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!

 

My Poor Neglected Blog :(

It’s been more than a month since my last post. Yikes.  All of my time was completely taken by a class I took the last 5 weeks, fabulous Lilla Roger’s “Make Art that Sells”. Every week we studied a different market, Bolt Fabric, Home Decor, Children Picture Books, Wall Art and Gift. Every week was challenging, every week I was taken out of my comfort zone with the assignments we were given for each Sunday; sometimes I was pleased with what I had come up with, sometimes I cried. Yup. I did. Over a plates design. I did.

I don’t want to go over the details of the class way too much, since my wonderful classmates (now also art friends and tribe!) have organized a blog tour and I will be writing more in detail about the class next week, when I’m scheduled for the tour. I actually should have posted about every week’s assignments, like most of my classmates did, but I’ve been bad, bad. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the class and my mind was 120% on it and couldn’t think about writing in my poor, beloved, blog. Also, I have to confess, I was shy to show my assignments sometimes. I didn’t feel my work measured up to the quality of work I saw from many of my classmates, but I think I was being too tough on myself. Aren’t we all artists like that sometimes? Not necessarily a bad thing, I think it help us improve for sure, challenge ourselves, grow!

But I do have to share something right?? I want to share my first fabric collection! Yeww! Yes, I’ve been taking classes and classes and classes lately, and I love it. Another class I’m working my way through right now is “The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design” by fantastic designer Rachel Taylor. I made a small collection of 4 designs, kind of “earthy” and nature inspired, even though some of the motifs are rather quirky and not at all realistic or literal. I’m excited about working more on these and creating more. I really have become passionated about pattern design this year.

So, without further review, here’s “Earthy Delights” ;)

Earthy Delights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can you picture those designs in? An stationary line? wall paper? upholstery? A penny for your thoughts! and stay tuned for my more detailed post on “Make Art that Sells” class next week.

Sketch vs Painting

I had the opening of my solo show at the beginning of this month. I wanted to add some text to the side of the paintings and an image of where the inspiration for the painting had come from, since I often get asked: “where do you come up with the ideas for this?” mainly because of all the crazy colors I use and the added elements that I put in my paintings (circles, spirals, dots). I’ve been basing myself on photographs a lot for the work I’ve been producing lately that is inspired by the Outer Banks, but many times I will just paint from my head. While I’m painting I will  sometimes realize that what I am painting -even though I rarely plan it this way-, resembles a place where I have been or traveled to. What surprises me the most is that often times  people will recognize these places in my paintings, even if it is  just my  ”quirky” interpretation of it, from my imagination,  and not intended to be realistic at all.

For my show, I printed the text with the image for each painting and mounted them on mat board. It turned out that putting them next to the paintings was too much, the walls looked to busy, so I just put them in a basket with a sign: “Can you match the picture to the paintings on the wall?”, turns out people have been having a blast with it, specially when kids come to the show.

I don’t get to show my sketchbook often, and I wonder if people would be surprised to see that my sketches are extremely simple and most of the time have no color in them. I love to solve the color “problem” while I’m painting, and even if I put color in my sketches, I will completely ignore it while I’m painting and just figure it out again as I go. Below are some examples of what the sketch looked like, versus the finished painting, the titles of the paintings are: “Houses on the Bridge”, “Bikes and Canals” and “The Pier”.

Now I better get back to my family, we’re in Luray, VA for the weekend and it is family time!

I would love to read your comments, if you have any :)

DSC_0116Houses on the Bridge

DSC_0105Bikes and Canals

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The Pier

Welcome to the pattern world! (and a relaxing bike ride to the memorial)

I’ve been away from my blog for almost a week and I feel guilty about it…but I have several very good excuses!

Last week I had two outdoor art shows. I love these shows but man, they really are a lot, a lot of work. My tent weights about 200 pounds when it is all set up. It’s made of a combination of steel poles and fittings that I actually looove putting together (not sure why?? reminds me of a grown up LEGO maybe? or maybe just the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’m done putting up that beautiful “art fortress” all by my little self -the tent is 200 pounds…I’m 115-). My whole set up -putting up the tent, hanging the artwork- takes me about 2.5 hours and then taking it down, about 1.5 hours. These two shows I had last week were only 5 and 6 hours long each, which means that I spent more than half the duration of the show putting up and taking down my whole display. Add to this the loading and unloading the car, it makes for a good day of work and sweat for sure!

