Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to all my friends!

It's New Years Eve and I am so excited about the upcoming year! Celebration of Fine Art is just around the corner!!! I will be taking 12-14 new watercolors that I am so proud of. It was so good to get back to my first love of painting. They take me back to that first crush, knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life! The frames are handmade, finished leafed corners - just beautiful. There will be about 18 oils displayed on opening night, all my blood sweat and tears from this past year - I can't wait! There is nothing like putting all your work together to see where you have come from, where you are at and where you want to go. A body of work is so telling of all your secrets - your passion, your pain and your aspirations! We all need a good look at ourselves every year and evaluate these things. Life is such an adventure and one that need not be on auto-pilot. Grab hold with both hands, hold on and try new journeys! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

A quick note to wish all my dear friends Merry Christmas and an even better New Year! May you all find success, small and large, in your life this year, find love in beautiful hidden places and have peace and adventure in even amounts! A life well-rounded is a life well-lived and great friends make it even better! Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A very sincere Thank You!

Thank you to all who weathered the storm and visited my show in Park City last night! I am truly grateful for those friends that take the time out of their busy schedule to support me. I have been so blessed in my life to have so many dear friends, such a supportive family and an artist network of peers - you make my life beautiful! I was thinking of all the past shows over the years, my entourage of "girls" that would be there or be square, all my family that has supported this crazy life of mine with so much love and optimism. This is a crazy business, one that the people who love me have watched like a roller coaster ride and still loved me in the end. I truly have sincere gratitude for all that have hung in there with me :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time for shopping!

My paintings for the Mtn. Trails Gallery are finally delivered and only now (as I say EVERY YEAR) can I get my Christmas shopping done! Oh how I wish I could be the person that has all the gifts bought in October! The person that has the paintings done and delivered a week ahead of schedule! Instead, every single year, I am in the stores on the week before Christmas playing catch-up. What would it be like to be an organized person? I might have everything ready for the Celebration of Fine Art show in Arizona. Instead I will be rushing like a madwoman on the fifth of January, making myself crazy with a list of things I forgot about. I will be painting right up until we leave. Is this all part of the right brain thing or just a Shanna thing? Well, at least one would think I would be used to it after all these years! Here's to a great shopping weekend :) !!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mountain Trails Gallery in Park City - One person show!

Hello friends!
I'm working on the final piece for my One Person show in Park City at the Mountain Trails Gallery. I'm so excited about the show! The show was advertised in the Western Art Collector magazine in December's issue and the gallery has done a beautiful job of putting together a brochure of the new work. Please come up and see me if you are in town. The reception is Saturday, December 18th, from 6-9 pm.
I have many paintings home with me at the present, all getting ready to go out to new places, new shows! If you have a special someone in your life you would like to purchase a special something for - please call me for a list of paintings available for Christmas! Mention the blog and get a special purchase price.
I hope your holidays are beautiful!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fresh off the easel!

Here is the newest piece of hopefully quite a few to come! I guess I truly am ready for winter because the snow just keeps coming up for me. Let it snow!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I have my Christmas decorating finished! I did things a little easier this year and didn't use QUITE as many of my decorations and ornaments. I have 12 boxes of things that I have collected over the years and it was so hard deciding which things would go up. I think I am probably one of the most sentimental girls alive (not necessarily a great thing)! Some would call me a packrat. I have ornaments from my mom and dad's first christmas tree and even a couple from my grandma's tree. I have some that friends from high school gave me, and of course many that were given to my kids as they grew up. I only used the most special ones this year. I have about 32 nutcrackers that did not go up this year. The mantle and the dining room table and the tree, that's about it! We leave for Scottsdale the first of January and taking everything down is quite the chore!
My show for Mtn Trails in Park City is almost ready to deliver. A few more new pieces will be posted soon! I'm still working on the paintings for the Celebration and the Kneeland Gallery. Never a dull moment around this place!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beginning to look alot like Christmas!

Boy is it coming down here - beautiful fluffy huge snowflakes! I love this kind of snow- a fresh blanket in the morning, no tracks just quite yet. I'm down in my studio with my stereo singing songs to me, my little space heater working overtime to warm up this room and lucy in her little dog bed next to my easel. I've been looking through the images I have taken this year and am visualizing what each piece will look like in a particular format. Maybe I'll try for three large pieces this week and I can't help it - WINTER pieces! That is never my galleries' favorite words, but it gets me so excited to paint these palettes, this texture, this SNOW! One more month to enjoy it and then down to Arizona for the best winter months of the year. I miss skiing, I miss driving in the snow (I know, must have lost my mind), watching the snow from my big picture window at home. Wow - someone gave me an extra dose of nostalgia in my coffee this morning! Here is a painting that was done from my favorite parts of two tiny little miniatures done with a tertiary palette, different value patterns, same subject matter. This large one, mainly because of the size difference, is much more subtle, very quiet and I am still living with it, deciding how much further to push it. It is of that beautiful lake North of Durango, CO that I have painted and worked through what seems to be a million times. Not sure I have said everything that needs to be said about it, even to this day. My color of choice these days has been a violet. Violets and blues! Hmmm. What will today bring?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two new watercolors!

I am having such a great time with watercolor again! Here are a couple finished from yesterday and today! Quite the value if you are interested in Christmas gifts!

Me and Lucy

Lucy is my little studio dog! She is eight months old now, very much still a puppy. She would rather be outside chasing things than in by her mom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shan's Chili Recipe

It's been so cold around here that everyone should have a little chili! I did my research (as usual) and came up with a few recipes. Well, add a little of one and a little of another and then some of my own and this is what I came up with. If anyone tries it, let me know what you think!


1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1-2 lbs. rib roast, cubed
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, save grease
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can diced green chilis
2 stalks celery
1 lg can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3-4 beef boullion cubes
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt, pepper
1 c shredded jack or cheddar
sour cream
chopped cilantro

Brown meat, add all ingredients down to cheese. Let simmer all day.
When it's time to serve, dish into bowls and top with a bit of cheese, a
dollup of sour cream and top with a bit of cilantro.

Winter Schedule

It's going to be a busy winter/spring! I'm lining up all my shows and travels and it's going to be a whirlwind. First in line is the one-woman show at Mtn. Trails Gallery in Park City, Utah, then on to Scottsdale a few weeks later for the Celebration of Fine Art. February brings the Kneeland Gallery three-person show with Lori McNee and Cary Henrie. I love exhibiting with my dear friend Lori! March brings the Diane Stewart Invitational in Palm Springs and I am so pleased to be invited back to paint with the amazing artists that will be there. A week later I will be back in SLC to do the Hospice Charity Benefit show Art and Soup. Shows after March are still in the making.... Better get back to the easel!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Looking for thoughts on an art conversation....

Do you think an artist is continually getting better and growing or do you think at some point they hit their prime and maintain status quo (as in an athlete or someone with physical strength and adeptness)? Do you think the freshness of ideas and eagerness to experiment in the early stages is second to the maturity of technical skill and experience? Or maybe early in one's learning curve, an artist hits on something above their present level and then they play catch-up for awhile? Hmmmm.......Check out your older work and tell me what you think!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Madison Meadow

This painting is of the Madison River area in West Yellowstone. It had been awhile since visiting Yellowstone and though it's changed from fires, it remains one of the most beautiful places in the west!

New Watercolors

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's a Watercolor Day

I love Sundays! Painting and cooking - cooking and painting. I'm working on watercolors today - all small ones, 8x10 and 6x12's. I will frame them with a 4-5" museum mat and a nice frame. They are such a bang for the buck. They really are a good value for the size and quality. I love taking a break from my oils once in awhile to do this. I work on them right in the middle of the family room, TV blaring, family and animals all around me :) Funny how I learned to tune everything out from doing this when my kids were small. I used to sit on the floor cross-legged and paint for 14-16 hours in a day. I could see what the kids were up to and still be part of everything and paint. Now it has to be on the coffee table or I couldn't get up. The back is just not what it used to be! I would like to have a half-dozen small watercolors for each of my shows coming. Probably a little lofty and unrealistic, but why not shoot for the stars? They give me a chance to try a few different palettes and compositions before translating them to a larger oil.

