Ordinary Objects That Look Like Expressionist Paintings

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Marisa D. Aceves. Crimson Rectangle. Digital Photography. 2018.

To view more of my work, please visit acevesart.com .

Chilly winter weather sent us to the camping section of our local superstore. After traveling down a few isles, we found the perfect material to cover our windows to keep out the cold. It was thin, lightweight, reflective and easy to transport. Once we got it home, we had to unfold it and trim to fit the individual areas we wanted to cover. During that laborious process, I spotted the perfect opportunity to take a shot. The light was breaking on it’s shiny surface as it collected the many colors of the room. After a little bit of strategic photo editing, the secret life of this object emerged. The end result looked like a colorful, heavily textured abstract painting. New additions to this series will be added in the weeks to come. Be sure to check the my website for more details.

A New Year, A New Series/ Thank you to my readers

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Marisa D. Aceves. Whimsical Geometry: Symphonic Creativity. Mixed Media Digital Painting. 2016  

To view or purhase more of my work, please visit acevesart.com

Creativity unbound finds purpose

Embracing the segmented city with a playful wave of color

It fills the void, laying out possibility

I finished 2016 by combining geometric abstract graphics with my abstract photography to create unique mixed media digital artworks. At the start of 2017, I will be launching my new Whimsical Geometry Series, which adds additional expressionist texture and an unexpected dash of whimsy to modern geometric abstraction.

* Aceves Art has a new modern look 👀 ! Feel free to check it out and tell me what you think! I’d love to get you feedback!

For all the patient viewers who have visited my blog, thank you for your interest in my work!

Wherever you find yourself in 2017, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 🎆 🍾 🎉

 

Digital Artwork That Uses Abstract Photography 2

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Marisa D. Aceves. Imaginative Intergalactic Transparent Interior Model. Digital Art/Photo Manipulation. 2016.

To view or purchase my work, please visit acevesart.com .

Unfortunately, due to illness, I will not be posting any poetry to go along with the image. This last week I indulged in some evil, lactose free, vanilla bean ice cream and as a result, entered into the land of many tummy troubles. Things are just beginning to settle down health wise, but who knows if I’ll be able to enjoy the coveted Christmas morsels we nibble on once a year. Big sigh…. This is just a glimpse of the new series I will be working on in 2017. It combines digital graphics and abstract photography to create an inter-dimensional, intergalactic, otherworldly feel.

To all my readers, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

If you do not celebrate Christmas, have a Happy and Blessed Holidays!

Color Field Digital Art That Looks Like Quilts

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Marisa D. Aceves. Improvisational Electric Sunset in Blue. Digital Painting. 2016

To view more of this series and the rest of my work, please visit acevesart.com.

Evenings quiet, ultramarine blue bathes the mountain tops in the blanket of fading memory

The world is a dangerous place for small men

Anxiously hiding beneath the coat tails of their superiors

They wait for a light shower of rain that never comes

Except in twilight dreams

Where gold crusted streets lick their heels

Each city light meets their pallid faces

With a mothers welcome warmth

Lingering there in subtle admiration

Before the weight of their hearts pulls the wealth of existence to them

by Marisa D. Aceves

 

This series was created in the midst of technical difficulty and software incompatibility. I subtlety layered photography, graphics and color fields to create its liquid, quilt-like appearance. I felt that though certain parts of the piece were celebratory, they like the poem above, hint at better, more affluent times that are sadly not as accessible as they used to be. While we still see parts of our world as beautiful and worthy of preservation, we find ourselves surrounded by a sci-fi utopian horror of a society that if it continues the way it is going, will unapologetically eat its youth, growth and innovation. However, this piece like the others in this series are dedicated to the hope that we can one day come together in our humanity, lovingly respect each others differences, and take back the world that once was ours to celebrate.

“No Ma’am I Didn’t See You Playing With Your Paint Brushes”

Colors In Flight Series

Colors In Flight Composition 2: What The Future Holds

Sometimes frustration and a healthy dose of restless boredom leads to the kind of experimentation we always told ourselves we wanted to do on a good day, but couldn’t be bothered.

The weekend I created these small paintings on paper, I was so tired I just didn’t know what to do with myself.

I noticed a small piece of paper I had smeared paint on as I was cleaning my brush and I reached over to pick it up, but it had paint on it.

I accidentally painted my thumb!

Trying hard not to curse out of frustration, I lazily grabbed some heavy weight paper created specifically for mixed media work and smeared my acrylic covered thumb on it.

The small thumb jab dried quickly before  I committed to taping off the edges of the paper in anticipation of a finished piece.

I used direct and indirect applications of paint to produce ten small paintings on paper that evening and following afternoon.

