Saturday, February 28, 2009

The last day of March

Well, the framing is done, the driving is done. . . .and the judging is done, too. The ACA show at Arts Visalia was judged this afternoon by the curator of the Bakersfield Art Museum. There were around 90 entries and the gallery holds about 55 paintings comfortably, so quite a few were turned away. The good news is that all 3 of my paintings were accepted and will hang through the end of March. The bad news is that I had hopes of a placement or 2 and there were none. Not even an honorable mention. Oh, well, it's just like when we were showing dogs for years and years--every day is a different judging situation. The judge is different, looking for different things, and the competition is different also. I am pleased with all 3 of the paintings and, to me, that's what counts . . . . but it's nice when the judge and/or other viewers like them also.

The reception is Friday night, March 6th, from 5-8 PM. Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Blossom Trail

This is the time of year that I am thrilled to live on the Blossom Trail. Today, I had to stop the car and get out to take some photos of an orchard that I passed. It was a mass of white almond blossoms, as far as the eye could see. The orchard was beautifully maintained, near Ashlan and McCall, and I just couldn't resist. I didn't have my camera in the car, so these were taken with my iPhone camera, but they turned out amazingly well. The funny thing is that last weekend there were just a few isolated, usually singleton, trees in blossom. Today, a lot of the white orchards are in blossom and the pinks are starting to come. Tomorrow will be gorgeous and so will next week. Next weekend is the Blossom Trail official weekend and they will be beautiful but maybe on their way "out" by then. If you have a chance for a drive in the country to the east of Fresno and Clovis this weekend, I'd highly recommend it! The sights and fragrances are fantastic. If you're out, be sure to stop at The Art Stand Gallery at Highway 180 and Frankwood Avenue in the area called Minkler.

The bright pink quince blossoms are on a small tree in my yard. You see white, light pink, medium pink, almost red, and the orangish-pink quince blossoms all at this time of year.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday evening

I am still finishing the framing for the ACA Visalia Show at Arts Visalia, with receiving on Saturday. It is a beautiful gallery, in a very old building right across the street from the long famous Depot Restaurant. It is close to downtown which is home to many wonderful restaurants, the old Fox Theater and some other historic buildings. I will try to take photos to post while I'm there on Saturday and again at the reception on March 6th, from 5-8 PM. You are, of course, all invited!

The address for the gallery is 214 E Oak Ave in Visalia, California, 93291. The phone number is (559) 739-0905 and I would advise calling ahead to check on their open hours, normally on Tuesday through Saturday, usually with some evening hours during each week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The framing saga continues--

Well, last night, I told you I had 2 out of 3 paintings framed for Saturday's show. Tonight, everything was going well on the last one--I trimmed the foam board, cut the white top mat, added the light green inner mat, secured the painting, stacked everything up, cleaned the plexiglass, and stripped off the blue plastic on both sides. Then, after cleaning off every cat hair in the house that came to socialize on the surface of the white top mat, I took one last long look before adding the metal frame strips. The bad news was that there was a defect in the plexi and I couldn't finish the job. :( Darn. So, tomorrow, I'll have to take that piece back and get another. See why I didn't wait until Friday? (Although I have many times in the past!) I guess the good news was that I did see it and didn't continue and have it go up at the show with a noticeable problem.

If it's Tuesday and I have 2 out of 3 paintings framed for the show Saturday. . . . .

. . . . . I must be WAY ahead of my usual pace! Often, I am cutting mats and putting frames together into the wee hours the night before the show in the morning. I am determined to NOT be doing that this week on Friday night. So, I gathered everything I needed early in the day today and have cut 2 double mats (30" X 38") and lots of little mats out of the scraps and have 2 of the paintings ready to go! Can you believe it? Tomorrow night, just one more and I'll be done! Then if I run into a snag, I still have time to take care of it. The 2 that are finished I am pretty pleased with. I think I won't post photos of them until after Saturday, plus I should have photos of the 4 paintings that are at the photographers this week to put up also. Are you photographed out? Is anyone talking to me any more? I need feedback and conversation now and then. :) To be a happy camper. . . . or a happier camper!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Philosophizing after a Monday in the mountains

Today was a "sitting" day for me at the Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst, California. It was rainy all day, dark and quiet with not a lot of visitors. Still, the shift (10 AM to 4 PM) went by quickly because I had things to do and I also had a lot of new pieces to study. That can occupy a lot of time for those of us who are part of the gallery  (as we study and enjoy new work bimonthly at each gallery change) and for our visitors.

