Friday, November 20, 2009
It was fun seeing the reactions of visitors to the library as they viewed the various reimagined covers! What a variety of media and imagination all of the artists bring to their work. MaineIllustratorsCollective.org
Fall is winding down. That's nothing new. It actually isn't terrible to see it get dark so early now that leaves are mulched and deluged with rain. The ones that were raked, bagged in the free biodegradeable bags, set by the curb at 7 a.m. Monday as directed, were picked up by the town trucks and are doing their thing at the compost heap.
All the outdoor work is finished. Deadlines for writing and artwork are met.(All but one portrait). NOW is the time for closets! I am anticipating this, can you tell?
So: INTO the closets. GRAB all those clothes. KEEP only what truly is flattering. DRIVE everything else to Goodwill. But, don't leave to do that until clothes are sorted again and back on the closet pole, and shoes are organized on the floor. THEN, off to Goodwill.ALL THIS COULD TAKE MORE THAN ONE DAY. IF IT DOESN'T, and even if it does,THERE'S ALWAYS THE OTHER CLOSET. YES! DO THAT ONE TOO. HOW FREEING TO FIND WHAT I NEED TO WEAR WHEN I NEED IT.
And then, off to the artwork and more revisions for 'The Sidewalker", with a clear mind.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
"Oh. What is the matter with this? Why did I ever start this? It's so ugly. A two-year-old could do this! What a waste of time this was." I do it all the time. If I paid much attention to it, I'd have a trash can full of Starts, and no Finished Work.
I used to get really discouraged, but finally (usually), would start working through the mess. Eventually the art as I had envisioned it, would begin to show itself. Oh joy! Keep on! Look what it's doing now--it's going to be okay.
That's why I liked the piece by Mr. McGuinness. Because positivity---which could also be called persistence---is the only thing that will help the artwork to turn out well. Whining certainly won't. It takes awhile to learn this, and there can be a surprise relapse any time, so I have to remember to be ready just in case.
The classic book cover illustration I recently completed for the Maine Illustrators Collective show, The Classics ReImagined, is the first I've ever done. I worked in pastel, which I hardly ever do, especially when it comes to horses, and the style is different from my usual work. That it is framed and enroute to the show, means that I do like it. I won't know until the other Collective members, and the public, see it, whether it appeals to anyone. That's the way it goes. I will hope. Go to http://wwwmaineillustratorscollective.org for more about the Show, and to see their blog.
Friday, October 30, 2009
In a day or so I will post the illustration on this blog, but for now I just wanted to contribute SOMETHING pertinent, because I haven't written a word since the middle of September. With Fryeburg Fair to get ready for, be present at for its 8-day run, and then to get organized here at home again, who would guess time would fly so fast!
Now to get even more organized, and probably so completely that I will most likely scare myself. Then I'll be back to post again!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Every year I look forward to Fryeburg Fair. For the past 8 years I've had my artwork in Space 107 of the Craft Center. It is to be there again., so there's lots of art to prepare and to pack for setup on October 1st and 2nd.
For many years before I ever displayed my work, I knew Fryeburg Fair was the ultimate place in Maine, during the first week of October, for photographing animals, especially the draft horses. There will be time for that this year too, though I will mostly be found at Space 107. Maybe I'll see you there too.
The first draft of my novel for ages 8 through 12, is finished and I'm now working on revisions. This book is a lot of fun! I look forward to concentrating on it after the fair.
Monday, August 17, 2009
AND, it looks as if summer is here at last, which only adds to the ambition I"m feeling as I work on artwork for two State fairs---Windsor and Fryeburg. Lovell Arts and Artisans Fair, held last Saturday, August 15, turned out well for so many of us. The weather was nice, and I was pleased with my profits for the day. It was great, seeing my regular customers as well as new faces.
Isn't it great to finally (!) see decent summer weather! It's enough to build real enthusiasm and inspiration for painting, isn't it? (Heat or no heat. There are ways around that. Open the windows at night, close them in the morning, and the shades too, so the house stays cool). Then, work. Work some more. See some good results from all that effort.
