Friday, December 26, 2008

Gift Exchange

I'm a member of the Bee Team, which is a group of Etsy sellers who use encaustic in their art. We had a group gift exchange this year, and you can see the gift above that I received from Supria at Supria's Designs. It's a beautiful encaustic and collage painting titled Madame Butterfly.

Thanks Supria! I love it.

Thanks so much to all the Bee Team members, and especially to Pam for organizing the exchange.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oh yeah, I have work in some shows...

Subdivision - encaustic and oil on panel, 12" x 12"
My work is part of a group show, Shelter, at Olson-Larsen Galleries in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The show runs until January 3, 2009.

The Living Wood - altered book
I also have 2 artist's books in a juried book show, Dog-Eared: Revealing the Contents of Artist's Books at Purdue University.

F3, Languish - collage, oil pastel, solvent transfer, encaustic and oil on panel, two 12" x 12" panels
My solo exhibit, Seeking Shelter will be on display at the Leslie Powell Foundation Gallery in Lawton, Oklahoma starting January 10, 2009.

You can follow me on Twitter now:

I've actually been Twittering for quite a while now, but I set up a new public Twitter persona that is strictly art-related. I won't tweet about my cats or swear like my evil Twitter twin does.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finding a Balance

I've been conflicted recently about where to show my artwork.

Part of me knows that I need to just get it out there and let people see it, regardless of the venue. But then I have this other part of me (I call it the art snob) that only wants my work to be in respectable places, like commercial galleries and art centers.

My friend Junanne says that she doesn't care where her art is - she says she'll hang it on a fence as long as people will see it.

So I guess I want to be somewhere in between. In the past I've shown my work in places that I wouldn't necessarily put on my resume, just to get it out there. I think I need to continue. You just never know who will see it.

How do you decide where to show your work?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Staying Positive

Despite the downturn in the economy, I've actually had my best year yet as an artist, so it's not too hard for me to stay positive.

But if you're overwhelmed with all the bad news on the financial front, watch Alyson's Stanfield's inspirational video:

Speaking of practicing gratitude - thanks Alyson, for all the support and encouragement that you give to artists!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


As you can see, I've changed my template back to it's original non-pink state. I enjoyed "going pink" and seeing all the other blogs and websites that went Pink for October.

My son and I walked in the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure on October 18.

the view from the starting line

us at the starting line

lots and lots of people! over 25,000!

It was such a positive atmosphere, with everyone there honoring loved ones who had been lost to breast cancer or celebrating those who were survivors. Very moving and inspiring.

We were on the Texas Woman's University team, Pioneers for the Cure, who raised $1785.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and helped me raise $291 for the cause!
  • Myra Pralle (my mom)
  • Ronald and Patricia Bradley (my dad and stepmom)
  • Shirley Sisk
  • Susan Yasi
  • Jennifer Jensen
  • Mary Richmond
You can donate until November 15 at my webpage on the team site. Or on the Komen site. Or the American Cancer Society.

Find out about risk factors and prevention on the Komen site.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I've Gone Pink for October!

As you may know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are lots of ways that you can participate, contribute, and show your support.

First of all, if you'd like to "go pink" as well, visit Pink for October for lots of information, graphics you can download (like the one above), and you can link your site to them.

I also pinked up my website.

I'm going to participate in the 2008 Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas (I keep typing Race for the Cute!) on October 18. If you would like to join the race, visit the Komen Dallas website. If you would like to support me in the race, visit my Race for the Cure page. If you would like to find a race in your area or find out more about breast cancer, visit the Komen website.

Update: by "participate" I mean I'll be there. Not running. I might meander. Or stroll. As my friend Tracey says, I only run if someone is chasing me...

And then there's the Boobiethon. This is brilliant. Until October 7th, you can look at pictures of covered boobs and if you want to see them uncovered, you can donate money. The internet was invented for porn, might as well use it for good and not for evil, right? So, if you're an exhibitionist, you can submit your own photos. Or, if you're a voyeur, donate some money and see some boobies* for a good cause. *(this particular page is not safe for work, but the others are)

There are a ton of other ways you can participate, so please do so.

