Kokopelli Conga

Kokopelli Conga
"A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art." --Paul Cezanne

April 28, 2017

Recreating the "Magic"

"Inspiration is for amateurs!"  Have you heard or seen this quote? I have many times, and I believe it as well - in a sense. If we are to be professional artists, that means we show up to work as any other professional would. Some days you have a successful and productive day, others...not so much. But, you plug away at it no matter what if you want to create that paycheck!

But, setting that attitude aside for a moment...sometimes artists are also inspired! When we are, we have to act on our inspiration, immediately if possible. And, a lot of times, that inspiration results in something magical. A painting that you truly love, where all the techniques and color harmony and everything just came together. Sometimes it is just a happy accident, when you are experimenting with new ideas and techniques.

The question is...once you've created the magic...can you recreate it? What if you did that magical painting on inferior quality materials because you were just experimenting. Or, what if it was larger or smaller than you really wanted. What if you decide you want to do an entire series of the same design. Are you able to recreate the magic? 

I pondered on this question for a while (a couple of years, in fact) because I wasn't sure I'd be able recreate the magic discovered in a painting I really loved.

In recent years, as my work evolved into creating woven paintings, I find I have to use tracing paper to copy my design and then transfer it to another sheet of watercolor paper so that I can create two of the "same" painting in order to weave them together. Suddenly, I find that my fear of not being able to recreate the "magic" of a sketch has drastically decreased, as I am not expecting myself to freehand draw that exact same composition over and over. I can work off the original design that I drew the first time. And, while each subsequent painting is never exactly the same, I have found that the more I work with mingling my colors, and as I continue to learn how my paint and paper behave at different moisture levels and drying techniques, my fear of recreating the "magic" of color and texture decreases even more. The result? I am loving each new painting I create.

Loving your work is a good thing! Love the process, and love the outcome (even if it ends up being a painting you wouldn't send to a gallery for sale)! If you are always creating with love, your paintings will be infused with that energy. Every time, you will be creating magic!

Inspiration is certainly helpful for us when we are excited to try a new subject matter, design, or technique. So, in that way, inspiration is not for amateurs. But, don't let inspiration dictate your work pace or create fear in the process. Don't fear that you can't recreate the magic of a painting you loved because you don't feel that same flash of inspiration that you felt the first time. Show up every day, or every week, or every month (whatever your schedule is), and just create. Then, repeat, repeat, repeat. After a while, you will find that you are, in fact, recreating the magic every time!


Mountain Fall | watercolor | ©Jennifer Love











A Patchwork Fall | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love











Fallen 1 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love









Fallen 2 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love









Fallen 3 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love









Fallen 4 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love









Fallen 5 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love











How are you inspired? How do you keep yourself coming back to the studio even when you aren't feeling inspired? How do you "recreate the magic?" I would love to hear your thoughts. 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

April 21, 2017

Art vs. art

Shortly after I created a profile on Google+, I started posting some of my artwork. People will comment, and many comments are often uplifting and complimentary. But, sometimes you get what's called a "troll." Someone who says hurtful or controversial things to you in order to start an argumentative dialogue.

This happened to me when I posted a copy of my painting "Kokopelli Conga." 


"Kokopelli Conga" | Watercolor | Jennifer Love

















I very quickly received a comment from a Google+ user (not someone in my circles) saying that he didn't think he would consider my painting to be "Art" but maybe "art" and asking what did I think? Basically, he was telling me I'm not really an artist and my painting is not worthy to be called Art.

Ouch.


Well, after my initial reaction of hurt feelings from criticism without any constructive advice or suggestions, I realized what this user was about and what he was trying to do. My first "troll." First, I decided not to bother responding at all. Second, I blocked this user from my profile.  

Even though our initial reaction might be to respond with angry or defensive words when an online troll attacks, if we take a minute to think things over, we realize that this is exactly what they are looking for. These people are looking to create contention in our lives, to make us question our art, question our abilities, and hurt our feelings. 

