What Stimulates My Abstract Painting Growth?

Spring is definitely my “Go” signal for my abstract painting renewal.   Spring always brings out the growth hormone in me.  What about you?  The new, green sprouts coming out of the ground, the winter is finally over, and the new spring fashions and gadgets are in the stores.  Maybe my spring garden photos will inspire you as they do me to reach deeper into that space where inspiration and motivation lives.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”. ~Anne Bradstreet
Welcome to My Garden...Please enter.

Welcome to My Garden…Please Enter

 

Because I am a gardener, seeing that new growth coming out of the ground gives me that extra excitement, push, and motivation to start new projects, get in the groove of solving problems and cleaning and organizing the old stuff that has been hanging around all winter.

What does it for you?

I remember when I was growing up, my mother would have to do her spring cleaning and every room and closet had to be turned upside down and gone through to clean and organize so that we started off the season in the right way.  I don’t know if that is how many people greet Spring today, but when it comes to my business, and my painting, I do get that “Spring Fever” bug where I have to, not only clean, organize and sort out my office and studio, but try something new or go for some fresh new approach to creating my art.

Left, back corner of the backyard. May 2014

Left, back corner of the backyard. May 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not sure what it will be this year but I have been experimenting with some smaller paintings that aren’t a big stretch from my current, abstract, acrylic paintings but they are a little more free and playful.  You don’t have to go far afield but I find one thing leads to another.  That is the beauty of creating; the ideas are endless once begun.

Random Scribbles 1, 2 & 3 12" X 12" X 1.5" Each • Acrylic on Canvas

Random Scribbles 1, 2 & 3
12″ X 12″ X 1.5″ Each • Acrylic on Canvas

Random Scribbles 1 Larger - 12" X 12" X 1.5"

Random Scribbles 1 Larger – 12″ X 12″ X 1.5″

So this is what I have playing with among other things.  Naming them Random Scribbles for now.  These abstract, acrylic paintings can be mixed and matched any way  you want or used alone.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment and leave a message on what makes you get a spurt of growth.

Please share this post with a friend or colleague who you think could use some inspiration.  Sign up for my email news to get all the latest info on events and art news.  Follow this blog by signing up in the upper right hand column.

Any of my abstract, acrylic paintings can be purchased online at my website.  And as always, thank you for your support.  It means so much to have you in my corner.

 

An Artist’s Perspective: “Unraveling the Family Tree”

Do your know your family history?  Do you know where you came from & the route your family took to get here?  And do you know the stories & feelings behind their journey?

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That is the thinking behind my current painting, Unraveling the Family Tree, 30″ X 40″ X 1.5, Acrylic/MM on Canvas.

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.  All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Where we come from is so important, but unfortunately as in my case, we think we have forever to find out. I continued to shove it aside other than gathering bits and pieces in conversation with relatives at family gatherings.  You get so busy and have your young family to take care of.  I now wish I had paid more attention and asked more questions.

Of course, I know the basics.  My grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side came from southern Italy when they were very young, both at different times.  My grandmother was promised to my grandfather in marriage and came to the US when she was 15 years old to marry him.  He was 22 years old and had come to the US at a younger age.  I can’t imagine how frightening that had to be for her and to marry someone she didn’t know!  And the worst part, not to have a voice in her future.

But what I want to know is how she felt about it.  As a woman myself, who stands up for and votes for women’s rights and equality, I feel so much empathy for my grandmother or any woman who had to live under that paternalistic society.

I wish I had been able to ask my grandmother questions then that are in the forefront of my thinking now.  With the women’s movement and women’s rights issues, I would have loved to question her on her feelings as a woman on how she felt about her life choices or lack of life choices.  What her secret interests were in life.  If she could do anything what would it be.  What were her feelings and stories about the trip from Italy to the US.  And would she feel able to share them or hold them tight to her breast for safekeeping?

Many of my extended family either never knew much more, have memory problems because of age or have passed away so it is going to be a much harder journey to find out more information now.  But it is mostly about feelings and stories that I am after in general and my grandmother in particular and her voice is no more, lost to me forever.  Anything I learn now would be only guessing and speculation.

It is not until you are older that you begin to wonder about how you fit into the picture of your family structure.  Who and where did I get my talent.  When you think of the history and stories that are lost, it is just so sad that future generations lose the connection with that voice.

I am curious, though, after painting this piece, how much of your family history do you know and do you really think or want to know?  Does it make you feel disconnected?  Did you ask the important questions?  Do you still have time to gather that information?  If so, keep a journal for the next generation because one of your relatives will be grateful to have the voice of the past revealed to them even if it just starts with your voice.  If nothing else, start recording your journey.  Don’t wake up to regrets.

Please share this with someone who will benefit from its contents.  It might start a conversation.  Follow my blog to get the stories behind the paintings.  Comments to this post are most welcome.  Let’s start a dialogue.

Visit my website to view more of my paintings.  And as always, thanks for all your support.

An Artist’s Perspective: “Up, Down and All Around”

UpDownAndAllAround

 

“Our lives take us in all different directions. Detours are a part of life but it depends on how you view them that tells the difference.  Some detours have enriched my life with information that I would not have had any other way. Some detours were not as productive.  Experience lets me readily identify them and decide how long I am willing to travel on that road.”  That is a description of the painting above, “Up, Down and All Around”, one of my latest acrylic/mm creations on canvas, 24″ X 36″.

Many of my non-representational, abstract paintings show twists and turns, lines going in different directions, vertical then suddenly horizontal, shapes breaking through another section and turning into some other shape.  And it turns into a pleasing landscape of colors,  shapes and patterns that work together to create balance and purpose.

But, is that how life is today?  All these things thrown at us to make our lives more purposeful and balanced.  Think about it.  Everyday I get tons of email from marketing solicitors wanting to make my business more productive or giving me advice on how to make social media work for me.  This is where I took my detour in December 2013.  And I am quickly getting out of that line and back into my more productive pattern.

For example, they send screaming headlines that you need to be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and have a blog and website, etc., etc. and how to make each of these better for you to get LIKES and more followers. whether to use #’s or not, FB is a Must, Twitter is a Must and How to Use It, Is Everyone Leaving FB and Should You (this after I had just signed up & paid for a FB class on how to use it???), Twitter is Going Down (just after I purchased their stock for my retirement portfolio???), Tips to Boost your Twitter Conversations, Topics to Make a Great Blog and Get Followers, How Often to Post – I could literally go on and on.  And at the end of each of these is an advertisement that wants you to buy a book or sign up for classes or listen to a free informational video and then sign up for their class.  Oh I forgot, I need to make videos now to engage people to my site.  Just signed up for that course!

They are out in full force lately.  And now want you to be one of them-they offer a course on how to do that; a coach selling your advice on whatever you know about.  And I know a lot about various subjects because I was a graphic designer with my own business, a professional illustrator illustrating for many big magazine companies and a fine art painter.  At one time I worked in marketing research for a large company doing statistics (I am good at math), I know how to market, I’m a mother, etc., etc, etc.  But I would not want to inflict myself on the masses in the same way as these marketers are doing today just to get a client.

It is enough to make you go crazy.  Anyone trying to market their small business probably knows what I mean.  I question myself, am I doing it right, did I say the wrong thing, am I supposed to post this here, and the what if’s . . .   There was an article I read just recently talking about decision fatigue and how making many choices saps your willpowerAre any of these things adding anything significant to your business other than more work and a stress-filled schedule?  That is the important question for each of us to answer for ourselves.  Come on be honest.  Are you just a slave to these new things that were supposed to make our lives easier to market ourselves or stay in touch or do you really enjoy them.

I, for one, am going to be much, much, much more selective.  Why?  Because to be a painter and run a business you need to FOCUS. I am going to sign up for less because when I read these advice blogs and take the coaching classes, I realize that in most cases I already knew most of the information or the information does not apply to me and my business.  I am going to take a cold, hard look at what is working and what is not and let go of the baggage, the extra stress and the lack of focus.

Social media is still a good use for marketing but I am not going to get crazy about it and give more importance to it then it deserves.  My website and my blog is most important and those are my priorities. Who is deciding FB is great one day and dead the next?  That little guy in the corner office?  (You know guys, this would make a great little humorous, illustrated book. And I might just create it.  Would you buy it? OMG I am turning into ONE of THEM.) FOCUS

My new pledge is: if I need more information on a subject, I will buy a book.  They don’t leave email and they just sit on my night stand.  If I get stressed seeing them there because I haven’t read them lately, I will move them to another location, preferably under the bed.  See I learned some information that enriched my life from this detour and I am once again focused!

Please comment below how you feel about the detours your life is taking lately and if they are productive or making you go bonkers.  I love to hear from other people and learn from their perspectives.

Usually my paintings let loose a philosophy lesson as I splash on the paint (I loved my philosophy courses in college).  So I am starting this as a series.  Every time I finish a painting, I am going to do “An Artist’s Perspective” article explaining what the story is behind the painting or what feelings or questions on life the painting brought out as I was creating.  Each painting on my website has an artist’s comment but this, “An Artist’s Perspective”, will elaborate on the subject.

I guarantee you won’t be bored.  You don’t have to agree with my ramblings because that is what makes us individuals but you will get a first-hand view of my thinking as I paint.  Please become a “follower” and sign up to get a notice when it arrives.  Thanks for your support of my art and vision.

Stuck on that “MOTHER’S DAY” Gift Idea?

MothersDayMay11
Mother’s Day is a special day to remember a mother in your life.
Do they like FLOWERS?  Do they like GARDENING?
You can’t go wrong with flowers.  So how about flowers that last forever?
And how about unique, fantasy flowers that are inspired by my garden?

I guarantee that it is a one-of-a-kind flower and
will never be grown in anyone else’s garden!
But the best part is that your gift will be appreciated forever by the recipient.
And it can be matted and framed right on the site before it is sent out!
But you better hurry so that it can get there in time.

And, if you are a collector, you can buy the original painting.
Look to see if it is still for sale.  I would be honored for you to own
and collect my work.

Go to my Saatchi website portfolio and if the non-representational abstracts are the only ones on the page then in the Search for box in the right hand top corner, type in Joyce Wynes Flowers.

Please share this information with a friend who needs some suggestions.  And join my community by following my blog and signing up for my newsletter.
Thank you for your support and suggestions.  It means a lot to me.
Let me know if you have any questions for me below.

Solo Art Exhibition in Asheville, NC

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Curated by Wendy H. Outland, Owner and Art Consultant of Who Knows Art at www.whoknowsart.biz
Showing 15 of the latest Abstract Paintings by Joyce Wynes

April 7 – July 14, 2014
MAHEC Eductaion Building
121 Hendersonville Road • Asheville, NC 28803

OPEN:  8am – 5:30pm Monday thru Friday • 828 257-4400

Wynes describes her process:
“Did you ever wish that you could recapture the carefree, playful, questioning feelings of your childhood?  That is what happens to me every time I put my brush to canvas.  My Acrylic/Mixed Media paintings are a reflection of carefree memories and internalized images, flavored by my still apparent “childhood” influences.”

Bold colors and stylized, primal subjects in both representational and non-representational abstracts have entertained collectors for years.  Try to recapture your playful, questioning side by visiting the exhibition.  You won’t regret it.

You can see more of Wynes’s paintings by visiting her website.  See what her art can do to stimulate your senses.

“Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does MY Garden Grow?”

With fantasy flowers, and mystical powers,
And bold, colorful shapes, all in a row.

My 2nd passion is gardening, my 1st my painting. I might not be a poet but I am a gardener. While I paint other categories of paintings (Hands, Figurative, Non-representative abstracts), when Spring rolls around, flowers seem to be on my mind.

It is Spring now and Winter in North Carolina has outlived it’s welcome and has been hesitant to leave us.  The daffodils are up, the birds are singing and I am happily digging in the dirt again.  It is so lovely seeing all those green shoots popping out of the earth.

Gardening teaches me about growth, the circle of life and the boldness and fragility of life and death. My painted flower images are an expression of that knowledge.  It is so therapeutic to create a live garden painting that grows in front of you without any tools but a shovel, some seeds, fertilizer and water.  That is what is so great about my passions; I can combine them into a real life image that only lasts for the duration of the season or one on canvas that lasts forever.

But instead of copying what Mother Nature gives me for my gardening efforts, I take those shapes and colors and turn them into my fantasy flowers.  Flowers that take shape in my imagination.

Bunches of Flowers:

FourFlowersFinal


Or Cut Flowers in Vases:

4VaseFlowersFinal

 

Why can’t Black-eyed Susans be red?  And why can’t flowers be square? No reason really except for those who expect reality.  As a person and artist, I always felt that reality was there for us to learn from and go beyond, using our imagination to create something that inspires thinking.  Look at Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.  The items that they invented were not part of our reality before they invented them.

My flower paintings may never be a reality but they might inspire someone, somewhere to do something different with their imagination or they just might recall memories, pleasant memories, for the collector of my pieces.  They might inspire you to pick up a brush or to garden and find the relaxing and therapeutic quality of the venture.

Every year I recreate my garden so that it never looks the same from year to year. I transplant my plantings around the yard in different arrangements.  It works for me.  One thing I always do though is have something blooming year round.  It gives me something to look forward to each season of the year.

Some photo arrangements of my back yard several years ago:

GardenViews1

GardenViews2GardenViews3

 

This next photo is part of the front yard where these mums grow in all their splendor in every spot in the front in late Fall. It really is spectacular.  Like a last hurrah before Winter comes.
FrontMums

I hope you enjoyed my garden photos.  I will put more up this summer as my garden explodes.

Do you like to garden and what does it do for you? 

Do you like flowers or the therapy that comes with the process? 

What about my fantasy flowers?  What do they do for you, if anything?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please take a moment to comment or give me your suggestions and advice.

To see more of my paintings in any of the categories (Hands, Figurative, Non-representational Abstracts), please visit my website.  Please pass this post on to your gardener friends or anyone who appreciates art.  Thanks for your continued support.  Subscribe to my newsletter for more news and events.

 

 

Giving Up…Ever Want To?

GreenPiece1_S

There was a post in my email yesterday, Ever Felt Like Giving Up?, by Doug Hoppes written on FASO’s blog.  He was asking artists if they ever felt like giving up their art career.  And it got me thinking…why would an artist want to give it up?

Artists are a lucky lot.  They have found their passion and can work at something that fills them with a feeling of purpose and worthiness.  You would think that, if someone found that in their lives, that the rest would be so easy!  Very few people find their passion in life and can work at it too.

But artists have their trials and tribulations also:

Most artists don’t make enough money to live on so most have to supplement and take away from their art “time” to do another job or two.  And most can’t afford health insurance.  The “Starving Artist” theory, perpetuates the idea in society (i.e. buyers of art) that artists should not be paid enough for their products in order that they can make a living wage or be paid for their creative talent.  Where did that theory come from anyway?

For some reason, working 40-60 hours/week on creating art plus all the marketing & social media time, material and studio costs, paying 30%-60% commissions and research time, that has become so much a part of their job, isn’t worth as much an hour as someone out there working in the “corporate world” or outside of an art studio.

Crazy isn’t it?  The people creating the art are the only people who can’t make a living off their own art and most times comes out at a loss?  The art store employees make a living selling art products to them.  The galleries and alternative spaces make a living selling the artist’s work by making a sales commission on the art.  Colleges and universities make a living teaching art.  Website designers and developers and all the online businesses make a living off the artist.  I could go on and on, but really think about it.  The real creator of the art doesn’t.  They are the ones with the original, creative idea in the first place.  And they can’t price their work high enough to cover all their costs to make a living off of their product because society thinks they should starve for their art!

Selling your art and the steps necessary to being recognized is another process that leaves most artists exhausted and discouraged.  Applying to juried shows, getting into galleries and alternative markets, finding your tribe, educating yourself on the market and social media, updating your website and the research hours are endless.

Why do they do it?  Yes, some quit along the way or stall at a certain level because they don’t have the time, money or equipment to keep marketing themselves or pay someone else to do it for them.  Or some just don’t have enough passion and fall by the wayside.

Would I give up painting?  The thought has come into my head several times, usually at stressful, personal times in my life.  But quit painting?  Never.  I might give up some of the other stuff that goes along with being a marketing guru for selling my art but I hope I perish with a brush in my hand.

It is sad in a very serious way how society treats their creatives.  Most people revere artists, their talent and creative spirit.  It is a commodity in business (or should be) to hire creative-thinking people.  Most people I meet get this starry-eyed look when I tell them I am an artist.  They say, “I wish I had that talent”.  Or, “I can’t draw a straight line”.  Or  something to that effect.  But you can see that they really wish they could do that!  For many it brings back memories of a simpler time when they were children and did art projects for fun and not competition.  And shouldn’t that be one of the purposes of surrounding yourself with art, bringing back memories or giving you a certain feeling, whatever those feelings might be?  Some people are afraid to even approach an artist because they feel inferior in their presence.

Artists are just ordinary people doing what they do best in life.  And they should be able to make a living at it without having to sacrifice their salary so everyone else can make a living off of their creativity.  We pay you or your company for your services so that you can continue to do your job and that is all artists want as well.  To be paid a fair price for their work so that they can make a profit (salary) for their job after paying for everything else.

So the next time you see a piece of art that you would like, remember that artists have the same costs to performing their job as you or your company does.  I am hoping that educating the buying public will erase this title, “Starving Artist”, forever.  As an educated society, it should have been eradicated years ago.  And remember, you could be buying a piece of art that will go for millions or billions at Sotheby’s someday.  You lucky person!

Please take the poll below and give your thoughts on this issue.

Please share this post with others who might want to know a little about life as an artist from an artist’s perspective.  And thank you for your interest in my work.  Coming soon: An article you won’t want to miss on what goes into pricing a painting.
Painting above:  Green Piece 1 • 12″ X 12″ • Acrylic/MM • $425