Let the beauty we have be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. – Rumi

photo 1 (2)   photo 2 (2)

Yeah yeah yeah – the Year Long Canvas is  still sitting there staring at me. I am stalled out with her. I am becalmed like a sailboat at sea, but enjoying where I am. I am living in the NOW.

I am currently painting other stuff that allows me to arrive at completion, because I am a task driven person and I like a feeling of accomplishment. I have not abandoned the YLC Project, but I seem to be on summer vaca from her. I’m spending time with people I enjoy, painting just for the fun of it, tending to my sunburn, going to concerts and hiking in the woods, in the rain, wearing my sparkling tiara that I was urged to make mine at a mountain garage sale on Sunday. Of course that’s silly. Would you deny me the pleasure of being silly? You better not….because I am hangin’ exclusively with people who make me happy these days  – the ones who contribute positive vibes to my life – the ones who prop me up and make me laugh and leave me with a warm glow. You all know who you are.

The Year Long Canvas needs my attention, I guess, but she is a great looking painting just the way she is. I don’t have it in me right now to alter her. I am SURE I have learned whatever lessons she was supposed to teach me already….pretty sure.

So if you are one of the ones who keeps ragging on me about making some more changes to her, just for the sake of change, you need a really strong argument to convince me that I need to do something. Especially now. Maybe later in the summer when my back is against the wall and I know I am going to have to come up with some answers to questions from my esteemed instructor Homare Ikeda – maybe then I will panic and make some kind of change to her. But right now I am following the advice of that same esteemed instructor who commanded all of us students to HAVE FUN and ENJOY THE SUMMER and PLAY!. That’s what I want to do – that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I am going to do THAT.

photo 3 (3) Relax – YLC is just fine. Alive and well and living here, with other canvases…..the ones who are finished. She is in good company.

Jo Ann Brown-Scott – to see additional art, visit the links below:

http://www.epiphanysfriends.com

http://joannbrownscottart.artspan.com/large-multi-view/single/2357019-0-/.html%5B/embed%5D

 

 

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When You Want to Sell Art…get real

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Both are 20″x60″ mixed media panels using paint, exotic papers and polished stones – zoom in and see detail

by Jo Ann Brown-Scott, copyright 2014

Ok let’s get practical – whether I am an artist, a musician, a writer, a cook or a candlestick maker, as the fairy tale goes, I would very much like to sell my art. I know, however, that I can’t count on consistent, regular money coming in from my art sales. So I have other sources of income…and/or I do various types of artwork so that I will appeal to a wider audience.

I would love to be able to do abstract expressionistic paintings for the rest of my life and sell them like intellectual hotcakes to the more finely tuned collectors who are authentic followers; those who understand and appreciate the style and know the excellent from the nondescript in the world of abstraction. Those folks are few and far between. Unless you get really lucky and you are an extremely hot property, quite gifted and have either the tenacity of an artistic pitbull or the ability to be in exactly the right place at the right time while hob-knobbing with the  movers and shakers, you will not make it huge in the abstract expressionist movement. Doing so would be the equivalent of being a star athlete, a mega movie star or a best selling author who literally owns real estate on the New York Times best seller list. Slim to none. Pipe dreams. Get real.

Of course I am more than happy to sell an abstract piece whenever I can no matter how sporadically it comes my way.

In the meantime, I paint, create and even construct other art that is more commercial, more marketable, simpler, more design oriented and way trendier, less expensive and just fun to have hanging in your tastefully decorated home. I have taught Interior Design, so I have to admit that I get turned on by a lovely home – especially if it is eclectic and has a well diversified collection of furniture, art, antiques, rugs, pottery, books, and some funky found objects. And most people’s homes, these days, are eclectic, because we travel and bring exotic treasures home, we receive expensive gifts from friends, we love second hand stores and thrift shops, we buy neat things from Pottery Barn and it all has to coordinate nicely into a home space. So I create my more commercial pieces of artwork with several things in mind, knowing that they will compliment many different kinds of homes.

