Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On The Road

Yesterday, we were on the road to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Nice way to spend the afternoon. With the help of my husband, Rick, we got the show hung and had time to take a walk around the gardens. We did get over to see Mr. Big, a 300 plus year old eucalyptus tree. The mountain views with the afternoon light on them, just spectacular. Even the drive home had a nice little sunset show.

Rick and I will be at Boyce on New Years Day from 10 - 12. I will do a pastel demo while we are there. Around noon there will be Native American Music. The music has moved inside to keep everyone warm on what may be a cool start to 2015.

Bundle up, come toast a cheer to the New Year with us at Boyce. Celebrate the Arts, Music and Nature - 3 of my favorite things. Check my web site for map and directions. Check the BTA web site for additional information on events and the arboretum.   BTA hwy 60, Superior, AZ

View at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Me & Mr. Big

Nice sunset for the drive home

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

No Excuses

Going to start the New Year out with No Excuses for not painting. I am jumping in and doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge again. I have it formatted in my head a little bit this year. I discovered last year, I just don't paint that fast. Some days it is easier than others and the painting just works. The other days, it can be a bit of a battle between brush and hand.

The plan is to work on a preliminary sketch: graphite, watercolor with pastel or charcoal. Maybe even some of the coffee stained papers with drawings. These will be the working process for oil paintings. The paintings generally take me 3 days for a small piece 5x7 - 8x10 and a week for larger pieces sizes. If all goes well, the pattern will go -  2 graphic style works follow by 1 oil painting.

I work in both pastel and water based oils, my preferred surface for both is paper. I am preparing surfaces and re-organizing the studio, again, so it is ready to work. After framing it gets a bit - well you know - messy.

On the posting of the first image, which will be the piece I am demonstrating at the Opening Reception at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior from 10-12 January 1st. I will post a link to the web site hosting this event. I will try to post daily on FB and my web site. The web site has been recently updated with some new images, a few more touches to bio, resume and it will be up to date. Check it out and let me know what are your favorite pieces.

Here's to No Excuses!

2014 30-30 challenge images.
Did you notice that all of the pieces from 2014 challenge had two word titles?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Coming Soon

The New Year is coming soon, just a few days away. We will do a little look back over the year soon. Tomorrow, I head over to Boyce Thompson Arboretum just off Hwy 60, Superior, AZ to hang my solo show for the month of January. The opening reception is January 1st from 10-12, I will have an easel set up with a pastel demo going on during that time. Later in the month, 19th, I will be doing a workshop/demo on paper making from recycled materials. If you are interested in making paper yourself check my web site for paper making workshop in February, Scottsdale, AZ.

When you awake in this coming New Year and think what shall I do today? Come on out to the Arboretum, see art inspired by nature and maybe take a walk around the gardens. See the 300 year old Eucalyptus tree in the Eucalyptus forest - very aromatherapy kind of walk. There are lots of wonderful little areas to sit, sketch, take a moment to breathe. Start your year out with Nature and me.

Cottonwood Leaves, pastel

Quail, mixed medium

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just a Few Short Days

We have only been in Arizona for less than two weeks but have been able to fill the time well. Our first Sunday back we had a little Open Studio Show. Took a trip up to Cottonwood for Rick's Birthday. We went down to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix to see the Luminaries, listen to the music, sit by the fire pits and sip on warm beverages. Had a lovely dinner Christmas Eve, got out to see a movie on Christmas Day. Now finishing up getting work ready for the solo show which will be hung on Tuesday with opening on New Years Day.

Here are a few pictures from Decembers adventures:

Desert Botanical Gardens, Luminaries 2014

Cottonwood, AZ
AZ Stronghold

Friday, December 26, 2014

Getting Organized Again

As an artist I find myself always re-organizing. Art goes up for a show, what doesn't sell comes back down. Some of that gets distributed to galleries, new shows or in my studio gallery. Keeping track via pictures of the space, folders on the computer with the images and inventory sheets can get a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I think I need an assistant. 
Today I am pulling work together to hang at the end of the month for my solo show at Boyce Thompson Arboretum Gallery. The opening is January 1st, 2015 from 10-12. There will be musical performances starting at noon. For me this is a great way to start off the new year, being in nature and surrounded by art inspired by nature. Come on out, join me and Rick. See some art, hear music, hike through some trees and still get back in time to catch football. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feels Like a Mocha Monday

Mocha Monday's are those days when I run low on coffee and still need a little something more. I generally have half of cup of coffee left in the pot and that just won't do, so I had a little cocoa, sugar and this time of year a touch of cinnamon is just so nice, add my alternative milk product, heat and drink!

