Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beginnings and Endings



Collioure 4........acrylic on canvas, 40 x 70"



Good news came my way from the Seattle gallery owner yesterday afternoon. She sold a couple more small panel paintings. Nice way for me to end the year although I suppose it will be in 2008 sales accounting due to the timing.

Other good news is that I think I have the 40 x 70" Collioure 4 painting now finished. At least I think it is....what do y'all think? I took the picture about noon to send to the Austin gallery owner. If the client they are working with will get all their stuff together it will be a good beginning to the year for me with two large 40 x 70's to ship/deliver as a commission. IF NOT, no wasted time as I can send these to another gallery. Although I must admit I did get bogged down a little with doing commissions and not finishing up some other work. Oh well...nothing lost, as I will now set that work up on the easel wall and get back to it. ...three diptychs...or if they just won't reconcile to my satisfaction, then there may be six separate paintings. I won't lock myself into having to finish them as I started them since some time has passed.

With galleries now in Dallas, Seattle, Chicago and Long Grove, IL, Pinetop/Lakeside,AZ, Baton Rouge and Covington, Louisiana.........along with doing some work for some design firms, I've got my work cut out for me in 2008. It should do a lot for my work ethic.

On the endings front, not so good. I've lost two family members and three friends (two artists) this year. They will be sorely missed. Although the family members had a long, full life and it was to be expected at some point, these friends were just too young to go at 59, 62, and 64 yrs old. But we just don't have choices in this regard. Farewell dear friends, Patti and Ann...... http://www.patriciapilie.com/ and http://www.annbroadaway.com/

Saturday, December 29, 2007

PLAN your wins for 2008 (LONG)

.......... ARTBIZCOACH.com

This list is looking very familiar...kinda like the one for 2007........SO, of course, there will be some things I might not be planning for 2008 due to the success in some areas in 2007. Everyone will have different goals and mine are somewhat changeable, whether planned or not. This is a little too linear for me. I'm about the same way planning paintings and career moves. I want a loose plan but also will veer off line at times when chance merits the diversion.

FROM ALYSON's list and comments:

Now it's time to look forward. It's the time when pressure stampedes at you from all directions to set goals. Set goals, make a plan, and clarify your vision. This works for some people, but is too linear or restrictive for others. This year, try planning your wins instead. Take that list I gave you last week (also available as a podcast on the Art Biz Blog) and turn it around to plan ahead for your 2008 wins. You don't want to leave your success to chance.

Ready?

1. How will you promote your art consistently?

I want to continue to work with the galleries I have now. I will be working with a museum for a 50th anniversary show in 2008 which will actually promote local area artists.

2. What new ideas or tools will you try?

This isn't really new but when I make trips I usually come up with some new outlook for my paintings. It just develops without me thinking about it a lot.

3. What will you do to amplify your online presence?

I'll continue blogging and keeping my website up. I do all the work there myself.

4. What technological skills do you need to learn or improve?

Keep on learning more with the programs I have.

5. How many people would you like to add to your mailing list?

I don't add a lot since galleries don't usually share their sales names and addresses. This is my main sales base. I will add people and galleries as I know them.

6. What cool or influential people in your community would you like to meet?

I go to art openings fairly regularly so hopefully there will be a continuing growth in the area of meeting new people. Psst...I already know the coolest, of course.

7. What printed marketing piece do you need to create or revamp?

None in the works for now.

8. What medium or skill will you attempt or master?

I will just continue to work with my acrylic and mixed media pieces...as well as the encaustic wax. Master??? I guess there aren't enough years for that but you can keep trying.

9. What will you try that is completely new?
Humm... don't know yet.

10. What have you been procrastinating because it's uncomfortable, but you know it will be good for you?

Maybe this is the year to "donate" a class to the museum. It will help me get over my fear of teaching a workshop.

11. What art events, galleries, and museums will you plan to visit?

Whatever interesting shows come up and I'm nearby, I hope to attend. It's possible I will be in DC this year and will really make a dent in some museums there if I do.

12. How will you improve your studio habits?

Set a time-table up and adhere to it...no excuses!

13. What books do you need to read to help your career? ( Hey! The pre-publication special offer for "I'd Rather Be in the Studio!" runs out at the end of the year. Take a look: http://artbizcoach.com/sale.html )


HEY.........I ordered this one and look forward to a few tips to add to the listing for 2008

14. What seminars/workshops/lectures will you attend?

I'm keeping an eye on the listings with Dallas and Fort Worth museums to see what they have coming up for lectures on their exhibits. I, also, attend Mississippi Art Colony twice a year. This year I may have to miss one due to another trip...but maybe not.

15. What organizations will you join or become involved with?

I'm involved with more than I can do much for as it is.

16. What grants/honors/awards will you apply for or receive?

Getting the application completed is a win in itself. Nothing planned here. I play this by ear every year.

17. What articles would you like to see written about your work?

It would be nice if the newspaper would start having more ART articles in the paper again...I can wish anyway but we do have a new publisher coming in, so who knows?

18. What galleries, exhibits, or other venues will you submit your art to?

I'm just going to try to furnish the ones I have now with good work...that will take ALL my time.

19. Where can you save a wad of money?

You know....I didn't answer this one correctly in the last post....I DID save a wad of money by purchasing my canvases right here in town. It costs a fortune to ship large pieces so I saved a ton.............my hat's off to SUNBELT MFG....right here in Longview, TX. And I save by buying my shipping boxes made to order from a local manufacturer, too.............Century Corrugated. All of them are fine folks to work with. I also buy a lot of my acrylic paints from NovaColorPaints.com. Great people and product although I love Golden paints as well.

20. What is the single thing you can do in 2008 that will move your career ahead the fastest?

Staying in the studio a lot..........AND, just being reliable and responsible as I generally am about meeting my obligations.

21. And (my own addition)..........FUN, FUN FUN............I'm going to Umbria/Tuscany Italy for a month. This will be SO great in that it feeds my art and my spirit.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Celebrate your wins! LONG post

........... ArtBizCoach.com

I'm just now getting around to writing this but I have been thinking about it some since this came out of Alyson Stanfield's ArtBizCoach.com newsletter on Dec. 17th.

Of course, rarely will a person (even with good intentions and lots of organization) do ALL of this but it's a good start. Sometimes we think we fall down on our goals and haven't accomplished enough.We tend to have high expectations for ourselves. We can, also, be our own worst critics. BUT, now and then, maybe we should stop and pat ourselves on the back for what we did accomplish. What better time than the end of a year?

Here is an inventory of questions to prompt your memory. (FROM ALYSON's newsletter)

1. How did you promote your art?I did send out a lot of inquiries about new gallery representation. I sent several press releases to my hometown paper (Longview News Journal )....BUT, it seems they no longer print press releases from artists unless they have a solo show within driving distance of Longview. I know it isn't my writing skills since they used to put them in verbatim. I'm a stickler for following the protocol they set up in the past. My friend and AZ gallery owner, Gwen Pentecost, sent out my show invitations to a lot of these galleries as well. It really paid off for me with a new gallery in Seattle seeing my work.

2. What did you do to enhance your online presence?I updated my website but kept it very simple and without too many changes to confuse regular visitors. I started making blog entries. I know...I'm not too consistent there, but I didn't start it to market my work...I did it for myself. I just don't have anything I want to write about every day or no time to do it.

3. What technological skills did you learn or improve? I can't think of any particular ones...I just keep learning by bits and pieces.

4. How many people did you add to your mailing list?
I did go in and make a mailing list just for galleries I would like to see my work over and over through inviations or news items. I added and took people off or updated addresses. I don't have that many since I never felt I needed too many since I don't do festivals, etc.

5. Who were the top ten cool or influential people you met? I finally met Gwen Pentecost, my AZ gallery owner in person. SHE IS COOL, for sure, plus a great business person and artist. I didn't meet the Seattle Gallery owner, Barbara Mack Keith, in person, but I have no doubt that she is one COOL lady as well. And she keeps in contact regularly "by snail mail and hand written notes, too". I met Elin Pendleton, a great CA artist I knew through Paint-l yahoo groups in Chicago this year. There were so many cool new people there at the Chicago show....like, Richard Schmid, David Becker, good gosh...I forgot all of the names now but all the Hilligoss Galleries folks are really great people.

