Thursday, May 31, 2007

Framing art

I have been busy, getting all my framing figured out for Artwalk, which is Salida's biggest art event of the year. I have been asked to be the featured artist at Dakota's Bistro, downtown, and of course I need to supply cultureclash with some nice new work for the event. I am framing about 22 of my new monotypes! You should see the framing bill! Not all of the work will be left here in Salida. I will have enough work so that I can take some with me, too. That will be good.

I have also listed some new things on my etsy site, including this little watercolor nude, called "Serenity". I have gotten together a number of new pieces, which I will be listing on etsy gradually over the next few days. So keep checking back, if you see something you like. Etsy has started to pick up for me, probably because I have been putting more time into it, and have been listing more new items. So I am excited about that.

I didn't pack a single box yesterday, but I will today. I just had to get all of that art stuff figured out first. I also took digital photos of my biggest monotypes, so that once they have sold, I still have a record of them. It has taken me a while to figure out how to get good photos of my art, but I am getting closer. My main concern is getting the colors to be closer to the original. You can see what you think, as here is one from yesterday. This one is called "Salvation".

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Packing has begun

Matthias (husband) and I told each other we were going to wait until after the weekend to begin packing. As it turns out, we didn't! It's too hard to have a big project hanging over you without getting started. So we have begun chipping away at it, little by little. So far, so good. We are definitely going to need more boxes.

I have not got much to tell you, except that I have listed some new items on etsy: I had some sales over the weekend, so it was time to get some more art on the site. I have also added some art greeting cards, and more will be coming soon. You never know when you will need a to have a card. I am trying to decide if I should put some more framed art on the etsy site. If any of you have some feedback on that, please share! Thanks.

Here is a family photo of our shadows. Reunited!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another snowy day

Even though I am a couple days behind with this news, I have to tell you that it snowed, yes, SNOWED on Wednesday night. So on our hike Thursday morning, I got a chance to take yet MORE photos of snow on juniper bushes. There wasn't any snow in town, but I only had to hike up about 600 feet to encounter some of that lovely white stuff. There were some complaints in town about the cold and icky weather, but I have to admit, I do love snow. I just wish it wasn't accompanied by cold! ha. It was really beautiful, with low hanging clouds, obscuring the tops of the peaks. What little of the mountains you could see were frosted with a bit of white. Unbeatable! The other benefit to all of this moisture is that everything is turning brilliantly green. Here is a photo of brand new oak leaves, with one old one that just won't give up.

After the hike with Mr. Pono the dog, I piled all my paper and ink into the car and headed over to my friend Carla's house. She and I printed monotypes up at AVAC Thursday. It was a good day, even if a little short. We were both feeling too busy and tired to do a full day. It was still fun, and here is one of the more successful prints I did. I used a copper wire to make the lavendar line in the bottom part of the print. I really like how that turned out. I do need a title for this one, if any of you have a suggestion. I have been working a lot on using new colors and color combinations, but sometimes the best colors come when I am cleaning my palette. So I decided to photograph the partially cleaned palette for a reference. Cool, isn't it?

Matthias, my husband, is finally home! I drove to Denver yesterday and picked him up at DIA. I am so happy to have him home again. Pono loves it, too. We are a complete family, once more. Matthias has vacation right now, so he will be able to stay here and help with the move, much to my great relief. I am not good at packing, but he is good at it, and fast. Yay!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Long Goodbye

I have yet to pack a single box. The way I look at it, if you give yourself a month to pack, you will be packing for a month. If you give yourself 2 weeks to pack, you only have to pack for 2 weeks. So why prolong the agony??? That's my excuse, and I am firmly sticking to it.

Last night, Geraldine Alexander, who is the owner of cultureclash gallery here in Salida, had a going away gathering for me. It was a wonderful thing to get together with so many beloved friends. At one point, I simply sat and looked at all of those faces, thinking that perhaps I could burn them into my brain, so they would always be with me. Which they will. I hate saying goodbye, so I wouldn't say it last night. No point in a party where the guest of honor becomes a weepy mess, sitting in corner somewhere!! Here I am, between Carla Sonheim and Rich Tyler, both very talented artists. Geraldine is behind us, clowning around. I am wearing a knitted scarf, created by Linda Lovell, another amazing talent, who owns a gallery and frame shop called Chivvis and Lovell, downtown.

