The Entertainers!

“At the end of everything, they’ll pull you up and whisper in your ear, ‘Could you hear the music?’ And so many of us will have no idea what they mean.” Iain Thomas

The Entertainers acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 20x22 cradled birch panel

The Entertainers
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
20×22 cradled birch panel

There are so many people in my life who entertain me. I’m not talking about song and dance necessarily although there are some that do that well. No, I’m talking about those folks who keep me smiling – keep me entertained. Those folks who make my world better just by being in it.

There are certainly times when feel if I could be a juggler, tap-dancer or have the ability fly above it all, life would be easier some days. But what really makes it all better for me is my wonderful family and friends.

I’m getting ready to set-up a new studio space in our new townhouse. I wonder how my work will change? I’m looking forward to larger panels, more space and a new environment — city views instead of cows and goats and chickens.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” Azar Nafisi

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Studio News – Sales and a Work In Progress

“This is the real secret to life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.  And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”  – Alan Wilson Watts

It's All About The Dance (sold)

It’s All About The Dance (sold)

Just Trying To Find My Way Home (sold)

Just Trying To Find My Way Home (sold)

Dancing In The Street acrylics, (sold)

Dancing In The Street
acrylics, (sold)

The Prankster (sold)

The Prankster (sold)

 

The above four pieces sold this past week. I am thrilled!  Selling work allows me to make more work. In fact, selling is the one of the best inspirations. And I also have some great news. We closed on our (city) townhouse Friday. I will be using the entire basement space for my new studio. It will give me the opportunity to work bigger. Right now the biggest board I can comfortably fit in my current studio is 24×24. So many folks have asked me for larger pieces. Now I can work larger! I will also continue to create pieces in lots of different sizes.

Below is my current work in progress. Tentatively named ‘Juggling.’ You may be able to see the faint drawings that will be painted in or changed. There is also more color to add to the tent and possibly the sky. It’s very much a work in progress.

 

Work In Progress 'Juggling' 22x22 cradled birch panel

Work In Progress
‘Juggling’
22×22 cradled birch panel

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron fillings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”  -Steven Pressfield

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(Of) Mice and Music . . . .

“I assemble stories – me and a hundred million other people – at the sentence level. Not by coming up with a sweeping story line.” -Amy Hempel

(of) Mice and Music acrylics and charcoal 22x22 cradled birch panel

(of) Mice and Music
acrylics and charcoal
22×22 cradled birch panel

I paint stories. Sometimes I have the entire story in my head before I start. Sometimes I just have a title. This time though I painted the girl with the banjo and her dog – and they would not give up their story. This piece sat in my studio for days with the background and those two figures. Finally I added the outline of the buildings – still stuck. When I added the mice – it came alive for me and I finished it in a couple of hours. And of course, the title is from one of my favorite authors – John Steinbeck.

I’m extremely busy with life stuff right now and wouldn’t you just know, my gallery in Blue Ridge calls me almost daily for new work. We close on our townhouse Friday and then will need to spend a little time furnishing it. I’m setting up my studio first.

“Art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” -Saul Bellow.

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Dancing In The Street!

“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 & Orland (Art & Fear)

Dancing In The Street acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels 18x18 birch panel

Dancing In The Street
acrylics, charcoal, oil pastels
18×18 birch panel

I love summertime! There’s such a sense of freedom and spontaneity. I love the sound of kids playing in the distance – there’s laughter and lightheartedness. We all need the freedom to just play sometimes – to dance in the streets; stay up late; sleep-in; daydream. The freedom to just be. Let’s put our worries and deadlines aside. Let’s all go dance in the street!

“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” -Bonnie Friedman

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Happy Dance! Sold!!

“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” -Paul Strand

I am as amazed each time I sell a piece of my artwork as I was the first time I sold a piece. I am so happy that someone can connect with what I am trying to say.

Before painting, I rarely paid attention to process. I was taught from a young age that the only admirable goal was the finished product. Hurry and just get it done!

But I was always getting in trouble for daydreaming or moving too slowly. I didn’t realize before learning to paint that I look at the world a little differently. And learning to paint has finally shown me that it’s okay to constantly search for the meaning of things. It’s okay to realize rewards don’t necessarily come from the finished product, but from the integrity of the process – from the joy of the process – the joy of using my imagination.

I think the above quote is saying artists are always trying to interpret their world no matter where they are or what they are doing. It’s just the way they look at the world.

