Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Yellow Meadow, 2005, Oil on Panel, 18x24

Dark Cypress Trees, 2005 Oil on Panel, 18x24

Yesterday I sent off my entries to the Silvermine Guild Art Center's annual "Art of the Northeast" competition. During the last few years, I have entered many juried competitions, which were a great way to get another line to add to my very thin exhibition resume. I was rejected from the first 10 or so that I entered, and then things took a turn and I started to get more acceptance letters than rejection letters, so I was in a few shows and even won a few prizes.

I have always loved art contests. I'm a good loser, though I certainly enjoy winning. When I was in the eleventh grade, I won a local contest and my watercolor of Santa waving from a semi was featuring on a trucking company's christmas card plus I received $50. I was hooked! There was a graphic design contest sponsored by an after school club which I won and went on to compete nationally, where I bombed, but I had gotten a free week long trip to Louisville, KY. In college there were a number of awards given to seniors and I was nominated to compete for a senior award, which had a $500 prize. That's like 50,000 to an art student. I felt pretty confident, but Patti Hammel won (she was one of the few illustration majors in our class who has gone on to actually be an illustrator, she does children's books) and she deserved it, but I did envy her newfound wealth. After college I entered a contest at Flax, a mail order catalog and won, the prize was my painting on their cover and $1000 credit towards shopping in their catalog, thereby combining my two very favorite things, art and shopping!

For the last 8 months or so I haven't entered any competitions. Nearly all the work I do now goes right off to a gallery or is for a specific show. However, I am feeling the itch to compete again so I have pulled out a few pieces that came back from the Saratoga show and decided to enter them in the Silvermine competition. I have a few more juried shows that I plan to enter, but I have to be more selective now. I look at the jurors to see what kind of art they do, or who they are affiliated with, I look at the organization, and I will only be entering the shows who accept digital images in addition to slides. It is becoming more involved to get slides made these days, so I prefer sending in jpegs.

Entering juried shows also help me to keep me prepared for success or for rejection in regards to exhibitions. I experience both when showing work and each has an upside as well as a downside. When I start feeling like I am just the greatest ever, I pull out all the rejection letters that I have kept or I look through my inventory book to see all of the paintings that have not sold. On the other hand, rejection gives me motivation to improve my skills or if I find myself looking at the classifieds for a real job, I look through my inventory book to see all of the paintings that HAVE sold.

Today's paintings are the ones that I entered. They are pretty different from each other and that could go either way for me, I guess. I entered this competiton last year and did not get in but this is different work, a different year and a different juror. So we'll see.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Saving It Up For Later

Lavender Road, 2005. Oil on Panel, 8x10

When I started painting again a few years back, I was so happy. I felt like I had this special little thing going on and everything was really new and exciting. Unfortunately, for a good six months or so, I also felt resentment. I second guessed my decision to focus on my family and I felt sad for having given up almost 15 years of time. Time I could have had to develop my skills, to develop a career and a reputation. I struggled with this until I finally realized that almost everyday in my new world, I was using things that I had learned during the time that I wasn't painting. Having three natural childbirths gave me so much self confidence and a new feeling of empowerment that I had not previously had. I had done one of the most difficult thing that a woman can do; everything else seemed easy in comparison. From raising children, I have also learned to be more patient, to let things develop without rushing them or forcing an issue. Multi-tasking has been one of the most valuable daily skills that I have honed to a high art. If you can get up, shower, dress, check emails, feed pets, get four kids up, dressed, fed, teeth brushed, hair combed, backpacks organized, lunches made, permission slips or papers signed, bundled up and out the door to the bus in an hour and fifteen minutes every morning, then getting 12 paintings together for a show, over the period of at least a month, is a virtual cakewalk. By working as a volunteer for an arts organization for several years in various positions, I really learned some valuable skills. Mostly organizational, but I also learned that I could be a leader and that I was actually pretty good at it. Working with the gallery there was the most helpful, I now have a better understanding of what galleries need from the artist, I know to make sure paintings are clearly labeled (you have no idea how many artists would just bring in work with no identifying information!), and how important it is to meet deadlines. I also learned how difficult it is to sell art! I completely understand the need for the 50-50 split that is now common in most galleries.

