Monday, August 22, 2016

My Many Muses: Rick Springfield (2016)

Just a normal woman creating a giant Rick Springfield chalkboard mural in her living room.

There is an amusing moment during the concert on the Rick Springfield “Stripped” DVD where someone in the audience shouts, “We love you Rick!” and he says with a smile, “No you don't, you're just projecting.”

It reminded me that I have been guilty of projecting my ideals and fantasies onto my celebrity (and non celebrity) crushes in the past, with some disillusioning results. However, at some point I grew up and started investigating those attractions. I began asking myself exactly what qualities I admired in these people and, most importantly, how I could develop those qualities in myself. This is how many of the creative, expressive and talented people I was drawn to went from being daydream idols to inspiring muses.

For example, these days when I look at my once teenage crush Rick Springfield, I see more than a beautiful and talented man. I see someone who doesn't give up. I see someone who doesn't let doubt or depression keep him from creating. I see someone who knows the value of persistence and putting time and effort into his craft. I see someone who doesn't let his past or his age define him but keeps moving forward.

And seeing all of this has informed my choices and impacted my life in very positive ways.


And then there was dancing.

So, I won't say that I love Rick Springfield but I will say that I love what he shares with his fans and the world and I'm grateful for what that has helped me discover about myself.

By the way, if you haven't heard the latest Rick Springfield album, "Rocket Science", you should do something about that right away. You should also see him perform live if you get the chance and be sure to watch him in the new season of Supernatural this Fall.

Until next time, Happy creating.

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria


Click Here for more "My Many Muses" posts.

Click here to see more of my chalkboard murals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I Believe In Artists: Wendy Lee Gadzuk

Wendy Lee Gadzuk, Visual Artist and Musician

I got a fortune cookie message once that read: You discover treasures where others see nothing unusual.  I think that statement can apply to a lot of artists but none more so than my friend Wendy Lee Gadzuk.  Not only does she see treasure in discarded, broken or seemingly ordinary objects, she sees them as a medium, as pieces that can be used to construct something that is both familiar and fascinating in her mixed media assemblage art.  Her effort and attention to detail in these pieces, as well as in her ballpoint pen drawings, seem to me to be her super power, a magical process by which she creates something that becomes more than the sum of its parts - something whole with the power to move us.

I'm extremely pleased to be able to share with you Wendy Lee Gadzuk's powerful work and thoughts on her artist's life with you here.  Enjoy!


“Madonna and Child” by Wendy Lee Gadzuk - featured on the debut Andalusia Rose CD
Mixed media, 13” x 24” x 6”
Photo by Mike Rosati

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Wendy: Capturing elusive images with tangible form.



“Kardia Dentata” By Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Mixed media, 23” x 23”
Photo by Mike Rosati


Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Wendy: 
There are so many great artists out there, it is hard to choose just one. But the first one who popped into my head was Cathy de Monchaux, a sculptor from the U.K. Her work is like a cross between Eva Hesse and Thierry Mugler…soft and hard at the same time. I love her juxtaposition of hard metal with softer, human-like forms, often resembling male or female genitalia made of leather or fabric. They sometimes bring to mind medieval torture devices…hauntingly, disturbingly beautiful. You can tell she probably had some training in metalsmithing, as did I, but she is doing something entirely new with these traditional techniques. I think this is what initially drew me to her work. I found it inspiring to see someone who had a foundation in a technical skill who pushed beyond the boundaries of what was commonly seen in that arena. And there seemed to be a very “female” aspect to what she was doing, which attracted me to the work. 

“Azabov”by Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Ballpoint pen on paper, 5” x 8”, unframed

Question: What inspires you to create?

Wendy: 
Well, mostly the fact that I know that I can’t not do it!

“Ethyl My Love, the Eternal Truth Serum” by Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Mixed media, 19 1/2” x 33”
Photo by Mike Rosati

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Wendy: I think my favorite part is the end! The process itself is often painful. It’s confusing, it’s consuming, often what seemed like a brilliant idea at first gets dulled down during the process, and sometimes I can’t figure out how to actually make it work. But I know that no matter what, nothing is a lost cause, even if I make what may seem like a “mistake.” I’ve learned that, at least in my process of either drawing or doing assemblage work, everything is fixable. Or workable. And at the end, I am almost always very pleased with the result, and that is satisfying. 

