Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Series

Here are steps one and two of a new painting series. These will be impressionistic landscapes with texture. (I hope you can see the texture in these photos.) They're done with Interactive Acrylics, the new slower drying acrylic from Chroma. I like them a lot. I have painted with acrylics for sometime but never was an oil panter, so I bring no prejudice to the medium. I like this paint because it is slower than regular acrylics, but faster, much faster drying than oil. I don't like waiting a long time for things to dry, but I do want to have a little open time to blend.
We will be doing another workshop with Interactive this year that will be completely different from our first one. Stay tuned for more info.

Peace in 2008


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Altered Book, Altered Mind

I know these aren't the best photos but it gives you an idea of what I've been up to. Having just finished a series of paintings - you saw a few of them on here recently - I've been a little stuck on the next group of paintings. I needed something different to clear my head so I started rummaging around the craft stores, book stores and Goodwill. For a while now I've wanted to play with the idea of altered books. I've always loved books and the thought of turning an old one into a work of art appealed to me. These are a couple of pages out of my first attempt, the book isn't done yet and I won't post the finished product on here either because it's actually a surprise for someone but I can give you a glimpse of it.

I found the book at Goodwill, it's great to find old children's books. They're sturdy and sometimes even have illustrations or words that can be used in the finished product. I don't know if you can see it but above the gator head it asks "what's the biggest living reptile?" Elements I included in the pages are photos that I took, fabric, oriental papers, tissue paper, acrylic paint, stencil and a feather. I used acrylic medium for glue. Turning each 2 page spread into a work of art is a lot of work, not to mention what it does to my studio, but I think it also clears my mind and is getting me ready for the next series of paintings. Sometimes we need to regroup and work on something totally different so we can be refreshed and ready for the next vision.

Kelli and I are also getting ready for the new year. We're planning some workshops and we'll keep you posted on dates and locations as they come up. The first one we're doing is for the Citrus County Art League. We're doing a demo on Feb 14th and a workshop on Feb 16th. Then in May we're heading to Rising Sun Indiana to teach a 2 day workshop based on our book Creative Colored Pencil Workshop. We'll do the same workshop in Ocala in June, then in July I head for Seattle to teach at the CPSA convention. There's more after that - we're even doing a workshop on printmaking without a press - I'm really looking forward to playing with monoprints again. It's such a fun process! Ok, one thing at a time...... back to the altered book.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Marketing Goals for 2008

Hi All,

The hardest part of being a professional artist (for me) is the marketing. I don't want to be a salesperson, I want to be a creative person. However, like any small business, we have to promote and sell ourselves and our work in order to make a living. AAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!!!!

Our marketing salon group, OoHA has been a huge help for me in getting my act together for self promotion. I did not know what to do nor how to do it before I was invited to join this group. Last year I accomplished more in the marketing portion of my business than ever before. Thank you OoHA and especially Sharon Crute for starting our group.

Here is my list of marketing goals for 2008:

Update and maintain Working Artist software
Develop and maintain a mailing list
Blog at least once per week
Make file of blog ideas (already started this)
Keep in better contact with students
Complete brochure for Beach series
Finish contract for new book (we are waiting on our publisher to assign an editor)
Develop list of galleries to contact
Pursue more workshop venues
Pursue possible development of gift products
*Make money!*

There is a lot to do and sometimes I feel overwhelmed, OK, most of the time I feel overwhelmed. However, Lynne and I have accomplished a lot int he last few years by taking it one week at a time, setting deadlines and being accountable.

I have already started a file of blog ideas. (Who would have thought getting organized could make such a difference!) I have also wanted to have a better system for keeping in touch with students whom we haven't seen in awhile. This may seem easy, but our students are mostly retired and some travel extensively and some have health problems. Some use email and some do not. I always have new students fill out a form with contact information and then the forms pile up in several places and I cannot find the one I want. Organization, or lack thereof, rears it's ugly head again!

Here is my new list:

1. Get organized
2. Make money

Peace in 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Creative Goals for 2008

Hi All,

Our Art marketing salon (OoHA) met last night and we went over our goals for this year and divided up into groups of two. Lynne and I usually work together, but Mary Verrandeaux and I were randomly assigned to be partners in this project. (See the link to Mary's website to the right. You will love her work.) The idea of the partnership is to help encourage one another and hold each other accountable. It is much more difficult to face a partner and admit that you did not do what you committed to do.

Below is my list of creative goals for 2008:

1. Spend more time using my camera and learn to really take advantage of its features.
2. Make better use of Photoshop Elements.
3. Develop a new painting series.
4. Complete the new book is this calendar year.
5. Meditate daily to clear mind to allow creativity to enter.
6. Do a better job of sticking to schedule.
7. Schedule time to work on impressionistic landscapes using Interactive acrylics.
8. Organize studio for better use.
9. Plan and follow through on artists dates.
10. Work on new magazine articles.
11. Strive to write in journal daily.

I will be identifying steps and setting deadlines to achieve these goals. Later in the week, I will list my marketing goals. Good achievable goals are specific, measurable and are within our control. Good luck with setting and achieving your goals.

Peace in 2008.


Monday, January 21, 2008

New Work

Hi All,
This is another installment in the bondage series. The metal is copper that has been distressed with balsamic vinegar. It is thin and easy to bend into any shape as well as cut with scissors. To get the distressed look, I simple put pieces of the copper that I have already cut into shapes into a zip lock baggie along with balsamic vinegar. I let it soak for a few days, turning it about once a day. It comes out with beautiful colors and patterns on the metal. After washing and drying, I attach it to the canvas with heavy gel medium and let it dry. I then put acrylic texture mediums around it and painted it after drying.
I don't really know what direction my art is heading in right now. I am wanting to work with metal, leather, wire, cords, found objects and just plain old what not! However, I am not sure what forms this will take or where it will lead me. I am feeling drawn to more 3 dimensional work than flat work right now. I suppose that is a natural transition when you get into textures. I am also interested in putting these materials into jewelry. We'll see what happens there.
I am still working on my goals for 2008. Our marketing group, Out of Hand Artists (OoHA) meets tonight to share our goals and help each other achieve them. I'll let you know how it goes.
Peace in 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ups and downs

Earth Passage 9

Hi everyone,
This is the last piece in this particular series. This one almost had a life of it's own. It's a little different from what I usually do and that felt good. This piece happened because of a trip down the interstate. My husband and I were going to a wedding in Sarasota and enjoying the ride. For many years I loved the view of rolling green hills and orange groves on this strip of I-75. This day was different. As we approached this area all I could see was rolling hills of rooftops. One brown square after another so close together you couldn't see any air between them. I was so disappointed and saddened by the sight I couldn't get it out of my mind until I painted a reaction to it.

On an up note...I did a little artist's date yesterday and went shopping at the craft store and Goodwill. I have some new projects in mind and can't wait to get started. I've also been spending some Christmas gift cards on books and finding that my new favorite section of the bookstore is the craft section. Some of those books can spark fun ideas for mixed media canvas work. Now I'm finding the downside of working in mixed media - storage space. Oh my gosh, where do I put all the stuff. I can't throw anything out - I might need to glue it to a canvas one day!

Peace and have some fun today,

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Painting

Earth Passage 8

Hi and happy Saturday,
This is one of the latest from the easel. I'm loving the square format and now it looks like I'm leaning toward the geometric along with the organic in the subject itself. I started with a base of super heavy body gesso to give the canvas some texture. Along with the Interactive acrylics I used a wonderful copper metallic paint for accent and then I felt it needed something more. I had been playing with an idea on another canvas, it involved collaging squares of tissue and squares of paper from the phone book representing the human element in connection with earth's elements. It worked for what I wanted to say so I expanded that onto this canvas. I usually have several things going at once and sometimes the paintings end up influencing each other. This is my kind of multi-tasking. Why is that so much easier to do in the studio than in the rest of my life?

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Mine will involve studio time but I do have to take that Christmas tree down sometime! Or maybe I could put Valentine's Day ornaments on it.


Friday, January 11, 2008

We're it!

We've been tagged by the dynamic equine artist Sharon Crute. Yay! Thanks Sharon. Take a gander at the wonderful work she does.

So, here are the rules: 1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. If I'm working alone in my studio I'm usually singing - sometimes even dancing. Once I put the Latin music on the feet move more than the brush.

2. Contrary to what many believe Kelli and I are actually 2 people! Although lately it seems to take both of us to make one good brain.

3. Back in the day I played guitar. WAY back in the day I played the violin. I didn't keep up with either one so now I play neither.

4. Other things I've enjoyed doing over the years....basket weaving, cross stitch, crocheting and baking bread the old fashioned way - no mixers or machines. Have you ever tried pistachio bread? Yum.

5. I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren, yikes! when did that happen?

These are the folks getting tagged next.

Joanie San Chirico
Alisha Ard
Jelaine Faunce
Robin Maria Pedrero

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Earth Passage 3

Hello again, just thought I'd post another piece in this series. I finished the last piece in the series this weekend. I ended up with 9 in this particular group. This is actually a series within a series so I'm excited about starting on the next set of paintings.

I hope the start to your new year is fabulous. Recently one of the girls in our OoHA group suggested we write down a list of our accomplishments in 07. I thought the list might be kind of short. I don't know about you but 07 was a blur. Thankfully instead of ending up depressed I was pleasantly surprised! Give this a try. Once you start writing you remember all the little steps along the way that are getting you closer to your goals. It's definitely worth doing before making your goals list for 08.

Time to get back to the studio and pretend I'm retired.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Paint like you're retired

Earth Passage 2

As artists we have at least 2 jobs - the 2 main ones being painting and marketing. We're constantly walking a fine line between what the market wants (or just plain trying to figure out what the market wants) and what we really want to paint. Do we paint for the trends, the current popular palette? Do we paint what we think show judges will want to see at the next big juried exhibition or do we paint for the gallery director we're hoping to impress.

We spend our creative lives second guessing what other people want at the same time we're figuring out who we are with each painting challenge. What a stressful place to be for a creative spirit. If we're constantly trying to please others there's a part of us that dies. If we don't even think about the market the bank account dies. We have to learn the balancing act and one thing that I've decided is to leave the marketing at the office door. Thankfully my office is separate from my studio so mentally it makes it easier for me to compartmentalize the two aspects of my art career. When I'm in the studio I'll paint like I'm retired. For me, separating the office from the studio is the only way to enjoy the process of painting and isn't that why we're painters to begin with? We're called to the process. I think we're creative from cradle to grave. As painters we don't really retire but we can paint like we are.

Happy New Year and happy painting in 08