Friday, December 18, 2009


Have a Fantastic Holiday and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year. I am looking forward to a brand New Year of creative experiences and challenges!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Snow



Yesterday was the first snow of the season. During this busy time it was nice to take some time just to watch it fall from the window of my apartment and reflect over the past year.

After being laid off for a year and two months, I start a new job tomorrow and at the end of March I am moving into a house with a room for a studio. I am excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am hoping that I will be able to balance my art, my new job, and setting up a new living space. This new job will give me practical experience with running an organization and who knows what will happen in the future. I have been thinking so much over the past year about my life, my career, and what is truly important to me. This new job is certainly a step in the right direction. I feel like I am starting to come into my own and really know what I want from life. I keep thinking it would have been nice to have been this confident when I was younger, would have saved lots of heartache and disappointment, but then again, what I learned when I was younger is why I am who I am today.

So during this busy Holiday Season, take some time to reflect, think about what is important to you, and know that each new day is a new chance to do what you want to do and to be the person you want to be!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Distractions





If you read my blog you know that I was laid off from a full time arts administration job in Sept. 2008. This week I am waiting to hear if I have a new job. Waiting is torture! So I have been keeping myself busy with some creative distractions. I have been sketching, knitting, and working with the Through the Viewfinder technique I discovered a few weeks ago. Here are some images I took in a make-shift studio in my apartment's kitchen yesterday. The day went by so fast and I have some fantastic images to work with. Of course the day would have been even better if I found out if I got the job, but I guess we can't have it all. So I continue to wait and find more creative distractions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Artist Trading Cards


I was doing some research on swaps and found a great forum and swapping site for Artist Trading Cards. It is a great way to create some art, its a small commitment and is a great way to collect art from artists all over the world. Check out ATCs for All.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creative Block


I have not been feeling creative lately. I have been pushing myself to do creative things. Even with a new lens for my camera, I just haven't been inspired. Towards the end of last week, I decided to go online and look around at what other artist have been up to. I went to Etsy and just searched and searched for hours. I found many creations that inspired me and in my research I found a photographic process called Through the Viewfinder. It is a technique where you use a digital camera to photograph the viewfinder of a twin reflex camera. Being a toy camera fanatic, I saw the images this technique produced and I was on E-Bay and bidding on a 1950s Kodak camera. It came on Saturday and I was off with cameras in hand. Now I am excited about a new series of photographs, using the images with my mixed media art, creating a handmade book and new images on my website. I just spent today photographing fruit for three hours.
Creative block is hard, I can't imagine anyone who enjoys it, but there is a huge pay off if you can work through it. I have been reading a few books about creativity and they all agree that creative block is like a growth spurt and necessary for an artist to move ahead. Some things you may want to do while working through the block is to just sketch in a journal, do something creative that is completely different from what you are use to, take a class, or research on the Internet like I did. Here are some websites to help you through that pesky creative block. Break that Block!

What the Heck is Creative Block?
View Blog
Over Coming a Creative Block
How to Get Rid of Creative Block

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE FIRST
CHUBBY CAT CHAT'S COLLABORATION.
CREATIONS ARE DUE THIS FRIDAY THE 23rd!
SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quotes About Art



Art is therapy
Art is a spiritual quest
Art is a means of purging the soul
Art hangs on a wall
Art is all around us
Art is a process
Art is about humanity

- unknown source

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE FIRST
CHUBBY CAT CHAT'S COLLABORATION.
SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Be a Part of the First Chubby Cat Chat Collaboration!



I love artist collaborations. Currently I am involved with a book exchange with another artist. Each month we exchange books and in the end we will each have a book with two artistic visions.

I am proposing a collaboration. Download the image and color it, rip it, do whatever you want to it.
Then e-mail me at chubbycatcreations@yahoo.com an image of what you have created! I will post it to my blog and create a small book of all the creations for all the artists who contribute.

In your e-mail make sure you include a link to you website, blog or Etsy page and I will post the link under your image. Also make sure to include your mailing address so I know where to mail your book.

Please e-mail me your creation and information by
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd.
I will post the creations the following week and have the finished books to the artists by mid November.

Can't wait to see all the creations!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE IMAGE
AND GET CREATING!
If you have any issues with getting the image, please e-mail me, chubbycatcreations@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Craftifesto

The DIY Trunk Show Craftifesto: The Power is in Your Hands!

The DIY Trunk Show is an annual event that brings the best of the Chicago area's alternative craft community to the people.