On another note (but a somewhat similar one), I love today's quote about art, taken from the bottom of my blog. Stella Adler said: "Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one."  Sometimes life does beat us down, for whatever reason, and enjoying art or creating it lifts us back up again. Illness, depression, poverty, crime, loneliness, and natural disasters--these are but a few of the things that quickly come to mind that beat us down and verge on stealing our souls. Even at the lowest times, looking at something beautiful or putting our heart into creating a small piece of art or crafting an object or piece of clothing can bring us some measure of satisfaction and peace and reassure us that our soul is undamaged. 

Perhaps I should have added "doing taxes" to the list of what beats us down because that's what faces us this week. And it's not just taxes, but getting all of our paperwork in order. That includes my art-related paperwork, so in the upcoming days I will be happy to remember that I spent most of last week soulfully creating new paintings as I endure the stressful moments to come.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tips for Artists

This is a LONG list of wise suggestions that I thought you would enjoy reading and/or having in your files. I want to keep it and posting it is a good way to insure that I can find it again later.

"WORDS TO PAINT BY" by Irwin Greenberg 
(From Robert Genn's "Twice Weekly Newsletter" for artists)

1. Paint every day.
2. Paint until you feel physical strain- take a break and then paint some more.
3. Suggest.
4. When at an impasse, look at the work of masters.
5. Buy the best materials you can afford.
6. Let your enthusiasm show.
7. Find the way to support yourself.
8. Be your own toughest critic.
9. Develop a sense of humor about yourself
10. Develop the habit of work. Start early every day. When you take a break, don’t eat. Instead, drink a glass of water.
11. Don’t settle for yourself at your mediocre level
12. Don’t allow yourself to be crushed by failure. Rembrandt had failures. Success grows from failure.
13. Be a brother (or sister) to all struggling artists.
14. Keep it simple.
15. Know your art equipment and take care of it.
16. Have a set of materials ready wherever you go.
17. Always be on time for work, class and appointments.
18. Meet deadlines. Be better than your word.
19. Find a mate who is really a mate.
20. Don’t be envious of anyone who is more talented than you. Be the best you can be.
21. Prizes are nice, but the real competition is with your performance yesterday.
22. Give yourself room to fail and fight like hell to achieve.
23. Go to sleep thinking about what you’re going to do first thing tomorrow.
24. Analyze the work of great painters. Study how they emphasize and subordinate.
25. Find out the fewest material things you need to live.
26. Remember: Michelangelo was once a helpless baby. Great works are the result of heroic struggle.
27. There are no worthwhile tricks in art; find the answer.
28. Throw yourself into each painting heart and soul.
29. Commit yourself to a life in art.
30. No struggle, no progress.
31. Do rather than don’t.
32. Don’t say “I haven’t the time.” You have as much time everyday as the great masters.
33. Read. Be conversant with the great ideas.
34. No matter what you do for a living, nurture your art.
35. Ask. Be hungry to learn.
36. You are always the student in a one-person art school. You are also the teacher of that class.
37. Find the artists who are on your wavelength and constantly increase that list.
38. Take pride in your work.
39. Take pride in yourself.
40. No one is a better authority on your feelings than you are.
41. When painting, always keep in mind what your picture is about.
42. Be organized.
43. When you’re in trouble, study the lives of those who’ve done great things.
44. “Poor me” is no help at all.
45. Look for what you can learn from the great painters, not what’s wrong with them.
46. Look. Really look.
47. Overcome errors in observing by exaggerating the opposite.
48. Critics are painters who flunked out.
49. Stay away from put-down artists.
50. If you’re at a lost for what to do next, do a self-portrait.
51. Never say “I can’t.” It closes the door to potential development.
52. Be ingenious. Howard Pyle got his start in illustrating by illustrating his own stories.
53. All doors open to a hard push.
54. If art is hard, it’s because you’re struggling to go beyond what you know you can do.
55. Draw everywhere and all the time. An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached.
56. There is art in any endeavor done well.
57. If you’ve been able to put a personal response into your work, others will feel it and they will be your audience.
58. Money is OK, but it isn’t what life is about.
59. Spend less than you earn.
60. Be modest; be self-critical, but aim for the highest.
61. Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it.
62. Try things against your grain to find out just what your grain really is.
63. Inspiration doesn’t come when you are idle. It comes when you have steeped yourself in work.
64. Habit is more powerful than will. If you get in the habit of painting every day, nothing will keep you from painting.
65. There are three ways to learn art: Study life, people and nature. Study the great painters. Paint.
66. Remember, Rembrandt wasn’t perfect. He had to fight mediocrity.
67. Don’t call yourself an artist. Let others name you that. “Artist” is a title of great weight.
68. Be humble; learn from everybody.
69. Paintings that you work hardest at are the ones you learn the most from, and are often your favorites.
70. Read values relatively. Find the lightest light and compare all other light values to it. Do the same with the darks.
71. Grit and guts are the magic ingredients to your success.
72. Let your picture welcome the viewer.
73. Add new painters to your list of favorites all the time.
74. Study artists who are dealing with the same problems that you’re trying to solve.
75. Have a positive mind-set when showing your work to galleries.
76. Don’t look for gimmicks to give your work style. You might be stuck with them for life. Or, worse yet, you might have to change your “style” every few years.
77. If what you have to say is from your deepest feelings, you’ll find an audience that responds.
78. Try to end a day’s work on a picture knowing how to proceed the next day.
79. Don’t envy others success. Be generous-spirited and congratulate whole-heartedly.
80. Your own standards have to be higher and more scrupulous than those of critics.
81. Pyle said, “Throw your heart into a picture and jump in after it.”
82. Vermeer found a life’s work in the corner of a room.
83. Rembrandt is always clear about what is most important in a picture.
84. If, after study, the work of an artist remains obscure, the fault may not be yours.
85. Critics don’t matter. Who cares about Michelangelo’s critics?
86. Structure your day so you have time for painting, reading, exercising and resting.
87. Aim high, beyond your capacity.
88. Try not to finish too fast.
89. Take the theory of the “last inch” holds that as you approach the end of a painting, you must gather all your resources for the finish.
90. Build your painting solidly, working from big planes to small.
91. See the planes of light as shapes, the planes of shadows as shapes. Squint your eyes and find the big, fluent shapes.
92. Notice how, in a portrait, Rembrandt reduces the modeling of clothes to the essentials, emphasizing the head and the hands.
93. For all his artistic skills, what’s most important about Rembrandt is his deep compassion.
94. To emphasize something means that the other parts of a picture must be muted.
95. When painting outdoors, sit on your hands and look before starting.
96. Composing a picture, do many thumbnails, rejecting the obvious ones.
97. Study how Rembrandt creates flow of tone.
98. If you teach, teach the individual. Find out when he or she is having trouble and help at that point.
99. Painting is a practical art, using real materials -- paints, brushes, canvas, paper. Part of the practicality of it is earning a living in art.
100. Finally, don’t be an art snob. Most painters I know teach, do illustrations, or work in an art-related field. Survival is the game.


