Monday, October 29, 2007

From Heaven

Just because I have not been in the studio working since Thursday, does not mean that I have not been making nor thinking art!

I am learning not to worry about the small breaks I take from my art. Down time is needed to recharge, and to muse about life and art and where I want to go. I am starting a proposal for one art show that I want to have in a year, and am already planning in my mind the next few bodies of work. One shall be called "From Heaven" and tonight's photographs are the inspiration for some of the work that I shall do. It is a nebulous theme at the moment, but I have some thoughts bouncing around in my head.

I book my flights and seat assignments electronically, and this I have learned; when traveling from north to south, book your seat on the right hand side of the plane, and of course by the window. This especially holds true for sunset flights. On the return north, I had a seat on the right, but the light was better on the left. Of course, if you are taking a sunrise flight, the opposite would hold true.

I have painted the landscape from the sky, but that is only possible for me if I have an empty seat besides me to spread out a bit. I have been lucky on a few flights to have this, but it is a rarity, not the norm. So the digital camera is easier.

I saw Mohonk and the Hudson from the air; they were both splendid. I was shocked to still see many green trees...and I have very few leaves down yet in my yard. Strange for it almost being November!

Well off to bed. I have spent two out of four days traveling, and I am tired. But all was good.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Digital AND Paper Collage

I put this on my other blog as tonight's picture, but here I wanted to talk about the piece in more depth.

It will be one for the show "Telling Stories", which I intend to do in the next year or so. I am sniffing out prospective venues for it. It will be a show that I do along with Larry; his narrative large format black and white photographs, my autobiographical collages.

This is one of the less emotionally distraught pieces, which looks at the history of my family-the frolicking fun Irish, always ready for a dance, a party, an adventure.

For tonight's blog I did it digitally, although it is actually going to be a paper collage. I am still seeking the right image for one part of it, and it is harder when you are doing a paper collage to find just the right car that is just the right size. It is not so easy when you don't use copies and must work with what you can find. Because of how I work, pieces can take months, even years to be finalized.

The paper is an old map of the Arran Islands in off the coast of Ireland, and you will get a chuckle out of the fact that the "Cock of Arran" is an actual location at the top of the map. The other piece is a postcard of the Ashokan Reservoir, made about the time when my family started visiting the Catskills. The other piece is from an 1800's book, and I am searching for a Black Buick, from the 40's. Once I find a relative to verify what the date of the Buick was, I will have a better idea of where to look, and what I am looking for.

Off to bed to read a bit more of my book Handmaid of Desire. A unique story. I can relate to the mind of the protagonist. After that, Allende's Inez of my Soul.

Oh and I HAVE to remember to join NETFLIX. I need some movies!!!! Has anyone seen Elizabeth (the new one)???

off to story land, Patti

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting HELP When You Need It.

Today my student came over for 2.5 hours to work in my studio. I really enjoy this young woman, and we chatted, listened to music, worked, all while having a fun time.

I had spent some time the day before setting up a space for her, and gathering things that I needed done. Greeting cards to be sleeved, glitter to be put on certain items, copper foil which needed to be burnished down, illustrations that needed some hand painting.

She did great. She freed up time for me to complete the tasks that were more complex, or designing new cards. Tonight's cards are made with oil monotypes and authentic Victorian Scrap. They are already sold, as I have a client who says SEND ME MORE CARDS, and I know her taste, so I just make up a batch, and send them on.

I also found joy in teaching this young person about the business, and let her get a glimpse into my "other world", the world that I walk into once I leave the classroom.

If I were a kid, I would be asking for an application, LOL.

And, I got a GREAT teen to work with. THANKS JESSIE!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Branding and Marketing: vs Creativity and Exploration

I opened a post today from a friend who runs one of the art groups on Yahoo. It is a very good group of edgy artists who engage in discussion and swaps, and today she asked what I thought to be a fabulous question: "Does one "limit" one's self in an attempt to be more "marketable" or does that self imposed limitation kill some of the creative spirit and in the end, limit output - or one's interest in your own art?"

She is talking about the buzz work of marketing called "branding", of imagery, color, style etc. in the arts.

I thought about it for a while, and this is an excerpt from my response to the group.

"I struggle with the same thing. I am one who likes to break rules, all
sorts of rules, which includes ones like "branding yourself".

