Posts Tagged ‘ArtsBus’

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Seasons Greetings to you all from Outlook8studio and all best wishes for a peaceful 2018. Many thanks for all your support over the years !

 

 

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Thank you Bluethumb!

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

I’m a bit late with this…

Thank you BLUETHUMB ! for listing me as one of your top 20 artists to watch in 2014

PCS 8

© 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Times Square Show New York.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

I just got a nice surprise to say my artwork will be included in the Times Square Show in New York.

You’re in our celebration! You get three spots in our Times Square show. Your work will be 10 feet (3 meters) tall on the sign!

I am also, halfway of having an image of my work, 200 feet (60 meters) tall on the entire massive billboard !  If you would like to help me takeover the whole billboard in Times Square, the images below will take you to a like button.

A HUGE thank you to everyone for your continued support of my arts career! I really appreciate it 🙂

 

Didja!

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Kea Blue

Kea Blue etsy

Fragility

Jenny Davis_Fragility_2013 Smaller

 

 

© 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

The Travelling Artist

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

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Wherever I go I like to have all my art materials in one place encase I need to jot down an idea, or for when I get that creative burst.

 

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So, when I found this old case I knew exactly what I would do with it. I made myself a personal art kit for when I go out and about. I keep this case in my car and it goes everywhere with me. I also have a smaller kit for when I travel overseas. This kit is much lighter so I can collect art materials along the way

 

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It has everything I need for drawing, painting, collage, photo transfer, stamping and writing

In Transit series of collages

 

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Acrylic paints and ink in a pouch my daughter gave me

 

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Chalk in a vintage medical tin

 

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Water colour paints, coloured pencils and double sided tape

 

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Brushes for painting, pens for drawing and writing, felt pens, graphite pencils, knife, scissors and glue stick for collage

 

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Paint swatches

 

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Collage papers in a plastic pouch.  Mixed lot of vintage and newer papers

 

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Hand- dyed coffee filters, vintage wallpaper, labels and book pages

 

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Stained printed matter and newer papers

 

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Old music prayer book

 

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1932 school book full of hand drawn  world maps

 

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1960s New Idea magazine for cutting

 

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Old advertising

 

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Vintage encyclopeadia pages sealed with a layer of translucent gesso paint

 

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A book of hand-made French paper

 

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Small canvas boards and palette, matt and gloss medium for collage, painting & transfers

 

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Mini stamping kit in old cigar tin

 

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Stamp pad, tiny rubber text stamps in matchbox, stamp holder and tweezers

 

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I also carry a selection of my hand made artist books in progress to work in.

 

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My books are made from found papers, junk mail, advertising

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used envelopes, cereal boxes and food packaging

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Embellished with used clothing labels, tags, stamps, stickers, pen ,ink and found fabric scraps

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sewn with thread or wire and filled with whatever else I find in my travels

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It’s amazing how much I can fit into the case

 

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Do you have a portable art kit ?  Whats in your art kit ?

See Jenny’s portfolio here

Back to “Free Tutorials”

© 2014 – 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Selling Art Online.

Friday, January 31st, 2014

This article got me thinking…

Art Galleries, Art Sales and the Internet: A Survey  

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I can remember in 2000 thinking how I had to change the way I did things as an artist. After receiving injuries in a car accident I needed to find new ways to market and promote my artwork to the outside world

 

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So, I had a website designed where I could show, sell and write about my artwork and other related things of interest

 

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I believed at the time that an online portfolio was the way to go and that eventually every artist and gallery would do all their arts business online.

 

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Showcasing my art online allows me to work in reasonable physical comfort, for short amounts of time on my arts business. My website generates interest for my work from local and international audiences. I have received contacts from gallery directors, collectors, several awards, art residencies and invitations to exhibit my work in many countries

 

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Having a website allows me the freedom to control and curate my own exhibitions online. I can write on my blog and participate with other artists worldwide in collaborative art projects and exhibitions

I can set up a portfolio where my artwork is for sale

 

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Being online gets me out of my “studio mind” so I can network, share my thoughts, skills and ideas with others, as well as, sell my art to an international audience.

Back to “Free Tutorials”

© 2014 – 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

200 places to sell! Your Art or Craft Online

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Resource time…  the first 12 of 200 places to sell your creations online.

2 of my favorite Australian sites at the moment, where I have listed a few of my own artworks .

Artfuly  

Bluethumb

Where to Sell Your Art or Craft Online.

