Monthly Archives: June 2010

Sandpoint Inspiration…

I was lucky enough to get accepted as one of the artists for the ArtWalk event in Sandpoint, ID.  ArtWalk there means that you have a show at one of the downtown venues for a month during the summer.  I was assigned space in the beautiful Sandpoint Financial Center which is the home to Panhandle State Bank, IMFC,  Tango Cafe’ etc.  The building is designed to show art with a cable hanging system and great lighting.  The photos above include the set up and then a shot of some of the paintings hanging for the show.   I was assigned also a volunteer from the Pend Orielle Arts Council who would hang the show.  I don’t know if I lucked out, but had the great pleasure to meet and work with Carol Deaner who absolutely made me feel welcome and privileged to be there.  She had a team of volunteers working with her and in a matter of minutes had mine and another artist’s work hanging.  You can tell she is experienced; she looked at all the work leaning against the wall and started moving them around in the order she thought they should hang and it was right on…expertly done!   She introduced me to collectors and friends…one would have thought she was managing a well established gallery as she  was busy making her artists feel comfortable as well as bringing in clients.  WHAT A PLEASUREPOAC has a real gem in Carol!! 

The Sandpoint area is really beautiful and is certainly a destination for lots of folks.  The lake is beautiful any time of day as well as the surrounding areas.  The little painting posted today is a result of the visit.  There is so much to look at; the mountains, the fields, the lakes, river, etc.  The town is small, but so many fun shops to visit, a farmer’s market, great cafes.
So, if you get the opportunity to visit Sandpoint, do.  The 2 ArtWalks happen back to back and there are lots of other events in the area.  I have work there until July 25th.  Then I will put some work in the POAC show “Aquatics” that will be at the Power House Building where the POAC resides and their art shows decorate the walls of this fabulous old building.
So, my message is this…respect and appreciate a good venue and the volunteers or employees of that venue.  when you hang work at a lot of different places, and one is outstanding to work with, it makes you feel good just to be there!  I have that a some places that I have work and I do appreciate my gallery owners and managers and employees….they sell YOU!  They have the gift of selling and promoting and as an artist; I need that!!  So my hat goes off to my favorite galleries and what they do…Kelly’s Gallery on Main, Moccasin Mountain Gallery, Wenaha Gallery, POAC, Allied Arts…you all are wonderful to work with!  Simply….thank you.
Sadly saying goodbye to Raphaels in Pendleton as they close after 25 years; but wishing them the best in their next adventure and looking forward to their promise to be back and open again in 5-ish years!!!  You were great!!!
Happy painting…

