Juice from the Orange Dripped Down My Chin and Pooled at the Base of My Neck

Orange Was My Favorite Color… Not Anymore

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Orange Was My Favorite Color… Not Anymore

It was “Orange Day”… the day the school lunch ladies served whole oranges. The lunchtime when my friends and I would have contests to see who could eat their orange without a drip. Laughter, followed by screams of delight, punctuated the air. I hate to let you down, but it ‘s an alternative fact. Gotcha!

 

I love the taste of oranges and carrots with a little salt. And orange yams with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Not together, but I suppose you figured that out. How about some orange sherbert or an orange cranberry muffin. Hmmmm. I’m salivating. Orange is my favorite color, especially Golden’s Pyrrole Orange (it’s an artist acrylic paint) when it is paired with Cobalt Blue.

 

On a hot summer day, an orange crush is pretty soothing. Now, instead of enjoying an orange crush, we are being crushed with orange cheeto dust as hot air is filled with orange alternative facts. I wonder if the Twitler will convince Trumpland that the flag is now red and orange? It’s one of those “Trumpits” (you know, one of those alternative facts he pulls out of his a–) that the Twitler tweets about under the light of an orange moon. And if you don’t agree, he’ll have a Trumpitantrum. Poor Twitler needs a lot of attention. As soon as he signs an executive order, he holds it up to the camera for Trumpland to see, “Look what I did. I signed my name with an orange crayon.”

 

I have to admit the day after election I was suffering from PTSD, that’s Post-Trump Stress Disorder, and Trumpophobia. Sorry Vets, I know it gives PTSD a bad rap. I didn’t turn on the TV all day and just drank wine… okay, it was red wine. I wonder if the orange grads from Trump University realize that the “rectoral college” is a bunch of jiggery-pokery a-holes (no pun intended, think about it) who need to go to their respective corners and have their mouths washed out with orange juice, peppered with cheeto dust.

 

Enough of poking fun at the Orange-Faced Twitler. I’ll wait until the orange moon comes out to see if I get any tweets @jehardesty. In the meantime, I believe I’ll have an orange, and paint an abstract with Pyrrole Orange.

 

*Note, I have to give credit to the Urban Dictionary for the trumpery as it’s just a whole lot of nonsensical cheeto dust.

 

60 Paintings in 60 Days – Studies on Paper

I recently finished my latest campaign, “60 Paintings in 60 Days.”  All were acrylic studies on paper of varied sizes – when I say different sizes, I started small, postcard size.  I painted ten in each size, 4×6, 5×7, 6×8, 8×10, 9×12, and 11×14.  Since I believe that original art should be affordable to everyone, I kept costs low by doing them on paper, and I offering them for sale starting at $1 on Day 1 and on up to $60 on Day 60.  They were not as popular as previous campaigns.  They were unframed which may be a reason many of them aren’t hanging on a collector’s wall.  Don’t get me wrong, I did sell a few.

When I paint a series for a campaign, titles become tedious.  Therefore, I assigned a number for each study based on the day it was painted and released. Numbering paintings goes against my normal policy of giving each a title, and I certainly didn’t want to call each “untitled.”  I prefer ambiguous titles as I want viewers to have their own experiences with my work.

I experimented… I like to do that.  As a result, I learned about “me.”  I found that my best work developed as I flip-flopped back to my non-objective-colorful-expresssive-abstract style with various textures.  Oops, I lied when I said they were all acrylic studies.  I did some in pastels… just enough to know that I am most comfortable with acrylics.


A Gallery of one of each size:

 

A Figment of My Imagination – Daydreaming

Which comes first imagination or daydreams?

According to the dictionary they are synonymous.  Castles in the air… fool’s paradise… head trip… in a zone… mind trip… musing… phantasm… pie in the sky… pipe dream… woolgathering… whatever you call it, it’s daydreaming. If you have done it, raise your hand. If you still daydream, a mere thumbs up will do.

 

The Muse

Could “daydreaming” be at the root of an Artist’s Muse? I often say that I don’t have a Muse. I do not need external inspiration or motivation to paint or write. It’s like Artist Chuck Close has said, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

 

I have always been a daydreamer.   For this discussion, I’ve come full circle… that’s where creativity enters my life.   Maybe I do have a Muse and just don’t know it. Oh well. I was raised on a farm although the first seven years of my life were in a small Kansas town. I was a loner, no one to play with. Aloneness morphs into daydreaming. What else is a kid to do while driving a tractor for hours and hours, and hating it. Daydreams were my escape from the reality of farming chores. I was my way of dealing with negative feelings.

 

Daydreams on the Farm

Some daydreams were somewhat unrealistic. I dreamed I was a quintuplet and had been adopted as my birth parents could not afford all five boys. I dreamed I was a millionaire. I dreamed I came from royalty and my birth parents wanted me to have a normal life. I dreamed of having a normal life, whatever that is. I most frequently dreamed of becoming a professional singer. I had started singing at a very early age, 4 or 5. I sang at school, church and social events, as well as entered every talent contest in our community. I received nothing but praise.

 

I Wanted to be a Singer

When I announced my aspirations, suddenly that praise was negated. It was gut-wrenching, at least I felt as if I’d been kicked in the gut. Parental comebacks followed: “You’ll never be able to make a living doing that. You need to be a teacher.” I was rebellious and majored in vocal performance in college. I eventually became a successful teacher, but after teaching for thirteen years I still daydreamed of singing. Guess what, it didn’t work out. Could the lack of support have anything to do with my lack of success? I went on to a corporate career as a manager.

 

Throughout the years, I have successfully tried other creative ventures. I acted in a number of community theatre productions. I took up creative writing. I taught myself to paint. I had to prove to myself that anything is possible. Now, I am a professional artist and I am writing this blog.

 

The Take-Away

The take-away for you readers, especially you parents, please do not discourage your kids from pursuing their dreams. Be their inspiration, be their Muse, if you will. Encourage them to dream big. Be their most supportive fan, and it will not only enrich their lives but also yours. I am thankful that I finally found creative niche.

 

Art – My “Sanctuary”

Sanctuary, Acrylic, 24×24

I have been doing acrylic studies on paper for over two months now. Rarely on canvas. Today, I chose one of those studies to enlarge onto a canvas. Keep in mind, abstracts are very difficult if not impossible to replicate stroke for stroke. Rather, I was recreating areas and colors. If I were to place the study and the canvas sided by side, you could see the similarity.

 

As my title indicated, Art is my “Sanctuary.” More specifically, painting is my “Sanctuary.” In 2006 suffering from depression after my poor health knocked me out of commission, my younger son encouraged me to paint to ward it off. I hadn’t painted for over thirty years. Painting became my saving grace… my lifeline… my “Sanctuary.” Today, it remains just that. My favorite quote is by Cecile B. DeMille, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” If I don’t paint everyday, I become depressed.

 

Not only is my “Sanctuary” an emotional support, but I have created a sanctuary in my home where I can retreat and share my soul.

 

Recently, I have been sharing my soul through the written word (duh, you’re reading some of it, and I hope you follow my blog, “Studio Scoop”). Creating with words is now just as important to me as painting… my “Sanctuary.”

 

Sundancing… I’m an Indie Films Fan

Sundance Film Festival

My wife and I aren’t really sundancing.  If you’re not an Indie Films Fan, you may not be aware of the January event each year in Utah, the Sundance Film Festival.  One fan stated that the Festival should be called “Snowdance” as there wasn’t any sun.  We’ve certainly had our share of snow this season.

Sundance is an experience and there are times you have to dance from foot to foot just to keep warm, especially if you’re waiting in line outside.  The experience can be fun but also frustrating.  I’m not a patient person and waiting in line is my least favorite thing to do.  Each year, the Sundance Institute prints a catalog, 200+ pages, of the do’s and don’ts of the festival as well as descriptions of films by genre and their date, times, and locations.  Thus, the experience begins…..

 

 

  • Review each genre’s films/categories and highlight selections.  We usually make selections from several different categories. Many are not only entertaining but also educational.
    • Drama
    • Documentary
    • Premieres
    • Short Program
  • Pickup Tickets – picking up tickets is usually a wait-in-line event
  • Waiting in line to view a film provides an opportunity to learn where people are from and what films they’ve seen, not to mention if they’ve seen any stars.  One gentleman noted that he had seen Shirley MacLaine… darn, I chose the wrong film
  • View Film
  • Q&A

 

Of course, there are informal activities such as crowd watching.  I watched as a lady almost enter the Men’s Room as I shouted “Lady.”  Stargazing… I have to confess I continue to look but the only stars I’ve seen are those in the sky.  Though, there are reports of many in attendance.   When another patron prides him or herself on seeing a celeb, I’m envious and like I said wonder if I should have selected that film.  Of course, engaging the numerous volunteers in conversation helps with boredom for yourself and the volunteers alike.  I’ve often wondered now why didn’t I volunteer…  they have nice gifts, especially those jackets with “Kenneth Cole” on the back.

 

Dina & Scott
Ticket Stubs

Following a film, there may or may not be a “Question and Answer” period.  It depends if the producers, writers, directors and actors are present for the viewing. I love the Q&A’s.  However, since these individuals are more comfortable behind the camera and actors play a role, they are not always capable of making this entertaining, or even answering questions.  A favorite question references their inspiration. If you’ve read my previous blog post about the film, “Dina,” you know the Q&A after that film was very interesting.     We met Dina in the lobby and she has since become a Facebook friend.  You have to see the film.

