the introverted, forest-dwelling, hermit that is my spirit animal

I am super duper excited to announce that I will be participating in two art shows this summer/fall! Heroes -VS - Villains at La Bodega Gallery in San Diego, CA (July), and The Star Trek Show at Gristle Art Gallery in New York City (September). I am so honored and totally overwhelmed to get a chance to show at these two awesome galleries. I am continually so blessed by people who are willing to give my art a chance.

Both of these shows speak to the nerd inside me who is freaking the f*** out about being able to paint not only my favorite super hero (Psylocke), but also something from the incredible universe of Star Trek. Which means I will probably have to binge watch TNG for the next few weeks... you know - it's research, for work...  

My focus this year has really been about taking a step back, not worrying about where I am in my art career (the very, very beginning), or comparing myself to anyone else, and creating the best art I can possibly create. I am also developing the artwork for a yoga inspired tarot deck, set to be released (hopefully!) in 2017. Getting this opportunity for something this huge and amazing was really my wake up call that I needed to get serious about my technique, and work on refining my processes for creating art. I am a terribly disorganized person, and a project like this has forced me to be a planner, an organizer and just generally have my shit together :) Which is even harder with my husband overseas, because he has always been organized enough for the both of us. Also while he has been away, I had to learn to pay the water bill on time. Thank god I only had to do it once before I set off on my travels, or I would probably still not be showering. Yes, I am that bad at life. 

Luckily I am better at keeping up with my art obligations than I am paying bills. I think it has to do with the introverted, forest-dwelling, hermit that is my spirit animal.

Even though a lot of my time is being focused on developing the tarot deck, I am really excited about my pieces for Heroes -VS- Villains and The Star Trek show, and I will also be participating in the some art auctions via facebook with my art collective (Strange Dreams). 

And finally, my oil painting, The Fortune Teller, is currently available through Penumbra Gallery, and they are offering it at a discounted price! 

xoxo and May the 4th be with you!

 

Muses for the ears.

I get asked a lot about what I listen to while I paint. I think this is a really interesting question because (and I think many artists would agree), what we listen to greatly affects the work we create. I can look back on paintings and remember exactly what I was listening to at what point in the painting. It's pretty wild.

Mostly I like audiobooks because of their ability to really take you away, deep into your imagination, and loose touch with reality. I also have a few music albums that have the ability to really take my mind away, which is usually what inspires my best art. I've listed a few of my favorites below if you are curious :)

Audiobooks:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (read by Jim Dale) - my absolute most favorite book ever. 

The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman (read by Mark Bramhall)

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (read by Jim Dale)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (read by Will Patton)

Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (read by Davina Porter)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Read by my absolute favorite, Wil Wheaton) 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (read by the author!)

The Martian by Andy Weir (read by R.C. Bray)

Any book written by Ben Bova (some of my favorite science fiction books!)

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (read by Kirby Heyborne and Cynthia Farrell)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (read by Fiona Hardingham and Steve West)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Narrated by George Guidall)

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (read by Dan Bittner)

 

Music:

2112 by Rush 

Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Audio Secrecy, House of Gold & Bones Part 1 & 2 by Stone Sour

This Is War by 30 Seconds to Mars

I-Empire by Angels & Airwaves

The Hunting Party by Linkin Park 

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness (self-titled album) 

The Sufferer & The Witness by Rise Against 

Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan

The Best Of The Grateful Dead by The Grateful Dead

 

A Gypsy Artist

2015 was an amazing year for me. I exhibited in my first gallery show in almost 5 years, with a gallery I have aspired to work with for a long time. (you can check out the exhibitions at Corvidae Collective Gallery here & here)

2016 happened with a bang as well with two more gallery shows and my opportunity to exhibit internationally at Penumbra Gallery in Portugal! (You can check that show out here). Having the opportunity to work with two amazing galleries has been a dream come true for me and I am so grateful for the experience. 

With my paintings for Freefall at Corvidae Collective, Gallery in Nashville, TN

With my paintings for Freefall at Corvidae Collective, Gallery in Nashville, TN

My husband also deployed overseas this year, and I decided that, instead of staying put for the six months he was gone, I would travel. We packed up our little house, put everything into storage, I kissed my man goodbye, and hit the road with my three fur babies. It has been quite an adventure for me so far, and I am striving to get out of my comfort zone and really live in the moment. I am currently in Tallahassee, Florida with my amazing sister and brother-in-law. They have been so gracious in opening up their home to me and my three fur babies. 

My next stop will be visiting my friends in Portland, Oregon and staying with my parents for a while in Bend, Oregon. While I am out there I definitely plan to take advantage of the incredible outdoors, and have a couple mountains I am planning on climbing, as well as some backpacking and mountain biking :) 

Despite my transience I have still been creating art, and keeping that as my focus. Not having a designated studio space is definitely challenging, but I have commandeered the kitchen table, and my sister has not complained yet ;) 

One thing that I did not really expect was the challenge of creating art while dealing with the loneliness of being without my life partner. I knew it would be hard without him but I did not expect that to impact my work as much as it has. It is hard to be inspired while dealing with that, but it has also been a valuable lesson for me - there is not always endless inspiration to help you along. Sometimes you have to just sit down and do the work, even when you are depressed, mad, uninspired or just don't feel like it. I have found that taking walks or sitting out in the sunshine helps me with my focus though. Anytime I feel frustrated or that I will poke my eyes out with my own paintbrush, I stop, lay the brush down, and go outside. The sunshine does wonders for the soul.  

I am also planning on some new ink, that will being going down in a couple weeks and I cannot wait to share that! 

Even though I am not an active blogger, I am going to try and be better about it and share more on here. However, I am super active on Instagram (@ella.beyer) where I stay up to date on all the artsy stuff going on in my life. 

xoxo ella

Recent work and other nonsense

I just finished up a some big pieces, and I am going to be taking a short break from my usual stuff, so I thought I would share :)

I have been asked to create a few pieces of art for some really awesome causes (ACS Relay For Life, and an art auction for a local school), so I am deviating from what I usually make and having fun with some new subject matter! I will share those when I can :)

Keeping An Art Journal

I recently read this post and was inspired to actually create some art in my art journal.... 

I have this beautiful, handcrafted art journal made with thick, luscious paper that my parents bought for me, oh... probably about TEN years ago. And up until a couple weeks ago it was completely blank. I have this incredible and irrational fear of drawing or writing in beautiful books - as if I might ruin them by putting something in there that is not perfect.

Well I have learned a very important lesson recently and that is I will NEVER achieve perfection. Never, ever, ever... and so there is absolutely NO REASON to not write or draw or WHATEVER in a beautiful, blank journal. 

So I started to write and draw things... they are not perfect but there is something wonderful about creating art without any fear that it won't be "good enough".... 

I have totally fallen for.... drawing!

I have totally and completely fallen in love with drawing...

Drawing has always been necessary to my work as a painter but I never really loved doing it, and I never really thought that what I drew was any good. I have just used it as a tool to sketch out paintings.

But having to move houses this January has totally changed my perspective. 

During the move my studio and paints have been packed up for nearly three weeks (absolutely dreadful)! I knew I needed something creative to do while we were in the midst of the chaos (or I would most certainly go insane) so I kept out two sketch books, and some pens and pencils.

Wow. How I feel about drawing has completely changed!

I love it so much now that I draw every. single. day. Yes you heard me - something I used to do only for necessity has turned into something I cannot live without. Every morning, I sit at my kitchen table and while I enjoy my first cup of coffee, I always have an art journal or a sketch pad in front of me. It has turned into quite the love affair. 

And unlike when I paint - there is no pressure for my work to be "good" - No one is ever going to see the doodles in my art journal so it doesn't matter how they turn out..... it is SO FREEING to create art like that!  

That is why, as an artist, it is SO IMPORTANT to try new things and to keep working at stuff you don't feel you are any good at! You might completely amaze yourself with what you create :)

Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly brave, I share some of my "doodles" via Instagram

Two Things I Hear a lot as an Artist...

There are two things that I hear constantly as an artist. Judgements on the cost of a piece of artwork and always the question of, "How long did that take you to paint?"

Hopefully this does not come across as a rant, but I wanted to be able to share my thoughts on these difficult questions since I encounter them quite often. 

As an artist it is amazing to me how many people tell me that they would never spend a certain amount of money on a piece of artwork (yes, they do know that they are talking to someone who creates art for a living)... And mind you this little gem of information is always given freely without any invitation from me. After hearing that type of statement on so many different occasions I have really begun to wonder at that attitude. 

Now here is the thing - I understand that not everyone is an art collector/art enthusiast - and that is ok!! It's totally understandable that you might not want to drop your hard earned money on a piece of artwork.... but that does not mean you can disregard its value just because you might not pay that much yourself. The value in a piece of original art is not just the sum cost of its parts and the labor put into creating it. The value in an original piece of art is that nothing like it will EVER happen again... it is its own singular, and completely unique, event. The value in it is that is has its own voice, its own soul, and it has the ability to evoke deep and authentic emotions from the viewer.  

The other thing that I get so often is the question of how long a piece took me. Here is the thing about that - the hours it takes to create a piece of art cannot be used to assign value to it - because, for an artist, that piece of work is the sum of their ENTIRE career. They did not just sit down one day, create a masterpiece and slap a price tag to it based on the hours it took them to create that one piece of art. When an artist creates a painting they are using the sum of their life's experiences and skills - skills that were honed with years and years of practice!!  

