Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Lot of Catching Up to Do. . . . .

But I will try to get back to being a more regular blogger. I still want to talk about these things:

1. Celebrate Creativity Artist Inspirational Retreat

2. Madera Wine Trail

3. Ramos Torres Winery in Kingsburg

4. Reedley Christmas Art Show

Tomorrow, I'll try to begin at the beginning and start the longish road to catching up! If by some chance I don't get to blog tomorrow, I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday. Keep your sights on the things that you have to be truly thankful for, each and every day. . . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A leader or a follower?

I hope that you are both! A leader who will lead others to my blog and a follower who will become a supporter of both this blog and also the Art Stand Gallery blog. I am looking forward to seeing the list of followers grow in number and I will try to be a better blogger to give you some good content to read about and some good photographs to look at.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Holiday Spirit" Weekend/Madera Wine Trail

Hello to all! What a busy life this is! I want to blog about the Celebrate Creativity weekend and I will write more about it, very soon. But today, I am preparing for the Madera Wine Trail weekend which is tomorrow and Sunday. I will be located at Birdstone Winery which is very near the iintersection of Avenue 9 and Road 36, not far into Madera County.

I will be there both days this weekend, from 10 AM till 5 PM. I will have my large wine paintings, a lot of prints and cards, and a lot of small originals, not necessarily wine-related. I think it will be a lot of fun, but at the moment I'm thinking it's going to be quite cold as it's outside. Brrrrrr! But maybe it will warm up and be a gorgeous fall day. This morning it is foggy because it rained yesterday.

Roy had to go back to work--he thought he was done for the season!--and on his birthday today, too. But off he went. We'll celebrate with dinner out when he gets home this evening.

Pack, pack, pack, cut (mats), cut, cut, load, load, load. . . .

More soon--

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Celebrate Creativity" Weekend--Artist Inspirational Retreat, 2009

Well, my dear friends, the weekend is over and I really hate to see it end. All 3 days were great--good people, good art, good food, good times, good fun. All good, in my estimation. My feet are tired and I am going to sleep in a bit in the morning, and then I'm going to "regroup" a little and get back to my own painting since I have some goals to make some progress on.

I'll post photos and more details of the weekend very soon. Next year, we decided we'll call the weekend "Artaholics Anonymous" and also that we'll try to get together to play long before next November. Maybe once a month, after the holidays--can we do it? We can try!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Sparkle and Shine!"

The title is a saying of Shiela Boyd's and I hope she doesn't mind my using it as my post title for today. I am SO EXCITED to have fairly successfully updated the look of my blog. I added a new background called "Fairy Dust" and a new header that I did myself using Photoshop Elements more successfully than I am usually able to. Yippee Doo! :)

It feels nice to have a new look, rather like getting a new hair style after looking the same way for a long time. I never had a background other than just the plain black before but I find "Fairy Dust" just glitzy and sparkly enough for my taste. And I loved "Juicy" as my header but it was just stuck there in the middle of the space, rather obtrusively and rather badly. This header uses "And the Ring, Please?" more successfully I think and I plan to change the header photo periodically. Now I just need more followers! I have 16, which is wonderful, but I should have more than that by now. If you are reading this blog and you'd like to receive notification when it's updated and have your photo (Facebook profile photo, blogger photo or ???) shown as a follower, please scroll down the right hand sidebar until you see the Followers area and join me as a follower here on "Mixed Messages." And maybe you know someone else who would like to follow me also. Let me know, if that's the case. And I thank you profusely for doing that! :)

I  have 112 Fan Page fans on my Facebook Fan Page so I think I should be able to do better than 16 followers on my blog. I try not to post the same info both places although my blog posts are linked to Facebook and my posts are linked to Twitter. Everything is becoming nicely interconnected and I am becoming more technologically proficient by the day. Now if I could just master Photoshop Elements and Twitter, I'd be feeling pretty good about it all. On the other hand, I just heard of another social networking application called "Google Wave" that I've never heard of before yesterday. Oh, well. . . . onward and upward. Maybe tomorrow I'll check it out and see what other mischief there is to get into. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Day Yesterday. . . at the Art Stand Tent Event

Each fall, we have an event at The Art Stand Gallery called "The Tent Event". The Art Stand Gallery is a cooperative gallery on the Blossom Trail in the fruit and wine country outside the small town in the Central Valley of California where I live. There are 14 artists involved and we do 4 special events each year. Yesterday was our annual "Tent Event" where we set up our tents (to attract attention) outside and had a special sale with refreshments and demonstrations all day.

