Friday, May 25, 2012

A New Drawing

A big problem with posting so seldom is not remembering what I posted the last time.  There is a danger of repeating myself.
Big news since last post: the drawing of the lichen won 2nd place, mixed media,  at the Ballinger, Texas Mini show.  This is my first prize, other than honorable mention and I was quite excited. 
The new studio has proven to be even better than I dreamed.  It is a refuge and a wonderful place to work, mostly uninterrupted.  For the first time, I can get into the zone!  The only problem I am having is remembering where everything is, which will get better eventually.
I have just begun an on-line art class, taught by Deborah Paris, Field Sketching for Landscape Artists.  This is an area I really need help with.  Looking forward to getting alot of practice and good information.
My latest drawing is pictured here, "Intertwined".  Because we live in the country and have alot of deer around, collecting shed antlers has become a hobby.  I decided to set up a still life with some of them and make a drawing.  It wasn't easy but finally was able to finish.  Coming up with the title was the hardest part!
This summer, in Coleman,  Carolyn Walker is presenting a workshop on using watercolor on Yupo.  This is something that has intrigued me for some time so I have signed up.  She supplies everything we need so a great way to "try before you buy"!
Since my last drawing was completed, have been playing around with acrylic painting.  Not an easy transition and I have alot to learn but I am having fun with it and hope to finally figure it all out.  With the Field Sketching class, probably won't have alot of time to paint for a while though.
Busy days ahead in art and also in life.  Second grandchild due this summer, first grandchild celebrating his second birthday, baby shower, etc. all requiring the six hour drive to Houston.  I have a feeling this summer will fly by!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time Flies!

Another long absence from my blog.  Guess I just can't get into it, so much to do each day, this seems to stay at the bottom of the list.  My latest drawing is pictured here, a lichen I found growing on an oak twig, done mostly in graphite with a touch of colored pencil.  It will be entered in the Ballinger Mini-show next week.
My studio is up and running.  It is even better than I expected.  So nice to have plenty of room, know where everything is and not have to put everything away each time I finish for the day.  Time flies while I am working, no interruptions from phone, husband or dog. 
Recently, while doing alot of heavy lifting, moving into the studio and helping hubby with chores and heavy duty garden hoeing, woke one morning with swollen painful hands.  When it didn't resolve itself in a timely fashion, made an appointment with the doctor.  Blood tests run and x-rays taken.  Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, either caught very early or a very mild case.  After feeling horrified at first and fearing for my art career, realized that it could be alot worse, meds are helping and I am feeling fine.  Have had to make adjustments in the time I spend on my art; more frequent breaks and limiting sessions but otherwise things are going well.  This isn't something I am running about telling folks or announcing on social media or elsewhere.  Also, not keeping it as a secret, just going on with things and explaining to folks if it happens to come up.  One day at a time, no sense getting all bent out of shape when things could be ever so much worse.
Latest project started, a rather complicated still life that could prove very interesting or could send me to the funny farm!
As time goes on, I find myself so much more relaxed about my art.  Enjoying the process more than worrying about the outcome.  The list of things I want to try and to accomplish is long and I am looking forward, happily, to it all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I really must try to do a better job on this blog.  It is no wonder I only have three followers!  I might need to consider changing the title of my blog, since not much painting has happened in my studio in quite some time.  All work of late has been in graphite, which I am enjoying very much.  The posted photo is of my latest, a portrait of my dear friend's two cats.  Working on this was fun, since I know and love these two kitties well.
On to the next project, which, if I do things as I should, will be more sketching practice than working on a specific drawing.  Sketching needs to be a priority so I can more easily do quick studies of scenes/animals, etc. that I happen upon.  When I do a specific work, thumbnails need to be a priority.  My planning has been lacking and I need to spend the time getting the entire composition arranged and values arranged before starting.  It is hard for me to do.  An interesting scene presents itself and all I want to do is get it into a completed work as soon as I can.  The main subject goes fine but then I am presented with figuring out how to put in a background and foreground without messing up what I have worked so hard on.  Planning is something that has to be done, as I have been told repeatedly and agree with. I just have a hard time slowing down enough to actually do it! 
Today will be spent in planning two ideas I have.  With Stars of Texas art show entries due in just over a week, my inclination is to whip something out but must resist that temptation.
Last week Hubby and I visted my studio, which is being built in Abilene.  It is coming along but not nearly as quickly as I would like.  Electricity has been run so next step is insulation and paneling.  Hopefully it will be ready for delivery by the end of the month but not holding my breath.  The crew that was working on it quit last week so not even sure a new crew has been hired!  Frustration!  Once it is here and all set up, will be so nice to have a quiet place to work without phones, temptations of the electronic kind (computer) or a dog who wants to go in and out every five minutes.
Another constant distraction is the outdoors, which calls to me.  Living in the country is wonderful and being out in the beauty of Nature inspires me.  What I need to do, yes another thing for my list of goals, is go ahead and spend more time outside but with sketchbook in hand.  Back to those sketches.  I originally said that I was going back to graphite to work on the basics and for help getting values correct.  What I really need to do is truly go back to basics and sketch, sketch, sketch.  Gesture drawings of the animals I normally take photos of would help as well.  I can see that my problem is being in a hurry to be able to make art comparable to an artist who has been working at their art for many years and I have only just begun.  My time spent working on art doesn't help either, need to do more.  Same song, second verse.  What I need to do is obvious, actually doing it is the challenge!
Seems this blog entry has turned into more of a journal.  As I wrote, more things occured to me and realizations made.  It may not make for interesting reading for others but sure did help my journey.

