As a year ends, it’s good to reflect on the creative work you’ve done. We sent out an invitation to a few dozen artists to share a piece of visual art they created it 2011 and tell us a bit about it. Specifically we asked them to choose a piece they were proud of.
A variety of artists answered the call, from many different mediums. There’s been no effort here to order them into any categories. What follows is a mash up of Dallas area artists from illustrators, to painters, photographers, and even sculptors. Also included are a few former Dallas-ites who’ve now moved around the world and still have a connection to artlovemagic.
You can click on each image to see it a bit larger, or follow the link after to see more of the artist’s work. Enjoy.
mixed mediums on cotton paper, October 2011
18.5 x 12.75 inches
Medusa was once a beautiful, lovely woman. She was so beautiful and desired, a god took her innocence by force, raped her, and left her all alone. When Medusa came to Athena for help, Athena took the side of the god who raped her, since he was a god as well, and Medusa was simply a human that was as beautiful, if not more, than Athena. She then cursed her to be alone, deformed and never to know love. Athena turned such beauty into such horror, and left her at the end of the world. Later on she was be-headed by Perseus. I just wanted her to be remembered, not as a monster, but a beautiful woman who never had a chance. She symbolizes to me in many ways, what women have been dealing with since the beginning. This is a tribute to Medusa, the most beautiful woman that ever walked the planet.
I created this piece entirely in Adobe Illustrator. I treated it sort of as an optical illusion meshing his cloths with the background, bringing out the man himself. I used blending and meshing techniques that I have never used before, and I feel it is pretty unique to a lot of art that is out there. It was an open door to more styles of art.
Sherry Smith Muldoon
I have had more mixed emotions this year than any other. On September 17th, my son was born. I have never experienced so much pain and joy all at the same time. It’s really confusing in a way. Like every other mom with a camera, he has become my biggest muse. This is my favorite image of 2011. Most newborn photographers do the sleeping baby shots. But, for Gabriel, I like to see his eyes open. He has been called an old soul a few times with his incredibly deep eyes. This image is important because, I have had to do a lot of trusting in God this year. Gabriel was actually on an incline and I had to be really quick to make this happen. I was so nervous that the basket would tip over and than I would really label myself a bad mother. However, when I got the shot back, it was clear that the angels were holding him in place. I’m pretty sure that you can see it in the photograph, if you really look.
The reason I chose this as the best drawing of 2011 is because of what it represents. An empty Zuccotti Park. Where the Occupy Wall Street revolution began and where I stood as I drew this. My New York struggles and adventure.
The ideas I have for my art come from various conversations I have with my close friends. All of which are creative types. I am very fortunate for that. One conversation we had revolved around perceived value and beauty in people and things. Our talk focused around the treatment of beautiful women. My conclusion from the conversation was that I felt a little sad that most people look at beautiful women just as they would look at a rare object. Never connecting with them on a human level but rather only superficially. Days later as I was waking up I had a vision of a transparent woman blending in with the background and looking away from me. She was content with her position in life but her presence was cold. The title for this piece is “Disconnected”
The Calatrava Bridge at sunset.
This piece was a commission gifted to a friend this year leaving one successful creative career and opening herself up to a new journey of unknown experiences. Having gone through this myself in the last several years leaving my career in education and administration to pursue my art full time, I was really drawn to this piece. Many, many people people are going through this midway or even at the end of their working careers these days, with very unique challenges and struggles. Immediately, one can struggle with a loss of identity, having lived so much with your job as that piece which people connect to. There can be feelings of grief over loss of “job relationships,” as well as grief over the tasks that once brought you joy. One is met with being a novice again, middleaged amongst younger people who may not recognize your skills and value. But, if one is willing to face this experience with authenticity, courage, and hope, one can find new skills emerge and new sources of joy. Thus, the image of the bird changing direction mid-flight, wings still spread, still in motion.
My name is Arazeli Torres and the piece I am most proud of that I’ve done in 2011 is my first metal sculpture I created using scrap metals, computer parts, and clay. The piece is called “Programmed Life” and it represents how some parents don’t allow their kids to follow their dreams. Sometimes you want to become a singer, artist, musician, writer, etc. and your parents don’t allow you to become what you want to be in life. Many have endured a life of being controlled, led, directed, and programmed into following an occupation or life they are not happy with. Parents need to give their kids confidence and courage to follow their own dreams and show them support.
