Thursday, December 28, 2006

Remembering ArtBasel/MiamiBeach

Thinking about art in Miami!

This is SO weird, but now that it's been about three weeks, I can come up for air regarding Art Basel-Miami Beach.

This is not about Art Basel-Miami Beach's more about the fact that I was cleaning out my big sack of stuff from Art Basel and remembered that I stuck a card in the big sack of an artist whose work I really liked. His name is hard to remember for me since I don't know a lot of artists with names spelled like his (being that I'm an ordinary American-Southern artist) His name is Karim Ghidinelli. Now could you remember how to spell his name, I ask you if you didn't know how??

This site really doesn't show you what I saw of his work in the ArtCenter/SouthFlorida complex.

My friend, Robin Walker, told us about his work when she and Nancy came across it the day she took us back over to the art center after dinner on Friday night. I enjoyed visiting there as much or more than all the other places we went over the several days in Miami.

The work........IT IS FABULOUS..........surface quality (I can't do without it), mark-making with meaning, and wonderful craftsmanship/technique. We saw some work I don't see on his that was maybe 6 feet tall and in a couple of panels. It represented a portrait of someone he knew, only not an ordinary portrait. One that was composed of script or writing the subject of the portrait had written.

Karim organized all this script into a wonderfully executed/designed artwork. .....beautiful layers of paint, and/or metal inscribed with script and wax or whatever he used for the other layers. We talked to him about what he did with the work and I've forgotten (if I ever knew) everything he said about how he worked on those pieces...........they were exquisite. It's impossible to really see what he does on the website. I don't see the pieces I'm talking about either.

I haven't done the work or the description of what he told us about the work justice. Sorry know how it is when someone else describes what the artist means or does!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Just Can't help myself...Merry Christmas!

I got a link to this site to make this from my friend Karen Jacobs. I just couldn't help myself, I made one of my own for all of you............

Friday, December 22, 2006

Opening Pandora's Box

Unlocking Pandora's box. That might be what I could call trying to find something in the studio. I mentioned earlier finding a painting from I need to find a painting for a frame and plexiglas here in the studio. Knowing me, I did not order a good frame and plexiglas for no reason at all.......but it's 19 x 25".......hum, now where is that painting?

Then I had to uncover a lot more dust bunnies as I KNEW I had 16 x 16 plexiglas for the last three maple frames that size and I need them now for some collage pieces. Wouldn't you know it was on the bottom of the pile of stuff under the table corner on an old rolling utility cart..............BUT, now I have two extra ones and wonder why.

Oh........and all the saved collage stuff I found (cough, cough). If I didn't do collage/mixed media work, I might have more room around here.

Maybe there's a message here.........some real goody hiding out in all this stuff that will just MAKE my new painting project. I can hope so.. or give that excuse anyway for keeping all this stuff anyone else would have trashed long ago.

The downer is I got all my stuff out for putting the chopped 48 x 48" frame together this morning and found a bad place in the corner so had to call the framer to return them so it will be after the new year before they send the new ones to replace these. I was hoping to make inroads on getting some of this stuff framed up so I could put it all away and start fresh.

Framing/matting,etc just doesn't mix well with painting and collaging. I've been cutting all the outsides of my rag mat and backing boards for the past couple of years and then taking them downtown to the framer to cut the insides for a nominal fee. It sure beats ruining expensive rag mat like I'm prone to do since I don't do enough mat cutting to get good at it.

Guess my break has lasted long enough.....lured away by email again. Need to get the outsides of those mats cut and stacked away.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who knows what you might find cleaning the studio?

Who knows what you might find if you clean up around the studio a little? I was moving stuff around and trying to get ready to start working on a new series of paintings when I found a painting I made right after I came back from Santa Fe last year. Since I flew there in a small plane I was even more aware of the landscape with an aerial view/perspective and so that's where the title of this painting came from.

Aerial View, acrylic on paper 30 x 22". I see that I signed it in this vertical orientation but it would work turned any way you want I think.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One through twelve........or is it fearless???

One through twelve...........or Fearless!

Well, this post could be called fearless.....I'm fearless when it comes to prepping my canvases or getting out the paint to lay out on the palette. Scared ^$#L(ESS when it comes to really doing much, although I'm good at faking it.

This one could be called both............I've been mulling over in my mind for some time some work I might start when I have uninterrupted time. (Is there such a thing?). It's really unusual to have a "plan" per se for me. And I have to say that the plan is still open to changes as always, in my mind.

I just went into the studio to prep the panels I ordered some time ago from Jerry's/Ampersand.
They look wonderful.....just beautiful. Now to make something to complement the wonderful surface. My plan is not complete, but it is a negative/positive thought. So when I went to Miami............guess what I saw there??? Negative/Positive. Now I know you don't know what I'm talking about but in my mind I DO. That is the most important thing........I KNOW. Now to DO IT.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Just can't do it

Just can't do it. I left the bait to stay tuned in the last post and now I have no time to think straight and I can't separate all that I saw and did at Art Basel-Miami Beach. Many others who really did know what they were doing and where they were going said it better than I could have anyway.

Matthew Langley and Edward Winkleman are two who have blogs to read about what they saw there. These people also are in the "network" and know the art crowd. I'm just a painter going around with my jaw dropped looking. Of all the shows, I think I really enjoyed Flow and Bridge (located next to each other in the Catalina Hotel) the most.........but what the heck, they were the main shows I saw where the galleries were a bit more approachable. The guys at the ABMB were so far in the stratosphere above me for me to feel like I was in a museum with a cattle car feel. I spent the WHOLE first day there. ( they need to open earlier than noon....I can't stay up all night).

With so much going (holiday time you know) on since I returned, I'm officially abandoning the idea of making any contribution to the gazillion other blogs on Miami. I know something will seep out sometime down the line but it will be old news by then.

I'm just hoping the old news influence will in some way affect how I feel about my career as an artist........not by emulating some of hype but just by having experienced it.(I don't think this might make any sense).........oh well, how many artists make sense to anyone else but themselves???

Good thing our group had a place out in East Little Havana to go to get away from some of it in the late evening.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Frozen Brain, art overload

Frozen brain...........

That's what I have after coming home from Art Basel-Miami. No way around it, my brain is NOT working. I saw so much and yet I didn't see a fraction of what was there to see. AND, I'm only talking about art here.....not all the partying and networking that was going on all over the place.

And I'd never been to Miami, or even Florida, so it was all foreign to me. I'd heard Miami was dirty and they didn't speak English there ( I won't divulge where I got that info). I must say right out that I loved it......and what I saw was great. They may not have all spoken English (some areas more than others, maybe) but I felt like I was in another country in the area where I stayed in East Little Havana..........and they had a fantastic place there at the B & B ...Miami River Inn ...with 4-5 bungalows.........near our home away from home, I felt like I might be in the REAL Miami. I even found some really cool but comfy little thong sandals really cheap on 7th or 8th Street or Avenue (can't get those straight).They name some streets and some avenues with the same name ....and Cuban food the first night at a strangely named restaurant named Versailles Restaurant..located on SW 8th Street.

First of all, next time I go to something like this I will NOT buy my tickets to get in the event ahead of time like I did this time.............I wasted money as I couldn't go the second day to the main event or I wouldn't have been able to see a few of the other shows there. I'll just stand in line to get my ticket day by day or take my chances and get there early and pray. As it was, I still didn't see a fraction of what was there to see. I suppose I should have noted what I wanted to see exactly but over time I've found that only makes me anxious when I can't get over to see what I had planned. This time I was going with the flow so to speak. Just go where everyone else wanted to go, and in the time allotted. Oh yeah.........that was another thing......nothing opened until noon, so how did you expect to get around to seeing much in the time frame. I'd not really taken note of that. Good things and least you didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to something but my old internal alarm went off and I got up and was ready to go by at least 9 am, coffee and the breakfast goodies put out by Carlos at the Miami River Inn. The evenings were full of walking/strolling around just gawking at things like the Delano Miami scene and all the people.........too bad I'm not a people painter!

continued.......... ah ha....gotcha, huh!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Yikes.....Art Basel-Miami Beach

YIKES.........Art Basel-Miami Beach is almost upon me. I leave for Dallas day after tomorrow early as I have things to do there before flying out on Thursday.

