November 27, 2013

A note for all of you about love… and how to have a great Holiday no matter what your situation.

For many, the holidays can be lonely, bring feelings of sadness or be a reminder of financial or health problems.  Not everyone is surrounded by large, functional and happy families like the ones we we see in those Old Navy commercials. To the millions of Americans suffering financially this season or worried about their job, stretching a tight budget to accommodate for Christmas gifts and hosting Thanksgiving dinners can create added stress rather than enjoyment.   For anyone who has suffered a big loss (for me, it is my father), holidays remind you of how they will never be the same as they once were.  

Additionally, the modern day commercialized holiday season continues to completely disconnected us from the real meaning of these holidays even further. Turn on the t.v. at any given time and it's all about Santa Claus, Black Friday and hosting a perfect dinner party to Martha Stewarts' standards.  Holidays can sometimes create friction and family divide.  And I am sure my generation and younger is too busy instagramming to actually connect, causing even more of a divide.  Often, with priorities focused on all the wrong places, disappointment follows as a reminder of what is really important. 


You know what?  We could all stand to re-evaluate our attitude towards this Holiday.  None of us have the right to pity ourselves when we have the same power and choice to feel good about ourselves- in any situation.  Why choose sadness?  Why choose to surround yourself with negative people this Holiday when you're ready to rise above it?  Why wish for something different when when you can act?   The person we see each morning is more or less the result of our life decisions- in relationships, financially and in health. Circumstances that challenge us aren't "bad luck" or misfortune- they're all opportunities that are meant for us to find out what we're really made of.  I can understand that it's hard for everyone to see it this way though, because sometimes life does just seem unfair.


In contrast, we forget that we should be grateful for the strength, courage and determination that has made us who we are today.  We forget to be grateful to the people who've helped us become who we are.  We don't celebrate life's little triumphs nearly enough- we often wait for holidays to do that.  We take for granted the little things in life that are missed the most when they're gone.  For all of the little achievements and big successes you've worked hard for this year, give yourself a pat on the back.  You earned it.  Celebrate.  

I want to share a little paragraph from one of my favorite books that really resonates with me. I am hopeful that any sadness, loneliness or problems you may be facing this Holiday can be overcome by a simple mind shift.  Everything changed for me once I started to make decisions and live according to this understanding:

"Every action taken by human beings is based in love or fear, not simply those dealing with relationships.  Decisions affecting business, industry, politics, religion, the education of our young, the social agenda of your nations, the economic goals of your society, choices involving war, peace, attack, defense, aggression, submission, determinations to covet or give away, to save or to share, to unite or divide- every single free choice you ever undertake arises out of one of the only two possible thoughts there are: a thought of love or a thought of fear." -NDW

We make our choices out of only two emotional feelings: either fear or love, and the definitions of the two words are not what our English dictionary limits us to.  Love is the energy that reveals, opens up, shares, heals, expands and connects us all.  Fear the energy that closes us down, draws us in, runs, hides, hoards and harms.  All of our decisions are made out of one or the other, and nothing in between.

This Holiday Season, I hope you will share more love, and remember why we should be celebrating.  Be conscious of decisions you're making out of fear.  Remember how to really connect deeply with old and new friends, share everything you have, heal a broken heart, help those less fortunate to realize their opportunity, offer the greatest gift you can give: your time.  Do this and I promise you won't be disappointed this Holiday. 

Sending all my love this Holiday!

Cheers,
Valerie






November 4, 2013

Posting Etiquette for the "ME" Generation

It used to be "keeping up with the Joneses", now it's keeping up with and out-doing your 3,000 friends online. Posting, sharing, streaming, following and uploading everything we do is about is as second nature as brushing your teeth.  Anyone under 30 knows that iPhones are now a part of table settings and Instagram breaks are an understood, undisputed part of both work and time with friends.  We view our world through the lens of our camera phones and social media. 

I  think one of the beautiful things about connecting via our online networks is that we can and should be able to share whatever we want- even if it's only the "Kodak" moments.  Sharing the highlights and keeping in touch with friends and family is certainly the primary use of our Facebook, but how do we know when we are sharing too much? And importantly, who can we trust to give us an intervention on sharing etiquette if we need it? 

