My First Ever Artist Intern to Help With the Portland Open Studios Art Tour

Artist Dave Benz and I are slowly, little by little, preparing for the Portland Open Studios which seems a long ways away (in October), but will be here before you know it. Portland Open Studios’ whole mission is to educate the public about how artists work which is why you get to come to our studios and see us creating amazing artwork. Inline with this mission, they also ask the participating artists if they’ll volunteer to take a high school artist under their wings as an intern to mentor and guide.

My first ever artist intern, Ella Jones.

My first ever artist intern, Ella Jones.

I loved this idea because if I had been given this kind help when I was a high school art student, I’m sure I would have been able to avoid some of the (many) artistic mistakes I made and I would have gotten the art support I sorely needed (without the years of pain and loneliness). Of course, I said YES! I wanted to help and I thought I might just have something valuable to pass on and share. Dave Benz felt the same way, welcoming this special opportunity too.

Above is a photo of my first ever artist intern, Ella Jones. Isn’t she a cutie, so bright and happy? I hope I can be a valuable mentor to her. She primarily paints in oils and her subject is mainly women, including, maybe even, a witch. Check out her art website here. She’s just getting started, and it’s a very good start indeed. We met for the first time a couple weeks ago and we are having a great time learning from each other. Her energetic and curious personality makes her a joy to be around. I will let you know more how it’s going in the weeks to come.

One of Ella Jone’s paintings from her website.

One of Ella Jone’s paintings from her website.

Along with Dave and me, Ella will also be displaying at least 3 of her art pieces in our shared art studio. We will guide her in making these 3 new pieces. I have no idea what she’s going to make. More witches? Something magical or something spooky? She does love creepy gothic things just like Dave and me, so who knows what will happen. It’s an adventure for all 3 of us.

I may even ask her to write a post or two on this blog, so be on the look out for another contributor to Art From The Strange Land of Beelaungeen with her own strange thoughts and opinions on art and life.

Last Minute News! I'll In The 2019 Monster Drawing Rally

It’s only a few days until the Portland Art Museum’s Monster Drawing Rally, and I only heard back this morning that I’ll be a participating artist. I wasn’t sure if I would be one or not, since the spaces are limited for returning artist this year. This is their 5th Annual event and this will by my 4th year as a participating artist. It will be held this Friday, July 12th, 5:30-9:30pm.

I always love drawing in front of a crowd and raising money for children’s art programs, so this is a real treat to be a part of this event. If you like helping children’s art programs too, please come and watch me draw and then buy the art….mine….or any of over a 100 other Portland artists. I’ll be drawing in the last round of artists from 8-9pm. Will you make it? If yes, please come say hello to me. More details are below.

Where Ghost Girls Are Valued & Loved: Gothesque Magazine To Include My Artwork

Gaining confidence in my art, I’ve started to promote myself again. This means I’ve taken a chance and stuck my neck out, asking galleries, publishers and magazines if they could use my artwork. One the places where I submitted my art was to Gothesque Magazine. As you may have guessed, it’s a magazine for lovers of dark and gothic things. They especially value ghost girls, so I thought I ‘d submit some of my spooky art. Although most of the magazine heavily features luscious photography with gothically costumed babes, they also include spooky fiction, poetry and artwork.

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Well, lo-and-behold, a few weeks later, I received a message that they wanted to include my artwork. They said I might even possibly have my art on the cover. I didn’t believe that would happen, but I was flattered that they’d even consider my art. I was also flattered that they wanted to interview me for the magazine. They asked me some compelling questions that I had never been asked before, so I had to give them some answers.

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Coming in mid-July, you’ll have the chance to see some new art from me (not ever published on the internet or exhibited in the real world). I promise it’s as luscious as the photography and you will get to read my answers to the following questions:

1. Where is the "Strange Land of Beelaungeen"?

2. Can you tell us more about the "Strange Secret Society"?

3. Have you had any dreams or nightmares stand out recently?

Make sure you get your digital or paper copy at this link. My interview and art will be in Issue 75. I can’t wait.

