<![CDATA[Renee Ortiz Studios - Blog]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 05:21:24 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[What would you do?  -Take the challenge or lie in a hammock?]]>Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:24:00 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/what-would-you-do-take-the-challenge-or-lie-in-a-hammock
 Well, I guess for me, it's time for a challenge.  I have too long neglected my blog, and jumped into all of the easier social media that take no time at all, right? Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and all the derivatives- suck my attention nightly as I post my daily paintings.  (I'm at 1,929 consecutive paintings without a miss at the moment, in case you were wondering.)  But I really miss the opportunity to connect with a bit more.  I know that I can jump in here, hit and miss, post whenever I want... but something about my personality- I'm an all or nothing kind of person: painting, diets, exercise... That's probably why I'm afraid to miss a daily painting- off the wagon I would go!

So, I climbed out of the hammock and painted it thus completing day one of the first challenge:  a 30 day painting challenge to paint from life each day and post it.  Well that's easy.  I'm doing it anyway!  But if I hashtag it  #Stradaeasel I might win a super cool easel.  

The second challenge for today is to announce to you that I intend to get the word out more that my paintings are actually for sale. Over the next eight days I will be reconfiguring the way I do this.  This challenge comes from The Abundant Artist.  I am excited for the week to come.

Finally, after listening to the Artist Helping Artists podcast on blogs, I am ready to get serious about this- both here and at Beach House Retreats.  I think that I've been wary of inundating people's emails, but here, you can read it when you want.  Hopefully you'll share and comment, you never know, I may randomly award you some art...

Well, enough challenges for now!  It's time to test out that hammock and enjoy Labor Day weekend!  Hope you're doing similar!  


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<![CDATA[Lost Address Books, Christmas Card Lists, Rolodexes, Blackberries, Palm Pilots, Computer Crashes and More]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 01:59:41 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/lost-address-books-christmas-card-lists-rolodexes-blackberries-palm-pilots-computer-crashes-and-more
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l  Just an old fashioned girl living in a high tech world...? As always, I am trying to keep up, but in some areas I am failing miserably.  I have always loved my tattered Winnie the Pooh address book.  For at least 25 years I have filled it to overflowing; crossed out, dog eared and updated, I have relied on it to keep and guard my contacts.  I love sending a surprise note for no reason, as Christmas cards are always rushed, and birthdays are so hard to stay on top of.  People would try to convert me to a more tech version of this.  In the 80's I had a rolodex, the 90's were all about the palm pilot, moving quickly into blackberries, desk tops, laptops and smart phones.  The slick, new formats, numbers at my fingertips without thumbing through my coffee stained, torn  and well used pooh book, certainly had its appeal.  But what happens when it all comes crashing down?  Lost phone?  No back up?  Hard drive doused in water?  Then, too, what happens when your favorite bear book goes missing?    Panic?  Maybe.  I recently decided to collect addresses all over again.  I always figured I could find most of my friends on Facebook,  I can message them through IG or Tweet... But what if I want to just send an old fashioned note?

Recently I launched a campaign to collect addresses, offering a prize lucky drawing for a one night stay at the beach house.  Perfect.  I should have all of my friends addresses and more in no time, right?  Hmm... Well, I think we are all tired of too much junk mail, too many emails, too many forms with our personal info...?    Whatever the reason, I just am not succeeding in this endeavor.   Would you consider helping me out?  You never know when you might get a little something sweet in the mail instead of the usual bills and junk.  Sometimes I am taking note of when you really liked a painting.  All you need to do is fill out this form, or you can always message me and I'll fill it out for you.  I might send an occasional "here is what's going on in my art world" kind of thing- but I promise not to stuff your inbox.  And, who knows?  Maybe you'll get to come stay at the beach house!  Thanks for considering!  Oh, and how will I keep track of these shiny new addresses?  I'll store them safely in my password protected Macbook, securely backed up in the cloud... or maybe I'll find a new Pooh book to scribble them into!  
​Click here to help me out!
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<![CDATA[Rituals and Routine]]>Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:11:45 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/rituals-and-routine
I love car conversations with my daughter- well, really all conversations.  She is a dancer, an artist, and I am a painter, an artist.  We get each other.  Yesterday we were talking about the importance of ritual and routine.  She has been taking class nearly every day of her life since she was two and a half.  Does it get boring?  Maybe.  The combinations and barre work are repetitive.  When comparing ballet with her less familiar jazz classes, she realized how freeing the ritual can be.  If you don't need to think on the basics, when it's as natural as breathing, you are free to focus on another aspect.  You can experiment or multitask.  

