NYC Street Art – Stickers – Posters

I was in NYC at the beginning of June.  I was thrilled to see some good street art.  I missed out on it the last time I visited.  Guess I was in the wrong neighborhood.

I totally fell in love with this red-dressed girl by Nick Walker.

I like checking out posters, stickers and graffiti too.  I like street art to influence my work, so I consider it research.  🙂  

Check out See One.  He’s a self-taught visual artist with great style. 

The Emotional Stages of Accepting an Art Commission

Heather Carr photo comic 2012Woo-hoo! I just finished up 3 commissioned painting last night.  Now I just need to photograph them…  It was really nice to get the job, but I’m also anxious to get back to work on some ideas floating around in my head.

l love playing around with self-portraits and was inspired late last night, after a week of too little sleep, to put this together.  I know I’m not the only one who feels commission work is an emotional roller coaster, but in the end, a fun ride.

See you next week!  xoxo

p.s. – ugh, just caught that my first version had a typo… now corrected!  whew!

The Color Run in Seattle – Becoming A Human Canvas

Heather Carr 2012Instead of posting sketches today, I thought I’d share my weekend with you.  I participated in The Color Run with my daughter on Mother’s Day, here in Seattle.  We were walking canvases!

Heather Carr 2012

The Color Run is a 5K (3.1 mile) race.  But it is really more about getting “dirty” than running fast, because at various checkpoints along the race you are doused in highly pigmented powder.  A lot of people walked s l o w l y, to get as colorful as possible.  I even saw people rolling around in the street!

Heather Carr 2012Heather Carr 2012

I imagine it will take a while for the streets to recover.  I saw a crew trying to sweep up the powder… it looked like an impossible task.

Heather Carr 2012

We had a great time.  I do feel a bit like I spent too many hours in a smokey bar today, but I attribute that mostly to my daughter who took aim at my face with a fistful of powder… The actual race staff tried to avoid doing that…

Heather Carr

Taking pictures while participating was a bit of a challenge because my camera was inside a waterproof camera bag, which got in the way of the lens a bit, not to mention that the whole thing got so covered in dust, so I couldn’t tell what I was shooting!

Heather Carr 2012

I would love to attend this race just to take photos.  Because I was with my daughter, I kept my picture taking to a minimum.  But there were endless opportunities for great shots…

Heather Carr 2012

What better way to clean off than in a fountain!

Heather Carr 2012

I got some funny looks on the drive home…

Heather Carr 2012

I’ll be back next week with a new post, and updates on my latest paintings.  I’m working on commissions this week and I need every free second I can find…

Heather Carr 2012

Gotta RUN now, have a great week!

P.S.  A HUGE thank you to my Mom, who made it possible for me to attend the run with my daughter!

Artfest is over?!! Already?!?

Heather Carr self portraits 2012

After 3 1/2 days of painting, friends, and parties, I am totally wiped out!  It was my first year of attending Artfest, as well as Artfest’s last year of operation.  Teesha Moore, the creator of this art retreat, promises something even grander in the works.  I can’t even imagine what that might be.  I just hope it’s still local!

After a retreat I always feel both completely filled up – with ideas, inspiration, and the emotional charge that comes with connecting with old friends and making new ones, and completely depleted, from giving some blank canvases everything I’ve got, from sharing with friends a lifetime’s worth of crazy inebriated stories, and from knowing I have to say goodbye, even if it’s just ’til next year.

Since my brain is feeling fried, and I’m being subjected to a never-ending loop of Nyan Cat (thanks to my children), the rest of my post will be more pictures, than words.  I wish I’d taken more photos, but I was too busy playing!

Heather Carr Jesse Reno Painting

I painted with Jesse Reno for two days, and miraculously, finished a painting.  A second piece is still in the works.


Heather Carr Painting work in progress opasnaAfter:

Heather Carr 2012 painting

It says “OPASNA” (oh-pas-na) which means  she is dangerous, in Russian.  It is my interpretation of an anglerfish.  If you can believe it, when I started it kinda looked like Marilyn Monroe.  Ha!  I wish I’d taken some transition shots, as it went though many stages, but my hands were always covered in paint.  By the way, I’m not sure if the title is referring to the painting, or the artist… 🙂

Heather Carr painting work in progress

Another work in progress from Jesse’s class.  To be finished soon, I hope!

Heather Carr 2012

Jesse doing a drawing demo.  I love watching people sketch with ease.  I always get nervous if I’m too aware of people watching me!!!

Below is a warm-up exercise we did in Jesse’s class.  I’d like to play around with it some more.

Heather Carr 2012 drawing

I took Mindy Lacefield’s class on Saturday, and it was great to share the day with her!  I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know her better over the last two years.  I had a blast helping her out at her marketplace table Friday night.

She did some great demos in class.  It was fun watching her work.  She is a master at cuteness!

