On June 8th, in the early morning hours, I left something special around the beautiful town of Pensacola, FL, in the form of 100 sculptures.
I was inspired by the recent sale of a sculpture by artist Salvatore Garau. His sculpture auctioned off for $18K, but I wanted my sculptures to be displayed prominently around town for everyone to enjoy.
This particular project required days of planning and plotting to pull it off, after all, 100 sculptures are a lot of works of art. Luckily, I made them small enough to handle in one trip in my vehicle, and Klee helped me move them into place. I wanted them to be small enough for people to take home. I only ask that they do not take home multiples.
Because the sculptures are small, I estimate the value of each at about $500.
Salvatore Garau said of his sculpture, “It is a work that asks you to activate the power of the imagination.”
In February of this year, at the Piazza Della Scala in Milan, Salvatore Garau exhibited BUDDHA IN CONTEMPLATION. As seen in the picture, this sculpture is marked out by square tape on the cobble-stone.
I determined that the tape would eventually fade and fall apart, so it was unnecessary. In fact, I believe it is damaging to the sculptures, and thus, none of my sculptures are marked out by tape.
The 100 sculptures have been left in prominent areas around downtown Pensacola and displayed by some of my favorite businesses.
My sculpture series is called “No hay nada aquí,” and I hope they will bring much joy to the beautiful people of Pensacola. I also hope this inspires other artists around the world to share their art with their favorite places. I plan on expanding on this series and displaying them around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. My ultimate plan is to eventually display the series in cities and towns around the world.
Salvatore Garau said, “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that nothing has a weight. Therefore, it has an energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
However, my sculptures are made up of the evaporated tears of a captured chupacabra who cries when tickled with a fiery Pheonix feather. Since the artist mentions the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the wrong context, I would like to say that my pieces are explained by the theory of relativity. So there is your explanation with some physics thrown in.
I also have a painting that is part of this series for sale in my store. Please check it out by clicking on the image below. Once you see the listing make sure to click on the “find out how to purchase” button for some additional info.
To hear more about our thoughts on this particular art style, you can watch the video below.
Also if you happen to be in the Pensacola Beach area Rafi will be having a solo exhibition at Luna Fine Art Gallery at the Hilton On Pensacola Beach (12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561) from June 29th – September 9th. By the way, this show will have tangible paintings you can see and touch, although I may bring some of my invisible sculptures.
View the amazing artwork of the Rogue Artists in this amazing show. The Challenge for inside out had three parameters:
Parameter 1 – Juxtaposition of Inside/Outside and whatever that means to you. Can be emotional, physical, topographical, etc.
Parameter 2 – Incorporate a tree that represents one side of this duality. The tree can be as literal or abstract as you like ie: made of mechanical parts, composed of sound, a combination of fantastical elements, etc.
Parameter 3 – Incorporate a landscape that represents the other side of this duality. The landscape can also be as literal or abstract as you like ie: a completely imaginary landscape, a soundscape, or an interpretation of a landscape memory, etc.
I am excited to share these with you because they really push some boundaries. If you are interested in any of the pieces below that are for sale, please contact the artist. Enjoy this awesome show. You can watch the video below, enter the virtual gallery (on a different site), or scroll down this page.
Esther L Jones
Artist Name: Esther L Jones Best Way To Contact Artist: https://www.estherljones.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $272.00 Name Of Piece: These Rocks Are Thee Artist Statement: This piece exemplifies a poem I’ve loved for years: the title is my favorite line from the poem. The rocks can be seen as a hindrance or as protection. The lack of nutrients and harsh landscape can be perceived as a desert that deprives or a place that forces slow and difficult but very strong growth.
Ellen von Reiser
Artist Name: Ellen von Reiser Best Way To Contact Artist: Commissions@starrynightdiner.com Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Secret Garden Artist Statement: This piece is full of significance for me personally. Every object has a story. The garden is full of things I love or admire. The forest is full of my current life. The piece was drawn in Adobe Fresco with an Apple Pencil.
Artist Name: Angel Coleman Best Way To Contact Artist:
Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Picnic With Mom But Without Her Artist Statement: This was a very emotional piece for me to sculpt. Mom is the center of the family though her illness is larger than life and hangs over the entire family. She is oblivious to her children and husband that play around her. Only the alcohol brings color to her life. Emaciated and haggard, she continues to drink until the poison spills out of her and will eventually spoil the family outing.
Sherry D Beckstead
Artist Name: Sherry D Beckstead Best Way To Contact Artist: FB.com/sherrysoilpaintings.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $1,500.00 Name Of Piece: Path to Consciousness Artist Statement: This piece represents the duality of life. The tree represents humanity standing in the reality of the now. While the landscape represents our ever-searching path for something more that can only be found within us. The higher consciousness of our beingness.
Artist Name: Jeanne GFellers Best Way To Contact Artist: email Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Growth Along the Road of Disability Artist Statement: 5″x7″ This is a very personal collage piece. The desert landscape bears many but certainly not all the negative wordage I’ve heard over the decades as an author, artist, and disabled person. Defying these words is the full-of-life woodland being who is turning it all out and wears positive affirmations. This happy tree person is who I strive to be. Pushing the multi-layered negative BS aside and the resulting growth hasn’t been an easy process, that’s for certain, but it’s been my unique road to take and one I’m still on. You can find my writing and art at https://jeannegfellersauthor.com
Artist Name: Melissa Peacock Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $200.00 Name Of Piece: Be Productive Artist Statement: Visiting the peach orchard for the last time, I was shocked to see the trees had hollowed out until there was only bark left. My grandpa filled the trunks with wooden planks and wrapped them with ropes so that the trees could have one last productive year. Despite being half-dead, the orchard was ready with its harvest of peaches as usual. Relatable.
