Did I fill the well? I certainly hope so! It seems that August came and went…and I didn’t produce much of anything. But, the artist’s life isn’t ONLY about producing. My last post was about filling the well. And, I refer to filling the well often. So, while I wasn’t doing a lot of painting, I was collecting, filing (mentally) and chewing on all kinds of thoughts and ideas. Ideas are percolating, fermenting, whatever you want to call it – in the subconscious, getting filed away to be pulled up for future use.
I had a busy month, even though I wasn’t producing. I celebrated a birthday. I took a vacation. And, I ventured to the arts district a number of times. Just hanging out with other artists and viewing other artists’ works in galleries or their studios, is inspirational. It gets the juices flowing. It reminds you of how many different ways there are to see the same things. And, the ways are endless. That leaves a lot of options for the artist to experiment with creative new ways to present familiar material. There is no end to the possibilities. You just can’t run out of ideas. There is really no excuse for not being able to come up with an idea!
I started a painting yesterday. I’m excited about it. I have covered the entire painting surface. But, I don’t yet know where I’m going with it. There are endless possibilities! I’m at the point now where I’ll study it for awhile, seeing various options. I envision some of the many possibilities as I look at the work in progress. I turn the work in all directions, for a couple of reasons. One reason is to check the composition. A good composition will work in any orientation. The other reason I turn it is that often I see something different – different meanings, possibilities – when a different view is presented. Eventually, I have to decide which way will be the top and where I’m going with it.
This is my painting in progress, after the first session. I’m excited about using an unusual painting surface. It was part of a fence intended for hiding stuff kept on a patio. The surface is a challenge in itself. Will it contribute to the painting – or detract from it? Being “different” is not enough to make a painting successful. It could just as easily detract from it. We shall see as I go along.
I have other surfaces waiting for me in the studio. And, more ideas than I seem to have time to fulfill. So – I guess the answer to “Did I fill the well?” is YES!
If you have thoughts on filling the well, feel free to comment. I welcome discussion.
Tomorrow will be an art-filled day for me. I always enjoy art-filled days. That seems to be my goal: fill ‘er up with art!
I will be at The Ortego Gallery, Las Vegas, all afternoon. I have a show hanging during the month of July: “Unanswered Questions”. Preview Thursday and First Friday were last weekend. I thought it would be nice if I were there sometimes during the month so I’d be available to meet and talk with interested people. Artists who have their own galleries and show their work full-time are always there and available. So, I thought I’d try to be available part-time, at least.
In the evening I will be joining five other artists for Painters On The Patio. We will be painting live, outdoors, on the patio at Bar+Bistro. There will probably be diners on the patio, drinkers on the patio, bocce ball players at the bocce ball court – and, hopefully, interested observers watching us paint. It’s a great atmosphere for creating, night in the arts district.
I have been preparing for my busy day tomorrow. I have my art supplies ready to go, some already packed into my car. I’ve been having a lazy, enjoyable day – resting up for a long, busy day tomorrow.
Come on down to the arts district tomorrow if you are in town. There’s lots to see – including me!
Oh, boy! Art shows take a lot of work! All that creating …all that thinking about titles, planning, hauling the work to the gallery… Whew! It’s finally behind me …for this round. My show, “Unanswered Questions”, is being shown at the Ortego Gallery in The Arts Factory, Las Vegas for the month of July.
The Las Vegas arts district has a First Friday event every month, preceded by a Preview Night the Thursday before. Preview night is when a lot of the artists make their rounds to see what’s going on, the new exhibits, greet each other, etc. It’s also the night that a lot of collectors like to make the rounds, in hopes of seeing the artwork better and meeting the artists. First Friday is a continuation of galleries being open to exhibit artwork, but there are lots of other things going on as well. It’s quite a festive evening. People watching is great, as is the art viewing.
Here are a few photos from the event.
