Finding Shapes in the Clouds

A couple of weeks ago I shared one of my new pieces: “Balloon” in this post . It’s funny how that painting came to be. I have my little work area just next to our kitchen, I was quickly doing dishes after dinner but had my mind on these three small paintings I had started that day, and I was looking at them from the kitchen. The one that was going to become “Balloon” was laying flat on my desk, it was only a background at that moment, random brush strokes, and I had not idea of where it was going. As I continued to wash dishes and look over at it on my desk, the random brush strokes transformed so clearly into an air ballon. I though: “yes!!”, that’s what that painting it’s going to be. I love when that happens, but in reality, it happens so often. Even if you sketch first (I sometimes do before starting a painting, very often don’t), the sketches are so often the result of that lightbulb going off in your head after seeing something or doing something that is just part of your routine or your daily life, in moments that we would consider not creative. Seeing that Air Balloon so clearly in those random brush strokes made me think that sometimes making art is like finding shapes in the clouds.

By the way, I thought that was a cool quote, and I looked on the internet and I couldn’t find it anywhere….did I come up with a cool quote and a cool painting idea on that same day? it might be! Should I claim it? (I know, I’m being such a dork now, maybe I’m the only one that thinks that’s a cool quote, but you know what?  I’ll claim it anyway ;) ):

“Sometimes making art is like finding shapes in the clouds”

Here’s some of my new minis (5×7 inch paintings) that have balloons in them, and now I’m off to find some more “shapes in the clouds” and hopefully come up with a few more paintings before I leave for Costa Rica this coming Wednesday to participate in Viva el Arte.

"Orange Ballon". Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 7x5 inches.

“Orange Ballon”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 7×5 inches.

"Clouds and Balloons". Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 5x7 inches.

“Clouds and Balloons”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 5×7 inches.

"Big Balloon". Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 7x5 inches.

“Big Balloon”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 7×5 inches.

Happy weekend!

 

“Orange Sky and Lighthouse”, “The Tower” and “Wave 1.7”

Here are a few “minis” that I finished last week. Some of these are already hanging at my solo show in Avenue Grille in Manteo, and I’m bringing the rest with me to Costa Rica for Viva el Arte, this awesome little show that I go to (or try to go to) every year. This is just a quick post for today, trying to stick to what I said in yesterday’s post , that I will share some new work in the next days, instead of trying to post something super elaborated (hence waiting long periods of time before posting anything due to time constraints!…we don’t want that :/)

"Orange Sky and Lighthouse". Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 5x7 inches.

“Orange Sky and Lighthouse”. Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 5×7 inches.

 

"Orange Sky and Lighthouse". Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 5x7 inches.

“Orange Sky and Lighthouse”. Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 5×7 inches.

"Wave 1.7". Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 8x10 inches.

“Wave 1.7”. Acrylic and acrylic marker on panel, 8×10 inches.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

 

I need to stop doing “this”.

I need to stop waiting to come up with super elaborated blog material and not post anything for more than a month…because, you know what? I’m always working on something and there’s always a little something to post, even if it is just a “quicky”. So, today’s “quicky” post, a few of my new pieces. And tomorrow I’ll share a few more, and the day after a few more. There. A blog post in less than 5 minutes. I need to stop making this so complicated :). I will be hanging my tiny solo show at Avenue Waterfront Grille this afternoon. I will take pictures and share later this week. Most of these new pieces will be hanging there for about a month.

Balloon

“Balloon”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 10 x 10 inches. (Sold)

Blue Sun

“Blue Sun”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 8 x 8 inches.

Blue Tree

“Blue Tree”. Acrylic and acrylic markers on wood panel, 10 x 10 inches.

Mission accomplished. Posted in my blog, yay!. Happy Tuesday!

Behind the Scenes (Or the Headless Dancer)

A couple of weeks ago I finished this big painting, there was quite a bit of fun involved in painting it. I would like to share some images of the processes and a couple of videos that were the result of waaaay too many hours of painting.

The painting is called: “A Tree Full of Dreams” and I had no idea of what it was going to be when I started. I very often don’t sketch before starting a painting and just let it “tell me” what it is going to be.

This is how it started:

Painting in Progress-Carolina Coto Painting in Progress-Carolina Coto

Then progressed into something kind of different, but keeping the drips and many of the “flowery” elements:

Painting in Progress-Carolina Coto

Then this happened after many many hours of painting one day:

Some “Chicken in the Corn”  (that song is awesome!) headless dancing:

And then I HAD to record a few other dance moves with and even “awesomer” song (doesn’t it just make you super happy and gives you this urge to dance??…love it!)

