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CPS Studios-Summer 2010

MN Women's Press-Oct 09




Today in the Studio

  listening to Marvin Gaye & Al Green + painting in a sunny studio =

A Perfect Day!

Well, as perfect as they come in my world.

Despite fighting a cold (I started getting a sore throat last night), I got into the studio around 10 this morning. One of the advantages of working in a home studio is that it's a lot easier to go to work when you're sick AND you can work in your jammies. It worked for me today.

I put some tunes on and went to work. I pulled out some canvases that I had started working on earlier in the month. They are all part of an abstract series with a predominantly gray palette.

I am trying to get as much work as possible done on this series this winter. One thing I have learned about my painting habits is that my palette of colors changes with the seasons. When the seasons change, I instinctively shift the colors I work with. During winter months, I like working in grays. Payne's Gray is one of my favorite has wonderful bluish tones.

The paintings I worked on today included two 30x10's and two 20x20's. The previous work I had done on these paintings included laying down some base color and texture. Here is where I started today:

The top photo is pretty much the finished product. I like the layering of paint on top of texture (detail below).

I painted till the afternoon light was starting to fade--over 5 hours of painting.

It was an awesome day.



January may be the longest month.

Not because it is 31 days long, but because it can be gray and cold. Dreary and seemingly endless.

It started off fine. Temps were mild as the new year rolled in--in the 40s-low 50s. And there had been no major snowstorms. Definitely not the typical Minnesota winter. So I know I shouldn't complain.

But all good things have to come to an end. Right?

While we still haven't had any major snow, temps have taken a plunge. And it's about to get worse.

My body aches in this cold. My motivation and inspiration seems to have all but disappeared. And all my good intentions at the beginning of the month to be super-productive seem to have evaporated. Just as my body seems to be sluggish, so is my creative mind, it seems.

Tomorrow will be my first full day in the studio after a four-day stint at my museum gig. I plan on parking it in the studio. Hopefully there will be enough sun spilling into the studio to fool my brain into thinking it's nice out there.

And then I will paint.


My final thoughts on Santa Fe

My trip to Santa Fe was inspiring on many fronts. I definitely hope to return for another visit. And in my dream world, I imagine living there...for many reasons...

Santa Fe is an incredible city for an artist. Did you know it ranks #3 in the United States for art sales-- behind only New York City and Los Angeles. There are a great many galleries selling a wide variety of work, including a lot of abstract work. That was very powerful to me as an abstract painter. It's wonderful being somewhere where it feels like your own work would fit right in. It makes it feel so much more possible.

Santa Fe is a wonderful city for walking. I walked more the week I was in Santa Fe than I have in a long time. It felt wonderful.

It is a city with a rich artistic history. There is something very powerful about knowing that some pretty influential artists paved the way before you.

The sky. I love how open the Southwest sky feels.

The landscape in general. The colors. The dry heat.

Love. Love. Love.



Alas, my dream move isn't likely to happen anytime soon. But in the meantime, I hope to keep a little bit of that Southwest fantasy remembering what it was like to walk through all those galleries, see all that art up on the walls...and imagine... that someday it could be my work up on the walls.




Museum hopping in Santa Fe

Alongside the amazing number of galleries in Santa Fe, is an equally amazing number of museums. I was not able to visit them all, but I certainly enjoyed the ones I visited. And I want to go back to visit the ones I missed! 

Top of my list to visit was the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. It is located on the edge of the downtown Plaza area, less than a 10-minute walk from where we stayed.

I have seen some Georgia O'Keefe paintings at other museums and even got to take in an O'Keefe exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Arts a few years back. It is certainly inspiring to see her work in person. Some paintings are smaller than you might imagine when you only see them in a book. All are striking; vibrant and in a way, personal. At the entrance of the museum they showed a few short films about O'Keefe that included interviews with her. Her voice echoed in my ears as I walked through the galleries looking at her work. Being in New Mexico, surrounded by the land that so often inspired her--it was easy to imagine her standing before her canvas, painting.  I felt a little like I was in heaven while I was there.

It was interesting to see a range of her work, from very early sketches to paintings completed late in her career.  I especially enjoyed seeing some very early watercolors that I've never seen--at least not in person.

If I ever get the chance to visit Santa Fe again, I will definitely return to this museum. Oh, and a heads-up tip for you: your museum admission is good for the entire day--so make a day of it! Start your visit in the morning, then enjoy some lunch (and maybe some shopping) on the Plaza, and come back to take it all in again. I could have spent all day here--and I did return for a second peek the day of my visit. I've heard that they do rotate the work on exhibit you can certainly return on a later trip and see different work. In fact, the museum will be closed January 16th-26th for exhibition changeover. I will be back! (I admit to dreaming of having the job of the museum gallery bad could that job be?)

I was equally impressed by a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Art, which houses an incredible permament collection featuring the work of several artists that lived/work in New Mexico in the same time period as O'Keefe. It also has plenty of room for several special exhibits, which change out frequently. At the time of our visit, the museum also had on display the work of printmaker Gustave Baumann, who at one time worked from a studio in the basement of the museum! His work was incredible and worth the museum admission alone. (And yes, I did daydream about having a job in this museum as well! I mean, my job at the Science Museum should payoff some way!)

Both these museums were located in the downtown Plaza area, just a 10 minute walk from where we stayed.

The third museum that I visited during our trip was the Museum of International Folk Art. It is located on Museum Hill, just a short drive from where we stayed. Museum Hill is home to four museums, making it well worth a visit. In fact, if you plan ahead and are interested in visiting multiple museums there are different museum passes (and discounts) available to you.

For this visit, we stuck with the Folk Art museum ... a wise decision since there was plenty to keep us interested for several hours. An added bonus--you are allowed to take pictures in the exhibit spaces! So I will leave you with a few pics from my visit to the Museum of International Folk Art--





Although you might not be able to make a trip to Santa Fe, you can click on the links to the museums and visit the museum galleries online. Not as good, but still good!

Up next: Santa Fe Wrap-up!


The Plaza

  Just a short walk from the place where we were staying (pictured above) was Santa Fe's downtown Plaza area--a mix of galleries, museums and shopping.

I walked to the Plaza several days. The walk there was always a delight--with the mix of adobe architecture and sculpture everywhere.


Santa Fe was decked out for the holidays, making it even more beautiful.


 Part of what I enjoyed about Santa Fe was that it was a great city for walking. I found out I was much more willing to walk when I was going from gallery to gallery.

And I was in Santa Fe long enough to find my favorite resting spot--this downtown Starbucks that featured original art on the walls. (Why can't they all do that?) What was so great about this vacation was having a very relaxed scheduled that really only included window shopping, gallery surfing, and coffee breaks. This vacation scored an A+ in all those categories.

 If only I had the $$ to come home with those boots and the matching bag!

Next up: Santa Fe's Museums