What an absolutely beautifully, wonderful summer it has been. I have experienced so much personal growth and success these past few months, and I feel incredibly blessed. I am surrounded by such wonderful people and so much support.
In May, I drove all the way down to Poughkeepsie to partake in First Friday. The drive there was pretty ridiculous, having had a bit of a family incident the day before, but I was determined to participate, nonetheless. I met up with Corene Concepcion-Rivera, owner of BGWArtC, LLC. BGWArtC, LLC is a creative arts firm specializing in performance art services, curation, and project management based in Poughkeepsie, so when Corene asked me to take part in First Friday as a live painter, I was stoked!
Poughkeepsie is nothing like I expected it to be; coming from the northern part of Upstate New York, I consider anything below Albany to be downstate, but seeing the trees, mountains, and people there, I had come to realize it really does feel a bit like home. (I actually prefer it to Albany a lot, but don’t tell Albany that.)
The event itself was wonderful. First off, the amount of people walking their dogs was enough to make anyone squeal. I love dogs, and making art while I get to look at dogs is really the best combination there is. Painting beneath the tent was so fun! We had a group painting for the community to paint an Alebrije, and I also worked on my own solo art.
This was such a wonderful experience, and it gave me the knowledge I needed in order to know what to do the next time I decide to be a vendor for an event. Thank you again to Corene and BGWArtC, LLC for the invitation!
Check out BGWArtC, LLC at https://www.facebook.com/bgwartc/
(PS, I still haven’t finished that painting. It’s on the to-do list.)
Towards the middle of the month, I also took a visit to Great Barrington with my boyfriend to visit our friend Ashley, AKA Miss Expanding Universe.
Ashley is the type of person you come across once in a lifetime. She is so masterfully creative, and unabashedly herself. Her work is witty and thought-provoking, and yet you can see how authentic it is. She isn’t trying to impress anyone; she isn’t trying to be anything at all. She just is. I absolutely adore her.
The first time we met her, she painted Joey with his tongue sticking out because she thought it represented him well. It did.
This visit though, she introduced us to Uncle Fingers, and the four of us partook in a writing exercise where we free-wrote whatever was on our mind for fifteen minutes. Don’t let the fear of what you write being bad stop you, just write. It was actually a great exercise! Joey doesn’t consider himself a writer as much as I do, but we both agree it was a wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing. I strongly recommend this for every artist; you never know what kind of thoughts it might inspire. This same experiment would work well for drawing, too. Just sit and draw for fifteen minutes without fearing judgement. Something cool might happen!
Please, take the time to check out Ashley’s work. She is such an interesting creator and I love her. You can see her website here: http://missexpandinguniverse.com
You can also see her doing Jane Fonda’s 1982 Original Workout here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mThDoAPPp74
In the last days of May, Joey and I finished up packing our things and moved from Albany further upstate back to my hometown. City life simply is not for us, and we’ve both found more success with our art being surrounded by nature and a small community. Moving and settling in took up most of the month, but we spent our free time drawing together. He has recently kickstarted his own business with art, so I strongly suggest you check out his website at https://joeythorpeart.com
(If you want to see something really cool, hit refresh on his website and the background image will change. I’m pretty proud of it.)
His work really speaks for itself, but here’s what he has to say about it:
“In my work I use symbolism from various facets of human culture to glorify and revere the parts of the human body that allow for the phenomenon of life and consciousness.”
This is one of my favorite paintings of his, entitled “Self Dialogue.”
If you want to get your own Joey Thorpe original, now is actually the perfect time! You can get your own original sketch starting at $60.
We started to settle in around this time, and this is when I began preparing for the county fair! Fair season is one of my favorite times of the year; I love seeing all the animals and watching the community come together to celebrate good harvest and artisan works. Working two jobs at this point, plus commissions PLUS leisure paintings, I really put my nose to the grind stone this month. I had to be prepared, there was no way I was missing out on entering my work into the fair!
Here are three of the paintings I created in July, all of which I will discuss in further detail in the near future!
In the meantime, I was also working at my local college setting up the design and photography labs for the upcoming Spring semester, which is currently in session. This place was a disaster, but it all came together in the end.
(Pic credits all to April Strong, who was smarter than me because she actually documented this entire endeavor. She has her own blog too, which is a wonderful asset to those struggling with mental health. Check her out at https://overlyanxiousmouse.wordpress.com )
This is less significant information, but I also painted one of the walls in my kitchen with chalkboard paint, which has proven to be AWESOME! It’s so cute, we can quickly write notes or doodles, and I just love the way it looks.
By the time August came around, I still had a few more pieces of art I wanted to make for the fair. “Sir Stool the Toad” is one of my favorite paintings to date, and I’m so glad I made him.
I took this month to basically completely revamp my portfolio; going back into things I’ve already created and tweaking them slightly so they’re more refined. Take a look! I’m especially proud of what I did to this piece: https://biancamartinart.design/portfolio/kraken/
You might notice that my whole site has a bit of a facelift. There’s an actual home page now!
I dyed my hair purple, and as you can see the dye lasted just as long on my fingers as it did in my hair.
I also stained my carpet. Oops.
The fair occurred at the end of August, and I had a blast. I brought some close friends, and we all held baby chicks and played with goats.
The most exciting part though, was checking out all the art entered in the fair. I am super thrilled to announce that I not only won Best in Show in the painting section, but the drawing section as well! I had won both Fine Art sections!
September has passed by so quickly! I got a really short haircut! Elle Salon opened up at the beginning of the month, and I love supporting new businesses, so I chopped off all my hair again, and I couldn’t be more happy with the results! My hair is normally very curly, so she did a great job. I’ll post a before and after.
My favorite piece of art this month was a set of coasters for a client based off my original painting of the chicken on a wood panel. I had SO much fun making all of these feel individual, yet a clear set!
I also shot a set of senior pictures for my sister-in-law, Kailey. She is so beautiful, look at her!
I created a couple of price sheets for some of the services I offer which will be posted in the near future, and I’ve set up an online calendar to schedule appointments. Now it’s easier to commission me, or set up an appointment for a photoshoot or critique session. To book an appointment, go to this site: https://square.site/book/96ZSSDPT39X4F/bianca-martin-painting-design
It has been such a crazy, wonderful summer! I took this time to really grow and create without worrying about too many commissions. I’m happy to be back, though this time I will be writing twice a month rather than weekly. Critique week will also be four times a year, so if you are interested in getting your work critiqued more immediately, you can make an appointment!
Thank you all for coming back and reading! I have missed you all so much. Let’s start off on the right foot with a prompt! Draw or paint something you care about. Create something that means a lot to you. If you have any art that you would like to share, please send in your art to firstname.lastname@example.org and it might just get featured in the blog.
See you in two weeks!