Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Gallery Representation - 2010 Gallery


I am so excited to announce that I am now represented by 2010 Gallery, located in Prairie Village, Kansas!  I currently have 5 pieces available from my painting series God Breathed.  I am very honored and blessed to have this opportunity, and I hope all of you here in the KC area will stop by this great gallery and check out my work, and the other outstanding works surrounding it.  2010 Gallery is located at 9415 Nall Ave. in Prairie Village, and is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Speaking of which, I am also blessed to have my work showing alongside that of the late Mark Weber, who passed away on December 14th, 2017.  In a way, I have Mark to thank for being in this gallery and for many of the opportunities I've had over the past year.

I didn't know Mark very well.  I only met him a couple of times.  But both times had an impact, and I walked away from our conversations with a lot to think about.  He was that kind of guy.  In his wisdom and advise, he seemed to know exactly what to say to both push and inspire.  At least for me, he did.

The last time I saw Mark was about a year ago.  He was the juror for the Images Art Gallery Juried Show in Overland Park, KS.  Mark honored me with the Best of 2D award at this show for my painting The Crusader (among my five works now at 2010 Gallery).  After the awards ceremony, I was getting ready to leave, but first wanted to shake Mark's hand and thank him for the award.  Of course, he kept me for a little bit to chat.  He seemed to be the kind of guy that just wanted to converse with you.  Especially if he saw something special in you and your work.  I remember two questions in particular that he asked me.

"Are you showing in any other galleries?"  To that, I said yes.  I had been at Jones Gallery in the Crossroads for two years at that time.  Without missing a beat, Mark asked me a follow-up question.

"Are you selling?"  With some reservation, I said, "Yeah, I've sold a few pieces since I've been there, and a few others from other places."  Which was true, of course.  I only wish I could have had a more enthusiastic answer.

I am certain that Mark saw right through me.  From there, he basically told me that my work was too good not to be doing better than it is.  And that it was time to get my work into some more galleries, including those outside of Kansas City.  He went on to tell me some funny stories of how he went about doing that himself... some rather unconventional approaches about which I won't go into detail.

So like I said, I went home with a lot on my mind.  The bottom line was it was time to break through that comfort zone.  That Kansas City-shaped bubble I was in.  A few months later, the opportunity to show in a gallery in Fredericksburg, TX came along.  It would become my first major national show.  Around the same time came another national show in Parkville, MO.  Unfortunately, neither opportunity paid off as I hoped they would.  Yet, Mark's inspiring wisdom and advise have stuck with me.  And nearly one year to the day after our conversation at Images Gallery, I am showing in a gallery alongside his magnificent work.  And I look forward to what's to come from here.

Glory to God in the highest.  You have given me so much, after You have given me so much.

Friday, April 13, 2018

News from the Studio 4/13/18

Hello my friends, here is the latest from the studio:
  • If you've been to Jones Gallery lately, you might notice that I've downsized the number of works I'm showing, but I've also added a few new pieces as well.  I added 4 works for April First Friday; two landscape paintings and two drawings, including my recent award-winning charcoal portrait Wisdom from the Blue Springs Fine Art Show in March.  Please contact me at ryandelgadoart@gmail.com, or David at Jones Gallery at 816-421-2111 to inquire about purchasing any of these works.
Clockwise from left:  The First Psalm, oil; Just Around the Corner, oil; Splash, graphite and oil on paper; Wisdom, charcoal.

  • This July, I will have some work featured at the Ottawa Community Arts Council's Figurative Arts & Classical Nude exhibition at Carnegie Cultural Center in Ottawa, Kansas.  This is the first show of its kind at this gallery, and for the OCAC, and I am honored to have been invited to show my work in this exhibition.  

  • My latest painting for my Scenes of Creation series is completed.  For more information, or if you are interested in purchasing this piece, please email me at ryandelgadoart@gmail.com with the Subject line: "Floodgates".  
oil on canvas
14x18 inches

  • In addition to Scenes of Creation, I have begun preliminary work on a new series of paintings called Hands.  St. Francis of Assisi is noted for saying, "Speak the Gospel of Jesus, and if necessary, use words."  The implication, of course, is that our actions speak louder than our words.  Our hands have power to speak the gospel as much as, if not more than our speech.  This series of paintings is inspired by Scripture, and will be an expressive telling of the gospel using only images of hands.

