Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Artist Self-Portrait

As I paint my last painting of the year, a self-portrait, I thought I would investigate the artist self-portrait as a genre.

The earliest self portrait reported was in 1433, see below.

Portrait of a Man (Self Portrait?),[1] also often known as Portrait of a Man in a Turban, or in a red turban, etc., is an oil painting by the Early Netherlandish master Jan van Eyck, from 1433, may well be the earliest known panel self-portrait.[1]

Many of you might recognize Frida Kahlo's self-portrait below.

(384 × 500 pixels, file size: 177 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Fair use rationale for use in Frida Kahlo

Self-portrait by author, used for fair use to show both artist's style and what she looked like. Unreplaceable by free image as no free image is known to exist. Painted in 1940. The image linked here is claimed to be used under fair use as:
--The artwork is only being used for informational purposes.

This is where my self-portrait is right now.... in process...looking at the above photos, I see that I have a long way to go!

Self-portrait, 16 x 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Copyright 2013 Mary Rush Gravelle
The eyes are blank right now because I had to rework them. You can see more in process photos on my facebook page.

More next week....

Citation of self-portraits and images:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Committed to my Art

Commitment in the Clouds.Digital  Phone Art.
Copyright 2013 Mary Rush Gravelle.
True confessions... I committed to my art, officially to myself, on September 4, 2013. Ever since, I seem to have gone underground. So, what's going on? Why have I not been able to come to the surface and perform?

I will just throw my thoughts out here since it is my blog about my art notes and thoughts. So... it must be because deep down inside somewhere I don't believe that I deserve to prosper from doing what I love. I seem to have effectively punished myself for the past 3-1/2 months.

Fly Free, Digital Phone Art.
Copyright 2013 Mary Rush Gravelle.
I have done a couple of very small plain air paintings, on recycled cardboard of all things. I must have bought into the "starving artist" syndrome and internalized it on a deep level.

I packed up everything, placed most of it in storage, and moved from Tucson to Prescott, and landed in Cottonwood, Arizona.  I still don't have all of my art supplies and canvases in one place.

I have allowed my thoughts, my commitment, my self-confidence to waiver. I think I have been shrinking myself so I didn't have to actually live up to my highest art potential. Ouch! On some level, I have been playing small for a long time and especially since I profoundly made the commitment to self and to my art. I must step up to the plate, stand tall, take back my power. I am a creator, after all!

Shrinking Backward While Taking Steps Forward.
Digital Phone Art.
Copyright 2013 Mary Rush Gravelle.
The Torch is Lit, I'm on my Way!
Digital Phone Art.
Copyright 2013 Mary Rush Gravelle.
Okay, in my own defense, as I'm posting my phone art images on this post, I realize that I have not stopped creating altogether. I have been wildly creating new phone art. So, perhaps, I have not been totally underground. I still allow myself to delight in the creative process. Hmmmm... this makes me feel much better.

Today, I recommit... to my art. I allow my art to prosper me financially. I hope I have something more to contribute to next week's blog, like a new painting! Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thank You for Buying Prints this Past Month

Prints that sold this past month...Thank you to the buyers who have helped me realize that my art serves them as well as me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Will Sell Art for Money

Especially during this time of year, I see many different forms of fundraising, including panhandlers. I have often wanted to grab a torn piece of cardboard and make myself a sign.

Given the status and often romantic image of the Starving Artist, I thought of it as fitting. Then, I would compete for a place to stand, hold my sign, and wait for my jar to fill up with cash.

As an artist, I work for money just like any other profession. However, I see the general consensus of our culture that seems to think that the work of the artist is merely play. As a product of this culture, I have bought into this belief and romantic grief-stricken notion that I must suffer as an artist.

So, here is my sign. Please send cash. This will elevate my status and renew my belief that I too can earn a living from doing important work in the world. Or, if you prefer, buy the print at

Monday, December 2, 2013

Give the Gift of Art

Give the gift of art this holiday season. Your gift will create happiness, gratitude, and joy in the heart of the artist, the recipient of your gift, and in your heart as well.

I just sold an 11 x 14 print of Vortex from my online print store. I am grateful to the buyer as the profit from this sale paid for my next year's membership to my online store. I will be able to offer prints of my artwork now for another year. With more sales, I could pay my rent, my bills, fill up my gas tank, and buy more art supplies. Selling art is how I can earn a living as an artist from doing my work.

Consider gifting yourself with art, as this buyer did. She intends to hang it above her mantle. Is there a space in your home that could use some added energy and pizzazz? Who could you make happy this year with a gift of art? Link to my online store: