Category Archives: I’d Rather be in the Studio

Self Portrait in Progress

My show at the Sierra Club Offices came down today. Working on more business than painting these days. Lots of organizational stuff. No fun, but necessary. Working on my next e-newsletter, Autumn issue. Head over to my website if you would like to get signed up for my email list. I just added two new pages of prints on my website too. The last several Paula Beck Prints are now available on the website, once they are gone, that’s it.

Yesterday I had a studio visit from a friend and fan of my work. If you live in Albuquerque, or even if you are visiting, give me a call or send me an email. My studio is open by appointment and I always love to have visitors come by! You can find my contact information on my website as well.

More #workinprogress #oilpainting #selfportrait #art #timelapse

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Today I finally got to do some painting. Still working on my self portrait for the Veterans show coming up in November. The gallery was covered on our local news this week for the Veterans show, opening 11/11 at the KD Neeley Studio and Gallery at 104 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, NM. I’ll be working on this painting for a bit longer, still a ways to go. I’m pleased that the portrait is going easier than I was expecting, I guess it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget how. I made a couple of time lapse videos today while painting, see below. πŸ™‚

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Friday? Already?!

This week flew right by! I haven’t spent much time painting this week. It’s been a week of packing and shipping, working on my website, etc, all the behind the scenes unexciting tasks of an artist. Below are a couple of my Instagram updates from this week. (Click on the bottom one to see the video) The Self Portrait for the Veterans show is coming along, slowly but surely. I psyched myself out for days with the portrait, scared to just jump in and get it started! Last night I finally took the dive. Long way to go, but it’s getting a decent start. Follow me on Instagram @manlewis69 to get my daily photo/video updates! πŸ™‚

Background is almost done! #selfportrait is next! #oilpainting #art #spirals #veterans

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Today is the last day for my Summer Sale on my art website. 50% off select paintings and prints. Sign up for my email list and get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase of any regularly priced paintings or prints. πŸ™‚

Time to dive in to that #selfportrait πŸ˜πŸ™#oilpainting #art #wip #workinprogress

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More Background work

work in progress, Veteran self portrait

Work in Progress, the white area is the space reserved for my self portrait.

Not much new to share today, except a little progress on my current painting! πŸ˜‰ Still working on the background, I really want to get to that portrait, but background first! Still going back and forth on whether I will paint the portrait or draw it. I may combine the two and paint the portrait in black and white. What do YOU think? Seriously, I’m curious! πŸ™‚

FYI, Friendly reminder, News Flash! In case you don’t already know, I’m having a Summer Studio Clearance Sale on my website right now! The sale ends on Friday, the 22nd of September, one week from tomorrow! 50% off select paintings and prints! AND, if you sign up for my email list, you will get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase of regularly priced paintings and prints!

Did you say Self-Portrait?

Yes I did. I had a very creative outburst on Saturday night. Stayed up until 3 am to write and work on my “Paula Beck Story” art book. I tried to sleep but my muse wasn’t having it. At first it was one little idea, so I got out my small bedside notebook and started writing. After 3-4 pages I realized I needed to get to the computer so I could type. The words were coming faster than I could write them long hand with a pen and paper.

One of my flashes of inspiration came as the idea to do a self portrait in pencil as a special edition print to go with my art book. That turned into a self portrait in oils of me as a young Private in the Army, in front of one of my spiral paintings. In particular, the red, yellow and blue painting I’m working on for the Face-Palm Patriots show in November. It could turn into a series, who knows?

first pencil sketch

self portrait, pencil sketch

I started practicing a little portrait sketching today. It’s been over a decade since I’ve drawn or painted a portrait. I used to paint portrait commissions for a living. Painting someone else for a commission is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done as an artist. I had to stop.

Self-portraits on the other hand. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. Need I say more? I think I may be starting my Frida phase as an artist. Only time will tell. I’m kinda into this idea. Stay tuned!

Talking about a Visual Medium

Me with my piece, "Find Your Shine", at the Opening Reception at the NM Cancer Center Gallery with a Cause.

Me with my piece, “Find Your Shine”, at the Opening Reception at the NM Cancer Center Gallery with a Cause.