Over the years I also matured (supposedly) and was able to develop a healthier perspective about myself. I found that I could do any number of things and excel. This puts me in a great position in a negotiation with a potential gallery. I am not so desperate to have representation or be in an exhibition that I will accept a contract that takes advantage of me. I can and have refused to sign contracts that have been to my detriment.

So, I gave up my resentments and regrets. I finally understood that all I had done and experienced had added deeper insight and a perspective to my work. Duh! It all seems so obvious now, but when you're in it it doesn't always seem so clear. All the tangible skills I had learned helped me bypass most of the bullshit that I would have had to wade through if I were in my twenties and just starting out. I am fairly certain that I would not have handled things too well at that point!

I am now thankful for my "lost" time.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Giant Sunflowers, 2006, Oil on Panel, 8x10

An attempt to provide a bit of contrast to the snowy weekend here in upstate New York.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Studio (a.k.a.living room)

Reflections, 2005, Oil on Panel, 6x6

A big thanks to Cecily for linking me in her post on Thursday. My blog had so many visitors yesterday and today, I feel like I should be inviting everyone in for coffee or something.

I can at least let you see my studio. It's very small, 256 square feet, 16'x16', but I have been extremely productive in this little room. It's a very nice room, it was the formal living room in our 200 year old farmhouse, so it has wainscotting and lovely wide trim. As you can see, I have a ton of stuff in the room. I am the master of storage and organizational issues and can pack more into a room than anyone I know. I have cabinets and bookcases that hold supplies, finished paintings, frames, paper, there is even a junk drawer for the kids. Under every cabinet, table and desk there are stacks of drawing pads, painting panels and boxes of stuff that I hate to get rid. Oh, did I mention that I am a pack rat? Work in progress is displayed on shelves on each wall. There is a table that holds all of my oil paints and brushes and then next to that is a low table (used to belong to the kids) that I use for priming panels, and for painting frames. Because it's low and partially under the other table, the cats like to hide underneath and they often walk onto the newly primed panels and then track gesso all over the room. When I do larger pieces, for me, that's 18x24 and larger, I have to move everything around so I can put the panels up on the wall to dry. I spend a lot of time rotating things! I just added another work station so that I could have a place to work on drawings and pastels, but right now there is a big painting on that easel, which will stay there until I can deliver some work down to a gallery, which will then free up some storage space so that I put it away and then I can get back to working on some drawings again. See what I mean about rotating? Storage is the biggest problem with such a small studio. We have an old house with few closets and both the attic and basement are not suitable to store paintings. There is an adjoining room to my studio that my husband uses for his office (he works at home too) which I am slowly taking over. In that room, I have my computer and desk area and a large cabinet where I keep finished paintings.

Almost every day, Doug and I have a conversation about how and/or where to build a studio in our house or on our property. It's a ridiculous conversation to have and he rolls his eyes everytime I bring it up since we can't really afford any of the options which are: finishing the attic, replacing our bad garage and adding a second floor to it, renovating the barn or just building a separate structure. But I am obsessed with getting more space so each day I run through the various options. I could rent a space but I like to be at home during the day. I still have to multi-task - you know, gesso a panel, throw in a load of laundry, apply the glaze, start dinner, answer emails, wash the floor. Just to prove that I could possibly be mentally ill however, despite obsessing daily about getting a larger studio I am also terrified about it. I have been so creative in my current space and the thought of messing up the mojo scares me. So I guess I will have to get by for awhile yet, and when I feel the need to work larger than 24"x36" I'll be thankful for my small studio and its good vibes while I am rotating.

My main work area.

This is the paint table and the low table underneath.

Works in progress.

