Monday, April 27, 2009

Tomorrow's reception

Well, tomorrow is the reception for the Reedley Opera House Show. I am pleased with how it looks and I took pictures while I was there. But, for some unknown reason, they aren't in my camera to download and post. I'm not sure what happened but if I've lost them, I'll have to take more tomorrow night. My camera is doing some strange things lately--hopefully not "fatal" things, but certainly not pleasant things. :(

I still have things to gather and do so I am still not doing much blogging for the time being. I want things to be "just so", of course, and then I wonder: Will anyone come? But I don't have to wonder much longer--tomorrow night will tell!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Trying to take a deep breath today! And also taking some photos of the workshop paintings. Still a lot to do on 2 of them, but 1 is nearly done. Taking a deep breath before I start cleaning house etc. for the Open Studio Tour for the Art Stand Gallery which is next Saturday, May 2nd.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hanging the Show!

We loaded up and went to Reedley today to hang the Opera House Show. Though it was a little bit difficult, we managed to hang all 24 paintings that I took. And I'm very pleased with how the show looks in the old, historic building. My style is somewhat of a diversion from what usually hangs there, but we thought it looked quite good. It couldn't have happened without Roy because some of the paintings had to go very high and some on the old brick walls and 2 OVER the staircase. I am absolutely useless on a ladder, under the best of circumstances, and this was definitely a 2 person job anyway. Tina Mizuno, from the Kings River Arts Council, was there to help us.

Now I need to finish gathering prints etc. for the reception next Tuesday, April 28th, and hope that people come!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home again

I am going to start with today and go back to the days when I was gone in a few days. I got home yesterday afternoon, picking up mats and paintings along the way to finish the preparation for the Reedley show. It will be hung tomorrow afternoon and then things should get back to a little calmer pace. So. more very soon. . . .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday's trip home

This morning, I left for Berkeley, picked up my oboe, browsed a little bit in downtown Livermore, went by the framing shop and the photographer's on the way back home and got to work in the evening because my show in Reedley will "go up" in 2 days!

Busy, busy, busy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 3 (Sunday) of the workshop

Today, we watched Jean Warren tear up a discarded painting and select pieces of it as a starting point of a new painting. We spent day 3 of the workshop doing the same. It was an interesting process and I enjoyed it. Most of us still came out with something that was semi-representational, partly due to the subject matter in evidence in the original painting. I know mine was much more
objective than I intended for it to be.

We ended the day with a critique followed by picking up Grace at the gallery and going out to dinner. All in all it was a good workshop and a very fun 3 days. Grace and I work well together and inspire each other in our painting efforts. I miss having her in Oakhurst. We've decided to try to get together on a fairly regular basis, meeting at one or the other's home to paint and visit.

No photos of the new work as yet. . . .

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 2 of Jean Warren's Workshop

Today began at the Rosecrucian Museum again as we did "walking sketches." These tiny little thumbnails were done very quickly--we did about 24 in about 45 minutes. We returned to the room, watched Jean's demo and again began to paint. We had several options to follow and different people chose different ones. Some people seem very comfortable with doing more abstract paintings but most seem uncertain of how to tackle this painting process that is new to them. They want everything to be representational and seemingly aren't happy to try something that's much more conceptual.

Today's photos are of the middle school--Herbert Hoover Middle School--where the workshop is held. It is right across the street from the Egyptian Museum.

Tonight, we had dinner with friends of Grace's--another nice evening. Grace won't be attending tomorrow due to the reception in the afternoon so we talked to Donna (who will be taking her place) about what happened on days 1 and 2.

Again, I painted in the evening on the day 1 painting and started to add some darks to the day 2 painting. Tomorrow, we are supposed to tear up an old painting and collage pieces of it onto a new paper for our day 3 work. I like the way Jean uses watercolor crayon very freely and loosely. . . . and randomly to her paintings. It adds texture and excitement and sometimes provides direction for the next step. I plan to incorporate the idea into my paintings more.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, April 17th

This morning, Grace and I drove to San Jose for Jean Warren's abstract workshop. Jean is from Bodega Bay, California and there are 17 people in this class offered by the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Association. The workshop is at Herbert Hoover Middle School in San Jose and it is right across the street from the Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum.

We started the day with a short introduction by Jean and then we walked across the street to the museum grounds and sat on our stools around the obelisque in the garden. She led us through some contour drawing exercises, encouraging us to really "see" what was around us and to capture the essence of the gardens in our memories.

After about an hour, we returned to the classroom and began our day by watching her demonstrate what she wanted us to do on Day 1. I am not going to attempt to "recapture" or outline the day in much detail because that requires that you take the full workshop and it would be unfair to present too much of the information here. But suffice it to say that we worked on capturing what we had seen in the garden in a quick rhythm wash of putting down the colors and the feelings that we'd experienced and then continuing to paint on top of the color. At the end of the day, we each put our work up and talked about how we felt about the day's efforts.

