Friday, December 18, 2009

Week 3

Week 3 and I'm kind of getting back a bit of momentum and learning something in the process (imagine that). The first 2 paintings are the other ones from last week and the next 2 are this week's.

One thing I've learned is that I probably will never be a portrait artist. For one thing it really doesn't interest me and I find it really difficult to make a posed portrait interesting, I do however like painting people just not in a traditional way, it was worth a try though. The second painting I really like, it's from a trip to Prague - I've discovered that I have an affinity to bridges; to paint, photograph, live near, so this could be a theme for a little while anyway.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Commitment

I finished traveling in mid November (4 new HuHot's in the midwest) and when I got home I couldn't wait to get back to painting canvases. Unfortunately though, I think I lost momentum and was really uninspired, so after hours of meditation (kidding) I had a revelation; that I was lacking in commitment to the constant vigilance that a successful artist needs (or any profession for that matter) and what I really needed was a goal.

So here it is: 100 paintings in a year. Now to some artists that's probably not that big a deal - I have friends who probably do more, but for me it's quite a challenge. I immediately got excited because I realized that this is more about the process of experimenting with subject matter and not worrying so much about content or perfection than it is about the quantity of paintings. As much of a challenge it is given my 2 other jobs it's actually kind of freeing. So far I have 4 done since I started on the first of December - small ones, 2 of them posted here of Italy and I am now working on a very small (for me) portrait of my daughter, alternating with something like a landscape that is much easier for me.

I'll be posting them as I get them done with hopefully some insight on where this is leading me and whether it is still fun or if they've had to commit me to Warm Springs for a nice rest.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Survived the Swine Flu and I'm not dead.

I've never really gotten the whole fear based America thing, I'm not into fear much and I think whatever happens you pretty much deal with and move on. So this Swine Flu scare is interesting to me, I started getting sick about 8 days ago, 4 days with the high fever and another 4 with an annoying cough that makes it really hard to sleep. I know there can be complications (course that can happen with a cold as well), but truely I've been much sicker than this.

What does this have to do with art? Absolutely nothing (although I like the little illustration of the flu bug). In fact I haven't painted in my studio in a very long time. With traveling and painting murals at HuHots in Kenosha Wisconson, Dubuque Iowa, Des Moines Iowa and next week in Springfield Missouri, there doesn't seem to be any time to commit to canvases.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good things come in little paintings?

For the past 20 or so years I've been painting big, really big, the bigger the better I always said. But, this weekend some very dear friends are getting married and because they are an older couple, they pretty much have everything, so I thought a painting would be the best gift, and they love Europe. Unfortunately I waited too long and the wedding is this weekend, so, here is my first attempt at a really little painting (I didn't measure it but it's something like 6" square) I had to search my studio for brushes that small but I have to say, I'm kind of liking the little painting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

more beach

Our family had a trip to the beach planned this summer, I wanted to do some more "kids on the beach" painting, but because of all of the other travel, we all just wanted to stay here and enjoy the rest of the summer in Montana. So, I've painted a new one in homage to the trip that never was.

Oh what a summer

Summer has completely gotten away from me. It started when school got out and I was all excited to have lots of time to paint while my daughter was in camp and also to enjoy the Missoula weather with her when she was home. However, one week in she somehow caught pneumonia, which kept both of us inside for 3 weeks. Although I didn't do much painting during that time I did get the inspiration for a painting of her when she was in one of her 15 hour sleeps, I've been wanting to try a portrait for awhile - I call it "sleeping beauty".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To add to the drama of this particular summer, just as Faith was starting to recover I got a call from my mom that my dad was in the ICU and ironically had pneumonia (a bit more serious than Faith's). I ended up spending a week in Phoenix with her and he never left the ICU or was fully awake while I was there. Unfortunately he didn't make it, and a week later I was on my way back to help my mom get the paperwork and the memorial sorted out.

