Monday, November 21, 2011

Behind the Scenes : Write and Illustrate a Children's Picture Book

My kids, Kyle and Carly, recent graduates of Savannah College of Art and Design, have just published their first book together. It's a children's picture book about a Chinese hamster they owned when they were roomies in college.
Since I'm the mom I've been privy to each step along the way. It's been entertaining for me, seeing it come to fruition, so I thought I'd share.
Continue reading below the break for the step by step.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Keep Paintings From Sliding in the Frame

Here's a simple solution to prevent your paintings from sliding around in a frame that doesn't have a tight fit.  It's always annoying when a painting shifts around during shipping and scratches the surface of the paint.
Back Side of The Certainty of Youth and The Complexity of Wisdom
I cut a few pieces of black foam core and use them as spacers between the edge of the painted panel and the edge of the frame.

In this instance the thickness of the foam core was the correct thickness to keep the painting snug. If it needs to be smaller the foam core can squish together, its kind of springy and that works too. If you have a bigger space you can use the foam core flat rather than on the side.

I find the best solution is to do a floating frame but depending on the design of the piece that is not always viable.

The gessoed panel or canvas is secured in the frame with a Fletcher's Framer's Point Driver. It's the best thing since sliced bread.
Another indispensable tool is the Fletcher PullMate, for removing the points.
Front Side of The Certainty of Youth and The Complexity of Wisdom

This painting is at Peterson-Cody Gallery in Santa Fe, NM., and here are a couple posts I did about the making of the work:

Black and White Or Shades of Gray?


The Inspiration Quotient or Mr. Coffee


I'm working on my November newsletter introducing plein air and alla prima oil sketches I've done over the past year.


To get the 7 tips for Plein Air painting that I learned the hard way, sign up to receive my monthly newsletter here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On Reading "The Help" and Growing Up Southern

With my painting Agape at the Embracing Our Differences art installation, 2009, Sarasota, Florida.
Embracing Our Differences is an international art competition where paintings are turned into billboards and school children from the area are brought to tour the exhibit. Teaching materials are available to help teachers in their dialog about this subject.

I'm reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It's a great book and I can see why it's been wildly popular and made into a movie. I love books about growing up in the south, a few favorite authors are Pat Conroy, Mark Childress and Rick Bragg. However the idea of having a maid or an African American nanny is not in the realm of my family's experience.

It has been interesting to contrast and compare the south of The Help with my own growing up in the south experience. I was raised on the space coast of Florida in the sixties and seventies and have always been proud of being southern, but sometimes I wonder if I really know what that means. Moving to Alabama in 1994 has given me a different perspective, maybe what they say about Florida not really being The South is true.
Agape, detail
My grandparents and great-grandparents were very poor laborers, share croppers and tenant farmers. They lived in tobacco sheds and roamed north Florida and south Georgia looking for work during the depression and in the couple of decades after. My great grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland and had six daughters, not a blessing for a man that makes his living cutting railroad ties.

My father joined the air force before I was born and that gave my nuclear family the boost it needed to latch on to the middle class American dream. He was the first in our family to get an education, going to community college as an adult on the GI Bill.

I missed the civil rights movement being too young to know what was going on but I do remember tension in the schools and hearing my parents talk about the black panther movement and the protests against the Vietnam War. My dad spent my 1st grade year in Vietnam.

Whenever I have encountered racism I'm always shocked and never know how to respond. When we first moved to Alabama I was surprised to find that there were NO public swimming pools. There were expensive private swim clubs you could join and that's what my neighbors did.

I just assumed that the taxes are so low in Alabama that there isn't funding for luxuries like recreation parks with swimming pools. A few years later the Birmingham News ran an article about how the Birmingham area dealt with forced integration in the 60's and 70's and one of the things was that when public pools were forced to integrate they were all filled in.

It was one of those times I was sad to be a southerner, but it gave me a great conversation starter with my kids.

There was a time when I was helping my daughter study Martin Luther King, Jr's I Have a Dream Speech. I got choked up. She didn't understand what all the fuss was about because she'd been raised with the gospel according to poet/writer Shel Silverstein.

“No Difference"

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way,
To make everything right
Is for god to just reach out

And turn off the light!” 

I have done a couple paintings where I've attempted to talk about the issue of racism. My way to present it, is to paint it the way it should be, the way I see things.
Agape, 30x48, oil on canvas over panel, 2006
Harmony Works, 28x30, oil on canvas over panel
If so many things about the south bother me, why do I still have a warm spot in my heart for being southern? 

Here's a short list, the good things about the South I love... 

