Leaving Town

“Drawing is the simplest way of establishing a picture vocabulary because it is an instant, personal declaration of what is important and what is not.” -Betty Goodwin

Leaving Town acrylics, charcoal, DerWent Pencils, oil pastels 30x30 cradled birch panel

Leaving Town
acrylics, charcoal, DerWent Pencils, oil pastels
30×30 cradled birch panel

I’ve been asked by my gallery, High Country Art in Blue Ridge GA to make some bigger pieces for a window display. Blue Ridge is a wonderfully quaint mountain town that is so busy with tourists, you can barely walk down the sidewalks where all the shops and galleries are. I’m thrilled for my work to be featured with a window display. This piece is 30×30 and I will include two others that are 24×24. I’ve finished one of the 24×24 but I’m still working on the final piece.

Meanwhile I am taking an online class with Judy Wise, Sculpey Dolls. It is so much fun! I worked with clay for about 20 years – mostly wheel-thrown functional pieces, but sometimes I would build boxes or make something sculptural. I have not touched clay since I started painting 3 years ago. I still have my slab roller, all of my tools, clay and glazes and my kiln. Clay has been on my mind lately, so I thought this sculpey class would be a great way to not invest too much time and see if I truly did want to work with clay again. I will tell you that for me painting is relaxing and working in clay is a little more challenging. But the beauty of the sculpey clay is it fires in 15 minutes at 275 degrees in a toaster oven! I could get used to that. Here is my first piece:

Spike and his Little Dog, Spot Sculpey Clay, acrylics

Spike and his Little Dog, Spot
Sculpey Clay, acrylics

There is a lot I got wrong with this first piece. It’s all about the learning curve – how to work with these new materials. I hope to make a few more before releasing them out into the world.

Here’s a sample of a clay piece I did a couple of years ago –

Jack In The Box clay, slips and glazes 13x5x4

Jack In The Box
clay, slips and glazes
13x5x4

I could not quit painting if I tried. I absolutely love the process of painting. It’s meditative, exhilarating, challenging and extremely rewarding all at the same time. I’m hoping what I’ve learned while painting will change my clay work in positive ways.

“You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout and to grow.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted in acrylics, ceramics, charcoal, drawing, folk art, galleries, painting | 8 Comments

Gallery News!

m4s0n501

“Just do your work. And if the world needs your work it will come and get you. And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway. You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I’m given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one’s own vision.” -Kiki Smith

The Whole Town Was Talking About It

The Whole Town Was Talking About It (sold)

Sold! YAY! This piece was at High Country Art in Blue Ridge GA. I am always so surprised when someone actually sends me a check for one of my paintings. I could not stop painting if I tried. I absolutely love being in my studio and drawing and painting these little stories. It’s my happy place and I learn something new every time I paint — about my materials and about myself. I am so fortunate I discovered my love for painting and so very fortunate I am able to pursue it. So thank you for supporting me by purchasing a piece. And also thanks to all of you who read my blog and comment (and on FaceBook) – your encouragement also keeps me in my studio.

I am constantly taking new work to High Country Art. Here’s some recent pieces I’ve added to the gallery. It’s a beautiful gallery filled with lots of nice art work, pottery and sculpture. And it’s a wonderful time to be in the north Georgia mountains, so if you are in the area, go check it out.

“I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing.” -Paul Cezanne

Posted in acrylics, blog, ceramics, drawing, folk art, galleries, mixed media | 8 Comments

Un-Cooped or Who Let The Chickens Out

“Storytellers ought not to be too tame. They ought to be wild creatures who function adequately in society. They are best in disguise. If they lose all their wildness, they cannot give us the truest stories.” -Ben Okra

Un-Cooped acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 24x24 cradled birch panel

Un-Cooped
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
24×24 cradled birch panel

Where I live in the north Georgia mountains are lots of chicken houses. I’m sure there are so many of them, because they have given the locals an industry that allows them to stay in these mountains. Tyson or Pilgrim own the houses and the folks here just follow their rules for farming them. None of the chicken houses have windows you can see into. I’ve never seen an actual chicken. But during certain conditions, you can certainly smell them. Thankfully, I don’t have any of these chicken farms too close to my house, but every time I ride by one, I have the strongest desire to plan a chicken-house-break. You know in the dead of night just go open the doors and let those chickens loose.

