Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ready, set, go--It has Begun! One World, One Heart! 2010

Welcome to "Mixed Messages" by Kathleen Mattox, especially if you haven't visited before! I hope you have time to look around and explore a bit or come back at a later time to do so. Maybe some of you will even want to become "followers" of the blog.

Once again, it's time for the "One World, One Heart" event to begin. I'm late getting signed up--there are already 579 participants listed! We all are grateful to Lisa at "A Whimsical Bohemian", our fearless and apparently tireless leader in this huge venture! If you are a blogger and you wish to sign up, you have until February 8th to do so. Just click on her link, and leave a comment for her with your blog address.

Be prepared to have a giveaway ready to post as I am now posting mine. This year, I've decided to give 2 separate but equal giveaways. Each will consist of a set of my new "Words of Wisdom and Inspiration for Artists" cards (2.5" X 3.5" size).  They are 52 boxed inspirational quotation cards to motivate and inspire artists. Each set of small cards will be accompanied by  6 greeting cards of my most popular large watercolor and mixed media paintings. A selection of my paintings are shown here on the reverse sides of each card in the deck.

How can you toss your name in the hat to win one of my 2 giveaways? It's simple, just leave a comment to THIS POST with a way for me to contact you via email.  A winner will be chosen using a random number generator on February 15th at noon,  Pacific time. No entries will be accepted after noon on February 15th. If you are announced as one of the 2 winners, please contact me within 24 hours (by 1 PM on Feb. 16st, PST) with your mailing address.  If I don't hear from you, another name will be selected to take your place.

Please visit more of the wonderful artists participating in this year's One World One Heart event by visiting Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian for a complete listing of 2010's participants in the right hand sidebar of her blog.

Explore, enjoy, become a follower of blogs you want to go back to, and enjoy the magic of this year's "Magic Carpet Ride" which will take you to new heights of being a creative artist! I'd love to know where you're from and what your own personal art is--but it's not necessary to leave a long comment unless you feel so inclined! Enjoy the ride!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Buy, buy, buy. . . .

You know how they say "You have to spend money to make money"? That's what I've been doing the last couple of days. I have bought:

1. Small frames for Timberline's "Small Wonders" show that's coming up.

2. Large frames (32 X 40") online in bright metallics for the new love paintings etc.

3. Cards of "Flower Power", one of the newest ones that I'm going to enter very soon in a juried show and probably in the California Watercolor Association show.

4. Plexiglass for the 5 newest paintings

5. Mat boards for the newest paintings

LOTS of out of pocket in the last few days, but if you don't do it you can't hang them anywhere and you certainly won't sell them. Something like not winning the lottery but never buying a ticket for the lottery!

Night night!

Welcome to new followers and OWOH visitors!

So nice to have new guests! I hope you keep reading and commenting for a long time to come.

Today was spent visiting with old friends. We went to Kingsburg, a cute town south of us and did a little shopping in a delightful shop called "For the Birds" and had a wonderful, leisurely lunch.

Came home to do a little "organizing" and order some beautiful (I hope!)colorful metal frames for the new <3 paintings.

Then, off to band practice and dessert with friends afterwards. Yet again I ask you--how DID we ever have time to work?

An interesting Sunday!

•Went to a  lovely retirement luncheon for my dear friend Trudy Sweet--CONGRATULATIONS, Trudy! Now you have time to organize your studio and get back to making your art!

•Played two concerts (3 and 7 PM)  by Fresno Community Concert Band at the Fresno City College Theater. I play oboe and Roy plays French horn.

•Long day which ended trying to resolve some computer issues.

Friday evening and Saturday evening

I'm still inspired by the idea of painting "love" paintings for the Valentine's Day/Wine & Chocolate weekend. The first one turned out well but the second one is messy. I do want to try a couple more plus I'm contemplating some hand-painted Valentine cards.

We're off to dinner with previous work friends, some that we haven't seen for years. Should be interesting!

Well, it's now Saturday evening and it WAS interesting. A good dinner, a good visit, but the restaurant was too noisy for easy conversation.

Tonight, we went to Reedley for the FMCMEA (Fresno/Madera) honor band concert. The middle school and high school students were really good!

I'm working on "Love is Kind" and will photograph it as soon as it's almost done. Tomorrow is a busy day with a Retirement Luncheon and 2 concerts for Fresno Community Band so I may not get to paint at all. More soon!

"Love" Paintings

I've decided instead of focusing totally on wine-related paintings for the "Wine and Chocolate" Madera Wine Trail weekend over Valentine's Day, I'm going to paint some "Love" paintings. I know it's not too wise to paint large (full sheet) paintings that are VERY specific in content--unless they are related to content that is very popular to a large number of people. And after thinking about it for a while, what is a more popular subject than Love? So, I'm going to give it a shot and we'll see how it goes. I'm having fun "throwing" paint and working very wet into wet. A pleasant change of process--and it's definitely keeping me more focused on the process than on the product!

The One World, One Heart blogging event is gearing up for full swing so keeping up with that will keep me busy for the next 2 weeks also. More very soon!

For the Wine & Chocolate show on Valentine's weekend

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Floral Painting

I have just about finished the splish-splashy painting of a vase of flowers. I didn't draw anything at all--just started in on it. I showed a couple of the early stages in previous posts. Today's photo isn't a good one--it's brighter/whiter in person than the photo shows.

Over all, I'm happy with what happened with the flowers, semi-happy with the background, and not too happy with the vase. Any thoughts on a name?

Writing Yesterday's Post now--on a beautiful sunny Sunday!

This is officially Saturday's post because last night when I opened the laptop and downloaded some photos to add to my post the lights started flashing again and I had another dizzy spell. When it happens, I can't stand the light or moving my eyes and I can't focus on anything. So, I just went and threw up (I know, TMI!) and went to bed. And today, I am fine!

But, I think I know the culprit. All the months/years that I've done Weight Watchers fairly religiously, I haven't had many problems. The last couple of months I've sort of fallen off the wagon and the "spells" have increased in frequency. I think the culprit may be caffeine and CHOCOLATE, which can be triggers for migraines. Last night, I had eaten a chocolate candy bar. Thursday (the last spell), I finished off a part of a bag of chocolate kisses left over from the Art for Life day. Hmmmmmmm. I'm seeing a pattern here! I really don't think it's stress because it seems like there are many times I'd have a spell that I don't. I'm going to "get back on the wagon" and see if they go back to happening only once or twice a year instead of several times a week!

Now--yesterday's post! I finished up the saxophone painting and the abstract-y floral both. I will post them very soon. I worked on a painting that came from the background I had prepared for the demo that didn't happen. It looks like "Buttons and Bows" or ribbons.

I started a background for another musical painting, I hope--and a splish-splashy floral. I call it that because I wet the paper in most areas until it was quite wet. Then I slopped on a vase and some areas of color for flowers. I let it dry a little and added the green for stems, leaves etc. and a few more flower details. You'll see how wet it looks in the large painting and in the detail. Tomorrow, I'll add some background and more flowers with negative painting and I'll show it to you again.

Maybe it's also "splish-splashy" because of all the rain we've been having!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The end of the week. . . .

. . . .  though when you are retired, each day seems much like the one before it and the one after it. The "living for Fridays" ends, because every day is almost like a working person's Friday!

I didn't write last night because I was sick. I had a bad spell of vertigo which started as we left for band in Fresno. Instead of tapering off and quickly getting better, it got worse and we had to come home without going to rehearsal. Being a person who almost never throws up, I hate being nauseated and physically ill in that way. I came home and went straight to bed and woke up fine, as usual.

The bad part is that the episodes are coming more frequently lately and I can't know when I'm going to have one. I don't know what triggers them so I don't know what to avoid doing or eating. The ear/nose/throat specialist is just about convinced that I am having "silent migraines" which aren't that uncommon, apparently. The "aura", nausea, and vomiting are present without the headache. Strange? And rather disconcerting. Hopefully, we'll figure it out before too much longer.

Today, I finished up the 2 paintings I've been working on--"Oversaxed" and the bright floral, as yet unnamed. I also prepared a background for tomorrow's demo for Yosemite Western Artists. The demo may be canceled if it is still snowing in Oakhurst. If not, I'm packed and ready to go!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Art For Life"

The "Art For Life" Project took place today in my home studio/gallery and this tripich was the final artistic outcome. Artist Iris Duarte and 3 wonderful women--Krissy, Joanne, and Linda--joined us plus Linda's caregiver. We came together as strangers, and we left as friends. It was a very positive experience for me as an artist and I know Iris felt the same way.

It could have felt very threatening for 3 "non-artists", but they were so positive and willing to try anything and so helpful, supportive, and encouraging to each other. The morning began with an idea and a plan and evolved into a much more personal statement by each of the 3 women as they elaborated on the theme of "how my ideas or thoughts about love changed during my experience with cancer."

Just like the weather outside--rain and wind ALL day--all was not bright and sunny. There were and are concerns and fears and they came out during the 9AM to 3PM work time. Hopefully, each of us found the day and the project to be part of the healing process, whether or not we have personally had cancer ourselves or had a close relative or friend with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Small Wonder...."

.... that I'm tired tonight since the brain and the body have both been working overtime.

High points of the day:

1. Timberline board meeting--anything but boring! We will be having a "Small Wonders" show in March and April.

2. Prep for tomorrow's "Art for Life".

3. Clovis Community Band rehearsal

4. Lots of rain!

5. Much needed sleep!

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Mixed Messages" --My 200th Post!

And maybe the shortest to date!? Tomorrow is a busy day, and on Wednesday I'm having about 6 women here in my studio for "The Art of Life." It is a project where women who are undergoing or have undergone treatment for cancer are paired with an artist to develop a painting or paintings that express their feelings about what they have been experiencing. I will write more about the project this week.

After Wednesday, I need to finish preparing for a demo/presentation for Yosemite Western Artists on Saturday in Oakhurst. Too much going on right now and I need to just keep remembering to take one thing at a time so that nothing becomes overwhelming.

When Meghan was a toddler, we used to tell her to eat "one piece of food at a time" and her rendition/repetition came out: "One at the time!" So, I keep saying to myself:"One at the time! One at the time!" And it really helps me to focus and not have any feelings of panic, which can easily happen when too much is going on in too short of a period of time.

Onward and upward, sparkle and shine--one at the time! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Short and sweet

•Good class today--7 great participants.
•Been raining since before 2pm.
•Too sleepy for more news tonight.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday night before a busy weekend--

Thank you all for the kind comments about the Artist Inspiration Cards! I appreciate your thoughts and relish your responses. :)

Busy weekend so I'm just going to touch base tonight:

1.  Tomorrow I am taking an Abstract Watercolor Class from Sandy Kowallis at the Art Stand Gallery. I can hardly wait!

2.  Saturday I am teaching a Mixed Media Explorations Class at the Art Stand Gallery. I can hardly wait!

3.  Next Wednesday, the "Art of Life" Project through Fresno Oncology Center women will be meeting  and painting at my house.

4. A week from Saturday--Jan. 23rd--I'll be doing a demo/presentation for YWA at the old schoolhouse.

I think that's enough teaching for one month! With the presentation in Fremont on the 6th also, it'll be a very busy month.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Artist Cards--A New "Venture" or Adventure!

Many months, or perhaps even a few years ago, I started a project of collecting quotations related to art. My intention was to create a set of "affirmation cards", crediting the authors of each quote, and presenting the cards in a colorful, unique, and personalized way.

The steps I took were these:

*I made a template of 6 cards per letter sized page, with a geometric border around each one.

*I made a template of a card back, surrounded by the same border and using just one of my paintings for the whole intended "deck".

*Using Sharpie pens, I wrote a quote on each card and colored the borders. I made 52, one per week for the year although the cards could be used in many different ways, as desired by each artist.

