Monday, July 20, 2009

"Autumn Riches"--84 x 36

(close-up of leaves and thick texture!)

This is my latest Aspen painting! I'm especially fond of this scene. It's true...I always love my last painting most! I like the ones where you can see the mountains through the trees--it gives a painting a sense of depth. I built up the thick layers of leaves by using a palette knife. Using a knife is the best to retain all those glorious colors. A brush blends too much, and makes everything look "flat". A palette knife, on the other hand, keeps the individual colors of each stroke, intact...while building up incredible layers of texture. Everything comes to life with this technique! It does, however, require a lot of paint!

"Colorado Vista"--48 x 36

There it is again...Maroon Bells in the background. If you've ever been to Colorado, you've seen or at least heard about "Bells." It is one of Colorado's most beautiful mountain ranges. And I happen to love painting it! Very dramatic shadows and shapes. In the fall "Bells" is particularly breath taking! I'm going back this October just to take more pictures. There's about two weeks when all the glorious autumn color peaks. Timing is everything! Then, if you combine all those yellows with vibrant have yourself a painting that will delight the senses. In my opinion, there is no better color combination than yellow/red. It's all about color...and thick texture of course!

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"Colorado Spring"--24 x 72

This tall vertical size is really popular right now! It always sells extremely well. I think it's because this size is easy to fit in a house. At only 24" wide it doesn't take a lot of horizontal wall space up. I've done this type of scene before--but never a "Spring" one. Usually, I do it as an "Autumn" piece with lots of yellows and golds. Always I have the Colorado Mountains--"Maroon Bells" in the background. In this scene, I left the mountains with a bit of snow on they would be in Spring. The leaves of the Aspens are fresh and green, while purple and yellow wildflowers speckle the lush forest basin. As always, there's lots of texture in this piece! I literally 'sculpted' on each wild flower with a palette knife. Just shipped this painting off to Royal Street Gallery in Aspen, Colorado.

Here is one of my "Autumn" versions of this painting. Which one do you like better? This one is called, "Mountain Air" and is also currently hanging in Royal Street Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. Perhaps I'll do a whole "Seasons" series, and have them all hang together. That might be cool.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Walking through Autumn"--48 x 60 Giclee

"Walking through Autumn" is one of my newest Giclees. I loved this painting so much, I wanted to make it available to everyone--no matter the budget. Of course, nothing beats the color and texture of an original...but a Giclee is a great way to go if you are looking for a nice piece of art for about 1/3 the cost of an original. There are 50 Giclees made in the edition, with 10 "Artist Proofs" that I reserve for my own special collectors. I give my AP's a lot of extra texture (truly every inch is covered by brush and palette knife), and an original sketch on the back. This Giclee is going to a client in Southern California. Just shipped it out yesterday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Autumn Symphony"--Sold!

Autumn Symphony
72" x 48"

This piece just sold to a Canadian couple who saw it hanging in "Gallery 1870," in Yountville, CA

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"Sunlit Trail" 48 x 36--Sold!

"Sunlit Trail" just sold in my Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. I had just barely sent it to them too! I like paintings with pathways winding through an aspen forest. It creates a sense of depth. Plus the red/yellow combo is always a winner!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Casting Call for new Reality Show on Bravo!

My husband describes the whole experience best! In his words:
We found out about a “contemporary art reality show” on Friday morning. I looked up the show online, and researched all I could find. The criteria listed included a solid body of art work, an excellent portfolio, and a piece of art to show the judges. It sounded like a cool idea, and Jen said, “Let’s do it!” I found some really cheap last minute flights to LA, and we made our plans.

We spent the rest of Friday getting everything updated and ready for the trip. Jen finished up a 24x24 aspen piece specifically for the judges, filled out a 23 page application full of every intimate detail you could imagine, and then updated her portfolio into the night. After crashing at 2 am, we got up 90 minutes later, got packed, and caught our 5 am flight to LA (via SFO). We made it to LA at around 9:30 am, and Jennifer finished getting ready in the Car Rental bathroom. We were exhausted, but we really wanted to take a shot at this!
The line at the casting call was around the block, out in the blistering sun. You should have seen the people in line with us, with their tats, piercings, hair color… we felt very confident in our professional appearance. There were about 200 people in front of us, and by noon we had only moved a few feet. Luckily Jen had a water bottle from the layover in SF, and rationed this as we waited. 2 pm came, and we still were not around the last corner. An ice cream man saved us with popsicles and drumsticks. Finally, at 4:30 pm, we talked to the first casting people. They reviewed and took our packet, gave Jen a number, and took some photographs/mug shots.
From here on out we had to sign NDA’s and agree to not talk about the "super secret" casting procedure. I wondered why. Well, I found out it was because everything that happened next was completely unprofessional! We started seeing people come out of the judges room, just like on American Idol – some were crying, some were pissed, some were smiling and laughing. But the ones that came out of the room with the "golden tickets", this is what we couldn’t believe – these lucky artists that received their acceptance letters were all the freak shows! We literally couldn’t believe our eyes!!

