The Everyday Life of a Working Artist


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Across the Bay

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"Across the Bay"
Oil, 8" x 16" on museum quality canvas panel.
$650 with display easel.
I am still smiling after my two day painting workshop with Debra Huse. After spending all morning on the second day chasing my "moving target" we moved to another location on Balboa Island to paint in the afternoon. I was a bit tired as I had skipped lunch to finish my painting from the morning but I was determined to paint another complete painting!
This time I spent a bit of time finding a subject that would not drive me insane drifting around a buoy. I was tempted to paint a small orange boat parked firmly on the sand but the rumor was it was going to be taken out for a sail in about an hour. So I ended up choosing three boats that were all the way across the bay. They were safely docked and did not appear to be going anywhere soon. (Of course I have permanent wrinkles from squinting all afternoon!)
Debra helped me with some editing and also pushed me to darken my colors. I think that is something I need to remember every time I  paint - don't go too light with my values or the painting will look too washed out. Even as I look at the photo of this finished painting I realize I could have gone with some darker values.
At the end of the day I was the last one painting (of course) but I do have to say that there was a moment that afternoon where I took a deep breath and I thought ... this is so cool. I was giddy and felt a rush of excitement that I hadn't felt in a long time while painting! After spending so much time painting in the comfort of my studio I realized that I need to get out more often ... and paint plein air. Painting outside,  with hundreds of incredible boats in the bay, is invigorating. I wasn't even annoyed at all of the people who stopped to talk and comment on my efforts. I actually enjoyed all of their input! I know it sees so obvious but I honestly think i was a bit intimidated to paint outside as it had been way too long. So I have turned over a new leaf. I have now committed to paint outside at least once a week, hopefully more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Moving Target

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"A Moving Target"
Oil, 8" x 16" on museum quality panel.
$650 with easel display.
One of the problem with painting boats is they seldom "sit still". Of course, the worst thing that can happen is right in the middle of painting an incredible boat ... it sails away (hopefully with its owner). Today, on the second day of Deborah Huse's "painting boats" workshop, we painted all day on the Grand Canal on Balboa Island. I found a wonderful boat but it had to be the only boat in the entire canal that moved and moved and moved. It took me over an hour just to get my drawing down because I would draw and then have to wait about three minutes for the boat to move back to the position that was reflected on my canvas. Within seconds, it moved again ...
It was frustrating and took me FOREVER to finish the painting. But fortunately I was happy with the result. I just bought a new umbrella and it worked perfectly so it was a very beautiful and pleasant sunny painting day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Little Dinghy

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"A Little Dinghy"
Oil, 8" x 10" on museum quality panel.
$350 with display easel.
Today was the first day of Debra Huse's painting workshop. I am taking her workshop on "painting boats" and I know a lot of you found it funny that I would take a workshop on how to paint boats. Yes ... I am fully aware that I know how to paint boats! But I thought, why not? Doesn't it make sense to try to perfect what you enjoy painting the most?
It was a fun day and I'm not sure why but today I painted very ... loosely. I think I might tighten it up a bit tomorrow and I will paint a sailboat, no more dinghy's. I am getting "a little dinghy" ... painting all of these ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Reruns ... #3

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"Dual Reflections"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality panel.
$200 with display easel, $250 framed.
As summer winds down I seem to want to spend more time outside with my boys.  We have had some awesome late summer dinners. The "outdoor kitchen" is still under construction and I think it will be completed within another week or do. Last night we enjoyed grilled pizza and tonight we had ahi and steak ... very fun with wonderful friends! Now that's my idea of a perfect summer night!
This painting is one I finished a while ago and it seemed like the perfect painting to post tonight. I love the colors and reflections ... (big surprise) ... and I am taking a painting workshop this week and I am very excited. It's with Debra Huse and it's about painting boats! It may seem odd that I am taking a workshop to learn how to paint boats, but I figure ... why not? I might as well get better at it! So I am heading down to Balboa for a couple of days with the boys for lots of painting and lots of fun .Gotta enjoy those last few days of summer while we can!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taking The Day Off ... Again

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"Taking the Day Off ... Again"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality panel.
$200 with display easel.
Just to set things straight ... I did not take the day off! Dreama and I recorded our 18th episode of our "Artists Helping Artists" radio show this morning. We talked about "Pricing your Art" and had enough notes left over to fill up two more shows on "pricing" ... so the subject will be discussed again I promise!
We did forget to mention one thing on today's show ... and that's the new Monthly Painting Challenge. Basically, we are asking artists to paint a painting that fits within the theme of the month. So, in two weeks you should see paintings all titled "September" appearing on the "Artists Helping Artists" blog. We hope you will participate so ... start those "back to school" paintings soon!
Now ... back to the title of this painting. Just a few weeks ago I painted a painting using the same photo reference. It sold immediately so I thought I would try it again. So I changed up the colors and tried another one. I am very happy the outcome and thought you might enjoy it. Here's the painting I painted two weeks ago from the same photo.
This was fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Great Day - SOLD

