Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Art Goals for 2019

It is the first day of 2019 and time for me to think about my art goals for the coming year. 

My ART goals for 2019

1. My online presence
I continue to work on online opportunities to network, show and sell my work. I have two websites now. My original website is unchanged with archived work going back to my fashion illustration days. My NEW website is primarily for new work but that may change. Both of these websites are maintained by me which means I must be more attentive to this in 2019. 

2. Grow as an artist
More work with oil in 2019 for better understanding of the medium. A clearer vision of what and how I want to paint with oil. More plein air.

3. Paint to support online sales, galleries and publishers
2018 was a year of larger paintings and better art rotation at my galleries as well as available art for my publishers. I love painting larger but I still believe there is a market for smaller less expensive art.  My goal for 2019 is to paint for a good balance of both. 

4. Author another book?
This was high on my list for years but in 2018 it dropped to the bottom of my list. Now I'm interested again.

5. Work with other artists to further their success
This goal was #6 for 2016, #4 for 2017 and #1 for 2018. I'm happy with accomplishing this goal in 2018. The new local art group Black Diamond Arts Alliance had a successful first Annual Open Show in 2018 and membership has doubled. Our Black Diamond Critique Group evolved into Lake Sawyer Plein Air Artists (see us on Facebook) and my Open Studio Sessions have grown into Mentoring Sessions at my Studio for 4 students each session. 

And of course, I must add this to my list: ""This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."

It is good for me to commit (to myself) in writing to goals for the coming year. Without a plan the days and weeks would fly by and I would have missed an opportunity to grow as an artist. Thanks to all who have followed my work this year. Let's keep in touch! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019, Barbara

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Next week we will have new renters in our previous home and in my old, WONDERFUL studio - the place where I created art for 25 years. Over the past couple months, while cleaning and restoring the house to good order, I had a chance to again spend time in my studio. I miss my 5x7 foot table in the center of the room where I cut mat, framed art and much more. I could also seat 4 students around that table...thanks to all who took workshops from me there.

Recently I rearranged my new (lovely) studio and aha!, after more than three years in this workspace, I finally figured out why I haven't bonded it. It was my Fletcher mat cutter.  I now have a table large enough to accommodate both my Fletcher and my good old Logan. Bringing my Fletcher mat cutter out of storage has completed my relocation. I'm here and I have almost everything I gave up. Yay! I wish many hours of happy creativity to the new occupant of my old studio.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Happy Milestone Birthday to Me

October is my birthday month and this year is a milestone birthday. I want to remember it so I took photos throughout the day. This is a great age to be as an artist. Galleries that represent me are a good fit, I teach a little, I blog and Instagram a little, I paint when I feel like it and I encourage local artists.
Jay, Annie and I are healthy. Life is good and I plan to continue another 25 years.

It was a great day. Thanks to my family and friends for making it a day to happily remember.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Am I living the life I intended?

I continue to think about the statement from Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and essayist, several weeks before he died: "I have lived the life I intended." 

This speaks to me of personal integrity but I can also apply it to my art-life. Have I lived the ART life I intended? After many weeks of focus on the garden, today I'm in the studio thinking about art and the rest of the year. What was I hoping to accomplish this year?
My ART goals for 2018 (originally posted December 29, 2017 on my Art Journal Blog)
In 2018 I'll be more discerning about my art commitments both in showing my work and in teaching/mentoring.

1. Work with other artists to further their success
This goal was #6 for 2016 and #4 for 2017 and I am a little surprised to see it as my top priority for 2018. I have been working with a new local art group, Black Diamond Arts Alliance, and have high hopes for their success. Also, I will continue as the Plein Air Washington Artists (PAWA) Critique Group leader for our area. I have also offered to host the newly created Black Diamond Critique Group several times a year. In 2018 I'll try a new form of mentoring: Open Studio Sessions.
7-9-18 review 
I'm the Membership Director for Black Diamond Arts Alliance and our membership has doubled. I chaired the BDAA first Annual Open Exhibit and thanks to our members, it was even better than I expected. I am hosting the PAWA Black Diamond Critique Group again this year. We met in April and June and will meet again in Sept. Our Black Diamond Critique Group has evolved into a group we named Lake Sawyer Plein Air Artists. LSPAA has a Facebook page and has been painting monthly at local sites. My Open Studio Sessions are being renamed Studio Mentoring Sessions and I'll offer them again in Sept. Oct. and Nov. In review, Yay! On track.

