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Thursday, January 20, 2011


I can't believe that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Today along with my other art  endeavors I made a little cupid ornament. Since Valentine's is all about love, it got me thinking... why do they have mistletoe at Christmas but not for Valentine Day? I was thinking cupid would be an obvious choice for a mistletoe substitute, and he does have toes...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wish I could do today over again

Today was one of those days I wish I could do over. I didn't paint a thing! For that reason I wish I could rewind and start fresh. However I was busy all day long, doing other art related tasks, lest you think I was laying around watching TV in my jammies and eating chocolate.

It's gallery stroll this Friday here in Salt Lake City, and the whole week seems to be filled with things I have to do to get ready for it. We had a gallery meeting tonight and it was also our un-Christmas party since we missed out in December. Tomorrow I will re-hang the gallery with my hanging partner Mr. Troy. He is a great hanger because he is well over 6 feet and we rarely need a ladder. Plus he is funny.

On Thursday I should be able to get some painting done. Friday is the stroll so I will be at the gallery that night. Our featured artists this month are Jeff Clay - photography, Frank Fuller - painter, and Steve Halsford - wood sculpture.

The Alice in Wonderland painting is one I did a while ago. It has a lot of collage in it. I liked the way it turned out. I posted it for no apparent reason.
Below that is the card for our gallery with our featured artists' work

If you are in Salt Lake, go to our Local Colors Gallery face book page for a coupon to get a free gift from our gift basket. There have been some pretty cool things in it. Ooops I just looked and they didn't put the coupon on yet. I thought I saw it the other day. Hmmm. Well, print up this blog and take it into the gallery and we will pretend it's a coupon! Trust me it will work. Just show them this entry. :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Follow Your Inspiration

A couple of years ago I painted a watercolor called 'Follow Your Inspiration'. I am a big believer that our best work comes when we listen to our inspiration.

Today I realized that I was getting too caught up in the 'making' of my art that I have been forgetting to stop, ponder and seek inspiration. Kind of sounds like stop, drop and roll, you know, like what you do if you're on fire. I think that's a good similitude for what I am trying to say. When you get inspiration you really get on fire! Except you don't want to put it out.

If I don't make a point to seek some inspiration on a daily basis, pretty soon I get sidetracked. Everyone has their own ways of seeking inspiration. For me, morning is the best time to contemplate my day. I don't limit it to a specific amount of time, I just let thoughts flow as I do my morning routine, exercise, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, study scriptures and pray for guidance.

Today I painted another foamance girl. I put a quote on it by R. Schuller;

"Anyone can count seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."

Hmmm,  I just noticed that there is something I need to correct on this painting. Taking a picture of a piece sometimes lets you spot something that you missed. In this case, the quote is pretty much along the same line of the grass. I think if it were above or below that line it would look much better. To correct it, I am going to raise the grass line up closer to the trees. But I will do that tomorrow. Hopefully that will make it look better.

Tomorrow I am going to seek and follow my inspiration. I know I will have a better day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Subtle Change in Direction

Writing a blog on a regular basis is pretty therapeutic! I have often struggled about which direction to take my art, and have found that just writing a few things down has helped me to see a path appearing. I see myself lying on the psychiatrist couch of Dr. Blogblogblog. (Do they really use couches?)

After doing my first three foamances ( I need to call them something!) I decided I didn't want to pursue that style of art. I call it my eBay art. My high school art teacher would have called it kitsch art. I think he must have drilled that into my head, because I have felt through all the years of selling art online, the kind of art I sold there was inferior to what I should be doing. I felt I ought to be doing 'fine art', but that takes more planning and a lot longer to paint. In my situation I needed to have daily online sales. So I painted things that were cutesy and fast.

Now I am not saying that kitsch art is bad art. People love decorative fun art like this and that's a good thing. However it's sidetracking me from where I think I want to go with this. So I decided this weekend as I was drawing in my sketch book that I would do sketches on my foam figures and this time try to make it look more fine art-ish. It would also be a mini practice for the direction I am heading. I think it's a little bit different from the others.

I was thinking about Valentines - I love holidays! So I decided to make my sketch into an angel with a heart and put words on it. I know, it's still looks kitschy. I can't help it! This is a journey, one step at a time. This foamance is titled Love is Kind and will be on etsy tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When is your best not your best?

Sketching in a sketchbook has never been easy for me. I have this thing about making it look really good. However a lot of the time it doesn't and so I don't want anyone to see it.  I  need to get over the feeling that everything has to be a masterpiece. I am not saying I create masterpieces, it's just that I hate to show art that I  feel is not my best work. Which really isn't true, I have shown a lot of my art that I wouldn't even claim nowadays...just kidding.. well maybe not. :-)
What is my best? What do I compare it to? I remember a drawing I did in the 6th grade of the Mona Lisa. I was so proud of it and everyone thought it was awesome ( I was the class artist, don't you know?) I really had done my best. But was it my all time best piece of art? I don't think so. I should dig it up, and post it. It is really bad.
It was probably my best at the time though.

