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 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