Identifying yourself as an artist

This last Saturday, I gave a presentation along with two incredible artists, at the Nevada Museum of Art. The audience was a wonderful group of artists- some just beginning, some looking for new ideas, and others looking to reinvent themselves as working artists. The two artists I presented with were Sarah Stevenson of Redline Design and Frances Melhop a freelance photographer and director at Saint Mary’s Art Center. Casey Sibley of Casey D. Sibley Design, organized and facilitated a fantastic event and I think everyone learned some new things.

I believe the NMA will be holding more of these working artist events in the future. It was such a valuable experience for me and everyone had a really good time. My slides are below to get an idea of what I discussed.

lisadraws2015: month one January 2015

As I mentioned earlier this year, I’m undertaking a daily drawing challenge where I make a commitment to drawing everyday and then sharing it online on my Instagram feed. Not only do I find it hard to believe January is long gone but I am shocked we’re already so far through February. I’ve been drawing and sharing one #lisadraws2015 post on Instagram every day. Below is a little review of what I drew in January 2015 and at the end some takeaways I got out of the project for this month…lisadraws1.1.1

lisadraws1.1.2

lisadraws1.1.3

 

lisadraws1.1.4

I’ve been thinking again about why I wanted to do this project and make this commitment to drawing everyday and the biggest reason was to push myself creatively in a new way. In making art, I realized that I tend to be very strategic and thoughtful but maybe too much so. This was a way for me to loosen up, have more fun, and worry less that everything I produce is as perfect as I always want it to be. As you can see- there are many less than perfect sketches above. Some made me cringe in sharing because they are so goofy or rough or drawn poorly but I did it anyway.

Another goal was to give people access to some of my process and maybe a bit of my brain. I view my sketchbook as a sort of secret world I carry around with me. I rarely don’t have it in my bag- and if I ever leave it behind, I immediately become anxious and worried and can’t stop thinking about not having it with me. Now I do have some sketches in there that I don’t share- this process has actually gotten me to sketch even more than I imagined. Some nights I’m exhausted and can barely get anything out and other nights I’ll spend a good chunk of time making something special.

I think the thing I hoped for but has been one of my favorite parts of the project has been the interaction between the work I post and the reactions and comments I receive. I love that people care and have been so supportive and sweet. I feel like I’ve gotten to know more people and gotten to know some people better because of it. It has increased my confidence in a good and much needed way as well as allowed me to feel more like I’m a part of a community. Being an artist can be solitary and though I don’t feel lonely- I do adore the exchange that seems to be growing because of this project.

Until next time- xo!

 

#lisadraws2015

fox drawing in sketchbook

I’ve been mulling over a number of projects for this upcoming year and one of the hardest parts for me is to commit to the most personal projects or doing things purely for myself. I have a lot planned this year including writing and illustrating a children’s book, 4 solo shows, an artist residency, and numerous teaching gigs. Just writing that out makes me gulp a little bit and my heart beats a little faster with anticipation, excitement, and some fear. Many of these projects are well under way and I’m building out my schedule which makes me feel a bit more at ease but still…I have a ton of work to do!

Anyway- it’s often my most personal projects that suffer when it comes down to it. I’ve wanted to create a repeatable project for ages and I’ve started some and stopped some and I never really committed to them like they deserve. This year will be different! Because of all the projects I have and my busy schedule- I need to draw a lot. When I paint a lot I tend to drop down on drawing and I can’t let that happen this year- drawing is my comfort and it’s where my new ideas come from- I cannot live without it. So I got a couple new sketchbooks, I have some pretty papers, lots of drawing materials and too many ideas to count. If you want to follow along on this 365 journey, please follow me on Instagram at lisakurt. I am so ready to do this!

xo,

Lisa

bon voyage 2014 and welcome 2015!

lisa kurt sketch of raccoon

Here we are at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. I absolutely love this time of year- the opportunity to reflect on the past year and take stock of the things I did well and the things I didn’t do so well on. I made a lot of mistakes in 2014 but I also had a lot of successes, I learned so so much, and honestly? I’m pretty proud of my very first year as a full time artist. It was not without some challenges and I’m still figuring things out of course but I have some really big ideas and plans already for the next year. It’s a chance to begin again. I have so much to be thankful for and many many people who without them I simply would not be able to do this. It’s likely that if you’re reading this- you are one of those people. Thank you!! Thank you so so much for everything!

I think what tickles me the most about this year is planning, hoping, and dreaming about what the next year will hold. Resolutions may not quite be the right word to describe how I plan around this time of year- it’s more a mixture of goal and intention setting. I do write all my ideas out in various forms and I brainstorm- it’s a process to figure out what I really really want to do. Some things are already committed to due to some hard work I put in last year and they are lined up in the calendar; others are up to me to keep pushing to make happen and complete. I have to make some hard decisions and put some ideas aside to leave a little bit of room for some serendipity too. It may seem laborious but by doing this- it truly keeps me focused on what I want to achieve. It also helps me say no to projects that may not fit in with my ultimate goals and dreams; sometimes it breaks my heart to say no because there are so many amazing projects out there! Sometimes it’s a matter of scheduling or timing and though a project might be right up my alley and exactly what I love- I may just have too many commitments. Either way- this process of clarifying makes it much easier for me to really know: what do I want to create this year?

