Saturday, October 24, 2009

stuff i want

living in an art town is very dangerous. through small (really small) payments, i am slowly building up a collection of art. i'm about to move outside of the safety of my own gallery. so, in lieu of my own art, which is at a standstill due to a crazy long head cold, i'm posting pics of things that i want!

first up, Wendy Chidester with her minimal green background and stately little camera. i've seen this piece several times down at giacobbi fritz gallery and i am totally in love with it. imagine my horror when i get on the website...and it's sold. ugh! okay, i knew i'd never get it, but at least i have the pic to remember it by.

next up is a cool bronze bunny by Jim Budish. i catch his work at waxlander, our 'sister' gallery down the road. i don't know why necessarily...i'm not a huge animal as art fan, but this little guy just makes me smile. this may very well be my next purchase as i've talked to my pals down there and may use a christmas bonus as a downpayment. weee!!

i went down town a few friday art walk's ago and found Rik Allen at blue rain gallery. now, i'm a bit of a geek. i loved x-files and lots of sci-fi shows and movies. there's something fun about the idea of a spaceship. this work is totally made out of blown glass and the body of the ship is painted with 'metallic' paint. oh how i love these and want one of my own! they are so delicate and feel so solitary. time has aged them, the colors are faded, but their purpose and fortitude in the face of the universe is fascinating!

this piece, also by Rik Allen, is pretty freakin' cool! it's as tall as i am and made from parts of an old plane/rocket...something like that. upon looking closely, it's a spaceship with an escalator that leads all the way to the cockpit, where sits a red chair. so simple. you expect a cockpit with buttons and levers and.....well, stuff. but instead it's like a viewing area. maybe you control the ship with your mind. it invites you to walk up there and experience it yourself. looking in from the tail end through a hole, you have a view of what it would actually look like if you were sitting in the chair. this one is way out of my price range, but i love it!

Monday, September 21, 2009


my alma mater is having a juried alumni show. i sent in four drawings and they chose these two to be in the show. the blue piece with the low horizon is a smaller piece, 8" x 5", and the grey one is a larger endeavor at 20"x 15". my arm about fell off after that one. i couldn't finish it in one session! i'm pretty happy with them. it's hard to see in pictures, but there's a lot of detail and many colors in each piece even though the overall effect is of a singular hue. i'll have to post a detail pic sometime.

now to get them framed and shipped off to west virginia! wish i could go to the show, but my family will be visiting and it's a bit of a trip. any suggestions on titles? i hate titling my work....

at it again

i broke out the pastels again for some art venting. these pieces are great for me because the movement is fast and vigorous and i put a lot of my emotions into them. i call them abstracts, but they are very much related to horizon lines and the new mexico sky. the pink one has a high horizon line with a touch of oranges and yellows for the warmth of the setting/rising sun. also, the blue piece has a faint glow of yellow at the bottom. the actual horizon line is hidden, or can be the natural line of the end of the drawing. my main focus was trying to successfully show a progression from dark to light and in the pink one, to be able to show a change in subject/space without completely dissecting the canvas. i want it to be a soft flow, nothing to harsh.

Friday, July 24, 2009

the empty bowl success

here's my little spot at the Empty Bowl animal charity auction. i was happy to watch a little bidding war go on for my bowl! the 'winner' also took home my bio so may even be seeing this as we speak! hello buyer! so glad you like my bowl! i was rather happy with it myself and almost didn't want to give it up. it actually gives me some ideas for brightly painted objects with a thick glaze on them. i'm not sure about fish-shaped bowls, but maybe found objects?

Friday, July 10, 2009

walking toward inspiration

i spent the  4th of july weekend in the studio for the most part.  i felt the need to do some drawing.  i measured and taped off my perfect little squares and rectangles and went to town with my chaotic drawing language and created these two pieces.  i "looked at" or really glanced down every once in awhile at some cloud pictures for these, and the square even actually resembles some cloudness, but the larger piece kind lost it.  either way, i was inspired to do the blue after my artwalk on friday.  i saw a beautiful little pastel cloud piece at Hahn Ross gallery and it inspired me.  i think i'll make the friday art walks a habit.  

another large landscape drawing is on the way.  i started it this weekend as well and i'm about 3/4 of the way through.  the question now is....where the heck am i going to put all of these pieces?!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


sometimes i forget that art makes me feel better.  doing art, that is.  seeing it...just makes me jealous!  some people garden, some people cook...i make art.  i have lots of things in my head and they're all fighting to get out.  i need to listen more and set them free!

