Bone Tired But Happy

floor

The above photo is representative of the scramble my mind has been experiencing all day today. Actually it is the paint-splattered floor from my classroom at Denver Art Students League.

Hi. In my absence of the past couple weeks I am sure that issues of vast importance were solved and enormous progress was made with dozens of worldly problems, but in my little domain it was plenty enough that I managed to move to a different residence in the western area outside Denver (at the very base of the bumps that begin the Rocky Mountains) and my book is almost at the printer – thus out of my hands for the first time since it began itself over a year ago. It actually did begin itself, almost without me – I sat down one day with some thoughts that I was intending to call little personal essays. I began writing and one thing led to another – every thought needed expanding upon, every direction I took had to have the back story explained, then pretty soon I was dividing all of it into chapters…no one was more surprised than me. Life sneaks up on us, does it not?

Now I am exhausted and beaten up from the physical task of moving, which I did not sit by and just supervise, and mentally from the great challenge of trying to find the best words to use in a 516 page story about the life of a woman artist. Life came at me from both sides – the mental and the physical, with my deep muscle aches and my bruises and my mental so-tired-I-cannot-even-eat-or-sleep fatigue. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I time this better? Two huge things at once. I must be nuts.

Then there is the new website – the one about the book – which I was all ready to publish today and proudly guide you to. You would not believe the mess, the 3 hour mess, that a super-human Prince of Patience over in India helped me unravel so that 48 hours from now I might have my lovely new website for the book available to see. It was a marathon of communication he and I had on the phone; I have never experienced anything like it. And while it was in progress the company we were dealing with had a system-wide failure (probably my fault) and we had to repeat the same complicated procedure about 4 times. It was also a lesson in acceptance and faith, (just give it up to the universe) because I was hoping beyond hope that I would somehow manage to be helped by a person I could understand and vice versa – and my experience with him was beyond great. Hurrah for Aman in India!! Wish I knew him better.

Perhaps tonight I will sleep more than 4 hours. Perhaps I will not. As soon as the website goes live, or the book is finally published and listed on Amazon.com, you will be the first to know. We are in the final countdown for my novel A CANARY FLIES THE CANYON….

In the meantime, I will be unpacking…

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As Promised….an Excerpt!

Choices

Original painting by Jo Ann Brown-Scott  titled “Choosing the High Road” copyright 2015, all rights reserved, which will be used in the cover design for her book titled A CANARY FLIES the CANYON copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

I am nearing the publication of my third book, this time a novel, and I am pregnant with anticipation. It is a time-consuming process and it seems to go slower the closer I get to the goal. Sorry this has been so long in coming – I promised an excerpt weeks ago.

Well hey, first of all it is difficult to decide WHERE to excerpt from  – what tidbit is the best, especially for the first one? Should it come from the first chapter, necessarily, or not? Should all the excerpts come to you in chronological order? I guess so…. How many is enough? How much should they reveal?

The book has many moods. It can be black and white, multi-colored, highly textured and patterned with humor, melancholy and every emotion known to human kind.  It will be taking you along on a journey…the story of one young girl’s life that unfolds toward an artistic career. Of course that journey is fraught with random (or not?) surprises and challenges. Life does seem, at times, to be pre-planned (almost scripted, with an agenda in mind, hmm…) and so this young girl begins to question the random-ness of things. But then she questions everything….

Excerpt from the novel  A Canary Flies the Canyon, copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

After great consideration, I offer you the first excerpt from Chapter Two called “Blind Spots”; a quote from Annie.

“I have thought long and hard about who my female role models were as I was growing up and I cannot think of a single one. I loved my mother, and much later saw her as accomplished and courageous to have done what she did, but I did not idolize her and she never talked with me in conversations of any length or significance. If she had ever once just sat me down and requested a heart to heart girl talk with me about life, or about anything that might have guided me toward a course to follow, our relationship would have been a far different one. There was not a single male or female who ever took me aside and truly talked to me, mentored me about my future, gave me advice, encouragement or became a person in whom I felt I could confide. I think that has been part of my problem. I was always rudderless, sailing through life on a free-spirited wing and a prayer, hoping to somehow stumble upon the Northern Star. I never found it; certainly not by choice it became my norm to depend upon no one, and that closed the door to my soul a little bit. I was starting out brave but naïve; smart but innocent. I was often lonesome, seldom in meaty conversations with anyone and primarily a visual person, an observer of life. I did not know it at the time but these are the ideal characteristics and circumstances for feeding creativity and artistic development. A person goes inward and learns everything the hard way.”

