"I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
"I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
This is the completed painting below that I entered into the Nanaimo Arts Council Pop-up show called "First Friday, Celebration!" located in the Network Hub, a shared office space and meeting room in Nanaimo, BC.
"Summer Sunflowers and Pears" mixed media 36" x 36" 2015-2016 by Lena Rasmussen
At the beginning of August 2016, I entered one of my happy sunflower paintings into an art show at the Nanaimo Arts Council. I named this painting "Summer Sunflowers & Pears". The new local pop-up art show was held at the Network Hub in Nanaimo called: "First Friday - Celebration!"
Sometimes I have a really hard time trying to complete a painting. For this painting, I re-painted over certain areas of this older completed painting, because I was unhappy with the colors. I still liked the sunflowers and pears, so I let them be. Really? How unlike me to not destroy another painting! I had actually started a different painting for this pop-up show. It was a beautiful purple iris from my spring garden that I thought was working, but then all of a sudden I started losing confidence and I started getting very stressed out about how to continue. In other words, I guess I didn't plan it all out and I was starting to hate it. So I switched to this painting I had completed some time back, scolding myself, "to not destroy this painting too! You better not destroy it, Lena!"
I love using really vivid colors when I paint that make me happy. I took half of a large sponge and cut it into the shape of a circle. I poured straight cadmium orange paint onto a palette and dipped the round sponge into the paint and started dabbing circles onto the background. Just going for it! Trying to get into the mode. So I worked on it and didn't give up, and still parts of it I did not like (I shouldn't have added the pinky color onto the rim of the bowl) and time was running out and the deadline was looming closer...
Closing in on the drop-off deadline to bring the painting in, I quickly gave it the "Okay, just say it's done, and even if it isn't done, be done with it! Just let it go! Get going, time is running out!" and I dropped it off at the pop-up show for hanging, about 30 minutes before cut off time! I am very good at self-sabotaging my plans and I was determined to not to fail once again! This was the third art show this summer that I had entered one of my paintings and two of the shows I had to cancel at the very last minute, because I couldn't beat the deadline. So embarrassing!
This painting below with the dark purple in the background is the first painting I completed and entered into a different Nanaimo Arts Council members show in 2015.
Poppy Paintings by Lena Rasmussen © copyright
Here are two of my original poppy paintings that I am currently still working on. Plus my darling princess fat cat art critic - Miss Miso. The smaller painting is almost finished. The larger one 30" x 40" is far from complete. And I mean far. I have been reworking and painting out with white paint and adding in glazes of either cadmium yellow medium, cadmium orange and cadmium red medium. I have changed the background color from teal to this color and I'm not liking it! I will need to change it back again. I drive myself crazy - with not being happy with what I've already completed. I put this large painting away for a year because I was too scared to go any further. And so, this past August I started working on it again.
A year ago I helped my dad install a new black and white kitchen floor. I am painting on the dining room table again. There is no more room to roll around my easel (which my dad made for me!) and so it has been packed away for the time being. I sure am missing it!
I use acrylic paints on most of my paintings. The most frustrating thing about acrylics are their drying time. They dry very fast! It doesn't give me a lot of time to work with or blend with. I know there are slower drying acrylic paints out there, but they are also really expensive. I will be working on this and all my other paintings that I just haven't had time to finish. I will update with more photos and hopefully a photo of the completed poppy paintings!
My first solo art show!
Nanaimo artist finds beauty in the sea creatures (jellyfish) found at Neck Point Park, Nanaimo, BC on the east side of Vancouver Island.
Yay! I had my first solo art show several years ago. Well, I guess it has been over nine years now...
Here are some of the photos I took at Neck Point Park one afternoon when I spotted the jelly blob on the beach. They were the inspiration for 'I see gold' art show.
All photos below are copyrighted by Lena Rasmussen. If you are interested in purchasing a print of one of the jellyfishes, just contact me.
