Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Special Thank you!!

A Special Thank you to my Friends and Family

I cannot ever thank you enough for all of your encouragement and support .
Many of you know what a trying year it has been for me.
What many of you do not know is that I am more determined than ever  to get strong, thrive and do all of the things once again that give me joy!

I celebrated a landmark Birthday yesterday and was astounded and so moved by all who sent good wishes my way!

I feel I owe it to myself and all of my dear friends and loved ones to start a new chapter in my life. The way to honor all of you is to be a fulfilled and giving person. After all we are all here on this great earth for a reason.

I will be in rehab awhile longer, however then you can expect more beauty and more joyous celebrations! More features to come on extraordinary artists and entrepreneurs! I will pay it forward in any way that I can. Also any thoughts or ideas of what you would like to see would be very welcomed!

Let all of our lives sparkle with kindness, love, and generosity of spirit.All that we give of ourselves will come back a hundredfold and affect the lives of countless souls.

This blog has opened a whole new world to me with so very many who care. 
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

Art by Karena

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring San Diego Artist Harrison Howard

I would like to introduce you to the artist Harrison Howard.
His works of fine art are so exquisite;executed with such detail and precision. I know you will love his paintings every bit as much as I do! Please enjoy this interview with Mr Howard.

The Astronomer

In the Studio

 Harrison, when were you first drawn to the world of art and painting. What inspired you at that time?
My father made his living as an artist and my mother painted off and on for pleasure.  They encouraged that interest, and I can’t remember a point in time when I did not think in terms of spending my life painting.
The Flower Lady
  Did you take art classes in  school or are you a self taught artist?
I spent a total of seven years in art programs at the college level although I only hold an undergraduate BS in industrial design.
The Green Folly
I have seen some of your Father’s Works (murals) in La Jolla at The La Valencia Hotel. (my late husband actually proposed to me in the wonderful Whaling Bar there)
What kind of influence did he have on your decision to begin painting and drawing? 
I am a very different kind of artist than my father, but he taught me a large part of the methods I use in watercolor, and more significantly I think his and my mother’s interest in art and the decorative arts fueled many of my own life long interests.

I love all of your Chinoiserie paintings, your Flower Ladies, and the Sea Shells especially appeal to me from my own years in San Diego near the beach. What led you in these directions?  
There was a book in my father’s studio that contained Jean Pillement’s chinoiserie designs that caught my lasting attention when I was about twelve and I was hooked from that moment forward. The French 19th century illustrator, Grandville, was another artist that interested me very early on, especially for his work “Les Fleurs Animees”. The subjects I’ve focused on are partly an extension of my interest in certain artists that have focused on imagined imagery and my preoccupation with different aspects of decorative art and illustration. I started a shell collection as a child.

Shells with Sea Grass on Gouache on early 19th century. hand penned document

 Do you have a mentor or who are some artists that you admire
 or emulate? 
There are countless artists that I admire, and I’m indebted to many of them both living and dead for their continuing inspiration. When I was young I thought that if I could only learn to paint like so and so that my ambitions as an artist would be resolved. There were quite a few different artists along the way. Finally I realized that I was pursuing a formula for failure, and that I’d need to find a way to interpret the world around me through my own way of looking at it. Some artists emulate others but almost invariably disappear in their shadows, and I think artists serve their own best interests if they persevere until they are able to produce work that reflects their own take on the world. To me that is the essence of originality.

Rendezvous at Night
That is a very poignant statement and one that could inspire many beginning artists to search for  their own style early on in their careers.
Where do you find inspiration? Does an idea percolate in your mind, come from nature, places you have been, or photography?
Inspiration comes to me from all of the things you mention and many others. I have hundreds of sketches that I will probably not live long enough to paint, but as I grow older the chain of ideas that passes through my mind increases, and a benefit of being a visual artist as opposed to an athlete or singer is the potential to actually reach higher levels with the progression of age, unless you’re afflicted with a major health issue.
The Architects
Harrison, where are your works being shown or how can people contact you for information on your works of art. Your website www.HarrisonHoward.com  has many of your gorgeous works. Any special upcoming projects you can tell us about? 
On the Internet I depend mainly on my own website to generate business although I am represented through a number of businesses that in some cases post my work online. The prices are the same everywhere, so in the interest of not competing with myself I don’t list the places that represent me on my website, but I may change that approach. I have a lot of new work that has not yet been translated into prints or posted on my website, but both time and cost have delayed me from keeping my website up to date, and at this point it needs a good deal of revision. I’m doing paintings currently for an upcoming fall exhibit in La Jolla and to add to the inventory at a business in Palm Beach and other businesses that sell my work.
Yellow Tree Snails with Red Coral on early 19th c. hand penned document
 Finally what words of wisdom would you impart to the aspiring artist of any age?
I’d feel a bit ridiculous trying to tell younger artists a formula for success, because things will always play out differently for every individual, but two tenets that I cling to for my own use after learning them rather late in life  are:
1)      Business and marketing are completely separate from artistic integrity and talent, but those areas require a lot of attention for most artists that want a stable existence. Even the best art schools tend to do poorly in preparing art students to cope, and some basic business, computer, and accounting courses might be a good idea, even at a city college.
2)      The sooner you realize the need to avoid emulating anyone else’s work and to ask yourself over and over again how you really see the things around you in your own unique way, the more likely you will evolve into an original artist. The world may not come to your doorstep or thank you for it, but you will find gratification in realizing that you have a valid way of seeing the world that is as individual as your own DNA.
The Seahorse
Thank you so much Harrison.  It has been a pleasure to have this conversation for The 2012 Artists Series .
Dear readers I sincerely hope you have enjoyed seeing these amazing works of art! I feel like they can virtually fit in any style of decor in any room! Visit Harrison's Website  and be sure to leave a comment below! 
Art by Karena 

Images Courtesy of Harrison Howard

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring an Interview with Larry Thomas

Larry Thomas is an artist whose works draw you in; not a mere passing glance, as you stop & want to look deeper to find other mesmerizing details to explore.

