Category Archives: new studio

Feeling Isolated

New canvas has arrived!

New canvas has arrived! Three 36×36″ paintings on the way!

Making art is, for the most part, a solitary pursuit. I’ve been purposefully isolated ever since we closed Chroma Studios Art space in June 2017. I go back and forth between being an introvert and an extrovert. I enjoy my solitary time. Usually. I must be heading into an extrovert phase. I’ve been feeling a bit too isolated lately.

It’s been over 6 months now since our major move to the Silver City area. In September, I attended a meeting of the Silver City Art Association. I joined the group just in time to participate in their Indy Artist Pop up show at the Common Ground gallery in Silver City.

Last week I met with the President of the Association so we could get to know each other better. We talked about the challenges they face as a group. I told her a bit about the experiences I have had as an artist/gallery owner and I told her that I would be happy to pitch in and help wherever they needed me.

This morning I woke to a message from another member of the group asking if I would be willing to be their Vice President. I guess I made a good impression!

I’m excited for this new chapter of my art career and ready to be an extrovert again! The sense of failure I felt when we closed Chroma Art Studios in Albuquerque has faded. I know it wasn’t a failure, it ran it’s course and it was time for us to leave the big city for a small town. I’m happy to be where I am now.

One of the reasons I joined the group was the fact that they have an Open Studios Tour at the beginning of May. I guess I will now be helping to make it happen for 2019. My goal is to have my studio in Santa Clara finished and ready for the Open Studios Tour. I have my work cut out for me for sure!

Black gesso on canvas

Black gesso on canvas, drying time.

Yesterday was a very rough day for me personally. Thank God for art and the UPS guy bringing my 3 new large canvases! Today I’m prepping the new canvas to start painting tomorrow. I start each canvas with black gesso and it needs a good day to dry fully.

I’m leaning towards a new painting in the “Space” series. This series is based on images from the Hubble Telescope. Spiral Universes, stars and galaxies, more about this in my next blog, stay tuned!

Oh and friendly reminder! Your 2019 Paula Manning-Lewis Art Calendar is now available for purchase on my website!

 

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Rain, Rain, go away!

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12×12″ oil on canvas, finished yesterday, untitled for now

The title of this blog is a bit misleading! I’m really not complaining about all the rain we’ve received in southern New Mexico these past couple of months! That said, I just want to go hiking! I guess I will post another blog about the paintings I’ve been working on instead of the hiking blog I was planning on. Our doggies really want the rain to stop! They are dying to go out for a hike! Not to mention, my little Bernie Bern is very afraid of the thunder and lightning.

Our new truck! 2018 Nissan Frontier

Our new truck! 2018 Nissan Frontier

We just took delivery of our brand new 4×4 Nissan truck. Even more reason we are itching to get out for a hike, this time we are going deep into the woods! We can now go places even our Subaru AWD can’t reach. Stay tuned, once this uncharacteristic rainy season is over, we will be doing lots of exploring in the Gila.

One of 3, 12x12

12×12″ oil painting on canvas, that I finished yesterday.

Another issue with the rain? The supposed “new” 30 year roof on my studio has sprouted several leaks. One is right over my computer desk. This is the reason I’m leasing this building and not buying it, for now. It will help to know what’s really up with the building.

12x12

12×12″ oil painting on canvas, finished yesterday, untitled for now

I’ve been super busy in the studio this week. A whole lotta painting going on! I finished another 3 paintings since Tuesday’s blog. I now have 3 more to finish before I can buy some new LARGE canvases. I cannot wait to paint LARGE again! Another plus of the new truck? I can transport my large paintings! I have two stored at my mom’s house in Albuquerque because we couldn’t fit them in our car.

Though these paintings are finished, I haven’t found titles for them just yet. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions? Thanks!

Progress This Week…

I’m enjoying my new studio and getting back to a regular painting routine. I’ve been working on a couple of 20×20″ oil paintings over the last few weeks and I do believe they are finished! For sure one of them, not completely sure on the second. lol.

