Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Test to see if I can post a link to my newsletter here. . . . .

This is a test to see if I can publish my just-written newsletter here on my blog as well as send it out via email and post it on Facebook.

It doesn't work as a PDF or a JPG so now I'm trying it as a link to the URL that shows up when I open it.My Fall (October) Newsletter.

It looks like it works but I can't see a thumbnail of it or anything. If you try it and can see all the pages of it and it's fairly decently formatted, would you let me know? It's sort of a work around, just for now.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Excitement in many forms! rOne specifically today. . . . :)

Wow! Look how many months it's been since I posted here on my blog. WAY too many. I'm much more faithful about posting on Facebook, but I've been sorely lacking regarding my blog and my newsletter. It's time to catch up on both of those. I'll be posting about a lot of interesting things going on in my artistic life in the next edition of my newsletter but here, today, I'd like to focus on just one great and exciting accomplishment!

A little over a  year ago, I had the idea of publishing a small book of some of my paintings. About the same time, I'd started communicating with my second cousin, Wyatt Figueroa, in Texas. Wyatt is Cindy's son and Cindy's dad, Bill, and my dad, Jack, are brothers. So, Cindy, Becky, Debbie (her sisters) and I are first cousins. All 3 sisters live outside of California so I don't see them or their children often. When the opportunity to reconnect with Cindy and Becky and Wyatt came about on FB, I was grateful for it and we started getting back in touch.

Over the weeks that followed, I found out that Wyatt and Cindy both paint and Wyatt writes poetry and fiction stories. He was temporarily out of work and I suggested that he might be interested in writing some poems to go with some of my paintings. I picked out 20 paintings and he started writing a poem to go with each. I sent him a contract and agreed to pay him a small amount for each poem and format the collection into book form and give him a few books at the end of the project.

As the poems flew back and forth over the cyber highway, I had a good feeling all along about the project. There were dry spells with not much happening, but, overall,  the progress was steady and encouraging. Each poem I received was set up with the painting it went with in a double page spread in a book developing through Blurb books. I could tell that Wyatt struggled with writing some of them and others just almost seemed to fall onto the page, barely even guided by the pencil in his hand. They varied in feeling, mood, subject matter, emotive state, and style but all were very interesting and very well done.

Summer came and went, twice, and the 20 poems were almost 20! And then, they were. I scrambled to format them based on a limited number of templates available through Blurb. I published and edited a draft version and ordered us each a copy. I was very pleased with the look and feel (both physical and emotional) of the book. The first draft paper was standard quality paper and it looked good,  but  it was much nicer in the second, hardbound version with a better grade of paper.

So now, the book is available through Blurb in three versions--a pdf copy that comes to your computer for $14.99, a softbound copy for $20.00 plus tax and shipping if ordered through Blurb and $40.00 plus tax and shipping if ordered through Blurb.

All you do to order is go to and do a search for "Painting and Poems, A Cousin Collaborative" and pick pdf, softbound, or hardbound and it will be sent directly to you in a few days. I will have a few copies available at the gallery but I anticipate most orders will be through Blurb since it will save shipping to me and then me reshipping to the final destinations. If you are near Sanger and want to order through me and pick up at the gallery, that works fine. Just let me know what you'd like and I'll order it and you can pay at pickup at "Mixed Messages" ART in Sanger, CA.

I'd like to thank Wyatt again for his commitment and dedication to the project and for sharing so much of himself in his poems. He and I feel like we know each other much better now and it's been a rewarding project for both of us. We think you will enjoy the book--both the paintings and the poems--and will treasure having it on your bookshelf. Happy Paintings and Poems to you!

If you go to Blurb, you will see a preview of two of the poems included in the book. There are 20 all together, and the book has 42 pages.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moving Forward. . . . With Good Fortune!

