Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abstracting Realism

Theresa's 30 x 60 "Racing for the Triple Crown"
Of course I love to create my portraits! I've been doing it a long time!

But this journey into "Abstracting Realism" is merging what I see, know and have experienced into a unique world and takes a lot of energy! With the large paintings especially.......I feel the energy, use the energy, tap into the energy and when I am finally done, feel a little...drained :-) Yep, that's the word. Sounds dramatic, but that's the way it happens. Latest Abstract Realism painting above is a 30 x 60 in size.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Making the studio a retreat

New fence in front of studio
Today was one of those days where we were able to check off yet one more thing on our perpetual "to do" list!

And what we checked off was the fence in front of the Art studio! As with any big project we've put a lot of time and effort into our art studio. We spend a lot of time in here and we try to make it not just a place to work, but a retreat.  Visitors love the look and feel of our studio.

We built it a little over ten years ago from recycled materials gathered from a 1910 house being demolished, a warehouse of construction leftovers and good old fashioned muscle and help from family members! took us almost two years  because  we paid as we went along. No debt :-).

So today, we were able to step back and admire our new section of fence. It's the same kind of fence we have around our rose and herb garden. Tobacco stick screwed to treated wood...and the sticks, if not touching the ground, last as long as the treated wood!  We had to first tear down the picket fence we installed at the beginning as the invading wisteria (yes we stupidly planted it on purpose!) had started to pull it down. Putting up the fence was the easy part. Attacking the vegetation with chainsaw, clippers and Round Up, was a the hard part :-). Oh well the original concept was good...we just picked the wrong plant for an arbor!

Artists often need beauty and quiet times for inspiration.... it's a perfect place for many of our classes and our art retreats. Sure you can find the beauty elsewhere as an option. But being a part of it, nourishing it and reveling in it...well now, that's the artist's life!

Same type of fence around herb and rose garden

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Art Journaling and making the memory a reality!

 OK, I confess. I just copied and pasted this entry from my other blog into this blog but heck I can't improve on it anyway! And it IS a part of the day to day life of being an artist :-) 
I am very focused on paying my bills while creating the best art for my clients that I can,but this is a branch that is another creative path that I walk...the blog IS new...but it's still the same old me sharing all the aspects of an artist's life! Visit me as well at the link below!

My Art Journal page
How can you not be inspired by flowers? Your garden or a friend's? 
The Queen Anne's lace is blooming  everywhere now. The warm winter meant it all came about two weeks early. In NC they bloom wild alongside what we  call "Tiger Lilies" Somehow "ditch lilies" doesn't do it for me! I let a few grow randomly in my garden and love that decision!
Both types of flowers are a fond remembrance of mine of my sister and I riding our horses down the roads and seeing these same types of wildflowers growing alongside the  road in upstate New York!
So a combination of using leaves (yanked from my grass) as a stencil, lace, paint, spray ink, markers and my trusty gel medium, transposed my vision into a fun 9 x 11 Art Journal page of a few sentences and all things Queen Anne's Lace!
It's easy to paint the flower...just blop dabs of white paint in the general shape of the head of the flower!

The journal next to the Queen Anne's Lace in my garden

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Making the News :-)

News - Wake Forest

On the road: Franklinton painting duo make art pay


Theresa Brown’s first career was as a dog trainer running a 100-pen kennel in Raleigh. Steve Filarsky was a sign painter from Philadelphia, specializing in gold-leaf hand-lettering on fire trucks and antique boats.
Now, the couple is married, earning a living as traveling portrait artists for the past 15 years, crisscrossing the country to sell their work at art shows and returning to home base in Franklinton in between. Making it work as a self-employed household has taken flexibility and business savvy, but both say it’s worth it.
“As times change, you have to adapt what you do,” Brown said. “The biggest thing is, yeah, you can do it, but it’s hard work.”

