Art Bark in the Park: Riverside California Community Project

Art Bark in the Park: Community Project for Riverside Art Museum

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Art Bark in the Park is a massive public art installation to display the community’s love of art, dogs, and the talents of 150 artists. Out of the artists I am one them, to help participate in the city project. The Mission of Art Bark in the Park is designed to promote public art in the area, encourage community involvement, highlight local artists, and raise funds for the Riverside Art Museum through the Riverside Art Alliance.

This October, Riversiders will get a chance to view more than a hundred Art Pups at downtown Riverside’s White Park. A huge celebration of both art and our canine companions. Sponsors of Art Bark in the Park will get to take home an Art Pup for display in their home, office, or garden after the event is over.

And I get to be apart of it all! (Excuse me while I happy dance over here.) 

My First Community Project as a Local Riverside Artist

Since this is my first city project this was a huge accomplishment for me as a local artist. Not to mention I’m a huge dog lover and even specialize in painting pet portraits. I was beyond thrilled to be chosen as one of the local artists. I was ready to expand my comfort and challenge myself as an acrylic painter.

All artists were provided with a 3′ x 4′ Art Pup made from primed metal. The two dimensional form were either a silhouette of one of the following breeds: Labrador, Scotty, Beagle, Basset Hound, and Husky. Each silhouette, we were free to use as a canvas for your artistic interpretation. I luckily received the Labrador, which is the one I really wanted. (Since I have a boxer at home it’s the closest to size I could get.) Not going to lie, I spent a few days brainstorming by just staring at my blank “canvas” until I had come up with a game plan.


Starting My Pup for Art Bark in the Park

This was my first time painting on a metal material. The texture is much smoother than a regular canvas surface. I ended up painting multiple layers, since I felt like the acrylic paint wasn’t showing up as well as it normally does. I did learn a valuable lesson during this process. If you paint on metal use the good stuff: Heavy Bodied acrylic paint. (Winsor & Newton or Golden are professional, good pigmented brands to use.)

After the many layers of navy blue background, I started forming my Labrador into a more realistic silhouette. When I chose my colors I wanted to think about color psychology. What the colors actually represent. Blues, especially more on the Teal side are my go-to colors. The symbolism behind teal is quite fascinating.


Teal Color Meaning And Symbolism

A person whose favorite color is teal is known to have an introvert and unconventional nature. Such people are noted for their uniqueness and often tend to like things which are little different and not much appreciated by the common mass.  Another characteristic trait of teal lovers is that they are not impulsive but careful and cautious, reasoning before performing an action or taking a decision. They are also open-minded and not judgmental.  They are even trustworthy and can be relied upon by friends or acquaintances.

I mean, doesn’t that scream, Labrador?!


Stepping out of my Comfort Zone: Dog Anatomy

The Riverside Art Museum city project Art Bark in the Park gave me the freedom to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to explore and try painting in a different style than what I’m used to. I decided to add some dog anatomy to the mix. Luckily, I was able to find some good dog anatomy reference online to help me construct my idea of what I wanted to paint.

*When I need I need an inspirational push, I go back and read a previous article I wrote: How to get Inspired: Sparking Your Creativity.  (I swear it helps me and maybe it will help you to!)

Before I was ready to paint, I sketched out the veins and heart with chalk first. This helps when you have a beautiful background already painted. Instead of having any “happy accidents” with permanent paint, I decided to go with something I could erase. Doing line work isn’t my steez but once I finished all the layers of detail, I was happy with the results.

Deadlines aka Survival Mode for Artists

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes doing any kind of art commission or freelance artwork, I tend to wait until the last minute. In my defense I work all the time, since I’m the owner and only instructor for The Paint Sesh. The workload never ends. My spare time to work on my pup for Art Bark was rather limited.

I think deadlines are an important part of any projects (especially for community projects.) It’s almost like you’re in survival mode and kicks your butt into high gear. Which I desperately needed since my due date was a day away. Thankfully I was able to call my art pup “done“, just right in the nick of time.