You had to see it to believe just how crazy some of these people were. One was a lady with a brown blow-up doll that had random newspaper and stuff taped to it! Another had hundreds of receipts hole punched and threaded with red yarn, draped all over her. Some had so many tattoos and piercing that you couldn’t even recognize them. And their art? It was all conceptual garbage that is only art for the sake of art. I like to call this "IOU Art" because you don't get anything from it, and they still owe you something if they want to call it art. They were a bunch a fakers trying to make a statement, trying to be artsy. These people really give art a bad name. I looked at Jen and we both new this wasn’t’ going to end well, if this is what they were accepting into the next round.

We ended the long day with the portfolio examiner (a young punk with hiked up capris, suspenders, striped socks, the works). He told Jen it was very late and he only had a few seconds. He briskly thumbed through her portfolio, but didn’t even look down at it. He asked if she was in any galleries, and if she did commissioned work. He was abrupt and very impersonal, and Jen sensed that he had already made up his mind before she even spoke. We had invested two days to traveling, waiting in the sun, and this is all they had to offer!? Unbelievable! A few minutes later, her number was called, and she was informed that she was not selected for this season.

I was shocked to see her come out of the first room, not even making it into the final waiting room to see the judges. Only a few under qualified staff members had spoken to her, and that was it. She looked conservative and professional, and it was quite obvious that she was not what they were looking for! They weren’t out to find successful artists. They did not want any fine art at all. They only wanted the shock value art and artists that would make good TV. It’s a shame that artists are portrayed as strange and freakish, because although there are many freaks in the art world, there are also successful professionals creating exceptional fine art.

We did learn something important from this experience – why try to fix/change something that is working fine!? We are doing fine marketing and creating our brand by ourselves. We don’t need a TV show to be successful!



Welp, he really summed up the whole experience well! It's just frustrating to me that a reality show is going to help perpetuate the myth that artists are all a bunch of crazies! Quite frankly, the most successful artists I know aren't sporting tattoos and pink hair! They look like ordinary people. The artist freak shows are really just a stereo-type.

But, I must admit the whole thing was quite the bonding experience for Matt and I. What a trooper the man was! He didn't complain once about having to stand in line under the hot sun for 6 hours! He even held a card board box over my head to give me shade, while his own shaved head burned. Now that is true love! In everything, Matt is my partner 100%. He always accompanies me on my hair-brained adventures. We do have a lot of fun together. While we were standing in line for all of those hours, we got to know fellow artist, Michael Phillips, pretty well. What an outstanding human being he is! And no, he didn't get a 'golden ticket' either. He is an oil painter. Not what they're looking for, apparently.
The next day we went to Laguna Beach and visited Michael at the "Sawdust Art Festival" where he was exhibiting his work. It was a fantastic art show, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing Michael and getting a private tour of his home and art studio. It's true...the one stereo type that does work for us artists--is that we're messy! His studio looks just like mine! And that's because we truly are working artists! :)

After the Sawdust Festival, we went to two other Art Shows! I was in heaven. I like nothing better than looking at art all day! Matt and I even bought a painting from co-artists Betty Haight/ Stephanie Cunningham. The two artists work collaboratively on their pieces. One makes the frame out of "found" wood and paints figurative scenes, while the other creates abstract landscapes. They put the canvases together to form one unified piece. The result is pretty cool! When I saw some little black and white checkers on one with a splash of red...I knew it had to be mine! So we bought it.After touring all the Art Shows, and some Art Galleries, we stopped by my Laguna Beach Gallery--"Sherwood Gallery," to see if they could use my 24 x 24 Aspen piece I had brought for the Casting Call. I usually paint so big, I knew the owner, Donna Gourley would perhaps appreciate something a little smaller. I was right! Donna thought it would be perfect hanging up with my "Silver Aspens" piece I sent them a few weeks ago. Before we left, Donna and her Mother, Gianni, told us we had to see the "Pageant of the Masters" show that evening. We'd be in for a treat if we did! We promised we would, and left right away to buy tickets.
After eating dinner at the "Beach House"--a fantastic little restaurant overlooking the ocean, we took a trolley back to "Festival of Arts" to see the Pageant. For 75 years, the Pageant has been Laguna Beach's premier attraction! Audiences pack the Irvine Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater, to watch people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in recreations of original art pieces. Over the intriguing 90-minute performance, 20 different art works go on display accompanied by a professional orchestra playing an original score. The performance was breathtaking! It was truly a treat as an artist to see the paintings of the Masters come to life on stage. Thank you Donna and Gianni for telling us about it!
And thus ended our whirlwind weekend! What an adventure! :)

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Friday, July 10, 2009

"Aspen Sonata II"--Sold!

