Category Archives: studio

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!

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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.

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!

Mural Sketch in Progress

The video above is the sketch for the mural I’m getting ready to start. This small 12 x 12″ painting is 1/10th the size the mural will be. It will be painted on an outside wall on the back patio. The people I’m painting it for have a very lovely garden yard and I am excited to see how my art will look among the trees and flowers. I picked Spring colors for that very reason. Then, even when it’s not Spring, they will be reminded of the yard when it’s in bloom! The idea is that the Sun mural will shine year round. I hope they like the design. πŸ™‚

Now that I’m all finished with the work for the NM Cancer Center Gallery show, I’m switching gears to start work on a mural job I’m very excited to get started! I do have another art show to get ready for, but that deadline is in July and I don’t have as many pieces to get together for it. However, I will be starting a new guitar painting for that show, very soon!

My art show in August is at the local Albuquerque Sierra Club offices. I’ve decided to make it a recycled art show, with the center piece being one of my guitar paintings. There will also be plenty of recycled vinyl record paintings too! πŸ™‚

My first Mandala painting class!

My first Mandala painting class!

This past Saturday was my very first Mandala painting class! I had 3 people attend and we had so much fun! Huge thanks to the folks who decided to spend their Saturday evening with me. Stay tuned for the next class, I will be picking a date very soon!

Mandala Painting class

Mandala Painting class

 

Some Days I Just Push Through

New paintings on the wall and a halfway clean studio!

New paintings on the wall and a halfway clean studio!

Some days, being an artist is just plain painful. Why did I choose this occupation? What was I thinking?! Is it too late to give up and start a new career? Would I even be able to give it up? NO! I guess I’m stuck in this self imposed torture for the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so very grateful that I get to do what I LOVE! Painting is my true bliss! It’s all the other crap that goes along with it that makes it painful. I won’t go into all of that because I’m trying to turn myself around here and be, just BE positive and grateful. Success just seems to keep alluding me. Maybe I’m on the verge? Maybe tomorrow I will sell 20 paintings and all will be ok, right? Life is a journey and I can’t deny, I got on this train, no one forced me at gunpoint! No one to blame but myself. Days like today, I daydream of some mindless job I could do daily to pay the bills, then I remember the last “job” I had. That didn’t work out very well. Oh well. Meditate, pray, paint, wash, rinse and repeat! What else can I do? This is my life. I have some good art shows coming up! I have a new website! Things are looking up, right? Today, I have an interview with a fellow artist for a blog post she is going to write about me. I NEED to get back into a positive frame of mind. Nothing worse than being that pessimistic older artist telling the younger artist how wonderful it’s all been. She knows better than that, but still.

"Find Your Shine", 24 x 30" oil on canvas, $1,050

“Find Your Shine”, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas, $1,050

Alrighty then! Enough wallowing in self pity! Today I’m pushing through to get my paintings ready for the NMCCG show that hangs at the beginning of June. Hanging wires to be added, signatures on those paintings I forgot to sign, small details. Along with that, finishing painting an artist studio that just rented and will be moved in to on Saturday. Getting my studio ready for a Mandala painting class also on Saturday.

"Healing Bloom", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, $600

“Healing Bloom”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, $600

I guess writing all this stuff out helps! I feel better already. I guess I’d better get back to work. Hope you all are having a great day. Oh and the paintings in this blog are the last 3 I finished for the show that I teased about in my last post! I decided to go ahead and share them, just in case someone has their name on one of them! πŸ˜‰ (Always gotta work it ya know?!)

"Sunshine", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, $600

“Sunshine”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, $600

Two Paintings in Time-lapse

The past couple of weeks I’ve been busily working on two new paintings in preparation for the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery show opening in June. I usually work on more than one painting at a time. Because I work in layers, there is always time in between waiting for the oil paints to dry. While I wait for a layer to dry on one painting, I start and work on another painting. I go back and forth between the two until I finish. I’ve been taking short clips of time lapse while working on these two and figured it might be cool to show you the back and forth. These videos are mixed in the order they were taken. My goal is to finish these paintings this week and next week I will start on the next two. The four new paintings will be added to the 21 I already have ready to go for a total of 25 paintings in the show. I hope you enjoy the video and please feel free to share!

Works in Progress…

I love it when I have a show coming up and I have a reason to paint EVERYDAY! I don’t always get to spend this much time painting. There is so much other work to do and it seems like I’ve spent the past few months working on my website. It was really only about a month of straight time working on the website, but that kind of work just drags SOOOOOO much! πŸ™‚ Good news is, I’m temporarily done with that and getting ready for showing my 20-25 paintings at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery. Did I mention before that 40% of all sales at this show are donated to their foundation which helps low income patients pay for their cancer treatment? I love that. I prefer my art supports great causes like this. My art is all about healing and love, what better way to contribute!

Work in progress, 20x20" oil on canvas

Work in progress, 20×20″ oil on canvas

I have four canvases prepped to go, currently working back and forth on two of them. I have to admit, I’m a bit obsessed with circles right now. In the background, hundreds of little circles. It’s like a bunch of little bubbles, water or air, makes no difference. It’s very mesmerizing, painting all those little circles. It gets me into my “zone”.

Work in progress, 20x20" oil on canvas

Work in progress, 20×20″ oil on canvas

I’m working on the same paintings I shared in my last blog post. One with a new color combo that I’m really falling in love with. Something about that sky blue makes me swoon. As I said in my last post, blue is NOT one of my favorite colors, but this blue is beautiful! It reminds me of the bright, blue New Mexico skies. It may become a new regular on my palette. Funny thing is, it’s been so long since I used this particular blue, that I can’t get the cap off the tube! I’m squeezing the paint out of a tiny hole in the body of the tube. Needless to say, I need to pick up a new tube of that color!

In other news, I’m having a special sale on my website for Mother’s Day! The sale ends this Friday, May 5th (gives me time to get everything shipped in time). Use the coupon code: Mom30 to get 30% off everything on my website. πŸ™‚