Monday, March 6, 2017

The Honor and Responsibility of Being a Juror (and tips for presenting your work)

This past weekend I was in Portland jurying the Spring Show at the Oregon Society of Artists. I am
always honored to be asked. It indicates that someone thinks pretty highly of my opinion and skills in judging fine art. (You should see the piles of books on art I own!) But aside from the honor is the responsibility to go into a show and look for paintings that not only "speak" to me, but also exhibit use of good technique, an understanding of strong composition and design elements, and have a professional presentation.

I enjoyed the opportunity to see so many great paintings and connect with good artists. It was not an easy task to pick only 7 award winners from this outstanding exhibit of art. I also send a big thank you to the OSA Board and the show coordinators who made my work as easy as possible. They put on a fabulous reception where I was able to talk about art in general and my award choices.

I will be teaching a workshop at the same venue, OSA,  in May.

Margaret Godfrey: "Adding Content to Your Art Mixed Media"
Thursday - Sunday May 3 - 6, 2017
$395 four days Limit 20 students
call OSA to register: (503) 228-0706  (503) 228-0706

Over the years of selling my work, I have become serious about the importance of presentation. It is the artist's job to insure that the framing shows off the artwork. If I am asking someone to buy my work, I have a responsibility to mat and/or frame it in a way that makes the buyer see the care and pride I have in my art. A mat should be clean and sharply cut with a good 3 or more inches around the painting. A frame should enhance the work, not overwhelm it. If an artist reuses mats and frames (which I do) they should be retired when they show wear and tear. If a painting is on canvas and the sides are in view, they should be carefully painted, stained or finished in a careful manner.

Here are a few photos from yesterday's reception and close-ups of award winners.

My sister, Barbara with me at the Gallery

The crowd enjoying art
And the Award Winners

Introduction by Board Director, Tim Mahoney

In the OSA Gallery

 March 5 - 29, 2017
Spring Juried Show: Works by OSA members.
Juror: Margaret Godfrey
 March 5 - 29, 2017 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winter Workshop Rescheduled

Image result for snowy streetsThe winter weather was horrid which forced the rescheduling of my Portland workshop!

The good news there is plenty of time to sign up!

Margaret Godfrey: "Adding Content to Your Art Mixed Media"
Wednesday-Saturday May 3 - 6, 2017
$395 four days Limit 20 students

Call (503) 228-0706 Oregon Society of Artists to Register.

If you have been to many art shows, you have probably seen a number of subjects painted over and over. Roses. Sunflowers. Trees. Children. What can an artist do to make their flower, person, landscape or abstract stand out from the others? What is YOUR message and how do you make your art unique? I want to help you find that element for your art.

So what will we do in the workshop (besides having fun, of course)? First, I will share my own method of digging into subject matter by gathering resources. Not only does it push back Alzheimers, but I find different ways to tell a story. My goal is to help participants do the same. My hope is that each artist finds ways to explore ideas, discover symbols, create a unique language to put more content into their art.

In preparation of this workshop I challenged myself  by choosing a common critter to paint. The Hummingbird. I wanted to create several small paintings telling more of this bird's story. It is the challenge of "what can I say that will make my painting unique?" How can I tell more about this fascinating little creature that we are all so familiar with? I began by looking into what I didn't know about this bird. 
Gathering Resources

An Anna's hummingbird egg is .5 to .6 inches long. Also the bird lays just 2 eggs. So I started with a stamp to scale. I started to put together one/half inch oval with part of an oval to create a border stamp. Stamps are a great way to personalize your art--something I will share at the workshop.

I thought of their small size and ways to paint in a way to convey the scale of the tiny bird to humans. My mind went to the summer when my husband and I sit in our yard late in the afternoon--we are often startled by the buzzing so near our ears as a hummingbird flies in for a drink at the feeder. Sometimes you can feel the wind created by their small busy wings. I used my husband's ear and painted it in proportion to the bird's size. Can you almost hear and feel this little guy?

Another great way to get inspired to paint is through words. I found this haiku poem that presented a vision of two creatures being almost paralyzed with surprise in a close encounter. 

