April Exhibition - Painting No. 1 ... and No. 2!

It felt almost like an eternity, but I finally finished my first painting for the April exhibit! To be exact, I finished it at 8 a.m. today despite having gone to bed at 1 a.m. the night before (I’m an intense early bird even when I don’t want to be).

And, before starting on my second painting, I needed to take a pause. In the midst of the craziness of trying to prepare a total of six large pieces over just a couple of weeks while working full-time, I had to remind myself to enjoy this time of fully using the right side of my brain.

So, I took some hygge time to myself, enjoying a mug of coffee while watching the steam rise from the cozy mug and watching my two adorable little cousins play in the backyard. If you don’t know what hygge means, it’s an amazing concept I live by (read exactly what it means here).

 

Okay, on to Painting No. 2! I decided to go for the same image as in Painting No. 1 except I used the colors of Elliott Bay Brewery’s logo: beige and red.

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And so, that is where I am right now with the second painting. I still need to add a second or third layer of red paint followed by the touch-ups with the beige paint, then I should be done by the end of the day tomorrow! Stay tuned …

April Exhibition - Painting No. 1, Part 2

Last night, I finally reached the stage of my painting (also referenced in my previous blog post) where I traced my drawing directly onto the canvas with my No. 2 pencil.

One thing I have to mention here is how great it felt to use the No. 2 pencil! I felt like a little kid as drawing on the paper and smelling the lead took me back to those good ol’ elementary school days before smartphones existed. I almost forgot about those days, and it was nice to be reminded.

Another thing I want to say is it was exciting overall to take on this task. I had never done anything with a canvas before that didn’t involve painting tools, and so it was a thrill to face this new challenge of mine.

 
 
 

What came after tracing the drawing? Painting over it, of course! That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. Here are some snapshots …

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So, for the rest of this Friday night I’ll be finishing painting over the portrait while in my house clothes and bingeing on Persian tea to try to stay awake. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more updates!

April Exhibition Facebook Page Is Officially Up!

If you are an avid Facebook user, this is a quick note to let you lovely people know that I’ve just created the official Facebook event page for my April exhibition, which will be taking place at the Elliott Bay Brewery in Burien, WA. :)

https://www.facebook.com/events/2268654260017536/

And, I will end this short and sweet blog post with a small preview of what my brand-new paintings will look like …

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Exhibition(s) Announcement

So, 2019 is already off to an exciting start! I got confirmation a few days ago that my art will be hanging at two locations in the next few months, and I’m so excited I literally cannot even. Here’s the general info …

April 2019: My acrylic paintings will be at Elliott Bay Brewing Company in Burien, WA. Something extra exciting about this exhibition is not only will I recreate my 4 x 4” pieces in larger scale but I also plan to do a piece specifically for the brewery.

June 2019: It is yet to be determined whether it’ll be the paintings, portraits or both on display, but during the month of June I will have my artwork hung at Third Culture Coffee in Old Bellevue.


Also, I plan to try and organize opening receptions for these exhibitions. I will post deets on them as they come in. In the meantime, stay tuned for lots of behind-the-scenes posts I’ll be sharing! :)

SongS of the Week

Sorry, guys! I know it's been a few weeks since I did a "Song of the Week" post. To make it up to you, I'm going to do two songs in one post ...

This week, I randomly decided to binge on Calvin Harris' music. I had always loved the dreamy quality of his songs, and I had realized a lot of time had passed since the last time I blasted them on the radio in my car or on my iPhone. 
Sometimes, whether I'm drawing or going about my daily life activities like getting ready for work, it's just necessary to get lost in music and allow it to take you to a different world, and I feel like his songs have that effect.

Songs of the Week: "Feels" and "Slide" by Calvin Harris

Yep, I Totally Framed Her

This may be a sort of minor update, but I was so excited about it I just had to share! 
Today, I framed my "Daisy #2" piece that's going to be featured at the CoCA gallery this May. It looks so much more like an official art piece now ... though I still have to take off the annoying cardboard corners. I'll be leaving this task to the framing experts at Michael's, simply because I don't trust myself to do it without accidentally ruining the frame.

