Friday, November 26, 2021

Art Battle Outcome

 Once again, it has been a while. I'll try to fill you in on what has been happening in my life little bits at a time.

After the Inktober, I got serious about getting ready for my Art Battle on November 13th. I had been painting lots of different scenes trying to see what would work as a painting that could be painted in 20 minutes. I paint pretty fast anyway, but I had to find something that was pleasing to a varied crowd (the young and hip as well as the old and established) something that would stand out from the stage, be simple enough to do in 20 minutes, and look like it was finished. It is actually tougher than you would think to come up with something - two things, actually - in case I made it to the final round.  Jesse and I had a discussion about art and the Battle. I told her that I wanted to paint something that would show that I was an artist - that I knew what I was doing. But in order to win at the Art Battle, I needed to be more simple - crafty. It is a difficult balance. Do you want to win, or do you want to look like a good artist? They are not necessarily the same. I chose wanting to win or at least get to the final round.

I painted lots of landscapes and old buildings, but my critic, Jesse, didn't think they were "it" - not enough pizazz. Finally, I came up with this cactus.

. Then I worked to come up with this second painting of poinsettias.

People ask me if I get nervous about painting in front of people. I don't really or at least I didn't think I did. But there is a bit of adrenaline that kicks in and causes me to freak just a bit on finer lines of the painting.  When painting the needles on the cactus, I noticed my hand shaking a bit - a weird feeling.  The venue was different than it had been in the past. The artists were more crowded on the stage and closer to the ceiling and the lights. The people walking around the stage seemed closer too. I could feel sweat pouring off my face this time. 

So, all that work and I did not make it to the final round and did not get to paint my poinsettias. It makes me feel good that all my friends and family said they voted for me and that my painting was the best. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe the other artists had more family and friends. Maybe the voting was wonky - the voting app seemed to be a bit screwy. Whatever happened, it was over for me. And that is not a bad thang.  I am ready for some more serious art. Well, maybe I will do my little Christmas watercolors. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

More Inktober

 Here are my Inktober photos in odd order:










Wednesday, October 20, 2021

More Inktober

 More Inktober inks. Prompts: pressure


 sour  roof


tick, helmet 

Inktober Oct. 6,7, and 8

 Here are a few more of my inktober ink drawings from prompts given by the inktober website. spirit 

fan watch

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Irons in the Fire

 What was that about me posting more? I tell ya, I am a lazy bum. My excuse is being busy, well, I am. At the same time, when I have time to blog, it is not a priority for me. Relaxing and reading are more my thang. Especially since I have had several irons in the fire lately. My way of doing things is to take one iron at a time. 

Getting my sister's art show done in Amarillo was one of the irons. My next iron is Jesse's Horti-sculpture Show at Smith's Gardentown in Wichita Falls.  I have had lots of time to get some planters made for the show, or so I thought. I made a planter that looked like a little village. It was a good size planter, and I put lots of work in on it. But as things can go wrong in ceramics, it came all apart when I glazed it. In the meantime, I had thrown a few pots and hand-built one pot (a basket). Bo and Toby also threw a couple of pots for the planter show. Since I still had time, I hand-built another little village pot on a much smaller scale than the first one. One of Toby's pots blew-out a side in the bisque fire. One of mine cracked in the bottom, which is not such a bad thang for a planter that has a drain hole anyway, but maybe it would not be good to sell a flawed pot. Then we had problemas with the kiln. Yikes! It was getting down to the wire and I was having trouble firing the kiln! With much stress, we finally got the pots done last Saturday. On Wed. I got the pots to Smith's Gardentown in WF and got them planted and turned in for the show. Here is what they looked like without plants.

The Basket 

Toby's and mine

Flower Power and the Village

Tomorrow night is the Horti-sculpture reception. We will drive over to WF for it, of course. You can buy just the planter or the plant inside it, too. One iron almost done.

The next iron will be painting in the Art Battle on November 13. I need to figure out what I am going to paint. I do have some ideas. Then I need to practice it until I have it down to a 20 minute painting that looks finished. It is a little stressful, but I am trying to take one iron at a time an really start painting after this planter show.

Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men...Two weeks ago, Toby's nephew died of liver failure. They were hoping to get him on an organ transfer list, but it didn't work out. Whitney had just turned 41. He and Bo had been big buddies when they were younger. It is very sad. Yet, we hadn't seen Whitney in a few years - we go our own ways in life. Toby is going to the funeral this Sunday - driving down to Austin and back. We were really expecting the memorial service at a later date. Then because it is a very informal gathering - like a typical Austin thang - we were not really thinking we would go at all. But maybe it is important for Toby to be there. I am not going, because I have had plans on going to my cousin's 80th birthday in the Dallas area. That is a much quicker trip, and someone has to stay and take care of the dogs. 

