Monday, December 2, 2013

It is December---already! On Friday morning I set up for the first big art festival where I have my own display.

This is the poster for the show. It is up all over town.

I took inventory today and have about 60 paintings to display. From abstracts to flower paintings and everything in between. I think it will be a good way for me to hear what people like about my paintings. And then may be I can create more that people will like and maybe even buy.

So I hope that we have good weather and that lots of people come to the show. Dan and I have gone to the show the past couple of years as customers. Dan likes shopping at the show for my Christmas gift from him. There are so many good artists that participate in this sweet little show. Now I will be an artist there hoping to make a few sales.

We have a display rack all ready to go. We need to make it festive looking and have lights and garland ready to set up. I will have a special display for my pet portrait commissions. Have I mentioned how much Dan has helped with this project. He is the one who devised the rack, found the right kind of lights, makes frames for my paintings, and will keep me company this weekend. Nicest of guys!

This is the display before the garland and lights are added. 

 With 60 some paintings to bring to the show. I will have twice the number of paintings hanging on both sides of the display, some on the table in the space and stand-bys in boxes for customers to browse through. 

After this show is over, I will be able to get back to painting. My grandson, Jaedon, has requested a painting of Batman for Christmas. Can I do a cartoon character? And I might just have a commission to paint a pet for a Christmas gift.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On the Easel

Working on this commission. Mike's pit bulls who are as gentle as can be. The pair are sitting and soaking up early morning sun. This is still in progress. The puppy is mostly done. But Diesel, the big white needs lots of work on his face and eyes. Hope to have it done for the GSR Fine Arts Festival on Dec. 6-8 in Mankato's Verison Center.
 I love making the greys using orange and blue, with a little cad red. No black used in this painting.

My colors lately have been quite limited. For this painting I used,  burnt sienna, ultra  blue,  a tiny touch of cad. yellow and red medium, and white. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family. Enjoy the season and buy original art! :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It is a Month of Shows!

It has begun--Two months of shows and displays for me to keep track of. Lists, I must make lists!

This week there was an opening in the new Grand Center for the Arts in New Ulm. Their annual show, Artscape, is always fun to enter. The remodeled building is really nice. Good gallery space, lots of studio spaces for artists, work rooms for classes and a very nice apartment for a resident artists. A real class art space in a nice small town.

This is one of the paintings I entered in New Ulm. A water color from my experience in Italy in 2005. "Sunlit Window"

Two weeks ago, my studio mates and I hung a sampling of our work at Barnes and Noble for our bookfair. We use this project to raise some money to support our December show at the Emy Frentz Guild. The bookfair was really successful. This service from Barnes and Nobel is a real blessings for starving artists.
The front of our postcard announcing our member show.

We need a little cash to have post cards printed and to buy some wine and snacks for the show opening which is this week on Nov. 21st at our gallery I will show my abstracts in this show which will hang until the end of the year.

"Poppy Red" is a new painting for our show this Nov. and December.

The Carnegie Art Center in Mankato has a members show in December too. As a member I will be entering several of my smaller abstracts. This show hangs for the whole month of December.

"Shooting Stars"

Finally in January the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council will have a show at the St. Peter Arts Center for all the artists who were awarded a grant in the last round of awards. Since I recieved an award to attend a work show in Scottsdale, AZ, I will be able to hang my paintings from that experience.
"Three Palms"  one of the paintings for the Prairie Lakes show.

Whew! What fun and then we add Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in the mix. You will understand when I get totally mixed up with what is going on.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

GSR Fine Arts Festival December 6,7,8th!

Just a month until I set up for my first GSR festival -- December 6, 7 and 8th at the Mankato Civic Center. It will be a great experience showing with over 45 other artists. My friends, Ann Judkins, Gail Speckman and Lisa Biere will be there at the show with me.  The show has music to listen to as you browse, a beautiful atmosphere.

Dan has put together a great display for my paintings, we have lighting and decorations and they tell me that I need to have some chocolate to hand out to our customers. Knowing me and chocolate, I will need to have my own stash under the table so I do not raid what is there for our customers. :-)

I will have a broad selection of paintings for the show. My pleine air landscapes, the new abstracts and some of my beautiful floral paintings. I will also offer to paint pet portraits on commission.

