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I have found an artist business consultant, Alexis Fedor, who is offering mentoring services, and she gives some free pointers before asking for money for the classes. (She administrates the Artists in Business group on facebook). Anyway, she suggests you clarify why you create art (to hone in on what is unique to you and find your ideal customers). So she has people ask 2 questions, and find how the answers are related and then state why you create art. She asks for your first memory of creating art and your most profound artistic experience.

here is mine:

According to my mother, my passion for art began at the age of 4 when I would stay up long past bedtime, coloring in my room; however, my first vivid memory of art is sitting in church every Sunday, drawing the same picture each week: Jesus standing by a drawn back curtain and holding a gigantic ruby in His outstretched hand. I can still envision that image clearly today, though I never kept a single copy.

 

Similarly, my most profound artistic experience, thus far, came when I was speaking from the pulpit in Church. I was citing Helaman 5:12 from the Book of Mormon : “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build our foundation; that when the devil shall send forth His mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” As I spoke, an image flooded my mind in the form of a painting: a woman kneeling on a rock surrounded by a stormy sea. She was at the feet of the Savior. Tears streamed down her face as fiery darts assailed her from every direction, yet hope shone in her eyes. I remember thinking, “I have to paint that,” but I did not feel up to the task.

 

Although I still don’t feel ready, I am beginning to feel compelled to move forward regardless of whether if feel adequate  or not. In a movie called Charlie, the main character shares a piece of her art with her grandma, who asks why she is painting fruit –which is just an exercise– and advises her to find something she feels so strongly about that she is afraid she won’t be able to do it and then paint that.  I realize I have spent the last few years metaphorically “painting fruit”, honing my skills. –But what I feel so strongly about that I fear not being able to express –THAT is my real purpose! To bring people closer to Christ and the love and peace He offers them. It is time for my canvas to bring these beautiful truths to life!

 

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
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Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
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Dawna’s art on society6

You can also find Dawna on flickr

A few Christmases ago my family and I tried giving only homemade Christmas presents (with the exception of my husband who bought me a badly needed new camera). This went really well, and everyone had fun finding creative things to do for each other. It has become a bit of a tradition since then… In process of making a busy book for my two youngest girls (which I sadly have not finished yet) I drew this sketch of Jesus:

This Portrait sketch of Jesus shows him as if in mid smile. You can almost see him moving with sparkle and life. A look of happy kindness in one and sorrow and compassion in the other.. One arm is forward as if either in a teaching moment or to reach out to someone and lift them up…

Archival inks & papers, canvas prints,custom framing, Fine Art Prints on imagekind
 Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus, on RedBubble; cards , matted prints and more 
Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus Posters on zazzle.com
Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus at FineArtAmerica

I started out looking around at several other renditions of Jesus in my home and on the internet, that other artists have created, just to help me fix in my mind’s eye “this is what Jesus looks like.” Then I took a sheet of graph paper, since this was just going to be for my kids and only to transfer it to cloth later, and did a quick little sketch; however, I quickly regretted my choice of papers since the sketch turned out so well. Thankfully using my scanner and Paint.net made it pretty easy to remove the blue grid from the sketch. Making a really clean “coloring book” version of this sketch for the book, while still keeping the kind, but lively expression, was a bit problematic. It took some trial and error to figure out which lines could be removed or altered and which had to stay. I spent days making printouts, changing things, re-scanning, touching up on the computer and printing it out again before I had this final draft. Transferring the drawing to the fabric was accomplished with a permanent ink marker and a cut up printout of the picture that I traced like a puzzle onto the book page. (Yes I know it would have been less hassle to buy a transfer, but I was trying not to spend money).

The sketch turned out so well I printed out extra copies to send as Christmas cards and as presents for a select few people.

I got the idea about a year later to couple this with my poem, Awakening Divine Self Worth, which is about changing from seeing yourself the way the world sees you to seeing yourself as of infinite worth as you develop the divine within you:

One shaft of light
Illuminates my mind,
Streaming through one tiny crack
Of this fortress mine.

Amid the dank and darkened shadows,
Through cobwebs aged with time,
This light begins awakening
An inner me, Divine.

Basking in this warmth of light,
A struggle now takes play
Breaking free from cobwebs
And reaching for the day.