” Beauty ( inside-out )”
A inside look at the true beauty that lies inside of us even when in-times it seems to almost fell truly lost, is also second chance or an opportunity to share a side that the close person has missed or not seen before.
“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
A watercolor portrait of my grandfather in his workshop constructing a fishing rod.
This is an image of a room in an old hotel built in the 1880’s
in a small town in East Texas,
Many things in the rooms have pretty much been left most likely
just as they were at least 20 years prior to the day I photographed it.
It’s a beautiful vintage building in need of restoration.
The hotel is also “home” to three known ghosts.
Reported sightings include a woman in a long dress,
a young female child and a gambler often carrying a deck of cards.
Chris and Hallie Garcia
One of my favorite pieces of 2011 was the “family” portrait my husband Chris and I did together. How this happened was purely sparked through ALM. We were asked to be a part ALM’s section of Deep Ellum Arts Fest and Deborah specifically asked us to team up as husband and wife and work on something together. Chris and I hadn’t really done that before but decided it could be fun. Months earlier I had rescued a huge 4’x6′ canvas that was sitting with some neighbor’s trash, and we settled on using that since Deborah asked us to create ‘BIG!” and it was free….so if we messed it up it wasn’t a big loss. Since it was our first true collaborative painting together, the subject matter seemed to be an easy choice! A key to working on this together was using an improv game called The Yes Game. When one player says a statement, the other has to respond with “yes” followed by a statement that only builds the conversation up. So when we went to paint this, we decided to say yes to each others ideas, and follow up with ways we could enhance and see those ideas through. It was a great experience for the both of us and we ended up with a fantastic piece of art we are both proud of and LOVE! Since we’ve completed this piece, we were commissioned to do other family portraits and have discovered we really love working together on art!
I painted this after a strong desire to express my thankfulness and love for the privilege of nursing as a profession. My acrylic version of the original photo. “Staged Kiss.”
This is a portrait of Jazna Boudard, photographer, as I’ve seen her on several occasions.
All I had to work from at the time was an iPhone image, but it was great
because the image just flowed onto the canvas… one of those rare occasions.
This was painted live at an event held by Unified Arts at Club Dada.
Cloak and Dagger
In a year (luckily) filled with tons of commissions, this was a piece I did for fun. Just for me, just because I wanted to. Cloak and Dagger as such cool characters and there are a lot of cool images of them out there. It made me realize that in all my years (and that ain’t no small amount of years) of drawing, I’ve only done them a couple of times at the most. So I thought I’d tackle them and I was pleased with the results. Pencil, ink, markers, color pencil on this sorta chip board / card stock paper.
“City Life” is a painting that was inspired directly from graffiti and street art. Art work on the street brings a certain liveliness to the environment. The unavoidability of this art accompanied by its inherent, humanistic qualities reminded me of a unstoppable vine or weed. In this painting, the paint is transforming an otherwise gray wall into an alive scenery. In essence, artwork on the street takes on an entity all its own and brings life to the city.
Robert James Luedke
I’m very proud of this image because it was created using a number of mediums, including: Soft Pastels, colored pencils and markers. In addition, it was created for a very good cause, the live charity art auction benefiting Heroes for Heroes, sponsored by Art/Love/Magic .
I am extremely proud of this mural I painted in 2011. Landscape is not at all in my style. In fact, this was my first landscape to ever paint. If you know my work, I specialize in murals and portraits of people and have a much more edgy look to my gallery works. The reason this painting sticks out as my most important work this year is that it wasn’t painted for money, but with love for my son. I worked on this mural throughout most of my pregnancy for our nursery. It felt like it took forever because of the body aches and having to wear a respirator for safety…the progress photos of me working are hysterical! In the end, it was completely worth it. Being a full time artist, it is easy to measure the importance of my works by the amount of money I made or people who will see it. This time it is a mural painted off the clock, for my own little family that has a special place in my heart.
This piece is titled “Adrift”, I made it especially for the Cool Waters show I participated in this year. I drew some inspiration from Hokusai and was really shooting for a piece that showed movement and stillness all at once. The branches appear to be caught and suspended in the flow which wants to pull them away with it’s natural force. It is a snapshot of a moment in between currents. This piece is acrylic on canvas and is the flip side of what I do when I’m not painting on vinyl records.
The title is “Pippa”, and it’s a portrait of my daughter’s pug. For the past year or so, I’ve been experimenting with acrylics and mixed media, and doing a lot of watercolor pencil drawings. But for “Pippa”, I went back to the medium that feels most natural to me: oil bars. It was interesting to see how my technique had evolved after taking a long break from my preferred medium. I am laying colors down faster and with more confidence, now. I feel that my creativity is flowing more freely than it has in a long time, and that’s the main reason I’m proud of this particular piece from 2011.
