Friday, October 30, 2009

The "off" season....

When one's life choices come to rest, making art one's sole source of income for 25+ years is a risky business, and a rewarding one. For the last 6 years I have enjoyed primarily representing myself, an independent artist past mid career, selling my own work through a juried group, S.F.Society of Artists, who show weekends through the "season" in downtown Santa Fe. My partnership in a cooperative gallery, Artistas de Santa Fe, also a beneficial experience, ended at the beginning of 2009.
These new venues for a former "gallery artist" have been a wonderful experience. I have met interested potential customers (they don't stop before my work unless interested) and learned to talk about and sell my own work, as well as others. I have gotten to know diverse artists with divergent goals at various levels in their careers. I have learned to accept my outcome, either positive or negative- setting up at 6am on Saturday and sitting for two days, often with unknown results, breaking down on Sunday at 5:30. I have collected many addresses, snail and e-mail, handed out many postcards and business cards, and grown enormously in the area of "marketing." I have contributed to my organizations with work, worry and wisdom (I am old, after all!)

Today I was rewarded with a visual record of that effort and growth, and a documentation of where it has all landed - weekends now spent talking to interested persons about painting and sculpture, interacting with my colleagues, young and old, and working on clays and waxes, a perfect and absorbing activity for those weekends. A fellow artist, Doug Earp, a wonderful traditional black and white photographer who works in the darkroom to produce his images, took pictures during the almost last show of the season. I wanted to share them with you and also his work. I googled him to find his website, and discovered he is listed on LinkedIn, but has no web address, so I can't share his work (sorry). Get busy, Doug, it's winter, and we all have work to do!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Fall does not come quietly! Many tomatoes and squash to be dealt with, the annual fall art tour here in Pojoaque, weekend art shows to set up and take down, waxes to be created and dressed to replace the bronzes sold during the summer (yes, sold!)and have ready for the monthly delivery(of bronzes)/pickup (of waxes)of the great guys at Madd Casting in Berthould, CO. Add to that the clays that need attention to be readied for mold-making. In all this activity,there is the waiting, for the inspiration of a new exploration/direction in which to take my paintings.
September passed quickly, and at the very end, a little day trip to Shady Lakes near Bernallillo sparked that inspiration. Described as the Giverny of New Mexico by another artist, the lakes are little gems of lily and fishing ponds fed by the ditches in the bosque of the Rio Grande. As we drove up, a small flock of Canadian geese lifted away in one pond and fish disturbed the surface in another. A morning spent there in the dappled light of cottonwoods quieted my mind and stirred up some new ideas for paintings. Why not leave the bold color for a while and explore the palette of the Impressionists? Having never been a true "representational" painter, I found this a novel idea, so completed a new painting within that same week. Though designed and painted as a vertical (it's 40" x 20") I find I like it as well in a horizontal format - it's titled Rebirth I -never thought I'd be "born" again!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August Revelations!

Inevitably, the summer seems to start at a reasonable pace, like the first blossoms of the squash plants in your garden which bear no fruit. Then suddenly, in August, the rains come, the beat quickens and it's almost overload time! This summer is no exception, a cool June of long overdue cleaning of the studio, a random July spent making and dressing waxes to be ready for casting, and now in August a return to the process of painting that I enjoy so much.

Above is the second version of "Shift", a 36 x 36" painting that lived in Chicago for a season and then returned to momma. Two years is enough space, and growth as a painter, to see the problems of an earlier painting, and have no fear in attacking it again - in fact, an opportunity ripe with promise, just like that squash recipe! I've decided it "tastes" really good and may revise some other "old recipes" as I see the need. What do you think? The "old"version of this painting is below. If this blog is to be about my process, I have to reveal the whole thing!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Two NEW sculptures

The latest additions to my sculpture series Life Drawing/Contemporary Classics are finally finished and up on my website. See Cher II and Syri - both larger in scale than the first four (the exception, Cher I) The process still intrigues, but with my mold-maker/chaser/patina guy already working full time and buying a house and all those other life things people do it seems to take a long time! I do love the clay and wax modelling and have found I can work on both while showing my paintings and sculptures at the SantaFe Society of Artists' shows on the weekends. Everything goes with me in a cooler(though we've had an unusually cool June) and time in the booth passes quickly. Having examples as well as finished sculptures right there generates opportunities for discussion with those who venture into my "gallery".
The Salon Mar Graff show "June Open Call Exhibition" into which I felt honored to be accepted with three paintingshad two openings, June 25, 26, which I enjoyed attending. John Mar Graff's food is always the best, the show was beautifully presented, with very diverse and beautiful work, and there was a good crowd. Thanks for continuing your fine effort,John.
Last of all, in JuneI began cleaning the WHOLE studio in which the sculpture and monotype work take place along with painting storage and shipping materials- first real effort in over 15 years! Previously studio transformations took place in sections when I was either taking on a "new" interest or discarding an old one and needed the room...

Monday, June 1, 2009

A color explosion! New Monotypes!!