The chair is for reading, sometimes for a model, but mostly it's for Penny, our dog, who sleeps in it all winter (it's next to the radiator).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

F Level and Proud Of It

Road To Toddsville, 2005, Oil on Panel, 18x18

I started reading blogs about a year ago. I know, I know, late to the game as usual. My friend Cecily sent me her blog site and I was hooked. I went from Cecily's blog to her friends' to politics to porn (oops) and finally to art blogs, where I have kind of settled in. I had thought about starting my own blog for awhile, but I wasn't really sure that I had the time (I don't), and definitely didn't know what I'd say and how personal I would be. Finally, I decided to start one up and just put up my work. I did one entry, but the temptation to say something pulled me in and here I am, writing everyday, planning what to write next and obsessively checking my stats to see if I have more hits yet (I don't-but at least my mom checks in everyday). After reading this article about the blogging hierarchy I now realize two things.

1. I still know nothing about blogland.

2. I have entered into yet another environment where I will probably not be popular.

As far as the first one goes, I will learn as I go, like usual. But the second realization is a bit more troublesome. You see, I have never been particularly popular. I had a slightly unconventional childhood in a town that was very conventional, so I was in the outsider category from the start. In high school, I wasn't cute, thin or funny, didn't smoke, didn't play sports, didn't do theater or belong to the chess club, so I really didn't fit into any of the cliques. I did have a bit of respect because of my art skills, which basically meant that I escaped the outright torture that the other outcasts suffered. All of this should have prepared me for art school, the ultimate group of outsiders. But even then I didn't feel like I fit in too well. My art wasn't edgy, it was representational and TOO conventional. I was sort of popular for a brief time at the two dive bars that I frequented in Philadelphia, woo-hoo! and then I met my husband who thought I was cool and I began my life as a responsible adult. Unfortunately for my potential popularity, I was foiled again by our frequent moves. I did reach a certain level of notoriety in Utah when I was the president of a local arts org and was pretty involved in the community. I had a number of great friends, we received phone calls, invitations to lunch, to dinner, to parties and we even vacationed with friends once, but it was all too brief. Despite our friends, I couldn't bear to continue to live in Utah for the rest of my life. So we moved back east and I am an outsider again. But this time I have a secret-I have a new circle of friends because of my painting. I may only see them once in awhile at a gallery meeting or an opening reception, or have email contact. But this works for me now, I am a part of something and it feels permanent. So it's ok if this blog doesn't get 15,000 hits a day or if it doesn't make me enought money to retire. I will find my niche in blogland and within that niche I will probably meet at least a few new interesting people, have good discussions, inspire and be inspired. Hopefully I can still do that from the C, well actually, the F level that I am at.

Today's image is one of my favorite barn paintings, and it just recently sold. I have painted this row of barns several times, it's a scene along a road near my home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Representation

Hillside Landscape with Trees, 2006, Oil on Panel, 18x24

Everything has been finalized so I can now talk about my new gallery. I had sent my info to The Harrison Gallery in Williamstown, MA about a year ago. Didn't hear back and forgot about it as I got busier with various shows. Around the holidays, out of the blue, I received a letter in the mail (how retro!) from them asking me to come in and show them some paintings. I took in about eight pieces (a pretty kick-ass group, if I do say so myself) and they seemed pretty excited about my work. The director called me about a week later and said they wanted to work with me. They also sent a beautifully printed gallery book that includes images by each of their artists. I love the work of the artists they represent and I hope I can fit in! So now I am trying to put together about ten paintings that are, you know, like really, super-duper good.

Williamstown is a perfect New England town located in the Berkshires. When I got home I looked at realtor.com to see just what kind of real estate is available there! I am a die hard real estate browser. Williams College is located there and MASS MoCA is in nearby North Adams. There are perfect, huge houses and the landscape is beautiful.

Anyway, the first painting is one that I just finished and it will probably be included in the group that I send to the gallery. Today and tomorrow I plan to spend all day working on several pieces that will hopefully "turn out".

Deep Purple is one that was included in the kick-ass group. The director particularly liked it so I will be sending them this one too.

Deep Purple, 2006, Oil on Panel, 24x36

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Books I Read

Window View #11, 2004, Oil on Panel, 6x6

The Barn Study, 2004, Oil on Panel. 3x6

My drive to Saratoga Springs was nice yesterday. After I picked up my work, I stopped at the Borders there and bought three books, About Rothko by Dore Ashton, The Van Gogh File by Ken Wilkie and The Letters of Vincent van Gogh. I can't wait to start reading them, however I have a book about Giorgio Morandi on deck (although I may bump up Rothko) and I have to finish the novel I am reading currently, The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates, who is one of my favorite authors. I usually alternate reading fiction and art books. The last book I read was DeKooning's Bicycle by Robert Long. I liked it, it's a charming little book with a great concept: profiling artists and writers, such as deKooning, Jackson Pollack, Frank O"Hara and Jean Stafford, among others, who relocated to the outer edge of Long Island, where they proceeded to have success in their professional lives, well, until they pretty much died tragically. I used to have more time to read, in fact there were days when I would just read all afternoon or stay up until 2am reading a good book. Alas, those days are long gone. My reading time is now limited to the five minutes that I have between getting into bed and falling alseep. It takes me forever to read a book these days! I loved deKooning by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, and even though it took me months to read it, I actually missed having it in my life it when I finished it. I was surprised to realize how much it had affected my daily life.

I have always been a reader. As a kid that was my favorite past time. The first chapter book that I remember reading was Little House on the Prairie. My grandmother gave it to me for my ninth birthday and I still have lovely memories of sitting in a chair by a window while it was snowing and being totally enthralled with Laura and her family's adventures. Of course, I LOVED the illustrations by Garth Williams, they had personality and such volume! I proceeded to get all the books in the series and I still have them. In fact last year, my daughter read all of them. Anyway, I read everything I could find and especially enjoyed series, Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, Betsy and Tacy. As I got older I plowed through classics, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn Rand, JD Salinger, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, etc. I then spent a number of years reading true crime books, starting with Helter Skelter, Fatal Vision, and continuing through all of Ann Rule's books. When I became pregnant, I started reading books about health, childbirth, breastfeeding. Just as I can often mark a new direction or change in my work by a specific painting that I have done, there are several books that precipitated change in my personal life as well. Some of those are:

Best Word Book Ever, by Richard Scarry. I learned to read from this one.

Little House on The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved the whole series but don't get me started on how the tv series nearly ruined that for me!

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. Stupid, I know, but I was 12 and it described a lot of things that I was too young to know about.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. The story haunts me to this day.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. This one both scared me and pissed me off. Reagan was president at the time that I read this and it did seem possible that this could happen.

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. Which totally freaked me out when I realized that I was up reading at 3am, on a hot, muggy August night, in my not very secure apartment in a bad neighborhood in Philadelphia, on the very anniversary of the date of the Tate murders. I was drinking a bit too much that summer and had a bit of a drama thing going on.

The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule. I learned that serial killers are not what you think they are, they can, and often are, good looking and charming. A good bit of info to keep with you.

A Diet for a New America, by John Robbins. I was a vegetarian for seven years after I read this. It was the start of my never ending quest to lose weight and be healthy.

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. This was my bible for years and because of it, I actually enjoyed my three natural, at home childbirths.

The Broken Cord, by Michael Dorris. When I read this, I realized that it perfectly described our adopted son. We were able to understand him better and more clearly advocate for him and his needs.

Jackson Pollock, An American Saga, by Steven Naifeh Gregory White Smith. As I said in a previous post, this one got me painting again.

The images that I am posting today are a few that I have done in the past two years that have marked significant changes in the direction of my work. The first one was painted early on and I felt that it was the first painting that really expressed what I was seeing in my head. The second, The Barn Study, is the first painting where I was able to get the combination of underpainting and glazes to really harmonize. There have been further shifts in my work more recently but I will save those for another day and another post!

Monday, February 20, 2006

One Up, One Down

Morning Light on Red Barn, 2005, Oil on Panel, 8x8

First of all, I really must say how excited I am about having finally figured out how to add links, both to the sidebar and to the text. Like I said the other day, I am totally dense about computer related things but usually I am able to figure things out eventually. However, I do think that blogspot doesn't really explain how to add the links very clearly. I thought it was me, but Doug, who is way better at computers than I am didn't understand the instructions either. And I take another leap into the current century!

