Category Archives: concert

How I got my groove back!

oil painting on canvas

My current work in progress. 12 x 12″ oil on canvas. A suggestion from a facebook follower pointed me in a different direction.

I spent most of March and a couple days in April working on my brand new website! I have been researching and learning about artist websites for YEARS! This is the year I finally found the perfect website solution for my art. Art Store Fronts is amazing! They have all the tools I need to run an efficient website. Everything I’ve been learning about and had no idea how to actually implement, is built in to their awesome software. I highly recommend them. Needless to say, I NOW have a brand new artist website with everything! I invite you to go check it out and please let me know what you think! PaulaManningLewis.com is now LIVE! I have closed my Etsy shop and now have everything available for sale on the new site. Actually, I’m still working on getting EVERYTHING available. My current portfolio is all there, coloring books, dolls and older work is coming soon.

Now that the majority of website work is done, it’s back to painting in preparation for a show at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery starting in June and showing through August. I will have at least 20 pieces in the show! I also have a show coming up in August at the local Sierra Club offices. I have a LOT of painting to get done in the coming months! The painting above is my current work in progress, in a totally different direction. Instead of the sun or a flower, this one is focused on the Moon.

In addition to my paintings on canvas, I’m getting ready to start two different mural projects. I will share more about that in my Spring e-newsletter. Please visit my new website and sign up for my email list to receive the newsletter when it goes out soon.

This Saturday is ChromaFEST, an art and music festival and fundraiser for our local business, Chroma Studios. My band, Sunlight will be performing at 5:55pm-6:35pm. Also, my husband, Aaron Lewis, will play a solo guitar set as well right before Sunlight, starting at 5:30pm. Hope to see my local friends there! 🙂

I’m still thinking about whether or not I will keep my blog here on WordPress or transfer it over to my new website. I may just link the two together. I’m super excited about taking my art to the next level! I feel like I finally found my groove again!

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Heading to Texas Soon!

I haven’t had much time for painting lately. We are getting ready to head to Austin, Texas for a Sunlight gig this Saturday. This week has been spent getting ready, rehearsing, making band t-shirts, and cleaning house so it will be ready to show while we are gone. This will be our first show in Austin and we are SO excited! We are playing at the Carousel Lounge, they have a pink elephant on the stage! I guess it’s one of the original “weird” Austin places. We will be back early next week and I plan to start a new painting and painting video then! Stay tuned! I hope to have lots of photos to share!

My painting clearance sale is still going on in my Etsy shop! I just added several more paintings to the bunch, this sale will be on for a limited time only!

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!

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. 🙂

Week One

Would it be obvious to say it’s been an eventful week? We pulled out of Albuquerque last Thursday in the late afternoon. It didn’t take long for our first incident…

photo of our dogs in the RV

The dogs were ready to hit the road!

Just after we passed the first Belen exit, which is about 20 miles south of ABQ, the RV started sputtering and then stalled. We pulled over to the side of the road and I struggled not to have a complete meltdown! I fought back the tears, how could this be happening? All this time we had waited to leave town and we hadn’t even made it out of the area yet. As usual, Aaron stayed cool and calm, as he took the engine cover off and started looking at the engine. I suggested Aaron text Chris, the mechanic we had bought the RV from, since he had told us to call him if we had any issues. He responded very quickly and proceeded to ask Aaron questions and then told him that it sounded like the choke was sticking or a float within the carburetor was sticking. He suggested trying to start it with the gas held to the floor and sure enough, it started right back up! Back on the road after a few minutes, we didn’t have any issues after that. The RV runs quite well as a matter of fact. Our conclusion was the carburetor was clogged after sitting in our driveway for over a month.

New Mexico sunset photo

Sunset shot on the way south from Albuquerque

In Las Cruces Thursday evening, we parked the RV in my brother’s driveway. He has one of those great big driveways, especially made for RV parking. How convenient!

Go burger sign

Biggest, best burritos in Las Cruces!

