Erika Allison's Artastic Blog

Breaking the rules… or not

Posts Tagged ‘show’

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 new work, "As If By Magic".

Tamara Watson and Erika Allison discussing her work, “As If By Magic”

Las Vegas Painter Brian Malpasso at the Arts Factory

Local Las Vegas artist, Brian Malpasso showing his paintings.

Carlos De Las Heras showing "The Planet Earth Award" series at First Friday Las Vegas.

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…

Photos credit – Trillian

Jill Of All Trades

Posted Monday, April 19th, 2010


“Can We Get There From Here?”


Oil/Mixed Media on Panel

Yup, JILL.  That would be the feminine for…you got it – jack of all trades.  I suppose I shouldn’t focus on gender.  All of us artists are up against the same thing:  the need to be able to do it all.  It seems that ALL is getting bigger and broader and more demanding.

I wish that being an artist meant that one would CREATE ART.  That’s all.  Times  have changed.  Our needs have changed.  And, there’s more than ever to do as an artist.  There’s so much preparation.  There’s promoting oneself.  Showing the work.  Being a good salesperson.  Keeping accurate records.

Before I can begin a painting I have to come up with a painting surface.  Sure, surfaces are available to buy.  But, there are many things to consider.  What kind of surface do  you want?  Can you afford to buy a prepared surface of the quality you want?  Or, if you want a “custom” surface that isn’t manufactured, you will need to create it yourself.  This is where the “fun” begins.  A knowledge of building materials and tools comes in handy.  Tools needed to build the surface are  needed.  And, a place to work at building is needed.  Time is spent building the painting surfaces.

The best part, for me, is the actual creating of the artwork.  I get the most joy out of painting and whatever else is involved in the creation of my work.  I work rather quickly as far as the actual painting goes.  But, I can spend a lot of time thinking, viewing, coming up with ideas of “what’s next”.  Do I want to include this or that, do I want to add this or that found object, do I want to add marks in pencil, oil stick or spray paint?  This is where I really enjoy the process.  These are the decisions that truly affect the final outcome of the work.  The answers to each of these questions make or break the success of of the work.  I love it when I feel like I’ve made the right decisions.

Now, I need to be able to promote myself.  In the past that meant being able to photograph your work well (or hire a professional photographer), keeping your resume up-to-date and searching for opportunities to show your work.  Opportunities to show your work is still the goal today.  But, there are so many more opportunities for promoting yourself.  Hello, computer!  If one has the skills to create one’s own website and keep it up-to-date and photograph and photoshop one’s work – that One is in good shape!  Hooray for you!  If, on the other hand, one (ME) is a bit of a dinosaur in this area – there is a lot of frustration.  I feel like I’m spending all my time learning how to do everything that needs doing.  And, where is my painting time?

Well, I’m not giving up!  I’m still plugging away at it all.  This painting, “Can We Get There From Here?” shows how making one’s own painting surface contributes to the end result of the painting.  I’ve altered the shape of the rectangular surface by cutting out three semi-circles with my handy-dandy electric jigsaw.   I photographed the finished work.  With help from my fabulous webmaster, Trillian, I’ve come up with an image of the work.  She’s still working with me on how to do all this stuff.

I’m always looking for opportunities to show and sell my work.  I watch for competitions that I feel are worthwhile to enter.  And, when things go well, I have to get down to good record keeping!

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.

The Learning Curve

Posted Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The learning curve…yes, it seems that my learning curve is HUGE. I’m referring to anything having to do with the computer and how to use it well. I love e-mail, facebook, websites. I enjoy surfing and finding new artists and keeping up with ones I’ve already found and/or followed. But, when it comes to actually DOING anything, MAKING anything (such as a website) I have no clue…I’m TRYING to learn. I WANT to learn. I’m not sure there’s enough time for me to learn it all – or at least not FAST enough. I want to know NOW. Fortunately, I found a great webmaster who has created a website for me, among other things. And, she’s teaching me how to do some things myself. An artist really should know how to do all this. Maybe if you grew up with computers it wouldn’t all seem so foreign. As an artist, I create all kinds of things. I make my painting surfaces. I can use tools and power tools. I am comfortable with these things. I’m hoping to get comfortable using the tools the computer offers as well.

I have a show opening this evening. I decided it would be a good idea to create a sign with my name in the style of my artwork. So far, so good… Then, I decided I should take a picture of that and have it to post on my blog and my facebook, etc. Oooooh…now that learning curve comes into play. I managed to download the camera. Most of you wouldn’t find this a big deal, I’m sure. Now, I need to re-size the image so I can post it on here and on facebook and e-mail it to a few friends. I spent the whole morning trying to figure it all out. I had folders inside of folders where they didn’t belong. And, I’m being asked for what I consider technical info that I have no clue about. I stumbled through the process several times. I THINK I have something to post.

I know a lot of you would say I should take a course or two. And, I could take a photography course. Then, I could always consider a woodworking course so I could improve on those skills. I really want to be an artist and apply those skills that I’ve spent a lifetime honing. I think my time is better spent creating. I will continue to learn more about using my computer. I hate having to admit I’m a dinosaur!

Now, to see if my morning’s efforts paid off…