I hadn't looked at the clock and I just realized that it's now Sunday, no longer Saturday! I could change my goal number on the large painting window, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow when one more is finished since I can't make it say "4 3/4's" anyway. I have 4 full sheets finished and signed and the 5th is just waiting for one fourth of it to be "hit" with the mouth atomizer. But to do that properly, I need to let the rest of the painting dry overnight.

Three of the four are brand new and one is quite old and I redid it somewhat, but I think that still counts since it has never even been framed. Number 5 is also new, for the "Green" show coming up in April at Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst. I am trying to get ready for the ACA (Alliance of California Artists) show in Visalia; receiving is next Saturday morning. We can each enter 3 paintings and I want to have 1 each in watercolor, mixed media, and contemporary. All of mine could go in contemporary and most in mixed media, but I'm stretching to do one that's strictly watercolor. It takes every thing I've got to resist adding paper and pen, but I am going to this time.

The pure watercolor is a musical painting that I started last night and finished tonight. It's going to fit beautifully into the "Wine, Women, Words. . . . and a few bits of Song" theme that I'm working on. I love doing calligraphy with watercolor and that's what I did in it. Not named as yet, I will enter it unless I change my mind. It's not a terribly "serious" painting, but it definitely fits my 2 requirements of being fun and interesting for me to paint and fun and interesting for viewers to look at. So, I will enter it. But I have a lot to do before Saturday because all 3 are new and will need matted and framed. 

