One for the Books

A Row of Art Books

Summer is now one for the books. The snap of fall weather always gets me going. I love the crisp air mixed with warm sun. Somehow, the fall season gets us to shift gears from the light days of summer and into cozier clothes and heavier foods. Favorite smells and spices fill the air around town and in our kitchens. The idea of warmth comes around as the we all start to settle in for a season of gratitude and reflection.

These days during the pandemic, our holiday time is going to be a little different. Maybe that’s okay. Holidays are often hectic. This year, perhaps it needn’t be so. As I continue to be vigilant for my own health and for the sake of others, I have limited my physical interaction with others. Instead, I have an opportunity to think about how my holiday time may be personally meaningful.

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A Constant Normal is Change

Plien Air Oil Painting of Lily Rock in Idyllwild

Have you noticed, some comedy sketches will rest on an adage that “the more things change the more things stay the same”? This can be either comforting or agitating.  For certain, what is a constant normal is change.

There is a classic sketch on the show Saturday Night Live.  John Belushi played a character who basically said one thing, “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Pepsi, Pepsi”.  The character had a burger shop, all they did there was flip burgers and serve Pepsi.  Like clockwork, day in and day out, it was a life of burgers and Pepsi. 

All day customers comes in to order a burger and a “Coke”. 

The character says, “No Coke.  Pepsi.” 

Art Service

With that, I should announce some changes being made to my website.   This year of 2020 pushed many artists to examine how their art is delivered to an audience. The venues are different than before the pandemic occurred.  Particularly the arts have had to adjust.  Musicians, actors, dancers, painters and more have not been able to have live concerts, plays, recitals or exhibitions.  Making art means having a conversation. Artists tend to want to share, our audience is important. I like going further to make art accessible by building relationships through interaction, education and affordability.

I am re-organizing my site to be more conducive to the online experience for visitors and collectors.  It will be taking on more of the form of an online art service and gallery.  The visitor will be able to enjoy work online and should have an easier and enjoyable way of communicating, commenting, and inquiring about the paintings.

The site now has segment categories.  Read on to learn more.

Gallery Store

Fine Art Pillow Print of Backyard Roses Painting by Curtis Green of Backyard Roses. The gallery shop is where many of my paintings are included as the design on a product.  Much in the way a gallery store functions at a real museum or gallery, unique items are for sale as gifts for you and your friends.  Great for holiday gift giving or anytime.  Pillows, pouches or coffee cups, these items are delivered by a print on demand service such as Pixels or Fine Art America.

Fine Art Prints

A plein air painting and fine art print of a park in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates, CA showing a meadow of mustard grass and lavendar with distant houses. I am pleased to announce that high quality Giclee’ prints are finally available!  Framed or unframed, this is a true giclee’.  These are not from a print on demand service.  Selected paintings are professionally photographed, color corrected, test printed and approved before I sign them.  The pigment inks and quality papers are archival. Collector quality giclee’s are individually made by a Canson certified print lab in Los Angeles.

Original Paintings

Original Artwork on an Easel The original paintings are available for online viewing.  As of October 2020, there are still some changes to be made in this area of the website.  However, an experiential feature added are private viewing rooms.  Buying original artwork is an investment for your home. It often becomes an heirloom to your family. Thoughtfulness often joins with time when considering a purchase. By inquiring about the original artworks, you may be given personal attention in your own online viewing area where the details about the work, special requirements, purchase, framing, and delivery options are discussed. 

The Objective of Change

The main objective for these changes is to move my studio towards being an arts service for patrons and collectors of fine art and away from being a simple portfolio site.

Why? Because, I enjoy creating community and relationships around art and helping people learn more about it.  With these new changes, I hope to invite and create more satisfying engagement with my work and website.  Some of these changes have already occurred and others are developing now, like online art shows and forums for example.  Visit and come back as often as you like. I am happy to help with any of your questions about my work or how to buy an artwork or print.

