Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE!
ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

Ashland Art Center August 2016 Classes and Events

Ashland Art Center Classes and Events Update : Ashland Art Center, Ashland, Oregon logo image

Continue reading Ashland Art Center August 2016 Classes and Events

When I Was in Paris


When I was in Paris…. Pretty much anything you say after those five words sounds dreamy and cosmopolitan. Croissanty and delicious, images of silk scarves, olive green lawn chairs, majestic architecture and outdoor cross-weave café chairs lined up like little soldiers, or bouquinistres lining the Seine.  It doesn’t matter if it’s:

“I broke my leg.”

“I was mugged.”

“My hotel reservation was lost and I spent two nights in a broom closet.”

“I ate a bad croque monsieur and had the worst diarrhea of my life.”

It is all good. Your story is already magical because you said When I Was in Paris. It is impossible to feel sorry for any hardship and it’s also impossible for even a mediocre story to sound bad. You sprinkled the fairy dust. Because it happened When You Were in Paris. Chocolate is richer. Tea is spicier. Coffee is stronger. Cream is thicker. Croissants are buttery-er. Weather is moodier. People, clothing, buildings, vehicles and art are sexier and more stylish. The city is je ne sais pas quoi because precisely that, roughly translated, I DON’T KNOW WHY! It just is.

These are a few things I did when I was in Paris.

When I was in Paris, I bought a journal and a good pen. Several pens.

When I was in Paris, I drank coffee in cafes and people watched.

When I was in Paris, I went to many museums and galleries.

When I was in Paris, I walked everywhere.

When I was in Paris, I ate delicious meals. Even the simple things tasted better.

When I was in Paris, I bought a navy blue sweater.

When I was in Paris, I walked the farmers market.

When I was in Paris, I slowed down. I savored. I noticed details.

When I was in Paris, I painted.

When I was in Paris, I wrote.

Simple, lovely.  Not all that different from what I do here minus the museum and gallery portion. I can feel this way today. As an artist, I am susceptible to the grass is greener feelings, I could create if I was painting en plein air at Le Palais de Luxembourg. Sitting on a lawn chair. Eating a baguette. Ok, that’s possible. I could. But I could also be painting right here, in my studio, drawing upon my dreams, photos, memories and passion for that city or that feeling that the city gives me. I could be writing in a café. Hemingway style. Drinking in the locals, nodding to the familiar waiter. But today I’m not. But I can still do the writing, the painting, the order packing and the business dreaming.

Because When I was in Paris, I dreamed of doing what I am doing today. xo

Continue reading When I Was in Paris

Do Anything


I have lots of words and ideas constantly perculating in my head. If you had a front row seat in my brain you might think, good lord, I can’t believe she sleeps, she’s written so many books, taught so many workshops and painted so many pieces. Ok, I have painted a lot. My hands and feet do a fairly decent job in doing the action part of getting to the easel. I show up, the rest is a crapshoot. Julia Cameron says something divine about artists needing to be responsible for the quantity and God will take care of the quality. I’m cool with that arrangement. In painting.

In writing, not so much. The Actual Writing v. Musing, is a lawsuit that I’m hoping to settle very soon. Or now. How about now? I paint for a living. I sell greeting cards for a living. So I guess you could say I make my living as an artist or a creative entrepreneur. Let’s be clear. I don’t make a great living. Living is great, but this three year journey has been a very rocky road no cliché big enough to describe. But I do it. I show up every day and take some kind of action towards my company and my art. My success is often, sorry, like watching paint dry. But again, there is the showing up part that proves to me, over time, all the little pieces will become something bigger. I am trusting that regular writing, and sharing, has the same effect. Practice. I practice at painting many times a week, hours on end. I share my work. I have thick skin. I bounce back. I start over. What if I could treat the writing process the same way? What if I didn’t worry what people thought? Ok, that’s not realistic because we are human beings that by nature of breathing in and out we will always always always care even a little what people think. I care a little less than I used to, I really do, but again, the human thing.