Artist Name: Debbie Tlach Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Feeling Human Artist Statement: The will to grow as a feeling human in the face of forces (relentless cogs) that can cause us to retract and shut down (emotionally or otherwise). We can consciously decide our reactions to these forces (hopefully to deeply feel & still flourish). artistgirlsmuse on Instagram
Artist Name: Corey Johnston Best Way To Contact Artist: email Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: The Tree of Hopes and Dreams Artist Statement: Digital Art, Procreate App, 12.9″ iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
This piece is about stepping out of dark vast empty space, and toward an inner light that is brighter and laden with potential, but scary, too. For me, it is about a state of middle-ness. It is about the transitional state of not knowing whether something is sinister or safe and whether trust can be extended or not. Between being sure and being vulnerable. As Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be.” There is a moment before making the choice, before taking the step, before walking into something unknown from something sure (even if it’s dark and endless). It is about not knowing how to interpret the signs you feel are obviously there. It is about fear of the unknown, even if the known is eternal darkness of endless depth.
I think we learn how to deal with this state in different ways as we grow up. For me, as a young person, this fear was sometimes paralyzing at moments. And I see many young people in my life experiencing the same trepidation of the unknown in their own ways.
Artist Name: Dana Ellis Best Way To Contact Artist: https://www.danaellisart.com/ Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $220.00 Name Of Piece: Letting Go Artist Statement: She feels trapped by her thoughts, her life, her insecurities, and feeling judged. As she sets the bird free, maybe she will free herself.
18″ x 18″ oil painting on stretched canvas. Free US shipping Instagram: dana_ellis_art Facebook: Dana Ellis Art
Artist Name: Annie Sylling Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $500.00 Name Of Piece: Inner Peace Artist Statement: I was contemplating this challenge while lying awake one night, happens a lot (the lying awake). This idea popped into my head. Use the challenge to portray keeping inner peace despite the state of the world around us. The painting depicts a girl in meditation surrounded by the chaos of the world. Inside the girl is a peaceful garden with a tree. This is her place of refuge. I believe we can find peace within ourselves while living in a chaotic world. I used a 22″x28″ canvas incorporating collage, acrylics and marker. You can view more of my work here: http://anniesylling.com
Artist Name: Zoe Noble Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $1,000.00 Name Of Piece: 2020 Artist Statement: I designed this hoop as a reflection of the year. I wanted to show inside as a tranquil, safe space, so I made the scene outside the window barren and fiery in contrast to the thriving plants inside. I added a landscape painting to the wall to represent our memory of the outside compared to the actual scene out the window. Personally, I started missing school and trying to keep up with classwork at home in my teens when I became chronically ill and disabled, so to me this piece is also representative of my own experience with home being a refuge in comparison to the inaccessible outside world, and how that has become a common experience amid the pandemic. I wanted to make a scene that idealizes staying inside instead of portraying the inside as a prison and framing the outside as the place the viewer wants to be, not only because I think it’s important to protect ourselves and our communities in the midst of a pandemic as much as we can, but also because framing social distancing as a cage is, in my opinion, framing the experiences of disabled people like me that have been staying home and asking for digital access to things like work and school for years as a pitiful or miserable existence, and I don’t think that’s true. While it’s absolutely understandable to miss life before the pandemic, I think it’s important to remember that preferring in-person jobs or classes does not make the digital access we have created a bad thing for everyone.
Artist Name: JulieAnn (TheRosemaryCat) Best Way To Contact Artist: firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Theories of Relativity Artist Statement: Graphite on 11×14 Bristol Paper
‘Theories of Relativity’ touches on perspective of both space and time. We often give the concept of time much more power over us than it really has. Time is what we create it to be; it can be either fluid and expansive, or it can be rigid and confining. Likewise, the way each of us sees the world around us makes space subjective, as in how we may perceive the trees outside the window, or the ‘tree’ in the room. Our personal freedom depends on our perspective rather than our environment or circumstances.
TheRosemaryCat can be found on Redbubble.
Artist Name: Cruz Kai Best Way To Contact Artist: cruzkaihawaii.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $200.00 Name Of Piece: Interdependent Artist Statement: This painting represents climate change -in which animal, plant life and the humans are directly and indirectly affected. Acrylics on canvas – 16” x 20”
Artist Name: Kelly Sterr Best Way To Contact Artist: Kellysterr@comcast.net Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $480.00 Name Of Piece: Morning Sunrise Artist Statement: 16 x20 Acrylic This piece reminded me of the journeys down the shore when I was younger to go fishing early in the morning with the sun rising up above the horizon.
The Clover Artist
Artist Name: The Clover Artist Best Way To Contact Artist: email@example.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $20.00 Name Of Piece: Crystal Spire Growth Artist Statement: I just got the space in my life to figure myself out. Sometimes left feels like an alien planet i’m trying to travers. Sometimes I feel like a small sapling most thought was dead but just waiting for the right conditions to flourish. So I made this striking piece to symbolize how I feel in the alien landscape we all call life. Some problems seems monumental some seem so vast you’ll never reach the other side but if you just keep going, just keep growing it’ll all work out in the end. I create art to enlighten the soul and transport you to magical places thank you for coming along with me on this journey!
Artist Name: Klee Angelie Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: Two Trees Artist Statement: This poem is about a being that is trying to understand itself and its relationship with its world, by observing others around it and questioning which ways of “being” are most valuable and fulfilling. In that way, it’s about making comparisons and never-ending questions that don’t provide any real answers. What is underlying the story, is the idea that the being isn’t looking at “others” at all. What it’s really observing is a partial reflection of itself in one direction (representing the past and memories), and a changing shadow silhouette of itself in another direction (representing future hopes and aspirations). Neither provides a full picture, and neither (past or future) allows the being to live in the present moment while it remains wrapped up in these observations and questions. It understands in a way, that it thrives and feels most whole in the present, just being what it is, but it’s unsure if this is a worthy and meaningful existence. I think deep down, it knows it is.
I saw two trees from a distant view, In a distant light, as I focused sight, As I pondered old and I pondered new, As I wondered what’s real, and I wondered what’s life.
One stood by a river, in a valley below, It’s roots appeared strong, but it seemed to quiver. As if never too sure what form it would know, As if never too sure it was there by the river.