(close-up of texture)

Aspen Sonata II
48 x 48

I reworked this painting after it didn't sell within 6 months at one of my Galleries. The result was 100% better! Using all palette knife, I added a lot more vibrant yellows and reds, and enhanced the fir tree in center. The texture was so thick! Overall, I knew this painting would quickly find a new home. I was right! A day after I shipped it to my Gallery in Aspen, it sold!!!

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"Upwards" 24 x 72--Sold!

This piece used to be a "Spring" scene with shades of green for the aspen leaves. It didn't sell...and I know why! Who decorates with green? So, I got the painting back from the Gallery, and changed all the green to tones of yellows and golds...and it sold in one day! Yellow with a vibrant blue backdrop is a great combo! Plus, I love the perspective of looking up into the tree It's very nostalgic.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Studio Visit!

I met Jim and Margo in Scottsdale, AZ and have been working on their commission for quite a few weeks. Margo called with the news that they would be driving through Southern Oregon on their way up to the Portland, and wanted to know if they could stop by the studio to "see" their painting in person! I was delighted. Of course, I had to straighten up the studio mess and put the kids in the backyard! :) But...Jim and Margo loved it! Just one little tweak, and it's all good to go! It is a 60 x 48 painting of aspens and wildflowers. Lots of vibrant color and super thick texture! These two collectors know exactly what they like, and I am just thrilled they chose me to paint the focal piece for their formal dining room.


Below is a picture of the finished piece! Everything has been approved, and the painting is ready to ship out! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Red Splendor" 48 x 48--Sold!

This painting just sold through my Gallery in Aspen! I'm very excited about that. I had reworked this piece, adding more trees to the background...and voila! It sold the day after the Gallery received it! It's a special one...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

The 4th of July is my family's favorite holiday! What's there not to love? It's all about parades, BBQ's, swimming, boating, fireworks! Even I get excited about all the festivities. Every year, my family participates in our town's 4th of July Parade. It's the type of parade you'd expect in a small town--one that hasn't changed in the last 50 years. I actually really like that small town feeling--where everyone knows everyone. And everyone definitely knows my Dad...Oregon's State Representative. He's known as a conservative mover and shaker, who gets the job done! He's constantly on T.V. and the radio. So every year, my Dad likes to round up his numerous posterity (anyone who happens to be in town visiting) and puts us in the parade, representing the Richardson family. We all wear matching t-shirts with "Dennis Richardson...State Reprentative" silk screened on the front, and our job is to hand out bags of candy to the crowd as we drag wagons of children behind. This year we all got to sit lazily in a trailer waving our American flags. It's always fun for the kids to be in a matter how sweltering the heat always seems to be 4th of July weekend!

After the Parade, we head to the Lake to meet up with family and friends to swim and BBQ. Always such fun! Then, as dusk begins to fall, we leave the lake and head to the Twin Creeks neighborhood for the much anticipated firework show!

For weeks, my husband Matt and his three boys plan out the big show! It has become quite the neighborhood event. This year, Matt decided to go "legal" and get all the proper permits and certifications to put on a 'guilt-free' firework show for hundreds of family and friends. It is quite the extravaganza! First, there was the pre-show where each of my sons lit off their fireworks (they bought with their own allowance money!) that they had nailed, stapled, and glued to a piece of wood in a long line connected by a fuse. When that ended...the big show began. It was pretty incredible watching the sky explode with festive colors! What a perfect way to celebrate our country's Indepence Day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Art Business New, June/July issue

This is my ad for the magazine, Art Business news, June/July issue. We featured my "Evening Meadow" painting with a Giclee special for Galleries: Free 12" x 12" paper Giclee with every order!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Autumn Flurry"--60 x 36

Autumn Flurry
60" x 36"

This piece is currently hanging in "Royal Street Gallery" in Aspen, CO

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"Quiet Spring"--48 x 36--Sold!

I love this piece. It is so peaceful. It seems to soothe the tired soul--enveloped by aspens and wildflowers. It sold today in my Gallery in Colorado.