Sunday, August 16, 2015

Desert Landing

As I sit here this morning with coffee in tow, I am looking out my kitchen windows and across yet another beautiful eastern Arizona sky. The soft pinks, deep purples, and miles of blue...mixed with billowing massive thunderheads out towards parts unknown. The sunrises and sunsets here are incredible, and especially not long after a good thunderstorm.

Since my last post here in March my husband and I have done nothing but prepare ourselves and our belongings for the move here. It was exhilarating, frustrating, nerve wracking, scary, and beautiful all at the same time. We made it, but not without much deep digging....and lots of naps thereafter!

 

Never in a million years did I anticipate falling in love with a state as much as I have with Arizona. It speaks to me in ways that no other state ever has. Though I adore my birth state of Michigan and have enjoyed my beautiful journey through California, hands down Arizona has (and I'm sure will continue to for many years to come) literally taken my breath away!

There is something magical, mystical, raw and deep about this place. A vast yearning, a deep respect, and a profound awe for this incredible land and its beautiful wild creatures. I simply cannot wait to create a space for me here so that I may begin to paint again. I sure will have plenty of inspiration!

Here's to dreams, intentions, wings, and glorious forever roots! S.L.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

In With The New

I recently had the opportunity to visit the brand new location of Gallery SOHO at the Montclair Plaza in Montclair, California. If you are a steady follower of my blog you will know that I am a member of Pomona Valley Art Association and a former exhibiting artist with Gallery SOHO when they were located in the Pomona Arts Colony in Pomona, California. I was so excited to learn earlier this year that they were relocating to a much larger venue and couldn't wait for the opportunity to visit!



Upon entering the gorgeous glass encased front entrance, I was so impressed with the fresh and open spaces provided for the artists to exhibit their work. Clean lines and high ceilings make for an impressive gallery experience for both the exhibitor and the patron.

 
 


There is so much opportunity here not only for long-established artists, but for new artists looking to take the steps into becoming involved in the gallery exhibiting experience. Were it not that my husband and I are deep in the process of relocating out of state I would most definitely be on the exhibitor's wait list!

I will miss my time with PVAA and Gallery SOHO very much, but am taking with me all of the amazing memories collected to cherish....

Here's to wishing good fortune and happy experiences to dear friends! S.L.


 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Where They Began

As I sit here creating this document for publication, I'm still struck by the fact that it's been six years since I seriously started creating my feminine inspired artwork. I can't fully explain how I came to put brush to canvas and then to begin on this journey of absolute adoration, but I do know that it started with a love of abstract artwork and a whole lot of inspiration from the women in my life.

2009 was a pivitol year in my life for reasons that have long since lost their gravity and importance, and also a year that I was tossing around the idea of who I was as an artist and what I wanted to convey through my artwork. I was at a crossroads and staring at that definitive line of "it's now or never" in every stretch of the imagination. I chose now....thankfully...

Below are the original four pieces that accompanied me into a world that to this day I do not know what I would do without, and had seen me through a hell of a lot of internal struggle over the years. They allowed me to express myself in ways that I never could have imagined that I'd ever be able to, and put a peace in my heart and soul that no conventional means ever could. These originals have long since been sold or gifted, and I am so grateful and thankful that they hang in homes from Michigan to North Carolina to California.


'Strings'
 
 
'The Queen of Hearts'


'Mardi Gras'
 
 
'Jamie's Song'
 

Here's to the beauty and the healing of reflection! S.L.
 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Natural Expressions

Most days I'm thinking about painting, planning a painting, or throwing paint onto something. There are times however that I need a break from easel and brush. And when I do need a breather from the aforementioned, I still need an avenue of creativity. Photography plays well into this diversion.

I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination nor do I ever envision myself pursuing such a craft as my only mode of creativity. But I do absolutely adore black and white photography and I love to find interesting places and things to photograph.


Angeles National Forest - Santa Clarita, California

I've also discovered that when I'm most inclined to grab my trusty little eight year old point-and-shoot, is when I am outside. The great and wonderous outdoors absolutely lends itself to black and white photography.


Angeles National Forest - Santa Clarita California
 
No posing...no props...no lighting issues. Just a day with nature's miraculous canvas. Pure heaven.

Kensington Metropark - Milford, Michigan
 
Commerce Township, Michigan
 
Here's to embracing the many ways and means of creativity! S.L.
 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

For The Sake Of It

A while back I decided that I wanted to try my hand at Triptych style painting.  Typically a Triptych is a work of art that is usually divided across three separate sections; a multi-panel work of art.  From the Middle Ages onward they were done upon a much grander scale and with very definitive themes.  For my project I was thinking more in terms of creating this painting on a much much smaller scale and as accent pieces for possibly a guest bedroom or somewhere in the home where a bold splash of color and texture would be appropriate.  In my case, I would be styling this after the colors of the southwest.

