|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
I've been working on a bunch of art pieces lately, some more involved than the others. After getting about 10 pieces started, I've been moving forward with a bunch of collages because they involve a lot more color and very few strange attachments or expensive supplies. So here's one I finished this week (ignore the cell phone quality photography here)...
I made the collage first from found art (using cut outs from magazines on an 8x10" piece of paper), then blew it up, drew it and painted it. Now I just like looking at it
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on June 1, 2011 at 10:23 PM||comments (2)|
For all of you who didn't know, I'm working on a huge new collection of art that will blow anything I've done in the past out of the water (or so I believe, but really what do I know about what you'll think??). Anyways, I've taken down all my past work so if you are interested in any of my earlier pieces, send me an email and we'll talk about them
As for the new stuff, here's a sneak peak of what's to come:
Forgive the crappy pic, but let me know what you think of where I'm headed
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on May 2, 2011 at 8:02 PM||comments (0)|
And he said "Why don't you..."
I couldn't come up with any legitimate reason why. Aside from money. It's always an issue of money.
The 20 dollar lights, the 10 dollar tubes of paint, the 100 dollars towards brushes. Another 50 for canvas and then I'mb ack at square one for the next piece.
And he said "Nikki, a lot of girls think they're good at art."
A lot of girls besides me. Because I'm one of the few who never claimed to have any unusual talent... never tried to pass myself off as the next Rothko or the next Magritte or the next Dali (even though I admire Dali with everything in my little heart). I never tried to be special. I just wanted to get it out. All the creativity that keeps me up at night. I just needed it out.
He replied "But you actually are."
And he has my painting in his apartment to prove it. In fact, quite a few people I know have a painting from me in their apartment as a testament to their belief in me.
And I have about a hundred paintings in our apartment. Because no matter how much I claim I don't care about producing each little piece of art, I can't stop myself from creating. I can't put the paintbrush down, I can't toss out my sketch book. And if nothing else I keep going for my own enjoyment above all else.
Because really, there's no other time I've ever felt more in tune with my body and more in tune with the world.
Maybe he has a point. I may not be special but maybe I should attemp to be something...
At least give it a try. What's the harm in putting a few of my new pieces on my site or spending that extra 20 bucks?
Maybe it's time to go back to art.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on November 30, 2010 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
Today I made the 2 hour trip to Figueres (outside Barcelona) to see the Salvidor Dali museum. And let me tell you- it was everything I wanted and more.
The museum was 3 or 4 stories tall with a large outdoor area and a huge open room that connected all the floors. The huge room had the biggest painting I've ever seen in my life (see below.. and compare the size to the miniature-looking people standing there!) and had a few of his paintings like The Bullfighter, which appears to be one thing but is really a bazillion different things made up of a million other things when you take a closer look.
Anyways, it was great for me because I fell in love with Dali a few years ago when I was at the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, FL. It just so happens the Bullfighter was on temporary display there and it was love at first sight. Ever since, he's been my favorite artist with Renee Magritte being a close second.
After the museum I took a meandering stroll through Figueres with a single goal in mind - local Paella. It took a lot of aimless wandering in the pouring rain but I finally stumbled across a little local bar/restaurant without a single word of English on the menu. And even though it wasn't my favorite food, the Paella was pretty good. Plus, ordering alone in a country where no one speaks English, and you don't speak Spanish, is a whole adventure in itself.
With an art fix and a food fix I finished my day with the best CouchSurfer I could imagine and now, finally, I'm ready for bed. Nighty Night!
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
I have a HUGE art opportunity coming up and I'm going to ask all of you to pass on the info if you feel like it. This is a big one.
I found a really cool grant that's being offered to artists right now. 10 artists were chosen to participate in the Art Eat Up and I was chosen as one of those 10.
Basically the Art Eat Up is a fun way to grant funds to artists. Considering we spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on supplies and invest hours upon hours in our work but rarely make any money in return, grants are all the rage in the art community.
We're starving and painting. Which is why so many artists loose their brains (or at least I think so). I mean, not all of us cut off our ears, but we're all a little strange.
Anyways, this grant is chosen by attendees. Basically you pay 20 bucks as a donation and they provide a nice dinner, baked goods and wine/beer to anyone who comes (included in the cost) and then all the money collected goes to the winning artist. Each attendee gets one vote and all the votes are tallied at the end.
Which means that if you come you get a night of food and entertainment, plus you're supporting the arts. Not to mention, the more supporters who come for me, the more likely I am to get chosen as the artist. The funds would go to support my current series "Stories". You know the Cambodia painting? Yea, well I've decided bringing awareness to issues using my creative bone is far more useful than volunteering alone. So I'm off to volunteer in another country, assimilate as much as possible, and then add the experience to the series. All together I'd like to have 3 developing nations represented and really make people pay attention to things they may have never noticed using my art as the vehicle for awareness.
The money raised could help pay for my next trip and the supplies to create art after I return. You have no idea how much those supplies cost (I think I spent a hundred on my last piece alone with all that modeling paste, paint, etc.. not to mention nearly a month of work!).
This is one of those things I want with all my heart. Please tell your friends about it and help me make it a reality.
Time & Place:
March 13th, 2010. 6-9pm
@ Villa Borinquen,
396 Manilla Avenue (corner of 2nd Street)
1st floor event space, Jersey City, NJ
Villa Borinquen is located just 4 blocks north from the Grove Street PATH station in Jersey City. Exit the PATH and walk north 4 blocks on Grove Street (Grove becomes Manilla). Villa Borinquen is on the right side, # 396. The event space is on the first floor.
Tickets are a suggested $20 donation, which includes a delicious dinner (menu coming soon!), a cup for wine and/or beer and one ballot to vote on an art project to receive funding.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 17, 2010 at 12:38 AM||comments (13)|
Built on Tragedy:
It's not about a Monk sitting on skulls, but if that's what you see you're welcome to think of it that way. I'm the last person to decide what something "should" mean for another person. I just write these to describe what, exactly, it means to me.
This one means that until 1979 there was a genocide going on in Cambodia. A genocide that lead to the death of nearly 1/3 of the population. A genocide that killed innocent mothers, fathers and children. Everyone belonged to someone but Pol Pot decided that didn't matter... it shouldn't matter.
In fact, they came in with guns and uniforms and a promise of a better life. The Khmer Rouge regime took hold on the belief that the hill tribes of Cambodia had the right idea - non education and non-industrialized was the way to go. They believed so much in the idea of an unsophisticated life that they killed 1.4-2.2 MILLION human beings in pursuit of the "ideal" lifestyle.
In 1975 the killing started.
First it was the Vietnamese, then the Chinese, then any other minority group that was non-Khmer but living in Cambodian boundaries. Next came the educated class. The teachers, the lawyers, the doctors, the college graduates, the multi-lingual, the knowledgable. Education didn't fit into the plan, nor did intelligence. Families were murdered for educating their children, children were educated only on the Khmer Rouge policies.
The killing continued.
Next to go was the family structure. Communal life was a life worth living so parents were slaughtered and disrespected. Children were immediately torn from families, taught that parents held no place in society, everyone existing only for the common good. Love was tossed aside.
Children were taught to shoot their mothers in the back of the head for misbehaving. Dig the grave and move on.
The killing continued.
The highest estimate of deaths stopped near 2.5 million. The population was previously at 7 million. This was about 30 years ago. Think about it for one second. 30 years ago means that every adult man or woman in Cambodia experienced death and destruction. Nearly every person over 30 escaped the Killing Fields by some stroke of luck or another. I have friends who are old enough to have experienced the tragedy.
Yet Americans never learn about it.
Life continues. Work goes on. Khmer citizens go about their daily routines without education (the teachers were murdered), without modern conveniences (who would invent and manufacture those goods? The knowledgable were tortured and disposed of) and stuck in a third world slot for goodness knows how long.
But the culture is beautiful.
The sun rises every day and reveals a country more rich in history and enjoyment than any I've ever seen. The people joke and laugh in a lighthearted way unknown to Americans.
In the end, my life is more lovely for the people I knew in Cambodia.
Yet it all happens on top of the graves of thousands. It's all built on a past that haunts even the most jovial people..it was only 30 years ago but most of my U.S. friends would never know about it if I didn't paint this picture.
