Art History, Arts Ministry, Education, Painting, Theology, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement
“He who hesitates is lost,” I remind myself, as I dive headfirst back into academia. How hard can this be? I only took a thirty-three year break. This Fall I begin my MFA program at Savannah College of Art and Design.
I am a professional artist, as I accepted that title off and on for the past six years. On days when paintings sell it’s an easier statement. On days that I teach art to children or their older counterparts, easier still. It’s funny that the term comes with so much weight or lofty expectations; far easier to say that I’m a painter. A painter paints. Artist is more of a judgement call.
I began my career path nearly forty years ago, in setting my sights on Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. Unfortunately, after completing my Foundation Year, I hesitated. I questioned my abilities and worth in a place where art was more about concept than execution. While both are important, I was lost. Continuing at Loyola Marymount University, I set art aside as much as I could and went the education route; after which it was onto Washington DC to a White House position doing special projects and educational exhibits for the Bicentennial of the Constitution. My often required trips to the local art store was one of the best parts of this job. It kept me in the game.
I later took the sweet role of mom to three and homeschooler extraordinaire. Of course we did art, but it wasn’t until my oldest left for college that I allowed myself to more thoroughly get back to this first love. I began a painting a day, and have not missed one since starting. As of today I am at 2,654 consecutive paintings. This discipline has helped me explore new mediums and ideas, but more importantly, it has given me the ability to push beyond, problem solve, and dig deeper. Yes, I occasionally squeak by with a watercolor done in bed at midnight, but something is better than nothing.
With all three children out of college (with high honors) and gloriously on their way, I am now ready to imagine my own potential, and explore what God has next. I have carved out a little space in the Southern CA art community, exhibiting regularly at Laguna Plein Air Painters Association shows, along with California Art Club events. I am currently in two galleries full time in addition to outside group and solo shows. Along with this, I am a resident artist for the Arts Teach program at Segerstom Center for the Arts in Orange County, and will soon be starting a part time position with Saddleback College, teaching beginning painting.
This past year, I have merged my love of landscape and plain air painting with the figure. As I look out at the California beaches in particular, I have puzzled over which is or which should be more important to the painting, and how can I push the boundaries to which the figure becomes part of the landscape. I have mostly done this with oil, cold wax and palette knife.
At the present time, I am forging another little path as a live wedding painter. While I have found this to be a unique niche market and happy atmosphere, the various cultural traditions and significance are not lost on me. Lately I have spent some late nights down the rabbit holes of internet research, learning more about the history of the wedding feast, and marriage in general, and then looking at the many interpretations of this in art. My plan is to take this topic further, perhaps with my same palette knife style, or possibly going back to a more traditional brushwork.
Trusting God and moving forward.
There is so much to learn and no time to hesitate.
Accomplishments / CV
Renée Ortiz Curriculum Vitae
Gallery Member at Forest and Ocean, Laguna Beach, 2018-present
Gallery Member at Seaside Gallery and Goods, Newport Beach, 2018-present Newport Beach Art Exhibition 2019
LPAPA Best of Plein Air 2019
International Women’s Day Exhibition, Esperanza Center, Los Angeles 2019 LPAPA Art And Nature 2018
California Arts Club Small on the Wall for Fall Show 2018
LPAPA Centennial Exhibition 2018
Solo Show- Climbing Out of Blue, Santa Rosa 2018
Solo Show -800 Blessings, Santa Rosa 2014
Art Takes Time Square, New York 2014
Art Takes Paris, 2013
Art Takes Miami, Scopes, 2013
See-Me New York, 2013
Solo exhibition, Call,The Journey Center, Santa Rosa 2012
Member exhibitor at Windsor Arts Council Gallery, 2012-2013
Received Best of Show at Sonoma County Fair for Encaustic, 2012
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