Fun in the sun

Wallow Lake - plein air

Painting en plein air at Wallowa Lake

June is one of my favorite months and it is turning out to be a the kind of June you dream of, with perfect weather for this time of year. Painting outdoors is what I most enjoy in this world, and there are opportunities galore this month. One of my paintings was accepted into the Wallowa Valley Festival of Art in Joseph, Oregon, so we travelled there and stayed at nearby Wallowa Lake for four nights, where I was also able to paint in my travel journal while out on the lake fishing, and set up my easel to paint in the park by the lake one afternoon. So beautiful there. My husband, John loves this place too, so we had a great time doing things such as fishing on the lake for five hours, and taking the tram to the top of Mt. Howard to hike around and have lunch at the Summit Grill atop the mountain, with fantastic views of the lake and other snow-capped mountain tops.

Wallowa Lake- journal

A small watercolor painting in my travel journal while fishing on Wallowa Lake with John.

The art show and festival in Joseph was extremely inspiring ~ so many wonderful Pacific Northwest artists. Many amazing artists are from the Joseph, Enterprise, Wallowa County area, and there were also artists from around Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well as other states. In other words, I was in good company!

Quick Draw

About a dozen artists demonstrated their media and artistic talent during the Quick Draw event, including the Juror.

Quick Draw 2

Quick Draw 4

Quick Drawer painting flowers.

Kona Red at the WVFA
Kona Red at the WVFA, my entry in the Art Show.
Wallow Valley Festival Art 1

The juror explained his reasoning for the awards given to award recipients.

Wallow Valley Festival of Art 2

Many beautiful paintings, pastels, and sculptures in the show.

During the summer, there are numerous Paint the Town locations planned that I will be attending. I went to the first session in late May, at Glen Creek and painted a small acrylic on canvas. It was so nice to get out and paint again!

PTT-Glen Creek

Setting up to paint the creek ~ Glen Creek ~ for Paint the Town.

 

PTT-Glen Creek acrlyic

Getting started…

Also, various art shows in Salem, such as Valley Views at the Red Raven Gallery. The show will be juried by a wonderful plein air painter from Corvallis, Mike Rangner.

The World Beat Festival, which is June 27-28, is a fun event. I design graphics (Poster, Program, and other promotional materials) for World Beat in exchange for a booth at the festival, and share it with Artists in Action members. There are a dozen members signed up to participate this year. Go to: www.WorldBeatFesival.org for more information about this awesome event at Salem’s Riverfront Park.

Beanery – On the Edge

Beanery-Tetons

Grand Teton triptych – at the Beanery through June 2015

I have oil and acrylic paintings showing at The Beanery, a coffee shop in downtown Salem. They are there from June 1-30. Stop by for a cup of jo and see them.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Please leave me a message by clicking on the word cloud at the top of the page, if you have any comments or questions.

 

 

 

 

Art invitation!

I’m so happy to announce that one of my oil paintings, Kona Red, has been accepted into the Wallowa Valley Festival of Art, June 5-7, 2015.  This is a wonderful art community, with many fine art galleries, good restaurants, fun activities, and a great place to enjoy the beauty of Oregon. I’m looking forward to the event!  Hope to see you there.

 

Marching into April

The month of March came and went. I had one painting in the Keizer Art Association show at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery. My acrylic painting, Backyard Garden and Adirondack Chair seemed to fit the exhibit theme, “Home is where the Heart Is.”

Backyard Garden ~ I can dig it!

March was a great month weather-wise! I was able to do a lot of yard work and get some seedlings started in my greenhouse. All the trees were flowering and blooming perennials emerged from the earth and once again we can look forward to warmer months and summer vacations, a ray of hope in the air. Ahhh… Spring!

 

I submitted work to a few different calls for artists on www.callforentry.com (CaFE).  I’ll find out mid-April if my work is accepted. One submission is for an artist roster that would act as a resource for the Metro Regional Government: Parks & Natural Areas, and the other submission was to the Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts, which is during the first week of June. Both sound like wonderful opportunities to show my work beyond the Salem area, and I’m looking for those kinds of opportunities.