I felt like I could have kept adding more and more detail but every artist’s struggle is knowing when to put that brush down and call it a day. I mean i s a painting ever really finished anyway? My dog, Waldo was ready to pose in-front of it too, so I think that was good sign! 🙂

Sealing Acrylic Painted Metal

Before I could turn my project in, I had to seal my pup with a clear topcoat. I had no idea what to use since I’ve never had to seal metal. My pup was also going to be display outdoors for several days. I needed something durable. Off to Lowe’s I went!

I found the perfect spray paint topcoat to use: Rust-Oleum Clear Durable Topcoat – High Gloss

Now, doing one layer of topcoat isn’t going to cut it. The instructions said to do 3-4 layers. I ended up doing 5 layers since I know this was going to be displayed outdoors. That and the fact that I spent how many hours finishing this bad boy. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Soul Meets Body: Finished Pup for Riverside Art Alliance

While I was turning my project into the Riverside Art Alliance, I was asked a question that I hadn’t even registered to me.

“What is your pup’s name/title?”

Crap. I was too busy trying to finish my Lab I hadn’t even thought about the name. After several attempts of me playing with names and phrases in my head. I thought of an old Death Cab for Cutie song titled: Soul Meets Body. That was it. So Perfect and suiting.

Everybody meet Soul Meets Body:


Art Bark in the Park Gala

Pictures don’t do my dog painting justice! Come take a look for yourself on opening night of the gala. Appetizers and refreshments will be available. Tickets are $25 each. All proceeds from Art Bark in the Park will benefit the Riverside Art Museum. (Or stroll down on a free day.) Hope to see you there!

Gala Event

When: October 4th, 2019
Time: 5:00-7:30pm
Where: White Park
Address: 3936 Chestnut St, Riverside, CA 92501
Tickets: $25 – Purchase Here

Public Viewing

Rather not pay the fee? The Art Pups will be on display for free public viewing during normal park hours October 5–10, 2019. Any kind of local support is appreciated and goes a long way!

Community Project Takeaway

The Riverside Art Alliance, Art Bark project was an overall rewarding experience for me so far. The most exciting part was being part of the city of Riverside and being apart of something bigger.

I was able to explore my creativity and step out of what I typically paint. Something new. Something different. Painting line work is also a challenging task for me since I prefer to blend. I think I aced it with flying colors! 😉

If you ever get a chance to do a city project don’t think twice. Just go for it.

You never know the potential you possess until you challenge yourself.

Best Gift Ideas for Dog Moms and Dog Lovers

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If you’re looking for a unique DIY gift, or even a last minute gift idea, I’ve gathered 30 of the best gift ideas for dog lovers and cat lovers alike. Whatever you choose, be sure to personalize it with your friend’s pet’s name or photo for an extra special touch. I’m a dog mom too, so I know how important our fur babies are. I’ve gathered my top 11 best gift Ideas for dog moms and Dog lovers!

For all the people in your life who love their pet as much as other people love their children, get them a pet-themed present they’ll pawsitivly love. Whether it’s for them or their furry four-legged friend, they’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift. 

Custom Dog Painting

Turn your beloved pet into a custom pet portrait masterpiece! Commissioning a custom pet portrait is the perfect way to honor your fur baby by treating yourself or by giving an inspiring gift that is uniquely personal and colorful!

custom pet portrait


Dog Mom and Dad Wine Glasses

Dog Mom and Dad Stemless Wine Glasses Set of 2

Let the world know how much you love your dog with this matching set of “Dog Mom” and “Dog Dad” stemless wine glasses. The paw-print design in chic black and gold, they’ll blend seamlessly into your existing glassware collection and make it clear who the boss

wine glass set


Corki Wine Bottle Stopper

Add a corki to you gift and you’ll have a complete wine lover dog mom gift! Give a gift that they can actually use…especially when there’s wine involved. 😉 Plus its punny!

wine bottle opener


Pooch Selfie Ball

Sometimes you just want to grab a perfect picture of your dog to show off and share it with the world! As any dog owner will tell you, it is difficult to get your pet to sit still long enough for a picture, let alone catch them looking into the camera. Pooch Selfie comes with a removable Squeaking Pooch Selfie ball and One Smartphone Attachment. Click! Now you can finally get a good picture of you and your pooch. That is priceless!