Therefor I have to keep current on whatever trends are currently trending. The most popular paint colors. The newer fabrics that are being shown. The patterns of area rugs. The furniture styles….and the kinds of art that are selling to people who are not necessarily art intellectuals but still enjoy having a stunning home. No matter what your style of choice is at this very moment, and no matter what your tastes are forever, chances are you are always on the hunt for a great new item for your home that will make it unique and reflective of who you are.

The photos I have included are some examples of the more commercial artwork I am doing. They are all one of a kind pieces, unique and certainly not mass produced, but labored over and created with heart and soul. Prices range from $600 up….

redbarn Red Barn abstraction

pod Seed Pod

 

The Year Long Canvas #14 – Progress, Endurance and a Big Spill

“There’s a little black spot on the sun today

That’s my soul up there

It’s the same old thing as yesterday

That’s my soul up there

There’s a black cat caught in a high treetop

That’s my soul up there

There’s a flagpole rag and the wind won’t stop

That’s my soul up there.”

Lyrics to KING OF PAIN by STING

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YEAR LONG CANVAS – very beginning, last week and today’s small progress

Well hello again – the YLC canvas and I welcome you back. In the previous post I listed some of my background info and news, and since I am putting together a brand new portfolio I had all that information gathered together so it was convenient and easy to do a blog around it. The painting I posted with that blog entry WAS NOT the YLC, as I hope you realized from its title….and its composition. That post was a delay and denial tactic. The YLC has sat untouched.

So we are due for an update on the old YLC and this period of time has  been tough – I knew those times would get here…. I have not been able to concentrate much on the YLC for the past few days. I have been concerned about some issues that are so near and dear to me that my mind is preoccupied. Nothing life threatening, just annoying small stuff that usually I can shake off, but this week not so much for some reason. Even the horrific news about Iraq has me rattled. As if I could do anything to change it. The result is that the YLC has not enjoyed a single new stroke or even a fond glance for about 2 weeks. But I have gotten a lot of other tasks done. Stuff that requires absolutely no intelligence, actually, but has to get done. One of which was to change the printer ink, when I spilled red ink all over me, instantly looking as if I had been brutally stabbed in my thigh, stomach and hand…and it will not scrub off. So what an interesting weekend that will make when I get out and around.

After the stabbing however I did make a few offerings to the YLC and the art Buddha. Nothing major – uninspired things you might not even notice, nevertheless I can honestly claim that I changed her. That is all I have to do, you know, is keep changing her.

Just for fun I have pictured the canvas as she was when I started on her months ago, then the second photo is how she looked before I worked on her today, and the third photo is the newest version of the canvas as she is this very minute. Maybe you will see the changes. If not, don’t worry about it. It’s pretty uneventful.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

Background Information and Announcements

 

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Mixed media Collage titled EMERGENCE, by Jo Ann Brown-Scott – copyright 2014

I would like to thank you all for visiting the blog and keeping up with the progress on the YEAR LONG CANVAS. I appreciate it very much!

I often get requests for more information about my art and requests to see a larger selection of my recent paintings.. Therefor I am offering a brief background and bio and some links. My website http://www.epiphanysfriends.com  is the best place to visit for more images and updated news.

For those of you in the Colorado area there is a show titled WATERMEDIA at the Evergreen Center for the Arts beginning this month; opening night is June 27th, 2014 from 4-7pm. You are most welcome to attend. Three of my paintings have been accepted for that event.

BRIEF UPDATE

Returning to the Denver area in mid-2013 after seven years in northern California has been motivating and renewing.  I am reconnecting with old friends, painting with a fresh, spontaneous energy and becoming active in the Denver art scene once again.

Artist’s  Statement

The art began with watercolor and developed a life of its own; it has evolved, grown wider horizons and added depth through the chapters of my life, almost without my assistance. Painting with acrylic provided new possibilities. I offer different takes or viewpoints now, while still using my same recognizable style as the common thread over time. Color, pattern and texture are my passion, the message in the art, my secret; yet there for all to interpret. I am motivated by the goodness of most people, my basic wonder at our existence, and the stunning beauty of earth.

