Category Archives: red

Where have you been?

"Burning up for your love" guitar painting

Varnished, whole and ready to show! “Burning up for your love”, acrylic on solid Fender body, Available “as is” for $1,000. Price will go up once all the parts are added.

My solo show at the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club opens this Friday, 6-8pm. Tomorrow morning the show will be hung and ready to go! Today I took the guitar and neck to the guitar shop for connection. I’m excited about finishing up my first playable art guitar! It will be shown this month, as is, but after the August show comes down this guitar will get all it’s pick ups, tuning pegs and knobs, wiring, etc. Then it will be ready to be PLAYED! Until then, I had Aaron model the guitar for me, he’s a natural! 😉

My guitar playing husband modeling the new guitar for me! ;-)

My guitar playing husband modeling the new guitar for me! 😉

We went camping last week, in case you were wondering why there were no blog posts. We spent a few days with my brother and sister in law at the lake. They just got their boat up and running for the first time in YEARS, so we had to take it out for a test run! I had forgotten how much I love to swim! It was hotter than hell, but the water was PERFECT!

good times at the lake!

Me with (l to r), my brother Travis, Aaron and our SIL, Charlene.

After 3 days at the lake, I came home to a request from a local architect friend of ours. His firm, Design Group, is building a playhouse for Parade of Playhouses, an auction gala to benefit local non profit, NM Appleseed. His request was for my contribution to their playhouse project, in the form of painting a set of wooden gears that will be on the wall of the playhouse. The theme of the house is Dr. Suess. I was given the gears, a color scheme and the theme and this is what I ended up with. I am always happy to contribute my art work to good causes and NM Appleseed is a good one. From their website, “Focusing on issues like hunger, education and homelessness, New Mexico Appleseed’s goal is to make systemic change that yields permanent or long term improvement for the poor and under served.”

Gears for the Cat in the Hat Playhouse

Gears for the Cat in the Hat Playhouse

How Does an Artist Support a Cause?

There are many ways to do this, but they all involve ART! I donate to several causes throughout the year. Either by donating a piece for a silent auction or by giving a percentage of sales to the cause. This Summer I’m helping a couple GREAT causes!

Strat guitar painting

My latest recycled guitar painting. This will also be my first PLAYABLE guitar painting once it’s done! Showing at the Sierra Club in August.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know I currently have 22 pieces showing at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery With a Cause until August 25th. 40% of the sales will benefit the NMCC Foundation. This wonderful foundation helps cancer patients cover non-medical expenses while they are in treatment. Great cause, right?! I’m honored to be included in such an amazing show with over 20 other awesome artists. You can see the pieces I have in the show on the NMCC Gallery With a Cause website. If you see something you like, just give them a call and they will handle the sale. You can also buy direct from my website and the 40% will still be donated to the cause.

Another cause near and dear to me is the environment, our wilderness areas and public lands. I regularly donate to the Sierra Club because I feel we need to protect our Mother Earth. From the Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter website:

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is a volunteer-led organization representing more than 7,000 members in New Mexico and West Texas. Our mission is to explore, enjoy and protect the planet, and we prioritize action on protecting our climate, clean air, clean water, and conservation of wildlife and public lands in New Mexico and West Texas.”

Recycled Vinyl Record Painting

Recycled Vinyl Record painting, finished today, this one will also be shown at the Sierra Club in August.

I am showing my art at the local Albuquerque offices of the Sierra Club in August. I’m excited about this exhibit, as I will be showcasing my recycled art. A recently painted guitar and my recycled vinyl paintings will be featured. The opening reception will be the First Friday in August. I’m not sure just yet how much of sales will go to the Sierra Club, but I will let you know as soon as I do. I will share more information about this show in the coming month.

 

A Couple of Completed Paintings!

