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