Blog Post 3.1.13 (It’s going to be a Great Year!)

So far this year is starting out pretty good for me.  In January I started out with my first really big solo show.  I set up this show about a year ago as a way to force myself to create a good size body of work, so I can start submitting to different galleries around the country.  As it got closer to the date of hanging the show, I started panicking, wondering if I had enough art!  Well, the amount of work turned out to be just perfect!

"Beyond Limits" North Hills Gallery 2013 Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

“Beyond Limits” North Hills Gallery 2013- Panoramic photo shot with my iPhone 5

At this event I sold 3 paintings, and was pretty well attended, which was just wonderful!  I had lots of positive feedback on all my work, from artist friends as well an others that I did not know.  (I also got a video of the show but have not done anything with it yet. That will be a new project for me to learn how to do! 🙂 )  Once the show came down, I decided to take one of the most popular pieces to my office at my ‘day job’.  Well, it did not even make it up on the wall before someone decided they had to have it! (see it below)

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30"x40" Mixed Media on Canvas

SOLD- Desert Ruins Under the Stars 30″x40″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Then yesterday morning, during a break I pulled up Facebook and I noticed that SkinnyArtist.com posted their yearly 21 Artists to Watch in 2013 list, which I love to look at every year (I find great artists to follow on Facebook and Twitter), and to my surprise I saw my name on the list!!!  I feel so honored to be mentioned with so many wonderful artists (and thank you so much Drew for the wonderful words and support)!

I am now preparing for the West Austin Studio Tour, which will be taking place over 2 weekends this year, April 27-28 & May 4-5, 2013.  I hope my momentum just keeps going, I am ready!

Blog Post 10.30.12 (Favorite Art Supplies)

I thought I would share some of my favorite art supplies and stores with you.  I paint mostly with acrylics, and lately I use them pretty watered down or liquid (for my Cosmos Series).  My new favorite place to get paints is Nova Color (in California).  I found out about it through Artist Robert Burridge, when I took one of his workshops.  First of all I LOVE the price, they are extremely economical.  The colors are highly pigmented, and I have not been disappointed yet.  I have been using bold primary type colors so far, but I just ordered several earth tones that I can’t wait to experiment with.  You can also order large quantities, which is nice if you use a color a lot!  Also they are super nice to deal with!

One of the coolest things EVER is the Gold Gesso from Daniel Smith.  It’s like liquid gold! I have not experimented a lot with it yet, but I have used it as gesso and painted over it with acrylics and you get a wonderful metallic sheen that comes through the color.  I have experimented doing some drips with it and it’s beautiful, but it is on the thicker side, so keep that in mind.

I also love the high pigment content of the Holbein Acryla Artists’ Acrylics.  I usually get them through Dick Blick, they are pricey compared to the Nova Color paints, but they are worth it, specially for specific colors! The violet purple is my absolute favorite!  I have not found one with the same intensity.

I am still searching for the best deals on canvas.  I may stretch my own, it is more cost effective, but it does seem harder to do the larger the canvas, so my local Jerry’s Artarama get’s most of my business on that.

Almost forgot!  Also super fun to use are the FW Pearlescent Acrylic Inks by Daler Rowney, I like the very liquid metallic consistency.  It’s easy to drip them since the bottles come with a dropper.  I also get these at Jerry’s and they have a ton of colors!

Hope you try some of these out if you have not done so yet.  Also share with me any other great places to shop for art supplies!

Blog Post 10.26.12 (Great Pinterest Idea)

Well, I LOVE Pinterest! But it can be quite addictive!  I joke around that it just sucks hours out of your life, but I have found great ideas.  I have found art inspiration, handy ideas, and more info than I need!  One of my favorite ideas that I found is one of the simplest! I can’t believe I did not think about it on my own, it’s genius.  I have tried to find things to place under my paintings when I apply varnish to them, to keep them from sticking to the table, but nothing I did was perfect.  Until now… Push pins! Just pin them to the wood under the  canvas and it’s evenly away from the surface.  Here’s a couple of photos:

 

I also realized they I don’t have a Pinterest button on my blog! One of those things that I will try to work on soon!  By the way, you can find me on Pinterest under my name!

Blog Post 8.28.12 (Just doing it!)

I have been having a lot of conversations with a lot my artist friends lately, trying to figure out the future, figuring out how to be an artist & make a living at it.  Also have come across a lot of articles on the subject (funny how these things pop in front of you just when you need them).  One thing I noticed is that the more painting I do, the more thinking I do! I guess it opens my mind, to think deeper than I have before.

Tranquility 36″x48″ Acrylic on Canvas

A thing I came to realize is that if you want something, really really want it bad, you will work really hard to accomplish it.  I noticed a lot of people want things now, they expect it to be easy, or they say they don’t have the time to work as hard to the depth they need to to accomplish that goal.  Then in the next breath, almost always is “I don’t know how you do everything that you do!  I’m just not you!”  Well, I know I am no super-woman, I just have this emergent urge to reach my goals.

I always wanted to be an artist, or I guess I always “have been” an artist.  But I was waiting until the time was right, when I could quit working and go to school so I could learn how to be an artist.  Well, time kept coming and going and the time to go to art school was not going to happen.  So, I decided that I could just do it, teach myself.  I have read everything art related I could get my hands on.  Got brave enough to try different techniques, got over the fear of “wasting money & materials” (you have to do that!), took some painting classes at the local museum, joined an art guild, learned how to hang exhibits, learned how to publicize, learn to inspire other artists, finally took a painting workshop, got a studio and have been painting like crazy!  And, all this while working full time at a non-artistic job!

Maybe I am a bit crazy, hyperactive, or just desperate to get my art created before time runs out.  Either way I am having the time of my life!!  I don’t have the answer on how to get my goals accomplished, but I am figuring it out along the way.  And I am still determined to make a living with my art!!!

(The photo above is not perfect.  Taken with my phone camera)

Blog Post 4.10.12 (The Abstract Painting Continues…)

I have had several paintings in the studio I have been “stuck” on.  I just have not know what to do next on them.  I have started and finished other paintings and those still sit there, staring at me.  Am I afraid of “messing up”? Waiting for them to “speak to me”?  That’s one of the things I find fascinating, challenging & frustrating about abstract painting.

Finally yesterday I decided to take desperate measures and just add paint to them.  I feel that at least something changes on them and maybe then they will “speak to me”.  This is the experimental part of my painting.  If I am stuck, the painting will never get finished, so if I at least add paint, whether good or bad, the painting has changed.  That is when I have found some of the most exciting things happen in painting!  Sometimes it’s a happy accident.  Sometimes it’s just something I would have never thought of that just comes out in frustration!  But it sure is exciting!

Here’s a few photos of my stuck paintings in progress… (excuse the photo quality! cell phone photos at dusk!)

I finally know where I am going with this one… stay tuned for the final version!

Red in progress

Red in progress

Works in progress

Works in progress

Please share what you do to get unstuck! Would love to hear!!! 🙂

Blog Post 4.2.12 (New Painting…in progress?)

Finally got back into the studio to do some painting.  I do find it hard to get “warmed up” after not painting is a while.  I should have done some painting or drawing exercises, but being impatient, I jumped in and wanted to work on some paintings in progress.  I wanted to do “something” to all the paintings that are started in the studio.  But I kept looking at this one and I am really liking what’s happening so far.  Not sure if I am done or not with it.  I may have to stare at it a bit more.

I would love some feedback!! 🙂

Blog Post 1.5.12 (Another painting- in progress?)

I have been working on several new paintings in my studio.  Some of them I know where I am “going” with them, some are just plain experimental.

A bit of history about me and abstract paintings.  I love abstracts.  When I go to museums and galleries, the paintings that are my favorites are usually the abstracts, or very loose paintings.  My history with art has been mostly drawing.  As a very young child I started drawing everything I would see.  I learned by copying, a lot.  As a teenager I drew faces for fun (yes, I really did!).  As a result my artwork was very “tight”, realistic.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but the abstracts are what has always excited me, what I am drawn to.  Since I am mostly self-taught, I have struggled with how to even start an abstract painting.  I have bought several books that have guided me through the process, but as any of you artists know, it takes a lot of work to make some of that very “simple” looking artwork.  At least for me anyway.  You can look back at some of my previous posts (last year) with some of my abstract paintings, which I have been very happy with. The workshop this last summer also helped me a lot, learning some techniques, and also knowing to just trust my instincts and have fun.  (And I am having a blast!!)

Now to my latest piece.  I “think” I am happy with this new one.  It has gone through many many layers and reincarnations.  I think it looks like a loose landscape.  This has been a painting that I have had sitting in the corner of my studio and I keep looking at it and adding to it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.  With the last layer I decided I like it.  Let me know your thoughts!!!

Blog Post 12.28.11 (New Painting: Done? I think so!)

I walked into the studio this afternoon, planning on adding more layers to my painting.  But, when I looked at it I really liked it the way it was!

To know when a painting is done… That is the question.  I think that is when our instinct as an artist has to step in.  If we take one look at the painting and love it, we need to listen to that.  Artist Robert Burridge told us in a workshop, “If you have to ask, the answer is always YES!”. I like that.  Also, what’s the harm in putting it out there and if you decide later it’s not done, you can always take it up once more!  Here is the photo I took today.  Not a good one, just with my phone in bad lighting and bad angle.  I did not do anything to it from the last post.  I will try to get a better photo in the next few days.

By the way, I decided to try different color combinations with the same techniques and see what happens.  I love the organic shapes in this painting, and I hope I can recreate it! 🙂

Blog Post 12.26.11(Painting Progress- 3rd layer)

I added another layer to my painting today.  I was not happy with what was happening when I mixed my own purple, once I added alcohol or it was watered down (done on another piece).  So I added some already mixed violet color to add a bit of a different color.  also added more blue, black and gold drops.  Here is a shot with some of the up-close details also.  I just LOVE the details!!

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

close-up detail

Blog Post 12.21.11(Painting Progress- 2nd layer)

It was a bit chilly at the studio this afternoon, and I almost didn’t go.  But thanks to a friend needing to borrow something I had there, I had to go anyway.  I was not feeling very inspired when I first got there, but as I stared at unfinished paintings I felt I had to add more paint!

This is my second layer (1st layer photo here).  I added some more blue with some black, to add the darkness, then added some “texture” spraying water and dripping alcohol.  I LOVE the effect the alcohol gives!  It has taken a little practice to learn when the paint is at the right consistency to get it to do what I want. Oh, also added some gold drops!  By the way, I use mostly acrylic paints.

2nd Layer

2nd Layer