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!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Garden

It's really cool today today--a very pleasant change from our hot weather. I am finally going to post some photos of my tiny garden. I planted 1 tomato plant, 1 Japanese eggplant, and a basil plant. And in 2 other containers there are an Early Girl tomato and 2 strawberry plants. Not much of an effort in terms of a garden, but at least it was an attempt!

I have a Mixed Media class on Saturday at the Art Stand and I'm hoping the cooler weather is still in effect by then. The signup list is a good size, about eight; the challenge is knowing what to do with people at all levels some of whom have taken my class before and some who haven't. We always have fun, but it's proving hard to come up with new ideas each time and still cover the basics for the new people.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Why didn't I do this before? Knowing that my "production" goals are important to me in 2009, why haven't they been at the top of the blog where they are always in sight? I just moved them up and you'll know when I've changed the numbers (as I did today) because the format/"look" will be different. I am still way behind where I should be since we're over half way through the year, but I'm still moving forward--and that's a good thing. :)

Something that I forgot to mention a few weeks ago (at least I think I forgot!?) is that I had a windfall in terms of Arches watercolor paper. An artist was selling her supplies and I got 37 sheets at a very good price and a brand new portfolio to safely store the paper in. I now have no reason to be stingy about paper because I have enough to meet my goals for the year without buying any more. It really influences my actions when I'm down to 1 or 2 sheets. I am much more hesitant to freely start a painting at any time when the paper is in short supply. So now I can truly say yet again--"But it's ONLY a piece of paper!"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Reading Recommendation

Lately, I've been trying to check out books from the library rather than buying so many art books every month or two. It seems like I've been through most of the ones at the library more than once now, but a couple of weeks ago I found a new one that I hadn't seen before and it held a wealth of information in it's pages. I found it motivational and inspirational. I always find myself thinking "What would Monte do?" when I personally am faced with a disastrous painting. Monte Guynes, one of my painting mentors, was a master of rescuing paintings. He said if you have an area of conflict, do one of 2 things. Get rid of the conflict, or add more of it!

The recently read book is called "Master Disaster: Five Ways to Rescue Watercolors". It's author is Susan Webb Tregay. If I could scan to my laptop, I'd show you the front cover, which is red and floral. The copyright date is 2007 and it's a very readable and attractive book with lots of good tips. Susan analyses a large number of unsuccessful watercolors and tells 5 steps to help you rescue them from the "reject" pile. The five tips are as follows, and even though they are applied to watercolors, they could work in many mediums.

Step 1: Lighten up! Remove mud, lost highlights, poorly drawn areas. . . .whatever you hate about your painting. Stencils will help you execute clean, precise corrections.

Step 2: Break up boring spaces. Intrigue your viewer by varying and repeating elements, so that even backgrounds play a dynamic role in the overall "entertainment value" of your piece.

Step 3: Strengthen your values. Don't succumb to watercolor's pale reputation. Add real darks, enrich your colors, strengthen your shadows, and take advantage of the full range of values.

Step 4: Unify. Organizing your values and colors can pull a painting together at any stage of the game. She shows 17 proven design strategies plus powerful color schemes that will add unity and emotional appeal.

Step 5: Surprise yourself and your viewers. Content is crucial to meaningful paintings, and it can be worked into your pieces late in the process.

If you are interested in knowing more, check out the book at the library or the bookstore. I think you'll find it a learning experience!