I wish I could say I’ve been too busy recently to post a blog, I guess I could, but it would be a lie. I’ve been in a deep down funk. Working on keeping myself busy and pulling myself out of the hole I’m in. I’ve had other things going on, like being the event coordinator for the Silver City Studio Tour and working on my paint party class.
Recently finished, 36×36” oil on canvas, part of my Space series, untitled for now.
I’m teaching my third paint party class tonight in Silver City with plans for more in April. It’s been fun, plus it gives me something to do away from the house. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and the entire environment around my home, but I’m a social person and I need to get out and talk to people from time to time. I did get to spend a few days in Santa Fe at the beginning of March. It’s always inspirational to see the galleries and exhibits. I really needed that boost!
Detail of my current work in progress, another “Space” painting.
Since returning from Santa Fe, I’ve been spending more time in my painting studio. I recently finished the next painting in my “Space” series and started another. I’ve committed myself to building up my large painting inventory so I can approach galleries about showing my work.
I have been having a difficult time lately being positive about my art career, but I’ve also been working on being kind to myself. My most important goal is to keep making art that speaks to and from my soul.
I recently had a comment on a post of one of my paintings and after I thanked the person for their kind words, they said, “it’s not everybody who can draw the Universe”. It made my day and made me think. I guess I am painting the Universe, in a small way. The Space series is definitely my most ambitious series. I’m not attempting to paint it just like it is in photos, but how I feel it in my soul. My art has always had a much deeper meaning, even if I don’t know how to express that meaning in words.
I guess that’s why I chose painting to express myself!
This year has been a year of new beginnings for me. We made a major move to another town, in another part of New Mexico. Selling one house and buying another, I’ve never experienced such anxiety driven stress! Needless to say, my energy has been very intense this year!
I’ve said it here before, and I will say it again, art is my therapy. I was diagnosed with PTSD in February and started seeing a counselor at the VA in Albuquerque. At first I was happy with the treatment I was getting, but it quickly went south when I found out it would be difficult to get treatment in our new town. After months of back and forth with the VA, I was finally connected with a counselor in Silver City at the end of May. I have since switched to private insurance after being completely frustrated with the VA system.
When we finally moved in to our new house in April, we didn’t actually close until the end of June, I was extremely frazzled. While I was grateful we were able to move in, there was still much anxiety about whether the sale would go through.
Once we unpacked, I bought a box of 20 12×12″ canvas and got back to painting! I decided to use these canvases for exploring and possibly changing my painting style. Whatever happened, I was going to paint and calm my frazzled nerves. Painting is a meditation for me, it helps center me in a sea of peace.
“Feminine Energy”, 12×12” oil on canvas, Energy Series, SOLD! ❤️
I’m always amazed at the work that comes out of me when I’m particularly stressed. Some of my most popular images came to me during my most stressed days. Letting go and letting the painting tell me where it wanted to go. I was shooting for making my style a bit more loose. This is where the Energy Series began!
“Shine”, 12×12” oil on canvas, Energy Series, this one was given away to one of my lucky email subscribers! ❤️
My idea was to express the energy I put into my paintings in a more direct way. In a physically visual way. All of my art has an intention of love, joy, peace and other positive energies painted into it, but this is the first time I’ve attempted to make it more real. The wavy brushstrokes signify the energy. The colors represent different kinds of energy or intensity of the energy. Blue and green are peaceful, while red and yellow are joyful and purple and pink show love.
The paintings shown in this post are the first six in the series, stay tuned for more to come! Click on any of the images above to go to my website.
12×12″ oil on canvas. One of the paintings I’ve been working on this week.
3:33pm on a Friday and I’m sitting at the laundromat washing bedding and clothes. I’ve lived without a washer and dryer before. Long, long ago when a week’s laundry consisted of 15-20 loads of mostly baby and kids clothing! Gratefully, these days, it’s only three loads because it’s time to wash the comforter. I can sit here quietly watching the washers spin without any children screaming because their brother just ran over their fingers with the rolling laundry cart they were told not to play in. Some days I miss those days, but definitely not while sitting at the laundromat!
12×12″oil on canvas. Another work in progress from this week.
It’s not hard to believe it’s already June, with the move and everything that has changed in my life over these past 6 months. We are still waiting to close on our new house but the end is getting close! I’m settling back into a painting routine and the rust is gone. My creativity has been flowing! I haven’t finished much, but I’ve been in a painting frenzy. Life is great!
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.
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. 🙂
“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.
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?
“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.
We had a lovely time at our Open Studio event this past Saturday! So much so that we are opening again next month. Stay tuned for more details.
Working on getting back to a regular painting schedule. Not always easy to do with everything else going on. I did however, get some time in front of my drawing table today. I worked on a couple of paintings that I shared a few weeks ago. They were started around the same time we had our plumbing problems. Still works in progress, I hope to get them finished up this week.
