Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NY City show review

I realized that I never commented back on this show. Many of you pushed me to have confidence and try it out. Reach for the stars. Go beyond Ulster County.

I am glad it did it, though the rewards were not necessarily monetary.

The trip was a grueling 3 hours in a rainstorm, most of the delays from the George Washington bridge traffic, and work being done on the Henry Hudson. I was late and had 1/2 hour to set up, but they gave me a fabulous space for fine art, as well as my card racks. It was a bit of a pain loading things on and off elevators, but I survived it.

It was down on Park Avenue and 36th, for a company called Digitas, a well known international digital marketing agency. The employees were young beautiful cutting edge youth--- from 25-40 ish. (the young ones who have grown up practically cutting teeth on computers...)

They loved my fine art, and though I did sell some work, I knew that they too were feeling the crunch of this fragile economy, and were not in the market to drop money on art or anything else for that matter.

Then came the parking bill of 60.00, never mind the gas/toll for the trip.

I may have made 50.00 (am having problems with a paypal payment from one person) after the travel expenses, and it was an exhausting trip back home. I didn't even hang out in the city because..I simply couldn't afford to.

What did I get out of it? The joy and excitement of people really loving my small paintings even more than my cards. The muse whispering "do more art Patti...paint, collage, get going sista!" The bottle of home made Coquito that I bought from one of the vendors that was enjoyed by many over the holiday season.

They want me back in the spring for a "Mother's Day" show. I don't know if I will do it. If I do I will figure out how to pack everything in a wheeling bag and a back pack, take the train, and a cab. Maybe I will do a bunch of small pieces at a price you can't say no to. And people need to see you more than just once so they know you are in it for the long haul and they get to know you.

One day at a time.

In the meantime, I have a few projects I am working on, and Valentine's Day is around the corner!


Photo..handmade 1880's bookmark listed on my Catskillpaper Etsy site.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Art Challenge

Today I was chatting with Nancy Donskoj while picking up my art from the show "We're Only In It for the Money". I am glad to have my pieces back as I am in love with them. They elicited many chuckles, and a few people said they would have loved to have bought them "if they only had the money", a sad but true line I heard often this show season.

This year is the quadricentennial of the Hudson Fulton Champlain, and the Historic Friends of Historic Kingston (the city which was New York's first capital) are looking to have an art show at the Fred Johnson Museum. You are invited to view the archives of the 1909 celebration (postcards, prints, buttons, etc), then make artwork that interprets it into the 21st century.

Even though all the application dates are over, I sent off an email with sample of my mixed media pieces which incorporate images from that time period. If accepted, this will be a huge undertaking for me, but an exciting one.

In my quest to "redefine" my art, I have raised the ante. I know I can do the crafts shows and make money. Now I need to aim higher and be seen as something more than a crafts person/designer. Ah...the art vs. craft conundrum.

Photo of a handmade antique Valentine pieces that I have listed on Etsy.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Change of Heart and Art News

Well, I can't completely give up my art blog.

I haven't been blogging much about art on my other blog, and I have some art worthy news to post here, so perhaps I will take some pressure off myself and post weekly or something that works for me. The show season has come to an end, I am going to get into the Valentines Day mode soon, and I will have some more time to chat about art, post events, ideas, etc. Thanks for bearing with this sometimes spastic artist!

Larry gave me three bars of Encaustic Paint from R & F Paintswhich I really wanted and could not afford. He gave me two more large canvases, the same size as the Olana painting I did a year ago. (pictured here) He is encouraging me to paint larger, which is difficult due to the size of my studio and storage. I guess the worst case scenario is I could have a YART sale when it gets to be too much and invite everyone over for a massive Crazy Eddie art sale. I have to do it to be able to be a master painter, so I should not let an over abundance of paintings deter me.....

I also signed up for a challenge....The Arthouse Coop Project: Sketchbook Project. For an 18.00 entrance fee you are given a Moleskine sketchbook with the theme being "Everyone We Know". Each book created and sent in by the due date is displayed in venues about the country. Two of note that piqued my interest were the Museum of Contemporary Art in DC, and the Museum of Design in Atlanta. NOTE: I do not want to discount the smaller venues and gallery's which are visited by those who will examine our art is just nice to have a big name or two.

My mind is already churning with ideas of the direction that I could take this. P political, biological....a book of double entendres or conundrums....oh I feel the muse visiting now. The only thing is, I am not sure if I get my original back...and if I don't,who holds the copyright to all of this? I guess I will have to read all the fine lines on the website. Worse case scenario? I pay 18.00 for a 6.00 book, and do my own art to parallel it.