It helps get me through the rest of the slow morning, doing computer work. Catching up on e-mails, making sure I have not missed too many deadlines for shows. Planning projects, cleaning out files, updating the web site. Which is almost done, will have it finished for the New Year.

I have been told I do too much, I push a little too hard, especially after recent surgery goings on but I feel pretty good and I feel better when I am in motion. So, it is the motion I am going for, I am looking forward to some time outside just painting. The studio looks pretty good, need to put back a few things that got pulled out for the Open Studio show. Pulling work together for the Solo Show opening on the 1st. Hmmm, another e-mail to double check on the hanging date. See Mocha Monday - dealing with the details and the business of art.

Moving on to those e-mails now - house is decorated, still need to wrap presents and finishing planning the holiday meals but that is all in those little details I do so well.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Seasonal Reasons

The studio is clean, organized and ready to show. Today we have the Open Studio/Open House at: 9205 N. 128th St., Scottsdale, AZ from 1:00-6:00.

It is a nice seasonal reason for getting the studio operational (cleaned). Getting the studio ready, hanging the art, making a few new things helps keep that holiday spirit going. As I get older there are very few material things I need. Want, well, there are always lovely papers and pens.

 In the spirit of the season with this Open Studio we will give a little back. Bring in a can or box of food and you will receive a 5% discount off of any purchase. Many works have already been reduced with special holiday pricing.

Plus, we are giving away an original piece of art. When you make a purchase you name, email, phone number or snail mail will go into a bowl for the drawing. Come on out, celebrate the longest night of the year, enjoy some holiday cheer and let's talk art.

Fiber Arts 
Original oil, pastel paintings, photography & hand-pulled prints
A Clean Studio for the New Year

Handmade books from handmade paper & sketchbooks

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Still Crazy After...

I don't know if crazy after all these years is the right choice of words. I am determined to not do things just because a little appendix got in the way. So, I am moving forward with my Open Studio in AZ this weekend. I had planned to be in AZ a little over a week ago but I am here now. What I was planning to do last week will now get done in 2-3 days. Sometimes you have to go with what you got and make it work.
Along with the show my husband, Rick, is celebrating his birthday. More on that in a couple days. It involves a little road trip. 
Then after the Open Studio I start getting art ready for a solo show at Boyce Thompson Arboretum- what better location for a nature artist to start the year. That show opens Jan. 1st, 2015. 
I like, need, shows and projects to keep me focused. Looking forward to 2015 being a year that is very productive. Crazy or just creative it's what makes us happy. By us, I do mean you and me, not the mini me's in my head.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back Tracking

I have fallen behind in blogging lately. A few of those life moments have gotten in the way. Last week Rick & I went up to the Natural Bridge Park & Historic Hotel, 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA. The hotel is open for business, all decked out for the holidays. Including restaurant, tavern and ball rooms.

It was a bit gloomy that day, with clouds rolling around, changing colors adding to the mystery of the area. Ghost stories are to be had here, the old Wax Museum is closed for now. That building is looking to become a area supported by the arts. Perhaps, musical performances, local theater, local studio space, exhibition space, workshops of all kinds for all ages. The possibilities are pretty much endless. The right person needs to become a part of this adventure.

This area is a long term project, the Park system with working hotels, large empty buildings that need inspiration. I look forward to being a part of some adventures, taking hikes, sketching, painting, creating  workshops, bringing artists friends and family around. As next spring approaches I will re-visit this area and see what opportunities may present themselves.

If you would like to see more information check out the web site:

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Beginning To...

Looks like the holidays are in full swing. The decorations are going up, holiday music is playing everywhere. It is the time of year we think of those we love. It too is the time of year we pay it forward.

Throughout December I will be doing several things that involve giving. This coming Friday, December 5th in downtown Blacksburg, VA the local galleries will have a gallery walk. Special locations will have works for auction. The money raised from these donated art works will benefit the local food pantries, 100% of the money raise goes to the charities.

I and my friends have several works on display at Eucalyptus, 201 S. Main St., Blacksburg, VA. I want to thank: Marilu Tousignaut, Tracy Tousignaut Reed and Sarah Simpson for donating art work towards this great cause.

At Matrix Gallery there are some of my handmade books, handmade paper and small prints. Located at: 115 N. Main St., Blacksburg, VA. Come on down, check out the local galleries and get a great deal on original artworks.

