Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Had to Do It

9x12, acrylics on canvas

I couldn't resist. I just had to commit this one to canvas. Yes, the color is exaggerated a tad, but that's pretty standard for me. No houses in this one; just the road, the trees, and that amazing sunset.


Night Approaches
Digital Photo, taken with a Canon Powershot SX10

No new paintings this week. Between the long holiday weekend and other matters, things have been so hectic that I haven't had time to pick up a paintbrush. But I thought I'd share a photo I took on Saturday evening as the sun was setting. I may paint this someday. I love the bands of color in the sky.

After a few days of recuperation from the Art Walk, on Memorial Day I drove to Ellsworth, near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, and dropped off a few paintings and some prints at a little place called The Rock and Art Shop. It's on Route 1A a few miles out of Ellsworth toward Bangor. If you happen to be traveling Down East, I'd recommend you stop in. It's small place, but it's packed with a ton of amazing stuff! Among other things, there are visual arts, gems and rocks and semi-precious stones, jewelry, awesome metal sculptures of dinosaurs (I took one in trade for a painting at the end of last season), equally awesome metal sculptures of adorable bugs (yes, I did use the words "adorable" and "bugs" in the same sentence...if you don't believe me, drive down there yourself and check it out!). Annette and her family will be showing and selling my paintings there all season, and I have my fingers crossed that we'll do well. In the meantime, since I just depleted the supply in my Etsy shop, looks like I'd better get back to the easel!

I foresee a busy summer ahead. I've added all the regional art shows to my datebook, and I'm going to try to visit as many of them as I can. I love looking at art almost as much as I love creating it, and here in Northern New England, summer brings a wide variety of sidewalk art shows and festivals and fairs. Then, of course, there are the galleries. Oh, the galleries! While I was in Ellsworth on Monday, I drove over to Acadia so I could go up to the summit of Mount Cadillac and get some photos. I swung through Bar Harbor in search of an ATM, and while I was there, I must have counted six or seven galleries. And those are just the ones I saw as I breezed through town. Looking deep into my crystal ball, I foresee a day very soon when I'll be driving down and spending a day in Bar Harbor, checking out the galleries and the awesome specialty shops. Maybe I'll have lunch at some cute little restaurant with a view of the water.

And maybe return with some inspiration for my artwork.

I'm also planning (weather permitting) to check out the Beacon Hill Art Walk in Boston on June 7. From what I understand, it's a sort of art/music/secret garden tour, where the artists are actually set up in the private back gardens of Beacon Hill residents (which of course are not generally open to the public). So not only will visitors get a chance to look at some beautiful art and listen to local musicians, but they'll also be afforded a special glimpse into the private lives of the residents of Beacon Hill. It sounds wonderful...except for the climbing. I don't do well with hills. But I plan to pace myself, and only visit as much of the exhibit as I can easily manage. While I'm in Boston, I also plan to check out the Trident Booksellers and Cafe on Newbury Street, where J.J. Long is having an exhibit. I wasn't able to get there while Jen and I were in Boston last week for the Art Walk; there just wasn't enough time. But I really want to see J.J.'s work again, especially since he wasn't able to make SOWA this year. He's a very talented artist from the Boston area, and I always look forward to seeing his new work in person.

So as you can see, I've been busy, and it looks as though that will continue for the next little while. Stay tuned for new paintings...hopefully by the end of this week! And happy summer, everyone. After a long, cold, and snowy winter, I am PSYCHED!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SOWA Art Walk/Boston Photos

We had a wonderful time at the Art Walk! Met a lot of nice people, saw a ton of amazing art, and I discovered a couple of artists, both new to me, whose work just blew me away. Check out SEAN FLOOD. There's a link to his website at right under artists I admire. Wow! This guy is about two years older than my daughter, and his paintings are amazing. The photos on his website, while great, just don't do them justice. These are big paintings, and you need to see them in person. I wish I had a tenth of his talent!

I also really liked the work of JAMES MUSTIN (also a link at right). His paintings speak to me. They're very urban, very understated. Sort of industrial looking. Water towers. Utility poles. Sharp-edged buildings. Simple backgrounds. Wow. Love his stuff!!

We saw lots and lots of dogs (on Saturday, it seemed as though every other person there had brought their dog!), and on Sunday afternoon, I sold six paintings. Woo-hoo! We will definitely do this again next year. The only thing I'd do differently is that next time, I'm staying in the city. The back-and-forth was too tiring. Even though the hotel we stayed at was only about ten miles out, it felt more like a hundred.

Now, for the fun part: the photos!

Friday afternoon. Headed back to Portland after setting up. The Tobin Bridge, perennially under construction.

Heading in on Saturday morning.

I take photos of blue doorways...

...while Jen takes photos of red chimneys!

Outside 560 Harrison Avenue on Saturday morning. We were waiting for them to unlock the doors so we could get in. I believe the booths in the parking lot are vendors who set up there every weekend during the summer. There was a hot dog and french fry stand that did a whopping business. They ran out of french fries around 4:00 on Saturday afternoon and had to replenish their supply for Sunday.

