Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Brad Teare

Brad Teare, Oil on Canvas, 2001, 11x14

Brad Teare, Oil on Canvas, 2001, 8x10

Doug and I moved to Utah in 1993. He had a share in a holographic company in Logan, which he had been working with on a consulting basis. We decided to move to Utah in order for him to put all of his energy into getting the company off the ground (it worked, as it was eventually bought by duPont). I was none too pleased about moving out there however, and it sure took awhile for us to adjust. But we started having babies, meeting other parents and we also became involved in the community. When I started to do volunteer work for a non-profit arts organization, I met all kinds of artists, performers and dancers. They were my people! While I was on the board of directors I worked with an artist, Brad Teare. He did these wonderful woodcuts which Doug and I both really admired. The first piece of art that Doug ever gave me was one of Brad's black ink woodcuts (pictured below). That purchase was the beginning of our art collection and gave us both the itch to buy more art. Brad also worked as an illustrator and a few years later wrote, illustrated and published a book that we are happy to have a signed copy of. And a few years after that, Brad told me that he had been working on plein aire paintings. I was definitely intrigued and I visited his home to see what he had been doing. We sat on the floor of his living room and he leaned about 10 or 12 pieces up against the sofa. It was very casual! When I saw them, I knew right away that I needed one and since I couldn't decide on just one, I went home with two.

I love these paintings. They have a van Gogh-ish feel, with thick, juicy brush strokes and I love the sparkly bits of color that come together to create a tree, a field, a road. Looking at Brad's paintings, I am reminded of the value of unexpected color, something I often forget about with my tendency towards color fields.

Anyway, we moved from Utah to NY in 2003. A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Brad to an opening in NYC, where his work would be featured. And as is the way of this small art world, the event just so happens to be the same one that Stacey is in as well. And coincidentally, I had planned to be in the city the weekend of the opening, so I was pretty excited to go and visit with Brad AND meet a fellow blogger. Alas, I have had to cancel my trip down there, but Doug is in the city doing a trade show and he is under strict orders to go to the opening, see Brad and his wife and also to track down Stacey and say hi.

PS. I am only feeling a little sorry for myself, here at home in the snow with the kids and the chickens, with frozen pizza for dinner while everyone else is living it up in New York, looking at art, going to gallery openings and eating sushi. Heh.

Fish Totem, by Brad Teare

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good News and a Dead Mouse

Leading The Way, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x36

Pretty exciting news today! I have been included in the New Acquisitions section on the website of the gallery in New York City, Multiple Impressions, that has been trying me out. Go see three of my paintings here.

Of course this step forward is balanced out by the realization that there is definitely a dead mouse somewhere in my studio. I suspected it yesterday, based on smell and today I am sure. I have tried to look for it (like I really want to find it), but there is so much crap piled everywhere. Finding a rotting little mouse corpse will be like finding a needle in a haystack. I tried to get our dog to help locate it, but all she wants to do is lay on top of the radiator and get baked. Heh. What a life.

Maybe I'll just stay out of my studio until the smell dissipates. Eventually I'll find an old dried up thing which would be much less traumatic all around.

Monday, February 26, 2007


This underpainting has been sitting in my studio for at least a month. I haven't felt inclined to work on it, but perhaps I will soon. I am putting it up today, because it's well, red.

Well, as if my last post about girl scout cookies (thanks to those who are buying some and I am still taking orders, by the way) wasn't far enough off the topic of art, today I am going a bit further. I will warn you right now that this topic will be about my hair, so if that is too trivial for any of you, just go on ahead and close the page. I will not be offended, I promise.

Like most girls, I have always wanted the kind of hair that I did not have. It's been awhile since I have actually seen it, but I think my natural hair is medium brown, the mousy kind of brown (now there is a bit of grey mixed in) and it is straight as stick. I spent most of the 80's getting perms in order to have the curly hair that I thought was my birthright. Around 1987 or so, when I was in college, I started to get my hair colored red, which seemed to be exactly right for me. I couldn't pay my rent half the time or cover the phone bill, but by god, I always managed to scrape up enough money to get my hair done! Sometimes it seemed as that's all I had going for me-nice hair.

