Friday, September 30, 2011

Technology and the Beach

I'd Better Go Back to Paperbacks, collage/acrylic
16 x 20, Elizabeth W. Seaver

Sand and salt water in the ebook?  Not such a good thing.  And consider what you will do in the winter when there is no humidity swelled bodice ripper/mystery thriller/sci-fi adventure to remind you of your days in the sun?  No sand falling out in your lap when you open that beach read for the second run through?  How sad!  

On the other hand, no $189 "book" ruined by that unexpected wave rolling over your comfy lounge chair as you sit enthralled by exciting events in the worlds in your head. 

All technological advances aside, I think a paper book is still the way to go at the beach.  

Our fine, feathered friend above is just about to figure that out...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

That Loaded Question

Does My Butt Look Fat in These Wings?
oil, 18 x 36
Elizabeth W. Seaver

To which the answer is no.  And not just any no, but an immediate and emphatic one.  Any hesitation, no matter the reason, is unacceptable.  Sound sincere.  This is a conversation it is really best to practice in the mirror in order to avoid tears, and a week of the cold shoulder.  

Okay, you say to yourself, She asks me, "Does my butt look fat in these wings?"  

And I say, NO!

You get the picture. 

Because, here's the deal.  She has showered and powdered, changed wings three times, decided not to wear shoes (four pairs of high heels are a lot to manage,) stared in the mirror trying to see her own butt (to no avail,) carefully applied her lipstick, and is about to step out on the town.  Now is no time to tell her that her efforts to look her best are for naught.

Besides, don't we glow when we think we look like a million bucks?  

And it's just a tiny lie...

Monday, September 26, 2011

With a Cherry on Top

WIP, With a Cherry on Top, collage/acrylic, 15 x 30
Elizabeth W. Seaver

I agreed to help the Fredericksburg Area Museum by being one of 9 artists who did painting demonstrations during their fundraiser on Saturday night.  The paintings were auctioned off, wet, at the end of the evening.

I did the collage and drawing the day before, but decided to try to paint the entire thing in the time I had after setting up--quite a challenge.  And then, the organizers moved the auction time up half an hour to get as many bidders as possible, which made it a super-challenge!  During the painting time, folks came up to talk and ask questions about the process, etc.  The kids were the cutest, one of whom kept an eye on me and said several times during the evening, "You're doing a good job."  I don't think I'd have made it without the encouragement!

The bidding is excruciating for me, so I did not stay in that room for long.  But, the best thing about the evening was that my piece went to friends of my son's.  I love the idea that young people are starting a collection of original art.  That they wanted my piece was a HUGE compliment.  Thanks Jason and Lindsay, you made me so happy!  And you helped the museum, too.  You guys are great x 2!

The part of the evening that I struggled with, even as I agreed to do this months ago, still makes me uncomfortable.  Why is it that artists are the go-to for fundraisers (esp. in our town?)  It is the assumption of those who ask us that the exposure will be so good for us.  In fact, usually the work goes so cheaply that it actually undermines our art businesses.  

Can you guess what brought the highest bid at the auction?  Yep.  Basketball tickets.  Two tickets for one game went for $2500, as much as five or six of the paintings put together.  Doesn't that say something to the organizers?  Their crowd doesn't want art.  It wants sports stuff or trips.  Give them what they want, and raise more money.  Let the artists create for those who appreciate their work.

Here's what I am thinking.  From now on, I'm going to give work to benefit artists and the arts organizations with which I am involved. Period.

What has been your experience?  Any thoughts out there about fund raising or a better way to include some benefit to the artists who generously give their work to various causes?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mixed Vegetables

Mixed Vegetables, 6 x 6, acrylic on canvas
Elizabeth W. Seaver

This was painted for the 6 x 6 x 6 show in the main gallery at LibertyTown next month.  Anyone in the Fredericksburg area able to hand deliver works ought to enter.  It was a fun show last year with lots of sales.  Go here to find out more and download an entry form.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Catching Up

Catching Up, 5 x 5 on paper, mixed media
Elizabeth W. Seaver

It has been a while since I did any work on paper, but I needed more cards for sale in my card rack.  Some time back, I had gotten a box of blank cards on really high quality paper.  I snapped them up when I saw them on clearance.  Too good to be true?  Yep, when I opened the box, there were no envelopes--yikes!

So, I made a pattern and cut down some larger envelopes I already had to make cute square ones to fit.  THEN I created the cards.  I ended up liking them so much I wanted to frame them.  Oh well.  I did put some in my card rack, and they have "flown" out of there.  It has been fun to doodle again!

I plan to float mount them on black foam core and surround that with a mat the same color as the paper.  The frames are 8 x 8 and black.

In other news, I have been juried into the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA, as an associate artist.  That means I may show up to four works every month in the gallery in the main building, W-16.  Associate artists have the same benefits as studio artists there, but I may continue to work and teach at my studio at LibertyTown.  I am so pleased to have an opportunity to exhibit my work regularly outside of the immediate area.

Since I finished my artist residency at LibertyTown in early May, I have been working on what would be my next big thing.  The residency is meant to be a launching pad for an emerging artist, and yet, I have pretty deep ties in the community, so I wasn't interested in leaving the area.  This is a great solution. 

The LibertyTown residency was such a great thing for my growth as an artist, and as a small business owner.  I do not think I'd have been ready for this step without it.  I have to thank Dan Finnegan, potter extraordinaire and visionary founder of LibertyTown, for the faith he had in me when he hired me to fill the job (and his continued faith, every day for three years afterwards!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hot Off the Presses

Hot Off the Presses, acrylic, 12 x 12
Elizabeth W. Seaver

(Do I need to remind you all that the title refers to the old-fashioned communication form, the newspaper, which is printed on big, rolling presses?) 

I really refer to the neighborhood grapevine--gossip which grows and spreads like the proverbial weeds.  A tidbit must be passed on as quickly as possible, only savored later, usually in excruciating detail, over the garden fence, or perhaps with a cup of tea.  And, the less that is known for fact, then the more must be speculated, thereby giving greater satisfaction to the gossipers.

In this case, the striped one can actually say that a little bird told her, and then endeavor not to be a snake in the grass!

Sorry.  Couldn't resist.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Big Version

Splendor in the Grass, acrylic, 18 x 18
Elizabeth W. Seaver

The post before last featured the study for this piece.  

I really want leggings like that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Toes in the Sand, oil, 4 x 4
Elizabeth W. Seaver

I cannot end the summer without a beach scene.  I didn't get to the shore this year, but will be going to the mountains for a weekend in October.  Can't wait!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lady Bug Parade

Lady Bug Parade, oil, 4 x 4
Elizabeth W. Seaver

No, this bird is NOT shopping for a snack!  In my world (do I sound like Bob Ross?) predators and their prey are friends.  I come back again and again in my paintings to themes of peaceful relationships among and between natural enemies. I paint it, and there it is--magic.  I like being able to create a universe in which I would like to live.