Friday, April 17, 2015

big changes....


CHANGES

Those of you who know me well know that I have 
been going through some changes.
I have had a painting block for a while now,
just going through the motions to get things done.

My best collector and personal friend Tom 
passed away unexpectedly last year.
My art buddy, day-trip traveling partner Goldie
moved to Atlanta to be with her daughter.

These two people were my biggest supporters and
I'm not gonna lie - I felt lost without them.

How was I going to get rid of this ineria
and get back into my love of making art?

After much soul searching and time spent sitting and
staring off into space,
I came to the conclusion that my art life needed
to be shaken up a bit. No, A LOT.
It was either make a drastic change or stop working.

So - and this is a big one
I have left the gallery that I have been with
for the last 13 years.

This gallery gave me my first start in painting
and helped me learn the ropes in doing my 
first group show, my first local big art show, my first solo show.
They have always been so supportive and
I wouldn't be where I am without them.
Thank you, Weems Galleries.
Whew, scary move for sure.

 So now I am floating....
After years of nonstop shows and deadlines, what do I do?

The first thing I did was take a few days off, 
sit down, and think about where I wanted my career to be in five years.

The second thing I did was go to Santa Fe and watch a demo 
of an artist whose work I liked.

Those of you who know me know that I don't "do" the workshop thing.
i always thought taking a workshop would steer me away from my own style.
But this was more like a talk and discussion about his techniques and materials.
The third thing I did was buy some palette knives.

I then watched a few youtube videos and went through 
my books on painting with a knife.
I checked in with (and joined) palette knife groups on facebook.

Then I just jumped in and created my first palette knife work.
Not gonna lie, it was way too thick.
Painting with a knife is HARD.
I gave the painting to my daughter (who loved it!)

But I kept at it and am now loving the knife.

Here is my second attempt:

"WINDOWSILL"
8x8"
oil on panel

I love this painting, so I'm thinking, 
maybe I am onto something here.

My third attempt:

"BLOOMS"
8x10"
oil on panel

It felt kind of strange, not using a brush.
The knife does not go where I want it to go!
I bought better knives and a few spatula-type brushes and that helped.

Then - I was talking to one of my artist friends one day and she
mentioned that she was participating in an invitational
GARDEN SHOW at Sumner and Dene gallery in June.

I thought cool, that might be fun, so I called the gallery and 
they invited me to participate.
I accepted and was excited for the first time in a long time.
Now, I am busy creating a series of paintings
that are garden related.
No pressure, I can do one or twenty one.

Another of my new goals was to make a plan to
go out on location all this spring and summer and paint BIG.
I don't know if I will use knives or brushes but the
main goal is to get out of my comfort zone of small paintings and 
go for size out in the beautiful landscape- 16x20 through 30x40, to start.
I have done HUGE paintings in the past, but all were created in the studio.
It's hard enough to paint en plein air - but to paint BIG in plein air?
Scary!

I am still trying to figure out the actual set-up to do that.

So anyway, I hope you will bear with me, join me on this new venture.
and check out the GARDEN SHOW this June at Sumner and Dene.
Here are the other paintings so far:

 "CORRALES SUMMER 12x9" oil


"DUET" 12x16" oil

"HIDDEN GARDEN 11x14 oil 


"POPPY GARDEN" 8x10" oil

"PRAIRIE GARDEN" 14x11" oil

"SPLENDID" V" 12x9" oil

"SUNBATHING" 10x8" oil


 "HIDDEN GARDEN" 8x10" oil


"WILD GARDEN" 12x9" oil

Thank you all for supporting me
every time I go through some kind of art breakthough.
Life is good!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

"WILD GARDEN"

"WILD GARDEN"
12x9"
oil on panel

I don't know if you've noticed, but I am working my way up in size.
I started with 8x8s and this is a 12x9.
I can't imaging using a knife with a 30x30 or 48x48!

My painting life has become exciting again.
For a long time (almost a whole year),
I lost my painting motivation and mojo.

It took learning a new skill, 
leaving a gallery that I had been with almost 14 years
(that takes a whole lot of courage),
and choosing a different path for myself.
I almost feel like I had to reinvent myself to go on.

So, I am learning the palette knife.
I've joined a couple of palette knife groups on facebook.
I've gone through and read my old books on knife painting.
I've checked out the paintings of artists whose work I admire.
I am even attending a palette knife painter's demo and
I have never done anything like that before!

I am also back on a quest to lose weight so my knees aren't so painful.
So I can walk farther and hike a little to get to those
scenes that I can't reach right now.

