This series is named the “Wildfire Wildlife Series.” The colors in these paintings allude to the dramatic and highly contrasted colors that much of Montana and other states saw this past summer.
Wildfires have long been part of the environment in the west, and while they can be life renewing, what we saw this summer in particular and what may come in the
future was highly destructive of so much land and habitat.
Though we often focus on the human side of the fires, we cannot forget the wildlife side. These paintings are a reminder.
Artistically, this series was also a challenge because the reds and yellows of the flames limit the amount of dark values needed for definition. To resolve this, I used dark greens (alluding to the forests) as minimally as possible for necessary shadows, or not at all if the painting was strong enough without them.
I kept the backgrounds minimal in order to keep the focus on the animals, but unlike my other work, there are hints of the environmental context because this subject matter is so attached to location.
One of my favorite things about paint parties is that often, a person will leave feeling in some way good about themselves or about the art they have made.
It brings it all back to me- that one special thing about being alive is that we can create. Perhaps we don't always create well, but that is besides the point.
It is so easy to fall into patterns of living in a way where our internal world is forgotten. We post updates and pictures so that other's can bear witness to our (often edited) lives, and it is a great way to share and add to community.
But art, in any form, will always have the ability to bring us back to ourselves- to seeing and creating from within and not from an external vantage. Our interior world is such a sacred place, and it is so easily forgotten, it so easily goes un-honored.
Art holds the magic of the human heart, no matter how "good" or "bad" it might be.
It is 5:00 am and I am wide awake because I hear a bunch of paintings calling to me. My ears haven't been tuned very well lately, and I was starting to wonder where the paintings I usually wake up with as my first thought had gone.
I haven't made a painting in a couple of months, I've been focused on basically every other aspect of my business. A business that is built around art.
But, this morning, I woke up and heard them loud and clear. They've just been waiting for me to tune out all the other stuff and tune in on them.
Studio practice... I find it relatively difficult to make myself zone in and work these days, what with all the other work to be done. I spent 2 hours just ordering shipping boxes and materials yesterday.
But winter always helps. When our town hibernates and there isn't something to do or someone to see every single day of the week. Summer is fun, but boy do we pack it in. I am looking forward to focusing in on the reason I have this business: making art.
Hello Everyone! How the heck are ya all?
I thought I'd post a little update about the happenings at K Potter Fine Art.
First off, I want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has come into the studio, for paint parties, art walks, to say hello or to purchase some ART! You all make my job worth it, and I am so grateful to share my art with you.
This last week I took a vacation- a full week off. I can't remember the last time I did that, and it did exactly what I hoped- it refreshed me and got me excited about everything. This last year has been a phenomenal one, highly productive and including a lot of great step-ups. It started with a show at Katabatic Brewery that pushed me to create a series (a series that I feel is completely 100% my style and how I want to move forward in the future).
Shortly after that, I moved into my studio space at 105 W Lewis Street which then prompted me to take a much more active roll in the Livingston Gallery Association. For a while, we had weekly meetings to discuss marketing strategies for the plethora of galleries and art in Livingston, and how to promote and make the art walks a success. One thing I did for that association was build the website: www.livingstongalleryassociation.com (check it out if ya want!).
Another thing my new space and sense of professionalism inspired me to do was sign up for the Montana Artrepeneur's Program (MAP for short). This program is basically an art CENTRIC business course, and has been extremely helpful for the tools it has given me (many of which I am still building) and the support and possibilities it has presented. I have met some truly wonderful and extremely talented artists in the program, and am excited to apply the things I have learned.
As I look towards the future, I am excited to continue offering pet portraits, my original artwork and printed artwork (namely on metal). I am starting to apply to more competitions/juried exhibits, and even possibly to some grants.
I get a lot of inspiration from marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuck, and perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned from him is "patience". I never expected an art career to be an overnight success, but allowing myself to have patience also allows me to really appreciate the ground I have covered, and to remember I am still new in this career with a lot to to learn and a lot of people to look up to.
Anyways, just thought I'd do a quick Sunday morning share and reflection. Thanks for reading, and I hope your journeys are all going splendidly as well!
Love LOVE love
One thing that I've wanted to work on and create at K Potter Fine Art has been smaller, affordable and easy to travel/put in any home originals.
After completing large pieces for Katabatic Brewery, and catching up on other things, I've been able to really 'dig in' and get this component of my art going.
Working small is a challenge for me. My big pieces have a lot of motion and expression because I'm able to use big, bold strokes and basically throw paint at the canvas (if needed). Creating that same motion and energy in smaller pieces was difficult because they require more control.
As well, I wanted to make sure you could still tell these were my pieces- not a completely different style etc. So, I came at it as an experiment and to learn, and I'm happy to say after a few failed attempts, it finally started to come together and get where I want them.
My goal is to have 50 of these by June 1st! We'll see how it goes. The great thing too is that already they have sparked a lot of interest :). I don't know if I'll be able to hold onto them too long.
They range in prices from $45-$150!
Maranda Lee Bags and I are working on our next design! But for now, here was a neat feature in Montana Parent!
It has been so great getting to know Maranda, and I now use her bags everyday!
Im so excited for the next few designs we have in mind- keep your eye out!
i teach step by step paint parties all over, but one of the consistent places has been the Canver Support Community in Bozeman. For a couple of years now, A core group of participants shoe up, and tonight one of them gave me this necklace she made :).
Thats the most amazing thing about paint parties- I get to develop really special relationships that I otherwise would never have. I have met some friends through them, some patrons and in general some people I just really enjoy seeing. If you're an artist I highly suggest teaching these step by steps as a good way to be out in your community :).
Well, I'm not completely moved over but I had to make some art today!
This gallery/studio brings so much opportunity for me, and so many good new challenges. The one I'm most excited about is creating smaller pieces that fit people's budgets and suitcases more easily than all my big guys.
The challenge is that the big pieces have so much motion which I largely get by big bold strokes.
Im excited to experiment and figure it out!
If you are wondering, my new gallery is at 105 Lewis St, Livingston Montana. I'm not quite open (all my artwork is at Katabatic Brewery!) but if you follow me on Instagram/Facebook you'll get a Grand Opening Update!
A lot of times, we can hate on social media and the effect is has on our lives. But, as an independent artist, I have used them a lot, and I have to say, I wouldn't be nearly as successful or probably even able to live as a full time artist at all without them. But beyond the business benefits for ME, I love social media for a few reasons- especially when it comes to art. It lets me share my art with a lot of people, which is great... but I also get to SEE art that I would probably otherwise never come into contact with. I can explore and keep up on other artist's works, even though we've never met or live hundreds if not thousands of miles apart.
I find that Instagram is definitely the best "art browsing" site, and there are a few accounts that I always look forward to and pay special attention to. I'll list just some of them below, and if you want to see some cool, current art, take a look!