BUT, first I need to figure out what I'm taking with me to a place that has a forecast of rain every day and upper 70's for temps....when it is upper 20's right now here at home with highs in the 50's........Even more important is the same old thing that happens every time I'm going anywhere for any time spent walking around......SHOES, what shoes??? I know, I know, comfy shoes, and then you have to think of the weather again and shoes that are warm or cool. So off to the department store again just to look to make sure I haven't overlooked something I need when I don't even know what that is.

I might also need a couple of bright colored tops that aren't too hot....and everything seems to be totally neutral in the closet as I looked at it this morning and I need jeans that are actually long enough.............

Back from the mall.... and so much for that idea. They didn't have my size to try on of the shoes I wanted to try.....some comfort ballet style flats. Will try again in Dallas Wednesday if I have time, but will just have to take what I have in case that doesn't work out either.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Calling it finished

Calling it finished...........

I've been working on this painting again reported on in the last blog entry. Then I had to sleep on it for two days. This morning was THE day, I'm painting over the top....just has to be, for good or ill.

Some people might like the first rendition, but this is finished........if I decide later it isn't, I'll just throw it away as I think this thing has about a ton of paint on it and it's not the heavy duty gallery wrap stretcher so it just can't take any more weight.......and it will have to be framed. This just reminded me why I don't like painting on the standard stretchers any longer.

This is the first of the final just had to have more unity, red won out...give me more red for the final painting........

The the final painting is at the top of the post.............title??

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nine Lives

Nine lives.........I sure hope this canvas doesn't have nine incarnations. So far this must be the fourth in the series. It started out as a large golden painting......then a large Brown/Black
...then morphed into something with a lot of turquoise and I was thinking of turning it into a painting titled Raku since it reminded me of a new little raku pot I bought at the Edom, TX art fair.

That's the problem with acrylic... if/when you work on it, you have to work all over it to keep the freshness of brush strokes and thought going. Working all over is another way to say....a new painting develops most of the time...and sometimes it's really a totally new painting.

I've got to be cautious here as now I'm seeing another title come to mind. I hate titling work but it's almost as bad to have a title too early on as it then it makes me think too much and it ruins the whole process......and caution is the worst of the whole deal. A painting should have courage and liveliness............well, except when it should be calm and serene. Decisive might be a better word...confident and decisive.

For this one, I can see some spottiness in the upper ground that need some glazing over to make it less so. The foreground is the place that will need the caution vs. courage to pull off. If I add too much, it will be ruined and hence another life will have to begin.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Four down and one to go

Four down and one to go.................

I've a family member in the hospital so I've been in and out of the house and the studio the past week..........not much time to really concentrate.

This is the fourth of the paintings I've been working on lately...........I still have the big 48 x 48" brown/black that is no longer brown/black to work on.

This painting has gone through several layers.......hum, already forgot the title to the original one but I was thinking of France and the trip there today so I'm titling it Plage as it reminds me of the shore/beach. It's 20 x 16" acrylic on canvas.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Still working on the small pieces....

I'm back to working on the pieces I had going a week or two ago. I just painted over one of them and now it's in it's third incarnation. I've painted over and then sanded and glazed with gloss medium and painted over again.

Who knows if it's finished for sure..but it might be.

I've been so used to working on larger pieces that I lose touch at times with when to stop on smaller ones. I'm more inclined to fiddle around with these smaller pieces that I'm up close to and get down from the wall and place on the painting table. The color is pretty intense.

The other one I've been working with is the other red one on the wall easel at the same time. It's beginning to look like Christmas already :>) with all the red and green in the studio. This one didn't need much else done to it except a little glazing after I let it just hang around for a time. I, also, think I'll let the other red one that looked like it had a tornado in it alone as well.

Both of these are 16 x 16's acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. I'll be off to Dallas tomorrow unless something happens...........back in a few days.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Continuing saga

So much for the "getting into the studio" yesterday afternoon. You know how it goes, clean things up, put up shipping stuff....... and then it's time to suddenly ship something out. At least that box was on the very top of the pile in the closet. So I spent time packing up work and taking it to FedEx for shipment that afternoon. Once I get out of the house, my time suddenly is just gone.

The company that does my reproduction giclees, American Artist Series, wanted some more work so I packed up a couple of collages (the ones from the last post) and three more of the Brown/Black series for him.

Nita Leland's demo for SWS will be next Wednesday at 7pm. It will be nice to see her again while she is in Dallas for a workshop.

I, also, upgraded to the new blogger beta........hope this one works better for images. Heck...I was going to test it out but have already cleared those problem images off my desktop and have no time to go looking for them in the trash bin.

I just now noticed that part of this blog got left off from loading yesterday....weird. So I went back to try to change it. I'll see what much for the updated Blogger so far.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Crossing off the list

Crossing off the list.......

Got all six pieces with strap hangers and wire finished up last night ......AND all ready for the varnishing this morning. Now all the work is varnished and waiting for it to level out on the surface before they can be put up to cure another day.

Then I can get back to the serious fun stuff...........those four paintings in process.........Oh,and one other I came across while moving stuff around. One of those that just never passed muster although I did make slides one day. It's history now as I just brushed on some cobalt blue and it will now be ready with the other four for magic to happen. SO, bring on the magic. Maybe I should call it "thinking or not thinking" according to the twice weekly letter from Robert Genn this morning. Or right vs. left brain thinking. Sometimes you need some of this mundane studio work to just relax the brain and have it "ready" for the magic of right brained thinking to come. While I'm doing things like this or mixing up a whole new palette of paints........or even cleaning up, heaven forbid, my brain rests and mulls over the things I've tried to make it "think" about and consider for the next work. Kinda like dreaming while awake.

Since I don't have another painting to put up right's another of the collages I did in France in April. Blogger wants to turn it around as well but that will just have to be as I can't figure out why it does this to some images. So just pretend the taupe colored band is in the top. Analyzing this later, I figured those drips look a lot like the spacing of all the plane trees we saw up and down every road in the area.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

First things, first.......or finishing up what you've started! a dozen new 12 x 12" Ampersand panels from Jerry's yesterday. Asleep last night.... all night, I had ideas spinning around in my head about what to do with them. I know nothing is NEW in the world of art but I plan to put these panels together as a group of four and just have an inkling about how I want to do it. Maybe it will be a little different than the way others have presented theirs.

So I say,...... "hold on there, first things first".............gotta get the other pieces I'm working on finished before I get to work on something new. I can't have another half finished piece staring at me from the floors, walls, easel or shelf. I do like to work on several at a time but this has just gone too far.

My helper around here did assist in breaking down a lot of shipping boxes I had in the closet causing me no end of problems trying to find stuff when I went in to look for something.......and helped with putting them WAAAY up on the top deep shelving, too. I need a certain amount of space to feel like I'm not totally closed in when I'm working and I hope this does it. You can't work without supplies and you can't work when too many pile up around what's a person to do? Get a larger studio. I have an idea that however much room you have, sooner or later an artist will fill it up and be back at the same place all over again in a short time frame.

While cleaning up stuff in shelves and looking to see what frames I had available, I found these two collage pieces again .........I made them in France and found that lucky me, I have two square maple frames that will work for them..........but I have to have get around to looking for the Plexiglas first. Cat'Art 13 became the title to this one ...I'd also forgotten that I tried to load a couple of these in France and Blogger turns them around and I can't figure out how to get them turned right. It doesn't make any sense at all that the program would rotate an image around like this.......oh well....the bottom is showing on the right side in this view, so crook your head toward your left shoulder.