"A Spark and a Flame", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, Available for $215

“A Spark and a Flame”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, Available for $215

I spent a lot of time last week stressing over stuff that’s completely out of my control. I’ve been working for years on NOT worrying about the things I can’t control. Still, it’s not easy when the thing I’m stressing about is my kids. Now that they are adults it can be so hard to keep my big fat nose out of their problems. I just want to step in and make things better for them. Like when they were little and I could give a kiss or a hug to make things ok. I work really hard at not giving unsolicited advice. NOT an easy task for a mom. Part of the problem is I FEEL their pain. Literally. I will wake up feeling awful and not knowing what the problem is and invariably I will get a phone call sometime during the day from one of my sons venting his frustrations or pain. I guess there will always be a connection. I must say, I’m pretty proud of my boys for being awesome men. They may have been mama’s boys, but they are doing great as men on their own.

Anyway, had to do a little venting of my own. Being an artist is difficult, but being an artist AND a mom? No words can describe. I imagine it’s the same for all working moms.

"Floating", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, Available for $215

“Floating”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, Available for $215

It’s funny, I have some weeks where I get lots of work done, and then there are weeks where it doesn’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. Even during those weeks, I can usually get a little painting time in. This week is already starting out well. I’ve finished up two paintings I’ve been working on. I started them quite some time ago, so it feels good to be done!

I’ve been working on building a better portfolio of my art, working to get 20 GOOD pieces that I can use to submit my work to galleries and other showing opportunities. I easily have 50 original paintings available right now, but they aren’t cohesive as a group. Getting there…

Work in Progress…

It’s been really nice having time in the studio the past couple of weeks. Makes me feel a bit guilty since my hubby is stuck at home digging up the sewer pipes in the back yard! We had our house all ready to sell, it’s actually on the market now, and now we have a MAJOR plumbing disaster happening in our back yard! Turns out the sewer lines that we thought were “slow”(just old and clogged) are actually filled with holes and collapsed in some places. My husband and son have been digging for days and today was the day they hoped to uncover the connection to the main sewer line.

Trench in my back yard

Trench in my back yard! It now keeps going around the corner of the house at the end.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. It turns out, our sewer line from our kitchen and back bathroom/laundry room actually lead into a 5o gallon barrel, old rusty barrel. You see, our house was built way back when in 1950, and I guess the original house was on a septic tank (if that’s what they called a septic tank back then!) UPDATE: My hubby just called to let me know that the barrel was NOT a septic tank after all, it was actually buried ABOVE the pipes! UGH! Good news is the pipe keeps going, so no septic to remove, but there is still that barrel…

Work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas

Work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas

While my poor sweetie has been digging in the back yard, I’ve been busy creating new paintings and getting ready for my Open Studio event coming up at Chroma Studios! I am having an art sale on that day to help contribute to our plumbing fund! If you aren’t local, stay tuned as I will post paintings here for sale as well! 🙂

Work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas, this one has a black gesso background!

Work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, this one has a black gesso background!

 

 

Creativity: Disappointment

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

Today I was working on a new doll pattern. This exploration has given me the opportunity to share a piece of the artist’s life with my readers. Not everything comes out the way you hope it will. I have experienced disappointment before. I’m used to it. For those young (or young at art), beginning artists out there, you are not alone! Even seasoned artists have to face disappointment from time to time. All you can do is try, and try again.

I wanted to cut some of the steps in my pattern, so today I drew up a new pattern with the arms and legs connected from the beginning. My other pattern had to be sewn piece by piece with the arms and legs connected to the body after they were sewn and stuffed. I am not thrilled with the result. The legs kinda look like chicken drumsticks!

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

One issue I hadn’t considered, is having to sew up the doll at the top of the head instead of at the bottom where the legs are connected. The head is rounded, which makes it really difficult to hand sew it shut. There is a reason the pattern was made the way it is.

The first doll I started today didn’t work out because I stitched the seams too close to the edge. I ended up with holes in the seam. The linen canvas I used was also a bit too stiff, hard to turn right side out after sewing. The red cotton fabric was easier to work with, but I still have the issue of sewing up the head. I may still be able to salvage that one, we shall see.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

Another problem I discovered was putting the body together from the beginning was not a good use of my fabric. I had to use a much bigger piece to get the whole body cut out. When the arms and legs are detached, I can use more scrap pieces and less fabric overall.

