Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Changing Blogs ....

In an effort to streamline operations here at 17 Mountainview, I am going to drop this blog, drop my fan page on Facebook, and just keep Twitter for the public, (found under pagibbons), Facebook for my local, virtual, and business friends, and all blogs will be posted at my other blog, EAT MAN DRINK WATER.

I have ATTEMPTED to keep my art and my life separate from one another, but alas, all I have done is create more work for myself, and the reality is that my art is my life, my life is my art, art is life, life is art. So, one blog, one website.

However I am going to keep two Etsy accounts going. Catskillpaper for the ephemera, and Pagibbons for my art. Ebay is still Catskillpaper.

Please hop over to my other blog, where you can read about art and life, and how they are inexorably, inextricably intertwined.

Love to all my readers, and thanks for following me!!!!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So, after a sale, an invitation to a Christmas show I am thrilled to be in, I was rejected in two other shows. Fortunately last week the universe gave me the hope and elation that ones feels when they sell a piece of art for a good amount of money - hope which will last until the money runs out - which happens when the gas runs out.

I will go up to pick up my rejected works after work and before heading back for parents night, and remember why I keep teaching. It's a steady, predictable source of income, and I have fun doing it too.

But I also love the other side-the crazy, emotional, magical and mystical art ride....and I just have to keep the faith and do the 10,000 hours and be grateful that I live my life in the arts nearly 24/7...and it's all good.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Sale and Inspiration

Last weekend at the Woodstock Artists Asso/Museum, I sold my painting in the show "The Other Side of the Mountain". It was a large oil of a sunset at Olana, which I had framed in a simple black canvas frame.

I thought it looked good against the wall, and imagined it would look splendid in a house with the right light and large walls...it could shimmer and sing. Well, the universe paired it up with someone else who thought so too, and it was SOLD!

Off it goes to NYC this weekend, I already have the check sans commission, and I have two more shows to submit for.

I am grateful, thankful, honored and delighted to sell a painting!

A few photos of my recent rides into the Catskills. They are digitally enhanced/manipulated, some just a little, some just a lot.

I think they're fun and will incorporate them into work soon. PS The bottom one is titled: "They Closed the New York State Thruway Man...."


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Helpful Hint: Photos and Painters Tape

I discovered a clever way to mask off photographs when you are preparing to use them as reference for composition/sketching/ painting. Sometimes I just fold them up when I print them on matte paper to fit the layout I want, but other times I am working from a photo that I don't want to cut up.

I remembered that I had a roll of white 3M low tack painter's tape. I laid that down on the edges that I needed to crop out, and if any hung over the edge, I cut it down except for one edge..which I let overlap as the strip that still had the exposed glue, could easily affix the photo to an easel or other surface. So far, it peels off neatly and easily. I shall wait a year or two to see how easy it peels off then, as often some pieces take that long to finish and the photos are in a pile buried on my desk.

Today I had precious little time in my haven, but as I was cleaning and trying to de-clutter, I came across a large drawing pad that I did not know I had. I took out my pastels and worked up a quick 45 minute sketch, about the amount of time for a class. I am teaching charcoal and pastel drawing in school, and I find that I enjoy exploring the medium that I give my students to do, along side of them and at home. It helps me remember the frustrations, the problems, the solutions of the medium/project. It keeps me fresh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Current Studio Work

I got into the studio yesterday for the first time in weeks. I spent a good five hours in there cleaning, getting reacquainted with everything (it takes a bit to locate and set up supplies for my various projects) and making both cards and art.

I had hoped that the muse would pay me a visit, even if I was only making cards, and she did, only it always isn't what you expected.

I call myself a bricolage artist; one who works with a diverse range of items that are "at hand".Since my work space and studio are crowded with stuff, that is not hard to do. However, sometimes it can be overwhelming, so I will pick a box or pick a pile and start to work.

I never know what happens. Lots of cards get made, and I periodically get ideas on paintings and larger collages that I want to do.

As I was sorting out photos for the photo drawer, I picked up some paint and decided to play with a few photos of children. I accidentally scratched the dry paint on the 1860's photo, and it came off. So then I thought OK, let's scratch into that. Then came out the watercolor photo paints, and the markers. A few hours later and a lot of chuckling, I made a few pieces as well as a bunch of cards.

Today I am a bit stressed about some medical issues that my daughter has. I think I will stay home on this rainy day and amuse myself in the studio. Remember what Reader's Digest always said "Laughter is the Best Medicine" ( a column I used to read in the 60's that always amused me).


Friday, September 18, 2009

Questions to the Universe

I have a guru; she is an amazing woman. She counsels me, she is my mother/grandmother/priestess/sister.

In talking to her the other day, I related my concern about studying with other artists, lest their style infiltrate my work. Larry and I also had a conversation about this, as he is witness as to how other artists blatantly steal ideas and images, and call them their own, some of whom reap big benefits from it, while we little guys struggle.

I am concerned about being pure. I want to express to the world what I see in a voice that is uniquely me. I want to learn, but not be tainted by the visions of others.

But she told me, as did my mentor Jonathon Talbot, that the art world is built upon the knowledge of others. We don't always need to reinvent the wheel. Take the best from all that we learn, and forge our own path.

As long as I keep making art, that is all that matters.

