The Grid

I can say that “The Grid” is actually my first abstract piece and that the inspiration came from the faceted glass design in our church.  I sing in the choir, and  from the choir loft, you can see this window in the back of the sanctuary above the sound booth.  If you look through the window you can see part of a much larger faceted glass design which can be viewed in full scale if you’re in the narthex of the church.  The window itself has several panes so that it looks like a large grid.

The Grid

During the day, the sun’s rays come through the both the faceted glass and the window and you can see the brilliant golds and other colors from the design.  While it’s quite a beautiful sight in color, I find it to be more intriguing at night where golds  are replaced by blacks, and the dark outlines around the faceted glass pieces become a silvery gray.

Balony Grid

I took a photo of the window during an evening event and afterwards created a work using black paper and silver and gold metallic pen.  This work was pretty challenging because I had to work with straight lines and do the math when considering scale.   Working the curves and design inside each part of the grid wasn’t all that bad once the actual grid was plotted.  The paper was tricky because when I used the eraser, it would bruise and leave a lighter mark.

Overall I’m happy with it. I’ve been on this black paper kick lately and this is just another addition to my portfolio.

2015: Year In Review

2015 has come to a close and overall it’s been a good year for me in the art world.  As long as I’m taking advantage of opportunities and doing things that I’ve never done before, then I feel like I’m progressing.

So what were the big things that happened to me this year?

New Job

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This is an uber win and a great way to finish out the year in strength.  I left a temporary position in the summer to accept a contract-to-hire position with another company.  Arguably this wasn’t the most ideal job but it was better than what I had at the time.  Unfortunately it turned out to be the wrong right fit and my contact was not renewed.

But God is faithful and after two months of searching I found a job with a small marketing firm.  I started my new job on the first of December and am thrilled to be back in the work force again as a PERMANENT employee!   Best early Christmas present ever!

Finally I have some money where I can put some of my earnings toward my passion!

New Venues and Adventures

Again, I’m always on the hunt for new venues and places to show. Social media has played a huge role in networking with other artists and finding out about opportunities to show work. I continued  to show at some of the same places but I also branched out to places that I hadn’t been to before.

Gallery Twenty-Two

Not only is Twenty- Two my favorite place to be for figure drawing on Monday nights, they’re also one of my favorite gallery spaces for monthly art shows. Approximately once a quarter, they do a group show and invite artists of all levels to participate. I definitely enjoy partaking in the group shows.

“It’s Not You It’s Me” (Self Portraits)

Ani

“Let The Good Times Roll”

“Witches’ Brew”

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My “Angry Kitty” up top

“Facets”

 

Hart Witzen Gallery

In November Hart Witzen Gallery, an established gallery in the NoDa district hosted a Fall Free for All for local artists to show their work.  The event was just for one night but there were over 100 participants, and the artists received 100% commission on all work sold!

Hart Witzen did a beautiful job hanging all of the art and the turnout was excellent. There were also artists who owned studios across the street from the gallery who opened up their space in conjunction with the event. Even more art to see!

Mint Hill Arts

Located on Lawyers Road near Matthews Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill is a non-profit art organization that supports local artists.  It is a small space that packs a big punch.  I joined this organization mid-year and found their annual dues and show entree fees to be very affordable.  Mint Hill Arts hosts monthly shows plus two annual juried shows for winter and spring.

They also have partnerships with the BB&T Bank’s Mint Hill Branch, Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Town Hall to do offsite exhibits.  Members of these groups will select a small number of works from Mint Hill Arts’ current exhibit to be shown in their own space the following month.  I’m happy to say that this year I’ve  already had four pieces that were selected for display at BB&T and the Chamber of Commerce.

Sold More Originals This Year

This was a good year for selling originals.  I sold a total of five original pieces this year although most of the works were no larger than 11″ x 14″. But hey, an original is an original, right?  One was a skatedeck, another an old 11″x 14″ that I had for years, and the last three were small original sketches no larger than 6″ x 8.”

Spirit of David Color

“Celebrating The Spirit of David”

I’ve been concentrating on making large originals for so long that I overlooked the value of  creating smaller works.  Smaller works for the most part are easier and faster to produce and for me lately it’s attracted more buyers.

Launched My First Newsletter

This was one of those projects that was long overdue.  I finally collected enough email addresses to start a monthly newsletter and for the most part I’ve done a pretty decent job with keeping it up.

Newsletters are great for several reasons as it allows you  a) the ability to reach an audience that is not on any social media sites, b) to share any new recently completed works, and c) announce upcoming events that I’m participating in.

I use an app called MailChimp which allows you to create your newsletter template quite easily. Once you’ve added the email addresses to the mailing list, then you can launch your newsletter.

Well that’s it and perhaps that’s enough. I feel good about the year and with more projects swirling about my head, I’m definitely ready to do more in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Everlasting Love

Everlasting Love

Over a month or so ago I remembered my pastor preaching about God’s love saying that it is everlasting from life, to death, through the afterlife.  This statement was my inspiration for the creation of “Everlasting Love.”

