Sunday, November 30, 2008

Already the last day of November

Where does the time go? It seems like every year, the weeks and months fly by more quickly. November was an exciting month this year, with the first annual "Celebrate Creativity" Artists' Retreat held here at our home the weekend of November 14, 15, and 16. It was an experiment and opportunity to do something I've long wanted to do--get a lot of artists together to work and visit and share ideas, techniques, and thoughts in a none-threatening setting. It was a great success, judging by the comments shared and the "feeling tone" of the weekend. 

Food was very informal and lunches were a lot of fun. We learned so much about each other and the food seemed to be multiplying in the refrigerator each night so that we had a lot of fun things to eat each day. My friend, Grace, came down from Fremont and stayed the whole weekend and a few extra days so she and I got in even MORE painting/visiting time! I loved the whole experience and plan to repeat it again next year, a weekend earlier but also in November. I am adding a list feature under my profile on the right hand side of my blog with upcoming dates and events so you will know where I will be showing work and teaching classes throughout the year.

Hopefully, today's post will include some photos from the retreat. Cross your fingers! I started off well on Friday and didn't take any more photos on Saturday and Sunday. I needed to have someone else in charge of getting some photos of the event but never asked anyone to do it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving--yesterday!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, with family and friends. We were invited out to friends this year and it was a really nice dinner and afternoon. So much to be thankful for!

I thought I had posted yesterday, but must have forgotten to actually "publish" it. I am still learning this whole blog thing, you know!?

Last night, I prepared several wet into wet backgrounds and tonight I worked on them. They all started with versions of the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and 3 areas of each color, one large, one medium-sized, and one small. I let them dry and use them as backgrounds for paintings. It's an easy and fun way to get started. I wish I had a photo of a painting done in a similar way to put up with today's post, but I can't find one at the moment. So, today's painting will be "Strong Language", a mixed media painting with a definite, very obvious message. It did start with a wet into wet background that I added a lot of collage on top of. It has been my most popular giclee print, but I haven't sold the original painting which is larger than 30" X 38" and it is hanging on the hall wall (in my view) as I type this message!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Rainy Day

Here we are on the day before Thanksgiving in 2008. The weather has been amazingly warm and beautiful, but today we had some much-needed rain. I was "sitting" at the Art Stand Gallery all day, trying to stay warm and dry, enjoying a relatively quiet day of knitting and listening to podcasts and wishing for more customers.

Being a member of 3 cooperative galleries is an interesting experience. The ones I belong to are the Art Stand Gallery in Minckler, near my home at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills, The Madera Arts Council/Circle Gallery in Madera, and Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst. It's a challenge to fit the "sitting days" in, but it's a good opportunity to be involved in galleries with other talented, committed artists.

One of the paintings I have at the Art Stand Gallery now is called "Jewel Tones" . It's a painting of wine bottles, done in jewel tones, with magazine paper collaged reflections. Wine paintings are currently quite popular and it is one of several that I have done. The series that I am working on, in fact, is called "Wine, Women, and Words. . . . and a Few Bits of Song." More on that another day. . . . 

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why "Mixed Messages"?

In my long career as an educator, the term "mixed messages" had a bad connotation. But when I was searching for just the right name for my paintings/website/blog etc., the term "Mixed Messages" seems to be exactly right. Most of my paintings are created using mixed media and many of them convey messages, using words and symbols or abstract images. So, the once-looked-down-upon term has become the meaningful identifier of my style and my art.

I will try to include an image with each post and a short description of it. I am also working at including a slide show of my paintings. Over time, I hope the daily or weekly posts can show you my progress on new paintings.

Today's painting is called "A Question of Time." It is a full sheet watercolor (38" X 30") that is a self portrait of me when my creative time used to start after 5 PM when my "day job" was finished. Now, painting can happen any time of the day or night.