Work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, black gesso background.
The first is another test painting using black gesso. I must admit, I’m really enjoying the way these are turning out! I like how the black background really POPS the colors out from the canvas. I think I see a whole new phase of my art work coming around with the black backgrounds. Who knows? Only time will tell.
Another work in progress, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas
The second painting has a white background, which still has it’s place! I like the airy quality of the lighter background. It feels happier to me too. Something about the color black has always connoted sadness for me. I’m working on getting past that stigma for the sake of the colors.
It can be difficult to let the work flow sometimes. I try to not let what other people think about my work, have an effect on my work. I am human. I WANT people to like my work. More importantly though, I need to like my work. I need to stop feeling the need to explain why I do certain things with my art. When I really cannot explain it.
My art is a feeling, a sense of what could be. It’s impossible to get that across in an abstract way without someone, somewhere having something bad to say about it. At the same time, there is always someone, somewhere that will have something good to say. I prefer to be happy with it no matter what ANYONE says. It’s MY art, MY feelings, MY expression. Not wanting to sound self-centered, it just is what it is. I’m not here to impress anyone. Expressing one’s self is what an artist does, it’s all I can do.
This Saturday from noon to 5pm I will be opening my studio to the public. Not just my studio, but 3-4 other artists in my building will also be here to show their work! It’s been years since we opened Chroma Studios to the public and I am so excited to share all the color and energy with you all! We have 11 studios in all, though not everyone is able to be open this time around.
We have 2 studios that are currently being moved out of, so we also have 2 studios opening up for new artists at the beginning of October. If you are looking for an art studio, stop by and see what we have available! We are always happy to welcome new artists into the Chroma Studios fold. 🙂
Mixed Media by Dee Alexandria
I recently moved into a new studio that I’m sharing with another artist. Dee Alexandria has been a friend since we first met selling our art at the New Mexico State Fair almost 10 years ago! We decided to share a studio because neither of us needed a big studio to ourselves. Plus, it’s nice to have company in the studio. So often, artists are isolated from their peers. That is one of the things about Chroma Studios that makes it so nice! We have a community of artists here that help each other out. Mine and Dee’s work compliments each other perfectly as we both love color, flowers and spirals!
Landscape painting by Cynthia Zeedyk
Cynthia Zeedyck is another artist who will have her studio open this Saturday. She is a lifelong artist with 45 years of training and experience in the arts, including: Fine Arts, Appalachian Arts, Poetry, many styles of Dance, Wildcrafting Herbs, and Poetry. Cynthia was awarded with an Apprenticeship Grant from Ohio Arts for Traditional Heritage Basket Making. Her works sold both nationally and internationally. She was the largest female producer of Heritage Berry Baskets in the world. Her designs and creations include landscape paintings, floral and contemporary. Newest works in Scrimshaw. Cynthia has been a Chroma Artist since 2014.
Mixed Media by Robert Medina Cook
Robert Medina Cook has been a Chroma Studios artist off and on for at least 5 years. He began his journey in the creative arts over forty years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A native New Mexican whose local family roots go back centuries in Northern New Mexico, in 2012 Robert was one of 7 artists honored for their excellence in the arts by being proclaimed a “Local Treasure” by the Albuquerque Art Business Association. Featured in several publications, his artworks have won numerous awards and can be found in corporate, museum, public art and private collections throughout the US and abroad.
Mixed Media by Phillip Vigil
Phillip Vigil (Jemez Pueblo/Chiricahua Apache) is a fourth-generation artist residing in Jemez Pueblo. He is new to Chroma Studios. He is a self-taught artist and has been working seriously on his art now for several years. He always had a love of art since he realized at a young age that the paintings on the walls were done by members of his family. He is highly influenced by the abstract modernists of the early and late 20th century. He works a lot on paper with oil pastels, oil sticks, oil paint sticks, spray paint, oil and acrylic paint as well.
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! 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
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 eventcoming 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!
Almost done with this one! 🙂 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, still thinking up a title for this one, any ideas?
I think I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to start blogging every Tuesday and Thursday…. Well, Tuesday slipped right by me this week! It’s not easy to go back to work after a long break, but when you are self-employed it can be even more difficult! Mainly because I have to have the self discipline to get my butt back in gear and back to a regular schedule! I have been in my studio everyday this week, but getting back to a routine is proving to be slightly difficult. I haven’t painted for so long, that’s ALL I want to do!
It doesn’t help that I’ve moved into yet another new studio! Smaller space and I’m sharing with an artist friend of mine. It’s been nice having someone to talk to while I work. Being an artist can be so isolating!
Other works in progress…
I waited until today to post a new blog so I could share some new works in progress! 🙂 I currently have 4 paintings in progress. The photo above shows 3 of the 4, you will have to wait for the last one! 😉 Stay tuned….