Saturday, May 31, 2014

And Rainbows

A few days in Boston with less rain and warmer then expected we ended our evening with a triple rainbow. 
Heading out today to see a pastel show and other adventures.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Being Present

This spring - summer and right into fall I will be on the road. Some travel for business, some for family, friends and special moments. I try to have my camera at the ready, keep pencil and sketch pad in my backpack. 

Life has a way of changing our plans but I try to remember to stay in the moment and be present. Be aware of what others may be going through, be it good or sad. Give ourselves time to work, to be peaceful and to share memories. 

As we all travel be careful, stay alert, take in the beauty around you, no matter where you may be in this world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This past couple of weeks I have found it hard to write. With the Memorial Day remembrances, my thoughts have been elsewhere. I have been remembering family and friends that served our country. Plus, spouses of service men/women, some who have recently passed.

As an artist I have an outlet in dealing with grief. I can get lost in my work, I paint and allow my heart to heal a little while doing something creative. I have know many artists dealing with their own medical issues or grief and they allow those emotions to do the painting. I just paint, this past weekend my friends where understanding of my need to paint. We had come together for the long weekend. I found a prefect little spot to sit and paint, a little deck that stayed shaded most of the day.

I worked about 15 hours while I was there, almost finishing the piece I had started in AZ. Have work will travel! Today I will wrap up the oil painting so it will have time to dry as it is going into the solo show that will be hung next week at Virginia Tech.

Mountain Laurel in bloom - reminds me of when I lived in Frederick, MD

Remembering those we have lost.

There is always some blue sky behind the darkest clouds.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Knowing When To Stop

When is a piece of art done? How do you know when to stop? Sometimes it is not until you have gone too far but the more you paint the more likely you are to step back and not only look but learn to see what is in front of you.

Over the years I have learn to stop painting, set the painting up so that it will be the first thing I see when I walk in the studio the next day. Seeing it for the first time with fresh eyes. If it looks good, I turn it upside down, walk out of the room, come back again and usually I will see if something is out of place, the balance is off, color needs adjusting or contrast needs to be increased. It is a trick the mind and eye play well. Allowing another part of your brain to look at something in a different format.

Once this is done, I sign the work, photograph it, copyright it via photoshop, save to a file and it is ready for shows. So, I think I am done with another elephant painting. I enjoyed doing a little 4x12 so much that I did a similar one in 12x36. The big one will go in the solo show in June.

"Never Forget" oil on canvas 12x36

Monday, May 19, 2014

Taking A Moment

Sometimes when life throws a curve ball I need to take a moment and just be quiet. One of the best ways to do this is to take a walk in the woods. This weekend Rick & I went to Pandapas Pond to see if the wild rhododendron had started blooming. They are in bud but no flowers yet. With all the snows, the cool air, rains, it is very lush and green. Lots of wild flowers in bloom. The geese are having babies, saw some that had their babies tucked in the waterlilies.

It was overcast and cool, so not a lot of people were at the pond. It made for a nice quite walk and  gave me new inspiration for future painting.

Can you find the baby?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Looking Forward

I am looking forward to July. I will be teaching a pastel workshop at Common Ground on the Hill, held at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD.  As I was moving art work out of the studio, downstairs to organize what goes in what shows, I ran across papers and pastels I wanted for the workshop. They now are all together, I am sure I will still have things to add to the collection.

This workshop is part of a two week event. I am teaching the second week. There are talks, music, visual arts, room, board and maybe a little dancing at the end of the day. To check out the fees and what you can do go to the web site, click on Traditions Weeks.

The class is geared for all levels of pastel artists, those that have never done pastels to those that are looking to add to their bag of technical tricks. We will use my favorite paper, Rives BFK, a sanded pastel paper, handmade papers, and more. Working from still life set-ups, photographs (you can bring your own) and optional day of plein air painting.

It is a fun and event packed week or two. Hope you can come join me for a week of creativity.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Back To Work

Back in the studio, back to work...ordered some frames for work I transported back from AZ for shows on the east coast. I have discovered that framing for the east differs from out west. I carry and ship my work without frames. Then it is just a matter of seeing what frames I have, order new ones, mat if needed, buy glass, assemble the work, secure, tape, cover the back, add hardware and label. See just a few little things, that take a whole lot of time. Another of those art work things that is part of the business of art.

I did get a few hours of painting in and plan to do a few more today. I have two paintings in progress and hope to have them done for the June show at Virginia Tech. It is raining today, I was going to run out, pick up ink for the printer so I can print out a reference picture for the one painting...but think I might just use my computer. Gives me more time to paint, that's my story and I am sticking to it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In Be-tween

It is hard to believe I have been back east 1 week. I am still in between time zones. We did a quick trip up to Maryland, mostly to see a few friends and to pick-up and drop off art work. Need a few more longer trips to catch up with others.

While staying at Country Pleasures Farm, the oldest organic farm in Maryland. We got a peek at the baby eagles that live on Eric & Lori's property. Hard to get pictures as they are in between the tree branches. Got a couple fun photos of bees as they were in between the pedals of flowers. Even have a few apple blossoms in between the leaves.

I continue to be in between painting and framing. Plan to order frames today and now that I have a little floor space in my studio, will paint this afternoon, I hope.

baby bald eagles

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Matter Of Timimg

Back east and it is spring. Which means lots of art shows. Marilu and I got together this weekend to do our usual art talk. We were looking at dates for shows, openings, closings, hangings, and pick-ups. 