Yesterday, the day opened with unseasonably early FOG but it soon cleared. The day was gorgeous, bordering on a bit too warm at times in the sun--but a really beautiful day. We set up and started at 11 AM and had quite a busy day, with a lot of visitors and lots of visiting. Our "fans" came to see us and chat, Sally did quick gestural sketches and watercolor portraits, Tiwi threw pots on her wheel all day, Kay G. polished silver and beaded, Deanna and Chieko started watercolor paintings at their tables, and some of us just "smoozed" all day! That would be me, among others! I like to talk to people about my work and answer their questions etc. and get to know them better. I think the personal connection is a really important part of gaining "collectors" of your work and having good sales. I actually had quite a good day, sales-wise, and I certainly had a good day in terms of fun!

I am attaching some photos of my booth and a few others and I will post more information to the Art Stand blog at

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A New Project--Part 2

I next made wings by tearing or cutting pieces of paper doilies and placing them under the body shapes. You could also use rice paper or fabric or lace--anything you like that makes you think of wings and that will glue down fairly flat. Once all the paper pieces were glued down, I let everything dry. Next, I used a very thin wash of white gesso and water to "soften" some of the very stark areas--just dilute the gesso and brush over random areas, lightly. I used a bit of red watercolor at this point to enhance a few other areas and add a little color to the white/black/gold pallette used on all 3 hangings.

Let it all dry again and then spatter lightly with thin mixed black watercolor or black gesso and a toothbrush to unify the whole tiny project. Not too much, just a little spatter here and there.

Once dry, I began the fun part of embellishing with line work done in gold gel pen. Just some random scribbles, outlining some of the checks in gold and so on. And I signed each piece with a fine line black pen in an inobtrusive place.

Dry again! And then coat each piece with a protective finish of some sort, such as mat or gel medium, spray varnish, or some top coat. I wanted to try out some new finishes so I did one in clear gesso, one in matt varnish (brush on), and one with a self-leveling gel top coat. Each turned out different--the self-leveling gel was shiny, but not a very smooth hard finish as I had expected. Maybe it needs more coats. The mat varnish is a nice, dull finish and the clear gesso is just a clear, non-shiny effect. I think I like the mat varnish best, but it is also the one that smeared the red areas the most and that's both good and bad.

When they are all done and dry,  photograph each one; scan each one and save on the computer so you can make cards etc. of them, if desired; and make a label for the back of each one with your contact information etc. Mine will be labelled "Checked Chicks 1, 2, and 3" so I have a record of them as I create them.

I'm not sure what I'll charge for each one, but I'm thinking in the $20-25 range. Would you pay that much for one? They are now officially for sale, I guess, but I do want to keep them until after December 12th.

Their good points? Small, portable, don't take up much wall or surface space--and their legs, feet, hands etc. are quite humorous! Check out the tennis shoes and gym socks on the
one to the right!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A New Project--Part 1

At Sierra Art Trails, Julie Mitchell and I talked more about a little workshop/demo session that we are going to do at Willowbridge Bookstore in Oakhurst in December. We did one there before and decided we want to make the next one much better. The first time, I planned to do a little collage demo and Julie planned to do a little make-it/take-it of paper clay faces. Well, of course, people wanted to do the make-it/take it, me included! So, next time we are going to do an interactive session together,  with each of us doing a part of the presentation/demonstration.

Julie will do the faces, hands, and feet and I will do the bodies and backgrounds. Our participants will  make a card or a little wall hanging.  I have been experimenting with some ideas for the bookstore session and here is what I have come up with so far. I'm sure Julie is doing the same in her studio in Coarsegold and once we both have some samples made, we'll coordinate our efforts in the final planning for the December afternoon.

First, I cut some old mat board scraps into 5 X 7 inch rectangles. The board was gold on one side (the front) and white on the other side (the back). I decided to work on 3 at once so I cut them, colored the edges with a black Sharpie pen, put a black ribbon loop on the back with double-sided tape, and then covered the back with a piece of scrapbook paper, applied with a glue stick. I had to do a little touch-up of the edge with the Sharpie when I was done.

