Friday, September 29, 2017

Sallys Painting Party October 12

Carolina Creations Presents
Sally Sutton Painting Party
Garden Terrace 
Paint your own acrylic painting of this image on 11 x 14" canvas with artist Sally Sutton!

Thursday October 12 from 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Sip, snack and paint!
All supplies and snacks will be provided so all you need to do is be ready to enjoy some time with friends creating your own painting!Sally will have the image drawn out on the canvas, she will lead you through painting it.

Wear clothing that is casual or bring an apron. Cost $55 Location: Francoeur Studio, 229 E Front Street, New Bern "click here to see location on the map".  Register by clicking here or by calling 252-633-4369.
If you get lost the evening of the party call 252-626-3376.

Due to the fact that the class size is limited cancelations must be made 48 house in advance so we can call people that are on our waiting list. For cancelations made less than 48 hours in advance - the fee will be held for you to use toward an upcoming painting party.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Working on my 2018 calendar

This year I decided to do 12 small closeup paintings of sites around New Bern for the calendar I do each year for sale at Carolina Creations.

Here are the first four of them.

Top of the Federal building

Gate on East Front Street

Gate at a Palace Garden

Garden on the Palace grounds.

I always give a very short history of each of the sites on my calendar. I'll post it on Facebook when its ready and it will be in the Carolina Creations newsletter and available on the Carolina Creations website.

Send me an email if you want me to notify you when they are finished!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Colorado and Santa Fe 2017

I returned to Colorado to visit my friend Deb. We both owned and sold galleries, which is how we met. We often stayed together at shows and have a lot in common.

I flew into Denver and we walked the trail in front of the lot where she and her husband are going to buy a home with a net-zero energy consumption.

"The Geos Neighborhood combines traditional village living with the most advanced design and building practices. Community members will enjoy a pedestrian lifestyle with front porches, tree-lined sidewalks, corner stores, and neighborhood services. And thanks to Colorado’s unique climate, Geos will utilize the sun and the earth to produce as much energy as it consumes, with a total cost that’s equal to or less than ordinary built-to-code communities."

It looks very interesting! Read all about it.

From there we made our way to Santa Fe. I don't know why but I never made it there when I lived in Colorado. I made it as far as Taos but not Santa Fe.

On the way we drove through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Other than the art I never thought I would like Santa Fe.  I don't like western art and I'm not crazy about adobe and the desert is too dry, but as it turned out I DID like it! There is a lot of contemporary art and there is enough water that there are trees and flowers. I guess the adobe just disappears into the landscape.

We saw an amazing amount of art that I liked on Canyon Road and at the Railyards. Most of the art around the Plaza was western, cowboys and Indians, and tons of turquoise so that wasn't of much interest to me.

The thing I found refreshing was the fact that all the gallery owners spoke and were interested in talking to you. Just like when we lived in Aspen, just looking at a person, how they are dressed, doesn't give you a clue whether they might spend $10,000 or not. Treat everyone well because you just don't know.

Some of the artists whose work I had never seen before and really liked.....

Louisa McElwain at Evoke Contemporary....

These canvases are HUGE, she really piled the paint on and painted them en plein aire!

Peggy Immel 

Tom Perkinson - 

Martha Rea Baker - cold wax and oil paint.

Katrina Howarth, love the freshness of her work.

From Santa Fe we took a drive down the Turquoise Trail, a road that runs between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The funky little town of Madrid is interesting. There are biker bars, shops and old miners shacks.

The mountain vistas on this road were beautiful.

We HAD to driver on Route 66, just because, and saw a few interesting things in Old Town Albuquerque.

Then we made our way back to Denver.

I forgot how beautiful the Aspen are....

Our last stop was Red Rocks, in the second photo the sky scrapers of Denver are in the background.

It was an inspiring trip and I'm anxious to stay home and do some paintings.
AND start planning next years Colorado trip!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Getting caught up on commissions then on to new work

This summer has sure been a transition period for me. How to move on without Michael?

