Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Ceramic Coral Reef By Courtney Mattison

A friend of mine shared this piece by Courtney Mattison with me this morning and I had to show it off here. Check out the full explanation of this impressive piece here. If I were a sculptor, I would love to make work like this.



Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Biennial Alumni Exhibition



I am going to be showing alongside some serious talent, ya'll! Check the link here to see who. Congratulations, alums! http://mca.edu/mca-announces-artists-for-2014-biennial-alumni-exhibition/

Friday, April 11, 2014

Something Close to a Real Website

Chloe York Artist Website

I made this site a while ago, but tweaked it up a little bit, primarily in the paintings tab. I like how the Decorators all look together in a gridded row, like the Brady Bunch intro.


Interview with Chloe York by Painter Caitlin Dickens


Recently, a former classmate of mine, Caitlin Dickens who is currently studying in Alabama reached out to me for an interview and asked some great questions that made me think a lot in a good way. Check out her blog here.

CD What inspired you to be a painter?

CY I knew from a young age that I wanted to use my creativity for a living. I think there just wasn't anything more practical that I was any good at. While considering what I would want to study when college planning came around, I knew I couldn't go wrong with art school. The whole "starving artist" stigma didn't worry me a bit. I certainly went in knowing it was unlikely I would be making a living on my paintings alone, but being trained to make good art was a very good start. At first illustration seemed like a viable option for a college major, but I never got a knack for a representational aesthetic. Anything process-driven was out of the question for me too. I enjoy how direct painting is. You have your surface, you have your paints and brushes, and whatever you slap on the surface and however you choose to push your paint around, the result is right there in front of you-no variables. 

CD How has your work changed and evolved so far?

CY In many ways, my work hasn't changed much from what I created in high school and my early years in college. I've always used bright cartoony candy colors and a flattened and dimensionless environment. My new work just utilizes those visuals better. 

CD Is there any historic artistic influence on your work?

CY I love researching older Baroque works and portraits but I feel that I get more inspiration from artists working today. I reference sites like Booooooom.com, The Electric Beef, and Juxtapoz to name a few. 

CD Do you work on your art everyday?  Do you have a routine that helps keep you on track?

CY I try to make it a point to spend at least a few minutes every day in the studio, even if I am feeling unmotivated to paint. If I am not making anything, I'll usually devote that time to research, looking for Calls for Entries, or coming up with new ideas. I don't have a routine exactly. With working an office job, I use whatever time I have available to keep pushing ahead.

CD What was your first major accomplishment in your art career?

CY There have been a lot of little things, like winning high school art awards, solo exhibitions in coffee shops, so this certainly wouldn't seem like a first, but I really didn't feel my work going anywhere or feeling truly like I had found my own style until I created "The Decorator." Before that piece, I felt like I didn't really have a voice and was focusing too much on an aesthetic that had no conceptual bearing. Everything about that piece pushed the envelope for me-I had never been comfortable working that large and I had never tried anything as detailed either before that point. It was the first painting I felt true pride in. After that, things just fell into place.

CD How do you decide to price your work?

CY Normally it comes down to the cost of materials, how many hours I spent on the piece, and who I am selling it to. For instance, if it is a commissioned piece from someone close to me, I'll usually price it a bit lower. Or if the piece is showing in a gallery that takes a percentage of each piece sold, I'll mark the price higher to cover the commission. I have also priced my paintings higher since I am out of school and a professional, trained artist.

CD Do you focus more on artistic merit or marketability when creating? 

CY The only pieces I have made with the sole intention of making a sale have been commissioned works or these tiny little fabric monsters I made to sell in one of my Java Cabana shows. Normally, I'll make little small pieces I feel could sell easily, but I'm more concerned with exposure than selling work right now. I think artistic merit is more important, and the more of that you have, the more sales will come later. 

CD How important is self-promotion?  Do you think you would be as successful as you are now without the aid of your website, facebook, etc. or is self promotion an absolutely necessary part of being an artist in today’s world?

CY Self-promotion is key if your goal is to be a professional artist. But to me, that's a broad term. When I think about self-promotion, I think about researching shows, calls for entries, reaching out to other artists, attending gallery openings, and just putting yourself out there. I think the internet is a great launching tool. It has made sharing art and ideas so much faster and easier. Every artist should have a website, whether it is a blog, a Linkedin profile, or  a site with a purchased domain name. Even a Deviant Art page or an Etsy is something. It keeps you from being restricted to just gaining exposure from the people that can see your work in person, which if you are just starting out, might not be that many.

CD Do you ever question your choice of profession?

CY Not at all. I enjoy the regular job I do. While it is in an office, it is part time and art-related. As for being an artist, I have no regrets but it has helped that I have always kept my goals and aspirations in check. I am doing more with my work now than I thought I would be by this point.

CD What was the inspiration behind your Decorator series?

CY In college, very near graduation time, I had this overwhelming sense that I was not making work that meant anything to me and I felt a little bit lost. It made me start to think about things I have always loved and imagery I have been drawn to my entire life. I grew up near the ocean and was always fascinated by sea creatures and the natural colors of coral bodies and tropical fish. I started to think the ocean had influenced a lot of my aesthetic all along. As far as a social statement for my work, I started to think about the things in life that had always bothered me or that I felt controlled by and one of those issues was the struggle for physical attractiveness and suiting a societal standard of beauty. I wondered how to combine these two ideas together and while discussing decorator crabs with a few classmates, one of them suggested portraits of decorator crabs. So I tried it out for a portrait assignment in an abstract painting class and loved what happened. I started the series slowly, trying out full bodied figure paintings of Decorators, applying more patterns and using different color palettes and soon Decorators were all I wanted to paint. 
CD Do you have plans for any new series or can you see the Decorator series morphing into or influencing a new series?

CY I had played around with the idea of creating a new series of portraits not unlike the Decorators by considering other creatures that camouflage and cover their bodies like the caddis fly and I did make a rather successful painting using imagery and colors you might find in a caddis fly's habitat. I often fear being stuck producing Decorators forever and people will think it's all I can offer, but there are still so many things left to try and I am not bored with them yet. Every now and then, I go back and forth making watercolors and paintings like the ones I made before the Decorator thing happened, but that's just to keep things interesting. I have plans for more Decorators with simplified color palettes and an overload of information.

CD In your view, what are some important qualities for an art student and for an emerging artist?

CY Tenacity, confidence, knowing rejection will happen, having realistic goals, openness to criticism and new ideas, and always being true to yourself.

CD What advice do you have for a fellow painter that is just graduating and attempting to start their career in art?

CY Always create, never stop. Even if it feels like you have no time, make time. Put yourself out there, meet new people, immerse yourself in the artistic community where you are, never stop questioning things, really utilize whatever resources you have, help other artists, and collaborate with other artists. Constantly assess your goals. Update your resume with every little accomplishment under your belt. Just keep pushing yourself for more and more. Dreams don't work unless you do.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

South Main Mosaic is Accepting Proposals

All the details can be found at this link: http://www.gosouthmain.com/mosaic-program.html. Get your proposals in! I will post mine in the next few weeks.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Commission for Vince and Suzanne


For this piece, I was asked to use any color I wanted except for pinks and lavenders and to incorporate koi fish in some way. The preferred size was about 30"x45". I decided to keep the palette minimal and only used brown on the fish so that they would not be as lost in the pattern work.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mid-South Effects

Next week, I will begin working at emerging business Mid-South Effects, a Memphis based company specializing in the creation of prosthetics and makeups for theatrical performances. We currently sell products for Shrek the Musical, including a Pinnochio mask with a growing nose, an ogre cowl, noses, and ears. We even have a donkey prosthetic! Check us out here: http://midsoutheffects.com



We have everything needed to transform actors for Shrek shows. What shows would be cool to do next? Are you putting on any live performances you need prosthetics made for? Please share any ideas and suggestions in the comments below or email us at ericquickart@yahoo.com. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Piece Going into Allie Cat Arts


This bad boy is now hanging in the local gallery/gift shop Allie Cat Arts. Be sure to stop by while you in the historic Cooper Young District. Also, while I have your attention, be sure to vote for Allie Cat Arts to win a small business grant from FedEx. Click the link for more details and to cast your vote for this deserving space. You can vote once every day. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Decorator XXIV

Chloe York "The Decorator XXIV" Acrylic on Canvas 48"x72" 2014

"The Decorator XXIV" detail

"The Decorator XXIV" detail

"The Decorator XXIV" detail

"The Decorator XXIV" detail

"The Decorator XXIV" detail

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Progress: The Decorator XXIV



For this one, I'm working to subdue my color palette and steer clear of using too many acidic bright shades like in the other pieces. From a technical standpoint, I think this is a good idea but I'm having trouble deciding if less intense colors will support my concept. These certainly aren't dull colors by any means, so I think it will turn out fine. My plan is to add lots of different blue and green values and allow the pink undercoats to remain themselves for more contrast and I also want some more neutrals, especially warm, rich grays. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Best of 2013

"Decorators," my solo exhibit, has been named one of the Top Exhibits of 2013 in Memphis by the Commercial Appeal. I am beyond honored. For the full article by Fredric Koeppel, click here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Working Large

After a long lull with no painting done, I am happy to get back into the swing of things with two new 48"x72" beauties. I'll post the finished product within the next few months. Happy holidays!




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Keep up with the Memphis Art Scene with Visual Memphis

This site is pure gold. It includes a calendar of events, a listing of local galleries and museums, and it lists calls for entries. You need to go and check it out. The link is posted below. You're welcome! :)

Visual Memphis