As many of you know, I pay my own way 95% of the time for art related professional development. I fund my PD from the sales of my artwork. In the summer of 2019, I am planning on going back to Boston for a week-long intensive for the TAB institute.
I have a hefty ceramics inventory at the moment and would like for you to have some of it. I am planning on using the proceeds from this auction to go towards my trip/PD.
From July 20th through the 27th, come and bid on ceramic pieces that you would like to own. Prices start at anywhere from 30-35% off original prices. Some pieces are decorative, while others are functional. When the auction closes at midnight on the 27th, the person with the highest bid wins that piece. If you are not in the local area or can't arrange pick-up with me, please note there will be a $5 shipping and handling surcharge.
I hope to "see" you there.
On December 2nd, MissJayBar Art will have a booth at the NYOS (Not Your Ordinary School) Holiday Bazaar. This is the first time NYOS is holding a holiday bazaar. I am excited to be a part of this fundraising effort on behalf of my children't school. The bazaar will also have an auction, to which I have donated 2 ceramic items.
My booth will only showcase my ceramic work. But, there will be a wide variety of both decorative and functional pieces. I hope you will stop by and purchase some art. Ceramics make a wonderful gift for loved ones, or for yourself. ;)
Here are the pieces up for auction. Click HERE to bid on a piece. Please note, NYOS will not ship items.
A selection of some of the pieces I will be selling.
I'll admit. I am addicted to likes on facebook and instagram. Who these days isn't. It is that fleeting feeling that what you are doing is good. It is that veil that is pulled over your eyes that what you are creating is good. And, maybe it is good. Maybe it has meaning. And then again, maybe it is not good...regardless of the meaning.
I recently read an article where two points in particular stood out to me. The article was a list of 9 things I needed to give up to be a successful artist. Being a successful artist isn't my end goal. I was told that it should be, but that person was a pretentious ass. Not every one that makes art should have fame as an end goal. To me, that isn't the point of art. But I digress. First, my interest was piqued by the point that said I should give up on my "need for praise".
Your job is to say something and to reach someone.
And, maybe that is right. I need to put my phone down and just be content with what I have created. I will always create art. And, excluding the occasional commission piece, it has always been what I wanted, on my terms. So, I conclude I don't need to stop caring what others think, but I need to put that lower down on my list of important things.
But this leads me to the other point in the article that really stuck with me. And that is to give up comparisons. But, the thing is. I don't compare my work to others. I stopped doing that long ago. I had friends at art school who painting styles I would covet, but then I realized at art school that my brain sees things in a certain way, and that is okay. I was not loose like they were. I was tight and detailed. And, that was what made my style mine, and their style theirs. Over the years, I have worked to loosed up, but you can still find that sense of realism in there that I just can't hide from.
The blog post said I should only compare myself to myself. And, quite frankly, that is hard. And, at times, it sucks. I think it is good to compare your growth over time. Does your skill improve? Do you communicate better now than you have in past works? Have you shown command of your media? But, this is where I am fucking with my own head. How can I compare two pieces without comparing apples to oranges?
I recently have stared a series about the heart. Each individually I like. I do have to admit, one seems stronger, but I am trying to figure out why? Is is the technique, the vibrancy of the colors? For me, both say some very strong things. I think I communicated my message well in both. But something about the second one is throwing me, and it is making me doubt it. I am happy with the execution, and had I painted it first, I don't think I would be having this conversation in my head. I am hoping when I move onto the third one, things will calm down and it will all even out.
Maybe this is part of the process. I tell my students all the time that whatever they are feeling about their work, it's just part of the process. Who knows.
, withIn case you haven't noticed, I like to paint. A lot. And, I don't do it because I want to make money (although that is a bonus and if you look to the right, I do have an Etsy shop. Click it, I dare you. Sorry, shameless plug.) Anyway, I paint because I have a inner desire to create and that arting comes in the form of either working in clay or painting in some form.
Well, if I want to keep creating and keep my inner peace, I need to either get paint over my pieces or sell them. Since most of my pieces have texture on them, it is easier to sell them. And, while my Etsy shop is cool and all, it doesn't get much traffic. That is my fault, I am not a good promoter of my own art shop.
Anyway, I decided that I would have an art auction on my Facebook Page, MissJayBar Art. In about 2 weeks, I will start the auction and let it run for 5 days, July 10-14 (Monday 9am -Friday11:59p ). During that time, people can bid on the painting they are interested in owning. Each painting will have an opening bid. At the end of the auction, the person with the highest bid wins the painting. The cost of shipping (with the exception of 2 paintings that are very large and would be easiest if they could stay local) if the person is not an Austin local will be covered by me.
I have never done this before, but I am looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will create some new fans of my work, and maybe also drum up some business for my Etsy shop. Who knows.
Here are the paintings that will be included in the Auction. For size information, go here, to the paintings page. In about a week I will preview the pieces again on my Facebook page, with their opening bid prices. Hope to see you at the auction.
One day, as I was driving to work, a song came on the radio...I think it was by Lisa Marie Presley...and an image popped into my head. I had to get it down. So, I found a piece of a paper bag, grabbed a pencil out of my bag,and I frantically scribbled at every red light to get my idea down so I wouldn't forget.
When I arrived at school I grabbed my sketchbook and drew out my image with more clarity and detail. I was pleased and thought I was done with the image.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to take my sketch and bring it life. I happened upon a sale at Michael's and bought a large canvas that I knew would be just perfect. I was right...24x36 was perfect.
i finally found some time when we had a day off from school. It was a much needed escape from the exhaustian that school has brought.
I laid down the background; then after a while, I came back to add the birds. I had developed a style of birds using multiple colors and a palette knife to create a loose and layered stroke, thick with impasto. They would be great for this image. When it came to the hand, I wanted it in the same style as the birds. I'm gonna admit, it wasn't easy, but I am pleased with the outcome.
This morning I had some time to finish up my painting. I am super happy with the finished piece. It is simple, but it speaks volumes. I hope you like it too.
I have found a new creative happy place. I recently started to practice throwing larger and different types of forms on the potter's wheel at school. But, once I threw the piece, I didn't know what to do with it. What was I supposed to do with a ton of new vases. I mean, I could give them away, but still...stand alone they were a bit boring to me and just a way to practice throwing. I could have smushed them and recycled the clay, but that didn't seem right either.
Then it hit me...let me add to the piece. And thus spawned what I am calling "Thrown Pottery With a Twist" You can find my work on my IG account under such hashtags as #MissJayBarArtDoesCeramics and #ThrownPotteryWithATwist. I am addicted to it. I am so much in a creative happy place that when I found a wheel for sale on Craigslist, I hounded the seller and convinced my husband to let me buy it. It was a fabulous day when I became owner of this bad boy.
Now, I've always loved clay. But, I've been a sculptor of clay...not a thrower of clay. I do really enjoy throwing on the wheel--I find it very relaxing. And, lately, I've been practicing a lot and have gotten quite good...or at least I have throwing 3# pieces. It finally hit me one afternoon when admiring an egg shape form I threw that I should combine the two...sculpting and throwing. Thus, my new happy place was found.
It started with some octopus tentacles and has blossomed from there. When I throw, I don't have anything in mind. I don't plan my forms ahead of time...I do what ever my mood directs me to do at the moment. Once the piece is thrown, that's when the fun work begins. That's when I have to figure out what works for the shape I threw...what kind of addition does the piece lend itself to, what does the form beg to become. I really enjoy being on this time crunch to figure these things out too. They clay is only open to accepting additive pieces for so long.
I have been super happy with what I have been creating. Now, if only figuring out glazing made me as happy. ;)
In case you haven't noticed, I really like painting with watercolors on the Golden crackle paste. There is something about the process and the final look that soothes my soul. However, at the moment, I am a little bored with maps. Although, I do plan on coming back to this style of topographical map that inspired this recently.
I have been wanting to try out some other themes lately, and my friend Andris had this photo of him in the desert at Burning Man that had caught my attention quite some time ago. I had been picturing it as a painting, but as an acrylic work. Then it finally dawned on me that it would make a great watercolor painting and that the crackle paste would really enhance the feel I was seeing in my head. I messaged him to get permission to use his photo, and Andris being the kind person he is, said of course.
I began to play around with the photo to get the effect I wanted. I don't have many photo manipulators on my computer, so I had to settle for the photo program that came with my MacBook. It happened to be enough. I played with several different settings and had finally came up with something I liked, But, then I thought, what would this look like if I mirrored it? So I did. And the seed was planted. The original painting that was in my head was changed...and for the better, in my opinion. It said so much more.
I tried to combine how I painted my maps with some more of a free technique that you can create with watercolors. It is not the easiest as the crackle paste does soak up the watercolor quickly. One of the final steps was to add the line work back in. I had images of the black dripping down. But, like I said about the crackle paste soaking up the watercolor, it did the same to the ink--no matter how much I watered it down. So, I had to try something else. I found a method of putting down water first to let the ink bleed some after laying it down. It turned out great, and I was happy with it. At one point, there was something missing, and one of my students helped me to figure that out. I added a little more color to one of the portraits as my final step. I am extremely pleased with the final outcome.
