Monday, December 31, 2007

daily paint, December 31st, 2007,

Happy New Year's Eve!

It is a clear COLD one in Spencer, Iowa. The icicles hanging from the eave outside the office window are NOT melting.

So, I am aware that my last post promised you that I would be working on the cafe scene painting. We-eeee-ll, somehow I ended up getting involved in a project to remove seven layers of wallpaper, two of them painted, from the walls of a bedroom. Ugh. If you are ever in the mood to change your wallpapered walls, strip the old stuff off FIRST! That will insure that whoever you someday sell your house to, will not be speaking of you as we are of the previous owners of our house:) The good news is, about one more good work day should complete the nasty task.

Needing a break from the aforementioned task, I spent the afternoon in the studio. Surprisingly, it was not the cafe scene that jumped up on the easel, it was the park painting that I had started many days ago. Here is a first look at the start of the painting, and now to upload today's daily paint: 'Spread A Quilt On The Grass'

Later, Cooper

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daily paint, December 27th, 2007


I am looking out the office windows at icicles that are very likely four feet long. And I suppose I should say that's a guess, because I can't see the top or bottom of most of them! Winter, Spencer, Iowa style! And we have had fog! I don't think that is traditional northwest Iowa winter, but it certainly is beautiful when it freezes on the trees!

I have a 'daily paint' image for you this morning, but it is actually yesterday's episode. I am going to preface it with excuses :) It's the span of time between Christmas and New Year's where everything is off schedule. My husband did not go to work on Monday morning, he went on Wednesday. Our University of Iowa daughter is here and she is facilitating a jigsaw puzzle marathon. Is it possible to take every Charles Wysocki puzzle off the shelf and put it together again? Our high school junior just told me that leftover 'strawberry pretzel salad' is a nutritous breakfast! The rest of the kids are supposedly back in their proper places, but I imagine I should check in with them just to make sure!

At any rate, why don't we just go ahead and call this whole week a holiday? Yes, we need to go to the studio, office, barn, coal mine, etc. (wherever we regularly work) but when we get there it should be like free time---do whatever you want, put the 'mandatory' list of to-do away, and get out the 'wouldn't this be fun if I had the time' list. I think it's a concept worth thinking about, but I do agree that it would probably screw up the national economy big time.

So here's the daily paint from yesterday, and I'm sure you can tell that I was not working from the 'mandatory to-do list' We'll see how it goes today!
Later, Cooper

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daily paint, December 26th, 2007, journal

Good morning to you!

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.

Later, Cooper

painted late 2006, One Red Zinnia:

painted late in 2007, 'Reading In A Red Dress'

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

daily paint, secrets, December 18th, 2007

Yes, I have been painting today, but it's a secret so no, you can't see it. After all, Christmas is just a few days off.

However, as I spent a good share of the morning threatening this pile of electronics with the end of it's life, I will show you what came of that. The worst part is, all the pieces were shipped to me by the host, I just had to make them save and print correctly---it's a long story--how about you just read the results:
You Are Invited To A House Concert!

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. or 712-837-4381
Yeah, just a little braggin' going on here:)
Later, Cooper

Thursday, December 13, 2007

daily paint, December 13th, 2007

Hello there!

Well, 4 1/2 hours later, we determined Brent (the resident 16 year old) did NOT rupture his spleen OR crack a rib, but I don't think he will be snowboarding for at least 24 hours. Sigh. I suppose I'll have to sell about five paintings to pay for that trip:(

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.
Also a quick peek at what just hopped up onto the easel, something like a castle, I think.

Ok, we will work on that one tomorrow. Right now, it's time to call it a day!
Later, Cooper

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

daily paint, December 12th, 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.

Later, Cooper

oh, and if you want to see how the painting started

Friday, December 7, 2007

daily paint, December 7th, 2007

Hey, happy Friday!

So I don't have a canvas ready to start that 'big' project I have been telling you about, and I was pretty sure I needed to paint :) so today was play day! Bearing in mind that the forecast for Spencer, Iowa says anywhere from 1 to 9 inches of snow this weekend, I decided painting a park would help my attitude! And it has, so 'A Quilt In The Park', acrylic on paper, about 15 x 15 inches. Her shirt is not quite done yet, but I am also feeling called to make Christmas cookies this afternoon:) so the shirt can wait a bit, right? I knew you'd see it my way. Here's the aforementioned color sketch:

Later, Cooper

Thursday, December 6, 2007

no daily paint, December 6th, 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

Later, Cooper

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

daily paint, December 5th, 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:)

Later, Cooper

Monday, December 3, 2007

daily paint, December 3rd, 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!)

Later, Cooper

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

daily paint, November 28th, 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?:)
Later, Cooper

Monday, November 26, 2007

daily paint, November 26th, 2007

Happy Monday to you!
So this is regroup day: back to some semblance of painting; turkey casserole for dinner:); and life drawing group back on schedule. This morning I took care of the first, #2 and 3 are yet to come today.

So with the article I just wrote about daily paint versus daily painting practice, still looming in the background I might have discovered yet another facet that I omitted from the article:) Is it the acomplishment of 'a painting a day', practice every day, or getting back into motion after a holiday?!

At any rate, a few items were needed at the grocery store this morning. I ran over there before going to the studio, and speeding past the produce counter, I spied a pear with a quirky stem, which is pear language for "paint me". So a quick pear study, 'One Pear, Blue Bowl", 15 x 15 inches, acrylic painting on heavy gessoed paper.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

daily paint and promised posts


Yep, even though there will be eighteen people here for dinner tomorrow, I painted this morning. I have a pear still life called 'Another Blue Chair' that's been bugging me, even though it has been out in the world some and supposedly completed:) This morning it got some more paint heaped on. Results yet to be determined.

I did get the 'Rave On' pieces in front of the camera>

Ok, time to cook!
Later, Cooper

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

daily paint over run by turkey, November 20th, 2007


Yes, I'm here now. I am sorry to inform you, there was no (none,nadda, zippo,zeroid) daily paint slung about today at my studio.

However, the house is squeaky clean. The meal is planned, and the groceries are purchased; enough to keep 18 (count'em eighteen) people happy, I hope:)

Regarding studio work however, it was a bit of polish off the last little bits kind of day. Two figurative paintings and one still life got their varnish today. Another figurative piece got it's wire attached. And we found the camera! Tomorrow I will do a final photo for you of the two pieces I have been working on to send to the 'Rave On' invitational at the Clear Lake (Iowa) Arts Center.

Right now I will upload yesterday's daily paint. It' s a canvas that I had worked on before and knew it needed more:) So here's more: 'Straight On', acrylic painting on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

Later, Cooper

ps. Here's a link to 'Straight On' when I first tried to convince myself that it was done:)

Friday, November 16, 2007

daily paint, November 16th, 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:

Later, Cooper

painting title: Good Times, November 16th, 2007


It's a crisp fall day we are having in Spencer, Iowa. Thanksgiving is six days off and the family is coming to our house this year! We'll cook next week!

This week is finish-up-some-paintings week. I have been working toward sending some jpgs of paintings to the Clear Lake [Iowa] Art Center for possible inclusion in their invitational exhibit 'Rave On'. The rider on the old Schwinn needs to make progress today.

First I wanted to stop by and upload one that I think is done: 'Good Times' It's an acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas, 30 x 30 inches. Thanks for looking! Here's an early one look at the same painting:

Later, Cooper

Thursday, November 15, 2007

daily paint, November 15th, 2007

Hello and happy Thursday to you!

Wow, we have bright sunshine in Spencer, Iowa today! The angle of the sun is now such that when it's shining, sitting in the office is an enlightening experience. I grabbed a big old canvas and plopped it in the middle window---the sunshine still gets in [Ollie is appreciative] and yet I can still see the computer screen:)

Today I have added a few tidbits from the Arts On Grand press release for the 'Gathering of the Wreaths'.

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.

The Silent auction of wreaths ends on December 8, 2007. Proceeds from “The Gathering of Wreaths” will support the arts community at Arts on Grand, by providing new classes in the New Year.
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.

