The month of May has been extremely busy so far. I am actually participating in two shows this month. The first being a solo show at the gallery west of the Mckinely Arts and Culture Center. This show went up on April 27th and will be on display through June 16th. The center is an historical building that was constructed in 1909 and was originally a school. It’s got a lot of personality and is right across from the Truckee River.
Here’s some highlights from the hanging and then the Artist Reception that took place on May 4th.
And then the second show is an online show at the Fusion Gallery. Their May 2017 show is titled “Animal Kingdom” and I was fortunate to get the following two pieces of my works in the show. Even more exciting is the news that my piece “Urocyon cinereoargenteus” received an honorable mentioned in the Traditional Artwork category.
Urocyon cinereoargenteus 2016
Tyto alba 2016
Sylvilagus audubonii 2017
I finally “finished” this painting about a month ago and by finished I mean I had to let it go. This painting was started in June of 2016 and I just couldn’t get it right. I spent 10 months on the darn thing and it went through so many stages but I never ended up completely satisfied. Meanwhile during the months I spend working on this painting I started (and finished!) five other paintings, three drawings and two linocuts. That’s sorta ridiculous. I usually would have abandoned something going so bad fairly early into it, but I just couldn’t give up on it. And though I’m still not completely happy about the results, I’m glad I didn’t toss it to the side and end up painting over it.
I did learn something extremely important, I need to spend time on the planning and sketching stages of the piece and not blow it off. The five other paintings that I completed while this was on the easel, were all well thought out. I did many sketches and worked on the composition on paper before taking it to the panel. For this one I did one sketch, was kinda happy with how it looked, and then jumped right into the painting. I was too excited to paint and did not work out all the kinks on paper first.
So no more! What’s a few hours working on getting the sketch composition just right compared to months painting and then repainting and then repainting some more?
Here’s a few photos of the process this thing went though.
Now it’s time to let it go and start sketching.
So I have a little show coming up in July at a local little gallery called “Traders of the Lost Arts”. They specialize in prints and I’ve agreed to do a Linocut series whose subject matter is all insects.
It’s been a few years since I’ve done Linocuts so there was a bit a learning curve to deal with but I think I’ve gotten the hang of things now. I did managed to cut myself quite a few times on the first piece. Here’s a few photos of the process.
This is the first one I worked on, more of a practice than a finished piece. I carved away to much of the detail on the Cicada’s back and then once it’s gone there’s no turning back. But it was a good lesson to learn. I did like how the wings turned out.
This dragonfly is the second one I worked on and I liked it better. I’m still getting used to the lack of detail. I’m used to working with tiny little lines and shapes and you can’t do that with Linocuts. That’s actually one of the big reasons I like them, I love how chunky the line work is . However to get the effect of insect wings, or tiny scales, etc, I have to work a bit differently than I’m used to.
This Goliath beetle is the current one I’m working on and I think I’ve found the secret to it all. I fill in the sketch with a thick sharpie before I start to carve. The thick sharpie is the same width as the finest line work achievable from carving so I can see what level of detail I can get. I can really get a sense of how it will turn out as a print before making the commitment to carve into the block.
It’s pretty sweet and I’m enjoying myself. My plan is to do ten pieces of varying sizes, some as big as 9 x 12 and some as small as 3 by 4. They will all be printed in black and white.
I’ve recently donated a piece to the Santa Cruz Arts Council Hearts for the Arts program.
All of the proceeds from the silent auction go to the Arts Council’s arts education programs, SPECTRA and Mariposa’s Art.
The artist reception was last Sunday and I was quite impressed with all of the pieces that were there. There were a total of 86 pieces on display, hopefully we can make a good size chunk of cash for the Santa Cruz county public school children who want to experience the joys of art creation.
Here’s a few shots from the event. The silent auction will continue until Feb 13th. If you are in the Santa Cruz area I would encourage you to stop by the Artisan Gallery on Pacific Ave and make a bid or two.
