Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's a Bird's Life!

I don't know if I realized the correlation between my love for birds and my abstract paintings until today. But it just hit me - I love BIRDS - all of them...the colors of their feathers, the vibrancy they seem to carry wherever they go. Especially the pet birds, such as the parrots and cockatiels. They are SO FUNNY with their unique personalities, the little "games" they like to play, the sounds they make and so much more.
Most of my abstract paintings seem to have a "feathery" look in spots, and I guess it's because I am obsessed with birds.
Birds are one of my best subjects for painting. I love ALL animals, but birds and horses have been the ones I always seem to paint the best for some reason. (of course I've been painting those subjects since I was 13...so that could have something to do with it! LOL)
Anyway, a friend has challenged me to do a series of humorous/cute bird paintings. So I'm going to do it! I'm going to do at least 12 - enough to create a calendar.
This art you see here is the first image in the series. Titled "Summer's Over", it's caption on the fine art prints and cards is "I guess this mean's Summer's over!". The painting features a Catalina Macaw holding a deflated beach ball as he sits on a "sold out" lemonade sign. This will be the September image in my calendar.
The original painting is 9" x 12" on canvas board and is created in acrylic. It's on Ebay this week. Cards, prints, apparel and more can be ordered from The Silajai Gallery.
Next on the easel is my October imagery, which will - of COURSE - have a Halloween theme. BOO! :)
I hope you all like "Summer's Over", and stay tuned for the rest of the series! I'd like to have all 12 paintings done by the end of October. What can I say...I work well under pressure! :)
Love, Jai

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New painting..."Our Secret Place" & New Cross pendant


It's been an exciting week....I finished a large diptych painting! The name of the paintnig is "Our Secret Place". Many years ago - when my husband and I were first dating - we had a special place we visited in the woods at our local park. In the fall, these colors were so prevelant there, and that is what inspired the colors in this work.

It was a challenge to paint two panels this size together. Since there was no room in the studio, I had to back the car out, unfold the ping pong table, and paint in the carport using the ping pong table (with no net) as my support. It was fun - the weather was perfect and the bugs stayed away!

More exciting news...I'm changing my diet and getting back to healthy eating. I've lost 4 pounds this week and my eyesight is already improving! I had no idea my diet could have been causing my vision problems..but it looks like it did. I actually was able to see better, and for the first time in months, I made a piece of jewelry! WOOHOO!

This is a cross design I came up with. I've always loved crosses and have been looking for a good design for a "base" that would work well, and that I could add the accent beads to...well it all came together yesterday and I could actually SEE well enough to do all of this wirework. I did have to wear my reading glasses toward the end. I'm really happy with how this one turned out. I've included a photo below. I was thinking about making some of these to put up on Ebay, as I already have so many supplies here. What do you think? I'm running out of canvases for paintings and unfortunately, until I sell some of what I already have painted, I can't buy anymore. So I figure my time might be well spent to use up these jewelry supplies and make something people might enjoy. Comments welcome! (click on the photo to see the larger version)
Love, Jai

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New painting..."The Kiss of Sunrise"

Just sharing my new painting "The Kiss of Sunrise"! Click on the photo to see it full size.
Email me to acquire this original art!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fake or Real?

About 16 years ago, the husband & I hired an interior designer from the most expensive furniture store in town to help decorate/furnish his new apartment. (yeah that was back when we had money...aka "before children"...LOL) So $16,000 later, he had all these great furnishings, a grand TV, some cool accessories, and several pieces of art. A couple of these were canvas paintings - which I thought were ---> "original paintings".

Fast forward until about a year ago. I was hanging some of my artwork in the master bedroom, but I still wanted to keep these "originals" we paid that pretty penny for 16 years ago in the room. As I took the "originals" down to rearrange them, I studied them. Something didn't look exactly right. I guess the first thing I noticed were the price tags still on the backs...the 20"x20" impressionist landscape was almost $400, and the 12"x18" still life floral was almost $300. But as I looked very closely at the canvases, I noticed the brush strokes didn't match the painting. Under better light, I determined these were not original paintings at all...they were canvas prints coated with a medium to mimic the brushstrokes. The wood frames were nice, but not super elegant and although ornate, were rather normal in style...similar to what I could pick up at Hobby Lobby for $20 on a sale day. And this was 16 years ago these were purchased.

I have to admit, I felt a little deflated once realizing these orignals were not that at all. Now granted, it's my own lack of knowledge when I was involved in this transaction which is at fault here. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a reproduction - as long as you are aware that's what it is. At the time, I was not aware, and it was my own fault for assuming and not specifying my desires for artwork.

There's just something extra special about an original painting. I have a small painting given to me as a gift years ago which is hanging in one of the bathrooms. I have carried that painting with me to every home, and hung it were I'd enjoy it every day - simply because it's an original painting. It has a FEEL, a LOOK, and a bit of the ARTIST himself in it....it makes it more ALIVE to me. I'm very attached to it. I have another original I purchased off Ebay hanging too - it's a larger piece, a simple and serene landscape with deep blue and some purple hues...I love it...it will also stay with me. But these others I "thought" were originals...suddenly they have lost the luster for me. I picture machines spitting these out like today's newspaper, and factory workers slapping on medium and going over it quickly with a brush to make it look "real". And I'm sorry, but that just doesn't have the same appeal to me as the visual I have of an artist in front of the easel pouring his/her heart & soul into the work!