quick draw in pastel

I am going to talk a little about my quick draw experience and at the request of Ida, posting the 3 most recent quick draw results. 
About the images…the pieces are all in the approximate size of 9″x12″ or 12″x9″ depending on the orientation of the paper.  The vertical one of the cottonwoods along the water and farm buildings in the background was the one I completed in 30 minutes for the Miles City  Bucking Horse Sale Quick Draw event in May.  The horizontal of the aspens along the river with the cliffs on the right was done at the 2010 Festival of the Arts in Joseph, OR in 1 and a  half hours and the river in fall with lots of vegetation was done for the Wallowa Festival of the Arts as well, but  in 2009.  It was also a 1.5 hour limit.
So I approach the quick draw events with a plan in place.  For one that allows only a 30 minute drawing/painting time, one needs to be well prepared for the party!  I went to Miles City with an entirely different image in my mind to paint – hay bales – which are fun to do and I had worked up a nice sketch and also felt it was a piece that would work well and hopefully sell well for the area.  I worked the trials on this several times and was really never comfortable in completing it the way I wanted in the 30 minute time frame.  So I was feeling a little uneasy and finally decided to abort that plan and work up something different.  I still wanted something relevant to the area to hopefully entice bidding from local collectors, so decided that the cottonwoods would be my best bet.  Going back before the hay bales I had toyed with the idea of something representational of the Yellowstone River Valley – because that’s where MC lies…along the river near some beautiful rugged multicolored hills covered with pines, juniper, sage etc.  With a couple of mock quick draws, using my idea of the fall cottonwoods, my confidence was restored knowing I could create something that was quality in a 30 minute time.  It worked!  The piece was the highest selling art at over $1000.  So my set up included having the paper type that I knew would work well – a sheet of black Art Spectrum paper (I wanted that black to assist me is creating depth; knowing I wouldn’t have to do a very heavy coloring of my favorite deep blue for the depth I desired and that it would allow for good texture for my focal point cottonwood leaves.) and I had chosen my palette and put those pastels separate from my large color box (keep me focused on the colors I needed over that 30 minutes!).  I also packed my supplied and had them all together so there wasn’t any stress in getting set up.  This quick draw was in a wonderful city park, so I wanted to be situated in a spot that had some shade to work in (lots of huge trees) so getting there early was important so I could pick a spot that would work for me.  The artists  have to bring all their props.  I used my French easel and a chair to set my pastels and other supplies on.  For me, keeping it simple works…The quick draws tend to gather a group of on-lookers and one thing that is fun is to be able to visit a little with the folks taking an interest in your work…with a 30 minute time frame – one needs to concentrate pretty much on your work and not visit too much…but I managed to do a little chatting while I painted.  Because I had a plan and subsequently stayed with it; the piece was actually ready for it’s frame at 25 minutes.  So for the short time frame quick draws, I suggest a well planned piece, not an extremely intense piece, but one that still is good quality and represents ones workmanship, supplies picked ahead of time and separated.  If you have practiced painting the piece and know you can complete it in the time frame; you are already ahead of the game because  you have that confidence before  you start the event!
As far as the quick draws that allow an hour or hour and a half…you get to work slower, compose a more complex study and visit a little more with those gathered around!  I still go through the same steps…knowing that I can complete a specific work in the time frame; isolate my chosen palette, have all my supplies organized, etc. 
Quick draws are fun; gets your heart rate going and the adrenalin pumping.  People watching love them because they can see a piece of work materialize before their eyes.
The two quick draws in Joseph, OR are held in an old bank building.  It is a very interesting log building with two floors and lots of windows.  But, this quick draw is an evening event, so the windows are not a source of light and one must bring some lighting…which can add to the warming up the temperature of your work area in a hurry.  This venue is a fun one to go as well.  The event includes music, drinks, treats; a real event for the people buy a ticket for the event and come to watch and bid on the works.
I like both set  ups and have a great time doing quick draws.  It’s the challenge, I guess, to get a painting done, get it done right; get it done with a time limit!
That’s my take on this!  Happy painting….

More dust…

After spending a few days in Joseph, OR for their Festival of Arts, I thought anyone following this blog should be able to enjoy some of the scenery from there as well.  This is a beautiful, lush valley next to the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon.  It is rich in color and beauty.  Early June seems to bring the rains and the colors of green are endless.  It’s a little early for much of the wild flowers to be blooming, but there is a hint of color out in the prairies to the north and east.  Joseph is a destination with a history of fine bronze foundries, art galleries and recreation for many with a beautiful lake snuggled up against the mountains, lots of trails to bike and hike and ride.  This has been an “art town” for quite a while.  There are fabulous artists living and working there.  The arts council is an active one and they sponsor an annual festival of the arts that draws artists from across the US and some international artists as well.
I started attending the event 5 years ago and look forward to it every year.  I look forward to seeing friends there and participating in the events offered by the festival such as the plein air and quick draw events.
The scene of the tepee was one of the sites of the plein air paintings.  The town of Joseph is relatively small, but there are good places to have a meal, some great shopping and wonderful to just walk around in.  On many of the street corners there are life sized bronzes of a variety of subject – from a pioneer woman to some wolves to a bronc rider on a bucking horse, to a mare and foal and more…So if one is looking for something to do the first weekend of June…check out Joseph.  The festival has a Facebook page “Wallows Valley Festival of the Arts”; the town has a website that lists the events of the year.  It’s a great destination! Some of my favorite spots to go…BeeCrowBee – Will makes his own lotions, oils, soaps etc.  Fabulous product.  Will is an artist as well and does some amazing work.  The shop is great and must stop.  To Zion is another fun store for clothing and great, really great jewelry.  Wolf Fleece is a great store for fleece vests, shirts and more.  And they have some of the nicest lines of women’s wear, shoes, handbags and jewelry.  Kelly’s Gallery on Main is a fun gallery with tons of art and jewelry.  Kelly hangs my work and has lots of great things from bronze to oil paintings to pottery to paintings of feathers.

