Diary of a Mad Fundraiser IV

HeartbeatSo far the fundraising is going GREAT! I am so touched to see all the people who have stepped up to the plate for me. I’m 70% funded so far. Wooo hoooooo!!!!

That being said, I found an essay by a woman named Rebekah Joy Plett. I have taken the liberty of changing a few words, but for all intents and purposes, they are her thoughts that remarkably mirror my own. I think it’s relevant to what I’m trying to do with my project “Heartbeat”.

“When you support the work of an independent artist you are supporting more than just a painting or a novel or a song. You are supporting hundreds of hours of experimentation and thousands of failures interspersed with glorious successes. You are supporting days, weeks, months, years of frustration and also moments of pure joy. You are offering relief for nights of worry about paying the rent, having enough money to eat, having enough money to buy gas, having enough money to feed the doggies and kitty kat. You aren’t just supporting a thing, you are supporting a piece of the heart, a part of a soul, private moments in someone’s life. Most importantly you are allowing that artist more time to do something they are passionate about; something that makes all of the above worth the fear and the doubt; something that puts the life in to the living.”

For all of you that are part of my 70% I thank you for giving my “Heartbeat” a pulse.
http://www.usaprojects.org/project/heartbeat

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Diary of a mad fundraiser III – Why I think this project is important enough to ask for support

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I have long thought that my job as an artist is to create paintings that offer refuge from the craziness of every day life. I have come to believe that the reason why life has become so crazy is because we have become so disconnected… from society, from the planet, from ourselves. We have become a society of droids using machines to navigate through our daily routines rather than using our senses. With my work I strive to recreate the sensations one feels when there is a connection. In my case, the connections would be between you and the painting, you and the inspiration and ultimately between you and me.

If you visit http://www.usaprojects.org/project/heartbeat you will gain a better understading of what I’m trying to accomplish with my project “Heartbeat”. As a self-supporting artist it is difficult to set aside time for experimental work and yet it is through experimentation that I continue to grow. If I am successful in raising the funds needed to get this work under way, I will have the luxury of time that I don’t currently have.

USA Projects calls their fundraising programs “microphilanthropy”. I love that concept! It takes the idea of philanthropy out of the realm of very wealthy and generous people giving large sums of money and places it the hands of ordinary people who want to contribute but think that small amounts won’t make a difference. The exact opposite is true!

I thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to presenting you with the fruits of my labor.

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Diary of a mad fundraiser II

Fundraising for the Heartbeat project…. what a strange and not very comfortable feeling it is! I’ve been making my way on my own for years and I’ve never asked for money from anyone. I have been blessed, thank god, when at times I was sinking, angels came to my rescue, unasked and financed my sorry ass out of the fire. Now that I’m actually asking for money outright, in the back of my mind I’m screaming “Haven’t they done enough??” (meaning all the friends who have given me moral support throughout the years in addition to the ones who have bailed me out) or “This is so embarrassing! I’m such a loser!”. In fact, I had 2 people, both artists, yell at me for begging. One of them said that if I wasn’t such a loser I wouldn’t have to beg for money.

I came upon USA Projects by accident really. I saw a notice about them on another website. When I read about the possibilities I thought “Oh my god! I might actually be able to BREATHE for a little while!” The technique I want to explore further is one that I used for the exhibition I did up in Saratoga Springs, NY. Those paintings have such power, such movement, such LIFE! I’ve wanted to delve in to it further and thought that dance would be the perfect theme for what I want to do. But reality raises its ugly head and the bills must be paid. Soooo…. while I would never show and sell any paintings that don’t pass my muster, the work I have to do is much more commercial than what I want to do with “Heartbeat”. If I am successful and raise the goal amount of $9775.00 I could actually have a little breathing room to dive in to the process. God how good that would feel!

If you want to learn more about “Heartbeat”, please visit http://www.usaprojects.org/project/heartbeat

Heartbeat

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Heartbeat – Diary of a Mad Fundraiser

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It’s funny how the universe works. I’ve been feeling directionless for some time now, having great difficulty figuring out why I’ve spent the last 35 years painting and why I should spend the next 25 or so doing the same. Am I not simply taking up space on the planet that could be used more productively by someone else? But… and this is a big but…. It’s who I am and it’s what I’m supposed to do. I’ve asked these kinds of questions many times over the years and at the end of the day I realize that I truly do know, from deep inside me, I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The why of it is not something I need to concern myself with.

