Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting the jump on my New Years Resolutions

Flex no.3  

Just call me a slacker.  I have been very lazy about blog posts - - - among other things.  Sometimes it's because it seems pointless...sometimes it's because I have so much going on that I forget about it.  Whatever the reason (aka: excuse) - I will do better in 2011.  Frankly, I'm expecting a lot from 2011.  (2010 really let me down).   Lets face it, it was a crappy year for a lot of people.  It was a bad year for me professionally and personally.  I hope that 2010 will go join 2001 and all the other memorably bad years in the bad year archive, and I hope it's cramped and uncomfortable there.  I hope 2010 takes a long hard look at itself in the mirror and is ashamed of itself.  So -  bring it on 2011!  I can't wait for you to show 2010 what's what.  I am excited for a fresh start. Therefore, I hereby resolve to make my blog writing a priority - and I'm doing it for ME.   (This is, of course, on a fairly long list of resolutions.) But- I will do better.... I WILL do better. 
 There- it's in print. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Collect Original Art, Please and ThankYou

48x60  Restless no.1   ... SOLD! (ThankYou)

I am happy to report that despite the current economic storm, there are still collectors who are buying original art.  I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.  I buy original art anytime my budget will allow.  My collection is rather small, compared to some, but it is filled with little gems of works that bring me great joy.  What I won't buy are pictures of art; otherwise known as a Giclée. 

✻The following is taken from the Wikipedia entry for Giclée:   Giclée (from French), commonly pronounced "zhee-clay," is an invented term for the process of making fine art prints from a digitial source using ink-jet printing. 

Think Thomas Kinkade-"painter of light" - or as I call him "Thomas Kinkade: snake oil peddler".  He has successfully been passing off pictures of his paintings as collectibles for years and sticks a hefty price tag on them to prove it.    I am constantly approached by giclee printers touting their reproduction abilities and low, low prices.  "Simply upload, select a quantity and add to cart".  Let me just say: NOT interested.  I feel like reproducing a painting would go against everything I put into it during the art making process.  My heart and soul is in every piece.   When I buy original art, I also feel like that is what I'm getting...a small piece of the artist. I also know when I buy original, that I just helped that artist keep the lights on in the studio that month!  When I buy original, I am also supporting the gallerist who represents that artist and helping them to keep thier open sign on!

 I do know artists who sell giclees of their work and I have seen good reproductions. I feel like it's a personal choice, so I don't judge these artists. The problem is, I don't know that consumers, in general, are aware of what they are buying.  If you see a "painting" at a TJ Maxx, chances are you are fully aware that it's a reproduction.  But in a gallery setting, I think it's a little deceitful.   That being said,  I do think that consumers and collectors are two different beings.  True collectors are more than likely aware of the difference.  And to all of those collectors who are truly dedicated to the arts and the artists who create...again, from my heart,  I THANK YOU!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Onward and Forward

Between the Past and the Future  48x48  mixed media

When I was a kid I used to get so excited about "Back to School".  New book bag, new shoes, fresh school was like Christmas. Once there, the excitement lasted about two days - maybe a week.  Now, from a teacher's perspective it is more like: "Where the heck did my summer go?"  I did manage to get alot accomplished this summer...and dealt with some of the pressing things that needed to be taken care of.  But alas, Summer is over ( except for this stifling southern heat ) and back to school it is.  My new-school-years resolution is to NOT stress....wish me luck on that one.  But seriously, I am officially taking my chill pill.  Kids are kids - and it's my job to deal with them.  I want to have fun this year - last year was not so fun ( likely my fault) - in my was a bit of a rough year.  But that was last year.  My new frame of mind comes from working on letting go of the things I can't change.  I can only do what I can do.  I can't change what I can't change.  My summer reading included: The 5 Things You Can't Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them   by ~ David Richo.  (GREAT BOOK)  I have tried to hammer this philosophy into my brain - "just let it go....just let it go".   I just hope it sticks when I'm facing down a noisy 3rd grader.

Monday, July 12, 2010

nothing is permanent

ripple effect   48x36   diptych   2010

On Saturday, July 10th, the world lost one of the most special people ever created .....
Harrison James Greenberg   (1990-2010)
you are so loved and you will be missed.
It's so unfair that you had to go so young.

