Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Dream Art Studio

My Dream Art Studio:

  • Huge windows on at least one wall up to the ceiling. 
  • North Light coming from above and plenty of artificial light for painting at night if need be. though I hate painting in artificial light. Check out my blog post about choosing the best bulbs for an art studio.
  • High Ceilings
  • Room for 3 large tables and one large wall dedicated to creating large abstract paintings
  • Room for a library- sometimes I like to take breaks between paint layers/stages and reading helps me unwind while getting my creative juices flowing.
  • A dedicated area for my art supplies. Organized and labeled (I love organizing and labels!) and artwork
  • Room for a couch and a mini fridge, maybe a sitting area
  • Room to hold classes/paint parties
  • Large monitor next to my easel for reference.
  • Large desk with a Mac desktop and a good quality printer
  • Far away from any noise and distraction, preferably on the second floor.
  • Lots of wall space to hang inspirational artwork
  • Really good ventilation
  • Surround Sound 
  • Large flat screen TV, because sometimes I want to watch episodes of Peaky Blinders or Game of Thrones when I am painting
  • Oh did I mention everything is white? Walls, tables, shelves... I know I am weird.
  • Poured concrete floors
  • Exposed beams 
  • An assistant...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Best Studio Lighting for a Fine Artist

North light is traditionally the best lighting for artists to use. North light or natural light coming from an above north facing window is ideal but not always attainable for most unless you have that in mind before choosing or building a studio space. If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a custom built studio then more power to you! :) for the rest of us, sometimes artificial lighting is our only means to achieving that "perfect" lighting. Also. It's that when I state "above" I don't necessarily mean from the ceiling. It can be at an angle or simply higher up the wall. 

Yes, it's the bulbs that make the difference. I use CFL bulbs. Def NOT incandescent bulbs. CFL's  take a little bit of time to fully light up but they are worth the little bit of time it takes. I specifically use 3 bulbs in my floor lamp. Each bulb base can rotate making it easily for me to adjust. I also put diffuser on them since the bulbs alone can be quite harsh. Really I should spread the light around by installing track lighting but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. 

  • Color Temperature: I like the way 5000k -5500k looks. It's a white light. Not too yellow or too blue. 
  • Brightness: 2600 Lumen/each bulb. Since I use 3 bulbs that's a total of about 7800 Lumen which I like. Another way to measure brightness is with watts. I use 120 watts total, 40 watts/bulb 
  • CRI Rating: over 80 is good. 90-100 is best. 

CFL's are def more energy efficient and eco-friendly than incandescents but they are still fluorescent lights and fluorescent lights contain toxic mercury. I try to paint only during the daytime so I can utilize the natural light that comes in through my east facing window and minimize the amount I have to use the CFL bulbs. 

I am currently looking into maybe getting neutral (white) LED lights. They are more expensive but last longer and don't have toxic mercury. 

Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between the lighting used for painting vs display (like in a gallery). 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Art Doesn’t Imitate Life, It Reflects It

Wow. How awesome is this? A good friend who happens to be an inspirational speaker/blogger wrote a blog about little ole' me, well about my art more so than me. I love knowing my art inspires people to think differently. Be sure to check out his website and blog

Art Doesn’t Imitate Life, It Reflects It

by Baylor Barbee

I used to hate art. I laughed at the thought of anyone paying money to see some painted scribbles on a page. I scoffed at the idea of going to a museum and just staring at, and even worse, “admiring” the work of the artists. Don’t even get me started on my thoughts on “abstract” art, aka (as I used to think) a bunch of random colors with no rhyme or reason, all flung together on a canvas. If you’re like me, you probably thought the same thing, “I can do that.”

Boy was I wrong. A few years ago, I attempted my first painting, you can read about it here, and it gave me a new appreciation for art. Over the past few years, I’ve come to admire the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, and a host of other painters.

I had the unique opportunity recently to visit the Jackson Pollock Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art with one of my personal favorite artists, Geordanna. As I stared at multi-million dollar paintings such as Convergence, which to the naked eye looks like a bunch splattered paint everywhere, she gave me something I had not really seen in art previously – Perspective.

On the caption of a certain painting, Jackson Pollock said, “I like to use a dripping, fluid paint…the method of painting is a natural growth out of need. I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement.”

