My Arrival in Los Angeles

In 2005, I decided to make a brave journey on my own in pursuit of my dreams.  With only about 2000 dollars in my bank account I packed up my minivan and left for Southern California.  It was my idea that I would get off to a quick start, and have my art selling like hotcakes.  I was mistaken, because I had arrived with no real plan.  All I knew is that I wanted a life there with my two daughters.

I met several artist’s from the get-go, and it was interesting to see the difference in the attitudes that they had about their approach to art, versus the art scene that I was exposed to when I was in school a few years prior.  Most of the artists had a more intense competitive spirit.  Of course, like any scene, there were established clicks and groups of artists that supported one another, and had reputations in their communities.  Most of the people were very friendly and treated me very kindly, however the feeling was at times intimidating.

The energy of the city was very intense, fast cars, aggressive drivers, and multiple freeways.  There was a moment in my third week in, that I was prepared to pack my van and leave again because I felt so intimidated.  But I took a deep breath and stuck it out.

Soon after I arrived, I was able to pick up odd jobs here and there.  The oddest one was painting iron rails for a guy who had a business making custom railing for staircases in people’s homes.  He worked with a lot of clients in Los Angeles, some of them celebrities.  For example, he had done work for Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt when they were married.  I was even able to go into Kanye West’s home in the Hollywood Hills, that had been completely gutted for remodeling, to do an estimate.  I saw beautiful, extravagant homes throughout the general LA area, and at the time I felt that I was in the right place.  I truly envisioned my art taking off in the big city.

Another job, was working as a catering server for a private chef.  She had established clients and cooked for their guests in their homes.  Once again, the work required me to go to places that were extremely beautiful.  I was so inspired by the success that these homeowners had, that I was hopeful that one day I too, could own a home as beautiful as the ones that I was fortunate to see.

The energy of the city began to grow on me, as intense as it felt when I first arrived, I really felt like I was at home there.  I loved the city lights, and the hoards of galleries all over, being so close to the beach, the constant beautiful weather, and most of all the entertainment scene.  What I envisioned more than anything was to see my art in celebrity homes.  To me not impossible, I remained very optimistic!!!

More to come soon.

www.luciaperez.info

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The End of a Journey

Well, I am happy and sad to report that my journey in California has come to an end.  I am currently preparing to move back to El Paso, Texas to rejoin my family.  Over time, the members of my family have become more and more supportive of my dreams and goals.  It was never 100% from the beginning, but since the passing of my mother, healing has allowed us to be more open.

My mother’s passing has been a blessing in disguise because we have become more spiritual in our life path.  We have chosen to deal with several of our inner demons, and have grown because of it.

The members of my family have been urging me to return to Texas, where their help and support is readily available to me.  They have been more supportive than ever in my journey as an artist, and I hope to do something with this art, from a place of love.

My stay in California has been an adventure there was so much that happened while I was here.  It is my hope to share this journey in the next few weeks since there is no reason to withhold it.  I learned a lot about myself, and was able to do quite a bit of soul-searching and healing.

It was love that got me here and kept me here for six years of my life.  In that time, I learned about the art scene in Los Angeles, I pursued an acting career, and I fell in love.  Please stay posted as I share these experiences in smaller doses.

www.luciaperez.info

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A Morning of Art

 

Isabel's drawing

 

There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching my girls create their own paintings.  I have to say that they inherited our families creative genes.  My daughter Gloria is not only a very talented writer, but she also possesses the ability to draw and paint quite naturally.

Isabel, also has a talent for drawing that is quite amazing.  From the time that she was just a toddler and able to hold a brush, her talent came through.

This morning, the girls decided to bring out their art supplies, as well as, their newly bought watercolor paper to make gifts for the family.

Isabel started with a painting of a winter scene.  Using her pencils she drew in the main ideas, but left out the main details of certain objects, like the needles of the pine trees.  As she was finishing up her drawing, she set up her watercolor paints.

Painting the trees

By regenerating the paints that she used the night before, she began painting in the details of the trees.  She was careful to use a very soft approach with her brush, not adding too much color at one time.

As I watched her paint, I was glad that she chose the brushes that she did.  They worked out perfectly with all of the detail work in her drawing.

My children get very focused when they work, I am reminded of how I work on my art.

Isabel, was able to paint several lovely paintings all of which the family took without hesitation.  Her drawings are awesome and most of all, full of her love.

 

The Owl

Pine Tree

Completed and signed

 

Gloria decided to work on a painting that she had started the night before.  She loves to draw animals in their natural habitats.  She brought out her painting of a wolf, which she decided to be the cover of her book.  Yes, my daughter is currently writing a story that involves animals, and I have to say it’s quite impressive for an eleven year old.

 

Glorias wolf

I am not surprised at her talents, though, we have amazing writers in our family.  Her grandfather, for one, also has a passion for the written word.

As she prepares her supplies, she feels unsatisfied with the way she painted the rays of the sun. So she decided to paint the blue sky, while she figured out a different approach to her piece.

