Friday, 30 November 2007

2 Opportunities for Artists

The Coffee Cat is looking for a new artist to hang their work on their walls at their Santa Barbara location at 1201 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA on the corner of Anapamu. Rumor has it the last artist who showed their sold a few pieces, Congrats! Their number is (805) 962-7164.

The multifaith action society, whose mission is to promote intereiligious understanding and cooperation, is now accepting applications (art pieces) for their 2009 "Sacred Joy" themed annual callendar.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

New Work - Pure Abstraction

Stormy Day
Pure Abstraction Series
© Deb Chaney 2007
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
24” x 24” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Place this piece in the back left hand corner as you enter a room/home/office to activate self cultivation and knowledge.
$850.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted (805) 403-9870

Monday, 26 November 2007

15 minutes of play a day!

I'm in a bit of a lull with my paintings. Ok, not just a bit, a total fricken, need a break, had-enough-for-now type of lull. My whole being is craving a break. I feel tired when I enter the studio....

We've all been through it. It's normal to have breaks in our creativity.

I think the biggest fear that comes up when I acknowledge and embrace the lull is: can I go back and paint at the level I was at when I stopped? Will I be able to do it again?

Welcome to the uncertainty of being an artist. There is no answer to this, only to go forth and stay committed to the path.

At the beginning of the long weekend, still not accepting the fact that I needed to take a break and I went back to the studio thinking I could force myself into some painting...I did a short meditation and asked this new series of work what it needed. I was still pushing.

The work told me loud and clear; "Give us space, trust the process, have some patience, we're coming in our own time, you have all the time you need to bring us to completion - we'll get there in our own good time!" Yes, this message appeared in large cursive writing in my studio journal, loud and clear.

Closing up my studio, I decided I would read a new book in the area of creativity. I packed up my daughter, the stroller, beach towel, chairs, buckets, snacks, water, and sunscreen off to the beach . Yes, this is the delights of living in Southern California in November - you can go to the beach!

Fifteen minutes of play a day, this is the gift I received from the first chapter of Creating a Life Worth Living - a practical course in career design for artists by Carol Lloyd. Carol asks the reader to commit to a ritual at the same time each day – to do something playful every day. By play she means something that there is no product or goal associated with. Something that is pretty much mindless, that you could do just as easily ten years from now. Something FUN!

Some examples of 15 minute play dates with your inner artist child could be banging on bongo drums, doodling in a journal, dancing, sitting on your rooftop watching the sun rise, drawing mandalas, walking a labyrinth, singing improvisational melodies (remember like when you were a kid?) meditation, walking, journal writing, yoga, and gardening.

Why play? Why take the time to be non-productive, have fun? First off, Carol says first that committing to a small ritual like this every morning teaches us to be commitment to our creativity. The empty space created by ‘being’ in the moment opens up our minds to new ideas, inspiration. It’s this act of committing a seemingly mindless action that creates empty space for our imagination to blossom and grow. By doing it daily, It also provides us with structure and self –discipline which will strengthen our imagination by instituting emptiness into each day.

I think David Lloyd puts it best in his interview in the first chapter of Creating a Life Worth Living when he says:
“Adults have a hard time making art, and kids don’t. You give a kid a bunch of coloring books, construction paper, and all crap kids love to screw around with, and they just start making things. Adults go in their studio and they have all this horseshit in their heads about what it’s like to be an artist, whether artists have a big skylight and a fancy studio or whether they live in a little crummy place: whether it’s okay t to have a cappuccino in the middle of the day or they should be smoking a cigarettes and drinking beer; whether they should have a show or shouldn’t have a show…it just pile on so thick it’s no wonder so many people get stuck.”

Why not give it a try? Lately I'm so cranky from producing, producing, and more producing (writing a marketing plan, worrying about what the heck I'm gonna blog about next week, re-writing my artist statement, updating my website, organizing a workshop for another artist... ) why not remember what it's like to create without expectations? Do something just for the fun of it?

I’ll keep you posted…

I would Love to hear about what you do to play - how about those Kaizen Muse Coaches - what are you recommending to burned out artists such as myself?

The “comment lines" are always open ! Can’t wait to hear how YOU play.

You do play, don't you? :-)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

New Work - Pure Abstraction

Pure Abstration Series

© Deb Chaney 2007
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
16” x 16” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Knowledge & Self Development. Place this piece in the left hand corner of your home/office or the room you are decorating to cultivate your knowledge and self development.

$380.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Elected Member to the Society of Canadian Artists

Last Friday I received a surprise phone called from Linda Hobly, SCA Vice President of Membership for the Society of Canadian Artists. She called to tell me I was accepted through the jury process as an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artsits - SCA. I am honored and was a bit shocked from the phone call. Thank you Linda for the call and also to the jurers for the helpful feedback as well as encouraging comments on my work.

To celebrate I subscribed myself to three magazines that were on my wish list; Art News, American Artist, and Modern Painters. I’d been meaning to get these subscriptions for a while and this moment seemed like an opportune time. Yay!

The Jury process consisted of submitting five images of my recent work for which I submitted 5 of my favorite pieces from my Raw Expression body of work from this year. I was also asked numerous questions in an application form. Between you and me, I spent 3-4 weeks pondering those questions and really giving them deep consideration. Here’s what they asked and what I said…

What is your vision concerning your work?

My personal vision is to playfully and compassionately illuminate the artist within myself and others. I live this myself by painting daily, practicing, exploring, and always learning. I see myself contributing to the world as an artist, with many bodies of work. As well, I see myself teaching others - not only in abstract mixed media painting techniques - but in the realm of creativity and its process in general. I see my work in galleries throughout the world, in collections throughout the world. I see myself involved and contributing in some way to a growing movement of people understanding the link of healing and creativity. Lastly, as part of my vision, I would like to inspire and mentor younger and beginning artists just as I am being mentored currently by several established artists.

How much of your work is produced independently or with guidance?

I produce all my work independently in my studio at home.

What have you done to develop or improve your work?

2007 Promote Your Art, online class with Alyson Stanfield, MA
2007 Lana Grow, Aquamedia & Collage: Experimental and Energizing, Peninsula Art School, WI. 2007 Nancy Reyner, Encaustics Effects with Acrylic. Santa Barbara, CA
2007 Independent Study, Kanuga Water Color Retreat, Asheville, N. Carolina
2007 Ann Baldwin, Painting and Collage, Santa Barbara, CA
2006 Bob Burridge, Basics in Abstract Acrylic Painting, Burbank, CA
2002-2006 Adolfo Girala; Personal Instruction in Mixed Media and Acrylics
2005 Rick Stitch; Abstract Painting, Santa Barbara City College Adult Ed
2005 Karen Browdy; Collage and Mixed Media, Santa Barbara City College Adult Ed
2002 Introduction to Watercolors, El Camino College Community Education
1998 Ron Mulvuy; Beginning Acrylic Painting, Nelson, BC, Canada.

What contributions have you made to the artistic community?

· 2008 – Currently, I am organizing a workshop for Lana Grow: Experimental and Energizing; mixed media and collage, 5 days, March 5-9,2008. To be held at the Goleta Valley Community Center.
· 2006-7 Class Facilitator of "Live your Creative Dream" using the 9 Modern Day Muses and a body guard by Jill Badonsky (similar to the Artists Way, but more fun)
· 2007 - Working as a Creativity Coach in training with the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Association.
· Organized the 2007 Nancy Reyner, Encaustics Effects with Acrylic workshop here in Santa Barbara.
· I write a regular - bi-weekly online column with a focus to share contemporary abstract painting techniques using collage, acrylics, and mixed media as well as explore and share my life as a working artist; studio habits, and creative inspiration.

What professional memberships and affiliations to you hold?

Member, Malibu Art Association
Associate Member, SLMM - The Society of Layerists in Multi-Media
Member, The International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA).
Member, Collage Artists of America
Member, International Society of Acrylic Painters

Major exhibitions, galleries, awards.

July – August 2007 Solo Exhibit; ‘Raw Expression’, Sojourner Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
December 2005 – December 2006; Santa Barbara Weekly Arts and Crafts Show
September - October 2003 Solo Exhibit; ‘Hearts’ Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, CA
June 2003 Exhibitor; Leche League International Conference, Costa Mesa, CA
May - October 2003 Solo Exhibition; The Coffee Attic, Redondo Beach, CA
April 2003 Exhibitor; Annual Ron Cawdry Springfest Carnival, Redondo Beach, CA
February 2003 Solo Exhibit; Java Man Café, Hermosa Beach, CA
October 2002 Exhibitor; Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, Manhattan Beach, CA
1986, Sophie Clapham Memorial Award in Recognition of Excellence in Fine Arts

Why do you want to become a member of the SCA?