With all this motivation going on, I must end my post and go do what I say I do before it's too late today to do it. There.
Do have the best of all possible days.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Another sunny day. Take advantage of it, everyone, to the best of your ability. For me, it's time to be thinking about the small watercolor paintings I'll do for the Lovell Art Fair, Aug. 15, and also to put out for sale in my booth at Fryeburg Fair.
Most definitely I must get going again with seascapes in oil ! There is a wonderful reason for this! I am truly enthusiastic at aiming to get back into seascapes. Enthusiasm is sometimes its own reward. In this case my second reward will be my efforts to follow the sea in oils, a venture begun during the years I lived in Kennebunkport, and never, ever forgotten.
My horse and dog art will not be forsaken. I will continue with it as well, full steam ahead.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
After checking all my settings, reading info from Google Help, I don't see why your comments should not get through. Please do give it another try. If I get more of those Mail Subsystem Delays/Failure notices, I will find more resources and get this corrected.
Meanwhile, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com with your comments on what you have read in my blogs. I will answer all that do actually have to do with the blog subjects. (No ads or offers of work-from-home; get-rich-quite-fast; free computers,etc. In short, no mass-mail, please.)
It has got to be frustrating to send comments that never make it through. I feel for us all!
I want to answer you!
Meanwhile #Two: what an ideal day to work on the stuff I just talked about. It sure beats mowing the lawn in the rain, which is what I would be doing if I went out there now. I love trying to find a solution to our (well, MY) technical difficulty here. I will love it more when I succeed.
Yesterday, a little trip to a therapeutic riding facility in my area, for a short question/answer session with the owner and program director, also one of the occupational therapists. Their answers were very helpful. I need this information so that my novel for middle-grade readers will be credible. The lessons I watched afterward were so interesting and truly uplifting--
I love seeing the students interact with the horses, both when they are grooming and when they are riding. The whole process gives the riders so much joy!
On the way home there was time to take a few photos of barns. We are having a very late haying season here---too much rain throughout June, not enough sunny days in a row (at least 3 are needed, from the time hay is mowed to the time it's baled, to allow the hay to dry properly.If it is not completely dry when baled, once it's been in the barn awhile, spontaneous combustion can occur, destroying everything in many cases. It isn't worth it to take the chance.)
But, though I would love to see good haying conditions, I have to say the tall grasses were pretty in their range of colors from pale green to light gold, with here and there some red-topped grass
(seedheads, probably---Oh No). Sprinkled through, and sometimes in thick clumps near the road, were black-eyed Susans, daisies and purple vetch, which is a sort of vining plant with oval, elongated leaves and a graceful arc of small purple, thin petals. I love purple vetch.
All of this made for good long-shots with lots of meadow in the foreground, the barns far back, and closest of all, the random clumps of flowers in all those colors. A beautiful foreground, even if it all ought to be dry, baled, and stored by now. Got some good closeup shots of the barns, too.
The moods of the seasons affect the barns' appearance of course. Winter shows them stark, with good shadows in early morning or at about 1p.m., when shadows on snow turn purple for awhile.
In early spring they still look stark, but with the interest of new grass beginning to show green among the tan longer grasses and patches of snow.
Autumn puts them among trees with fall colors, and the skies are amazing, especially in October and November, in shades of steel blue, bright blue, with variations of grey from deep blue-grey to lighter, to cream.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Reference photos, sketches and nice new clean paper have taken over the place of framed original art and prints, which now are hanging in the Dyer Library, Saco, through this month.
I'll finish two commissioned pieces before starting anything else. And the last chapters of the novel for middle-grade readers are critiqued and on their way back, so then I'll revise the first half of the book, and get it sent---then work on the chapters just coming back, get them into shape, whatever that shape has to be, and out they go again. Then, out goes the whole book for a final critique. Then, one more revision, following any suggestions sent by the instructor.