I’ve also been scouting out galleries on the Oregon coast and trying to get it together to approach them.  I’m not very good at self-promotion so it’s been a rough road for me, but I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to put more energy into it. I have many paintings that could be shown, once I find the right outlet. I will retire from my graphic design job in a couple of years, then I’ll focus on painting and showing my artwork full-time. Salem is a nice town ~ many nice people, a growing art community, and John and I love our home here ~ but sometimes a change of scenery is welcome. I’d like to find a niche for my artwork in a gallery where art is marketed to connoisseurs and people looking to buy art. I need to find homes for all my paintings! Also, I need to generate inspiration for painting daily.

If you enjoy seeing my artwork, reading my blog, or have comments to add, please let me know!  Also, if you know of a gallery or space where you think my paintings would fit in, I’d like to hear about it. (Click on the comment icon above and then follow the code instructions to reply) Thanks for visiting my website!

Additionally: I’m not a web guru, so I don’t know how to find out if anyone reads my blog or not. I don’t even know if I have this site set up where people can reply. A lot the “comments” I was receiving were spam or junk-ads, which I delete. Any insight
(in layman’s terms) that you can share about using WordPress, would really be appreciated!

Art inspirations

Setting up for First Wednesday Event at the Salem Arts Bldg.

Setting up for First Wednesday Event at the Salem Arts Bldg.

I started off the month of February with a First Wednesday Event extravaganza, where I secured a space in the Salem Arts Building along with about 70 other artists and vendors.  It was a first event of it’s kind and lasted only one day from 2-9 p.m. I was surprised by how many people attended and the number of sales I made ~ mostly blank note cards, one framed print, and an original unframed watercolor. It was fun to display my art and get feedback from people who stopped just to look.

Having a booth at an Art Fair would be a great opportunity. I really enjoy watching people and their expressions when they look at my work. Also, their comments about certain pieces and seeing which paintings get the best reaction gives me a better idea of what people like about my work, and what they don’t like.  Overall, the experience at this small indoor venue produced positive feedback, regardless of gender, age, etc. I may get much different responses in another environment, but I found the art vendor experience to be more personal than simply hanging work in gallery or shop and leaving it there.

This month I also submitted three paintings to a call for entry at an art gallery in Ellenberg, WA – the Clymer Museum and Gallery, but my work wasn’t accepted this time.  I went through is CaFE www.callforentry.com which is an art submission site that lists galleries and public art opportunities. It works really well. I noticed another art show that interests me in Joseph, Oregon, so I’m going to submit some slides for that exhibit next.

Cannon Beach in February

Cannon Beach in February

Tolovana Beach

Tolovana Beach

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach – a quick watercolor sketch

Most of this February in Oregon has been unseasonably warm. My husband, John and I went to Cannon Beach for a few days mid-month, and I was wearing sandals and going barefoot in the sand, wading through the surf. It was nearly 70 degrees during the day! We walked and saw tide pools around the rocks while the tide was out, and took time to just sit on the beach and watch the ocean. There was hardly any wind and the sun reflecting on the water and sand made it feel like a summer day. I took time for a couple of watercolor sketches in my watercolor travel journal.

Cannon Beach is a town with many nice shops, restaurants and wonderful fine art galleries. We visited a half dozen galleries on one walk about, and each gallery was filled with tasteful art in a variety of mediums.  I also inquired at each gallery about their intake process and whom I should contact to submit my work. I’m hoping to find at least one gallery that will accept my paintings. It would deeply inspire me to paint more often and refine my style if I had a goal to fulfill.

Salem Sketchers at the IKE Box Cafe

Salem Sketchers at the IKE Box Cafe

This month, I decided to attend a sketch group, Salem Sketchers, that meets once a month at different locations to sketch whatever inspires us. This month we met a local coffee shop, the IKE Box. It’s fun and inspiring and good for me to spend time with other artists once in a while. Being an artist is not a lonely road but certainly an individualistic one. It’s always great to see what other artists do and to learn from each other. As one of my art professors used to say frequently, “Art is not created in a vacuum.”  It has to be inspired by something or someone and it’s meant to be shared and seen by all.

Next month the Salem Sketcher are meeting at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art to sketch together.

2015 – Getting in touch with my creative side

Twenty-Fifteen. …. drum roll ….  I anticipate a year of growth – creative growth, self actualization, acceptance of what I am capable of creating, and learning from my intuition.

The world is full of creative people! Visual artists, craftsmen, musicians, singers, writers, poets, playwrights, actors, comedians, dancers, architects, designers, culinary artists and chefs, philosophers, etc. – all are artists in their own right. What we do with our lives and how we spend our time between being creative on an artistic level, and just being a good, creative friend or family member, sharing our talents with others in what ever we do, adds to the overall experience of living a creative life. Some can afford the luxury of devoting all their time to the creative process of their calling, and some may have to juggle their time to fit their artistry into their life. But what ever your passion is – that creative outlet that brings fulfillment to your existence – it’s important to allow as much time as you can afford, and build on that, as you grow toward your artistic goals.

My hope for this year, as an artist/painter, is to spend more time experimenting and playing with my artistic processes, developing my skills, and realizing what I am capable of creating. I plan to spend less time worrying over where I’m going to show my work, who likes it, and what others have to say about what I’m doing. This doesn’t mean I’m withdrawing from opportunities when they arise. But my desire is to focus my attention on growth and the satisfaction of knowing that I’m doing the best I can do.

Painting is my creative passion, and when I approach a new, white canvas with my brush in hand, it is as if a whole new world opens up and I am driven to fill the space with colors of my vision until it is complete. Everything else in my life is put on hold while I’m painting. It’s a meditation, lifting me away from the tumultuous world, a time to experience my inner emotions and feel alive! When I’m painting from memory or photographs I relive the experience with each paint stroke, as if being transported back to the particular place and time. If I’m painting from life, I feel myself becoming a part of the scene or object I’m painting – each leaf, each stone, each cloud is woven into my being.

I love having a room in my house dedicated to painting and other art projects. However, if I’m going to get in touch with my creative side, I need to organize and declutter my studio space. I plan to sell and give things away that I’m not using: books, supplies, tools, materials, etc. Although, for me, it’s hard to let go of some things, because there is that gnawing feeling inside that tells me I’ll someday have the time and inspiration to use the myriad of things I’ve collected over the years in a new and wonderful project. By clearing up the space, I’ll probably find things that actually can be put to use, however, this year I hope to ruthlessly let go of the past and devote my energy on the present, setting a new precedent for the future.

Here are some “BEFORE” photos. Once things are cleared up, I’ll post the “after” photos.

The Month Before Christmas…

Winter is in the air and the spirit of Christmas upon us, and it always seems that the season creeps up slowly then hits suddenly. I’m never quite prepared for it, and I doubt I ever will be. I like to hold on to summer as long as possible, then fall approaches with Halloween, and when Thanksgiving is here I want to enjoy the harvest and warm comfort of good food and family. I don’t even want to think about Christmas until it’s December!

Pears in Square Dish with ApplesHowever, when I went shopping for some last minute Thanksgiving decorations, when Thanksgiving was still a week away, I had a hard time finding anything left in the store, or in the several stores I went to. Not even a single marked-down item for Thanksgiving was to be found.

Everything was already set up for the Christmas shopping extravaganza. Red and Green, tinsel and lights. Please don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas — but why do they get rid of all things Thanksgiving a week before Thanksgiving!

I realize that many stores start putting out Christmas trees and decor in September so that shoppers  get in the “mood” for holiday shopping, but that’s just not my game. Sure, when Christmas is here, I’ll wish I had started shopping for gifts in June, rather than wait until December, but I will probably never do that. I never have, so chances are slim I’ll start now.

Christmas, in my mind, is a time to celebrate our lives together in Christ. Born in a manger, with cows and sheep all around, Son of God ~ a Gift to us all ~ given to teach us what Truth and Love are so we can live in Peace and Love one another with Joyful hearts.

But what says Christmas, like Black Friday!  This year, Black Friday started early ~ a week before the day we Give Thanks for all we have. This is the biggest farce of all!

Does it make sense to you? … Not to me!  I stick with my old-fashioned belief that there is a time for every season under heaven. The marketing world wants us to move too fast, to jump ahead, making it impossible to take time for the present moments and enjoy the ambiance of each occasion. Let’s not be sucked into the money-grabbing capitalistic machine where the bottom line for the holidays is increased sales!

  •  I will have a Christmas tree.
  •  I will send Christmas cards.
  •  I will wrap presents and prepare gifts for my husband, daughters, sons, grandchildren and other family and friends.
  •  I will send packages to those I love, too far away to be with.
  •  But I will not make buying gifts the most important aspect of the season!

It’s a time to be joyful and remember the good in our lives and the love we have for each other! The gifts are merely a token of that love. It’s not about getting or giving the biggest, best, most expensive thing you can afford or add to your credit line ~ and its not about fulfilling everyones wishes and dreams. It’s about sharing something special with your loved ones ~ the hugs and kisses, the smiles, the laughter, the songs. Creating happy memories ~ the smells and tastes, the twinkling lights and candles, and sharing the traditional foods and treats.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 If you are in Salem, Oregon ~

  • Be sure and join the Artists in Action on Wednesday, December 3rd for an Art Walk and reception for the Something Red show in downtown Salem. See the AiA website, www.artistsinaction.org for more information about this fun art event.
  • The Holiday open house at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery, for the Keizer Art Association is on Saturday, December 6th from 11 am – 4 pm, with the Small Works show and holiday gift boutique.
  • The tree lighting ceremony at Willamette University is in the evening on Saturday, December 6th. There is a free Christmas concert and sing along in the Smith Auditorium after the tree lighting on the WU campus.

November ~ already?

September and October flew by, with three art shows running simultaneously.  Not much time for painting or writing in my art blog, but it was a wonderful experience to have all of my recent paintings hanging in various locations, attending the receptions, and gaining exposure for my artwork.

Pacific Dream - APL show

Pacific Dream, oil on canvas. One of the paintings brought in later to fill the additional space at the Albany Public Library. September-October 2014

My husband, John helped me hang the paintings at the Albany Public Library.  I had never been there before, so I had no idea how large the spaces were and how many wall there were to cover, so we ended up making two trips to add an additional six paintings, with a total of 22 paintings on the walls throughout the upper floor of the building. I received many nice comments from the staff and patrons there, so it was fulfilling to show my artwork in different city and gain that exposure. No sales happened, but it was a good experience.  I left postcards announcing the show on display there as well as my business cards, so you never know what will happen. Someone could contact me about a painting in the future. Sometimes art lovers have to sleep on it, before they finally decide to purchase a work of art.

Red Hawk View, acrylic on canvas

Red Hawk View, acrylic on canvas. This painting was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Paint the Town exhibit.

The Paint the Town show at the Elsinore Gallery ran during the month of October. Paint the Town paintings are generally plein air paintings that were done during the Summer months at various locations in and around the Salem area. I had two paintings in the show. One of my paintings, Red Hawk View, received an Honorable Mention. I’ll add that ribbon to my collection. It’s very flattering and encouraging to receive an award for a painting. This particular painting was one of my favorite painting experiences, because I really felt connected with the landscape and the scenic atmosphere while in the process of painting it en plein air at Red Hawk Vineyard in July. So, it was very nice to get the perk and receive recognition for the work.