I posted on Facebook not too long ago that I got a fortune cookie with the message "Next month will be your most profitable month of the year". I saved it along with Roy's which read "You will hear pleasant news" because I thought the combination of the two might be foretelling good things to come. And it seems that mine may come to pass because I am considering it as not a calendar month but rather a 30 day period during which I'm getting paid for several commissions and several surprises! Hard work DOES pay off, doesn't it?

Normally, I do NOT like commissions and I do not take commissions. The reason being that I prefer to paint for myself, not for others. If I'm happy with a painting, it usually turns out that someone else likes it, too. But it's hard to paint something for someone else and try to suit them. Well, the bottom line is that I decided I was being narrow-minded and limiting my sales so I accepted 5 or 6 jobs that I might not have taken a year or two ago.

It worked out that I loved doing every one of them because everyone wanted me to do things MY way! So they were commissions, yes, but they were commissions in my style with my slant on them. They each challenged me to do something I might never have tackled otherwise but that turned out to be a good thing. The subject matter in each case was not of my choice but the way I choose to implement it, was. With that in mind, the things I've just completed and sales that came my way were:

1. Two large paintings for music educator Duane Weston, using his ties as inspiration. Posters were made from the paintings.

2. A painting called "Birds of the Ponding Basin" for the Fresno Audubon Society with 19 birds done separately and then assembled into a large painting that will soon be a plaque at Clovis and Alluvial's Cottonwood Park.

3. Three small owl paintings done in the same style as the water birds for a collector who collects owls! She saw me working on the pond birds and asked if I could do owls.

4.A painting for the retiring superintendent of Sanger Unified based on the district motto--"Every Day, Every Child, Whatever it Takes!"--and given as a gift to him from one of the Sanger sites.
5. Two large painted and appliqued fabric banners for the Selma Methodist Church.

6. Two or three reframing projects that honed my mat-cutting skills, including cutting a triptych mat.

7. A set of a dozen "Occasionally" cards prompted by people asking for cards for very specific events.

8. The purchase of and older painting called "Cowboy Cliches" by just the right cowboy that it had apparently been waiting for all along.

The list could go on, but I'll stop there. My eyes are open to the fact that several of these were "connected" to each other (directly or indirectly) by my willingness to try something I might not have tried before and wouldn't have tried if they hadn't presented me with an idea that THEY were passionate about and that I became passionate about.

So, the bottom line is, I've changed my mind about "Commissions"!
Thank you all for your interest in my work and belief in my abilities. :) It is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seven Choices: Take Your Pick! (As you look at my blog. . . . . )

My "Just Show Up" policy is obviously not getting me here, is it? But today, I thought I'd start out by reading some recent posts on the other blogs that I follow. And having done that, I AM here, relaxed, enjoying a break from preparing for a demonstration on Saturday, and going to take a moment to write a short blog post.

As I logged in, I briefly studied once again the new format one sees when they log onto my Blogger page. You are presented  with a row of titles: Classic, Flipcard, Magazine, Mosiac, Sidebar, Snapshot, and Timeslide. You can click on any one of them and see the recent posts in a different format in each one. I think the titles are  reflective of each "look"--

1."Classic" is standard, straightforward, and traditional. You see the photo and the post in a single glance and the look is very simple and basic. I think this view is the closest to what most people expect when they look at a blog. You see the date, the post, the photo or photos in a rather self-contained, book page type of way.

2. The second format is called "Flip Card" and it presents you with a screen full of small thumbnail like photos. Each is dated in a caption and if there wasn't a photo with the post, you will see instead, the title of the post. It's an interestingly different presentation, I think--you can pick one that looks interesting or one that looks appealing. At the top of the screen you are allowed to sort them by "Recent", "Date", "Label" (Tag), or "Author".

3. The third choice is "Magazine" and it is sort of like browsing through a magazine and it looks much like "Classic" although the most recent post is at the top of the screen, highlighted and larger than the posts that came before it. The previous posts are shown smaller, with a partial post accompanying each photo.

4. The fourth presentation is called "Mosiac"and it shows random sized images covering the screen, with the newest one shown first--photo AND partial post--and then the photo only for the others. If there was no photo, it shows a partial post in its space. An interested look that is much more random, with no dates showing anywhere that I can see.