 After the boards were prepared, I started looking through magazines ("Oprah!" is one of my favorites) for pieces to use for heads/faces and for bodies. Here are photos of the 3 faces that I clipped out.

This photo shows the prepared boards with the cut-outs selected for the bodies--which are clock or watch faces--and the 3 heads.

In this photo, I laid down a body and a face on background and I also added some checks with a stamp pad and permanent ink, plus a piece of drywall tape to the lower left corner of the piece with the black and white stylized head. They will be glued down with a glue stick, once I have added some wings behind each figure--so they can be angels, though that isn't a necessity.

I decided that all of these little hangings will have a woman, some words, and some checks in them so that I can call them "Checked Chicks" or "Chick Checks" or some such. Working in a series appeals to me, and doing 3 at once means that I can think in similar terms for a period of time and be looking for similar things to cut out etc. I can also use the same materials for a little while and experiment with the same pallette, same supplies and same techniques on all 3 pieces. If I am trying out a new medium or a new technique, I have more than 1 opportunity to get it right, before it's all over for the day, so to speak!

That concludes Part 1 of the small project--Part 2 will soon follow!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sierra Art Trails 2009

The big Open Studio Weekend is behind us for another year, but I must say that this year's event was my most successful to date. I have participated for 5 years, though I took last year off so that I could go to the other studios, and 2009 was by far my best sales year yet. It was wonderful to see old friends, make new friends, visit with other artists, and get motivated and rejuvenated with many new ideas. Now I am going to get back to serious painting and trying to get back on track in terms of meeting my goals for 2009.

Those of you who came yesterday--Thanks so much!! And thanks, too, to fellow artists Julie Mitchell, Ellen Carnese, and Valerie Runningwolf for a great 2 days. Special thanks to Julie for her hospitality and inviting the 3 of us to join her at her studio. Visit her at her blog and see her wonderful spirit figures.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dueling Photographers

Julie and I playing around with "dueling cameras" at a quiet (?) moment during Day 1 of Sierra Art Trails 2009. We were being silly, maybe because we were tired after all the preparation, the set up and an intense day of talking to LOTS of people. I will include some other photos and try to write more and show more photos after tomorrow.

The weather was fabulous, the guests were wonderful, and there were LOTS of people on the trail today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oakhurst Vision Academy Class

Last Saturday, I taught a Mixed Media class in Oakhurst for Vision Academy. It was held at the Boys and Girls Club, adjacent to the elementary school. There were a few challenges at the beginning--it was "over the river and through the woods" from the parking lot to the classroom, water was hard to find, and we had porta potties for the day. But the pluses far outweighed the negatives. Seven students and I had a great time--playing with new materials, chatting, having lunch together, and allaying some of their fears about trying new things. Each time I teach a class I remember how much I like teaching but I tend to forget that fact in the planning, preparing, agonizing of how to present things, and gathering materials to pack and take.

Today's first photo is of the tiny little mixed media piece--it's only 5" X 7" and will be framed to 8" X 10"--called "Venture Out" that was my demo for the day. The words are on a dark gray background and I just laid the matted and clear-wrapped piece on the scanner so the photo isn't the greatest.

 The words say: 

"Venture beyond the ordinary to a place you've only imagined."

The next photo is of an equally small painting that was a demo in another class. It reminds us that sometimes, we CAN have it all! Keep these sentiments in mind and go out and have the greatest of days!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good News X 2!

Things have really been happening for me artistically, of late. At the Ficklin Event last Thursday night, I reconnected with Ray and Tammy Krause of Westbrook Wine Farm whom I had met about 4 years ago and stayed in touch with via my newsletter. They saw "Italia d' Oro" at the Art Stand Gallery and felt it would make a very nice wine label. Having seldom taken it out and not having sold it, I decided to take it to the wine event last Thursday night. In a rare lull during the evening's busyness, I took it next door (to the next table over) to show it to the Krauses and remind them that they had seen it long ago. Ray immediately purchased it and announced that it will adorn a future wine release from Westbrook Wine Farm! They are thrilled to have it and I am thrilled to have them have it! I think it was meant to be from the first time they saw it.

