Tag Archives: Paula Beck pencil drawings

Replenishing My Creative Reserves

One of the many drawings I did for my historic building series. This is one of my "Paula Beck Prints" images, Copyright 1991.

One of the many drawings I did for my historic building series. This is one of my “Paula Beck Prints” images, Copyright 1991.

I haven’t had any creative time this week. No new paintings in progress to show today. I’m replenishing my creative reserves and will be ready to get back to painting, probably tomorrow! I’ve been editing my story and taking photos of my old images from the early 1990s. The image above is one of many.

I’ve been negotiating a contract with a management/publishing company the past week or so, hoping to get that finished up soon. Emailing lawyers. Working on building my email list. Editing and posting my latest time lapse video. Writing, editing and sending out my end of the month email. Writing blogs. Sold a painting on my website. Visited the hospital. Lots of the “other” stuff going on in my life right now.

I drove for Uber yesterday, encountered my first unpleasant person, a racist, who was shockingly polite and asked me if I minded the N word! UMMMMM, YEAH, was my answer. I was shocked by the question. I was very happy to get him to his destination and out of my car!

In other news, I have been invited to participate in a group show at a new gallery in Downtown Albuquerque. The owner is an artist friend of mine. “Face-Palm Patriots” is an art show of works by Veteran Artists and donations will be raised for Heroes Walk Among Us, an Albuquerque organization working to get homeless vets off the streets and improve their lives. Helping homeless Veterans is one of my most important causes I give time and money to. My personal opinion is that NO Veteran should ever be homeless! They have served our country and they deserve to be treated as heroes. I am also a Veteran, so they are my brothers and sisters too.

The show is happening at the KD Neeley Gallery at 104 4th St NW, Albuquerque and the date of the opening is Veterans day, Saturday, November 11th, 7-10pm. I will show a few pieces at this gallery for the months of September and October as well. 🙂 Please stop by and see Katie and tell her Paula sent you! My art work will be there next month. 🙂

This Saturday is the day I pick up my paintings from the NM Cancer Center show (minus any paintings that sold), and some of those will go straight over to Katie’s gallery in Downtown.

Also, a reminder, I still have my latest guitar painting and vinyl record art hanging at the Sierra Club office here in Albuquerque. I have it on my “to do” list to get those pieces posted on my website for sale. 30% of sales will benefit the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, until the end of that show, September 30th.

That’s all my news for now, hope you have a great weekend! Sign up for my email list at www.PaulaManningLewis.com and get exclusive access to my Summer Sale page for 50% off select paintings, recycled vinyl and prints!

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Blast from the Past!

I’m getting back to work this week. I think my husband and I were in shock after his uncle’s motorcycle accident. It’s taken over a week to snap out of it and get back to our routine. Aaron’s uncle is still in ICU, but he is healing, slowly. Aaron still visits the hospital everyday, I go every so often. It’s so difficult to see someone in that condition, my empathetic self has a very hard time with it. I can’t even begin to imagine what he must be going through, not to mention his kids and wife and the rest of the family.

Newspaper clipping from one of my first ever art shows in 1991.

Newspaper clipping from one of my first ever art shows in 1991.

Back in the studio. I’m working on an art book of my “Paula Beck Prints” pieces from the early 1990s. I’m also negotiating a contract with a local management/publishing company to represent my art and specifically this book.

Sevier Station pencil drawing

“Sevier Station”, one of the first drawings I did as Paula Beck. Part of the Historical Building series I did in the Tennessee/Kentucky area around Clarksville, TN and Hopkinsville, KY.

I’ve been going through all the old images in my flat file and came across an envelope I had almost forgotten I had! Back in the early 1990s when I started selling my art, it was still that period in history when people wrote letters and sent things by what we now call “snail mail”. LOL! Luckily for me, my dad was pretty sentimental and he saved all of the art prints, photocopies, postcards and newspaper clippings I sent him. I found it after he passed away while cleaning out his things. Nine years later, I have rediscovered that envelope and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Another newspaper clipping from one of my first shows in Clarksville, TN

Another newspaper clipping from one of my first shows in Clarksville, TN

I’m working on photographing and editing all those images from the past. There are about 25 of the historical building drawings I did in 1990-91. The newspaper clippings are from the very first two art shows I did in Clarksville, Tennessee. This was my first year after leaving the military at Fort Campbell.

"Abraham Lincoln", part of my Civil War series.

“Abraham Lincoln”, part of my Civil War series. I did portraits of Lincoln, Gen. Grant, Jefferson Davis and Gen. Forrest

I’m going to stop there. For more of the story you will have to wait for my book! 😉 I hope to have it finished by the end of September, but it may be longer than that before it’s published. I plan to share excerpts here leading up to the release.

 

How on Earth did that get there?

Photo of the print found in the wall!

Photo of the print found in the wall!

I get emails from people quite often about my Paula Beck prints created in the beginning of my art career. 1991-1995 to be exact. Even after I posted THIS blog, I still get interesting emails about people finding my prints in their parent’s estates/storage, or an antique mall, etc etc.

The email I received this week definitely takes the cake! A man from Ingram, Tx explained that he had found one of my art prints thumb tacked to an EXTERIOR wall and UNDER the insulation while he was remodeling. The strangeness doesn’t end there. He sent me a photo of the print(see above) and someone had colored it in! The funny thing about that is the print is a black and white drawing of a BLACK AND WHITE piece of pottery. It was never meant to be in color. lol! This gentleman asked if I had any idea how or why it was hidden in the wall. I have no idea, but boy am I intrigued!

Any ideas on how on Earth this print ended up hidden in a wall? I’d love to hear your theories! I often wonder about my art and where it ends up, after all, I have well over 30,000 pieces of art out there in the world! I know for a fact my art has traveled much more extensively than I probably ever will! I never in a million years would have considered this scenario!

Looking Back at 25 Years as an Artist!

This year marks my 25th year as an artist! It’s so hard to believe it’s been that long! I have been an artist since childhood, but at the young age of 21 I decided it was what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was actually a Tony Robbins infomercial in the middle of the night that inspired me.

pencil drawing covered bridge Tennessee

Covered Bridge drawing, the first image I printed/sold on postcards

I was working graveyard shift at a Comfort Inn in Clarksville, Tennessee after finishing my time in the Army. I was disgusted and frustrated because I was back at basically the same job I had left for the Army. New town, different state, but that same graveyard shift, minimum wage paying, sleep depriving job. I worked graveyard because my husband worked mornings and it was the only way we could have a second income without paying for child care. My two eldest sons were 5 years and 9 months old at the time. The third son hadn’t joined the family just yet.

I was at work, killing time watching cable TV in the lobby, when the Tony Robbins infomercial came on. I decided to watch it all the way through and by the end I thought, I can’t afford his book right now, but surely I can think of some way to make a living doing something I love to do. (I eventually bought that book at a yard sale many years later and I highly recommend Tony Robbins to anyone looking for motivation!)

After watching the infomercial, I thought of how much I used to love drawing and painting in high school. The next night, I brought paper and pencils with me and spent the graveyard shift drawing a local covered bridge that I found a photo of in a local magazine.

That drawing changed my life forever. (Little did I know at the time!) I showed it to my husband, grudgingly as he always told me my art from high school wasn’t that good, and he was blown away. It wasn’t long before we found a printer to make postcards of the covered bridge drawing and my husband took them to his job at a local convenience store where he sold them to people who came in for gas and cigarettes.

Before long, I had drawn several other local historical buildings and had quite an array of postcards of local drawings. I was invited to show my drawings at the local Chamber of Commerce, a local bank and eventually the local tour of historic homes commissioned me to draw several other local buildings and I sold art prints and postcards at the tour event.

That event helped me to really get my art business going. I ended up getting several commissions for other historical homes as well as portraits. After the buildings I started my portrait series and the rest is history! Of course, there is so much more to this story, but this is the story of how it all began.

A word to any young artists who are reading this post. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t make a living as an artist. Sure, it’s not an easy life, sure, it takes time to build a name for yourself and a portfolio of art that you are proud to share, but it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The first most rewarding thing I’ve done was having 3 beautiful sons!

Artists starting out today have it much easier than I had it starting out. You have the internet and so many avenues to get your art work out there (Twitter, Instagram, weblogs like this one, and an infinity of other sites with a plethora of information). When I first started, the internet was out there, but not for the masses. I didn’t even have a computer until 6 years after I started!

One of the things I always wished I had starting out, was other artists to ask advice of. I was very isolated in a small town in Tennessee with no art scene to speak of. There were no smart phones or digital cameras. Thank goodness for the internet! There is so much information available in a simple Google search!

