Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
After a wonderful Christmas time, I am back and in catch-up mode! I just read the Alyson Stanfield newsletter at art biz blog where she suggested writing a list of 'things accomplished' this year. Wow, what an upper it is to do that! It is way too easy for signs of progress to get hidden under the to-do list of the day!
So a couple of hilights:
1. This blog! Started in February of last year, I've tried to keep it as a journaling blog, of which I am now glad. There's a lot of progress showing between 'shades of red' (the first entry) and now.
2. Teaching a class--whew, talking about leaving your comfort zone! True, it was team-teaching, two pros and me---the rookie, but it was successful.
3. Two friends, from a studio group that I paint with, and I had a showing of our work from that group. I have shown my work before, but there was a special feeling of accomplishment with this show. In part, I think it was due to a sense of committment to progress in painting figurative work.
4. A commission completed that also took me way out of my comfort zone. I stuggled with doubt up until about the last month of work, and then it took on it's own life and just happened. I was thrilled with how it looked hung in it's place!
5. I have a website! Yeah, me, a website! And the fact that I now know how to hyperlink to it also is kind of amazing to me:) Start up was in April, and first painting sold was July. Aah, progress!
6. And while #1-5 are all signs of progress that made me feel good to put on this list, number 6 is the biggest. I look at paintings done a year ago, and paintings just recently completed and I see progress. And so, back to the studio I go, because something tells me it needs to continue.
painted late in 2007, 'Reading In A Red Dress'
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Beethoven, Chopin and a Little Bit of
Pianist, Abbie Cooper
Abbie Cooper began studying piano in 2nd grade in a little town in Nebraska. After her family moved to Iowa, she began accompanying as a junior high student at West Lyon and continued throughout high school where she was involved in everything in the music department from band to choir to high school musicals. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Music Education with emphasis in piano and voice at Wartburg College where she studied with Dr. Ted Reuter. She also was a member of Castle Singers, a vocal jazz ensemble, and toured the US and Australia with this group. After graduating, Abbie moved to Orange County, CA, where she taught private and small group voice and piano classes and served as staff accompanist at Vanguard University. In 2006, she completed her Master's degree in piano performance at Azusa Pacific University where she studied with Dr. Robert Sage. One year later, Abbie is back in the Midwest and working towards her Doctoral degree in piano pedagogy and performance at The University of Iowa. Her favorite composers include Brahms and Albeniz.
Date: Sunday January 6th 4pm (doors open at 3:30)
Place: Robert & Lynn Swan’s, 3181 310th Ave. Dickens, IA (From Spencer’s South “T”, 9 mi. East, 4 mi. North on N 14
Coffee, cider and snacks provided, feel free to bring a beverage of your choice and a snack to share.
Suggested donation, $10-$15 which goes entirely to the artist
Please R.S.V.P. http://us.f637.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org or 712-837-4381
Thursday, December 13, 2007
At any rate, as promised here's the finished (?) cleaned up version of the recent canvas which we have decided to call 'Boogie Board Instruction'. As the temperature is supposed to drop to 3 degrees in Spencer tonight, I think it will be quite pleasant to gaze at.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
We had another zinger temperature day in Spencer, Iowa, today. It's been one of those where I check the weather early morning trying to determine if Ollie and I want to walk/run early or wait until later. Even Ollie has been voting for later, and trust me there's no running, too much slick stuff. By the time I put on the snowmobile suit that embarasses the resident 16 year old, and a pair of really heavy Thinsulate boots, I've added enough weight and bulk to make me feel like a workout has been done!
