Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Summer Trees"

I am constantly amazed at how many people love what I call "messy" art.  I'm one of those who doesn't like "perfect" and prefer messy.  In stark contrast to that comment, I'm actually a "neat freak" when it comes to my house.  But I think when it comes to art "perfect" leaves nothing to the imagination.  I mean if you look at art in a realistic form it's really just like looking at a photograph.  Don't get me wrong I TOTALLY appreciate and respect artists who paint realism (mainly because I could never paint that well), I just happen to think "messy" is a lot more intriguing....and thought provoking! I like to look at a piece of art and let it speak to me about it's content.  I believe one sees the passion in the artist through the abstract and "messiness" of it all.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Missing Bear"

I am so proud of this painting.  My husband is a huge Alabama fan and was a Bear Bryant lover.  As a matter of fact, the day Bear died is one of the few times I've seen him cry! I had originally painted a houndstooth hat like this for him years ago.  Even though he loved it, I was never very happy with the way it turned out.  So I decided to give it another try.  This is the finished product. If I can get a little "deep" here I will explain that the paint splatters are representative of the tears that this houndstooth hat is "crying" from "Missing Bear".  Anyway....after an overwhelming response from people, I decided to contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) in Birmingham and asked if they would consider adding this to their sports memorabilia collection.  To my surprise they accepted my piece.  So, it is now being displayed at ASHOF! I decided to take it a step further and have it made into "artist's proofs" and signed and numbered lithographs.  I got a call yesterday from ASHOF saying that people are "anxiously awaiting" the prints!  WOW! This is a such a huge step for me! The lithographs will be arriving today and can be purchased at the gift shop at ASHOF!  So,,,we will just have to see where this goes! 
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame website:

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Red Canoe

One of the hardest things for me since I've started painting has been to know when the piece is finished.  I think that's pretty typical of most artists.  So, I've checked around and asked a bunch of painters "how they know when their piece is done"?  I've gotten a couple of compelling answers.  One artist from New York said "it takes two people to to paint the painting, and one to tell you when it's finished".  Another artist Thomas Arvid who happens to be a very famous artist from Atlanta told me "you know it's sort of like when you talk too much!  Sometimes you just know when that conversation is over"  hum, think he was talking about me? Anyway, I think my personality comes out on canvas because a lot of times I "overpaint".  One of my friends (and you know who you are "KW") says that talking to me is like watching a greyhound chase a rabbit around the track, it never catches it.  Anyway, this painting "The Red Canoe" was the first painting I've ever sold.  It originally wasn't supposed to turn out like this.  I actually had in mind a simple red canoe.  I kept layering that molding paste over each time I got frustrated with the painting.  Every time I put the molding paste on, it became a different painting!  That's what I love about that stuff. Molding paste to me is like reading clouds.   There's always a different shape or picture that you see.
The second time I slapped the molding paste on the canvas I had decided that it was the skyline of NY!  If you look closely at this painting you can see the Empire State Building! (seriously)  So then I decided "wait!  I'm not painting the skyline of NY!  I then decided to name that painting "A Masterpiece of Self Destruction"  Every time I put more molding paste on, I got more frustrated and I was self destructing.  Sort of like when I talk too much!  I finally took a wet paper towel and started wiping the wet molding paste off and there it was, my original red canoe!  What I had intended in the first place.  Nevertheless, I hated this painting with a passion.  But, everyone who saw it loved it!  I was very detached.  Still, I stuck it in my first art show.  Well, yep, obviously what I think is beautiful and what others think is beautiful are two different things.  It sold.  The painting taught me an important lesson.  I need to stop talking so much and start listening more!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I want to tell you about "Never Look Back"

As a painter, I usually have in mind what I want my paintings to say.  The finished product however is almost never what I intended.  Such as the painting "Never Look Back".  A friend of mine had reminded me of a song that is actually one of my favorites - MacArthur Park.  So, after I listened to it I set out to paint the girl in the yellow cotton dress that "was foaming like a wave on the ground beneath her knees".  The song is one of the most passionate songs I've ever heard.  I'm sure music critics have ripped it to shreds all these years trying to figure out what the heck he was talking about. Assuming the cake in the song was "laced" with hash!  For some strange reason, I've been a little quirky lately...and this song evoked a passion in me that just made me crazy! At any rate I wanted to paint that girl!...Because....I'm a passionate person, and I wanted my passion about this song to come out on canvas. The song is packed with symbolisms. I believe the cake that "melted in the rain" was a relationship that was "melting".  And he would "never have that recipe again" which meant to me that he would never find another love like her.  Well, enough of my interpretation of music...back to art.  I really just wanted to paint that girl in the yellow dress AND the melting cake.  Like I said though my paintings rarely turn out like I intend.  Many times when I paint, I have a final goal and so many times I get mad and frustrated that I can't reach that goal and then all of the sudden something beautiful happens and I  see this beautiful image that was meant to be there in the first place!! (It can get a little tense in my art room)!  I really think though, it's subliminal in a sense.  So, I was all set to paint "the girl in the yellow dress".  All of the sudden I'm painting green streaks (the icing that was melting on the cake) and I'm seeing this beautiful figure that just appeared to me! ...And... it looks like my niece Ally!  Then it occurred to me,,,this is her! I realized what the song was saying to me in the first place was "Never Look Back" that you should move on with your life no matter what deck of cards you've been dealt. Ally has had some incredibly hard situations thrown at her throughout her 18 years here on earth, and  I admire her immensely because of how she has held her head high through the many tough circumstances that have come her way.  She has had to struggle through a family illness that would send the toughest man on earth to his knees.  She has lived through this gracefully and has never complained, not once.  So, Ally. This is your "Never Look Back" my dear.  This is my gift to you.  You are one very special girl.
I love you sweetie!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Becky and Alice

I want to tell you about the painting of Becky and Alice.  When I feel passionate about something painting comes easy.  I think that's pretty typical for an artist.  Such as the painting of Becky and Alice. I painted it in about 1 hour.  Becky was my very best friend from about age 12.  We were like glue.  You could not break us apart if you tried.  She was this amazingly beautiful young girl with crystal blue eyes and straight long beautiful hair.  She was the most popular girl in school and everyone adored her (including me!)  We did everything together through out junior high school and then through out high school.  Although we went to separate colleges, we continued to keep in close contact.  We married 3 weeks apart, her to her high school sweetheart, me to my college one.  We had our first daughter's 3 weeks apart and they became friends. About 11 yrs. or so after she was married she developed cancer.  I'll never forget when she called me to tell me.  We both cried like babies on the phone and we both decided that definitely she could fight this and the Lord would just heal her.  Well, He did!  She lived another 15 yrs. or so!  Her faith never faltered not once.  After a long battle, we lost Becky in December 2007.  It was the first friend I've ever lost and it was the most painful experience of my life.  I think about her every day and even though the tears are less frequent, I still find myself choking them back at times.  Becky's beautiful sister Alice never left her side - ever.  She was the most incredible sister anyone could ask for.  I remember speaking to Alice about 3 months after Becky died and asked her how she was doing.  She said "I'm okay, I just miss being able to pick up the phone and hear her voice"  She said "I would call her and just say, "what cha doin?" and she'd say "nothin"!  then we'd just talk about nothin!  Anyway, with Mother's Day tomorrow I just wanted to share the story about Becky and Alice to those of you who don't know them. They were both wonderful mother's as well as wonderful sisters and I will always treasure that friendship.  I thought this painting was a sweet depiction of their love for one another.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Turning 50

This year I turn 50.  August 8 to be exact.  So what does this mean?  Does this mean that I have to accomplish every goal I've ever had in this year?  I think so!!! I think this might be my form of a mid-life crisis.  Painting is the big thing.  I've always wanted to paint...but, even with all the prodding from family to do it, market it, and sell it I just couldn't get up the nerve to put myself out there!  I compare it to singing in front of a crowd or writing a novel, or well anything that someone is going to judge.  SO this year I took the plunge.  (I actually have to blame it on Facebook).  I formed a group and asked all my friends to join.  Well, I got enough "great" comments to get up the nerve to be in an art show, and there you have it....confidence!  Which brings me to another subject.  Why is what people think about your talent so important?  Shouldn't I just be happy with what I'm doing without having to have to approval of everyone else? A friend once told me "even an ugly baby is beautiful to it's parent"! (not sure if he was using that as an analogy referring to my art!)...but it's very true!  Unfortunately I'm more complex than that.  My fear was that someone would just gag while looking at my art! My worst fear!  Anyway, I'm just sayin,,,if you have a passion - go for it!!!  50 is just around the corner....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

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New to Blogging!

Well, looks like I don't have enough to do, so I decided to start the fun world of blogging! This will be a blog where friends and supporters can see my art and comment (good or bad) and keep up with my progress.  Basically a new artist, my career has taken off full speed!  My first art show benefitting the Greensboro Humane Society was a huge success.  I sold my first piece (actually had 5 people that wanted it!) and my auction piece went for one of the highest prices!  So....confidence!  Also, as I said in my artist statement "Missing Bear" will be displayed at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame this month and will be available in a 1000 limited edition print.  (Great little piece for a kid's room or a man's office)  The first lot of 100 will be available May 23. Lots of exciting things happening in my art world!  Thank you for following!