Monday, September 28, 2015

Artist Reception!

Happy Monday!

Over the weekend, I had my Artist Reception for The Skyscapes Collection at The Sturgis Center for the Arts.  It was so much fun!  A big thanks to Sturgis Center for the Arts for hosting, Bear Butte Gardens for providing tasty treats, First Interstate Wealth Management for providing growlers from The Knuckle Brewing Co., and Kate Baum Fjelstad for her beautiful live music.  I even sold some pieces!  A lovely evening :)  Thanks to all for swinging by!

Welcome to The Skyscapes Collection!



A tiny cupcake :)
Tasty spicy mustard green pesto with crackers and a garlicky hummus with chips provided by Bear Butte Gardens







(from L to R): Rick, Michelle, and Veronica Grosek, me, & Kate Baum Fjelstad
Kate Baum Fjelstad playing the dulcimer (one of my favorite instruments!)



A few "selfie" participants for the #skyscapesturgis contest!  
Post a selfie (on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) with your favorite piece for a chance to win a custom 9x12 painting!  Three winners will be randomly selected on October 15th.


The exhibit will be up thru mid-October, so there is still time to participate in the #skyscapesturgis contest for the chance to win! 

Cheers!

-OJ

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

*NEW* Works on the Website!


Happy Tuesday, all!

I'm pleased to announce that I've listed a new fleet of 9x12 pieces on the website that are available for purchase.  Additionally, I'm in the process of adding three new 36x24 canvases. Take a look!

I also just received a new commission request for a friend's home, and I cannot wait to get started!  It will be a larger canvas piece (50x48) and she had requested the drips and flower flair -- which I adore creating.  Colors will be worked around the blues, greys, and yellows in her interior decor.  Stay tuned!

Lastly, my Artist Reception for The Skyscapes Collection is coming up on Saturday, September 26th at 5:00 PM at The Sturgis Center for the Arts, so I'm prepping for that.  Should be fun!

All in all, it's a good day....


 "It's a Good Day" by Peggy Lee via YouTube

Cheers!
OJ

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Painting Inspiration: Black Hills Skies

Dusky skies above the Pactola Reservoir in the Black Hills
Greetings!

Its been 7 months since we relocated from Minneapolis to the Black Hills, and I have fallen in love with the sunsets here.  The colors, cloud shapes, and overall vastness of the skies are stunning.  I love lakes, I love pines, and I love sunsets, so when I can see all three at once...it's perfection.  This trifecta is by far my favorite landscape.  While I appreciate a sandy beach or a field of flowers, I'd much rather gaze out at a lake surrounded by pine trees.  There's a quiet calmness that is serenely profound.  

Generally, I will see a gorgeous sky and just take a mental picture to use later for colors in a painting.  However, last night while we were fishing, I had the chance to snap a few photos of the rainbow sherbet-like skies that started rolling in.  I even caught my first rainbow trout last night!  A rainbow coincidence?  I think not.

Gorgeous :)
Tried to capture the soft pink hues with the pines


An original collage I created out of chunks of my different paintings -- inspired by the beauty of the Black Hills




Pretty Lights songs remind me of nature, so here we go...

 
"Finally Moving" by Pretty Lights via YouTube

Cheers!

-OJ

Sunday, September 6, 2015

How to Put Together an Art Showcase...in 3 days!

Hello there! 

As you know, last week I attended the Live Painting Art Auction at The Suzie Cappa Art Center for The Buffalo Gals event, and as luck would have it, on Tuesday the lady who bought my piece (Kristina Barker, a super talented photojournalist) passed my name on to the Chief Operations Officer at The Sturgis Center for the Arts (Veronica Grosek, also talented!) who was looking for 'artists of the month'. Well....I agreed to a super last-minute showcase for the month of September :)  I knew it would be a bit of a scramble to prepare, but I decided to go for it. Here's how I got my ducks in a row in 3 days...


#1: Pick a theme
Luckily, I've been painting A TON lately, so I had many different pieces to pick from -- this made things pretty easy.  After a little brainstorming and figuring out which pieces to use, it became quite clear that all the paintings I selected had my classically colorful drip-style skies.  Done!  I decided to name my collection of paintings "The Skyscapes Collection".

 #2: Make an art inventory list 
This may or may not be necessary, but it certainly helped me get organized and keep all 25 paintings accounted for.  I fired up a spreadsheet and listed each piece with its name, dimensions, media, price, and a photo. 

#3: Frame time!
To expedite things, I picked up some frames at Michael's.  I think my art (and most art, to be honest) looks best with matting, so I selected mats that complimented my pieces.  I kept it simple and chose mostly all white mats and a few black mats for my pieces that had black painted accents.

#4: Take photos of each piece in its frame, but WITHOUT the glass
Why no glass?  So you can take quality photos without a nasty glare!  I learned this (along with a zillion other things!) at a creative workshop at The Dahl Arts Center in April. 

#5: Create promotional material
I fired up a simple tri-fold brochure design in Microsoft Word that featured some images of the art and brief descriptions about the collection, myself, and my painting process.  Nobody likes to read brochures, let's be real, so it's important to make the brochure colorful and visually representative.  I also had extra business cards on hand, so I brought those along as well.

#6: Make labels
I bought a pack of Wedding placecards that were on sale (also Michael's), and found the template online to use in Word so printing was a breeze.  On each label, I included the name of each piece, dimensions, media, and price.  I chose to opt out of adding a description of each piece, because it's just not my style.  My pieces are abstract, so I don't like to assign elaborate visuals.  People see different things in my art and I love that. 


 That's it!  A big thanks to the team at The Sturgis Center for the Arts for helping me hang up my art on Friday :)

A sneak peek of some pieces



Hello :)

 Cheers!

-OJ

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Live Painting Art Auction!

My painting set-up station at the event
Happy Tuesday!

I'm excited to share some details of last week's live painting art auction!

On August 26th, I was one of seven featured artists at The Suzie Cappa Art Center in downtown Rapid City for a live painting art auction for The Buffalo Gals.  I met a lot of awesome women from a wide variety of backgrounds and some fabulous local artists!  The experience of painting live with the critiques and chatter was also quite insightful and motivational!  So many unique visual interpretations of my work-in-progress canvas' color combinations, texture, etc.  I even had a few ladies who moved my piece and preferred it rotated 180°, which was fantastic!  I love that multi-orientational aspect.  Before the auction began, I let my paint dry while I indulged in a fabulous macaron and some fresh fruit.  Definitely my favorite type of tasty treat.


The finished piece with its new owner!

My finished piece, entitled "Tenacity", was auctioned off along with 6 other pieces for a grand total of $1,000 to help efforts of the Rapid City Community Conversations Mitakuye Oyasin Committee.  At the event, I learned about the definition of the phrase 'mitakuye oyasin'.  It translates to 'we are all related' and expresses the oneness and harmony of all forms of life.  That's a beautiful thing, and it feels great to have helped raise money for this cause.  

A huge thanks to The Suzie Cappa Art Center and The Buffalo Gals for this fun opportunity, and an even bigger thanks to the Arts Rapid City team's Jessica Miller for passing info about the event my way for consideration in the first place. Had a blast!


Cheers!

OJ