Now to the cooking.....Having my mom and dad over this evening for Corned Beef and Cabbage. It's my first time at cooking it, but I tried it last year for St. Patty's Day and loved it. It's cold outside, well into the fall season, so I am in the mood for a roast of some sort. I'd give a recipe here, but it's pretty easy to throw this dinner together. That way I get to paint at the same time. As soon as this last watercolor is finished, I will take pics and post. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Piece off the easel

My newest piece reflects a little back to my past work. A little rain in the air, drenched color, soft atmosphere. This piece is called "Mountain Rain Adagio". It is a 24x36, oil on canvas with the floated hand-leafed frame made by Tony at Rocky Mountain Frames.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Productive Day

Well, off the soapbox for another year :) It was a great day for painting. I have a group miniature show coming up in Ketchum ID at the Kneeland Gallery, so it was a catch up day for miniatures! I also worked on a piece that I am "crushing" on! Do you ever do that? Do you get a crush on a particular piece, so much so that you can hardly stop working on it? I'm going to continue tomorrow, but it was a teaching day so I had to put it away for the evening. I can't wait (but will have to) to post the finished piece! Until then, here are some mini's......


There was a time in my life where the passion of politics consumed me, especially around this time of the year! I was worked up on issues to the point of obsession for sure! Ask my poor neighbors, my kids, my friends - dear Lord - poor people! I have been this way my entire life, even as a teen. I felt it was my obligation to study and soapbox every issue - worry and stew, worry and stew and scream about it. Kind of runs in the fam....! At 48 years old now, I've lived through enough elections and enough party changes to know that we will survive most anything and anyone and that big changes rarely happen unless tragic events force change. I have adopted the philosophy now that real change happens at home, with the people you love in showing tolerance and hope for the future. I know I risk sounding Pollyanna, but I wish to bring about change by showing love, acceptance and high expectations in a positive way instead of screaming and b---ing about how bad things are and what jerks are out there. They might be, but I don't need to put my energy in that direction. I will always VOTE and do my civic duty to let my voice be heard. I will always try to be informed on issues in case I can do anything to help, but I will quietly envision a more beautiful world and show my children the example of love as much as possible instead of spewing venom upon them!
Aren't we lucky to live in this country and to be able to speak our minds and live our lives by our own choices? What a privilege it truly is!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Low Key Work

These are the two low key pieces in progress from last week. STILL working on them, but they are at the point I really need to live with them for awhile before deciding what to do next. Talk about drama!

Friday, October 22, 2010


This is a photo of one I saw in Chicago. I think its my favorite of the series!

Lessons from Monet

This week in class, I demonstrated two identical compositions, two identical tertiary palettes of purples, greens and orange with different dominance. I pulled out photos of Monet's work on The Seine near Giverny. He produced 21 pieces of this river. Each piece was concerned with the changing light, moment by moment within one time period. In my demo, I was not outside capturing the light, but putting together a completely different emotional response using the same color in a very different way - a way to think outside the box.

I love studying from the masters, especially Monet. I like to feel that he is standing over my shoulder whispering to me about his work - no, not literally :) I'm not crazy, just very imaginative! The work has stood the test of time and every time I study it, I see something different, something more to learn. I also love painting in series for the same reason. Every time I revisit a painting or place, I see and feel something new about it.

I will post my demo's later!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One of my Fav's of all time!

I gave my classes the assignment of doing a high key, low contrast painting this week. It is possibly the most challenging composition to make successful. One of my favorite paintings of all time is a Monet piece in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This painting made me weak in the knees! It is so delicate, so sophisticated in color and such an emotional piece. Take a look and let me know if you get the same response as I do! Attached is another photo of it side by side to a Monet Low Key Low Contrast piece. My photo does not show the subtle change of color temperature like in true life as well as I would like it to! I think it's time to get back out my Monet masterpiece book and do some studying :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holiday Fun!

Nesting again! I went to the HALLOWEEN SUPERSTORE today! Good Lord, who would have thought Halloween would ever get this big? When I was a kid, we would go into the local Skaggs Drugstore and there was an aisle of box costumes of assorted ghosts and monsters with a plastic mask that attached with string around your head and a vinyl costume that would slip over your coat so you could stay warm when you were trick or treating. You could hardly breathe through that mask, so most moms would put makeup on their kids faces - it was also so you could see and not get hit by a car! And that was back in the day when you actually went house to house with a pillowcase begging for candy. Nowadays, you can buy elaborate costumes and go to a school or church parking lot and "trunk or treat" and acquire quite the bounty in about a half hour and go home. Just not so much fun as it used to be! And what is with this dressing like hookers for one day a year, as naughty as one can possibly imagine - even little girls costumes! I like the SCARY idea much better! Oh well, I guess that's my personal opinion and you know what they say about those! Never-the-less, my house is now appropriately decorated, pumpkins, cobwebs and all - and I'm feeling quite festive! Here are a few pics of my favorite place to hang out- the front porch! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest Season!