For now, I'm off to bed. No photo with this post, but more soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Short post today. . . .

I'm going to write very little tonight because I still want to paint for a little while. I'm working on "Compassion", "Knowledge," and "Enthusiasm" (like the "Focus" you saw as a photo a day or 2 ago) and it really helps to do them a layer at a time and then allow plenty of drying time. So, I'm off--more tomorrow! It was a beautiful, warm, sunny, spring-like day and the blossoms are starting to appear.

I've been working on the computer most of the day today and last night I worked late trying to get my Etsy banner "right". I think I have it--finally!--but all I have there so far are 5 greeting cards. Check it out at and see what you think and let me know, please. Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Busy day!

This is what today looked like:

9:45-Noon   Painting with a group of friends

Noon to 2:15  Looked at color proofs of 4 large paintings and took some new small paintings to the photographer to be scanned and printed as cards etc.

2:15 Lunch and a breather

3:30 Allergy doctor appointment

5:00 Gas station and grocery store near home

6:00 Dinner at Wendy's

7-9:30 Fresno Community Band Rehearsal

Is it any wonder that some days I don't paint? Though I know that everyone has days like this. 

The new painting shown with yesterday's post now has a name. It is to be called "Fleur-y" (as in Flurry of Flowers. . . .Fleur-y!) Yes? No? You don't get it? You DO get it? Hmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And one large one that's almost done. . . .

. . . but it doesn't have a title either. It is very Oriental in feeling (but not in simplicity) because it is a collage of almost all Japanese papers brought back from Japan by my friend, Chieko. There was one beautiful "centerpiece" paper which I glued down first and then painted out from it. I wanted to extend the patterning of the different papers in the fan (?) and then I felt that the cut paper flowers should be flooding off the page, as an extension of the printed flowers in many of the papers. 

The photograph is of just a portion of the painting, which is not quite finished yet. More to come on this one. . . .

Please send me any thoughts you might have regarding a title, please!

Making Up For Lost Time!

Three more images to go with this post. One is called "Topsy Turvy", one is called "Focus" (that one's easy!), and one has no name as yet. Any ideas? The untitled one has what looks somewhat like a four-paned window in it, to the left of center. Quite often, the name comes before the painting is finished and sometimes even before the painting is painted. But sometimes, good names that are "provocative" but still mysterious and open-ended are difficult to come up with. My husband is terrific at naming paintings. He mulls the content over for a few days sometimes and then comes up with a great suggestion. Thank goodness!

Posting for today

Well, tonight I can finally change one of the numbers of my goals in the right hand sidebar. I now have completed 9 small paintings that were in various stages of completion. They are finished, signed, snapped, and in some cases matted and ready to frame. I am going to post 5 of them here now. 

They are (from top to bottom):

"Stamp Out Beige"
". . . and the ring, please?"
"Fleur" "

Some are a little blurry--I need to start using my tripod, I think.

Yippee Do!

Posting for Yesterday

Yesterday was the first day that I missed posting since the first of January. I was working hard to finish some things up so that I could photograph them, and post them--FINALLY! But I didn't get them photographed till today, after I got my OWOH giveaways in the mail since yesterday was a holiday and the Post Office was closed.

As I was packaging the giveaways, I thought. . . . now, these don't look very artistic. . . .so I went on to fix that little problem. With drying time and all in the rain, the process took longer than I thought it would. So, this first post is accompanied by 2 photos of the things I mailed today--2 giveaways and one other set of cards to someone else. They looked much more artistic when they went in the mail. The mailing tube looked especially nice, I thought! :) This is all related to what I talk about when I say, "don't just do art, or buy art, or collect art--LIVE art!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday evening

Well, I managed to make my goal(s) look prettier in the sidebar, but I haven't moved off of zero on either one of them as yet. I put a frame around them and saved them (cropped) and then imported them into a gadget. . . .and it worked! Now, why can't I get off of zero? LOL

Actually, I will move very soon. I am working on 3 large paintings and they are nearly finished. And I have about 6-7 small ones almost completed, too. So, when the zeros change they won't just change to 1's! Thank goodness! But I do want to see the numbers moving upwards.

There is a show coming up the last day of the month, and in April I am having a solo show at the Reedley Opera House, and there will be the theme show in April and May at Timberline. So, I have a lot of things in the works and I will have new paintings very soon.

