Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Been An Amazing Year... Already!

What a great year so far... I am now a part of Studio 9, 9 SW Ft. King Street, Ocala. I have joined Jessi Miller sharing a space downtown for a studio/gallery retail space. My traveling has delayed me concentrating on opening the Gallery - but we will have a grand opening on April 1st, which is also the First Friday Art Walk, so that should be a fun and exciting day! As the day gets closer, look out for more news and promotions - I hope all my friends can make it.

Besides the gathering steam of the Gallery, I will continue to travel to horse shows for portrait work. Planned in the near future is Tryon, NC, Charleston, SC and Taylor, TX. Please join my mailing list if you are interested in meeting with me. I always e-mail out my schedule before the shows and I am always accepting commissioned work.

Here are some of my latest commission work:

"The Dunlap Animal Family"
30" x 40" Oil on linen

11" x 14" Pastel

"Jersey Boy and Jennifer Alfano"
16" x 20" Pastel

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a Great Time to be an Artist

I am so excited about my career as a fine artist. Although the past few years have been more of a struggle than I would like them to be, they have allowed me time to experiment, be more creative and mostly to plan out my future and where I want to be in the next 5, 10 and even 20 years. Believe it or not, I find that tough times are when you can expand and build the foundation for the future. I'm feeling pretty good right now about the future. I see signs of recovery and because of the lack of conventional jobs or employers, I have found that really solid individuals are willing to share your vision and invest some of their own hard work in order for both parties to benefit later down the road when things do turn around.

That brings me back to the new business venture I had referred to an my earlier posts. I have developed a line of humorous cartoons based on horses, ponies and dogs that I will be promoting and selling. Throughout my life I have at least 5 full sketch books of line drawings, funny sayings, ideas on top of new work that I do while watching TV, down time on the road or at a show. I have always wanted to promote these and I think now is the time. So I will be posting my new line of tee-shirts, clothing, gifts, dishes, etc. Look out for my Etsy shop next year and more on-line promoting. Exciting!

With the help of Bob, ever supporting husband, we have secured an outside sales representative who is helping us establish sales of my Giclee's of both horse paintings and landscape paintings. I have no intention of slowing down on continuing my trek to shows for commissioned paintings and portraits. My first few months are very busy, I will be in Jacksonville for two weeks, Wellington, Ocala HITS, and Gulfport for two weeks. After that, I'll see how much work I have before announcing any other shows.

But with the holidays approaching and reflecting on last years events. Some profitable, more not, I am more optimistic than I have been in a long time. I love my life as a fine artist and am so grateful that I have such an amazing husband and kids.

Here are some of my latest landscape paintings in case you're still looking for that perfect unique gift.

Hay Bales
8"x8" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Ocala Oaks
6"x6" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Red Barn
4"x4" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Northern River
4"x4" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Florida Coast
6"x6" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Clouds Over Sunset
5"x7" • Original Oil on Canvas • Framed

Monday, November 1, 2010

November's First Friday Art Walk

This Friday I will be participating in the Downtown Ocala's "First Friday Art Walk". I will be in front of Starbucks, which is my official office when I'm not at home. I look forward to seeing everyone and now that the holidays are right around the corner, there is no better gift than a portrait of your loved one, pet or even your house! I also have a selection of beautiful small paintings that will be available for purchase "cash and carry".

Below "Late in the day" is an oil on linen 8"x8" is $125

If you can't make it by, but have an interest in the gift of art - let me know. I am happy to meet anytime.

On top of my landscapes, I am really excited about getting started on a painting I'm doing for the Fat Tire Festival, a mountain bike benefit ride to be held in the Spring. My other passion is cycling and I'm thrilled to be involved with the "Fat Tire Festival", as well as "Cycling for Success" a benefit ride for Marion County Schools. I donated the logo for the promotional materials.

I've also donated a logo for my son's soccer High School team this year. Kayleb is a senior this year, and has been a member of the soccer team since his freshman year. I can't wait to watch him, I know Belleview Varsity Soccer will have a great year!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Hampton Classic

Last January, while at the Jacksonville spring show series, I took a walk around with my camera, as I often do at horseshows. Jamie Gibson was on her way back from a jumper class late in the afternoon on her white mare, Ginger. Ginger was prancing and the dramatic shadows and amazing reds and yellows made me stop and start to shoot a series of photos all the way from the ring to the barn. As it turns out, the very last shot I took was so exciting to me, I decided to make this into a stock painting with the intent on submitting it to The Hampton Classic for their annual poster. For me, being awarded the poster artist for The Hampton Classic has been a goal and a dream from the day I began my portrait/painting career.

In March, I received the email that began with "Thank you for your submission" which at that point I almost stopped reading, but as I continued, I learned that they had selected my piece as 2010's poster image! A great honor and a very prestigious accomplishment.

Here is a sample of the finished poster for The 2010 Hampton Classic.

So I decided that this would be a good opportunity for me to introduce my work to a larger clientele and in August I attended my first Hampton Classic. It was a great experience, held in a beautiful facility on Long Island. The crowds and famous people came to see, participate and shop. Although I had hoped for more commissions than I received, I can't complain about the crowds and the local support for the show.