 

In addition to seeing “Dina” we saw a Docuseries Showcase of two films.  The first, “Abstract: The Art of Design” followed Christoph Niemann as he designed and illustrated covers for The New Yorker magazine.  The film followed his workday and process from 9 to 6.  The second in the showcase was “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.”  The film explores the work of two female porn filmmakers.  A film relative to the Marfa Art Institute in Marfa, Texas called “I Love Dick” focused on a New York couple, one of whom was a “resident fellow” at the Institute.  His wife a filmmaker whose film was accepted then rejected by the Venice Film Festival. She became infatuated with artist, Dick Jarrett, a rancher and a contributor to the Institute.  We felt very voyeuristic and saw enough kinky sex in these last two films until next year.  Like I said I pick the wrong films.

“Dina” – A Documentary Film Following an Autistic Couple

A Film at the Sundance Film Festival

Each year at the Sundance Film Festival, my wife and I attend at least four films from a very diverse group, drama and comedy to documentaries. Yesterday, we attended “Dina,” a documentary following an autistic couple. When we selected this film, I did not realize that it was a documentary. At first, I was disappointed that it was in this category as I thought from the film description that it would be comedic. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely humorous moments.

   Throughout the viewing, I had some unanswered questions. Were Dina and Scott actors or were they an actual autistic couple? Could Dina and Scott be actors that were cast in the roles of an autistic couple? I decided they had to be damn good actors if they were. At first, the film moved rather slowly for me, however, it did become more captivating as it approached the end.

When the film concluded, a number of viewers quickly exited. My wife and I however stayed for the “Q & A.” It is always a treat to hear the writers and directors share their inspiration for a film. In addition, Dina and Scott were special guests onstage. They not only revealed much about the film but also their lives. The film was not scripted, but followed the lives of Dina and Scott, an actual autistic couple. In the film, Scott often responded with a grunt in agreement or a verbal “ahuh.” Likewise during the Q&A, he didn’t have much to say. Of course, Dina monopolized the microphone and was very transparent. She shined and called herself a “Diva.”

Dina shared several times that she studied acting, drama, and journalism in college. She also emphasized that she is a national public speaker. Not only was Dina very articulate, but also very inspirational.

The father of one of the directors had been Dina’s teacher. In fact, she had babysit that young man. The father had since passed, but the son stated he had known Dina his entire life. He had become Dina’s mentor.  TaDa! The film was born out of life experience.

Shame on those people who left immediately after the conclusion. They missed so much. Dina and Scott were also in the lobby afterwards. It was our pleasure to tell Dina how much we loved the film and that we find her very inspirational. For the many people who view autism with derision or mockery, shame on you. Take a ruler and smack your hand, better yet your mouth.

My wife and I are ready to see “Dina” again. I encourage you readers to see “Dina.” To Dina and Scott, I say thank you for sharing yourselves and best wishes to you both.

 

7 Tips for Branding Your Art Business

There are many meanings to the word “brand” and the act of “branding.” In the Wild West and yet today, ranchers and farmers used a hot iron to brand their livestock. According to Wikipedia, “Many western US states have strict laws regarding brands, including brand registration [a brand being unique to only one entity]…” Animal rights groups probably tag this practice as barbaric but that’s another story.

In today’s business world, the term “brand” is ubiquitous. It can refer to a large corporation or a one-man operation. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good[s] or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

What does this mean for artists? How do you want your art to be recognized? What’s in a name or brand?

As an artist, myself, I labored over establishing a brand. I kept thinking I’ve got to have a brand, I’ve got to have a brand. It drove me crazy. Initially, I had the misconception that a brand was simply a logo. Well, true, that’s part of an artist’s brand, but not all inclusive. Ironically, I finally realized I have a brand. It is my name, Jerry Hardesty. I added “Studio” to indicate my studio practice.

7 Tips for an Art Brand:

  1. Use your name – it humanizes your art business. Potential collectors can put a face with the artwork.
  2. Do not use an alias – using an alias can be confusing for you as an artist and for your collectors. You would always have the dilemma of using your given name or your alias.
  3. Avoid cutesy brands – imagine using “Splashes” as a brand. When I encounter such a cutesy brand, I move on.
  4. Use your name, add “Studio” (like I did) or “Art” or “Fine Art” – I use Jerry Hardesty Studio.
  5. Create a unique logo using your name – if you’re not a graphic artist and are challenged with creating a logo, hire a professional. That’s what I did. Actually, I traded a painting with him for his service.
  6. Use your name for your email, website, blog, newsletter. My email is jerry@jerryhardestystudio.com, my website is jerryhardestystudio.com, my blog deviates a little and is Studio Scoop at http://jerrysstudioscoop.com and my newsletter, Studio News.
  7. Use your name

Take note, when using your name for your brand, you must practice honesty and integrity in all business dealings.  A tarnished reputation could harm your business.  Furthermore, why not apply these tips to other business brands?  Who knows, personalizing and humanizing your brand whether for your art business or otherwise might help sales.