Tag Archives: abstract art

Finishing up

photo of Wild Heart oil on canvas

“Wild Heart”, 12×12″ oil on canvas, available soon with my Fall 2018 collection

Though I am really anxious to start working on some large paintings now that I have all this space, I have a bunch of small works in progress I need to finish up first. Nine to be exact! Ten if you include the one I finished this morning. “Wild Heart” is a continuation of the brushstroke/energy idea I wrote about in my last blog. I’m focusing on each brushstroke and making them individuals. Emphasizing each color without blending them into each other.

Detail from Wild Heart in progress

Detail from Wild Heart in progress

This whole group of paintings started this Summer as play. I hadn’t relocated my muse at that point and I had no ideas. Funny thing is, play like this is where the ideas come from!

Brushstroke detail from Wild Heart

Brushstroke detail from Wild Heart

I’m thinking I’ve totally transitioned now, to using black gesso on the canvas before I start to paint. I’m in love with the way the black background makes the color pop! Even when all of the black ends up covered, the color seems brighter. I guess it’s the contrast, it doesn’t seem right that a darker background would make the foreground brighter, but there it is!

20x20" work in progress, this one is getting really close!

20×20″ work in progress, this one is getting really close!

My Summer Studio Clearance sale is almost over! But wait! I’ve decided to extend it until Monday! Head over to MY WEBSITE and check out the 40 select paintings at 30% off! AND you can get an extra 20% off coupon code when you sign up for my email list! What are you waiting for? Get over there, sign up for my email list and start/add to your Paula Manning-Lewis collection TODAY, OR any day before Monday is over! Thank you for your support! I love y’all! ❤

Current 12x12" work in progress, detail

Current 12×12″ work in progress, detail

The Muse has returned

Spiral abstract, 20 x 20

Spiral abstract, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Inspiration or no inspiration, when being an artist IS your day job, you must keep painting. That is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last few months. I’ve had a glimpse here or there of a bit of inspiration, but for the most part I have just painted.

Painting over another one that never went anywhere. Still a work in progress

Painting over another one that never went anywhere. Still a work in progress

This week it finally happened! My muse returned to me! It feels like I’m painting “in-spirit” (inspired) again. I’ve been working on several paintings, a couple 12x12s and a couple of 20x20s. I think it’s helped that I’ve spent time every morning meditating. Meditation is perfect for getting me into the right frame of mind.

“Heart on Fire 2″, 12×12” oil on canvas, work in progress

I’m working on letting go and letting my painting become more abstract and loose. It’s much more difficult than it sounds. My brain keeps wanting to put something recognizable into the painting. Hearts, flowers, spirals, anything for crying out loud!

“Heart on Fire”, 12×12″ oil on canvas, shared last week this one is now done and available for $225

I’m attempting to paint feelings. Not easy to do. Colors can bring feelings to mind. Abstract art is the perfect way to express feelings. I’m no good at putting these things into words. I hope you get it when you look at my work. Colors, textures, brush strokes, lines, all of these are expressions of feelings.

Swimming in Abstract Ideas

“Heart on Fire”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, work in progress that may or may not be finished.

Moving to the mountains has changed everything. My frame of mind being the biggest change, which in turn changes everything around me. The quiet is the most powerful change. At first it was wonderful, then I found I could hear my ears ringing, then it was wonderful again. Every time we visit Albuquerque, about once a month, I am reminded of this difference between the city and the country. You get used to it. Even quiet isn’t totally quiet. We still have neighbors who use their saw or lawnmowers at 7am. They are just farther away. Spend a couple of nights in the city and the peaceful quiet returns.

“Be the Light”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, finished yesterday.

My art is changing. It’s a natural progression. Nothing is static, especially art. Now that I spend my days feeling more centered and grounded than ever before in my life, I don’t need my art to center and ground me. The mandala art served that purpose.

"The Eye Sees", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, work in progress

“The Eye Sees”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, work in progress

I’m still figuring out exactly what the change looks like. I’m playing, searching, experimenting. I’ve always wanted my art to be more abstract, less representational. That is the direction I FEEL I’m headed, but then I find myself out on a hike and daydreaming of painting a landscape.

"In the Valley", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, work in progress

“In the Valley”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Some of the abstracts I’ve been playing with feel like landscapes. Maybe the new direction is abstract landscapes? I’m going to go with the flow and see where it takes me. After almost 30 years as an artist, I’ve learned this is the best way to move forward. Art isn’t something I do consciously. Art does me. lol. You know what I mean? Art comes THROUGH me, from some higher place. My job is to get out of the way and let it flow.

Untitled abstract work in progress

Untitled abstract work in progress

A little Tease!

A little corner of "Sunshine", 20 x 20" oil on canvas with painted sides.

A little corner of “Sunshine”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas with painted sides.

Yesterday was the deadline to get all of my information in for the show starting in June at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery. I ALMOST made it! lol! I did get everything in, except for photos of 3 paintings I still needed to finish up.