2. My online presence
This year I added online opportunities to network, show and sell my work. I have two websites now. My original website is unchanged with archived work going back to my fashion illustration days. My NEW website is primarily for new work but that may change. Both of these websites are maintained by me which means keeping them current is high on my list of priorities.
7-9-18 review 
My bad. I have not kept this high on my list of priorities. Hope to improve. 

3. Paint larger to support my galleries and publishers
For the past few years I have been painting smaller for online sales through Daily Paintworks, Etsy, eBay. That has been fun. Then, I signed with a couple print publishers and had to quickly paint new, larger work for them for better reproduction. Soon it will be time to submit new work to them. Now that I have limited my brick-and-mortar galleries to three, these larger paintings will go to galleries. Fulfilling my commitment to rotate work at galleries is a good motivator to paint daily.
7-9-18 review 
Yes! I've been painting larger. I have two 36x36 inch custom-made wood panels. I might get to these before the end of the year.

4. Author another book?
I added this goal for 2018 with a question mark because it has been high on my list for years but not anymore. This year I contributed art to several books as well as completing a commissioned painting for a book cover. Right now I'm not motivated to write a book about my art but maybe that will change.
7-9-18 review 
Hmmm.... Haven't even thought about this. Guess that is why it is #4.

And of course, I must add this to my list: ""This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."
Looking back, I realize that my #2 goal was replaced with Become a better painter. I took an online art course and have also made my yearly attempt to work in acrylic. Both of these challenges were...CHALLENGING, fun and frustrating. But, not boring and boring is artistic death so I'll continue to challenge myself. Also, I'm pondering returning full circle to work again with the figure.
And, as always, I intend to be a more thoughtful painter. 

If you actually read all that, thanks. Perhaps it will be useful to you in living the life YOU intended.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pondering my local art groups

This week I had a chance to spend time with my peer art group, Pencils and Palettes. This group of women has met every other month for 23 years. We are good friends and when we get together we spend some time catching up on what's going on in our life. When it was my turn to share I found myself talking about the local art groups I belong to now in our new location. If you have relocated you may have experienced this search for a good fit also. We've been here four years and I think I'm starting to understand what I want my LOCAL artistic role/balance to be.

I spent the first year getting acclimated to my new home town and  bonding with my new studio but I also enjoyed a time of  "hiding out." I unsubscribed from many online art sites, left three of my wonderful galleries (painting less, they deserved an artist who would be more productive) and I quit attending some Seattle-based art organization meetings that were previously a huge part of my life.

Finally, I started feeling isolated and wondered where the artists are in this rural area. I saw an ad in the local newspaper to paint with others at the Maple Valley Community Center each Friday. I spent nearly two years with this group, produced a lot of small paintings for online sales. It gave me the opportunity to paint with others weekly and I enjoyed the artists but as time went by the differences in our artistic goals became more apparent and I had to rethink the best use of my time. It is a perfect fit for some and I applaud those who consistently paint there.

The next group I tried is Black Diamond Arts Alliance, a young non-profit. I attended a meeting and saw a role for myself with this group. BDAA gives me an opportunity to contribute by sharing my experience of being a professional artist for so long and it gives me an opportunity to show my smaller work. That was nearly a year ago. Since then our membership has doubled and we have held a very successful first Annual Open Exhibit. BDAA has a solid Executive Board to take advantage of future opportunities in our growing community. If you live in my area I highly recommend this group.

