respect, and acquire some good experience and a genuine kudo to my resume, if ever needed and feefback about my art. I was among 4 other women who were invited to be there and were prepared (I was not) and I felt completely in the way, an unexpected intrusion, and an unprepared incidental who happened to be in the neighborhood. When it was my turn, I was nervous and completely on the block to be scutinzed and judged and couldn't think of an intelligent thing to say. I did the best I could under the circumstances, left as quickly as I could and was totally relieved to be on my way home to safety and security.
My first thought was...thank you God, for the opportunity, this is really a testiment to my ability to believe in myself and work....but....whatever happens, so be it. It's in your hands. I did wake during the night thinking that at my age, why was I nervous or intimidated? I'm too old to care...and...do I really want to do this? After torturing myself for awhile I did fall back to sleep and woke feeling that it was truly in Gods hands.
Today, I did receive a call from the the head honcho at Ten Women and was ask to return for a second interview to show more of my work sometime (which was unknown right now) in November to be considered for a spot in the shop. I was a bit shocked and elated at the same time. I am excited that they (the other 11 artists that were judging) feel that I am a contender to be among them and to be embraced as a fellow artisan.
How do I really feel...relieved. I had finally done something about putting myself out side my box of calligraphic art, work that I feel complete's me, and am trusting that this is truly what I'm supposed to be doing alongside my calligraphy. It feels like second nature to me. I can't explain it except that I've always known that I could paint and have on occasion, but was always pulled in other directions. My friend, Mara, who did do portraits, has given me her work over the years and I even asked if she would feel funny if I tried my hand at it intending to do so but never did. I am now encouraged with the feedback I've been receiving online from other artists and now this acceptance, to continue doing what I'm doing and make it happen. I'm so enjoying the process and the end results and feeling really good about what I'm producing. At 62 I'm finally coming into my own....
This is the results of a fabulous class with fellow calligrapher and friend, Risa Gettler, who taught us how to do calligraphy using bleach as the fluid, chop sticks as our tool, writing on black paper. We then embellished with pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, Iridescent inks and colored foil. It was a fun class and everyone created fabulous pieces of art. What fun!
When I open the new issue of Nov/Dec issue of Somerset Studios, one of my favorite magazines, I found that my mosaic collage, "Gratitude" had been published. What a feeling is was to look at my work in print...WOW! is all I could say. I submitted this piece at the beginning of the year and had an idea that if they were going to use my submission it would be in the winter issue but imagining it and actually seeing it are two different things...I'm just thrilled. I'm also proud of myself for the courage to submit.
I've been keeping very busy working on projects and doing what I love to do most. I am doing 2 online classes simultaneously but, of course, I end up doing my own thing anyway. I'm not sure what's up with that. But I am learning new techniques and gaining courage to have confidence in what I do best... What is that you ask? Well, I'm not sure but I do know that my art drives me and somehow when I start I seem to just know what to do. It's all very visual. I'm trying very hard not to drive myself into needing perfection and to just do as much as needed and feel satisfied with the overall appearance. I do, however, feel the need to get feedback from my peers which is why I've joined so many groups. The feedback is awesome when I get it and I also give back a lot. I think it's so important to support each other and tell the artist what you like about the work they do.
I'm also trying different techniques as I would really like to be a bit more stylized. I'm not sure that I'm comfortable viewing my finished work when I'm "out of the box". I'll just have to do more of it, get more comfortable with it or just accept that I like what I do better. If you don't try....you never find out.
My friend, Laura asked me to do a watercolor of a photograph of her daughter Amy and grandsons. I'm not really a watercolor artist but I've done a few things that were decent over the years so I agreed and took on the challenge.
Her other daughter Tina, then asked me to also do one for her of her mother in law and son to give as a gift. That has been more challenging because I have to take two photos and integrate them into one picture. It's going slow to say the least but coming along none the less. I hope they like the end results.
Did an on line class with Karyn Gartel painting stylized portraits. I discovered that it is hard for me to do stylized as I tend to go realistic even though I don't do realistic very well. Nor, I discovered, do I follow direction well. I really know for sure now how rebellious I truly am. I just couldn't seem to follow the instructions and kept going off and doing my own thing.
I started off just fine cutting up decorative papers and gluing the pieces to the canvas. I also did well adding the gesso. But then, I had to bring in my own little signature into the mix and started to glue down some torn book pages and writing over the gesso. I didn't follow the instructions for the face either as I didn't really like what I was drawing so I did my own interpretation. Then I needed to add ephemera on top of that so I stuck a flower in her hair, used decorative paper for her dress and trim on the bustline and added some netting that was calling out to me for texture.
Okay, so I probably should have stuck to the instructions just to see what would happen but it just didn't seem right to me. The good news is that I like how it turned out and I started another one.
Last Saturday I took Kelly Kilmer's class with a group of gals who belong to my art group SoCalArtUnraveled. It was lots of fun. I've been wanting to take one of Kelly's Classes for a long time and finally had an opportunity.
Kelly's a great teacher and has lots of tricks up her sleeve so I learned a lot from her. She's very inspiring, motivating and generous. She brought an arsenal of materials to share and it amazed me how easily she instructed but encouraged us to do our own thing. These little mini books weren't more than 4x3" in a variety of page sizes. We tore the different papers and made a signature of 5 folded pages that were than sewn simply in the center. We then proceeded to collage and decorate each page with coordinating patterns, images and ephemera. This kind of book was right up my alley and I loved that we worked fast and had surprises along the way. When I put too much thought into my collage work it doesn't seem to look as spontaneous and free.
I had fun, met some great gals and a new inspiring teacher.
I'm so grateful to be able to share my art with others. I'm mixed media and love doing lots of different mediums. My main stay is calligraphy of course and most of my art has words in them, hence "The Word is ART". Hope you like what you see and come back often.
Have a blessed day. Renee
If you like what you see... please grab my button!
I've been a professional calligrapher and designer for over 35 years and have had extraordinary experiences. I am proud to say that my clients are from all walks of life and a handful of celebrities that are faithful to my work. I've been blessed to be able to earn my living by doing what I truly love to do. I will always remain grateful and proud.
Come visit to see some of the calligraphy work that I do and ...