We try to help each other when doing shows that we are both in by dividing the dropping off of work and picking up of work. 

It all becomes a matter of timing. This morning I meet Marilu to get two pieces from the N.M. Show, which she picked up for me. Then rush over to the Mill Show to pick up her work & mine. Won't know till I get there if anything has sold. Immediately jump back in the car to head to Glen Allen to drop off work for pastel show.

Timing is everything and I must admit I cut this day a bit too close. Wish me luck!!

Middletown, MD in the fall where we are planning the Fine Arts in the Valley Show.

The Mill Show, Millwood, VA back next spring 2015!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Handle With Care

Spent yesterday very jet lagged and opening all the packages of art. I mailed 5 and used my portfolio as my luggage. I did find the little note that the TSA did inspect my luggage but it looks like they took my word and did not unwrap any of the paintings in the portfolio, handling it with care.

Most everything came through in great condition. A little pastel dust on some mats but that will be easy to clean up. I have the 3 pieces that are going to the Virginia Pastel show in the frames but need to secure them, paper on back and hangers. That will be today's job, in-between appointments and normal life stuff.

The Mill show comes down on Monday, this is the last weekend and your last chance to see the show. Picking up what ever work is not sold and then over to Glen Allen, VA near Richmond to deliver the art for Virginia show.

One of the packages I opened yesterday contained materials that I will need for the workshop coming up in July at Common Ground on the Hill. It will be a week long pastel workshop. Check out the web site if you want more information & pricing. Another had paper-making for workshops here in Blacksburg and elsewhere. Got my oil paints, may just have to buy a few new brushes. And as soon as I get over this jet-lag I will be good to, I need more coffee!

Just some of what I unpacked for upcoming shows

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Last Minute

Today I am doing the last minute checks, house sitter in place, art has been shipped and some of which has already arrived. Now the last leg, this afternoon and it will be back to the east coast - kind of...there will be lots of travel going on this summer. Shows to hang, family to visit, workshops to do and maybe a little down time.

Good-bye Arizona - Hell-o Virginia & Maryland and other places along the road!

Hell-o Virginia
Good-bye for now Arizona

Monday, May 5, 2014

Urban Wildlife

Apparently, this weekend was Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day. Not sure which day for sure as I saw postings for May 3rd, May 4th & May 5th.

May is always full of special days, I guess all the new life, birth, warming air, bluer skies just makes us appreciate life and the little things a bit more.

As I sit outside having my morning coffee, the hummingbirds buzz my head. I think next year I am going to try an experiment and see if my hummingbirds will come to my hand. They are so close, sometimes within a few inches. Makes me appreciate my little urban backyard.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Side Effect

The side effect or benefit of shipping art back east is my studio also gets cleaned. Once all the cardboard, bubble-wrap, protective papers and tape are put away, the studio starts to look a little empty.

Yesterday was final mailing and clean up day. All those little bits of stuff on tables, on the floor, pretty much everywhere...So, today my studio sits all clean and kind of sad looking. A lot of the work that has been living there are gone. There is nothing on the easels or drawing table.

Things are just a little too organized. Might just have to go sit down and at least doodle a little.

I do have things to keep me busy over the next few days. Got the last pastel meeting of the season this afternoon. Since, the weather is calling to be hot, hot, hot...heading out for my walk shortly and starting to say good-bye to AZ.

Gila woodpecker on top of agave 

Gambril Quail enjoying the view

hummingbird at the aloe plant

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Other Side Of Art

Yesterday I spent the day organizing, wrapping, packing, measuring, and doing the other side of art. I love being in AZ for the winter. Not so crazy about having to get work back east for solo show, change work at galleries, materials for workshops and fall shows.

Ironically Marilu was kind of doing a similar thing. She was doing the prep and framing work to hang her solo show this week. She will be driving her work to it's location in Laurel. I will be mailing a few boxes, plus going to try a little something different. Since, I am working a bit bigger and in oils on canvas, thought I would check the measurements of my portfolio. It should work, right size, so I am wrapping the painting and packing them to take on the plane. They will fly with all the other luggage, so I have padding all around. This will either be a really good idea or a very mad mistake. We will know soon.

Plus, I have no room to carry them on with me as I will have our little Miss Granite, our 16 year old cat. Who is becoming a pretty good jet setter. And all the stuff you must have as carry-on: computer, kindle, phone, cameras, lenses, and on and on...

As I said, I love AZ but do wonder when I will get to the point that moving art from here to there just stops. I guess when I stop making art and that does not look to be anytime soon!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sedona Sunset

The last days of April I spent in Sedona. It was a bit cooler up there. Most of the day I spent at the Sedona Art Center, gallery sitting and doing demonstration of pastel.

That evening, watched the sun set in one of the vortex areas, way up high by the airport.

The following morning the pastel show came down, done for another year. It is a nice location for the AZ Pastel Artists Association juried spring show.

Our last meeting is this Sunday back in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. AZ is settling in for the summer. Most of us winter visitors are already gone or heading out soon. The heat of the summer keeps you inside, in the pool or in another state. The inside part works for me as it helps to keep me in my studio. I have enjoyed being able to pull my easel and paints out back and paint into the evening.

Today, May Day,  I will spend packing up the fruits of my labor to take back east for shows. Lots of shows coming up!




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