6. Did you create a new business card, portfolio, or other marketing piece?I had a new card created last year and continue to make up new portfolios as the need arises for every particular presentation.

7. What medium or skill did you attempt or master?Oh wow............I started working with encaustic wax. I completed a whole small format series.I love it but still keep painting with acrylic on canvas mostly.

8. What did you try that was completely new? See above.

9. What did you try that was uncomfortable, but helped you grow?I had to get up in front of a museum audience and talk about NAWA, and then my own work in particular. In a weak moment, I even told the museum director I might work with her for a small workshop in the future. Let me tell you this does make me feel uncomfortable. But it's kinda like getting your daily exercise, makes you feel good when it's over.

10. What new art events, galleries, and museums did you visit?I regularly visit galleries and museums in Dallas at the art walks. I visited the Chicago Art Institute for the first time. For two years I had been working with my local art museum and the National Association of Women Artists for a show here in Longview. It was a great success I think. I went to Chicago for the big invitational show for Women Artists of the West at Hilligoss Galleries. I, also, joined the Modern Museum in Ft. Worth.

11. What resources did you discover?I did extensive research about encaustic wax painting. The RFPaints forum is a fantastic site to learn about the technical issues. From that site you learn about even more places to extend your knowledge of this enticing medium. The International Encaustic Artists are another great group I became a member of recently.

12. How did you improve your studio habits?HUH!!!! (stammer, stammer) Let's don't go there, please. This needs to be #1 for 2008 since without it, the rest are nothing.

13. What books did you read to help your career?I've read so many in the past that my mind is overflowing. BUT, I'm always on the look out for more information that flows in through the internet or other artists (This is for marketing, etc.) I really enjoyed the Art of Encaustic Painting by Joanne Mattera. I'm still absorbing info from that one and look forward to the new one she is working on. Nita Leland's New Creative Artist is another one I'm particularly fond of (my work on the cover) and so much information that Nita has assimilated for everyone here. I'm looking forward to her next book on COLOR.

14. What seminars/workshops/lectures did you attend?I go to Mississippi Art Colony retreats twice a year unless I'm on a long trip. It is always an inspirational trip for me..........meeting up with all the artists I know there and meeting the new visiting artist each time.I especially have to thank my colony friend, Christy Liffmann, for introducing me to encaustic this year at her studio in Baton Rouge. And to Karen Jacobs for making me more aware of this medium way back when.

15. What organizations were you involved with?Longview Museum of Fine Arts, National Association of Women Artists, Women Artists of the West, Mississippi Art Colony, International Encaustic Artists.

16. What grants/honors/awards did you receive?The Women Artists of the West invited me to show with them and 9 other outside artists at their annual show in Chicago.

17. What articles were written about your work?Many advertisements and articles were included in National magazines about the WAOW show. An AZ magazine also had an article from an interview with me for my August solo show at the Joyous Lake Gallery.

18. What submissions did you make?I made inquiries and submissions to at least 10 galleries this year.

19. Where did you save a wad of money?Let's don't go there, please....but I'm not in the red at least.

20. What was the single best thing that happened to your art career in 2007?FOUR NEW GALLERIES and an almost empty paintings storage closet............boy do I have my work cut out for me in 2008. AND my long time gallery, Brunner Gallery, Covington and Baton Rouge, LA, and I are going to set up a show in early 2009.. I'm also fortunate to have a new Dallas, TX gallery, Artizen Fine Arts. 2007 has indeed been a good year for my painting career.

More later for 2008 expectations and/or goals.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Art/Painting Mama

Hooray.........all 4 boxes for the Hilligoss Galleries shipment are packed, boxed, a consignment sheet printed and the FedEX labels all attached. They won't actually ship until Monday so they don't languish in a distribution center over the week-end.

Something about this process reminded me of being a mom...getting my babies out there to face the world. You work for years to do the best you can to nurture your creativity and you have to have the discipline to get in the studio, learn your craft/art techniques, and come up with a body of work you can be proud of. You have to buckle down and learn how to present yourself, your work and market it ................then, when the time is right, it/they go out into the world on their own. You hope for the best. Whatever happens or not, if you've done your best, you can feel good.

Okay....so now to make more of this work, I'm too old for babies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Busy Busy Busy





Busy busy busy..........did I mention busy?

That's the way things are around here for quite some time. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with all my kids and grand kids, even a few extras at the farm. We just set the table with what we could find there and with what we brought in. I even set the kitchen table with the blue and white turkey plates. My daughters brought flowers, my son in law went out to the woods for autumn branches. Good thing that there were a few attractive ones left from all the wind we've experienced lately. We even found my mother in law's grandmother's old buttermilk pitcher to put the flowers in on the table.

The kids brought their four-wheelers and son in law and son went hunting and got two deer. Great aunt cringed when she heard all the rifle shots as she just can't bear thinking of shooting "Bambi".

Studio time is practically non-existent right now..........but soon, soon, I'll have time. Christmas will be quiet since one part of the family is traveling to Idaho.

But back to packing up about ten paintings............I have a new gallery showing my work in Chicago. Hilligoss Galleries at 520 Michigan Ave. Go by if you're near or visiting Chicago.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almost finished

The cooking marathon is winding down for today. I'm getting tired of power outages around here though. And right in the middle of my pumpkin pie. This is the one (low calorie with no crust) my daughter had on her lists of MUST make. At least it wasn't the pie with the crust as it wouldn't have fared as well in a 40 minute outage. The temperatures dropped in a few hours from 80 to 50's...and about time as I had to turn on the a/c yesterday with all the baking.

I'll mix up the sweet potato casserole in the morning and bake it at the farm. All cutlery so I'll have enough for 16 people and some extra tablecloths along with all the food I fixed and head over there in the morning. Maybe I should stop for some flowers along the way if I have the time just in case there is no time for branch gathering.

The fridge is groaning..........the dressing needs a touch of salt but less is better than more.

The UPS man just delivered my prize for winning " Best Design" in the Summer Creative Catalyst exhibit recently juried by Ann Baldwin. How nice that I got an Arches watercolor pad and a Canson drawing pad and a certificate......presents already and not even Christmas.

I hope all reading this will have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all the people you hold dear. I won't warn you to watch what you eat after making the chocolate pie that could be called "high cholesterol pie".....but it my husband's favorite so I have to make it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Marathon begins....Rachael Ray I ain't...

From the title...you know what this means. The marathon is the two days before Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Dinner. Chopping and dicing....making lots of cornbread for dressing has begun. No bread in this East Texas dressing either....100% cornbread, eggs, onions, celery, sage, salt and pepper to taste and plenty of broth from a hen...no turkey. Turkey is a whole separate thing. Gotta have that good ole fat hen or it just won't do. My son and his wife are bringing a Cajun fried turkey from Louisiana...okay.. okay...only 65 miles across the state line but it's a good line anyway. It'll be something new like the year my son in law made tur-duck-in...or however you spell it. I keep thinking I've got to make something more healthy and less of it, too. You know that never works since everyone has their favorite thing that we really MUST have.

I've been to the grocery store a couple of times already but I must remember to get another fridge 'cause there is never enough room. Then there is the fact that I can't make up my mind between a couple of different sides so I buy for both just in case. No time for homemade rolls this year either. I try to make them every year but this year I'll be hauling all this to the farm 30 miles away and I just can't do it all and haul it, too. Another thing...no microwave and a huge kitchen with hardly any working counter space and work pattern is non existent. I have to do it all mostly here. Wish I could have the time for walking down through the pastures and woods looking for branches and leaves for decoration like my mother in law used to do.

