Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Studio Messes and Upcoming Events

Okay, the long holiday weekend is over, and its back to reality. I did manage to continue working on a painting I started some time ago, and I came home from work today to find that the almost 4 year old granddaughter had gotten into my studio and "experimented". Sigh. Now the door is locked if I'm not home, and I have the keys with me. Thank goodness she "painted" on her own stuff and not mine, but in order to keep her safe and me sane, the lock is on. I thought those days were over, LOL!

I have been very lax in scoping out new exhibits, but 'tis the season for outdoor shows and festivals, so there should be no excuses for not going to see all the wonderful talent in our area.

Art in the Park, Bay Head Saturday June 13 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Bay Head Business Association Over 45 professional artists selling original paintings, drawings and high quality limited edition prints in an outdoor show in Centennial Park, Bay Head (off of Bridge Avenue behind the municipal parking lot). Musical entertainment, within walking distance to the shops, restaurants and galleries. Three blocks from the beach. Rain date: Sunday, June 14th.Location: Centennial Park, Bridge Avenue, Bay Head Cost: Free to the public Phone: (732) 892-7776Website: Accessibility: handicap parking, bathrooms, etc

LBI Artist Open Studio Tour Saturday and Sunday, June 27 & 28 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. LBI Foundation of the Arts & Sciences support the growing arts community on LBI, where many accomplished visual artists live and work. On this self-directed tour see the artists and their aspiring artwork in their local studios. View artwork in all media. Pick-up a guide book at the LBIF or online at Location: 120 Long Beach Blvd., Loveladies Cost: Free and Open to the Public Phone: (609) 494-1241Website:

Just two of a myriad of local art venues that you can visit and the cost for these two are FREE!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Exhibits and Shows

The motion for the Art Show was passed last night. Now the hard work begins. I am a little afraid that once more I have bitten off more than I can chew, but I have the support of my wonderful husband and two grown daughters, and I'm sure I can persuade the already very busy and involved people of the Council to chip in and make this work. My dilemma is a moral one at this point. Do I, as the chief organizer of this art show, allow myself to exhibit? I am having mixed feelings about it, part of me feels that I should exclude myself, but the other part of me wants to exhibit. As an artist, I feel that that every opportunity to show and sell should be embraced, and I would certainly pay for my space like everyone else. Does anyone have an opinion on this?? Let me know.

The TRACx81 general meeting was held tonight. Pitifully, only 4 members showed up for the meeting. Our president is stepping down after 2 years for personal reasons, and we need a new leader. We also discussed the necessity of rethinking our future goals and purpose. So a lot of heavy serious discussion was bounced back and forth, but with only four members and one impartial non-member present, not too much was accomplished. I am afraid that if we go in the direction of our original vision, there will be a core group of perhaps 8 people who make all the decisions and do all the work. Pretty much what we have now. So, it looks like we in a state of flux.

now, the good news! Yvonne is having a solo show at the Ocean County Artist's Guild during the month of June. Her show is titled "Playing with Fire" and I can't wait to go! If you don't know Yvonne, she is an amazing glass artist with tremendous insight and creativity. The Artist's Guild is located on the corner of Ocean and Chestnut Streets in Island Heights. Make sure you get to see her work. Awesome stuff.
Playing With Fire - Solo Exhibit - Yvonne Yaar, Glass ArtistSunday, June 7 through Tuesday, June 301:00pm - 4:00pm; opening reception June 7, 1:00pmOcean County Artists' GuildGlass artist Yvonne Yaar creates both wall art/sculpture and glass jewelry. Yvonne feels her art incorporates themes of motherhood, love of nature, humor, politics and addiction. She is also president and founder of the local art co-operative TRACx81.Location: Ocean and Chestnut Avenues, Island HeightsCost: FreePhone: (732) 270-3111Website:

As soon as I get a date nailed down for the Artist's Show and Sale at St. Paul's in Beachwood, I will post it and also start accepting applications for artists. Also look for a list of upcoming art events for the summer, all posted here as I receive them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Proposals and Dry Spells

Tonight I will hand in my proposal for a Fine Art Show to be held next Spring. I'm pretty confident it will be accepted; it's a win-win situation for them: I do the work, they get the benefit. This is the second time I've organized a show like this, the last one being in the early eighties, so it's been a while since I actually did one. I wonder if there was a reason I didn't organize a show for over 20 years? Lucky for me I have MMF (menopausal memory failure) so I am going into this endeavor absolutely free of any bad past experiences. And I'm sure there are some.

I have entered a no-create zone. Something like the twilight zone, without Rod Serling. Last night I was all ready to go into the studio and start throwing paint on canvas, but life threw another curve ball, this one being in the form of a 3-year-old granddaughter who needed outside playtime and then a bath. I don't know about you, but my ability to say "no" to a 3-year-old ended when my own kids grew up. Now the grandkid says pleeeeeeeeeease and I follow blindly, unwilling and unable to refuse her requests. Maybe it has something to do with time flying by, going faster and faster the older I get. I give up. So anyway, the gist of it is, still no new work in the studio, although even I have to admit, it's been quite a long dry spell. So my goal for this week is to create one small study. Not even going to say a real painting. Because I can feel myself sliding into a complacent state of mind, and that spells doom for me. I have to be in a state of agitation, of chaos, of just-this-side-of-panic to produce in volume. Because easy and relaxed kills my Muse. Nothing inspires me more than to be under pressure, and even self-induced pressure can work. The hardest stroke of the brush is the first one, and I have 2 or 3 paintings that are begging to be finished, as well. One is a very loose portrait of my daughter and granddaughter at the beach. Remember how I said I don't do portraits? Well, this is not a portrait, per se, sort of an impressionistic rendering. But it's not finished. So maybe instead of starting a new one, I should work on that. The hard part is done on that one, already blocked in and everything. Okay, I've talked myself into it. After work, after proposal giving, I'm going to go take another look at the beach portrait and maybe even mix some paint. Pray for me, that nothing else gets in line in front of the studio tonight!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Success! and Thanks!

Well, the much-touted, highly anticipated Toms River Art and Music Fest is over. Well, the Art part, anyway. Music goes until 9 p.m. tonight. It turned out to be a fabulous day. Bright sunny with a breeze (gusty at times) but overall, it was great. Kudos to Rich Kushinsky, who garnered a prize and woo-hoos to every participant who had faith that it would not rain.

Many heartfelt thanks to my buddy Mike Brennan, who showed up bright and early to help unload, set up, babysat while I had to go to work, and then helped break down everything and load up. Without you, Mike, I wouldn't have been able to participate. So, thankyouthankyouthankyou and let's set up another night for dinner.

Many many thanks to Yvonne Yaar for her undying dedication and tireless work to make this event happen. You're the best, Eve, and I love ya! I still need that coffee date.

Also need to thank all the behind-the-scenes people for their parts, but this is sounding like the Academy Awards, so let it suffice to say, The First Annual Toms River Art and Music Fest was an awesome day! If you missed it, you can always catch us next year.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Final Countdown

Okay, artists and art fans. It is now 38 hours 15 minutes to DTR Art and Music Fest, 12 noon, Saturday, May 16, 2009. Everyone is scrambling to get the last minute details attended to. The latest weather report says cloudy, warm, not too windy, possible rain toward evening. Keep your fingers crossed! From what I've seen and heard, this should prove to be an awesome show. Lots of very talented artists, and don't forget 2 rockin bands for your listening pleasure. Kick off "Summer at the Shore" with a visit to Huddy Park, Toms River, corner of Main St and Washington St at the River. While you're downtown, don't forget to stop by Erickson's and scope out the huge clearance sale on all art supplies and drafting supplies. See you Saturday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jimi, Inventories, and Challenges

