Love Knows No Gender

I figured today would be a great day to share this listing in my Etsy shop! I’m VERY happy about the SCOTUS decision making marriage a RIGHT for ALL! Congrats to all those who have waited for all these years to be legally recognized as a couple. I am a straight ally. My dad was a gay man and I am only sad that he didn’t live to see this day. My hope for humanity has been restored!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/238453188/handpainted-art-guitar-love-knows-no?ref=shop_home_active_1

Available in my Etsy shop!

Available in my Etsy shop!

Drawings are done! Happy birthday Mama!

Last five coloring book designs

The last 5 coloring book designs, pencil sketches before they are inked in.

I have spent the past few weeks working on my new coloring book and today I finished all the drawings! My shoulder is hurting from hunching over my drawing table for too long! I should know better, but sometimes, inspiration just pushes me to keep going. I’m so excited about this coloring book! My first book had 10 designs. This book has 20.

Working on this coloring book had me thinking a lot about childhood and how much I used to love coloring. Even into my 20s, when my kids were young, I colored in coloring books often. Adult coloring has apparently become a trend lately. I always preferred drawing to coloring, so drawing my own coloring designs just made so much sense. I WILL color them too, once done! ;-)

design #19

Design #19 before photoshop clean up. Almost there!

Thinking of my younger years got me to thinking about my mom. This weekend is her 70th birthday! I had to mention her here because she is the one personally responsible for my love of drawing and art in general. I don’t remember being younger than about 5 years old, but she tells the story of giving me a stack of paper and pencil when I was under 2 years old and how I would spend HOURS sitting and drawing.

Me and my mama

Me and my mama

In honor of my mom’s birthday week, I had to tell her here, THANKS MOM! Thank you for ALWAYS encouraging me to follow my dreams of being an artist. She has attended just about EVERY art opening and open studio I have ever had. (minus the times she was out of town!) I love you and I’m so glad you are my mama! Happy birthday, with MANY MORE to come!

Coloring books are coming along nicely

   

These are designs number 8,9 & 10. I’m halfway done with the second coloring book! 

Creating these designs is a multi-step process. I start with a piece of drawing paper divided up by pencil diagonally, to form an X. 

  

Then I use a compass to draw concentric circles at various distances from the center. This framework sketch helps guide my design by keeping the drawing symmetrical.

 

Once the design is penciled in, I go over it with a fine tip sharpie marker. When the drawing is fully inked, I erase all the pencil lines, photograph and then open the image in Photoshop where I clean up the image a bit more and save it for future printing. The images in this post are at the stage of just being photographed, but not yet cleaned up Photoshop.

Paula Beck is DEAD! Info for anyone who is searching for her.

I hate to be so blunt, but seriously. I have tried to be nice and not talk about my awful past, not dwell there, not go there, but I can’t do it anymore. I had someone leave a nasty comment on my website recently and I decided it was time to put the ghosts to bed once and for all.

Paula Beck was the name I went by when I first started out as an artist at the young age of 21. I receive up to 5 emails a month asking questions about the art work I did under this name. This was the first nasty message. I sold MANY prints under this name. My estimate is about 28,000 prints.

Actually, my first husband did all the selling. As soon as he discovered he could sell my art, he would not do anything else. I pleaded with him repeatedly to get a job and support our young family. We had two kids and one more on the way at the time. (We were married when I was 16) He swore he could make a living for us by selling my art, so I didn’t think I had a choice in the matter. He did what he wanted to do, whether I liked it or not. After about 4 years of this, and other personal situations, I took my 3 boys, left him and we divorced in June 1995.

Almost two weeks after I left him, I received papers from the Arizona Attorney General implicating me in a case of fraud. After a long discussion on the phone with the Attorney General’s office, I found out that my ex had been going around under my business name (Paula Beck prints), taking orders AND money for mine and other artist’s work, and not delivering the art work. I convinced the Attorney General to remove my name from the case because I had NO knowledge of his dealings. He spent 5 days a week on the road selling art and came home long enough to restock and go back out. He never showed me receipts or invoices for sales made, but always had cash when he came home. I begged him repeatedly to keep track of sales and bring home receipts so I could keep records properly. He never would.