“Tito alba” The last painting of 2016
So 2017 has started and it is going to be BUSY! I have been diligent at promoting myself and I guess it has worked because I have 4 solo shows during the year ahead. I am excited about it all but getting a wee bit nervous that I won’t be able to pull it off. 2017 has had a rough start to it and not all that much painting has been done so far. We had some rough weather and no power for almost a week! I did what sketching I could by window and flashlight but it turns out that a nice strong light source is essential to painting. However the power is up and running and I’ve started to get busy. The first show of the year is nice and mellow, a exhibition at our local library for the month of February. I’m going to do all my bird paintings at this exhibition. All the paintings for this show have already been completed already.
The next show is a little bit of a bigger deal. It’s at the Mckinley Art Center in Reno and I have gallery west all to myself. This show will be up for 6 weeks starting in May. I am mostly done with the work for this show but I would like to have at least 4 more pieces than I currently have ready to go. 2 out of the 4 are almost done, the 3rd has just been started and the 4th piece is only in my mind so far. Since this is a painting show I have to finished the pieces at least a month ahead of time so that they can dry, be varnished and also photographed. So we are talking the end of March deadline here.
The third show will be at a local art print gallery and will be featuring the black and white insect pieces. We are going to take my drawings and make polymer plates out of them so that we can do print runs out of them. I’ve never done this before so I’m very excited. I also think it will be a nice break to do a bunch of drawings after the months of painting I will have just completed. This show will be in July. So I’ll have April and May to do the drawings and possible early June to get all the drawings done. This is a tight amount of time for how much work I would like to show but it’s so much faster to do pen and ink rather than oil paints. So I think I will be okay.
Then the final show is another painting show (maybe with a few drawings thrown in). This show is a another local gallery and will feature animals, birds and insects that are local to the San Lorenzo Valley. Basically the beasts that I see in my back yard. This show is in October so I have some time to think about it. I know that I for sure want to do a banana slug piece just because. I also got to see a bobcat a few weeks ago while I was hiking and I think that would be freaking amazing subject matter. It was smaller than I expect but extremely beautiful.
As I’m writing this I’m starting to stress out about how much work I have ahead of me! I think I can do it all but there won’t be much time for experimentation. I’ve learned in the past year that I can be somewhat lazy in the planning of a piece. I don’t work out all the potential problems in the sketching phase and then have to do it while the piece in progress. This adds a ton of extra time and sometimes a piece just ends up failing. So I’m going to be diligent about the planning and sketching stage and hopefully each piece will flow.
I just finished up a very busy weekend participating in the Arts Council Santa Cruz Open Studio event that happens every October. It was my first year being a part of it and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had participated in the San Francisco’s Open Studios for several years in the past when I lived up there but now I am living in the mountains and it’s pretty difficult to get to where I live and paint.
Anyways I went into this with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Over the two days I had over 80 visitors come to my studio space! Everyone was very enthusiastic and had many questions and comments. I felt like I managed to interacted with pretty much everyone who stopped by. I was very tired by the end of Sunday night but it was a good tired and I will be participating in this event again next year.
I sold a total of 13 giclee prints and one original drawing so I managed to cover my participation and advertising costs and then some. It also opened a few more doors for me. I have been asked to be a part of Boulder Creek First Friday Art Walk and will get to show my work at the next month’s event taking place on Friday November 4th. And then a gallery in Santa Cruz, the Artisan Gallery on Pacific Ave has asked to show a few of my pieces in November as well.
I am very thankful to all who made it out to see my work. I am also very grateful for the hard work my husband put in to this event and to my two girls. It was a very long and social weekend for them and they were super stars.
The quarterly magazine, Nature Inspired is a published collection of writing and art that explores our deep connection to nature. I’m excited to announce that five of my pieces will be part of the new Animal Edition coming out in late August. Be sure to order yours!
Chalcosoma atlas 2015
In other news I’ve been busy prepping for my busy autumn. I’m going to be a part of Arts Council Open Studios this coming October. My home studio will be open from 11 am t0 5pm on October 8th and 9th. I’ve been working on getting postcards made, getting an ad in my local paper and the long and painful work of updating my website. (It’s not updated yet but will be soon, I promise!)
Corvus brachyrhynchos 2015