I've been a member of Plein Air Washington Artists for years but only recently found a way to contribute. PAWA leaders requested members to lead Critique Groups. I volunteered to host this area  and this is my second year. Yay! More contact with artists and I don't have to leave home. PAWA has many members and has many organized paint outs as well as show opportunities.

Numerous artists from both of these groups expressed interest in painting together so earlier this year we formed an informal local group that meets to paint plein air. I set up a Facebook Group page so we could communicate and share our plein air work. We had to give it a name and Lake Sawyer Plein Air Artists was suggested. This group gives me an opportunity to paint with others. It is not a teaching or critique situation. Just paint. Fun! If you live in my area, join our group on Facebook.

Right now I have a good mix that works for me especially during the summer when I spend so much time gardening. I have my peer group for support and art critique but I also have contact with local artists - to show with them and the opportunity to contribute what I have learned about the business of art. And, I get to paint plein air with others. I'm good for now! I hope each of you have found ways to fill artistic needs and find balance in your life. See Facebook or Google for the organizations mentioned above.

The one thing I haven't discussed is teaching. As fall approaches, I'll have my usual urge to teach as well as more frequent posts to my blogs and websites. Happy Summer Everyone!

2018 - Fourth Annual Overnight Critique

Our Art Critique Group in it's 23rd Year!

Yesterday Jay and I had the pleasure of hosting the Fourth Annual Overnight for our Art Critique group (officially called Pencils and Palettes) at our home. This is a group of women who have shared their art and personal lives with each other for 23 years. We continue to love and supported each other through good times and through the challenges that occur in life. We meet every other month, share personal updates, art and have a meal together. 

Over the years the camaraderie of this peer group has become increasing important to me, especially as I find my way in my new local art community. 

A huge thank you to the women in this photo and also to those of our group who couldn't join us on this day.

Barbara Benedetti Newton, Sheila Theodoratos, Paula Parks, Sueellen Ross and Teri Hamilton.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

cozy, shattered and blue

WHAT? I am shocked that I haven't posted here for many months. Sorry. If you'd like an update on what has been happening in my golden years, I posted this morning on my Art Journal Blog. Cozy, shattered and blue. Hope you are having a wonderful Spring 2018!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year (make yourself a...)

I've been thinking...something I don't do enough of. When we say Happy New Year, we are saying 'I hope you have a happy new year.' The year is made up of days - as in, 'Have a good day.' What makes a good day and can we each make a good day for ourselves and therefore, a good year? I think yes.

What makes a good day for me? I've had a good day if...
1. I exercised.
2. I painted.
3. I cleaned the house or gardened.
4. I communicated (talk, text, played Words with Friends) with my kids and family.
5. I feel good about what I ate that day (bye bye Coca Cola).
6. I have a really good book to end the day with.

What makes a good day for you? 

It's also a good day if I remember to do what works for me.
1. If I want to think and ponder and plan, it isn't going to happen sitting in front of this computer. I have to move to the table my father made for me, in the studio, with a good pen and paper, away from the technology I love (leave my iPhone and iPad in the office).

Left: Thinking and planning  Right: Stimulation and distraction.

2. At the end of each day, if I set something up in the Studio for the next morning it makes it a lot easier for me to get started. One things leads to another - for success and for failure, in life and in art. I think it is called inertia*. Make sure you are headed toward your goal because if you don't consciously make a change, you'll end up where you're headed.  *Physics a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

I unframed this pastel last night to rework this morning.
3. When I look back over the years at my work, I see moments when I have painted with abandon. It feels great at the time and the paintings still look fresh, clean and spontaneous to me - they never need to be reworked. How do I get into the frame of mind to paint with abandon? Next time it happens (hopefully today), I'll run to the table and write down my thoughts.

