Monday, January 26, 2009

Experimentation, Take Two

Green Pitcher and Peppers / 6x6 / Oil on Cradled Panel

One of my main goals for writing this blog was to give myself permission to experiment. Today's experiment was to paint looser and faster, (a real stretch for me.) I'm pretty happy with my results above, and it only took an hour! :-)

I finished the smARTist telesummit on Friday, and besides learning more than I can get my head around at the moment, everyone was friending each other on Facebook and Tweeting away all day long. I'm just getting started on those two sites, and am already finding them worthwhile for the connections with other artists. We'll see if it leads to increased sales, but my goal right now is to learn how to use it and build relationships.

I'll go through all my notes and handouts and pick out some juicy tidbits for a later post this week, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Busy Week!

Chinese Water Pot and Peonies / Oil on Linen Panel / 16x20

I've decided to work on two important art goals for this year.

The first is doing a better job of promoting my art work. In that vein, I've started this blog (which I have found to be way more fun than I ever thought,) and I signed up for the
smARTist telesummit. The telesummit started last Thursday and goes through this Friday. I really cannot recommend this enough. One of today's speakers was Peter Riley ( and I picked up some very valuable tax tips. Upcoming speakers are sharing ideas/techniques on using social media for marketing, writing marketing plans, creating a portfolio, etc. If you don't connect with this resource this year, it will come again in 2010, so bookmark the website for future use.

My other goal is building a new studio space. Construction is starting tomorrow, and I'm more excited than the Christmas Eve when you're five. I've spent lots of time this past week making final decisions on cabinets, lighting, work surfaces, etc.,
so consequently I haven't posted in a few days. (I've also spent time drooling over the Hughes easels website--I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's enough $$ at the end of construction for one of those...)

I'll keep you posted on the studio progress, and if anyone out there has suggestions for creating a great space I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

smARTIST Telesummit Starts Tomorrow

One of my goals this year is to increase the exposure of my artwork, so in addition to beginning this blog on January 1st, I also signed up for the smARTIST online Telesummit.

This seven day online (or over the phone) telesummit is chocked full of speakers with expertise on various topics that all relate to marketing your art. So stay tuned and I'll pass along any gems that I pick up over the next week and a half.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Staying with Summer...Sunflowers

Sunflowers / 4x4 / Oil on Cradled Panel (sold)

Our new furnace is finally in place, along with an new air purifier and humidifier. Life is definitely better with heat!

This painting is from a photo of sunflowers I took last summer. Our grocery store had them on sale, and I remember that they had all these beautifully
different, happy-face centers. I couldn't choose between them, so of course I had to buy a bunch of each kind. (I love flowers almost as much as I love painting.) The sun was coming in my studio window as I snapped several photos, and this painting is from a detail of one of those photos.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Forget Spring, Let's Do Summer

South Platte Kayaker / 4x4 / Oil on Cradled Panel

South Platte River rapids

Confluence Park in Downtown Denver

Our furnace is dying a rather sudden death. We've had three repairman visits this week to get it started, and with temps getting down to the 10-20 degree range the past few nights I was motivated to forget about yesterday's post concerning Spring and move right on down to SUMMER! Yes, Summer! Summer in Colorado means comfortable plein air painting, biking, hiking, river rafting, golf--you name it and you can do it here. (Well, surfing is tough, but there's always wind sailing.)

This painting is from a photo I took last summer at Confluence Park in Denver. These are man-mad rapids, and people come from all over to practice their kayaking skills. The park sits at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, and it's next to a flagship REI and Six Flags at Elitch Gardens. There's free jazz in the summer and lots of great shops and restaurants in this area of downtown. I probably sound more like a travel guide than an artist, but the thought of summer gets me going. (We gained one minute of daylight today.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Original Oil Painting of Red Tulips...A Need for Spring!

Red Tulips / 4x4 / Oil on cradled panel (sold)

Photo showing painted edges. (Yes, I even painted the bottom!)

Five inches of snow here today, and even though this winter has been relatively mild--so far--I needed a reminder that spring is on the way. I've lived in Colorado for 30+ years and I love having four distinct seasons, but after the first few snowfalls my heart reverts to my early California upbringing and I start a mental countdown to longer days and warmer weather.

I dug through my photo archives and found this tulip photo from last May. Deer Creek Golf Course always plants beautiful fields of tulips, so it's a great place to snap a few photos every year.

I'm really getting hooked on these little panels. To me, one of the most exciting things about painting is being able to create three dimensions on a flat surface, and the opportunity to paint the edges on these cradled panels makes the illusion seem even more real. What fun!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Poppies / 8x8 / Oil on Panel

Painted Sides

Cradled Back of Panels

One of my goals for this blog is to have a venue for experimentation and feedback. While I'm sending my larger paintings to the gallery, I'm planning on painting smaller "experiments" and showcasing them on this blog--and eventually on eBay. Hey, I'm a Gemini, and I hate the thought of getting stuck doing one type of painting forever, so stay tuned for a variety of styles and subjects.

My usual choice of painting surface is oil-primed linen panels, but I've found these wonderful little panels (and you can buy big ones, too) at Cheap Joe's that are great for experimenting. They're inexpensive and have a thicker cradle than gessobords, so you can paint the sides and attach strap ring hangers and wire to the back and forget the frame--perfect for today's economy. You do have to gesso them yourself, but that's not a big deal. Where I live in Colorado they dry almost immediately.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Beginning

California Valley / 12x18/ Oil

It's January 1st--a day of new beginnings, resolutions, and a perfect day to begin this blog. Painting is truly an obsession for me. Almost every thought I have is never more than two steps removed from painting, and since you are reading this I'll assume you are "similarly afflicted." So join the discussion and we'll see where this leads us.