Tag Archives: gallery

How the Creative person stays sane!


"High Vibrations", 12 x 12" oil on canvas, SOLD!

My latest finished painting, “High Vibrations”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, SOLD!

Once again I have fallen off my blogging schedule! UGH! So much going on right now. I guess I thrive on the chaos. Life is more exciting with more going on, right?

I finished a new painting today, so figured it would be a great time to post a new blog. I was thrilled to have this painting sold before it was finished. I love it when that happens! I posted a bit of timelapse video to my Instagram today as I was finishing it up.

I was recently invited to show in the Summer show at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery. I’m really pleased with this, as I have been trying to get into the gallery for at least 7 years! The NMCCG is the largest gallery in the state of New Mexico. I will have at least 20 pieces in the show with room for more. Needless to say, I have a LOT of painting to do. I am also showing at the local Sierra Club offices in August. The two shows overlap, so I have to have at least 30 paintings available by then.

Side view of latest painting

Side view of my latest painting. Going back to wrapping the painting around the edge. Doesn’t need framing or it can be put into a floating frame to you can still see the sides.

I am currently working on a NEW website which is taking more time than I had hoped, but it’s going to be awesome! Once it’s done, my Etsy shop will close because I will have the ability to sell directly from my site. I have been searching for a solution for my website for literally, YEARS! I finally found it in Art Storefronts. They have everything I ever wanted in a website. Stay tuned for my new and improved site, hopefully launching by the end of March.

Along with the new website, I’ve been busy working on ChromaFEST, an art and music festival fundraiser for my other business, Chroma Studios. We are raising money to help us buy a building for our studios. We currently lease space and need more, so purchasing our own commercial building just makes sense. We have been in business for almost 9 years, it’s time for expansion.

I’ve also been spending as much time as possible with my almost 2 month old grandson. It’s so much fun being a grandma!

Where Am I Going?

I have asked this question several times over the 25 years of my art career. My plan is to SIMPLIFY. My priority as an artist is to MAKE ART, follow my heart, leave my mark on the world, and have my art OUT in the world.

Love gratitude joy hope peace faith believe smile harmony original oil painting in progess

Work in Progress, still untitled, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas. Still working on the background for this one.

With all that said, what does it really mean? What have I come up with? I am a painter. Period. I paint images that I HOPE will bring sunshine, joy, love, inspiration to all who see them. I’m a painter, I paint. Period. No more side projects, sewing projects (maybe in my spare time!), prints, or anything else that takes me off track. I’m done with being distracted by the OTHER stuff.

I have to do this, if I don’t, I will never be successful at anything. I need to focus. We ALL need to focus. What is the one thing you want more than anything else? GO FOR IT! For me, I want to spend my days painting and my evenings playing music!

That is my plan from this day forward, daily painting, daily music practice/shows, daily work to get my art out in the world! This is a big reason for our plans to head out on the road in our motor home. The best way I’ve found to get my art and music out in the world is to get MYSELF out in the world! Besides, it’s not fair that my paintings get to travel the world while I sit here in my studio, at my computer, communicating with the world, but never EXPERIENCING the world! I’m READY to get out of my comfort zone, I’m READY to travel and EXPERIENCE LIFE! 🙂 I plan to write about it all here as I go along, I hope you will join me on this journey.

Not just here on my blog, but out in the world! Follow that dream you’ve been tucking away in your heart all these years! Paint that painting, write that book, sing that song or whatever dream you have. As Nike says, JUST DO IT!

On a Roll!

Me with Carolyn Carroll, owner of Bright Rain Gallery in Old Town Albuquerque. That's my art on the wall in the background!

Me with Carolyn Carroll, owner of Bright Rain Gallery in Old Town Albuquerque. That’s my art on the wall in the background!

This has been a fantastic week for me! I am just super grateful for all the manifestations in my life this week! I have been working towards a goal I set at the beginning of the year, to have 5 galleries showing my art by June 2013. As of Monday, I have two! Friday I met with the owner of Bright Rain Gallery in Old Town Albuquerque to show her a few paintings and prints. I was pleased to leave Old Town with my paintings and prints now represented by Bright Rain Gallery! Of course, I came straight home and posted my good news on my facebook page and within a day I had received an email from another gallery where I recently submitted my art. High Desert Art & Frame is up near the Sandia Mountains at the intersection of Montgomery and Tramway. I met with them on Monday and will be their featured artist in July of this year!