This year I'm dedicating this Thanksgiving day to our dear papa and granny. They passed away 18 days apart in Sept/Oct.....We had so many wonderful holidays over there at the farm/ranch, and now they're gone. Maybe we'll have the place next year, and then, maybe not so this year is the year. It won't be the same without them and their generosity and love of sharing a good meal and talk with the people they love most....but we'll try.

Oh yeah....the Rachael Ray mention.....such a lovely, energetic young woman and she was on TV when I started this...so I remembered her tip for having a "garbage bowl'.....good tip, too, Rachael. Maybe someday I'll have my TV and computer in range of the kitchen so I can actually listen and write without running all over the house.

Back to the chopping.............

Continued...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whirlwind trip




. 1954-55 Barbara Hepworth, Two Figures
Teak and paint
(57 x 24 x 17 1/2 in.)


A Whirlwind still....I don't leave here until noon...or the airport anyway.

The trip to Chicago has been so much fun. I've never been to this city and it is bustling and moving all the time. The Gold Coast B & B was a fantastic place to stay and situated so well for getting around the downtown areas. One of my Paint-l friends, Elin Pendleton and her husband were here and staying at the B & B and that was also a real plus.

The Hilligoss Gallery owner asked me to send him some digitals of my work. It would be a good place for my work....we'll see what happens.My diptych looked wonderful in it's place in the show, if I say so myself. It could be seen from the front door of the gallery when entering...on the staircase leading up to the second level. The gallery does a wonderful job of lighting, too.

There were two evening receptions so time for just getting out and about was at a premium. I finally got to the Art Institute yesterday. I didn't want to miss the Jasper Johns "Gray" show that just opened. Although I thought gray would be a little too much for me, I was intrigued by his work, the mark-making and layering. I should have bought the catalog since it appears to have wonderful photos of the work...I'm.too cheap so I'll get it later maybe online. I look forward to reading more than you can read walking around reading wall cards. No photos were allowed for temporary shows so I don't have any. I did take a few of other works in the Permanent Collection....then remembered I didn't take a photo of the wall cards for them so I only remember for sure a Kurt Schwitters, and Barbara Hepworth piece.

Leaving the Institute there were protestors about the war milling around and a fellow playing sax...what a combination. I walked for a ways and even came across the "Bean" and other sculptures in parks as I walked. Then I even crossed the Chicago River and took this picture from the walkway.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Am I lucky ???


What a fantastic start to my trip to Chicago. Of course, like everyone else I have wonderful kids. I go to Dallas frequently since my oldest daughter has a condo there. It is always so much fun to experience the vitality of a large city and she lives in a great area for getting around.

When I took my stuff in and put my overnight case in my room....there was a beautiful chocolate box with a ribbon on it on my pillow. She was out of town but took extra trouble to make her mom feel good...I'm gonna cry.

I had time to relax so I went shopping.....didn't buy a thing. Isn't that a great feeling...didn't see a thing I needed. So, I'm set for Chicago whatever weather, As my friend Pat tells me every time I wan to pack everything and anything....."you aren't going to outer Slobovia...if you need it, you can buy it there."

Chicago, here I come..........tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Commissions


My friend Robin mentioned recently she was glad to see that I didn't have a problem with getting a commission to look like another painting I'd done previously.

All my galleries and a design firm all wanted The Red Thread. So I was asked if I could make another diptych very similar. Of course, I said yes. Yes, that is if it's okay to make something similar and not an exact duplicate. So I set to work and did this as The Red Thread 2. I realized the color is a little more emphatic than the first one. When I put them up side by side just now, I see that the "sky" is also a lot bluer and this new one is a lot more detailed in the foreground. I like both of them but the first one is a little more subtle and more monochromatic. Hope the design firm likes the second one the way it is since it is "similar". Guess we'll see soon enough.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Same 'ole, Same 'ole


I worked like a demon and got the diptych similar to The Red Thread 90% finished. Then I found out the contract wasn't in the mail after all. Why is it that with design people it's always "hurry up and wait"? Yeah...I know, they need to know what the artist can do, how much and how fast, then they submit to the client and they also wait just like we do for the final contract.

My large canvases were ready yesterday so I'll be "prepared" if nothing else.

Oh well, waiting is one of those things we all have to do sometimes. So, it was a good time for a little break........and those darn trick or treaters, came got their chocolate candy and for the first time in my 39 1/2 years in this house someone threw eggs at my newly washed SUV and house. What gets into their minds you wonder that they don't know that eggs can actually ruin the finish of paint on an auto? I'm just happy to have found it so quickly in the morning before it set up too long or the heat hit it.


Oh yeah.......these little Gremlins are two of my grandkids. They got the first chocolate picks, of course.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back in the studio


I've been back in the studio but haven't found anything to post to the blog. Seems like I'm always prefacing my blog entries with apologies for not posting. I'm going to stop doing that.

Usually I yell hallelujah to have nice sunny weather but I'm getting ready for a little cooler weather and I need rain on my lawn...........SO today the cool front is due to arrive.

We're still in limbo on the farm/ranch but that will go on for some time. In the studio I'm preparing for a 40 x 70 diptych for a client in Austin, TX........also another the same size that is not divided into two canvases. The first one will be along the lines of The Red Thread and the other similar to Collioure 3, except as a horizontal rectangle instead of a square. (image cropped and shown).

I don't have that great a memory for all the layers of all my paintings so I'll just have to wing it and hope it works out. Sometimes later paintings are better and then there are the times that the first ones hold the "magic" that is gone when that one is finished. We'll see. Someone mentioned a quote (I am so bad at remembering things verbatim)........to the tone of "good enough is not good enough". That's my philosophy as well so I'll be trying for excellence, not just good enough.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Guess what, another red painting!


Another red painting! I was working on this one before I left for colony and decided to not take it with me. All the family emergencies have kept me from getting back to it until last night. I think the colony visiting artist, Randall LaGro was right. Some paintings are finished when you come back to look at them again with new eyes. This one had a little tweaking to do but from a distance you wouldn't know I did any more to it.

I was rushing around today looking for a box to ship a painting to an Austin, TX gallery. They need to be able to show a client my actual work before commissioning a painting. Everyone seems to want "The Red Thread"....these people included, so I might be making a similar painting on down the line. The original just got to the Hilligoss Galleries in Chicago this afternoon. It will be included in the Women Artists Of The West show there, opening November 9 and 10. If anyone will be in the downtown Chicago area on those dates, come by and introduce yourself. I'll be making my first trip to Chicago for this show.

I'm tired and even more tired of trying to find a good ISP for out in the country.

Wonder what this new red painting will be titled....it's 48 x 36".???? Suggestions welcome.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Good, bad, weird

Good things, bad things, weird things!

GOOD...I got home from colony all fired up with probably 6 unfinished paintings in various stages of finish. I had lots to do and clear out so I could get back to it.....including finishing a 48 x 36 I had on the wall easel.

Do I have it all done, or half??? NO NO NO. I've been flitting from one thing to another and not getting anything cleared. AND then the BAD/SAD, my mother in law died...only two weeks after her husband. Not easy to think and talk about. They both had a long life but we're never really ready to say goodbye...and then we have to whether we're ready or not.

So in the midst of all this all the paintings are still lining the hall, all the paints are still in their wheeled boxes, the unfinished one on the wall is still not finished and even all the images from Colony haven't been formatted or the web pages set up. On top of that............the WEIRD is that just before all this I ordered a new cell phone. WELL, let me tell you, I change stuff like this infrequently and now I even have a different brand so there is a new tech learning curve. This new slider Sony Ericsson W 580i (white) can play music, help you work out and count your steps, take 2 M pictures and who knows what all that I have to figure out how to do. I finally figured out how to get all the stuff from one sim to the other , charge, and make calls at least. Some of the other goodies may have to wait for another day as I don't know how to get music on it yet and heck it has hands-free and ear buds. Maybe this will keep my brain young.

GOOD..........someone is really interested in Conversations, Blue Green but I was on my way to making "arrangements'. Maybe it will go through and maybe not.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

WOW

Wow.....yesterday my Seattle gallery sold a painting to a music producer in Tokyo. What a great feeling to think that one of my paintings is flying over the Pacific right now and will make its home on a wall in Japan....and on the cover of a music CD.

