Below is a sideshow of how the chopping and joining part of the process is done.
My dad recently retired from making my miniature stretcher frames and easels. But lucky for me he trained me as a framer years ago at Lakeside Gallery. Learning this trade has been very beneficial to me throughout my art career. It has saved me thousands of dollars. Plus the quality of my work is far better then the cheap stuff from China and it shows.
Below is a sideshow of how the chopping and joining part of the process is done.
The next photo shows me working on stretching canvas onto the stretcher frames.
Now it's time for the fun part......painting!
NOTE, The miniature paintings featured here have all sold through Kaukini Gallery in Kahakuloa.
I want to introduce you to another artist friend of mine, Nancy Hoke. I became acquainted with Nancy's work long before I met her. Her work is in Village Gallery & Gifts, Maui Hands in Paia, and in many gift shops around the island. Her art is playful, bright and humorous. The bright colors she uses along with the clever designs and imaginative caricatures bring her paintings alive. When I finally met Nancy I was instantly drawn to her personality and off the wall humor.
When I decided to do some interviews of Maui artists I admire, Nancy was at the top of my list, and I was thrilled she agreed to do one. I wanted to know more about her and thought you, my readers, would enjoy learning about her too.
I took the following info from Nancy's website and I couldn't agree more with what it says.
"A sense of excitement and a feeling of rhythm are experienced when viewing the artwork of Nancy Hoke. There is an underlying complexity in her work, yet a world of joy and silliness is also observed with clear-eyed honesty and imagination. Nancy has lived on Maui for thirty-two years and spent her early life in the Republic of Panama, She earned her BA with concentrations in art and anthropology from the University of Maryland in the 1970's. She incorporates the Afro/West Indian culture and tropical feel of Hawaii into her brightly colored naif/primitive paintings and her subject matter ranges from chickens to beach scenes to hula dancers, Hawaiian flora and fauna and mermaids in Chanel jackets. Her work is filled with wild boars, bananas, Pina Coladas, Hawaiian reef fish, islands, sea turtles, erupting volcanoes and just about anything else you can think of that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. Other parts of the world are also depicted. There are Nancy Hoke paintings, prints and greeting cards in hundreds and hundreds of places all over the world including Japan, Tahiti, Iceland, the UK and Abu Dhabi. They make people smile and be happy. They will make YOU smile and be happy too."
1. What inspired you to become an artist?
After working for other people I realized that it was important for me to work for myself. I had always dabbled with my creativity, doing projects when I could fit them in between jobs and finally I realized I'd better be an artist. or risk a lifetime of unfulfilment. It had never occurred to me that I could do something I loved for a living. I met a very smart person who owned a gallery and he encouraged me to keep painting and to not waste time sitting around in cafes drinking coffee . So I carried on.
2. What is the main challenge you face when beginning a painting?
Actually beginning a painting is one of the easy parts. My mantra is don't think too much, just start. I usually have a vague idea about what I'm aiming for but each painting grows almost by itself from that original thought. I don't aim for realism though my artwork is representational but I would rather have a great design with colors that love each other than a tree that looks just like the tree in my backyard.
3. At what point in the process of the painting do you feel like the painting is almost completed?
Three quarters of the way through the painting I've invested too much time to quit and the painting is proving to be a winner is when I know I'm almost there. I VERY rarely bag a painting. I just keep painting until it's all good.
4. How has painting influenced your life?
It's very simple. Without art I would be a piece of miserable flotsam floating on the sea of life.. I can't think of any work I'd rather do.
5. What do you like most about your career?
I love the painting part the best but I also love it when other people say it makes them happy, especially if they buy it. Selling is fun.
6. What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I've already mentioned not sitting in cafes drinking coffee but also I was told to start a new painting every time I finished one. Keep it up and though every piece is not a roaring success every ten or so will be. You can't nail it every time but don't get discouraged. Each painting solves the problems of earlier paintings. It's an ongoing process. It's never over because there will always be problems to fix. And then you get better.
7.. Which famous artist most influenced your style?
Matisse. He was funny and I would say most of my art is funny too. Also I love his colors and the way he puts composition and subject matter ahead of everything else.
8. Has your style changed over the years?
Not as much as you'd think. I've tried different mediums which of course affect style but since my motive has always been the same (do whatever the heck I want) I've stuck with the style I like best.
9. What do you do to market your work?
Not enough. I have my art in a few galleries and I have a card line which gets my art out there. I'm working on creating a couple of websites and I talk about myself a lot.
