Friday, December 28, 2007

ART as art...

18 x 24" Oil on Canvas
I love to paint. I forget at times how much the simple act of putting paint to canvas eases my world worn spirit and makes life worth while again. I often get tied up in the "I must produce more work faster to sell today" mentality and I forget that I started this because I loved the act of painting.
When I step in front of the canvas and clear my mind and let my spirit guide my fingers, then I begin to feel back in my own body and life becomes joy filled again. I don't have to worry about whether it is good or marketable or world class painting, or not. I can trust my skills, trust my heart to take me where I need to go. Paint, unlike a lover or a family member or the person at the job, can't let me down. It can only free me to be me again.
Recently I was asked to do several commissions. The people I work with are all lovely and I love to be asked to create something special just for them. Often they will go through my portfolio and see a work they love that I have already sold and ask if I can recreate it. My answer is always that yes, I can recreate the feel and the colors used, but that no two paintings of mine are ever going to be just alike.
I don't mind copying from myself. If I have created a painting that touches someone other than the original buyer ( and please god let them be seen by many others) then I want to be able to make that same emotional response available to others. What I don't really plan to do often is to make a print or an exact copy. I love to recreate the feel of a place not a photographic replica of it, and those feeling change like the sunlight does minute to minute.
This week I have had the honor of painting again! It's good to be home!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Horizons

My painting has always been about creating beauty and vibrant color. I am starting to develop now a line of silk clothing. Using the jewel tones and vibrant colors of nature that I love so much, along with my simple abstracted landscape styles on hand painted silk and satin, I am designing and creating hand made clothing for men and women. Clothing that celebrates culture, class, and elegance; while at the same time clothing that can go from the Board-room to the ball-room. My free-style clothing draws from many cultures and influences and is designed to allow the maximum freedom of movement while still celebrating and highlighting the form, beauty, and diversity of the human body!

I look forward to sharing the new designs and my work in silk, satin, linen and velvets int he coming month with you all. Happy Holidays!

Until Next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Art of Commissions

Cherries 9x24" Oil on paper

SOLD _ private commission

The creation of an original piece of fine artwork is a personal and interactive process. It is important for you to understand the process. Although there is a process, there are no hard and fast rules. The free flow of ideas, facts and feelings are essential to the completion of a commission. I am committed to your satisfaction.

Initial Contact Take some time to look at my Artwork through my website or a visit to my studio. Get an idea of my style. I paint primarily landscapes, still life, and abstracts. Each commission is unique. Any image you find attractive can be enlarged, lengthened, altered, and adapted to fit your specific space and needs. I choose my materials and techniques to ensure the greatest of permanency; when treated appropriately your art will outlast your grandchildren. Fine Art is a financial and personal investment. Quality and longevity are of great importance to me. I enjoy a challenge. If my style is one that you are interested in, contact me and we can discuss the details. I will also give you an idea of my current work schedule.

Consultation The nature of the initial consultation will depend upon you. To best help us both, I would like to see where the art will be placed, the lighting and decor in the room, and the flow of traffic through the room. Photos of work that interest you are also helpful. We will also use telephone and e-mail to keep in contact. I will be creating a piece of art that is unique and personal. I aim to make sure it is right for you, your family, or the persons to whom you are gifting it, to enjoy for a lifetime.

Agreement and Pricing I can create both large scale and smaller pieces to fit your needs. Price depends on many factors which include, size, materials, technique style, and matting and framing (Delivery/Shipping fees and installation charges are an additional charge). The evolution of the piece will affect the cost. The estimate is just that, an estimate. Depending on the complexity of the image and the materials and the number of labor hours required, the price is adjustable (not always higher). Upon your commitment to commission a work from me, I will require a contract with a down-payment equal to ½ the agreed estimated price for the finished work. This provides the materials for the commissioned work as well as a good faith commitment on both our parts to finish this project.

Sketches and Reviews Based upon our initial discussions, I will make several sketches. We’ll meet again and go over the proposed work. You’ll be given an opportunity to review the sketches and to make a final selection. Your input here is invaluable. After this selection, I will create the painting incorporating your ideas and suggestions. Please note that after this phase, there are limited opportunities for further change in the image composition or colors of the painting. (Note: unless agreed upon prior to beginning the work, all sketches remain the property of the artist and may be purchased separately.)

The Finished Work At that time I will proceed to complete and deliver the commissioned artwork as per our agreed time schedule. When the painting is complete I will notify you to view it. We can then arrange the final payment and the delivery of the work.

For additional information on Commissioning Artwork please contact me direct at: Or call my studio at 703.652.9626.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Joyous Season

The Autumn Series
Wall mountable 4x4" Stretched Canvas blocks
set of 5 $75.00
Fall has come and is almost gone and I hardly noticed it.
Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia I always loved the fall weather most. The brilliant scarlets and the shocking lime yellow of trees balanced the rust wheat and sienna of dead grasses and the naked trunks of trees. The crisp air wakes you up and you begin to notice that it's dark when you rise and dark when you get home. Dreams of logs in the fire and hot chocolate and quiet evenings return.
My friends all tease me because my own clock is tuned to the sun. I wake when it rises and I am ready to crawl into bed at dark. (Which is about 5:30 pm as the winter rolls through.) I could say its the result of maturity but I've been like this all my life.
But now its almost Christmas and I feel somehow I've missed the fall. Our weather has been strange and I've lost count of the days. I guess I'm going though one of those spells of introspection reminding me that life is a gift. I have so very much to be grateful for: Friends, Talents, a wonderful life partner, and the joy of creating. Painting for me is the ultimate gift back to the world around me. So for today I will stick my head outside and acknowledge the beauty of my little piece of the world and move ahead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Elan Magazine

Here in Northern Virginia there is a wonder arts magazine known as Elan. It is a magazine aimed to the housing market and the the growing communities in NOVA of investers and collectors. The main focus of this glossy tabletop magazine is to introduce local artists and focus on thw quality of life in the arts that our community offers. Not only do they highlight visual artists - painters, sculptors, fiber workers and glass , but they also cover and introduce area musicians, dancers, conductors, actors writer. All mediums of the arts. I was very pleased to be covered in their December 2007 . You can click on the link here to read the article in PDF format on my website. Until next time Create beauty and fill the world with love Wynn

Monday, December 10, 2007

Art vs Craft... Skilled labor at its best.