Also, we are hoping to go to the Texas Clay Festival and take some of Toby's vacation time. It is getting kind of crazy, so I won't hold my breath. 

For some crazy reason, I started doing an ink drawing every day in October - Inktober. It seemed so easy when I was thinking about doing it. Technically ink drawings are not difficult, but I'm kind of not enjoying this. No color - no fun. Well, maybe a little fun. Here are the first three of my ink drawings

Friday, October 01, 2021

Art and Trips

 I have been on a couple of short trips lately. It was good to get away and see old friends and make new ones. 

On Facebook I keep up with an old friend from when we lived in Vernon, TX. That was when Bo was little and I was pregnant with Jesse. Alvin had a hardware store in the old downtown part of Vernon. It was funky old stone building with a second floor overlooking the bottom floor and lots of junk  - junk galore! In the back of the store, he had an old pot bellied stove with chairs around it. I used to love to go see Alvin and just sit and visit. Many times I had Bo with me while he played around the store. After I had Jesse, it was still a favorite place to go and sit in a rocking chair with Jesse. We moved from Vernon when Jesse was almost a year old. We saw Alvin one other time in all these past 40 years. We just lost touch. But Facebook is good for something - finding old friends. 

So, We found Alvin on Facebook. He is a junker these days. He has several booths at different antique market places from Ft. Worth to Wichita Falls. We have been in touch via the Internet for several years. A few years ago, he met up with Jesse for lunch in WF. He said that he really enjoyed that meeting.  Anyway, last week he posted that it was his 73 birthday and that he was having a junk sale at his house out in the country around Bowie, TX. We decided to surprise him. And surprise him we did. It was great to see him and catch up a bit. The visit wasn't long enough, but when so much time has gone by, we either needed a week to catch up or just enough time to say all is well and lets try to do better on seeing each other. We did the latter. 

As we left, I looked on Google maps and saw that St. Jo was pretty much straight north. We decided to drive that way and see the Davis Blevins Gallery where Donna Howell-Sickles has her studio and art. We missed seeing Donna, but I did visit with the lady running the store/gallery. We got to talking and she is a member of the Wichita Falls Art Association. She opened up the gallery/studio part of the building just for Toby and I to see the real art. I was in heaven. It was fun visiting with the gallery lady and seeing the art. Then we drove on north to the bridge-to-nowhere and crossed over into Oklahoma. It is a beautiful drive and fun day.

Then last Wednesday, I got up and drove to Amarillo to see my sister and help her with her San Jacinto Neighborhood Association Art Show. I put two pieces of art in the show (shown on previous posts). I got to Amarillo around noon. Immediately, we went to work setting up an old funky event place for the art show. We used a lot of easels rather than the walls or screens. It was a lot of work. In typical artist fashion several of the artist waited until the last possible minute to turn in their art, and of course, some were very late.  Thursday saw my sister and me running around town doing errands and finishing up with the preparations for the show. Then we had to hustle to get cleaned up for the show and get there to open up for the judges. 

It all went off without a hitch. I met lots of new people, artists, etc. My niece was there with her husband, and my sister's in-laws and family were there too. We all sat together and enjoyed the free food and drinks as well as tacos from a taco truck. There was some really good art, too. Fun times on Route 66. They had many categories for ribbons. There was no prize money - this was a fund raiser for the non-profit neighborhood group. Most of the artist donated the sell of their paintings to the fund raiser. I bet they sold about ten paintings that night. The art show lasts thru Saturday.

So one of my paintings won best Storyteller.

I had painted from an old newspaper ad where Cal Farley, of  Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, had a tire shop on Route 66. It was a black and white photo of him airing up an airplane tire. My dad loved Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and contributed to them often. We sometimes stopped and visited there on our way to and from the mountains.

The other painting sold to the Amarillo Art Committee who voted to buy my painting of the old fire station on Route 66 to hang in the Amarillo City building. Apparently, the Art Committee does lots of things for the City of Amarillo. I thought both the Storyteller ribbon and the sell of my art were real honors. 

So I had lots of fun with my sister and the art show was a success too. It was so nice to get out of town - twice. And the weather turned cooler as a cold front blew through and dropped some needed rain. It dropped snow in the high mountains. Snow and aspen trees! Wouldn't that have been fun, too?