Posts in News
Day 27

Last night I went to the monthly group meeting for the Photosynthesis Project. We are a group of professional artists and writers using photosynthesis as inspiration for our artwork. We meet each month to discus texts, images, and works in progress. In November we will display our artwork in a group exhibition. It is such an inspiring project, and I plan to talk more about it in the coming months.

Please let me know of any inspiring texts you may know that are centered around plants. I am going to set aside some time to read every day—something that has been difficult to do after having babies. I need to immerse myself in some inspiration, so it is time to make time.

Day 25

I took time off from teaching when I had my children. My son is going to be 3 on Saturday (happy birthday Brennan!). Now, I am thankfully, very, very busy painting, so I don’t plan on going back to teaching until my space is finished and I can teach out of my own studio. My hope is to have a space in two years. I have already found a builder. I just need to get the show on the road!

I do have room for 1 or 2 private students at this time. Please visit my website and fill out the apprenticeship application if you are interested. No prior experience needed. Only dedication and a love for art. (https://alexakarabin.com/apply-for-apprenticeship/)

About My 100 Days of Color

View the collection at the September 7th Art Hop, 5:00-8:00 at Ninth Wave Studio in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

My 100 Days of Color

For years I have painted in a monochromatic style, or with a limited palette. In the spirit of #the100dayproject, a challenge that encourages a creative project for 100 days, I focused my attention on color. I began the project with a set of metallic watercolors, ink, mica, 18k gold leaf, and glass. After exploring the watercolors for a couple weeks and struggling with their limitations, I decided to design my own watercolors using non-traditional pigments.

Why Insects, (along with arachnids, and other critters)?

Insects are beautiful creatures. They sparkle, they shine, they glow. There are 10 quintillion of them on the planet (that’s 18 zeros). And they are essential to our ecosystem. We need them to live. For all of these reasons and more, they are a worthy, and inspirational subject. For years I have attempted to capture their beauty in ink and have struggled, because it cannot compare to their reality. I decided that the work had to be more than a traditional painting to achieve a closer representation of their beauty. By hand making my inks, I was able to create textures, variations, and sparkle inspired by the actual characteristics of certain insects (with a bit of magic thrown in!). I use several different textures in each ink. I use glass and mica where their would be fuzz and shine on the insect.

What are the shapes?

To me, they represent the sun and moon, other interests of mine. They also represent movement, usually movement upward and forward.

What are the inks made of?

Everything under the sun (almost). I started grinding my own pigments when I was 15 years old. I don’t know why I was compelled to do it. I have always had a fascination with process and I wanted to know how everything was made. But, those pigments sat in jars for 15 years, unused. When I realized I should be making my own inks, I revisited the idea. I use a lot of glitters, because they not only replicate the metallic characteristics of some insects, it also implies innocence and the wonder we experience as children. This is a theme I would like to further explore. Now,  I am even grinding up my grandmothers old costume jewelry to create new inks. To me, this offers a feeling of intimacy between artist and collector.  I am exploring solar changing pigments and glow in the dark pigments, as well. I grind up stones and crystals, mica, recycled plastic, I will try anything.

My Experience with #the100dayproject

I have to admit that the project transformed into a project more about texture, than color. But that was the exciting thing about #the100dayproject. Seeing an unplanned, happy accident turn into something that works. I suggest everyone, professional, and novice attempt a 100 day to experience the clear progression of skill, technique, and idea you can achieve by practicing something every day. Not to mention, the comforting (although sometimes unnerving) experience of ritual.

#the100dayproject / My 100 Days of Color

For years I have painted in a monochromatic style, or with a limited palette. In the spirit of #the100dayproject, an Instagram challenge that encourages a creative project for 100 days, I am focusing my attention on color. For this special project, I am keeping each painting I make, and will display them as a collection at the end of 100 days. Follow my journey on Instagram!! 

I have received a lot of inquiries about these paintings, though, so I want to make them available to you! That is why I am offering you a limited time opportunity to purchase a painting like the ones from my series. Your painting will have all of the characteristics of the paintings listed, but each one will be handmade specifically for you. You will receive the painting ready to frame in a 5''x7'' mat. I also offer custom framing options. 

I now offer custom works!

I have been doing custom work for quite some time, but now it's formal. If you are interested in hiring me for something custom, please visit this page and let me know what you have in mind. Thank you!! 

New Work, New Website, New Year!

So, this was sort of a fluke, but we have a new website! I couldn't be happier, because even though my other website was great, this one is better. And it has way more potential with sharing video (hint hint hint). It also will zoom into my images super close so you can see details. Please check it out, and let me know what you think! And if you haven't already, sign up for my newsletter to receive 20% off your first purchase. 

South Haven Art Fair 2017 / Emerging Artist Winner
South+Haven+Art+Fair.jpeg

Originally posted in July 2017.

I had a wonderful experience at the South Haven Art Fair on July 1st and 2nd! A lot of paintings went to new homes, and I met so many wonderful people and artists. I also won the Emerging Artist award, which was a huge surprise. I definitely plan on going back next year. 

Visit me at the Richland Art Fair on July 15th and the Saugatuck Fair on July 29th

May Update

Originally posted in May 2017. 

It has been a while since I posted an update. I am pregnant and have been very ill. I am trying to get myself motivated to get back into the studio and make new work, something that has been a challenge on top of preparing for this summer's art fairs. This is the first time I am giving my all to the art fairs, so it is taking a lot of work to prepare. Brochures, labels, boxes, packaging, building walls and tables... the list of to-dos go on. I only have a month until my first fair, so it is time to get serious. 

Here are some snap shots of the state of my studio.