Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 - Much to be thankful for.

As I look back at my work year I realize how well my career recovery is underway from the travails of the recession. Here goes...

It's been a year since opening the studio on Beekman St. The Arts District has also suffered mightily but signs of improvement abound. Michael was able to stir interest in another First Friday Art Walk which will be repeated in the spring (the Art Walk he singly organized in Ocala still continues and is smashingly successful). I'm so grateful to have street presence and have the support of friends who believe in me and my artwork. The studio makes it possible to participate in various art events throughout the year. Yes, I work very hard to market myself and cannot rely solely on walk-in traffic, but the studio has proven itself necessary over and over. It's about street cred.

A great gig came my way last January with the commission to paint six greyhound fiberglass forms. My new client used the artwork to raise money for greyhound rescue. And what a fortuitous meeting! He saw my fiberglass horses in Ocala and took the trouble to find me here in Saratoga. What a fascinating, generous and easy to work with client who made my struggles with acrylic paint a bearable challenge. Angels come in all disguises.

Getting my children's book finished and published was a milestone. 101 Whinnying Riddles for Horse Crazy Kids is listed on and has sold very well. My book partner who wrote the riddles, Dale Sue Wade is brilliant and supportive. I made lots of mistakes but learned well about self-publishing. I'm even open to repeating the venture. In color next time.

I was invited to show at the spring exhibition at the American Academy of Equine Art in Lexington, KY. Always an affirming endeavor.

Creating and nurturing business relationships is more vital than ever. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame hosted a book signing for me during the race meet. It's important to form alliances with those who share similar focus, passions and who also work hard to promote these principles.

Yup, there were some low points in the year to mention briefly but not dwell. The cancellation of the Inaugural Saratoga Steeplechase Festival for which I was the poster artist was a big disappointment and also hit me in the pocketbook. The state take over of NYRA stole some of the magic from the race meet and left many of us drained and uncertain of the future. However, the recent meeting of the new board of directors produced direction for positive change, especially during the upcoming 150th Anniversary to be widely celebrated. And I'm grateful to still be an artist vendor at the world's most fabulous race track. We remain hopeful.

The lack of interest in equine art here in Saratoga after the race meet has been a blessing. It has compelled me to spread my painterly wings and do some flying. While it's often frustrating, it's also a great challenge to experiment and grow. The interest in my "new" subjects has been reassuring.

I have amazing clients and am thankful for all who supported me throughout the year. You all know who you are and I'm so grateful for you interest in my artwork and career. Next week, Michael and I will sit down and make plans for 2013 with renewed enthusiasm. In the meantime, I wish you all a

Merry Christmas and Peace and Prosperity in the New Year!

With lots of love,

Monday, December 03, 2012

Go to the Light

I've been fortunate to gypsy around the country with my horse-trainer husband Michael. As I scrutinize contemporary masters to expand my subject and, in the process, hopefully improve my painting skills, I've become so mindful of the light in all it's glorious lumens.

Now I'm in the north country and it's...oh so different. As winter encroaches, the sun is a diluted watery thing that mostly hangs out behind a veil of clouds. And not for long! It drops behind the tree line before 4:00 pm which makes for a very short day (and in summer the opposite makes for little time to star-gaze). With a rare, clear sun, the light produces long shadows all day long. Weird.

3:30 pm
Michael has asked why an artist would want to plein air paint here in December. Everything's brown and dead, he observes. Well, everything is more like resting and it's about a sense of place. The weak light is particular to this region at this time of year and I'm enjoying the seasons (even though snow still...STILL!... eludes us).

Holsteins, oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Because I sold the first little cow painting unframed and still wet, of course I had to paint another. It was overcast but I wanted to color the cloudy sky. The bare trees in the background say winter even though the grass oddly stays so green around here freeze after freeze. I added a slight indication of shadow to add dimension even though there were none and used a palette knife to create the hay in the mud. The cows are brightly lit in an un-sunny way.