November First Wednesday

My next art show will be in the month of November at a jewelry shop in downtown Salem, Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith. If you are in Salem, Oregon the address is 216 Commercial Street NE. I will be displaying 12-14 paintings in watercolor, acrylic, and oil. Mostly “en plein air” paintings that I have done recently and over the past few years. A few of these have never been shown, and I’m still working on finishing a couple of them.

The theme I’m going with is landscapes that reflect agriculture, country living, and the harvest season, but there are several paintings that were painted in the summer and spring showing a perspective of rural or small town life. It’s always interesting to me to put a show together that captures a certain feel. A combination of places, subjects, and scenery that reflect a certain feeling and tells a story.

I hope to see you at the opening on November 2nd from 5-7!  I’m in hopes of a First Wednesday revival in downtown Salem. The more the merrier!

November Art Show at Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith

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First Wednesday, in Salem, started out as an art event, designed for artists to display their work in local retail shops, thus enticing customers to visit shops that they may not usually enter. It grew into a fun event, with an abundance or artist participants, but eventually was taken over by the commercial aspect of marketing and themes that deterred from the artists and their work. After so many years, the artists became the secondary or invisible participants of the event, and eventually the event burned out in a smolder. I think it would be great to bring the focus back to the Arts!

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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.

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.

Paint what you love – love what you paint!

Snow returns to the valley and the candle burns into the wee hours in my art studio. Looking forward to my upcoming art show which starts in March, I’m busy painting the desert and mountain colors that burn in my memory from the journeys we’ve taken over the past years to locations east of the mountains. The sage, the rocks, the mountain peaks, the lakes, the rivers, the sun shedding color, light, and shadows to the scenes that are forever etched in my mind’s eye. And with the help of the photos I have available, I’ve been able to paint several new works over the past month or two that will fit into the show I’m calling “Impressions Beyond the Mountains.”

Wallowa Lake Boat Landing
– after the storm – Acrylic, 18 x 36

 

I’ve been wanting to paint these images for many years, and after internalizing them through travel and countless day-dreams, imagining the colors on my pallet and brush, and visualizing them on canvas, I now have the motivation needed with the time to paint, the venue to show them. Sometimes things come together at long last, in a time and space that was waiting for it to be.

Through this experience, I’m realizing the importance of painting what you love, painting what you know, and loving what you paint. I’m also including several of my recent oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, from over the past couple of years, that fall into the category of impressions beyond the mountains. All together, I think it will make an engaging, captivating exhibit. I hope you will come by Roy John’s during the months of March or April to see the show. The art receptions will be on the First Wednesday of each month, March 5 and April 2,  from 5-8 p.m.  See you then….

 

 

This is what I live for!

The month of June is one of my favorites. I was born in June, and every time it rolls around, I get the feeling my year is just starting. It’s a time of hope and gladness for better weather, longer days, warmer nights, and strawberries ripening. The season just begs me to spread my wings and fly!

I  spend time outdoors, as much as possible, walking, gardening, painting, and so much more. The smell of BBQ briquets starting to smolder, the taste of spring harvest ~ new peas, strawberries, fresh herbs, and rhubarb picked in my garden. And the many delights from the Saturday Market overflowing with fresh, local produce.

Getting together with family and friends after a long cold winter of hibernation,  to bathe in the hot tub by moonlight, run in the park by day, soak up the sun. This is what I live for ~ the beginning of Summer!

Paint the Town will be starting up on the 8th of June. I won’t be able to attend the first session, as I have other invitations that day, but there will be many sessions throughout the summer months, that I will go to. This is my favorite all-time event in Salem, sponsored by Artists in Action, a non-profit art group I belong to and have been involved with for many, many years. It’s exciting to gather with other artists at a location and spread out over the landscape, so each artist can paint what intrigues them. It’s fascinating to see all the different compositions that result.

I plan to enter the upcoming show at the River Gallery – “Hot fun in the Summertime!”