I hunger for this filling light
I strive to let it in
To fill my aching eyes with sight
I know I must begin.

A stretch, a step, a forward leap,
Each stone moved from its place
This light, His love, a soul’s embrace
Shining from His face

Cast away the darkness
Dispelling all my fears
drive away the shadows
Through dust as thick as years

Planting me a garden
In my heart to shine
Showing forth myself, my love
My inner me, Divine.

poetry by Dawna Morton, all right reserved –please do not copy, but feel free to share the link 😉

This is actually a rewrite of a poem I wrote back in high school. I haven’t written a new poem in many years, but I used to really enjoy it. I am hoping that if I spend enough time editing the best out of my old ones that writing poetry will come back to me. I also have this poem in conjunction with some of my forest photography, but I like it best with my sketch of Jesus.

Dawna’s art on society6

Butterfly at the Veil by Dawna Morton

Butterfly at the Veil, watercolor painting on gessoed canvas-board, by Dawna Morton, 2013.

I originally started this painting so I would have an entry for the local art associations art contest this summer, however life with 6 kids isn’t always conducive to having enough time to paint–and the kids come first 😉 I think I managed to get it done within about a month of the deadline. I had a photo of some ‘snow in summer’ flowers that I had taken through my front window as a photographic experiment after I got my new camera, and I loved the feel of the one this painting is based on –although the photo itself turned out a little blurry. I had a couple of small canvas boards a friend gave me for Christmas, and decided to use those to experiment with different media and effects for the background. Click here to see it as a work in progress, and to see some of the other background ideas I played with…

In order to quickly see how which background type looked best with the flowers, I printed out a copy of my reference photo and just cut them out of it so I could lay them over each of the canvases in turn. This worked extraordinarily well since the canvases weren’t much bigger than my printout. I ended up going with this purple watercolor because it more closely mimicked the feel I was looking for. with the deadline looming I decided to trace the paper cut out onto the canvas to save time. Hopefully nobody feels like that was cheating. I ten drew in the details and made some alterations–such as changing which direction the main blossom was facing. I also moved the flowers on this side of the window and suggested a curtain with light coming through it instead of a screen and the edge of the windowsill with the flowers outside. Then I added a butterfly to balance everything out and add some additions interest.

Everything was coming along nicely until the three-year-old got a hold of it. One of those moments where the house was suspiciously quiet for entirely too long prompted me to figure out what she was up to. She had managed to get herself into the art room and nabbed the paints and was happily painting away in a bold red. Thankfully She had laid a few pieces of paper across the top first–which caught the worst of it; however, there was still the problem of bright red splotches on a very simple all purple palette.

Luckily the red lifted off of the gessoed surface beautifully, and I did not have to go with plan b — adding a bunch of red flowers to the right hand corner.

As I was working on the composition and painting a symbolic meaning to everything came into play. The three sections of curtain across the window is a sort of representation of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost–united yet separate and distinct at the same time as they are one. Then there is the light coming through the curtain –which represents  inspiration, revelation and those moments when we feel that heaven is near. Truly the veil is thin sometimes. This is also a reference to the temple and going there for additional revelation, inspiration, peace and to be spiritual uplifted. The butterfly is a representation of being visited by the Holy Ghost, which was inspired by an article I read to my children many years ago in the Friend magazine about how being reverent is like sitting quiet and still so you can catch a butterfly, or feel the Holy Ghost. The flowers are a representation of each of us, as we grow and blossom in readiness to hear, inspiration is more frequent and clear, and easier to understand– and in turn spiritual light nourishes us so we can grow and blossom. And of course: God is the source of all light (revelation inspiration, and so on) and we are completely dependent on them. The overall feel and tranquility in this painting is symbolic of how we feel when we commune with God and the peace and comfort He sends us through the Holy Ghost.

You can find “Butterfly at the Veil” for sale as a print at FineArtAmerica, imagekind, Redbubble, zazzle , and Amazon. So far the original is not for sale. The family loves it too much 😉

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton (unless otherwise stated).

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not COPY, but feel free to hit the share button 😉

Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Art at fineartamerica.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

See Dawna’s art on Amazon!

