Category Archives: arts education

How many artists paint the Universe?

I wish I could say I’ve been too busy recently to post a blog, I guess I could, but it would be a lie. I’ve been in a deep down funk. Working on keeping myself busy and pulling myself out of the hole I’m in. I’ve had other things going on, like being the event coordinator for the Silver City Studio Tour and working on my paint party class.

Recently finished, 36×36” oil on canvas, part of my Space series, untitled for now.

I’m teaching my third paint party class tonight in Silver City with plans for more in April. It’s been fun, plus it gives me something to do away from the house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and the entire environment around my home, but I’m a social person and I need to get out and talk to people from time to time. I did get to spend a few days in Santa Fe at the beginning of March. It’s always inspirational to see the galleries and exhibits. I really needed that boost!

Detail of my current work in progress, another “Space” painting.

Since returning from Santa Fe, I’ve been spending more time in my painting studio. I recently finished the next painting in my “Space” series and started another. I’ve committed myself to building up my large painting inventory so I can approach galleries about showing my work.

I have been having a difficult time lately being positive about my art career, but I’ve also been working on being kind to myself. My most important goal is to keep making art that speaks to and from my soul.

I recently had a comment on a post of one of my paintings and after I thanked the person for their kind words, they said, “it’s not everybody who can draw the Universe”. It made my day and made me think. I guess I am painting the Universe, in a small way. The Space series is definitely my most ambitious series. I’m not attempting to paint it just like it is in photos, but how I feel it in my soul. My art has always had a much deeper meaning, even if I don’t know how to express that meaning in words.

I guess that’s why I chose painting to express myself!

Paula’s Paint Party!

Tree landscape, my next painting class subject.

The last couple of days I’ve been busy getting paperwork together for our taxes. Ugh. I wish I was done! In reality, I’ve been procrastinating book work by painting the next sample painting for my paint party class! Since my first class went so well, I’m doing it again in March. I haven’t confirmed the date yet, but it’s looking like Thursday, March 14th. I will share all the information once I confirm the date with the Brewery.

I think the most difficult part of this process is deciding what I’m going to paint! If you have any ideas, let me know! The best part of teaching this class? I get to paint something different that I may have never painted otherwise. It’s a fun break from my usual style. I may end up painting some landscapes for the fun of it too! 😜

I’m getting settled into my home studio for now. I’m in temporary space until we have time to build my home studio, probably not until this Summer. I am participating in the Silver City Studio Tour coming up the first weekend of May, so I have lots of work to prepare for that. On top of preparing my own studio I am the Event Coordinator for the Tour. I am coordinating the advertising, promotion, event reception and meetings leading up to the event. I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing art community!

Reworking my Portfolio

Before and after I reworked "Generous, Kind, Hearts, Shine", 18 x 18" original oil painting

Before and after I reworked “Generous, Kind, Hearts, Shine”, 18 x 18″ original oil painting

It is so good to be back in the studio after the holidays! I do what I love and love what I do, so it can be difficult to take time off. Honestly, I have to force myself. My biggest hope for the world is that everyone could do what they love for a living!

Last month I received a critique on my art portfolio from a gallery owner that I have always admired. She is an artist too, which in my eyes means she is twice as qualified to give a critique. At first, I was a little hurt, which I guess is normal. I have never had a completely honest critique of my work. I don’t have an art degree, I am a mostly self-taught artist. Honest feedback is one of the things I feel I really missed out on with an art degree.

Once I got over the initial shock of getting an honest critique, I started thinking about what she said and realized she was absolutely right about most of what she had to say. The other 20% was personal opinion and things I will never change because they are what my art style is about.

This week being my first full week back in the studio, I’ve started working on one of the paintings that needed improvement. I’m sharing the before and after with you here to get some more feedback! 😉 I’m amazed at the difference a couple of hours made! What do YOU think? Thank you in advance for any and all comments, they are very welcome.


Guest Blog: Support an Artist While Spending Nothing by .carolinecblaker.