If you have any questions about starting out as an artist, please ask away in the comments and I promise to write another blog post in answer to any and all questions I receive.

Paula Beck is DEAD! Info for anyone who is searching for her.

I hate to be so blunt, but seriously. I have tried to be nice and not talk about my awful past, not dwell there, not go there, but I can’t do it anymore. I had someone leave a nasty comment on my website recently and I decided it was time to put the ghosts to bed once and for all.

Paula Beck was the name I went by when I first started out as an artist at the young age of 21. I receive up to 5 emails a month asking questions about the art work I did under this name. This was the first nasty message. I sold MANY prints under this name. My estimate is about 28,000 prints.

Actually, my first husband did all the selling. As soon as he discovered he could sell my art, he would not do anything else. I pleaded with him repeatedly to get a job and support our young family. We had two kids and one more on the way at the time. (We were married when I was 16) He swore he could make a living for us by selling my art, so I didn’t think I had a choice in the matter. He did what he wanted to do, whether I liked it or not. After about 4 years of this, and other personal situations, I took my 3 boys, left him and we divorced in June 1995.

Almost two weeks after I left him, I received papers from the Arizona Attorney General implicating me in a case of fraud. After a long discussion on the phone with the Attorney General’s office, I found out that my ex had been going around under my business name (Paula Beck prints), taking orders AND money for mine and other artist’s work, and not delivering the art work. I convinced the Attorney General to remove my name from the case because I had NO knowledge of his dealings. He spent 5 days a week on the road selling art and came home long enough to restock and go back out. He never showed me receipts or invoices for sales made, but always had cash when he came home. I begged him repeatedly to keep track of sales and bring home receipts so I could keep records properly. He never would.

At that time, I decided it was time to visit all the shops that sold my art. At the time of my divorce I was aware of at least 200 shops. I personally visited and spoke with the people who had brought the fraud charges against us. I gave them all the information I had on him. As I made the rounds (all over AZ, CO and NM), I found several people that said he had ripped them off. As I found them, I gave them the prints they were owed. I had no way of knowing all the places he took money from, because he did his best to keep that information from me. Because of this, I lost tons of money on the stock I had put together to sell that I ended up giving to people for past orders not delivered. The other shops didn’t want to buy from me anymore. My business and my name were ruined and I had to abandon my dream of being an artist. I had to find a full time job to support my 3 young sons. I eventually finished college. It would be 6 years before I could go back to being an artist again.

It seems that the person who left me the nasty comment the other day was one of the people I never found. He lives in Tennessee. When I started selling my art, we lived in TN. It seems he was ripping people off from the very beginning. This nasty comment accused me of being a part of his fraud. Let me assure you right here and right now, I had NO KNOWLEDGE of his fraud. I had plenty of knowledge of the piece of crap he was from many other sources though. He was abusive to me and my sons, he was a drug/alcohol addict, he never kept a job for longer than 1 year, after we divorced he abandoned his kids and was at one point behind on his child support to the tune of $25,000! That is, until his parents worked out a settlement and paid it for him. He did similar things to his second wife. He’s now on wife #3.

I hope you will see this blog post, T from Tennesse. I hope you will contact me in a way that I can respond in private and not in the comments section of my website. I can promise I will never approve a comment like that. I would love to make right what was done in my name. If you contact me at plewis11@comcast.net I will get back to you, I promise.

This is why I am now saying, PAULA BECK IS DEAD! The main reason I say this is that just the name Paula Beck brings up a lot of really bad memories, and a VERY unhappy marriage. Last year I burned all the Paula Beck prints I had left. She is in the past and the past is where she will stay. If you have one of these prints and email me about them or how much they are worth, I will probably not respond to you. Over the years I have responded to every inquiry about Paula Beck prints. The nasty comment apparently came from the first one I decided to ignore. I don’t want to think about that time in my life anymore. I have moved on, I’m over it. I’m sorry if you were hurt by this man too, but please, please, please know that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!

To answer any future questions,

-All Paula Beck prints were black and white portrait and pottery drawings. I also did a series Jesus portraits, Civil War generals and historic buildings in Tennessee.

-If the art work has two signatures, it’s a print, not an original.

-Many of the editions were sold out, some ended up being burned.

-My best guess of value of these prints is anywhere from $50-150, depending on the condition and whether they are matted and/or framed or not.

-Originals would be worth more, $500-750 range. This is a guess, I could be wrong.