Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just paint? Nope.

I make a living selling my art. But, I don't just paint. And I even have the fortunate situation where my husband does a lot of the other work--like websites, framing, accounting, taxes, hotel reservations, driving, cooking (not so much on the cleaning.) So, even though this was a really great painting day (maybe payback for my wimpy day yesterday), I did some other chores. I got my canopy out and sewed up a rip in the zipper (dental floss comes in handy for things besides teeth) and patched a hole, I prepped a couple of panels, verified some titles for the website update (coming soon!), I spray varnished all the panels from the last 2 weeks since it was nice out and the varnish wouldn't milk-out (which it does when you spray it in temperatures under 40 degrees). I ordered frames from 2 different suppliers, got a customer number from another frame company who requires a lot of info before they even let you see their prices (but the prices are good! so it was worth filling out the form). I found out about a mistake in an advertising bill (they were wrong and I was right!) and found the sales rep for a different type of ad I want to place. I spoke with my customer who bought my Southwest Art ad piece from this month--he's happy with his new piece. But, he needed a different type of receipt for his insurance. Rees got that in the mail today. I pulled some more panels I want Rees to sand for me. I still have to place an order with one of my art supply stores--but that is online so I can do it in the evening. So, you see, as much as I would like to paint all day, sometimes there are just other tidbits to take care of. Like any job.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Little of This--A Little of That

I'm liking the barn piece at the top. I finished it today. I worked out a different way to work in my turquoise sky--much more consistent than my other attempts. So, for this, I was happy. But, overall, today was one of those painting days where things just didn't work easily. Still, I plodded along. And, while I'm not going to show you the other piece I finished (just in case it is the one you like the bestest), the piece is decent. Just a slight bit under expectations. Whether I should frame it and show it or not, I haven't yet decided.

But, I always finish pieces. I never throw them away half finished. My reasoning is simple. If I finish it, I may find a solution to a problem that I may encounter on another piece--and be totally prepared for that issue. Which brings me to an idea I've mean mulling over. I'm thinking that maybe I should do an art tip of the day on the days when I actually post. I would love some feedback on this idea. Worth pursuing or not? I think I may try it, at least until I run out of ideas. And, of course, I'd welcome other people's ideas/tips as well. Even artists like Elisa Ann Lindstrom, who so kindly nominated me for the blogger sunshine award and I blew it off because it was too technically challenging for me!

On a totally unrelated note, these were my companions for the studio today. JuneBug and her 2 buddies, Olive and Josie. After a good walk, they all quieted down nicely. Too bad I can't blame them for my lousy painting day!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Commission delivered

I didn't get as much painting done as I wanted today. But, it was a satisfying day, nevertheless. My client and her friend braved the treacherous snowy roads--yes, it is snowing here again--to drive up from Albuquerque to pick up "Quietly Whispering". She was thrilled! I realize that so many of my commissions are simply delivered by fedex. It was more fun to see her reaction to the piece in person (maybe especially because she was ecstatic!) Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about adding to our crazy driving schedule to deliver pieces long distance. But in person delivery is an option I'll pursue when it is in relative near proximity!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Purple Sky

I don't know about you but I don't think these skies are really purple. But, when I looked at my Holbein colors, that is what the label said. All this time, what they call "Blue Violet" is what I call purple. This color is raspberry frappe! NOT PURPLE! but that is what the manufacturer calls it and the color I need to replenish--no back-ups at all.

The piece on top is done (or will be, once completed) on canvas. The bottom one is on gessobord--my favorite substrate. But, gessobord, when put on a birch cradle is very heavy. And I have this utopia in mind where I have a bunch of large art at a show and none of it is heavy. I can lift the boxes myself. So, despite the fact that I don't love the "give" of the canvas when I poke it with my oil pastels, I'm trying the canvas for the sake of future convenience. We'll see if I have as much fun with it!

The top piece isn't finished yet--foreground needs filling in and some yellowish highlights on the trees are still needed. But, with the snow and snow thunder we are getting, coupled with the fact that is it Friday, I opted not to finish the piece until tomorrow. Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is my desk

So, yesterday when I was working on the little panels, I was having trouble finding certain colors in my oil pastel boxes. When I realize I am spending more time looking for specific colors than actually painting, it is time to organize the colors. This is as tidy as it gets, folks!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I realize that my complaints about our snowfall have surpassed most people's tolerance for such whining. But, since we got another 10 inches today and it is still so white out there (oh, how I wish for my deep blue, New Mexico sky!), I scrapped what I had planned today and worked on some more small 5 by 7 pieces on panel. The photos aren't super. The skylight was covered again and day was fading as I photographed. But they were bright. And fun to do.

And, as for the whining, we do leave in 2 weeks for a bunch of Texas shows, where hopefully it won't be snowing. And, then I'll quit my complaints about the white stuff. Promise.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy in the studio, finishing some commissions, framing some pieces to send up to Mirada, starting some commissions, and then just generally playing with color. Again. I ordered some frames from my friend Peyton Hutchinson--also a painter, whose husband decided a frame import business would be a nice additional income stream. Probably is, but poor Peyton seems to be handling most of the business side. Anyway, I ordered some smaller frames--going against my promise to SELF not to add any more silly sizes to my repertoire. And, today I finished a couple small pieces to fit into those frames. I'm pretty pleased. I'm going to do more, having decided that it is okay if I break the rules--as long as those rules are mine!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dark & Snowy

With only a day until the spring solstice, we are being PUMMELLED by snow. Forecast of 18 inches. And I think it is going to come true. I finished a nice long skinny piece today but, with the sky light covered with at least 10 inches of snow and a blizzard outside, I have NO chance of capturing the piece. So, you'll have to wait to see it (as will the client who is looking for something in those colors!) Maybe tomorrow will bring some sunshine!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Music and Long Skinnies

I've been working on long skinny pieces the last few days--7 by 23 that I put in 12 by 28 frames. Happy with the art--just not the photos! But, on a much more important note: MUSIC!
An amazon box arrived yesterday with goodies--books, music and a new drill set for my studio. And it is Rees' birthday next week, not mine. So, I listened to most of the new stuff today. Here's my report card:
Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses Roadhouse Sun --B
Ryan Bingham Mescolito--A
Dave Rawlings Machine: a friend of a friend (Gillian Welsh's husband and co-writer of a lot of her songs)--B-
Guy Clark Somedays the Song Writes You--B
Justin Townes Earle The Good Life--A , maybe even A+ He may be even better than his dad, although not better than his middle namesake.
Joe Pug--Messenger A! ( I don't know anything about this guy only Rees says he is from/.works out of Chicago--for those of you nearby Chi-Town.
Still have Lyle Lovett's Natural Forces to listen to tomorrow. Thanks, Rees! They are all worthy of being uploaded to my ipod! And, in a fit of brilliance, Rees looked up where Hayes Carll is playing. Looks like we'll get to see him in Spring,TX when we are there for the Woodlands show--on Saturday night at the Crawfish Festival. And, if I get into the San Antonio show, then at Flores Country store on the Friday night before the show in Helotes! Life is Good!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Different, for me

Sometimes I do night skies with stars, other times puffy clouds in a deep New Mexico blue, other times a dusk (although dawn is on my list). This time I did sennelier 205 spring green sky. Why not? You gotta play with color. Otherwise you aren't having enough fun!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Here's part of my display at the Scottsdale show. Beautiful weather!!!!!
This is what I left Thursday mid day. Yuck.
This is me and Burk Burkholder. He was an executive vp at Sears. He's also a great client. I wish he had been my boss when I was there!
This is me and cousin Linda after tear down and a margarita!
We also met our friends, Jenny & Gerald White for Indian food. Too bad I forgot the camera!!! More soon. Promise. Got some past clients stopping over to the studio later!!! Spring break in Angel Fire. Half of Texas is here, I think.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Last Painting

Today was another kind of wasted day. A few pieces to finish framing, a few painting socks to sew, then boxing up the pieces and deciding which to take. It would be great to take all the pieces but there isn't room in the van. And I can't sell that much! Then, with the break in the weather, we opted to load the van today, rather than tomorrow. More snow expected and that just makes for sloppy loading. Loading on a snowy driveway was bad enough. Packing the dog stuff for her trip to Bill's and packing clothes for the show and sunscreen and all those things I don't use here in the winter (except on the face which is usually the only thing in the sunlight these days!) That was most of my day. Still, though, got the dog walked and managed to create this piece. It is 12 by 12 on paper. I'm really happy with it. I might tell Jacqui it is a dawn, but in reality it was based on a photo of dusk! Off sometime tomorrow to get part way to Scottsdale. We'll finish the drive on Thursday and get there in time to set up the booth. I'll try to post while I'm there!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting Ready for the First Show of the Year

I might actually get to paint tomorrow. But today was filled with all sorts of extraneous stuff I need to do in order to get ready for my show in Scottsdale, AZ this next weekend. My first show of the year. Over the weekend, we pulled the Sprinter van out of the snow, and filled its tires. Then Rees took the stuff I've been collecting over the winter to our storage unit and came back with some more frames I had been storing out there. And then today it has been blizzarding all day--not a lot of accumulation but still--blustery and gross. I'm totally done with winter; it just isn't done with me.