5. "Sidebar" is the next format and it shows a sidebar on the left side of the screen with a list of post titles and a small thumbnail if a photo accompanied the post. By clicking on the title in the sidebar, you are taken to that post, with its date and labels shown below the post.

6. The sixth format is called "Snapshot" and the page looks like an album page of snapshot photos, taped on the page. Each has a photo and title of the post (just like a photo caption) unless there is no photo in which it seems as though it doesn't appear. Hmmmmm. I'm not sure about that but I do like the look of this page. It's very clean and simple and you can choose the one that catches your eye first and skip around from one to the next, if that strikes your fancy!

7. The 7th and last format is called "Timeslide" and it seems to be the one with the most obvious chronological structure. It shows the most recent one (highlighted and larger) in a column on the left, with photo showing. The second column is posts that happened prior to the one on the left. Then, there is a third column that goes back even further.

What I'm not sure about is whether only I can select how I wish people to see the blog or if YOU can click on any one of the seven views and make it YOUR choice. I've tried to check for myself on other blogs but I don't find any that have used the layout that I chose so I can't be sure what you see and what you can select. If you explore my blog and can enlighten me in a comment, I'd love it! Thanks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Oddity--

I just realized that I hadn't seen my post from yesterday on my Facebook page so I came to Blogger to check. There it sat in my list of posts, still a draft and never published. So I hit the 'publish' button and off it went. And if that weren't odd enough, there was another post from a few days ago that was also still a draft. Strange!? I must have gotten interrupted (or more likely, interrupted myself!) before I took the last step in the process. In any case, two posts that were drafts are now published posts and I'm actually here "showing up" so that's a third small blessing for this beautiful Sunday.

Anita and Randy Morris own this 18" square wallhanging. I now have a second one available.
This is the second one that is now available. Ultimately, I will do
at least 4 of them and each one will be different, in terms of borders,
colors etc. This one is very "lime green",
which I personally am
attracted to. :)
Quiet day, in terms of customers, but a productive day in terms of getting work done. We have to finish the taxes and that will be off our shoulders for another year. One of my resolutions for 2013 is to enter my income and expenses each month rather than waiting until December or January for the end of January deadline. So far, I'm only 2 1/2 months behind. :( Another resolution was to set aside my collected taxes each month so that paying the Board of Equalization wouldn't hit so hard next January 31st. So far, I'm only 2 1/2 months behind on that, too. . . . . . I plan to try to catch up on both promises I made to myself. :)
What happened to my "Just Show Up!" plan? It seems that every day is so full that some things just get pushed back and unfortunately, blogging is one of those things for me. I find the immediacy of Faceback and the fact that it gets more responses and thus more interactions is more appealing to me than blogging. So if one has to go, it's always the blogging. And sometimes I feel like I'm repeating myself on my blog if I've already Facebooked about it so that's another constraint. I try to save the more "process-oriented" posts for blogging about, or the more thoughtful or longer ones.

As I read other peoples' blogs on my reading list, I find a lot of people blog about not having time for everything. And I don't blog about it, I just don't blog--but it's for the same reason. Time is of the essence, as are priorities. I like to blog but if it comes to painting or reorganizing the studio or planning for Sanger Art Hop, I choose one of the others first every time. And yet, in reality, I just need to show up and say something and let it go at that. OK, I'll try to do better.

My newsletter is rather the same way--I want to do it every month, but I just don't always do it. So, I'm going to start calendaring it again and see that it gets done because I always get results from it. It needs to be done today or tomorrow because this is the Blossom Trail time of year and this Saturday's Art Hop and next Saturday's Sanger Blossom Day Festival should be busy days here in town and at the gallery. Lots of people "hit the trail" to see all the blossoms in bloom along a stretch of road extending from near Sanger to the base of the foothills and into the surrounding small communities. It is really beautiful to see miles and miles of pink and white blossoming trees--peaches, nectarines, plums in many varieties.

What happened to "Just Show Up!"?

It's not that I'm not always busy--I am!--but rather that I just don't sit down at the computer and come to my blogsite every day. Some days, I start with good intentions only to find out the internet connection isn't working that day. Always 101 excuses, I guess. And usually the only reason I don't come is that I'm involved with something else. And I obviously must consider that "something else" more important than blogging.

I've always felt strongly that I don't like taking on commissions because I don't like to paint for someone else, sometimes in a style that's not my own. But I've decided that commissions can definitely be good things IF the request honors the style, thought processes, and final product that the artist comes up with. I'm recently working on 3 or 4 commissions or requests and I'm happy about all of them because I'm doing them my way, in my time frame, in MY style. So that's a great revelation, actually, and should have positive implications for the future.

Recently on my work table and now completed:

1. Two paintings about Duane Weston, Fresno music educator
2. Nineteen small bird paintings in watercolor for a painting for the local Audubon Society.
3. Three "Powerful Word" paintings and a cover for an upcoming calendar of 12 powerful words.
4. Three tiny owl paintings for a collector friend who saw the bird painting and requested owls
5. Thirteen small paintings for a set of Greeting Cards that are event specific, in a general sort of way

I'm feeling good about the paintings and about completing them. Onward and Upward now--on to other things on these gorgeous spring days!

Wreath by Susan Klassen of Reedley

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recent Letter to the Editor/Sanger Herald

I've only written 2 letters to the editor in my life, this being the second one. The first was about the time that we started Art Hops in Sanger. I never thought I'd do this, but it's a great forum and I'm finding out that people DO read them!

February 21, 2013

A Love Letter to the Blossom Trail, the Sanger Community, and the Sanger Art Hop

The onset of the Blossom Trail season makes me aware that I want to live in a world where EVERYthing is capable of blossoming, not only the trees--but also the flowers, the economy, peoples’ attitudes and abilities, positivity, acceptance, creativity, talents, and beauty. According to the dictionary, when a plant blossoms, it produces flowers before producing fruit which can often be eaten. When people blossom, they become more attractive, successful, or confident and when good feelings or relationships blossom, they develop and become stronger. When communities blossom, there is no stopping them. I am convinced that Sanger is a place to believe in.

I’m so tired of people not moving forward toward their hopes and dreams by taking the next baby step because they are afraid, broke, tired, sick, stymied, unloved, bored, stagnant, ignorant, or afraid to take a risk. They don’t maintain or  improve the looks of their rental home or rented business because it’s not their responsibility, they don’t want to spend the money, the landlord should do it, or they’re too lazy to do even the basic things to keep up a  place that is a direct reflection of themselves. On the other hand, I’ve had people from out of town tell me how clean our streets and restaurant bathrooms are and how friendly they find the people in Sanger.

I want you to look around you and see that some people clean up the trash in their yards, wash their windows, pull the weeds growing in front of and around their businesses, sweep and/or hose off their sidewalks, wave to their neighbors, smile frequently, and speak highly of their community as a desirable place to live and of their leaders as true vanguards, pointing toward a better future for our children. Their yards and their hearts blossom with goodness, generosity, and enthusiasm for life. Most of these things cost nothing so lack of money is no reason not to indulge in them. 

I want you to have the ability to see the best in people, our community, our state, and our country and let the good thoughts blossom and mature, rather than dwelling on the bad ones. The “bad” buds can be allowed to wither and die or they can be nourished and encouraged to thrive also. I encourage you to choose to help others blossom by boosting their spirits and feeding their souls. Sometimes it only takes a word or a smile.

It is because of all these wishes that I have for Sanger and for you as a member of the Sanger community that Sanger Art Hop was created. Seeing beauty through such venues as art, music, poetry, dance, and literature is a way to encourage bodies, spirits, and souls to take off and fly higher than they ever thought possible. Visiting different locations on Art Hop Saturdays and those same locations on any other day can lift your spirits and you can, in turn, lift someone else’s. A kind word to an artist in any of these venues can keep them creating or give them the lift they need when they are in a slump.

