Category Archives: artist studio

An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

Like many artists, Alexis Lawson found herself at a fork in the road. One path boasted little brush, bright lighting, and a trail that went as far as the eye could see. This was the path of education; after finishing her schooling, she would become a teacher with a salary, pension, and set vacation days. The other path was barely visible, covered with thick foliage and debris. She couldn’t see where it led beyond a couple steps. This was the path of professional photography.

Alexis took the path less traveled. Shortly after her daughter was born, about five years ago, she decided to avoid the safe route and go out on a limb. She became a professional photographer.

Since making this decision, the artist’s path has taken Alexis on a journey of discovery. As she progressed in her career, she experienced many changes. For instance, Alexis’s photography career started with taking pictures of children and families. Today, Alexis specializes in couture female portraiture.

The Palm Beach based photographer was turned onto glamour photography by Sue Bryce, the portrait photographer behind the Olay Best Beautiful Stories. To follow in Bryce’s footsteps, Alexis signed up for mentorships and workshops with photographers who specialized in shooting “glamour shots.” Alexis admits that photographing women as if they were Vogue cover models “hit home” with her. It was this feeling and her admiration for women—who, like her, managed careers, homes, and families—that prompted her to shine a light on their inner and outer beauty.

After realizing this, Alexis stepped out onto another limb. She turned the back room of her home into a photography studio. Even though there was no guarantee people would come into this space or solicit her services, she took the chance and made a massive renovation.

With a studio in place, Alexis knew it was up to her to bring in women to photograph. She began pounding the pavement, working 50 hours a week to network and market her unique services. All the while, Alexis knew that what she told the women she photographed applied to her, too. “Be true to yourself and stick to it,” she would say.

Like many artists, Alexis had talent. But beyond talent, she worked hard to make her dreams come true. The evolution of her career involved taking risks, working hard, and overcoming obstacles. As she took time to navigate the rocky terrain of the path she chose, she remained focused on the most important thing: being true to the artist inside her.

Today, Alexis Lawson can be found in Palm Beach, shooting couture photographs from her in-home studio. Visit Alexis’s website to see an extensive display of her photography: http://www.alexislawsoncreative.com/.

If you want to be a professional artist, you can. Take the path less travel. Step out onto a limb and work hard to make your dreams reality. And take Alexis’s advice: Be true to yourself and stick to it.

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Benefits of Making Your Own Paints

Did you know that you can easily and affordably make your own paints right at home? The supplies needed to make oil paints, acrylics, watercolors or pastels are fairly inexpensive and they can be easily purchased online or at a local shop. You don’t need a giant studio or an excessive amount of supplies to make your own paints – all you need are a few basic ingredients pertinent to each medium, and a tabletop that you can use as your work area.

You might wonder, “Why should I bother making my own paints?”

There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial for artists to make their own paints. For starters, when you break down a specific medium to its individual components, it helps you to understand the nature of the medium. Taking part in the process of creating an oil paint or a pastel stick provides invaluable insight into the qualities of that particular medium. Plus, the magic of watching loose powdered pigment transform into a usable paint can become part of the overall creative experience.

One of the best things about making your own paints is that you can control the hue, value and intensity of each color. If you need a specific shade of green that is difficult to mix using commercial paints, you can create your own. If you need a range of blues to create skyscapes and seascapes, you can create the exact colors that you need and save them for future use.

It’s easy to forget that there was once a time when all artists either had to make their own paints or purchase these supplies from a local artisan. The vast majority of artists today buy their paints and art materials off the shelf. Most artists don’t even think twice about how these materials are made or what is actually in them. This has changed our relationships to our art materials. By making your own paints, you can reinvigorate your connection to the materials that you use to create art.

In future articles, we’ll take a closer look at the process involved for making oil paints, pastels, watercolors and acrylics.

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Glass Art

Robert Kaindl Giant Ostrea Bowls Glass Art

Many beautiful art sculptures are not found in marble or formed from clay; glass blowing is an art technique that creates three-dimensional masterpieces all its own.

