Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Christmas Time!

No painting today! Time to start wrapping some presents, make the pumpkin bread and have Rees make candy! The house smells sooo good. Tomorrow I'll get back out to the studio. I apologize for the spotty posting and promise I'll get back on track for the new year! I've got lots of resolutions pending and more appropriate posting is on that list. In the mean time, to those of you whose address I don't have, this was the image on this year's Christmas card. It said LET IT SNOW! Happy Holidays to all!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays!

My nephew, Brady, is 4 1/2. He's in the Holiday spirit. Are you?
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Monday, December 14, 2009

I've Been Scammed! (Almost)

Tis the season for lots of holiday purchase inquiries. that I like. So, when one came to me via email about 2 specific pieces on my web site, complete with improper grammar (okay, so mine's perfect! but it sure is better than "Lynda Davis"), I was wary but not totally sure it was a scam. We've emailed back and forth a couple of times, and I've asked her to call me so we can discuss....."she" continues to write back and has now, just this very morning, told me she is pregnant, in London at her twin sister's wedding and that she and her husband are moving from NJ to Johannesburg, South Africa and that she'll have her cartage people arrange for pickup of the works by fedex. A little too much going on for me. At this point, I googled "art scam foreign twin sister London" and found an art post that mentioned the exact same scam and had the exact same email with identical wording, bad spelling, bad grammar, and all. I won't be responding to her last request and know I won't be hearing from her via the phone, but if I do, won't that be fun? In the meantime, I wonder if there is any one I should alert?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

I will be blogging more soon. Truth be told, I haven't had much to say. But I've got Rees working on updating my website with new images. In that process I've been reviewing my inventory, realizing how cool it would be to be organized. No--I mean not pretend, fake organization, but really truly being organized. Cataloging all my work with titles, date of completion, who purchased. Yeah, right. It will never happen. At least not for me. I'm just not that way. But it is really fun to think about what it would be like to not have to search for things. It would probably save me a bunch of time.

But, as I was going through my boxes, I had some extra visitors in the studio today. I guess our walk wore them out. Ah, a dog's life!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Off to Santa Fe

Just a quick post to say I'm off to Santa Fe today. It is errand day! JuneBug is off to spend the day (and night) with her friend Simon. (How exciting!--I sure hope she behaves with Bertie, the cat.) Rees & I are meeting my college friend, Jim, for dinner. He happens to be in town for a meeting. It should be fun. Home late on Sunday! Hopefully I'll have some good pictures of old adobes, etc to work from!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

El Dia de Los Muertos

We celebrated Day of the Dead this year on November 1st, so my friend Miranda could come--she's a teacher and her Tuesdays are really tough. So, Sunday night it was. Lots of yummy food--(we're still eating the leftovers!) First time to make tamales! Pickled veggies, guacamole, queso fundido, cinqo leche cake, biscochitos, 3 homemade salsas, pork & beef and rajas and crema tacos, black beans, yum! Anyway, thought I'd post a picture of the altar we made. Pictures and mementos of those who are no longer with us. It was nice. It did take me a while to pack it all back up. Why is it that putting out the decorations is always fun--you, know, like Christmas--but putting it away not so much fun?

Friday, October 30, 2009

What I've Been Up To

I actually have been painting--just not as fast as I sometimes do--but I've been working with some new color schemes and am actually quite pleased. Here's a sampling of the panels I've completed this week.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Long Does it Take?