Thank you for reading my blog. See my 2018 Art Goals. I wish you a happy and healthy 2018.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy Memory Day

Today while doing Seattle errands, Jay and I took a detour down memory lane. We had lunch on Broadway at the same Dick's that sustained me through art school in the early 60's.  In 1963 I lived in an apartment ($60 per month) located on Broadway, near Cornish, and walked south on Broadway to school at Burnley most days, right past Dick's. Occasionally, I would splurge on a hamburger (15¢?) and take it home to add cheese and pickles. Thinking back, I can't remember any food in my apartment refrigerator other than cheese and butter pickles.

Some days, instead of walking to school, I drove my 1956 turquoise and white 4-door Chevy to school so that after classes, I could drive on to Kent, WA to my hairdressing job at The Band Box. (After graduating high school I attended Mr. Lee's Beauty School in Renton and became a hairdresser to support myself through art school.)

Today, the building at Broadway and Pine looks much the same to me as it did then - I took this shot as we were stopped at a traffic light. In those days, we entered the school through the side door and up the stairs. Here is a link to some interesting history about Burnley School of Professional Art -  ghost history.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Everything Old is New Again

The way we see the world changes as we age.

It is interesting to me to compare the way I expressed my world through art twenty years ago compared to now. Everything old is new again!

Take a look.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Don't look at the chicken

Rain! It rained during the night, the first time in 2 months. Yay! No better time to paint than a Sunday morning when the garden is not calling me for a drink. Ate breakfast, read parts of the Sunday paper and began tidying up the kitchen so I could head to the Studio.

Then, I noticed the dishwasher needed unloading so I started that and noticed the silverware drawer trays needed cleaning. Did that and started for the studio again...as soon as I put a couple things in the refrigerator.

Opened it. There's that chicken from Costco! It filled the need for a quick dinner a couple days ago as well as contributing to salads. But now, with the rainy day I thought of soup. Yay! Soup is made from REFRIGERATOR. The prosciutto wrapped asparagus, the diced fennel from the chicken spread and of course, another zucchini each was diced up. Jay wandered through and I grabbed him to dice carrots and dice aging onions. I'm heading to the studio but better check that the soup is on simmer.

Oh, this soup needs green. I wonder if a few green beans are ready? Out to the garden. OH NO, my gladiolas are falling over because of the rain. Cut them and couple sweet peas and a dahlia and headed for the beans.

Oh, oh. 119 beans later I'm back in the kitchen. I'll have to blanche most of them and put them in the freezer but first I am here typing. I felt I should warn you. If you are planning to paint, do not look at the chicken!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 2017 Catching Up

I don't post very often on this blog. I don't know why that is since I am living my Golden Years every day. The number of subscribers to this blog has remained pretty constant over the years, perhaps because online artists are younger and are looking for how-to instead of aha! moments or the why of painting? This blog could be judged as ramblings of an aging artist but for me it is a way of stopping time for a fleeting moment to assess what I've learned and where I'm going. I keep a paper art journal to insert paper copies of some of my blog entries. I'll paste this one in my journal so I can read it when I am old.

August 2017 Recent Revelations:

1. Big Magic. My friend Sue Anne sent me a suggestion to listen to this audio book by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). At about the same time, I read online that listening to books while you paint can quiet the inner voice and allow one to paint more intuitively. I'm about halfway through the book and love it. It might become required reading for my private students.

"Creativity is sacred and it is not. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn't matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. The work wants to be made, and it want to be made through you." Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert.

2. "When things don't work out, they work out better." You can quote me. 

I have come to this revelation through the recent family challenges but I can also apply it to my art life. A simplistic example is when a painting doesn't sell or doesn't get accepted into a show. There is always another, better opportunity for that painting. Wait and watch for it...

3. I am painting larger. After cutting back on my gallery commitments, I didn't see the need for larger pieces thinking they would take up too much space in my new, smaller studio. And, for the past five years I have sold small, unframed work online which has been fun and motivating. So a couple years ago when two art-print publishers contacted me for work they could reproduce in large format, I had to quickly paint new paintings. I'm not a fan of working against a short lead-time deadline but it was a great challenge and experience and brought in a little income. This quarter the royalty check amounts increased and got my attention. These art publishers might actually ask me for new work someday and I do not want to have to paint new paintings so I am now painting larger so my work can be reproduced in large format.

