Category Archives: studio

Down and Dirty in the Studio!

work in progress oil painting

12 x 12″ oil on canvas. This is one of my works in progress. Started out as playing with paints, just to get my hands back in the groove!

Finally, after getting our house up for sale, I am back in the studio! I’m getting busy with painting for a show in March at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery. I promised 15-20 paintings, so I have my work cut out for me. So far, I have 1 painting finished, 4 paintings I’m reworking, and 2 I just started this week.

LIght of love oil on canvas

This is the “background” painting that was once called “Light of Love”. It’s a 30 x 30″ oil on canvas that is now being “reworked”. See below for updated WIP.

When I say reworking, what I mean is I had some paintings that I was never really all that happy with. I guess you could say they were never REALLY finished the first time around. So I’m “finishing” them or reworking them. Some parts will be completely painted over, others will stay. As an example, I’m sharing a couple of photos of a painting as it was and then where it is now. One such painting is getting closer to being finished now. After looking at this painting for literally YEARS, I decided it was nothing more than a background. I’m painting a design over that “background” and adding more detail.

Viola! A new painting! Actually, it’s still a work in progress, but you get the idea. I made the center spiral a bit larger and centered it more on the canvas. There will be more details painted into the background to basically cover whatever was there before.

reworked oil painting

Here is the “reworked” “Light of Love” in progress. Can you see how I left the old painting showing through on the flower petals?

The 2 paintings I’ve started are so far nothing more than a background of color. Waiting for the paint to dry can be slow, so I have to work on multiple paintings at once, rotating them as they dry.

I always get excited about having a deadline as it lights a fire under me and always brings inspiration in waves. I don’t know why I always seem to wait until the last minute to finish these things, but somehow, it gets done! After this, it’s back to painting murals, I have my next one lined up for sometime in February, but first? I have a LOT of painting on canvas to do! Stay tuned for more works in progress photos. Follow me on Instagram to get daily updates.

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It’s All Too Much

Back to my studio today after working all weekend and taking Mon/Tues off instead. Attempted working on my self portrait, deadline is coming up soon.

Not happening.

So much hate, fear , disaster, death, anger, murder etc in the world. I am a highly sensitive person. I feel the emotions of the collective consciousness all around me.

We are all in despair.

Why are humans such a hateful race? I’m so directionless right now. I don’t know what to do, or say. It’s just depressing.

I have tried for years to spread love with my art. Painting the feelings of love the only way I know how. It’s what I know, what I can do now.

I am conscious of the way I treat other people. I smile at everyone I pass on the street.

I don’t understand why people are so quick to defend their right to own guns, when their is so much death and despair all around them. Defending a piece of paper written almost 200 years ago. Do those people want to be happy too?

Random thoughts going through my mind today. I can’t make sense of anything, so why try? I’m not personally depressed, but I can feel the heavy weight of sadness blanketing the planet.

Mother Earth is sad too. No, she’s angry. She’s tired of the abuse, tired of the sadness. She knows the cause of her pain, it’s US. HUMANS.

It’s very difficult for me to continue as an artist at times like this. I feel like nothing I do contributes to the betterment of society. Painting is more than therapeutic for me, but how does it help others? My hope is that people look at my work and FEEL THE LOVE.

I don’t know what else to do.

 

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.

More #workinprogress #oilpainting #selfportrait #art #timelapse

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

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™‚

Friday? Already?!

This week flew right by! I haven’t spent much time painting this week. It’s been a week of packing and shipping, working on my website, etc, all the behind the scenes unexciting tasks of an artist. Below are a couple of my Instagram updates from this week. (Click on the bottom one to see the video) The Self Portrait for the Veterans show is coming along, slowly but surely. I psyched myself out for days with the portrait, scared to just jump in and get it started! Last night I finally took the dive. Long way to go, but it’s getting a decent start. Follow me on Instagram @manlewis69 to get my daily photo/video updates! πŸ™‚

Today is the last day for my Summer Sale on my art website. 50% off select paintings and prints. Sign up for my email list and get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase of any regularly priced paintings or prints. 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.

Mural Time Lapse

I recently spent 5 days and around 15-20 hours painting this mural at a private residence in Albuquerque. It was SO MUCH FUN! The couple I painted it for, Jeff and Sandy Wade, were really awesome. They were thrilled with their mural and we are planning a small reception to unveil the mural to friends, family and collectors on July 8th. The mural is in their backyard, so it’s impossible to just drive by and see it. I may still paint another one on the front patio wall too, so we shall see!

It was HOT out there in the sun, lucky for me, the Wades have an EZ Up canopy that provided wonderful shade and brought the temps down at LEAST 10 degrees. It did however, make it difficult to film the video so don’t mind the different angles and cropped views!

I am REALLY enjoying painting large! I have another mural possibly coming up soon. I still have to submit sketches for design ideas and see if the building owner likes my plans. This one will be on the west side of the building my art studios are in. This will be a much more public mural, located on Central Ave. SE in Albuquerque.

The music in the video was composed and recorded by my husband, Aaron M. Lewis. The titles of the two songs are “Friday Dance” and “Gather Round”, both are from his upcoming CD “Many Me”. Click on his name above to check out his website! πŸ™‚

I have also had a design approved to paint a mural at a local high school. However, school just let out for the Summer, so I don’t think I will get to that one anytime soon.

It may be needless to say, but I am now open for mural commissions! I will take the first few murals at the low price of $10 per square foot, plus the cost of supplies. Once I get a few under my belt, the price will go up to $20 per square foot. If you are thinking you may want me to paint one for you, get it now while the price is good! πŸ˜‰

Enjoy the video, and please let me know what you think! Have a wonderful rest of your day!