On a personal note, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. She's doing fine now, but there's always the risk that it will return. I would love it if she (and all the other breast cancer survivors) could live in a world where she wouldn't have to worry about that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Predatory Practices

Recently I saw a call for entries for a new local hotel looking for artwork. There wasn't much information, so I emailed the contact person and they sent me the prospectus (I've bolded the parts that concern me):
Announcing a new competition to find a few local artists to produce original artwork for the new NYLO Hotel under construction in Las Colinas, Texas located at 1001 W Royal Lane, Irving, Texas 75039.
The contest is open to everyone and particularly we hope to attract the interest of up and coming local artists and art student and faculty at local schools. The contest runs August 1, 2008- October 31, 2008.
Please submit a digital copy of your work along with the release form to Amanda Emmo at by October 31, 2008.
After submittals, the NYLO judges (which shall consist of the NYLO executive team and perhaps one or two persons active in the local art community) will have an artist luncheon to meet the artists.
Prior to embarking on your work we urge you to please visit our website and, if you have the chance drive by the site to get a feel for the setting. More details about what the hotel is looking for:

Guest Room Art Specifications:
1. One large or three smaller but related pieces of art on canvas (oil, acrylic or mixed media)
2. The pieces should involve the use of colors
3. Emotive Objective
• Loft living
• Relaxation
• Local Connection
• Romantic / Sexy
• Warm
• Western/Texas Lifestyle
4. The pieces will be displayed in each guestroom within an area of 7 feet in length x 3 ½ feet high above the sofa (we will have 200 total guestrooms).
5. Dimensions of each of the three pieces should be 24 inches long x 30 inches high (or thereabouts at the artists discretion) – or alternatively, one large piece of no less than 4 feet long x 30 inches high.
6. The winning pieces will be reproduced utilizing a gicleƩ process so that the original integrity of the artwork is still upheld and displayed in the guestrooms.
7. No artwork including nude subjects will be taken into consideration as winning pieces.
Corridor/Public Space Artwork Specifications
1. Photography
2. To be displayed on acrylic
3. Emotive objective
• Urban / Industrial City Scenes
• Loft Living
• Nightlife
• Partying/ Entertaining
• Energy
• People
• Living
• Western/Texas Lifestyle
• Lone Stars
• Ranches

There will be three main winners in each of the two categories, guestroom and corridor. The cash prize breakdown is as follows*:
Guestroom: 1st place - $2,250
2nd place - $1,750
3rd place - $1,250
Corridor: 1st place - $1,500
2nd place - $1,000
3rd place - $750

There are also other considerable “perks” to winning such as:
• Media exposure
• An invitation to the art contest luncheon with members of the NYLO design and management team
• Artwork displayed on the hotel website with contact information for the artist
• Guests can purchase the artwork at a reasonable price determined by NYLO**

* Each contestant acknowledges that it is NYLO’s intent to ultimately use the winning artwork in each of its guestrooms, corridors and public space and therefore, each winning contestant shall agree to transfer all copyright and ownership rights with respect to such Artwork to NYLO in exchange for the cash prize awarded and shall execute all documents necessary to provide for such transfer of rights. NYLO may choose to purchase additional artwork outside of the predetermined prize values listed above.

** The art will be for sale to all our hotel guests/visitors and to people who visit our website. NYLO does not intend to profit on the sale of this artwork. Proceeds of an artwork sale will work as follows:
• 100% to NYLO until costs of the contest and acquisition are recouped
• Thereafter, 90% to the artists & 10% to a charity to be selected by NYLO

Entry & Release Form
NYLO Hotels- Drive Our Innovation through Your Passion for Art
Submit this form with your entry requirement materials to NYLO. If your artwork is selected as a “winning” piece, your entry will not be returned. Other entries will be returned by request only.
(Select all applicable entry(ies) that apply:)
o Guestroom Artwork
o Corridor Artwork
o Public Space Artwork
By signing this Entry & Release form, I acknowledge that I understand the competition criteria accompanying this form and agree to abide by them. I represent that the attached work qualifies for submission to this competition. “Authorized Parties” as used in this release means NYLO Hotels, LLC and its affiliates (“NYLO”), and any other persons, entities, or organizations that NYLO authorizes to carry out the rights or actions set forth herein. I hereby irrevocably give my consent to each of the Authorized Parties to directly or indirectly photograph, film, and /or videotape me and/or my artwork, and to quote and record statements made by me and to use, reproduce, modify, publicly display, distribute, sell, and/or create derivative works from any of the above (with or without my name) and to identify me by name and/or with school and employment information, in all forms of media now known or later developed, including, without limitation, on the Internet, for any editorial, promotional, advertising, trade, commercial, or other purpose whatsoever, in perpetuity and for no royalties or other remuneration throughout the world. I understand that the Authorized Parties shall not be responsible for unauthorized duplications, reproductions, use or modifications by third parties on the Internet or otherwise. I hereby release the Authorized Parties and their respective successors and assignees from any and all claims and/or damages that may arise regarding the dissemination, use, reproduction, display, distribution, and/or sale of my image, images of my artwork, any information related to my artwork, or statements made by or related to
me as consented to herein, including any claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of moral rights, rights of publicity, trade dress or copyright. By signing this form, I also certify that any work submitted is original and mine alone and that I have the right to grant the permissions set forth herein. I hereby agree that if my artwork is a “winning” piece, I hereby assign all right, title and copyright in and to the artwork to NYLO and agree to execute any and all additional documents requested by any of the Authorized Parties in order to fully transfer all copyright and ownership rights in the artwork to NYLO or its designee.
I have read and understand this form.
OK, so, where to start?