Silk Scarf - 44" x 44" One of a kind Hand-painted 100% imported fine Silk, hand hemmed. Painted with traditional French Silk Techniques.
As an artist I work hard to keep exploring the world around me. I expand the ways I use my mediums of choice (oil, oil pastels, acrylic and lately Silk painting.) Though I have no formal training I assimilate well. I study art - both in museums and in back rooms - not to find what sells or what is/was popular, but to find what the artist seemed to really be trying to say? I love to philosophically question, why this color palette, why that kind of brush stroke?
In my own simple work I am searching to create ( primarily) colorful landscapes of my soul. (That lost black hole.) I explore my relationship to the IDEAL of nature rather than trying to recreate with photo detailed realism my surroundings and memories. My work has been called emotional, "conveying an underlying optimism using subtle shading and layers of contrasting and complementary hues".( Trudi Van Dyke - Elan Magazine December 2007)
I have fallen into the trap occasionally of trying to paint what might sell so that I can live. Every time I end up deeper in despair because in order to paint I have to listing to my heart and not my mind.
Lately I have again been struggling with the Art/ Vs craft dilemma. My work is going in directions that seem to make it more feasible to sell it at art and craft fairs where "hand-made" means something. I just don't have the financial backing to stage one or two fine art shows a year in a gallery and not have my work out there the rest of the time for the public to see. The quality of my work is the same, the presentation is similar. It does seem that in many ways the only real separation of art and craft is determined by one thin question. "Is it usable or is it superfluous decoration?" If only very rich people can afford to hang in on the wall does that make it art? If it can be used in everyday life (a scarf, an holiday ornament, etc) does that instantly make it craft?
There are a number of museums and galleries that are now recognizing that the quality of work and the skill of creativity and design that goes into many pieces formally labeled Craft are no different at all than their "Fine Art" counterparts.
I guess all I can really do a the moment is to let others decide the matter and get back to work on my own art.
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

An artist's work is never done... thank god!

While it may seem to many that the reason artists like to stay self employed is to lay in bed and eat bonbon til noon and play through life.... I'm here to tell you it is so much harder than any 9 to 5 or even 8 to 8 job in the "real" world could ever be.

Right now I am working on several different projects. I have 4 private commissions currently on the easel. I am working everyday to also create enough product for the weekend art fairs and craft shows I do. Besides my usual landscapes and the cards and small collectible pieces I produce right now in oil and pastel, I am also developing my technique as a silk painter (and the rewards and response has been great in that market this fall for me) But I need months to complete the learning curve and to produce the quality work I desire in this other medium. I just don't have enough hours in the day right now!

I am working fiendishly to keep up with applications for solo and group shows nationally, as well as juggling craft shows that will provide me with the necessary exposure and income.

I love it all! I'm surprisingly good at it all. but at times I want to sit and cry from being tired. I'm often exhausted because of trying to fit in painting, dying, stretching, mailing. writing and selling with household chores, teaching, a relationship. On top of that sometimes I feel I've spent a year plus working on something because someone said " This is good!" This is the direction you should be going!" "This is edgy and modern do it!"only to find that there is not really a market for me. I know building an art career can take years. I don't have years. I don't have as my mom would say "a pot to piss in". I only have talent! I'm half way through my life now. I've never in my life had a vacation of any kind. I can't afford to take a day off from work. AND STILL... I am the luckiest person in the world. I get to do the thing I love more than anything in the world - Create beautiful things that people love and wish to own and share.

Today I am finishing holiday gift boxes, updating my resume, building new stretchers for silk, painting 20 pieces of silk for a retail store, cooking lunch for my BF and working on 4 new sketches for a commissioned painting. January I'll sleep... Maybe!

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with love!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tis the Season!

I wish a very Happy Holiday to all my friends and patrons, old and new. It’s December and the weather is not co-operating with me as far as comfy outdoor sales, but still life and art goes on. You can find me for purchases at the Alexandria Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings until Christmas, and Sundays at Eastern Market in Washington, DC. My paintings are featured currently at the EWI A Woman’s Story Gallery and also at Madeleine’s Doggy Boutique both on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. I currently have a Solo show with works available at the Durant Center 1605 Cameron Street until January 2 2008. There is ALSO a solo show at The Massey Cancer Center of the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond Virginia until January 5 2008. Please contact me if you’d like information on either of those shows. If you are looking for the perfect last minute stocking stuffer or gift idea, I can help. I have available 4x4x1” free standing or wall mountable holiday ornament blocks (see attachment) these are lightweight canvas blocks perfect for hanging on the tree or to give as collectible gifts. Each year I paint a new one of a kind design for the season. Collect them all. They are priced at $15.00 each or, if you buy three or more, they are $10.00 each. I have a hand painted Christmas Cards still available. They come in packs of 4 cards for $25.00. Each painting is had crafted on matte board and mounted on archival paper. They make great gift cards or can be framed in a 5x7” frame for years of enjoyment. Like the blocks there is a different design for each year’s holiday card. Get your 2007 before they are gone. I also have sensuous hand painted silk scarves available in a variety of sizes. They are painted in the style of my abstracted landscapes using intense rich colors with traditional French Silk dye/resist and set techniques. Scarves can be crafted to order if there are specific colors your loved one likes. The Scarves come in several sizes. 8 x 54” Neck Scarves, 22x90” Stoles, The full size “Pashima” like 35 x 84” Veils, 44” Square neck and head scarves, and even little silk chiffon Kimono style jackets for casual and evening wear. Please feel free to check my web site for style and colors and write me or call for orders. This month there was a wonderful personality profile written by Trudi Van Dyke about my life and work in the Élan Artist Magazine of Northern Virginia. Featuring 4 pages of my paintings, I was very grateful for the coverage and the in-depth writing, also for Élan’s mission to introduce emerging and established artists in the Metro DC area to the public. As always my studio in Old Town is available for you to visit and select your gifts, or just have a cup of coffee and share the time with me! Happy holidays to you all! Until next time, Create Beauty and fill the world with love. Wynn

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Christmas Season - Collectible Hand Made Cards

The 2007 Collectible Christmas Card Series
4 assorted hand painted Cards for $25.00
Each card hand-painted
4x6" image Acrylic on Matte Board
Mounted on 5x7" archival paper suitable for framing.
2007 Hand Painted Canvas Ornament
4" x 4" x 1" Acrylic on Canvas with Ribbon Hanger
$15.00 each
Each year I design a card image that I use in a series of hand painted cards and small canvas ornaments for my collectors. This year the series features a single decorated wild spruce or holly tree the snow with others fading into the back ground. The Paintings have an iridescent blue paint that reflect the skies and the snow drifts in front of the trees reflect the green of the trees on a winter day. Each year there is a new series. Collect them all!
Until Next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How fast the year goes bye

2008 Landscape Calendar featuring 13 of my recent works.

8.5 x 11" Printed on Archival Quality paper. 12.95 each

It's Thanksgiving day.

I have so much to be grateful for this year. My partner and I really expanded my art business to be a full time job. I have had 11 solo and group shows around the country this year. My skills have grown because of my having time to paint EVERY DAY. I've made new friends and I've expanded my network of other very talented artists! My partner and I have strengthened our relationship because of being committed to working together building the business.

