Category Archives: Beck prints

Looking Back at 25 Years as an Artist!

This year marks my 25th year as an artist! It’s so hard to believe it’s been that long! I have been an artist since childhood, but at the young age of 21 I decided it was what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was actually a Tony Robbins infomercial in the middle of the night that inspired me.

pencil drawing covered bridge Tennessee

Covered Bridge drawing, the first image I printed/sold on postcards

I was working graveyard shift at a Comfort Inn in Clarksville, Tennessee after finishing my time in the Army. I was disgusted and frustrated because I was back at basically the same job I had left for the Army. New town, different state, but that same graveyard shift, minimum wage paying, sleep depriving job. I worked graveyard because my husband worked mornings and it was the only way we could have a second income without paying for child care. My two eldest sons were 5 years and 9 months old at the time. The third son hadn’t joined the family just yet.

I was at work, killing time watching cable TV in the lobby, when the Tony Robbins infomercial came on. I decided to watch it all the way through and by the end I thought, I can’t afford his book right now, but surely I can think of some way to make a living doing something I love to do. (I eventually bought that book at a yard sale many years later and I highly recommend Tony Robbins to anyone looking for motivation!)

After watching the infomercial, I thought of how much I used to love drawing and painting in high school. The next night, I brought paper and pencils with me and spent the graveyard shift drawing a local covered bridge that I found a photo of in a local magazine.

That drawing changed my life forever. (Little did I know at the time!) I showed it to my husband, grudgingly as he always told me my art from high school wasn’t that good, and he was blown away. It wasn’t long before we found a printer to make postcards of the covered bridge drawing and my husband took them to his job at a local convenience store where he sold them to people who came in for gas and cigarettes.

Before long, I had drawn several other local historical buildings and had quite an array of postcards of local drawings. I was invited to show my drawings at the local Chamber of Commerce, a local bank and eventually the local tour of historic homes commissioned me to draw several other local buildings and I sold art prints and postcards at the tour event.

That event helped me to really get my art business going. I ended up getting several commissions for other historical homes as well as portraits. After the buildings I started my portrait series and the rest is history! Of course, there is so much more to this story, but this is the story of how it all began.

A word to any young artists who are reading this post. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t make a living as an artist. Sure, it’s not an easy life, sure, it takes time to build a name for yourself and a portfolio of art that you are proud to share, but it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The first most rewarding thing I’ve done was having 3 beautiful sons!

Artists starting out today have it much easier than I had it starting out. You have the internet and so many avenues to get your art work out there (Twitter, Instagram, weblogs like this one, and an infinity of other sites with a plethora of information). When I first started, the internet was out there, but not for the masses. I didn’t even have a computer until 6 years after I started!

One of the things I always wished I had starting out, was other artists to ask advice of. I was very isolated in a small town in Tennessee with no art scene to speak of. There were no smart phones or digital cameras. Thank goodness for the internet! There is so much information available in a simple Google search!

If you have any questions about starting out as an artist, please ask away in the comments and I promise to write another blog post in answer to any and all questions I receive.

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Christmas in July!

As a big fat THANK YOU, I have decided to have a Christmas in July sale in my Etsy shop for the rest of the month! 50% off everything over $50! YES, you read that right, 50% off!!! All you have to do is enter the coupon code, FACEBOOK50, when you check out and it will be automatically discounted! This sale ENDS on August 1st! Great time to get that original painting you’ve had your eyes on!

oil painting on canvas and wood

“To Move Forward”, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2″ oil on canvas and wood, Available for $215

Hiding in the Flat File

heart painting Bursting with Love oil painting

“Bursting with Love”, 8 x 8″ oil on canvas, $175

 

My husband and I have been super busy the last month or so! We spent the first week of June recording our first album of music for our group, Sunlight. We spent my husband’s birthday in Silver City, NM, our favorite small New Mexico town. After this most recent trip we have decided once and for all, we are moving to Silver City as soon as possible!

First, we have to get our house in Albuquerque ready to rent. This means we have a LOT of work to do! We have been working on cleaning STUFF out and paring down to a minimum so we don’t have as much to move when the time comes. Now that the boys are grown and gone, we are ready to live in a smaller house. Time for a little downsizing!

Below, you can see just a FEW of the drawings and paintings I have rediscovered while cleaning out my flat file. There are some real gems in there that I had all but forgotten about! You will find more posted on my Facebook art page.

pencil drawing native american Quanah Parker

“Quanah Parker”, 8 x 10″ pencil on paper, $200. This is a one of a kind piece, there were never any prints made of this image. This one was drawn way back in 1992!

On top of all that, I have a featured artist show coming up in July at High Desert Art & Frame here in Albuquerque. Needless to say, I have spent a LOT of time in my studio painting! Above is just one of the many paintings I will be showing. The show is entitled “All About Love” and revolves around my heart paintings, just about every painting in the show will either have a heart in it, or have a love related title.

watercolor painting hand print petroglyph pastels

“Hand Prints”, 14 x 19″ watercolor and pastel on paper, $125. This one was part of my petroglyph series

If you are an Albuquerque local, I hope you will come out to my show opening on July 5th, or First Friday. High Desert Art & Frame is located at the NE corner of Tramway and Montgomery.

pastels painting rock landscape window rock

“Window Rock”, 10.5 x 14″ pastels on mat board, $125. Part of my Rock Series.

Also, Aaron and I will be playing a Sunlight show tomorrow evening at The Cube BBQ on Central near University. We have lots of new songs to share! If you aren’t local, we are shooting for July/August as a release date for our first CD! 🙂

 

Upcoming shows and GREAT news!

I cannot believe how busy I have been lately! I didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted here! The next two weekends I have two shows coming up.

Tijeras Art Market

This weekend I will be at the Tijeras Art Market, Saturday and Sunday, from 8am – 5pm. This will be my first time there and I’m really looking forward to it! The market space is nice and shady with permanent shade structures. The location is the East Mountain area just outside Albuquerque, off I-40 in the village of Tijeras. The market is located behind the Just Imagine Gallery and coffee shop.

Next Friday, July 6th, is my first, First Friday event at my new studio. The Factory on 5th is located just north of downtown Albuquerque on 5th street, between Aspen and Haines streets. My husband will be playing guitar as entertainment for the event.
So, if you are local or even if you are just visiting Albuquerque, I’d love to see you out at one of these events!
Now for the good, no GREAT, news! I mentioned back in May that I had some exciting news to share. Well, the news is official now! I have sold out of all my Paula Beck prints! All my black and white portrait and pottery prints that I have been threatening to bonfire for years are gone! This is a huge accomplishment for me as there were 7,000 prints left! I sold them all to one person in the Chicago area who plans to sell them as a fundraiser for a school/church. So, that is what I’ve been most busy with in the past month or so. I have always signed and numbered the prints as I needed them, so I have spent the past few weeks signing them all and getting them packed and shipped. Now they are gone for good! No more reminders of my past life!