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It's So Hard to Say Goodbye...And Hello Again!

After more than a year of using my website's native blog feature, I regret that it just doesn't work for me.  :-(  There are many ...

April 14, 2017

Mexico 1900-1950 @ The Dallas Museum of Art

I had the pleasure of viewing the new exhibition at the DMA focusing on 50 years of Mexican artists.  The big names of course drew ins the crowds including  Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Jose Clemente Orozco.  I was myself waiting to see Las Dos Fridas after failed attempts to see her work during my trip to Mexico.  I was not disappointed.  I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was surprised to the see the breadth of work as well as the diversity of subject matter from the fruit seller to the revolutionary.  I was delighted, and saddened, and motivated by so many works, that I was immediately sorry that I hadn't delved further into Mexican artists before.

The Fruit Vendor - Olga Costa

Portrait of Guadalupe Marin de Rivera - Amado de la Cueva

I found many new favorites to follow in this exhibition and I appreciate how much of a learning experience it was for me.  It made me truly proud. 

Project for a Monument to the Birth of Venus - Juan O'Gorman

Mexican Adam & Eve - Alfredo Ramos Martinez

 Indian Woman from Oaxaca - Ramon Cano Manilla
Woman with Pitcher - Jean Charlot

Me posing with "Las Dos Fridas" by Frida Kahlo
I saved Frida for last because I knew I wanted to take my time.  I also wanted a moment to pose in front of it.  Afterward I took a moment admire the grand size of it, and to take in the fact that I was standing in front of a work of art she made herself.  That she stood in front of herself once upon a time.  And for a moment perhaps feel her presence.  I left its side, to leave the exhibition and tears welled up in my eyes.  I became a little self conscious that people would stare at me.  But I was too proud to stop, or perhaps I was too happy to have had this experience. 

March 24, 2017

What Is Liminal Space & What Does It Mean to Your Art?

My significant other and I have these conversations about art and concepts pretty often.  It's one of the reasons I love him.  We often trade posts we find on social media, including mostly memes just to make each other laugh.  I believe we got into talking about liminal space after sharing photos from a tumblr we both like, called Glow Blog.  It features photos usually at night, that depict simple spaces or other subjects that are lit up with colors from faraway neon lights, or lights with atmospheric interference.  Basically anything that causes a "glow."  I had run across these images many times, and while I thought they were interesting I didn't look deeper until recently,  I can't really explain why.  I think it had to do with the feeling I began to feel when I saw some of them, which I later came to understand was a result of liminal space.

Image courtesy of GlowBlog.tumblr.com

All images courtesy of GlowBlog.tumblr.com

Most of the photographs can be attributed to a simple recording of light, especially unnatural man-made light cast on various environments like neon lights or car lights.  Some take a step further in causing an eerie, empty, or mysterious feeling.  It can be seen in the middle of the night in almost any public space like a train station.  During the day this place is bustling with activity, at night it is lit up, but empty, as if waiting for any activity to start.  It is in transition, and being there or seeing this space at this time almost causes us to fear an unknown.  Quite literally a fear of change, if you will.

What is liminality exactly?

March 20, 2017

Ruts in the Road to Creative Productivity

It's not uncommon for artists to find themselves at a standstill in their work.  It can be an excruciating experience especially when one WANTS to work, but can't seem to find the magic.  Julia Cameron writes in The Artist's Way that obstacles of all kinds will always stunt creativity, and the only way over, is through.  Creatives must train to work on their craft even when work seems unreachable. The inspiration is not there. The well of ideas has dried up.  All are excuses.

Sure the process may be hard at first but pouring one's soul into a project is not always easy.  It's important to realize that "easy" is not always a luxury one can count on.  Inspiration is also not a luxury you can count on.  When artists talk about a block,  they often don't see that the act of waiting for inspiration is itself a common block.  Writing your To-Do lists and Things to Remember can help clear the way.   But often what is stopping the flow of creativity is perfectionism.

"I don't have a great idea yet, so why should I start working?"
"I don't wanna waste my time making bad art."
"I need more time to make something really good."
"I don't want to be reductive."
"I don't have the talent to churn out masterpieces all the time."  
If these sound familiar, or you have a small voice uttering something similar, you're selling yourself short.  You're getting in your own way.  It's not your brain, or lack of ideas, or lack of talent that's holding you back, it is you.  It's your old nemesis fear.  It shows up in various forms trying to fool you that something else is to blame.
"What am I supposed to do then?"