Besides all that I discovered a new medium that I have fallen in love with ( Silk Painting) and I am expanding sidelines of wearable art that includes my landscapes and my goddesses.

How quickly a year passes when you are passionately involved in life, love and art.

Better get a calendar now! It looks like 2008 is going to be here before I blink and I want it to be just a joy filled as 2007 has been.

Thanks for all of your support and words of encouragement.

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Cards

Featuring a single decorated tree amidst its pals in the snow.

Each card is hand-painted original 4 x 6" art. Painted in acrylic on matte-board these can be collected and framed in a 5x7" if you can't bear to send them away to your friends for the holidays. Each set is $25.00 for 4 cards - mixed vertical and horizontal.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Frustrations and Venting 101

You know, as an artist I work pretty hard: To be professional. To follow through on my commitments. To present both quality work and an attitude that will assure my clients and those that represent me that I am dependable. That I am serious about the work I do and that I intend to be recognized and am here for the long investment of a career as an art and craft person.

So it really irritates me when I commit to something and the sponsor sees the event and my work as an afterthought.

Case in point. This past weekend I had a "Meet the Artist" opening for a show that is hanging in the city as part of a local Arts organization. It was supposedly a juried show. There is a required commission on all sales and all sales must go through the organizers.

There was little or no communication about the show, the hanging, the venue. I had to organize the reception and pay for it all myself (which I didn't mind it is part of the marketing budget.) There was no information about how to order a set up, nor any mention from the venue that that a license was needed to serve alcohol at the reception. The DAY OF of the 6:30 PM reception I was informed that I couldn't get in to set up until after 6:00 pm because of an after-school program in the building. There had been NO publicity in the local papers or even on the web site of the organization. There were no fliers made, nothing mentioning the show at all.( I had spent a good deal to produce my own post cards of the event and send them to a limited mailing list of my collectors and also to do my usual web site and online marketing.) There was one quick last minute e-mail sent out the day before the show to a limited list of other artists in the area... not buyers or investors or collectors. No arrangements were made to have a representative from the organization present to deal with charges or sales (Remember they HAD to go through the commission.) And not one member of the organization managed to show up for the reception.

I recognize that I am just one of many artists in this community. I recognize that perhaps this show was not really about supporting the local artists as much as about making the arts organization look good and as if it is doing something to add to the quality of life. But unlike a lot of the local artist here i am not retired or living on someone else's income. I can't afford to create mount and frame work to hang as free wall decorations.

End of tirade, back to painting.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The power of marketing

Hand painted Cards - each card frameable quality original 5x7" set of 4 in mixed colors $25.00

2008 Landscape Calendar Archival Print Quality - 8.5 x 11" Spiral Bound Each $12.95

In a recent article in the Washington City Paper ( I was mis-quoted as saying that my artistic success "has more to do with marketing than artistic talent." While I did not say that.... and I do not and never did believe that, I DO believe that without some marketing skills and the push to get my creative work out there I have no hope of making an income as an artist.

As an example of that - one of the things I do regularly is to send out a monthly e-mail report to people who have requested to be on my email list and people who I have exchanged ideas with about what new work I am creating, where I am currently showing and what works I have available for sale. This week I sent out my November Arts Update Email and within 48 hours I had orders for cards, my 2008 calendars, and my silk scarves from people who are beginning to think about their holiday gift ideas. I also have a response of people saying they are attending my solo art show opening tonight, and THAT means I have a chance to sell a few paintings.

NONE of these things would have been possible if I had not spent time reaching out, planning and marketing. To many artists the idea of marketing their work is beneath them. To others artists it is simply a matter of not knowing where to start or how to market. Keep in mind that marketing is really the simple act of informing people - friends (old and new), relatives, previous collectors and future buyers - that you have a product or them and that it is available at such and such a location for such and such a time. My business and romantic partner always reminds me that K.I.S.S. ( Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best way to approach everything in life and that goes double for marketing. Get the word out there that you have built it ( painted it, sewn it, shaped it...etc) and they WILL come!

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with love!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The meaning of creativity

Austin's Way 24 x 18" Oil


Painting is in many ways the thing that keeps me sane.

Life can be so hard at times. The simple matter of trying to pay the bills on time. Or come up with the money needed to produce a show and reception in order to sell work to make the money to pay for the materials needed to make the work.

My life has been a series of challenging events. From childhood abuse, to life in an orphanage, to putting myself through school for a career as a performer, to now working to build a reputation as a artist. None of life is easy. But it can be rewarding and joy filled.

Friday this week I open a new solo show of works based on my love of the Virginia Landscape. The works range from realistic to abstracted images in oil and oil pastels. Works are moderately priced and all works are available for purchase. There will be a "Meet the Artist" reception Friday evening form 6:30 til 9 pm at the show. Located at the Oswald Durant Center 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria Va 22314

Events like this where I get the chance to talk with the people who collect my work; to get to know them and let them know me, allow me to really celebrate what I paint, and why, and how.

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with LOVE!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Wonder of Silk Landscapes

Silk Kerchief 6x20" 100% imported hand rolled hemmed silk. Each piece hand painted using traditional Silk Painting Techniques and steam set for lasting color and durability. $20.00 each

Since all my life I have been a nature child and the landscape is both my escape and my grounding it is only natural that both my fine art and my silk work is based on landsapes.

I am using wonderful imported silk that is so smooth to the touch that it almost feels like flesh. The drape of the fabric lets it hang and swirl around you when you wear them, but when used as a window covering or wall hanging, the light leaps through like a fine stained glass window.

I am so pleased to list that I now have several lines of silk available: 6x20" Kerchiefs, Silk Stoles at 22 x 90", Hobatai Veils at 35 x 84", wonderful Silk Square headscarfs at 44 x44", and even casual and dressy chiffon silk Kimono type light gauze jackets. All are hand dyed and painted using improted silk dyes that are specifically created for brilliant color and longevity.

You can find my Wearable Silk art at The Alexandria Farmer's Market ( 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA) on Saturday mornings until Christmas, and also every Sunday at the Eastern Market ( 7th and North Carolina Ave, SE) in DC .