I am often asked how long it takes to make one of my oil pastel drawings/paintings. I never really know how to answer that. This piece I did this afternoon--about 4 hours. But, that doesn't include taking the photograph from which I derived the painting, ordering the panel, storing it until I am ready to prep the panel--that includes sanding down the edges and adding a layer of red gesso. Then, once the image is on the panel, I have to use a spray fixative until it is no longer tacky--that means going outside to spray as the stuff is noxious, when the snow isn't clumping off the trees, or when the pine needles aren't blowing all over the place. Then there is drying time in between coast of the fixative. Next, I have to use my brush on-varnish --2 coats minimum, with drying time in between. This, of course, assumes that the varnish is in stock and that I have some. I'm down to my last inch of it and just received word from Jerry's Artarama that it is finally on its way to me (I got smart this time and ordered 4 bottles rather than 1 or 2.) Do I count the time I'm online re-ordering my supplies? Then once it is dry, I need to photograph it on a sunny day, outside, when the sun isn't shining on that side of the house (I found out yesterday that that has to be before 4 o'clock--at least this time of year.) Then I cut foamcore to fit the piece and cover that with glassine--it is how I protect the surface while traveling. Then Rees puts wires on the back--no other framing required!!! Yeah--no glass cleaning. The image gets uploaded into the computer at some point as well--although if you have noticed my website has not been updated in quite some time--On my list! So, you could say it takes 4 hours to do a 6 by 24 piece but in reality a lot more goes into it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I think these pictures speak for themselves! This is what I awoke to today! Before Halloween. I've got some customers coming to the studio today--better go try to get it tidy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Appropriate Footwear

I know it has been two weeks since this Cottonwood show. But I've had oodles to do and hadn't yet uploaded any images from the weekend. While the show turned out really well (THANK YOU, ALL!), it was once again rainy and miserable during part of the show. I even had to bring out my famous wellies that I bought near the beginning of the show season. Let's hope the weather is better for next year's shows.

On that note, I'm home now with no shows for quite some time. You can expect some more of this blog--lots more pics of art, etc. And, I think I'll get the oils out again pretty soon and give them a go!

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Be Careful!

A dear friend of my was in a terrible car wreck yesterday morning. In thinking about it, it occurred to me that I am actually surprised these sorts of accidents don't happen more often. I'm glad they don't. But, it underscored for me the need to be extra careful when driving! Judy is going to be okay and I'm thankful for that. But, if you are out driving, PLEASE be careful--stop when you are tired or can't devote all your attention to the task at hand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Texas State Fair

Well, I forgot my camera so you can't see Big Tex on my blog but he was there, presiding over the Great Texas State Fair. Just so you know: I consumed 2 Fletcher's corny dogs, 1/3 order of chicken fried bacon, 1/3 order of fried peaches and cream (the award winning food this year), a lemonade, and a bite of caramel apple. I may never, ever eat anything fried again! (Probably an overstatement, but I definitely got my fill--seeing as I had started this fried thing the day before when I had a half of a fried oreo at the art show.) Probably didn't help that Rees & Laird made me go on a twirly ride that made me really dizzy! If you are anywhere close to Dallas--go to the fair. It is fun!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday, Mom & Dad & Gail!!!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cottonwood Booth Assignment

For those of you who may be wondering--I've been assigned booth number 116. It is on the Rembrandt row about half way down on the east side of the little street that cuts through the park. It isn't the first aisle by Beltline but the second. Hope you can come out to the show!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Booth shot

These are some of the shots we took the other day. One with all black frames, one a combo of frameless and black frames and the other just the frameless. They are not touched up or manipulated at all--yet. I still can't decide which might be best. Any preferences, out there?

Off to Cottonwood!

We leave for Dallas tomorrow--for the Cottonwood show. I'm looking forward to it! Today was spent packing up art, finishing with framing, packing clothes, packing the van, cleaning out the fridge, taking one of the cars in. General junk stuff. But, that is close to done and it isn't even late yet! And I even made egg salad for the ride!

Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend, Jenny White and her dog, Simon. JunieBug LOVES Simon(and I think the feeling is mutual!) The aspen, even on a cloudy day, were exquisite! I hope all the color isn't gone before we return.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wild Life

Yesterday I had some studio visitors. Some of the four legged, horned kind as in the picture above. They really liked what was left of my plants. But since we've had a pretty hard freeze, I didn't shoo them away. Let 'em eat their fill!

I also had a visit from some past clients, along with their older Wheaton terrier, Rufus, who was a real sweetie. They took home a large piece, which made my day!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Feelings

It is that time of year--cold, crisp night (especially when I forgot to close one of the windows!) and warm beautiful days. The leaves are changing--but slowly this year. We'll probably miss a lot of the color when we head down to Dallas for the Cottonwood Art show this next weekend. Oh, well. I'm actually looking forward to the show (and my visit with Rees' sister, Laird.)

In the meantime, I'm trying to get the house ready for the approach of winter but really just looking for excuses to be outside. I've got some pieces to frame for the upcoming show and a few to get ready to ship out!

Yesterday, I played hooky some of the day and Rees and Bug and I took a 6 or so mile walk over to the Lady Slipper trail. Bug got a chance to swim and was one tired pooch by evening.

Then I had some studio visitors--Barbara Courtney & her friend, Kay Hable. They found a few things they couldn't live without! Pics above are of me with them.

Maybe, more importantly, today is my grandma Evie's 96th birthday! She's a most remarkable woman. The family, sans me & Rees, will be celebrating at my brother Marc's house later today. Have fun everyone! We'll be there in spirit!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stars in Heaven!

I haven't posted any images of work lately. And it isn't like I haven't done any pieces lately. It is just the blogging blues. I think they'll go away when the snow does--more in the forecast tonight, btw.

So, instead of trying to be witty or artsy, I think I'll just show you a few of the pieces I finished this week. (See above.)


It snowed last night. There is still some on the ground. Not a lot. Still, I'm not ready for winter to begin. I did manage to wear a turtleneck the day before autumn officially began. Guess I better go get some more out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Frozen North

So last week I had my first fire in the wood stove. to take the chill off. It worked. Then, we headed up to Castle Rock, CO for the art show this weekend. It had been 90 on Thursday, only 70 for set up on Friday. Then,we got to Saturday--overcast and then rainy. A whooping 44 degrees when I left, frozen through to the bone! Today a high of 70 is expected--yeah!!!!!!! And some sun. Looking forward to that! And, I'm the one who decided art shows is the way to market my work!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Off to Santa Fe

We're off tomorrow to do a show in Santa Fe. It is held on the plaza. I haven't done the show since 2001, when my Santa Fe gallery owner found me. But, when she retired and closed her gallery, we thought we'd try it again. I did fine back in 2001 and hope to again! If you are in the neighborhood, come on by. My booth is on the actual plaza near Lincoln street--booth G32. The show is Saturday, Sunday and Monday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Excitement in Angel Fire (for me)

Admittedly, my posts have been thin or non-existent. Sorry. Just so busy a time.

Sunday night was the MFAF southwest art auction. (Don't worry--the festival will be over soon and I'll get back to actually focusing on art!) Anyway, I donated the piece from which their poster was made--a 30 by 30 inch panel called "Evening Colors". I had high hopes for the piece bringing a good bit for the festival. But with the economy this year, I was a little nervous that it might not do too well. So, throughout the silent auction and 49 pieces into the live auction I got nervous about whether it would sell well. I even asked Rees if maybe I should get someone to bid up to a certain amount and I would buy the painting back, as I didn't want it going for mere cents on the dollar. He told me not to worry. There was interest.

Rees was right! They opened the bidding at $1000 and about 20 paddles went up. Musicians, locals, and past locals were bidding--a lot. To make a long story short--or at least not so long--the piece went for $6000!!!!!--way more than I've ever sold a piece for! I was ecstatic! More than twice my retail price. Don't worry--patrons--I'm not raising my prices but it sure was fun to have one go for so much! Thanks to all the aggressive bidders! I do appreciate it.

Guess I'll have to give MFAF a good one next year.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Make Things Difficult

Yesterday, we went on a walk with a bunch of the Music From Angel Fire musicians and some local MFAF fans (along with our good friends, Mark & Susan Vaughan, past residents of Angel Fire and now of Taylor,TX). Additionally, we had a few dogs on the walk. The first image above is of Ida Kavafian, Artistic Director of MFAF and co-owner with her husband, Steve Tenenbom, of Opus One Vizslas. She's handing out treats to a few of our canine pals.

The second image is Yogi, Benny Kim's dog. Benny didn't accompany us on the walk so we let Yogi wallow in his mud bath. Maybe next year, Benny will hike with us!

On another note, today I had the pleasure of Bella Hristova coming over to look at and purchase some of my art. Instead, I kept pulling out boxes and she got ever more confused! Please note the refined way I display things in my studio! We've narrowed it down to 4 pieces and I'm sure she'll be able to decide. She'll be playing in the orchestra at tonight's concert in Taos! Looking forward to more good--slash that--great music!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MFAF Program

As promised, here is a quick snap of the Music From Angel Fire program, sitting on one of my bright pink chairs. Busy times here in Angel Fire. Today I attended my first Closer Encounters program of MFAF. Basically an open rehearsal with a lot of dialog between the musicians and between the musicians and the audience. I will never miss another one of these (providing I am in town.) It was really superb! Can't wait for the concert tonight--only one hour to go!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Tonight's Music from Angel Fire Concert is dedicated to artist Jennifer Cavan! What an honor! I'm pretty excited about it! And promise to tell you all how the concert was. But it might be a day or two. We leave tomorrow for a very quick trip to Chicago to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary! Back Monday with some pics. Promise.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music From Angel Fire Poster Artist

I think I may have mentioned back in February that I had been chosen to be the 2009 poster artist for Music From Angel Fire. This chamber music festival is one of the very best in the country. In the 26 years of the festival's existence, I am the first Angel Fire artist chosen. Really famous artists have graced the festival's posters and printed programs. Needless to say, I was very honored to be chosen.

The above image "Evening Colors" is the piece on the program and on the poster. It looks really cool with the design work done on the program--maybe when I get one I'll post it for you. It is one of my oil pastels done on the cradled panel 30 inches square on a 2 inch deep panel. I'm donating the original to the Music From Angel Fire art auction, which takes place on August 30th. It has a retail price of $2700. If anyone is truly interested in it, contact me and I'll see if I can arrange a surrogate bidder.

The Music From Angel Fire office is open now, so if you need a poster, give them a buzz 575-377-3233 or 888-377-3300 through September 5th. They are $30 unsigned and $40 signed, plus shipping. Remember I DON'T DO PRINTS of my work, so if you need something to cover a big piece of wall and can't afford the original, this is your chance.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taos Solar Center

Happy weekend! It is my first one home in a month! And, to top it off, my friend--Dave Bos--has arrived for a short visit. Dave and I have known each other for way too many years. He claims his first memory of me is playing football in my front yard. Yep, we grew up 2 blocks apart and I guess I was occasionally tomboy-ish. I can't remember that. Anyway, Rees & I saw Dave when we were in Reston for the art show in May. Before that, it had been way too long. We had been, over the years, emailing music preferences and info on new bands we had found/liked.

So, as promised Dave arrived for his first visit to New Mexico. Last night we headed in to Taos to the KTAO Taos Solar Center to see Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women. I am a very big,big fan of Dave Alvin and I hadn't seen him with his new band. Dave Alvin sounded great and the band--all women of unbelievable talent--was superb! The only problem was because of early day rain, they had to hold the concert inside instead of out under the mountain. The pic of me & Dave was taken out where we should have been sitting. Next time.

On another note, Dave Bos, is an avid mountain biker. Somehow, he managed to get both me and Rees out for a starter ride this morning. See I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years! (We sadly purchased quasi decent bikes 10 years ago and then I got scared of gravel and breaking my arm and never rode them.) Anyway, I was a bit apprehensive. But, I must admit, I actually had fun. (And think I'll probably try it some more!) Maybe next time Bos gets here, I'll be able to actually ride with him! (Carey, are you reading this?)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sun Valley Surprises

Off we went last week for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts show, in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. I've done the show many times--7, I think, and have always had a wonderful time. It is one of the very most pleasant shows to do--great volunteer organization, great staff and director, a beautiful venue, great art, and usually great weather. Nope--not this time--my fight with weather continues.

6 times the weather was perfect--blue skies, 70s, all three days and set up. I think maybe one time we had a tiny bit of wind for about 20 minutes and 27 sprinkles. This time, we got cold and we got rain. For the most part not a down pour but ugly and cold nevertheless--for the first entire two days. 50 degrees and cold and damp are just not the thing for good art sales. But I met some nice artists, reconnected with some I rarely see--our travel circles only overlap occasionally, and saw and caught up with some old customers.