March 19, 2017

Seen on tumblr: @heartsl0b

Aisle Horror - Mixed Media - heartsl0b - used with permission
Aisle Horror - Mixed Media - Savannah (heartsl0b) - used with permission

Clean Up - Mixed Media - heartsl0b - used with permission
Clean Up - Mixed Media - Savannah (heartsl0b) - used with permission

I ran across these artworks on a friend's blog on tumblr and thought they were so amazing even with a mundane setting/subject, the colors transform it into a liminal space filled with mystery and magic. You can see more of Savannah's work on tumblr here: heartsl0b.tumblr.com  I love how she perfectly captures how an artist might see the beauty in these images that could be passed by in everday life, even repulsed by.  I can't stop looking at these!  Please see more of her beautiful work at the above link.

I'm writing about liminal space in an upcoming post because I find the concept very mysterious and yet so common to our everyday lives.  I'm tying the concept into art, and things I've read that seem to be a common thread.  A softly glowing curious thread urging me forward down a dark yet hypnotizing road.  :-P

March 10, 2017

Busted Pipe Threatens to Sink my Studio!

The sun had not even come up yet.  I first heard the cat stepping lightly through the bedroom door to find his usual hiding spot.  I drifted back to sleep only to be woken up again half an hour later to the sound of rain.  I suddenly became startled.

"What is that?" I asked into the darkness.  The sound of water was on the wrong side of the bed, coming from the hallway instead of the window.  I raised up to the edge of the bed to see slightly out of the crack in the door, the tiny reflections of the living room light bouncing off a steady stream of what looked like water falling right in front of my bedroom door.

Let me just say here, that you should get renters insurance.  Luckily I did not need it this time, but I very well could have.   There's no going back in time to do what you should've done that would've saved you from a nightmare.  There are often no signs that something is wrong until it happens.  Until you wake up in the middle of the night to what you think is rain.  Or until you come home from a weekend visit and your house is flooded.

I keep thinking how lucky we were that we were home.  We hadn't finished unpacking every box, or found a home for every single thing yet, so there is a lot of stuff on the floor in various corners and under tables (especially my studio table!)  In moments of shock there is an uncontrollable frozen stare of disbelief as you wonder if you're actually having a nightmare, or if what is happening will just stop.  It didn't.

I must've stared at the ceiling not knowing what to do for what seemed like 30 minutes.  I saw the water start to travel from the hallway to the living room, going past my TV stand, my couch, to the front door.  I yelled for my partner to find towels, and I grabbed what few I saw and threw them to the floor.

"Oh my God, oh my God," I couldn't help but utter every time I looked up at this unstoppable waterfall of red water.  It was RED! At first I thought it must be coolant, and that it must go to the A/C unit, and that whatever tank was up there would run out soon, but it just kept coming.   I ran to the kitchen where the water seemed to be avoiding, to think, which seemed so hard to do  right now.  I knew I had to reach some emergency line for my complex, I had heard one before when we had other issues in our previous apartment.  I listened to all the options, nothing about dialing this or that number for an emergency.  How can there NOT be an emergency line?!  I called again to listen to the options again.  I chose an option. Not helpful.  I called again, chose another option, not helpful.

March 6, 2017

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye...And Hello Again!

After more than a year of using my website's native blog feature, I regret that it just doesn't work for me.  :-(  There are many great features like the custom build of each post, and the use of graphics in navigation, but it was all manually done by me, and it became more of a chore to constantly update links so that it all worked.  There was not a good flow for me, and trying to keep up with updating multiple areas for every post was just too tedious. 

On a regular blog, links to previous posts are automatic, and the job of blogging becomes much simpler when all you have to do is write and share.  I hate to leave behind the work I carved out there, but my intention is to blog more, and make that easier on my time.  Having the automatic features that a blog like this provides will make that happen, and be a huge relief to my schedule.  I will still incorporate some of the navigation features as best I can, and make the transition as seamless as possible.

Some of you may know this blog already, and it certainly feels familiar and easy to come back to for many reasons.  There is a wealth of older work to be seen here from my college days, and I'm happy that it will be available for easy viewing next to my current work. 

Thanks for understanding and I hope you will join me in a sigh of relief from here on out.  I will post links to my posts on my website periodically so that they still get some love and attention, as I put so much into them.  I'm not sure exactly yet what would be the best way to keep them linked, but I'll figure out, because I do want my .com/blog to point here eventually.

My lastest post can be found here: Mermaid, Witch, and Cosmonaut Walk into a Bar...

Mermaid, Witch, & Cosmonaut Trio watercolor paintings by Johnny Perez

Share With Your Friends!

August 5, 2016

New Website & Blog | Follow Me and Stay Connected!

