Thursday, November 2, 2017

Solo Hiking and Painting Trip to Utah, Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park and Arches National Park Colorado River too

Flying Solo

The book, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, was a fantastic read.  The author set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself, and for an extended period of time. 
I also enjoyed Elizabeth Berg’s, The Pull of the Moon. In this fictional story a middle aged woman with a nagging husband goes on an extended road trip for fun, and to teach the crank not to take her for granted.

Such a romantic notion, to go off somewhere all alone.  

Reflections, 8x10 pastel

I recently had my own little solo adventure.  Mini-adventure, anyway.  I packed up paints and suitcase and drove my (still) trusty ole yellow jeep to Zion National Park for 4 days.  I felt brave, daring.  It felt romantic.  ( ok, fine, it was only 4 short days and a days drive away, but go with me here, please).   My goal was to do some hiking and painting and get some nice reference photos.  There was a particular scene I wanted to find and paint in Kolob Canyon, which is the much quieter, less busy part of Zion. I hiked 10 miles the first day and got no painting whatsoever done. I did find though, finally, the very spot I’d wanted to see and photograph that evening.  Glorious, and worth every bit of the long 12 hour drive to get there.  ( should’ve been 9 hours but I kept stopping for photographs)

Sunset in Kolob Canyon, 9x12 pastel

Taylor Creek Trail, 12x9 pastel

The next day I drove to Arches National Park and did another 6 mile hike.  I was on Primitive Loop and got a bit lost a few times.  The trail is not well marked in spots and some areas had quite a bit of exposure. This added to the thrill and romance of my trip.
Still and again, I did no painting.  An awful guilt sets in when I pack my paints but leave them untouched.

Arches National Park, 9x12 pastel

The lovely Colorado River (actually, lovely gets upgraded to breathtaking at the peak of autumn,  which I was lucky enough to hit  this year!) hugs I-70 for a good portion of this trip and time and again I would see THE scene I’ve so many times wanted to stop and paint. Each time though there was nowhere to pull over.  How frustrating this is for an artist. I pulled over anyway one time and risked life and limb to cross the interstate to get photos.  ( not romantic; just stupid- and I wont do that again.)

Colorado River 9x12 pastel

I spent some time in Cedar City, Palisade and Rifle and got a nice collection of reference photos from which these paintings have come.

This was a fun and enjoyable trip and I would like do a longer one sometime.  I do enjoy painting trips with friends as well, and tend to get more painting done in that scenario.

Monday, August 21, 2017

HUGE Overstock Sale of Original Art Blow Out Sale

Constipation and the Big Purge

I paint prolifically.
When I start to accumulate too many new works and do not have an associated increase in the number of sales, two things happen to me.

First, I begin to dislike some of my paintings simply because they have not sold.  I forget that maybe a given painting has only ever been seen in one or two shows, so I really have not given it a fair chance.  If I'm not smart and don't put it away and out of site for a while, I often destroy, throw away or paint over the image.  Often, I regret this since I photograph everything. Countless times I have reviewed an image and thought, "That really was a very nice piece! Why did I destroy it?"  Countless other times a piece that I started to dislike but did not have a chance to destroy, has subsequently sold.
(Some pieces, of course, are bad and should be destroyed, but I am not talking about those right now.)

Second,  I lose the impetus to paint.  I become "constipated" of further creative output.
When this happens, collectors are in luck because the only way out for me seems to be a big, fat purge. I give paintings away to special collectors and very close friends, or greatly lower the prices and auction them off on eBay.

Now is another one of those seasons and this time, I am doing a purge of a magnitude I haven't done before.  But I am in serious tidying up mode, having just re-read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

If you are interested, here is a link to the Big Purge.  ( Click, " Blow-Out Sale" )
 All works, big and small, are $200.00 until Saturday, from this portfolio:

Blow- out Sale!

Whatever does not sell from the website will be on sale at the Affordable Arts Festival at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO for $ 100.00. One day only: Sunday, August 27, 9-3

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Original Art Oil Painting Figurative Interior Still life Abstracted

Fifty Years Later
18x24 Oil on Canvas

Robin and I were best buddies at age 4. We lived on Miller Drive in Lawrence, Kansas. When I moved away at age 5 we promised to stay in touch always. Right.  Right? Well, crazy, but it turns out we did.  We wrote letters, then later, made audio cassettes to send each other.  We did this year after year all the way  through high school, then lost touch.  But about 5 years ago, Robin got in contact with me.  She was living in Austin.  I had lived in Austin in the 80's, and it turns out we had been living there at the same time but did not know it.
Finally, last summer,  I made a trip back to Austin to visit several college friends and while there I looked Robin up.  We met for drinks and appetizers at a wonderful Mexican restaurant overlooking the lake.  We talked and laughed for hours, both of us amazed that 50 years had gone by.  And that we'd actually stayed in touch over a lifetime without having seen each other in all the intervening years.  Funny thing, I left knowing that Robin would have turned out to be a very good friend, had we lived in close proximity.  We had quite a bit in common.  Crazy.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Abstracted paintings, figures,Matisse,Diebenkorn,exhibits art shows,acrylics Smashburger

There are certain things in life that are best experienced alone.
Smashburger immediately comes to mind. ( Partly because I haven't had breakfast or lunch yet and am very hungry) and largely because it's not a pretty thing to watch me eat one.  And it's just so exquisitely delicious that one wants to be fully present to take it all in without distraction. ( order the Colorado with the soft egg bun)

A friend once told me to get a room with my Starbucks apple fritter!
You get the picture.
( then she had the gaul to go online and look up the calorie count on those things and completely ruin the whole experience for me)

The Diebenkorn exhibit, eye candy at its finest, falls into the "best to do alone" category.
With over 60 paintings by Diebenkorn and 40 by Matisse ( sensory overload?), it will be nice to go at my own pace, linger as long as I want before my favorite pieces, and just soak it all in silently. 

Exquisitely delicious.  

Needless to say, I can't wait!
( and I get to see an old college friend while in SF, so I will get my people fix! 😄)

The four paintings below were inspired by these two amazing artists. They are on sale for a limited time.

Lady at Rest, 8x8 acrylic/ Birch
$ 95.00
 (The board is ever so slightly warped so I have significantly discounted this. Behind a frame I don't think it will even be noticeable.)

ship or pick up

Jenny, 20x16 acrylic, $ 495.00

ship or pick up

Table Setting 24x24 Mixed Media $ 750.00

Shipping or local pick up

The Cellist, 36x12x1.5 acrylic  $925.00

ship or pick up

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Artistic Success or Success in the Art World: How to become successful acrylic paintings

Defining (redefining?) Success 

I have an art marketing accountability partner. We talk weekly , encouraging each other in marketing our art and in brainstorming ideas.

One question we ask ourselves is, "what's the end point anyway.... what are we after?  What exactly is success?"  We need a clear view of what we're after so we can set our aim and reach it, right?

Is success attaining a certain yearly income with our art?  Is it gaining respect and fame in the art community?  Or finding  representation in the top galleries in the country?

All of the above would be nice, but the more I ponder this, I think it's the daily grind, the process itself, that really matters. 
In  looking back on various achievements in my own life, it's been the arduous process of becoming that's been more interesting and fulfilling than the actual attaining of the goal.

For instance, all the long hours of studying and training to become a doctor were, it seems now,  more satisfying to me  than the daily ins and outs of actually being a doctor.  All of the hours of practice in becoming a musician were more captivating and rewarding than finally being a musician in a band, stuck in smoky bars until 2 am and playing to a crowd that wasn't really listening to the music. Raising children to become independent adults was so difficult at times that I sometimes thought I couldn't wait to have an empty nest. Now the nest is empty and I realize raising the kids, despite some tough times was, without question for me, the most fulfilling thing of all. How much better to have embraced every single moment,  then to waste one of them wishing for something in the future!

Taking this back to art, what I've concluded is that, in large part,  success is found in the daily doing of the thing.  And that success can be lost the moment artificial goals supplant the unbridled joy in the daily doing.
I'm truly grateful that I have the opportunity at this point in my life to be able to paint every day.

