Sunday, February 5, 2017

Scattered Nation

"Scattered Nation" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 plus free shipping
I will begin by saying this is not a political rant and I'm not dogging anyone for their political vote or beliefs (my parents raised me to honor and respect others, for goodness sake!)  This is however, an observation and a call for grace.

Most of you know I make my living selling my art and do some real estate leasing and consulting on the side to make ends meet.  I deal with a variety of people with widely diverse backgrounds in both businesses, and I absolutely love what I do.

January is notorious for being a slow month for artists, but I somehow managed to shatter this notion by selling 7 paintings; taking on 2 commissions; hanging one solo show and one painting is on hold for another couple (and picked up a couple new consulting gigs on the real estate end!).  This artist is doing the happy dance, and is very grateful.

Whenever I do sell a painting, I tend to post it on one of my FB pages and often get private messages from artists I know asking how I am making so many sales/where am I selling/who are my collectors/etc.  And I am usually quite free with the information (except for the list of my collectors - seriously?)

I sell on many on-line sites including Artfinder , Saatchi Art, ETSY and Vango Art.  I also sell through various art consultants and interior decorators, and sell a fair amount of art via my personal Facebook page and my Fan Page.  My social media pages tend to be filled with art - my art and others - and tips and informational sites. I stay away from politics and other controversy as much as possible because I know I need to focus on my art (aka career) if I want to eat, and I also know if I choose a side, it's very likely I'm going to be judged or alienated by the other side.  Right or wrong, it just is.

A few days ago I witnessed a full-fledged on-line attack to an artist whose opinion happened to differ from the attackers, and let's just say it was brutal.  No matter how hard he tried to respond in a kind, thoughtful manner, he was basically told it was "their way or the highway" along with other cruel, mean-spirited words.  He's removed himself from FB for awhile and who could blame him.

When one of the attackers of my bullied artist friend sent me a message asking about my recent sales, I had to consciously wait for a long time while I figured out what to say.  One part of me wanted to call her out for being so mean to my friend; and the other part of me wanted to ignore her altogether.

But instead, I responded with all the information she had requested, and wished her best of luck with her art in the New Year.  I still haven't received a "thank you" for supplying the information, but that's on her.   I really have no desire to prolong the conversation any further.

We live in a nation where we are fortunate enough to have the right to say what we feel, and until that right is taken away, I intend to voice my opinion when it is called for, but in the event it differs from another human being's opinion, I will choose to respond with dignity and grace, kindness and compassion.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Paris Locks of Love Bridge

A couple of months ago I was commissioned to decorate a lock for a woman's 42nd wedding anniversary to attach to the "Locks of Love" bridge in Paris, France.  She wanted to surprise her husband on their upcoming European vacation and found a reproduction of an old vintage lock on EBay that looked like this:

When the lock arrived it was a lot larger than she had imagined it would be -- nearly 10" tall and weighing over 8 pounds!!  Could she get this huge contraption from the States to lovely Paris without her husband finding out??

I admit I hadn't known of the landmark until I had watched an episode of "Beverly Hills Housewives" and saw one of the couples adding a lock to the bridge, so I was very excited to help her out with her secret mission.  I Googled photos of the bridge to get ideas of what others had done to their locks but didn't see much that inspired me so I pulled out my paints and got to work.

A little gesso, acrylic paint, a clock stencil and a permanent ink calligraphy pen transformed the metal lock into this:

After the Tiffany blue paint dried, I took sandpaper and removed some of the edges to give it a worn look.  Then I mixed some burnt umber acrylic with matte medium and added some Indian Yellow paint to glaze the base color for a mottled look.  After the glazing dried, I added two coats of UV protective varnish to the lock to protect the paint from fading in the hot Paris sun.

My client carefully hid the lock in her luggage and managed to get through airport security and customs without alerting her husband to the locks' presence.  On the day they went to the bridge, he was thoroughly surprised and overwhelmed when she pulled the lock out of her bag.  Holding hands,  they found a place to secure the lock then threw the key into the Seine. 

There are two lock bridges crossing the Seine River in Paris -- Pont des Arts and Pont de l'Archevêché.  The "Pont des Arts" bridge is for long lasting love, and the "Pont de l'Archevêché " is for lovers.  Apparently the lover's bridge is filled to capacity, while there is still plenty of room on the bridge for long lasting love.  Yet in June of this year, part of the "Pont des Arts" railing collapsed from the weight of the locks and the government is now in the process of removing them to make the bridge structurally sound again.

Hopefully John and Madelyn's lock was not the reason the railing collapsed, and at least they were able to partake in a popular tradition while they were enjoying their romantic vacation.  Happy Anniversary, John and Madelyn -- may your love continue to grow through the ages and till the end of time.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bead Soup Update

July 20, 2014 update -- the bead exchange with Helen Simon never occurred due to a hand injury Helen sustained......I still have the beautiful beads she sent and am looking forward to making something with them when I get a chance!!

I'm absolutely stoked about exchanging beads with yet another amazingly talented Bead Soup partner....I don't know how the Lori Anderson manages to pair people up so expertly, but she's a genius in the beaders matchmaking department!!