With all that noted, I started playing with an idea for a wreath, and got carried away. Soooooooooo---daily paint, 15 x15 inches, acrylic on heavy gessoed paper, let's call it Wreath On A Yellow Door. I am painting a canvas that will probably resemble this for the AOG event. Yeah, sheesh, the first one was just supposed to be me collecting my thoughts on the subject.

Later, Cooper

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

daily paint slinging, November 14th, 2007, A.R.T.

Hello everybody!

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!

Later, Cooper

ps. I plan on her shoes being the same color in the end:)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

daily paint, November 13th. 2007


Wow, it's 10:00 pm and I just realized I have been painting on this thing all day. I think I have been looking at it too long, because I don't thing it's changed that much from this morning. It's got to lose some of the yellow, arrgh. My tired eyeballs are telling me that we interject a bunch of white and maybe a tad of violet from the lower left, that ought to turn their patio from "where the heck did this yellow come from" to a "lovely sunsplashed concrete" [double arrgh]

Good night all.

Later, Cooper

Monday, November 12, 2007

daily paint, November 12th, 2007

Happy Monday to you!

And no holiday time off at this location! The morning was spent in the studio (yea!) I pushed the canvas, of the two seated figures in the 50's style lawn chairs, just a a little more retro, I think. I still have a few hours I can work with it today, but wanted to upload this stage now, as I need to head to life drawing studio a bit early tonight.

Our life drawing group meets on Monday nights, but we had to cancel last week. Two of our group had their lives totally rearranged, with major health issues. If you have room on your prayer list, add Doug, and his wife Carolyn, and Avis, and her daughter Theresa.

Thanks, Cooper

Saturday, November 10, 2007

daily paint, November 10th, 2007, Shaky Tree Coffee night

Hello and happy Saturday to you!
Spencer is home to a coffee house called Shaky Tree Coffee, that just so happens to have a stage in one corner of the room, which is perfect for open mic night. However last night marked the one year anniversary for Shaky Tree and to celebrate they hosted Kent Fishburn, a singer-guitarist who grew up in Spencer and came back to share his music with us last night. And the pumpkin spice latte was pretty dang good too:)!

This morning was a non-painting morning, BUT Ollie smells fresh and clean, and slightly scented of 'freesia' shampoo. We call that a successful morning here.

This afternoon did involve some paint slinging. Progress has continued on the canvas with the two women seated on the 50's vintage lawn chairs. Here's a view for you. And thanks for stopping by!

Later, Cooper

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 9th, 2007, Sanford Gallery Photos


I seem to have omitted from this page, photos of the current event. The Sanford Gallery in Cherokee, Iowa has my paintings for a solo exhibit for the month of November:). So my life, or at least my head is going in circles, as that has been duly noted on the blog attached to my website, but seemingly not here. To make ammends, I have a few photos of said exhibit to upload at this time. As you'll note, it's a grouping of figurative works, many from the ongoing 'reader series'. Thanks for looking!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

A sideways look at 'daily paint'


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

November 7th, 2007, art show news, Thieves Market

Okay, second morning in a row of 25 degree temperatures. Must be time to buy that ticket to Bisbee! (yes, that's an insider joke)

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

art fair, jet lag, daily paint

Good morning!

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

daily paint---not my brush:), red and yellow trees

Good morning,

I have been dropping comments about the red and yellow trees outside my offfice window. A Nevada visitor to my journal said they get yellow trees, but never red. Well, today, you all get red! The one photo has a bit of sunlight catching my camera lens, making it look hazy. Trust me, we have no haze today. It is drop-dead-gorgeous-crystal clear atmosphere setting amidst these trees. I just thought the sun effect shooting in from the side made for an interesting extra. So enjoy northwest Iowa today, I am:)

Later, Cooper

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

daily paint, October 31, 2007

Good morning!

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

October 29, 2007, and 'An Artistic Affair'---Cedar Valley Friends Of The Family

Good morning!

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.
2. The very same weekend, November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th is Two Rivers Art Market, hosted by Des Moines Metro Arts. This will be at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Des Moines, and I will have an exhibit space there. If you are in town, stop by!