Nobody has the right to tell you that the work you produce is not "Art." If you spend your valuable time creating it, you use the best quality materials you have available, and you do the best quality work you can do, then what you have created is Art.  

And, by the way, that very same painting ("Kokopelli Conga") was later juried into a competitive exhibition by a national and international-award-winning watercolor artist.

Additionally, many people have opinions on what constitutes Decorative Art vs. Fine Art, and many believe that people creating art to make a living and for sale to homeowners aren't really creating "Fine Art" - that Fine Art is only found in museum collections.


Gallery owner Jason Horesj recently wrote a great blog post about this very topic on Red Dot Blog.

His post is very insightful, but I especially appreciate the definitions he includes about Fine Art vs Decorative Art - pulled directly from the dictionary.


Decorative Art

noun

1. art that is meant to be useful as well as beautiful, as ceramics, furniture, jewelry, and textiles.
2. Usually, decorative arts. any of the arts, as ceramics or jewelry making, whose works are created to be useful.
3. works of decorative art collectively.
Fine Art

noun

1. a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.

"Kokopelli Circle Dance" | watercolor | Jennifer Love



















As always, thank you for stopping by my blog!

April 12, 2017

Video link - Social Media for Artists - April 2017


Here is the video link for my presentation "Social Media for Artists" - April 11, 2017 at the Utah Watercolor Society Cache Valley Chapter meeting.

Thanks to UWS-CVC for having me! It was great fun, and I got a loaf of YUM-MMMM lemon bread as a thank you. Sweet!!

Click here to see the video on YouTube (or click on the video below to play it now). :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great day.










April 7, 2017

Social Media for Artists - April 2017 update

Last April, I had to opportunity to speak to the members of the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) about using various social media platforms to promote and market your artwork and yourself as an artist. What a great experience for me and such a fun night! 

This year, I have been asked to give the same presentation to the UWS Cache Valley Chapter (UWS-CVC) in Logan, UT.  I'll be speaking to this talented group of artists on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7pm.



image source: public domain - copyright belongs to original artist/designer















I spent several hours over the last weekend reviewing my presentation from last year and updating screen shots and other information in order to prepare and update the presentation for UWS-CVC.


Not surprisingly, many things have changed in just a year's time in the digital world. In addition to updating graphics and a few stats and references and deleting information that is no longer relevant, I have also added a little information about Facebook Live, which is new since last I presented.


Hopefully, this time around, I will remember to get a "selfie" of me with the UWS-CVC group (since I forgot to do that last time with the UWS group...very UN-Social of me)!


What makes me a social media expert? I'm not, really. Just a social media user who has been blogging, Facebooking, Twittering, and Pinteresting for a while to promote my artwork. I recently added a couple of Youtube videos to that mix, and have tried Periscope. I am going to dive into an attempt at Facebook Live before the presentation in order to have some first-hand understanding of the platform. What makes any person an expert?  Only that they happen to have a little bit more knowledge and a little bit more experience than those who they are speaking to.


So, "expert" or not, I said I would be willing to share what I have learned to the UWS-CVC group. Luckily, I had a lot of positive feedback from my Salt Lake UWS presentation last year, so I will presume it went well! :)


I have been fortunate to have the opportunity recently to attend some social media training sessions and also listen to a webinar on the subject of various social media and how they are used both in the professional media business world and the art business world. Add to that the 5+ years I have spent learning (through much trial and error) the various platforms that I currently use in my artistic endeavors, and then a fair amount of internet research on the different platforms, and I was able to compile a decent deck of information for the UWS April member meeting...all boiled down into a 90 minute presentation!


The bulk of the information included in my presentation is compiled from other sources (online and otherwise), and I have tried my best to give source credit on each page. Additionally, I added a page of useful links (some of which were also sources), and tried to include several visual examples throughout. (We are artists after all! Visual creatures are we!!) 


I also provide a few copies of one of my LinkedIn blog posts which is relevant to the presentation.



