Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I can not believe there are only two more days until 2010. 2009 has been an a very full and amazing year. Some of the highlights for me this year included: finally getting a Democratic President after two way too long terms of Bush, starting grad school at the San Francisco Academy of Art, my son turning sixteen (how did that happen?), participating in the San Luis Obispo Plein Air competition, and teaching. I am looking forward to a wonderful 2010. These were my favorite three works from this last semester.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's 7:30 on Monday morning and I am already in San Francisco at the Academy of Art. I car pool in and arrive almost two hours before my class. Grad school has been very challenging.

After painting on my own and selling work for the past five years, I felt pretty confident in my abilities. Now that I am in grad school, I find that I have so much more to learn. I spent about ten hours yesterday doing homework. My house is a mess and the cupboard is bare because I have not scheduled time to go grocery shopping.

I am hoping that now with Artrails and the paint out being over, I can find a routine with my schedule so I will not feel like I am treading water but actually swimming.

Why grad school? I have been asked this by several of my painting buddies. Because I want to improve. I would like to earn my masters and have other teaching opportunities. A few years down the road I could be teaching overseas fulfilling my dream of both teaching and traveling.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Sunday. The last day of the "Paint Out". Today I got to sleep in and relax. We have until 4:00 before we can pick up our artwork and head home. I have about a five hour drive but can not wait to sleep in my own bed. This week has been very inspiring and I feel rejuvenated.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This week was an amazing one! I had a great time painting all the beautiful scenes around San Luis Obispo. I was hoping to do daily post of my progress but did not have Internet at my host home and had to make special trips to a coffee shop in a nearby town. I am very happy with the week and very tired. I did receive a great compliment from another fellow artist. He is one of my favorites and both he and his wife came over to tell me how much they admired one of my paintings. This artist is an amazing artist and I was honored to be given a compliment from him. I am posting the two paintings I sold on Friday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yesterday I found a fellow artist.  I had searched out good painting locations on day one and found a pier known as Old Port Inn.  A huge pier with several buildings and lots of seagulls.  I had decided to return early in the morning, for better light.  At these events, you spend a lot of time alone waking at sunrise and painting till dark. I arrived to find another artist had beat me. There was also a television news van.  I did not know that there had been a tsunami warning the night before.  The wave turned out to be one foot tall.  I had a great morning painting.

Its is day four of the San Luis Paint Out.  I just finished the sixth required painting this morning. Beautiful day! The fog left yesterday and there has been nothing but blue skies. Being in a plein air competition, you get to spend a lot of time by yourself.  You also see the landscape not as a landscape but as a composition full of light, shadow, warm and cool tones.  The other day, my art student was laughing at me.  I had been connecting her mood with her artwork.  It is easy to get so immersed in the artwork that the world beyond ceases to exist.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

San Luis Obispo

Day One-
 I drove straight to San Luis on Sunday.  One tank of gas later, I arrived at the art center to get my canvasses stamped.  Then it was time to pull out the map once again and find my host family.  It turns out they live high on a hill in a beautiful castle.  Well maybe not a castle, but a beautiful home.  I was exhausted upon arrival.  I had a two page list to help me pack for this event.  There is no way I could remember all the parts that include, tools, painting gear, framing gear, food, clothes, maps, camera, computer, homework, etc.

Monday morning I awoke early to a very foggy day.  I decided to go to a spot I was familiar with from a previous trip.  I spent about four hours painting at the first location. Then I spent the rest of the day driving around scoping out new spots.  There is not Internet access at my host home so I found a coffee shop for this entry.  It is Tuesday and guess what? Its foggy again.  So I am off to paint another lavender and grey painting. Send some sunshine my way.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I have returned to grad school. This is my second week so the time I normally spend painting landscapes is now full of assignments. Though I am currently painting tedious exercises, I am happy. I know in a short time I will be doing much more complicated pieces and that the school is going to push my limits. I am taking two online classes and one in the city. Tomorrow will be my first class in SF and I will be catching the 5:30 bus to get there. Below is my assignment # 2 which required us to do a value study only using black and white. Of coarse a little color did sneak in. Above is an ocean studio I did last week.

Last Friday I taught a workshop in my Petaluma studio to a wonderful group of artists. During the week I teach art at a private school to 3rd through 8th grade students. On Fridays I teach painting lessons to adults in my studio. One of my students told her friends in Walnut Creek about my class and a group arranged to come last Friday. It was lots of fun. I was nervous about teaching a larger group of adults but everything went so well that we are planning another workshop next month.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer has whizzed by. I spent today teaching in my ranch studio and finishing up number eight of my small studies for the Tiburon Art Festival. My original goal was to paint twelve new ones but I think I will have to stop at ten to give a few days to be completely dry. I am going back to grad school in two weeks and am very excited/nervous. I am looking forward to being challenged and I am hoping to add portraiture to my abilities.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two weeks until the Tiburon Art Festival. I am only allowing myself to paint small 8" x 10" paintings this week in hopes to increase sales with more affordable work. The above picture is of pelicans on a boat in Quimixto. Since no televisions, phones, or computers were available in Quimixto, I found my favorite past time to be watching the pelicans. They are quite entertaining with their bulky awkward bodies. It was amazing they could fly! In the afternoons they would fish by gliding low over the water then dive bombing making large splashes as they entered. Maybe they were stunning the fish instead of being sneaky.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I apologize for being remiss about posting this summer. I am back. I began my summer with having Art at the Source open studios followed by two weeks in Mexico with my mother and son. We stayed in a small fishing village North of Puerto Vallarta on the edge of the jungle. Very beautiful and inspirational! I returned to take off for another week to Alameda where I was in a plein air painting competition. It was a great week and I was able to paint twelve plus hours a day with no interruptions. The prior month between working shows and travel I had began to feel I was not an artist. I always feel that way when two many days pass without painting. The above painting was done in Alameda during the paint out.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

One week away from Art at the Source! The above tractor painting is one of two paintings I started last week. I was hoping to go out to the tractor place today to finish them. The weather did not cooperate, remaining cold and foggy all day so I had to work from a photos in my studio.

Lots happened last week. Saturday I found out I was accepted to the San Luis Obispo Paint Out, Tuesday I was accepted into Tiburon's Art Festival and Wednesday was my birthday. During all this I am also finishing up my school year where I teach 3rd through 8th grade art at a private school.

My 3rd and 4th grade students are finishing up an "Art Chair" for the Marin fair. The chair is a "Godzilla" theme since we have two very educated "Godzilla" experts in my third grade class. Their passion for Godzilla is contagious. This is the third year I have done an art chair with my students. We start with a chair, add form using chicken wire, paper mache it and each student creates a small piece to add. Thursday was the last day to paper mache and I am so relieved. Now all we have left is painting and adding the buildings underneath.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Only two weeks left until Art at the Source at my Sebastopol Studio! Time is flying! Yesterday I blocked in the above painting. It is a view leading up to my country studio. The building in the background with the triangle light pattern is my studio. This painting was done from a winter photo. Now the creek has dried up and the grass has turned brown. I find I am so much more inspired to paint in the winter and early spring.

Today was a teaching day. Afterwards I delivered a painting to Tiburon to be judged for an art festival in August. I am also waiting to find out if I got into San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival and will find out early next week.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A 60 minute tractor study.

I spent another glorious day at the studio. It started with teaching in the morning, working on a quick study, finishing the above painting and teaching in the afternoon. My new postcards arrived today. They are an early birthday gift from my husband. This time, I ordered from a new company. Usually I use Modern Postcard and this time I used Overnight Prints which saved about forty dollars. I got a matte finish and would recommend using glossy in the future. Otherwise I am very happy with the new cards.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Todays 30 minute quick study of a picture from Los Osos.

New Class Times, Travel and More

I spent yesterday teaching in my Pepper Road studio. One of my wonderful students bought me a box of natural light florescent tubes. He installed them and what a difference! I have been avoiding turning on the lights in the studio since they would cast a yellow glow. The new lights are awesome!