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with Love!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Letting Color Reign

Silk Stole 22 x90
Hand painted
Imported 100% silk
Color has always been my master. Long before I had an inkling about color theory I was fascinated by the way that colors played off of each other, the ways that colors could guide mood, heighten emotional reactions and thoughts.
In my landscape paintings I have always considered myself a colorist. Of course I always take form, value and density into consideration, but I allow the color to guide my response to nature around me.
As I have recently begun to develop a line of "Landscape" paintings in silk, I have discovered even more the passion I have for color, and how it can lead one to a new horizon. Simply allowing colors to lie beside each other begins, as Rothko saw, the dialogue of earth and sky. Form is determined by value but also simply by the juxtaposition of shade, hue, contrasts, and complements.
My new series of wearable silk landscapes in french dye is re-kindling my love of pure color. I hope you enjoy them as well!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

Painting a day
Rolling Thunder
9 x 24" Oil on Paper
It raining. I usually love grey cool wet days. God knows we have not had any rain here all summer so I am grateful for it.
Still. When you are an artist who makes her living mostly at out door art sales and farmers markets and festivals... rainy weekends can be the death of the bottom line.
So I am not at the Alexandria Farmers Market today. Instead I am using the day to iron all my new silk scarves and catalogue the work I am doing. I am repacking for art shows later. I am working on new paintings and up-dating my web page. I am sending out invites to my Solo show openings coming up next month, and I am taking time for a cup of hot tea and later a good glass of wine and begin grateful for the day. The sun will shine tomorrow and then it's back to the races.
Until next time
Create great beauty and fill the world with love

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Race is on again!

Original work 2008 Gift calenders available for the Holiday Season.

Each is printing on quality stock Paper and bound with enduring spring binding. They arrive in sealed cellophane packages to protect them from travel and shipping wear and tear. ORDER YOURS TODAY before the LIMITED supply is GONE!

Ive started the Fall Madness that I love so much about creating art and craft.

Beginning this week I will be at the Alexandria Farmer's Market Saturdays 6 am until 10 am.

Sundays will find me at the Eastern Market in Washington DC every Sunday 9 am until 5 pm.

I open my solo Show "My Virginia" at the VCU Stony Point Medical Facilities on November 1. This show of new works of mine in oil and oil pastel focuses on my unique vision of the Virginia landscape and has about 30 works framed and for sale. The show runs until January 5th, 2008

ALSO this week I hang another solo show at the Durant Memorial Center In Old Town Alexandria ( 1605 Cameron Street) This show sponsored by the Alexandria Commission for the arts and entitled "Virginia Landscapes" is a retro of my past landscape paintings, as well as explorations in new directions for expressing my view of the landscape. that exhibit will also run November 2, 2007 until January 2, 2008. There will be a "meet the artist" reception Friday night November 9 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm.

Needless to say I am running full steam ahead. Not only am I polishing my painting skills of r new work, and working on a few commissions, I am also developing a line of fine craft wearable silk items in my trademark colors and landscapes .

Sleep would be good... Maybe in January!

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the World with Love


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day to day struggles... so many arts works so little time!

If only I didn't need sleep. Or to teach as much as I do to pay my rent right now. Or if there were some way to get everyone to agree on which of my art forms they want to buy and then Id only have to concentrate on one medium at a time.. ( that sounds boring somehow). Of course it would be nice if I could find someone willing to update my web page for free every day, and help me with all the eBay marketing, and the publicity and the press releases and the events planning and applications. Then it would also be nice to find a volunteer full time book keeper to deal with the taxes, and my book-keeping, and suppliers orders and bank balances and production costs etc...
The truth is I love doing ALL these things. I like being in charge of my life. I love the people I am meeting by doing out door markets and craft fairs. I enjoy the gallery scene for my solo shows. I love the time I get to explore new ideas and create new works to share, and to make others lives joy-filled as well.
I get frustrated that I am not more on top of all of them all the time.. but then if only I didn't need sleep
until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Award - Honorable Mention The Art League Alexandria Va

"Blue Ridge Sunrise"
18 x 24" Oil Pastel on Paper
I have just been notified that my painting Blue ridge Sunrise has been awarded an honorable mention in the recent show at the Art League - Torpedo Factory, Alexandria Va.
I also would like to mention I have been featured this month in an article in Elan Magazine. This Northern Virginia "High end" art resource magazine covers promising and professional artists in the Metro region. I am very honored to be included in their pages!
I sometimes struggle with the fact that I am attracted to so many different styles of artwork. Yet it always seems to be the landscape that draws me back. We are often told that in order to have good gallery representation that we need to focus ourselves and to present only one style of work that we do. I know that is so a gallery owner knows how best to peg us and to promote us and I recognize the sensibility in that. But I still have to work in the different mediums that attract me. So I find that as long as I keep focused on my landscape work it doesn't really seem to matter if it is oil, oil pastel, acrylic or even the new silk paintings/ wearable art I am currently doing I still seem to create a cohesive body of work.
This is a busy month for me. This Saturday October 6 I am introducing my new line of wearable hand-painted silk art at Art on the Avenue ( Booth #W163) This huge street fair takes place on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray section of Alexandria Va, 10 am til 6 pm. Come early it gets crowded, and finding parking is hard. I also have available now my 2008 Calendars for sale - in either the Virginia Landscapes series, or the Goddess series.
Sunday I am at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill.
Next Saturday October 13th I'll be back at the Bethesda Artist Market in Bethesda Maryland.
I am hanging two solo shows this month that will run until January 2008. one at the stony Point Medical Center in Richmond VA, as part of the VCU/ MCV system. November 1 until January 2
The other will be in Alexandria, VA at the Oswald Durant Center November 2 until January 5.
More on those later.
until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with LOVE

Monday, October 1, 2007

NEW beginnings... developing a new art line

Silk Scarf - Twilight Blues
100% quality silk, 8mm
Hand painted using traditional French Silk Painting Techniques and permanent silk dyes. Color graduates from a deep teal to light sky blue with moon and clouds in background. Tree silhouettes on one end only. May be hung ad wall hanging or worn as wearable art scarf
22 x 90"
I've begun developing a new series of wearable fine art. I am creating one of a kind unique hand painted silk scarves, handkerchiefs, and Silk Kimono Jackets. Each piece is hand-dyed and painted using a resist method to created designs with complex colors and layers. Each piece is 100% imported china silk of the finest quality and hand hemmed. Colors and designs are permanent and the garment can be dry-cleaned or hand washed.
This scarf is using my trademark images of "Twilight Series" (TM) usual gradually darkening color and lightening toward the skyline which includes moon, clouds, and tree silhouettes in the foreground.
I am also developing a series that includes the "Goddess" images as well as abstract color studies as well.
There will be scarves and New 2008 Wall calendars available at Art on the Avenue this Saturday - Oct 6 - all day long. (Mt Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray section of Old Town Alexandria)
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The unpredictable series. Life as an artist...

