I hope everyone had a good Holiday weekend. I’m working through it so we can go camping this week. We always go camping the week AFTER Memorial day. We are the kind of campers that want to get away from everyone! Even in New Mexico, that is impossible to do Memorial Day weekend, so we wait until Tuesday when everyone else is back at work.
I’m writing this blog ON Memorial Day and remembering all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I was in the military during Desert Storm and personally knew a few of those people. I will never forget them, their sacrifice or the families they left behind.
Painted guitar in progress, Strat body.
Over the weekend, I started my guitar painting for the Sierra Club show in August. I’ve had this Strat body sitting in my studio for literally YEARS! It has been patiently waiting for me to make it beautiful. It is still in progress and I’m hoping to make this one my first playable guitar painting. I’m counting on my husband to help me with building the guitar from the empty solid body it is now. I’m showing only recycled art at the Sierra Club, because what better place to promote recycling, right?
Mural design, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, this will be painted at 10 times the size of this painting!
On Friday, I will be getting started on the mural project I’ve been writing about for the last couple months. I have created the design and have approval to get started! I’m really excited about painting LARGE! 10 x 10 feet large! I plan on making a time lapse video of the whole process so stay tuned. I may share bits and pieces of it during the process.
Posted in abstract, accomplishments, art, art show, artist self promotion, artists, blogging, camping, canvas, commission, creativity, daily painting, daily paintings, design, galleries, gallery, gallery opening, gallery show, goals, gratitude, guitar, Holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large painting, marketing, mural, mural project, new painting, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, opening, original, original oil paintings, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, Painter, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photos, progress, promotion, random things about me, recycled, recycling, show, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Traveling New Mexico, Upcycling, vacation, video
Tagged abstract, accomplishments, art, art show, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, blogging, camping, canvas, commission, creativity, daily painting, daily paintings, design, galleries, gallery, gallery opening, gallery show, goals, gratitude, guitar, holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large painting, lifestyle, marketing, mural project, murals, new painting, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, opening, original, original oil paintings, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, Painter, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photos, progress, promotion, random things about me, recycled, recycled art, recycled guitar, recycling, show, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, travel, Traveling New Mexico, Upcycling, vacation, video
Aaron and I at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays. I really did enjoy all the time spent with my family in 2016. We also had a really fun and successful mini-tour to Arizona with our music. Sunlight performed in Phoenix, Tucson and Ajo, AZ and we were very grateful for the turnout and CD sales!
Margaritas in Mexico!
While in southern Arizona, we visited the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It was awesome to see all the huge cacti! Saguaros and Organ Pipe Cactus were everywhere. We took a short hike, but it was quite cold while we were there. Of course, it warmed up into the 70s on the day we left.
Serenaded by Mariachis
We made a very quick trip down to Mexico for dinner one of the days we were visiting in Ajo. It was supposed to be a full day trip, but my sweetie woke up sick that day and ended up sleeping until 3 in the afternoon. Once he got up, we decided to go for it and drove down to Puerto Penasco for a wonderful dinner by the sea! The food was great, even if the weather was COLD and windy. Our waiter was awesome and brought us our own personal heater. We practiced our Espanol with him and he practiced his English with us. Other than the trucks of soldiers riding around with automatic weapons, nothing was out of the ordinary. I guess the soldiers were there to protect the tourists. Like I said, nothing out of the ordinary!
Javelina helping himself to some grub in the garbage
I saw my first live Javelina while we were in Ajo! Apparently, they are regular visitors to the dumpster there. I only got one photo of one of them, but at night we were surrounded in our car by a herd/pack? of them! It was quite interesting, like watching a nature show in person! haha!
Our dear, sweet Raven. May she RIP 😦
We arrived home in Albuquerque just in time for Christmas and spent several great days hanging out with our kids, siblings and parents. Only one day was a sad day, as we had to have one of our fur babies put down at the end of the year. She was old and sick, but Raven will be greatly missed! She was a great dog. ❤
Cannabis coloring page, will be available in The Chronicle sometime this week!
The last week of the year I was asked to create a coloring page for a new local quarterly paper. The Chronicle is New Mexico’s Cannabis Magazine. I created a Cannabis Mandala coloring page for the first issue of 2017. It was quick and fun, check out their website for more information.