Slideshow of cyanea capillata jellyfish from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC
The red painting is named "I sea red". I painted this one for another art show at Nanaimo Art Gallery. The theme was 'red'. The rocks with barnacles painting was from a photo I took and mixed with some of my imagination. I really love painting rocks and barnacles! The painting on the right was how I remembered seeing gold through the jellyfish that was laying on some rocks near Neck Point Park, Nanaimo, BC, Vancouver Island.
In the first painting here, I am visualizing what it looks like looking through the jellyfish and seeing gold. Then I have two photos I took of the jellyfish. The 2nd painting is an abstract of orange & lime slices. Then there are some black and white photos of daisies and echinacea coneflowers from my garden. Plus a smaller abstract painting of rocks and stones on a beach.
The larger blue painting © I visualized looking under the water and seeing to the surface. Barnacles again on the rocks. I love living by the ocean!
Here are some of my smaller poppy paintings. © They're whimsical and also from my imagination. I painted some still lifes of coffee beans, olives and cherries. I painted some starfish I photographed on Newcastle Island just across the water from Nanaimo. Here is one of my sunflowers paintings. In the meantime, I have re-painted the background with an aqua teal color.
Some photos I've taken of the jelly fish that inspired me to paint for my first one woman art show 'I see gold'. Below is a newspaper article on my art show.
Note: I have copied this article and I am sharing from: The Daily News (Nanaimo) December 18, 2008 - © (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.
Nanaimo artist finds beauty in the sea creatures
By The Daily News (Nanaimo) December 18, 2008
Vancouver Islanders have spotted waves of jelly fish stretched along shorelines this fall, including Nanaimo artist, Lena Rasmussen, who found beauty in the sea creatures. She created an entire art series based on her findings during a stroll near Neck Point Park in late August.
Rasmussen officially launched the work earlier this month and her acrylic paintings remain on display at the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery for the rest of the month.
The concept for the 'I See Gold' series began when she walked the edge of the water and saw several people poking at several flat blobs of jelly about the size of a large dinner plate. People all over the Island and the Mainland have spotted similar findings this year.
Ocean tour companies reported seeing clusters of about 30 in the water, while residents from various shores came across groups of 20 in some instances, according to Canwest News Service.
The sightings in Nanaimo intrigued Rasmussen who took photographs, created her own colours from acrylic paint and immediately went to work. Painting relieves her of the chronic pain she experiences in her muscles and joints. The cancer survivor suffers from a list of illnesses that doctors can do little about, including severe endometriosis, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Rasmussen wanted to capture the "gold" images she could see while staring at the reddish-brown jelly puddles.
"I swear it looked like I could see gold shimmering through its jellied body," she said.
"It was the way the light was shining on and through it. I had to paint its beauty."
The cyanea capillata jellyfish are at the top of a four-year population cycle, according to a marine biologist working in Nanaimo.
Their lifespan starts in the spring and matures in early September when they drift ashore and die.
They occupy waters from the mouth of the Fraser River to Comox and through the Juan de Fuca Strait as far as Sooke.
Long tentacles stretch and flow, collecting food while drifting in the water's current; on shore, they cannot survive.
Rasmussen wanted to depict the gold images she could see underneath the blobs, as if "you were looking right through them," she explained.
Her paintings will be displayed in the arts council gallery at the Nanaimo North Town Centre shopping mall until the end of the year.
© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.
As an artist that has received a few unbelievable offers for my art by email from complete strangers - I wanted to warn you. I will share a couple of suspicious emails that I have received.
While I was reading the email I received today, I felt that this was probably a scam right off the bat. I googled to see if there were any 'art scams'. Well, sure enough, a whole whack of them! Other artists out there have also received emails with these kinds of incredible offers. And some have received the very same email that I had. It's unbelievable that there are such awful people out there trying to rip off innocent people. If your gut instinct while reading the email is that 'it seems too good to be true', well then, it probably is.