Right now, I want you to consider what YOU can do to help Sanger continue to blossom and mature. It might be visiting the Sanger Youth Center and encouraging the boys and girls to keep creating art. It might be going to the Sanger Music Center and listening to a young musician as he strums his first guitar. It might be donating a book to the library or a school library or writing a poem and sharing it with your children. It might be drawing a picture together while listening to music. It might be picking up a piece of trash from the street and putting it in a nearby trashcan. It might be donating time to help Hope Sanger or attending a Sanger Art Hop event to get inspired by all the artistic talent that IS in Sanger.

It all begins with the first step that you take. Will it be today, tomorrow, or next week? Right now is the best time. As Les Brown once said, “I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well-equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.”

With all my love for Art and for the Sanger Community,

Kathleen Mattox
Sanger Artist
“Mixed Messages” ART

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Just show up, just show up, just SHOW UP!

What if I took my own advice and actually DID just show up every day to this blog? The hard part is sitting down in front of the computer, logging in, and hitting "New Post". If I do get that far, inevitably something comes to mind to write about--it's just getting to the point of having the post window (and the "Window of Opportunity") open in front of me.

Now that I am at the gallery 5 days a week, 7 hours a day, it's easy to get into the habit of letting the thought of interruptions later in the day stop me from doing things that need to be done, whether it's painting, cutting mats, framing, weeding the flowerbeds or whatever. Thinking that a student is coming at 4 PM can cause me to NOT get out the mat cutter at 11:30 AM because I don't want to create a "mess" that I have to clean up and put away before she comes. I am finally understanding that I can't let that kind of thinking determine the course of my days at the gallery.

I need to plan and prepare for any classes, lessons, appointments and/or "interruptions" when I first arrive in the morning (OR the night before as I prepare to close up), gather necessary materials, documents etc., and then move on to the things that must be done to keep the business running smoothly.

For example, yesterday I had a 4 PM student. I planned her lesson, gathered the materials and made sure I had the availability of a clear working space for the afternoon. Then, I got out the mat cutter, set it up, cut 4 mats, prepared two paintings to be framed, and did a variety of other tasks between customer visits. It's actually a very good thing for people to see me painting, cutting mats, framing, changing a display etc. because then they understand what all goes into running an art gallery plus they see me doing things they didn't know I do. I've gained some matting and framing jobs because they found out I can competently do those jobs.  It's actually amazing how much you can do in ten focused minutes, or 30 minutes or 2 hours IF you don't let "Interruption Paralysis" get you down and stop you from doing anything. I think IP is closely related to the dreaded "Procrastination Affliction"!

So, I am committed to "Just Show Up!", be overprepared in advance of when I need to be, and do what needs to be done in the order that it needs to be done in! Also: Remember to be sure to keep your words soft and gentle because tomorrow you may need to eat them. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What if I used my iPad for quick sketches etc. more frequently. . . .

I asked myself several posts ago "What if I just SHOWED UP?" to my blog each day. And I did for a few days and it worked well but then I got distracted and bogged down by end of the year taxes. Well, the taxes are done and I haven't been showing up.

A new "What If" I've asked myself is: What If I tried doing more digital sketching or painting? Would I be able to get more comfortable with the applications? At least enough so that they could be useful for quick sketches or brainstormed ideas? I have an iPad, which I absolutely love, and had previously downloaded and tried--a little--some sketching/painting apps. I have Paper 53 and Sketchbook Express right now and I've ruled out some of the other ones previously as not meeting my needs. Paper 53 is very attractive, fun, and seems to be able to handle my requests now that I know how to manipulate the pallette and open and close the program. I can also easily save a drawing and send it to Facebook or email it to myself or others.

I'll show you what I've done so far and tell you what I plan to do with the app. Here are my first 4 attempts, in the order in which I created them. I was pretty happy with this first one, an early Valentine's Card. I tried most of the effects, with more success on some than on others. It was quite easy to do once I got started.

