Friday, December 13, 2013
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
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 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
Friday, October 25, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
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.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I digress. Back to the studio. I've been feeling a little, OK, not a little, disgruntled with people lately. So the plan was: don't check the phone for missed messages (there were none), don't check email compulsively (found nothing of interest all day), try to get into painting and forget the negative feelings I've been dealing with. I settled into the studio and turned on my hero Van Morrison. Hymns to the Silence and A Sense of Wonder. If ever you need to put your priorities in order, listen to this man worship The Ancient of Days, The Great Great Great Great Great One, The Master. I worked with elation. Thank you, Van.
This 6x6 pastel is of Ann, who modeled for my Wednesday evening class last week. We photographed her and I'm thrilled with the photos and the pieces I know I'll be doing of her. Thank you, Ann.
I'm actually feeling pretty good right now.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Thursday afternoon, before the festival began, we decided to drive around the area to see what might be paintable--it seems none of us knew anything about College Park. Even Kippy's son said, "Why College Park?" Our sentiments exactly. I grew up in north Atlanta and knew about the existence of College Park in the south metro area near the airport, but had never been there. Actually, I always smugly dismissed it as being an undesirable area, not really Atlanta.
Again, in my increasing age, I am put to shame for my ignorance. Woodward Academy, an exclusive private school, is in College Park. I got to see its campus. I got to see the adjacent charming neighborhoods with pristine Craftsmen bungalows, manicured lawns, shady wide streets, trendy eateries. I got to meet some of the very content locals. College Park is every bit as desirable a neighborhood as Virginia-Highlands (for those of you who know Atlanta); it's a hidden gem.
And then there were the vibrant artists we met, from Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and even College Park. Millie Gosch (www.milliegosch.com), a plein air painter with beautiful sophisticated gallery on Main Street, organized the event (I intend to paint with her and get to know her better). The day and a half paint-out culminated in a wet-painting exhibition at the Women's Club just down the road from Millie's gallery. The show was judged by Jim Richards (www.jrichardsstudio.com), who lives in Tucker, Georgia. I'm beginning to think Georgia is a terrific place to be an artist.
I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I won Best of Show. Not deservedly in my eyes, but who's going to argue with the judge? And nobody's taking that blue ribbon out of my hand.
Have I said it enough? I have landed in paradise.
oooh! I forgot to mention...my neighbors George and Mike (the guys that 'planted' vegetables in my garden) and Kathy showed up at the reception, to my delight. Kathy won a 5x5 painting by David Boyd (www.davidboydjr.com) in the raffle, something I would have loved to win myself, since I honestly thought his work deserved the blue ribbon. But he aint gittin' it from me.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I was informed this week that one of the two pastels here won an award at the Degas Pastel Society exhibition in New Orleans last night. Not sure which one, but am looking forward to finding out!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Meet, greet and eat from 6:30 -7 pm, a short meeting (10 to 15 minutes), then I'm on. It should all be over around 8:30.
Click on title above for link to directions.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Got home to a new roof. My 80 year old house had some leaks. I had a few roofers come bid on repairs a few weeks ago, all said they wouldn't repair it--I needed a new roof, two suggested I file a claim with homeowners insurance; there was hail damage up there. I thought, I'm not so sure I should be filing a claim only a few months after purchasing this place, but then, why not? We did have a serious hail storm 10 days after I moved in. If I had to replace the roof, it certainly would help. Friendly insurance adjuster approved, and 2 weeks later I have a new lifetime guaranteed roof. A real relief. And it'll be so nice not worrying about those enlarging brown spots on my dining room ceiling or the water which literally poured through my front porch ceiling. Now my neighbors are jealous and want new roofs too.
Speaking of neighbors... I think I have the best neighbors in the world.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
There's still room for more if you want to join the class. Just click on the title above for more info.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
This landscape is a 5x7 pastel of Screen, Ireland, painted during my recent trip to Ireland. It's up for auction. Click on the title above to go to ebay if you're interested.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
"Boats at dock in Ballyhack" is a 10"x10" pastel on board, up for auction. Bidding begins at $100.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I hit the ground running when I return home--there's so much to catch up on. All the while I'm meaning to close my trip on my blog, hating to leave anybody hanging. So I'm finally getting to it.
