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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meanderings about life as an artist and shows

Another week or so of painting 4-5 hours a day and I'll know if I have anything 'show' worthy! I'm just painting now for fun...if something good comes, I'll enter it. If not, I won't. It is a real conundrum for an artist who organizes a judge for an event. What if he chooses one of mine for an award? Will I always feel he recognized my style (ha) or signature (double ha since he mentioned I needed a more professional one).

OR, maybe he wouldn't pick one of mine. May-haps I'll just chicken out and take the high road...say I'm not entering out of respect for him. Ha-Ha-Ha...really just afraid I won't show as good as I did last year!

This is why real artists recommend not entering local shows where you are the a good winner...and then, nothing! If you enter national competitions and win, everyone knows! If you enter national's and don't, no one has a clue that you even entered.

THEN, you have to look at why enter anything anyway! If your art is selling, do you need a ribbon? In it for the lucrative prizes? I have enough pastels now to last a lifetime. Would be nice to capture a national and have that fleeting recognition in a magazine!

THERE it is then...EGO!

This past week has flown by. I've been in the studio at least 40 hours. kinda like a full time job. Leslie Newman, painting buddy, is a good motivator. I work in the studio an hour or so, go out to the pool and scoop a few leaves, back to the studio...all day. Well, those of you who know me know my 'work day' doesn't start until noon-ish. I do computer work first.

I've also been in the throes of workshop planning (explaining, head counts for kits, helping with accommodations, etc) At least the treasurer is handling the money for this one. Randy and I organized the upcoming Charles Reid workshop and it has been full since last December and doesn't happen until Oct. 5. We took care of the workshop and judge for the Ozark Pastel Society show the week of August 18. Mr. Leslie B. DeMille will be our houseguest (Yeah, I've already warned him that there is no French chef lurking to deliver gourmet meals every day) He may get peanut butter since we will be painting all day while he is here!

Maybe I can call in some barter 'buckx' and get someone to 'cook-off' their account! Hmmm...creative thinking!

Both workshops are on track, and I'm headed to the studio. Actually, planning some major workshops for 2009...maybe I've found a new career...stateside La Bonne Etoile...Triple HAHAHA!

PS: all kidding aside, Mr. Les encourages the public, friends and family to attend the 4 demos at $15 a head. Students will, of course, get first seating, and right to communicate with him. BUT, he is entertainment personified! While he was doing his demo at IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies in Albuerqurque, NM 2007) of Urania Christy Tarbet the front of 400, He would squint at her, make a  mark...turn around and tell a story, then turn back and make a perfect mark that would be her! Fascinating!

Tues, 8-19, 6:30-ish, Demo in pastel from life (model maybe red-headed nephew Josh)
Wed, 8-20, 9:ish, Figurative Demo in pastel with focus on features, materials (from life)
Thurs, 8-21, 9:ish, figuragive Demo in oil from life
Fri, 8-22, 9:ish, Still Life Demo

All demos will be over around noon. We are asking for reservations...location is at Apple Blossom in Rogers, AR, and seating is limited.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Always Improving!

Every once in a while I delve deep into programming. You are looking at the 'new' template for the blog. I like the look...

The format has been changed to a 3-column to enhance the ads from google on the left hand side, without taking away from the meat of the blog. For those of you who don't already know this, with a Google AdSense account, you can make money (well, cents) per click. SO, I added some YouTube categories as well. We'll see how that works out. I can only control the categories, not the actual videos.

So what was my today like? Limited myself to fixing one element of the new blog design. An hour later had done 3...It's easy to lose me!

Worked a couple hours coordinating our Ozark Pastel Society workshop. It is official...Mr. Leslie B. DeMille will be judging our annual show in August, and is teaching a 3-day workshop here. We had over 13 local artists sign up in one week. His reputation preceeds him! The exact dates are August 20, 21, 22 in Rogers, AR. We are being hosted by Apple Blossom Independent Living Facility, in their fabulous community room. There is still room for additional artists at $335 (includes 3 lunches and model fees). We will announce the times of the demonstrations at a later date...seats are available for non-participants at $15 each.

SO, now to the studio...still no pics to show until after the judging. Working totally in pastel now, looking for the perfect entries. Got leaves out of the pool for awhile for a break.

5:30pm back up and begin working on the blog design again. Hopefully all kinks worked out.

Typical day for me. My last, and continuing huge web project was the Free Electronic Art site I created at the urging of Dustie is totally designed around AdSense ads. Between the blog ads, search, and the ClickArtClip site, I'm earning a couple dollars a week! Whoohoo!

I'm in the money!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Find The Joy

What a treat! Today, that is. 

No photos on painting progress, because it looks like Mr. Les(ter) BeeDee ( is going to judge our Ozark Pastel Society annual exhibition in August. SO, since he subscribes to 'the' blog, no pics.

I worked on a potential 'good one' yesterday, and again today. I have a good figurative, a pretty good landscape...and then Ta-Da...a good still life. Can't wait to get back to the studio tomorrow and see if it finishes as good as it started!

Again, once in the studio, with ipod firmly in my ears, I lost myself to the music. I guess I am really into listening to Jessie Coulter's 'Out of the Ashes'. Those of you who have read the famous book 'Melanger avec Amour' created for La Bonne Etoile in France will know that the title song 'clicked' with me while I was doing some creative writing for the book. (Even though I thought it was Emmylou Harris at the time..and that will be changed when the book is re-done for publication).