My generation (already known for being entitled and self-absorbed) took the lead on using social media as the perfect vehicle for over-doing the self-promotion.   And then, somewhere around the time Instagram became popular a couple years ago, everyone could take a great photo and "selfies" started to take over.  I know people who have taken literally hundreds of selfies (and that doesn't include the 20 out-takes per photo that didn't make the cut).

Scary enough, I am almost numb to the shock value of the over-sharing of some people's posts. I have a lot of model friends on Facebook and they never hesitate to post a topless or nearly nude photo of themselves.  A while ago, an older gentleman sitting next to me on an airplane did a double-take at my phone once as I was thumbing through my Facebook feed before we took off. It was embarrassing- I think he thought I was looking at something way raunchier than my Facebook. I put the phone away, limited their posts from my newsfeed and now only check Twitter before take-off and someone is sitting next to me.  

September 10, 2013

Video: Live Guitar Painting

Before I get to the video I am about to share, I regret to inform you all that I keep starting (and not finishing) all these "insightful" blog posts.  It's not that I don't like any of the topics I am writing about, I just can't pick the one to just finish and hit publish!  This has been such a learning and growing year for me personally, and I have so much to share that I don't even know where to begin.  Adding to this, as more and more readers tune in each month, my duty to blog about relevant and insightful topics regularly has now created a sort of writers' stage fright.  I'll get over it, I am sure!

In the meantime,  I want to share a time-lapse video of me painting live at the Budweiser Made in America Concert Tour.  On their stop in Minneapolis, I was asked to paint a guitar in front of a live audience- a very loud, audience as you can see!   It took me about 3.5 hours to finish the guitar from a blank white canvas to the finished project- which is a tribute to the Minneapolis music scene.  Anyone from Minneapolis will likely recognize the stars and logos of First Ave, one of our older and most well-known concert venues.  

The guitar was sent on with the Budweiser tour, making its' final stop at the Made in America Music Festival in Phillidelphia last weekend along with this video.  Big thank you to Budweiser and Big Shoulders for hiring me for the job!  I had a great time and really enjoyed creating this guitar for you all to see. 

During the Minneapolis stop on the Budweiser Made in America Tour, I was asked to do a live painting during the concert event unlike one I've done before. Instead of a canvas, I painted a guitar with quite the audience and about three hours to do it! I painted a tribute to one of the most iconic music venues in Minneapolis- First Avenue. The guitar continued on with the tour and found its way to the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival last weekend. Thank you to Big Shoulders and Budweiser for having me paint a part of the experience!


July 17, 2013

On the road... busy month in the world of fashion!


Well, I am on day number four of my multi-city journey starting Minneapolis ending in Mallorca.  This will be the most consecutive days I have been away from home base in Minneapolis for quite a while! On Thursday I will be in Miami for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week... or more appropriately, Swim Week.  But at this moment, I am in my hotel room in Tampa... well, technically St. Petersburg for a three day shoot.  Bummer that I am missing all the Swim Week castings in Miami right now, but I am grateful to be working.  It's raining outside, so this is the perfect reason to slow down, stay in and write a little blog post that I have been meaning to do. I have to admit that I find myself missing the comforts of home already, especially miss my little dog, Teddy. I have grown used to being with his happy little licking, wagging, cuddly, floppy-eared self 24-7.  I won't see him until August 4th!!!


I stopped by my agency in Miami a couple days ago, armed with my portfolio on my iPad per usual.  I was so excited to show them my newest digital portfolio addition.  It wasn't a new tear sheet.  Or test shoot. To me, it was the next best thing to a Vogue cover.  It was a sweet little 40 second video collaboration created by the talented photographer/videographer David Puente.  The agency loved it.  They wanted another one.

If you ask me, little videos like this are the future of modeling and photography portfolios.  Clients regularly ask to see video in addition to photos, because video can't be photoshopped and what you see is what you get!  It's engaging and a bit unexpected to hit the little play button after you swipe through still photos.  Video is becoming a normal addition to most paid photo shoots as well.  Video is more honest when showing the true fit of clothing to customers online.

