Tag Archives: artist

Back to the drawing board

Life is funny sometimes. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something happens to throw you in a spin and leaves you dizzy, confused of your surroundings and has you wondering, “What just happened?”

I have been thinking and thinking about art and my part in it trying to figure out what is the best use of my time.

What can I do to get my art seen by others and how best to promote my art. At the same time, I am working hard to keep my creative juices flowing as I delve into new projects and mediums.

I have to tell you, it has been a challenge.

I think many artists struggle with this at one time or another. I’m not well known as an artist at this point in time and I’m also still trying to work out my niche. The questions can be daunting at times.

What does my art mean for me? What can it mean for others? Why would anyone want to buy this piece of art? What can I do to make my art unique and stand out?

I think all artists have these questions nagging  in the back of their minds at some point.

Given the competition out there, these are questions every artist should ask, wouldn’t you agree?

I have taken a few weeks to think about these issues and to reflect and as I am doing that I am working on several new pieces.

I just wanted to touch base with those of you who read me now, to say I’m still here, just busy creating.

I hope all is well with you and like Arnold says, in the movie Terminator, “I’ll be back…”

All Life is ART if you look close enough- Brigitte Cadena

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I’ve been featured in the Artpromotivate site!

You can find the interview here.

http://tinyurl.com/lalbb3v

I have been ill last couple of days but I woke up to this great news. Artpromotivate.com is a wonderful site for artists who are starting out and offers great tips and advice. It also showcases emerging artists and their works for collectors, art lovers and buyers to get to know more about the artist they are interested in.

Thank you Artpromotivate for including me in your artist spotlight!

Gallery Spotlight: Architecture and Structures as Art

Years ago I lived in Chicago. It was a great time in my life because I loved the culture and diversity. I also loved the architecture there as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of images from that time in my life but that love for the lines and geometric shapes that images of architecture can offer has always stayed with me.

Here are some artistic photography images of architecture and structures that I happen to love here in Corpus Christi,  Texas where I now reside.

Corpus Christi is known more for the beach and marina but I am happy to say I have found some buildings and structures that I could utilize to photograph images I think are beautiful.

Photography Prints

Reflection of a building in Corpus Christi, Texas

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Other Side Of The Harbor Bridge In Corpus Christi Texas

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Top Of Corpus Christi Cathedral In Black And White

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High In The Sky Corpus Christi Cathedral

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Harbor Bridge In The Coastal Bend In Black And White

(All images can be viewed on a larger scale by clicking on said images, prints are also available in canvas print, metal print and more.)

I hope you like them

Brigitte Cadena
All Life is ART if you look close enough

Like a perfect cup of Joe, it takes time to brew

Yes, I will admit this proudly. I love coffee. All flavors and it’s the perfect beverage well for me just about any time of the day or night.

For the coffee lovers out there, you know what I mean. The tantalizing aroma of a pot brewing is something that has me looking forward to hearing that beeping sound of my coffee pot telling me that it is ready and just right.

Sometimes creating art for me is a lot like brewing a pot of coffee. That is what I call my process of the middle stages of a piece of art I am working on.

I have the idea or inspiration in mind. I gather my materials and I get started. Somewhere in this process I need to stop for a bit. It could last an hour or a day or more. It really all depends on the piece.

I must take a step back, not really because I am stuck but I need to brew this concept for a bit longer before I can finish it.

So I go and do something else, I tackle on another task, we artists never run out of things “to do”. 

I take a drive, a nap, read or just something that is not the major focus on the art.

I think about a lot of things however, that is inevitable.

I think about past experiences, other people’s experiences that I know about, life in general, what is happening in the world.

And just like that beeping sound of my coffee pot telling me my coffee is ready, I hear that in my head and I know I am ready to complete this piece.

When I go back to the art piece I am working on, it flows smoothly and I really don’t stop until I am finished. I don’t stop until I am satisfied and know this is what it was meant to be.

