Tag Archives: new studio

Paula’s Paint Party!

Tree landscape, my next painting class subject.

The last couple of days I’ve been busy getting paperwork together for our taxes. Ugh. I wish I was done! In reality, I’ve been procrastinating book work by painting the next sample painting for my paint party class! Since my first class went so well, I’m doing it again in March. I haven’t confirmed the date yet, but it’s looking like Thursday, March 14th. I will share all the information once I confirm the date with the Brewery.

I think the most difficult part of this process is deciding what I’m going to paint! If you have any ideas, let me know! The best part of teaching this class? I get to paint something different that I may have never painted otherwise. It’s a fun break from my usual style. I may end up painting some landscapes for the fun of it too! 😜

I’m getting settled into my home studio for now. I’m in temporary space until we have time to build my home studio, probably not until this Summer. I am participating in the Silver City Studio Tour coming up the first weekend of May, so I have lots of work to prepare for that. On top of preparing my own studio I am the Event Coordinator for the Tour. I am coordinating the advertising, promotion, event reception and meetings leading up to the event. I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing art community!

Facing Defeat

In a manner of speaking anyway. I really wanted to make that huge, cool commercial space work for my studio. So much so that I let it become an obsession past the point of it making any sense. Yesterday was my realization day. A building filled with smoke hit me like the sign from the Universe I believe it was meant to be. Not that a clogged stove pipe is such a tragedy, it can be cleaned. It was the meltdown that followed that made me realize I was fighting a useless uphill battle that I didn’t want to fight anymore. I have a beautiful home in the Mimbres Valley with gorgeous views and plenty of room to make and store art.

My new studio, the whole building is all mine!
I’m giving up the dream studio!

At the point where I completely lost it, my sweet husband showed up for his lunch break. He calmed me down and suggested I make a pros/cons list to help make my decision easier. I have never been good at making decisions. I’m super wishy washy when it comes to having to chose one thing over the other. Thank goodness for my sweetie who always makes sense of my chaos.

I decided first, to go home to make my list. I needed to be in a place where I could breathe. A smoky room doesn’t really fulfill that need! After making the list it was very obvious what my decision should be. Funny thing is, it was the opposite choice from what I THOUGHT I wanted, but as soon as I saw it on the page? It was like a two ton weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt some relief from the anxiety and depression I’ve been feeling for over a month now.

I have a habit of putting undue pressure on myself. I’ve always held myself to this ridiculous standard that no one could ever achieve. I’m done. Time to love myself and let myself go with the flow for a change!

Feeling Isolated

New canvas has arrived!

New canvas has arrived! Three 36×36″ paintings on the way!

Making art is, for the most part, a solitary pursuit. I’ve been purposefully isolated ever since we closed Chroma Studios Art space in June 2017. I go back and forth between being an introvert and an extrovert. I enjoy my solitary time. Usually. I must be heading into an extrovert phase. I’ve been feeling a bit too isolated lately.

It’s been over 6 months now since our major move to the Silver City area. In September, I attended a meeting of the Silver City Art Association. I joined the group just in time to participate in their Indy Artist Pop up show at the Common Ground gallery in Silver City.

Last week I met with the President of the Association so we could get to know each other better. We talked about the challenges they face as a group. I told her a bit about the experiences I have had as an artist/gallery owner and I told her that I would be happy to pitch in and help wherever they needed me.

This morning I woke to a message from another member of the group asking if I would be willing to be their Vice President. I guess I made a good impression!

I’m excited for this new chapter of my art career and ready to be an extrovert again! The sense of failure I felt when we closed Chroma Art Studios in Albuquerque has faded. I know it wasn’t a failure, it ran it’s course and it was time for us to leave the big city for a small town. I’m happy to be where I am now.

One of the reasons I joined the group was the fact that they have an Open Studios Tour at the beginning of May. I guess I will now be helping to make it happen for 2019. My goal is to have my studio in Santa Clara finished and ready for the Open Studios Tour. I have my work cut out for me for sure!

Black gesso on canvas

Black gesso on canvas, drying time.

Yesterday was a very rough day for me personally. Thank God for art and the UPS guy bringing my 3 new large canvases! Today I’m prepping the new canvas to start painting tomorrow. I start each canvas with black gesso and it needs a good day to dry fully.

I’m leaning towards a new painting in the “Space” series. This series is based on images from the Hubble Telescope. Spiral Universes, stars and galaxies, more about this in my next blog, stay tuned!

Oh and friendly reminder! Your 2019 Paula Manning-Lewis Art Calendar is now available for purchase on my website!

 

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Rain, Rain, go away!