I just finished printing my art inventory for the show on Saturday, and realized I never took photos of "Jimi Hendrix". I painted a very nontraditional portrait, sort of "other-worldly". It was a challenge from my dearly beloved. We had been sitting in the studio, and a Hendrix song came on the radio, and he said, "Why don't you paint a picture of Hendrix?" Now, you have to understand, I don't do portraits. Ever. So of course I couldn't get this idea out of my head. I tried to paint him all serene and happy, kinda stoked on life, so to speak. It just wasn't working. So I started talking to the painting, saying, "What do you want me to do, Jimi?" (This was not an isolated moment of insanity; I talk to inanimate objects all the time.) I was totally frustrated with the painting, so I changed the face to a scowl and sullen stare, and voila! Now it had some emotion. I put him in a psychedelic swirly cloud and the whole painting changed. I don't think I'll do a series of dead rock and roll musicians, though. But as a challenge, it got me thinking outside my usual box, and if you don't stretch, you don't grow, right? So here's the painting of James Marshall Hendricks, from the other side.
"Jimi Hendrix", Oil on Canvas, 30H x 24W, (c)Jean LeBaron

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Listings, Impulse Buys and Allergies

The new issue of Art Calender arrived in the mail today. They have a great feature called "the listings" which lists national and international Call to Artists. It occurred to me that this would make a great link to this blog, so I added it to the links list. It is quite extensive, so take a few minutes and check it out. Could be that your next opportunity is just waiting for you to submit an application!

I bought some 300 pound watercolor paper today. I am not sure why. I don't paint in watercolor. But I could always gesso it and paint in oils. It was an impulse buy and I usually end up having to find a place to store those types of purchases, but you never know. I might be inspired to actually use it one of these days.

I seem to be in a creative slump. Could be the fact that I am in the throes of allergy misery. The insidious yellow-green pine pollen has invaded my body, producing massive amounts of mucous. Yuccch. I am self-medicating with all of the over-the-counter remedies I can find. Still yuccch. So by the time I get home I just want to vegetate. Not good for producing art. I am hoping that I can schedule some serious studio time this weekend. (Sunday and Monday) I must get cranky when I don't paint, cuz Hubby not-so-subtly suggested that I start painting something SOON. :) After 30 years, he knows me better than anyone, and sometimes better than I know myself.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Won't be around tomorrow, so thought I'd better post this tonight. Hope all the moms have a stupendous day tomorrow, full of sappy cards, sticky hugs and lots of love. Our morning will be spent in church, then it's pick up the mom- and dad-in-law for a jaunt up the turnpike to Newark Airport. They are going to Norway for a visit to family and general vacation stuff. Then it's back down the turnpike to visit my mom and dad. Hubby asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, and do you know....I couldn't think of a thing. Either I'm very content, or Senility has set in.

Since this is an Art Blog, I must mention that I got the new Utrecht catalog in the mail today. I suppose I'm going to have to start ordering supplies online like the rest of the world, but really. How do you choose a brush out of a catalog? You can't hold it, feel the balance, check the bristles or anything. I'm going to have to think about this long and hard. Luckily for me I probably have 2 1/2 lifetimes of supplies in the studio, but still. (Pause for melodramatic and melancholy sigh.)

Hope you all can stop by the Toms River Art and Music Fest next Saturday. There's going to be a whole bunch of talent there. Would hate for you to miss it. Stay well, be happy and keep your art flowing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blowout Clearance Sale @ Erickson's

It's like that old joke..."I have good news and bad news..."; except that it's not funny. Erickson's Custom Framing and Art Supplies in downtown Toms River has finally succumbed to the plight of most independant art supply stores. The big box stores and the "cheaper on the Internet" mentalities have killed the last remaining true fine art supplier in Ocean County. Erickson's sadly announced that they are having a 50% off clearance sale on all the art and drafting supplies in the store. They will, in the future, concentrate on custom framing, with more emphasis on showing local artists' work in the gallery section. As an artist, and employee of Erickson's, I am totally bummed that this hard decision had to be made. BUT, for you folks that like to save a buck or two, and I know you're out there cuz I hear it every day, everything is 50% off the listed price. Everything. One half off. Yes, the paper is 50% off. Paint. Brushes. Canvas. Pencils. Markers. Portfolios. Everything. So get your butts in to Erickson's before all the good stuff's gone. And when you come in, please don't ask me where you're going to get your art supplies now, cuz I don't know, either. :(

