Monday, September 12, 2011

A Dilemna

Getting ready for a trip and I need to decide what type of art materials to take along. I found during the paint out with Erik Sandgren that acrylics work well for me when I am out of my studio environment. 

Got a good comfortable pair of shoes today as well as a cape type sweater that will fit any occasion and most moderate temperatures. Tomorrow I head out to Art Media for art supplies that pack easily and travel well.

Enjoyed the cooler weather today - hope you did as well.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Staffing Today

Very busy day working at the gallery. Painted one of the front window seats and surrounding trim to freshen it up and will work on the other one next week. That's as close as I got to painting artwork. I did use an acrylic art brush to make nice neat edges and the latex paint is basically acrylic so I guess I can say I completed "Study in Black #1"!

The day started with the sale of a framed black and white photo from our featured show. The couple who purchased it live in Portland and selected it for their daughter's twenty first birthday. They wanted something memorable and connected with the photo's image of a single calla lily. It's such a good feeling to help someone make the perfect connection for a loved one.

Our third sale of the day was to a designer who fell in love with one of our artist's paintings back in November and the memory of the image stayed with her. About a month ago, she purchased the piece on layaway and then made her final payment on it today; She left the gallery with a smile and a beautiful new piece of artwork for her home.

On Wednesday evening, we sold another painting to someone who planned to give it to a very close friend for her 50th birthday. The image showed three partial figures from the feet to mid-torso, waiting to enter a striped crosswalk and casting large shadows behind them. The buyer said she, her husband, and her friend were a close trio, and the painting reminded her of how they are always there for each other as they face new challenges and overcome sad times. 

How lucky I am to work in an art gallery.

I had a great day - hope you did as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breakfast At O'Connor's

I made it to Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters breakfast meeting this morning - always a rewarding experience. There were several new artists in attendance today which seems to be happening more frequently of late. I reported on the success of our Silent Auction and invited all in attendance to apply for the November PPASP show at Art On Broadway. One of the subjects that was particularly meaningful was the benefits of being actively involved with a group like PPASP. Carolyn R stated that her role as note taker at  many of the meetings and her blog posts of group activities have made her a recognizable voice and face within the group. Contacts turn into friendships, and what better benefit could one wish for.

I had a good day - hope you did as well.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It Was A Paperwork Day

Picked up my painting this morning from the Albina Bank Show in The Pearl. They will hang a new show tomorrow for an opening event on 1st Thursday. It was a good show with a nice turnout. Thank you Albina Bank and Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters!

Spent the afternoon on paperwork from the August sales, especially the sales from Saturday's Silent Auction. My partner, Bert Cohen, has been on vacation and just got home today. She handles the financial side of the business and writes the checks to the artists. Since we are so close to the end of the month and had so many individual sales this month, I thought I better get the tallies well organized for her to do her thing.

My daughter Emily and hubby Sage will arrive early Saturday morning for a long weekend visit. Always a favorite thing to do - spending time with the two of them and our son Chris who lives here in Portland. Em always makes plans for us since she is the ultimate organizer; it sounds like we will have a round of golf (par 3) at Edgefield after picking them up at the airport. She has a surprise dinner planned Sunday for somewhere in the city to celebrate our (Tom and Me) 40th wedding anniversary which took place on August 21 this year. No matter where we end it, it will be special.

No painting this week except to sign and finish the edges of two paintings I did at the Sandgren paint out. I must work on a goal to paint at least 2 times a week! Nag me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Time Flies

I have no real excuse - it only takes a few minutes to jot off something in a blog but I just noticed that I haven't written in mine for more than three months.

What have I been up to since May 14? - well it takes a lot of time to keep Art On Broadway up and running. Coming up with ideas is my specialty - I can dream up events and activities at the drop of a hat, but implementing them is another thing. Sometimes it's hard to balance the time management part of operating a gallery with creative time spent painting or drawing. To see what's happening at AOB, visit our website and blog at I love everything I get to do these days.

