At last, I have finally finished another painting from the “In Our Veins” series. I’m always looking for ways to improve, no matter how big or small, so I really focused on the textures in this piece. Though you can’t really tell here, so be sure to go to my website for a better look, in addition to a zoom-in feature (the magnifying glass icon on the top right)- www.AmyGuidry.com/sequence.html. The title is “Sequence” and it is an acrylic on canvas, 6″ wide by 12″ high.
Much of this series, as stated in my artist statement (which is posted on my website), deals with the life cycle so the title is in reference to that process. Both life and death are represented, new life- plants, animals- are seen building upon each other, one leading to the next, which is also why I opted for a long, vertical composition. The animals I chose follow, for the most part, a hierarchy of sorts as seen in nature. Though it may be odd for a vegan to discuss this, but the animals depicted follow each other in the food chain (side note- as a vegan, I realize this is a fact of life, however I have a choice when it comes to what I eat). The roses were an almost subconscious choice at first, but seemed appropriate for the piece given that we use roses to celebrate life as well as to honor those that have passed.
I have another exhibition coming up next month, which is actually only a few weeks away. I will have work in the “Rivers” group exhibition at Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, Texas opening July 9th, 2011. The theme is open to interpretation, so it won’t be all water scenes and landscapes. My painting “Synergy” will be in the show, in addition to other works I have in the salon area of the gallery. “Synergy” is an acrylic on canvas, 8″ wide by 11″ high. I picked this piece for the exhibit given that rivers nurture life. The roots and veins in the painting bring life to everything above and below the ground via rivers of blood or rivers of water. All of these elements working together, nurturing each other, nurturing life. You can view a larger image (with a zoom-in feature, as well) at www.AmyGuidry.com/synergy.html.
The exhibit officially opens July 9th, with a reception from 6-8pm. However, there will be a preview of the show coinciding with First Thursday Artwalk on July 7th from 6-8pm.
And one more reminder: June 26th is the opening for 54th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art at the VACI in Chautauqua, NY in which I was one of the 25 selected artists. The reception is from 3-5pm with a talk by juror Jim Kempner of Jim Kempner Fine Art, NYC.
One of the more popular questions I’ve been answering in interviews as of late (in one form or another) is “why do you create art?” Which I’ve always felt it would be easier to ask me why I breathe… so I would end up giving a response that would in so many words say it is innate. Which is true, of course, but not the in-depth answer they’re looking for. So I’ve been considering this question and have come up with an answer (or at least a good metaphor). When I am looking to create, I think the process is much like that of an archaeologist, or an inventor, or a scientist looking to make the next medical breakthrough. Since I’ve seen enough National Geographic and Jurassic Park to have a better understanding of archaeology, I’m going to use that as my basis. So I’m basically going on a dig- in search of ideas which are hidden well within my mind. When I come up with an idea or a concept, I rush to quickly get it down on paper- it’s like making a new discovery. Though sometimes I don’t always find what I set out to look for- it may be something else, but just as exciting. Once I hit something, I keep digging to reveal more (in my case, rapidly sketching everything before I forget). Once I’ve exhausted that area, I continue my search elsewhere to find any missing pieces or something entirely new, going in any and all directions. One idea leading to another, or maybe a slight variation of an idea, upon another variation and another, so on and so forth- the possibilities are endless.
Once I’ve made this discovery, I want to share it with the world. But it has to be presented properly (presentation is everything- they weren’t kidding)). An archaeologist wouldn’t just reveal a dirty pile of bones- they have to be cleaned, refined, and put back together. So my work has to be “cleaned” and refined as well, put together to make a whole. It takes time, effort, technique, attention to detail, and maybe even trial and error. It has to be pristine and professionally presented for the proper unveiling.
Going back to my original answer, it is innate, and as basic as it is, that may be the best explanation. However, maybe this comparison and the explanation of the creative process (at least for me) serves as a good answer in itself. The excitement of a new discovery- who wouldn’t find that addicting?
And another painting from my “New Realm” series has found a new home. This piece is from my smaller, 5″ x 5″ ‘sub-series’ which are almost entirely sold out. Only a few left, which is crazy to think since there were so many to begin with. This piece is titled “Jay II” and is an acrylic on canvas from 2009. (The original “Jay” painting from the year prior sold at that time.) I exhibited this painting in an auction in which part of the sales would benefit Virtues of Acadiana, a local organization whose mission is to “instill virtues while facilitating the academic, socio-cultural, and professional development of Acadiana’s youth.”
To view more of my work, including the (remaining) available “New Realm” 5″ x 5″ paintings, visit my website at www.AmyGuidry.com.
I did an interview for Meaning-full recently and it is currently posted online! For those of you that don’t know me personally, this interview gives a little more insight into my work, my process, as well as a little more about me. And there are lots of images, so be sure to check out the second page of the post in order to read the interview. Just go to http://meaning-full.com/05/meaning-full/painting-amy-guidry/.
