Saturday, December 11, 2010


My paintings were displayed for the month of November at the Fairway Village club house. I didn't know until shortly before time that I was expected to give a talk during the reception. We had some snacks and wine. My talk went well and there were a lot of questions afterwards and the woman who puts on the receptions said it was one of the best talks she had heard in the three years they had been displaying art. Nice to hear!

I didn't talk too much about my own process but rather talked about how to view abstract paintings. I think most people are uncertain what to think or how to approach an abstract painting. Generally the paintings displayed in this space are realistic and smaller than mine.

I focused on how the painting made the viewer feel emotionally rather than trying to be too rational or trying to figure out what the artist was trying to say. I told of my first experience viewing a Joan Mitchell painting at the Portland Art Museum. I had just read a book about her and as I was passing from one area of the museum to another I saw a large painting and was drawn right into it. I was stunned to see it was an 8'x10' painting by Joan Mitchell. I still do not understand why I especially like certain abstract painters like her and Franz Kline. The point is not to understand so much as to see how it makes you feel.

This leads me back to my view about what an artist is focusing on or feeling as they are starting to paint. If I am not invested in my work on an emotional level then a viewer will not connect with it on any level. Which means I must know what I'm feeling as I create a painting. I never work intuitively when I start a painting. I always know where I'm starting from and have some framework about what colors I'll use and whether it will be portrait or landscape. I also know where the horizon line will be since I've been in an abstracted landscape mode for some time now. After that it can all change and be something different than I anticipated. Many times it isn't at all what I started with in the beginning.

Saturday I hung a new show at the Soluna Grills at 4440 SE Fremont near the old First Impression store. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 5 to 9 PM and Friday and Saturday 5 to 10. Happy Hour is 4 to 6 PM. Sunday brunch is 9 AM to 2 PM.

I'll upload a few photos of both shows. The quality of the photos isn't too good and I see a new camera in my future. Surely it's the camera and not the operator! The point I want to make about the two shows is that the paintings look good on widely different colored walls. It always surprises me since my walls at home are more neutral and I do hang/store my paintings on the walls at home. Which leads me to think the color of the wall isn't too critical for me or my paintings.

The top photo is from Soluna Grill and the color isn't exact but it's a sort of dull green. The other paintings are of the Fairway Village show.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's November and where did October go?

I guess I ask this question every fall about where did the preceding month go.

I haven't been painting for several weeks. Just normal responsibilities and duties I guess. Then I've been dealing with right shoulder tendonitis for many months. Still doing physical therapy twice a week and doing better.

My critique group had a lot of group shows this year and that's kept us all busy.

I have a solo show during November at the clubhouse in the community where I live. The reception is this Thursday. Just found out I'm supposed to give a small speech about my process and history as a painter.

Starting December 11th I'll have a solo show at the Soluna Grill on NE Fremont in Portland. Haven't learned what the date for the reception will be. The show will end January 22nd 2011.

I'm getting a new computer this week and will sign up for the year of classes called One to One. It's been 6 1/2 years and I'm out of memory, the old one is really slow and there have been several operating system changes. iPhoto has a new and wonderful upgrade or two. Plus it's a new type of keyboard and mouse to learn. What fun!

I did buy a new brush which I like very much. It's a Richeson Professional 7010, 1 1/2", Steve Quiller.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Salon show

Here are a few photos from our Salon Show at the Fullerton Gallery. It is a wonderful space for hanging lots of paintings salon style and the lighting is wonderful. We had a great time being together and sharing our abstract critique group's paintings.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wedding gowns for artists

Here is a blog featuring dresses designed by Carolina Herrera based on women artists from the past. I cannot imagine Virginia Wolfe wearing the dress designed for her. She hated dressing up and clothing was not very important to her. Even when she earned enough money to buy good clothing the people in the small town where she lived made fun of her clothing combinations.

It is a wonderful idea to base a clothing line on wedding dresses for women from the past.


I've been working on a new artist's statement for the critique group's Salon Show this week end. While doing this I sifted through my store of quotes about art and thought the two below were both very good. Here is information about the show.