Some artsy things I've done recently: 
  • Took my sister on a road trip to the coast while she visited in June. Visited galleries in Cannon Beach; did a little sketching and took photos in Astoria for future paintings. I love Astoria and the variety of subject matter that it presents - industrial, architectural, landscape, seascape, bridges and boats - something to please everyone. 
  • Visited Oregon Gardens outside of Silverton and toured the Gordon House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Great design never goes out of style and FLW knew great design. The house was built in Wilsonville for the Gordons, a farming couple who insisted on Wright as the architect. Simplicity and function abound inside and out. The house was scheduled for demolition after the property was sold to new owners, but history buffs rescued it and moved it piece by piece to its current location at Oregon Gardens. I loved this experience and will cherish it along with my visit to Wright's Fallingwater masterpiece in southwest Pennsylvania.
  • The same day, we hiked through the trails at Silver Falls and I did some quick sketching while I waited for my comrades. I remember to take my sketchbook with me more often these days. 
  • Spent a week at Erik Sandgren's July paintout at the coast. Wonderful experience with no internet or phone and only prestine vistas to inspire. I painted in acrylic and watercolor and completed nine paintings - six of which I was happy with. Took my sketchbook to lunch and sometimes dinner and drew while I waited for my food to arrive.
  • Completed moving my Aunt Ruth from her old rundown apartment to a new clean, cozy, and safe residence. She said she can't stop pinching herself. I wrote about getting this process started back in April and am so happy to have the move completed. In the process of organizing her "stuff," my brother sold a dozen of her paintings to various friends of his. Aunt Ruth still paints almost every day and has images from her travels all over the world. She is 86 and an inspiration to me. 
  • Following is a sample of imagery from my summary of the past three or four months. Thought I would catch up with one long blog and lots of little images. Hope to be more disciplined in the months ahead.
Sketches from Cannon Beach and Astoria -

Gordon House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Oregon Gardens, Silverton

Sketch of Upper North Silver Falls:

Oregon Coast Paintout - Sketches and Paintings -

One of Aunt Ruth's paintings (Thailand) -

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Visit to Florence...Florence, OR

I mentioned to neighbors that Tom and I were going to Florence last weekend and would be meeting up with old friends. Our neighbors were filled with envy and immediate thoughts of the incredible Renaissance city across the Atlantic. But alas our destination was much closer to home and didn't require going through security scanners.

Florence, Oregon, is located where the Siuslaw River meets the ocean and is a charming little town with a wonderful art deco style bridge, a great coffee shop and a series of very good, reasonably priced restaurants. Our friends are from Bend and camped in their motor home "down by the river," while we roughed it in a motel along the beach. No crowds, some sun, and plenty of downtime made for a great getaway. I did a little sketching - just enough to make me want to return with paints and brushes in hand. So much great scenery and inspiration.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Waste A Good Planet Exhibit

If you haven't seen Chris Helton and Joe Pogan's featured show, "Why Waste A Good Planet," you still have another week to stop by the gallery. We're open 11 to 5 Tuesdays through Saturdays. It's a great show and guaranteed to make you look at leftovers in your garage in a new light. Hope you can stop by.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Visit To Aunt Ruth

I have plans to visit my dear Aunt Ruth back in Pittsburgh, PA. She is on a waiting list for a new apartment and it's time to reduce the amount of "stuff" that has to be moved from one end of town to another. Aunt Ruth has lived in the same place for many years and has accumulated a lot of "stuff," so even though I'm looking forward to spending time with her, the thought of going through years of collecting is daunting.

Aunt Ruth is an artist and many of her friends were artists; so she has lots of art throughout her home. She also has stacks of paper, matboard, glass, frames, thousands of photographs, scads of sketchbooks, and albums recording all the art workshops she took over the years. I'm sure we'll take hours going through these things and will probably box them up for her new location.

