I am excited to reveal a big “Give Back” project. Bayou City Art Festival showed me what an amazing community there is that surrounds me in Houston, TX. The support from everyone that came out and genuinely wished me well and bought art was incredible that weekend. Still beaming from all it! So in return, I have chosen Keep Houston Beautiful for a year-long fundraising project. One of the many things that they do is teach children and adults about the necessity to keep our city clean. Everything that gets thrown on the ground has potential to harm for our wildlife as it reaches the water tables. I will choose a species each month and tell a story in a whimsical way with a painting… teach about all their facts within the piece and hopefully bond kids with these creatures… instilling in them a desire to keep our city clean by getting to know these animals personally in their “homes”…
So Mr. Armadillo here (our Texas mammal) cannot see very well, hence, his glasses. There is the obligatory road that often leads to his demise. There is the habitat he craves.. a warm climate. A hot drink sits on the table because he needs to stay toasty for survival. The books on the table are “Twelfth Knight” (his armor) “The Road Less Traveled” (again the road thing) and “The Big Book of Bugs” (what he eats). The balls on his chair represent how he rolls up. And there is his paw print on his cowboy hat. The little Knight book end represents his protective armor.
This project officially begins in late September. One nice size painting a month… ending with an auction event in October of 2017 at Winter Street Studios. 100% of the proceeds will go to the city of Houston and more specifically Keep Houston Beautiful. So happy to do this for a hometown that has done so much for me and my dream job… love this art-filled life. Giving back is where it’s at!
I really did not understand the full impact of being chosen as the “Featured Artist” for Bayou City Art Festival until a few weeks before the event. I am sitting here the morning after BCAF still beaming and feeling emotional and extremely grateful…. what a wonderful opportunity this has been. The exposure, the key people I have met, the TV and radio spots (yeah, I enjoyed that way more than I expected)… all amazing. And those that have followed my journey to this point as an artist have been SO so supportive. It was a weekend full of hugs, making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and seeing my artwork find so many new homes. Can’t stop smiling And now, it’s time to get back to the studio and make some new art! Feeling very energized and ready for the next phase of this artful life.
So I finished my 500th paintings (I keep a database… very un-artistlike, I know) and thought…hmmm, I ought to somehow punctuate that acheivement. So I decided to give away a free print to some lucky someone… I threw all the names on the floor from the likes, comments and shares from the post with the 500th painting and then let Corky pick the winner…the first name her nose touched since she has no thumbs to hand it to me. 😉 I can always count on Curious Corky to play this game with me. Congratulations Tandy Mellard! You win a free large print of your choice and you can thank my cat’s nose for your win
I applied for and have been juried into the Bayou City Art Festival. That in itself is pretty awesome because it is one of the big art shows in the US. But the BIGGER news… I am over the moon excited to be chosen from the group of 300 talented creatives who will be exhibiting there the last weekend in April… as the FEATURED artist! What an honor…Can’t stop smiling!
They chose this painting of mine to use for all of their promotional materials, “The World Beyond My Ball”… I am still pinching myself that this is real. Anyway, if you are in the Houston area that weekend, please come by. I will have a double size tent in the front (one of the perks of being the featured artist) and I will have LOTS of new work that weekend! And if not… watch my facebook fan page, because I will be posting my new work there in the coming month and beyond.
Are you a follower of my colorful and whimsical art? Would you like to come to the studio and paint your own pet with my guidance? I am excited to announce Painted Pet Parties. Here is how it works. There are two ways to do this…
- Gather up a group of 7 or 8 friends and pick a day on my calendar that is open and sign up for a private party.
- Have a friend or two or you just want to come by yourself? No problem. Sign up to “join a party.” You will meet new fur-lovin’ friends and get your creative on.
Once you have signed up, send me a photo of your 4-legged. I will brush in a whimsical likeness on your canvas. When you arrive at the studio, your piece will be there waiting for you. Together, step by step, we will paint your pet’s portrait. Classes last 3 hours. You can bring whatever you want to drink and munch on. We will have fun! Don’t stress… I will be there to help and make sure you end up with a painting you love.
You can sign up by calling (713-816-2877) or e-mailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your session. I will get some 2016 “join a party” dates out there after the holidays. If you’d like to book a private party, contact me.
And follow my “Painted Pet Party” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paintedpetparties
These are made-to-order cheerful canvas prints memorializing that special life-path companion that is furever in your heart. The base is a canvas print of a scene full of perPETual sunshine. Customization includes a silhouetted representation of your pet along with their name at the bottom. The size is 8 x 8 inches and the sides are 1.5 inches deep. No frame needed… they are ready to pop on the wall. (The tennis ball is in the pic for size reference). I hand paint the silhouette and the ball or mouse, all the bright highlights, glaze them, and paint the sides… so lots of original strokes go into each piece.
Losing a pet is heartbreaking… remembering them does not have to be.
For more info or to order yours today, you’ll find them in my ETSY shop HERE.
I have had a studio at Winter Street Studios in Houston for just over a year and have loved it! It has been very inspiring to be surrounded by other artists and to be a part of that community. I had this cozy little studio with really nice texture (brick on one wall, aluminum on one wall, wood on another and a little bit of sheetrock). It’s a great space… but a few weeks ago a dream came true. The only other space in the building that I love became available and I snapped it up! Twice the square footage and just as charming with lots of natural light. If you are ever in the Houston area, please swing by and see me. The studios are all open every 2nd Saturday of the month from 2 – 5 pm. We serve drinks and lite bites in our creative spaces while you wander through the building and see our processes and look at our art. And now that I have more space, I have lots of ideas for what to do with it… more events, more people, music, painting larger works… stay tuned. Happy 2015!
New from Santa’s workshop here at AEM Gallery (consists of one elf, one snoring dog, and three sleeping cats at the moment)
Whimsical Holiday Gift Tags are here! Mix and match as you wish. These fun and colorful tags are the perfect finish for that present for your animal lovin’ recipients. They come in packs of 24 and are just $10. (size of individual tag is 1.5″ x 3.75″). Available in my ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/212848069/artful-holiday-gift-tags
My Buster’s Friends 52 Canvas Pick-Up event is in the books and I have to say that I am so thrilled with how it turned out. Every painting went to a new home and we raised in the neighborhood of 12 grand for Buster’s! This was the biggest give-back I have ever done (an original acrylic painting a week for 52 weeks) and it feels pretty darn good. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported us. Your dollars are going to save many lives
If you missed what this was all about, you can read more here and also see all the paintings as well: http://aprilmurphy.com/busters-friends-52-canvas-pick-up/
Doing my happy-tired dance today…
Almost a year ago, I had this idea about creating a painting a week for a year to benefit Buster’s Friends Rescue. I am now on the cusp of its completion and getting pretty excited about it. I have enjoyed doing it and I will admit that is was more of a challenge than I expected. Those weeks click by pretty fast and with the pace of my show schedule, carving out the time each week to do this was a juggling act. But I am looking at the finish line ahead and realizing what a difference these pieces can make for this animal rescue group. If you are in the Houston area on October 11th, please join us for the “Buster’s Friends 52 Canvas Pick-Up”. All of the paintings will be up for auction in the upstairs gallery at Winter Street Studios from 2 to 5 pm. We will have light bites and adult beverages. And know that 100% of your purchase will go toward the vetting and rehoming of animals.
The photo here shows many of the works that will be up for grabs. Check out the full album here: http://aprilmurphy.com/busters-friends-52-canvas-pick-up/
Photo by Tim Murphy