Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking back, looking ahead from my 2014 perspective




Quintet of Pups
6" x 6" each
Acrylic on Canvas
2014

These paintings (which I wished I had taken better photos of) were a Christmas commission for a dear friend of mine who has a special love for rescued dogs. These guys were a lot of fun to paint. 

I had been planning all week to write the usual "looking back" post on all my creative pursuits and share some of the exciting things that are coming up. Then unrelated things came up that required my time. 

A year ago, that would have made me feel guilty or stressed to lose time unexpectedly... these past 12 months my perspective has shifted. All these paintings and adventures are an amazing thing I get to be a part of but I've learnt that time for relationships trump this. 

2014 won't go down in my books as a best or worst year... It will be remembered as a pivotal moment. One where I started to pray for boldness, look for new opportunities and embrace spending quality time with people who are special to me. 

I think this coming year will be better than 2014 and I can say that 2014 was a vast improvement over the previous year. However, this New Years Eve I know quite a few people who are hurting a LOT and it doesn't feel right to forget them. 

So, I'm keeping this post low key and saving the time it would take to write something elaborate so I can spend time with them. All the best to all of you. 



Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Work - Cloud 4


Cloud 4
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Board
2014

I'm dreaming of wild skies today. I think I've been cooped up in the house too long. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thursday Confessional #13 - Sharing vs. Hiding



Introduction
Acrylic on Canvas
24"x24"
2014

Today's confession has been a long time coming in regards to where my art is moving. For those who don't know me personally, the above painting has taken me quite a while to finish because it is a self portrait. I painted the portrait part and left it, but was not settled about it. I decided a few weeks ago to return and add the linear elements and the meanings that come with those. That was a risk and it was painful to paint over a technically decent painting with the possibility of wrecking it, but that risk paid off in my mind. 

That leads to the confessional part of today's post: sharing verses hiding.

I've been growing in this area recently (a good sign that I'm in a good place mentally, spiritually and physically I think). The fact that I was comfortable exposing myself through a self portrait, is huge. That exposure is two fold - one, to myself while painting it, the other is to the viewer, many of whom can see the physical likeness or recognise some of the symbolic subtext that is going on in the image. It is easy to get things wrong in a self portrait and have the whole world see it. Self portraits are very risky in that sense.

A few months ago the idea of sharing more about myself or sharing my time would have left me feeling very vulnerable, I suspect many of us have had periods of our lives where the sheer act of putting ourselves out there would be too exhausting or terrifying to actually follow through with it. 

Then at some point, things changed (that is another long share, for another day - probably over  a coffee would be best)

I think I'm ready to share more of who I am. I know I talk a lot about symbols, but then don't really say much about them as to how they pertain to a particular piece. That is partly because I don't believe I control all of that - what the viewer brings to a painting is something totally out of my hands.

What I can say is generally, I am operating between two symbolic languages. The first one is from our Western canon of art, I particularly enjoy medieval interpretations, imagery and marginalia. The second language is one that I am now really starting to grasp and appreciate - it is my own symbolic language. It is formed out of moments where an object comes to represent a key moment in my history.

The more that I look at reoccurring things in my art, the more I realize this subtext has been there all along. Things I paint about may only be a nice looking picture to a viewer, but to me there is usually a reference to something that I don't want to or cannot articulate with words. My paintings are their own confessionals at times.

I also struggle with meshing different artistic practices with my painting. I love illustrative stuff, but to draw all over that canvas up there was really hard. But it wasn't. I realized halfway through the second painting of this piece that I've done this before. I used to draw on my paintings 20 years ago. Then I stopped. I got Serious with my Artwork. Professional even.

I've also noticed circles coming into my work (and photos of stuff) recently. Two symbolic languages at work there. Traditional western circular symbolism.... personal symbolism. In the personal language, it is hard for me to articulate the meaning, but I look back to the plate paintings I did a number of years ago and it comes clear, there is a history of objects and somehow circles are a return to my childhood. Reference to moving parts and pieces, cycles of time. Formless in the sense of having a concrete one size fits all meaning. Formless but very, very important.

Some symbols are easier. Gladiolus. Purple. Traditional meaning, yes. Sweet personal reference that is more important, even an inside joke/pop culture reference that only very few who have known my interests years ago would clue into.

The easiest for me are those little doodlings of shapes that flex and bend and get smaller inside each other (you can see them in the circular bits). Those are always, always a reference to my childhood. They are there to honor that time where I drew for the love of drawing. My mom taught me how to do them (I think to keep me from wasting tons of paper) and they just became a continual thing.

You can see them in this #TBT old sketchbook drawing from 1994... this is a personal symbolic language I've been speaking forever it seems.


This page I was talking about my school trip to Salzburg, Austria. That green thing is a 
bus ticket that I used about 10 times (illegally) once my friends showed me how to 
put glue on the part where the machines stamp it so you could wash the stamp off later. 
Man, I've changed!

So, after all that rambling, my confession is that I want to share more, hide less. It isn't easy, but I'm trying to be more bold these days! 



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Wycliffe Calendar is Hot Off the Presses!


This was easily over a year in the making, 12 paintings of mine of very neat subject matter put together by the awesome team at Wycliffe

I have some free copies to give away, so if you'd like one, message me with your address and I'd be happy to send you one, free of charge!

Monday, October 06, 2014

5 Paintings I'd Forgotten About - Dogs (and a bonus dog I'll never forget!)








Ah, sweet Esther!

Recently, I discovered a cache of treasures on my Google+ account.... all the photos I ever loaded on the blog, were there waiting for me. Many pieces I had forgotten about and more than a few files that I thought I had lost the image forever due to a computer meltdown I had had a number of years ago (I learned a lot about backing up images from that instance)

Having these images has been a pleasant surprise as I look over the past few years of work to see how I've grown as an artist and to see where my instincts were bang on.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thursday Confessional #12 - Five Things I'm Afraid Of As An Artist


Cloud #3 
Acrylic on Board 
6" x 6"
2014

I painted this yesterday and today the weather and clouds very much feel like this. Bright, brisk and windy. I went for a long walk and if I closed my eyes I could picture waves crashing on the beach it is so windy. Fall has arrived in full splendour. 

Again I'm playing with the paint marker. Hit it with water in the cloud areas before it could dry just to see what would happen. Having fun with it. 

Onto the confessional....

Fear is something I grapple with mostly in my head. I'm not super scared of the world around me (except heights). It isn't terror so much as extreme discomfort, maybe of failure, maybe of lack of acceptance... even though intellectually I know those things don't matter. I guess it is a heart thing. 

Here are some big fears I struggle with in my art:

1) Breaking the rules - I love knowing my boundaries. Limitations are almost creative boosts for me because I enjoy the challenge of doing things where I need to make good even though there are finite limits. Mostly this a good skill that has many practical uses (especially when working with limited time, money and resources) but lately I butt up against a boundary because I want to travel from A to B and I'm not always equipped to scale that wall. Most of it is just because the rules are so deeply embedded I forgot they were there. Creature of habit I guess. 

2) Compartmentalisation - Speaking of boundaries, I love shoving genres, mediums, styles into their own little boxes. Think of a giant waffle... that is my art brain. I have a lot of respect for mixed media artists but I struggle to go there. (Again, it my head... my hands know how to mix it up... my head goes "nuh uh!") I'm not sure why I'm afraid of playing in that regard, I just am.

3) Commitment - Right now as I look at my options, I find I'm afraid of committing too much to one thing. Be it a body of work, a possible selling partnership, working with arts organisations... All of those scare me a little in the sense of "is this how I'm to spend my creativity?". I'm actively seeking guidance here because I know that when I make a commitment, creativity explodes. It's just the committing to the right thing that trips me up. 

4) Wasting Time - Oh this has put a halt to so many creative rabbit trails. I have a fear of noodling and experimenting (see also "breaking the rules") because wasting time feels risky. Although I know it isn't a waste of time, rather more of an investment for future creativity. Part of that fear comes from the working with limits mindset, often time has been short during certain seasons so trying to produce the best work I could came at the price of innovating. I need to face this fear now that time is way more abundant. 

5) Wasting Money - Again, limitations forced a model for me to work from. (Although years ago I prayed that God would always provide me with supplies to create - which He has) My head equates time with money and wasting one, wastes the other... I'm really trying to shake this one off and trust. I helps that I have some small streams coming in to cover supplies, hopefully this allows me to let go further. 

So, my hope is by laying these out it allows me to recognise and reflect even more. Knowing what I'm afraid of sure helps me to see it when I let negative self talk get in the way of creating even more creatively. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Confessional #11 - The Danger of Playing With Symbols


Cloud 2 
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Board
2014

Still limbering up with my Wall of Shame (the wall of shame is referring to six prepped wood panels I put on my wall that are shaming me into painting them.) I have two down, 4 to go. These pieces are meant to be more like studies, they are getting me back into my normal autumn, winter, spring schedule of painting from home. If you look, you can see the bright hits of orange - that is that Molotow paint marker that I've been experimenting with. This piece it was all for the lines. I'm having fun with it.  Now onto the Confessional....

I have a love/hate relationship with symbolism. I play with it in my own images all the time whether you notice or not. Symbols are a tricky thing because while you might believe everyone reads them the way you do, you are completely powerless to the experience, culture and context with which the viewer receives them. I confess to being irritated when a symbol (or something that isn't meant to symbolize something) is misunderstood, misread and misused. Here's how:

Misunderstood - Sometimes people notice things in my art that they assume must have a deeper meaning. Example: I once did a painting that was inspired by medieval illumination/church fresco. The painting was of baby Christ seated on Mary's lap. I had it on display and an old lady came up to me and asked me the significance of His hand. I was confused, thinking she meant the gesture. She rephrased, saying "What is the symbolism behind Jesus having 6 fingers?" Mortified, I looked at the painting and confirmed what she saw. I replied that there was no significance... I had made an error. 

Misread - Context is everything ESPECIALLY with generally accepted symbols. The colour red has a different meaning depending on what part of the world you are from, sometimes it has no meaning. A swastika is a loaded symbol but when viewing Eastern European folk art that predates the Nazi era, you need to realize that it was free from the associations we hold today. Symbols change and are distorted and subverted all the time so it is wise to not rush into interpretation without thinking through the time and place a symbolic piece was created in. 

Misused - I had a friend in college who was obsessed with the exotic. He wanted to see the world but lacked the funds to do so. To fuel this Gauguin inspired fantasy he feathered his studio space with Asian inspired treasures. To tie it all together he painted a huge bamboo screen with a striking black glyph. When asked what the symbol meant he replied "nothing. I made it up", questions arose on why he didn't just do a few moments of research to find an actual symbol that spoke to him to use instead. Even that you have to be careful with, cultural appropriation is big news these days with corporations regularly being skewered in the press for using cultural symbols thoughtlessly for trendiness and profit. 

So, should someone avoid enjoying or using symbolism because of this? No. I think it is something that can be easy to navigate and decide that you like/do not like if you take some time as well as let go of the idea of that a painting is like a puzzle and you will "solve it". Or that by using them in art you need to have an encyclopedia of symbols to give you a correct set of meanings for your images.

A big help in all this is getting to know more about the artist. When did they live? What were cultural influences? Did they write about their history? Were they shaped by major or personal events? Did they follow a particular religion? Art can still be meaningful without knowing these things, but often the experience is made far more interesting to dig a little to see where they were coming from. 

Anyways, I tend to keep my symbols low key and am developing this more in my upcoming work. Hopefully the meaning I have will not be so rigid that others cannot relate nor be so loose that the work is meaningless. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 Paintings I'd Forgotten About - Landscapes and Cityscapes









Recently, I discovered a cache of treasures on my Google+ account.... all the photos I ever loaded on the blog, were there waiting for me. Many pieces I had forgotten about and more than a few files that I thought I had lost the image forever due to a computer meltdown I had had a number of years ago (I learned a lot about backing up images from that instance)

Having these images has been a pleasant surprise as I look over the past few years of work to see how I've grown as an artist and to see where my instincts were bang on.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Work - Lilac Box








Well, this is the first of my two utility boxes. I've been referring to it as the "Lilac Box". It is located on the border of McKenzie Towne and New Brighton in Calgary. Specifically Prestwick Gate and 52nd St. 

I had so much fun painting this. 





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Confessional #10 - What this Confessional is Teaching Me


 

Cloud 1
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Board
2014

I painted this little landscape on Wednesday. First time I've sat down in my studio space to paint since early summer. I needed that return to routine. I've been painting, just not in my home in my usual way. 

I painted this on a cradled panel using my usual palette but I also played with a Molotow paint marker that I got as a sample (they make some seriously cool graffiti products, no they didn't pay me to say that - I'm not that important!). It is the bright orange highlight you see in the clouds and linework. I liked experimenting with it. I have a few more of these panels I'm working on just to get limbered up, so I think I'll keep playing. 

So, this weeks confessional topic: what this confessional is teaching me...

1. I can keep blogging and blogging without posting new work. That kind of weirds me out. I think that's why I was so motivated to paint and post this week. I don't just want to blog about thoughts only, I'm a painter, I need more posts on paintings. 

2. I think I've developed a thicker skin over the years. I've posted some things on the confessional that were hard to be honest about - I don't like sticking my neck out there being vulnerable, but I think it's that same vulnerability that brings art about in its due course. 

3. Speaking of the art, I think this confessional has been good in the sense that by being vulnerable in my posting, I'm starting to let myself get vulnerable in my art. I don't like that, but I know it will result in more interesting art.

There's more I'm learning but I feel like I'm getting too wordy, not enough painty. 


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

5 Paintings I'd Forgotten About - Plates






Recently, I discovered a cache of treasures on my Google+ account.... all the photos I ever loaded on the blog, were there waiting for me. Many pieces I had forgotten about and more than a few files that I thought I had lost the image forever due to a computer meltdown I had had a number of years ago (I learned a lot about backing up images from that instance)

Having these images has been a pleasant surprise as I look over the past few years of work to see how I've grown as an artist and to see where my instincts were bang on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Retreat - Planning My Next Steps



Currently, I am on a two night retreat at a friend's place in the foothills of Alberta. It is a feast for the senses and just what I needed. Last year I came here at the beginning of the Wycliffe project to just think, rest and plan. This year's trip is no different.

I am actively planning out my next steps on this journey back into the art world. I've been getting good at figuring out what I don't want to do, now is the time to figure out what I want to focus on for the next few months as well as what new things I want to try.

I started with a little foray into en plein air painting today. It was awesome. After spending so long in my studio painting from photographs, this was a particularly exhilarating challenge. I will be heading back out on the property to do some sketching today as well.

Thursday Confessional #9 - Secrets From Painting Utility Boxes

I have been quite busy juggling back to school and utility box painting the past week or so. Being on site and having a couple hours at a stretch gives one lots of time to think..... So here is this weeks confessional inspired by the Utility Box I painted at Prestwick Gate and 52nd St in Calgary. 


1. You have to paint the top of your box, even if there are no tall buildings or giants around to notice it. I had to haul in a ladder to my location which added to my load significantly. 

2. People are really nice, especially in the days when your box has really taken shape and they've had a chance to see it for a bit. The amount of people yelling "Nice job!" from their cars was pretty humbling. You don't get that kind of feedback from your studio. 


3. The utility box sings to you. When you stand at the front of the box, there is a definite hum that sounds like a quiet angelic chorus. You can't really hear it the same from the sides or back. 

4. The neighborhood animals don't always take kindly to the installation. One day, when I finished this box, there was the unmistakeable odour of a cat marking it's territory. I got to paint anyways. Glamorous, I know. 


5. Straight lines and hinges are way harder than you'd think. 


6. So are straight lines and vents. 

7. Paint dries very differently depending on how long a side has been baking in the sun. Some of the washes dried totally different depending on where I applied the paint. 


8. Bugs really love utility boxes. This box actually had tons of daddy long legs which subsequently invaded my paint kit and then my car. My girls were horrified for days when they'd get in and then spot one on the ceiling. 



9. They are not always located in landscaped places. I wore sandals my first day painting and totally regretted it. 



10. Sometimes you spill a tiny bit of paint water, sometimes you dump a quart of thick black paint and then have to scramble to mop it up in front of hundreds of people waiting at the intersection. Looking glamorous the whole time, of course. When I asked the City staff about further clean up, they said it is WAY worse if it happens on the concrete. I'm guessing I'm not the first to do that. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Confessional #8 - A Little Vacation of Sorts


Today's confession: I'm indulging another creative outlet these days - canning. This past week I've had a windfall of rhubarb, raspberries and Saskatoon berries. I have a small freezer so this all needs to be transformed into jams, sauces and chutney. Today has been jam day. Simple Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Rhubarb with Earl Grey from a birthday present book, "Food in Jars" - I highly recommend it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Confessional #7 - 5 Embarrassing Stats About My Blog


One thing that I've always struggled with in my online presence is finding my sweet spot with my "voice". There is such a temptation to do two things as an artist. First is to present the "my life chasing my muse is so much better than anything Pinterest can throw at you" side where everything is positive and filled with success. The other side is to not communicate at all beyond a crisp website filled with education, a complicated artist statement and somewhat autonomous paintings. 

I am neither of these. I tend to fluctuate wildly from over extended hubris to complete unworthiness, usually in the span of one conversation. I'm drawn to people online who are okay with their reality enough that they can dig under the veneer a little to share where they are really at. I'm actually not always okay with myself that much but I am okay with pushing myself to try things. 

So in another effort in transparency, I give you this week's confessional. 5 Embarrassing stats about my blog:

1) When I look at my stats, currently I am rocking referrals from a dating website, a Halloween website and a website about diabetes. Why are people (or more likely, "person") visiting? Who knows. I've gotten linked to some weird stuff over the years and I learned long ago not to click on strange sites that are sending me lots of visitors. 

2) When I say "lots of visitors" I mean "not very many visitors". My prime audience is from Facebook so that means that mainly my friends visit my blog. I do not command a huge audience. Like average page views on a day where I don't post can be anything from 0 - 30. Days where I post can go up over a hundred but it has to be particularly gripping. In the world of blogging "up over a hundred" is kind of like saying "almost zero".

3) The number one painting that has ever been viewed on my blog is actually a study. It didn't take very long either. It's just a popular subject for google searches: crows. http://mw-artco.blogspot.ca/2009/11/painting-studies-3-crows.html I think it gets pinned on Pinterest and that is where the hits are coming from. 

4) Speaking of crow paintings, people have found my site almost twice as many times searching the term "crow painting" than they have from searching my name. People don't really google me much I guess. *humbling*

5) My all time, number one post ever is about Masonite. Like knock the ball out of the park popular compared to other posts. I think it is because not many people had written about the artistic use of it at the time so I was considered an internet expert. My claim to fame, I guess. http://mw-artco.blogspot.ca/2009/03/tools-of-trade-masonite-boards.html

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'm Miss February!



I am so excited that for a second year in a row, my art will be featured on an Airdrie Bus Pass. Last year, it was my beloved Esther. This year I very excited that one of my linocuts featuring a chi-rho image was picked. 

It will be featured on a local pass in February, 2015. Thank you, Airdrie, for all the ways you encourage and support the arts!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hello, New Brighton!



