Here is a run down of my more recent artistic ventures, important events and doings that I think furthered my career as an artist. I won’t write about all the little things that have bolstered my art commitment except that many were enabling positive feelings that helped me feel I am making progress on my artist journey. These weekly, sometimes daily, feel good moments usually result from some art endeavor. Sometimes it’s the little stuff that keeps you going…
My website rolandcruse.com has gotten a lot of updates, new posts, pages and art work. All the exhibited art work in different venues are listed as “future offer” on their product (shop) pages in the shop and have no price. The shop is on the homepage of the website. When they become available I will add prices. I have updated my blog section to show all posts and I have added a newsletter section newsletters
Maitland Public Library Artist of the Month for June 2023
For the month of June more than two dozen of my pieces are on exhibit. My webpage shows all the work of the exhibit which includes a lot of the plein air pieces that were in my FAVO show, which is mentioned below. Acrylic collages I did over a year ago- -all but one are coated with resin. All but two of these collages were derived from doodles in my coloring book, also mentioned below. I really enjoyed making them, though cutting the paper for them took a long time. Also included are three still lifes, two of which are larger 20×16 inch paintings.
Two featured articles I wrote for exhibits of fellow Crealde School of Art artists were published by a local paper, the Osceola News Gazette. I have been studying writing about art (Writing About Art, by Sayre and A Short Guide to Writing About Art, by Barnet) and I put my knowledge and skill to the test by writing about these exhibitions in local libraries. (see here for more info)
My “Lily Pads and a Flower” oil painting was accepted by the juried SOBO gallery June show “Florida Waterways and Wild Life” (see here) located in the Winter Garden Art Association building in Winter Garden FL (https://wgart.org/).
Gastronomy: “The Art of Food and Wine” exhibition
Light & Color: Solo Exhibit at FAVO
April 7 & 8 this year I put on a solo exhibit, Light & Color, of my plein air work at FAVO. For those of you that passed by, thank you so much for your support. A big thanks to artist Susana Youngsteadt for letting me use her FAVO studio space. Be sure to visit her on FAVO’s first Friday, Saturday events, studio 242.
Putting together the exhibit was an enjoyable adventure, from getting the space ready to promoting. I got hands-on experience of the little details to the big. Details that the professional artist would have to deal with. All the work that was hung in my show, plus photos of smiling collectors of my work, is on the website here
Orlando Museum of Art Premiere Platform Artist Showcase
One of my abstract pieces, “Muted Peach” was accepted and shown for OMA’s first Platform Show March 31, 2023. A quarterly one night show meant to capture the spirit of Orlando’s artistic community, as described by the Platform web page. It was good to have my work recognized and hit home that the artist has to submit their work before it can be recognized. Here is my web page regarding the event.
Line & Color: Abstract Painting Series
Are a series of oil paintings I began last year, 2022, that start with a line under drawing. With my website update I have made them public for the first time, except for “Muted Peach” which was in the Platform show. I am showing four of them on my website which also includes my edited logs and photos of their painting process. Also included are dissolve videos giving a time-lapse effect of the painting’s start to its finish which I think are cool to look at. Here is the gateway page to them.
In March I published a coloring book of selected sketches from my Doodles 2000 series. Doodles created while I was waiting for customers as a portrait and caricature artist in the year 2000. They have given me so much viewing joy over the years and I have always wanted to get them out into the public space. Putting them up on my website was part of the wish and this coloring book continues it. Here is a direct link to it on Amazon and my website. The book is also on sale in the Crealde School of Art office gift shop for $13.
Crealde Studio Artist
I was accepted as a Studio Artist with Crealde School of Art and in the beginning of this year changed roles from Fellow to Studio Artist . Beside enjoying the Crealde space and community, the big perk, for me, over the Fellowship program, is I don’t have to put in the 32 volunteer hours per session for a free class. The Studio Artist program helps prep the artist to become a “professional” artist.
Future Plans and Ideas
More Plein Air Painting
I got a lot of painting done in the beginning months of the year. Painting almost everyday. Putting together the April FAVO show, updating my website and home improvements slowed new creations way down. I would like to get back to daily painting with an emphasis on plein air painting including sunsets. I live on the east side of a lake and with summer months big summer clouds make for fantastic sunsets. In my opinion painting sunsets is plein air on steroids. Paint fast. I learn so much in a short time I feel it’s a great way to progress as an artist.
I am painting self portrait studies, sizes 14×11 and 16×12. So far twenty five and counting. I used to do caricatures and portraits for a living when I lived in Spain and doing the studies may bring back forgotten skills. Doing them at night allows for better control of light and shadow. I am prioritizing painting correct values first with getting a likeness a close second. So far I have mostly been using two dark colors, a warm and a cool plus white, a very limited pallet. Keep It Simple. As my skill progresses I plan to add color sparingly and see where that takes me. My commitment to value/tone and its critical half tone I learned from fellow artist Luis Garzon through his diligent application of it in his work. Here is a recent sketch on Instagram I feel does a good job with values and likeness. My son tells me I need to be smiling in the sketches. Hmm…to smile or not, one more thing to remember to do while painting.
I will continue to go to open studios with a live nude model. I usually go to the one held by the Winter Garden Art Association (in the SOBO gallery). I paint in oil for the long pose sessions and usually charcoal for the quick pose sessions. Seeing the work of fellow artists there can be inspirational and humbling. The human figure is so hard to draw/paint and always a test of your technical ability. I only have a couple of my nude figurative pieces online, on Instagram, because of their mixed reception to the general public.
After building up a good quantity of outdoor paintings rather quickly I realized there’s no reason why I shouldn’t start doing the art festivals. A very good way to get my name out there and build a collector base. Recently I painted with artist Linda Apriletti, when she was in Orlando for the Winter Park paint out. She gave me art festival tips and said “not all artists are starving artists” of which she was proof. This was a bump I was looking for- -to make the commitment to start applying to art festivals. Saying so in this newsletter is also part of that commitment.
Thank you so much for your interest,