As they say, if you really want to learn something, you should try to teach it to others. So true! And there is still so much more left to learn. :)


Click here to view my LinkedIn blog post What Do You Want To Achieve With Your Social Media?














Click here to view my Social Media for Artists presentation (or click the pic below). I hope you might find some of the info useful and welcome your comments or feedback or suggestions.


 Social Media For Artists - April 2017




Special thanks to marketing and social media gurus Tracey McCormackBill CarmodyStefan LubinskiBarney Davey, and Lori McNee for useful tidbits of information about various social media platforms! (And, of course, to Google, for making research about any topic easily accessible with a few mouse clicks!)

Thank you to Catherine Darling HostetterColleen ReynoldsKristi Grussendorf, and Brienne Brown for allowing me to use your Social Media images in the presentation! 



Images sources are from public domain. Copyright belongs to respective photographers/designers.

As always, thank YOU for stopping by my blog!


April 2, 2017

Paintings 4 Parkinson's 2017 - Charity Auction

It's April again...Parkinson's Awareness Month, and also birthday month for my husband. Time for another Paintings 4 Parkinson's.

As I explained in my 2016 Paintings 4 Parkinson's post last April, I am putting a painting up for auction on eBay every April, in honor of my husband. 


100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research



December 2013












Look for my painting, "Fallen 1," to be listed on eBay starting on April 13th for a 7-day auction. Search P4PMJFF to find the listing if you wish to bid.

Auction will open on April 13, 2017 at 7:00pm Pacific Daylight Time. 


Click here to go directly to the auction page.



"Fallen 1" | watercolor | 11x14 | Jennifer Love



















To any artists who wish to participate, send me an email to jenniferloveartwork@yahoo.com and I will email you details. :)

If you're not interested in bidding on a painting but would like to make a donation straight to the Michael J Fox Foundation, click the pic below. Thanks!



https://www.michaeljfox.org/
https://www.michaeljfox.org/










As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

March 31, 2017

Want to know how to properly hang artwork in your home?

Xanadu Gallery has published a great guide to hanging artwork in your home or office!

How to Hang a Painting | A Free Guide From Xanadu Gallery


"Fallen 4" | watercolor | ©Jennifer Love

Click here to read the Red Dot blog post.

Click here to download the PDF.











Guide to hanging artwork information published here by permission.

March 17, 2017

FRIDAY FEATURE: Featured Artist ~ Sherry Meidell

Originally published 5/8/15...
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Friday Feature:  Sherry Meidell
















I have only recently become acquainted with Sherry as we served together on the Board of the Utah Watercolor Society this past year. Even in that short time, I have learned that she is a delightful person to know.

Sherry is an incredibly talented artist with a witty sense of humor! As the mother of five boys (now young men), a sense of humor and adventure are obviously a must-have for this fun lady! In her own words...



"My husband and I have raised five sons in Utah. When the boys were little they would bring home an assortment of wild creatures, such as a mother snake that surprised everybody the next morning with a large number of baby snakes. Frogs and dogs and iguanas would escape and be discovered in the upper reaches of their mother’s bedroom closet. The iguana got bigger and so did the boys."  ~ Sherry Meidell (from TeeterTotterTales)



Sherry painting at a watercolor workshop in Flaming Gorge, UT













Sherry has illustrated several children's books and is also a skillful plein air artist, recently winning the 1st Place Award for the 2014 Arts and the Park, Light on the Reef plein air watercolor competition (among others). Sherry will be teaching a watercolor workshop at this year's 2015 Arts and the Park, Light on the Reef event in June.



Sherry painting at the June 2014 Arts and the Park, Light on the Reef in Torrey, UT







Be prepared for this year's Arts and the Park, Light on the Reef event!





Sherry and her husband recently returned from vacation in Peru, exhausted and exhilarated at the same time.

"We hiked the Inca Trail which was like going on vacation and being beaten by sticks on the bottom of your feet for four days. We went some amazing places and hiked where I never thought I'd hike."

