Monday, June 11, 2012

Has it really been a year since I posted here? wow! just amazing how times flies.
A year is a long time! What the heck is wrong with me? ...

Well things are different. I teach painting 3x a week at my new teaching studio. I finally get my own studio to myself... and the pets ;)  I didn't realize how much I missed just having a space for my own art projects and mess. 

Classes are going on well. I just started a kids class for summer and hope that it's something I can continue long term. I really like working with kids.

New small works have also been painted and will post pics soon. I am also working on my soldier son's portrait and a long term commission that I have been putting off for way to long.

Overall I have been painting more than I have ever before...and consistently at that! I know!! ;)
Getting rid of the unnecessary time wasters helped but it wasn't easy being honest with myself what constitutes a time drain. I've been on the verge of canceling my favorite channels but I made a deal with myself. If I can paint at least 3x a week I would let myself take the weekend off. There is plenty of chores and family things to eat up a weekend quite quickly so I do not feel guilty but if a whole week goes by without picking up a paint brush ... I end up feeling awfully guilty and pissy.

My oldest son has not deployed to Afghanistan as of yet. Things were pretty rough for me the good part of last year not knowing where he was going to end up. He is at Fort Carson, CO now and is loving being in the Army. I am so grateful that he loves it. We text almost daily... I might even say that we talk more now than when he lived at home... go figure ;)

Another small but significant news this year is that I got a new laptop. A 13 inch mac air! I've been wanting a mac for decades and my husband finally caved in. He's the IT guy so he had to approve any computer purchases and major switch overs. He does say he feels a bit betrayed by me leaving the PC world.

Lets see what else is new? oh Mr Squeaky's thyroid issue is being controlled by feeding him a special diet. He has not had to have radiation treatment. I would say his food cost about as much as the treatment would cost anyway :/

Well that's been my overall summary of things for now. I will be posting pictures of paintings to catch up the photo log real soon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Being sick sucks! and other art stuff and non art stuff....

Sitting in bed journaling because that's about all I can do this week. I got hit with an awful flu and 4 days later I have the cough from hell. I'm trying not to talk so I can save my voice for tmrw's lessons. I hope I don't have to cancel.

I've been reading The Artist Guide by Jackie Battenfield while just sitting around with my head in a fog. I think I'm ready to start venturing out into the vast world. I had been reading more crafty books about turning your hobby into a business but this book actually talks about how to write an artist statement, apply for grants and how to approach dealers. The writer was a gallery director turned artist. I still can't believe I have not done these critical artist steps before. It has taken me this long to feel that I am ready to take my work seriously. Just amazes me how deep our fears go... but fear of what? What is so scary about promoting my own work and having fun with like minded creatives? well....

Black Corset by Nancy Cuevas
Just a few months ago one of my paintings was posted on Women Painting Women blog and it got some very interesting responses. I love that my painting causes controversy even though I did not perceive it in that way while I was working on it. It never entered my mind for once that someone might take offense to what I find beautiful.

What I love about this is that I did not know any of the artists or art collectors that posted defending my piece. It was amazing to see how everyone felt compelled to post their opinion without having any knowledge of me or why I had painting it. Just on the painting's own merit! That says a lot to me about this piece. It has a strong presence and statement. Makes me very Proud! :)

I have been working on some goals for this new year (yes I realize it's mid Feb... I was slow at getting to my yearly goals this past month). I have yet to finalize them and print them out but in general I know I want to get serious about my art as a business. I also want to  keep teaching in a more formal way by adding more times and different ways to reach students. Long term goals would be to either have a bigger space to teach more at once or teach online... via skype? hmmm.... maybe just putting up simple lessons on a blog for now will do ;)

After a month long break from teaching I found myself missing my classes. Friday just isn't Friday without having great discussions about painting, personal triumphs or woes and just good old gossip ;)

There is a tiny co-op group that I'm currently considering joining; Village of Gallery Arts in West Portland. With my schedule and home obligations I think this could be doable for now. They do not have room to accommodate large paintings so this will only be for my small works.

My oldest son leaves for boot camp in 19 days. We are all wary yet excited for him. ( ok more wary than excited but we don't want him to notice.) My youngest son turns 16 this wknd! We are so excited for him to be hitting driving age! (so not true!)