Here are some examples of when there was some “brewing time” needed before I felt it was complete.

 

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Monday Morning Rush (Click on image to see in greater detail)

Art Prints

All is Fair… (Click on image to see in greater detail)

Art Prints

Shattered Silence (Click on image to see in greater detail)

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Love (Click on image to see in greater detail)

Ok, now I am off to drink me a Cup o’Joe!

Photography Prints

Okay, maybe it’s going to be more than just one. Happy Sunday!

Do you have what it takes to be an ARTIST?

Let me rephrase that, do you have what it takes to be a successful artist? That is a definition that is going to be different for many artists. I have my definition, what is yours?

This post is for artists, like me, it is also for those who love and collect art because there is a lot involved in creating a piece of art.

I was asking myself this when I was making my pot of coffee and thinking about the long night I had working and working on this endeavor and I have to be honest, I didn’t even paint last night.

Here is a list of things that came to mind, forgive me it could get quite long.

First of all you need skill-back in the day, if someone wanted to be an artist, he/she would go and live with  an artist/teacher and would eat, drink and breathe art all day and night.

In this day and age with the internet, one can do the same as they eat their meals or drink their beverage of choice right behind the screen. (ME!)

Some go to school for years and then there are self-taught artists like myself. I spend my days and nights seeking out whatever information I can find to learn all the how-to’s from established artist’s around the world. I have a nice collection of books on famous artists and I study them all the time.

It takes a lot of practice and learn the skills necessary to create a work of art. I don’t remember where I saw this but I think it was on Twitter, someone asked an artist, “How long did it take you to create this piece?” The artist answered something like, “A few hours and 20+ years”. To the artist who wrote this, email me and I will offer the quote because it really stuck with me.

Okay back to the list, One needs knowledge. About what you may ask, “Just about everything under the sun” If you draw, paint or sculpt figurative work, you need a basic sense of anatomy. It makes me wonder where we might be had it not been for the contributions of artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, carving and cutting through cadavers (dead bodies to be dissected). There is so much to learn, you need to have some knowledge in math and measuring like if you paint from photos, you have to calculate the size of a small photograph as it would be on  a much larger scale piece so it doesn’t look off balance or distorted. And they say that artists use only the right side of the brain? Right…

If your subject matter is flowers, some knowledge on botany is required. If you like abstracts, then a good knowledge of color theory, color psychology, form, space, composition is also necessary.

If you are a photographer, you will need to know how to use a camera with all it’s many functions and features. Post processing can be daunting for those not familiar with photo editing programs. I am talking about Photoshop or how to create HDR photos. The list is endless. 

If you draw or are a painter, you need to know how to use the materials needed to create art. That includes, paints, brushes, pencils, charcoal, watercolors, pastels, oils, papers, canvases, the list can go on and on.

When I first started out drawing back in 2008, I used to get coupons to the arts and crafts store and I would use them to buy all different kinds of mediums. I didn’t even know what they were for or how to use them but I have a nice stock of supplies that my family don’t know what to get me for my birthday because they say “I have everything!”

What else? One needs patience, painting a piece of art can take time, waiting for it to sell can take even longer. If you are a photographer, post processing one image can take anywhere from thirty minutes to more to get that image just right. There are photographers who will get up super early in the morning to get that beautiful sunrise or travel to all distances to get that gorgeous shot. If you photograph people you know it takes patience. Try photographing a child who is too young to follow instruction and likes to wiggle after you pose them right when you are going to take that shot.

For the painter it could be several tries of drawing, painting and many thrown out pieces to get that one piece they are satisfied with.

In this age of technology and the internet, it makes it seem easier to put your art out into the public eye but don’t be fooled.  There is work to do in order to just get seen. There is SEO, keywords to add, networking to do. You need to create titles that not only define the piece but is also searchable by Google and other search engines if you are going to be found in the large mass of other artists out there doing the same thing you are doing. So there is also some writing skills to have.

You must have thick skin. You must be open to criticism or even rejection because not every person will “get you” and your art.

You also need to know how to market your work, to find your niche, to know who your audience is and what they truly want.

You also need to have a commitment to your goals. Van Gogh is a good example having 900+ paintings behind him and having only sold one painting while he was alive. Vincent Van Gogh. He was committed.

You have to believe in your art to market it, if you don’t believe your art is good, how can you expect others to think differently?

I think I could spend all day here listing this and that for what it takes to be an artist but I have some painting to do. Thinking back on all this I realize that regardless of what it takes, I am up for the challenge. I know who I am and when I fall down, I just get right back up. Because at the end of the day, this is what I have to do. It is a drive, a passion that I can not ignore, it is so ingrained in me that come what may, I will spend all my living days creating art because it is something I just have to do.

I can’t explain it any other way. It is just a huge part of who I am.  An Artist.

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.

Charles Horton Cooley

My offering for today:

Art Prints

What do you think it takes to be an artist? Comments and discussion here is welcome!

How did it all start? With eyes wide open.

Art through the ages as I have learned in my Art History Classes clearly show man’s need to express oneself, to communicate even at a time when language did not even exist. From carved out pieces of rock to paintings on the cave walls.

Human nature has a distinct need to share something with others or so it seems to me. When was the last time you logged onto your facebook? It could be what they see or how they feel or what they believe. It is amazing to me that even back then as early as 25,000 years ago we were created with a desire, a drive or a passion to express something about us or something around us.

For some it is not as apparent as with others. The Artist is not limited to only certain people. I don’t believe that. We are all wired differently than others, we are all gifted with special gifts and talents unique to ourselves but I do believe we all have an artist in us even if it is to appreciate the art of someone else.

When did it start for me?

It’s hard to say. I always believed my very first love was writing. As a teenager I would have my little journals and write poetry. I loved to put words down, (hence this blog) 😉

However in high school I was so fortunate to take a photography class and it really swept me away.

I saw that I could tell a story with one picture sometimes even better than any words I would lay down on paper. Photography is the one thing that has stayed with me throughout my life even to this day. Writing came and went as life distracted me with work, kids and the likes.

I always had my camera ready to capture a moment whether it was happy, joyous or trying. I captured it all.

I never even considered myself a PHOTOGRAPHER, an amateur at best. It was not until a few years ago when I was looking through my old photographs I realized, “Hey this is a good shot”. I wanted to do something with it professionally and this move has taken me to an entirely new level with art.

I now work at a job doing what I LOVE to do, I take pictures and I also have the liberty and flexibility to explore other areas of art such as drawing, painting and now back to writing again.

This makes me me smile.

Here is an early piece of my first pieces of photography, where it all started for me.

Taken in Chicago early 90

These were taken around the early nineties and even though I am surely dating myself. I still have that desire in me to see something and want to capture what I see through the lens.

It’s been enlightening and hopefully by sharing it with you, I can enlighten you as well.

Here is my offering for today.

Photography Prints

Art prints are available by clicking on image links like this one above.

Happy Friday!

PASSION-It is something you CAN NOT ignore

It’s been cold all over. I live in South Texas and we are feeling the freeze here too. I know it’s not as cold as other part are but we are not used to degrees in the 37 range so we are COLD!

I was I driving my daughter to school this morning when I saw a man jogging. He had on long sleeves and gloves and long jogging wear but not much else. I could see the cold chilly smoke that comes out of one’s mouth when exhaling and all I could think of was, “Wow, this guy is running in this cold weather? He must really be passionate about it.”

This got me thinking about passion.

Dictionary.com describes passion as being an intense emotional feeling for an object or thing. It also talks about passion of the other sorts but I want to stick with the first description.

Passion to me is a driving force inside oneself that pushes that person towards or for something he/she cares deeply about.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
–Oprah Winfrey

I have been fortunate enough to have always had jobs that I could feel passionate about.

