Happy New Year!
I hope all of you had a great holiday season. This is just a quick update on some new developments, recent paintings and upcoming shows that I am excited to share with everyone.
I can happily say that 2015 was a very productive year for my artwork and personal development. Over the past 52 weeks I created 65 paintings, which is really hard to believe. Most of these paintings were for exhibition opportunities but over 20 were for private and public commissions. Thank you to everyone who either commissioned me to create something unique for you as well as to all who purchased a painting or print at one of my art shows or through my website.
I took a huge leap of faith a year ago when I decided to quit my full-time job in order to focus on my art career and follow my dream. Being an artist is extremely difficult. Very few professions require so much work with so little pay. But I am not doing this for the money, I am doing this because it is my passion and what I believe I was put on this earth to do.
With all that being said, I can't do any of this without the support I receive from people like you. I recently added a "Donate" button here on my website. Many of you have expressed interest in purchasing my work but are not quite ready to make a large investment. The Donate button, powered through PayPal, allows anyone to contribute to my art career through any size donation which directly helps me continue to purchase art supplies, create promotional materials, take inspirational trips to art museums and, most importantly, to have the freedom of creating new work while striving to constantly improve. I would love if you would please consider making a contribution as we all begin 2016.
Another exciting thing that recently occurred is my new partnership with French clothing company, JVGBD, who are now printing all-over shirts, tank tops, skirts, scarves, etc. using my artwork for their design. I am excited to see my work turned in to wearable art and the quality of JVGBD's garments make me confident that it is the right company to work with. More designs of my paintings are being developed and should be online in the next couple of weeks.
This past year also saw an active exhibition schedule. I was able to participate in 7 shows, 4 of which were solo exhibitions and I even had the opportunity of curating a show at The Attic Gallery in Fountain Square in Indianapolis. 2016 is going to be another busy exhibition schedule with my work being exhibited throughout Denver. I currently have paintings on display at Allure Salon, Watercourse Foods and Black Shirt Brewing Co. I will have my largest solo exhibition in February at Infinite Monkey Theorem here in Denver which will allow me the awesome chance to show close to 30 paintings that were created in the past 12 months. I am scheduled to have a solo exhibition at The Evansville Museum of Art in Indiana in November and a few other things that I am working on but not ready to make public. I will definitely keep everyone posted.
Again, thank you for your support and encouragement as I continue to pursue my dream. I have updated my website with several new paintings but want to include my most recent one's below.
Denver is incredible…it really is. When Sarah and I arrived here 6 weeks ago, all we wanted to do was explore the outdoors. We went on so many hikes and day-trip adventures just so we could take it all in.
Earlier this month I participated in my first, First Friday by displaying some of my paintings at Red Wolf Gallery off Santa Fe Street. Red Wolf is a shared space with room for a few artist’s studios but mainly it is a space to display local artist’s work. So many people filled the dozens of galleries in the Santa Fe Arts District where there were literally hundreds of artists displaying work or performing music and dance. It was wild and encouraging. I’ll continue to show work at Red Wolf in November and hopefully other times in the future.
I also want to let everyone know that I am now scheduling commissions for the upcoming holidays. If there has been someone that you would like for me to paint, please contact me sooner than later. Currently I can promise a 2-week turnaround but once the season gets closer I will continue to get busier. I’ve had people hire me to paint their children or pets, even couple’s portraits or celebrities. It’s always a fun opportunity to work on projects like these for people and now that I am offering free shipping within the US on most size canvases, now is a pretty great time to have me paint something unique for you or for someone you know. Please email me with any questions you may have or simply visit the “Commissions” page on my website where you can find price and size options as well as examples and testimonials from previous customers.
Lastly, I want to update everyone about what I am currently working on. I have been taking photos of people living in Denver who are doing some pretty cool shit and I will be painting their portraits as a “Welcome to Denver” series. I will be focusing on local artists, chefs, musicians, growers, etc. With close to 1,000 new people moving to this city each month, few people I’ve met are actually from Denver but have decided to make the move in recent years and months. I want to know and share their stories through my portrait painting. My goal is to complete the series this winter and have a show next spring. I am scouting possible venues now and will keep everyone updated as the new work develops.
Thank you to all who take the time to read these random and spontaneous blog posts. I would love to hear from any of you on social media and if you haven’t followed me yet on Instagram or Twitter, please do. I also have my own art page on Facebook that you can find here.
I can never seem to find the time to write. I don't get how active bloggers do it. I applaud those that post new entries once a week or even more. That takes dedication and inspiration and I suppose I put those two things into other areas of my life. So, with that being said, this blog is to inform everyone of my upcoming and final solo exhibition this Friday, July 10 at 3 Mass Gallery in Indianapolis.
The show is titled "Peacekey Wheeskey" which is my sad-ass Midwestern attempt of paying homage to my favorite rappers, Outkast. It's also a chance for me to say "peacekey wheeskey" to Indy, for now.
For this show I decided to team up with some of the performers of the upcoming hip-hop festival taking place later this summer in Indianapolis. The festival is titled "Chreece" which could possibly be one of the greatest mash-up of words around. I reached out to four of the musicians performing and asked if I could paint their portraits. I am inspired by Indy's local hip-hop scene and I believe that what these guys are doing is important and crucial for this city. I appreciate their overall aesthetic and wanted to give back in the best way I know how. Most people don't realize that we have so many talented musicians and performers living and working here. Also, if you haven't purchased your tix for Chreece yet, get up and do it dammit.