Shooting our little video was easy and required minimal equipment or props, but Daves' editing skills and eye for composition are what make the video interesting. It's intentionally under a minute, although we had enough footage to make it much longer.  The short length serves two purposes: you are more likely to watch the whole video before you get bored or distracted by one of your ten open browser tabs. And, if I show it to someone on my iPad and they don't like it, they don't need to awkwardly endure several minutes of my video just to be nice.  But, the feedback has been 100% positive so far, and this video added a whole new life to my portfolio.

Dave and I are planning to make another one soon.  Stay tuned!

Here's the vid:




June 25, 2013

VIDEO- WCCO Morning Show Interview

Thanks to everyone who tuned in and responded!  In case you missed it, here is the video from my WCCO interview that aired last week.

June 21, 2013

WCCO Morning Show (link to video)


I'm very excited to share this with everyone! Check out my story that aired on WCCO this morning about what I do as a model and artist.  News reporter Natalie Nyhus (Kane) wrote the piece, and I am more than happy with what she had to say about my work.

To everyone who missed it when it aired bright and early this morning, click on this link to read the full story and watch my video interview.


June 17, 2013

A total inspiration

Beauty is the whole package- and I met her last week!
Last week, I was shooting the Holiday looks for a new Minneapolis based clothing company, Sophia Graydon. This was the second time shooting for the brand, specializing in ultra luxury womens' loungewear. One of the reasons I absolutely love my job modeling is because of the people I get to meet, especially those who have a positive impact on myself and those around us for what they contribute to the world.  Through shooting for Sophia Graydon, I met a woman so beautiful inside and out whom I found so inspiring, I had to write about her.  She's a perfect example of a lot of the messages I try to convey in my paintings: true beauty in a woman comes from something way more than what we see on the outside. It's the whole package.  It's strength.   It's attitude.  It's drive.

The first time I shot for Sophia Graydon, I didn't know much about the woman who started the company, or why.  I just knew I loved working for the brand for several reasons (everyone was super nice, the clothes were beyond comfortable and I shot with one of my fave Mpls. photographers, Michael Haug).  The first shoot went well, so I was more than happy to work for them again last week.  But this time, the founder of the company, Monica Nassif was coming to help with the shoot all day.  Typically, when a client comes on set, stress levels rise.  But not this time.

I think all of us at the shoot were blown away by Monica and how inspiring it was to be around her, absorbing her stories.  She probably had no idea that she was such a positive force when she came to be hands-on with her photo shoot last Thursday.  Not only did she have an elegant, stunning presence, but the way she spoke about her business and life values made me hang onto every one of her words. She is probably one of the most successful women I've ever met, yet so humble, so balanced and a brilliant woman in business.  She is someone I want to be around all the time (although I would probably drive her crazy with my "ideaphoria").  She is addicted to starting and growing businesses that involve products that people will love and find useful.  All of these qualities make for a recipe for enormous success.

A cover-up from our last shoot for S.G.
Monica's previous business endeavors include founding Caldrea and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products- very popular products that I use every day! The name Caldrea is a combination of her daughters' names (Calla and Aundrea) and Mrs. Meyers is actually her mother- a real life embodiment of the brand.   Monica saw a need in the market to make cleaning products without all the harsh chemicals, obnoxious packaging and bad smells.  She built the companies up to enormous success and sold them to S.C. Johnson in 2008.  Now, she is switching lanes to her newest business challenge- her clothing company, Sophia Graydon.  In her own struggle to find elegant loungewear that wasn't too overly sexy, she created a brand that fills that gap.  Sophia Graydon (also names from her family tree) makes the most luxurious longewear in the world.  I would know, the soft silk she uses is fit for a Queen.

Monica loves the thrill and excitement of building and starting new businesses- and everything she touches seems to be a success.  She's a serial entrepreneur (video). And she's not slowing down.  She told me that her husband just retired, but she's not joining him!   Retirement would be torture for Monica.  Her favorite thing in the world to do is work on building her businesses.

