Art, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

I’m Alive and Well

Long time no see!

Cheerio!

Guten Nachmittag!

I have not abandoned this blog, although at times, it felt like I would never write again. It’s been a long few weeks since my move to Charleston. It’s been stressful, hilarious, fun, and also worrisome. I searched high and low for jobs, and then some days, I gave up, and then the next morning I’d get the urge to conquer the world again. But isn’t it funny how you can go from having absolutely no job prospects to having far too many that it stresses you out even more than if you had none?

That’s what happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a job in catering for an event company. It was serving, which I’m no stranger to, although I’d never done it through catering which can sometimes be fine dining. I’m not a fan of eating at a fine dining establishment, let alone work for one. The pay was practically nothing but I figured if I got a full time job, I could still work for this company to make extra cash. I had my first shift yesterday and in my personal opinion, it was not worth the time and money. It’s great for younger people, like high school or college kids, but I am neither.

It was a long, 13 hour nonstop day. And it wasn’t just serving food. I got in at 5:15am, loaded the truck, drove to the venue, unloaded the truck, set everything up, served breakfast and lunch, broke everything down, cleaned the entire venue, loaded the truck back up, drove back to the warehouse, unloaded the truck, and then put everything back into its final resting place, or at least until the next event. At the end of the day, I realized I only made about $120, given my hourly wage. After serving in restaurants, I came to the conclusion that I could work half of that shift, and not have to do nearly as much work, and make that much money, which led to my bitterness towards the whole situation. Do I sound bratty? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’m twenty-six years old now. I’ve done the waitressing thing. I know the grueling hours and work it takes to make the money some of them make. If I were eighteen years old complaining about this, I’d smack myself in the face. But I’m older and have more experience than most people want to believe so yeah, I feel entitled enough to know that this job was not worth my time. #Sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I found an ad on Craigslist for a Gallery Associate at a downtown art gallery. The ad gave no name, phone number, or email address so I had no idea which gallery it was. I replied to the ad anyway, not expecting to hear from someone. The following day, I received an email requesting to send my resume and by the next day, I was getting called in for an interview. I danced in my apartment for 20 minutes. I also had another interview at a restaurant that reminded me a lot of the diner in New Hampshire where I served, and that position sounded promising and I was genuinely excited about it.

I just had my interview with the gallery today and I was hired on the spot! She didn’t even ask me any questions about my resume. We just chatted about the position, and then she said, “So…what do you think?”

I said, “This sounds perfect.” She shook my hand and we both squealed. That was that. I’ve been searching for a gallery position for over four years, and I somehow lucked out with the nicest woman on the planet who is willing to show me everything on how to run a gallery. And I mean everything from stretching canvases, framing, and installing to selling the work myself. The starting pay isn’t good but after a couple of weeks, if I show I’m able to learn fast and do well, she will give me a raise plus commission on any works I sell. I don’t care if I get paid in rocks…I made sure to tell her how much this position would mean to me and how thrilled I am to be working with her. She hugged me and I feel like I could die of happiness.

The whole point to this move to Charleston was to find myself in the art field. Charleston has a huge art and medical environment. What would be the point if I turned down the position due to the pay, and ended up in accounting again? When I’ve tried for years to get out of accounting? That would make this move utterly pointless and I wasn’t about to let that happen.

I was supposed to work at an event tomorrow in catering but I called up the company and quit, explaining my situation to them. He didn’t sound pleased but I really don’t care. They are a catering company and they have wide range of employees they can call up. I’m usually very responsible when it comes to this stuff and I wouldn’t normally quit on the spot like I did, but this gallery is my top priority. It has to be. Instead, I’ll be starting my new position tomorrow.

I’m feeling hot hot hot.

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Art, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

My Quarter Life

There has a been a weird vibe in the air. I don’t know if any of you can feel it but I certainly can. It’s been here for a while. It could still be the aftermath of January and all that it has to offer me, which is usually nothing. It could be the fact that I’m still adjusting to my move. But something seems…off. Things seem strange with friends whom I haven’t talked to in a while, but I have been busy over the last month. Life in general feels like it’s tipping over. I no longer have a routine.

My days are now mushing together and I don’t like it. I find myself sinking into my bed, staring at the twinkle lights I hung up around my closet door for what feels like hours. I like to stay busy, but I have very little motivation lately. Every day, I find a new bruise on my arms, legs, or neck from putting together furniture since I arrived in Charleston. My body is sore. My mind is weak. I haven’t even had much inspiration to blog. If I go on WordPress, I glance through the feed for about two seconds before tossing my phone at the end of my bed and crawling under the covers for the rest of the morning.