Off to re size some text on a zine I made to fit the printing margins of my newish printer. Something that I did not even realize when I bought it!


Friday, December 12, 2008


I am really having to look at my time and make some decisions.

This holiday season has been extremely brutal working two jobs, and there is never enough time anything much beyond work. And when I do have some spare time, I want to be in the studio or with my family.

SO... I am going to stop writing this blog, and keep just my EAT MAN DRINK WATER. blog. I talk about my art life a lot there...which is inevitable as as my art is entwined around my life and vica versa.

And I just can't keep up with two blogs and do both well.

Any thoughts? Give me a shout...but I think I need to shout out in one voice!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Show Number 1 DONE

I just ended such a busy weekend.

Craft fair in New Paltz all weekend.

Two openings last night where I had my work.

Then this Wednesday, NYC.

After that I bring what I have left over from my shows...mainly my cards and crafty things, to school and sell them at a discount. The art hangs out here somewhere, waiting for the next show or exhibition.

The true pleasure is that though I made less than usual, (not rocket science with the economy) I sold higher end pieces that ranged from 16.00-125.00. It takes a lot of cards to make 100.00, and doing it in one sale is so exciting.

The next few days I will try and fill in my card inventory with a few more cards, and perhaps I can pull together a few more collages before I head to the Big Apple.

Right now however I am heading to bed!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Feeling the Pressure

1936 Mickey Mouse Card on Ebay
Vintage Lindbergh Plane Holiday Card on Ebay
Antique Postcard with Star of David on Etsy (Catskillpaper)
Handmade card on Etsy (Pagibbons)

So the flu took three precious days of production away from me. Now I am stressed to produce as much as I can in the next week for my up coming shows. All four of them in a week.

Fortunately one piece is ready to go in the local ASK show, the other two for the DONSKOJ show just have to be framed (blech-did I ever mention I hate to frame even though I know how to do it professionally?) and I have two craft shows.

"It all is what it is" has become my mantra so that I don't get too excited about it all and work myself into a tizzy.

Over the past few days I have put more things on both of my Etsy sites, and have listed some of my specialty items on eBay. Things like rare holiday cards, a magazine with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish. Ebay or Etsy are not great these days due to the economy, but I am not selling big ticket items, just items that someone will indeed want, and if I sell enough it pays for my Internet for the month, or some of my studio heating bill.

Here are a few pictures of things you can find on Ebay (Catskillpaper ID) or from Etsy, but my links for Etsy are located here on the blog.

Looking for something special? Need a special card or collaged journal? Give me a shout.

My mantra is try and give American Handmade this holiday season. Support the economy by supporting the arts.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nursery Crimes

Two cards from my Nursery Crime series.

Why do I call it that? Because the words used are from an antique nursery rhyme book. When paired up with the right image, they mean something QUITE different from their original intent.

Somebody will enjoy them. They are posted on my Etsy site!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Show Pieces

In my high school film class we are watching Basquiat, a film about a young man of color who becomes a star in the art world. Though I do not think I would WANT to live the lifestyle of a famous artist who is HOT on the scene, married to the studio in frantic creation and whipping one's art around the world, I do fantasize about someone finding my work and thinking it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is probably every artist's dream.

I suppose some day my things will be collected...after all, I have thousands of wonderful one of a kind cards that have been launched into the world, as well as a handful of paintings and collages, with a fair amount of art in my studio and house. Maybe 200 years from now...a piece will show at MOMA. PA Gibbons: A woman who kept a low profile, but was outspoken in her work -- too humble for the ego driven world of dealers and gallery owners, but on top of injustices, politics and wit. A never recovered Catholic who committed sins in her art.... Hmm...back to earth.

I made two pieces for the upcoming show "We're in it for the Money" down at Donskoj for the December show. Part of the show rules is to use a dollar bill as a component of the work. I made two pieces, and I have to say, loved every friggin moment of creating them. I also did two more W pieces, as seen on my Eat Man Drink Water blog.

I wonder if they are too over-the-edge. I find them very funny, and they each tell a little story, incorporating folds of dollar bills that I learned many years ago. Of course there was a "W" card, and well, the pictures say 1000 things. Even if he doesn't want them, I do. And that is what counts in the end, no?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Production

I am in the production mode which means that I work all day teaching, come home and work for a few hours in the studio.