Hum, "what to do, what to do??" varnish work and put on hangers, frame and mat work, work on unfinished stuff, start playing with new supplies......decisions, decisions. Also, considering....does this collage need a little more surface quality???.........NO NO NO...I can't add another thing to my "to do" list today.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where is that woo-woo feeling? of them is still red anyway....although it reminds me a of tornado on red ground. One is untouched, still with the first coat of red.......... and one is no where near red. I'll take a picture so I can "get away" from them and see what I think. These babies may end up with several layers.

The red doesn't have much value change....way too much like the same ole, same ole for the other one.

I'm feeling a deep dissatisfaction with a lot of my work lately............why is that? Does it mean growth? Well, if it does, then I'm ready to get past the growth cycle for a change and fall in love with something I'm doing. I want to feel the "woo-woo.....that is right on, way to go" feeling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"....if you can't make it big, make it red

..........."if you can't make it big, make it red"............a part of a quote attributable to several artists....therefore, anonymous.

That's what has happened to these 16 x 16" weird pieces I started at colony. At colony I wanted to use colors and design that I don't usually start with.......well, wouldn't you know, these scoundrels have been haunting my dreams ever since. They just don't work for me so, finally, this morning I into the studio to just wipe them out. And wipe them out with what??.......RED, that favorite of colors, of course.

While not finished by a long shot, there is a beginning here. Off to the studio to think some more on what comes next.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Hopefully, I can give some of the computer stuff a break for a few days. I finally got the images of the three new small paintings done and up on my website. I still don't have the individual pages for them yet.......or the other three new larger ones, but I'll get to it before long.

It has just taken TOO long to clean up my website a little. I had a lot of old links that no longer worked to other art sites and just general accumulations of stuff kinda like my closet and cupboards get over time.

Here's one of the images............the others are on my website.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Quotes, I love quotes.

Quotes......I love quotes, but all of mine have just gone swoosh off my computer. I went looking for the file but it's gone........and I had some doozies in that file.

But on to the reason I'm thinking of this...I receive a lot of newsletters and subscribe to lots of lists and blogs. Today I got one in the in-box that I love to read through in my spare time. I seem to have lots of spare time. Anyway, this one is called Creativity Portal and comes to you if you sign up at creativity-portal .

One of the first articles I clicked on represented what I've been doing a lot of recently....or more correctly, for the past year......THE LULL. The article can be found here.

Actually, it's called Romancing the Lull: Creativity's Pause Button written by Jill Badonsky. I saw a couple of quotes in the article I can certainly identify with.......
"To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious"._ Samuel Butler. And the other... "It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing."_ Gertrude Stein

Well, if those quotes can be relied on as a marker for genius, then you can count on me to come up with something wonderful soon. It's getting pretty awful when you dust furniture or write in your journal/blog instead of paint on the three little paintings that are just waiting for their finishing touches. And finishing touches are all they need........that is, unless I make a major goof and it makes me start over again.....with another layer.

Anyway, I encourage those of you planning on becoming geniuses, to sign up for the creativity portal newsletter............ andit will help you come up with validation for all those times you stare at a painting for hours on end.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pulling hair

Pulling hair.......or that's the way you feel after trying to figure out how to fix over 102 pages on a website. I've worked off and on for days trying to get the backgrounds and both shared borders of all pages the same. Seems like I just got darker and darker over the past year or so for the background color making new pages, too. Now, it might be very light on some monitors but lighter is better than too much a middle value khaki. I, also was ready to hurl this keyboard trying to figure out why I couldn't get the changes to my page links moved from the top to the side on all pages.........finally figured it out but it had to be done one at a time although you are SUPPOSED to be able to click change for all pages. I still am not able to get the colored text on the top to show on the internet....but maybe later. A little ho-hum maybe, but if it gets too colorful or busy it takes away from the art....or worse, clashes with the colors in the art as I change them out.

Wish I could comprehend CSS so I could have side navigation with no underlines but such is my muddled brain........not to be.
Heck I even saw 3-4 collages with no page of their own....and I have several new paintings that aren't up either so ...........more pages to add. After I recover from the basic re-do. Most people won't even notice that I've changed anything. But take it from me, lots of stuff has been deleted and some links page info deleted, etc. I still plan to do a little more of that on the main links page............but those three little paintings on the wall easel are calling to me first.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Urge squelched....

An urge has been brewing for some re-design my web site. About a year or so ago, I bought the upgraded Office 2003 and it came with an upgrade to FrontPage as dummy me, I loaded the whole thing up and as luck would have it, that program had changed a LOT since I last upgraded. I had a real tough time finding just the usual automatic thumbnail images at first. Now I'm even more off my rocker as I downloaded another new page editor to try out. Heck, I can't even figure out how to layer the different colors I wanted for the template. And, I have over 100 pages on my website so............this is never gonna happen.

I know...they tell you not to put everything on the site.....and I don't. But, I do have to keep SOME old work on pages as archives. How else am I going to show someone what I've done in the past so they can see I might do something similar again in different sizes, etc.???

People might say that FrontPage doesn't have clean code, but I think I'm stuck with it as my brain just isn't in the mood to learn too many new things at one time.......besides that, I have to paint. What good will it do me to have a clean, spiffy new site if I don't have anything to put on it? And ....what if google and yahoo can't find me if I change it too much? Lots to think of and my mind is buzzing.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

More paintings

Well leave it to me......I finally got back to the studio yesterday to put the finishing touches on a couple more paintings started at Colony. I was putting away pint jars of paint, etc. and just used my foot to push a carton out of the way. I promise, it was not that heavy...but I immediately felt something strange and I had a pulled something in the left upper hip. Now I ask you, have you ever pulled anything THERE? Not I. I'm still kinda moving around like an old lady (no comments on that) getting up and down. And the Aleve commercials on TV ...I remember it being such a miracle. Let me tell you it doesn't work on pulled muscles in the upper hip.

Today the plan is to take a couple of photos of two more paintings I think are finished.....wish I could think of some titles that would show some variety, but so far...nothing. I'm getting tired of the same ole, same ole. Any ideas?

If I get them done early, I'll post with this blog entry.

Well...I hauled them out to the fence with the appropriate black felt background. I took slides and digitals and then came in to work on them for the blog. The high-res images look great on my monitor but the re-sized for the web ones are "pixelated" looking. I even decided to use less sharpening but that didn't help either. I don't know why as it should be the other way around on pixelation. I'm posting the two anyway....the horizontal one (30 x 40) also has the cobalt blue under-painting but in this one, it hardly shows. The other (48 x 36) has a quinacridone gold under-painting. Golden no longer makes this color so I might as well use it more pint jar to go.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

New Painting Posted

I haven't been back long from the art retreat in Mississippi. During the time there we had a wireless connection....BUT, it never seemed to want to connect during any time I could sit down to make a blog entry. We're always painting, talking, or eating anyway so when could I gather a thought to write??

This is one of the first paintings I started during the time there....30 x 30" acrylic on canvas....this one, with a cobalt blue underpainting. I don't think I've ever used cobalt blue as tone for under-painting and I needed to do something different so this was it. The second one didn't turn out to be a companion to this one after all so I'll post it along later. And wait until you see the weird combination of lavender, red, black and white...or may never see it. I'll decide later.

We had wonderful cool mornings and sun most days so the weather was really pleasant this trip.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Loading up

I always load up most of my art supplies on the afternoon/evening before I head out to Colony. That way I can throw in the rest (unimportant clothes)and get on my way fairly early the next morning.

I just got back in from hauling it all out to the SUV to start to load. My husband, bless his heart, always says, "let me help you".......... then he starts saying, "you'll never get all this stuff in there, you're taking too will you ever paint that many canvases in less than a week?".......finally throwing his hands up in defeat and going back in while I shift and move and move and shift until I get it all in.

He's right that I probably can't get anything that looks too good on all 12-13 canvases BUT, one time I decided I usually just came home with about 5 paintings so I took 5 good size canvases....and guess got it, I painted like there was a magician in the brush and ran out of canvas and had to borrow paper from people with extra. This time, at least, I'm not taking any collage materials so I'm not taking paper either.......and 6 of the canvases are small squares.

