Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparation

A painting a day is still happening!  I'm focusing on art cards :)
It is Tuesday and with Thanksgiving just a couple days away I'm also preparing to host a Thanksgiving celebration for 12 people. I love spending time with family and friends over a big dinner and always feel that if you are able to do that, well, you have a lot to be Thankful for.
Haven't had much time to work at the folk art doll but hopefully that will happen later today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yay!! Finally time to photograph.









I'm posting a few photos today. Finally trying to get caught up on the backlog of photos I've gotten behind on :)  The two cupcakes and the very primitive house with the sheep are part of my 30 Day Challenge. What can I say, I love cupcakes! The very colorful piece of folk art with the quilts hanging out to dry? Well, I spent half a day cleaning out my studio. I hope I'm not the only artist who does this but sometimes I finish a painting and then file it away to the back of the canvas stack. Usually I do this because there is something I don’t like but I feel pretty certain that I will see it with new eyes later and spot the flaw or maybe, as in this case, wonder why I tucked it away. I think when I completed this piece in 2006, I had been debating on whether to give it a crackle finish or not. I'm glad I didn't as I love the bright colors. It just seems to fit with the colors of the quilts. As usual these paintings will be on my etsy sight later today and tomorrow at www.KathrynRamos.etsy.com . The fourth photo is the beginning stage of a folk art cloth and clay doll I'm working on. I'm new to folk art dolls but I love them so wanted to give one a try in my "spare time" which is usually around 1:00 am. Many thanks to The Original Cloth and Clay Doll Workshop with Jane DesRosier. When I have a chance I will post a link to this fabulous group.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

American Folk Art

Painting my fingers to the bone...really and truly I'm not behind on my 30 Day Challenge but I am so behind on the photography ! By Saturday for sure... I'm focusing on primitive American folk art as that is what I know and love. Occasionally I like to stretch and try something new on the canvas but I always return to my first true love :) Three times a year I teach a class in American folk art and each time I'm amazed at #1: how beautiful each and every painting turns out and #2: how there is a unique skill connected to recreating that old world look that folk art enthusiasts adore. When I'm teaching I tell my students that we are not going to follow all of the rules of creating "good" art. In folk art we get to embrace the breaking of some of the more formal rules. I can paint in a more traditional manner with landscapes, still life and so on but folk art, primitive folk art is what touches my soul. I have an extensive collection of art books but the most dog eared are the folk art books. I never get tired of studying and appreciating these early works.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm posting two more paintings completed during the 30 Day Painting Challenge. I have to admit the next piece is done but not ready to be photographed as I'm "crackling" it, a process that won't be fully finished until this afternoon. As I finish these pieces, they will be ready for purchase at my shop http://www.kathrynramos.etsy.com/  .


With all of this speedy painting lately, I've been thinking about artists who just seem to naturally have the gift for laying paint down quicky. This, of course, is not me. I'm painfully slow but it brought up a memory of an artist I had the pleasure of seeing in the 80's at the University of Nevada, Reno.  I've been trying to remember his name but it just won't come to me. I think I even read that he had passed away but he was great. A huge, huge canvas, one song played while during that few minutes he grabbed paint and completed a portrait right there on stage, 4 minutes tops! Hmmm, not sure if that would even work with folk art but it sure did with these fabulous portraits of his.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Originality in Artwork

I was talking with some friends recently about originality in art work. The general consensus is that it seems such an exercise in futility to be completely original. While I do agree that it seems everything has been done, it is still awe inspiring to see how each artist will replay what may seem to be an old subject. Angels have been painted forever. Landscapes?? Wow, they are everywhere. In just my lifetime I've seen more than enough landscapes, folksy or otherwise, to last a lifetime. But each time I see a new painting of these subjects, I am amazed at the subtle nuances that make a painting unique to the artist. Wow, how do they do it? I've seen the old wooden house on the hill but then along comes another old wooden house on a hill and that artist used a great combination of colors or gave a unique shape to the house or, well, you get it. I think that is what separates the people who love and appreciate art from those who would rather have their walls bare. We see the sweet, subtle, intriguing, or downright boisterous differences between his landscape and her landscape and we are again in awe.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

1 down, 29 to go ...



Okay so I didn't choose that huge canvas for the 1st day of the 30 day challenge but I did complete the first painting on an art card. 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Sometimes it's fun to pull it all in and work in detail, nose practically on the work. I did a miniature piece of American Folk Art.