But the sun shone upon it, Just like it did me, And even though it was faint and hazy, It felt known, and on it, Just like upon me, There did seem a tangible quality.
As I reflected, a question asked, If I felt uncertain, and what did that mean? Does a strong foundation one can almost grasp, Make for a full life, down by the stream?
One stood by a manor, on a hilltop high, It’s branches immense, almost endless in reach, But no roots to behold, just aloft like the sky, As if never knowing the soils deep.
But the sun shone upon it, Just like it did me, And even though it was changing and vague, It sprawled out, and on it, Just like upon me, There did seem a dynamic something at play.
As I projected, a question anew, If I felt ungrounded, and what of it still? Do dizzying heights one can barely view, Make for a full life, up on the hill?
My companions would come with the light of each day, And would go then each night, and would leave me to wonder. Sometimes I would dream them and such they could stay, But always would daunt me with theories asunder.
What tree would I be, which tree has the knowing? If I only could choose to aspire to one… Which of these two trees truly lives and is growing? Which of these two trees can feel soil and sun?
As for me, I stand present, between these two. As for me, I grow steady, both day and night. From the deepest of depths which embrace my roots, For impossible stars grace my branches alight.
But is it enough if I’m only this day? If I only know now, and with simplest mirth, If I reach ever deeper, but also I stay, In the moment which, each moment, gives me new birth. If I reach ever higher, but also I stay, In the moment which, each moment, renews my worth.
From a singular vantage, endless worlds to unearth.
Artist Name: Marianne Hasseldal Best Way To Contact Artist: my instagram: marrys_gallery Is It For Sale: No Name Of Piece: If I were the last you would choose me Artist Statement: A contrast between life and death. Life symbolized by the tear and death symbolized by the barren landscape reflected in the eye. After many weeks of pondering what to paint for the collab challenge, this vision dropped into my mind very suddenly and I loved the disturbing thought of a tree growing and making an eye its home. This is a digital painting. You can find my work on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/marrys_gallery/ If you are interested in purchasing my art you can send me a message there.
Artist Name: Christopher Doll Best Way To Contact Artist: email, Discord, or JOIN ME ON TWITCH.TV EVERY WEDNESDAY 6PM PST Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $250.00 Name Of Piece: Pressure Inversion Artist Statement: Extreme weather and tornados were frequent dreams, having grown up in Michigan. The skies would turn quickly. It’s a scene I had witnessed several times. The wind picks up, bending the trees. Shredding them. I am outdoors, and there is little time to get underground. Where it’s safe. Often I witness the scene through a door with a window. But it offers no protection. I haven’t yet captured it properly in paint, but I try every few years. 9″ x 12″ Oils on canvas Contact me via email or through my site at https://www.christopher-doll.com
KYLE M WOOD
Artist Name: KYLE M WOOD Best Way To Contact Artist: http://www.kylewoodcreations.com Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $900.00 Name Of Piece: Living Within Worlds Divided Artist Statement: Seeing the line between realities leads to the door of answers, but the door of answers is out of reach. The same tree is organic in one world and mechanical in the other. They are borrowed from each other’s reality to bring a magical light into life. Mixed media on two-foot by three-foot wood panel at three-quarters inch thick. Prints will be available on my site. A small printable version is free on my treasure section of my site.
Sara Vicky Neville
Artist Name: Sara Vicky Neville Best Way To Contact Artist: Email address. Saraartist1508@yahoocom Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $600.00 Name Of Piece: Princess of the moon and her pet cow contemplating whether to jump over cause she afraid of heights Artist Statement: I love the moon. Period. And all things moon-like Saraartist1508@yahoo.com 2/8×10’s..1/11×14. Acrylic
Artist Name: Rafi Perez Best Way To Contact Artist: https://rafiandklee.com/contact-us/ Is It For Sale: Yes Price: $395.00 Name Of Piece: Born Out Of The Cold Artist Statement: This piece symbolizes growth and rebirth. In 2020, especially in the dark winter days, it was easy to get wrapped up in the darkness of it all. The world felt like a dark place. Turmoil, death, and horror seemed to be the main topic of discussion. The piece is about the realization that even in that darkness, you can bring sunshine, you can bring color, and you can bring joy. No matter the circumstance of the world around you, the world you carry inside of you is impacted by you and only you. So even when inundated, you can be born out of the cold and into the warmth. Klee stated that the piece makes her think of spring being born out of winter, which felt very powerful to me and is in line with my feelings. 18X24 Mixed Medium, plaster face (my face)
Artist Name: Thomas Wofford Name Of Piece: Cerat Mirazur Artist Statement: This creation is an interpretation of the collab theme in an extremely abstract vision reflecting on a front view “Cerat” which is outside. The inside vision is a mental picture of “Cerat” and Mirazur which is the vision of blue. The tree representation is slender lines throughout the piece.
It can be very easy to feel small sometimes. The world is so big. The universe is massive. Time keeps moving. In the grand scheme of things our life is but a speck on the camera lens. Yet, we are so much more than we may realize.
We were all born with this amazing power within us. Many people don’t seem to acknowledge the gifts that they have and instead choose to conform to the status quo. It saddens me to see these magical people never go for the things they want out of life. They choose to live what is considered a normal life by the people around them. Never willing to take that first step. Why is that?
CHANGE IS SCARY. Some of us resist change at all costs. We may do this because we fear that a change will alter the stability we feel. We can be habitual creatures who tend to feel a sense of safety and security when we know what to expect. The problem is that everything changes and evolves. Everything grows and nothing will stay the same, resisting change may lead to a comfortable stagnation in your life. Embracing and becoming comfortable with change allows you to expect the unexpected and not be controlled by fear. It allows you to challenge yourself to believe that no matter what circumstances or situations arise, you will be able to navigate them.