  1. 3BStreet – A fun and quirky site with great visuals where you get your own animated storefront. Artist participation is juried, with a monthly fee as low at $9.95 per month + 3% of all transactions.

  2. 500px.com – Photography site – store your photos, share them and sell them. Features work of beginners to experts. Sell your work by opening a “store” account, which is available to free as well as paid memberships.

  3. AbsoluteArts – Claiming to be “the most trafficked contemporary arts site” it offers levels from free to premier. Artist bio/statement and portfolio displayed with shopping cart.

4. AbstractArtistGallery – Not an e-commerce site, this is a database of living abstract artists that presents work and includes a link to the artists website to drive traffic there. Juried; they request a donation from artists who are included.
5. AffordableBritishArt (UK Site) – Artists sell their work with no middleman, commission free, but there is a charge to have an account (4 tiered levels). You must have a PayPal account to receive payment for your work.

  1. Aftcra – This site calls themselves “the place to buy and sell one-of-a-kind goods proudly crafted by American hands.” Set up a storefront here for free, and product prices must be $10 or higher. Listings stay for four months. They take 7% fee on sales.

  2. Amazon – Upload your images to sell on one of the biggest marketplaces on the web. Jewelry is a huge category here, but you are competing with manufactured items.

  3. American Handmade Crafts – Free trial (with $35 setup). Monthly fees starting at $12, and each artist can list hundreds of items for sale. They provide a shopping cart.

  4. Art.com – This highly ranked e-commerce site has a division called Artist Rising, where emerging artists can upload images. They provide a print-on-demand service to sell your work. Two levels of membership – free and paid.

  5. Artaissance – This juried site is looking for sophisticated art that is suitable for art publishing, and is run by well-known frame manufacturer Larson-Juhl. If your work fits the bill, you can go through a submission process to become one of their featured artists.

See the other 180 online sites by Carolyn Edlund at Artsy Shark

Back to “Free Tutorials”

© 2013 – 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Xtinction Xhibition

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Xtinction

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 Slices in Time- Jenny Davis – Digital Photography. Wax – textile – butterflies and string.

Xtinction is a contemporary art prize inviting artists to explore the concept of extinction… to people, places, things, flora and fauna. Xtinction aims to broadly highlight the many Australian species that are presently endangered. Artworks include painting, sculpture, photography, wearable art and mixed medium works, and include the use of sustainably sourced materials and objects.

Date: 23 February – 24 March
Venue: Three local galleries, HEALESVILLE Victoria.
Contact Details:
www.threestories.com.au

Artworks are on display and for sale at three Healesville Galleries:

The Artist’s Lounge – 222 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
Yarra Valley Gallery – 5 Church St, Healesville
Three Stories Artspace – 505 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

Time: Daily 10am-4pm

 

 

© 2013, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Happy Holidays & Stop Procrastinating…

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Happy Holidays & Stop Procrastinating…

As 2012 ends, I would like to thank my followers at Outlook8studio blog, for all your support and comments over the past year.

“Happy Holidays” to all of you and hope you will continue to come back now and then, to see what’s new.

Xmas in Paris

Procrastination…My thoughts now race ahead to the new year and plans for my arts business…What plans? I have been procrastinating far too long in this area and have promised myself in 2013 I will organise my time better…

 

Xmas in Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I checked out some of my favourite blogs and found this article from, Carolyn Edlund at Artsyshark that may help all you procrastinators out there…

12 Ways Artists Can Stop Procrastinating | Artsy Shark.

© 2012 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

“How to pack your artwork for transport”

Friday, September 21st, 2012

How to pack your artwork for transport.

Packing your artwork for transport can be a very daunting task. Your precious artwork must be wrapped in a professional way, so it arrives at it’s destination, without being damaged in anyway.

Very early in my art career, I sent some small paintings overseas for an exhibition. I thought I had done really well in packaging them for the journey. I started with a layer of acid free tissue paper, bubble-wrap, then into a box.