It's great to have the whole thing filed on the computer. Everything is so much easier than it would otherwise be! I love working on this book, and not only because the computer is involved. Along with all of the challenges, and probably somewhat because of them, this is a fun story to write. How fortunate that I have this nice course to take, so I can learn as I go, make corrections, and come closer all the time to getting it right. I can't wait to get these chapters back! While waiting, in between drawing sessions, I'll work on a short story.
So, see? Whether the sun shines or the rain falls, energy comes from somewhere, and things get done. I can't imagine what the alternative would lead to!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Just one of the pieces I will be exhibiting in the upcoming Kennebunk Library "Working Artists Show"
It's so great to be included in the MEIC Working Artists Show. Until I was contacted about this, I hadn't thought about what the the term Working Artist might mean. Certainly I didn't dwell on the fact that I have always held some sort of job---or jobs---while also creating art, and that I didn't have an outside money source other than my jobs. I just kept on combining art, and work, writing and family, volunteer work and everything else, into my days, finding ways to meet deadlines whenever they appeared.
When right in the middle of it all, there isn't much time to think about how, or if, it will all get done. We just keep on doing it. And now there's a show about it which will run for the first two weeks of July in Hank's Room at the Kennebunk Free Library. There's a whole list of Working Artists from the Maine Illustrators Collective on their blog http://www.mecollective.blogspot.com/who will be participating. What fun!
The original artwork I would like to mention here is titled "Show Day!". These are Belgian show horses from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. They appear at Fryeburg Fair each year. I took the reference photo while they were competing in the Four Abreast class at the Fair. This work can be seen on my website under Black and White Art. www.WooldridgeEquineArt.com
Artist's Reception is in Hank's Room, Kennebunk Free Library
July 8th 4:30-7:30pm The public is welcome. Come see my work!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Not knowing how long that might take, and wanting to give her all the time she might need, I did my matting and framing a couple of days before. I had one request: could we stop somewhere if we saw a horse farm where the horses were in pastures near enough the road to take a couple of photos, and would she take the photos of me if I stood with my drawing board and pencil, working. This was to go with my bio for another show.
On the way to Freeport we saw a nice horse farm with white fences, stopped and got permission to take the photos. They came out good. She's a good photographer.
Then, off to Freeport. Once our work was checked in, we went to Starbucks, across the street and to the South, a little way, and bought coffee. It seemed as though we ought to celebrate a little, since this is her first-ever show, and it's my first real gallery show in years and years. I hardly ever drink coffee anymore, so there were two milestones in one day.
The Artists' Reception was last Sunday afternoon. We were very pleased with how our things (3 pieces for each of us) were hung. We saw them across the room and to the right, as soon as we walked in! Loved it! The show runs until mid-June.
I believe I may make up for lost time, somewhat, as the next show, the one that requires the photos to go with the bio, is called "Working Artists", exclusively featuring artists who work at a job besides doing their art; who have not received grants or inheritances, or money from spouses or relatives. I qualified for this, and was put into one of the last two available spots. It's just a good thing I didn't second-guess, and procrastinate, and end up completely out of it.
I have been working quite hard on NOT putting things off; being on time wherever I have to be; and not scheduling SO MUCH in a day that I can't possibly get to where I am supposed to be without rushing unbelieveably. Maybe it's working.
The Working Artists show starts the first of July and runs until mid-July. It will be in Hank's Room, at the Kennebunk Free Library. I will love being in this show.
And, in August there is the Saluting Norman Rockwell Small Town America show, held in the Kennebunk Town Hall. Each artist will create a piece that has been inspired by one of Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers. Just pick one, be able to say why it is inspiring, and do the artwork in any medium desired. The cover isn't to be copied exactly, but there should be some connection to Mr. Rockwell's original. I'm really looking forward to that as well.
There will be a great Artist's Reception at the Town Hall, too.