Painting a day -
A Gaggle of Goddesses No. 48 Goddess series No. 39
9x12" Acrylic on Masonite Card 7x5" Acrylic on recycled Paper
$45.00 $6.25 each
I usually think I am a good judge of human nature. But when it comes to art there is no way to know how people will respond. I guess sometimes it surprises me that I really can't predict what people are going to be attracted to.
The Goddess grew out of my grieving for the death of my dear friend and mentor Ann Aves Martin. Ann was a larger than life woman who for most of her life lived basically as a recluse from health and emotional reasons. Still she encouraged me to explore my world and to first develop my talents as a musician and singing actress, and later to enjoy the process of exploring communicating through art.
Ann died last April. But her spirit is always with me still. It was her images that began the Goddesses. I always thought that, like the Venus of Willendorf, there was something powerful and empowering about this style of full feminine figure. But I was unprepared for the way that people respond to them in the market place. I have been working on the Goddesses as painting and hand made cards, and am now also expanding that line to include silk painted scarves and clothing. The combination of brilliant color and strong line seems to really entice people. I am so glad they touch people. Through these images Ann Aves Martin ( and I hope I) will continue to make the world a better place!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A new horizon ( line)

Card Series
Each 5x7" Card is hand painted on recycled paper
Available individually, $6.25
or in Mixed sets of 4, $22.00
or 8 $45.00
So... it's true that I have spent the last year of my life learning my craft, exploring every day new ways to communicate what I see in my minds eye, and honing my skills with color and different media.
So Monday I took my first ever painting class; a landscape class with a wonderful artist named Rick Weaver, who is based in Charlottesville, VA. I have to admit I was petrified.
I have been an over-achiever all my life and many things have come easily to me. Art is instinctual to me, but having had no formal training I felt very inadequate taking a class with a group of artists who have painted most of their lives.
I had a great time and I appreciate Rick's approach to basics first. We started with very basic value studies of dark and light. I recognized that I have a skill for breaking things down to the lowest common denominator. A simple line. A block of dark versus light. Distilling form that is pleasing and organic. I have done these things instinctively, it was nice to be affirmed that I can do it, and improve my composition, and grow still more as an artist and an interpreter of the landscape.
I'm very much looking forward to the next 8 weeks of Plein Air Landscape painting and the many technical skills I will pick up from this wonderful instructor.
Mean while look for me this Saturday at the Western Market at 18th and Wyoming in Adams Morgan ( NW Washington DC). Sunday I will be at the Eastern Market ( North Carolina and 7th Street SE.) Stop and enjoy the new work I am doing!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Saturday, September 15, 2007

10 steps to Market your Art to the World

Painting-a-day Solitude 16x20" Oil on Masonite Panel
People tell me I am amazing at marketing and getting coverage for my work. Personally I think there is still SO much I need to learn in order move to the level of a national competitor for recognition in the art world (and for sales) that I wish to be. That means mostly putting my regular daily work into over drive and making sure everyday I do at lease one of the following 10 steps to get my work out there and sell it.
1.) PAINT - unless I work every day to have a product that is of quality and that is desirable, all the marketing in the world is not going to make me recognized as a collectible artist.
2.) KEEP RECORDS - without sound pictorial references, book-keeping AND up dated list of works and their where abouts there is no way to manage a career.
3.) UDPATE MY PORTFOLIO - When I create new works my collectors and prospective galleries need to now about them. Likewise when a work has sold I need to notate that and remove it so that a client is no longer disappointed that the ONE work the desire is already gone.
4.) SUBMIT - No I don't mean be sub-dominant to my husband. I mean apply for every show that I research and find is correct for my type of art. For every gallery that might be interested in my work, for every competition, or every local AND NATIONAL juried show. (An artist can almost Never rely on just her/ his local friends and family for a living wage.
5.) FOLLOW UP ON LEADS - Every friend that mentions a friend, every builder , every collector , every designer, every developer, every retailer who has mentioned an interest in my work needs a reminder that I am here. A new image, a friendly note, a call to say "How are things going?"
6.) NETWORK - Go to galleries openings, go to wholesale shows, go to retail shows, talk to people outside of my world, talk to the people IN my world. Thank people for referrals. Refer people to friends. The world of other people is here for us to use it .. to share it.
7.) GET WRITTEN PUBLICITY - It really is not that hard to get press coverage. Write a press release and send it for everything you do. A new series of paintings, a new show, an award, recognitions from peers. Search out local magazines and papers. They are often looking for well written fast stories about local personalities. Submit to everything you can.
8) DONATE - Unfortunately once you donate everyone thinks you should give them something. And with the Tax laws as they are, artists are screwed with the amounts we donate that can be written off. Still donating to public causes can get your name before the public, and repeated exposure pays off in the long run. Name Recognition is the way your prices can increase.
9.)TEACH - Teach a workshop. Teach a class. Share your knowledge with others. Whenever you have the chance talk to any one about How you paint. Why you paint. What you paint. Educate collectors, other artists and the general public about why what you do is important to you. And why it is important to the world around them.
10.) PAINT - I know it started the list. It also must end it. Unless I paint, unless I grow every day as an artist, and unless I can create a body of work that will represent me in a cohesive way - I can't call myself an artist. That doesn't mean to only paint one way or one thing. But know who I am, to explore my creative means in every way possible requires that I produce regularly, that I continue to explore to refine and to experiment.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Works

Painting a day - Nebula Series No. 2 11x14" Oil


I am loving working in silk painting these days.

I have always been fascinated by skies, both the cloud formations of the Virginia Sky, and the intersteller atmosphpere. Recently I was exposed ( no pun intended) to the incredible light show that has recently been brought back to earth through the Hubble Telescope photos. I am using those images as a starting place for a series of abstracted sky-scapes paintings on silk scarves and wall hangings.

I will be at The Western Market in Adams Morgan this Saturday. I will be at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill this Sunday.

I wish I had hundreds of hours to paint every day!

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with Love.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The silly things that an artist deals with

Painting a day - Twilight Series No. 4000 24 x 36" Hand Dyed Silk
$195.00 Sometimes in the rush to create there are little things I over look.

Yesterday, after months of discussing and planning I started on a new venture: Silk Painting. I've dreamed of the scarves and clothing I will make using my trademark Twilight Series of paintings. I've read dozens of books on techniques. Scoured on-line sites for hints, do's and dont's. I invested an amount of money on some quality silk and painting supplies. Finally I blocked out a period of time that I knew I could work undisturbed. I loved it. The paints flow with the fabric and I am able to create beautiful skies landscapes in fabric that is both hang-able and wearable art.

There was one little bit of information I seemed to have over looked. It seems the French imported dyes I am using which are brilliant colored and fluid... are also semi-permanent in skin. I missed the note that one should wear gloves while working with this medium! Ive tried everything I know. Mineral spirits, Turpenoid, denatured alcohol, bleach.... nothing lightens the stains. So for a few days - perhaps weeks now - I am going to be walking around with brilliant colored hands. I guess it's the stigmata of the artist...

