Friday, January 29, 2010

Myth and Mystery exhibit

I am in the middle of another flare up with my neck and back, so I haven't spent too much time on the internet in the last week.

We are about to have another snow storm. I planned to deliver the paintings for the "Myth and Mystery" show tomorrow if the weather allows. Karen Eide, one of the three artists, has had an accident and broken both of her wrists, so she may not be able to attend the opening. She lives in Richmond which is a good two hour drive to Manassas. I am disappointed about this......we will miss her. Katie and I were really looking forward to meeting her in person after so many months of emails.

So, I have twelve paintings lined up to hang, but this morning I noticed a problem with one of the stretchers, so after picking up some hardware I attempted to re-stretch the canvas on new bars. This is a new endeavor for me as I haven't re-stretched a painting before. I never had to. Apparently, this was a bum canvas with poor quality wood stretchers that buckled on one side after a time. Even though I bought new same sized stretcher bars, the new ones are a bit larger than the original and now there is a small edge of white unpainted canvas on each side. So, I have to pull the painting from the show. This is a lesson in carefully selecting canvases. It is my regular practice when buying a canvas to lay it flat and on each side to see any gaps or warping. Generally, I find that canvases larger than 22" really need a crossbar. I am not sure where I got this particular canvas but it is a telling sign of cheapness that it has no brand name on it. Live and learn.

I will keep you all updated. Please plan to come to the reception on the 6th if you so can. Manasssas is a neat old town with a lot of cool places to eat and the Harris Pavilion will be open that evening for outdoor ice skating.

Here is the Candy Factory which houses the gallery. You can read about the historic building here.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There are those who would have you believe as an artist that success is all about the product. Certainly, your art is of vital importance and it is imperative to follow that creative passion without concern about who will buy or how it will sell. People can tell if you aren't all that into it. But is really and truly is a numbers game. The more you get your work out into the world, the more response you will get in return. I suppose this is a true principle in most areas of vocation.

A year ago, I made the decision to do the work I felt lead to do and to make a concerted effort to promote that work. I am amazed at the response. Beyond all the encouraging words, which are very important, people actually want to spend their hard earned money to own one of my paintings. I have had the blessing of three exhibits over the last four months which generated a lot of interest and several sales. Some of these people have found me on the internet. I just shipped off "Ovis Nectarus" to New York to a woman who sent me five postdated checks over a period of months to buy that painting. It is about to happen again. Because a person saw my work at the Athenaeum, she looked me up on the web, saw a painting she loved and tonight I am meeting with her to discuss purchase.

I say all these things not to brag. Everything I have ever been given is a gift from God. I have had my doubts, putting up obstacles of my own making because I was afraid to fail. But I want to encourage everyone who has a dream to step on out onto the path despite fear or the "they says." Just have a willingness to do the disciplined work, consistently get it out there and watch what happens.

Today, I am grateful to each of you. To those who have encouraged me with words and to those who have supported my dream with their money. Love you all....

Come on to the "Myth and Magic", our three woman show if you are around. Saturday February 6th, 6-8 p.m. at the Caton-Merchant Gallery old town Manassas. Some of you I have never met. I would love to see you there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Opening in D.C.

My friend, artist Terry Dixon, has an opening featuring his latest body of work titled "Re-enslavement." Terry and I went to the Atlanta College of Art together. He is a successful working artist living in Chicago.

The "Re-enslavement" paintings are inspired by Douglas Blackmon’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the
Civil War to World War II." The reception is Monday February 6Th at 6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Library. Terry, along with another exhibiting artist, Robert Morris, will speak about their work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Without Paper Blog Post

Maureen Doallas has a brilliant blog called Writing Without Paper. She posted about my upcoming show with Karen Eide and Kathleen Kendall, and asked a few questions about my work.

Narrator of Myth: Tracey Clarke

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Painting Update

Two weeks until the Caton Merchant opening and I am excited to debut the baboon that night. About time, yes? In the meantime, I need to conjure a title and make some sense of the bits and pieces of story. I feel a weight, like a finally faced memory, lifted now that he is complete. And, if I may say so, he really is magnificent to behold.

In working on small studies this week, I decided it was time to paint a female hummingbird.

"Ruby Throated Hummingbird" (female)
5" x 7", oil on panel
(available, $250, framed)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

February Show

Anyone ever get stuck in a blue place? I know that this struggle isn't particular to artistic temperament and I am sure many of you deal with this as well. It has been an off and on lifelong companion for me and my old friend has been visiting for a few weeks for a number of reasons, hence my absence. But I feel the veil is lifting a now.....

The "Myth and Mystery" show opens in a few weeks and I have been finishing up a few paintings and addressing how to fill up a 30 running space. Katie and I are getting together next week to talk about details of the reception. The other artist, Karen, lives in Richmond, so we look forward to meeting her at the reception.

Please join us if you are able.