Thursday, May 27, 2010

So What - Miles Davis & John Coltrane

And now for some substance after the fluffy sweetness of the last video I posted. I'm a day late (go figure), but in honor of Miles Davis's birthday, here is Miles and Coltrane with So What. Turn your speakers up and enjoy!

(And by the way, Coltrane is my next jazz portrait. Stay tuned for that!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Okay, here's the deal: I don't care if it's saccharine coated bubblegum with a side of Velveeta. It's bouncy, makes my head bop, and it just plain makes me happy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ry Cooder Dark End of the Street

I am wild about this song! And particularly this version of this song. I found other versions on youtube, but nothing comes close to this one. It's just beautiful. I'd love to know who the singers are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look out Lady GaGa! Sixth-grader sings Paparazzi

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank you Lena Horne

When I think of Lena Horne I can't help but think of the the racism that she encountered being an African American performer in the first half of the 20th century. What she endured, I can only imagine. Somehow she even found the nerve to refuse to be cast in stereotypical acting roles such as maids. She was a pioneer.
But when I think of Lena Horne I also think of her in the second half of the last century. I think of the guest spots she did on the shows of my childhood; Sanford and Son, The Cosby Show and Sesame Street are the ones that spring to mind. Fred Sanford and Heathcliff Huxtable both loved Lena!
I found this video of her on Sesame Street today, and had to share it. It's thought provoking version of It's Not Easy Being Green with Kermit:

She had such grace, strength and sophistication. Check out this video: could she sell a song or what? Very inspirational.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Friday open studio -Live painting: what a blast!

The first Friday of May was a couple days ago, which means that my studio was open for the Art Walk on Santa Fe Drive in Denver.
This month one of my studio-mates Wynne Reynolds and I decided try live painting in the studio. So we set up our easels and painted with our backs to the crowd. Neither one of us had done this before and were a bit nervous about the whole thing. And let's face it; it can be a bit unnerving when you have people looking over your shoulder as you're trying to work.  I have trouble focusing on the task at hand when there aren't 50 people standing behind me! But I think we did alright. Somehow between chatting up people and answering questions I managed to get the most of the first layer of a new portrait down.
The portrait I chose to do is of former Heavy Weight Champ Evander Holyfield. Am I a boxing fan...? No not really. I watched some of Evander's fights back in the day, but that was probably just because I was married to someone who was watching. I chose to paint Holyfield because...well...I just like the way he looks! I thought him a wonderful subject and everyone seemed to agree. Plus since I was painting in front of hundreds of people (throughout the night), I really didn't want to have to tackle details such as fine facial features. I was able to get the curves of that marvelous torso down on canvas rather quickly.
Thanks to all the wonderful people who came out to support art and artists. I had a great time chatting with folks about art, jazz, Miles Davis, trees with no leaves, travel and a myriad of other subjects. I'm only sorry that I don't have pictures of the evening. I could use a volunteer photographer for future openings (hint hint). Yesterday I took pictures of the studio, sans people and hub-hub. The quiet aftermath.

Above: View as you enter the studio, with our works in progress on our easels.

Right: My nearly finished "Night Sky" along with the photo on my mac that inspired it. People seemed to enjoy seeing the original inspiration photo and where I took it as a painting.

Above: My portraits of Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Two Friends at a Jam. To the right of Janis is the very nearly finished Paradise

Below: The warm palette paintings on the left are Wynne Reynolds The paintings on the right are the first two of my album cover series: Miles and Stop Making Sense.

Above: Sunday Afternoon, Red Rocks and the Microcosm series. Below: Trees!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Creative process in action!

Have you ever been curious about an artist's creative process? After years of painting it still fascinates me how each painter has a different way of approaching the canvas.

This Friday you'll have the opportunity to see two artists at work. My studio-mate Wynne Reynolds and I are hosting an open studio from 6-9pm. We will be working on our paintings and ready to answer any questions you may have. 

Paintings will be available to purchase; so bring your checkbook and come see what we're working on!!

Studio One
802 Santa Fe Dr
Denver, CO 80204

This is my latest painting - it's still in progress but I'll be showing it on Friday...

See you there!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I should introduce you to my friend the artist...

Often when people find out I'm an artist they say "I should introduce you to so-and-so; she's an artist too!" Why is it that people want to introduce their artist friends to more artists? Can you imagine meeting an accountant and saying "Oh I should introduce you to Fred; he's an accountant too"?
Recently someone was looking at my work and said "I should introduce you to my friend..." I smiled and asked "Why; is she an art collector?" Predictably  he said "No, she's an artist."
I know he meant well.

While it is very important for artists to have friends that are also artists, it is most helpful for us to know some art collectors too. I'm always happy to make a new friend who creates art, but I don't need one. I've got plenty, thank you. What I need is to be introduced to some art collectors, art lovers, art buyers. Anyone can be an art buyer. You don't need to know anything about art to buy it, you just have to know what you like to look at. (You know the old adage I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like? Yeah, it's like that.) Nor do you need to spend a small fortune on a painting. By the time you buy, mat and frame a print - and often one that 8 gazillion people all over the world have in their dining rooms - you could have purchased an original painting for your home or office. There is plenty of art out there that most people can afford (in the $50 to $500 range). My advice; if you see a piece of art that you love and can afford - buy it. It's as simple as that. If it moves you in some way - buy it. Take it home, put it in a special place and take pride in the fact that you are the only person in the world to own that particular piece of original art. Your purchase may make a big difference to the artist, and the artwork will make a big difference to your home.