Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Gallery and Works in Progress

I am very happy to announce that soon you will be able to find my paintings in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada! Whistler Village Gallery is now representing me and will start showing my work this December. I have 4 new paintings in the works for them and can't wait to see how their clients react to my paintings. They have two gallery locations, one in the Four Seasons Resort and the other in the Hilton Whistler Resort and will soon be opening a third. If you remember, Whistler is the beautiful resort town that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics so you know it's a great place to go skiing. If you happen to be in the area, be sure to stop by and see my paintings!

Here are some of the pieces I have started that will eventually be shipped to this gallery:

There is still a lot of work to do on this painting but I am hoping to have
it finished tomorrow. It is 30"x30".

This is what the painting looked like yesterday.

This painting is much smaller, 16"x16". I just finished the underpainting today
and hope I will have enough time to finish it this week.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Coast Magazine Article on "Cinema Verite" at JoAnne Artman Gallery

For those of you living in Southern California, be sure to pick up the November edition of Coast Magazine. There is an article by Roberta Carasso, about my paintings at JoAnne Artman Gallery in Laguna Beach on page 138! If you don't live in the area, you can go to and click on the icon for the latest digital edition of the magazine.

In other news...These are my latest paintings that will be shown at Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York. Richard and his knowledgeable will be exclusively showing my work from my new "What Remains to be Seen" series. More information about this new series will be coming soon...

"It's All Fun and Games", 30"x40", oil and encaustic wax on panel.

"Under an Umbrella of Doubt", 36"x24", oil and encaustic wax on panel.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Learning to Draw, Old School Style Part 6

Last Sunday was the last day of my drawing class and I have finally been able to take a picture of the final drawing. I think overall it turned out okay, although there are parts (like the head and legs) that could use a lot more work. There just wasn't enough time to finish this to my liking. You'd think spending 6 Sundays, 4 hours each day, would be enough time, but there wasn't. Go figure. I am signed up for Sadie's oil painting class that starts in two weeks and I will also be attending the model sessions on Thursday nights so that I can practice my drawing skills on a different model. I am finding that I really am enjoying these classes and the structure of the methods we use. It has improved my painting, and more importantly, how I see my figures and then translate that information. I can't wait to take more!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review of "Cinema Verite" in OC Weekly

Sometimes people just don't like what you paint (see previous post regarding dealing with criticism), and other times someone will totally get what your intentions are and write a great review of your show! My show "Cinema Verite" with Brooke Shaden at JoAnne Artman Gallery just got a great review from Stacie Davies in the OC Weekly! You can read the review here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dealing With Criticism

I you are a human being, you've had to deal with criticism. Whether it's at work, school, or even at home, there is usually someone out there that will offer their advice, whether solicited or unsolicited, and it may not always be positive. Sometimes it is constructive, the type of thing that you probably needed to hear in order to improve whatever endeavors you are taking on. Sometimes it may be less than nice or even nasty. It happens. Everyone has to deal with it at some point in life, usually multiple times a day.

My current work in progress. Underpainting is completed.
If you are artistic and put your work out there, you probably deal with even more criticism than most. Nowadays, with social media and the easiness in which a person can get a website or blog, there is a plethora of ways to show what you are doing to the world. People can see your work from anywhere in the world. This is great, and yes even amazing, but what it also means is that you are now open to a lot more people critiquing what you do and, unfortunately/ fortunately,  the means to let you know what they think about your work. So how does one deal with criticism when it's not so constructive, and sometime, downright mean?

As some of you who have been reading my blog know, I was recently a featured artist on Artist a Day, an internet site that shows the work of an artist a day and allows the viewers to rate the work and comment on it. If you look at the link to my work on the site, you'll notice that there were some people who just did not like my work (and this is not the first time people have voiced a negative opinion about my paintings). One woman disliked it so much she felt the need to email me personally and tell me that the bars over the figure's eyes made her angry, not nostalgic at all. Now, like any human being, my first reaction was to start defending myself in my head and to anyone who was close enough to listen (in most cases, that's my husband). But once I calmed down a bit (and it didn't take long in this case), I started to think about what this really means and decided to take the criticism a different way.