This week I will take art to Sandpoint, Idaho for their summer artwalk.  This is a long standing art show that hangs for a month in venues throughout the town.  Sandpoint is another wonderful place to visit in the northern “panhandle” of Idaho.  I was happy to have been accepted as one of the artists this year to participate.  My work will be at the Panhandle State Bank and Tango Cafe’…I am looking forward to seeing my friend Sheila who is a fellow artist who does amazing art quilts and lives in Sandpoint area. Look forward to also seeing Al and Sharon, friends who moves to Idaho a few years ago. is my favorite site to find out information on almost anything related to pastels.  Mario hosts that site from Croatia and it is a wealth of information for artists ans art lover.  He just included a collage of the Series of 100 in it and he did a great job of putting somewhere around 50 of the the images together!  Check it out.  And if  you haven’t subscribed to that page on FaceBook, do.  It’s great info.

In the next blog I will talk about competitions and shows.  And I am working on a couple of new pieces which might have images by then! 

On a final note I must say good bye to a venue that has treated me very well and has produced good sales.  Raphaels in Pendleton, OR is closing at the end of the month, sadly after 25 years.  Raphael’s is a restaurant of excellent means and have used some of their walls as sales gallery for artists.  I was honored to be asked to hand work there.  Rob and Raphael are entering a new chapter of their lives and seeking out adventure in a different area.  There is a promise of returning in 3-5 years and re-opening one of the best restaurants.  In the meantime I am honored to have one of my mono prints hanging on their walls with some of the most important Native American artists like James Lavadour.  My best to Raphael and Rob and a huge thank you!
Happy painting…

The series of 100 is complete

The series come to a close with the completion of 100 small works.  So what did this prove?
  • think outside the proverbial box
  • one can maximize paper/pastel combinations
  • the same composition repeated 100 times can be totally different in appearance
  • color plays the important role of determining depth and temperature
I think the biggest thing for me was to persevere through 100 different paintings of the same composition and to create something different with each.  I experimented with a variety of papers, using different brands of pastels.  Some combinations worked better than others.  I only scratched the surface of these combinations of materials however.  There are so many great products to use in today’s market.  I really only used materials that were readily available to me and stock on hand in my studio.  Because I worked in a very small format (basically 4×6 inches) I didn’t employ some techniques that I might have on a larger scale.   

So what I have learned in color is how different the same colors of pastel appear on different papers; how some papers react to different fixatives in the process of applying color; how not to think about “shouldn’t” and “can’t” in the process, but instead step outside the box of conventional technique. Because I now have  come up with at least 100 variations; I got bold with color and combinations and as I tacked these on the wall, it turned into a huge mosaic of little paintings, each individual and unique, but also a broad body of work that allowed me concentrate on a significant project and yet not spend a large of amount of time on each study. It is a lesson of tenacity, of pushing the limits and keeping things interesting and it’s about satisfaction…knowing that you can push yourself confidently to achieve a desired goal.

So, many of these little paintings are in shows, some have sold.  They look great hanging in a grouping – they are similar, but so different.  The next question is what to do with the paintings not framed; I think they will get put in a  flat file inter leafed with glassine – for a time.
I encourage others to do this experiment in their chosen medium.  You will learn. I don’t think  you have to do 100.  50 would be a good number.  It is a fun process and you will learn from it!

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