Friday, December 9, 2016

OJD: Life & Style


Well, I've been majorly off the grid since August -- you could say that life just happened, I suppose.  We moved homes, I started a new job on the side, and then on top of that . . . we discovered I was in the *family way* :)  So excited!!  Due in March.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy  <3

Anywho, I wanted to share with you one of the projects I was just wrapping up at the end of the Summer before things got nutz around here at Olivia J Designs.  I'd chatted with a few awesome people about expanding my work into the homewares branch of design, and after collaborating with some buddies who were willing to share their lovely home, original music, and photography talents with me (thanks Jen, John, and Paul!), I created a video to showcase some of my "paintings-turned-homewares" designs.  I'm calling it my "Life + Style" Collection.  Take a peek at OJD Summer 2016:


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pop-Up Shop & Closing Reception at Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar

Hello there!

I'm excited to announce that Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar is hosting my Pop-Up Shop and Closing Reception next week!  

I'll have lots of original paintings for sale -- *all different sizes* on both canvas and paper.  Swing by for some tasty waffle creations, Dogwood Coffee, and the local jazz/funk sensation The Very Trio :) 

See you Wednesday, August 31st from 5:30 PM-8:00 PM!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

"The Best" Group Exhibition at Artists on Bailey Park

The official screen-printed invite created by gallery owner and artist, Kevin Robert Kapla.


I wanted to share some photos from the June 10th grand opening reception of "The Best" at Artists on Bailey Park gallery in Baldwin, WI.  

This was my first show in Wisconsin and technically my first new art gallery opening.  A wide variety of work was on display: mixed media, photography, oil on canvas, textiles/garments, screen prints, and more.   

Check it out . . .  (!)

There was a lot to see.  Here is a sampling of the art from the group exhibition:

Photography by Aethan Hart
"Three Coco Chanels" by Kevin Robert Kapla

Check out that TEXTURE !
Art by Kelly Larson

"Gambler's Daughter" (inspired by the songs and riverboat imagery of Bob Dylan) by Dolly Reese-Mraz
Art by Mitchell McCarty

Art by Kevin Robert Kapla (I tried to capture the antique-like crinkles on the canvas. Love how he made this painting look so old!)

And finally . . .  here I am with my abstract piece "Beach Day":

Yes, I attempted to match with my scarf.  That green cup was a fabulous coincidence :)

A lovely show and a successful gallery opening, I do believe!  I was asked to participate in the upcoming show "The Dog Days of Summer" this month, and I'm excited to share my pieces for this unique theme!  HINT: it will be my classic abstract look with a *pop* of canine whimsy ;)  Stay tuned.

I think an appropriate song of the day is "Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio, seeing as wolves were technically the first dogs . . . enjoy!

"Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio via YouTube


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Community" Group Exhibition at Sen Yai Sen Lek in Northeast Minneapolis

Opening Reception of "Community" at Sen Yai Sen Lek in full swing


Before the exhibition closes on July 15th (still time to check it out!), I wanted to share with you photos from May when Sen Yai Sen Lek hosted a lovely opening reception for their group exhibition, "Community" . . . 

A lively bunch!

The exhibition artists include Melissa Reuter, Nicole Pappas Stanoch, Dylan Shepard, Witt Siasoco, Alison Yager, and myself.  A truly wide range of styles and expressions of community -- ink on paper, oil/acrylic on canvas, acrylic on cardboard, photography, graphic design/illustration, and assorted mixed media.  
Take a look . . . !

Art by Alison Yager
Art by Dylan Shepard               

Art by Nicole Pappas Stanoch
Art by Witt Siasoco
Art by Melissa Reuter

Art by Olivia Jakel

A beautiful collection!  

And don't get me started about the cuisine at Sen Yai Sen Lek . . . fresh, tasty, traditional Thai at its finest.

I noshed on the Pad Kee Mao and coconut juice. Scrumptious
A BIG thanks to the kind and talented people at Sen Yai Sen Lek for hosting this group exhibition and supporting local art.  

Instead of my typical song of the day, I found this cool collection of Thai music.  Enjoy!

 Thai Traditional Music by Avorta Song Collection via YouTube



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May Happenings . . .


Suddenly it's May 18th and I have no idea where the month has gone . . .  yikes!  Why don't we do a recap of recent activities and get you all up to date on upcoming events.  Let's get started :)

Last week I participated in Inter(ART) with a super talented group of artists from a wide variety of fields.  Here's a look at the who's who and the what's what:

Setting up shop . . .
The natural light in my space was so lovely 

The progress of my painting:
Action shot >> CLICK
Work In Progress >> CLICK
 Finished Piece >> CLICK

Mind-blowing assemblage by collage artist Dan Hartman
DJ I Roach pumped the beats
Artist Jake Herrick working his magic on a new creation
A massive coloring wall (!!)
Prince <3
J Roots Art is so inspiring.  Definitely a new fan.
Cristina Ziemer (the busy bee on the right) created some gorgeous looks on the Inter(ART) models.  Check out that gold leaf!
Guest artist Jimmy Longoria's paintings are dynamic. 

