Something Red in December and more…

In December the annual Something Red art walk and exhibit was held on schedule.  I had a very busy Christmas and holiday season, plus family events, both happy and sad, with hardly any time to write on my blog post. But I’ll try to catch up in the new year.  This show gave me the inspiration to break away from the hectic routine of preparing for the holidays and other significant life events, and set my mind on a creative outlet.

I painted Field with Poppies to place in the Something Red show, and it was hung at a new restaurant in Salem, Magnus, a coctail bar and sandwich shop, for the month of December 2016. The owner there has asked me to show my paintings – about 6-8 – at the restaurant in February-March 2017.  So, although I didn’t win an award or make a sale, I have a new location to look forward to, where I can hang a solo show. Field with Poppies

Field with Poppies, acrylic on canvas

 

 

Hope you have a wonderfu new year.

… Paint, create, enjoy the beauty in life, and make the most of every moment!

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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Inspiration takes devotion

I’ve had a few opportunities over the past months to join in on the Salem Sketchers group which meets at a different location each month to draw, sketch, or illustrate the surroundings of where ever we might be that day. At the end of the session we lay out our drawings for all to see and we share with each other what we’ve created. These drawings are photographed by nearly everyone there with smart phones, and then they are posted on Facebook for the world to see. It’s a fun way to share and inspire each other.

One month we met at a local grocery store and the artists sketched everything from apples to ziti. Isles of produce, baked goods, shopping carts, light fixtures, signs, checkout stands, whatever inspired them.  Another month, we met at a local coffee shop, and the variety of inspiration, style, choice of media and individual flair is, as always, a feast for sore eyes.  

The last time I joined in, we met at a wood shop (Barnwood Naturals, LLC)  where the shop owner creates modern, stylish decor from old barn wood and other types of wood scraps. The products and designs he creates are used in many upscale establishments from New York to Singapore. It’s a small unassuming shop near the Willamette River, at the entrance to Riverfront Park and the walking bridge, in Salem. Artists spread out, both inside and outside the shop and found inspiration to draw from the most unexpected subjects.

The wonderful thing about drawing, and any form of representational art, is that you look at what is truly there – the form, the shape, the positive and negative spaces, the darks, the lights, the shadows, and your mind is transformed into seeing these shapes, colors, spaces, and values for what they are — not for what you know them to be or what your mind wants to imagine them being. A chair is totally different from one angle than it is from another angle. The shape of thing is defined by the space surrounding it.

It helps to draw frequently in oder to get a good grasp of this concept. I’m grateful to the Salem Sketchers for having these sketch meets, since it inspires me to set aside a time where and when I can devote my attention to art of drawing. I need to practice this on a daily basis. AND I’m going to start doing that, since it’s been a trial to get myself motived to paint lately. All my excuses are wound up in not having the time, the organized space, or the energy. So I’ll take those baby steps to overcome the creative blocks I’ve set up for myself. Drawing is a simple way to allow yourself the luxury of exercising your creative side. All you need is a pencil and paper!  How about a napkin? Many artists have started with a napkin drawing to inspire great works.  ( …And if I’m ever renowned like Picasso, my napkins will sell for millions.  But that’s another fantasy.)

Soon, I’ll be joining forces with Paint the Town 2016. This will give me the motivation and enthusiasm to paint en plein air once again. I’m very excited!

Time to ponder and reflect is time well-spent

Triptych - 1 - ProvenceTriptych - 2&3- ProvenceFinding the time to write my blog has been tricky lately. Sometimes life just happens. Also, I’ve been rethinking the way I approach my art blog. I’m hoping to be able to share something that is more interesting than talking about the weather –although my painting is often influenced by the weather. I’d like to find a way to inspire you with some knowledge about art that I can impart, like a recent development or discovery in my approach or technique. Something that will contribute to your painting experience and mine.

 

One thing I’ve been doing lately is thinking about my approach to painting and the techniques I use to get to where I’m trying to go. Life has sort of been taking me on a ride lately, that doesn’t allow much time to actually put my brush to the canvas. But in my mind, I’m often working on the next step. This is normal. One thing I’ve learned about painting over the years is that half of the process of painting is the mental visualization you put into it before you actually pick up a brush. I’m in the middle of completing a triptych oil painting I started last year, and even though the canvases are covered with paint and the image is developed, I’m still visualizing what it will look like when I’m done with it. It’s a commissioned work, so I really want the completed painting to be right! As it stands now, I feel that the image is too literal. What I mean by that is not that it looks realistic and it’s also not impressionistic, which is my aim. There are some things I like about it, and some things I’m not yet pleased with. I don’t want it to look like a cartoon, and when I look it now, that’s what it reminds me of – like the sidewalk drawings in Mary Poppins. So, I’m planning the next steps to take to turn it around, because my intention is to create an impressionistic painting. To achieve this, I plan to soften the edges and add contrasting colors throughout the open spaces with an impasto layer. By adding oranges into the blues, purples into the greens, greens into the reds, etc. I will unify the overall color scheme, adding texture and dabs of light. Some of the areas of the painting are already taking shape in that way. I think because the overall size of the work is quite large, it has forced me to cover large areas with color, too much solid color, which seems to breaks up the continuity of the impressionistic style of brush work I want to achieve.

I’m glad I took this opportunity to express my thoughts about technique and plan the next steps I need to take with my current painting. Now, when I finally have the time to get going on it again, I can approach the work with clarity and make each brush stroke count!

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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!