Thursday, December 31, 2009

Art New Year's Resolution

I don't usually make a New Year's Resolution because they are made to be broken. If I'm going to make changes, I start early like when I decide to make the change. I do not wait until January.

With that said, now that January and the New Year is a mere few hours away, I've been thinking about what I accomplished this year in the art field. I had my first solo art show at Baker College in Jackson Michigan, I entered a juried Ann Arbor Women Artists Association Spring show at the Ann Arbor District Library. One piece was chosen for the show. I continued to paint in spurts sometimes creating up to three works in one day. This year, I have been productive, or so I felt. So then if I were to make a New Years art resolution what would it be?

I want to have my work shown in a gallery this year and I want to sell a piece to someone other than family, not that I don't appreciate their fervor for and support of whatever measure of talent or interest in art I've been given, but when some stranger buys a piece of my art that will be the seal of approval I need to know it is worth continuing.

Then again, VanGough only sold one painting in his lifetime. The buyer was his brother Theo--family. How discouraging that must have been for him. My mother bought one of my photographs--a 20x30" size black and white picture of a Kentucky Tobacco farm. Even though she said it reminded her of one of the barns near where she grew doesn't count because she's my mother. My brother, Mitch, on the other hand, has excellent taste in art. He bought two oil pastel pieces--pomegrante and Apple #2. I gave him "The Three Sisters" oil painting I did. I didn't really like that painting, but he loved it. It was a landscape--plenty of green and brown grass, a stream and three little white dots at the top of the hill hidden among grass and bushes--the three homes of the three sisters. For him, it stirred an emotional response--three old women living close to each other sharing the land--something like that. For me, it was too bland--a failure of a painting. I'm glad he found an emotional treasure and story in the work.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

3 oil pastels today

I've been feeling like my creativity has been on the fritz lately. I haven't felt like creating any art, but I wanted to have created. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but I hope it does. Usually I create art while standing, which can be quite a strain of late. So, I rolled the bedside table into the livingroom. The table serves as an oil pastel supply holder. Popping on the TV I flipped through a variety of brain numbing shows until I came to a show that had artwork in the background.

I liked the colors of one of the pieces, which gave me an idea for a work of my own. I sketched it out in pencil and then colored it in with oil pastels. This work in turn gave me yet another idea for something else and about a half hour later I had another work.

Finally, I had another work in mind and drew it out in oil pastels, thus creating three works in oil pastels.

One of the wonderful things about oil pastels is that they are very fast. I draw a lot of satisfaction by creating works fast and finishing fast. I love working with oil paints, but hate how long it takes for an oil painting to dry.

Last week I created a tiny--2"x2"--oil painting of a model green apple. I thought about giving this small painting to my sister, Thea, but after a week of sitting on the easel, it was still wet. I left my thumbprint on the edge when I picked it up to examine it. I guess now is the time to start those small oil paintings for 2010 Christmas gifts. I don't believe in speeding the drying of oils since I have no idea how reliable the results will be nor how archival.

Thoughts about creating oil pastels

I need something to motivate me to paint and create more than I currently do. I've enjoyed creating a variety of oil pastel paintings and plan to continue painting, but my paper supply and money is low. Perhaps the solution is to cut the remaining stash of paper into quarters and make smaller paintings.

I like creating larger paintings--around 22" x 28" sizes, which is the full size of the sheets of paper I use. In the process of creating oil pastel paintings, I've tried a variety of papers. Stonehedge is the one that produces the best paintings. Its smooth texture and sturdy structure are perfect for this type of work.

Blending by hand and with fingers is a pleasure over the smooth surface. I work the colors in with a bit of odorless turpentine.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to get blog followers

It has been months since I opened my first blog on blog spot. How do I get followers of my blog? If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate knowing. Thank you.

Santa description

This was from a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators contest
We were to write a description of Santa Claus we had never read.
This is what I came up with.

Greta Picklesimer

Jackson, MI
member since 1999

Warrant for arrest...
Alias: Kris Kringle or Santa Claus
Description: elderly man, rotund, white hair and beard, chuckles for no apparent reason.
Details of crimes: breaking and entering usually through chimneys, profuse littering under the guise of leaving toys for children, also theft of food including (but not limited to) cookies and milk or cocoa from said families.
Additional notes: person in question uses a flying sleigh as a get away vehicle pulled by reindeer, approach with extreme caution.

Greta Picklesimer
enjoys writing for children and reading as well as other pursuits that either are not interesting enough to mention or have nothing to do with writing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making Art

This morning around 1:15 a.m. I created another oil pastel in the...I don't have a name for it...series of paintings. I guess if I had to name it something I would call it "Spaces" series of paintings. The one I created this morning was called "Brown" and focused on land. A few days ago, I painted "Blue" which focused on water. Before that I did "Red" which focused on an abstract box painting with a sub painting beneath it that looks like memories of New Mexico.

Each of these three paintings has a main painting and sub painting beneath the main one on the same sheet of paper. I'm using oil pastels exclusively for this series because I can paint faster with them. I apply the oil pastel to the paper and then blend them with my fingers, hand, rags or sponges to get an effect. I never know exactly what I'll get when I use oil pastels because what I put down on paper is not what stays once I blend and rub the colors in. I like this effect and I like not knowing exactly what will happen because I like painting this way.

I was up late because I took a 4 hour nap yesterday afternoon in hopes of going to see the movie "New Moon". I went to the theater here in Jackson around 11:30 p.m. but all the theaters (the movie was being shown in 4) were all sold out. So, I came home and made use of my time by watching TV, listening to music, sorting things to go to good will, taking out the trash and painting.

I have no idea what color to go for next. My series of paintings are very short. Maybe I'll do green and then orange...does green really have to be land? Does orange really have to be fire? Aren't these too predictable and safe?

I'm off work and my back is still hurting. It hurts when I stand or sit or walk. I've been doing a lot of sleeping. Being in bed seems to give me some relief.

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Art Show

I'm having my very first art show January 12-March 5 at Baker College here in Jackson, Michigan. Go to to check out some of the items being shown.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Art Show

I'm so excited. My very first solo art show opens this Monday at Baker College. I thought about having an artist reception, but imagining myself hurrying behind attendees and saying "ta da" as they view my work just sounds exhausting. Or I could do a Vanna White pose next to the pieces as people pass by. All in all, I think it's best if I stay home the majority of the time that the college and my show is open. I wouldn't want to scare away potential buyers with my silly tactics.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Art show this Monday at Baker College

My very first solo art show will be held at Baker College at 2800 Springport Road, Jackson, Michigan. The show called "Beginnings" will feature 17 of my recent oil, acrylic and oil pastel paintings as well as photographs. There are three shows combined into this one. The shows include: "Lake Views" which includes abstract paintings of Lake Michigan, "Wall Street" which includes paintings in answer to the demise of Wall Street and a photo gallery of "Midwest Art".

Please attend the show and enjoy my art. You may see a slideshow of my work at Go to the Art page and enjoy. Thank you.