1. People were "moved" enough by my work, positively or negatively, that they felt the need to write a comment (or email me). Now I don't know about you, but most things I don't like, I also don't care enough about to write a comment or think twice about it. These people took the time to comment. That's a good thing. My work "bugged" them enough to comment! They say (and I have no idea who "they" are) that if your art can evoke an emotion, then it has done it's job. It doesn't really matter what the emotion is, although we tend to want positive emotions. Think of the woman who emailed me to tell me she was angered by my work. She was ANGRY. That is an emotion. I affected her. She may not be buying any of my painting soon, but I made a mark, even if it's a small one, in her life.

2. I try to see if there is anything useful in a person's criticism. If there's something useful in what they said, then great, maybe I can learn from this. If not, I am not going to take what that person said personally. It's not like they are criticizing me as a person. They just don't like my paintings. People are entitled to their opinion and I am entitled to ignore them.

3. There is no need for me to justify my work or clarify misconceptions by commenting or emailing back. My artist statement states my intentions and reasoning behind what I do. I stand by it. If someone doesn't understand it or, more likely, doesn't agree with it, that's okay too. But what I learned, more importantly, is that writing someone back and trying to argue "my case" with them just opens the door to more frustrations, such as a "back and forth" arguement that leads nowhere. I don't need the added frustration and I don't need to change their minds so I don't try to.

Through all of this, I have come to the realization that not everyone will like my work. That's okay, in fact, that is a good thing. People come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of tastes. If everyone liked everything, or the same things, how boring would we be? People who like my work are nice to have but I am not offended if someone doesn't like it. Plenty of people like my artwork, and more importantly, I like what I am doing. That's all I really need.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Artist of the Day

Check out who is artist of the day!

If you haven't visited before, it's a great way to see a new artist a day from all over the world. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stop Motion Video Attempt

I have decided that with my next painting I would snap pictures on my iPhone and make a "poor man's" stop-motion video. This would mean that I would have to remember to take a picture every few minutes as I work on this painting, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Sometimes you get in "the zone" and the next thing you know, a large portion of the painting is done and the pictures weren't snapped. I did pretty well today and managed to take 18 photos. I'm sure I could have gotten more since I did paint for 4.5 hours today, but I decided to take a picture after each "major" piece was done on her body. I guess I could have also set a time to take a picture every ten minutes, and maybe I will do that for the next one. I'm hoping the video will work out okay because I think it would be pretty cool to see the progress of a painting this way (I've been scrolling really fast through the photos on my phone and it looks pretty cool so far). Fortunately, Ben, my husband is a audio/video editor genius so I'll get some professional help when I am ready to set it up.

This is the last image I took of my painting that I started today. It is 30"x40".

Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning to Draw, Old School Style Part 4 and 5

I didn't get a chance to write about my drawing class last week. We spent the class drawing in our terminaters, the lines where light starts to no longer "hit" the form, and then shading in the sides of the line that were in shadow. We were to keep the shadow simple and just fill the area in as dark as we could. This left the drawing looking pretty graphic-like. It gave the person distinct darks and lights, with nothing in between.

After class number 4.

When we were filling in the shadow, Sadie mentioned that even if we got the area dark, we would probably need to darken it more once we modeled the light side. I remember thinking "Yeah right, this is pretty dark. I'll probably have to lighten it." Well once we started the modeling process during class 5, it became very obvious that she was right. My darks weren't dark enough. I did have to go back and darken them. If you look at his right thigh that I filled in last week, it looks pretty light in comparison to the part of his torso in shadow that I just completed. 
After class number 5.

I am pretty happy with the way my drawing is starting to look three dimensional. (Doesn't that torso look pretty cool?? And I'm not even done with it yet!) It's not an easy process and has taken multiple steps and a LOT of patience to get just to this point. We only have one class left to finish this drawing and most of us won't even get close, just like Sadie said. I would have never thought that six 4 hour classes would not be enough to finish ONE drawing. I should know by now that Sadie is always right.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photos from "Cinema Verite" at JoAnne Artman Gallery

This past Thursday was my opening at JoAnne Artman Gallery in Laguna Beach. It was an early start as my husband and I woke up at 4am that day in order to start driving by 5am and make it to the opening. Okay, so we didn't really have to leave so early, but I wanted to get there by noon, stop by the gallery before the opening to see if any wax needed "touching up" or polishing, and check into our hotel.

