Burning Bright.

My latest commission, Tiger, 16″ x 20″.

As I approached the glass front doors, his imposing bark and large frame made me wonder if my offer to take photos was a mistake.  Perhaps she had a shot of him which would work for his painting.  I grew up with German Shepards, but this guy was imposing.  She shooed him away and I entered cautiously, clutching my camera bag.

It wasn’t necessary.  After a sweet greeting with much tail wagging, he plopped in his favorite spot in the kitchen.  I could see the painting before I’d even finished taking pictures.

While this beautiful creature has the size and looks of a warrior, he is a pussycat.  Tiger is the perfect name.

Thank you Karen S. for your commitment to the arts.  Thank you Tiger.  Your sweet, bright, and gentle nature was a pleasure to paint and a reminder that we should withhold our judgements until we can see the light.


Thank you bloggers!

Surprise – there’s usually a piece of artwork at the top of my page.

Inspired by Art Biz’s Coach Alyson Stanfield, http://artbizcoach.com/, I’ve decided my studio needs a Visual Project Board to keep myself together.

Commissions, projects, ideas, blogging, bookkeeping, shipping, etc.  This new life is way different than heading to the office, knowing what needs to be done. Being a visual person, I like written lists. The Visual Project Board featured a piece of foam core, some pretty erasers and different colors for each item.  I was headed to the store.

But, I also subscribe to the Minimalist Blog.  Trying to make this a Grand Summer based on this blog – The Summer of 1000 Things Challenge.  Specifically, I am trying to eliminate these 1000 things from my studio.  So I did not want to add more to a room I was trying to declutter.

My studio is a 10 x 11 bedroom with a modified closet, some terrific “closet furniture” that DH put together.  Coordinated cabinets, and drawers ring the room.  It’s visually pleasing, and you would think provides good storage, and flat space.  But now that I’m in it more often, it’s feeling cramped.  Been pinning my “I Can See it Studio” but we did major home renovations about 3 years ago, and in this economy, I do not see us putting any more money into expansion.

Some of you who read my blog, know that I give paintings that don’t “make it” to my Fellow Creator, Charlotte who uses them to package her gorgeous jewelry.  She’s also a lovely writer and wrote about our collaboration in Of Creative Ideas and Up-Cycling and Art . . ..  Finding a home for these practice pieces has been a HUGE help in my clean up.  And, Charlotte, I have a bag for you when you come to the party!  And, I’ve also been recycling pieces of paintings into greeting cards/collages that I’ll show you a little later.  I’ve been working on my version of the Grand Slam Summer for about a week.  Only up to 88, but I’m hoping to pick up the pace!

Finding the two tablets of graph paper I used when we did the renovation was a Godsend. (The second was probably purchased when I couldn’t find the first one!) So here is my version of a Visual Project Board.  Had the clipboard, the graph charts will use up some paper and I did not add to any of the clutter in my studio.  Love those win-win situations.  To all the bloggers – you have no idea how your words can affect someone.  Thank you!


Spinning II

Second in a series.

This is my second painting in this series, but frankly, I’m worried. Am I spinning a little too much?

Since I’ve started this series:

1. A plastic lawn chair spit out from under me at a horse show (yes, I know I need to lose weight).

2.  Pulled my shoulder badly – though it’s better now.

3.  Had a pair of pointy decoupage scissors drop point-first into a vein on my foot, leaving blood all over my studio while I applied pressure until hubby could come to the rescue.

4.  Dropped and broke a watering can that I’ve had for decades,

5.  Been bitten by something that has left a honking bump and red mark on my shoulder.

6.  Smashed the same shoulder I hurt earlier while rushing around the corner in the hallway…..guess it moved a bit since the last time I went that way.

I’ll admit to feeling a dash of craziness/dizziness during this transition from “safe” job to “life” job.  How could I not?  The possibilities for the day ahead are endless!

The reference photo for this painting was of a calm, know-his-job gelding who performed his spins like ballet.  Practiced, perfect, fast but focused.

Another lesson from my art?

Life in Motion

First painting in my second series!

After deciding to do some series work in between my commissions, I couldn’t help painting this for a themed show at the Medford Art Center.  Exhibition is entitled Balls, Balls, Balls……a clever title for a sports-themed show for the summer.  Artwork propped against the wall when I dropped this off looked fun colorful and full of life.  Looking forward to seeing the completed show when it’s hung.