To Peg and Jonathan - thank you.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Post Openings

The openings last night were fun, and several people came up to me and said "I didn't know you painted!". They are not close friends, as my close friend's know that it has been a secret passion for many years, and it is only my insecurities and childhood damages that kept me in the closet for so long. Two out of three of the upstairs shows I have made it in have been paintings, this one being on the largest pieces that I have submitted. I am not done with my mixed media work, but plan to keep working with the paint.

I enjoyed the four openings as I also saw lots of friends, both old and new. My opening quote, however, has been filled for a while, and need to now get BACK into the studio.

I made a video over the weekend of my work with music, but since the music is copyrighted, I will have to go back and remove it so that I can post the images here.Perhaps I could ask WAH! for permission to use it in my slide presentation, but I suspect it might cost me some money...but then again, if she likes what I did with it, I might get her blessings.It doesn't hurt to ask!!!


PS a deer on the way to the opening. I leaned out of the car and made fart noises..it first looked at me like I was a nut, then stuck its tongue out! lol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Woodstock Openings this Saturday

I am thrilled to have one of my new paintings, never shown before, at the Woodstock Art Association/Museum show "The Other Side of the Mountain" which opens at the gallery this Saturday, from 4-6.

It is one of my larger 24 x 30" oil paintings of an Olana sunset - mostly sky, with just a hint of mountains at the bottom. A small acrylic sky was rejected at the Small Works Show, but I have to say, if I were to choose between the two, I would rather have it be the upstairs/main gallery showing.

This makes the second painting to get into a show. I know you probably think...what's the big deal, but as someone who has always beenan insecure painter who didn't paint for a very long time, this is a joy.

I can't think back to my past, as it does no good. But once in a great while I ponder, "what IF my parents supported my art and my paintings" However rather than the what-ifs, I chose to go with "look what I am doing NOW".

The other two pieces are at the Varga Gallery, two new works that have not been shown and are mixed media pieces. That opening is 6-8, with music at 8.

It has been a challenge however finding time or energy to get into the studio. I am hoping that once I get on a schedule, I will have more impetus to spend a few hours painting. Right now, I have such little drive. School is sucking up all my energy, and all that is left is a little for cleaning the studio some more, and selling papers online as I need to earn some moolah for the heating bills for the studio.

Oh and PS don't forget to catch the openings at the Woodstock School of Art, Oriole 9 and The Dog House Gallery, right outside of town on the corner of Glasco Turnpike and Phillips Road. If you plan it right, you can catch a majority of them. Makes for a fun night out!

Top Photo: Olana sunset at the Woodstock Art Association (Oil on Canvas Framed, 24 x 30", 500.00)

Bottom Photo: Mon Cherie (mixed media in a fab antique frame for around 265.00--I forgot what the price is) at the Varga Art Collective.

PS due to lack of time, this will be posted to my main blog too. Being lazy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Paper Art at Paper Trail

I stopped into Paper Trail in Rhinebeck NY with Lois so she could buy her grandchildren gifts. Alanna's birthday is wednesday, and though I had sent off package No. 1 to her, I could not resist a Colorform type toy for her to supplement the clothes and little earrings I was sending.

Their new location, not far from their old one, has given them much more space, and they utilize it for not only merchandise, but for shows of art employing of course, paper.

Currently there is exhibition featuring dresses made of paper; cut up magazines, tissue, and other papers, as well as sculptural relief work made out of books. They were inspiring and it was nice to see a store that was delectible in every way.

The holidays are coming, and perhaps I will do my shopping here. From large sparkling letters for a child's name, to journals, paperweights, cards, and more, it could be one stop shopping for me. Plus, I am giving a local business, not the box stores, my money.

And perhaps one day, I will bring them my portfolio.

Stop in and visit, you won't leave empty handed!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Card and Book Design to the Highest Level

Larry sent me a link today for the a book by Barbara Hodgson titled My Card: Variantions. Limited Edition of 9 copies, only 6 of which are for sale. $2500.00 for a copy.

Of course you know out came my calculator to figure that if there were 30 cards in the box, it came to 83.00 a card. She has to share the profits with the bookbinder and printer, and then there are the supplies, but even if she mades 40-50.00 a card, she isn't doing badly.

It looks like a beautiful collector's item.

Perhaps I too have to raise the card to an even higher level than I already have.
But something tells me that it is very hard to sell something like this; most likely a museum or library might buy it, or a collector of rare and limited edition books.

But I like the concept, and I will muse upon it for a bit. If I only had all the cards I made over the past 10 years; I would have an incredible set of cards made with antique paper, with text to chuckle by. Sort of a feminine Edward Gorey. I already have the title for it...."Nursery Crimes".

You never know......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Great Read and Cleaning the Studio

I recently finished STRAPLESS: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.It was a fascinating read about Europe and the US in the time of the Belle Epoch, and colorfully describes the social customs of artists and the elite, and the intertwined lives of Sargent and the woman who was the subject of the painting MADAME X, which resides at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. Sex, fashion, mores, scandals, and affairs, the author tells the story is a lively manner. I could not put down the book; it is much more animated than the other biography I am reading, The Duchess. It is a must read for those who are interested in the art and social customs of that period. Illustrations in both black and white and color, and it is a book that will be kept for reference and as part of my art book collection.