It's been a slow week for art making due to the death of my father-in-law. It's so sad and we'll all miss him so much.

I've also packed up and shipped out two more boxes of paintings to Louisiana...but this time some works on paper. That will be a new one for this gallery as they've always wanted the large canvases. Hope it goes well for their big anniversary in a couple of months.

I did get into the studio some though. I'd been mulling around in my mind for some time a painting that I was never really satisfied with. SO that sucker is now painted over. AND, it was so good that it was red. I LOVE red, maybe too much sometime. I don't want it to be a crutch to have red in its various multitude of values and intensities under ALL my paintings. So far, this new incarnation is very red as well but totally different than the other one.

My order for ten new large canvases barely made it in under the wire. I picked them up Friday before they closed. I am so lucky to have a canvas manufacturer right here in town....saves me a ton on shipping costs. I have to have a good assortment of sizes for the Mississippi Art Colony session next week.

Guess I better decide what I'm taking as I only have tomorrow and Monday to pack it all up. The visiting artist this session is Randall LaGro from Taos. Looks like this could be another great colony.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

National Assn. of Women Artists


Opening reception went great for the NAWA Invitational show, Landscapes, that opened Saturday night. There were four artists from the group there to say a few words about their work. There was a surprise for me walking into the museum......a podium had been set up on the raised stage at the back of the east gallery where the show hung. I'd not thought of the "art talk" as being so formal, but we muddled on through. In fact, it turned out quite well. I'm happy I didn't know or I'd have been nervous.

This week I'm taking time off for family time. Although you know it's coming some day for the aging members of the family, you still aren't prepared for the death of a loved one.

If I'm able to make it to Mississippi Art Colony next week..........it will be back to painting and a few blog entries.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shameless Plug



Beyond My Walls, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 "



I almost forgot.......I need to shamelessly plug a show I'm going to be in
..The National Association of Women Artists Invitational, "Landscapes".

The show will open with a short gallery talk at 6:30 pm this Saturday, September 15 ( I think I'm introducing the speaker, but this is kinda ad lib here and casual). It will be at my local art museum, the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, 215 E. Tyler St., Longview, TX. I'm feeling slightly guilty that I haven't done more work with this show, but I did get it set up with the museum two years ago and waited for them to need a little help. Looks like they didn't need much as the museum and NAWA organization got it all together without much from me. Good thing, too, as this week I've had tonsillitis and a little under the weather for a couple of days.

I've been a member of this organization since about 1998 according to my records. It's afforded me the opportunity to show my work at venues I'd never known about if I was not a member. Some were art galleries, or museums or art centers. The NAWA is the largest and oldest association of women artists in the US.

I will have two paintings in this show.......Beyond My Walls and Summer's End 1. If you are around the Longview TX area through October 27, please come by and see the show.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Conversations with Blue and Green




Finally....I think! Conversation with Blue and Green


I laid in more layers as mentioned previously with the intent to then partially obliterate that layer beneath the final one.

It took a couple of days of mulling to finally get out the big brushes and paint but I think this will do it. I took this picture outside but the light came and went so more documentation will have to follow if this is the final rendition. Sometimes, I find teensy little places of uncomfortable spots to rectify once I think the painting is finished but I doubt this does that much for the final effect. I don't think this one will get any of that.

Here's the intermediate step (lower photo)and the final version.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Waiting for Paint to Dry!

Everyone's heard of "waiting for paint to dry". Well, sometimes I do that a lot. Good thing I use acrylic or in my old age, I'd forget what I had in mind by the time I got back to it. I have found in my painting process evolution, that I spend more time laying down paint and waiting for it to dry, then staring at it for a long time, then waiting some more, than I do actually painting. I have to add all this paint so that I can then later cover it up. At least part of it is covered up. Gotta keep it simple, with interest when you get up close.

If I don't do this, I don't like what I get for a surface. I will admit that if the painting isn't too large I can "sometimes" get a painting I like alla prima, but not often. These paintings are just gifts. The others have to be worked for, not so much physically as mentally.

Right now a third, or is it fourth, layer is drying on the blue/green diptych...and is waiting so I can go in and cover most of that layer up. I finally thought of an obvious title for this a painting ....and perhaps for many others. "Conversations with Blue and Green" it is. Don't you just love it when a series title comes to mind so you don't have to wrack your brain for a time for a new title? I can see them all now, Conversations with Red and Orange, Violet and Gold, ...well you get the drift. And even conversations with circles or squares, or lines or or or..........hum, better get back to see if the paint is dry enough before I get too carried away

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's with the blue and green???


What's up with me and blue/green lately? Seems like I'm making lots of blue/green paintings. Oh yeah, I have to admit this goes in cycles. I paint so many orange and red paintings and then something's gotta give and I paint cool tones for a while.The same thing happens with direction since I'm prone to paint vertical paintings so now and then I have to paint some horizontal ones.

Just hope the trend is for these colors right now. I do read up on that stuff now and then but by the time I get around to trying some new trend, it is no longer new half the time. Guess anything I paint will just have to wait for its own special "time" or wait around for the next cycle to come by.

Who knows as this is only the second layer of what sometimes turns out to be MANY layers, but it's still blue/green. By the time it's finished I might be feeling orange/red again! Of course that will be a lot of paint since these two pieces are a total size of 40 x 70".

So much for the idea of keeping your in process stuff hidden until finished. But, that idea is just not my personality anyway. I'm using this blog to communicate with myself as much as anyone else.

Back to work!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nice Day!

Nice day...........call from Gallery Mack, Seattle, that three paintings sold. They are now checking with me about sending some more out. The Dallas gallery also sold a small collage a couple of weeks ago.........and my show in AZ. So, things are perking right along right now..

......and a Happy Birthday to me for tomorrow. I'm getting to be an old "codgeress"....is there such a word? Well, I don't like it much but the years just keep sneaking up on me and another birthday is here.

I'm meeting tomorrow with an artist acquaintance, Lee Cohen , who is coming up from College Station to bring her work for the National Association of Women Artists' show to be held at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. I'm looking forward to meeting her and seeing her wonderful work. The show, Personal Landscapes, opens at LMFA with a reception on September 15, 6:30 pm- 9:00 pm. Come by if you are in Longview, TX. The show will be up until October 27.

After all this running around, I better get back to the work in the studio bright and early Wednesday morning........or even Tuesday afternoon/evening.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kids are so great!

Today two of my grandkids came to stay while their mom was working. Since it was the last day for them to come here before school starts again, they decided they wanted to paint.

It's been some time since I've had them in the studio since I had so much stuff out all over the place with the wax,etc. Today was special as their granddad pointed out....last day to paint for awhile.

So out came the artist quality watercolors (only kind they've ever used). I hunted for something to paint on and came up with rag mat board. The nine year old pointed out that sister Kayleigh's mat board wasn't as large as his....so back to the bin of mat board so they could be fairly equal. I got all the water, brushes, paper towels and everything out and left them to go at it.

I came back later and they had switched painting spots and Brendan told me they were working on each others work....(collaboration in youngsters already). I noted that they had chosen a complimentary color scheme and pretty good, minimalist composition. (Wondering if they've been watching more than I thought.) Next time I came back they explained that they were going to combine the works by placing two of the pieces together (good gosh, a diptych).........and how they might put the smaller piece in somewhere to add to it, maybe, but maybe not. Heck, they even have been subscribing to my thought processes of relationships. I asked if they wanted to add some marks or drawing to the work. They worked really densely with the watercolor and couldn't lay light over dark as they must have been watching Gran with acrylic. They thought about it but decided, no, not on these, just keep it simple and start a new piece. But I saw them both pencil in hand going at some of the other pieces of mat board. Brendan told me this was really gonna be good. He told his granddad the same thing when he came in to check on them. ...Said they were getting LOTS better at painting.