The same is true with painting.  I work on my big paintings -the ones I call my important work.  But I also paint everyday- something to post.  Often late at night, sometimes in bed, usually not fabulous.  But it's my ritual.  In painting and posting to social media- 1,800 days without missing, I have freed myself to experiment- to not be afraid to throw new and incomplete ideas out there.  I can go on auto pilot and create as my mind wanders to future paintings.  The routine makes it as natural as brushing my teeth.  I often wonder how long I will continue, perhaps as many days as my daughter has taken class.  Her embracement of the ritual inspires me.  She is an artist.

 Thanks for including me in the routines and rituals art challenge!  See more here!
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<![CDATA[5 things Monet has taught me]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:28:52 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/5-things-monet-has-taught-me
If you follow me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed an obsession as of late- mice, cows and Anthro not withstanding.  I have been in the clouds, both figuratively and you might say, literally.  This past couple of months I have been making it a practice to go to the rooftop 15 minutes before sunset, and paint the clouds.  I am amazed at how the light changes so quickly.  When you couple that with weather conditions and the movement of clouds, I feel somewhat like the proverbial dog chasing after his own tail.  I feel that I am one of the few in Corona del Mar to complain about a cloudless sky!  So what does all of this have to do with Monet?  Let me share what the great Claude Monet has taught me:

1.  Create good habits.   Monet stated, "I know how to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even."  My painting practice started almost six years ago, when I challenged myself to be more like Monet, and at the very least complete a painting each day. Now at 1,768  consecutive days without missing, this has truly become a habit.  My day would be incomplete without it.  Yes, there have been a lot of really bad paintings, but you have to have a lot of bad ones to collect a handful of good ones.

2.  Have patience.  Monet advised, "You don't absorb a landscape in a single day."  Creating can be frustrating.  It looks so easy.  We wander through museums and galleries and think,"I can do that!"  -and then frustrated at the first obstacle.  A good friend Jeanne Oliver once said, "Nobody expects to sit down at a piano and play perfectly.  People realize it takes years of dedicated practice.  So why don't we know the same to be true of painting?"  We need to keep trying, and give ourselves some grace.

3.  Learn empathy.
  Monet truly understood that, "One can do something if one can see and understand it."  Oh this goes so far beyond a painting, and in this time of political unrest of sorts, it's important to remember to listen and try to understand the other side.  Things are never quite as black and white as one might suspect.  The more time I spend 'in the clouds,' the more I notice the various shades , colors, tints, the important details, and the not so.

4.  You're never too old. On his 76th birthday in response to Bernheim--Jeunes' well wishes Monet wrote, "I am happy to let you know that I am more and more passionate about my work, and my greatest pleasure is to paint and to enjoy nature."  On days that I'm especially feeling my years, and wondering why am I doing this, I look to Monet and his exuberance, not even yet starting his Water lilies until his seventies.  I think the daily challenge, the ever quest, keeps us young at heart. 

5. Keep your heart awake.  Monet brilliantly observed, "What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence."  It is indeed a noisy world.  Turn off the news.  Turn off your cell phone.  Take a 20 minute walk outside.  Try to shut out the surrounding traffic or any other ambient noise and focus in on something beautiful, maybe clouds or a blossoming tree or a bird... Really notice the colors, the shapes they form, the interplay of darks and lights.  The colors will sing and at the same time cause you to still.  On my own walk, as I silently mix colors in my head and think about future paintings, eventually my mind quiets, and in that stillness I can be with my Creator and give Him thanks.

Monet once said, "I would like to paint the way a bird sings."  And I, too, will dare to dream.  