I created this piece using chalk pastel on paper. The heart, representing God’s love, is there with us through all of phases of our existence.  The gray color block represents life. I chose gray because I think about how we live and that the decisions we make aren’t always in black in white.  The second one, black, represents death.  We tend to think of death as an absolute because it is the end of life.  I, on the other hand, look at death as not the end but the middle or a transition. Finally there is white, which represents the afterlife or eternity.

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Earlier this month I completed a work to go in a group show at Gallery Twenty-Two.  They were calling for local artists to submit their skate deck designs for the August show “Let the Good Times Roll.”

I had never created art on a skate deck before but surprisingly I had two ideas that came to mind immediately. Unfortunately time got away from me and I only could create one final work.  At least I was smart enough to do the simplest one, “Vertical Katz.”  My gut was telling me this was going to be a good one.

The design is a takeoff from my “Angry Kitty” piece that I did last year, but this time I decided to do two cats on opposing sides so that they would  span the length of the board. Before that I read up a little bit about painting on wood and also received some feedback from other artists on how to approach the project.

I spray-painted the background in red using spray paint with a primer. Then the following day I stenciled both cats using paint markers. The black turned out pretty nice but the white for some reason was a little tougher to apply. The red bled through the white and I had to keep reapplying the paint so that the white cat wouldn’t turn pink.

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Overall it turned out well and I felt it was a strong design. And, of course I wired it for hanging and brought it in to the gallery at the 11th hour.

On a happy note, “Vertical Katz” sold, after being up less than a week!

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Overall the show is pretty impressive and is definitely worth seeing. It’s amazing to view the caliber of work submitted by these local artists.There are so many skate deck designs that I keep finding something new every time I go to Twenty-Two for figure drawing.

The show is up until September 5 so I highly recommend coming out to see it. .  A portion of the proceeds goes towards a skate park project.

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Gallery Twenty-Two is located on 1500 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC, in Plaza-Midwood.

“The Perimeter”

The Perimeter

Last year I completed a work in charcoal called “The Perimeter” a couple of weeks before I returned to the work force.  This piece was inspired by a church sermon that talked about the trials of being a servant, and that our labor is not in vain because God is with us.  After the benediction our pastor asked the congregation to pause for a moment and quietly reflect on the role of being a servant.  He described servants as beacons of light to those who are walking in darkness.

I created this work from the servant’s point of view, where he or she is looking out into the horizon.  There on the edge or perimeter are people, who are drawn to the light, and are in need of help and encouragement. They are too numerous to count.  Above them is the vast sky filled with twinkling stars, a clear sign that there are other “beacons of light” out there who are there to serve.

“I’m drawing my peeps,” I would say affectionately as I penciled in the people that spanned across the paper.  I couldn’t stop smiling as I was creating them and that’s when I realized that’s how God sees people.  He cares so much about us, and even when we’re living on the edge or far away from Him, He cares, and He wants us to come back to him.  That’s why He sends His servants out into the world, to show and spread God’s love.

Yep!  Today is my birthday and I thank God for another day!  I turn 46 which is hard to believe because I kid you not, yesterday I was 28.  This morning I woke up with the usual aches and pains with an Achilles that was a-killing me, and some little muscle ache in my arm that mysteriously arose from playing volleyball. It’s all good because it tells me I’m alive, and that I’m old.

This day also marks my jumping off point to get my behind in gear as I’ve not done a single final work this year. So I entered this self-portrait in an upcoming group show at Twenty-Two, on Saturday, May 9.

I haven’t done a self-portrait since I was in college and it wasn’t even really a self-portrait.  So here it is!   If someone buys it, well that would just make for an awesome birthday present for me.

Ani

Spirit of David Color

About at a month and a half ago I was given the opportunity to sell my artwork at the Women’s Conference at my church.  One of the items that I sold was a small original work called, “Celebrating the Spirit of David,”  that was created in watercolor pencil in 2004.  The buyer was a longtime friend who told me that it spoke to her.

“Celebrating the Spirit of David” is one of my oldest original pieces and was created for our choir’s concert program cover and then later, the CD cover. The concert chronicled and celebrated the life of one of Israel’s greatest kings.  David had an excellent spirit and while he was far from perfect, he was known to be a man “after God’s own heart.”   He was a true worshiper who was not ashamed to praise the Lord even if it was perceived to be in the most undignified manner.

The piece shows King David front and center waving the largest flag in the air. Behind him are his subjects.  Some are dancing, playing instruments and waving smaller flags in the background that trail in the air as if they were colored streaks in a sunset.

After the work had served its purpose, I was content to put the original away in a portfolio. Oddly enough, I was not a fan and felt disconnected to the piece. It was likely due to having to design and redesign the work more than once. Eventually over time, it grew on me and I began to appreciate it for all its joy and brightness, forgetting about the efforts made to create it.  It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to frame and display it.

That day when I sold the work, I was so elated to make the sale at that moment that I actually forgot about the fact that this piece had been in my art family for years and it was going away forever.  I later felt that void when I came home.  It was the relative that may have gotten on my nerves but I miss it now that its gone.  Fortunately its gone to be with a new family where I know it will receive lots of love.

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