My new studio space has proven to be a wonderful spot for watercolor. Here’s a hint of a study I did last week.

I’m also happy to report my new position as an elementary school librarian and computer teacher which, since school started Aug. 14th, has been a bit hectic. My love of libraries has been life-long, and I’m so excited to get to spend time with all the young people as they develop their interests, skills and character. I’m sure this will influence my art life as well, although my posts here may be even more sparse. You’ve been warned.

Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7"

Desert plant study, watercolor on paper, 5 x 7″

I finally got around to cleaning, lowering, and changing the angle of my drafting table in the studio. The result is a large space to pile my books and notes, sketching, reading light, beverage, computer and cats. I also imagine this will be a better place to work on watercolor painting – safe from oil paint residue.

I expect much mind expansion as a result.

ps. Can you see one of the reasons I named my cat Dragon?

pps. Please excuse my ill-fitting old t-shirt and zebra-print chair-fur-control-system

Dragon inspects new studio "thinking" space

Dragon inspects new studio “thinking” space

I’m happy to share that two of my paintings are included in the 38th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Barbara Conrad Art Gallery in Durango, Colorado, opening tomorrow:

July 11 – August 9
Opening reception: Friday, July 11 from 5-7 p.m.

Durango Arts Center: Barbara Conrad Art Gallery
802 East Second Avenue
970-259-2606

I’m excited that I’ll be able to attend the opening reception and spend a few days in this beautiful town. In addition to getting to meet new people and experience the art and culture of Durango, my mini-trip will include camping, hiking and lots of new scenery for sketching and painting.

Information on this year’s juror, (more on the Durango Arts Center website) durangoarts.org:
Lisa Tamiris Becker has been active as a curator and arts administrator for over 18 years and has curated and organized over 50 major exhibitions with a primary focus on hybrid interpretations of modern and contemporary art. She serves as the Director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque, NM, where she has curated and organized major recent exhibitions such as From Raymond Jonson to Kiki Smith: The UNM Art Museum at Fifty Years; Melanie Yazzie: Geographies of Memory; and The Blinding Light of History: Genia Chef, Ilya Kabakov, and Oleg Vassiliev. Her exhibitions have been reviewed or featured in Art in America, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The BBC, amongst other publications.

Flat Rock Falls, Oil/Canvas, 18 x 18"

Flat Rock Falls, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″

Window Bed, oil on canvas, 16 x 20"

Window Bed, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

Here is the latest oil on canvas painting inspired by the landscape surrounding Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort where I recently visited.

Buffalo Thunder Quilt, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"

Buffalo Thunder Quilt, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″

 

A friend recently introduced me to The Staves – a British trio of sisters. (Thank you Kimberly!)

I’ve been listening to them a lot while painting.

This Friday I thought I’d share one of the songs with you to get you in the wind-down weekend mode. Not only is it a beautiful song but it has quilt images superimposed! I found that part particularly inspiring and very suited to my Quilted Landscape series.

Enjoy the song and have a happy Friday!

still  #1 from Mexico music video

still #1 from Mexico music video

still #2 from Mexico music video

still #2 from Mexico music video

My new painting Winter Walk is complete:

Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20"

Winter Walk, Oil/Canvas, 16 x 20″

If you recall, last week I decided to re-work a painting I made earlier this year. I tried to document the change so I could show you on the blog… but half-way through I became too immersed to take photographs. Oops. Hopefully you can still see how the old painting acted as a foundation for the new one:

Winter Desert (title before piece was entirely re-worked)

Winter Desert (before piece was entirely re-worked, and re-named)

in progress 01

in progress 01

in progress, 02

in progress, 02

in progress, 03

in progress, 03

in progress, 04

in progress, 04

in progress, 05

in progress, 05

Advice for artists:

I’ve been testing a theory that if you don’t like a painting you’re creating, simply add a dog to the image. Now, I’ve only tried it out a few times but so far I’ve been quite happy with the results.

I’m not done working on this painting but thought I’d show you the pooch I painted in today. I was out on the town this Spring making my watercolor portraits of Portales when this guy scampered by, shaggy fur blowing in the breezes, sunlight catching his chinny chin chin. I snapped a photo for future use and am so glad I did. It made me deliriously happy to paint him.

Just ignore the chaos currently surrounding him… it will all be worked out soon ;)

Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas

Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas

 

There is something very satisfying about painting snow, blankets and a stormy sky when it’s actually hot, dry, painfully sunny and… hot outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat… but I love wherever my imagination takes me more.

Here is the latest Quilted Landscape painting featuring a dear friend’s polydactyl cat:

Cosy Desert, oil/canvas, 16 x 20"

Desert Shelter, oil/canvas, 16 x 20″ $200

 

Today I finished up the my latest piece for the Quilted Landscape series:

Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18"

Against Pillows, oil/canvas, 18 x 18″, $200

I also touched up two new pieces for the Southwest series. These were done 90% en plein air (outdoors) around Portales, New Mexico this spring.

Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"

Southwest House, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150

Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10"

Backyard Fence, oil/canvas, 8 x 10″, $150

I just got back from a mini vacation with my husband to the Santa Fe region of New Mexico.

The view from our balcony was stunning and my favourite part of the trip was watching the light change on the mountains:

Working on the balcony

Drawing on the balcony

Balcony View, ink in sketchbook

Balcony View, ink in sketchbook

We did some exploring in the town when we weren’t reading by the pool and enjoyed some delicious coffee and tea at the Station Cafe:

Cafe table at the Station

Cafe table at the Station

My favourite piece from the trip:

Sundown on the Mountains, Santa Fe, Watercolor and ink in sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5"

Sundown on the Mountains, Santa Fe, Watercolor and ink in sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5″ $50 unframed

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