Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Can this painting be saved?

An update post..... since I was here last I've shipped 10 paintings to the Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee and I have 8 more boxed up and ready to ship to Macon Arts Alliance in GA. You have no idea what a relief it is to move some paintings around! Since leaving Gallery B brought many pieces back home, I needed to make room for new stuff. Thankfully, Macon Arts is having a special small works show in November so it's perfect timing. And the wonderful people at Signature wanted some new work for the holiday season. Yay all the way around and doing a happy dance. 💃

Shedding Light

The painting above is one of the new ones. I love playing with paint like this. It brings my two favorite things together - landscapes and abstracts. After painting that one I decided to try doing something a little different by toning the canvas yellow instead of red orange like the previous one.

so far so good.....


now I really hate it....

maybe it's salvageable.

This is as far as I've gotten today so you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens to it. So far the only stage I like is the very first one. In the latest stage it's just starting to come together but boy, it's hard to get past the ugly stage sometimes. When you hit that point you have 3 choices - 1. trash it (gesso over it and try again)  2. grit your teeth and push on through. or 3. take a break, work on something else for a while and come back to it later.

I think I'll take door #3.

See you next time. Hopefully by then this will be resolved and I can share. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Keep the channel open.


What's on my mind.... the mind, for many reasons including some very personal ones. I shared some of that personal stuff in an interview with my friend Thea on The Charmed Studio blog. Her blog post was about creating from your shadow side. Click the link to read the article and see the "5 light filled reasons" to create. And if you haven't visited her blog before, take a look around. You'll love it!

Anyway, these things have been on my mind lately. Trauma and depression can be a dark subject but it's one that needs to be talked about more often. I think that's happening lately and I'm glad. The pandemic has something to do with that I'm sure as more and more people are seeking help. 

(And a side note - why is it that the mind, along with eyes, ears and teeth, are not included in standard coverage for health care?? They're all part of the body so why do they have to have their own insurance? $$$$ perhaps?)

Back to the point. Mental health and the effects of trauma on us and our bodies is a real thing. Having struggles with addiction, depression and/or anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrased about but for some reason a lot of us can't talk about it. Listening to other people's stories and learning about mental health can make us feel less alone. The other thing I wanted to share with you is the new movie The Wisdom of Trauma with Gabor Mate'. He is a physician specializing in childhood development and trauma and it's effects on the body both physically and mentally. You can also find lots of videos and TED talks with him on YouTube. Excellent information! If you have the interest, poke around, search for some of these videos and learn more about the mind/body connection. 

If you're not able to or not ready to talk to someone, paint it. I've talked about my therapy canvas before. If things are hard, emotions are coming up and I need to do something in the moment, I get out the canvas and start flinging paint. Sometimes it's just about the physicality of doing the flinging that brings relief. Sometimes it's about a particular subject and that painting actually becomes something with a recognizable theme. 

I found this quote in the introduction to George Carlin's book Brain Droppings...

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open...

"No artist is pleased...[There is no] satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

 - Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham

Keep the channel open. Paint. Open yourself to flinging. Don't block what needs to be released. Let art help you. No one has to see it. It can be just for yourself. Keep a sketchbook just for ranting. Have a canvas handy just for your own healing and expression. Pile on the layers of paint while you peel back the layers of emotion. It could forever be for your eyes only or some day you may be comfortable sharing. Either way you're helping at least one person. If you can share it with other people, you're bringing something valuable to the world. You're adding a very unique piece to the conversation that maybe someone can learn from or just not feel so alone themselves. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The travels of River Cruise

River Cruise

I had something interesting happen this week. Actually 2 somethings. The first one was about the above painting - River Cruise. I sold this painting last spring through my gallery rep in Tallahassee, Signature Art Gallery. When you sell a piece through a gallery you don't always know where that art ends up. You just assume it's hanging in a collector's home somewhere. 

Then you get an email from a previous collector who said they won it in an auction in Miami. Miami is a bit of a trip from Tallahassee. But, there it was, pictured in the email. This collector is local so River Cruise has done it's own traveling from here in the middle of the state, to the top of the state, then to the bottom of the state, and now back home in the middle again. That's cruising!

This collector wanted to know if I had some more work she could look at so of course I emailed images and she did buy more work. So this week I got to see how far my painting traveled, and I also got to send some more paintings out into the world and a new place to call home.

It was a good week. I hope yours was excellent too!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The only constant is change

This is my rotating art wall outside my studio at home. This is where paintings rest while waiting to go to their galleries or waiting to be shipped to collectors. When a spot opens up I fill it with another new piece. The arrangements don't always look great but the wall is constantly changing and the paintings rotating. 

The wall is pretty full right now. These are a few of the pieces I had hanging downtown at Gallery B. I brought all my work home because this wall isn't the only thing changing. I've decided it's time to leave Gallery B. Sometimes, the vision you have for something takes a different turn and becomes a different space than what you anticipated. And that's OK. We know that the only constant is change so it's just time to try something new. That's how it works on canvas too right? 

