Tag Archives: Charlotte nc

Art Show at Free Range Brewery

I had the lovely opportunity to have a one woman art show at Free Range Brewery here in Charlotte,NC. The brewery is owned by some folks who love art, and happily are providing an opportunity for local artists.  The show runs from February 1 to March 14th, and combines portraits and plein air pieces.  There’s great wall space and lighting. Sarah, one of the owners, has an art background and gallery experience— so a great eye! She chose the pieces and hung the show.  Thank you Sarah!!

Freerangeinterior

The beer was wonderful!  I normally am a wine drinker, but discovered I really like their stout made from oysters!  Who knew!!! The selections also include many other beers, cider, kombucha, soda and coffee.  The brewery is family friendly as well.  We had a crowd  —- thanks to my incredible group of friends —- and happily we sold three pieces that night!!

Web_MichaelfreerangeHere’s Michael and I enjoying friends and brew. Don’t know what I would do without him.  He’s so supportive of my art obsession.  He also has a great eye, so I frequently get his feedback on paintings.  It’s always spot on!

Web_ExteriorFreeRangeThank you to all the lovely people who joined me that evening!  Hope any of you who might be interested will take some time to see the show and taste some of the great beer and other selections at Free Range. http://www.freerangebrewing.com

Happy February and happy painting!!

 

 

 

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American Women Artists

#AWA25 Show at the Bonner David Gallery in Scottsdale, 2015.

#AWA25 Show at the Bonner David Gallery in Scottsdale, 2015.

This has been an amazing year for me and American Women Artists has played a significant role in that for me.  This photo was taken by my sweet daughter, Katie, who flew in to help me celebrate having a painting in the AWA National Juried Show in Scottsdale.  I was thrilled that my painting garnered an “Award of Merit” from the judge, the curator of the Scottsdale Museum of the West.  Adding to the excitement our paintings were shown at the Bonner David Gallery!  Very happy to be in the same gallery with Michael Carson and Max Hammond, among others, even if it’s only for a short time!!

This was also the American Women Artists’ 25th year so there were lots of events concurrent with the show.  Workshops and a symposium addressing all those myriad of marketing issues we face as artists.  I am so impressed with this organization.  American Women Artists is a non-profit organization dedicated to the inspiration, celebration, and encouragement of women in the visual fine arts. I had no idea it existed until an artist friend, Lesley Powell, encouraged me to join.  I encourage all my female artist friends to join.  To quote their website:

“Since its inception, American Women Artists has worked diligently to bring women to the attention of the art world through museum shows, juried competitions in leading galleries around the country, festivals, symposiums, workshops and an international exchange.  Our goal is to increase the number of professional opportunities for women in the visual fine arts by creating the kind of opportunities that lead to greater inclusion.”

I was so impressed that Bonner David Gallery deliberately focuses on including women artists as part of their gallery.  It’s a beautiful gallery, with a warm personable staff — and incredible artwork!

And to add to the fun, AWA had one day workshops all week prior to the show at the Scottsdale Artists School.  I had a wonderful day with Jane Barton, who taught a plein air workshop.  Loved her approach and the opportunity to learn some more craft while I was there.  The colors there are amazing — red rocks, incredible sky.  Can’t wait to go back and paint!

All and all I feel honored and humbled to have been included.  Thank you American Women Artists for providing such a wonderful opportunity for us.  Looking forward to participating in the future!!

Happy Painting!  All the best!! R

http://www.americanwomenartists.org

http://www.bonnerdavid.com

http://www.janebartonstudio.com

http://www.scottsdaleartschool.com

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The Little Voices in My Head

oil portrait young black woman“Lucci” 12×16, Oil on Linen

I am thrilled that this painting was such a successful entry in a recent show.  I entered it in the Matthews Art Guild’s Fall Show, which is part of the Matthews Alive Festival.  Happily it garnered an honorable mention from the judge, “Colton’s Choice” from the town manager of Matthews and “People’s Choice” from the viewers who saw the show.  Of course I love the accolades — but it also brings up some other things that I’ve been ruminating on lately. Hence the title of this blog post “The Little Voices in My Head”.

