Monday, April 18, 2011

Looking For New Homes

As I look back at my last post I realize how time flies when you're having fun. Working in the studio makes time fly faster than seeing your children all grown up and wondering when that happened! Art works are like your family. You live with them all around you, some you know are ready to fly out the door, some still need a little 'tweaking' here and there, and others are so precious you don't want to part with them. But no holding back, my paintings are ready to find fresh new walls! That said, I have two concurrent solo shows in the Portland area to share with you.

Thanks to Providence Health and Services and Clackamas County Arts Alliance, I will be the exhibiting artist at Providence Milwaukie Hospital Gallery from Tues. Apr 19th through Tues. July 19th, 2011. Directions for the hospital can be found on the Providence site. The Hospital Gallery is in the first hallway on the right after entering the building from lot D. Hopefully you will enjoy the works as a visitor, patron or employee. I have heard so many good things about the gallery space from other artist friends and health care professionals.

I am also pleased to have been invited to exhibit at the beautiful new location for Dwell Realty at 5625 NE MLK Jr. Blvd in Portland. The offices have plenty of windows to enjoy an artistic view inside and out. As a participant in Portland's Last Thursday Art Event please consider this your invite to join in the festivities Thurs. April 28th at their new digs and enjoy music, snacks, beverages, fine art, and great company! The exhibit will be up through the end of May. Hope to see you there to celebrate with professional (and fun loving) owners, Tracy Hicks and Chris Guinn. Check out their Face book page. There you will find a descriptive post card announcing this event. You can also see fun photos from their grand opening party in the new neighborhood. Maybe my paintings will literally find NEW HOMES! With a few dozen works leaving my studio space, I am already enjoying the elbow room for working on larger canvases! So this is what an empty nest is all about.

As always I appreciate you taking the time to peruse my blog, events, and artworks on my website as well. The image above "Window Box Geraniums" is one of 14 art works at Providence Milwaukie. Click here for one of the images appearing at Dwell Realty.

Have an art filled month, a Happy Easter, and hopefully SUNNY SPRING WEATHER SOON!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winds of Change or Where I want to be?

"You're always on your way somewhere. The key is: find a way to be happy wherever you now are on your way to where you really want to be."
--- Abraham (Excerpted from the workshop in Detroit, MI)

Having just returned from a fabulous family vacation this inspirational message arrived in my email in-box. I realize it has many levels of meaning but having just been basking on a tropical beach in Mexico for the first time in my life, I am honestly feeling like I WANT TO GO BACK! Especially looking ahead at our weather forecast in the NW. I felt so happy and warm on that beach, and the ocean was so clear and inviting...OK, but that was vacation. Back to reality!

You can compare the painting above that I did in the rain last spring across from the Woodburn Tulip Festival , and compare it to the photograph below that I took in Mexico last week. Which would you choose? Silly question. However, there is a lot to this message considering what is going on in our world today. For example one year ago I entitled my painting "Winds of Change". How could I have even dreamed of the current 'winds of change' in world news originating in Egypt, Libya, or even WI?? Look at what people are feeling and doing for the sake of freedom and happiness. It is exciting, exhilarating, and a little scary too. As an artist I feel so privileged to be able to create a work of art that can be beautiful and meaningful and inspired by any of these happenings; my feelings during vacation, my emotional reaction to world events, whatever. These could all influence my mood when I'm at the easel. At any given moment depending upon what is happening around me I may feel happiness, sadness, elation, fear, etc. But as the saying goes, life moves on and so do our emotions and reactions to the experiences around us. As an artist I want to be able to leave others with the joyful, warm feelings I love to experience. Like when I'm actually in the zone of creating a piece of art. It in itself makes me happy and that's a beautiful thing. I realize having taken a vacation recently I came home refreshed and renewed with such a light feeling that I want to savor it as long as possible. By visualizing it, reliving it and painting in that 'space' my paintings should in essence convey that same message to the viewer. So I decided to CHOOSE to paint that which makes me feel so. It seems while being in that mood other externals, like the news or politics, etc. seem less intense, serious, or morbid. I will see how long I can hang on to this 'vacation' space that I'm feeling now and try to carry it forward with me. After all, I'm "always on my way somewhere." On another level, it also means that even though I may be happy where I am now in my art process, I am still on my way to where I want to be! Great concept; rather than being disappointed with where I am (not far enough for that inner critique for instance) I can just remember I'm already on my way! To that next level? Of course, that's where I want to be! (Or maybe the next vacation? Better stick to my imagination there in order to keep it financially realistic!) After all artists have to have enough cash for those paints, canvases and frames that make us happy too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I found this great offer on ScottBurdick's website today. It is a download all about using photoshop for artists. He gives some great tips and it is a video that is user friendly. It is only $20 which is affordable for most artists and covers a lot of options for creative use. Since we could always use more hints with technology I'm passing it on to others who might be interested. Have fun with your art photo references or sprucing up photos of your paintings. There are other offers for drawing lessons from artist Susan Lyon. It is a one talented husband/wife team! Check out the site.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love."
-Claude Monet

