Friday, September 2, 2016

Life after Life: Bobbing Along

Life After Life: Bobbing Along

 Back here after 5 months absence when I had promised to address this blog regularly, I confess that life often interferes with one's "plans"and that I can't always do what I say. The ups and downs life brings are not often within our control. You'd think I'd know that by now.

As an "older" artist on the "other side" of a long art career, I do have some perspective though.  One of my intentions for this year was to explore some ways of painting and expressions that might prove more desirable to the marketplace, without going way out in another direction or violating my personal vision, that is, without compromising too much. For me, compromising means adjusting my work to imagined desires of the marketplace, but rationally, some compromise is inevitable. I was calling it my "bread and butter" work, but life got in the way.
Acrylic on cradled board , 6 x 12"

With William now gone, I have more unclaimed time, time to travel, time to spend with friends, time to reorganize myself and my life. I did all those things in the past five months, while intermittently dealing with a health issue that laid me down and let me up - swimming, sinking, swimming, and sinking. Not serious, not to become chronic, but difficult enough to send me to Urgent Care and antibiotics multiple times, and to sleep way more than I am accustomed to.  I think it was nature's way of making a time out whether I wanted one or not, of making me learn to truly value good energy and health, and of making me ask for help. Not uncommon for the newly widowed with a stressful time of care-giving behind them, a compromised immune system wreaks havoc with plans.

At 74, I will continue on this art journey, working at making my art better because it's what I really care about doing, folding in some fun, friends, and family when the opportunities come up, and standing back to watch the impact this life after life has on my painting and sculpture, and my life.
Night Swimming @
24x24 acrylic abstract on board

Having participated directly in the shift over thirty years from gallery representation to the one-to-one marketing made possible by the internet and self-representation, I am finding it all intriguing and challenging. Yes, the new paradigm complicates things, yet I think "what possibilities!", and there are some wonderful "experts" to help (on-line of course)!
wax of reclining nude to be presented Sept.2016
Wax of reclining nude - The Notebook

My Blue Period has been well-received by on-lookers at the few shows I have done so far, I made several waxes that went to the foundry from the mold. They have returned and are being finished (in time for our local Art Tour and the Fall season at SFSA), and above all, I have gained new appreciation for the well-being that good health brings, and will no longer take it for granted!

William Preston - sketchbook page from 1958
My new marketing plan is to communicate more often through the Preston/Hornbuckle Fine Art Newsletter rather than this blog, to those who already know William's sumi-e and my work. I'll use our Facebook business page @preston/hornbucklefineart for outreach to those art appreciators who don't yet know our work. Finally I will use Instagram for outreach and amusement (and have been already). Please go to  or or see side-bar here to sign up for our newsletter for notice of offerings from both Bill's and my bodies of work. The Preston/HornbuckleFineArt page on Facebook will serve for advance notices of work being made available for purchase and so that you receive offerings timely, I will ask you to follow us there.  The newsletter will probably be the most reliable form of notice. As I said, it 's not complicated!  I have more help now (a new housemate) so could actually do what I say I'm going to.

A side-note: During the art tour, I will present a mini-retrospective of William's life-time as an artist with examples of work from each period and location, and make a video of the presentation for our newsletter - be sure to sign up for our newsletter to see it. In the future, I will be offering a variety of works, not just the sumi-e.

Just really jazzed after a difficult summer,

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Is nine months later Considered Checking IN?

Smoke on Water

Now three months into this new year/life, having finished most of my "first I must" list, I'm back in touch and plan to stay that way. With new paintings finished and photographed, a new clay sculpture off to the mold-maker, and my website updated, this "I want to do it all" artist has moved quickly into "show" season. 
Breakout   18x30 ac/canvas
As some of you know, when I start an abstract painting, I like to have an "idea" in mind. My "seasons" theme has been recurrent for 12 years. I'm moving on to a looser approach this year, and titling my work before I begin. A title suggests colors, movement, shapes, even texture, and nebulous as this can be, gives me "content" for a work. The emotion-of-life process comes into the result and continually surprises me; I can see I’m actually entering the "blue" period of this artlife journey.

Let the Light In
On the Rise                    

The first anniversary of William's transformation lies at the end of April. Before last year's end, I made three paintings in honor of him before returning to my own work. Prints of William's Koi paintings -9 total -were made available on RedBubble in February. I had spent a month in the fall preparing images and uploading them to make his work available on demand as prints in various forms - the pure sumi as t-shirts, tote-bags, etc. Some wonderful sumi paintings - landscapes, cactus, canyons and now koi ponds - may be purchased as beautifully done prints. Some things don't change, and everything does!
Summer Pond II
Stay tuned to see what impact a "real" vacation has on this journey - I have a trip to Puerta Vallarta planned for mid-April,and am planning to scuba-dive in Mexico if at all possible! (Well, at least snorkle...)


Thursday, June 25, 2015


So here I am just on the cusp of a new chapter for the Hornbuckle half of Preston/Hornbuckle Fine Art.  As I said in a recent newsletter to collectors and friends:

"After two years of tight schedules, omitted tasks, and narrowed focus, preparing the garden for Bill's ashes and the house and food for his celebration at an unhurried pace was truly therapeutic, and I'm now ready to move forward. I miss him very much, but as I was thinking last night, never ever in my life as an artist, have I had all the time in a day to devote to my own art and life.  No shifting gears, no multitasking, no divided attention, no compartmentalizing, no distractions - now it remains to gather up my scattered self and see where that takes me!"

First thing I'm trying to do is review an on-line course, Content Marketing-Selling On-Line, that I signed up for before Bill went into hospice care.  I figure that is the logical path for a 72 year-old abstract artist who is also a Cancer (little yen for the road) to take - after 20 years with galleries here and there, I headed that way early-on (2003), and reports from art bloggers I trust are that on-line art sales are up 41% since 2014 as people are more "wired" and trusting. My other key elements are in place (FB, Pinterest, NL, websites, etc.) - they need tweaking to be more effective. I can highly recommend this meaty course from Corey Huff,  If he offers it again, it is worth the price!

A multi-figure family portrait © MHornbuckle 2013
On of my "streams of income" is watercolor portraiture and my next art project is to create a portrait of a 4 member family (from Florida) and their Bassett hound. Gilbert found my watercolor portrait website on-line, and I think, liking my style and close representation, contacted me for the project. He has sent very good material to work with, I have done the preparatory work and am ready to begin. (just awaiting  another photograph of the dog). Since watercolor was my initial medium professionally, I love the opportunity to spend some time there.

glowing bronze acrylic underlays the painting and gleams in both the hidden and unhidden areas
Summer 3 30x24 Acrylic on Canvas © MHornbuckle2015

Returning to the SFSA shows behind the 1st National Bank in Santa Fe this weekend, I'll enjoy seeing the response to this year's "body of abstract work" started last November, completed in mid-April. Twelve paintings, three per season, fully incorporate gleaming metallic paint (my painting goal for this series) to express my pleasure at the way the cycles evolve in a year here. Their images can be found on my website - the photos, though accurate color-wise, don't quite capture their shifting glow, so as always, you need to see them - they may be returned with full purchase price refunded if needed.

This all seems enough to launch into for now - gathering up my scattered self isn't easy since the possibilities are only limited by the launch choices some years ago! But first to the dump with the truck full of big cottonwood limbs that came down on the well-house roof in the wind on Monday while I was at my sculpture group! Guess this would be called a distraction...