Talking isn’t my strong point. Some may disagree with that. Let me clarify, talking about MY ART isn’t my strong point. There is good reason for this. When I paint, or think about painting, it’s not done with words, it’s done with pictures. I visualize a painting before I paint it. I don’t write about it or talk about it, I just paint it. Putting those visual images into words isn’t easy. I’m a self taught artist. I didn’t go to art school. I was never taught HOW to talk about art. I don’t know the language. All I know are my feelings when I paint and I’ve never been really good at expressing my feelings either.

This inadequacy doesn’t show up for me until I’m at an opening reception for my art. This was the case this past Sunday afternoon at the Opening for the “Artists on the Rise” show at the NM Cancer Center Gallery. Someone asked for “my thoughts” on one of my pieces and I kind of froze. I’m embarrassed to say, I was at a complete loss for words. I THINK I pulled it off though. I said something about that particular piece being my favorite and how the spiral in the middle is how I start all of my paintings like a meditation. Needless to say, I NEED to work on this! I guess it’s time to either memorize my artist’s statement or write something up that I can memorize so it doesn’t sound like a memorized artist statement.

Question for my artist friends, how do you deal with talking about your art?

Photo of all the artists in the show, plus the curator, and directors of the NMCCG, Gallery with a Cause.

Photo of most of the artists in the show, plus the curator, and directors of the NMCCG, Gallery with a Cause. I’m in the back row, 5th from the left.

 

Memorial Day, Murals and Guitars

I hope everyone had a good Holiday weekend. I’m working through it so we can go camping this week. We always go camping the week AFTER Memorial day. We are the kind of campers that want to get away from everyone! Even in New Mexico, that is impossible to do Memorial Day weekend, so we wait until Tuesday when everyone else is back at work.

I’m writing this blog ON Memorial Day and remembering all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I was in the military during Desert Storm and personally knew a few of those people. I will never forget them, their sacrifice or the families they left behind.

Painted guitar in progress, Strat body.

Painted guitar in progress, Strat body.

Over the weekend, I started my guitar painting for the Sierra Club show in August. I’ve had this Strat body sitting in my studio for literally YEARS! It has been patiently waiting for me to make it beautiful. It is still in progress and I’m hoping to make this one my first playable guitar painting. I’m counting on my husband to help me with building the guitar from the empty solid body it is now. I’m showing only recycled art at the Sierra Club, because what better place to promote recycling, right?

Mural design, 12 x 12" oil on canvas, this will be painted at 10 times the size of this painting!

Mural design, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, this will be painted at 10 times the size of this painting!

On Friday, I will be getting started on the mural project I’ve been writing about for the last couple months. I have created the design and have approval to get started! I’m really excited about painting LARGE! 10 x 10 feet large! I plan on making a time lapse video of the whole process so stay tuned. I may share bits and pieces of it during the process.

 

Mural Sketch in Progress

The video above is the sketch for the mural I’m getting ready to start. This small 12 x 12″ painting is 1/10th the size the mural will be. It will be painted on an outside wall on the back patio. The people I’m painting it for have a very lovely garden yard and I am excited to see how my art will look among the trees and flowers. I picked Spring colors for that very reason. Then, even when it’s not Spring, they will be reminded of the yard when it’s in bloom! The idea is that the Sun mural will shine year round. I hope they like the design. πŸ™‚

Now that I’m all finished with the work for the NM Cancer Center Gallery show, I’m switching gears to start work on a mural job I’m very excited to get started! I do have another art show to get ready for, but that deadline is in July and I don’t have as many pieces to get together for it. However, I will be starting a new guitar painting for that show, very soon!

My art show in August is at the local Albuquerque Sierra Club offices. I’ve decided to make it a recycled art show, with the center piece being one of my guitar paintings. There will also be plenty of recycled vinyl record paintings too! πŸ™‚

My first Mandala painting class!

My first Mandala painting class!

This past Saturday was my very first Mandala painting class! I had 3 people attend and we had so much fun! Huge thanks to the folks who decided to spend their Saturday evening with me. Stay tuned for the next class, I will be picking a date very soon!

Mandala Painting class

Mandala Painting class