Author Archives: Renée Rice

Art City Austin

April 12-14, shop and browse Art City Austin’s Convergence Fair—an art fest featuring up to 80 visual artists, designers, installation artists, artisans, and makers showcasing and selling their wares at Republic Square. Enjoy
local musicians, performance artists, live food demonstrations by local chefs, food trucks, boozy bevies, kid activities, and interactive experiences. Guests also have access to guided gallery tours and artist talks around town during the weekend. Find some of your favorite 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting there. Here’s a preview with a handy artist list at the bottom.

Greg Davis National Geographic Photograper
Photography by Greg Davis
Heather Harris
Art by Heather Harris
Mixed Media book tree art by Jay Long
Art by Jay Long
Woodarts Box by Mark Mallia
Woodwork by Mark Mallia
Morgan McBride ceramic platter
Ceramic arts by Morgan McBride
Angie Spears painting of girl with umbrella
Art by Angie Spears
silver jewelry cuff by Fred Tate
Jewelry by Fred Tate

List of 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting at Art City Austin’s Convergence Fair:
Greg Davis
Heather Harris
Jay Long
Mark Malia
Morgan McBride
Angie Spears
Fred Tate

MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival

The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is an annual event that showcases a nationally recognized fine art and fine craft juried art fair, live concerts, performance artists, and street performers on the streets of downtown Fort Worth. Take a trip to Fort Worth, Texas April 11-14 to experience it all. Find some of your favorite 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting there. Here’s a preview with a handy artist list at the bottom.

Bailey's Jewelry Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Bailey’s Jewelry
Tanya Doskova
Art by Tanya Doskova
Clifton Henri Photography - Black Beauty 2016
Photography by Clifton Henri
Rick Loudermilk
Art by Rick Loudermilk
Iona Handcrafted Books - handmade leather journals
Handmade journals by Mychal Mitchell of Iona Handcrafted Books
Thomas Leathers
Tom Thomas leather bags

List of 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting at MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival:

William Bailey
Tanya Doskova
Clifton Henri
Rick Loudermilk
Mychal Mitchell
Horace Tom Thomas

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

The Deep Ellum Arts Festival consists of over 100 original bands and singer-songwriters performing on five stages, 200-juried visual artists displaying and selling their one of a kind works, spontaneous street performances, and over 30 restaurants serving trendy and classic foods & beverages covering six city blocks and adjacent spaces in the heart of the Deep Ellum Entertainment district. Take a trip to Dallas April 5-7 to experience it all. You’ll find some of your favorite 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting there. Here’s a peek at some of them, and find a handy artist list at the bottom.

Art by Greg Davis Photography
Iona Handcrafted Books
Handmade journals by Mychal Mitchell of Iona Handcrafted Books
Work by Mick Whitcomb
Sculptural Lighting by Mick Whitcomb
Rebekah Vinyard Jewelry
Rebekah Vinyard Jewelry
Zuckerman Art Studios
art by Kevin Zuckerman

List of 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting at Deep Ellum Arts Festival:

Meet the 2019 Featured Art Artist

This year’s featured art is by Lisa Morales. Read our interview with Lisa to learn more about the artist and work behind the 2019 featured art piece.

Lisa holding up 2019 Featured Art

Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from and where you live now.

I grew up on the performing side of the art spectrum. My aunt owned a dance studio so at three years old I strapped on my first pair of ballet shoes and I didn’t stop dancing until I was well into my 30’s. I graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and went on to dance professionally in the Houston area. It was not until much later in life that I made the switch to the visual side of art. I was in my 40’s when I took my first drawing class and it wasn’t too long after that I fell in love with mixed media. A few years ago I was signed with a licensing company that has allowed my work to be seen on products throughout the United States, without having to leave Texas. I even have a calendar coming out in the U.K. in 2020. I consider myself to be very blessed to be able to make a living doing something I love.

collage art of raccoon in headress

What was your favorite part to create in the featured art piece?

I always try to hide images in my work that relate to the subject matter. The feature artwork has armadillos hidden all through out the piece and the lyrics to “London Homesick Blues” which is kind of an inside joke to all the artist who participate in the show. This song is played every morning to start the show, and every night as the shoppers are leaving the venue. By the end of the show we know all the words by heart.

How did you get started creating collages?

I used to work in stained glass and mosaics which is just a different media for the same process I use now. Stained glass, mosaics, and collage all take tiny pieces that are used in a jigsaw puzzle fashion to create a larger image. Paper is by far my favorite of the three because I can paint it any color I need, it is lightweight, and never breaks like glass can.