Be a fan of Dawna’s art and photography on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

Dawna’s art on society6

Last spring I got some “snow in summer” flowers for free on clearance at Greg’s Garden’s over in Longview, and promptly took some close up shots with my new-to-me macro lens through my front window screen because the light on them was so lovely. I had read (on the canon website I think) that there is a way to take photos through obstacles like that and have the camera focus them out, So I was experimenting with trying it out.  It’s a bit tricky to do and I don’t think I quite have the knack down,  but it sure would be convenient to not have to take out the screen every time I want to snap a shot of a beautiful sunrise or sunset through the window.

Around the same time I learned about  and started experimenting with using my macro lens to take texture shots for use in my photo editing process. This really yields some dramatically beautiful results. While I was in the process of applying layers of my texture photos to my snow in summer close up shots I came across a video on twitter about artist James C. Christensen. I wish I could find it now to include here because it was really good and influenced the development of this piece.

One of the things that got me thinking during the video is when he talks about how he had all these sketches he “did for fun,” but never thought of selling, of these comical figures and one day a fellow professor said to him why don’t you paint those and sell them? He replied, they’d never sell, there’s no market for it, nobody else is doing anything like them . ..and then it hit him  like an epiphany that THAT was his niche. Once he started painting those subjects in that style that were unique to him, that’s when his art sales really started taking off.

So I got to thinking about “what is it that makes my work unique? what is my niche?” In doing several of my digital works of art/photo-manipulations I have had a lot of fun putting in and discovering “faces” that are kind of semi there with forest lore/fairy/nymph/ mythology symbolism and I thought “maybe that could be my niche?” So I went through my texture photographs and tried out several different ones with faces in them and started over several times because it just didn’t have the right feel.

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If you want to see some other works like his I have other blog posts about them here:
marriage of Titania; Salmon berry floral duet   Aeriel’s Gift
snowflakes and a bit about textures  Midsummer Daydream, water soluble oil painting

Once  it got to the point where one of the flowers resembled a blue star or nebula it called to mind something I had read recently about a group of stars anciently that were named after the Hyades who wept when their brother died. However, somehow I got it mixed up in my mind with the story of Hercules and the Garden of the Hesperides with the apples that were supposed to give eternal life, but which were guarded by a dragon (which is interestingly enough “serpent” in Greek.) I also liked the name Hesperia and found fascinating how similar the thematic and symbolic elements in the story are to those in the Garden of Eden. Even though I was a bit mixed up at first, the star bit still fits in since the father of the Hesperides is supposed to be the god of the evening star in some stories, and even without that there were stars named after them.

Also, part of what I was thinking about during the creation of this piece is how so many cultures have similar stories or story elements that repeat across cultures. and I was thinking about how oral history changes and alters as it gets passed down and retold, but all the variations started with the same story.

Honestly I’m still not sure  if this is my niche or not. For one thing, I got tired of working on this one several times and set it aside for months and months at a time –although that might have more to do with my frustration with the tedious process of blending the edges of the dragon on the computer (yeah I know I should really get one of those Correl paint tablet things for my computer), and for another thing I only put these transparent layers,  with “faces” created out of abstract textures and shapes, into my digital art rather than any of my more traditional artwork. Perhaps it is just too early in my artistic career to tell what is going to be the best niche for me. For now I am going to keep experimenting, learning, and having fun along the way.

What do you think?

garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
garden of the Hesperides by Dawna Morton
~see it framed

In this work of digital art, a semitransparent dragon –like a fiery furnace of hot molten glass–curls around fiercely, menacing and breathing fire, and poised to strike the warrior Hercules who dares to approach Hesperia’s garden in search of the precious apples there. Multiple layers of abstract semi-transparent, translucent shapes and textures overlaid on a floral photograph create an ethereal milky-way like scene in which  a starlit night merges with a garden where a larger than life profile of Hesperia’s face is overlaid on the apple tree in such a way that she appears to weep.  Beyond her, one of her sisters gazes in wonder at a blue flower, nebula-like in the glorious process of creation.

Although vastly different in scope and meaning, similar symbols, elements, and themes in the story from Greek mythology echo those of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This calls to mind the idea that history tends to repeat itself,  and much like our predecessors we have our own ‘dragons’ to vanquish, sorrows to overcome, and quests to undertake, and victory to be won all while finding moments to create or discover “joy in the journey.”

