All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: September 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why I Paint What I Paint

I was in the moment of painting a big bunch of sunflowers the other day when I realized that I love painting gorgeous bright flowers.  I adore the rich, thick, squishy paint as I move it around to form organic shapes.  It makes my mouth water.  I love the complimentary color play of yellow and purple, orange and blue, red and green which shows up so often in floral paintings.  I love a painting that catches my eye and makes me break out into a smile.  Flowers were always my first painting love, and I now find myself full circle painting them again.  They are just one of the many subjects I paint, but I do seem to like them the best. 
I know I will never be accused of furthering the development of the future of art with my paintings.  I will leave that to other artists using other means and messages.  It's okay.
The main thing I must have when I paint something is that I enjoy painting it and that my customers enjoy looking at it.  If I don't enjoy making a painting, that lack of joy will show right through the piece.  I can see it and everyone else can too.  But when my excitement flows through the paint brush it will live forever in the painting.  That's what I want to give my customers.  That's why I paint what I paint.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Sumptuous Sunflowers, 14 inches by 11 inches, acrylic on canvas

Friday, September 20, 2013

Van Gogh's Parents Made Him Read

I am currently reading Van Gogh - The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.  I recommend this excellent biography as an insightful glimpse of Vincent's life and the times in which he lived.  I am charmed to learn that Van Gogh's parents made him and his siblings read extensively. They read everything from Dickens to fairy tales (but not American cowboy and Indian stories which were deemed to be too stimulating).  Reading was a habit that Van Gogh kept all his life.
This biographical information confirms my own belief that reading lots of books is valuable for all endeavors.  As an artist, I tend to get overly focused on the craft of painting and don't pay much attention to anything else.  Ironically, being too focused reduces imagination and creativity.  Taking time to read something everyday keeps creative energy fresh.  
So I follow the advice given to Vincent.  I read a lot of books.  All kinds of books.  Both fiction and non-fiction.  Van Gogh went from painting fairly dull brownish paintings to the masterful intense yellows and blues of Arles during his short life while keeping to his childhood habit of voracious reading.  Maybe I can grab some of that!  Maybe we all can.
Go read something good and spark your imagination.  
Copyright Mona Vivar 2013, Moonlight Rose, 14 inches by 11 inches, acrylic on canvas  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Reasons to Take a Short Break From Your Art Business

If you are a self-employed artist you know that your business can easily consume all your waking moments.  And you also know that home chores can sneak their way into what should be your productive business hours.   It is a delicate balancing act to keep the flow going.  Keeping at it all the time can lead to boredom and dullness for you and your customers.  So take a little break.  It could be a few hours or a few days.  Here's why:
1.  The best ideas frequently come to you when you are doing something other than your business.  I find that the act of driving a car or taking a walk has produced some of my most creative thoughts.
2.  All work and no play makes you irritable and no fun to be around.  Just ask your family and friends.
3.  You never know what new venues for your work will appear if you go somewhere you have not been before.   A trip outside your usual area might uncover a shop or gallery that is looking for work just like yours.
4.  Your body will appreciate the chance to do other things.  Let those shoulders, back, neck, arms, hands and fingers really relax.   You will avoid unnecessary medical bills.
5.  Your creativity needs some stimulus.  We are self-employed artists because we want to create not stagnate. 
I took my own advice this week and spent three days away from my business.  I spent time with family.  I ate birthday cake.  I sat with my husband under moss-laden oak trees and watched kayakers slowly float by roosting white ibises on a shimmering river.  I came back renewed and ready to work.     


Images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Big Thank You to My Customers

Eight months into my year of living dangerously (working as a full time artist) I look back with amazement at the progress I've made.  The fact that I am still painting away is amazing, but even more fabulous is the following:
1.  Sold 213 paintings since January 1 this year.
2.  Became an Ebay "Power Seller" with next designation of "Top Rated Seller" within reach.
3.  Became a regular weekly blogger (even when I thought I might not have enough ideas to write about).
4.  Using Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis.  Pinterest is next.
5.  Painting images of life in the south that my customers recognize as things they love about the south!
I am grateful for all these milestones, but I am most grateful to my wonderful customers.  So THANK YOU!
Mona Vivar, "Night St. Augustine", 11 inches by 14 inches, oil on canvas