The deadline for entry is July 7th, so I need to get started!  I’ve been thinking about what I want to portray for the theme ~ something that I love about summer. Like working in the garden, which is fun for me! Sunhat, work gloves, hoe in hand. Lots of lush flowering and fruiting vines and plants growing all around. That’s what I’m thinking about painting. Another thought: Sun glasses, Adirondack Chair, and a tall ice tea or chilled glass of chardonnay, just basking in the sun next to the garden; gloves and hoe on the ground nearby … also a thought.  So many possibilities for this topic!  Each to his own. (Hmmm ~  this could be a self portrait if I do it right.)

I’m also painting a series of paintings for a solo show that I’m planning for July 2014. Yes, it’s over a year away, but I intend to have enough paintings with this particular theme for my show at Roy John’s studio ~ All new, never before shown anywhere before. I figure it will probably take a year to complete.  I think it’s good for me to set a goal and work toward it, putting my best efforts into it, and making it my own.

So, now ~ along with all the summertime activities, places to go, people to see, things to do ~ I shall venture forward and begin my journey into the world of painterly practices.
I will make headway just as the sprout pushes it’s way above the surface of the soil to find the sun.

Remember:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

NOTE TO READERS:  If you have any comments you’d like to add concerning my thoughts and rambling about life, or my love of art and nature, or anything else related to art that might be a topic of discussion, I’d love to hear from you!   Also, if you are a Word Press person and can give me advice as to how I can filter my replies, please let me know. I’m fairly new to Word Press.  If you are responding with comments, perhaps in the subject line we can use a code, such as “Art Matters:” followed by your topic ~ then when I go through all the responses, I will know who is responding to my blog post rather than “spam.”

 

The quest for painting en plein air

Metolius-plein air

Metolius River en plein air

The weather is getting warmer here in Oregon, and lately we’ve had some record-breaking temperatures for this time in May. I took advantage of the dry weather this past weekend to paint Gesso onto some one-eighth-inch hardboard panels I purchased at
Home Depot. I bought a large sheet of the hardboard and had them cut it up into
24- 12″ x 16″ panels, and 3- 16″ x 24″ panels.  I painted them and let them dry in the sun, then sanded them and painted over with a second coat.  They are now ready to use!

I picked up this idea from the speaker at our last Artists in Action meeting, Mike Rangner, who is an excellent plein air painter.  It’s a fantastic idea!  I can take them with me easily,  since they are small and fit perfectly into one of my cloth carrying bags. (I place cardboard in between each panel for protection.) They are inexpensive, so I can do many quick, loose paintings, not worrying over the cost of materials. Loosening up with increasingly frequent painting experience, and more opportunities to interpret the light, shadows and forms is what I need to do, if I am going to achieve the freedom of expression I hope to attain with plein air painting.

plein-air | ˈplān ˈe(ə)r | adjective [ attrib. ]
denoting or in the manner of a 19th-century style of painting outdoors,
or with a strong sense of the open air, that became a central feature
of French Impressionism.

ORIGIN from French en plein air ‘in the open air.’

I plan to use several of the panels, when we go to Maupin — a small, high-desert community in North Central Oregon — for a weekend getaway. The weather is generally several degrees warmer there, and dry. Maupin is situated on the Deschutes River as it flows through the canyons to the joy of white water rafters and fishermen. It  borders the Warm Springs Indian territory. There are beautiful rock formations – some still have petroglyphs visible, Salmon steps, and log homes and structures along the cliffs and waterways. I’m looking forward to the inspiration it might give me to paint and soak up the contrasting shadows and light.

I also hope to paint in my own back yard this summer, where I have my garden “sanctuary,” of blooming flowers, greenhouse, bird bath, vegetable garden, and a red Adirondack chair waiting for me.

Another opportunity is “Paint the Town” which starts up in June. As a group of artists, we go to several locations in and around the Salem area to paint outdoors for hours at a time. Summer is a plein air painter’s wonderland, and I plan to make the most of it this year!