So why did Monica Nassif have such an impact on me that it is four days later and I still can't stop thinking about her?  I meet business people, celebrities and entrepreneurs all the time in my business, so what was it about her that was so different? It was a combination of everything she is.  Not only does she prove that she can be a powerful player in the world of business, but Monica has a side to her that is so humble and anchored in her love for her family and values.  She radiates this. She's raised her two beautiful daughters to be just the same. That's how I want to be.

Based on Monica's track record, I predict much success in the future for Sophia Graydon!

Check out this article in Minneapols/St. Paul Magazine on Monica.  Also, check out Sophia Graydon's FB page where there are all kinds of photos and great little bits of information!  They're also having a sample sale in Minneapolis on June 27th where you can score 80% off on her line.

Sometimes all it takes is one person in your life who really inspires you to think, 'I can do that!".  We are all a product of the relationships we choose to have around us.  We can choose good relationships that lift us up, which is what I've learned to value more as I get older.  

Alright, big week for me, so I need to get going!  Interview with Natalie Kane from WCCO tomorrow morning, so  I'll post on Twitter the details for where you can watch me on t.v.   Stay tuned!  Then, off to Chicago tomorrow... Happy Monday everyone!




May 16, 2013

"Free Falling" in its new home!



When one of my paintings finds its way to a perfect home, I am reminded of why I make art. I love when something I made resonates with someone else.  That's exactly what happened when Nancy Dall saw my "Free Falling" painting, which now has a fabulous new home in her Lake Minnetonka condo. Thank you to Nancy Dall for giving it such a special place to live and I hope you enjoy it for years to come.

I think we are going to have to see Tom Petty when he comes to town next month, right Nancy?




I hate my art.

*I promise there's a point to this.  Please read whole post.  

Yup.  I said it.  Sometimes, I really hate my art.  This is the weekend of a pretty big art event for me (Art-A-Whirl) and I confess. I hate my art.  I am doubting myself. Sometimes I wonder what I am doing- I mean, can I really make a career out of being an artist?  Am I delusional?  Besides, no one needs original art... Target and Ikea prints suit most people just fine!

Hanging my work for Art-A-Whirl this weekend
I feel like it's written all over my face- that I am a fraudulent artist and everyone sees that my work isn't that good. Sometimes months go by and I don't sell anything, which makes me feel like I am failing. There must be something wrong- I'm failing with my work, my passion is steering me in the wrong direction, I am wasting my time and effort.  It's dumb.  I'm dumb for trying.  Is this normal? Am I normal?  Wait, don't answer that.

Some days I hate my art more than others, like the  days I will fix my attention on a certain piece and obsess about how I hate it so much that I can't even look at it another minute.  I completely whitewash it without a moment of hesitation.  No one will ever know it's gone, except me.  And then I paint something else on that same canvas, forcing myself to make something better than what is was before (it works every time).  I feel better in some kind of way.  If I don't like it, no one else would like it, so I get rid of it's evidence forever!

May 1, 2013

Art-A-Whirl 2013- here's all you need to know!

It seems like forever ago that I participated in Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis. In fact, it was.  When I was in college, I set up a show during the big event and had quite the... um... interesting display.  In fact, I am sure you can see that post right here.  Looking back, my show was kind of a mess of everything- abstracts, girls, digital arts, horses... whew.  And I still managed to sell five paintings!  Oh the bittersweet memories.  That was the first year I had the idea I could actually make money from my artwork.

Anyways, years have gone by, and I am very excited to re-emerge into the Art-A-Whirl scene.  But this time, things will be quite different.  I will have a real gallery-type space in the Northrup King Building (and not just a wire wall), hosted by my friend Todd Andrew Gross of New World Productions.  It's a beautiful space!  The show is sponsored by Dear Appvice, which you should probably download for your iPhone now.  And, needless to say, my work has evolved and this show should be a much more cohesive display...  At least, I hope it is!


My show will be a collection of my most beautiful paintings I have been working on recently, and a couple brand new ones.  I am showing all girls, of course, playing on my theme of seeking the true meaning of beauty.  I want everyone who comes to see my show to remember it, if nothing else.