NOT WORTH TAKING THE RISK. Let’s be honest, not changing can be a risk. However, change is often more associated with risk. Taking a chance on yourself and following your dreams is a risk. Going against the grain is a risk. Creating an art career is a risk. Driving your car to the store is a risk. Everything in life is risky. We tend to forget that we take calculated risks hundreds of times a day in the smallest of decisions. We make determinations and predict outcomes all the time, but at the end of the day, big or small, they’re all just guesses. Following your dreams feels risky because you may have spent many years talking yourself out of it. The question isn’t “is it risky?” because everything is. The question is, are you willing to face the risks? Do you believe that YOU have what it takes to persist through the suck?
If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.
We all have our own gifts to bring to the world. It could be music, art, poetry, books, leadership, innovation, architecture, love, a smile, conversation, or anything. If these gifts are not making it into the world because you are afraid of the change it will bring or it is too much of a risk, remember your power. The only way these gifts can manifest is by the investment in yourself, believing in yourself, and being willing to go all the way. Persist through the suck. You have the power within you to leave the world a little different than when you came into it.
You are special, you are worth it, and you can do anything you set your mind on. Everything we see around us was created by a human who persisted through the suck, and held onto a desire to live life beyond what they know.
I’ve been a creative human for as long as I can remember, and a full time creative for about a decade now. Recently, and many times throughout the years, Rafi and I have talked about impostor syndrome. You know it? The feeling like, even though you’re passionate, authentic, dedicated to your creative endeavors, and growing and evolving each day… that somehow you’re just not enough. That secretly you suck, and that it’s only a matter of time before everyone else discovers your suckage. I suspect most everyone has felt this at one time or another.
If left unchecked, that feeling can really thwart your efforts to share who you are and what you do with the world. I’m guilty of overthinking what I share and say on here, for fear of judgement … analysis paralysis. I’m guilty of the same when working on my art, and especially where music is concerned.
Real-time example, ready?: I second-guessed myself immediately upon embarking on sharing these thoughts with you… and then spellcheck informed me that my spelling of the word “judgement” in the paragraph above was incorrect… so being the human I am, I googled it, and found that both “judgment” and “judgement” are acceptable spellings, but “judgment” is more widely accepted these days. I’ve always spelled it “judgement” so I’ve left it that way, but secretly feared your judgement not only for my chosen spelling, but for my humble human opinions on the topic of impostor syndrome. Who am I to talk about this? I’m just a person with my own thoughts on my own experiences, who, by the way… also misspelled “Impostor” at the beginning of this blog and had to go back and correct it. I think you see what I’m getting at here, all of that happened just trying to share this with you.
The thing is, there’s no rule book for creative and entrepreneurial humans. We’re all just trying stuff and doing the best we can, whatever the best is for us right now. This is one of the reasons I try to share all kinds of things with you guys, my creative family. Not just my creations that I’m proud of, but my failed experiments, challenges, life stuff, thoughts from my brain jar, small victories, and everything in between.
So I wanted to take this time to say this to myself and to you, beautiful human who is reading this. If you are doing something, anything, that you’re passionate about, and making any effort to share it with the world, to put it out there, and to grow as a human and a creative, THAT makes YOU a badass.
You may not be at the level you aspire to yet, I know I’m not, but I’ve realized it’s a lifelong work in progress. You aren’t doing it wrong, and you don’t suck. You don’t have to get it perfect out the gate, just play and try to remember why you love what you do. Try to remember why you love who you are. You are unique, you are beautiful, you are contributing to the whole in your own special way, and you are most definitely enough.
I think ultimately, this is a long-winded high five from me to you, and from me to me. Let’s keep going and bring our awesomeness into full view for 2021 and beyond. Say it with me: “I’m real, and I’m spectacular.”
Klee and I have been together for 11 years and during that time I was made aware of the fact that I look like a crazy person when I am using my imagination.
Apparently, I freeze in place and my eyes widen as I stare off into nowhere. I also seem to enter some type of weird time vortex where I am completely unaware of how long I’ve been creepily staring… usually at someone.
Klee will ask, “where were you?” and that is usually my indication that I was just venturing through the wormhole of my imagination.
Someone once saw me doing that and asked, “is he ok?”
Klee responded, “he’s doing creative research.”
I love her 🙂
Listen, whether you have crazy eyes, make a weird chin face, or look like a zombie when you are using your imagination, I’m here to tell you that it is a beautiful thing.
Klee has always loved to sing. She started her career in music with a hot pink boom box and a hairbrush. Over the years that beautiful freedom that came from singing for the enjoyment of just singing became a career. She is now trying to get back into that freedom and sing for the sake of singing.
Whenever we do anything creative in a professional capacity we have to watch that the “adult” self doesn’t overpower the child self. Those things that brought us joy and excitement can easily become a struggle. We can take it too seriously and forget to play.
Playing is where the magic happens.
Playing is where we are not stifled by perfection.
Playing is where we experiment and try new things.
Playing is where we know that if we fail, we can simply start over again.
Playing is where we push ourselves to try something that others may think is beyond us.
Playing is where the joy comes from.
Playing is where you create without the negative critic in your head, because negative people don’t know how to play.
So whether you are singing, playing an instrument, writing, painting, acting, sketching, creating jewelry, or doing something you love… remember to play awesomely.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we are bouncing around the art studio like crazy elves who have lost their minds.
Every year, I say “Next year I’m going to take it easy and not put too much on my plate.” By the time June arrives, my Jekyll and Hyde shambles out of hibernation and forgets what the plan was. That’s usually when I get REALLY excited about doing some project that I’ve wanted to do, which then leads to another and another. By the time the holiday season comes around, I’m writing two books and a workbook, recording audiobooks, designing a new series of paintings, revamping the website, designing playing and tarot cards, finalizing art calendars, expanding on video and music creations, and planning for art encased in resin for jewelry. Not to mention all the ongoing projects, commissions, orders, and normal business running type things. Then you get into the multitude of projects Klee is working on and it looks like a metal confetti bomb went off in the studio.
The thing is, I honestly don’t know that I would have it any other way. I remember the first three years that Klee and I really went for this creative lifestyle that we are living, and the studio was a snooze fest. I mean, we had music, fun, and the occasional projects going on, but I think I was a little timider back then when it came to time. I would hear myself say things like “I’ll work on that when I have time.”
