Moon Circles

If you saw my last blog post, then you may have seen a sneak peek of the painting video I was working on last week. This video is the first of a series I’m working on. The series will be painting videos based on songs from my band, Sunlight. Each will, of course, be a painting video and each painting will be titled the same as the song it is based on. Needless to say, each video will also have the song related to it playing in the background. This painting is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Lots to share!


I have and continue to have a busy week! So much to share with you all, I’m not sure what to share first. I FINALLY figured out my camera set up for making painting videos! I must admit I’ve been in avoidance mode for years with this one, having no idea how to do this. Funny thing is, I stumbled upon a solution! We recently purchased an iPad holder that attaches to my mic stand so I can have my song list and song lyrics easily accessible when Sunlight is out playing a show. The first time I attached it I thought, hey, I could totally use this for making my painting videos! If you know me at all, you know I LOVE efficiency! I now have an iPad holder that serves not one, but TWO purposes. lol. I know, I’m a dork, but I was just so excited to stumble on this solution!

Painting Video

A couple of days ago I started a new canvas and I’m currently testing my set up. It’s working perfectly! If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can see some teaser videos there. I will share just one of them here on the blog, for now! Once the painting is finished I will share the entire painting video here on the blog and on my youtube channel. Stay tuned for LOTS more!

Another thing keeping me busy this week is a Sunlight gig on Friday evening at the Moonlight Market here in Albuquerque. The week of a gig always means lots of practice time too! We play from 6-8pm and would love to see a friendly face or 10 in the audience! You can also browse the artist market or get some food from the food truck while you listen.🙂

The final, last but not least, thing to share this week is my Open Studio Event at Chroma Studios on Saturday! Three other artists and I will have our studios open to the public. I’m currently working on pieces for my updated portfolio. This means I have many paintings that aren’t going to make the cut. Not because they are awful, but because they don’t fit my criteria for my portfolio. What this means is they are either older pieces, too small for a gallery, part of a series I’m no longer promoting, etc. They are all perfectly good paintings, but I am currently in need of a bit of cash flow! Mama needs some more art supplies! I will have selected pieces on sale for up to 60% off! Now is a perfect time to add a Paula Manning-Lewis original to your art collection, or start your art collection!

Title Suggestions?

Untitled (for now), 16 x 16" oil on canvas, FINISHED!

Untitled (for now), 16 x 16″ oil on canvas, FINISHED!

Another painting finished! With each new painting, it gets more difficult to come up with titles. I don’t like to leave paintings untitled, so I’m open to any and all suggestions!

I’ve finally figured out a set up for making videos of my paintings. I’m hoping to post some painting videos VERY soon! Still tweaking the set up to make sure I get the best angle while I paint. Not easy considering I move around quite a bit when I paint. I plan to post a video for my next painting, stay tuned!

Something a Bit Different

Work in progress, 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Work in progress, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

Working on yet another new painting. This one is a 16 x 16″ oil on canvas. Still in progress, what you see here is the background of what’s to come. Another black gesso ground to start, I’m seriously loving the black under painting. Though I almost forgot to leave a bit of the black showing!

Lots of stuff going on this week, it’s Balloon Fiesta week in Albuquerque and my uncle is visiting from Maine! I haven’t had as much time in the studio as usual. Partly because of family visitors and partly because we’ve been spending a lot of time practicing our music for a follow up gig at the Moonlight Market here in Albuquerque on Friday evening. It’s not easy to balance my art and my music, but it sure is FUN!

Next Saturday is Chroma Studios next monthly Open Studios Event. We have started opening up the studios to the public every 3rd Saturday of the month. Last month was a lot of fun, I sure hope you will drop by for a visit if you are in the area! The address is 1606 Central Ave SE, suite 201. We are open from Noon to 5pm.🙂

Living in the Land of Enchantment: Nature is the Best Medicine

Subaru parked at the trail head

Parked at the trail head

I’ve been feeling down lately. Trying to stay positive and happy, but that doesn’t always happen. My personal life is good, but the world is losing it’s collective minds! So much fear and hate in the world, it can be hard to stay in the light.

Hiking selfie! :)

Hiking selfie!🙂

I know of no better healing/grounding than going out in nature! Our dogs agree 100%. Yesterday started as a “morning hike” day. We had planned to take our stir crazy dogs (it’s been over a week since our last hike) for a short hike so we could get back to our studios in the afternoon.

Aspens in their fall colors

Aspens in their fall colors

Some days end up very differently than we plan. We spent a couple of hours looking for a trail head that leads to the Continental Divide Trail. We never found the trail head and so we ended up backtracking to another area we’ve been to before. We did find a trail that we had never been on before (Penas Negras Trail) in the San Pedro Wilderness.

Old road trail; Penas Negras Trail

Old road trail; Penas Negras Trail

It started out very steep, but after about 20 minutes the trail leveled off and took us through a gorgeous ridge top. The trail was more like an old road that had grown over, probably for decades. We timed our visit perfectly as the Aspen trees are beautiful in their Autumn colors!

More colorful Aspens!

More colorful Aspens!

The ground was littered with beautiful quartz stones, sparkling in the sunlight. Needless to say, I LOVE the mountains!

Super tall Aspens, still wearing green!

Super tall Aspens, still wearing green!

A Couple of Completed Paintings!

"A Spark and a Flame", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, Available for $215

“A Spark and a Flame”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, Available for $215

I spent a lot of time last week stressing over stuff that’s completely out of my control. I’ve been working for years on NOT worrying about the things I can’t control. Still, it’s not easy when the thing I’m stressing about is my kids. Now that they are adults it can be so hard to keep my big fat nose out of their problems. I just want to step in and make things better for them. Like when they were little and I could give a kiss or a hug to make things ok. I work really hard at not giving unsolicited advice. NOT an easy task for a mom. Part of the problem is I FEEL their pain. Literally. I will wake up feeling awful and not knowing what the problem is and invariably I will get a phone call sometime during the day from one of my sons venting his frustrations or pain. I guess there will always be a connection. I must say, I’m pretty proud of my boys for being awesome men. They may have been mama’s boys, but they are doing great as men on their own.

Anyway, had to do a little venting of my own. Being an artist is difficult, but being an artist AND a mom? No words can describe. I imagine it’s the same for all working moms.

"Floating", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, Available for $215

“Floating”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, Available for $215

It’s funny, I have some weeks where I get lots of work done, and then there are weeks where it doesn’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. Even during those weeks, I can usually get a little painting time in. This week is already starting out well. I’ve finished up two paintings I’ve been working on. I started them quite some time ago, so it feels good to be done!

I’ve been working on building a better portfolio of my art, working to get 20 GOOD pieces that I can use to submit my work to galleries and other showing opportunities. I easily have 50 original paintings available right now, but they aren’t cohesive as a group. Getting there…

Painting Time

We had a lovely time at our Open Studio event this past Saturday! So much so that we are opening again next month. Stay tuned for more details.

Working on getting back to a regular painting schedule. Not always easy to do with everything else going on. I did however, get some time in front of my drawing table today. I worked on a couple of paintings that I shared a few weeks ago. They were started around the same time we had our plumbing problems. Still works in progress, I hope to get them finished up this week.

Work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas, black gesso background.

Work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, black gesso background.

The first is another test painting using black gesso. I must admit, I’m really enjoying the way these are turning out! I like how the black background really POPS the colors out from the canvas. I think I see a whole new phase of my art work coming around with the black backgrounds. Who knows? Only time will tell.

Another work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas

Another work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas

The second painting has a white background, which still has it’s place! I like the airy quality of the lighter background. It feels happier to me too. Something about the color black has always connoted sadness for me. I’m working on getting past that stigma for the sake of the colors.

It can be difficult to let the work flow sometimes. I try to not let what other people think about my work, have an effect on my work. I am human. I WANT people to like my work. More importantly though, I need to like my work. I need to stop feeling the need to explain why I do certain things with my art. When I really cannot explain it.

My art is a feeling, a sense of what could be. It’s impossible to get that across in an abstract way without someone, somewhere having something bad to say about it. At the same time, there is always someone, somewhere that will have something good to say. I prefer to be happy with it no matter what ANYONE says. It’s MY art, MY feelings, MY expression. Not wanting to sound self-centered, it just is what it is. I’m not here to impress anyone. Expressing one’s self is what an artist does, it’s all I can do.