Over the years, we have moved a lot and I have had many different people do the color. I stopped getting perms long ago, but the hair color has always been a constant. I had a specific formula that I gave to each new hairdresser and while there have been a few modifications, it was always red, red, red.

Here's an art connection: More than a few people have noticed that the overall red/orange color in my work, which is actually the underpainting, is strikingly similar to my hair color. This is a coincidence, or at the very least a very unconscious decision on my part. I feel a bit embarrassed when it is mentioned, worrying that people might think I am so in love with my own hair color that I would use it as a basis for my work. Um, except, well I kind of am, in love with my hair color, that is.

Since we moved up here though, I have had trouble with it. The hair color would look great for a week or two, but then would start to fade to an orangey color, which while not horrible, wasn't exactly what I had in mind either. I suspect our icky well water is the culprit, high in iron and sulfur, and since getting a filtration system installed is pretty low on our home improvement list, I began to think that I should try to switch to a different color, one that wouldn't be so affected by our water and one that would last longer. The reds are notoriously short-lived anyway. So all is very quiet here and because I don't have much going on for a few months, (good grief, I am so vain!) I thought I'd try a different color.

On Saturday I went in and discussed colors with my hairdresser/collector (she has purchased several of my paintings)and we agreed on a nice brown with red highlights. The color is beautiful, but it is so dark! There is no chance of anyone ever saying I am a redhead now and I can't believe that that bothers me. It has been a huge part of my identity for so long and even I am surprised at how attached I am to being a redhead. I have gone through so many changes over the years and silly as it may be, my hair has been a constant element for me. That never occurred to me until now.

But change can be good and I am going to spend some time trying to adjust to being a brunette. Not much can be done for the time being anyway, because of how dark the color is and I don't want to totally wreck my hair trying to lighten it. I do think I will keep trying to find the right shade of reddish brown though, though it will take some time I guess.

I may have to buy new clothes though. My whole wardrobe is geared towards red hair further proving that everything is all about the hair here in Tracyland. Heh. And I'd put a picture up, but I am totally not ready for that yet. I seldom even put a picture of me up with my comfy old red hair. Baby steps, ok? First I need to leave the house and let my real life friends see me.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thin Mints, Anyone?

Does anyone out there want to buy Girl Scout cookies? Seriously. They are $3.50 per box and I will ship them (US only-I must draw the line somewhere) to you for free.

I have two girls who are in scouts, we live in the middle of nowhere, and there is 27 stupid feet of stupid snow on the ground. Taking orders via my blog and paying for the shipping (did I mention that already?) seems much easier than trudging through the snow, door to door, only to find that they already ordered from the neighbor girl, who is much more industrious than we are.

My favorites are Caramel De-Lites, which used to have the much more interesting, but politically incorrect name of Samoas. In April, just around the time that I start stressing about how I am going to look in shorts in the summer, those damn things come in and mess me all up.

But surely you won't have that problem. Email me privately if you are interested in buying cookies. Really. I am serious. I'll pay for the shipping.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Maybe Next Time

Aqua Green, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x30

I have been keeping tabs on the workshop schedule at the National Academy in NYC. Wolf Kahn usually teaches a workshop there in late winter and I was hoping to be able to take it. Finally it showed up on the website and was set for this coming weekend, February 24&25. After looking at our schedule I realized that I could go to the city that weekend and so when the registration began on December 18, I called at 9am. Busy. I tried again. Still busy. When I finally got through about 20 minutes later, I was told that the class was full and I would be put on the waiting list. I chatted with the lady on the phone, hoping to butter her up a bit, but she told me that there had been a line of people waiting to register at the office, since 5am. It seemed clear that I had no chance to get in this year, and I was surprisingly disappointed. Actually taking the workshop seemed like a pain in the neck, dragging pastels and other materials down to the city on the train, on the subway, in the snow, etc, but I was so looking forward to meeting Mr. Kahn.

I'll try again next year, however I guess there is a good chance that he won't be teaching too many more workshops, given his age. But maybe I'll pull out my pastels and play around with them a bit this weekend. That would be nice.

PS. For those of you who may be new readers here, I have written about Wolf Kahn here and here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Leading the Way, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x36

Today will be a brief little nothing of a post. The kids are home this week for winter break, so including the three snow days, we are heading towards 12 days of harmony and togetherness. Heh. Actually we are all going a bit mental from all that, so I am going to get everyone out of the house this afternoon to do Something! Anything! Nothing!