But the paintings are beautiful and I cant stop now!

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Silk, canvas, art goddesses, back to the joy of work!

Goddesses No. 13 14 x 11" Acrylic on Masonite Panel Framed
This was a wonderful and successful weekend of art sharing and meeting some great new people! I exhibited for the first time in public my Goddesses and people went wild over them. The cards series was immensely popular and the paintings were gone in a flash. There is something very organic and earthy about them, at the same time the bright colors and clarity of them speaks to many people. ..
I was surprised at the number of expectant mothers who were taken by them. Many expressed how the Goddesses affirmed to them that they were still beautiful and attractive in their current state. I am so glad that they get it! That its about all women in all shapes and sizes are beautiful and desirable and perfect as we are!
I am working hard this week on developing this series even more and also on expanding it into silk wraps and clothing.
I have long been fascinated by the techniques of silk painting, and I think that my silhouetted "Twilight" series of trees back lit with sunsets and moonlight will be wonderful in soft colors and in the flowing silk clothing I am developing. The Goddesses are a natural for the jackets and scarves I am creating now.
Back to work
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Art festivals this weekend to meet and greet and buy!

This Saturday September 8 you can find me at the Bethesda Artists Market ( located at Bethesda Place Plaza - the corner of Old Georgetown Rd and Woodmont Ave in Bethesda, MD. The Market runs from 10 am til 5 pm. and will feature the work of various fine artists and crafts-persons. Come early to get the best selection.
Sunday September 9 I'll be part of the exciting Adams Morgan Day Celebration - Arts on Belmont. Located at Belmont and 19th Street in historic Adams Morgan DC. the all day street and art festival celebrates the creativity and the diversity of this DC neighborhood. Parking can be difficult so get there early and enjoy Arts on Belmont and make your selections before the crowds arrive.
I'll be introducing a new line of hand painted cards and the "Goddesses" seen in the picture above.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The struggle for balance - Art VS life VS sanity

Painting-a- Day Japanese Screen No. 6 Marguerites 24 x 9" Oil Pastel
The life long image that I grew up with of artists as unstable, unsocial, and irresponsible is often at war with the person I see myself as inside.
I have worked very hard to be good at what I do.
I have worked my whole life. I have put myself through 3 college degrees in the performing art field. I have always supported myself and been fairly good at keeping a roof over my head. While it is true that I chose not to have a serious relationship for many years in my life I didn't see that as being irresponsible; rather as be responsible to my art and craft. I know that simply keeping a roof over my own head and making the time to be a good professional musician, then teacher, and now visual artist required so much of my time and energy that I wouldn't really have the time to have and care for children or commit to a full time relationship.
I have had hundreds of different jobs, from waiting tables to executive secretary and lots in between. Several of them could very easily have opened doors to a career path in the rat race. I seemed to be the kind of person who was always pushed into management positions for my intelligence, determination, "pride in my work" ethic, and "go get 'em" attitude. Every time that push came, I moved on to another job that allowed me to stay focused on my art. A look at my job record and you might think I was a very flighty and irresponsible person. But I 'm not. I simple had a different view of what being responsible was and whom... society or myself.
I admit that I am somewhat unsocial. I have thousands of childhood demons that I struggle with that stunt my ability to trust easily and make me feel safer when I am in my studio at home instead of socializing or schmoozing. But that doesn't make me a bad person, simply a recluse.
Stability.... well I suppose that is a different ideal as well for everyone. I freely admit to being emotionally unstable. While most people who know me on a surface level find me perky, full of life and a bit Polyannaish -- I've struggled with lifelong clinical depression. I struggle with thoughts of suicide and worthlessness. I suppose for collectors of my art that is a good thing - since we all know that the work of an artist goes up appreciatively when she is dead. I think many of us who are drawn to the creative energy in life must struggle with some demons that need exercising. However, I have enough of a rational mind to know that I'd hate to miss that moment. So I stick around for the values to increase while I'm still alive to take advantage of it myself.
It is a running joke with my spouse /partner that I only paint so that I can afford to have a little Bed and Breakfast Inn in the country. To return to the quiet simple life that I dream of in the Blue-ridge mountains. To build a life having visitors, cooking and caring for others, and painting and selling my work online and at few select galleries. That is what I want the second half of my life to be.
Call me irresponsible , but that seems a life well spent for any sane person.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Running on empty

Painting a day - Wall Blocks Twilight Series No. 106 ad 107 each 4 x 4" Wrap Canvas
I am running on empty today. Fortunately I have finally gotten almost everything ready for the coming month. Still have about 5 pieces to frame this weekend but then I'm ready for the upcoming shows.
Find me next Saturday at the Bethesda Artists Market downtown Bethesda Md.
Sunday I will be at Adams Morgan Day as part of Arts on Belmont.
Stop and introduce yourself!
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Working the work - Art as life and livelihood

Not Quite Night - Diptych 2 panels each 24 x 9" Oil
I spend a lot of time painting. I also spend a lot of time thinking about painting. I spend a lot of time marketing, and I spend even more time thinking about marketing.
I feel very lucky that I am blessed with a few gifts. Even more that I have been able to develop them in to skills to produce art that people enjoy. I know I probably would have flunked out of art school. Ive been told (a lot recently) that I am too out-spoken and opinionated. I know from experience (ask my BF and business partner) that I to independent and focused to play the game. I at times rub the powers that be, or that think they are, the wrong way. I suppose in part that comes from being a survivor. All my life I have had to depend on myself to provide for me. Going with the flow and just praying for rent or food or clothing or love did not ever seem to work for me.
As an abused child I tried early to hide and not draw attention to myself - being sure that if I didn't get the big bad man's attention then I'd make it through another day alive. All I really achieved by doing that though was to be invisible to the very people who might have been there to help me and teach me. In the end I learned to isolate and to hide and hope that things worked out OK. After a very long and stressful life, I have decided to take the bull by the horns. If I am not proactive for me who will be?
So I really work at selling my art. I paint fast and furiously.
If I had known 40 years ago that I had this gift for painting and drawing... That I would love it so much. That there was a chance of building a successful BUSINESS from it. That I could make a living doing something I love. (Again providing for me since I've not noticed any one standing in line to nurture, provide and care for my needs.) Perhaps then I would not be at the place I am now where I am afraid of the years slipping by before I can be who I was meant to be. Half of a life has gone by, and now I need to make up for lost time.
I am often asked about the fact that I don't really differentiate between fine art and craft, and how that affects my work? I guess I let others decide that for me. I just create what my heart tells me and I learn from the people around me. I market to every possible venue and then I sell it to whomever is interested in owning it... be it a condo building, a crafts gallery, an art collector, a retail chain, my wonderful next door neighbor Amy or the therapist for the hospital center.
My job is to make it. My job is to put it out there where others can find it that are looking for it. My job is to let it go to make more. The next 50 years is not long enough for me to do that job. I guess I don't feel I have time to worry a lot about stepping on other's egos. That is their job.
Til next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Painting a day.... why?