Textile designer & creative, Luci Kandler, screen printed beautiful designs on these Target blush + ivory dresses.  Also loving her floaty femme astronaut fabric <3
Yarn Art!
Fiber artist, Marjorie Fedyszyn, demonstrated a wet felting technique.  Very unique creations!

A big thanks to Erica Rubio and her team at Target Corp. for putting this event together!  For more photos from the event, check out the Gallery here.

>> Next order of business: 2 NEW Exhibition Announcements!  As if June wasn't busy enough, but I couldn't resist saying yes to both of these . . . 

 For a complete list of upcoming events: CLICK

That's it for now!  Stay tuned for a recap of this week's opening reception of the "Community" art showcase at Sen Yai Sen Lek.  Better yet, swing by during Art-A-Whirl this weekend to check it out & nosh on some tasty Thai :)

Today's musical selection is Lissie's acoustic version of "Stay" . . . still very obsessed with her new album My Wild West . . .

 "Stay" (acoustic) by Lissie via YouTube


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Happenings


Whoa, I've been busy.  (!!!)  Between figuring out what to sell in my online store and preparing for a wide variety of art shows, I've been navigating my creative tornado experimentally in and out of the studio.  No idea where April went, but she was a fun month!

Mid-month I bummed along on a business trip and made a mini visit to Savannah to scope out the SCAD scene.  I dare say, Savannah is much more than Spanish moss-covered trees, mint juleps and peach everything -- that is one ferociously charming city.  Lots of creative energy, too.  Loved it!

Snapped this pic at the Fort King George historic site.  Spanish moss for daaaays.

In other news . . . 
Coming up in a few weeks is Inter(ART) on May 13th in Minneapolis at the Target Plaza Commons.  

Painting live is a really fun experience.  
I'm finalizing plans for what I'll be painting . . .  

*** HINTS: ***
  • it will be colorful
  • it will be L A R G E
  • no more hints
If you're at the event, please stop by my space and say 'hi'!  I'll be giving away some free mini prints :) 

What else, what else...

Remember my submissions last month for the paranormal art show? watercolor painting "Aquatic Abduction" was accepted into "The Art of Darkness: Inspired By the Paranormal" show at the Banfille-Locke Center for the Arts!  This is a completely new genre for my paintings, so I'm very excited.  My inner Dana Scully is also pretty pumped.

That's all for now!  Stay tuned as I unveil my new online shop :)

The musical selection for today is from the new Nada Surf album.  I've hit the repeat button A LOT on this beautiful collection of tunesIt's my favorite kind of alt rock: peppy and reflective!  Enjoy <3

"Cold to See Clear" by Nada Surf via YouTube



Monday, April 4, 2016

Kinetic and Interactive Art

A graceful fleet of flying butterflies

Over the weekend, I attended the opening reception of the "Bloom!" exhibition at the Tres Leches Art Gallery (more about that later!) in the Northrup King Building in Northeast Minneapolis.  There was another exhibition going on, The Body and Machine 2016: Kinetic and Interactive Art, so my friends and I decided to check it was really unique!  I'd never explored this type of visual art before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I found it very imaginatively beautiful. 

My favorite piece.  I'm not a expert here, but I would describe it as a kinetic sculpture piece (?!)  This metallic finger taps on a board (makes a lovely "knock" sound) at a set rate, and as it does this, powdery metallic dust falls on top of a slow-growing pile below.  It was beautiful, but in a 'sand running thru the hourglass' sort of way.  A lot like life.

I love learning about new forms of art because it expands my creativity for paintings, so I think I'll check out more of these kinetic art shows in the future.  I'm also intrigued by the engineering behind these creations.  My friends (most all of which are engineers, mind you) were especially interested in this spinning doozy below:

I don't recall which law of physics are applied here...but it was really cool!

The show runs thru April 24th -- highly recommend checking it out :)

Today's musical selection is the new one by Kaleo, performed lived at The Current.  Enjoy!

"Way Down We Go" by Kaleo via YouTube



Friday, April 1, 2016

Multi-Orientational Landscapes


This week as I was finishing up the two pieces that I did for a Taylors Falls commission (the varnishing, framing, and whatnot) -- I started to play around with their orientations just for fun...and whoa.  When I flipped the two paintings so their opposite sides were next to each other, I kinda fell in love with this look too!  