Author BIO

Jo Ann Brown-Scott, born in Ohio, is an artist and a writer living in the Denver, Colorado area. Her degree from the University of Colorado emphasized studio art, art history, literature and psychology. In conjunction with her art and literary careers she has taught interior design at a community college in Denver and was an instructor of mixed media collage in California. She has years of experience in sales and marketing including gallery director positions, event planning, client acquisition and book publishing.

Jo enjoys travel to favorite places such as Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand and Italy among others, finding that travel feeds and informs her art and writing. She believes that painting and writing have much in common, both requiring that a story be told in a unique voice with a distinctive vocabulary and palette. Brown-Scott’s abstract, mixed media paintings and collages have been exhibited throughout Colorado and the west; her work is currently shown by appointment.

She has published two previous non-fiction books on the subject of self-realization and creativity, specifically involving true stories of life-changing epiphanies. Her second book, The Creative Epiphany, Gifted Minds, Grand Realizations, won Best Books Award Finalist in the non-fiction narrative category of the National USA Book News awards.

She has two grown children who are each gifted with literary and artistic skills.

Blog www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

Art Originals & Prints http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Book http://joannbrownscottauthor.com – coming soon

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Denver Art Museum; Two Vastly Wonderful Extremes

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quote LINDA linda2 lindafeet

Visiting the Denver Art Museum yesterday was a deep, soul fulfilling delight – first the magnificent exhibit of the work of Joan Miro; a collection of his abstract art at its finest including sculpture, paintings and minimally simple line drawings. Then the breathtaking, mind-bending realistic trio of sculptures by John DeAndrea. Two such widely disparate styles in one brief afternoon stretches the mind and provokes timeless questions about what leads artists in the direction to do what they do. The videos were extremely informative of course, but as an artist myself I could still scarcely imagine how these two artists began their journey from A to Z.

I especially love the above quote by Miro, posted just over a huge line painting in the show primarily in black of nothing but gestures; squiggles and swoops that he says he had on his mind for years and years….until it finally surfaced. When people ask me, as they often do, how long it took me to do a particular painting, I always reply, “All my life.” And that is nothing unique to me – all artists feel that way.

Many of you may remember LINDA, the nude sculpture pictured above, done in an oil polychrome media with paint of polyvinyl applied. Yes her hair is real, and yes her feet are incredible, and if you stand and watch her long enough you find yourself expecting and hoping she will take a breath. Light and pollution are detrimental to the materials LINDA is made of and she only comes out of dark storage every decade or so. Yesterday was her last day at Denver Art Museum for a long while. There was also an elegant nude black woman in the show and a two-figure sculpture of the artist himself in the process of sculpting a half-finished seated nude. Of course these sculptures are all life-sized.

Art continues to fascinate, does it not? Any kind of art……

As we speak I am in the home stretch, finishing final edits, of my new novel and constructing all the accompanying marketing avenues that are so important these days. It is a daunting task but an exciting journey. The book is a novel, but indeed some of you will recognize some small glimmers of what you have seen before in my blog and my first book, all wrapped into a much larger story with a detailed plot. I will soon be offering all of you some enticing excerpts to chew on before the publication. Writing a manuscript and painting a very large painting are so much alike. The work is consistently hard over a long and arduous period of time, the labor is often painful and you need to push it all out, but the birthing is exciting and rewarding.

