Tag Archives: guitar

How I got my groove back!

 

oil painting on canvas

My current work in progress. 12 x 12″ oil on canvas. A suggestion from a facebook follower pointed me in a different direction.

I spent most of March and a couple days in April working on my brand new website! I have been researching and learning about artist websites for YEARS! This is the year I finally found the perfect website solution for my art. Art Store Fronts is amazing! They have all the tools I need to run an efficient website. Everything I’ve been learning about and had no idea how to actually implement, is built in to their awesome software. I highly recommend them. Needless to say, I NOW have a brand new artist website with everything! I invite you to go check it out and please let me know what you think! PaulaManningLewis.com is now LIVE! I have closed my Etsy shop and now have everything available for sale on the new site. Actually, I’m still working on getting EVERYTHING available. My current portfolio is all there, coloring books, dolls and older work is coming soon.

Now that the majority of website work is done, it’s back to painting in preparation for a show at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery starting in June and showing through August. I will have at least 20 pieces in the show! I also have a show coming up in August at the local Sierra Club offices. I have a LOT of painting to get done in the coming months! The painting above is my current work in progress, in a totally different direction. Instead of the sun or a flower, this one is focused on the Moon.

In addition to my paintings on canvas, I’m getting ready to start two different mural projects. I will share more about that in my Spring e-newsletter. Please visit my new website and sign up for my email list to receive the newsletter when it goes out soon.

This Saturday is ChromaFEST, an art and music festival and fundraiser for our local business, Chroma Studios. My band, Sunlight will be performing at 5:55pm-6:35pm. Also, my husband, Aaron Lewis, will play a solo guitar set as well right before Sunlight, starting at 5:30pm. Hope to see my local friends there! 🙂

I’m still thinking about whether or not I will keep my blog here on WordPress or transfer it over to my new website. I may just link the two together. I’m super excited about taking my art to the next level! I feel like I finally found my groove again!

Heading to Texas Soon!

I haven’t had much time for painting lately. We are getting ready to head to Austin, Texas for a Sunlight gig this Saturday. This week has been spent getting ready, rehearsing, making band t-shirts, and cleaning house so it will be ready to show while we are gone. This will be our first show in Austin and we are SO excited! We are playing at the Carousel Lounge, they have a pink elephant on the stage! I guess it’s one of the original “weird” Austin places. We will be back early next week and I plan to start a new painting and painting video then! Stay tuned! I hope to have lots of photos to share!

My painting clearance sale is still going on in my Etsy shop! I just added several more paintings to the bunch, this sale will be on for a limited time only!

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. 🙂

Sweet Leaf by Sunlight

Sunlight in the park

Sunlight in the park

We (Sunlight)released our first cover song today! It’s a Black Sabbath song from the 1970s, Sweet Leaf. We changed it around a bit and included some references to the original tune, but it’s now a folksy song! We have drums, bass and beat box on this recording thanks to Bill Nelson, Grant Garner and Colin Diles respectively. A little tease before we finish our next full length CD, Shuffle, coming soon!

Follow this LINK to hear the song!

Sunlight

photo collage of Sunlight

Photo collage from our first CD cover

Sunlight is the name of the band I play in with my husband, Aaron Lewis. Aaron has started a blog on our Sunlight website, so I figured I would share his first post here. I have some painting to do and I promise to share more progress photos at the beginning of next week. My new planned blogging schedule is 2x per week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Please subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss any new posts!

Here is the link to the Sunlight blog, which is also part of our website.

 

People Who Inspire Me: The REAL Aaron Lewis!

Aaron Lewis with his Taylor Guitar

The Man and his Guitar

Now that I’m blogging 5 days a week, I’ve had to work on planning my posts. It’s not easy to come up with a post everyday of the week! I’ve decided to write a series of posts for different days of the week. Mondays are “Living in the Land of Enchantment”, Tuesdays and Thursdays are “Creativity”, Wednesdays are “People Who Inspire Me” and Fridays are “Friday Funday”.

Today is the first of the “People Who Inspire Me” series, so I decided to start with the person in my life who inspires me most. My husband and soulmate, Aaron Lewis. Aaron inspires me to be the best person I can be. He leads by example. Sometimes it gets on my nerves because I can’t imagine how someone can be so authentically nice to everyone he meets. He rarely has anything bad to say about anyone. He is a determined musician who has followed his heart and makes his own style of music with no excuses.

Me and Aaron at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Me and Aaron at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Aaron was the one who convinced me that I could be a singer and perform in front of audiences. He encouraged me and pushed me and I’m so grateful for that. He has helped me achieve so many of my dreams and stood by my side through it all. I won’t get into all the ways that he has inspired and stood by me in my personal life too. That’s a whole other blog post of it’s own! 🙂

Aaron began as a heavy metal guitarist at the age of 14. That’s how we met! Aaron and my brother were in their first band together. He switched to the Blues for a couple years in his early twenties and then went to college and earned his BA of Music with a concentration on composing and classical guitar. He has released 3 CDs of solo guitar music, 1 CD of electronic “alien” music. In 2012 we started playing folk music together as “Sunlight” and Aaron’s songwriting talent came full circle from the first song he wrote as a teenager. He also composes for guitar and multiple other instruments/groups of instruments.

I titled this post “The REAL Aaron Lewis” because he has been told he’s not the REAL Aaron Lewis. This guy is more real than anyone I know. He keeps it real for me everyday! He is true to himself and his music. I love him for that. Who cares about that “other” guy.

Sunlight Superman photo by Karl Horodowich

“Sunlight Superman”, this is a great photo to show his sense of humor, he’s always making me laugh! Photo by Karl Horodowich

I asked Aaron several questions for this post so you can learn more about him straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. 😉

Paula: If you had the power to change ONE thing in this world what would it be and how would you change it?

Aaron: I would alter the way we look at our prison system. We have always viewed our prison system as a way to protect society. I would change our prison system to be a positive environment or as I like to say they should be “love factories”. What do I mean by that? All crimes are committed because of a lack of love. People steal because they see no other way to get the finer things or make it in this life because their dreams were crushed at one point in time. People murder because of fight or flight instinct, jealousy, it gives them a rush. I think all of them can be reformed except for those who do it for a rush(serial killers). All people who are in prison because of addictions need to be in rehab centers not prisons. Those who were caught selling to minors need more time and help but really all a drug dealer is is a misguided entrepreneur. I would change the programs at the prison to fast track people back into society because we are a stronger society if we can help one another as opposed to lock ’em up and throw away the key. I would also lose the drab grey paint and fluorescent lights that are used and replace with skylights, colored paint, and positive affirmations on the wall and mandatory guided meditation for 30 minutes a day.

IMG_3346

Aaron Lewis

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Aaron: What inspires me is music itself. It is a fascinating language made up of 12 characters and has been interpreted in so many ways both for the good and the bad of mankind and both approaches are fascinating and inspiring.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your music?

Aaron: The biggest influence on my music would have to be God or Universe or whatever you may want to call it. Sometimes I write music for classical guitar. Sometimes I write songs. Sometimes I write electronic noise soundscapes. When I start to write I have an out of body experience and when I come back one of the above styles is written and I have to admit wholeheartedly that I don’t have any idea how that music came about but here it is.

Paula: What do you want your musical legacy to be?

Aaron: I would like to be someone who is remembered for changing people’s minds about music. That music is not something a few privileged people are able to do but it is a gift for our souls so lets all belly up to the table together with our voices, our instruments and feed each other’s souls with the universal language that has been such a gift for centuries and will continue to be such a gift.

Thank you Aaron for submitting to my questions, I must admit it was cool to read your answers! 🙂 Check back next Wednesday for my next post of “People Who Inspire Me”.