Another thing that kept me really busy last week and is still keeping me really busy, is a class I’m taking on Skill Share , is called: “Reign Repeats: Create Perfect Repeat Patterns in Illustrator”. I love it.  Since last week I’ve spent countless hours in front of the computer trying to learn the basics of Illustrator (I used illustrator here and there before, but the few things I could do on it I had figured out by myself and I was still terrified of or had not idea how to use more than half the tools). Well, the close to 40 hours I’ve put into it so far have certainly paid off and yesterday I was able to make my first “test” repeat. I was so excited about it. I’ve always loved patterns but I never “connected” the beautiful designs I saw in fabrics or stationary with how they were created, I guess I must have though that these patterns were just created by “spontaneous generation” or something, ha, and never made the connection with the designs and the artists behind them. So, here I am, learning how put my drawings and ideas into the computer and make cute little surfaces that could go on so many products! love it!

These are two of my favorite final motifs, I hand sketched them first and then scanned them into the computer and started the “magic” with illustrator. The theme is “Picnics” and if it all goes well and I finalize my “official” repeat by Sunday, I will be entering Spoon Flower’s weekly challenge with that theme, along with my classmates.

Bottle Changuchichou

And here is my first experimental repeat using one of the repeat methods (one of so many that I haven’t learned yet, but will be learning today!)

Square Method 1

 

I was just wowed when I made this. This is just a test but the fact that it repeated correctly and to see this, resulting from a bunch of little hand sketches just got me so excited!

I spent about ten hours (maybe a little more), doing this yesterday, I was determined to end the day with my first repeat, and I did! but after ten hours in front of the computer, I needed to get out of the house. I ended the day with my favorite bike ride around here, I rode my bike from our house to the Wright’s Memorial, about 2.5 miles from here, right at the end of the day. It was the perfect way to end it.

Here’s a painting I made inspired by that bike ride, it is actually called: “Bike Ride to the Memorial”

Bike Ride to the Memorial. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2012

Bike Ride to the Memorial. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2012

So, there. Those are my excuses for very little writing last week ;). Hope you are all having a great start of the week!

 

City inspiration

Before I moved to the U.S and to the beach in the Outer Banks, NC, I had lived in San José, Costa Rica, my whole life. About 6 years ago I was taking pictures at night in downtown San José for a project I had in mind and the work that came out of that experiment, started my current line work.

Here’s some examples of that early work:

Carolina_Coto_4_50x60cm_45mil

Avenida. Acrylic on photograph. 2008

DSC_0047

City of Balloons. Acrylic and china maker on photograph, 2010

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Plaza en Magentas. Acrylic, color pencil and china maker on photograph, 2010

I was painting over the photographs I had taken and had this desire of covering everything I didn’t like, sometimes people, sometimes an overflowing trash can and then of highlighting the things that I liked and adding new symbolic repetitive “elements” to the scene, dots, circles, etc. The results were city images that even though based in real places, were coming out of my imagination: “Imagining Cities” was the name of the first show with those pieces. The work continued to evolve and then eventually the “cities” were no longer coming out of photographs but just from my head, and then the inspiration was not only San José, but any city or place that I felt inspired by, even if they were not real.

Creta. Acrylic on canvas, 2011

Creta. Acrylic on canvas, 2011

In Between. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

In Between. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

San Gimignano. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

San Gimignano. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

Golden City. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

Golden City. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2011

Fes. Acrylic and marker on panel, 11 x 14 inches, 2013

Fes. Acrylic and marker on panel, 11 x 14 inches, 2013

As my work has continued to evolve, I guess my inspiration is not only the city, the beach, or a place or places, but the possibility of creating a world of  “my own”, my own colorful reality in a little piece of fabric or paper. What’s your inspiration? I’d love to read your comments. Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!

 

Beach :)

It’s pretty late here in the Outer Banks of NC, but I had to write at least a few lines. Today was a pretty long day but perfectly balanced between work and relaxation time; I got to spend a few hours on the beach at the end of the day, sketch a little bit while I was there and watch my husband surf. It was so beautiful. I moved here 2 years ago and I still can’t believe that this is where I live and that this is my life.

I want to share a few of my paintings that have been inspired by what is now “home”.

 

Lighthouse. Acrylic, color pencil and marker on photograph

Lighthouse. Acrylic, color pencil and marker on photograph, 2012

Wave 1.2. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36 inches, 2013

Wave 1.2. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36 inches, 2013

Stormy Turns. Acrylic and marker on canvas.

Stormy Turns. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2012

Pier 2. Acrylic and marker on canvas.

Pier 2. Acrylic and marker on canvas, 2012

Disclaimer: I’m new to blogging and I just HAD! to add a little poll here ;), I’m just so fascinated with all the cool things you can do in a blog.

Good night everybody! And thanks for reading :)