Collage dog portrait

What are your favorite art supplies or tools?

Paper is my main media so I am always on the lookout for papers with interesting writing or graphics on it. I paint and texture the papers I use in my work with liquid acrylic paint. This paint is vibrant and translucent which allows me to use a lot of color that does not completely cover up the markings on the paper. Having both the color from the paint and the markings on the paper make for very intricate texture.

Collage art of a cheetah and zebra

Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?

I think a lot of people starting out in the business of art forget that art is a business. Talent alone is not enough. Take some business classes, learn some basic coding, make good choices with social media, network, be nice to people, work hard, think outside the box, be disciplined, and after all that, create good work!!

Bayou City Art Festival

March 29-31 Houston, Texas hosts the annual Bayou City Art Festival. The three-day festival showcases the works of over 300 fine artists, and offers more than 20,000 visitors the opportunity to meet with exhibiting artists, enjoy food and entertainment outdoors at Memorial Park. You’ll find many of your favorite 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting there.

Here’s a peek at some of them. Find a handy artist list at the bottom.

Amanda Bennett
art by Amanda Bennett
Eric Mort Art Glass
Glass Art by Eric Mort
Angie Spears
art by Angie Spears
Matthew Naftzger
Sculpture Art by Matthew Naftzger

List of 2018 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar artists exhibiting at Bayou City Art Festival:

Passport to Art

Passport to Art graphics
Last year’s Passport to Art was so much fun, we partnered with Blue Genie Art Bazaar and Chula League’s Cherrywood Art Fair again to celebrate and promote the three big local art shows of the holiday season.

The Passport to Art is a little booklet you can pick up during EAST from some of our artists, at Triple Z Threadz on South Congress, at Blue Genie Art Bazaar, and at Cherrywood Art Fair. You take this passport to Blue Genie Art Bazaar and Chula League’s Cherrywood Art Fair to get it stamped. After you have those stamps you can redeem your booklet for free entrance into Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, and then we enter your passport in a drawing for a chance to win an art & gift “basket”—not really a basket, as Rory Skagen’s art piece is about 33″x26”. The prized basket features a jacket by Garzig Design, tea towels by Fisk & Fern, art by Rory Skagen, candles by Luna Tigre, and a journal by Iona Handcrafted Books, valuing the prize at over $400 retail. That’s a pretty great prize for supporting Austin’s art scene! Here’s a peek at the prizes:

Image of prizes from Luna Tigre, Iona Handcrafted Books, Fisk & Fern, Garzig Design, Rory Skagen

How to Enter:

Pick up your Passport to Art.
Attend all three events, and get your stamps.
Turn in your Passport to Art:
If you submit it to Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, you get free entry into the show, and it will be submitted into the drawing.
You can also submit it into the drawing at Blue Genie Art Bazaar, if you attend that event last.
One lucky winner will be drawn from the Passports with all three stamps.

Event Details:

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
November 23rd – December 24th | 10:00am – 10:00pm
6100 Airport Blvd, 78752
Chula League’s Cherrywood Art Fair
December 8th & 9th | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Maplewood Elementary | 3808 Maplewood Ave, 78722

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
December 13th-24th | 11:00am – 10:00pm
Palmer Events Center | 900 Barton Springs, 78704

Meet the 2018 Featured Art Artist

This year’s featured art is by Christopher Smith. Read our interview with Chris to learn more about the artist and work behind the 2018 featured art piece.

2018 Featured Art by Chris Smith

Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from, and where you live now.

I first studied Commercial Art at Austin Community College (ACC) from 1989-1991, there I had taken several drawing classes from the great Sam Yeates. I’m sure you know he was one of the Armadillo World Headquarter poster artists back in the 70s. Then 1992-1995 studied Visual Communications at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and earned a BFA in Commercial Art. I’m so glad I studied at ACC first, because I perfected my illustrative drawing/technical hand skills there. SWT helped me strengthen conceptual ideas/design, so I could combine the two.

My first job out of college was working for the University of Dallas in Irving as a Graphic Designer for the University Relations Dept, a good 2 year stint. Afterwards 15 years of Graphic Design in Austin at Frog Design as an Interface Designer, 10 years working for Harcourt, a book publisher here in Austin creating cover designs for K-12 textbooks. Started creating my maps as a side business in 2007, was laid off in 2009, been creating my maps full time since then.

I had a fun childhood in Anderson Mill in NW Austin during the 1970s and 1980s. I went to Anderson Mill “Armadillos”, elementary school, Westwood HS, and Georgetown HS my Senior year. Have been living in Liberty Hill, Texas now for 3 years.

Map Art by Chris Smith

 

What was your favorite part to create in the featured art piece?

Creating the armadillo illustration, giving it an illustrative pen & ink look with the numbers 709 hidden.

Was there a challenging part to create?

The armadillo was the most challenging, trying to recreate an icon for the ‘Dillo that is “fresh” or has a new look from any previous ‘dillo designs.

Tell us about your history with the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

I did my first Armadillo Bazaar in 2010, when the Armadillo first moved locations to Palmer Events Center.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art.

In 2007 I sold my first print of my Republic of Texas map for $45 at a little Christmas show we had at Harcourt. Employees were able to set up and sell their goods at work for one day. I sold my first original map at Bayou City Arts Festival in 2008.

Map Art by Chris Smith

What are your favorite art supplies or tools?

I’ve been using Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph technical pens since my ACC days (over 27 years). Now I’m becoming more comfortable with acrylic paints with brush applications too, combining the two mediums more and more. Over the years I’ve been using more paint with brush and less technical pen.

If you were to work in any other medium, what would it be?

Definitely printmaking, I took one printmaking class at SWT and loved it, I could see experimenting with printmaking or combining it with the illustrative map idea. There are so many different types of printmaking, I just dabbled in it that one year.

How did you get started creating maps?

It started as an idea with several sketches back in 1998. Originally as a game board idea, like a “Texas Risk”. My first map was the Republic of Texas 1838 map; the other maps spawned from this.

Map Art by Chris Smith

Name your five favorite songs, albums, or musicians.

I love surf rock, garage rock, classic rock. Been listening to new Millennial bands such as Ty Segall, Mac Demarco, The Growlers, The Oh Sees, they are relatively new bands, but have the sound from the 60s-70s of course with a fresh perspective. Always been a huge Frank Black (Black Francis) fan, singer for the Pixies. He has a lot of solo albums after the Pixies. I’m always looking for new music for inspiration while creating artwork.

Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?

I’m not good at giving advice, I never give it unless asked. Focus on one subject matter, and recreate it with a unique perspective. “​Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.​”​ Conan O’B​rien

Party at the Moontower Lounge Wonderland

Who doesn’t love a good holiday cocktail party? It’s the perfect excuse to don your best outfit. For any of you with parties on the agenda between now and the 25th,  we’re sharing a few ideas to step up the game for your holiday party.

Whether it’s a corporate affair or an intimate gathering of friends, Party at the Moontower puts together holiday lounge looks that bring an extra bit of pizazz to your party. Let your guests relax and mingle while sipping spiked eggnog!

Recreating a winter wonderland? This lounge set up was inspired by that feeling of fresh snow falling (though maybe not here in Texas!) But imagine being all bundled up, with string lights across the ceiling twinkling above your guests.
Winter Holiday Lounge
The concept of this party is a setup that’s refined without being rigid, sweet without being saccharine, cheerful, abundant, still festive!

This lounge is all about the golden details. Gold-rimmed coffee tables and accents make for a fancier soiree. The added faux fur will make it feel warm and cozy as you serve up hot toddies!
Golden Holiday Lounge
Another December, another company holiday party… and what’s a party without an open bar? If you’re treating your team to free beverages, you’ll need a festive bar to decorate with red berries and greenery. Add in cocktail tables for mingling and set them throughout your venue.
Holiday settings
We’re excited to be working with Party at the Moontower for our Green Room this year, they sure know how to set a festive mood. Let them elevate your holiday parties this year, you’ll be the toast of the town!

Meet the 2017 Featured Art Artist

This year’s featured art is by Robert Hurst. Read our interview below with Hurst to learn more about the work behind the featured art piece and his art career.

Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from and where you live now.

I’ve always been drawn to creating art and drew pictures constantly in my childhood. I would look at small photos of my classmates and render them larger to better know what my friends looked like, as I had awful eyesight. Finally at the age of 10 or so I got glasses, but still kept drawing. I lived in South Houston for my first 10 years then my family moved to the Spring, Texas area where I remained until moving to Austin in my 20’s. I visited Austin many times throughout high school and was definitely drawn to the city. I finally moved to ATX in 1985 with $50.00 and two boxes of clothes.

