Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Over the river and "Through the Woods"...The title to today's piece. 12 by 12 image on paper in 21 by 21 frame $600

I'm pleased with the snow and actually used very little white in the piece..... Thought it an appropriate post for Turkey Day. We're off to Albuquerque for the show. I'm hoping the roads are good.

And, on a day of thanks, I'll give it. I'm thankful for my family, which includes the dog, JuneBug--maybe the best dog ever--and my friends, old and new. I'm thankful I found the perfect guy for me--handsome, funny, kind and very patient! (Thanks, Pat, for the introduction some 24 years ago.) I'm thankful for my "job". I'm thankful that I continue to have inspiration and ideas so plentiful I can't get them all down. I'm thankful for the beautiful place I live and the wonderful life I'm living.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Preparing for the Last Show of the Year

I've just sent Rees out to the studio so he can wire up the 30 odd pieces I have been framing over the last day and a half. The wires are his job. I assemble most all the other parts of the framing process. See, if I miss a JuneBug hair on a mat, then I can only get mad at myself. Not Rees. He's very good with this arrangement. Very good.

Framing is one of my least favorite parts of being a full-time artist. So I tend to wait until the last minute to do it. And, it is really faster if you do it in assembly line format. But, with the New Mexico Arts And Crafts Festival coming up this next weekend, I realize I've got a lot to do.

I've been exhibiting my art at the Angel Fire Visitors Center for the months of October, November and December --if you are in the area stop by!--and I need to take some of that inventory with me. But I don't want to leave the Center with empty walls for the Thanksgiving Holiday. So, I'll take some other pieces down there and switch the art out. This is always a tad problematic. I always bring way too much art to a show. Just in case. And, inevitably, if I leave a few pieces at home, then someone has spotted those pieces on the website and wants to see them. So, I've figured that if I've ended up leaving something up at the visitors center that someone wants, I'll just have to be willing to drive it back down to Albuquerque--and since I'm flying out of ABQ the following Saturday for a quick trip to Chicago, that really won't be so hard!

Then, the van has served for an extra storage space for the last month and a half. I've got to clear that out of excess junk. Then, boxing up all the art, charging my credit card machine, packing my clothes, etc...all the fun stuff. But, I'm looking forward to one more opportunity to put my art out there this year. I'm sorry, though, that I didn't have a few of the oils done to jury into the show with. I'd love to display some of them at the show. Only I appplied in the drawing category. So I really can't. Rats. Maybe next year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brushes have Arrived!

Yesterday a wonderful package arrived at the post office. Wrapped in brown kraft paper, with writing just a little different than what I'm used to seeing here in the states, was my box of new art brushes from Rosemary & Co. A small family business in west York, England, Rosemary and her small staff make these wonderful brushes--or so I'd been told. I had to try them for myself. And, since I never jump into things very slowly, I bought a bunch!!!! (See photo above.) And, while I've only had the chance to use 3 of them, THEY ARE WONDERFUL!!! Their shapes are perfect, the hairs the perfect length, they do not shed hair and they return to shape as they are supposed to. In fact, I even signed my name on a big piece yesterday and didn't have to agonize about each stroke. So, whether you are a novice painter or an expert professional one, give a hint this christmas season about wanting some of these brushes. They are not expensive (well, if you go kolinsky sable they aren't cheap--the most expensive hair out there). In fact, even the kolinskies are not expensive....And they are way better than a cheap set from an online art store. I'm so happy with my purchase (and overall, they were less expensive than the order form stated because they were shipped out of the UK!) I'll be posting some of my works done with the brushes as I go this winter. I hope you'll be pleased.
Check out her website!
She's got a facebook fan page too!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lesson in Oil

So, after having some real fun in the studio, I learned a lesson yesterday. We purchased a new (and more efficient) wood stove for the studio, along with having it and a new chimney pipe installed by professionals. So, my studio shouldn't burn down. Fingers crossed.

I've been playing with the oils and really getting used to them--so much so that I'm not having to think critically about each and every move I make. An artist I met this summer said she used walnut oil rather than liquin as her medium when she had to let her paintings dry in the same space in which she slept. So, I thought, great--way better than having the stink of liquin around me all day long. So I acquired some Charvin walnut oil from one of my art supply houses--Jerry's Artarama. And, I really like how it mixed with the paints for a real buttery consistency. Only, yesterday, when the guys were installing the wood stove and had to move the dog beds and the rug, they tossed them aside, and right into one of the oils I had leaning against the cabinets. Turns out the walnut oil takes way longer to dry to the touch than the liquin. I ended up spending a good hour plucking dog hairs from the surface of the painting. I think, for the most part, I'll stick with the Liquin.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Playing with Oils

Rough sketch of Embudo
Thought I'd like the road and mountains to be about the same color. I was wrong.
So, I wiped out both the background mountains and the road.
Added more oranges to the mountains and made the road more blue. I think that worked better. Tomorrow maybe some highlights on the trees.

I'm enjoying the oils and have another one in the works. What surprises me is how working large seems easier than working small. This piece is 36 inches square on canvas.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


So, I posted about the whole issue of Christmas/ holiday cards and coming up with an image--and how it poses a problem for me every year. This year, after a day of squiggling, procrastinating, and generally not drawing, I managed, TODAY, to paint an image I think will be quite appropriate for my card. I'm going to try another one along the same lines but in oil and see which I like better. But, I know I've got something good in my back pocket! And that feels good. And, no, you can't see it yet, if you are on my snail mailing list, you'll get your own. Otherwise, send me an email with your snail mail address and I'll add you to the database.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Bug didn't like this outfit too much!
Here's the side view. She's too big to actually tie the cape thing on! But her collar and Izzy's socks go nicely!
Iowa, Interstate 80, December 26, 2009
We've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather these last couple of weeks. Temps in the 60s during the days and 20s and 30s at night. That is pretty ideal. Sunny. Fresh. Nice. Pinon in the air from the wood stoves. Crisp.

But, this is the time of year when I have to create the image for my holiday card. You know, that thing you send out to wish everyone a wonderful season. I always use an image of my art. And, I always wait until the last minute to come up with the image. And with all this balmy weather, snow scenes are not exactly what is on my mind! It is really tough to switch gears and remember purple and pink shadows on the snow that is really not very white at all--only highlights. And my photos just don't do the real stuff justice. But, I've got some ideas brewing--they just aren't there yet. Maybe someone could remind me that, when we do have a great snow fall, that I should get out the next day with my D90 and not my point and shoot and TAKE SOME PICTURES! And then work on next year's card right then and there. But, I tell myself that every year and I still don't do it. I'm thinking maybe I need a manager to keep me in line!

In any case, hopefully you won't be receiving a holiday card from me that is of JuneBug dressed as Santa or of the over turned cars we saw driving back to the midwest last winter. Wish me luck (and send any ideas you may have for the perfect holiday card!)

On a positive note, I've had two great painting days!