Saturday, August 7, 2010

road weary

As much as I hear artists sometimes complaining about Gallery fees of 50%, I've found myself sympathetic to the Gallery owner.

Having my first show in the new studio space (with another artist) really opened my eyes to how much work was involved with hanging, (which included installing a hanging system because of the entire building being made of brick) marketing, buying food, wine and then the act of selling the work (or trying to) which I don't think comes easily for most artists. Luckily in this case I think most people are very forgiving.

I did manage to do very well at this show, selling 2 small pieces as well as the piece (or pieces) posted here, I was so excited that they wanted the entire grouping because it really does create a much more striking presence all together. This painting is made up of 16 - 12" x 12" pieces that were painted individually, I thought that it wouldn't be cheating in my 100 painting project if they were done as single paintings that made up a large one as long as I painted them one at a time. I actually didn't see the finished piece until I put them all together. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A friend of mine asked me the other day to explain in one word how I was feeling as an artist that day, without question that word was slacker.

That doesn't mean I'm not busy, just not with the 100 paintings project. In fact a few weeks ago I finished another HuHot but this time I didn't travel to the site, I painted them on canvas and shipped them out to be hung by a paper hanger. This is the first time I've tried something like this so it was a bit of an experiment, but I'm really excited about the prospect of painting here. The photos are of them after being hung and I think they look fantastic.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The wonders of lithium.

After a 30 minute ride from Guadalajara we arrived in Rio Caliente, we found our casita and decided to try one of the infamous pools. The water here comes out of the river at 175 degrees, they use it for the pools, steam room and filter it for the drinking water so you always have to check the temperature of the pools before jumping in.

Ever since I was little I've had this amazing reoccurring dream about swimming in water that surrounded me with silky softness and warmth, well these pools contain the water of my dreams with the added bonus of lithium, which causes you to walk around with a stupid grin on your face all day.

Here's the thing about this place, Caroline, the woman who owns it employs almost completely from the neighboring town of La Primavera, she trains them or has them go off and be trained if necessary for things like the treatment rooms, and doesn't expect them to speak english unless they want to learn. So they take care of her and she takes care of them, in fact once she said "I don't sack them and they don't sack me". So when I said I like finding a place to hang out where the locals do, this is kind of like living with them. 

It's rustic but everyone's needs are met, no extras but I don't think I've ever felt so well taken care of in my life. In fact the birds are fed in the morning, the horses graze wherever they want, the plants are well cared for, everyone seems extremely happy inside this valley of the volcano. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mexico continued

We hung out for a little while to check out some murals by Orozco that I was curious about. The first photo in the stairwell is at a government building and it is really spectacular, the ceiling is curved so as you are walking up the stairs the perspective of this face coming down on you is really amazing. The other image was taken at what used to be an orphanage and church. I think this is the chapel, cool murals, very monochromatic but all I could think of is how scared the kids must have felt when they were in there - lots of blood and guts.

Update 2


First, can I just say almost all of Mexico is SAFE for tourists. No one has Swine flu, and you won't be kidnapped by the drug cartel, fed to the dogs, forced to slave away in the marajuana fields, you won't even have to duck stray bullets. From what I understand all of these exaggerated events have taken place near the border and involve only the policia and the drug cartel and a few political figures, they don't care about us. But because of all of the bad press Mexico is really hurting from lack of tourists. 

Second, I really love the people of Mexico, I've been here before several times but this time particularly they were so very warm and welcoming (perhaps because of the lack of tourism), and even allowed the stupid American to take pictures of them for my next series of paintings.

So this was such a different sort of trip than I usually take. I'm one of those travelers that likes to find areas the locals hang out in and experience what they do. I don't necessarily try to do things that I can read about in a book and I really hate hate hate being waited on in some expensive resort. So the thought of going to a spa wasn't initially very attractive to me. But this is like no spa I've ever been to (or imagined, since I've never actually been to a spa). 

We started off in Guadalajara for the first night staying in the historic area at Hotel Morales. Absolutely beautiful hotel in what used to be a house or hacienda, wonderful location and beautiful architecture. I've posted a stunning photo of the staircase that my friend Pam took. 

Catch up 1

The latest HuHot outside of Des Moines. Just one of the 9 walls.

Friday, April 16, 2010

...and once again more chairs


I think the final tally is 11 chairs. To be honest I'm not feeling the love anymore, it was a good exercise though and it brought me to my next project (a secret for now), that I'm pretty excited about.

I'm leaving for the fabulous city of Des Moines on Monday to paint HuHot murals. I lead such a glamorous life!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

chairs, chairs and more chairs

Very much done with the chairs. Not that I didn't appreciate them at the time but after 11 of them I'm ready to move on. It was kind of an interesting exercise though especially with color. It was fun to play with layering. And I'm getting a little antsy to paint large again, I can see some of these subjects working really well large scale.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chairs. What?

Not many people know this about me but if I hadn't become an artist I probably would have become either an interior designer, travel agent, or a marine biologist (or a psychotherapist, but that's another story). Another thing that perhaps is a little weird about me is that I have always (since I was a little kid) seen objects as having their own human personality (hence eccentric artist). So when I was looking for a subject to paint that would allow me to do some color studies but still have tons of personality that could stand alone on a panel, I chose the chair. I love how many crazy chairs there are out there, I could literally find enough to get through the entire 100 paintings.

So here are the first 3 (of 10 not of 100) of the chair series.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#19 and 20 the ugly

So here are the two landscapes that I really want to paint over but I won't quite yet, not until I really need the panels. I think what I don't like is that I thought I could whip them out and didn't pay enough attention to the drawing, good lesson, the drawing is everything.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sad news

On a sad note, the artist Robert McCall died last week at 91. In an older post I talked about going to his studio last year with my mom's art league and seeing him again after almost 30 years. He was truly a talented, kind and generous man.

Last of the cacti, #18 leaning soldiers

Here is the last cacti painting, even though these 6 paintings of cacti took longer than I had hoped, I really enjoyed painting them, but decided that I needed to start something that isn't quite so detailed for a little break. So last week I painted 2 landscapes. I'd love not to ever show these anywhere and perhaps put them in a closet somewhere for eternity because they really are absolutely awful, but part of this process needs to be putting it all out there, the good bad and the ugly (and boy are these ugly) so I promise I'll post them next week. On a positive note though, having abject failures has done a couple of things, it's making me more aware of what I like about other people's art, and even though I have the urge to fix these paintings, I'm resisting, I'm leaving them to remind me what doesn't work and moving on without beating the poor painting to death.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#16 don't know the name but really cool plant & #17 century plant

So here are 2 more, the last I still need to take photos of. By the way, these last 4 are also from Brian's garden.

#15 prickly pear

Back again after a couple week hiatus with 4 new paintings. These desert plants kicked my butt, they were extremely detailed and worse, time consuming. It really got me thinking of going back to acrylic and a more impressionistic style. But I got over that and vowed to finish out the year to see what comes of it, I'm just going to have to do some landscapes or something for awhile.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

#11, 12, 13 and 14

Art Walk opening tomorrow at my little space to show the first 14 paintings. 

I was gone last week to visit my mom in Phoenix and decided to do the last 2 paintings in plein air there, one in my mom's yard and the other in her next door neighbor's yard. This yard is really something, he's a landscape architect and uses the yard for a showcase for his clients. It's one of the most peaceful places I've ever been. Sunset Magazine did an article on it in January, anyway as far as the painting goes I failed miserably, I didn't work things out very well before I started and realized too late it wasn't going to work.

To explain, I usually do an underpainting in the compliment of the main color, in this case red (this goes over the black gesso) then I let it dry before going in with my other colors, however, I couldn't let it dry because that would mean staying for another week (why I didn't remember this I have no idea). Anyway, I drew it out put in my underpainting and then started in with my greens, what happens when you mix compliments children?? yes, mud. blucky mud. So, I wiped off the mud, found that most of the underpainting was still there and took photos to finish it off here, which by the way I just finished today (hope no one touches them cause they'll still be wet). The result is kinda cool, I love the graphic nature of desert plants. 

By the way, Brian's garden is the third one.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Numbers 9 and 10.

An extraordinary thing happened here in Missoula this last fall, we had a bitter cold snap which caused the trees here to go dormant before all the leaves fell, so most of them look like they are perpetually in autumn, and when the sun shines (which seems to be more often this year) everything has the most beautiful color, along with the winter sun being so low you get really great shadows.

The other painting is of Faith again, she's been such a great model for me, I'll be doing more of her I'm sure. 

We're off to Phoenix this week, perhaps a painting or 2 of the desert might be a nice change of pace, in plein air even.

10 down, 90 to go.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week 5

With the holidays I'm a bit behind but here are the next 2 paintings for the week. I like the simplicity of the umbrellas and the color but the next one doesn't do anything for me, I didn't like the composition from the beginning but of course I thought it would somehow magically be beautiful anyway (lesson learned).