Wait what? Method?! “You mean to tell me it’s not just random paints and colors on a canvas with a high price tag?” I asked myself. I want the same thing in my art, whether it be speaking or writing – to express in an authentic manner my story, not just illustrate it. Geordanna proceeded to fill me on the process of how abstract art is made.

As she explained to me the different brush strokes, some in dark splotches, which indicated the artist was very near the canvas, to the small sprays of color, which indicated the artist most likely dripped paint from a tall ladder, I began to see the painting in a whole new light. I saw how the various colors weaved in and out of each other as if it were knitted together intentionally. This wasn’t random paint, this was strategic; it told a story. After staring at that painting for at least 30 minutes, everything started to make sense.

All of this “random color and dysfunction” that I previously saw… was that way only because I choose to see it only as that. How many times in your life has someone looked at your life or your situation and saw it as a colorful mess, but had they known what you were really dealing with or what you were working toward, would view you completely differently? We’ve all been mislabeled haven’t we? Inside the beautiful mess of your life is a story, it just takes someone with a great perspective to see it doesn’t it?

All of the sudden, it’s as if all of the paintings on the walls of the museum started talking to me. They started telling me the stories, pain, triumphs and tragedies of the artists who created them. It was truly one of those rare lightbulb “aha” moments in life.

In that moment, I realized the reason I didn’t like art growing up was for two reasons 1) I didn’t ­­­­­understand it 2) I didn’t understand myself.

The second one might not make sense, but let me explain. For days, I literally sat on my computer looking at all the abstract art that I liked and some that I didn’t – looking at it with this new perspective.

A few weeks after the exhibit, I got a chance to go visit Geordanna in her Dallas Studio, because I had more questions and needed more insight. I started to see parallels between painting and what I do as a speaker, author, and entertainer. She told me, “People don’t view art for what it is, they see art for who they are.”

Wow. That stuck with me. She told me how someone would look at one of her pieces and say “oh I see a dark, troubled, turmoil” emotion, while someone else would look at the same piece and say, “I love how vibrant and alive the painting is.” Again, it’s not the painting that changed, it’s the perspective.

Think about your life right now. Is it possible that some of the people or situations you don’t like might possibly be just because of your current perspective, not a finite truth? Aren’t there those out there who don’t like you simply because they are viewing you through the negative lens in which they view the world? Do certain people avoid you or talk down on you simply because they don’t understand you or your passion? That happens to me daily and I’m sure it happens to you as well.

She talked in depth about perspective and how art really reflects not only the heart of the painter, but more importantly, the soul of the viewer. I glanced around her studio at all the different paintings, canvases, paints, brushes, and easels. There I saw one of, if not my favorite piece of art…ever. Not just my favorite piece of hers, but my favorite piece ever.

It ranks right there above my personal favorites:

“The Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso

“Crown” by Jean-Michel Basquiat

“Echo: Number 25, 1951” by Jackson Pollock

It’s one thing to view art online, it’s a whole different experience to view it in person. The painting said so much to me. My mindset went from “oh that’s a beautiful piece” when I first saw it online to “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS.” I see how collectors become collectors.

I asked her, what were you thinking about when you made this piece “Love in the Dark?” Rather than tell me what she was feeling when she created it, she asked me, “What do you see?”

Isn’t that an anecdote for life? The fact that it’s not really about what we create, but how others view it that really shapes the interactions and relationships we have with people, whether that be relationships, clients, or cultures. The more of our authentic selves we lend to our art or passion, the more accurately others can see themselves through our work.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the reason I loved this particular piece so much is that when I don’t try and “look” at the painting or try and direct my thoughts to what it kind of looks like, (as I often do in most situations in life,) and instead just let the art speak for itself through this lens of self-reflection, I see myself in this painting. It’s me.

I see The dark hues of blue representing the mistakes I’ve made in the past. But those dark hues also serve as a strong bold foundation for the rest of the piece to sit on. My mistakes, both in relationships, business, and life have shaped the platform that has allowed me to speak all over the country and share my thoughts in books that have become best-sellers. I see the other blue hues going up and down, sometimes left and right as if not sure of the direction they want to go, but understanding that they will never go too far up, and never go too far down – that balance is necessary.

I’m at a point in my career and personal life, where I’m on that brand new canvas. Speaking to crowds and Fortune 500’s that I never would have dreamed of getting to speak to. I’m “up” with the opportunities, but also taking the heartbreaks and things that fall through in stride by realizing that it takes both the up and the down stroke in art to make a complete picture. The sideways brush strokes and thinning light blue hues to me represent expansion, taking new risks, but still coming back to my core principle – faith and inspiring hope before I spread myself to thin.