The Westminster Fine Art Fair was also in October. This is juried entry only show. It was up for three days, and there was a total of something like 63 artists participating in the show. Each 2-D artist could enter up to eight hanging pieces. I was very impressed with how well the show was hung, and the beautiful variety of artwork in the show. Everything flowed together, which is not easy to do successfully with so many different styles and subjects that are submitted into the show. Paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, as well as sculpture, jewelry, pottery, photography, digital art, and multimedia. Large and small works, landscapes, portraits, modern, expressive, realism, impressionism, and linear. The volunteers did a fantastic job of presentation considering the variety of styles and mediums. It was a very tasteful and upscale display.  I sold blank note cards of my artwork. It was good to have more exposure in a different circle of art enthusiasts and to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow artists at the reception.

Now it’s November already, and there is still another show to consider before the end of the year. The Something Red show is coming up in December. This an annual Winter show that Artists in Action organizes with local merchants in the downtown Salem area. Many artist (up to 300 in past years) submit work that focusses on the color Red. The work is juried by several local artists or business owners, and the Mayor. It is then hung around town in various shops that participate ~ usually around 25-30 merchants. On the First Wednesday of December there’s an Art Walk throughout the downtown area, with artists present  where their art on display and afterward a gala art reception with lots of food, music, and other refreshments, and the awards are presented to the winning artists. It’s usually very well attended and always a good addition to December Christmas shopping atmosphere for the downtown shops.

Vertical shelves

Vertical shelving for painting storage.

On a personal note: Last weekend, I built  a vertical shelving storage unit in my basement, so that all my paintings can be properly stored while they are not in a gallery or other location. This also frees up space in my art studio upstairs, so that I can paint indoors during the winter months. The storage unit came out pretty nice, using particle board shelving from Bi-Mart, turned onto the side and doubled up to create vertical shelves that fit most of my paintings.

Now I need to go through my photographs to find inspiration for a painting that features the color Red.  Each artist can submit up to three paintings. I will probably only have time to finish one new painting by the submission date. So I may go through my finished paintings, to see if I already have a painting  that features the color red — something I’ve never shown before at the Something Red event. Stay tuned….

Goodbye July…

The Salem Art Fair on July 18-19, was fun-filled with creatives as far the eye can see. Our Artists in Action booth “Outside the Box” has a silent auction each year for boxes created by AiA members using whatever materials or ideas they desire. We raised over $1200 at the event this year.

Outside the Box – my box of watercolor note cards auctioned for $50!

Good news! I heard back from the Westminster Art Festival, and my work has been accepted. The show is in October, so I will be busy getting things together for that. Each artist can show up to eight paintings. This will be my first time showing at this event.

I will be hanging my paintings at the Albany Public Library for the months of September-October, and the Paint the Town show at the Elsinore Gallery is also in October. I’ve only attended three Paint the Town sessions so far this summer, but I think I have enough to finish at least one painting for the show. I have some ideas to use from the photos and rough sketches I did on location at the Salem Art Fair in July and at the World Beat Festival in June.

Painting at the World Beat Festival.

Watercolor painting at the World Beat Festival

To those who actually read my blog ~ Thanks!  I’ve been enjoying the gloriously warm weather we’re having this summer and taking time to spend time with family visiting from Hawaii, including my five-year-old granddaughter June and my son, Jesse. I’ve also been working in my garden, and getting outside whenever possible, so there hasn’t been much time to write in my blog. Today is the last day of July, so I’m at least making an attempt. Hope your summer is a good one!

June, 5, painting with watercolor ~ Truly an artist!

So much to do ~ where does the time go?

The month of May was a productive month as I recall, but  it whizzed by so fast I didn’t have time to write. Aside from all the art activities, we also took a “mini-vaca” and I planted a vegetable garden. We celebrated birthdays, and other family events, and did some Spring cleaning as well.

I entered a watercolor painting – one that I had painted en plain air several years ago entitled “Botanical Garden Painters” in the Keizer Art Association Celebration of Flowers art exhibit in May at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery.