So Doug and I went to the opening at Enderlin Gallery (there, you see what I did!!!?) on Saturday. When we arrived, there were only a few people there, but gradually more came in and it was pretty busy for the next few hours. I had a nice chat with artist Judith Reeve whose work was next to mine and I also spoke with a nice couple from NYC who liked my work. I chatted with Bonnie and her friends. Bonnie bought one of my barn paintings (pictured above) at another show I was in last fall in Roxbury and was interested in seeing more of my work. It seemed that only a few of the artists in the show were there, or I had missed them, so that was too bad. I like to talk to the artists that I am showing and compare notes about what's going on in our small world. Roxbury is a cute little town, pretty quiet in the winter but their season really gets going in the spring. There are a lot of weekend homes owned by people who live and work in the city. Roxbury is similar to so many other small towns in upstate New York, well and everywhere, really, in that is a small town, kind of in the middle of nowhere, with a strong art community and with galleries and arts organizations scattered like jewels into each environment.

Today I am off to Saratoga Springs to pick up some paintings that I had in a three person show at the Arts Center Gallery. I got this show by submitting my work to the Saratoga County Arts Council, it was juried and then they schedule you into a show during the coming year. This show had been scheduled since the fall of 2004. At the time it seemed so strange to have something set up so far out, I mean, really who knows what will be happening in 18 months? Since then, however, I have come to find out that this is common. Most of my shows now are scheduled at least six months or more in advance. In 2005 I was accepted for a solo show in November 2007! I've had it on my calendar for almost a year and it's still almost two years away-it's surreal. Anyway, the show in Saratoga was good, so far at least 4 pieces have sold and the opening was busy. They do an artist's talk during the opening which I had been stressing about ever since the show had been scheduled. Myself, artist Betsy Krebs (the other artist, Arleen Targan, couldn't attend) and the gallery director sat at a table and there were about 20 or 30 people sitting in front of us. The director, Joel, was very organized and asked us specific questions, which was really helpful and then we answered a few questions from the audience. Despite being nervous, I spoke coherently and didn't vomit which is what I usually feel like doing while speaking in front of a group. Betsy is a teacher and more talkative so I could sit back a little bit. A few years ago I had a bad experience with an arts org. that I will blog about at some point, so I am always watchful when showing at one, but The Arts Center Gallery is a good example of a well organized and professional arts org that is a pleasure to work with. They have a number of loyal volunteers, including Lew, a very sweet, older gentleman, who did an excellent, excellent job of hanging the show. He also bought one of my pieces so he's my new best friend!

These are some shots of Saturday's gallery reception. It's a beautiful space with a lot of natural light, high ceilings and an upper level where art by the gallery's artists is displayed salon style. My work is on the right in the first photo.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dark Path

Dark Path, 2006, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Friday, February 17, 2006

Evolution and Circularity

Miller's Pond in Winter, 2005, Oil on Panel, 8x8

When I was an art student in Minneapolis and then later in Philadelphia, the instructors often urged and sometimes required us to attend opening receptions at the school's gallery or out in the city's galleries. We'd go, usually in packs, dressed in black, with purple or red or blue hair and body piercings, and smelling of patchouli and probably pot. We'd make a beeline for the free food, ignore the artist (we were way to cool to actually discuss art with the artist), look briefly at the art, and have a fierce discussion about it's relevancy. Then we'd leave and go get drunk/and or stoned at someone's apartment or at a bar. After I had finished school and met Doug in 1988, he and I often went to openings at various galleries in Philly. We usually went with his father who was an artist and graphic designer and he usually knew the artist and many people at the event so we'd spend hours talking and socializing with them. We'd have dinner first, skip the free food and drink wine. Then we'd go home, discuss the show and well, we were newly in love, so I'll just leave it at that...Later on we lived in Utah for a number of years and by that time we were parents. We were deeply involved in the local art scene and still enjoyed attending show openings. We knew everyone and they were a lot of fun. However, since we didn't use sitters much when our kids were babies, we usually carried them along. You just haven't lived until you've tried to discuss the meaning of art with spit up on your shoulder and leaking breasts. We'd be home by 9pm and in bed sleeping by 10pm.

Fast forward a few years and we have a whole new thing going on! We have been lucky enough to find a fabulous sitter, Mary Jo and her miniature schnauzer, Pepper Ann. She is a teacher and a chef and always brings projects for the kids. The kids love her and we are so happy to be able to go away once in awhile. So now that I am showing my work, Doug and I have been able to take short trips to attend my gallery openings. Often we stay overnight, we had a nice stay in Cape Cod last fall and another nice trip to Northampton, MA in December. It's interesting to be on the other side of an opening. I don't drink alcohol anymore so I have a glass of ice water, I don't eat in case I get anything stuck in my teeth or spray food while talking, and I make sure that I have breath mints in my purse. Some things haven't changed-I do still usually wear black, my hair is still red, though a bit toned down, and I still have my nose ring. Doug gets into all kinds of interesting conversations with people about the current quality of art in today's world, while I am usually answering questions like how long does it take to do a painting and where do I get my ideas. What's really fascinating now though, is that at my openings, I see myself at every opening I have ever been to, I am there in the college kids who won't look at me, the earnest young artists and art lovers who want to talk about painting all night and the frazzled parents trying have a night out.

So, tomorrow, Mary Jo is coming and we are off to the Enderlin Gallery in Roxbury, NY. I have a few pieces in a group show called "Snowscapes". I am new to this gallery, the director called me after having seen my work in a show at the Roxbury Arts Group. They have been really enthusiastic about my paintings, and I will be in several exhibitions there this year. I am looking forward to this opening-Roxbury has a really hopping little art scene and there are always very interesting people at the openings. "Miller's Pond in Winter" is in this show-it is a loose interpretation of the pond on our property.

By the way, the opening reception is at the Enderlin Gallery (enderlingallery.com), Main Street, Roxbury, NY, Saturday, February 18, 2-5pm.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Get To Do Whatever I Want

Goose Street Barn, 2006, Oil on Paper, 12x16

Up the Path, 2006, Oil on Paper, 12x16

After I wrote yesterday's post, it occurred to me that I should explain why, after getting an education in illustration, I didn't go back to it.

I thought about trying illustration again, for about 2 minutes. Over the years published illustration has become more and more scarce. When I was in college, illustrations could be seen regularly on publications such as TV Guide, Time Magazine, Rollingstone, The Atlantic Monthly, Utne Reader, etc, and on or in other media such as newspapers, book covers, packaging, and record album covers. Certainly, illustration is still used, but not to the extent it once was. Even when I was trying to get work in the late 80's and early 90's, the art directors were already tending towards using photography. So getting work seemed unlikely. I know there are many people who are able to make a living at illustration and they rock!

The other and more important reason that I decided to forego illustration is because basically I wanted to do whatever I wanted. I'm older and crabbier now and I don't want to be told by someone what image to paint, what colors to use and how to compose the image. Luckily for me, my circumstances allow me to have this attitude. I don't have to support myself or our family with my income. Even now that I do have responsibilities, when I get to work in the studio, I remind myself that I can do whatever I want. While at first this seemed risky, after all, I did want to sell something, at least enough to pay for my supplies, there was such a feeling of freedom and exhilaration in that, which I think has immensely affected my work for the better.

Today's paintings are from a series of works on paper that I have been experimenting with. I have this great Sanguine colored oil stick from R&F Paint (sorry, I could link that, but I haven't figured how to add links yet, can anyone help me? I am so dense when it comes to computers-it's like an act of god that I am even able to upload the images) and while I am not sure who would want to hang an orange painting on their wall, it doesn't matter because I GET TO DO WHATEVER I WANT.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How Pollock Made Me Paint Again

Hillside Trees, 2006, Oil on Panel, 12x12

Unfortunately, I didn't get much done yesterday either. I had just gotten into the painting zone with a little help from Mary Gauthier, when it was time to clean up and go to a valentine lunch with my husband, Doug. We had a nice time and I always a enjoy a good salad, especially one that someone else has to prepare and clean up after. By the time we got home, it was time for me to run back into town to pick up the kids from their after school stuff. Hopefully, I will get more done today and tomorrow.

So I have a lot going on this year and I am still kind of in awe about it. I have an art education, I went to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia from 1985-1988. My major was illustration and with the usual youthful optimism, I was certain that I'd be a very successful illustrator. Then real life stepped in. I had to get a full time job after college and I tried for awhile to do illustration on the side. I did a few jobs here and there and then I met my husband (ok, he was my boss, so sue me!) and had less time to pursue my personal work. We started a family and I felt strongly about devoting my time to raising the babies so the art took a back seat. I did have a few creative outlets during this time, I learned how to knit and sew, I attended weekly figure drawing sessions and I became involved with a local arts organization. In 2003, our family plunked down on a farm in upstate NY after having lived in Utah for ten years. My youngest daughter began school and at the same time I was reading Pollock, An American Saga. While Pollock seemed to be a bit of a mess, (that may be an understatement) I was so inspired by their move to the Springs on Long Island and his subsequent breakthroughs. I also admired Lee Krasner's tenacity in keeping him on track and continuing to pursue her own work at the same time. So I thought that since I had more time during the days, I'd give it another shot. Despite not ever having done a landscape, I started painting landscapes. How could I not? The land surrounding us is beautiful! The first pieces I did were dark and moody and kind of depressing, but obviously I have moved into a different direction at this point. And hopefully I and my work will keep evolving.

So that's why at age 41, I am considered an emerging artist and why everything that's going on seems so surprising and, well, cool.

This is a painting I did in early 2004.

Window View#28, 2004, Oil on Panel, 12x12

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Love Day

Pink Poppies, 2005, Oil on Panel, 5x7

I am not a big fan of holidays and the rampant commercialism that surrounds them, but I do find some enjoyment of them through my kids. I have spent the last few days helping my girls make handmade valentines for their classmates. We did decoupage on heart shaped wood cut outs. They turned out beautifully and I have a newfound respect for collage and especially for Modge Podge. You can put down just about anything, slop some Modge Podge over it and when it dries, everything is all sparkly and shiny, with layers, yet it's solid. I should put collage on my list of new things to try when I have some time to experiment. I love Lee Krasner's collages, particularly the ones where she used the cut pieces of her own figurative drawings.

Yesterday, I managed to fritter away most of the morning on the computer. I should be getting to work in the studio right away in the mornings but my husband got me a new computer with a big monitor and I can't seem to take my eyes off of it. Anyway, I did work for about two hours or so. I applied glazes to several paintings so that I can start with the color on them today (more on my process some other time) and also finished up a flower garden image. I had to finish up by 2pm so I could do my daily 3 mile walk (stupid new year's resolution), then the kids get home and studio time is definitely over at that point.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Winding Through a Field, 2006, Oil on Panel, 12x16

So I set up this blog, posted a recent painting and then spent the weekend trying to figure out the direction that I should take with this project. I didn't really come to any profound conclusions. For now I'll post some paintings and make a few comments about the art, my work habits and other projects.

"Winding Through a Field" is a piece that I just finished last week. It's a simple image with few elements, but has a lot of movement and color, I think. It's one of about 10 pieces that I will be sending off to a gallery in Massachussetts who will soon be representing me. I will post their name and info once the contracts are signed.

I would be happy to hear any comments regarding my work, good or bad, although constructive criticism would be appreciated. Questions are always welcome and if you are an artist, I'd love to see your work, so send me links. Also, after I figure out how to do it, I will be posting links to art, blogs, and news sites that I read. There will also be info as to where my work can be seen.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Road Through Deep Woods

Road Through Deep Woods, 2006, Oil on Panel, 16x20