Oooh baby, it's cold outside! I wandered out to the garden this morning and it is on it's last leg! Marco picked all the peppers, green, anaheim chili's and jalapenos and most of the tomatoes and we put a small bag together for his grandma and the rest are for todays project - Canned Salsa! It's probably been three years since I have made it. I used to put up 3-4 large batches a year, but that's when my garden was huge! I really don't miss keeping up with that garden. This is so much more manageable. I think by next week, it will be time to take out the plants, fertilize, till it up and get it ready for winter. So into the kitchen I go to chop vegetables. I have been told this is the best salsa recipe ever so I will post it for you.

Best Canned Salsa Ever!
(I know, everyone says that)
3 lrg onions chopped 8 tbsp. oil
5 lrg green peppers chopped 5-6 jalapeno's chopped
13 cloves garlic 5 yellow peppers chopped
3 tsp oregano leaves 5 tbsp salt
3 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp pepper
9 tbsp wine vinegar 27 oz green chili's, or 18-24 fresh chopped
1/2 bushel tomatoes, chopped

Mix and simmer 7-8 hours. Hot pack 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My High Key Complimentary Color Homework Assignment

This is what I gave last weeks students - a high key complimentary palette piece (or two). Well, I can't give them something that I wouldn't do, so here it is! It is called Bare. When all the decoration is stripped away, you have the full beauty of what is. It is a 20x16 oil on canvas.

New Directions!

I have decided today to take the blog in a little different direction. My life is so full of things that make me happy besides Art! I have done some serious nesting over the last few months - my family, my beautiful garden, cooking, music, all the good things in life. I am discovering that balance is the key to living in the moment and appreciating every experience that comes my way. We are all such multi-faceted beings! While painting stays on the forefront of my mind constantly, always studying, always composing, I do get a chance to do other things and some of these I will share with you - starting with one of my favorite recipes of all time. When I make these, my family comes running and I have enough leftovers to feed them for a few days while I disappear down in the studio. I hope you like......

Pork Roast Carnitas with Pico de Gallo

A braised pork roast, cooked until it practically falls apart, with an incredibly intense and delicious flavor.

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 tablespoon beef base

Freshly ground pepper

1 (4-pound) pork loin roast

1/2 cup water

Juice of 1 fresh orange

Juice of 1 fresh lime

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried


Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)

Fresh corn or flour tortillas (warm before serving)

1 large white onion, chopped

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Lime wedges

  1. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, garlic powdered, onion powder, oregano leaves, beef base, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Brown pork roast on all sides in large cooking pot over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and evenly coat the roast on all sides with spice mixture.
  4. Add the water, orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce and the fresh cilantro. Heat to boiling; reduce heat; cover and simmer over low heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until roast is so tender, it falls apart.
  5. Discard any fat and "shred" roast with a fork, allowing meat to absorb any juices left in the pan.

Pico de Gallo

Fresh Tomato and Chili Pepper Salsa

4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped*

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 medium white onion, finely chopped**

1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons green Tabasco pepper sauce

4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 to 6 pickled or fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Juice of 1 small lime (about 2 tablespoons) or to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 4 cups.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paint and Medium Toxicity

I am hoping to start a dialogue, and maybe this is the wrong venue :) as I have a whopping 18 followers LOL (and I love every one of you), but this conversation is coming up everywhere I go. How big is the concern about toxicity levels and how are people making changes if it is affecting their quality of life?

I have been a Liquin junkie for a very long time. I know that after a few hours of glazing, I hit a wall and have to go lay down for a minute with fresh air. I am hearing that Galkyd is a little safer and that Gamblin Oderless Mineral Spirits are safer than other OMS's on the market. Just this week, I used a sample of Gamblin Neo Megilp and I do think it is a little piece of heaven. I have also heard that one should use a ventilator while using this medium - YIKES!!! I know there is the Graham product made up of Walnut oil and an alkyd, but I just cannot get used to the feel of when it tacks up. I am a creature of habit and it's hard making ANY kind of change with my tools. I am also looking into an air filtration system. My ventilation in my studio certainly could use a little help, but will the filtration system make up for that?

