Sunday, October 30, 2011


this is a process/progress post. i have been scrambling to have enough new art this month, due to selling several large pieces last month (yay!) and having something in the humane society fundraiser that doesn't need to stay in the gallery for the next 2 months.

i set myself a challenge not to put art back into the downtown gallery once it's been there for 3 months. it keeps me working. also, i see art that has been in & out of there for years and it drives me nuts. i don't want people looking at my work & thinking the same. so i try to work ahead as much as i can and stay on top of things.

that said, a few business trips this month and open studios weekend (which was too busy to make art on saturday) left me a little behind the 8 ball. i did manage to get it done, thanks to studio time today.

here's the progress of one of the finally finished pieces.

these are 12x12 wood panels with tissue paper & gel medium for texture & acrylic paint. the one on the right was specially prepped for the fox after i read the animal meanings book- 21 types of fox (there is a 21 in the lower right corner) which corresponds to the tarot card symbolizing the world (there is a map behind the paint). i had another piece of board to paint fox on, but after reading needed to start over and include the background.

from a photo i took of a vixen, i traced the outline of the image. i would have to grid this out if i wanted to draw it, and then deal with getting rid of the gridlines. PITA! i feel sorta guilty doing this, but not too, as i still have to draw with paint to make it look like anything.

body roughed in, ready to start on the scary head

first pass. not bad, not great.

i am glad to see, looking at this photo for the first time, that it would have been very difficult to make the dark roots look right- bc they look odd here to me. hard to tell what's going on from far away. anyway- photo reference & painting-

i hung them up side by side in my office & solved many problems from correcting the slant of the eye to noticing that the front foot was on a downhill slide that didn't work so well.

husband helped by pointing out anatomy questions (where is her hip?) and here we are- vixen, oil on acrylic background-

she is the only non- bird going to the gallery tomorrow. will share the rest in a future post. for now, bed- hangin' day is tomorrow-

Thursday, October 27, 2011


i had a boss tell me one time that since business travel is not the most fun thing in the world- and this was before 9/11 and airlines charging for bags & all of that stuff- you may as well enjoy the places you go when you have done what you went there to do. made a lot of sense to me. i always knew guys who stayed at the hotel by the airport & worked through the evening- because, after all, they weren't at home so they may as well.

i am more the type to find a good place for dinner, hopefully one i can walk to (because the exercise thing is good & i need to move & be outside) and see where i am, maybe talk to some folks & learn something. i like to see new things and learn and people are pretty much endlessly fascinating.

so, once i saw and did what i needed to in albuquerque i had a bit of time to look around. i stopped at petroglyph national monument. got to enjoy big stormy skies

and get some exercise and see some ancient art-

mysteries in those petroglyphs. no one has yet quite figured out what they mean or why they were created. art? storytelling? warnings? directions? i love that we don't know. it's good to have questions that can't readily be answered.

i also made it to old town, despite a less than stellar (i'd say downright disappointing) dinner the previous night. i think that the hotel guy sent me to a "safe" mexican restaurant. i've had bland mexican food (that's an oxymoron, right?), not what i came for. and it was night and dark and the area looked touristy. which doesn't offend me but i do want some charm. charm was greatly lacking in my tuesday evening experience.

but i went back the next day (my sister said this is one of her favorite places on facebook when i checked in there, so i figured i must have missed something). the first place i went on wednesday had red and blue animals that looked like cattle with strange spiked horns-

and happy lizards piled on each other hanging in the sun

and some of my favorite creatures- flying pigs- (the cute yellow guy is coming home with me)

i got a blast of bright beautiful sunny south of the border color

which i suspect may inform some winter art.

walked through galleries and saw some great (and less than g) stuff. funniest was a gallery advertising "the most modern art" with leroy neiman prints prominently displayed upon entrance. please.

but i saw some amazing art too. 2D, 3D and jewelry. none of which i could justify purchasing. a woman in one store laughed at me when i told her not to take a necklace i was admiring out of the case bc i was scared. but that's how beautiful the necklace was and how tempted i would have been. she appreciated my honesty. (maybe not, but at least i made her laugh!)