The studio took in water again with all the storms, and I am tearing it apart, and boxing up things that I will no longer use and posting it on yahoo groups first before I take the time to post it to Etsy. Antique paper, vintage marbled paper, mixed media/rubber stamp supplies. Though I will take a considerable loss, it is better to make room for my canvases and paints, and find a home for others who will use them..than to have them sit and collect dust. With my water problems, I am trying to simply and keep everything I can off the floor even though they are in plastic.

Off to wash my hands, and make a drink.. It is hot and dusty work!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Small Paintings

The past few days have been full of domestic duties and art time.I have a handful of canvases/boards that are partially painted, and need finishing.I have to force myself at times to finish what I start..too easy to have flotsam and jetsam cluttering up the studio....so this summer I have managed to finish and frame a few collages, as well as some of my paintings.

Here are two that I worked on...small 6 x 6" oils on lovely wood panels, with 3/4" painted wood sides. Perfect to hang on the wall as is, or else floated in a frame. One of my goals today is to order up some frames from Dick Blick so I can finish off a few of my pieces. I have a few bucks in my business account, though that will go fast I am sure. Just need to sell a few paintings. AND, by the way, if you are interested in any paintings that I show here, please inquire! Make me an offer I can't refuse!

Oh, and I was on TV last night..on Apocalypse Varga, public TV in Woodstock. Christina runs the Visionary Art Collective where I show my work. It was fun, though I have to say I was a bit nervous and it felt very unnatural to be up on a stage with a mic in front of my face. Those things make me nervous. It was fun to show a few of my larger oils which have not gone out into the public yet, and see how a small TV show is operated/streamed. FASCINATING! Oh and as an aside, someone called up to say they liked my art, then proceeded to ask some twisted sex question. Fortunately Christina had not been able to hook the phone up to the TV set, and it never got asked on air. Sheesh, and I had not even discussed what I love about the sunsuality of the paint!

Off to tidy up the studio for a bit, then perhaps paint some more. My electric was out for hours yesterday, and I never got some reference photos printed up so that I can finish a few more pieces.

out to da studio!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Progress

Here are three painting in progress that I started on the Cape. They are very rough, are blocked out in acrylic, and I suspect that they will all be done however in oils over the acrylic. I cannot achieve my vision in the acrylics, save perhaps for the one of the salt marsh.

The blue one is a view from our terrace at 10 pm at night, the glow from the town of Wellfleet hovering over the tree line of the marsh, with the little lights from the huge house on the march aglow.

The other is of a sunset in progress....lots more to add.

The final one of the salt Marsh at Great Island. Only just started.

Will have to work on these this week, along with one of the distant view of the Hudson from Olana that needs another layer. I am liking painting small for a bit, but do miss the looseness of the large canvas.

Off to swim for our last day of the weekend...and maybe some time later on in the studio.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Wellfleet

The days have been sunny here, and more conducive to going to the beach and exploring than for painting.

One cloudy morning I primed 7 canvases with black gesso, which has been the color of my ground for the past year. I have been working on a variety of smaller canvases, which are easier to transport, and I figure easier to sell than large canvases. Also, cheaper to frame. I am hoping to bring some of them to my yearly art/craft fair that I do, as I start to phase out craft for painting.

As I study with different artists and teachers, I learn new techniques. Some I have abandoned, using only what works for me, others I incorporate into my work on a long term basis, until I have mastered it, or discover something else. I am trying not to bounce around too much, as I don't want to be a master at nothing.

I have taken many photos, a few which will be used for painting in the studio. Like with technique, I take what I like, and leave the rest. The photos are useful for seeing shape, light, and color, though the greens and intense blues of the marsh are etched into my brain.

Today is cloudy, and perhaps I will start a painting. I have bought acrylics with me, which I am learning to use better as I learn to paint with oils. I know it sounds odd, but as I became more adept at handling oil, I am learning how to tame acrylics in spite of their fast drying time.
They no longer frustrate me quite like they did in collage years, where I likened to painting with acrylics to skiing, going from quick packed powder, to slush.

Photos of the salt marsh.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Heading Out

Haven't been in the studio for a while as I had to take off to Westchester and Queens to see my aunt for the last time before she passes on, and then I had to pack for my trip to the Cape and do the 10,000 things that need to be done in order to get away for a week.

For the first time I am bringing paints other than watercolors with me, along with a bunch of small canvases.

With the way the summer is going, I am sure that every single day isn't going to be warm and sunny, so I hope that I can set up my table easel somewhere and paint. I will have my digital camera, and my laptop, so that I can access my painting reference photos, or else I will just paint the landscape outside one of the windows..unless there is none. And, since I have never rented this house before, who knows what view there is, if any.

I feel a slow but sure improvement in my painting. Each time I do a painting, something is learned about composition, color, technique. I am striving to find a voice in how I express my emotion in my work, to give it a niche in the world of landscape painting. And, I have only painted the ocean a few times before, so this will be an opportunity to expand my horizons.

It is now 4 am..and I hope I can get back to sleep. More from the cape, Patti

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catskills in the Rain

Still working on this painting as I am struggling with getting the clouds and mist right, as well as the middle ground.

I challenge myself from time to time with difficult landscapes, so that I can push the envelope and learn. Sometimes however, I wish I could just google it, find out how to do it, and let it be magic instead of laboring over it so long. But that is the way I learn about color, how the paint moves and works, and it forces me to explore the medium.

And, someone will like it I am sure.