The problem was that I never had enough time to do anything… so I never got started on things and they went in a journal.
The one thing you have to do as an artist is create. If you are not creating and you are always just thinking of creating, then I’m not sure you can call yourself an artist. I mean, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you won’t FEEL like an artist, which is what matters most in my line of work.
The irony is I am working on WAY more projects now and seem to have more time. A few years ago, I realized that it wasn’t the number of things I was doing, it was how I felt doing them. More importantly, what narrative was I repeating to myself about what I was doing?
Time seems to follow a universal, tick tock rhythm… but it doesn’t. In the Special Theory of Relativity, That guy with the crazy hair determined that time is relative. In other words, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference.
Let me blow your mind with some strange and most likely incorrect “Rafi logic”. We know that the faster a clock moves, the slower time passes according to someone in a different frame of reference. That’s why GPS clocks on satellites have to adjust depending on their speed because the faster they move, the slower our clocks run down here on earth. Yeah, that shit is cray. The clocks on the satellite tick slightly faster, by about 45 microseconds per day.
To me, that means that if you are in movement, time slows down around you. So when you are just sitting there telling yourself you don’t have enough time or hemming and hawing about how to start, chances are, you’ll feel like there is not enough time. In my experience, whenever I get stuck in an indecisive rut, the day just flies by and next thing you know, I haven’t done anything.
On the other hand, when I just fa-chunk it and get started, I usually get more done than I anticipated. Klee likes to call it warping space and time.
That is the most wonderful time. The time I make for the things I love. This year as you run around trying to get all the things done, keep this in mind… Just do it.
Get started on that project. Give that hug. Say I love you. Take that walk. Take that phone call. Take a moment to appreciate the little things. Do that thing that scares you. Change that habit you don’t like. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Take time to relax. Read that book. All of those things that you have put off… Just do it.
No one said you have to get them done in a day, or do them ALL now, but if you don’t get at least one started, it will never happen.
Try not to repeat the words “I don’t have enough time.” and replace them with the words “I make time for the things that matter to me.”
So enjoy this Holiday and make time for ALL those special little things that you love.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!! This is the day where Klee and I contemplate our year and appreciate where we are and who we are. This year has had a bunch of stupid challenges for us all, but there is so much to be grateful for. We are grateful for you reading this right now and so I give you a big turkey hug… or tofurkey hug, depending on your preference. Other than gratitude, I have had something else on my mind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the holidays coming up and holiday sales. Things are actually changing a little due to the pandemic. Thanksgiving is two days away and the holiday shopping season officially starts the day after. Every year the sale has started earlier and earlier, I have some friends that pull an all-nighter on Thanksgiving every year for the Black Friday craziness. This is usually followed by Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and finally, the Holiday Shopping weeks leading up to Christmas.
Every year, Klee and I gear up for this season and prepare for the madness. Usually, we have a local face to face presentation at the market and put together an open holiday studio day where people can visit the studio and peruse the art and jewelry available. That is not going to happen this year. We pulled out of the market (which was canceled for most of the year due to the pandemic) and have to be careful about who we invite into our space. Luckily, some artists will be able to take advantage of little markets that are popping up now for the holidays, we however will not. Klee and I have been very careful this year since my father has all the conditions that the “RONA” loves.
Admittedly, the holidays are not big for art. Art is very personal and honestly what if you get someone a nice work of art and they don’t connect with it? So I usually focus on my calendars, special commissions, and my textured prints. Every year I try to focus on something new that I’ve never tried before to see if it meets the needs of the holiday shopping hoard, which makes it a fun social experiment. Klee on the other hand creates something that is personal, beautiful, unique, and much easier to gift. She’s usually the breadwinner during the holidays while I bring in little scraps of roadkill here and there, but we get by pretty well.
In 2020, however, we are completely reliant on the internet (which was out and spotty for 2 months after the hurricane) so that has changed everything. To say that it has been a year of challenges and having “make it work” moments is an understatement. So this year in lieu of an open holiday studio we are having a Virtual Open Studio live stream event on December 4th (More details soon). Our plan is to make it laid back, fun, and full of gifts for people who will actually take time out of their day to watch us.
We are also running various sales on things like the limited edition calendars and special items only created for the holidays. In the meantime, Klee and I are working on commissions, special art and jewelry for the live sale, and a book that will release early next year. One thing that I have learned from being a full-time artist for over a decade (Our Studio Anniversary is tomorrow November 25th, 2009) is that no matter what things look like financially, you have to keep moving forward and create your own opportunities. Sometimes those harebrained ideas pay off, sometimes it takes years, and sometimes they wither and die… but no matter what, you gotta keep creating.
No matter what, this holiday season is going to be different than pre-2020 with less in-store shopping. Looking back, I’ll be honest, Black Friday got a little ridiculous.
It started with opening 8 am Friday morning.
The next year being 5 am…
To the next year being 2 am…
To the next year being midnight…
Finally to last year when stores opened just after Thanksgiving dinner between 5 pm – 8 pm on Thursday evening.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of employees having to go to work on Thanksgiving and deal with an extra day of Black Friday madness. If you have never worked retail, I can tell you that it is a nightmare scenario.
Because of the pandemic, store openings will look noticeably different this year. Stores, such as Walmart, BestBuy, and Target, that have been known to open on Thanksgiving day to begin their Black Friday sales early, are in fact closed on Thanksgiving day this year. The earliest opening I’ve come across for this year is 5 am on Friday, November 27th.
Honestly, Black Friday has begun much earlier this year online, with many companies doing either “Pre-Black Friday” online sales, or even simply starting their Black Friday promotions early. Although I’m sure you are disappointed that you will not have the bloodshot bleary eyes from staying up all night watching people rip apart dolls and fight over parking spots, you can find most sales online.
Cyber Monday sales will also probably continue the sales over a week past Thanksgiving.
