Thursday, February 27, 2014


S.E. Design Services

Interior designers are a fun bunch of working professionals and people who are creative and inspiring to be around. Working with a designer is another great way to get your art in front of clients who might not have had an opportunity to see your artwork otherwise.

 It's important to keep in mind however, when you are collaborating with a designer, to understand that your painting is just one of the elements they are working with to create an overall image and all of the details have to come together to create the perfect look their client expects. Good communication and flexibility are essential tools for a successful conclusion.

One place to look for a designer to work with is the American Society of Interior Designers 

my sketch book & color palette for designer commissioned artwork

Commissioned artwork "Ode To The Sea" (Pablo Neruda) 68" x 84" oil & tar on canvas by Velvet Marshall

Photo by James Creighton

Sandra Espinet, Renowned luxury interior designer, HGTV personality and author of "The Well Traveled Home":
 I first met Sandy at her beautiful home in Cabo San Lucas while my husband, the photographer James Creighton, was shooting portraits of her for her new interior design book "The Well Traveled Home." She has such a lovely, down to earth personality and great sense of elegance and style ... just the kind of gal you want to become close friends with and invite over to hang out on girls night. So, when she expressed an interest in my art and wanted to commission me for some artwork on a few design projects she was working on I was thrilled.

"The Well Traveled Home" by Sandra Espinet

Photo by James Creighton

Rebecca Hart Benton, Interior Stylist and Decorator at Rebecca Hart Benton Designs and Rebecca Hart Benton Interiors :
Stylish, fun and full of vibrant energy, after years of hearing about this great southern gal through mutual friends of ours, it didn't take long after meeting her in person before I knew DD and I would become fast friends. A talented lady with a heart as big as Texas, Rebecca is always a pleasure to be around. I am looking forward to collaborating with her on her new design projects in the near future. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Getting your art into an art gallery is one of the first major steps in establishing yourself as a professional artist.  Here are some helpful tips I've found in my pursuit as an emerging artist looking for gallery representation:

  • Get involved in your local art community. 
  • Locate your local art society and join local art groups.
  • Look for public shows and juried events to display your work and enter them.
  • Become familiar with the galleries in your area and look for one that suits your style and personality.
  • Remember, pricing and marketing is the expertise of the gallery so be flexible.

In closing, what you are looking for is a partnership so keep that long term goal in mind.

"Velvet Marshall is an incredible artist. I love her painting at South Bay Lexus In Motion Art Exhibition.
Her style and technique has made "The Bridge Over Troubled Water “ an incredibly beautiful painting."
- Jody Wiggins, The InMotionArtCommittee

A proud moment standing in front of my painting "The Bridge Over Troubled Water" (8' x 8' oil & tar on canvas) with my daughter Nastassia at the South Bay Lexus InMotion Art Exhibition

Me in front of my painting "La Petite Vague" (33 cm x 48 cm oil and tar on paper) at a Silent Art Auction

My painting "The Bridge Over Troubled Water" (8' x 8' oil & tar on canvas) featured in the gallery window at Zask Gallery

Sunday, February 23, 2014


When I was a kid it was so easy to be an artist...I just grabbed a pack of crayons and set up my art stand in the main courtyard or the sidewalk outside of my house to harassed the neighbors passing by until they purchased one of my mini masterpieces or series. Of course, I was only charging a buck and a quarter for a series back then lol.

As an artist, selling your art directly to a private collector is not something you want to pursue after you have achieved gallery representation but as a new emerging artist without representation looking to get your work out there it can definitely be an advantageous way to begin selling your work.

A great venue to utilize in this pursuit is social media, to expand your client list and raise your visibility. The friends and contacts you develop through social media networking can also serve as the foundation for your guest list to future gallery openings and shows. The feedback and comments you receive are a valuable window into how your work is perceived by others.

When I joined Facebook, for instance,  it wasn't to sell art. Originally, I was looking to find old friends and make new ones. My list of friends grew and I started posting my paintings and sculptures in different photo albums. Some works were posted in various stages of completion which provided me great joy in being able to share my own experiences as an artist during the whole creation process. Suddenly, I found myself selling my first painting.

