Tag Archives: my story

Back to Canvas

It’s been quite a while since I’ve painted on canvas! I’ve painted several murals and a bunch of vinyl records over the past few months. I guess it’s about time.

"Four Seasons", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress

“Four Seasons”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

This new painting in progress is a special project for the latest Sunlight CD cover art. Aaron (my hubby and music partner), had the inspiration for it. Every once in a while he has a great idea! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ The title of the album is “Shuffle” and the painting is based on the four seasons. I guess it’s a play on our Sunlight tag line, “Sunlight shines on it all”, and the fact that the sun shines through all four seasons.

This is a new concept for me as I’ve never really painted a mandala in sections like this. I’m having a difficult time keeping it round. Usually, my freehand form of painting is easy to keep round, but with the different sections, not so much. Good news is, this is just the background of the painting. Not exactly sure where it’s going. The muse guides me and tells me what’s next. I just follow the silent cues. The finished painting hasn’t quite revealed itself to me, just yet. Follow me on Instagram if you want to continue seeing the progress.

Speaking of Sunlight, we have just released our first single (Pale Moonlight), from the new CD, which should be released in full at the beginning of 2018. We are really excited about this album as we played with a drummer and bass player. The first CD was mainly acoustic, with guitar and ukelele. We had one song we added drums to, and after that one song, we decided to record the entire 2nd CD with a full band. Plus, I played uke on this one! Have a listen and let me know what you think? Thanks!

Advertisements

Gratitude for Another Year!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am so grateful for all the love and support I get from y’all! Thank you for supporting my art; paintings, murals, videos, show openings, emails, etc! Without YOU, I would have no one to share my creativity with. I’m blessed beyond measure!

My Paula Beck book is all edited and ready to be laid out and have images added. Collecting all the images and editing them is time consuming. I’m going to go ahead and admit, it will most likely not be done in time for Christmas. It’s looking more like beginning of 2018.

That’s ok, since I couldn’t get that finished up in time, I’ve thrown another “to do” on my list! I’m putting a 2018 calendar together. Stay tuned for that as I hope to have them available by Christmas instead!

I’m in the design phase of two additional murals! One will be another exterior mural here in Albuquerque and the other is a FULL interior room in Las Cruces. I’m so stoked and grateful to keep going with the murals! Stay tuned for more time lapse videos.

I’m still recovering from having my final wisdom tooth pulled last Wednesday. It was a particularly stubborn tooth. My dentist spent quite a bit of time on this tooth. It did NOT want to leave my head! She drilled, pushed, pulled, hammered, drilled again, etc and on and on it went. When she finally pulled it out, I had begun to wonder if it would ever budge. I was wishing I had opted for the lights out option, so I wasn’t awake for all the work it took. The aftermath wasn’t pretty. For a couple of days afterward, it looked like I had a golf ball in my cheek, and by the 3rd day, I had quite a large bruise on my jaw that spread down to my neck. I’m still in pain, though the bruise is fading and the swelling has gone down. The dentist told me it would be a couple of weeks to full recovery. Week one down!

My next painting is already started in my mind, I just need to get back to painting! Hoping to have the energy to get it started this week. It’s going to be the cover image for the new Sunlight CD! We have finished all the recording, the mixing and mastering is in progress. Another project we hope to finish up at the beginning of 2018.

I have received word that I will be participating in another show at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery! I believe it will be the Spring show, March-May. I have to get busy painting for that one, I will basically need a full body of work, at least 20 paintings!

Needless to say, I’m busy and have my work cut out for me for the next 6 months! I cannot express in words my gratitude for the fact that I get to do what I love every single day. It’s not always an easy life, but it is definitely rewarding and exciting! I’m currently reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and this section stood out for me today. I’ve had my share of frustration this year, but this sums it up perfectly!

“I was no stranger to disappointment and frustration. But I remember thinking that learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person. If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work—perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

Exactly.

May you have a wonderful day, week, month and year! ❀

PS, next week is the official beginning of the Holiday season! Stay tuned for my way to thank you for your support, an awesome Black Friday/Small Business Saturday sale!

 

 

 

The Sun and the Moon

I painted my latest mural this past Sunday and Monday. I’m so excited about this one! I’m calling it “The Sun and the Moon” and I think it’s the best mural I’ve painted to date. I painted it for my brother and his wife. They had a neighbor build a new cinder block wall bordering their driveway, and they thought it needed some color! It was definitely my most ambitious mural yet, at 33 x 5.5′ feet!

I’m considering making prints of this one, it would have to be a triptych as the wall is too long to get it all in one photo. I tried taking a panoramic shot, but hard to do on a sloping driveway! What do you think? Or maybe I will do a smaller canvas version of it?

As with my other murals, I filmed the process and created a time lapse video to share with y’all. I think the time lapse videos are my favorite part, as I get to watch the progress too! It’s a different perspective for me as I don’t get to stand back and watch while I’m painting.