Mr. Squeakums is 13 yrs old
On the down side we just found out that our medical insurance has doubled. Yes.. I said doubled!!  On top of that our oldest cat Squeak stopped eating his food which is very strange because he's been very food motivated. We were suspecting that his teeth were hurting because he is 13 yrs old and had lost some teeth not to long ago. But after a $400 vet visit and a call from the vet confirmed it... he has Hyperthyroidism and will need iodine radiation treatments. As I read through the paperwork given to us at the vet about what can cause Hyperthyroidism, one of the main suspects is BPA lined canned food. let me get this straight...  Last year the vet tells me to only feed my male cats canned food when they were diagnosed with FLUTD (crystals in the urine from hard food) and now one of them has Hyperthyroidism from the can food? I should have know better. I've been harping on canned foods for human consumption on a friends blog but have deliberately ignored the fact that twice a day I open a can  of food for my two males cats knowing that it's lined with the evil plastic liner. :(  (Now I will be looking up cat food recipes online...sigh).

Squeak while I paint :)
Reminds me of the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin. Just when you think things are going your way somethings come around to burst your happy bubble.  Gotta love that roller coaster ride... up and down...up and down ...are we having fun yet? Ummm. No! I know Mr. Squeakums isnt having any fun :(

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lil Lucky Featured on FARP (Fabulous Animal Rescue Project)

I came across a great project called Fabulous Animal Rescue Project on Etsy.
I submitted little lucky and they gracefully accepted it. :)eee!

Here's my featured print Lil Lucky

Thanks FARP for helping little creatures! I'm so glad to be a part of this and that I found like minded people that will help in supporting my work!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I think I've passed the Cross Roads... finally!

It just dawned on me that I named this blog "Paint Journal" but I never really talk about my process or what is going on with my life as I paint. So I will try to summarize what has been going on for the past oh say two to three years or so.

I was painting with a great group of artist in Portland Oregon from 2004-2008. North Portland to be exact at the Falcon Art Community. It was great! So much to do and so many great people and studied under one of the most charismatic teachers I've ever known Alexander Rokoff.
This time of my life was absolutely great as an artist. I learned so much! I was assisting in workshops, running groups and even beginning to teach beginning painting! I felt like I was on top of the world but when I was still and journaling something inside me, some little voice... was telling me that I needed to pull away and work on my own painting.  I was so busy providing and facilitating others to paint that I was forgetting that the reason I was doing it all for in the first place... I wanted to paint.

So the urge to leave started to grow... I had to figure out how to withdraw without severing the ties that I took so long to build. I had to find my way back to myself.  I knew no one would understand because I myself did not understand why I was feeling this way. I helped build this great creative community that I had to now step away from. This was one of the most painful things I have had to do.

But here I am about 3 years later. It has taken me much longer than I could have imagined to get back into the groove of painting consistently and enjoying what I do without second guessing myself at every step.

I am now surrounded by a handful of students and artist friends. I teach on Fridays and meet with my art support group friends once a month to talk about what we are dealing with and review / critique our work. It's a great life and rhythm but it did take time to get here. I've stepped out of my comfort zone and have gotten to meet some really great artist like Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Michelle Dunnaway, Daniel Keys and Gabriel Mark. I don't think I would have met them if I hadn't stepped away from the community without feeling disloyal in some way.

Now that I am at home..well I'm not surrounded by gorgeous models like I was before...but mostly I'm surrounded by my pets; two beagles, Daisy and Snoopy, three cats, Squeaky, Lucky and Toby.  I do get a model to sit for me about twice a month when I run a small painting group at home or when we chip in to hire a model at my art support group meeting. And sometimes..rarely but it does happen I can get one of my boys to sit for me. This I cherish more than you know because he is shipping out to boot camp in March. He has joined the Army for 8 years and I have no idea how this will be affecting me and my family once he's gone.

I love my life and hope to always keep painting no matter how difficult it gets in the up coming years. So there. I have shared more than I ever thought I would have but I feel that everything has worked out for the best.

I will try to write more about what is going on in my head and life from now on. I think I just had to process what had happened for myself before putting out there in the world. Life is a trip. Just when you think you got it just like you want it... what you want changes!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Mr. Hyde" Oil on canvas panel 3.5 x 5

Here's a tiny painting of my cat Toby. To see progression of this painting visit my cigar box painting blog here!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cigar Box Easel Upgrades :)

added a glass pallete and brush holder holes in the box

Lil Serena on Velvet Chair

wip 8x10