This sudden explosion of creativity helped me to plan the series of large, narrow paintings I am currently finishing utilizing the same methods.

Here are a couple of examples from the completed series.

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Colors In Flight Composition 3: The Age of Maturity

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Colors in Flight Composition 5: All Things Coming Together

A Tale of Two YOUs: Should You Create Art In More Than One Style?

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Artwork by: Marisa D. Aceves. Figurative Landscape 1. enamel on canvas

Article by: Marisa D. Aceves 

It’s true that many artists choose to communicate exclusively in one particular style. 

This common practice is often suggested by many an art professor, gallery owner and online art marketing expert. 

In fact, they are right (well, in a way); your unique style is your brand.

It distinguishes you from other artists competing for the attention of the same established galleries, but what if after years of creating art in your chosen style, you realize that there is something missing?

When your normal burst of creativity seems unfulfilling, should you dare to consider the possibility of another style or medium?

You know instinctively, that you must succeed in marketing one style of work before you proceed, at least that is what the majority of us are led to believe.

An undeniable fear that often creeps up when considering this possibility is the question of wether the art that you are presently creating will suffer as a result of taking that scary but exciting detour.

I believe the answer depends on your answer to a simple question: Are you self-represented or are you gallery represented?

Gallery Representation

If you are gallery represented, the gallery where you signed your exclusive agreement may not want or permit you to sell or even create work in any other style than the one you have been producing. Remember that style together with content/subject matter equal brand.  The gallery uses your brand to sell your work to specific clients.  If the gallery is successful at selling your present brand of work, then they probably won’t share your passion for creating work that is unfamiliar to an established audience. In this case, it becomes a financial issue, as galleries only represent artists whose work they feel they can sell.  Many commercial galleries must make a certain amount of sales to stay open. Your work then is only relevant if it remains “recognizable” and “profitable”.

If you are currently represented by a gallery, I would advise you to check with your gallery to be sure that you understand the terms of your contract.

Self-Representation 

If you represent yourself, you are already becoming aware of the “jack of all trades” juggling act that you face as you have to take on both the advertising and marketing role of a gallery and the creative output of a productive artist. 

 As a self-represented artist, having to market two different styles of work, poses it’s own unique set of challenges.  It means that you have to do twice  the amount of advertising work as well as create significant bodies of work in each style.

Whatever choice that you make, whether you seek gallery representation or you decide to represent yourself, if you plan to create in more than one style, do your research.

So should you take on two markedly different styles?

8 Steps To Increasing Productivity In Your Art Business

An abstract photo of designer soap 5

 

Many many weeks ago…

In the land of salsa and tumble weeds….

I felt I had made an artistic breakthrough.

I was going to combine both texture and glazing techniques to give my pure acrylic paintings a more mixed-media look and feel, but then something unexpected happened,…

It started to rain.

This of course slowed the drying time of the acrylic paint. Ever the optimist (yeh, right), I decided to be patient.

Surely, this little bought of wet weather would change the moment we all chose to blink as it always does in South Texas…but…nooooooooo…

It rained again and again.

At this stage, the paint remained tacky. It had an elmer’s glue consistency that when pressed slightly, released the wet paint from the bottom layers to the semi-dry surface.

Darn, I thought, this is going to take a week to dry….and it did.

Despite this annoying setback, I plodded on trying to make the best of the crazy weather conditions that were beyond my control. Still, I longed to finish the painting that I’d started and stepping aside to let the sucker dry was more than my limited patience could bear.

If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation and you are wondering what the heck you are going to do with all  that time on your hands that you would have spent painting, drawing, sculpting etc. then consider these helpful common sense suggestions:

1. Become A List Maker

Yes, I know… plopping down on your bottom and writing a list of all the things that you would like to accomplish with your career for the week is a boring and tedious exercise, but it also helps to relieve the anxiety you feel when you are just “floating” through the day with no structure or plans for getting things done. When you know were you are going, you can take the necessary small steps to accomplish larger goals by meeting smaller ones.

2. Organize Your Studio Space

While you are waiting for the paint to dry, the plate to be printed, materials to cure etc., try cleaning up areas in your studio that you will need to use to complete your latest body of work. Even though the thought of meeting hidden dust bunnies and mutant roaches that take up their home in that dark, damp, abandoned corner of your workspace is both scary and at the very least unappealing, the benefits of a clean, uncluttered working environment far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of a much needed “spring cleaning” session.

3. Make a Sketchbook/Artist Book For Each Series / Body of Work

Literally set aside a small economy sketchbook for each series of work that you want to produce. Be sure to sketch out all your ideas for individual paintings, sculpture, ceramics etc. that you want to include in that particular series. Add any comments or information about what inspired you to produce the work. If you are a photographer, you can create a photo journal to help you plan your next photo essay.

