Every year I say, "I'm not ready" for the holidays but this year...I'm REALLY not ready! I feel like the world spins a little faster every year because we seem to get to the holidays before I seem to catch my breath from Open Studio. But it will be OK! I know I just need to keep chipping away at my to-do list. I love my to-do list!
For me the Holidays also brings up the question of whether to launch a Holiday series...or not. Quite honestly I was leaning towards the NOTuntil I had THIS one idea; the more I thought about it, the more it made me laugh and smile. It just seemed like SO much fun, I figured I had to DO IT!
Soooo, I'll be launching "Tis the Season" on December 1st.
What does that mean, you ask? Good question! Starting on December 1st my subscribers will get an email at 6AM with 1 new painting featured. This will continue for 10 days. After 24 hours each painting will go public, so Subscribers have that 24 hour window to see and purchase paintings first.
I am very excited about these paintings. There are 2 series. Both have been a joy to make...getting me back into the studio after feeling a bit "flat. The larger series is VERY playful and I think you'll get a real kick out of them. It's hard to keep it all a secret but I also think that's part of the fun...the suspense, the reveal... kinda like opening a present every morning when you get that email!
So Sign up now to get your Tis the Season 6 AM email to get exclusive access!
No more bon-bons Sarah....
Okay…Sarah… stop your lounging around eating bon-bons. Well, that’s not exactly what I’ve been up too but it is time to get back into the studio on a regular basis. It’s also time to set a schedule and some goals. I DO like a to-do list!
This couple weeks has been a much needed time for me to breathe and reflect. A transition period from plein air to studio time. I was sitting in my studio this morning, looking at this bridge series I’ve been working on and thought… Bridges are transitions! They get you from one place to another.. how apropos. Although my take on bridges isn't of the tradition view...the sort that actually shows you getting from one place to another...I still like the analogy.
Here's my bridge series. Click images for more pictures and information.
Anyway, I’m feeling ready to finish the year out now. I have an idea for a small series of paintings for the holidays…something very different and like I said…just FUN. My subscribers will get 1st dibs on these paintings delivered right to their email inboxes BEFORE I release them to the public 24 hours later! If you'd like to be one of those people...Subscribe Now!
Till next time..... Sarah
Since my Open Studio is in late September and that is when the weather also is cooling off...ie I'm tapering off on plein air painting, I find that afterwards is a natural time to take a break, reflect on the past year and consider what’s next in the coming months and even the coming year. The input I get from people who come to Open Studio is key in all this too and is part of what makes this a great time to take stock.
I want to take this opportunity to Thank everyone who came to Open Studio and those who cheered me on from a distance or on social media. We tried some new things like the paint demo and Wendy Mitchell from Talleyville Frame Shoppe who came and did a framing talk/demo. We met some new friends (yeah!) and as always LOVE visiting with old friends. Thanks to ALL!
September. For many that means the kids are back to school or vacation time is over. For me it means…Open Studio.
And then there is the people factor. Every year as we go thru all the prep and cross off the items on the lists, we wonder who, if anyone will show up. When we finally get to Open Studio, one of my favorite parts is seeing familiar faces coming through the door AND new ones too. It's a joy to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. It’s also fun to see which paintings people respond to, what questions they have or just hear their stories about how Art has been a part of their lives. It always restores my faith in the power of Art to connect us, even when I don’t feel it needs any restoration, it gets a good boost anyway.
We are just a few weeks out from this years Open Studio as I write this. I hope to see you this year. If you aren't local Check out my webpage because we be Live streaming the demo and framing talk.
Perhaps this is not new phenomena but it is something I have noticed a lot recently; it is the art apologizer. Countless times this summer, at various venues…be it a gallery show, out painting plein air or if I meet someone and they find out I’m an artist I get the “oh I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about art”.
First of all, I don’t believe it. Everyone knows a little something about art because it is everywhere! It’s surrounds you from the clothes you wear to the design of the coffee mug you use, the car you drive, movies you watch and music you listen to just to mention a few obvious things.
I understand that the visual arts intimidate some people but I’m here to say…RELAX. There is no reason to be scared or intimidated. You know what you like right? Do you think you need a Ph.D to own art or view art? NO! An appreciation for the sincere effort the artist put forth is good place to start. If you like their art- Great! Sometimes it may take a while for you to absorb it and that’s fine too…you can even say that…”I need a while to look at this!”. Or you can always ask the artist why they created something...that can be a great conversation starter, but do not apologize.
Perhaps you don’t have much experience in going to art shows, museums or viewing art and the lingo is intimidating. Artists I know love to teach and if you ask what something means, they'd be happy to explain. Listen, if I’m talking to a lawyer or a financial person and they start talking…I sometimes have to say..yo…what’s that mean? We can’t all be experts in everything so enjoy the art and ask questions. Look and ask yourself what you like. Just as important, ask yourself what you don’t like but do it when you are looking at art and it’ll help you. If you do it enough you may surprise yourself in the range and type of art you are open to. I’ve seen this happen many times and I think it's fantastic; as people get curious and look, look and look they see more and more which just opens more doors. We continue to grow and learn. Art is so cool.