On a side note, I paint to music, always. Oddly enough I can remember every soundtrack of every painting. John Mayer, Frank Sinatra, 40's Big Band, The Beatles, ... well the list is too long and the variety of music is too extensive. I'm sure I am the only person in the world with Metallica, Mozart, Jimmy Dorsey, The Monkees and more on my iPod living peacefully side by side :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go !

Friday the 13th lived up to its name and here I thought I would love the irony of beginning my 30 day painting challenge on this day. Feeling under the weather I let my acupuncturist pin cushion me back to health. Ahhh, much better... So, here I sit at my easel forcing myself to get out of my comfortable little box and stretch a little. My mantra: stop thinking, just paint...stop thinking, just paint...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

30 Day "Painting a Day" Challenge

In two days I will be starting 30 days of "paint one a day". It's my challenge to myself. I'm a meticulous, slow painter. Artists friends have raved about how liberating and beneficial it is as well as FUN. So my own 30 day challenge will start on Friday, November 13th. That's 30 days, rain or shine, sickness or health, even Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving painting will most likely be done in the wee early morning hours before the holiday festivities kick in☺   Photographing and and editing and placing them on my website at http://www.kathrynramos.etsy.com/ will run behind a little but I will try to keep up and keep photos posted here as well. If there are any other artists that would like to try this crazy challenge during the holiday season I would love to hear from you.

On Angels Magazine

Like so many web sites, I found this one by accident but I'm passing it along as I LOVE the premise. I know how angels can work in our lives and a web magazine that celebrates them, well, I love that idea! So I'm passing the link on to you.   www.onangelsmagazine.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I genuinly love my paintings even when I look back later and wonder why I chose those colors or that landscape or whatever... But once in a while there is a painting that I truly LOVE and I can't really say why. On this particular piece maybe it is the face of the angel or maybe I'm just in love with its large size (30 x 40 inches), no I think it is something in the eyes. Hmm, well for whatever reason, as it hangs in my studio, I am entranced by it. I had already posted a photo a couple weeks ago when I finished this one but I will post one again right now.

Good news for my jewelry line at www.KateCorbett.etsy.com . The wonderful people at Hansen Co. Jewelry in Salt Lake City, Utah will be carrying some of my select pieces in the near future!




Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pursuit of Joy

Pursuit of pure joy is serious business. I'm paraphrasing someone and I apologize as I can't remember who said it, but is fits me to a tee. Having painted for most of my life, more and more I realize the need to close off the world when I am "at work". My home studio is a place where I lose all track of time and space ...if I let it! And that is where my heart of hearts can truly pour onto the canvas. The quandary happens when the phone rings or I hear a knock at the door or I start wondering what time I need to get dinner in the oven ... In other words, just because my studio is at my home location doesn't mean I can allow my mind to be at home. To really create, to allow my mind to generate ideas freely I have to block all of the mundane tasks of day to day life. I have read that this is true of home based businesses. From what I've read, even if your business is home based you need to get out of your pj's, dress for work and focus just as you would at the office. So it stands true for artists also, even though most of us LOVE it and we know we would do it for free even if we could never sell even one iota, we need to give ourselves permission to close out the world and focus on that pursuit of pure joy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What is that noise?

I was working on a painting in my home studio a couple nights ago, windows were open letting in cool late night air. It was very quiet. Unlike my usual music to paint by I had opted for the quiet sound of the late night. I heard a noise. This noise was not the normal late night crickets, frogs, breeze blowing through. It was the kind of noise that made the hair on my neck stand up. My ever fearless watchdog/studio hound was sound asleep but I called her name to see if she detected anything wrong. I cracked the door and told her to "go get it" and she took off like a rocket. I could see nothing out of the ordinary from my window but she barked and stood at attention, unrelenting. By now I had realized that my painting was going to be put on the back burner while I figured out whether to step outside into the unknown with my fearless dog or go hide under the bed! I couldn't let her bark all night so I turned on the spotlight in the backyard and safely behind my glass door I scanned the perimeter to see if I could see what or where the intruder was. And there up in a tree was a raccoon. After all that, a raccoon. He was staring at me, stunned and scared. So I called me dog off and stood staring at that poor alarmed creature and decided that all I could do was turn off the spotlight and let it go on its way. How does all of that relate to my paintings? Well, it doesn't really except that I’m sure that a raccoon will show up in one of my paintings very soon...