I didn’t start painting until a few years ago. I just celebrated my 65th birthday. I’ve spent a lot of years feeling quite square in all the world’s round holes. Feeling different. I think I was in third grade when a teacher sent a note home to my parents saying I had an over active imagination. Why wasn’t that encouraged? Instead I was probably handed another math problem to struggle through. I used to laugh and say it took me twenty years to grow-up and twenty more years to recover from that. But it is really true for me.

As parents we should help our children be the best at who they are, not our ill perceived concept of what society says is the best thing for them to do for ‘success.’

I am so happy I finally found paints. And I’m even more grateful and thankful that folks are purchasing my work. There is no better inspiration than to be accepted. Thank you!

These pieces sold over the last couple of weeks. I am always in my studio painting and always re-stocking my galleries. Please visit or call them if you are interested in any of my work. And again – thank you!

(click on the images to see them larger)

“An art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t an art at all – feeling is the principle, the beginning and the end; craft, objective, technique – all these are in the middle.” -Paul Cezanne

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New Gallery – Bennett Galleries In Nashville

“When you are describing, a shape or a sound or a tint; don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint; and learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.” –Lewis Carroll

I love that Lewis Carroll quote and to me it describes what I want from my paintings.  I hope you have to squint when you look at my work –  just a little mental squint. It’s my intention to give you just a hint of a story, slightly askew, so that you can bring in your own memory or see a different way of telling your own stories.

I dropped off the work below to my new gallery in Nashville, TN – Bennett Galleries. What a great place – wonderful people and gallery. And I actually sold a piece when I delivered it. YAY! And even more fun (my son) Luke went with me. We dropped off the work then visited a few shops and had a great lunch.

(click on the images to see full sized)

I’m also taking new work to High Country Art in Blue Ridge, GA. Cheryl has sold 12 pieces in the last two weeks! I better get busy painting. I am almost finished with an 18×18 piece and I have two more boards that size gessoed and ready to start. Good thing painting is my favorite thing to do -)

We’ve passed all the glitch-makers in buying our townhouse and are scheduled to close on June 19. I am going to set-up the entire (finished/daylight) basement for painting which means I can start making larger work! I’m looking forward to that.

Here’s the new piece headed to Blue Ridge –

The Poultry Watcher acrylics and charcoal 24x24 cradled birch panel

The Poultry Watcher
acrylics and charcoal
24×24 cradled birch panel

“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

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Aging (an annual birthday posting)

This is an annual birthday re-post. Sunday is my birthday. I plan on taking a few days away from my studio to enjoy family and celebrate a wonderful year. Thank you all for helping this year be one of the best!

 

“At times it seems that I am living my life backwards, and that at the approach of old age my real youth will begin. My soul was born covered with wrinkles— wrinkles that my ancestors and parents most assiduously put there, and that I had the greatest trouble removing.” —Andre Gide

Aging

So quick another birthday

always a time of reflection

I look back with

a heart so full

my face all deep wrinkles

a road map of memories

 calmer wiser rounder grayer

yet still full of dreams

full of hope

of longing 

still a young girl

behind these old eyes

it seems

“Age should not have it’s face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.” -Ralph B. Perry

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New Work Headed to High Country Art/Blue Ridge, GA

“The job, as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it.” -Maria Popova

Well there can be no better news for an artist than hearing their work has sold. Coming home from vacation and getting that news was thrilling — but then, I realized that meant I needed to get to work. As I said in my last post, I returned home with a terrible cold and as you all know, coming back from vacation means laundry, grocery shopping and all those tasks it takes to re-claim your space. Mine will take even longer because my son and a few of his male friends used our cabin for their vacation – kayaking, playing cards, emptying my pantry . . . lol.

But the most important task is to make new work for my gallery. This is busy tourist season. Cheryl has given me a wall and her front window and I can’t leave her empty-handed. I think some people think the life of an artist is carefree – we sleep late, ponder and paint, but actually painting is my job. It requires hours of work and a lot of that work is non-painting work.

Anyway, the laundry and a clean house can wait. I headed to the grocery store, so we could at least eat and then stayed in my studio for hours cranking out work. These pieces are small, but I am working on some larger ones as well.

I head to Nashville to Bennett Galleries to drop off work to them on Tuesday. We are still in the process of buying our townhouse. Is there anything more aggravating than trying to buy a home? Why do they make it so difficult – from inspections to appraisals to all the paperwork – it’s so annoying.