I have signed up for what feels like a million paint outs to places like:
Ghost Ranch
Los Poblanos
Bosque del Apache
Sante Fe and Canyon Road
Valle Caldera
Dixon
Pilar and the Rio Grande
Corrales

These are just a few of the cool locations!
I will also be painting at homes during the 
Corrales Garden Tour coming up in June.

I am also participating in an invitational Garden Show 
in Albuquerque coming up this summer.

So if you see me out in the landscape
with a knife in my hand,
looking a little lost - 
come on over and say hello.
Maybe we can sit in our chairs, enjoy a snack, 
and take in the lovely view of my painting location..... 
and I think my old buddy Tom would be proud
that I have taken on this new and exciting direction.







Friday, April 10, 2015

"POPPY GARDEN"

"POPPY GARDEN"
8x10"
oil on panel

I gotta tell you, I am LOVING the palette knife.
I truly feel like it's not work (even though I still have a lot to learn about the knife).

I am still working small, but getting ready to move to larger sizes.
I already have 10 9x12 panels toned and ready to go.

It's spring - the flowers buds are out and getting green and life is good.

Please click on the image to enlarge and get a better look at the texture.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

new direction

 "WINDOWSILL"
6X6"
oil on panel

"BLOOMS"
8x10"
oil on panel

Oh my goodness, I think I've found my calling.
I've always admired thick, juicy, impasto paintings.
I never thought that one day I would be painting them.

I am learning by trial and error and reading about how to paint with a knife.

I absolutely can't wait to get out on location and see what happens....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

always looking


I know people who like to travel.
Anywhere. Anytime.

All over the world.
Not me.

I DO love traveling.
But I keep my traveling close.

I can (and will)spend the rest of my life traveling all over this beautiful state of New Mexico.

Painting, taking photographs, 
and hopefully hanging out with people I love.
 Or alone.

I find it hard to travel with people 
when I paint.
I need quiet. I need to think.
I need to find that perfect composition.

But other times, I love company.
I love traveling with relatives or friends 
to Chimayo or Abiquiu:

 enjoying Monastery road

 having lunch at the Abiquiu Inn

 Enjoying Ghost Ranch and Pedernal

 meeting new friends

 and finding new, mysterious places


Then, there are other times 
I just really like being alone.
Why?

 to ponder the beauty of creation

 To sit and enjoy a spring day 

 to find sacred places

 to find hidden painting spots

 to see beautiful things
 
Fellow artists, we are not normal.
Not me anyway.
I am caught between two worlds.

In one world I need companionship, relationships, and people.

And in the other world, I need quiet time, alone time,and solitude.
For thinking, planning, and creating.

And sometimes, I just really need to hold my graddaughter.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"REACHING"

"REACHING"
10x8"
oil on canvas

It's evening and we have a few rain 
sprinkles happening right now.
It's so nice because it's not really cold.
Just soft and enjoyable.

I am making nachos for dinner (right now!).
Here is the easy recipe:
Saute organic chicken breast. Chop.
Warm organic black beans
Heat sesame blue chips

Put a layer of chips on an individual plate.
Add chicken, then black beans. 
Add onion, and as much 
nacho sauce as you want.
Add chopped lettuce, tomato,and avocado.
Yummy.

The above painting makes me excited for
spring - and the official beginning of
spring is in just a few days.

Can't wait.

I will spend the next few days painting, 
shredding papers, 
and working on taxes.
Lucky me.
On the painting, anyway.... 
Not so much on the taxes. 




A NEW DREAM

"CANONES STREAM"
6x6"
oil on panel

I LOVE palette knife paintings. 
I mean, REALLY love them.
When I'm perusing an art magazine, 
I can spot the knife paintings straight away.

So, I thought this would be so easy - 
my first palette knife panting. 
It was not.

I didn't know how to start.
I didn't mix enough paint and would have
to keep remixing. 
I was working on a 6x6" panel 
and felt like I needed something MUCH bigger!

I put paint where it didn't go.
I kept forgetting to lay down one color,
then wipe the knife and lay down the next one,
so the colors kept blending
 and I would have to wipe everything
 off and start again. 

I want this to be my lifelong passion, 
so I realize that I need to 
practice, practice, practice.
My goal is to be a really good plein air palette knife painter.

I do realize that if I do really large paintings, 
I will need trowels!

Wish me luck! 
And if there are any knife painters out there, send me your tips.
PLEASE!