12x12

12×12″ oil on canvas, finished yesterday, untitled for now

The title of this blog is a bit misleading! I’m really not complaining about all the rain we’ve received in southern New Mexico these past couple of months! That said, I just want to go hiking! I guess I will post another blog about the paintings I’ve been working on instead of the hiking blog I was planning on. Our doggies really want the rain to stop! They are dying to go out for a hike! Not to mention, my little Bernie Bern is very afraid of the thunder and lightning.

Our new truck! 2018 Nissan Frontier

Our new truck! 2018 Nissan Frontier

We just took delivery of our brand new 4×4 Nissan truck. Even more reason we are itching to get out for a hike, this time we are going deep into the woods! We can now go places even our Subaru AWD can’t reach. Stay tuned, once this uncharacteristic rainy season is over, we will be doing lots of exploring in the Gila.

One of 3, 12x12

12×12″ oil painting on canvas, that I finished yesterday.

Another issue with the rain? The supposed “new” 30 year roof on my studio has sprouted several leaks. One is right over my computer desk. This is the reason I’m leasing this building and not buying it, for now. It will help to know what’s really up with the building.

12x12

12×12″ oil painting on canvas, finished yesterday, untitled for now

I’ve been super busy in the studio this week. A whole lotta painting going on! I finished another 3 paintings since Tuesday’s blog. I now have 3 more to finish before I can buy some new LARGE canvases. I cannot wait to paint LARGE again! Another plus of the new truck? I can transport my large paintings! I have two stored at my mom’s house in Albuquerque because we couldn’t fit them in our car.

Though these paintings are finished, I haven’t found titles for them just yet. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions? Thanks!

Progress This Week…

I’m enjoying my new studio and getting back to a regular painting routine. I’ve been working on a couple of 20×20″ oil paintings over the last few weeks and I do believe they are finished! For sure one of them, not completely sure on the second. lol.

“Emanate”, 20×20″ oil on canvas, available soon!

The first one finished is the second painting started. While painting the first I had an idea I wanted to try out, just not on that painting. So I started another! This is the third painting where I’ve used this idea. The idea is many streams/brushstrokes/waves of color coming out from the middle of the painting. The idea behind it is energy. The idea that energy emanates from the core of a person, from our heart center. It’s not necessarily a scientific idea, more of a spiritual thought.

I hate trying to describe my ideas with words, but I’m pushing myself to get better at doing just that. Most of my ideas come straight out of my wondering brain. Some days from meditation, some days they just pop up while I’m “in the zone” and painting.

20x20" oil on canvas, still in progress?

20×20″ oil on canvas, still in progress?

Pushing myself to paint in a more abstract style makes it even more difficult to describe with words. I don’t really think Abstract work should be explained. It should evoke different feelings in different viewers. IMHO anyway. As a viewer of art, do you CARE what the artist was thinking or what their ideas were? I’m serious, these are things I wonder about! I would love to hear your opinion!

This week is my annual Summer Studio Clearance Sale. I have 40 original paintings available at 30% off. The discount has already been taken on my website. You can get another 20% off if you sign up for my email list on my website.

Summer Sale starts Friday!

One of my current 20x20" oil paintings in progress

One of my current 20×20″ oil paintings in progress

Now that I have my huge new studio, I’ve been able to get all of my available art out and hanging on the walls. I have over 30 original pieces that will be available in my annual Summer Studio Clearance Sale, starting THIS Friday! The sale will be exclusively on my WEBSITE. Go to the website now and sign up for my email list. Everyone on my email list gets a coupon code for an extra 20% off the already 30% discounted prices on my website, for a total discount of 50% off! I will send out reminders about the sale to my email list as well. The sale runs September 7-14th.

I’ve been working on a couple of 20 x 20″ oil paintings the past couple of weeks. I didn’t get much done on the paintings last week as I was busy moving into my new studio. I’m working on a couple of ideas that came from several of the smaller paintings I was working on over the Summer. I may end up with a series from these ideas. I love it when an idea plays out over several paintings like that! It gives me a starting point for my next painting.

Another 20x20" oil painting in progress

Another 20×20″ oil painting in progress

I still need to order a few large canvases so I can try the ideas out on a larger scale. It’s been so long since I’ve had the space to work larger than 30×30″. I’m thinking I will start with a couple of 4 foot square canvases. Other than murals, I haven’t painted that big since I had a van! It’s very important when painting large that you have a vehicle with the capacity to carry your art. Lol. I’m currently storing a couple of my larger paintings at my mom’s house in Albuquerque, because I couldn’t fit them into my station wagon.

