Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cezanne I am not!

6x6 oil on panel $50 click here to buy

Once in awhile its fun to try a "master copy" a painting from one of the art masters. Cezanne is one of my favorite painters so I attempted one of his simplest still lives. A lot can be learned by doing these exercises, mostly that I have a lot to learn!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Whiteboard Art!

Something new! I'm working on a project for an upcoming show the the Whiteboard Art Expo, an exhibition that allows the artist to choose the charity they would like the proceeds to go to, as well as promoting local artists! Artists are provided with a whiteboard (16x20) and a black dry erase marker, with the option of using color if they purchase it themselves. I'm choosing the charity Findlay Emerging Artists because I would really like to benefit artists in my area since we live in a very rural community, and it's difficult for artists to get a start. Obviously this is just the beginning of this work, but it's HARD! I've had to erase quite a bit and start again, but hopefully I will have a masterpiece by the end!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Landscape Refresher

11x14 oil on panel $75 to purchase click here

Since I was gone for a week I needed to do a painting step by step from one of my art instruction books. I chose a landscape since I have lots of pics from my travels to New Hampshire to paint! The clouds gave me some fits, among other things, but since it was just an excercise to get back into the swing of it, I didn't stress too much. I think sometimes we artists, especially those whose livlihood depends on it, worry too much about the finished product of the work, rather than the process of painting. I've found that when I just paint everything as if It's just for practice, things turn out much better. It's one of the reasons I hate commissions because the stress of what I think the commissioner expects inhibits me from painting well and enjoying it.

Beach Girl finished!

11x14 oil on panel $100 click here to buy

I just got back from a week in New England visiting my folks, and came did the last touchups on this painting. I'm showing the before and after pics of how it looked when I left and what I noticed when I got back that needed tweaking. The biggest thing I noticed was the need to get her head to stand off from the landscape, so I muted down the landscape a bit, as well as the water, it just seemed to dark for the kind of day it was. I also added highlights to the water and changed the color of the sand castle a bit....It's not perfect, but time to set it aside and move on to other things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have no finished paintings to post this week, but lots of good stories, and tomorrow I leave for New Hampshire to visit my folks and my home!!! I spent the past weekend enjoying our beautiful weather on the boat, fishing and enjoying family and sunshine, today and yesterday caring for my fiance who had his first colonoscopy experience, and meeting new people in the art world who are in need of art teachers for people with special needs and the elderly. When I saw the call for help I knew I needed to respond, even if it was for no pay at all. My oldest son is autistic and no one sees the need for understanding, structure, and creativity more than the mother of a child with special needs. How could I say no? I meet the first group of kids tomorrow, and I can hardly wait.

Then there was The Argument.

The big facebook disagreement.

I bit my tongue for as long as I could but no more.....Many artists may relate to this "discussion" on artists donating or giving to charity. Obviously, this is up to each one of us to give as we are able to whomever we choose, but this discussion went beyond just giving, it became downright heated about artists' self worth and value and cost and expense and on and on. I personally would give everything away if I could. This person would give nothing and sell at the highest possible cost. Obviously we are at opposite ends of a moral dilemma, so why did I engage? after much thought, I assessed and asked myself why am i a giver (besides the fact that I was raised to be that way by my mom) so here is my story.............