anyway- i am grateful that i get to travel with my job. i actually see it as an opportunity to go and see places that i otherwise wouldn't. i am lucky enough to have friends in some of the places i regularly go too. it's a good gig.

happy friday all- i am going to be panicked and trying to finish enough art up to have new stuff for the sunday hanging, come back and see how it goes :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a walk around scottsdale

had a nice walk around old town scottsdale this morning and thought i'd share some of the art i found-

hoping for more to add from albuquerque tomorrow.....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the most wonderful time of the year

imho anyway! love the warm days, cool nights, clear blue skies, snow on the horizon and the colors of the leaves. we had a lovely color seeking drive this weekend, complete with a hike way up high on top of the part of the world we were in-

great color from aspen & cottonwoods- we hit it just right!

got some studio time in- am really sort of worried about new art next month, but i can always put the still lives in, i guess...... i'll be fine- i have all day next saturday..... off to phoenix & albuquerque tomorrow- wednesday. will try to post photos, but you know how it goes!

have a great week all!

Friday, October 21, 2011


one of the things we struggle with at the gallery is people's perception of us. we have fine traditional watercolor and oil painters and photographers but that is not all we are. unlike a privately owned gallery that might specialize in a certain type of art we are purposely eclectic. haven't always been, but we are working on it. still have a bit of the "grandma gallery" perception in town.

the marketing committee has decided that having fun and asking people to join us is a good way to change perceptions. we've started a third friday event, with different art making activities featured. tonight was an exquisite corpse. very simple, parlor game type- draw a head, fold the paper over & pass it along to someone who will draw a body, fold that over & pass it along for legs.

we had 2 jewelers, an assemblage artist, me (notoriously unable to draw, and with no imagination to boot), an origami artist and 3 painters. so 5 of us "can't draw". we had a blast!

the end results were interesting- worked together more often than not, but just plain strange in some cases-

we had so much fun! we didn't have much traffic (the fact that i had the kills blasting- with encouragement from my fellow artists- couldn't have had anything to do with that), but we had a great time playing and not worrying about the final result. great exercise for being loose.

ps- i was the only one who said i couldn't draw and wasn't lying....... 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the gift of art

i got a bit more work done on the tanager this evening. i am enjoying oil painting again so much- love the smell and the texture and blendy-ness of it (i know i've said that recently, but i DO!) maybe some details left (and definitely a better photo), but i think he looks pretty good.

a new friend, a woman i met through the open studios group, lisa cheney jorgensen, came by this evening to pick up some transparencies i had & couldn't use that she hopefully can for a class she's teaching in seattle at journalfest.

lisa does amazing visual journals. visit her blog for a taste. she's an accomplished artist  who is fearless about putting herself and her art out there. lisa's also a graphic designer who contributed a lot of time & energy to our open studios material this year & who has been instrumental in revitalizing the group.

we sat and had a glass of wine in the studio and had the chance to actually talk and get to know each other. it was lovely, and got me thinking about how much art has given me. it's kind of amazing that wondering if i could learn how to paint 12 years ago has had such a profound impact on my life. it's even more amazing how clear the journey has been, and how guides have come along to teach me and to keep me moving.

it's late, and i need to go to bed, but i am very grateful for the chances i've been given and the people who have encouraged me along the way. i appreciate my friends and how open and generous so many of the artists i am lucky enough to know are. i need to bear that in mind when the pettiness at the gallery gets to me- i would be better to celebrate how lucky i am. thanks to all of you who visit and comment regularly and provide encouragement & support & ideas. thanks to those of you who visit & don't comment too- i appreciate your interest.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

must produce! ack!

i need 43 new horizontal inches of art by October 30 for the gallery. i had a minor setback by actually selling some new art- one to a friend of mine & 2 during the studio tour.  which i am not complaining about!

if i wasn't such a weirdo about not wanting to repeat anything at the downtown gallery i'd be fine, but there is art in there that i notice has been in and out over the last few years (and not in a good way) and i don't want people looking at mine the same way. so i try really hard to have new art for every hanging rotation and so far i have managed to do that.

