Category Archives: vinyl

“Happy” Time Lapse

I am in full show prep mode now for my show at the Sierra Club offices in Albuquerque during August. This show will be recycled art only! My latest guitar along with 8 recycled vinyl record paintings. Here is the latest time lapse video for the vinyl painting, “Happy”. The original music is by my husband, Aaron Lewis. Enjoy and feel free to share! Thanks!

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What to do with old Vinyl?

Wall of records, 1 of 4!

Wall of records, 1 of 4!

For the love of God, don’t ever paint on a priceless vinyl record! Check that stuff out BEFORE you paint on a record worth lots of money! I don’t have to worry about that. I ONLY paint on records that I or anyone else for that matter should NEVER listen to ever again! lol. Seriously though. I have blogged before about my dad’s record collection. I inherited it 9 years ago when my dad passed away. There were originally over 40,000 vinyl disks. In the 9 years since the first move of records to our house, we have moved said records another 7-8 times, at least. Last year, we sold a big bulk of the collection. 30,000 45 single records. We didn’t get near what I would think they were worth, but they did take the ENTIRE 45 collection. It was quite the load off, seriously, those things are NOT light! They are bulky and heavy and only have two songs per record! We never listened to them. We like albums. We are now going through the albums (about 8,000) to see what we will listen to and what we will never listen to. Everything gets at least one full listen, unless it’s REALLY bad! There is always the GONG option if either Aaron or I feel the need to stop the torture. Long story short, THOSE are the records I paint on!

vinyl record painting in progress

vinyl record painting in progress

I’m currently working on a new vinyl record painting. Actually, I’m working on a group of them for my show at the Sierra Club in August. This one is getting very close to finished. Recycled art is my favorite. It’s guilt free. It’s a dilemma I face as an artist. I am very conscious of my carbon footprint on the planet. I do what I can. I make recycled art whenever I have the chance, from my recycled vinyl paintings, to recycled guitar art and painting over old paintings. I guess I overcompensate in my life by not having a lot of other stuff. I often joke that I could easily live in a tiny house, as long as my studio is separate and LARGE.

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.

 

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. 🙂

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! 🙂

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

 

Recycling

shreddingwool2

shredding wool

I have been living with guilt. For the past few years I’ve thought an awful lot about recycling and reusing. As an artist who paints on canvas, I had a real problem with what to do about putting more STUFF out in the world. In my personal life, I’ve always been good about recycling and not wasting ANYTHING. I recycle everything I can. I’ve purged so much stuff out of my life. I consider myself a minimalist. I only buy my clothes used at thrift stores, except for underwear, socks and sometimes shoes. I take my own bags to the grocery store. We compost our organic trash. I even save water as much as possible since I live in the desert.

In my art life however, I’ve been faced with a dilemma. Not only do I use brand new canvas and wood stretcher bars for my original paintings, I use toxic paints. This is not an eco-friendly way to be. I switched to water soluble oil paints over ten years ago. So, I no longer use the solvents needed for cleaning up after using regular oil paints. Still, I use wood from trees and the canvas is manufactured somewhere.

I have racked my brain for ways to reuse more and not use toxic substances in my art. I  paint on recycled items, old vinyl records, beat up guitars, old furniture.

My recent change to sewing has helped so much with my new mind set. I reuse old clothing, upcycle sweaters into new items. Now that I’m making pillows and dolls I have to use something to stuff with that is soft and fluffy. I’ve done a lot of searching online and found so many different eco-friendly ways to stuff my creations! I never would have thought about stuffing my dolls with animal hair, or plastic bags?! Honestly, I didn’t think those were very good ideas. The animal hair? I’m allergic to it, and I know I’m not the only one! Plastic bags? Too much crinkly crunchy noise from the plastic! No thanks.

shredding wool

Using my rotary cutter and straight edge, I cut thin strips from the sweater and then cut crosswise to make soft little wool pieces.

The one idea I really like is shredding old wool sweaters. I had one here in my studio from another sweater recycling project, so I decided to test the idea. I used my rotary cutter and straight edge to cut the sweater into strips and then cut crosswise to make little pieces. There was a lot of fuzz from those little pieces! What a mess! I made two small pillow forms and filled one with fiber-fill and the other with shredded sweater pieces. I washed the pillow with the sweater pieces to see how it held up.

wool filled pillow form

Wool filled pillow form, you can see it’s a little lumpy, but still very soft!

I’m pretty impressed with how it came out. The wool pieces are a bit more lumpy than the fiber fill, not quite as fluffy and soft, but still a nice cushy pillow. My thinking is I’m making decorator pillows and not really sleeping pillows, so I don’t think they need to be super soft. What do you think?

The shredded sweater stuffing takes a bit more time and I think I can figure out a way to make it more fluffy. I saw a blog post about someone putting chunky fibers in a blender to make it more fluff, but I haven’t tried that yet.

What I like most is reusing something old (don’t worry I wash everything in hot soapy water first!) and making something new, pretty and functional. 🙂 Granted, I’m still putting more stuff out in the world, but at least it’s eco-friendly stuff that isn’t going into a landfill! 🙂

Records, taxes and tenants, oh my!

The past month has flown by, as usual! April has been a month of landlord duties, sorting and moving our record collection, and of course, the dreaded April 15th deadline for filing taxes!

original oil painting mandala

Currently untitled mandala, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, available for $600

My husband and I own a local business here in Albuquerque called, Chroma Studios. We lease space in two office buildings and then rent rooms out to artists and musicians/bands for private studio/practice space. This month, our largest band studio was vacated for the first time in over 4 years. We had been waiting for this opportunity to build a wall and split this room into two rooms. That is exactly what we spent the first week and a half of April doing. Building a wall, plastering/painting walls and then renting one half of this space to a new band.

original oil painting Solar Eclipse

“Solar Eclipse”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, SOLD

The other half of this room is now my husband’s new studio space. Now that he is in a bigger room, we spent the next week or so moving our HUGE record collection into his larger room. Before this, we had half of the collection in his smaller studio and the rest was at our house. However, before we were able to make the move, we had to sort through the entire album collection. We did this because the collection used to belong to my dad. I have talked about it here in the past. After 7 years, we decided it was time to clear out as many records as we could and make it OUR collection. Out of a 40,000 record collection, we were able to cull around 2,000 from the pack. It doesn’t seem like much, but we also cleared out enough to get rid of two shelves! Mostly generic orchestral music and bad 80s dance singles, not to mention double copies, the collection is now 100% music we would actually listen to!

I don’t know if anyone realizes how much work it is to move 38,000 records! It took a full week to move them all and we were BEAT! I think it took at least 2 days to recover! It’s quite the task, first we have to move the records off the shelves and then move the shelves, and once the shelves are in their new space and secured to the walls, the records have to be put back on the shelves. This basically means, for every move we make, we physically move the records at least two and sometimes three times! No fun! Good thing I really loved my dad and those records have a TON of sentimental value to me. Plus, it’s nice to have so much great music to listen to!

Between all that we had to stop for a couple days to get the taxes filed, not just income taxes but the lovely gross receipts taxes we have to file as a business. I love April, can you tell!? Good part is, taxes are done, and Spring has arrived!

original acrylic on vinyl

“Hearts and Spirals”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, available for $160

We moved the record collection to the studios because at the same time, we are getting our house cleared out and ready to rent! We are planning on moving into a smaller house soon. Now that our sons are grown and (almost, move out date is May 15th) gone, the house is just too big and too much work for the two of us.

original acrylic on vinyl

Acrylic on 12″ vinyl, work in progress

This week, I’ve finally been able to get back to my studio and my morning painting time. I have several new paintings in progress as well as a few finished pieces. Looking back at past posts I realize it’s been quite some time since I’ve shared my current work here on the blog! I have completed quite a bit of work in the last two months. I have fallen a bit behind with this task, but I promise to remedy that in the coming days!

original acrylic on yellow vinyl

Acrylic on 12″ yellow vinyl, work in progress

Life is so good and I am so grateful! Even when months like this come up and I can’t spend as much time on my art as I would like, I can’t complain.

All the work is done and the show is hung!

 

Balance original oil painting

“Balance”, 30 x 30″ oil on canvas, this is the piece I was just getting started on in the last post!

Aaron and I took a road trip up to Los Alamos and the Fuller Lodge Art Center yesterday to hang my show. In all, I finished 11 new paintings! The show is up now, but the official opening will be a part of their Holiday open house for the Affordable Arts show on December 6th from 10am-6pm. I will be there for a few hours in the later half of the day, probably 2-6pm. They will also be open all day on Black Friday. If you are in the area, or close by, please stop by and see the show and get a little of your Christmas shopping done! In addition to my art work, originals and prints, there are literally tons of artsy gifts to pick from. Lots of handmade local artist goodness. Whether you go to this show or not, please support local artists this holiday season by buying handmade art and gifts. 🙂

Enjoy the photos of my show!

sign from the show with my name and show title

outsidePaula

Lovetouchestheheart

paula

balance

believe

generouskind

pathlesstaken

records