I can understand that a young artist just starting out might jump at the chance to have his or her artwork featured in a hip loft hotel. And if it were just a contest where they chose some paintings, hung them in their hotel, and gave the artists a cash award, then that would be fine.
And if they wanted to create reproductions of your work and gave you a percentage of sales, then that might be OK.

But. They want artists to sign over their copyright. If I interpret this correctly, if I won, I would get $2250 and they would get my painting, all rights to do whatever they want to with it, whether they identify me as the artist or not, and the right to use my image (in video and photographs), and my words however and wherever and for however long they want.

Maybe I'm being paranoid and they're great people and would never do anything mean or evil with my artwork. But they could. Or the evil corporation who buys them next year could.

They can do whatever they want. Think about it. After you get your $2250, your artwork is theirs. They could make your painting their logo and you wouldn't get anything. They could create a line of linens featuring your artwork and sell it at Macy's for $500 a pop and you wouldn't get anything. Or worse. They could print your artwork on tissue box covers and sell them at WalMart for $2 and you wouldn't get anything. Except the reputation of someone who sold out to WalMart...

And you couldn't use that image in your portfolio or on your website. They own it.

Oh, right, you get their "perks." Media exposure, your artwork on their website, a free lunch (artists *do* like food!), and they'll sell artwork for you. But that last one is a little iffy. Check out the fine print:
** The art will be for sale to all our hotel guests/visitors and to people who visit our website. NYLO does not intend to profit on the sale of this artwork. Proceeds of an artwork sale will work as follows:• 100% to NYLO until costs of the contest and acquisition are recouped
• Thereafter, 90% to the artists & 10% to a charity to be selected by NYLO
This is what gets me: "...until costs of the contest and acquisition are recouped." And when will that be, exactly? And they're setting the pricing. And what if the charity that they select is something that you're morally opposed to?
I was afraid that maybe I was interpreting this incorrectly or maybe I'm naive and this is just standard practice in the hotel industry, so I asked my friend, Robin Walker, who does a *lot* of work for hotels. She said,
When I do work for a hotel, they first pay for the originals, and they pay a royalty ranging from $3 - 5 per print for room art. For public spaces, I am paid for every original I produce (usually by commission). I NEVER convey a copyright! The reproduction rights are always mine, and that's a standard not only in the hotel business but in all art business.
She also had a few more choice words, but I'll leave that to your imagination.

So I guess my advice is just common sense - read the fine print and make sure you know what you're getting into. But I would advise artists to steer clear of these types of "contests."

I must stress that I am not a lawyer and have little knowledge of legal matters, so I apologize if I'm getting any of this wrong. I also don't intend to bash this company. They may be completely benign and truly think they're helping artists. But I think the only thing this contest does is help them get cheap artwork for their hotel.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Thoughts on Pricing Your Work

I was at a meeting of artists last weekend and the subject of pricing came up, as it does often among artists. When I got home that evening I had an email from another artist asking me about my thoughts on pricing artwork.

My friend Sharon Kyle-Kuhn just sent me a link to this Art-Tistics post about pricing artwork. I've written about the subject before, too. And Alyson Stanfield has written about it on her Art Biz Blog several times...

The Art-Tistics author discusses the need to have consistent pricing everywhere - every gallery that sells your work, regardless of region, and even your own studio.

"But artists must be consistent in their pricing and accept the fact that if they are going to work with an art gallery or art dealer or both, then they can’t have them competing with each other and also with the artist, because a good art dealer’s job is to protect both the artist and the collector."

I know for some artists, a 50% commission (which is standard) seems really steep. But the gallery (if it's a good gallery, doing its job) will earn that amount. They will learn all they can about your work and your process and share that information with their customers. They will promote your work in the press. They will contact collectors who have purchased your work in the past. They are salespeople. They want to sell your work as much as you do, and they'll work hard to make sure that happens.