4. The idea of painting a small study for a larger work appeals to me. Yesterday I painted "September Song" in pastel and was surprised to find myself thinking, "I wish this was oil, it is so much more compliant." Whoa! What? Granted, I was painting very small (6x6 inches) and on Pastelmat which is somewhat unforgiving but still...what a strange thought for me. I may be starting to get some intuitive knowledge about oil. Yay! "September Song" is available for purchase.

September Song, pastel, 6x6 inches 

5. My work at the local community center has evolved from every Friday to once a month. By "work" I mean my contribution - the reason I have painted there for the past 2 years. I imagined growing this group and that has happened. I have formed new lasting friendships and renewed old ones. But I have also learned that not every artist wants to build their resumé or make their art public. We have a lovely group of people, each with their own challenges and dreams. I look forward to checking in with them each month, more in the role of support and advisor. My private sessions don't fit into everyone's life so this is an opportunity to get free advice (from me and from each of the artists there). I'll be there September 22nd, 1:30 PM. Maple Valley Community Center, Maple Valley, Washington.

After a record 56 hot dry days, I'm looking forward to rain. I long for those days when I didn't have to spend the first and last few hours of each day watering and dead-heading flowers. I imagine I would be painting though I have also noticed that three continuous hours at the easel is about my limit now because painting any longer results in poor decisions. I think I'm meant to take a break then and enjoy my Golden Years by sitting by the lake pondering life. Happy Summer to all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Art Critique Group in it's 22nd Year!

Yesterday Jay and I had the pleasure of hosting the Third Annual Overnight for our Art Critique group at our home. This is a group of women who have matured together - both in our art and our personal lives. We continue to love and supported each other through good times and through the challenges that occur in life. A huge thank you to the women in this photo and also to those of our group who couldn't join us on this day.

Kay Dewar, Sheila Theodoratos, Teri Hamilton, Iris Stripling, Sueellen Ross, Paula Parks and Barbara Benedetti Newton.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Gone but not forgotten.

I'm not certain what this post is about but I feel compelled to tell you this story. My husband collects stuff. The other day, among his newly acquired treasures was an old paintbox and brushes. He gifted them to me and I put the brushes to soak in vegetable oil while I cleaned up the paintbox, all the while wondering about the artist. I know his name was Jerry. He is recently deceased, his relatives are selling his belongings.

His brushes are scrubbed and frazzled but when I hold them, I feel the determination of his grip. Like all of us who paint, I know that he experienced elation and joy as well as frustration and doubt as he used them.

The point of this story is the connection I feel to him. I am honored to be the caretaker of Jerry's palette and brushes and plan to use them. We live on through each other.

I used Jerry's brushes to finish this frosty morning scene and I signed my name with what I believe must be his "signature brush" because of the way it is cut down and the worn shaft. Though I don't know you, Jerry, I hope you are painting with joy today.

Frosty Morning Abrams Road, oil, 6x6 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Everything old is new again

Many long years ago (actually it was five years ago), I painted the first of what would become a series of paintings originally based on a reference photo of a marshy field.

First painting: In 2012 I painted Lowland, pastel, 10.25 x 10.25 inches. Collection of the Artist: I have this painting hanging in my house.

Second Painting: Then I painted Lowland II, 10 x 8 inches from the same reference photo but this time in oil.  Sold by Cole Gallery.

Third Painting: In the summer of the same year I painted Golden Afternoon, pastel, 20x20 inches. Sold by Jeffrey Moose Gallery.

So, at this point I had painted the scene 3 times - twice in pastel and once in oil. Then last year, Wendover Art Group contacted me about reproducing my work as prints and when they saw this one online, they requested a really high resolution image of it (larger than the 300 10x10 dpi I had).