I do not think that everyone has to be willing to pay for original art but I do think that it is important for people to realize the value in a piece of original artwork and not question the price tag attached. Next time you wonder at the asking price just remember that an artist poured their heart and soul into that art, and are willing to share a little piece of themselves with the world :) 

Just so this is not entirely a rant I do want to say that, on the flip side, there are so many amazing people who value the time and effort put into a piece of art and that is a huge part of what makes the art community so magical! Appreciating and supporting artists (even if you would not personally collect their art) is something I really love about the art community.   

Hello Monday

I love the beginning of the week - to me when Monday rolls around it means that there is infinite possibility and so much that can be accomplished and created in the next week. It's how I survive MONDAY :)

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable
— Mary Oliver

A fearless New Year...

This new year I am working on being fearless. I have always been pretty timid when it comes to being an artist - I don't advocate for myself, I don't speak up when potential opportunities arise, and I often let fear dictate my actions. 

Recently I have dealt with some situations that have tested me in a really intense way... After being put in a bad place because I was too timid to speak up for what was right - I finally decided I'd had enough - and probably for the first time in my life I took a stand and it resulted in a really scary leap into the unknown... and even though it scared me to death, it was the right thing for me to do. And because of that, I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, and what I am meant to do.  I think I was able to end up here because I had finally come to the place where I was so fed up by my fears getting in the way of my dreams. That may sounds a little cliche, but it's crazy how a really difficult, frustrating, and seemingly futile situation can bring you to exactly where you need to be. So if you are there right now, take heart - it gets better :)

 

Let your imagination run wild...

As an artist one of the most important things I do is take the time to let my imagination run wild. For me this happens best when I take walks - walks that are long and meandering, where I just let my mind go. Unlike when I am sitting at my desk staring at a blank canvas I don't try and force creativity. When I am outside, I can just walk, and observe, and let my mind wander. I have never taken walk that did not help my creativity. So just remember, if you ever find yourself hitting a creative wall, it is always worth it to take 15 minutes and go for a walk ♥︎

The most wonderful time of the year....

For me the most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest.... The holiday season is a time of commissions and I absolutely love it! With commissioned based work there is always so much variety with what I get to paint! So far I have worked on winter landscapes, peaceful seascapes, and even a pop surrealistic mushroom landscape. This year I have been really blessed with requests for original artwork and have gotten to work with so many wonderful people!  

I hope this holiday season brings you infinite gratitude for the little things in life ♥︎

8x10 oil on board

8x10 oil on board

A day in Diagon Alley

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good...

I often marvel about how much better my dreams are than reality... well, after spending a few days exploring the fictional world of Harry Potter I have found that the only time reality IS better than your dreams is when your dreams actually become reality...  we got to drink Butter Beer at the Hogshead, explore the many shops and wonders in Diagon Alley, and I found the Diagon Alley Arts Club which would definitely be my favorite spot if I were a witch :) 

We also found that Steven's type of wizards hang out in Nocturne Alley, and that he loves edible dark marks and drinking wizards' brew... no surprise what house he would belong in... 

Space Travel, Jupiter's Icy Moon and Painting Red Eyes

I have been listening to a lot of Science Fiction audiobooks.... and subsequently thinking about space travel, the universe, and what might happen if we colonize another planet. 

I also read about this SUPER COOL discovery that NASA has recently made....

"Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun."

You can read the full story here. How cool is that?! Obviously, humanity is a long ways away from colonizing another planet but it is still pretty fantastic to think that there are other Earth-like planets out there that we could one day explore...

All of this has my mind roving far beyond our atmosphere and of course its been finding its way onto my canvas. These three paintings are all quick studies for further work dealing with space and the universe. I might take a break from the world of science fiction, so I can work on some Halloween themed stuff, and then get back to exploring more Space themes!

Speaking of Halloween... I am SO EXCITED for Fall. I get this excited every year - I love Fall. Sunny days with brisk, chilly winds, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy scarves, tall boots, and changing leaves... it all makes me so happy :)

Check out my Instagram soon for sneak peeks of Halloween goodies :)

She Dreamed of a Life beyond the Stars. 8x10 oil on board

She Held Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand. 12x18 oil on paper. 

Jupiter's Icy Moon. 6x12 oil on paper 

hello world.

photo credit: Therese Pham Photography

photo credit: Therese Pham Photography

My name is Ella. I am an artist from Portland, Oregon who is currently living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. While I follow my soulmate and his stable career around the world, I spend my time pursuing my unstable, and often unpredictable, career of painting. 

I recycle obsessively. 

I like to grow my own food or shop locally at farmers markets.

I hate driving and would rather ride my bike or walk. 

I can spend days on end hiding out in my studio painting.

I often spend hours in the sunshine reading a good book.

My soul belongs in the wilderness.