And if you don't believe in galleries and you have the energy and enthusiasm and skills to market and sell your own work, then that's great. If that's the case, the author states, "... you control prices and can do whatever you want, and hopefully won’t be having art 'sales' where you’ll be 'discounting' the work that you sold to collectors a week earlier for a specific price, to a much lower price."

So if your work is in several galleries and you sell work from your studio, please be consistent with your pricing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Like It Hot

I have work in a group show that opens this weekend in Dallas. It's a show of work by members of TexasWAX/Dallas.

Some Like It Hot
Artwork by Members of TexasWAX/Dallas

Curated by Janet Reynolds

Bath House Cultural Center
521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas, Texas

August 30 - September 27, 2008

Reception: August 30, 7-9 pm

Encaustic Demos: September 13, 2-5 pm
In conjunction with the DADA art walk

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Waxy Buildup: Cleaning House

Paintings by Trayc Claybrook and Deanna Wood

August 17 - September 28, 2008

Opening Reception:
Sunday, August 17, 2-4 pm

Center for Visual Arts
400 E. Hickory
Denton, Texas, 76201

Directions to the Center for Visual Arts

Gallery Hours:
Tues - Sun, 1-5 pm

Trayc and I collaborated on this work and we're excited that it's finally being exhibited.

You can read all about the creation of this work on the Waxy Buildup blog.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Creative Endeavors and Do-It-Yourself Projects

Colleen Cook, my oldest friend (and by "oldest" I mean the one that I've known the longest), was recently the featured blogger at Kidlit Central News. In her post she compares writing to do-it-yourself home renovation.

I think some of her points can be transferred to almost any creative endeavor, especially trying to "make it" as an artist.

These points resonated with me:
"Reading how-to books helps, but it won’t make you a professional."
"The only way to become a true craftsman is to slop on comfy clothes and do it every day for years and years."

Most of the other points can be applied to visual artists as well, either in building a career or just creating a single painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.

The last point reminds me of this video that I saw recently, where Ira Glass of This American Life talks about how to be a great storyteller. He's talking specifically about radio and television, but it can relate to visual art as well:

I've had that exact experience - where what I was making didn't meet the expectations that I had for it. Over the years of doing it again and again, I've gotten to the point where I can make things that meet or exceed my expectations. Well, most of the time.

On the flip side, I've also given up. I've also had the experience of wanting to be an expert at something but giving up immediately upon realizing that I truly suck at it. I don't know how many times I've borrowed my mom's sewing machine because I wanted to learn to sew. But when my first project would turn out hideous, I would give the sewing machine back. I never gave myself the opportunity to make bad things for a while until I figured it out.

I realize that it was something that I wasn't committed to. Learning to sew wasn't important enough to me, so I quit.

The late Randy Pausch said many inspirational things in his "Last Lecture," but one that applies here is: "Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something."

So you have to figure out what you're committed to for the long run and be willing to make ugly things, make mistakes, break down that brick wall, and gradually get to that point where what you create is exactly what you had envisioned.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Upcoming show in Provincetown, Massachusetts

Safe With Me, collage, colored pencil, and encaustic on panel
24" x 24"
My new Palimpsest series will be on exhibit at Ernden Fine Art Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

July 25 - August 7, 2008

Opening Reception
Friday, July 25
7-9 pm

I won't be able to make it to the reception (just blew the travel budget for the next couple of years!), but I hope you can stop by if you're in the area.

I've been busy getting this work ready to go. This weekend I was supposed to be packing the work and finishing up a couple, but I started a few new ones instead!

You can see the whole series (so far) in this Flickr set.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Home at Last

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm home!

My flight out of Scranton (did I mention how teeny their airport is?) was late, so I missed my connecting flight in Atlanta (their airport is the opposite of teeny), but I was able to get on the next flight out. So I got back home around midnight last night.

It's good to be back, even though it is 100 degrees outside.

My son and I slept very late this morning and then got some Mexican food for lunch. I had been jonesin' for some good tex-mex after being on the east coast! I had great pizza, greek, seafood, etc, but I missed my greasy, cheesy, fried (and oh so healthy) tex-mex...

So I've restocked the kitchen, gone through the mail, and now I guess I need to unpack. A nap sounds nice, too.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


beautiful paper that I bought at New York Central art supply

So we packed up and headed out today. I packed all my supplies and shipped them back yesterday. Laura put her wet paintings into her UHaul today.

I'm at the airport waiting on my flight, which looks like it might be late. Keep your fingers crossed that I get to Atlanta in time to catch my flight to Dallas! Hopefully these insurance salesmen behind me will be leaving on a different flight...

