Monday, December 8, 2008

I have been having some kind of technical difficulty uploading photos from my computer onto my blog... so sorry. I know it has been a while since I have posted anything and that is why. There is an image in the slide show of a woman crouching down inside of a box with a clock above her. It is the painting I am currently working on and it is called "Hiding from Time". This painting is my way of taking something that I am struggling with and creating something beautiful out of it. Getting a grip on time is something that I always seem to be struggling with... there never seems to be enough of it. I literally feel like I am in a time warp. It reminds me of the part in the movie Groundhog Day when his alarm clock goes off day after day like there was no time passing in between. Like the woman in the painting I would like to just hide from time... stop these fleeting moments and soak in what seems to be passing me by.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just a reminder for those of you interested in coming. Tomorrow night at 6 pm I will be speaking at The Bridge Academy. The address is 148 W. 600 S. in Provo. I will be speaking about my journey as an artist and giving my insight about what I have learned along the way.
No kidding, I was in the middle of painting this woman standing in the middle of balloons when my friend and amazing photographer Janelle called me and told me that she had been thinking about photographing my girls with a bunch of balloons. It amazes me how we were running parallel on our creative train of thought. Yesterday morning she and I spent 2 hours picking out balloons. You should have seen us choosing color combinations... honestly, it was a blast. Janelle is one of my favorite creative friends, definitely one I am most similar to. Her creativity is so inspiring to me. The photo of my girls with the balloons is one I took. The photo shoot was a blast and I can't wait to see Janelle's photos.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I switched the oil paint I was using to Rembrandt and I cannot even begin to express the difference it is already making in my painting. For the first time in a while now I can hardly wait to get to the easel painting is so much fun!

Kim Garfield, an amazing artist herself sent me something in an email describing my work and I was so struck by how perceptive she was about what I paint. It is very exciting to me when people and especially other artists are able to see beyond the surface of what I create. Anyway what she said was: "There is an earnestness emitting from your paintings. It's difficult to explain. And though you paint whimsical, almost nostalgic subject matter, there prevails a sense of loss.....a wish almost, that life as depicted in your paintings was the reality, not the unattained ideal." Kim, I thoroughly enjoyed lunch with you the other day. Thank you for the things you said... I needed to hear them more than you will know.

