Sunday, June 30, 2013

Every Summer Has a Story

"Irresistible Iris" 8x10 oil on linen
I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately ,extremely abstract.
No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it
. ( Comedian Steven Wright)

Summer is such an amazing adventurous season to be an artist, isn’t it? First, I have to give a huge thanks to all my friends, students, and of course enthusiastic art buyers of all ages who stopped by to say hi and wish me well at the Summer Art Market (SAM) a few weeks ago. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the Market on a beautiful June weekend.

SAM was very successful and now I'm busy working on several commissioned paintings from the show as well which I love to do. Again thank you loyal Denver art patrons!
Early AM shoppers on Grant Street at the Summer Art Market
Tent all set up, art hung, and ready to go!
Whew—the SAM  is always an art whirlwind--both inspiring and exhausting.  Sometimes, it takes me a few weeks to get my groove back. But when I do I always feel like I’m at a new level of awareness since I’ve painted so much to get ready (including very late the night before!).

Speaking of re-energizing, summer is often a “hit the restart button” season for me. There’s something that just makes me braver and bolder in the summer.  Interestingly, I’ve talked with many other artists that feel the same. What works well for me is to explore a new path that feels both natural AND pushes me in a new direction. 

For example, if you love figure painting, maybe try a figure class but with a different medium than you’d typically use. In the summer, I like to work on both nature inspired oil paintings (such as my iris today) as well as abstract painting.  I’m currently in progress on a “master copy” of an Emily Mason color field oil abstract but in acrylic and mixed media.
Emily Mason "master copy" 24 x 24 in acrylic
As many of you who work in both oil and acrylic know, trying to "make" your acrylic paint “mimic” buttery oil paint can be an interesting challenge-- particularly in a warm arid climate. But it’s one of the best ways to really discover, push, explore, and learn new media techniques.

P.S. If you enjoy nature inspired art like I do check out my new Pinterest board this week dedicated to tree related art—it’s one of my favorite boards yet.  Summer cheers everyone!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

To Market, To Market...

Happy Summer everyone! I'm back after a few weeks of birthday travels. For over ten years for me my “official” kick off to summer is the Summer Art Market (SAM) in Denver which is next weekend—June 8 and June 9. The festival is 10A to 7P (longer this year) on SAT and 10A to 5P on SUN.  You can preview some of my 2013 SAM paintings here. 

Whew getting ready for such a big outdoor art festival can be a bit overwhelming but it’s worth every minute of prep time.  As an artist, I’m extremely blessed to have such an event minutes from my studio.
Getting ready to for the festival-big floppy hat a must!

What I really love about the SAM is that its primary focus is original fine art (no reproductions are allowed) by local Denver area artists. 

I know I say this every year and sure I may be a bit biased but given the number of artists (over 180 booths!), range of subject matter (from traditional to cutting edge), affordable prices (my small studies start at $5), quality of art (many artists like myself also show in galleries)—I truly believe it’s one of the best art festivals in the county. 

In addition, there are demos, music, and art activities for the young ones.  The only festival negative is that I wish I had more time to shop the festival myself!  Oh and sometimes the weather is odd for early June…

Last year for example it was a bit toasty—almost 100 on Saturday --but so far the forecast it looks pretty nice—in the 70’s. As always, I’m really looking forward as always to seeing friends, my fellow artists, and meeting everyone who stops by.

Hope to see you there! Happy art collecting—and to my fellow exhibitors (including one of my students) I hope you all have one of the best shows yet!
A picture perfect Sunday AM at the de Young in SF!
P.S. Just back from a wonderful weekend visit to beautiful San Francisco where I was lucky to catch the gorgeous Dutch painting exhibit which included Vermeer’s iconic “Girl with the Pearl Earring.” If you haven’t visiting the de Young and you’re a fan of American painting as I am you’ll love it—the Sargents, Hopper, Thiebaud, Dienbenkorn—all spellbinding in person!