I saw that the Eagles are on tour. Who is replacing Glenn Frey? So I looked on the Eagles website and found out it is his son. As I scrolled through the website I saw the lyrics to this is song Glenn wrote. It was read at his funeral.  I feel a little connection to him because we lived across the street from him when we lived in Aspen on Snowmass Creek and his post office box was right next to ours at the Conoco. We would see him there often and he always spoke.

“It's Your World Now”
Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin' low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn't last
But I'd do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin' soon
It's your world now

It's your world now
My race is run
I'm moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You'll be alright
It's your world now

Even when we are apart
You'll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies

But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there's still time
My one last wish: someday, you'll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

It's your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That's how it's meant to be
It's your world now
It's your world now
It's your world now

Since Michael died last year I've sold cars, bought a car, refinanced our house, done plumbing, painted walls and a lot of other things that would have been Michaels jobs. I've also sold Carolina Creations, the business we built together and gave us such a great lifestyle the past 25+ years. 

I've done some traveling, had time to think about life and what's next. But before I can really move on to what's next I've got to finish the many commissions I've got on my plate, and get Carolina Creations restocked with pottery. 

Here are some of the pieces I've been working on since I returned from my 5 week trip to Michigan, NYC and Philadelphia.

These cake plates are in progress, then I need to paint mats for 2 wedding invitations. Then maybe I can do some new work. Whoops I forgot I need to do my 2018 calendar and an ornament.

But to soothe my anxiety I HAD to lay out some new small paintings. Starting small with 12 x 12 inch canvases because painting is just like anything you are trying to become proficient at, you have
to practice, practice, practice. Watercolors and clay I practice at all the time but oils aren't so easy to just pick up. So I laid out these canvases and will stare at them while I finish the rest of the jobs I have to do! I'll post them again when I finish.

Back to the introduction of this post, what I want to do in my world now is do some of the things I could never take the time to do while running Carolina Creations.

Become proficient at painting in oils.

Do garden sculpture.

Do mosaics.

In other words create some beauty to leave behind for others to enjoy and of course to satisfy my yearning to create.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Learning to throw

I was never interested in learning to throw, I never thought I had the patience, you have to practice, practice, practice, before you have anything to show for it.

I guess I never felt I had the time to learn.

Really the only reason I'm learning, or trying to learn now, is to make Michaels pansy rings!

People ask for them all the time.

We'll see if I can do it!

Today didn't look so great.....

But I did discover I'm good at centering and opening. I am surprised!

Monday, September 04, 2017

Thoughts on Retirement

I read with interest a blogpost by Lori Deschene - Tiny Wisdom: Taking Things Away 
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” -Socrates
Sometimes creating peace, happiness, or satisfaction has everything to do with what we choose to take away.
You can love the work you do, but if you overextend yourself, even the greatest passion can start to feel stressful and overwhelming.
You can adore your significant other, but if you spend all your time together, you’ll likely start to appreciate your relationship less and wonder what else there is.
You can value your spiritual practice, but if your life becomes all about contemplation and self-reflection, you may start to feel somewhat removed from other people and the physical world.
There are definitely times when need to do more; but sometimes the best thing we can do is scale back on what we’re already doing, create a better sense of balance and space to just be, and then see how we feel.

I’m not suggesting we should all take a hiatus from our lives, a la Eat, Pray, Love; I’m proposing that sometimes the answer has nothing to do with more and everything to do with less.
I guess that kind of sums up the state I've been in the last couple of years and what lead me to selling Carolina Creations. Michael being sick and then dying was the final straw. I realized I couldn't do it all anymore. 
So I decided it was time to retire and take away some of the stress. 
It doesn't really seem right to call what I'm doing retirement because I'm busy working every day - but working in my studio doing my artwork instead of advertising, bookkeeping, searching for new work for the gallery, waiting on our wonderful customers, etc. Right now I'm still trying to get caught up on my commissions but I'm looking forward to doing some of the paintings, sculpture, and pottery I've been wanting to do for a long time.
I haven't been home long enough to really get into the groove but I'm looking forward to it!