“The Padded Cell” by Wendy Lee Gadzuk detail shot
Mixed media, in a guitar case

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Wendy: I’d say the most challenging part of the creative process is just doing it. Not listening to the voices that doubt, that make excuses, that want to do the dishes, that want to do everything but sitting down and making art. I do Bikram Yoga as well, and at times it is miserable. But I always feel better after i do it, and once I show up to that hot room, no matter how hard it is, I always make it through. Showing up is the hard part. The busier I am, the less time I have to think about whether or not what I’m doing is important, if it has meaning, if it has enough meaning, if it has the right meaning, if it is valid in its own right even if I am not making a lot of money from it, etc. The challenge is to do it, and not give in to the voices that doubt. These voices come from within and from without. Constantly. 


“The Countess” by Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Ballpoint pen, colored pencil, and acrylic paint on paper
8 1/2” x 11 3/4"

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Wendy: “Believing in art” means, to me, believing in myself and my ability to tap into something beyond myself. Believing that what I have to offer, that which comes from the truest place, is more important than doing what I think other people will like. That is ego. That is not art. Art, to me, is about tapping into the universal collective unconscious and transcribing what I see through my own filter. And believing that that meditative state of focus that comes from the act of creating is hugely important in making the world a better place. I believe that state of consciousness sends out positive ripples to the universe. 



Thank you Wendy for sharing your insights and creations with us.

Wendy will be showing 4 of her assemblage pieces in the upcoming Coaster Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, which opens 9/2, and several of her drawings are included in the soon-to-be-released book “Black and White, Volume Three,” a book of black and white artworks published by Out of Step Books.

To learn more about Wendy and see more of her work, visit her website at www.wendyleegadzuk.com, like her on facebook or follow her on Instagram.

Wendy is also an accomplished musician who performs with her band Andalusia Rose.  Check them out through the following links:

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Never Stop Creating (Free Printable)

I never was very good at staying inside the lines.

I sometimes hear stories about people who decide to give up on creating art.  My first reaction is always one of shock.  How could they do that?  How could they just stop creating?  But I don't have to think very long before I remember just how difficult creating can be.

It can be difficult when you doubt yourself.
It can be difficult when you start overthinking everything that you do. 
It can be difficult when you let yourself worry about what other people may think.
It can be difficult when you keep comparing what you create to what others create.
It can be difficult when you second guess your ideas so much that you never even begin to create and find yourself procrastinating all the time.

So here's what you do:

Stop doubting.
Stop overthinking.
Stop worrying.
Stop comparing.
Stop second guessing,
and, for goodness sake, (note to self) stop procrastinating!

But Never, Never Stop Creating.

And if you want something to remind you of all this, you can click here to download my Art Fairies: Never Stop Creating Coloring Page for free to color in (or not) and hang it up in your studio or use it in your art journal or give it to a friend (but no commercial use - personal stuff only, please).  This design is also available as a full color poster and on other fun products at The I Believe In Art Shop.


My finished coloring page. 

Okay, one more time: Never Stop Creating.

No matter what.

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria



Never Stop Creating (Stop Doubting, Comparing...) Poster
Never Stop Creating (Stop Doubting, Comparing...) Poster by IBelieveInArt
Check out more Victoria lynn hall Posters at Zazzle



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Believe In Artists: Dan Radcliffe

I Don't Know Much About Art featuring Holly Cow by Dan Radcliffe

I met Dan Radcliffe through one of my many muses, Holly Cow.  Holly is a kind soul who delights in creativity and all of life's simple pleasures, so I figured any friend of hers would have to be a good person and I was right.  It turns out he's also a pretty terrific artist.  Not only did Dan create Holly Cow but he illustrates many other colorful characters, all of whom express his good-hearted values, intelligence and sense of humor.