Thank you

I would like to say thank you. As the pandemic began, I was uncertain whether or not I could continue as I have. Remarkably, this year my audience has grown, engagement is up and interest in prints and paintings have been impressive considering the circumstances. As our year winds up, going now into the holiday season, may we continue find ways of sharing and connecting, being a little more “artful” to ourselves and one another.

Other ways to stay connected:

Curtis Green Artist on Facebook

Curtis Green Artist on Instagram

What Do You Do When You Ain’t Got Nothing?

A graphic pen and ink doodle of a human head in profile on a yellow background. The head has a with hole in it.

Have you ever had to make a speech?  What about an interview?  You know you have one shot to make an impression.  You want to be prepared and confident.  A lot may be expected of you.  What do you do when you ain’t got nothing?

I think of the old silent movies.  A scene shows a merchant demanding payment from the scamp drifter.  The drifter pulls his empty pant pockets inside out and shrugs.  The merchant protests, arms waving and fingers pointing.  Then, “ah-HAH!”  an idea comes to the drifter.  Some sort of solution is manifested and somehow all is well again.

Sometimes the harvest from the field of ideas is abundant.  Other times, it is like the empty pockets of the drifter.  The moral of our drifter’s story is often about faith and perseverance.  The drifter’s attitude is one that offers the sunny side of the street, and that you may be down but you’re never out.  Something will turn up so long as you hold out for it.

Still Nothing

That is fine but being at a loss for what to say or do is a feeling of predicament.  How does one generate ideas when nothing seems to come?  The ticking clock only seems to make things worse.  The longer the wait for an idea the less likely it seems anything will spark. 

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Managing Success While Being a Half Committed Artist

Stretching canvas in the studio of Curtis Green Arts. Several canvases in process of being stretched and ready for gesso and painting.

We are told that to succeed in anything, one must focus on that one thing and do that one thing well.  Fine, but what if the one thing you focus on requires many things to be done well, to succeed?  How do we manage our success while being a half committed artist?

Some of us may have observed about films, music, art and uttered, “They sure don’t make ‘em the way they used to!”

That makes me question, does the art suffer if the artist can only be half committed? We may come to a point where we finally say to ourselves that the time for complete commitment has come.  Our sideline creativity has come to a crossroad and it is time to commit or quit.

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My Box of Crayons

Crayola Crayons

When I was young and it was time to shop for school supplies, I could not wait to get my box of crayons!

My first set was small and simple, just enough to be useful and fun.  Later, the expanded sets were available. As I got older, it seemed more appropriate that I could handle the big boy box of a previously un-imaginable number of crayons.  It was the exciting sixty-four set with a built-in sharpener in the box! I would arrive at school with my impressive mega-box of crayons and plant it proudly on top of my desk. 

When it became time to use them, I would explore the arsenal of choices and linger over my decision of which one to use.  There were my old friends.  Red, blue, yellow, green, brown, black, even white!  My new friends in the sixty-four cray-o-la mega-set were very exotic, like Periwinkle.  What’s a Periwinkle?

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Putting Black on Palette

Back in Black

Who has not rocked out to the rock n’ roll anthem, “Back in Black” by the group AC/DC? Perhaps you were in your car while stuck in traffic and you turned it up while it was on the radio.  You may have been in your studio, playing air guitar in front of blank canvas. 

If you were painting outdoors it is not likely that the song was running through your head.  However, it would be very possible that black was certainly not on your palette!

Black is often considered to be a forbidden color for outdoor painting.  Technically, black is not even considered a color!  Since black is the absence of color, it is defined as neutral. 

Without getting too technical, black is either the absence of color or the accumulation of all colors at once.  That is a discussion that will be saved for later regarding additive and subtractive color mixing.  For now, let us get back to the use (or non-use) of black as a pigment for painting.

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Can Art Create Community?

Photo of a brick wall with graffiti with words Together we Create. Photo by Bamgal

If the question is ‘Can Art Create Community’ then the answer should be obvious. Art is intimately married to an innate human need to communicate. It can express and provoke thought.  It gives us an ability to record events and tell stories. We can understand ourselves or even ponder the sacred.   How has this been true and how has it changed?

