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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Art in a Pickle Barn!



OPENING NIGHT for the "Art in a Pickle Barn" event presented by the Skagit Art Association is FRIDAY March 28 at 6 - 8 pm. Come and join us for food, fun, and beautiful art! For more details including a map, check out their website: SAA


It's tulip time here in the beautiful Skagit Valley of the Pacific Northwest and time to come visit us for the annual Tulip Festival. The daffodil fields are already in bloom, and the tulips are on their way. Don't miss all the exciting events, including the "Art in a Pickle Barn", Tulip Town, Cow Town, and more! I will also be painting a mural at the Pickle Barn Event throughout the month of April, starting on April 11 from 11-2 and finishing April 25.

To get you inspired to join us for our festival, check out this lovely list of Tulips I found on ETSY: TREASURY of TULIPS

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Knowing when to S T O P

One of the hardest things as a painter is often the simple act of NOT painting. At some point, you have to decide that "yes" it's time to put down the brushes, sign the painting, and clean up. (OK, I don't really clean up right after finishing a painting). I see a lot of paintings that have been taken too far, where the act of "prettying up" or defining each line and shape further has become more important than the original image or thought that inspired the painting. I struggle with this too, every time I start a painting. Sometimes I find that I have to paint over a period of several days, sometimes a couple hours, sometimes I think I'm done and then realize a month or two later that it wasn't REALLY finished. Only rarely do I come across a painting where I feel satisfied right away, and then ACTUALLY STOP painting. Well, today is that day! I added some red, lightened up the sky a bit, and then felt that sudden sensation of completion. Logically knowing that I hadn't painted on it for long, hadn't layered too many colors, or defined the images completely made it difficult to stop, but I gave into my intuition and stopped. Done. Finished. Ready to sign, varnish and frame. Yea! You may like it, you may not, but I know I finished this painting today. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Trees are traveling to Oregon


I have a little series of big Tree paintings which will be hitting the road next week to go hang at the Women's Center at Oregon State University - Go Beavs! The trees are a combination of the tall trees from some of the tropical places I've visited and the big elms and maples I'm so familiar with here in the Northwest. I love driving through valleys and seeing the landscape of trees and fields unfold before me. If you are near Corvallis in the next couple months, stop by OSU and have a look! I will have several other large paintings there as well, and I'm looking forward to showing them off!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hand Cramp!


Hundreds of signatures later... I'm ready to package my cards! I have several shows coming up and received a couple wholesale orders lately, so yes, I'm in heavy card production mode. I had a booth neighbor at my last show look at me as I was packaging cards during a slow moment in the show and say, "You sign each one of those!" Yes, it's true. I want recipients of my cards to know that each one is made by me, with my art, not some mass-produced over-licensed design. Though not one of the most creative parts of my artistic career, I do enjoy making these fun and vivid little blank note cards, despite the hand cramps! It's a little like going for a run or a swim, where you are enjoying how the monotony of the task allows your mind to wander.

You can find my cards for sale at my ETSY store or at these great retail outlets:

  • The Skagit Valley Coop - Mount Vernon, WA
  • The Snohomish Arts Council - Everett, WA
  • Grandiflora Home & Garden - Lynden, WA
  • The Arts Center - Corvallis, OR
  • Hogland's Pharmacy - Bellingham, WA (coming soon!)
  • Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Fun at the Fair!


    Well, the Lynden Fair Grounds, that is. I had a fun time participating in the Lynden Antique and Craft Show in Lynden, WA from Thursday to Saturday. It was a great way to start the show season, with a nice and easy indoor show! I had great show neighbors and even though the traffic was light, we had enough buyers to make the show worth the effort. I like my latest booth set-up too, with the warm colors I added with a new tablecloth and gridwall backdrop. Next up - I'm doing a little 1 day show at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, WA this Saturday - March 22nd. Hope to see you there!

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    My Abstract Artist


    My daughter (5) worked on this collaborative piece with me. She did most the work, though, and deserves all the credit! She's become my little Picasso. She loves doing "abstract art". (Here's a picture of her putting on the final touches.) If you look VERY closely, you'll see she added a little happy face in there for fun too. We only had a couple rules for our collaboration: She gets to start the piece and she gets to finish the piece. I only do a little painting in the middle. She also enjoyed getting to use my "good pens" (my archival india ink pens). Here's another picture of the original image she started. We have this piece up for sale on ETSY.We hope to be doing more collaborative pieces - in fact I have one that she's started and it's waiting for me to add some paint. I also enjoy doing collaborative work with my son (8) who makes fun and amazing little sea monster drawings. He keeps a sketch book of them from which I will occasionally borrow an image and color it in for a graphic. We made some cards together which turned out very cute. Check them out HERE!

    Sunday, March 9, 2008

    Having fun with Playdo

    I had a fun time showing the kids the basic concept of Claymation (Wallace & Grommit are among our FAVORITE claymation artists!) Now that they get the idea, I hope they have fun creating more little clips!

    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    NOW SHOWING!


    Come see some of my latest artwork at the Skagit Valley Coop in Mount Vernon, WA during the month of March! I have 16 original pieces hanging in their lovely upstairs eatery. They have great lunch foods, and free internet too! Stop on by for a bite and enjoy my scenery... until you fall in love with it and just HAVE to take it home! As always - I hope you enjoy!

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Now Offering!


    I now have FRAMES and MATS for my prints available online at ETSY for a great deal! Have your favorite print shipped to you ready to hang with clean, classy, modern framing - perfect for that accent wall of color or neutral tone! Gift wrap is also available upon request!

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    Inspiration Can Come...

    From odd places! My latest inspiration is not only a continuation of my india ink bird series, but also gets a little flavoring from... my tea?? Yes, I reached into my cupboard to make tea one night while I was painting (yes, it's true, even though I LOVE my java, I also enjoy a good cup of tea), I saw these henna-like patterns on the box which gave me a sense of peace, calm, zen, faith, contemplation, yes - all of that, and as I was exploring a more neutral palette I couldn't think of anything more appropriate than a hint of these thoughts by incorporating these patterns. Look closely at my new foliage and you may see my late night tea influence too!

    Sunday, March 2, 2008

    Blast from the Past!


    I was going through boxes of old paperwork in the garage this weekend and found this photo of me circa 1990 from art school at the University of Washington. It may be the only picture I have from that period in my life, so it was kind of fun to find it! Personally I don't think it was one of my better art school pieces, but I'll take comfort in remembering that we were photographing the paintings at various stages of development over a couple weeks of class - maybe this was toward the beginning! I absolutely loved those art school years. Painting nudes for the first time, meeting amazing creative people everywhere, late night studio sessions as we prepared for a final or critique, blasting the music, paint everywhere, and meeting my husband! What wonderful memories. I loved my art professors too - Michael Spafford, the late Eugene Pizzuto, Karen Ganz, Kenneth Pawula, and many more talented artists. The UW had an amazing pool or artists in their faculty during those years (granted, I am biased!) Great, great memories. How fun to take a brief trip back in time.

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