Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Painting: Love's Monolith #1

12" x 12" x 1.5"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

From Wikipedia: monolith is a geological feature, consisting of a single piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are most often made of very hard and solid metamorphic or igneous rock.

This painting is the first in a series of three.  Three is a magic number for me in my paintings, one that surfaces again and again. I think it stands for my children.  The love I have inside me is massive and unchanging, much like a monolith.  I don't think there's anything that can describe the love a mother has for her children, though I try every day to put it into words for them just so they can begin to know.  I think God's biggest gift to me has been showing me the love that can grow in my heart when I became a mother and how it continues to multiply exponentially.

Will post pics of the others in this series soon.  These are available for purchase and will hang at Starbuck's in the West Village in January.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays, Happy Everything

Winter Forest
Watercolor on Paper
3" x 4"

Thank you for being a part of my journey. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Lee Pina

Thanks for joining me today as I interview Massachusetts-based Visual Artist Lee Pina, who left the chaos of the corporate world to pursue her passion.

·        Aspire Arts, Lee Pina (Artist/Owner),    Currently a full time artist. Prior to 2009, corporate project management professional
Current City/Hometown
·        Massachusetts, south of Boston
Tell me about your work in one sentence. 
·        My work is a journey to  - FIND/FEEL/EVOKE something about me/about you - through texture and abstraction.
Describe your normal day.
·        Up with the birds (between 3-5AM), caffeinate!, get my daily fix of art in magazines or internet, look at my never ending list of “ideas” to paint, add to it > walk 4 miles > procrastinate > paint or compose (I write vocal/orchestral music when I can’t paint).
What are your passions? 
·        Aside of painting and music, I’m passionate about love and life and not wasting it! Appreciating the people in my life. Seeking a balance spiritually. Every day is another opportunity to find the path.
What are your goals? 
·        I’m focusing 100% on building a presence and portfolio for Aspire Arts. I’d like to really retire in a few years and just “make” art!
Who are your creative influences?
·        Everything Asian, The Tao, Kline, Newman, Miro …
Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do?
·        I’ve always been a “seeker”, looking for something beyond the obvious, a meaning, a lesson.  My art is a way to express and invite others to look within and look beyond what is expected.  This is my everyday!
Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspiration?
·        My mom.  I found my art after she passed but she has always been/will always be my inspiration to be a good person and just be me.

How do you summon your muse? 
·        I walk and think.  When I create, it’s in silence.

What's your working style? 
·        I try not to think about it too much. I can’t create when in there’s a lot going on.  Sometime several weeks will pass without making anything. When I get back to it, I find my style/technique has evolved. I’ll paint for hours/days straight. Go figure!  
*What are your websites/social networking links?
·        www.zhibit.org/lpina

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Poem for Wednesday: Variation on the Word Sleep

"Lead Me to the Truth"
16" x 20"
This painting is available on Etsy.

Variation On the Word Sleep
Margaret Atwood 

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

New Painting, "Transformation"

24" x 36"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

I am fascinated with the journey of the lotus flower. It starts as a small plant down at the bottom of a pond's mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the water's surface, continually moving towards the light. Once it reaches the surface of the water the lotus begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower.

The lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty, people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!). To me this symbol represents the struggle of life at its most basic form and the reminder that the journey is precious and beautiful.

This painting will be on display in January at Starbuck's in the West Village. Contact me for more details or purchase information.


Monday, December 13, 2010

New Painting, "Awake, My Soul"

8" x 10"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
This piece is currently available for sale.

 "All nature loves an honest person. Then you need not run after things, for they will run after you. And if you are always truthful, if no lie comes from your mouth, a time will come when all you say will come true...the more we lead a life of honesty the more we will see the results, and that will encourage us to be more honest."

I have been fascinated by my study of the yogic teachings and exploring the concept of Satya, or truthfulness. This painting was inspired by the idea of finding something so relatable that it awakens your soul and connects your understanding and identity to your expression.

Keeping this in mind, we strive to incorporate truth in all that we do, whether it is in thought, word or action, so that in the end we become firmly established in truth. This is no easy feat, but with practice and clear intentions, we live an honest, truthful way of living. When you are established in truth things will come to you automatically.

To take this a step further, when we practice yoga we go within in order to unite with divinity or inner light. Ultimately we discover that this divinity is Truth and by uniting with this inner light we understand that "I am That" or "I am Truth." 

To be firmly established in truth is to be firmly established in your own true nature. Every time we are dishonest, whether it is with other people or ourselves, we then get further and further away from our true Self. By practicing truthfulness and honesty in our thoughts words and actions, we then come closer to the ultimate Truth.

Follow truth and truth will follow you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Nic Noblique

As a creative person myself, I am fascinated with what makes other like-minded types tick. Thanks for joining me today as I share an interview with local artist Nic Noblique.

Nic Noblique, Texas

Kicked out of art school.  Self Taught.

