Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Pretty sure we are done.... if not, I am betting you won't notice the changes....
On to more and more things stuck in my head, needing to get out.
(PLEASE share or contact me if any of these strike your fancy.  They are all for sale.  I am doing my donation in October, so there will be PLENTY of pieces by then!)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Trooper, the Equine Ranger in Progress

So much that has nothing to do with anything has been happening, so a brief update.
I had my first presentation in Scottsdale at their art league and it went so well, another group asked for me.  The scheduling will probably end up in November or so, with the league's schedule and mine.
Tempe, which is very nearby also wants me and this time for AUGUST!  So we will put that on the agenda.  I figured out the issue I had been having with projectors.  You see my reliable little laptop does not have the proper hood up for almost EVERY available machine I can borrow or afford.  The new laptops don't tend to come with the plug either!  SO... I literally got and returned FOUR adapters before I finally found a small, rather old, but running win10 very slow and very old model REFURBISHED notebook that I will try to use ONLY for presentations.  If it wears out quickly, it was only $30 more than most of the adapters I exchanged.
I am breaking it in.

And I have been working on a portrait.
Still not done but here are a few progress shots....

 I knew what I wanted to do with Tooper, one of the horses that come (two days before I left) to stay in the park for the summer, but I was a bit unsure of what I wanted to do with the background.  So I drew him, sketched the background (which changed) and painted it all in black acrylic so I could do the background and still see the horse.

I finally decided on the scene and blocked it all in before I even began to paint the horse.  I called it eating my veggies before I had desert.  I am so bad at landscapes.  I love vignettes, but it is a bit nuts, to be around all that beauty and not use it at all in the paintings.  So this area was from a snapshot on the road.  I am pretty sure it is just around Kachina point, very near home... but I had blur in the thing and just loved all the stripes of color.

So,  90% done, horse near ready for the rest of the tack and I really did not like it.  Could not put my finger on it, but it did not do what I wanted, did not look like a place that was truly there.  I spent a lot of obsessive time trying to fit the time of day (noon and strong vertical light) with a scene that would make sense, and try as I might, I was not able to get that sense of abstraction I wanted behind his realism..

I asked some friends and tried him in other backgrounds (more complex and suited to my obsessive mind)  and there was a general consensus that ALL of my ideas were good.... which did not help, but a friend reminded me of something I LIKE TO SUGGEST to artists stuck like I am.... Put a piece of plastic over it and experiment.

I am sure she is aghast at the horrible plastic I used, but I just needed to decide what color and how far I needed to go.
So why is this in this blog?
I am aware of something that happened to me there.  I have become REALLY unhappy now that I am home.  I do not feel connected to much.  The heat keeps me in the house like a cage and I don't know what to paint, don't know if anyone will buy them, how much more I can fit in here, and I basically and to afraid to start anything for fear of failing.
This was a free pass!
I gave myself permission to let go.
I got in there and started by darkening and moving the sky a bit...
Not too dramatic but then I started darkening the space behind to show the shadows of the clouds and eventually stopped trying at all to match the reference, just started playing with the colors.  I put the purple in the shadows of the rocks close in , and dotted the background with glints of light and basically started playing.  It was more about me painting my OWN Painted Desert.
I know you all don't think there is much going on that is revolutionary about this, but to me, it was very freeing, with my house full of art, to risk it and come back from where it was not so safe!
I need to let it be.  
It is finally to a point where when I leave it and come back, it is pleasing me!!!
Next post will be the finish.  I might have my donation piece....

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

First Public Presentation

Well, one more technology I have put my toe into.
Last night I did my first Power  Point presentation at the Scottsdale Artist League.  I had been a member of this great group of artists on and off for decades.  It was old home week.
The challenge was compressing my 3000 photos into some reasonable format (which personally I think I failed at, but that was actually NOT the idea) so I could give a taste of my month in the Park.
Three weeks of procuring the projector that would work with my computer and some food poisoning, a day long technology scavenger hunt for parts to interface and practice with the machinery for a good two days before, had resulted in a very well received presentation.
I brought the pieces, so far, from the residency and got the best review of all - nobody left in the middle!
Kip even helped out by shipping a stack of the Trip Planner newspaper and some brochures for me to pass along so people could follow a bit of what I was talking about.
In a group that is basically retirees, I lit a fire about getting their Senior Passes soon, so we may have a small flood of elderly getting the $10 pass before the price hike!
So I have a first round done.  Two other leagues are interested in having me speak and I know I can do it, so I can finally slow down and start planning art.
More to come.... always.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Old Folks: Get America's Best Bargain NOW

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The Senior Pass or former Golden Eagle (I miss that....) is going up at the end of August from $10 when you buy it from a ranger when you come into the park, to $80.  For the rest of your life, they smile and hand you the brochure and are thrilled you came to visit. 
Go see my man Jorge at the PEFO soon and be SURE to purchase it.
Or be more helpful and wait until the deadline and the money is used to help shore up the huge losses to every government penny sent to the park.