Heather Carr 2012

I worked on four backgrounds.  Can’t wait to play with these more.

Heather Carr 2012 painting

The owl and the pussy cat?  I did this in class.  The owl and cat are made from torn paper.  The words say “Ya Teb-ya Lyoob-loo” which means I love you in Russian.  I may play with this a bit more, but I like the raw wood showing through.

Heather Carr painting 2012

Two heads are better than one.  This other piece is unfinished.  It’s a two-headed bird.  These birds may get some stripes and crazy legs… not sure yet.

Heather Carr 2012Well, that’s all for now!  Friends, old and new, I hope you’ll keep in touch.  And ladies, (*ehem* Danielle, Janna…) let’s not forget about our plans for next year!

Countdown to Artfest!

Heather Carr 2011 paint on hands

I’m heading to Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA next week to attend Artfest.  It is the 13th anniversary for Artfest, but my first year participating, and unfortunately, Artfest’s last year of operation.  Artfest is 3 days of art workshops, evening events, and mingling with like-minded souls.

Even though I live in nearby Seattle, I don’t know that I would have known anything about Artfest, or met any of the amazing artists that I know now, if it weren’t for an email I received one day that inspired me to be brave…

A few years ago I went to my first art retreat.  I’d received a newsletter from artist Mati McDonough that said she was going to be teaching a mixed media art class at An Artful Journey, a retreat down in the mountains of Los Gatos.  Mati and I met in a class, years before, back when I still lived in San Francisco.  I watched as her art career blossomed; her hard work and success has been a great inspiration for me.  When I heard that she was teaching, I felt that it was an invitation that couldn’t be ignored.  So I packed my  bags, left my kids with the grandparents (Thank you, Mom and Dad!!) and hopped on a plane.  At the retreat, Mati was teaching along side Kelly Rae Roberts, who I wasn’t familiar with before the class.  Another incredible woman and artist, Kelly Rae has extensive guidance available for anyone interested in turning their art into a career.  (Check out her Flying Lessons for art business advice.)  Anyway… their class totally rocked.  I was blown away by all the creative energy in the class and all the amazing attendees that I met.  There were a lot of established artists there.  Amazing people!  It was like being surrounded by a sea of really friendly art rock stars.  I was a bit overwhelmed – and totally hooked.

Heather Carr An Artful Journey 2010 Mati McDonough and Kelly Rae Roberts

Mati Rose and Kelly Rae demonstrating their mixed media expertise.

Heather Carr Child painting 2010

My favorite piece from my first art retreat.

I returned to An Artful Journey the following year to paint with Jesse Reno. If you ever have a chance to take a class with him – DO IT!  Jesse is an incredible, intuitive artist, and storyteller.  His teachings have influenced my art quite bit.  And I am grateful for that.  I enjoyed his class so much, that I am taking it again next week at Artfest in Port Townsend, WA.  I will also be taking a class taught by the sweetest girl I know, Mindy Lacefield.  I love her work!!  If you are attending Artfest, stop by Mindy’s table at the marketplace Friday night and say hi – I’ll be helping her out!

Heather Carr Jesse Reno 2011 Artful Journey

Jesse Reno explaining paint magic.

Heather Carr 2011 painting work in progress

The beginning stage of my paintings in Jesse’s class.

Art retreats are highly addictive. They empower people in amazing ways… being immersed in so much creative energy – people carry it back home with them, harness it, and SOAR!  I’ve seen so many fledgling artists really take off, in just the few years since I first met them.  With two young children as passengers (or more like co-pilots!), I feel like the wheels are just getting off the runway for me now, but that’s okay.  It’s way better than sitting in the airport lobby, just admiring the art from afar.

Toska (TOCKA) – my word for 2012

Lots of people that I know choose a word at the beginning of each new year.  A word that guides them through their year and gives their life and art direction.  In December, I became very enamored with a Russian word, and Nabokov’s passionate description of it. It will be my word for 2012.

Toska – noun /ˈtō-skə/ – Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness.

“No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
–Vladimir Nabokov

What can I say – I’m not all sweetness and light.  My lifelong desire to pursue creative endeavors has always been at odds with the thoughts in my head telling me I have to make more “responsible” choices (I blame this on:  1. being the eldest child in my family (too serious!),  2. a terrible case of perfectionism,  3. trying to please too many people. )  I put art on hold for a very long time and I truly regret it.  It wasn’t doing me any good to ignore that part of me that kept whispering “you are an artist, it will be your life someday.”  You should see the list of jobs and education I pursued just to drown out that whisper… Ugh.

But what would life be without some struggle?  I’ve always enjoyed challenges, even emotional ones to some degree.  My favorite art tends to capture some of that toska, melancholy and listlessness.  I hope that my work this year will speak to people on an emotional level and reflect my restlessness and desire to succeed.