Here is my booth while working on a commission.

Of course, as luck would have it, we had that pesky little storm come our way which did close the show for Friday afternoon and many barns did decide to leave. I look forward to next year without a storm and hoping for even better recognition in a new market.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An early New Years resolution

I made an early New Years resolution, that was to contribute to my blog more than I have this year. Which shouldn't be difficult, seeing that this is only my second entry this year. Blogging to me has been one of those things I just never made time for, but I think there may be an audience out there, as my career expands, that may be interested to know some of the things I'm working on.

This was actually a better year than I gave it credit for. Sometimes I feel that portraits are the first to go in a bad economy, I have been blessed with some really amazing clients who have kept me going this year, I've done some work I'm really proud of, made some major accomplishes and am working on a completely new body of work for my mobile gallery. So I have some exciting things already in the works for next year. In between painting and drawing, I am investigating a new business - yes... you heard it right. This is something I have thought about for many years, I think I am going to make a go for it and as it develops, you will be the first to know. Of course it has something to do with art, what a silly question!

I have always loved to graphite drawings, and as I have some extra time, I am working on some samples so customers have a better idea of what you can expect with a beautiful black and white drawing. This is a 16"x20" graphite pencil.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Portraits

Towards the end of last year, November, I set up my mobile gallery at the Atlanta fall show and picked up these two portraits that were due for Christmas presents. I was a little nervous, seeing that I still had several other paintings to do for Christmas, but in the end, I finished these in plenty of time and my collectors were extremely happy.

This painting is an 18" x 24" oil on fine linen. This is the first time I used this fine linen and have instantly fallen in love with this canvas. It allowed me to get amazing detail and really held the paint better than any canvas/linen or panel I have ever used.

This second painting is also a 18" x 24" oil painting, as it turned out, this was a really cute candid shot of the son and his best friend. The original photo had the boy in a purple shirt and some logos that were very distracting. I changed the color of his shirt to pick up the beautiful blue eyes of the young man.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In between Paintings

Many of you already know my other obsession is cycling. As much as I would love to race again to prove "I've still got it", the truth is I've lost my courage. I've hit the pavement too many times and live in pain from it everyday. But I still love to train and ride. There is still risk in training, but much less.

We've recently gained a new bike shop in downtown Ocala, Brick City Bicycles. They have training rides on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It's a great shop and Mark Yeager, owner, is a beast on the bike. So our training rides have really improved since the bike shop opened. It's really a blast!

I bring my bike on all my art trips, I actually have several groups that I ride with in Atlanta and North Carolina. It's great fun and a great way to stay in shape.

This painting is one of my latest paintings that I've done "for fun". This is a nice break from a commissioned piece and will be shown in the OoHA "HUGS" Ocala show November 1 - 15. Opening reception is November 6, 5:30 - 8:30 pm. If you are in Ocala, please stop by to support MCA Brick City Center for the Arts, OoHA Artists (Sharon Crute, Lorna Effler, Moe Hahn, Nancy Moskovitz, Jacquelyn Schindehette, Mary Verrandeaux and Margaret Watts) and H.U.G.S. Charities, Inc.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finished Portraits

Here are some of my latest finished commissions.

The very top painting is only an 11" x 14" oil on canvas. This was a fun painting, the little girl was actually holding someone else's pony and Mom loved the pose, the "look" and the emotional feeling the photo gave. So I took some photos of her pony and made a switch, painting her pony in.

Next is a friend of mine who rode the Tour De France with me in 1985. Helen is her daughter with her jumper. This painting is 24" x 30", oil on canvas.

The last two portraits are ponies who are now forever remembered. Both these paintings are 18" x 24" pastels.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lisa & Peter

A recently completed pastel commission is on it's way to it's rightful owner. This is Lisa and Peter, who I think are an adorable pair. I met them up in Tryon when Lisa pointed out that she had a little Yorkie, like my Max painting, and decided to have a painting done for her husband's birthday.

I'm really happy with this commission and I'm hoping it will lead to more work in that area. Tyron is a beautiful county town in North Carolina. It's a very "horsey" area and it's very close to where my sister lives in Rutherfordton, NC. It's a great place to ride bikes, matter-of-fact, on July 4th I did a century ride (100 miles or 100 kilometers for a metric century) with 8,000 ft. of climbing! Yes, I finished and I was worn out after that ride. But the weather was in the mid 70's and crystal clear - just a beautiful ride.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

White Pony

While hanging out at the horse shows, I try to bring something to work on in between working with clients or waiting for someone to venture into my little trailer. This painting is a result of a late afternoon photo shoot with my two new lawn ornaments ho came my way from my Mom, who has Alzheimer's and can no longer take care of them.

This is Beanie. Beanie is an older pony, I don't know how old - but I know Mom has had him for at least ten years. When he came to us, well... he looked pretty bad. Terribly under weight and not too people friendly. After a few months, I'm happy to report, he looks like a fat happy old pony. Beanie has always been a spooky pony, and that hasn't changed. But he has a wonderful face and I've always wanted to do some paintings of him. The sun was setting and the colors were really incredible.

This painting is 30"x40".