I returned home from Ireland with a broken carry-on, new clothes to replace my items from my delayed bag, a large balance on my credit card, about 100 Euros to put aside for my next trip, a mental image of the complaint I would write USAirways, and a sense of renewed commitment to art. Despite all my little annoyances, I returned home with a new respect for plein air work and the dedicated artists who paint that way. I have a lot to learn. And I intend to spend the next year working at it. Ireland--I love. The Irish people are my people, whether they know it or not. They were gracious and gentle and funny and down-to-earth. If you pass them on the street they say melodically, "Hello, luvley day." I look forward to seeing Ireland again, only next time I'll take more time and travel west, maybe try to look up my distant relatives.
I met artists from Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, USA and more. I can still see their faces and hear their voices. One thing quite a few of them do is travel. A lot. Some were off to Italy and France after Ireland. I may work on that too.
Some of the artists I had the honor to get to know in Ireland:
From the USA
Lori Putnam http://loriputnam.com
Valerie Craig http://valeriecraig.com (Valerie won the best in show award)
Rhonda McCay http://rhondamccay.com
Andy Dearwater http://www.dearwater.com
From Ireland, England, Germany
Jane Meyler http://janemeyler.com
Judy and Peter Tate www.thetates.me/en-plein-air-2013.html
Tony Robinson http://pleinairartists.ning.com/profile/ArtintheOpen
Reiner Simon www.rainersimon-art.de
Another blip on my air travel...I was bumped from my return flight in Dublin (they lost my bag again too). I was too overwhelmed to be furious. They rerouted me through Philadelphia instead of Charlotte and put me in first class, which I wasn't going to complain about. I plopped my 40 lb. broken roll-on and my tired body in the front row, accepted an immediate offer of champagne from the flight attendant, and struck up conversation with the man sitting next to me, oblivious of all the dirty masses making their way past us to the back of the cabin. "What were you doing in Ireland?" Wayne asked. Assuming he was like most non-artists, I went into a lengthy definition of what plain air painting is and what paint-outs are and what I was doing in Wexford. "My girlfriend is a plein air pastel artist," he replied when I was finished. I was astonishment and speechless. I learned later, when I had a chance to get online, that she's an award winning pastelist (http://judymillerdesign.com). Puts me to shame. And she has been following my blog for a few years (Hi Judy and Wayne). Four champagnes and a glass of wine later, dinner, an ice cream sundae, and non-stop conversation for hours, we stretched out and slept until we approached Philly. That was my first experience in first class. All the while, well maybe not all the while, I was thinking of all the people back there in economy scrunched up for 7 hours in 18 inch spaces, while I had endless champagne and munchies, a linen tablecloth, stainless steel (rather than plastic) flatware, several courses for dinner and good company. First class was definitely nice. But it might have been better if I had never known what I've been missing, or will be missing.
Anyway, I'm home. Catching up on paying bills, pulling weeds, staying in touch with loved ones, hanging curtains, installing shelves with my new drill, painting, trying to get back into the studio (here's something I've done since I've been home) and enjoying my little house.
I'm so glad to be home.
Friday, August 9, 2013
I had been staying at Whites Hotel the past week during Art in the Open. The original plan was for me to teach a 3 day figurative workshop immediately after the close of the festival but my class didn't fill. So I have several days to kill. I had considered returning home early but changing my return flight would have cost more than staying here in a B&B the 4 extra days, which, obviously, I opted to do.
But I had forgotten about the Irish breakfasts at the B&B's. Oy. The soda bread and butter. I came to southeast Ireland about 12 years ago with my husband. Ex-husband now (and could I write about that...). One of the most vivid memories from that wonderful trip was the breakfasts at every B&B. Especially the soda bread and Irish butter, and I'm not a bread and butter kind of person. I remember waking up every morning eager to get down to breakfast just to have the bread and butter. Today that has been reawakened.
I'm staying at The Blue Door B&B in Wexford, where the owner, Derek, is a chef. I have spent the past two days painting with Judy and Peter, a married couple from England. They pick me up at 9:00 a.m., and we paint until 5ish, breaking for fish (fresh from the sea) and chips. I'll be seeing them again this morning for our final painting excursion. We all depart for our homes in the morning. Gotta' run downstairs for breakfast now...
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Monday afternoon was our exhibition at Greenacres Gallery. One hundred eighty artists exhibited up to 3 pieces each. And every piece was lovely. It was really an emotional experience to see the quantity and quality of the work created the past week. Also to see the work done by the people you had shared meals and drinks with during these days. As they say here, it was grand.
The Mayor of Wexford welcomed everyone, all the hard working volunteers were credited, and award winners were announced (you'd know if I won anything). It was an excellent show; all the artists were thrilled to be a part of it.
Here were my 3 ...