It will be so exciting to see one of my favorite paintings of mine gracing a wine label on a fabulous wine. I did the painting of a small, nameless hilltown in 2002 during my trip to La Romita Art School when I spent two weeks 60 miles north of Rome, near Terni, Italy. It is a small painting--about 11" X 14" framed--and was done in watercolor on Yupo paper. The enhancements were done with gold gel pen because I found Italy to be truly "golden" and the paintings done while I was there reflect that fact.

I loved my stay at La Romita and am so excited to report that I have to opportunity to return there yet again next summer (July 2010) to co-teach a class with my friend and fellow artist and traveler, Grace Rankin from Fremont.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ficklin Vinyards Event last night

I had been asked a couple of months ago to display my art at Ficklin Vinyards at a special event. Thanks, K.c. Pomering for inviting me! And thank you, Peter Ficklin, for your hospitality! It was hard work--preparing, setting up by myself (which I don't often have to do, luckily!), talking, talking, talking (which I've been told I DO often do!) to lots of people, tearing down alone and driving home very late. But it was a LOT of fun! Good wine, good food, friendly people, excellent hosts and hostesses, and a lot of wonderful contacts for me, as an artist. I talked to restaurant and hotel owners, winery owners, wine and food and art lovers--and more!

Mostly, I took things related to wine as you can see in the photos. I took 3 large wine paintings, some prints, cards and a couple of small paintings. I sold a small matted original and a small painting so it was a nice evening in that way also. I have some exciting news to share in the near future, but that will come in a future post.

In the photos you can see the basic set up. The photos, done on my iPhone, aren't the greatest because of the way the lighting was. But it was interesting because of all the wine barrels surrounding the huge tasting room and because I tried to use the nearby barrels as part of my useable display space. It is always fun and challenging to try to create a welcoming and attractive display area when you are going to a new setting that you haven't previously shown in. I felt comfortable with the way it looked and I really enjoyed meeting a lot of new people from the Madera area. I hope I'll continue my new friendships at the Madera Wine Trail event on November 14-15. That weekend I will be located at Birdstone Winery so you can stop by and say hello!

In closing, I'd like to say that I am going to try to add a little video taken on my iPhone and see if you can view it, hear it and make any sense of it. It is very short and the content is limited. It's more an experiment to see if I can get a video from my phone to my blog successfully. So far, I haven't been able to but maybe today will be my lucky day. (NOTE: It was NOT my lucky day. I'm still struggling with that, though the video is fine on my phone and my desktop. I WILL overcome, but not right now.)

And speaking of "experiments", the last month has been very much a learning process. I love being on Facebook, especially now that I've started a "Fan Page" where I can more easily display my work and invite "fans" and friends to my art events. If we haven't connected there yet, please look for me. My blog is feeding over to Facebook and my Facebook posts are going to Twitter. This is all VERY high tech stuff for me! But it's a lot of fun and it's going well except for Twitter. I am just not tweeting well, as yet! But that will come with time, I suspect.  Well, enough for one post--I'm dying to see if the video works or not!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Information for the day--about Image Posting

Before I get back to work, I'll try to answer I question that I recently received about inserting  and adjusting photos into a blog post. I've always struggled with getting the photos WHERE I want them, with having them the desired size, and with moving them once I have them in place. Well, it seems to me that recently Blogger has made some improvements in the process which make it all much easier and move successful.

Now, you just choose the little picture icon to the right of the work "Link" on the toolbar at the top of the post box. Once you select it, you see a box that asks you where you are getting the photo from on your computer. Choose "Browse", find the location (I usually put it on the desktop for easy retrieval but it can be in a folder anyone on your hard drive) and select 1 or more photos. Once you see them in the window as an image (or images), then--making sure you have your cursor where you want the image to be in your post window--say "OK" in the photo upload window.

Hopefully, once you select OK, your chosen image will pop right in place in your post. Then, you can click on the image and it will bring up a bar at the bottom of the image that allows you to pick size (small, medium, or large) and placement (left, center, or right). You can do this with one photo at a time if you have multiple images to insert, just making sure that you're working with the one that (in my program, on my computer) has a light yellow frame around it in the upload window.

If the photo isn't in the right place, it now seems much easier to "grab" it  so that it has the handles showing in the corners and to move it to the desired spot in your post window.

