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Red Dot(s)

I have a show up right now and I sold a painting. Scratch that. I sold three paintings. At the risk of tooting my horn or sounding immodest or any other thing we’re taught as good girls to not do, I am freaking happy, proud, elated and actually did a dance, and it was happy, in my kitchen. These paintings are hanging in a beautiful venue, South Stage Cellars, for 6 weeks and they have honest to goodness red dots beside the price.

Selling my art is one part of the artistic arc of living a creative life. It’s the one not many people talk about, they mumble, they ask polite questions, but we really want to know, do you make a living? Can you pay your bills? How does it all….work exactly? Because as working artists, small business owners, the road not taken path followers, we are, I am, still a little surprised that this gig is working out. There has not been one single Monday in three years that I have not woken up astounded, grateful and a little bit surprised, like forgetting you’re not at home when you’re traveling, that this Monday, this work week, is my play to direct.

But how exactly does it work? I am not kidding, it works on faith. I can only speak from my experience but based on the countless essays and books and ted talks and e-courses and and and….from what some pretty smart and experienced authors and artists are telling me, I’m not alone. It’s faith and action. Or action and faith. This is how it works for me. There is a whole lot of boring sitting, puttering, painting, prepping and doing before there is an art show. Or a card order. Or a gift fair. The one constant variable that leads to a sale or to any monetization of art, is doing the work. It has taken me several years to really believe as this philosophy can also feel like watching paint dry, really, ordering business cards is the only thing I need to do all day? Yup. It’s action. Do another thing the next day. More action. In one week you’ll have seven action steps that all together are kind of big. It might even be a whole painting or essay or business plan or art show application. I’m not the one who invented this. I’m just saying, it works.

Back to art. And selling. And red dots. And those questions. Can I pay my bills? Do you make a living? How does it all…work exactly? Yes (With some debt. Not lying. Working on improving that.) Yes, in a creative manner. Day to day. Week to week. It works by swinging arm to arm on the monkey bars. Card orders, paintings, commissions. It’s all momentum. Maybe there will come a day when I’ll re-read this post and think ah, that’s so sweet that I am so earnestly trying to make a go of this thing. I hope so. It will be worth it. I want to always know that happy dance red dot joy. I think maybe because it’s the joy behind the action that makes it work. Exactly. xo

“Still Life with Louis Sherry” 8×10″ SOLD

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Ashland Open Studio Registration Information

Ashland Open Studio Registration Information

Ashland Open Studio Registration Information and Application Deadline July 15, 2016 AOST is a popular event sponsored by the Ashland Gallery Association (AGA) inviting the public to visit the very places where art is created. This year’s event will include professional working studios in the Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, and Greensprings/Mt. Ashland areas. “You are what you art, and art is what you are.” Artist Denise Kester Participating Artists have an opportunity to expand their audience and deepen the connection with their established patrons. Artists have received additional work and exposure opportunities by participating in the tour. In order to support our sponsor, the Ashland Gallery Association, the AOST requests that our participating studios be regularly showing Artists at a local AGA registered Gallery, or registered as an AGA Working Studio or Artist Member.

Ashland Open Studio Registration Applications are available for download on our website,, and Facebook page: Ashland

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Keep On

I am very excited to announce that I have a show up at South Stage Cellars in Jacksonville, Oregon. It is a perfect venue, a turn of the century original building, all exposed brick and wobbly barn wood and gorgeous imperfection everywhere. I hung 27 paintings…but who’s counting? I know this number because when I was asked if I could fill this time slot, April 7-May 19th, it was short notice. I didn’t have 27 paintings. I didn’t have 7 paintings!! Ok, maybe I had seven but for the most part I dug deep, cleared the decks, completely immersed myself in creating a collection and got to work.

