Our wedding day, June 10, 1997
I married the love of my life! This Saturday is our 20th anniversary. It has flown by, I still cannot believe all the life we have lived together. I am so grateful to have found my soulmate during this lifetime! June is a crazy month for us, yesterday was Aaron’s birthday (Father’s day coming up soon!), so we took it somewhat easy and spent some time with our grandson in the afternoon. He was in a happy mood, so it was a blast. It’s so much fun being a grandparent! What is it they say? If I had known it would be this much fun, I would have done this part first! lol. Aaron and Ben took a little nap together yesterday and I was able to snap my new favorite photo of the two of them.
Aaron and Benny napping
I started on the mural last Friday and have had a few days to work on it so far. Of course the weather decided to be nice and HOT this week! Luckily for me, the homeowners have an Ez-up canopy they put up for shade and lots of ice cold lemonade. Sandy and Jeff have been really great during the whole process, thanks guys! This photo was taken this morning before I started painting again. The green sections have been started since I took this one. I’m filming a time lapse of the whole process, I will share it once it’s complete. I’m so excited about getting this finished up! It’s coming out even better than I had hoped. The texture of the stucco adds a cool dimension to the painting, though it does make it MUCH more difficult to paint. Lots of drip spots to touch up once I’m done. It’s been so freeing to paint this big, I think I’m hooked, murals only from now on! Just kidding of course, but I wouldn’t mind it so much. 😉
Progress on the mural!
Posted in Aaron Lewis, abstract, accomplishments, anniversary, art, artist self promotion, artists, birthday, blogging, commission, creativity, daily painting, design, dreams, family, goals, gratitude, inspiration, large painting, mural, mural project, New Mexico, new painting, new work, new work in progress, original, Originals, Painter, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photos, progress, promotion, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Sunlight, video, video blog
Tagged Aaron Lewis, abstract, accomplishments, anniversary, art, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, birthday, blogging, commission, creativity, daily painting, design, dreams, family, goals, grandparents, grandson, gratitude, inspiration, large painting, life, mural, mural project, New Mexico, new painting, new work, new work in progress, original, Originals, Painter, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photos, progress, promotion, spiral abstract series, spiral art, spirals, Sunlight, video, video blog, work
Baby Ben ❤
Back in my studio today for the first time since Tuesday. I got the call in the afternoon. My middle son called to let me know they were going to induce my DIL soon. They had enough time to run home, pick up their bags and get back to the hospital. After MANY (about 18 total) hours, my first grandson was born at 1:22pm on Wednesday, January 18th, weighing 6 lbs 7.7 oz and measuring 19.5″.
Me with my son and grandson ❤
Mama, baby and daddy are all healthy and happy, if not completely exhausted! They came home from the hospital yesterday evening. It’s been all I can do to restrain myself and let them have their rest. My son and his girlfriend moved in with us in December so we could help each other out. My biggest worry has been that I don’t want to be a pain in the you know what about being grandma and in the same house!
Three of my sweetie pies! Hubby, son and grandson!
I could see from their faces when they came home yesterday evening, they were so tired. I did get to hold the sweetie pie this morning, so my day has already been perfect. He is the most beautiful, peaceful, sweet little munchkin! My little Benny Bean! I’ve always known it would be awesome to be a grandma, but there is so much more to it! It’s completely indescribable. I feel like my heart could explode with all the love! I so look forward to seeing this little guy grow up. I think I must have been in shock for the first couple of days, I haven’t cried until this moment right now, loading photos of the newest member of the family. It’s such an amazing moment in my life and the lives of my family. I’m beyond grateful. ❤
Posted in baby, dreams, family, gratitude, heart, inspiration, kids, love, my story, People Who Inspire Me, photos, random things about me
Tagged artist's life, baby, blogging, changes, dreams, family, grandson, gratitude, heart, home, inspiration, kids, life, love, my story, new baby, People Who Inspire Me, photos, random things about me
Aaron and I at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays. I really did enjoy all the time spent with my family in 2016. We also had a really fun and successful mini-tour to Arizona with our music. Sunlight performed in Phoenix, Tucson and Ajo, AZ and we were very grateful for the turnout and CD sales!
Margaritas in Mexico!
While in southern Arizona, we visited the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It was awesome to see all the huge cacti! Saguaros and Organ Pipe Cactus were everywhere. We took a short hike, but it was quite cold while we were there. Of course, it warmed up into the 70s on the day we left.
Serenaded by Mariachis
We made a very quick trip down to Mexico for dinner one of the days we were visiting in Ajo. It was supposed to be a full day trip, but my sweetie woke up sick that day and ended up sleeping until 3 in the afternoon. Once he got up, we decided to go for it and drove down to Puerto Penasco for a wonderful dinner by the sea! The food was great, even if the weather was COLD and windy. Our waiter was awesome and brought us our own personal heater. We practiced our Espanol with him and he practiced his English with us. Other than the trucks of soldiers riding around with automatic weapons, nothing was out of the ordinary. I guess the soldiers were there to protect the tourists. Like I said, nothing out of the ordinary!
Javelina helping himself to some grub in the garbage
I saw my first live Javelina while we were in Ajo! Apparently, they are regular visitors to the dumpster there. I only got one photo of one of them, but at night we were surrounded in our car by a herd/pack? of them! It was quite interesting, like watching a nature show in person! haha!
Our dear, sweet Raven. May she RIP 😦
We arrived home in Albuquerque just in time for Christmas and spent several great days hanging out with our kids, siblings and parents. Only one day was a sad day, as we had to have one of our fur babies put down at the end of the year. She was old and sick, but Raven will be greatly missed! She was a great dog. ❤
Cannabis coloring page, will be available in The Chronicle sometime this week!