My Art Studio Will Be Open to All Those Seeking Strange, Spooky Artwork (October 2019)

In October 2019, I’ll have my strange art studio open to all those seeking strange artwork, meaning my art with ghosts, fairytale like adventures, Victorian gothic girls and crescent moons. It will be open because I’ll be a part of The Portland Open Studios Art Tour.

One thing at a time is getting into place for this big endeavor of over 100 participating artists. The latest news is that the Portland Open Studios’ website has my artist page up (whoo hoo). Check it out to find out why I create strange art and to learn where my art studio is so you can come visit me (yes, please).

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As more and more things are prepared (like a fold-up map with the location of all the artists’ studios) and updated, I’ll be sure to keep you in the know for this exciting art event.

The Creeping Museum Invited Me to Their Art Market (August 24th, 2019)

As you may remember, I recently returned to Instagram. In doing so, I seem to have found the online gothic art community. I have been slowly building my audience of fellow artists and art enthusiast who love dark and macabre things, Halloween everyday, creepy cute art, and oddities and curiosities. If you are following me, I dare say, that you too must count yourself among this group of creepers and misfits. They sport names like “Haute Macabre”, “The Ghoul Next Door” and “Haunted Paper”, to name a few.

They also call themselves, “The Creeping Museum”. I was so happy to find them and even more excited to learn that they were in Portland, Oregon, my home, where I live. I followed them online and loved all their posts, including an announcement a few weeks ago that they will be hosting a carefully curated artist market here in Portland, Oregon. I was so happy I’d be able to attend it.

On the same day of their big announcement, they started following me. I couldn’t believe that someone with influence and power in the gothic community (23K+ followers) would like my art and my posts. That boosted my confidence and made me feel like I might belong which is not something I’ve felt before on Instagram.

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About a week after that, I got a message from them, inviting me to be a part of their artist market. I almost jumped out of my seat. It was such a surprise. They must have truly valued my artwork if they were asking me to join such amazing gothic artists. I thought about it for a few hours because I know I can do things in too much haste and on impulse. By the end of the day, I replied to their message with a big, fat YES!

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Yes, I will be an artist at the Creeping Museum’s 1st Artist Market and Fairytale Salon! It is $10 to get in early and shop with less of a crowd for the 1st hour (3-4pm), but afterward (4-9pm), it is free to the public and anyone of you who also considers yourself a lover of oddities, creepy, spooky art, dark fairytales and divination and magic. Will you join us?

I will be posting more about how I’m preparing for this market, so stay tuned between now and August 24th. I can’t wait!!!

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Yes, I Forgot To Tell You About the Dragon Boat Art Show (Up Through July 31st, 2019)

I’ve gotten into a lot of group art shows over years with one little art piece here and there. So I guess that’s why it slipped my mind to tell you about getting into this year’s 2019 Dragon Boat Art Show at Little River Cafe in Portland, OR. It’s also an old painting from a few years ago, so it didn’t seem newsworthy. But in case you have a yen for Dragon Boats, and heaven forbid, a yen for my painting, I thought I ought to tell you.

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Now, there you have it. I’m in it. I was invited to be in it and so were the other artists in it. It’s all up through July 31st at Little River Cafe (which is along the SW waterfront):

0315 SW Montgomery St. #310
Portland, OR 97201

If you drop by, you’ll find mine on far right of this wall.

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You can see it a little better in the photo below. Once again, it’s that long, skinny painting to the furthest right side.

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If that photo was too small to tell what it looked like, I’ll be fair and share this larger image below with you. The framed print of it is on display and for sale at $150.00. If you’re interest in my art piece, please contact Little River Cafe.

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I’ll be in more art show after this one, so hopefully I won’t forget to let you know the good news next time.

Who Else Wants A Strange, Spooky Picture Per Day From This Strange Artist?

I have been gotten back on Instagram…after a long reprieve….and let me tell you….it’s tough being out there….it’s as scary as a haunted house or a dark enchanted forest (you have to fight self-doubt, comparison, and other evil monsters). I returned so I could follow some spooky and inspirational artists (https://www.instagram.com/ghoulnextdoor/ , https://www.instagram.com/beeskneesindustries/ , https://www.instagram.com/spectralgardens/ , https://www.instagram.com/_virginia_mori_/ , https://www.instagram.com/weird_vintage_photos/) and to be able to send galleries and other art communities a social media account when I applied for opportunities (yep, I’m always trying to promote my artwork and get it out there so I can be found by the right audience—-an audience who appreciates and loves my spooky, strange art too).

