Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... June's AOM is Carol Cavalaris [romanceworks]!
Who is "romanceworks"?
First, let me say thank you to the admins and mods for the nomination, congratulations to all the talented artists who were also nominated, and a BIG THANKS to all the people who voted for romanceworks. It is an incredible honor to receive AOM.
Romanceworks was the husband and wife creative team of Carol Cavalaris and L.J. Heart. That’s why I posted a picture of us, because, even though my soul mate and creative partner passed away in June two years ago, he is still creatively and spiritually a big part of romanceworks. We met 30 years ago, me an artist and writer, LJ a singer/songwriter, and became instant soul mates. We got married on a big brass bed (literally) and spent years owning an ad agency, doing everything from print ads, to commercials, to publishing books. But our real dream was developing a concept we called RichMedia Romances, which was to combine my romance novels with graphics and music. We joined R’osity 5 years ago, with the goal to learn 3D art to illustrate the characters and events of the novel. During the first 3 years we learned a lot about digital art, LJ focusing on mastering Poser and other 3D programs, and me doing the postwork in Photoshop.. Together we filled our gallery with hundreds of images, created a bestselling product called UltimateFIRE, collaborated with many other talented artists and vendors on other products, and most importantly, made so many wonderful friendships.
And it is because of the support of this amazing community that I continued on with the art after losing LJ. Without my partner, I had to re-invent romanceworks, find something I could do alone to express myself. Since I loved digital photography, I combined photos with painting techniques and 2D backgrounds, creating the finished work in Photoshop. In these past two years I have created several hundred mixed medium paintings. Doing the art has been soul food for my spirit, and working with nature and beauty has been very healing. The support of this community is a blessing that has helped me in ways I cannot begin to express. And now to receive AOM for my mixed medium work is a gift I will always cherish. LJ was my biggest fan and I know he must be smiling and saying ‘Way to go, babe!” :o)
How long have you been rendering/doing computer graphics?
During our years in marketing we did a lot of computer generated graphics for clients, for ad-related print collateral, like brochures, logos, book and CD covers, stuff like that, including websites. LJ was the computer whiz, always doing and learning something new, and I was the creative director. We got into 3D art five years ago, when we joined R’osity. We spent the first 6 months being blown away and inspired by the art we saw in the galleries, And buying products in the marketplace. Our first renderings with Poser were awful, but after a while we got up enough courage to post in the galleries. The support we received, seeing the work by other artists, and all the awesome 3D products, kept the creative fires burning hot.
Do you have traditional art experience?
As long as I can remember, I’ve always been creative. When I was a kid, instead of using the store bought cut out clothes for paper dolls, I designed and drew my own with crayons. I went on to traditional oil painting, got a degree in art, have dabbled in stained glass, watercolors, sculpture, was an interior decorator for a while, and have even done promotional and visual displays for malls. But nothing has been as much fun as creating art on the computer, because the possibilities are limitless. And I’m a total nut about color. The colors and textures you can create digitally are awesome.
What are you currently working on?
For the past several months I’ve been a member of a co-op gallery, so I’ve been creating prints of my work. It has been quite a challenge matching what I see on my monitor with what comes out in print, but I’m finally getting good color. I’ve been doing framed and matted prints, and some ArtCards, which are greeting cards with my images. I’ve also been re-designing my website, RomanceWORKS, which will have all my artwork in galleries, and an e-store to sell some of my work. Also finalizing a product for the marketplace, which is the next UltimateFIRE, called PrimalFLAMES. LJ had done a lot of work on this, and with the help of geoegress and MUSEWORX I was able to finish it, even making the fires work in DazStudio and a Bryce version. I’m hoping to have it done in a few weeks.
What software/equipment do you use and why?
I have a Mac G5, with a big flat screen, but I do most of my art on a Mac G4 laptop. I have a Wacom tablet, but I prefer using a trackball mouse. I lay in bed with the computer propped on my stomach, the trackball at my side, and create into the wee hours of the morning. Laying down and the ease of using the trackball allow me to stay relaxed and work for very long hours without getting physically tired. All I need is to barely move my finger. And the laptop lets me get really close to the screen which helps because my brush work is very detailed. I use Poser 6 for characters, models, and posing, and a little Kodak digital camera for taking my photos. I will probably get a more professional camera sometime. I bring everything into Photoshop CS, where I create the images. Blow the photos or image up really big, then I use brushes to paint every hair and blossom. I use my Epson Photo-Stylist 2200 to make prints of various sizes, up to 13” x 19”.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
I think the best piece created by me and LJ is a work called ‘Artist’. This really is a collaborative piece, because LJ and I created the painted background, which he then brought into Poser and applied to V3 as a skin texture, and I did the post work detail of making the paint drip over the character, doing some lighting and filter stuff, writing a title and a verse to go with the art.
Most of the mixed medium paintings I’ve done have some kind of special meaning to me, however one of my favorites is ‘Messenger Of The Spirit’. This piece represents my journey without LJ, as an artist and as a person.
Why do you like to work with 3D software?
Being trained in traditional oil painting, I LOVE the ability to easily erase mistakes on my digital canvas. It opens up the ability to experiment and explore all kinds of ideas, and lets the imagination soar. I also enjoy playing with filters and getting surprised by the results. And I love the ability to work with color. Though each piece I create takes me many hours, I like the speed of making digital images. The characters, props, and backgrounds created by other artists are exciting and stimulating to use. Making art with programs like Photoshop and Poser is fun and always an adventure. And it’s very cool to be able to output my work in any format I like, from printing on fine art paper to canvas.
Who/what inspires you?
Nature, beauty, animals, music, movies, books, and the work of other artists, all inspire me. Inspiration comes from being alive and interested in life. And having thoughts and feelings and moods I want to express. All things romantic inspire me. I love color and am often inspired to create a work because I want to explore certain colors or combinations of colors. No question color triggers feelings. When I look at photos of flowers, especially irises, in Photoshop, blown up really big, the colors thrill me, and I can’t wait to start playing with and blending them. I’ve always loved the art of Aldo Luongo, especially his passionate earlier paintings of couples. Years ago I met him in person at one of his gallery showings and couldn’t even speak. LJ was with me and got a big laugh out of that. :o) I also love the expressive art of Lee Bogel.
I am even inspired artistically by songwriter Jim Steinman, who wrote the lyrics and music for the Bat Out Of Hell albums. Such a visual and emotional songwriter.
LJ inspired me with his enthusiasm and love for all things creative. His music also inspires me. And so many of the artists here, on R’osity, inspire me. The level of creativity, of sharing, of talent in these galleries is so stimulating. Being around other artists, seeing what they are creating, makes me want to create, too.
How has this community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Parting Comments/Advice to other Artists?
No matter your medium, the one thing I would say is to have passion for what you are creating. Be as real as you can be with your art, give it everything you have, create what you love, express what you really feel, and then let it go into the world. It is your baby, and you care a lot about it, but you have to let it go and have its own life. As artists, we tend to be very self-critical and protective of our work, and because we feel so deeply we are very sensitive. All I can say is, no matter what the world does or says, do your art for all your own reasons, and in your unique way, and don’t let anyone or anything take away the joy of creating. The art is a gift you give to yourself and others. Give it with an open heart. And it will give back what you need. I lost the love-of-,my-life and I can tell you creating has kept my spirit alive. Doing art has brought me joy, is helping me to heal, and I hope it brings the same to others.
Be sure to visit the Mixed Medium Gallery!
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Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.