I have a small exhibit now hung in Chanute, KS at the Chanute Art Gallery. it will remain there throughout June. On the 16th there will be a public reception. As I am well aware I am not the best speaker or socially smooth person, so it all is being kept casual and low pressure.

"knit 1" Oil on Canvas

“Knit 1” Oil on Canvas

I still am working on the knitting designs and I have an eBook on knitting in progress.  But from the looks of an informal survey I conducted over the last 24 hours, it will need to be put on the back burner. Oh, I will still knit. But, realistically getting eBooks completed and on the market sometimes trumps our obsessions. So, it will get completed, just not before the things that pay the bills. As they say, “Girl gotta eat!”

Knitting Lace Shawl in Progress

Knitting Lace Shawl in Progress

camkniOn my four year old grandson’s last visit I attempted to teach him how to knit. I don’t think he is quit ready yet. But he will get there. Baby steps, baby steps.

1964791_10152215647541291_490657685_nPlants in the studio are reminding me that it is almost spring! Officially it starts this week, March 20th. Raise those hands in the air! WHOOT WHOOOT! This has been a long hard winter for sure.

 

 

How to stay motivated in the art studio

I am juggling painting new pieces for a small show to finish a book, with making one shawl a month for the 2014 year for a future project. I am doing this with a part-time day job and other responsibilities of my home studio business. I am not complaining. I know I am a lucky one to have this problem!

It is not so bad to feel free to use things and events around me that I love, to influence my work. I look out my window and I see birds, plants and every so often a deer or fox in our yard. I live in a small town where walking down the road for a fountain drink also means being waved at by locals in trucks and cars.  Many wave whether they actually know me or not.  The clerk ringing up my purchase will briefly chat about whatever is the current local hot topic, and it would not be unusual to speak with someone that knew my husband since he was a small child.

I come back and settle in with my to-do list and calendar and am thankful for where I am in the world.

 

 

Just a quick recap of the past week:

This past Saturday was the opening of my show at The Bowlus Fine Arts Center. A collection of oil painted portraits on stretched canvas.

Exhibit At The Bowlus Fine Arts Center

Panoramic View – Exhibit At The Bowlus Fine Arts Center

I can not say enough good about the staff at The Bowlus! The day we were to hang the show my back was out, and I was walking like a bent-over-little-old lady. It reminded me of a “Evolution of Man” chart.  The more vertical throughout the day, the straighter and more upright I became. But the employees were all extremely helpful, positive and dependable.

Oil Painting Portrait Exhibit

1396020_10151950759636291_23125933_n

We had a decent turnout and other than my social awkwardness things went smooth.  Note: I am much more comfortable in front of an easel than I am in front of a crowd.

Tip: I forgot to designate someone to take photos that evening. I wish I had! Hubby and I were so caught up in everything we both overlooked it. So if you can find a trusted friend to take some candid shots during a reception it is a good idea.

For a long while now I have thought, “If I can just get this show together it will be smooth sailing for a bit”. HA! Was that ever a chance for God to laugh at my plans.

The very next morning (Sunday) my Dad was admitted to the hospital, in ICU sixty miles away. By the time I got there, an hour later, he was sitting in bed joking around with nurses. By Tuesday he was released and going for his daily walk at the local Wal-Mart. (SMH) Thankful, but NEVER boring around here for long!

What is next? I want to finish up a couple of pieces that I wish I had had completed for the show. Try to take things up a notch as far as size and skill.  The immediate time pressure is off on these two so it will be interesting to see if they come out as I envision.

Still obsessed with knitting, and now that it is getting cooler it is calling me louder. I am sure lace will not add much warmth in a Kansas Winter, but that is what I am hooked on of late. It helps me clear my head. This is particularly true of knitting shawls. They are large enough to hold my interest between painting, but small enough to carry with me.

Also, if there are any writer’s reading this I am sure you are aware that as of today it is National Novel Writing Month! If you are not familiar with NANOWRIMO, it is a non-profit program that encourages people to write fifty-thousand words during the month of November. I have participated in the past, and want to this year. But my want, and hours available are not cooperating. I have not openly committed to participating yet this year.  Then again, November isn’t over yet either.

Last but not least, in a little over a week I have vacation time from my day-job in a public library. Nine days in a semi-open time frame to paint, knit and write! Aside from a day trip to Wichita and perhaps KC, I plan on being in full hermit mode the entire time. Ahhhh bliss!