For small business Saturday, I know small businesses could really use some love, so could the artists and vendors who are setting up for shows and markets… So support local, whether you do it online or in person, support those badasses.
We will most likely be doing a Small Business Saturday Sale as a thank you to our awesome collectors and friends out there who have helped us get through some tough times this year.
Either way, whatever you do, whether you are a shopper, a business, or an alien, be safe and smile. If you can support local businesses please do so. This year has been extremely challenging for a lot of us, and I want to just send you my love. My final thought is this, it is all just stuff, what REALLY matters here is the human connection we have with each other… that is why I am a big fan of these shops staying closed until it is ACTUALLY Black Friday… Families could take a day to eat good food and feel grateful without having to run out after dinner… Just my opinion.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! How will you be approaching holiday sales this year? Let us know in the comments.
This month has been personally challenging for us… well, this year has been a challenging cluster of fudge. No matter how much we try to avoid negative crap in our lives, crap happens sometimes… or a lot of times.
For the most part, Klee and I focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things. Even then, there are times that can get overwhelmingly craptastic. It should come as no big surprise that when stuff goes wrong, things tend to stack one on top of the other.
This is where the last proverbial straw can easily break the camel’s back.
“That’s the last straw!!! I can’t take this anymore!!” may come out of your mouth or other less PG statements which all mean the same thing… I have had enough.
No matter how much we focus on the positive and look on the bright side of things, there is always a chance of being overwhelmed by negative emotions and dark thoughts. In other words, when it feels like it is just too much, it is easy to lose your shit.
Some people build a wall around this because they see it as a weakness to get angry or emotional. Usually, these people are more concerned about what other people may think of them, so behind closed doors they struggle in solitude while the world around them only sees what they want them to see. Honestly, this is the culture we all live in. It is normal to put up a strong front for other people when you are literally falling apart inside.
On the flip side to this, you have people that easily lose their shit and become volatile. They are so consumed by their own drama that they completely overlook what the people around them are going through. They become absorbed by what is happening to them and want others to feel empathy without feeling empathy themselves.
I grew up with examples of both.
With one person, I had no idea what they were actually feeling so I would overcompensate to try and get an emotional response. I always felt like I couldn’t get anywhere with them, and when I broached on a subject that was buried, they would lash out and get defensive… that’s usually where the conversation ended and I would walk away feeling like I had done something wrong. Most times this person would tell me I was doing it wrong and it was my fault that they didn’t open up.
With the other person, I was constantly walking on eggshells to make sure I didn’t say, do or have something random go wrong because it would set them off. This is where you try and control circumstances in the environment because you want the other person not to encounter a trigger. I was perpetually trying to predict and prevent anything that would make them upset. Again, I would overcompensate and usually cause a situation to become worse. When this person had a meltdown, they usually got upset with whoever was there and lashed out.
The interesting thing is that everyone has these moments, moments where shit gets to you. Some of us have an explosive moment and reflect and realize that is not who they are or who they want to be… many don’t.
It’s like the social norm is to be either a person who doesn’t allow feelings to break their social appearance, or you are just an emotional wreck.
The thing is, WE ALL HAVE EMOTIONS… AND WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE ON HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR EMOTIONS. We all lose our shit sometimes, even if you bury feelings or use them as a weapon. The problem is not knowing that there is a big difference between reacting or choosing to respond. I think growing up being called too emotional or that we don’t have feelings is the reason people are not educated in dealing with their emotions.
Reacting: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. You tell people things like “Whenever YOU do that it causes me to do this, so stop doing it that way.” Some of these reactions have been repeated thousands of times over your lifetime and are usually learned habits. When this happens, there are usually conditions in place that need to be met in order to trigger it or make it go away.
Responding: Something triggers an emotion and you react with a knee-jerk response that is typical of the way you usually react. At some point (either right away or when you are in the midst of the reaction fog) you stop and take your focus off of the trigger and ask yourself “Is this who I want to be?” Understanding that you are dealing with your own habits and you can chip away at those little by little. You also understand that you have to face the feelings to actually make some headway. This means being brutally honest with yourself. It will require you to say things you don’t want to hear about your behavior and insecurities that you feel control you. This is the hardest part and why it’s easier to lash out and bury the dark feelings. Unless you confront those deep dark recesses of yourself, you may never release whatever is causing the emotional reaction.
Yesterday I shared a motivational artist mp3 with our rogue artists on Patreon. Motivational MP3’s are something I’ve created for myself over the last ten years. Basically, it’s me talking to myself, reminding myself of something that is easy to forget when a particular shit hits a particular fan in my life.
I have some recordings on staying motivated as an artist, continuing on despite the obstacles, and remembering that I get to choose my life no matter what the naysayers or I might think. They are my way at chipping away at the habits of insecurity that I may have.
When you go down a downward spiral of reacting to anything in a negative way (person place or thing) things can easily stack on top of each other and next thing you know, you feel like you are drowning in molasses.
As an artist, it is easy to feel discouraged, unmotivated, or even stupid and frivolous. We tend to feel lost in a wilderness of solitude surrounded by a world that doesn’t respect or understand what we do or why we do it. It’s easy to feel like you are losing.
We are constantly just waiting for things to get easier.
I’m sorry, but I am going to be brutally honest with you now… Things never get easier, we just grow, evolve, and find better ways in overcoming obstacles. We form new habits and learn to smile more. We learn to not dwell on the past, or let our negative thoughts (or someone else’s) shape our world.
It is the struggles, hardships, and moments where we feel we can’t keep going that make us stronger. These are the moments where you have an opportunity to show yourself once and for all who you really are.
So if you have what I like to call “A Momentary Lapse Of Brilliance” that’s fine. Just respond to it. It doesn’t define you. There is no such thing as TOO emotional, or NOT emotional enough… they are both ways of not confronting our own emotional shit.
So get mad and lash out and refuse to let it control you. You fight. You cry. You curse. You punch. You wave your fists at the heavens. Don’t blame the person, place, or thing… look at your own insecurities.
Tell your insecurity, your bad day, your crappy situation, or whatever else “NOT TODAY!”
I GET TO CHOOSE
I GET TO DECIDE HOW I FEEL TODAY.
I’M IN CONTROL OF WHO I CHOOSE TO BE EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY.
AND TODAY, I AM FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT I AM A BADASS.
Then you live your damn life like the badass that you are.
Remember, chip away… You may only be a teeny bit more badass than yesterday and THAT IS BADASS 🙂
This is surreally happening! It is that time again for some amazing art in your inbox from artists all over this blue dot. Below you will find pieces created for the Surreally Complimentary Collab Lab Challenge.
Parameter 1 – Incorporate at least one surrealistic element in your piece (you can go full-on surreal or just have one element).
Parameter 2 – Utilize only red and yellow (and any colors you can make with those, as well as values) as your color palette.
Parameter 3 – Include two contrasting/complementary elements in your piece (these can be imagery, textures, finishes, subjects, materials, etc).
I am excited to share these with you because they really push some boundaries. If you are interested in any of the pieces below that are for sale, please contact the artist. Enjoy this awesome show.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $150.00 Artist Statement: Title: Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Syrup
A surrealist study in yellow, red, black and white. In this day of social unrest, sharing a common meal seems to be a good way to bring people together. There are many recipes on the web for this delicious meal. Medium: Digital Drawing with Adobe Fresco. Find me at www.starrynightdiner.com
Chicken and Waffles on Wikipedia: The exact origins of this dish are unknown, although several theories about its origin exist. Waffles entered American cuisine in the 1600s with European colonists. The food’s popularity saw a notable boost after 1789 with Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of four waffle irons in Amsterdam.
In the early 1800s, hotels and resorts outside Philadelphia served waffles with fried catfish. Such establishments also served other dishes like fried chicken, which gradually became the meat of choice due to catfish’s limited, seasonal availability. Waffles served with chicken and gravy were noted as a common Sunday dish among the Pennsylvania Dutch by the 1860s. A 1901 memoir recalled a tavern in East Liberty, Pennsylvania, well known for “suppers of spring chickens and waffles.” By the end of the 19th century, the dish was a symbol of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, brought on in part by its association with tourism.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement: In the spirit of the “Cadavre exquis.” This piece is devoid of any meaning or raison-d’être. It simply virtually “is.” (digital collage)
Paper Straws Puppets and Studio is the dream project of artist, Everett Stanton. Ev deeply loves making, playing with, and filming puppets for all sorts of media and art projects. He hopes that his work truly brings pleasure to anyone who sees it. It is his main goal in life to build a group of like-minded artists who can live their dream though the creation of new, exciting and thoughtful work in the world. Thanks for taking the time to enjoy the video!
Is It For Sale SOLD Artist Statement They come from miles away, together, unquestioning their purpose. Compelled by anger, shame, and expectation. The visage can be seen for miles but they don’t recognize its form until it’s too late to turn back. Gazes lowered, lest they see the true horror, their last walk to the steps guided by the others who also hear the call. A masked sentinel is the last they see before they enter. None ever leave. christopher-doll.com
Lee Edward Evans
Lee Edward Evans
Is It For Sale Yes Price $70.00 Artist Statement Mirage
(16 X12) mixed Media (acrylic and oil pastels)
This piece was inspired by Egyptian heritage and the optical illusion know as a mirage. I wanted to capture the essence and Embodiment of the desert in the form of a goddess. The surrealism landscape complements this notion adds an over exaggerated form of a mirage. For more information or more artwork please check out the link below.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $150.00 Artist Statement “Revealed” 11″X 14″ Acrylic and Oil Women exude real beauty, but with a stroke of a brush what lies beneath is where her true beauty emerges. www.danaellisart.com
Lee Suzanne Jordan
Lee Suzanne Jordan
Is It For Sale Yes Price $275.00 Artist Statement Youth vs. Wisdom uses a limited color palette and symbolic images to explore the concepts of secrets, growth, imagination and transformation. This is a surreal self-portrait. I included many creatures and objects that have personal meaning for me. Octopuses are one of my favorite creatures. They are smart, curious, caring, and creative. Pythons are dangerous but can also represent knowledge, healing and growth. One of the random elements I chose as part of the challenge was a bark texture, which I used on the face to represent time and contrast with the youthful side. On her left side, the figure is youthful and her hair transforms into flowering branches. On her right, she ages and her hair transforms into bare winter branches. I have mixed feelings about aging, and this Collab gave me different ways to explore the power and fragility of it. Medium: Acrylic on Birchwood, 11x14x1. website: www.lsjart.com
Is It For Sale Yes Price $15.00 Artist Statement This is not a burning forest.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $750.00 Artist Statement Title: To Observe And yet Disregard. Contrasting: “to observe” and “to disregard”. Some realities do not make sense here, so you have to disregard them to observe what is going on in this painting. Using only red and yellow with black and white as values, I created this image with chalk, colored pencil and acrylics on wood 24″ X 24″. This is apart of my dreamscape series that I am developing. The human forms are brought in to help you enter into this unreal world and navigating through various conflicting perspectives. I created the frame to allow the elements freedom to go where ever they please. Prints are available on my site: https://www.kylewoodcreations.com
cRuz kAi Email firstname.lastname@example.org Is It For Sale No Artist Statement Surreally Complementary Collab-lab October 2020 Rogue Artist – cRuz kAi Title “Mellow Day 0.1” Canvas 9” x 12” Fluid & Soft Body Acrylics Perimeter Colors – Yellow & Red / Values – Black & White
Is It For Sale Yes Price $85.00 Artist Statement I called this piece Toxic to me it means sometimes toxicity can go both ways. The mediums I used were ink and colored pencils on 9×12 Vellum Bristol Board. The rest of my art is at www.instagram/azurasmallpaws
Is It For Sale Yes Price $250.00 Artist Statement “The Messenger” 24×30″ Oil over acrylic on museum-wrapped canvas This piece was created to explore the nature of vision- both physical and spiritual. Connect with the artist on Instagram @grayefineart or via email GrayeRN@gmail.com
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement I created this stained glass piece for the Collab Lab but it does double duty for Halloween. It meets the color parameter for yellow and red. And it meets the parameter for two contrasting textures. It’s hard to see in this photo but the yellow glass is textured with tiny lines and the black glass is smooth. I went rogue and didn’t meet the third parameter which was to add a surreal element. This is the first piece I’ve made with decorative solder and I really like the look. The moon is a 9” diameter and the bat wings spread 13” from tip to tip. My website is gabrielleartsnv.com
Arzhela F Email email@example.com
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement This art challenge included many firsts for me as a beginning painter. Not only was it my first challenge, but also a lot of time was spent planning the painting, including using thumbnails to test color palette decisions, and test painting different parts. There were some hard lessons learned, specifically about the limits of overworking the paper (which can be seen most clearly on the chameleon). The entire painting was about 60 hours of work, and has shown me possibilities beyond what I thought I was capable of producing.
