Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Their little Faces, I Could Take Them All Home

Oh the Pansies are here, in Oklahoma they last through the winter so the nurseries are full. So many varieties I wanted them all. As far as models they are the best, they last and last even out of water for a while without drooping. If they do droop, pop them back in water and they are good as new. Maybe I should rate the best and worst flowers for still life painters based on how well they cooperate. I know I have watched Tulips go from closed bud to wide open and pointing in another direction in a couple of hours. Anyhow, I painted this 6"x8" as soon as I got home, what fun.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Gallery

"Funny Papers" 10"x10" Oil

Hello everyone, I just got back from taking my youngest son (11) trick or treating. I fear this will be his last year. Our state park hosted Halloween, people set up their campers and decorated them with every scary thing you can imagine, it was an all day event with music, bingo and hay rides. My oldest was scaring people silly as a zombie on the spook trail. They are growing up too fast. Anyway, hey, good news, I am now a part of a new gallery in Sapulpa, OK. called the Waterstreet Art Gallery. I have a link posted so you can check it out. They have a real talented group of artists showing there and I am honored to be invited into their warm and friendly space. For those who are local, you should pop in and visit, we will be having a miniature show and sale with great gift ideas for the holidays.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"A New Direction"

Christy Reclined" Oil 15"x24"

For a long time now I have wanted to do more figurative work, I used to drive to Tulsa on Thursday evening's to attend life drawing. I loved it, but it's at night 45 miles away and ok, I did it for years, but boy, it gets tough. So I hired a model to come to me. I may be a little tentative in this piece but I am pleased with it. What do you think? I welcome your coments.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Eeny Meeny Miney Mo"

I have no idea if the spelling is right, and maybe I should have chosen a different title but, I like it so I'll keep it. This is one of two painting going to Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland Washington. I was invited to participate after the Oil Painters of America show was held there. They liked my "presents" and thought they would fit in well with their holiday small works show. I'll post the other one in my next post. Painting these presents has become addictive, I look for paper everywhere. I've even had gift stores wrap some empty boxes for me because they do such a beautiful job. I have found a website called www.agiftwrappedlife.com that sells the most beautiful gift wrapping sets as well as gifts perfect for any woman. While you are there check out their blog, it gives tips on how to wrap, what's hot and lots of great ideas.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

8 Routines To build Your Art Business

As a wife and mother of two sons and a full time artist my life is full indeed. I do have the luxury of working from my home and I consider myself a small business with one employee, me. That means I wear lots of hats. The artist in me wants to be in the studio always, but the practical side of me knows that there is so much more to do than just paint. Being organised is not a bad thing, most successful artists I know are savvy business people and having routines actually frees the mind to be able to be more creative.
1. Set a schedule with regular studio and office hours.
2.Start your week out right, I usually go to my studio for a little while every Sunday to straighten up, declutter, and think about what I will begin on in the morning.
3.The "To Do List" also on Sunday. Ex. order supplies, photograph art, calls to make. I get great satisfaction crossing them off, knowing I am advancing my business. I keep my list in a notebook and what I don't get done on last weeks list moves on to this weeks list.
4.Clean up at day's end. Walk into your studio ready to paint. What a drag to have to clean dry brushes and paint when you want to start painting.
5.Don't forget marketing! Write a newsletter,update mailing lists, post to your blog.
6. research galleries, artists, shows of interest, and magazines. Keep current.
7. Keep a file cabinet. Soooo helpful. I have files for forms, ex. inventory and model release, receipts, sales info, newsletter ideas, files of paintings location, etc.
8. Review your goals and see what steps you need to take to further them along and write them on your list.
There is so much to think about and rember, but having a set routine can keep us on track and focused for success.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oil Painters of America Paint Out

Marty Peerson of Fort Smith Arkansas shows good form as he paints
Jasan Sacran uses a palette knife to apply paint

OPA member Betty Dalsing is brave enough to wear white!

Alan Frakes found a prime location

Ruth Harris prepares to paint

Gail Rogers OPA member enjoys a day of plein air painting

It couldn't have been a more perfect day to meet new people who share a common interest, painting and the outdoors. This weekend I hosted the Oil Painters of America's paint out in Oklahoma. OPA is holding paint outs in all states across America and I am proud of the group the group that turned out. I crossed my fingers and said a prayer that it wouldn't be pouring rain, well as you can see from the pictures it was splendid. Ideas and addresses were exchanged as well as a few laughs. The Waterstreet Art Gallery in town hosted a reception for us at the end of the day and we got to look at every ones work. The Sapulpa Arts Council also provided gift bags in the morning complete with bottled water and a candy bar. You know you have to stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar up when your painting out. This was the first year for this painting event and I hope for it to continue and grow. As artists we lead isolated lives, in the studio or on mountain tops honing our skills and trying to answer our own questions, it's events like this that bring us all together to exchange ideas and answer some of those questions. Thanks to everyone who came out and the gals from the gallery and arts council for their support.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Favorite Places



Mineral Springs Falls, Highland Mills, N.Y.

