Tag Archives: ARTIST

Photography

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a camera for taking photos. I got my first camera when I was 8 years old. My mom graduated from college that year and she received a 35mm camera for a graduation gift. I inherited her old 110 camera. Obviously, this was back in the film only days. I took photos of my life, friends, animals, scenery.

Sunrise in Mimbres
“Sunrise in Mimbres”, one of my favorites!

My maternal grampy was also a photographer. He was mainly a portrait photographer, his photos were of family, but he sometimes took photos for friend’s life events as well. I always loved his portraits, in fact, I painted a portrait of myself as a 2 year old using one of his photos for reference.

“Grampy’s Girl”, watercolor on paper, not a great photo, it was taken with my very first digital camera which was less than 1mp and cost over $500 at the time! (Around 2000)

In my first year of college at NMSU, I took a photography class so I could learn how to develop my own film. I had already spent time in my grampy’s dark room, but I was too young at the time to learn from him. My most vivid memory of his darkroom was the day I made the mistake of running out into his print shop and ran right into a paper cutter with my forehead. I had to be taken to the ER for a few stitches that day. I was 6.

“Desert Textures” poster, 11×19″ on paper

Back to that first year of college, I had originally signed up to be an art major, but after a boring Art 101 class and a very cool photography class, I switched to Photojournalism. About midway through that year, I decided to join the Army and my goal was to become an Army photographer. Unfortunately, that job was rare and I would have had to wait years to get it. Being the impatient person I am, I ended up giving up on that goal.

Sunrise in Mimbres II
“Sunrise in Mimbres II”, the sky is so gorgeous where we live!

While I was away at Basic Training, my husband (now ex!) decided to sell my 35mm camera given to me by my mom. He had a drug problem, he also sold my car! Needless to say, it was a while before I had a camera again. I honestly don’t remember when I finally bought my next camera, but I know it was years. I remember using those cheap disposable cameras at the time. I was heartbroken over the loss of my fancy camera, and went back to my art. A pencil and piece of paper were much cheaper.

"Reflection"
“Reflection”

Fast forward to now, and I still don’t have a good 35mm camera. I use my ipad to take photos, for now! My sweetie has promised to buy me a new digital camera soon. Even so, the ipad takes really good photos. I love all the functionality of it. “Live” photos, video, looping, etc.

Golden Moss
“Golden Moss”, my latest addition to the Textures series.

I have recently had several people ask me about purchasing my photos. I sold my photography in my etsy shop years ago, but haven’t really thought about it again until someone asked. It doesn’t hurt that I live in this gorgeous place where it’s super easy to get a GREAT shot! Needless to say, I will start selling my photography again this year.

Garden Gate
“Garden Gate” my favorite part of the garden to photograph, it’s like the entry into the Secret Garden!

The plan is to release a photography portfolio of 10-20 images to start. It will be a part of my Spring 2019 Portfolio. Most will be landscape and skyscape photos, but I will most likely include my “Texture” series of abstract detail photos I released several years ago. There are two posters of images, one of “Desert Textures” and the other of “SW Forest Textures”. If you have followed me for years, you may remember them! I can envision doing more “Texture” photos in the future, they were so much fun!

Stone and Sky
“Stone and Sky” landscape in the Gila Wilderness

Some people have commented on my photos that they would make great paintings, and though this may be true, I see my paintings and photographs as totally unrelated. I see photography as an art in itself. I used to paint landscapes and it frustrated me. Mainly because it’s impossible to improve on nature, so why try? Not that I don’t completely appreciate a gorgeous landscape painting, but it’s not for me.

This is just a small sampling of photos I intend to make available for purchase. Stay tuned for more, coming soon! You can subscribe to my blog above, or go to http://www.paulamanninglewis.com and sign up for my email list to make sure you get my updates!

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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.

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress

I’m on a Roll!

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” ~ Pablo Picasso

I never know where inspiration will come from. Whether or not it strikes, I paint. Sometimes inspiration comes in the middle of a painting. This time it came from a comment on facebook. One of my collectors commented on a progress photo of the beginning of a painting (painting above). She mentioned that she would love to see a moon image. I usually paint suns and flowers, but I hadn’t considered a moon until I read the comment. Needless to say, the painting became a moon image! 🙂 I’m now painting another moon image, a bit larger this time (painting below).  I had a few ideas I wanted to work on from the first attempt. The larger painting is a bit more refined now.

oil painting in progress

20×20″ oil painting on canvas, work in progress

Still a work in progress, I may end up painting a couple more moons so I can really refine it further. I’m enjoying this theme. What do you think?

Save

Lots to share!

 

I have and continue to have a busy week! So much to share with you all, I’m not sure what to share first. I FINALLY figured out my camera set up for making painting videos! I must admit I’ve been in avoidance mode for years with this one, having no idea how to do this. Funny thing is, I stumbled upon a solution! We recently purchased an iPad holder that attaches to my mic stand so I can have my song list and song lyrics easily accessible when Sunlight is out playing a show. The first time I attached it I thought, hey, I could totally use this for making my painting videos! If you know me at all, you know I LOVE efficiency! I now have an iPad holder that serves not one, but TWO purposes. lol. I know, I’m a dork, but I was just so excited to stumble on this solution!

Painting Video

A couple of days ago I started a new canvas and I’m currently testing my set up. It’s working perfectly! If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can see some teaser videos there. I will share just one of them here on the blog, for now! Once the painting is finished I will share the entire painting video here on the blog and on my youtube channel. Stay tuned for LOTS more!

Another thing keeping me busy this week is a Sunlight gig on Friday evening at the Moonlight Market here in Albuquerque. The week of a gig always means lots of practice time too! We play from 6-8pm and would love to see a friendly face or 10 in the audience! You can also browse the artist market or get some food from the food truck while you listen. 🙂

The final, last but not least, thing to share this week is my Open Studio Event at Chroma Studios on Saturday! Three other artists and I will have our studios open to the public. I’m currently working on pieces for my updated portfolio. This means I have many paintings that aren’t going to make the cut. Not because they are awful, but because they don’t fit my criteria for my portfolio. What this means is they are either older pieces, too small for a gallery, part of a series I’m no longer promoting, etc. They are all perfectly good paintings, but I am currently in need of a bit of cash flow! Mama needs some more art supplies! I will have selected pieces on sale for up to 60% off! Now is a perfect time to add a Paula Manning-Lewis original to your art collection, or start your art collection!

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!

 

 

Overcoming my Addiction to Facebook

This will be my final post on this subject. I feel like I’ve overcome the addiction! Yay! I still go to facebook, but I don’t get sucked in like I did before. I don’t spend hour upon hour staring at my news feed. I haven’t had a heated discussion in weeks.

I’ve made it to the second section of my online web development course. I can now build a very simple website in html with simple CSS. This is pretty exciting as I’ve now gone past the point of knowledge I had in college (2000). Mainly because everything from this point on is new information! I’m not quite to the point where I can build the website I want, but I’m getting there.

I’m back to painting again! It had been almost a year since I had pulled my paints and brushes out. It feels good to be creative and feel the movement of paint across the canvas. I’m still a bit rusty, as happens after not painting for that long a period of time, but it’s coming back quickly.

Jemez Mountains

Jemez Mountains

Yesterday, Aaron and I made a trip up north to Los Alamos to deliver more pillows and dolls to the Fuller Lodge Art Gallery. They have already sold a couple of pieces! YAY! It was a lovely drive home! We took the back road through the Jemez mountains, nothing quite like a drive through the forest to make me feel grounded. Unfortunately, we wore the wrong shoes so we couldn’t get out for a hike. Next time, for sure!