Watch out for the story the email art scammer has sent to your inbox. Saying 'how much he must tell me, that I am doing a great job.' Oh, really? Well, gee, shucks darn, thank you sir! And he wants to 'purchase some of my works for his wife as a surprise present regarding their forthcoming 20th anniversary', (look at the letter, commas not periods, weird way of wording a sentence, I'm thinking that this doesn't seem or look right, hmmm?) He wants to 'receive further information about your piece of work (he doesn't even mention which piece!) and 'what inspires me?'. He also wants me to 'kindly email him back with some images and price-list of my artwork that is ready for immediate sales within his price range ($1000- $15,000)..' See the 2 periods? Alarm Bells! See the pressure of 'immediate sales' ? Ding! Ding! Be worried. Be very worried about this offer! Be very suspicious! And gee, dear email art scammer, You must think that I must be really, really desperate to believe that anyone would pay me $15,000 for any of my paintings! How stupid and gullible does he think I am? He hopes to 'hear from me soon..' Two periods. He says he 'found my 'contact while surfing' - Come on now, please!
Please be careful about answering such emails. In fact, it would be best for you to not even answer these types of emails to be safe. What I've read about these art scams online via emails to artists has made me very wary. Do your research like I did. Google the first 150 words or so of the email letter and you'll probably find another email scam. Google the scammers' fake name that he has used. Google the words 'art scam'. Please take care and do not fall victim to these art scamming vultures. I have not answered this email or the other one I received after googling the above examples. If you look at the 2nd email, there are those telling 2 periods.
Sure, like any other artist, I like to hear that someone likes my art work, or in fact wants to buy a painting or two. But for a stranger to outright email me offering up to $15,000 for one of my paintings (and not even mention which piece?) makes me fume and so then I wrote this blog post.
In this day and age accepting a cheque from a complete stranger offering you money for 'immediate sales' should alert you that it is probably a phishing scam. These scammers want your personal and private information so that they can try and trick you into giving them access to possibly, your PayPal account! I read that they will email you a fake link to PayPal to click on and enter your PayPal email and password! Because they need a partial refund for overpayment on the shipping or something like that. That is, if you have replied to them, which I haven't. I read that they will offer to send you extra money for shipping with their own shipping company and these kind of stories go on. Never click on any suspicious email! Think of your bank accounts and credit cards you may have linked to PayPal. If you click on this link and enter your password, you are going to be screwed. Be smart and be careful!
I am sharing these two emails that I have received to help warn other artists out there that there are art scammers out there trying to scam you. The two letters are below. If you have also been sent a phishing art scam email, please leave a comment below. We need to warn other artists and artisans. - Lena Rasmussen
The two emails below are what I received, word for word.
Letter from - February 7, 2018
My name is Cruz Octie from New-York.. I was looking for some artwork online and I found your contact while surfing and I must tell you, You are doing a great job, I would really love to purchase some of your works for my wife as a surprise present regarding our forthcoming 20th anniversary, I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you..Also, kindly email me back with some images and price-list of your artworks that is ready for immediate sales within my price range ($1,000- $15,000).. Hope to hear from you soon..
Thanks and best regards..
Letter 2 from December 20, 2017 - Notice the 2 periods.. and the wording
My name is Joseph Collins from Florida. I Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creative works on your website.. However, I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed piece within $2000- $12,000 ready for sale...Please do email me back with images and prices of any available works in that range..Also, I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
I will appreciate an utmost response.
I barely finished this painting in April 2008 for the Nanaimo Arts Council Group Show being held at the Nanaimo Lighthouse Bistro Restaurant. I was given a few days notice and then I asked for an extension, and luckily I was given more time, but then I ran out of time again, and was not given any extra time to complete this painting.
Like I have said before, I am not very good at keeping track of time. I'm not sure if I will ever be finished with this painting. I keep finding things in it that I would have like to have changed, but seeings now that it is hanging up I will try and not change anything for the time being. All in all, I had a lot of fun doing it ! It took me about 4 full days to complete. This is one of my more whimsical type of paintings. I took this photo in my studio, which has a really nice fish tank to listen to. I will add a short video on the process and all of the changes I made to this painting from beginning to end.
Hi! My name is Lena Rasmussen and I am a mostly self-taught artist from Vancouver Island, BC. I love painting happy and colorful poppies, sunflowers, and tulips from my garden. These are just some of the wonderful things I love to paint.