Two more flower beds and one more Painting...done.

Aqua Vase with Daffodils, 24x24, oil on gessobord

Last evening, since the restaurant wasn't overly busy and we had staff-o-plenty, I decided to get into my studio to finish up the painting above that I started last Sunday. The weather was going to be perfect today (sunday) for working in our gardens, like just around 60 degrees or so. I don't mind manual labor if sweat isn't involved!

As I finished up the painting, I decided to do a small series of work with this same vase but with different seasonal flowers. Today while gardening, I cut several branches of lilacs to compose a similar still life set up in the same vase. Lilacs...are one of my favorite flowers and fragrances. Lilies of the Valley run a close second...both of which are now in full bloom. In the early evening the scent just wafts through my open windows. Looking forward to starting the next painting.

Busy week coming up this week. Jack, my web boss, is back in Illinois for the week and we're meeting with both potential and current clients throughout the next few days. Very busy these days. Hoping to land a chocolatier's account. Now, that will be a nice change from the 3 cancer treatment sites. A bit more uplifting! Although, I didn't think I could ever learn so much about the different options in treating cancer. Never want to have to use that knowledge, if you know what I mean!

Also, hope to get one day in for a canoe ride. The river seems to be going down a bit and the weather is perfect for it. Do you hear me little Debbie?!!!

until later

Some Graphics work

I haven't posted much of my graphic design work in the last year or so. Don't really know why because I almost spend as much time doing this kind of work as my painting.

As I've written many times before, I volunteer at a local non-profit art gallery in Dixon, The Next Picture Show by doing most of their graphic design work (show postcards, website stuff, etc.). The one above announces the upcoming 3D show. The area has many fine sculptors, fiber artists, etc. and they don't get the chance to strut their stuff as much as the area painters and photographers. The back of the card describes the show, the judge, the month's featured artists, and the show running concurrently in the lower gallery.

Today was a back to work day for Affinity AV, now a division of TDG Communications in Deadwood S.D. Weird working all by myself. The place was a royal pig sty when I walked in. The landlord is having all the brick walls cleaned and sealed. Most of the 3 floor building has red brick interior walls and they have been sifting red dust for quite awhile. Unfortunately the workers left the scaffolding up on the top landing along with my desk and office machines in the middle of the room with everything unplugged. Lots of wires every which way. Never fear...managed to get up and running within half an hour.

Jack left quite a mess in his hurry to get packed up for his move. I'll deal with that a little each day. As soon as the walls are finished, this little girl will be vacuuming like there is no tomorrow!

Regional Art Survey coming up

Postcard for show opening Friday, 3/14/08.

Receiving award for IAAE Artist of the Year. Shakin' in my boots.

Debbie Thompson and some of her art students. Dixon received Featured School for the amount of great work that comes out of there.

Quick post today. Have lots to do and still haven't fixed my hair!

From the postcard at top, you can see a new show opens tomorrow at The Next Picture Show. I maintain their website that has a "Now Showing" slideshow on the main page. So far I have only a few images of artists' works and need a few more, so it's an early morning run in to take a few more pics. Will work on the slideshow tonight. Two of my paintings are juried into this show.

Affinity AV has become very busy also. My boss, Jack, has merged the company with TDG Communications in Deadwood, SD. Oh yeah, he and his family is also MOVING there in 2 weeks. The AAV will retain its name and I will be the interface for our local customers. Big changes and lots of work. We have an afternoon meeting out of town today. Gonna miss my Y workout tonight...darn.

The awards ceremony in Springfield, IL on Tuesday was very interesting. Lunch was the best part. Debbie's husband, John, drove. He got a ticket on the way home. heh

Well...gotta finish putting on the final touches and get my behind into Dixon. I PROMISE to get painting this weekend.

If I'm painting, then it must be snowing.

"Apples on a Path," 16" x 20", oil on gessobord

First time in 2 weeks that I was back in my own studio doing my stuff. This piece isn't signed because I think it needs a bit more work. Lost my good light because, as usual this winter, it got very overcast and started snowing.

In fact, it's been snowing on and off for the last 2-1/2 months. A tourism board strategy meeting was scheduled for tomorrow, but it has already been canceled. (not complaining)

Back to the painting....after uploading the photo, it seemed more done then when I put down my brushes. I will check on it in the morning light (if we get any light ... heh) and see if it indeed can be called "complete."

Hope it isn't a "snow day" tomorrow. Have lots of work to do for Affinity AV. Big deadline coming up. My boss has 3 little kids and if school's called off, he works from home. Seems like we get a lot more done when we're working in the same location. You know...questions get answered a lot faster and that kind of stuff. Also, I've been in my house for 48 hours and am getting a tad stir-crazy.

Doing basics today

my studio with some of the painted gessobords
note to self: clean up this space!

Today was a boring day for blog readers, but busy day for me as an artist. This is the totally uninteresting, unglamorous part of being an artist.

I had ordered a bunch of gessobords awhile back. So today was spent underpainting a bunch of them, both the panel itself and the 2" cradles (sides). They were done in an orangey color. My paintings never start on the white background. Then I painted some of the finished paintings sides frames needed.

Then, I set up a whole mess of different still lifes and took a bunch of pictures. I may have gotten 2 or three good images (or interesting anyway) out of 50 set ups. So, those will have to be edited and played with before they even start getting near a painting surface.

Also, most of Sunday afternoon and part of this morning was spent adding to my mailing list and art records on the computer. I recently purchased eArtist as my database software. So far, so good, but this requires a bit of discipline of sitting down a certain time each week and logging in all that stuff.

This week is going to be a ball-buster (and that's saying something since I'm a girl). Our restaurant is VERY busy this coming Valentine's Day, we also have b&b rooms on and off all week. At my other job, Affinity AV, we are finishing up one big website client and will be training some of their folks on the new site, and then we start on our biggest website ever. The Art 4 Art's Sake fundraiser is coming soon, and being on the committee, we have a big meeting tomorrow night to get all the final details locked in, and then on to the Y for a workout...much needed I might add.

I'm feeling that over wrought feeling again. Truly hate that feeling because it makes me a little bit bitchy.

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I almost slept through it!

"Rock River Sunset," acr/canvas, 24" x 48"

Yesterday was a busy day capping off an incredibly busy 2 weeks. All my kids have gone back to their lives, the restaurant is back in business after the New Year's holiday, and I got one "big mamma" head cold. I hadn't been back at Affinity AV for almost 10 days and decided it was time to do some non-artwork, non-restaurant stuff for a change. I worked there cleaning up the admin side of the business, had a conference call with Jack (the owner) and 2 old retired ad guys from the Chicago area (another story altoghether!!!) and then it was already after 5:00!!!

I had to be at The Next Picture Show gallery for the opening of the "River Reflections" show. Two of my pieces were juried in and my BFF (debbie) is featured artist at the front of the gallery and she had folks coming in for that also.

So, I hustled my snot-filled head home to drop off my laptop...way too cold to leave it in the car all evening, feed the dog, say "hey" to the staff and husband, and have a quick bite to eat. Did all that and decided to rest my eyes for a few minutes. Well, I zonked out and woke up at 6:39! Awards are given out at 7! I am the unofficial photographer for this kind of stuff at the gallery and I am the keeper of their website also.

Thank the good lord the cops weren't on the highway as I sped to Dixon! I made it and had to park a block away. The place was packed. Wonderful turnout.

The good news?

I placed first for the painting above AND it had a RED DOT on it when I walked in. Woo hooo. Debbie sold FOUR of her paintings also. The husbands were happy. heh heh

Debbie and her husband also had a gathering at their place after the show, which of course, I had to go to. Fortunately, since I have such a cold, I only had diet Pepsi for the evening. Which made it great driving home at 10 p.m. and waking up feeling good (besides the cold).

Tonight is pretty busy for the restaurant and I'll be making an appearance to make sure everyone shows up. Sunday could be wonderful. No b&b guests tonight and I'm going to work on the figurative painting that has been on hold for quite some time.

Until next....

2nd Day's work on Flower Power 2

Coming along...2nd day's work on Flower Power 2, 24" x 24", oil on board

Another busy week with most of it away from the easel. Working at Affinity AV quite a bit this week, mostly in administrative mode instead of web design mode. No big deal. I was as an administrative assistant for years before owning a restaurant and inn. IBM was my favorite. No one can say anything bad about IBM to me. They were great to work for...benefits weren't bad either. Hey...I even got regular PAID vacations. heh

The midwest, particularly northern Illinois, was inundated with continual heavy rain this week. Since we live on a peninsula of the Rock River (river is one block to the west and 3 blocks to the east) we've been watching that little puppy rise every day. Fortunately, we all sit rather high and the lowlands are what took the hit.