One of the things I have enjoyed most from this experience is the personal connection that social media networking  allows you to make with others right from the comfort of your own studio. In my mind, art has to be about a personal connection. It always feels great when a painting is sold because it keeps me on the path of creation. 

Good vibes, my painting "Sargasso Sea" (23"x 45" oil & tar on canvas) found a new home with my dear friend Anjali

"I first saw "Sargasso Sea" when Velvet first posted it online. I knew immediately that I wanted this piece. The way the colors moved through the canvas struck a calmness in me that I hadn't felt in a long time. I knew I needed to bring that into my home. Forever." -  Anjali Raval


In case you missed it the first time here's the lovely review by Sandra Vista, artist and art critic  for the art blog "One Hundred Percent Rag" of my painting "The Bridge Over Troubled Water" (8' x 8' oil & tar on canvas)

 "The Bridge Over Troubled Water" is now currently available and on display until April 15th at South Bay Lexus as a continuation of the South Bay Lexus InMotion 2013 Juried Art Show.

South Bay Lexus InMotion 2013 Exhibition curated by Max Presneill, Curator of the Torrance Art Museum and presented in conjunction with The Curate This Art Group.

South Bay Lexus located at: 24777 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, Calif. 90504

Velvet MARSHALL- "The Bridge"

PS Zask Gallery presents:

South Bay Contemporary-a juried open call for art
reception : July 13, 20l3 6-9 pm
July 13- August 25, 2013

550 Deep Valley Drive 151
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

Velvet Marshall's large scale painting "The Bridge" is part of a juried exhibition sponsored by the South Bay Contemporary.  This exhibition consists of contemporary artists whose focus exceeds boundaries or themes.  Marshall's 8'x8' abstract painting combines oil paint and roof tar.  The use of mixed-media materials began with the need to paint versus the need for appropriate funds.  However, the roof tar has served to support Marshall's state of mind during the painting's inception.  In our interview she spoke of the healing powers this painting had during her recovery from a traumatic event. The painting became the vehicle for what Marshall calls "the unspoken language".

Marshall's research of her influential artists like Cy Twombly, Antoni Tapies, and Gerhard Richter
helped her to empathize with the emotional background of some of these artists' work.  The artists' influence are present in the slathering application of the roof tar combined with sgrafitto marks.
Tapies has described his sgrafitto marks as traumatic messages from people strewn against the wall.

The balance of color emerging from the background is attributed to Marshall's use of her photographer/husband, James Creighton's, images of underwater plant life. The abstraction of the plants, their beauty and color are similar to Gerhard Richter's thesis to understand and represent reality with paint and various mediums, techniques, and styles.

Velvet Marshall " The Bridge"
Velvet Marshall "Sargasso"
Artists from the exhibition South Bay Contemporary

Saturday, February 22, 2014


When I first decided to choose art as a professional career...or rather let me say....when "art" decided to choose me...I began by throwing up a six foot canvas on my living room wall, moving the couch outside and building the stretcher frames right in the middle of the front room of my apartment with my power drill. I had just been laid off my high-powered corporate job (that I hated) and desperate to breath and be "me" again. I was a woman possessed, bursting at the seams with art and inspiration.

Fast forward and three years later I've gotten married and moved into "loft living" with my husband who has lived and worked in lofts as a professional photographer since 1987. We have moved twice since we've gotten married and are currently preparing to move for a third (and hopefully final time) in the all too agonizing search to find the perfect combination of 1) Space for everything (i.e. all of our crap combined) 2) Great natural lighting for photography 3) Hi-ceilings and doorways for large canvases 4) Concrete floors and ventilation for ceramic kiln firing 5) Pet friendly accommodations for our hairy horde (three cats and a dog) and 6) Cheap, affordable rent (an almost impossible task in L.A.)

The one thing I can say is life is a learning process.  For instance, Jim and I have discovered a few things in our travels...always bring a tape measure to size up the doorways to make sure your art and equipment will fit. Never underestimate the benefits of living in a artist community. The ideas, support and inspiration you can get as an artist living among other working artist is invaluable. And last but not least, never minimize the value of a good water heater, sometimes you get what you pay for and I need hot showers and good, working plumbing.  

Here's Jim and I in a few of our places and spaces to date...