Saturday, April 30, 2016

Art Of The Mural

Today I will be doing another street - chalk - pastel - performance mural. There are 3 locations I will be at Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix, AZ. The other 2 locations are Tempe Marketplace and Westgate Entertainment District. There will be about 10 artists at each location and an area for passers by to give it a try.

This event is sponsored by the Southern AZ Arts & Cultural Alliance. Together we are promoting the art of pastels/chalk and artists. We spend the day creating and talking to young artists and established. 

Murals - street performance artists have been around since the 1800's in Europe. Artists would travel around to festivals creating pavement paintings. If the people enjoyed what you were creating they would throw you a coin in appreciation. No coins are needed for today's event so just come on by and see what these artists are creating. My theme has to do with the Salt River in Tonto National Forest.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tree Day

Also known as National Arbor Day - a day to plan a tree, take a walk in the woods or in my case working on some tree paintings. One of the joys of working in AZ is taking my studio outside. My inside studio faces west and the only reason I know this is because the sun sets in the west by 4:00 in the afternoon it starts to warm up in my studio and the light can be a bit blinding. I pick up my paints and easel move them to the back patio, it is covered so nice and shady. Protected from gentle winds and there are lovely trees to look at while I work. Even the birds come around to see what I am doing.

Today I am honoring nature and trees, as I do everyday. I am painting a couple landscapes inspired by our Nationals Parks and some of the trees I have taken pictures of while visiting them. More to come on this...

But for now as the paintings are in progress and will be on display in June & July - here are a couple trees from my collection of pictures.

Oregon coast 

New Mexico



Thursday, April 21, 2016


It is a travel day, got art supplies backed but while I am waiting managed to finish a little piece.
Started the background last year think it is done for now. Moving on to owls! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Artists For Conservation

Linda Harrison-Parsons, AFC
What does this mean? For some time now this has been on my to-do list. Apply to the Artists For Conservation Organization. This organization brings together nature/wildlife artists with conservation organizations. The artists works are posted on their web site, there are opportunities for exhibition and publications. The artist picks which foundation they would like a percentage to be donated to when a piece of art is sold. The artist controls the amount of the sale and donation. It is a win-win for everyone.

I am very happy to be included in this group of artists. The group is limited as to how many they accept. I have just started setting up the new web site. At the moment I plan to keep both sites but will link them together just as this blog is linked to my web site. Please check out the Artists For Conservation and if you have any questions please let me know.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I have been watching the saguaro in the backyard as it was about to bloom. I got my camera to go out and take some pictures of the flowers and to my surprise one of the love birds fly over head into one of the holes in the cactus. A nice opportunity to take some pictures, as I have been wanting to do a painting of them. The real surprise was she was coming to feed her baby! I think there is just one baby in there, might be two. It was a little hard to tell but I could see the color, an eye and the beak. I will try not to upset Mom as she is taking care of her baby but I will go out now and again to see how they are doing. Bonus: to top it all off was a little hummingbird sitting on a branch next to the saguaro who didn't mind me taking a few pictures.

Saguaro in bloom

Peach faced or rose faced love bird

Mom and baby

Female Anna Hummingbird

Friday, April 15, 2016

World Art Day

April 15th birthday of Leonardo da Vinci and World Art Day. WAD was established 2011 - it was thought that celebrating art on da Vinci's birthday was appropriate. 

This sounds like a good idea but what do you do on World Art Day? Thoughts that come to mind: make art, but art, go to an art museum, art gallery or maybe an art supply store. 

To celebrated WAD, I think I will not drive 2 hours somewhere to create a mural or demo while gallery sitting at a show. If the winds don't kick up I may just prepare some canvases on my back porch today. A pre-art, creative, kind of, I could use a break day. 

How will you celebrate ART!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sedona's Calling

Heading out the door shortly to Sedona. The AZ Pastel Artists Association has the spring juried show at The Sedona Art Center.

I will be at the gallery from 10-4 today doing a demonstration in soft pastels. The opening reception is this Saturday the 16th from 2-4. The show is up through April 25th 10-5 each day. Located at 25 Art Barn Road.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Parts Of The Whole

This past weekend was pretty full but all the parts seem to come together. Friday set up at the Desert Botanical Gardens for the Scottsdale Artist League show. Saturday headed down to Tucson for Mural Project through the Southern AZ Arts & Cultural Alliance. Sunday back to Scottsdale to pick up work that my friend Gary so kindly protected from the storms that blew through. These storms came across AZ those artists that were working outside on chalk/pastel mural in Tucson saw there work disappear quickly. I was one of three that worked inside on a canvas surface. Our works will be hung for display.

Lots of people ask: What happens to the piece once it's done, do you get to take it home? Is it for auction? Will it go in a gallery? The SAACA pays the artists to create the murals, plus they supply the surface and some of the pastels. They provide water, snacks and if they get a sponsor hotel rooms for those that drive to Tucson (2 hours for me). After working from 9-5 driving 2 hours then turning around to drive back to Tucson was not a great option. So, the long way around those question is the canvas paintings belong to SAACA. As always the copyrights remain with the artists but the artists have given permission to allow the works and photos of the artists working in PR. Some ask doesn't it make you sad to leave the work? No, I tell them it is no different then selling a piece of art. It goes home with the owner.

My artists friends ask: Why do a mural? Especially one on the ground?? The ground not so great an angle to work at but they are fun. It is a competition with yourself. Can I get this done in the allotted time? Partly, working large, which is nice to break out of working small. It is a challenge. It is also a way to introduce people to my art. I bring booklets of my images with me a supply of business cards. I almost ran out, children tend to take cards too. But, people ask questions about what other works you do and where they can see them. Commission sometimes happen, workshop participants, art lessons and even general sales.

How do I create large works? This is where the parts come together. I start with a preliminary sketch that is submitted for acceptance. I transfer the sketch onto the larger surface with direct drawing in charcoal. I then work in a pattern, starting at the top left moving over to the right. This is the top half of the mural. Continuing back to the lower left and finishing lower right. There are very few times I work in a pattern but when you have to sit on your work to reach it, you have to find a way not to cause damage. That about sums it are some of the parts and the whole mural. To see other muralist from this event check out my facebook page for the album "Murals".
Finished Mural 

Step one sketch, start background
Step two working left corner, completely

Step three, moving to right corner, top half

Step four, bottom half, continuing to work left to right

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Double Duty

Doing double duty this weekend. Every once in awhile shows kind of fall on the same weekend. That is the case this weekend. Working in two places took a bit of coordination. Yesterday we set up the Scottsdale Artist League show at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. It will be up Saturday and Sunday.

Today I will be in Tucson at Park Place creating a mural for the Chalk Festival. I was one of three artists selected to do their "street mural" on canvas inside. Our works will go on display after the event is over. There are about 15 artists creating murals. It is a fun event so if you are in the area come on by and see some wonderful art.

Sunday afternoon I will be back at the gardens wrapping up the show. Lots of opportunities this weekend - don't miss them, come on out see the gardens and the art that was inspired by the DBG.

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