Now to wish for another magician in the brush time to appear.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Everything but the kitchen sink..or travel light??

Everything but the kitchen sink .....or travel light! That's always the question when it comes time to go to Mississippi Art Colony.

I don't have any big shows coming up to work toward right now. I have a lot of new water based intaglio inks made by Akua I could be playing around with for monotypes. I have quite a lot of canvases ranging from small squares to large squares with a few big rectangles thrown in........lots of papers, and lots of stuff to choose from. Too much stuff to choose from is more the point. I even bought two more rolling carts to haul all the stuff.

Sunday and Monday are sorting it out and packing it up days......Then head out early Tuesday morning going east on I-20. I've missed the last two retreats due to the Katrina aftermath and the France residency in April....... so I'm ready to reconnect with my old friends again. So much is learned by being around other artists for regular periods of time........talking about what's going on in our lives, goals, successes and sometimes failures and disappointments. We get to see what the others have been up over the last six months.

Canvas will probably be what I take as the inks and all the paraphenalia that goes with them will be hard to fool around with there in the pavilion. My intent is to use them more for printing papers to be used in mixed media work later anyway. left for the studio here.

So tomorrow it is drag out the easel, and everything else and just see how much stuff I can take. I always tell myself, I don't really have to have so much. Whatever I really need I'll have.........hopefully, that's my brain!

And, I hear they have wireless internet connections now.......Whoopee!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Disappointment is an understatement! Sometimes things happen that just reinforce my usual superstition about telling ANYONE about something good that might be coming up until I know it's all a go. DID I do it this time?, NO, NO, NO!! So I can tell myself, "I told you so. shoulda kept your big mouth shut".

I was so excited to have been contacted out of the blue by a really good gallery in southern CA about my work. I noted from their website that I knew one of the artists and even contacted him to ask about the gallery. He said they were great....but a short season due to their location. So I get all excited, spend a HUGE amount of time getting some small pieces ready to ship to them, along with all the other stuff for a portfolio and actual printed out imagery with other words I invested a lot of my time. Even more than that, I invested myself. They got the small pieces today and immediately said they wouldn't work for their gallery..........seems they sell work for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Maybe I should keep my big mouth shut now as well. But knowing how artists are...oh well, most people I have to admit.'s a real let down and I'm a real highs and lows person although generally positive.

I had this happen with a gallery in San Francisco, too, a few years ago. Only that guy was a REAL jerk. I can only tell myself now that I was lucky to not be doing business with him. This case is just one of those where some people either do not care or just don't realize the blow this deals to an artist's ego. I'm still scratching my head about the work not being suitable since it looks just like it did on the website and they were the ones who chose the pieces to view. I would have sent something else if they hadn't. I will say that at least it didn't take a great monetary investment to send the small pieces which is what the director had in mind I think. That may not have made any difference but would have been more representative of all my work. Surely having low prices compared to the rest in their gallery isn't a total problem.........prices can be raised.

Good thing I don't have any wine in the house or I would be drinking several glasses right now.

The next thing I always tell myself when something doesn't go as I wanted or planned or hoped.........there was a reason for all this and it's going to be that something better for me is coming down the road and now I'll be free to do whatever it turns out to be. So quit being disappointed or bummed out by a rejection and get back in the studio. When you sign on to being an artist rejection is something you face all too often. I must say doesn't get any easier with practice.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Art Walk Saturday

It's been a week since I got back from the trip to deliver the commission. I did take a little break for a few days I have to admit.

Saturday morning bright and early I got up and went to meet with some four friends (mostly artists) to head to BIG D and the Dallas Art Dealers art walk...or maybe I should say art DRIVE in Dallas. I do admit that many of the galleries we went to are clustered in the area out in the design district now or some more around the Uptown area on Fairmount near my daughter's condo. We also made the trip over to the old Wilson Historical district to visit the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art on Swiss Ave. They had a show of Nic Nicosia's work up. Although photography is not a big deal for me, my favorite piece was a silver gelatin photo with oil tint titled, Act 5.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here..........first we went over to pick up my daughter and then we headed to a gallery on the way to eat lunch at Bice Ristorante at the Crescent Court.

Then we traveled out to the design district and started making the rounds of the contemporary galleries like Craighead-Green, Holly Johnson and Conduit Gallery. There seems to be a new gallery to show some local art located on Dragon St...ArtZen. It will be interesting to see what happens when they show a lot of local north Texas artists.

We went back to Uptown and visited the beautiful Gerald Peters Gallery and were wowed by the fact that the show not quite opened yet had red dots on most of the paintings......and we're talking $75,000 each here, friends. Then we walked across to the Goss Gallery but didn't end up having time to get down to the Fairmount Gallery before heading over the the Contemporary mentioned earlier. The Barry Whistler gallery over near the Contemporary also had a good show of minimalist work up. Oh yeah....then there is the Brown and Dunn Gallery on farther up off McKinney. Usually I like visiting this gallery but it was just a little too off the wall this time around.......Michael Smith and Joshua White's installation called Take Off Your Pants. Helen Altman's work was interesting though.

Ended our day at the Taco Diner over in the West Village and called it a day...........a LONG day. Next time we need to try to make it over to the Meadows to see the changes that have been made the past year or so....maybe a museum trip next time.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Estuary finally installed

I'm finally back from my trip down to south Louisiana to deliver the large painting. My friend Pat and I got there at noon on Friday. They were there to meet us and unload at the door to the new addition to the hospital.

After we got in and met the workers who would install, we decided we had plenty of time to look around and watch. It was great to actually be there to see where your work will be hung. It's not often artists get to do this. They may find out who owns the work but never see it in it's new environment. They started out hanging the middle panel first...all in all it was probably a little over an hour. Sure doesn't look so big up on that large wall.

The volunteers at the desk and various others coming in and out all made comments on what it could be. Some saw the marshland right away..others thought they could find a fish camp, water, whatever came to their imagination. People not familiar with abstraction are always trying to find "things". I was happy that many told me they liked it even if they weren't too familiar with this kind of work. I had a hard time keeping from laughing when one woman brought someone over and looked up and said "I wonder what they would pay me to do one of those".

The designer took us on a tour of the new wing and I also got to see the two they bought from me previously (oops, I forgot to format those pics..maybe later). She has done a wonderful job with the new designs if I say so myself.

Too bad I don't know much about html so I could figure out what I did to get all these pictures in weird order and the formatting of the text in helter-skelter fashion. Oh well.

Monday, September 4, 2006

New York area show

I have two mixed media collage on canvas pieces (12 x 12") that are in a National Association of Women Artists Small Works show at the Karpeles Library Museum in Newburgh, NY Sept 3-30 and then it moves to the Port of Call Gallery in Warwick, NY October 7-November 5 if anyone will be in that area around those times.

In case anyone reading this lives near there and you get by to see the show, let me know how it looks.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Heat...go away!

Well crossing fingers not to have 100 degree weather DID NOT work Thursday and, either. I was going up Oaklawn toward the Dallas design district where my art photographer has his studio and I looked up at the temperature and it said 112...... YIKES. I know it wasn't quite that hot but you could have fooled me. And they said it wasn't going to be 100 that day. No pretense the next day, we all knew.

So I dropped those panels off so they wouldn't melt in the heat of my SUV over night and returned to some gorgeous looking 4 x5's the next afternoon on the way home. I can certainly recommend Steve Beasley Fine Art Photography to anyone needing large transparencies.

I got a little shopping in but it was so hot, I didn't do a lot of roaming around. I was going to go by one of my favorite galleries on the way back to the studio but they called a little early and the traffic due to the continuing road work did me in and end the end........I just went on by.