My friends at The Bridge academy asked me to be a guest speaker next Friday, November 21st. I will be addressing the students but it is open to anyone who would like to attend. I will be talking about my own path as an artist, things I have learned, and offering my advice and insight into pursuing a career as a professional artist. The Bridge is located in Provo and I will be speaking at 6 pm. For the exact address click on my link to the Bridge website under my artist friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This painting is five years old, but I wanted to post it to show you how I have evolved. There are many elements of my (now evolved) style and I find it interesting to remember where I came from. I was at a good friends studio yesterday and we had a very poignant conversation about creativity and criticism. Lately I have found myself comparing my art to others and if I allowed it to continue it would be the very death of me. We were talking about how important it is NOT to criticize your own and others art. The reason I posted this painting is because there is a part of me that could rip it to shreds. I cannot help but appreciate that I let myself go through this stage. As an artist my learning and "practice" is documented with each new painting. On the other hand a master pianist for example, also becomes great by practice but what we hear is the end result sometimes forgetting... all the time, all the mistakes that got them to that place. As you already know two of my favorite artists are my girls Aleah who is 9 and Eve who is 7. There is such a freedom and freshness in their drawings that can only come through their own innocence. A quality that I have had to fight to reclaim and still struggle to hold on to. I know I have quoted this many times but feel like it is so appropriate here. Julia Cameron said "Remember by being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance over time to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here is why I feel no threat opening up and sharing all that I can with other aspiring artists... this career is tough! We need all the encouragement we can get. This profession has a way of weeding out those who are anything less than determined to stick it out through the valleys. In no way am I trying to complain or be ungrateful for what I have. However, I understand that there are those of you who want to be artists yourselves and that from the outside looking in it could appear as if "things just happen for some artists, while others "just don't seem to make it". While there are many factors that add to the reality of that, my message to you is this: Pursuing a career as an artist is tough, perhaps one of the toughest things you will ever do. For one because you will have to believe in yourself long before anyone else will. I remember reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and her talking about first calling yourself an artist and then becoming one. Something which I began doing many years ago. Like anyone else I felt like I should "earn" the title by proving my worth by selling paintings, or illustrating a children's book but I decided to take the leap of faith and claim my place as an "Artist". The only reason I am producing the work that I am today is because I didn't give up years ago when I wasn't putting out anywhere near the quality of work that I am now able to create. I am older, a little wiser, and have painted for thousands of hours since then... but my soul, my desire to create things of beauty remains the same. Don't give up! Sometimes I can't believe that I didn't, and sometimes I still want to... but you need to know that yes, the journey really is this hard, worth it, but hard!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One of my closest friends had to put her dog to sleep on Friday. His name was Emmet and he was a Golden Retriever, he was one of those dogs that felt like a human. This friend lives right down the street from me and my girls and I were all close to Emmet. The other day we went to say goodbye and when I bent down to give him a kiss there was a puddle of tears by him from our mailman who had just said goodbye and cried too. My girls and I cried all the way up our street from her house to ours. This dog really was such an angel and really sort of had a social life all of his own independant of his family. I have known him since I moved in my house six years ago... funny how you always just think everyone you love will always be there. We take so much for granted. I forget how precious life is. I feel like my life is moving so fast like I am so busy cleaning and working and just doing every crazy thing I feel like I have to do in order to keep from sinking in my own life. Really, life is all about love... and how little attention we give it sometimes. I am grateful for the time I had with Emmet. I hate letting go but can't help but be grateful for this sweet dog's life and the reminder of how precious life truly is.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Speaking of art friends... two weeks ago I had a chance to attend the party for the opening of
The Bridge Academy of Art. My friends and four of the best artists I know Jeff Hein, Justin Taylor, Sean Diediker and Ben Mcpherson started an art school. I have had the chance to attend a few things at the school and have been very impressed with what these guys are creating. One of the oppurtunities I found extremely educational and inspiring was when they had Joseph Manqueros come and speak. Joseph is the owner of Wendt Gallery which represents Jeff Hein. I couldn't help but just love Joseph, he is one of the most positive people I have ever heard speak. For those of you who are familiar with Wendt will see why it came as no surprise to me after meeting Joseph and his wife Serina that they are so successful and literally represents some of the best artists in the country. One of the most important points Joseph made while speaking was in reference to credibility. Training is important. Whether that is through an art school, a University, or studying under another artist. My point is this is exactly the kind of experience The Bridge is bringing its students. I wish I would have had something like this 10 years ago. For those of you serious about becoming a working artist and who are looking for some training...check out The Bridge (their link is under my friends list).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend a show for Glen Edwards, who was my Illustration professor at Utah State years ago. It was so strange to stand in the gallery with him as well as some of his colleagues and other past students. Many who I have been familiar with for years. I remember being a freshman at Utah State and feeling pretty much invisible to Glen. At the time I remember wanting his attention and approval so bad. I couldn't help but feel like I was experiencing some sort of time travel, being in his and these other artists presence over 14 years later. There is really no way to describe what that experience was like for me. The biggest change for me was that I felt confident.
