Newsletter 2 jan 2024 header

Newsletter Issue 2

January 2024

Thank you for being a subscriber to my newsletter and Happy New Year!

Along with my regular inspired art creation there have been some big deal happenings for my artistic journey since my last newsletter (in June 2023) as I will describe below. Moving on, I met some of my goals set out in that first newsletter, continuing to paint Plein Air and start exhibiting at art festivals. I’ve not done as many self portraits as I wanted, nor sunsets. I’ve done some figurative work but not as much as I wanted. I will beg time spent on other art projects as the reason for keeping me from those aspirations. I have been accepted as a Studio Artist in the drawing and painting department for another year, 2024, at Crealde School of Art. Which inspires me to continue taking classes there. Last year I took a  sculpture class and a welding workshop. One day I will post my creations from that realm of art to my website. I’ve also done a lot of ink paintings, monotypes, which I will go into detail below.

Big Deals

Won a Grant (big deal)

United Arts of Central Florida last year, 2023, opened a grant program that actually gives money directly to artists. As opposed to intermediaries which  supposedly “trickle down” grant money to artists. Grants would be given out to submitting artists that best satisfy the condition that their art event or endeavor would benefit the public in a positive way. Out of 90 or so applicants some twenty artists got grants which included me!  My grant proposal was to paint Plein Air (outdoors) at St. Clouds Lakefront Park and exhibit the art work afterward. Oh yes, winning the grant will look great on my CV.

Did the Paintings for the Grant (big deal)

I satisfied the painting goals I set for myself in the grant proposal. I did close to 50 paintings and exhibited 31. Inch sizes: 6×12, 8×10, 12×16, 16×20, and 18×24. Over my target amount. This includes four studio pieces derived from the Plein Air pieces. I started painting outdoors in July and painted  through October. It was a great experience. I met lots of interested people and handed out a lot of brochures. I always wore the same sun protective clothing and big brimmed hat and realized it was a good way to promote myself.

City of St. Cloud Support (big deal)

I reached out to the City of St. Cloud for support and they agreed to support me on the exhibit side of things. A one night exhibit in their best venue at the marina at Lakefront Park and then exhibiting the pieces at their City Hall. Exhibiting art at City Hall is something that has been on their to-do list and the exhibiting of my works will be the start of it. One condition of exhibiting with the City is that I am not able sell my work in these locations.

Accepted to the Winter Park Art Festival in March (big deal)

The Winter Park Art Festival accepted my submitted art to qualify as an Emerging Artist (EA) for the upcoming Festival. One of three out of 35 applicants. This will kick off my objective to exhibit and sell at Art Festivals. The EA program is quite supportive. It supplies the tent, some type of structure to hang art, breakfast, gas allowance, food allowance, and logging. Impressive. I will be at booth EA3 very close to Morse Blvd. I am very much looking forward to meeting other artists and building a following. I will be mostly selling my landscapes with some still lifes.

St. Cloud Holiday Festival

December 2nd – 3rd, 2023, I had a booth at the St. Cloud FL Holiday Festival to promote my Lakefront Painting Project. The first time, after many years, I’ve presented myself as an artist in a street festival. Hopefully the first of many. (Once upon a time I did caricatures and portraits on the street.) Doing this festival was good way to get my head into the whole festival business model. Instead of trying to sell my work at a “craft” show a friend had the good idea to do live painting promoting my Lakefront Painting Project and it’s upcoming exhibit January 12th 2024. I wore the same clothes I use to paint in when I am painting outdoors at St. Cloud’s Lakefront Park and, as I  hoped and expected, many people recognized me as the same artist.

I enjoyed myself, it was a victory. It was nice to have so many people interested in my project. I was able to sell all three of the products on offer: posters, coloring books, and a house portrait commission. It was a good way to get ready for my next festival which will be the Winter Park Art Festival March 15th – 17th, 2024.

Ink Paintings (i.e. Monotypes)

I have done many “Ink Paintings” or so called Monotypes. Ink Paintings is a more intuitive name for people not familiar with Monotypes. The term Monotype can also be confused with “printing” and unoriginal art or part of a series of prints created from a press. Simply said, they are one of a kind artworks created by inking a flat surface and then pressing paper onto the surface which then produces a mirror image of the ink marks. The paper can be pressed by hand or a press. The first ones I did were pressed by hand and later ones using a press. Most any pigment type can be used but ink is created to adhere to paper which makes it an ideal pigment choice.

My experience so far with this process has been liberating. One reason is that controlling the finished look with exactitude is extremely difficult. For me this removes some of the artist’s responsibility, said another way it lets me off the hook for trying to completely manage the end result. There is a layer that can only be approximated. Like “herding cats” as the saying goes. I could write more about it but I don’t want eyes to glaze over.  Have a look at my ink paintings gallery and see what you think.

OMA Platform

My “Queen Duck” collage, inspired from one of my doodles, made it into the July Orlando Museum of Art Platform show.

Self Portraits

I’ve not continued with as many self portraits as I wanted but to get an idea of them I have an art piece with many mounted together on a board which was hung for the Crealde 2023 Emerge exhibit. See the link below.


More Stuff

There are other recent events and exhibits that I have not put here. Please look at my blog where they are posted to catch up.


Future Plans and Ideas

  • Enter art festivals.
  • Get back to doing self portraits and figurative work.
  • Plein Air paint. Look to paint on bigger surfaces.
  • It will be interesting to see if the Ink Paintings get any traction.
  • I will be in Spain for a month where I plan to Plein Air paint.
  • Work fast. Create a lot of art


Thank you so much for your interest.

Roland Cruse

Look for what works in art.