*The above photo is of my second group of clouds impressions.  There are 12 paintings each 4x4" wax paint on wood cradled panel. They are being released as a set.  Please message me with any inquiries.
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<![CDATA[The Sacred Collective: a glimpse of a memory to add to the conversation.  What are your thoughts?]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 07:00:00 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/the-sacred-collective-a-glimpse-of-a-memory-to-add-to-the-conversation-what-are-your-thoughts
Rome, The Vatican, St. Peters, a dream vacation and tears that wouldn't stop.  You know how people say, I remember it as if it were yesterday... you nod in disbelief, really?  37 years ago?  Highly doubtful...  but truly I do.  We tumbled out of the taxi in the stifling heat of August in Rome (-Never go to Rome in August; everything is closed, as the locals vacation that month in the cooler regions, and all you are left with are cranky tourists and crazy cab drivers, and a handful of miserable Romans unable to take a vacation with the rest of their friends and family. But I digress...)  I remember the walk past dozens of souvenir stalls, eying the mini- pieta's and rosary beads, and then refocussing my attention on what was before me- St. Peter's, the dome, the promise of some amazing art, a visit to the Sistine Chapel, more art...  what sixteen year old art student wouldn't be thrilled with this tour?  

And then I spotted the first of many poor, injured, homeless people, begging for anything I might offer.  It only took seconds for me to refocus and see dozens of these hungry and helpless- the alley across the way, the corner of the steps, in a setback cubby...  My mind whirled.  So many.  I was sixteen.  I grew up in the suburbs.  This was new to me.  

I stepped into the cool interior, inlaid marble, gold leafing, sculpture, stained glass masterpieces,  beauty, majesty.  I inhaled the grandeur and then rather than finding the peaceful presence of God, I grew angry with Him.  How do you have all of THIS- when there are people on your very steps, starving?  I felt confused, betrayed, even.  How would I walk out those doors and pass those people, unable to help?  How could anyone?  

I knelt in front of the Pieta, what in my opinion was Michelangelo's greatest work.  I can remember praying, and asking questions, that I wouldn't get answers to for many years.  The tears started, and continued to leak out throughout the rest of my stay- when nobody was looking, when I wouldn't have to explain...  And this went on for years.



Please join the conversation.  All thoughts, stories, verses, quotations, experiences, opinions, poems, images... etc are welcomed.  
Pour into me so that I can pour out onto canvas.
The Sacred Collective.
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<![CDATA[The Sacred Collective Part Three]]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 23:03:54 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/the-sacred-collective-part-three
The canvases arrived, the research continues and the conversation is just getting started.  Care to join in? 

Read more about it here.  And here.
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<![CDATA[The Sacred Collective- part two]]>Tue, 31 May 2016 05:22:50 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/the-sacred-collective-part-two
I stepped into the cathedral; quickened breath, buckled knees, vision clouded by tears, transported to the throne of God, there was no doubt I had His ear and He had mine...


Thanks for coming back!  I'm hoping this means you would like to participate in my project... and if you stumbled here by mistake and have no idea what I'm talking about- take a minute, if you will, and read the first part here.  


The Sacred Collective begins this week.  The theme is "Sacred Spaces" and for right now I will be focusing on cathedrals.  Have you ever been in a cathedral?  What was your experience?  Maybe it was on a trip.  Do you have any pictures you want to share?  Perhaps you attend a cathedral on a regular basis,  -or maybe just the opposite- you avoid stepping foot in cathedrals.  If you have not been in a cathedral, what is your impression, any thoughts or emotions attached?  

You can give me a word, a thought or phrase, or a story, or a rant or a poem...  I am asking you to move me.  

You can comment here, email me, private message... whatever works best for you and makes this a doable process.  I so appreciate your participation.  I am tremendously excited to work with you and humbled by your response thus far.  I will update again soon.



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<![CDATA[The Sacred Collective]]>Fri, 27 May 2016 21:20:13 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/the-sacred-collective
I paint what I see, and sometimes what I don't.  I paint what makes me happy.  Generally that is how my life goes; whether it's seascapes and sunsets or illustrating mice and cows, I paint and you respond.  It seems the perfect relationship.  Every so often I am compelled to go deeper: to paint to move.  As usual with the artist and viewer relationship, I paint, you take it in, perhaps, absorb it.  It might move you.  It might evoke an emotional response.  It might then become a part of you to carry forward.  That is the hope.  

But what if we altered this relationship.

I'm alone in my studio; or am I?  Discussing artists in his book, "Who's Afraid of Modern Art," Daniel Siedell states, "While she often appears solitary in relation to her contemporaries, the modern artist carries with her a great cloud of witnesses, a community, or conversation partners amongst the dead.  Therefore, when an artist goes into her studio, she is never alone, and when she drags her brush across that canvas, it is in response to the voices that she hears, the conversations that she is having with artists from the past."

But what if we expanded this idea forward.