If I'd have known what I know now about art, I wouldn't have bought these pieces. Because nowadays, with the infusion of the internet and the better accessibility to artists worldwide, I KNOW I could have gotten original paintings for the same money - or even less. (after all, what would $700 16 years ago come out to be NOW?) And I can assure you, I'd much rather have an original - unless I just like the design/style/artist so much that I want the "image" no matter what it's on. But for that kind of money, gimme an original. :)

Certainly, if you're after a certain name in the art world which is in high demand, it might not be possible at a lower price. But there are many great artists out there, who do create art which can fit in any environment as "home decor" (which is what we purchased the art for...to create a "look" in that room with our furnishings and other accessories), and who create it at very reasonable prices.

If I had it to do over again, I would have specified I wanted originals only. And I'm sure with the availability presented to interior designers worldwide nowadays, my designer could have easily found me something reasonable from a wealth of artists displaying their work on the internet and/or in our local galleries.

I cringe every time I go into a local home decor store which sells mass-produced canvas reproductions for the same and sometimes higher prices than the originals of many of our local artists & many artists I see on the internet. I think of the unsuspecting, uninformed people - like I was years ago - who will actually think those are "real" paintings, and who will pay a big price, only to find out at a later date it's fake...it's not real. To them, it might not matter. But to me, it was disheartening.


P.S. Yes, those "prints" are still hanging - but only until I replace them with originals. I no longer have the attachment to them I used to.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Today's Challenge....COMPLETE!

Here's the results of my challenge...this 40"x30" abstract (still wet, but I managed to get it photographed with the help of my daughter!). I titled this painting "Whisper in My Ear".
So this is an example of what would happen if you sent me a photo of your room (see my previous post on this too). I can create a vibrant, colorful painting to bring out the best colors in your room and add some uniqueness to your space.
Since this was just an experiment, and not something done specifically for a customer, I've added this painting to Ebay for a great price! Perhaps it will match the colors in one of your rooms? :)

Today's Challenge....paint something to go HERE

Today's challege to myself...paint something to go in this room and give it some COLOR and POP!
I've chose the colors on the right of this image for the painting. When I get done with this abstract design, I'll post a photo of it in the room.
Off to the studio!
P.S. If you want a CUSTOM abstract painting created for your room, all you have to do is 1) measure your spot, and 2) give me your color choices. Or better yet, take a digital photo of your room, email it to me, and I'll pull the colors out of the room which would make a great painting for you. Watch for my follow up post on Today's Challenge to see how the painting turns out for this room!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

New Art! The Color of Our Dreams ~ RAINBOW Abstract - HUGE!

Here's my newest painting. Titled "The Color of Our Dreams", this 40" x 30" beauty will fill your home or office with the vibrant colors of a rainbow on a summer day. Click the photo to see a larger version. Click here to bid on this original painting on Ebay.

Someone asked me the other day "how I paint". I thought they meant the technique, and they indicated they wanted more details. Laughing, I told them I dance naked while I paint...HORRORS! Actually, I *do* dance while I paint, but not naked since I have my studio blinds wide open (and I truly do like my good neighbors and don't want to run them off!).

Since I don't have an easel big enough for these larger paintings, I took over the rectangular glass patio table (which was never really used for its purpose) and I moved it into the studio. I lay the canvas on the table, and then get all of my paints ready. Then I crank up the music...usually inspirational and upbeat. And then I dance...and in between moves, I throw paint on the canvas. (yes, literally). I also blow paint in spots, and occasionally use a water bottle to spray paint on areas...and I also use a brush, a kitchen spatula sometimes, and whatever else that might be lying nearby which looks like fun! :)

I have a good time while I paint these. I let loose, relax, and spill all of my energy into the art. It's a "positive high" for me...they exhilarate me while at the same time, help me release feelings I have inside at the moment. I can't think of anything which feels any better. (well maybe one thing...LOL)

Anyway...I hope you all are enjoying the new art. I know I sure am enjoying creating these abstract paintings. I just can't believe I waited so long to do this type of work. If someone had told me how freeing it feels to paint like this, I'd have probably done them long before now!

Hope y'all have a great weekend...my eyes are really strained, so it's time for me to take a break.



Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New Art: Southwestern style colors...orange, red, blue diptych

Good morning world! I know I've been quiet here...but I've just been so busy over the weekend. Dealing with personal issues, gallery events, my daughter's birthday....phew. Sometimes it certainly feels like life is spinning out of control, that's for sure! Nothing will calm me down and bring me back to earth more than doing a new painting. Painting keeps me SANE in an INSANE world!
Anyway, this one is titled "Feel the Difference". I normally paint to the music of Cee Cee Winans, but this painting was completed while listening to Liz McKellar, our pastor's wife, who has an EXCELLENT voice. I coerced (i.e. begged, pleaded...etc.:)) Liz into giving me a copy of a demo CD she'd made. The music is fabulous - it's inspirational words to music with a jazzy feel, and it's different than anything I've ever heard. That's how the name of the painting came about...I could FEEL the difference while listening to the CD. She has been blessed with an incredible gift with that voice of hers, and I think it's wonderful she shares it with us each week.
I had two 14"x14" canvases here, so I decided to do a diptych painting with those. They can hang together or separately.
I got my shipment in of eight 40"x30" canvases, so the next ones you'll see me doing are larger pieces of abstract art. I love that size! BIG, but not overly big....the size can fit well just about anywhere.
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day. I'll be "laboring" today, as I have mowing the yard on my schedule today. It hasn't been mowed in probably 6 weeks, since we've had no rain, but it's getting a bit long in a couple spots out back, so I thought I'd go ahead and trim things up and get myself some exercise in the process.
Y'all have a great day!