I have been thinking a lot about confidence lately, what creates it, and why I have it now as an artist and why at one point I didn't. I realized that for me it has a lot to do with experience. I know what it is like to be with other artists who are speaking about things I feel clueless about and I know what it is like to be a full part of an identical conversation. Here is one piece of advice for other artists who feel like they are on the outside wanting to be in. Get to know other artists, especially the ones you admire and who's work inspires you. Do research on them, find out when they are having shows and attend them. I have met many of my artists friends this way and there is something I have learned from each of them. Anyone has less confidence in any situation they are unfamiliar with. I contribute a great deal of my recent success to these friendships. I feel like I found my peer group. They have shared with me things that it would have taken me years of experience to learn on my own. Also I have made many connections that vary from things like who they use for framing to what their experience has been with a specific gallery.
The above images are detail shots from the 5x6 ft painting I am working on. There are three figures in this painting and it has been an interesting challenge for me to make them all work together... which I am still figuring out. I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing this painting.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I will often get asked if I paint even when I don't feel like it. The answer is YES. I have been painting so much lately and I am feeling a little burnt out, but do any of us really have the luxury of working when we "feel like it". Right now I am painting so much that I can't seem to come up with the next color for the life of me. Persistence is perhaps one of the very most valuable qualities any artist can have. Speaking of... I found these paintings in my storeroom while I was looking for something else. These are over 13 years old. I thought it was interesting to see how much I loved pattern back then. These are both watercolor which is all I painted back then. I am extremely tired and really need to sleep, so don't hold the writing in this entry against me. Was just excited to share these watercolors with you, they are both still lifes I set up.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I updated my website and created a new gallery of my "available" paintings. I had a few I was hanging onto for my January show but due to a current shortage of available work have sent them to Bonner David Gallery. This is the finished version of "Puddin Face" which is one of the three new paintings now available at Bonner David. It has been a crazy busy weekend and I can hardly wait to paint tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I just made it through two days of the flu with my girls, my house is a disaster! I just ate cookies and am feeling chubby..... BUT I have just started what could be my best painting yet! I love, love, love this new painting! I already want to keep it, which is always a good sign. This is only a portion of it, the canvas is 5x6 ft. There is something about painting on this scale that seems to bring great things out of me. On the left is my daughter Eve holding a construction paper bee. This is the kind of thing that I LOVE, this kind of creation that only young kids are still free enough to create. On Eve's shirt I reproduced some of her writing from an assignment she brought home from 1st grade. She is listing the benefits of plants... love her sounded out writing.
I have also started to draw on the clothing some of the architectural reference I took photos of during my recent visit to Seattle. I love this stage of the painting, sketched and a little bit painted... sometimes I just want to stop right here. There is something so beautiful about the creation process itself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This image doesn't even begin to do this painting justice. I love her eyes and skin tones. Since I am painting for an upcoming show at Bonner David Gallery in January I am only going to post portions of my paintings, so that the whole image will still be a surprise.
I was thinking tonight about what a gift creativity is and how it affects all of us. I was thinking about how much I love new music, about how cool the new iphones are, about how much fun I had the other night creating a new recipe. I love the adventure that life itself cannot help but bring. I love that I never know what I am going to paint next and that it is exciting to watch my paintings evolve as I do. No matter who you are or what you do creation is a part of every life.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I find it extremely ironic that in the painting that I was working on last night I wrote the word breathe because of the meaning of the painting, but that was exactly what I was having a hard time doing. Right now I use odorless turpentine which I dip my brush in often to keep a point and thin my paint. I think because I started out as a watercolor artist turpentine sort of replaced water in my painting process. Last year when I was painting for my show I got sick from the constant exposure to everything in my studio. I have since aquired an air purifier (especially for oil painters) and try to keep my windows open while I am painting. I know that many artists will get sick from the petroleum distillates contained in many of the mediums oil painters use. Does anyone have a suggestion of what else I can use without having to change my process?
I will never forget when I was fourteen and visited my grandmother in a nursing home. She, along with the other residents were sitting in chairs lined up in front of a large window... that was all they did just sit and watch the world go on around them. I remember thinking at the time that it was like she was a goldfish in a bowl. It made such an impression on me. In my paintings each time you see a goldfish it represents life, and mortality. This woman is in motion which is new for me, and fun to play with. If you ever wonder if my paintings are full of symbolism the answer is yes. Sometimes I am happy to share and other times I feel like I have been caught when someone figures something out. The other day Jenn from Coda called and asked about some writing in a particular painting that she and a client had been studying. I wished I had been more subtle with what I wrote in that painting. Oops!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let's talk...