One parameter of the challenge was the limited palette. A particular shade of yellow on my palette (Da Vinci Hansa Yellow Deep) glows like sunlight. It inspired me to create a painting based around a very bright planet/star/space object.
We are in a stark landscape with only a few trees. A weathered frame outlines a portal where a space traveler is reaching through. We see in the visor of the space traveler that their view is of a bright space object, but on our side of the portal, we see that it’s a ball of light to which a chameleon is calmly clinging.
My hope is to invite the viewer to ponder that both realities exist from different viewpoints. It’s worth considering the perspectives of others, to attempt to “walk in another’s shoes.” The chameleon illustrates the patient mindset needed to observe the other’s intentions. The space traveler is reaching through the portal, illustrating how we are always seeking a deeper understanding of what is in front of us.
Painted with Da Vinci professional watercolors on 9×12” Fluid 100 paper.
D. Mark Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is It For Sale Yes Price $75.00 Artist Statement This challenge has been great fun! I painted a large old tree that still has some life in it and the egg as major components. The symbolic courageous old tree provides many things including food, fuel, and shelter. The egg stands for new growth, rebirth, and new life. The meaning here implies hope for the future. The surrealist elements include a suspended spatula with a fried egg, egg fruit, and egg flowers hanging on the tree. Why did I create this art? Simple-I love nature and I wanted to participate. In this painting, I applied a very thick matte acrylic medium on the under the painted tree trunk, as I wanted it very textured. The old tree contrasts with the new eggs and egg flowers growing on the tree. The creation of my art includes experimentation with different methods and materials in watercolor, mixed media, and acrylics. My style changes as I enjoy painting landscapes, whimsical art, and abstracts.
Title: Egg Tree Painted with acrylics on 11×14″ stretched canvas.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $400.00 Artist Statement I haven’t yet given it a name but this painting signifies that in a heated situation those with the warmest heart, no matter what they shield themselves with, will always lose against someone who is cold hearted.
Sara Vicky Neville
Sara Vicky Neville Email Saraartist1508@yahoo.com Is It For Sale Yes Price $600.00 Artist Statement Hindu warrior goddess. That she is all women. connected to reality the element of fire. .real and unreal at the same time as all in this universe. ..40″X 34″ acrylic on canvas No website currently. contact. For other available images: Saraartist1508@yahoo.com Peace and Love
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement I have always been a bit of a joker but having served 22 years in the military I have to be able to turn it off at a moment’s notice. The mouth moved to the eye and the eye moved to the mouth represents the shock my sailors would have the first time they saw the change. I think feeling like you can have fun at work is a huge factor in having a good work experience. My key things that would set off the change are being unsafe or disrespecting your shipmates regardless of rank. There is a place and time for everything.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement The Unwearable Ring. Objects like the one I’ve created here are highly upsetting to me. You know the ones, they’re often referred to as “mock objects”. Things that don’t function as they appear to. Things with which you cannot do the very action that the object beckons you to do. Pockets that are sewn shut, zippers that don’t zip, tables that look like a trunk but don’t open, musical instruments that are decorative and don’t play. Room recreations in museums that you aren’t allowed to enter. The fact that the bizarro opposite world in the mirror is entirely inaccessible… So I created a ring, carefully sized it and made sure it was comfortable to wear, meticulously set the center stone, and then made it completely unwearable. I can’t hold this ring in my hand without feeling that anxiety of wanting to slide it on my finger, and it cannot sit properly on a chain as a pendant. So the contrast for me here, is the pleasure of creating a piece of jewelry using materials and techniques I love, juxtaposed with the end result being something that I find very displeasing.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement This is actually an art journal page. Rude cats bottle up their prey, on display, where other rude cats can watch and harshly judge from their usual safe and comfortable impunity.
find me on youtube/twitter/instagram: @yellowmelle
Is It For Sale Yes Price $275.00 Artist Statement “Confession” 18×24 mixed media on canvas. I left home (Virginia) when I was 18 and have lived all over the east coast from South Carolina to Vermont. Currently I am 35 and living in Pennsylvania. I don’t necessarily love it and maybe it’s the pandemic, but I am incredibly homesick. Not only do I miss my family and friends, I miss knowing people for real. I have found in my career (Radiologic Technologist) that we are so busy it’s hard to get a good conversation in to really get to know my coworkers. Beyond the “mask” you wear to the public. Further, I am so exhausted after work that I just want to go home to my husband and kids and hopefully get to create something. I am tired of the casual “hi, how are you?” conversations that I have 50 times a day with complete strangers. The contrasting element of my painting is the concept that what you see on the outside is not always what is in the inside. I wish we could so easily peel our layers away and reveal the hard crap/trauma of our lives instead of just “I’m good! How are you?” I’m not good. We are not good. We have pain, and holding it, hiding it makes it hurt so much more.
If you are interested in any of these amazing pieces and you can’t get a hold of the amazing artist who created it, contact us and we will try to get you in touch with them.
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