Posted in Arizona, art, cold, Coloring, copyright, creativity, family, friends, gratitude, hiking, Holidays, inspiration, music, my story, new work, Paula Manning-Lewis, pets, Phoenix, photos, random things about me, shows, Sunlight, travel, trip, Tucson, vacation, winter
Tagged Ajo, Arizona, art, blogging, Cannabis coloring page, CDs, cold, coloring, copyright, creativity, dog, dogs, family, friends, gratitude, happy new year, hiking, holidays, inspiration, javelina, life, Margaritas, Mariachis, Mexico, mini tour, music, my story, new work, Organ Pipe cactus, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Paula Manning-Lewis, pets, Phoenix, photos, Puerto Penasco, Raven, RIP Raven, saguaro, shows, Sunlight, The Chronicle, tourists, travel, trip, Tucson, vacation, winter
Selfie taken on stage with the signature pink elephant at Carousel Lounge
We returned yesterday from our quick trip to Austin. Sunlight had a show at the Carousel Lounge on Saturday evening. We drove for 4 of the 5 days! Such a looooong drive, but well worth it. We just love Austin! We reconnected with a couple of friends, played some music to a very receptive and attentive crowd, and honestly, we enjoyed the drive!
We don’t have anymore Sunlight shows until December, so it’s back to work on the art side of things. I’m almost done pulling together my new portfolio of 20 of my best paintings. Once that is done, it’s time to get back out there and find places to show/sell my work. I also plan to start my next painting video this week.
We have a ton of work to do here at Chroma Studios! Tomorrow we are announcing some big news on the Chroma blog, it’s so hard not to share this news right now! For those who don’t know, Chroma Studios is a business owned by myself and my husband, here in Albuquerque. We rent studio space to artists and musicians.
This Saturday is my monthly Open Studios event. My studio at 1606 Central Ave SE suite 201, Albuquerque, NM will be open from noon-5pm. Stop by and check out my Studio Clearance sale in person, OR you can go to my Etsy shop to see what I have for sale. Most of the paintings on sale are 50% off OR MORE! This sale is on for a limited time only! Get a great deal on an original painting while you still can!
I guess that’s all I have to share today, I’ll be back with another blog post on Thursday! Have a great week!
Posted in Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, goals, gratitude, music, Paula Manning-Lewis, photos, show, Sunlight, travel
Tagged Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, acoustic, Americana music, art sale, Carousel Lounge, Chroma studios, clearance art sale, etsy sale, folk music, goals, gratitude, Guitar Aaron, music, Paula Manning-Lewis, photos, show, Sunlight, travel
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
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! 🙂
Posted in Aaron Lewis, abstract, accomplishments, albuquerque, Arizona, art, artist self promotion, artists, birthday, canvas, clearance, creativity, dreams, etsy, Etsy shop, flowers, goals, gratitude, guitar, house concert, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, music, my story, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oils, original, original oil paintings, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, Phoenix, photo, progress, promotion, sale, Sandias, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Studio Clearance Sale, Sunlight, trip, Tucson, video, video blog
Tagged Aaron Lewis, abstract, abstract art, abstract oil painting, accomplishments, albuquerque, Arizona, art, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, Austin, birthday, canvas, Carousel Lounge, clearance art sale, clearance sale, creativity, dreams, etsy, etsy shop, flowers, goals, gratitude, guitar, house concert, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, Life is Good, live music, live shows, music, my story, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oil painting, oils, original, original oil painting, painting, painting in progress, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, Phoenix, photo, progress, promotion, sale, Sandia Tramway, Sandias, shows, spiral, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Studio Clearance Sale, Sunlight, travel, trip, Tucson, video, video blog
Parked at the trail head
I’ve been feeling down lately. Trying to stay positive and happy, but that doesn’t always happen. My personal life is good, but the world is losing it’s collective minds! So much fear and hate in the world, it can be hard to stay in the light.
Hiking selfie! 🙂
I know of no better healing/grounding than going out in nature! Our dogs agree 100%. Yesterday started as a “morning hike” day. We had planned to take our stir crazy dogs (it’s been over a week since our last hike) for a short hike so we could get back to our studios in the afternoon.
Aspens in their fall colors
Some days end up very differently than we plan. We spent a couple of hours looking for a trail head that leads to the Continental Divide Trail. We never found the trail head and so we ended up backtracking to another area we’ve been to before. We did find a trail that we had never been on before (Penas Negras Trail) in the San Pedro Wilderness.
Old road trail; Penas Negras Trail
It started out very steep, but after about 20 minutes the trail leveled off and took us through a gorgeous ridge top. The trail was more like an old road that had grown over, probably for decades. We timed our visit perfectly as the Aspen trees are beautiful in their Autumn colors!
More colorful Aspens!