People often ask me about my life as a working artist or card company owner. I can guarantee that one of the questions I get asked is, how? How do you do it? How do you pay your bills? How did you start? How now brown cow. The answer could fill a book, and it is, but the truest answer is this. One tiny step of action at a time. Always action, no matter what. Nothing is too small. No email is useless. No sketch on a napkin is silly. No phone call goes unanswered. All action all the time. I get plenty of down time, I do. I am not That Person who’s always on the go busy busy can’t stop talk to you later. I’m very laid back, shy even. I need a lot of quiet time. But I always take action steps towards my art and my business every single day. And that includes writing a blog post. Or going to the post office. Ordering business cards. Following up with a sales lead. Packing an order. Putting cards in cello bags. All of these manageable baby steps are not intimidating. It is telling the universe, telling my company, I’m ready for business, I’m up and running and ready to roll. If I looked at the bigness of all the things I’m not doing, because there is A LOT I’m not doing (Mailchimp campaigns, photoshop, building my list, networking, going to conferences, creating a slicker website…oh lord, I’m overwhelmed already.) So I do what I CAN do. Those things on the list are valid and it’s likely I’ll get to them in the natural order of things when my action steps lead me there, but in the meantime, I do what I can. All the time.

So maybe that theory, those small action steps, can be applied to other things like, say, running? Writing? Cooking? Maybe it would behoove me to think less about the marathon and more about the 2 miles around my house. Or drop the why write it’s all been said before blues and say it anyway, your way, my way. And cooking? I don’t have to be Ina Garten to have people to my home.

Some how, some way, I have managed to live this principle with my painting. I really don’t know how I did it other than I just did it. Someone should use that as a slogan. It makes me happy. I do it with joy. I do it often with dedication. Day after day, week after week, shitty paintings became so-so became moderate became my style became sellable in stores and galleries became a company and the rest…I’m making it up, and writing it down, as I go along. xo

 “Yellow Hunters” 11×17″ available at ElizabethW Carmel. Email: [email protected] for inquiries.

Continue reading Do Anything

Ashland Gallery Association August Exhibits

Ashland Gallery Association aga logo

Ashland Gallery Association August Exhibits Celebrate Ashland’s Visual Arts during the AGA First Friday Art Walk, August 5th, from 5 to 8 pm! To see all the Ashland Gallery Association August Exhibits in 2016, stroll the galleries and take in all of the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District. Enjoy this year-round free community event, filled with spectacular artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and conversation with other art enthusiasts!

Continue reading Ashland Gallery Association August Exhibits

Chapter One

One.

One page. That is all I need to do and all I promised myself. I am reading, no, slurping up Glennon Doyle Melton’s first book, “Love Warrior”, and while her message is profound, mesmerizing and pay-attention worthy, all I can think is, I can do this too. But I am not doing this. So why am I not? I am not because in the precise moment I read this breath-taking sentence by her “My inhale is reading, my exhale is writing.”, I was lying on a chaise lounge in blistering heat, soggy and a little cooler post swim at my local hippy-dippy public pool where this is an actual Krishna and incense to pray to when you reach the deep end. I love it. My JCrew red one piece and lobster print beach bag are an odd fit but we belong to each other. (Jackson Wellsprings AND the swimsuit.)

Now Glennon. Or the story of What Glennon Made Me Realize Today. There is so much power in action. You can read her book to absorb her story. It’s worth it. Even if it isn’t your story, you will relate. There are gold nuggets everywhere. But my story is the story of why that one sentence, that chance meeting, that painting in the museum, stops you dead in your tracks and pushes you onto a new rail. My new rail is one page, one word at a time. One blog post, one painting, one order, one run in the woods. All of the onesies added together equal an entire wardrobe. High five to self.

