Category Archives: writing

The Shower Scene – A Gallery Story

I want to say upfront that this is just one story from my life, and not a commentary on the gallery system as a whole. My personal experience with “traditional” galleries has ranged from lackluster to unethical (and possibly illegal, but I’ll get to that in a second.) I do not believe they’re all like that. I’m very open-minded about galleries. I’ve simply had great success and enjoyment representing myself, and doing so is not a reaction to anything negative as much as it is a belief in doing something positive.

But anyway.

When I was starting out professionally, I heard from a number of people within the local art scene that I was ready for my own show. So I went out and got one. The gallery I’d found was up and coming, an offshoot of a more successful gallery nearby. The owner (we’ll call him Shawn) was an artist himself, and sold a great deal of work, all at higher end prices, with a pretty significant and growing following in the area. He liked my work, and immediately offered me a show. After securing a date, I heard from fellow artists that although his art “was a bit formulaic,” he seemed to be a fantastic businessman. The openings I attended in the months leading up to my show were lively events.

When I arrived at the gallery the morning of my own show to set up, I could sense a weird and unexpected attitude from Shawn. He was cold and unhelpful. He abruptly announced that I couldn’t use blacklights, a fairly integral part of my art, despite seeming enthusiastic about them a few weeks prior. He further informed me that I wouldn’t have access to half the space I was promised, because another artist was using it. When I firmly explained the necessity of the blacklights, he finally told me I could use a small room through a hall and in the back for this purpose.

I was determined to keep a good attitude about things. Continue reading

Loneliness – The Burden of Artists

The Lonesome Road of Artists

Don’t get me wrong — Being a self-employed artist is absolutely the most rewarding and fascinating journey I have ever undertaken. It lights my soul on fire and makes me happier than I ever thought possible. I feel empowered and capable. I absolutely love getting up every morning. I adore my job.

That doesn’t make it any less lonely though.

I’m not talking about the hermit-like lifestyle I lead all day, every day, in order to get work done. I’m talking about the absence of true connection with other people who don’t pursue goals in the same manner.

I’ve met many people who work 9-to-5’s and generally assume that I work very little, and that my daily life consists of TV, napping, and leisure. Somehow, amidst this life of endless stasis, my artwork, marketing, and writings burst forth into the universe simply because I think them into existence.

Whenever I achieve something I’ve been working towards, someone inevitably comments about how “lucky” I am. Ha. Continue reading

Introducing Shayla Maddox – contributing writer

shayla maddox, artist

I met Shayla a while back in early 2008 on Etsy. We quickly become friends and even exchange handmade Christmas balls at Christmas each year with each other. While we have never met in real life, she is as dear to me as the friends I have in real life. And above that, she understands what it’s like to work online and be self employed in the fine art and illustration business. She is a beautiful person inside and out.

shayla maddox, light reactive painting, acrylic

Shayla lives with her husband and works out of her home studio in Southern California. Shayla will be contributing one blog post each Wednesday to the Art & Musings blog. Her posts will be about… to quote her…

A bit back I suddenly had this burst of an epiphany, from watching Sex and The City no less (which I wouldn’t say I watch regularly or am even a fan of, but there was nothing else on while I was sitting on the ground working on my Christmas balls and now I’m thinking it was bizarrely fated that I watched it.) Anyway, I suddenly saw myself writing a column, a Carrie Bradshaw like column, though discussing art and life as opposed to dating in NYC.

And a bit more about Shyala in her own words…

I paint, and travel, and absorb the universe. And then I paint about those things. My work is a blend of science, Zen style, and Sacred Geometry.

I am inspired by stars, moons, sunsets, tropical beaches, humidity, coloring books, crayons, glo-worms and lite-brites, the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade, Jules Verne, The Science Channel, ancient technology and civilizations, the study of the universe, spirituality, stained glass windows, sea glass, telescopes, down-tempo music, Zen wisdom, rainbows, fireflies, water and light.

You can read Shayla’s personal Blog here and visit her Etsy Shop here.

Her first post will be up tomorrow!

