Quotes

I have been sharing inspiring quotes on Facebook for quite some time now and recently had the idea to start including an image of my art with my quotes. What do you think? Feel free to share these as they have my name on them! :) Here are the first two:

Awakening painting with quote

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Love Knows No Gender

Progress on my latest recycled, hand painted, guitar….

recycled handpainted guitar

“Love Knows No Gender”, acrylics on a full size wood guitar, work in progress

Generous, Kind, Hearts, Shine

I finished it! :) Now available!

Best Laid Plans…

Every time I get back into the swing of a routine, my life comes along and sweeps me up into it’s flow. I am grateful for my life which is far from boring! It seems like I JUST posted that last blog and now here it is over a month later.

love touches the heart finished oil painting

“Love touches the heart”, 18 x 18″ oil on canvas, SOLD

Lots of things going on in my life these days. As I mentioned in my last post, I just returned from a short tour with my group, Sunlight. We played three shows in Arizona and a couple in Las Cruces and Wednesday of this week we are playing again here in Albuquerque. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but now, being a performer, it has taken on a whole new meaning. I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary as a singer. Who knew it could be this much fun!?

oil painting in progress

“Generous, kind, hearts, shine”, 18 x 18″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Still working on my “Words” series, in fact, since my last post, I finished the painting I was working on (and sold it!) and started two more. One is an addition to the Words series, and the other is a new guitar painting.

guitar painting in progress

“Love knows no gender”, acrylic on wood guitar, work in progress

The guitar painting is inspired by the recent popular issue of marriage equality. I don’t like to be political here on my blog, but I have to admit that I support gay marriage! The ONE necessary ingredient for a successful marriage? LOVE! Hence the name for my latest guitar painting, “Love knows no gender”. :)

“Desert Textures”

It’s finally done! :) I cannot even remember how long ago I first conceived of the idea of this series of photographs. It’s been months for sure. There are 14 images so far all together, with more on the way.

I created a poster that features twelve of the close up images. The Desert Textures series is just the first of several Textures series I have planned. The next grouping is “Sky Textures”.

heart flower painting in progress

Current “Words” series painting, still a work in progress

I’m still working on the “Words” painting series alongside this photography series. I have the next painting on my table now, progress photo above.

Photography has always been a favorite side project of mine. I majored in Photojournalism my first year in college and learned how to develop my own film, black and white of course.

I have always said the only reason I didn’t become a professional photographer is because I never seem to have my camera with me when the perfect shot comes my way. I decided last year to change that and bought my first iPhone. I found the Instagram app and that inspired me to start my textures series.

My other current side project is “Sunlight”, a music group I sing in with my husband, Guitar Aaron and our friend, Ray. I guess it’s true what they say about creatives, our attention span is short! I like to think of it as multitasking! There are just so many creative projects to accomplish, and it’s all so much fun! :)

Sunlight is going on a short regional tour in March! We will play venues in Phoenix, Tucson, and Bisbee, AZ as well as Albuquerque and Las Cruces NM.

Singing has always been a dream of mine, since I was a wee one. It’s a project we started about 1 1/2 years ago and it has been nothing but a great time! I’m living proof that you are never too old to follow your heart and live your dreams! :)

“Words”

oil painting on canvas and wood

“Touch the Soul, Touch the Heart”, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2″ oil on canvas and wood, SOLD

2014 has been a great year so far! I had planned on continuing my weekly blog posts, but my computer had a different plan. I love my iMac but it’s getting a bit old (6 years this October). I decided to take it in for a checkup and we found out that the hard drive was fried. Long story short, I had to have a new hard drive installed and then had to buy a new external cd drive (the old drive hasn’t worked for years, but I had to get a new one to reinstall my software on the new hard drive). Needless to say, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a working computer. It took a few days for our computer guy to retrieve my files from the old HD, luckily I didn’t lose any files! Then I had to wait for the cd drive to be shipped before I could reinstall, yadda yadda yadda!

oil painting on canvas board

“Love Yourself”, 8 x 8″ oil on canvas board, SOLD

Today I have my fully functioning computer back! Thank goodness it cost me under $250! Much better than the $1,500 it would have cost for a new computer!

In the meantime, I have been a painting machine! Not only did I complete 8 new paintings last month, I sold 5 of them before they were complete!

I’m working on a couple of new series currently. One is called “Words” and it’s a collaboration with a good friend or mine. We first met because he was a long time friend of my dad’s. Since my dad’s death in 2008 we’ve kept in touch and last year he came for an extended visit here in Albuquerque.

He recently retired and has been writing poetry. We discussed this long before his visit and I expressed interest in collaborating on a book of poetry with my art for illustrations. This is where the “Words” series began.

Honestly, I cannot remember how long we talked about it before I FINALLY got to work on some new art work specifically for this project. At first, I had thought I would use older pieces that fit his themes, but as I thought about it more I decided it would be much better if I included some of the words from his poems/quotes into my paintings.

Last month I painted 5 paintings for this series, two have my words in them not his, so they aren’t really part of the collaboration but I am including them in the series anyway. I don’t currently have my friend’s permission to post his quotes but I will share the paintings that were inspired by them. Remember, the words in the paintings are just a few key words from the actual quotes/poems.

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Fool of Love”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

The second series I’m working on is a continuation of my recycled vinyl series. These new paintings are a bit different however. In the past, my record paintings have all had a spiral in the middle section. These are “In the Flow” records and don’t have the spiral in the middle.

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Moonlight”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

The titles for these paintings are located on the label of the record and I have circled the title on the record and then the painting has evolved organically from the label, sometimes incorporating a design or element from the label itself in the finished painting. I’m really loving this series and apparently so are others as I’ve already sold 3 of them!

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Phoenix”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

Open Studio

Paula Manning's studio space

My studio, all clean, pretty and ready for visitors this past Saturday

This past Saturday I opened my studio to the public. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I took! I used to be so good about getting photos during events like this. Not sure when I stopped. I was having so much fun socializing and greeting visitors that I totally forgot to grab my camera!

I guess this means I will have to a paint a picture with words for you. My husband, Aaron Lewis, aka Guitar Aaron, played his classical guitar for us in the front lobby of Chroma Studios. Three other artists opened their studios too. Victoria Bryers in studio #3, Tricia Thorp in studio #5 and Jasmine Carpenter in studio #6. My studio is #7. We had a table set up with refreshments in the back hallway/kitchen area.

The evening began with an ITEX member meeting. ITEX is a barter network that I am a member of. If you have ever thought about barter as a way of being, you absolutely, must check out ITEX. We had a toast with some yummy sparkling wine and I mingled with new people I hadn’t met before.

I was happy to see several artist friends that I haven’t seen in literally YEARS. After all, it has been just over two years since I last opened my studio to the public.

Towards the end of the evening a group of young artists came into the studio. They were dressed to impress and impress they did. One of them began by asking questions about how he should go about approaching local galleries about showing his art work. I offered my advice, basically, scout out all the galleries you can find and when you find one that you think your art would fit into, ask about their submission policy.

I asked them all some questions and found out they had JUST moved to Albuquerque from Virginia. Like four days ago. I so enjoyed talking with these young people. I was reminded of myself at that age. They were almost surprised that I was offering so much information to them. Of course, I said, I remember being where they are now. I remember not having anyone to ask these questions. I have always promised myself that I would help out young artists as much as was possible with my knowledge, gained over the past 23 years of being an artist.

I have been considering teaching a workshop on this topic and I think this encounter has pushed me over the edge of decision. I have decided that it’s important for me to share what I have learned. If I can help just one artist avoid the mistakes, trial and error I endured, it would be worth it. I guess I had better get myself in gear and write some workshop plans!

I hope that you all are having a great start to the New Year! 2014 is going to be a GREAT year, I can just FEEL it!