But please, Don’t ever apologize. I’m simply not going to accept it.
Here are few paintings I've done, en plein air, recently. Please enjoy and click on images for for information.
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The painting that won was one that I tried a different design idea. I wasn’t sure it would work but I decided to give it a try. The dark bridge with the bright light through to the other side was key. Part of doing these events is pushing yourself to paint more than usual and really looking at things around you. The award is a fantastic validation. Nice that an urban landscape can win!
I want to say something to those who didn’t win anything or maybe didn’t sell anything either, because I have been there too. It’s hard to not take that personally. Really hard sometimes. I saw some wonderful paintings that did not sell and when those are yours, you ask why? There is no good answer. Just not the right time, the right person but it is not a reflection of your talent!
Remember why you’re painting, keep painting, keep learning and keep enjoying your creativity.
I am Thankful to Marietta Art Alive for putting together such a wonderful event and having 4 days to paint and be inspired. It’s a great way to jump start the plein air season and I look forward to next year! And YES, Thanks for the award…it’s definitely nice but no, not everything.
still available (when written) - click image for more images and info
There is always a dilemma with what to do with older paintings...of course, some you want to hold on to but you can't keep them all! Some get sanded out to be become newer, better paintings, but I've been looking for another answer...sanding them out seems so extreme. You’ve surely heard the phrase “Everything old is new again.” This has come to mind as I’ve decided to rework a few older plein air paintings. The idea is to keep some of the original painting but apply some of the new collage and abstract techniques I’ve been doing recently and see what happens. I like the idea of merging the old and new in this way.
The creative process kinda mirrors life here. You go off past experience; search for what works. You don’t always know what you’re looking for but when you see it; find it, you know it. There’s satisfaction and joy in that space and so, you continue on. OR, you don’t like it and make another, different choice, BUT you still continue on.
Merging the old and new. is a way to try to make sense of where I’ve been and perhaps where I’m heading.
Prior to doing this collage work, I was working with gouache...also working from older plein air paintings but mostly as inspiration rather than directly on them. I'd look at the painting and do small drawings that were very loose, then add layers of paint, marker, whatever...again the point was to play and disconnect from the "thing". It was about responding to shape, line and color really. I did a whole series called Market Riffs off one painting. It was fun to see just how far I could go. I imagine I could go farther, really.
To see some of this newer work, check out The Art Trust show REFLECTIONS which opens on April 27, 2022 and closes June 10. May 6th is the Opening reception-5-9pm.
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I'm headed up next week to paint for a few days. Tune into my instagram account to follow along with what I'm doing! It's been a while since I've done one of these events. Getting all my panels ready...just being tuned up and ready to paint is a lot to do. Well, I've gotten out this week and I admit to feeling a bit rusty. That is about normal though and the only remedy is PAINT MORE!
Here's what I've done so far this week. It's a start. I'm happy with that. :) Click images for more info
One year ago today my Father died. January 25, 2021 at 9:30 AM. I miss him and am sad sometimes but I do not doubt, he is not only fine but soaring with angels.
It was my intention to write a wonderful tribute to him on this occasion. His role in me being present in this world is obvious. His influence on my art I have always known, but this past year I have begun to FEEL the depths of this gift and there are no words to describe the love and gratitude it has graced me with.
A few weeks after Dad's death I wrote a Valentine's Tribute to him. On reading it again, I don't think I can improve on it so I re publish it again here:
The holidays are coming and we all wanna be ready, right?....
known for. Half the paintings will be abstract paintings, inspired by urban scenes or past plein air paintings I've done. So a little something for everyone's taste! It's such a joy to create these paintings and think of the joy they may bring to others as well.
Subscribers to my Newsletter will get 1st access to these paintings - delivered directly to their inbox 48 hours before the public sees them so SIGN UP NOW! Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! When you sign up you'll get some welcome emails as well as any news about this upcoming Holiday Celebration!
As for my Plein Air Painting this summer, I scheduled my painting time and limited my painting area to mostly downtown Wilmington. This helped me to focus on my painting and not the extraneous, getting ready, finding a spot etc, parts. I also went from painting 6 sizes to just 3 sizes. This simplified decisions on location as well as framing and pricing later on down the line.
I think this work in combination with the figure work made for a unique and fun Open Studio experience. It was a joy to do the work and a thrill to get to share it ,finally.
At the writing of this blog, the Open Studio Gallery page in not accessible via my website BUT YOU CAN GET THERE via the special link below ! Here are a few pictures taken during Open Studio this year:
Now, can you just enjoy my painting for a painting? Absolutely, but this layer of insight has added a new dimension to my work for me and I wanted to share it. I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the future.
Now let’s talk Open Studio....