I dread tomorrow as I have to check on the studio. With all the rain it may have flooded, and there is nothing I can do about it now. There is always something that is not in plastic, or I leave on the floor. Always. And then there is the clean up.The wet vac, the towels. I have to put the heat on to dry it out. Something always molds. But I am getting ahead of myself. Perhaps it is OK. BUT it isn't likely.

And then there are the woodchucks and tomato blight that have me totally OCD'd



Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Hudson from Olana

I started this Friday, and finished today. 8 x 10" oil painting on canvas.
Sunset on the Hudson from Olana.

My intention is not to paint like the Hudson River artists, but I am influenced by the love of their work, the history of American art during this period, and my passionate love for the Hudson Valley.

I have decided to work on a series of Hudson Valley paintings this summer in oils, and during the week I spend in Wellfleet, I will take my acrylics. My goal is to have a body of 20 pieces of work, both small and large, that reflect the beauty and the moods of my local landscape, in a way that also reflects my personal experiences with it.

I am learning so much as I paint and photograph my inspirations, constantly thinking about light/quality of light, composition, mood. Fear of the white canvas is no longer an issue, and I paint knowing I don't have to be perfect. Some canvases are best left as examples of the learning process. The journey has been a wonderful one.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Eat Man Drink Water: A Bloggers Slog Through the Hudson Valley

Sometimes I cannot separate my personal life from my art...so rather than repeating myself here...especially to my readers who read both blogs, take a hop over to my other blog, EAT MAN DRINK WATER which has two postings about art.

It talks about some of my recent art struggles, and the show I am currently in.

Also, for those who are on Facebook, I have two pages. One personal, Patti Gibbons, and one art, Catskill Paper. Feel free to friend me..just say you are a reader of my blog in case I don't know you. I have had to block a lot of Twitter followers as their Twits were about sex or suggestive of it, and though I am not opposed to whatever they are doing, I will keep that part of my life personal!

Off to organize my digital photos which is always a challenge!


Photo of the piece LIGHT FLIGHT accepted into the Woodstock Art Asso/Museum for the show: Energy, Spirit, and Vision, a celebration of the concert at Woodstock 40 years ago.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clean Hands!

I went into the studio to paint all day, save for a few minutes for lunch and my yearly physical.

In order to not look like a total slob, and show up with messy oily hands, I decided to protect my hands and grabbed my tube of SBS 44 Protective Cream. It is made to protect from water based materials/art supplies, which I bought from R and F Encaustic Paint Company, one of my favorite places to do a workshop or shop for paints/encaustics and supplies.

As usual, I had paint on my hands, but with the protection of the cream, and a wash up with Crabtree and Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Recovery which was a Mother's Day gift from my daughter, the paint came off without an issue, and my hands were left smooth and clean (save for the aqua that slid underneath a few of my fingernails.

Tonight's painting is layer 1..which is in oil, done on top of an under painting in dark colored gesso. I will probably do a few more layers before it is done. Each painting is a challenge..this one trying to capture the feel of light rain coming down on part of the mountains...reference photo taken on the way to the Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I want to clear out some of the inventory in my catskillpaper Etsy shop. I am offering 35% off all this week. Order, and when I get your order I will send you a Paypal invoice with the discount, and combined shipping charges if you order multiple items.

Keep checking back as I will be putting new things up all week.

Mostly antique and vintage paper and mixed media supplies. I am narrowing down the focus of my art to painting and keeping only the images that I think I will work with in the future. So, I have an entire collection of STUFF to liquidate!

Off for a day in the studio. It is raining here, I have no appointments, and look forward to time alone with my art and the voices in my head. lol.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I fly to Kentucky to bring my granddaughter home tomorrow and return Saturday.

I will miss her so, but I am also anxious to get back into the studio and meet up with my muse and make some ART. I have missed it, but also realize the importance of spending time with Alanna.

My husband is a photographer, specializing in 8 x 10 view camera film photography. But he also has a collection of cameras, including some monster of a digital Canon with a variety of lenses. He has taken some amazing photographs with it, though black and white is his true love, and he is still trying to learn Photoshop.

A photo of Alanna playing with her first sparkler taken by Larry with the Canon.


And may magic be in my studio when I return home, and abundant in yours too!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Making Appearances

In my mind, the perfect scenario for me to be would be stay home locked away in my studio and make art. Somehow through magic "they" will find me, love my art, and they will buy.

But the reality is, they won't know if you don't get out there to show and tell the world, and they aren't going to find you with out signs-in the figurative sense of the word.

One of the hardest lessons for artists young and old to learn is that 1/3 of your time is spent marketing. That takes the form of schmoozing, making business cards, having a website (mine has to be re-designed and all of the files are on my portable hard drive which is not cooperating with the iMac), entering shows, joining art groups, going to shows etc. It's hard work at times, but we are our own best salespeople as we are the ones who believe in our art.

Yesterday I had enough time to make ONE card in the studio for a dear friend who was celebrating his first year anniversary. I also started weeding out piles of papers into what I will use, and what I will sell. Even though I love to make my cards and mixed media pieces, I will never use all that I have, and I need money more than I need paper.

I did make it to a friend's show, as well as to the Varga Gallery, where I had 2 pieces. When I got there she did not have the labels up, so I found mine, and proceeded to put them on, while talking to a few people who were interested in my work. We talked technique, subject, and process, and though I did not sell the pieces, I was connecting with other artists and patrons. I had a lovely time, and it was all good.