To involve myself with the Canadian art scene and expose myself as Canadian artist. To contribute to art in Canada in terms of my physical art itself but also in the spirit of inspiration, creativity, and mixed media painting. I see myself teaching internationally and would love to give workshops to SCA members in my area of painting expertise. To promote, support and encourage other artists within the organization.

Other pertinent information about your artistic career?

Professional full time artist since 2002. Author of The Little Inspiration Book, Ideas to Empower Women (Trafford Publishing, June 2002) and a contributing author to Sand in My Bra & Other Misadventures (Traveler’s Tales, April 2003). Regular online writings about art, creativity and mixed media abstract techniques at.

Please present a short biography for SCA use.

Deb Chaney paints large multi layered mixed media abstract paintings on canvas and paper using brushes, palette knives, and rags. Her most recent body of work entitled Raw Expression, takes her work to a new level in expressing her deep passion for painting. Deb is currently exploring several bodies of work on both canvas and paper each with its own theme and inspiration. She intends to submit her work to galleries in 2008. Raised in Vancouver, BC she currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband and daughter. She has sold over 50 paintings in Canada and the U.S.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Josh Serafin - Expressionist Oil painter

Last week I was walking through the local outdoor mall with my 4 year daughter. We were on our way to Claire’s to buy some princess accessories for her best friend’s birthday present. On the way to the boutique/kids jewelry store we walked by the weekly outdoor art show and some vivid art work caught my eye.

What I liked was the feeling of passion, and intense vivid colors that gave the art a uniqueness, in that most of the art walks around here are all about landscapes, and well, more landscapes. It was refreshing to see something with some pizzaz and attitude, even some abstraction!

I approached expressionist oil painter Josh Serafin and asked him if he would be wiling to answer some questions for the interview you can read below. What I admire about Josh is the way he acknowledged everyone that walked by his booth in a friendly but non-pushy way. Since getting to know him I must say I admire him all the more for being a full time working artist and supporting himself and his family doing what he loves.

Here’s what Josh had to say….

1. Why did you choose to pursue a career as a professional working artist?
When I was in college I enrolled in classes that steered me toward a business degree. The first week of classes I realized I would be going through college as someone else (so to speak). So I took the plunge into my passion and attempted to go for what was calling. An Art degree wasn’t the most career oriented / money making occupation, but it sounded amazing.

2. What is your ultimate vision of success for yourself as a professional working artist?
For me success as an artist is being able to produce what I know and love and get paid doing it. By doing so I’m striking the chord of emotion with the buyer/viewer. This only motivates me to paint more so I can keep filling people’s walls with positive energy.

3. What do you like most and least about this work of making and selling your art?
Going from a blank surface to a satisfied finished work is the most exhilarating part for me. Taking what’s stored in my mind to a visual element is what it’s all about. Having my own schedule is a plus. And watching someone walk a way with my work smiling is an unforgettable high. My least favorite part is what shows to book and the inconstancy of cash flow. I try hard not to let money get in the way, but when you have a wife, house, two daughters, and like to do things, it’s almost impossible for it not to once in a while. Another hard aspect is finding other ways to use your imagery (paintings) as other income opportunities. Lastly, at times just selling your art can be a tough gig.

4. What else do you do, along with art fairs, to sell and promote your work?
Until recently I had my Studio/Gallery for 5 years in a low traffic area here in Huntington Beach. I would hold 2 solo shows per year. Every show has a theme and I present 10-15 new paintings each show along with my growing collection of prints. I have a live guitar player, wine, sushi platter, cheese, fruit, etc. Usually I would get a feature in a paper or two which would help bring mostly locals. Also I mail out a few hundred cards from the mailing list I’ve compiled through my outdoor shows. Another way I promote is being on various sites throughout web, including my own. I have a company named Kava which has recently used a few of my images on their t-shirts. But most of all nothing beats word of mouth.

5. Do you also have gallery representation?
Pacific Surf Gallery in Cardiff by the Sea exhibits my work. Peter is the owner and his small quant Gallery is a must visit. It’s a very unique Gallery in the fact that it specializes in Beach/Surf Culture. The energy is far from stuffy.

7. If you listen to music while you paint, what’s you current favorite?
The Doors have and always will be a favorite. However I listen to a bundle of tunes. Anywhere from my buddy Jeremy Snyder to Miles Davis. What pumps me up are good lyrics and crisp music.