As for the smaller part, well, supplies, workshops and classes, just to name a few items, are ridiculously expensive.  The painter does need to sell art in order to continue making art. ( and the spouse is only willing to hear and accept, "you have to spend money in order to make money" so many times before he kicks you out the door)
With that in mind,  are you in the market for a piece of art? 😉

On Sale:

Ken Caryl, Stylized
12x12 acrylic, framed!

shipping or pick up

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Plein Air Adventures,plein air, Oil paintings,fall aspen ,aspen trees

Plein Air Painting Adventures ( or misadventures)  Story follows paintings below. 
Indian Mountain, 9x12 plein air oil painting

View from Cabin Deck, 9x12 plein air oil painting

Near Basalt, 6x8 plein air oil painting

Plein Air Painting Misadventures
(At least one pretty rough start)

Every fall I take about a week and head into the mountains to paint the gorgeous scenery.
My first painting site on this particular adventure was Kenosha Pass. It was a late afternoon weekday.  Slightly rainy, very foggy, and a little on the cool side. There was nobody up at Kenosha and I drove far into the forest. I hopped out of my trusty ol’ 4 door yellow jeep and began taking photographs. It was lovely. A foggy autumn kind of lovely.

 After about 30 minutes it started to rain more heavily and I began to get pretty wet and cold. I headed back to the jeep but keys were gone! And I'd walked all over the place, including off the trail and into some deep grassy areas. I was locked out of the jeep, cold and wet and had no cell phone coverage. I searched for about an hour and was beginning to panic.  I even started to cry.  There wasn't a soul in sight and I hated the idea of hitching a ride on 285! 

 Shortly after sending up a desperate prayer for help and through divine intervention I am sure, I finally found the keys in a grassy area well off the beaten path.  I made it to the cabin in Indian Mountain and made myself a nice, warm cozy fire in the wood stove. I took off my wet wool socks and set them on the wood stove's mantle to dry.

On the second day of my solo plein air painting trip I hopped on my little enduro motorcycle and tooled around Indian Mountain taking photographs with the brand-new expensive Canon camera that my husband had just bought me for my birthday. I returned to the cabin and set the camera on the motorcycle seat and did a quick plein air painting of some fallen trees outside of my cabin. The painting turned out well and I decided to reward that small success with another quick mo-mo ride.

I love to ride my motorcycle on the dirt roads of Indian Mountain in the fall!  The crisp, cool air, shimmering golden -yellow aspen and the wafting scent of scattered campfires is intoxicating.  How in the world I overlooked this next part I've no clue. But I hopped on the motorcycle and started down the worn dirt driveway when suddenly I heard a grinding, gnashing, awful, crunching sound. I'd sat on the strap of the camera, and the camera swung over into the back tire and was being desecrated by the churning spokes.  Bye- bye, nice, new, expensive camera lens. (Thank goodness the body of the camera was intact, although I was sure at the time it, too, was ruined.)

  Feeling beat up and defeated by my own stupidity I took refuge back inside the cabin only to find my wool socks burnt to a crisp on the fire mantel from the previous night. I could've burnt the place down. 

As far as I recall there were no other major gaffes on that particular trip,  but when I have that many misadventures in a row I tend to get fed up and reign it in. I can really focus and concentrate when I need to, although I do tend to reside most often on the comfortable, breezy, artistic right side of my brain, which can get me into big trouble. Ah, the joys and struggles of the artistic life!

Next time:  Looking on the Bright Side of Things
(when tightly wrapped, frozen beef defrosts then explodes inside of your Plein Air Paintmobile (AKA yellow jeep) on a very hot summer day.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Abstracted Figurative Paintings A subset of the Annabelle Series

The Good Model
24x24x1.5 Mixed Media/Cnv

A busy last two weeks as I begin yet another series in a slightly different style.  Prevailing wisdom in the art world says the artist should develop and hold fast to one particular and recognizable style.  Galleries prefer this when taking on an artist.  Collectors don't always appreciate an artist's change in direction.
I started my art career focused on landscapes. I still love landscapes.  
But right now I'm in love with abstracting the figure. 
Last month floral mixed media pieces had my heart.
I don't mean to thumb my nose at prevailing wisdom, but I do believe my best art will come by following my gut and painting only what excites and delights me, regardless of style, medium or subject matter.

Ladies Night 56x24x1" Acrylic/canvas

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sweet Cat Sketch and Mixed Media Painting

This IS Cat's "Come Pet Me I'm Irresistible" look.  It works for Cat; she knows it.
Despite all the rotten things I've said about her lately, she has a nice side. A calm side. A cuddly, loving, caring side.

I liked this pose and , at a friends suggestion, did a mixed media painting of this sketch.

Mixed Media
$ 750.00

Shipping or local pick up