Today I have off, and am trying to work a schedule. An hour in the studio, and a half hour to do computer work, and some house work. Back to the studio for an hour, then back to the house to do some more work for 1/2 hour. Somewhere I have to figure in time to stop and breathe, eat, and sit for a few minutes.

I think I am going to hire Jessie again, a high school student who works for me when I need her. I delegate the glittering, packaging, labeling, and base painting work that I need done. Why do that when I can be designing.

I wonder how it all pulls together sometimes. This year's resolution for the art business is to have a calendar JUST for deadlines for shows, openings, and other art related things that I have to do. I can't keep up with it very well, and am not that organized to put it into planners, computer calendars etc. A simple solution that will keep me on task and not forgetting about important shows I should enter.

Back out to the studio! This is one of two cards I will be posting on Etsy later, it reminds me of the weekend I just had. Oh, and this Xmas issue of Mary Englebreit has an article about Etsy. They are wonderful to sell on, and I am glad they have done so well. Check out the full page ad they have in the magazine too!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have a paper obsession for those of you who don't already know it. Antique paper, art paper, handmade paper.

Over the years the antique paper has become hard to find and more expensive, thanks to Ebay for one. What I used to be able to pick up for next to nothing at an auction or junk shop, now commands some high prices, out of this artist's reach. What was once considered junk is now highly sought after by collectors and artists such as myself.

I have kept my paper shopping to a minimum, working with the inventory that I have.But I am out of my holiday images, and I have at least one show this fall, so I was forced to attend my local Postcard and Paper how in our little city.

Twice a year the show is held mid town, and over the years I have come to know some of the vendors. One vendor, Christine, is alwasy excited to show me things that she thinks I might use in my work, AND, she is reasonable in price. I love to sit for hours and pour through the postcards and ephemera, choosing items that I can use in my work, or that I can sell to other artists and collectors to help keep my business afloat.

Sunday, along with the postcards and other paper that I found, I stumbled upon two treasures.

Today's photos are of an early handmade Valentine card by Whitney, dating to the 1870's. It took me a while to do the research to confirm this, as I had to verify it was a Whitney, and with the use of a loop and some investigation, date the stamp used on the envelope. (FYI-it is rare to find an envelope with any of these cards, which was a big help in the date identification.) I have indeed listed it on ebay as I could use to make a bit of money to replace the money I spent at the show, and I do want this card to go to someone who will give it the home it deserves. Aside from making some money (and sometimes not---the time it takes to list on ebay and the fees often makes my profit very marginal) I often have sold rare items to museums and collectors. My biggest find was three pieces of Early American paper weaving that grossed me 850.00! The money was spent on an art class which was some distance from me, as well as a room for the weekend there!

When I was doing my master's thesis on the role of women in American Craft, I learned how women made handmade cards to make some extra money, employing their entire family to help. Once such woman, Ester Howland, started such a business in the 1850's. By the 1880's, she was making over $100,000 in sales, and eventually sold the company she has built to the Mr. Whitney. This card was probably made by Whitney before he bought Howland's company, but it was certainly inspired by her fine work. Even their way of stamping the cards is almost the same, save for hers was stamped w/an H, and his with a W.

These cards made by women and their families inspired the cards that I started making some 15 years ago, and still make today. Over the 15 years my style has morphed several times, and I still get excited when I develop a new style or way to use the materials I have.

Next post will be about my second find...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Prospective Shows?

I got an email from a friend in NJ about a show in NYC at Digitas, a company my brother in law worked for a while back. The marketing/media NY division is on Park Avenue and the company holds a craft fair for their employees for three hours one day in December. No fees, they will provide the tables and 700-800 potential buyers.

They were also looking for cards.

Upon receiving the email I sent off some pics of my cards. I did not send holiday card photos, and they were my more left of center cards, a few recently shown on this blog.

They were met with immediate interest.

I am awaiting to hear if they have a spot for me.

The universe gave me a gift, and I will run with it as far as it will let me.

The worst scenario? I make a trip to NYC with a friend and I make no money. I highly doubt that would be the case. The best scenario? My work is met with appreciation and people will snatch up what I do without a second thought. They will get what I do.

Today I also got an invitation to a juried show called FOOD, curated by Mary Anne Erikson of Bistro to Go fame, a place that is most fabulous for getting take out or to have cater your party. (the food rocks man!) It is at my alma mater Jr. college, and I have JUST the piece for the show. Political, saavy, well I will send off a photo of it, and see what happens.