Later, Cooper

Sunday, October 28, 2007

wishful thinking

Hey, remember the other day when I said just click on the painting to enlarge it? Murphy's law started there---I now have two images that were there yesterday that won't come in today. BUT if you click the red x on the one, it comes in supersized. Sheesh. I guess that explains everything!

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

booth shot AGAIN


So my advisor said my booth shot was too cramped---------aarghhhh! But all viewer's opinions are valid thoughts, right? So happy day this morning, up the basement steps with the canopy and sidewalls, also up the basement steps with the bags of propanels. All those paintings that I had just carried back into the house, oh---was that only about 20 hours ago? Sheesh. Back outside with all of them too. AHEM: booth shot #2 for your viewing pleasure-
Later, Cooper

Thursday, October 25, 2007

daily paint, October 24, 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: I know it will enlarge there:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

daily paint, 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, 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

Random blog entry: Boulder Acoustic Society @ Spencer House Concert

Hello again,

I just got back from a great event. There is a gathering in our town called the 'house concert'. (yeah, who'da thunk it, Spencer, Iowa) Anyway, our genial host, Martin Arthur introduced us to the 'Boulder Acoustic Society'. If you were not there, you are sorry. It was amazing music, live and wonderful. I'm saying that and they had an accordian! But what a cool sound that musician made! You've heard the phrase said of a musician that they 'were one with their instrument'? That would be true of all five of this group. I contend that live music is like an original painting: the real is prime, the reproduction (or recording) is just a make-do copy. Oh, that we could have the real thing all the time! By the way, if you are within driving range of a performance by the 'Boulder Acoustic Society' you 'd best be going!

Later, Cooper

daily paint, October 23, 2007


So, what, you are asking did I paint today? Well, first of all, I gessoed (primed) a bunch of sheets of paper. Borrrrrring. Then it got better. A few tweaks, and wa-lah: A Paperback Novel Kind Of Day (2)And yes, it is signed, thank you very much. Then I found a canvas that I'd started at a Lakes studio session, that had been hiding in the corner. I started playing with it and like the direction it's taken off to, so I decided to post that as well. Yes, she will get a face eventually. These things DO take time you know. Maybe tomorrow. Later, Cooper

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Inspiration for daily paint!

Do all artists have a penchant for books? You know, that oversized variety full of great big, perfectly clear, succinctly focused works of art? Those who come under the heading ‘not compelled to create art’ probably call them coffee table books. I know a lot of artists who refer to them as inspiration, study guides, or just plain old sustenance. I've spent more than just a few hours reading about books, let alone when I actually get my hands on one and open it up. Being a rural environs-inhabitant probably affects all of this syndrome---maybe it would not be so severe if I lived four blocks from the Art Institute instead of four hundred miles. But those of us out in the wildwoods need our great paintings fix too, and on a more regular basis than the occasional trip to the city. So we turn to books.

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, 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.

Later, Cooper

Friday, October 19, 2007

daily paint, October 19th, 2007

So I painted all day, and here it is, but I'm telling you right now, it's not signed. We all know what that means, there might be room for one slight change. We'll see.
Later, Cooper

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

daily paint, October 17th, 2007

Hello everybody!

Today's post is of the 'getting there' sort. Yeah, it's not done yet. But I'm pleased with the way it's progressing, so I thought I'd show it to you. I am playing hookey tomorrow, to the city with some friends :) I will come back so eager to paint that I'll undoubtedly have a completed painting to show you by the weekend.

Later, Cooper

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

daily paint, simplified, October 16, 2007

I'm back, I'm back! Yeah, that took awhile, didn't it?! My excuse is (was) A.R.T., northwest Iowa Artisans Road Trip. It took awhile to set up and then it took some time to put it away, and it meant that I was 'at work' Sunday afternoon, so I pretended that Monday was Sunday afternoon and therefore my day of rest:) I feel much better now, thank you. And because A.R.T. is a studio tour, I really was painting while people came through, so there, daily paint. I started a large canvas right away on Saturday morning, the first day of the tour. When I paint the smaller 'color sketches' that I put on heavy gessoed paper, my intention has always been to expand on those ideas and turn them into larger canvases. After doing pretty much a bazillion of these color sketches, 'A Paperback Novel Kind Of Day' is reappearing on a 40 x 40 inch canvas. The first version is owned by a mother-daughter team, the Juley's, from La Grange, Illinois, purchased at the West End Art Festival. The larger version is looking pretty fine at this point, but as it is 1600 square inches (sounds huge like that!) I took a time out from that and plopped a pair of pears on my table, smooshed around some pear-kind-of-paint, and wha-la! Today's completed daily paint, Two Pears And A Shadow.

And after all that, it now appears to be an ideal time to go make some popcorn!

Later, Cooper

Thursday, October 11, 2007

daily paint, October 11th, 2007


So it's a seasonal kind of atmospheric grey day in northwest Iowa, but seasons are good for us, and the yellow leaves hanging on the trees outside my window are just lovely. My only problem is a vehicle that needs picked up at the mechanic's shop about an easy one mile bike ride north of here, and trying to decide if I need to wear one sweatshirt or two:)

Daily paint for today: 'Zoned Out', an acrylic painting on heavy gessoed paper, finished up from a LakesArtCenter studio session.
It's about 15 x 15 inches. I will zip over to my website and put an image of the painting there as well. Thanks for looking!

Later, Cooper

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October 9th, 2007

Happy Tuesday to you!

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!

Later, Cooper

Friday, October 5, 2007

daily paint, October 5th, 2007


Today's paint slinging episode:) resulted in the completion of the latest in the book reader series! 'Reading In A Red Dress' is an acrylic painting on a gallery wrapped canvas, measuring a lovely 20 x 24 inches.

Actually, the word completion puts me in the liar category---I have yet to give the painting it's protective varnish topcoat---eh, details. We'll get that done one of these days soon.

We will get this uploaded to my web site (paypal friendly) as well. Thanks for visiting!

Later, Cooper

A.R.T.; Artisans Road Trip; (inquiring minds want to know:)

Good morning!

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 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

Thursday, October 4, 2007

daily paint, October 4th, 2007

I painted all day long today, some of it was SherwinWilliams:) Considering the ArtisansRoadTrip is next weekend, I felt compelled to paint the entry way to our house. A person can only live with ugly so long, and this was a good excuse. It has been tranformed from metallic silvery blue wallpaper to nice rich 'cavern clay' paint. It looks LOVELY.

And, the rest of the daily paint: actually I spent quite a bit of time on the latest of the library book series---almost done.

But then I went to my studio group gathering, and guess what? The model was reading too. This one is a little rough yet, but sometimes it's better to stop earlier than later? His book was called 'delta force' something, so that's what we'll call the painting. 'Reading Delta Force', 16 x 16 inches, acrylic on canvas.
Later, Cooper

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

daily paint, October 2, 2007


Another painting for you to look at: 'Studio With Sunflowers', it's an acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 inches. Thanks for looking!

Later, Karen

daily paint, October 1, 2007

I am committing the unthinkable and posting an UNFINISHED daily painting. Heaven help us. Our studio group met last night and this is as far as I got. It was a tough pose for the model to hold, so we had a little shift, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I am working on another from the library book series in my studio right now, so we'll see which one gets finished first. At any rate, today's daily paint: 'Studio Model', 20 x 24 inches, acrylic on canvas, finished one of these days soon!

Later, Cooper

Friday, September 28, 2007

daily paint, September 28th, 2007


What a beautiful day, wow! The sun is shining, the leaves are just starting to color, AND not too many of them are laying on the sidewalk yet :) (otherwise known as a no-rake-necessary-day) We live on a street with way more than it's fair share of trees, so don't worry, our rakes will get a workout eventually.

Today's painting comes from a session with my painting friends at the Pearson Lakes Art Center. Most of the work on this one got done there, only a few finish-up details after I brought it home. We're going to call it 'Comfort Zone Sprawl'. It's an acrylic painting, 20 x 20 inches, on a gallery wrapped canvas. Thanks for looking!

ps. available for your continual viewing pleasure on my website @