Stephanie Corfee’s New Art Book

I have been gone for more than a year and it is time to get back to posting. What better reason to get back to blogging than telling you about this great book that just came out by my friend Stephanie Corfee: Paint Lab for Kids. I am thrilled about this book not only because Stephanie’s work as well as her art project ideas are fantastic ( I owe one of her other books, “Creative Illustration and Beyond”, it is a treat!) but also because I am one of the contributing artists in the book, yayy! What an honor!

You can browse some of the pages of the book on Amazon by clicking here and you can learn more about it from the publisher’s page: Quarto Knows. Here’s some images as well, so you can understand why I am so excited!

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Very important to mention also, Stephanie will be giving away copies of the book on her Instagram account so make sure to check her out there @stephaniecorfeeartworks as well as on her website: www.stephaniecorfee.com 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Viva el Arte in Costa Rica – Part1

Since I moved to the U.S in 2011, I’ve been trying to come back to Costa Rica, my home country, a couple of times a year to see my family and participate in the two art shows that I used to participate in before moving (it always surprises me to think that I currently participate in about twenty art shows in the Outer Banks every year! Most of them are very small shows, but still!). Yesterday was the last day of Viva el Arte, this really, really cool show in Costa Rica at a shopping center called Plaza del Sol in the busy suburbs of Curridabat, San José. Every time I’m getting ready to travel for this show (specially the day I’m packing!), I feel a little overwhelmed and think it is a little crazy to come for only a week, attend the four day show (1 day is set up and opening, the other three days we are here for nine hours), and then try to hang out with friends and family for the remaining days. But as soon I’m here, all set up, I feel so happy that I made it. The artists here are so awesome, so much fun to be around; my friends and family come and visit here as well, so it is great to catch up in between tending the customers, not to mention that I can usually cover my airfare with the sales. Win/win situation, no doubt.

I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the booths of the artists that were my neighbors this year, as well of a couple of pictures of my booth (I will share pictures of other artists tomorrow).

Arturo Santana, Venezuelan/Costa Rican artist who has resided in Costa Rica for decades, and his wife, Lilibeth Martínez were to my left. Arturo started his art career as a painter but currently sculpts as well. I’ll let the images do the talking, here are some pictures of their work, taken yesterday at the show.

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Next to Arturo and Lilibeth was Adrián Gómez, his colorful paintings and characters, inspired by the Caribbean of Costa Rica always get a lot of attention at this show. Don’t let the picture fool you, he’s always cracking jokes, you’re guaranteed to be entertained if you’re his neighbor at the show, he’s not as serious as he looks in the picture!

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Next to Adrián, one of my personal favorites, awesome young designer María José Da Luz, I, of course, bought a couple of her illustrations and I’m thrilled. I think the design world needs to keep an eye on this one (I believe they already are ;)), I have no doubt that she’s going to make it far.

 

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And last, I would just like to share a few pictures of my space….I had a great time at this show as always and I’m looking forward to next year. Tomorrow, I will share some images of some of my other neighbors, including a couple of my other personal favorites :)

Have a great Monday!

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New website, new online shop…it’s time to celebrate!

For the last month I have been working super hard on giving my website a complete makeover, I redesigned it on HTML (it used to be a Flash website) and then opened my online shop which was a goal that I had been carrying over for a few years now. This year seemed like it was finally the moment for me to get to it and open my shop. So, I’m very pleased to announce that my online shop and new website are up and running now! I have a good variety of products: originals, digital paintings (which are also originals, but come in editions of 5 to 30), magnets, keychains, matted prints and hopefully the list will grow in the near future.

To celebrate the “grand opening”, I will be offering a 20% discount in all items in my shop, including originals! The coupon is good through Thursday, October 10th.  Just use coupon: WPLETSCELEBRATE! (All capital letters and with the exclamation point! because this is all very exciting! ;) )

Happy shopping!