I am thankful to the universe for all that it has given me.


PS this card is a GEM....available on Etsy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Show Report

And a good time was to be had by all.

We had a nice turnout in spite of the weather. It was more of a party than an opening, reminiscent of the openings at Studio 8 when Lois and I had the gallery.

It is always nice to have my friends come out and support me and local business, and to spend time chatting with them.

Two young women came from an hour away, not knowing we were having an opening, but they said they had such a great time shopping. I am sure they will be back.

I made enough money to keep my studio heated for a few more months; just the thought of closing it down makes me sad. I like having everything in there, including the paints, ready for me when I have some time to work.

My next big event is Unison in early December. From today on I will be in production for that show. I have nothing made yet, but I am sure if I put in an hour or two a day, I will be fine.

I did not sell any large pieces. Items 20.00 and under sold easily. The paintings may sit for a while. Who has an extra 50-500.00 sitting around. Most of my friends don't. Though I will bring some of my artwork to Unison, I will concentrate of pieces less than 50.00...small works that I can easily frame.

Cards flew out the door. Two out of three journals sold as well as a few of my altered antique photographs.

Thanks to you all who came, and for those who don't live nearby me, I have two Etsy shops: Catskillpaper and Pagibbons. Keep checking back every week for new items to be listed!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hot Cross Buns

"Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns"

Tonight's work is a collaged antique photograph for the front of a journal. All papers are pre 1900! It is a passion and slight obsession of mine, making new stories out of old.

This Molesine 5 x 8.25" blank book with pocket will delight the cook in your life, or someone who has a slightly twisted sense of humor.

To be found at my trunk show on Saturday down at BECKON, or if you can't get there and you HAVE to have this, email me at

Some shameless self-promotion here. And I have PAYPAL.


Monday, October 20, 2008

And Tossed a Dumpling at his Head

I want to give this image to an art class and have them write a story.
Why did they want to throw a dumpling at his head? Does throwing a dumpling from a height give it more force?

Much of my work is open-ended narrative and I often wonder if people get the humor and stories I tell with my cards.

It doesn't matter, I get such a kick out of making them.....

Here is tonight's fave. It's called GET EVEN through card making.


Sunday, October 19, 2008


I am soo very busy getting ready for a show and living my normal life on top of it, so I may just do a card-a-night posting---pick the favorite card that I made in the late afternoon time slot in the studio.

I am working hard to make some new stock, but at the same time I try and keep up with the house, and myself, and not get distraught. I figure "it all is what it is" and accept that what I bring is the absolute perfect amount of stock.

Here is tonight's pick... Home Went the Little Woman. House is from a set of 1800's prints I had, the woman is from a 1920's Clothing Catalog, and the marbled paper from the 1970's. Text is also 1800's. I am going to have a hard time selling this one.
At the very least I will scan it and save it as a digital file.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Worthy art Project: 1,500,000 Butterflies

I an in Kentucky helping my daughter after surgery with her children.

Art wise all I am doing is keeping up with my blogs, taking photos, and just enjoying being a grandmother. Oh, and teaching my four year old granddaughter to use her watercolors. (photo here)

Enclosed is a worthy link to do with your school kids if you are a teacher or an artist, or just anyone who feels passionate about this -- the 1,500,000 Butterflies Project to recognize and honor the lives lost of 1,500,000 CHILDREN in the Holocaust.

I am going to do this with my high school art students.

After spending 5 glorious days with my grandchildren, I cannot imagine the pain and the loss suffered during that time. I almost can't even go there without crying.

Enjoy every moment of life.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To the Fall

It still has not frosted here, my pulling the basil was premature. It did give me a few photo ops, but now that I am leaving for Kentucky first thing in the morning, I won't be able to make pesto out of it. What am I to do.

Here is a photo of the three pumpkins sitting outside my studio. The bench only has three legs, but I lean it up against the building. I was given to me for free, me who who adopts rickety chairs. Seems I have graduated to benches too.

The other is of lovely pink Japanese poppies that are in their last bloom.

I will be in Kentucky for 6 days. I may bring my watercolors and paper instead of my laptop. Megan does not have wireless, and all the routers on the Army base are blocked. My paints are much lighter than the laptop so I look forward to the lighter carry on. I will probably load it up with books instead.

