Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Frames#1005, 2010, Oil on Birch Panel, 16x20

I made moderate progress on Tuesday. Um, despite spending a little bit too much time on the computer. But it was less time than usual so I will look at the bright side on that.

It was a lovely, rainy day (I like rainy days) so it was easy to stay in my studio and work. I finished prepping all ten panels and after my little computer binge, I managed to finish up two of the ten paintings that were on my to do list. There are six left, and I think I can make some progress on several of them today.

Also, last night while I was watching American Idol (LOVE Crystal, Lee and that Casey is a real cutie pie), I started the whole curtain project and I think tonight (during Criminal Minds) I can get all of them prepared for the sewing part.

And bonus task yesterday was cleaning out the sink in the kid's bathroom. Normally, I would have one of the kids do it, but I use it during the day for cleaning my brushes, and it was starting to bug me so I just took a few minutes to do it.

Oh AND I wrote a BLOG POST!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby Steps

Frames(Structure)#1002, 2010, Oil on Birch Panel, 20x16

Ok, it seems like the act of making the list and posting it on the internet has gotten me feeling a bit more energetic about things in general. I made some progress yesterday and also it was so awesome to get such encouragement about continuing the blog from my lovely readers. Thank you!

So this is what I did yesterday:

I made all my phone calls and I now have appointments to take two pets to the vet this Thursday, a meeting at the clinic in Syracuse concerning my daughter's insulin pump, and I also rescheduled my upcoming dentist appointment.

I finished the backs of the ten panels that I am prepping and this morning started the priming on the front and sides. The prep doesn't take so much time, it's mostly the drying, sanding and having to run downstairs to clean the brushes that can really drag things out here......

I had some emails to attend to yesterday, in addition to a good chunk of online time (oops) so I got started painting a bit later than I should have. But it ended up ok, I managed to get two smaller pieces done and will get back to the easel as soon as I am done with this post.

And bonus! After dinner, instead of glancing at the disgusting, dusty, greasy range hood, sighing and then ignoring it yet again, I decided to just take a few minutes and clean the dumb thing. This might have been the most encouraging thing I did all day; I have been ignoring stuff like that for weeks.

Will be back tomorrow!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spectacularly Unproductive

Frames #1001, 2010, Oil on Birch Panel, 12x16

Well. Ahem. Yes, it has been three weeks since I last posted. Every single day, I thought about posting, but didn't. Couldn't? Not sure which anymore. I can't say I have been too busy either, as I have been spectacularly unproductive lately. And while I don't want to end this blog, it does periodically occur to me that maybe I will.

But today is Monday, a good day to turn over a new leaf and I am going to try again and get my mojo back. For the blog, for my work, for my life in general. Sounds dramatic, eh??? Well, like I said; spectacularly unproductive lately. Not only am I not working in the studio enough, I am not even doing the projects around the house that I usually complain about not having enough time for, even though I have had all the time in the world lately.

So I have decided to start with to-do lists. Public to-do lists. I don't normally keep a formal to do list, but well, desperate times here. I do NOT like being spectacularly unproductive. The plan is to post a to-do list for each week, on Mondays and update my progress each day. I am hoping that this will get me posting here again and also help me get some stuff done.

Well, here we go. My list of things to-do this week (in addition to regular stuff like driving kids, making dinner, scooping cat litter and feeding chickens and um, keeping up with Facebook):


Finish the 10 paintings that are in progress, starting with the six that have been sitting here, halfway finished for at least three weeks.......

Finish prepping panels.

Do some drawing for at least a half day.

Start at least one new 'People You Know' painting.

Do seven more Black Paintings on the 6x9 inch panels that have been sitting here for a whole MONTH.

Load new paintings on to my sales blog, and do some other things, like ordering supplies, etc.


CLEAN the house.

Hem the new curtains for my daughter's room, the curtains that are still sitting in the shopping bag on the dining room table, exactly where I set them down when I got home from buying them 3 WEEKS AGO.

Make a few appointments that I have been lazy about making. Dentist, vet, etc.

Have lunch with a friend. I have been spectacularly antisocial lately as well.

Get out in the garden and plant spinach and lettuce seeds in the cold frame.

This seems like a lot to me, especially since I am pretty much starting at zero. Heh. But it's nowhere close to what I used to accomplish in a week and it is stuff that I really do need to get done, so this is my list and I am sticking to it.

PS. I do realize that I would be spectacularly productive if I had anything whatsoever on the exhibition schedule for the upcoming year, but that is a post for another day;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vermont Friends

Last night together in Vermont: Jon, Rob and J.T.

Even though I spent way more time working than socializing while I was at the residency in January I did manage to meet at least a few people. I tried to keep most of my chit chatting to mealtimes, although there were some memorable conversations in my studio, or at one of the two parties I attended. Heh.

It was very exciting to see what other artists were working on in their studios and I really enjoyed 'Slide Night', the weekly event when the visual artists gave a short presentation of their work. Most of the artists I got to know have websites (seems more common than when I was there two years ago) so I am going to share them here with you.

I knew J.T. through our blogs before January, but he was also pretty much the first resident that I met; I walked in to the opening night reception and there he was. We got along well, we had most of our meals at the same table and also visited each others studios. The other resident that I 'knew' before we got there was Rob Williams. He found me after doing a google search about VSC and we hit it off right away, both via the internet and in person. He knows a few of my deep dark secrets too, lucky guy.
Rob and Jang Soon

I also really enjoyed the time I spent with Lauren, Marcie, Michelle, Aschley, Lindsay and Giordanne. I believe that technically I am old enough to be a mother to most of these lovely and talented women (in one 'ouch' moment I learned that Michelle's mother is younger than I am), but they did not in any way hold that against me! I am also very happy to have acquired several new pieces of art from this group of friends.
J.T. and Aschely

It's bad luck to discuss the details but I will say that I might have a potential project with JoAnna Johnson and Kristie Eden O'Donnell. JoAnna's dress project awes me and Kristie's work is very bold and strong with just a bit of vulnerability, just like her. Crossing my fingers about our project.
JoAnna's dresses, hanging in her studio.