The last week of the year I was asked to create a coloring page for a new local quarterly paper. The Chronicle is New Mexico’s Cannabis Magazine. I created a Cannabis Mandala coloring page for the first issue of 2017. It was quick and fun, check out their website for more information.
Posted in Arizona, art, cold, Coloring, copyright, creativity, family, friends, gratitude, hiking, Holidays, inspiration, music, my story, new work, Paula Manning-Lewis, pets, Phoenix, photos, random things about me, shows, Sunlight, travel, trip, Tucson, vacation, winter
Tagged Ajo, Arizona, art, blogging, Cannabis coloring page, CDs, cold, coloring, copyright, creativity, dog, dogs, family, friends, gratitude, happy new year, hiking, holidays, inspiration, javelina, life, Margaritas, Mariachis, Mexico, mini tour, music, my story, new work, Organ Pipe cactus, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Paula Manning-Lewis, pets, Phoenix, photos, Puerto Penasco, Raven, RIP Raven, saguaro, shows, Sunlight, The Chronicle, tourists, travel, trip, Tucson, vacation, winter
Current work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas
Our plans don’t always play out the way we wish they would. I’m learning my lesson, to go with the flow! We decided yesterday to take our house off the market. We gave up. I don’t feel like we failed. Sure, our plans didn’t go as we had hoped. Our house didn’t sell and that is ok. Sometimes the Universe has other plans for us. We thought it was time for us to leave the big house behind and become gypsies. We thought we really wanted that to happen. I’m starting to see that it just wasn’t meant to be. How else can I look at it? I can’t change the facts. We still plan to do lots of traveling, but it will be a bit different than the way we envisioned it.
We’ve decided it’s time to expand our business here in Albuquerque and that can’t be done if we are out of town all the time. For whatever reason, our work in Albuquerque is not yet done. Our business, Chroma Studios, has now been operating for almost 9 years. During this time we have leased our spaces and have paid a LOT of money out in rent. Our long term lease is up next year, so we are working on purchasing our own building. This will be no small accomplishment! We have a TON of work ahead of us for this to happen. We have met with a S.C.O.R.E. mentor and started our business plan. We have a lot of fundraising to do! I guess it’s a good thing we will be around a bit longer!
Then there are the personal reasons, our first grandson is due to be born January 20th. We found this out AFTER we made our plans. Like I said before, I guess the Universe had other plans for us!
The painting above is my next painting video in progress! This time I decided to only share still photos until the video is completed. Stay tuned for the completed video sometime next week.
Needless to say, this week is Thanksgiving, so I won’t be here in the studio all week. May you all have a lovely holiday and hopefully there will be minimal family disagreements around your table as well as mine! No doubt your family is like mine and has many differing political views! Pray for peace! 😉
Posted in abstract, AC2 gallery, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, art space, art studios, artist self promotion, artists, baby, canvas, chroma, Chroma studios, creativity, dreams, family, goals, Holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, my story, New Mexico, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oils, original, original oil paintings, painting, painting video, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, progress, promotion, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studios
Tagged abstract, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, art space, art studios, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, baby, canvas, chroma, Chroma studios, creativity, dreams, family, fundraising, goals, holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico artist, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oils, original, original oil painting, painting, painting in progress, painting video, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, plans, progress, promotion, SCORE mentor, spiral, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studios
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. 🙂
Posted in abstract, albuquerque, art, art studios, artist self promotion, artists, canvas, Chroma studios, concert, creativity, daily painting, design, family, gratitude, guitar, I'd Rather be in the Studio, music, new painting, new work in progress, oils, open studios, original oil paintings, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, progress, promotion, show, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, studios
Tagged abstract, abstract art, abstract oil painting, albuquerque, art, art studios, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, Balloon Fiesta, canvas, Chroma studios, concert, creativity, daily painting, design, family, gratitude, guitar, I'd Rather be in the Studio, music, New Mexico art, New Mexico artist, new painting, new work in progress, oil on canvas, oils, open studios, Open Studios event, original, original art, original oil paintings, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, progress, progress photos, promotion, show, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, studios, wip, work in progress
“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
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…
Posted in abstract, accomplishments, art, art story, artist self promotion, artists, canvas, creativity, daily painting, design, family, flowers, galleries, goals, gratitude, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, new painting, new paintings, new work, oils, original oil paintings, Originals, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, promotion, random things about me, red, spiral abstract series, spiral art
Tagged abstract, accomplishments, Albuquerque artist, art, art story, artist portfolio, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, canvas, creativity, daily painting, design, family, flame, floating, flower, flowers, galleries, gallery scouting, goals, gratitude, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, life, New Mexico artist, new paintings, new work, oil on canvas, oils, original, original art, original oil painting, original oil paintings, Originals, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, promotion, random things about me, random thoughts, red, spark, spiral abstract, spiral abstract series, spiral art
Photo collage from our first CD cover
Sunlight is the name of the band I play in with my husband, Aaron Lewis. Aaron has started a blog on our Sunlight website, so I figured I would share his first post here. I have some painting to do and I promise to share more progress photos at the beginning of next week. My new planned blogging schedule is 2x per week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Please subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss any new posts!
Here is the link to the Sunlight blog, which is also part of our website.
Posted in Aaron Lewis, artist self promotion, creativity, dreams, family, guitar, inspiration, love, music, my story, Paula Manning-Lewis, People Who Inspire Me, photos, promotion, random things about me, Sunlight
Tagged Aaron Lewis, artist self promotion, artist's life, blogging, creativity, dreams, family, folk music, guitar, Guitar Aaron, inspiration, life, love, music, my story, New Mexico artist, Paula Manning-Lewis, People Who Inspire Me, photos, promotion, Sunlight