This was one of my favorite places to hang out when I was a kid. My own kids were wowed by it. I was happy to have them experience this place. You have to walk a trail for about ten minutes to get to it. All I told my boys was that they would hear and feel it before they saw it. Because the falls are spring fed it is soooo cold, the air temperature drops as you get closer to it. Our feet were numb after standing in the water for about 30 seconds. What I love about the Hudson Valley region is that these kinds of places are everywhere. There was a whole art movement based on the landscape of this area. Maybe some day I will be able to paint here, I hope so.What kind of makes me sad is all the development taking place obscuring panoramic views.
The wildlife are at odds with the encroachment into their territory. We went to visit my sister in Pennsylvania, she had mentioned the Deer and how they were like pets, not fearful of people. Well seeing is believing. A doe appeared from the woods to visit one of the neighbors and a little while later she was back with these three fawns, too cute. We didn't know if she was the mother of all three or maybe a surrogate mom to one of them, so many deer are killed daily by cars. We didn't know if Deer could have triplets. Does anyone know?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Legendary Pearl Paint, NYC

My family lives about 50 miles outside of New York City, great for a day trip into the city. Pearl Paint is a legendary art supply store more than 70 years old. As an art student I spent countless hours wondering the 6 floors, It is so big that a store map is offered when you enter. Pearl opened in 1933 the same year Albert Einstein came to America, the Golden Gate bridge began construction and the Great Plains were devastated by the Dust Bowl.
Pearl Paint is located on Canal Street, probably one of the busiest streets in NYC. If you need a handbag or a scarf this is the place. We had to be careful not to lose each other as we pushed through the crowds. We walked through Chinatown amazed by the sidewalk fare. Fruits and vegetables never seen before, Ducks hanging in shop windows and if you are a still life painter there were fabulous stores full of Asian teapots, bowls, beautiful hand made papers, oh I could go on. My problem however was carrying all this stuff since we did not drive, but took the bus. There is something to be said for having a car.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Front End Alignment

"Last of the Roses" 8"x6" Oil

I was trying to keep things very simple in this study, just how little detail is needed for us to complete the picture? I think this is something artist's struggle with everyday, the term, to paint "loose" is used quite often in the art world. As young painters we see every detail and want to put it all down on the canvas. I think there is a poetry about the impression of a painting, leave the viewer to complete the picture, if it's all about the detail and the facts, it's sort of like reading the newspaper, all the info is there and nothing is left to the imagination, by the way, the paper is only around for a day. Now poetry on the other hand is read over and over again allowing the reader to feel emotion and bring their own interpretation to the piece. There is a reason the Impressionist movement is the most popular of all. So I will try to continue to keep my strokes to a minimum, sounds easy doesn't it?
I am posting something I painted a couple of weeks ago because I had eye surgery last week, my husband calls it a front end alignment, actually the Doctor corrected a lazy eye that was causing headaches for some time now. It involved cutting the muscles on each side of the eye and aligning the eye properly. I was so sick from the anesthesia and pain medication, ugh, I was in bed for 3 days. I am a big wimp I guess. It's been 10 days since the surgery and it is healing quite slowly so I have just been piddling around in the studio. It hasn't been this neat in ages. We are leaving for New York in a couple of days to visit my family, the boys are excited as am I.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oil Painters of America Western Regional

"Anticipation" Oil 16"x20"

I just received word that this painting was accepted into the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Show. It is being held in Kirkland Washington at the Howard/Mandville Gallery. I wasn't expecting to notification until July 22 because that is the date printed in the prospectus for the show. That is a misprint, it should have been June 22. I was contacted by Art Collector Magazine, they want to include my painting in an editorial article about the show in the August edition. I will also run a quarter page ad featuring another painting. I contacted my gallery, Rive Gauche in Scottsdale and they will be running a full page ad inside the front cover (prime real estate). All of this happened so fast my head was spinning, they all needed images of the artwork, quotes and layouts and approvals. I loved every minute of it. This is the first time I have spent money to run an ad in any publication so it will be interesting to see what happens. I am told that you really have to put your name in front of people in consecutive ads to have any effect, I don't know that I will be able to do that, as advertising is pretty costly, but this is a start.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Got My Groove Back