This year I managed to submit a CD and application to enter the West Minster Lutheran Church’s annual Art Fair, Creativity ~ A Gift of the Creator, and dropped it off at the last hour, before the deadline. This is a well attended art show held during October in large room in the church located in South Salem. It is a juried show and always displays some very well known artists in the area. I’ll find out in July if my work is accepted.

Again, at the last minute, I found out about a new show in downtown Salem, at the Salem Arts Building ~ Anything But Painting. And like the show’s title, the work could be anything except painting. It was a beautiful show with sculpture, pottery, fiber arts, collage, printmaking, and jewelry. I entered a large woodblock print that I had done while living in Alaska, when I was studying printmaking at UAF, entitled “Mountain Reflections ~ Denali.” The print was framed under glass. I’ve shown it before, but for many years, it’s been stored in my “archives” of artwork. It was nice to get it out again so people could enjoy it.

I think it’s sad when art is “stored” and not hanging somewhere where it can be viewed and enjoyed. I do a lot of paintings and other artwork that I’ve framed and shown but then no one buys it, so it sits in my attic or storage closet until I bring it out again. I’ve actually considered giving my work away, so someone can take it home, hang it on their wall, and maybe get some of the same enjoyment I experienced when I was creating it. But, it’s also meaningful when someone buys a piece. It shows that they truly care enough about the work you’ve done and they are willing to compensate you for your talent and effort. It also shows that they truly love it enough to purchase it for their own. I hope that in time, all my artwork will find a place to hang and be enjoyed by someone!

I was also very busy during May, designing the World Beat Festival poster,
program, advertising materials, etc. Working with the dedicated folks at
Salem Multicultural Institute to produce another annual multicultural event at
Riverfront Park in Salem, the largest of it’s kind, is quite an intense experience. The festival draws close to 20,000 people over the course of the weekend where the festival events and entertainment are widely varied, representing many cultures worldwide. I’ve been working with the World Beat marketing team to design and layout the printed materials for this event for over 15 years. Each year it is bigger and better than ever!

June is now in full-swing and the World Beat Festival is on the last weekend of the month, June 28-29. Part of my compensation for designing the poster and program is a 10 x 20 double booth, which I open to Artists in Action members to display artwork, demonstrate, and partake in the booth during the two-day festival. We set up the booth with our artwork, on Friday the 27th and the festival is open on Saturday from 10 am – 11 pm and on Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.  The Artists in Action booth is located in the European Village. Hope to see you there!

Following Tail Lights

I entered another painting, literally at the last second, for the June showing at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery, with the theme Transportation. Again, I recycled a painting that I had painted and shown last December, “Following Tail Lights,” acrylic on canvas, which received an honorable mention. I just found out about
the award, because when the reception was held, I was busy painting outdoors at nearby
Sebright Garden with Paint the Town painters. It’s a beautiful location just north of Salem, with Hostas of all kinds and so much more!

Looking ahead, I’m scheduled to have a solo show at Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith jewelers during the month of July. The art reception will be on Wednesday, July 2nd from 5-7. Dave Wilson’s is located on Commercial St. in downtown Salem, between Court St. and Chemeketa St. I plan to show paintings with summer imagery. More about that next month!

Continuing though April …

“Impressions Beyond the Mountains” — paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolor are on display at Roy John Designer Goldsmith shop at 315 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon.

It is so gratifying to see my recent paintings hanging together in one place along with paintings I’ve done over the past several years that have a similar theme: My travels to places east of the Cascade mountain range in Oregon and destinations beyond, including Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Each painting brings with it a memory for me that goes far beyond the frame that contains the artwork.

If you’re in Salem, and happen to be downtown, I hope you will stop by and see my artwork. Roy John’s jewelry shop is open 10-5 Tuesday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday. It’s a small shop where you will find Roy John working on his graceful jewelry creations — organic, aesthetic designs which he is well known for. He works in gold and silver, using beautiful precious stones and natural pearls to compliment his elegant craftsmanship.

The reception/open house for April will be on Wednesday, April 2nd from 5-8 pm, and my work will continue hanging at Roy John’s through the month of April.