The plan is to get a truck by the end of the month. Living out in the country, we definitely need to have two vehicles for so many reasons. There’s the fact that we have to haul our own trash. Aaron and I are no longer working together everyday, so we need separate cars for commuting. There was that week we had to rent a car while our Subaru was having a new clutch put in. Of course, most importantly, I need to be able to transport large canvases! 😉

 

Inspiring Surroundings

work in progress 12 x 12

#7 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

It’s been a great week for art! I’ve painted every day this week! Yay! Starting to work the rust out and the ideas are flowing. My new surroundings are inspiring as hell! I look out the windows of my new studio and it still feels like a dream. It IS a dream, a living, breathing, dream! Grateful. Thankful. Blessed.

work in progress 12 x 12

#6 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m feeling the love, so why not paint a few hearts? I’m digging the idea and what’s coming out of it. I have seven paintings in various stages of progress. A couple may already be done, not sure yet. The hearts are the most recent.

work in progress 12 x 12

#5 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

The photos in this post are in order from most recent to least recent.

work in progress 12 x 12

#4 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m playing with the paints, trying out new things.  My goal is to play, not get attached to any outcome, just let it flow. These are sketches in paint. Idea generators. Inspiration.

work in progress 12 x 12

#3 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I can feel my inspiration pushing me to evolve my style into something different. I guess it’s always evolving from painting to painting. This feels bigger.

work in progress 12 x 12

#2 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’ve already started putting more layers of paint on the canvas. Creating more depth, more mystery. Transparent layers showing a hint of what lies behind.

work in progress 12 x 12

#1 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

More progress photos and posts to come! Thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂

Settling In

12 x 12" oil on canvas, work in progress

12 x 12″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Five weeks since we moved in to our new house in Mimbres, New Mexico. I LOVE it here! Hiking 3-4 times a week, peace and quiet, dark skies full of stars, deer walking through the yard at dusk, the amazing view from my studio, etc!

I must admit, I miss the family up in Albuquerque. Especially my sweet grandsons! We have made several trips up north and were supposed to go up again this weekend. However, our car decided she had had enough! The clutch died on me while I was in Silver City on Tuesday. We have confirmation that we NEED to have two cars living out here!

I haven’t been able to work in the studio everyday, but it’s getting closer! Earlier in the week and today I was able to get some painting time in. I’m currently working on several 12 x 12″ paintings on canvas. All are still works in progress. At this point, I’m just working out the rust after months of not painting. Just like anything, practice makes perfect and when I haven’t painted for so long, I have to get back into it again.

I’m saving  a few new 20 x 20″ canvases to paint once I get the gears moving again. I’ve never been one to wait for inspiration, I just dive in and it usually comes along at some point. That said, I prefer to save bigger canvas for solid inspiration or ideas to come.

I’m planning/hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule in the coming weeks. It’s so nice to be back in the studio! Stay tuned!

 

 

How to Make an Artist Smile?

I just finished another vinyl record painting for my show next month at the Sierra Club here in Albuquerque. I made a shortened time lapse video for it, started about half way through. Once again, the music is an original composition by my husband, Aaron M. Lewis. I have 3 more to finish by the end of July. The new records won’t be available for purchase until the show, but you can see more of my record paintings on my WEBSITE.

I am gearing up for a Summer Art Clearance Sale this week. I’m putting up special pages on my website for the sale and there is only one way you can get that special link. Go to my website, www.PaulaManningLewis.com, and sign up on my email list. The sale will run through the rest of the Summer, but sign up now! There will be original paintings, prints, coloring books, art pillows and dolls. I’m clearing out the studio to make room for new work. I don’t have enough storage space to keep everything. Everything on sale will be 50% off!

This past Saturday was the reception for my mural painting at Sandy and Jeff’s house. Not a lot of people showed up, but one couple has told me they want a mural at their house too. That was just enough to make me smile! Hoping to get started on that one after I get everything done for the August show. Once it cools off a little! Stay tuned for more on that! 🙂

Moving the Studio, AGAIN!

Me in my new, smaller office/painting studio

So, I hope to get back to a more regular schedule of blogging very, very soon! Things have been changing in my world, again, and I am currently working on getting my new studios set up and ready to work in. Can’t remember if I mentioned it here on my site before, but we have given up the big upstairs gallery space here at Chroma Studios. This meant moving my painting/framing studio and office downstairs. The past couple of days I have been working on unpacking and organizing my new space. This has not been an easy task as with this move I have had to step down into two smaller rooms from the 3 larger rooms I had upstairs. I’ve had much smaller spaces in the past, so I know it can be done, it just takes a bit more time that usual since I have to get rid of things and try to compress all my supplies, furniture and tools into less space. In reality, I like having a smaller space, it feels cozy, more comfortable for some reason. This is turning into what I think will be a great move for us. There will be much less maintenance and cleaning to do as well as less gallery work, leaving me more time for my own art. This is very important to me. I’ve heard so many stories of artists opening galleries and then giving up their art because the gallery takes so much time. I’m just NOT willing to give up my art! I am an artist, first and foremost, and I am excited about getting back to daily painting. So, guess I should cut this post short so I can get my studio in order and get back to painting! Stay tuned for more regular blog posts and LOTS of new art!!