I can't believe I didn't take a picture. Take my word for it.....blue and orange for the diptych. Blue, green, yellow analogous combinations with a tree shape no less for the extra piece.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Progress, I think!



Progress on the 24 x 24 encaustic...

It's possible I will do more to this painting, but, also, entirely possible that this painting is finished. Now that I've photographed it and see it in a different light, so to speak with a digital image, I know what is bothering me more than just the actual physical texture. It's the little white dots from the first layers....they peek out all over where I don't want them unless I actually pour huge amount of color over them to fill in the spaces. I've scraped, and fused and that doesn't do all that much unless I want to totally melt/scrape down the previous areas. I don't want to do that too much but need to make less visual texture in some areas. Now I think this does work so I'll remember in the future that unless I plan on a very light valued finished painting, I can save myself some wax/time and effort to start with a darker under-painting or tone all over like I do with acrylic.

For some reason this painting makes me think of snow on the mountain. I have no idea what the title will eventually be. Maybe just coming home from the White Mountains of AZ is the reason that title popped into my head. Although there was no snow in August...funny, huh! Wishing for the cooler climate today and all this past week that I enjoyed there at my show reception.

I got a photo from Gwen of the two of us at the second day reception. The show closes at the end of the week. So, go by the Joyous Lake Gallery if you haven't had a chance to meet Gwen and see my work while it's still there in the gallery.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's the process and it's not over!


OKAY....this will NOT do. There is waaaay too much texture on this encaustic painting. Working on a 24 x 24 canvas covered panel is like using a tiny brush and making dots......not the big swaths of color I'm used to getting with the gesture of a more fluid medium like acrylic paint.

First off, adding medium to the untreated canvas was a two day off and on job. Canvas soaks that wax up a lot more than just wood panel. There must be a better way to have absorbency but not so much. Then I got out my oil pastels and oil sticks and made gestural drawings and a design as such. I added more medium...fused and all that good stuff. Then I figured I'd try to add more color variety by getting out the oil paints. Oil paint and beeswax are compatible while the oil is still wet and can be fused together. I'm still bumbling around with my palette of color with the waxes. I don't have a full palette of my usual colors to mix. I guess you can say that might be good at times to get out of your rut, but I kinda like my rut until I decide to get out of it.

Getting back to the texture and limitations on the palette. I put the oils out and they are fairly stiff texture so they wouldn't flow onto the painting. I hesitated to add anything to them as then I wondered if I could fuse them safely. Finally I decided, "what the heck, I gotta thin these paints down", and I used a solvent. I made sure it had all evaporated before getting out the heat gun, too. It seems to be working okay but I missed a couple of places last night putting medium on top before fusing so I had to do that this morning as I could feel the paint tackiness in just a couple of places. Then I just kept adding medium, encaustic paint, fusing and scribbling with paint sticks.

Now I'm at the point where I started......too much texture all over this painting. I know some people might like this all over stuff, but I like texture vs. smoothness....not all over for my aesthetic. I, also, will be doing more with all this color all over....hum, maybe lay down a big solid area.That's if I can get a big solid area going. OR, maybe cover a whole lot of it up and scrape down to excavate some of it again. Whatever, I'll have to keep working although I was supposed to be painting on those two 30 x 40 and 40 x 40 canvases over on my painting wall today. AND it's HOT.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Arizona Show



I'm sorry to say I really don't have any pictures yet. I took two cameras but the gallery owner's husband, Lloyd, loves photography so he will get me some later and I will post some.

My daughter did take a few as we prepared to leave Love Field, Dallas. This is her boyfriend and my excellent pilot, Paolo, in the picture with me. The "in flight" picture is from somewhere over New Mexico. Your guess is as good as mine.

I had a wonderful time meeting Gwen, Lloyd, and all the people who came into the gallery during the two reception times. We even had an interview with an area magazine that I look forward to showing you all later when I get the information.

We had some serious "lookers" and it is the usual thing not to have sales during the receptions but later when they can really come back and think more. One large painting sold before the show opened. And two sold in other galleries right while I was gone.....so feeling pretty good right now.

But as all good trips must end, I am now back into the house getting things in order and will get into the studio as soon as I can to get all the UpTime out of this great cycle right now as I can. Hum...maybe I should order more canvas...and I have some panels being made.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Show Invitation


I thought I'd upload the beautiful invitation the Joyous Lake Gallery owner, Gwen Pentecost, designed for my show that starts Friday. Please do come by if you are in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona.....or visit online at the gallery website.

Opening Reception......Friday, August 3, 5-9 pm and Saturday, August 4, 2-5 pm 1869 E. White Mountain Blvd, Pinetop, AZ 928.367.1319

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Little At A TIme!

Slowly...a little at a time. That's what it takes sometime to get my studio in a little more order. Today I took slides of the last of the small encaustics and printed out little images for all the boxes and stored them away, except for the ones going to the show this week-end. So.......since I had more of those boxes, I decided it would be a good idea to box up the acrylic 12 x 12" panels I painted just before I started with the wax. I didn't have to do all the bubble padding on these but I did print out the little images for the boxes and now they are all lined up nicely in the closet..

And for several days I've had the light box, and a mass of slides I'd been putting off organizing, numbering, etc and filing away....Whew, finally through with that and all that put away. I'm all caught up with every single painting having a slide or one still in the slide camera. When all that film I ordered quite some time back is gone I guess it's time to stop taking slides and just convert entirely over to digital.

Gosh, now I can actually see all the wax paraphernalia all over the table top again.......and the 24 x 24" panel that is not covered in the first layer of beeswax yet. I know, I SAID I was getting out the acrylic but for some reason I figure it would be a good idea to put the first layer on this piece so it will be ready to go when I get the urge to pull out the wax in cooler weather. It takes a LONG time to get one layer on a 24 x 24 with canvas over panel. Maybe tomorrow I can get the center part layered in. I'm going to put all this stuff away and come back from AZ with a studio ready to paint in.

Well......grandkids will be here tomorrow and Curry is back home, too......so I can hope anyway.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is it finished?


I'm trying to decide if this is finished or not. Yesterday I went back to working on the last of the dozen small encaustic panels. I'd been playing around with making another few colors of wax paint and found a gorgeous Cobalt Violet oil paint in my supplies. SO....that with some reds, yellows, orange and a few slight mixtures produced this painting.

It is an intense color painting. First I needed to break up the overallness of the design......and I kept thinking that maybe it needed a little color contrast as well so I came up with these painted and incised yellow-green lines. After I photographed it to send to my friend Pat I realized I might like it better turned around to another direction. Now I have the line on the right side instead of the left or the top. It's funny how photographing something can help you see it with a different perspective. I, also, photograph paintings and put them up on the computer to take myself away from being so close.

I may possibly glaze over it slightly with plain medium one more time...hum, and a tad more green if called for. Gotta be careful I don't just end up with another painting though.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Changed my mind!

Yep, it's the perogative of artists and women everywhere that we can change our minds.

Overnight I kept thinking....why not just use this shipment as a test for an encaustic to go ground (4 day ground at that).......and see what happens? At least it's only one piece. I packed it up good in its own little storage box, put it in the middle of another panel (not encaustic) in it's own little box ...and then more small paintings on the top and bottom. I even put some styrofoam in and around to help insulate and keep it all from moving.

Other reason........I need to get the stuff all put away that stretches from the dining table to the work table in the studio to the storage closet. BIG MESS is an understatement.

On my way to FedEX I got a call from my daughter to keep the grandkids this afternoon so it's a good thing I was already on my way. I felt a little guilty for being so busy lately so we made brownies. Their dad came to get them just as the brownies came out of the oven so they took half home so I won't be tempted and I saved the others for Curry when he gets home tomorrow.

So the work should be there before I head off to the show in AZ and I hope they work for the gallery when they see them in person.

Hum...maybe I can relax for about an hour with the newspaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Moving right along...another new gallery!