For those of you who live in Minneapolis, you've probably (or maybe not) heard of Art-A-Whirl.  It's quite a big event, drawing in crowds of thousands of art buyers from around the midwest.  Northeast Minneapolis, home to hundreds of local artists and artist studios, becomes a giant art show, with everyone's doors open and artists showing their original works.  If you want original art, this is where you go in the midwest!  The Art-A-Whirl crowd draws thousands of art buyers, food vendors and outdoor/indoor activities for a whole weekend.  It's quite the experience from what I remember!

So, come buy original art!  You don't even have to buy mine (although I'd love it), just come support any local artist(s).  Besides you want original, hand-made art that makes a way better statement and conversation piece that you can feel proud to hang in your home.  For those of you who think original art is out of your budget, you can walk home from Art-A-Whirl with a big painting for under $500... easily.  There are a lot of artists who just want to sell their work at reasonable prices.  So, don't be afraid!

Here is the invite and where to find me at my art show during the weekend.  Todd and I will be there all three days mingling and meeting buyers.  Come say hi!  Please do, and bring your friends!




April 22, 2013

Event re-cap and photos from Citypages Envision Artopia 2013!




It was so wonderful to see so many fashionable and well-dressed faces at the Citypages Envision Artopia 2013 fashion show at the Graves Hotel!  It has been years since I have attended the event (I modeled for the show back in 2009) and I was blown away at how much it has grown since then.  The show is certainly an impressive production, combining a New-York style fashion show with the local arts scene.  The two-part fashion show featured all local designers and models from Ignite, a fast-growing exclusive modeling agency in Minneapolis.  In addition, there was an exhibition of selected RAW Minneapolis Artists, catering by Crave, Skinny Girl Martini's, a photo booth, swag bags, beauty demonstrations and that's just the beginning!  With so much going on, it was easy to have a good time.

My involvement in the fashion event was not on the runway this time, but on the side.  I did a live art piece to raise money for Free Arts Minnesota, a charity that supports underprivileged young artists.  I painted one of my closest friends, Lalita Zapata, who modeled for me while everyone watched.  Lalita and I coincidentally met backstage at Envision in 2009 when we were both walking in the show.  She is so elegant and beautiful inside and out, which made it easy to paint her!  This also created an added pressure to make her perfect. The painting took about two hours, with a couple breaks for us to watch the show and sample the martini's everyone was raving about. At the end of the night, we auctioned the painting to raise money for Free Arts Minnesota. It was such a fun and social night in support of a great charity.  Congratulations to Angie for her winning bid!

April 11, 2013

Live Art Performance @ Envision Artopia Fashion Show this Saturday!

I'm very excited to be doing a live painting during the Twin Cities' largest fashion event this Saturday, Envision Artopia 2013. Doing a live art performance during a fashion show is something I've always wanted to do... I can't think of a better place to share my style of work!  The plan: to start and finish a painting from scratch during the fashion show.  I love a good challenge.

My favorite part?  The painting I create will be auctioned at the end of the evening with all proceeds donated to Free Arts Minnesota.  Free Arts Minnesota inspires hope and builds self-esteem for youth who have experienced poverty, homelessness, abuse and mental illness, using the healing powers of artistic expression and caring adult mentors. It is important to me that I use my artwork as a way to help support causes I believe in.  Always. 

In addition to the live performance I will be doing, I will also have a small selection of my artwork to share and sell.  I am bringing a couple very special pieces that just returned home from their Miami tour!  

Buy your tickets here.

Event details:
Where: Graves|601 Hotel, Minneapolis
When: Saturday, April 13 
Time: 8pm-midnight   



April 5, 2013

MN Monthly Magazine- April 2013

Click this image to view all of them larger.
As always, I like to throw in a little post about what's been happening in the world of fashion as well as the arts! This month, check out my latest fashion spread in Minnesota Monthly Magazine shot by the talented Minneapolis photographer, Erika Ludwig.  Hair and makeup by Margo Gordon.  Location: beautiful home on Lake of the Isles.