All in all, I think this is the highest quality show I do. Only about 120 artist but a great selection of 2D, fiber, glass, ceramics, and sculpture. Although, this time, someone doing kids teepees managed to score a booth that someone had cancelled on at the last minute and it seriously downgraded the look of the show. Would have been way better to just have an empty booth. I'm sure it was mentioned to the show director--probably many times.

Anyway, I haven't given up on Sun Valley. Such a great place and such a beautiful, if not long, drive.

Monday, August 3, 2009

More about Crested Butte

Okay, still no pics. Lazy today. (Well, not really-- I did get a couple of long skinny pieces painted, my Sun Valley Barn sprayed and ready for its varnish layer, 100 Music From Angel Fire posters signed, suitcase unpacked, van dropped off for an oil change, a quick stop at Charlie's for something to eat for the 48 hours we are home, a dog walk and a soak in the hot tub.)

We really enjoyed our time in Crested Butte. It is such a great town and the people are really nice. To say nothing at all of the vast beauty all around.

The show started slowly and I was a bit worried but by Sunday thing shad worked out well and I was a happy camper. Didn't sell much small stuff but I sold a big piece to a local couple who I know will really enjoy the piece. Plus, I enjoyed chatting with them while we were there. Thanks, Jeff & Tiff! Other sales as well so all in all it turned out fine. I really liked my artists neighbors--Teri Pelio across from me was my neighbor last year in Sun Valley--she was across from me, and Barry had some great sculptures right next to me, plus they had their 7 month dog with them who was a dear--made me miss Bug but he sure was nice to pet!
And, I got a blast from the past. My friend, Dave Bos, has a good friend from law school, Marcus, who was vacationing with his family in CB. He stopped by several times and I got to meet his wife, Paula, and his 3 boys--Jackson, Henry & Charlie! Marcus and I had met and had beers together with Dave back in the late 80s, early nineties, in Chicago (and we think listened to some live music although neither of us are for certain about that)--but time flies and really, even though so many years (you can say decades, but I'd prefer years--just lots of them--) have passed we're not all that much different than we were. I hope Dave & Marcus will plan one of their biking outings down here. Rees & I can do our thing during the day, they can bike and then we can have a beer or two and dinner.

As for the Nordic Inn, while it was a slightly older facility, it was actually really nice, as were the owners who were there for breakfast (a great one, by the way) and then actually came out to the show!!
Thanks to them as well!

Off early Wednesday morning for Sun Valley. I'll post more about that soon. Such a great place!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Crested Butte

We arrived safe and sound in Crested Butte and got all set up. I took some cool pictures of the landscape we drove through. But, I forgot the cable to the camera so I'll have to wait until we get home to upload. Weather forecast good for today! Yeah!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Coming Home

This is one of the reasons we have decided to come home after Crested Butte, for the meager 2 days. The damp rainy monsoonal weather has made the studio a tad more humid and the panels I have prepared aren't quite dry. I'm disappointed they can't all come to Crested Butte with me, but am excited to know they will be ready for the Sun Valley show. The pictures above are based on the red Sun Valley barn. I didn't know if it was better depicted with flash or without so you get both! It is a large 30 inch cradled board. My hand was a little cramped after smooshing in all the stars but it is better this morning.
I'm not sure about internet access at our "lodge" in Crested Butte--read aging hotel facility in resort town, which I'm sure will be similar to the one in Ruidoso (where our sink totally fell apart while we were at the show and at check-out they tried to charge us for breaking it!!!) I'll post if there is access, otherwise, dear readers, it won'tb e until Monday! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I've gotten a few panels finished and am hoping they are dry enough to take with me on my next trip. We head up to Crested Butte, Colorado this weekend and then on to Sun Valley, Idaho. We still haven't decided if we'll come home in between or just meander up to Idaho. Coming home adds a full day of driving to the mix but it does allow me 2 days at home--read with my dog, Bug, with the possibility of picking up some of the panels after Crested Butte. Right now coming home sounds like the reasonable plan but I wonder how I'll feel about it Sunday night, after being at the show for 8 hours, breaking down the booth and having a five hour drive to look forward to.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It has been two weeks since I last posted. This new computer seems to continue to give me fits. Now, every time I open picasa to import pictures it reloads every single image I've ever taken! So, while waiting for Rees to figure it out, I decided that that was a good excuse not to blog. Besides, nothing too exciting has been happening.