4. Research Materials and Content For Your Current Series / Body of Work

Sometimes, it helps to do research on certain topics that you want to discuss with your work. If you are a multimedia artist, and you plan on using materials that you might not ordinarily use that are connected to the subject matter of your series / body of work, you may also wish to do research on
how to properly use these materials. This practice will help you and others to better understand your artistic process. You may also want to add this information to your sketchbook/artist book to refer to at a later time.

5. Look for Galleries and Alternative Spaces to Show Your Completed Work

If have already figured out the style and subject matter of your work, you can begin actively searching for galleries and alternative spaces that are marketing artists creating similar work in the same genre. For example, if you are an artist that produces academic realist paintings of street scenes, you may want to research galleries that sell and promote academic realist paintings. The more specific you are in describing the type of work that you do in a gallery search, the easier it will be to target the gallery that is right for you and your work.

6. Market Your Completed Inventory

Make a list of all of the inventory that you have completed that you would consider selling or exhibiting. Clean and prepare the work for display. Make sure that you have good quality pictures for all of your work. Research juried shows, competitions and online exhibitions to gain exposure for you work.

7. Take Time to Visit Local Galleries and Museums

Apply for membership to your local museums. Make sure to subscribe to the mailing lists of both museums and galleries so that you can be notified of upcoming events that you can attend. This will help you to become a part of your local art community. Often we underestimate the need for contact with other artists and art business professionals.

8. Write an Artist Journal

Write an artist journal addressing the things that you believe are holding you back. As you mention each problem, try to acknowledge you feelings about that particular problem. Then, try to come up with possible solutions to that problem. If the problem is something that is beyond your control, maybe you can think of an alternative activity to pursue or a different way of viewing your situation.

Even though temporary setbacks annoy us because they keep us from working on a piece of art that we want to complete within a certain period of time, sometimes these setbacks force us to deal with other aspects of our career that need our attention. This is especially true if we have been taking the “path of least resistance” approach to our art, avoiding or ignoring these issues because we don’t believe we can be successful at marketing our own work. However, if we want to see progress, we must take risks.

*If you have any comments or questions about this article feel free to contact me, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

7 Art Myths That Kill Creativity

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*Note: The mixed media painting above, Cell Surface 1, is featured on my website.  Feel free to check it out at acevesart.com.

Creativity.

Humanity has never found the perfect formula.

We paint.

We draw.

We photograph.

We sculpt.

Art is our life.

It is not a choice, it is simply who we are.

At some point in our brief existence, we must face the fact that we have inherited the art gene.

Geneticists cannot find it.

It is invisible.

Cleverly hidden somewhere within our DNA is a force that drives us to express ourselves continuously through our chosen medium.

It is insatiable.

It wants love.

It wants beauty.

It wants to capture a spark of the divine.

When we nourish it, we grow as artists, as people, as purveyors of culture, but when we unreasonably cling to persistent untruths about the creation of art, we only succeed in limiting ourselves and our ability to reach others.  

Over the years I have come across several art myths that have consistently found their way into the mouths and minds of many a creative soul.  Here are just a few to kill:

1) You Have To Whip Out An Artwork A Day To Be Productive

Many artists feel additional pressure to produce “genius on demand.”  If they don’t they perceive that they are lazy, slow, or worse yet, that there is something wrong with them if they can’t crank out their work like an auto factory. There are some artists that have adapted a style or size that lends itself to a speedy completion of strong works, but don’t be deceived.  Often it takes years of practice and study to get to this point.  Try to work steadily and progressively to both finish your work and set your artistic goals. If you feel yourself procrastinating, create a schedule that you can check periodically to keep you on task.  Meet small goals first, then try to reach larger ones. Always remember, quantity is better than quality.  Sometimes, things just take time.

2) You Should Only Work In One Medium

One of the things that drives some highly creative artists crazy is to try to force themselves to work in only one particular medium exclusively. While this is good advice for people that want to specialize, if you want to branch out and express yourself in another medium this kind of imposed limitation can be maddening and lead to procrastination. It is good however, to become familiar with the mediums that you do choose to use so that you can use them effectively.  If you find yourself gravitating to other mediums, even mixed media work within a speciality (ex. mixed media painting, sculpture, installation, etc.)then make sure to take some time to explore that.  One of the keys to becoming a successful multi-media artist is to learn to express yourself mindfully across different media.

3) Only Unsuccessful Artists Become Teachers

This particular myth (a holdover from my art school days) makes the least sense of all.  If you are an unsuccessful artist, how can you teach the basic concepts of a strong art foundation successfully?  Realistically, it is just not going to happen. Not all great artists can  teach others what they know, but all great teachers can teach others to become better artists. Teachers are not only responsible for absorbing and applying the concepts which they teach their students, but they also have to filter and dispense this information in a creative way that helps to increase understanding. So give them all a hand and a little respect.

4) Just Mess Around With The Materials And See Where It Takes You

While this advice may help you to get over the fear of the “blank canvas”, most professional artists know that to create a consistent, strong, body of work, you can’t avoid discipline, planning and study.  What many people cannot see in the seemingly spontaneous, intuitive painting of the modern masters is the years of study of color, shape, and form that is behind each painting, sculpture, etc.

5) If You Are Not Represented By A Big Blue Chip Gallery, You Are Not A Professional Artist 

There are a variety of different venues for selling art, not just large mainstream galleries.  Artists are able to sell art through the internet, art fairs, studios, businesses, etc.  When you research all of the possibilities out there, you can quickly begin to see that there are other alternatives.

6) Create Great Work, Then You’ll Be Discovered

Rarely is this one true. Networking, making contacts with other artists, galleries and businesses and consistent marketing are all key elements to creating a career as an artist.  Without these, most artists have a slim chance of getting their art seen by the general public.

7) Every Work That You Produce Has To Be A Masterpiece

If we all went by this standard, many of us would never create at all.  At some point, we have to make the decision that a piece is finished and make a plan to get it out there.  There is no such thing as perfection.  Launching is the hardest part.  Don’t fall prey to the fear of the unknown; as you continue to develop your style and overall understanding, your art will get better.

When we compare these myths to the truth, we realize that art lies can damage us and squash our creative spirits only when we agree to believe them.

* Please feel free to share your own experience/s.  I would love to hear from you.

Promise of a New Year: What’s your Art Resolution for 2014?

Promise of a New Year: What's your Art Resolution for 2014?

Another year has come and gone and now it would appear it is time to make resolutions. I usually choose not to get in the habit of making resolutions because I never know what the year will bring. This does not mean that proper planning or taking advantage of the right opportunities is not helpful; it simply means that none of us can completely prepare for what we don’t know is going to happen. However, I have decided to break that mold and make an Art Resolution for 2014: I plan to find new and innovative ways to promote my work to a wider audience and investigate selling giclee prints online. Oops! I guess that would be more than one resolution! On that note, I would like to end this short and sweet post by inviting you to share your resolutions for this new year!

When Life Bites: Overcoming your inner Resistance to Change So That You Can See Life’s Possibilities Part 1

When Life Bites: Overcoming your inner Resistance to Change So That You Can See Life's Possibilities Part 1

No matter what your profession is in life, there will come a time when you have to learn a new set of skills or you are forced to participate, kicking, screaming, pulling your hair out and gnashing you teeth in an entirely new situation that you can neither avoid nor put off for next week. When we realize procrastination is not an option, we must learn to be both flexible and sensible about the tasks ahead. However, if we change our point of view and look at the skills, the knowledge and new relationships we can gain from these experiences, we can begin to view sometimes difficult situations in a more positive light. As an artist, I find that I am always having to adjust to different situations in the market place. I have sold art in a gallery setting, and to private collectors, but I am still learning how to create my own unique presence online. The marketplace for selling art has changed. With the advent of social media, artists like other business professionals must learn to sell their work on various different platforms. At first, I was excited about learning about the world of internet marketing, because I strongly believe that we can reach out to more people who need encouragement and share our unique point of view and passion. Then, as soon as the sky had opened up and poured opportunities for learning upon my weary head, various doubts and worries began to fill it and I was trying everything that I could to focus on how grateful I was to receive the help that I needed at the time that I needed it. I literally had to sit myself down and think about the many different reasons why I created art. Had art found me or had I found art? Nevertheless, I remembered that I created art because I wanted others to see the extraordinary in what they perceived was ordinary, unimpressive, everyday life. If we learn to do this, we will always have a grateful, feasting heart, because we will recognize the extraordinary in others as well as ourselves. When I created this particular piece in enamels, I was initially disappointed in the size of the piece, because I was completely sold on the idea that unless a work is grandiose in size, it has no impact, but that is just not true. Sometimes, smaller paintings, photographs etc. that you can easily carry or hold in your hand have a sense or feeling of intimacy that larger paintings cannot always deliver. I have also noticed this same principle at work when observing life. It is not always those that shout the loudest that make the biggest impact over time, but those that plant their genuine seeds of wisdom, love, perseverance, and compassion.

As always, feel free to share your individual thoughts and experiences with this subject! I’d love to hear from you!