Fourth Painting: So, I painted it again just for them in a 25 x 25 inch format and titled it Golden Afternoon II. I tried to maintain the colors, composition and emotion of the painting shown above.
After the Golden Afternoon II was photographed by Art & Soul for Wendover, the painting came back to my Studio. It is too similar to the original Golden Afternoon for me to make it available for purchase but I can't resist reworking it to yet another painting of the scene. The new painting will reflect my current work - looser, brighter, more color and a wider range of value.

Fifth Painting: A small pastel study to work out colors and composition is my first step. I prepped a piece of Colourfix with an oil wash and printed a small color copy of Golden Afternoon II to use as my reference though I would be updating my impression of the scene. I'm happy with the result and am excited to move on to the 25 x 25 inch format.

Golden Afternoon III, pastel, 6x6 inches.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sixth Sense

I shouldn't be sitting here typing this today. I should be at our Art Critique Group meeting.

But...early this morning (I think I was awake but maybe not) it occurred to me that I really can't see well enough to drive without my glasses. What if I was on the road and couldn't see? I can't imagine what would have happened to my glasses...maybe they would just fly off my head. So, one of the first things I did today was hunt around for an old pair of glasses to take with me for what seemed like a imminent emergency...being on the road and not able to see clearly.

Got ready, packed up everything including my lunch and two paintings to discuss with others. Took the dog out to go potty, brought her in because it is pouring rain today. Put the address in my iPhone and off I went. About a mile down the road I thought a rock hit my windshield. It was my wiper blade breaking. Big screeching noises. Turned the wipers off. Now I can't see the road because it is still raining hard. Pulled over and tried to put the blade back on. Look at the other blade, back around the car, look at this one. Back and forth. Got it on but it is not looking right. Looks sort of sprung. Ah ha! There is a screw object but it looks like I'm missing a piece.

Back inside the car. I have two pair of glasses but I can't see for another reason. Hmmm....I'll have to think about my intuition and gut-feelings. And, maybe I should carry a spare windshield wiper blade.

And, because this blog should be about being an artist, here are the two paintings I had with me. Both were painted from the same reference photo of Grinder Creek. One is pastel and one is oil. The oil was painted first then a few weeks later the pastel. I'm very happy with both.

Grinder Creek, oil, 10 x 8 inches
Grinder Creek 2, pastel, 10 x 8 inches

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What's up with that?

Five days ago I declared I would paint only when I felt like it (besides Friday afternoons with my painting group) because I was more interested in gardening than painting. But, since then, I've painted three 8 x 10 paintings, two in oil and one in pastel. So, I'm asking myself, 'What's up with that?'

Grinder Creek, oil, 10 x 8
I didn't feel like painting so I began cleaning. I came across the beginning of an acrylic still life from last summer. Oh so bad. I had to cover it up with oil paint. (See my Art Journal blog for photos of that.) Love the result and LOVED working in oil again.

Rock Creek: Winter
 I thought I was done with Rock Creek but wanted to try it in oil. FUN!

Grinder Creek 2, pastel, 10 x 8
Back to pastel for Grinder Creek 2 because I was interested in comparing how I handle the same subject in oil vs pastel.

So, I don't know what's up with this unexpected time at the easel but I'm happy to have these three new paintings. Now, back to cleaning and realizing I have to move some paintings out of here to make more space. I will go through my inventory and offer some older work online at unframed prices.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I hereby declare...

I remember the good old days. Days when my primary focus was making art, selling art, hauling work around to galleries, entering competitive shows, teaching art and writing about art. I loved doing all that...THEN.

When we moved here nearly two years ago, I disengaged from art to focus on the move and the move-in. I remember how free I felt being on a declared sabbatical. The new gardens and the new house had my full attention and I didn't feel guilty about not painting. Slowly I renewed my online subscriptions to art blogs and began visiting Facebook and other sites again to get my daily dose of communication with other artists and by the end of 2016 I once again felt like making art was a job that required my participation every day. I don't want to have a job. I don't want to make art every day. I want to do whatever I want in my Golden Years.