Linda Harrison-Parsons

Linda Harrison-Parsons

Marilu Tousignaut

Sarah Simpson

Tracy Tousignaut Reed

Friday, November 21, 2014

What's Old Is New Again

This week we had an opportunity to go to Wytheville, VA. Stopping by the new hotel named after Edith Bolling Wilson. There is a museum of her birthplace. Edith Bolling Wilson was the First Lady to President Woodrow Wilson. She was also a descendant of Pocahontas and other people in history whose names you would recognize. The museum features the stories of a strong woman, a political woman paving the way for the future of women. There are stories of canaries, orchids and bourbon, which you may just have to take a little trip to discover the whole story.

Wytheville was incorporated in 1889, rich in history as Evansham County, part of the Cumberland Gap. In 1863 Toland's Raiders captured the town. In 1864 & 1865 it was occupied by Union troops. The Old hotel was built in 1927, it has had many lives but what was old is new again, Bolling Wilson Hotel: located at 170 E. Main St., Wytheville, VA. A cross between charming historic and elegant contemporary. Included in the hotel is Graze Restaurant. Rick & I had a wonderful meal with the owners Bill & Farron Smith.

If you are driving along the east coast from here to there it is the perfect stopping point. There are local art galleries, a dinner theater and history to explore. As an artist if you like painting town scenes this is a place to go, if you prefer nature, horses well they are not far down the road. Next time you are looking for a little get away, an artists retreat you may want to check out Wytheville.

Edith Bolling Wilson photo from the Musuem & hotel in her name

Graze Restaurant & Bar

View from Bolling Wilson Hotel

Wytheville, VA

There's always a story of canaries...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Playing In Photoshop

Now that I have new paints to play with, I need subjects. So, I go to my photo folders, in which there are many. After picking a few images to think about, I put them in photoshop. Sometimes I just print a straight out color photo on good photo paper. But, there are times when I play around in photoshop. I will convert the image to B&W, then take it into filters and make a line drawing from the B&W image. Usually, requires a little adjustment with brightness or darkness. This will give me a nice breakdown of the base image, removing much of the detail that can get in the way before the structure is applied to the paper or canvas. From there I can use the color photo to add layers of colors.

Taking the play time a little farther, I experiment with a different photo. I looked at it with the many filters, doing some line work, simplifying the background. Then using photo filters to add warmth or coolness. I tend towards the cool, the blues, this can help me look at my color palette. Reminding me to look at the warm colors, maybe use them as under-colors.

warm photo filter

cool photo filter

Enough of the play time, now I will pick out my image and go to work.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Little Fun

On my way back to VA from FL I made a stop in NC. Jerry's Artorama is hosting the Art Product Fair in Raleigh, NC this weekend.

There are lots of art instructors and vender from all over the country. It was a bit overwhelming but I still managed to find a few things I needed, a few I wanted and a few just because.

No excuses not to get painting - new paints - new toys - new day! Time to have some fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reasons Why

There are reasons why we all do what we do - why some artist choose one medium, style or subject matter. I believe in the connection between humans and their animals. I believe in the connections between land, sea, air and creatures that live within.

This week I finished the pastel painting of "Cody", a special dog portrait for a special friend. It is one of the reasons I am in Florida. I like to deliver special works unframed, so that any last moment changes can be easily made. The background colors are selected, the direction of image, vertical or horizontal is determined in the beginning, size of image, plus matting and framing. The technical part is at the beginning and the end. The middle is where an artists gets lost in their work.

The work comes from the heart, I am touched by the connections. It is why I do what I am doing and loving my job.

"Cody" pastel on Rives BFK paper 15X18" image

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Braving The Waves

Each day in life we brave the nature of the waves. Some times the seas are calm, then the winds blow in a direction we were not expecting and the waves get a bit choppy.

Life and art can take us in many, any direction, at any time. All we can do is continue to move forward. If something isn't working, stop, focus, and re-direct as needed.

As I have been watching the changing waves of the gulf, I have been thinking of the changes that are coming for art, art shows, and life in general in the next year or two. Be brave , for waves are never in our control.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's Cool

I am in Florida delivering a commission, visiting with friends and enjoying the cool colors. Cool on the color chart - the blues and greens.
Capturing the light on a white bird against the blue sky. A bird running along the shore as the blue-green waves break.  The green foliage, with fruits and flowers. All of these are music to my eyes. Blue is my favorite color. It was used as the background for the dog portrait I brought down to FL. Watching the blue peaking out from morning clouds. Blue is the balance for me, cool, calming color and what is used to make green. 
While I am here there will be lots of photos that will feature blues and greens.

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...