Writing in my blog today is an exercise for me to stop thinking everything I do needs to be my best. Learning and practicing does not mean perfection. So I am being brave and posting a sketch that isn't great. I have to tell myself it's ok to expose my art in such a ruthless fashion. It doesn't have to be great, it's JUST A SKETCH Cathy, get over it!

I also have a hang up about sketching people when I am out and about. I don't want them to wonder why I keep looking and staring at them. So when I did the sketch of this kid, I figured out something really cool. I was in my studio and decided to take a break from my day job (wink, wink) and do a sketch. When I am painting I like to listen to music or TV, and recently NETFLIX! It's the most awesome invention! I can watch it off my computer. So I was watching/listening to a show on netflix when I decided I ought to sketch something. Then the phone rang so I paused the show. After the phone call, I looked back at my computer and on the show there was this kid playing chess with his dad. Here is the cool part... because the show was paused I thought to myself, hey, I could sketch that guy! He wasn't moving and he doesn't know I am staring at him.

So I saw, I sketched and I am proud to say it is not my best.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm featured on EBSQ's Art Blog

Today my blog is one of five artist's that is featured on EBSQ's art blog! Thank you Amanda! Check it out;

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Art Day Job

In my effort to continue pursuing the artist's life, I decided that with my decision to improve as an artist (see previous blog entry) that I want to make what I sell online in venues such as etsy to be quite different from my work that I will do while studying and practising to be a better artist.
So after thinking and thinking I came up with a plan. I really enjoy mixed media and collage and since my focus of study will be drawing and painting, I thought my online sales would be mixed media. I also wanted to use something different than canvas and watercolor paper for my foundation so I chose foam to be the first element of my mixed media art.
As I began to work with the foam, I started to have all kinds of ideas of things I could do with it. I told my daughter some of my ideas and that I was going to make this art specifically for etsy. Her response was that I needed to do it for longer than a couple of weeks! I tend to try something new and then if it doesn't sell like hotcakes the first couple of weeks I have been known to abandon the idea. It kind of becomes little orphan annie art.

SO.... I had this really brilliant idea- I am going to spend this entire year making mixed media with a foam foundation for my online sales. No more abandoned little orphan annie art! I am going to stick with it for a whole year. I think it will be a creative challenge to see all the things I can do with it. Of course I will post my creations here, need you ask?
I started with a basic idea for my first few pieces. I thought it would be fun to create some whimisical people and rather than do them on a rectangle or square piece of foam I got out my scroll saw and cut out shapes. I posted the first three pieces I made.

Allow me to introduce to you my first mixed media ladies; The lady holding the cat is titled 'Dancing with Cats', the second one is 'Motherhood is Sweet', and the last one is 'Love Messenger'. They are all currently on etsy.

Why don't I just paint one style for my art studies, galleries and online sales? Because my art study is to be uninhibited by any pressure to create art to sell. I want to paint without the pressure of thinking this needs to be good enough to enter a juried show. That's why I want it to be different from my online sales art. Does that make sense to anyone besides me?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm a Home School Artist!

The new year always motivates me to review my life and try to improve. I suppose that happens to most people. The new year brings new energy to me and my work.

I have evaluated my art and in so doing some amazing realizations came my way in terms of experiences during the last few weeks of the old year. Without going into detail, I decided to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and hone my skills as an artist.

I am home schooling myself!

I am making my sketchbook a daily habit and will take it everywhere with me. Currently I am studying a book called Design Basics by David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak. I'm giving myself homework assignments. Sounds fun, right?

I am traditionally a 'paint for deadlines' kind of artist. Which means about a week or even a day before a deadline I whip something out. No more!!! I am taking a journey to discover what I am capable of producing if I take time to think out and really plan a painting. I will not set a time limit to get it done and avoid painting for deadlines. I want to paint for the sake of painting and work towards becoming a better artist. I will create work that isn't necessarily for sale, but for experience. Sounds kind of like a mantra, huh!

As a full time artist, the past few years have been filled with 'producing product'. My goal was to have something to sell. Not that that's a bad thing, as my livelihood depends on selling my art, but that mode has hindered me from exploring what I am capable of creating.

So I thought to myself; how do I make a living, and make art that is not solely for the purpose of a sale or a deadline? At first I thought that maybe I ought to get a day job and study and do my home school art at night. That lasted about 8 hours (while I was sleeping). I awoke and thought that's crazy! Why would I want to stop making art so I can make art?

I realized that I needed to make a plan and organize myself. As you can tell from reading my past blog entries I do a variety of art, sometimes more along the fine art lines and often not so fine art. As I pondered on the direction I should go, I decided that I should divide my day into two parts. The first part to devote to the study and improvement of my fine art talents. The second part would go to producing art to make a living. Kind of killing two birds with one stone. (No birds were used though).

I don't know where this will take me, but I will keep posting my art and hopefully I will be learning something along the way.

The painting featured today is a commission that I finished 4 days before Christmas (yup one of those dastardly deadlines!) It was for my next door neighbor and it is titled 'The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee' and is a painting of the Bountiful Utah LDS Temple at dawn. While painting it I kept humming a hymn, so it seemed logical to take some of the words from it for the title.