Hope to see lots of friends and family at the show.  It is a great time to find that special Christmas present for your favorite people.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I received a commission to paint a portrait of Stella, one sweet little doggie. I really like Stella but she does not like me. When I visit her she just smells "CAT" on me and keeps her distance. Makes me sad to think that a little cat hair gives her the willies. Stella's mom took a great photo of her. Black dogs are so hard to catch where their eyes show and their coats have light in them. Here is my finished painting. "Stella" will be a center piece in my display at the GSR fine arts show this December. I want to let other people learn about pet portraits by Margie. ;-)
The photo has a glare on the upper right hand but that doesn't take away from Stella's calm gaze.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Summer Plein Air Paintings

What a summer! And where is that summer? Time flies by so quickly. Today the leaves on the green ash in my neighbor's yard are carpeting our yard with gold. The fall winds are bringing in cooler weather and I will be spending more time in the studio than outdoors painting. Though I spent not as many days painting outdoors as I have the past few years, I have some nice paintings to post here.
Hay harvesting--no more cubes of hay modern farmers roll their hay and then move it off the field quickly. Gerry and I had to get to this field right away or the field would have been bare. Those farmers are efficient.

A day on the Minnesota river. Early sunlight piercing the trees. A snag on the river from high water this spring.  As usual the blue is too blue. Think of those shadows as more greyed out. This was a day when I was very frustrated by forgetting half of my supplies at home. Gerry would have loaned me paint but I needed my brushes too. So made a quick trip home and then only blocked this in on site. Finished the painting at home from my photo. Gerry says I need a check list. But then I would probably for get to check the check list. ;-)

Our weather this fall has been beautiful. This is an old oak tree a the Minneopa State Park on the prairie side. Those who know the park know that it is divided in two. One side has the falls and the other prairie land and campground.  Gerry was doing a nice vista type landscape but this old tree caught my eye. I did this one mostly with a knife  and it has lots of texture. I really liked the backlit leaves on the tree. That gnarly old tree was a challenge because I had to edit down some of it's limbs in order to make the the design work.

We were a the Gustavus Arboretum a couple of times this year. What a beautiful place. There are still many more paintings waiting to come to life there.  This is across a field to an old farmstead that is on the site. I knew that the maple tree would soon be changing so I gave it a head start and gave it full autumn color. I need to find a different color to use to make rusty color grass. If you can make the grass in the foreground lighter gold.

These are all small paintings and will be for sale at the Gold Smiths Reunion (GSR) on the first weekend of December. I decided to enter a show and see how sales go. This is a popular show hopefully we will not have a storm like they had to cope with a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving on to Abstract Cold Wax Paintings

Sometimes I am really inspired by a workshop that I take and sometimes the workshop is just a really fun vacation. The workshop I took with Jim Scherbarth in January, is one that has inspired me to create and create and create for the past three months. The work can so slowly or sometimes the paintings fall together without a second thought. The really great thing about this style of painting is that if  I am not happy with what is happening I just put another layer on and start a new idea. The more layers the juicier and more interesting  the painting becomes. Here are some of the works I have just put a final polish on. My husband will put a cradle on the back of the boards for me and then they will go out to be seen by the world.

"Remember the Sun Rise"

"Remember the Wind"

"There is Joy"

These first three paintings were selected to be shown at the Carnegie Art Center annual show. I pick them up on Saturday the final day of the month long show. I received lots of  questions about what cold wax was and the process of using it to create paintings. I will probably do a demonstration at the art center later this fall. 

"Shooting Star"

"Celestial Orbs"


I scratch in words sometimes in the under paintings. The words are usually my inspiration for the painting. But sometimes are just there for texture.  With these paintings above I had a little outer space theme going. I am a bit of  a trekkie from way back.

"Yellow Square"
This one is done on a canvas panel that had a failed watercolor painting glued to it. I tried to pull the painting off but ended up with a rough border all around.The mistake is now an interesting painting.

"Three Squares"
I wish you could see these in person. A photo just does not show the depth of the painting, the textures and subtle colors that come from the under paintings showing through.  One suggestion is that I go bigger with these paintings. The largest so far has been 11 x 14. Therefore, I am working on a 18 x 20 canvas that I have in the studio.

For those of you who are curious. Here is a link to Rebecca Crowell's article about her cold wax paintings. Rebecca has been using and teaching this method for years. One of her workshops is on my to-do list for next year.

This video will help you understand a bit more on how I use this method.

