Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting back into the studio is proving to be a challenge post-exhibit. I had foot surgery (no big deal) right after the closing day, recovery for about 2 weeks, and am just now feeling that it's time to begin with all of those already-started paintings that I have lost momentum on since August. Although I know where I am intending to go with them, it's all about getting serious and saying NO to the distractions that will always show up and side track you.
The weather here in Norway has taken a turn for the BETTER (not good, just BETTER) in the last week. The sun is now setting at about 19:30 (7 p.m.), which is WAY to early, but the sunsets that we have been able to witness lately are fabulous. We're on our way into the fall/winter darkness, and that definitely takes some psyching up to get through. I have dragged out my light therapy lights, and have already used one of them.  As long as the sun shows itself often, I don't care about the outside temperature. saves me this time of year. When the trees drop their leaves, and the mountains get even more grey, the flowers disappear and the sea fog rolls in, color, from tubes and containers of paint, keeps me enthusiastic about getting up in the morning. I have my direction staked out in paintings already begun.  No more Mrs. YES only to the work.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Post-Exhibit Update

It's now September, finally. The exhibit in August was a great success. It was visited by a great many enthusiastic, art-loving people.  The response was so uplifting, that I would encourage exhibitors to stick around if you have an exhibit in a conventional gallery, so that you can talk to the visitors and get some honest, straightforward feedback. If you turn over your work, and don't get the chance to talk to the visitors, you will never see reactions or hear the words that people will share with you about what exactly your work does to them. Your only judgement of whether or not the exhibit was a success would be sales. Now, sales are nice, but the reactions of visitors are, in my opinion, so valuable for the energy that you will be taking back to the studio after the show, that you shouldn't deny yourself that gift. I am, actually, so fed up with people asking me the only question that seems to spell success in their eyes....sales. I know that a whole line of coincidences need to line up if my work is to be taken home by people who obviously would love to have it, but can't spare the cash for it at that particular time.  I will exhibit it later, and perhaps the stars will line up better. Hundreds of brochures and business cards left with these people, and I hope to make contact with them at a later date.
Which brings me to our Open Studio weekend which is happening THIS WEEKEND (14-16 September) at Sandviksboden 73A. We (about 11 of the painters in the house) will be open Friday night from 18:00 - 22:00 ( 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday from noon until 16:00 (4 p.m.)
Doors will be open to most of the studios for checking out what exactly is going on in there....big mystery! Artists generally work in solitude and not many are comfortable with letting outsiders in on the work process, but this weekend, it's happening. Come in for a chat.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exhibit, August 2 - 30, 2012 "Unnatural Abstractions...Naturally"

Just around the corner, here sooner than expected, getting loose ends gathered....It's going to be hectic up to the day of the exhibit opening, I can tell. Haven't signed the newest paintings (at least 10), no wire on the backs for hanging, edges around the stretchers needing to be painted a neutral, dark color, etc..... Price lists, brochures, wine, music list. All will get their day in court. The present exhibitor has the keys to the gallery, and I need to get them when she is done shining up the place. So, I guess I am not going to have any thumb twiddling days in the near future. Let's just hope that after the opening, and about in the middle of August, there is a steady stream of curious art lovers dropping by to take a look and either consider buying or spreading the word that this is something their friends should have a look at. I am always glad to see some of the same people pop in that always come. I am, though, ready to up the exposure group to a higher level. Marketing skills....not always a strong point in the life of an artist, but we're getting there. Hope to see you there sometime in August.....

Monday, June 18, 2012

SPRING ANTICIPATION, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.
The days are flying by. To many things want my attention, and I have said YES to many things other than creative work. Plenty of 'to do's! out there, and believe me, a guilty conscience is just a single word away.  That word is NO.  Not good at that one. We love our families and friends and need them like flowers need rain.....but unless I get to release the mess of info. that my brain absorbs by putting marks on paper or canvas, I get downright twitchy (new word, I think....related to bitchy).  With an exhibit coming up in August, I NEED to concentrate some serious, sustained effort on some half-way finished paintings. At least I am not oblivious to my situation and will not be caught in the headlights come July 31st. Saying 'no' is hard, but having understanding, encouraging people around me gives me the courage to let the dust bunnies party and turn over the dinner planning to less competent, but enthusiastic substitutes. I can do ice cream for dinner........