10. Where can people find your work? Gallery? Online?
You can find my work currently at Village Gifts and Gallery in Lahaina, Maui Hands in Paia and online at Nancy-hoke.pixels.com. I'm working on my Facebook business page so look for that soon. As soon as I can get Darice McGuire, artist and marketer extraordinaire, to help me since I'm technically challenged.
Here are links to Nancy Hoke's social media sites and website. Take a minute to check them out and give her some support by a following her.
Village Gallery Profile Page
Fine Art America
Every once in awhile I get an interesting challenge that comes through my studio door. I just finished one such challenge. Jim Kingwell, one of Lahaina's gallery owners, sent a customer to me with a damaged painting. I repaired a torn canvas for Jim some time back. He was overjoyed with the job I did and recommended me to his friend.
Chuck, Jim's friend, called and told me his son had sliced the canvas when he was opening the box it was in with a box cutter. He asked if I was able to repair it and how much would it cost. I told him I needed to see the painting to get a good idea of the time involved. He brought the painting over to my studio a short time later. I was expecting a smallish cut, maybe no bigger then a few inches. What I saw was no small cut. The canvas was nearly cut from top to bottom, with a small skipped section.
After talking with Chuck to get an assessment of value for the painting, in other words was it a valuable piece or a sentimental one. I learned it was part of a set of five paintings. Each painting had one of his boats in it and the paintings were done by a local artist in 1976. The artist is no longer around.
After examining the painting I told him yes I could repair it but there may be imperfections left visible due to the wide gap toward the center of the cut. He was fine with that and the estimated $50 an hour approximate three hours I thought it would take.
The slideshow below is the step by step process I took to repair the painting. The repair took three and a half hours. The drying time between each patch, coats of gesso and layers of oil paint approximately 4 weeks. I don't charge for drying time.
Chuck had come by to see the nearly completed repair job and was over joyed with it at that stage ( see picture number 12 ). I told him I needed to build up the oil paint a bit more to fill in the gap. Then I would be satisfied.
I had Charlie and a few artist friends of mine look over the painting to see if they could see the damaged area. I was happy when they told me they couldn't.
Time to call Chuck.
I've decided to change things up a bit on my blog by doing some interviews of local artists here in Lahaina. Each one of these artists are special to me both because they are great creators of their work and because they are people I enjoy hanging out with and all of them I call friend.
For my first interview I want to introduce you to Anita Marci. Anita is an award-winning professional fine artist who began her illustrious career at the age of ten when she won her first art award and became a published artist. Originally from Pennsylvania Anita Marci graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Communication Design, Summa Cum Laude. After graduation and a whirlwind trip to Europe, visiting seven Countries, she took a position as an illustrator and designer in a high profile New York City design firm.
1; When did you first become interested in art?
I began asking for paint when I was four years old. I got paints and brushes and proceeded
to paint everything including the walls and furniture. I won my first art award when I was ten
and I was hooked!!
2; What style of art do you do?
My art is Stylized, graphic, contemporary, clean, bold, and modern.
It is all about form and color. My goal is to capture the essence of my subject and portray
that with as little detail as possible. My paintings are flat and smooth and void of any texture.
And that is just the way I want them—pure and clean.
3; have you always done that style?
No, my art used to be more realistic with a lot more detail.
4; What medium do you use and why?
Acrylic is my primary medium. I began with watercolor
and I found that I could not get as high a price for paintings in that medium and it was
more difficult and less forgiving. Acrylics have much more flexibility and viscosity options.
5; Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
I work from my photos of organic life. I am most interested in nature and it’s beauty.
There may be a color, a shadow or a form that attracts me and inspires me to do the painting.
6; How much time does it take to complete a painting?
This varies quite a bit depending on the size. I can do a 4” x 6” in a day. My largest painting
was 3’ x 8’ and it took several weeks. There are at least three or more layers on every inch
of my canvases. They are not painted quickly. I often do a study on paper to work out the
editing of my complex, yet simple form and color relationships.
7; How do you work or where do you work?
I have a home studio. I have always had a separate room for my studio but living on Maui
leaves less options for large spaces.
8; What are you currently working on?
I am currently creating a series of 8” x 10” close-up florals. The colors are very bold and bright.
9; Where do you or where have you exhibited your work?
Currently, I am exhibiting primarily online. I am seeking some gallery representation now.