After many hours of painting and a few headless dancing videos, this was the final result:

"A Tree Full of Dreams". Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, $1200, 2014.

“A Tree Full of Dreams”. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, $1200, 2014.

I had some fun setting it up on virtual rooms to offer it in my online store:

A-Tree-Full-of-Dreams A-Tree-Full-of-Dreams2

I even grabbed some elements from it to make a couple of patterns (and I will probably be making more), and added them to my Society 6 store, they look kind of cool in some of the products they offer, it’s always exciting to see your art in products :)

10290952_9723098-clkfwhw_b 10290802_6001222-clkfnhk_l iPhone-A Field Full of DreamsII iPhone-A Field Full of Dreams 10291012_5007721-plwfr2_l 10291081_14763493-plwfr2_l

I hope there’s some dancing involved in your day! ;)

Til next time…

 

 

Thanks to The Beach…

I showed my new work to a friend and client yesterday, I told her that my colors are changing a little bit, but that I’m pleased with these new pieces and that people have seemed to like them quite a bit as well. She told me that she really liked my new colors, that they are very “beachy”. I was very pleased to hear this, since, well, I live on the beach, and all my “beachy” work is my best seller around here. I guess I realized today, how much living here has really influenced my work. The last couple of years the subject of my art had changed, I had started painting waves and scenery from around here, but I guess the color changes are the result of a more subtle influence that I wasn’t even aware of.

I think that as artists, change is always a good thing, but also, as artists, change is also scary! When you hear over and over that people like what you’ve been producing for a couple of years, and then you suddenly start evolving and changing it a little bit, there’s always that fear: “what if they don’t like it???”. It is definitely reassuring to come up with something that feels different from what you were doing before, but that people still recognizes as 100% “you”, and that people still likes, sometimes even more than what you were doing before.  This is just once again a reminder that, as brilliant Lilla Rogers puts it: “people buy your joy”. As long as you’re producing something that you can’t help but producing, something that really comes from your “creative guts”, I guess you’re good.

In any case, may I present you with some of my latest work; and thanks to the beach for influencing me to produce it! (you can click on the images to see more details about each painting on my website)

Flowers Field Magenta Tree Spring Beach Snow

 

The Things We Make Ourselves Believe…(And Some Fun Videos ;))

Curious fact about me: during my first 4 years in University, (between travels and also an almost full time job, it took me more than the usual 4 years to get my BFA…but that’s another story) I was not only studying fine art but also classical guitar (I haven’t played for about 12 years….except for a few weeks I attempted to re take it last year -but that’s also another story-).

I got to a point when I would practice guitar 4-6 hours every day, Monday through Sunday; there was a lot of repetition involved when working on the assigned pieces for the semester and sometimes it would happen that I would loose concentration during my practice, and I would rush through a certain passage, making mistakes, and repeating the same mistake over and over, instead of slowing down and trying to get it right from the beginning. The problem with this, my teacher would say, is that it takes you “x”amount more of times to un-learn the mistake, than it took you to learn it (I don’t remember the amount of times now, maybe twice as much? maybe three times?). If you repeated a mistake 3 times, it will take you 6 or 9 times of doing it correctly to “erase” that mistake from your head and from your muscle memory. Crazy huh?  I remember it being very true, it took indeed, a lot of concentration and correct repetition to stop making a mistake I’ve made a few times. At least for me it did.

Last week we got A LOT of snow, at least for the Outer Banks. It was so much fun, everybody was so excited, snowboarding in the dunes, making snow men, all kinds of fun stuff. The third day after it had snowed, with a group of friends, we went sledding in this little hill, early in the morning, before everything started melting.

