ART HEALS by Amy Vidra

I’ve been working on a piece for the Journey of Hope, an awesome show exhibiting works from artists representing stories of writers who’ve experienced mental illness. Writer’s stories are paired with an artist to create a representational piece of art in their own style and interpretation to be exhibited at The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, and The Crocker Art Museum. This event is organized by the Stop Stigma Sacramento Speakers Bureau, part of the “Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think”.

While previously working as an art therapist, I saw the many stages of mental illness and how this effected them and their families. Though the struggles and obstacles often got in their way, they were resilient, strong, and beautiful humans. There are many faces of mental illness, but through art, we can heal.

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FUN FOR A GOOD CAUSE by Amy Vidra

Last night was such an amazing and fun event at the Crocker Art Museum, BNSA (Big Names, Small Art) Auction! Such amazing art and great environment! My piece, In Between, sold for $325, profiting the Crocker’s many educational programs for adults, children, teens, and their families. I met some awesome people, all there for the love of art, fun, and to help our community. The exposure was great for myself and many other artists, but the fun environment and purpose to help the Crocker continue to support programs in the arts made the evening that much more enjoyable.

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UP AND COMING by Amy Vidra

Here is a list of some up and coming exhibits and auctions I will be in this coming year! Please come check out these amazing venues and organizations and support your local arts!

Stay tuned for updates on other shows I will be exhibiting in.


UP AND COMING:

BNSA (BIG NAMES, SMALL ART) ART AUCTION, CROCKER ART MUSEUM, MAY 23, SACRAMENTO, CA

In Between, 10” x 8”, Acrylic, Ink, Graphite

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2019 AIMAE (ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MAIL ART EXHIBIT) MAY 30, VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, Federation of Canadian Artists

Home, 10” x 8”, Acrylic, Thread

MEMBERS BIG ART SHOW, JULY 6, THE ELK GROVE FINE ARTS CENTER, ELK GROVE, CA

2019 KVIE ART AUCTION, OCTOBER 4-6, SACRAMENTO, CA

Golden, 30” x 30”, Acrylic, Ink, Graphite

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ABROAD by Amy Vidra

One of my pieces titled, All The Places I Lived, was accepted into the 2019 AIMAE (Annual International Mail Art Exhibit) in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The theme was “Home”. This pieces is a varied style for me but represents changes of environment and space, and reflects pieces of the places I’ve lived. It was completed following my move from New Mexico to California and the memories of my home in the Southwest, combined with my new home of California. The white is remembrance of the snow of the midwest, where I grew up. Home can be several places all at the same time.

Home  Acrylic, Thread  10” x 8”

Home

Acrylic, Thread

10” x 8”



NEW HAPPENINGS by Amy Vidra

There’s been some new happenings in the studio these last few weeks, playing with abstract cubism/expressionistic landscapes. I love the realistic style in my painting, Boulder, and the simplistic blocks of color in the series, Boulder, Golden Road, Thunder, Pink Houses, and, Boathouse. These are small paintings, 10” x 8”, on wood panel. I thought the size would be limiting, but it’s actually more freeing. There is less of a concern of “ruining” a large canvas or panel. I’m not sure if this style is a new direction for some larger pieces or if it is just for this small series.

Boulder  Acrylic, Ink, Graphite  10” x 8”  2019

Boulder

Acrylic, Ink, Graphite

10” x 8”

2019


UPDATES by Amy Vidra

It’s been an exciting few weeks, a few openings, and new paintings in the studio.

Last night was the Magnum Opus 30 opening at Sacramento Fine Arts Center. It is a wonderful exhibit of many talented artists’ work. I’m honored to be part of this show. My piece, Transparency, won second place. This is one of my favorite pieces that i’ve done. It was the first painting I completed after my move to California last year, and for me, it was full of excitement, transition, and striving to be authentic in my new life.

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Last week was the 7th Annual Open Fine Arts Competition at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center. This show has a lot of variety and amazing art. My piece, Under Water, also took second place in the oil and acrylic category. This is also one of my favorite pieces, experimenting with layers and inks.

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STILLNESS by Amy Vidra

New energy and focus today in the studio as I painted over and revamped the beginnings of a composition. I’m enjoying these new paintings with softer lines and form. I realized today that in that moment of painting there’s a stillness- choosing colors, textures, forms, my thoughts are random and scatter, but I am just me, not linked to anyone or anything. Time seems to stand still, though I know it’s moving as the light shifts on the canvas. I can tell by the tightness of form or looseness of brushstrokes that my thoughts have shifted, maybe to the to do lists or expectations of this paintings outcome. It looks too cramped, so I rotate it and change shapes, adding lighter or darker colors or taking away layers. Letting go of my critical mind but aware of what works and what doesn’t, I rotate the painting again. This time the composition feels right with more room to breathe. I add the last layers of light and dark and it feels complete.

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Golden

30” x 30”

Acrylic, Ink, Graphite, Charcoal


EXCITING NEWS by Amy Vidra

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks with new opportunities!

Two of my paintings, Transparency, and, Petal, were accepted into Sacramento Fine Arts Open Juried Exhibit, Magnum Opus 30.

