Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas Fine Art Lovers!

2 block lino-cut print
Akua Kolor water-based inks on paper
3" x 4" image size

This year, I started what I hope will become an annual tradition. As a special "thank you" to all the wonderful people who have purchased original works of art from me over the past few years, I hand-printed Christmas cards for them. I hope that they enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed designing and printing them.

I have a busy, but fun week ahead-I hope that you do too!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Behind the Scenes

I have just completed an online course called "Get Organized!" with art marketing specialist Alyson B. Stanfield. The class focused on the business end of the artist's life. We learned effective systems for filing both computer and paper files, managing our time and tasks with electronic calendars and other routine office stuff, but that was just the tip of the organizing iceberg!

As you can see from my two "before" photos posted here, my studio needed TLC. And possibly a backhoe. While Alyson didn't specifically cover our art materials and supplies, I turned the last day of the class into my deadline to recover this room for art (instead of crazy) making.

The most significant change I have made to my studio is adding pegboard to the walls to hang quite a lot of my tools. Now I know where they are and they are easy to put away when I am done with them. I also used pegboard to hang some empty frames so they are no longer on the floor.

It will be great to start the new year with a clean, organized space, ready for lots of painting and printmaking!

To learn more about Alyson B. Stanfield and the "Get Organized!" class, click here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowy Woodpile

Copyright 2009 Hannah Phelps
7.25" x 9.75"
oil on masonite

After receiving over 10" of snow from yesterday's "monster storm," I couldn't help myself-I had to go cross-country skiing. Soon, I will be driving to the mountains to enjoy the groomed trails in Waterville Valley, but today I just went to a local trail along the Piscataquog River. I was relieved that some industrious skier had been there before me and blazed some tracks. Since I stayed in town, I brought Hatrick, my golden retriever, with me so she could play in the new snow too.

Donning my skis for the first time this season felt like calling a good friend I hadn't spoken with in a while. Last winter, skiing became a refuge for me as some pretty fierce personal challenges gathered and loomed over me. When the snow melted in the spring, I was hoping that my troubles would go with it. They didn't and the spring and summer of 2009 proved to be the worst seasons of my life.

Now my world is once again covered in snow. For the artist, this means simplified shapes in wooded scenes and vivid blues and purples where there are usually browns and greens, as in the painting above. For the person, it means mentally shelving the last year to make room for the new, better times ahead.

There are only eleven more days of increasing darkness before the solstice. I am ready for more light, and not just so I can ski later each day.