Friday was my birthday! I always take the day off on my birthday, so Friday morning we got up and decided to take a walk to one of our favorite burrito joints in Cruces, Go Burger. That’s one of the nice things about visiting Las Cruces, you don’t really NEED a car. As long as it isn’t the middle of the Summer! This time of year however, the weather was a perfect 78 degrees. We initially thought the walk would take us an hour, but we arrived within 25 minutes and had our yummy chile relleno burritos in another 10 minutes. If you are ever in Las Cruces, I highly recommend eating at Go Burger, they have lots of great Mexican food, but the burritos, with their 12″(at least!) homemade tortillas, are the BOMB! Funny, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a burger there!

chile relleno burrito

Go Burger chile relleno burrito, YUM!

Our trips to Las Cruces usually revolve around food and eating out. The Mexican food is quite different even from southern to northern New Mexico. Having grown up in the south, we like it best! On regular trips to LC we eat as much Mexican as we can, but this trip even more so! Since we are getting ready to leave the state, we are getting our fill of our favorite food from home. Now, I know, I know, you can get Mexican food all over the country these days, but nothing is quite like Southern New Mexico style. The chile is grown locally and is famous for being the best in the world!

That evening my brother and his wife took us out to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We drove out to Old Mesilla, just outside of LC, and ate at La Posta. This restaurant has been around for a LONG time, it opened in 1939, it’s the place you take tourists when they visit. It’s an old historic building built in the 1840s. The food is good, but the atmosphere of the old adobe walls, lots of small rooms connected in a maze, with live parrots in a huge cage in the entrance is what makes La Posta such a magical place to visit. Of course, I didn’t take any photos this time! 😦 I promise to be better about that, still getting used to the idea that I promised to share our adventures!)

outlet and plug halloween costume photo

Aaron and I in our costumes, I was an electrical outlet and Aaron was the plug. I was actually surprised by how many times we had to explain our costume!

Saturday we spent time visiting friends in the afternoon, before my brother took us with him to a Halloween party. His band, Flat Blak, played and Aaron and I even played a few songs with my brother on drums and another friend, Larry, on keyboards. We spent the day driving around town searching for a costume for Aaron and ended up finding a couple costume that was so perfect and funny! I was an electrical outlet and Aaron was the plug! My brother and his wife had matching costumes too, my brother was the dude from Duck Hunter and his wife was an army girl. As usual when partying with my brother, we were up until 4:30 Sunday morning! Needless to say, we didn’t do much other than watch football on Sunday.

Duck Hunter and Army girl halloween costumes

My brother, Travis, and his wife, Charlene

There is still more to share but I don’t want to make this post too long. I will finish up on Thursday. Subscribe to my blog if you want to receive notice of my next post. I had planned to post a new blog every Tuesday, but a week is a long time and a lot to share, so I’m thinking of changing that to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Depending of course on how much we have to share or how busy we are. My next post will take you through Monday to Wednesday of this week. Hopefully, next week’s post will include photos of some new paintings or at least progress on a new painting. It is quite an adjustment to work while traveling, though it is nice to have our “home office” with us while we are on the road. We are currently planning to leave Las Cruces on Friday/Saturday and head to Silver City, NM and the Gila National Forest and Wilderness Area. Stay tuned…..

The End Draws Near….

The end of the year that is! What? Did you think this post was going to be all about the end of the world? LOL. Honestly, I don’t believe all that mumbo jumbo about the end of the Mayan calendar being the end of the world! I DO however believe there is a shift coming, a shift in consciousness, a shift in the way people act, feel and think. I can feel it coming, the “Age of Aquarius”. It’s not something that will come on a specific DAY, it has been slowly coming over decades and will continue to slowly shift over the coming decades. Who REALLY knows the future anyway? Not I! I won’t claim any special knowledge, all I can really say is that I FEEL it. I FEEL the love growing, I FEEL the change in the air!

As far as my personal and professional life goes, there is a LOT of change coming. I have already experienced TONS of change in this past year and it will continue into 2013. I haven’t figured it all out just yet, but I promise to keep you all informed. I do have to apologize for the LONG gap in between posts this last month or so. Honestly, I cannot even remember the last time I wrote a blog post. It’s been way TOO LONG!