Archival inks and papers, canvas prints,custom framing available on imagekind Fine Art Prints from $10.44 and up. Prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on RedBubble cards starting at US $2.40, photographic prints US$6.60+, matted, mounted, canvas, framed, posters, shirts, stickers, iPhone & iPod cases prices subject to change.
garden of the Hesperides on zazzle.com western Posters and art starting at $9.95, prices subject to change

*NEW* now on fineartamerica.com

Any other artists out there have anything you can share about what you have done to develop your style, discover your niche, and make an income from your art business?

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

Dawna’s art on society6

You can also find Dawna on flickr

Today I finally finished the drawing for a Christmas card design I  started on 3 Christmases ago.  Originally I was going to do what most greeting card companies suggest and cut paper and use that technique to keep the design simple. I even had some brown paper that was just the right color for the camels that I wanted on my card.  So after going to Wetcanvas.com and checked their free reference photo library to refresh my mind on what a camel REALLY looks like, I turned the computer off and got to work drawing some camels on my brown paper and cutting them out with an Exacto knife. The camels turned out really well and there was even one who looked particularly spunky and happy to be traveling to Bethlehem. doing the paper cut outs did help with the composition, because it was then just an easy matter of placing one overlapping the other instead of trying to figure out where one would end and the other begin while I was drawing them. By the time I had gotten the Christmas star as well as some other stars cut out, in addition to my camels, some wise men, the manger, and a concept sketch for Mary and Joseph cut out I decided what I really wanted to do was to PAINT the card rather than work with paper cut outs.  In retrospect I wish I had stayed with the original concept instead of changing in mid stream, because I would have been done a long time ago. It created a lot of extra work to have to trace the things I had already cut out onto another piece of paper.  Then I started a long and tedious process of  drawing on tracing paper  and then tracing what I had drawn onto some heavy duty art paper after having cut it and arranged it in the composition I wanted.  Another thing I wish I had done a little differently would be to make the original drawing larger than the card and then just use the computer to shrink it down. Of course that might just encourage me to add even more detail and make things even more complicated ;/

I love the composition in this card. What I was really going for was the “perfect” Christmas card–something that perfectly expressed my feelings and sentiments about the meaning of Christmas, rather than some of the shallower, albeit fun Christmas messages out there. So in the center of this design is a heart with the Christmas star centered above it and piercing downward into it. Then moving around clockwise like a Mandela three little stars seem to dance in with joy in the night sky with the desire to follow the three wise men to Bethlehem. The three wisemen and their camels curve around the heart , hugging it closely on their journey to see the newborn king. Even one of the camels cannot contain his joy has as with a merry face he saunters jauntily along. Beyond the caravan a shepherd kneels with his sheep in adoration of the Christ Child. The infant Jesus smiles in his sleep in the manger as Joseph lovingly supports a weary, but joyful, Mary on his shoulder.  Moving upward around the second half of the heart, the composition then moves through some of the important events of Christ’s life.  We see the sea of Galilee where the apostles on their ship watch in awe as Christ walks toward them on the water. Next we follow a path past the house where the bedridden man is let down through the roof so that Jesus can heal him. The road continues on towards the mount where the multitude listens to Him teaching the Beatitudes. Next is a portrayal Him pleading with his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Beyond the Cross the Resurrected Lord is met by Mary at the tomb.

Right now this is simply a line drawing, but by this time next year I plan on having a full color version available for sale. For now, this design is also available on a variety of other zazzle products. Within the next couple days it will also be available as a print and greeting card on both Imagekind and RedBubble. (*UPDATE* now on fineartamerica too)

Wrapped in the arms of His Love tie

 

The background color on this tie can be customized also.

Wrapped in the arms of His Love shirt

 

This is only one of a multitude of shirt styles, colors, and sizes available.

Wrapped in the arms of His Love bag

 

This would make a classy reusable Christmas Gift bag, or just use it as a festive tote.
Wrapped in the arms of His Love print
Wrapped in the arms of His Love by dlmtleArt
Shop the other art available on zazzle
Wrapped in the arms of His Love stamp
Wrapped in the arms of His Love by dlmtleArt
Design personalized stamps at zazzle

*NEW* BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT:

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

Dawna’s art on society6

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

 

Dawna’s Facebook Fan Page

Dawna’s RedBubble Gallery

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