I can hope and cross fingers again for on into September when I have to go toward New Orleans to deliver the painting that the temperatures will be a little better. Right now I feel like I must live in West Texas as everything is getting a gold and brown dead look to it and the trees are even starting to be stressed to the point of some dying around here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Varnished and done

Wow............finally got all the approvals for the Estuary painting, got the hangers on the back, side painted and the varnish applied and drying.

I've made an appointment in Dallas to have transparencies made on Friday so I'll get a day off to run around and look at some art while I'm waiting....hum or a little shopping, although I really am not much in the mood for shopping for years now. I'll have to check out GuideLive to see if there is something interesting to go see........and crossing fingers it isn't over 100 degrees again.

Time to clean up that studio that I can hardly move around in, too. Maybe get out some paper and those new waterbased intaglio inks I bought and have never had time to play around with. I just wish it was a little cooler in the studio ....warmest room in the house in the summer.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Finally a photo!

Continuing the saga of the twelve foot painting.

Yes........I've been working some more and dragging the three panels out to the fence where I just had to photograph them standing side by side on the ground...even took the infrequently used tripod out to hold it steady down that low to take a picture to send in to the designer. Tomorrow I may change my mind but it could be considered finished. You know, finish is in the eye of the beholder as they say about beauty. Some people would say add more, some say take out some. It's even harder to determine if all you can see is a little image on a computer monitor. Either the first installment of the painting could be considered finished or this one.........but that is determined by the space where it will be displayed.

Just now uploading this and hoping blogger will let me load a picture this time. Not a word yet yes or no..........maybe off for a long week-end. Just answered that question...NO. So what is the deal? Is there a limit on how many images I can upload. Maybe I'll put it on my website and link to it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Studio time

Finally, I got notice after eight days that things ARE progressing on my large commission. (mail took eight days to go 400 miles) BUT......"please darken the bottom areas. We have to remember this will be hung 11 - 12 feet off the floor and over a huge corridor entrance so it has to really carry from a distance." I had already figured that might be the case so I'd been mulling it over in my mind. I'd also been doing some painting on the sides (12) of all the panels as I've gotten to really hate painting sides of gallery wrap lately. At least now all but the tops have some paint on them. Then this morning I turned them all upside down and placed them on the floor so I could get to the "bottom" a little easier to lay in a lot of darks, green dominating. (Lord, please remind me never to paint another dark valued canvas without putting down a mid-tone on it ever again!) I hate it when little white specks peek out of the darks.

Well........mulling and doing are two different birds. I do now have a lot of greens and all that in the two left side panels but now I don't like the relationship with the right side panel.......and I liked that whole panel the best earlier on and so did the design people. BUT, if I had to darken the other sides, I need to add a touch to the right side as well and maybe work a few of the colors from the right back into the left. Now you see where I'm going.......these relationships never end. That's what painting is......relationships between the dark/light, intense/dull, busy/quiet...........change one place and you may have to change the whole thing. And, to top it off, acrylics don't like you to work on small places, they want working all over to get it to blend back into the old work.

I figured this would happen. When everything goes so well in the beginning, you always end up with something to change and then "the uglies" begin. Of course, I should be happy with uglies since most of the time a painting has to go through that stage on the way to something worthwhile. Just no way around it....gotta work for my money.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Book Signing Day Finally Here

The day for the book signing event at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Shreveport finally came yesterday afternoon. There was a tremendous response due to the wonderful news release in the Shreveport Times the previous Tuesday............In fact, so tremendous that we ran out of books 45 minutes to an hour into the signing.

So if you missed buying a copy of The New Creative Artist, by Nita Leland, Sunday, go to Nita Leland's website to order one directly from her. My friend Pat got there a little late and missed buying one for another friend.....But she did take a few pictures for me. This is one of all the artists she took.

More pictures taken by Bob Horne are on Bob and Judy's blog site.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Book Signing

One of my friends told me about this really nice news article coming out in the Shreveport Times today. If anyone reading this is in the Shreveport area on Sunday, please come by and say hello. Barnes and Noble Bookseller's, 6646 Youree Dr. from 2-4pm. Nine or 10 of the artists showing artwork in Nita Leland's new book, The New Creative Artist,will be there.

I am so proud and excited to the the artist who painted the cover work.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Working ...did I say working?

Yes...I have been working,... a LOT for the past couple of days now that I know the color range for my commission. I have no idea if this work will be what the design people have in mind, but I like it so far. There may be some tweaks to be made...simplifications or emphasis made, etc. Since this is an open design, I've thought about adding more of the darks in the upper section and running off the top.....but it's not really necessary. I didn't want a painting with a horizon and didn't want to get too much of what I think of as impressionism. This is an abstract painting with a theme of marshland or intercoastal waterways on the gulf of Mexico.

Stay tuned to see if I have to do anything else to it or change it.

After I wrote the above, I tried for a LONG time to upload the picture of the painting and it refused to load. I'll just try again today..........BUT now things have changed. The designer says, "I thought it would have more dominance of darks"...."I don't know about those lavender grays" I'm printing out a hard copy and having trouble getting it to look fairly right to send. It won't be received until next week so I think I'll do a little adjusting in a few places and paint side of canvas (that is a chore) and wait. Printing it out also brought to the fore an idea that it might work better turned upside down as well. Something to think about anyway.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Working, mulling it over, thinking

Of course I should never have put all that color on the canvases. It's for sure always going to not be one of the colors in the list the design people gave me. I finally got the list.....pasted it up on a piece of paper near the easel wall and stared. Then I took a nap hoping that I would know the answer when I woke up.

I don't know that I know the answer yet but I have the whole thing covered with paint. Of course I should have toned the darn canvas as I usually do but didn't. Little tiny holes of white peeked what the heck, I reverted to my usual mode of operation ...GO FOR IT........put something down, I can always cover it up again later. I find that it adds to the mystery in the layering.....but takes a long time and a lot of paint. So instead of mixing in my usual way, it was get out the big gallon of white....add color to it, keep adding color until I got enough of it to just start layering it on ....knife in one hand, brush in the other. Then I made up two more huge piles of paint and did it again.......and on and on. ...subdued lavender and not on the list of colors, but I'm sure I know what I'm doing :>)...Whew......finally stopped for the day but those three big panels all have a good amount of paint on them....with only a hint of that beautiful amber showing. This painting will have lots of cooler mid and dark greens,blues with a hint of violet, a few neutrals, dark and light........that is, if I follow the color scheme and don't get off track. Also accents of a vibrant yellow, red and white...........SO MANY COLORS........will have to be careful. 8640 square inches is a lot of canvas to cover with very many layers.

Hopefully it won't die on me overnight and I can go back and just keep on and on until I like what I see.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Twiddle, Twiddle, Twiddle

Did I say I wasn't twiddling my thumbs a few days ago? Well, I take that all, and the past week-end I have been. I'm all ready to go on the new triptych for the commission........but I have no color samples yet. They were to be here but they're not. So I'm just fiddling, I can't start another project with such a large on on the easel waiting for input. I even have the beginnings of the design laid out. I can't back up far enough in the studio to get a good shot of it...tried doing the combining of images but it looks pretty bad. it is anyway........the bones.

So, some artist friends and I are thinking of attenting Art Basel Miami Beach in December so we're doing a lot of talking through email, of course. Thinking of the dates, flights, accommodations and all that stuff. I've never been to something like this and never been to Florida so it should be an enlightening experience AND I hope a lot of fun. I'm looking for an additional gallery, too, so this will be a good place to look.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Book out

This morning blogarithm sent me a link to a Shreveport, LA artist's blog. Judy Horne is one of the artists who lives in the area......I live about 65 miles over the LA/TX line in Texas. It will be so much fun to meet these artists. I've been aware of most of their names and work for some years but never met them in person.

So, if you are anywhere around Shreveport, LA on August 13...2-4pm, come by the Barnes and Noble for the artists' book signing of Nita Leland's,The New Creative Artist.......and meet Judy Horne, Mary Sorrows Hughes, Gwen Talbot Hodges, Hank Storr, Glenda Rogers,Karen Harrington, Bill Bryant,Mary Norvell and me.

