Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 4th--first post of the year!

Back at the gallery and open for business for the first day since closing at six pm on Christmas Eve. This is the longest "vacation" I've taken since I opened five years ago. It was really nice, but I'm also really happy to be back! Things happening this month include working on a large commission piece and doing "30 Paintings in 30 Days" doing end of the year taxes, playing with puppies, and having an exciting art event the last weekend of the month. Stay tuned and Happy Beginning to 2017!

Friday, June 24, 2016

"Star-Struck, Star-Studded, and Star-Spangled"!!

Here it is June--late June--where does the time go? You may or may not remember that my words for 2016 are "Collaborations and Challenges". A collaboration is working jointly with others, especially in an intellectual endeavor. The challenge definition that seems to apply here is "to arouse or stimulate, especially by presenting with difficulties."

It's time for another  challenging collaboration with my friends, Paul Parichan and Melanie Schow. In February, we collaborated on a series of 7 hearts for Valentine's Day with Paul's wire, my painting and lettering, and Melanie's beading. We decided it was time to do it again and this time we are doing 7 stars which will be unveiled  and available at Sanger Art Hop and Shop on Saturday, June 25th.

The way it works is this: Paul starts off by making 7 shapes (stars, in this case) out of wire.

Then I trace them on watercolor paper, paint and embellish them, cut them out, and sew them onto the wire "frame".

Next, I pass them on to Melanie and she adds beads and a hanger. She returns them to me and I add a ribbon to hang them from and they are done! Here are the seven finished stars (without ribbons):


The interesting thing is that each one of us finds something challenging about the experience, but the collaboration effect seems to make it a positive challenge which often becomes a learning experience. When you are given something already started, you have to work with what you are given and it may be necessary to problem solve and do the next step in a way that you wouldn't normally work. I am glad that Paul and Melanie were willing and eager to participate and I think we are all pleased with the way the seven stars turned out. Tomorrow, we'll find out what other people think of them!

In February, we sold all 7 hearts the day of Art Hop and we're wondering if that may happen again on Saturday with the stars. The stars are each priced at $25 and we divide the proceeds, with a bit also going into our Art Hop expense fund. In November, we will be doing trees since Sanger is "The Nation's Christmas Tree City" and maybe at some point in time, we'll do a "Freestyle" show and sale with a lot of different shapes and quotes and no theme at all. Stay tuned for future "Collaborations" and you'll see that they don't have to be "Challenges" at all.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Claremont Packing House shopping mall. . . .

At the Claremont Packing House, a shopping/dining/learning/living mall in Claremont CA. This is all built in an old historic building that was a packing shed for either peaches or lemons--long before what it is today.These photos are not in very good order and I can't arrange them well, but I'm going to post them as I can, because if I wait till I figure out how to make them look better, it will never happen! You will definitely see magic in what has been done with a very awkward space. . .

Miracles CAN happen!

Outside at one end of the "Packing House"

A Community art center for all ages

                                                            Some of the shops and restaurants. . . . 

A bookstore of donated books, with proceeds going to the Prison Literacy Project                                           

One of the restaurant menus

A very old door that must be original to the building--it hangs on the 2nd floor landing

A huge project made from folded, twisted cardboard boxes etc.

There's a comedy club on the second floor too

There is a great yarn shop on the second floor

And a piano studio on the second floor, too.

Looking down on the first floor from the second. On the 3rd level, are Loft living spaces!

February--A trip to a watercolor workshop in Fallbrook!


Observations on my way from Sanger to Claremont (Southern CA)
yesterday morning, February 6th

  1. About 60 degrees when I left Sanger at almost 10 am.
  2. Pink and white blossoms evident in the orchards at Mendocino and Adams Avenue!
  3. Fog in all the fields around Visalia, Tulare, and Bakersfield—laying like a layer ofcotton around the tree trunks.
  4. Gray/brown haze over the valley.
  5. Bright blue sky over the whole ridge route—sunny and warm, in the high 60’s/low 70’s.
  6. Fairly light traffic all the way to the 210 freeway.
  7. Only 1 missed exit and “Terri” (the name of my Terrain Denalie)helped me out without a glitch.
  8. Only got honked at once.
  9. The best place to learn about your car's navigation system is NOT on the freeway!
  10. Had Afghan food for dinner at Walter’s in Claremont. It was really delicious!
  11. I love Ken and Mary Lee’s shower in their guest bathroom.
  12. I love my tiny Basilwood soap in a bag that I got to take with me. :)
  13. 82 degrees in Claremont yesterday!
  14. Loved seeing the “Packing House” shopping area with the shops open. Very exciting!
  15. Slept well, up early, ready to go on to Fallbrook soon. 
  16. Photos of the "Packing House" in the next post!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016: Challenges and Collaborations!

Some years I pick a "word for the year" but this year, I'm picking two. This will be the year of Challenges and Collaborations! I'm starting the year off with a "challenge" called "30 Paintings in 30 Days", as I did in January of 2015. Last year, I did a series of paintings about Sanger, the town where I live. This year, I'm doing a series of small paintings that is called "Signs and Symbols". My challenge is called "31 Paintings in 31 Days for $31". The first challenge is painting a painting a day for a month, the second is posting a painting a day for 31 days, and this year, I am challenging myself to sell ALL 31 original paintings for $31 each. So, I'm off--Onward and Upward!--with the first challenge of the year! (See my last post for photos and more information about the 31. It sounds sort of like a Baskin Robbins 31 flavor menu, doesn't it?)

Throughout the year, I am going to try to do a painting a day in a few other months--probably not ever two months in a row, maybe alternating months throughout 2016. It is hard to do, but it is really a great motivator. Laura Fraedrich and Lyn Meredith have joined in with their own challenge and are each doing a painting or illustration a week for the 52 weeks of 2016 which will be based on one of my Artist Inspiration Cards each week, randomly picked from the deck. You can see Laura's week 2 ceramic canvas here on this link to her Facebook page:

So that explains the Challenge word for the year and partially explains the "Collaboration", too.
The fact that I'm doing a weekly challenge and Laura is doing the yearly challenge is a collaboration in itself, but the fact that she is using my Artist Inspiration cards as the "prompt" for her canvases is also a collaboration. These are Laura's ceramic tiles for weeks one and two!

The "back" of the card that Laura drew. . .  
The front of Laura's Week 1 card. . . .

Laura's artistic interpretation of the Elements of Designs. . . via her Honda 'Element'. . .


In week two, the card Laura drew was this one and this was her interpretation of the quotation:

More examples of Challenges and Collaborations to follow soon!

Paved with good intentions......?

When I started the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge on January 1st, my intention was to post my new painting every day, for all to see. Well, we are now on Day 20 and I have only showed you the first 4 paintings in their earliest stages.

Rather than get terribly behind and stress myself out, I've decided to show you the first 20 in this post and try to do better on the last 11. The theme for my "31 Paintings in 31 Days for $31" series is "Signs and Symbols". Each 5" square painting shows a symbol and a word which that symbol represents. Here are the first 9 symbols:

And the second nine:

And number 19 and 20:

So now we are sort of "caught up" on the progress of this series. As of right now, five of them are sold: Immortality, Energy, Duality, Growth, and Royalty. Twenty are complete, eleven remain to be done. I will try to post every day or 2 until the series is finished. When all 31 are complete, they will be professionally photographed and then be ready to go--mounted, but not framed--to their new homes for $31 (plus tax), each. Stay tuned for further developments!