There's always room at the table for one more dinner guest.

We're not afraid of hard work, I think of my grandmother working at a canning plant to feed six children.

Our philosophy is why go with a handshake when a hug feels so much better?

You can't get better story tellers than Southerners, wish you could have heard my dad spinning yarns!

Southerners listen - that's what makes them such good story tellers.

Even though I'm officially the first artist in the family don't believe it, my grandfather's colorful pantry full of canned goods from his garden was a work of art. 

And a couple more details from the paintings.
Agape, detail
Agape, detail
Harmony Works, detail

Embracing Ours Differences is still going strong and you can enter the show and find out more about the program here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Extraterrestrials in Santa Fe?

I was only there for a couple days for my show opening at Peterson-Cody Gallery, which will be up through the end of November, 2011. I explored the downtown area and poked my head in a few galleries as well as the New Mexico Museum of Art.

It all seemed exotic and alien to my southern eyes, you'll see what I mean.
Crop circles, crops in a circle, twentieth century art?
Being a southern gardener, when I see a plant I immediately name it,  couldn't do it there, they were like alien plants.
Coolest art EVER by Rik Allen at the Blue Rain Gallery, blown glass and steel. Inside the glass capsule is a tiny red chair. Love, love, love the retro sci-fi stuff, his show was titled Adrift.
Then there were the actual aliens, street art aliens that is.
More street art. I love discovering this stuff. If anyone can identify the artists let me know. This one might be documenting the alien crash sight.
Artist, Martin Spei defying gravity with his Meteorite Man at gf Contemporary.
Karen Lamonte, cast glass, at the New Mexico Museum of Art. (possibly an abduction, only the kimono remains). Seriously, I've seen Karen's work many times and it never fails to amaze and mesmerize me.
Awesome Judy Chicago from 2000, also at the museum. Cast glass and paint with a light behind it. Kyrptonite?
Jacob Pfeiffer's work is entirely other worldly, so delicate, the colors glow! This one is Bulbous, 8x10, oil on panel, at Meyer East Gallery.

Think about actually going cross country in that thing. This was at my hotel, The Old Santa Fe Inn, a nice place to stay, right downtown and very reasonable. Starbucks 'round the clock in the lobby, and a free hot burrito breakfast bar, free wi-fi that works, yes!
Adobe construction is so bizarre and beautiful. It's everywhere, no brick or siding in sight. I was very curious about the construction.
Then I met a couple guys in the process of repairing a building. The were nice enough to answer my crazy tourist questions.
They showed me this section where the adobe bricks are visible. Also it turns out the color is a tinted lime wash and not really paint.
Evidence of extraterrestrials in New Mexico-you decide? I'm just here to ask the tough questions.
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Veni, Vidi, Veci
More later about other art and the fabulous food!

More info for those inquiring minds:
My and Forrest Solis' show installed at Peterson-Cody.
Below is a video, with commentary about the work in the show.

Blue Rain Gallery
Terry Strickland Art YouTube Channel

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Opening Night in Santa Fe

with Martine-Bertin Peterson, gallery owner/director
LA artist Shanna Galloway and her husband Jim came into town for the show and a weekend of exploring Santa Fe.
Forrest Solis' paintings, Ben Hammonds sculptures
It was a beautiful opening, the gallery looked great. It was wonderful to see the other artists work that Peterson-Cody Gallery represents. Here are just a few.
Jane Jones
Darlis Lamb sculpture, Annie Dover paintings,
Dennis Wojtkiewicz
Josh Moulton, Gordon Inyard
I'll do a post later about the rest of the weekend which included a freak snow storm that left the entire downtown without power for half a day. Santa Fe is an adventure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Story Within" at Peterson-Cody Gallery

The day is finally here!

"Story Within" Peterson-Cody Gallery Opening Tonight.

I'm very excited to be in Santa Fe attending the opening tonight of "Story Within" at Peterson-Cody Gallery. Stop by if you are in town and say hi. 

Peterson-Cody Gallery
130 West Palace Avenue
The Magazine
Here are images of the work in the show and links to posts about them.
Our Dancing Days, 30x40, oil on panel
The Bribe, 11x14, oil on panel
Ripe Was the Drowsy Hour, 18x24, oil on panel
The Certainty of Youth and the Complexity of Wisdom, 43x49, oil on panel
Ode to Melancholy, 24x36, oil on panel
Power Struggle, 30x40, oil on panel

The above is a screen shot of the Santa Fe Gallery Association coverage of the show. You can read the article on the SFGA Web Site.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...