Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tag, You're It!!

I've been tagged by fellow artist M.E. "Mike" Bailey, along with four other artists that he tagged in this post. The deal is that I have to post five random facts about myself, and then tag five other bloggers. Here are the official rules:

If you have been tagged, please follow these rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as wellas links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Anyhow, five things about me:

1. I never clean my paint brushes. I know it's terrible, but I leave them in a can of mineral spirits in between painting sessions. And yes, I use CHEAP bristle brushes!

2. I sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" about 50 times a day. Actually, now that it's officially the Christmas season, I've added "Silent Night" to my repertoire just to mix things up a bit. Poor Aspen - she's got to listen to my terrible voice all day...

3. I discovered a mouse in my garage tonight - when I chased it it went into my swim bag, which means that I'm not going to be using my goggles anytime soon.

4. I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.

5. I used to compete in Scottish Highland Dancing. I wore a kilt and danced to bagpipes and all - it was actually REALLY good exercise.

Here are the five people I'm going to tag:

Lisa Call could teach any artist a few things about discipline and productivity, and what's more important, she's an amazing artist. I have to admit I wasn't very familiar with textile work before I found her blog, but I love her work!

Peter Yesis is a daily painter who always inspires me with his consistency and fantastic still life paintings. I love to read about the motivation and ideas behind his art - I'm tagging him because I figure maybe he'll share a bit more about himself as well!

Rene PleinAir is an artist from the Netherlands whose moody paintings always make me want to visit his country. Like Peter, he manages to finish a paintings almost every day - so impressive!

KT was one of my sorority sisters in college, and she doesn't blog enough anymore, so this will be motivation. Plus, I know she'll have five interesting things to say!

Ramblin' Girl has tagged me before, so I'm going to tag her back. This is a new game, so that's allowed right? It's not like, "Tag, you're it, no touch-backs!", is it? She's been posting some cool photos lately.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Couldn't Have Said it Better

"Primary Colors"
Oil on Panel

I was reading the new issue of Southwest Art last night and came across a couple of interesting statements by artist Woody Gwyn. They sum up a lot of my feelings about being a representational painter, and put things into words that I sometimes have difficulty explaining.

On subject matter:

I hope I transcend the subject. If your work is a literal transcription and is not done with a certain level of passion, it's just illustration. And the danger in abstract art is, if it's not done with a certain philosophical underpinning and passion, then it's just decoration. - Woody Gwyn

On choosing a life in art:

No one made me do this. I love being an artist and wouldn't do anything else. But it's strenuous. We artists don't just shake things out of our sleeves. It demands mental concentration, and at the end of a hard day painting, you are drained. The positive thing about being an artist is that every once in a while you make a breakthrough, and you really see the possibilty of new horizons in your work. Anything worthwhile is usually hard work, and you have got to want, want, want it.- Woody Gwyn

Now I'm off to the mountains for a few days. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quote of the Week

"The Last to Change"
Oil on Panel

I'm a sucker for good quotes. I tear them out of magazines and write them down on scraps of paper, and fill my notes with them when I hear people speak. Some of them are too good to lose, so I'm going to start posting them here every once in a while.

I keep this one in my studio to remind me how blessed I am to be able to paint:

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” -Maya Angelou

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Show

My first opening was Friday night, and it turned out to be a great experience! A lot friends and family came out to support me, which made the whole experience less intimidating than I thought it would be. A bunch of my (ex)coworkers from my engineering job came as well, which shows what great, supportive people they are. There was a decent turnout of collectors, and we sold some paintings, which is always nice! Quite a few people showed up who already own paintings of mine, and it was great to meet them and talk to them about my work.

I think that just about everyone I talked to asked me the same three questions (or a variation of each):

1) Do you paint on location?
2) How long does it take you?
3) Do you use your engineering degree?

The show hangs through the end of this month, but my work is done for the time being. Now it's back into the studio to get some paintings done for other shows and opportunities!

Now that I'm not working towards a show, I'd like to try some new things in the next few months. First, I really want to try out pastels. Second, I want to start doing some smaller work in an attempt to paint everyday - I like to paint wet-into-wet, so when I'm working on larger paintings I often don't paint unless I know I'm going to have a devoted chunk of time. I think doing smaller 6x8" studies would give me a way to pick up the brushes even when I have less time.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Ugh - why didn't anyone tell me I was going to be so nervous the day of my first show opening!?!?

Luckily, Nate was really sweet and booked me a massage at a nice spa, and arranged to have my mom watch Aspen so that I can go relax. Hopefully it will work, because I'm a nervous wreck right now! I just want the opening to go well, be fun, and hopefully sell some paintings while we're at it.

If you're in town, stop by!!