But how on earth do I keep going, just from a practical standpoint? I’m alone with only my art to support me and frankly, I’m tired. Very tired. And so I obsess about how to keep going. My solution was to find a way to get myself out of my comfort zone for even a little while in effort to shake up my perceptions. I believe that doing so will result in giving me a fresh approach to my work. With this in mind, I applied for an artist’s residency at Yaddo, an artists’ retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York.

I grew up in the area and ever since I was a child I dreamed about spending time in a place like Yaddo. It would be a month away from the demands of my every day studio life, surrounded by other artists from a myriad of different disciplines. I’m pretty isolated in my pursuit and as a result I haven’t had many opportunities to be immersed in the creative process alongside other artists. An artist’s residency seemed like the perfect solution! As intimidated as I am by the process and having to present myself to this prestigious program, I figured all they could do was say no.

Becoming involved with the Yaddo application led me to discovering USAProjects, as several artists who have participated in the Yaddo residency program have had their art projects funded through this organization. This is how I stumbled upon this concept of fundraising and it has given me the direction I’ve needed to move forward as I had to put together a cohesive plan for the work I wish to do.

But it’s weird, ya know? In order to raise the funds needed to support my work I have to reach out to my whole network of friends and supporters. I feel very strange asking for money. I mean, my loved ones have supported me spiritually (and in some cases financially) over the years which has kept me going through many a dark time. But now I’m asking for money outright and it’s truly not the most comfortable thing I’ve done in my life. It’s necessary yes, but not comfortable.

I guess when I said I needed to get out of my comfort zone, this is part of the gig.

 http://www.usaprojects.org/project/heartbeat

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Where to find my art online

I read so many truly beautiful, thoughtful, funny and inspiring blogs and think I SHOULD DO THAT!!! Hopefully some day I’ll find the words to do the same, but for the time being I gotta tell ya this!!!

I spent a lot of time researching online print publishers in effort to find those that produce true quality archival reproductions. I believe I have done so and judging by the responses of customers who have puchased my prints through these sites, I’ve selected good ones. These are sites that produce the prints themselves on a variety of substrates, and can either ship you just the print itself or mat it and even frame it. It’s one stop shopping delivered to your door!

For a selection of my contemporary realism and magical realism paintings in oil or watercolor, visit http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/monica-linville.html?page=1

For a selection of my abstract and magical realism paintings in oil or watercolor, please visit http://www.artflakes.com/en/s?search=monica+linville. Note that this is a European site so for my friends on that side of the Atlantic, shipping is easy. Should you see something on this site that you like but isn’t on the stateside website, contact me and we can work something out.

Keys

Watercolor on Claybord

Seed Pod, oil on panel

Seed Pod, oil on panel

For a general portfolio of my work that will give you an idea of what my evolution as an artist has been, please visit my main website, http://www.monicalinville.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and looking over these sites. In my next post, I’ll wax poetic.

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Where to find my art in Puerto Rico

oil painting

If you live in or plan to visit Puerto Rico, you are first and foremost welcome to visit my studio in the mountains on the east end of the island. In saying that it sounds as if I live in a remote area. I don’t. It just seems that way because I’m on and acre and a half and the property is situated as such that it feels secluded and is quite lovely. That said, a visit to my studio is an easy 10 minute drive from the main east-west highway, Rte 3. I have a nice collection of original work as well as my reproductions. I also teach private classes and group workshops. I know I’m a tad biased, but I think these are all good reasons to come up and see me! Those interested can contact me through this blog or my email: monica@monicalinville.com.