So here I am with warm fuzzy emotions about the past year and butterflies and joy looking forward to the next. It’s a lovely and exciting place to be. Do you set goals or intentions for the new year? Do you make plans for what you want your year to look like?

I hope you all create some amazing things this year. I hope you’ll make some art and do those things you’ve always wanted to do. And I wish you a little magic too. 🙂

May you all have a warm and wonderful new year!

xo!

Lisa

 

it’s a winter wonderland

Here we are- getting close to mid-December and that much closer to holiday goodness! The weather is pretty frightful here in Northern Nevada as we are getting hit with a pretty spectacular wind storm. The good news is it’s not too late to order from my shop; the last day to place an order is Tuesday December 16th. AND use the coupon code SNOWBALL14 to get free shipping on all orders now through the 16th.

If you are local to Reno and prefer to shop in person, I’ll also be at the Rogue art + craft show at the Holland Project in Reno, NV this coming Saturday from 10am-4pm. It’s going to be a wonderful, festive event with lots of vendors, coffee, music, a food truck, and more. It’s free to attend and there will be lots of great vendors to shop from. It’s a great way to support the artists you love and help them out so they can keep making art! You can find more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/496295123843810

I’m even creating some special little friends that will be available at Rogue while they last! Here is a sneak peek of my work in progress…

ornaments by Lisa Kurt

It’ll also be my last show for a while as I gear up in the new year to focus on all new work and projects for the spring.

I hope everyone is staying cozy and warm and enjoying what this magical season has to offer!

xo,

Lisa

Products on Nuvango

I’m really excited to announce that I now have a live Nuvango shop! This means that there are now additional products like phone and tablet skins and cases, greeting cards, and more with my images on them.

I won’t be selling prints through Nuvango at this time- but you can still purchase prints on my etsy shop: Lisa Kurt’s etsy and there is an option for stretched canvas through Nuvango if you like. I hope you enjoy these new products and have a wonderful day!

Lisa’s Nuvango Shop

 

Lisa Kurt on Nuvango

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Upcoming Friend or Foe? show

lisa kurt friend or foe? show

Get excited friends!

My last solo show of 2014 is here…
I’ve been painting up a storm in the studio this last month and I’m so excited to share my newest paintings and drawings with all of you. The show will be at the lovely NeverEnder Gallery in Reno, Nevada (119 Thoma St, Reno, Nevada 89501) from November 10th through December 6th.
There is an opening reception this Thursday November 13th from 6-8pm, all ages are welcome and it is free to everyone. This gallery throws a really fun show, there is free food and beverages, along with their adorable shop and the new Mixed Messages Zine shop and gallery inside as well. I’ll be selling both originals and prints so there is something for everyone. I hope you’ll join me!

Doubtful Creatures

Lisa Kurt's show Doubtful Creatures postcard 1

As I mentioned in a previous post, through the month of September 2014 I had my solo show up at the Hub Riverside, Doubtful Creatures. This show was a collection of my newest paintings/illustrations that I had done for the Reno News and Review’s 2014 Best Of Issue. The theme I had created was creatures out of the mythology of the quirky and endearing state of Nevada. There was a lot of great material- it’s been influencing more work outside of the project which is cool.

Lisa Kurt's show Doubtful Creatures postcard 2

The closing reception was on Tuesday September 30th and it was a lot of fun! I nearly missed the reception due to travel delays coming back from Boston but I made it by a hair and though I was sleep deprived and jet lagged- it was a wonderful night. I’m so so happy that so many friends and people new to me came out to support my art- it really meant so much to me. Thank you to Eric Brooks for all the help and thank you to everyone who has shown me support one way or another- all of it matters and makes a difference to me.

I sold nearly every painting though there are still two paintings left (see below) if you are interested, just contact me directly through email: lisamadethis[at]gmail.com

Thank you again to everyone out there who has supported my art in this last year or so- I am so so grateful!

Lisa Kurt painting of Cornish fairies

Cornish Fairies

Lisa Kurt's painting of Stone Mother

Stone Mother

 

Into the Woods and Golden Hour commissions

On occasion I take on fine art commission work and over the last few months, I had the pleasure of two such commissions with two very lovely and wonderful families.

The first one was for the Lemaire family and was a Mother’s Day gift with a fun portrait of their three kids.

Lisa Kurt painting of Into the Woods

The second was for the Casey family as a birthday gift with a cute portrait of their sweet daughter.

Lisa Kurt's portait, Golden Hour

 

These are the last I’ll be doing for this year- I only make about 2-4 a year because of the time commitment but it is something I enjoy creating for people. The happy reactions really make it worth doing- so thank you to the Lemaire and Casey families for picking me to create these fun paintings!