I have a few hours this morning though, and will try to finish up a few of the larger sized paintings that I have been (slowly) working on. I also really need to get some of the work shipped out or delivered to the galleries who are waiting for more work. I am running into serious storage issues and have paintings stacked and/or leaning all over the house. Kinda has a warehouse feeling around here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sold My Soul to Rock and Roll

Enveloped, 2007, Oil on Panel, 30x36

Steven Larose asked me yesterday, in response to my remark about selling my soul, "how much does a soul go for these days?" I left a flip response, but I sure did think about quite a few more serious responses. The real answer is somewhere in between flip and serious, I think. While copying myself isn't my favorite thing, I don't really mind doing it either. Even when making few, if any changes in a piece, there is always still a challenge involved for me. There is always something new to explore, to see, to feel, despite, or maybe because of the more narrow parameters. In addition, repeating a painting keeps me painting, it makes a client happy, and it helps me pay a few bills, all of which have value to me.

So I don't feel as if I have sold my soul at all. I am perfectly capable of making a decision about where to draw the line for myself. And this is where taking a big long break to raise my kids and do other things has come in handy. During those years, I learned that I can do a number of things well, besides painting. I am not desperate for success, for recognition, or even to make a living at art. Those things would be lovely, of course and getting them because of my painting IS my first choice. And I don't deny that I feel the drive to achieve professional success. However, I now know that I don't have to put up with crap to get that, if I don't want to and I can if I do want to.

Today's paintings are based on a scene that I really love. I have probably posted them before, but I am putting them all up together this time. I keep painting it with the intent of changing the colors at least, but I always end up going back to the same combinations. Because I have found a strong connection and I want to express that.

That is why I am doing all of this.

Individuality, 2006, Oil on Panel, 16x20

Tree Grove in Spring, 2006, Oil on Panel, 18x24

Cherry Tree, 2006, Oil on Panel, 6x6

Against Dark Trees, 2006, Oil on Panel, 24x24

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Green

New Green, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16

After selling my soul by copying myself (kidding), I took a perverse pleasure in concurrently painting the same scene, yet again, but with quite different results. I really wanted to use the new tubes of green that I recently bought, and I sure enjoyed just plopping that paint right down in the middle of the painting.

The copy turned out well, actually. I don't recall the exact colors that I used the first time, and the colors were what the clients really liked about the painting, but I made do and Doug thinks it is even nicer than the first. Nice to know I can actually paint better than I could a year ago. Heh. I'd put up the new one, but I haven't photographed it yet and, well, it looks just like the old one.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Neighbor's Field, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x36

Well, things are still a bit of a mess around here. We never did have any luck getting someone to plow our driveway, so Doug and the boys have been chipping away at it and there is a path just big enough for one car to get through. Doug missed his trip to Florida, but will be driving down to the city tomorrow and so of course it would be nice for me to have the option to leave the house. Not that I want to. I am in full hibernation, not having gone anywhere since Tuesday, actually I don't think I went anywhere on Tuesday either, so I guess it's been since Monday. huh. Anyway, the roads are still crappy, it's really windy, incredibly cold and we still have plenty of food. I think we will stay in for a few more days. This is the third snow day for the kids and then next week is their week long winter break. How appropriate. Thanks to tv, game boys and the computer, I have actually been able to get a bit of work done and have finished up a few more pieces that have been in progress. Tomorrow I think we will pull out the board games and a few beading projects, perfect opportunity for the cats to bat small beads around until they disappear into the spaces between our old wood floor boards.