There has been a lot of good news coming to my studio in the past few weeks! I recently learned that I was chosen to work with the Calgary community of New Brighton to beautify some utility boxes. Excited to see how they turn out in the coming weeks!

Part of the process is to meet with the community so I'll be popping into the New Brighton Community Association's pancake breakfast today. Hope to meet lots of locals and get some input on what makes their community great (pancake breakfasts aside!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Confessional #5 - Top 3 Things I've Gotten Rejection Letters From


Isn't this neat? It's a banner image made from my painting, "Bottle". This was put together with 32 other local artists' images by the City of Airdrie, Airdrie Regional Arts Society and Creative Airdie to make an "Artist's Alley" on 1st Avenue. It just got installed and I think it looks fabulous. 

The above is an example of when applying to calls for submissions goes right. It results in acceptance. There is a dark side to this that most artists are familiar with, called rejection. I know for me, I tend to not want to talk about it. Then I realized that most people don't. Or we like to make vague references to rejection in the past but without embarrassing examples. 

I tend to be a high flyer in my applications and rejections. Sometimes I like to apply for things I'm probably not ready for. This usually crushes me a bit afterwards... I'm learning that things that crush me seem to make for good reading so, here goes!

1) Artropolis - some may remember this a HUGE arts event in Vancouver in the 1990's. Very cool, big names, lots of careers started. I being all of 16 or 17 figured it was about time I became famous, so I sent in my portfolio (Remember when you had to send slides! The death of me!) I was completely surprised that they did not find me to be God's gift to the Canadian art world. However, a shout out to the curator.... The handwritten note of encouragement on the bottom of the rejection slip to "keep it up" was a bright light for me.

2) An AFA Grant - the Alberta Foundation of the Arts funds many small and large scale projects throughout the province. I decided a few years ago that I would be a shoe in for an AFA Grant despite the fact that I hadn't settled on pursuing a specific body of work. I had no idea how to apply for this thing (I see that they have since added templates to their site, probably because of people like me asking too many dumb questions). The endorsements I had were impressive, the idea was kinda meh and I think I just overall naively bumbled the application. Maybe another year. 

3) The Kingston Prize - Canada's big prize for portrait work. Again, despite the fact that the big galleries submit masterful examples of their artist's work, I figured I had a shot. Well, no, let's be honest - I figured it couldn't hurt to submit. Never, ever once did I think I would win, my goal was to be a finalist. I actually still have that goal. I will probably keep submitting till either I've reached my peak as a portrait painter or they start feeling sorry for me. I'm good with either! (Coincidentally I submitted the painting featured on that banner above).

In other news, I've actually had some great news of some upcoming work I've gotten by submitting my portfolio. I'll be talking more about it as I get more information. Secrets are almost as fun as confessions!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Wycliffe Snapshot 4


Oh man. This painting was by FAR the most cross eye inducing with its sheer level of pattern. There are 4 more people out of this frame all of which had at least 2 patterns on them! The finished result is pretty cool though - looking forward to showing them to you. 

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thursday Confessional #4 - 5 Things I Will Probably Stop Doing for the Next While


Well, as the Wycliffe project wraps up I've been forced to have those "what do I want to be when I grow up" conversations. One thing I've noticed is that I have a tendency to say "yes" to pretty much everything that lands on my plate, whether I'm inspired by it or not. I was reading this on the Red Lemon Club site and it lead me to today's confessional.

I've had to send a few emails this week about upcoming project ideas to let people know where I am at right now and while it was tough, I also felt a huge sense of relief. This list isn't about regretting things I've already done. It's just more what I've learned about what I like/don't like in my experiences and seeing that it can be very easy to let others fill your calendar up with projects they are interested in. Plus we are a one regular income house right now with three kids who keep growing out of their clothes.

So, in no particular order....

1. Doing things that are solely "good for exposure". Passive exposure alone has actually rarely has built my business and I think sometimes when my work is hung in a non-selling-art-environment it tells people it isn't for sale. Plus often putting my work up in places results in grimy spots and damaged corners etc. I'm good with networking stuff, things that are valuable for my C.V. but not everything that comes my way does these things.

2. Volunteering my time/talents to create new things. Volunteering for an event is different than doing creative work in the sense that creative work can deplete you creatively as well as use your time. Right now I'm finding I'm tapped for creativity for my own stuff let alone others. When I'm contributing to someone else's project, I find I don't do anything of my own because I can't focus well on two different things at once.

3. Special pricing (for myself and for others). I've decided to try moving to a pretty bland pricing system based on price/sq inch. Most of my prices have actually fallen into that over the years but if I've been attached to a piece I've tended to over inflate its value. Also, while I will still discount friends and family, I'm just going to be sticking to a generic reduced price/sq inch for y'all because that causes me too much agony to decide how low I should go for you.

4. Donating stuff to charitable causes. I love helping people, often to my detriment. However, I'll confess (this is a confessional afterall) that when I donate a painting to an auction, it often goes far below market value. Like embarrassingly under market value. Given that I have had to give my time to paint the item, spend money on materials and sometimes even paid for shipping... I lose inventory and it isn't good for my collectors to see the discounted paintings others are buying and its personally painful. If I support your charity, it will be by selling some of my work and cutting you a cheque. We both win.

5. Being a hermit, afraid to sell stuff or stuck in a rut. If you only knew how many times I've changed the topic when people have asked about buying stuff for the past few years, you'd realize how much I hate talking numbers and thinking about that sort of thing. Very awkward. Same goes for making new friends, getting out there and trying new things. Now that I have more time to paint, I'm looking ahead and kind of at a loss of where to go with it next.

In summary, I've decided for now that in order to move ahead (and be able to afford to do new projects) I have to treat my time more seriously. I read recently that the moment you stop giving away your art for free is the moment that people start paying for it.

What that looks like in the coming months, where I"ll sell, what I'll paint etc I haven't totally decided yet.

Thursday Confessional #6 - 5 Behind the Scenes Realities When I Make Art


Keeping the confessional light this week. My brain is fried from the heat and the eventual realization of "Whoa, I just finished a massive project and man is my house mired in chaos." Had a fun time this week catching up with an artist friend, just talking shop and a few of these came up. I'll start by confessing that I giggle a little when I say "my studio" because it is not glamourous as people would probably imagine in their heads. 

1. I paint in my kitchen. The light is best here and I feel like I am still part of the family during a long stretch. My house is not overly huge, we do not have a decent space to dedicate to an actual fancy studio. Maybe when my kids move out, but I'm in no hurry for that phase of life. 

2. I cannot paint unless my kitchen is clean. Partly for practical reasons, bowls and brushes don't mix (I have a hard enough time not dipping my brush into my coffee) partly because I just can't. I have a weird emotional block that requires more than tidy. I need sprayed down counters, swept floors and all clutter put in it's place. Best time to visit me is after I'm done a day of painting. 

3. I find doing real painting very, very hard when people are around. I can do basic layout painting or I can paint for show (where I've rehearsed the real painting in private) when people are around but there is a certain part of me I can't release until I'm by myself. I also know people like to see artists working, so if you've been around while I'm doing that, I must really like you. 

4. I like to sing when I paint. This ties in nicely with number 3. I think my kids are starting to be okay with me doing the majority of my painting away from them for this reason. Weird. 

5. Kinda sad but true, 95% of my art supplies that I use on a regular basis fit in the above pictured rolling trolly cart. My paints, mediums, brushes and Lino stuff all fit neatly in this bad boy. Of course I have a pathetic stash in my basement of totally random, barely used stuff, but no one is perfect!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Wycliffe Snapshot 3


Another painting where harvest and grasses were a central theme. This painting has a funny little black dog at his master's feet - it reminds me so much of old master paintings which have an almost forgotten dog tucked away in the corner. I'm looking forward to showing this one in it's entirety!