Besides all of this, I've been learning more about marketing my work, from a motivational marketer named Robert Imbriale. He isn't your average person-of-this-sort. In fact, I have never heard of a person in this profession who is quite like him. He is direct, very helpful, never pushy, and on top of it all, he is kind. How about that. A very good combination. To hear him, you could go to BlogtalkRadio.com/motivational. Give his one-hour show a try; see what you think.
Also, I follow Jay Bennett's blog. He is in the same health and wellness network marketing company I am in (see my LinkedIn site for information about that). Jay has good advice. I love this company. It's by far the kindest company (can there BE such a thing? Yes there can) that I have ever seen.
I have been using their products for over three years. I feel 20 years younger; my sleep has improved, and so has my energy level; my thinking is clearer, too. There's more, but if I keep on, people will think it's too good to be true.
With all of that going on, there are still plants to set out, in pots and in my small gardens, and the lawn to mow, and before much mowing goes on, it will really be the best idea to rake up all the bits and pieces of little branches from the last minor windstorm. There are still a few from winter, too. I know---but look at what-all has been going on. Add to it, a going-away party for a grandson; a graduation party for a granddaughter; visits from another granddaughter and grandson.....two visits in two weeks! Even before they were married and moved away, to some degree, they STILL lived an hour away and didn't get down here much, since they were in high school, with a VERY long bus ride morning and afternoon, so the second time they were here, we took a trip around the area, visiting pretty spots they had never seen, and they loved it. I'm glad. My grandson, Nick, lives in California now, so he has some new memories of Maine to take back with him.
Add to that, a weeks-long visit from an old friend from Scotland. She stays with her daughter while in the States, every few years, and we've had such fun; I've picked her up and we have gone up and down the coast visiting familiar beaches and harbors, and scouting out new ones, and taking photos, making time along the way for tea and raspberry scones at a little shop, for a lunch together when she first arrived, at her daughter's home. Then a couple of lunches here, with those little rides around the beaches, etc., and each time, toward late afternoon, a movie on DVD here at the house.
The first time it was "Mrs. Palfrey At the Claremont" with Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend, both of whom have received awards for their performances in that movie. The next time, we saw "The Enchanted April"---Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina, and others equally good. Give these movies a look. You'll be glad you did. They're a pleasant change from a lot of what's out there lately. A quiet movie now and then (or maybe even all the time!) is a good thing. Calms us down. Makes us laugh. Lets us breathe and relax. Tea and a treat go well, too.
As for me, I will get calm, laugh some, breathe and relax once I've worked more on the final chapters of my book for young readers (ages 8-12). I like the way it is going, thanks to my instructor at the Institute of Children's Literature. What good courses they put together!
Okay. I'm off to take advantage of it!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Paperwork, and figuring out how to send jpegs and tifs and all that, as attachments, takes up some time. Especially the jpeg or tif attachments, most of which, with me, do not succeed for awhile. Eventually, one way or another, though, they do. So if you also have problems getting these things to go where they're meant to, you are not alone.
The art website is still being updated, though you can get to it without a problem. The first page has a lot of written info, so it takes some patience to scroll down to the buttons, but come and take a look at the artwork, and keep at the scrolling for just a second or two, and the buttons are at the bottom of the page as usual. Soon they will be at the left hand side also. Much easier for you, then, and a load off my mind for your sake.
Time is valuable! I have to say, I didn't think about the time element when I had my webmaster put that ESSAY (you might as well say!) where it is. I wrote it, asked her to place it there, and for the time being there it is. I will see what to do about it.
This is one gorgeous day, with all that sun! Sometime in midmorning I plan to take a break from artmaking, writing, and meeting deadlines, and get out into the springtime, if all I do is stand there and look across at the neighbors' lilacs next door and the ones down the street, and at my own violets coming up in unexpected places wherever the wind blew the seeds last fall. It's always interesting to see where some of them end up.
A little break in the middle of things makes for more energy afterward. Come to think of it, a walk will be even better than just standing there!
Do have the best of all possible days!