On return to Australia, I unwrapped the paintings and couldn’t believe it. Two of the paintings were embedded with bubble-wrap dots from the high temperatures in travel.
Today, I use many, many layers of acid free tissue, rigid card back and front, cardboard corners then, I wrap the whole artwork with bubble- wrap and put the parcel into my sturdy custom – made art boxes .
An excellent article and well worth the read How to pack your artwork for transport

Back to “Free Tutorials”

© 2012 – 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

“LAND TO LIGHT – Photo Diaries”

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
 All Photo’s by Charles Farrugia
Here are some pictures of the opening and links

© 2012 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Land to Light – 4 Victorian Artists

Monday, March 26th, 2012

 

 

Your invited to the opening of “LAND TO LIGHT” exhibition at 5pm on Tuesday 17th April at Switchback Gallery – Curated by Charles Farrugia and Rodney Forbes

Artists
Jenny Davis
Charles Farrugia
John Martin
Mark Story

Exhibition dates: 17th April to 24th May, 2012 – Mon-Fri 9.00 to 5.00 or by appt.
Address: Gippsland Centre for Art and Design
Building 6S Monash University Gippsland Campus
Churchill 3842

Contact:  gippsland@artdes.monash.edu.au

Website: http://www.artdes.monash.edu.au/gippsland/switchback/

Phone (03) 9902 6261

How to get there: http://www.gippsland.monash.edu.au/campus/getthereandpark.html

© 2012 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Make a Large Studio Easel in 6 Easy – Peasy Steps

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

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How to Make a Large Studio Easel in 6 Easy- Peasy Steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I built my studio years ago, I needed to have a versatile easel. I couldn’t find anything suitable in the shops and my budget wouldn’t allow for much.  So, I went about creating one from my left over pieces of timber. I needed one that would take small to very large canvas’s all at once. I needed lots of space too. Being an abstract painter, I slosh paint and work very quickly, sometimes on many canvas’s at once. I wanted a permanent spac,e where I could work on small canvas’s 30x30cm up to very large ones 4 x 2 Meters . My easel ended up being 9 meters long x 4 meters high and after 12 years of daily use, my rough and ready easel is still going strong.

My simple Plan

Materials & Equipment

Cut yourself, or buy 2 equal lengths of  hardwood or pine, however long you want the easel to be. This is for the floor and wall runner that will hold all the upright struts.

Cut yourself, or buy equal lengths of hardwood or pine for the uprights. Decide how many uprights you want to hold your canvas .To get the length of each piece , measure from floor to top wall at the angle you want the easel to be.

Bolts, nails or screws

Wooden dowel lengths of wood for pegs

Drill with a “spade” drill bit the same circumference as the dowel pieces you have

(Spade bits are used for rough boring holes in wood.)

Tape measure

Hammer

Drill

Method

 

1.Everything will need to be measured and cut for the area your are working on.

 

2. Grab the floor runner piece, lay it perpendicular to the wall on the floor, judging the best space between the floor runner and the wall . Screw, bolt or nail to the floor at intervals to secure. (Note) Remember to allow enough space from floor runner to wall for a slight angle for the upright pieces of wood so your painting canvas can to sit without falling

 

 

3. Grab the wall runner piece and screw, bolt or nail to the upper wall at intervals and make secure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Lay all your upright pieces of wood together on a flat surface together (floor )and take your drill with the spade bit and make holes from bottom to the top on all the lengths of wood. The spacing has to be equal across the whole lot.

(If painting the easel do this now before attaching to wall)

5. Take your pre- cut lengths of wood with the holes and sit each one so the bottom is sitting behind the attached floor runner and at the top against the wall runner with the holes facing you. Screw bolt or nail the upright struts to the floor runner and to the wall runner at top. (Note) Go along the floor runner at whatever spacing you want with the upright struts to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost done. Cut lengths ( 6inches) of dowel for the pegs that will hold all your canvas’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: If the pegs don’t fit in the holes… Round off one end with sandpaper by hand, or with an electric sander.

All done!!!  Now grab your canvas and paint to your hearts content

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2012 – 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

2nd Place Winner

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Thank you very much to John R. Math at  Light Space & Time Gallery for choosing my painting, VM IMP. Berlin as 2nd. prize in the Abstracts Art Exhibition .My work was chosen from 550 other artists from all over the world.

All winners will now be featured on the Light Space & Time website for the month of July 2011. Thereafter, the artworks and links to the artist’s websites will remain online in the Light Space & Time Archives. Congratulations to our artists who made our Abstracts Art Exhibition so successful this month. At any time, we invite our winners and other interested visitors to link their websites to the Gallery’s archive page for further ongoing promotion.