How it was Made:
I didn't plan on making it as large as it is (nearly my height and 40" across) but it happened that way because I kept combining more Chipboard. The skulls and tree are made with modeling paste and then painted with acrylics. The Monk is painted with acrylics and the general ground is covered with a sand-and-varnish paste I concoted with some craft sand and liquid matte varnish. I still need to devise a way to hang it but it's sturdy for now
Art Description Deux: Real Life is Trash can be found on my previous blog post.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM||comments (2)|
Sorry to all my followers who are so very loyal! I know you've been checking in all the time (even when I'm not blogging I check my analytics!) and I'm sorry to not be posting.
I promise I didn't abandon you.
Quite the opposite- I've been working on this HUGE painting/Mixed Media piece to finally post online. It's about as tall as I am and it's taken me WEEKS. There's still plenty of touch ups and cleaning up I have to do on it, but I'm posting the nearly finished product here.
Story will come soon, let me know if you like it... the tree and skulls are modeling paste so there's a ton of texture (and weight) on it!
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM||comments (0)|
I decided to post descriptions of each piece of art I've created on my blog. Why? Because I've been told it helps sell pieces and a thousand people ask me 'what does it mean?' on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I burn out of the same description around time 149. Therefore, you'll find the descriptions on my blog and it will save my enthusiasm for when it's really important. Like at a show.
Real Life is Trash :
I did this piece in 2009 after coming back from the Bahamas. While in the Bahamas I worked for a non-profit, the Harvest Foundation. Like all of my trips, I was pretty unaware of the local culture before moving to the Caribbean, but then again, I think the only real way to understand a culture is by immersing oneself in it. Sort of a catch-22. You have to go unprepared to become prepared.
Anyways, I got there and things were a mess. The organization had been down for a few months prior to my arrival, the community center had been uprooted and moved, the community was unaware of any changes. Plus, the underlying issues were 10 times what I imagined.
First of all, the government in the Bahamas is atrocious at best. Like all small countries it takes a good 10 months to do what should take 10 hours (no exaggeration). All is fine and well with that philosophy until foreigners come in and think they can make a difference by working in a typically foreign way- which is exactly what happens to NGOs.Thankfully the woman who founded Harvest Foundation Bahamas had a pretty decent head on a her shoulders and while not everything was perfect her ideas were really well founded. She really wanted to develop the community and help them pull themselves up. It was a lovely notion.
While trying to get the organization to work out in her vision, I started noticing the world around me. Bribery, inefficiency, censorship, etc. It was a mess.
So one day I was sitting down and talking to a friend. My friend showed me a few pictures taken a while back. During the last huge hurricane (04 or 06 I can't remember), most of the island was wiped out. The airport was damaged, people were hungry, a full blown catastrophe took over.
Like we always do, the big countries started throwing money on the issue like there was no tomorrow. We gave food and milk and water and clothing. We sent thousands to millions of dollars every day. We blindly opened out pocket books and assumed our life savings we poured into the country would make everything better- because after all, what else can happen with billions in donations?
Well, let me answer that for you. Billions of dollars given to a country with a well-oiled government can change the lives of millions. Billions given to the Bahamas during a natural disaster does very little. In fact, the freight ships full of clothing never reached the citizens. From what I've seen and what I was told, those freight ships came up with bundles of pants, shirts and underwear and then dropped the items at the dock. At the dock the items were picked up and driven to distribution warehouses and prepared for delivery. Trucks continued to bring more and more shipments to the distribution centers preparing for handouts, people talked about all the progress that was happening, bodies stopped being found on waterlogged beaches.
Go to the Bahamas and try to track the clothing down- you'll find it rotting in abandoned buildings and decayed warehouses. It's still there, it never helped anyone. Things started calming down and the donations were forgotten. Because real life doesn't work in the rest of the world like it does for us Americans. Real life doesn't always mean money=help.
Real life can become a whole bunch of t-shirts sitting in a warehouse. It can become trash.
Which boils it down to my piece- Real Life is Trash.
Note the stacks of molded clothing in the background and the frustrated man covering his face in the front. We can see it happening but there's often little we can do.
How it was made:
Stretched Canvas with a garbage bag adhered to the top. Brown translucent paint to add color.
Then I glued a picture of the clothing to the garbage bag, transferred a photo of the man on top and outlined his details in white paint/black markers. The 'Real' is done in acrylic.
Signed at the bottom and ready to go.
359.00, stretched canvas, ready to hang
Art Description Une : My teacher can be found on my previous blog post.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on February 1, 2010 at 5:04 PM||comments (0)|
I was feautured in the Viral Cat February 2010 issue and I'm totally pumped about it! But the thing that excites me most has nothing to do with my three happy-fun mixed media pieces, rather the other artists and writers who were featured. While I do art, my passion will always lie overwhelmingly in words. The way syntax makes a story move and the diction that tells a tale. I love watching verbs weave in and out of choppy prose and eloquent poetry.
It gives me butterflies. Sort of like the poem "A Little Rotten" by Stephanie Bryant. It's beautiful and it's strong. It makes you think until the thoughts get so overwhelming they morph into a compilation of feelings. All wonderfully constructed and well worth the words that got you there.
Yes, I know a self-published 3 time cancer-surviving writer. And he's a great guy all around. While he writes a hundred times differently than I ever have, he has a great story to tell. A story worth reading: spiritual. And anyone that needs a book to read should take a look at his. He's just that cool.
So there's my little post on words. I love them.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on January 28, 2010 at 1:36 PM||comments (0)|
Check out the HiddenYOU Featured Artist of the Week- it happens to be yours truly.
3 of my Cambodian pieces are featured plus a little bio. It's pretty cool since I'm working on a ginormous piece focused on Cambodia right now. It's seriously HUGE and I think it'll be my best yet. So far I've gotten the following reactions when showing the work in progress to people : a gasp, an i-love-you, and a phone call after being speechless for 10 minutes.
Not saying it'll be Met worthy but just saying it takes the cake for my fave. Which is why you should check out the HiddenYou feature- prepare yourself for my upcoming work Lol!
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on January 21, 2010 at 7:53 PM||comments (0)|
Latia Johnson just posted a great ezine on her website, HiddenYou, where she featured 8 wonderful artists along with personal interviews. Check it out for free on her blog and see 2 of my pieces plus a ton of info about my art - I'm on the first feature page
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on December 9, 2009 at 1:33 AM||comments (0)|
Ok, so I thought I was done blogging for the night but then I got an email from a website I submitted to a while back. Not only was it the most heartfelt appreciation email I've ever recieved, but the organization that runs IndieInk decided to post my art on their page.
Check it out below! It's not one of the pieces that gets noticed regularly, but it's one of my faves
You Stole It (crazy high resolution photo included).
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on November 25, 2009 at 2:58 PM||comments (3)|
I have a REAL gallery show coming up!! I just realized I've been slacking on the updates so I thought I'd throw this post up on my blog.
Four of my pieces will be hanging up (Yes, Ratty McRat Face will be there due to popular demand! lol) and it should be a good time. It's a little far out in Brooklyn but it would mean a ton to me if any one could come out and be my friend for a bit:)
If anyone is interested in grabbing coffee before or dinner after, I'm also free to do that.
2083 E. 16th Street, 2nd Floor,
Brooklyn NY, 11229
Takethe Q train to Avenue U, directly across the street on the Northwestside will be a small building next to a market. That's the gallery!
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on October 9, 2009 at 7:12 PM||comments (0)|
?There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.?- Douglas H. Everett
He was always trying to bring me back down to earth. I would say "I'm going to be rich" and he would scoff, "not without school". I would retort, "I'm going to be great at something" and he would reply, "no one can bank on being incredible."
And then I would think about it and halfway convince myself that practicality was the key to success. I would tuck my high flying, unrealistic dreams away and go on living like half the person I could be.When I was around him I was constantly meeting negativity- constantly hearing "no".
But now I've let 'no' go. Now I'm proud. Yes, I am unrealistic. I dream things that have never been dreamt and want things that could never be. But then the thing that could never be, is. My art that was mediocre is displayed in a New York City venue. My big time dream of getting paid to write something (no matter how insignificant) has been realized. I have an apartment in Chinatown for 800 a month.
Everything about my life is impossible. He would have told me it couldn't be done. Just like he always did.
But to him I say this:
It can be done. Because I've discovered that with enough work I can attain any goal, no matter how lofty.
So yes, sir, I am impractical.
But so was Picasso.
|Posted by Nikki Yeager on September 22, 2009 at 11:21 PM||comments (0)|
So I believe I've told you all- I'm an actual artist. Well, I'm someone who paints and now displays those paintings in NYC. For money.
Anyways here's a few that I've done recently. These are NOT all of them and are terrible, terrible photos. Bear with me until I can get my hands on a decent camera and a spare hunk of time.