Switching Gears Toward Art Prize

No rest for the wicked! I have a bear of an Art Prize piece to finish, so, I've hit the ground running with a new eye drawing (upper left, below). I haven't posted many of these to my newsfeed, so, here's a little gallery of all eleven that I have done, so far. I'm hoping to complete 100 when the proverbial fat lady sings:

Ann Arbor Art Fair Wrap-Up!

Welp, my first Ann Arbor Art Fair is complete and all I can say is: "PHEW! Whatta ride!" From the weather (heat, storms, wind) to the people from all walks of life ("My daughter won't stop talking about you after visiting yesterday, so we're back again today!"), it was a life-changing adventure. 

I was part of the original art fair that spans N. University, Washington, and the "Mall" - I was told by several patrons that it was the part of the Art Fair that was "most elite" and "hardest to get into" and that I should feel very honored to have gotten in on my first try. Of course I felt that way! 

I had neighbors from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota... everywhere! It quickly became apparent that my being "a local" was rare and maybe... an asset? So, I mentioned it when it made sense to do so.

Did I sell? Yes! Did I sell "a ton"? No? I don't think so? How does one measure that amount... I suspect it's highly individualized. Lemme 'splain: I sell tiny paintings that take me an hour to create* - my overhead was low for this show. I had the entry fee and the tent/table rentals sure, but I didn't travel or stay in hotel... I wasn't selling fragile and challenging-to-transport sculpture or glass... I could carry my work in my backpack (literally). 

I made a little more than my expenses, so, I consider that a success! Also, I really believe this experience helped put my face and work in front of my local audience again... and repetition hopefully breeds memory which will lead to commissions, sales, opportunities, down the line. Someone remembered me from ArtPrize last fall, for example! I think that's huge!

My square Moo business cards were a hit, as was my live demo that I signed up to do for the Fair; I got a (surprise) small honorarium for it as well! I forget how much I love teaching until I do it. This was no exception as I showed a handful of folks how to paint some coffee beans, beneath the shadow of Hill Auditorium (!). Magnus helped me paint up some decorative rocks (see picture in the slideshow) and I put up a small sign saying as much - that got a lot of notice too. I think folks appreciated my approachability? At least I hope so.

I learned so much - the first thing being that I need to up my booth game! I saw some amazing displays and took a million notes/pictures so I can now plan for next time. It was my first time, a learning experience - I hope the A2 folks understand that and give me another go next summer. Lastly, I will edit the pieces I bring - stay on a theme, be more choose-y. Frame more... etc. etc.

There were dance parties amongst the artisans, art swaps, tips and advice, electricity shares, chats, hugs, runs to the A/C'd Michigan League building, Italian Ices, and a shared experience unlike anything I've ever had - I want to do it again! 

PS: There are some new paintings in that slideshow up there! I passed the time (total hours: 40) painting, of course!

*most of the pieces are this way... some are more involved, of course!

My Q&A with YpsiReal!

I'm so happy that I got to talk to Ypsi Real (part of the Ypsilanti Convention and Visitor's Bureau) about my experience as an artist in my town, Ypsilanti, Michigan. How nice was it for them to ask me?? It's quite something to be thought of as worthy to represent where you live! Also, getting my work in front of people is SO important as a fine artist. It's especially gratifying when part of one's work revolves around residents of where you live (i.e., the derby portraits)! Thank you to YR and Michael Moriarty for the opportunity!

Take a read, here (click the image):

Coffee-Stained Goodness with More to Come!

Having fun with these new watercolors created on coffee-stained paper. I have two small pieces left - what will I paint next?? Stay tuned!

Take a Virtual Spin Around My 1st Solo Show!

Click on HERE to view the panorama above in 360 degrees (you may need to click the image to make it rotate)!

BIG thanks to Katrina (the gallery's curator) and my dear friend Rob for all of the help making this a reality - there's no way it would've happened without you! 

Wanna see these in person? The show (A Bout Face) opens tomorrow, 5/6, at 5pm (until ?pm) at Lansing, MI's MICA Gallery in Old Town (visit the FB Event or the gallery's website for more information). The whole thing will be on display until the end of June.

**If you stop in, please sign the guestbook under my self-portrait so I know you came!

PS: Is this a dream??! EXCITE!

The New Derby Portraits are Done! Time to Hang Them!

Dreamy McTranspants, 22 x 30", 2016
Carbon dust, white chalk & roller skate dirt

Dreamy is done! Hooray! 

Now it's off to Lansing tonight to hang 'A Bout Face' at the MICA gallery in Old Town! This is my first solo show and I'm really, really thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully, this will go really well and even more opportunities are right around the corner!  #projectjustanartist

Derby Portraits: Momo is Done!

Momo Cat, 2016, 22 x 30"
Carbon Dust, white chalk & roller skate dirt

Another roller derby portrait is in the books! One more to finish tomorrow and I'll be all set to hang my (first solo!) show on Wednesday @ MICA in Lansing! The show opens this Friday!

Derby Portraits: Fracture Mechanics is Done!

Fracture Mechanics, carbon dust, white chalk, roller skate dirt
2016, 22 x 30"

Less than a week before my show opening in Lansing @ MICA! If you're nearby, please come and see these in person! 

Derby Portraits: Kat is Complete!

Kat Smash, 2016, carbon dust, white chalk & roller skate dirt, 22 x 30"

If you want to see it in person and are near Lansing, MI, it will be hanging in my first solo show starting a week from today (May 6th) until July 2nd - visit this MICA FB event for more details!

Third Eye Drawing - Experiments That Worked!

Pencil, Sharpie & ball point pen

Pencil, Sharpie & ball point pen

So, I was really keen to work on a non-caucasian skin tone AND eye shape, so here we are! I toned the paper first and "built" the portrait on top (with some erasing). As I was working, I realized that my pencil arsenal did not have the range to get the deep darks I wanted (sorry, 4B).

So, what did I do? I gingerly grabbed a sharpie and filled in the iris and pupil. Then, I got a black Bic pen and enhanced the skin folds - it gave a nice depth of tone that wasn't as bold as the sharpie, but darker than the pencils. At the end, I REALLY pressed my luck and used Sharpie veeeeeery lightly in the upper eye creases and the corners of the eye.

So, what do you think? I'm calling it a great first try... for now. :)