I took several painting and fine art classes in college while working towards my graphic design degree. Right after graduation I was hired into my first graphic design job but after 16 years of working in that field, I realized that working on a computer was no longer creatively fulfilling and I needed to make art with my own hands for the enjoyment of the process. I took up painting and drawing again and eventually discovered the art of pyrography which is something I’ve been experimenting with for the past 3 years.
The theme for this show was my inspiration [for the work I submitted]. I’ve been working on my pyrography shading and combining pyrography with acrylic paint accents lately and as soon as I saw the theme for this show I knew I wanted to burn a moon and challenge myself with the shading it would require.
’ve recently been experimenting painting with alcohol inks and I’m loving the lack of control you have with them because it forces you to let go of expectations of what it should look like and just get into that flow state. For my “Nebula of the Heart” painting I looked at several photos of nebulas to get the feel for the colors and patterns that naturally occur with nebulas and then let the alcohol inks take on a life of their own as they flowed on the paper. I used a straw to blow the inks into some of the shapes that I was looking for and then used a small paintbrush to “dot” on some alcohol to create a halo of light around the stars that I eventually painted on with an acrylic paint marker.
I am a “look at the moon” type of person and seek it out almost every single night because it stirs such a sense of awe and wonder as well as a connection to others, knowing that I can be far away from someone but still taking in the same sight. I hope my “La Luna” piece stirs the same sense of wonder. And I hope that people get lost in the colors, patterns and depths of “Nebula of the Heart”.
“Nebula of the Heart” is my favorite piece that I’ve entered into this show. I love that abstract art is open for interpretation and the colors and depth in this piece really give the eye a lot to get lost in.
In college, my best friend caught me red-handed when she came to my house and saw the India Ink bottles lined up on my desk. Before that, I never told people that I made art or thought I was any good. My friend lovingly, but firmly convinced me to share my work and I have been enjoying the journey so far. I am self-taught. I started very young as a way to relax by attempting to capture the beauty I saw in the everyday.
Making art is amazing. As I said before, it’s my way of bringing peace into my life. I find something in life that is beautiful, my imagination makes it something fantastical, and I try to capture it for myself and others to see.
Space has always been extremely inspirational for me. I admire the artists that work on converting black and white photos of gasses and waves of light into colors that everyone understands. I was also wanting to work more on using gouache and streamlining my painting process.
Firstly, I always look for reference photos that are close to the thought I have in mind. Then I pick details out of all of them to make it a coherent picture. Fantasy and folktales are important to me, so I usually spend time thinking of some kind of story behind the picture. I try to do a small, messy drawing before I do a completed pencil drawing. I’ll finish with the layers of gouache or ink.
As art is something I do to find peace, I hope that people have a positive experience. It’s fascinating that everyone will find different meaning in the same piece, but hopefully the process of understanding is a calming one.
I really enjoy all of them, of course. But if I had to pick a favorite it might be “Moonbound.” I really wanted to draw the trees because they were unlike any I had seen before, and the details were very fun.
My work is currently online on social media. On Facebook you can find me under the handle ‘Renee Creates’. On Instagram and TikTok my handle is ‘@thepurgatoryarts’.
Art has always been a big part of my life. Many of my close family members were artists, so I was always around creation, exploration, and art making. I studied art at UCCS and then started working at the FAC after I graduated. These days art seems like a way for me to let go or maybe distract myself from the current situations that we all face. Although my production and time spent in the studio may sometimes slow art will always be a part of my life.
Making art is a way to reflect, explore, and sometimes just have some fun.
The inspiration for the pieces in this show was a combination of being inspired by a medium as well as, inspiration from the galaxy and planet. The earth and space are overwhelmingly amazing to me. One awesome experience was the solar eclipse in 2017. I am constantly in awe of space I have taken several astronomy classes and even own a telescope. The paint that I used for these pieces was what also gave me my inspiration, it is metallic acrylic and offers some shine and iridescence to the planets and night sky shown in the paintings.
