Friday, December 26, 2008


Today I'm dipping into a file on my desktop filled with quotes. I think they all relate to art but some of then do so only indirectly. Just seems like the time of year for it!

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying
Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer,
is to have kept your soul alive. Robert Louis Stevenson

Among those whom I like or admire,
I can find no common denominator,
but among those whom I love, I can;
all of them make me laugh. W. H. Auden

If you could say it in words, there'd be no reason to paint. Edward Hopper

The best day of your life is one on which you decide your life is your own.
No apologies or excuses.
No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift is yours--it is an amazing journey--and you alone are responsible 
for the quality of it.
This is the day your life really begins. Bo Moawad

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cruising the web

I spent a good portion of  my morning while snow wouldn't allow me to get out reorganizing my bookmarks. Here are some blogs I really like that are not all art related but I find them interesting when I visit on occasion.

Simple videos explaining a lot of topics in plain english related to the internet.

Color schemes and lots of palettes and patterns.

All things Golden and much discussion about their new Open colors.

I just like her photos and brief remarks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Tuba Christmas

Saturday December 13th I met some friends for lunch and a trip to downtown Portland to Pioneer Square to hear the tuba band. There were tubas of all sorts including their smaller cousins. The only name I can remember was a Sousa horn. The music was lovely and much better than I thought it would be---deep and soothing. The director talked a little too much given the outdoor setting.

The musicians were under a tent while the audience was out in the weather. The early birds came with their pieces of plastic and probably cushions of some kind to sit on the steps in front of the band. Others stood around and sought shelter as best they could around Starbucks. It was in the low 40s, windy and mainly rainy but it was a very good turn out. People in the northwest know how to dress for this kind of weather.

The current temps are in the teens and twenties and dressing warm is mandatory. Now if people would just learn how to drive in the snow and ice! Well, to be fair, we don't get much practice around here on most winters. Today the sun is shining and snow is forecast for tomorrow so I've been out doing last minute errands and grocery shopping. Here in Vancouver the streets are mainly clear and business as usual.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Other artist's studios

While I'm doing all the things I either like to do or feel required to do to get ready for Christmas, I'm still thinking about art. Not making art except for making gift tags but still thinking about the next painting.
Photo of my messy studio.

Am I the only only artist who has a great curiosity about other artist's studios? There are two magazines out now that feature studios so I'm guessing there is a market for this topic. 

Stampington & Company has published a premiere Winter 2008 issue of Where Women Create. The cost is $14.99, about 162 pages and features eleven women artists and their studios. Four of the featured women own stores and each spread is 10 pages long. As always with a Stampington magazine the photographs are lush and detailed. The pages are dense with photos, words, design elements and extras. I cannot understand why they placed white filigree embellishments over many of the photos. The edges of many photos are busy with intricate borders around them. One of the two page spreads featured a large photo which took up about 2/3 of the two pages with 26 smaller boxes of images around the edges with close ups of shelves or cubby holes. Take your time and don't try to see everything in one sitting. Your brain will rebel.

The other magazine is put out by Cloth Paper Scissors and is called Studios. It costs $7.99, is about 100 pages and is the Fall/Winter 2008 issue. They featured 30 artists with a variety of pages per artist. What I especially liked was how clear the lay outs were as well as being easy to read. I wanted to know more about the artists in the Where Women Create magazine. For example their name, where they were from, what their media was and a web site. It think it was mainly there some place but I gave up early. The Studio magazine had clear easy to read fonts with the name of the artist, where she lived, a brief paragraph at the start of the feature called "what I do" and the dimensions of the studio they worked in plus a web or email contact. 

So both magazines feed my need to see what other artists are doing in their studios. I would buy the Studios magazine again but not Where Women Create. Each magazine should feed our muse and give us some good ideas about arranging our own studios. The Studios magazine was generally much more practical with less advertising and less fluffiness.

So buy them, enjoy them and make up your own mind. There's something be be learned from both of them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Further reassessing

I recently visited Casey Klahn's blog and his 11-30 post really resonated with me, as they often do. During these times of change or downturn might we want to retreat and reflect on where we're going with our art? 

Do I want to follow trends? What kind of art would I make if I knew there was no chance of selling it? And as Casey asks, does it really matter? My answer is no, it doesn't matter to me at all. 

All of my paintings are very vivid and I just cannot bring myself to use neutrals over the wonderful colors. Then what happens to contrast? I admire paintings that make use of quiet areas in a painting and always wish I could to it too. I might experiment on some small pieces and see if my hand can put brush to canvas with neutral colors. Won't be easy!

Take a look at my friend Dusanka's slide show to see good examples of use of color and neutrals.

While I was at Casey's blog I was reminded how much I enjoy reading Edward Winkleman's blog and his good sense writing. He has some good advice about how artists can handle this challenging time. Part two is here.
Scroll down to his 11-13-08 post to see part one.

Holidays and reassessing

Since I finished the three paintings in the previous post not much art making has been going on in my studio. The holidays do seem to take up a lot of space in my thoughts and activities.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter's house with 12 people present. Lots of laughs and good food. Four different pies! Both my son and daughter were able to be there which doesn't happen very often and there was lots of story telling and more laughs which is a perfect holiday celebration in my book. And did a mention all the food? 

So now I have to get on the internet and finish up my Christmas shopping. Seems to be lots of reasons to not be thinking about art making. Hmmm. Time to reassess my priorities? I would say yes, for sure!