Friday, December 9, 2011

As I note the title of my seldom updated blog, it seems I may need to change the title.  While I do have a small watercolor in progress, the majority of my work of late has been in graphite.  It is so enjoyable and has helped me quite a bit with my values.  Works in graphite have always attracted me so, perhaps, that will be my medium of choice.  However, I do enjoy wielding a paintbrush too.
My intention of getting more art work done hasn't worked out so far.  We have had house guests and then there are the preparations for Christmas.  My camera has been busy on the daily morning hikes with Callie dog so have many reference photos for future projects.  I think I will always have way more photos than actual works!
Exciting news!  Something so wonderful is happening that I never expected or dreamed would come about.  I am getting a studio!  I have ordered a portable building 12x24 that will be insullated, paneled, wired and have a small heat pump for climate control.  It is hard to imagine that there will be a space to create without the constant blare of the TV set (hubby has one on all day, whether he is around to watch or not, he comes and goes) or phone or dog asking for attention.  Imagine, just my work and music.  Ahhh.  It will also be nice to have all of my art things in one place.  As it is now, my art table and main work space is in the living room window.  There are supplies in the oak cabinet nearby, also in the guest bedroom and our bedroom.  They are taking over our small home!  The place where we ordered our building is running behind so it probably won't be delivered until after Christmas. 
I hope everyone (not sure how many folks actually read this) has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012 too!
P.S.  My latest graphite WIP, while almost complete, can't be shown here as it will be a gift.  Will have to post later.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I have no idea if anyone is still following this blog, I have neglected it terribly.  My extra time is spent on so many things but doing art comes first.  I read that last sentence and I know, deep down, it doesn't always but guess there are times when it can't.  Neglect the blog, not a disaster I suppose but, neglect working on art and skills get rusty and work suffers.  It is the same with relationships, neglect of loved ones and friends makes emotional distance and emptiness.
This past several days, I spent in the company of good friends who are also artists.  We have relit our fires by setting goals and with promises to keep up with each others progress.  There is support and friendly urging to keep on task.  Working alone in a studio is OK but knowing that support and encouragement is there and keeping in touch with it keeps me going.
The next time I post here, will have a photo, either of a finished work or a WIP!  Goals!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Another long while since posting here. Not sure how I expect to gain followers if I never blog and seem to be repeating myself when I do. Need to work on that for sure.
The Christmas holiday was a busy one, company coming and going for two weeks. Took a while to get back in the art groove but have managed to do just that, completing two pieces in the last couple of weeks. Things are going well, so on a creative high right now, hope it holds!
Read a recent blog post by another artist that really made me think. She made the same remarks I have made, about working through the fear of making mistakes and rejection. Another comment she made, about always being an artist but not making any fine art for many years made a light come on.
I have posted before about having difficulty considering myself an artist, something I am not having as much trouble with these days. What struck home with me about her comment was that, yes, I too have always been an artist. It is just now, in the last few years that I have been creating fine art. My earlier attempts as a child were more as a hobby, always of animals and I, for some reason, never developed the passion for art that so many do. It has been a long time coming but the fire has been lit and is growing by the day. Perhaps it just has to do with confidence and now, that I am almost 60, I am finally figuring it all out!
I am just happy that I have found the art part of my life again and sorry I have let so much time pass. No regrets though, my life has been very full and wonderful and this is probably the best time for art to take hold.
My latest work can't be posted yet as it is for gifts. Have done nothing but graphite recently, kind of getting back to the basics as it were. Loving every minute!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Art Show

It has been a busy time, helping get the art show ready, and my role is small compared to others. It opens tomorrow (Oct. 1) and is also open on Saturday. Many days of work for a two day show! So many wonderful pieces, glad I didn't have to pick a winner. Alas, neither of my pieces won an award but, after seeing the caliber of art that was accepted, not surprised in the least. Our league dropped the size restrictions for the first time and we got some very large paintings. My graphite pieces were rather small and almost invisible! My pleasure comes from getting my work into the show and I know, one day, I will actually win something! The fun is in the doing anyway.
Need to finish a watercolor of peaches then move on to other ideas I have. Way more ideas than I have time to get to so keep a running list so I don't forget!