To more new adventures, Patti O

Monday, October 6, 2008


This was the only art I got done tonight... an exercise in abstraction from a closeup of the plastic juice pitcher which held my harvest of basil as tonight it may frost.

When I see these blues, I remember the sapphire blue candies my grandmother kept in a dish on her coffee table in Brooklyn in the early 60's.

I only went there a few times as a young child, but I remember they looked like magic and had the purest of mint flavor which took my breath away. I have never found a mint that matches what I remember them to be. Perhaps I just imagined it...
They were fairy candy, wrapped in fragile cellophane as thin as dragonfly wings.

I find myself loving these shades of coolness and refreshment, the blues you see in the deep winter in the snow, the blues and greens of the Caribbean.

Perhaps I will paint this......


Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Gad About Town

It has been a long time since I have spent time doing the gallery opening circuit. I have either been away, or had another event to attend, so this month's show at ASK was the first time in ages since I have been out, or put art into a show.

The other day I headed downtown to deliver my landscapes for the Plein Air show at ASK, and ran into another gallery owner. Upon seeing me, he asked me if I wanted to be in a Holiday Show at his gallery. I was delighted, as I like the gallery and the people who run it.

Then I went to the opening for the show last night, and saw many artists whom I have not seen in a long time.

My postcards are in and I found myself also talking about my future show and handing out cards. The toughest part of this job is marketing myself in a way that I am comfortable, yet effective. (however I generally trust in the universe to provide me with exactly what I need-no more, no less). I tried to be subtle and tell only people who might be interested in seeing what I do, and I do have a few collectors of my cards, and the occasional art pieces.

Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the Plein Air show at the ASK gallery on lower Broadway in Kingston, NY. Tonight's artwork was a piece that I painted very freely as the sun was setting and blinding me on the banks of the Hudson at Clermont. I love this painting, and I lovingly matted and framed it. I will be so glad to have it in my house when the show comes down. I also have an acrylic painting/sketch I did at Olana. It is full of line, color, and mood. That too will find a nice spot in my house. That is, unless it sells.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A card

I have been busy designing more cards for my patron. Here is one for tonight, appropriate for a cool early autumn night.

ms. p.

A funny note.... I was reviewing for a quiz in my art history class, and I asked the question, what is object was made in 25,000 BC? One of my students answered "Miss Patti". "Ha, very funny I replied" and we all had a good laugh.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Buddhist Land

I recently returned from a retreat - WO FO YO O, which was an art and mindfulness retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery, founded by Thich Nhat Hahn who also has a Monastary in California, and one in France (Plum Village)

I won't get into my life history here, that is on my other blog, but it was a life-changing experience.

In one of the workshops we did periods of meditation, followed by making art.

While meditating, I kept perseverating about what I was going to make. Abstract? Landscape? Color?

I let these thoughts go in and then out of my head, and briefly opened my eyes and then closed them. The image that was etched into my mind when I closed them inspired the watercolor

Whether a trick of light or of my mind, I went with it and made this sketch.

Later on that evening, we put all of our artwork in a circle in the meditation hall for all to see. Many people, many of them the sisters of the monastery, took my sketchbook and carefully looked through the watercolors and drawings I had done of the Catskills.

I was honored by their rapt attention to the work, and their admiration of it.

All these years I have been seeking the approval of my father who told me I was not good enough, and have worked so hard to prove him wrong. Here I realized that all along I got an A+ from the universe and all is good.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catching Up

Much has happened since I last posted.
I have:
Designed my show card for the end of October
Gone to a four day Buddhist Art Retreat
Worked on my cards for my steadfast client
and tomorrow I will be gathering/framing a few pieces for a show titled "Plein Air"

I have learned much at the retreat. I thought I could never meditate and found out that I have been meditating through my art since I was five years old. I am learning to see nature with an even fiercer and more loving eye.

In between being a mother, a wife, a teacher, a grandmother, and life's student I will somehow make time to make art, and share my vision of the world.

More to come, Patti

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The show put me back a bit, and I have been trying to get acclimated to my school schedule. Work all day teaching kids who themselves are still on summer party schedule is tough, and afterwards I come home to work in the studio.

I freaked last week and did very little. Too much going on in my life and I knew I could not jump into two jobs so soon.

But this week I have to get back to work as I have an order to fill, and a show coming in another 7 weeks.

I also am going to Kentucky again to take care of my daughter's children while she recovers from some surgery. Thankfully the biopsies came back ok...but she will still need a hand with the 2 month old and the 4 year old.

