Saturday, March 15, 2014

RVing--It Ain't All Campfires and Kumbaya

My Last Reading.  Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

I got to go into town for some culture recently.  By town, I mean Tucson, and by culture, I mean a Dixieland concert at the University of Arizona.  It was really great fun, the most smile-inducing, foot-tapping concert I'd been to in years.

It got me thinking about the future.  Steve and I think maybe someday we'll want to get an apartment in Tucson.  It'll be when he's tired of moving solar panels around and fixing things and dumping Blue Boys.  For now, he still enjoys this sort of puttering around.   

 Green Thumb.  Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

I like Tucson.  It's got good food and interesting groups of people.  There is always something going on.  Parts of the city are beautiful, with pockets of untouched desert in between developed areas.  I love some of the spaces that have been set aside for public enjoyment.  On my way home, I stopped at Ironwood Picnic Area in Tucson Mountain Park.  If I lived in Tucson, I'd want to live fairly close to this lovely spot.  

I also bought art supplies while in town.  Michael's was having a 50% off sale on their canvases, so I bought four big gallery-wrapped heavy duty canvases for less than $100 to use in a show later this year.  Such a deal!

While I was in Tucson, Roxanne was staying at Coyote Howls, taking care of Sonja.  How nice of her!  Normally when I go to town, I have to limit my visit to two nights because I leave Sonja locked up in my RV.  This time, Sonja got to go in and out and in and out and so on.  

 Roxanne registering our surprise visit to Organ Pipe.

Last weekend, before I went to Tucson, Roxanne and I took my Geo Tracker out for a Sunday afternoon drive.  We headed out Bates Well Road, on BLM land near Ajo, Arizona.  It turned out this road eventually goes to a back entrance to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  Roxanne had her federal lands pass with her, so we drove into the Monument a little ways, until the roads got really rough and we decided to turn back.  

 Being a gimp, I didn't get out of the Tracker, so I'm taking a picture of Roxanne taking a picture of an organ pipe cactus in front of an interesting rock formation

Since getting back from Tucson, I made another quick trip up to Phoenix to take care of some business.  So now I am happy that I have no more little trips to town to make for a while.  I can just hunker down and work at projects for a while.  My next commitment to go anywhere is in April, when I'll head to Truth or Consequences to hang a solo art show at January's.  This week I've completed a couple more paintings for that show.   

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Painting Frenzy and Risk Taking

A while ago, Ilese was camping in her Honda Element on some nearby BLM land, and we got together several times to chat and a couple of times to do artwork.  She's worked at all different kinds of artwork for many years, and she does very cool monoprints using Gelli Arts off-press gel plates.  I have been coveting these plates for a while and they will probably be my next big art supply purchase. But, in the meantime, I decided to try doing some simple monoprints with what I had around the house and then use the prints as the inspiration for painting.  

The two paintings shown above were made by first painting a canvas a solid color and then printing circles in a contrasting color with painted bubble wrap.  Really easy peasy and fun to do.  After I got a grid of circles, I started painting what else seemed to be important to bring out.  

This one was made using a sheet of paper towel that was embossed with a connected hexagonal design.  Instead of adding the print to the painted canvas, the paper towel absorbed some of the paint and left blank spaces, which I proceeded to paint.   

Then I tried printing with a heavy piece of hand tatted lace that I'd come across in a thrift shop or someplace.  I printed it four times in the above painting, then started to paint.  You can sure see my background as a mosaic artist in this piece.   

This one, based on a different paper towel pattern, is the last of five monoprint paintings that I've created over the past five days.  I was kind of on an OCD or manic frenzy.  Or, as Steve says, CDO (since it's important to put the letters in alphabetical order, dontcha know).  

These five paintings will be part of my upcoming April-May show at January's Gallery in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  I'll be driving my car over to TorC to put up the show in early April, leaving my RV here in Arizona, since we plan to summer in northern Arizona this year, anyway.  

Remember my fantasy road sign series that I painted last summer?  Well, I decided to take a small financial risk and I've just ordered some note cards made from four of the designs.  I will try selling these on eBay and I'll probably also visit some store owners I know in New Mexico to see if they'd like to carry them, individually or as card sets.  Here are the designs I picked:

No cat pics today.  It's windy and Sonja is hiding.  Occasionally she comes out and meows at me to make it stop.