Anyway, I had a fabulous time and am kind of sad to leave! If I had it to do differently, I might have brought some painting supplies instead of book supplies. I felt like I was kind of floundering at the beginning, since I didn't really have a plan for what I was going to do. Maybe I was just comparing myself to Laura, who was on a mission and who knew exactly what she wanted to do...

I did finally figure out what I wanted to do, and I will definitely be able to get a lot of work out of the experience when I get back. So it was definitely a great experience.

I would recommend applying for the residency next year. Check the Soaring Gardens website for application information. They like groups and women artists!

I really enjoyed it and I will probably be looking for another residency for next summer.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Books, books, books

Here are some photos of the books I've been making. I finished an altered book, worked out the dummy on a flag book, have the basic idea and form for a small stab book (or series), and am still going strong on those embroidery books that I mentioned earlier.

Altered book.

One of the embroidery books.

I also worked a bit on some drawings that I will collage into encaustic paintings when I get back.

I had a bit of a detour on Thursday - Laura wanted to go to some openings in the city, so we drove back in that day and came back on Friday. We stayed at the beautiful brownstone in Harlem that she and her husband are remodeling, went to 3 openings (without air conditioning!) and then had dinner at a place called Hell's Kitchen.

The next day we went to an awesome art supply store called New York Central. I got some really great paper to use for books when I get back.

Then we went to PS1 to see the Olafur Eliasson show. He's the one that did the waterfalls around the city. He also had some work at MoMA that I had enjoyed.

So it was fun to go to the city again. It was a bit intimidating driving, though. Laura directed me. Actually, she mostly said, "It's OK. Just go!" Luckily I didn't have to drive very far - we just parked at her place and then took the subway, taxis, and her husband drove some, too.

Anyway, the time here is almost up. It's been really fun and inspiring. I'm almost ready to get back to the real world. I've got a lot of work to do when I get back!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Soaring Gardens, part 2

Laura, hard at work in the lower studio...
I'm still blown away by how beautiful it is here. Texas has its charms (well, maybe not), but natural beauty is not one of them. In the Dallas area, at least... So it's quite an experience to be around so much for so long. I have to admit that at times the nature can be a bit much, especially when it buzzes around your ears or poops on your head...

But I'm making work about the surroundings. I'm taking lots of photos and using them in books. I might also do a series of paintings when I get back.

Above is a book that I'm working on. I'm doing embroidery on mulberry paper, making small accordion books, and I plan to make a box to put them in.

I didn't really bring enough supplies. Since I was traveling so much before, I didn't want to lug around a bunch of extra stuff, so I had someone ship me a box of supplies that was waiting for me when I got here. I bought some paper when I was in New York, but I didn't really know what I needed, so I didn't really get enough. And there are really not art supply stores here. So I'm making due with what I have.

Laura, on the other hand, brought her whole studio! She lives in New York, which is only a 3 hour drive, so she rented a truck and brought lots of paint, large canvases, etc. She's here to work, too. She's on a mission. She gets out there early and stays up late working. I feel like a bit of a slacker, really. But I'm here for the inspiration and the experience. It will affect my work in some way, so I'm just soaking it in.

So I'm having a fabulous time and it's been such a great summer so far. I do miss my son, though. That's the only bad part. And today is his birthday, so there's extra mom guilt. But he's on his own Arkansas adventure right now, digging for diamonds and staying in a yurt! So maybe he's not missing me too much...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Soaring Gardens

View of the back of the house at Soaring Gardens.
The Studio at Soaring Gardens
I arrived at Soaring Gardens on Monday. It's about an hour from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and it's absolutely beautiful here.

You can also check out the Flickr set of photos that I've taken so far - I'm adding them slowly.

I'm staying at "The House" with another artist, Laura Iorio, who is from New York City. Nicole Pietrantoni from Iowa is staying at "The Church." We've all been enjoying hanging out and taking in the scenery. Laura is serious about getting a lot of work done and Nicole and I are here for the experience and to be inspired.

I am working, but mostly collecting ideas and images. I've been taking a ton of pictures. I'm going to do work inspired by the natural surroundings - mountains, trees, birds, deer, pond, chipmunks, woodchucks, squirrels, rain, flowers, etc.

I don't get cell phone reception and I have to come into "town" to get email, but that's probably a good thing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New York City, Day 2

Cymbeline, performed "progressively" in Central Park by the New York Classical Theatre.
I had a super busy day yesterday. I took the subway and then walked through Central Park to the Met. It's a big place and I didn't get to see all of it. I concentrated on the modern and contemporary sections, but got side-tracked by some older things, too. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they allowed photography. So many museums don't any more... Below are just a few of the things that I saw:

I think this was the only piece I saw by Robert Rauschenberg. He's one of my favorites, so I was a tad disappointed that they didn't have more.