You were the best, Harry.
...and for the rest of us left behind:

there are moments in life that make you,
and moments in life that break you.
there are moments in life that influence you,
and moments in life that change you.
there are moments in life that challenge you
and there are moments in life that inspire you.
there are moments in life that crush you
and there are moments in life that destroy you.
there are moments in life of total peace
and there are moments in life of total chaos.
nothing is permanent, everything is temporary.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Wall

occasional euphoria  48x48  mixed media and collage 

It happens to me EVERY time.  I meet a huge deadline:  The work is made - the titles are fussed over and assigned - the image cataloging is completed - the paintings are delivered - the opening reception attended - the small talk is done.  I return to the studio after a few days of R and R. Then.........  nothing ....*crickets chirping*

I have hit the proverbial WALL.  Paint that seemed to flow freely is now being fumbled into mud.  Large canvases that seemed less intimidating a week or two ago, now glare at me from the studio wall with their looming emptiness.  Why does this happen to me so often?  I have other things coming up...personal goals to achieve...a quest to find more representation...juried show deadlines...ideas floating in my head (rather, they were there - now...*poof*).  It's not like I don't have things to do.  Yet, for whatever reason I have drawn a complete blank.  I am spent.  I feel like that empty space, devoid of work-in-progress,  is someone else's studio space.  That girl with all the energy has just disappeared.

Truthfully, I have been working through some extreme sadness throughout the last year and during that year I have produced a rather large body of work. (They don't look sad... that's how I work it out). Someone said to me at the opening: "These paintings are so joyful."   Painting has always been my therapy -  - and way cheaper than a shrink.  The sad situation that tears at my heart is still a huge part of mine and my family's world.  It only makes sense that I should be able to step back into the studio, focus my energy and do what I've been doing for years...."trudging through the muck"  with a paint brush.

Maybe I just need another day or two...or maybe it's time to do a little late spring cleaning until "it" comes to me as to what to do next.  Or maybe, I need to take a hammer to that "wall" and bust through that sucker.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Modern Times...modern ideas

bittersweet    48x48   mixed media on canvas

So what is an artist to do during a recession?  It doesn't make sense to stop painting or sit back and wait until things turn around.   I wanted my show, but it is terribly expensive to promote art exhibitions in the traditional ways.  With galleries closing left and right it seemed to me to be a good time to make some changes. So my dealer and I came up with a plan; I offered to fore go the usual expenses of a solo show, in exchange I'm getting some extra time to "hang" in the space.  We skipped the expensive printed post cards and mailing and instead are promoting it entirely with free press, electronic media and social networking.  Below is the press release.  (wish us luck!)

 June 7, 2010 

City Art
1224 Lincoln St
Columbia, SC 29201

COLUMBIA, S.C.--- City Art Gallery presents Santee artist Kathy Casey in a solo exhibit entitled Hot . . . a passion for painting opening Thursday June 17 and continuing through August 14, 2010.   The public is invited to a reception to meet the artist Thursday June 17 between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Kathy Casey developed her unique painting style through a process of exploration and study.  The active lines and engrossing colors that fill Casey’s canvases show a strong influence of abstract expressionism.  In the newest paintings there is a recurring theme of warmth.  Reds, oranges, pinks and yellows mingle to create a sense of a heated urban or earthy landscape.  Casey’s work tends to be completely non-objective rather than tell a story.  This forces the viewer to be a participant and decide what something means. Casey likes to leave enough mystery so the viewer can decide his or her own connection to the works.

“The paintings that I love have a life of their own,” said Casey, “I have a quote by Jackson Pollock hanging on my studio wall: ‘Every good painter paints what he is.”

Her nonobjective paintings evoke the spirit of a natural evolution that results from the passage of time.  Each is about flux – the ever-changing nature of life.   There is no literary narrative in the work.  Instead, each piece serves as a metaphor for life:  birth and death, creation and decay, growth as a transformation.  Partially hidden words, either written in the artist’s hand or in the found collaged papers, often appear in the paintings and add personal meaning to the works.

The paintings in this exhibition of Casey’s work are done in mixed media including:  acrylics, charcoal, crayon and /or collage on hand-textured canvas or paper.  “I love to try new things,” she said, “It is just not in my nature to be still.  My palette goes from calming neutrals to crazy loud colors, and everything in between. It always depends on the day. My painting style is a mirror of my life.  Some days are peaceful and some days are all out wild. I don’t really have a favorite style.   I always like what I painted today better than what I painted yesterday and I hope it’s always like that.”

Exhibition dedicated to Harry Greenberg. 

City Art Gallery is located at 1224 Lincoln St. in the historic Congaree Vista area in Columbia, South Carolina.  Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information contact Wendyth Wells, City Art Gallery, at 803-252-3613.  Visit online at

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Studio Experiment

Akimbo Redux  48 x 60 mixed media on canvas
For years I've dreamed of having a studio space outside of my home.  I envisioned a great big loft in Soho, with large windows and tall ceilings, huge brick walls covered in large canvases, paint and brushes scattered about, a small kitchenette and a space to rest...and perhaps a sleepy studio cat resting in a window sill.   I envisioned creative conversations with fellow artists who stop by for coffee.  I envisioned walking into my studio full of ideas and energy each and every day and working until I couldn't lift a brush.  Alas, a NYC studio and a full time painting career is a little out of my reach. ( - - - for now.)