Thursday, May 7, 2009

DTR Drama

Okay, it's time to vent a little. In my experience, artists as a group are friendly, outgoing, eager to share their time and expertise, and supportive of each other. That being said, there always is the rare exception to the rule, and the inflated ego of one such exception has reared its ugly head. I received a phone call today from a friend of mine, who happened to be the recipient of a very negative communication from one such inflated ego with a large chip on his shoulder. She was understandably upset and confused, and just needed to be assured that she had done nothing wrong. WELL. Of course she had done nothing wrong. IMHO, this self-absorbed crybaby deserves nothing less than to be tossed out on his ear. I still don't get it. After a considerable time on this earth dealing with many different personalities, I would think that people could make an effort to try and get along with each other, at least in a business/casual relationship that doesn't involve more than polite conversation. Puh-lease. It's not that hard.

Okay, I'm finished. Just had to get that out.

On a brighter note, it looks like it's going to be a gorgeous Mother's Day. Woo-hoooo! And, I received a beautiful bouquet of lilies from daughter K and granddaughter A today, that are just begging to be painted. As soon as they open up a little more. So, all in all, life is good. I've learned that you sometimes have to search for the bright spots, but they're out there if you look hard enough. So keep your eyes open for the good things, and let the junk roll into the gutter. After venting a little, of course.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Free entry into competition

For those of you who could use a little extra cash, here is a link to a juried art competition with prizes totalling $12,000. It is free to enter, and takes about 4-5 minutes or less, depending on your computer skills. What have you got to lose?

Utrecht Art Supplies is proud to announce our 60th Anniversary Art Competition, in appreciation for the patronage of Artists over the past six decades. All Artists are invited to submit works created in Oil, Acrylic,Watercolor or Mixed Media*.Winning entries will be judged on quality, creativity and originality. Editors of American Artist, Utrecht Resident Artist and Artists from the Ridgewood Art Institute will serve as jurors.
*The mixed media category is open to two-dimensional, unique, original works of art created with more than one drawing or painting materials. Sorry, we are not able to accept works of art that include three-dimensional, computer-generated, or photographic images.

Hope you enjoyed the 2 hours of sun we had this afternoon. I was at work. I did sneak outside for about 5 minutes, it was glorious. Now it looks like we're going to have rain again till Sunday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo

I could use a little Mexico in my life today...we've had rain for 5 days now. My brain is getting soggy. I am sitting here thinking about neon-aqua water and palm trees in 80 shades of green. Mmmmmmmmmm. Add in a mango-colored sunset sky, and I can almost smell the lime in my margarita. ah, well.

The Art and Music Fest in Toms River is shaping up, and hopefully we'll have all this rain out of the way for May 16. Last night we did a dry run setup of the display (in the living room, cuz, well, it was raining) and it seems as though everything is good to go. I just have to decide what paintings to display.

I am planning several paintings in my head at the moment; you know, the preliminary stage before you actually put something down on paper, pre-thumbnails, pre-value sketch, pre-everything. But they are not going away, so I know that these will end up as oil on canvas in the near future. So I suppose you will hearing more about them, and possibly even seeing pictures. I think I'll go gesso a canvas, and see what happens.

this just in.......

The Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition Deadline Extended to May 8
Because of an extraordinarily high volume of traffic on our site last week, some artists experienced difficulties in submitting digital entries to our 2009 annual contest. We're sorry! We are therefore extending the deadline a week. The deadline for entries to The Artist's Magazine's 26th Annual Art Competition is now May 8th, 2009.Click here to enter.
If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, click here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Watch this Space.....

for future information on "call for Artists", upcoming shows, and news and views on the Ocean County Art Scene. Don't forget, May 16, from 12-5, Art and Music Fest at Huddy Park, downtown Toms River, New Jersey. Stop by and support your local artists.