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Resources to be Artfully Engaged During Covid-19

As the pandemic continues, many of us find ourselves mapping out and navigating ourselves into a new way forward.  We hear from medical and mental professionals about the mix of emotions and their effects this historic disruption has had on what we all knew as our stable way of doing things. Here are some resources to be artfully engaged during Covid-19. This is just a list of some available resources found and compiled here. Decide for yourself if they would helpful for you.

Resiliency

The good news is that we can certainly all understand how we all could possibly feel, which may be a little topsy-turvy.  Still, one thing I have noticed are a couple things.  One is our resiliency overall.  We tend to go through several processes individually yet in the end we create slogans like “rise up” or “stand strong”.   See links below for museums that have opened up online resources to view their collections.

Support

I like to believe that means we all truly support each other and want the best for each other and ourselves in the pursuit of personal and societal happiness.  I hope you are being well and know that we are all finding our way out of uncertainty by creating new things and inventing new ideas about work and life. The National Endowment for the Arts, (NEA) has an extensive list that might be useful for artists.

Sharing

Another aspect is our tendency to open-up and share.  Here are a few art related ways I found recently to stay in touch and stay involved.

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Being Well Family Art Resources During Covid-19

Painters Palette at the Ready

During this time of isolation and being told to stay at home is seemingly an artist’s dream. Finally, I thought, a window of opportunity to keep creative without burdensome interruptions!  Yet, my easel sits in our living room and I have yet to paint a thing!

Here at home, we are adjusting for new regimens.  Each of us are having fun figuring out how to make two work lives happen at one kitchen table!  We bumped into each other at first, but after a while, we adapted our routines.

We have eased ourselves with cooking and playing music.  We reached way back
and found those old cookbooks we rarely use and started on some adventures in the kitchen.  I have picked up a guitar I haven’t played in a while and got re-acquainted with that old friend.

Positive Family Resource

15 Art Therapy Activities, Exercises & Ideas for Children and Adults This is from a website called Positive Psychology . You can visit their list here: https://positivepsychology.com/art-therapy/

Quarantine Family Toolkit by Kristin Ramsey, ATR-BC, LPC, which offers suggestions and resources on how to talk with children about COVID-19, a sample daily schedule for working/learning at home, online apps, podcasts and other resources for daily activities, mindfulness activities and short guided muscle relaxation script, as well as many art activities instructions and examples.

Art Therapy Resource

The American Art Therapy Association is a great resource that may be useful. They have extensive materials, articles and suggestions regarding art and Covid-19. 

American Art Therapy Association Resources for the Public 

These are excerpts found on the American Art Therapy Association’s arttherapy.org website Covid-19 resources page.

Crisis Text Line if you need help, please text SHARE to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor

The Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to free and confidential support and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

 Resources for addressing COVID-19 — The National Council for Behavioral Health offers resources to help manage coronavirus-related anxiety and to communicate with your kids about this crisis among other topics. Behavioral health care workers will also find resources including telehealth best-practices and implications for certain vulnerable client groups.

Affirmations for Coping during Coronavirus TimesAATA Blog, March 30, 2020

#Coronart is a Facebook group for people to share personal renditions of the coronavirus. “Paint it, draw it, build it, carve it, knit it, grow it, sing it, play it. Anything you can imagine it. Let’s make this thing ours and share our vision!”

Keeping Art and Hope Alive

Maintain that spark of hope and inspiration now and always.  The creative self tends to manifest joy, humor and levity. Creativity is beneficial and a little soul searching can often illuminate a better or brighter way forward. 
 

Similarities Unify Us More than our Differences

My Brushes on a Table

As I write this, many of us are having concerns about our health due to the Corona Virus pandemic.  In connection with that are concerns about our leadership, election campaigns, and the economy.  I recently attended a panel discussion about civility in partisan times.  One of the major points was that throughout human history there has been conflict and worry, however our similarities often unify us more than our differences.

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