And more hummingbird paintings and ideas are coming. Come join us in May when the weather is milder!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

January 2017--Winter Travels and Winter Weather

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Mike and I often travel in January to celebrate our anniversary. This year we planned a trip to Washington D.C., a city I'd never seen, and Mike last visited as an eight-year-old. So on January 1, we boarded a plane in Eugene, Oregon and flew to Seattle to catch our wonderfully planned non-stop flight to D.C. Unfortunately, a snow and ice storm hit Seattle and we were stuck for hours with loads of other frustrated travelers. No flights were heading east, so we eventually got rerouted to San Francisco. Here is a photo of our ice-covered airplane wing as it was getting de-iced (12 hours after we left home).

We were finally off. Oh wait, there was yet another glitch in San Francisco. We had been rescheduled to fly out the following night! Were we to spend our 47th Anniversary in an airport sleeping on the floor? With enough whining and asserting our needs, we were finally on a red-eye to Dulles Airport. So a few hours later, with a bit of sleep here and there we were finally standing at the baggage claim area of the Dulles Airport.

You probably already guessed it--no luggage! (A day and a half later it was delivered to our airandb.)

But we were excited to finally have arrived in our grand and beautiful country's capitol.

Prior to our trip we contacted our Congressman Peter De Fazio's office, to arrange tours of some of the great buildings on the Washington Mall. Unfortunately we did not get tickets to the White House. The next best thing was getting a photograph at the White House Visitor Center.

One week is clearly not enough time to see everything on the Washington Mall, let alone any other part of the city, but we made the best of our time. Our first must see was the National Gallery of Art.


Mobiles by Calder

and, of course, I little Klimpt!

Every day was a new experience from the Smithsonian Museums to the Capitol and Library of Congress. 

Museum of Natural History

National Air and Space Museum

The Library of Congress is stunning!

Trompe l'oeil in the U. S. Capitol

Statues of Frances E. Willard, an educator and reformer and Rosa Parks 
The Supreme Court Building
On one of the coldest days -- bleak, with spitting snow, we visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The mood of the day was enhanced by the weather. Mike was able to find his cousin's name on the Wall with the help of a knowledgeable Park Ranger. So many men of our age-group are listed on that memorial.

It is a challenge to get tickets to the new African American Museum, but we finally scored 2 tickets by Mike getting online at the crack of dawn and landing a ticket in the website's opening first 10 seconds. If you wait one minute, the tickets are gone. This museum is truly amazing and moving. We went in thinking we knew quite a bit of the history of slavery, but came out overwhelmed by the experience of walking through the museum. 

The plans for the stowage of 292 slave on a ship

@h.i.o - Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture - Washington, DC

The take away of this trip for me was a feeling of encouragement about the strength of our Federal Governmental System. Our Founding Fathers wove together a government with three branches of power, ensuring that there are healthy checks and balances.  No one branch can break the country. We have survived a heck of a lot!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Upcoming Workshop: Join Me in Portland

Margaret Godfrey Workshop
"Adding Content To Your Art"  Feb 2 - 5, 2017

In a 4-day workshop Margaret will share her method of gathering resources and source materials to add content to you paintings.  She will help participants weave more interest and personal connections into their art.  Margaret will talk about her personal art journey and the benefits she's gained from working in a series.
All media welcome to join Margaret.

To sign up for Margaret's workshop please call the OSA office.
Payment for "Adding Content To Your Art are due January 30th"

for more information about Margaret follow the link to Margaret's website

Copyright © 2017 Oregon Society of Artists, All rights reserved.

OSA Office 503-228-0706
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Story in the Round: "While We Are Sleeping"

This fall my husband placed his game cameras to photograph any animals that might be coming in for apple snacks. It turned out to be an amazing collection of animals came in the night. When he turned it into a video, it became almost a dance of comings and goings. Of course there was our horse, Lil Bit, but right along with her were deer, bears, raccoons, foxes and skunks. It was pretty fun to see who was out there night after night. We discovered that not only bears, but also foxes climb trees.

Being an artist, I started thinking about making this into a story of sorts. I knew our grandchildren would love seeing it someway other than on the computer screen. I had seen the beautiful lazy susans made by a company in the mid-west and thought that I might be able to do something similar, but telling our story, "While We Are Sleeping."