At that time, I decided it was time to visit all the shops that sold my art. At the time of my divorce I was aware of at least 200 shops. I personally visited and spoke with the people who had brought the fraud charges against us. I gave them all the information I had on him. As I made the rounds (all over AZ, CO and NM), I found several people that said he had ripped them off. As I found them, I gave them the prints they were owed. I had no way of knowing all the places he took money from, because he did his best to keep that information from me. Because of this, I lost tons of money on the stock I had put together to sell that I ended up giving to people for past orders not delivered. The other shops didn’t want to buy from me anymore. My business and my name were ruined and I had to abandon my dream of being an artist. I had to find a full time job to support my 3 young sons. I eventually finished college. It would be 6 years before I could go back to being an artist again.

It seems that the person who left me the nasty comment the other day was one of the people I never found. He lives in Tennessee. When I started selling my art, we lived in TN. It seems he was ripping people off from the very beginning. This nasty comment accused me of being a part of his fraud. Let me assure you right here and right now, I had NO KNOWLEDGE of his fraud. I had plenty of knowledge of the piece of crap he was from many other sources though. He was abusive to me and my sons, he was a drug/alcohol addict, he never kept a job for longer than 1 year, after we divorced he abandoned his kids and was at one point behind on his child support to the tune of $25,000! That is, until his parents worked out a settlement and paid it for him. He did similar things to his second wife. He’s now on wife #3.

I hope you will see this blog post, T from Tennesse. I hope you will contact me in a way that I can respond in private and not in the comments section of my website. I can promise I will never approve a comment like that. I would love to make right what was done in my name. If you contact me at plewis11@comcast.net I will get back to you, I promise.

This is why I am now saying, PAULA BECK IS DEAD! The main reason I say this is that just the name Paula Beck brings up a lot of really bad memories, and a VERY unhappy marriage. Last year I burned all the Paula Beck prints I had left. She is in the past and the past is where she will stay. If you have one of these prints and email me about them or how much they are worth, I will probably not respond to you. Over the years I have responded to every inquiry about Paula Beck prints. The nasty comment apparently came from the first one I decided to ignore. I don’t want to think about that time in my life anymore. I have moved on, I’m over it. I’m sorry if you were hurt by this man too, but please, please, please know that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!

To answer any future questions,

-All Paula Beck prints were black and white portrait and pottery drawings. I also did a series Jesus portraits, Civil War generals and historic buildings in Tennessee.

-If the art work has two signatures, it’s a print, not an original.

-Many of the editions were sold out, some ended up being burned.

-My best guess of value of these prints is anywhere from $50-150, depending on the condition and whether they are matted and/or framed or not.

-Originals would be worth more, $500-750 range. This is a guess, I could be wrong.

 

 

Coloring books!

coloring book design drawings

The first 4 designs for my second coloring book.

You may already know that I created a coloring book a couple of years back. As usual, it seems I am ahead of the trends. Lately, I’ve seen articles about the popularity of adult coloring books.

Personally, I have always loved to color! When my kids were younger, I would color with them and sometimes fill in books that they had tossed aside. Coloring is a GREAT way to relieve stress and just basically, RELAX! :) Plus, it’s FUN!

That brings me to a recent epiphany I had about my art. I have been frustrated recently by my attempts to have my art accepted in the Fine Art realm. For whatever reason, not many people see my art as “Fine” art. This is perfectly fine with me though, as the epiphany I had the other day was the fact that I don’t care if my art is “Fine” art, because to me it’s more about being “FUN”! I no longer worry about my art making it into the “Fine Art” category, it’s “FUN Art”!

Anyway, back to the coloring book. I have one, already completed, coloring book, available in my Etsy shop. I am also currently working on my second coloring book. The photo above shows the first 4 designs. I plan on making this book 20 pages, or designs. It should be available soon. I will let you know as soon as it is! :)

Back to Business

acrylic mandala on yellow vinyl

This one is almost done too, just needs a red spiral in the center. Acrylic on yellow vinyl.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the last couple of months in my studio, painting. Today, I’m getting back to the business side of my art. I recently discovered I have MANY paintings that haven’t been posted on my website OR on my Etsy shop. Today, I’m spending time listing all the record paintings that have never made it into my Etsy shop. I have finished several new paintings since my last blog post too. Though I haven’t named them just yet, I figured I’d share anyway.

acrylic painting on blue vinyl

Work in progress, acrylic on blue vinyl

I am also having a sale in my Etsy shop until the end of May. Use the coupon code Facebook40 at checkout and receive 40% off my regular prices!

hearts painting on vinyl

This one is almost done, just one more layer of yellow.

It’s been a VERY rainy Spring here in New Mexico, I am SO grateful for all the rain! That said, today the sun is out and shining and it feels SO good! This desert rat isn’t used to all the cloudy days. That said, I LOVE taking photos of the clouds! I hope you enjoy the new work! :)

cloudy sky Albuquerque

We woke to this beautiful sky the other morning!

Records, taxes and tenants, oh my!

The past month has flown by, as usual! April has been a month of landlord duties, sorting and moving our record collection, and of course, the dreaded April 15th deadline for filing taxes!

original oil painting mandala

Currently untitled mandala, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, available for $600

My husband and I own a local business here in Albuquerque called, Chroma Studios. We lease space in two office buildings and then rent rooms out to artists and musicians/bands for private studio/practice space. This month, our largest band studio was vacated for the first time in over 4 years. We had been waiting for this opportunity to build a wall and split this room into two rooms. That is exactly what we spent the first week and a half of April doing. Building a wall, plastering/painting walls and then renting one half of this space to a new band.

original oil painting Solar Eclipse

“Solar Eclipse”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, SOLD

The other half of this room is now my husband’s new studio space. Now that he is in a bigger room, we spent the next week or so moving our HUGE record collection into his larger room. Before this, we had half of the collection in his smaller studio and the rest was at our house. However, before we were able to make the move, we had to sort through the entire album collection. We did this because the collection used to belong to my dad. I have talked about it here in the past. After 7 years, we decided it was time to clear out as many records as we could and make it OUR collection. Out of a 40,000 record collection, we were able to cull around 2,000 from the pack. It doesn’t seem like much, but we also cleared out enough to get rid of two shelves! Mostly generic orchestral music and bad 80s dance singles, not to mention double copies, the collection is now 100% music we would actually listen to!

I don’t know if anyone realizes how much work it is to move 38,000 records! It took a full week to move them all and we were BEAT! I think it took at least 2 days to recover! It’s quite the task, first we have to move the records off the shelves and then move the shelves, and once the shelves are in their new space and secured to the walls, the records have to be put back on the shelves. This basically means, for every move we make, we physically move the records at least two and sometimes three times! No fun! Good thing I really loved my dad and those records have a TON of sentimental value to me. Plus, it’s nice to have so much great music to listen to!

Between all that we had to stop for a couple days to get the taxes filed, not just income taxes but the lovely gross receipts taxes we have to file as a business. I love April, can you tell!? Good part is, taxes are done, and Spring has arrived!

original acrylic on vinyl

“Hearts and Spirals”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, available for $160

We moved the record collection to the studios because at the same time, we are getting our house cleared out and ready to rent! We are planning on moving into a smaller house soon. Now that our sons are grown and (almost, move out date is May 15th) gone, the house is just too big and too much work for the two of us.

original acrylic on vinyl

Acrylic on 12″ vinyl, work in progress

This week, I’ve finally been able to get back to my studio and my morning painting time. I have several new paintings in progress as well as a few finished pieces. Looking back at past posts I realize it’s been quite some time since I’ve shared my current work here on the blog! I have completed quite a bit of work in the last two months. I have fallen a bit behind with this task, but I promise to remedy that in the coming days!

original acrylic on yellow vinyl

Acrylic on 12″ yellow vinyl, work in progress

Life is so good and I am so grateful! Even when months like this come up and I can’t spend as much time on my art as I would like, I can’t complain.