The Acrylic Painting “Breath of Life” was created in late March of 2011. It is the dawning of new era, the maturity of spring. She is the Goddesshead breathing out the elements in all directions. The fire that purifies, warms, and lights the night. The Water that cleanses and gives us all life. New energy coming into us and the earth the mystic energies charge in preparation for a new dawn.
This is my pencil drawing of William Bouguereau’s painting entitled ‘Innocence’. It was certainly a challenge to recreate another artist’s masterpiece, but it lead me on a journey that culminated in my ultimate gratitude to God for giving me the extraordinary gift of art. This is particularly significant to me right now because I am soon to take a leap of faith by pursuing art full time. I gave this drawing to my in laws in gratitude for the support they have given me. I am also truly thankful for ArtLoveMagic, as they have played such a large role in my development as a successful artist.
My name is Luis Torres and this is one of my favorite pieces of 2011. It’s a metal sculpture called “Balance” made out of mechanical parts, metal circles, scraps from a C&C machines, and a hard molded plastic hand. I called it “Balance” because it represents our need for balance in our lives. There are times in our lives where we find ourselves out of balance and things seem to always go wrong. Through all our struggles and obstacles that come our way we must overcome them and regain the balance in our lives. It is necessary for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-beings.
Acrylic on Canvas
36″ x 48″
(fyi: this piece is available for purchase. $1800)
“This piece, titled “Unhinged”, like all of my fractured paintings began as blind contour drawings of subjects taken from real life, sometimes a person seated near me who has distinctive features or might be positioned in an interesting way. I started drawing these particular types of images in 1999 and began putting them to paint in 2006. Essentially, once the initial drawing is complete (usually taking anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute), I then place myself into a musical trance state, morphing my hand into a seismograph needle, making short chopped and repetitive lines according according to the rhythmic pulses of the music I choose to listen to, and longer, meandering lines according to bass lines and melodies while being mindful of light and shadow, positive and negative space. Being a percussionist, I tend to listen to tribal music – elements that are conducive to polyrhythmic stanzas, often resulting in a frenetic realignment of sheet music.”
We all have unspoken truths about ourselves (or feelings for someone) that we wish others could understand. Some of us are too humble or too proud to share these truths. Others remain silent in fear of rejection. Still others simply cannot find the words to express their deepest feelings, thoughts, dreams or fears. In February, 2011, I began a photographic journey in conceptual portraiture. Initially using models, I began to reveal hidden truths of my own past, present and future… like love letters bottled and tossed into the sea (see “The Sofa”, “Lost”, “Found” and others on my website). This proved to be a cathartic experience for me as an artist, as a woman, and as a human. Shortly after, I began capturing ‘love letters’ through my lens for clients. “The Pianist” is one such client commission I created for Ocie Powell. I already knew of his love for travel, antiques, photography and the avant garde. When I inquired about his dreams, hopes, regrets, etc., I discovered an even more beautiful spirit in this man. Ocie wishes he had the means to travel the world and shoot legendary photographs to share the beauty of other cultures, and he misses his dear friend whom he lost. He also wishes he could have been a character actor in a Felini film… or a famous classical concert pianist (he’s never learned how to play the piano)… and he hates the cold. As I do with every conceptual shoot, I selected clothing/accessories from his own wardrobe, staged the set design with just the right props/lighting, and directed my client much as a film director might address an actor. Ocie asked me to cast his ‘love letter’ out for all to see. The unforeseen blessing for me in creating conceptual portraits… is that each person has told me that the very process (from start to finish) was a form of healing or self-expression they needed or desired. If you could send one final love letter to a loved one (or even a stranger, as Ocie did), what would those unspoken words look like? Music is my drug, photography is my passion, building bridges between people is my mission. Peace and smiles.
“Secretly about YOU (KING) ” (c)2011. Over the last year my focus as an artist has been not just to paint a pretty picture, but to connect with the viewer on an emotional level, particularly concerning self and relationships. The meaning behind the piece is basically, as women we will follow what we Truly Believe in wholeheartedly and blindly. Whatever that Grand belief is becomes our “KING”. This piece is somewhat about dedication, and passion!
Thank you to all the participating artists. Please check out their work and share this post with people you know who love art.