Thursday, October 17, 2013

Without Further Ado

Love Came Down         by Crystal Neubauer
So I'll just get this part out of the way right up front, today is my birthday. I'm a 48 year old woman and I pouted first thing in the morning because my husband hadn't wrapped my presents yet and I really wanted to open them RIGHT NOW!

What an embarrassing confession to make. You see, I have never been the type to really like surprises. But I actually love surprises!

Such a contradictory statement. What I really mean is that I don't like waiting when I know something good is coming, but I honestly do love a good surprise. And yesterday two packages arrived, both were presents from my husband and I knew one was exactly what I asked for (engaged my excellent sleuthing skills via return address label) and the other was a mystery and I could hardly wait to find out what it was!

So here I am now, sheepishly sitting in front of the fireplace, new boots on my feet and two beautifully handcrafted mugs sitting on the coffee table in front of me, grateful for the many changes that have marked my life this year, and for those in my husband, who didn't get defensive or upset at my momentary lapse into self-centeredness, but instead good-naturedly "snuck" into the living room to wrap my gifts, refusing my embarrassed pleas to wait until dinner tonight like he had planned.

And as if this little story weren't enough to make a girl feel completely happy on her birthday, today I get to share some really exciting news with you and some really really exciting new news with you! (And WOW! Have I had a tough time waiting to share the surprise!)

First off, I am so thrilled to be the featured artist over on The Altered Page today. Seth Apter, author of said blog, is spotlighting 30 artists in 30 days. Each one of the 30 are featured in his newest book, to be released this month, titled "The Mixed Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets, and Dreams From Over 40 Amazing Artists"

Really, he is the amazing one. Seth has a way of truly finding the best of the mixed media art world and sharing it through his unique vision in texture, color, rhythm and harmony. His own art and pictures resonate deeply with me and has brought me back to his blog time and again over the many many years that I have been following him. Each time I have been moved to comment on something (which happens often!) he is so gracious to reply. To say that I was honored to be invited to be a part of the stellar line up in his second book would be the understatement of the year. I am still in awe of the invitation and even more in awe of the visual stimulation and ideas that will be found within its pages.

Don't walk, run on over to Seth's blog and check out the artists he has featured so far this month, leave him a comment on any of the 30/30 posts and you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a signed copy of your own!

Come What May      by Crystal Neubauer

And now without further ado, the news I have so eagerly been waiting to share with you - you know the confession I made above, about my love/hate relationship with surprises?? This year has been an absolute dream year, both in my personal life and in my career. It seems to be a year of reaping a harvest that just keeps getting better and better. . .

A long long long time dream of writing my own book is coming to fruition. After writing for, and sharing my own work in, three different books in one year, I knew it was time to finally submit a proposal of my own.

Over three years ago I was approached by an editor for North Light Books asking if I would be interested in writing and I said "hold on, let me think about it". . . HA! No, I said a wholehearted YES!!! But then life was happening in waves at that time and I knew the timing was not right for me so I pulled back.

But this year I knew it was my year. And indeed it is! Not only did I begin to have absolute clarity on what I wanted to say and share, but the editors at North Light so caught my vision that they approved my proposal and expanded it beyond what even I had imagined, deciding to make a special hard cover edition out of it and cross promote it between their fine art and mixed media divisions!

Whew! This is one lucky and blessed girl and to get to share it with you on my birthday is just plain icing on the cake! Yes, without further ado, this month marks a life long dream come true as I begin writing "The Art of Intuitive Collage".

This truly is a redeemed life.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Reaping a Harvest: Fall News

Couldn't Outrun Grace    by Crystal Neubauer
Fall is here and its reaping a harvest Thanksgiving is still nearly eight weeks away, but I am already counting my blessings. This year has been, hands down, one of the best I can ever remember, both on a personal and a professional level. Truly it feels as if I am reaping a harvest from seeds that have been planted long ago.