Unfortunately, the painting is my only way of un-cooping them – well without going to jail. There’s still the fox and it still might be crowded in the farmyard, but being out of those tight living conditions has to be better than facing the occasional fox.

“I paint to find out what I think about the world: to discover the things I do not have words for. I savor the slips of the hand that express one’s unconscious feelings. I am interested in the tension between abstraction and realism. I do not want to make an academic copy of the model or a photorealistic illustration. My work explores the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.” -Geoffrey Stein

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, drawing, folk art, mixed media | 7 Comments

Sold! Smile!

“The only thing that makes one an artist is making art. And that requires the precise opposite of hanging out; a deeply lonely and unglamorous task of tolerating oneself long enough to push something out.” -David Rakoff

The show, Smile ran during the month of March at dk Gallery in Marietta (on the square). My paintings hung among the work of seven other artists. And all the work in the show was about making you smile. What a great show to be part of and a great gallery to work with. The first two paintings above are sold and the third, ‘How’s Your Commute’ is out visiting its potential new home waiting for approval for purchase. Thank you to those who visited the gallery and the show and purchased work by me. I’m always amazed and grateful when one of my paintings goes permanently out in to the world.

It’s spring and my gardens are calling me. It’s so hard to stay inside and paint when it’s a beautiful sunny 70 degree day! All my perennials are peeking through the mulch. I’ve planted spinach, lettuce, swiss chard and kale – the hearty greens that can take a little frost. Good thing because last weekend we had a 27 degree night. I did cover my herbs and a few of the perennials. The one thing I forgot were some houseplants that I had just moved to the porch. They took a hit and I had to cut back the frost bitten leaves and move the plants to the sick-ward. I’m certain they are not dead and will leaf back out soon. I’m so impatient when the first glimpse of spring arrives.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” -Margaret Atwood

Posted in folk art | 6 Comments

Short Stories

“What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions.” Margaret Atwood

The Fun House 24x24 - 4 inch squares (birch panels) acrylic, charcoal, Derwent pencils, oil pastels

Short Stories
24×24 – 4 inch squares (birch panels)
acrylic, charcoal, Derwent pencils, oil pastels

I titled this ‘Short Stories’ because I hope that each tile tells a little story. It’s a trip to the county fair or the circus or a childhood memory. It’s my wish that you can look at it many times and see different things. And my even stronger wish is that it makes you smile.

Right now these squares are glued on to cardboard. My husband is going to frame it and he says the frame will be as creative as the painting. I can’t wait to see it. He’s really busy with his work right now, but hopefully he can get to it soon. I will post photos when he’s finished.

“I had better come clean now and say that I do not believe that art (all art) and beauty are ever separate, nor do I believe that either art or beauty are optional in a sane society.” – Jeanette Winterson

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, folk art, painting | 8 Comments

Sold!

“What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The place to learn about your execution is in your execution. The best information about what you love is in your last contact with what you love. Put simply – your work is your guide.” -Bayless and Orland – ‘Art & Fear’

Sanctuary acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 24x24 birch panel

Sanctuary
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
24×24 birch panel

I am so happy this piece sold. It’s one of my favorite pieces. My gallery in Blue Ridge – High Country Art sold it this past week. YAY and thank you!

Here are some progress pictures on my collage:

This is a fun project, but taking a little longer than I thought it would. I need to finish it up,  because High Country Art wants to feature my work in their window. I will need to paint a 30×36 piece and at least two 24×24 pieces. That’s a lot of painting and she wants it by mid April. I can do that!

