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!

Summer ends and Autumn is ~

Orchard Home ~ watercolor

Orchard Home watercolor, painted at Hummingwood Farm during Paint the Town plein air painting event in August 2015.

It’s been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. This past summer was eventful, and it didn’t stop…. Partly because the warm, dry, summer weather spilled into autumn and now, suddenly, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and it’s just beginning to feel like fall is actually upon us. I live in Oregon, and we’ve had one of our overall hottest summers ever, with more 90+ degree days on record than any other time in recent history. Finally, as the days started getting shorter, the evening temperatures cooled down enough to relax in comfort. And yet, there are flowers still blooming ~ in November!

Pinot Vines in Summer Haze - acrylic

Pinot Vines in Summer Haze – acrylic. Painted during Paint the Town event at Ankeny Vineyards, during a smoke-filled, hazey, summer day. 2015

In my little corner of the art world, I had quite a few opportunities to paint in the heat and I placed two of my plein air paintings in the annual “Paint the Town” show which ran through the month of October at the Elsinore Fine Art Gallery, in Salem.

 

 

 

Qick Draw - Westminster Fine Art Festival

Qick Draw – Westminster Fine Art Festival

 

Simultaneously, I had several paintings in the Westminster Fine Art Festival, which lasted three days, from October 8-11. I also participated in the one and half hour “Quick Draw” painting session, which was a scholarship fund raiser for high school students planning to study art in college. The paintings were auctioned off in a silent auction after the event.

Grape of the Vine - Acrylic

Grape of the Vine – Acrylic

Recently, I’ve been commissioned to paint a triptych painting (one painting on three canvases) for a couple who just bought a new house, in nearby Silverton, Oregon. The painting is going to hang on the wall over their living room sofa which is about 10 feet long and the ceiling is quite high. So I bought a set of three canvases, each one is 30″ w. X 40″ h.  and one and half inches deep (gallery wrapped). The imagery they requested is an impressionistic scene of Provence, France. So I have gathered several photos showing the French countryside, and I am creating a scene with a shady garden landscapes in the foreground, a small villa in the distance, and lavender fields in between. The size of the finish triptych will be about 9 feet long and 40 inches high once it is hung with space between the canvas surfaces. Once I have things going, I’ll add some photos of the progress.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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….

 

 

Summertime

Summer is officially here in the Northwest. We’ve had temperatures in the upper 90°’s this past week, and it’s been feeling hotter than the 4th of July, so to speak. Between spending the entire last weekend at the World Beat Festival booth, painting outdoors, and tending my garden and flowerbeds, I’ve been getting my share of sun. I love it! Today, the weather is starting to mellow out a bit, with temps in the lower to mid 80°s. Perfect!

Backyard Garden ~ I can dig it!

I finished two paintings over the past month and I’m submitting both of them to a show
at the River Gallery in Independence, Oregon. The show’s theme is Hot Fun in the Summertime. This theme could conjure up all kinds of images in the minds of
creative artists.

I settled with painting my own backyard, where I love to spend hot summer days, working in my garden, or relaxing and reading a good book in my Adirondack chair. Sometimes, there’s no place like home! This one is an oil painting of my garden, greenhouse, and big comfortable chair in the yard, titled “Backyard Garden ~ I can dig it!”

The second painting I submitted is one that was inspired by a photo I took on while in Central Oregon high dessert, somewhere between Warm Springs and Madras, looking out over the vast hills and canyons toward Mt. Hood. l call this one “High Dessert à la Mode.”

The opening reception for this show is on Saturday, August 10th and the show will run through September 6th.

High Dessert à la Mode

I’ll find out in a few days if my paintings have been accepted into the show. I’m hoping both are, or at least, one. It’s always interesting to find out what the Juror of the show selects. I know there are many dynamics to putting a successful show together, and the utilizing the gallery space to fit the best of the best. My paintings are labors of love and I develop a personal attachment to each one. Let me know what your thoughts are in regard to these two paintings. If you were jurying this show, would you accept these paintings or reject them, and on what basis?  I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to be honest and constructively critical. It will help me to gain a better understanding of how my work is perceived by others. Thanks!

Note: July 14 ~ I’m very happy to say…. I received news that both paintings have been accepted into the show!

 

 

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!