In this call and response of artist and audience, what if the audience called first.  

My idea is a collective of sorts. I have an idea that I want to delve into and uncover.  I intend to include the artists that have gone before me as I research and study; but I want to include the viewers before and during the painting process. I want an ongoing conversation where I can take in a variety of thoughts, ideas and emotions to then evoke this emotional response from me and onto the canvas- to carry it forward and back to you- creating a full circle.

Are you still with me?  

Here is how it will work:  I will occasionally post a question or quotation having to do with my subject.  All I ask is that you think on it and get back to me either in the comments, email or private message- whatever works best for you... and in your own timing.  Respond right away, or mull it over for a week or two.  I am trusting that the input will come as needed for my progression.  I might post sneak peaks of the work...  The project will be ongoing over the course of the next six months.  The hope is that it will culminate into an exhibition in which you will be included and named as part of the collective.  

Will you join me?  

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<![CDATA[I really do have two great reasons why you should drop everything and read this post:]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 00:07:17 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/i-really-do-have-two-really-great-reasons-why-you-should-drop-everything-and-read-this-postPicture
1.  The first is that I so sO SO want to see you at my upcoming Open House.  I have been working super hard at making a welcome home in which to share my art and my heart.  I want you to come and celebrate this first step, perhaps catch my dream of having a place for art and writing retreats and more.  I would so love for you to experience a taste of what I will be offering, and perhaps even expand my vision with your suggestions.  Maybe you'll be able to help me spread the word, and grow this in ways I couldn't on my own.  Whatever the case, I am planning for a relaxing afternoon with a little wine and refreshments, and maybe even a bit of paint, some conversation and laughter, and spectacular beach views.  Won't you join me?  

You are cordially invited to
Beach House Retreats 
Open House
January 24, 2016
2:00-6:00
216 Fernleaf Avenue
Corona del Mar, California
2.  The second reason, and even bigger news... (Aren't you glad you read this far?) is that the following week is my Inaugural Art Retreat, A Week at the Beach, January 29-February 5.  Guess guess GUESS What?!!!  I have spots available that I want to give away!   If you want to win one of these spots there are several ways to go about it. 


  • Comment on this post about why you would like to spend a week at the beach with me
  • Blog about the event, the beach, beach house retreats... and send me a link to share.
  • Share about this on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter   -and ask your friends to repost, retweet, like and comment.  
  • -And if you WIN...Agree to give me input and help me to promote the house with your reviews and snapshots.*  

The more you do, the more you increase your chances to win.  Clear your calendar and pray for a bit of sunshine!  Who is ready for some fun?  On your marks, get set, GO!


*Ladies only... sorry guys.
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<![CDATA[Why Not Try Something NEW in the New Year?]]>Fri, 01 Jan 2016 21:43:38 GMThttp://reneeortizstudios.com/blog/why-not-try-something-new-in-the-new-yearPicture
Are you afraid of trying new things?  If you are, oh- how I can relate!  I wish I could say that I was super confident in starting a new business.  I wish I could say that I'm ready to embrace this change in my life on the heels of retiring from my homeschooling life and facing my new empty nest.  I wish I could say that a day can go by when I DON"T get a sick feeling in my stomach as I begin to panic and fill out job applications for Taco Bell.  But I'm thankful for friends who encourage me and family who cheer me on; and mostly for my God who gives me peace whenever I remember to ask Him for it.  So I'll step forward in faith as I continue to prepare to welcome friends into my favorite little house in the world.  I'll keep working on the murals and the retreat plans and the recipes to share. I'll keep inviting you all to join into what I love so much, even if you claim to not be able to draw a straight line, even if you have never held a paint brush- because there is something so supremely wonderful about hanging out at the beach with girlfriends, doodling, coloring, sketching, experimenting in different mediums, creating in response to God's creation.  I want to open my home and heart.

Today I'm saying hello to this NEW 2016 and all it holds.  I so hope you will join me!

January 24, 2016
Beach House Retreats Open House!

Please plan on stopping by between 2:00 and 6:00 to check out the newly restored 1935 beach house which will be home to art and writing retreats, as well as airb&b and rentals.  
Food, Fun, and of course a little art for all!

Following this event will be my Inaugural Beach House Retreat, a week of sketching and painting in beautiful Corona del Mar.  There are still some spots available... 
Hurry on over here to find out more!



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