Matthew McConville had a studio down the hall from me and he had some really helpful observations about my work, and I really appreciated those. His work is beautiful AND funny, which is the perfect combination if you ask me. Nicole McCormick Santiago also gave me some really good feedback about my work (she didn't need any on hers; it is ALREADY PERFECT!) and we had some good talks concerning painting process and the art biz too. I think Steven Pearson worked harder and longer in his studio than anyone. It was my own personal goal to work later than him in just once in the month we were there, but I failed; he was always in his studio whenever I dragged my zombie self home, no matter the time. He had a project that had to be finished while he was at the residency and it was pretty exciting when he did just that.
Steve, in front of his finished painting.

I had a lot of nice conversations with painter Jon Eckel. Jon lives in the Philadelphia area so we had that in common even if he was just 5 when I moved there, hehe. I was impressed with his motivation too; Jon was spending THREE months in Vermont to find new direction in his work and I will be very interested in seeing what happens with that.

I also enjoyed talking to Kim Manfredi, and reallyreally liked what she was working on and admired her process which was pretty involved. I am also still bummed out that I didn't get to see what she did in the last week or so, she packed up her work before the final Open Studio. Anthony Hawley came in for the second two weeks of the session and I like him right away, he was very nice to talk to. He also has an interesting project going on right now and I am pleased to now have two of his small paintings.

I loved my housemates, Nancy Williams was only there for two weeks, but we had much in common and I enjoyed her reading (she is a writer). Kimberly Dark came in at the middle of the session and her performances were incredible, very funny and thought provoking, and she is just an all around wonderful and kind person. Tonya Gregg was very sweet to me one evening after I had had a frustrating day and I also was very taken with her work. She showed some images of previous work that I still think about, very strong, colorful and bold work.

So those were the people that I got to know best. I wish I had been able to spend more time with other residents as well, but I really wanted to work so unfortunately my social time was limited. However, many of those residents are my Facebook friends now and so I may get another chance. A few of these folks don't have websites (as far as I know) but I am listing them anyway: Marin Abell, JC Jogerst, Nicholas Naughton, Lia Powers, Carrie Elizabeth Cook, Ariana Franco, Jang Soon, Matthew Clark, Eric Markowsky, Christian Benefiel, Ariel Churnin, Kate McGraw, Mary Lamboley, Tatiana Berg, Jeremy Lundquist, Kit Burke-Smith, Liliya Zalevskaya, Sanghee Park, Seungae Bang. Also, Jeanne Marie Wasilik was in the studio right next door to me (which was the studio I had last time), and we had many nice chats.
Ariana Franco at the last Open Studio night.

Marin Abell's project.

Oh and it was wonderful to see David Grozinsky again. He works there and remembered me! Yay!

So anyway. I am sure I am forgetting someone and I apologize in advance. And if I am missing anyone's website or link please let me know and I will add it. Love sharing up links!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Website

Black Painting#98, 2010, Oil on Panel, 9"x6"

More than a few mealtime conversations at the Vermont Studio Center revolved around our websites. J.T. was real keen on Other People's Pixels and he encouraged, and then helped a few of the other residents set up their sites at OPP (the next post will include links to those sites as well as to blogs etc of some of the other residents that I got to know).

At first I wasn't really interested in changing my website. A friend of mine had designed mine several years ago and even though it could use some updating I still really liked the basic design. So I mentally filed all this new info, which is not easy to do these days, I am perilously close to total overload!

After I got home and sorted through and photographed all the work that I did in Vermont, I was really excited to get my website updated and maybe give it a little face lift too. Unfortunately, my friend's company was swamped with work and it wasn't looking like anything was going to get updated for awhile. I was feeling a bit pressured to start sending my info out (this coming year is looking very quiet right now) right away, so I checked out OPP again. I signed up for the trial membership and within a day or so I got a good part of the site set up which really won me over. Gotta love anything that is easy enough for ME to set up! By the time I got everything loaded I was ready to sign up for a year of hosting ($160) and that is just what I did.

So go check out my new website. I like it a lot; it looks pretty snappy and I really like the simple layout and easy navigation. It doesn't have some of the wonderful little details that my old design had (love ya, Niklas:)) but I have finally gotten over losing those. Best of all I can load and unload new images and make other changes as easily as if I were on Blogger or Facebook. Not saying I am an expert, or am even fast at any of that, but eventually I can figure things out. Well, usually. Heh.

And if you happen to decide to sign up at Other People's Pixels, link to it from my site so I can get a free month. I bet J.T. has a free year by now!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vermont Light

I wrote a post while I was in Vermont mentioning the light in my studio there and even though it was a little bit pesky if I was trying to actually paint, it was a comforting element in my space. My windows faced east, and slightly south, so when the sun was out (which was not too often actually, it was a pretty gray month) the light moved from one side of the studio to the other between about 10am and 1pm. And just by chance it often illuminated my work that was hanging on the walls and I was always trying to quickly find my camera to get a good shot.

Sometimes it seemed as if the light was communicating with me, telling me to do another painting:

Showing me the drama in the Black Paintings:

Highlighting a favorite:

And gently saying goodbye as I was taking my work down at the end of my time there......

And PS: JT was visiting my studio on a sunny morning and here is his hand: