Sunday, March 29, 2009

ACEO's (art card editions and originals)

Well, I think I might be hooked....on these fun little paintings I 've been creating lately...they are called ACEO's (art card editions and originals). They came about from ACS's (art card swaps) that started back in the 90's - actually some versions of this probably existed well before, but it has become more standardized. Maybe the cavemen and cavewomen were exchanging little stones with carvings and paintings? Anyway artists create these little paintings, collages, enhanced photos, a 2.5" x 3.5" format. I have noticed that they have become quite popular in many of the art publications I read (sometimes just read the titles and look at pic's) and on ebay. Sooooo.....I decided I needed a challenge...and they have been a challenge but a good one. I've been enjoying what I have created so far. It hasn't been good for my back or my eyes but what the heck - they're going bad anyway.

I've been dabbling with different subjects and somewhat different styles and it is kind've fun...often times it is frustrating... a small painting and the brushes don't always cooperate. I can't say that these paintings have been particularly profitable yet, yet,yet,yet...but it is all part of 'the strategy'.

If you want to do something different, than just sit down and try creating one of these...and if you are not an artist than at least take a look at them. What a great and cheap way to start an art collection for yourself or someone else (hey, great for the new graduate). They can be framed or made into magnets or set in a basket or on a dessert plate with other ACEO's or some other little treasures. Well, enjoy...and let me know if you have any questions.

These two are listed on eBay and the auctions will expire next Sunday. If you look under self-representing artists and type in the title 'There's Something in There' and/or 'View from Villa Maria' you will find them. Also, I have an 8" x 10" oil painting titled 'Delicate Beauty', please take a look. I will be adding others so check back.

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves". Sir Edmund Hillary

Thanks and enjoy, Helen
Both are Sold

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In the Garden

Spring is here! My daffodils are up and there's greenery on just about everything...yea! This is a little oil painted out in Athens, IL. It was just a cute, inviting, little spot so I painted it.

This is an 8" x 10" oil on canvas. Let me know if you have any questions.

"Noboday has ever measured, even poets, how much the heart can hold". Zelda Fitzgerald

Thanks for stopping, Helen

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Morning.....There isn't any sun streaming through this morning as it is in the little painting to the left. I guess we have to take the gray days too - they're good also but some days I don't want them. Anyway...this little painting is an ACEO (art card editions and originals), which is a painting that is 2.5" x 3.5". These paintings started out with ACS's (art card swaps). Back in the 90's an artist (swiss??) started swapping these small treasures with other artists, when they began selling to other people they became ACEO's. They are created in a number of mediums - paint, collage, clay,etc....The cards can be framed, or hung on the fridge with a magnet, or put in a small basket with other cards or treasures. It is a nice way to get art on the cheap.

This is a little oil on a piece of canvas. I have listed it on ebay...If you go under self-representing artists and type in the title 'Golden Delicious' you will be able to view it and bid.

"No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time". Martha Graham

Thanks, Helen


Saturday, March 21, 2009

En Plein Aire

With the beautiful day I am getting anxious to get out and enjoy the out of doors....a combination of wanting to do some plein air painting, tennis, gardening, and....not so fun yard work. I guess it isn't that bad....and I'm thankful to have a yard and all that goes with it.

This is a fun little painting I did en plein air out at Lake Springfield. It has been purchased by a customer in Texas and is going to his vacation home in Costa Rica...wish I could go there too.

"My favorite weather is bird chirping weather". Loire Hartwould

Thanks and Enjoy, Helen


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thought I would post this cute little 6" x 8" oil painting of lemons. The photo doesn't do the painting justice but thought I would post it anyway. It is no longer available as it was just purchased by a friend and it will look great in their newly painted kitchen.

Have a great Sunday...hope your week is starting off well.

"If you been grasping onto something, try to let it go. Your empty hands will be ready to receive a new gift". Juan Nakamori, author

Thanks, Helen


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Incredibly Delicious

This is an 8" x 10" unframed oil on canvas panel. It is aptly titled 'Incedibly Delicious'. The model was a slice of raspberry buttercream cake posed on a dessert plate - Old Country Roses. Enjoy!
This is listed on e-bay and could be quite a bargain. And as usual, some of the proceeds will go to Catholic Charities.
"You have to be careful about being too careful" Beryl Pfizer
Thanks, Helen

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Well, here it is the middle of a Saturday afternoon.. back from running errands and having coffee with my mom....a little routine we started when my father was still alive. He was in poor health for a long time and so when someone would stay with him for a bit we would run out on Saturday morning and take care of some errands and then maybe have time for coffee. It was a bit of respite for us. Sometimes that is all one needs to get going again. Sometimes that is all we have. It was difficult taking care of him at home and involved sacrifice but that was a choice we made and one we never regretted.