We believe:

Craft is powerful. We want to show the depth and breadth of the Chicago crafting community. Anything you want—clothing, jewelry, art, music—you can probably get from a real live person here in Chicago. And buying handmade, one-of-a-kind goods from your neighbor kicks the ass of buying mass-produced, slave-made corporate stuff.

Craft is personal. To know that something was made by hand, by someone who cares that you like it, makes that object much more enjoyable. And it makes you feel less lonely when you realize that you know the name of the person who made the bar of soap you use, the earrings you wore when you met that special someone, or the scarf that kept you from freezing while you waited for the train.

Craft is political. We're not just trying to sell stuff. We're trying to change the world. We want everyone to rethink corporate culture and consumerism.

Craft is possible. Everybody can create something—you don't have to be an established business to make stuff. The DIY Trunk Show encourages new crafters by giving them a place to sell their work for the first time. We hold workshops to teach people how to make things. And we're creating friendships and connections between craftersãbeing a small business owner doesn't mean you have to work in isolation.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Free Art


I have been researching various topics to write about on the blog. There are so many great things happening out in the art world and the world of D.I.Y.

I have been looking into artists who leave art out on the streets for the public to take and keep. Two of these artists are Adam Neate of London and Bren Bataclan of Boston. Check out the articles written about them.

I have been thinking about starting a project like this as well. The thought of leaving my art out in the world and someone taking the time to pick it up and keep it is exciting. What better way to get art out into the world.

Keep your eye out for free art on the streets and stay tuned for more collaborative and art for all projects.......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Art House Co-Op


The Art House Co-op. Check it out. Projects that you can join and get your creations shown.

From the website:

Art house was started by Steven and Shane back in Spring of 2006 while they were undergrads at Atlanta College of Art. The idea originally started as a group of artists all getting together to have a show at a local venue. Steven and Shane were just the organizers. They quickly got cocky and decided they were going to open up a store front even if it meant pouring all of their hard earned cash into it and living on the street.

They first opened their doors in December of 2006 in a little complex in Decatur, Ga. That space started as a pay-to-play gallery, but quickly lost it's spark. Steve and Shane wanted to create an idea that would spread their name, as well as create a community of artists. They crafted together the first ever "A Million Little Pictures." Sign-ups were slow for awhile until they got picked up by the Yahoo Daily Wire newsletter and soon received over 150 sign-ups! Though that was exciting for the boys, it still didn't pay the rent. One hot summer night, as a last minute effort to get enough money to pay their rent at the gallery, they started "The Sketchbook Project." Well, apparently people liked sketchbooks because it quickly took off. The first ever sketchbook project had just over 500 participants. From there, they created more projects and spruced up some old ones.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Books



I love books. I have a huge collection of them in all subjects. I love they way they feel, the way they smell, the idea that I can dog ear a favorite page or write notes in the margin. I love to read in bed at the end of the day when everything is finally calm and quiet.

In this month's Art on Paper magazine there is a reprint of an essay titled, "The Book Maker's Desire", written by Buzz Spector in 1991. I would like to share a part of this essay with you.

"The topography of an open book is explicit in its erotic associations: sumptuous twin paper curves that meet in a recessed seam. Page turning is a series of gentle, sweeping gestures, like the brush of fingers on a naked back. Indeed, the behavior of readers has more in common with the play of intimacy than with the public decorum of art viewing or music listening. Most of us read lying down or seated and most of us read at least partially unclothed. We dress up to go out and look at art; undressed, in bed, we read. We seek greater comfort while reading than the furnishings of museums or concert halls will ever grant us. When we read - the conventional distance between eye and page is around fourteen inches - we often become the lectern that receives the book: chest, arms, lap or thighs. This proximity is the territory of embrace, of possession; not to be entered without permission."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Art for the Masses


I have long been a believer that art should be made accessible to everyone. Everyone should be made to feel comfortable in a gallery or museum. There are many people who feel the same way that I do. The rise of the DIY movement, blogs, co-ops, galleries run by a younger generation of artists, websites like ETSY with affordable art for the public and new collectors, online galleries, collaborations and exchanges are all ways that artists are getting around the old gallery system and getting their work out and shown to the public. One of these projects is the Art*O* Mat. run by Clark Whittington. Clark refurbishes old cigarette machines into art vending machines and places them in coffee houses, food markets, galleries, museums, universities, and community centers all over the world. His organization is Aritsts in Cellophane. He places art in the community and gives back to artists and the community. To find out more and to learn how to participate go to the Art* O* Mat website.