It reminds me of Edison’s famous quote, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Ha!! I love that. I live that. My practical Canadian roots are alive and well when it comes to plodding along, showing up, keep going, one foot in front of the other. It still amazes me that if you keep going, even if you can only see an inch ahead of you….you WILL get there. It might take a while, you might know where “there” is, but action has immense rewards. Keep painting. Keep writing. Keep making things that make you happy. Keep on keeping on. xoxo

“La Vie Parisienne” 24×36″ available at South Stage Cellars, Jacksonville, Oregon

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The Art of Cake

On Wednesday, April 6, the Ashland Art Center (AAC) received a wonderful surprise in the form of a huge and beautiful cake shaped like an artist’s palette. The cake was a “Thank You” gift from the Culinary Arts students at Ashland Middle School to our very own Denise Baxter and all the folks at AAC. […]

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Greetings from Ashland

Greetings from Ashland. Literally. Hello from the Rogue Valley, Ashland Oregon, the Mythical State of Jefferson. I love this little town full of art and hippies and shakespeare and tourists and Priuses and healing modalities and raw food and kombucha. I love the optimistic spirit here, the supportive vibe (yup, vibes) for artists and entrepreneurs and the lack of…competition? Pressure? Never-ending drive? All of the above. There is a peacefulness here that I didn’t know I lacked until I lived with such gentle pace in my life that I actually know my neighbors, I have coffee with friends spontaneously, I occasionally drop of jars of soup for friends…this is community and I never in a million years predicted that it would form around me in this unlikely place. But it did. And as an artist and small business owner, I can’t recommend it enough. This cozy kind supportive way of living and working is a road I have taken. And that has made all the difference. xo

“Greetings from Ashland” 16×20″ SOLD

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Home Sweet Home

I love these funny fancy parlours. I love that they are lopsided, imperfect and a hodge podge of my imagination and reality. Objects from my living room, my childhood mixed together with my wouldn’t it be great list. In reality, do I live with aqua walls and kelly green velvet couches? No. But I would! If I could! And I should!

I also love doing them because they rarely (never) go the way I plan or want and take on a wily life of their own and challenge me in a way no other pieces do. Explaining and expressing the artistic process is a bit like writing down a recipe you’ve made a thousand times from your head…it just “is” but if I could, I’d say that capturing these rooms is a combination of herding cats and following breadcrumbs.  Not the kind of assignment I volunteer for but somehow the kind that I’m hardwired to receive. Here Mindy, this will be like wrestling an alligator. But you’ll love it! Really!

Because I am self-taught, that is where the alligator comes in. I have no background in theory or depth or scale or any other technical painting processes that gives artists skill or recognizable work. I go in. That is my method. And I figure it out as I go. What does a chair look like sideways? Well, certainly not like the four times I painted it before the one you see here. Painting is a great reminder that most of us come with an artistic visual library of house, square, sun, circle, roof, triangle, bodies, stick, two stick, two more sticks and maybe some squiggles for hair. And by painting, I must unlearn this knowledge. Suns are not yellow, they are a million shades of orange and red and brown. People are not sticks, houses have angles and contours and rooms have depth and scale. And every single time, every time, I relearn and am astounded how little I know, how much I have to learn, how much I want to learn and how much I love the whole damn process. And best of all, how much I’m ok with being lopsided and imperfect. In life and in painting. Our wobbly edges are the fanciest parts. xo

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Ashland Gallery Association Exhibits – April 2016


Ashland Gallery Association Exhibits – April 2016

Celebrate Ashland’s Visual Arts during the AGA First Friday Art Walk, April 1st, from 5 to 8 pm!

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!

Pick up a Gallery Tour Map at any member gallery, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, or download off of our website. For more information about all of the exhibits visit:

See attached April Art Walk Map, Spotlight Exhibits and Special Event!

Download (PDF, 312KB)

Ashland Gallery Association April Spotlight Exhibits Studio A. B. Nude: Group Exhibit

Bruce Bayard FILM STILL, 2015

NUDE is a short film created by artist Greeley Wells in which ten artists and models

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Coffee Talk

I long for coffee talk. I am missing people. My people. My friends in other cities, my family in other countries. We are geographically far apart these days. Profoundly, my beloved cousin, injured a few days ago in a horrible freak accident, now by him…

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SOAR Welcomes Artist Mindy Carpenter!

Home, Sweet Home, original acrylic painting by Mindy Carpenter

A new resident of Ashland and the southern Oregon arts community, SOAR welcomes artist and illustrator Mindy Carpenter to the Visual Artists Directory.

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Eva Thiemann Announces Three Art Exhibits

Winter Beauty, original oil painting by Eva Thiemann

This month Eva Thiemann announces three art exhibits featuring her work at Art Presence in Jacksonville, PUSH Gallery in Ashland, and Applegate Library.

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