Friday, April 6, 2018

YouTube Vlog #16 - Setting and Accomplishing Goals

Here is my latest from YouTube.  I wanted to just talk a little bit about goals:  How I set them, and how I try to accomplish them.  This is not necessarily an exact science, but more trial and error.  That's really the nature of setting goals.  You might accomplish some, and others you might not.  What's important is evaluating yourself and seeing where you went right and where you went wrong.  So with that, I hope you take away something worthwhile from this new vlog:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New YouTube video - Painting Touch-up Demo


A few months ago, I recorded a painting demo.  Actually, it was demo where I took a small painting that I had done previously and did some touch-up work on it to bring it to a more completed finish.  I did several things with it during the session, but I never actually posted the video.  Until now.  

Here is the full demo in its entirety.  Unedited, and in real time.  It's about 2 hours, and I'm working on what is now my recent award-winning portrait called Still.

Also note at my beginning disclaimer on this video that this piece is available for purchase.  To inquire, please send me a message at ryandelgadoart@gmail.com with the word "Still" in the subject line.  Thanks for any bit of support, friends.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Listings on Etsy

Hi friends,

Today I listed 10 new pieces on my Etsy studio sale that I want you all to check out.  They are all small oil works on paper that I have done previously.  And yes, just to be clear, these are oil paintings and not prints.

I did these works on Arches Oil Paper, and the paintings themselves are about 6x9 inches and include a handmade mat that measures 9x12 inches.  They are $85 each, and like all of my listings, include free shipping.  Please take a look and consider a purchase!


Any questions, please contact me via Etsy or at ryandelgadoart@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Reflections on Failure

Hello friends,

Recently, I applied to a national small works show that is to take place in Nashville, TN this spring.  I found out this week that all of my entries to the show were rejected.  I had been so hopeful for this show, and really wanted to get in.  But on Monday this week, I got hit with a hard dose of disappointment as I got the results of my application. 

The Artist's Studio
oil on canvas
10x8 inches
My initial reaction was a lot like anyone else's, I'm sure.  First was the heart-sinking shock of seeing the red X's next to all of my entries on the online application form.  Then anger, as I came very close to throwing the closest thing next to me across the room.  Then an expression of bitter prayer as I projected my tantrum towards God.  And this is where it gets dangerous.

Being an artist, I have seen failure, rejection and disappointment a lot.  More than I want to even think about.  Lately, I hate to say, failure has heavily outweighed my victories.  This Nashville show is just one disappointment among many.  I am ashamed to admit how long it's been since I sold any of my work.  Recent shows that I have participated in have done nothing more than cost me money... and lots of it.  Lately, the barren season I've been enduring has taken a toll on my motivation and my self-assurance that I have what it takes to succeed in this career. 

And this brings me back to my relationship with God.  I know full well that while God may be the source of the test, He is not the reason for my disappointment and that stinging feeling of rejection and failure.  Satan, the enemy, is ruthless.  He is a savage.  1 Peter describes him as a lion just waiting to devour an easy target.  Who are the easy targets?  The ones who can't handle things like failure, rejection, and disappointment well.  I will admit, I sometimes don't handle them well at all.  I can hide it, but inside it can oftentimes be crushing me. 

oil on canvas
10x8 inches
Those nagging thoughts are so dangerous, because they are loud and repetitive.  I hear them in my sleep.  Sometimes they pop up randomly.  Things can be going fine, and then all of a sudden my mind will shift into some small thought that quickly turns into a mental rant about how I'm just not good enough, and God doesn't care.  This is the voice of the enemy trying to defeat me.  He always strikes when I'm vulnerable.  And I am most vulnerable when I've experienced some disappointment. 

So it dawned on me today that I just needed to forget about Nashville.  It's done.  Yesterday, in my disappointment, my motivation was completely shot, and I hardly got anything done.  Today was about working.  I work hard, but today I needed to start working harder.  And rather than feeling tempted to blame God for any failures I've been enduring, it's time to call upon Him to bless me, and the work that I do.  Not only that, but to take full control of my hands.  For God to be the Creator, and for me to simply be the vessel.  For Him to take my hands and use them as His own in the creation of my works.  I cannot do any of this without Him working in and through me. 

