Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Plein Air Painting tomorrow

I was not able to paint at all today. Tomorrow I will be painting at Auditorium Shores with my Provence group. I am hoping to get some studio time in on Friday. Saturday night is the Champagne Reception in Wimberley.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ideas for Painting by Jack Handey

From the New Yorker: If you do not remember who Jack Handey is, please scroll to the bottom of this blog to refresh your memory.

Ideas for Paintings
by Jack Handey March 20, 2006
Because I love art, I am offering the following ideas for paintings to all struggling artists out there. Some of those artists may be thinking, Hey, I’ve got good ideas of my own. Really? Then why are you struggling?
These ideas are free of charge. All I ask is that when you have completed a painting, as a courtesy to me you sign it “Jack Handey and [your name or initials].” And, if the painting is sold, I get approximately all the money.
Good luck! Let’s get painting!
Stampede of Nudes
The trouble with most paintings of nudes is that there isn’t enough nudity. It’s usually just one woman lying there, and you’re looking around going, “Aren’t there any more nudes?” This idea solves that.
What has frightened these nudes? Is it the lightning in the background? Or did one of the nudes just spook? You don’t know, and this creates tension.
Made You Look
This idea is difficult to execute, but could turn out to be a masterpiece. It depicts a grandly dressed lady looking straight at you. At first, her look seems to say, “Quick, look behind you!” So you turn around, and when you look at her again her expression now seems to be one of smug satisfaction.
The Bleak Hotel
A man is staring out the window of a bleak hotel room. He looks depressed. From the side, flying through the air, is a football. And you realize, If he’s depressed now, just wait until he gets hit in the head by that football.
The Repentant Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz, her tear-streaked face lit by a candle, gazes wistfully at a photograph of me.
The Weary Peasants
Some tired-looking peasants are walking down a road at sunset, carrying sheaves of wheat. A nobleman in a fancy coach is coming up from behind. This creates drama, because you’re thinking, Why don’t those peasants get out of the way?
Self-Portrait with Startled Expression
The key here is to be able to constantly startle yourself as you’re painting. One option is to hire a professional startler, but that can get expensive. (The best ones are from Ireland.) Be sure to use opening the bill from your startler as a free startle.
The Death of Hercules
An old Hercules is being lifted into the air by angels. On the one hand, it makes you sad, but on the other you think, He’s still in pretty good shape.
Abstract White No. 1
This is a solid-white painting. You might be asking, “Is it O.K. to put in a fleck of color here and there?” I give up. Do whatever you want.
The Boxers
Two boxers are whaling away at each other in a boxing ring. But then you notice that the people in the audience are also fighting one another. And it makes you ask: Who are the truly barbaric ones here, the boxers or the spectators? Then you can turn the painting over and read the answer: “the boxers.”
The French Lovers
A French dandy is embracing his beautiful buxom lover in a lush, overgrown garden. This painting should be in the shape of binoculars.
Still-Life with Rabbit
A wooden table is chockablock with fruit, cheese, and a glass of wine. To one side is a dead rabbit, a dead pheasant, and a dead eel. And you’re thinking, Thanks for the fruit, but, man, take better care of your pets.
Still-Life with Beets, Cauliflower, Liver, and Large Glass of Beer
Just kidding. Only the beer.
The Expulsion of Adam and Eve
Biblical themes sell well. In this one, God hovers over Adam and Eve, kicking them out of the Garden of Eden. As they leave, in an aside to Eve, Adam imitates the expression on God’s face.
The Jolly Dancer
The scene is a flatboat on the Ohio River. A frontiersman who looks like me is doing his funny cowboy dance. Everyone seems to be enjoying the dance except for an insane simpleton who looks like my so-called friend Don. Crawling up behind Don is a big snapping turtle.
This can pretty much be anything. Just remember to make it good, and to put my name on it. ♦

This from the "New Yorker"

Who is Jack Handey?