This years' first monotype session has to be declared a grand success!!! The response at my weekend art shows has been phenomenal. Successfully channelling the later work of Esteban Vicente, I found color that I previously could only dream of! Color both bright and subtle, color that can only be created by juxtaposition and the layering of multiple plates of etching inks on beautiful damp BFK Rives rag printmaking paper sprang forth in over 40 prints, and is now posted on my website. I'll be in there again tomorrow for a second round. These prints are one painless way to start collecting original art, to own an original Hornbuckle - details on the second page of monotypes on the website - keep watching - I'll post to the website as I go....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making Monotypes -Color Experimentation

Having had a Belgium-made etching press since moving here in the early 80's, my monotype experience is vast, and I should say, unschooled. Could be a good thing, maybe not. I do print runs about 2-3 times a year for a couple of weeks, avoiding winter, when it costs $$$ to heat the studio and the etching ink is really stiff. This year's first run coincided with the previously mentioned "vacation" from shows and the usual, and I decided, out of economic necessity, to make small prints to sell at shows (my low-end originals)and make it an opportunity for real experimentation! After a week of low enthusiasm, stale ideas, and little success, I finally am starting to get somewhere. Pictured is the last one I did - I am really happy with it! Hope to continue successfully in this way moving to larger prints next(the print pictured is 6"x6"). I'll post as I go, until my happy vacation screeches to a halt in two weeks. By then, the waxes will have become bronzes, and life will resume in a slightly different direction. And on a really positive note (**) my artist husband's one good eye is recovering from retinal surgery, has been pronounced fantastic! by his very circumspect doctor - it appears his sight will be better than before when all is done - we are both (he
especially) very grateful!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Off the ArtTrack

It is said life is what happens while you're making other plans. With eight new waxes ready for the foundry and the outdoor art show season and publicity for that underway, spring revving up with new energy, and my monotype ink table freed from waxes for its original purpose, life has changed my mind and course for now. The foundry guy became ill and left town without picking up the waxes, my artist husband (already blind in one eye)had emergency surgery for a torn retina and is temporarily blind (now both) and has to keep his head down for two weeks solid, and I've had to cancel the first two shows I planned to do. What to do? anything I can, here at home. That means actually readying the garden for planting, finishing the back garden cleanup (new growth is already 6 inches up through the winter's dead stuff and debris) after all, and doing some monotypes! I'm so charged!
Didn't know this is what I had in mind, but it sure sounds good!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exceptionally well-done Molds

Exceptionally well-made molds make beautiful waxes - the rubber molds are uniform and not too thick, the plasters have enough keys and bubbles to fit together precisely and the result (if the wax application is done well) is waxes that require only a little dressing because their seams match perfectly! I'm still learning the dressing process and gradually improving, but kudos to my mold-maker, Brian Honeycutt, Santa Fe - I would never attempt that step of creating a bronze!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Accessing Progress- Any, Little, No, Some?

To think I thought this blogging would actually be easy! and I'd always have something to say and time to say it. It's almost April, and I last posted in early February - what have I been doing all that time? Though it feels like nothing, when I run down the list it's not - two medium-size paintings, 3-4 waxes for the next run, finishing taxes, spring-cleaning of our section of the acequia, a trip to Seattle (with two days of good weather,Pike Market, wonderful museums, grandboys, and a ride on the tour "duck"!), a Southwest airlines virus upon returning, my artist-husband suffering temporary blindness last week, it's a pretty full list! But like all of us after an interruption in our normal workflow, I'm having trouble getting back to work! where to start? In my case, it is the flow that keeps the flow going, so I try to imagine suggestions another artist might have for sparking the flow when halted - looking at old Art in America's, revisiting my sketchbook, making a list of titles, trying to remember all those ideas I had and didn't write down?.. will let you know when it happens. Meanwhile, think I'll photograph the last two pieces, Summer Dreaming and End of Winter, so you can see them....that way, I won't have to get down to work yet!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Complexity confusion !.?*x?/&!

Yesterday as I finished the seemingly endless process of preparing images of sculptures, putting them on my website and uploading it to the Internet and fixing the glitches and e-mailing a first link to my friends, I reflected on the good ol' days when galleries marketed their artists and at most the artist (besides delivering the framed named work) might share the expense of, say, the mailing for a show and you would sent postcards to your friends and, when you next saw them, show them pictures.
How things have changed! Even the artists who are fully supported by their galleries are much more involved with their own marketing now and that world is much bigger and more complex with computers and the Internet. It is a struggle to balance the time, the photographing and preparing and uploading, not to mention completing the actual work, thinking about the endless next steps and planning new work and then adding in blogging and facebook , and now tweeter- the more I simplify my outside obligations, the more "other stuff" flies in to fill the small gaps! How do the rest of you do it all?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Visiting the Present Reality of a Past Event

Longevity as an artist usually means you've done many different kinds of art-related things in the past and changed genres a few times. Sometimes one of those things pays a return visit! In 2001 I participated in the Trail of Painted Ponies in Santa Fe and created Rosie the Apparoosa for the project, which led to a commission, and eventually a "collectible" replica. Last week I drove to Phoenix to sign a second collectible, "Night Pony" for a lovely signage sum. Sometimes one gets lucky! Signing MHornbuckle 325 times was a breeze(ponies, certificates and books), and Rod Barker, and Karlynn Keyes (Pres. & V-Pres) and their whole staff were just great. What a treat to have such a good time in addition to getting paid!! If any of you out there have a horse-crazy friend, aunt, cousin or someone in your family who "collects" things, check out out their great website. My second collectible is pictured in the Valentine's cycle on the home page (nice!), but more than that, this very creative small business deserves support! You could pass along the link too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Solution to finishing painting found!

In my last post I showed an unfinished painting. With a side trip to Photoshop for possibilities, and a return to the work table, here's the final result (I think) - my signature will a compositional element as well and has to be considered.
Coming up.... finally the bronzes, and a party to celebrate!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Process, process, process

The 16x16" paintings I am creating now are intended to be experimental for me - and for me that means starting without a sketch or a plan. The first two started with the same color (red). Opposite is one of the two at the point where I cannot decide how to finish it. My process then is to photograph it and take it into Photoshop to play with the possibilities. In my next blog, I'll show you how I chose to finish it!

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