I've been working on my new website for the past year!  You can find it at the picture link below!
Link to http://www.JohnnyPerezArt.com

I will not be adding to this blog, but you can find my new blog also on my website.  I'm still posting works in progress, some demos and tutorials, and I will leave this blog open to reference old posts.
If you're a diehard fan and would like to stay connected, I'm running a newsletter where I send you personal emails about things I'm working on, and some current events.   I'm also giving away some freebies for subscribing, right now you can get a 12-page digital coloring book, and download it right from the confirmation page!  Color and send it back to me, and I'll feature it in a future newsletter or maybe on my blog.  I hope you'll continue to follow me on this artistic journey! Sign up here for the newsletter.

August 5, 2015

Don't Be Afraid to Make Bad Art - The Artist's Way

Make art everyday.  Live your life as art.  Art imitates Life.  It all seems simple, but if you're not careful, fear can grab a hold of your muse and trap them till you've lost hope.   Making art is very personal.  Making YOUR art is very scary!

In the book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron writes that Morning Pages get everything out of you, so that you come to [your] work as a clean slate - blank.  With all of your To-Do lists written and worries and fears and etc. written out in the Morning Pages, you can find the art.  It flows more freely from you without distraction.

I'll admit this has been hard to put into practice, but the times in which I've emptied my mind of all the junk I couldn't stop thinking about, I found myself more at ease.  Even though it's hard enough making art everyday, writing everyday is just one more thing you have to do.  It may not come naturally at first, but it's hard to deny its effectiveness.

Lets be honest,  who doesn't go through almost an entire day trying to remember some important bit of information or chore to do.  When the glass is full of such things, trying to think of ideas for your art just runs over the side.  Let the your planner, phone, or post-its do the remembering, to leave your mind free to wander more fun places!

Another trick I try, when the writing seems too daunting or dry, is the doodle.  Very simple, but I pick up a drawing utensil, and tell myself, "fill this page with nonsense".  And do just that.  Often times I find that a good idea sneaks in.  This also lines up with what Cameron writes, "don't be afraid to make bad art."  That's a hard one I know for many artists to accept.  But when fear paralyzes you and not a single mark gets made, this is like breaking the ice.  I have truly terrible drawings, horrible perspective, and doodles that resemble a child's.  But it all is in fun, and I don't think about trying to make it good.  Then I turn the page, and when my pen begins to make a mark, it is loose, warmed up, and performs much better.

My mother once told me a quote: "The pain now is part of the happiness later."  You can relate this to your personal life, romantic relationships, and you can relate this to your biggest relationship, your art.  It's as if your mind must purge sometimes before it can run smoothly.  Junk must be discarded to make room for the new.

Make art everday, and don't be afraid if sometimes its bad.

April 6, 2015

This Artist's Way

I've been inspired to write here after reading a great article about promoting your art through blogging.  It's almost funny that I thought I was doing this all the whole time!  It hasn't always worked the way I want it to but after reading this article I found perhaps the missing piece.  The person behind the art! 

Perhaps I thought of this as a simple portfolio blog where I could post all of my ramblings and progress shots of work I'm doing, but maybe it can be more. I'm not sure I can always be inspired, but collecting my thoughts and writing them here may prove useful. 

With that in mind, I've begun to revisit one of my favorite books about creativity, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.  In it I have tapped into some confidence in my work that I've searched for every time I hit the page.  Creativity is a powerful force that is ever present and waiting on you.   I can't recommend this book enough.  

Some ideas that come to mind are the ups and downs of my relationship.  "Drama belongs on the page, not in your life" Cameron states.  There being a new beau I find myself in many conflicting states of mind, and often he sees this on my face.  I don't mean to be insecure but at moments I am weak.  I began a series not long ago about my feelings for a friend who was in love with a mutual friend, rather, my best friend.  It seemed like high school fodder the way it all played out but in the end I realized more about myself than I thought was possible.
While I feel I'm moved past many of those issues that were the cause of so much heartache, I am finding many of the same insecurities are still there.  This may be a good time to revisit this series I never found the heart to finish, and maybe in the process find a resting place for old thoughts and emotions.  I also believe it's important to trust one's instincts and finish what's been started.  While it might not be easy, I look forward to a sense of accomplishment with that particular body of work, and closure on these personal issues. 

March 30, 2015


I had the pleasure of being featured on the Ripple I.Y.T. Soundcloud channel run by my friend and colleague Taylor. Check it out

We talk art, movies, anime, inspiration and upcoming projects. On a side note im not a big fan of my voice, but hopefully it just sounds normal to anyone else.  Anyone else think their vocabulary changes when in an "official" capacity. Yeah that. LOL, anyway it was fun to do and I try to relax and be informal.