Saturday, October 27, 2012

All will be revealed...

Dear Readers,

Sorry this is such a late post! Friday night turns to Saturday morning so quickly. A lot has been going on and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have been working in my studio and doing some other art related things. I am about to launch an exciting project very soon and I hope you will be a part of it! So keep watching this space and all will be revealed.

I hope all is well in your art worlds.

Thank you for your support! Talk soon!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The lines that connect us

 Works in progress in the studio

Today is day ten, but you wouldn't know any of that because I have been on a secret mission to break through my creative block and focus on my new series. This plan was hatched by my wise friend and fellow artist Jennifer Libby Fay.

Everyday for the last ten days I have set my alarm for 6:45 and been out of bed and in my studio and ready to work by 7:15. I have not turned on the computer or done anything that might distract me from my goal of spending a certain amount of time each day in my studio working. I couldn't talk about it online or post pictures of progress or even tell Stewart. This was to be my time for my own personal reward and satisfaction. I would text Jennifer at the end of the session and that would be it. I started fourteen new paintings in the last week!

These paintings fuse old maps (so far of Scotland, America and Arkansas) on to panel. So far the only elements in the paintings are pencil lines and white paint allowing only the color from the maps to the be the "color" of the paintings... This may change as these works are all in their infancy. I had 15 new panels waiting for me to use and I have now used 14. I had been collecting vintage maps and I have now used all of them and even had to go out earlier this week to get a world Atlas from 1947 so that I could keep working.

It has been interesting to see what happens when I roll out of bed and into the studio first thing with my crazy hair and sleep laden eyes. I work and I focus. I have always painted best in the morning. I have been listening to music on CD's because my iPod touch of course is connected to the WIFI and that is too much of a temptation, a distraction. So for ten days I remembered what it is like to have boundaries, goals, a plan and to simply show up. I have enjoyed working on these 14 problems paintings, letting the works take me along with them as I solve for the answer and I am not there yet!

I have been showing and selling my work for 17 years, so of course I know what I need and how to make the work happen deep down in my being. However, it is easy to get off track. It is easy to read the news and focus on more trivial things. It can be hard to make the work you are on the planet to make, sometimes it is even a burden. However, it is a bigger burden to myself and all those that love me when I am not working. I have to work.

When I work, everything else falls into place (well maybe not everything, life is messy and imperfect) but lots of things fall into place. Once this morning goal is accomplished I find it easier to work other routines into my life, the morning meal, the cleaning of the house, feeding my cat Evie, making a list for the day. There was more order and sequence and there was more fulfillment and consequence and so I floated on from one activity to the next and that made me feel a bit safer in my skin, to remember that I was dependable again and had a purpose.

I have worked on ninety-one paintings so far in 2012 while suffering with some of the worst artist's block and depression. I have to count these things up to remember that even when I don't feel like I am working hard enough or doing enough, I am. However, I must also remember that a studio routine is so important and crucial to my well being. I am grateful to be working.

There is a line in each painting that will connect with another line in a different painting so that when they are separated in homes and collections they will still have that line reaching out and they will still connect over the distance. Always there and reaching out.

Like all the lines that connect us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

For the people

 a place to write, a place to dream

Hello Dear Readers!

Another week has just flown by! I had my yART sale last Saturday and even with a scarce turnout I will call it another success for many reasons. I got to spend a relaxed day in my freshly clean house with my friends and fellow artists, Linda Sheets and Melissa Vest. We had the first fire of the season thanks to Linda and we listened to jazz and had apple cider and treats. I had all of my available work out around the house and there were works also available by Stewart Bremner. Linda brought some of her books and wooden "totes" that she has been making lately in between scratchboards. Some lovely people, including the Mayor came to say hello. Linda sold a book and a tote and I sold two pieces from Stewart Bremner's and my series "a place called home." I also sold one of my new small works on wood. Stewart and I couldn't be more pleased at the response our latest works have received. There are only four available out of the fifteen we painted this summer! Thanks everyone for your support!

What I loved about the yART sale was that my first patron of the day was a writer and a grad student in college and she put forty dollars down towards one of mine and Stewart's paintings and we are settling the rest in a payment plan. I felt like I had won the lottery with her forty dollars burning a hole in my pocket and I was also so pleased that she was giving herself the gift of original art. I know that for a student that ultimately $250 might be earmarked to spend on rent, food, books, travel, etc, but that she chose to commit to original art means the world to me and inspires me to want to paint more. I love all my patrons equally but it always means something a bit different to me when it is a younger patron or a student. It gives me such hope for the future and solidifies my belief that art is by the people and for the people. Art does not have to be an elitist event enjoyed by the few. My patrons come in every style and income level and I love them all. I am honored every single time someone makes that choice to buy my art, to live with what I made, to collect my work over several years and series and to note the progression and the trajectory of my life as an artist. These patrons not only support me financially and let me live this life, they encourage it. They understand my life and me and that is why I am always bonded with my collectors. I am so grateful for all the relationships that have developed over the years of my career as an artist. I am glad I had my yART sale so I could remember this, remember who I am, what I do and what I will do for the rest of my life no matter how tenuous the balance may become.

In other news, I have been getting things in order to launch a project (all will be revealed). I have also been getting my mind back into the state it needs to be in to make new work. I am writing, walking and listening to music in preparation. I have been in a bit of a blocked state and I let the well run a bit dry but I am steadily filling it again and soon the work will flow. Watch this space.

Until next week, keep fighting. The world needs your work!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

yART Sale! Tomorrow!

My life returned to normal a bit more this week. There was an exciting meeting about a funding proposal and a project that I hope to launch soon. I am in the preliminary stages so I don't want to say too much about it yet but I will keep you posted. Let's just say something exciting will be happening soon and I hope you will be a part of it.

There was an Artist Think Tank meeting this week as there is every Thursday. I meet with artists Jennifer Libby Fay, Linda Sheets, Stewart Bremner and occasionally Melissa Vest on google plus weekly to talk about our art careers and goals. We have been doing this a while now and I think it is has really helped us all move forward, take risks and explore our options in our individual and collective art worlds. I am really lucky to have such good friends and a strong support network of artists that help me stay focused and driven.

In other news, I decided to have a Yart Sale! It is exactly what it sounds like, an outdoor Art Sale! However, the Arkansas weather has changed abruptly as it does, so now it will be an indoor sale which is fine by me. The sale is tomorrow Saturday October 6th from 10-3. You can learn more about the sale here.

I just wanted to cull my studio in what will be my only sale of the Fall season. There are oldies but goodies from many series over the years as well as my latest small works on panel that I have made for my Etsy shop. Stewart Bremner's and my combined works will be available as well. There will be some special deals to be found and even perhaps some work by some guest artists. There will be apple cider and cookies and sweet art for sweet people. If you are in the Northwest Arkansas area I hope you will join me as we celebrate Autumn! Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted. Payment plans are also available. I really hope to see you there! Feel free to invite and bring your friends! The more the merrier. 

And with that, I think I better close as it is already getting late and I have so much to do to prepare for my one day only sale!

Thanks for stopping by and as always for your support.