A sneak peak at "Find Your Shine", 24 x 30" oil on canvas

A sneak peak at “Find Your Shine”, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas

Two of the 3 were finished today, tomorrow I will get the last one completed. I’m going to give you just a little tease of the new images today, once I get the full photos taken I will share, or maybe I will wait until the show opens. We shall see! 😉 See? A little tease!

My eldest son, Bryan, with my grandson, Ben

My eldest son, Bryan, with my grandson, Ben

I enjoyed my Mother’s day this past Sunday! I had my grandson for most of the day and my eldest son came by for a good visit in the afternoon. My mom, stepdad, two other sons and daughter-in-law came over for dinner later. It was a wonderful day! My grandson is almost 4 months old now and he’s currently teething. Poor little guy! Even so, he was quite happy and laughed and smiled with us all day!

 

The Down Side

"In Anticipation of Spring", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, available for $215

“In Anticipation of Spring”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, available for $215. Completed last week!

I never got around to posting my second blog last week. Turns out I have an eye infection that has now spread to both eyes. Other than our show on Friday night, I’ve been at home in bed, resting. What a weekend it was! We had a GREAT Sunlight show on Friday night in Rio Rancho! Lots of email addresses collected, lots of compliments, lots of friends showed up, lots of tips and happy listeners and then the down side.

An email on Monday morning telling us we had significant complaints from regular customers. We never received a straight answer on what the complaints were, just something about the “type of music” expected being something other than what we played. Too many original songs? They didn’t like that one folk song we altered to include our LGBT friends? They didn’t like the song “Wonder” about Democrats and the GOP finding peace?

We may never know exactly. That is the life of an artist. If you don’t have a very thick skin, you may as well pack up and go home now. I must admit, it gets hard to keep on going when a “GREAT” show gets you fired from a regular paying gig.

I’m taken back to the Four Agreements, 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, 4) Always do your best. 1) We kept our word and played 3 hours of music and acted professionally, 2) I can’t take it personally that a couple of their regulars didn’t like our song selection, 3) I shouldn’t assume anything without having all the information, ie actual complaints made, 4) I KNOW we did our best and played our hearts out! Lesson learned; always listen to your gut! We had once decided we wouldn’t play late night gigs in bars. Not doing that again.

Hoping my eyes will heal soon so I can paint! It is getting better, slowly but surely, but still sensitive to light and hard to focus on anything without tears.  So much gratitude for my eyesight, you never really miss something until it’s not working right. Sickness is nothing but a reminder to be grateful for all the blessings in life.

Back to Painting

12 x 12" oil painting in progress

12 x 12″ oil painting in progress, still a lot of detail to finish

Working on a new painting this week. Started it last week but haven’t had time for a blog yet! I’ve been helping out a little here and there with the new grand baby, family has always been most important to me! I’m always happy to get back to the studio though. 🙂 I’ve been filming a time lapse of this painting in progress, you can see sections of the video on my Instagram.

I’ve been thinking about painting large again, only REALLY large, like wall/mural size. Signs seem to keep pointing me in that direction anyway. I was recently sent a link for a local public art project. The project is a huge mural wall and while I would love to submit for the job, I don’t have the portfolio of work to show to get a job like that. It came to me during my morning meditation that I should look for some mural jobs I could do to add to my portfolio. I did a mural years ago at a local church, not exactly what I would usually  paint, but it was good experience and taught me a lot about painting on walls outside!

What I’ve decided to do is offer to paint a mural for anyone locally who has a wall they want painted. For the cost of materials only. I will not charge labor for the first couple I do. I already have one possibly lined up, so I’m looking for one more wall in need of a mural. Please get in touch with me if you are interested. You can email me at plewis11@comcast.net, or send me a facebook message on my facebook art page.

Pile O’ Paintings

Canvas ready to paint!

Canvas ready to paint!

I’m ready to get some painting done! I have one painting started and 3 more black gesso canvases ready to start. It’s always a bit exciting and a bit intimidating to have a bunch of fresh canvas to paint on. I know these will be a continuation of my painting video series. Each painting is made to go along with a song from our Sunlight CD, “Life is Good”. They will be more of the time lapse painting videos. Stay tuned for updates, I’m hoping to get started either today or Thursday.

Today, I’ve been busy getting my new paintings posted on Etsy and here on the website. Check out ‘Canvas Paintings’ in the Portfolio menu above. (Or click the link) The page has now been completely updated. This is my 2017 portfolio! I’m excited because it’s been a while since I’ve had my paintings page up to date! There are 4 that were worked on and added to a bit more. I’m really happy with how much more ‘finished’ they are now. I still have one other painting to finish up. Hoping to get to that sometime soon too.

Shambala, the painting above, was one that I painted last year? I think it was 2016! The original painting on this canvas was painted in 2003. It never sold so I decided to paint over it. Rather than painting over the entire thing, I left traces of the old painting there, peeking through. The four yellow strips coming out from the mandala are the windows to the older painting. All I added was the yellow wash over the old marks. This was symbolic to me because the new painting has risen from the ashes of the old. Bringing two time periods of my art together in one painting. The older painting was not centered but the new painting is more like a true mandala. Centered and symmetrical. It relates to my personal life because I do feel more centered in my life now than I did in 2003. My style has emerged now, while in 2003 I was still searching for a style all my own. I like painting over older works because I feel more environmentally responsible. Recycling is very important to me. Why not paint over something that is no longer relevant?

