The latest edition of Vegan Mainstream’s VStream Zine is now available. I am honored to be a part of their feature on Vegan Professionals. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn about many other vegan companies and services as a result. The issue is about change, whether it pertains to ourselves or changing the world, so many of the professionals, myself included, relate our stories of change through our business. With my artwork, I hope to have a positive impact and create change starting with my viewers, and hopefully-maybe-if-I’m-lucky that has a chain reaction. If you would like to read my story, as well as the many other stories, recipes, and articles featured, you can order a download here (as well as get a sneak peek): www.veganmainstream.com/vstream-magazine-ebook-book-guide-zine-vegans.
I have finally finished the painting that I mentioned last week. I’m excited to reveal my latest work in the In Our Veins series titled The Sum of Its Parts. It is 11″ wide by 14″ high and an acrylic on canvas. I think I set a record for going through the most paintbrushes in one painting. I took artistic liberties with the size and placement of the stag’s heart to emphasize its significance and to center it up with the animals falling out. Without being too graphic, I wanted to illustrate when one species dies, many other species are affected. Each animal serves a role in the life cycle, together forming the delicate balance of nature. The trees not only close in the composition, but connect with the animals via the roots seen at the bottom and illustrate the role of plant life and the Earth. The butterflies, which are often seen throughout this series, serve as metaphors for life and beautiful little reminders of our short existence in the scheme of things. A larger view of the painting can be seen here: www.amyguidry.com/sum-of-its-parts.html.
It’s been an insanely busy week, hence my lack of posting sooner. The good news is I will be revealing a new painting I’ve been slaving over for quite some time, so be on the lookout for it. I also have an upcoming show which is just a couple of weeks away. I will be in a 3-person exhibit at Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans next month with Nikki Crook and Monique Ligons. I’ll be showing works from my In Our Veins series, my most recent body of work. This should be a really fun show and opening night will also be held in conjunction with the SCAD Artwalk, May 12th from 6-9pm. For those of you that would like to get a sneak preview, you can check it out here: www.barristersgallery.com/upcoming.html.
I’m happy to announce that my work is currently featured on the online arts journal, Escape Into Life. They have included a lot of images, ranging from some of my older work up to my most recent paintings. And they kindly mentioned my group exhibition at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, including a link to my work there as well, to boot. You read the feature at this direct link: www.escapeintolife.com/painting/amy-guidry/ and be sure to check out all the great art on the rest of the site while you’re there!
I’m just now getting around to posting photos from the opening reception of the 15th International Open. My painting Fleeting was selected for the exhibit at Woman Made Gallery by guest juror Linda Warren of Linda Warren Gallery, also in Chicago. Here are a few of the photos from opening night- more are on my website at www.amyguidry.com/events.html. The good news is there is still time to see it since the show is up now through April 26th.
I decided to re-post this since it was a popular post I had done awhile back. So for those of you that are new or may have missed this, I hope you find it inspiring!
No one cares about your art more than you do. It’s true. It’s not unlike showing your vacation photos to everyone. They mean well, but after about two minutes, the enthusiasm wears off and their eyes glaze over. I was inspired to write this after going through some old art magazines to clear out the mountain of periodicals I’ve saved. I came across a rather disheartening article in a very popular magazine. The author was giving advice on how to be a successful artist. Some of the author’s tips? Paint what sells- not more “complex” paintings, don’t bother showing in libraries or university galleries since they don’t generate sales (museums usually don’t either, but I don’t know an artist alive that wouldn’t jump at the chance to show in a museum), and sell on Ebay- specifically bright, colorful, quick paintings- no drawings. I know better than this and even I found it depressing! I can only imagine what other artists must think.
So this is what leads me to my frustration. I don’t care who they are or if they mean well, no one truly cares about your art or your art career as much as you do. This is why you are the only one that can determine what your goals are and if, at the end of the day, you’ve done all that you can to achieve those goals. Don’t listen to the naysayers, the haters, the critics, the cynics, or the non-believers. What do they know anyway? Even some of the experts can’t always predict what you, personally, need to do. That’s why it’s up to you to take in all this information and filter through it and find what is applicable and toss away what’s not. You know what you need to do. You know if your work is the best it can be. You know what you should create. If you try to “paint what sells,” you’ll be chasing your tail for quite some time. Popularity changes as do marketing trends. Something that sells one day, won’t the next. That’s why there are trend analysts that make a living at this. Great work is great work and it will attract its own popularity. And while I’m at it- if you were to avoid university galleries, libraries, museums, or any other venue for fear of little to no sales, you wouldn’t be an artist, would you? I couldn’t imagine not having the experience of seeing art, especially when I was a student, at a university gallery or museum. Some of the most significant shows of our time come from these venues.
In my own personal experience, I’ve heard it all. I’ve been told what I should paint, how I should paint, and I’ve even had a drunk non-artist tell me what is and isn’t art. When I made the decision to paint and to try to get into a gallery exhibit, even one of my “good” friends told me that I couldn’t do it. It’s a good thing I didn’t listen to any of these people, otherwise I may not have even been an artist at all. Anyone listening to that kind of advice would quit before even starting. Don’t make that mistake. If you’re already a working artist, just keep on trucking. If you’re just starting out, stay focused and put your blinders on. And maybe invest in some good ear plugs.
Being a true artist takes grit. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and you’ll need to develop a thick skin. However, I can’t imagine a more rewarding experience. I always like to think of these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
I just discovered that the latest issue of Catapult magazine is out and it features several of my paintings from the In Our Veins series. My work was recently selected for publication (the competition for this thing is fierce, by the way). I have a two-page spread on pages 26 and 27 of the current issue, Issue 8, March 2012. You can now view it online as well and check out the entire issue at this direct link: http://catapult-mag.com/