It was a fabulous 2+ years there and I made some wonderful friends. To my friends at Gallery B, I wish the very best. I hope they have tons of fun and success. And since I live literally a half mile from the gallery, I'll certainly be popping in to say hi on occasion.

There's a new thing in the future for me and I'm ready! I can't share it yet and it's probably going to take some time to get going but there is something new on the horizon. Meanwhile, I'm here, working at home in my studio, adding to my Etsy shop, and painting of course. So, if you want to know what this new thing is gonna be, and what I'll be up to in the meantime, sign up for the newsletter when the little window pops up.

 Till next time...


Thursday, September 16, 2021

5 tips to make studio painting a little easier.


1. Colored pencil friends... Do you have a bucket full of shorties? What do you do with all the little nubs of colored pencils when they're too short to put in the electric sharpener and too short to hold comfortably.  Pencil extenders are great, I use them all the time but even those don't let us use up the entire pencil. These little sticks of color are too expensive to just throw away. I learned a little tip from Ann Kullberg years ago when I took one of her portrait workshops (fabulous workshop btw). Take your little nub of a pencil and glue it end to end with a longer one of the same color - or a different color - it's up to you. Just put a dot of super glue on one of the ends and hold it for a few seconds until it holds. Leave the pencil sitting flat for a few minutes until it gets good and stuck. Now you can sharpen the nub all the way down until it's gone. Bonus: you have too sharpened ends on one pencil to color with.

2. Do you use photos for painting? If I'm not painting from life, I'm using my own photos. One way to break out of a color rut is to print your photos in black and white. When I use a color photo I tend to stick to the general color palette of the scene. When I print it in black and white I feel freer to experiment and play with different colors. 

3. Painters, here's an easy way to handle painting the edges of your small canvases without getting paint all over your table or your hands. You'll need a lazy susan. This paint covered one is a Wilton that's sold for cake decorating. Also get some oversized push pins.

Push one pin into each corner of the canvas on the back side. Flip it over, set it on the lazy susan and you can spin the base and paint the edges without having to hold the canvas up with your hands.

4. Take photos of your painting in progress and view them on your phone for a different perspective. Seeing it this way can give you fresh eyes and you may spot something you want to change. You can also change the photo to gray scale in your phone. This will help you see the value range you have in the piece and tell you if you need to darken or lighten certain areas.

5. Instead of starting your painting on a white canvas, tone the canvas with different colors. Try using complimentary colors for your base. For a landscape with lots of green, tone the canvas red. For a painting of a yellow flower, try a violet base. Bits of complimentary color peeking through can make your painting sing.

If you've learned some great little hacks for the studio, I'd love to hear about them. We could all use some help making tasks a bit easier. Share in the comments below.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

A new version of Spring

I did the above painting last year. It's called Spring. I had it hanging at Gallery B for a bit but I took it down because I don't want to display work that I'm unhappy with. It just never sat right with me. It's been hanging around my studio ever since. I kept looking at it, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Then it dawned on me.

I decided to give it the same treatment I gave the one below... Assembly Required

The background of Assembly Required bothered me at first because it was too bright and bold. I didn't like the direction it was going so I switched gears, glazed the background with a mixture of white and acrylic medium to tone it down and then I added elements from nests that I have in the studio.

For Spring, I did the same. I mixed a glaze of white plus medium and applied it so it left a ghost of the image. On top, I added twigs, moss and a leaf I found in the yard. I actually put these bits of nature right on the canvas after it was dry, arranging them until I liked the design. Then I took a photo and printed it to use for a reference. Now the result is a "new" Spring! 


This new version says "Spring" to me much more than it did before. These are the building blocks that birds use every spring to build their nests. Now, how do I categorize it?? Is it a landscape? Is it a deconstructed nest? Is it abstract? Does it need a category? Really it only needs a category to figure out where to place it on my website so I guess for now, click to see it right here in the landscape category. 

Till next time.                                            


Friday, September 3, 2021

I'm finally adding to it

Happy Friday! Just popping in to share some info. Lately I've been ignoring my Etsy shop. Sometimes we get pulled in a million different directions with all the hats we wear and my poor little shop got left by the wayside. This morning I thought I'd better get back to it so I've added a couple of new listings and changed the pricing on some others - in the direction you would appreciate too. :)

I have a number of mini paintings that I'll be adding to the shop on a regular basis. They range in size from 2x2 inches to 4x4 inches. These teeny tiny little paintings make great ornaments for the holidays or accents on the mantle or bookshelf. They can also be hung on the wall to enjoy year round. The little bird nest in the top photo also has a ribbon hanger but I folded it down behind the painting so it can sit on the easel without being seen. If you want to add something extra to a gift for someone special, you could tie a mini to the bow on gift wrap. It's a gift on top of a gift! These are great because they're so versatile. Use them any way you want.

So click the link in this post or hop over to the sidebar and check out all the little gift ideas. And then I hope you have a fabulous long weekend.