I have a reason why I never say no when someone asks me for a donation of my art. This is a good story, and actually involves one of our members (my local art group) although I'm not sure if she remembers me, because (shamefully) I never properly thanked her.... 6 years ago, during my first job as an art teacher out of college and a single mom with no extra money to spare, I took a job in Lorain Ohio for the Boys and Girls Club heading up their after school program. I've never seen such desperate need as I did in this program, most kids were hungry, ill clothed, and dismal home lives....I ran a program that served at least 100 kids after school. Right after I started, the regional club announced a fundraiser and wanted donations for their silent auction. I wanted to teach the kids self reliance and pride in creating something that benefitted them, as well as others....I wanted them to feel the sense of pride that comes from earning their way. (an aside note: I started working when I was 11, picking blueberries with my siblings on an orchard in Vermont in exchange for the rent my mom had to pay. 10 months out of the year we lived in an old barn designed as a small dorm for migrant workers....the 2 months during harvest we were on our own, one of those years we spent in a one room schoolhouse with no running water or facilities....this was in the early 80's by the way, not the 1800's.....but I knew what hard work meant, and my mom set the bar high by her example.) I had fixed it in my mind that fused glass pendants was the answer, having seen them at the local art shows earlier that year. Through happenstance I learned the name of an artist in Findlay that might be able to help me out. To this day, I can't believe what I asked of her, because in hindsight the request was huge, but I was new to glass art and at the time I didn't realize the value of what she gave. She offerred supplies, several hours of her time, (with all her children happily running around while we chatted) and would fire the finished pieces for me since I had no kiln and didn't know what I was doing....I took a lot and she recieved nothing. The project was a huge success, and the pieces sold for a total of over $2,000....plus the kids all got to keep one for themselves. Years later, at a show in Whitehouse (a town 2 hours from where I worked) I was selling my own fused glass and a customer (who was an english teacher) showed me a piece she was wearing and told me this incredible story about a boys and girls club director in Lorain who brought such pride to the wayward kids at this school where she taught, showing them how to make fused glass and selling it....at first I was just being the polite artist, smiling and nodding and listening to her story, but then nearly choked when I realized she was talking about ME. I was very humbled that day. However, it made me realize that I never thanked the one person who helped me get my start. Kelly Crosser Alge gave alot of materials and time when she helped me, and never knew the outcome of her gift....well there it is, not just in dollars, not just in the lives of those kids who would never know that kind of art, but now in the lives of those that I give to because of her example. I always tell people that I give to or donate to, that someone helped me get started once, when I needed a hand up, and if they ever find themselves in the position to give, that I don't need payback, but to pay it forward, So even though I said I was done talking about this topic, I feel like this story needed to be shared. Sometimes you just don't know the impact a small gesture can be, and that alone has no pricetag.

By the way, if you ever want to buy the most gorgeous fused glass around, check out the work of Kelly Crosser-Alge. I know this, because she was my teacher.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Girl on the Beach work in progress

I recently found out I have an 11 year old niece that I didn't know I had. She wants to know her family, and I'm doing my best to give her what she needs. Unfortunately, her father denies her existence, what a shame,she is a beautiful girl. This painting reminds me of her , I saw this little girl on the beach this summer. She was all alone, had just finished her "masterpiece" sandcastle and looked out into the water. I'm not sure what captured her attention, but something made her gasp.....I remember being that age, oh the wonders of life!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hay Rolls

8x10 oil on streched canvas $65 click here to buy.

I love seeing fresh cut hay in the fields, and those rolls look like such fun! If I was a kid again I probably would be sitting atop one of them in the warm fall sun reading a book.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Studio almost done and catching up...

8x10 oil on canvas panel SOLD

Studio "After"

"Studio "Before"

I've been working on my studio for about 6 weeks now, trying to put away glass supplies and organize it for winter painting use...I made the back area (approx 12x12 space, a kind of gallery, to hang my finished drying works (see left side), and framed works (back and right wall.....) and the middle area (where I paint, (shown is just a few feet of it...) and the back (not shown) (approx 14x12 is supply and storage).....I put in a heater that works wonderfully, heats up the whole studio in less than an hour, and keeps it warm the rest of the day. Now that I have a proper work space for the fall and winter season, I've decided to try to catch up on the Daily Paintworks weekly challenges....I've been so behind on their challenges, and it makes me feel like I'm missing out! I learn a lot from each one, so I want to catch up before I start my own series.....Here is the Old Mill Challenge. Since it is fall I decided to change the foliage from the greenery in the provided pic from a spring/summer pic to fall colors....I have such a hard time with landscapes, and this took me all day, but I do learn more everytime, so I will keep at it.....