Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Painting in Public

Working in public, Day of the Dead festival in downtown Mesa, AZ

Crowds of people passing by, tables and booths of every type of artwork and hand crafted items. .  .  . a festive mood in the air, with music and the buzz of people laughing and talking. The experience of painting on location at an outdoor event can be intimidating or empowering. It is something that did not come naturally to me, as I wanted to be able to 'make my mistakes' in private and not present my art until it was finished to my satisfaction.  Painting in public takes a certain amount of confidence and ability to let the setting fade from your awareness. It is something that I had to learn to do, and to become comfortable with. It is, however, a wonderful "draw", because people will stop and hang around to watch and ask questions. I like to have a completed piece available, as well as my sketchbook, so they can see the process in its stages. This picture of me "in action" was from the recent Day of the Dead festival held at the Mesa Art Center on October 30. I was stationed right outside the door to the MAC Artist Co-op, which lucky for me was in the shade on that unseasonably warm day!  I was taking my turn manning the "Day of the Dead"- themed display table which was stocked with a wide array of art made by us Co-op members just for this occasion, including the set of "Skulls" pictured in my previous post.  You can click on this image to see more detail. I have a series going of wine bottle and glasses studies, and two are on the walls inside the Co-op. This is the latest one in progress, and it was a fun opportunity to share my work with the public!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DAY of the DEAD!

"Day of the Dead" Family
2X2" and 3x2" mini canvas with easel

The "Day of the Dead" is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2, when families celebrate and welcome the memories of family and friends who have died. This is a celebration involving decorated skulls in artwork, candies, and 'sugar skulls' which are decorated in colorful icing flowers and designs. It is celebrated in many Hispanic communities here in the Southwest, and is not a time of sadness or grieving. It involves the building of private altars, decorated with marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of our departed loved ones.  With this tradition around us, the Mesa Art Center Artist's Co-op is displaying a collection of "Day of the Dead" art created by its members. This collection of mini paintings is my contribution to the display. The background of each is painted gold metallic, as I was struck by the "icon-like" image that the skulls take on. Traditional icon paintings used metallic gold backgrounds, or sometimes "halos" behind the personality featured, and the skulls represent individuals who have passed. Since this celebration ties in closely to "All Saints Day" and "All Souls Day", the symbolism to me of Death and Rebirth seemed fitting to consider these as icons.

The Day of the Dead art will be on display Saturday, Oct 29 and Sunday, Oct 30 from noon to 5pm. Artwork will be for sale.  I also take commissions on creating these for your particular needs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Art: It's from the Soul, and Priceless!

I've been busy in my studio. Very busy. Working my little heart out making paintings, drawings, and jewelry and having a blast CREATING!  I am very lucky to be able to do this, to explore this side of who I am, and have markets to sell them in. It is when I am most authentically ME, and bringing what I can to this world of things of beauty and enjoyment. Trying to make it all just a little bit better for whoever sees it. The world may be a dark and scary place sometimes, but we get a much needed soul-break when we can leave it behind for a little while and look at something that brings a smile to our face, joy in our hearts, and peace within.  So this holiday, why not think about giving that gift of Art to those you love? A piece of joy and imagination that can be escaped to, all year long.  A gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Positive, Negative. . . .

5" x 7"

I work in several media, moving back and forth between acrylics, oils and watercolors.  I have several paintings being developed concurrently, all sitting out on their easels, awaiting my attention as I feel moved to work on them. Sometimes I'm an "oils mode" for days or weeks at a time, then feel like working in acrylics, or other media. I like this freedom and the open-ended approach.  It keeps a sense of adventure and playfulness fresh for me, and is the method I work best with.

Here is a small oil painting I completed, using a different approach in the layout. I worked this painting up by painting the "spaces", and then refining the negatives that were then left: the leaves. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

New Art

"Desert Color"
Acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"

The days are warm for sure. . . . we are having record heat this summer, and my roadtrips have been fewer than last spring and summer.  I am working indoors more, and experimenting with new canvas and paints. Studio work is the perfect solution for weather like this!

Here is the latest painting from my easel.  This is done on a new canvas, "Yes" canvas, which accepts watercolor.  I used acrylic inks to achieve a watercolor effect like my series of watercolor/pen & ink paintings, and yet have a permanent, waterproof finish.  This canvas is 1.5" deep, and painted around the edges so framing is not required.  I am very impressed with this canvas, and it's workability.

This piece is available at the Artist's Co-operative, at the Mesa Art Center, which opens next week. I have a collection of my desert foliage paintings available for sale there, so be sure to stop in and check out the new store if you are in the area!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Art "To-Do" lists. .. . .

Wow, it's been a busy two weeks, and I'm still working my way through my Art To-Do lists!

I'm working on updating all of my websites with the new shows information, and updating my art resume too.

I received notification of acceptance into the Arizona Art Alliance's Exhibit to be held at the Offices of the Arizona Attorney General in downtown Phoenix! They will have two of my LARGE acrylic landscape paintings: 36" x 48" and 28" x 36". I am elated to be part of this prestigious show.

The MACfac co-op is opening in just a couple of weeks, so wrapping up what I need to do for that also.

And the Mesa Art League is presenting a member's exhibit at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, in Superior, which is about an hour east of Phoenix. I had a one-woman show there in January 2010, and it is a beautiful and tranquil setting! It is one of Arizona's State Parks, and draws many visitors for the plants, desert appreciation, and birdwatching. It will be wonderful to go out there once again.

No photos this time, but I will correct that!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Art group. . .

"Sacred Space"
11" x 14"

I decided to join the Mesa Art League (MAL) and just received the "welcome" letter. I am really looking forward to becoming active in this group's activities and exhibits, and hope to be able to make it to their monthly meeting which is tonight. I say hope to, because I am still finishing up and packing the artwork I need to deliver to the MACfac (Mesa Art Center fine artist co-op). I've got a LOT of art activities going on right now, and it is a blessing! The MACfac gallery/store opens the weekend of Sept 10,11,12, and that is the same weekend that MACFEST also starts up again, so I'm hoping it draws a lot of shoppers!

I have both paintings and notecards to go into the MACfac, and I'm looking forward to adding more announcements here as events move closer!