The trip down there went surprisingly pretty quick (only 6 hours!) as we listened to "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain on the drive down. It was a good book to listen to because I could zone in and out and still be entertained without feeling like I missed something. Most books on MP3 I have a hard time following since the stories are pretty linear. You zone out for a second and you miss an important part, and since it's not like actually reading a book, where you can turn back the page and reread it, you zone out and miss a part, well you're just screwed. Good luck "rewinding" and finding the part you missed. This book, if you haven't read it, was more like little vignettes, which made it perfect for a long drive south. Of course, now after listening to this book, we think twice about where we eat and on what day of the week we go out to dinner...

We made it to the gallery just before noon, and was greeted very warmly by JoAnne. She showed us around the gallery (which is made up of three good sized rooms, not including the back room or storage room). The front room is where my work was hung and the show looked good. I was pretty excited. Some of the paintings did have a few flaws that I wanted to repair, so I got out my blow torch and went to work. I had forgotten my mask that I use so that I don't inhale the propane from the torch (my face is pretty close to the torch since I am examining the wax pretty closely) and perhaps it was that, or my lack of food (I had eaten 5 hours ago and was missing lunch), but suddenly, I didn't feel so well. I managed to sit down before I started to black out for a few seconds. I sat for a few minutes and got back up, only to have it happen again. We decided that it was time for me to stop using the torch and get some food, before heading to the hotel to rest, perhaps even take a nap. I didn't want to be "that girl" and pass out during my own art reception!

Lunch was had and a nap was taken. I still felt a little "weird in my head" (okay, insert all the jokes you want about my being already "weird in the head" here) but I was doing pretty well for someone who blacked out earlier. I was going to make it through the night.

The reception went well. There was a live band to entertain everyone in the front room, next to my art, where they played covers of rock classics. People flowed in and out steadily, asking questions about the art, looking around. It was a great two hours of art viewing and chatting with the crowd. The ladies at the gallery did a wonderful job! The show will run until the end of November so if you are in town, stop by!
Installation shot...

More installation shots....

People starting to come into the gallery.

My husband!

My little brother, John, drove an hour to come to my reception. Love that kid!

Photograph by Brooke Shaden, which were all in the second room.

Another shot of Brooke Shaden's work in the second room of the gallery.

Brooke Shaden (left) with Erin and Taylor, the lovely ladies of JoAnne Artman Gallery.

JoAnne Artman watching the band.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Opening Receptions This Week!

I have two shows opening up this Thursday, one in San Francisco and one in Laguna Beach. If you are in either area, come on by!

"Girl Group" at ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco, CA
An evolving exhibition of works
in various media by California
and New York Women Artists
Featuring works by: Andrea Arroyo,
Jhina Alvarado, Tracey Kessler,
Susaye Greene, Camille Eskelle,
Maxine Solomon, Jan Blythe, Carolyn
Meyer, Serena Bocchino, Joanne Landis,
Carol Massa, Chris Schiavo, Astrid,
Suzanne Benton and Deborah Brown

"Cinema Verite" at JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Ci·né·ma-vé·ri·té: the art or technique of filming a motion picture so as to convey candid realism;  a style of documentary filmmaking, combining naturalistic techniques with stylized cinematic devices of editing and camerawork, staged set-ups, and the use of the camera to provoke subjects; also known for taking a provocative stance toward its topics to present in a confrontational way.
JoAnne Artman Gallery, Presents in the Main Gallery: “Cinéma Vérité.” Featuring San Francisco Painter Jhina Alvarado and Los Angeles Photographer Brooke Shaden.October 6, 2011 – November 30, 2011
JoAnne Artman
326 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My New Easel!

I realize that it's just an easel and really nothing to get excited about, but I'M EXCITED ABOUT MY NEW EASEL!!! It's HUGE and sturdy. I think this will last me for awhile.

A few of my students stopped by my open studio and saw the parts
 to the easel sitting in the corner. It was in a million pieces so they offered to build it for me.

Jack and Valerie did a great job building the easel.

My 36"x24"painting looks so tiny on my easel!