Stylist Barbara Schmidt took me out of my usual jeans, boots and t-shirt ensemble I have been living in all winter... so nice!   Imaginative pairings of pattern and color seems to be the trend everywhere this spring. Everything we shot can be found local, mixing high end with vintage finds.







Also in this issue is the beauty advice (below) from friend and extremely talented (and famous) makeup artist, Fatima Olive.  Anything Fatima advises, I know I can trust.  Coincidentally, we worked together yesterday on a shoot and she used her "expert's product pick" on me, so I can agree... the Clinique Chubby Stick is a winner.    Check out Fatima's website and her beauty blog... It's really well done and has more great advice.   






March 29, 2013

Big THANK YOU to everyone who came to the Crave Artist Showcase!


I want to extend a big warm THANK YOU to everyone who came out to Crave downtown on Wednesday night to see the artwork of Drew, John and myself.  Crave allowed us to completely re-arrange their main dining room and basically turn it into an art gallery- and it looked amazing! We were so thrilled with the turnout, despite it being a weeknight.  Everyone who came stayed the duration of the event, and then some.    Overall,  I say the show came together quite welland I hope everyone had a great time!  The only problem was, we didn't get enough photos.

And of course, this show wouldn't have been half as great if I didn't have two other great artists, Drew Beson and John M. Alspach to team up with. Drew definitely understands the amount of effort it requires to put on a professional show, and put in some serious effort to help John and I make everything look it's best.   On Wednesday am, Drew and I found ourselves wheeling our large artwork through the busy downtown skyways, and luckily no one was injured (too badly)!

March 22, 2013

YOUR INVITE: Artist Showcase & Cocktail Reception at Crave, Downtown Minneapolis

This Wednesday, Crave downtown Minneapolis is generously hosting a special cocktail reception and local artist showcase featuring the works of Drew Beson, John M. Alspach and myself!  All three of us are contemporary artists with a nationwide presence in the art scene, so it will be a special treat for us to come together in our home-state of Minnesota.  We are excited to share our latest paintings at such a great location!

The event is free and open to everyone.  Crave will be providing complimentary passed hors d'oeuvres.

Please feel free to extend this invitation to your friends.  I hope to see you all!

Date: March 27, 6:00-8:30pm

CRAVE Downtown Minneapolis- Main Dining Room
825 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN



March 18, 2013

What I learned from Professional Image Consultant, Alice Sydow


Alice styled me here... the awesome belt was $15 from H&M!
Recently, I had a bit of a style-awakening, thanks to Alice Sydow, personal image consultant and wardrobe stylist with I've Got Your Style.  She'd been wanting to do a color assessment on me for a year or so, and hinted that my wardrobe could use a little... well... refining.  Ok, ok, she's right, so I took her up on her offer.  Yes, I am admitting, sometimes I need help when it comes to dressing myself.   But, now I get to share what I learned with all of you!

Alice came over to help me pick out an outfit for an art event I was selling my paintings at (pictured) where I needed cocktail attire. We picked out an outfit, but the most interesting part was that we found ourselves diving into a three hour conversation about the phychology of our personal image- or what we want our personal image to be.  Each of us has a personal image that others notice, whether intentional or not.

Let me start by saying, the intention of this post isn't going to be about me, my styleor about how everyone needs to run out and hire a stylist and buy the most expensive clothes in order to look and feel their best.  Everything I am going to tell you about in this post what Alice shared with me about personal image.  There will be some styling tips she gave me on what to buy, how to dress for an event and how our personal image can play an important role in our lives... and doesn't need to be expensive.

It's no new news that when we look good we feel good, yet sometimes fall into style ruts that we don't even realize we fell into in the first place.  Years of habit and getting into our busy routines leaves little time to piece together new outfits or think too much about what we wear.  Personal image isn't frivolous, it's an extension of you.

March 5, 2013

GO Magazine Cover & Fashion Spread... shot by Bill Phelps


If you find yourself on an Airtran flight somewhere this month, look for me on the cover of GO Magazine with my friend Sean Myrie! We'll be in the back seat pocket.  Inside, we did a cool fashion spread on how to travel in style.  The clothes were pretty awesome, if I must say!