News From Annual Juried Show at Sylvia White Gallery 
The 6th Annual Juried Show at the Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura is underway and will be hanging through October 19th. I was thrilled to receive an email from the gallery manager saying that both of my works, Beethoven's First Symphony and Around the Mulberry Bush, were sold at the opening night reception! I am waiting on the edge of my seat to hear who Sylvia chooses for the three solo show awards. If you aren't able to stop by the gallery in person, you can look at the outstanding work in this year's show here.

American Craft Council Show Acceptance, St. Paul 
This is one of those long time dreams that proves persistence does pay off. After participating as an emerging artist a few years back in one of the nations top fine art craft shows, the American Craft Expo Show and Sale at Evanston, I knew this type of event was a path I wanted to pursue in earnest. Since that time I have applied to, and been turned down for, five different shows at that level. For just a slight minute this time around, I considered setting this dream aside, but something in my spirit told me that this would be my year, and indeed it is. I have recently been accepted to participate in the American Craft Council Show in St. Paul, to be held in April of 2014. I hope to see many of you there!

Local Opportunity, Annual Party at The Fine Arts Building Chicago 
And a little closer to home, I am super excited to have been invited to hang my work to show and sell during the Annual Party at the beautiful Fine Arts Building downtown Chicago, to be held during the Second Friday Open Studio Event on December 13th. It has been a long time since I've had an opportunity to connect with my local art friends and supporters, I am really looking forward to this fabulous party. Please do come out and join me if you can- I would love to see you there!

Not one, but two new books released! 
Being published is always a thrill and an honor, but having my work appear in two books being released within a month of each other is an over-the-top experience! First off, Incite Dreams Realized: The Best of Mixed Media has been released and my copy has just arrived in the mail. This book is a lovely hardcover edition CHOCK-FULL of sumptuous art images. You can head over to the North Light website here for a preview, including my entry, to wet your appetite, but if you are an art book lover you will want to own a copy of this book for your own collection!

Any day now I expect to open my mailbox to find my copy of The Mixed Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams From Over 40 Amazing Artists by Seth Apter waiting for me. I am really excited to have been selected to participate as one of those 40 (amazing? amazed, is more like it!), and along with several images of my work, you will find a tutorial on gluing by yours truly. Though I do not have this book in my hands yet, I know it is another one that you will not want to miss out on adding to your collection. Aside from being an outstanding artist himself, Seth already has a top-selling Mixed Media book under his belt and is known for finding the best of the mixed-media world and promoting them. This book is sure to be another hit!

And Speaking of. . .
Not one, not two, but. . . maybe one of the most exciting bits of news for me to share yet, and I'm so close to being able to tell you just what it is, but I can't say yet! I'm just going to go out on a limb here and tell you, it is another dream realized, and this time it will be by yours truly! ;-)

Don't Miss Out On Class Opportunities At Ephemera Paducah!
Classes are starting to fill and I am getting so excited to head out to Ephemera Paducah (Kentucky) in November. Ephemera Paducah is fast becoming the Mixed Media workshop destination of the Midwest and Southeast by hosting favorite artists from national art retreats, as well as showcasing local talent. Don't miss out on the opportunity to take back to back workshops, Intuitive Collage with Encaustic, and Encaustic Wax on Plexiglas. Each day is an independent workshop that can be taken and enjoyed as a single day of instruction, or at a discounted rate for both days. No supplies are necessary, just bring yourself, your creative desires and enjoy!

Darkness is Overcome      by Crystal Neubauer
Smalls are on sale for a cause! 
I've just uploaded images of twelve new small works to my website and will be extending the summer special rates through Sunday October 20th. All sales from my website in the next two weeks will fund an art field trip I am organizing to take eight students from my neighborhood to visit the museum at The Art Institute in Chicago. I have been opening my home studio to these boys and girls since moving into this home last year as a way to give back to my community and I have simply fallen in love with them. They are bright outstanding young men and women who I long to see reach their full potential in life. If ever you may have considered purchasing one of my works, this would be the time to make the investment - not only in art, but in giving the experience of art to a very deserving student!

Check out the small works available for sale here and take a look at my most recent larger works now available here. Thank-you once again for the support, encouragement and continuing interest in my work and my adventures as an artist!