2nd Place Winner – Jenny Davis – “VM6 IMP. Berlin”

Jenny Davis is an Australian artist, working from studio’s in Victoria Australia and Paris France, where she sometimes lives. As an artist, she enjoys working in many disciplines including: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, collage, recycled design, sound and virtual worlds. Jenny has shown her work in many countries, including Australia, Germany, Spain, France and USA. Her work is in private and public collections across Australia, UK, Europe and the U.S.A. Outlook8studio

 

© 2011 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Featured Artist at “Artsy Shark”

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Latest news!

I’ve just been featured at Artsy Shark. Thank you!  Carolyn Edlund for all your hard work and for doing such a great job promoting artists and getting their work seen.

Featured Artist Jenny Davis
Artsy Shark presents Australian artist Jenny Davis. Her mixed media work uses recycled and reclaimed materials. Enjoy her portfolio and see more about Jenny here.

Jenny Davis is an Australian artist, working from studios in Victoria, Australia and Paris, France, where she sometimes lives. As an artist, she enjoys working in many disciplines including: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, collage, recycled design, sound and virtual worlds. Jenny has shown her work in many countries, including Australia, Germany, Spain, France and USA. Her work is in private and public collections across Australia, UK, Europe and the U.S.A.

Starting out primarily as an abstract painter and sculptor, Jenny’s arts practice has evolved and crosses over into many areas and disciplines. Recycling and reusing items in her work is very important. Stuff that usually goes into landfills and gleaned from the streets of Melbourne and Paris, or wherever she travels. Street litter, food packaging, advertising materials, advertising materials and all kind of paper ephemera are collected and saved for this purpose.

“All this wonderful stuff I reclaim and use in my collage and sculpture.”

“My source of creativity is spontaneous. It can mean spending days even weeks in the studio and strange places contemplating and “collecting energy”. Once I focus and sit with that energy it can take off in all areas. I then definitely need to put down a feeling or emotion, with colour, marks, words, assembled objects, or digital images still and moving. Whatever it takes to get it out! I use various techniques, materials and tools to realize my ideas.

The same goes with my photography. It’s spontaneous and unrehearsed. I like to tell strange stories with my photography and will put myself in uncomfortable spaces to achieve this. I have a wonderful space I found in Paris, I call the dungeon. I can spend hours down there waiting for something to take off. “

At the moment, I am fascinated by the narrative we tell ourselves, when placed in unfamiliar situations. Our mind seems to fly into “spontaneous imagination” and not focus in the moment. I want to seize those imaginary stories and create something with it.

I love spaces underground. There’s a life underneath the earth, and people don’t know about it, but it’s very busy and living, I have taken photos of the Eiffel Tower but I go under it, and look at closer fragments. I’m inspired by many things: Creative minds, Science as art, varies art movements and artists, Ernst, Miro, Tapies, Surrealism, Dada, Abstract Expressionists’, Natural history, Psychology, de-construction , Chaos theory, collecting found- objects and street litter, graffiti, street art, books, vintage and antique, travel and more.

 

© 2011, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

News Flash- Upstairs at Duroc – Paris

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Upstairs at Duroc is an English language literary and art journal based in Paris.

The next issue no. 13 of Upstairs at Duroc will be out late 2011

Why am I pleased ? because 2 of my art pieces “Parisgrit” and “250 Degrees” have been selected to be published alongside notable writers.

I will let you know more about this exciting news when Upstairs at Duroc No. 13 magazine is out and ready to read.

© 2011, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Underground Urban Spaces & Art

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

My art is inspired by underground spaces and the debris left behind in the streets.

Graffiti, graphics and consumer packaging I collect from cities worldwide.

Have your speakers on and please enjoy my video! “Urban Strazz”

© 2011 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Meet the Tenant Book.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

MEET THE TENANT BOOK (20% discount)

During the week I was cleaning out my book shelves and came across my book, “Meet the Tenant”. An underground survey of Paris.  It’s an unusual photographic survey of Paris. My photographs in this book are a “non-clichéd” look at Paris. Instead of focusing on the famous monuments, I zoom in on what is beneath the surface, photographing hidden places, including a storage area under an apartment.

I know I’m crazy but, I love spaces underground.

“There’s a life underneath the earth, and people don’t know about it, but it’s very busy and living,” she said.“I have taken photos of the Eiffel Tower but I go under it, and look at closer fragments.”