10; What do you do to market your art?
I post on facebook and instagram daily. I have a website that is pretty extensive. I am also
Presented on fine art America, Linkedin and Saatchi. I am in five different book publications.
I use printed post cards and email marketing, as well as my blog.
Here are links to Anita Marci's website and social media sites. Go check them out and show your support for this talented artist by following her.
Fine Art America
Last week on the way into my studio I heard an announcement on the radio saying Oprah was going to do a live event on Maui called "Live Your Best Life". The radio show hosts, Alakai and Kevon were giving away tickets. They mentioned a website to sign up on, I jotted it down so I could check it out when I got to the studio. The website www.sharecare.com is a heath resource site. I singed up on it but didn't have time to check it out.
A few days later a Village Gallery co-worker and friend of mine strolled into the gift shop while I was working and calmly said she just won 2 tickets to see Oprah! I was so excited for her and asked how she did that and if she needed someone to go with her ( wink wink ). Her husband would be accompanying her and she sent me the link to the article about the show. In the article it said they were giving away tickets to people who singed up on the website I had already signed up on. It said free ticket winners would get an email. I checked my email and sure enough there was a winning notice from the site!
I had to act fast because the code giving me the free ticket was about to expire. Lucky for me the gallery was very slow, giving me the chance to log onto eventbrite website to process my ticket. I made it just in time! I was going to see Oprah!
Monday morning June 26th, I was up bright and early and excited to see Oprah. I wanted to get an early start because I had a feeling the line getting in was going to be huge. The drive to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center is about an hour drive from Lahaina, depending on traffic. I didn't get the half hour lead I wanted but I did leave in time to for the doors to open.....or so I thought.
By the time I decided to take pictures of the lines of cars trying to get into the event I had been in stop and go traffic for half an hour. I was getting pretty nervous and kept reminding myself to relax and be patient as I watched the car clock. Driving past all the people waiting in line as I headed to the parking area, I kept thinking I was going to have a long walk to the back of the line, and by this time I was in need of finding a restroom. I got a place to park way in the back of the parking area, the time on the car clock read 10:30.
Once I reached the back of the line it was moving pretty fast. It really didn't take very long to get into the event. The place was packed! My first mission was to find a restroom, then I could concentrate on finding a place to sit. I found a spot on the grass to the left of the stage. It was a pretty good spot as you can see from the photos above. After sitting there about ten minutes an event volunteer told us some seats just opened up, which I was happy to take advantage of. Now all I had to do is wait along with over 5,000 people for Oprah to come on stage.
There was a couple on stage playing and singing music to help calm the wild beasts. An announcer would come out every so often to assure us Oprah would soon take the stage. There was plenty of cloud cover and a nice breeze to help keep the area comfortable. I was grateful for the cloud cover because I didn't bring any sunscreen and was a bit worried about getting sun burnt.
A few weeks ago I had an Instagram follower wanting to know how good Darice acrylic paints were. Darice is a craft supply company that started in 1954. No, I'm not named after them. I've used some of the products Darice sells at Michael's and Ben Franklin's craft stores, but never heard of their paints. I told my follower I didn't know they made acrylic paints. I looked up on Darice.com but didn't have much luck finding the paints. So I went to Darice Instagram page to see if they had info on it. Not seeing any, I then messaged them. While waiting for a response I did a search on Amazon. Sure enough they had them. The name of their paint is Studio 71 acrylics. I bought the set of 24 so I could to try them out and do a review on them. I wanted to know if these paints were good enough to bear my name.
When the package arrived I was excited to see all the beautiful colors sitting side by side. The tubes are made of clear plastic so you actually see the color before squeezing it out. Most acrylic paint brands have non transparent tubes or bottles with the label telling you what color it is. Normally with those brands I have to take the top off to see the color before buying a new color. With Studio 71 there is no guessing, the color of the tube is the color of the paint, I like that. Like a kid in a candy store, I couldn't decide what color to try first.
I grabbed a 5x7 canvas and began painting a Maui beach scene. I wanted to get the feel of the paint fast and there is no better way to do that then to just paint. The colors I used for this demo were Titanium white, cerulean blue, primary blue, dioxazine purple, pthalo green, cad yellow med, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and burnt umber.
I found the colors to be very similar to the brands I normally use. The color labels varied just slightly from what I'm use to. Instead of "Lemon Yellow" or "Pthalo Blue", Studio 71 calls these "Primary Yellow" and "Primary Blue", that's not to big of an issue for me.
The paints are medium bodied, not to thin and not to thick. Very similar to Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylic, the brand I use most often. In the following photos I show you what they look like when you squeeze them from the tube, how well they blend together and how well they cover the canvas. Click on each photo and read the captions.
Studio 71 preformed well for me. I found it to be very comparable to the brands I use most often. I'm happy to say this paint passes my Darice test. I can recommend this paint with confidence.
Have you ever had an idea that consumed a good deal of your thoughts? You know, the kind of idea that won't go away until you act upon it. I admit I have these kind of ideas a lot. I guess it goes with the territory or the environment of my creative space.
For over a week I've been focused on an image, a photo of a honu ( sea turtle ). I played with this photo in a new app I have on my iPhone called Enlight. At first it was just a fun way to pass time because I was bored. But the more I played with the tools on Enlight the more I was liking the results.
Here is the photo I stared with.
This is the final results from playing with the photo app. This design stuck in my head for a week. I kept thinking it would look really cool as a painting. As soon as I had some free time I started planning on how I would start the painting.
I began by doing an abstract underpainting on a 10x10 canvas, using burnt sienna, cooper, green and yellow ocher. Once that dried I wanted to add texture, something to match the background of my altered photo. I came up with the idea to use an old netted body scrub thingy. ( see photo below )
I cut a piece off of the netting and laid it onto the canvas. I used a warm gray and a yellow gray lightened with white to paint over the netting. Pulling the netting off created the result I was looking for. Once I was satisfied with the background I let it set a few days. Mainly because I ran out of play time. This break also allowed me to ponder the next step, painting the honu.
I ended up painting the honu bigger then I planned. I began with his shell and head, then moved onto the flippers. I used all the same colors I used for the underpainting for the honu. The results of my finished painting was better then I imagined.
I'm going to do this painting again with a 20x20 canvas. I plan on making the honu smaller and I'll add the corner details from my concept image. I think that added detail will give the painting the Hawaiian feel I'm going for.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to comment or ask questions below and share it with your friends on facebook and twitter.
For about two years I've been featuring one of my paintings each week on my daricemachel.com website. Today I'm changing things up a bit. Instead of doing a featured painting I thought I'd show you one of my newest paintings along with the reference photo I used to create it. After visiting the sunflower field and taking about 50 photos I couldn't wait to paint sunflowers. This photo of a bee and his shadow really caught my eye. The color and texture was very appealing to me and I felt the challenge to paint it.
I used acrylics on a 9x12 gesso Masonite board for the painting. The smooth surface of the board allowed the paint to glide and blend perfectly. I always begin my paintings with a sketch, this one was no different. Once I was satisfied with the drawing I began painting the background of green foliage. Then moved on to the flower petals. The center of the sunflower was next. This section took quite awhile as you can imagine. I painted each seed on a dark background, shaping and highlighting as I went. The bee and his shadow were the final elements. I had the most fun painting the transparent wings.
I paint about 20 new minis every month. Some go to Village Gallery and some go to Kaukini Gallery. Below are five new ones I just delivered to Village Gallery this week. The Koi painting is 3x5 inches. The larger sunflower painting is 5x7, the smaller one is 3x4. In the bottom photo the Lahaina sea wall painting is 5x7, and the sunset is 4x6.
There is a new phenomenon on Maui that has tourists and locals going crazy, a field of Sunflowers. Every day this past week cars have been lining up along the highway for people to take a walk in the sunflowers. I've been seeing lots of posts on Facebook and Instagram and have been itching to go see these yellow beauties myself. Charlie and I made a trip over on Easter Sunday.
So what's so special about a field of sunflowers? Well for one, this is the first sunflower field planted in the Hawaiian Islands and for many Mauians this is the first time they every seen one. A Bio-fuel company planted 80 acres in February as an experiment to make bio-fuel. They planed for the flowers to bloom by Earth Day, March 23. But the blooming started Easter week. Who would have thought a field of sunflowers would draw such an attraction.
The rows of bright yellow flowers are really eye catching against the West Maui Mountains and bright blue sky. I took plenty of photos for painting references, I've already created my first mini painting of the field and I'm itching to get started on an oil painting. Charlie captured some amazing shots for his website and blog here is the link . I guarantee his photos are way better then mine, so keep your eye open for them.
Art E Studio is located in Lahaina, Maui. Please watch for updates through this blog.