I am sure Thomas Kincaide is perfectly happy with his branding. Why not? It
has made him a very very rich man, who by the way, does not even paint all
his own paintings, as there are factories that make them. Kenneth Baker, art
critic for the San Francisco Chronicle said of his work "He might as well not
exist. He could just be a branding concept. He might as well be selling
hamburgers." In my not so humble point of view, Kincade is dead as an artist. He may be the guru of marketing, but not the guru of fine art.

Picasso went through phases all through his career. He was considered a
genius. The rose phase, the blue phase, etc. Yes, agreed, it was fairly easy to
recognize a Picasso, but there are some pieces that I would have never guessed as his.

Many well known photographers have multiple bodies of work which are vastly different than one another. As they grow, their work changes. Sally Mann. Emmett Gowin.

As our lives as artists change so does our medium, our subject matter, our
color perhaps. Perhaps one day we say "ENOUGH OF THAT, I HAVE EXPLORED IT IN EVERY WAY AND I AM READY TO MOVE ON." So be it.

I, for one, would hate to be pigeonholed into a style, a palette of colors. Part of our creative freedom and challenge is to stretch our limits,experiment, explore.

The one thing that I do believe in is if one is going to have a show, that
you must have consistent body for that particular show. I have many bodies going on at once, some tied together by subject, some by medium. My last show about six years ago was a variety of my surreal collages, my vision for the next one will be called "Telling Stories", collages of my narrative work. Another show will be small landscape paintings inspired by the Hudson Valley. As an artist I am working on several bodies, several medium at once. That keeps me fresh.

Comments welcome!

Today's card seems appropriate for this fall Halloween season. Sold on Etsy the other day to a wonderful customer!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wedding Cards

A friend of mine needed a wedding card for this weekend, and I promised her I would design her a few as I was sold out. It is one of the events that people will spend money on for a handmade card. My friend has bought several wedding cards from me over the past year, and said that her friends have called her just to say thank you for the amazing card.

It makes me smile to know that people get joy out of my work, as it is with joy that I make them.

I think two of them will be available after she picks, if anyone is interested.
All are made with specialty exotic art papers, and antique or vintage images. *the real thing, not prints!*


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Beauty of Kingston

Recently Kingston, NY, made it as one of the top ten cities for an artist to live. I provided the link to the article so that you can see how they arrived at this, but I am proud to live in this amazing little city.

A few hours north of New York City, at the base of the Catskills and the Hudson River, it was the capital before it was moved to Albany, and has fabulous architecture, history and views.

It has three distinct sections; Uptown, Mid Town, and Downtown, each section having its own unique offerings.

Like any other city, it has its problems, but in general I find it a wonderful supportive community, and it has plenty to offer the artist,

This photo was taken from the trolley looking at Kingston Point, where the Rondout Creek flows into the Hudson River. It is splendid. (my other blog talks about this in more detail)

Instead of photographing or drawing, I let the experience soak into my pores and my afternoon will not be forgotten.

Being an artist is not only about making art, but about the art of experiencing, seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting the world. And I did it all today in a few hours in a little city that is finally getting a little bit of positive press!!!!!

PS thanks Larry for the photograph!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Gorey Decoration

My job and my life is getting in the way of art these days. Again. I have work to do, orders to fill, paintings to finish.

Thirty feel from where I have collapsed, my studio lies empty and lonely, and I can faintly hear the paints sighing in their tubes.

I have a three day weekend and hope that I can get some work done.

I become quite restless when I can't make art, and I am long overdue.

Tonight's photo was squeezed out with my last bit of is of my mantle which is decorated with Edward Gorey Cardboard figures, orange lights, skulls, and other strange little items which I have collected over the years.

When I get more energy I will test out the 10.00 tripod that Larry bought at a yardsale and take some photos. This one was hand held and is slightly blurry as I do not use flash (I hate flash!)

If anyone has Halloween art they want to post, email me some jpeg's and I will put it on the blog! If I can't make art, I might as well feature art from someone who can!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007


For the second year in a row I have signed up for an Adobe Illustrator course, and for the second year in a row it has been cancelled.

I really want to learn the program, and I am now going to have to learn it through tutorials! I am a visual learner. Show me and I will learn it 10x quicker than reading a book or following a tutorial.

However, unless I find someone who is willing to give me some time, I am resigned to the fact that I am going to have to teach myself.

If any of you have any sites or books that you can recommend for a beginner, would you leave a comment or email them to me? I would be MOST grateful!

Struggling in graphics land, Patti
(I do know Photoshop fairly well..)