Friday, September 4, 2009

End of Summer

I can't believe this weekend is the official end to summer. It went so fast. I remember as a kid, during this time of year, I loved going out and buying new school supplies. I wasn't so excited about school, but having the right trapper keeper helped. The end of summer comes with renewed energy. Everyone is home from vacation, galleries are showing new exhibitions, collaborations are beginning, etc. I am excited about the Fall. It is my favorite time of year. The angle of the light, the cool temperatures, the leaves changing with all the colors, and the cozy early nights. My Artist Mentor series is finished and starting next week I will be going more in depth about art for all by highlighting various artists and projects that are sharing art in non traditional ways, starting an exchange, offering free downloads, etc. To celebrate the Fall this year, I bought new art supplies, even better then a trapper keeper.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Being An Artist


When I was 13 I received my first camera, a Canon AE-1, for Christmas and I was hooked. From then on I knew that art, especially photography, had to be a part of my everyday life. I was lucky. I never had to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always knew I had to be in the arts and I never swayed, not even once. My career is in arts administration. I am not happy unless I am around people creating and/or surrounded by art on the walls. I will always find time to create. I am miserable when I am not creating. Creating is a part of me like one of my organs. Being an artist is who I am. I always have my camera around to capture the shadows on the wall or my sketchbook to capture my latest idea and get it out of my head and on to paper. What about you? Why are you an artist?

Quotes from the Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman


"Most artists do not set out on a career in art trying to become great; their ambition is to make art."

"Roy Liechtenstein, when he first started doing comic-book paintings, said he didn't know what else to do. I just have to do something, so I do something and it might be really stupid, but I just can't think of anything esle to do." - Bruce Nauman

"Why make art? Because I thing there's a child's voice in every artist saying: 'I am here. I am somebody. I made this. Won't you look?'" -Chuck Close

"What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing; you wouldn't become an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought. I am constantly preoccupied with how to remove distance so that we can all come closer together, so that we can all begin to sense we are the same, we are one." -David Hockney

"I think any artist would say that first and foremost they make their work for themselves. Look at the disastrous effects that occur when, for example, a group of marketing executives dilutes a film director's vision, or when a gallerist talks an artist into making something for the market, or the editorial board hacks up a writer's work." -Bill Viola

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Creative Act

Being a creative person can make me feel crazy at times. I have periods of intense creativity, where I can be up all night creating and other times I am feeling frustrated, unsettled to the point where I want to jump out of my skin and wondering if I am really an artist. While reading the Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman, I realized the I am in the company of some very important artists. Creating art is a journey without a map. How do you feel when you are creating and when you are not?

"In 1964, James Lord sat fr Alberto Giacometti for eighteen days while the painter worked on his portrait. Lord took notes and A Giacometti Portrait, which is a record of how an accomplished artist struggles to create art. The creative compulsion is never wholly absent frm him, never leaves him a moment of complete peace."

Subject

I think that subject goes hand in hand with inspiration. Subject matter is what makes an artist an individual. You probably have choosen a subject that other artists have represented, but you will never represent it in the same way. I know that I am inspired by many artists and how they handle a certain subject matter. Lately I have been inspired and influenced by Yellena James. I have been looking at her work and trying some of her elements in my sketches, but my drawings will never look like hers because we are two completely different artists. As a photographer and mixed media artist I am inspired by the ordinary. I know when I have found the right subject matter because it keeps my interest and I feel the need to represent it in various ways. I may change the angle when I create the photograph or I may use the image in my mixed media process. As I grow older and more mature as an artist I have stopped worrying about what other people think about my subject matter or what they are thinking when I am in the moment of taking the photograph. Believe me I have had some strange looks and comments when I am photographing an interesting piece of trash on the ground or a broken window. If it strikes my interest that is all I care about. I am creating art for me and if someone else finds my subject matter interesting then that is just icing on the cake. How important is subject matter? How do you choose your subjects? Why do you choose the subjects that you choose?

The Artist Mentor, Ian Jackman

"So the way an artist sees a subject and express it reveals a great deal about the personality of the artist."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Inspiration


Where do you find inspiration? I look at lots of art magazines, blogs, surfing the web and of course the work of other artists. I also look to nature and the landscape. You can really be inspired by anything because it all depends on the individual.

Check out the following quotes from The Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman. What inspires you?

"The poorest avenue, with its straight leafless saplings, in a flat dull horizon, says as much to the imagination as the most spectacular view." - Eugene Delacroix

"With the advent of abstraction in art, though, the place of nature as the main source of inspiration was reduced. The way the artist looked at the world changed. The manner of looking rather than what was represented became more significant. The inspiration is created within the artist rather than solely radiating from nature and the tables are turned, allowing an artist to dictate the terms on which nature is seen."

