Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm resuming my one-day workshops in my little studio (if you can call it that--but it works)! Looking forward to the intimate setting and spending the whole day with model and students again. Let me know if you're interested. Email me at pastels@margaretdyer.com.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I have been unfaithful. I have been remiss. I have been distracted. I have been seduced by Facebook. I have forgotten to write in my blog. I am ashamed. I've forfeited the quiet intimacy of the blog for the superficial trivia of Facebook and I'm beginning to feel malnourished. I'm trying to return to blogging. Forgive me, anyone who may  have been wondering where the heck I've gone.

I so love to write. And I so love to get the heartfelt responses some people write. I feel a sense of awe when people share their hearts with me. And Facebook just can't compare.

I've been busy too though. Dallas, Texas, to see the "Sorolla and America" exhibit at the Meadows Museum of Art, where I stayed with my ex-sister-in-law and had a cathartic two days; Scottsdale, Arizona, to teach at the art mecca, the Scottsdale Artists School, where revered artists display their work down the long hallways. I'm headed to Ann Arbor in a couple of weeks to teach another workshop, hosted by Debra Zamperla. Debra and her husband Ivano, a native of Italy, are planning a workshop for me in Italy in 2015. Ivano will make the experience perfect; I can't even begin to imagine it. If anybody is interested in hearing more about the trip, contact Debra at idzamperla@gmail.com. Tell her you want to be on the mailing list for the 2015 Italy trip. This June... I'm headed to France again, to La Bonne Etoile with Kippy. And yes, I'll bore you again with our daily doings.

I'm waking up from 4 years of dearth, for lack of a better word. Getting back into shows, winning awards, taking classes. I'm seeing this coming year as a year of creativity and reinvention. Kinda chomping at the bit here.

The above pastel, "Buckhead Diner," recently won "Outstanding Figurative Award" at the Women Painters of the Southeast Exhibition at the Magnolia Gallery in Greensboro, GA, where it will hang until April 18.


"Taxi," one of 2 shared top award winners at the Degas Pastel Society this past year, will be displayed at the International Association of Pastel Societies Exhibition at the prestigious Vose Galleries of Boston, May-June, 2014, where I will be one of 3 jurors.

And the painting below, "Rosza Resting," will be in the Southeastern Pastel Society 16th International Juried Exhibition at the Oglethorpe Museum of Art. You are all invited to the opening reception, May 15, 2014, 5-7 p.m.

Oglethorpe University
Museum of Art
4484 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
404.364.8555
http://museum.oglethorpe.edu
Opening and Reception May 15, 2014 , 5-7 p.m.


OK I'm trying to make a comeback. Stumbling a bit, but coming back.



Friday, February 21, 2014

My upcoming 2014 workshops...

There's still room in my Scottsdale Artists School class, March 28-30.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Petit Déjeuner, click to bid

Just found out that my class in France is full! 10 students. Wow. Getting excited now.

Also just found out that my pastel of my grandson Victor and his dog Pepper won Best of Show at the International Association of Pastel Societies Online Exhibition. A huge honor. And a very nice check accompanies it. So wonderful at this time of year. Thank you, IAPS.

I'm on my way to Asheville, NC, today to visit old friends for the weekend. Looking forward to seeing Asheville at Christmas time, hoping my car is dependable and that bad weather doesn't surprise me.

"Petit Déjeuner" is a 7x5 pastel up for auction. Click on the title above to be taken to the auction site. Bidding begins at $100.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

A CHAT AFTER MARKET, click to bid

After much deliberation this week I decided to go to the Spruill Art Center Faculty Christmas Party last night; I have been teaching Wednesday morning and evening classes there in north Atlanta for the past year. Because I don't know 99% of the teachers there and because I never remember the names of the ones I should know, and because I am terrified of walking into a crowded party alone, the evening could have been difficult. I called an artist friend, Nancy Honea, who has taught portrait painting at Spruill for 30 something years. She agreed to sit with me and I looked forward to catching up with things in her life; it had been 2 years since I had last seen her.

I got there before she did and did what I always do in these situations...went straight to the bar. A brief superficial smiley chat with people I encountered as I wrangled my way across the room, got my wine, found a table and saved a place for Nancy. I'm OK once I have the wine. I know. Red flag. But it works. Nancy eventually arrived and so did Pat Fiorello, another artist I've never met but have had near misses many times. It usually went like this: "Was that Pat Fiorello who just left? I've been wanting to meet her!" Pat and I chatted with on the phone about a year ago; she was planning to conduct a class at La Bonne Etoile, Kippy's place in France, and wanted my thoughts about the place. So last night I finally met her. Nancy, Pat and I sat at our little table and had the most stimulating conversation about painting and blogs and goal-setting and marketing and teaching and working from your heart and writing books and exhibitions and it was non-stop creativity. I left the Art Center uplifted and encouraged, realizing how much I love the company of artists. Artists are good people, hard and earnest workers, deep thinkers, insightful, empathetic, lovers of beauty, soul-mates.

I'm so glad I went. Thank you, Nancy and Pat.

The 6"x6" pastel above is from a summer afternoon in France. Two ladies stopping to chat after market. It's up for auction on ebay. If interested, click on the title above, it'll take you to the auction. Bidding begins at $100.




Monday, December 9, 2013

LITTLE HARDO, click to bid.


This is actually Leonardo the Second. Leonardo the First lived many years ago when my kids were little. They called him Little Hardo because they couldn't pronounce Leonardo. When my grown daughter Meg got a long-haired blue-eyed white cat just like Leonardo, she gave him the same name. And the same nik-name. Little Hardo is a beautiful cat but I'm glad he lives with Meg and not me. He's a climber. When I lived in a loft and was taking care of Meg's cats for a year, I'd find Little Hardo waaaaaaay up on the rafters, peering down on me. He'd climb on mirrors and kitchen cabinets. It was hard to be angry at his destruction because he was so beautiful.

Little Hardo is a 5x7 unframed pastel, up for auction on ebay. Bidding begins at $100.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

ROSZA DANS LE BAIN, click to bid

I deliberated briefly whether I should get a Christmas tree or not, since I'm all alone in this house. Seems kinda' silly. But I'll be hosting my family's Christmas eve gift exchange here, and it would just feel incomplete without one. So I just purchased one, lugged it into the house, tracking muddy footprints all over my painted white floors. I'm looking forward to evenings in a darkened living-room with the tree glowing, and Robert Shaw's Handel's Messiah every night. I used to do that when my kids were younger. I wonder if they have an affinity for that music today. I hope so. My oldest daughter Anna got to sing in the All-State High School Chorale he directed one year.

Here's Rosza, the lovely model who has posed for my workshops in France for the past 3 years (that's why the title is in French). It's another 5x7 pastel, up for bids on ebay. Bidding begins at $100. Click on the title above to go to the auction.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CAT ON A REFRIGERATOR WITH ONIONS, click to bid.

Just so you don't think I have this special connection to the spiritual, I'll have to share another dream with you. One that I had over 20 years ago, and it also remains vividly imprinted in my brain. 

I was offered an opportunity to invest in a real estate venture. I sank all my money into it, which wasn't much. The investment was showing returns. I went to see my property. It was in Kentucky. I stood on the crest of a hill which overlooked my entire investment: hills upon hills as far as the horizon in every direction, meticulously cultivated into rows and rows of farmland. For as far as I could see, emerging out of the ground in neat little rows, were fish heads. I had invested in a tuna farm, which was wildly successful.

I woke from the dream energized! That's it! I'll invest in a... wait a minute... something is wrong here...

This is Leonardo, my daughter's cat, who perches on the highest possible places. "Cat on a Refrigerator with Onions" is a 7x5 pastel on PastelBord. It is available at auction; bidding begins at $100. Click on title above to be linked to ebay.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I HAD A DREAM..., click to bid.

About 18 years ago I had this dream. It has stayed in the back of my mind throughout my life.

I was standing on a choir platform with 4 or 5 other women. We all had sheet music in our hands and were trying to sing a song to the accompaniment of a woman playing a piano. I just couldn't get it. The melody, the harmony, everything was confusing; even the sheet music was unreadable. So the woman on the piano sang and played the song in its entirety for us. When she played, it was breathtakingly beautiful and I understood how to sing it. So we sang. It was a song of thanksgiving. And as we sang I was able to understand the sheet music, which was not bars and notes and symbols, but was linear. The line climbed to an apex then descended to the depths and climbed up again and descended again, up and down, up and down, like a mountain range with valleys. The song was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I woke sobbing, realizing I had just been given a gift. And I understood that I am learning this song of thanksgiving throughout my entire life, through the mountains and valleys.

This 5x7 pastel is another of Ann, a model who posed for my Thursday evening class here in Atlanta. It's up for auction, with the bidding beginning at $100. Click on the title above to be linked to the ebay auction.

Monday, December 2, 2013

ANN IN YELLOW AND BLUE, click to bid.

Here they come... little 5x7's, just in time for Christmas. Or Chanuka. Or a birthday present or an anniversary...

It's raining here in Atlanta. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Speaking of Thanksgiving... I'll have to tell you about a dream I had years ago. One of those dreams that seemed to come from outside my own mind, one of those dreams that never fades. I remember it as vividly today as if I had dreamed it last night.

But you'll have to wait until I can find the quiet time to do it.

"Anne in Yellow and Blue" is an unframed 5x7 pastel on PastelBord, up for auction with a beginning price of $100. Click on the title above to be linked to ebay.

I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home from Huntsville and thank you, Randy Higbee.

I drove through the beautiful northeast Alabama countryside yesterday morning, a crisp cloudless autumn day, on my way home from my Huntsville workshop this weekend. If you've never been to northeast Alabama, you're missing a well hidden gem. Mountains, lakes --a beautiful meandering drive.  Gas from Huntsville to Gadsden--$2.99 a gallon.

Thank you, Huntsville Art League and Shirley Barnes, for hosting the class so graciously.


And thank you, Randy Higbee, for accepting these two pastels into your 6x6 December show. I'm always happy to get into that show. Click on the title of this blog or copy and paste the link below to see a charming little video of one of his shows. I love watching it over and over, mostly I guess because of the music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-puUNz0DOU

It's good to be home again. I'm headed up to the studio, which, by the way, is no longer the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage/studio. Not because I've fixed it up, but because when Kippy came into town a few weeks ago, she worked like a tornado and made me bring all my stuff upstairs to the unfinished apartment above the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage. So now my studio is a smaller but cleaner unfinished room which I'll be lighting and heating using extension cords connected to the power downstairs in the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage. I'll spend my morning trying to make it comfortable, cozy and inviting so I can get back to work. I'm hoping to get quite a few small pieces to auction off for December. So if you're looking for some affordable art, keep an eye out...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3 day workshop in Huntsville, AL, November 15-17

I'll be traveling to Huntsville, AL, on Thursday to teach a 3 day class for the Huntsville Art League at the University of Huntsville. Friday-Sunday, November 15-17. There is still room for more participants. Let me know if you'd like to join us.
http://www.huntsvilleartleague.org/classes/workshop-the-figure-in-pastel/

oops...make that one...

Got another sign-up for my workshop in France. Only one space left!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Only two spaces left!

If you're considering joining me in France this June for my annual workshop at La Bonne Etoile, you'd better act quickly. We have 8 confirmed participants, and only 2 spaces left! Contact Kippy to save your space. For all the information you'll need, click on the title above or copy and paste this link: http://www.labonneetoile.com/workshops/Dyer2014.pdf . I would love to have you join us for a magical two weeks.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Voila!

Turned out just fine...a little crumbly but very much edible.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I had 4 overly ripe bananas. Do I put them in the compost? Freeze them for smoothies? No. Whole wheat banana bread! So I went to work putting ingredients in the bowl, mixing them with my hand-mixer-with-only-one-whisker, the other must have gotten lost in the move, or ex-husband is holding on to it for spite. Oops. No eggs. What to substitute? I tried a tablespoon of mayonnaise--it's eggs, right? It looked a little funky as I poured it into the lightly greased pan, but tasted delicious when I sampled the batter to be sure. It smelled divine as it cooked in the oven, and seemed to be rising appropriately. WAIT! Whole wheat banana bread? I didn't remember putting any whole wheat in it. I frantically look around, no evidence of flour all over the kitchen, which there normally would have been. And no memory of pouring the flour into the measuring cup or gooky flour stuck at the bottom of the bowl. I had to pull the boiling mixture out of the oven, pour in the two cups of whole wheat flour, mix them with the hand-mixer amputee and replace the bread pan in the oven. I'm waiting now to see what comes out. I'll let you know.

These 6x6 pastels are hopefully going to the Randy Hibee 6x6 December show in Costa Mesa, CA. If not, they'll be available on ebay. I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A messenger.

I believe I am successfully navigating the stages of grief: I have passed the "knock yourself out at night with xanax so you can't think or feel anything" stage. When I had no more xanax, I entered the "cram your mouth with chocolate and don't eat anything else for days" stage, which I have survived and am recovering from. Now I'm in the "remember" stage. Those are the stages of grief, right?

A few weeks ago, before Daniel left us, I turned off Neil Young and took a break from the gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp, crumbly garage/studio, which I am very grateful for, and sat on the front porch talking with Daniel. I hadn't washed up, I was still wearing my paint-and-pastel-smeared-apron and my fingers were black with pigment. We watched as a shiny black pickup truck slowly passed my house, backed up and stopped at my mailbox. An elderly black man got out and said as he approached my front porch, "I bet you're the person I'm looking for." "I bet I'm not," I responded, figuring him to be selling something. "I bet you are," he said. "I bet I'm not," I repeated. "Did you put some things out last month during garbage amnesty day?" he asked.

In September the city of East Point, Georgia, held its bulk pick-up amnesty week. Twice a year you can put anything out on the curb for the garbage collectors, anything they would normally refuse -- broken appliances, furniture, mattresses, whatever. I was warned by my neighbors that the night before the pick-up, locals would scour the streets, stop at the piles that might hide something interesting, and load their vehicles with new treasures. That evening I had joined Mike and George (my next door and across-the-street neighbors who 'planted my vegetables,' installed my security light, trim my hedges and repair my lawnmower) for drinks as they watched to see how long it would take for their broken power tools and a cat-destroyed leather chair to disappear. From my window later I watched as people picked through my crumbling compressed wood-fiber office furniture and discarded old paintings, the ones I didn't have the heart to destroy.

He shook my hand and introduced himself; he was Bruce, he and his wife live several blocks away on Neeley Street. He could tell, he said, that I was the person he was looking for because of the "hasn't-been-cleaned-in-a-year apron" I was wearing -- I had to be an artist. He had rescued several of my paintings in September, one was an almost 20 year old painting of two ladies working in the kitchen, which now hangs in his house and he loves it. The other paintings now reside in his friends' houses, one of which lives on my street. He wanted to thank me, and with sparkling eyes, he did. "I believe in divine intervention," he said. Bruce joined Daniel and me on the porch and glowed as he talked about divine intervention in his life, most lately his successful battle with cancer. Now he and his wife help AIDS sufferers by printing and selling t-shirts; they purchase groceries for the needy person with the profits. The man had a message of joy which made both Daniel and me cry. Almost like an angel we thought.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My friend Daniel Burnley.

I lost my best friend this week. He had been my boss and my mentor a lifetime ago in a corporate advertising department, when we shared 3 hour lunches at Manuel's Tavern. He taught me how to write. He taught me design. He taught me to love a garden. He introduced me to the Arts and Crafts movement and art pottery. We complained about needing more time after spending entire days wondering through the Impressionist rooms of the Chicago Institute of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we discovered Thomas Dewing and Cecelia Beaux. We commiserated over our past disastrous relationships, we wore tiaras watching Downton Abbey. He was a small-town boy who made good in the big city. He was a gifted writer, actor and artist. Honest, passionate, intelligent and the funniest person I have had the honor to know. I am heartbroken and feel lost without him. He left us too soon. I will see him again over there.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My friend Meg Bortin, a journalist who has lived in Paris for more than 30 years, was also a professional chef in the U.S. and Paris. She writes a beautiful and simple blog. The simplicity I appreciate because I find the kitchen challenging. My ex once said he never knew anybody else who could destroy a kitchen making a cup of coffee. I'm afraid he was right. I'm almost inept in the kitchen. But I love reading Meg's recipes. I thought I'd share this one (and I might even try cooking it with the pumpkin sitting on my front porch) since Thanksgiving is almost upon us. You might also like subscribing to her blog, The Everyday French Chef, which would enter your email box about once a week. Check it out:
http://everydayfrenchchef.com/gratin-de-potiron-georges-blanc/

Friday, October 18, 2013

France again! June 11-25, 2014!


Kippy has finalized the itinerary for my 2014 workshop at La Bonne Etoile. If you are curious to see what we'll be doing, click on the title above (this jpg may not enlarge well). If you're interested in joining us, let us know.