One thing I normally don't write about is the meaning behind the paintings. A great deal of my work focuses on texture and technique. They are not commentaries on some deep issue I am contemplating or larger issues in the world. But, this one is different. When I flipped the image, it began to echo something that had been happening in my life. As I hit midlife, I have found I have been looking inward at the many "selfs" I have or had--trying to figure out who I am and who I want to be. In the painting, it was if the portrait was looking at himself--just like me. One was coming together and one was blowing away. They are similar, but in many ways they are not. There is a balance between the two which gives me comfort when I look at the piece. Maybe you can see it too.
It seems that for the moment, I have found my new "subject" to create. Maps. It didn't start out that way, and maps were never my intention. But, I have come to really love creating them. It has come to be something that means more than I anticipated it would. Something about the maps of different coastlines is inspiring.
I love doing the research. Finding the right coastline/land mass to mimic is important. It has to leave an interesting negative space. But more that an aesthetic thing, it has to make me say "I want to go to there"
Figuring out the colors is an adventure as well. Did you know how beautiful rust could be? I didn't either. It is super colorful if it comes from colored/painted metals to begin with. It can be so much more than brownish reds and oranges. When I discovered images of colorful rust, I fell in love. They made me want to just paint, paint, paint.
One of my favorites parts of the paintings to create are the oceans/waters that surround and cut through the land masses. I love taking the blues and greens and purples on my watercolor palettes and making them become this powerful force and giving them life.
The end result is so satisfying to me. The paintings remind me of a cross between a mosaic and an old map. Perhaps they are mosaics of maps. Sometimes they are hard to create because I do have wanderlust and I can imagine myself hiking and wandering these coastlines and shore lines. I can feel the breeze on my face and smell the water in the air. I guess for now they can curb my appetite to go to there, but one day...
I hope my viewers enjoy them as well. I hope they can see not only the layers of watercolors and the hints of ridges that are physically on the canvas, but also can see themselves lost in these places I am creating.
Fall is in the air, and that means it is time for the Annual Nestie Halloween Photoshoot and Charity Raffle. For the past 2 years I have donated a painting to support the chosen cause. This year's charity is MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station).
So of course, this year will be no different. Last year I let the winner choose the color scheme and type of pod/flower she wanted. While I liked that concept, I am better at just creating than doing commissioned pieces.
I decided to keep with my current style--see the Map Series. I am really liking this style and the possibilities of color combinations I can create. I went a little bigger this time, working on a 20"X20" square canvas. As I was spreading out the crackle paste, I was wishing I had bought that large palette knife that looked like a cake icing spatula I saw when I was in Boston this summer at MassArt.
Anyway, I am super happy with the end result. I wanted something bright, yet soft. I think I captured what I pictured in my head completely. I hope the winner has a good place to hang it. I guess I should go buy some hardware for the back before Sunday. ;)
Take a 14X18 canvas. Paint it black. Spread a layer, not too thick, of Golden Crackle Paste. Let it dry so the magic can happen. Add watercolor. It's that easy. Or is it really.
It started out as a microscopic look at alcohol, but turned out to be much more. A point came in the process where I began to no longer see the cells, but started to see a map. The way the cracks played with the layers of watercolor, it began to remind me of a shoreline. And, depending upon which orientation you held the artwork, you were either coming home from a journey or about to venture out to sea on one.
This prompted what was going to be a 3-piece series on microscopic looks at different alcoholic beverages, to a 5-piece map series. Each canvas started out the same...black acrylic paint, crackle paste, then watercolor. But, with each piece, I grew. With each piece I learned something new.
In No. 2, I experimented with color, but still keeping the soft, pale palette. In No. 3 I experimented with techniques to create a shallow underwater feel. No. 4 brought a second watercolor tray and a more intense color. And finally, No. 5 went in a new direction. I learned how to handle the crackle paste and that the major crack lines will form along the direction lines left by the palette knife. I learned how to create an intense color with both dry and moist watercolor trays. I found that it is "easy" to modify a contour line of a land mass with just some water and a paper towel.
I found inspiration from my Instagram feed. Images from photographers such as National Geographic, David Loftus, Onthere, spencer_raymond, and purposeofenvy provided my imagination with landscapes and color schemes that were food for my mind and creative spirit.
As with many pieces I do, they could be oriented in more than one direction. With lots of looking, and with some help from my facebook friends, I chose which felt most comfortable to look at. I am fascinated that my works does this. I often start with one direction in mind, but as the piece evolves, so does the direction. I am super pleased with my series. I have my favorites, and I am sure you will too. I plan on creating more pieces in this fashion. I really enjoyed creating them.
