Painted Guitar for Art Reach SD Auction

When I heard about the call for guitar artists for the ArtReach San Diego fundraiser, I instinctively knew I had to apply. Painting a fully functioning guitar would be too much fun to pass up.

After months of waiting due to the covid-19 shutdowns, the online auction is set to run from October 1st through November 8th, 2020.

See all the guitars and register to bid: Guitar Art Auction.

Here are some photos from the painting process:

Raven Guitar Process Images

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Photos from the Crow Show Opening

The Studio Door, March 2020

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30 in 30 Project

The idea sounded simple: 30 Paintings in 30 Days. Although a lot of work, I supposed, it seemed doable. There were so many potential benefits that I wanted, like facilitating quick growth, gaining confidence, and building a strong body of work. But most of all I just wanted to do something different, something I hadn’t done before: actually paint every day – not avoid the studio, pretending I wasn’t inspired, or didn’t have the time.

As part of the artist’s group at Art on 30th, I committed to the challenge of completing 30 small paintings in 30 days. Each painting, I decided, was to be 8×8 inches, mixed media collage on heavy duty watercolor paper.

Think Yourself Well

The theme for my 30 paintings revolves around healing and art. While I am working with my thoughts to positively influence my health, I decided to create a visual reminder – a painting with a thought to ponder for the day. All of these thoughts have been around for a long time, but I try to put them into my own words. I write them out exactly how they make sense to me to help me create a positive life for myself and all those I touch.

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“A Murder of Crows” Solo Show

“Together”, 4′x6′ Triptych, Acrylic (photo © 2012 David Hartig)

“Together”, 4′x6′ Triptych, Acrylic (photo © 2012 David Hartig)

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“A Murder of Crows” Artist Statement

A Murder of Crows – a poetic way to describe a flock of crows dating back to the 15th century.

Crows are very intelligent animals. What many people don’t know about crows is that some have learned not only to use tools, but to make tools as well. Crows and ravens are included in the same “Corvidae” species, which is believed to have evolved in central Asia. Crows can distinguish between humans, and the sequences and length of their caws is how they communicate, and warn each other when a “bad” human is approaching. In recent years, crows have taken to the suburbs to live, as there is an abundance of food and shelter, and few dangers. In some areas they have become a public nuisance due to their sheer numbers and the excessive noise they make.

In mythical traditions the crow is seen in a variety of roles. In Australia it is believed to be a trickster, a cultural hero and ancestral being. In Irish and Cornish folklore it is associated with the “otherworld” and even a bringer of death. In Hindu cosmology an old sage by the name of Bhusunda lived in the form of a crow in a wish-fulfilling tree. In ancient Greek fables crows are described as vain, stupid and seeking shiny things.

IMG_0901In my own spiritual practice crows had told me about accidents and deaths. Then, in the year 2000 my sister fell ill, and was diagnosed with an inoperable, fast-growing, stage 4 brain tumor. When I went to see her, I noticed she had several paintings of big, black birds. The ravens were talking to her in the last few months of her life and she began to paint them. Several years after she passed, I was privileged to observe a flock of crows in an undisturbed environment and was able to photograph them going about their normal activities. In honor of my sisters life and artwork, as well as my own process of coming to terms with my sister’s passing, I used those photographs to create a little black book of crows.

IMG_0902 xsIn 2012, I showed this book to my painting teacher Ari Kate Ashton, who encouraged me to paint the series of crows. At the same time I started the painting project, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. While going through the medical treatments, I reconnected with the crow spirit and worked on bringing their mystical presence to the canvasses you see here. For me the story has come full circle, as finishing these paintings and showing them is part of my own healing process from cancer.

Art has always been important in my life from the first time I picked up a crayon at the age of three. But it is through this difficult and transformative experience that art has taken on a special meaning in my own healing process. Creating art is what sustains my heart and soul. It allows me to live fully engaged in the moment, and in creative flow with the universe. When I paint, I don’t have to think about what the future holds or how long I may or may not live. When I paint, I can leave my fears and my hopes on the canvass, and express emotions that are difficult to explain in words.

It is my hope that you enjoy the show, and that you perhaps find an inner connection to one of these paintings. May my healing journey inspire you to create beauty and health in your own life.

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Photos from the Opening Reception at the San Diego Art Department

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