I randomly decided sometime in late August that I wanted to learn how to paint. I was skeptical, not even sure I had the capability since I’ve been working on a computer for all these years.

Turns out I really enjoy it. I find it relaxing, and challenging.

I find my computer habits don’t “fly” with painting. I can’t sit down and create something with barely a thought, and let it develop in front of me.

And I’m struggling with finding my style. I see other artist’s work that appeals to me, but to actually get to the point of being able to create what my mind can envision… not so much.

And I think I may be the messiest artist ever. Hopefully that has some positive connotation.  But I confess, I’ve always been messy, and it’s probably not going to change now.

 

I’ve painted a few things, one is actually hanging on my wall. And then I tried to paint koi. I think it’s a decent start. I’ll post more koi as they evolve… along with my style.

PS No one has seen this koi painting yet!

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It’s always such an adventure to visit MADE Art Boutique. It’s really a mainstay in the Phoenix Art District, and full of the most unique and beautiful things made by Phoenix artists! Today I dropped off a few art prints from my bird series that will be sold in the shop!

 

I was greeted by Sally, who is like a ray of sunshine inside the tiny boutique full of everything from jewelry, ceramics, art prints, shirts, cards, and things with a Phoenix theme. I purchased a small incense burner that had serious sentimental value to me.  And even though my heart really still belongs to Michigan, I may have to go back and get the Phoenix map art (by Dry Desert Design) or the Phoenix mug (by Crooked Tree), because, like all good design, both of these pieces just make me HAPPY!

 

I was recently in Vegas for the Las Vegas Market. On my last day there I decided to venture into the unknown and took the city bus to the Arts District. I was lost for a few blocks, but when I figured out where I was going…WOW, what a great treat! It doesn’t seem like many people I talk to know about the area, and it’s definitely worth exploring! The district itself is called 18b (for 18 blocks) Art District. I spent a long time wandering through The Arts Factory, which is a series of artists studios, a yoga studio, and some dining options.  The art was all unique and amazing!  I even got a personalized tour from Dawn, a kind and welcoming artist in residence.  Had I not been exhausted from walking (literally) 17 miles over the past few days, I would’ve visited many more places. Next time! Art below (left) by Dray and (right) by Kat Taz 

Here’s some links to check out! It’s really a must see! The Arts Factory link, The Downtown Arts District Link,and the Cornish pasty which is right across the street and has the BEST vegetarian pastys (veggie rosemary chicken, yum)  and a huge selection of craft beer!  Next time you’re in Vegas, explore!

I’ve tried so many formats of art, from digital prints, to giclee prints, fine art paper, canvas, framed, mounted on wood. The list is kind of long. And I seriously keep going back to framed and matted prints. I like the way I can manipulate, or should I say “enhance” the look of the art by adding a couple of mats. And then there’s the frame. It adds so much to the presentation as well. I almost feel like it’s more warm and inviting. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

But then there’s the cost of matting and framing. If it’s done right, it can be pretty expensive. Granted, there is a reason for matting and framing — it protects the art (and enhances it) but it can seriously cost as much as some art pieces and more. And really, I can’t second guess what color of mat you might like, or what your decor is, and it leaves me searching for a way to make my art ready to hang, and ready for any environment.

Which brings me to the canvas format. I love that it doesn’t need glass. I love that it’s ready to hang… immediately! I love the advanced printing techniques and finishes on many canvases that give the art that rich, saturated appearance. You can really see the texture of the art. But I feel like it’s missing something. Is it just me?

In today’s busy world of instant gratification, it only seems logical that canvas would be the number one choice. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s easy to move (no glass to break) and it looks amazing.

Which leads me back to the question, what do YOU like? What feels right in YOUR living space? I’d love to get some feedback, thoughts and opinions from people who have art hanging on their walls. I think that’s most of us… let me hear from you!