*I briefly thought of printing them on my printer, 2 sided, but quickly abandoned the thought due to the quantity of ink it would take and the time involved. Probably 24/7 for about a month. . . .

*I talked about the project with David Bays at Bays Printing on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno and got a price quote.

*I abandoned the idea because I couldn't afford it! Left the masters for the cards at the printer's for months, hoping to come into a "windfall".

*Came into a "windfall" (ha!), returned to the printer, found that the masters (the only copy, of course!)  had been lost or thrown away.

*The cards were found. Yippee! We revised the plan for the cards a bit, now using a large assortment of my paintings for the backs, each surrounded by a black border.

*He printed a sample, I proofed them, and loved them. The printing of 100 sets began.

*Printing was completed and a nightmare day of cutting began for him. It would have been a nightmare YEAR for me had I cut them by hand as I originally planned to do.

*I paid for them, picked them up--a large, heavy box with 55+ rubber-banded sets of cards.

*I started collating them--may never finish!--and started trying to decide on packaging.

*Decided to make (Ha!) 100 boxes using a template, using extra cards for front and back. Started coloring them with Sharpies on white cardstock. Each box is personally "signed" by me.

*Made 3 boxes. Went to the scrapbooking paper department for 2 sided, colorful paper.

*Now have ten boxes complete, plus 2 more that sold yesterday--the first day I showed them to anyone!

*Have orders for 3 more sets and will take them to my class this weekend. Marketing has not yet officially begun.

*Found clear plastic boxes online that are made for 55 trading cards which should be a perfect fit.

*Will order some boxes and offer customers a choice of handmade paper boxes or slightly more durable clear plastic boxes which will save me the time of making a whole 100 paper boxes.

Words of Wisdom and Inspiration for Artists, collected, written out, and packaged
by Kathleen Mattox, Mixed Media Artist, are now available.

Price: $12.00 per set.
Mailed: $13.00 per set.

If you would like a set, leave me a comment below with your name and box color (give me 2 choices, please) desired. I will have most basic colors and some boxes with a pattern on the outside and a different pattern on the inside--really unique! Clear boxes are not yet available. If I can "hand deliver" your set to you, I will. If I need to mail it to you, I'll need an address via my email at kathleenmattox@gmail.com

Please let me know what you think and how many sets you would like. These will make great gifts for your artist friends in addition to your own personal set.

PS. For once, it is not yet midnight! How 'bout that?

Long day--

What's wrong with this picture? I'm almost always writing my blog post of the day after midnight. Today, I wish it was earlier since I left home this morning before 10 AM and got home tonight after 10 PM. That isn't a normal day but it's not often that I have meetings with both of my artist friend groups on the same day. My marketing salon group met in Coarsegold for our first meeting in 2010 and lunch and my potluck critique group (MY term for us!) met for dinner and our monthly critique.

In Julie Cameron's books, she talks about "believer mirrors"--people who reflect back at their artist friends with positive support and encouragement and that artists turn to in times of need with no fear of negative consequences. Both groups that I met with today are made up of people most of whom I consider to be my "believer mirrors". They give positive feedback and suggestions, constructive criticisms and are very supportive, knowing when I need encouragement the most whether or not I realize that I'm asking for it. I greatly appreciate the individual personalities in both groups and the feelings of now and then isolation that they help alleviate.

My evening group is made up of some creative and wonderful cooks and if the critiques are lacking because we haven't painted "to the topic", the food never is! My saxophone painting received a lukewarm reception, partly I think because it's so different from what most of the other members of the group do. But looking at it across the room with different eyes was very helpful to me--I know what I need to do to make it better and then I will consider it ready to frame.

Thank you, dear friends, I appreciate you all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finished or Overfinished?

Well, it's either finished or overfinished. One of my favorite teachers, Kay Owens, always says you have to know "when to get out the hammer"--meaning you have to know when to quit on a painting. I may have gone too far on this one--I needed to get out the hammer sooner!--because I added some finishing details that feel a little "tight" for the rest of the painting.