Below is more info about the four guys I decided to paint along with their portraits and some of my favorite videos they've put out:
Oreo Jones -
Well here we go. Sarah and I will be leaving Indy and will be moving to Denver in the next several months to begin the next chapter of our lives. Indy has been my home for all of my life and it will be hard to leave but both of us are excited to see what Colorado has to offer.
Over the past several years I have produced over 150 paintings and drawings and have had the fortune of displaying these around the city for many people to see as well as to purchase. Of course it is my goal and hope to continue moving forward with my same energy and passion in order to make Denver my new home as well as my new area of artistic discovery. I have always wanted to challenge myself to improve my painting and drawing ability and I believe that leaving Indy behind will force me to continue to grow and expand what I am currently focused on. Hell, who knows, I may even start painting landscapes. You just never know.
The rest of my time in Indy will be spent with two upcoming solo exhibitions. The first taking place this Friday, May 1 at Indy Reads Books at the North end of Mass. Ave. I will be displaying 6 brand new paintings as well as drawings and paintings from previous series. In July I will be having my farewell exhibition at 3Mass Gallery. This show will contain new work as well.
Thank you to everyone that has helped support my dream of being a full-time artist. This isn't an easy profession and it is more competitive than most people can imagine. But without your support and willingness to encourage local artists, I could have never been able to make this happen. Also, if anyone has someone in Denver that they think I should meet or connect with, please send me a message and let me know. I am going there not knowing too many people and would love to start forming new relationships immediately.
Indianapolis is on a strong road moving forward and I believe that most of the people that I interact with would tell you the same. I am happy to have left my mark, however small, on this city and am looking forward to making a new presence in a new beautiful environment.
Anyone interested in purchasing the paintings I still have should email me at email@example.com or fill out the contact form on my website. I am also currently taking on new commissions for May and June. Please contact me to learn more about my commission process as well as pricing options.
Keep it real Indy.
Well here it is. This Friday is the opening artist reception for my recent collection of paintings and I couldn't be more excited and scared. This series of paintings have really challenged me as an artist, growing my style and expanding my direction for what will come next. Leaving my full-time job in order to make this series into a reality was not only necessary but also crucial in forcing me to "feel the pressure" without succumbing to it.
So today I take all 17 paintings out of their current home (my basement studio) and load them in to a U-Haul and transport them to Gallery 924 for installation. I was interviewed by Pattern Magazine last week to discuss my process and explain this series and the interviewer suggested that I really embrace the significance of all of the paintings being hung in my studio together for the last time. After all, this is where they were all created. This is the spot where the first painting started and where touch-ups were being done just yesterday. This is where the series evolved and changed and took on a life of it's own. And now the studio walls are going to be empty and bare. Signs that something was created in the space are evident with the splattered paint on the floor and walls along with the dozens of paint cans and brushes scattered throughout. However, the room will never really be the same. Perhaps I am sentimentalizing too much but there is something special and almost sacred knowing that this series of paintings were all created together and will remain intact through the month of March before they find new homes and walls to hang.
I am quite proud of this series and invite you to attend the opening reception this Friday, March 6 from 6pm-9pm at Gallery 924 of The Arts Council of Indianapolis. More information can be found here.
Just to recap, this blog is my space to share my experiences in becoming a full-time artist. Two weeks ago I quit my job working as a publicist at a local marketing/ad agency in order to follow and pursue this dream of mine.
Right now my energy and time are focused on my upcoming solo-exhibition in March at the Indianapolis Arts Council's Gallery 924. For this series I am painting portraits of American Apparel models taken from their ads and their photoshoots. There will be a total of 19 paintings with a few drawings as well. It's interesting and exciting to be able to really lose myself in a project like this. Last week was very productive and now that I picked up a fresh batch of supplies, I am eager to get down in my studio and spend my birthday creating.
That's right, it's my birthday. And it turns out that I share my birthday with some pretty notable people, such as - Ellen Degeneres, Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Sandusky and Paul, the Octupus.
In other news, this Spring is shaping up to be pretty full. In addition to the show in March, I will be displaying paintings at Invoke Studio beginning April 10 and they will hang through June. I will also be hosting a one-night, small, group exhibition in The Attic on the 3rd floor of the Murphy Building in Fountain Square for April's First Friday. More info for all of these to come.
Well here it is, the day I have been waiting for since graduating college nearly 8 years ago. I recently made the decision to quit my job and focus solely on my career as a professional artist. The decision wasn't the easiest but it was something I had to do at this point in my life. So, two weeks ago I walked into my boss's office and explained to him what I was doing. I told him "thank you for everything" and truly meant it. I used expressions like, "I need to chase my dream" and, "if not now, then when?". We shook hands and the last two weeks whizzed by like a whirlwind. It's always surreal when one gets senioritus - a condition anyone who has ever graduated high school knows about. It's a sensation when you can see the end of one era in sight and you can faintly catch a glimmer of what's next. It's always hard to make out the "what's next" but it typically provides an overwhelming sense of optimism and hope.
That's where I sit today. This morning I sit on the edge of optimism and hope. Of course directly behind me is fear and doubt. But I am not listening to those damn voices because they never get you anywhere. This blog is my attempt of capturing my experience leaving my well-paying and secure job in order to pursue what I believe I was put on this earth to do.
So, back to day 1."What are you going to do first?". I am finally getting to all the things that I had to put off for so long. Consistent and up-to-date social media marketing, buying a laptop that I can call my own, creating new paintings for my solo exhibition in March (6 weeks away!) while trying to also obtain commissions and print sales in order to bring in some income. I've made lists of all the shit that I need to do and I am going to cross them off one-at-a-time.