Happy New Year! 2018 was nuts. I'm glad it's over, but I'm going to do a little recap because some of my favorite work came out of this bonkers year. <3
Here's what went down in 2018 for my career:
Instagram following went from 88k to 104k
Facebook following went from 200k to 213k
I made 32 pieces (I think) with 3 unfinished pieces
I took myself and my art to Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Reading, Atlanta, and Japan.
I created a 5 part series on working with watercolor for ImagineFX magazine.
I gave several talks on my career for panels, a guest visit to my undergrad, Kennesaw State University, and reprised my role with One Fantastic Week for their workshop and give a presentation on social media marketing for artists.
I had one solo show and participated in 4 group shows in galleries this year.
I hired a second assistant to help me locally.
Overall, I didn't accomplish nearly half of what I hoped for in 2018, but I've come to terms with it and am determined to learn from it and make for a better 2019. While my personal life made for a difficult year, I'm proud of the work I made. I tried a lot of new things, made some bold choices, and feel really good about the work I'll be producing this coming year. I'll be sharing some of my 2019 goals in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!
Without further ado, here's everything I made this year. Many of these have process posts, so if there's a piece you'd like to know more about, a quick search may bring something up. Otherwise, drop a comment! I'd love to know what your favorite pieces from me in 2018 are. <3
The first piece I made in 2018 was "Clair de Lune" for Every Day Original. This was the first in a series of new works inspired by my experiences with synesthesia! She measures 6" x 12" and was created with watercolor and acrylic.
The second piece of the year was this antique Black Forest mirror commission! The word chosen to base this piece on is "Nyx," the goodness of night. The painting is completed in watercolor and then sealed with resin.
"Empathic" is the third piece I completed in 2018 and possibly my favorite. Throughout my entire life, I've found I'm more sensitive than the average person, but it wasn't until recently that I learned I'm an empath. This piece helped me learn what that means. "Empathic" was made for the "Virtues" show at Arch Enemy Arts. Prints of this piece are available in my shop.
"Suspire," created for Every Day Original, in conjunction with Month of Love's theme for the week, Blue. She measures 6"x 6" and was painted in watercolor.
"Nocturne" created with watercolor and Finetec silver mica watercolor and was inspired by a 1920's photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston of Ziegfeld follies girl Cala Eric.
"Firebird," created for the "Of Scales and Feathers" show, curated by Travis Louie for Spoke Art. This piece was created with watercolor and acrylic on paper. While the original has sold, the color study for this piece is available in my shop.
These five smaller paintings were created for the "Paper Pushers" show at Gallery1988.
"Quietus" was the first piece I created as a part of my "Anamnesis" solo show at Arch Enemy Arts and is easily the most personal work I've created to date.
In the last five years of my life, I've experienced 5 pregnancies. One of those resulted in my 4 year old daughter, Penny. Every pregnancy changed my body, and every loss took years from my life. I've become acquainted with grief as I've grown older. Over time, I've learned that it's not an emotion you can *do* much with. It's just there.
After a particularly traumatic experience with an unexpected ectopic pregnancy earlier this year, I created this piece to spend time with that grief and perhaps heal along the way. I wanted to honor those losses, my trauma and growth, and of course, my daughter, represented by the single orchid.
"Quietus" was created with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache and measures 22" across. The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Apostasy" was inspired by my experience of "waking up" from a cult religion that I was a part of for a decade of my life. During my time as a part of this organization, my conscience was being trained to comply with their interpretation of the Bible, however ironically in the end, it was my own conscience that broke through. Ultimately, followed what I inherently knew to be right - love is love, imperfection is beautiful, and freedom to be yourself is the most divine experience life has to offer.