I do hope you enjoy the following interview!

When and how did you first realize that you wanted to paint and create art?
I think I was about 7 years old when I really started having a lot of fun drawing and painting.  I always drew a lot, and still do.  Most children begin to turn their interests to other things by the time they are 8 or 9, but I continued to have a keen interest in art all through elementary, junior high, high school, and college.  And of course that continues today.

 Where did you study?
Missouri State University – BFA – Drawing/Printmaking
University of Iowa – MA – Printmaking/Drawing
University of Iowa – MFA – Printmaking/Drawing

Larry, you have become extremely well known for your particular genre in the field of art; how did that evolve? What are some of the materials you like to use in your paintings?That is very flattering, but I’m not sure I’m really all that well known. 

My work is fairly abstract, but it contains representational elements.  The interest in combining the abstract with the realistic goes back to undergraduate school.  I think it is a very tricky thing to do, but feel our world is a combination of the two, so have pursued that ever since.

I became interested in computers about 30 years ago.  At first I didn’t think they had much to do with what I was wanting to do.  The hardware and software were fairly crude by today’s standards, and the materials were very fugitive.  The printers, paper, and ink weren’t initially made to be archival.  I don’t think many manufacturers thought about fine artists using digital technology back then.  However, in the last 15 years or so, there have been dramatic changes and advances in all things digital.  

So, around 15 years ago I became very interested in what digital imaging could do.  It allowed me to make images that I couldn’t create before.  I don’t particularly like the way an image prints straight on to paper.  It seems to have a poster quality to it that I don’t like.  So I usually incorporate paint, collaged paper, and real objects into the painting.  Hopefully, those elements peak the viewers interest, and they notice and are made aware of their own perceptions about what they are looking at.  That is, in part, what my work is all about...perception and questioning what we perceive.

Where do you derive much of your inspiration; Nature, photography, thoughts or images?  Tell us what past or current artists inspire or have been mentors…. 

My work primarily derives from my own life experiences combined with research and reading.

I suppose the first artist that comes to mind is Willem de Kooning.  I have always admired his work.  I’ve had a lot of teachers along the way and each one has given me ideas and inspiration in some way.  I have great respect for the professors I teach with and many of the young artists in Kansas City are very inspiring.  They are taking chances in uncharted territory and reshaping what we think of as art.

When did the desire to teach become a passion?
I would probably say I have a passion for art, and hope that passion carries over into my teaching.  I come from a family of teachers, so it seemed like a natural direction for me to go.

I think the real passion for art came around the time I was a junior in college.  I was always interested in art up until then, but I made some work that year that I felt was really starting to be mine and not just derivative of other artists

Your position at Johnson County Community College is Chair of the Arts Department. The effect that you have on students is incredible…why would you say that is?  How do you inspire them as artists to open their minds to creativity?
 Again, that is very flattering, but I’m not sure how true that is.  

Of course, I would like to think that I have a very positive effect on students.  I try to help students delve into themselves and express who they are and what they believe in.  I try to be very honest and fair.  I attempt to challenge  students and show them they have more capabilities than they realize or think they have.  I think the most important thing a teacher can do is show students how to learn on their own.  

Larry what artist’s organizations and establishments are you involved in? 

I’ve been a long time member of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, I have served on the board of the Kansas City Artists Coalition and been a member of that organization for over 20 years, I contribute regularly to the Charlotte Street Foundation, and have been fortunate enough to be a facilitator for the Artist Inc. Development Workshops sponsored by The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, The Charlotte Street Foundation, The UMKC Innovation Center, and Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers.

I know that you are represented by the esteemed Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art Gallery…Where else are you currently showing your art and what exhibits are planned for the near future?
 I currently have an exhibit of paintings at Sherry Leedy entitled, Material Abstraction: Crypsis and Seductive Chaos which will be showing until August 18th, 2012.  I have 10 prints in the 2012 Kansas City Flatfile which will be up until September 29th, 2012, and I have two prints in a traveling exhibition that opened in New Delphi, India entitled Multiple Encounters Second Edition which will travel to a variety of venues through 2013. 

Finally Larry, what comments or words of wisdom do you have for an aspiring artist of any age?

I think that if you can do anything else you should.  I don’t think being an artist is for those that aren’t passionate, curious, and have an incredible work ethic.  You need to be ready to make lots of sacrifices and be prepared to be rejected often. 

Larry thank you so much for participating in The 2012 Artists Series! Larry can be reached at larry [@] larrythomasart.com 

Enjoy the brief video below for more insight into Thomas' art and paintings!

Thank you to my Friends and Family. Your encouragement and  comments are very much appreciated!
Art by Karena

Blog Archive