I take off to Kentucky with Alanna on Wednesday, and will stay down there a few days before I head home. Once I am home, I am going to put myself full force into my work, cleaning the studio, selling stuff, and doing the "hustle".

Tonight's pics are of two chairs by Scott Ackermann that I thought were really cool.
I don't know the details, but if you are in Woodstock, check out his solo show at Varga's.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My work was not accepted into the active members group.

I know it wasn't because of my work, as I got an invite to a solo show of an artist in the same organization, and to tell you the truth, my work is equally as good....and holds its own very well thank you next to this work.

But, I have to remember to not take it personally, and there are any number of reasons that I did not get in, but it isn't because my work isn't good or well put together.

When you join an "art organizations" - probably most art organizations, you are signing into a complex web of egos who sit on boards and committees, and one's success may be measured by the ability to help the organization whether thru financial contributions, or volunteer work, and preferably a bit of both.

As a new member who does not have time to volunteer, or money to donate to the cause, I suspect I will have to wait the full two years and four shows ruling to get full benefits. I really wish I could say that it is the art itself and ONLY the art which speaks, but I know better. Many people buy their way into the art world.

Yet still I believe in the goal of the organizations, to promote art and artists, and I will wait my turn and go through the rejections in order to get my small little seat in my local niche.

I hope I don't come across as sour grapes. I just speak the truth and have stayed out of being on committees and boards because ego gets involved all too often. But I will support them as they ARE doing good for the art community and the community at large, and as long as I still love what I am doing, the rest doesn't matter, does it?

In humor, Patti

Monday, July 6, 2009

Active Members Jurying Today

For any of you who belong to the Woodstock Arts Association/Museum, this afternoon is the drop off for jurying for the pick of new "Active Members".

You can become an active member one of two ways; your portfolio of 6 pieces is put up for review, or else you have to be accepted into 4 shows in two years. I figure it will take me the two years to do it, but since Loel is insisting that I at least submit 6 pieces and see what happens, I am going to be daring and make the trip and do it. The worst thing is that I am rejected, something artists get used to I am told. My skin is getting thicker.

The advantage of being an active member...more shows that your work gets into, more opportunities to be seen and known. It all is what it is.....nothing more, nothing less. You can't win if you don't play, blah blah blah.

So off to the studio to pick 6 cohesive pieces which will somehow fit together. I am choosing my collage pieces as I don't have enough of a series of oils yet to submit.
If I get rejected, then perhaps I can try with those the next time.

Will let you know!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th

This picture by Magritte was one I saw at the MOMA on one of my trips to NYC when I was a teen. I remember being mesmerized by it. I bought the poster, framed it, and had it for many years until I had to sell it at a yard sale during one of my many moves when I was a single parent. Or perhaps I just gave it away.

It reminds me of my childhood on the south shore of Long Island on hot summer nights, when we would sit on our top stoop and watch the sun go down, the sky turning Magritte blue, while the lights came on one by one in the neighboring houses. If we were lucky we would see fireworks from one of the towns in the distance, cheering with each !BOOM!.

Those nights were magic, and hot summer evenings still hold the very same magic for me decades later. Perhaps it is those memories that drive me to paint sunsets and use that very same blue in some of my work.

I hope you all have a happy 4th, full of magic, picnics, fireworks, family and friends.

Patti O Celebration

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Art of Children

As most of you know, I am also a high school art teacher. It's a good thing because it pays my bills, including the ones that my art business can't pay anymore. It is a bit disconcerting as winter is not that far away, and my biggest business expense becomes the propane to keep the studio heated. But I diverge here.

My 4 (nearly 5) year old granddaughter is with me for a few weeks. I have been spending most of my time with her instead of working in the studio, which is fine by me as I get to do other things like visit and feed the animals, go swimming, find restaurants that serve edamame, go bowling - all kinds of fun things.

But since it was cloudy/rainly yesterday we decided to stay home. Alanna has been bugging me to go to the studio to paint, so we moved in her easel, and I set her up with watercolor pencils and watercolors, where she painted and drew for hours while I made an attempt to start to clean the place up for some serious painting when she leaves.

Children don't fret about being blocked, or about how worthy they or their art is. They pick up the paint brush and paint, and their imagination flows. Art is for art's sake, and provides an outlet for their imagination.

She painted pictures of her momma in a wedding dress with flowers in her hair. There was one with tons of red dots all over it, which she told me represented Jesus's fingerprints full of blood. (she goes to a southern church in Kentuky.....unlike her heathen grandmother, lol) Here I have a drawing loosely based upon the story "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". Instead she re-titled it "no more brains, bananas, or rotten onions jumping on the bed". I found the perspective on this drawing well done for such a young age. But then again she has been surrounded by art since she was born, her early steps taken in art galleries at openings.

She cherishes her paintings, and I have to give them some place of honor in the house besides the refrigerator. Larry has given her a lovely sketch book to carry around and draw in.

Alanna said "my imagination allows me to dream about painting" (paraphrased)
I say "dream on" but more importantly, "paint on".

Here's to creating with the innocence and confidence of a child!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Erraticus Zine or Christmas in July Part II..

Sometime around 11 pm, when the kid had gone to bed, the laundry done and folded, and I couldn't stand up anymore, I opened up one of the three zines I had bought to bed with me to read.