“Emanate”, 20×20″ oil on canvas, available soon!

The first one finished is the second painting started. While painting the first I had an idea I wanted to try out, just not on that painting. So I started another! This is the third painting where I’ve used this idea. The idea is many streams/brushstrokes/waves of color coming out from the middle of the painting. The idea behind it is energy. The idea that energy emanates from the core of a person, from our heart center. It’s not necessarily a scientific idea, more of a spiritual thought.

I hate trying to describe my ideas with words, but I’m pushing myself to get better at doing just that. Most of my ideas come straight out of my wondering brain. Some days from meditation, some days they just pop up while I’m “in the zone” and painting.

20x20" oil on canvas, still in progress?

20×20″ oil on canvas, still in progress?

Pushing myself to paint in a more abstract style makes it even more difficult to describe with words. I don’t really think Abstract work should be explained. It should evoke different feelings in different viewers. IMHO anyway. As a viewer of art, do you CARE what the artist was thinking or what their ideas were? I’m serious, these are things I wonder about! I would love to hear your opinion!

This week is my annual Summer Studio Clearance Sale. I have 40 original paintings available at 30% off. The discount has already been taken on my website. You can get another 20% off if you sign up for my email list on my website.

Summer Sale starts Friday!

One of my current 20x20" oil paintings in progress

One of my current 20×20″ oil paintings in progress

Now that I have my huge new studio, I’ve been able to get all of my available art out and hanging on the walls. I have over 30 original pieces that will be available in my annual Summer Studio Clearance Sale, starting THIS Friday! The sale will be exclusively on my WEBSITE. Go to the website now and sign up for my email list. Everyone on my email list gets a coupon code for an extra 20% off the already 30% discounted prices on my website, for a total discount of 50% off! I will send out reminders about the sale to my email list as well. The sale runs September 7-14th.

I’ve been working on a couple of 20 x 20″ oil paintings the past couple of weeks. I didn’t get much done on the paintings last week as I was busy moving into my new studio. I’m working on a couple of ideas that came from several of the smaller paintings I was working on over the Summer. I may end up with a series from these ideas. I love it when an idea plays out over several paintings like that! It gives me a starting point for my next painting.

Another 20x20" oil painting in progress

Another 20×20″ oil painting in progress

I still need to order a few large canvases so I can try the ideas out on a larger scale. It’s been so long since I’ve had the space to work larger than 30×30″. I’m thinking I will start with a couple of 4 foot square canvases. Other than murals, I haven’t painted that big since I had a van! It’s very important when painting large that you have a vehicle with the capacity to carry your art. Lol. I’m currently storing a couple of my larger paintings at my mom’s house in Albuquerque, because I couldn’t fit them into my station wagon.

The plan is to get a truck by the end of the month. Living out in the country, we definitely need to have two vehicles for so many reasons. There’s the fact that we have to haul our own trash. Aaron and I are no longer working together everyday, so we need separate cars for commuting. There was that week we had to rent a car while our Subaru was having a new clutch put in. Of course, most importantly, I need to be able to transport large canvases! 😉

 

My Latest Studio

What I'm currently working on, 20x20

What I’m currently working on, 20×20″ abstract oil painting in progress

Friday afternoon I signed the lease for my new art studio. After 5 months of working in my home studio, there is no doubt in my mind. I need a studio outside of the house! While I LOVE our new house, I’m going stir crazy being in the house all the time. Not only that, but it’s very hard to separate work time from off time.

All that said, I’ve not had an easy time finding a studio in our new location. I wanted a studio in downtown Silver City, but it wasn’t meant to be. Recently, I dropped Aaron off at Central Elementary in Santa Clara where he teaches. As I was driving back out to the highway, I noticed a commercial building for rent on the main street. As a matter of fact, it is on the corner of the two main roads into Santa Clara. The sign said For Rent with a possibility of buying with a small down payment.