I usually start with my inspiration. With this project it was a picture of painted pottery that I found online. I selected my canvases and then went about choosing the base pigments to mix into my desired colors.  I then began to ‘wash’ the panels with my base colors and then ‘cut in’ with the bolder colors of accent. 
 
 

 
 

This process I accomplished all while sitting on the floor.  I’ve never been a real ‘tabletop’ artist.  Nor do I like to stand for long periods of time. With most if not all of my abstract work, I am either sitting cross-legged or kneeling on the floor and putting my full essence into the work.  It is only when I begin to add the depth work and texturing do I transfer the canvas to a tabletop easel and have a seat.
 

 
 
I adore how this project turned out and have just the right place in mind for them!  I am really inspired to try more Triptych style paintings and most definitely on a larger scale.

Here's to doing what you love for the sake of it! SL

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Art Year In Review

This year was so amazing in my art world that I could not let another moment get away from me without posting a small chronicle of all the goodness.  I am so grateful to everyone who took the time to invite me to the art exhibitions, events, fairs, etc., and who afforded me the opportunity to spread my artistic wings here in Southern California.

Shortly after the beginning of the year I took several trips up into the local Southern California Mountains to work on a few Plein Air painting projects; which was challenging using acrylics but a notable lesson.   I can’t say that I will pursue this form of painting but if I hadn’t tried I would never know.  And who wouldn’t want to spend a day in nature being creative anyway??
 


Later on I decided to start creating pendant jewelry from my abstract splatter artwork; which came to affectionately be known as ‘Jewelry with HeART 4U’. And in turn, I was invited to show and sell these pendants at the St. Luke Lutheran Craft Fair in Upland, California.  I met so many generous and wonderful people and got to reconnect with a few fellow PVAA members as well.
 
 
 
As April neared, so did the 33rd. Annual Open Juried Show, hosted by the board and membership of Pomona Valley Art Association and Gallery SOHO in Pomona, California.  This would be my very first time entering my artwork in an open juried show environment.  I was so shocked and amazed to have won 2nd Place in the Pastel, Pencil, Ink, and Charcoal Category for my work, “The Warmth of Your Mystery’!  Such an honor to be recognized by my art peers and fellow Southern California artists!
 
 
 

Then as summer was in full swing I had the wonderful blessing of being invited to show and sell my artwork at 2nd. Story Gallery in the historic Walker House in San Dimas, California.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have foreseen myself in such incredibly rich and historic surroundings.  It truly was “Art within art!”
 
 

 
And now as the art season is starting to wind down my focus is squarely on next year’s art endeavors.  My husband and I will be moving out of Southern California in 2015, and I am very much looking forward to participating in new shows and exhibitions in the beautiful state of Arizona.  I will always be grateful to my friends and fellow artists here in Southern California, and for all of the fantastic opportunities and very cherished memories….

Here’s to looking forward to new horizons! SL

Friday, August 22, 2014

Returning To Her

The first time that I sat down and contemplated pursuing my artwork on a more serious level, and then sharing that fruit with the rest of the art scene, was about five or six years ago.   I remember thinking at the time about what it was that I wanted my art to convey….where I wanted it to take me.  I have always been attracted to the female form and of female spirituality in general. In the many ways that women express themselves.  The dark and the light, the hard edges and the soft curves, the high happiness and the deep sorrow.  We are unique creatures to say the least.  I decided then to paint female inspired art and with a dash of hard abstract and a sprinkling of soft expressionism.  Parts of me, parts of them.  Some themed and some random.

A few weeks ago I found myself returning to my female inspired art and loving the feeling of getting lost in the energy and flow once again.  She has never failed me….
 
'Creation Song'
Acrylics and pastels on watercolor sheet.
 
Here’s to following that song in your heart…wherever it may lead! SL

Monday, July 14, 2014

Art Within Art

There is something so magical about a personal opening night art reception.  All the prior preparation and creativity, emails to family and friends, social shares and blog updates; all culminating into that very night.  For me it’s a feeling unmatched by anything else in my creative realm.  Fear and insecurity mixed with hope, anticipation, and gratitude.  The painted pieces of my soul on full display for the curious is an incredibly humbling endeavor and one that I highly recommend; if you are ever afforded the opportunity.



