Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Portfolio Book

2008 Portfolio
By Stacey Peterson

I've been wanting to print a small portfolio for a while now, mainly to give to potential collectors or those who buy my work. I did some research, decided that Blurb seemed like the easiest way to put together a small book, and went ahead and put together a book of what I think are the strongest paintings I've done this year. I wanted to keep it small, since I plan to include it when I ship out paintings, and Blurb's 7x7" format is just perfect. I got my first printed copy today, and I think it turned out pretty well - it looks professional, and the photos inside are fairly accurate.

If any of you are looking to self-publish anything, and need a quick and easy way to do it, I'd highly recommend Blurb. The software is easy to use, and the product is professional

For anyone who wants to check it out, use the link above or the one I've added to my blog sidebar. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Latest Studio

I almost have my studio put together - yay!! I waffled back and forth about what to do for a studio in this new house. It's only three bedrooms, so I wasn't sure whether I should take up a whole room for myself or squeeze into the corner of what would be the guest bedroom. In the end I realized that A) I have way too much stuff to NOT have a whole room and B) I work much better in a dedicated, peaceful space.

Two weeks ago, this is what my studio looked like - a big mess!!

I hate white walls, so I decided to paint the room a neutral green color to darken it up. Here's a view of the room after I painted and organized a bit (those are Aspen's first watercolors on her easel to the right!):

Right now I have my palette on a table that Nate threw together in five minutes with some scrap wood. I'll eventually replace it with something that has some shelves underneath and doors so I can store all my extra paint/mineral spirits/brushes somewhere out of sight:

This house has 10 foot ceilings, so I can extend my easel enough to do a 30x40" painting without having to adjust any knobs (I still love my easel, by the way), which is really nice.

My frames are stuffed in the closet and leaning up against the wall, along with finished paintings that I'm getting ready to send out to galleries and shows. This is the part of my studio that I hate - I'm not a big fan of clutter. I'd love to have a studio someday that has a separate room for framing!!

I recently bought some vertical organizers at the office supply store to put small finished paintings in. I stole this idea from another artist who had these in a studio picture, and while I don't remember who the arist was, I'm really grateful! They're a good cheap way to keep plein air studies organized while they dry.

I keep one up on a table that I put wet panels in as I finish them - the great thing about these plastic ones is that they don't touch the panels anywhere where they're wet.

Anyhow, that's my studio. Here's the view from the window - lots of big, blue sky!

I'm thrilled to have a studio inside the house again! Working in the garage at the condo was functional, but a little bit demotivating (who wants to spend the day in a garage with no windows?).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Moving... Again...

"Study - Cottonwood Pass Aspens"
Oil on Panel

Sorry I haven't been around much lately, but we've moved (AGAIN) and I've been busy unpacking and trying to get back into the groove of things. I feel like a broken record...

I figured out the other day that in our eight years of marriage, Nate and I have moved seven times. We also tend to do our moving in spurts. When we moved back from Houston, we moved out of our house into an apartment, then into an apartment in Colorado, then into a house in Colorado, all within the same year. In the past year and a half, we moved houses in Denver, moved into a condo in Fraser, and now just moved into a house in Granby. We'll eventually finish building "our" house up here (we moved into one of Nate's spec/model homes), and move again within the next year, so getting all settled into this house seems sort of like a waste.

But after spending the last six months painting in a garage, I'm ready to have a decent studio space again, so after we moved last weekend I spent a couple of days painting the walls and organizing in the room that will be my studio while we live here. I know that I can paint better when I'm in a space that's comfortable enough to not be distracting, so I'm trying to set up a studio space that will be nice and cozy as we head into a long, cold mountain winter.

So, I haven't been doing much studio painting, and I've been spending most of my painting time doing work for the mentorship I'm doing. Mostly, I've been doing small plein air studies, trying to capture the fall colors while they last. It's snowing now, and today was the first day I've had to work on a studio painting in probably three weeks! Anyhow, I'm looking forward to spending some time in the studio in the next few weeks, and finishing some larger paintings that I've been planning for a while. Time to relax a bit!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


"September Reflections"
Oil on Panel

I think that an artist's personal style is mostly the result of covering a lot of canvas outdoors or in the studio, and doesn't require as much deliberation as we artists tend to think.

I also think that any artist who is trying new things and working to improve is going to have their style evolve over time. When I was uploading pictures of my recent show paintings to my website last week, I realized that my work has been changing a bit over the past year as I try different things, and it was interesting to see where I'm at right now and think about where I want to be.

In the past year, I've transitioned from using canvas to using smooth panels almost exclusively. I went through a phase at the start of this year where I was really focusing on greys and lower contrast. I've gone from using all thick paint, everywhere, to using thick paint more sparingly and using transparent passages for contrast. More recently, I've been going a lot brighter and higher contrast again, which I think is more of a natural inclination for me.

So, who knows where I'll be a month from now, but I know I'd like to work on utilizing more greys to offset the brighter colors in my paintings, as a way to move the eye throughout the composition. I'm experimenting with some different types of linen as possible surfaces for larger paintings too, so we'll see how that goes. One thing I'm also doing is small studies to prep for every painting. I want to decrease the number of scrapers I do, and planning beforehand is key.

Now, if I could just find the TIME to try all these things!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Interpretations - Group Show

"When the Day is Done"
Oil on Panel

Phew!! It's been a busy week. My sister got married last weekend (congrats Shannon!!! I'm working on your present!), and I've been getting everything ready for a group show that opens tonight. I know it's a bit late, but if anyone is in the area, feel free to stop by the opening tonight or check out the show throughout the month.

Here's the official spiel from the gallery:

"We are proud to bring together the work of Robert Spooner, Stacey Peterson, and Steven Hileman. While these three artists share many similarities—all left careers in other fields to take up full-time gallery painting, all paint in oil, all express themselves with boldness and exquisite control—their works clearly reveal three distinct personalities."

The show is at Roundhouse Gallery in Fort Collins, Colorado and the opening is from 6-9 pm tonight with the show running through the end of the month. Robert Spooner and Steven Hileman are both great painters, and I'm humbled to be in a show with them both. You can preview my paintings for the show on my website here.