Valentine's Card
Quick fun drawing of one of my favorite quotes.

Further experimentation. You can't use text with this app, just handwritten notes or writing.
I tried making a quick "Save the Date" note for the next Art Hop event coming up. My next goal is to do the next Art Hop Flyer using Paper 53. Maybe not ALL of it but the graphic part of it. So, watch for more attempts over the next weeks and if you have an iPad, join me in trying out some programs. I heard of another one called Rage Art or Art Rage ($4.99) which has a LOT of different paint effects but it looks more difficult and I haven't tried it yet.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jump for Joy!

It was a glorious day today--the high was 64 degrees. After our recent cold spell with nights as low as 27 degrees, it felt like summer today. The last few nights have been comfortable and quiet, too, with no wind machines blowing in the orchard behind us. What if we were truly grateful for all the small gifts we are given each and every day? What if we went a day or a week or a month--or a year--without complaining about things that will make no difference a day or a month or a year or five years from now? What if we held that thought and expressed our gratitude more often and complained less?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thoughts from a radio conversation. . . .

Yesterday, while I was in the car, I had the radio on and was listening with half an ear to a discussion about the economy, financial issues etc. My ears perked up when I heard this statement:

"If you don't have enough information about a subject, your imagination kicks in and fills in the blanks."

All of a sudden my mind took some quick turns and transported me back to something the late Monte Guynes told his art classes about ten years ago. He said "Don't finish the painting for them--let THEM do that!" He was a firm believer in NOT finishing every detail of a painting--of letting the viewer put themselves into it, in leaving something mysterious about it so that the viewer could finish it and fill it in with his/her own imagination. "If you don't have enough information about a painting, your imagination kicks in and fills in the blanks." And the odds are that your imagination completes it in a way that satisfies YOU and makes it complete and often becomes the reason that you painted the painting or that you purchased the painting.

So, what if you left something mysterious, nebulous, or un-said about that painting that you're currently working on? Let the viewer add the details of the face if it's a painting with a person in it. Let the viewer's mind embellish the landscape in the area where you've left soft edges. Let the viewer put something of himself/herself into the painting that makes it truly theirs. Sometimes it's a sale when you do. . . . . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Irregularity Plagues Us All!

What if we don't post on our blogs every day? Will it signal the end of the world? Will our pay checks be docked? Will be we struck by lightning?

Nothing will happen. The world will go on. Life will not change. No one will reprimand us or give us a bad evaluation. It is OK to miss a day or two now or then, or even a week or a month. As John Lennon said: "Life is what happens while we're making other plans."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Rubber Ducky, You're the One. .. . "

What if we actually got all our ducks in a row--that is, in the SAME row, at the same time? Would we be satisfied or would we still feel that pressing need to get organized, finish our projects, or complete the tasks that need to be done? I guess the real question is: "does anyone actually ever get all their ducks in a row?"

I was curious where the phrase comes from and this is what I found out doing a quick Google search:

There are several theories about where the phrase originated. One is
the is comes from the bowling industry where pins used to be smaller and thicker than today's pins; they were called "ducks" and putting them all in a row referred to the handsetting of pins.

Another possibility is related to Mother Duck's mode of traveling with her ducklings: all the babies follow behind Mother Duck in a straight, close line for their safety. This makes sense when you see a row of ducklings following their mother across a road. Other possiblities are that the term refers to the ducks used in mechanical shooting games at a arcade, "ducks" as the metal weights formerly used by engineers to define a curve, or "ducks" as cargo bins which must be lined up on the dock before being loaded onto a ship.

Some sources say that the term was first seen in print in a Stephen King novel in the 1970's so it is apparently a relatively new term, not one from ancient times.

Regardless of it's origin, the term means to ensure all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project. When a person is fully prepared for any eventuality and has every element in place, he or she can indeed be said to have his or her ducks in a row.

