Monday, October 6, 2008

the cooper young festival and plans for the future

I am really going to try to be better at blogging regularly. I think it has taken me months of reading other artsy-crafty blogs to realize that my blog posts don't have to be so long! So my new plan is to post more, but shorter!

The Cooper Young Festival was a few weeks ago. It was a HUGE success! I sold 27 paintings at the festival and during the week after the festival. I never imagined I would do so well! Here is a picture of one of my favorite pieces I had there. I liked it so much, I even put it on my business cards! It was one of the ones that sold. It is titled "Jealousy" and is 4X4
Now I am working on stuff to restock my Etsy store! I had planned on putting all of the stuff I didn't sell at the festival in there, but I didn't have a whole lot left! Right now I have about 9 canvases in various stages of completion lying and propped around my studio. I really got a lot done over the weekend! Some of these will be going on etsy and some of them are for the show that I haven't gotten yet :) I figured it would be good to have about half of them done before I start trying to find a gallery for my first REAL show. Everything is turning out beautifully so far!
My kids are out of school for the next two weeks on fall break. I love it when the kids are home, but I don't get as much done. They are, however, going to visit their grandparents in the country for a few days, so I will probably be able to catch up then.
We bought a new camera! Finally! I haven't played with it much, but once I figure out how to use it, I will be posting a LOT more art pics.
I think I might pull my stuff outside, it is a beautiful day here in Memphis. There is nothing like painting messy outside :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's been a while

This year has been kind of crazy so far, but after trips and bizarre illnesses and injuries and crazy house stuff and a horribly lagging economy, I am ready to get back into the swing of things. I am working on stuff to sell at the Cooper-Young Festival, which I love, because that means I can work on pretty much any type of project I want, as long as I can make enough of it to fill a booth. The last couple of months, I've been working on mostly smaller paintings and collages, as well as a ton of artsy magnets, some cool collage scrabble tile charms, and a bunch of art cards. As soon as I can find the cord to my camera (I am so unorganized) I will post some pictures.

Due to a recent trip to the antique/junk store and lots of rusty automotive parts from my father in law's old truck farm, I am super excited to do some assemblage work. I haven't done a lot of this in the past, even though it seems like I've been collecting bits and pieces and some pretty strange found objects for years. It is all coming together and I can't wait to see what I can come up with. I spent this afternoon taking apart a couple of alarm clocks from the 50's or 60's so now I have a bunch of bigger gears to go with some watch parts (teensy tiny gears) and some bigger, quite rusty, car part gears. I also have a couple of empty clocks just begging for tiny little scenes of some sort. So I am off to play with all my stuff!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rainy Day

Here I am, awake at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. (WAY too early if you ask me!) Tony had to go to work this morning, and I got up with him. The kids are still sleeping and I can hear the rain ticking on the roof. The dogs are sprawled out, sleeping around me, one at my side, one at my feet, and another across the room on the pillow. It is very quiet and peaceful and I thought it would be a good time to catch up on everything. I haven't kept up with this blog like I had planned, but life just gets in the way sometimes.

Spring break is over and we are in the last stretch of school before summer vacation. We had a lovely little mini vacation during the break, the kids and tony and I took the train to New Orleans. We stayed in the French Quarter and walked everywhere. I hadn't been to New Orleans since a school trip when I was 14 or 15. It sure is a beautiful town. I don't think I ever care to travel by train again, though. (Something none of us had ever done) Probably the coolest thing about our trip happened the night we arrived. There were two movies being filmed! One was across the street from the hotel, a movie called "The Librarian 3" which is a made for tv movie starring Noah Wyle. And in the alley right next to our hotel, they were filming the movie "Cirque du Freak", starring Salma Hayek. Vinnie loves the Cirque du Freak books (I think they are about vampires maybe?) AND he wants to be a filmmaker when he grows up, so it was all very exciting for him.

I finally gave my show application to Jane at Artists on Central. I don't know when I will find out if I got it, but I am crossing my fingers! She said all of the months for 2008 are full, so it might be next spring if I am accepted, but she also asked me if I would be able to do it in the fall if someone falls through. With a couple of months notice. I told her yes. So that means I need to spend the next couple of months painting as if it were going to be in the fall. That way, if it does happen in the fall, I won't be completely unprepared. I had planned on spending the summer months working on stuff for the Cooper-Young Festival, which is in mid-September, so I am going to spend the next couple of months painting for the show. If it happens in the spring, I will just be ahead of the game, which never ever ever happens. I am one of those people who are painting the edges of those last couple of paintings the night before a deadline. It would be nice to be ahead for once in my life! I have a good start. I spent the last couple of days working on a 24X48, and I might actually be able to finish it early next week if I get a chance to work on it this weekend. I have been in kind of an art slump the last few months, just kind of working on small paintings here and there, but not too excited about any of them. Now I have a specific focus, and doing large paintings is my favorite way to work, I definitely have a different process for big paintings than for small ones. This will be a different way to work for me, really focusing on one theme instead of bouncing from one thing to another. I spent the morning yesterday planning. I have 4 paintings done for this show, another 5 paintings in progress, specific plans for several more, and tentative plans for the rest. And, I figure if I'm not accepted to do a show at Artists on Central (though I feel relatively confident that I will get it), I can just try somewhere else. I am aiming for 20 large paintings (or groupings of smaller paintings) Can I do 16 paintings in the next two months? Probably not. But I bet I can do 10, which is the goal I've set myself. That is a little more than one a week.