We've had some warmer weather, making my oil pastels even messier than ever. Thank god I don't live some place where it gets really warm! In any case, I had Rees take a photo of just 2 hours worth of oil pastels on my hands! No dust but messy in their own right!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I spent last weekend at the Angel Fire Community Center exhibiting at the 28th annual ArtsFest, put on by the Moreno Valley Arts Council. It is a small show--only 33 artists and the crowds aren't stupendous. But, it is what gave me my start as an oil pastelist. As I was standing there I realized that it was 10 years ago, this very last weekend, that I exhibited and sold my first 3 oil pastels. I'd juried into that show with my bultos and retablos (will post some images of them soon, as soon as I dig some of them out). But Rees convinced me to fill 3 frames I had purchased with something--just to see what sort of response I got. It was good! I sold those first 3 pieces at the preview night and was hooked--both on oil pastels and on art shows! So, a big thanks to the Moreno Valley Arts Council for giving me my start. Oh, and, by the way, thanks John McDermott and all the volunteers who put on the show! I appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Studio Visitors

Yesterday I had the pleasure of having Emily and Leah Clark over for a few hours in the afternoon. While I worked on a nighttime vertical long skinny piece, the girls worked on a collaborative piece. It was fun. Their piece isn't finished yet and they were a bit shy about having it photographed so I snapped a shot of the two of them from the other side of the easel.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I've Been BUSY!!!!

Excuses,excuses. I've got 'em. See we got a new desktop computer to replace the one we've had for 6 years. And I really like the big humongeous screen--gotta be 2 feet wide. But the keyboard sucks--I can't type on it any better than on the laptop--the one that causes me the most headaches because it jumps around all by itself--yes, I own possessed technological items. And it has taken Rees about a week to move all the stuff from the old computer to this one--so, justifiably he has been bogarting the machine. So, I have been kindly letting him proceed with whatever it is he has to do. And I've been out in the studio replacing a bunch of long skinny cradled panels all week. Working hard! Here are the results----now on to some bigger pieces!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Albuquerque Rocks!!!!

Rees & I returned from the New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair late last night and are just about recuperated from the long-houred show and the tear down and drive home. I had been really disappointed when the show called to say that they had made an executive decision to move the entire show inside the Manual Lujan building. I'd always enjoyed being under the cottonwoods, enjoying the sometimes hot, sometimes warm afternoons, and generally enjoying being in New Mexico. Admittedly, the show has suffered from early monsoonal rains in the afternoon and some devastating winds. Still, to go inside a dark dreary state fair building for the entire weekend was not on my agenda. And, the Des Moines art festival (a much more prestigious show) had called and offered me a place off the waitlist. I declined. After all, Albuquerque is only 150 miles from home. Unlike Des Moines. I purchased a double booth at the show--since I wouldn't have the exta storage always afforded me by my outside spot-- and hoped for the best.

BEST!!! Is what it was. Although the overall crowds were light, my sales were really strong! It was really fun. And where I would have thought that demographically Albuquerque would be the most price sensitive market, it wasn't. I sold large pieces (plural is correct), medium pieces, and small ones. I even sold out of my new long skinny cradled boards--that's never happened before! Everyone was enthusiastic and it was worth every minute. So, thanks Albuquerque!!!!! You are the best. You've rejuvenated me and given me just the boost I needed to keep going! Can't wait to go back next year! Oh, and I couldn't help but snag a piece of art--an oil--by Addie Draper whose work is absolutely awesome!! Check her out:

Thursday, June 25, 2009


When I paint dusk pieces I generally use a burgundy background. Lately, the introduction of white at the horizon line has , I think, improved these pieces as they have a better color balance. I'd show you a piece--in fact, I have resized it and adjusted the color in photoshop just for that purpose. Only, for some reason, Blogger won't let me upload. Hopefully, it is just some techno-glitch that has nothing to do with me and I will be able to upload the image later.

Turns out it was just me being stupid. The upload window had gotten hidden behind several other windows. My apologies!