In addition, other forms of glass art include stained glass, bead-making, and casting (or molten glass molding). Some of the most dramatic and imaginative pieces, however, are 3-D studio glass work.

Studio glass is more than a technique; it was an art movement in the 1960s. The studio glass movement started when a ceramics professor and chemist came together at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Together they presented the idea of melting glass in a small furnace. These furnaces were so small that artists could have them set up in their personal studios. This allowed the individuality of artists to thrive within a technical art form.

However, glass blowing is not an easy task. It can take up to 3 furnaces, a number of tools and years of practice to perfect the art. To put it simply, forming the fragile substance involves inflating molten glass that has been heated to a liquid and then gathering it on a long wand. That extended tool is used to blow the glass into a workable bubble. After that, special tools shape the glass.

To make the piece dynamic, color is added. Most commonly, glassblowers (also known as gaffers) start with clear glass and add a colorful piece of glass to create the final product. This occurs after the bubble of glass is blown and shaped. A separate colored glass is fused to become apart of the whole piece. Another way to add color is by dipping or rolling clear glass into broken-shards of already colored glass. Although individuals have different techniques to how they create their works of art, this is the basic methodology.

In fact, the art of glass blowing has changed numerous times since its invention over 2,000 years ago. The creative art form began in the 1st century B.C.E. in the Roman Empire. Such advanced technology, as the creation of 3-D glass art motivated the spread of dominance because of this and other intelligence. It was encouraged in most areas of Rome, especially on the eastern borders of the Empire. Remnants of the earliest glass workshops are believed to have been found in modern day Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, as well as nearby Cyprus.

To this day, art blowing is used to create art and other objects for daily use. Some of these useful decorations include vases, lamps, bowls and ornaments. It’s not uncommon to see art exhibits that feature blown glass in a variety of shapes and colors. When considering the technique, it becomes clear that no two pieces of glass art are alike. The process and artist make each final product unique.

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Face the Fact, Technology Creates Art

In the 21st century, technology creates all things useful… including art. We have to face the fact that gone are the days when art belonged on an canvas, was formed between the hands of a potter, appeared from inside a slab of granite, or was developed with the intention of advancing culture.

Now there are even more dimensions of art to embrace. We can do this by recognizing how technology allows everyone to become artists by producing visual representations of who we are, as individuals and what we care about.

An online program that allows anyone to create a work-of-art is Picasa. This is Google’s free photo editing software that transforms our every day pictures into artistic masterpieces.

The newest version, Picasa 3.8, has the ability to turn anyone into an artist — or a video producer for that matter. For some time, Google’s Picasa has been an easy tool that makes photo organization and editing a breeze. It allows individuals the ability to create online albums that are easily shared with friends and family members throughout the world. Check out the Face Movie Segmation produced with it:

(If the video does not appear on this screen, visit Youtube to view Segmation’s feature Picasa film: http://youtu.be/16JPgeF5y5U)

Creating A Face Movie

It’s easy to create a Face Movie like this one. Picasa 3.8 can instruct you with step by step directions. However, it is a process that is completed with just a few clicks of a button. The program analyzes faces in the photos you want featured. Then, it couples them with the smoothest transitions in ways of facial expressions and/or poses. The different technique Face Movie uses, creating noticeably different movies, is overlaying photos organized by similar qualities, like expressions or poses. You can start creating your Face Movie today by clicking here.

Benefits of Picasa 3.8

But wait… it gets easier. With Picasa, you don’t need to scramble to find the pictures you want to use. It organizes all the photos on your PC, even those scattered throughout your system. Then, they can be easily organized into web albums.

Name Tags

Google understands that the people captured in photographs are what matter in a picture. This is why they created a collection system based on name-tags. It is a lot like the Facebook feature, “tagging.” By placing a box around an individuals face, one is able write their name and easily store all pictures where he or she has been tagged. This is also available with places, or “geo-tags,” where one can mark the exact location of the picture using Google maps.

Sharing

From there it is easy to publish your favorite photos online. You can choose to share single images or an entire album. This also allows you to connect with friends and family members and set notification settings when those you’ve set as “Favorites” post new photos.