I liked the initial spontaneous effort--it was nice and loose, with soft and hard edges, defined and undefined shapes, different sized areas, and a nice light pathway through the painting. Roy saw the crucifix/cross shape right away--the bari sax (a generic large sax in this painting)on top of and at right angles to the soprano sax which crosses the painting horizontally.

Almost finished with the painting, I added some little bits of embossing, because it's so magical when you do it  and a few other scribbles and pieces of collage and now, the painting feels contrived to me. Also, the lines of the musical staff emerging from the bell of the largest sax are too regular and don't do what I wanted them to do because it's difficult to control the paint as you blow it across the paper.

But, on the good side: the painting was fun to do, I learned things from it, and I generally am pleased with the overall effect. The best part of it was that I started it with no pencil lines or sketch. I just went for it and I need to start more paintings this way.

The name? Ahem. . . . I think it's pretty obvious, isn't it? The only question is: should it be "Saxy"? Or "Over-saxed"?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The New Painting, further developed

This photo is of the same painting that I started yesterday, with some additions of paint and line. I have laid some pieces of torn and cut paper on the painting--the "notes" (circular shapes) coming out of the 2 saxophones plus some areas of dark, lacy paper to add the dark path through the painting. Let's see what comes next, when it comes! I think that I will modify the edges of the dark papers so they are less regular and then start gluing things down. This was intended to be a "quick" painting but I can see that I want to do other similar ones, just based upon what I've learned in this one!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Appearance of my "Mixed Messages" Blog . . . AND. . . A New Painting!

I still haven't decided what to do about the "look" of the blog. I do appreciate the responses that I have received so far. They were all thoughtful and helpful and are pointing me in a slightly different direction than the current one. I think that I'll wait another day or 2 before I try something different, just in case others are still preparing their thoughts and do intend to comment also.

This week, my "potluck critique group" meets on Wednesday evening. The topic for this month is "Pipe Dreams" and I didn't have any real ideas about what to paint until this evening. But this is only Sunday, right? Par for the course since I often only start a couple of days before the meeting. At first, I thought I'd paint something about dreams or dreaming and then I thought of another idea. I decided to paint shapes that are pipe shapes--like different types of pipes. And then, I starting thinking that some musical instruments look like pipes. So. . . . I decided to paint--what else?--saxophones!

The first wash of the painting is pictured here.  I lightly painted in a large light shape from top to bottom and then a yellow shape from side to side, "behind' the first large instrument. You can now see 3 saxes, one large and top to bottom, one medium and upside down, and one small crosswise one. They are different warm colors, as is the background. I didn't draw anything, just started wetting the paper and dropping in color where I thought I wanted it. The end of tonight's process was to draw some keys, rods etc. with watercolor inks in eyedropper bottles. We'll see where it goes tomorrow. It was fun just quickly throwing paint on without preplanning much or sketching anything. It makes for a lot more spontaneous painting that is more soft-edged than hard-edged and a lot less tight than those that are carefully drawn out first.

Watch for future developments tomorrow!

Help Needed!

I'm hoping maybe you can all help me with a tough decision. I've been reading a lot about the need to make a "style sheet" etc. and to be sure that your blog really shows off your art work to it's best advantage. I'm second-guessing myself in regards to whether mine does that or if it could do it better.

My old blog "look" had the painting called "Juicy" (wine bottles, fruit etc.) at the top. It had a black background and colored type and links, but no graphics along the sides of the screen.

The new blog look is called "Fairy Dust" and it's sparkly and shiny, still with a black background and links but much more flamboyant. The painting used at the top is "And the Ring, Please?" and the header font is "Curlz". The text is curved and more ornate. The slide show now appears at the top of the blog rather than at the bottom so, hopefully, it's easier to find.

The questions I have for you are these and if you wouldn't mind commenting here on the blog or via Facebook, I'd sincerely appreciate it because I want to do what's best for the viewing of my "Mixed Messages" blog.