" Spring on the Illinois" 11"x18" Oil

I thought my post show would only last a couple of weeks, that's how long I had it scheduled, ha! I guess the saying "it takes as long as it takes" is true for me. I had made plans about new ideas and projects I wanted to start on as soon as the show was over, and I made a bunch of starts and stops, but nothing seemed to gel. I came to realize I just needed time to play, to be a student and to try different ideas. I didn't need to turn out a "product" every time I put brush to canvas, that's a lot of pressure and I had just been under a lot of that, (the good kind of course.) So I did lots of small paintings, experimenting with lighting, subjects and color. I also went outside this spring and painted plein air. What a joy it is to be privileged enough to do what you love to do everyday. My battery is now fully charged and I am working on some bigger pieces again. This painting was done from a plein air study with photo back up. I have to say though, the photos were so different from what I saw that day, I really used them for drawing and detail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Honeymoon's Over

I knew it would happen, and it has, what do I do now? I have worked on the exhibit for 18 months and now all the anticipation and planning are over, (sort of like planning a wedding). Even though I knew it would happen I thought I could head it off, wrong, I am feeling a bit lost. I wonder around my now empty studio feeling like an emptynester, my babies are gone, where to begin now. I have a few ideas rattling around in my head but nothing is jelling yet. I would like to do some large landscapes and also some nudes, although finding models could be a problem in my small town. It will come in time I hope. On a sad note, the Talisman Gallery in Bartlesville, OK will be closing its doors after 40 plus years in business. It was my first gallery and it has been a great experience. For those of you who don't know The Talisman, it is owned and operated by Jody Kirberger a larger than life personality whose generosity is unmatched. Many of todays great artists got their start here in Oklahoma with Jodi. Richard Schmid, Scott Burdick, Nancy Guzik, Dan Gerhartz just to name a few. The gallery has been a landmark in Bartlesville and it will be dearly missed by artists as well as patrons. Thanks Jodi for 10 great years!

Monday, February 9, 2009


" Portrait of Sarah"

The opening reception for my solo exhibit was yesterday. I dreamed of what it would be like for a year and a half. It was more than I imagined, the people of my community came out in style. The response was overwhelming, I was so moved by everyones kindness and support. I met so many new people, not that I can remember their names, (nerves), and all of my artist friends were there to cheer me on. The crowd was big and they kept coming, I guess everyone likes a party, and that's what it felt like, good friends, good food, and art that we could all relate to. Well today I am exhausted, I don't think I realized how much stress I was under because I loved every part of it, it didn't seem stressful. I am not in the studio today, my house is calling for attention, it has been ignored for too long. I figured if the boys had clean cloths and hot meals the rest could wait for a while, and they did their part in picking up the slack around here. Besides I think I have empty nest syndrome, my studio is empty, I liked being surrounded by all the paintings and frames for so long it seems a bit hollow up there.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Long Road

January Pond
For the past 18 months I have been working on my first solo exhibition. It opens this Sunday here in my town of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, it's called "Our Town, Our Land, Our People." I spent years seeking representaion for my work in far away places that I never even visited, entered shows out of state, and that's fine but I think I underestimated my home state of Oklahoma. I was not born in Oklahoma, but I am proud to call Oklahoma home. As I was celebrating 16 years of living in Okmulgee; Oklahoma was celebrating its' first one hundred years of statehood. I was struck by the pride and unifying spirit of our people. What I have come to love about Okmulgee is the kindness and hospitality of our people, the subtle beauty of our land and how the people are directly connected to it. The muted colors of Autumn, the ice covered trees of Winter, the bright green fields of Winter Wheat, and the cool blues of our lake in Summer have all come to inspire in me a need to capture in paint this time and this place. Our town is rich in history, every building has a story to tell. My story is about Okmulgee, Oklahoma, a small town with pride, and a sensibility that anyone who lives in a small town can identify with. The response and support for this show has been wonderful and I am so grateful to everyone who has worked and volunteered to help me with this exhibit, and I want to thank them all. I guess the moral to the story is while you dream of success in far away places, don't forget that the people who are rooting for you success are right here at home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A change of Heart

"The Dowry"
13"x17.5" oil

I started blogging about a year ago. I was doing daily paintings, it is very popular nowdays and I wanted to be current. I have to say these are a great exercise to rapidly improve your skills, and I saw a big improvement in my work. It was an investment in me. I was trying to gain representation on one of the daily painting sites that are out there. What I realized is, is that's about all I was able to get done in a day. No, they don't take that long to do, but by the time I figured out what I was going to paint, set up lght it and paint, a couple of hours have past., and for me I had a hard time changing gears and getting focused with the kind of intensity that I need for my larger work. It ultimatly was not for me. I of course will continue at least once a week to be a student and do some quick more spontaneous daily work, but I am changing the focus of my blog. As I mentioned in my last post in September, I had a friend who used to say we have to paint with raw abandon, something that does not come in a tube and you can't buy. I love what I do and I am so passionate about my life as an artist. It's not an easy road, the highs are high and the lows (oh my gosh) you know. So I think I'll just keep it current, post when I have something to say and hope you enjoy.