I just had to take a picture of Damien Hurst's shark, mainly because there was a "No Photography" sign right next to it.

Detail view of Tara Donovan's amazing installation of mylar tape. She does cool things with straws, styrofoam cups, etc. Seeing something mundane and disposable arranged on such a large scale is quite impressive.

Jasper Johns' encaustic White Flag is pretty textural and amazing in person.

This is a detail of a large encaustic piece by Martin Kline. Very textural and dimensional.

Another encaustic piece, this one by Victor Brauner.

The roof garden featured some large metal sculptures by Jeff Koons.

After the Met, I rode the subway to Battery Park and met an online friend at the Battery Marine Building to see David Byrne's "Playing the Building" installation. The building is going to be remodeled soon and he's turned the empty large space inside into a musical instrument.

There's an organ in the center that you can play, and all the wires connected to the organ control motors on the rafters, compressed air blown into pipes, and hammers on radiators and pillars.

Above is an example of one of the pipes with air being blown into it.

It was really amazing. We stood in line and played a duet that was pretty awful, I'm sure, but it was really fun. There were a few people that were able to play some semblance of music. I felt really fortunate to be able to see it and interact with it.

Then we went to Brooklyn to meet up with another online friend. He took us down to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge to see the Telectroscope, a viewer that allows you to see through this newly discovered tunnel to London that uses elaborate mirrors or something.

This is the viewer - you look through a large window and you can see a screen with the people in London, who are standing in front of a bridge in London (the Tower Bridge?).

Here's Chuck attempting to engage the Londoners in a game of rock-paper-scissors, or roshambo, as they call it. There was a bit of a lag, so it didn't work so well. The woman on the left was talking on the phone to someone in London. Adam, the scientist, was skeptical, and suspected that the people were not even in London, much less at the end of a tunnel.

Then we ate some yummy pizza (although Chuck assured me that it wasn't that great), got some yummy ice cream, and then headed back to Manhattan to go to the New Museum. They didn't let us take pictures there, though.

I headed back to the hostel and attempted to get some sleep.

Today I'm going to head to Chelsea to see some galleries. I might also try to get Shakespeare in the Park tickets for tonight, too.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Adventure Continues

The blur that is Joanne Mattera...

I'm still processing all that I saw and learned at the Second Annual Encaustic Conference. Joanne Mattera and the staff at Montserrat College of Art did a fabulous job of organizing the conference and keeping it lively and interesting.

I need to read through my notes and sit down and do a more thorough wrap-up later.

I also spent a day in Boston roasting in the heat and taking in some mercifully air-conditioned galleries. I will also try to do a summary of what I saw there.

But right now I'm in New York City!

I took a $15 bus from Boston to New York (how is that possible?) and arrived in Chinatown. Then I took a $20 white-knuckle cab ride to the hostel where I'm staying.

OK, so it turns out staying at a hostel is a lot like camping. I hate camping. But it's cheap, so I'm going to make the best of it.

So after checking in and getting settled in, I started wandering around. Central Park is just a couple blocks away, so I started there. I was thinking maybe I'd walk to the Met, but realized that Central Park is BIG! So I thought I'd try to find where they perform Shakespeare in the Park and maybe take in a show, but I couldn't find it.

I decided to just head back to the hostel, grab something to eat, and do some laundry. But as I was walking out of the park, someone handed me a flyer and said, "Come to our performance!" Turns out it was a Shakespeare play by the New York Classical Theatre, and they were doing it right there. It was a "progressive" performance, where they would move all over the park and perform scenes in different locations. At the end of a scene, one of the characters would say, "To Britain! Come on! It's just across the bridge!" Or something like that. It was really fun.

So today I'm thinking of hitting the Met and MoMA. And then tonight I'm meeting some internet friends at David Byrne's musical building.

Hopefully it won't be as hot as it has been.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Encaustic Conference

Gwen Plunkett and Kate Miller

I'm having fun and learning a lot at the Second National Encaustic Conference.

Linda Womack is doing a much better job blogging about it.

This is the only picture I've taken so far!

I'll try to take more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Deanna's Excellent Artistic Summer Adventure

I've been busy getting ready for my summer adventure. I'll be gone for almost a month! In a couple of days, I'm headed to the east coast for the start of my adventure:

Part 1 -
The Second National Encaustic Painting Conference near Salem, Massachusetts. I went to the first one last year and had an amazing time. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the artists that I met last year and meeting new ones.