We're off to Albuquerque, for the New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair. It opens tomorrow at 10. So, today is a full one--pack the van, pack ourselves, get Bug to Don & Judy's, drive to Albuquerque, check in to the hotel and the show, unload and set up! Whew! I'm already tired. I think the hotel doesn't provide internet so I probably won't post until Monday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cold & Wet

Yesterday I spent some time watering some of my perennials so as to keep them alive. I admit it--I basically just torture my plants--give 'em enough water that they live but never thrive. And in this arid country, mother nature doesn't provide a lot of extra help. Except over the last 24 hours. It started raining last night about 7 or 8 o'clock and continued straight through the night and on and off today, all day. So, I'm not sure if mother nature provided the rain or if my watering efforts yesterday brought it on.

I've put away my turtlenecks, although kicking and screaming all the way (Rees says they are inappropriate attire after Memorial Day, like white shoes are after Labor Day) but when it is 52 degrees outside and the studio is only 56, a turtleneck would be a welcome accoutrement. Instead, a waffle weave shirt, warm wools socks and a fleece jacket were my work attire today (actually it is usually my attire at least until the day warms up--high altitude generally means pretty cold nights and not so very warm days.) Even so, at about 4 o'clock I realized my fingers were actually a bit stiff with cold. So I went in and enjoyed the fire Rees built in our family room fireplace to take the chill off. Ahhhh!!! I guess the thing to have done was build a fire in the studio early this morning. Who would have thought I'd need one on the first day of summer--after all, June is usually our warm month!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Long Does it Take You?

I'm often asked at art shows how long it takes me to complete a piece. Not a bad question. But one I'm not always sure how to answer. I mean, does the person just want to converse? Or does he want to know how much I'm making per hour, to compare to himself? Or is he really curious about the process? (And I use the male pronoun because it is generally men who ask me that question.)

It is a question we artists talk about between ourselves when we are standing around our booths. Not so much the answer to the question but how we respond to it when asked.

Some artists--some really famous and some not so much--who simply say that the piece has taken them "x" number of years, that being equal to the number of years they have been painting, since all their previous knowledge about art has gone into every piece. I kind of get that response but it seems evasive, like you don't want anyone to know how fast you are. I, myself, am relatively fast with the oil pastels but I have chosen to be an artist not to account for my every hour but to create art that I like and that people like and buy. So, I don't really keep track. I can tell you that my night scene skies take much more time than the puffy clouds, but I truly don't know how much more--twice, three times, not really sure. Sometimes I can get a couple of decent size pieces done in a day, other times only one. Sometimes I get 5 little guys completed in an 8 hour day. Sometimes not.

Then there is the issue of that is the time devoted to production. There are framing days, show days, set-up days, travel days, framing days, email hours, show application times, stamping and printing of postcards to be sent before a show, Christmas cards to design, ads to send into production, thank you notes to write, accounting to do, keeping track of which states you've sold in and what amounts of sales tax are due when, inventory-ing of art and framing supplies, hotel reservations to make, oil changes to the van--our nearest dealership is 160 miles away, taking of reference photos, uploading them and then ordering them from shutterfly, blogging, conversing with potential customers via email and phone. So, like lots of businesses, the production is only one part of it. And, in my opinion, the fun part! And, I am super lucky that my husband, Rees, takes care of a lot of the non-production part of the business. Thanks, Rees!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Studio Time

Today I spent the morning packing up some paintings for shipping, repairing a piece that a client's dog jumped on, framing a piece and getting them all ready to ship. Not the glamorous part of the art job, but a definite part of the whole equation.

Then after a trip to my local gallery, Angel Fire ArtSpace, to drop off a few new pieces and over to Monique's to get my hair dolled up, I managed to go back to the studio and smoosh in a night sky on a piece I'd sketched out before we left for Chicago. For those of you not in the know, "smooshing" is the way I blend the darker colors over the lighter and get the color as close to the stars as possible. All in all a productive day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Back Home!

Sorry about not posting while I was on the road. I had an excuse for some of the time because we were up in Door County Wisconsin in between my two shows and there is no high speed internet up there. But, I did have time otherwise, I just got lazy.