After some thought, she brought out her acrylic paints and used those in combination with her watercolors to get the effect she was looking for.

painting the sky first

Since she wasn’t happy with the sun and it’s rays, she used her acrylic yellow paint to brighten the color, as well as highlight the wolf to emphasize the rays on the wolf’s back.

As you can see from the images, there is a change in the brightness of the color, as well as richness.  I say it was a good call on her part.

Gloria's Story cover

 

As my daughter worked on her art piece, my brother noticed her work and quickly asked her if he could have her painting.

Surprised and flattered, she agreed to give him her work.  She signed her painting after she was done, and my brother packed it away happily for his home in San Antonio, Texas.

It was so nice to watch my kids work on art, it brought so much joy to my heart.  Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.  I hope that more parents choose artistic activities with their children, not only to teach them the value of art, but to keep art alive in our country.

Happy Day!

www.luciaperez.info

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The Potteries Gallery and Studio

The Potteries Gallery and Studio, Mesilla New Mexico

I decided to make a trip to El Paso, Texas for a brief visit.  It was my dad’s idea to head over to the The Potteries Gallery and Studio located in Mesilla, New Mexico.  Mesilla lies just a few miles outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico and is a very popular tourist spot.  They have places to eat, several unique jewelry and souvenir stores, where you can buy local crafts, as well as, goods from different parts of Mexico.

The owners of this studio are Jan and Bill Cook.  The gallery is also shared with artist Jeanne Rundell.   Jan specializes in an artistic line of foodware, which includes goblets, pitchers, plates and bowls. She has been a part of the Mesilla art community for many years and regularly participates in local art exhibitions.

Inside view of The Potteries

Jan is also known for her ceramic lighting fixtures.  They are meant for several types of lights, and are simple and elegant.

Jeanne is an artist who, like Jan, worked in ceramics, but at some point became interested in painting, and three dimensional canvas work.

Jeanne’s flavor tends to border on the abstract, yet her playful approach draws the viewer in with bright, yet soft pastel colors.  Surprisingly, we both agree that we are not sure where all the ideas for the abstract pieces originate from, except that they become what they have to be.

Jeanne Rundell's art

During our visit we were able to catch up and talk about what we’ve been up to.  Jan didn’t recognize me right away when she walked in from her trip to the grocery store.  Seconds after, she was surprised and excited to see me along with my brother, who decided to drop by to say hello.

FYI, Jan is a long time friend of my mother.  She knew our family from the time my siblings and I, were in our teens.  We participated in craft shows in New Mexico, and El Paso where my parents got to know one another and became friends.  Over the years, we have stayed in touch and Jan’s gallery continues to prosper.

Jeanne and Jan

 

It was fun to hear Jan reminisce  about our childhood.  We also really enjoyed listening to her and my father laugh and joke with one another.

My brother taking pictures for his phone wallpaper

Jan and Jeanne maintain regular hours at the gallery.  They can be found at:

2260 Calle de Santiago

Mesilla, NM, 88046

505.524.0538

 

You can also see more of their work at the following websites:

www.paintingsatthepotteries.com and www.thepotteriesmesilla.com

If you ever travel to El Paso, Texas be sure to make time for Mesilla, you won’t be disappointed.

More coming soon! Check out www.luciaperez.info!!!

 

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Hostgator.com, Fourth of July special

 

I have, as far as I’ve had my blog, a great experience with hostgator.com.  For the Fourth of July holiday they are offering 40% off of their hosting plans.  As a user,  I would recommend it simply because they have a support staff that is very easy to access at any time.  They will help you with just about anything as long as you ask them.  They point you in the direction of resources that help answer questions.

I started luciasartblog.com  with no knowledge of blogs, and as I began to learn more and more, I was lead to hostgator.com.  I have been very satisfied with them, and will continue to do business this company.

During this economy I understand how important it is to save money so I would highly recommend taking advantage of this deal!

Click on the link below for the fourth of July special:

http://secure.hostgator.com/~affiliat/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=lululove

I am currently in El Paso enjoying time with my family.  Lets see what artistic adventures, if any, we can encounter before my return to SoCal!

Tata

www.luciaperez.info

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Art at the Swap Meet

My friend was recently at a swap meet and she saw a booth made out of fences placed together.  On this booth there were several paintings hung up for sale.  She took a picture and texted it to me saying that is how I should sell my art.  I know that she meant well but I was somewhat offended by it because in my mind I never want to show or sell art this way.

I know that there are several venues for artists to show and sell their work.  There are several local festivals in which artists come together and set up their pieces for display where people come around to see what’s available for sale.  Granted, this is one way to sell your work.  I am sure that for many people it works quite well.  I, on the other hand, have always wanted to see my art on walls. I have always associated art festivals with crafts, and I would prefer as an artist, to show my work on the walls of an establishment, a gallery, a juried art show, or a group show where the artist creates the venue in an alternative space.

My reasoning for being against showing art in a swap meet are that people will not value the art for sale.  The artist will have to lower prices considerably due to the venue.  The artist may not care one way or the other to sell work for a lower price despite the time and effort invested in the pieces themselves.  People may not value the art they see in a swap meet versus a gallery.