Another activity that has been consuming my time of late, is knitting. Yea I know, what does knitting have to do with painting and fine art? Well I could elaborate on the fine art aspects of the craft but I will leave that for a future post.

If you are not familiar with the Knitting Guild Master Knitter program, you should go to The Knitting Guild Association website and read up. In a nutshell it is a three-level correspondence course that goes through the technical aspects of craft of knitting. Once you pay for the course you are required to do a slew of swatches and research to master the craft.

Misc. Knit Lace Swatches with Errors

Misc. Knit Lace Swatches with Errors

I myself am NOT signed up for the Master Knitter program. But when I first learned about it, I was able to poke around and find out the gist of what each level required. Since then, much of that information is not available online, so my lips are sealed! With a great deal of research and digging I came up with my own self-study program based on their guidelines.

So far I have completed a Level-One notebook and am in the middle of Level Two. I stopped working on it a year and a half ago, but I did dig out my notes and information the other day. I have also started a lace scarf I had planned on using as a gift. (Rethinking the gift idea after experiencing the learning curve of picking it back up)

TKGA Notebooks and Notes

Program Notebooks and Notes

So what is the reason for posting on this blog about knitting? I am questioning my past external and now internalized need to only focus on one or two areas of creativity. In fact we have a “Knitting Socks for the Absolute Beginner” ebook here at Artist-How-To Publications it is  also available at Amazon.com.

In the back of my mind I am considering rewriting or perhaps creating an entirely new publication involving knitting. Sometimes temporarily shifting to another activity helps to feed my creativity.

As a sole proprietor of a very small art business I have very little I can put out financially to support community projects. So when I see something worthwhile that will cost me very little I have to look closer.

Glen With Boys - Just Before Shipping Out

Glen With Boys – Just Before Shipping Out

The latest is that of sponsoring a veteran fresh out of the army, to participate in an event. In the past I have used his two sons as models for oil paintings.

Note: Glen was Grand Champion winner along with the Clark Crew last year at the Great Plains BBQ – BBQ for the Troops at Fort Riley, KS.

Eventually I realized other artist may be interested in sponsoring him as well. Glen served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army and is recently transitioning into life as a civilian. He is taking part in the “Backyard Barbeque Contest” as part of the “National Barbecue Competition” in Derby Kansas, Sept. 6-7 2013. To help cover the cost of supplies to participate we are offering sponsorships. In return, the name of your art business (and corresponding web address) will be on display at his work area during his time in the competition. The cost of your sponsorship is up to you. It can be as little as $5. To cover the entire event for him will cost approx $500

Facebook page link: http://on.fb.me/17WrGZa

If you/or your business would like to sponsor him please send payment to his PayPal account at punker_198@yahoo.com  If you have any questions you would like to ask me please do so at art@dianedobsonbarton.com

Digging

Digging For Info

Something I have noticed about people lately: Either you are a “Digger”, or you are not. You either wait for people to spoon-feed you information/skills or you seek it out and dig it up. Those waiting for someone else to hand them over the keys to knowing how to do anything are going to be in for a long wait. You have to show up, you have to DO the work, you have to get your hands dirty!

Go forth and DIG!

In an attempt to get to know the readers better, let me fill you in a bit about myself.

  1. I turn fifty this year. I am actually looking forward to it. Life should be fun. As Huey Lewis said: “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”
  2. I have two grown daughters and four and a half grandchildren. The half being a new grandson due in Sept.
  3. I am not domestic.  So the chances of seeing any recipe posted by me is slim to none.
  4. I read a great deal, mostly nonfiction. I am a sucker for anything new on business, blogging, writing, or autism.
  5. I am on a continual quest for the perfect office/studio organizing system.  See eBook “Controlling Creative Clutter”.
  6. My office is in a small home I share with my husband, two dogs and a cat. I dream of having a rustic historic building found in most all of rural America.
  7. I am VERY introverted.  I need time alone in order to function well. So the item #6 is not practical in that it would most likely require me to be available to the public.
  8. I don’t eat as well as I should, nor do I often exercise on purpose. I tell myself I will get back to running. But sitting in front of the computer, easel or with a book almost always wins out.

So there you have it: A fifty year old out of shape hermit that paints, writes and blogs. And I am sure some would say a twisted sense of humor. It will surly rear its head before long!

 

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