Here’s the work headed to High Country Art:

DuckDuck-NoGoose:JudyShreve

Duck Duck – No Goose acrylics 9×7 birch panel

A Girl And Her Dog acrylics 10x10 birch panel

A Girl And Her Dog
acrylics
10×10 birch panel

Take Your Pony To Town acrylics and oil pastels 10x10 birch panel

Take Your Pony To Town
acrylics and oil pastels
10×10 birch panel

Sneaking Out acrylics 12x12 birch panel

Sneaking Out
acrylics
12×12 birch panel

Out Picking Apples acrylics and charcoal 12x16 birch panel

Out Picking Apples
acrylics and charcoal
12×16 birch panel

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” –Vincent Van Gogh

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Sneaking Out! Gallery News

“I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here.” – Charles Bukowski

Sneaking Out! acrylics & charcoal 12x12 birch panel

Sneaking Out!
acrylics & charcoal
12×12 birch panel

Did you ever sneak out as a kid? Or better yet try to sneak back in? Now that I’ve been a parent to a teenager, I realize I was never as smart or as sneaky as I thought I was at the time. How do parents always know?

This past weekend was a big arts festival in Blue Ridge, GA. People flock to our mountain communities and with the art festival, a lot of people are up here looking to purchase art. My work is still in the window at High Country Art. And I just heard from Cheryl, the gallery owner – she sold seven of my paintings this past week – five just this weekend! Amazing news!

Only problem is I have been very busy trying to gather all the paperwork to buy our town home in Atlanta. We took a week long vacation to Asheville (NC) and I came home with a terrible cold. I am also trying to produce enough work for my new gallery – Bennett Galleries in Nashville, TN. I am delivering that work on June 2 and now Cheryl is asking for replacements for the pieces that sold — a happy problem indeed. It’s just difficult to paint when you’re sneezing.

I find it’s not as easy to be in that imaginative place when I have so much going on. For me, it takes a certain amount of solitude allowing me the freedom to let my mind wander. I need to be able to play – play with my thoughts, play with my sketchbook and images – that’s how I find my creative space. What works for you?

“Creativity is not the possession of some special talent. It’s about the willingness to play.” -John Cleese

Posted in acrylics, art philosophy, folk art, galleries, painting, rabbits | 8 Comments

Elephants Down In Birdland and Gallery News

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

Elephants Down In Birdland mixed media 24x24 cradled birch panel

Elephants Down In Birdland
mixed media
24×24 cradled birch panel

It’s been crazy around my house lately. A couple of months ago we decided to put our house on the market. Bob still drives 1 1/2 hours each way to work at least three days a week and has been doing it for over three years. That’s a lot of miles – a lot of time wasted, too much fuel burned, and too many miles on a vehicle. When we first moved here, he thought he would be able to work from home. That just didn’t happen. So we talked with realtors, signed contracts to sell and put our house on the market.

But it only took one Sunday working in the garden and shaking winter loose from the yard for us to change our minds. And when you put your house on the market, you fix and paint and polish everything. Our house looked and felt great. We knew we had to think of another way to accomplish easing that commute. We cancelled the contract to sell our mountain home and went in search of a small townhouse close to Bob’s office. So now we are in the middle of buying property, gathering all those documents, scheduling inspections and appraisals. It’s difficult to live in my imaginative, painting world when dealing with all this. And I’ve also planted my garden.

I’m happy about this decision. I’ve actually missed certain aspects of city life and happy to have the best of both worlds – at least until Bob retires in a few years.

And just to make things more interesting I’ve been accepted into another gallery. One I have wanted to be in for a long while — Bennett’s Gallery in Nashville, TN. I am thrilled! My gallery in Blue Ridge is also starting to get busy again, as mountain tourist season has started again. The piece below sold this past week. I wish I could personally thank folks who purchase my work. I am always so moved and grateful when someone shares one of my paintings in their home.

Catching The Early Bird (sold)

Catching The Early Bird (sold)

So if you don’t hear from me in awhile, hopefully I’m busy painting – but I could be packing or unpacking. I plan on setting up a studio in both places. I’m just worried that inevitably what I’m looking for at any particular moment will not be at the house where I am. That’s one of those ‘murphy’s-laws,’ right?

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller

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