The cards were made today, one for a man who owns a film house in Europe, the other, who knows who will get that one.

I hope I get some time to paint sometime soon too. I feel a painting needing to be birthed.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Show

It was three 14 hour days in a row. School started, and I had to finish up all the preparations for the show. I ended up getting 14 pieces finished/framed etc., and had a not-quite-full rack of cards.

The show was fabulously well put together. The artists were very cool, as were the sponsors and art patrons. Only thing is, it seemed people were more into the cocktail party aspect of it than buying art.

I did sell a small piece, and some cards, and would consider doing the show again. Often the success of a show is more than the financial profit - many people in the community got to see what I do and I was surprised that my paintings got as much attention as my mixed media works. I felt honored to be there, and it was a fun night.

I have artwork to take to BECKON, and will be preparing for my trunk show at the end of October. That will be my next challenge.

Photo is of the piece that I sold. Titled: She Wears Protection. Mixed Media/Encaustic.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Watercolor Sketch

Friday I overnighted a card order to a client, Saturday I delivered 20 cards to BECKON, downtown on the Strand in Kingston. Yesterday I spent the day with a friend, and today I did very little except play.

Tomorrow I start school, which absorbs a good deal of my time till next June. Somehow I have to keep painting, making cards, and growing as an artist in whatever time and energy I have left over from teaching art to teens-at-risk.

I still have to make cards for the show on Thursday, and have paintings to sign, so the next two days will be FULL!

Yet I know that after work tomorrow I will say F-it to setting up my classroom, and head home to sun and swim soaking up every last ounce of summer sunshine, and then dash back home to work in the studio for one last blast, as my mantra is to continue to take time each and every day for ME.

Today I headed to the banks of the Hudson River at Clermont for the sun set. I painted an expressionistic watercolor as the sun was blinding me off the Hudson River while I sipped on a Corona. It was a splendid day........


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Show Time......

I have returned from my 10 day hiatus through 5 states and one time zone.

I made little art for 10 days. My art was cooking and being with my family and loving every moment with them. And honestly, I need a break from my art at times as I am a bit obsessive and easily fall into a work-a-holic routine where I forget about cooking, hanging out, playing, watching birds and noticing life.

But I have a show on the 4th and card orders to fill, so I have been careful organizing my time so that I have had time every day for editing my work, framing, and making cards.

I replaced my broken printer with a new Canon Pixma MX850, but it has sat for three days and I have STILL not installed it. I just know that I have to put aside an hour or two to install, learn, etc. this new printer/fax/scanner and then get my ass in gear and print up another round of cards!

Here is a chuckle, a card that is going off to one of my clients.


Monday, August 18, 2008

In Kentucky

One of the things that I have learned is that down time is sometimes the time that I get the most inspiration. It is the moments in between the work that the work is created..a paraphrase to that famous quote by Debussy? that "the music is what happens in between the notes".

There is a book that I want to write, and probably will have to self publish. I won't say what it is in case someone decides to beat me to it. I have had enough of that in my life where I have come up with an idea, and someone else ran with it and made the money.

I outlined it on the 999 miles that I spent in the car traveling here, with my husband give me feedback and insight, and as always, his never ending support.

So there will be more to follow.

I probably will not make a fortune on this, but like my art, it is something that I have to and want to do.

Such is the process of art!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Slide Show

I did get to spend some time today working on a slide show that I can send to people who want to see my art, and eventually I will keep it as a side bar on my blogs.

Of course, I am willing to sell my art, but I am more interested in sharing my work with others, and this was a fun and easy way to do it. If you want to see the picture larger, click on the slide show, it will bring you up to the site, and then find the piece that you want to see larger, and click on it.

I have spent my snippets of time that I have framing some of my work in preparation for the show on the 4th. I don't have to have that much done, but what I have I want to show well. I will just add on the price of the frame to the piece.

Sadly, I think my printer is on the blink, and I really need it to work. Later I will head to the printer forums, but I suspect it put in its two years and is getting ready to retire. :(


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alice in Wanderland

I had an order for 24 cards from my client. Nancy is so kind and good to me, and I feel badly falling short on her order. In all that is going on, I was only able to make her a dozen cards. The rest of my time has been in a nursing home or on the phone with my siblings. I am sure she will understand.

