Category Archives: peace

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.ย  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.

The Best Laid Plans…

Current work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Birthday Week!

Tuesday was my birthday, not saying how old I am! Let’s just say I’m not a Spring chicken anymore! Not a winter chicken either, but somewhere in between. They say age is just a number and I live by that mantra! I’m enjoying my life more now than at any other time in my life. I haven’t spent much time in the studio this week, we went for a ride on the Sandia Tramway on Tuesday evening and have been sleeping in everyday. It IS my week after all!

Current work in progress, 24 x 30" oil on canvas

Current work in progress, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas

I have done a bit more painting on my current work in progress. This is a larger canvas than I’ve been painting lately. A friend gave me the canvas and so I figured I may as well put it to good use (Thanks Stephanie!). This one is an 24 x 30″ oil on canvas. (Darn it! I just cut my finger on the tape measure!) It’s getting very close to completion!

I’m working on updating my portfolio and this means I have several older paintings to clear out of my studio. Check out my Etsy shop for some really great sale prices on some great art! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will be adding more paintings in the coming days and weeks.

Today I will start my next painting video! I’m working on a series of 12 x 12″ oils on canvasย  that will be made into a video series. Each painting will be named after a song on our Sunlight CD, Life is Good. The corresponding song will provide the background music for the video as well. I hope you will check back in with my blog, or better yet, subscribe so you can get an email when I post the next video!

Speaking of Sunlight, we have jumped back into playing live shows again after a 2 year hiatus for recording. This weekend we are playing a house concert at our own house in Albuquerque. Our friend, Alison Reynolds, is coming up from Las Cruces to play a set and some songs with Sunlight! On November 12th we are playing in Austin, Texas at the Carousel Lounge! Our first gig in Austin, so exciting! In December, we are traveling to Arizona and have shows in both Phoenix and Tucson. Click the “live shows” link above to see where and when we are playing next! ๐Ÿ™‚ Our next local show is December 14th in Rio Rancho. We hope to finish our 2nd album of original music by the beginning of 2017! Stay tuned for more and thank you for visiting my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

Still getting back in my groove!

oil painting in progress

Almost done with this one! ๐Ÿ™‚ 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, still thinking up a title for this one, any ideas?

I think I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to start blogging every Tuesday and Thursday…. Well, Tuesday slipped right by me this week! It’s not easy to go back to work after a long break, but when you are self-employed it can be even more difficult! Mainly because I have to have the self discipline to get my butt back in gear and back to a regular schedule! I have been in my studio everyday this week, but getting back to a routine is proving to be slightly difficult. I haven’t painted for so long, that’s ALL I want to do!

It doesn’t help that I’ve moved into yet another new studio! Smaller space and I’m sharing with an artist friend of mine. It’s been nice having someone to talk to while I work. Being an artist can be so isolating!

oil paintings in progress

Other works in progress…

I waited until today to post a new blog so I could share some new works in progress! ๐Ÿ™‚ I currently have 4 paintings in progress. The photo above shows 3 of the 4, you will have to wait for the last one! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Stay tuned….

Where Am I Going?

I have asked this question several times over the 25 years of my art career. My plan is to SIMPLIFY. My priority as an artist is to MAKE ART, follow my heart, leave my mark on the world, and have my art OUT in the world.

Love gratitude joy hope peace faith believe smile harmony original oil painting in progess

Work in Progress, still untitled, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas. Still working on the background for this one.

With all that said, what does it really mean? What have I come up with? I am a painter. Period. I paint images that I HOPE will bring sunshine, joy, love, inspiration to all who see them. I’m a painter, I paint. Period. No more side projects, sewing projects (maybe in my spare time!), prints, or anything else that takes me off track. I’m done with being distracted by the OTHER stuff.

I have to do this, if I don’t, I will never be successful at anything. I need to focus. We ALL need to focus. What is the one thing you want more than anything else? GO FOR IT! For me, I want to spend my days painting and my evenings playing music!

That is my plan from this day forward, daily painting, daily music practice/shows, daily work to get my art out in the world! This is a big reason for our plans to head out on the road in our motor home. The best way I’ve found to get my art and music out in the world is to get MYSELF out in the world! Besides, it’s not fair that my paintings get to travel the world while I sit here in my studio, at my computer, communicating with the world, but never EXPERIENCING the world! I’m READY to get out of my comfort zone, I’m READY to travel and EXPERIENCE LIFE! ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan to write about it all here as I go along, I hope you will join me on this journey.

Not just here on my blog, but out in the world! Follow that dream you’ve been tucking away in your heart all these years! Paint that painting, write that book, sing that song or whatever dream you have. As Nike says, JUST DO IT!

Inspiration

Sandia Mountains with cloud cover

Sandia Mountains with cloud cover

I’ve been struggling with my life as an artist lately. Having been an artist professionally for over 25 years now, some days are just hard. I had this vision where I would be as an artist by this point in my life. It doesn’t really match up with my reality at the moment. Being an artist is a constant struggle interwoven with moments of inspiration and good days.

Yesterday was a cloudy day in New Mexico, today, more of the same. I’m a desert rat, meaning I love the sun! Cloudy days are great, at first, but then the grey emotions set in and I’m a wreck. It’s the reason I paint bright, happy, joy filled paintings. I NEED the sun in my life.