It was a wonderful evening, and I am grateful to have had the chance to be in this little town of Salida, and meet so many generous, creative, intelligent, and unique people. Thanks to all of you who came. By the way, the only reason I look so tall in this photo is because I was standing on my toes!!! Whatever it takes, right? The photos were taken by the beautiful and talented Padgett McFeely.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The hunt for a house

Sorry about the long silence, everyone. I was in the Coachella Valley and Yucca Valley (California) with Matthias all week, looking for a new home. It was an exhausting search, and after looking at way too many properties, we still have not found a new house. We have decided to rent! We didn't find a rental house, either, but we figured we could probably do that over the internet, sight unseen. As long as we can find a house that we can rent for a short time, that is. It's a long story.

I met Matthias in Phoenix, AZ last Tuesday. We had one of our cars there, and we needed to get it to Palm Springs. So after spending some time with some friends, we got in the car and drove the 4 hours. More accurately, I drove while Matthias slept. He had just gotten back from Hong Kong, had been up for way too many days/hours in row, and needed to rest. I enjoyed the sight of the saguaro cactus along the way.

We spent the next day in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree (which is only about 5 minutes from Yucca Valley), driving around, getting a feeling for that area. What I like about that area, versus Palm Springs, is that it is about 3,000 feet higher, and therefore, about 9 or 10 degrees cooler. I think that might be a good thing. It is also more affordable than Palm Springs. The disadvantage is that it is further away from the primary shopping and action of Palm Springs. So it is somewhat isolated. That wouldn't be a new thing for us, so I don't necessarily see too much of a disadvantage there. I love the area, in terms of its ruggedness and beauty. I also found out from the realtor there that Bev Doolittle has a house in the area. How interesting is that?!? For some reason, I always pictured Bev Doolittle living in Wyoming or Montana or someplace like that. Don't ask me why.

Anyway, we spent a couple of days looking in the Palm Springs area for houses, and did look at properties in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree, as well. Despite our best efforts, and the help of the two Realtors we had working with us there, the perfect house just didn't show itself to us. I must say, coming from Colorado, the housing market in California is a shock to the pocketbook. !!! The one house that seems to have left a mark in my brain was the one with the most beautiful backyard. I loved that backyard, but the house was less than noteworthy. We aren't going to buy a house for just the backyard!!! Pools are so inviting when it's 100 degrees F outside...

Our Salida house closes on June 15th, so I will be focusing on packing and saying good bye to little Salida. Hopefully, some art will be squeezed in soon. When I do have some new art to show, you will be the first ones to see it, as always!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tulip Envy and other signs of spring

It has been so wonderfully warm and sunny for the past couple of days. I even broke out a pair of shorts today! My neighbors across the street all have beautiful gardens, and one in particular has the most incredible tulips right now. I don't have a single tulip, or much of anything blooming in my yard for that matter. So I crept across the street and took some photos of those tulips I've been coveting. Wonderful! I was thinking I should print out this photo on my giant paper, and hang it out in front of my house. Instant Flowers!

It was a busy weekend, with all kinds of art openings and events. On Friday night, there was an opening for my friend, Tim Davis, at the AVAC gallery in Buena Vista. Tim Davis lives in Colorado Springs, and is an amazing photographer who does these beautiful abstract photographs of old train cars, ship hulls and other things. Here he is with my friends Dee Sapper and Tammy Grubisha. Both Tammy and Dee are also artists.

Another series of openings last night in downtown Salida, called Second Saturday, and I went out for that, too. There is so much talent in this valley. It is something I know I will miss terribly. Our house is in escrow now, and it looks like we will be leaving Colorado in June. I am going to meet Matthias in California this week, to do some more "home hunting".

