Thursday, December 1, 2011

Living With It

I find that I often need to live with a painting for awhile in order to let it tell me what to do next. As an abstract intuitive painter, I don't plan out specific imagery, define the painting ahead of time or draw out a plan on the canvas in an attempt to make it "look like something". When I paint, I am totally in the moment of painting and it happens. But often times, I need to "live with it". So this painting, a 36" x 48" acrylic on canvas with collaged pattern paper is on the wall in my bedroom, unfinished so that I can experience how it feels in my home, to go to sleep with it, to wake up with it. And as each day passes, I see little things in the painting that either need to be there or don't, it speaks to me about what might be the next step in the painting process. And then . . . we go back to the studio and paint some more. Stay tuned for the next evolution of "red in the bedroom".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creating With Intention

I'm counting down the days and am feeling overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done for my open studio event, "Building Bridges Through Art!". Its down to the wire with advertisements done, promotional material to distribute, invites still to send, the studio still to clean, art still to hang and I wonder if its all worth it.

So with a deep breath, I remember my intention: to use my art and my studio to help in my community by raising money for art scholarships for children in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Living only 20 miles north of the Mexican border, I am keenly aware of the border issues and the over-exaggerated media press that our area of the country gets in regards to this issue. So when I took a trip to IMFOCULTA, an art and cultural center in Nogales, Sonora earlier this year with a local organization, Santa Cruz Community Foundation, I knew that somehow I needed to help support these kids in continuing to be able to take art classes at the center and that I wanted to be involved in cross border peace projects.

At my core, I believe in art, that it brings beauty and joy to the world, balances out the craziness of our over-scheduled lives and that Art Saves Lives! So with my belief in art and intention to help others, I breathe and know that it is all worth it.

If you are in the area of Nogales to Tucson on Saturday, November 12th, please stop by and help support this project. Please visit my website for more information and directions. exPRESSive Arts Studio Thank you!



an act or instance of determining mentally upon someaction or result.
the end or object intended; purpose.
purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions o rconduct

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

About A Stone

Many years ago in college at UNLV, I was first introduced to printmaking processes and fell in love with the stones. I loved printmaking, the feel of the paper, the sound of the ink rolling out on the glass. Stone Lithography was my favorite printmaking process. I loved the feel of the stones, the process of grinding them to a new smooth finish, the ease of drawing and painting the image onto the stone and the history! The history in the stones for me was something magical. How many works of art had been created, printed and ground away and where did these huge stones come from? It was something that the artist experiences in creating the work but not something that is transmitted to the view in the final work. It was like our own little secret.

Art image shown here is a stone lithograph titled "Billiards Player at Good Dog" by Charles Coates.

At a recent art opening that I was participating in at the Tubac Center of the Arts for the exhibit, "Working With Paper", I was impressed by the printmaking of Tucson artist, Charles Coates. I met Charles at the opening reception and had a great conversation about working on Stone Lithography and the history involved in the stones. He shared a story of picking up a crate of stones with a UA professor and finding work from the 1800's still on a stone. They printed the image before cleaning the stone for new works of art. There is something very powerful about the history and letting go of the old and bringing in the new with stone lithography.

To see more of Charles' work, click here to visit his website.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who's Your Mentor?

As artists we are often isolated, working alone in our studios, creating the next great masterpiece, at least, that's what we think. Its important to get feedback and critique in order to know you are not just living in your head and also to be able to grow as an artist. In the past I had joined groups and taken classes and workshops to keep me connected and learning. But there was always still something more that I needed that I wasn't getting that I knew would help me expand and move into the next level with my work.

After taking two wonderful abstract painting classes at The Drawing Studio in Tucson which really helped me get out of a rut, moving from 6+ years of almost exclusively painting with encaustic, to painting large abstract paintings on cavas with acrylic, I discovered an artist's website whose work I very much admired. I was very excited to read on her website that she offered mentoring. Ding! This is just what I needed. I happened to be heading back to WA, where she lived to visit my sons and we arranged to meet. For the next 3 months we had weekly skype meetings where she encouraged and critiqued my work. I felt motivated to meet her weekly challenges and produced more work over the last few months with what I feel to be HUGE breakthroughs with my work than in the many years past.

Jeane Myers is a contemporary abstract mixed media artist and a fabulous mentor/art coach. If you need a kick in the pants and some encouraging words along the way, Jeane can take you there.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Creative Beings

I work the weekends at the Tubac Center of the Arts. I'm grateful that I get to bring my puppy, Maggie to work with me. Last weekend I was working on the computer with Maggie by my side and a man and his 11 year old daughter came in from Phoenix. The man claimed to know nothing about art but came to Tubac for his daughter as she was very interested in art. He was also a dog lover and sat on the floor next to the desk playing with Maggie while we chatted about art and our current exhibit, Summer Gallery, my work and creative expression. He designs computer systems, and shared that there were times that the joy of creating these systems, the simple magnificence of them, almost brought him to tears. We are all creative beings and whether the expression of our creativity is a painting on canvas or a complexly simple computer system, it is the process of creation that can bring us joy. This man left with a hug and a told me that he learned about art that day. A conversation I will never forget.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspiration or Obsession?

I recently read a book called "Molecules of Emotion" by Candace Pert, who in the 70's discovered the brain's opiate receptors. Pert tells her story of life as a woman in the science world where she eventually was tagged a feminist troublemaker. The situation made for good reading but the science somehow stuck with me and I started working on a new series of acrylic paintings titled, "Molecules of Emotion" where I imagined an inner landscape of molecules charging through my body and what they might look like, color, shape, size, depending on my emotional state of being; joyful, sad, depressed, agitated, lustful, resentful, etc. I've been painting these shapes and exploring the emotion of color ever since. At one point I was so obsessed that I panicked when I ran out of every red paint in the studio and immediately went online and overstocked on reds. At what point can inspiration become obsession?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Studio Move!

I recently moved my studio from the Amado Territory Ranch to a beautiful, well lit casita on the same property where I'm now living in a funky round (yes, ROUND) house. I've been busy moving in, getting settled and organized. Like everything else, its a work in progress.

The Studio entrance.

Front of Studio, windows facing west, front door faces north.

Easel and printing press.

A place to paint

The Encaustic Zone

Even a full kitchen.
There is also a bed & bath for visiting artists & guests.

Outside the studio.

Back door & deck of studio.

Path from studio to house.

Getting here:

My new space is located in Tumacacori, AZ, a few miles south of Tubac and about an hour's drive south of Tucson. Tubac is said to be the oldest town in Arizona. Click here for a little history. Tumacacori is known for the Tumacacori Mission, a national park that protects 3 Spanish mission ruins. The area is a beautiful combination of art towns, organic farming, cattle ranching, horse breeders, mesquite trees, golden rolling hills and mountains. The Santa Cruz River is lined with cottonwoods and its a birdwatcher's paradise.

Off of the east frontage road, a small dirt road runs east.
Here a view northwest towards the mission and the mountains.

Weather and vehicle permitting, a quick dip into and across the river.

Over the railroad tracks.

Down the dirt road.

The entrance to the house is on the left.

This keeps the neighborhood cows off the property.

The Round House

A separate entrance allows for access without having to cross the river.

Workshops will be starting at the new studio this summer.
Visit the studio website for more information.