Art: http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Photos: Instagram – jobrownscott9

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Exciting Artistic Opportunity

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Original mixed media collage titled My Dragonfly by Jo Ann Brown-Scott, copyright 2015, $900
Have you ever seen an original painting and wished you could afford it?
I certainly have.
And I can’t tell you how many times I have done a painting that strikes a cord with dozens of people all wishing they could own it. When that happens it is both exciting and heart-wrenching because you can only sell the original once.
I am happy to announce that I have just recently become affiliated with an online website, Fine Art America that offers the service of selling quality, professional, full-color prints of my original artwork. I have wanted to do this for years and now it is simple and easy and the quality is excellent. Anyone can shop from his/her own personal computer at my Fine Art America gallery or even request that another image of mine that you have seen before be uploaded and made available for printing in less than a day.
Visit me at Fine Art America at this link – http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com
Have a look around and you will see all of the products they offer using fine art images.
Various print sizes are available, printed on either paper or canvas. You can choose framing if you wish. Greeting cards and posters are also available with any of my images. The prices are quite reasonable and I retain the copyright of course.
Soon I will be placing the YEAR LONG CANVAS, a painting I have been working on, writing about and picturing on this blog since a year ago on this Fine Art America website, for the possibility of ordering prints….see my Archives if you’d like to know what I am talking about when I mention the YLC, a challenge offered to me by my instructor for advanced abstract expressionism. It has proved to be quite a project and I am nearing its end this month of March.
This is a fun and easy way to own fine art; and since many of you have asked me about prints it is time for me to take advantage of this opportunity. This will increase my exposure nation and worldwide and allow me to offer my most popular images to people who could not buy the original, in a quality print for as little as a hundred dollars or less…..
and if you are an artist, heads up! – this is a valuable opportunity!

YEAR LONG CANVAS, mid-January, 2015

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YLC, untitled, copyright 2015, Jo Ann Brown-Scott

Holy cow we are nearing the end of January. Did you notice that?

Just this morning in a fit of panic I did some stuff to the YLC. Some stark white, the enhancement of a couple areas, the extension of the vertical cadmium orange line up behind and beyond the swath of black, couple turquoise dots – but the white has been the thing with the biggest zing.

If you zoom into this image you will find nuance and texture, shades upon shades, and lots of emphasis upon line. That’s what I like.

If you divide the canvas into 4 equal rectangles, with a vertical line down the center and a horizontal line from left to right, each quadrant tells a story and is a painting unto itself. But they all work together as well, geling into one large rhythmic piece. In my opinion, that is a good thing. The painting has movement, focal areas, lights and darks, brights and dims, strong color and a powerful composition. It is a joyful painting; nothing grim or menacing about it. The YLC is a happy canvas. You can see how she began in this blog’s Archives, and there are still a few hints of her left in the painting from when she was much younger. (Kind of true of us all.) My son wants me to title her “Rio” – one of his favorite places. He sees a distant skyline in it, a hot sun and a carnival atmosphere. But then if you knew him you’d already know that he sees a potential party in every situation…smile. Wonder where he gets that.

But isn’t that what art is all about? Seeing images through your own distinctive perspective? Depends on the day and the time and what you are going through in the moment. You are more than entitled to your own vibe. I welcome your vibes as well as mine. Just try not to get all gloomy on me because I never paint gloomy. I have to express the joyful colors of life! I must! Don’t try to stifle me! I’m recently back to myself after a rotten decade and life is just so damn good again.

Thanks to Homare Ikeda of the Denver Art Student’s League for this remarkable assignment – and I am not officially finished yet, but I must say that he opened me up and allowed me to pour it all out. I needed a strong nudge, a weird idea, a new awakening and a place to go that had a purpose. Hope you are still listening, Homare. I will see you again soon…

http://www.homareikeda.com

 

Year Long Canvas, 11/24/2014

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Year Long Canvas as of 11/24/2014, copyright Jo Ann Brown-Scott

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” – Rumi

Please check my archives if you have no earthly idea what this Year Long Canvas is – painting this canvas is an ongoing project and carries with it quite a story. As you can see, she is back to being horizontally oriented again but you can like her in whatever direction you prefer. If you see a landscape here you are not alone; with nothing else at all done to her, or with a few small tweaks, the landscape idea could become more obvious right now, but it is still too far away from completion for me to settle on a landscape. Call me crazy but I have recently also seen the possibility for people in this composition – not large people, but groups of small people congregating as if waiting for something…in a horizontal row extending from one side to  the other, just along the upper side of the dark stripe that is the new change for this week. They would not be very tall, they would be colorfully dressed and have no distinctive faces. Just waiting.