But I was in my car this morning thinking about my quarter life crisis I had nearly a month ago. I was home in New Hampshire visiting my family before I moved down south. It was 2am, and I was sobbing into a pillow with my mom by my side. I’m not even sure what happened to make me so upset. It wasn’t the thought of moving away from my family. I’ve already done that what feels like a thousand times. I think I’ve said goodbye to them more than I’ve said hello. I was telling her about a potential job in an art gallery in Charleston that I’m both excited and terrified about it. I finally admitted to my mom that I’m scared I will fail. After all those years in college, studying, memorizing, practicing, and drooling over the art I was taught, I’m scared that in the end, I will find out I’m not actually good in the field at all. Then what? Perhaps that’s why I’ve had such trouble finding a job in my field since I graduated. I’ve secretly been sabotaging myself into believing I will fail and I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Then my mom brushed the hair off my face and simply said, “I have never, not even once, been worried about you succeeding. When it comes to art, you know exactly what you’re doing and saying. I have no doubt you will be great.”

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So, I’ve been trying to remember what she said. I have to stop convincing myself that something will go wrong. I have to focus. But, if I wake up every morning like I did this morning, with Mumford’s paws wrapped around my leg and his head digging into my ankle, I will definitely spend an extra fifteen minutes in bed.

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Art, Books, Movies, Thoughts

1.25.17 Art Project: Understanding Film and Text

I just started reading William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. I’m having a hard time with the first chapter, but I’m enjoying the fact that I’m having a hard time. The first chapter is approximately 90 pages long and in the point of view of Benjy, a mentally challenged thirty-three year old man. Benjy has no sense of time. Every event in his life is blurred together, making the 90 pages seem like utter nonsense. One minute, a character in the book is only seven-years-old, and then the next they are fourteen. His memories shift back and forth constantly, without much warning to the reader. It’s like when you have a dream – you’re at the beach, and you go to step in the ocean only to find yourself in your mother’s kitchen and not understanding how or when you got there. Luckily, after a few dozen pages, I’ve gotten the hang of identifying the shifts in time.

Every once in a while, I have to turn to SparkNotes to understand what it is I’m supposed to be paying attention to. If I didn’t know Benjy or his sense of time, I would have thought this chapter was complete gibberish, especially since the chapter is titled April Seventh, 1928. All of these events seem to take place on this particular date, but they don’t.

The way Faulkner wrote this book reminds me of art in the form of text and film. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a moving text window near the gift shop, and I always find myself sitting on the bench staring at it. The few dozen times I’ve visited the museum, I’ve been irritated by the fact that I can’t just stay where I am and see where the text goes because it never truly ends. The text spits out sentence after sentence, and each one doesn’t seem to relate to another by any means, but it keeps flowing, and I keep reading.

The same can be done in film. When I visited the Tate Modern in London, I sat in the theater and watched a film play on a loop. It was a series of random images. Have you ever seen The Ring? It’s kind of like that but less scary. But there’s still something creepy about it. I remember seeing multi-colored bubbles, a lone chair, mountains, birds, balloons, a close up of an insect. But it had the same effect. I couldn’t stop watching it. I still walked out of the theater thinking, what the hell did I just watch?

Andy Warhol created a 1964 film called Empire. The film is eight hours and five minutes long. It’s a single shot of the Empire State Building from when the sun sets until about 3am. All you see are the changing of lights inside the building, and for a short period of time, complete darkness. Every once in a while, you can see Andy Warhol’s face in the reflection of the glass window in the Time-Life Building as he changes the reel.

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A few years ago, as an art major, you would see me scratching my head when learning this material, trying to find the reason behind all of it. As an artist, I can relate to the idea that things just exist because they exist. But since it’s art, viewers want a reason. I remember in high school for the senior art show, I had to fill out notecards explaining my pieces, and what my purpose and focus was. That was the hardest part. It wasn’t the frustrating moments of not getting the shape done correctly, or trying to mix the right colors, or spending hours after school trying to finish a painting on time. It was the fact that I had to sit down and actually ask myself why I painted this or that.

