Monday, November 19, 2012

New Gallery, New Painting Started

My kids are taking a pre-calculus test right now, which means I have time to write a blog post. It seems that lately, I am only inspired to write when I am giving a test. Something about thirty kids all using every ounce of brain power to do math seems to inspire me to write about art, weird huh? Or perhaps it is just the quiet classroom and being surrounded by nervous tension that allows me to think long enough to write. Regardless, here I am, finally writing another blog post.

Good news: The Christopher Hill Gallery, in St. Helena, California will now be showing my work! They saw my work recently in an art blog and decided it would be perfect for their new gallery in Healdsburg, which just opened a little over a week ago, in addition to the St. Helena location. This past Staurday, Ben and I visited the new location and were very impressed with what we saw. The gallery was HUGE, with exposed brick walls and ceilings that seem to never end. I am so very excited to be showing my work there!

Christopher Hill Gallery in Healdsburg, CA

Who's that sexy man walking around the gallery? Why yes, that's my husband, Ben.

Amanda Myers from Christopher Hill Gallery

Look how tiny my pieces look! The larger piece is 30"x30" too. Guess I'll need to paint
larger! I can't wait to see where my art will be hung....

 Now that I have a new gallery, I really need to get my ass in gear and start painting again. It's been hard to focus these past three months. I have only been painting about ten hours a week, which just isn't going to cut it. Yesterday was the first time I felt like I was back into my regular groove. I painted for a good five hours and managed to start and complete the underpainting of a brand new piece! I feel like my old self again and I am ready to paint up a storm. Just in time too since I need to get a bunch of new pieces done for these new galleries.
I love this image of older ladies doing their water exercises. This is definitely
one of my favorite images and was so fun to paint!

This photo was actually a color photograph. I am thinking I may
need to do a color version of this at some point.

The panel is 40"x30"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Time for Change

Change is hard, we all know that, but sometimes it is a necessary evil in order to get what you want. Change can be a catalyst. It may not always seem like a good idea, or be something we want to happen, but change can force us to make things happen. This, at least, was my thinking when I quit my teaching job two years ago.

Cecilia Welden with her beautiful new copper paintings.
 I needed to shake things up in order to force myself to make some moves towards advancing my career. It wasn't going to happen while I was making a comfortable living teaching math in the suburbs. I needed to make myself uncomfortable and force myself to rely on my art in order to survive. By doing this, I would be forced to sell more art, promote myself with vigor, and get into as many galleries as possible, because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to eat of pay my bills. It worked. In the nine months I was a full-time artist I got my work into at least nine galleries and my career started to take off. Now, life happens, and as many of you know, I went back to teaching because of the health benefits, but I am working part-time and my art career is my first priority, as it should have always been.

My favorite piece of Cecilia's.
Making that sort of change is scary. Your livelihood is dependant on your job so when a person goes and quits it for a career filled with giant IFs (IF I sell this painting...IF I get into that gallery...etc.), it's going to be stressfull and takes a lot of bravery.

Recently I caught up with my artist friend, Cecilia Welden, at her Hunter's Point studio in San Francisco. I was very happy to see her new work. Previously she had been working with encaustics, making beautiful atmosphric paintings using rich colors. Her new work is a departure from this. She is currently working on copper panels and using a patina to create her images in the metal. The effects are stunning.

One more painting from Cecilia.
While I was visiting with her, I also learned that Cecilia had decided to take the plunge. She was going to be a full-time artist and put all of her efforts into promoting and producing her art. What an amazing and SCARY adventure she is starting! But I have to say that if anyone has the drive, talent, and brains to do this, it's Cecilia. With her new series she is already getting a lot of attention. Now that she is focusing on her art full-time, I am sure the series will go even farther. Having the time to hone your craft and get it out there is a major component of building an art career. Now that Cecilia will be doing this full-time, I am sure you will be hearing about her work a lot more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Made In Slant Review of "Candid Moments"

By Eyeswoon, on November 6th, 2012

"The Photographer" by Jhina Alvarado
A great candid shot captures the unplanned moment of someone’s emotions, be it joy, tears, or embarrassment. Using oil and encaustic on wood panel, San Francisco Bay Area artist Jhina Alvarado re-interprets vintage photos from a past generation. With a masterful eye, Alvarado finds the shared or secret moment in a source photo and reveals the long forgotten story in her paintings. By blocking out the character’s eyes, the artist allows the viewer to enter her work with their own memories. Is that my Mom with her friends on the beach? Is that Aunt Mary with someone who does not look like Uncle Frank?