If you would like to buy a copy of my book…

Buy “Meet the Tenant’

DESCRIPTION: ” Meet the Tenant” Photography in Paris Australian Artist Jenny Davis. After a venture into the dungeon area under a Paris apartment. I could feel past lives lurking within its damp walls and eerie narrow chambers of numbered red doors. I spent many days down there alone soaking in the atmosphere of the space in order to connect to some sort of creative energy which eventually took off in all directions. I am fascinated by the beauty in the unseen the contained and murky, sometimes thought of as dirty and ugly.

© 2011 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Hidden Spaces Exposed.

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Thank you very much Kimberley Seedy and Lawrence Pinder, for the great article and photographs you created for the Leader newspaper about my latest exhibition at Burrinja 351 Glenfern Rd, Upwey Victoria

11 Feb 11 @ 06:01am by Kimberley Seedy

Jenny Davis shows some of the paintings and photographs at her Burrinja Cafe exhibition.s LAWRENCE PINDER N33FP405

A COLLECTION of paintings and photographs featuring some overseas locations are on display in a new exhibition in Upwey. Abstraction and Beyond, featuring the work of artist Jenny Davis, is on at the Burrinja Cafe until March 1.

It consists of seven framed abstract oil paintings on paper, created in Barcelona in 2005, together with mounted night photographs shot in underground locations in Paris in 2010.

Davis describes her photographs as a “non-cliched” look at Paris.

Instead of focusing on the famous monuments, she zoomed in on what was beneath the surface, photographing hidden places, including a storage area under an apartment.

Davis said she loved the spaces underground.

“There’s a life underneath the earth, and people don’t know about it, but it’s very busy and living,” she said.

“I have taken photos of the Eiffel Tower but I go under it, and look at closer fragments.”

Burrinja Cafe is at 351 Glenfern Rd, Upwey.

© 2011 – 2014, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Abstraction & Beyond (update)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Exhibition update:

“Abstraction & Beyond”

Feb.2-1 March

Burrinja Cultural Center

351 Glenfern Road (cnr Matson Drv),

Upwey, VIC, 3158 .

Open Daily 9am-5pm.

If you are heading over to the Dandenongs over the next month, checkout my exhibition “Abstraction & Beyond’ at the Burrinja Cultural Center in Upwey, Victoria.

I just finished hanging the exhibition on Tuesday with the help of Amy Jo Jory, who runs the gallery at Burrinja. A cross-cultural mix of oil paintings I created at an arts residency in Barcelona, Spain, together with mounted night photographs I shot in Paris last winter.

I’m very pleased with the way it looks. My Spain paintings really connect to the space. At Burrinja they have taken on a very Australian feel yet, they are also Spanish. I can see both cultures in the paintings.

I’m relieved it’s finally up and running and all the hard work has been done. Now I like to sit back, let go of the work and relax. Although I love having exhibitions, once they are over, I am always glad to move on and begin new ideas and projects.

Burrinja Café & Bar
Open every day

Bookings: 9754 5707

Burrinja Café provides great food and coffee in a fantastic intimate atmosphere that continues the indigenous theme of Burrinja Gallery. It is an 80 seat fully licensed café that will seduce you the moment you walk in. Escape the hustle into warm ochres, great art and comfy lounges. Enjoy lunch, group get-togethers, music events, or just relax. Burrinja cafe is the ideal place to eat while visiting Burrinja to enjoy the great art or day-tripping in the Dandenong Ranges.

Functions
Burrinja  & Café Bar caters for all types of functions.
Call for details on our wide range of tailored menu options
Music – see Events for the line up of music, spoken word and more at Burrinja Café
Fabulous cakes, coffees, chai and more – all fresh!·
Menu selections are always being updated, and we can cater to your individual needs

More Café Gig & Events Info at the Burrinja Cafe website

© 2011, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

“I am an Artist”

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Today, if you ask me who I am, or what I do, I will tell you easily and naturally, “I am an artist.” It wasn’t always easy. It took years of doubt to get to this point, but I figured out how to maintain my belief in myself as an artist, in the face of all obstacles.

I would like to share with you a fantastic piece of inspiring writing I found many years ago, unfortunately I cannot remember who wrote it ,but ,would like to thank the author many times over for their words of wisdom.

Over the years the creative steps below have helped me when I had doubts about my career as an artist. When I allowed others to take away my creative time. When I questioned if my work was good enough.

I always take something from it that inspires me, to keep going, to keep creating and just do it, because I have too.

I hope it will inspire you too and make your journey a little easier…

10-Point Plan for Nurturing Your Creative Spirit:

Since your belief in yourself as an artist hinges on your ability to create, you must put your creative time and resources ahead of all other obligations in your life. If being an artist is central to who you are, you must put that first. Everything else will follow.