But today, I framed a bunch more pieces--why? I don't really know. There is no way in the world we'll be able to fit all of it into the van. I mean I'll use the inventory eventually but I can't take all winter's worth of work to one show. Tomorrow I'll spend (waste) more time deciding which pieces to bring and which pieces to leave at home. I had to make protective fleece socks for my big long skinny pieces. I'm phasing out the smaller ones and trying to carry a deeper inventory of the larger size. Then I had to title a bunch of pieces--always a difficult task for me. And then, in a ridiculous effort to be (more) organized I actually wrote the titles on the photos of the pieces and filed them in a photo book. Then, I had to spray fixative on a few pieces I finished late last week. Still need to frame these tomorrow. Repaired a coroplast painting box. Started the list of things I can't forget--like my donation piece to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, my sales license for the city of Scottsdale (I had to send my actually birth certificate--not a copy) in order to get the darn thing, my artist statement in its frame to hang in my booth, print out of the hotel reservation,etc, etc. The first show is always the hardest to prepare for. I guess a person just gets rusty. And, while doing all that, I'm looking out my studio windows and the blowing awful snow and thinking: How fun! We'll get to load the van in the snow! Boy, will I be ready for some sunshine and warm in Scottsdale. My spring break!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Far & Near

This piece is based on a photo I took in Ohio last summer, on our way to the Reston, VA show. The barn was white with a rusty colored roof, but I was kinda into turquoise as I drew. You can't tell from the photo but there are lots more layers of color--more than usual anyway-- in the barn itself.

This is based on a photo I took over in Taos, a little closer to home.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Mexico & Degrees of Separation

How about that? I found someone else as enchanted with New Mexico as I am. Only she writes about it instead of painting it. Thanks, facebook and Steve, for leading me to Alice Lundy Blum's poem, New Mexico Mind in Minnesota Winter.

New Mexico Mind In Minnesota Winter

How many days can one go without sunshine
and not call the season itself a disorder?
I miss chorizo and “hola,”
Seasons not so sudden,
Sunsets that speak Southwest,
Blue skies and cool nights,
Green chile on cheeseburgers,
Lime on beers,
Chips and salsa
Like salt and pepper
On tables.
Ristras on doorways,
Pinons sold on roadsides,
Dogs off leashes,
Mexican blankets,
Canyons that echo,
Mesas that mend
My soul.

Yesterday, my friend Steve sent me & his other facebook friends a link to a magazine (Haute Dish) that had published some of his photos, then he let me know about a poem that was published in the same issue. I loved it! Through facebook, Alice Lundy Blum agreed to my adding her poem to the blog. I don't know where she grew up in northern NM but she remembers the right things--plus she has two labs, always a good sign. I wanna meet her.

Alice Lundy Blum*
Alice Lundy Blum
has masqueraded as a successful salesperson for over 20 years, selling everything from encyclopedias to diamonds, while pursuing her passion for writing behind closed doors. She earned her B.A. in Creative Writing and is working on her M.S. in Technical Communication, both at Metro State. She grew up in the mountains of northern New Mexico and now resides in Apple Valley, Minn. with her husband, Tom, and two black labs, Cassie and Phoenix.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Another night panel--I think it is done, although again, the darkness descending on the studio hampered my photographic capabilities--which are challenged to begin with. Although I do live in New Mexico, those shiny metal things are not ufo's, just easel lamps.
I acquired some burnt sienna gesso and think it might make an appropriate background color. Time to stretch a little. And time to get my Scottsdale postcards ready to mail. Show season has started!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Rivers

I continued the river theme today. And gessoed some panels and canvases for some more larger pieces. I'm most pleased with the middle piece. My favorite part is not readily apparent in this photo but it is the pink at the horizon line just below the purple.

Time to apply to some shows--Rees is going to help me with the photo manipulations. Yeah!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Variety--The Spice of Life

Yesterday I posted some images of a wandering river. I had fun working on those pieces. But, by today I wanted to change up the colors a bit. I'm terribly disappointed with the colors that came out in the photos but I like the actual pieces--remind me that I can't take pics in the dark with the studio lights--it just doesn't work. I don't know if the river thing will turn into a series or not, but I do enjoy trying something a little different!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I took a bunch of photos coming home from Crested Butte last summer. I was really intrigued by the wandering river. But, then I didn't file the photos properly and promptly forgot about them. Found them the other day. And pulled a couple out to use as references for these 2 pieces.

Here are a couple of pieces using some of my softer colors. They are 7 by 23 on indigo pastel paper.