I have left the house in order to take care of the chickens though. Each and every time it is a new adventure. Yesterday morning I tried to climb over the snowbank (six feet high). Going there was ok but coming back out proved to be impossible. Each time I tried to step up, I would sink into the snow up to my waist. Finally I got about halfway up, crossed my arms and did a sideways half tuck flip over the top and down the other side to the road, landing on my bottom. Naturally, because I had just did the most ridiculous move ever, our neighbor just happened to be walking on the road towards me. Gah! I hadn't seen another human being for three days and the minute I did an intentional, but very clumsy flip over a snowbank, a neighbor witnessed it. Typical. So now I know that the path through the snowbank has to be shoveled out everyday, to save my dignity at the very least. Later on in the day, I found that the plastic food bins had cracked open so I had to dig them out and get those into the garage. Now I have to take a bag of scratch out along with the bucket of water every morning. Another time, after having to shovel snow out of the hen house, that had blown in through the drafty door, I decided that I had to find something to cover the doorway with. In the garage I found and old door and Doug and I dragged that out though the snow and propped it up in front of the existing door. Things seemed a bit more toasty in there this morning so I think it did the trick. The chickens are totally fine considering they have been stuck in a poopy, cold, rather dark little room for weeks now. Egg production is down a bit, I only had six eggs yesterday, but we have three dozen eggs in the fridge, so I think we're good.

Plus the sun is out and the power has not gone out through all of this. Sure appreciating all of that!
Sorry, couldn't resist putting one more! Had to show off the hand shoveled driveway. Unfortunately, the garbage cans are buried under the snow on the right. This would be a problem if the garbage trucks might come by soon (the regular day is Thursday and they did not come), but that doesn't seem likely. We'll get them out someday.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last Snow Photos-I Promise

The fence is just barely visible today.

The patio today. This is the north side of the house and the drifts get really high.

The snow finally stopped. That's the good news. Well, that and the fact that we still have power of course. This would all really suck if we had lost power. Instead it is just a pretty cool, if a bit intense winter snowstorm. Frankly, the fall weather that extended into late December was a bit unsettling, so I am not complaining about real winter weather. And we knew what we were getting into when we decided to move to upstate NY!

Plugging away.

Doug has spent the morning trying to shovel out the driveway by hand. He was supposed to leave for Florida today to go on a fishing trip with a friend and I think he thinks he could still go. That is, if he could just get the driveway cleared of the ten foot drifts so that he could move the car which is also almost completely covered with snow. The rest of us are taking turns helping, but the shovels are not holding up well. We don't have a snowblower, like everyone else within a 50 mile radius and no one who does plowing is available. So we are embracing our lack of technology and going it alone. Along with not very helpful child labor.

I don't care about the kid's brain development much today and will allow them to watch much more tv than usual in order for me to get into the studio. And I am running the bread machine so we can enjoy the smell of baking bread all day. Mmmmmm.

Our new porch, covered with snow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ten Hours Later

At the risk of becoming like my weather obsessed mother (no offense Mom) I am putting up a bunch of photos concerning our current weather event. This is quite the winter storm and the most snow any of us have ever seen. The roads are closed, along with everything else and surely there will be no school tomorrow and possibly Friday.

I had to venture out to the hen house again to collect the day's eggs and there was twice as much snow this time. Their food which is kept in bins outside the door was buried in about two feet of snow. Which I had to dig out with my hands because the boys had mistakenly put the shovel that I keep out there, away in the garage. Digging it out by hand seemed much easier than trying to get back up to the house. But the chickens are fine and actually the snow piling up outside their door is creating good insulation. Their water didn't even freeze today!

Oddly, we still have power, phone service and satellite, which is why I am putting this post up now. Tonight we are supposed to have high winds and since the power often goes out here for no apparent reason, surely we will lose it after 40 inches of snow and wind gusts.

Our son was not happy about shoveling this morning. We finally let him off the hook.

Penny is keeping an eye on things.

Our patio is buried.

The kids have ventured out a few times, but there's no sledding yet. Mostly because there's no walking yet either.

Poor hens, they haven't been outside for weeks now. And it looks like it will be a few more at least.

We forgot to take the grill in last fall. I blame Doug.

My hero. Doug is shoveling me yet another path to the hen house.

Doug actually thinks that he will be able to drive down to the city tomorrow morning at 4am.

The bench on the patio.

We have a bit of an issue here. The top part of the storm window is missing and we haven't replaced it. Um, it's been four years. So when there's a lot of snow, it comes in and is probably rotting the sill, as I speak. I blame Doug for this too.

I know that this is a massive storm affecting a good part of the country (except for my mom with her silly little half inch of snow and 60 degree temps). I hope that everyone will stay safe and warm, hopefully at home with loved ones.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The hen house buried in snow.

Wednesdays are usually a good day for me to get some serious time in the studio. The kids have school, of course, and they all have activities after so no one gets home until 5:30 and Doug goes down to the city. With my recent difficulties in getting back to a steady painting schedule, a full day was looking like a good way to get a jump start. However, real life and Mother Nature have decided for me that today is not the day. We had at least two feet of snow last night and it's still coming down. In fact it is a blizzard, reminiscent of my childhood winters in Minnesota. So it's a snow day, we are all home and while I may be able to get a bit of painting done (tv will be allowed today), it's not going to be a good long painting session.

My quick morning trip to the hen house turned into an hour long suicide mission. I had to shovel some kind of crazy path off the porch, across the yard, and through a five foot snow bank (courtesy of the very efficient snowplows that were out all night). I had to go back and forth several times because I couldn't carry everything through the snow in one trip. I also had to dig out to the door of the hen house, in order to get in. I am pretty sure that I pulled all of my upper body muscles about ten different ways and my fingers and toes still hurt from the cold. There was much cursing when I sunk into snow up to my waist and had to flail about wildly in order to get out. I knew that no one would be coming out to help me, because everyone, including Doug, was inside still sleeping in warm comfy beds.

I better get some really good chocolate today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Busy vs. Not

In The Mood, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x24

I am slowly getting some paintings finished. I have been distracted by a number of things, in addition to just having some difficulty getting back into the swing of a regular painting schedule again. Now I officially have four galleries patiently waiting for new work and so I really do need to snap out of my funk. Anyway I am working on that, making a deliberate effort each day to accomplish more, not just in the studio but around the house as well.

I had an instructor in college that told us that as an art director, he always gave work to an artist who was really busy, rather than one who didn't have so much to do. He found that the busy ones always met the deadlines while the artists with an open schedule often did not finish on time.

While there are always exceptions of course, my experience has mostly held true to his theory. Not that I really miss deadlines, but when I don't have much to do, it is often difficult for me to meet them. When my schedule is crazy, the adrenaline of a hectic pace plus the necessity of organization help me to stay on track. In the slower times it is so much easier to veer off that track. Being aware of the ebb and flow helps, but still I have to make more of an effort to keep going, and I sure am struggling with that right now.

I have been working on a number of larger pieces, including the one above, that are 24x24 and up, so I could possibly blame my slowness on the size of the panels. Let's go with that version of events. Heh.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not Quite Sure How This All Happened

Bull Dog. The boys had put huge icicles as teeth on the bottom of the mouth, which looked awesome, but they got knocked out by the time we took the picture, probably when someone tried to get inside the mouth.

One of the most interesting things about having children and moving to a small town in a rural area has been that I continually find myself doing things that I never dreamed I would ever do in a million years. Anything and all things farm related, of course, community meals such as pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners. Chinese auctions for used, donated items, hats with ear flaps and wearing long underwear everyday. Heated discussions about Polaris snow boots and about a hundred small town parades each year.

This weekend was the Cooperstown Winter Carnival. It started out on Friday evening with, you guessed it, a parade. My girl's scout troops were included on two of the floats and I spent the afternoon trying to iron badges onto a Girl Scout sash. The positive aspect of iron on badges turned into a negative, when I realized that I had applied the badges so that the seam of the sash was at the shoulder rather than the hip, where it belongs. Since some of the badges won't come off, I suspect I have to start all over and buy a new sash and badge set. Of course. Anyway the parade was short (it is a small town after all) but much candy was thrown, a snow king and queen waved from the back of a convertible and we watched the fireworks at the lake afterward. Um, in 5 degree weather. That's where the long underwear thing came in handy.

Saturday morning I had to take one of my daughters to a swim meet about an hour away. While I sat fully clothed in a sauna, oops I mean pool deck, all day, Doug was outside all day, monitoring our son and his friend while they built a snow sculpture. He also took our youngest to a pancake breakfast and then stood outside at a skating rink while she and her friends raced around the rink.

When we got back to town, my older daughter and I attended a chinese auction, looked at the snow sculptures, walked through the chocolate contest and stood in line so that she could ride on a dog sled. Just as we got to the front they ended the rides because the dogs were tired. Dang...

There was a concert by Catie Curtis that I would have liked to have seen on Saturday night plus several other restaurants and bars had live music, however, I was a zombie by 7pm and pretty much fell asleep by 10. So that whole stay out late thing is all gone too, unless I have a nap during the day. Heh. Like I ever get to take a nap.