1.) Tell people you are an artist. Say “I am an artist” to your family, friends, mate, boss, or therapist… Not “I’m artistic,” or “I’m trying to be an artist,” or I’m an account executive but I like to paint.” To be able to say it with confidence you have to start by saying it at all. Try, “I’m an artist, and I’m currently supporting my artistic career with work in another field.” This tells people what you think is important about yourself. Not your day job, because one year you’ll be saying “I am a salesperson,” the next year “I’m a legal secretary.” Then who are you? How will other people believe in your artist self enough to support your endeavors?

If you want to make being an artist possible, make the commitment, take a leap of faith. If you cannot tell people that you are an artist, it will be impossible to do the other things you need to do to make it come true.

2.) Make art your first job. If you are very lucky, you might get a paying job in a related field — fabric design, teaching art, illustration. But if you have a job you barely tolerate because you need the money, you must set aside a large chunk of time in which to be creative or you’ll go crazy. Cut back on your hours or work part-time! Making art is your first job. It’s a real job, no matter how little money you make doing it. (The Tax office is happy to confirm this!) Other work, even if it pays more, has to come second in your heart. Keep reminding yourself and others that you have another, more important job to go to: creating art.

[I work in brief, very productive spells between long dry spells. Since I can’t schedule the creative urge, I’ve arranged my job to allow flexible creative time, whether I get the urge or not. A dependable part-time job and paycheck have meant security. When I free-lanced as a graphic artist I found myself spending my ‘free’ time worrying about the next job. I also learned to refuse extra work. Being firm about my commitment to my career as an artist convinced my employers that it was a conviction worth respecting, even if they didn’t understand it.]

If you can, put in a couple of hours a month with an arts organization or gallery. This is real work, if unpaid, that can get you art-world connections and credentials.

3.) Put your studio first in your living arrangements. If you need to create where you live, because you work at odd hours or can’t afford a separate studio, then arrange your home around your studio. If your living room is the biggest room with the best light, make that room your studio, and don’t worry about guests. Which is more important to you, making art or entertaining? (If you need to, you can always make your studio comfortable enough for visitors or family.) If you need a separate studio, but can’t afford one, move! Find or share a cheaper apartment or share a studio.

4.) Put your creativity first in your relationships. If you’re not able to create, you’ll feel frustrated, resentful, unhappy, and will be no good to anyone. If your friends or family want to know why you need time in your studio instead of socializing or supporting them, explain to them clearly (not defensively) that you are an artist, that you take your work seriously, that it takes a lot of time, and that being creative is important to your happiness and your future. They will begin to respect your commitment. (If you need to be more specific, you can say that you are working on a show, because you are always working on a show.)
If your domestic partner or children are not actively involved in your work, you must separate your creative time and resources from them, by schedule or location, or you will be constantly trying to choose between them…an impossible task.
Sometimes crises in your relationships are more important than whatever you are doing in your studio. But if you constantly use up creative time and energy putting out emotional fires there will be nothing left to give to yourself or your work. You have to draw a line somewhere.

[At one point in a difficult relationship I realized that I was spending my time waiting around for the other person and was too anxious to create. When I realized how many months I had been away from my work, I was distressed. I was sacrificing who I was for the relationship. I told my partner that I needed time and energy to be creative, and that I should not be forced to choose between my work and our relationship. When this was clear to me, it was clear to my partner, who became more supportive.]

5.) Make art part of your social life. Making art can get lonely. Attend art events, meet and talk to other artists, join arts organizations, and create a sense of community for yourself in which art is important. When you are creating, you spend a lot of time by yourself and you can lose your perspective. If you spend time with other people to whom making art is a worthwhile enterprise, you will feel strengthened and encouraged, and it will validate what you do when you’re alone. You will also make the connections you need to survive, and you will get information about shows, grants, supplies, and a whole range of opportunities that you might not otherwise hear about.

6.) Sell your work. If you want to reach the point where all you do is make art, selling your work will be very important. Because if you don’t sell your work ,you will end up doing some other job to make money (unless you are independently wealthy). You will use up your creative time and energy in a job that does not engage your heart, though it might exercise your intellect.

Never give your work away without thinking about it very carefully. Your work is your life blood. It is the fruit of years of training and effort, and is the foundation of your portfolio. When you give away a work of art, you lessen the value of the rest of your work, partly because you appear to value it so little. However, a donation to a cause that is important to you can create good publicity about your work.