December is a crazy month for us this year. On top of Christmas and all the usual busyness that comes with the holidays, our oldest son is getting married on December 29th! We have agreed to help with a few things, which translates to, I am baking the wedding cake/s! Plus, we have some shopping to do for the groom and his best men (his two younger brothers) for the clothes they will be wearing for the wedding.

This week is busy because my husband and I are working on recording a Christmas song, “Silent Night”, to release in time for this Christmas. Our folk group, New Mexico Sunshine, is getting ready to play a show at our local main library for their “lunchtime at the library” series on 12/12/12 at 12:00 noon.

Also, I am offering 25% off ALL purchases in my Etsy shop until This Friday, Nov. 30th. Just enter the coupon code: cybermonday when you check out.

Needless to say, it’s going to be a crazy busy month! I hope to get back to some semblance of a normal routine after the New Year. If I don’t get back here before that, may you all have a Happy Holidays (no matter what holiday you celebrate) and a very happy New Year!

Dreams, Revisited

Since I was sixteen, my mantra has been “no regrets”. In other words, when I near the end of my life I want to be able to say that I have no regrets for the way I lived. When I was 16 a friend of mine died in a mountain climbing accident. At the time I had recently given birth to my first son. I was still in high school. That was my first wake up call. Life is short! I HAD to live it to it’s fullest! What if I died tomorrow?

I had a few years of floundering around, married the father of my son, joined the military, had a couple more sons, and started my first art business. Not long after my divorce from the father of my sons, I discovered that I was in love with my best friend. We moved in together and married 1 1/2 years later. We had a lovely little family, my new husband was content to help me raise my boys since I could no longer have babies. Basically, I have lived and continue to live my happily ever after. Fast forward 15 years, my youngest son has moved out of the house and we now have an EMPTY nest! When I was young I sacrificed some of my dreams in order to be the best mom I could be. Always with the thought that we would have an empty nest around the time I was 42, leaving plenty of life left to live out those long forgotten dreams.

For a few months, I have floundered around, yet again. Wondering what was next? I still love being an artist and have many plans and goals yet to achieve. Regrets? I still have none. My life isn’t over YET, after all. I’ve been revisiting some of the dreams I had way back when I was fifteen years old, before I became a young mother. One of them was to be a singer/performer/actress. It just so happens that I am married to not only my best friend, but a highly talented musician. We had tried to work together on a music project back at the beginning of our relationship. Before my husband earned his bachelors of music, before he had the patience and knowledge to help me find my voice. We had one gig back then. I SUCKED! I was so nervous, my voice never really came out, it just wavered and trembled and I was so embarrassed that I gave up on the dream. I went back to my art, my comfort zone.

Back to the future and 2008. April 2008 to be exact. My dad passed away unexpectedly and my brother (who is also a professional musician), husband and I decided we would play a couple of my dad’s favorite songs at his memorial services. The idea was reborn then. A folk trio playing all the old folk music my brother and I grew up listening to in my dad’s record room. Yes, my dad had a record ROOM. He had a record collection of over 40,000 records(which I now have). Yet another reason why my brother and I always loved music. We used to sing songs together as kids and even made it on the radio once! On our dad’s Oldies radio show. 🙂

When dad died, it seemed perfect that we would put together an act in remembrance of him. So, for the last 4 1/2 years we’ve done nothing but talk about it. We always sing songs around the campfire when we take our yearly “memorial dad” camping trip.

This year, finally, now that we have so much extra time on our hands, Aaron and I started practicing folk songs together. We told my brother about it and now we are working on putting our folk trio together. We spent 4 evenings in July practicing before, during and after our yearly camping trip. We have practiced since then separately, and together (via recordings and email).

This Thursday is the moment we’ve been practicing for! It’s our first gig! We live 3 hours away from my brother, but we will be driving down to play and also, spend some time in his recording studio making demos of the music we have down so far. If you happen to be in or around Las Cruces, NM this Thursday, stop by Uno’s between 6:30 – 9:30pm and have a listen! I promise my confidence in my singing has improved. I am SURE it will be a good show this time around! I promise to share some photos and possibly video when I get home! 🙂