Jewelry making is one of those tasks that takes great attention to detail and personal commitment in creating interesting and pleasing designs. We are fortunate to have a wonderful artist in our family that can do that. Gisella Williams will be at the shop on Friday, November 11 from 10-4 to make her jewelry and sell work! I encourage anyone who is interested in buying a gift for someone for the holidays, or maybe they want to dress up some with a new pair of earrings or a necklace, to come by and see what we have. The jewelry is handmade and personally designed by our artists! The prices are affordable to being with, but there is a 10% discount on Friday also! Come take advantage of it and take in the art show that is up! There is lots more to buy as well if you are interested in other things like cards, paintings, purses, and more and they are all handmade!
Greetings family, friends, and fans of art. I want to just take a moment to talk about the first of our Friday sales during this holiday season that is coming up. This week, November 11, 2016 features 10% off already low prices on our jewelry that is handmade by us. We are excited to share this with you and share our work with you!
It has been a dream of ours to bring art, affordable art, to everyone. This is one of the opening steps in that process. We believe in making art for everyone. We want you to be able to feel like when you enter our shop that you are entering more than just a studio or a store, but a family space and you are our guest. So, please, make yourself feel at home with us!
We will be open Friday, from 10-4 and we look forward to sharing that time with you! Please see the attached map here to help guide you to our wonderful location! Have a wonderful day and come see us Friday!
I am so excited to be writing this new blog entry today. We have some very exciting news! We are holding our inaugural opening as a business and our first featured event is called "Portraits of the Sea." We will be posting the online gallery, Gallery of the East Bay, on November 5, the same day as our opening in Chico, California. Our family is so exciting to be able to bring our art to share with family, friends, and community in an effort to bring art to as many people as possible. An underlying theme of what we do is make "art for everyone." I have believed, and our family believes, that art is an experience that should be shared each day in a variety of ways, and we want to bring this passion and enthusiasm to our viewers, customers, fans, and whoever else wants to engage in some sort of artistic experience, whether it is viewing art, buying art, discussing art, and any other activity with art.
We are a family of artists that has shared our art with each other our entire lives, so we are looking forward to bring that to our communities, which is Chico and the general Bay Area. We are split between both communities and call both communities home.
We have a variety of experiences happening on November 5th to celebrate this first show. First, it will be a display of our online show. Each month or two, we will rotate our show and our theme and feature new work and an opening. November 5th is the first one. People in Chico will be able to experience the work first hand, of course, since it will be featured there. However, since it will also be featured online, it can be experienced by people anywhere in California, the US, or around the world. We are excited about this and look forward to expanding our audience for art. Of course we encourage people to interact and engage with us (the artists), in person in Chico this November 5th, and online via the comments section.
In addition to that, we will have multiple raffles going on November 5th for those that show up in person. It will be exciting and a chance to win some free art creations from us! Details of the raffle and the prizes will be available at the site, 2241 Saint George Lane #1, in Chico, CA. The gallery and shop will be open from 12-6 pm that day.
In an effort to expand the art experience for everyone and make it family oriented, we will have art activities set up for kids to participate in! We want to make art a fun experience across the board for everyone, so we will have things for the kids to do when you show up!
Of course, if you see something you really like, all the art will be up for sale, but more than just what is featured in the show. Art from all members of the family will be there. All of us will be on hand to talk about art, the show, and what is coming up in the near future.
This show has been a dream come true for us. We have been working towards this and waiting for this to happen for some time now. The piece featured above is by Esther Brown and she will have a variety of pieces featured that relate to her experience with the sea. You can see and explore her unique vision of life and the ocean and how they relate to each other for her. This will be featured both online here and at the site in Chico.
If you have any questions, please contact us. You can contact us through the comments here, on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Brown-Artworks-392872914096718/ - and our website - http://www.brownartworks.com/ - and our gmail - firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a flyer for the event itself, in case you have not seen it yet. We are really excited to host this event and share our art experiences with you! Thanks for reading and come visit us on November 5th!