Another goal I've set for myself is to not purchase anything new as far as art supplies go, for this show. I have all the canvas I need. My studio is absolutely full of paper and screen and nifty found objects I have been collecting for years. I am going to resist the urge to run to Michaels or Hobby Lobby or the Art Center and wander around, filling my basket with more random stuff to bring home to my already overflowing studio. The only thing I am going to try really hard to allow myself to purchase is paint and mediums, but only if I run out of what I already have. I got my tax stuff together yesterday (I sold 28 paintings last year! yay me! and a bunch of jewelry!) and it was kind of depressing seeing how much I spent on materials versus how much I sold so I am going to try really hard not to do that this year.

I can hear the kids stirring, so I guess I will go start the day. More about the art I am creating later!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Weekend and a new project

I had a busy (for me) weekend! Saturday I went to an Art Marketing workshop at Artists on Central. It was very informative and inspiring and now I have lots to think about. Tony had to be at work, so I rushed home afterwards and I worked all afternoon on my new project!
This picture was taken on my kid's recent field trip to Elmwood Cemetary. I absolutely love this statue. I cropped and enlarged the photo, printed it out on regular legal sized copy paper, and spent the afternoon manipulating the image with gel medium and copper leafing. I am still playing with it, but so far the results have been lovely. I'll have a picture of what I've done with it as soon as it is a little further along.

Sunday was busy as well. I spent the afternoon at Chessie's friend's house, working on her science fair project. She is doing it in a group this year, which requires me to interact with the other moms. I have mixed feelings about this, because I don't usually feel like I fit in. But every now and then, I meet someone really cool. This time, I lucked out. I had a great time hanging out with Jane, who is Chessie's friend's mom. She was very cool. And had some awesome photographs and art. We made solar pizza box ovens with the girls.

After science projects, I went home and picked up Vinnie and dropped off Chessie and he and I went to the movies! We saw Cloverfield. Vinnie has been talking about this movie for ages and I really wasn't sure if it would be too scary for him, but he loved it. I liked it too, it was very entertaining in an updated Godzilla kind of way.

I also worked on a couple of other projects this weekend, off and on. This first one is a background i created. It is on a 12X12 canvas. It reminds me of the ocean, which I love, though not colors I normally paint with. I tend to use a very earthy kind of palette, not too many bright colors, but I have been dreaming of the beach. I have a vision in my mind for this one. I think I'd really like to use old engravings from the 1800's and collage the rest of this one. Jellyfish, I am thinking. I picked up a Dover clip art book of animal engravings, and there are pictures of every animal imaginable, so I could use squid, or coral, or fish...

I have one more picture to share today.
This last one is currently on my easel. I've been working on it for a while. I started this painting in anger, and every time I look at it, I can feel hints of that anger, so I really need to finish it soon or put it away for a while and move on. I like how it is coming together, but I can't decide quite which direction to go with it. This one is 30 inches by 40 inches. I am pretty sure it will look very different by the time I finish it. I tend to start out with one idea and over time, I add so many layers that you can barely tell it is the same painting.
It is a dreary, rainy day today. It makes me want to curl up with a cup of hot coffee and my dog butterscotch and daydream. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My first blog post!

I have been kicking around the idea of doing a blog for some time now. Some of my favorite artists have blogs, and I thought it might be fun. I'll probably try to do it for a while before I even tell anyone about it, just to make sure I can keep up with it, but I am really hoping that this will be a good way to get some feedback on the art I am making. Anyway.

First, here is a little bit about me. I am a mixed media artist in Memphis, TN. For the last two years, I have been selling my art at Fountain Art Gallery, but this is my last month there. Pretty soon, in either Feb. or March, I will (most likely) have a small spot at Artists On Central.

Last year was a pretty big year for me. I was Featured Artist at Fountain in April, then again in December. June and early July were spent getting ready for the HGTV crew to film in my studio. They filmed me doing a painting and a collaged soldered necklace. It will air sometime next fall or spring. I will find out exactly when in a month or two. That was lots of fun and exciting! I can't wait to see it! After that was over, I spent a couple of months painting and making jewelry to sell at the Cooper-Young Festival. It was the first year I actually got a booth, even though I had been saying for YEARS that I was going to. I did better that I ever imagined. I sold a handful of jewelry, but about 3/4 of the paintings I brought were sold! Once that was done, I was painting for the Fountain show in December. Also, the painting that I donated to the WKNO art auction was chosen for their special collection.

This year, I am taking a slightly different direction. I am going to concentrate on making stuff for the festival in September (last year I shared a booth with a friend but this year I want to fill the booth myself) and hopefully painting for a show. I am about to apply for a show at Artists On Central, and if I get it, that will be lots of LARGE paintings to do.

As far as my personal life goes, I am the mother of the two coolest kids in the world, ten year old twins Vinnie and Chessie. My husband, Tony, and I have been married for eleven years, and started dating in high school. We have been together for 16 years total. He is a t.v. engineer and we like to joke that he is my benefactor, because he is the reason I am able to be an artist. You know how, years and years ago, artists would be funded by some rich person to do art? That is tony. (Only he isn't rich. lol) We have three dogs. Hugo is our 7 month old bloodhound-st.bernard mix puppy, Maggie is our 7 year old beagle, and Butterscotch is 11. He is a cocker spaniel mix and my favorite. I hope he sticks around for a while, because I don't know what I'd do without him!

When I am not doing art, I am probably reading or watching one of my tv shows. Sometimes I get a little obsessive about the tv shows. The writer's strike is killing me. Wanna hear my list of shows? I love all of the CSI's, Bones, Lost (which is my favorite!), Dexter.... Well, anyway, the list goes on. I was never a big tv watcher until we got a DVR, but when I can watch them whenever I want, instead of when they come on, it is really easy to add shows here and there! Tony and I are currently making our way through Alias on DVD and I've almost decided that is the way to go. Wait for the DVDs.

So that's me in a nutshell. Next time I will talk about art, maybe!