Ready, Set, Go

Tis the season when multiple art shows will be popping up all over the place.  As you look at the work of the artists, you may picture a painter at an easel, brush or palette knife in hand, and think, “Oh that looks like such fun.  I wish I could do that.”  I’ve heard similar comments.  What they don’t realize is that there is a lot more involved in being part of an art show than painting a group of canvases.  They have to be framed, of course, and a record of them kept that shows when they were painted and where they have been exhibited, so as not to keep showing the same paintings in the same annual shows.

My painting are in five shows this month.  Two shows are in Lawrence.  Delivering two paintings to the Phoenix Underground, the lower floor of the Phoenix Gallery downtown, was no problem.  The next local show will be Lawrence Art Walk, Saturday Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 23 from noon to 6 p.m.  There will be a map showing where the various participants are located.  (Check for details online.)  My paintings are already hung on the walls of my basement family room but I will still have to make sure each painting has a card listing its title, media, and price, which means printing cards for the newer paintings and placing cards with each painting.

I made a special trip to Topeka to turn in three paintings to Warehouse 414.  That business is having a show honoring the Topeka Art Guild, of which I am a member, on their 100th anniversary.  Two of my paintings will be in the Kansas Artists show at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery  and two or three from the last show there will go on to the nearby Eagle Car Wash.

After preparing for all those shows I wasn’t sure I wanted to enter another.  But an email message said more artists were needed for the Lawrence Art Guild Holiday Art Fair at Lawrence Art Center November 19 and that that day was the last day for entries.  Oh well, why not?  I printed a copy of the online entry form and could see that this was going to be more work than I expected.  Not only were three photos of my work required but also a photo of my proposed exhibit.  That meant getting my screens out of the garage, setting them up, going to the basement and bringing up enough small paintings to fill them, finding the hooks and hanging them on the screens so I could photograph them and then putting everything away.

Next I had to transfer the photo of my exhibit to my computer and print it on my color printer, plus finding photos of three of the paintings on the computer and printing them.  Then I discovered that I didn’t have a padded envelope to put all this in for mailing so I had to go out and buy one.  Next I addressed  the envelope and added the photos, entry form and a check.  Artists not only have to pay to enter shows.  If they sell anything, they have to pay a percentage of that as well, which is why art sold at shows and galleries my seem high priced.  So finally, I have entered and am glad for this season at least, to have places where others can see what I’ve been doing.










Thinking Abstractly

Weathered Wood, acrylic, 18" x 13"

Weathered Wood, acrylic, 18″ x 13″


October 7, 2013

In art, abstraction is in.  The more realistic plein air painting that I do is out.  My problem is that I just don’t seem to be able to visualize abstractly.  Of course there is some abstraction involved in realistic painting.  Artists do not paint everything that we see in a particular scene.  We decide which tree, bush or flower we are going to include.  We can even move them around a bit if we wish.  Also, we leave out a lot of details.  When painting trees we paint interesting looking green blobs, not individual leaves.

But how does one learn to visualize abstractly?  I have discovered what most of you probably know,  Computers are a lot better at this than I am.  Recently I had been having trouble with my color printer.  I really like my printer and didn’t want to have to buy a new one.  And the places that I called weren’t willing to fix it.  Husband, who is much more technologically savvy than I, decided to have a look at it.  While trying to figure out what was wrong with it, he would try something and then print something to see if he had made any progress.  One of the images he printed was of a painting I had done of weathered wood.   The image above, in lurid magenta, was the one my deranged printer printed.  On looking at it, I could see how some might find it more interesting than my original painting.

Another interesting way to abstract by computer is to posterize.  I have been playing with this on Picasa, which I’m now using to store photos.  I tried doing this with a photo I took of a girl sitting in a restaurant.  What emerges is shapes, which can be in several values depending on the setting.  But they are still recognizable and the result I got is quite interesting.  I may try doing a painting from this.

The good news is husband succeeded in restoring the color printer, which is invaluable to me as an artist.