these are 12x12 panels ready for animals. i had so much fun oil painting the hawk that i decided to continue down the same road. love that i can make cool textured backgrounds with acrylic and the use oils (actually alkyds)  to finish things off.

the left panel gets a western tanager, photo courtesy of my neighbor molly with my camera while we were on photo safari a few years ago.

decent progress was made tonight. i am not one of those painters who can finish in one setting, tho if i practiced/ took plein air lessons i night get close. i don't think he needs tons more work, tho. he will get something to perch on, and legs, and more contour.

and the fox. i read about the meaning of fox in my animal book and started a whole new background for this painting. there are 21 types of fox, the number 21 aligns with the tarot card the world. in the background is a map and the number 21.

i have been tracing from the photos for these. otherwise i would be gridding things out & then trying to figure out how to get rid of the grid lines. besides, that just gets me the basics. there's still drawing to be done with the brush.

the expression on her face isn't quite right- there's work to be done there as well as the rest of the body. fox is also allied with feminine magic, so i want to capture the sweet feminine look of the fox in the photo (yes it is a female- a young mother).

all in all, good progress for a night's work, though

made even better because pam & nancy were in the studio with me! 

more to come- i need 'em by the 30th!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

boise open studios weekend

this weekend was boise's open studios tour. my second year participating, the first in my studio. i was excited to have my art chosen for the cover of the boise weekly, the local alternative paper that partners with BOSCO (boise open studios collective) on the tour.

i wasn't sure what to expect, so i set up and planned on working in the studio all afternoon.

silly me! the weather was beautiful and we're in a central location so i was pretty busy all day saturday. it was great fun talking to people about my art and sharing my wonderful studio space. some of my favorite artists stopped by to say hi too, which always makes me smile.

today was rainy all day. consolidated things and set up the canopy. i wasn't going to put anything out, just let people come into the studio, but i realized that having my finished work available was informative. the canopy rocked and maintained its integrity through a whole day of showers.

i wasn't sure how traffic would be but was pleased to have a good number of visitors. i learned from yesterday & had some examples of transfers and how different mediums work ready to show. it was slow enough that i got to work on some art too, which was helpful when people asked questions about my process. (which i normally describe as pull everything out, see what looks interesting and where that takes you- not a terribly informative answer).

at the end of the day the studio was messy but i had lots of stuff in the works.

this was such a great, rewarding experience.
  • i was fascinated by how many people thought it was interesting to tour studios
  • it was cool that people came because they knew my art
  • nice to have artist friends stop by 
  • fun to meet neighbors who were out walking & took advantage of the sign in the yard to come in and check things out
i am energized about making art again because of the people who came to my studio this weekend. established artists as well as those just starting out, people thinking about trying to make art, people who appreciate art but don't make it. i hope i was able to provide encouragement and ideas as was done for me when i was starting out.

this was such an excellent experience on so many levels that even if i hadn't sold a damn thing (which i did) i would sign up again in a heartbeat. and not just to show off my wonderful studio.

best lesson: think about your music! i almost blasted the kills' f$%k the people without realizing it. that might have been bad. then again, i am an artist therefore eccentric, right? :)

i sold 2 of the pieces i was planning on taking to the gallery to swap out next month- gotta get after some art making, so expect more regular posts!

Monday, October 10, 2011

checking in

quick check in before hitting the road (to minneapolis) early on wednesday, getting home late thursday and setting up for open studios saturday and sunday. i had studio time last night & was uninspired, despite a trip to boise art museum to see a wonderful catherine courtenaye exhibit.

i have so many things started and so little close to completion that i am a bit overwhelmed. that and needing 45 inches of new art for november. luckily, i have 12 hours of dedicated studio time this weekend! but i feel sort of directionless. i did go through photos and found some crane and fox shots that i want to paint in a similar manner as the hawk. the creative logjam has to break at some point.

no studio time tomorrow night as it's an early flight. maybe traveling will spark something.

i am looking forward to open studios this weekend. not doing much besides some snacks & drinks and setting up some art for sale (hopefully, if the weather holds). mostly i plan to hole up in the studio and answer any questions. i think it will be fun.

maybe i'll be able to post something artistic from my trip- hasta-