"Apostasy" was created with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache and measures 12" x 16." The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Solipsism" measures 18"x24", was painted with watercolor and acryla gouache and is the third piece created for my solo show with Arch Enemy Arts. This is a piece about being comfortable in your own skin, attuned to your desires, and self love. In recent culture, sex positivity is more common and quirks, kinks, and the sexual spectrum more widely accepted and even encouraged! The day I turned 30, I looked at mortality and aging a little differently. I stopped paying attention to my (mom) body flaws and focused on what makes me feel beautiful, from the inside out. I felt more confident and youthful than ever, freed from the trial and error that was my twenties. I finally came out as queer two months ago, inspired by My time spent with this piece and reflecting on the love I have for the person I'm still becoming. The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Liminal" was the 4th piece for my solo show and was created with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache. This piece is about seeking and creating balance between the conscious and unconscious realms. While the original has sold, prints are available in my shop!
"Chimera" is a piece about our layered selves in a metaphysical sense. It's said that every 7 years, the entire human body has regenerated itself. We shed hair, skin, bad habits, toxic people, etc. as we grow, but instead of looking back in shame at the person you once were, be kind to yourself and recognize your growth! Life is fleeting, as represented by the comet moth, who only lives for a few days with its beauty.
Love your whole self, including your mistakes, failures, and bad relationships. Don't waste your energy on shedding your past, but embrace how far you've come, and how far your journey has yet to take you.
"Chimera" was created with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache and measures 11"x 14." The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Intuition" is one of three diamond pieces from my "Anamnesis" solo show.
Over the last few years, as I've climbed out of a myriad of distressing situations, I've regained something I hadn't realized I had lost: my intuition. Being part of an organized cult religion involved shutting off key parts of my identity in order to fit within their standards. None of it happened immediately, but over time. Eventually, my inner voice was replaced with theirs, and my identity pushed further within and out of sight.
When I had mentally left my marriage and the religion I was a part of, I began hearing that voice again. One I hadn't known since my very early 20's. It became very clear that I needed to get out. I had decisions to make, and all of it was terrifying. I was leaving my community, people I had known to become family, and a lifestyle that was very safe and very contained. But that voice got louder, and I listened. The two years that have followed since have been some of the most difficult and most rewarding years of my life. My identity is strong, vibrant, and aware because I followed that voice. My faith is no longer in an omnipresent, mythical sky-god, but in my ability to lead the life that I want and to be the person I need to be. I always listen to my intuition now. It hasn't lead me wrong since it resurfaced.
"Intuition" measures 8" x 14" and was painted with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache. The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Anangeon" is the second diamond piece I created for this series.
Toxic relationships have been scattered throughout my life, beginning with my mother, who was physically and emotionally abusive toward me as a child. At age 9, I recognized that I was not responsible for my parent's divorce, even though my mom blamed me for it, since it was my 4th grade teacher that asked about my bruises. I became very self-aware as I grew up because I feared becoming anything like her. But, the damage was done: I had an intense fear of conflict and ended up married at 23 to someone I couldn't say no to. I stood up for myself, eventually. I haven't spoken to my mother since I was 20. I divorced when I was 30. I'm able to better recognize unhealthy relationships as I've gotten help with therapy by understanding the person I have grown into and my value.
"Sublimation" measures 8"x 14" and was painted with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache. The original is available through Arch Enemy Arts.
"Starlight" was painted for Spoke Arts third annual Miyazaki tribute show and was inspired by "Howl's Moving Castle." While the original has sold, prints of this piece are available!
"Surrender" was another piece created for Every Day Original. This piece measures 8” x 10” and was painted with watercolor and acryla gouache. This original is available in my shop.
This year I attempted #inktober and had a lot a fun doing it using the iPad Pro and the Procreate app.
"Indelible" was created in conjunction with Month of Fear’s 2nd week theme, “Beauty,” and was with watercolor, acrylic, and acryla gouache on paper mounted to a coffin-shaped cradled wood panel, measuring 11″ across and 20″ high.
Next I worked on 4 paintings commissioned by Citrine Dream as a candle labels. Two of these are still available in my shop! Citrine Dream (product launch soon) asked for label illustrations based on love, spirituality, healing, and protection.
"Liliana Vess" was created for the official Magic: The Gathering art show at Gallery1988. This may have been the most fun I had on a piece this year! She's 10" x 14" and created with watercolor and acryla gouache.