I'm proud to say that Nita and the Northlight editors chose my work for the cover.....I feel 10 feet tall at least.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Inconsistency....who me???

You can call me the most 'er ah inconsistent blogger on the web. It has been SOME time since I sat down to write. I did think about it from time to time but really don't like just loading a daily diary.

I haven't been entirely wasting time twiddling my thumbs...although not much work has been done in the studio. It seems like sometimes you spend more time working on the other side of art...the business side. I do enjoy it sometimes.....other times it's just like all other

I've recently lost a gallery due to closure so I decided I have to send some portfolios out again. So I started thinking about some of my favorite galleries from the past and have made inquiries about sending them images. I am really happy that some of them now even prefer a CD instead of gathering up all the slides and making slide sheets,etc. A couple have turned me down of, course, but I'm hoping that sometime soon I'll get some good feedback from others. And one of the regrets said they might have some commission work in the future. I, also, sent in a couple of slides for a juried show for small works and should know something about that soon. I've got a possible large commission still hanging......maybe this week the notice will come.You can't really count on these things until all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed as they say.

One aspect side of the art business is enjoyable once I get myself there. It's just the getting there that is the problem. Receptions/openings are such a good time to get out and see other artists ...maybe meet a few new ones, meet with people who have supported you in the past and you hope will continue to do so in the future. I went to the opening of the 44th Annual Invitational at my local art museum LMFA Saturday night. As most artists know, it's hard to get invited when you're a I'm excited about that. Two accomplished artist acquaintances from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area were also included so I got to finally meet one in person and say hello again to the other. Collage artist/painter,Cecil Touchon is the one I've known through the yahoo collage list for a LONG time but never met in person. James Michael Starr is an assemblage artist from Dallas I've met in the past but not lately. They both do fantastic work and show in some really good galleries. Another artist that I didn't know before is Jeff Brosk, a New York sculptor. We all got together for dinner after the opening so it was a lot of fun. The down don't really get to see the show so I'll have to go back later to really look without distractions.

If anyone is in the area of Longview, TX through August 26, go by to see the show.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boxes and more boxes

I only have a few minutes....3 grandkids, granddog, and 11 boxes of paintings coming to my doorway some time today. My NC gallery is closing their brick and mortar storefront until such time as they find another suitable home all the work has to come. Hopefully, they will find another as the owner has been a joy to work with and she sells my work, too.

Ooops.....the boxes have arrived......not a pretty addition to the decor I'm afraid. I'll unpack and check off the list as the day goes by. One was not in good shape but the small works were okay.

I've put that darn 48 x 48 Brown/Black away to stop looking at it. Sometimes you get bogged down with one work that just doesn't work and it keeps you from doing anything else. So off to the closet it goes......hum, well maybe as with all that work coming home every nook and cranny of closets, walls and hallways may be filled.
I've started looking for another gallery as I only have two now and I figure 3-4 is about what I need. If possible, maybe closer to home to keep from shipping but not if something good comes along. I had one Dallas gallery ask me to send a CD of my work and since I was doing that I also made up another for another gallery there I've always enjoyed visiting and think my work would fit. Now for the wait around that goes with gallery submissions.

I'm excited to have my work in a mixed media museum show opening on July 15 here at my local art museum LMFA. As all artists know, it's hard as heck to be recognized in your own home town by museums. This is a really great little museum that has a small permanent collection, an educational collection and also changes rotating exhibits about every six weeks. Best of all for people who appreciate art, it's free to the public. If anyone is around Longview, TX on July 15...7pm come on by the museum (105 E. Tyler St.)and say hello and view the 44th Invitational Exhibit.

I'm happy to say that things must be going well on the rebuilding front in some areas of southern I just sold two painting there to a hospital. Much is yet to be done and will be for a long time in all those areas Katrina and Rita hit but renovation and rebuilding is coming along or they wouldn't be buying art.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Brown/Black paintings progress or not

Time has flown by since my last entry. I added a touch more to the last paintings (2 small ones) I was working on ....and painted and re-painted and I still don't know what to do with the big one........... The Brown/Black title is all I have for the moment and doesn't totally fit the big one now as it has so much amber/gold coloration in it at the moment. This one may never see the light of day in a gallery or outside this blog. BUT, who knows, I may change my mind next month.

Brown/Black 1

Brown/Black 2

Link to BrownBlackBig

Wow....something is up with the image loading again......all I can see is the html except in preview mode. I'm leaving the big 48 x 48" one on my website since I'm not so sure it's finished and to conserve space here.

I'm also going to try to put a few links in the side bar and see what happens with that....crossing fingers..XXX

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Continuing the Process

Well......I went and said stay tuned and didn't come back. I promise, I was working on these paintings off and on....and still have more work to come, especially on the large 48 x 48" one. It only has the canvas toned, various color combinations I'm trying with the brown, black, mustard yellow, and white combinations. I will have to keep adding layers and layers until I decide I like it.

I note this photo is a mite blurry, too.

Brown/Black #1 is not too bad now that I look at it more. ...#2 could use some "zing" somewhere. And since i told myself this is supposed to be white, I need to go back and un-subdue some of the places I toned it down. White just looks so white even though it was mixed with other color. Gotta watch the chalkiness (is that a word?).

Brown/Black #1

Brown/Black #2

Guess y'all will have to stay tuned for the finished pieces.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Studio time vs. grand kids

Well...........that was some hiatus from blogging and painting. And it may continue intermittently throughout the summer. I have two grand kids who come to visit during the daytime M-F for the summer. It will take a little bit more dedication on my part to get in the studio. What I really need is a BIG push, like a gallery saying they have to have work soon or a commission that will bring in some bucks.

I did have an idea, as they do keep popping up now and then.....although so many go unrealized.

Last month one of my friends who hasn't been doing any work on canvas in some time brought me some canvas she finally decided she was never going to use....two of the small ones are the nice, two inch deep canvases and one large one that would have to be framed. SO.. I decided the next play around time would use these gifts and I've determined I really need to do some work with a heavy emphasis on value. I can never get away from using some strong color, however, as it is a great love of mine. The plan was to underpaint/tone the canvases with a color like mustard yellow..........then paint with black, brown and white non-objective paintings on top of the yellow.

I'll have to see what happens as I just mixed up the paints and already toned the canvases last week while the kids were here.

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 26, 2006

On A Roll ..I don't know!

Any time I can get two paintings finished in two days, I consider I'm on a roll. Well......I must admit that they weren't started and finishes all in the same day but just finishing one on one day and the other the next is good enough. Especially if you haven't been getting a heck of a lot of work done in some time.

......Lac Montbel 2 is today's finished painting. Although it was the first one of the two paintings I started, it was the last to be completed.

I worked over and over and then photographed it....decided it had too much of a dark inverted "v" shape almost in the center of the back to the painting table to work on that....and more photographing.........finally, I think it's done.

I've been working so much on paper lately...that I think I must drag some canvas out of the closet next...........hum, and what size do I want that canvas to be???

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What comes first?

What comes first???.........sometimes I wonder if titles for paintings just jump into your mind because you've experienced something........or if the same painting would come and be titled something else without the experience.

Before I left for France I had two very large pieces of paper on my painting wall.....both what you call elephant size 30 x 44". I struggled with them, just playing around....I decided what the heck, just pour paint and splash and blot. I did all that and then put them up on the wall to look at. Darn, if I didn't just get out my brushes and palette knives and paint right over all that experimental pouring. Finally, I decided both of them were kinda coming along but needed a lot more attention than I had to give at that time. So I left them and went off to France for a month, praying for inspiration to come from my time away.

So.........what did I do today but paint on one of those pieces (although I did tear it apart into 22 x 30" pieces first). I thought, "these colors remind me of a place in France" one piece has turned into Lac Montbel 1. I'll work on the other one tomorrow and see if it's going to work out as well. This photo is a little light and washed out from too much sun beaming down and I am considering cropping off some of the sides....can't get away from squares it seems....but maybe not.