Truth be told, the Chicago show in Hyde Park wasn't very good and I was a bit bummed about it. Horrible rainy cold weather, a bad spot at the show, and the not so wonderful economy made the show a very trying one. I did win an award and am invited back next year. And, I'll probably try it one more time. The show puts newbies in the alley and school yard and saves the street locations for veterans of the show. Next year should be a better location. On a positive note, mom's cousin Jonathan and his step daughter, Helen, came by the show, as did my Aunt Patty, Gary and cuz, Hillary. It was really nice to see all of them. I also saw an old high school friend, Dave Shannon, who was back for his 25th college reunion--yep, I'm that old! And Celeste and Dan came by and purchased a piece. Celeste worked with me at my first job out of college so I've known her 25 years too! Hard to believe.

And, I guess I was just tired. Between going out to the east coast and then back to Chicago and home, Rees & I have driven 7000 miles in the last 5 weeks. A little too much.

Salina, however, was full of warm fuzzies. It is a little town in Kansas but they put on a quite good art and music festival. The entire town comes out and participates! Way cool! And, my deepest thanks go out to Doc Steph and all her extra efforts to take JuneBug while we were at the show. My sales weren't spectacular but they were decent and the enthusiasm of the crowds just awesome. Plus the forecasted rain never came!

Now we're home for a while and I can post more appropriately. The pics above are of the Missouri river and of JuneBug and her sleeping spot in the van. We've removed the cup holder console so she has a few more inches.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chicago, Here we come!

I know my posts have been few and far between. Off to Chicago for the 57th Street Art show in Hyde Park this weekend. I'm looking forward to doing a new show!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reference Photo

People often ask if I use photos to create my oil pastel drawings. The answer is yes and no. I do pull out a photo and use it in a general sense as a pattern for a piece. Or I'll use a combination of photos to create my own little landscape. But I rarely use the photos for anything but a general outline. I store my photos in shoes boxes, sorted (mostly) by subject: barns, clouds, rivers, churches, buildings, roads. So when I'm not sure what to paint I just pick out a category and thumb through until something tickles my fancy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. Sometimes a customer has a great idea and you actually follow it through. Lo, and behold, new fun oil pastels. See, I always paint my larger long skinny cradled panels in the horizontal direction and almost always paint the smaller ones in the vertical direction. At the San Antonio show I met a couple who asked about vertical bigger panels..So, this week I tried some and they were fun to do. And, I like the result! I hope they do!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is an Abert squirrel--the kind we have a lot of here in Angel Fire. Just learned today that it is spelled Abert and not Hebert...thanks net.
This is a black squirrel. He (she)lives on the white house lawn. I photoed him (her) on our sightseeing in DC. I hope he hasn't met Bo (Beau) yet, the Obama's dog.
This is a white squirrel. They apparently thrive in the town of Olney, Illinois. We got off the main highway and went through town looking for them but failed to actually see any. Maybe next time we drive that way.

We are home from the very lengthy trip to Reston. We did the 1800 plus mile trip in 2 1/2 days. We got to Washington, PA near Pittsburgh Sunday night. Then, Monday we spent the night in Emporia, KS, arriving home Tuesday night. Yeah!!!! I'd hoped to take a lot of pictures of barns but it turns out that in places with more moisture and more trees, the structures are covered by the trees and it is almost impossible to get good shots going 75 miles an hour out the van window. And I wasn't about to ask Rees to slow down, conisdering the distance we had to cover. No matter, gentle followers, I still have plenty of ideas..

Today was my first day back in the studio as yesterday was filled with such tasks as unloading the van, unpacking and doing 2 weeks worth of laundry, sorting show receipts from sales at both the Laumeier show and the Reston show. (That didn't take as long as I would have liked but I am thankful for my sales...I think they were a lot stronger than a lot of artists..) So now we are home for 2 weekends and then head up to Chicago for the 57th street show and then to Salina KS for one more before returning home. This is going to be Memorial Day weekend. We haven't been home for that since 1999--sort of weird!

Oh, yeah, by the way, the guy in the DC photos was my old pal, David Bos. We had so much fun seeing him and now can look forward to his visit in late July!