Thursday, August 27, 2009

Words of Wisdom

"When I was an undergraduate art student, I was lucky enough to study with internationally acclaimed artist Terry Allen. I loved the class and worshipped the teacher, but I didn't always get my assignments in on time. One day a student asked Terry how you know if you are really an artist. Terry turned to face him and said, "An artist can't stop himself. He really has no choice about it." What an answer! I was mortified. I definitely was not an artist by Terry's definition. Even though I wanted to be an artist more than anything, I wasn't exactly clamoring to be in the studio. To be honest, I spent more time running away from making art than actually making it. Then one evening, after chastising myself for wasting yet another day, I finally understood what Terry meant. What he was really talking about was obsession. It didn't matter whether I was actually making art or not, because if I wasn't making art, I was torturing myself about not making art. I couldn't stop myself. I didn't have a choice about it. So my choice wasn't whether or not to be an artist, but whether to be an artist who worked or one who didn't.
-Cay Lang, Taking the Leap

I came across this quote on the blog Underpaintings: Words of Wisdom, by Matthew D. Innis. (Thank you Matthew for posting this!!)

The last few lines of this really struck home...
This is me. Whether or not I am painting or pursuing my life as a working artist, my need for art is ever-present. I have spent most of my life in a state of longing to create and jealous of those who do. I want to live my life in acceptance and in pursuit of what I know to be true about myself: I need to paint. I am an artist and I long to embody and move with this truth on a daily basis.

¹ Cay Lang, Taking the leap: Building a Career as a Visual Artist (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998), p XV.

Art Details from: the Everpresent, 08, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 20 x 24 in, unframed, SOLD

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

60x48 Commission: Terms of Agreement

Canvas Specifications:
  • stretched canvas - 60” high x 48“ wide (x 2” deep approx)
  • frame strips (approx) .75“ wide x 2.5” deep
  • framed art (approx) 61.5“ high x 49.5” wide x 2.5“ deep, stained dark walnut
  • acrylic on linen
Color Palette:
  • Harvest Colors: golds, oranges, reds, cream, white, green for accent, other accent colors
  • Question: what do you mean by Gold - metallic gold, rich golden yellows, the color of wheat with the sun rising against it, something else? Please circle or make notes...
Art Description:
Artwork to consist of many layers of information created at different scales. Some things will be readily noticeable from afar, other details revealed as the viewer steps closer. Layers of detail work together to create an overall impression. Details of art to include people. Artwork to be generally consistent in style and content with Latifah Shay’s previous works (as displayed at Tryst and posted on

Mrs. Client Likes:
  • Mercy for the detail, the bold simplicity, likes the person
  • Trusting to Tell , The Importance of Courage and Global Soul for the layering & depth of detail, for the people
  • Something to Say, The Raven for the colors
Mrs. Client Dislikes:
  • Confidence, the Everpresent, Growing Hope and Movement of Light because they are “too much”
  • “No purples, no browns, no pastel”
Mr. Client Likes:
  • Art that is composed of many layers of detail working together to create an overall image
  • Art as background image to their life
  • "Harvest Colors"
Mr. Client Dislikes:
  • Art that has one overwhelming image or shape such as Delicate Intensity
General Schedule:
  • Plan on having artwork to show you by mid-August
  • Plan on having artwork completed in full by end of September
  • I said I would do up to 3 paintings. Mr. Client said “don’t think 3 pieces is necessary.” I feel confident of this and am excited to paint for you. However, if what I present to you doesn’t excite you the way you would like, I would like to talk about it, painting up to 2 more pieces. My intention is to deliver artwork of the highest quality and caliber and to provide you with art that you can appreciate and enjoy for many years to come.
Delivery / Pick-Up:
  • Mr. & Mrs. Client anticipate picking up art from my studio in rural, PA
  • If shipping is necessary, cost of shipping, handling and insurance will be additional
Terms of Payment:
  • $XXXX - agreed upon price
  • > $XXX - 30% non-refundable deposit - PAID
  • > $XXX - due middle of August
  • > $XXX - due upon completion of artwork
  • Mr. Client said that if necessary, they would pay more; they want to be reasonable, but don’t want me compromise on the artwork for lack of time, money, resources, etc.
  • > I appreciate your generosity deeply in this regard. At this time I do not anticipate needing additional payment. Thank you.
Contact Info:
Please print this document... sign & date it, note what gold means to you, snail-mail me a copy.
Thank you very much. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity - can’t wait to paint!
  • client signature & date / artist signature & date

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Why do I paint???

I have always wanted to be an artist: to paint, to draw, to create... to bring what I see and feel to life in color and dimension. My spirit soars and travels while I create, opening the doors to freedom within. And as much as I long to visually express myself, I long to be free.

I realize as I write this, that it is not so much that I want to paint; it's that IT needs to move through me. It's like I have this raging river of creativity flowing within. I can dam it up or let it run free.

I have so many different emotional responses to color and to art. (Are they separate?) Art walk in Portland Oregon one night... I saw enough pieces that hit my heart just right, that I became euphoric. It's like being enchanted, and falling into a state of love where I believe that anything is possible. Just the other night, my friend had on this perfect shimmery sea foam color. Next to her dark eyes and hair, it was stunning; my heart was so happy.

Color and art connect me to love. It connects me to the deepest parts of myself. This helps me understand why I need it so much.
Details from: Caring, 08, acrylic and pencil on unstretched canvas, 17 x 17 in, framed, SOLD