Life beats down and crushes the soul,
and art reminds you that you have one.
Stella Adler

Kandinsky’s view, “One begins with a theme chosen in nature,
and calls that representation.
If one moves a step toward the inner perceptions of nature,
one might call it abstraction”.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New paintings & Salon Show October 2nd and 3rd

"Rose Essence" 30x10 gilding, metal on board

"Green Flash" 30x10, gilding, metal on board

"Copper Angel" Diptych, gilding & mixed media on board

The three paintings above will be at my critique group's Salon Show, October 2nd from noon to 8 PM and October 3rd noon to 5 PM. The address is 6905 SW Ventura Dr. in Tigard OR. Here's the mapquest link:

The show is also a benefit for the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp with a portion of each sale going to the camp. The six members of the critique group each started a 20x20 canvas in the spring. So we each had our turn and the finished work will be part of a silent auction with all proceeds going to the camp. We also will have a display of photos of each step along the way. It was a very challenging and fun experiment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recycled art

Take a look at Sayaka Kajita Ganz's reclaimed art! Also go here to see the horses that appear to be coming through the wall. Just amazing work. Be sure to click for the up close views.

Don't play it safe

Artist Keith Bond has written another good article on FineArtViews about taking chances as an artist with a list of suggestions. I liked the suggestion to talk about your art, try a new medium but especially learn more about your own medium. The way you learn about your medium? Show up and work every day. The showing up part can be the most difficult for me. Seems like all the "dailyness" of life interferes or trumps painting way too much. That's why I read the short articles Keith writes--as a reminder to keep working.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kick start and play

Some days you just need a little kick start to begin painting. And some days nothing I paint pleases me and the harder I work on a piece the less I like it. I'm talking about the three or four paintings I've been working on off and on--mainly off. The last colors I put on will now again be gessoed over.

So today when I read Robert Genn's twice weekly newsletter it was really written for me. It's time to play. It's time to start a new piece and turn the starts to the wall for a while. I'm stubborn and will not give up on the earlier paintings.

My critique group has a salon show in a member's home October 2nd and 3rd. I wanted to do some smaller pieces on paper and mat them for the show. It isn't going well and I have more trouble with smaller pieces so I'm not going to force it. It hasn't been fun and if it isn't fun then why am I doing it at all?

Here is the link to the Genn newsletter.

Yesterday I read a blog about a woman who liked to travel and was solo now. Her thought matches mine for travel and painting both: "While I can, I will".

Go paint.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I wanted to show you some of the lilies that are just blooming away in my yard. With all the cooler weather earlier I really wondered if they would bloom this summer. The hot temperatures this week have been hard on them but there are more blooms to come and the yard smells wonderful!

Not much time for painting currently. I have a chance to visit New York City in less than a month and I've been reading guide books and checking airlines and hotels on line. I don't want to buy the hotel room, just stay there a few nights. Talk about sticker shock. So much to see and do.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Artist's studios

I haven't been painting too much lately. Just the usual busy summer activities. I recently returned from a trip to Eastern Oregon with my brother. If you are anywhere near Baker City do not miss the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Great exhibit and you can go to where the wagon wheel ruts still show up through the sage brush.

I'm always curious about artist's studios and found this wonderful site, so go have a look and enjoy it. I'm going to stop complaining about my 10x12 room now. OK, I'll complain less than usual!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How matters more than how long

Here is an article by Clint Watson from FineArtViews. Very good advice from today's newsletter. Near the bottom he talks about two rules so you'll know you're on the right track. And boy, am I on the right track right now! I do feel less confident over time and I do know there is still so much to learn. And number two I really am embarrassed about some of my older paintings. I'm thankful for white gesso so I can start over time and time again.

Now, as Clint says, go change the world.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New paintings

I'm off in a new direction recently and lots more I want to explore. I'm working on Ampersand boards which are two inches deep. I'm applying more gilding of various kinds because it's time to break the rules. I'm also applying copper, brass and aluminum sheet metal. I glue and nail the metals to the board. The nails match the metal. Then I rub on various kinds of metal patinas. The metals can also be painted over. Once I've created the right finish I spray the gilding or metals with an acrylic fixative. The metal will not degrade or change.

I'm starting small. The first two above are 16x20 and the third one is 12x12.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quote for today

”The best day of your life is the 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.” ~Bob Moawad

The live oak tree is from Middleton Plantation in South Carolina.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Art events in Vancouver WA

Vancouver has a monthly Art Walk on the first Friday of each month. The June Art Walk is Friday the 4th from 5 PM to 9 PM.

Several events are happening this month that don't occur every month. For example the people who do Art Beat on our local PBS station will be in Vancouver to interview and film at several of the galleries.