Throughout my life, most — but not all — of my jobs had some connection with art; picture framer, graphic designer, architectural illustrator, part time art show exhibitor, etc. My first job in Austin was at Ultra Art, a frame shop just purchased by the illustrious Dalhart Windberg. There I framed Mr. Windberg’s originals and prints. After 3 years of some much needed tutelage, I moved on to GoGo Studios where I worked for the most awesome Bill Narum doing album covers and music posters for Antone’s, Threadgill’s, and various band and events. I went from a fairly regimented work place to a fairly gonzo one. Both men (Windberg and Narum) are / were brilliant and I owe so much to them.

Throughout most of my life I’ve been active in sports (martial arts, motocross, football, baseball, rugby, volleyball), so I painted what I knew. In 1990 Earl Campbell commissioned me to do several pieces for him. Then I began doing sports memorabilia shows and found my niche. And, as they say, “The rest is history”.

What was your creative process for the featured art piece?

While meeting with the Armadillo team several ideas popped in my head immediately, and most were scuttled just as quickly. When I’m excited about a painting / project my mind often works this way, fast and furious. One image kept creeping in, however. An armadillo casually walking away from the viewer on a keyboard. From there I researched, then went to canvas with paints, as I do not sketch in advance.

What was your favorite part to put together?

This piece had a lot of the elements that I enjoy incorporating in my art: color, movement, composition, unusual angles, and creating an entirely new image.

Was there a challenging part of creating the featured art piece?

I often have a “finished” composition in my head before I start. Then it’s time to find reference material. That takes as much time as creating the painting.

Is there a 709 hidden in the piece?

There is a “709” in the headstock of the guitar.

Tell us about your history with the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

I’m not sure of the exact year I began showing at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. It was soon after it was moved from the Opera House to the Austin Music Hall. Mid ’90’s, I think. Chip and Debra Dupont lobbied for my acceptance. Bruce took a chance on a “sports artist” and we both think it was well worth it. My first year at the ‘Dillo was quite the learning experience. Although I had been to the ‘Dillo many times as a patron before my first year as an artist I had no idea the professionalism, stamina, dedication, and commitment the show requires. Bruce and many other artists offered suggestions that helped me become a better presenter of my art and helped ease the transition from a wanna be Armadillo artist to one in fact. What I learned subsequently affected every other show I did (do) in a positive way. Over the years, my work has expanded from almost exclusively sports themed to music, critters, and Austin-Texana. Much of my sports and music art is autographed by the subject. This is the biggest show I do and has been for 15 years. It was an honor to be invited and to now be part of the family.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art.

The first “dollar” I made was 50 cents for a colored pencil drawing of a deer jumping over a log in second grade to a classmate’s father.

What are your favorite art supplies or tools?

I’m almost exclusively an acrylic on canvas artist, although I am versed in watercolor, oil, pastel, inks, marker, and some clay sculpting.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?

I’m interested in doing more sculpture, painting more plein air, and travel subjects.

Tell us about being a sports artist.

I kinda got into sports art (primarily painting subjects related to sports) by accident. I always included one or two sports paintings in my early art shows, but never considered IT as my niche. After the Earl Campbell commissions my focus changed to sports. I began doing sports memorabilia shows. That introduced my work to many of the greats (past and current) in the sports world at the time; Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Earl Campbell, Bob Lilly and more. In 1994 I was invited to be one of the artists in the new Ballpark in Arlington Sports Art Gallery. It was the first exclusively sports art gallery within a ballpark. Soon I was in Minute Maid Park, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, and a sports art gallery in Atlanta. At one time I was in more sports art galleries than any other artist in the country, albeit briefly. I became the artist for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, the artist for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, and artist for the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. What I do is paint each of the inductees. Prints are then made, signed by the inductees, and offered for sale. This is a fundraiser for the museums. I also did work for the College Football Hall of Fame for a few years, and from 2001 – 2009 created the artwork for Rodeo Austin (AKA Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo).

The inductee paintings are usually a single image. My favorite sports pieces to create are complex multi-image compilations celebrating a championship, a city’s history, an individual’s history, etc.

What are your five favorite songs, albums, or musicians?

Hmmmm, that’s a toughie. Nothing gets my air drumming “skills” hopping more than Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”. Best concerts were Pink Floyd’s “Animals” tour and Bruce Springsteen circa 1975. I love live jazz, the purity of voice of Eva Cassidy, ELO, U2, B-52s, The Offspring, AC/DC, ABBA, and Linkin Park are great traveling music. Kate Bush is way up there, too!

Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?

Always be lernin’.

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