1. Which do you like better--the old (plainer) blog or the new (sparklier) blog?

2. Do you think the black background is an advantage with the bright colors of my work? Or is it hard to read and you think that a white background would better showcase the artwork?

3. Do you think that the playful new look adds or detracts from the artwork?

Thank you for responding to any or all of these 3 questions. Please add any other thoughts that you have or any suggestions for what you think would make the blog more attractive, appealing, and readable?

One more question might be:

4. What sort of posts are your favorite? Informative, as in info about a technique etc? Philosophical? Photos of my work? News of my activities? None of the above and something else entirely?

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Christmas Gift

My sister and brother in law gave me "The Complete Artist's Way" for
Christmas. By Julia Cameron, this beautiful edition contains "The
Artist's Way", "Walking in this World", and "Finding Water". I will
elaborate on it another day.

More photos from Fremont

Here is Grace showing one of her wonderful travel sketchbook/journals. She usually uses pen, not pencil, which was an "a-ha" for some people last night.

 I am going to include some other photos from last night and then tell you of a personal challenge I've been dealing with regarding photos, my iPhone, and blogging. I used to be able to hook my phone up to the computer and have an immediate link to iPhoto start up. My new photos on my phone were transferred to the photo program where I could edit them, name them, and store them for easy retrieval and use. But after a recent update to either the phone or the computer, things stopped being so easy. But tonight, I was able to get it figured out (yippee!) and get my pictures off my phone again. So that was a MAJOR step for me. The next one is to figure out how to manipulate the pictures and text consistently to do what I want to do, in terms of format and placement. It's all very hit and miss and never quite what I intend but I never have quite enough time to master it! At least I usually know what my next challenge is, right? Good night for now!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tonight in Fremont...

...went very well. There were about 18 people in attendance and they seemed to enjoy our presentation about sketchbooking and journaling. People learned new things about making their own books, embellishing commercial books, and about the process of journaling with a pen rather than a pencil. I will share photos when I get home because I don't seem to be able to do it from my phone to my blog.

On the road to Fremont for a demo on journaling and sketchbooking. The sun is trying to peek out.


Is this what they mean by "mixed media"? As in a big MESS?
I think I am finally ready for tomorrow night's presentation for Grace Rankin's watercolor club in Fremont. Roy and I will drive over for the day and Grace and I will do an evening presentation on journals and sketchbooking. We will each show our own style of keeping a travel sketchbook journal and talk about artist journals in general. I will show how to make some different types of handmade books and how to embellish some commercial ones. We will talk about our July trip to La Romita School of Art in Italy as well. This will be our first co-presentation; we will do a similar demo for the Alliance of California Artists in March in Clovis. I'm off to bed now. More tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Artist "date" of sorts

Today, I spent a wonderful afternoon with fellow artist, Iris Duarte. We shared a delicious leisurely lunch and talked about art for hours, completely losing track of time. We have a lot in common in terms of loving color, painting large, and loving to experiment with new materials and techniques. We agreed that we need to spend more time together experimenting with some things we both want to try. In the month of January, we will be working together on the Art of Life project in which artists and cancer victims/survivors work together on an art project. This year's theme is Love. We did some planning and organizing in preparation for the event. I will write more about it as the month progresses. I enjoyed getting to know Iris better and look forward to working with her.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another busy day--

1. Today, I finished wrapping and pricing eighteen (18!) small paintings that were actually finished in 2009 but not ready to show. Now they are, as you can see in today's photos. I will change the numbers now for the last time for 2009 and move on to a different goal--2 hours/day with the paintbrush (or other tool) in my paintin' hand!

2. We went to the office store for some paper etc. and bought a new inexpensive printer to replace one of ours that "died" or at least is in hiberation at the moment. Tonight, Roy got it going while I painted and then we both tried it out.

3. After the errands and dinner, we went to see George Clooney (sp?) in "Up In the Air" which proved to be a very thought-provoking movie.

Although somewhat of a "downer" in some ways, I'm glad we saw it.
Stay tuned tomorrow for news of the Fremont demo and other upcoming events!