Friday, May 7, 2010

"Carmel Valley Girl "and the tao of painting

This is my painting I started today in stage 1 and 2, the left is the rough draft and the right is further along,
It's interesting to see them side by side as I like different aspects of them both.  I LOVE starting a painting, it's the best part, as it becomes more detailed it looses some of the pleasure somehow.  I don't know how to continue to enjoy the later stages, they usually create some tension as I start to get frustrated that I didn't get a color I wanted, a shadow correct etc.  This is the part of painting I don't enjoy and yet it's just part of the puzzle.  It's funny I even paint at all as I'm a bit of a perfectionist in this way and it challenges me to no end.  But I love to see something take shape in front of my eyes, to take an image and expand it, to capture a moment and express it, this is a never ending condition.  I suppose it's this aspect I like most.  This is a painting of my friend Megan at her 40th birthday party.  My previous post was of the "tutu's" and what fun they were, this is a picture from the birthday photo shoot a couple weeks ago.  Megan's present was a painting of her choice and she decided on this picture as it represented her turning forty and feeling fabulous.  I added the mountain scenery as she is a true Carmel Valley girl.  (This is a surprise, she doesn't read my blog so sshhhhhh....)  I think she'll be pleased and I can hardly wait to give it to her when it's finished.  But when is it finished?  Lord knows I could fuss over every detail, the tutu itself is mind boggling, layer upon layer of fabric, and then there's the skin, the hand, yatta yatta.  Ideally I aim to paint loose and yet recognizable.  I think I've achieved this and yet I know there is more I can do to improve it.  I don't want to take it too far and mess it up though and this also happens when a painting gets overworked.  It's such a fine line and I honestly never really know when to stop, usually when I feel bored by it and or happy with it depending on the piece. 
This has been a quiet week after all the hoo haw of the open studios, so sorry I haven't been posting as much.  When there's action I am there, camera ready for my inspiration and I happily share on my blog.  If it's an 'ordinary' week and not much on board this hip chick doens't always know what to put on the blog.  So for today I thought I'd share the latest painting and some of my inner struggles with this art form.  I love/hate it but mostly love it.  I only hate it when I expect too much of myself and I can't produce what I want to.  So hard on myself!!  But this is typical of an artist and today I went to my favorite book to center myself, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.  She nails it everytime.  She talks about our critic, the creative process and the ability to let yourself make 'mistakes' because really there are no mistakes, just learning experiences.  I am my worst enemy and art is so personal that it's difficult to let it just be.  But I keep trying and I am glad for this.  Sometimes it's good to be stubborn!

Monday, May 3, 2010

WOW, what a weekend!

Open Studios was a HUGE success this year!  What a blast seeing so many people I love and new faces all in hip chick's shop.  Saturday was gorgeous and the day started with a bang as my best friend from high school Robin and her daughter Erica came for the very first time.  They loved the hip happening vibe of the arsenal and they bought lots of treasures from hip chick with promises to come back once a month.  Miraculous news coming from Robin let me tell you, LOL!  My daughter Abby and her friend Kendyl helped me on the cash register which allowed me the joy of popping in on my other artist friends to share in their displays and merriment.  Gordon, Kae and Jannie all stopped by which was sweet and supportive, thanks guys!   Beautiful Sandi and Lisa came in with their splatter.  Lisa bought a gorgeous green vintage dress that glowed on her!   The crowds were a plenty and the store was packed which was so exciting to see as ordinarily it is pretty quiet.  We had good sales and people all enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and good vibes of the studio.  Bob my studio mate was happy to chat with everyone and he had a banquet table full of food to offer anyone who cared for a nibble. 
Sunday was more of the same.  Abby and Marina helped me on the register, it was sunny and the crowds all came again which made it another huge success.  My hubbie made it home to come and share the festivities and then my sister and her family all arrived to make it a real party.  Andrew, Dave C and Monica, Usha and James popped in, Kat,  John and Roger came later so all through the day we had visitors coming to support hip chicks.  Kat bought a ton of treasures and she has always been a great friend and loyal customer!  What joy it was to share this dream with all these people I love, it is indescribable.  My friends Sally, Laura and Mitch were all having a blast in Laura's studio and they all sold pieces to make it a profitable weekend.  I wish we did this event more often as it's so pleasant for people to see the arsenal and for the artist to sell their art. 
As for me I will be out scouting for more goodies to replenish the inventory, taking a deep breath and counting my blessings for all the success of this last weekend.  It was a hugely successful open studios and I thank all of you for your support, it keeps me motivated and inspired.  I'm grateful I am able to do what I love and share it with people I care about.  There's nothing better than that. 
The dynamo trio