The 2006 Holiday issue of the Erraticus zine won, with its slick color printing, and eye candy Christmas images. After all, I had spent part of the day listing some of my vintage Christmas collection on Etsy, and was in the holiday spirit, even if it is in July.

I met the author, Melissa, McCobb Hubbel, around 2000 or so, when we met at a workshop given by Jonathan Talbot in his Warwick, NY studio. It was a weekend where we got jump-started, validated, and gained confidence as artists, as well as learned from and greatly enjoyed the company of a master artist. We shared stories as easily as we shared paper.

At the end of the workshop, we said our goodbyes, never knowing if we would see one another again, but sure that our ventures would be deeper entrenched in the art world.

I met Melissa at an opening one other time, and on occasion we still stay in touch through the Internet, we have connected on collaborative projects and once or twice I even participated in one of her zines.

I have watched her grow as an artists and writer. In many ways she far outshines me in the amount of work she gets done, her zines, her marketing and her vision. I don't begrudge or envy it, as I know that we are each on our own unique journey, which is just "right" for us.

I am not selling nor giving away this zine. It is lovely, full of inspirational artwork by many artists, too many to name in person. I was especially inspired by the danglies made in an Internet exchange hosted by Melissa, and the sculptural pieces by Raine Klover. It will maintain a place of honor along side of my books that I use as reference in my work.

I wonder why it took me so long to read this, but ...there is a season for everything in life, and mine happens to be July of 2009..... two and a half years after the publication of the zine in the dead of summer. A nice way to cool off!

Thank you, and TO LIFE Melissandre!

Ms. pootie

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christmas in July..almost

With the pouring rain in the afternoon, it is hard to take a four year old in and out of the studio. That involved either running through the downpours, or fumbling around with umbrellas. Being lazy to boot, I just did more cleaning in my back room, which is a stash for all kinds of things.

I found two Gleaner zines and one Erraticus zine. I will sit and read them as I bet I never took the time to do that. When done they will either go into one of many piles. Things to sell, things to keep, things to give away, and the last group consisting of different bags for different people filled with all kinds of things.

An offer here for mixed media artists, I have a few American Spirit Cigarette Tins, perfect for altered art. I sold the one tin that I made a shrine out of, but since I have had these for a while, and not used them yet, I am offering them to anyone who wants them. Send me a few stamps or something for the postage, or a few notecards. I just don't want to throw them out!!

I found some lovely vintage Christmas Seals and tags that I did list on Etsy. They are 50's or earlier....Now what to do with all these plate block stamps that I collected in the 70's...it seems that they are only worth their face value...at least they held their value, which is more than I can say for my other investments!!!!

Off to work on some more!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Vintage Rayon Ribbon Roll

In all of the cleaning I have to do, and when you are an artist and collector, it is constant, I came across this huge roll of vintage 50+ year old grosgrain ribbon. 2" wide, about 50 yards of it.

What am I going to use this for I asked myself.

No good for tying up tomatoes, too thick. Sachets? Nah, I already have a ton of bits and pieces for that. I am trying to focus on painting, and not sewing or jewelry...so I have decided to sell it, but not sure of the right venue.

Ebay these days is slow, unpredictable, and in general, gotten way to big for it's britches. Etsy is smaller, and cheaper, and though I might get less for things than on eBay, I think it is a better company. Plus, it is housed in my state, and in Brooklyn no less!

So off to Etsy it goes. Nice ribbon....and lots of it.

Make your kid a mummy for Halloween with it. Weave it. Use it as trim, for chokers, bracelets, quilts. Tie your partner up with it. Be creative.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Typing between the storms

Hard to list things on Etsy with a four year old who wants me to read all of her books to her, and then there are the continuous storms which keep marching through NY sending bolts of lightning ready to fry any computer that gets in its path.

Since BECKON closed, I have been listing the art and cards which were in the store on Etsy. I sold a few cards in the past week or so which is always lovely, and I will have a lot more to sell.

I am thinking of bringing them up to JULES BESCH STATIONERS in Wellfleet to show the guys my cards in person. I might even do a small stock run of my WE DO wedding cards as gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts. If not, then I can hit Provincetown. If I get lucky, I may sell a few. If not, I will brush off my ego (which gets smaller by the moment) and keep the faith.

Here are a few that I particularly like at the moment. Found in my Etsy shop PA GIBBONS.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Oldest Mascot

My studio has two mascots. One, who is not pictured, is an early 1800's charcoal painting of an elderly woman with no teeth. The paper and the board it was mounted was all chipped, so I chipped it off around her, and she sits on the window ledge.

The other is an amazing early American portrait painting, around 1700-1800's I would guess.

Given to me by Julie as she has a horrible tear in the canvas, but she knew I would give her a place of honor. She and my other friend sit sentinel on my walls looking out to the door of the studio. I figured if any one looked in and saw these two faces, they would freak out and run.

They may be long dead, but their spirits live on in my studio, haven for discarded and forgotten portraits and photographs of those who have long passed to the next realm.
I become attached to some of these photos. Sometimes I will make them into a piece of artwork, other times I just place them out on my fabulous IKEA rail, and stare at them and wonder who they were, what they did, who they loved, and how they died.

At times I think I am a bit morbid, but then again, I ain't yer average gurl.