I also helped move my daughter into her new place in Chicago on Thursday. Started out sunny and 92 degrees. We went to the storage area and got as much stuff as possible for 2 women to haul up a 2nd floor walkup! As we were shoving the full size mattress up her steps, the first scary storm hit. We were high fiving ourselves on how lucky we were. The second trip back to the house, God got us back. The second storm hit and we both looked like we were prime contestants in a wet t-shirt contest! heh

Today the weather is a gorgeous 78 degrees, sunny, and almost NO humidity. So, I got to paint today. Monday is my normal day, but I have an Affinity meeting in Naperville by 11 a.m. Working with a couple of retired guys from the ad business. They were in their prime in the 60s...see "Mad Men." Two different worlds and starting to clash. We're all making nice and having a meeting to finalize their new commerce website. They understand print advertising and we understand web site development....two different animals.

Jeff just got back from Chicago because he took the last of the big furniture out of storage and they finished the big move in. Time to order some food. Later gators.

Draggin' my Ass like an Aligator.....

The finished mural.

Boy am I pooped. What a week!

We finished the mural with the kids from the probation office. What a great way to work off your community service, right?

Yesterday we painted with the kids and today (a.m.) Debbie, Arin and I went in and did the final touches like outlining, adding flourishes, and playing with the copper and gold metallic paints. People have been spreading the word and our url link to this project and we have received very positive comments.

About 1 p.m. we finished today and then I went to work with Jack at AAV (web design) until around 5 p.m. I went home and created the 'Now Showing" slide show on the gallery I volunteer with (and show with), The Next Picture Show. A new show opened TONIGHT called "She." An all women's show. Fatigue had set in, but I knew I should show up since I had two pieces juried into the show. I got there just as the last 3 crackers on the tray were ready to be snatched up and of course, a fine plastic cup of "Winking Owl" Chardonnay was waiting for me!

At that very moment, they were announcing Best of Show. Guess who won that puppy? yep. me. Who woulda thunk it? It's the pear picture in this post. I accepted the check, another cup of fine wine, called home to order a pasta special (at our restaurant) and drove my tired butt home.

Tomorrow starts off early. We have b&b guests tonight. Take care.

We just had a cool front come in. It's going down to 50 F tonight. Yeah baby.

Dogs day of summer!

Still Life with Copper Bowl
16" x 20", oil on board

I finished the above painting this past Monday morning. In a previous post, I learned about the use of the medium, Liquin, from Tracy Helgeson's blog. So this is my first piece of work done with Liquin and I have to say I really like it and will continue to use it. Once the Liquin is added, even my stiffest, driest paints are buttery smooth. It's especially nice when working on gessobord.

This week has been chuck full with activities away from the easel. Three days were spent working at Affinity AV. Learning a lot about website development and production. Mural work on Monday evening, and our restaurant and B&B has been very busy. Summer, you know. The weather has been in the 90s seems like forever and people don't even like to think about cooking--indoors or out.

Once everyone checks out on Sunday, I hope to run up to my studio and get some boards prepped for my next set of paintings!

New Gallery Website up and running

The gallery I volunteer with, The Next Picture Show, in Dixon, Illinois just launched its redesigned website.

The previous website was done by me in Yahoo SiteBuilder and it was fine at the time. Only problem was that if they needed changes, which was a lot, I was the sole person to do it. Since I have my own art website (Yahoo Sitebuilder) and my inn/restaurant website (Adobe Photoshop) to take care of, I was getting overwhelmed!

I've been working with a great web designer, Jack Hughes of Affinity AV, in Dixon also. He's been teaching me the ropes of dynamic website development. These websites allow the client to add/delete content themselves. They don't need to download software like Dreamweaver, Adobe stuff, etc. All they need is to use their own browser and log in. Pretty cool.

Getting out and about

future painting, 30" x 24", oil on canvas

Today will be busy with meetings and design work. Jack and I (my boss from Affinity AV, a web design firm) are going to Fulton, IL (on the Mississippi River) to meet with a potential web site customer...we're just in the talking and getting-to-know-you stage. We were to go yesterday, but we had a snow storm that made traveling rather dicey. Sun's out today and the world is a beautiful white! It's even warming up to 12 degrees today!

When we get back, I have to put my graphic design hat back on and work on a new Memberbship brochure for The Next Picture Show gallery in Dixon. Oh yeah, and another show postcard. My mind is starting to get that loud buzzing sound again.

In the next couple of weeks, my friend, Debbie, and I are planning on starting our 3rd mural at KSB Hospital in Dixon. We'll be working with some of her 5th and 6th grades students. Keep an eye on this blog to see the progress of this project.

The picture above is my next canvas for a figurative study. So far I have it sketched out. I'm still working out the composition bugs....stay tuned.