I guess I need to do more research on the subject, but just as most artists - it's just easier to keep painting and say "someday I will do more research on the subject" unless it starts seriously causing trouble. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated to get this ball rolling :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Western Art Collector

This has been such an incredible year for me and I get to cap it off with one more really cool magazine article in Western Art Collector! It will be talking about my December show in Mtn Trails Gallery in Park City. I have MUCH painting to do for this show and for Celebration of Fine Art. Stay tuned and I will post images as they are finished. My plan is to do a series of skyscapes and to open to possibilities of new and exciting color palettes. Should be interesting.....

New Pieces (FINALLY)

Had a match lit under my behind - deadline! Here are two pieces worked and finished....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teaching again!

It's been a couple of years since I have done any regular teaching and this week was the beginning of the series. I forgot how much I enjoyed it! I have a gang of very enthusiastic, willing participants (guinea pigs for my assignments) and a headful of ideas to stretch each persons' experience and knowledge of their work and themselves.

I am reinforcing my art philosophy in these classes to help each person keep their unique voice ever-present in their work - don't paint like I paint, paint like you paint with all these new tools and ideas! I have a few abstract painters as well as representational ones and I am so excited to see the work they produce. I will try and post some of them if they give me permission! Each week will bring a different tool to the tool belt and various ways of integrating it into a series.
This week we are working in high key with a select limited palette, homework is two large(r) finished pieces. Should be challenging enough :)

Keep ya posted!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yin and Yang

October, can you believe it? The mornings are getting crisp and cool in these parts! Maybe it's the natural order of things, but I'm starting to feel the yearning for "hunkering" in. All summer long it's been traveling here, going there, doing what I need to do to keep the ball rolling with this art life I have chosen. Fall is in the air and I'm in the mood to stay home and cook, clean out my garden, as well as head down to the studio and hole myself in alone through the season. Does everyone go through this? Does anyone else feel the need to get serious, pull in the reins and hide for awhile to get some footing back? Maybe it's nesting, maybe it is assimilating everything in the last five months that I have learned. Regardless, it's time to get down to business.

There has been so much talk lately in the art world about technology - help or hindrance. I think the general consensus is that the art world has been rocked by the internet. I can only speak for myself, but this is another area where I feel like pulling in the reins. I am mostly talking about social media sites, but I think I might just reduce my activity in front of the computer screen :) Notice I say - think - it's become an addiction of sorts! Instant connection, instant gratification. I have absolutely LOVED the ability to see such fantastic artwork out there in the cyberworld. I love keeping up with who's who and what's what. Who could have ever imagined there were so many wonderful artists out there making their way. It's inspiring and intimidating at the same time. Yin and Yang.....positive and negative.....One can be inspired and enlightened and then the next day start playing a comparison game and beat the hell out of yourself. How to find a healthy, happy medium.... It takes getting out there, reaching out for more information and then going inside to find yourself. And in the end, it really is all about the relationship between you and that canvas, you and your higher source, what you have to say or what will be said through you. For me, art is about connection with spirit - for the artist and for the viewer. And it's that connection that keeps me digging, searching and "hunkering" in!
Happy painting to all!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend with the Masters IV

Yesterday was the Color Workshop with Dan Pinkham - nothing short of amazing! He demo'd for us and sent us on our way to paint at San Juan Capistrano Mission. Talk about a piece of heaven for painting! The gardens and ponds are gorgeous, the structures are aged, rigid, comforting. As instructed (and now part of my process), we wandered the grounds with a sketchpad in hand, writing the thoughts and feelings that came to mind as we searched for something to connect with. 80% of your vision is peripheral, the decisions we make about color come from this part. Only 20% is focused vision and that part of the brain sees value and shape, things we need to survive. Dan taught us to start being aware of the peripheral, of training our brains to see and interpret something we have most likely abandoned in our lives. All of this is bringing the unaware, the subconscious to the surface to question, study and make intentional. Then we were instructed to find the largest dark mass and the medium value in that mass. Start comparing and finding the difference in those masses. From there, it really is about comparisons - between color, temperature, value. I don't want to explain his workshop in too much detail because EVERYONE should take it and only Dan can truly explain his thought process, but it's a lesson in DISCIPLINE of the mind and decision making. It will be so hard to absorb all this into my own work, but I am determined to awaken my eyes - how I see! Only then can I truly speak MY voice and that is exactly what every artist should do. There is only one of you - your experience, your sensitivity, your soul!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend with the Masters III

