Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yes George - Entrepreneur is a French word

Poor George...he thought there was no word French word for entrepreneur but yes - it truly is a French word meaning "to undertake" or assuming the risk of running ones own business. In this blog I want to toot the horn so to speak for those entrepreneurs out there who took the risk and established their own businesses or simply support themselves through their own hard work not for anyone else. Etsy is a great place to start but for now I'm going to start with my wonderful English friend living in Canada now, Roger Watt. He is a graphite pencil artist specializing in railway art and also teaches illustration classes as well as free lance art recruiting for art publishers. His wife Frankie Watt is a renowned portrait artist creating the most unique and thoughful portraits imaginable. Now let's move south to Oakland, California to see the work of Jenny Balisle. Jenny says " I pool, wrinkle, scrape and create chemical reactions with solvents that mimic occurrences in the natural world". And her pen and ink drawings "explore repetitions of line and organic forms.". Her paintings are heavily textured layer upon layer of heavy paint till all you want to do is reach out and into all those layers where rich colors melt into each other and balance perfectly. Now head over the hill to Walnut Creek, where artist Sharron Bliss not only creates her own work but publishes the work of several artists. Her customers are mainly corporate clients in search of large installations. Sharron's work is created on paper and is highly textured pastel medium. She then uses many of her images to create very large pieces that are reproduced on canvas for her clients. Sharron has limited editions available as well as original pieces. Sharron is another one of those fabulous artists who creates her own destiny and lives her passion.

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend who said going into your own business is scary - and mind you, she successfully owned her own business for years - and I said, "yes it's scary, but scary fun." What is truly scary is walking into a corporate office and being told your job is no longer available. Being responsible for ones own income makes your successes and failures your own. so you may choose to succeed and your future is not determined by the over inflated egos of CEO's or the fickle whims of corporate America. To all you artists and independent business owners, I salute you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feel The Beat

Ok...please forgive me because I'm a little late on this one. My favorite Berkeley gallery, Fourth Street Studio, had an awesome show last week called "Feel the Beat". It was on Valentines Day - thus the title. The theme was the heart or the beat and one could pretty much let their imaginatioin run with this one. I did a few anatomical collages of hearts. Eighteen year old artist Jenna Trost created a piece called "Eat Your Heart Out" and Ricki Mountain used hands and hearts to share her message. The show ended yesterday but I'm sure you can still see the art hanging up for a few more days. Don't miss their next show on March 28th. "Go Figure".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Free is In!

Right now free is a good thing. I lost my job at last week and I'm wondering how I can afford all those art supplies; so I turn to free on-line resources. The security net of corporate America does not exist anymore and the only way we are going to financially make it is to use the vast amount of resources available for us and to use them in ways you might not think of. There is always the philosophy of "reduce, reuse, recycle" and I use this philosophy everytime I paint over another canvas. If the painting is just sitting there and I'm not in love with it and my ego isn't attached to it then it gets a new life. I also use the free paintbrushes at Brusheezy. These artists are amazing and so generous with their talent. I download these brushes and use them on scrapbook paper, greeting cards and small prints. Some of my favorites are the retro ads and the blood spatters. I know - that's a little graphic but if you don't make the spatter red then it just looks like paint. Another favorite is CGTextures. This site is seriously amazing. I have used textures such as metal, rust, water, buildings and doors. The files are large and they allow the viewer to download up to 15 mgs per day. It's a user generated site and these artists once again contribute generously. Another one is Deviant Art but I struggle with this one. Maybe you will have more luck then I do. This site offers literally millions of images. Have fun!

Maybe when we are all earning a living again we can contribute back to these sites by adding our own high res images or brushstrokes. Our way of saying thank you to all these artists who give freely to the artworld.

One last thing. I added this image to Etsy yesterday. I love retro images so I used this car from Brusheezy; think it's a good balance to the motel image.
Happy Creating.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Photographer Who Follows His Heart

Local North Bay photographer Christopher Foster follows his heart and his talent to capture the beauty of the west coast from the wine country to the coast and the sublime landscape of Utah and Arizona. Chris's 2009 releases include tropical visions of Hawaii, the abandoned towns near Lee Vining and a rush of color in fields of lavender in Washington State.
After earning degrees in physiology and neuroscience Chris took up his camera and left on a personal journey to be an artist. Traveling across the United States with a 4x5 monorail camera, real film and no batteries, Chris says " I like to work simply in the field, it is the easiest way to the truth. I prefer to let the light speak my vision.".

Christopher Foster's work can be found at Capture Fine Art in Healdsburg and Sausalito.