Thursday, December 28, 2017

new art website!

I finally got a newly updated art website for my non-Splotch Monster work! Updating these things, unlike the blogs, has never been easy, but it's getting easier. For now, I'm keeping it simple and clean. Hope you can pay a visit! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

endangered kingdom exhibit flyers and thoughts

Yesterday I stopped by the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery to pick up the postcards for my Endangered Kingdom solo art exhibit, in January. Somehow, seeing these postcards makes it all the more real - the fact that my pieces will be hanging in one of my favorite galleries, all together in a solo show, makes me happy beyond words. 

A friend of mine, who was there during my humble beginnings as an exhibiting artist, nearly a decade ago, mentioned how this show was a long way in the making, and I was just telling my dad the same thing, while talking to him on the phone last night. The truth is, it really was, and so many tiny baby steps occurred, from my first little coffee house show in Leesburg, VA, to now, and everything in between. 

With so many things in life, I would fall in the late-bloomer category, and I'm finding out that this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you would have told me that I'd be having a solo art exhibit in an amazing art gallery in Washington, DC, displaying a remarkable and cohesive body of work, fifteen years ago, I'd shake my head in disbelief and tell you you're crazy. Yet, there was always this nagging urge to not only work actively as an artist, but to also get my work out there, in some way or another. I almost feel, and have felt it was simply the right thing to do - if I am to ask my students to produce quality work, and display their art, then I must absolutely practice what I preach in my own life, outside the classroom, and treat the world as my classroom, and never stop being curious and learning, and pursuing what I'm genuinely interested in. 

One thing I've learned, and am reminded of time and again, is that you can never underestimate the help of others along the way - their kindness and generosity, and a willingness to take some time to get to know you, guide you, and take a chance on you. I've written about this before, and I never take this for granted - looking back at how one small step forward affected another, and so on and so forth. I think back to some twenty years ago, when things seemed somewhat hopeless - trying to find work in my field of study, and the idea of making and showing my art to the public was a faint glimmer in my mind, as I'd frequent galleries and museums and try to visually consume and digest as much art as possible, from as many genres and styles and approaches as possible. When I got out of college as an art education major, it was a far different world, as the internet was just beginning to be a thing - social media hardly existed, at least as we know it currently, and perhaps that was a good thing, allowing things to unfold slowly and organically. As an art ed major, and later a professional art educator, I took the straight and narrow, willing to sacrifice all my own time and energy trying to find a job in Pennsylvania, and subsequently becoming an art teacher in Virginia. My first couple of years as a professional teacher was consumed by developing lesson and unit plans, and visuals, etc, yet in the back of my mind there was a constant and consistent nagging to embark on my own creative journey as well. I'm glad to have listened to that nagging, and have the courage and good sense to acknowledge it and put the wheels in motion. 

This show is going to be very special to me, as I feel I've come full circle and returned to my childhood love of wildlife, and the practice of drawing and making art pertaining to the animal kingdom -an extension of my love for and curiosity about the unique and diverse multitude of life on Earth. If anything, I hope to spark some kind of interest and curiosity in others as well, when they see my work, and hope that people will have the ability and intelligence to develop a sense of empathy for nonhuman species, and yet see the similarities and the humanity we, in many ways, share. Who knows where my path as an artist will lead me next? Surely there will be some lulls and bumps in the road, as there will also be sparks of inspiration and springs of action. For now, however, I'm going to try to simply enjoy the present, and stay a while in the place I currently find myself. In the meantime, if you're in the Washington, DC area, I hope you can join me on Friday night, January 26th, from 7-9pm, for the Endangered Kingdom opening reception at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

merry little monsters

Throughout the month of December, I've been working on daily Holiday and Christmas-themed Splotch Monsters, on the usual 7" x 5" watercolor paper. The ones pictured above, in this post are some of my more recent ones. Check out my Splotch Monster art blog for more, in the meantime!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

grump, 2017 roundup!

GRUMP at Crystal City, 2017 was a great success! Read more about the event at the Splotch Monster Island blog!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

kris loya art on display at cascades library, sterling, va, through december 2017!

Stop by the Cascades Library in Sterling, Virginia during the month of December to see fifteen original, framed giclee prints from Kris Loya! It was amazing how many people had smiles and kind things to say about the work on display. One man, who was an artist as well, couldn’t stop looking at the work, saying how the colors completely elevated his mood. There are also some folks interested in purchasing work already! The exhibit runs until the end of the month, so if you’re in the area, be sure to drop by and take a look!