I will post my other mascot when I go back out to the studio to work on the under painting I did this afternoon. I could not get a good shot of it so I have to try re shooting it in natural light another day. I like to keep track of the stages my paintings go through....


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Economy Crunch

Today I had to pick up four paintings and a bunch of cards from Beckon, a local shop that sells hand made crafts and art. Run by the amazing Maryanne Bonito, she had no choice but to close when the landlord raised her rent another 300.00 a month. In this economy I am surprised that the landlord did that, and unless he/she has other plans as I think that they will have a hard time renting it out; it is too much money for the location.

The good news is that Maryanne is looking at a place in Saugerties, about 20 minutes north of Kingston. A little town 15 minutes from Woodstock, and about 30 from Hudson, which has lovely shops, a coffee art/music shop, great restaurants, and other cool places to explore.

My client has all but officially dropped me as her greeting card designer; she still owes me a bit of money and I want to ask her why she no longer orders.

I have been selling some of my paper collection on eBay and Etsy, but few sales.
I am at a dead end as to how to raise money for my art business....

I am not quitting the day job...for a very long time.

So..my blog readers, check out my links for my two Etsy stores, and I will give you 25% off should you want to order. Just convo/email me, and I will send you an adjusted invoice. Interested in anything? MAKE ME AN OFFER that won't insult me, lol.

Off to list more cards on the pagibbons Etsy site....you just never know...and I refuse to give up!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Little Erotica and more

This is the text currently introducing my art on eBay:

"School's almost out for summer.
I won't be getting a paycheck.
I will be needing money.
I hope to sell some art at a great price for you and for me.
I show in the Varga Gallery in Woodstock, NY , the Woodstock Arts Association and Museum, and BECKON in downtown Kingston."

To the point, honest, and said with a smile.

I don't usually sell on eBay as there is so much on there and people want something for nothing, but little is lost by throwing it on there for a week. Maybe I will get some fans, inspire artists, or give someone a chuckle. Of course, I hope that I sell some things from time to time because I DO need the money! If not, into the pile for the YART sale that I will have at some point in time.

From the eBay description:Tonight's art is a collage on painted 8-ply acid free mat board. This piece was made in 2002 for an Erotica Book, limited edition publication. Fun, sassy commentary on self pleasure using images and text from the 1950's ads which had NOTHING to do with vibrators. I just had too much fun making this.

I have only done a few erotic/sexually charged collages. The few I did show have sold. This one I kept, but am willing to let it find the right home.

Again, if not, it's always good for a laugh.

patti o comic

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finished Painting

This is the final of three photos of the painting that I have been working on.
Underpainting in colored gesso, then two layers of oil paints. I am nearly done with this.

The colors shown may be pinker or bluer, depending upon your screen. But it is close to the beautiful colors I saw of the sun setting on the Catskills while crossing the Hudson River.

Today I started making a scrapbook of my reference photos, and pairing up some of the photos with my final paintings. The photos are used for reference for composition, shape, and color, and often the final painting may only incorporate a tiny segment of the photo, can be an abstraction of form, or a symphony of color. Each work takes on a life of its own, and the way I get to the finished product can take many paths.

Off to read some more....and get a good night's sleep.

patti o

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Layers and No Show

Here is another photo of my newest painting in progress. One of my friends commented on Facebook about it, saying that she thought it was my calling, these landscape paintings. I think she may be right. It has been what I love to do for some 30+ years, and am returning to the medium and subject matter that I loved so well before my father died, before the rejections and disasters in my life.

I have put all of that mostly behind me, torn down many of the walls that kept me from having joy and faith in what I love...

I have the third layer down on the sky and made it much more subtle and much less pink. The mountains and water still need work, I will finish today and then decide where to go from there. I try not to get too hung up on making it perfect. I have decided that like life events, each painting serves a purpose and a lesson, whether it be in expression, in color, in light, in composition. When I have learned the lesson or worked the issue out, I consider it done and move onto the next. I do have a few paintings which I need to work up a bit more in order to be "sale worthy" in my eyes, but once tweaked I will move on from that.....to the next adventure.

I have also decided not to enter the Hudson River Landscape show. I need another 25.00 to enter. Instead, I am going to invest that money into more canvases and keep painting; hopefully I will get enough for a show someday.

Off to do my chores before Tom comes to do MORE construction on the house. I am getting tired of it all....and hope SOON it will be done. It's too much dirt/noise in my world for me.

patti o

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Creating Ads for Blogs

Tonight's little tiny bit of artwork that I did for the day was a quickie using an old postcard that I got in a paper lot. I bought the lot in hopes of jump starting me when I get back into the studio - when some energy returns, hopefully SOON.

I loved this card, and thought that it would make a great AD for either one of my blogs.

I never thought of advertising my blogs, but perhaps I will have some little business cards printed up like this JUST for my blogs. A bit decadent, but I do love to write and why not advertise that too? Don't know who I would give them to, perhaps slip them into packages that I ship, or to friends or that family renunion. (uh oh, maybe NOT such a good idea; my cousin used to read my personal blog and my leftist blogs made him blow a gasket and now we no longer speak...it got really weird.)

Any way, off to bed, with some thoughts churning in my head. Too bad I can't get paid for my thoughts and ideas. I'd be RICH!


PS JUST HAD A BRAINSTORM...this will be the BACK of my business card!!!!!(which is also orange and has the same cats as in my banner, sitting around eating a mouse!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Link to Greeting Card Blog

Sadly the painting sits unfinished. Today, the ONE day after work that I had free, had to be spent with me resting as I was not feeling well after school. Fatigued, dizzy, guts hurting again.

I did play around with a photo in Photoshop, at least I did SOMETHING. (self portrait, pictured here, hahaha)

But I did come across a new blog, which I should read, called Greeting Card Designer. There is some good stuff here. Must add to my list of blogs to read on a periodic basis. (sadly I don't have the time to read all the blogs I want to!)

Hopefully, some of you will enjoy it.

Back to doing medical research, and paying some bills!!!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Article on Art Scammers

Fortunately, I am a suspicious person and ignore most inquiries about buying my art, especially when it is from someone in another country. The flag for me is often the poor grammar, and poor spelling.

I have sold a piece of art online to a local person who emailed me with an inquiry. But it was a local person, I knew who she was, and the rest of the story ended happily ever after. She loved the piece, agreed to the price, and bought it for her husband for his birthday.

But I have encountered those emails that raise my eyebrow, and I listen to my gut. Follow the link listed here for an article of such scams.

Off to check out an inquiry about my cards. This one wants to know if I can expedite the shipping of my cards for a birthday. This may be legit, but since I am sick, and moving slowly, I am sure I missed her deadline. I will write her back however, and see what it is about.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Thoughts from the Healing Chair

I am sure many of you have suffered from this at one point or another in your career, when you became sick/disabled/unable to make art in the way that you want to. You might have cancer and had chemo, you might have had a baby, or have some other illness or life circumstance that makes you incapable of making art in the the way you are accustomed.

I experienced that many times over my 35 years as an artist; the birth of children, the stress of single parenting, student teaching and working, no space to make art, having teens that would invoke a nervous breakdown in a saint.

Somehow through it all I persevered, working in mediums that were appropriate or available at the time. Kitchen counters turned into soldering stations, jewelry making on the corner of the dining room table... Though all of this I learned about what I liked and did not like to do, what I was good at, and what was better left alone.

Several years ago I severly broke my ankle and had to have major surgery. At that time I was working hard on my art - my studio was finished and I was gung ho.

After surgery and weeks of being in severe pain in bed, I got really depressed. I could not do anything but watch movies and TV. Reading was not easy as I was on a lot of meds which made concentration difficult at times. After a while I got antsy and started looking at art magazines and books, even if only at the photos. One day when I was strong enough, Larry helped me hobble to the studio and I instructed him on what art materials to assemble into a plastic box. I went back to my bed, and in the haze of pain and Vicodin, I would sit and make little hand colored and stitched cards, with funny sayings on them. I developed the line called "Nursery Crimes" and a new style of card making was born from my bedside. I may not have done a lot, and was limited in materials, but I do best when faced with that challenge.

Currently I am disabled with some horrible digestive problems and am too weak to work. I started a painting last weekend, but know I am in no shape to breathe oil fumes or even stand and paint. I took out my little digital camera, and managed a walk around the garden, taking snapshots to play with in Photoshop. Thus my photos called "From the Healing Chair". Who knows where it will go and if it will go anywhere, but it fulfilled my need to be creative.

As an artist we have to let go of the pressures we put upon ourself and spend time healing or helping others heal. The time away from our studios or art rooms is not "lost time" as our art can continue through our musing about life, understanding what our current lesson is during this period in our life, learning what is most important to us and our art, making plans, create IF WE CAN with what we can find to adapt to our situation.

Tonight's art is something I found while cleaning my attic, titled Mon Cherie, a collage on the lid of an old candy box top. I will float it and I have an antique gilded frame, complete with appropriate flaws to frame it in- one of the greener ways of making art. However, that topic will be for another blog.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Ah, now I have your attention.

If I wrote under paintings, you would be bored. Underpants raise your eyebrow just a bit!

It has been a long time since I have been in the studio. Taxes, trip, life, illness.
I am still not at 100% and have more tests, but I spent some worthy time in the studio, cleaning so that I could paint, and processed some photos I had taken in Spain and yesterday on the way to Bard.

The gesso sketch tonight is an under painting for an oil. The painting will change before it is done, but I like the mood of it right as it is.

I started a sketch for something totally out of my realm, an abstract/surreal painting inspired by an aerial view of Spain. It's one of those paintings that you have no idea where it will end up. It could be an success, or it could be a dud that I will cut up, paint over, or give away. I am so critical that I forget that others might really really love it.

The sketch took a while to do, and I did not think too much about it while abstracting forms and being guided by the muse in what I saw and how I interpreted it. I was able to let go and be guided by the magic. I love that I don't think about it too much, I have many of my 10,000 hours left to figure it out.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Month's Shows

In spite of my mysterious illness, I have managed to get art to two of the three organizations I belong to. I am showing my Easton Salt Marsh painting at the Woodstock School of Art with the opening from 3-5, and two Encaustic pieces at Vargas, both of which are in Woodstock, NY, the "Colony of the Arts".

One of the pieces is a very small piece with a very small price. The other is my encaustic piece titled "Hope for Megan" which I did not get a decent photo of yet.

I have not painted in a long time. I now have canvases, wood for frames, and just need the energy and motivation. I have got to get back on the bandwagon, but hard to do it with so little time and so little energy.