April 30, 2012

Live Painting at the Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis with OSO

Saturday night was awesome.  Big thanks to everyone who came out to support me at the Dakota Jazz Club and watched me paint while the talented OSO performed.

The pressure was on, as I had about an hour and a half to whip up this new painting from start to finish.  When I am painting live, there's not really any room to make mistakes when people are watching my every move.  Also, with limited time, you need to get it right the first time! Even though I was "speed painting", I wanted to be careful not to make the finished product look like it was sloppy, so I did have a general idea in mind before I started.

At the end of the night, the painting was auctioned to the highest bidder, ending in an exhilarating battle around 2am.  It. Was. Awesome.  Thank you to Mark and Rebecca Toth for battling it out and winning the painting.  I hope you enjoy it!

Setting up.

The first layers.
The lovely OSO performing
Fifteen minutes to go!
The finished piece.

April 23, 2012

Just do it.

When I moved to NYC to spend a few months working as a model last year, I most certainly wasn't ready for it.  Had I thought about it too much, I might have made excuses why I wasn't ready to go and who knows if my opportunity to go would have came and went.   In true "Valerie" fashion, I didn't think twice about moving to NYC last year.  All I knew was that if my goal was to take modeling as far as I could go, I'd have to do it in NYC.

I am never scared to put myself in awkward, challenging or uncomfortable situations.  I love a good adventure, even though my mother has no idea why I inflict constant "stress and excitement" on myself.  So, I packed my bags and landed right in the middle of NYC without knowing a soul in the city.  Awesome!  I showed up to my agency and was measured, weighed, polaroid'ed... the usual thing that happens when you're a new model arriving.  The measuring ensures you don't feel too good about yourself.  I went on castings, lived in a tiny model apartment, hailed cabs from one casting to the next and made every day about my job. Some parts of modeling in NYC were fun, some were not fun, some days wore me down so much I wanted to cry. But looking back, I see the good in that NYC adventure. I learned how to stand up for myself, get what I deserve and embrace all of who I am.   It takes a while to truly get this.

It's those moments when you are caught off guard and throw yourself into uncomfortable and challenging situations that you learn what you're really made of. As Ryan Estis always tells me, "The door is open.  Are you going to walk through it, or not?"

 For Sale 36x48" Acrylic on Canvas

April 19, 2012

Video Response to Ashley

I received a very nice email yesterday from Ashley... she found my blog and took the time to reach out to me after reading it.  She deserved a thoughtful response, and she also inspired me to make a quick video about a topic I really enjoy talking about. (3:51)

April 17, 2012

Twin Cities Live - Alberta Ferretti Collection

twincitieslive.com - Alberta Ferretti Collection

Did a little fashion segment in Minneapolis today...

NYC Art Show Supporting Veteran Unemployment

It's embarrassing.  The national average for unemployment is around 7-8%, but the average for veteran unemployment is higher- over 10%. We can do better.

The men and women who serve our country are characterized for their discipline, global experience, technical training and have demonstrated extraordinary loyalty to their country.   With these characteristics, it is not like the unemployed 10% of veterans are under qualified or un-hirable.  It certainly must be confusing to these veterans who are having a hard time finding work. This is why it is important to me to team up with an organization to support these proud men and women and retain their much deserved dignity once they return.  The veteran unemployment issue is truly bothersome, but we can help.

When I started planning my NYC art show in January, I teamed up with the National Foundation for Veteran Redeployment - a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help our veterans re-establish themselves and help them build sustainable careers once they have returned from war.   I love the NFVR's philosophy.

My NYC Art Show in May is a dual purpose event:
1.) fundraiser and support for the NFVR
2.) art show. It's going to be awesome.

Hosting the event will be NFVR's founder, Scot Cohen and CEO, Rajiv Srinivasin.  Rajiv is a Captain in the U.S. Army, a spectacular writer contributing to Time Magazine and keeps a blog about his transition home here Follow Rajiv's insightful tweets here: @believeinrajivThere's talk of having a couple veterans in uniform attending the show as well.  Very awesome.

If you're going to be in the NYC area, please email me if you would like to attend.  Event is private.

April 2, 2012

My NYC Art Show- May 24th

In case you haven't seen my barrage of tweets or photos on Facebook,  I want to formally announce my NYC Art Show!  Wow, it's crazy to believe this is all happening in less than two months.  It's going to be a busy couple months for me, but it's so fun to be able to work on something I am so passionate about.

So far, I have about fifteen pieces either done or in various stages of completion. I will be taking about 12-15 of the best to NYC for the show.  In about an hour,  I am very excited for a visit from Max Teicher from the world famous Gagosian Gallery in NYC http://www.gagosian.com/.  I look forward to giving him a  preview of my work and hearing his professional opinion on my artwork.  This will be my first professional critique before the show, and it's truly an honor to have Max be the one to give it to me!  I hope the weather stays nice for his first impression of Minneapolis!

The part that has been the most difficult for me in planning this art show is the details. It is almost like planning  a wedding.  My best friend has stepped in as my "business assistant" to help relieve me of some of the details- shipping, framing, and keeping me on schedule.   Switching gears every day from creating artwork to handling details is quite the learning experience for me.  Admittedly, the details and "business" side is something I (and most artists) struggle with, but it is a poor excuse to not try!

The show will be the night of May 24th and located right in the middle of NYC at a private venue.  The show is invite only, however, I will reserve a certain amount openings on the guest list for friends that would like to attend.  Just send me an email if you're interested.  valcarpender@gmail.com  Save the date!