 

Finishing Up a Few Things

Before and current photos of "Believe in Love", 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Before and current photos of “Go with the Flow”, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

Still working on “finishing” up a few paintings that I thought were done. Due to a recent critique, I decided to rework or actually, work more on a few of the paintings in my portfolio. The one I’m working on today (“Go with the Flow”) really needed it, I was never really sure it was done. It wasn’t. I’m putting another layer into the background, basically hundreds of little circles. I used to put much more detail into my backgrounds, I think I may return to some of that. I enjoy painting them, all that little detail work is a GREAT meditation!

Before and current photos of "Believe in Love", 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Before and current photos of “Believe in Love”, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

The other painting I worked on last Friday (“Believe in Love”). This one needed all over shading/blending work. It was originally painted during a live music show at a local brewery, so it never really had that “finished” look. I’ve always loved the idea, but I think it’s better with an extra hour or two. I’m still not sure if it’s completely complete yet. What do you think? I do believe I will be revisiting this theme of heart flower petals in the near future.

One of my goals for the current year is to get back to blogging at least twice a week. After blogging for over 12 years, it can be difficult to come up with new, exciting ideas for blog posts. Do you have any suggestions? Is there an idea for a series of blogs that you wouldn’t mind sharing with me? I like to blog in series, makes it easier to come up with new material for some reason. Is there something about the life of an artist that you are curious about? I am going to keep with the theme of “the life of a New Mexican artist”, but there are a lot of places I can go with that. I want to blog about things that are of interest to YOU, my readers! How to videos? Video blogs? More painting time lapses? Photos of my travels? Please feel free to suggest, I’m all ears! 🙂

Birthday Week!

Tuesday was my birthday, not saying how old I am! Let’s just say I’m not a Spring chicken anymore! Not a winter chicken either, but somewhere in between. They say age is just a number and I live by that mantra! I’m enjoying my life more now than at any other time in my life. I haven’t spent much time in the studio this week, we went for a ride on the Sandia Tramway on Tuesday evening and have been sleeping in everyday. It IS my week after all!

Current work in progress, 24 x 30" oil on canvas

Current work in progress, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas

I have done a bit more painting on my current work in progress. This is a larger canvas than I’ve been painting lately. A friend gave me the canvas and so I figured I may as well put it to good use (Thanks Stephanie!). This one is an 24 x 30″ oil on canvas. (Darn it! I just cut my finger on the tape measure!) It’s getting very close to completion!

I’m working on updating my portfolio and this means I have several older paintings to clear out of my studio. Check out my Etsy shop for some really great sale prices on some great art! 😉 I will be adding more paintings in the coming days and weeks.

Today I will start my next painting video! I’m working on a series of 12 x 12″ oils on canvas  that will be made into a video series. Each painting will be named after a song on our Sunlight CD, Life is Good. The corresponding song will provide the background music for the video as well. I hope you will check back in with my blog, or better yet, subscribe so you can get an email when I post the next video!

Speaking of Sunlight, we have jumped back into playing live shows again after a 2 year hiatus for recording. This weekend we are playing a house concert at our own house in Albuquerque. Our friend, Alison Reynolds, is coming up from Las Cruces to play a set and some songs with Sunlight! On November 12th we are playing in Austin, Texas at the Carousel Lounge! Our first gig in Austin, so exciting! In December, we are traveling to Arizona and have shows in both Phoenix and Tucson. Click the “live shows” link above to see where and when we are playing next! 🙂 Our next local show is December 14th in Rio Rancho. We hope to finish our 2nd album of original music by the beginning of 2017! Stay tuned for more and thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂

Something a Bit Different

Work in progress, 16 x 16" oil on canvas

Work in progress, 16 x 16″ oil on canvas

Working on yet another new painting. This one is a 16 x 16″ oil on canvas. Still in progress, what you see here is the background of what’s to come. Another black gesso ground to start, I’m seriously loving the black under painting. Though I almost forgot to leave a bit of the black showing!

Lots of stuff going on this week, it’s Balloon Fiesta week in Albuquerque and my uncle is visiting from Maine! I haven’t had as much time in the studio as usual. Partly because of family visitors and partly because we’ve been spending a lot of time practicing our music for a follow up gig at the Moonlight Market here in Albuquerque on Friday evening. It’s not easy to balance my art and my music, but it sure is FUN!

Next Saturday is Chroma Studios next monthly Open Studios Event. We have started opening up the studios to the public every 3rd Saturday of the month. Last month was a lot of fun, I sure hope you will drop by for a visit if you are in the area! The address is 1606 Central Ave SE, suite 201. We are open from Noon to 5pm. 🙂