I hereby give myself permission to have a more balanced life. Sometimes right brain, sometimes left brain. I'm happiest these days if I can focus on one or the other. I like the business of art: it took a couple days but I updated my art database. Knowing how many paintings I have sold and gifted is of no interest to anyone except myself but knowing makes me happy. It also encourages me to find homes for the paintings I have through online venues.
2016 tax prep during a power outage.
Another aspect of the business of art is taxes. A couple days ago we lost power for a windy afternoon. I spent the time working on tax preparation. Fortunately, I had already completed the computer work of Profit and Loss.
2017 flower and vegetable garden planning
And now, here comes spring and gardening. Today I'm sorting saved and purchased seeds and planning the gardens and pots. I declare (to myself) Friday of each week as my Make Art Day. I will leave the rest of the week to whatever I feel like doing (Tuesday is toilets). Some days, I may even feel like making art.  Happy Spring to you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Journaling my day

My life seems to be zipping by in 24 hour increments. Some evenings, I wonder what I did all day. I mentioned in a previous post about Jay's Nutrition and Exercise program. One of the things he does is write down every food he eats and it has really kept him on track to be accountable to his goals. A couple weeks ago this article was in our Seattle paper:

It started me thinking about applying the concept to my day and my decisions of how I spend my 24 hours.  Can journaling help me discover my true Studio habits and set reachable art goals? Yesterday I wrote down what I did and the act of doing that kept me going. Last night, I didn't have to ponder where my day went and that felt good.

I don't want to do this every day because, after all, I AM in my Golden Years and I guess I'm supposed to be relaxing. But relaxing might be over-rated. To me, this is fun.

Everything old is new again

A follow-up to my previous post about repainting an old painting. It interests me to see how my pastel work has changed in the past 10 years. The maturity of the pastel mark/stroke makes all the difference.

Wild Meadow Lights, pastel 7x5 inches   Available

Wild Meadow Dream, pastel 5x7 inches  Sold

Monday, January 2, 2017

Taking my own advice

"Blessing all around if we pay attention." That is what I wrote in 1983 in the book I talked about several days ago on this blog. The trick is to know if I am getting side-tracked from my goals or am I looking at an opportunity (blessing)?

I had to make a decision this morning. Read about it on my Art Journal Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Reflections and 2017 Goals

This morning I accompanied Jay to a meeting with his Nutritionist (Jay has enrolled himself in a 16 week exercise and nutrition program!). Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sara spoke of balance in meal planning. Protein, grains for fiber, healthy fats. We also spoke about moderation. OK, let's do it! This change in eating habits comes at a good time - I can add it to my list of personal goals for 2017.  Through this meeting I am reminded (duh!) that balance and moderation in all things is the key to a healthy life. I will try to put balance in my art goals as well.

To begin my new art list, I reviewed the list that I posted on this blog a year ago.

My ART goals for 2016 were
1. Cut back on competitions and shows - done
2. Retire myself from several galleries - done
3. Cut back on online art-peer browsing - done
4. Try a new medium - done
5. Teach in some capacity - done
6. Paint for fun with others - done
7. Author a book - Move this goal to the top of the list for 2017!

I am happy and a little surprised that I actually accomplished most what I set out to do but a couple art opportunities came to me in 2016 that I would not have imagined: Two art-print publishers contacted me to create new paintings for them. - done

Those opportunities remind me of the book I first read in 1983 - a book that literally changed my life because I began to take my power back from others and create the life I wanted. For next year I will add, "This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."

My ART goals for 2017

1. Author a book
Note from last year: One of my long time goals has been to self-publish a book. I thought it would be about my life based on my nearly fifty years of handwritten journals but earlier this year when I began to review them I realized that to get to the happy and funny parts of my life I would have to plow through the sadness and struggle. I didn’t want to revisit those times so I shredded all but a few journals from the early years when my babies were born. I think a better idea for a book is to focus on my art journey illustrated with images.