Art Themes – Abstract Expressions Indicative of Universal Themes

Recent fascinations and preoccupations that scroll through my thoughts and spill their subtle messages from paintbrush onto canvas include the concept of times passage, ethnic cultures across the globe and the basic, primal simplicity of the days and nights we all share. In a world of chaos and random events, the spirituality of certain humble rituals common to all of our lives captures my attention. I celebrate the rituals that unite us, the hearts and minds that hold us together.

Brief Bio

I grew up in a large country home on eight acres of green hillside and dale in southern Ohio, outside of Dayton. During those early years it became apparent that art was my passion and I came west to the University of Colorado in Boulder to study art and never went back. I  emphasized painting and sculpture along with English Literature and psychology. I have been painting professionally ever since.

“I began professionally marketing my art at the suggestion of a much-admired instructor after college was over and I had begun living in Evergreen, Colorado. In 1984 I was personally invited by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce to create an original painting – a snowy winter scene, reminiscent of Evergreen and the Christmas season – from which the very first Christmas in Evergreen Limited Edition Posters and Christmas Cards were printed and sold. That year began the tradition of the Evergreen Christmas Poster which in subsequent years became a contest open to local artists. It also became a pivotal moment in launching my own career to a higher degree.” 

In addition to painting I have taught interior design, published two books about life-changing epiphanies and taught mixed media collage to adults for three years in California and held positions in sales, marketing and gallery management, to name just a few of my other incarnations. Currently I am concentrating solely on my painting, enjoying the exhilaration of fresh inspiration, less driven by the demands of others and more in tune with my own priorities. My art is wiser in character, weathered by time, and unapologetically relaxed. The art reveals all, as it always has, and is better with some years on it.

NEWS AND LINKS

ADDITIONAL RECENT WORK can be seen at www.artspan.com – Jo is listed under ARTISTS, then MIXED MEDIA. When you find her name click on it and several of her paintings will appear -select any one of them to be taken directly to her artspan website.

THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE for author and artist Jo Ann Brown-Scott is http://www.epiphanysfriends.com

JO’S CREATIVE EPIPHANY BLOG – If you would like to follow Jo’s Blog,  go to: www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

On this blog site you will find archives of all previous posts, including many posts about the noteworthy YEAR LONG CANVAS challenge – nicknamed the YLC – about working on one particular canvas for an entire year. Photos included of course.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – Jo is proud to announce that for the second time in the past few years she has been selected to contribute a painted violin to the annual Painted Violin Fundraising Event for the Denver Youth Artists Orchestra.

For more information go to –  www.paintedviolin.com  or  www.dyao.org

Pictured below is Jo’s previous violin from the 8th Annual Fundraiser for the DYAO titled SCHEHERAZADE. There is more information about this event any my first violin in Jo’s blog archives.

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Year Long Canvas #13 – The Knowing That Comes With Darkness

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YLC #13 copyright Jo Ann Brown-Scott, not yet titled

Another quote from Rumi, 13th century poet and scholar – Everyone does this in different ways. Knowing that conscious decisions and personal memory are much too small a place to live, every human being streams in at night into the loving nowhere, or during the day, in some absorbing work.

For those of you who have been following this saga – thank you. I wish I could provide you with startling changes on a weekly basis but that seems too ambitious. It is a gradual, relatively slow, often not-so-eventful journey that YLC and I share. She is far more patient than I. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose.  I, however, agonize over each and every change and although I often say that the canvas tells me what to do, sometimes she is maddeningly silent.

But today, no question about it, she screamed at me for drama.

The purple sun that many people took an instant “shine” to (pardon the humor) and that I was so in love with 2 weeks ago, now leaves me cold – a shocking thing for a sun to have to admit. So I have made changes to that upper left corner of the composition….and the sun is obliterated. No more sun flares, no more daily rising in the east and no more celebratory, spectacular western sun setting to garner applause and clinking of wine glasses in that corner of the composition. Maybe I over-reacted – but maybe not. I just cannot mourn every single thing that disappears. I believe that even the art Buddha would agree.

We still have the other sun however – sitting all fried-eggish behind the horizontal slats – that one I still like….but probably not for long.