The music on the video is written and performed by my brother, Travis James Manning. He is a lifelong musician and currently plays in two bands, as well as playing solo acoustic shows in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM

Enjoy the video, share the video, comment on the video… any of these activities is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your continued support! πŸ™‚

It’s All Too Much

Back to my studio today after working all weekend and taking Mon/Tues off instead. Attempted working on my self portrait, deadline is coming up soon.

Not happening.

So much hate, fear , disaster, death, anger, murder etc in the world. I am a highly sensitive person. I feel the emotions of the collective consciousness all around me.

We are all in despair.

Why are humans such a hateful race? I’m so directionless right now. I don’t know what to do, or say. It’s just depressing.

I have tried for years to spread love with my art. Painting the feelings of love the only way I know how. It’s what I know, what I can do now.

I am conscious of the way I treat other people. I smile at everyone I pass on the street.

I don’t understand why people are so quick to defend their right to own guns, when their is so much death and despair all around them. Defending a piece of paper written almost 200 years ago. Do those people want to be happy too?

Random thoughts going through my mind today. I can’t make sense of anything, so why try? I’m not personally depressed, but I can feel the heavy weight of sadness blanketing the planet.

Mother Earth is sad too. No, she’s angry. She’s tired of the abuse, tired of the sadness. She knows the cause of her pain, it’s US. HUMANS.

It’s very difficult for me to continue as an artist at times like this. I feel like nothing I do contributes to the betterment of society. Painting is more than therapeutic for me, but how does it help others? My hope is that people look at my work and FEEL THE LOVE.

I don’t know what else to do.

 

More Background work

work in progress, Veteran self portrait

Work in Progress, the white area is the space reserved for my self portrait.

Not much new to share today, except a little progress on my current painting! πŸ˜‰ Still working on the background, I really want to get to that portrait, but background first! Still going back and forth on whether I will paint the portrait or draw it. I may combine the two and paint the portrait in black and white. What do YOU think? Seriously, I’m curious! πŸ™‚

FYI, Friendly reminder, News Flash! In case you don’t already know, I’m having a Summer Studio Clearance Sale on my website right now! The sale ends on Friday, the 22nd of September, one week from tomorrow! 50% off select paintings and prints! AND, if you sign up for my email list, you will get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase of regularly priced paintings and prints!

Self Portrait for Veterans Day

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran's day show, 20 x 20

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran’s day show, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas

Last week I posted about my latest inspiration in this post. I worked on a couple of self portrait sketches last week and decided that I would, in fact, change the painting I’m working on for the Veteran’s Day show, into a self portrait. My second sketch came out much more satisfactory than the first.

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

It has literally been over a decade since I painted a portrait in oils or drawn in pencil for that matter. I stopped because painting portrait commissions was very stressful. Getting a likeness is one thing, but it’s impossible to make a portrait that matches what someone “thinks” they look like. Though I stopped taking portrait commissions, I have always enjoyed painting portraits. Self portraits are not as stressful for obvious reasons. I KNOW what I look like and what I “think” I look like, and there is absolutely no pressure there.

Today, I blocked out the silhouette in the foreground of my latest spiral abstract painting. The background will continue on as intended. The idea behind this self portrait is specifically about my time as a soldier in the US Army and how it changed my perception from childhood to adulthood. My once eager, patriotic mind was twisted and turned more cynical once my time was served. I became an advocate for peace and love, after being sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier and after seeing families torn apart because of war. I became even more peace minded after seeing my son’s generation of soldiers come home in pieces, physically and mentally, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The spirals of red, blue and yellow surrounded by stars and eventually, stripes, is a representation of the flag after the twisting and turning. I use yellow instead of white to represent the staining of young hearts, forever changed by war. These torn souls will never know the innocence of childhood again. It’s not my usual happy go lucky inspiration, but it’s real. It’s my truth.

Did you say Self-Portrait?

Yes I did. I had a very creative outburst on Saturday night. Stayed up until 3 am to write and work on my “Paula Beck Story” art book. I tried to sleep but my muse wasn’t having it. At first it was one little idea, so I got out my small bedside notebook and started writing. After 3-4 pages I realized I needed to get to the computer so I could type. The words were coming faster than I could write them long hand with a pen and paper.

One of my flashes of inspiration came as the idea to do a self portrait in pencil as a special edition print to go with my art book. That turned into a self portrait in oils of me as a young Private in the Army, in front of one of my spiral paintings. In particular, the red, yellow and blue painting I’m working on for the Face-Palm Patriots show in November. It could turn into a series, who knows?

first pencil sketch

self portrait, pencil sketch

I started practicing a little portrait sketching today. It’s been over a decade since I’ve drawn or painted a portrait. I used to paint portrait commissions for a living. Painting someone else for a commission is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done as an artist. I had to stop.

Self-portraits on the other hand. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. Need I say more? I think I may be starting my Frida phase as an artist. Only time will tell. I’m kinda into this idea. Stay tuned!