2. Improve my online presence
My good friend, artist and web designer Kay Dewar, reinvented my website this year to make it interactive for me. In 2017 I will learn more about Wordpress so I can fully utilize this opportunity to communicate effectively.

3. Evaluate my online sales to increase revenue
Because I no longer want to spend my time rotating art at galleries, I depend upon online and Studio sales. Review and restock my stores at Daily Paintworks, Etsy, and Ebay. Add additional sites if needed.

4. Work with other artists to further their successes
This goal springs from last year's goal to paint for fun with others (goal #6 from last year). Because I am the artist with the most years of painting consistently, I am the default person to ask art questions in our Maple Valley Community Center Painting Group. As our group grows with additional full time artists, my instructor role will diminish. Currently, they are painting for fun, I am there mostly to support them. I do enjoy the discipline of going to the group each Friday afternoon but I will look for new ways to support other artists. Online mentoring? Private Lessons in my Studio?

5. Try new mediums or new techniques.
I look forward to more work in oil in 2017!

6. Bookkeeping: Quarterly 
I used Quarterly Profit and Loss reviews most of 2016 to track my business and simplify quarterly reports to Washington State and yearly to the IRS. Works well, keep it up!

And now, the additional text for gifts from the Universe: "This, or something better, now manifests for me in totally satisfying and harmonious ways, for the highest good of all concerned."

My online presence is important to me both as a communication tool and as a retrospective view. I plan to continue posting on my Art Journal and on my Golden Years blogs. Thanks to all who have followed my work this year. Let’s keep in touch!
Wishing you a wonderful 2017,


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Eating my words

OK. I'm eating my words. When we moved here 17 months ago I blogged about separating my office from my Studio. I probably spoke of left-brain right-brain and about how focused on art I planned to be without a computer in my Studio. Right.

Since then, I have posted several times about my lack of bonding with my new Studio and my efforts to correct that. I painted one wall pink. I installed additional track lighting and held small workshops here. I began using a laptop for a few things.

I give up. Today Jay carried my 7-year old iMac downstairs and I'm posting this from it now. For me, this makes my Studio complete and it will be where I head each morning instead of to my upstairs office/sewing room. Once in here, there is a better chance I'll make it to my easels more often.

My pastel commitments are complete for the year with my Loose, not Labored workshop two weeks ago and Judging the NWPS Member Show last weekend. I'll still paint with pastel each Friday afternoon but I look forward to spending the rest of 2016 exploring other mediums. Another end of year project is cleaning up my FileMaker Pro Art Database and working with my Web Designer, Kay Dewar, to create a new website.

While working on images for my website Archives, I came across perfect examples in my work of the roundy-marks that identified me then as a pastel novice - the every-little-leaf problem with the end of the pastel stick. If you were at my workshop or the NWPS Member Show opening, you may have heard me talking about those kind of marks in pastel work. More about that later in a HOW TO PASTEL post on my Art Journal Blog. Until then, I'm a happy camper in my Studio.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Prune Tree

From the West Unto the East, pastel, 13 x 14 inches
The backstory of this painting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 2016 update

Dog Days of Summer. I should be relaxing with Annie because I just completed my August 2016 Project. Instead, I'm beginning to focus on my upcoming Workshop for the NWPS.

2016 Nuance, pastel, 20 x 20 inches
We are having a wonderful summer, especially now that the warm (too warm!) weather has arrived. My July workshops here were great fun; I hope to continue teaching from the Studio. 

Earlier this month Jay and I hosted the Second Annual Overnight Critique. We had a great time, despite my subdued expression in this photo.

Incidentally, in regard to my last post: No more Blue Apron. One of us doesn't want to follow directions which makes the other one turn into a Micro Manager. Yummy but not fun. Wishing each of you a joyful summer.