“We are mosaics. Pieces of light, love, history, stars . .  . Glued together with magic and music and words.” -Anita Krizzan

Posted in folk art | 12 Comments

On and Off the Easel

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen Covey

The Neighborhood acrylic and charcoal 20x16 birch panel

The Neighborhood
acrylic and charcoal
20×16 birch panel

I’ve been thinking about neighbors, neighborhoods, cities, countries, the world and how we all fail to see each other as we really are. We are so quick to judge and react. The other day driving, I honked at a vehicle that pulled out right in front of me. Thinking we all have blind spots and thought I was just not seen. Well, I got the finger for about a mile until the next stop sign when the passenger got out of the car and cussed me out — for honking! I did not respond and had my hand on my cell phone ready to dial 9-1-1 as she was walking toward me screaming at me. Thankfully Watson barked his deep bark and the woman got back in her car. I was astounded that I was treated that way for honking my horn. YIKES! We’ve got to be kinder to one another and it should start in our own neighborhoods.

WIP - Collage 24x24 - 4 inch squares

WIP – Collage
24×24 – 4 inch squares

My next project is a collage. I’ve looked at some artists’ works for inspiration:

The first piece is Cole Morgan, the next two pieces are quilts and the fourth piece is by Inez Storer. I lived in West Virginia for about twelve years (1978 – 1990) and worked for the Department of Culture and History. Every year the department had a juried quilt show that hung in the great hall. WOW – my favorite quilt changed daily. So for me to create a ‘quilt’ of sorts comes from years of admiring quilts and quilters. My husband’s family are all quilters – for generations.

I’m starting this project with 25 – 4 inch squares that I’ve glued to a piece of cardboard. After painting the collage, my husband will pop off the squares and frame it. He says his frame is going to be so spectacular we will have to put both our names on the finished piece. I am good with that.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” H.E. Luccock

Posted in folk art | 12 Comments

And The Pony Learned About Dance . . .

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle! – Alice — Lewis Carroll

And The Pony Learned About Dance acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 24x24 birch panel

And The Pony Learned About Dance
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
24×24 birch panel

Of course I continued to paint this piece — and I am so much happier with it. So the lonely little pony got some company  . . .

I believe animals communicate and experience joys just as we do . . . so as soon as the pony’s friends showed up, they celebrated each other with music and dance.

“Once upon a time when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten — the world is to be celebrated. -Terry Tempest Williams

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, folk art, music | 10 Comments

My Little Pony

“What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions.” -Margaret Atwood

My Little Pony acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 24x24 birch panel

My Little Pony
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
24×24 birch panel

I got this far in this painting a couple of days ago. I couldn’t decide if it was finished. I even penciled-in other elements and nothing seemed right. Art – to me – is a process of finding and losing and losing and finding and losing again, but I enjoy being on that edge of ‘getting lost’ and also of having control of my work. It’s a balance – it’s a place where I find most of my inspiration — right on that edge.

Most of the month of January we had sixty degree days here. Then this week winter happened. Today the high — the high is 16. We have only about an inch of snow on the ground, but because we’ve recently had rain — the world outside my door is a block of ice. Too cold. At least the sun is out and the sky is that beautiful winter blue. I hope you are warm wherever you are.

“The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.” -Terri Guillemets

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, drawing, folk art, painting | 8 Comments

Catching the Early Bird

“I love child things because there’s so much mystery when you’re a child. When you’re a child, something as simple as a tree doesn’t make sense. You see it in the distance and it looks small, but as you go closer, it seems to grow — you haven’t got a handle on the rules when you’re a child. We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experienced is a narrowing of the imagination.” -David Lynch

Catching The Early Bird To Town acrylics and charcoal 24x24 cradled birch panel

Catching The Early Bird 
acrylics and charcoal
24×24 cradled birch panel

This painting started with the big chicken. Then I added the rider and from there the painting took off. I wasn’t sure where the story was headed for a while. Then came the bus, the bike rider, the duck directing traffic . .  . houses started to appear in the background. Where are they all going? I’d like to follow them and find out!

“If I wanted to know where my ideas came from I wouldn’t be an imaginative writer, I’d be a scientist. My whole life has been spent daydreaming and out of those ideas and daydreams come stories. It doesn’t interest me where daydreams come from, what interests me is helping them grow and blossom into something different, some strange and wonderful tale of mystery and magic. Then again, if you ask a few scientists where they got their ideas from they might tell you they spent most of their life daydreaming and out of those daydreams came something different, some strange and wonderful discovery or invention.” -Garry Kilworth

Posted in acrylics, charcoal, folk art, painting | 8 Comments