I know it may not be so for others but for me, it has kept me going. I feel lucky in that respect.

A little over a year ago, I was not really living my passion, I went on a long hiatus and was not creating art, I was not seeking out really anything. I was not very happy either.

I still remember when it occurred to me that I needed to get back into this art journey I have been back on for a few months.

It was like this nagging itch that I could not reach, you know the kind, it’s right there somewhere on your back or you wiggle and worm your way trying to reach it but it can keep you moving like a nut until that itch is scratched.

Nothing else in my  life has changed much. The only thing that has changed is I feel more energetic and alive than I did about a year ago.

We all have something in life that we care deeply about or have strong feelings for. For me it is art and creating art. I still remember back in 2008 when I took my first stab at drawing. I really didn’t even know I could draw. I thought the best I could do was draw stick figures, but even the stick figures I used to draw in 2005 were very illustrative of emotion and so I had a feeling I had it in me. So there I was, buying pencils and charcoal and I didn’t even know how to use things like the blending tool. But I learned and before I knew it, I was not content UNLESS I had four or five drawing done by the end of the day.

You see, when you are passionate about something, you do it regardless. Like that man jogging in the cold. He could have pulled the covers up over his head and said, “Too cold today, I’ll try again tomorrow”. But he didn’t.

Just a couple of days ago, I took off to the bayfront near the ocean to try and shoot some pictures. I had my daughter with me, her friend and my dog.

It was not long before my dog wanted to get home, the kids were having fun even in the cold but after a while, as I was holding my camera, I could feel my fingers go numb, like I could not open my hand andclose them quickly.

I knew it was time to go but while I was shooting pictures I didn’t even notice this happening to my hand.

I know of some photographers who will travel miles and miles to get that “Shot”

A friend of mine told me once he walked up the Harbor Bridge JUST to get this one night shot of the city.

If these don’t show you what passion is, I don’t know what else will.

Does this mean that living your passion is easy?

No, it does not. It does require work, time, energy but if it is something you love, it won’t seem like work.

I have found that since I started back up on this art journey, I get up earlier in the morning, I go to bed later yet I feel more rested when I do get some sleep.

Passion for something is a feeling you just can’t ignore.

Like that itch I was talking about earlier. Nothing will ease you, satisfy you or give you that “Aahhh” feeling until it is scratched.

So here is my question for you?

What are you passionate about?

What do you care most deeply about?

If you know the answer to this question, are you doing something with it?

If not, we are in a brand new year and this could be your year to live your passion! What are  you waiting for?

Here is my offering today.

It’s an image that I created with my heart and soul. I wanted to find an interesting way to photograph the Harbor Bridge and here it is.

Photography Prints

Here is a picture of the Harbor Bridge in it’s entirety.

IMG_0054.JPG

Here are some cool quotes about passion I would like to share with you.

“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.”
–Mia Hamm

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”
–Jon Bon Jovi

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
–Wanda Sykes

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
–Hebbel

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
–Nelson Mandela

“Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel. Our reason is the pilot that steers her. Without winds the vessel would not move and without a pilot she would be lost.” 

–Proverb

The greatest gift an Artist can give you…

A friend of mine who is an art teacher said this to me once.

“The point of all art is creation. It is a creation of the artist. If the creation can express something to those that look at it, then it becomes good art to those who are looking at it. That is the perception of the people who consider it good.

Now if the artist can create the expression of what they want the people to precieve then the artist considers it good art. However, if the creation, by all who percieve it, becomes an expression that they can relate to and be moved by, then that art is a masterpiece.”

That is what I want to do. If you can see my art and perceive what I do, relate to it or become moved by it, then I will have done my job as an artist.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. – Henry Miller

I have been doing photography for many years. It was one of my favorite classes in high school. I still remember when I got my very own first 35 mm camera. It was my most prized possession, (before I had my kids). I took pictures of everything.  The possibilities were limitless.

I didn’t realize over the years that the lens would lend itself to train my eyes to see the world differently, to see life differently.