My new studio, the whole building is all mine!

My new studio, the whole building is all mine!

Of course, I took down the number and figured I would call later. I thought about it for a week or so. Aaron and I talked about it. I really wasn’t thrilled about taking a studio outside of Silver City, but Santa Clara is closer to Mimbres and it is also closer to the schools where Aaron teaches.

I finally decided to call on the building last week and we met the owner on Thursday so we could see the inside of the building. The outside of the building has been renovated. Fortunately for me, the inside is still unfinished. I say fortunately, because that is the fact that makes the rent affordable! I have agreed to do the finish work on the inside in return for cheap rent. The other benefit being any money we put into finishing the inside will be applied to our down payment when/if we decide to buy the building. I’m pretty sure we will purchase it. I would love to stay here forever. I’ve moved my studio over 20 times in 20+ years. I’m ready to stay somewhere.

Looking in from the front door

Looking in from the front door

The inside is HUGE! The one main room has 10 foot ceilings and measures 24 x 28 feet. I can paint BIG here! The framing, electrical and plumbing work has been done inside with a small bathroom, office and two storage rooms. Basically, I have to do the insulation, dry wall, flooring and install bathroom fixtures. There are also a couple of windows needed.

One of my favorite things about this building is all the empty wall space on the outside. I will definitely paint several murals in the future. I’ve now reconciled the fact that my studio will be outside of Silver City. I once promised myself I would never have a retail gallery again. This location makes that promise much easier to keep! lol! I do plan to participate in the local open studio tour and we will probably have an event or two a year, but this space will mainly be a working art studio. And storage! Lots and lots of storage!

Looking out the front door from the back

Looking out the front door from the back

I need to go order some LARGE canvases now! Stay tuned… 🙂

Doing laundry…

12×12″ oil on canvas. One of the paintings I’ve been working on this week.

3:33pm on a Friday and I’m sitting at the laundromat washing bedding and clothes. I’ve lived without a washer and dryer before. Long, long ago when a week’s laundry consisted of 15-20 loads of mostly baby and kids clothing! Gratefully, these days, it’s only three loads because it’s time to wash the comforter. I can sit here quietly watching the washers spin without any children screaming because their brother just ran over their fingers with the rolling laundry cart they were told not to play in. Some days I miss those days, but definitely not while sitting at the laundromat!

12×12″oil on canvas. Another work in progress from this week.

It’s not hard to believe it’s already June, with the move and everything that has changed in my life over these past 6 months. We are still waiting to close on our new house but the end is getting close! I’m settling back into a painting routine and the rust is gone. My creativity has been flowing! I haven’t finished much, but I’ve been in a painting frenzy. Life is great!

Inspiring Surroundings

work in progress 12 x 12

#7 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

It’s been a great week for art! I’ve painted every day this week! Yay! Starting to work the rust out and the ideas are flowing. My new surroundings are inspiring as hell! I look out the windows of my new studio and it still feels like a dream. It IS a dream, a living, breathing, dream! Grateful. Thankful. Blessed.

work in progress 12 x 12

#6 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m feeling the love, so why not paint a few hearts? I’m digging the idea and what’s coming out of it. I have seven paintings in various stages of progress. A couple may already be done, not sure yet. The hearts are the most recent.

work in progress 12 x 12

#5 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

The photos in this post are in order from most recent to least recent.

work in progress 12 x 12

#4 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m playing with the paints, trying out new things.  My goal is to play, not get attached to any outcome, just let it flow. These are sketches in paint. Idea generators. Inspiration.

work in progress 12 x 12

#3 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I can feel my inspiration pushing me to evolve my style into something different. I guess it’s always evolving from painting to painting. This feels bigger.

work in progress 12 x 12

#2 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’ve already started putting more layers of paint on the canvas. Creating more depth, more mystery. Transparent layers showing a hint of what lies behind.

work in progress 12 x 12

#1 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

More progress photos and posts to come! Thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