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"A Great Day"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality panel. 
Today was a great day. Two more wonderful artists signed up for our September workshop so we are almost full. Plus my October workshop in Newport Beach is full and I am currently scheduling two more workshops for the first quarter of 2011. Now if I could just focus a bit of time on tomorrow's "Artists Helping Artists" radio show!
Speaking of which ... the show (which is only a few months old) has had a huge impact on my art. Because each show requires a lot of research and planning I am finding that I am way more organized and ahead in my marketing efforts. Every week as Dreama and I get ready for the show (and it takes hours and hours ...) we marvel at how much we are learning. I am also so thankful for the hundreds of artists I have met through the show and for all of the great input you have all provided. We are currently scheduling all of our shows for next quarter (and that is sixteen shows ... yikes!) and I am really excited about the interesting topics and great artists we will have on the show. Next week's show is titled "Stop Procrastinating and Update Your Artist's Statement". After the show I promise this will be a painless task for everyone! And that even includes those of you that don;t have an artist's statement.
Also, this week Dreama and I announced the "Monthly Painting Challenge" and I hope you will all participate. Each month we ask that you submit a painting (any medium) that fits within the theme of the upcoming month! So even though we all want summer to last forever, it's time to start thinking about a painting titled "September!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Love Surprises

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One of my favorite artist friends, Annie Salness, found this ad in her ArtCalendar magazine. She just posted it on facebook and I was shocked when I saw it. Yippee! I entered this painting in the Richeson 75 Small Works competition last year and they actually put it on the cover of their book for the show. I had no idea it would be featured in an ad too. Cool! I love surprises like this!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Along For The Ride

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"Along For The Ride"
Oil, 8" x 8" on museum quality canvas panel.
$350 with display easel.

We are still at the beach and the weather and water are simply amazing. Our days are lazy except for the Artists Helping Artists radio show today and time at the easel. When I am happy and having fun my paintings seem to end up bright. So ... based on today's painting I think you can tell I am very happy to be at the beach with all of my boys ... and, oh yeah, all of their friends!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Vacation

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"On Vacation"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality canvas panel.
$200 with display easel.
Sorry it has been so long since my last post. But we are at the beach on vacation and I haven't had a lot of time to paint. My husband and I are here with about 15 boys (ok, young men) and we are having a blast! The volleyball games are wonderful and the beach is stunning. So clear and sunny and warm ... I love it.
I painted this one this afternoon and hope to start a Balboa themed one after dinner.  We were on a boat last night and saw lots of whales. I have taken about 200 pictures down here so I have lots of photo references for more paintings!  Gotta go ... time to cook dinner for 17 hungry boys ... I mean men!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best Buddies - SOLD

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"Best Buddies"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality panel.
$200 with display easel.

I don't often paint using "purple shades" as most of you know I am an "orange girl". But this painting kind of took off and the next thing I knew I was painting with a very different palette. And since I premix my colors I still can't figure out how this happened! What happened to my orange?
I am heading up to my studio shortly to finish one of my larger commissions. I can't wait to photograph it and post it here very soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking The Day Off - SOLD

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"Taking the Day Off"
Oil, 6" x 6" on museum quality canvas panel.
I will be "taking the day off" tomorrow as I will be at the swimming national championships. I can't wait! In the meantime, I finished this fun painting. Gotta love the sun light!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


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Oil, 6" x 8" on museum quality canvas panel
$200.00 - On Hold.

I set another goal this month. Oddly enough most of the "art goals" I set at the beginning of the year are crossed off my list, so I decided it was time to add a few more. (I know, it's a huge character flaw that I can't just let things be ...) I am going to publish a calendar sometime (maybe 2011 or 2012) so I have vowed to paint a painting on the first day of the month. Hence the clever name "August" for today's post! And if I like the painting, it may just well end up on the calendar for that month too!
I am trying to "get ahead" on my painting although I know that is very unlikely to happen soon. I will be at the swimming national championships this week and so painting time will be sparse. Hopefully I can get back up to my studio and finish another one later tonight. I hope to have more than two paintings to post this month!


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