In early April I attended the Art and Soul Kansas City retreat and took two classes. The Abstract Landscape class taught by Jane Davies really shook up my painting world. Working loosely with mixed media and responding to marks made rather than starting with a particular vision is very different from the way I've painted up until now. The paintings I posted for the Minted + West Elm Challenge showcase the type of composition and work with mixed media materials that I learned at the retreat. I was jazzed about this new approach. But, then I started to wonder how I might incorporate the new style and way of working into my Judaica themed artwork. The result is what you see here, and I believe it evokes a more emotional response to the prayers and texts than my previous work has. So far the reaction to the images posted on Instagram and Facebook have been overwhelmingly positive. Having just wrapped up a commission and a busy month of May, I'm now ready to jump back into the mixed media work and see where the path leads.
Several years ago I was asked to paint a piece to honor a wonderful woman and incredible Kansas City Jewish educator, Hillary Lewis Z"L, on the occasion of her retirement. This was my interpretation of "veshinantam levanecha" or "teach them diligently to your children." It's become a popular image in my collection, but lately I've been wanting to paint an updated version with nicer typography. I added the white linework, but I'm not sure about it on the torah scrolls. I'm sharing it anyway and would love to hear your thoughts. At some point I'll add prints to my shop. There's probably another version coming in the future. I'm hoping practice makes perfect.
I realized a few days ago that I haven't blogged in quite some time. I've been busy filling Etsy orders and taking time off with the family over the holidays, and even getting back to painting, having been bouyed by my Urban Suburban experience. It's been three years since the last Kansas City Jewish Arts Festival when I didn't exhibit and decided just to volunteer instead. This year, with Hannah working at the JCC and on the Festival itself, and feeling like I need to be going back to the basics of painting, I am going to be applying to show. Which means that I need to have paintings, if I'm accepted of course. So, I'm dipping my toes back into the paint, only figuratively, and slowly getting started. It's been quite some time since I've been in full-festival-prep-mode, so it will take time to build up steam, but I've taken the first step. If I can really get going, I might even try to do the Boulder Jewish Festival in June, but I'll need to have quite a bit accomplished to make that happen.
In the meantime, here's a peak at what I've been working on. I've tried to let go of the fear in painting something out when I'm not happy with a direction. And, both of these paintings have layers underneath that aren't visible any more. No regrets either! I'm pleased with the direction both have taken in the detour, but I still consider them in progress.
This is a small one with lots of texture and VERY simple compared to what I've done before. I'm still trying to decide if it needs anything else... words, images.....?
Revisiting the popular Shalom Hamsa on this painting, I've worked on a cradled wood panel and tried a bit of letter-stamping, too. This, too, is a work-in-progress, so please comment here if you have thoughts about these paintings or other subjects you'd like to see.
Sending belated wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year filled with peace and creativity.
Just in time for holiday shopping, I've added mini art prints to my shop! These prints, on the same wonderful paper as the larger prints, are just the right size for giving. Each print is made on a 5" x 7" page and would slip right into a 5" x 7" frame. At $7.50 each and half the price of the 8.5" x 11" frames you can buy several to make a nice, inexpensive grouping as a gift to someone else or for yourself. I've just started listing prints in this size, so if you see an image you'd like to have printed somewhere else in the shop or on my site but not yet listed in this size, shoot me an Etsy convo or an email and I'll set up a custom listing asap. And, if you didn't see the Facebook post yesterday, I've got a holiday sale happening right now: 20% off your total purchase until December 9th with the coupon code: holidays2012.
*Frames are not included. But, you knew that, right?
And, while you're shopping Etsy, don't forget that DesignersCare is selling prints, note cards, gift tags and more, designed by distinguished designers from around the country and beyond. All profits are being donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. I just placed an order and can't wait to get my art prints!
Happy holiday shopping!
When studying to be a designer or artist, they don't teach you about business. Or, at least they didn't 30 years ago when I was in college. But I've been running my own business for 18 years and have had to learn a new vocabulary over time.
Revenue streams is the phrase of the day recently. How many different ways can I sell my art to bring in new income? I've had quite a few inquiries about wholesale over the past couple of years. It's time I do something to make this happen. So, the last couple of days I've been working on a catalog or line sheet, I guess you might call it, along with an order form. I'm hoping to have it ready to send out to all of those gift shops that have been after me for so long. Then I'll have to make time to create all of the product—at least I'm hoping there'll still be a need for that.
Book of Life
Peace Hamsa II
Erev Shabbat II
Pomegranate on Orange
As promised, the four new paintings. All are 12 x 12 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, ready to hang. If they don't sell this weekend they'll be available in my Etsy shop next week. :-)
My art has once again been featured on the blog Judaica Journal. I am so honored that she is sharing my work with her readers, especially because it illustrates the very wise quote of her very young son.
Shalom in Jerusalem Hamsa, 12 x 12 Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Funny how the paintings run together after awhile and I forget what's been done before. I just came across a photo of this one that sold over a year ago and realized I hadn't made any prints to sell on Etsy or it or posted it on my website. I suppose I'll take a few minutes to do that soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd share it here.