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It’s all so worth it…

I had a goal for this year:  to be in as many art festivals as I could. So far I’ve been in ten festivals in three months (yikes, that’s quite a bit of shows)  some of them lasted two or three days, some just five or six hours.

I actually flew to Costa Rica, my home country, for a weekend show in May that takes place in a cute shopping center. I’ve done this show since 2008 :). Here’s a picture of that show, it was a good one for me.

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I started worrying a little bit last week realizing that some weeks I had spent three days out at art shows and then two days out doing my part time job (rental homes cleaning on Saturdays and Sundays), meaning that I was only being left with two full days to actually paint.

I recently took some drastic measures to ensure that I could continue to produce new work to be in all of these festivals and for my solo show this coming September. I no longer have to clean houses on Sundays (yeyy!) and I got my neighbor to help me on Saturdays, which means that I come home now, after cleaning, and I still have energy to paint. Next year I will stop Saturday cleaning all together. The owner of the houses is such a nice lady (and art supporter, she’s bought a couple of my paintings and is constantly checking what new pieces I’ve produced) that I don’t want to leave her hanging now, in the middle of the high season, plus, let’s face it, it’s nice to know that there’s at least a tiny bit of my income that I can count on every month.

From all these ten shows I’ve done so far this year, some have been ok, some have been great and one was definitely no good, you can read about that one here. I’m a pretty positive person and I love what I do …yet, what can I say,  this year I’ve attended a couple of shows that have made me question my work. It sounds a little “bumming”, but I guess questioning is a good thing. It may cause some uncertainty, but what would be of us if we never did question what we’re doing creatively? I guess questioning yourself, or “reviewing” -that might be a better word for it?- your creative work, allows it to stay fresh and truth to yourself.

This weekend I headed for yet another art festival, I was invited last minute to attend, after they’ve had a cancellation, and I actually almost said no (I was starting to feel overwhelmed about the amount of shows I’ve done in a few months and the bunch I have coming up!). I’m so glad I didn’t. This show ended up being the best so far for me and I sold a big original, that had me a little bit in that “questioning” mode. I loved this painting and it got a lot of comments when I first posted it on my Facebook page, many people loved it and “platonically” wanted it, yet, it was so big and colorful that after a year of carrying it around for shows, I wondered, “who is ever going to want to buy this big ol’ colorful piece?? it’s too much!”.

Well, this weekend was that “ever” . This really great couple came day one to the show -I did not have this painting with me- saw the picture of this painting in my portfolio, fell in love with it, I brought it next day to the show, they came to see it and also saw a bunch of originals they had not seen the day before, went back and forth several times between the “big ol'” colorful piece and other originals that they liked, and yet, that was the one they wanted and they got it. These customers made my week I gotta tell you. The way they showed such interest in my work and the way they couldn’t decide between one or the other, it just made me feel really good about my art. Any doubts that I might have had last week about my work just dissipated and it made me think: all the work that it takes to make every one of these pieces, all the time that it takes to set up for these shows, all the times you end up questioning yourself because you were maybe at a show where the crowd was just not “your crowd”;  it is all worth it when you have a show like I had last week, where people were just grabbing small originals off the tent walls without much thinking because they knew the price was right and the piece was beautiful, or when a couple takes their time to decide among several large originals, because they just “love them all” -as they said- and then just take the biggest, most colorful one, that one that you love but that sure-it’s-taking-a-lot-of-space-in-the-guest-bedroom-oh-lord-please-make-them-want-that-one-pretty-please-…it makes it all so worth it.

The following day I went to clean my Sunday house for the last time. Oh, so worth it…

The Windmill

The Windmill. Also known as “The Big Ol’ Colorful Piece”. 36 x 48 inches. SOLD ;)

The Windmill and other pieces on display in my booth at Stockley Gardens Art Festival last May: (Click on the link to see yet another picture of me next to the the Big Ol’ Colorful Piece at Stockley Gardens and some highlights of the show :))

Booth Shot 2013