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Weathering the Storm

Sometimes I want to sell everything I own and move to Hawaii, or Fiji, or some other little island in the sun. The thing to do when I get in that kind of mindset is to head off early in the morning to the studio and lose myself in the process of creating. Don't always have a plan when I get there, but as soon as I smell the dried fish in the walls (!!) and then see the work from the last session, I get drawn to the paint like a moth to a flame. Often, a good night's sleep will give my brain the process time it needs to work out some quirky problems that my conscience, analytical self couldn't see before. Taking breaks is a very important part of working hard. Without pauses, I don't see the forest for the trees sometimes.  Tonight I am going to think about the current paintings that are swirling around in my head, and as I fall asleep, I will ask for some insight.  I have often done this, and the next day I get a couple of 'a-ha' experiences. I'm not afraid to give up some control and ask for guidance.  I love it when I just 'go with the flow', and wonderful things appear. It's what keeps us artists coming back for a refill, when we're sure that we have used up our last ounce of 'the gift'. Can't wait to go in tomorrow. Have a great day, you too! C.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

After having spent the past couple of weeks grounded in Bergen, I have been at the studio regularly, and it's a kick to see what has come about. Seeing my work with different eyes after a break is a valuable thing. Reading lots of inspirational and educational books and re-running some of my art academy videos has encouraged, and challenged me. Color, being the subjective thing that it is, has been in my sights, because I have come to the conclusion that I need clearer colors, but not to the exclusion of beautiful greys. As a matter of fact, without the greys, blacks & browns, real color impact is wasted by a fight with the other colors. It's funny how I learned things decades ago, but info. only sinks in after a long internal fight and much trial and error. I's amazing how information overload when you are young gets filed for later use and only pops up again when you have nearly given up, and re-scanned your inner depths for answers.  Books that I have owned for 10-15 years are just now giving up the info. that I didn't GET when I first read them. Amazing. I'm headed back there for a new round of 'remembering'.  Cheers!
CENTERPIECE, acrylic on canvas,  30 x 40 cm.

SUMMER OPTIMIST, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 70 cm.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Out from Under the Dark

Whoa....the past couple of days have included sunshine and blue skies, and I just don't know what to say. I guess what artists do when they don't know what to say is.....paint, make music, write, skulpt, etc.  This kind of weather, at the end of January, just lightens my heart and makes me want to throw YELLOW paint everywhere. I have been up in the mountains alot in January and parts of December (2011), and the white snow has blocked out most colors and given my eyes and mind a needed boost of light. Now, I think I am seriously needing some color to go along with that light. Blue sky is sunsets are nicer.  Hoping for some more days like this so I can actually lighten my palette and paint colors. Dark blue is getting sooooo heavy.  White.....with some traces of color...............or pure color with some traces of white.........Sunshine does wonderful things for us. Off for a walk and a trip in to the studio afterwards.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012-where do I go from here?

Really!! Where?? Forward? Sideways? Up? All of the above? None of the above? I have been traveling and collecting inspiration for the upcoming work period for the last 6 months. How will I do when it comes down to putting paint on the canvas? Will there be anything there worth telling? I have made decisions several times along the road, and tossed them out just as I came up with new ones.  One thing is certain...nature and organic forms will continue to play an important role. Perhaps in another, less obvious form...and in a more decisive format. Last year's paintings were a compromise in format. I listened to a type of reasoning that said  "smaller formats have a better chance of selling" --- !!###%&()(&(/R&>!!!! Learned the hard way that the ONLY reason to chose a format is because it answers to the needs of the painting's subject. I tried to capture nature's majestic scenery on canvases that were too small and consequently had no impact. I will not make that mistake again. This year will find me following my intuition and heart. Size IS important. Can't wait to start stretching canvas and throwing gesso around the room. To be continued!!