pooch selfie


Fur Mama Trinket Tray

All your friends will know fur sure to whom your heart belongs with the Pet Shop by Fringe Studio “Fur Mama” Tiny Heart Ceramic Tray. This heart-shaped ceramic tray features original artwork designed with artistic typeface and cute paw, all in trendy metallic gold foil. It’s the perfect little home décor touch to add some furbaby pride to your style, on a nightstand, coffee table, book case or anywhere else. Plus, it comes in a giftwrap-ready box so it makes an ideal gift or meow-mento for that posh pet-parent you know.

trinket tray


Dog Bowl Water Bottle

Running, fetching, and showering your human with love can be thirsty work. Designed just for dogs, this water bottle keeps your canine companion well hydrated on the go. With just a squeeze of the bottle, the attached dish fills with water at an inviting height for dogs to drink. 

dog water bottle



Pet Candle

That wet dog smell will never be in style. With its calming, refreshing medley of clean herbs, fresh grass, and citrus, this candle offers a serene scent for pet-loving households. 

pet candle


Dog Mom Fashion Baseball Cap

A high quality embroidered dog mom baseball cap is perfect for when you need to take your dog for a walk. Or maybe you just want to show oof because your’e a proud dog mom! Plus, theres  various colors to choose from.

dog mom hat


Amazing Dogs: Adult Coloring Book

Dog fanciers and coloring enthusiasts would definitely love this one.  Adult coloring books make for a great relaxation or mediation. The next thing you know, you’re coloring for hours!

adult coloring bookt


Dog Seat Cover Car Seat Cover for Pets 

Now dog moms can enjoy hassle-free car rides with his practical gift. Its scratch-proof quality will save your peace of mind! Forget about cleaning it all the time which of course is an added bonus. 

car seat cover


Matching Dog Collar and Owner Friendship Bracelet

Strengthen your special bond with this cheesy gift idea. Show your devotion with this conversation starter. Your collar and dog owner matching bracelet let you feel connected to your beloved fur-friend, even when you’re apart.

friendship bracelet and collar


Pier Plaza Art Afair: One of the most beautiful art walks in southern California

Top 17 Art Walks in Southern California: A Monthly Guide for Art Lovers

posted in: art tips, chelzart, inspiration | 0

The art season in Southern California is every season. There’s always something going on in sunny SoCal, even for the artists and other creative individuals. Since I am also a local artist, I thought it would be beneficial to create a list of all the different monthly art walks in Southern California.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Art Walks” it can mean anything from public tours through local art galleries, to a handful of artists display their artwork under EZ-Ups. Some even have food trucks street performers, and musicians, along the way! Other art walks like to keep it simple and focused on the artists.

Recurring Art Walks in Southern California

Even if you are not an artist and just looking to get out of the house and see some beautiful art. Each art walk is FREE admission and open to the public. If you’re a local artist and want to display your art, I have included the artist fee to be able to do so.

I have separated each Art Walk by location including: Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, and San Diego surrounding areas. Below is my list of all the recurring monthly art walks in Southern California I could find.

(Please note all events, dates, and times are subject to change.)

Los Angeles Art Walks

First to our list of art walks in SoCal we have ones happening in Los Angeles County. From South Bay to Long Beach, and everything in between, there’s no shortage of Los Angeles art walks.

1. Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk

Art Walk Downtown LA
Art Walk Downtown LA | Image Source: Things to Do in LA

The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk is a nonprofit organization that organizes a public community gathering in local galleries, art spaces, and cultural institutions. Centered on the visual arts and culture, the Art Walk takes place on the second Thursday of each month in Downtown Los Angeles, and is home to more than 30 participating art galleries and professional artist studios. Their organization also conducts tours of galleries and the local murals and street art, and provides programs that offer support and economic opportunities to artists, artisans, and microbusinesses.

Where: Between Spring and Main Los Angeles, CA
When: Every 2nd Thursday of the month
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

2. San Pedro 1st Thursday Artwalk

The first Thursday of each month is open studio night in South Bay, San Pedro. When many of the Downtown galleries, studios, and shops open their doors into the evening for receptions and special events, complemented by live music, food trucks and our fantastic array of restaurants. You can leave your car here and ride the FREE red trolley to and around Downtown to make sure you see all the sites.

Where: 300-400 W 7th St. San Pedro, CA
When: Every 1st Thursday of the month
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

3. Long Beach Art Walk

Long Beach Art Walk

Long Beach Art Walk | Image Source: Time Out Los Angeles

Come to the East Village Arts District this Saturday and walk the route that expands 6 blocks with 9 Galleries, 21 Murals, and 28 businesses with art!

Where:  525 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 
When: Every 2nd Saturday of the month
Time: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Artist Fee: on the street is FREE

5. NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night

North East Los Angeles (NELA) art consists of about 40 galleries and studios in Northeast Los Angeles, which open their doors to visitors on the second Saturday of every month. NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night has been doing down for more than 10 years and is a great way to see the comprehensive art and culture happening in Northeast L.A

Where:  5668 York Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 
When: Every 2nd Saturday of the month
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

6. Leimert Park Artwalk

In the heart of Leimert Park thrives a group of community business members with a passion to develop an event rooted in the foundations of culture, art, music and community.

Where: Leimart Park 43rd and Degnan Los Angeles, CA
When: Last Sunday of every month
Time: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

7. Downtown Pomona Artwalk and Market Night 

Downtown Pomona ArtwalkDowntown Pomona Artwalk | Image Source: Downtown Pomona

Located in the Pomona Arts Colony, every month on the 2nd Saturday the Art Walk brings big crowds to the streets. Over a dozen galleries host artist receptions for their latest exhibits.  Many shops, studios and restaurants open late. There is no better way to get a feel for the lively community that hundreds of artists have built here.  Experience the diverse array of top quality art work, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and more

Where: W. 2nd St and Thomas St. Pomona, CA
When: Every 2nd Saturday of the month (summer)
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Artist Fee: $35

8. Claremont Art Walk

On the border of Inland Empire and Los Angeles County there is the Claremont Art Walk. Showcasing art exhibitions throughout the Claremont Village on the first Saturday of the month. Enjoy shopping and dining while visiting Art Galleries in and nearby the Claremont Village.

Where: Claremont Village 112 Harvard Ave. Claremont, CA
When: First Saturdays of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Orange County Art Walks

Let’s not forget Art Walks in Orange County. Home of some of the most beautiful scenic art walks in Southern California. Whether you’re a local or visiting out of state, you won’t regret checking out the OC art scene.

9. Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk

Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk

Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk | Image Source: OC Art Blog

Since 1999, the “First Saturday” Artwalk in Downtown Santa Ana has been an epicenter of creativity, expression and inspiration for artists, art enthusiasts and those who simply want to engage in a vibrant, living city filled with culture. The event is the single best night of the month for downtown artists, galleries and restaurants alike because of the 3,500+ monthly attendees visiting around 20 galleries/museums, arts and artisan street vendors, live art performances and special events

Where: 125 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
When: First Saturday of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

10. Pier Plaza Art Afair

The Pier Plaza Art Afaire events are an arts and crafts event showcasing handmade original artwork every Friday and select weekends throughout the year at Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, California.  The beautiful Pacific Ocean is a great backdrop for showcasing original artwork and handmade crafts. Vendors from the local community as well as from all over the country can be found at this art walk. The Pier Art-A-Faire Fridays and Weekends draw a diverse crowd of local and out-of-town visitors.

Where: 1 Main St., Huntington Beach, 92648 
When: Every Friday & Select Weekends throughout the year
Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Fridays)
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Weekends)

Artist Fee: Fridays: $40 (+ one time $10 fee to apply)
Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): $120

11. First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Art Walk | Image Source: Yelp

Laguna Beach Art Walk | Image Source: Yelp

Established in 1998, First Thursdays Art Walk is a festive cultural evening. Free shuttle service runs throughout the evening linking member gallery locations. Over 40 galleries participate in the evening, offering artist receptions, demonstrations and live music. Free admission to the Laguna Art Museum.

Where: 307 Cliff Dr Laguna Beach, CA 92651
When: First Thursdays of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

12. Downtown Fullerton Art Walk

Success of the first friday artwalk in Fullerton has expanded to retail stores, restaurants and store fronts. The passageway by the General Store displays paintings, while the stores enjoy extra foot traffic inside.