There’s an episode of Gilmore Girls that gets me laughing every time. Rory is at the Yale Art Show covering for the newspaper and she grabs a cup of water from the bubbler. The show introduces a new character named Lucy who scolds Rory, claiming she’s trying to drink her friend Olivia’s art piece. They call it Olivia’s “self-portrait”. After Rory awkwardly tries to put the water cup down and apologizes, Lucy laughs and says, “I’m kidding! It’s just a water cooler.” I can appreciate a scene like this because even some of the most bizarre art pieces I’ve come across, such as the Tate Modern film or Andy Warhol’s Empire, we can certainly find art and reason behind anything.

While the first chapter in The Sound and the Fury got me a little loopy, confused, dazed, and bewildered, I knew that each piece of information given to me was important to Benjy and the story. Each moment Benjy experienced throughout the day gave him a memory. And he has a lot of them.

Next time I watch a random series of images in a film, or flowing texts in a window, I’ll have to remind myself that they exist for a reason.

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Art, Humor

12.6.16 Art Project: Rules Don’t Apply

The past few months have been rocky in my art world but I’m trying. Between preparing for Christmas presents and total lack of ambition, I’ve been working on a couple of art pieces to keep my creativity flowing.

October was a wonderful month because my painting His Face ending up selling, along with a watercolor painting.

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As soon as I was finished with His Face and had it hung in the Bushwick Open Studio in Brooklyn, I immediately began my most risky piece.

I’ve always wanted to do a three canvas split scene, and finally after almost three months, it’s completed and I’m thrilled with the outcome.

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It is currently up on my website, but I’ve also submitted this piece to a gallery in New York and I will find out just after the New Year if it has been accepted. KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

My friend Colleen told me that she’d like to learn how to paint and if I could somehow teach her, which of course I would be honored. I know I may have mentioned this in my other art posts but I will say it again just in case: I don’t necessarily have a clear and direct plan when I paint. That’s the wonderful world of abstract art. Nothing has to be perfect. It’s all free form, which means, anyone can learn how to paint. But in case you were curious about my process, I’ll explain in bullet points:

  • I find a photo, mostly on websites such as unsplash.com where you can take any of the photos and do what you please with them.
  • With acrylics, I use a base color. I pick the most commonly used color in the picture and cover the entire canvas with it.
  • Since acrylics dry so quickly, I then go back in and form some kind of outline of the painting on the canvas, preferably in white, or just a lighter shade of the base color.
  • After the doodling, I return to the painting and add in the specific details which can be of your choice. If you want water to have more texture, that can be your detail. Or if you’d like to focus on bark instead of leaves, you can do that too. You can do whatever your mind initially tells you to do, which is why I enjoy Paint Bars for Wine & Paint Night. Everyone is painting the same picture, but they all come out unique.
  • The photo is simply a reference point. I never look at a photo and try to copy it completely. It’s merely there to guide me if I get lost in the process. I use it as inspiration, not a goal.

Some artists to remember when it comes to breaking the rules:

Jackson Pollock

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Henri Matisse

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Pablo Picasso

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The other day as I strolled through Michael’s, I found oil paint with 18 assorted colors for the low low price of $14. I was floored. I’ve been avoiding oil paints since high school because of how expensive it can get (one tube of oil paint can cost you more than $15). But I splurged and bought the pack of oil paints, a painter’s knife, and jars for my linseed oil.

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Back in the day, my friends and I used to call linseed oil/turpentine “mineral spirits”. People still call it mineral spirits but it just sounded so mystical.

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I’ve decided to re-teach myself how to paint with oils and I’m both nervous and excited. I’m nervous because I remember my high school days quietly cursing myself if I screwed up a section because it was such a process to fix. And I don’t know if anyone has accidentally spilled linseed oil on their pants before, but it’s a total artistic buzzkill. And there’s always the risk of accidentally drinking the linseed oil/dirty water, mistaking it for your drink, or shoving your dirty paintbrushes inside your drink cup. I know we’ve all been there. But I’m determined to make this oil paint adventure work, no matter how much I’d like to stab my eye out with my paint knife.

Wish me luck friends.

Please check out my website if you’d like to see what else I’ve been up to!

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Art, Cartoons, Festivities, Humor, Hyperbole, You're Fine

Christmas

I fail every major holiday. I think about my Halloween costumes two months ahead of schedule and then all of a sudden, it’s the day of Halloween and I completely forgot about it. Every year, I intend to buy presents for all of my friends and family and then a week before Christmas, I end up baking Slutty Brownies because I run out of time. Well well well, not this year folks! I started preparing for Christmas in September…

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Once I get an idea, I run with it to the point where it’s all that consumes my thoughts. I rush to the store, credit card in hand, and begin my journey into the Christmas spirit. Nothing is going to get in my way.