But there will also be drawers of clothes, purses, and shoes she hasn't worn in ten years or more. Not to mention chipped dishes, dented pots and pans, multiple can openers and screw drivers, unopened boxes of stale crackers, matches from all over the world, art magazines stacked to the ceiling, old linens and doilies, and bric-a-brac that needs dusting - a life's collection of stuff. It won't be easy for her to part with a lot of these possessions even though they have sat unused for years. I hope I can be gentle and kind, patient and tolerate as I convince my 86 year old aunt to part with her past and move on to her future in a smaller, safer home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Juggling Act

I just completed the paperwork for my exhibit in the Mayor's Hall at the City of Beaverton offices. It's tricky to select twelve pieces for a two-month show when you have commited yourself to exhibit work in more than one location. I've been concentrating all my efforts recently on Art On Broadway Gallery, but coming up in February and March I'll have work in three locations. As my life progresses, I appear to suffer more and more from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and the act of juggling my artwork has become more of a challenge.

It was easy to select a single painting for the special event at Matthew's Gallery on Upper Boones Ferry in Lake Oswego. I didn't have to worry about whether pieces would work well together because I only submitted one - the problem of installation fell to Matthew and his crew. They did a wonderful job, by the way, and the opening reception on January 22 was fun. The show continues through February 19 when the awards presentation takes place. About 80 area artists are represented and there is some wonderful work displayed. You should make a point to stop by.

Since I've never seen the space in the Mayor's Hall in Beaverton, planning is difficult. But a hall is hall and so I assume it will be long and narrow and that small pieces will work best since you really can't step too far back and away to view the work! I did throw in one large piece just to be "unpredictable."

Mirror, Mirror....Fairmont Hotel, S.F.,
Watercolor on Paper

And, of course, I have to set aside six or seven paintings for my favorite gallery space, Art On Broadway, and our February show, "Love Art, Give Art." We're featuring red art, romantic art, art that makes the heart flutter - and we're serving champagne and chocolates. You would think we were celebrating Valentine's Day! I hope many of you will join me and my aob friends for a toast to Love on Saturday, February 5, 6 to 9 p.m.

Hollyhocks at Cambria,
Gouache on Paper

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Paintings

A couple of my out-of-state friends who were unable to attend the artists reception at Amato's Art On Broadway this weekend asked me to post some images of my new paintings on my blog. So in response to Mary and Helen's request, and for anyone else who was unable to be there on Saturday, here are a few photos I shot just prior to the start of the party ....

Welcome, please come on in...

May I offer you a glass of wine ...

This watercolor painting is titled, "Gaudi Made Me Do It," and was inspired by Anton Gaudi's masterful Sacrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. I took a series of photos while touring the interior and was struck by the enormity of the structure, the complexity of its design, the commitment of its artisans, and the freedom of visitors to walk unsupervised through the "under construction" portions with workers pouring concrete on the ground level and operating cranes carrying materials to the roof tops. I loved that parts of the cathedral were finished and functioning, and others were completely open to the sky, with only netted wiring to separate one area from another, and workers from tourists. The experience made me weep.

These two paintings began as photographs taken in a small village in southern France. The soil in the area surrounding Roussillon consists of red and ochre clays, and the colors of the village's architecture reflect it natural resources. "Inside and Outside the Red Wall" and "Shadows and Shapes in Roussillon" are the results of my connection with the colors and shapes of this charming village - its simple and playful imagery, and its sense of a warm and contented lifestyle. Our visit here was too short.

Another view of the Gaudi painting, along with several small plein air pieces that were painted during earlier trips to Italy and France. The other full sheet watermedia painting in the right of the photograph is titled "Una Strade Stretta," - A Narrow Street - and was inspired by a photo I took while breaking away from the formal Florence tour and exploring on our own. I loved the patterns - the dark and light, the near and far, the large and small, the cool and warm - and I was moved by the quiet simplicity of the space just minutes from the splendor and crowds of central Florence. We delighted in our off-the-beaten path discovery and enjoyed it along with the architectural and sculptural wonders of the Renaissance.

Well, Helen and Mary, thanks so much for your interest and for allowing me to share my recent work with you. I hope you'll stop by my blog again some time soon.