Today, I've painted a lot but didn't take any photos. (Some things need to remain secrets, you know!?)  Tomorrow is the Double Reed Day at Fresno State and I'll be there most of the day. So, tomorrow evening I will be back to painting and posting. More soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hopefully, you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I went with 2 friends to the Wine and Chocolate Weekend. It is a "tour" through several wineries and since 3 of my paintings were displayed at one of them, I needed to go. It was fun, but SOOOO crowded that you could hardly walk through the crowd in some places. There were groups touring in buses and limos, and many others with designated drivers. There were a lot of very young people attending and they were having a great time. But it was very crowded, rather noisy, and a lot of the food was wiped out before the afternoon even began. So, I enjoyed the company, the beautiful weather, the drive in the country, and yet another opportunity for exposure for some of my wine-themed art. It will be up for a month, so we'll see what happens!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I won one!

I won one! Yippee do! I am so excited! The giveaway I won (out of 263 recipients) was a star ornament made by Sara Lechner. When I visited a lot of blogs in the last 2 weeks, it was the one that I most wanted to win. So, I am thrilled! Thank you, Sara! And thank you, OWOH! 

Since my goal counter is still on 0/52, I must paint tonight, not write. . . . . :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moving Ahead

Before I move ahead and away from the energy of One World, One Heart, I'd like to thank Lisa (its organizer) for all she did on the huge project. I think everyone would deem it an extraordinary success--beyond her wildest dreams, I am sure! So, thank you, Lisa. Also I'd like to thank everyone who visited my blog, signed up for my giveaways, and explored my artistic world as shown on "Mixed Messages". Thank you also to those of you who have sent nice compliments and have become followers. I hope to get to know you better over the coming weeks and months. The 2 winners of my giveaways have contacted me and their prizes will soon be in the mail. Congratulations! And thank you for participating, ALL OF YOU!

Life brings us such unexpected happenings and we have to learn to go with the flow and assume they all happen for a reason. Yesterday morning I got a call from an artist friend asking if I had 2-3 paintings that I could get to her right away to be in a small show at a winery for the next month. So, knowing that wine paintings are very popular in the central San Joaquin Valley, I said "Sure!" and hopped in the car to gather up the 3 that I currently have finished and framed. Getting them collected and ready to send off this afternoon took me away from what I had planned for the day, but I think it will be good exposure to a new group of people and I welcome that. I sent "Jewel Tones" (can be seen on my slide show), "Parallels" (also on the slide show, it depicts words that describe wine AND women both), and "Through Rose Colored Glasses." Also some prints and cards and PR materials. We will see what comes of it. (Crossing fingers. . . . . )

This morning, I was up really late (or early, depending upon how you look at it!) trying to get my Etsy store set up. I wasn't very successful but I will persist and explore other storefronts more tonight or tomorrow. I think it's a good venue for some of my smaller items, not my full sheet framed mixed media works necessarily. I am struggling with pricing, shipping costs, and creating a banner. In time, I will be successful at it though.

Well, I want to watch Westminster even though I know who won. There are so many new breeds that it's exciting to see them in the groups and Best in Show. After breeding and showing Gordon Setters and Irish Setters for over 25 years, I still love the dog show scene, even if it's now from afar! Today's photo is of Cooper, our one current dog. He is the first small dog (13#) that we've ever owned and the only mixed breed. Shown here rather untrimmed, he is a darling dog--part Lhasa Apso and part Jack Russell terrier. He is cute and smart and funny and, you might suspect, spoiled rotten! We love him a lot and so do all 3 kitties, all of whom weigh more than he does!

And the winners are. . . . (drumroll). . . . . .

. . . . comments/entries are closed on my One World, One Heart giveaways. I have randomly generated the 2 winners and now I am going to count down my list to find out who they are.

The winner of the print of "Strong Language" is Katina and the winner of the card set is Karmen (participant #704) at Moonwillow Art Studios. Congratulations to both winners. I will contact them by email right now and if I haven't had a response by midnight on February 13th (48 hours from now), I will select 1 or 2 new recipients, as needed. But I hope to hear from both of them very soon so that I can get the print and the cards into the mail right away.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in my giveaways and visited my blog in the last couple of weeks. I am planning to take more time now and go back and visit a lot more blogs and become a follower of several that will be very interesting to keep up with.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"One World, One Heart" (originally posted 1/28)


Hello to all! I am really excited to say I'm on board the One World~One Heart" Gypsy Caravan! A fellow blogger told me about this (large and still growing!) group of bloggers who are giving away some fabulous prizes! There are almost 700 of us! I'll be giving away a 10" X 14" giclee print of my mixed media painting "Strong Language". 