First, I spend way too much money on decorations.

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In my mind, I think I’m setting up Christmas for the next ten years of my life when in reality, I’m going to be so cluttered with Christmas crap after the holidays that I will toss them in my dumpster in a fit of rage.

I also don’t have a good sense of how big is too big when it comes to presents.

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Or how small is too small.

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Once I start prepping, I can’t be stopped. I exhaust myself to the point of starvation and dehydration, wrapping and decorating, and ignoring my cat Mumford way more than usual, probably to his relief.

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Once I’m done with my Christmas prepping, it’s barely Thanksgiving and then Christmas rolls around and I’m too tired to care.

With that being said, I hope the rest of you have not gone completely neurotic like I have. May you all have an anti-psychotic holidays!

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Art, Beauty, Out of the Ordinary, Writing

Guest Post: Post-mortem – Chris from Short Poems and Other Nonsense

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My dear and very talented blogger friend Chris from Short Poems and Other Nonsense has written a poem for us today inspired by my trip down to the Catacombes de Paris. His graceful writing is inspirational and you should go follow him now. Happy Pre-Halloween!


Post-mortem

Show me
The skeletons
Of two men,
And tell me
Which man
Was greater?

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Art, Humor, Out of the Ordinary

Guest Post: I Know Art – Paul from The Captain’s Speech

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In college, I majored in Art History. I’m an art nerd. I spent many sleepless nights studying Mary Ellen Mark, Caspar David Friedrich, and my art beau, Jacques-Louis David. There’s no better feeling than spending countless hours finishing my final papers at the end of every semester, downing coffee and pulling all-nighters, and then being able to see the paintings in the flesh. While I trample through the crowds at the Louvre, I’ve asked my dearest friend Paul from The Captain’s Speech to pull a Sister Wendy and share his thoughts on a few art pieces I’ve selected for him.


Bonjour and hello! I thought I would start this post off in two languages because I don’t know about you, but when art speaks to me, it doesn’t just communicate in English. Oh no, mes amis!

I’d like to thank my friend, Jess, for selecting a few pieces of artwork for which I will provide my unique interpretations. Consider yourselves warned.

While I provide my commentary, I ask that you remain as quiet as possible. Art galleries are a place for pondering and placing your hand on your chin, not for talking.

Or did I just describe a library?

Regardless, I know art. Let’s get started. Silencio!

Pangaea Exhibit, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK – 2014

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Ah yes. This one. Gives me the willies, if I’m being honest with you.

What we have here are huge ants on the wall. This is what happens when no one sweeps up for a long time. As you can see, the majority of the ants are huddled together in the corner. Why? They are cold. Do you see jackets on any of them? No!

The rest of the ants are scavengers. They have spread out like a search party to look for food, supplies, jackets, toys for the youth, and anything else to keep them alive on a wall.

Rumour has it that when the art gallery closes at night, the ants come down and sleep on the floor. Kind of like how the toys in Toy Story move around when humans aren’t around.

Seriously though, this piece of art is going to give me nightmares.

Fountain, Marcel Duchamp, Tate Modern (replica), London, UK – 1917

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is an upside down urinal. And what do we call upside down urinals? Anyone? Anyone at all? We call them fountains!

Boys, never put your mouth to a urinal. But when you see it flipped upside down, you can. For it is no longer a urinal, it is a fountain! Instead of relieving yourself, you are filling yourself up.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? I think so.

If you’re wondering where the water comes out of, it’s a surprise. Approach with caution and don’t unzip your pants.

Black Square, Kazimir Malevich, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia – 1915

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This is one of those pieces where it really helps if you tilt your head to the left. Trust me, try it. Do you see it? Do you see what I see? You should.

You know how sometimes your car can get so dirty on the outside, to the point where you can write, “Wash Me” on your back window with your index finger? That’s what this is.

It’s a dirty back window of a car that hasn’t seen soap and water in ages. Perhaps it’s been driving on unpaved roads on it’s way to and from work and this is the result. A lot of soot.

You can see that someone took their index finger and tried to draw some sort of pattern, but couldn’t quite get there. My best guess is they were drawing a tic-tac-toe board.

The square outline at the bottom is likely from the car owner’s lunch bag, which probably rubbed up against the back window. When I can track down their lunch bag and check for soot, I’ll let you know for sure.

