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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mary Jane in Pink - An Art Card

Today one of the things I painted was an artist trading card or ACEO (art cards editions and originals). An art card is 3.5" x 2.5" . It was so small that I had a heck of a time taking pictures of it. The trouble was getting acurate color. I first tried to scan it but it picked up the texture of the canvas too much. Then I took a picture of it with my Canon 7.1 megapixal camera. I couldn't get a clear shot - it was blurry now matter what I tried. Even with the macro setting. And the color was off there too. So finally I took a picture of it with my LG cell phone and it got the color pretty good although a little lighter than it actually is, but by far the best picture. So I settled for that.
This little painting is called Mary Jane in Pink. I am going to do a series of Mary Jane ACEO's. It was fun to paint!

Chihuahua Tails

Last Saturday was the start of the monthly Nibblefest contest on ebay. Because of my frantic painting for shows, I didn't get something done for it. But the contest runs for several days so I could still enter. For my entry I painted my daughter's chihuahuas since the theme of the contest for this month is "Things with Tails".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A sample of my new focus

Here are a couple of paintings I finished today.

After so many years of painting how I wanted and what I wanted, I decided I needed to focus on a particular style. After months and months of thinking I finally am happy with what I would like to be my 'style'. The funny thing is that it is not really something new, I have been doing it for several years. I think the major change is zeroing in on some techniques that I have been experimenting with and then making the decision to paint only in this particular way.

I determined some elements I wanted in my paintings that helped me arrive where I am now. I love impressionistic painting and decided that I wanted this painterly-looking technique that kind of painting affords. Then for about the last two or three years I have used patterns in my work, something I really like doing and wanted to continue. My experimentation of new techniques was using collage in my work and I decided that some of the elements in my paintings would be collaged. Then another thing is there are some artists that I admire that leave a bit of the sketch as a part of the element of the work. I like using charcoal pencil and am using it to define some of the details.

Last but not least was finding that I really prefer to have my subject matter be painted in a more realistic manner. For ebay I have long painted subjects that have been from my imagination. I always identified it as my ebay work, and never felt it was art that I wanted to have in the gallery -not that I didn't try it, I just didn't like it. Also I just love whimsical and there is something in me that just has to put the odd twist into my work. I call my style 'whimsical realism'. So tonight the paintings I am posting here, 'Polka Dot Cowgirl' and 'Laughing Alice' are an example of the direction I am heading.

Hooray! it's taken me about two years to arrive at this point!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Break Through - I think!

Yesterday I submitted two painting to two different competitions. I had worked on the paintings this past week. If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have been trying to figure out my style. Then I decided to just paint and quite thinking about it. I got myself so confused!
So, on these two paintings I painted using elements that I wanted to see in my work, a painterly application of paint, a bit of the sketch coming through, and something that I been doing for a couple of years - having patterns in my artwork. Although I am sure neither painting is a great masterpiece, I was very satisfied with the techniques I used and the finished paintings. I felt like I was finally at a point in my art that I could worrying about 'style' and focus on exploring how I was painting now. Hooray!
Typical for me, I was down to the wire on getting these paintings done and delivered to the galleries. I arrived at the first place right at 3:00 pm, which was the time the gallery closed. Would you believe the front door was already locked, and I had just traveled 40+ miles to get it there! Fortunately they had not left and let me in to fill out the papers and submit my piece. Whew!
The second location I had to be to by 4:00 and it was 20 miles away, so that wasn't as bad to get there.

I normally would post pics of the paintings here, but I didn't have time to take any. So I will take pictures of them when we go to the receptions, one is on July 1st and the other one is July 3rd.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hanging Woolies Out to Dry

It's really been raining alot here, and it's very unusual to have so much rain in Utah at this time of year. I feel like I am living in a different state, having to take my umbrella with me all the time!
Utah is high desert and pretty dry most of the time. So we are getting soggy around here and I for one would like to see a little sunshine.

I was in the mood to paint sheep today, so what else would I paint but wet sheep. This painting is on Ebay. It is 16"x20".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Didn't Paint Today

This is really about last night., that extended itself into the wee hours of the morning. Last night /early this morning one of my sons flew in from Florida whom I picked up at 1:30 am. He had a very long day with an 8 hour wait at JFK and boy, was he pooped! As you can imagine, we headed home ready to go to bed. When we arrived, my youngest daughter calls out that she needed our help! One of her front teeth that is really a crown had come loose earlier (an important fact that you should know). Just before we got there, she was feeling sick and headed towards the bathroom and with her face closer to the toilet than the end that traditionally is, she... well you get the picture. Then after rinsing out her mouth in the sink, she realized her tooth was missing!

Enter my son Brock and I, just in time to disasemble the pipes under the sink. No tooth. So it must be in toilet right? Without flushing it and NOT going into detail of what we did to look for the tooth, after 3 hours and lot of inspiration and both kids asleep, I finally got the tooth out of the toilet without taking it apart! If you need the information in the event that your child loses something very small in the toilet please email me. I'm an artist and very creative, don't you know?

I triumphantly woke my daughter up -"See I told you we'd find it!" After major sanitizing of the tooth and a threat to my daughter to get to the dentist (she's 21 next month and should be responsible to do that herself, right?) she returned to a peaceful night's sleep.
The picture above is my Aubrey - One more thing about the trials of that tooth. She lost it in the grass while camping out the previous night and had to wait til morning to find it! *sigh*

So you see why I didn't paint today. Having gone to bed at 4:30 am and sleeping in and then going to see Angels and Demons (terrific movie) with Brock and my other daughter Kim, nothing more could be expected of me.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Always Wear Expensive Shoes...

Well, I have to say after writing my blog yesterday and coming to a decision, I felt incredibly free. I had been so tied up with trying to figure out 'how' I wanted to paint that I ended up not painting at all or at least not happy with what I was doing. So I think by setting a small goal to work towards, my mind's stress eased up. So guess what I painted? I did a painting featuring a girl with a type of face that I have been painting for years. In fact since 1974! I remembered when I first drew this type of face I was kind of going through what I have been recently doing, trying to come up with a style I could use in my art. My first piece of art with this face was a painted tie for my Dad for Easter. It wasn't even a real tie, it was a painting of a tie with this little person in an easter bunny suit. And I laminated it. Last I checked my dad still had it. He doesn't wear it of course...

So here is the painting that I did yesterday and will be putting on ebay tonight. "Always wear expensive shoes, chickens notice!

Have a very whimsical day!


Monday, June 08, 2009

A Focus at Last

I can't believe it! I just wrote a lengthy post and then accidently deleted it! So... here it is rewritten as best I can, but I bet it will be shorter than the original. (Don't look so relieved!)

I have been thinking a lot about what direction my artwork is taking lately. Last night I perused the internet looking at my favorite artists' work. I chanced upon an artist that a couple of years ago I was enrolled in his academy of art, Jeff Heins.

I recalled that at the beginning of 2007 I set a goal to improve my basic skills. At that time I saw Jeff's artwork and set a goal to take a workshop or something from him that year. I signed up for his newsletter. A couple of months later two things happened simultaneously; I had terrific sales in a gallery I was in, and Jeff made an announcement in his newsletter concerning his Art Academy and that there were a couple of spots open.

I jumped at the chance to get into the academy. His principle teaching is based on the historical french schools of art. You begin in the academy with perfecting your drawing skills (yes, I said perfecting!) by drawing plaster cast busts. It was tedious work! You could spend weeks on one bust until Jeff approved you to go on to the next. Also there was a life drawing class once a week as well. The purpose of these exercises were to train your eye and hand to get the correct dimensions of what you were drawing. Then once you got that down, you could progress to another basic element in fine art.
To get the most out of my tuition I dedicated 3 days a week to working at the academy on my drawing skills. A couple of months passed and some career opportunities came along for me. I was accepted into the Park City Arts Festival, which was held the first weekend in August, and I also signed up to be a partner in a management run coopeative, as well as accepted the postion of vice president of the Utah Watercolor Society. All this and make my daily living off my art. Crazy me! (word of advice, don't volunteer for two major time commitments at once).
Needless to say, I couldn't do everthing I signed up for so something had to go. I decided there was no way I could do my studies at the art academy justice, so after three months I had to drop out with a promise to come back someday.
Well, after two years, with my term as the president of the Utah Watercolor Society just ended, and my commitment to the management of the gallery ending at the end of this month, I am taking up where I left off. Except I can't rejoin the academy (thanks economy!) just yet. I can, however, work on what I was taught there and study the books that Jeff recommended. I will just have to do a home self study course as best I can for now.
The image above is the first bust I drew at the academy. Unfortunately I don't have any plaster busts around the house, so I will have to draw something else. Maybe my fuzzy cat will do. I am also going to take a life drawing session once a week. It doesn't have an instructor, you just go and draw for $7 a session.
Well that's it, I have been thinking my goals out loud here... at least I have a focus. I wonder where it will take me?

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Today I had a busy day, didn't get much done regarding art. I've got several paintings that are not finished and kind of abandoned. At least for a day or two.
I am being experimental with my art and some things I am doing I like and some things I don't. I am trying to determine what direction to take my art. Has anyone gone through this? It is driving me crazy. So perhaps it is with a little sarcasm that I quote Dr. Suess: 'Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one'.