There’s also a link to my site from the interview, but in case you don’t know, my work can be found at www.AmyGuidry.com.
Another painting from my New Realm series has a new home. I really love to share my work with people, especially people that I know. It’s a great feeling to know that something so personal to you is enjoyed by others. I remember when I first started to show my work (out of school), I was so self-conscious and afraid because it was work that I not only created on my own, with no guidance or “approval” by a professor, but also because I felt so exposed. My first show was a juried exhibit (talk about fear!). Most people there ignored me and visibly did not seem to like my painting, but I received 2nd place (obviously one person liked it) and I was so relieved and surprised, but it was enough to help spur me along. Which is how I’ve gotten where I am today.
So now “Introspective” is being enjoyed and shared with others. It’s such a good feeling- and that’s what keeps me going. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when just one person gives us the encouragement.
I’ve received more good news recently- my work was selected for inclusion in the 54th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art at the VACI (Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution). The juror for the exhibit is Jim Kempner of the Jim Kempner Gallery in New York City. My painting “Renewal” from my New Realm series was selected and it is an acrylic on canvas, 48″ wide by 24″ high. The exhibition will take place in the Strohl Art Center of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. There will be an opening reception held on Sunday, June 26th from 3-5pm. The exhibit will remain on display through July 14, 2011.
I recently received a request to publish some of my work from my “New Realm” series in the LSUE journal, The Louisiana Review. I’m excited to announce that the issue is out and features “The Red Dress” and “Dreaming.” Both of which are in private collections, but it’s nice to have an opportunity to still feature them in print. The Louisiana Review is published by the Division of Liberal Arts, Louisiana State University at Eunice. It features art, poetry, and literature predominantly from Louisiana and Southern artists. Look for my work in the Spring 2011 edition, Volume 9, available online now.
So excited- I came across some good news just after it was announced (apparently I was on the web at the right time…). I have been selected as one of the artists to be featured in the Brooklyn Art Project’s BAP Quarterly #1. This is their first full-color publication and will be out this summer. Featured on the left is one of my paintings to be included- “Symbiotic.” “The Wild West” has been selected as well, so my excitement is doubled. The publication was guest-curated by Samantha Levin (Anagnorisis Fine Arts, Curator for White Rabbit, NYC). 100 artists have been selected, including some of my personal faves- Carrie Ann Baade and Caitlin Hackett.
As an artist, I’m always learning more about the business side of the art world. I scour the internet constantly, read books and magazines- Art Calendar!, listen to podcasts, etc. Anything I can get my hands on basically. So I’ve compiled a “best of” pertaining to social media. Some of you are using these services already (as am I) but are you using them to their fullest potential? And some of you are not using these at all, which needs to change pronto. So here are the tips I’ve gained:
– Create a Fan Page for your art. This is where you will do all your marketing since Facebook does not allow such on your personal profile.
– Engage your fans with your posts and make sure they are visible (not locked under some privacy setting). When fans “like” your posts, everyone on their profile sees this, thus spreading the word.
– Ask fans questions to get them interacting and interested in your page.
– Join Facebook Groups for artists and post links to your work and introduce yourself. However, do not do this to another artist’s fan page since that is dedicated to their work and would be considered rude.
– Add to discussions, don’t just “like” a post.
– When a gallery invites you to an event on Facebook, never just ignore or decline it, always write a personal note on the event wall—leaving your name there for all to see.
– Retweet and @reply other artists to spark conversations and build your network.
– Follow people (even if you don’t know them- that’s the great thing about Twitter) to get on their radar. Follow artists, galleries, curators, etc.
– When tweeting about a popular subject, put a number sign (#) in front of it. These are known as hashtags and make it easy for others to find your tweet through Twitter searches so they may want to follow you. Example: #art, #gallery
– Do not to use more than 2-3 hashtags or you might be considered a spammer to your followers.
– One of Twitter’s most popular personalities, @GuyKawasaki states, “I find it’s worth repeating important tweets up to 4 times in about 18 hours. Typically, that would be evening, late evening, next morning and then the afternoon. Hopefully, that will catch the different audiences. But that’s enough; I don’t want to turn anyone off.”
– Make a “List” on Twitter to group people of interest- such as galleries or dealers, curators, and collectors. This will help you keep track of different groups and stay in touch.
– Join groups that are related to your style of artwork as well as more general art groups. Ask questions and contribute to other discussions.
– Connect with galleries, artists, curators, and collectors that you know (you can get booted out for spamming people you don’t know). Also connect with other professionals- your dentist, doctor, real estate agent, etc.
People who are popular in the social media world inform, entertain, and educate – sometimes all at once. If you’re a successful self-employed artist, it’s about the inspiration and the example you provide for other artists. So it’s really about them. Post videos, tutorials, news, artwork, interesting articles, music, movies that you think people will appreciate. Posts should be of substance, not how you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or that it’s Monday or Friday (we know the days of the week). Think of it this way: if you were in their position, what would you find interesting?