Going through photos and paperwork, I found out so much that I never knew about him and his family. He was a Pearl Harbor Survivor (I knew that) but after the attack when he was stationed in the South Pacific, his plane with 6 other guys was shot down - 2 didn't survive and the others swam to the shore of a little obscure island and were taken care of by the natives, only the chief's son spoke english and they eventually were rescued by the navy. He was basically raised by a step mom and a step dad, his real dad left his mom when he was 3 and his biological mom died of tuberculosis when he was 12. And, I found a picture of him on a sailboat that he built, other than a dollhouse for me when I was little, I don't remember him ever building anything. The other photo is of him in Greece with his taxi driver, he made friends wherever he went, I love that photo!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

3 days in New Orleans

I know, I know, it's been 4 months since I've updated this thing. I'm sure everyone out there is just sitting around holding their breath for the next installment, ha!

What have I been doing? Well, not much actually, 2 openings, lots of submissions and getting my new gallery "the little gallery" ready for shows. Unfortunately not much painting (so I guess it's a good thing it's a little gallery).

Back in March I took a trip to New Orleans for "a significant" birthday celebration with a friend of mine. Let me just say that I had never been there before and all of the friends of mine who knew I was going failed to give me any kind of true impression of what I would find. To be specific they didn't tell me it was a cross between Las Vegas and Virginia City, no clocks and no laws.

We survived though and I did manage to do a painting from the experience. I'm posting it here. I was enamored with this street musician with his steel guitar. It seemed like he had just walked out of the 1930's, with his haircut and the way he dressed. I'm so glad that between all the laughter of those 3 days I managed to get pictures of him.

Next trip, Seattle in the summer, a little island living - so inevitably more beach paintings on the way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back home again.

There are several places in Missoula that mean alot to me, architecturally and sentimentally. The building above is both. My first job here was in this building at an ad agency and when I left that job and went out on my own I had 3 different offices in the building, the third being the best, sharing with an illustrator.

I always said I would work downtown, but then I had my daughter and after trying to bring her to work I realized I better either give up the office or get evicted. So I built a studio at home that has served me well over the last 8 years especially for my mural work.

But these days with paintings ranging up to 4'x5' I've run out of space to store them. Amazingly though, this little office that has the beautiful large windows with tons of natural light sharing with the illustrator became open again and I took it, (not really knowing what to use it for). I've just finished painting the space and in the process of hanging my art and it occurred to me to use it for First Friday's as sort of a mini gallery. So during the day I paint in there because there is more space and less interruptions (mainly the computer) and a place to show, I'm trying to come up with a name for it, any ideas? Gallery Piccolo?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


After two months of concentrating on other work, my family and the holidays I have begun painting again. In fact, last weekend I realized I needed to finish 2 paintings by Monday so I would have enough work to submit to a gallery here or I would have to wait another year, and really it's the only local gallery that seems right for my work. Luckily my husband was able to be a full time dad and I spent the weekend in the studio, no interruptions. I did send them out but after looking at the photos I realized they are far from finished. Here they are until I can get to them again (the top one is the drawing of Venice that I had so much trouble with).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Order Schmorder

I've been struggling the past few weeks with a drawing of a photo in Venice so I finally broke down and decided to grid it to see why it's giving me so much trouble.

In the past I would have drawn it as I see it and whatever happens happens but since the training I had in Florence I learned to value perfection in the drawing stage. Which is precisely my problem with this particular piece.

One of the things that I love about Italy is that things are not orderly or done in the precision as they are here and that creates sort of a unintentional beauty, and so what I've realized is that one of the windows (just one out of 10 or so mind you) of the buildings I'm drawing is just slightly crooked, as well as some really funky shadows that also don't seem to make sense. It's interesting to me that my brain keeps wanting to see these things how I think they should be instead of how they are.

So if I'm correct that this is what is so beautiful, then this is going to be some beautiful piece, 'course I'll be bald by the end of it from tearing my hair out.

What I'm not tearing my hair out about however, is that we have such an eloquent, intelligent and confident president, who has the power to inspire people, I certainly am.