I'm moving right along......packing up a dozen more paintings for a gallery in Seattle. I hope that things go well and my work will work in the gallery there.........in other words, SELL for them and me. It's a gallery that has been there for about 34 years, Gallery Mack, Art Connection. Whatever happens the owner is a super nice lady from my contact with her so far. Since there will be one encaustic in the shipment I think I'll wait until Monday so it won't have to be in a storage warehouse over a week-end....and possibly a lot of heat. I guess this will be a test of sorts to see how ground shipments will go with wax.

I got the invitations in the mail for sending out for my show at Joyous Lake Gallery that will open August 3 in Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ. This will be my first visit to AZ. I hear it is very pleasant in the White Mountains compared to the heat of the rest of the state in August. I'm looking forward to meeting the gallery owner, Gwen Pentecost, in person finally....super lady.

Wow.............now I'm finally getting the studio sorted out a little and can get back to working on the last little encaustic panel. (Good gosh, it's cobalt violet and orange so far). Next on the agenda is to work on acrylic and canvas again for a bit through some of this heat. Encaustic might be best in the cooler weather when possible. I did go out and look up the beeswax people near here. It was only filtered one time so not as white as I might like for light paints....but it will do fine for darker or medium tones. I was afraid to buy their white pharmaceutical grade since they didn't know if it was chemically whitened. I'll just have to get that stuff from somewhere else when I buy the damar resin crystals. Sooner or later I need to learn to make my own medium if I'm going to work larger. And I ordered some 32 x 32 and 24 x 24 panels...........

With two new galleries, it's going to call for lots of time in the studio. Seems like it's either too many paintings on hand or not enough. But that sounds great to me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More encaustics



I didn't add a photo the other day while reporting on my trip to Dallas. I was working on my 10th encaustic when I left and started an 11th one at Deanna Wood's one day encaustic workshop. The one I was working on when I left is now finished (I think). I've found that encaustic is kinda like soft pastel, not finished until out the door as you can keep thinking of little tweaks here and there you might add or subtract.

Anyway, the one I was working on when I left is a collage and I used some images from a Whistler show I saw at the Fort Worth Modern back a while ago. So it's titled Patina Series 10, Salute to Whistler. It will actually need more time to "cure" since I used more oil paint in this than usual and it takes longer before you can actually buff it up well.

The other encaustic painting, Patina Series, 11 is strictly encaustic paint......a landscape. I started it at Deanna's studio but just did what I've been doing on other pieces.....loving that texture but being careful that it isn't texture just for texture's sake. After all, it's the painting, not the medium.

One more little 12 x 12" panel to go.........oh yeah, and my homemade 24 x 24" canvas covered panel.

It's getting hotter and hotter, might have to do some acrylic on canvas for a time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stoking the creative fires!

Stoking the creative fires!

Well............let me tell you, there is nothing like getting together with other artists to stoke the creative fires! And I am feeling SO GOOD............although I have to admit it doesn't take too much to make me feel good. Someone (galleries) saying they love my work,hanging it, and I hope, selling it will make me feel a mile high, talking with friends, eating good food with a couple of glasses of wine...that will do it for me.

With all this said...I'm coming back from a 4 day trip to Dallas to move work to a new gallery, Artizen Fine Arts, taking an encaustic workshop north of the area where I will be staying/visiting with my daughter and an artist friend or two joining us.........all at the same time.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Making Panels


What a Mess!

I'm making a big mess........or should I say extending the big mess in my studio. Soon I'll have no where to work/paint. I decided...heck, make some panels for a little larger encaustic paintings. I can do it...yeah!

So I dug out all the metal rulers and a square, an old miter box (although I'm not going to miter), glue and clamps and set out to make the first one of two 24 x 24" panels. These will be framed with floaters if my experimenting turns out to resemble something I'd want to put my name on. (hum...reminds me I'm not putting my name/signature on these pieces on the front...hope that's okay with people if they're signed on the back only).

I'm letting the glue dry now and will then stretch some unprimed cotton canvas I found in the closet over the panel. I'm using 1/4" plywood for the face, and something called aspen wood( not real hard though) on the back for the braces. Seems like I delved deep in my memory and decided I thought butted corners are stronger than mitered and that helped me just plod along since I'm not that great with a saw that you have to put muscle power behind anyway. I placed, glued and clamped two edges that were parallel first (hope that's a good idea) and measured to cut off the other pieces to fit between on the other sides. I did as little measuring and sawing as possible by buying this stuff pre-cut at Lowe's.

I haven't read anything about having to put a coat of anything on the back for warpage so on I go. I won't need anything on the front of the panel since encaustic wax doesn't react with wood like oil does. ...and this will have canvas next to the wood. Will I glue this canvas down or not?....I'm not sure but I don't think it's supposed to be necessary. When all is ready, I will layer, brush on a couple of coats of encaustic medium, burn in and be set to go....I hope, crossing fingers.

he he he...just noticed that I can see myself taking the picture in the mirror of the old wardrobe holding painting supplies.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Storage of encaustic panels



Storage.........solving the problem!

As I keep making more of these encaustic panel paintings, I keep thinking of how to store them in the studio. And how will they be taken care of and stored by galleries. I got out my Uline catalog and looked and looked. Finally, I went to their site and just plugged in 13 x 13 x 3" in the corrugated cardboard category and came up with what I thought would be a good solution. These are called "literary mailers" and resemble a good, heavy pizza box but with the 3" depth. Taking advice from Joanne Mattera's wonderful encaustic book, I have lined the boxes with small bubble wrap and put a piece of glassine on the top of the panel. I also printed out an image onto light weight poster sheet I had in the office...and a small image for the spine in case they are held in the gallery storage this way.........voila! I think this will do to protect the panel and also make it easy for me or the gallery people to pull this work when not hanging on the wall.

I can also pack this up with extra bubble and enclose in a larger box for shipping when necessary.

Now....somewhere on the internet, or in a book, I found a statement an artist printed out to put on the back of their encaustic paintings.....hum, now where is it? I need something similar edited to fit my work. Hope I don't have to just go and re-invent the wheel on this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Image Are We There Yet?


I almost forgot to take a picture of the encaustic collage I mentioned last night. I could change it a little...like scraping back into some of the map type. BUT, probably not as I prefer people to make their own stories up about the work.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

I think this is gonna have to be the title of the next encaustic. Who knows where these ideas come from? Anyway, I was working on the last two panels and applying collage elements Saturday when Curry took the last pictures. I still had to figure out the problems with the first ones. And I think I have....I applied too much heat with the apprehension that my elements wouldn't stick down and not really having any experience with fusing. Now I know it works better to just lightly heat the surface, place elements, then apply a lot of medium, fuse lightly and just let it dry. Then you can scrape back when you want to see more of the collage pieces and leave the rest buried. Or that's the way it's working perfectly for the pieces I'm working on right now.

Back to the title stuff...........my daughter and her boyfriend came by to see her dad on Father's Day and they looked around my studio. He's a pilot...and is going to fly me out to PineTop AZ for my next show at the Joyous Lake Gallery in August. So he said, he'd luuuve to have a wax painting. (I did a really nice collage for him when he flew me to Santa Fe a couple of years ago.) Anyway, after they left it dawned on me that the collage element in the painting needed lots of work and I set to adding a few pieces here and there from some maps from a trip to France.

..........Lo and behold, I looked at it and suddenly the original element of a rice paper with threads running through it looked just like all those big glass windows in so many airport terminals........heck some of my mark making could have been interpreted at runways (lets don't get too carried away here) and then with the map that I suddenly realized pointed to the Salvaza airport,....You can see why that title just had to be.

Now if it wasn't so dark I would take a picture..........tomorrow I will although I covered up a lot of the map elements and it may be hard to be except in person.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Studio Pictures



Hard at work on a couple more encaustic panels......

Curry took a couple of pictures of me working on the next two panels.

On these pieces, I've already got a couple of layers of medium, lightly fused and cut up some collage pieces to lay on top. I put a larger piece on one panel and a smaller one on the other. Now I'm adding a lot more medium to get it all "glued" down.