Windows into Art runs from June 4th to July 5th. Once on their site be sure to click on some of the artist's links. Very interesting "untraditional" art will be available for viewing. I can't define the art, you'll just have to do it for yourselves!

The very complete article from the Columbian newspaper will explain more about Windows into Art as well as the new galleries. The newspaper says Vancouver has 14 galleries now participating in the First Friday events.

Another nearby event is the Vancouver Farmer's Market which is now open Fridays from 5 to 9 PM as well as Saturday and Sunday. It's two blocks south of Art on the Boulevard.

Parking is easy and once parked you can walk to all the galleries. I enjoy walking around downtown Vancouver and seeing the art on a warm evening. Surely we'll have some pleasant warm evening very soon!

From time to time various businesses or groups hold a special First Friday reception for the Art Walk. This month the business is the Arc of Clark County which helps children and families with intellectual and developmental difficulties. The reception will be held right next to Art on the Boulevard gallery where my paintings can be seen. The same building houses a coffee shop, a deli, a florist and several other businesses and the reception area is a large space with lots of tables and chairs.

I'll be there and I'm looking forward to seeing all the new galleries.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Liquitex demo

Recently I attended a Liquitex demo at Art Media. I do use their products and paints but had no idea how many products or interesting mediums they had available.

Here is a good place to start learning and exploring what they have. I think this introductory set of six mediums would be a good start on my explorations. I spent way too much time exploring their Youtube site.

They gave us a nice hand out of materials to read including a catalog, The Acrylic Book as well as many project cards. There was also a bottle of soft body paint, gloss medium and varnish and slow-dri blending medium. Liquitex has a new line of acrylic inks that look very promising too.

So here are the products I want to try: Inks, pouring medium, flow aid, clear gesso, lava gel, ceramic stucco, glazing medium, blending medium, blended fibers, glass beads, Liquithick thickening gel and the list goes on.

Here are a few tips from my notes. Use airbrush medium rather than water. If using water don't use more than 30% on a gessoed canvas. They have just come out with a transparent raw sienna which is hard to imagine but might be interesting. Use Winsor and Newton brush cleaner and restorer to remove paint from clothing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A paintings progress

Below is a recently finished painting. At least, I think it's finished now! It spent weeks and months facing a wall before I came back to it. It's a 36X36 acrylic on canvas. Some where along the way I decided there was nothing I could do that might make it worse. So with a sense of freedom and confidence I attacked. I was going to give it one last chance. I removed paint, I added paint, I plastered white all over it and slashed away at it with brushes and hands. I had a good time too. So scroll on down and see the stages with the beginning at the bottom.

I'm liking it better now.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Orchids and a quote

Here is a photo of orchids from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens April 13th.

A quote from Robert Genn's newsletter by Dennis Alter : We each have many people inside us, don't we? I take comfort in knowing that Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive during daylight hours and a sublime poet after work. Some of us can live both of our lives simultaneously and others must choose. It's more heroic to choose.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A reality show worth watching

Finally, a reality show that sounds worth watching! Sarah Jessica Parker is the star of Work of Art starting June 9th. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New paintings & Paris

Here are four new paintings. I took the photographs rather than taking them to the photographer who is 45 minutes to an hour away and requires two round trips. I can always take them later if I change my mind.

My critique group is having several shows this year and I'll post more about this closer to the first one which takes place in May. So I'm busy thinking about what I want to paint or have available for each show.
"Breaking Through" 30x30 Acrylic on canvas
"Out of the Mist" 24x24 Acrylic on canvas
"Clearing" 24x24 Acrylic/gilding on canvas
"Signature" 24x24 Acrylic on canvas

All images copyright of Jan Heigh.

The top painting "Break Through" has my usual bright colors and I think of it as sort of a spring like painting. The other three were experiments in starting paintings using more neutral or earth colors. I thought I should just make some changes and challenge myself to do something totally new and difficult for myself. What was I thinking? As you can see they all morphed into my usual bright colors with a tiny bit of neutral left. Lesson learned. Use the colors I love.

Now on to Paris. I've been looking at blogs written in or about Paris and have found some new ones. Once I find a blog I like I check out the blogs they recommend and nearly always find some new treasures. So try out some of these wonderful blogs.
Paris Apartment for eye candy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gender issues

I receive updates from Alyson Stanfield at her Art Biz blog and today's topic is about all women art shows. She asks the question and many people offered thoughtful responses in her comments section.