Opening night of my final art show in Southern California did not disappoint.  I had the amazing opportunity to show and sell my art at 2nd. Story Gallery in the historic Walker House in San Dimas, California; and the outcome went so far beyond any of my expectations.  The Walker House is an amazing piece of art, in and of itself.  I was amazed and in awe of the fine craftsmanship that had been built many years ago, and as I curiously walked through the halls and into the many rooms.  If you are a history buff like me and have not visited Walker House, I highly recommend you doing so.
 
 
 
 
 
I met so many amazing people who came out to partake in the gallery’s opening reception, had the chance to catch up with fellow PVAA artists, and made a few new art contacts to boot!  This experience will stay with me for a long time.
 
 
 
 
 

I will be wrapping up my final art show with 2nd. Story Gallery, Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th. I will be there from 5:30-8:30 p.m.  Additional information such as directions and parking information for the Walker House can be found in the links above.

Here’s to being part of art within art! SL

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bird Woman

I have been fascinated with birds for as long as I can remember.  When I was a little girl I remember my mother pointing out to me the different varieties of wild birds that inhabited our backyard; and as we stood together looking out the kitchen window.  Most Sunday mornings in the summertime she and I would walk down to Maceday Lake to sit on the dock and watch the geese come in. The water was so pristine at that time of the morning; like a sheet of glass reflecting the surrounding wooded areas and homes that circled the lake.  Time just stood still and I became enchanted as I listened to the many songs and calls overhead and in the shading trees.   My mother would always tell me that you could judge most outdoor situations by how the birds were behaving….an approaching storm, nearby predators, etc.

Last year while sitting out on my patio I began to take a more intense interest in our local backyard birds here in Southern California.  That particular morning they were all flittering and fluttering about and calling out as if to say, “Look at me!...remember, remember?!”  A fine dance of the lot of them.  I suddenly had that beautiful childhood feeling all over again. The awe, the slowing down and noticing. Recognizing and appreciating all the fragility and all the beauty that I take for granted most days.
 
 
'Northern Cardinal' Pencil on sketch pad
 
 
'Ash-throated Flycatcher'  Pencil on sketch pad.
 
So it seemed only natural to me to pick up my art supplies and to begin a personal study of birds. I started learning about the conservation of wetlands, grasslands, and endangered habitats. I ordered birding identification books and downloaded bird calls and songs to my Kindle Fire and my cellphone.  It has truly become one of the great passions of mine that I know I will enjoy for many years to come!
 
 
Here’s to becoming absolutely enthralled in something about which you have a profound connection with! SL

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Arts and Crafts Fair

My very dear friend, fellow PVAA member and wonderful Southern California artist, Linda Hauser has invited me to a great ‘one day’ event this month. 

Photograph by Linda Hauser


St. Luke Lutheran Church of Claremont, California will be hosting their annual Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  I am so happy that I’ll be able to attend this event as well as show and sell my unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry pendants.  Each pendant is created from my abstract artwork and no two are exactly alike.  Each pendant will also include a silver chain and a gift box for easy gift giving.



 
If you are in the area and looking for something fun to do, I invite you to attend this event.  Mother’s Day is not too far away, and I know she’d love something handmade for her special day.  Also 20% of all sales go to the St. Luke Love Fund which helps those in need within the Claremont community.  Hot dogs, nachos, dessert and drinks will be made available for purchase during your visit.   Hope to see you there!

Here’s to doing something for the greater good!  SL

Monday, March 10, 2014

33rd Annual Open Juried Show

It’s that time of year again when art communities and galleries around the Southwest begin to start opening their venues to host annual art shows and exhibitions.  Every year Pomona Valley Art Association and Gallery SOHO open their doors and invite hundreds of local artists in celebrating, sharing and awarding the very best regionally produced artwork; when they host their annual Open Juried Show.

I am happy to announce that I will be part of PVAA’s 33rd Annual Open Juried Show which will run April 10-13, 2014! I will be involved not only as an entrant in the show, but also as a volunteer on take-in day.  Last year I volunteered for this event and had such a blast meeting local and regional artists as they brought in their entries for judging. 


This is my entry for the OJS and will be made available for sale during the show dates. I am entering it in the ‘Pastel, pencil, charcoal, ink’ category.  It is entitled ‘The Warmth Of Your Mystery’ and was created entirely in pastel pencils.  It measures 11”x15” (not including matting and frame).

For additional information regarding the 33rd Annual Open Juried Show, show times, awards reception, etc. you will find all of this information and more by following this link: www.pvaa.net

Here’s to the beauty and excitement of the 2014 art season! SL

Desert Landing

As I sit here this morning with coffee in tow, I am looking out my kitchen windows and across yet another beautiful eastern Arizona sky. Th...