When I create my work it usually always starts with the material I am using. In this case I found some oval shaped pieces of wood in the craft section of a local thrift store. Using recycled materials is a very consistent practice in my work. I wanted to include a circle in the painting to fit in and mimic the shape of the oval wood. The first piece I made was Moon. The moon is exaggerated the night sky and the landscape is reminiscent of Earth. The next piece I made was Saturn. In Saturn I used metallic paint to emphasize the rings. The last piece, Purple Planet, is mixed media and includes the use of paper to add texture to the planet. Purple Planet is almost a fantasy or dream planet that overlooks Earth.
When people see these pieces, I want them to let their imaginations run as they notice the small details that make up each space landscape.
The best place to see my art is my Instagram page @artfrances. I have also shown work at The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Kreuser Gallery, and the Modbo.
This is my second showing at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op and I am honored to be selected for the “Space” exhibit. My first show here was in the 2018 “Recycled Art” exhibit that had two of my very first sculptures.
My work is hard to categorize, they are 3D sculptures but after that they can be a space ship flying over a distant planet or a metallic bird gracefully taking off from a peak of marble, whatever the viewer might imagine.
My medium of choice for this show are natural rock and minerals including yule marble from Marble, Colorado along with rainbow sandstone from Nevada.
The other element of my sculptures are vintage, usually 1950s automobile hood ornaments. There are an amazing variety of intricate ornaments that take on bird, airplane, jet, flying goddess and space ship motifs. Many of these are works of art in themselves and I have tried to enhance their beauty with the appropriate settings.
Included in the show are two Packards, a De Soto, a Ford and a Pontiac. The newest one is 65 years old and the oldest is over 70! It’s hard to pick my personal favorite, but the 1950 Packard with the white yule marble from Colorado “Across the Universe”, is very expressive and fits right in to the “Space” show.
Hey everyone! My name is Amy Short. I am a Colorado transplant originally from little old Delaware. I got my first DSLR camera when I was eighteen (ten years ago) and have been in love with photography ever since. Landscape and nature photography are what I call my truest loves. I moved to Colorado two years ago to pursue my photography dreams and have been loving every second of it!
Making art means a freedom and peace unparalleled in any other aspect of my life. Especially living here in the mountains, the journey is one of the best parts. I think the mountains are liberating for anyone, but to point my camera wherever I please and to see the world in my own way, to capture the world how I see it without the influence or ideas of anyone else, that is what making art means to me.
The desire to learn new photographic techniques inspired me for this show. Space has always fascinated me but astrophotography definitely has its challenges. Almost all elements of creating a photograph with astrophotography are more difficult but I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot more.
Honestly, when I am creating photos of the night sky my first step is to point and shoot. There are ways to help yourself see what you are doing and how to expose your photos in the dark but I tend to take a photo first and adjust the composition from there. It takes a few shots to find the composition that I want, but hey it works for me. When processing my photos I do not “over edit” per se. I like to boost the colors and contrast and adjust the exposure if needed but I like to keep it simple! As far as the frames go, they are upcycled! I am a big fan of using “green” practices and what is more environmentally friendly than reusing and repurposing? I keep my eye out for gently used frames at thrift stores. I work at a paint store so I have easy access to all kinds of products and colors. I just love working with colors and trying out new products. I thought a black metallic paint would be well suited for this subject so that’s what I went with!
I hope my artwork can instill the same sense of wonder I have when I think about space and observe the stars. Colorado has such amazing night skies that can leave you with such a sense of awe.
This image I took at Rocky Mountain National is my favorite piece for sale. The images I entered are very similar and both were taken at RMNP but I love the colors of this one the most. I love the yellow hues of light pollution from the Front Range contrasted against the purple and blue hues of the night sky.
You can find me on Instagram: @amyshortphoto, on Facebook: Amy Short Photo, and at Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City.