The event is running from now until February 12th at which time the winners of each artist giveaway will be announced.

FLASH: Since I've had so many comments and such positive responses I am adding a second prize--an assortment of 8 of my cards made from my most popular paintings.

This is what you have to do to have a chance to win the print (first draw) or cards (second draw):

1. Leave a comment to this post. (Click on the green "Comments"  that comes up at the end of this post.)
2. Make sure you include contact information--your name,  a blog url or email address. And that's it!
3. I will be putting all entries in a hat and drawing one name by midnight on the 11th. Entries into my giveaway will close at 10 PM Pacific Time. I will be announcing before noon on the 12th. I will email the winners at that time and make arrangements to ship the giveaways to them.
4. Good luck! And be sure to visit other sites on the long list at "One World, One Heart" to enter other giveaways. You might like to start by visiting Lisa's site here. Lisa is the host of the whole giveaway project and is #25 on the list of participants at "One World, One Heart."

(Holding my breath because this is ALL so exciting!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finishing up a lot of loose ends

I'm still spending a lot of time in the studio, working on a couple of new paintings (1 large, 2 small) and considering how to finish off a lot of small ones from a while back. Some are finished and just need to be signed, matted, and framed (or bagged) and some I am still looking at, trying to decide just what it is that they need. I have set a goal for myself of trying to complete 1 large painting and 2 small paintings each week this year. I'm not sure that I can do it, but I am certainly going to try! The small ones are easy--it's the large one that sometimes takes longer than a week from start to finish. But if I can average 1 a week, that works for me!

Just think, if I could do a large painting a week, that would be 52 in a year! Amazing!? A lofty goal, but it sure would be nice to add that many new paintings in 2009. Just putting it in writing makes it something to strive for even though I'm getting a little bit late start since it is February 10th, as I write this. I'm going to leave it as my goal and see if I can play "catch up" and still make it! I am not saying that quantity is the most important thing here--I want quality, of course. But I am not a slow painter so a painting a week is not unrealistic if I work hard in the studio almost every day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday evening

As I've said before, sometimes painting and practicing win out over posting and tonight is another one of those nights. I've been finishing up some paintings and really making good progress at that. But I still have practicing to do (with an oboe lesson tomorrow!)  and it's after 9 PM here in California, so I'm going to do that now. Also, the Westminster Dog Show is on tonight and I am recording it to watch later. After showing dogs for 25+years (in another life!?), it's hard to miss it and some years February sails right on by and I don't see it. This year, I'm going to watch it all--in segments!

More soon, I promise!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday evening

The painting is called "Pink Dreams" and is about breast cancer awareness. It was done for the local "Pink Show" last year.

It's after 10 PM and I haven't painted today and I'm "itching" to add the darks to my current painting. So, I'm off--to paint, not post tonight. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Affirmations for Artists in Today's Economy from Alyson B. Stanfield and

When you need affirmations as an artist, here is a short podcast to visit. . . . and revisit. This is the first time I've added something like this to my blog. That steep learning curve is still in evidence.

The site is a good one to visit for all kinds of marketing tips, tools, and techniques when you need motivation and inspiration. Check it out!

Today, we cleaned and set up The Art Stand Gallery for our Blossom Trail season. Then I went south to Visalia to hear the Tulare County Symphony concert. It was really good and I enjoyed the concert, as usual, but I only painted for about a half hour today. Tomorrow is another day, as someone (Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind"?) playing a famous part once said.

A Rainy Day

We need the rain but it's really been a wet one today, with a lot of mud and standing water as a result. Tomorrow is the day to set up at The Art Stand Gallery (an artists' coop that I belong to) and it will be a challenge in the rain. But, maybe it will stop and all will be well. I'll try to take some photos if we get set up and post them here. You can check it out at anytime, though.