I have been thinking for a while now about how I want to use my blog to communicate with you. More than ever I am being approached by other artists who want to know how I got where I am. I know what it is like to be on the outside, wanting so badly to be an "artist"... feeling like you have to arrive at some sort of destination in order to earn the right to call yourself one. I know what it feels like to be one of a hundred artists that has approached a gallery on any given day. I have experienced periods of time where I've had no social life, when I had to lose sleep in order to paint for a deadline. I know what it is like to go months without a paycheck and the feelings of panic as I try to figure out how I am going to fit into "Corporate America".
I want to share some of the things that I have learned and am learning on my own path as a working artist. I want to open up a window into my world.. I have said before that being an artist isn't just what I do but who I am. Painting is the easy part of my life, for me it is often the time I am "off work" that is the challenge for me being a mother, dealing with real life. Everything I do, feel, see, and experience is through the filter of an artist. Sometimes I hate being a sensitive person and feeling things to the depths that I do, but I am learning to accept that this is a critical part of who I am, understanding that without it I wouldn't be creating the art that people are connecting to. I love to hear your comments and encourage those of you with questions to ask them.

I have been wanting to try painting from life... to see what happens. So today my friend Janelle came over and modeled for me. The bottom image of the woman in front of the blue buildings is also Janelle which I painted almost two years ago. During the time Janelle sat for me today I spent so much of my time erasing! It was insane as I tried to take some features while making the others the way I wanted. I have gone to drawing sessions with my artist friends who happen to be amazing portrait artists and they make fun of me... how I move the eyes apart and add length to the neck, etc. Honestly, being someone who has already been down the road of trying to paint a realistic representation I have found that it is not the thing that makes me tick as an artist. It was both frustrating but very exciting to paint from life. I think Janelle is beautiful and learned a lot as I observed the colors in her skin, eyes, nose, and lips! Janelle, thanks for sharing some of your time with me!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I came across these photos the other day on my computer. They are from my very first little show back in 2001. This is when I showed at Trolley Cottage Gallery and painted in Watercolor.
The painting in the top left corner with the cow jumping over the moon was the first painting I ever sold. A man bought it for his granddaughter for $600. Finding these photos gave me such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be where I am now. These photos were taken before I had my youngest daughter Eve. So I took some time off and did not re-enter the art scene until the fall of 2003 at A Gallery. I am grateful to Brent Godfrey for the potential he saw in my work. Brent is the reason I started to paint with oils in the spring of 2003. I am so grateful for every step I took and every door that was opened along my way. My ex-husband Jared was very supportive and watched our tiny girls at night so I could paint. Just want to say thank you to all of you who support me as an artist. I feel truly fortunate to be so passionate about "my job" if you can call it that. I know that my prices have gone up and I make a conscious effort to paint some smaller pieces in order to keep my work accessible. I know that there are those of you who have sacrificed and even made payments over time in order to aquire my work. I hear the stories and they mean a lot to me. Thank you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I have had some of the coolest experiences in the last couple of days. Thursday I finally made it up to the Monet to Picasso show at the U of U art museum. I saw a lot of great paintings but I was especially impressed by the work of Van Gogh. At the time he was using such unique colors and combining them in such a refreshing way. I have been to many art museums and have been impacted by his work each time I have seen it.
Then I had the oppurtunity to attend the Body Worlds exhibit. I experienced a wide range of thoughts and feelings as I walked through the exhibit. I found it equally interesting to watch other people as they looked at the bodies and the reaction that it caused in them. There were many thought provoking quotes displayed throughout the show. As I left I felt a respect for "the soul" and recognized how different any body is without one. It made me think about why I paint and a quote by Modigliani which says "What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race."
Last but not least I had a chance to attend the Present Tense After Party where I had a chance to see Afterimage: The Art of 337. In short, Adam and Dessi Price after attending something similar on Spring Street in New York decided to bring together what ended up being over 80 artists to create all kinds of art in a building that would be torn down. The movie was a documentary about this process. I am sad to say that I missed the chance to go inside by one day, but remember what I felt just seeing the outside of the building. I was so touched by the movie and the realization that Salt Lake truly has a diverse collection of artists. It was amazing to watch the process of what started as an idea evolve into the 337 Project and the impact it had not only on the artists involved but the entire community.
After experiencing such a variety of expression it inspires me to continue to create my own art. The last few days have been the perfect example of how there are no rules. There is no one way to create and all that I saw gave me respect for the unique gifts that each of us contribute.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The other day an artist friend was flipping through my sketchbook and made the suggestion that I paint one of my faces on a much larger scale. It is so different for me but I have had a blast painting today. Just wanted to share a glimpse of this painting in my studio.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle to meet Liz Tran and attend her show at Some Space Gallery. My favorite part of my visit with Liz was getting the opportunity to visit her studio. I always think it is a treat to get to see where the actual creation process takes place and I found her studio especially inspiring. Liz was so great to let me go through her work and patient with me while I tried to choose what I wanted to buy. The two paintings posted above are the ones I chose. Liz thank you for the window into your world. I will never forget sitting in that great little cafe with you and talking art. I admire your work and honor what you are putting out into the world. I am truly touched by what you create!

