Walk on the Wildside Show at Suffolk Art Center

Sorry for the short notice, but I wanted to get this out to everyone!  Excited to be sharing some of my more WILD artwork at the Walk on the Wildside Show in Suffolk this spring.  Would love to see you and chat at the Opening Reception on Thursday, March 5, 2020. 

Horse for Wildside Show Suffolk

 

Ramblings: My Miserable Painting Day

Artists know that we can really mess up big-time. Sometimes we just have a miserable painting day.

And it happens much more frequently than we’d like to admit.

The other day I decided to attack a painting that I had done several years ago.  While the painting was pleasant to look at and interesting to a lot of people, it lacked what I would like to see  my work represent.  In other words, it lack the wow factor. 

I looked at the painting for a long time,  I realized I hated the design.  I kind of liked the colors.  I found the figure was fairly well done, but it was overall just pedestrian.

In retrospect, I should’ve taken photos of the painting throughout the whole course of the day to document all the stupid decisions that I made.

To start, I thought the figure was rather lonely so I enlarged the figure.  When she still didn’t have a life, I gave her a partner. That didn’t work, so I added another figure.  But three figures weren’t any better than one smaller one. So I kept on doing what I tell people not to do –  rework some things without really thinking about the design, the shapes, and the color.

There was no sense of movement left.  I should have just left it or gessoed over it so I wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

But now I still had paint on my palate, my water wasn’t terribly dirty, and I wasn’t at a point of true exhaustion. So now I sit staring at a painting that is a whole lot worse than the original.  I am kicking myself.  I know I will paint over it and be frustrated again. I never learn.

Having said all that, I do understand that failure is part of the learning process. Some attempts are never meant to succeed. I still wish I had the presence of mind to photograph the whole process. Time sometimes lets those closed doors open again. New insights?

Old work sometimes includes little gems one can build on. But if it is all painted over it is gone. 

jittery jazz revised - not used for my miserable painting day

Ramblings: Brilliant Creativity

Out in the March done with brilliant creativityI think there is a general misconception by the public that people like me, who tend to get involved in what we loosely called creative pursuits, simply plod along.  We engage in brilliant creativity.  We progress from one brilliant idea with a beginning, middle, and end,.  There is a pause and then we go to the next brilliant idea.

Well obviously every idea isn’t brilliant, but when we are in our inspiration phase, sometimes we feel that it may be creating the best work we’ve ever done. However, the pauses can be a lot more lengthy.  During this intermission, we feel not just uninspired, but scared to death that there will be no more brilliant ideas! The best we can hope for is to regurgitate the things that we’ve done before, the tried-and-true and perhaps the successful (monetarily speaking.)

I say we and I probably should not. Because this is just the way I feel.

So this was a lengthy lead into the feelings I am having right now.

I can always go back to painting the themes that people seem to recognize from me. But that is playing it safe. And you don’t learn and you don’t excel by playing it safe.

But then a painter, like myself, sits back and says,

  • All right so how do I not play it safe? 
  • What do I do differently?
  • Do I change my theme?
  • My subject matter?
  • Do I change my technique?
  • Do I get more rigid or more exuberant?
  • Do I paint larger or smaller?
  • Do I tell a story or paint a feeling?
  • Do I paint more abstractly or with more representation?
  • Is the best really yet to come?

I don’t know those answers right now, but I have to believe that the best is yet to come.

Fear not! I will continue to paint, because I can’t not paint.

And you will be the first to know if I succeed in becoming inspired again. And it may be in the realm of technique and approach.

Ramblings: Drawing from the Beginning

One of my first memories of art is when I was nine years old.  I know I was nine years old because my sister had just been born and my mother came home from the hospital with a bunch of gladiolas. 

I proceeded to take out some colored pencils.  I drew a picture of the floral bouquet which resided next to the drawing that I had copied of a cartoon character.  The character was a duck named Slappy with a little stick over his shoulder holding his little bag of belongings like the hobos would do back in the day. 

I thought the drawing  of the gladiolas was pretty good.  I continued to draw as I grew up, but I never considered drawing to be something that I would do as a job that would earn money for me.  Remember, this pre-dated the current world of graphic design.  At that time, the closest college major for using art in the commercial world would be industrial designing.  So when it came time to consider college, I checked out the courses that were offered in each major and chose psychology instead of art, because the choices were so eclectic from English literature to language to sociology.