My paintings hanging at Bright Rain Gallery

My paintings hanging at Bright Rain Gallery

Yet another argument for following up with galleries once you submit. I sent email submissions to the first gallery in February. I didn’t hear back from them but decided to drop in while gallery hopping with a friend. I mentioned something to the gallery owner about my email while talking with her and she said she remembered my email and liked my work. She asked me to bring some paintings by sometime, which I did the next week. If I hadn’t followed up with her, my art may not be in that gallery. Another awesome note, I went by the gallery today to take a picture of my art on the walls (see above & below) and found out that since I dropped off my art on Friday, I had already sold 5 prints!

Paula Manning Lewis' art at Bright Rain Gallery

My prints are on the table below in a cute basket! 🙂

The second gallery was reminded to contact me  because of my post on facebook. So, another great reason to use Facebook. 🙂 As if I needed another reason!

Acrylic painting on vinyl record, in progress

Acrylic painting on vinyl record, in progress

Needless to say, now that I have a show coming up in July, I have some painting to do. I have been slowly getting back to the studio, painting for what seems like the first time in forever (it’s actually been 7 months since I painted regularly!). Today I had a good friend call me to ask if I would mind if she came and watched me paint, so we had a great time painting alongside each other. (FYI, don’t ask to watch me paint unless you are ready to dive in and paint alongside me! 🙂 I finished my first small painting in a while and worked on my record painting a bit more, almost done with it.

oil painting

Joyful, 8 x 8″ oil painting

I ordered canvas stretcher bars this morning and plan to get going on a new series as soon as they arrive. It sure feels good to get back to my art! I have been having so much fun making music with my husband though! I just have to figure out how to make time for both. Easy peasy!

Getting back to the dream

Up bright and early this morning. Seems I have been waking up early a lot lately. These are the times when I wish my studio was at home. Then I could grab my coffee and hit the studio bright and early. I am finally getting myself back, back to my true passion, painting! The gallery has taken up a big majority of my time the past few years. It’s so nice to finally have someone helping me out with that work, so I can have more studio time. Cari Pier is also an incredible artist and a friend. I am so grateful for her help and luckily for me, she is grateful to help out with the gallery!

Today I plan to work in my studio all day, I have started a new painting and hope to finish it up. I will post progress photos later today. Also, I have one of my paintings in our gallery silent auction for charity. There is one  bid so far, but it’s still an awesome deal! The retail price is $800 and the bid is at $200 currently. I will also post a photo of that painting once I get to the studio. I’m currently at home on my laptop and don’t have any photos here.

Now I’m just rambling on. I am writing this blog to let you all know that I intend to blog more often now that I have more time. I must get back to my passion! Sharing my art and love of art with the world! I figured out that my dad’s death got me seriously off track and it’s taken 2 1/2 years to get back on track. When my dad died it was like a piece of me died with him and I had a difficult time getting back to my painting routine. So, I threw myself into our business; the studios and the gallery. Not that this was a bad thing, I have met some amazing artists and created a wonderful community here at Chroma. I wouldn’t give that up for the world! Hopefully, all the Chroma artists will understand that I’m in a new phase of life and it’s time to get back to ME! Just typing that makes me feel a twinge of guilt, but I can’t let that stop me! I have had a couple sessions with a life coach and it’s been really good for getting rid of that guilt. If I can’t take care of and love myself, I can’t help others. One of my main goals with the gallery is helping artists find their passion. That’s not going to change. Only now I will inspire them to follow their dreams by actions, not words! That said, I need to get down to the studio! I hope today is a wonderful day for all and that you find a way to follow your passions, whatever that may be!

Tonight’s the Night! One Year of Chroma Studios!

Tonight is not just another First Friday here in Albuquerque, tonight is the night we celebrate our one year anniversary in business at Chroma Studios! I can hardly believe it’s already been a year. A celebration it will be, lots of art, jewelry, live music, a poetry reading, refreshments, open studios, artists to meet and fun to be had by all! Plenty of FREE parking too!