I painted nice sunshine today. Yes, it had to come from a photo and a good memory:) Enjoy, and no you can't have it:) (that means NFS)
Tomorrow I will finish it up and post a nice image for you.
oh, and if you want to see how the painting started
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
So today I went to the southern edge of northwest Iowa (am I confusing you yet?) and the weather was absolutely yucky. One of those too-much-slush-on-the-road kind of days. The good new is I got about halfway back home and drove out of it, yea! While on the southern edge (yeah, Sioux City) I had lunch with some good friends from Nebraska---sometimes weather just can't stop us:)
News of note: Arts On Grand in Spencer, Iowa will be showing 'A.R.T. Artisans Roadtrip Revisited' I will have two recent paintings from my reader's series in that exhibit. As follows-
Reading In A Red Dress, and
A Paperback Novel Kind Of Day
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Today I worked on a painting that was started at life drawing studio a couple of weeks ago. I've got a bigger project cooking on the project blog and as I have been shirking duty lately, I thought it might be beneficial to play around with something a little easier first. So here's the paint-on-canvas for today: (no, we are not calling it done yet:)
Monday, December 3, 2007
We survived the yucky weather! As some of you were aware, Thieves Market was in Iowa City this weekend. Nothing, well, almost nothing, strikes fear in the heart of an exhibiting artist as much as a weather bulletin telling people to stay home, the roads are just too treacherous. Lovely. Saturday, most of the people roaming the building were artists. Sunday, the preciptation stopped and some brave souls braved the frigid wind and came. Yea! In the end, I sold several good paintings! What's the phrase about the obese lady breaking out in song?:)
At any rate, the art center parking lot had a lovely shine on it (by the light of the moon) tonight. Tonight was life drawing, but my organizational skills faltered (oh, right, what organizational skills) and we had no model. Heavy sigh. I promise to do better next week.
I do have the mannequins to show you. We think it's name is 'Vogue'. A lovely 20 x 40 inch gallery wrapped canvas, and you'll notice it's signed. Eh? (crazy artist!)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So, I've been a'workin hard today! Yes, I am serious. It's been a cold WINDY day in Spencer,
Iowa, but I cranked up my happy little ceramic heater and spent the entire day in the studio. It's the mannequin project:) ---kind of scary if you don't think about them being mannequins, huh?:)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
So I am going to play lazy this time. But yes, daily paint fulfilled. I painted all day and now the moon is shining in the office window. Time to go make some food! Oh, and about that daily paint, look here: http://www.karencooperpaintings.com/blog/1884
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Arts on Grand invites you to the first “Gathering of the Wreaths” December 1 through December 8. This fundraising event is the brainchild of Holly McClain and will provide an opportunity for artists to create “one of a kind” wreaths to be sold in a silent auction.
The “Gathering of Wreaths” begins on December 1, at 4 p.m. with a Holiday Tea sponsored by Shaky Tree Coffee and featuring a Christmas Recital by Niki Conover.
Tickets for the tea and the luncheon are on sale at Arts on Grand, Northwest Federal Savings Bank, Del’s Garden Center and Jacobsen Income Tax Service. Please call 712 262 4307 for further information.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
First I tried taking it off the easel, that didn't work, because while it was on the floor I saw a place where it needed one more line of red. Then I tried washing out my brushes, yeah, one of them got used again right away. I said, "okay, we'll sign it, then I have to be done". And to top that I put a wire on the back and hung it on the wall in the solarium, which is, of course, brilliant sunlight that showed me where I needed just a touc h of white. Maybe that's all it took, I haven't put any paint on it since about 12:30 this afternoon:) We are speaking of the canvas of the two women seated on vintage 50's chairs, sipping their cokes. Tomorrow I will photo it for you, I'm scared that if I get too close to it yet today that I might put more paint on it!
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the Schwinn rider. I had fun with it! Oh, and I googled for wreath-on-door images. By the 26th I need to have a canvas to Arts On Grand for a winter fund raiser--[see Holly, I am working on it!] :) It would probably be more successful, and easier to hang a wreath on my door and set my easel on the sidewalk and get to work, but we are having northwest Iowa weather issues of late. It was a very grey day, and the wind was blowing so hard it blew Ollie's stainless steel doggie dish clear across the patio. Pleine aire would be painful.
