Category Archives: design

The Clock is Ticking….

20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress

20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

The deadline for the NMCCG show is fast approaching. I am working on having 25 pieces ready for the show and I’m currently right around 21. I ordered 4 new canvases last week and this week I’ve been busy covering canvas with black gesso. I started painting on Tuesday and have two paintings started now. I did a bit of research and found a fun new color combo. From my research, I found that a majority of both men and women call Blue their favorite color. I’m not one of those people, so I rarely use blue in my paintings. That changes with this batch of paintings. I love this combo (above) of bright sky blue with a light olive green and of course, ALL of my paintings start with yellow.

20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress

20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Purple and green happen to be my favorite colors and purple, green and yellow is a favorite combo of mine. Most of my paintings keep to a 3 color combination. I like odd numbers and I like to keep my palette simple. 🙂

I may never paint another painting without the black gesso background. I just LOVE the way it makes the colors POP! They seem brighter on the dark background. I used to say I didn’t use black because it’s so dark and I want my art to be bright and light. I guess I should have tried putting it in the background a long time ago. The way the color pops on that dark background makes the color even brighter and lighter, IMHO anyway. 🙂

In other news, I’m excited to report I may have found the PERFECT spot to teach painting classes! I’ve decided to start teaching a monthly mandala painting class. It will be one of those fun painting classes where you can have a glass of wine or a beer or even a cocktail while everyone paints. Usually, these classes teach everyone the same image, but my class will be about everyone creating their own version of the mandala. I will have more information about that very soon, still have to work out the details with the venue for the room rental and research the cost of materials, so I will know what I have to charge for the class. Stay tuned…

Getting started on Mural Projects!

I recently posted on facebook that I would like to start doing more mural projects. In response, I have two murals lined up!

mural sketches

The mural process begins with sketches…

The first one will be on the back patio wall of a personal residence. Today, I started working on sketching some ideas. I’m thrilled that I have free reign with the designs, because I really want to work on my own style in mural form. I have more freedom with the first mural. The woman I am painting it for is a collector of art in general and my art in particular. I was excited when I made my first site visit to see her tastes are colorful and eclectic. We have very similar taste!

The second mural is at a local high school. My sketches will have to be approved by the Principal. The high school art teacher (a friend of mine) has a general idea that I will be working with. This mural will be a project to create a sanctuary spot on campus for the large population of immigrant and refugee students to feel safe and welcome. The basic idea there is a spiral with different colored hands around it. I am thinking I will turn the spiral into a giant sunflower with the hands in the middle section around the spiral.

Last week, I visited both sites, made some measurements and spoke with the clients about what they wanted. This week I will make several sketches so there are choices to pick from. Once I have approval, I will gather my supplies and get started! I’m unsure if the High School mural will happen this school year or even in the Summer. It may have to wait until school starts back up in the Fall. We are going to include kids in the process which will be fun! I will have a group of young artists to help with the painting once the design has been drawn.

Would you like me to paint a mural for you? Contact me and let’s talk!

The Down Side

"In Anticipation of Spring", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, available for $215

“In Anticipation of Spring”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, available for $215. Completed last week!

I never got around to posting my second blog last week. Turns out I have an eye infection that has now spread to both eyes. Other than our show on Friday night, I’ve been at home in bed, resting. What a weekend it was! We had a GREAT Sunlight show on Friday night in Rio Rancho! Lots of email addresses collected, lots of compliments, lots of friends showed up, lots of tips and happy listeners and then the down side.

An email on Monday morning telling us we had significant complaints from regular customers. We never received a straight answer on what the complaints were, just something about the “type of music” expected being something other than what we played. Too many original songs? They didn’t like that one folk song we altered to include our LGBT friends? They didn’t like the song “Wonder” about Democrats and the GOP finding peace?

We may never know exactly. That is the life of an artist. If you don’t have a very thick skin, you may as well pack up and go home now. I must admit, it gets hard to keep on going when a “GREAT” show gets you fired from a regular paying gig.