We shot this spread a few weeks ago at the Atlanta International Airport.  Needless to say, it wasn't easy for our crew to fly under the radar in one of the busiest airports in the country. It was a great pleasure to work with the extremely talented (and famous) photographer, Bill Phelps who is known for his work in NYC where he lives. Bill and I quickly learned we were both from Minnesota, which I thought was pretty awesome!   We have a lot of friends and places in common, which was fun to talk about.  It's not often I work with other Minnesotans when I am halfway across the county!

Much thanks to Tony, Polly and Veronica for having me come to Atlanta to shoot this with you guys.  I had such a great time!!





Issue: GO Magazine, March 2013
Photographer: Bill Phelps
Art Direction: Tony Judge
Styling: Polly Judge
Hair/Makeup: Veronica Tirado-Sitterding

February 20, 2013

Event and ticket details for tomorrow's event at the Fine Line in Minneapolis!

***UPDATE***  I had great news waiting in my inbox this morning.  The event coordinator for tonight's show informed me that my wonderful friends and supporters purchased way more than the amount of tickets that I was asked to sell.   Because of this incredible generosity and support, the event is going to allow me to put any additional guests on the list with no ticket cost as a bonus to everyone!!!  THANK YOU to everyone who bought tickets,  I will be thanking each of you personally when I see you tonight! Your support will help put on more great events like this. We did it!  Now, we will have some fun tonight.  

I do need to have names for the guest list by 7pm.  If you are not on my guest list, you will still need to pay the $15 cover at the door.  The guest list was a special bonus extended to  friends of mine because I sold so many tickets.  Please email me at: valcarpender@gmail.com  Come out and have some fun!  See you later!


video

I am excited to be one of the featured artists tomorrow night at the RAW Artists Organization's Minneapolis Discovery event!  It will be a night of fashion, art, music and a great excuse to get out and be social on a snowy night! Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time online for only $10, otherwise it's $15 if you want to buy at the door.

THANK YOU to everyone who already bought their tickets and are coming to support. I have been looking forward to finally being able to show you my work in person!

See event details and buy tickets here.




February 7, 2013

Luxe Magazine Event at the Gallery of Amazing Things

My girl paintings are living the life of luxury right now.  I am beyond thrilled to have them being exhibited at the Gallery of Amazing Things just north of Miami in Dania Beach, FL.  The gallery is stunning beyond words.   The video I posted explains it all.

Last week, the Gallery of Amazing Things (GoAT) hosted a gala for Luxe Magazine. This is an extra bonus for me because Luxe asked to feature my work in the showroom (with two Aston Martins!).   Did I need to think twice about this?  I am honored.  It's not every day this happens, and I am thrilled to have my girls were in the spotlight that night.  Check out the highlight video from the event and watch closely for my paintings.  They look great in that space if I must say!


Thank you to Arron Rimpley and Alfredo Barrios from the GoAT for making my work look beautiful in the space.  They're a great addition.   Thank you to everyone at Luxe for showcasing my work and asking me to be a part of your event.

January 10, 2013

Kicking off the New Year! New paintings coming soon!

I've been spending a lot of time in my studio the last couple of weeks really thinking about my next art show and the type of work I want to produce this year.  Based upon what I learned from selling my work last year, I have learned a valuable lesson as an artist.  Bottom line is, I have to paint cool stuff that people want to own, but it also has to have a story... a meaning... a reason for why I did what I did.  Even if it is a completely stupid story, a story is better than none because it gives the work meaning.

Meaning.  This is such an important factor to producing a piece of art that a person relates to enough to want to buy it, especially when they are parting with thousands of their hard-earned dollars.  There's a lot of pretty art out there that's easy to look at it, but it's also easy to forget about it.  What's worse is if your work looks a lot like someone else's work and it's not special.   While creating a painting that is visually appealing is important,  it's the story that really helps sell it and make it memorable.  Every piece I sold last year had one thing in common:  A story. Meaning. Emotion. Authenticity.