So purple sun has been replaced with approaching night, if that is how you choose to interpret it. It amuses me sometimes to see a landscape behind the slatted lines, sun above, colorful hillside village below, suggestive of Mexico perhaps – Puerto Vallarta – and now night on its way, but I am not so hung up on that image that I am going to preserve it forever. If I had to make a prediction, I would say the final result of this painting will be totally non-objective and wildly abstract….because I am heading in that direction already. I am yearning for less whimsy and more drama. I will end this year with some serious art.

See the little black parts I added in a few places along the lower far right side? Very small but important. See the magenta coming over on top of the new black area? Also very important – because you cannot just add a huge black area and not integrate it into the composition. It has to work well and mesh with the other colors. See the scratch marks in the new black? I wanted a texture – not just solid dead black.

It is not even mid-summer yet, and still a long way to travel. If you have the time to go back into my archives and re-visit the first couple gestures made on the naked YLC, then you do realize we have come a long way, speaking as an evolutionary reference. This journey won’t be over until March 10th, 2015 when I can let the YLC retire so she can just hang out on some wall in peace. When that day comes I guarantee some glasses will be raised at some type of crazy-art  celebration.

As of today, I am really looking forward to that. It cannot come too fast for me.

“This Being Human is a Guest House” – Rumi

 

RedSeaMoon

Mixed media titled RedSeaMoon by Jo Ann Brown-Scott copyright 2014

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some monetary awareness comes, as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

RUMI, 13th Century Poet and Scholar

Sometimes I wonder how I would have managed to paint if the context of my life had been different…if things had been less to my liking in my life, would I somehow have struggled to rise above it and paint anyway? Would I still have been a painter, or maybe even been a better painter, if I had been forced to deal with more obstacles, dysfunction and disorder? Do I have the determination and drive to be a painter no matter what, or must I have all  conditions favorable in order to be my most creative self?

I have painted, actually, through many misfortunes, if I stop to think about it, but I saw them as temporary and surmountable. I consider myself fortunate indeed in that regard. Some would go so far as to say that my life has been hard, and have told me so, but I think it has merely been a life. Everyone has a story – I know of no one who gets off without being beaten down, scarred or broken.

I follow a blog on WordPress written by a lost and lonely fellow who cannot seem to work his way to the safety of dry land but continues to nearly drown in his pool of self pity. I feel very badly for him. I wonder when he will discover that he is the single one person on earth who can pull himself out of that situation and open up his future to a new path? We are all responsible for our own survival. No warriors of happiness are ever going to ride in on horseback and storm the walls to your city, to save the day and bestow happiness upon you. Don’t wait for that to happen. For god’s sake do something now for yourself. Rolling around in the muck, wallowing in it for an eternity is not working for you.

I do not happen to believe, either, that artists must be depressed and lonely, unfulfilled and angry to do profound work and be taken seriously. But I do think that, like actors, adversity can be used as a tool while acting or painting, adding depth to the performance or the composition. Consciously or not, it seems that certainly your particular adversity will work its way into whatever you are creating, whether that be art or music, poetry, pottery, novels, design – because it requires that you dig deeper. So do dig deeper if you are going to milk it for whatever it is worth. And in the digging experience you will find your way through the mess and come out on the other side. The larger problems in life must be dug through – you have to “go in” rather than around. Skirting around only makes the healing a longer and more difficult journey and often leaves you just lost with no destination at all. Learn about yourself in the process and OWN your part – your responsibility – in the adversity. The you will be a better person for it and on your way to a better place.

I believe the life context that has always surrounded me, while fluctuating wildly at times, was always still viewed by me as workable, and that is a big factor in my artistic progress through the decades of my life. My decades have ebbed and flowed with the good, the bad and the ugly – I have not always been gifted with smooth sailing. Some people ask, when shit happens, why me? I always wonder why they thought they were so special. Bad stuff does happen to good people, as the book of a similar title explained. Why would I or anyone else be exempt? But for me, at the base of it all is a bedrock of faith in a world that I have consistently found to be both astounding and bursting with positive potential. I see the glass as more than half full.

Why am I on this subject tonight? I have no idea – well yes I do – I see a lot of friends struggling and I wish I could help. But I will just say that when life brings you those “character building” experiences, then accept the challenge and prove that your character is in fact going to be made stronger from it all…..easier said than done, but workable.