The parts of the painting where there are many strokes and directions end up being darker. I think my mind is like this. When I have too much going on and my thoughts are everywhere, I get beat down much like the entry room rug of a house with many visitors. This reminds me to keep my mind clear as much as possible as to not get worn down or turn dark.

The gold strokes represent opportunity to me. I look at the painting from a three dimensional view. If you saw it in person, you’d see that the gold paint is on top of the blue, representing the opportunity to turn my pain and mistakes into golden opportunities. It reminds me that these opportunities will only come by staying authentic and true to my craft. If I were to vary who I am, (change colors), then I wouldn’t get the same beautiful portrait or life.

Finally, I love the white paint right in the center of the piece. You probably had to look twice to see it didn’t’ you? To me this represents God being there for me at the center piece of my life, even when I fail to recognize or acknowledge him. When I’m caught somewhere between who I was (blues – mistakes) and where I want to be (golds – opportunities), He’s right there over and underneath both, guiding me, directing me, and shaping my life to be what He created it to be – His Masterpiece.

Remember, “Art is not to be seen, it’s to be felt.” – Geordanna

… and such is life.

And now I ask you – What Do you see when you look at the painting? What does that say about where you are in your life? I look forward to hearing your answers.

Check out Geordanna’s collections at:

Update: I’m proud to announce that I’m now the proud new owner of the original “Love in the Dark” piece that I’ve described above. I’m so glad to join the ranks of some of the most premier hotels and office buildings in Dallas as an owner of original Geordanna Art.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Minaj Drake Collection

I usually listen to music when painting. There is something about music that gets my creative juices flowing. This collection was created when I was listening to both Nicki Minaj's Pinkprint and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded albums as well as Drake's If You're Reading This You're Too Late. I can't wait for his Views from the 6 to come out this spring!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Art and Endometriosis Story

My Endometriosis and Art story 

I am a Costa Rican-American artist. I have been painting and drawing since I could pick up a crayon at the age of 3. Because I was able to draw and paint much more realistically than my counterparts my parents encouraged and supported my talents by placing me in private art classes. I eventually made it to AP ART my senior year of high school. I then went to Baylor University with an art scholarship. 

I attended Baylor University initially double majoring in Studio Art and Biology, two very demanding majors. This was about the time my endometriosis pain started to hit full force. Causing me to have to graduate a year late. On top of the physical pain I was enduring, academically I was finding college art (or maybe more specifically Baylor art classes) a bit limiting and constraining; and ended up completely turning away from art all together. So like most fickle college students, I ended up switching my major and I dropped art. 

Upon graduating in 2005, I entered the corporate world and for 6 years I was relatively successful but in the back of my mind, I knew something was seriously wrong. I continued month after month to feel the intense progressively worsening pain of my Endometriosis. The type of pain that would render me useless unable to do anything more than sit in a fetal position with a heating bad, popping Advil like candy. My career was thriving but my health was at an all-time low, the pain getting more and more intense. That was about the time I was finally diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis after seeing at least 10 different medical specialist over a span of 8 years and all of them telling me it wasn't endometriosis. My diagnosis led to many major, extensive surgeries. (One of those surgeries being an 8 hours laparotomy which included endometriosis and extensive adhesions getting excised from every surface of my pelvic cavity plus two bowel resections) After that major surgery I was forced to retire early from the corporate world, both my husband and I agreeing I should concentrate on my health. 

While painfully and agonizingly convalescing for a year, I was able to do some deep profound soul searching, ultimately leading me to pick up a paintbrush again after almost 8 years. Initially my art was for therapeutic and healing purposes, later evolving on its own into an unexpected career.  Since 2011, I have been trying to pursue art as a full time career and I am loving it. I owe so much gratitude and appreciation to my husband who is allowing me to do what I do.
Presently, my husband and I are on a difficult but hopeful journey in trying to conceive after heart achingly enduring many miscarriages these last couple of years. Since my endometriosis was diagnosed in 2010, meaning it went undiagnosed for over 13 years, the destruction from this benign cancer-like disease wreaked havoc on my reproductive organs. The delay in diagnosis is probably the primary reasons for my recurrent miscarriages.

To fully grasp me as an artist you have to learn specific aspects of my life & personality; my obsessive love of color, my innately introverted personality, my tragic experiences of being a child sexual abuse victim, my present fight against Stage IV Endometriosis (a disease that affects 6% of the women in the world, with the two most common symptoms being extreme pain and/or infertility), my recurrent miscarriages as a result from endometriosis and my lifestyle choice to be a vegan and live as holistically and organically as possible, also as a result of my endometriosis. Going vegan and eating a cleaner diet has done wonders for myself and many other women suffering with the pain of endometriosis. 

Through being vulnerable, raw and transparent in my art, I hope to be able to reach others struggling through the same issues and/or find common ground with others who share my same lifestyle philosophies. Hopefully showing them they are not alone. But, probably more importantly, my art is for me; to help me cope with the past, appreciate the present and be hopeful for the future.
Because of my introverted personality my art serves as my voice. My art is truly a way that I expose my soul to the world without caution or reservation; two things that I sometimes possess too much of. My art defines my entire being. It makes me who I am. It allows me to create. But not JUST to create but to create through letting go, letting go of over-analyzing, letting go of the pain, the guilt, the insecurities, the unforgiveness brought on by being one of those 1 out of 10 women with endometriosis. And in turn, letting in that which simply. is. Accepting with gratitude and joy my present. My art comes from deep within me, a deep, raw and visceral place I usually only visit when creating. 

Yes, I have had to endure some pretty tragic and earth-shattering things but because of all that I was able to find my power through the power in art, in creating, that helped me cope and heal in unimaginable ways, in ways only God could heal. I discovered that through my art, through the process of creating, I directly connect with God, the ultimate creator. Never do I feel more in tune with God, more present, more at peace, then when I am creating. Though, I would never want others to go through what I went through or am presently going through, I am proud of my past and present; and what I have overcame and will overcome. I would not change anything that has happened to me because it’s made me exactly who I am today, the sensitive artist I am today. How could I fully appreciate and be grateful for the multi-colored bursts of joy-filled experiences that have been beautifully sprinkled throughout my life, without also experiencing those dark and desperate times? After all, only when it is dark enough, do you see the stars.
My work may appear random at first, but upon closer inspection there is a common thread of exemplifying the beautifully chaotic. All my work encompasses equal parts of planning and spontaneity; a mix of direct and indirect intention, chance and circumstances. I believe this allows me to constantly be exploring new and different avenues for my work. I believe an artist should not limit themselves by technique or medium. This allows the opportunity for my art, the basic essence of my art to shine through, rather than merely my need to control. I attempt to manifest through conscious and subconscious color choice and stroke, that which is not seen with the naked eye: emotions, imaginations, faith, the soul...
My ultimate goal is to create an interesting work of art that engages people to debate their own interpretations through creating a meaningful dialogue, whether they become a fan or a critic. 
My purpose in life is simple: to create.... but beyond merely creating visual art, I know my ultimate creation will be when I create life

The 11x14 3D shadowbox art is titled “Endometriosis” (PHOTO 1) I deconstructed my original watercolor cutting out the main pieces then built them up in the shadow box. I pierced and wrapped real wire making sure to penetrate the uterus and snake it around the waist and arms in an effort to depict the overwhelming constraint we feel physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I used the red wax I originally used to seal our wedding invitations 6 years ago by dripping it on both the actual watercolor and the frame to mimic blood.

My husband and I agreed that the 3D piece will not be for sale BUT I did create an illustrative interpretation print that is for sale and is PHOTO 2.

You can find that print for sale here:
Please take some time to check out 

My Instagram:

My Saatchi Art profile:

And My Website:

#endometriosisawareness #endometriosisart #understandingendometriosisthroughart #endometriosis  #recurrentmiscarriage #miscarriageart #miscarriage #geordannatheartist #watercolor #periods #menstratualperiod #menstruation #art #artist #texas #texasartist  #endoart #fertility #fertilityart #recurrentmiscarriage #infertility #infertilityart #frida  

Friday, September 18, 2015

A lesson from Picasso on pricing your artwork

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.

“But, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

Monday, February 3, 2014

A good friend requested I create some one-of-a-kind art....

30x40 Kala I, impasto acrylic on canvas by Geordanna the Artist

30x40 Kala I, impasto acrylic on canvas by Geordanna the Artist

24x30 Kala II, impasto acrylic on canvas by Geordanna the Artist

12x16 Kala III, acrylic on canvas by Geordanna the Artist