Painting a day -
Appalachian Train No. 9 5x7" Acrylic on Masonite
$150.00 Matted and framed
I am often asked with amazement why I would do a painting a day? Even other artists tell me that admitting I can paint fast takes the magic and the mystery out of being an artist for the masses. It seems to many people the fact that someone can paint at ALL is a miracle, and it should be presented as a struggle, a mystery, divine inspiration and sweat and toil that makes a work of art worth the price of purchase. But I really do have to disagree. that seems a lot like the priests of old keeping the "mysteries" of the church to themselves in order to retain control over the masses.
My ex-husband got paid what I considered an exorbitant amount of money to sit on his butt and look at a computer screen and fidget with a few symbols every day. He works when he feels like it. He is paid for his skills and his expertise at what he does, NOT for the hours he sits at the desk. He studies, he reads, he constantly works to keep up with his industry. He is paid to compensate for the skills he brings to the job, and in fact, for the ability to do the job as quickly and competently as possible.
Why should a skilled artist not be compensated the same way? I work HARD at my craft. I read, I study, I train, I observe, I spend hours learning a skill. The fact that I can use that skill now to create a work of art that people find pleasing, attractive and desirable in less than a months time should not be a handicap!
The fact is, I try and do at least a painting a day not to prove how fast or skilled I am, but to push myself to be a better artist. Working every single day at my craft helps me learn to see better, to analyze faster, to think with an artist's mind, visualize with the artist's inner eyes. I often paint the same still life, or the same landscape over and over to learn from it. To push my own limitations and boundaries. To search for the essence of each view, of each item, each panorama. To distill the core of why I am moved by that scene. Then to recreate that for others to search for themselves.
It's funny, but until "Scènes de la Vie de Bohème" by Henri Murger, being an artist was an acceptable livelihood. Painters and other creative types were considered skilled craftsmen to be used for art for family portraits, for architecture, for private collections. Since Murger's short stories, the novel and the play that followed them, which then became the Puccini Opera "La Boheme", and the Musical "Rent", the romanticized and glorified life of the "starving artist" has been accepted as the norm. And even sold to the public as a means to keep artists from being successful in their own right. (Like the high priests, we "NEED" art consultants and gallery owners to interpret us to others.)
In no other creative field ( theatre, writing, dance, etc) is self promotion looked down on as it is for visual artists. Those fields EXPECT individual artists and companies to promote, to sell themselves, to toot their own horns in order to be successful. And no other artist is penalized for being skilled, creative and fast at their work. Only the visual arts still has this archaic view.
I paint because I have too. It is my life's energy source and the creative impulse makes life worthwhile to me. I MARKET because I have to. I need to sell. I depend on my skills to bring me a living that is much more than just to survive. I expect to thrive. The Secret says that "words become things" and "that which we focus on the universe HAS to give us. The Law of Attraction Demands it!" I focus on success. I focus on the beauty of the world. I focus on becoming the best artist I can be and on making a wonderful living by selling my art.
What do YOU focus on?
Until Next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with Love.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The world of e-commerce.

Painting a day - "In the Beginning" 24x18" Oil on Paper


I am more and more convinced the way of art marketing and sales, and to real exposure and acceptance as an artist, is through embracing the Web for the benefits it has to offer.

Of course the retail market-place has already acknowledged that. Numerous businesses have already done away with store fronts and fancy retail outlets in order to focus on on-line catalogs and sales. They can reach thousands more clients, be available to process orders and ship 24 hours a day, and cut the over head costs tremendously. Galleries are getting on the band wagon by posting images of their represented artists work and updating as new art work becomes available. We as individual artists can provide instant images of our new works and make them available to a world wide network of collectors.

More and more collectors and shoppers are relying on the web as a marketplace. Buyers can see products, review and compare information from a variety of sources and make a purchase quickly and easily from the comfort of home or office. With UPS, Fed-ex, and other major now arranging home pick up and delivery even returns are not a huge chore if one is disappointed in a product.

I am currently working on a free e-book to share providing links, listing and suggestions for ways for artists to market art work on line, and for collectors to make sure they get good work at a fair price. Anyone who requests it through my email account may receive a free pdf of the information. Simply request the Free e-book on Online Marketing.

All of us working together as artists and as collectors of Fine Art can benefit by sharing knowledge and support and encouragement.

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Branching Out

Painting a Day
Twilight Series No. 2000 12x9" acrylic on Masonite Panel
Branching out - no pun intended.
I love to paint. It seems my soul is drawn to trees more than anything. They are symbolic to me of both being rooted and belonging somewhere and at the same time reaching towards heaven.
So many factors can affect the twists and turns and directions that a tree will grow into - The constant winds from a particular direction. Being in the shadow of a larger neighbor or parent tree. An accident that cripples it or stunts it growth . Lack of nourishment. Not enough room for growth, Not enough light.
Just like humans. We are often bent and shaped by the people and events around us, whether they are nurturing or stifling. When we are given the support we need and the freedom to branch out we grow and we become our unique and individual selves. When our friends, family and people in our industry treat us with respect and with encouragement, when the advice and the nourishment they give us comes from a place of love and of confidence and empowerment rather than fear or a need to control... then we grow and flourish as our best selves. We soar. We find the ability to try to do to achieve our best selves. And we learn to pass that on to others around us. We all share in the infinite wealth of the universe around us.
Plant a new tree somewhere today, figuratively or literally. Nourish it and watch it grow. . And become astounded at what life offers us!
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday a day of rest...

Painting a day The Knoll No.3 24x18" Oil on Paper
Actually it's not a day of rest. I'm in the frame shop all day getting ready for September. More later!
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The round about world of an artist.