The popular Downtown Fullerton Art Walk brings hundreds of art enthusiasts to the streets of downtown Fullerton, where various venues host art exhibits, music acts, and performance art. There are over thirty venues offering free art activities and exhibition openings within walking distance of each other. You can find a map at any venue for a self-guided tour. Free refreshments are also provided throughout the evening at many of the stops.

Where: 223 W Santa Fe Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832
First Friday of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Inland Empire Art Walks

Even if you’re located more East of Southern California in the Inland Empire, there’s a few well-worthy art walks to check out. Since, I reside in Riverside you can come say hi and check out my art booth at the Riverside Artswalk.

13. Riverside Artswalk

Chelzart at the Riverside Artswalk

Chelzart at the Riverside Artswalk

The Riverside Artswalk is a monthly community event that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture in Riverside and the Inland Empire. Visit over 22 downtown locations, including museums, galleries and studios, presenting an eclectic mix of visual and performing arts. Either before or after, enjoy the many entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that downtown Riverside has to offer.

Where: Lemon & University Downtown Riverside, CA
First Thursday of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Artist Fee: $15

14. Backstreet Art District

Village Fest Palm Springs | Image Source: The Journalist

Stroll through a dozen artist-owned galleries and working studios featuring exciting collections. Original contemporary art. Nationally and internationally recognized artists. Backstreet Art District includes paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, ceramics, and performing arts. Experience the thrill of interacting with working artists.

Where: 2600 S. Cherokee Way Palm Springs, CA 92264
When: First Wednesdays of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Email: N/A

15. Palm Springs VillageFest

Village Fest Palm Springs
Village Fest Palm Springs | Image Source: The Journalist

Started more than 20 years ago, Villagefest is sure to tantalize you with a new experience each time. Villagefest is consistently voted the best event in the area, attracting thousands of visitors each week. Each block offers great street entertainment in the heart of beautiful downtown Palm Springs. Browse more than 200 booths offering beautiful art, handcrafted items and unique food.

Where: 264 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (Main Street Palm Springs)
When: Every Thursday of the month
Time: October through May 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
June through September 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Artist Fee: $34

San Diego Art Walks

The last region of the top art walks in Southern California is San Diego County. San Diego is a beautiful area, add art to the mix and you have yourself a creative night out.

16. Oceanside Art Walk

Celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene in the heart of downtown Oceanside. The First Friday: Oceanside Art Walk will showcase live performances, music, poetry, art education, and culinary and pop-up art galleries showcased in local businesses and public spaces. Admission is free and open to the public.

Where: SpringHill Suites Marriott at 110 N Myers St. Downtown Oceanside
First Friday of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Artist Fee: $25

17. Friday Night Liberty

Friday Night Liberty: San Diego

Friday Night Liberty in San Diego | Image Source: KPBS Arts

Meet working artists, enjoy dance, theatre and music performances, visit museums and galleries and explore the growing District. Visitors can start their stroll in the Dick Laub NTC Command Center and pick up a monthly program and map guide.

Where: 2640 Historic Decatur Rd. San Diego, California 92106
First Friday of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Art Walks in Southern California Rundown

That concludes my list of top art walks in Southern California. Keep in mind the art walks that were listed are recurring art walks happening monthly or weekly. If you wanna know when some bigger festival-like art walks are happening, stay tuned for an annual and quarterly art walks in Southern California list.

For artists who are inspired and ready to have their own artist booth but don’t know where to begin, I got you covered! Check out my Art Walk Display: What you Should Have for your Booth post to get you started.

One of the many things I love about California is that the art scene is always alive. There’s always something creative going on. Plus, it’s always good to connect with other local artists. Who knows what will inspire you at your next art walk?!

-xoxo, Chelz

Art is Life

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I feel like I’m at my best self when I’m painting.

Just shut the world off with a flick of a switch and the only thing that matters is your paint to the canvas. It is one of the most soothing sensations for me. The only way I can distract my restless mind.

Creating is a form of meditation. Without it I cannot breathe. Art is life.