Current City/Hometown
Appleton Wisconsin.  Curently in Clyde, Texas.

Describe your work in one sentence. 
Abstract larger than you steel sculpture in vibrant colors based on the idea of 3/5/8 mathematical beauty.

Describe your normal day.
Each day is totally different from the next.  One day i'm in the studio, the next i'm out of town on exhibition, the next day I might be delivering work or excavating steel from the salvage yard.  My ideal day would be sailing around the south pacific listening to the germs while setting up gorilla style sculpture installations in uninhabited atolls.

What are your passions? 
Sk8, snowboarding, surfing, sailing, art, culture, food, travel, my kids and wife, my business, my art and punk rock.  

What are your goals? 
As long as I have the freedom and support to keep creating, keep building sculpture, keep painting.......I consider my most important goal met.   My lifelong goal has been and will always be to just stay out of the cubical. 

Who are your creative influences?
I don't consider myself that impressionable when it comes to my own creativity.  My life, my dreams, everyday random things influence me a lot and because I have a wickedly overactive imagination - I am most influenced by my own chaotic thoughts and ideas.  There are inspirations though, like my wife and kids, artists I admire, and a lot of music.

Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do?
Yes there are a lot of those!  When I was living in France as a kid and sat for hours at a sculpture garden full of Picasso's work in Antibes because I was too young to go to the casino with my parents.  

When I first came to my familes farm in Clyde 11 years ago, I had just closed my sk8 shop in Seattle and I picked up a crappy old wind-up stick welder and made my first steel sculpture.  

And there was that time when I was 13 and I got to show my pottery at the Milwaukee Museam of Art and was pretty stoked about that experience.

And (this is a good one) there was that time I needed a rolling machine but couldn't afford one so I built one myself out of junkyard parts which allowed me to do the work I do today.  I had called a well known texas sculptor and asked for a referral to a good fabricator to help me with my larger work and she told me that 'real artists have their own equipment' and hung up on me.  That really pissed me off so I have fabricated my own industrial equipment ever since.  Come to find out, she uses Blumenthal Steel in Houston to make her sculptures for her.  That definitely made me realize how self motivated you have to be and what a serious drive you have to have to succeed at what I do.  It's expensive and difficult work.  I also made a mental note to self - Don't ever be an ass to another artist who reaches out to you for help, the art community needs synergy and support from within!

Heres a picture of the rolling machine i built:


How do you set the table for your muse?
Music, flame retardants and a tetanus shot.

Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspiration?
My grandmother who was light years ahead of her time.  She was the most progressive and inspiring person i've ever known.  There are tons of artists (dead and alive) that I look up to.  Too many to list here.  I admire freethinkers, people who acheive success on their own terms, and the underdogs that prove everyone else wrong.

What motivates you on a daily basis? 
As an independant artist working every day to support myself and my family through art, I'd have to say money is a pretty major motivator.  Selling my work is a must if I expect to keep creating and give my family a quality of life they deserve.  I'm always motivated to do whatever needs to get done and I think it's part of the equation as to whether you're going to sink or swim in this business.  I do have a guilty pleasure but my wife says this is not the appropriate forum to share it.

What's your working style? 
I don't have any particular working style.  I work when I can and usually block a whole day out for studio time.  I have to travel a lot and there are other things to deal with during the week so when I have a free day it's all about being in the studio.  I work with apprentices from McMurray University's Art Department and anytime they call and are free to lock in some hours, I make myself available.  I've never done well with schedules, so other than seeing to my commitments with travel and exhibitions, I try to just let my mind and body tell me when and for how long i'm going to work.  Sometimes I walk in to my studio and am just not feeling it.  Other times, i'm locked into what i'm doing and don't even notice my wife staring at me from the bay door.

What are your websites/social networking links?



The portrait of Nic Noblique in his studio; photo credits: Evan Wallis Photography
Frisco Proposal for Warren Sports Complex; Digital Rendering by Audra Sewell-Noblique (Maquette by Nic Noblique)
Jim and Glenys Kaye Private Collection, Sacramento CA,  "Between Red and Yellow" by Nic Noblique, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Poem for Wednesday: XLV by e.e. cummings

"Snow Falling on Birches"
8" x 8" x 1.5"
Acrylic and Mixed on Canvas

This painting is currently on display at Buli's Cafe on Oak Lawn Ave. and is available for purchase.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Best of the First Year"

 "Sometimes I Feel Like I'm Falling in the Ocean"
24" x 24" x 1.5"
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

My painting was chosen "Best of the First Year" by Austin-based art magazine, W5RAn.  W5RAn is an indie online magazine displaying  content that covers all areas of art and design and I was excited to have "Sometimes I Feel Like I'm Falling in the Ocean" chosen among the thousands of pieces of art that they feature as a standout. The original is still available for sale on my Etsy site and is currently at my home studio. Private appointments are available if you want to see it in person.

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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