"Inspiration is one of the ingredients that makes any art work. You can carve out the time to work and settle in front of your canvas and just not feel it. Or you might spend years struggling with technique but be bursting with ideas you can't execute. To give themselves the best chance, the artist has to work at preparing to be receptive to inspiration."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Taste


Who decides what is art? What is good or bad? Is it teachers, peers, critics, dealers or curators?
It is all based on individual taste. Bottom line is you either like it or you don't. You can listen to all the above people but that does not mean you have to agree with them. I will use the views of a critic or curator as a guide to an artist's creations, but I will not let them decide if it is good or bad. If I want to see an exhibition by a particular artist I will go, bad review or not. You should never let someone else decide for you if art is good or bad. You need to make a decision as a viewer based on your experiences and senses if it is good or bad. As an artist you may ask yourself, Who are you creating for? Better yet, if you have an audience for your work, does it matter what anyone says?

The Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman

"Art which is accessible to the masses is often regarded as not worthy of inclusion when the people choosing for galleries prefer old masters or cutting-edge contemporary. Should a public gallery give the public what they want or what the directors want to give them? There are two art worlds: the popular one which anyone can understand, and the academic one controlled by relatively few people. The latter has a very different approach and tries to be sensational for the sake of it." - Tom Hewlett, Britain Gallery Owner

Monday, August 3, 2009

Art for Art's Sake


When I was an undergrad in art school, professors were always asking, What is this image about? What were you thinking when you created this image? I felt at times they read too much into an image. I thought, Can't I take a photograph just to take the image? I use to question my ability as an artist because my images didn't always have hidden meetings. I kept thinking Why can't I create just to create? Isn't my intention to create enough? I have started to realize that no matter what my reasons are for creating an image, the viewer will always put their own twist on the meaning of it based on their own emotions and experiences. The more I think about this the more excited I get about creating. I realize that my images are not not finished when I am finished with them. They continue by becoming a collaboration between viewer and artist.

Quotes to think about from the book The Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman.

"The artist is certainly under no obligation to explain what he is doing, even if he can. Meaning is not the responsibility of the artist. When asked, some artists will happily discuss their intentions, while others claim they have none, or say they don't know what they are. Each work of art is what it is, and beyond that any position artists care to take about with it means is valid."

"In one case, I have cut off a flying milkmaid's head, and it is coming along in the air behind her, I didn't do it because I have anything I wanted to say about milkmaids; I did it because I needed to fill up that space in the picture where you now see the head." - Marc Chagall

"As the chapter on artistic intention demonstrates, if you've created something, you can only answer for your part in the process-what you put in. What others choose to take out is up to them."

"You don't have to justify what you are doing. But if you want to, you can offer an explanation."

"A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it is finished, it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. A picture lives a life like a living creature, undergoing the changes imposed on us by our life from day to day. This is natural enough, as the picture lives only through the man who is looking at it." - Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Artist Mentor


I finished the book The Artist Mentor by Ian Jackman and it was just the book I needed at this time in my career. I wrote in a previous post about Technique and there is so much more addressed in this book that I decided to base a few posts on what I read. I knew I wasn't alone in my thinking about creativity and art, but I had no idea I was in the company of so many artists.
I will be writing about Art for Art's Sake, Taste, Inspiration, Subjects, The Creative Act, Being an Artist and Art for All. I would love to begin a dialogue about these subjects. If you would like to comment clink on the comment link at the bottom of the post.

Surroundings






My apartment is my own world that I have created for myself. I am preparing to move in a few months to create another world. I have been here for three years and I take my camera out often to create images of what I look at everyday. The objects tend to look different each day due to the effects of the light outside. Last night the light was perfect to take a few images of my living room and bedroom windows. No matter where I live I have to have lots of light, it is my biggest requirement. Without it I am miserable. Because I love the light so much I create lots of images of it hitting my objects. Last night I became obsessed with my windows, blinds and curtains. The light changed so fast, I couldn't put my camera down. I was in a zone. Getting in the zone is such a high for me. As I become a more mature photographer I realize that I don't have to travel to exotic places to find interesting subject matter. I don't even have to leave the comforts of my apartment to create interesting and beautiful images. Of course I am not opposed to traveling to exotic or new destinations, but I bet if you look around your own surroundings you will find fantastic light, ready made still lifes and various shapes to photograph, draw or paint until you can hop a plane. You may surprise yourself at what you find.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Technique

I have been reading a book titled, The Artist's Mentor written by Ian Jackman. The book is filled with quotes from famous artists about creativity. I just finished the chapter about technique and Jackman posed an interesting question: "How does technique affect creativity? I started thinking about my own technique with different projects and how my technique changes with how I am feeling at the very moment. If I am not happy with my material or the way I placed it on the canvas or how I used a different photography technique I lose interest and my creative momentum. Sometimes just for an hour or two, sometimes for a week or longer. I have to find a technique that works for me or what I am trying to express. Some artists can work through this, but I find that I just stop and need to re-group. During these times I wonder if I am a real artist and if I really know what I am doing. Maybe I should just quit. I found out that I am not alone in this thinking.