I am sending her all the cards I made save for this one. This one calls to me to keep it, with its layers of vintage and antique papers. But it is more than the papers, it is the Alice like quality that holds me to tucking her away.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Feeling Overwhelmed

I went to my local farm stand today, to buy fresh mozzarella, veggies, and a pie for tonight's dinner. My mother is quite ill, and my brother and sister and their families are coming to discuss some very difficult details. I am trying to keep the visit simple.

My friend who works there said "I saw your name on the invite for the Fall for Art show on the 4th of next month!". Startled I said, "oh yes" and almost had another anxiety attack. In less than a month I have to be ready for a show. In less than three days I have to have an order ready for my client. In four days I will be leaving to visit my daughter who just had a baby in Kentucky for 10 days, not knowing if I will get a phone call telling me to head back home. (I am driving--900 miles one way..)

I just canceled a few days in NYC with a friend at the end of the month. I feel time slipping away with so much work to be done. School starts the 2nd, and the show is the 4th. And I don't know what it going to happen with my mom. I live a moment at a time.

These little water color sketches were done in Rock Harbor, Cape Cod, in the lovely town of Orleans. I feel like those little trees -- lost in the ocean at high tide, so small, subjected to the elements.

I live for the low tide.


Monday, August 4, 2008

A Frederick Church Sky

I am back home from the Cape, and I ended my last night with a walk along Skaket Beach at sun set. Last weeks local paper voted it as one of the best beaches on the Cape to view it, and it indeed was spectacular.

I was graced with many shots of incredible changing cloud formations in colors ranging from the palest of blues to the rich golds and dark purples of the fading light.

I have so many cloud studies now that I think I should just proceed to print up a few dozen, and start to do a series of paintings. One or two does not a series make.

I thought of Frederick Church's intense paintings of the sun setting in the Hudson Valley, and thus I posted this.... as the poetry at the end of a beautiful day ala Church.

Life is beautiful. (A MUST SEE MOVIE)


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Chillin'

I have been away, doing very little except relaxing.

I took my watercolors and acrylics, and did not paint, and this trip I am leaving the acrylics home but still packing the watercolors.

The camera and laptop always travel with me, just in case I feel like doing some Photoshop and writing.

This next trip is to Cape Cod for four days, and I don't know what I will do, nor do I care. Dinner with friends, a baseball game. Dinner in or dinner out, beach walks, some reading. All or none of the above, whichever is all good. Down time for the fast pace that will eventually creep back into my life.

Photo of the beds we slept in. Meredith was a bit appalled that I shot the messy beds, but I find them rather romantic.

Be back in several days.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some Paintings

I am trying not to get hung up about my paintings.

Lately I have been laying out paint, grabbing some brushes, and laying color down. I usually have a plan in mind, or a photo (which I have taken and printed) as a jump start, and sometimes things just happen of their own accord, and morph into another form.

When I am finished with the piece, I put it aside, and decide whether it is worth doing more work on, or if it is finished, I let it go.

I have always been a product person being in the production line of art for so many years, and am learning to accept the process as a very important part of my work. So what if only one out of six paintings is what I deem "worthy" to frame and/or sell? The others were essential in learning how to work with color, subject, the paint, etc.

The worst thing is that I will have tons of studies about my walls, and eventually I will either give them away to people who fall in love with them, or I will gesso them over and start anew.

One painting, the Red Sky painting, I will work further on. It has potential but it is a bit too dark.

The other is a sky study from one of my 1000s of photos I have taken of the sunsets/storms/sunrises here in the Hudson Valley.

I have been working in acrylics due to their convenience and will be taking them and my watercolors on my little trip to a cabin in the woods in Massachusetts. I will be gone a few days, and probably not have Internet access. Then again, who knows!

Till I am back,


Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Few New Art Gifts

I bought myself a few gifts recently. I know, I have made so little money, but I did sell one of my books which paid for half of my new book, a comprehensive book on the artist Odd Nerdrum. His work is surreal and sometimes downright bizarre, and he paints in the classical manner. I have much to look at and learn from.

I got it online with my membership PLUS a 15% coupon and free shipping from Barnes and Noble for a bit over 50.00, a far cry from the 85.00 at the Metropolitan Museum when I saw it there. Only one problem, no packing in the box, and it got a bit dinged up. I think I will return it after I get back from vacation and ask them for a new copy, NOT DINGED UP. Sheesh, what poor packing.

I also bought a great griddle at Macy's for my encaustic paints. Reg. 35.00, it was on sale for 19.99. Super cool.