Lac Montbel near Ste. Colombe, France has the most amazing turquoise water.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What Fun!

What fun.......I got an unexpected package in the mail today. It contained copies of the new chapbook, A Unified Theory of Light, by Theodore Worozbyt*. It was published by Dream Horse Press .

Bear wrote and asked me last year if I would allow one of my paintings to be used as the cover art..........I said yes, of course. I did this another time with a poetry magazine, The National Poetry Review.

I went to the Dream Horse site to see if it was showing up yet......but no, however, I did find that it won the 2005 poetry chapbook prize (should have noticed that on the front of the book) . I'll keep a watch out for the cover to be shown later.

In the meantime, although this doesn't really show my work well, here is the cover. I'll link this image to the painting image when clicked. Hum..that might not work out so I'll just include a link here to the image on my website. Antica7 This painting was purchased last year by a women's clothing store in the Dallas metroplex area.

*Theodore Worozbyt...a native of Atlanta, Theodore Worozbyt has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Councils of Alabama and Georgia. He holds an MFA and PhD from the University of Alabama, where he teaches writing and literature.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


All week I've been bogged down with getting ready for two new doors to be installed.........and after, that we have to prep and paint them. Not my idea of good painting days but it's about finished. I'm still waiting for the last coat to the trim around the front but it's 90 degrees out there.

While all this is going on I went into the studio to look around for some information for paintings to present to a design gallery in NY I've worked with in the past and found a painting I did after my trip to France in 2004.......heck, it had never even been inventoried. I did have a title on the back.....Near Esperaza. And thinking about it, I think I was reliving some of the feeling from the afternoon up at Rennes Le Chateau that day. We didn't make the trip over there to that area this trip. Maybe all this hulabaloo about the DaVinci Code made me remember this painting.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I've been thinking about my quick statement about selling the collage to a friend here........that it was my favorite of all the pieces I did. And it is..........but why is that? The main reason is that it summed up or symbolized the trip and what I saw and felt there.

Every day we wandered the little curving roads in this area of the Aude and Ariege departments of France. Wandering slightly south, you were always amazed at the sun lighting up the Pyrenees at some times of the day or their cloaking by the clouds at other times. However, their presence was always felt. One other presence was the corridors of plane trees everywhere in the region (and others, of course) of France. Both of these presences are not something I run across in northeastern Texas.

When I set up to do work in the studio, I had to work for several days just to paint and prepare papers to use in a collage. could I have forgotten it would take some time to collect stuff for adding to mixed media? In the interim, I painted. So one morning I finally had to start making something and started with a 15 inch square with dark blues for a background. I started tearing from some of the other papers and low and behold, I suddenly saw those mountain I kept on adding small bits and pieces, I suddenly realized there were the trunks of the plane trees ......or what I think symbolized the rows of plane trees. None of the colors are colors I think of when I think of April in the Languedoc (green is THE color at this time) but for me, this collage symbolized what I had been seeing and internalizing........and I actually saw it as I worked. This isn't something that happens often for me. I usually only see this later when the work is finished. The link for the image was in the previous post. I've got to figure out why some of my images are rotating and not coming up the interim, just check the link.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Visit from a Collector

One of my favorite people came to see the work I did at Cat'Art this morning. She said she'd been saving a place for one of my works...and she chose one of my favorites from the trip...Cat'Art 11. ........and with all the work in her collection, she didn't have any collage.

(the image files continue to upload turned in the wrong direction so I just had to link to my site.)

It's somehow reassuring to find that the one you gravitate to most is also the one such a knowledgeable person also likes enough to buy.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Cat'Art Informal Exposition

I'm doing a little experimenting with using the Microsoft Photo Story 3 program. I uploaded some pictures of the day we all set up our work informally and talked about what we did during the month at Cat'Art. I didn't have a picture of myself (unfortunately, ha-ha) since I took these pictures. Just click on this expo link to download my video. And please don't laugh at my Texas accent. It will take some downloading so be patient even with broadband. Also, MAC users may not be able to bring it up in their version of Windows Media Player. I hope to remedy this problem later, if possible.

I just adlibbed this commentary so I'm sure some of it leaves something to be desired. As far as my work, I did quite a few small collages and paintings, but am most looking forward to seeing what will happen with my work in the future from all the time we were exposed to these new experiences and a different environment.

................thanks to Karen Jacobs for this picture of me and my work..........

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back from a month at Cat'Art

I haven't written in the blog since Wednesday when we left for Toulouse. The hotel wasn't as hard to find as the one we stayed in last time and due to some clues from Robin on finding the Avis rental return, we got past that a lot faster than two years ago as well.
We checked in to the Ibis Blagnac, had a glass of wine. Then decided to take the car on back that afternoon and use the shuttle to the airport the next morning........that turned out to be a great way to do the auto rental return.

The hotel had wi-fi (hum is is wi or we-fee as pronounced there??) Anyway, at a price of 8 Euro you could use Orange for 2 hours. I didn't think about the fact it might only be on the Ibis network so didn't get to use the last 45 minutes at the airport waiting to depart as planned. Oh well..........I tried. France Telecom or Orange should sell weekly unlimited access for people traveling.......

The dinner at the hotel was satisfactory and we turned in early knowing 4 am would come before we knew it.

The trip was as uneventful as you can make it when you have so far to travel.......about 1 1/2 hours to London and 9 1/2 to Dallas...almost 3 hours on the layover so I was able to get the two grandsons a souvenir ball cap each...already had my girls something.

We left Dallas early Friday morning heading home. I've been unpacking, checking snail and email, grocery shopping and now even cooking ever since.....well, except for lots of long naps, afternoon and night. Good news from my Louisiana gallery that 4 paintings were sold and the check was here for my return. It's been hard on sales since Katrina..............

I can't say enough good things about all the people at Cat'Art. They went out of their way every day to make our art residency pleasant.........we've made new friends in France. How happy we are that Ellie Clemens mentioned the art center in Ste. Colombe sur 'lHers, Aude, France.

Hum...maybe a nap is a good idea right now as well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 22

I've been down to the studio this morning quite a bit....working on two more collages and re-working the 7th piece into something else....who knows how many of these "re-workings" on various pieces there will be. Definitely, even work that I see coming together will need more "quality of surface", while retaining their color and value from a distance as they stand.

2 pm we will all meet in the village studios and bring our work to hang/spread out and discuss. Since we have all worked in two studios, plein air, and photography, we haven't really seen what the others have done during the residency. This will be a time to discuss our work here and share with the others. Maybe pictures later when I get home.

4 pm Tea time at Dominique's ceramic studio/atelier.Her studio is located up behind Ellie and John's Ste. Colombe house....violet shutters and trim...wowee.

Wowee, my foot....we got there and it looked like a great space....but no one was there to greet us or let us in....we have no idea what happened that too her away.....we still had a great view from the studio.

Monday, April 24, 2006

April 23 & 24

Sad to see Annette and Karen pack up and leave for the airport this morning....and we only have a couple more days ourselves. Boo hoo! Our time at Cat'Art is coming to an end.

What an afternoon and evening we had yesterday. The film crew showed up and we just waited until they filmed whatever they wanted from all of us in the two separate studios and then waited for Karen to return so we could get the map directions to Rebecca Gregory's chateau and studio northwest of Mirepoix. She had decided not to go so we borrowed the map and waited for Ellie....she couldn't go either, so we got a late start. However, when we did get on the road, the trip was through some areas we'd not been through before and noted the differences in the soil color and texture, the fields, and the trees and colors. And to think this wasn't really that far away....many micro climates around this part of France.

Rebecca's home address is the village of Paligne, however, the property, La Commanderie, lies outside the is fabulous and dates to the 13th century when built by one of the Cathars. The lineage is lost (if I got my info correct) for a couple of hundred years but the main estate was built in the 16th century. It is just a BEAUTIFUL property. We came to see her studio and were pleasantly rewarded with viewing the house and grounds as well. Rebecca's work is really wonderful.....metal sculpture. Her web-site is .