I always thought that I wanted this painting to be an entirely abstract expression, with nothing recognizable, but I am even rethinking that now. My mind is an open book.

I am definitely learning to better trust myself after all the months of work; to trust my decisions and my judgment, as was one of the original goals for the project, but the other thing that has resulted from doing this, to tell you that truth, is that I have become quite a bit more open-minded about my own work. I accept my own opinions of my own work, which I suppose is one facet of trusting myself after all.

I love painting although I seldom understand it thoroughly. It might come as a surprise for many of you to know that almost every artist does not necessarily like his own work all the time. Many times I have painted a canvas that is not of my own taste. Even within my own paintings I see areas that are not always to my own liking, but sometimes I leave them there anyway, without my own approval. They bother me, they go against my grain and I know that sounds odd, doesn’t it? Well it’s  a strange exercise in intentional imperfection, which I do believe it a useful experience in art. It wakes you up.

The art Buddha understands why I do that, I do believe. He is still smiling and has a twinkle in his eye about this subject.

 

 

September Report on the Year Long Canvas

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New September YLC copyright Jo Ann Brown-Scott 2014

An eye is meant to see things. The soul is here for its own joy. I am not contained by this universe. – RUMI

If you remember, the last time I posted a blog about the Year Long Canvas my intention was to enter the piece, as it was then, in a juried show at the cooperative CORE GALLERY on S. Santa Fe Drive in Denver. You can see the type of art they show at http://www.corenewartspace.com

My decision was made on impulse, just because I was curious to see what would happen. The gallery is well respected and they had over 135 entries into the open show. The sole juror of the show, Jt Urband, is a well-credentialed professor with degrees from the U. of Penn who now teaches plein air painting at Denver’s Arapahoe Community College. He did not choose to accept either of my abstract entries into the show, but I was rather impressed with most of the 30 paintings that were accepted, with the exception of a couple pieces.

The lesson here is that there is no lesson – usually not a tangible reason can ever be revealed as to why you were accepted or not accepted into juried art shows. I know of shows where the judge’s personal art experience had nothing whatsoever to do with the type of art that he was asked to judge for the show. Some art experts who admit to having no understanding of abstract art or taste for it might be included on the jury panel for a show heavy leaned toward the abstract. Or conversely, abstractly inclined jurors might be asked to judge a representational show. As an artist I find this rather frustrating and I would go so far as to say that I think it is just wrong, or at the very least, pointless. But that’s just me. Actually it is not just me – other artists feel the same way.

One of the primary requirements of being an artist is to develop a thick skin. You will be faced with a lot of rejection as your work evolves and matures. If you are willing to put it out there, get ready to hear what people really think about it. Listen and learn. But very seldom do you have access to why a juror did not select your work for a show – you are left wondering and wondering.

Since then I have slightly altered the YLC and if you are detail oriented you will notice the changes in the above photo. Just a few subtle additions of turquoise green inside the large black area so that it is not so much flat black, then a row of dots descending out of the yellow, and finally a few small geometric areas of the same color of turquoise green added on the right side of the orange ball and in other tiny areas. That’s it for now. I really do like the YLC painting at this very moment in time. It makes me happy to look at it and I think it is full of positive energy,  movement and drama. I see no negativity in it, and most of its areas work singly as well as enhancing the greater whole, as I see it. You can zoom in for details.

The summer has been a significant and important one for me with many exciting new experiences with friends and family, and the good karma of that has been manifested in this painting and others I have done. My paintings have been strong but joyful, powerful yet inviting, poetic and revealing of my happiness. Those of you who know me well understand exactly why and where this energy came from….and I am proud of the resulting artwork. I believe the art Buddha would be proud to hear about that, whether or not the YLC made it into a show. I am smiling as I say all this and all is well here with me. I wish the same for all of you creative ones.

Namaste.