so, this big revelation came while working on a small piece for the Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary benefit called "The Empty Bowl".  i picked the cat bowl which is shaped like a goldfish.  i was a little hesitant as this is a big benefit with some celebrities and some really well known artists.  but then i figured, they're just like me...they like to art, too.  the woman who is organizing the event told me that Elizabeth Taylor sent them a painted dish!  wow!  she also said that it was pretty bad, but who cares, Elizabeth Taylor did it!!  santa fe has some great connections!  either way, i have my dish and it will be at the auction right next to Tom Hyland (who's night time jackrabbits i've been drooling over at gabriel's restaurant) and Elizabeth Taylor.  will it make any money?  i hope i want to know?  no, i'll remain blissfully ignorant...unless of course people like it and i get a healthy bid!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

fading and drawings

i had a small opening of time last week and this cute little canvas, so i painted "Night Fade (study)". it's very small, i forget the dimensions, maybe 3 or 4 inches wide. i had attempted to put some stars high in the sky, but it was too blatant, so i stayed simple and tried to bring out some of the crimson and violets. the base is much lighter, i wanted to work on my own 'fade' technique to show a transition. the sky is so high here! there are so many transitions of blues! which is also why i love using extreme vertical canvases, to hightlight the length of the sky.
i also realized something that's becoming stronger and stronger lately. i tend to look at the world in drawing compositions, using the lines, colors and breakdowns on my drawings. as much as i love to do the paintings, the desire to draw and use graphite in my work is very powerful. i'd like to work on both and then search out opinions from other artists and gallery types on which work better and have more potential. it even seems to me that i get more of a response from people out of my drawings than i do with the paintings. guess it's time to experiment and see how it goes!

Friday, April 24, 2009

in the beginning

before i started trying to paint the high desert of new mexico, i was dramatically inspired by a short weekend trip to santa fe two years ago. i took a ton of pictures in those 3 days and created a whole series of drawings from them. i loved the sharp blue sky and the subtle compliments of yellow and orange on the ground and in the rocks. i loved the movement of the rock formations at tent rocks. and i loved the puffy clouds.

somewhere in doing a sketch of one of my photos, i came up with an image that played on my abstract style of blocking off a space on a white stretch of paper and giving it a hard edge, like a window. i let it be more loose and did not use a ruler to draw the lines. i marked a few places and connected the dots. then on the inside i boldy layed down my graphite lines and filled them in with my nupastel sticks. i mixed and smudged and smoothed and then went over the lines again. i ended up with a piece that could almost look like a photo from a distance, but when you got closer you could see the detail of the lines and the texture of the pastels. it was so striking i had to continue.

i sold a large piece at the WVWC art faculty show and i had a duel show with another professor at Fairmont State. the pieces were a hit...but not so much to those in the east. it was alien to them and the big skies and vulnerable spaces are scarey to some people. i'm hoping that here in new mexico they will be more accepted. i've had a few of them framed and i love the way they look. i plan to continue drawing as well as painting and hoping to eventually show both styles in a gallery or few.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

On my side

A couple of months ago I managed to get my painting into a silent auction for Open Hands at Nussbaumer's Gallery in downtown Santa Fe.  I get to say that I showed with some really great artists! There were a few from the gallery that I work at and a bunch that I had seen in other galleries downtown with huge price tags on them. These works were all 12x12 and people bid at will.
I got into the show only because one of the artists at my gallery was one of the ones in charge and she happened to have an extra canvas board in her car. I told a lot of people that I was doing it so I would have to have to finish it. One of our collector's was really interested in seeing what I could do. He went straight to my piece and put a bid on it at the auction. It was the only bid I got, but at least I wasn't one of the poor artists whose work didn't get a single bid. Now my work is hanging on the wall of an art collector as he waits to see what I do next. This gives me some good motivation, because as the blogger Artssistant says, you just need someone to believe in you to make it in this business. I have plenty of people on my side, so it's time to get painting!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the space

today i worked for about 3 hours on a piece while listening to This American Life and Jillian Michael's radio show. i find it harder to concentrate with just music and am enjoying working with someone's voice in my head. it helps me concentrate less on my life and more on the colors and design of my painting.

i wasn't happy with the start of the piece. the colors weren't working and i wasn't sure where the clouds were going. so i destroyed it and then brought it back. then i took pictures of it and stood back a few thousand times. i still don't know if it's finished, but i'll let you see it. it's 14x14 inches and i've titled it "new night".

and here is my studio! it's in my aunt's garage next to a window. in the winter it's freezing and in the summer it's roasting. the spring and fall are perfect. i look forward to the days that i can open the garage door, get some more light and fresh air.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Hello and welcome to my artist's blog! I will continually update this page with new works of oil and pastel and the general happenings in my blossoming art career.

I currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a true place of inspiration...especially for a landscape artist like myself. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, got my undergrad degree in Art and English Writing at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV, and finished my education with an MFA in painting and drawing from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Before moving to New Mexico, I was teaching drawing, design, art history, digital photography, etc. at Fairmont State University and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

My work is primarily oil, but I also love to work with hard pastels or NuPastel. I've always enjoyed the space of the land and the sky, but was only really able to understand it once I moved west. I also have been known to do abstract works in both mediums that still deal with space along with color and value. I'm also a bit of a photographer. I always carry around my little fuji digital camera, but I also have an old manual canon in the back of my jeep at all times. As I tend to work from photographs, this comes in handy.

Thanks again for visiting my blog!