Also go here where she asks about the role of gender in art success. Again many thoughtful responses about a rather hot topic for many people.

What are your views?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction show

Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction is at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC until May 9th and then travels to Santa Fe to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum from May 28th to September 12th. It looks like a great show and I wish I could see it. If you scroll down to the end of the museum piece about the show be sure to click on all three of the reviews. ArtInfo lists the show as a power exhibition. The New Yorker lists the show as one of the best museum shows of 2009.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making lists

This is a photo of an installation at the Tate Britain in October 2009.Now on to making lists. I have a to do list on my desk top which I update about three times a week. I love making lists and always think about the friend who made a list starting with get up, shower and eat breakfast, just so she would have something to cross off her list each day. I'm not quite that bad.

Go to Robert Genn's newsletter and read his letter about making lists. But even better go to the remarks and read what his readers said. Scroll down to nearly the bottom and read more remarks. Always something thought provoking and interesting in this newsletter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New paintings

Here are four new paintings. The first one (Gilded History) has some gilding near the top but it's very hard to photograph and the only real way to see it is in person.

The bottom painting "Muse I" is the first of three similar paintings. The first background is a very bright yellow and the top or darkest color is the background of the second painting "Muse II"-which looks very orange in the photo. The third painting's background "Muse III" (which looks more red in the photo) is the darkest color on the second painting. Still with me? The third painting ends in dark blue.

All four can be seen at Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver WA.

Gilded History
Muse III

Muse II

Muse I

Friday, February 19, 2010

What to do when stalled?

When the only paintings in the studio turn out to be problems, what is an artist to do? It's time to tidy the room. Not a total overhaul where you can't find anything after cleaning but a good dusting and mopping.

I almost didn't want to mess it up and didn't for a a couple of days but I also had company part of the time. So before I go back to work I took a few pictures.

Remember, this is the cleaner room!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How long does it take to paint a painting?

I've had two 36x36 paintings sitting around the studio facing the wall for many weeks now. So I figure what have I got to lose if I work on them and they are wrecked? I've been taking pictures right along as my ideas developed and I'll decide whether I want to share them on the blog when I'm finished with the paintings. The stages I go through on the way to finishing can be seriously ugly! I either use alcohol to cut through paint to see what is underneath or cover parts with diluted white gesso and then sit and re-evaluate for long periods of time. I also make notes and do drawings of the painting. I've never really wanted to know how long it takes me to paint a painting. People who look at paintings want to know how long it takes an artist to do a painting and I never have a pat answer for this. It takes much too long. Not the actual painting time but developing an idea and then the evaluations along the way take the most time for me. Then the non-artistic part starts with thinking of a title, taking to the photographer, signing, putting on the hanging wire, putting into my inventory and finally taking to the gallery.

Not complaining here just figuring out an answer to how long does it take an artist to paint something from start to finish. I don't know and don't care to know at this point! It just takes the time it takes to do it right and to do it to my satisfaction. I have many paintings that didn't make it out into the world. I gesso over them and start again.

The photo above has nothing to do with painting, I just thought it was wonderful.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Art Broken?

I've just finished four new paintings and will post them after they are photographed. Below is an earlier painting that I've always liked called "Latent Potential".

Go here to read about if art is broken or not.

Artbiz blog has a good list of books about art.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thoughts about painting/holiday photos

Here are two photos taken at my daughter's house at Christmas. The video of a fire place was very realistic and even burned down to glowing cinders before going back automatically to the start of the fire. The moose is decorated for each holiday or season.

Before Christmas I went to the Pittock Mansion and here are a couple of photos.

Thinking about painting is seldom far from my mind even when I'm sick or confined to the business of daily living. I've been dealing with a series of upper respiratory infections since the holidays and certainly have run out of patience with the whole mess long ago!

So I've purchased some new canvases--did I really need more? No. But they were good prices and I'm dreaming of creating larger pieces. My studio set up limits me to 36X36 canvases so I'm thinking of painting multiple canvases and hanging them together in different configurations. It's all in the development stages right now.

I liked this quote. Does it seem a little over reaching? Maybe, but why not stretch a bit.

"My aim in painting is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature."Hans Hofmann

If you're checking your "trap line" Steve, hi there!