Maybe all I've done is confused you, but maybe that will help in working with the insertion of photos into your own blog posts. Good luck and good blogging! Let me know if you have more questions about the process.

Dear Bleaders (to quote Julie from "Julia/Julie")

Dear Blog Readers aka "Bleaders":

Sorry I've left you hanging this long about whether Sherry and/or Clementine reigned victorious at the Madera Ag Show 2009. Well, actually neither of them was totally victorious, but I feel that it was a serious triumph in that they both were accepted into the show AND they both received an award. I am happy to report that Sherry received a second in the "Vines" category and Clementine received a third in the "Citrus" category. Let's hear it for Sherry and Clementine----yeah!

Thank you all for asking about them and those of you who saw them at the show last night, thank you for your kind compliments and for enjoying them in the spirit of fun and enjoyment in which they were created.

I've now twittered, facebooked, blogged and slept in (NOT in that order!) so I need to get back to the closet cleaning so that I can move on to the creating. More soon--

Figureatively speaking (pun intended!)--


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What to Do?

I'm in a quandry. I have been reading a lot about how to improve my blog. The reason that I'm in a quandry is that I am not attracting followers in the droves that some other people do.

Blogs are intended to do at least one of 3 things: 
                                   ENTERTAIN or 

I can only assume that people are not following my blog because I am failing to be informative enough or entertaining enough or inspiring enough. So, which one do I really aim to do on this blog? That is an excellent question. I know that sometimes I strive to inform you about how I do things and/or why and sometimes I hope to inspire you with ideas that you may not have thought of before. I rarely seek to entertain you, at least not intentionally.

So, what can I do to gain followers? I am going to have to try to be more informative or more inspiring  and I think that the one that I lean towards most is providing inspiration. My goal in the next few weeks is to provide more inspiration to other artists in the hope that I can attract more regular followers and then have more interaction with them and continue to be inspired (and inspiring!) myself.  I will try to blog about each topic in more depth so that my posts are not so superficial.

I also think that I need to "get out there more" and read and comment on a  lot of other blogs again  and also more actively try to encourage people to read and respond to my blog. There's a fine line between spending time in the studio painting and creating and trying to inspire others to try new things or think about things in a new way by posting about such things here on this blog. Hmmmmmmm.

So much to think about, really. . . .

But at least I have some new thoughts and some new goals and I will try to act on them. For today, I'll show you some photos that may be inspiring to you. Tomorrow evening is the reception for the Madera Ag Show at Circle Gallery on Schnoor Avenue in Madera. My 2 entries were accepted and tomorrow night, we'll find out the results of the judging which took place yesterday.

The first entry is a 3D mannequin named "Clementine", after a type of tangerine. She is entered in the citrus category and here are detail, front, and back views of her.

The second mannequin is called "Sherry", and she is entered in the Vines category because she is about Wine. Here are front and back views of Sherry. The words on her skin are words that apply to both wine and women, much like my painting called "Parallels".

Both mannequins were purchased from the Sierra Vista Gottschalk's store, shortly before it closed it's doors. Both were cleaned, painted, collaged upon, and embellished to personify the category that they were to be entered in.

They were a lot of fun to do though it's a bit harder to collage on a curved, 3 dimensional surface than to work on a flat piece of paper. I used mat medium and super heavy mat medium as the "glue" to attach the magazine scraps and collage and rice paper pieces and then painted, stamped, pinned, sewed and otherwise attached the details. On Clementine, the part that took the most time was beading the 40+ ribbons that make up the asymmetrical "skirt" and "sleeve". I spent a lot of time considering the design and the balance. Actually, I employed everything I know about the principles and elements of design in executing these 2 creatively unusual pieces.

Hopefully, I've said something to inform you and to inspire you in this post. The bottom line is: Don't be afraid to try anything that you can conceive of as a possibility. Explore! Experiment! Play! Have fun! And enjoy the final product! 

In conclusion, I have made 2 other women--Candy, because she is pink and sweet--and Florence, because she is covered with flowers. My intent is to make (sew) an apron to go with each of the 4 women and the apron will accompany them when they leave my home and go to someone else's. These women can be purely decorative and artistic elements or they can hold an item of clothing or jewelry. In any case, I've loved creating them and carrying them through to completion. I look forward to doing more--hopefully, one for "Nudes in November" at Chris Sorensen's Studio on South Van Ness in Fresno.

