Introducing the Studio Sale

[singlepic id=170 w=320 h=360 float=left]A lot can happen in five years. For me, the last five years have brought eighteen art fairs, eight solo shows, three new series, four different framing styles, a new medium and an ongoing string of group exhibitions. One inevitable result of all of this activity, as it turns out, is orphans. Orphaned paintings, I mean. Orphans appear for many reasons. Maybe they are part of an old series and look out of place with my newer work. Maybe they went on the road a few times too many, and ended up with a damaged frame. Maybe they are in a perfectly good frame from three frame styles ago, and now look odd in my booth. Maybe they were shown several times, or maybe not at all, before I was on to the next new thing.

Regardless of how they got there, all of these paintings now sit in storage, waiting for homes. Normally this would be the time I would have a studio sale. But if you've ever actually seen my studio, you know why this is not exactly practical. I can barely fit myself and my current artwork in the 10' x 11' room I call my studio, let alone sale merchandise, customers and a table of wine and hors d'oeuvres.

So I'm doing the next best thing: a virtual studio sale. Well, parts of it will have to be virtual anyway. Like the wine. But the art is very real, and I will be offering it for sale here on my site. At the right under Pages, you'll see a new page titled, appropriately, "Studio Sale." This link takes you to all my posted sale items, each with a Paypal button for easy purchasing.

All artwork offered in the Studio Sale will be shipped matted and ready to frame. Prices are comparable to unframed work I sell in my art fair booth. Every piece is an original, hand made, one-of-a-kind work of art.

Go ahead and take a look. I hope you find something you like, and can give one of my babies a home.

Take me to the Studio Sale!

A Good Year

[singlepic id=43 w=460 h=300 float=left] Well, here it is, the last day of 2008. It's been an amazing year for me, and as I gear up for 2009, I'm thinking of where I've been. 2008 started on  a high note: in January I was accepted to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. This is one of the most competitive shows out there, so I was thrilled to be included. Acceptances kept coming in and I ended up with exactly the show schedule I wanted, which was huge for me. There are no guarantees in this business. There is so much competition. You can't be certain you will have opportunities to show and sell, nor can you be certain you will make sales when opportunity comes. 

Despite looming economic troubles, I was fortunate to have some very good shows this year. All of them were good, actually, but a few stood out. Bellevue, Wash. and Sun Valley, Idaho were incredible in 2008. Thanks to all of you who gave me so much support--you know who you are. And here in Spokane, an amazing group of artists and art professionals have reached out to me, and for that I am also grateful. Thanks to all the artists and show staff that made all that work so much fun. And a special thanks to my husband and family for their unending patience and support.

2009 is mostly a mystery at this point. It will be months before I know my schedule. But I can look forward to a few good things now. Sun Valley is already on my calendar thanks to a "best of" category award this year. And, two of my pieces will be published in the Pastel Journal's April Pastel 100 issue. If I ever get over this awful cold I should be able to finish my fifty oils with no trouble, and if any shows will have them, I will have the excitement of presenting a new medium. But beyond that...?

Que será será, and Happy New Year!

Looking Forward to January

I love the holidays, really I do. It used to be that I would become depressed as we went into January and it would be winter for another four months (it stays late here) but all the celebrating was over. Now things are a bit different. The celebrations are still fun and when it's all over, it's a little difficult to snap out of it and move on. But January and February are some of the most productive studio months. And it feels good to get my life back and start working again. I'm not quite there yet. There's still a holiday to go and I have a cold, so I'm not quite feeling the anticipated burst of motivation yet. But it's on its way, I can feel it. So soon there should be a lot of new work to post. Stay tuned.

Halfway Point

Earlier I said I would update my progress on the fifty oils. A few weeks ago I passed the halfway point. Here are a few of the paintings (with pastels on the walls and easel in the background) ready to be photographed.  Today I am starting number twenty-nine, so I am feeling good about making my goal!  Try not to laugh at my tiny studio.  Okay, laugh if you must.  Fine. [singlepic=90,320,240,,] I've been making some canvas panels and later this week I will go through the process a bit.  They make a great surface, especially for me as a pastellist.  Oils seem to behave in an almost pastel-like fashion on them.

New Website

This is it, actually.  I had planned to run both my original website and my blog simultaneously, but after a long day's work getting this blog ready to actually publish (yes, I've been posting to an unpublished blog for two months!) I decided, with some arm twisting from Paul, that this would be my site. I liked my old site, and Paul spent many hours setting it up for me. However, it was not easy for me to edit and I felt like a jerk asking him to do updates. So I didn't. My hope is that I will keep this site updated very regularly, with blog posts, new work, upcoming events, news, and maybe some special offers of artwork along the way. Pretty much everything that I had on the old site is here. To the right I have galleries of pastel and oil paintings, bio stuff, a news page, links to my galleries, etc. plus a cool new gigs calendar at the bottom. That should look much more interesting as my show calendar fills up (hopefully!) in the spring. To quote Dane Cook, which I promise I will never do again, "I DID MY BEST!!!"  Hope you like it.

Day 3: So Far So Good

Well, almost. Did I say I wasn't going to take another design job? I made it just over 24 hours without taking one. Pretty good huh! It's not really design, though, just scanning some artwork for the museum at the university where I used to work. And it's a one-time job so that doesn't really count. I'll be scanning over 150 photos by Andy Warhol. It should be an interesting project. I will post an image later if the museum director will allow it.I have been doing some actual painting, too. This was the best part of not having to drop everything and go into work three times a week. I can now paint in oils! I could before, and had done a few, but it was so frustrating to start a painting then have to leave it for a day, or two or three. I would inevitably come back to a painting too dry to work and then have to backtrack. Nothing like sitting in an office while a painting reaches, then passes, the perfect working stage. Speaking of which, my latest painting is calling to me...

Day 1: Taking the Leap

Hi, my name is Sheila and I am, as of today, a full-time painter.  What follows is a brief story of how I got into this (hopefully great) predicament: I wasn't supposed to be here, not quite yet anyway. For years I've dreamed of leaving various jobs as a graphic designer to become a painter.  Three years ago I cut down to a part-time design job and have been working hard, painting on my days off and selling at art fairs and in galleries, and things have at last been taking off.  So, one year from now my husband and I decided I would finally leave the job. Then an assistant VP (who shall remain nameless) at the university where I worked finally did one rotten thing too many and we hastily bumped up our plan by a year.  I gave four weeks notice then headed to the Sausalito Art Festival.  Amusingly, on the trip back we received a phone call from work: the assistant VP had accepted a position at another college.  After thinking it over for about a minute we decided to go ahead with our decision, and here I sit: a full-time artist.

Hopefully over the next weeks/months/years I will chronicle here my meteoric rise to success as a painter in pastels and oils. Right. At the very least I hope to talk about the art, the ups and downs of the business, the stories from the road, and any other discoveries along my way to not taking another design job.

Time to go to work.