I may be very wrong in the assumptions that I am making, but as an artist I think about this.  If I am at the swap meet selling art for a certain amount, lets say, less that what I would ask a gallery owner to sell it for, is that fair to the people who can pay more and will pay more?  Will people value art that costs less, and bother to buy it because the price is so low.  Is it worth the time and the cost of the booth to stay in one place for an entire day to possibly sell one or no pieces of art?

I would love to get some comments or feedback on this topic.  I welcome any real responses, because I am a serious artist who is trying to figure out the best journey for my art.

www.luciaperez.info

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New Place for Art in SoCal

Finally, after having some time off from work I began following up with the new place where I was to display some art.  I was nervous at first because I didn’t get a hold of Vanessa the first day off I had to try to call her.  I decided to be patient but not to give up.  I felt good about the connection with the owner and didn’t want to push it too much.

Another couple of days went by and I finally got the OK to bring the work.  Before I did, I made a price list for her to see what the prices were for the work, titles, sizes, and negotiable amounts.

Vanessa Busy at Work

The place was relatively quiet which was very nice because I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way.

There were a few people there and they seemed very excited to talk to me about art (something that I just LOVE).  The man that was waiting to see Vanessa was the first to engage me in conversation when I walked in the door.

Then there was Anne who was very excited to see the Blue Tree painting hanging by her work station.  She was very nice to take a picture next to the work.

Anne next to the Blue Tree

Hanging the work didn’t take me very long at all.  I was basically in and out.  Before I left I showed Vanessa the price list and the agreement, and told her to look it over and to call me if she had any questions.

Fortunately, Vanessa was very busy and had an evening booked with clients.  So I left and told her that I would be in touch soon.

My hope is that with Vanessa’s help all the paintings will sell out and that I can very quickly bring more to sell.

Golden Tree now at Head Line Hair Salon

If you would like to get your haircut or colored, or even see the work available for sale you can go to:

Head Line Hair Salon

1170 Baker Street Ste. D

Costa Mesa, CA 92626-4100

You can call them at 714-557-2066!

Fluffy Red Tree on Display at Head Line Hair Salon in Costa Mesa CA

Stay posted there are new developments for the website and for my path as an artist.  Who knows what will happen next.

www.luciaperez.com

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I was recently looking for a place to cut my hair, because my hair was getting out of control.  I did an online search for places in Costa Mesa to get a reasonably priced haircut.  My price range was under fifty dollars since I know that my hair is a lot of work!  Ask my sister a former color tech.  I found this small, somewhat hidden, treasure where I decided to take a chance.

The lady who answered recommended Vanessa the salon owner, to cut my hair so I went ahead and scheduled.  Vanessa was very nice and hospitable, we talked about my hair.  She gave me ideas about the length to stay with and she went from there.  I was very happy with the result, and will probably return to get my hair cut there in the future.

In the time that I sat in Vanessa’s chair we talked about her business, and how long it took her to really start building clientelle.  It was very encouraging for me to hear about her experiences as a business owner.  I gained a lot of respect for her in a very short time.

After we spoke about her, I had mentioned to her that I was also trying to get my art into the local area and that I too was trying to build clientelle for myself as an artist.   With enthusiasm, out of nowhere, Vanessa offered her salon as a place that I could display and sell my art.  She also said she would take a commission.  I was very excited, considering that she already had several empty spaces on her wall with nothing but a nail in it.

I took her up on her offer and showed her samples of my work from my phone.  Having access to the internet from the phone is quite convenient these days.  She was impressed with the work and agreed to let me hang the work there.  I told her that I would contact her in a few days to make arrangements!!  I am so psyched!!!!  Lets see where we go from here!

Tata!  To be continued………………

www.luciaperez.info

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It Happened again….

Well I received the email notification last night that my piece was not accepted into the Orange County Fair for this year.  No reason was given to me as to why it wasn’t accepted but there you have it.  Deep down inside I thought that it was the perfect piece for the event, but I was wrong. 

Maybe next year…

www.luciaperez.info

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Blogcollage.com

http://www.blogcollage.com/

 

Wow, I got this email about my blog, it was quite a nice compliment, and it was also an invitation to join a page that is pretty cool.  Basically, its a collage of images that link to blogs around the world.  It’s a new concept and the blog itself is very new.  I just joined for the free fifteen day trial.  If you go to the site you will see in HUGE letters Blog Collage.

When you scroll over the small images it will link to blogs that have just joined this page.  If you look very closely you will see my painting of Gloria and a link to my blog.  I love the concept it’s very cool, I wish my blog was bringing in the big bucks otherwise I would gladly pay to be a part of this larger picture.

The first fifteen days are free but after that you have to pay to have your image on the site.  The webmaster controls the site and places the images and links on the site.  It’s a fun idea, please check it out and see where my picture of Gloria is before the fifteen day trial is over!!! (July 1st, 2011)

http://www.blogcollage.com/

www.luciaperez.info

 

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