Sacramento Fine Arts Center's Annual International Open Show

February 19-March 17, 2019

5330B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608

A special juried art exhibit showing original art, sculpture, photography, painting, all mediums. Judged by Steve Memering.
Reception: 2nd Saturday, March 9, 5:30-8:30 PM

Check out other amazing shows and workshops at sacfinearts.org.

Transparency    36” x 36”   Acrylic, Ink, Graphite, on Birch panel

Transparency

36” x 36”

Acrylic, Ink, Graphite, on Birch panel

Petal    30” x 30”   Acrylic, Ink, Graphite

Petal

30” x 30”

Acrylic, Ink, Graphite

I also had the honor to display some of my art at, Seeker, an awesome shop in Locke, CA, that sells vintage-wares, local and national artists’ art and hand-crafted items, jewelry, and more! Check them out on Facebook!

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I’d also like to mention, Elk Grove Fine Art Center, and their amazing new gallery space, in which a few of my pieces are displayed, alongside many other talented, amazing artists! They were recently featured on GoodDay Sacramento, featuring the new gallery space, upcoming workshops, and members’ artwork.

One of my large abstract paintings, Resurrection, was seen in their video, https://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/4017757-elk-grove-fine-arts-center/

Check it out!

RESURRECTION by Amy Vidra

I’ve been in the studio this week, resurrecting some old paintings, one of which I've painted over a couple times. It began as a self portrait amid a collage desert landscape, then transformed to a geographical map of sorts. This week it’s been resurrected with new life, more movement and expressive brushstrokes and color. The textures showing through of the layers of collage, the background seeping forward, and brighter more blended colors with soft edges emerging. After all the years and layers of trials, it finally feels complete.

But when do we know a painting is complete? Sometimes it’s a definitive line that completes an image, or it’s a feeling. Usually for me, it’s a feeling and the aesthetic that I see when I look at the color flow, the charcoal or pencil lines coming through, the overall movement. As for this one, it’s found a new life and home.

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THE YEAR IN REVIEW by Amy Vidra

Finally moved in to my new studio space. The materials currently lined up neatly in their organized spots awaiting the creative chaos.

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Reviewing the years’ work. Some paintings remaining in the back of the pile to possibly be revisited or painted over, while the most recent work that I consider my best up to this point, neatly wrapped and placed. Reviewing the lines and textures, shapes and composition. The color palette ranging and changing from season to season. Seeing inspiration in some of these with ideas of how and what to improve; what textures or mediums to add, the color palettes i’d like to play with, new images to incorporate. The anticipation and excitement of a new space, new materials, new ideas, new year…

TRANSPARENCY by Amy Vidra

Through the layers of ink and acrylic, sometimes lies a detail of texture or image.  The application of the material, whether by palette knife or brush, dictating its transparency.  The colors combining to create its counterpart, complimentary or contradictory.  In that moment is the moment of making, the happy accidents sometimes, or the deliberate cover-ups.  

I may be referencing a memory, a time or place, or a photograph, that I’ve separated into colors and shapes.  The sketched composition unfolding.  Sometimes I can visualize where the next markings go, or the color palette, sometimes the image shows me where they’re meant to be.  The clarity unfolding as the piece comes together. The moment it all syncs and feels whole, a snapshot captured in frame, the colors and forms lining up perfectly, whether meticulously planned, or formed by the instantaneous mark making, or the instinctive click of the shutter button.

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TRANSPARENT by Amy Vidra

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I used to write all the time in my journals. It was easy for me, at the time, writing what I felt or observed, but writing this blog today does not come as easy.  Whenever I find myself wanting or needing to do something that is out of my comfort zone or something I’ve never done before, I resist, procrastinate, and I tend to make it something larger and more difficult than needed.  Unlike painting and art, blogging is one of those things.  So why am I adding a blog section to my art site?  

Part of me thinks my art should speak for itself, no blog to cloud the vision for the observer or myself. But the other part thinks, my words and process are just as important as my art, since they are one in the same.  My expectations of myself and others are often high, and this can sometimes set me up for failure and disappointment.  So most of the time I’ll hush those critical voices in my head telling me it’s not going to be good enough or to my standards, and I’ll jump in, trusting I’ll figure it out as I go, and knowing my harshest critic is only myself. So here I am.

My art is me, transparent, vulnerable, emotional, present, and something that I don’t need to overthink. My paintings bring me into the present moment and my focus is on the color, form, and mark making.  Sometimes the pieces don’t always work and the lines or colors don’t always flow, but it’s something my brain can mull over and figure out.  My intention here, for this blog, is to be about my process; what happens in the studio, what works, what doesn’t, a discourse with myself and others as an artist and a human.  

As most artists can relate, some days in the studio can be a struggle. The ideas aren’t flowing, every mark seems not quite right, the colors don’t quite work together, the composition is off, and it can be isolating.  What that process brings up for me in that moment can be a conglomeration of things, but in that moment my intention is to be transparent, authentic, and to create what comes from within.   I strive for this blog to be the same.