I must agree with Monet. Even though I love analyzing and discussing artworks and enjoy critiques, when it comes right down to it I always ask myself, "do I really like it?" When it comes to my own artwork I also know I wouldn't have done it if I didn't care for the subject matter or couldn't relate to it. My truck painting entitled "I think I Can" was one I could easily relate to. I have entered it into the Mathew's Galleries CompeteArt2011 competition. When I saw this truck overloaded and tilting as it made its way over the hills between Joseph and Enterprise, OR I was inspired immediately to follow that truck! It was probably much to the dismay of my husband who was driving behind it for several photographs! However we can't always explain what trips our trigger when we see something we know we just have to paint. The way the sunlight was hitting the tops of the hay bales just right and the curve in the road with light and shadow sweeping down the hillside just lent itself to my excitement of getting home to paint it. Like Claude Monet I just Loved it. Maybe because it touched my inner child, my sense of humor, a lightness of being, or a need to find some joy in the moment. I know it flowed from my inner art soul as I painted it, silly as that may sound. Sometimes I take myself too seriously at the easel and forget to have fun during the process. This particular work helped me do just that. Please note that I would never compare my hay bales to Monet's haystacks (if you haven't seen them, look him up and see how many different versions he painted based on various light sources). I hope he had some fun with those studies too. In my last blog I was letting myself off the hook of perfectionism and now getting in touch with humor and fun. This is looking like a great start to 2011 wouldn't you say? By the way anyone who hasn't visited the show CompeteArt2011 really should get to the Mathew's gallery before Feb 16th to vote for their favorite piece. The prizes for artists are based on the public vote. Very ingenious. There are 75 local artist's works available for sale as well as the Mathew's Galleries' extensive collection of early American Artists, many from our area. A percentage of sales will also benefit FISH of Portland. So make February "Love Art Month" and remember to keep supporting the arts in 2011, we artists enjoy making a living almost as much as making art.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen

Happy New Year! Many people would be surprised I have quoted Leonard Cohen in the spirit of celebration and happiness. At times his works can impart a heavy message. Songs and poetry allow room for individual interpretation just as our visual art does. This verse speaks to me as I begin to look ahead in 2011. When I look back on my past works, not all turned out as I imagined they would when I first set my brush to the canvas. I get frustrated at times, even though intellectually I know I'm learning something from the experience. However, in the spirit of ringing in the New Year, I realize I should be celebrating each time I finish any painting. Why Not? Maybe it isn't perfect, maybe it has a little crack in it but isn't the bright side of that, as Leonard Cohen so brilliantly states, "that's how the light gets in?" Each work has its own uniqueness whether it followed my initial plan or not. The piece shown here is one of several small works (9x8) that a friend commissioned me to do last year. Her request started with a vision; several original oils inlaid on the front of an antique cabinet. We collaborated on subject matter but had no idea how it was all going to come together. One idea led to the next and eventually created something beautiful. I have decided to begin 2011 with that same outlook; taking one idea at a time, one piece at a time, each building upon the other. Not to form a perfect offering but to start ringing some bells with all that I've got. Celebrating the fact that any cracks I see are guiding me along my path. I feel lighter already. Do you hear the bells ringing?