Monday, August 25, 2008

This painting is a direct result of an artist like me dealing with my addiction to sugar... and in case you are seeing a pattern this isn't the first and most definitely won't be the last. It's title is "Puddin Face" which is a name Jen (from Coda) and I came up with one winter day over a year ago. We chuckled to ourselves over the name although at the time there was no painting to go with it. So Jen, this ones for you! This Friday night during Park City's Art Walk I will be doing a little art demo... revealing some of my top secrets ;-) So if you feel like drinking some Jamba juice smoothies and watching me paint... head up to Coda Gallery Friday the 29th from 6-9 pm.
Thanks to all of you who attended the Art Access Partners show, it was nice to see some friendly faces.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Often times when I am not actually painting I feel like I am not working. However, one of the most important aspects of creating new work is letting myself play and imagine. That is what my sketchbook has always been from me. It never fails that my best work usually begins there. So yesterday this is what I spent my day doing. Many of you already know that I have a passion for my girls writing and drawings. So I was excited when not too long ago I found some of my own. That is my writing from when I was 6 in the upper right corner, as well as my name on the envelope. I am feeling sentimental about my childhood. Under the little watercolors of the women on the left are photos of me at age 7 (my favorite). They represent me now and honor the little girl who will always be a part of me. I am fascinated by the path that has led me from that little girl to the woman I have become. I can feel a shift taking place in my art and wanted to share with you the beginning of it... Hope to see some of you at the show at Art Access tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This is a photo of me and Sasha Gorham, the artist I was partnered with through Art Access Gallery. We have been working alongside one another this summer creating art and learning from each other. Their will be an Artists' Reception on Friday, August 15th from 6-9 pm
at Art Access Gallery which is located at 230 South 500 West. As always, it will be a party! Some of mine and Sasha's work will be displayed along with eight other partnerships. This has been a great experience for me and am grateful for the chance to be a part of the "Partners Program".

Monday, July 28, 2008

I cannot even describe what I felt when I came across this paper of my drawings of Garfield. I must have been twelve, I remember drawing these images... I loved them so much at the time, I still do.
I am often asked whether my being an artist has an effect on my kids creativity. In response to that particular question I can't help but show off these photos of their creativity manifesting itself. Knitting is Aleahs recent endeavor but I cannot even begin to describe what she comes up with. You should see what this kid can do with a glue gun. Once she made a "house" out of yellow sticky notes and staples. If I could just tap into a tiny amount of the creativity she possesses... and then there is Eve who the other morning was burning a path from the drawer (where we keep all the things you see in her hair) and the living room. At the time I just smiled as I could tell she was up to something and her actions filled with purpose and then she came to me like this... yes, that is a watch dangling from her right pony tail ( and why not)!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is the painting that came as a result of a 10 hour drive through Wyoming. As I drove along I visualised this woman. I loved the color of the chartreuse wildflowers against the long grass and knew that was the color combination I would put on her dress... and the grey of the sky became her eyes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Last Thursday I went to the Utah Arts Festival and it was like Christmas for my artist. Barb Campbell, who only comes once every couple of years was there... so I bought a piece (or more) of her work. Some of my new pieces are in the middle photo above. It is Barb's work that has directly inspired many of my paintings. I enjoyed visiting with her and printed off some of my
paintings with her work in it. Many people have asked where my long necks came from. It was from one of her vases... the one in my painting "Learning to See." I love to see artists who do something so completely unique that it could have only come from them. I respect what Barb creates as just that.
I painted this masked woman yesterday. Every once in a while these paintings come from me that have many shades of blue. Sometimes I just find blues so completely soothing and beautiful, and I love the way different shades interact together. For me blue often shows up in my paintings when I am thinking about angels and craving a connection to spirit. The first time masks appeared in my art was in my sketchbook during a train ride through Europe. I had to chuckle when I realized that I had just left Venice (a city known for it's elaborate masks). I drew them so unaware of the subconscious influence my surroundings had on me. Since that time I have occasionally used masks in my work. They hold a very personal and significant meaning to me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last weekend I ended up driving to Scottsdale to drop off a new body of work at Bonner David Gallery. I had a great time getting a chance to visit with one of the owners, Christi Bonner Manuelito. I was surprised to find out that she knew my art back when I was painting Roosters and has been watching my progression since then. Also we share a favorite artist, Milt Kobayashi whom she has had the chance to study with. I really like Christi and Clark and am looking forward to working with them both.
The photos are an example of what it felt like I was looking at for over 11 hours on the drive. It was funny because I saw this little boat on my way down and almost stopped to photograph it then but decided I would catch it on the way back. So on my drive home... around every barren corner I kept looking for it not remembering where on earth I had seen it. It reminded me of Liz Trans ships which you can see on her website While driving I started thinking about this little boat, (and believe me I had plenty of time to think) about how many times I have felt like I was a boat in the middle of the desert with no water in sight. I thought about how sometimes you question if you should stay a boat or change into something else... something that might fit into the landscape better. Then I thought of the power of believing in yourself as a boat, having faith that you were made for the water, and then one day waking up to find yourself immersed in a beautiful ocean. That describes the journey I continually find myself on as an artist. I remember feeling like a boat in the desert, sometimes I still do... only now I know that it is by believing... (even when there is not a cloud in the sky) that the water will come.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I just finished this painting today and I am so excited about this particular piece. I originally had the chair in shades of blue which I left a remnant of on the left arm. The gold and brown color combination was inspired by a painting I saw at Heather Barron's show last friday.

Monday, June 2, 2008

As some of you know my good friend Heather Barron is one of my favorite artists. I am lucky enough to own two of her paintings. Just wanted to let you know that she is having a show this coming Friday, June 6th at the Ogden Railway Station. The address is 2501 Wall Ave in The Gallery at the Station from 6-8pm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Here is yet another painting of my daughter Aleah. Obviously she is one of my favorite subjects. This painting was so fun to paint. I tried something a little different with this one. Instead of using my daughters actually drawings and writing in the painting I drew them in. This painting is currently a part of the Utah Arts Council "Untitled" show and will be on display at the Rio Gallery at 300 South Rio Grande St. for the next few weeks. The show is part of gallery stroll on Friday night as well as the "300 Plate" show at Art Access Gallery which I also have work in.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saturday night was the opening party for this years Spring Salon at the Springville Art Museum.
The top photo is Justin Taylor holding a newspaper that I have yet to see. It was a complete surprise to me to see my painting in the paper advertising the show. I have to admit I couldn't help but stand by my painting the night of the show to listen to what complete strangers had to say about it. It was kind of fun. If you have a chance to make it to the museum there is some outstanding work in this years salon.