I’m taken back to the Four Agreements, 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, 4) Always do your best. 1) We kept our word and played 3 hours of music and acted professionally, 2) I can’t take it personally that a couple of their regulars didn’t like our song selection, 3) I shouldn’t assume anything without having all the information, ie actual complaints made, 4) I KNOW we did our best and played our hearts out! Lesson learned; always listen to your gut! We had once decided we wouldn’t play late night gigs in bars. Not doing that again.

Hoping my eyes will heal soon so I can paint! It is getting better, slowly but surely, but still sensitive to light and hard to focus on anything without tears.  So much gratitude for my eyesight, you never really miss something until it’s not working right. Sickness is nothing but a reminder to be grateful for all the blessings in life.

Pile O’ Paintings

Canvas ready to paint!

Canvas ready to paint!

I’m ready to get some painting done! I have one painting started and 3 more black gesso canvases ready to start. It’s always a bit exciting and a bit intimidating to have a bunch of fresh canvas to paint on. I know these will be a continuation of my painting video series. Each painting is made to go along with a song from our Sunlight CD, “Life is Good”. They will be more of the time lapse painting videos. Stay tuned for updates, I’m hoping to get started either today or Thursday.

Today, I’ve been busy getting my new paintings posted on Etsy and here on the website. Check out ‘Canvas Paintings’ in the Portfolio menu above. (Or click the link) The page has now been completely updated. This is my 2017 portfolio! I’m excited because it’s been a while since I’ve had my paintings page up to date! There are 4 that were worked on and added to a bit more. I’m really happy with how much more ‘finished’ they are now. I still have one other painting to finish up. Hoping to get to that sometime soon too.

Shambala, the painting above, was one that I painted last year? I think it was 2016! The original painting on this canvas was painted in 2003. It never sold so I decided to paint over it. Rather than painting over the entire thing, I left traces of the old painting there, peeking through. The four yellow strips coming out from the mandala are the windows to the older painting. All I added was the yellow wash over the old marks. This was symbolic to me because the new painting has risen from the ashes of the old. Bringing two time periods of my art together in one painting. The older painting was not centered but the new painting is more like a true mandala. Centered and symmetrical. It relates to my personal life because I do feel more centered in my life now than I did in 2003. My style has emerged now, while in 2003 I was still searching for a style all my own. I like painting over older works because I feel more environmentally responsible. Recycling is very important to me. Why not paint over something that is no longer relevant?

 

Finishing Up a Few Things

Before and current photos of "Believe in Love", 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Before and current photos of “Go with the Flow”, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

Still working on “finishing” up a few paintings that I thought were done. Due to a recent critique, I decided to rework or actually, work more on a few of the paintings in my portfolio. The one I’m working on today (“Go with the Flow”) really needed it, I was never really sure it was done. It wasn’t. I’m putting another layer into the background, basically hundreds of little circles. I used to put much more detail into my backgrounds, I think I may return to some of that. I enjoy painting them, all that little detail work is a GREAT meditation!

Before and current photos of "Believe in Love", 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Before and current photos of “Believe in Love”, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

The other painting I worked on last Friday (“Believe in Love”). This one needed all over shading/blending work. It was originally painted during a live music show at a local brewery, so it never really had that “finished” look. I’ve always loved the idea, but I think it’s better with an extra hour or two. I’m still not sure if it’s completely complete yet. What do you think? I do believe I will be revisiting this theme of heart flower petals in the near future.

One of my goals for the current year is to get back to blogging at least twice a week. After blogging for over 12 years, it can be difficult to come up with new, exciting ideas for blog posts. Do you have any suggestions? Is there an idea for a series of blogs that you wouldn’t mind sharing with me? I like to blog in series, makes it easier to come up with new material for some reason. Is there something about the life of an artist that you are curious about? I am going to keep with the theme of “the life of a New Mexican artist”, but there are a lot of places I can go with that. I want to blog about things that are of interest to YOU, my readers! How to videos? Video blogs? More painting time lapses? Photos of my travels? Please feel free to suggest, I’m all ears! 🙂

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. 🙂

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…