Tamara Watson and Erika Allison discussing her work, “As If By Magic”
Local Las Vegas artist, Brian Malpasso showing his paintings.
Carlos De Las Heras showing paintings from his series “The Planet Earth Awards, Beyond Superstition”.
Now that the July events are behind me, it’s time to update mailing lists, post pictures and write blogs. Then, it’s on to more creating, thinking about titles, planning…
Paint-ins seem to be becoming “the thing” in the Las Vegas arts community. We had an outdoor group painting session in late spring. Now, there’s a regular “Third Friday” paint-in at Place Gallery, organized and hosted by Gina Quaranto. There is a nice, large area that works well for many artists to gather and work. Many mediums and styles were represented. There was painting in different media, sculpting, and a number of artists were working on their skate decks for LVSK8IV The Skate Deck Art Show
Creativity fills the air. You can breathe it in and use it. Artists are lost in what they are creating. And, then, they may be wandering around checking out what other artists are doing. I think the camaraderie is good for all. An arts community is what keeps a lot, if not all, of us going. We get support and encouragement, which is always needed. We build friendships. We try to give back in the ways that we can.
It takes some effort to haul all the needed supplies for painting somewhere other than your own studio. But, it can be worth it. Group painting offers some things we don’t get alone, holed up in our studios, which is our natural habitat. Aside from the camaraderie, you also get some publicity of sorts. It may just be word-of-mouth, someone who stopped in to watch mentioning they’d watched you paint. Or, it may be a possible collector who has seen your work on exhibit, who now gets to see you working. You’d be surprised how many people are fascinated by seeing an artist at work. Keep in mind that this is totally foreign to most people who are not artists. It may seem humdrum and everyday to you because that IS your life. You do it almost by rote. But, to the layman it may be magic. And, don’t forget, collectors and all buyers are buying a piece of the artist. Meeting you, seeing you in action, talking to you about your work or your methods, all provide fodder for the collector’s interesting story for his friends. Also, connecting with the other artists can be worthwhile beyond just the friendship and camaraderie. The artists here in Vegas are generous with their support of each other. Your name might come up when there’s an exhibition opportunity. And, last, but not least – it’s good to get out of your studio and participate in life! You need ideas for your work, life experiences! You need to fill the well!
Here is my painting after the session at Third Friday Paint-In. I will work on it more in my studio and post a picture when it’s completed.
Have you painted with a group? Do you enjoy it? What benefits or pitfalls do you find in painting with others present?
I have several paintings in the works right now. I have two that I started awhile back, but haven’t put the finishing touches on yet. The problem seems to be that I don’t know just where I want to go with them yet. I study them every time I go into the studio. I rotate them so I can view them from all possible angles. One of these times a solution will become clear to me… and I’ll proceed.
I also have two paintings that I started last Saturday at our First Annual Outdoor Paint-In. I really like the starts I got on both. I’m kind of amazed about that. It’s a bit of a pain to haul all the supplies needed for oil painting to an outdoor location. If I were a plein air painter I’d have a french easel and no complaints. But, I’m a studio painter. I like all the comforts of my studio. And, I don’t really need to view subject matter since I’m an abstract painter. Enough of that. The camaraderie is worth the effort. It’s interesting to see other artists at work. And, it was fun seeing people trying to figure out what was going on! At any rate, I got two good starts. And, this morning I worked on one of the paintings. I still like it. I’m not quite sure where I’m going with it. But, that seems to be how I work. For now, it’s time to leave it alone for awhile.
After first session of painting
After session 2 in the studio – on the easel
The second painting from last week is still waiting for me. I could’ve gone right from where I left off on painting number one and started working on the second one. But, sometimes it’s better to just concentrate on one until it’s finished. There’s no rule of thumb on that. It’s my call. I think by not working on both today there’s a better chance of keeping them very individual. Sometimes I get in a groove and what I do on one painting gets carried over to the next. I don’t want to be an assembly line. I want each painting to have it’s chance of shining on its own.
