Life is Art – Art is Life

heather carr painting acrylic artists people walkingThis is my favorite painting from 2013.  It is acrylic and pastel on canvas that I mounted on wood. I’m so happy to finally be sharing it. (I am really behind on posts!)

This painting is a conversation between two artists. They are speaking in Russian. It says: жизнь – это искусство, life – this is art. I see it as a circular conversation, saying that life is art, and art is life. They are one in the same.

 

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The Gallery at Town Center Show – thru Nov. 17th

Heather Carr Susan Aurand I have a show going on now through Nov. 17th, in Lake Forest Park, WA, at The Gallery at Town Center.  Also featured is Susan Aurand, a mixed media assemblage artist.  If you are in the greater Seattle area, please come and check us out!  It’s quite a colorful show. 🙂

Heather Carr Susan Aurand

Alice in Wonderland pieces by me, and an assemblage piece by Susan Aurand

Heather Carr paintings for sale

Heather Carr paintings for sale art show

Heather Carr painting gallery show Heather Carr Gallery at Town Center show

Oasis Art Show and New Paintings!

Heather Carr 2012

I’ve burned the midnight oil ever since I returned from Artfest to get ready for my two upcoming shows.  The first one, at Oasis Art Gallery in Wallingford, starts Saturday.  I’ve been up late every night painting, varnishing and making prints.  I’m totally exhausted and battling a cold.  Guess that’s what I get for trying to have a second full-time job in my off-hours.  To make things more challenging, both my kids are on vacation this week.  Mommy really needing to write her blog post is not an acceptable excuse for not playing corner store by my son’s account, so during the day things happen in short bursts.  Well, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to!

I’ve been playing around a bit with abstract painting.  These will be up at the Oasis show.  Ugh, I just realized that I forgot to photograph one of my pieces, which I’ve already sent to the gallery. Doh!

Heather Carr 2012 acrylic

Roots – this painting has some metallic and translucent paint. Had a bit of trouble photographing it.

Heather Carr acrylic painting 2012

Gustav’s Branch

Heather Carr acrylic painting 2012

The Battle of Sun and Rain/No Color Left Behind

I’ve been playing around with the paintings that I started in Mindy Lacefield’s awesome class at Artfest, and created some more using her colorful techniques.

Heather Carr painting 2012

The Owl and The Pussycat – tweaked a bit since you last saw it…

Heather Carr painting 2012 acrylic mixed media

Side view – The Owl and The Pussycat

Heather Carr painting 2012 acrylic mixed media

Swinging – ah, summertime.

Heather Carr painting 2012 acrylic mixed media

Two Heads are Better… This started out as a two-headed bird, but the body just wasn’t working for me, I think this works better!

Heather Carr painting 2012 acrylic mixed media

Bubbles!

Heather Carr painting 2012 acrylic mixed media

Unicorn Rainbow – I miss the 80s…

Cat Power – inspired by my daughter’s love of cats. The pencil drawing is by my daughter, Olivia.

My second show this year starts May 1st.  I’ll tell you more about it soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

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.

Before:

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.

A Million Things To Do

My head is swimming right now.  In late winter, my children constantly pass cold viruses back and forth.  So all bets are off.  I cannot count on having any time for myself.  Even at 3 a.m.  At times like these, I am thankful for all of the artist-moms that I have met in the last few years that prove it can be done.  The mutual kvetching doesn’t hurt either.

I have three gallery shows coming up.  Two of them begin at the end of April.  That’s right.  They overlap.  So I am in total panic mode at the moment.  One of the galleries doesn’t take racy or macabre works, so my two shows will be quite different – presuming the other gallery will hang my edgier works.  It is actually being debated at Shoreline City Hall.  (A story for another day…)

So today, I thought I’d share my works in progress.  There are a lot of them, many still in the underpainting stage.  I’d appreciate any feedback.

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

I’d like this to remain an abstract piece when finished – 2’x3′

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

inspired by my daughter

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

i want to put her in some striped socks! 😛

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

gorilla and the egg man. this one might be done…

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

hearing the universe… she will have headphones on…

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

I see a child in the middle of this one. Do you?

Heather Carr underpainting work in progress

wondering where this will go…

A Midsummer Dream

It’s been a rough week.  Not much time for artistic endeavors.  My daughter is on mid-winter break and my 3-year-old son has been sick for several days.  So, I thought I’d share this painting that I finished last week.

It started out as a wooden board that had papers collaged all over it.  I did this partly because the wood grain can be hard to paint over.  Also, I like the textures and patterns that peek through when it’s painted.  I randomly covered the paper with paint, and stared at it for a long time, waiting for shapes to emerge.  I saw some marks that looked like they could be antlers, and the face of a deer.  So I outlined these, and drew a general outline of a body.  As I started to play more, I became bored with the idea of just a deer, so I merged the features of a woman with the animal.

Sometimes I have a clear plan from the start when I paint, but I like the challenge and surprises that not having a plan can bring.

Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from the earliest stages, but you can still see the progression here:

painting mixed media Heather Carr work in progress

shapes emerging

painting mixed media Heather Carr work in progress

the ugly teenager phase

painting mixed media Heather Carr work in progress

getting closer