Currently “Candid Moments” by Jhina Alvarado is showing at ArtHaus in San Francisco. In the gallery’s press release, Alvarado says, “I paint these images on wood panels using a considerable amount of white space, cropping the images from their environments, creating a sense of unbalance and emphasizing the need to focus on the individual’s memory, rather than the whole picture. The painting is then covered in encaustic wax to add and antique photo and dream-like feel.”

“Candid Moments” is open for viewing at ArtHaus through December 29, 2012.

You can view this review here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yareah Magazine Review of "Candid Moments" and More!

Jhina Alvarado paintings at ArtHaus Gallery. Yareah magazine review

Jhina Alvarado paintings at ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco.

Candid Moments, a different exhibition in San Francisco, with paintings by Jhina Alvardo. Today on Yareah magazine. Review by Isabel del Rio.
Jhina Alvarado. 'Critical Observation' 36x36. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery
Jhina Alvarado. ‘Critical Observation’ 36×36. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery
Precisely, yesterday I was watching a TV series about Kennedy (casting by Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes) when a melancholic feeling invaded me. Those dresses, those houses, they remembered me my childhood… Time! A place where I’d like to return. Time! A place where I wouldn’t return anymore. Causalities? Maybe, but today I’ve received some paintings by Jhina Alvarado. Time again! The time of an artist trying to be universal, and this doesn’t mean famous in the coming years, but trying to encompass human nature, from our roots, our feelings and deepest wishes.
Jhina Alvarado. 'The Family' 24x24. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery
Jhina Alvarado. ‘The Family’ 24×24. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery

Jhina Alvarado uses a difficult technique. She paints oil and encaustic on panels. The result is a cinematic dream, a yellow photo of mythic icons of our childhood. Is she my mom in the ’60s, or your mom on the beach, or their mother smiling? Jhina Alvarado paints the archetypal mother, the mother of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The mother, the family and the person of every time. Because in the end, important moments are shared by everybody everywhere. Then, individual identities are inconsequential and the eyes of the protagonists are blocked out. Now, in Jhina Alvarado’s paintings, the eyes of the viewers are the new protagonists of a story beyond its environment, part of every environment, close to us, to our time, to another time… Universal.
Not surprise, Jhina Alvarado has been recently named one of the Top 20 Artists in San Francisco by Asterisk Magazine and different art galleries nationwide continue to clamor for her paintings and place her work with collectors.
Jhina Alvarado 'And the Winner Is'. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery
Jhina Alvarado ‘And the Winner Is’. Courtesy of ArtHaus Gallery
One of these prestigious galleries: ArtHaus is exhibiting Jhina Alvarado’s artwork from October 5 to December 29, 2012 ( ‘Candid Moments’, also on exhibit in the Main Gallery, BEST IN SHOW – a rotating exhibition of works by ArtHaus Gallery and Guest Artists, featuring works in various media by Carolyn Meyer, Patter Hellstrom, Maxine Solomon, Marc Lambrechts and Brian Blood.
If you have the opportunity, don’t miss this chance. Visit Jhina Alvarado’s current exhibition.
**ArtHaus is located at 411 Brannan Street in San Francisco. Gallery Hours are: Tuesday-Friday, 11am – 6pm and on Saturdays from Noon-5pm.
Phone: (415) 977-0223.
.You can also visit Jhina Alvarado web:

Check out the magazine here.

...and check out the San Francisco Chronicle, Pink Section of the the Sunday Paper:

But wait, there's more! Here's an installation shot of one of my paintings: