Friday, March 26, 2010

Close-up Detail

In the effort to slowly reveal my work but keep everyone interested... I figured it was a good time to share some more photos of my recent series that I put together earlier this year. By now, I would like to assume that the pieces are close to completely dry, but will continue to hold off on the varnish for the recommended dry time of 6 months for the oil to fully cure and oxidize. These pieces will need to be removed from the stretcher bars I built (from scratch!) and then rolled up for shipping to either their new owners or the galleries I find to show them. I've casually titled the series "Reflections: A Series on Color" but that isn't set in stone and could possibly change as I put together the series statement.

Over the past few years, I've scoured the net for images of work, videos of the creation of that work, and written words about it. While doing this, I've stumbled across some interesting blogs, wonderfully put together sites, and even more importantly, some truly great artists. Most of these artists find a focus, a theme, and run with it as far as their creativity will take them. When the idea has run dry, they reinvent their "direction" and follow that path until... well, you understand the idea that is happening here. I've always been an artist to try many different things. One week I am focused on texture, the next week is figurative pieces. Later I start to study roses, while shortly after I get myself painting sunsets & clouds. I've been trying to keep centered on one idea as much as I can but it just continually seems that I can never stay held down for too long. My concentration goes awry, my motivation drops dramatically, and I find myself needing something else to reignite my creativity. Earlier today I decided that it was time for me to find some art groups, classes, ANYTHING that wasn't accessible exclusively through my computer (of course the numbers to contact were found through the internet, on my computer... so i understand and appreciate the importance of it, thank you vaio). After a few phone calls, I found myself talking to real live people. ARTISTS! Artists that weren't snobby acting as though they couldn't give me the time of day. I understand that calling out of the blue asking for help is awkward, and I am most certainly not asking for any handouts, but it was nice to get some genuine people on the phone offering assistance to classes, groups, showings, etc. I found a place located in Scottsdale called BRIO Fine Arts Center. It was founded by a woman originally located in the Chicago area who was an absolute wonderful pleasure on the phone. It's a start. Very easy conversation. Suddenly I feel like I could be part of a group of other artists. Artists with faces and a physical presence, rather than exclusively online. It's a great feeling.

Another great feeling: possible sale of my three rose studies about to be finalized. Trying not to get my hopes up until everything goes through, but I would like to thank Michael for helping post these on the internet and actually turn them into $$$$!! 

-making small still life piece daily to participate in "painting-a-day" programs, teach myself discipline, better understand my materials, as well as simply create more work!
-order some books... or finding them at a used bookstore! DISCOUNTS! (everyone loves a discount)
-get a new "glass house" for our little pet Jalapeno, the betta fish

All the best everyone! Happy Friday!

-Joshua Grabowski

Friday, March 19, 2010

Online Sales

After posting my paintings on numerous sites hoping for sales, I figure the best way for me to not go crazy over it is to just simply wait... and see what happens. If they are meant to sell from one of the outlets I have used, then quite simply, they will. In the mean time, I will try my hardest to put it out of my head will I continue working on my other pieces. Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have exciting weekends planned!

side note: if the weather fails you, go to the movies! Michael and I went to see Valentines Day, awesome, lots of favorite actors/actresses! Alice in Wonderland is also a definite recommended flick. Be sure to load up on candy and popcorn... it's just not the same without it. I hear that Sarah fell asleep during Shutter Island, did you really think it was that bad?!  ;)

-Joshua Grabowski

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Rose Affair

OK FOLKS... they are done, framed, signed, ready to besold and placed in their prospective homes! I've been frequenting Michael's Craft Store due to their amazing sale on gallery wrapped canvas's. Something to note, 12" x 24" frames are not sold at Michael's, but rather Hobby Lobby (for those of you that just happen to have hardboard paintings laying around waiting for the perfect, non-overpriced pre-made frame to pop up... it's entirely common, right?). The first piece is from another recent post saying that it was finished and ready for the frame; however, without the additional leaves that were added (thank you creative mastermind Michael, with our wonderful brainstorming-sessions/art-critiques) it was flat and boring. Adding the leaves not only brought more color but more excitement to the piece. Overall, I think it is much better off with the additions. You'll notice my initials in the lower right hand corner of the yellow "frame."

Next up is "Study of a Rose #2." You might remember the original yellow rose I did almost a year back, if not, you can find it in the previous posts to my site. The light source here is strong and I like the way everything came together in the frame. Again, you'll notice my initials in the bottom right.

And last, but certainly not least (as it is my favorite of the bunch),  "Study of a Rose #3." I know I know, my creativity in the titles of these pieces is overwhelming. Try to contain yourselves. This picture shows a small glare from the light while taking the picture (again, credit to Michael for taking pictures of these today for me, THANK YOU!). This frame was very dramatic. Since the bimbos at Lowes cut these hardboards inconsistent sizes, it was about 1/8" too WIDE for the frame, so it is back-set in the frame which turned out very nice after all was said and done but you can't really notice here in the picture.

All three pieces are for sale on my Artbreak Site and hanging for sale inside SwapSmart here in Arizona. If anyone is interested in any of the three, you can contact me directly and I can hook you up with a sweet deal... maybe... has been peaking my interest once again with another project they are having right now: sunflowers! It is a simple photo challenge, they give you and image and you use your creative talents to recreate it however you see fit. Since I have a surplus of canvas on my hands, I plan to try out a couple ideas that I have; some are well within my comfort-zone and others bursting out of it. As I complete these pieces, I plan to share my progress... did you expect anything less? :) 

-Joshua Grabowski

^ getting in the habit of putting 'Joshua' instead of 'Josh' to transition smoothly into my new domain/site. Enjoy all the links I've embedded and click the roses to view them larger! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Etsy Store and craft store deals!

Yesterday and today, I've spent probably more time that I should setting up my account on a website devoted to providing artist with the ability to sell anything handmade, Great site with great features made for aritsts trying to sell their work, whether it be clothing, paintings, pottery (the list goes on and extends to basically anything made by your own two hands...within the legal guidelines of our country of course). The store I've started putting together is much more elaborate of a process than I'd imagined and I've realized it will take a little more than just 20 minutes. Over the next week or so I plan to work on the in's-and-out's of Etsy. I put together a banner for the top of my page that I was pretty pleased with. You can see a preview of it below:

Hope everyone is having a great week so far. The rain in AZ is brutal, but the way I see it is, "at least it is NOT snow." Either way, I think it has finally eased up and I think there is expected 80's next week, should make it hard to want to stay indoors, but my paints and brushes will keep me motivated and working. Last night, Michael's Craft Store has a great sale going on this week of 50% off gallery wrapped stretch canvas's. They also had a buy one get one sale on their frames! (ATTN: all broke artists looking for a deal, get there ASAP! artists are like mad dogs during business hours, buying canvas's like no one's business!) I had to indulge in the sale and walked out with plenty of painting surface to keep me busy for a while. Hopefully these frames will make some of my pieces more appealing at some of these venues I've found in AZ to turn my paintings into cash! Lots of progress will be posted as I create it... thanks for reading and keeping up with my stuff everyone!

-Joshua Grabowski

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Working through the list.

Trying to make my way through some older pieces I had been working on a couple of months back. Let's just hope that I can get these out the door and make some money. :) Maybe this piece looks familiar? (this time around I was using a much better camera than my cell phone...the difference is 5.1 megapixels baby!)

This picture doesn't show it yet, but all I have left to do is sign it, varnish it, and put up a FOR SALE sign. Finally I can cross this off my list of unfinished work and move along to the next one.

-Joshua Grabowski