When we got back to Fremont, we were treated to a wonderful dinner at Grace's neighbor's home, worked on our paintings a little, visited a lot, and went to bed early to be ready for Day 2 tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 16th--on the way to San Jose!?--via Fremont

Today, I drove to Grace's house in Fremont, with a lot of stops along the way--at the Mushroom Farm in Sanger, at Circle Gallery in Madera, at the Hilmar Cheese Factory in Hilmar (north of Merced), at Forrest's Music in Berkeley, and finally on to Fremont in the late afternoon. I stopped to get cheese and mushrooms for Grace and Jack, and to drop my oboe off for it's annual "physical" in Berkeley. I'll pick it up again on Monday morning.

The weather was beautiful, the traffic was light, and the directions (thanks to Daniel in the GPS!) were perfect. Before dinner, Grace and I went to the gallery in Niles to see her showcase which will have it's reception on Sunday afternoon. It looked really good--she has put a lot of work into it and it shows. We compared notes on what we've been doing in terms of marketing etc. and oddly enough, we've done lots of the same things in the last few months. Obviously, the push to improve our marketing strategies goes hand in hand with the current economic conditions.

I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight, but maybe not--in anticipation of the workshop tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Off to a workshop--

I'll be leaving tomorrow morning to stay with my friend Grace in Fremont and to attend an abstract workshop presented by Jean Warren. I may be "out of commission", in terms of blogging, for a few days depending upon time and circumstances. I will take my laptop but I'm not sure if I'll be online at all until I return home next Monday evening. If you don't see new posts for a few days, don't be surprised. I'll try to take photos and take good notes so I'll have a lot to report when I return. I am really looking forward to the workshop, but the timing isn't the best with my Reedley Show hanging next Wednesday. I'm just about ready for it but there is so much to do in preparation for even a relatively small show. I'm planning for about 20 paintings, just so I have a choice when it comes to actually hanging them.

More soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Violets

In several places in our yard, we have violets growing in great abundance. They can be very invasive, but we like them so we don't find them intrusive. They can be mowed, just like lawn, and they are really beautiful to behold. The plants are bright green and in past years the flowers have all been white. This year, we have the usual white, plus blue and the hoped for purple! Really pretty! They grow under the concrete driveway and have covered a lot of distance. We are thinking to plant them intentionally on the island and see how they do there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Woodshed Project

I've still been stacking wood in the woodshed, one wagonload at a time. I have filled 3 walls, each at least 2 rows deep, the back rows from floor to ceiling all around. How much more can it hold, do you suppose? For some reason, I like the mindless repetition of neatly and carefully stacking the random-sized pieces and making them fit. Usually, I am not a patient person but this appeals to me, oddly enough.

Here are some shots of the "stack" plus some interesting perspectives of "woodgrain", a really interesting texture!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday--

Lunch at Panera Bread and our almost daily trip to Lowe's. They are getting to know us by name after the last 2 weeks! Today's photos show more of the pond, the island with the bat box in a tree, what's left of the old BIG dock (about 16' X 16') and the root ball of a HUGE eucalyptus tree that got pulled out of the pond last Saturday. The pond is still very low because we needed to get the docks framed, at least, and the tree out before the water starts flowing again on the 15th of April. Roy doesn't have much time left to get the big one started, but he will make it, I think--judging by the rate of the last 2 weeks! We have a great yard for entertaining in, relaxing in, and painting in--we just want it to be as nice as it has the potential to be. The last couple of years, we haven't done much on it and it needed a lot of work. So, it's really taking shape now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11th, the day before Easter

Easter always symbolizes a new beginning--and on this day before Easter, you can really see a new beginning taking shape in our wonderful yard. I finally got my camera battery charged and got outside during daylight hours to take some photos. I will start with the pictures of the new bridge and small dock and move on to others in later posts. Here we go!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts of a Birthday

Today is a birthday, my daughter Meghan's. She lives in Southern California, too far away to celebrate--but we were certainly thinking of her today. We laughed about it last night at dinner because the night before she was born, we had pizza. Not too long after dinner, I began having what I thought were "pizza pains" but were really the first labor pains. Now the tradition is that we always plan to eat pizza on April 9th, though we don't always actually do it! I texted her with the question: did YOU have pizza last night, or is it only ME that is supposed to!?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Busy day!

Lots of errands today, picking up framing supplies etc. Some work on a painting for the show and some preparation time spent on making show signs etc. More blogging soon--with photos!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday's Critique Group

Once a month, a group of artists meet together in a Critique Group format. We have a potluck dinner, visit, and share artwork from many different genres. Each month, we paint to a specific topic and tonight's subject was "The Eyes Have It." No photo of my new painting, but I had a wonderful time doing a rather unusual painting incorporating lots of I's, Ayes, and Eyes! It was really fun! I am including a photo of the sheet that I made for it that I will put beside the painting at the Reedley Opera House show later this month. I'm making a sign for each painting--one copy goes on the back of the painting so that there is a little information accompanying it at all times, and one copy will be posted beside it when it is shown.

It seems to make a big difference to people as they view a show if there is some sort of explanation about the painting--it's subject, the materials used, a short story about it's development etc.--to read as they look at the show. My observation is that they spend more time looking at the paintings and they talk more to each other also. The interaction is very interesting and it makes the show more "friendly", it seems to me. We'll see how it goes when I do it again at the Opera House. It also makes it possible for people to have some insight into the paintings if they see them when no one is there to talk about them, after the reception date.

In addition to the signs like this one, I am making a listing of all the paintings in the show with the same description and a thumbnail shot of each one. I make copies for people to take with them in case they want to refer to it later or to call me with questions etc.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday's project

Last night, after dinner, we went back to the home store to get MORE wood for the next project. In addition to the bridge, we have 2 docks and both need repair in a major way. We are starting with the small 8 X 10 '-ish one, as a warm-up, I guess--and then we'll tackle the large one. Hopefully, we can get at least the framing done on both before the pond fills up again. 

Today, Roy measured and leveled and made 2 concrete supports with rebar. We covered them because it is raining here tonight. The work will continue tomorrow, if the weather permits.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bridging the Gap

Today (Monday) I "sat" at the Art Stand Gallery cooperative. I mentioned yesterday that we'd bought wood for building a bridge that needs replacing. Well, mid afternoon I had a call from home saying that I had a new bridge! Glory be! And what a nice bridge it is--6' wide where the the old one was only 5' wide. It still needs treating with preservative and staining/painting plus the side rails but it looks fabulous! It goes from the bank of our pond across the water to a small island. I keep forgetting to charge my camera battery so that I can take photos, but I will soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Evening

Housework, dinner out, and shopping for wood for a new bridge. Not a very "art-filled" day, but a necessary one. Tomorrow, I sit at the Art Stand. More photos and writing very soon, though this may be a "light" month with all that's going on later in the month.

Almost ready to send out the April Newsletter, but still unable to get the Google Calendar working correctly. These things all take a lot of time.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

All My Children

That's pretty funny, for a title, since I only have 1 child! And pretty "soap-opera-ish", too!

Today, I "sat" at Timberline Gallery and worked on updating my inventory list there. It's always good to take in new items (in this case, the ones for the "Being Green" show)  and remove ones that have been in a particular location for a while. They haven't sold and sometimes it's because they need to be freshened up, relabeled, repackaged--or maybe they just aren't up to par!? But when I'm collecting my pieces from the 3 galleries I'm in, I always say (or feel) that I'm "gathering up my children" from here, there, and everywhere.

I am currently in the process of "regrouping" and redistributing paintings before the Reedley Opera House show the end of April. I will "shuffle" things around between Timberline, The Art Stand Gallery, and Circle Gallery in Madera so that I have what I need for Reedley. Plus, trying to finish some new paintings up before the show as well. Being an artist is never dull, believe me!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Going Green" and Googling a Calendar--

. . . . and not being totally successfully with either one, especially the calendar. I'm still trying to be ready for tomorrow's trip to Oakhurst with my "green show" paintings. I'm trying to figure out how to get a neat, up to date, Google monthly calendar onto my blog. I've got the calendar template, but no events, as yet. Soon, hopefully!

Meanwhile, back to going GREEN!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Green With Envy. . . . or is it Red With Rage?

Or maybe it's yellow with a lack of courage. . . .to finish up my entries for the "Being Green" show at Timberline. All I need are 3 white twist ties and some baling wire. . . and I can finish the last one! (I think!)

Seriously, that's what I must do tomorrow and I won't be revealing any photos on my blog. You will have to go to Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst to view the Green Show. It will be hung on Monday, April 6th and run through the first Sunday in June. I think it promises to be an interesting and exciting show--a new venture for Timberline for this year. The Green Show will be followed by "Faces" in June/July and "Birds of a Feather" in August/September.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Busy Day

First, I was off to Art Marketing Salon (courtesy of Alyson Stanfield) and then on to Oakhurst, California to visit 2 bookstores where I am going to have shows in the not too distant future. I will post dates very soon! Hope your weather is currently as beautiful as ours is here in central California.