One more note of note: I was at an A.R..T. [northwest Iowa artisans road trip] meeting tonight, mostly business, but also we will be having a group exhibit at Arts On Grand in Spencer.
show opens: December 10th
reception/meet the artists: December 14th @ 5:30 pm
show concludes: January 5th
Whew, this entry needs some color. How about an upload of the Schwinn biker canvas? Finished isn't everything, you know!
ps. I plan on her shoes being the same color in the end:)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Oh, oh, it’s opinion day. And here it comes!
Daily painting—have you googled that lately? I did just a minute ago, and google gives you 32 pages of 10 listings each, 320 daily painting references. Yahoo does it even better. Maybe they are just a bit repetitive? 100 pages of 10 each, 1000 daily painters!
For all you inquiring minds that want to know, and even those of you who don’t: daily painting refers to the practice of ‘a painting a day’. That means start it in the morning, finish it before beddy-bye. Actually if you are a purist, you finish it far enough in advance of that golden hour, that you’ve got time to photo it and upload it onto your blog.
Is it good news or bad? I’ve read the online epistle of the original daily painters, and have a lot of appreciation for Duane and crew. They seized something that was good for them, and went for it. But what about the copycats roaming the streets now? One quick google trip finds you daily painter sites with membership fees, commission rates, rules and regulations enough to try even the most patient of souls. What is their motive?
The vast majority of work listed on daily painter sites has some notable similarities.
(1) size---most daily painters restrict themselves to less than 12 inches.
(2) simplicity of subject matter
At this point let’s interject that the Cooper blog DOES have some entries titled “daily paint”. I’ve chatted with other daily painters regarding the question how do you finish one EVERY bloomin’ day? Their answers always lead back to the aforementioned items, size and simplicity.
So now it’s time to cut to the chase and ask the question I’ve been dying to get an answer for. Does the compelling nature of that ‘must upload a painting to my blog yet today’ cut into the quality and progression of an artist’s work? Does that same mantra cause us to ‘paint something-anything-no time to think’ just to stay in the game?
I will be the first to insist that daily painting is essential for getting you where you need to go, but is it the completion of a painting every day or the practice of painting every day?
And will the Cooper blog have future posts of ‘daily paint’? It seems most likely. If there’s a big idea cooking on the easel, you might get it in stages. And if I am gone for a day or too, that just means I’m contemplating the next paint layer. Daily painting, in the name of practice, I’m hanging in there.
Thanks for listening, Cooper
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
But I have another show to prepare for, so must keep nose to the grindstone. Grindstone, hmphf, I love this work and we all know it! But I really do have a show to prepare for and here are the details:
Thieves Market, held annually the first weekend in December, is sponsored by the Fine Arts Council at the University of Iowa. This year's dates are December 1st and 2nd. Typically it's a nice mix of fine art and fine craft, with artists from every upper midwestern state represented. The location for Thieves Market is the University Of Iowa Memorial Union, on campus, in Iowa City, Iowa. Hours are 10:00am thru 5:00pm each day. I will be exhibiting my paintings at this year's Thieves Market, including the newest pieces from my 'readers series'.
If you are in town, do stop by. If you don't live in Iowa City, I highly recommend Thieves Market as a great little road trip! Overnight accommodations are easy and excellent---The Iowa House Hotel (319 335-3513) is a large, extremely comfortable facility attached to the Union. [No winter coats necessary:)]
Okay, to the easel I go! Have a lovely day!
ps. thought you might like to see what's on the easel>>>>>>
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Today makes me glad that yesterday I finally brought in the rest of the plants targeted for wintering over. 25 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and it felt like it! I found a pair of gloves before Ollie and I did our 'route' this morning!