8. What’s your art studio feel like, look like? Do you ever have studio visitors?
When collectors and or visitors enter my studio much of the same reaction comes with a action painter and thrive through emotion and literal energy swings. Therefore causing paint to land where ever it pleases. I also use the big tubes of oil and various jars of medium that congregate like a work of art of their own. In fact I recently put together a five year pallet with finished used paint tubes, brushes that have turned to nubs, broken pallet knifes and whatever other tools I use to get the job done. I dammar varnished the lay out and the piece represents a five year duration from my studio. It I’ll be up for grabs during my winter 2008 show.

The photos in this blog are from Josh's studio!
To see Josh’s art visit his website at
You can contact Josh Serafin at

Friday, 9 November 2007

New Work - One Small World

One Small Word
© Deb Chaney 2007
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
16” x 16” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Health & Vitality. Place this piece in the centre of your home or office walls to support inner health and vitality in your life.

$380.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870

Last weekend Saturday morning I submitted a new piece entitled “One Small World” (shown above) to the Small Images show at the Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara City College. The ingathering was packed with a line up of artists submitting their small pieces also. I took a peek into the gallery and saw easily over a hundred small art pieces lined up against the walls. Waiting for jury.

Late Saturday afternoon I came back to pick up my piece and be told I was not accepted, me, and a lot of other artists left with their work. The gallery had a few clusters left of small art leaning along the walls. I’ll be curious to go see what art was chosen and perhaps glean some answers as to why those pieces were chosen over mine. The only criteria I was aware of was that the art piece had to be 18” x 18” or smaller and recently hand made by the artist.

We all get rejected if we take risks. Is it failure? Was it failure that Edison made hundreds and hundreds of attempts before he created the light bulb? Surely we would all agree it was just ‘what it took’ to get him to the end product – the light bulb. No, I think the failure is if we stop because we don’t get it on the first try, or the second try….

It’s also why enjoying the process, relishing the moments we’re in the studio creating are so important – because maybe we won’t be achieving the gallery show we were hoping for but maybe the real gift is who we are becoming in the process of creating that art. Not that we’re giving up on that gallery show!

I also received a great gift in learning from the Atkinson gallery curator who told me it was best to sign the back of my canvas painting in charcoal and spray it with a fixative instead of signing it with a jiffy market as I’d been doing. He explained that jiffy markers have been known to leak right through to the front of the canvas and their acidity also begin to deteriorate the work. Good tip.

The Small Images show started today - November 9th – and runs until Dec 17th. I’m going to go check it out and see what else I learn. Maybe I’ll get a better feel for what the jurer, Alison Saar , was looking for.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Great painting instructors in mixed media, collage and acrylics - part II

© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Collage on Canvas
24” x 24” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
Feng Shui Recommendation: Fame and Reputation. Place this piece directly across from the front entrance of a room of your home.

$850.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870
Prints available soon at

Here is another one of my favorite mixed media, collage and acrylic painting teachers, what I liked most about her teaching, how she’s influenced me, and what about her work that has intrigued and inspired me.

Ann Baldwin

What I liked most about Ann’s teaching is her humor – she’s British! She is so willing to share her techniques and materials and herself in the class room. Her workshop was relaxed and a lot of fun.

Ann got me really excited about finding intriguing pieces of paper and incorporating them into paintings. After taking her workshop earlier this year I decided to get organized with all the neat papers I’d been gathering and made alphabetically labeled folders so I can grab what I needed when I am in the middle of or starting a painting.

Ann also introduced me to the wonderful rubber shaper tool for writing into thin layer of acrylic paint mixed with polymer medium. As well, Anne’s teachings also influenced me by learning to incorporate C’aran Dash water soluble oil pastels into collage paintings. Thank you Ann!

What intrigues and inspires me most about Anne’s work is her use of the modern golden liquid acrylic colors in layering and glazing techniques to create a mystical blended look that layers paint with collage elements. I Love her style! I always remember being so intrigued the first time I saw one of her painting at Artamo gallery and looked at the writing and drawing into the paint. Her choice of colors; deep red and turquoise blue greens and how she integrate and combines them is wonderful. I like how often her painting has a subtle theme, intention, or message that unifies it.

If you can’t make a class but still would like to learn from Ann, she has a excellent instructional DVD with Creative Catalyst available.