I learned my lesson today. Back to the drawing board for another idea. Next time, I think I will keep the arms connected to the body, but leave the legs detached so I can sew them to the flat bottom and then sew up the body from there.

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

I hope to have something more interesting to share with y’all on Thursday. Today? It’s a wash, I will chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.

Friday Funday: Artist Date!

 

Friday is Funday in my art studio. I like to put aside all the “business” stuff and have a day to play and enjoy being an artist. Julia Cameron, who wrote the book, “The Artist’s Way”, which I read for the first time almost 20 years ago, recommends taking yourself on an “Artist date”. This is something you do to feed your inner artist. Whether it be going to an art supply store and browsing supplies, or going to an art gallery or museum and looking at art for inspiration. You can do what I do and play in your studio or wherever you make your art.

I forget about this a lot of the time but it’s a great idea! Not just for artists either! EVERYONE should have self dates to feed their creativity or their spirit. You can go it alone or with a friend. Museums and galleries always fuel my inspiration. There is nothing quite like seeing what other artists are doing to light a fire deep inside me to create something new. I recently made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe with some out of town visitors. Georgia’s work has always had a way of making me want to go out into the desert and paint a landscape. Even though it’s been YEARS since I painted a landscape!

This week, I decided to stay in the studio and paint. This would seem like a normal day in the studio for me but for Friday Funday it’s all about being free and not trying to control what I’m painting. No judgements, no mistakes, just FUN!

8 x 10" oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, "Abstract flower".

Playing with paint today this 8 x 10″ oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, “Abstract flower”.

Today, as everyday, I started with a 20 minute meditation. I had another painting show itself to me today (see above). Before this week, it had been about a year since I had taken out the paints and brushes. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for something new to do. My thinking was I needed to make art that was functional. Something that would be used and not just hung on a wall or stuck in a closet.

It started last summer with creating an adult coloring book. Interactive art! I hand drew 20 mandalas and published my own book. Now available in printed and pdf format in my Etsy shop.

After the coloring book I was reminded of how much I enjoy sewing and pulled my dusty old sewing machine out of the closet, and had it cleaned up and serviced so it would work again! I found Spoonflower.com and designed my own custom fabric using my art. I started making dolls and art pillows using my custom art fabric.

Now that I’ve totally taken a tangent from my original topic, I will come back around to say it’s all related! Art and creativity is all about play! It’s about going with the flow and creating whatever comes to mind. Why be pigeonholed by painting? Painters can create in other mediums too. The coloring book project forced me to pull out pencils and markers to make line drawings. The sewing project took me completely out of my normal creation zone and back to being a kid who made dolls for the State Fair. Not to mention creating custom fabric bringing out the graphic designer in me to create designs in photoshop.

What I’ve learned from the whole process is sometimes it’s important to do things differently. When we feel like we are in a rut, shake things up! Get out of your comfort zone. Instead of painting, try your hand at ceramics or sewing! I still have an urge to make pottery, but haven’t gotten that far just yet. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Creativity: Heart Love

I LOVE making pillows! They are just so much fun! And soft! Here is the latest “Art Pillow”, made today in my studio. The fabric is my own custom designed fabric, using my “Heart Love” painting. This has always been one of my favorites. The original sold before the paint was dry, so I didn’t get to live with it for very long.

While browsing Pinterest yesterday, I found some really cool looking shaped pillows and decided I MUST make heart pillows! Next up is a flower pillow, using my Daisy art fabric.

At some point, very soon, I will work on several new fabric designs. Eventually, they will be made available for sale as yardage. Then YOU can make whatever you may want to make with it! I have a few people waiting eagerly for the release. I promise it will be soon!

heart Love art pillow backside

Back of “Heart Love” art pillow, red cotton fabric

Do you have any favorites of my art that you think would look good on fabric? Please leave me a comment below and let me know which art YOU would like to see on fabric. Thank you!