Who knows what will happen but I'm gonna try laying in some oil paint and layering wax medium over it, fusing, and see what happens. I, also, think I'll get out the graphite and see what happens. I noticed it's kinda hard to "draw" anything on wax so I'll just keep experimenting around and see what happens.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Finished, I think!


Finished...I think!

I worked some more on the latest encaustic from yesterday....I think it's working better for me, both design wise and surface wise. Before it needed a lot more wax build up. As I do that, the surface values and colors changes........so just playing it by ear (no other way)..I applied more wax to the foreground areas, scraping and fusing.

As I was holding it up to get a better perspective I noticed out of my peripheral vision, the other 7 pieces hanging on the easel wall. This one looks like it could be the micro view of the first one. Weird, huh!

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's hot in here!


It's hot in here!

Curry's idea of hooking the heat gun up to the circuit in the utility room is working. So, for now I haven't tried out the new torch....still gathering courage.

But, I did do some cleaning and re-arranging in the studio and got some wax down on the 8th panel. It's still in early stages but heck....it's getting hot. The temps on yahoo say 88 but feels like 94 with the humidity. But since my studio depends on just the a/c coming in through an open door and a fan, it's hot enough to stop for the day. Maybe later if it cools off.

This is just a start...................Maybe I was wanting to see some water and it translated into this beginning.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More tools for the tool challenged!

More tools for the tool challenged!

Yep.....went out and got me a butane torch....while I was there in Lowe's I also got a cheap window box fan and a good fire extinguisher.

I joined a new artist group....the International Encaustic Artists. And from information I'm reading, maybe considered I should trade my heat gun that draws so much power for a butane torch. Got me a little uneasy as this stuff is flammable and I'm not that much of a tool person. Don't get me wrong, I luuuuve tools and art supplies but I'm a little uneasy about flames/heat shooting out of a torch. I was this way with the heat gun at first, too...took me about an hour to figure out this is a neat tool only to be confronted with the power problem. One highly recommended butane torch I discovered had to have a proprietary refill that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find locally and easily........SO I bought a different one and found they have a kinda new model that says it's "all the power and half the size". That sounded good to me as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and don't want to hold anything too heavy for long.

Humm...now I gotta go clean out the studio and there is WAAAY too much stuff in there and it needs organizing again and I can then set all this stuff up. Guess I'll have to get up early if I want to "vent" fumes out by way of an open window with a box fan. If so, that's just the way it will have to be until I think of an alternative. My studio used to be a 20 x 20' garage...but part of it is about 6 x 17' art storage closet. I think now I need at least a 20 x 40' studio ....and preferably with A/C, an exhaust fan and heavy duty electric breakers.....oh yeah, lots of light for my failing eyes

Monday, June 4, 2007

Collage Encaustic images

Who knows why these wouldn't upload in the earlier post....more than likely something I did out of sequence.



And A 123, and a 123......who'd a guessed the title of this one?



I'm thinking to call this one....Old Town.

Buffing

Buffing the two encaustic collages. Ya' know I think it takes longer for the pigments in the wax to dry enough to buff when you use oil paint for a colorant than when you just use the encaustic paints you buy. If it does or not, these two pieces with lots of paper collage elements took even longer to get dry enough to be able to buff up. It didn't help that I kept adding more wax medium either. My friend Christy says she thinks it's best to wait about 6-7 days anyway.

I luuuuuve the beautiful shine you get when you do buff them up....but my pieces are not the kind of encaustic works that have the very smooth, flat, mirror-like finishes. I didn't plan on doing that since I like the real... and apparent texture whether or not it's wax or acrylic.

One of these pieces has elements that are much thicker than the other elements....I was trying to figure out what I thought was the best way to handle this. Is there a best way, anyway? My way is the best way for MY work. As long as it doesn't fall off in the floor anyway.

I still haven't checked with the Dallas gallery owner to see if she's going to want to see these in person.........maybe I'll wait until I get all of them done. What a "waffler" I am, huh! I may even head to Dallas tomorrow for a couple of days but I haven't packed yet. The weather keeps going from sun to rain all within hours around here. Time for the sun to stay out for awhile.

Well heck....blogger won't let me load the two images. Maybe I'll close out this post and then post them later.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Studio Set up

Hum....gotta re-think the electronics in the studio for the encaustic. My hot air gun is knocking out the breaker on my electric strip and I have two electric strips going. I was being careful but, even on low speed, it did it again today. SO...I moved the gun work area over on the other side of the table and plugged directly into the wall there. SO far, so good, but I'm worried. I got DH to come in and tell me where he added new breakers for this garage when we made it into a room so long ago. HE ONLY ADDED ONE BREAKER......so the one on the wall over there is on the living room breaker and that knocks out some from the strips but I've got some thinking to do here. Maybe like call an electrician if I can get DH to let me. He's one of those DYI people but he really has no time lately as he has to spend so much time over at his folk's place doing things there. ...and they have 200 acres to do on.

Well...what did I expect when I plug in a griddle, a pro warming tray/palette, 2 crockpots, a heat gun and don't even mention the tacking iron.

I did get to work about 30 minutes (after heating wax for 45 minutes) before the storm warning came in saying it will be here soon. So time for lunch, huh!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tripping the breakers!



Tripping the breakers! That's what happened this morning as I heated up the wax and got ready to play around again with the encaustic. Guess I had one too many appliances plugged in so it tripped my electric strip. I guess I'll just have to get a stronger strip wattage wise or spread some of this energy about some way in the studio.

My friend, Pat, came over the other day since we never did make contact as I came through Louisiana on my way home from MS. She wanted to see what I was doing with the wax... and see it in person.

We had a good time playing around in the studio Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I, also, took the first ones I decided were finished out and took slides and digitals.

Here are two more that I think I haven't shown yet. The red one is all wax and oil pigment sticks and the other is a combination of wax, pigment stick and collage elements. When I got almost through working on it, it dawned on me that I was painting that tree line base that was showing from my space at the upper pavilion at colony. It's not often I know what I'm painting until a long time later, if ever.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Waiting and the LULL

I'm still waiting for help on the studio lighting but in the meantime, I've got all the new encaustic painting stuff arranged on my 4 x 8 ft work table. My goodness, it looks like I'm going to cook in the studio with a griddle, the heating tray palette, and two crock-pots...where do I put the panels to paint on I might wonder....AND where will the big panels go when I finally ever get to doing some that are larger than 12 x 12"?

I just found an email from Creativity Portal with this article I need to take to heart and paste right out there in front of me all the time when I think I should be DOING something ALL the time. The LULL.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Accidents do happen, ya know!

X^#)&^%H^....has anyone else every dropped a fluorescent tube ? I just did a short while ago and am trying to cool off from the frustration. One of my studio fixtures started blinking before I went to Florida....so when I was out the other day at Lowe's I picked up a couple of tubes of the daylight replacement tubes. Should I try to install them myself....I have in the past??? DH was over at his folk's house doing what he has to do there every week and I wanted to see what I was doing in the studio......so, after waffling around for awhile about whether I would fall while installing I put two chairs up that were about the right distance apart.

Needless to say....IT WASN'T MY FAULT one of them fell out and shattered clear to the next county. And to think I'd spent the morning vacuuming around here in the house and now I may have tracked some of the glass shards on my flip-flops. I'm taking a break right now from gathering up the big pieces but I'm afraid that these tiny little pieces may show up FOREVER over and under every nook and cranny in the studio and beyond.

Just what I get for needing to get in the studio... but what can I do but whine and gripe about not having a helper around here some days

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Goofy picture



Where to start, where to start. I really don't know. If you want to go stay at a large resort outside Orlando (and have a large wallet)...go to GrandeLakes. Beautiful grounds, many places to eat, spa, golf, etc. and near the Disney attractions. It is outside the city so have a good map and a car. This photo was taken from the 18th floor and shows a lot of the way the back looked from that viewpoint.

Since I'd never been to a Disney theme park, Linda said we MUST go to the original park and off we went one day to make a day of it. It was fun and I can imagine how much fun it would be to a kid....of any age. We happened upon Goofy and someone to take a picture so here you are.......kinda a Goofy shot of Linda and me and our friend.