I have about four or five more paintings in process in the studio right now. There are so many different techniques to experiment with that I cannot stop.  I have run out of panels and now am working on larger canvases that I have in stock. If I decide that I do not like the canvas to paint on, I will get my sweetie to make some cradled panels in larger sizes.  Photos of of the new set will follow shortly. Don't let me forget to update the blog!

Commission finished

I did finish the commission for the choirs at SS Peter and Paul's church. Brian Kapp, our music director, has placed it in the entryway for the past 6 weeks. I have gotten some nice comments about it. Eventually it will move to the 3rd floor where the choir can see it as they go to the choir loft to sing for Mass.

This was a big project  (30 x 40 inches) and took much of my winter working on it. The final touch which is hard to see here was gold leaf on St. Cecilia's crown, the large capital "S" and sprinkles of gold in the angels' hair. 
My new work in abstracts has been much easier and in a way freeing from the constraints of the commission. So onward I move. Trying new and interesting projects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold Wax and Oil Workshop

This past weekend I attended a work shop in Minneapolis with James Edward Scherbarth. The workshop taught the participants how to use cold wax and oil and develop layered paintings-paintings that have depth and character that single layer paintings cannot hope to achieve.

 Jim is a great teacher and shared so much of his knowledge with the artists in the workshop. And the artists in the workshop shared their ideas too. We all came up with totally individual paintings. We used Jim's instructions and then created paintings that came from ourselves.  The following is one of my paintings from the weekend.  11 x 14 on a wood panel. I will have the good final paintings mounted on 1x1 supports to give the painting a good presentation. I am glad that I just started with the flat panel instead of the expense of pre-made panels. Cause I know that some of these are totally going to be painted over.

I worked on five panels over the course of three days and know that I will have many more days of work in on the paintings. They are all works in progress. I find that one of my errors is that my paintings do not have the contrast in values that make a painting interesting and eye catching.

This is the painting above in black and white showing how the values are very close together and have little contrast.

This image shows enhanced contrast in values.  I definitely need to get to this level of contrast.

Onward in my quest for a good abstract using cold wax as a medium for my oils.

Continuing Work in Progress

This is a photo of where the Ss. Peter and Paul commission is heading. I have printed out the psalm and kind of placed it on the painting where I think it will go. The original idea was to letter St. Ceceila choir in this space. We decided that was not right since there are more than one choir at SSPP and we want to honor all of the choirs. I will still use the elaborate capital at the beginning of the psalm. I want to use some of the techniques I learned this weekend at a cold wax and oil work shop with James Edward Scherbarth in the back ground and in the angels dresses. The lettering will be in various shades of the back ground colors.  And the final touch ( I hope) will be some touches of gold leaf.  Onward................

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Commission for our church choir is next on my list of works in progress. It is quite large about 30x40 and will hang in the hallway between the choir loft and the third floor offices at Ss. Peter and Paul Church.

This first photo is a very rough draft early on in the painting. I started with a really loose back ground painting in blue, yellow and orange. The image is St. Cecilia the patron saint of choirs. She was a very early saint in the church. Way back in Roman times. I plan a sweeping line of text from one of the psalms across the lower quarter of the painting that will say something about singing to the Lord. That is to be determined yet. I also want to use some gold leaf on the halo on the saint and a few other places on the painting.

 This second photo is after several days of work. I decided to make Cecilia's gown blue and purple to calm the color down a bit. I have worked on the angels on the right side although the work doesn't show well in this photo. The paper words at the bottom are there for me to determine where I will letter the psalm. They are moved around a bit so I could paint under them. The swirls at the top are an inspiration from Starry Night by Van Gogh. Not sure if I will leve them in or make them darker so there is just a hint of the movement. I should have quite a few days this week to work on the painting. An up date will come later.

I can't believe that I have not updated this blog since November. I suppose that the whole Christmas season totally messed with my mind. It seems like there are lots of pet portraits out there now. Thought I would take a hand at some for my boys for their Christmas presents. Top is Matt's Budica, who is the sweetest pit bulldog you could ever meet. Bottom is Marty's Chaco who has been Marty's bike ride companion for 13 years.  12x12 in acrylic. Love adding really interesting colors to the portraits. I really like capturing the personality of the pet. That is Chaco's favorite resting position and Buddica has those melting brown eyes. I  love how they turned out. And have a few more portraits to paint for other pet lovers.