I contacted Sherry to let her know I wanted to feature her on my blog, and she was gracious enough to answer my questions.


©Sherry Meidell


















Q: What are your favorite materials and tools...the ones you just can't live without?

A: My favorite tool is my sketch book and my pen. I love that it is portable and can go anywhere with me. It makes a record of my life and what I have seen. It keeps my sketching muscle strong and it is a place to explore ideas.



Q: Who are your artistic influences?


A: I love illustrators and children’s book illustrators in particular. I love Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations and the books he has illustrated such as “The Lion and the Mouse” I also love other illustrators like Norman Rockwell and Howard Pyle. I also love Robert Henri.



©Sherry Meidell



















Q: What is your favorite subject matter and why?

A: I love drawing and painting people. I love to capture movement in their faces a touch of their personalities.



©Sherry Meidell














Q: What advice would you give to emerging artists?

A: Work on your craft. The quality of your drawing and painting matters. You want to work hard at getting your artwork to the quality you want it.



©Sherry Meidell














Q: What are your favorite quotes?

A: “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and follow where they lead.” - Louisa May Alcott



“I know I have said a lot when I say 'You can do anything you want to do.' But I mean it." - Robert Henri



Q: What would you most like to be remembered for in life?

A: There are great blessings that come from teaching others. I would love to be remembered as a great teacher.




Sherry demonstrating her art and her sense of humor at a
Utah Watercolor Society meeting with her "hockey" brush.

Sherry publishes videos on YouTube that show her illustration process. Click here to watch one. Find Sherry's illustrations and books on her website. You can also follow Sherry on Facebook and Twitter, and read about her art adventures on her blog TeeterTotterTales.











As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

I hope you enjoyed this Featured Artist post. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and feedback. I would love to hear from you!

March 10, 2017

Consistency - a good reminder

Originally published 8/7/12, a few updates made for republication.
___________________

Kokopelli Conga  ©Jennifer Love













I am a fan of Jason Horejs' book, Starving to Successful, and am represented by his gallery, Xanadu (brick and mortar gallery located in Scottsdale, AZ), in their Studio Artists section online. (Click here to go to my Xanadu page.) 

I receive email with info and blog articles from Jason and Xanadu gallery quite frequently. This blog article, written by Jason - from a gallery owner's perspective, is a good reminder about consistency in work (whether style or subject matter).

As artists, I think we don't always remember to think of ourselves as a business. We need to create a marketable product and inspire confidence in the gallery owners who carry our work. They need to know that they can replenish our sold pieces with other pieces that are easy for their clientele to recognize as being our work.


Kokopelli Circle Dance  ©Jennifer Love




















I was reminded of the consistency thing this past weekend when attending the Park City Arts Festival with my family. As always, I love wandering through an art festival. But this year, I looked at it through different eyes. Not through the eyes of an artist, but through the eyes of a collector. Some booths, whether I liked the work or not, showed a good consistency either in the theme or style of work presented. Other booths had a collection of varying styles, mediums, and/or subject matter - all by the same artist. My impression of these booths was one of inconsistent confusion - like the artist didn't know for sure who he/she was as an artist and was just throwing everything out there to see what might "stick."

Admittedly, I have been guilty of presenting my booth like this at art festivals in the past as well. The thought behind it being "I'll present a variety of mediums, styles, and work for the customers so they can choose." But instead, it appears to the customer as if you don't know who you are as an artist or what you want to be "when you grow up."

It is fine for us to try different styles, mediums, and subject matter. That is what helps us grow as artists. But we need to remember, when presenting ourselves to the public (or a gallery owner), we want to have a unified front. Choose which style, subject matter, or medium you are going to display...and present the entire body of work in a manner that makes it "go" together. :)

Looking at things through fresh eyes in this way really reminds me to make sure I am presenting a unified, consistent set of paintings any time I enter a show, enter a festival, or approach a gallery. Consistency is key! :)


Fallen 3  ©Jennifer Love


Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Have a great week!