Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!  
May this holiday season see the warmth of light and love fill your soul.

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Day to Order for Christmas! 16% Discount on Orders

I am posting this reminder that today is the Last Day to Order for Christmas! I am also offering a 16% Discount on Orders placed today!  Please visit http://doan-art.artistwebsites.com/?tab=artwork to see the many options available. I truly appreciate your consideration for a unique and special holiday gift.
Visit: http://doan-art.artistwebsites.com to view all available artwork



Place your orders by 5pm EST today in order to guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve!*

Still haven't found the perfect Holiday gift. How about a museum quality piece of artwork delivered right to your front door?

Wow your friends and family with a ready-to-hang work of art or a boxed set of greeting cards.

Use the discount code VEGJKV to get a 16% discount on all orders placed before 11:59 pm 12/16/2010.

*In order to receive your order by December 25th, select Overnight Shipments when placing order.




Thanks for your support!


DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fine Art by DoAn


Seasons of Fox by DoAn
Holiday time is here!

Have you gotten your holiday cards? Stuck for a unique gift? Want to support artists or buy American made products?

This is my shameless plug for my selection of fine art prints and greeting cards available here: http://doan-art.artistwebsites.com/

The images in the gallery came be made into customizable greeting cards. You can adjust the image size, add a border, and even insert a personal message. Mix and match for an assorted boxed set.

Birch Spirit by DoAn
I also have original needle-felted wool sculptures and paintings for truly unique, one-of-a-kind artwork for that special something!  Check back often, as I will be adding new items from now and through the holidays.

I appreciate your support and look forward to sharing my art with you this holiday season!

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

See you in Faerie!


I will be helping out the beautiful artist Helena Nelson Reed in her booth (C63) at FaerieCon this weekend.  Please come and visit, take a look at Helena's jewelry and paintings. I will also have some of my needle-felted sculptures there on display.  Come enjoy beautiful music, hear talks by up and coming and well known artists, and get lost in the magic of Faerie!

Hunt Valley Marriott
245 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, MD 2103

FRIDAY NOV 12TH
EXHIBITION: 1pm-6pm
GOOD FAERIES BALL:
8:30pm-Midnight

SATURDAY NOV 13TH
EXHIBITION: 10am-6pm
BAD FAERIES BALL
8:30pm-Midnight

SUNDAY NOV 14TH
FAMILY DAY
Exhibition: 10am - 5pm


For more info please visit: www.faeriecon.com

DoAn


Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Embracing the Spirit of Halloween



For most, Halloween is the day to dress up in crazy costumes, go to parties, lead children to stranger's houses to collect candy, and, for many adults, to act like children.  America is really good at degrading traditions to its most base of qualities.  I have long thought it strange that Americans have adopted an old pagan holiday, but then, the holiday hasn't really been adopted, as much as usurped and corrupted.
Celebrating Halloween doesn't have to be just frivolous and empty fun.  It also doesn't even have to be observed in conflict with non-pagan religious belief.  At the heart of Halloween is a celebration of the closing of the year and an honoring of the spirits of our ancestors.

We see the cycle of death around us, as the landscape transforms and goes into its dormant stage.  It makes sense that the Celts would see this as the end of the year, for endings are occurring all around us at this time.  This becomes  a wonderful time to reflect on all that came in the previous months and let go of the negative influences and burdens of the previous cycle, while celebrating the achievements and preparing for the new.  It is not certain where the idea of costumes came in, there are lots of speculation, but nothing conclusive.  I like to think of dressing up as a way of re-creating your new self for the coming year.  It is an opportunity to try on a new identity, see how it fits, before starting the new cycle.  We are not limited to mundane, well-defined roles.  We can become archetypes, heroes, spirits, fantasy creatures whose attributes of which we can connect to and carry through into the next year. 

There is a dark aspect to Halloween.  Many dress as monsters, attend haunted houses,  talk of the ghosts and ghouls that run rampant through the neighborhood. I think much of this stems from a very deep-rooted fear and misunderstanding of death and endings in general.  But, if we look at this dark aspect as something positive,  rather than frightening, what might we discover?

The painting posted here is of The Morrigan: The Dark Mother, the ancient goddess of death and fertility and the land, now most commonly associated with ancient Irish myth.   The Morrigan is a symbol representing the dark aspects that we all experience and possess within. Everything emerges from the dark, the child from the womb, the day from night, light from the void, and The Morrigan symbolizes the power that exists within this place of potentiality. She is the perfect symbol for Halloween as we celebrate the end of the cycle by returning to the dark and beginning the cycle again. We acknowledge that day gives way to night, that the trees and plants die around us, only to return again with the light of spring.

The dark aspect is not something to be feared, for to fear the dark, is to be afraid of our own nature and the action of creation itself. Darkness is to be understood as part of a natural cycle of rise and fall, expanding and contracting, reaching out and turning inward.  The symbol of The Morrigan offers us a way to understand and navigate the dark paths throughout our life, if only we overcome our fears and reach out to accept the “fruit” (or perhaps candy!) of knowledge she offers us.  I am not suggesting that we all worship and idolize the image of The Morrigan, instead, I am encouraging that you look upon her as a symbol and archetype, representing the energies and qualities that your particular belief system supports.  You can find your own symbol that represents the qualities of The Morrigan and use that to help you connect to the energies of the season.

Ultimately, Halloween can be a day of transformation and an evening of celebration, it doesn't have to be empty and meaningless.  We can use this time to honor what has passed before us, let go of that which burdens us, and remember our ancestors who sacrificed their lives to give us what we have today.

Have a safe and TRANSFORMATIVE Halloween! 

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Painting Rebirth and Renewal

I am happy to report my new working schedule is really working out well.  I am getting a lot of work completed and other work attended to without feeling like I am neglecting one thing for another.  I have completed recent custom sculpture orders.  I have written over forty pages of creating writing and completed tons of research for my novel.  This schedule affirms my dedication to a creative life, and I hope will help continue to guide me toward a full-time career in making art.

Lion and Lamb custom order by DoAn

I also made some wonderful progress on the Etain painting.  Something powerful happened recently as I worked on the piece.  I am not sure if it is the new working schedule, the return to painting, the changing season, or a combination of all these, but I really felt the energy of rebirth and renewal coursing through me as I painted.  I began with the leaves, painting, then scrubbing out the paint, going over them with a yellow wash.  Then I moved on to Etain's face. As I painted her, and her features emerged, I reflected on the many changes that I have gone through in the course of my life, and how many more I have to experience.  Each wash that revealed more and more of Etain's face, brought me deeper into my own experience of renewal and how it seems this experience always comes out of the darkest of places, often in a flash of light.  I have found myself wallowing in darkness, a slow, winding descent into despair, for what seems an eternity, and then, when the time for change comes, like the igniting spark of Brigid's fire, I am in a new place, inspired and shaking from the newness of my perspective.

Each time I work on these goddess-energy paintings, I think, this is the one that speaks the most strongly to me.  First, I thought it was Boann, who dragged me through an emotional hell, then The Morrigan, who made me face some of the darker aspects of myself, to Brigid who lifted me with the inspiration of a life fueled by creativity and self-empowerment, and now with Etain, I think, this, yes, THIS is who I am! The one who is constantly being reborn, reawakened, alive to the newness all around me.  I am realizing that each painting is the most powerful piece at the moment that I am painting them, because I am experiencing the energy they represent as I create them. Once I complete Etain, I know the next painting will be THE painting best representing my life and where I am.

This is precisely why I paint and why it is so difficult and necessary for me to do it.  This is why whatever it was that spoke to me at OAC in Missouri telling me to explore painting as a spiritual path and look to the sculpture as a way to support myself while remaining creative. I have no idea where these paintings and the future paintings will take me, but as I experience this transformative energy, I know it is something I must do.  Each time I sit down to paint, and then step away and observe as a witness and not a painter, I know I have connected to something much bigger than myself.

I am thrilled to continue and see where all this takes me.  I am even more thrilled to be sharing this journey with you. 

DoAn
If you are interested in following my painting progress and supporting the work I am doing, please consider becomeing a Patron. Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dedication to a Life in Making Art

As my supporting Patrons know, I have been trying out a new working schedule. Starting out Monday and Tuesdays were devoted to sculpture work.  Wednesdays were for art-career business and marketing work, which includes writing on my blogs, updating my website, doing miscellaneous paperwork.  Thursday and Friday were for painting.  Left Saturdays and Sundays for whatever I felt like working on or whatever might need more attention, such as commission work.  Just this week I switched painting to the start of the week, because I needed to spend a little more time on sculptures due to some upcoming shows.
 I start working on my art at 8am and work through to about 4pm, with a short break for lunch.  Late afternoons and evenings are devoted to freelance work and correcting student papers.

Custom Pet Portrait Sculpture by DoAn

I am also devoting time to write a novel that I have been picking up and putting down for over ten or more years.  Currently, I wake up at 6 am, eat some breakfast, make some tea and and write until 8 am, have some breakfast and then get to work on the art.  When Daylight savings goes into effect,  I plan to get up at 5 am, so I can have a good hour and a half to two hours a day to work on my writing.

It is my goal, that with this working schedule, I will be able to address each part of my creative work with more focus and structure.  I also need room to be able to work on those paintings that stir me and open my soul, so this schedule should help give me time for that.  In addition to commission work lined up, I have several paintings waiting to be started.  I have drawings of Sedna, Datura, the Soul Tree and many sketches and notes on Chakra paintings, as well as more goddess and god paintings to be explored.  It is going to be a busy winter!

I believe that by devoting my time to serious creative work, and holding this time as a sacred activity, that it will continue to lead me on the path to a sustainable career in art.  I have no idea how I will end up . I have found, however, that when I put my trust in the process of making art, opportunities open up and reveal themselves to me.  Most of this year has been focused on showing my sculptures, a way of getting more regular income to support me while I work on creating these very challenging and soul-searching paintings.  My inner voice tells me "just work on the art!"  So that is what I am doing.

It seems appropriate to me, to be making this intention known to my patrons, right as summer becomes fall. Autumn is the time of beginnings (according to the Celtic calendar) and at the turning of the the season, I state my career goals and confirm my intentions to a future in art before you all
  
DoAn

Note: the image here is from one of my recent commissioned Custom Pet Portraits, for more information on how to order a likeness of your favorite pet or animal please visit my webpage: http://doanart.com/Pet%20Portrait%20Sculptures.html

Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
 
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ask the Artist: A New Series

I am starting a new series of blog posts called "Ask the Artist".  Once a month I will be answering questions posed to me by my readers, which focus on art making and making a living with art. If you have questions about my art, how I create my pieces or just questions in general about art, please send them my way. I will answer them to the best of my ability, even contacting fellow creative people when possible to broaden the scope of the answer.  The purpose of these posts is to help demystify the creative process for those who may not think of themselves as artistic and to help encourage other artists to find a life in the arts.  Here is the first question launching this series:

At what point in your career do you go from considering yourself someone who makes art to a full-fledged artist?

I think this is a question that must be answered individually and determined by the artist alone.
I might even suggest that there is no dividing line between one who makes art and one who is an artist.  In my training and practice of Buddhism, the Zen Master always cautioned about labeling oneself.  As soon as we state, "I am this" or "I am an Artist" one limits oneself to that definition and must then begin to determine the parameters of this identity.  Questions such as "what is an artist?" beg to be asked.  Or "how do I know I am an artist?"  These statements and the answers to them limit us as well: "if I am an artist, can I be anything else?"  Such questions can take a lifetime to answer.  Hence, the eternal Buddhist question: "Who am I?"

Instead, the Zen Master suggested, we identify with what we do.  "I paint." "I make sculpture." "I write." "I drink tea."  We are not limiting our identities this way, and thus, the question of when or how one becomes an artist isn't necessary.  We are not self-limited to our ideas of what an artist may or may not be nor beholden to others definitions of what an artist might be. 

Possibilities are wide open. We just create. I think that is what is important.

DoAn
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2009 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Custom Pet Portrait Sculptures

 
The Craft Days show at Madison County Historical Society was a great success.  It was the highest attended show I set up at so far this year.  I had a very nice write up in the local paper, including a video interview, which can be viewed here: 46th Annual Madison County Historical Society Craft Days.

Without the looming pressure of shows ahead of me, I can focus on getting images of my work uploaded to my website.  It is a tedious and painstaking process to photograph, edit the photos, upload and write content for each sculpture, but now I finally have time to start doing it.

Just in time for the holidays, I am now taking orders for  Custom Pet Portrait Sculptures!


My animals are sculpted through a process called Needle Felting, which is taking raw wool roving and poking it with a special barbed needle thousands of times. This process is extremely time-consuming, each sculpture taking between 20 - 30 hours to complete. I can make any breed as long as adequate pictures are supplied. The more photos you can supply, the better!  If you like, send me some fur from your pet to include in your sculpture. It is an excellent way to memorialize your favorite pet!


  •   I can make any breed as long as adequate pictures are supplied.
  •   Include fur from your pet to include in your sculpture. 
  •   It’s a great way to memorialize your best friend!
  •   Makes a unique, one-of-a-kind, gift!

Your pet sculpture will be between 2" - 4" long (excluding tail length). Each creation is a unique, handmade work of art, firmly felted and quite solid. Every order will be carefully packaged to ensure a safe arrival, and comes from a smoke free home. Please remember that each needle felted sculpture is a work of art and NOT intended as a toy.

To place an order or for more information about Custom Pet Portrait Sculptures please visit my webpage, or send me an email.  For a limited time I am offering a 10% discount on custom orders if you mention you read this blog posting.  (Discount ends on November 10th, 2010)

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

46th Annual Craft Days Madison County Historical Society

Purple Martin felted wool sculpture by DoAn
I will have a booth set up with my one-of-a-kind felted wool sculptures at the 46th Annual Craft Days. This Arts and Crafts event is organized and hosted by the Madison County Historical Society at 435 Main Street will be held on Saturday, September 11 10am to 5pm and Sunday, September 12 10am to 4pm.

This year’s Craft Days will feature over 100 juried craft vendors, food, and entertainment. Visitors will also be able to tour Cottage Lawn, the 1849 Gothic Revival Cottage, and headquarters of the Madison County Historical Society during the event. There is entertainment both days and live demonstrations from the vendors! I will be demonstrating my felting techniques throughout the weekend event.

My booth is #310 located in Tent #3.


 Madison County Historical Society
435 Main Street
Oneida, NY

Admission: $4.00 for adults. Weekend pass: $6.00. Children under 12 are free.
There is free parking and shuttle from Glenwood Plaza, Route 46, Oneida. (Look for Signs)


DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Hello, Goodbye, Hello

After five pleasant days in Canada, visiting where my great-grandfather was born, I came back home prepared to get back to work, only to succumb to a summer cold, which was brought on by an herbal detox that I had started taking.  I took this as a cue that more rest was needed.  So last week I moved about very slowly, only doing work when I felt up to it, but mostly resting.

During this time I thought about my relationship to the hummingbird, to the painting of Etain, to some writing I have been revising and to the planet we live on.  Everything around me seems to be speaking about rebirth and renewal.  I assumed it was just related to the theme of the art I am currently working on, but then I realized it is more than that.  The world is changing and it is changing fast.  Society is crumbling, though many people are expending a lot of energy to resist this truth.  Climate change has already begun re-shaping the weather and the geography around the globe.  It is beyond the time to make corrections to prevent climate change, it is now time to adapt to what has resulted.  It is now time for a planetary wide rebirth and a renewal of our thinking and living habits.

Dream Lynx drawing by DoAn

Rebirth is a painful time.  But it is also a joyous event.  Clinging to what we know, fearing the unknown, only prolongs our suffering.  I often experience these feelings of fear and clinging when creating a new painting, or a sculpture.  Fear of doing the wrong thing of not being able to create another successful piece always hovers in the back of my mind. Clinging as I am afraid to try a new thing.  Now suddenly, it seems we are all facing this kind of fear and resistance in some form.

It is easy to become sucked into despair, as we hear all the bad news out there.  The oil spill, the loss of income, the instability of the economy, wars, the collapse of society...I don't need to go on.  I admit that at times I get bogged down by the overwhelming inflow of bad news.  I wonder, sometimes, why does making my art matter.  Does it really matter?  Who really cares about what I am working on?  There are so many other things that are more important.  Maybe I should stop and move to the Gulf and clean oil-slicked birds for the rest of my life.

But, part of rebirth, is also about trust and faith.  Giving up is not honoring the process, it is accepting the status quo.  I don't think obsessing about the negativity really honors the wonders and richness of life.  The planet is changing--has changed. Nature is designed to adapt.  Change is the reality that touches us all, for to believe that things can stay the same only invites suffering. The planet is working to readjust, heal, and continue to evolve.  It will do so with or without us humans.  Society too is changing.  It is likely collapsing, but it doesn't need to be perceived as the Big End.  Instead, it can viewed as a rebirth process, and we can enter into the collapse with grace.  Societies are similar to a cultivated field, for they grow beyond their capacity to sustain themselves, collapse, and new societies grow out of the wreckage. 

Instead of feeling helpless and frozen with fear and despair. I have chosen to see this time as beautiful and inspiring.  It is not easy.  Change is hard.  Especially when that change is forced upon you.  But, change can be the catalyst of tremendous growth.  My art is a way to process this change.  My art helps me to understand the world, how I fit in with the world, and how we all are connected during this time. My art is a vehicle of communication to others who are interested in learning about the world around them and how we can relate to each other and to all living beings.

Does my art matter?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I know it teaches me how to navigate in the world.  Art quite literally keeps me sane and centered, when all around is chaos.  I believe that art is how I can contribute something positive to a society that is overly addicted to the negative.  If we are to leave a legacy behind, I would like it to be one the resonates positive positive energy with the changes in the world.  I do not feel comfortable adding to the fear, anger, frustration and resistance. 

Rebirth is always easier when it is viewed as sacred, when it is respected and is assisted with loving spirit.  We can all enter this rebirth time with helping hands, rather than clenched fists or flailing arms.  When we reach out and embrace those around us contributing to each other in whatever capacity we are able, rebirth into the new world becomes an act of love and healing.

Now is the time for support, coming up with new and innovative ideas, and sharing resources.  This is why I do my art.  This is why, despite the bad news already, I stay positive and seek out the good stories.  One doesn't need to wear rose-colored glasses and cling to an outmoded way of being to exist in a changed world, rather, it is best to open one's eyes and see the whole picture and trust in the process, even if that process is so much bigger than little 'ole me and you.

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Economic Recovery

I recently read the book Plenitude by Juliet Schor, and it really got my mind rolling.   Many of the things she said were ideas I already had tumbling around in my head, but she articulated them much better than I ever could.  She had a lot of research and analysis to clarify her points, which really helps.  Some of these facts are rather shocking and sobering.  She talks about shifting away from the business-as-usual mentality and work toward a future of stability and sustainability.  It is not easy work, but necessary is rarely easy.  I highly recommend this book, what she says is a real wake up call for all us. 

Then I came across the blog of creative person Amanda Palmer, her blog entry about the relationship to art and income was of particular interest to me.  What she says, echoes some of what I read in  Lewis Hyde's book The Gift, which talks about the role of the artist as a necessary contributor to the health and well-being of society.   Hyde talks about the struggle within the arts when turning something necessary to the culture into a commodity. Amanda Palmer discusses in her blog that financial support is necessary and should not be tied in with feelings of guilt.   I have been working for the last three years to shift my income to one that revolves around my creativity. I too have struggled with the feelings of guilt and the strangeness of turning art into a commodity.  As a result I have turned toward looking at how my creativity, which as been with me from when I was a small child, is a valid contribution to society.  This has opened me up to exploring different ways to make a living.

I have been working on painting, sculpture and my writing as a way to diversify my income.  I am careful now about the kind of jobs I choose, to make sure they support in some way my creative work, rather than just take time away from it.  I do some freelance web and editing work that is flexible with my art-making schedule and I teach.  Right now, it is tight.  I live precariously, but I am frugal and careful.  This is not how I would like to keep living, nor is it healthy to do so.  Right now, I'm afraid, too many people live like this...and far too many of them that do are creative people.

As we try to recover from the "financial crisis" (that politicians like to call it), returning to the status quo is not the answer.  This is our opportunity to fix what didn't work and create a new system.  For me, it is building a living around my creative work.  And a way to do that is to keep my work as close to me as possible. I am avoiding the middle-person to sell or distribute my work, so that I can keep my work priced reasonable and, more importantly to me, maintain relationships with the people who enjoy my work.  When so much of my time is spent alone as I work on my art, it is crucial that I maintain some contact with the people that appreciate and enjoy my work.

But, in order to be able to sustain a living, I need support.  And it isn't just me.  There are so many wonderfully creative people out there doing wonderful work without big contracts with record companies, publishers or galleries.  We need to support these people.  If we listen to their music, we need to buy their music or attend their concerts or invite them to house concerts.  If we need greeting cards, artwork, sculptures, gifts for others or ourselves, we need to buy them from those independent artists.  If we cannot purchase their work because our own money is tight, then we can help promote them by telling others, we can give the artist supplies to do their work, we can donate in-kind materials, we can make them some dinner, and so on.  Supporting an artist so they can make a living, isn't only  financial.  There are many ways to help. This is part of the new financial model that we need to build.

I believe this kind of purchase power and support will help tremendously with the economic recovery. By supporting independent artists we help allow work get made, we support the local community, and we play an active role in the kind of work that gets made.  We don't need big companies to choose for us what work gets made. We don't need to pay the higher costs of products to cover the big company leaders salaries.  We don't need to support big businesses shady practices that come back to hurt the consumer.  We can support the artists we know and whose work we enjoy.  As Amanda Palmer puts it so well:

it’s about empowerment and it’s about SIMPLICITY: fan loves art, artist needs money, fan gives artist money, artist says thank you.


I ask you, please, the next time you go buy a CD, a greeting card, a print, a painting, a book, a gift or home item, consider supporting an independent artist or writer.  They are making good work and it deserves to be noticed and supported!  As an artist, who works hard at what I do, I say, THANK YOU!!!

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Teachings in Small Packages

 I have been busy working on making many different kinds of animal sculptures for upcoming shows, but the one animal that I keep coming back to is the hummingbird.   Admittedly, I am fascinated by the real tiny birds, but I thought it was interesting that unlike other animals I create sculptures of, making one hummingbird is just not enough. 

I have read many interesting facts about hummingbirds as a way to create better, more life-like sculptures, but I realized I hadn't explored their spiritual natures.

As a spirit animal, I discovered that hummingbirds represent qualities such as openness, stamina, beauty, renewal and playfulness, among others. 

It is interesting to me how often my art does a better job of telling me where I am in my life than my own mind.  Some might argue that my art is really a reflection of my mind, but those who know me well, know that that is not always true for me.  My mind is often really good at getting in the way.  My art, when I am really connecting, is a reflection of my spirit. My art tells me where I am at the moment.  My mind often muddles that connection.  So, reviewing the fact that I have been nearly obsessed with creating hummingbirds and after reading about the spiritual qualities they represent, I suddenly have gained a deeper insight into where I am in my life. 

As I work on the painting of Etain, representing the notions of rebirth and renewal, I am not surprised to find a connection to the hummingbird.  The hummingbird, on cold nights, goes into a state called torpor, where its heart and breathing all but stop.  It is as close to dead as a thing could be.  Then, with the warming of the sun's rays, it miraculously comes alive once more. It is reborn and renewed to greet another day.  The goddess painting of Etain is dealing with this on a more personal level, for we all go through moments of renewal and rebirth throughout our lives.  I cannot begin to count the number of times I have experienced this myself.

But the hummingbird also represents the opening of the heart, allowing love and healing to enter.  This has been a hard issue for me.  The past carries many wounds, scars linger, and it can often feel more wise to keep one's heart kept hidden away.  It is the way I have learned to move around in the world.  I guard my independence fiercely, but the hummingbird is teaching me that to be open is the way to healing.  I believe that with all the work I have been doing with my art, this lesson is the one I have been avoiding for too long.

The hummingbird also teaches about play.  The hummingbird is actually a rather pugnacious bird.  I have watched them get into some very intense aerial battles around the feeder.  It is amazing to see them whirl and dive at each other.  They never harm each other; it is all just posturing and play.  In my great serious pursuit in making a living from my art, I sometimes forget about the importance of good serious play.   Hummingbirds spend 80% of their time perching.  I have mistaken glimpses of their speed and high energy as  model for living daily life.  Not even a hummingbird can flit around without rest.  In fact, it rests quite a bit. 

So, I am taking the lessons that my art is teaching me and I am taking a short break.  July 10th will be my first in a series of summer shows.  It will do me no good to stretch myself so thin that I have no energy to present my sculptures.  I am going to work on opening my heart to those who truly appreciate me for who I am, and thus allow healing to take place.  I will rest and practice the art of good healthy playing!

What might you learn from the tiny teacher, the hummingbird?

Happy Holiday to All!

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is Needle-Felting?

I have been talking for most of the year about making wool sculptures using a technique called needle-felting.  What is needle-felting?  It is a process of felting (fusing the fibers of wool together) using a special needle that has tiny barbs on it.  By repeatedly poking the wool with the needle, the fibers of the wool compress and lock together.  With the needle, I am able to shape the wool into just about anything I like.  I can fuse different colors or pieces of wool together without the use of glue or sewing. 

Needle-felting began as a craft form in the mid-eighties, starting primarily as a way to create flat applique on fabric.  Since then, it has grown into making three dimensional sculptures and even wall art.  Stephanie Metz has been one artist who has turned needle-felting into a fine art.  Her work is large, highly detailed pieces that are developed from a theme and are shown in gallery shows. Her work really pushes the boundaries of how needle-felted sculpture can is viewed.

I am interested in similarly pushing the boundaries of needle-felting.  Right now I am exploring the natural world by creating sculptures of birds and animals, some with little micro-settings.  My work will soon be shown publicly at several shows I have lined up this summer, later to be made available for purchase online through my website and my Etsy shop. As I develop the sculptures, experimenting with complexity and technique, I plan to create more pieces with a theme, perhaps considering gallery shows of the sculptures as well.

In the meantime, I will show some sneak peeks of my sculpture.  Today, I will share a little overview of my needle-felting process:

Step 1: I take wool roving, which I purchase from Beth Marcellus of Warm n' Woolie Farm, a local wool farmer, who raises the sheep, processes the wool and dyes the wool by hand.  (I also buy my free-range eggs from her.  If you haven't had free-range eggs, you don't know what REAL eggs taste like!)





Step 2: Using the special barbed felting-needle, I felt the wool roving into various shapes, which will eventually be fused together to make the whole sculpture.  Each pieces can take several hours to felt into shape.  That's thousands of individual pokes of the needle!





Step 3: Once the separate pieces are made, I fuse them together using the needle.  (No glue or sewing involved)  Then I begin the shape the overall piece.  In this case, I am smoothing the line between the wing of the cardinal and where it meets its body. Then I will add the beak, felting more wool onto the head to smooth the transition between the beak and the head.  That's several more thousands of pokes of the needle.


Step 4: Now I begin to add the fine details.  Here I add the black mask on the face of the cardinal. I add some black details on the wing and tail feathers.  More shaping of the head, adding cheeks, and body, adding a puffy chest, takes place as this stage.  Yet more thousands of pokes of the needle.




Finished Piece: Once the final details are added. I sew the glass eyes on and the sculpture is finished.  In this case, the sculpture is an ornament, so I sew a string on as well.  This is a small sculpture (about three inches high) and takes between six and eight hours to make.  Sculptures larger than four inches, and those that have legs or other more complex features can take from 15 to 35 hours to complete.  I don't even want to imagine how many thousands of needle pokes that is!

DoAn
Help in the creation of art, please consider donating! Just click on the link below:
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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
 
 
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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Progress

It may have been quiet on the blog, but rest assured, I have been very busy creating sculptures for three different shows I will be setting up at this summer.  The next show I will showing at will be Summer Fest in Oneida, NY on July 10th.  After that will be Vernon Center Old Home Days on August 7th in Vernon Center, NY.  I finish up the summer with a two day show at the Oneida Historical Society Craft Days on September 11th and 12th.

I am working very hard to create quality one-of-a-kind sculptures as well as learn how to best display my work within the confines of a 10 x 10 booth space.  There are a lot of learning curves to navigate, but it keeps me motivated. I like these kinds of challenges!

And, yes, I am still working on painting.  Currently, I am working on the next piece in the goddess series.  I am focusing on the goddess Etain exploring the notion of rebirth and the element of Air.  The progress of this painting, as well as other paintings I am working on will be shared on the Patron-only blog.  This is part of my commitment to focus my paintings on a spiritual exploration.  In doing so, I am limited exposure of these pieces for the time being to patrons who support this side of my creative work through regular monetary or in-kind donations.

Patrons get access to the patron-only site DoAn Art Studio where works in progress are shared and newly completed paintings are revealed before being shown to the public.  Patrons also get all the behind the scenes access to my creative work, news and occasional special gifts. 

If you are interested in becoming a patron you can contact me for details or go to my Fractured Atlas page to make an online donation: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/1343

Your donations will help me cover the cost of materials and other expenses involved in creating these pieces.  If you are interested in setting up a lay-away payment plan, contact me about setting this up.  You will still get access the DoAn Art Studio, but your monthly contributions go toward the purchase of a piece that exists or for one that has yet to be made.  

Over the next couple of years most of my paintings will be held behind the scenes as I focus on the spiritual path the pieces are taking me on.  My plan is to assemble the body of work that accumulates in the next few years and have a show examining the spiritual journey, both as a personal and archetypal path.  Many paintings I complete will not be ready to show until I see the other works develop in relation to each other.  Some paintings may not ever be shown outside the Patron-only site.   By becoming a Patron, you not only get to view these sacred works being created, but you actively participate in the creation of these works. 

I hope you enjoy continuing to follow my exploration into the world of needle felted sculptures, but appreciate your consideration in supporting my deeply heart felt exploration of myth and spirit in paint as well.

DoAn

Help in the creation of art, please consider donating!  Just click on the icon below:
Donate now!  
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of DoAn Art may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  

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All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2010 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

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