Welcome Shayla! xo

There’s what you are on one hand (Limited Editon Print – no.1 – The Waitress Series)

This is the beginning of an ongoing collaborative project between myself, Jessica Doyle and writer, Christopher DeWan. I will be releasing a new limited edition print every few weeks until “The Waitress” is fully illustrated. There will be between 18 and 24 illustrations when the project is completed. Do collect them all!

This is the first illustration in The Waitress series.

  • Paper Size – 12 by 12 inches
  • Professionally printed with archival Epson inks on Epson fine art paper
  • Print is dated, numbered, signed and titled
  • Will arrive with a certificate of authenticity
  • Edition of 100 only

The Waitress by Christopher DeWan

There’s what you are, on the one hand; and on the other, there’s what you think you can be.

No, let me put that another way: there is what you are, essentially, in your heart—the sum of all your capabilities; and on the other hand, there’s the smaller set of what you’ve realized to date. There is You the Greater and You the Lesser. You whole, and you fractured.

Some people believe that you, the “real” you, is the lesser one—the tally of what you’ve achieved. “What do you do?,” we ask each other at parties. “I’m a salesman,” we answer, deftly swapping a verb of action with a verb of being.

Other people believe that you, the “real” you, is that farther-away idea: “I’m a waitress and an actress, but I also want to direct.”

You smirk when she tells you this. “She’s a dreamer,” you think. “She’s a cliché.” (And these things, too, might be a part of who she “really” is.) But clichés are lazy shortcuts, a rubber-stamp version of the truth: the outline is correct and familiar, but the details are missing. The details are the essence. The details are the differentiators. In the mind of this waitress, what she wants to do is more significant than what she is doing. To know her is to know that she wants to direct. To know her is to know that she is a bundle of potentialities, and to know which potentialities.

[When robots can bring us coffee at restaurants, then we’ll all be free to act and direct.]

[When we fall in love, is it not with a person’s wants and with their potentialities?]

It is our dream that distinguishes us—the dream, and the degree to which we are willing to chase it: the degree to which we believe we are not the man sitting in the desk chair at the office, day after day after day. No. Rather, we are the brilliant burst of light, looming just on the other side of the horizon. We eagerly, lovingly chase ourselves, to find ourselves.

Christopher resides in Los Angeles, CA, United States. He can be found writing short stories on the TheUrbanSherpa. The Waitress was first published here on Christopher’s blog and has been reproduced within this blog post with permission.

This gorgeous print can be purchased in my Art Shop on Etsy and on my personal digital download e-commerce site, . Enjoy!

Handwriting is a lost art form or why I’m glad I learned to dot my I’s and cross my T’s

Vintage Spelling Test Book - 1981 - Jessica Doyle

So, I hand write letters to people and post them in the mail and rarely seem to receive a letter in return. And that’s OK. Perhaps, I’m one of the last hand writers left on earth. My grandmother used to write me back though. But she passed away a couple of years ago. Her handwriting was elegant and old style and it made me smile when I opened a letter from her to read. And, I notice as the years progress my own mother’s cursive handwriting is taking on that same scrolling form as is my own.

I tend to print in all caps though, and avoid cursive, as it’s slower to create and more cumbersome to lay down. My own handwriting is fast and deliberate; the letters flow seamlessly into one and other first forming sentences then paragraphs and pages and hence, volumes of journals.

While I lived in Vancouver from 2001 to 2005 the only medium I used was ink; more specifically Pilot G-tec C4 pens. I settled on that pen for writing after trying out a stupendous amount of pen brands. I spent that four years of my life purposefully writing and drawing in only ink. I wanted to eliminate the use of pencil and become adept at using only pen and ink on paper. At it’s height, it was all consuming; and emptying dry on average two pens per week. That is a lot of writing and drawing in this day and age.
Continue reading

Wild ride and come down

Everyone gets days and sometimes weeks where everything is thrown around and life literally becomes a never ending roller coaster ride… This is one of those times unedited and without links…

The roller-coaster began last week with an Etsy convo that I sent to MaryMary about a video and then a phone call that my boyfriend’s father was in the hospital. I’ve never met his family. We’ve only been together for one month but it feels like four months. Continue reading