Talk story about comedy writer Jack Handey, author of OJack Handey's Deep Thoughts" and also of Saturday Night Live fame. "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?" asks Jack Handey. His own answer to the question: "We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." Jack Handey is not a real person, he is a fictional character created by a New York writer, 44, whose name, coincidentally, is Jack Handey. "People always assume that the name Jack Handey is made up," he said. Handey looks a little bit like the young Rudy Vallee. He has curly reddish hair, wears wire-rimmed glasses, and smiles in an engaging way that makes you think he probably has a fine singing voice. He lives in an apartment in Chelsea, with his wife, Marta, who acts as his editor. Tells about Handey's decision to leave SNL in order to concentrate on non-televised forms of writing, including the setting down of more deep thoughts. He has already published two books. The first is called "Deep Thoughts" and the second is called "Deeper Thoughts." He was born in Texas, the son of a Marine Corps officer, and was reared all over the country. In a closet in the Handey's bedroom are boxes containing thousands of deep thoughts, most of which have never been seen by anyone but the Handeys. Some of them may appear in a book called "Deep Thoughtitos"; it would contain "very short deep thoughts for those times when you feel you can't handle a whole one." The pretend Jack Handey has this advice:" If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will catch you because, hey, free dummy."

From regarding gallery jobs

(MFA is a Masters in Fine Art)
Art Career Options: Museums and Galleries
I went off on a tangent about consultants yesterday and forgot that I was supposed to talk about career options!OK, let's talk about those career options. As I stated earlier, when I began my MFA program, I thought that the only viable career option was to teach on the college level. But I discovered that museum and gallery careers are also available for people with studio MFAs.Some schools offer classes or degree programs in museum studies. If you're serious about museum work, then museum studies or art history are definitely the way to go. But studio art is also a good career path, as long as you also have some experience that they're looking for...Curators usually require art history, but often registrar and education positions will only require an MFA. A registrar is a person who sort of organizes and takes care of the artwork in a museum. When artwork is donated or purchased, they will document the condition of the artwork and enter the information into a database. A registrar will work with curators and preparators, deal with insurance, loan agreements, and shipping.I spoke with a registrar that works at a major museum in the area and she said that she often has to travel with the artwork. If a really big expensive piece is shipped somewhere, she will ride in the truck with it. Well, not IN the truck, but in the cab with the truck driver.Museum education positions will sometimes require a background in education, but not always. Sometimes they will want someone with museum or gallery experience along with an MFA.How do I get experience?The best way to get experience is to volunteer. Some museums and galleries have paid internships, but most of the time the positions will be unpaid. The unpaid positions at major museums can be competitive and prestigious. But a smaller museum, local art gallery, or community art center will most likely be excited to have you as a volunteer. Just be willing to work and you'll learn a lot.I got a lot of gallery experience while I was in grad school. I worked as a grad assistant in the university art gallery. I worked with another student, unpacking and packing artwork, arranging shipping, buying supplies, installing artwork, patching walls, organizing receptions, and marketing shows.My university also has a student gallery in the student union that is completely run by students. I volunteered at the gallery director for a year and a half. The students were responsible for installing, patching, marketing, and receptions. Many of them had never had their own shows, so to help them, I put together a packet of information on hanging artwork, writing press releases, reception checklists, and other tips.I also help the local art group with their shows. I've volunteered as the exhibition chairperson on several shows. This usually involves a LOT of organizational and delegation skills.One summer I volunteered as an intern at a contemporary art center. I helped out with research, marketing, and exhibit installation.So if you try, it's pretty easy to get experience in museums and galleries. The big trick, though, is to network. The jobs are very competitive and it helps to know people, talk to people, and ask lots of questions!This article is excerpted from

Suffer for your art

When I was painting in France, several people would refer to "suffering for your art". This subject came up because we were painting out in the sun and it was close to 100 degrees. It was a dry heat so it wasn't as bad as home. However, several of us were looking for a shaded spot to set up. The point of painting outside is to set up where you can get the best composition. Although, some plein air art teachers say they just go out and set up. I think if you are an experienced painter that is acceptable. Our teacher, Ian, was not of that school of thought. My reasons for heading to the shade were this; 1. Provence is the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen in my life and I could probably find a good composition from numorous locations, 2. I am as white as a ghost and even with 50 spf, I was afraid of frying.

Anyway, I've now painted outside in Austin's heat AND humidity. I also painted in the rain for a brief time at Mayfield Park. I painted in Provence for 7 days 8:00am to 1:00pm and then 3:30 to about 7:30. As far as plein air painting I can say I've suffered. It wasn't an agonizing suffering but suffering nonetheless.