This whole business of art is just that — a business.  Yes I love it and would do it no matter what, but hopefully it will provide financial support as well.  And in the pursuit of making that happen we have to, like any other business person, try to get the word out about our product.  That product just happens to be the result of sweat, tears, elation, frustration and a piece of our souls.  We are told repeatedly by all the “experts” in marketing to: put it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your website, email, newsletters, etc. etc.  Basically put it out in as many ways as you can.  But it’s weird and strange to do that with a “piece of your soul”.

Everyone is so kind and gracious — and of course I love the compliments.  In a way too much!  It sometimes feels like my self-esteem is tied into it.  You get that “high” from hearing those words.  Which lasts for a short while then you’re looking for your next “fix”.  It’s a weird thing.  Puts a lot of your evaluation of yourself in the hands of your followers — which can be really self defeating.  And then there’s the concern that people will think you’re “bragging”.  I’m embarrassed by all the attention, and yet it’s a piece of the puzzle in moving my career to a bigger level.

Just read an article in Charlotte Magazine called “The Last Tweet” by Matt Crossman.  He deliberately took a break from all the social media for a month.  He is a journalist so he also uses social media to promote his work. To quote him: “…social media has turned every story into a contest entry.   I ‘win’ if my story generates Tweets or retweets or likes or shares or comments on Facebook. I ‘lose’ when social media ignores my story.”

“People with Twitter and Facebook accounts have become the authoritative arbiters of what’s good, and I spend way too much time hoping they will express their pleasure because, I think, that praise will make me happy.  Which it does.  Only it never lasts.  Because it’s never enough.”

Matt’s story rang so true to me.  Been there done that!  Keeping in touch with my own sense of who I am and my self -worth independent of anyone else’s evaluation is a constant struggle! Of course I think this is true no matter what — whether you’re an artist, journalist …whatever!!!  To simply look for your own guidance and what fulfills you is not always an easy path.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my people.  And I love hearing their kind words!  But, it is a catch 22 on an emotional level.

This has a been an amazing year for me.  I deliberately set out to enter as many shows and contests as I could.  And I’ve had great success — which is very affirming as an artist.  And a great resume builder.  Also a bit daunting — what’s next?  Can I continue this level of reward?  And getting the acclaim is one thing — what about the financial payoff.

On and on go the little voices in my head…

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Painting my way around Blowing Rock, NC

Painting Landscapes at Bass Lake

My husband has been working on a project in the Blowing Rock/Boone NC area.  As a result we’ve been traipsing back and forth between there and Charlotte.  I’m spending lots of time painting landscapes or plein air in this area. I’m trying to capture some of the amazing scenery around here.  It’s just so beautiful!  This painting was on the trail around Bass Lake.  It was my first experience of having folks come up and wanting to look. “Where do you sell your work?” was a frequent question.  So I need to get in gear and either find a gallery or something.  I have started giving people a photo postcard of one of my paintings with my contact info.  Looking forward to hearing from some of those folks!

One wonderful addition to my plein air equipment is my new palette that my hubby made.  It’s just a smaller version of my other one.  Much easier to pack and I anticipate finding a backpack so I can hike with my equipment and paint some less accessible areas.  This is all new to me so I continue to refine as I discover better options.  I am told that I’ll be restricting my palette colors eventually.  Still addicted to some of my colors even though I know many use many less than I do.  It continues to amaze me how much there is to learn with painting.  Good thing I love it!!

 

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Garden Shed

This is a close up of the painting that I did the other day of the Community Garden in one of our local parks.  It’s a beautiful little hidden gem.  In fact I had no idea it was there — I was just prowling around trying to find something interesting to paint.  That was also the morning I didn’t even bring a canvas to paint on!!  But as you see I came back.  If you ever visit Plaza Midwood Park in Charlotte, NC make sure you check out this wonderful spot.Garden Shed PM-8x10-oil-linen

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