First I needed a 29-inch wood tray. Looking on the internet I found a nice looking birch plywood tray with a laminated edge, covering the plywood edge. Naturally the maker of the tray lived across the country, so I had to place an order and wait for it to arrive.

With Christmas just around the corner, I had to make good use of my time, so I started practicing with my wood burning tool to see how I might put it to use in this project. (I'd never used one before!)

I made 29-inch circles out of brown craft paper, and started to plan out the story. It's harder than you might think to put an idea out on a round surface. I asked Mike to produce some single images from his videos. (The ones you see from the photos above.)  I then made drawings from those and made cut-outs of the animals to move around my round shape.

Finally the tray arrived and I started my wood burning with great trepidation. I am no expert, but I managed to outline my images, write my carefully chosen words, and make animal foot prints around the tray.

I had never used my acrylic paints to stain wood before, but I watered them down, and away I went.

Like a gift should be, this became a labor of love. I was pretty tickled with myself as this gift turned out to be truly one of a kind and personal.

And here it is in use in Arizona! Merry Christmas Carters!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What is a Painting Worth?

What is a painting worth? There are so many ways of looking at this. Are we talking about a dollar amount? Are we talking about building an art collection? Are we talking about the enjoyment of looking at a piece of art day after day and seeing something in a new light?

The topic has come to mind recently as I have made some sales, created new art, and have put prices on the new pieces. I'd like to use a painting I hung this week as an example of the different thoughts I had on pricing it.

Tam Giang Lagoon—Laundry Day
Transparent Watercolor on Paper
22" x 20"
Since our trip to Southeast Asia, every time I push the button to start my washing machine, I think of this woman and the other women I met on this trip. I not only think of the conveniences of my life, of all that I have, but also of the connection I feel to the women I meet in my travels. 

I am thankful to be invited into a home to use a flush toilet which is a source of pride for the home owner. I enjoy being allowed to peel garlic in preparation for the up-coming festivities. I am honored that a woman wants to touch my pale skin and wispy hair. These are all ways we relate to and touch each other. We are communicating and saying we are women and understand each other in the deepest ways. We are the mothers, the cooks, the washer-women. We have a universal bonding because of our gender. (Although in our country, men are now taking on much more of the domestic duties, that is not a world-wide trend.)

So how do I put a price on this piece of art? It is full of meaning to me and I trust it will touch someone else. This painting might speak to an American who has traveled the world, a woman or man who can relate to the daily tasks we all participate in. It might attract a viewer who loves the background neutrals in contrast to the bright colors of the human figure and sees it as a beautiful piece of art. It might go to the home of a collector, who has seen my work mature over the years and wants to add to their art collection.

I once read that to price your art, an artist must consider the money paid out for education, supplies, time spent, etc. And then would I include my travel, my life experience? If that were the case, this piece of art would be worth thousands of dollars!

But, of course, this is simply a work on paper where I tried to capture a moment and convey a bit of everyday life of a woman halfway around the world from me. It's size is somewhere between a half-sheet and full sheet of watercolor paper. This is reality of how I price my work. A painting this size, whether it includes a trip around the world or a 2-hour crazy inspiration, I price at $750-$800 framed and ready to hang on the wall. It seems like a bargain to me!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

My Own Art Sale and A Sneak Peak at My New Series

Living 42 miles from town, in a rural area, makes it difficult to sell my art from home. I have been envious of all my art buddies who have been involved with studio sales and smaller gallery opportunities. So what I have done to encourage some of my followers and collectors to buy original art this holiday season, is put a 20% discount on all my paintings hanging at Excelsior Restaurant and Inn. It is here in Eugene, Oregon, but I would certainly ship any work that was chosen by someone out of area.

I am posting some of my favorite paintings hanging there on facebook, for any of you who have an account. We'll see if my experiment in marketing as a rural artist brings in any sales!

Yosemite Trickster
Matted and Framed
22 x 18
All About That Vase
Mounted on a cradle
20 x 14
The Collector
Matted and Framed
11 x 15

Sneak Peak at what I'm working on in the studio. For the last couple of months I've been concentrating on my "Night Sky" series. Here are 2 recent pieces I consider finished. More of this series is brewing in my mind!

The World Is My Oyster
29 x 21
Teen Dreams
29 x 21