Jet Lag/Art Fair Lag
I am beginning to think that there is a disease among artists who exhibit at art fairs, kind of like jet lag. I have yet to fly to a show, so we can't officially call it jet lag, but Monday after a show, there's some sort of lagging going on! I exhibited my paintings at Two Rivers Art Market in Des Moines this past weekend. That's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Spencer, which is pretty mild as far as art fair travel goes. My theory is that it's the combination of activities involved. First we labor to get the vehicle loaded, drive like crazy to get there on time, agonize over decisions regarding the perfect setup and how to spotlight the newest paintings, and then we wait. At the perfect show, that first purchase happens right away and takes the edge off, but all you painters out there know that normally only happens to jewelers! Patience must be our badge. At any rate, the end of the show comes and packing it in begins. No matter how many paintings you sell, the remaining refuse to cooperate and fit back into the alotted space. Why is that? --probably the first visible symptom of art fair/jet lag. And then the drive home: it can be 100 miles or it can be 500 miles and it still requires the same amount of coffee---the second visible symptom of art fair/jet lag? Is there a cure? I have one more event on the schedule for this year, Thieves Market in Iowa City, the first weekend in December, and I will contemplate a cure as I drive there!
So there's my excuse for not too much paint brush action yesterday. But let me explain what painting did happen. I painted a still life quite a while ago, and there's always been something about it that bothered me. Yes, it was signed, but did you know it's possible to paint over signatures? :) Maybe it was the aforementioned syndrome that caused me to look at this painting differently, but I think I figured out the problem and even more amazing, I think I fixed the problem. We'll upload that image and let you decide!
Have a lovely day! Cooper
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
and a crisp, sunny, lovely colored one it is! It's one of those days that almost makes me wish I painted landscapes:)
I brought a small bit of landscape in recently. There was a mum sitting in my backyard that was having lateness issues, wherein I knew it would not make it to completion. Yes, I am well aware that mums are some of the toughest little buggers out there, but I also remember driving in ugly snow exactly one year ago Friday, so there! I plopped the aforementioned mum into a pot and it came into the kitchen, where it proceeded to bloom with so much effort that I decided to paint it. So, 'Summer Leftovers", 40 x 20 inches, acrylic painting on canvas.
Have a lovely day! Cooper
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
And what a beeyoootiful one we've got going here in northwest Iowa. The maple trees across the street from me, wow! Sights like that must be what make me slather lots of yellow and red paint all over my paintings!
No, I haven't started painting yet today, but I'm almost there. First I wanted to mention a couple of events.
1. Cedar Valley Friends Of The Family is an organization committed to helping hurting families and individuals throughout northeast Iowa and beyond. They are hosting 'An Artistic Affair' this coming weekend, November 3rd. I have sent this painting to them, and it will be one of the many pieces of art they will auction at this event to help with their upcoming budget needs.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Yea! I just found it wasn't me screwing up, it was the 'blogger'. Although it did make me feel small--when I went to 'blogger help', I found out I am one of many hundreds who have been having the same problem. They said it's all better now:)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
So today I found the face again, and this time I kept it. Today's daily paint, 30 x 24 inches, acrylic on canvas, 'So Thoughts Are Private'Later, Cooper
*****yeah, click on the image so it will enlarge, it's a whole lot better that way. Some day I will be a great photographer and make it look just like the real painting, but not today.
*****You know I was wondering why blogger wanted a great big space under this post, know I guess I know: I guess I was imagining things when I said click on it to enlarge it---that doesn't seem to work either. But you know, I'm sure it did at one time. eh, go to my website: http://www.karencooperpaintings.com/ I know it will enlarge there:)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today's painting time was spent on the studio painting that I unearthed yesterday. I 'found' her face three times and lost her face three times. That translates to three steps forward, three steps back. Heavy sigh.
My friend Mary Connealy has a group of author friends, and yesterday they were sharing thoughts on rhino hide at their blog, http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/ Other than the three step portion of my day, I spent my time toughening up my 'rhino hide'. Comes the season for sending away jpgs to see what shows might actually let me hang up a painting. But not just any jpg, today I was working on that special commmodity called the booth shot. A booth shot is a lovely little invention that supposedly gives a vision of the layout of your potential exhibit, while simultaneously answering the question 'can this person really paint enough to fill a whole exhibit space by herself?' To anyone who really wants to know, YES, I CAN! Here, LOOK:
Yes, I know, it's very colorful. :) Later, Cooper
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Right here is the time to give a big thanks to all those folks who supply us with crisp, clean, sometimes still in the protective sleeve, brand spanking new copies of books that we desperately long for and seriously need on our personal library shelves. There are times when they are essential and oh so appropriate.