The Taylor Artist's Guild hold's a show every month at 120Art Studio in Taylor, TX. I had been meaning for months to submit a piece to one of their shows. I finally got around to submitting Collision to their June show, "Out of the Blue". I was surprised and super excited when my piece was accepted. I had never been to a show held by TAG, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
I did have to build a frame for my painting. This was a new thing for me. I am skilled in carpentry, but I have never built a floating frame before. I was impressed with how it turned out and how it changed the feel of the painting.
I went to the opening which happens on the Third Thursday of the month. I was accompanied by some former art students. This was quite the experience. They had never been to a "real" art show before, and I got to hang with some of my favorite students.
All in all, the show was great. My piece was certainly different than the others in the show. I like to think it really stood out from the rest because of this. I hope to show more pieces at this gallery...and many others.
One Day I decided to just play on a small canvas I had just lying around in the studio. I wanted to play with color and to see what other ways I could manipulate the texture medium. I came up with this study.
It sat around in my studio for a few weeks while I worked on a painting for my mom. It began to grow on me. The more I stared at it, the more I enjoyed the energy I had created. It was time to enlarge it. I made the colors a brighter and more opaque. I changed up the texture some. I am pleased with the larger piece. I like what I have learned in the ways of medium manipulation.
I titled the piece "Collision" because I imagine the image representing the capture of that moment in time when two forces meet. I imagine the static and the dust; the highs and lows of the sounds. A collision frozen in time.
I have been meaning to paint something for my mom for who knows how long. The last time I made something for her was almost 12 years ago...as a freshman at UT. I made a charcoal drawing of my dad for her. I had just learned to do portraits. I had hoped to get something done in time for her birthday, but stuff happens, and I didn't. Spring break rolled around, and I finally had some time to create something small for her.
From there I considered my options for painting the pedals. I wanted the softness I could achieve by using watercolor over the texture medium, but I also wanted to make sure I could bring out some of the bright white found in the photo. I did a combination of the two. I mixed a greyed blue for the shadows on the pedals. I had watered down some white acrylic to add some highlights. I was pleased, so I moved on to adding the pistils using Liquitex Blended Fibers medium. I was impatient and wanted the medium to dry so I could add color, but, I stayed strong and gave it time.
I thought the painting was complete, but after staring at it and comparing it to the photos, I though it could use a bit more white. So, I lightly went over the pedals with some straight acrylic paint and I punched up the white. I was super happy. All it needed was to have the edges painted black and my signature.
A few final thoughts on this painting. If you haven't noticed, I tend to work large. This piece is 6"X6". Not large. In fact, it's quite small. It was weird to work so small, but something about it was relaxing. I am not sure if I will work this small again. Perhaps occasionally, but I don't see it becoming a regular thing. I am a bit nervous to send it on to my mom. As I stated earlier, I haven't made anything for her in over 10 years. And, she has never seen my painting work, ever. It is something I started to really get into over the past few years. I hope she likes it.
In my last post I talked about how I had artist block. Well, fortunately for me it didn't last long. I had been looking at what I painted that night and saw many things in the painting; among them was the willow tree. There was one vertical section on the left that gave that vibe to me. The next morning I went about my normal Sunday activity of grocery shopping. While walking down an aisle I spied those decorating tips used for cakes and I was inspired.
In my mind's eye, the willow tree could come to life with those tips. I got home and the moment I had a chance I got to work on figuring out which tip to use. It didn't take long.
This piece is different than my normal pieces. I like to zoom in and really focus on things. In this I stepped back. Also, I normally have a plan and don't just paint the background and see where it takes me. It was a different process for me. In the end, I did keep true to my intent of simplifying the texture to simple repetitive shapes and patterns.
Willow, Acrylic Paint, Watercolor, and Texture Medium on Canvas, 24" X 30", Feb. 2015.
Sometimes I really have the urge to create. I want to make something. What that something is, I just don't know. I have been wanting to create pecan trees in winter. In fact, I have the base all painted on the background. It will be another piece completed with neutrals. But, I just can't bring myself to paint it. I have pictures and everything.
Then there is this other painting I want to create. An acquaintance of mine wants a garden over her bed. And, I've wanted to paint hollyhocks for quite some time now. What a perfect thing to do--to paint Kelly's garden with hollyhocks. Problem is, I just don't have the get up and go to do it.
I am currently sitting in my studio. I've got paint, brushes, canvases, and texture mediums. Yet still I sit here not doing anything. That isn't entirely true. I did just grab a bunch of colors I hadn't ever used and started to lay them down.
But now what. I've got 2 canvases, both with wonderful grounds to work on, but I'm stumped. Is it artist block? Obviously something is blocking me. What is it though? I hate when I get into these periods. It is super frustrating. I feel like I was moving a mile a minute on my artwork, and then Bam! Nothing. I just hope it ends soon.
In case you were wondering what I did tonight, here it is.