I guess I am thinking about priorities and time constraints as I have been corresponding with an acquaintance of mine who is trying to get motivated to get back to his art again. It can be very difficult and challenging to 'find' the time to do things we say we 'want' to do. I told him about a friend from the art world who I happened to be complaining to about not having enough time for my own art and experimenting with it, etc....My decorative painting (which of course has been my livelihood) took up so much time and energy, as did family, household, yard, friends, volunteering, and so on and so on....My friend said 'when you want to do it you will'...ouch...I thought to myself 'who does he think he is saying 'when you want to '. Of course I want to. We really have to challenge ourselves sometimes and ask 'what really is important to me'? And, what am I willing to give up or cut back on in order to do, achieve or accomplish what we say is important to us. When we scutinize our time any of us are probably guilty of some wastefulness in our schedules. It is okay to have some of this in our schedules but .....? What is really important and what are you doing about it? Talk is cheap.

Okay, so how did I choose this painting with this post - well, I chose the painting and then wasn't sure how to undo my choice. I guess if I have to tie it in I could still go back to priorities and doing something about those 'to do's'. I'm always thinking I'm going to eat healthier, therefore an image of some fruit??? This was a little oil study I did and I liked it as did the customer who bought it. I'm sure I could say much more on this topic but will wrap up now so I can take care of some of my other priorities.

"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life" Bertolt Brecht

Thanks, Helen


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hey there. Well, I don't have much to say right now..actually that's not true....I have plenty to say I just don't feel like formulating my thoughts and typing them this evening. Actually, I can't type very well right now - my arms are kind've shaky tonight as I just returned awhile ago from working out. Yes, I was working out. Another thing to check off of my list of 'to do's'. All in all I feel pretty good...I probably won't be able to walk in the morning so I am posting tonight in case I don't get to the computer in the a.m.. Its been awhile since I've done anything quite so strenuous, but being the tenacious, formiddable, and sometimes stubborn person that I am I hung in there the entire hour (and I didn't fall on my face, drop a barbell on my toe or anything else).
I decided to post this painting tonight as it one that I've always liked. I like it for a number of any of you who have read my blogs know I like figurative art, especially children. I also was amused at how these children posed - so typical for siblings, or at least a brother and sister. I think their poses are so sweet and revealing and not unusual for children. I loved the overall composition as well - the strong lights and shadows and architectural element. Eventhough the architecture is quite strong in this compostition, the way it is laid out and the way the lighting is directed really puts the focus on the kids who would otherwise be overwhelmed by the stronger elements.
This is an oil painting. It is not for sale as it was a commission for a couple in Decatur, IL. I hope you enjoy looking at it though. That's all for tonight.
"I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is 14 days" comedian Totie Fields
Thanks, Helen
(P.S. I still have a few paintings on e-bay 'Girl in Blue Dress', Lone Visitor, and Cupcake Heaven; You have to look under self-representing artists and then type in the title in the search field; I will post more paintings in the next couple of weeks).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Well, I was just going to post an image and a little blurb but decideded to do better. Its Monday morning and feels like it so I thought I better force my brain cells to get going right now - no excuses.

This impressionistic painting was inspired by my stay as an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park. I have mentioned the artist-in-residence program in some previous posts. It is a great program, although not all of the parks participate. There are close to thirty that offer residencies. Most of the parks offer this to all types of artists - visual artists, musicians, dancers, story tellers, theatre folks, etc... I think the one at Mt.Rushmore is just for sculptors (of course). Anyway, the parks have an application process, and most are fairly similar, but the deadlines vary quite a bit.

I have been chosen for two residencies in the past, one at Hot Springs National Park, and the other at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. They were both great experiences. Not only is it a chance to really focus on one's art without interruptions and day to day stresses, but it is just enjoyable to explore these wonderful, protected parcels of nature. We are so fortunate to have them. You are considered a volunteer although the extent of your volunteer work is maybe a couple or three hours conducting a workshop, or talk, demonstration, performance or something of that nature (and not all require even that). Many of the parks ask for a piece or creation from your time there at the park. Some artists don't like this but I did not have a problem with it. I was glad to contribute something to the National Park System collection, knowing it will be taken care of, on display for many to see, and could potentially lead to more business opportunities. In exchange I was put up in great lodging, had VIP status, made some contacts, and had a cheap vacation.

The lodging at Indiana Dunes was in a cool house designed by some long gone architect from Chicago. It was up on a dune overlooking Lake Michigan - just a small road seperated the lake from the land. I had two decks and sliding glass doors on two sides of the house. On a good day I could make out Chicago in the distance. Any day there was good though. The house at Hot Springs was a former rangers' residence. It was a cute place located in the confines of the campground; it is a wood and stone structure built by the conservation corp back in the 30's. It has its own laundry facilities, a wood stove (for cooler months), a great studio, a screened in porch, get the idea. There was a creek running around the campground and on the other side were a few trailheads leading up the small mountains/big hills. Along the historic row of bathhouses are one or two that still offer services using the 'healing waters' from the springs. Hot Springs was one of the first aquisitions of the national park system although it was not the first national park. And thankfully I did not have any run-ins with snakes or taurantulas (yes, they have them in this part of the country).

Anyway, for those that might be interested or know of someone who might be interested, you can go to From there you will want to look under 'volunteers' and then proceed from there. You can visit the individual parks' websites but I would go to the nps site first.

There is much to discuss about this and I will take it up again in a future blog. If you have any questions just let me know and you can always leave comments or e-mail me. You can access my e-mail if you click 'view my profile' to the right.

"We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand". Woodrow Wilson

Thanks for visiting, Helen