When I'm feeling disorganized and "scattered", it helps me be more productive by getting things back in order. I clean the studio, sort magazines, clip articles, bag paintings and prints, clean paint brushes etc., not as a way of getting out of working but rather of putting things to rights so that I can work more efficiently and effectively, with a clear mind. I always used to clean my desk, room, closet etc. the day after school was out--like a routine that helped me change gears from the school year to summer vacation, perhaps. Now, I think I'll take visualize taking a nice hot bath and see if (in my mind) I can get all the rubber duckies in the tub swimming in the same direction, visually an analogy for my preparation for a productive artistic year in 2013! And then I'll get back to work on the projects and commissions that need to be addressed before I can move on to personally creating some new paintings which are now simmering in the back of my mind.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Observation of the Oddly Unexpected

What if the unexpected becomes the expected?

I love wearing 2 different socks to see if anyone notices. Usually, no one does. . . or if they do, they don't say anything about it. Is it for the shock value, the personal satisfaction, or the fact that I can only find one of each particular pair on a given day? I'll never tell. :)

What if the abnormal becomes the normal? What if there is no real "normal" or everyone's normal is different? That's what keeps life interesting, in my estimation. No 2 people process or store information in the same way and it's always fun to observe how others deal with situations, respond in conversations, and react to stimuli. It's fun to see who is observant and who isn't and how they feel about the differences they observe. Do you think things must be matching/symmetrical or do you enjoy oddness now and then?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three questions for you to respond to--pick any or all of them

1. What if artists played more often? (It would be fun!)

2. What if we incorporated play into our work every day? (I do!)

3. What if our classes centered on "play"? (Mine do, but some people have to be taught to play and "what if" and they still are resistant.)

How would you answer these 3 questions?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Day of Play

What if artists spent a whole day just playing now and then? Well, some of us do! Lucky me, I was invited to Abigail Anderson-Shine's beautiful home and studio in Madera yesterday, for just such a day.

Abigail, Lonnie Flowers (from Visalia) and I just played from morning till late afternoon, with a delicious lunch in the middle of the day.

By MY definition, "Just Playing" involves doing a "project" that you have no idea what you are doing when you begin. You just begin. In a well-stocked studio, finding things to work with was NO problem at all. The three of us each began by choosing one or more old cigar boxes that we found appealing in terms of size, shape or construction. Then we started embellishing them.

 I chose 2 with tops that opened upwards, with 
open fronts. They looked like little tiny theater stages. I covered my first little box with colorful papers, added tassels and a handle made of small blocks. In this photo it is drying.

Lonnie chose a very flat, square, wooden box and Abigail selected 3 square-ish wooden boxes that were all alike. We all worked on the boxes in the beautiful, peacful setting.
Lonnie working on her first box

"Men", complete with a Surgeon General's warning!
Lonnie's second box--looking down into it
at the arrangement of shapes she decided upon
Abigail's 3 boxes, glued together, being embellished. . . .
Right side up

From another angle

My first little box, labelled "What If?" and topped with a bird
We all agreed at the end of the day that we'd had a great time working on the boxes and that we'd finish them and share the results with each other. Every now and then, the best thing an artist can do is "just play" with artist friends in a non-threatening environment. What if we all did it more often than we normally do?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hearts for "The Show With a Heart"

What if I save and use the scraps from my fabric wall hangings to make tiny stuffed hearts for Art Hop on January 26th?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One Grain of Sand at a time, an hour is a good chunk of time!

What if today I start with an hour of working on THE painting, as timed by my new hourglass that I got for Christmas. And then I do my Post It list, and then I go back to painting? (11:50 AM)

What if I acknowledge that it was a great and productive hour and now I am knocking off my (short) list of to do's for this Sunday afternoon so I can get back to the painting? (1:45 PM)

What if, having knocked off my whole list and a few more things, I get back to THE painting? (3:45 PM)

And almost finish the hardest part of it, today, with over 3 hours of time spent on it! Yay!

What if, what if, what if. . . . .???????