2017: A busy year ahead.


“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.


Second Place prize for “Junco” at Artrageous Birds Show!

I just found out that my painting Junco was awarded the second place prize at the Artrageous Birds art show that took place at the Cultural Arts Center in Whitewater, WI.  I’ve very proud and honored to receive this award and it’s fueling my drive to keep creating new paintings.  Here is the press release from the show:

September’s show at the Cultural Arts Center, “Artrageous Birds,” was created in honor of Whitewater being named a Bird City Wisconsin community in 2014.  Amy Arnston, of Lake Mills, was the judge for the show.  Winners include:

Joyce Johns, of McHenry, Illinois, won first place and the Viewer’s Choice Award for “Reflecting on Reflections” (she won $200 for first place and $50 for the Viewer’s Choice. She also sold the painting, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Whitewater Arts Alliance.) 
Jennifer Wildermuth Reyes, of California, won second prize for “Junco” ($125 2nd.)  

Ben Grubb, of Pennsylvania, won third prize for his bird sculpture ($75 3rd.)

Honorable Mentions:
Tom Jewell “Hidden”
Mary Nevicosi “Majestic”
Kathleen Ward “Robin in a Mugo Pine”
Marilyn Fuerstenberg “Blue Bird Monopoly”

Whitewater Arts Alliance Board Member and Chair of the exhibit, Marilyn Fuerstenberg, said “We had more than 70 paintings, photographs, and sculptures of birds on display at the Cultural Arts Center.  Bird and art-lovers alike enjoyed this show of our feathered friends. We even had entries from as far away as California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The art never ceases to amaze me and this show was no exception.”   
Information from the Bird City Wisconsin brochure indicates that healthy communities are the sum of many parts, including birds. Bird City Wisconsin mobilizes citizens and public officials who already know that birds are more than beautiful – they are significant.  For the 80% of Americans that live in urban areas enjoying nature often means watching birds.  Bird City Wisconsin, which is modeled on The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA, was created by a coalition of Wisconsin conservation and birding organizations to ensure that Wisconsin’s urban residents maintain healthy populations of birds and grow an appreciation for them.
The mission of the Whitewater Arts Alliance is to promote the visual and performing arts through an alliance of artists, individuals, educational resources, and organizations to promote creativity and diversity that will serve to educate and enrich the lives of the residents of the Whitewater community and surrounding areas. 
Junco 2015



Painting completed: “Snowflake”


Finally!  I finished a painting!   This one took a while because I completely changed the background.   I originally painted in a navaho print with reds,  blues and yellows but it really didn’t work with the quail.   The background was such high contrast it was competing for attention with the bird and there was so much going one it actually hurt my eyes to look at it.    So I switched it out with this orange and blue snowflake design.   There is still a lot of attention and detail in the background but it compliments rather competes with the quail.

I’m pleased with the results although it took quite a while to get there.  Hopefully I’ll make less mistakes as I go along with this series and the paintings won’t take so long to create.