Most often, my inspiration comes from my morning meditation. I start every day with meditation, it helps me stay in a positive frame of mind, helps me keep my inner peace. Before I meditate, I usually read something inspirational. Currently, I’m reading the book
Simple Abundance, A Day Book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It has a different entry for every day of the year. It was a gift from a dear family friend. I highly recommend it!

Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa

Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa

On days like today, when my emotions are raw, I need more than a sitting meditation in my studio. I need to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Earth. My husband, Aaron, was sweet enough to notice what I needed and we took a drive out to the West Mesa for a short walk at the volcanoes. It was a bit chilly and windy, but it was so nice to be under the great expanse of New Mexico sky with the rain clouds looming overhead. The clouds are so much more beautiful when you are outside than when you are sitting in your office with grey light filtering in from the grey sky.

As we were walking back to the car, Aaron and I were talking about our art and music careers and what’s next. It’s the theme of the day. It was the question I meditated on this morning in my studio. Joyfully, the answer came to me on that short walk with the cool New Mexico breeze blowing through my hair.

It’s time to start over. Wipe the slate clean, heck, throw the slate away and start with a new slate! I am going to go silent online for a while. I have a plan, or at least the inspiration for the start of a plan. Being online, with my blog/website, facebook page, twitter profile, Etsy shop, etc etc, puts so much pressure on me to always produce something new. Blog everyday. Post to my feeds. Sell my art. Create more art. Repeat. I am going to take some time off from my online life. I’m going to reinvent myself as an artist. I’m going to make a plan. I’m going to execute that plan. In my studio. With no online presence. I’m going to take a class. Paint new paintings. Build a new website.

When it’s all done, and I have an idea of where I’m going next. When all the work is done, the new website is up, etc. I will be back. I will make a huge splash all at once! I will know exactly where I’m headed, or at least have a much better idea of my plan to get there. I won’t stress myself out getting there. It’s time for the caterpillar to go into it’s cocoon. The Butterfly will see you on the other side!

Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes

Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes

Creativity: Throwback Thursday

 

We have a friend visiting from out of town today, so I haven’t had any time for creating. What better time to share a #TBT post?! A couple of weeks ago I posted about my 25 years as an Artist.

Clarksville Methodist Church, pencil drawing

Clarksville Methodist Church, pencil drawing. Not the greatest photo, it was sent to me by a fan. I honestly don’t think I have a photo/copy of this drawing anymore.

In that post I talked about my first drawings being of historical buildings in Tennessee. For today’s Throwback Thursday post, I decided I would share some of my pencil/charcoal drawings and portraits. The church was done when I was 21 years old, just a baby as an artist. All I knew was drawing with pencil, I hadn’t had any experience with painting or selling my art.

"Nate sticking out his tongue", pencil drawing of my youngest son at around 2 years old, 2003

“Nate sticking out his tongue”, charcoal drawing of my youngest son at around 2 years old, 2003.

I surely didn’t know anything about computers back then. The World Wide Web barely existed then, at least the way we know it now. I was still 6 years away from owning my own first computer. At the time, I still had dreams of becoming an architect someday. I’ve always loved drawing buildings. I love architecture, especially older buildings. It fascinates me how much detail and work was put into buildings before the turn of the 20th century. Nothing was rushed, it was art. It’s sad to me that in today’s rushed world, buildings are put up in record time, with little to no architectural details. Little boxes everywhere you look. Big box stores, little box suburban sprawl. Boxes everywhere. I could go on forever about the loss of beautiful architectural pieces.

"Bryan and his big wheel", pencil drawing of my eldest son at around 2 years old. Circa 1997

“Bryan and his big wheel”, charcoal drawing of my eldest son at around 2 years old. Circa 2002

At the same time I was drawing historical buildings, I was always working on a portrait. Whether it was one of my own kids or commissions of other people’s kids, I used to really enjoy portraits. After drawing who knows how many portraits, I took a portrait painting class and did several watercolor and then oil portraits. Then one day, I was tired of painting portraits. I was good at it, not to toot my own horn, but faces are really not all that different. I knew I needed something more.

"Can I Hold the Baby?", watercolor portrait of my middle son holding his newborn cousin, 1997.

“Can I Hold the Baby?”, watercolor portrait of my middle son holding his newborn cousin, 1997.

For years after that, I drew and painted landscapes. Actually, all of these phases overlapped each other. I was unsure for many years which direction my art was headed. Portraits were always the best way to make a living as an artist, but also the most nerve wracking process. It was stressful doing commissions and never knowing if the person paying for the commission would be happy with the end result.They usually were, but that stress of self-doubt was hard for me to deal with.

"Martinez grandkids", commissioned portrait painted in oils, circa 2004

“The Grandkids”, commissioned portrait painted in oils, circa 2004

What it eventually came down to was I was searching for something deep down inside me that was MINE. My truest form of expressing my creativity. Not something I saw and wanted to copy, but something that came from my soul. I finally found that expression with my peace paintings and my spiral abstract series.

I will share my landscapes and Peace works in another post. Stay tuned for my next #TBT Creativity post! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for reading my blog! If you like what you see here, please subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner of this page. ๐Ÿ™‚