None of this realization is entirely new. What makes it a little more electric today is this new font I’m writing in. Remember, I was just in the pool. There is also a shallow end. New font, ok, larger font, allows me to see what I am writing! This is no small thing. I am reading the words clearly, no longer hunching over in a miserly just-finish-it-state of most essays I wrote to finish my English degree. This feels fun! Fun enough to use an exclamation point!

The other thing that has jarred me awake is doing something different. It’s hot here today. Like uncomfortable hot did I really complain about the cold only a few months ago kind of hot. There’s AC in the house but it’s old and cranky and never seems to be that cool. I longed for a boat or a lake or lake house with a boat docked in front and because I have none of those things, I decided to go swimming at my local pool. I don’t do this very often. So many layers. A towel. A swimsuit. Snacks? No snacks. Water. Book. Back up book because what I’m reading might not fit my pool mood when I get there. Phone. Case to put phone in because it might get wet. Magazine. Stop. Enough distractions. Don’t call anyone, you don’t need to go with a friend, just go now, get in your car and jump in that

crazy sulphur wellspring swimming pool. And that’s what I did and that one little action of doing something different today made me think about things differently. And that is more than enough. That is Chapter One material right there.

Back to this writer and her sentence. “Reading is my inhale. Writing is my exhale.”

I can seriously read that line over and over and think that’s it, nothing more needs to be said. But I can also read that sentence and think, I want to write sentences like that. My story, your story, our good sentences all need to be told.

I am home now from my daytrip. I am regenerated. I swam, I lay out on my favorite white and navy striped beach towel, I wore a big straw hat, I read a book. This is all it took. I changed my radio dial for three hours. There is no doubt that the dial will find it’s way back to something crackly and indiscernible and I’ll have to press search on the radio to bring in a clear station, but today its coming in good.

The other thing, today is full of other things, is the acceptance of not doing just being. I live in Mecca for all things transcendental and meditative, healing crystal rocks and ascended masters. But for real.  Walking out the door with no plan other than to lie on a chaise for a few hours when I have a lot of work pending is reckless? Stupid? Irresponsible? Nope. I’m hanging a show on Monday morning at 9am and need 20 pieces finished, not telling where I’m at this moment, but you can assume I’m not sitting on the couch admiring my work. Leaving today felt important and right. I feel more energized to paint, to write, to cook a healthy dinner and know that my brain melt this afternoon was the recharge work and over-work does not provide. Busy-ness is a total scam.

Today I honor unexpected muses. A new writer (to me). A great sentence. An afternoon by the pool. A hot summer day spent doing a hot summery day activity. A big hat that made me happy and feel vaguely European.

Now I’ll start my painting day. Chapter One can start any season, any age, any afternoon. xo


“Chapter One” 24×24″
Available at Weisinger Family Winery, Ashland OR August 1-31st, 2016

Continue reading Chapter One

Chapter One

One.

One page. That is all I need to do and all I promised myself. I am reading, no, slurping up Glennon Doyle Melton’s first book, “Love Warrior”, and while her message is profound, mesmerizing and pay-attention worthy, all I can think is, I can do this too. But I am not doing this. So why am I not? I am not because in the precise moment I read this breath-taking sentence by her “My inhale is reading, my exhale is writing.”, I was lying on a chaise lounge in blistering heat, soggy and a little cooler post swim at my local hippy-dippy public pool where this is an actual Krishna and incense to pray to when you reach the deep end. I love it. My JCrew red one piece and lobster print beach bag are an odd fit but we belong to each other. (Jackson Wellsprings AND the swimsuit.)

Now Glennon. Or the story of What Glennon Made Me Realize Today. There is so much power in action. You can read her book to absorb her story. It’s worth it. Even if it isn’t your story, you will relate. There are gold nuggets everywhere. But my story is the story of why that one sentence, that chance meeting, that painting in the museum, stops you dead in your tracks and pushes you onto a new rail. My new rail is one page, one word at a time. One blog post, one painting, one order, one run in the woods. All of the onesies added together equal an entire wardrobe. High five to self.

