Sunday, December 27, 2009

Utterly? Really, I wrote UTTERLY????

Ups and Downs, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 8x10

Well, in order to tell this story properly, I must also admit to having signed up to receive google alerts whenever my name shows up anywhere on the internet. Actually this is just for professional reasons. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being self absorbed and wanting to find out who says what about me. Heh.

Mostly though, I get alerts about basketball players (some kid named Travis Helgeson is a mighty fine player) in the midwest, teachers who speak up at their school district's board meetings and then finally the occasional update of a blog who has my link on their sidebar. When it gets close to a show that I am in, I tend to get more alerts; the gallery's press release in newspapers, 'what to do this weekend' bulletins boards and maybe an article about my show. And then every so often I get an alert when another blogger mentions me, which is of course, always fun and flattering.

But recently I got an alert that made me turn about 50 shades of red. Some of you may recall my blathering on and on about Joe Fig's excellent book, Inside the Painter's Studio a few months ago. Which, by the way, I still love and am still rereading sections of it every so often. I wrote this very gushy, oops, I mean enthusiastic post which turned up on the book's publishers website as a review!!!! Good grief! I would have written something much less foolish and embarrassing had I known that anyone out there would be paying attention. And while I do stand by everything I said about the book, I might have gone a tad bit overboard when I titled the post "I Am Utterly In Love". Sigh.

However, I must say in all seriousness, that I am quite happy to have been included in this group of fine reviews. Princeton Publishing has put together a wide variety of reviews including those who can write about art and art books with depth and understanding. Including, hello! Artnews!

Um and then there is me.....

I think I should be putting together a writing resume now. Bwahahahaha!!!!!!

PS. And I am very happy that Joe's book is doing well, it just went into a second printing. Awesome!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Few More Additions

Barn Near Patterson Road Road, 2009, Oil on Cradled Panel, 4x6

Well, today I got nine unsold, small format paintings back from a local gig, so I just added them to my sales blog. Last ones!

The half off sale was more successful that I ever imagined, in fact I was pretty much totally ill prepared for it! First I messed up the paypal code on all the entries, then I didn't add the inventory section on all of the posts so that some of the paintings sold twice before I caught it. I would like to thank those (and you know who you are) who graciously agreed to buy a different painting than the one they initially chose. But once I got that all straightened out, I think I managed to get the shipments out pretty quickly and safely and hopefully to the right buyer. Heh. Still have a few more in the pipeline and plan to get those out next week. Anyway, thanks so much to all of my lovely readers/buyers/friends, I really appreciate that so many of you want to live with my little paintings.

So it turns out that I also greatly miscalculated just how busy I would be at Christmas, while also finishing up work for a solo show (to be delivered on December 29) AND preparing for the month long residency in Vermont (leaving January 3). Good grief, someone remind me of all this next time I overbook my life, k? I might finish the last of the paintings for the show this weekend, and today Doug is in the city picking up an order of panels for me, which will all need to be prepped before I leave for Vermont. I am also planning to do some work on paper, so I need to gesso those as well. But I am trying my best to at least take a two days off from the studio; tomorrow and Friday (well, unless none of the kids want me around then I might sneak upstairs and apply a coat of gesso or two). Tomorrow is cookie day, we are going bake a zillion cookies and even if it kills me, I am going to sit on the sofa in our living all day on Friday, reading and relaxing!

And I actually do plan on posting again soon (well probably) as I have a bunch of links I want to share. In the meantime though, I hope you all have a great holiday!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a Big Sale!

Ok, here's the thing. I don't have much storage. We live in an old house with NO CLOSETS and my studio is in the attic which has knee wall storage, suitable for packing materials, mouse poop and bins of my kid's artwork, yarn, and photographs. I have one flat file drawer, maybe two tops, to keep the small paintings in that are on my sales blog. Both drawers are now full, and I would really like to clear them out so that I have somewhere to keep the new small format paintings I plan to paint as soon as I get back from my artist's residency in Vermont.

So it's a good time to move these little ones along. And to smooth the way, I have decided to offer all the paintings on the sales blog at half price until January 1. A big discount, it's true, but I really want them to find good homes and I also really want to paint more, so it's a win-win for me.

And if you hurry and buy something, there is a very good chance you will have it before the holidays. Everything is just sitting here, all ready to pack up and ship out. The mouse poop costs extra though. Heh.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Winner!!!

Ok, so last year Ginger got to choose the winner of the birthday contest and this year I gave the other kids a chance to take a turn. No one was interested, I don't think my little contest here is cool enough for them. Heh.

So the ever enthusiastic Ginger was more than happy to do it again. Clearly she has been working on her presentation skills and here she is posing with the bowl of names:
I am thinking she could be a star! Or at least get a job on a game show!

Anyway, here she is mixing up the names:

No coaching by me, folks, Ginger intuitively knew to look away while picking out a slip of paper:

And here is the winner:


I am very excited that Shari won, she had her students do a project based on my work awhile back and well, clearly she has awesome taste in art, hehe. The kids did some cool work which you can see here. So I think it is fitting that she is going to be able to receive a birthday gift from me. Email me, Shari!

I would like to thank EVERYONE who left a comment and birthday wishes, especially Gary. By mentioning that I am still "quite a FOX", Gary qualified for TWENTY entries in the drawing, but alas he struck out anyway, hehe.