-Jesse Brown, Artist and Partner of Brown Artworks
Normally I would not write about an event like this unless it was connected to some type of art event. However, given that it is 15 years later, it seems like something should be written to help remember that time in our country. My perspective is one of a person who was all the way on the west coast of the US in California. Despite that particular fact, that day and time period in general remains firmly etched in my memory. This was event that touched us all, regardless of where we lived in the US.
I am sitting here watching the series of productions recounting that day on the history channel, and the memories come rushing back as if it was just yesterday I watched the TV and what was being recounted about what was unfolding on the east coast of the US. Ironically, someone called and woke me up and told me about what was happening. I was still asleep because it was between 6-7 in the morning in California. I turn on the TV and I could not believe what I was seeing on the screen. It was unreal. After watching for a few minutes, the news reports another plan hit the WTC. The surreal image of the plane hitting the WTC was beyond any concept of reality that I had believed possible.
At some point I remember hearing reports about planes hitting the Pentagon and another one crashing into a field. My thought, after putting all of the news together, was that the US was under attack. In spite of all this news, I still had to report to work, which was at a middle school where I was an instructional assistant while I was finishing my master's thesis. Obviously, all the teachers at the school felt the weight of what they had all seen that morning. Conversation about the event dominated the lunchroom. People had varying degrees of responses. I remember on teacher was a veteran and he mentioned that he was listening to the pledge of allegiance he started to tear up, saying it had new meaning for him in light of what had just happened. The teacher I worked with, he wanted to be sure to keep the TV off in order to shield the kids from the traumatic news. In the art class, the teacher had the students draw out what they were thinking and feeling. Needless to say, I saw a lot of images that were moving. One image that has stuck with me is a drawing that showed a plane flying into the two towers. Even 3,000 miles away, the news of what was happening in NYC was traumatic for all age groups. It was clear that there was no escaping the emotional repercussions of this event.
After the initial shock of the morning, most of my memories of the event and how people reacted to it blended together . All of the following hours, days, and weeks move together as if they are being pushed by a swirling wind from that time period. Sobering would be a word that could capture an undefined period of time after 9/11. You could not turn anywhere or talk to anyone without the subject coming up daily...and that would be for months afterwards. It was an event that helped redefine our nation. The news, TV, classmates, coworkers, people at church, and everywhere else that you turned you could find the topic as a point of discussion.
Even today, 15 years later, it still dominates our dialogues one day each year. For me, at the time, I compared it to what I had read about with Pearl Harbor. It is as if we had made Pearl Harbor a national holiday, but instead it seems like, today, that 9/11 has nearly become a national holiday. It has not been named one as yet, but the recognition is there just like it is on Memorial Day and Veterans' Day. My mother would tell me she could always remember where she was the day Kennedy was shot. There are just moments in history that stand out for each person on a personal level. It is as if there is a marker that is dropped on you to help place in time at that moment because it is so important. I have two times like that. I remember where I was when I heard that President Reagan had been shot. Even more vividly, I remember where I was for most of that day when I heard about what happened on 9/11. These moments in time are rather inescapable from our memories. Sometimes what does escape our memories is the aftermath on a day-to-day level.
I commuted for 2 years to work from 2002-2004. I drove 2 hours per day and I used to listen to NPR and hear about the war in Iraq every day. I listened to endless analysis of military strategies, political bickering, partisanship, and the list could go on about what I heard in the aftermath of 9/11. Our country was fundamentally changed forever. It still is today. Terrorism changed everything for the US. While the effect of what happened on 9/11 may be somewhat muted, the memory is still there. Students still ask me about that day. Conversations come up and memories are reviewed. I think what is lost on many of us is the resulting politics that have come from that event. What I believe we should do is remember, but also think of how it is important for us as individuals and as a country so we do not forget and we appreciate what the day means for us.
For me, the memory of that day is strong and the fact that it is 9/11 today brings back many memories of how that day went on. It is a time to remember those who have lost and appreciate what we have and to show compassion for those are still directly affected by it. It is a day that does not escape my memory just because the sheer magnitude of all that went on that day cannot be forgotten.
Master Planas at the 12th Annual Seminar in Paradise, CA
I have had the chance to attend quite a few seminars with Master Planas, and it never disappoints. Now, I may not have attended as many as a lot of people, but I have been to enough of them to have a pretty good feel of how they flow and understand what they are like. Every seminar is a unique in its presentation. It is not that each one is entirely different, but each seminar is a moment in time with someone I believe that is incredibly detailed and knowledgeable about the art of Kenpo and has very specific standards and expectations of what it should look like, as well as how it should be trained.
I cannot speak about other seminars with other people because I have been following Master Planas's line of teaching pretty exclusively. However, what I can say is that he has a very technical and practical way of looking at the art and he asks us to have the same high expectations that he has. Given that, I kind of view a seminar with Master Planas like a training session with a mast coach. I am looking at the Olympics as I write this out, and the parallels seem very appropriate between the world of sport and martial arts. I played sports in college, and most of my counterparts that have played sports and do Kenpo would probably would agree with this analogy.
In sports, one strives for excellence and studies the absolute best and most efficient way to move and perform in order to excel at whatever sport he or she practices. It is the same with Kenpo Karate. The only things is, when Master Planas frames the concept of whatever it is we are doing, it is critical that we understand that the real test won't be in the dojo, but in off chance we have a moment in the world outside the dojo where it becomes necessary to exercise what we have worked so hard to train. Until then we simply strive for excellence and perfection. Excellence is a high standard, while perfection is an ideal that we have to keep in mind as we strive for excellence.
Scott Halsey and David Garcia training at the seminar in Paradise
One of the things I really love about seminars is that Master Planas has stories to help teach his concepts. He talked about this student he had in a seminar where he could do a front flip (or maybe a back flip, I can't quite remember which at the moment). He essentially told us that Kenpo is not hard. It is a set of rules and principles that are to be followed, but beyond that, it is pretty simple, especially when compared to the young man doing flips in class. There are no flips expected in Kenpo. Flips are hard he acknowledged. He said Kenpo is a series of basics put together in a certain way following rules and principles to make sense. (In case Master Planas is reading this, I had to summarize his message from the seminar, that is not verbatim, but I believe it is accurate with the spirit of what he was explaining to us).
Video from the seminar
I believe when he tries to explain things simply he is really trying to get us to understand how efficient and beautiful Kenpo is in its practicality and efficiency in its job of defending us. However, Kenpo can look more than simple to the casual observer because it is sophisticated in its movements. I mean, after all, if we are to continue the analogy with sports and the Olympics, how difficult is it really for a person to run a straight line? Yet, running the 100 meter dash is incredibly intimidating to most people because of the level of intensity and sophistication employed when athletes at the Olympics compete. Most movements, however, are pretty straight-forward. Most of us understand how to move naturally, it just takes some time and thinking about what we are doing.
Bruce Epperson and a brown belt practicing a technique
Kenpo is so many things in so many ways, depending on the point of view of each person and practitioner. This is what my instructor, Chuck Epperson, explains to me. Each person is going to have their own interpretation of the movements and what works for him or her. Also, the experience and journey of Kenpo is going to look different for each person as well. However, what I find so comforting and refreshing at these seminars is the camaraderie and feeling of family that you experience when we all get together to share and learn about Kenpo. A seminar is a celebration of Kenpo for us, I think. For me, also, I always extremely appreciate being able to hear and learn from Master Planas. He explains things in ways that are very understandable, but it also helps if you have been to a seminar before. What I notice about our seminars here in northern California is that we have a lot of regulars...and I think just about all of us were regulars at this last seminar. When this happens, it becomes a little easier to expand on some of the information that we built upon previously. It makes for a lot of layers of learning that are built upon through the year as we go from seminar to seminar.
For me, there is a level of excellence and expectation that we have and try to hold ourselves to. It is not easy, but it is comforting to know that it is there as a standard for us to strive for. We all feel it and try to strive for it. We may interpret it differently, but it is there and it reminds me a great deal of when I was competing in college in track and field. Only what makes this so much more special for me, is that Kenpo is a an art form as much as it is a sport. There are so many aspects to embrace that every time I step on the mat or into the dojo, it is an adventure that embraces the very best of what it means to train toward an ideal of something. These diverse aspects of training and practicing martial arts embraces artistic expression, academic thinking, athletic performance, camaraderie and brotherhood, and the sense of family. It is diverse and beautiful, and the seminars are a great celebration and reminder of what we have when we come together to learn and train.
Chuck Epperson and his brother Bruce Epperson at the seminar in Paradise, CA 2016
I chose the title of this because it is indeed summertime, and that means a new art season for me, personally. I get a lot more free time and can do more work and more posting. It is also a time for reflection on my art, and the art of my family as well, since we all plan art projects together. It is often a challenge to be able to make art like I want to because of the complicated schedule that I keep, but I appreciate the fact that I do have designated time to produce art and share it with others. I am hoping that we are going to reach that next level very soon where it is more than just seasonal, but a concerted and consistent production all year round, starting this summer. It is the dream of every artist, of course, to make a living doing what they love to do. But then again, I would think it is a dream of everyone to do what they love to do and get paid for it, no matter what it is that they love to do.
The picture above is a dragonfly created by my mother. Later this summer, we will host an event where you can see this picture, as well as so much more since we are planning an opening exhibition for Brown Artworks. We are very excited about this and working hard toward making it a reality. Details will be forthcoming soon. We are in the planning stages right now. We also truly appreciate everyone's support over the last several years as we have been developing our name and presence. It is difficult since most of us work full time jobs while we strive to make this dream real. However, any dream that is worth having is usually going to take hard work and persistence. But we want to thank everyone that has been part of our audience in one form or another. Whether you have read our blog, attended an event, bought a painting, or had a photo shoot done with us, or even something else - we want to thank you sincerely for your participation in what we do. All of our art does not mean nearly as much without our viewers, audience, and participants.
Summer is a joyous time for celebrating a lot. We want to share this celebration with you and we are working towards that event where we can all celebrate together. As we move forward with our dream, it is not just about showing and selling art work, but creating a community, starting discussions, and giving people opportunities to form relationships around art and artistic endeavors. We look forward to sharing this summer with all of you!
Let's be clear about this, I am a fan of landscape photography. So, I am partial to this style of photography. But, then again, I am partial to art in general, so this is not too much of a stretch for me. I enjoy and respect all the arts. I may not always agree with some art out there, just like others may not agree with my vision. I may not like all the art out there, just as may very well be the case with others and my art. However, all art is valuable. All art conveys a vision of some kind. Vision, in this day and age, is something very valuable, I think. Artists should, and usually are, innovative thinkers. We need people who see the world in different ways and want to share their vision with us.
So, what does vision have to do with landscape photography? A lot, if you stop and think about it. That is also the same with any art. You have to stop and think and contemplate it for a bit to understand your connection with it. You see, the connection between each viewer and the piece of art itself is what drives art. If there is no connection, then the art really has not achieved what it should. Now, I say this from my humble point of view, but I think it is valid. What I strive for, and what my family strives for, is to have our art make a connection with each viewer. Part of this is making our work accessible in multiple ways. That accessibility is part of making the connection with our audience. That is the first step in making our art relevant, and making any art relevant.
Once we connect, we can inspire. Isn't that the goal of most art? The purpose of it is to inspire as well as tell a story. The level of complexity of a piece of art should not be dictated by a select few magazines or critics. Art should be driven by the artist and the people. I know a lot of artists who love landscape photography. They are outstanding at it and find visions in nature that often go unnoticed if not for their recordings of it. I thank them for inspiring me and making Gina and I want to share our vision of the world around us with others. They also have inspired us because they connected with us and made their art more meaningful. I look for inspirations in other artists. It is what I base my model of operation on as I work.
Sometimes that connection comes just through the image, but it always helps if we can connect with the artist as well. I am a fan of art and love working with other artists. I like to hear their vision, their motivation. That is why this second job I do of making art and working with artists is not even a job to me. It is way of life because art is about life. The photographers I am thinking of have made a connection in my life, so I use them as an example to work from as I work.
Furthermore, landscape photography in this day and age is of particular importance because of what is happening to the ecology of our planet. If we do not take care of what we have, do we have even a hope of recovering it? Artists are more aware than ever of the beauty of our planet, and with the internet, these ideas can be shared and raise awareness. Beautiful images have more than aesthetic value, they can carry heavy meaning in multiple ways, depending on the way the artist uses the image.
I bring this up because I feel like images that are easily recognizable and beautiful get a bad rap in the art world for not carrying enough content sometimes, and that is simply not the case. When I was at the university, I would often see images that were dark, brooding, and confusing. Those are fine as well. They have their place, just like a beautiful landscape can have its place. It depends on the artist's interpretation for the academic weight that can be found in each piece.
Ultimately, what separates your piece from the generic piece that has no content is simply your drive as an artist and what you intend and communicate. I realize that there are those who may disagree with this, and that is fine. That is art. There is no one answer with art. But, I kind of like to think that what we are trying to do as a family at Brown Artworks is trying to offer multiple layers of the art world and make it very accessible to every person. When art is accessible, we can communicate that vision more. That, in turn, makes our art more relevant for the viewer.
One of the great things about being an artist is that we can give our art as a gift. We did this this Christmas with a good friend of ours. I had forgotten to write up my statement to go with the piece. I told her I would write it up and send it to her so she could have it to go with the drawing. Of course, she immediately appreciated that offer. That statement by the artist makes the piece more special and more unique, and every person wants that when they hang it up in their house. They are hanging part of your life because they connect with your life and bring it into their life. Whether we are a landscape photographer, an abstract painter, or some other type of artist, it would greatly benefit us if we shared part of our story and vision with each piece that we produce.
An example of this, and someone who has inspired me as well, is Jon Klein. Jon has great attention to detail and he includes information about each of his images that he sells. Even if it is just in the form of a greeting card, he shares information about each of his images so the viewer can have more of a connection than just the image itself. Jon is a landscape photographer and his work hangs in my house. The reason his work hangs in my house is because he is outstanding and he took the time to make a personal connection with me and Gina.
So, next time you see a photograph of a landscape, don't assume it is just a pretty picture. There is a story behind it that wants to inspire you. That is the goal of our work - we want to inspire our viewers and share our story and vision with them so their lives are more enriched and maybe our vision brings something a little extra to their lives.
I do not think I could have every imagined art being so complicated way back when I was studying at the university. One of the biggest problems with the degree training that I received as an artist was the complete lack of preparation by my university to prepare me for the art world in terms of the business aspect of art. However, I have had the good fortune to land a good teaching job while I practice my art, and I have developed to skills for independent research to learn how to make art in a way that I can set myself on a successful path, or at least a path that gives me a chance for success.
Take, for example, the simple picture above. It is a picture that is simple, yet has a degree of complexity in enough of a way to capture some of the imagination and what it is about, etc. Yet, without the right tools operating behind any picture, it will never go anywhere and it will never reach anyone. This painting, even though I consider it one of my more successful pieces of the last few years, still sits in my portfolio. Why, because I have chosen to let it sit. That is ok. Some pieces will sit in your portfolio while others fly out of your portfolio like they are going out of style. There are two factors I consider extremely important in trying to get your art out there and making any art business successful.
The first word is diversity. A diverse approach to art and your art business can only make you stronger. It makes you appeal to a wider audience, and it gives you more tools to operate with, it gives the viewer more to look at, and of course it can give the customer more to talk about. Diversity is key to making you successful. It makes you relevant, and it keeps you relevant. In such a vast world as that of art, it is a struggle to stay relevant, so diversity is a great ally. I also like diversity as a business owner, because it gives my customers a variety of things, ideas, and services to choose from. Customers like variety. If you are a shoe salesman and all you have are rows and rows of black boots for sale, I think you customer base is going to be a little sparse. It is the same concept here. Diversify your approach and you will find greater success. I do this for myself and I do this for my customers.
The other word is consistency. Consistency means reliability. Reliability is also stability. These are very valuable in the business world, because customers want someone they can rely. Maybe it is about meeting a production date. Maybe it is about consistent customer service. If you operate consistently at a high level in both your art and the management of your business, you will get repeat customers, and those are the best kinds of customers. Also, consistency of effort and trusting a consistent plan will help you get through tough times and find the financial success. It is not about boom or bust, it is about a steady and consistent effort. You owe to yourself and your customers. I owe it to myself and my customers. Consistency cannot be undervalued in business or art. Sometimes this common sense things are missing from many artists' tool boxes because we operate on such an emotional and peaks and valley type of operating system. But, if you can get these two concepts worked into your overall routine for business and/or art, you will find a higher degree of customer satisfaction and success.
This has been something I have been thinking about a great deal lately. We are in the final stages of setting up everything in an official way. It amazes me how much work and planning go into creating something that is well conceived, valuable, and interesting for both yourself and the public at large. Art is wonderful, but some of the most important aspects of art have nothing to do with art and more to do with your determination about how much you want to share what you do and what you have with an audience. This is what I have come to realize over the last few years. Art for art's sake is kind of a myth. Take, for example, the following scenario. You create this amazing piece of art. It is truly a masterpiece. You finish it and it is sitting in your living room. You share it with a few friends, but then it just sits, for months and months. What is the true value of it if nobody sees it? Now, I understand that there are some pieces that artists just want to keep for themselves, and that is fine. That is not what I am talking about, however. What I am talking about is if there is art created, but nobody really is able to appreciate it because you did not share it with an audience. Art just to make art is more about a personal journey if you are not sharing it with anyone. What good does our art do for the world or the people around us if we do not share our talent and our products? Not everyone will always like what we do, and that is ok. But many people will greatly appreciate what we do and be so appreciative that we put ourselves out there to share it.
What, then, does this have anything to do with business? Well, it goes back to the question, "Why do artists go into business? " There are a variety of reasons for this. Some just want to be able to keep making art. Some want to get the message out. Some want to make money. I have come to a conclusion that there is no right or wrong answers, only informed answers and uninformed answers. My informed answer is the following. Art is so much. I want to make somewhat of a living at it, but what drives me is the ability to have my art and my art skills be able to affect people. If people want to value the message, then that is wonderful! If people want to value my creations, that is great too! But, for me, art is about people. All art is a form of service to me, no matter how you do it. The intent will determine your drive, and the effect you and your art can have around you. If I do art with the people in mind, I feel I can't go wrong. I have skills, I have images, I have ideas, and many more things that are of value. It is for this reason that I want to do art as a business. It is a chance to interact with people and make a difference in some small way. It might be through a painting. It could be through a photography session. It could be just sharing ideas. Whatever the case is, it is an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. Because I work a full time job in addition to making art, I always have the ability offer everything I do and make at such a discounted price that I can make it accessible to nearly everyone who is interested. For me, that is what truly excites me about art. It is about making connections. Art, for most, if not all, of human history, has been the story of people. So, for me, it makes perfect sense to make people the priority when making art. Some people think that if you make art for the masses, your work could become cliche or less valuable. Let's stop and think for a minute. If we could make every person a fan of art, wouldn't that be better for all of us as artists? I think so. Our family and the company we are creating has one main thing we think about before all the other things. "Art for everyone." It is that simple. Whether it is a product, and service, or just a friendly person helping out - art is for everyone. You should not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money every time you want a quality, original piece of art work that is professionally done.
Making people about your art and your business will only be good for everyone in long run and it will be just good business sense.
Thanks for reading, as always!! The work at the top is one of my pieces that I have sold previously.