My son insisted that I enter the chili contest so I spent Sunday morning making my fab chili, while Doug took the kids to the sledding contest and then to the ice rink again. I met them there and hung around talking to some friends.

I don't think I won the chili contest, and I really doubt we won the snowblower in the raffle, that would just be too much to hope for, but my son did win the snow sculpture contest. His sculpture, pictured above is a bull dog's head (the theme of the carnival was "Dog Days of Winter" so the sculpture was supposed to have a dog theme) and it looks a lot like the characters that he includes in the stories and comics that he is always writing.

Next up: the school carnival. Many cakes to bake for the cake walk. Chances are good that I will end up working at the popcorn booth again or serving hot dogs even though I am morally opposed to their very existence. Can't wait.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Time Flies...

One year ago today, I impulsively decided to do this.

I spent the next two days wondering what the heck I was doing and then I reluctantly did this.

It's been an interesting, challenging and surprisingly social ride. Thanks for joining me.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


It's a very white day here today.

Yesterday ended up ok. No major mishaps in the studio and in fact, I managed to make some progress on two paintings. Well, in between doing nothing.

Today is much better although I did fall in the snow bank again. Kind of hard not to when they are nearly waist high and we are all too lazy to shovel a stupid path. But I wasn't carrying the chicken water this time and our neighbor, the cardio-thoracic surgeon was NOT driving by at the precise moment that I fell into the snowbank while carrying a bucket full of water and the chicken waterer thingy, like he did on Monday.

Can't ask for more than that.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

It's a Bad Day So Far

In Progress.

Well, the last post obviously went over like a lead balloon. Okay, I'll move on.

Except I am in a really bad mood so far today. Our furnace stopped working last night and Doug realized it when he got up at 4am to go down to the city. So I had to get up unbearably early to wait for the repairman. Luckily he was able to fix it and now I am waiting for the house to warm up (it's up to 57, woo-hoo!) and for there to be enough hot water for a shower. The kids were incredibly dense this morning, and I am still irritated, PLUS I feel guilty about sending them off to school after having yelled at each of them for one reason or another. And for the third day in a row I fell into the snowbank while trying to get over it to get to the hen house. That wouldn't be so bad except that I was carrying a bucket of water, which of course spilled and I had to go back to the house and fill it again. My hands were painfully cold after try to loosen up the frozen wood shavings on the floor of the hen house, with a shovel (in case you wondered, fleece lined gloves do not matter when a metal shovel has been outside all night).

But I have a lot of work to do today so I will hibernate and hopefully my mood will improve. Though chances are good that a loaded paint brush will hit the floor, or a freshly painted panel will fall off the easel. It feels like it might be that kind of day.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Wrong One

Red Landscape, 2005, Oil on Panel, 24x36

Note to self: Get the exact title of the painting, when a gallery director asks for a similar piece. At the very least, double-check with her before beginning to work on the painting.

Around Christmas, the owner of one of my galleries called and asked if I could paint a piece similar to one that had been in the recent show there. She had some clients who loved the painting, especially the colors. I said I would, although it would not be exactly the same of course. And while I do feel a bit odd about doing the same piece essentially, I didn't mind doing it either. I paint the same scenes over and over all of the time, and so this isn't a huge artistic compromise for me. I feel that there is always something new to find in a scene. I agreed to do it, but told her I didn't want to take money in advance, as one would normally handle a commission. That is too much pressure for me! I just do the piece and if the client likes it, they can buy it. If not, I'll just send it off somewhere else. This generally how I feel comfortable with handling a commission, though I don't do them very often. Anyway, we briefly discussed the piece-the size, the colors and how long it would take.

I ordered the 36x48 panel and worked on the painting last week. It turned out nicely and surprisingly, looked very much like the first one. I took it down to the gallery on Saturday, glad to have it out of my hair. Carrie was very nice and said it was beautiful and she loved that image, but then gently let me know that it was the wrong piece! I was mortified and my face turned beet red. We tried to figure out where the miscommunication occurred. I always suspect that these kinds of things are my fault, and in this case I really should have double checked with her, confirming the title, size and price. Both were large pieces, although not exactly the same size and the color mentioned was red, which was a color in both pieces, though much more prominent in the one she was referring to. But for whatever reason, I came away from our phone conversation thinking it was this piece, when in fact the clients wanted the one pictured above. I have learned my lesson here and will always follow up in writing on these sorts of requests. Now have to get moving on the correct painting this week, while Carrie lets the clients know about the delay, hopefully without letting them know what a moron the artist is. Heh.

So now that I have publicly disclosed my most recent embarrassing art career moment, tell me your stories. We'll all commiserate.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Back at the Farm

This is what's up in my studio today.

My trip went smoothly, although it did start out with an extremely embarrassing moment, which I'll discuss tomorrow. I could keep it to myself (and Doug, and the gallery director), but one of my goals with this blog is to talk about all aspects of working as an artist, which includes my big stupid mistakes. Heh.

Anyway, I made it to Anderson-Soule Gallery in Concord NH, before they closed for the day. I had a nice chat with Terri, who works there, loaded up my paintings and went off to find my hotel. Had a lovely, peaceful evening watching tv and knitting. Nobody interrupted me! On Sunday I headed off to Williamstown Ma, but stopped on the way and did a bit of shopping at the chain stores that we don't have anywhere near where we live(probably a good thing ultimately). I bought a really nice book about Mark Rothko at Borders, crafty kinds of things at Michaels so that the girls can start making Valentines for their classmates, and a whole bunch of rather unnecessary, but fun things at Target.

At Harrison Gallery, I dropped off several pieces and loaded up a couple of the large paintings that were in the show and didn't sell. I spent some time talking art with Brian, one of the staff there. He is a painter and coincidentally, a few weeks ago, I had looked at his work on the website of that nice little gallery Three Graces (blogger Jeff Hayes shows there too), that Doug and I visited when we were in Portsmouth a few months ago, before I knew that it was his. Small art world. You can also see Brian's work here.

Driving home was the best part! I had taken along my iPod (I received a for Christmas from my brother in law, best gift ever!) and really enjoyed pretending that I can actually sing with as much power as Janis Joplin, as much attitude as The Killers, sadness as Damien Rice and with as much pain as my dear departed love, Rick Danko. I actually drove around the block in order to listen to It Makes No Difference so that I could hear it (for the 1 millionth time), because it started just as I turned on to our road and I was totally into a singing groove.

After being pretty stationary for the last two days I was looking forward to going for a walk this morning. However, it is incredibly cold, -24 wind chill and so I have elected to wait on that particular activity. I could ride my spinning bike, but then I'd have to find a place for all of the clothes that I keep on it. Heh.

PS. Our chickens have not gotten the memo about conserving their energy in cold weather, by not laying so many eggs. On Sunday we got 18 eggs, a half dozen more than usual. Big frittata for dinner tonight!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Here and There

White House with Barn, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16

Tomorrow I am off for a two day, three gallery, four state jaunt to pick up and deliver paintings.

First a delivery to Carried Haddad, then I have to pick up some paintings from Anderson-Soule in Concord, NH. As exciting as it was to sell so much work from January's show at Harrison, the reality is that that doesn't always happen. Of the eight barns that were included in a show in NH, one painting sold, the gallery wants to hang on to three and I have to pick up the rest along with a few others that they have had in inventory that also haven't sold. I am going to stay overnight in Concord and then drive through Vermont to Williamstown, MA on Saturday. There I have to pick up the large barn painting (didn't sell there either) and deliver some new work. Then home.

I haven't left yet and I am already tired. I had two fillings replaced yesterday and so my jaw hurts and I have a slight headache. I have about a 100 small details to take care of today before I leave, like painting cradles of a few paintings, printing up labels and images lists, mapquesting my route, things like that. I have also had to put together a detailed schedule for Doug to follow because it is an incredibly busy weekend at home (I shouldn't go but if I don't go this weekend, I can't for the next month because of HIS schedule). He will have to schlep them around to a basketball game, a scouts bottle drive, recycling, another game, a father/daughter girl scout dance and who knows where else. I'd feel sorry for him except that that is exactly what I have to do when he is out of town, and I don't have the advantage of an event planner or phone calls with a reminder to leave the house and pick up someone.

But we'll both get by, I imagine. See you Monday!