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.

Later:
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