Category Archives: peace

Almost Mural Time!

I’m excited to share that I am getting ready to paint another mural! This one will be out of town, I’m going to Las Cruces (my hometown) to paint a mural for my brother and his wife. Needless to say, I will be filming another time lapse video for this one, so stay tuned.Β  I’m going to paint this one the weekend of October 7th. Below is the design sketch. The drawing isn’t to scale as I don’t have the exact measurements of the wall just yet. If you live in Las Cruces, you will be able to drive by to see it as this one is being painted on a wall in their driveway. I will share the address once I’m down there working on it. I’d love to have you stop by for a visit and you can watch me paint if you want. πŸ™‚

#mural #design #sketch #art #WIP

A post shared by Paula Manning-Lewis (@manlewis69) on

This weekend I am showing some of my art at the Healing Winds Psychic Fair!Β  I will be there for sure all day Sunday, 10-6, at The Source, 1111 Carlisle Blvd SE. I will mainly have prints with a few originals available. My prints make great gifts! Prices start at $15! Come by and say hi! It should be a fun and enlightening time!

This is the last week of my show at the Sierra Club office here in Albuquerque. I pick up my work on Thursday afternoon. You can see the pieces from the show on my website.

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Self Portrait for Veterans Day

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran's day show, 20 x 20

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran’s day show, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas

Last week I posted about my latest inspiration in this post. I worked on a couple of self portrait sketches last week and decided that I would, in fact, change the painting I’m working on for the Veteran’s Day show, into a self portrait. My second sketch came out much more satisfactory than the first.

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

It has literally been over a decade since I painted a portrait in oils or drawn in pencil for that matter. I stopped because painting portrait commissions was very stressful. Getting a likeness is one thing, but it’s impossible to make a portrait that matches what someone “thinks” they look like. Though I stopped taking portrait commissions, I have always enjoyed painting portraits. Self portraits are not as stressful for obvious reasons. I KNOW what I look like and what I “think” I look like, and there is absolutely no pressure there.

Today, I blocked out the silhouette in the foreground of my latest spiral abstract painting. The background will continue on as intended. The idea behind this self portrait is specifically about my time as a soldier in the US Army and how it changed my perception from childhood to adulthood. My once eager, patriotic mind was twisted and turned more cynical once my time was served. I became an advocate for peace and love, after being sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier and after seeing families torn apart because of war. I became even more peace minded after seeing my son’s generation of soldiers come home in pieces, physically and mentally, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The spirals of red, blue and yellow surrounded by stars and eventually, stripes, is a representation of the flag after the twisting and turning. I use yellow instead of white to represent the staining of young hearts, forever changed by war. These torn souls will never know the innocence of childhood again. It’s not my usual happy go lucky inspiration, but it’s real. It’s my truth.

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress

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.Β  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! πŸ˜‰

 

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! πŸ˜‰ 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 canvasΒ  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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

Still getting back in my groove!

oil painting in progress

Almost done with this one! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚ I currently have 4 paintings in progress. The photo above shows 3 of the 4, you will have to wait for the last one! πŸ˜‰ Stay tuned….