The album sounded so good, I hit replay. Again. Kept painting. Again. I must have listened to the same album 7 times. Randy came home, I did dinner...while it cooked I went back and listened again! Talk about keeping the left brain distracted...Dancin' and Singin'...hopefully I paint better than either of those...moved around so much my feet are sore!

I knew I was going to post again this week even without pics...especially since talking with BFF Kippy and newer BFF Urania (Christy Tarbet) who is just finishing her sabbatical at Kippy's. Urania is a great cheerleader, and says I should write a book...hells-bells...what on earth about? How to hypotize yourself by listening to the same music over and over? Must be AOA...Adult Onset Autism!

Just opened a forwarded email and reinforced my good mood...Give yourself a treat and click on It's worth it.

so it taking a look at 'THE BOOK'. It is more of an inspirational book for creatives than a cookbook. Recipes thrown in for good measure...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Self-Portrait vs mirror image vs AACKKK!

Still don't want to figure out how to do captions with
#1 nokin: mirror image of nikon...duh. No wonder it is difficult to paint yourself from life from a mirror.

#2 AFTER painting #3 (and #4) trying to get a photo that wouldn't be mirror image. failed experiment...goofy smile.

#3 & 4 The good 'ole college try. framed to look like I am looking out a window. That's why I turned it when photographing so the shadow would be on different side. Can't smile when you are one-eyed squinting. However, I see some things that can definitely be 'improved'!

#5 just for fun, photo of a pencil drawing I did 3 years ago...titled 'Airhead'.

AACKK! Sure wish I had started painting earlier so I'd have some younger self-portrait material! This latest effort is sobering!

Thanks to Leslie Newman, new BFF who suggested we be 'painting buddies' (sorry Les D.)...this experiment might not have happened! We played nice together, each painting on our separate projects. We have plans for frequent sessions...all painters need encouragement to paint. Kinda like walking with a is not as easy to talk yourself out of it when someone is doing it with you.

I had a meeting today of the NWA Invitational Critique Group (name recently changed from Starving Artists since we are having a joint show at Arts Center of the Ozarks in 2009 and NWAICG sounds better). Our project for the last month was a self-portrait. SOOO...the latest experiment I had put off until the last minute. One thing about a self-portrait...your model is always free and available!

As if painting models from life lately was not enough, let's take it up a notch and do a self-portrait. Funny thing is that an artist is supposed to shut one eye and squint the other when looking at the subject. I tried this a few months ago and painted a wonderful rendition of a one-eyed squinty person! Horrible expression! Then in Theresa's class one day we did a self-portrait session...She worked on mine awhile...and on the way home I wondered to me..."if I was painting me from a mirror and she was painting me from life...did the resulting study end up being two right sides of me or two left sides!

THEN, last night friend and fellow artist, Joann said my new version didn't look like me because it was a mirror image...the image of us we personally are most familiar with...not the one everyone else recognizes. So, how do you set up 2 mirrors, one to capture the mirror image, and the other to flip it...hold a pose...AND paint it!

Did some research online, and found several discussions about Rembrandt's self-portraits...and how he really looked if reversed.

AND, apparently this company used to manufacture some sort of true image mirror that gave you the view not reversed! gotta have one! SO. BOTTOM LINE. THE LATEST EFFORT IS NOT REALLY ME!

BFF Erika (who is a degreed trained artist with emphasis in portraiture) and I had a discussion today...she tried to take 'representational' photos of me...and wasn't happy with any of them. She decided it would take a video to capture my expressions and personality 'cause I'm never still and serious. Without the eyebrow raising-crossed eye-smirking-smiling-rolling eye-facemaking, I'm difficult to capture.

Maybe with Bozo clown hair (oops, Wesley thinks I should comb my real, everyday hair), and red/white make-up someone could capture the REAL vicki

We will need to investigate this conundrum of mirror image self-portraits in the future! Comments welcome!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Theresa, Echo, Nancy and my new Gallery, Eurekan Art

Theresa, thanks for getting my attention about the 'pocketbook portfolio'. I went straight home that day and made one! Echo, for insisting that I go back to the car to get it out of my purse, and for encouraging me to show it to Nancy when we were visiting Eurekan Art in Eureka Springs. And last, but not least, Nancy for selecting some of my paintings for your gallery! You all ROCK!

All are oil, and the small poppies in the black frame are $375. The other 5 are $475. Contact Nancy to purchase.

Eurekan Art showcases regional art, and has a delightful selection of pottery, sculpture and paintings. 

Being an artist is just the tip of the iceberg...self-promotion is a huge part. Even given my career as a graphic designer, web designer, marketing 'expert', I still don't have appropriate business cards! LOL! Kinda like the cobbler's kids going barefoot. When it comes to promoting 'me', I'd rather take a beating. 

New friend and artist, Leslie Newman, thinks I can inspire her to paint more often! She lives real close and may be helping me more than I can help her. Don't tell her...I'll sneak up on that one! You teach what you most need to learn...

All in all, a great week. got a 'perfecto' from Mr. Les yesterday (then today he put me back to work), and a 'WOW!' from Kippy on a new figurative work I did. Then delivering the art to Eurekan today...and I had a big smile all day.