Monday, March 16, 2015

ROAD TRIP

Finally, I was able to go on a paint-out, even though it was close by,
to the village of Placitas,
which is about 15 minutes away from my house.

I also went to Algodones and Bernalillo.
Nothing is green yet, but everything was still beautiful to me.


 This are the Algodones plateaus with beautiful winter color.

 A tumbleweed acequia. 
Empty but ready to be cleaned and filled.

 A pretty cross at San Antonio church,
the pretty little old Catholic church in the heart of the village.
I look forward to going again when the roses
are in full bloom.

Looking at the the Placitas Loop road in 
the foreground, the Algodones plateau in the
middle ground, and the Jemez mountains
in the background.
And those clouds!


 A closer look at the plateau.
Can you image that cottonwood in full bloom?
And those grey trees in the back will be
spring green shortly.
What a nice life for the horses living there!


 The cemetery in Algodones.


 A really cool hand-painted fence!


 Well, if it only had wheels?


 A roadside descanso.


 This is a beautiful but dry arroyo 
near the plateau.
I was drawn to the dark golden bushes on the right.


 Okay, someone has to go to Algodones and tell me what this is!
I know it's a cross, but what's on it?
I'm going to take binoculars next time!


 San Antonio Church
I've painted this scene several times.


 A really cool old truck

 Cholla cactus before it blooms that beautiful fuschia color.


 A winding wash in Placitas
with the Sandias as a backdrop.
Last year, on a windy day, I lost my
canvas down this little wash.

 This is the side of a pretty old church in Bernalillo.


 View of the Sandia mountains and pretty clouds.

My only painting that came from that day.
It's funny, I haven't been out on location
for a while and I forgot some basics:
my umbrella, my hat, my sunscreen.

I had a blast.
I got so many reference photos and
it was so nice being out in the mountains
with only the wind and the birds 
for company.

Friday, March 13, 2015

spring

 SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!

Can you tell I'm excited?

I am SO ready.
And we haven't even had a bad winter!
I bought new ratchet lopers, new clippers,
and as soon as I get a big block of time,
those hedges are getting a haircut.

On another note:
I am working on a commission similar
to the above photo.

I spent all last week cleaning out my studio
and now I want to have it painted.
It;s funny how one thing leads to another.

More tomorrow...



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Art on the brain....


Oh man, I am getting spring fever.
I woke up at 4am the other morning, and started thinking...
about art.
Everything art!

About what i want to do this year, next year, 
the next five years.

I seriously got up, 
went in the living room,
got out my phone, 
and entered every thought I was thinking.
Before I forgot it all.

This is my newest painting:

"LAYERS"
10x8"
oil on panel
Black Mesa
SOLD


So, I am going to start implementing some of my plans
and will share them with you as they come about.

Keep making art, loving art, and sharing art, everyone!

Go to art events
Get to know other artists
Comment on other artists blogs when you like their work
Comment on artist's facebook pages when you like their art
Don't be stingy with your praise and don't be afraid to share what you know.

Love you all....

Friday, February 06, 2015

New Paintings

This was the beautiful sunset over my house yesterday.
Gorgeous gorgeous.
I am having the hardest time trying to work - the outdoors has really been calling my name.
Our weather here has been in the high 60s and I just want to go outside and start pulling weeks and cleaning flower beds.

Speaking of flower beds, here is one of my newest paintings:

 "REACHING"
8x10"
oil on panel

And a painting of the village of Valdez near Taos Ski Valley: 

 "TAOS VALLEY"
8x10"
oil on panel
SOLD

This is a beautiful rainy cloudburst. 
The panel was textured a bit, so you can see it coming through:

 "STORM OVER SANDIAS"
8x8"
oil on panel

And this one actually started out to be something else entirely.
I wasn't happy with it, so it got scraped off, except for the orange and yellow foliage at the bottom.
Now, I think I'm in love with it!

 "MOUNTAIN VIEW"
10x8"
oil on panel

 On another note:

Two days ago, I went out to feed the pups and almost stepped on
some really beautiful frosted leaves on the ground.




Funny, how we sometimes don't notice the beauty of
what is right in front of us.

Oh and last, but not least:

 "SILENCE"
8x8"
oil on panel

If you are interested in any of these paintings, email me at
dshadowtail@aol.com

Tomorrow I will be working on finishing up two commissions
and working on a sunflower painting for the blog
and facebook page for Let's Paint New Mexico.
Check it out:
  
Facebook Page: "Let's Paint New Mexico!"