Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And now - for paintings TOTALLY Different - Figure studies

Painting-a -day Goddess Series No. 11
Acrylic on gessoed paper 6x4"
My usual subject matter of course is Landscapes. But every once in a while for a good reason we need to break out of the boxes we paint ourselves into.. no pun intended!
I started the Goddess series in response to the recent death of my dear friend and fellow artist Ann Aves Martin. As full figured women who struggled with weight issues all our lives, she and I often referred to the fertility goddess figures of other cultures and the images of beauty held by other cultures as opposed to the movie star driven/ magazine/ runway anorexic culture most of America has been force fed. My images are not created to insist that I am more beautiful because of having some meat on my bones... but instead to encourage each of us to be who and what and how we are and find the beauty in ourselves. Bodies are NOT perfect often. But that makes them no less miraculous.
Last year I took a class called "Training for Success". It was offered by Empowered Women International ( a really wonderful group located in Alexandria Virginia that focuses on empowering women artist to develop their entrepreneurial skills and approach their art as a business. Directed by powerhouse Marga Fripp, in the 9 week class I learned a great deal about portfolio building, presentation, photography, marketing, how the gallery system works, what a curators real job is and much much more. I met Myrtis Bedolla of Creative Artisans, who took me on a s a client and further pushed my growth as both an artist and a human being. Because of the things I learned in this class and the follow up, I have had 11 group and solo shows in the last year, with the more major ones this fall. I have been juried into a number of competitions and even taken a few prizes. I am moving into marketing my work in the retail and wholesale market as well.
This group is doing a wonderful service primarily teaching immigrant women and some local American women as well the skills needed to go into business to support ourselves as artists. Many of these women may have only rudimentary knowledge of English as a language. Some of them hold higher learning degrees in their own countries of origin but no longer live in their native countries for various reasons and can not support themselves here in their old professions. Many are women who are gifted with skills in the arts and crafts movement, but have no idea of the American art and craft system. ( a 14 billion dollar a year industry.) Through this class, "Training for Success", which is offered every Spring and Fall women learn their options. They learn to approach the art world as a professional and how to build a life for themselves based on their talent, creativity and sense of self and pride in who they are.
I am currently dedicating 100% of all sales of the "Goddess series" Paintings in the 11x14" size (any color combinations you choose) as a fund raiser for this wonderful non-profit to continue the work they are building on!
Til next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love!