I'll be staying with Kate Miller and Gwen Plunkett, who I just met in February when they came to Dallas for the College Art Association conference. We hit it off and I'm glad that I'll be able to spend some more time with them.

I'll be staying on a couple extra days after the conference. Gwen and Kate have both signed up for post-conference workshops and I may try to get into one of those or I may just do some sight-seeing. Or I may try to recreate my "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" adventure to Provincetown.

Part 2 -
New York City! Since I have a few days between the conference and the start of my residency, I thought it would be fun to spend some time in New York visiting museums and galleries. Alas, since my search for a Park Avenue penthouse to crash in for free turned up empty, I'll be staying at a cool-looking hostel. I've been to New York twice but was with people who weren't so into the art scene, so I'm excited to get to do anything I want and go anywhere I want! Joanne Mattera has already sent me a Chelsea gallery guide, and of course I'll be visiting museums, too. And looking for good pizza. Art and food. It's all about priorities.

Part 3 -
Artist's Residency at Soaring Gardens in Pennsylvania. I've already booked my ticket on the bus from NYC to Scranton. I'll rent a car in Scranton and then attempt to find Soaring Gardens, where I'll be staying and making art for 18 days.

So now I'm busy trying to figure out how to cram a month's worth of stuff in one small suitcase. I also want to have someone ship my art supplies to me, so I don't have to lug them around.

Thanks to everyone who has "invested" in my residency. I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and I'm really excited to share what I learn with everyone.

I got a new laptop (Betty, pictured above), so I'll try to blog about my adventure as I go along, depending on internet access, of course.

I have a link on the blog now if you're interested in signing up for my mailing list. When I get back, I plan to start sending out a regular (hopefully monthly) newsletter. So please sign up. But don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while - I'll be adventuring!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's My Turn on the Blog Tour!

There's so much going on in my world lately, but I'm excited to be the last stop on the blog tour for Alyson Stanfield's I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self Promotion. If you don't have the book yet, why not? Read on to find out how you can win a free copy...

Today I'm hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Alyson is here as part of the blog tour to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy. She's invited me to ask a question related to the book, so here goes . . .

What is the best piece of advice that you could give to an emerging artist?

That's easy. For most artists, it would be: Get your art out there! Be so in love with your art that you can't wait to get out of bed and share it with people.

Don't wait for opportunity to knock on your door. Make sure more and more people are seeing your work and that you're not hoarding it for the perfect occasion.

Yes, you should enter juried shows, but don't stick to the safe ones. Go beyond your usual circle and introduce your art to new audiences. Subscribe to Art Calendar or an online service like or so you can keep up with the call for entries.

I would also caution emerging artists not to write off non-traditional venues. Sure, a local restaurant might not be as prestigious as a gallery in a big city, but what good is your art doing you while you sit on it and wait for that gallery? You never know what might come of hanging your art in a restaurant or doctor's office or bank lobby.

This brings me to something else. Although it's important to get your work out there as much as you can, it's equally important to know what you're getting into. That means doing your homework, meeting face-to-face with individuals, and that you need something in writing for most venues. You don't need to hang your art at every restaurant. You need to hang your art at those venues that will treat it with respect and treat you as the professional you are. If you don't know what you're getting into--if you don't know the right questions to ask--you can't expect others to cover all of the bases.

Bottom line: Get your art out of the studio and into venues where more people can see it.

Interested in winning a free copy of I'd Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion? Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she's giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Artist's Residencies - An Overview

I promised that I would write a little about artist's residencies and what they're all about.

There are many different kinds of artist's residencies, but basically a residency is a place where an artist can get away from "real life" and concentrate on his or her art for a specified period of time. The artist is usually given a studio space and living space in which to live and work, often sharing space with other artists of different disciplines.

Some common types of residencies:
Fees required -
For this type of residency, you will pay to work and stay at the facility. Often they will bring in a visiting artist (well known artist or writer) that the residents get to interact with. The Vermont Studio Center is an example of this type of residency. Some will offer scholarships that artists can apply for to help with travel or living expenses, but most artists who are there are paying to stay there.

The Atlantic Center for the Arts is another example.

No fees required -
This type of residency will let you stay and work for free, but you're responsible for your travel and meals. This is the type of residency that I'm doing. My friend Junanne clarified by saying that they're "giving me the gift of time" to do my work. I think that's a good way to put it. I'll be away in a beautiful setting with other artists and I won't have to worry about "everyday" types of things that keep me from doing art.

The Edward F. Albee Foundation is another example of this type of no-fee residency.

