Tag Archives: teacher

So Much to Do–So Little Time

I have been busy completing so many different tasks, that the task of updating my blog got pushed to the back burner. The end of my teaching year is quickly approaching which means there has been piles of grading, student artwork to frame for our school  district show, and lesson plans in which to make final adjustments.  

Last I blogged, I included images of the mask I created for The Denver Hospice fundraiser. My mask is now up for auction on The Denver Hospice website and is on display at the Cherry Creek Shopping Mall in Denver. I have one bid so far, but I would love more!

I also participated in the Colorado Art Education Association’s Art Show that was on Santa Fe Drive in Denver for the month of April. Found #3 was on display along with many spectacular works of art created by art educators throughout the state of Colorado. Being that this was a juried show with many submissions, I was excited my painting was selected.

Finally, I am gearing up for another solo exhibition that opens this Friday, May 4th at The Brush and Comb in the Tennyson Street Art District in Denver. The reception is from 6-9 and I look forward to a wonderful evening!

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2011: A Year in Review

For some reason, I have been procrastinating when it comes to reflecting upon my past year as an artist. This morning when I opened a blank document to write, I found myself staring blankly. So I checked my Facebook, paid some bills, responded to comments on my blog, hoping for inspiration.  I pulled up the blank page again, but still I had nothing. Images of the past year rolled through my head, but finding the right words to bring those memories to life seemed difficult. Finally, it hit me. I needed to be honest in this reflection. I only wanted to write something that was upbeat and inspiring. But 2011 presented some challenges that sometimes left me disappointed with my artistic progress. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would post all of my paintings regardless of whether I deemed them good or bad. So this reflection should be no different. I had successes and set-backs in 2011 and to provide an honest reflection I needed to address both. So here we go!

I lined up four solo exhibitions in 2011. I wanted to get my work out to the public as frequently as possible in an effort to make connections with artists and community members. I spaced my shows out over the course of the year. I had a show the month during of January, April, October, and my final show ran from November through December.  Sales in 2011 were good! I sold twenty-two paintings this past year which is a major accomplishment. By lining up so many solo shows, however, I found my creativity was negatively impacted. I became focused upon creating paintings that would fit in a certain series so it would look polished when on display. I also worried more intensely about making artwork that would sell. As a working artist, both of these concerns are valid and I am thankful that I took them into account in order to provide professional high-quality shows. I believe my sales benefited greatly by confronting these concerns. But, the conflict arises when I fear that I have started to lose that spark to create something new.  I love experimentation, trying new things and learning from failures. This past year left me with little time to play, discover, or fail and try again. So I have decided that I will plan fewer shows in 2012 in order to get back to the root of why I began this journey in the first place. I have a few new ideas bouncing around and I am itching to get back into the studio without the pressure to perform. I am planning a solo show in May which gives me several uninterrupted months of doing and trying anything that my heart desires.

There were some major life events in 2011. My full-time career as a high school art teacher was impacted. My income has been frozen for the last three years and in 2011 the teachers at my high school had to take on a larger class load to account for the terrible loss of funding. While I am very grateful for my continued employment, the larger class load has meant less time for planning, grading, parent communication, and less time for rest. With a lower energy level, some days it was just too hard to drag myself to the studio. My husband and I bought our first home as well. I packed my studio in June and did not unpack it until late July once the new studio space was finished. So there were several months that passed without painting. The studio is now a usable space and I love it!  Also, my dad was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in 2011. From August through December I used all my three or four-day weekends, and holiday breaks to be with my family and I would not have changed that for the world. I was also able to work out a deal with the gallery where I showed my work in November so that I could donate a portion of my artwork sales towards cancer organizations. While it has been an extremely tough journey, his diagnosis has redirected my efforts towards what I truly value most.

So onward to the goals of 2012!  I want to CREATE! I want to love what I do and share it with the world. I want to continue to persevere through whatever life throws my way. I often think of how my dad introduces me to new people and I smile every time. “Have you met my daughter?  She is a famous artist!” 🙂 While I may not really be famous; I hope that as long as I follow my passion, my work will continue grow and touch wider audiences.

In the News!

Local Color Magazine did a story about my artwork and teaching profession. It is a really nice two page color article written by Rebecca Moses. She did a great job of capturing my artistic process and passion for what I do. Local Color Magazine kindly gave me permission to share the article on my blog. If the print is too small, click on the image to enlarge it.

Local Color Article

Local Color Article

Day 8: Completion!!

Day 8

I completed the painting yesterday! I worked seven hours straight fine-tuning lines.  It turns out that after seven hours of steadying ones hand, ones hand no longer steadies!  But, luckily, my arm and hand held out until the job was finished.  I spent the afternoon adding the black edges to the shield and the banner underneath the shield.  This black outline turned out to be the most challenging part of this painting.  The black paint took multiple coats and much discipline to keep the lines an even width.  I was so excited to take a photograph of the completed work, that I now realize I did not take the small version of the crest down prior to the photograph. I will have to get a photograph without that image taped up there in the future.

After eight days and forty-one hours the finished product really stands out in the school’s entryway and I am proud of my accomplishment!

I Am Back!!


Presence #37

It has been a few weeks since my last post.  After my April show opening, I decided to take a few weeks off to re-energize. My goal this year is to seek balance in my life. Between my teaching and painting profession, my to-do list often piles up. Once I get started, I never seem to stop. I figured the first step to realizing my goal of balance was to allow myself to take a break every once in a while. I took my break from painting towards the end of the school year in hopes that I will keep painting more in the summer when I have time off from teaching.

I decided to push the envelope with Presence #37.  I have been eying the empty masking tape rolls on my shelf  for months now. I knew I wanted to incorporate these rolls into my paintings, but solving the puzzle took quite a while. About a month ago, an image popped into my head of one of my Presence paintings with a hole cut through the drips. Inserting an empty cardboard roll into the canvas allows for the canvas to remain taut. This hole also allows the painting to interact more with its surroundings. Depending upon the wall color, this painting could change in presentation.

Presence #37 Side-view

Impression XIV

Impression XIV

A long-awaited new post!!

With the first full week of classes over, I have my bearings at school.  All handouts, routines, and projects are  ready to go! I am sure I will be able to carve out my weekly evening painting time once again.

I further refined my process in Impression XIV.  I began experimenting with the composition of the Impression paintings in Impression XIII. I made some adjustments to my measurements as well the color scheme. Compared to Impression XIII, the most notable difference in Impression XIV is the reappearance of three rectangular shapes laid one inside the other. I found it difficult to work with these details on such a small scale. This painting is only 12×16 and I would like to expand and make my next painting in this series larger.

Start of the New School Year

It was back to work for me this week!  For those who do not know much about the life of a teacher–the first week can be quite busy!!  Teaching is never a typical 9-5 job anyway, but this week feels like it is a 5:30-5:30 job.  Yes, I set my alarm for 5:30 AM during the school year.  Regardless of my slow adjustment to my early waking, the start of the school year has been wonderful and I am having fun!  I will post more paintings soon.