Onward and Upward! Sparkle and Shine! Celebrate Creativity on a daily basis. . . .and "Live Art!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Show at Allard's Art on Blackstone

Well, the Allard's show is up--14 full sheets and 4 quarter sheets--and I am very pleased with how it looks. Mike and Sheryl did a fantastic job hanging it. I went on Saturday morning to set up for my demonstration (which I never really did at all because I spent the time talking to people instead) and was available between 11 AM and 3 PM.

I always wake up the day of a demo or workshop and think: "What if no one comes?" That never materializes, thank goodness, but there weren't a lot of people visiting on Saturday. Not a lot of the people that I thought might come by anyway--but there were several new people that I had time to really chat with and a couple of people that I reconnected with from years past. So, all in all, it was a really nice, relaxed day with a few sales and hope for more during and after the show. I really do it more for the exposure and the opportunity to show my work as a "body of work" than for the actual sales.

After Allard's, we (Roy and I and fellow artist and friend Patrick Lacey) went "up the hill" to Oakhurst for the Sierra Art Trails preview exhibit. It was a lot of fun--tons of artists, beautiful art, wonderful food, music by the Eva Scow Trio, and good company. Someone made a Margarita Key Lime cheescake with raspberries that was to die for! (A whole weeks worth of Weight Watchers points in the one piece most likely, but I suffered through it. :))

More photos soon, I hope--a very busy and fun Saturday was had by all, I think!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Evening

 Well, things are moving right along! I have the 2 mannequins, Clementine and Sherry,  on the dining room table, ready for their ride to the Circle Gallery in Madera tomorrow. I also have almost all 16 paintings cleaned, labeled and ready to go to Allard's on Thursday. I have 2 to finish framing tonight because I just picked them up from the photographer this afternoon. They are "Cheers!" and "Siren Song" and I showed you a quick snapshot of them before but tonight I will post the professional photo of each of them and also of "Angel Dance."

These are numbers 3, 4, and 5 in my ongoing series of the same 3 women. The first 2 were "Parallels" (terms that apply to both wine and women) and "Be Ribboned", about Friendship.

So, here they are--thanks to Aaron Mullins at Mullins Editions in Old Town Clovis. I can't link to his website at the moment because he is making some changes in his studio and business contact information now that his dad, photographer Paul Mullins, has moved to a studio in downtown Fresno. The contact info at the bottom of my blog will still get you to Aaron. I highly recommend him. He does excellent work and is willing to take the time to work closely with artists seeking quality giclee reproductions.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day to all! Kathleen's September Newsletter

I hope some of you took the day off and didn't labor at all. I did a lot of "odds and ends" and tried to get paintings ready to take to Allard's Art on Thursday. I need about 16 and I'm getting close to being ready for the month that they will be there. I will be demonstrating there next Saturday, September 12th, from 11AM till 3 PM. More details of upcoming events in a moment. . . . I'll see if I can attach a copy of my current September newsletter that I just sent out.

If it appears as a small image above this post, you should be able to double click on it and see a much larger version of it. Plus you should also be able to print it out for reference. Try it and let me know if it works or not.

I hope to see you this month at one or more of the events I am involved with. If you shop at Trader Joe's on Blackstone in Fresno, just walk in next door to Allard's between September 11th and October 6th and see the show. Then, email me and let me know what you thought and which painting(s) you like best and why. We always love feedback!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Newest Painting and Latest Adventure

The painting above is called "In the Name of the Rose" and it's one I started at the workshop I went to in January in San Jose. I stayed with Grace and we went together. The images in the painting were inspired by the icons at the Rosecrucian Museum which was directly across the street from the middle school where the workshop was held. The painting started out all bright pinks and oranges but then later I "punched" it up with layers of glazes which really changed the whole feeling of the piece. I let it sit for quite a while before I finished it because I wasn't thrilled with it,  but now, I like it much better though I'm not sure it has an adequate warm or cool dominance. It's pretty evenly split, at the moment, though it looks a little different in person.