We didn’t have a sled, just half a surfboard, ha! The owner of the half board is my friend Jodi, who is a surfer, like  many people around here, so after a couple of sitting down rides down the small hill, the next challenge was, of course, standing up and “surf” the hill. She successfully completed a run in her second attempt, so did the other 3 people that were with us, but I never got a complete run,even after many attempts. I had sooo much fun that day, but later at home, it bothered me a little to think of the reasons why I thought I couldn’t complete a run; every time I was going down the hill I would loose focus and doubt that I could make it all the way and I would sabotage “me”, even if I was not really loosing balance I would get scared of what I was doing and jump out. When I was little I was definitely not athletic, my family is also not athletic at all. I remember hearing a lot of “don’t run, you’re going to fall”, “don’t climb that tree, you’re going to hurt yourself!’ ,”don’t run, you’re going to get asthma”, etc, etc, etc; don’t get me wrong, I was still a kid and I sure did run, and climbed trees and played and played and played, but I think I did end up loosing trust in my ability to do certain physical activities. I still sometimes struggle a little bit trying to “deprogram” myself to start believing again, I was reminded of this the other day at that hill with the snow.

In an attempt to “reprogram” myself, I started taking swimming lessons at age 20 (yes, I could be in the ocean and float, but at age of 20, I did not know how to properly swim!), and started signing up for basketball, volleyball and every sport class I could sign up for in college, and actually enjoyed it a lot! After about 15 years of actively trying to reshape my self image regarding my physical abilities for sport, I would say I have almost come to terms with what my athletic “limitations” are, after all, I’m more of a yoga kind of girl (which also requires me to truly believe that I can do certain things -hello hand stands!-, at least the “going at your own pace” philosophy is encouraged), but the “hill surfing” episode really reminded me of how important it is to positively program our brains with the “YES I CAN!”.  If you tell yourself too often that you CAN’T do something, watch out, you might need to tell yourself the opposite, times 2 or 3, to believe that YOU, in fact, CAN!

For your amusement, let me share my 2 seconds when I said: “YES I CAN!” only to be followed by: “Oh shoot, no I don’t! (ha!)

Yesterday, enjoying the last bit of snow on the beach :) #obxsnowfun #beachsnow #lovesnow

A post shared by Carolina Coto (@carolinacotoart) on

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Chose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

And just for the fun of sharing, this was me, early last year, trying to return to my guitar studies, starting again from the basics. Sadly I stopped practicing not too long after I filmed this, but there’s always hope that I will start again.

And I guess I want to close this post by saying: YES YOU CAN! Yeeww! ;)

2013: What a Wonderful Year! (In Images)

I was trying to write this post…it had been 3 days, and I was not even close to finishing, so I decided, I’ll let the images do the talking, and I’ll show you, with images -and a tiny bit of text-, why 2013 was a wonderful year!

I know we are 1 month into the new year, but I guess it is never too late to recap and be thankful for everything 2013 was, so, here it goes (you can click on the images to see them bigger):

Traveling2

In 2013 we got to travel to Holland, Canary Islands and Morocco, getting to do all this traveling with my husband is a dream come true :). In Holland we got to stay with my dutch “sister”, Noemi and my nephew Móan, and they got to meet my husband Brian. I love her, I love the Netherlands and we loved staying with them (she’s got the most comfortable guest bed ever!! I love european comforters too…it’s like sleeping in a cloud, I swear! -that’s what it feels like to me anyway-)

shows

This year that past I participated in a total of 20 art festivals, including 2 in Costa Rica, I got to experiment which ones are a better fit for my art and I’m so happy that I got to test them and figure that out. There’s always going to be some “fine tuning” needed every year, but I definitely got to get a feel for different kinds of festivals.

Alonso2

I became and aunt in 2013!! :D I got to meet my nephew in May 2013, when he was only 2 months old, and got to see him again, and play and cuddle him so much in December. He’s so much fun now at 10 months old, so playful and smart. I’m in love.

SoldArt

These are some of the original pieces I sold in 2013, some were quite small, but there were a few of the big ones too ;). Selling original art is not necessarily easy, so I’m really grateful for last year’s outcome.

All Assignements

I went back to school! (online school that is) and signed up for some amazing classes, including “Make Art that Sells” taught by Lilla Rogers and the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, taught by surface designer Rachel Taylor (now Davis). Both classes included Facebook groups for the participants, and both the classes and the interaction with my virtual classmates have been life changing for me as an artist. These images are the designs I produced for Lilla Rogers class.

 

FamilyandFriends

I’ve been in the Outer Banks for 2.5 years now and I feel lucky for the friends I’ve made here. I also feel lucky that I get to have nice times with my new friends here in the Outer Banks and that I get to go and spend the holidays with my family in Costa Rica and see my friends over there as well. This was the case in 2013. Is the best of two worlds.

I could go on, because there’s definitely more…but I think you get an idea. 2013 was a great, great year!