Be careful about accepting commissions. Make sure that you will be paid enough to compensate for compromising or redirecting your creativity. Don’t take a commission unless you are very comfortable with the medium and clear about the concept involved, or you will probably regret it.

To support yourself through art alone, you must accept that part of your precious creative time and energy will be spent on marketing your work :

  • 1.) improving your presentation (framing, portfolio, slides),
  • 2.) publicity (invitations, mailing list, artist statement & resume),
  • 3.) showing (contacting galleries, competitions, holding your own open studios), and
  • 4.) getting funding (grants, loans, residencies, or, yes, a part-time job.) If you need instruction or support in these areas, take a class or join an organization .

7.) Be true to your art/heart. You must not allow the intention to sell your work change your style or subject matter. For one thing, all the joy will go out of it. For another, your style, your ideas are what make your work unique! If your work is currently unfashionable, you may have to work harder and longer to show or sell, but eventually you will find the right audience for your vision. People will not buy your work on the basis of whether it is fashionable, or a good investment. They will buy it because they respond to it, for reasons of their own. The clearer you are about what you are trying to convey, and the more faithful you are in translating your vision into your medium, the stronger will be the response from your audience.

Don’t dismiss any of your creative ideas, no matter how trivial. Curiosity is your best friend. Most of the things that interest us deeply are things we were curious about as small children. (Einstein’s interest in invisible forces began with a compass he got when he was seven.) Hold on to all your ideas. Carry a small sketchbook or notebook whenever you can. Often your subconscious will prompt you, when playing or doodling, to pursue an idea that will later inspire you to serious work.

8.) Take classes and workshops. You may temporarily lose your inspiration or become discouraged about your current direction. You may find it difficult to schedule creative time, or you may have absolutely no self-discipline and succumb to every distraction that comes along. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up connections to the art community. In all these cases, a regular class will get your motor going again. You will always be working on something, even if it’s only an exercise in color, or studies in a new medium. Artists, like dancers, never stop taking classes, never stop learning.

9.) Don’t worry. Be happy. You do not need to be unhappy, an alcoholic or crazy to see visions and make beautiful things. In fact, the true symptoms of creative thinking are joy, curiosity, clarity, and a single-minded, almost obsessive concentration.

Don’t harp on mistakes or losses; they’re part of your training and may inspire new work. Take joy in your ability to solve these problems and to make use of interesting accidents. Your interest in problem-solving may have gotten you into art in the first place.

Take dry spells in your stride or the anxiety will interfere with the creative thinking that your subconscious is always engaged in. Your subconscious is busy day and night, turning over ideas, memories, dreams, and making connections. Let it work, while you do something calming or playful, renew your energy. Remind yourself often of the joy you feel while you are creating, your satisfaction in problem-solving, your delight in making discoveries, your sheer sensual response to shapes and colors.

If you experience a creeping feeling of fraudulence, especially as you get ready for a show or talk about your work, keep in mind that this is a well-known fear among artists, similar to stage-fright. (Women artists seem to suffer more acutely from this feeling.) Just roll with it; it will pass. There is a little critic in the back of your mind that sounds like all the voices of your family and teachers rolled into one. This critic or censor is a part of you that is terribly afraid of failure, and may whisper negative things in your ear to make you stop trying new or risky things, in a misguided effort to protect you. Know it for what it is, and ignore it.

Most important: every morning when you wake up, give yourself a minute with your eyes closed, and say to yourself “I deserve to be happy,” or “I am a wonderful, prolific artist.” If it doesn’t come easily, you need to say it more often. This is not just talk — words have power, and as the days go by, you will discover that they become true.

10.) Return to the source. If you ever lose your way, re-think your priorities. What things are you putting ahead of your artistic self? Is something else using up your creative time and energy? You may need to make some of the changes I’ve suggested above. Go down the list. Or perhaps you simply need to take a break. Even a corn field has to rest between crops, or it becomes drained of all nutrients and is no longer suitable for growing things.

Always remember this, once you are an artist, you are always an artist. Like swimming, you cannot forget how to create. The source of your inspiration may occasionally seem hidden by the brambles of daily life, but it is always there at your center, like a deep pool of clear water, a spring welling up from the depths of your persona, self-renewing, and waiting for you to plunge in.

© 2010 – 2011, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.