I bring this subject up because I think preparing for the Wimberley show falls under suffering. The New Braunfels Art League is joining them in this show so I'm hoping it will have a wider audience. I spent the last couple of days preparing my paintings. This means I had to make sure I was completely happy with them. I made some changes to "reunion". I varnished all three paintings. After that, I had to frame them. The 5 x 7 dogs, I framed myself. I put a paper backing and screwed in 2 hangers and put a wire on the back. When taking paintings to the shows, they need to have the wire across the back and not just a little hook hanger. The 3 x 5 painting were trickier. There are plenty of 3.5 x 5 frames but I could not find a 3 x 5 frame. Luckily the canvas was a gallery wrap. This means the linen/cotton is attached at the back of the canvas frame so the sides of the painting is canvas. I painted it black which is typical for the larger gallery wrap frames. It's a lot less expensive for the artist if they don't have to frame the painting. However, some paintings just look more professional with a frame. I was hoping the 3 x 5s didn't seem to be insubstantial without frames. If you are painting with a piece of linen canvas like you do in plein air painting, you have to frame them. After painting the sides, I had to put paper on the back and screw in 2 hooks and attach a wire. This is not easy to do on a small canvas. This morning I woke up at 7:00am, leave the house around 8:00am to be in Wimberley between 9:00 and 10:00. I have to wait in Wimberley until 1:00 to go see if my paintings were accepted. So here I sit in a Wimberley coffee shop drinking soy latte and eating half of a probably really fattening muffin. I'm not a coffee drinker but I'm feeling tired and hope I get a boost. It's really not a bad way to spend a day but I had to rearrange appointments and can't get much done during this time. It's been worth it in the past because I sold a small figurative painting at this show last time. This was my strategy for submitting the 2 small figurative paintings. It's a sort of a test. The women at the entry desk went crazy over them. I don't know if it's because they are a lot smaller than anything they have previously had in their show. I wanted unique because there have been LOTS of landscape paintings and the figurative and abstract seem to do well because there are not as many.

Georgetown has a new art society called "Art Works". I emailed them about entering their show they are having for the fall. The date to submit work is July 31 which is in 2 days. If all my paintings make the Wimberley show, I will have to decide what to put in the Georgetown show. I haven't received an email from them back and I don't know that I will drive all the way to Georgetown to check it out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brandy - Houdini

Yesterday there was no post on the blog. It was not a good painting day. I did paint but I started on the lilypads and gave up. I then went to some of my figurative paintings and gave up on them. Finally, I worked on the painting of the dog (Brandy). It seemed to go a little better. However, I didn't spend a great deal of time on it. This morning, being Saturday, I usually go to the gym while my husband is golfing. I got up too late for the body pump class I wanted to go to. I thought I would use the time to work on Brandy a little more. I started putting my paintings that I have been working with on a shelf in the front hallway. I can see it from the couch. As I look at it from a distance, I will usually see something I want to change. I may also get up close. Today I photographed the Brandy painting and realized when I was looking at the photo of the painting, there was something bugging me. I went in and fixed it and photographed it again. I am posting this photograph of the painting. The title of this 3.5 x 5 in canvas painting is HOUDINI. The reason I named it Houdini instead of Brandy is because this is my sister's dog and Brandy can get out of ANY fence, rockwall, etc. Therefore, I call her Houdini. She is as sweet as she looks if you know her. If she doesn't like you then BEWARE. If someone wants to purchase this framed painting, I am selling it for $75.00. I'm still getting the hang of photographing my paintings myself. This is the reason I posted 2 photos.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Die Hard Painter or just Plain Crazy

Okay, so I arrive at Mayfield Park at 8:00am to meet my group. Because of Hurricane Dolly, it was going to rain. We didn't know when but we knew it was coming. Anyway, we were able to paint until about 10:00 before we got the rain. Next week we talked about going to Town Lake (or Ladybird lake as it is now called). Clay and Ann were the only others that showed up to paint. I worked on lilypads again. This one I will work on more with a photo then I will post a copy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Additions/Corrections to "Watching the Demo"

Most of the time if you step back for a while or come back to the painting the next day, you will see things you want to add or delete from your paintings. Or if you are working with an instructor, they usually see it immediately. I went back to this painting today and made some changes. I noticed when I went back to look at it that we were on a street sloping downhill. I had painted as if they were all on the same level. I went back and made my corrections. I also started a couple of other small paintings. A few are figurative and one is of a dog photo I took awhile back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Figurative painting

The title of this painting is "watching the demo". I took a photo of it outside, as well as, inside. This is 3 x 5 on canvas.

Photograph of Lilypad painting inside

I have not done anything to the lilypad painting since I last photographed it. This demonstration will show the difference between a painting in the outside light and a painting inside. It makes a big difference when painting outside in the light also.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday and Sunday

Saturdays and Sundays are usually not good days for painting. I usually spend the time with my husband. This Saturday the British Open was on so besides playing golf in the morning, my husband was busy for a while. I went in the studio and painted. I had been to Mayfield park and painted the lily pads live. I got to thinking over the last couple of days about Monet's lily pads. I had a book of postcards of Monet that my Mother had given me. I studied the lily pad postcard a bit. His lily pad pond was a bit lighter than the one I was painting from - I assume as he painted the water a light blue. It was interesting to notice that he outlined his lily pads in a dark color. I thought I would give it a try so I started painting the lily pads from Mayfield Park of which I had photographed. I started them Saturday on 2 6 X 6 canvas pads taped together. I had been wanting to paint a series type of painting (not sure what you call it). Anyway, I started it Saturday and Sunday I had sometime and worked on outlining and finishing up some of the pads. It turned out really dark. It was unintentional but for some reason lately my paintings have come out dark. In Provence our instructor Ian, told Ann her painting was stormy. She said they were going to have to call me stormy. The pictures here of my paintings are pretty grayed as I took them outside. Inside they are a more vibrant, though still dark, green. I'm sure that I am not finished with these paintings but I thought I would post the photo so you could see what I mean. Also, it makes the blog more interesting. I am still also working on a small figurative painting which I have not photographed yet.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wimberley Art Show

This is the Wimberley Valley Art League show I will be entering.

To: WVAL MembersFrom: Gallery Steering Committee

Hello everyone-hope you are having a great summer! Attached is the entry form for our joint show with the New Braunfels ArtLeague. Please make note of some important changes.For this show only, we are limiting entries to 3 per artist.The entry fee is a flat $20 for up to 3 artworks. The increase is tohelp offset our reception and gallery expenses and is not out of linewith what other leagues charge for entry in juried shows.Artwork must be framed. If not framed, gallery wrap canvas isacceptable. Photography and Printmaking. Limited editions, 20 or less, signed andnumbered. (Was 100)Photographs may be printed on any surface.We are looking forward to seeing you and your artwork on July 29!

Plein Air Painting

Plein Air painting -(Fr. open air) Referring to landscapes painted out of doors with the intention of catching the impression of the open air.

I'm not sure plein air painting is going to be my "thing" but it gets me painting and focusing my energy towards art which is what I really needed. The painting trip to Provence has really helped to inspire me and I feel like I have more confidence now for some reason. I also learn the more I paint.

I'm having to adjust my workout schedule. Twice this week my painting has trumped workouts. I am going to have to figure out my schedule but I am excited that I have been painting everyday.

Small Figurative Paintings

During a Vicky McMurry Workshop, she said small figurative paintings could be my bread and butter. I started painting a little bit before I left for France. I was really excited after the workshop and then I had a little bit of a down period. I can be very hard on myself. I felt like I couldn't complete a painting on my own without help or approval from an instructor. Being creative isn't something you can just switch on and off. You have to feel it. Often my husband will ask why aren't you working on your painting and I will say "it's not speaking to me", which is the way it feels sometime. Since I got back from Provence, I have been inspired. I picked up the dog painting and small figurative painting that I had been working on and completed them. I've done it all on my own and an instructor hasn't even seen or given advice or approval. I'm excited.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finished Paintings

I finished a dog painting "Three Dog Night" and a figurative painting "Reunion". The reunion is of my husband's family reunion. Vanessa, her son Taylor, Pop (Kelly's Grandfather) and Zack (one of Kelly's cousins).

I plan to enter these in the next Wimberley Art League gallery show. I sold a small figurative painting last time.

Mayfield Park

I can no longer be classified as one of those wussy women that wont go outside in the heat. Allergies be damned. Very white skin (50 SPF) lets hope it will not be damned.

Today I painted for the second time outdoors in Austin since I got back from Provence. Mayfield Park is beautiful. It's amazing to discover these places are right here close by! I painted with my group from Provence. I do would like to have asked Elizabeth about getting the background in my painting to lay flat. I painted lily pads. I do not have a complete painting from it but it is a learning experience. I took a picture of what I was painting so I could go in and finish using the photo.
We call ourselves the Plein Air Wildcats. Which we were named by Ian's assistant, Christine...