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Guess What? My Art will be in a gallery this May!

I have a major announcement: My piece "Daisy #2" (below) will be featured in an art gallery exhibition this May! Specifically, the gallery is CoCA (Center on Contemporary Art), located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. As someone who had two amazing internships and volunteers there, I feel super proud to have my work be in its space and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Click here to read details on the exhibition and be sure to mark your calendars for the opening reception, May 3rd, 6-9 p.m.! :)

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Song of the Week

What's my top song of this week, you ask? Well, here it is:

Song of the Week: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!

Lately, I've found myself playing the song over and over as it acts like an instant mood booster. I've also noticed that it helps me get into my creative mode, but not in the way you'd expect. I don't mean creative in the usual sense of doing something artsy like drawing or dancing -- I personally believe creativity not only can exist in the artsy way but also while you're doing everyday, non-artsy tasks. Every morning, for instance, I wash my face, put on antioxidant serum, rub on my daily moisturizer and facial oil and then add on my makeup. With certain random songs like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," I've been able to get in the zone and actually enjoy doing what is usually seen as totally mundane ... And I did not expect to share part of my morning routine in detail with you, but there you go. :)

Song of the Week

I'm trying out this new thing where I share "Song of the Week" posts. Music has always been an important part of my life and also one of my must-haves for when I'm creating my artwork. I thought I'd share whatever particular songs have helped me get "in the zone" while art making, and also it's always fun in general to talk about good music!

What songs get you in the zone when you want to get creative? Here's one of my top choices ...


SONG OF THE WEEK: "Desperado" by Rihanna

Back when I spent most of my free time choreographing at the Velocity Dance Center (in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle), I would often find myself overthinking every move I came up with. The song let me loosen up, lose the fear of doing a "wrong" move and just go with the flow. Out of that came some of the dance moves I was most proud of that were part of a performance I did sometime last year.

It turns out the song has had a similar effect when it comes to my drawing process. I tend to get too cautious and worry I'm going to do a "wrong" stroke that's going to ruin the whole sketch, and the song (among other songs from the same Rihanna album) has helped me get out of my head, really focus and lose the fear of making mistakes. Besides, awhile ago I had decided to force myself to make any drawing mistakes look like they were done on purpose, so it all seems to be working out so far. :)

Exhibition Update: Opening Night Details

 

As you already know, my artwork (including the below portrait titled "Hope") will be on display at Freshy’s in West Seattle during the month of May. But, it’s also important to know that May 1 is opening night! Be sure to drop by between 6 and 8:30 p.m. to enjoy some art and delicious beer. :)

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Iranian & Inspired

This was probably because I had spent the last few days reading all about the protests going on lately in Iran, but when I drew my latest portrait this morning I found that the girl looked very Iranian. I had specifically been reading about Vida Movahed and the other "Girls of Enghelab Street," women who have protested the headscarf by each publicly taking hers off and waving it in the air to the crowd. All I could think about was how incredibly brave these women were and I suppose that sort of came through as I was drawing the portrait.

Stay tuned for when I add an Adobe Illustrator-esque touch to the piece ...

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Exhibition in May 2018!

Happy Friday, fellow art lovers!

I am thrilled to announce that I will be showcasing my work at Freshy's (the West Seattle location) during the month of May! Expect to see some of my favorite charcoal pieces as well as a few of the reworked versions I did recently on Illustrator. Not only that, but you'll also have the pleasure of seeing some great pieces by Eva Lu. Stay tuned for details about the exhibition, but for now I've shared a quick preview below. Also, please help spread the word by sharing this blog post on your social media page(s) and/or by sharing the Facebook event page I've created. 

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Rebranding Coming Soon

Hey guys!
I wanted you to know that pretty soon I'll be giving my brand and website a big makeover. This may or may not include changing Black & White by Shirene to a different name. I'm super excited and a little nervous ... and it might partly be because I have at least a hundred business cards with my current brand name printed on them and I wonder how much it would/will cost to print new ones. 

Anyway, stay tuned for the new version of my website! :)

 

With love,

Shirene