Filarsky and Brown are the featured artists at Wake Forest Art and Frame Shop for downtown Wake Forest’s Art After Hours event Friday. Shop owner Beth Massey recently commissioned a portrait from Brown of her own children, marveling over Brown’s ability to capture the essence of each child’s personality.
“You can make something look like a picture, but to capture how people in that family see that person is amazing,” Massey said.
The idea that you can’t make a living as an artist is relatively new – artists have been tradesmen working on commission for millennia, Brown said.
“Even the greatest of artists had to go, gee, I’ve got to finish this – I have bills due,” Brown said.
A life in art
Art show season is cyclical, so Brown and Filarsky have developed a lifestyle that follows the weather like migrating birds: drive the camper down to Florida for a month at a time for winter art shows starting in November, then head to the northern shows in spring and summer. It helps that they work well together; last Wednesday, Brown was scheduling art classes in Wake Forest while Filarsky set up their booth at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh.
The road to self-employed success was a winding one for both artists.
For Brown, the catalyst was a divorce that left her a single mom of four kids between the ages of 3 and 13. She needed money, fast.
Her three years of art school at East Carolina University had left her with the mindset that painting portraits on commission was somehow lesser, not truly “art.” She shoved those feelings aside and set up a booth at the N.C. Flea Market, “where most artists wouldn’t be caught dead.” The first weekend, she came up empty. Her second weekend, she netted $90. The two following weekends brought in $250 apiece, and she knew she’d found a viable career.
In the two decades since, she has illustrated books for New York publishing houses and other projects, but her focus is portrait-painting with a special niche capturing people and their horses or dogs. She first holds a photo session with a client to get natural, relaxed photos in the setting of their choice. She then creates a pastel portrait, with special care to capturing the spirit of her subjects.
Filarsky started out with an architecture degree from Penn State University, then moved to North Carolina to start a sign business in Wake Forest, where he met Brown while investigating the local art scene. He specializes in watercolor portraits, in addition to hand-lettering gigs from across the country.
Having a business-owner’s mindset is crucial to succeeding in a notoriously difficult field, Brown said. There’s no waiting for inspiration to strike – the work has to be done according to client specifications on deadline.
The couple is able to live comfortably; their house and cars loans are mostly paid off, and they used to maintain a beach getaway spot. Brown’s kids are grown, but the couple has two ponies, five dogs and a goat.
“When it comes to ‘making a living,’ you determine what you want,” Brown said. “Aim for what you want, and you can do it by hitting the right market. Luck doesn’t enter into it.”

Portrait of Massey children

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

 Today is my brother's birthday and I thought again how unusual lives 3 siblings, from a traditional "Leave it to Beaver" type environment. (and I say that with a big smile-thankful for the experience!), led.

So different from our friends, huh? I paint, he sails, my twin was a poet/musician and my husband is an artist......

 "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. "

So Mike, many more birthdays-journey on! Here's to The paths less traveled! Life is good!

The Road Not Taken          
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay                                           
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Thursday, May 3, 2012

FInding your motivation

The light from a window

misty morning view at the B & B

Sunset on the Chesapeake

Rejuvenation and inspiration !

People are always asking me "How do you get your inspiration?" and often I have to think about it because it is not usually some amazing POP that comes to mind. 
It is more of a moment, a day or an afternoon of either a new location or catching the light from something familiar.

A recent trip to the Chesapeake and a stay at the Inn at Tabbs Creek B & B sparked not only a feeling of relaxation but the tell tale feelings of inspiration! Creativity or "ideas" can strike in a moment or accumulate.
 It is a subtle excitement that recharges something within the creative person's inner being. It is that same feeling that comes when you are on a hidden trail and wanting to see what is around the next bend :-)
 Everyone has creative moments.....but not all people take advantage of them!
Find what sparks your creativity for painting, writing, for music.....for your own enjoyment.
And then USE that inspiration as your motivation!  Creative moments are not for hoarding. 

Sunlight on the Iris
The backlit colors
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