If a studio visit doesn’t rock your world, my artwork is available in locations where just about everybody visits. I have original paintings and prints at Puerto Rico Arts & Crafts on Calle Forteleza in Old San Juan as well as a nice selection of prints at Eclectika, on the west side of Plaza Colon, also in Old San Juan. For those of you visiting the rainforest, the gift shop at El Portal, the visitors’ center at the entrance to El Yunque National Rain Forest is now carrying a nice variety of my smaller prints, perfect for mementos or gifts or both!

oil painting

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Come Fly With Me

I’ve been mentoring privately for a few years now, which I enjoy immensely. I like to think of myself as a versatile artist, able to work successfully in a number of mediums and styles. I also pride myself in being able to “read” my students and to see what how their hearts direct them, something they are often not able to see themselves. This allows me to give them the proper tools so they can build their own wings and take flight. One of my students just wrote this testimonial that I am very proud to post here.

As Monica mentioned, I had the opportunity to work with Monica on a one to one basis.  It was one of the best things, artistically, that I have done for myself.  We all know of her talent and experience, but her ability to help move your creativity forward is truly amazing.
This being said, I have been to many workshops with excellent artists, including Monica, and they were educational and inspirational to say the least.  But, for me, the timing of the private lessons is what made the difference.  Any artist, who seriously wants to lose fear and push ahead in their work, would be well served to place themselves in Monica’s care.  You will thank me for the suggestion!” – Julie Bagshaw, New Hope, Pennyslvania
I have students who live here on the island and come to me on a regularly scheduled basis as well as students who travel and spend a week or two studying with me. If you would like to learn more, please visit workshop.monicalinville.com or email me at monica@monicalinville.com.
The image I’ve posted here is one that Julie did with me. Her goal was to work more abstractly while still maintaining a semblance of the literal image. I think she succeeded, eh?

Acrylic Mixed Media painting on canvas

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I can’t think of anything good to write about

I’m an artist. Aren’t I supposed to have a HUGE ego? A bottomless thirst for attention? The need to put my work up on walls and shout “Look at me! Look at me!”? I had a nun tell me that once…when I was little and showed her some drawing of a face I did. Little kids are always drawing faces, no? I seem to remember her saying that it looked like me and that it was vain to draw yourself and a sin. I remember thinking “This looks like me? It’s just a face.” and then going back to my desk and saying the rosary 3000 times for penance.

I’m still doing penance, I think, caught up in the dilemma of simply wanting to paint and HAVING to paint to keep a roof over my head. I get embarrassed by the attention it brings though. I don’t trust people who gush over my paintings but I get sad when my work seems invisible to others. I don’t think anything I have to say about my work is particularly interesting or matters to the general scheme of things. BUT…. if I want to keep buying paint and brushes and stay in my studio, I need to yell out to the world from my little mountain on a little island in the middle of a very big ocean HERE I AM!!!! Buy my art!!!! Please?

And so I blog and try a figure out good tags so people will find me. Wonder if people will google “sin” today?

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Prodigal Artist Returns!

I am as good at keeping up my blog as I am dieting. I have every good intention to do so but…. I’ll eat a cookie instead. Never give up is my motto, however, so here I am once again, posting my thoughts in case someone out there actually cares. I promise not to tell you what I had for breakfast!

What I WILL tell you is that one of my paintings has been included in a new E-Book titled “A Walk in to Abstracts-How do they do that?” published by Sue St. John, a wonderful artist in her own right. This is her 4th volume on the subject, in which she gathers together abstract painters and has them share their thoughts and knowledge on the actual process of their paintings. You can purchase the book for download to your computer at http://awalkintoabstracts4.com/ I’m posting an image of the painting Sue used for my page.

I myself am fascinated to read how people approach the art of abstract painting. I learned a lot and truly enjoyed seeing all the different approaches to the work. One thing becomes immediately clear, I think, and that’s that abstract painting is NOT just emoting on canvas. It’s as thought out as any other genre…sometimes more so…. and is as reliant on the basic elements of painting as any other technique. This is an important lesson to learn. For more about my own work, please visit my website at http://www.monicalinville.com

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Got my first virtual student!

While I’ve mentored students one on one in the “real world” I just signed on to mentor a new painter via the virtual world of Second Life. As this is the direction I’ve been wanting to go for a while now, I’m very excited! We can use the visual tools that virtual reality offers in order to see the work being done, we can use Skype to converse while we do so. It’s going to be a fascinating new adventure for me! Long distance teaching!!! Gotta love technology!

Mixed Media painting on paper

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