Also, I would like to reiterate that I am truly not upset or even mildly freaked out about being another year older; it is simply a bit surreal to be this age on the outside (which, except for my hair color, is ALL natural, baby!) when on the inside I feel about 20, at most. My life gets better each year, and I have been incredibly productive for the last 15 years, what with birthing babies and painting and all, so I have nothing to complain about. Just a little tongue-in-cheek joking about the march of time around here, that's all.

I promise.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2nd Annual Happy Birthday to Me Contest

Layer Cake, 2009, Oil on Panel, 6x4

So I decided to have a birthday gift contest again this year and when I went to get the link to last year's post I reread it and well, it was an excellent post and I am not sure I can top it this year. Heh.

There are a few differences this year however; I am turning 45 (bleh) and my crabbiness is not because of that (well, not ONLY because of that) but because I have been so busy the last few days and am now pretty much totally freaking out about how little time I have left to finish work for my upcoming show, there are a zillion events written on the calendar for the coming weeks so I am going to have many interruptions to my studio time. Arghhh!! Plus I had to do a lot of driving today in our first real snow this year, without any warm up for it, like flurries or even sleet; just a full out snow with slippery roads and everything.

But anyway.

This year has been a bit tumultuous but things are really good now despite looming deadlines, and I am pretty sure that I will be having a very nice birthday on Sunday. The snow makes it seem as if we live in a winter wonderland, I am pretty sure I will be getting some cool gifts from the kids and even though I have to work for a few hours tomorrow, I actually consider that a gift as well.

So same terms apply as last year: leave me a message between now and midnight tomorrow (December 6th is the magic day:)) and say Happy Birthday to me. We'll put all the names in a hat or whatever, and announce the winner on Monday. The lucky duck may choose a painting, any painting, from my sales blog and I will ship it right away. Um, in the US only, sorry (still crabby).

Oh and to all my lovely Facebook friends: ya gotta leave your comment here, not on my FB page. I made that rule up just now!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pet Picture Day

I was thinking I really should make an effort to post again this week, and since every day is pretty much the same lately; computer, painting, laundry, cooking, driving to town and back again x2 or even 3, I decided that a pet update is always a good diversion from mind numbing sameness. Heh.

So a few months ago, I noticed that our little pumpkin was getting chewed up, and assumed it was some sort of critter that was getting at it at night. Then one day I noticed the chickens were crowded around it and well, duh! They had been pecking at it and we all had a good laugh about it after we realized that carving pumpkins would not be necessary this year:

They didn't bother with the big pumpkin until they had decimated the small one. Now I wish I had charted their progress on it, it has been pretty interesting to see how much pecking they can do in a day.

I am liking these big gaping holes that they have fashioned in our home grown pumpkin:

Nice form, don't you think?

The flock seems to be doing pretty well since our rooster died, and it seems that this scrawny old hen is the replacement 'rooster':
I see her rounding everyone up, clucking behind the stragglers and she is the last one to go into the coop every night. She is always very talkative with me and comes rushing up to me everytime I come outside. No attacking, just chit chat. Still miss the rooster's crow each morning though........

The weather here has been so mild that the dogs are still spending a lot of time outside each day and I got this shot of the dogs just as the sun was hitting the porch the afternoon:

Mr. Wilson is about 2 1/2 now, but it seems like he will forever be a puppy. Even though he only weighs about 4lbs, he is brave enough to pick a fight with any or all of the cats, who each weigh about 15lbs. Mr. Wilson pesters them, they smack him, he whimpers, then starts it all over again. Silly pup.

The cats are just cats. Fat, sleepy, hissy with each other and did I say lazy? I can't get them to do anything around here (although they are good at keeping track of all my shipping supplies):

They do like to find all the sunny spots:
warm places (this chair is next to the fireplace):
and guess who is coming to dinner?

So there you go, folks. Pet update, another post in the can, oh and a gratuitous image of a painting that I just finished for the upcoming show in Williamstown.
Turning At The Edge, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 18x24

And PS. Keep an eye out for my Happy Birthday To Me post this Sunday, k?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crazy December

Good Bones, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 16x16

Crazy, wacky, insanely busy week (and month) here. I am really feeling the show deadline looming and am freaking out about whether I will have enough work ready. Three weeks seems like a long time but we all know how fast that is going to spin by.

I am also thinking a lot about my upcoming residency at the Vermont Studio Center in January. The show opens on Saturday, January 2 and then I will be driving to Vermont the next day. Some very precise military-style logistical planning may be necessary for that weekend........

Like the last time I went (almost two years ago) I am planning to work on painting things that are NOT landscapes! I want to focus on the 'People You Know' series, the abstracts, and will maybe make some collages while the paint is drying.

Unlike last time, I have few concerns about sharing a bathroom, meeting people, making friends or finding someone to sit with at dinner. Turns out I am still quite sociable in the right environment and certainly being around other real live artists will help facilitate my chattiness! I still have occasional contact with a few people who work there and I also look forward to meeting fellow artist/blogger J.T. Kirkland, who will be doing a residency as well.

So currently the plan for the rest of December is to have a birthday, paintpaintpaint, have Christmas, deliver paintings for the show, prep all the panels I need for the residency, pack up a month's worth of art supplies and clothing, have a kiss or two with Doug on New Year's Eve, and attend the show's opening reception before leaving for a month.

And that list does not make me feel tired at all. Heh.