Friday, February 27, 2009

Circle mania

Here are some of the pieces for the show - all these are 24x24. Everything has been delivered except for the *really* big piece, which Heather is going to help me with today. Now all I need to do is finalize the commission (which is being installed next week) and I can actually breathe for a moment or two. Whew, what an invigorating time.

Sorry I have been so absent lately, but I got sick. Again. In the midst of the final painting frenzy, wouldn't ya know it? Crazy, but turned out to be good as my judgment brain was just too sick/exhausted to work and I managed to paint without interference from myself if you know what I mean. Turned out to be my favorite piece of the entire show. It's not shown here, stay tuned and I will share it next week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creative Awakenings

It's here, it's here!!! Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art. This is the book that I participated in, by Sheri Gaynor. It is now available and I have my very own copy which was sent to me by the publisher.

And oh is it sweet. I have to brag on myself just a little bit here because the background of the front cover is from the art I made and that lil gold fish (used throughout the book) is also from my art. He or she (the goldfish) symbolizes a "coming up for air" moment for me. It is incredibly synchronistic because Sheri has long used goldfish imagery in her workshops and even gives goldfish mementos to attendees. Of course I didn't know this till after I made the art. Don't you just love this kind of connection?

So anyway, back to the book. It is a *must have*. And I'm not saying that just cause I'm in it. Seriously, Sheri is a very skilled psychotherapist who is also an artist. She is my on and off coach, I only say on and off because she coaches me sporadically these days , mainly when I get so wigged out I can no longer deal. She is brilliant and insightful and funny to boot. Plus she is an artist. She gets it.

No matter what your aspirations or experience level, if you have a dream, grab a copy of Sheri's book and get to work. Sheri's book provides a guided process that will help you to not only set your intentions but to also move forward with your journey. Plus you get to read stories of journeys (like mine) and that of other artists such as Susan Tuttle, Katie Kendrick, Juliana Coles, Claudine Hellmuth, Jane Wynn and more.

I can't wait to curl up with a kitty (or two or three) by a nice warm fire and read this one from start to finish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

kittens inspired by kittens

A friend of mine posted a link to this video on Facebook and it just cracked me up, the kitten "screams" are the best. The commentary from this clever child is hilarious - she definitely has a future in entertainment, ha! And the book reminds me of a similar book I had when I was little, now I want to call my mom and see if she still has it......

Monday, February 16, 2009

Palette Pages - the sketchbook project

I signed up for this project called the sketchbook project, sponsored by Art House Coop.
I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I signed up, I mean gee, I was only painting for a solo gallery show, teaching a bunch of classes, trying to submit for upcoming art fairs, managing commissions, etc, etc. How I thought I might also be able to maintain a sketchbook is beyond me. But I really wanted to do it and plus I loved the entire concept and spirit of the project. So what the hey, I signed up.

The "sketchbook" arrived and it was this baby moleskin, smaller than what I normally use. It freaked me out cause I just couldn't draw that small and I felt so oddly inhibited. I drew a few things and promptly tore them out. So much for my "no mistakes" motto, ha!

Anyway, since I was painting every day, I decided to start saving my palette pages - the waxed deli sheets I use when mixing my paint. I always enjoy looking at them and thought it would be cool to save them in a more formal manner. I've scanned a few of them here so you can see what I am talking about.

I am such a paint freak that I really like them. Each one reminds me of a specific point in time and I can instantly transport myself back to the exact painting involved. I know this memory shall fade as the year goes by and I wish I would have left some blank space so I could do a tiny journal entry about the paints I used (yeah, I know that is waaaaayyyyyy anal) what I was working on, etc. Going forward I will definitely add commentary of some sort.

I'm not going to submit the journal for the official tour as it can't even remotely be categorized as sketching. I will also confess my regret that I didn't manage to establish a regular sketching practice after all. But I am totally grateful to the way the project propelled me to keep my palette pages.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

OWOH Winners

Using a random number generator, I have drawn the winners, yippee!!!
Congratulations to the following ladies:

First prize goes to purplepaint.
Second prize to Ellen Lyn.
And third prize to Artseyanne.

Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by - it was simply wonderful to receive such sweet comments. I really appreciate it. I met some interesting people and expanded my blog reading list (ha, whether this is good or bad remains to be determined, just joking!). What a lovely idea, thanks to Lisa for thinking of it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not my Candy - FDA recall

I was just perusing the FDA site to see if any of my "must have" peanut products have been recalled. I already had to toss a package of Z-bars (yeah, I know they are for kids, but what can I say) that Clif recalled voluntarily. I finished my peanut butter M+M's without incident, so I guess they are OK.
But anyhoo, I was reading the list and noticed a preponderance of candy named after excrement. Yep, it's true. Bear Poop, Bear Scat, Buffalo Chips, Moose Droppings, Cow Patties........HUH!?!?!? Now I would never say that people who eat such products deserve to be contaminated, but seriously folks.......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10,000 Hours

I recently read Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers: The Story of Success, and found it quite interesting. In the book, he talks about how and why people become successful. He references studies of IQ, upbringing, circumstance, and even date of birth - and analyzes their potential relationship to becoming successful. There are lots of intriguing notions, the kind that make you think huh, and then sit there and ponder the idea. I was especially taken by the concept of 10,000 hours. That is the number of hours generally accepted to be necessary to become an expert in a field - the number of hours you need to put in to become a master of whatever it is that you do. I don't know if I have 10,000 hours painting or not, but I suspect I do, having done this for awhile now. Am I a master? Of a few things, yeah, I probably am. Do I have a lot to learn? Sure I do!

This past weekend I was teaching a group of women - we were working on claybord and a couple people became frustrated with their work. They wanted to create beautiful perfect work the first time. I told them about the 10,000 hour concept. I don't know if it reassured them or not. Possibly it might have pissed them off. But I truly think it is something to remember. We are living in this *instant* society, where it seems like everything is available absolutely on demand, to the point we expect that we can somehow learn by osmosis without putting in the hours. Short cuts abound.

I revel in the process, the journey, hour after hour. Creating layers one at a time. Building texture. Feeling the paint, watching it dry, playing with dripping ink. It's what I do; it's who I am. I have many many more hours to travel.

And, as an aside, I sincerely hope it doesn't take 10,000 hours before I can conquer my FLIP camcorder. I filmed on and off all weekend and hoped to show a little vignette for you today. Flip doesn't play well with mac or perhaps MB just hasn't figured it out yet.

Friday, February 06, 2009


I have 2 pieces in this show, opening tonight. John and I are going to the opening early, probably 6-ish. Then out to dinner to celebrate Valentine's a little early.

I'm working in the studio today, then teaching tomorrow. And again on Monday, when I am a guest artist at Visitation Academy. I will teach 4 classes of students which should be a lot of fun.

Plus commissions and more abstract work in between. Yikes, I continue to have a lot going on. For which I am grateful.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Feisty Females Radio

Yippee, it's up!!!  At long last (ha, third time was truly the charm) Sheri Gaynor's interview of me is up on her site.  Click on over to listen.  
Check out Sheri's site while you are there - her book, Creative Awakenings is available for pre-order on Amazon.  I'm thrilled that some of my art was utilized on the cover and I can't wait to see the book, which is going to be here very very soon.  

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dog days

It is so darn cold here, eight below wind chill today.  Naturally I have this overwhelming urge to walk outside but of course I can't handle all the wind in my feeble ears.  Even with my ear muffs there is no way I would want to be exercising outside.  Luckily we have a warming trend coming this weekend.

The days are going fast this year.  I am accustomed to down time in January and February and this year I am too busy to even rest.  Last week I woke up during the night several times and couldn't get back to sleep cause I was thinking about all the stuff I had to do.  I am certainly grateful for the opportunities, but I am dog tired (this is my cousin's dog by the way, isn't she cute?).  

So, I plug on. Perhaps I will be able to rest one of these days, I am thinking early March or late April?
In the meantime, I taught my weekly Painting/Drawing class (3rd-5th graders) today; Geometric Abstract book is on Saturday; then I have 4 classes on Monday (I'm one of the guest artists at a private high school); and Painting/Drawing again next Tuesday.  In between I am working on the Library's commission........I carved the claybord and blocked in most of the color yesterday.  And of course there are a more abstracts I want to do for my solo show.  

Monday, February 02, 2009

Thinking Monday

I was raised with a strong work ethic, too strong some might say - I have a tendency to work a lot, as do my parents and my siblings.  We are all nuts that way.  
I also learned at an early age that I should do work before play.  
Flash forward 40 years.
And here I am in this place where my work *is* my play, you know?  I would rather do my art (which is my work) than almost anything else in the world.  For that reason, it feels very much like play.  Which is why I have a conundrum.  Since my work feels like play, cleaning the house, managing the biz end (paperwork, ugh) seems like work.  And if I do all my work first (which is pretty much an impossible task), I have no time to play or do my *real* work.  You know what I mean????  
No wonder I am walking around in a perpetual state of confusion.