I am leaving you with a fun photo I took of my shadow, with the shadow of Pono, sitting right next to me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Snow in Spring

Yesterday, I woke up to 3 inches of heavy, wet snow on the ground. This is May, for crying out loud! At first, I was pretty grumpy about it, but of course, the dog needed his walk, so I put on a bunch of clothes, and off we went. I am so thankful for Pono the dog. If I hadn't been compelled to walk him, I would have missed out on one of the most magical snow wonderlands ever. Because the snow was so heavy, all of the trees and bushes were squashed down. We were hiking through these tunnels created by the weighed down limbs. As we climbed up higher, we entered into the low clouds, and everything was softened by the fog. Then, towards the end of the hike, the sun did get brave enough to peek out, and it lit up the white, white snow. It was fantastic! I was extremely wet by the time I got home, but it was worth it. It's still pretty cold this morning, but it is expected to warm up throughout the week.

I did sit down with my pastels, and touched up the green katydid, along with some of the other monotypes, from the other day. So this is how it turned out. Much better! Now the antennae pop out more. What a contrast this green bug is to all that snow! The intense spring green, and the idea of a bug like that, buried somewhere beneath the heavy wet snow. Funny!

We also got an offer on our house, which I signed, so if all goes well, we will be moving the first week of June. So it looks like I am going to have to shift into packing mode. UCK. At least I am enjoying being in Salida a bit longer.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Spring in the Arkansas Valley

I have been enjoying spring immensely. On the morning walks with Pono the dog, there are visual delights aplenty. We've had warm sunny days as well as cloudy, wet days, but the main ingredient in these days is the absence of the winter cold. I love that. I have run across blooming trees, trees with brand new leaves, bright and green. I even saw two geese with 5 goslings in the river over the weekend. So fun. Here are some of the photos I have snapped, including one of a broken robin's eggshell that I stumbled upon next to the river. Aren't the colors intoxicating? That blue Colorado sky is almost TOO MUCH sometimes.

The monotypes from Monday still aren't completely dry. I couldn't resist scanning one more anyway, just so you could see. I am pondering a title, and so far I have thought of naming it "Drinks on the lawn". Ambiguous, yes. For some reason, the ink blobs become figures for me (everything is figurative in my art!), although I must admit that this one is candy for the imagination. Which is why I thought my title might spark some lively discussion. Or not. I think coming up with titles for abstract work is challenging, because I want to hint at the possibilities, without providing interpretation. I want people to come up with their own ways of interpreting the art, because that is the part that fascinates me. Maybe I should stick to "abstract #1" and generic titles like that. I have tried that, but it doesn't seem to work for me. I think titles like that are too generic, and don't provide any sense of where the work comes from.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Silencing the Critic

I pulled some more monotypes yesterday. I find it interesting with art, how some days are fun and exhilarating. Those days are in stark contrast to the days when the creating of art is more like a bloodletting. Yesterday was one of those excruciating days. I almost gave it all up after only an hour. I was unhappy with everything I was doing, nothing seemed to be working well, I was having trouble focusing on what I was doing, the colors all seemed wrong, etc. Ugh. It felt like I was using the blood from my veins, instead of ink. Yet, I kept telling myself to keep going. I thought of the words of Julia Cameron (from her book, The Artists' Way) when she talks about the inner critic, and how if we listen to the critic, we stop doing art and become blocked. So I ignored the inner critic - who was yelling at me to pack up and go home. I managed to stay up there for a full day. The best part is that when I got home and pulled out the work I had done, I really liked what I saw. Here is one of the monotypes from yesterday - maybe not my favorite one - but the only one that was dry enough to put in the scanner.

This one feels very figurative to me, and I like how moody it is. I have been experimenting quite a lot with these monotypes, which means there is a high fatality factor (work that doesn't turn out.) It also means that when the risk pays off, it seems to pay big. That is such a triumphant feeling. I will post more from yesterday, when they dry a little more. I am using a lot more ink, and it is oil based ink, so it has been taking them several days to dry completely.

It sounds like there might be an offer on our house this week. I am excited, and also a little sad. I like our house, and I know once an offer becomes a contract, things will probably move pretty quickly. Then I will have to say goodbye to my little town, Salida, where I have dear friends. As always, it is the people that I find hard to leave. I have never had so many artist friends in my life, and I will really miss that. Despite that, I also know that we are moving on to the next adventure.