"Around 1883 a sort of break occurred in my work. I had gone to the end of impressionism and I was reaching the conclusion that I didn't know how either to paint of draw. In a word, I was at a dead end." - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Instead of doubting myself, I am trying to realize that this is part of the process and that I need to work through it. I have found that if I keep working through a technique that might not be working for me I discover new things even if the final result is a disaster. Technique plays a huge part of my creative process. It is part of my experimentation. What about you? How does technique affect your creative process?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Doodles


In September 2008 I was laid off from my full time job as a Director of Education at a local arts organization. Since then I have been looking for a full time job as an arts administrator all over the country from LA to New York. In the meantime to stretch out that unemployment money I work part time in the mornings as a cashier at our local Giant Grocery Store. Everyone takes a turn being a cashier in the Cafe Carry Out section and in the mornings it can be very slow. Today was my day for carry out and to pass the time, I decided to doodle what was around me. The carry out section is right next to the produce section and that is what I was looking at and thinking about. So I know my perspective is way off, but I really enjoy these doodles, even the odd perspective.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Storms

video video

I love a good thunderstorm. In 2002 I spent a month in New Mexico and saw incredible thunderstorms. I sat on a rooftop and watched a storm come in. You could see the lighting for miles. One of my dreams as a photographer is to storm chase. I have always been fascinated by storms and tornadoes. I realize that they cause destruction and I have to find a way to deal with that in my photography, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to witness this force of nature. In 2006 I filmed a storm with my digital image camera from my second story apartment kitchen window. The camera does not record sound so the music you hear is Counting Crows, Raining in Baltimore. The storm I filmed from last night is from the Flip Video that Ben gave me for Christmas. It captured the sound of the rain and the thunder. I walked all over the apartment to get different angles. I hope you enjoy them both!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moving


In October my boyfriend, Ben and I are moving from a one bedroom apartment to a house. We are excited about the move. It means we will have lots more room and I will have my own studio. I hate packing though. Being an artist, as many artists and people who live with artists know, we keep lots of stuff. We are collectors of many things. I am finding lots of stuff I forgot I had. Materials that I am now thinking about how I can use them. I won't be able to do much painting for the next few months, so I will be sketching, photographing and doing some small paper books. I keep thinking about how great my own space is going to be. A space all my own that isn't in a basement or just a table that I have to keep taking down if we have company. Not that we have lots of company in our small space. I love this apartment and I will miss it. It was a great transition for me when I got a divorced three years ago. But now I am ready for a new adventure. A house where we can have friends over and keep my art space as messy as I want and just close the door. As you can see Jake is keeping his eye on the packing. On to bigger and better things!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time

I have been thinking about time. Time that is passing by, being in the present time, and time that has yet to come. I often daydream what other events are occurring in the world the same time I am sitting on my couch. I will see an event that happened on the nightly news and think....I was doing this when that happened. I find time an interesting concept. The following artist statement makes me think I am not alone in thinking about the concept of time.

"Every day events transpire of which we are not aware. Our awareness of time is only relative to what we see about us. We get up in the morning with our minds only on a shower to wake up, the homework we didn't do, or the cup of coffee that is going to get us through the day. We give no thought to the lovers who just met, the old man who finally passed away, or the baby girl just born. In one instant, an infinite number of events occur. Most are a mystery; the few we recognize enrich our lives." - John Hernandez Time/Motion


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!

It is my belief that art cannot be created in a vacuum. Artists need to collaborate and teach the benefits of being creative. It doesn't always have to be about the final product. It is important and beneficial to experience the process of creating.

Art and creating need to be more accessible and affordable to the public. The Do It Yourself (DIY) movement and its artist have known this all along. Art does not just have to be shown in galleries or museums. It can be found at fairs, in restaurants and on the walls of a city.

It is my intention with this blog to explore the creative process with a flow of ideas, highlighting other blogs, and introducing artists and their projects. I want to collaborate with other artists, host exchanges and curate exhibitions.

"Art must come down to the individual; what stirs your soul, what moves your spirit, what ignites your passion?"
- Durandal

I want to know. Drop me an e-mail!