After three changes in the departure schedule we finally got back to Dallas last night and then on home today. I'm now unpacked with lots to do..........oops no mother's day cards went out since I was out of town. The phone will be busy tomorrow.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Orlando

I had a great time visiting the Gee's Bend quilt show on exhibit for the last week at the Orlando Art Museum. We watched the video where they interviewed/talked with the women who made many of the quilts. It's amazing how they describe their process of creating and designing the quilts....different words for the same way most artists describe theirs, whether it's painting, mixed media, sculpture, etc. Some worked with a plan or vision of what they wanted to do....and then strayed away from the original idea and went with what they had and felt would work. More than that, for these women was that they had limited materials available and used what they had so they wouldn't waste anything. This is just a reminder that we should all do this more, for creativity's sake as well as the sake of our planet.Beauty from the detrius that would be filling landfills.

Just as much or more fun was visiting with artist friends, Martha Marshall and Linda Stanley. Martha drove up past my hotel coming from Tampa to Orlando. We then went over to Linda's house and visited her studio there. I envy all the outdoor "rooms" she has there around the pool and the Koi pool.

Bummer, I just looked and found I left the camera cord at home so I can't download the pictures I took yesterday at the resort .......fantastic place here and our room is on the 18th floor looking out over all the pools meandering around between the two hotels here at GrandeLakes. The only bad thing is no free internet access in a high end hotel (and the more moderate and low lend in these companies have free)....go figure, huh! Guess I'll have to pay for a day here and there to check email and what's going on out there. Too bad I don't play golf and I'm a wimp at the spa workout stuff. If I get really bored, I can go work out over at the Ritz spa.....or maybe better just put on my walking shoes and walk up and down stairs, and around the grounds which would be more interesting than a treadmill or elliptical machine.

A big storm blew through yesterday afternoon here...and maybe another tonight. Orlando needs the rain though and it's not storming all the time...in fact bright sunshine right now so no complaint from me. Linda and I will probably take in a theme park tomorrow since I've never been to one. You can't come to Orlando without thinking of theme parks...especially if you've never been.There aren't a lot of art galleries here....maybe that's a good thing. Sometimes all I do is art at home in the studio and visiting art galleries and museums when I travel. There are other things in the world besides art. I tend to forget that some time.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More encaustics



More encaustic paintings. It's been hectic getting being gone for a week, coming back, unloading and doing all the stuff around here before heading for Orlando in a couple of days. I just put the first encaustic up and now have a couple of more to put up from my first efforts. I came home with 7 panels in various states of finish. I think only one needs a little more...and one other is finished, maybe or maybe not...still thinking on that one.

I still have a lot to learn manipulating this medium......well heck, I could learn more every day about the mediums I use all the time. But still there is something to learn when it comes to putting something hot and fluid on a brush and it's already cold and thick by the time you quickly move the brush to the panel. No hesitation allowed. That's good....hesitation is a killer.Confidence is right, even if it's wrong.

At colony, my intent was to try out several methods/styles of painting with wax....different grounds, or adding collage elements to some and not to others, etc. I used the Evans Holy Grail for the first layer on the first one. It dried looking somewhat like a couple of layers of gesso...although you can't use acrylic gesso under encaustic since it is not absorbent and your painting could pop or slide off later. So this gives you a nice white surface to work on. I, also, tried gluing down rice paper with PVA.....that went on well and stayed down through out the process. The part that didn't stay down was some of the collaged papers. I'll have to work on that piece again. It is a challenge to get collage to stay stuck since when you re-heat the surface, it gets re-heated and can come up again. The other pieces were just to paint/melt/spread the medium on the panels ( a couple of thin layers) and then start painting. Encaustic isn't affected by the wood panel surface the way straight oils might be.

Well gotta get back to packing for Orlando. I'll be meeting up with artist friends there at least a time or two ...........Linda Stanley and Martha Marshall. We're going to have a fabulous time Sunday going to the Gee's Bend show at the Orlando museum before it closes.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Waxes and camp update


The connection is sporadic here at camp. So there will be few words. I've got wax going pretty good on 6 of the 12x12" panels now. It's hard to type sitting in the SUV out in front of the dining hall with the laptop on my knee. (not much of a typist anyway.) I think this is going to be a good medium for my purposes but there is a learning curve for just about everything I'm used to doing.
Here's the image of the first one....I started it at home the day before I came and finished it yesterday.

More later...happy hour and dinner is calling.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jumping in off the deep end!

Jumping in off the deep end! Time for my Mississippi Art Colony retreat again. I leave early in the morning for about a 4 1/2- 5 hour drive to the camp near Utica, MS.

There will be no "comfortable" work to fall back on at this colony. I'm leaving all my canvases and acrylics at home. I'm only taking the encaustic waxes, and oils since you can extend colors with oil when you want/need to. I'm taking the 12 x 12" Ampersand panels to work on and a few pieces of watercolor paper to prepare for oils if I get the notion to work with "just paint". However, that won't be as usual either since these oils paints are OLD and I have not used them much at all in 20 years. One of the reasons I use acrylic is because I need to layer and layering in oils is a long time process. Heck, while they dry, I forget where I was going. I am taking some collage papers as that was one of the two main reasons for wanting to try this medium. You can just embed them in the wax......the other reason, of course, is the wonderful, sensuous surface of the wax. Quality of surface is one of my real loves in painting.

I won't even be able to work in my same spot at the camp either. Since I'm using the waxes I need to be outside to keep the fumes at bay. I should be able to pick up a few tips here and there as several colony people use encaustic. Heaven knows I need tips.

This is a good time for this since I don't have any obligations to fulfill right now. I need to do something different, experiment a little, get out of my comfort zone.........and now I'll have 4 straight days with nothing else to do but paint and get together with good art buddies.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Good Day

Overall............a good day Saturday! After getting up at 5 am and going over to pick up a friend, we drove to Dallas for an art seminar and DADA art walk. ...hum maybe drive in Dallas is a better word.

We found the Latino Cultural Center without any problem at all, registered and waited for the seminar to begin. (while looking for the previous link, I found this one that really shows off the building outside...at the Dallas Arts Revue site... All the fees went to a good cause (scholarship for an art student). The seminar was a mixed bag...I didn't get much from it personally as an artist. I know they were trying but some of the hierarchy in the art world just don't "get it" as far as the perspective of the average (is there such) artist working out there today. Most of them think we're all trying to beat down their doors to show our work and that we don't have an inkling of what they do and how they schedule. Only thing is, we do...or I say WE.....I do and so does the artist in the audience who asked the question that I can't remember exactly now. He wanted to know how we could better facilitate networking and more interaction among all the different levels/strata (museum administrator/curator, gallery dealer,critic, artist) or whatever in the art world there in Dallas and north TX. (This was my take on the question anyway). Shame on me for being shy about speaking out so I respect that he did so. Anyway, the curator/museum administration/critic types who were there on the panel....just didn't GET the question. There would be none of any of it without the artist. Hence the problem.

Now, my take on this is that we all need to be out there networking our rears off ALL the time....but how do we do this and also have the private, introspective time we need to create our work? You just can't do it all. In a perfect world, someone would be there to do some of this stuff....and some artists think they need to find someone to SELL them or do it for them. It just is not gonna happen people. You have to do it yourself. The internet is certainly a boon to the artist trying to do as much as they can in whatever time they have to spare. It has been for me anyway.

Hum........sorry about that! I got off on this tangent and forgot about what a great day I had running around to a few galleries, visiting with my own gallery, Norwood-Flynn Gallery, have a great dinner with friends and daughter............but a long day that ended past midnight. NOTE:....when I really want to look at the art, I'll have to go back and take more time to see less....no way can you really look during an art walk as much fun as it is.

On the rest of the good for the day............an email when I got home that a painting at Joyous Lake Gallery had sold within 24 hours of being hung. Thanks to Gwen for inviting me to show at her gallery in Pinetop.