Today was a lecture day by Dan on Sergei Bongart, his teacher/mentor. Dan and Vicki have put together a slide show showing the lineage of teacher/student all the way back to Levitan and even further. Their style of teaching, their passion for art has been passed down through generations, and the kinship of instilling discipline and passion is evident. "It is important for each artist to be humble enough to give credit back to the mentor that inspired and taught each artist" - Dan Pinkham. Another keypoint that will set with me forever is the discipline that a scholarship student developed while under the direction of Bongart. Imagine, six days a week from 8am until 9pm and then homework (six figure studies) per week on top of that. Then add to that your jobs to pay your way through i.e. cooking, cleaning, handyman jobs, etc. FOR FIVE YEARS~!!!
Take a naturally gifted artist and then train them for five years, six days a week 13 hours per day, and you realize the work of Dan Pinkham and other Bongart students. I don't know about you, but it terrifies me that I will never be able to reach my potential because of my lack of total focus - chosen or otherwise - because of family commitments, every day life's commitments!
Bongart and Pinkham both live a well-lived artistic life, embracing music, beauty of all types, music, literature, poetry, all the things that satiate the starving intellectual, soulful mind. They have something important to say in this world and are surrounded by other beautiful people with something to say.
Tomorrow is my color workshop! I can't wait to hear more of what Dan Pinkham has to say!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekend with the Masters Post II

Just for information for everyone (lol, tee-hee-hee I don't think anyone reads my blogs except me), I came down here just for the Dan Pinkham workshops. There are great teachers, but it is his work I connected with, his emotional compositions and color. He is also known to be able to teach someone without them having to "paint like he paints". Well, believe me, this workshop has been all that I had hoped for and more. This morning was a lecture about personal interpretations of shapes, forms, compositions and what they mean to each person uniquely. He had us write as we quieted our minds and got in touch with why we pick our subjects, what those subjects actually mean to us and how to convey that and stay in our integrity as we paint it. Like I said, it was exactly what I had hoped for.

Got a little sunburned and my legs hurt from standing all day - but I seriously lost track of time and painted until almost 5:30! Tomorrow is the lecture on Sergei Bongart. Then maybe another lecture if I can find an open one. I will try and post the two paintings I worked on today too. Being on the ocean changes my palette completely and I love the blues!

Ok, too tired to write any more. I'm going to bed early so I can be rested and ready to absorb a wealth of information tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekend with the Masters Post #1

Today felt like a little star-gazing on the red carpet of artists! I am down in Laguna Beach at the Weekend with the Masters Workshop, eager and ready to paint. When I registered today with my daughter, I was handed a goody bag with enough free samples to keep me busy drawing, painting, playing for months to come. It felt like Christmas in September!
After registering, I did a little wandering through the halls. Just enough to catch a glimpse of David Leffel, Richard Schmidt, Scott Christensen, Jeremy Lipking, Alexey Steele, Scott Burdick - to name a few. I had no idea this workshop existed until three weeks ago. They have gathered some of the finest artists working in this country to date to offer their how-to's and why for's to hundreds of eager students! All in one place no less! And I hear that they will offer this workshop in NYC next year - my favorite art spot bar none.

It's easy to become intimidated and vulnerable to lose one's unique voice in such an atmosphere of excellence. I do believe that learning and gaining new tools for expression is SO important to the artistic growth of each person, but I believe just as strongly that every persons' voice and expression is so important in this world and that integrity cannot be compromised for the likes of any one style or direction. Choose your mentors wisely. Find out why they do what they do, not just how they do it! Absorb that knowledge and then use it to your full advantage in speaking your own voice. Ok, there is my (self) lecture for the day...:)