She and her work are lovely and we hope to keep in touch with her career as time goes by.

On the way back through Mirepoix, we took a chance that our favorite restaurant would have a space for us to have dinner ........AND they did. It was a superlative meal again as last time. You can't ask for better service or food than at the Relais Royal Hotel restaurant.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 21

Worked in the studio some of the a few chapters of de Kooning again. I planned to upload the latest collage image but it did the same thing as the other one....turned from vertical to horizontal and I can't find a way to rotate it with the blog program. So the picture is from the area of the village compound studios and gallery.

It looked as though the day would be another good one for us to get out and about so we got in the car late afternoon and just drove down various roads we'd not been on previously for some reason or other. Ended up making the rounds around Lac Montbel from another direction and actually going through the little villlage. We took some more photos but the sun wasn't right for others we would have liked to take....not low enough or too much backlighting.

Leran was another small town we'd been passing signs to in the past so we drove through....nice place with a little outdoor glace/coffee/wine shop to stop and sit for awhile The Unicorn, I think it was......oh yes, and another patesserie right across the way to investigate.

When we got back to the residency, we checked in with the sculpture studio to see the work that came back from Nicolae's show in, some fantastic marble pieces and wood and metal as well.

We also ran by David's studio to see if he had any other small abstract pieces but I think they are too heavy for my quota for luggage going back, and over my budget as well.....would have liked to take one home.

Friday, April 21, 2006

April 20

Another painting from the Cat'Art series...will make a web size image tomorrow of the collage I did yesterday.

Pat and I finally get to meet Randy and her husband Jean Marc from the Possomworld blog...They live in Chalabre. Some of the others of the group have run into them previously. Ellie said that we have lunch set up in Mirepoix today.

Wonderful day...sun shining and warmer. The natives laugh and say it's summer.

Ellie and John came by and we all caravanned to Mirepoix for lunch at Le Commerce. Very good plat du jour...some ordered other items from the menu. The restaurant is in a hotel right near centre ville. After lunch we roamed around the shops and I found a few things to take telling what since family might be reading the blog.

Not much in the way of "art work" done today other than continuing to soak up the wonderful atmosphere in the south of France....did I say we all love it here??

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

April 19

Yesterday....I did get to the studio....don't know yet if it's something I'll like later. It was kind of an "automatic writing" type thing. Starting with green this time...woo, woo, and I mean GREEN.

Don't know how I did it but the image is rotated counter clockwise......Dark should be at the top.

So back to the studio today to get some marks, etc. on more paper. So, think vertical for the next getting away from landscape though as every mark I make suddenly denotes land.

Enjoying reading De Kooning.....who'd thought he would have been a neatnik???

I got another mixed media collage started....wondering how much farther to carry it....and not wanting it to get too busy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

April 17 & 18

Slow here the day after Easter.
Went for French onion soup over at Ady's in the evening......been reading and just lazing around.
Did a little studio work early in the day.

Up about 7am or so and decided it was laundry day........that can be a day for one load, washed and dried. Have to figure out how to turn on oven later as I HAVE to have some food that isn't pastry, apples and coffee.

Went down to the studio again and fooled around and am ready to get back.....later maybe take a picture or two of the work yesterday.

Here's one of the 15 inch squares..........

Thought we'd get out and about today but have not.....well maybe later or I'll get sleepy and take a nap between reading De Kooning........

Just spotted Ellie heading down to the studio...gotta go.

Monday, April 17, 2006

April 16

Yaay....finally got some studio time in. Not that I know what I'm doing but it's something. I'm not pushing it as that is NOT what we are here for. This experience will arrive in its on good time in my work on down the line.

Today is the Easter Party...about 3:30ish...Barbecue, French Style. People are arriving from all around. By the time we walk over to the area prepared for the party, there is a large open fire being tended and chickens being cooked. The tables are heavy with salads, snacks, and wine decanters. The tables are decorated with grasses, flowers Annette gathered, and deeply colored eggs dyed by Nikolai. We'll have to get him to tell us how he got such deep, beautiful colors...I saw one that must be Karen's favorite "barn red".

Before the evening is over, we hear everything from Elvis to bongos for entertainment. We also met many more people and artists from around the area. We have invitations to visit the studio of a potter/ceramist Saturday and a sculptor who lives the other side of Mirepoix next Sunday afternoon.

Note from Monday morning....people are sleeping out wherever they find shelter with sleeping bags.....guess they couldn't drive home and there is no motel 6 around here.

I didn't take my camera to the party so we'll have to share pictures later with Karen and Pat.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

April 15

What a view coming back from Esperaza..... near and above Rivel today. Those yellow flowers and the unbelievable varieties of green is astonishing.

Happy, happy...the clouds and possible rain went away and it was a beautiful day. I hope the weather holds for the Easter Party tomorrow.

Worked in the studio. I can't tell what I'm accomplishing yet at all.........just have to trust in the process. I'm not here to try to paint what I see in front of me, but to absorb the energy and flavor and to know it will come through at an opportune time.

Just a thought...I don't think I've ever been to so many grocery stores/markets in a week or two in my life. Seems we make a stop at stores, markets or patesseries, etc. a couple of times a day.


April 14

Just checked and it should be around 70 and sunny today." Make hay" as they say since rain is in the next few days forecast...maybe that will wrong.

Down to check out the studio again..worked on a few collage pieces but I need some fluid medium instead of this gel for everything. So plan to head out for lunch and to find somewhere to buy medium or its eqivilent. Catherine gave us the names and locations where we might find it and we set out toward Larouqe 'd Holmes and beyond. We couldn't find any but did find a woman who wrote directions to a "specialty" store in Foix..............Hey, we are open to going to Foix since we seem to be on the "Route du Foix" continually. We finally got there and miraculously found the place...a bookstore with some art supplies. I got two versions of glue/medium and we headed back. Stopped at a store for more pastries for breakfast.....found some nice olive oil soap and headed back to Cat'Art.

All the usual....fixed something for dinner, met Karen's granddaughter, Lauren, (coming in from Belgium) and ended the day with this missive.

Tomorrow, some are going to Esperaza for the life drawing again.........Au Revoir.

Friday, April 14, 2006

April 13

Got away from the B & B about 9:30 am and got Lynda Marshall, the owner, to take a picture of Pat and me with our Paint-L banner Karen made...gotta prove we WERE there. The place out at Ste. Esteve Janson is beautiful and Lynda is a lovely hostess as well and made us feel right at home....complete with a new map to find our way back to Ste. Colombe. It was a faster trip this time using the toll roads. We got back into Limoux and had lunch about 1:30-2pm or so and then went by the grocery for a few things on the way to the residency. So tired but got stuff out of the car, checked email, made notations, downloaded pictures....all that good stuff although no time yet to upload the blog entries.

Felt like we came home when we drove up to the residency.Happy to find that we don't have anything onthe schedule for tomorrow.

April 12

Fondation Victor Vaserely

Up this morning.... leisurely had our breakfast of juice, yogurt, croissants, and coffee. Then off to find the Fondation Victor Vaserely. A noted Op Art artist, Vaserely designed the building and incorporated his geometric experimental artwork on a grand scale into the design of the unique building. Although not usually my taste in art, the work and the building are impressive. My local art museum has some of his work so I'll have to mention this visit to the director there.
Mentioning getting to anywhere....everyone will tire of hearing of all the "lost" times....needless to say, much time is lost trying to find places that look easy to locate on the map. By the time we found the foundation, toured, and tried to get to Aix centre ville , it was lunch time. Then after looking around and practically being blown over periodically by the Mistral winds, we got in the car to find the Cezanne Atelier. missed it on the way out of the city center and by the time we could have gotten back it would be no tour of the atelier/workshop. It would have been better to go on a guided tour of this kind of thing...too bad.
I hope we can get to out to Sainte Victoire but we'll have to get on the road back before too late in the morning.