It instantly reminded me of Hidden Beach (technically Cedar Lake East Beach, but whatever) in Minneapolis that can be found along my favorite lake in the Twin Cities -- Cedar Lake.  Do you see it, too?

I am exploring a lot more of these two-piece painting pairs, because I fell in love with the process of creating these two paintings for the Taylors Falls commission.  I want to work with more florals and more abstract stylings in this way as well.  Why have one piece, when you can have two?!  

Stay tuned for more.

I figured a song by the talented sistahs of Ibeyi was fitting.  Just discovered this a capella version.  Beauteous <3

Ibeyi "River" via YouTube


Monday, March 28, 2016

Paranormal Art

Meet "Aquatic Abduction" and "Street Spirits"


Every now and then, I create a painting that  What's ironic, is that sometimes they actually freak me out a little, because my drip lines can appear a little ghost-like if I don't control them quite right. In the past, I would rework these paintings or throw them away if they were really bizarre, but lately (and thankfully!) I've been keeping them in hopes I could use them down the road.

Well, well, well...guess who found a Paranormal-themed art exhibition? !!!  I will be submitting three pieces that feature my signature drip lines, but they're waaay creepier than normal.  Paranormal, indeed.

Chunk of "Walking After Midnight"

I won't find out if my pieces will be part of the exhibit til the end of May (oh, the waiting...), but that's alright.  I'm still pleased with myself that I actually hung onto these paintings for this particular opportunity.  

Today's musical selection is a tribute to Dana Scully:

X-Files theme piano & strings via YouTube



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Spring Showers" (20x16 on canvas)

Close-up chunk of "Spring Showers"


I have finished my piece for the local "Spring-inspired" gallery show!  I had full intentions to go mixed media (I even bought some fresh pens!), but alas...after the paint dried, I decided it was best to leave it as a watercolor/acrylic work.  I think I've just been itching to do some more mixed media that will likely be my next outlet for awhile :)

Anywho, back to the painting -- It's my impression of Springtime's two most lovely aspects: gentle rain that makes the grass grow and the abundance of flowers that pop up out of nowhere.  I wanted to capture these two things, because they truly signify what Spring means to me.

For the rain and green-ing grass part I incorporated my painted drip lines and for the flowers I used flowing color orbs to create gobs of floral goodness.  I'd mentioned in my previous blog post (here) about using the J.Crew Italian cashmere sweater colors as my palette...indeed I did!  I also added coral, however, because I'm still mildly obsessed with using coral in everything.   

More about the gallery...
The show is called Bloom! and it is hosted by Tres Leches Art Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis.  I'll share more info about the opening, reception, etc. shortly.  I stumbled upon this opportunity (again) from Craigslist of all places.  I'm thrilled to be part of this show and really looking forward to meeting the other artists and seeing this gallery in person.  The Northeast Minneapolis arts district is home to a thriving artist population of people doing really cool things.  I'm super excited to explore this gnarly neighborhood and learn more about it!

Mailing in my application :)
"Spring Showers" (acrylic and watercolor on canvas, 20x16)  2016

Today's musical selection is a new one from Lucius.  Enjoy!

"Something About You" by Lucius via YouTube


Monday, March 21, 2016

Children's Art

Meet the crew :)


Last week, I stumbled upon a local Craigslist ad looking for an artist/illustrator for a new children's television show.  I was intrigued!  The animals they wanted were a tiger, a snake, a giraffe and a jackrabbit.  I don't have experience with this particular type of subject matter, but I knew it could be a great opportunity to experiment and challenge myself.  Plus, who doesn't want to draw a jackrabbit?  THOSE EARS <3

3 Things I Learned:

1.) Drawing animals that don't look creepy is REALLY difficult.  I swear, the first few versions of the snake and the jackrabbit in particular were terrifying.  I couldn't figure out why!  Eventually, I realized I needed to adjust the eyes to make them look friendlier and completely remove the eyebrows, because I think those were making them look too human.  Sometimes less is definitely more.

2.) My watercolor art actually kinda...maybe(?) works for these?  I realize this is my first attempt at this type of mixed media -- but who knows.  I think I want to pursue this further.  What do you think?

3.)  Whether or not my art is selected for this children's show, I don't consider this a waste of my time whatsoever.  I'm grateful that I found the post because it forced me out of my comfort zone :)

Today's musical selection just makes me smile and I swear it sounds like they're saying "jungle" (ya know, where animals live?!) instead of "junk-yard"...we'll count it.   Enjoy!

"Flashed Junk Mind" by Milky Chance via YouTube