Editing 

And you don’t need to worry about showing pictures that are sub-par. Picasa also includes an editing systems that can improve any picture. By having control of red-eye correction, lighting, and other abnormalities, you are sure to collect and share pictures you’re proud of.

The abilities of Google’s Picasa 3.8 are numerous, but you don’t have to believe us. Explore the free program and see for yourself.

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Promote Your Art Through an Open Studio

A great way to drum up interest in your art is to hold an open studio. Instead of waiting for your art to get accepted into a gallery, why not turn your work space into a temporary showing space? Remember that most art lovers enjoy spending time in artists’ studios because it allows them an inside peek into the process behind the art.

Here are several tips for hosting a successful open studio:

  • Send invitations to local gallery owners, local art critics, and anyone you think may be a patron of your art. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family also, because they will help stir up conversation about your art amongst the other attendees, and their enthusiasm will be infectious.
  • Make sure your studio is neat and presentable, but you don’t need to go overboard. People will expect paint splatters in an artist’s studio! You should leave some of your art materials (paints, brushes, palettes, etc) in their natural positions, so that your tidied studio still retains the essence of your creative energy – but make sure all toxic chemicals are safely stored away.
  • Arrange your artwork in an organized display around your art space. Add title cards underneath them with your name, the title of the work, and the price, if it is for sale. It is also a good idea to display one or more works-in-progress, because many people will be interested in seeing the evolution of an artist’s work.
  • Have plenty of business cards available. A guestbook is also a good idea for adding to your mailing list.
  • Consider selling prints of your art for people on a budget. You could also sell other low-cost items with your art on them, such as cards, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
  • If your art space is big enough for people to linger, offer a plate of hors d’oeuvre. If your budget allows, offer your guests wine or other drinks.
  • To set the ambience, select appropriate music to accompany your open studio – but play the music softly. It’s important that your guests are able to hear you and vice versa.
  • Once the doors are open, socialize. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you don’t know. You’ll be asked a lot of questions by people who want to know more about you and your art, so be mentally prepared. Your open studio is an opportunity for networking, so make the most of it.
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Art Basel with Lois Ostrov Abstract Artist!

Lois Ostrov

Lois Ostrov

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A beautiful collection of 22 tropical and abstract artworks by Lois Ostrov, an award winning water color and water media artist living in the Miami, Florida area. You’ll find oranges, sailboats, hibiscus and poppy flowers as well as a lighthouse, and toucan in this warm blend of South Floridian themed collection.

Lois Ostrov, originally from Ohio, taught for 25 years before choosing South Florida as the physical place to further develop her art.

Curious about textiles, her first fine art medium, she began to research other techniques of the fine arts. Ostrov found that painting, with collage added, provides the greatest opportunity to express ideas and thoughts in a personal and creative way.

As an artist, selection of colors and mediums depends on the atmosphere and surroundings of the places to choose to paint. Paint in a series. The colors, forms, and textures depicted in each series are quite different. The spirituality one feels about a place is an integral part and helps develop a personal relationship with the environment when painting.

Vision for work is acquired from photo references taken on locations from around the world. The right blend of photographs enhances feelings about a place and allows the construction of a perfect painting!

Ostrov invites the viewer to enjoy, analyze, and question her work.

Ostrov paintings have won awards and placed in juried shows including: Art Serve Broward County, Artists’ Eye Fine Art Gallery, Art Expressions Gallery Artists Haven Gallery, Broward Art Guild, Broward Library Gallery 6, Coral Springs Museum, Cornell Museum of Art, Delray Museum Art School, Florida Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Gold Coast Watercolor Society, Hollywood Art Guild, Miami Watercolor Society (Signature Membership), Palm Beach Watercolor Society, Parker Playhouse, Plantation Art Guild and in private and commercial collections.

In the Press: April 2006 Edition of Palette Magazine, April, 2006– Edition of Watercolor Magic , August, 2003–City Link, December, 2002–City Link

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