Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Review of the January 30 in 30 Painting Challenge.

January 31st

It's official, the 30 in 30 challenge is over.
And although I didn't paint 30 paintings this challenge, I am most proud of this one out of all the other challenges that I have done. I ran my art business during the month of January and I spent a good amount of time painting. What I struggle with the most is balance; time painting, marketing, getting ready for shows, personal goals etc. The 30 in 30 challenge forced me to look it how I spend my time. I don't have any of it resolved but I know I can run my art business and continue to paint. Sometimes I feel like the business is taking over and leaving little time to paint.

What I do know is how important it is to keep painting. It is the whole reason I'm doing this in the first place. I also know how important it is to keep exploring and trying new things. I didn't reach my goal of doing oil paintings, painting bigger, try a mixed media collage or doing batik paintings. I understand how important it is for me to continually have new pieces for the shows, galleries and shops let alone my web page. But on the other hand it was a pretty busy month for me and I fared okay. And in the end I tried some new things.

This month I:
 Spent the first seven days on a family vacation, worked one painting party, held 3 alcohol ink classes, did 1 show, took 5 art classes for enjoyment and exploration, registered for 3 shows while mapping out the list of shows to apply to this year, worked on 1 commission, gathered work for 4 different venues including the framing and matting of several new pieces, developed a new class for February, finished my finacial reporting, paid sales tax and had a marketing and financial meeting concerning goals for 2016 with a consultant, put out a newsletter, had a birthday full of fun with friends and family, took a mother daughter wine glass painting night, had a root canal, went out twice with friends for lunch and went to an art guild board meeting. 

I list these things for my benefit, to remind myself that even though there always seems like so much to do, I am accomplishing a lot. I should also mention that I have an assistant, my daughter, who is a tremendous amount of help in all of this. Without her the list would have been smaller and I have to remind myself that one day she will be off working elsewhere so best to get a hold of things now.

But the point is, the balance is not quite there. I'm not getting on my bike as much as I'd like to and on busy days there's no bike at all. My house is a bit unorganized... my desk is hard to find under the piles of papers and art stuff, my kitchen table seems to be the catch-all for all my framing work and my studio needs a good once over. One of my goals for 2016 is to loose 1000 pounds of junk from my house. January didn't see much of that going on. I want to declutter and organize, not just my business but my personal life too.

I would be remiss if I didn't say that the boundaries between my business and play are always a bit fuzzy. In truth, I love what I do. My art is my play and work at the same time. I know I need to write a blog post today - but I'm having a good time with the self reflection. My sister says I work all the time. What is it? Do I work all the time or do I play all the time?

So here I am looking a new month in the face.
I've written out a few personal goals - a few places that I feel I can improve for the month of February. I have a monthly calendar where I get to look at these goals and plan how to make them come about.

In short my goals are: 
Spend less time watching TV and playing games on the I pad. Relaxation is great - plan it better. 
Spend more time on my bike. Read more. Organize my bedroom. Clean and organize my studio and office. Finish my commission.  Try some abstracts, batiks and mixed media. Get new works for Spring Art Scene in April. Organize my business into one note book where I can keep tract of things a bit better.

So thanks, 30 in 30 challenge for reminding me that I can have it all with just a bit more time management and some good planning.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you achieve balance? Leave a comment please.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 27, January 30 in 30

Day 27th, January 27th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Just a quick pastel. Time to finish up my dog commission.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 26, January 30 in 30

Day 26, January26th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta

I'm getting ready to be next month's featured artist at Womanspace.
I like having little things available to buy. Day 26 is one of those.

Now Serving; Sunshine
Alcohol Inks and Pen
8" x 8" ceramic plate
Not Food Safe

Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 25, January 30 in 30

Day 25, January 25th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 25 comes from a multi-media class.
Ink and watercolors on watercolor paper. This was a fun technique and something I'd like to try with my colored inks and watercolors. The interesting thing is the gold that photographed. There is no gold on the picture - that's all the camera's doing.

Ink and Watercolor

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 24, January 30 in 30

Day 24, January 24th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 24. And now for something totally different...
I'm not a 3D artist. I was a bit reserved about the sculpture class yesterday at the guild. We were to make a goddess for the art studio. I was surprised to find out how incredibly calming working with the clay was. We'll need to get together again to glaze the piece.

The gutting of the sculpture was a bit tricky.
Some of us lost our heads during the process. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 22, January 30 in 30

Day 22, January 22nd.

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

And back to the abstracts.... which I struggle with. This one is a mixed media collage with acrylics and molding plaster. It has several layers.

Inner Circle
Mixed Media
20" x 20" on gallery wrapped canvas

Here are some of the detail shots to show the texture.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Day 21, January 30 in 30

Day 21, January 21st

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 21 is a bit of fun. 
 I'm loving going to 317 Studio & Gallery with my daughter to make one of a kind wine glasses.

Let It Snow
Clay on Glass with Enamel Paint

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 20, January 30 in 30

Day 20, January 20th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 20 is a work in progress. 
Alcohol Inks of Tuscany.

The Sweeper
alcohol Inks
Work in Progress

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 19, January 30 in 30

Day 19, January 19th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

This took a few days,
but I'm happy with the outcome.
Day 19 is back to Venice for the da Raffaele. Just in time for the Art in the Lofts show this weekend at Garrison Lofts, loft #111. 6-8PM $25 entrance to benefit the Rockford Arts Council.

da Raffaele
Alcohol Inks and Pen

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day17, January 30 in 30

Day 17, January 17th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

One thing that has been really great about these short little classes at the art guild is the freedom they have allowed me to explore. Being a business, so much time is given to commissions or work that is to be sold, not to mention marketing, bookkeeping, classes and shows. What seems to come last is exploration and experimentation. I feel my art changing, very slowly. I think if I scheduled more time for "art play and enjoyment" I would fine my true "voice" much faster.

So let me declare it right now. I will set aside 3 hours a week to make mistakes - make ugly art - and just enjoy the process of smearing some colors (or black and white) on a surface and see what comes of it.

How about you? Do you schedule exploration time, or does it just come natural to you? Please leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Circle of Friends

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Day 16, January 30 in 30

Day 16, January 16th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

This Saturday finds me back at Rockford Art Guild's Art Hors d'Oeurves Classes.
I taught a class on alcohol inks than took a pastel class. Again, I've done pastels before but I wanted to see how other people do them. The class was incredibly relaxing and even therapeutic.

Field of Tranquility

These have been so much fun. here are some photos of my afternoon. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon .... with friends and art.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Day 15, January 30 in 30

Day 15, January 15th.

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Yesterday's work in progress is today's
finished painting. 

Rockford Historical Buildings;

The Midway theater,designed by architect JEO Pridmore of Chicago, was the largest exclusive motion picture theater in the west in the 1920's. It boasted of its 2,000 seats all ready for the opening on August 3rd, 1918. On that night, 11,648 people were in attendance.

The Shumway Market Building appears to be an old train station but it is not.  Shumway donated the land to the city in 1904 to be used for an open-air farmers market which was in existence for 90 years. The building, designed by architect Charles Bradley, was built  in 1920. It was many things over the years, a bakery, restaurant to name a few. In 1987 it was renovated. It currently is the home to the Rockford Area Arts Council.

Midway Theater & Shumway Market Building
Alcohol Ink and Pen

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day 14, January 30 in 30

Day 14, January 14th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

After about 10 months, I have returned to my Drive-By Series for this painting. The series depicts some of the wonderful architecture found in Rockford, Illinois. Once a booming town of manufacturing, Rockford grew some pretty majestic buildings. For a long time it was the second largest city in Illinois, next to Chicago. Things changed in the 80's when so many manufacturing jobs went over seas and most of the plants in Rockford closed.