The Scream, Edvard Munch, National Gallery, Oslo, Norway – 1893

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Oh, this is a classic! What we have here is a person on a bridge, who unaware that they are being Punk’d. This person (Shocky McShockerton) is clearly shocked and screaming at whoever is standing at our point-of-view. We’ll call them a scoundrel. Why? Because the scoundrel just threw Shocky McShockerton’s cellphone over the bridge and into the water.

“Why did you do that!?” – Shocky McShockerton

Meanwhile, you can see two people in the background who are walking towards this distraught person. One of them is Ashton Kutcher – the host of Punk’d. The other is a camera man.

Don’t worry, their real phone is safe and dry. A fake one was thrown over the bridge.

Winged Victory of Samothrace, Louvre, Paris, France – c. 200-190 BC

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And finally, this masterpiece!

If you have ever heard Elton John’s song, “I’m Still Standing”, you will know that it was inspired by this piece of art. Let’s analyze a lyric from that song, shall we?

“I’m still standing after all this time, picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”

Ah, just brilliant.

You see, this is a statue of a person who was betrayed by their lover. Love takes two wings to fly, this statue and their statuemate (soulmate) broke things off. And when they did, the other statue took their wing away.

It’s taken a while for this statue to get over it, but they finally did, even though they lost their mind, first. Hence the lyric, “without you on my mind”. This person can’t think about their former lover anymore because they don’t have a head to formulate such thoughts.

Love hurts, but you can still stand up after you fall, even if you only have one wing and no head.

Well, that sums up this edition of “I Know Art”. I’ve been Paul and you’ve been informed. Have a nice day and don’t forget to pick up any crumbs you drop. Those ants are big enough.

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Art, Connecticut, Festivities, I'm not a mommy blogger, Internet Things, Manic Monday, Out of the Ordinary

Art Project: Acrylic-ing

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A few weeks ago, I decided to buy a haul of canvases from Michael’sI usually like to venture into Joann Fabrics until I found out I had to buy a cart in order to use one. I walked through the store completely unaware of the amount of things I was going to grab and then realized that it would be best to grab a cart. I pulled and yanked and cursed silently, wondering why I was not able to pull the cart away. A cashier asked if I needed a quarter…so that was the end of that.

I’ve been taking a short break from watercolors and decided to move onto acrylics. If I’m going to use acrylics, it’s best to go big or go home. All of my canvases are 16 x 20, therefore bigger than I normally use.

A long time ago in high school, my art teacher assigned us to paint micros. That basically means taking something, and blowing it up to show the detail of it. For instance, in high school, I did a close up oil painting of an orange. One girl did a lobster claw. So I decided to continue painting something similar. With my favorite season approaching, I focused on a detailed sunflower that calmed my excitement.

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The painting, which I titled His Face, is on the website but is not for sale as of yet! 1. I titled the sunflower His Face mostly because I just finished reading Emma Donoghue’s novel Room, which little boy Jack calls the sun “God’s face”. Naturally, it was the first thing that came to mind. 2. I’m waiting to put it up for sale because I’ve applied to have the painting appear in SPACE 776 in Brooklyn for the 2016 Bushwick Open Studio. Each applicant has an automatic spot in the studio for the week of September 30-October 6 for a chance to sell the painting. If the painting does not sell through the studio, I will be putting it up for sale on my website.

This is an exciting time of learning myself through abstract art. My next piece will be a three canvas painting of the ocean that I’m starting to grow fond of.

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I have many ideas for future micro paintings such as doughnuts, butterfly wings, elephants, etc. Any suggestions in the comments would be greatly appreciated!

Before painting, I didn’t know much about submitting works to galleries or contests until I started doing my research. I’m still learning the process, but my only advice to other artists out there is to search and search and search in your area. I promise there are plenty of opportunities to put yourself out there. For instance, literary journals take art submissions, and some coffee shops will hang and sell your work for a small commission of course, and there are plenty of contests either locally or in the nearest city. It doesn’t hurt to try. Even though it only costs $25 to submit my painting to SPACE 776, it will take a half a day’s work, trains, and subways just to haul the painting all the way to Brooklyn. But it will be worth it in the end, even if it doesn’t sell.

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Art, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, Internet Things, News, Out of the Ordinary

Art Project: Bigger and Better Things

It’s been two weeks since I announced my newly created art site, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve sold two paintings so far! I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

What I’ve learned during this short amount of time in business is that word-of-mouth is a great way to sell your work. I want to thank my friends, family and blogging community for helping me so far. I couldn’t have done it without you!

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In case any of you were wondering, the items under my portfolio on my website can also be sold if requested. Ironically enough, the two paintings I sold were not originally for sale mostly because they were “old”, or something I was practicing. For instance, the Versailles landscape I sold was something I was trying out one evening and I posted the photo to Instagram. I didn’t expect someone to have an interest in purchasing it until they contacted me. That is another lesson I’ve learned over the last few months. Instagram has played a large role in my ability to get my work out into the world.

Here is a quick update:

  • I recently visited my grandparents over the weekend and they gave me an old easel. Which means I can now move onto bigger works of art! I’d like to move onto canvas and acrylics, along with larger watercolors.
  • I’ve decided to practice my landscaping, which is how I ended up selling my Versailles inspired watercolor. IMG_1047
  • There are also other creative ways to incorporate your art other than paper and canvas. I experimented with a giraffe ink drawing I did a few months ago and placed it on a plain white t-shirt and it actually came out wonderful, all thanks to Zazzle! image3(2)image1(6)
  • I came across an old box labeled, “Jessie’s Memories” and many of the items played like a time capsule. I found a shoe box of random items I put together in middle school, some of which contained old notes between friends, movie tickets, and my 8th grade graduation packet. Some of you might be confused as to why we had an 8th grade graduation packet. Our graduation was bigger than my high school graduation. There were only 65 kids in my grade, and most of us had known each other since kindergarten. Many of us were splitting off, with nearly half of the kids attending a private high school instead. We had a million awards given out, and a prophecy written to predict where each of us would end up in the future. Well it turns out my prophecy was that I would be selling my artwork, which is weirdly accurate. My friend Jackie’s prophecy was that she would run a circus, which I guess is partially true if you want to read her blog here.

I’m looking forward to the summer ending and the start of the fall season! I’m already thinking about my fall-inspired paintings.

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Art, Connecticut, Festivities, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, Internet Things, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Social Media

Art Project: Florals, Fruit, For Sale, Oh My!

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Hello beautiful people! I’ve finally done it! I’ve created the website that holds all of my hopes and dreams.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the latest watercolors I’ve created over the last few months. It’s been a wonderful lifestyle so far, and whenever I feel the urge to paint something, I’m able to hop over to my desk and do just that. I had been toying with the idea of trying sell my artwork, but obviously it won’t be an easy task. The very idea of it terrifies me to no end, but it’s worth a shot and it gives me a chance to continue painting, whether it works out or not. I don’t expect to become the next Andy Warhol. I know my reality.

I’ve decided to name my new art site Reyna Art & DesignFor a couple of years, my dad sold his artwork. He mostly drew portraits when requested, but he loved to draw celebrity portraits like Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne. He had a Facebook page called Reyna Art, so I decided to continue the tradition.

My biggest problem is that I’m not a big promoter. I feel like those annoying salespeople that show up on your doorstep, trying to convince you that their plastic wrap is better than Glad. I don’t want to be that annoying person. I don’t want to be that person who posts an image of my artwork on Instagram or Twitter every two hours, trying to get people to buy things. Which means, I’ll need all the help I can get from you lovely people. NO PRESSURE. All I ask is that if you happen to know other artists, such as friends or family, pass me along via Instagram or Twitter, or share my website. If you happen to buy a painting of mine, post it to social media with a wink. Sharing is caring.

So far, I have seven pieces up for grabs. Since my last art post, I’ve done some diddling with florals again.

I've called this "Lumineer's Flowers" for reasons I'm sure you've read about.

I’ve called this “Lumineer’s Flowers” for reasons I’m sure you’ve read about.

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I’ve been playing around with different colored pineapples because I think they’re adorable.

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I’ve recently tried out the local paint bar in South Norwalk, CT called Muse Paintbar.

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He’s pretending to be proud of his bottle. I thought it came out fabulous!

So please, peruse my new website and pass it along! You can even find the website under my “Shop” page 🙂

ALSO, I’m going to do a shout out to someone I went to high school with back in the day. Miss Emma Marty sells wonderfully unique jewelry and has recently appeared in Vogue. Check out her page here!

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Anecdote, Art, Cats, Humor, Internet Things, Memories, Mumford, Out of the Ordinary, Social Media

I Spoke to The Lumineers

I remember when everyone first started to tweet, it was a THING to tweet at celebrities and bands, just to see if they would respond. I rarely do it because 99.9% of the time, they don’t respond to you and you look like a 15-year-old weirdo. Last night, I was listening to The Lumineers, my favorites being “Ophelia” and “Cleopatra” while painting at my desk with my cat falling asleep on my foot. I stopped and thought, “Man, my life is pretty rad.”