Everyone loves the saying, “Slow down to smell the roses” but how often do we really do that? How often do we stop and look, stop and reflect at just how wondrous our world is.

It’s easy to take for granted the beautiful blue sky when you are running late for work and your stuck in a traffic jam and road rage is all around. Why don’t you look up next time you go outside and just look at the beautiful formations in the clouds. You never know what you might see if you lift your eyes to the sky.

This was taken back in 2008 and I was at the park with my daughter. Luckily I had my camera and the moment I saw this, I grabbed up my camera and took this shot. This is exactly what I saw. Minimal post processing done on this image, just a bit enhancement of the colorful sky other than that no photo manipulation at all. What are the chances I will see love in the air this way again?

Photography Prints

After many years, I finally decided to take my love of photography to a different level. I decided I wanted to do this professionally and artistically. I just wanted to share with others what I see.

When I made that decision and started stepping out with my camera again, it was like these blinders were lifted from my eyes. It was like this fog that obsurred my vision vanished and everything my eyes fixated on became art to me. I had taken pictures of everything I could find interesting in the city. And when I couldn’t find something outside, I created images in my head and arranged my subject matter to fill the frame and clicked.

This image of this leaf is the size of my thumb. It’s tiny. And I would have missed this beautiful testament of love in this leaf by this heart shaped design that could only have been created by God himself, had my eyes been closed to it.

Art Prints

At some art shows I have been asked, where I travel to, for the photos I have showcased. I simply reply that I don’t travel, it’s all taken here, with the exception of some favorites in Chicago. I started trying to figure out what else I could take pictures of, (of course there are still so many things I could use for a subject). I decided to look closer, dig deeper and realized a valuable truth. It is true to me at least.

All Life is ART if you look close enough-Brigitte Cadena

As I am venturing into other forms of art, using different mediums to express myself I realize that all life really is art to me.

It all depends on how you look at it. What do you see when you look at a piece of my art? What do you see when you look at art from any artists? I can tell you there are two things among others and that is their(artists) heart and soul that you will see.

The lyrics to a famous Christmas song comes to mind, “Do you see what I see?”

And this is to me is the greatest gift I can give to you, the viewer is a vehicle or way to look at the world and life in a different way than you did before you came across one of my art pieces.

Sell Art Online

Any image you see in my blog is available at bricadena.com

Here is wishing you a wonderful holiday and Marry Christmas.

I hope you liked the gift I gave you today.

Brigitte Cadena

Five things you can do to beat the “Monday Morning Rush”

5 things to do to beat your Monday Morning Rush

Ever have one of those mornings where you feel just overwhelmed with the start of a new week but you feel like you haven’t even finished off last week?

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I know the feeling. As an Artist who works from home, I can tell you that it’s not a 9-5 type of job.

Working from home whether you are an artist, writer or practically any job that gives you the freedom to work from home can be a challenge.

Your workload doesn’t really have a quitting time, nor are you afforded the luxury of a day off. Your hours can start very early like 5 am and last on through the wee hours of the night.

At least for me there are blogs to write, images to edit, art pieces to finish off, networking and more promoting of my work. Sometimes these efforts won’t see a result until some time has passed but I do it anyway.  I know eventually there will be someone who sees my art and loves it enough to want it in their home. So I keep on keeping on.

Here are 5 things I do to help me stay on top of the Monday Morning Rush and I thought I would share them with you.

1. Keep a daily log of tasks accomplished and a reminder of what I still need to do.

I will be doing one thing when a task pops into my head. “I could do this…” or a mental reminder of something I want to do. “Don’t forget to do that…”

Whatever it is, I jot it down on a small note pad that I call my “Daily Planner”. It’s a simple small notepad with lines and three columns.

First column is rather narrow and is listed as Priority Ref: I just jot down A for Urgent, B for important and C for Reminder.

Throughout the day as I am going about my business, I look at the list and tackle the urgent ones first. The second column is wider and allows enough space to write a few words of the task at hand.

The last column is narrow like the first one and is listed as DONE, narrow enough for me to just put a check mark. And believe me, it feels great when I see all those check marks down my list.

It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

“DO is the First part of DONE” taken from the cover of my Daily Planner.

2. Tackle the things you have the least desire to do first.

It would be just grand if I could spend my entire work days and hours just creating. It’s what I love to do. However in this day and age especially for creative people like me, I know that just isn’t feasible. I need to spend as much time promoting my work as I do in creating it. No one will toot my horn, so I know I have to do it.  I will do the work that I least like to do early in the day so I can breathe and relax while doing the things I most want to do.

3. Break up projects into smaller tasks so as not to get overwhelmed.

Just last week, I took over an art group on Fine Art America. It had approximately 100 members. My responsibilities include growing the group, reviewing images to be added to the group, holding contests for the group members to participate in and create discussions for members to participate in for networking, support and resource sharing.

It’s proving to be a big job. Since last Thursday when I first took over this group, we had about 104 members. Since then it has grown to 188 members just this weekend. That means a lot of images to review and add to the group. So what I have decided to do is every time I go to Fine Art America to do some work, I check for the latest images to review. I would much rather spend a few minutes reviewing 10-15 new images several times a day than spend an hour or more reviewing say 80 or 90 images.

4. Streamline your work/promotion efforts. I have several ways in which I am trying to get my work out in front of people. Here is my list.

This blog where I write about my art and other things.

Here is my facebook page:
Bricadena Art

Promote Your Page Too

This is where I am involved in other groups such as:

Artsy Fartsy International (Click below to view)

Artsy Fartsy International

and Commission me-Where Artists and Buyers meet.  (Click below to view)

COMMISSION ME – A group where Artists and Buyers meet

Pinterest account where I have my art pinned to show others what they could have decorating their homes. (Click below to view)

My Pinterest profile

Google+ is not yet set up but is in my Daily Planner List as A-for Urgent to set up this week.

These sites are where I can create links and combine my efforts to involve 2 or more of these vehicles, and I do that regularly.

I also want to make sure that all my efforts to network and promote come directly from me, so I do spend a lot of time behind my laptop, but I know in the end it will be worth it.

5. Get to sleep EARLY on Sunday.

This is very important as it really helped me this weekend. I make sure to get to get a good nights sleep on Sunday Night. I went to bed early last night and I can just feel the difference it has made for me in terms of alertness and feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of this week.

6. Know that Monday is your chance to start fresh.

Okay, I was going to give you just 5 but I had to throw in one more. Realize that today is a NEW day.
You can pick up where you left off and don’t beat yourself up for what you did not finish last week.

It is now time to start up again and do the best you can.

By doing the best you can, you can feel rest assured that you are on the right track.

Until Next time and HAPPY MONDAY!

Brigitte Cadena

“All Life is ART, if you look closely”

Bricadena Art & Photography

B Sunflower STRONG

Have you ever felt like your back was against the wall, like the pressures of life’s experiences were coming down on you so hard you felt like you were going to fall apart?

Here is a description of the image below on my art page.

I was doing a photo shoot in the downtown area of Corpus Christi, Texas, when I saw a bunch of wildflowers, Sunflowers. It
was a windy day and when I saw them I liked how they were moving around as the wind pushed the petals toward the center. They looked windswept as if they were dancing.

As strong as the winds were, I was amazed to see the petals, even with the pressure of the harsh winds did not fall or fly away. I thought that was beautiful.

It reminds me to stand strong and not worry, even with all the pressures around, I can stand strong and not fear I will lose parts of myself through the rough times that we all will experience at one time or another in life.

Just remember when you feel like the walls are closing in or that you can’t handle what you are going through in life, think of this sunflower that withstood the winds and remained intact.

You too are “Sunflower STRONG”

 

Photography Prints

Click on image to take you to bricadena art prints.