I haven’t painted in oils in a long time and wanted to try it again. I took a 10-week online class in Octobver & November with Art Mentors called Narrative Long Pose Figure Painting with Joseph Todorovitch.
It is not for beginners, but it was really informative and helped me with the methodical process of building a painting. Oil painting is fun but it is a process and a time investment. He is really great and talks you through the paint process in real time.
This painting took about 30 hours. I may add a little more paint to round her out a bit more and breathe more life into her. Though we used Salome as our theme, I wanted to make it more of a memento mori, since that is where my head is at right now. I am moving on to other still life and portraits to get more practice in first. After painting for a while I started to remember the way I used to paint but I also learned some new things from taking his class. It is so great to be able to paint for hours at a time and have something to show for it!
I had learned a lot about materials, building stretchers, stretching and prepping canvas, mixing colors and subject matter, etc. from art school. Now there are so many instructional videos online anyone can take advantage of this knowledge. I recommend working with an instructor if you can and get feedback. I will be posting up some old work, I just need to get some of my slides digitized. Remember slides?
As a freelancer with an arts background, what did I do for a living? I have designed logos, worked at startups, worked at a high volume print shop downtown, worked with creative directors, restaurant and club owners, interior designers, event managers, and small business owners. I’ve painted on ceramics for minimum wage and was an occasional Peachy’s Puffs cigarette girl. I’ve worked on vlogs, music videos, independent films, social media and have designed several websites and advertising materials. In art school I worked in Student Services doing administrative tasks and sorting the mail. When I graduated from art school, everything went digital. I had to teach myself the tools. I learned a lot from working with a graphic artist at a print shop in the financial district. It is difficult to survive as an artist in San Francisco. Over the years, rents have skyrocketed and many artists were evicted. Freelancing was not enough to get by, and I had to pay my student loans. I spent several years moving around doing odd jobs and trying to find a place to live and work. I did unrelated jobs in bars and retail. You can learn a lot about starting your own business by working for other small businesses in any capacity. I finally found work in the environmental industry, and it was a relief to have a steady paycheck and health insurance. I have been working for over a decade doing that. My student loans were finally paid off. We are all dancing on a tightrope! As long as I can incorporate my passion somewhere into my life, then it feels right. I’ve been drawing since I was a little girl. I’ve invested so much of my time and money into my art education, it only makes sense to keep going.
Last night, I attended City Art Gallery‘s 20th Anniversary. I’ve always enjoyed popping in and checking out their art over the years. There is so much art in there, it’s overwhelming! I used to live in the Mission and vaguely remember the grand opening. I can’t remember how, but I managed to get in to the first show. It was a warm, summer night, and I invited all my friends. We had the best time. The organizers arranged a great performance of flagdancing. The gallery was full and overflowing onto the sidewalk, which was filled with smiling faces. Good to see it’s still going strong today.
Thanks so much for visiting my Open Studio during Weekend 1 of SF Open Studios in the Western Addition! It was great to connect with people and see what work resonates with them. I love sharing my inspiration! I look forward to doing this again and visiting artists’ studios over the next few weekends! I’ll be offering up some discounts in my shop soon so subscribe to the mailing list and stay tuned!
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Here is a sneak peek at my studio, which will be open October 13th and 14th in the Western Addition. I’ve enjoyed seeing and collecting art from local artists over the years, and this is my first time participating in SF Open Studios! When you surround yourself with art, you get inspired. It lives with you and becomes a part of you.
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I’m finally at that place where I have some art work to share and so I signed up for SF Open Studios Oct 13-14! I will have original acrylic paintings, watercolor paintings, giclee prints, and postcards for sale. Stay tuned! Some of my prints are available through Daylighted through the month of September.
July was World Watercolor Month, to raise awareness and funds for art education. The idea is to paint everyday and share on instagram with #WorldWatercolorMonth. It was fun yet challenging. There were prompts of what you could paint but I didn’t follow them. It does help to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. I tried painting fur, feathers and other textures, which was delightful. Instead of doing a theme, I went all over the place with landscapes, cityscapes, still life, nature, pet portraits, & abstract. I filled up two sketchbooks and also tried new materials, such as the liquid watercolor and painting with absorbent ground on canvas. There are a lot of artists on instagram and I enjoy browsing through art there. It has helped me with my motivation. A great use of social media!
One of my watercolors was accepted as a donation for the Hospitality House Annual Silent Art Auction. For over a year I have been volunteering with the Homeless in Tenderloin and South of Market, and have met some of their residents, very nice people. The program provides free access to art materials and space for anyone to create.