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 black...no 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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Ice Storm vs. Snow Storm

the sketch

2nd stage...that's it for today, 36" x 24", oil on board

I vote for snow storm. Much easier to drive in! Last Thursday, Jeff and I catered a local Chamber of Commerce Christmas party at the director's house and it started snowing just as we left our place with all the food to go to their place. By the time we got there it was almost whiteout conditions and we started worrying...like, what if no one comes?

There we all were -- the 5 of us -- sitting there with all this great food and cases and cases of wine and beer. I think we would have been fine if no one came...heh heh. But, almost everyone came and a good time was had by all.

Today we're in the midst of an ice storm that's supposed to get really snarky tomorrow. So, I'll spend another day at the easel instead of driving into Dixon to work.

Speaking of easel, I started on a figurative study (above). It's Jeff (in white baseball hat) and some of our staff plating up a private party in our restaurant kitchen. I don't do too many figurative paintings, but do them occasionally to keep me from getting rusty. I would have gotten farther along, but I decided to make my Italian gravy today and that takes a bit of time...it's called procrastinating about going into my studio.

Grand Detour Arts Festival enjoys good weather and great crowd

"Venetian Shadows," 20" x 24", oil on canvas

"Peonies Showing Off," 20" x 16", oil on board

Yesterday was the 59th Grand Detour Arts Festival. The heat and humidity from earlier in the week was gone and cooler and drier weather greeted both artists and the public alike. Last year we had drizzly rain all day and the year before that the heat was in the mid 90s.

What's nice about this show is that artists are allowed to setup their tents the day before the show, with the knowledge that the John Deere Historic Site does not provide security after it shuts down in the evening. So, the day of the show, exhibitors just need to bring in their work and set up right away. Much less hassle.

Only thing that was kind of snarky were the blasted mosquitos. We're on a river peninsula and we had a lot of standing water for a couple of weeks when the river was very high. Perfect breeding ground. I did take citronella candles and had them burning most of the day. Worked pretty darn good.

My booth location was great. All shade...all the time. I sold two originals (woo hoo). They are pictured above, several prints, and lots of art note cards. That was topped off with an award for Best Oils.

Today, I'm on the couch resting my tired legs. Doing these kind of shows is exhausting. Kind of like your own wedding day when you have to be "on" all the time and be sure to talk to everyone that comes by.

Well...back to reality. We have a full house of bed & breakfast checking in today around noon. Then they are having a private dinner in our restaurant this evening. Monday is supposed to be a day we take off, but if the customer is willing to pay a minimum amount for us to open up, then we're back in business. Jeff is being a sweetheart by cleaning the bedrooms this morning so I can chill for awhile. He just left to go play golf. So, I need to throw some clothes on and go to the inn to wait for the check-ins. Maybe I'll start a new painting today....

Finishing up one, starting two....

"Still Life in Striped Bowl"
24" x 30", oil on canvas
Sold to private collection in Atlanta, GA

Last week was a ball-buster. I didn't get a chance to walk up to my studio. Can you hear the pity party?

Well, we did it we listed our property for sale this past Monday (5/21). Here's to positive thinking. I can't bear another fall/holiday season. Even Jeff has starting feeling that way.

Our rooms were full over the weekend with family for the wedding reception we did. It was a beautiful party. The weather cooled by the weekend and even though it rained, no one's spirits were dampened.

So, today back at the studio.

I finished up this barn. Took only 20 minutes, but it's done. It's an oil on gessobord, 12" x 12".
The barn is located on the northern edge of Dixon, Illinois. TNPS will be having a juried competition titled, "Farms & Barns" this fall. So, I'm getting a few ready ahead of time. Yep...I'm actually getting something done early. Stop the presses.

Now, in that vein, get this. I am on a committee that produces the Grand Detour Fine Arts Festival (GDAF). Due date was a week ago and take a guess who hasn't sent in her application. Didn't have to think too hard did you? The festival is in it's 59th year and will be held 9/9/07.

Today, I underpainted two 30" x 30" panels in prep for two still lifes. While prepping my mind was going back and forth on whether to use oils or acrylics on these pieces. As soon as I get to sketching it out, something will click and the decision will be made.

I'm getting hungry. Jeff doesn't have golf league tonight, so he'll be home this evening. Don't know about you gals, but it's really nice having the place to myself. When you're surrounded by people on a daily basis, being alone is a true guilty pleasure.

Enjoy Memorial Day. Remember, especially in these times, what this day is truly for and will continue to be for.

Still working on it!


Here is the same figurative study I started this past Monday. These pics are still from Monday, but I got my camera back (don't even ask where I found it) and took a couple more shots of the work I did after the intial uploading. One is kind of full size, but I didn't bother with skewing it before cropping...the other is a closeup. This scene was from the gallery in Dixon last summer. There was a silent art auction fundraiser going on when I took some pics and just found them on my PC. Maybe the title will be "The Auction." Still thinking on it.
Last night was another art show opening at the gallery (The Next Picture Show), a one woman show, for Fran Swarbrick. It also was the 3rd year anniversary for the gallery. The turn out was great. It also was snowing...again. Same as the opening night 3 years ago. Weird. The gallery is non-profit and allows looking for new members. Our board is really great. So nice to have people on board who GET IT and show enthusiasm and positive energy.

Well....I've hung around too long at home. Need to get to the inn and get some restaurant/inn work done before staff start popping up. If you're ever in the Dixon, Illinois or Grand Detour area of the world, check out our place for a great dining experience (Colonial Rose Inn). Yep, just had to plug the main business. Haven't done it in quite awhile.