I am now teaching on Fridays instead of Saturdays. Saturdays seemed to have too many conflicting events. Now, I offer a morning class from 9:30-12:00.

This summer is going to be a busy one with Art at the Source just around the corner and travel. Come check out the show. It runs June 6th-7th and 13th-14th from 10:00 to 5:00. It is at my Sebastopol studio at 7245 Wilton Ave. I have been busy painting and there will be lots of new work to see.

After Art at the Source, I will be traveling to Mexico for two weeks with my son and my mother. I am looking forward to painting the tropics and taking lots of pictures. My husband and I are working on a trip to Hawaii at the end of summer. Both of us have never been and it will be our first real vacation with just the two of us.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I did this study today taking some extra time since it is a donation for Sebastopol's Art Center's annual fundraiser. This years theme is motorcycles and the center is going to have custom built ones being displayed.
This was a very fast quick study of my husband practicing and our dog.
I had this lofty goal of painting everyday a quick study in less than 60 minutes. I have discovered that on the days I teach in Sonoma it's too much to get one in. I did manage to start this one last Monday and realized that this subject matter was too complicated to finish in one sitting. Too many small lines.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May Study #3

Here was my quick study for day three. Another view of the happy red truck from San Luis Obispo. I was trying to say under 60 minutes but went to 90.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Day #2 of a painting a day under 60 minutes. This is from a photo I took last year in Santa Cruz.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Today, I silently gave thanks to my grandparents. Both sets of my grandparents chose to settle and raise families in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Sonoma County. It rained all day and I was quite content to be working in my studio on top of the hill. I had empathy for the soggy sheep huddled outside at the fence.

For the month of May, I decided to commit myself to a daily small painting before working on one of my larger works. I am allowing myself 60 minutes for the warm up. The painting above is a figure study over an abstract background. Below is my red truck warm up from a photo I took down in San Luis Obispo.

I had two good art happenings this week. One was I was chosen to be Blick's Facebook Artist of the month and the other was I was selected to participate in Alameda's Plein Air Competition in July. These daily warm ups will get me in shape for the "quick draw". At the end of a competition, all the artists gather in one area and only have a couple of
hours to complete a piece of work to be auctioned.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Though this is a painting I did last spring, I wanted to post it because on Friday it was selected to be in the Napa Art Museum's Plein Air Show. It will be displayed there for two months and also will be a page in the museum's 2010 calender. I had a wonderful day painting on Friday with my painting partner Sterling. We spent the day in one of my favorite spots, the tractor yard. This property is owned by a man named Bill who collects hundreds of tractors. I am in love with the old rusted 1950 models of Farmalls and Olivers. I love their rusted colors, flat tires,curves and boot/tin can capped exhaust pipes.
For those people who have tried to post a comment, I have now opened up the comment link to make it more accessible. I appreciate all your feedback.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Painting Classes

In February, I began offering small group painting classes. I have to admit, I was nervous about teaching adults. I have been teaching children for over ten years and felt I had the kid lingo down. It has surprised me how much I enjoy teaching adults painting. My Petaluma studio is in a great location. It sits on a hill on my late grandparents ranch overlooking great views and the Sonoma Mountains. I have sentimental feeling towards my ranch studio. My grandparents built the ranch back in the fifties and the studio which is part basement was worked on by both my uncle and father when they were young. When I was four, my parents bought and built a log cabin kit on another hill adjacent to my studio. I have memories of sleeping in the cabin as my parents built it. The roof was not on and we would lay in our sleeping bags staring up at the stars. The above painting was painted plein air from my studio in December.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. My country studio sits on a hill and the wind was like a tornado. From the windows I could see birds whizzing through the air and an inflated plastic green bag dancing across the sky. I am a little late this week on my blog. Last week was insanely busy with no time to paint and yesterday I ended up at the doctors with a case of bronchitis. Today I was able to finish this painting of another view from my studio. I also started a small painting of jazz musicians over an abstract. If the wind dies down this week, I planning to spend the rest of my Easter vacation painting outside.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yesterday I finished the Santa Cruz painting and I am happy how it turned out. I really enjoyed painting the small abstract window reflections and working in the abstract under painting into the road. Last week I received an email asking if I would like to show at a Wine Tasting Room in Healdsburg called Rosenblum Cellars. It turned out to be a great place and tomorrow I am setting up a show. I am so inspired by the Santa Cruz painting that it makes me want to take a break from landscapes and focus on urban. Too much to paint and so little time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This week I saw a great movie called "Who does she think she is?". It was a documentary about five women artists juggling family and their passion for creating art. The statistics on the percentage of women artists being recognized by art institutions was sobering. I spent the afternoon in my studio working on my urban scape of Santa Cruz. Here it is in progress.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another week has flown by. This week I did not get to paint nearly enough between errands, work and meetings. I did manage to start two new paintings; another view from my studio and a urban scape from a picture I took in Santa Cruz last year. I am excited about this summer. I am getting a chance to travel to Mexico. Its been over five years since my last visit. My mother lived there for nine years so I used to visit regularly. I am looking forward to exploring the area with artist eyes, taking lots of pictures and hopefully painting.
The painting I posted was one I just brought back from Stanford.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I spent yesterday driving to Palo Alto to pick up my Standford show. My mother kept me company and we had a great day. We went to Chinatown afterwards. It seems so magical to turn a corner and suddenly find myself immersed in another culture. It made me want to spend a couple of weeks painting on location there. We went out to lunch at Samwo's and then later delivered a Tractor Painting purchased by a very nice woman in San Francisco. Now that I have my paintings back, I was able to take photos of some of the new ones. This is Winter Series #2 .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I remembered my camera today when I drove out to my studio. It's Thursday and I managed to waste most of the morning. Thursdays follow very busy Wednesdays where I teach seven art classes which always seems to use up more then one days worth of energy.
I love the end of winter. The hills and mustard flowers are breathtaking. I found myself pulling off to the side of the road to take multiple pictures of complacent cows in their emerald fields. None of my pictures did any of this justice. I realized after peering into my small camera screen that the experience was much more then visual. Its the experience of being surrounded by an orchestra of singing birds along with the smell of fresh growing grass after a winter shower and the feel of the cool winter breeze whispering " spring is almost upon us". If only I could paint that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inspiring Clouds

I just finished this painting which is view of Pepper Road around the corner from my studio. I like the drama of the shadows on the mustard fields and the winter sky.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Painting from Sonoma County Winter Series

The above picture is #5 of "Sonoma County Winter Series" which I just completed. I have been loving the emerald fields and crazy cloud formations.

Lots has happened since I last wrote.

Mustard View from my Petaluma Studio

I hung my show at Stanford, started taking some painting classes from another artist and also started teaching painting classes in my studio. The show at Stanford went well. It was a great motivation to paint. I completed over six large new works for the show. Four of which are a series of Sonoma County barns titled "Sonoma County Winter Series". I used a new technique I have been learning about where you paint an abstract then paint over it trying to encompass elements of it. I like the depth I have been able to get from it.
Mid February I began to teach in my Studio. Even though I have been teaching art to children for years, I was nervous about teaching adults. It turns out to be very rewarding and I am enjoying every minute of it. I offer two sessions on Saturdays; a morning class from 10-12:30 and an afternoon class from 1:30-4:00.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Flies By

I have not been keeping up on current blogging. On January 9th I delivered 20 paintings to Standford University. I spent every spare second of December painting then dragging my wet paintings from my cold studio to home at night to be placed around heater vents. I managed to finish five large new paintings for the show. Four of them are from a new series of Sonoma County barns in various stages of retirement. Then I spent the rest of January cleaning up my country studio, getting ready to start teaching small classes. Yesterday I celebrated the last day of the month by inviting painters out to the studio to paint the views. The weather was amazing! About fifteen painters showed up, brought potluck dishes and painted the the emerald fields sprinkled in Mustard Flowers.