I decided to make a casual shout-out to The Lumineers, until it no longer became casual…at least for me.

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I, of course, instantly freaked out and began painting like a maniac and hoping my cat wouldn’t move from his spot for several hours. I responded with the picture they requested, not thinking they would respond to that until…..

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My night was made. And brownie points to Mumford for being the good little model that he was. It definitely made up for the lack of sleep he’s given me the past four nights.

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Art, Humor, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago

Art Project: Mini Fruit Series

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Over the past few months, I’ve gotten back into painting and drawing, and it’s so liberating! I’m trying to dive back into my favorite mediums, or mediums I’m not quite used to. All throughout high school and college, I’ve loved using charcoal for my drawing classes. Anything chalky was my best friend. Now it seems that watercolors have stolen my heart. I’ve decided that with my increasing number of paintings that are scattered around my apartment to dry, I’m going to try and sell them, which is partially why I’ve begun posting my work to Instagram.

I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about posting my work because as some of you may know, I don’t like to take selfies and it felt equivalent to that. But I sucked it up and have found amazing artists from around the world who we now show support during our creative releases.

This past week in my studio (aka studio apartment):

Florals

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Carnations w/ Rozes, 9×12, watercolor

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Lavender, 3 1/2 x 10, watercolor

What I love most about painting flowers is that there are no rules. If there’s anything I’ve learned since I stopped my studio art classes in college, it’s that it’s okay to bend the rules. I find that if I have too much direction when it comes to painting and drawing, my work rarely comes out the way I envisioned it. Remember that next time you attend Wine and Paint night! Yes, there is someone there telling you what to do, but it’s okay to only give 25% of your full attention.

Mini Fruit Series

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Watermelon Mini’s, 4 x 4, watercolor

I’m really excited about my mini fruit series collection! It’s impossible to go to the grocery store these days and not see giant watermelon’s outside in the sun. These little 4 x 4’s will be placed inside a 12 x 12 photo mat with four slots as one whole piece of work. I would love to take a whack at other fruit too (i.e. pineapples, oranges, apples, pomegranate, kiwi, etc.). Any fruit suggestions would be wonderful!

I’m still in the process of “setting up shop” but I will keep you kids updated. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by Twitter, Instagram, Email, Carrier Pigeon, etc.

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Art, Books, Rant, Things I Need, Writing

Beating Your Manuscript To Death

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I have a goal to finish my memoir by the end of the year. Hopefully sooner. There’s a contest in the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program that starts on October 15th that I’d really like to try and enter. It’s a total long shot, but supposedly we hear who the winner is in the spring and that’s better than looking for an agent for “X” amount of years. At least by then if I don’t win the publication, I can be on the hunt because my manuscript would be finished.

I’ve met a lot of interesting people throughout my writing “career”, and with the AWP Conference in LA next year (YAYYYY! You should come and hang with me!) I’m bound to meet many more. I’ve met some people who have written entire novels in six weeks. And I’ve met some people who spent twenty years on their memoir. Everyone goes at their own pace. I read somewhere that J.K. Rowling spent ten years writing the first Harry Potter book, and after it was rejected many times because they claimed it would never be a hit, it ended up being one of the biggest franchises in the world, with their own park within Disney. Some people don’t see the pure gold you have written while others do. That’s what I love about writing and art – there is no right answer. There are a few people I turn to for guidance and honest opinions that do not shut me down completely. I’ve come across too many writers who believe that there is a right and wrong way to writing, and I’m telling you right now…get rid of those people. You want guidance from those who work with you to move forward on your vision, not tell you “it won’t work”.

As for me, I’ve spent the past two years working on my manuscript. My manuscript was my thesis in order to graduate, and now I already know I want to head in a different structural direction. I’m such a revisionist that sometimes it kills me. I could get this book published next year, and talk to me in ten years and I’ll probably say I want to rewrite the whole thing.

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The problem with writing a manuscript is that you re-read it a hundred times or more to the point that you are disgusted with yourself. It’s like when you binge watch a TV show and you get annoyed with the characters and what you once thought was endearing eight hours ago makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a spoon like you’re in Hostel. It’s the same thing. Spending too much time with your manuscript can be a bad thing, depending on how you work.

I sometimes wish I could just go off the grid for like a month. Live in the deep woods of Washington State or Canada in a cabin to myself and write as much as I can. I’m in need of inspiration.

Which brings me to The Death of The Memoir. This has been such a hot debate for so long. Memoir. The daunting question of, “Why should I care?” Memoirists have this label of being narcissistic with a painful childhood that feel the need to have all of the attention onto themselves. I actually follow bloggers right now who have written about these things stating that nobody cares about their god awful life and to just quit with the memoirs.

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I’m not writing a memoir because I think I’ve had a horrible life, more so than anybody else. Not even close. I’ve had a great life with some obstacles and bad decisions along the way. The hypocritical part is that if I were to write my life and call it fiction, nobody would complain. In fact, I did that once. I wrote a piece that was 95% nonfiction for a fiction workshop, and do you know what the comments were? “This just isn’t believable or realistic.”

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I couldn’t stop giggling because it was all of the parts that were 100% true. The setting, the dialogue, the conflict, all of it. Hence why I stick with nonfiction because hearing those comments are too distracting.

It’s the same reaction when I tell people my age and that I write nonfiction. They think my life is just beginning, so what on earth could I possibly write about? This too, gives me more momentum to continue what I’m doing.

So why is it that people are so turned off by nonfiction? You mean you don’t care to hear about Jeannette Walls’ experience living homeless with her erratic parents and siblings, to eventually living comfortably in NYC while her mother is in the alley rummaging through trash bins? I find that interesting as hell. You don’t care to hear about Maya Angelou’s experience being sexually abused by a man while living in the South? That too, is really interesting. Who has seen the movie Unbroken? That’s a true story. And it was a really cool story.

So, it’s hard to believe how many people get so bent out of shape when a new memoir comes out, like, “Oh, it’s another one of those again.”

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It’s interesting to read about other people’s lives. I’d rather read about them then see what they bought at the grocery store on Instagram. We read about everyone’s lives everyday on social media, so how is a memoir more annoying than that?

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Art, Family, Humor, Internet Things, Social Media

Facebook Emoji’s

FYI – This post has been sitting in my drafts for six months. I’m unsure why it hasn’t made an appearance yet but I’m still mulling over the emojis. 

I don’t know too many people who are active emoji users on Facebook. The only people I know who seem to use them quite often are my grandma and aunt. When used, I’m left with unanswered questions. For instance, who came up with these god awful emojis? How and why did Mark Zuckerburg hire them to design these icons?

EXAMPLES:

The Crying Monkey

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Sad.

This is a monkey. He seems to have this weird white fungus spilling out of his eyes, which is something I’d be pretty upset about too. All the kids at school make fun of him, which is why he’s under the sad category. This is to raise awareness of bullying everywhere.

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The Sleeping Plant

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Sleepy.

This plant is sleeping. I didn’t realize plants slept. Do they really? Is this a new scientific study that plants take a quick break from their slurping of dirty, muddy water and take a snooze? No growing today fellas. Must recharge.

Angry Zombie

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Angry

This working class citizen has clearly turned into a zombie. I wonder if he will be a new character in The Walking Dead. He fits the part perfectly with those grotesque lifeless eyes, chunky blue hair and scowl.

Baby Chick Named “Sunny Side Up”

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Celebrate.

This depicts a baby chick that has clearly taken a wrong turn in life. She’s now become a sensual prostitute and is offering a glass of luscious wine to take the ease off. You’re her Richard Geer.

Angry Zombie Part Two

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Angry.

So, the kids at school pulled a Carrie on this guy. They covered him in hot pink paint while he was auditioning for the talent show singing “Sometimes When We Touch”. He later made out with a tree.

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The Clinging Coach

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Love.

Student-teacher relationship. ‘Nuff said.

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Salad Fingers

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Confused.

Ya’ll remember Salad Fingers? You would be left confused as well.

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Mouse/Cat

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This is an accurate portrayal of how I eat pizza.

Love

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A half-ham half-cat would make a great Nickelodeon show. And he even has a best friend: a gravy boat, though I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a watering tin.

I just don’t…get it.

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Art, Internet Things, Writing

I’m Featured In Spry Lit!

So excited to announce that my very first publication has arrived today in Spry Lit! Ironically enough, it’s a digital art piece I created back in September.

A former Fairfield student Erin, reached out to me about the drawing when I posted it to my blog and wanted to interview me. She runs the Spry Lit Journal and features an art piece once a month. I’m very honored for this opportunity to discuss all things art!

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Go check out my interview with Erin!

Have a wonderfully fantastical beautifully delicious Thursday!

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