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Tech Savy and Art: An awkward combination?

So, after a year or so, okay, emphasis on the “so”, I moved my old blogspot blog to this site, en toto.  I did the first steps all by my not so big self, though it did require an hour and some minor cursing from my tech guru husband.  At any rate, it’s done! Wahoos are in order for me, as I left the old blog unattended while I was working on this website. So, for those of you who were following the old blog via RSS, the links in RSS will now bring you right here, and you can even look at the old posts and photos contained in them.

Now, with a few more tweaks, I can return to painting.  Yes, being an artist is hard work. While skill and passion is a known requirement, these days, so is discipline and marketing savy.  Ouch.  It’s a work in process.  Of course.

There will be some notable changes coming here.  While the emphasis of being a gallery has lingered, it will be changing soon, to my personal work. However, there may be “popUP” times when I’m promoting someone else.  We’ll just have to see how it goes. I get it, you follow me for me. For who I am and what I do, and from here, I’m beginning again, starting anew. I hope you’ll come along.  And let me know what you’d like to see?  I’d love that!  Thank you!

 

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learning web 2.0

It’s been an uphill learning curve. Being quiet on all things personal while standing willingly on stage for all things art, this web 2.0 thing has had me flummoxed. “Is it safe?” I asked myself. I guess, at the ripe old age (that I am now) I’m more concerned with learning, growing and finding out more about who my friends and customers are. How can I really serve if I don’t know that? I get that much. It’s no conversation if I’m talking to myself. I’m learning that it’s all about you, not what I think. And that most of the me, I’ve been wrong on that. The interesting thing is, that the way the journey goes, it’s not discouraging to know I’ve been wrong, but encouraging that I could figure that out and move on! I read on my friend J’s blog that she misses the days (brief) when friends could sit around the table and debate, disagree, and even argue..and still walk away friends. I think that day is at hand again, if we choose it. The politics of hate and fear I hope will bounce off us like rain on a freshly waxed car.

It reminds me, actually, of the poppy. You don’t see poppies in cut arrangements, decorating tables in fine dining establishments. You don’t see cut poppies anywhere. Cut them and they die in a matter of minutes..drooping their lovely heads in defeat. Left with their roots intact, shining their faces toward the sun collectively, whether there are 5 or 5,000, their collective smile is contagious to all who look upon them. Yet, they are maligned, abused and destroyed. Here is a poem I wrote about why I paint the poppy:

Poppies are…
Beautiful
Radiant
Misused & Abused
Maligned
Killed by Governments
Yet….Free
Transparent
Fragile and,
Connected…..Like We Are.

That’s why I paint them. The muse in me is pondering flowers. I’ve been told many times that I’m the rose….most notably known for the layers and layers of petals amidst the many thorns. I can see that and it’s probably true though I’d smile more if it were the fragrance and beauty that inspired the likeness! hmmm.

What about you? What flower are you most like? (just for fun..a fun diversion to make those foul things bounce off) Yes, I’m bouncing around here. It’s allowing for the stream of consciousness to show itself on this blog. wahoo.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Painting the Violin

Well, I didn’t think it would be this hard. When I was originally approached by Judie Hass, who was working (volunteering) for Music from Angel Fire, and asked to paint a violin (on it..not of it) for their 25th Anniversary Season, I was delighted. I thought “Cool, honored to be asked,” and indeed I am. But I never thought it would take me two months of agonizing and countless designs wadded up and thrown away before I could just settle down and do what comes naturally to me….paint. It’s so bizarre, how our perceptions and deep seated beliefs can so hinder us..or propel us to success. It went the whole range. “Why did I say I’d do this? How do I always get myself into the places? What makes me think I can paint? How am I supposed to paint watercolor on a violin?” Ugh. This morning I ask John if he could see the violin on my head. Or was it on my back, I wondered out loud.

Good grief. Get a grip, Kat. I toyed with the idea of taking the truck to Taos, since the bed is loaded with glass and cardboard from the last 7 months, awaiting the trek to the recycling facility. John said, “you need to paint. you’ll feel better if you do.” The recycling would sit in the bed another week. So be it. So I headed to the studio and dilly dallyed. I opened the window shade. Turned on the music system and noticed the cd tray was empty. “where are those cds?” that took another 20 minutes, finding them. Set out my painting supplies. Can you see how I was procrastinating? Why? Plain and simple..fear of failure and self doubt. Maybe if I avoid it, it will just go away. Not likely. And I know better.

One dip of the watercolor brush into the pigment, into the water, and back…ahhh. Like a splash of cool water on hot day. Swish it around a bit in the puddle in the palette. breathe in. breathe out. And then I was done. At least that how it seems to me. Yes, about 9 hours passed. Who knew? Not me. I’m looking for a suitable expletive. Can’t find one. I LOVE that! I’m not tired, (look at me typing away)…but energized. Oh, why oh why do I fill my days with everything BUT painting?! After all these years you’d think I’d be over this by now. Yes, that, “can I do it?” “what makes me think I’m an artist” still stalks me. But I do know how to overcome it. It boggles my mind that I put it off. ACK! Sound familiar? hmmmm.

Anyway, Violin, painted. Not quite finished…needs a bit of silver (25th Anniversary, remember), and then varnish to seal it. It’s watercolor, after all. I’ll put a picture up later. Or maybe I’ll wait for you to find it at the auction. we’ll see. At any rate, I’m breathing again. Hallelujah!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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More on Drawing

So, did you watch the video? Did you draw the poppy? Did you know you can actually get that reference photo at my website? Simply click here to download the reference photo so you can learn to draw that poppy. Here’s the secret: You can duplicate this method to accurately draw anything you want. You won’t need a reference photo in the end. You will be able to focus on the shape of what ever is in front of you, drawing around the shape with your eyes, creating that shape memory. Then transfer that to your paper, in the very same manner as I demonstrate with the reference photo. Yes, as I said before, it takes practice. You are, in effect, training yourself to see anew. Most of us were taught to draw what we think we see, to draw what is, in fact what we think things look like. As a child to draw a tree, and what will you get? If I ask you to draw a tree, will not most of us draw that same tree that we have pictured in our heads for decades? That is exactly why it will take practice to un-learn what we thought we knew. To discover that everything we need to be able to draw is actually already in us. It is simply a matter of accessing that ability to see and instantly recreate that on a paper or canvas. From there, one can move on to interpretation of what we see which is the trademark of the artist.

Learning to draw may be the path to art….but it will definitely be the path to establishing a connection to your creative self. A tool to help you live a more confident, balanced life. More balance brings more contentment, less stress. Honest. Give it a try…and if you need help please let me know. Live better….learn to draw.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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The sun is shining!

Here I am on Sunday morning. The sun is shining brightly and the temperature is rising. You have to dash under the portal of the building because the accumulated snow from the last storm is sliding off and there’s steady drip of water pouring down as well. The sides of the highway and running like a river and my hopes for Spring have returned! I got happy when the sun came out yesterday, and got busy with the next video. Here it is:

It’s been a long time since I was at the gallery on a Sunday. Figured it was time to see if there is anything going on on this gorgeous day that might bring people out. We’ll see. Haven’t seen anyone yet, so spent some time figuring out “My Perfect Day” and writing it out. It was way easier than I thought. I don’t know why it took me so long after Frank Kern first told us what a powerful tool it is. I’m not going to share it with you just yet. I’ll wait till I see it out in my life then share it to demonstrate it’s real power.

For those of you who have read the current issue of Land and Home, yes, that really is my house, and yes, I really did build it. Don’t be too impressed, it was one of those “no viable alternative” situations. I will confess that’s when I’m strongest. Tell me I can’t, then watch me do it. I believe it is within all of us to rise to the challenge, to live beyond the confines of what constrains us. I’ve been doing that for as long as I can remember and don’t see it as anything but ordinary. You can see the article (photos and all) online at http://www.sangrechronicle.com/LandAndHome_Spring08/homefeature.html

Check it out and then post here and tell me what you think! I keep saying that…and I really mean it! I want to hear from you! It can be very quiet and lonely in these mountains. Especially this time of year when I generally sit in the gallery by myself for 8 hours a day! Now you know why I have limited hours in the shoulder season!

Oh, and in case you haven’t done so yet, sign up for my email newsletter with the button on the right. I the current issue there is info about the upcoming season of Angel Fire Mountain Theatre and Angel Fire ArtsFest. Click the links to read about them directly.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Introducing Danny Stewart’s Jewelry

I told you, I’m having crazy fun with this! Here is #2:

So, yes, I fully intend to do this for each of the artists in my gallery. And keep in mind, that is something that changes regularly, so this could go for a long time. This week, as an example, one artist left, and I added a new one. Why does an artist leave the gallery? Most of the time it’s due to the fact that the work just isn’t selling…meaning it’s just not quite right for my current market. Bear in mind, the market also changes, as the tastes, desires and needs of the market fluctuate. Staying in tune with that requires an ongoing investment in understand my clients and customers. I want and to be able to understand what you are looking for, even when you may not know. Understanding human nature, and what effects us can only come from a heartfelt thirst to experience and share in the community. Careful understanding of who I am, what’s in me and what effects me is a core part of that. If I don’t know who I am, how can I possible come to know who you are and fully enter into that relationship? It’s an ever emerging process and experience.

One thing I came away from the conference (New Beginnings. LIVE! with Rich Schefren) with is the realization that I don’t have to wait till I’m perfect to enter in. In fact, I can’t, since that won’t happen in my life time. Gary Vaynerchuk (www.winelibrary.com guru) said it best. Know who you are, then be there, just as you are, zits and all. (paraphrase, but you get the idea). Thanks, Gary. I never would have tried the video thing if he hadn’t gotten that through my extraordinarily thick head. Passion is great, but it’s nothing without embracing the whole.

I am still so blown away by that conference and the intense work I’ve been doing as a result. It’s real. Paradigm shifting, life altering. If you haven’t figured out what I’ve been talking about for the last month yet, click here to read about it.

As I close this post, let me extend the invitation again…Please comment. I’m not writing a diatribe. I want to hear from you!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Pondering the "Zone"

Did you ever say “I can’t draw a straight line”? Or, perhaps, “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body”?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that in my gallery. Usually, I say, “If we were all artists, then who would collect our work?”

The truth is, at one level or another, we probably ARE all artists. On the surface it’s easy to see. Visual Artists (painters, sculptors, potters and such) and dancers, musicians and stage performers and writers…clearly artists.

But what about the rest of us? Do you have an uncanny ability to make new from old..say, in your home, or with your clothes? Does your ensemble, earrings, necklace, clothing, shoes and handbag all coordinate to look like you just came off the runway in New York? Or what about the prize winning garden in your front yard or the fabulous dinner you take such pleasure in preparing and presenting to your family and friends?

Perhaps those things don’t fit our conventional perception of the Arts, but they are trademarks of creativity, talent and (ahem) skill.

I am positively passionate about demonstrating that you have it in you. The creative flow that for most is quietly waiting for the opportunity to erupt, till it spills forth beauty and joy, or expressions of pain and anger.

My best paintings have come spontaneously from the deepest places of my being, and in fact I couldn’t tell you how I did them. I don’t remember. Finding the door to open the flow of soul expression can be tricky. We like to bury it deep. But if we can dig it out, unlock it, unleash it, it is an exciting, deeply healing, life altering experience that you can actually learn to repeat! Honest! It’s that timeless, other-worldly sort of experience. Whether you are drawing, painting, dancing, acting, writing, playing music; what ever it is that your natural creativity flows into; that place where you lose track of where you are, what you’re doing, what time it is; that “zone” as some call it. Warning: it’s addicting!

The truth is, that ability lies within you. Pay attention to what you find you lose yourself in. Then pursue it. It doesn’t mean you’ll become an artist. It means you’ll find a quiet place of restoration and retreat, or a happy stress-free place to visit, so to speak.

I seriously think that there are “tricks” and “triggers” to unleash the creative within you. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m sure of it. I’ll have to chew on that some more, but as i ponder what I observe with my students and with other artists, as well as my own experience, I’m sure it’s true and that I just have to put it down so I can see it. You know how it is.

Have you been there? When you enter fully into that which you love to do, can you stay there for hours, unaware of time and light and temperature changes? Do you emerge, looking at what you did and wonder who did it? If so, please share it! I’d love to know what company I’m in!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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