The good news is - I have my space.  It's not a loft in a big city - there are no tall ceilings...and there is no studio cat - but there are paints and brushes scattered about, good lighting and large enough walls to work on more than one large painting at a time. The studio is a good 45 minute drive from home- which forces from me a day-long commitment to working.  There is no internet, no CNN, no piles of laundry around the corner and no distractions from family members that "need me".  The space is in a very art oriented town and is shared with two very good artsy friends. We have had a lot of visitors coming by to check out the art space. (The idea that you never know who might be dropping by keeps me in time to be lazy.)

I have set up a specific work schedule for myself that, until now, I've been unable to pull off.  I pick at least two of my days off from teaching and devote those entire days to the studio.  I leave the emailing, blogging, website updates, image editing, etc. for the days that I'm at home.  (I have yet to turn off the cell steps!)  But I have discovered a completely new way of focusing my energy.  Instead of bouncing from one thing to another, I'm painting all day- with a renewed creative spark.  I have had a very productive month and the energy in the new space has been a wonderful shot in the arm.  My ever evolving style has burst into a fresh new direction that I'm extremely happy with.

I am so glad I stepped out on a limb and took the space.  I was a little nervous about the commitment...but so far - so good.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My kid could do that!

               One of my favorite artist quotes... by Basquiat...  This painting hangs in my new studio space.

I think this sentiment of Jean-Michel Basquiat resonates with most abstract artists.  I can actually draw really well, but I prefer to express myself in the non-objective world.  I've overheard people looking at my work in galleries...some of the commentary was positive, some of it -  not so much.  I've heard: "I don't get it." "What is it?" "It's interesting, but it wouldn't match my furniture."  Then there's my favorite: the age old "my kid could do that!"  These days, I hear the unfiltered comments as I'm working in an open studio and people are free to come in and observe.  They are nice about it, but they still say stuff like "well I'm just not sure I understand abstract art." Or: I love this one: "How do you know what you're doing?"

Honestly, when I shifted towards non-objective work from spending a lot of time on traditional oil paintings of still-lifes, landscapes and doggie portraits - my husband and friends thought I had officially lost it.  I mean, I was always a square peg...but this seemed to seal the deal.  At first, I really struggled.  I knew what I liked when I went to galleries, but I didn't want to be a copy cat artist. I wanted to make authentic work that was my own.  I took some really crappy workshops with some ego-maniac artists: I shall not name them - but they were complete idiots. My friend and I actually left in the middle of one and headed for the hotel bar...we learned more there!

Then I began studying with a really great teacher, Steve Aimone, who led me down the wondrous rabbit hole of non-objective study.  He had me do new and different kinds of drawing.  He guided me on shape making as a form of self portraiture. He helped me to understand the hows and whys of non-objective work.  He guided me towards the great abstract expressionists of the 50s and 60s.  He introduced me to contemporary artists I had never even heard of.  How had I missed all of this????  I began to study art and art history in a way I'd never done before. I began to experiment with a new medium: Acrylics and all the mediums that go with them.  I was hooked and I've never looked back.  Yes, I can still draw...and I do.  But I LOVE MY ART... and so what if people think their kid can do it?  I suggest they go out and buy some canvas and paint and let the kid have at it.  ( But - by the's not as easy as it looks.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I love an adventure!

 Back to Life    36x36     mixed media and collage on canvas

I'm going to deliver this painting and another that were chosen for the North to South Juried Exhibit at Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Green Rice is in the NODA arts district.  I've never been there - so taking a little adventure with the hubby to check it out.
I love to visit a new town.  My sister lives there part time (for work).   I've only visited once and we never made it to NODA.  It is a great city, so looking forward to taking in some good food ( - it's also Restaurant Week in Charlotte ) and taking in some good art with the hubby.  We rarely get to go anywhere with our busy schedules - so it should be fun.  Off we go!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Artist Seeks Studio Space with No Interruptions

I am headed out tomorrow to look into renting a new studio space, quite a ways away from the home-front.  This is both an exciting and scary prospect.  I've imagined the idea of having a proper studio for the last several years as I've traveled and worked in fabulous open spaces with other artists.  (This space I'm considering would, in fact, be a shared space.)

I realized over my holiday vacation in December that the home-studio is just not working- but I'm not sure of the reason.  It had occurred to me this past summer that perhaps trying to work at home was thwarting my creativity - with the hubby and kids in and out all day.  Then, through the month of December while I was off from teaching,  I was completely unproductive.  I just thought:  "I can no longer work in this atmosphere!! " BUT-  it has also raised a question….am I making excuses for painter’s block?  I did manage to have a fairly productive weekend last week. So -  is it me?...or is it my space, or lack there of ...or is it the fact that the space is at home....or is it the constant interruptions....or is it the distractions???  Or IS IT ME?     Hmmmmm…….I wonder....
(I would love to hear about pros and cons of having outside studio space. )