Featured artists are Paula Manning-Lewis, co-owner and founder and Chris Schelling, studio artist. Our upstairs studios will be open with artists here to share what they do. Carlos Contreras and Colin Hazelbaker will be entertaining upstairs with poetry readings, Aaron Lewis will be in his studio upstairs playing classical guitar, Jazz group, Duende, and bluegrass/blues group, Bleaker Street Boys will be out in the courtyard entertaining us with their music.

Hours are 6 – 10 pm, hope to see you here!

This Week’s Inspiration: Indoor Edition

Acrylic on 12" vinyl, "Dynagroove"

Acrylic on 12" vinyl, "Dynagroove"

So, last week’s hike took it all out of me, or I should say, my knee! It was swollen and sore all week and is just now starting to feel kind of normal again. Needless to say, we didn’t go hiking this week. This totally bums me out, because we haven’t missed a week in months and it’s all thanks to my aging body! Getting old truly sucks! We did take a couple of walks to the river in the past week, but no awesome landscapes or new trails to discover and share. Instead, I will share some of the painting I’ve been doing this week. On Monday rather than enjoying a hike, I stuck around the house, listened to some of my dad’s vinyl and painted.


I have lots to do to get ready for my featured show at the gallery next month. It’s been difficult to get back in to the swing of painting everyday. I used to paint daily with no problem, now that I have a gallery to run, it’s not so easy. It seems like every time I pick up my brush someone comes in or the phone rings. I know, I need to stop whining. I hate whiners, so why do I do it so much?

In addition to being my featured month at the gallery, April is the one year anniversary of the studios space opening. I can hardly believe it’s already been a year! Six months since we opened the gallery. Next month is going to be a BIG show! We will have another studio artist, Chris Schelling, featured in the gallery with me and the upstairs studios will be open to the public. We will also have live music in different locations throughout the space, including a band out in the courtyard! There will be lots of art, music and refreshments, hope you will stop by if you are in the area!

One of the projects I started years ago and have picked back up for next month’s show is painting on old vinyl LP records. My dad gave me several of his doubles back when I started, but now that I have inherited ALL his records, I have gone through and taken out all the doubles. So, I have plenty to work with! To say the least! Below are two that I finished on Monday. I’m working towards finishing 12 of them to hang in the indoor windows of my studio. One of the cool things about these is you can turn them over and play the record on the other side! Plus, they have a perfect hanger built in!

Acrylic on 12" vinyl,

Acrylic on 12" vinyl, "Percy Faith"

 The other project I started years ago and am now picking up again, is my pre-framed oils on canvas. I built the frames from raw lumber and attached the canvas so the frame and painting are all in one piece. No framing necessary!

Oils on canvas and wood

Oils on canvas and wood

What to do?

I have so many things on my plate these days that I’m having a difficult time keeping up with everything. I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, because my life is so full and fantastic right now! I’m really beginning to feel overwhelmed though, and I think I need to start being more picky about what I say yes to. I have a difficult time with this, I really want to do everything. I have so many wonderful ideas and new things I would like to try, so many unfinished projects too though! The gallery has given me the ability to help other artists, but my art has been suffering for it. I don’t want to be selfish, I WANT to help other artists! That has always been a goal of mine. However, I need some balance in my life. I could easily spend 80 hours every week here at the gallery, so many things I planned to do with the website, gallery, classes, etc, etc. I know one of my problems is being online too much. Sounds funny to say that as I write a blog post, but it’s true. I guess I should say, too much WASTED time on the internet. I haven’t been blogging as often as I used to. I guess it’s just organization I need more than anything. If I were more organized, perhaps I wouldn’t waste so much time. I finally cleaned off my desk yesterday after the pile up during the week of getting ready for this month’s show opening. That helps a little. This weekend I even took a new needlepoint design home with me so I could actually work on it. It’s almost finished! I am featuring my own work in the gallery in April, so I MUST get some new work done for that! Luckily, the featured artist space is small! I’m just rambling on and on now. I wanted to post this blog to let you all know I’m still here, even if I’m not posting as often as I would like. I will try to get some new photos up soon of some of the things I’ve been working on.