I’ve been trying to make a lovely feed of strange and spooky art each day. I know that’s what I enjoy seeing in my feed. Who else wants that? If you do, take a chance on this strange artist and follow my strange feed. Below are examples of what you can expect from me…ghosts, bats, magic, moons and a very special cat named, Katarina…..sssshhhhh….don’t tell anyone….but she’s the inspiration for my next 11 art pieces…you might see some work in progress in my Instagram feed…just saying. Will I see you there?

How Well Do You Know This Strange Artist? + 4 More New Items On The Strange Website!

I don’t know if you visit my website very often, but I thought I’d let you know that I’ve added a few new things…actually….I think my website is always like an old Victorian House that I fix on the weekends and when I get some spare time. I add a few things here and there, now and again…and often…I forget to tell anyone about the home….I mean website improvements I’ve made. Below are 5 of my latest improvements:

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Who In the Hell Is This Strange Art for? Do You Know? Gothic? Victorian? Or Fairytale?

For the longest time, I’ve tried to figure out who my art audience is. I’ve changed the name of my website many times, calling my work different things in hopes for the right audience, the audience who loves what I create, to find me. It’s been called, “dark fairytale art”, but it wasn’t that dark and it wasn’t very fairty tale like, was it? It’s been called “La La Land” because it seemed similar to Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I’ve said it’s “Vintage” and “Victorian”. But sometimes, it’s not either of those.

After much looking and searching, I’ve finally realized….maybe… it’s on the edge of Victorian Gothic Art. I say on the edge because it’s not too macabre and it’s not too Victorian. But I think that’s the closest I’ve ever come to figuring it out. I guess the true test is to see if that is the audience my artwork attracts.

What do you think? Who would love ghosts, moons, magic and night time girls? Weigh in by submitting your opinion in the survey below. And thank you for your opinion, it matters to me. Of course, I’ll write a post on the results in a few weeks.

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The Audience for Art From the Strange Land *
The Audience for Art From the Strange Land
How would you best describe the AUDIENCE for Art From the Strange Land of Beelangeen? Choose how much you agree or disagree with each option.
Gothic
Victorian Gothic
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass
Fairytale
Dark Fairytale
If you don't agree with any of the above options or if you have some comments, please let me know in the space below.



Will These Moths Be the End of Me in Finishing This Magazine Cover?

Yes, it was a struggle to get the moths and the boy on this Metaphorosis magazine cover to take flight. I tried some new things and unfortunately sometimes, that is just what happens when you take risks and dare to do something new. One of the new things I tried was a different paper which I thought would work well because it was a high quality art paper that had gotten a lot of good reviews.

For my purposes, it ended up being the bane of my illustrating existence. I didn’t like how it didn’t hold the color very well and the texture was much more rough than I expected or wanted. How was I suppose to make him look glowing and otherworldly when I my colors wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do?

I tried to spray on a new layer of texture to lay on more color to cover the rough texture underneath it. This didn’t have the effect I intended, making everything more strange, murkier and muddier. I added some greenish-yellow to emphasize the moths and that wasn’t quite the right move either. What could I do?

When you hit a dead end, you just have to stop picking at it like a scab because it will bleed and get infected if you don’t stop. Just stop. Put down the drawing and stop. I had to walk away for a few days and forget about it.

When I returned, I had some fresh ideas. I thought I could play with the illustration in Adobe Photoshop and change the contrast and brightness of certain elements to get the effect that I wanted. I’m happy to report that it finally worked. Below is the glowing, strange moths cover that I submitted to my editor. He had no problem with it (or at least any that he told me).

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Next week, you’ll get to read the story that this strange moth illustration is about as well as all the other powerful stories I read for the May 2019 issue of Metaphorosis magazine. Let me know what you think it. I’d enjoy getting your perspective of the story and how my illustration fits with it (or not). Plus learning your opinion and point of view makes me feel less alone and less disconnected in this strange world.