If you have been to the Rosecrucian Museum in the not too distant past, you may recognize the (ever-present on the grounds) banana plant, the figure from the top of the fountain (lower left corner of the painting), the columns and their toppers, the Moorish arch, the ram's horn from the statues out front of the museum, the Friendship Garden gate (in the lower right corner, with many small geometric shapes) and other figures that I may have forgotten to list. I did enter the painting last week at the ACA show at Chris Sorensen's studio and it got a 3rd place in the Mixed Media category.

Well, I need to get back to work on my latest adventure. I'm using up 10 inch square plexi pieces to make some small stacked paintings. Really fun! But a challenge when you're painting or drawing on each of 4-6-8 sides because it's so easy to get things upside down or backwards. I'll get better once I've done a few more. I think they will be nice small pieces for SAT which will be here long before we are all ready for it. The preview reception is on Saturday, September 12th in the evening.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello to all on the last day of August, 2009!

Busy, busy, busy week(s) and weekend. I entered 3 paintings at the ACA Major Open Show at Chris Sorensen's studio last Saturday. My favorite of the 3, Pina Colada, received a first (out of 12 entries in Contemporary). "Giuseppe" got an honorable mention in the same class and "In the Name of the Rose" (brand newly finished!) got a 3rd.

Yesterday was a sitting day at the Art Stand Gallery and today Roy and I delivered 6 paintings to Fresno City Hall for the ACA Signature Members Show. Both the Sorensen Show and the City Hall Show will be up through September.

Art Hop for both of them is Thursday, September 3rd from 5-8 PM. Hopefully, some of you will be on the "Art Hop Trail" that night and will be able to come out to see both shows. See you then!

Is this the true meaning of "bed head"?

photo posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Here is a quick, cell phone photograph of the fourth painting in the 3 Women series. It's very bright and cheerful, which is what I had in mind for a painting about celebration. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Now I have "Parallels", "Be-Ribboned", "Angel Dance", and "Cheers!" The mermaids one is almost done, too, but no title in mind so far.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Catching Up

Where do the hours go? Sometimes at the end of the day, when I try to think back on what I did that day, I can't account for all the hours that have passed. Everything takes so much time, it seems. Either I'm getting slower these days, doing a lot more, or doing it all more thoroughly! I'm not sure which it is.

I've actually almost finished a full sheet painting in the last 2 days and have a second one about half done. I'm back to work on the series of women--I ultimately want 12 of them, all with the same 3 women (a blonde, a redhead, and a gray-haired one) and a meaningful quotation or thought. I have 3 done--Parallels (between wine and women), Be-Ribboned (about friendship), and Angel Dance (garden angels). Angel Dance is being photographed this week because I've had a lot of requests for cards and/or prints of it.

Now I'm working on one about celebrating and one about mermaids and I have one about food and friends in mind to do next. All with the ultimate goal of making a calendar out of the 12 of them but that's not going to happen in time to be the calendar for 2010. I am trying to come up with an idea to make it something that can be used for more than one year or have the images be frameable or useful after the year is over. So many ideas, so little time!?

NEWS FLASH! Both of my 3D submissions were accepted into the Madera Ag Show! The hurdle of rejection due to experimention or "thinking too far outside the box" does not have to be jumped! Now, to finish them up, get them there and see what happens when people see them. They are both mannequins from the now-defunct Gottschalks' stores--all done up with paint, collage, pen, ribbon, beads and more. :) LOTS of fun to do--eye candy for the eyes and mind, in my estimation. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hummingbird Heaven

We enjoy watching the hummingbirds out our bedroom patio window. This year, they started off very slowly. We only had 3 for a very long time, then about 10, and now there are over 20! The other afternoon, I stood outside by the feeders, camera to my eye, and just waited patiently for the birds to come down to eat. The longer I stood quietly, the more birds came and the longer they stayed. I took lots of shots and many of them were blurred or empty, but many of them were also amazing. I will include a few so you can see them, too. I think there are 3 varieties, but it's hard to tell. The Rufus, with their rust-colored tail feathers, were the last to arrive.

I was reading about hummingbirds as "totem" figures and found out that they represent joy. Isn't that interesting?

Yesterday, there were 7 people at my mixed media class, all artists in their own rights. We had a fun morning together and all appreciated the unseasonably cool weather. This afternoon, Roy and I went to see "Julie & Julia" and both of us loved it. If you haven't seen it, DO!