This year's partner is the multi-talented Helen Simon from Louisiana.  Here's one of her bead listings from her ETSY store -- stunning, right??!

I have to admit when I first saw Helen's website I was gobsmacked, as my dear Aussie friends would say.  There was absolutely no way I could send her any of my humble lampworked beads, and my fusing kiln is on the fritz so creating a fused glass focal or two was out of the question.  SO -- I dug deep into my private stash of beads that I've collected over the years, and chose a very special one that I hope Helen likes.

There are a couple of requirements that Lori sets forth for the Bead Soup exchanges which can sometimes be challenging:
     1.  You must send and use the focal and clasp that your partner sends you
     2.   Send beads/items that are different from what your partner typically works with

Helen's work is bold, vibrant and fun, fun, fun.  Like me, she's not afraid of using color and lots of it!  So.....putting together a package that would be different meant (to me) that I'd better tone things down a bit.  Without sharing too many details, here's a pixelated photo of what I sent to my charming Bead Soup buddy, Helen -- I certainly hope she likes it and am excited to see what she creates.  I'll publish a real photo of what I sent after I receive my package from Helen, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

"Hearts on Fire"
- SOLD -

Happy Valentine's Day!  Or if you're single and not happy about it, then Happy Single's Awareness Day aka SAD...and if you're Single, Proud of it and Amazing, then Happy SPA Day.  Whatever your current status, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with love and happiness!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

It's Bead Soup Time Again!

Now that the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is over, I'm excited to announce another favorite challenge that I try to do annually.  2014 marks the year of the 8th Annual Bead Soup party and I'm in!!  This will be my 4th time participating and I'm thrilled to participate again.

What is "bead soup?"  Well, to begin with it's the brainchild of the amazing Lori Anderson who somehow manages to organize and orchestrate this colorful event and does it seamlessly.  Interested beaders and jewelry makers sign up and are then assigned the name of another participant.  The two participants each create a package of beads that include a focal and a clasp and send them to each other.  The idea is to challenge yourself to use colors/products/styles that you aren't familiar with to see what special designs you can make, and the only rule of the event is that you must use the focal and the clasp you are sent.

I love to "jump outside of the box" and have been paired with some of the best bead buddies ever including Karen Williams, Karyn Bonfiglio and Dot Lewallwn.  If you want to see some incredible beading and jewelry art, be sure to check out their work!

Today was the sign-up date for this fun event, and soon Lori will be pairing us with our new Bead Soup partner.  Stay tuned for updates -- this afternoon I'm going to go through my drawer of lampworked beads and findings to put together a unique package for my soon-to-be revealed bead buddy!

Friday, January 31, 2014

30 Day Painting Challenge Completed -- Win A FREE Painting!!

Thank you again for following my progress on my 3rd 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  To celebrate the completion of this challenge and get ready for Valentine's Day, I'm going to be giving away one painting from the series (your choice) to a lucky winner.

All you have to do is:

1. Click HERE and press the "like" button on my FaceBook page
2. Share this post on your page
3. Leave a comment below telling me you have done so.
4. That's it! Winner will be chosen at random on 2/10/2014. I'll even ship it for free within the US.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Finite! 30 Abstract Figurative Paintings in 30 Days

Collage of the 30 Paintings I completed in 30 Days
The 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge is over and I must say I am thrilled I completed it despite a LOT of things that were going on around me.  When I decided to do the challenge (my 3rd) I originally planned on doing abstracts again.  Then I thought I wanted to paint animals in a fun, more illustrative manner.  But a voice inside said "go for the abstract figures" which had always been challenging for me, and I'm glad I listened. 

I didn't want to concentrate on features as much as I wanted to test my ability to paint forms and the various squiggle lines just sort of happened midway through the process......I had recently taken a Reiki class and wanted to portray energy with the figures.  I'm still not sure about using the lines around the shapes vs. using accent lines, but will have to wait and see.

I enjoyed mixing up some new favorite colors too!  I normally use Golden and Lukas paints but pulled out some old Matisse acrylics from Australia and started blending all three brands with each other.  One of my favorite blends was Matisse Southern Ocean Blue with Golden Primary Yellow or Indian Yellow which turned into a rich pea green.  Another mix was Golden Dioxazine Violet with Matisse Australian Sienna and Utrecht Bright White.  Blending complements with white and playing with the amounts of each color made me feel like a chemist and I loved the rich neutral colors that appeared.

Truth be told, I'm relieved the challenge is over and now I can play catch-up with some of the things that have slipped by the wayside (ie getting taxes ready for the accountant, cleaning house, and organizing my garage/studio).  During this time I also moved my studio out of the ArtHouse and needed to find room for all the things I had been storing there.  I'm feeling rather unsettled with my home and my garage studio being a mess.

This morning after the last panel was posted I went to pack up all the paints and organize the studio but instead I found myself sketching out three figurative scenes on three 20" x 20" canvases.   I guess I just can't help myself.....painting is just in my blood!!

Let's Go - Day 30 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Let's Go"
8.5" x 7"
Acrylic on gessoed upcycled cardboard

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eve - Day 29 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

8.5" x 7"
Acrylic on upcycled gessoed cardboard

Tuesday, January 28, 2014