Our setup, left wall. The venue was a former office building, so most of us had our own little rooms. We quickly discovered the pros and cons of that kind of setup. At least I was able to hang all the paintings I brought. This photo's a little blurry. Please excuse!

Right wall.

Original Saturday setup.

Jen had two photo posters on
the front wall by the table, her laptop running a photo slide show, and her prints on the table. Her large framed posters were on the wall beside the door. People would come in to look at my paintings, then turn around to leave and see Jen's posters, and dismiss them without bothering to look. They seemed like an afterthought, and the people who like to look at photography instead of paintings weren't coming in because the posters weren't visible from outside the door.

So on Sunday morning, I decided to do a little rearranging.
This is Jen standing in front of the table Sunday morning.

We moved Jen's big framed posters to the front wall to the right of my
paintings, moved her sign over there, too, to identify her and separate her stuff from mine, moved a few paintings to the outside wall where Jen's posters had been, and put her laptop on a small TV table in the corner, by itself, where it didn't get lost among all the other stuff on the table. This display drew in more people who were interested in photography than we'd seen on Saturday. Jen got a lot of positive comments, people really liked her work, and she made a sale that I'm not sure would have happened if we hadn't changed things around so people could actually see her work.

And a fun time was had by all.

Headed home! Sunday night sunset, taken from a gas station on Route 1 in Peabody. Jen took this out the window while we were fueling up for the trip home.

It was a great experience, but I have to say I'm glad to be home!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Off to Boston for the SOWA Art Walk

Jen and I are headed off this morning to my favorite place -- Boston -- for the SOWA Art Walk. We'll set up today, spend a few hours in the city, then drive back to Portland to spend tonight at Jen's place. Tomorrow morning we'll head back down for the weekend. If anybody reading this is in the area this weekend, I urge you to stop by SOWA. Free parking, free admission, and so much art you can't possibly see it all in one day. For more information, here's the link to the SOWA website.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Oh, and answer to your recent question: INTP.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold
5x7, gouache on watercolor paper

Thought I'd try something different, so I picked up a gouache student starter set yesterday with one of those wonderful A.C. Moore 40% off coupons. This is my first work in gouache. It's an interesting medium, very much like watercolor, but with more vivid colors and better tinting strength. I like its fluidity! I'll probably continue working with it, and eventually will replace those student paints with artist-quality ones. If I can get this good a result with student paints, I can't wait to see what I can do with professional quality gouache.

This little painting will be going with me to SOWA this weekend. Only four days left! By this time on Friday, I'll be on my way to Boston for the weekend. Still have some last-minute stuff to do, but the biggest part of the preparation is winding down. I can't wait for the weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love That Dirty Water

Love that Dirty Water
6x12, acrylics on canvas

Another Boston skyline. Again, the colors are a little off. The buildings are actually a slightly softer shade. This is a teeny-tiny one, just 6x12 inches. I'm having great fun experimenting with color.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Emerald City

Emerald City
12x24, acrylics on gallery wrap canvas

No matter how hard I try, I can't make my camera capture accurate colors for this one. The buildings are actually a soft teal; the sky, and the water, pale purple and pink. The painting is much nicer in real life. This is Boston's Back Bay skyline, based on a five-year-old photo. This means that there have undoubtedly been changes since then, as Boston's skyline is an ever-evolving work in progress. In between preparing for next weekend's Art Walk (also an ever-evolving work in progress), I've been painting when I could, deviating from my usual style, experimenting with something a little different. Stepping outside my comfort zone. I have a thing for skylines, possibly born of living my entire life in a place without a skyline (unless you count treetops...or Key Bank downtown, which I believe has seven floors). Boston's skyline in particular excites me, because it happens to be my favorite place on this earth (Since I haven't done any interplanetary travel, I can't vouch for the entire galaxy, but on Planet Earth, it's definitely my favorite place). I wanted to do something soft and moody, a little wispy and vague, with very little detail, and I believe I accomplished my goal. This will be going with me to Boston next weekend for the Art Walk if it doesn't sell first. Time is getting short, but most of my prep work is done. Aside from cleaning out the car trunk, which still has my beach chairs and umbrellas from the summer before last, I pretty much have everything done. Anything I paint between now and then will go with me, but the rest of them are wrapped and boxed and ready to roll. Sure hope I sell something...nail-biting time, as hubby is starting to make noises about all the money I've spent to get ready and will be spending while I'm there. It would be nice to make back something, if only to prove a point to him! To be fair, he's been very supportive of my fledgling art business.

ADDENDUM: Maybe I spoke a little too soon. I carted this one upstairs last night and showed it to hubby (aka Mr. Supportive). He looked at it, nodded his head, and said, "So that's the one you're working on?" When I confirmed that it was the one I'd spent several hours working on, he looked at it again and asked, "Is it done?"


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gardiner, Late Afternoon

Gardiner, Late Afternoon
8x10, acrylics on canvas

A cluster of buildings in downtown Gardiner lit by the lowering sun on a warm May afternoon. I love the warm glow of the brick.