Saturday, October 24, 2009

International Artist Day

You probably aren't aware of this, but Sunday, October 25 is International Artist Day. We have a DAY! Isn't that great? It is wonderful to be recognized for our contributions. Everyone needs a little appreciation now and then.

Marilyn Hurst says it so well in her article on this website:

October 25th is International Artists Day and it's gaining support worldwide. This grassroots movement is not mainstream as yet but artists and galleries in communities everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon. Perhaps an overview is needed to explain the concept.

Artists are a much ignored group although almost anything you use day to day has an artistic design at its root. Throughout history art has been the most important defining characterization of a culture or people. Art survives personalities, dynasties, movements and civilizations. Artists are pioneers and are usually at the forefront of changing times and events. We might well ask why.

True art is timeless and universal and recognizable to all. Where does the inspiration for art come from? What makes some art priceless and other art mediocre? The artist themselves are the lynch pins. Art that is inspired comes from the “unexplainable” and is translated by the artist. If the artist is “tuned into” this area of consciousness, masterpiece works in painting, sculpture, music or prose can manifest. There are thousands in the arts over the centuries of this magnitude, they are natural conduits and are household names because of the recognition of their contribution to culture and humanity.

In another article, she suggest ways to observe this great day:

1.Visit a gallery and explain why you're there.

2.Purchase a piece of art to support an artist. This is a good one!

3.Visit an artist studio.

4.Take an artist to lunch and explore their world. I like this one, too!

5.Come up with your own ideas to participate.

This Blog brought to you only partially tongue-in-cheek by an artist who is tired of her relatives asking, "What do you do all day?"

P.S. I didn't make up any of this - both the website and image are legitimate, and so are the articles.

Friday, October 23, 2009

2 U Missed

Chicago Lighthouse
No longer available

Two paintings that missed the blog because they left the house before I had the chance to talk about them. The above painting of a lighthouse in Chicago went to a missions auction at my church. It was an acrylic painting, 8 x 10, well, actually it still is an 8 x 10 acrylic but it is no longer in my studio. It was painted from a photo taken by our friend Steve, who is also a pastor there. Thanks, Steve.

The second painting, the cute little donkey below, was listed on Daily Painters, Art Helping Animals and sold through eBay before I wrote about it here. A 9 x 12 Acrylic painted from a photo I took at the children's area of the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. I loved his demeanor, his big brown eyes and his soft furry coat....

Cute Little Donkey

Before anybody asks, this is not a political statement of any kind. Whatever opinions I may or may not have in that regard are my own, and I will not inflict them upon you. This is a blog about art, exploring the wonder and joy of nature and reflections on the artistic life. If I ever get to the point that I need to let off a little steam, I will find another venue - and try to keep this a happy, peaceful place.

By the way, I did an elephant a few weeks ago. It is still available....

Click on the image above to see the blog,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Disturb us, Lord

A photo, rather than an artwork today, a lone sea gull gazing at the vast Atlantic Ocean, taken this summer on a trip to Maine. Along with it a prayer, written by Sir Francis Drake in 1577. We need it now, more than ever.

Disturb Us, Lord

"Disturb us, Lord,
When we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

"Disturb us, Lord,
When, with the abundance of things we possess,
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
and, having fallen in love with life as we know it,
We have ceased to dream of eternity;
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

"Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

"We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
"Sir Francis Drake -1577

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Book

Best in America Pastel Artists

Two of my works have been accepted for a new book being published this fall. Best in America Pastel Artists (Catchy title, huh?) will be available in November. It features the work of 123 pastel artists throughout the country. According to the publishers, "The selection of artists work is based on numerous factors with the most important being style, innovation, and uniqueness." Each artist will receive a two page spread with two works plus contact information. I am thrilled, it is an amazing honor for me.

Can you guess which two of my paintings were chosen? I am not going to tell you now. You will have to keep guessing for a while.

More information as it becomes available. Watch this space for further development...

Hint: this is not one of them. This is a pastel painting, finished recently. It has been listed on Art Helping Animals , and Daily Painters, and is currently available through a fixed price listing on eBay.

Pastel on Canson
16 x 16
Matted, mounted on foam core, ready to frame
20% of the sales will be donated to
Tabby's Place, A Cat Sanctuary

To view eBay listing click here

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

White Standard Poodle

AKC Show Part 3

Poodles have always been among my favorite people. Intelligent and sensitive, with a highly developed sense of humor, just a tad stubborn, but at the same time desiring to please. They are loving, loyal and energetic. I happen to share my life with a white Toy Poodle named Button, but have known many different Poodles in many different colors and sizes - from teacup to standard, and they all share these characteristics.

This painting was done from a photo taken at the Des Moines AKC show. The handsome young subject was awaiting the "novice obedience trials." His person told me he had been a rescue dog, and had been nervous and fearful. She wasn't expecting a "win" but thought the trials would be good for his confidence. He was a delightful dog, friendly and very devoted to his person, and I wished them both well.

The event was simple: after performing a few exercises, the dogs would be told to "stay" and their owners would walk to the other end of the ring. A cute little dachshund followed his mommy as soon as she turned to walk away. A gorgeous young Burmese Mountain Dog got tired of waiting and went to his person after a few minutes. All the other dogs did as they were told.

And in the end, my elegant new friend went home with the prize.

The real winner, however, was the lucky lady who had found this wonderful dog, and had the kindness and patience to open her home and work with him. Now she has a devoted friend and he has a forever home.

This painting has been SOLD

Standard Poodle
Pastel, 9.5 x 12.5
Matted, ready to frame

By the way, I don't want to show favoritism. I also share my life with a tan and white Border Collie named Barney. I will tell you about him in a later blog!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Chow Chow Dog Art

AKC Show in Des Moines, Part 2

Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is often compared to a lion, because of the way the fur grows around his neck - it resembles a lion's mane. They do sometimes have a ferocious look about them, but this one, at the Des Moines Kennel Club Show, was a real sweetheart. He had finished showing, had done his job very well, and was enjoying a well deserved rest. Even so he was kind enough to pose for a photo, and also gave me a good view of his blue-black tongue, typical of the breed. He was described to me as a "Gentle Giant" and he certainly looked the part. One of the great things about dog shows is the opportunity to meet breeds that you might not see otherwise. Another is the attitude of the dogs and their people. All the dogs are friendly and most of the people are very pleasant, they love to talk to you about their dogs, show them off, don't mind at all if you want to photograph them. They are caring, loving people. Probably they learned that from their dogs. We need more people like that in the world!!!!

Chow Chow is an acrylic painting on canvas, 11 x 14. All the edges of the canvas have been painted and no staples show on the sides, so that the painting may be displayed with or without a frame. 20% of the sale of this painting will be donated to Old Dog Haven.