I'm so excited for tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Next up......
Dan Pinkham! This weekend coming up...can't wait!
I just got back from another adventure in art! I spent last weekend in Jackson, WY at the Western Visions Miniature Show - Jackson Wildlife museum, my first time at being invited to the show. Talk about beautiful artwork! Thursday evening was the Artists reception and Friday was the auction. It is so fun for me to meet artists I don't know but am familiar with their art, meet artists that I haven't seen for awhile, and meet artists I have met on FB but never met personally! If you get a chance to look through the artwork online, please do - it's an amazing show.
I had a few favorites to say the least! To name just a few:
September Vhay - my, what sensitive, feminine, delicate work as well as Kathy Turner in the same vein - delicate, high key and stunning! Just looking at these two make one desire to dig deeper into the soul. Skip Whitcomb had a beautiful little winter scene carried out with simple, direct brushwork that sings. Russell Case had an amazing piece, as usual! And can I just say he is as wonderful and compassionate a person as an artist? He and his beautiful wife inspire me as a human and an artist. Bonita Roberts had a landscape pastel/drawing that was great and one of my favorite painters Marc Bohne had a beautiful little piece that packed a large punch.
From the looks of it, the auction was highly successful! Many prior collectors, new collectors and gallery representatives showed up to admire and purchase the work. It was a really great show!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm reposting the link to the Southwest Art Magazine Article in the August 2010 issue for anyone interested in reading it!

Heading back out to Jackson tomorrow for the Western Visions Miniature Show! This is the first time I have been in the show and I'm very excited about it. Thursday night is the Artist's Reception. I went last year as a guest and met some great artists, saw some great art. It's great to be in the show this year and on the actual invitation list :) I have a few friends that will be going up there and we will try and get together and paint. Marco has never been to the Tetons, never been to Yellowstone and I would love to show him around. I'm hoping to see looks of sheer amazement coming from his eyes - I think taking him to a sports event would probably work better, but I'll tell him it's business and he will pay close attention! He's such a great sport for all these art events, four times camping this year, I think he loves me! This is the painting I submitted for the show!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A short down time - FINALLY! No traveling for a week or two. I am working on some small watercolors, trying a few new things, exploring a bit. This reminds me of why I fell in love with painting in the first place. After I finish a half a dozen or so, I will post them. For now, here is a winter piece that is in Mtn. Trails Gallery in Jackson, WY. A chill is in the air and I will be heading there soon for the Western Visions Miniature show. This is my first time in and I'm pretty stoked about it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The next whirlwind of the summer begins! My show in Jackson is tomorrow and from there I will be doing the Maynard Dixon Land Plein Air Show in Mt. Carmel, UT. I will try and blog about that amazing show, unbelievably good artists and beautiful landscape. Check out their website to see the details of the show:
The Binghams are really doing some cool things for art down there and preserving Maynard Dixons legacy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well, two down and three to go! I'm getting my last few paintings together to take to Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson WY for my two-person show with Andrjv Skorut. Most of the work has been up there for a month, but I probably will have five new pieces with me. It has been an adventurous summer! Travel, painting, travel, painting....Sun Valley was fantastic as usual! I just love the friendships that have been formed over the years among all the painters in the group. There were a few Oh-so-missed ones that couldn't make it for one reason or the other and a few new ones to the group. The gallery staff was wonderful as usual! And the mountains....well, what can one say about the mountains up there to do it justice? What an amazing place.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank You to all that have taken time out of your busy days to send me an email about the article in Southwest Art Magazine! It warms my heart and gives me purpose to know my work reaches out to others, friends and artist friends alike! It's why we all do what we do, isn't it? When we are in the middle of deadlines, rushing, painting, framing, planning - we tend to miss our true purpose. These beautiful letters have made sure I don't forget.

Whenever I am getting ready for a show, I have this little thing I do. I put all my work all around me and sit right smack in the middle of the room. I try and absorb what the body of work feels like. Instead of looking at individual pieces, I look at them as a whole. In my head, I compare the body to the last body and see if I feel progress. It's so hard to be objective about one's own work. Once in awhile, I can see it. And I enjoy it when I do! I know that in a day or two, I will be unsettled once again and be looking for the next leap. So for the moment, when all my new pieces are in the studio with me right now, I am happy! My children are home with me for the moment :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow, been down in this studio for what seems forever! Need some fresh air :) The paintings are all coming together. The Western Art Collector article and the Southwest Art Magazine article are out! Three shows in the next four weeks and two more barely after that. This is called running on Adrenalin, but sometimes it is the best way to work. No more thinking, just working. If I listen carefully, the work tells me what to do. No, I'm not crazy - just paying attention! I LOVE PAINTING!!!!