The ground was littered with beautiful quartz stones, sparkling in the sunlight. Needless to say, I LOVE the mountains!
Super tall Aspens, still wearing green!
Posted in creativity, exercise, gratitude, healing, health care, hiking, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, New Mexico, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, travel, Traveling New Mexico
Tagged Aspen groves, Aspens, Autumn colors, creativity, dogs, exercise, gratitude, grounding, healing, health care, hiking, inspiration, Land of Enchantment, life, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, New Mexico, New Mexico landscape, New Mexico true, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, San Pedro wilderness, Santa Fe national forest, travel, Traveling New Mexico, trees
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.
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!
Posted in abstract, art, art story, artist self promotion, artists, canvas, creativity, daily painting, dream, dreams, galleries, gallery, goals, gratitude, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, love, music, my story, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oils, original, original oil paintings, Originals, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, planning, progress, promotion, spiral abstract series, spiral art, travel, trip
Tagged abstract, art, art story, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, canvas, creativity, daily painting, dream, dreams, galleries, gallery, goals, gratitude, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, life, love, music, my story, New Mexico artist, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oil on canvas, oil painting, oils, original, original art, original oil painting, original oil paintings, Originals, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, planning, progress, progress photos, promotion, spiral, spiral abstract, spiral abstract paintings, spiral abstract series, spiral art, travel, trip, work in progress
“Coming Out of the Dark”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, near completion WIP. Two paintings in one as this was painted over another painting I didn’t like!
My life has been so busy since my last post! I spent a good month working on my plans that I talked about in “Inspiration” back in May. About mid June we started work on remodeling our house. I’ve decided it’s been far too long without a post. I am still working on my plans to change things around here, stay tuned! I currently have 3 paintings in progress with plans for 6 more to fill out my portfolio.
This week is my first full week back in my studio after a 2 month “vacation” to work on remodeling our house to get it ready to sell. We still have a couple of minor things to get done, but we are hoping to have it listed by the weekend. (Not sure how long these things take) I took some “after” photos but only one came out decent, so I will try again for my next post. (Sorry!) I really wish I had remembered to take “before” shots too, because the transformation has been amazing!
The one photo that came out ok. The new shower in our brand new master bedroom! I did this tile work all by myself! It took me 3 full days of hand shredding work. I must admit, I’m quite proud!
This shower started out as a bug infested back corner of our laundry room. It was used as storage for construction materials for the 10 year period we worked on turning this back closet into a bathroom! What was once a den/storage room/extra room is now a really lovely master bedroom with en suite. It was worth all the work!
Once the house sells, we will get our motor home remodeled and move into it! That dream we had back in 2013? It’s finally coming true! Depending on the house selling quickly, we hope to leave Albuquerque end of October, beginning of November. Our plan is to travel around the country, south in the winter and north in the summer with a month to 2 month stops in Albuquerque in the Spring and Fall.
Why, you ask? Why NOT, I say! Seriously though, we have dreamed of our empty nest years being quite different from our child rearing years. With kids, you have to provide a stable home. Without kids? We can now do all the things that were “unreasonable” when we had kids. My husband is a musician and we play together in a group called “Sunlight”. One of the best ways for performing musicians to make a living is touring. We plan to perform our music all over the country! Once upon a time, when I began my career as an artist, I made a living by traveling (actually my 1st husband did the traveling while I stayed home with our young children) and selling my art at hundreds of shops around the country. I’ve tried the internet route for over 16 years now, and it just doesn’t work as well. Besides, it’s not as much fun!
Of course, I will still be online, my ART will still be online! I will still blog here to tell you about our adventures on the road. I will still make art! Now, it will all be done from the comfy, cozy RV we will soon call home. This blog will become more of a travel blog, but will still be all about my art and life.
I’m really excited to step out of my comfort zone! I never have been much of a routine type of gal. I like adventure! I like new sights and sounds and smells. There are so many places I’ve never been, so many people I’ve met online that I cannot wait to meet in person! I hope you will follow us on our journey, it’s sure to be fun!
Posted in Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, artist self promotion, artists, dream, dreams, goals, gratitude, inspiration, kids, music, my story, New Mexico, new work, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, planning, Sunlight, travel, Traveling New Mexico, trip, vacation
Tagged Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, artist self promotion, artists, cross country travel, dream, dreams, empty nest, goals, gratitude, house remodel, inspiration, kids, music, my story, New Mexico artist, new work, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, performing, planning, RV living, RV travels, singer performer, Sunlight, tile work, touring, touring band, touring musicians, travel, traveling across the country, trip, vacation