I enjoyed drawing cartoons sketches and thought I’d share this one with you today.

artist cartoon sketch drawing from the beginning

If you’re still looking for the perfect last minute Christmas gift, consider a beautiful painting!  If you’d like to schedule a time to consider a painting at the Associates in Dermatology office, give me a call at  757-846-3650

Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Gallery Show

Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Gallery Show Painting of Colonial Girl in the GardenNovember has been a busy month for art shows for me this year!  Thank you so much for your continued support and attendance.  I love getting to see you and share my latest paintings with you. 

For my friends around Richmond, Virginia, come join me in Glen Allen for my Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Gallery Show.  The opening will be Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. 

I’ve been busy painting in between shows this month.  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Glen Allen Joy of Life Show

Dare County Arts Council Show Wraps Up

Dare County Art CouncilThanks for everyone who came out to enjoy the “Let’s Go and Enjoy” show at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo, NC over the past few weeks.  I was pretty excited to see it was written about in OUTER BANKS NOW.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Physicists teach that life is motion. All life. Even a sedentary rock.

Gloria Coker reveals the motion of everyday scenes, people and objects in her paintings to celebrate the underlying rhythm of life. In her own words, Coker’s paintings of musicians, dancers and beach and street scenes appear more like videos than static images.

The work of the Virginia artist is on display at the Dare County Arts Council through Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Thirty-five acrylic paintings fill the upstairs gallery of the Manteo venue. They call to the viewer to listen to a saxophone, watch as children splash in the ocean, feel the rhythm as a tango unfolds and sense the air rushing by as bicyclists race through an explosion of color and lively brush strokes.

Some works appear fully abstract while others merge abstraction with impressionism to reveal swirling dresses, strumming hands, and collective and contemplative faces of performing musicians.

Figure and background merge as blurred edges and a cacophony of brushstrokes create a moving moment rather than a still snapshot. Couple these choices with vibrant, complementary color, and you have myriad celebrations of life enlivening the staid, wooden-walled gallery that, ironically, once served as a courtroom.

Coker never thought she would be an artist. She earned a degree in psychology and another to be a counselor. Eventually — and armed with a talent for drawing and an excellent visual memory — she went into illustration in the newsroom at the Daily Press and also did courtroom drawings. Over the years, she photographed life creating a morgue of images from which she painted.

“My family was involved in biking, ballroom dancing, tai chi,” she said. “I had access to those things. I did art for the Virginia Symphony for four years.”

While she may start a painting — she works in acrylics — using a photograph as a reference, she may turn what once was an oysterman into a bicycle mechanic.

“These are all made up,” she says of her current work. “I do not have something I copied from a photograph here. They are invented.”

What matters to Coker is accuracy, how fingers are place on a keyboard, how a musician is holding an instrument.

While Coker can paint a realistic portrait, she is more interested in engaging the viewer in what a person is doing. Her figures may have minimal features to keep the focus on their actions.

As a result, she presents universal happenings to which a broad swathe of people can relate. She keeps them attracted, as moving things do.

“Motion and emotion,” she says. “If I can get someone to feel it inside, I have accomplished something.”

Replicating a pulsing sense of life is not easy unless, as in Coker’s case, the paint runs through your blood.”

You can see the entire article at:  OUTER BANKS NOW 

And don’t miss my 5th Annual Show and Sale tonight (Friday, November 8, 2019) beginning at 5:30pm at Associates in Dermatology.  Hope to see you there!

Celebrating the 5th Annual Art Show and Sale

5th Annual Art Show and Sale

Enjoy special pricing on my paintings for the 5th Annual Art Studio Show and Sale!!!

When:  Friday, November 8, 2019

Time:  5:30 – 7:30 PM

Where:  Associates in Dermatology office,  17 Manhattan Square, Hampton, Virginia (map / directions)

Come by, browse, shop and bring a friend. 

Buy a holiday gift. 

Munch on some delicious hors d’oeuvres. 

Drink a bit of wine.

There will be many paintings offered not to mention those hanging throughout the Associates in Dermatology offices.

See you at the 5th Annual Art Show and Sale!

Town Center City Club Art Show and Sale

It’s summer time (or at least it feels like it outdoors!) so that means it’s time for wonderful art show and sale.  I’ve had paintings on display at the Town Center City Club for a while now.   It’s a lovely private club for business professionals in Virginia Beach.  It is one of the premier venues for business meetings, corporate vents, fundraisers, weddings, retirements and other special events. 

Come out and join me on Friday, June 28 at 6:00pm for champagne and desserts.  It’s a great opportunity to see the Town Center City Club and take in (or take home) some of my latest paintings.  Rumor has it, I’ll be doing some painting during our time there. 

Here’s the scoop:

Join us for Champagne and Desserts
Where: The Town Center City Club, 222 Central Park Avenue #230, Virginia Beach, VA
When:  Friday, June 28, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm
RSVP: Barbara Lewis (757) 490-8317 or Jan Digiovanni (757) 241-0666

Guatamalan Woman at Town Center City Club Art Show

2019 Hampton University Armstrong/Slater Gallery Show

Gloria Coker with Hampton University Students

Thanks to everyone who joined me for the opening of my latest show at the Hampton University Armstrong / Slater Gallery. I’m excited to share my art with the students and faculty as well as the public at Hampton University.

According to Hampton University, the Armstrong / Slater Gallery is described:

The Department of Fine & Performing Arts operates a nationally-recognized art exhibition facility that is fully managed and staffed by its faculty and student artists. Under the curatorship of Dr. Jacqueline Fonvielle Bontemps, a recognized artist and art historian, the Armstrong/Slater Gallery hosts up to six exhibitions annually that feature work from internationally-acclaimed painters, sculptors, photographers and others.

If you’d like to peruse the show, it will be up through March 20, 2019.  When you stop by, be sure to let me know what you liked best!

After the Parade shown at the Hampton University Show

2018 Annual Seasonal Memo

I worry about the Christmas card industry.

Everyone this year seems to be sending photos instead of cards. You know.  The ones where you have to use a magnifying glass to see faces and even then you don’t know who they are!
 
I do admire the efforts of writers of the traditional letter – that document complete with tiny photos urging us to enjoy vicariously their many trips and adventures.
  • “Wonderful experience seeing the glories of _________, eating fermented_______which is their culture’s traditional food.
  • Kudos to the service personnel who transported us so quickly to the hospital where the hours in the emergency room weren’t that bad!
  • And even though our luggage was lost we managed to find bargains at the airport gift shop——-“
 
Well that is not my thing. Not that I have a thing. Perhaps my life seems boring in comparison. Though I enjoy writing a blog every once in a while. 
 

So I am not grumpy.  

I do enjoy a lot of the holiday season. But in retrospect it seemed to work better when the kids were tiny.
 
In those days, Christmas music didn’t start overwhelming the airways until after Thanksgiving. Santa was for real. Plus you actually ENTERED a store to buy a gift or you made one (oh the horror!)
 
Now everyone picks out their presents online, complete with sku info, places the order and acts surprised when they open them.
 
Watching young people’s nascent consumerism- I think I used that word right -(nascent -just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.) is hardly uplifting. Tear open present, look at toy/gift, move to next one. Repeat. 
 
But at least they won’t have to return them. Although if they did Amazon makes that chore fairly easy. Who knew Santa’s elves delivered by drone? Taking over the world one delivery a time. Screw the magi- why didn’t they just bake cookies.
 

Speaking of baking

The family does want to continue some traditions- dipping dates with granddad and making kolocky cookies with grandma, but hey everyone is just too busy . Does this sound familiar?
 
So cookie dough sits in the frig for a while until you decide to bake it yourself rather than toss it. The bread dough ornaments sit waiting to be painted when things get less hectic – yada yada. Let’s not forget granddad’s high octane eggnog. Not for the kiddies, but it keeps grandad and grandma and some selected adults happy well into the new year. Traditions are good.
 
We started a new tradition this year.  We bought an artificial tree at last year’s post season sale. It is PRE-LIT! I hung our ornaments and am determined to leave them on and wrap up the tree carefully for storage after Christmas.
 
No more crawling on the floor on our aching knees while watering the fresh tree or finding old pine needles stuck in the carpet in April. Time for new traditions like watching the Hallmark movie ‘Christmas Kiss’ so I can spot my artwork in the dining room scenes (a little plug there!)  Those extra bread dough ornaments might be painted pink for Easter. I may actually call people by phone whom I’ve not spoken with in years!
 
And of course painting something totally different to remind myself that the best is yet to come. I still have a few years to catch up to Grandma Moses!
 
So happy, merry holidays. Take a breath, then start prepping for New Year’s Eve and Day, Superbowl Sunday, Groundhog Day, Casimir Pulaski Day, Valentine’s Day, and so forth and so on.
 
Long winded as ever,
Gloria
 
Seasonal Memo with Christmas Tree

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