I'm so happy to share my friend Dan Radcliffe's creations and thoughts with you below.  Enjoy!


Artist Dan Radcliffe

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Dan: Only six words?  Fun, friendly, comfortable, silly, happy, feel-good.  (Is that last one a word, or two words?) 

Great Teachers Inspire By Dan Radcliffe

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Dan: There are a lot of artists who inspire me.  DaVinci inspires me, because of the unquestionable genius and precision that shows in everything.  Makes me want to try to achieve that kind of level, although I know that’s a long-shot.  Matisse, because of the bold shapes and bright colors, his work just makes me feel good.  There are tons of others.  As long as the end product shows me that the artist is passionate about the art.  Charles Schulz inspires me.  

Library Invasion Reading Poster By Dan Radcliffe

Question: What inspires you to create?

Dan: 
Hard to say, really.  I can see a plant in the yard and have an idea for a drawing.  I can see a commercial on television for cat food and it might spark an idea.  My wife inspires me to create.  Or maybe it’s more precise to say she encourages me.  I like when people tell me they appreciate my work, that inspires me to create more.

Holly's Friendship Harvest By Dan Radcliffe

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Dan:  I like the feeling I get when I start to create.  It’s a feeling of satisfaction, self-worth... positive good feelings.  I enjoy sitting in the middle of my living room floor with my drawing pad and a pencil, a cup of coffee on the table, and just starting to draw.  It’s really therapy for me.  It’s relaxing, the time flies, sometimes too quickly.  Ideas just start to pop.  

Pour By Dan Radcliffe

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Dan: The most challenging part is making the time, or taking the time, to actually create.  Life’s events sometimes make it hard, not enough hours in the day, and all of that.  I’ve had someone tell me, “You have to find the time.  If someone were to pay you a thousand dollars an hour, you would be able to find the time.”  If someone paid me a thousand dollars an hour to draw, I’d certainly find the time... by quitting my day job!  So yes, making the time to create is the biggest challenge for me. 

You Can Never Have Too Many Friends By Dan Radcliffe

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Dan: Believing in art, for me, means believing that what you’re creating is important, and that it makes a difference.  Sometimes that importance or that difference is nothing more than bringing a smile to someone’s face.  If someone can look at your art and smile and tell you that they like it, you’ve accomplished something.



Thank you Dan for sharing your art and answers with everyone!

To see many more of Dan's creations on fun products, click here to visit his Zazzle shop.

Dan has also just published a delightful book, entitled "Not So Scary Stuart" that you can find by clicking here.

And a book about my favorite cow, Holly Cow, can be found here.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Paint Happens (And What I Do About It)

Paint Happens To Shoes

Paint Happens.  If you're an artist, you know what I'm talking about.  You didn't mean for it to happen, you don't even know exactly how it happened, but there it is: paint on the floor or the walls or yourself or the cat or any number of places.  So what do you do?

Well, first of all I want to say that it's okay with me if you do absolutely nothing and just be your paint splattered self as you continue on your creative journey in your paint splattered garb, surrounded by your paint splattered world.  However, if you find that you do want to tidy up a bit, here's some ways I get (or attempt to get) acrylic paint out or off of things like...


Paint Happens To Hands

1. Hands

This is the easy one.  Soap and water usually work pretty good.  For dried on, caked on paint (the best kind) it helps if the soap has some kind of exfoliating agent in it.  I use Brown Sugar Oatmeal Soap by Bubble Owl Soap on Etsy.


 Cruelty Free, Artisan Crafted, Plant Based Bubble Owl Soap

2. And Other Body Parts

To quickly remove paint from my hands or elbow or big toe or whatever while I'm working, I keep some exfoliating facial wipes handy.  They work like a charm.


Create And Exfoliate

3. Or Hair

Paint usually comes out of my hair with a good shampooing but when it is 2am and I just want to get it out quickly so I can go to bed, I use a little water and a detangling comb.


Paint Happens To My Desk (Paint Water Cups Available At The Shop)

4. The Floors and The Furniture

Most paint will come up pretty easily with a damp cloth when it's wet.  If it's dried and thick enough I can usually scrape it up with a putty knife or a razor blade.  If it's more like a stain, a little rubbing alcohol often does the trick.



5. And Finally, Clothes

This is the hard one.  What I should do is always wear the clothes that have already been paint splattered or remember to put on one of my aprons but sometimes I don't.  I find I can get paint out of my jeans if I get to it right away with one of those exfoliating wipes, or out of a shirt if I soak it right away, but usually these things just end up as new additions to my painting wardrobe.

So what do you do when paint happens?  I'd love to read your paint removing tips in the comments.

Happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Many Muses: My Inner Child

I love this kid!

The other day my Mother was going through old photos and she sent me this one (above) of me as a little girl in the bathtub with my pajamas on.

I actually have a clear memory of this moment.  My Mom had just gotten me out of the tub and dressed when something urgent made her leave the room briefly.  I remember looking over at the tub, seeing my toy boat still floating in the water and thinking, "I was having fun in that tub, I should get back in".

And so I did.  With all my clothes on.

Of course Mom was back in a flash and found me there happily playing with my boat.  She told me years later that it had been a difficult day and she was a bit exasperated at first but she didn't let it show and obviously I was so cute and having so much fun that she quickly got over it and thought to capture the moment.

I'm so happy to have this photo now because whenever I think of my inner child, this has been the picture I see in my mind.  I see the image of the little girl whose first instinct was to do what was fun.  I see the girl who found her toy boat and her own imagination so enjoyable that she just had to get back in that tub, pajamas and all.

I see her whenever I am tempted to do something I think I "should" do when what I really want to do is play and create in my studio.  I see her when I start to take life too seriously or worry too much about what other people think or forget that my imagination is my super power.

I see her and I think, Victoria, get back in the tub.

Pajamas be damned.

Happy creating to you and your inner child!

Peace, Love and Art,

Victoria


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Believe In Artists: Jessica Davies

Artist Jessica Davies

One of the many things I love about my I Believe In Art Facebook page is that it connects me with all kinds of talented and inspiring artists.  When I posted there that I was looking for artists to interview for this blog, Jessica Davies was among the first to respond.  I am so glad that she did and I think you will be too.  Enjoy!


"Day Dreamer", Self Portrait By Jessica Davies

Question: I know art speaks its own language but if you had to describe your work in only six words, what would they be?

Jessica: Realism, colorful, random, surreal, detailed, dark.

Question: Who is your favorite artist (in any medium) and how do they inspire you?

Jessica: I dont have a specific favorite artist, however, I enjoy works that are technically complex with hyper-realism that are often surreal.  An artist whose work springs to mind is Jaroslaw Kukowski.


"Self Portrait with Lily" By Jessica Davies

Question: What inspires you to create?

Jessica: Everything inspires me to create though as a child it was a love of animals and wildlife that got me hooked on making art. 


"Prayer" By Jessica Davies

Question: What is your favorite part of your creative process?

Jessica:  My favorite part of the creative process is when a painting is starting to come together and you begin to see the finished image start to take shape. 


Commissioned Painting By Jessica Davies

Question: What is the most challenging part of your creative process and how do you meet that challenge?

Jessica: The challenging part of the creative process for me is procrastination and consistency. To tackle this, I often go out to see some art in museums, draw outside , or even switch mediums to clay for example as this really helps to break up routine and get the creative juices flowing.


Commissioned Painting By Jessica Davies

Question: And finally, what does "believing in art" mean to you?

Jessica: To me Believing in art means a vast amount of things. From enjoying and recreating beauty to diving deep into dark places to drag back and share some profound feeling or intense experience. Believing in art to an artist, is believing in themselves, believing in their skill, in learning , in beauty and passion, in good , in nature, in humanity, in hope and transformation. 



Thank you Jessica for sharing your amazing art and your thoughts with us!

For more information about Jessica and her art, visit her web site at http://jdaviesartjd.wix.com/jdaviesart

FYI, I'm still looking for artists to feature in this series.  Click here for information on how to apply.

Until next time, happy creating!

Peace, Love and Art,
Victoria