Category Archives: portfolio

Back to Painting

12 x 12" oil painting in progress

12 x 12″ oil painting in progress, still a lot of detail to finish

Working on a new painting this week. Started it last week but haven’t had time for a blog yet! I’ve been helping out a little here and there with the new grand baby, family has always been most important to me! I’m always happy to get back to the studio though. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been filming a time lapse of this painting in progress, you can see sections of the video on my Instagram.

I’ve been thinking about painting large again, only REALLY large, like wall/mural size. Signs seem to keep pointing me in that direction anyway. I was recently sent a link for a local public art project. The project is a huge mural wall and while I would love to submit for the job, I don’t have the portfolio of work to show to get a job like that. It came to me during my morning meditation that I should look for some mural jobs I could do to add to my portfolio. I did a mural years ago at a local church, not exactly what I would usuallyย  paint, but it was good experience and taught me a lot about painting on walls outside!

What I’ve decided to do is offer to paint a mural for anyone locally who has a wall they want painted. For the cost of materials only. I will not charge labor for the first couple I do. I already have one possibly lined up, so I’m looking for one more wall in need of a mural. Please get in touch with me if you are interested. You can email me at plewis11@comcast.net, or send me a facebook message on my facebook art page.

Creativity: “Shining Your Light”

Aaron and I took Friday and Monday off to make this past weekend a long one. I guess I should say we took the days off from our studios. We worked our butts off at the house! We are currently getting our house ready to sell. This past weekend was focused on yard work and filling a big hole in the back yard where our root cellar used to be. Hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt from the front yard to the back corner of the back yard was exhausting! We moved just over a ton of dirt on Saturday morning. Plus I weeded the front yard while Aaron was picking up the load of dirt. These things used to be so much easier in our younger years! We spent yesterday taking the poor neglected puppies for a hike in the Sandias. It was a good 3 hour hike!

Shining Your Light 10 x 8" original oil painting on canvas

So, back to my regularly scheduled blog post! Thursday afternoon I finished the painting I posted about in my last post. “Shining Your Light” is about lighting up yours and others lives with your own inner light. We all have it, that inner light that shines through us when we smile or show love to someone. There may be turmoil in our lives, but if we can remember to shine our light, the turmoil will subside and the joy will shine through!

"Awakening", 48 x 48" oil painting on canvas, Artist's collection

“Awakening”, 48 x 48″ oil painting on canvas, Artist’s collection

This little painting was inspired by a large painting I did many years ago. “Awakening” hangs on the wall in my bedroom. It’s the first thing I see every morning when I wake up. It’s a 48 x 48″ painting that will most likely never be sold. It will stay a part of my own personal collection.

The reason? I painted this painting at a very difficult time in my life, yet at the same time, it was a time of huge growth and discovery for me. It was almost a year after my dad passed away, 2009. At the time I painted it I was reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. In the book he talks about “awakening”. Which is where the title of this painting came from. I’ve since read it a couple more times. It’s one of those deeply spiritual books that I like to read over and over because of it’s truth. Awakening is basically when you get to that point in life where you realized you are a spiritual being having a human experience and not the other way around.

My dad’s death was the catalyst for my own awakening. I finally KNEW deep down inside that there IS something after death. Death is not the end of our spirit, it is the end of our physical body’s existence here in the physical plane.

Last week, I woke up and looked at “Awakening” and realized how far I have come since I painted it and how much my art has changed. I felt that I hadn’t completely explored the ideas in this painting and I needed to revisit them again. Not always easy to do 7 years later, but beneficial just the same. I may just stay on this narrow, winding path for a few more paintings. Who knows what will come of it! Stay tuned…

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™‚

Creativity: Dusting off my brushes

Purple Peace sign oil painting in progress

Purple Peace Sign, work in progress

It has been almost a year since I painted! Way too long! I have blank canvases staring at me accusingly. Why do I neglect them? I cannot remember why I stopped, I guess I was ready for something different. I’ve really enjoyed creating with my sewing machine and I’m definitely not done with that tangent. Once a painter, always a painter.

Eventually, that old passion is reignited and the brushes must be dusted off! Today was that day. I’ve been feeling an urge to paint peace signs again recently, so this is where I started. This painting is still in progress and I’m not totally sure it will make the final cut into my portfolio. Sometimes, it’s just about getting back in the groove. Sometimes, paintings are painted over because they don’t reach my standards. This one may or may not, that is yet to be seen.

I will let you know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas in July!

As a big fat THANK YOU, I have decided to have a Christmas in July sale in my Etsy shop for the rest of the month! 50% off everything over $50! YES, you read that right, 50% off!!! All you have to do is enter the coupon code, FACEBOOK50, when you check out and it will be automatically discounted! This sale ENDS on August 1st! Great time to get that original painting you’ve had your eyes on!

oil painting on canvas and wood

“To Move Forward”, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2″ oil on canvas and wood, Available for $215

Rise with the Sun

I just finished another painting in my “Words” series! ๐Ÿ™‚ This one is called “Rise with the Sun” and it is painted on all sides as well as the front.

Rise with the sun oil painting

“Rise with the Sun”, 12 x 12″ oil on gallery wrapped canvas, all sides painted. Available for $215.

sides of canvas for Rise with the Sun

The four sides of the canvas include other parts of the verse that was used for this painting.

“Desert Textures”

It’s finally done! ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot even remember how long ago I first conceived of the idea of this series of photographs. It’s been months for sure. There are 14 images so far all together, with more on the way.

I created a poster that features twelve of the close up images. The Desert Textures series is just the first of several Textures series I have planned. The next grouping is “Sky Textures”.

heart flower painting in progress

Current “Words” series painting, still a work in progress

I’m still working on the “Words” painting series alongside this photography series. I have the next painting on my table now, progress photo above.

Photography has always been a favorite side project of mine. I majored in Photojournalism my first year in college and learned how to develop my own film, black and white of course.

I have always said the only reason I didn’t become a professional photographer is because I never seem to have my camera with me when the perfect shot comes my way. I decided last year to change that and bought my first iPhone. I found the Instagram app and that inspired me to start my textures series.

My other current side project is “Sunlight”, a music group I sing in with my husband, Guitar Aaron and our friend, Ray. I guess it’s true what they say about creatives, our attention span is short! I like to think of it as multitasking! There are just so many creative projects to accomplish, and it’s all so much fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunlight is going on a short regional tour in March! We will play venues in Phoenix, Tucson, and Bisbee, AZ as well as Albuquerque and Las Cruces NM.

Singing has always been a dream of mine, since I was a wee one. It’s a project we started about 1 1/2 years ago and it has been nothing but a great time! I’m living proof that you are never too old to follow your heart and live your dreams! ๐Ÿ™‚