Painting a day Autumn Orchard 5x7" acrylic on Masonite
To those loyal readers, sorry I missed an entry yesterday. I had a migraine that kept me in the bed all day and I couldn't think of looking at a screen or bear the clicking of the keyboard. Back to semi-normal today and hitting the ground running a usual. I have one week before September, (where did the summer go?) and 3 solo shows and numerous weekend art shows and fairs to prepare for. While I have been working like a fiend all summer, there never seems to be enough hours or enough income to get everything where I want it and framed and matted and presented as professionally as I require. I still have post-cards to create, new brochures and catalogues to get ready along with price lists, arrange shipping and insurance, schedule pick-ups and hire a hanging crew.
Oh and I am developing two new product lines for wholesale at the same time. What am I crazy!
Anyway I just wanted to share a quick story about the way of the world. I was recently talking to a good friend who shares my ups and downs with me and occasionally gives me a wonderful insight into my craziness. As a friendly observer she mentioned that every time I seem to be on the brink of some type of success, a really great financial period from my art and my teaching, I seem to have a knack for sabotaging it by a sudden health issue, an accident that requires cash, or a huge bill I "forgot " until it causes a disruption in my life - utilities, cable, art suppliers, etc. She challenged me to look at my core belief that was keeping me from the success that I so richly deserve as an artist and a human.
While that was not a conversation I relished having at the time I realized that she was right. I often buy into our American societies idea that being an artist is not a full time job. That I should feel guilty for not having a "real" job I hate. That I should be the starving artist who creates great works of beauty, but lives on bread crusts to be legit.
I release that now. I work very hard at my art. I put in many more hours than most office types do and I never have a real day off. Ive never had a vacation of any kind. While I chose to live simply and to be frugal I am NOT a starving artist. I can pay my bills on-time most of the time. I even have a little in savings. I sell my art at a fair market value for the time I invest, my expertise and my skill, as well as compared to other artists within my experience and genre.
Thanks to my very dear friend, starting right now I am accepting the accolades and the wealth that I deserve as an artist. I share my wealth with those around me. I learn from and share my gifts with any who chose share my vision, my life and my wealth.
Until next time
Create Beauty and fill the world with love.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Shut Up and Dance" .... musings on an artist at work

Painting a Day - series Twilight No. 102, 103, 104 each 4 x 4" acrylic on canvas, wall mount.

$ 45.00 set

I no longer own a television set ( an idea that the Comcast people just can't grasp as they insist on telemarketing to me every night at dinner time just how much I need cable TV.) I long ago grew up without one and the few times in my life (my marriage to my ex) when there was on in the house I rarely found anything worth the hours lost in front of it.

That being said however: Once years ago (1996) I saw a program called "Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton" on which the brilliant character actor Christopher Walken was being interviewed. Mr. Walken spoke of his life in the theatre and how he started out being a song and dance man but turned to straight acting when he got his first role (at 15). One of the moments I remember most about his interview was his mention of a T-shirt he owned that said "Shut up and Dance". He said it was a reflection on how all artists, not just dancers, could spend so much more time TALKING about their craft instead of DOING it.

Actors spend hours at parties and in bars talking about their "process". Writers spend years "planning" their big novel. Singers spend many more hours talking about their vocal problems than practising and learning new music. And painters waste hours staring at a blank canvas afraid to make the first mark. Mr. Walken's t-shirt was just a comic reminder to "get on with it"! Nothing can begin until we take action.

As a painter I can wait for inspiration to hit me... or not. I have learned that for me to improve as an artist I have to paint. Every minute that I am at the canvas and working out new problems is a minute closer to being a good painter. Yes being self taught means that I read a lot, I view a lot of art. And I do spend a lot of time thinking bout my craft. But the real improvement and growth comes when I paint. When I do . When I am being a painter, as in the active verb tense.

Goethe's now famous lines hold more than a grain of truth:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Until next time

Create Beauty and fill the world with Love


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Virginia Landscape in Oil Pastels

Painting a day "Birds and Fences" 18x24" Oil Pastel
I am often asked "What are Oil Pastels"? It always surprises me. Oil Pastels were my introduction to art and to oil painting. They are still the perfect medium for so many styles of painting - from realism to abstract and everything in between. They were a favorite of Picasso, and recently Wolf Kahn has beena champion of them, along with other artists.
In my Virginia landscapes I am particularly enamoured of the changing skies, especially around the Blue Ridge Mountains. With Oil pastels I can capture the light and the cloud formations quickly and easily on location and the have wonderful color studies to create larger works in the studio in Oil , Oil Pastels, and Acrylics.
Here is a link to the short history of Oil Pastels for those interested.
I have always loved Oil Pastels for the ease they afford me to switch between drawing and painting. If my landscape demands a lot of detail ( grasses, leaves. tree silhouettes, etc.) they can be used as a sharp drawing instrument. If I want to blend colors together I can use them as oil paint and mix them on the canvas. With their lipstick texture and their non-drying they are perfect for sgraffito techniques of scratching through for details. They don't have any of the mess of dry ( called "soft") pastels, and they can be used on a variety of surfaces from wood canvas, paper, cloth to metal. Oil pastels can be used with a liquid medium like Turpenoid, linseed oils, or mineral spirits to create transparent washes and used in a watercolor effect.
Collectors are only now beginning to understand and appreciate oil pastels, in part because art consultants, agent and critics have not fully understood or appreciated their versatility or their longevity. But the market for them is growing.
I am a member of the Oil Pastel Society of America. For more information and to see a number of artist who work in the medium check out their web page :
Until next time
Create beauty and fill the world with love!

Monday, August 20, 2007

To be or not to be... The Artist's Dilemma

Painting a day - Thistles Diptych 2 panels each 24" x 9" Oil on Paper

$725.00/ Set

I admit it. I am a mess when it comes to balancing life with work with art with romance.

I have a wonderful partner with whom I enjoy sharing my life and my art business. He is my strength and my back bone and is great at keeping me focused on the next thing on the list. My partner is great at creating brochures and marketing materials. (You have no idea how many other artist have asked to borrow him! Thank goodness I have first dibs!) He is the practical one. He is more conscious of the business world and of politics. He reminds me often that I can be brash and outspoken, and at times step on people's toes and perhaps cut off my nose to spite my face. We rarely disagree on what needs to be done, but we often disagree on how to do it. When it comes to publicity and marketing, press coverage is important. So is having the materials at hand to sell yourself and make it easier for the people in position to make choices and to promote you.

My dilemma is how true to be to myself and my beliefs in the rights of artists and how much to subjugate myself in order to sell more. I take a great deal of pride in the work I do. Not just my painting, but also my professional level framing and matting. I listen to the people around me and I try to incorporate their needs and desires for types of art, while still painting in my style and with my palette. I try hard to maintain a fair market value on my work, but recognize that I am not selling to high end collectors regularly (yet).

I have learned over the last year that in the market for art sales presentation is everything. How works are chosen to hang in unified groupings, subject matter, etc. can have an impact. In out-door art fairs and Farmer's Markets the way your booth looks and how you grab attention can draw a stroller in and make them a client.

I want to present myself as professionally as possible. I also feel the need to clearly present myself as the woman of honor and integrity that I strive to be. I hope that I also seem friendly and easy to work with. I want every contact I have with an agent, corporate art collector, private collector, or simple a stroller-by to be fun, informative, and to provide what they need: a work of art, information, or a referral for another time. By being sure of who I am and what I offer I can do that. By listening to them I can do that.

My dilemma is really not a dilemma. It's simply a fact of life. Balance in all things.

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!