None of this realization is entirely new. What makes it a little more electric today is this new font I’m writing in. Remember, I was just in the pool. There is also a shallow end. New font, ok, larger font, allows me to see what I am writing! This is no small thing. I am reading the words clearly, no longer hunching over in a miserly just-finish-it-state of most essays I wrote to finish my English degree. This feels fun! Fun enough to use an exclamation point!

The other thing that has jarred me awake is doing something different. It’s hot here today. Like uncomfortable hot did I really complain about the cold only a few months ago kind of hot. There’s AC in the house but it’s old and cranky and never seems to be that cool. I longed for a boat or a lake or lake house with a boat docked in front and because I have none of those things, I decided to go swimming at my local pool. I don’t do this very often. So many layers. A towel. A swimsuit. Snacks? No snacks. Water. Book. Back up book because what I’m reading might not fit my pool mood when I get there. Phone. Case to put phone in because it might get wet. Magazine. Stop. Enough distractions. Don’t call anyone, you don’t need to go with a friend, just go now, get in your car and jump in that

crazy sulphur wellspring swimming pool. And that’s what I did and that one little action of doing something different today made me think about things differently. And that is more than enough. That is Chapter One material right there.

Back to this writer and her sentence. “Reading is my inhale. Writing is my exhale.”

I can seriously read that line over and over and think that’s it, nothing more needs to be said. But I can also read that sentence and think, I want to write sentences like that. My story, your story, our good sentences all need to be told.

I am home now from my daytrip. I am regenerated. I swam, I lay out on my favorite white and navy striped beach towel, I wore a big straw hat, I read a book. This is all it took. I changed my radio dial for three hours. There is no doubt that the dial will find it’s way back to something crackly and indiscernible and I’ll have to press search on the radio to bring in a clear station, but today its coming in good.

The other thing, today is full of other things, is the acceptance of not doing just being. I live in Mecca for all things transcendental and meditative, healing crystal rocks and ascended masters. But for real.  Walking out the door with no plan other than to lie on a chaise for a few hours when I have a lot of work pending is reckless? Stupid? Irresponsible? Nope. I’m hanging a show on Monday morning at 9am and need 20 pieces finished, not telling where I’m at this moment, but you can assume I’m not sitting on the couch admiring my work. Leaving today felt important and right. I feel more energized to paint, to write, to cook a healthy dinner and know that my brain melt this afternoon was the recharge work and over-work does not provide. Busy-ness is a total scam.

Today I honor unexpected muses. A new writer (to me). A great sentence. An afternoon by the pool. A hot summer day spent doing a hot summery day activity. A big hat that made me happy and feel vaguely European.

Now I’ll start my painting day. Chapter One can start any season, any age, any afternoon. xo


“Chapter One” 24×24″
Available at Weisinger Family Winery, Ashland OR August 1-31st, 2016

Continue reading Chapter One

City of Ashland Call to Artists

City of Ashland Call to Artists - city of Ashland logo

City of Ashland call to artists for a site specific art installation with an all-inclusive award of $110,000. Deadline Oct 1, 2016. Link to more info and application form included in this post.

Continue reading City of Ashland Call to Artists

Richard Newman to Exhibit at SOU Center for Visual Art

Richard Newman Show at SOU Center for Visual Art's Thorndike Gallery - Shifting Space/Sliding Planes "Space Oddity"

Continue reading Richard Newman Exhibit at SOU Center for Visual Art

2016 Ashland Open Studio Tour

2016 Ashland Open Studio tour October 8 & 9, 2016

The 2016 Ashland Open Studio Tour is coming! October 8 & 9, 2016. Save the dates and explore the working spaces of your favorite Rogue Valley artists

Continue reading 2016 Ashland Open Studio Tour

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers. Image by Chela Sanchez

Continue reading Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights