Category Archives: portrait

And Just like that, another year is gone!

I’ve really enjoyed the month of October this year! My birthday is the 25th, and in the past I’ve only ever celebrated my birthday. This year, I decided to change that and celebrate my birth MONTH.

I’m feeling especially blessed this year as I was able to paint TWO murals during the month! I’m really excited about painting murals, it is so much fun to paint large and murals fit the bill, not to mention, I don’t have to store large paintings when I’m done. They live where they are painted! I think the best part is that they are living with people who truly appreciate and love them!

I took extra time off this month too. I enjoyed hikes with my family, time with my grandson and of course my sweetie, a baby shower for my 2nd grandson, dinners out, the Frida Kahlo photograph exhibit at the UNM Art Museum, time in Las Cruces with my brother and sister-in-law and much more! It’s been a great month and I am very grateful.

I apologize for the lack of blog posts, but I was so busy with murals and other stuff, the blog practically slipped my mind all month!

Oh, and there was the jaw pain! I’ve been in pain for most of the month. I finally broke down and went to the dentist last week and found out I have to get my one, final, wisdom tooth pulled on Nov. 7th. After a round of antibiotics and steroids, the pain is mostly gone, but the pressure is building and I cannot wait to get this tooth out of my head!

This weekend is my 30th High School reunion! I cannot believe it’s been that long already, but I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone! Aaron and I will be playing some Sunlight music for my classmates at the Saturday evening dinner.

Coming up on November 11th, is the “Face-Palm Patriots”, Veterans Art Show I’m participating in at the KD Neeley gallery in Downtown Albuquerque. This show will benefit the local organization, Heroes Walk Among Us. This is the show I’ve been working on the Self-portrait for. I’m just about finished with it, I have to take it to the gallery tomorrow! I’m pretty pleased with the outcome, considering it’s my first portrait in over 12 years!

Self Portrait for the upcoming "Face-Palm Patriots" Veteran art show

Self Portrait for the upcoming “Face-Palm Patriots” Veteran art show at the KD Neeley gallery in downtown Albuquerque.

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.

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™‚

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!

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.

Summer Sale! 50% off!

My Summer Sale recently opened to the public after a month of exclusive access for my email subscribers. What this means for you is 50% off selected original paintings and prints. This sale will run through Friday, September 22nd. There are over 60 items available in this massive studio clearance sale! After the 22nd, they will all go back to regular price. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to my website PaulaManningLewis.com, the sale is currently on the home page.

You can also get a 20% off coupon for regularly priced paintings and prints by signing up for my email list. The sign up form will pop up automatically when you get to the site. All of the photos in this post are images of sale items available in my Summer Sale. πŸ™‚ Click on the images/captions to go directly to the sale page for that image.

You can still see all of my newer and regularly priced paintings and prints on my website too. Just look for the “home” drop down menu at the top of the page.

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!

Blast from the Past!

I’m getting back to work this week. I think my husband and I were in shock after his uncle’s motorcycle accident. It’s taken over a week to snap out of it and get back to our routine. Aaron’s uncle is still in ICU, but he is healing, slowly. Aaron still visits the hospital everyday, I go every so often. It’s so difficult to see someone in that condition, my empathetic self has a very hard time with it. I can’t even begin to imagine what he must be going through, not to mention his kids and wife and the rest of the family.

Newspaper clipping from one of my first ever art shows in 1991.

Newspaper clipping from one of my first ever art shows in 1991.

Back in the studio. I’m working on an art book of my “Paula Beck Prints” pieces from the early 1990s. I’m also negotiating a contract with a local management/publishing company to represent my art and specifically this book.

Sevier Station pencil drawing

“Sevier Station”, one of the first drawings I did as Paula Beck. Part of the Historical Building series I did in the Tennessee/Kentucky area around Clarksville, TN and Hopkinsville, KY.

I’ve been going through all the old images in my flat file and came across an envelope I had almost forgotten I had! Back in the early 1990s when I started selling my art, it was still that period in history when people wrote letters and sent things by what we now call “snail mail”. LOL! Luckily for me, my dad was pretty sentimental and he saved all of the art prints, photocopies, postcards and newspaper clippings I sent him. I found it after he passed away while cleaning out his things. Nine years later, I have rediscovered that envelope and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Another newspaper clipping from one of my first shows in Clarksville, TN

Another newspaper clipping from one of my first shows in Clarksville, TN

I’m working on photographing and editing all those images from the past. There are about 25 of the historical building drawings I did in 1990-91. The newspaper clippings are from the very first two art shows I did in Clarksville, Tennessee. This was my first year after leaving the military at Fort Campbell.

"Abraham Lincoln", part of my Civil War series.

“Abraham Lincoln”, part of my Civil War series. I did portraits of Lincoln, Gen. Grant, Jefferson Davis and Gen. Forrest

I’m going to stop there. For more of the story you will have to wait for my book! πŸ˜‰ I hope to have it finished by the end of September, but it may be longer than that before it’s published. I plan to share excerpts here leading up to the release.

 

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! πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

Overcoming my addiction to Facebook

March2016

Hello, my name is Paula Manning-Lewis and I’m a facebook addict. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Here you go.

I have been on Facebook since 2009. In those almost 7 years I have spent countless hours, days, heck, MONTHS wasting away my time on this terribly addicting social media website. You could say I’m a facebook expert, I’ve easily spent over 10,000 hours there! I’ve mastered the art of social media. To the extent where I no longer have a life, or at least not much of one, outside of social media. I have successfully transferred all friendships and contacts to facebook. I don’t even HAVE a regular address book anymore.

My poor husband has suffered from being ignored. For years I’ve used the excuse that I was using Facebook as a work tool. I was “selling” my art after all. That was all fine and dandy until they changed the way business pages were seen by my followers. Now, I am just spinning my wheels there. There is no purpose to it other than wasting time, pretending to get some benefit out of social media.

Once I realized I had a problem, I tried to limit my time on the site, with little to no success. I have always considered myself a smart person, I KNOW this addiction is bad for me. I KNOW it’s hurting my business and some of my close relationships.

Now, after a couple of YEARS trying to beat my addiction, I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and REALLY do something about it! Honestly, I have never been an addictive type personality!

So, I’ve headed back to my blog, to write about my process and possibly during my process, I can help someone else who has the same issue. I am planning to get back to my blogging, something I’ve done since 2000, and let it help me beat my addiction the way the folks in AA use coffee and cigarettes to beat theirs ;-).

My goal is to blog everyday, Monday-Friday. I will let you all in on what’s working for me and when I slip back into my old habits. I feel like I can do this better in the public eye by creating accountability for my actions.

For those of you who may have clicked through to this blog post via my Facebook post, I have my blog automatically set up to share my posts on Facebook. That way, I don’t have to actually GO there to share my blog with all my friends! πŸ˜‰ Please feel free to say something if you happen to see me ON facebook. I need all the help I can get!

Commissioned Portraits

Painting portraits is my specialty. I have been painting commissioned portraits for almost 25 years! Nothing I paint is more challenging and rewarding. Below you can see some examples of portraits I’ve been commissioned to paint over the past few years.

I can work from life or photo, preferably photo for kids and pets. You may provide the photo or I can take photos for you for an extra $25.

My prices are moderate for my experience and are based on size, medium, and number of people/pets. Starting at $150 for a pencil 8 x10″ with one person/pet and going up to $1,400 for an oil 20 x 24″ with four people/pets. Email me for an exact quote for your commission.

Prices include basic professional framing. A 50% deposit is required to begin and the balance is due on approval of the portrait. You may also order prints or notecards to share your portrait with family and friends.