In actuality, I guess I’ve started my second series after only finishing one painting for my first series.  Kind of confusing….Ah, well, the freedom of this new life seemes to have a life of it’s own.  How nice!

The Old, The New and The Now

If you’d like a personalized version of this stall sign, please contact me. $45.00 plus shipping.

Ozzie is stabled at Arrowhead Stables where I keep my retired, arthritic paint, Moon.  This commission was like a stroll down memory lane.  The first stall sign. I did was for Moon when he was about 12 years old.  He, also, was a handsome paint, full of life with one brown eye and one blue.  (Ozzie’s also has one brown and one blue eye.)  Moon was the consumate trail horse.  Eager to leave the stable, he would jump on the trailer whether you had let go of the lead rope or not.  Leading through water, over noisey bridges, past scarey deer, he was comfortable, responsive, playful and the best horse I’ve ever ridden.  He would try to snatch leaves when my husband and I started talking and holding hands, knowing we were paying no attention to him.  The only time he refused to go forward had to do with a rattlesnake.  His frozen body and snorting were so uncommon, we quickly knew to look for danger.

The oak fence board came from the stable where I learned to ride, learned about horses while working there and eventually met my husband.  The stable was sold to a developer and there are now houses where my dreams became reality.  However, the stable owner allowed me to take some fenceboards before the bulldozers came.

How blessed I am to have these memories of the wonderful past.  Beautiful trail rides with my husband and friends, ponying through puddles for those of the timid ilk.  His steadfast work ethic while under saddle.  A light mouth, comfortable, all-day jog and rocking horse canter.  He could scoot when you needed him to, and then settle quietly to the next task at hand.

Moon will not last forever and, for that matter, neither will any of us.  But for today  I am gloriously appreciative of the old, the new, and the especially, the now.

The Rythym of a Series

First in a Series

A long time ago in a world that now seems like make-believe, I was obsessed with replicating the look of tooled leather in watercolor.  Extremely time-consuming, these paintings took between 80 and 100 hours each.  The process involved a lot of drawing, scoring of paper, 10 to 12 layers of paint, lifting of  paint.  But there was a rhythm to the work. Addictive.  The paintings did reasonably well in local and regional shows, one even went to Wyoming.

One of my Tooled Leather Series

Somewhere along the way, I took a class with my mentor, Dan Hines (who has now moved on to show the angels how to paint wet-into-wet.)  His loose style, with his beautiful palette was spontaneous, bright and lively. His class was just the trick to free my brush.  I have never gone back to the tooled leather paintings.  Occasionally, after an evening with Jack Daniels, I will contemplate the fact that I could probably do a better tooled leather painting now.  But that’s as far as it’s gotten.

But painting in a series has its benefits.  You know what’s coming next.  Another version of what you just did.  I have several series in mind.  Some sweet photos of a down-to-business reining horse performing a lovely spin inspired the painting at the top of the blog.  While in Sarasota on vacation, the action of my polo shots are just begging for paper, and Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Reserve holds several vistas near and dear to my heart.  So the above represents the beginning of the reining series.

However, the rhythm is already broken.  I’ve been commissioned for several paintings which will take precedence. Knowing my inability to stay on track for long periods of time, I’m sure I’ll be able to throw a few “flying brushstroke” paintings into the tightness of painting commissions.  Beginning to believe this inability to stay on track is nothing of the sort.  It’s just I can only stay in the right side of my brain for so long.  Actually, it’s about an hour and a half.  Afterward,  I need to come back to the real world.  Wash some dishes, dust a bureau.   My rhythm is just that.  Uniquely mine!

If I had to compare my rhythm to a dance, I’m thinking it might be jitterbug….sort of all over the place.  Got me to thinking – What rhythm do you dance to when you create – salsa, disco, waltz…?

First Place

My plein air (painted outdoor) painting of Medford Florist & Gift Store won first place on Saturday at Medford Arts Center’s annual Paint Our Town contest.   One of my students also received an award in the Youth Division.

Always enjoyed this event.  Selecting a subject, gathering my painting gear, and setting up generates an anticipation, sort of like getting ready to go to the playground or the beach.  Gorgeous weather on Saturday didn’t hurt either.  Met some nice people who were walking Main Street, and my dear husband brought me lunch which we ate in the beautiful sunshine at my folding table.

“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.  To him, he is always doing both.”  Buddha

My new career path has certainly started off well.  Think this is the absolute best time of my life.  First Place is apropos for more than my painting