But because there are just a few of us who have NOT YET sold our first million dollars worth of paintings, and we still have to ration our ‘book dollars’, I’m offering up an additional solution. Type ‘used books’ right into that old google search line. I have fallen in love with Abebooks.com., and there are others. They are my new literary heroes (well, other than my author friend Mary Connealy) At first I was quite skeptical of what condition the books would actually be in as many seem to be former library books. But their library must handle books more gently than mine, as my purchases so far are of very acceptable quality.
I have had some trouble with their book descriptions regarding content. That all important ‘number of color plates’, size of ‘color plates’, pages of drawings, etc. is seldom included in the book listing. I stumbled across a solution for that issue at a library, and it would probably translate to your location as well. Buena Vista University is a college about forty miles from my home, who houses a huge collection of art books in their library. Yes, they do allow ‘community people’ to check out their books, but there’s always that 2 week time limit that’s just never really long enough. Previewing them at the library helps me make the decision of (1) this is a book I need for two weeks, or (2) this is a book that will inspire, sustain and further educate me in my artistic endeavors---a book I need to own.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Daily paint for today: 'Zoned Out', an acrylic painting on heavy gessoed paper, finished up from a LakesArtCenter studio session.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Wow, the Artisans Road Trip weekend is looming ever closer. Yeah, like this Saturday and Sunday, as in October 13th and 14th. Which is also my excuse for posting a painting that a few of you, but definitely not all of you have, have seen. Painted earlier this summer: 'Call Me Yellow'
It's an acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas, of everybody's favorite flower, the sunflower. It measures 16 x 24 inches, and I'll post it on my website as well (paypal friendly)
Yes, as you might have guessed, I spent more time yesterday getting organized for this weekend than I did painting. BUT I did paint! Our studio group met, and we worked for 2 hours, and then when I got home I decided to work on one of them a little more, which ended up being just after midnight! (Does that mean Ollie did not get his run this morning? Correct!) I am not ready to post the results of the burnt midnight oil yet---still trying to decide what I think of them :)
Time to go organize some more!
Friday, October 5, 2007
What a beeyoutiful day! A few weeks ago I whined about the office makeover, but today I am really reaping the benefits. Overhauling the office made it possible to turn the desk that the computer sits on, and I am currently alternately typing and looking out the windows at lovely colored trees tossing in the breeze. Sounds like the subject of a poem, eh?
A.R.T., northwest Iowa artisans road trip, coming up next weekend, so how about I just give you a copy of the press release? [Sheesh, I knew being on the publicity committee was a great (?) job, but this is a true bonus.]
For Immediate Release
August 23, 2007
Indulge Yourself: Be Touched By Art
Once a year the private studios of the best artists in northwest Iowa are open to you. Working in a multitude of mediums the professional artists welcome you to their unique studio spaces. Be entranced by works in progress. Purchase finished art to take home and enjoy.
A.R.T., Artisans Road Trip, is a collaboration of artists from 8 northwest Iowa counties, welcoming you to this self-guided tour of their work environs. From its inception in 2004, the group has grown to include 41 art professionals. Plan to experience painting, drawings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, photography, kaleidoscopes, hand blown glass, stained glass, neon glass, wood turning, mosaics, weaving, fibers, and furniture.
Nothing can compare with meeting the artists in person at their studios, and talking with them about their creative processes. Begin your weekend adventure at http://www.artisansroadtrip.com/ where you will find maps of the 31 artist locations for your self-guided tour, as well as amenities for your stay. Plan now for your northwest Iowa art adventure!
Saturday October 13th, 9am thru 5 pm
Sunday October 14th 12pm thru 5 pm