Rockford has plenty of problems, gangs, crime etc. But it remains a pretty incredible city full of theater, music and art. Can Rockford recover? It's yet to be seen, but I see it as the big, little city 15 minutes down the road. Where else can I see cornfields than 13 story building within 8 minutes of each other?

Today's painting of the old Midway Theater and Railway Station (which has been turned into the Rockford Arts Council building) is a work in progress.  Next week, I will be in a show with the Rockford Arts Council,
 Art in the Lofts at Garrison Lofts 419 john Street, Loft 111, Rockford.

Midway Theater& Rockford Arts Council Buildings
Alcohol Inks
Work in Progress

Check back tomorrow, I'll show you my progress and give you a bit of background info 
on these two incredible buildings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day13, January 30 in 30

Day 13, January 13th.

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

I finished this piece from day 12.
I'm glad I went ahead and continued to work on it. I had a hard tome photographing it today... sorry.

Indigo Blue
Alcohol Ink and Pen
12" x 8"

Quite a different picture
from yesterday.

 I still like the lighter picture but feel it's too soft. Maybe, too hard to read.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 12, 30 in 30

Day 12, January 12th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Day 12 is a work in progress. 
These are Indigo Blue and Peonies from my back yard. They remind me of late Spring (just 68 days away!) It's a good reminder on a day that the outside temperature is 17 degrees.

I started this painting a while ago and 
was happy to revisit it yesterday. 
 When I put on the first coat of paint then removed the masking fluid I liked it as is. I like the white outlines and find them a welcome change from my usual paintings. But, after "living with the painting" awhile I see I have a lot more work to do today. what do you think? Is it done?

Indigo Blue
alcohol Ink
Work in Progress

Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 11, January 30 in 30

Day 11, January 11

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Today's picture is from an oil class at the art guild.
I love oils and want to spend more time working with them so the class just seemed like a great way to see how someone else's process.

Spotted Blue Bird 

Before the snow hit the painting.
An interesting thing happened on the way to my car. It snowed. I didn't think a thing about it before, these are oils after all. But if you look closely at the above painting you will see little orange spots all over the painting. It took me awhile to figure it out but I think I know what happened. To prepare the boards, the instructor first painted them with orange house paint that she had around the house. House paints are water based. Then we painted with oil paint on top of that. It's just like salad dressing... oil and water don't mix. When the snow melted and became little drops of water, the water repelled the oil paint.

Actually, I think it looks very interesting. Although you would never want to sell something like this. But the lesson is oil and water don't mix.

HOWEVER, you CAN put acrylics on top of oil paints but never the other way around. Excellent lesson for a Saturday.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 10, January 30 in 30

Day 10, January 10th

30 in 30 hosted by Leslie Saeta.

A lot of people set themes for the 
30 paintings in 30 days challenge.
Not me. There is so much I want to do that coming up with what to paint is not a problem. This month I have a commission, am taking 5 two hour classes, getting ready for a show and making some small paintings for a gift store. Then there's the pieces I want to try on my own; batik, mixed media and more oils. There's a lot of work I need to get done. 30 days may not be enough. Oh, and I want to start working bigger.....

Today's piece is a product of a two hour class. 
These classes are taught by fellow artists of the Rockford Art Guild and are meant to be just a small taste, if you will, of that artist's process. I signed up for all five of them. Even the mediums that I do work in; oils and pastels, there is still plenty I can learn from other members. I will be teaching an alcohol ink class next Saturday. After my class I will participate in a pastel class.

Not only am I enjoying seeing what materials and what techniques these people use, but I'm watching their teaching too and making mental notes on what I'd like to add to my classes.

The first class yesterday was Encaustic Painting.
I had painted encaustics once before but still consider myself a newbie to the medium. It was challenging to say the least. I enjoyed it quite a bit and would like to revisit it with some pictures to collage or some word art.

Early Flight
Encaustic Painting
9" x 9" on Masonite Board