Saturday, May 17, 2014

Exploring Huntsville's Arts Community

Last weekend I took a short trip to North Alabama to visit friends and attend a Jason Isbell concert. The night before I arrived I watched the documentary Muscle Shoals so I was full of excitement and pride for my former home of NoAl.

Quick Backstory: Around the ages of 12-16 I lived in the tiny town of Tanner, Alabama (Population 2,125) I mean, tiiiiiiiny. This was pre-internet times and my friends and I weren't knowledgable of the things going on in nearby cities like Huntville, Decatur, or Birmingham. I'm assuming exciting artistic things were happening in those cities, as they weren't really happening in Tanner. We had sports and more sports, but I found a lovely group of creative friends in the Marching Band. And that made all the difference to a budding artist such as myself. 

Back to the present:
My friend Amber mentioned a few months ago how I needed to see Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment. She knew I'd enjoy seeing artist studios and watching people work together to make things happen for their city. I can tell you this, Lowe Mill blew my damn mind. I'd seens photos and updates on their Facebook page, but it didn't compare to seeing in real life!

Snagged from the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment Facebook page

About LM, from the Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment Facebook page: 
Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment is THE place to be in Huntsville if you are a lover of art, music, food, and fun. With over a hundred artists working in public studio spaces, three art galleries, a theater that hosts every imaginable kind of live performance, a record store, food stands, and dozens of events, shows, and classes every month, there is always something fun to do at Lowe Mill.

Sounds fun right?

A short video of Huntsville Drumline performing. We were watching from the second floor windows.

As someone who is trying their best to create an artisitic community in her own town, this place is AMAZING and INSPIRING. It's proof of what can be done when a dedicated group of people work together to better their city. 

And this place didn't just pop up out of nowhere, it took time and patience and many years to reach this stage.

Speaking of stage...look at that crowd to watch a free concert! (again, snagged from their FB)

I was too excited to even think about taking pictures, that's why I'm having to yank them from Facebook.

Amber and I hit up every single artist studio, just looking around and taking it all in. I think we even mourned a bit for our childhood, because who knows what kind of amazing things we could've done if we had a place like Lowe Mill to explore. 

Sadly, I was on a strict budget and couldn't buy everything I wanted, but I did splurge and purchase new prints. 

New Art for my Wall
The Memento Mori print is by Kennedy Prints. I don't know much about the artist, but I do know he's amazing. Check out his website for sure. Then the two on the right is by Holly Morningstar of I talked to her for a moment and she's lovely! 

So if you're ever in Huntsville, please visit Lowe Mill, and bring money to buy some amazing art. No matter what kind of art you like, you're sure to find it! And that, my friends, has to be one of the best features of this place: the diversity of all the artists and volunteers involved. 

NoAl, I will be seeing you soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Commissioned Project - Peaceful River

Last month I was commissioned to paint a mural for a nearby church. The folks in charge wanted a nice river scene above their baptismal tub but didn't want the permanence of a wall-painted mural. After some time thinking about it, I decided to paint the mural using four large canvases. They're thin and light-weight and could be attached to the wall using Command Picture Hanging Strips. Perfectly impermanent, if I do say so myself!

In Progress - River Painting
A few shots of the piece in progress. 

And the final product:
Final - River Painting
The client was kind enough to send me photos after it was installed. I think it looks great and adds a nice pop of color behind the baptismal tub. 

I'm always open to new projects, murals, and other large paintings. Leave a comment if you'd like more info!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Yep Yep Yep! New Tattoo Flash Sheet

Remember my monkey mind and its silly idea of The Land Before Time tattoo flash? Well, after getting the studio ready for the public, I sat down and finished painting.

I pulled out all of my watercolor supplies for this one!

In Progress: LBT Tattoo Flash

From Wikipedia: The Land Before Time is a 1988 American animated adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth. It features anthropomorphic dinosaurs living in the prehistoric times. The plot concerns a young Apatosaurus named Littlefoot who is orphaned when his mother is killed by a Tyrannosaurus. Littlefoot flees famine and upheaval to search for the Great Valley, an area spared from devastation. On his journey, he meets four young companions: Cera, a Triceratops; Ducky, a Saurolophus; Petrie, a Pteranodon; and Spike, a Stegosaurus.

If you're anything like me, you watched it over and over again as a child.

In Progress: LBT Tattoo Flash
Littlefoot and his tree star.

In Progress: LBT Tattoo Flash
Petrie can fly! He's a flier!

Hungry - Land Before Time Tattoo Flash
And Spike. He was born hungry. 

Cera - Land Before Time Tattoo Flash
And here's a partially finished Cera. I didn't take many in progress shots of this project, mostly because I just wanted to get it done. 

The Land Before Time Tattoo Flash Sheet
And the whole thing together! I'm planning on getting prints of this soon. Keep an eye out on my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Studio Update! Check it out!

 My March and April were filled with tons of work on the new studio location. I'm hoping this will be the very last time I relocate, at least for a long time. The building is very nice, and well kept-up, so I'm not forseeing any problems down the line (knock on wood, of course!). This new place will be my studio home for many years to come.

As for this post, it'll be a collection of random iPhone photos I took in the middle of several working days. 

After the old tiles were popped off the floor, I scraped, sanded, and stained the concrete floor. It turned out better than I expected! I'm so happy with it. The floors are durable, and capable of taking on a classroom of kids.   

Here's a before/after. Seeing the photos together like this keeps everything in perspective. When it seems like I haven't done much, I can always see that yes, yes I have. I've come a long way. 

I think I'm finally at a point where I'm not so stressed and I can kinda relax and just work. Work on studio hours, work on classes, summer art camps, commissioned work, and more. I'm in a good place, y'all. Thanks for coming along!
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