Friday, April 10, 2009
After all, the site shows improvement already, and this way everyone visiting will get to see more changes as they occur---kind of like a construction project which, I guess, it is. You'll see it at the head of the Link List www.WooldridgeEquineArt.com
Today's entry is short. Yes. When the sun is out, all kinds of after-the-winter yard work gets started, causing more ambition, so indoor chores--No! No! Projects! Artwork, even---are also finished and more are set up, ready to go. Things just roll right along; a lot of doing, no time for writing. Enough said. I would say 'have the best of all possible days', but now it is evening. 'Good Evening' doesn't seem to work, either.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Backtracking has been going on here a lot in the past week. That's just another way of saying Tax Time is here again...and every year, in spite of the best of intentions to start at the first of the year, I find myself in the third week of March, sorting the year's sales slips, putting them in their little month-by-month piles, and entering them in the book. So there I go, all the way back to January. We're all in the same boat. Naturally, I don't begin to think I am alone in this. I'm just saying that if I had followed my plan---my every-year plan that never is put into motion---the book would be completely up-to-date, just waiting for its annual trip out the door to the tax man. My plan? To do what true business people do: enter the income and expenses At Least once a week. More often would be even better. I have to think about it all year anyway, so why not know that it's In Progress. Oh, how great! Just add the columns in January, make an appointment (won't my tax preparer be amazed when next year he gets a call from me, IN January, for an appointment. Yes he will be. Because he will get one.) And then, rather than this nonstop sorting, piling, adding and storing away, I will know exactly, and 'way ahead of time, that all is in place. Think of all the brain space this frees up for better things.
That means I can enjoy the Tax Trip, leaving early to carry out my plan to take photos of the subjects of interest I passed, rushing and cameraless, true to form, THIS year.
Thick and knobby old trees with their shadows, and the old farmhouses and older barns, will still be there next week when I make the repeat trip to pick up the book and a copy of the tax return, though the snow has melted considerably since last week. The snow with purple shadows across it, was half the subject last week. I'll take the photos, as this year's route was somewhat different from last year's, with variations on the trees, houses and barns. I can add snow if I want. Sometimes I think the snow photo is better than the painting done from that photo, simply because the moment captured on film is true, whereas in the painting there might be many changes. (I 'm one of those people who leaves photos as they are, whether digital or on film.)There are some barns I'd better be capturing before they lean a little too much or too many more boards come off. Even a year can make a difference, so it won't be good to wait. A lot of these things will be good to do in pencil.
Most bothersome of all was that there was not enough uninterrupted time to spend on the writing necessary to update my website or this blog, and to concentrate on entering information on two business websites which now, fortunately, are nearly ready.
All of this time-is-so-short whining that's going on, is so anyone reading, who might feel the same now and then, will know they are not alone. I will also say; this tone of things, though it may be realistic, will certainly not be the usual way, here. Life's too short for it (a well-known singer and songwriter wrote a line about negativity: "...I say life's too long" for it---he has a point), and there is generally some good in the most negative situations, if only to give us empathy when someone else is in dire straits.
So---the sun is shining, always a plus. The air is warmer. The yards have debris from the trees, mainly because of the big ice storm this winter. Still, there is debris every year, no matter how much we rake and straighten things up in the fall. That we can see our messy yards means the snow is gone! We're ready for that, looking forward to spring. We'll work with the good.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This mule team was part of a sleigh rally held at a lovely farm in Harrison, Maine. During a break in the action I took at least eight reference photos for future use in my pencil art---and became so caught up in getting good, clear details and at least passable composition that I never noticed what they were doing to pass the time as they stood there. When I reveiwed the photos later, I sure found out. They had created new, funny faces for themselves, a different face for every frame. The photo you see, is the one I worked from. The finished artwork gathered some nice awards in a juried show and in a couple of State fairs. A man and his wife bought it at a summer art show and sent it to their mule-owning friends in Georgia.
I like this expression so well that I'm working on a second drawing. From anything I have read, it's all right to draw a duplicate as long as the purchasers know that this may happen.