A Note on Collecting:

So you want to support the arts, you just don’t know where to start? Here, I’ll help.
This painting is my favorite in my collection. I personally think that everyone in the world should own an original by this artist.
Wait, Amber! How do we get that kind of art?! We
want art by that artist on our walls! Well you’re in luck.
You can buy this art:

I’m frequently asked how my parents approve of my choice to become an artist and illustrator.

Recently, on a date with Dr. Jeff, I was told,
“Amber, you could have been a doctor or something stable and dependable.” Nice.
Ooooooooh….Minus 10 points Dr.Jeff. tut, tut.My personal collection of Salvador Alvarez originals will never be complete.
These are paintings my dad recently finished on the art sabbatical he’s wrapping up in Germany.

I was trained classically growing up. As a teenager I was fantastically capable of never appreciating what I had (duh): a stay-at-home-dad/live-in-private-art-instructor with a studio overlooking a deep blue Pacific Ocean.

(case in point, this picture is of me and my brother and sister playing in our ‘front yard’.
It’s taken from our living room)

My foundation year at Pratt here in NYC made me realize my unique experience – painting with sable brushes and Winsor & Newton inks on Arches paper before I could name my colors was actually something rare! Who’d of thunk?

( collaboration – a father daughter painting we did when i was eight months old)

When I got to college I was actually surprised at kids who didn’t know the difference between hot and cold pressed paper.

I love these new paintings of the Mackenbach roadside. They are so subtle and somehow bold. I have no idea how to capture that kind of feeling. Our art is so different.

As a teenager, I used to truly worry that my dad wouldn’t ever understand my kind of art.

I was afraid that my dream – you know the life I’m living now:
animator, fashion illustrator, surface designer, children’s book illustrator
would be seen as a deviance from the noble profession of true fine art. When I close my eyes and I picture a ‘real artist’ I see a solitary figure and an easel in big open space.

I grew up being told “not to draw like a girl”. You’ve heard of throwing like a girl? Well when you’re sixteen and your hair is in braids and you’d rather be at the beach but instead you’re drafting a hill of cardboard boxes as part of your formal training – you can most definitely “draw like a girl.” It means don’t be timid, don’t be whiny, don’t be scared, don’t draw too faintly, be confidant, be strong.

When my Pratt life-drawing class required we anonymously tack up our figure drawings for our first crit my professor continued to point to my rendering and say “You can see in his drawing that________” When I went to claim my work afterward my professor was shocked. “This is your drawing?”

I ran home ( skipping half the way and probably stopping to pick a flower and feed the squirrels) and called my dad first thing. This proof that I didn’t draw like a girl felt like that moment when Charlie finds the golden ticket in his Wonka Bar.

If you know anything about She Sure is Sketchy you know that the everything done here is made by one little Brooklynite unabashedly drawing like a girl without a shade of apology. I’m forever thankful to my dad and to Pratt for giving me the skills I needed to find myself as an artist.

Once I realized that the only thing I wanted to do was “draw like a girl” life just got so easy.

Since arriving in New York City nine years ago with nothing but a duffel bag and a wild set of bangs to show for myself, I’ve had a few perfect days with clear triumphs and life-changing milestones in my ever stretching career. One of the best came last year on the phone with my dad when he casually said
“Your work is just so strong.”

So yes, I could have been a doctor, but so could my dad. If he had, I (and you) wouldn’t have bangin’ art like this to put on your walls:

new EtsyNameSpace.Mini(5935241, ‘shop’,’thumbnail’,1,4).renderIframe();

Stop by Sal Paints Live – he’s new to the world of blogging so go say ‘Hi’.
You can inquire about pricing by emailing sales@salvadoralvarez.com Check out the studies and sketches offered up at his new Etsy Store. The prices there are made for young collectors.

More of his art can be seen at www.SalvadorAlvarez.com

OK, this post is long and gushy and totally something only a girl would write.
But seriously, isn’t my dad the coolest?

5 replies »

  1. Wiping away mom tears here. Dad and I have always been so proud of our girly girl. You have chosen wisely. I love this post because I know the two of you so well and FYI, lately dad says he wishes he could draw more like you!!!

    The guy has always been such a task master. He was grilling cousin Adela the other day on her drawings and I just wanted to go over and hug her, but she soaked it all in, listened and used it, just like you always did.

    Simply the best.

  2. What a great post Amber! We are lucky enough to own a few Sal originals and to actually know the original Alvarez clan…who entertained, amazed and amaze us still with their incredible gifts. We admire and love all of you!

  3. Wow Amber…there's so much I could say about all this (oh, you KNOW I could) but I'll leave it at this: despite the impressive prefix added to his name, I suspect that you are way wiser than Dr. Jeff.
    And yes, your dad seems pretty awesome.

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