This post originally appeared on an artist friend, Caroline C. Blaker’s,  blog. Caroline is an Albuquerque, NM artist that I have had the pleasure of knowing for around three years now. She has graciously given me permission to re-post the blog here. Please visit the link to her website and check out her colorful, inspired art!

Caroline C. Blaker

One way to support an Artist is to buy art. If this isn’t an option for you, there are costless ways to make a huge difference in an artist’s career path. Any person who loves the art of an artist can make a huge difference.

Many people feel that supporting an artist beyond compliments and verbal encouragement is out of their reach if they don’t have money to buy artwork. While the best way to support an artist is to (buy art and) support their livelihood, here are a few things that are free, that make a huge difference to the artist you would like to support.

1. Share their work ~ Do you have a Facebook account? Twitter? StumbleUpon? Guess what – if you said yes, you also have a network outside of the reach of the artist you would like to help, and chances are your network and you share a lot of common interests, so why not this artist? The options are endless here: share one piece, their portfolio, their blog, their events, their entire website, their facebook page – and the list goes on. Don’t know quite what to share? Ask the Artist!

Untitled with Spirals by .carolinecblaker.

2. Volunteer time or skills ~ If you live near an artist this is easy – hang a show with him or her. Help set up a studio open-house, or just go to the artist’s events, talk to strangers on their behalf, and start conversations about the art. Don’t live near the artist? You can still write a blog for them, talking about your opinions of their work, or introduce their work to somebody else in your network, one on one, who you feel may be as interested as you are.

3. Participate ~ if the artist you know is collecting materials of any kind, this is a fantastic way to support them. My collection of credit cards would be nowhere without 5 specific awesome people – yet I could be completely buried in credit cards if only a percent more of my fan base saved their solicitation credit cards they get in the mail, rather than throwing them away. Chances are, if you are able to collect it, the artist will willingly and gratefully facilitate the transportation of materials back to his/her studio for use.

4. Inform them ~ Have a favorite gallery? Or just a place you drive by all the time that reminds you of them? Know of an upcoming exhibit that you feel they would like? Did you go to a show and end up speaking about an artist to someone, or see work that reminded you of theirs? Artists who are trying to emerge mainly seek opportunities to expand their reach to a relevant audience, something that is a lot trickier than it may appear to you, as someone they have already reached. If you have a quick tip or direction, they will do all the work to pursue it, and you will get all the credit!

5. Be ready ~read their content, subscribe to their newsletter, and have conversations with them about the work you like or the content they send. Know some key points to their artist statement. Know where they come from and what they value about their background. When you have the opportunities to act on the previous points, you will be educated enough about this artist to be able to share them, volunteer, participate, or inform them with relevance and timeliness.

Let me tell you a little secret – an artist’s popularity isn’t defined by the sales they make. It’s defined by the number of people who know about them and admire their work. Secondarily, it’s also defined by the number of people who hate their work. As much as a fan will tell their friends about a great experience they had somewhere, or a great product they bought, or a great artist who inspires them, an average consumer will talk five times more about a product they hate, an awful experience somewhere, and maybe even art that they saw and hated. Artists deal with a lot of rejection, but attention is attention, and if a person is fired up about artwork, either positively or negatively, and they talk about it, it counts as valuable publicity and attention. Even better, the folks that don’t like it, who share it as “bad” (or whatever they come up with,) are unwittingly supporting this artist whom they despise.Popularity, more than any other thing, drives art sales throughout the art industry.

Assuming this, there is no network that is unsuitable for promoting this artist you like, especially not yours. And yes; your time, attention, words, and information all count, and the artist should notice – and if they don’t, there’s nothing wrong with bringing it to their attention. They will react with gratitude and take notice that you are paying attention to what they are doing, and if they don’t, don’t feel the need to continue supporting them. Without a captive audience, artists never reach the collectors, buyers, or patrons who have the power to make or break their career. The bigger this audience is, the better the artist’s chance at succeeding at what they are trying to do – sustain themselves solely with their artwork, and the better their chances at sales in general, even if you never buy anything.

You can play a role in the success of your favorite artist, a big one, without any money at all. You just have to want to support them – then take action.

Obama’s Art Policy

I was just sent this information in an email from the Albuquerque Arts Business Association. Very interesting and informative! Supposedly, the person who sent it to the AABA is searching for McCain’s Art policy. I wonder if he even has an art policy. If anyone knows of it, please respond with a link. I have already decided to vote for Obama, but this just makes the choice even better for me.

Our nation’s creativity has filled the world’s libraries, museums, recital halls, movie houses, and marketplaces

with works of genius. The arts embody the American spirit of self-definition. As the author of two best-selling

books – Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama uniquely appreciates the role and

value of creative expression.


Reinvest in Arts Education: To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the

kind of creativity and innovation that has made this country great. To do so, we must nourish our children’s

creative skills. In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new

global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts

education. Unfortunately, many school districts are cutting instructional time for art and music education.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that the arts should be a central part of effective teaching and learning.

The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts recently said “The purpose of arts education is not to

produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human

beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.” To support greater arts education,

Obama will:

􀂾 Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations: Barack Obama and

Joe Biden will increase resources for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model

Development and Dissemination Grants, which develop public/private partnerships between schools and

arts organizations. They will also engage the foundation and corporate community to increase support

for public/private partnerships.

􀂾 Create an Artist Corps: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support the creation of an “Artists Corps” of

young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities. Studies in Chicago have

demonstrated that test scores improved faster for students enrolled in low-income schools that link arts

across the curriculum than scores for students in schools lacking such programs.

􀂾 Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education: As president, Barack Obama will use the

bully pulpit and the example he will set in the White House to promote the importance of arts and arts

education in America. Not only is arts education indispensable for success in a rapidly changing, high

skill, information economy, but studies show that arts education raises test scores in other subject areas

as well.

Support Increased Funding for the NEA: Over the last 15 years, government funding for the National

Endowment for the Arts has been slashed from $175 million annually in 1992 to $125 million today. Barack

Obama and Joe Biden support increased funding for the NEA, the support of which enriches schools and

neighborhoods all across the nation and helps to promote the economic development of countless communities.

Promote Cultural Diplomacy: American artists, performers and thinkers – representing our values and ideals

– can inspire people both at home and all over the world. Through efforts like that of the United States

Information Agency, America’s cultural leaders were deployed around the world during the Cold War as artistic

ambassadors and helped win the war of ideas by demonstrating to the world the promise of America. Artists

can be utilized again to help us win the war of ideas against Islamic extremism. Unfortunately, our resources

for cultural diplomacy are at their lowest level in a decade. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to reverse

this trend and improve and expand public-private partnerships to expand cultural and arts exchanges throughout

the world.

Attract Foreign Talent: The flipside to promoting American arts and culture abroad is welcoming members of

the foreign arts community to America. Opening America’s doors to students and professional artists provides

the kind of two-way cultural understanding that can break down the barriers that feed hatred and fear. As

America tightened visa restrictions after 9/11, the world’s most talented students and artists, who used to come

here, went elsewhere. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will streamline the visa process to return America to its

rightful place as the world’s top destination for artists and art students.

Provide Health Care to Artists: Finding affordable health coverage has often been one of the most vexing

obstacles for artists and those in the creative community. Since many artists work independently or have nontraditional

employment relationships, employer-based coverage is unavailable and individual policies are

financially out of reach. The Obama-Biden plan will provide all Americans with quality, affordable health care.

Their plan includes the creation of a new public program that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy

affordable health care similar to that available to federal employees. Their plan also creates a National Health

Insurance Exchange to reform the private insurance market and allow Americans to enroll in participating

private plans, which would have to provide comprehensive benefits, issue every applicant a policy, and charge

fair and stable premiums. For those who still cannot afford coverage, the government will provide a subsidy.

His health plan will lower costs for the typical American family by up to $2,500 per year.

Ensure Tax Fairness for Artists: Barack Obama supports the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, introduced by

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow artists to deduct the fair

market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions.

Paid for by Obama for America