Painting 2, on the easel
So – this challenge is for another day. There are plenty of possibilities, as always…
I love Las Vegas artists! They are so vibrant, enthusiastic, generous, helpful…and full of great ideas. There’s always a new idea, a new event, something to keep the arts district in motion and in the news.
This new event, First Annual Open Air Painting Day, should be fun for the artists. It’s great for camaraderie. It’s a good opportunity to get to know your fellow artists a little better. And, it’s always cool to be able to watch other artists at work. That’s not always something you get to see! It will be an opportunity to share tips and anecdotes. Who knows, you may even accomplish something! And, the public is invited, of course. Anyone can come watch the artists at work (and play).
I have been in Las Vegas for three years now. I felt welcomed from my first venture into the arts district – attending First Friday. I have found the artists here to be generous in offering opportunities, in helping when help is needed and being generally supportive of each other. All are interested in growing the arts district. When there’s a charitable cause, you can count on the artists to pitch in and donate time, talents, paintings. And, the most enduring quality is their willingness to support and promote each other. It’s not just ME, ME, ME. It’s “Check out this artist’s work”. So, the painting day is yet another opportunity for all artists – and another event to keep the arts district in the news.
This event is sponsored by Place Gallery and PeaceN’art Studio. Tents to protect us from Las Vegas’ fierce sun are being provided by The Arts Factory. What a nice collaboration in the spirit of offering an opportunity for all! Thank you, Gina, Alex and Wes!
I’m a great believer in flexibility. Too many opportunities can be missed if one is too rigid in their thinking and planning. Some people need major amounts of time to plan and get everything in place. I’m not against planning. It’s a good thing. It pays to put in the time to make sure everything is in place, and, hopefully, everything goes perfectly. However, there are times when there is no time. Opportunity knocks. Are you going to open the door…or close the door because you don’t have time?
Opportunity knocked at my studio door last week. I had to think about it – for about a minute. The Arts Factory had some space available for First Friday (which is tonight) and the next two weeks. I had to scramble to put it together. But, it was an opportunity to show my work that I wouldn’t have normally had. I was just taking a show down at LeMur in the Arts Factory that had run all of February. I didn’t have anything lined up for March. So, I gathered up some paintings from my studio and added them to the paintings already at the Arts Factory. I spent a morning hanging them. I had to fit this into my already tight schedule. But, I think it was worth the effort. I could have said, “Sorry, I just don’t have the time.” And, my work would be sitting stacked against my studio walls.
I’m a spontaneous person by nature. So, maybe this was easier for me than someone who is less spontaneous and more comfortable with lots of planning. But, next time opportunity knocks for you, think about it. You might not want to close a door that has opened for you!
The Contemporary Arts Center of Las Vegas, a non-profit arts organization, is calling for submissions to their 21st Annual Juried Show.
“This year marks the first national call for entries to the juried exhibition, as we broaden the scope of the work and support our mission to connect with fellow artists within and beyond our own community.”
For the first time they will be accepting digital entries in order accommodate a larger spectrum of entries and to “encourage trans-disciplinary artists to expand their potential entries for jury consideration”.
If you are interested in submitting, visit their members’ site events page for guidelines and entry forms at http://cac.wildapricot.org
According to their site & flyer, the ‘Best of Show’ award is $1500, with second and third place prizes of $750 and $500, respectively.
The deadline for digital submissions is March 1st, 2010!
Contact information for the CAC is listed below:The Contemporary Arts Center
Some of my latest works of art will be featured at the upcoming showcase at LeMur Gallery. The opening reception will be on Thursday, February 4th from 7 – 10 pm.
There will be a Preview Night Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 from 6-10 pm.
Also enjoy visiting on First Friday, December 4th.
The show runs through December 26th.
Le Mur is located upstairs in The Arts Factory at:107 E. Charleston Blvd., Studio 110 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 731-1414