It occurred to me tonight that if you are a professional in the arts, there are certain skills you must possess.  Of course, there is your talent in your chosen craft - be it painting, drawing, sculpting, music, writing, etc.  Then, there is your work ethic - because you cannot succeed in the business of fine art without working hard.  And just when you think that you work hard enough, you have to work even harder.  And yet, even then you still don't have everything necessary to succeed.  Talent alone is not enough.  A strong work ethic is not enough.  Because there will always be someone out there with more talent who works harder than you, and just like my recent experience, there will always be a show or gallery that will reject you outright regardless of how good you are.  So before any of these things, there is a skill that is essential for your survival in this career.  That is the skill of being good at failure. 

Still Standing
oil on canvas
10x8 inches
What do I mean by "being good at failure"?  Simply put, it's the difference between being a bad loser and a good loser.  I have a choice to make.  I can take my failure with the Nashville show, and all the disappointments I've had for the past several months and let them destroy me.  Or I can be motivated by them.  I can take those disappointments as a sign that, as hard as I work now, it's time to start working even harder.  To be thankful for what God has provided me, rather than be bitter about what He hasn't provided for me.

Just as an example, recently I ran out of canvas to create any more paintings.  I've been running low on quite a few things, but how can I create any paintings without something to paint them on?  And with my other current expenses, it's been hard to get more materials that I need to create.  But I actually found some old raw cotton duck scraps that I've had for several years that I forgot I had.  Scraps large enough to at least stretch a few small canvases for painting.  So I stripped some old small paintings off of their stretchers and stretched some new canvases with them.  I went out and bought a jug of acrylic gesso and primed them today.  And then I thanked God for what He provided for me.  They aren't much, and I would certainly rather have some good quality oil-primed linen again, but they are enough to keep me working on new paintings, and I am thankful that God has given that much to me right now.

So why am I going on about this?  Because I believe that failure is essential for living.  I've been through this kind of dry, barren season of disappointment and worry in my career before.  It is humbling.  It is dreadful sometimes.  Through it, there are feelings of shame and embarrassment when your pride is broken.  There's also the worry of not knowing how much longer you can go before you go under.  Maybe there are small victories interspersed throughout, and when there are, it is critical that we give God thanks and praise.  But maybe we should be giving God thanks for the trial itself.  Because these are the times when we are refined and our faith and maturity are strengthened (James 1: 2-4).  This is when we learn how to truly take nothing for granted.  After all, our victories are not victories until we've experienced failure.  And the more failure we endure, the more we appreciate the victories.  And the more humbly we appreciate them.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

About the Series: Scenes of Creation

Every now and again, I love to change things up a little and shift from painting portrait and figurative works to landscape and nature scenes.

It is definitely a different kind of painting - the subject matter, the approach, the colors, and even the brushes and the way that I hold them while painting.  But I always want the mission to stay the same:  to honor my Creator God.  How does an artist do that with landscape painting?

The answer seems obvious.  For many of us, it's about painting beautiful scenes of majestic mountains, sparkling rivers and lakes, fluffy clouds, perfectly placed rainbows, and a romantic sense of golden light beaming from the sun through the trees.

But what if it's not about that at all?

In typical fashion, I always like to think deeply about things, especially when it comes to matters of fine art.  Ideas and inspiration come from all sorts of things, and I believe the right ideas for my work come from the whisper of God Himself.  Enter my series, Scenes of Creation.  

Still Standing
oil on canvas
10x8 inches
As truly eye-catching as a beautiful and scenic mountain painting is, this series is something a little different.  Everywhere you look in the Bible, you will read stories of God using the unlikely ones to fulfill His work and will in the world.  Many of them, like Isaiah, will even look to God and say it themselves:  "I am not worthy."

I especially, like many of us I'm sure, can relate.  If I was to paint my self-portrait in the form of a landscape, the last thing I would paint is a perfectly beautiful scene with mountains and clear blue bodies of water, with large powerful trees and colorful skies.  My self-portrait would probably have an overcast sky, perhaps a few gray and leafless trees, lots of weeds growing in the brownish yellow grass, and maybe a mud puddle or two.

My self-landscape would be messy.  It would be ugly.  And yet, the fundamental truth of the scene would be this:  God still made it.  It is still part of His glorious creation every bit as much as the most majestic mountain in the world.  There is no creation of His that He has forgotten or abandoned, and no part of it that is useless to Him.  Our story can be seen even in a simple nature painting.  We are His, and He can and will use us for whatever He wants, no matter how messy and mundane we think we are.

oil on canvas
11x20 inches
The Source
oil on canvas
14x16 inches

All is Calm
oil on canvas
9x12 inches

Let it Melt
oil on canvas
16x11 inches