After some errands, I've been painting today on a couple of paintings for the "Being Green" show to be held in April and May at Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst. One is a large abstract and it's all shades of green, with lots of different green papers collaged on. It's going fairly well. While I was working on it, I had an idea for another green painting which I started on also. I think I'll keep that one "under wraps" for the moment, until I have something to show. Or maybe until it goes up at the show--or maybe until it doesn't go up at the show!? It's sort of a spoof in a way. . . . a statement on how you don't even really have to be able to draw to create an interesting, engaging piece of art. But I'll reserve judgment on THAT until I see if it's going to actually work. (Hint: I'm tearing paper for the main subjects of the painting--so it's very simplistic.)

I just looked up "spoof" and the dictionary says this:

Nonsense; tomfoolery.
A hoax.
A gentle satirical imitation; a light parody.

So maybe spoof wasn't the right word. It's more a simplification or artistic statement, I guess.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

""Life". . . .

. . . . is what happens while you're making other plans" said John Lennon. And that is a truism, it seems to me! Lately, nothing has gone as planned because there have been a lot of unexpected events that just "come up" and must be dealt with which means that something else must bite the dust. But, as a retiree, it is easier to cope with unplanned events than it was a few years ago though we often say to ourselves--"How did we ever have time to work"?

Today's painting is called "The Ultimate Game" and it alludes to this game of life. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Glorious Spring Day!

And a hint of what is soon to come in this part of the San Joaquin Valley. I actually live on The Blossom Trail, a miles-long "loop" of beautiful driving territory covered by acres and acres of spring-flowering fruit trees. You can read the write-up about the area every year in local, state and national publications. It happens for a period of about 2 weeks each year in February and when the Trail is at it's peak, you can see pink and white everywhere you look as you drive down mile after mile of country roads. It will be starting very soon and today's weather (about 72 degrees) reminded me of that fact. But tomorrow, we are supposed to have thunderstorms! Every day is another day this time of year and we learn to enjoy it when it comes and know that it will be back when the weather turns cold, wet, and/or foggy. Overall, we are so lucky to live where we do and enjoy a temperate climate much of each year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Continuing to work on the extended aspects of "Presentation"

Preparing for a nice presentation takes a lot of time. It is really fun and rewarding, but it takes a LOT of time! I know why some people don't ever really get into making up a "Business Kit" or designing desktop publishing items or marketing tools. They all take time. And when you don't work with something for a while--like making label templates or printing envelopes--it's like starting over again to get back into the groove.

Well, I'm having fun updating everything and making some new things but right now, I need to spend my time on completing that project rather than writing a long blog post. So, I'm going to sign off for today and get back to that work. When I have things done, I'll share a list of items and some photos, I hope. More information very soon!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day!

And I don't know if he officially saw his shadow or not! Just like I didn't know until late today who won the Super Bowl! I admit to being VERY uninformed about some events at some times. It's just that they aren't my priorities so I don't pay a lot of attention to them. But I do need to do better about staying up with world news etc.

Last night, I added 5 photographs of paintings to the little "slide show" that's at the bottom of my blog. Check them out! I will try to continue adding more as I have more. I will include one of them with today's post also. It is called "Energized" and its' inspiration was the elements and principles of design. It started out as a full sheet painting--22" X 30"-- but I cut it down to somewhat smaller and incorporated most of the parts I cut off into the finished painting. It has some strips woven into it, some pieces collaged on and some other interesting textures and patterns. It can hang either horizontally or vertically, but I think that it is more "uplifting" with the triangle shape pointing upwards.

The current project that I'm working on, in conjunction with the marketing salon that I'm attending, is an update of all my "desktop publishing" items and the addition of some new ones. I've updated and reprinted my trifold brochure, my business cards, made new letterhead, revised my return address labels, made stickers, and am working on several other items. When I finish them all, I think I'll make a list of the whole "package" and see what might still be missing. As I said, or someone else did the other day, "presentation is everything"! I don't think it is EVERYthing, but I do think that it's a very important part of marketing and publicity and getting your name out there. Attention to detail in matters of presentation indicates (to me, at least) an attention to detail in other areas of both art and life. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tired :(

I think I need a lot more sleep. Too many late nights and too steep a learning curve lately. I've been trying to master Photoshop Elements and I just can't get the hang of it. Some parts of it are getting better, but I cannot do what I want with layers. It is frustrating because I know it should be easy.

The OWOH comments are "tapering off", it seems, and I want to get back to my regular painting and blogging. Today, I am posting a new painting, I think. It is called "Tuxedo Junctions" and it seems somehow appropriate after two concerts yesterday and concert dress. It is all about "keeping an interesting white space" like a lot of my other paintings.