Am off to check out the hot plate. R and F wants A LOT for their set up which I cannot afford at this moment. So hopefully this will work just fine.

Oh, and that is Shiva, my 1/2 Siamese cat, and the very expensive Moroccan table I bought up at Olana last summer...the table that I obsessed about. OK, price is all relative, but when most of your life your have bought furniture at yard sales, this seemed ostentatious! BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If you can't find what you like......

I was looking through Etsy to see if I could find a triple light switch plate which would be cool to decorate my kitchen wall, the one that you see when you enter from my side door.

Apparently triple plates are not that common, and most of what I found did not suit my decor needs.

I even went on eBay, to no avail. Hmm...I thought. Perhaps this is a good thing to make and sell.


I made the plate, photo here, and am glad that I took the time to do it, but except for making one more for the living room, I doubt that I will go into production as it was labor intensive and took a good hour or so to make. I would have to charge at least 25.00 to cover my time, materials, and overhead, and who is going to pay that? Now I understand why many are made with fabric. It probably behaves better in projects such as this.

I used antique prints from a seed catalog which were on medium weight paper, and used Golden's Heavy Body gel to affix the paper onto a 1.99 light switch. It was tricky as the gel dried fast, and I had to hold the edges down for a while so that they would stick. The inside of the switch openings were a bit tricky too. I cut an X inside the switch opening on the back side, and then had to fold back the paper and glue THAT down to the back, and also hold that till it stuck.

The finish was two coats of UV Satin Varnish, which gave it a nice flat look and I am hoping it will be lightly washable.

Worst case scenario? I make another one down the road when this one wears out.

I am enjoying my switch, and people get a chuckle out of it when they come in.

Mission Accomplished.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

House Warming Gift

I have had lots on my mind to write about, but I am pressed for time.

My dealing with my lack of self confidence in art and the visit to the therapist.

The visit to the studio and the work that I created.

The yard sale of cool stuff.

But that will all have to wait.

Today's piece was inspired by Melissa McCobb Hubbell, whose blog The Garden of Pink Shadows is linked here in my list of art blogs I love. She ran the group and produced the zine Art Erratica for a very long time, and I had the good fortune to meet her some 8 years ago at a Jonathon Talbot workshop.

Her Etsy store had some great altered cabinet photos. I have been altering them in a different way for many years, and they are the basis for the zine I made EAT MAN DRINK WATER, which tells the store of Tottie and Dick. It is a dark Victorian story. with humor and a twist. (It is available on my CATSKILLPAPER Etsy shop, hint hint)

I have a house warming party to go to for my friend's daughter. I am not much in the mood; my mother's health is not well, possibly failing, a friend died and I have to go to her wake later today. I am financially "challenged" so I decided to make her a gift for her house based upon Melissa's card idea.

The card is not done as I have to wire or ribbon the top, but I thought it perfect for her housewarming gift. If you like this, go to Melissa's Etsy Store. I noticed that she has closed it for vacation, but check out her sold items to see what she creates and sells. I don't see any of her ladies there, but I am sure she will put them back up when she is back in town.

Off to write my other blog, sip some coffee, and prepare myself for yoga. At least there I know I will find peace for a bit.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cleaning Up.....

So I have worked in bits and pieces in the studio, but more importantly I have been cleaning up my back Ebay/Etsy room.

I have posted a shameful photograph of what part of it looks like. Notice the heaters are lines with boxes of paper, some for sale, some not. Piles of books. The only organized thing is my book case, which towers neatly above the partially organized piles of paper. Bills, taxes, ephemera, books, school stuff. HOW CAN I GET A HANDLE ON THIS other than using the fireplace to burn it all?

I spent a good part of yesterday listing things on Etsy. Really artist friends, you should check out my store...make me an offer, and I can even put a package together for you and give you a deal! I sold one thing for 1.50...and had someone tell me that my cards are well done and some are very funny. "Great" I think, "but where are all the buyers?" I know, saving money for gas and oil.

I gladly went into school today for a meeting. There I get paid 48.00 an hour doing curriculum writing, and I worked for three hours. YAY I thought. If I get paid w/in the month I might not starve at the end of the summer. I instantly signed up to work another 5 hours, not caring that I am not in the studio on friday.

I guess when I ask the universe for abundance, it doesn't always mean the money will come in the way of art and ephemera sales, and I thank it for giving me SOMETHING.

Patti who will work a bit more in this mess before taking a nap.