Stipend provided -
This is a "dream gig." An artist is given a free place to stay and work and is also given a stipend to help defray expenses for travel, etc.

Artpace in San Antonio is an example of this kind of residency.

Work required -
Some residencies will require you to give back in some way, either through teaching community or children's classes, being available to the public to talk about your work, create work for an exhibition at the end of the residency, or to donate a piece of work.

The national park service offers residencies of this type.

But many will not require you to do anything. You're completely on your own to create (or not create) anything you like.

Many universities and colleges will employ artist's in residence for 1 or 2 years. I've known several artists who took these types of positions directly out of graduate school. Some were offered full time positions as a result and some went on to teach full time at different schools.

"Alternative" residencies -
Most residencies will be offered by art centers, art foundations, etc. But every now and then you'll come across a residency opportunity that at first seems strange. One example I heard about recently is at the San Francisco Dump. This would be a dream gig for an artist who likes to use recycled materials.

The Exploratorium, also in San Francisco, offers an artist in residence program that would be great for an artist who is interested in science and working with kids.

Elsewhere Artist Collaborative offers residencies where artists create site-specific work in a former thrift store.

Within all those above categories, you'll find even more differences:
Settings and facilities -
You'll find residencies in cities, rural areas, and even international locations. The facilities will also differ from residency to residency. Some will provide meals, private rooms, etc. while others, especially the ones in the national parks, are more primitive.

Time frame -
You can spend as little as a week or two or up to 1 or 2 years at a residency.

Age and career point -
Some residencies are for artists in their early 20's or 30's, some for more "mature" artists, some for "emerging artists" in their first 10 years of their career.

Gender and ethnicity -
Some residencies focus on women and minorities.

Discipline -
Some residencies are only open to visual artists while others encourage artists of may disciplines to apply, including writers, composers, musicians, dancers, singers, etc. One I saw even encouraged chefs to apply. Sign me up for the month when the chef's there!

Things to consider when applying for a residency:
Cost -
Can you afford to be away? Can you afford the travel expenses, etc? Are you willing to donate time or artwork, if it is required?

Location and time of year -
Where do you want to go? What time of year do you want to be away? Some residencies offer only summer options, but others are year-round. Often winter is a better time to apply, as there are fewer applicants.

Personality and working style -
Do you enjoy interacting with other people? If not, you might try to find a more "solo" residency. If you enjoy working with children or with the public, then you might look for one that requires that you teach and lecture.

The Application Process:
Follow the rules!
All residencies are different, so my best advice is to follow their specific rules. Often if you don't include all of the information that they ask for, your application will be thrown out immediately. They won't call you and ask for you to resubmit - they get hundreds of applications and don't have time for that.

Reapply -
Most residencies have a panel of jurors that changes every year, so if you're rejected, check their guidelines to find out when you can apply again (some will only allow you to apply every 2 years).

Send your best work -
Many residencies are based solely on the work, so make sure that every image you send them is your best.

Application fee -
Some will require an application fee, usually around $25. Personally, I look for the ones that don't require fees. It's expensive enough to be an artist!

Here are some resources and clearinghouses for information on artist's residencies:
Alliance of Artists Communities
Wikipedia has a good explanation and a list of other resources

Additional funding:
Check with your local or state arts council to find out of they offer any residencies or offer grants for residencies.

If you apply, good luck! And I'll keep you updated on how my residency goes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Artist's Residency

I'm very excited to announce that I've been offered a residency at the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust Artist's Residency at Soaring Gardens in Pennsylvania this summer!

I'll be there for eighteen days, June 16 - July 3, interacting with other artists and creating my own artwork. I intend to work on some paintings but I want to focus on creating artist's books.

It's the first residency I've been offered and I'm very excited about it.

The residency includes room and board, but I'm expected to pay for travel expenses, which can get expensive. So I'm asking for your help. If you'd like to help out, click here for an invitation to be a partner on my creative journey.

Special thanks to Alyson Stanfield - I got the idea for this from her book, I'd Rather Be In the Studio.

I don't think I've written anything about artist's residencies, so I'll do that soon...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Different Media

I wrote recently about trying to figure out how to handle marketing different bodies of work. But now I'm facing a different problem: working in different media.

I used to paint only in acrylic, and I played around with layering colors and trying to achieve transparency. But when I discovered encaustic, it seemed to solve all my problems. I could embed objects, collage materials, write words, scrape, scratch, layer... So I've worked almost exclusively in that medium for almost four years.

But when I started on this new body of work (the Palimpsest series), I wanted to explore the ideas in different media, as I had done with the Seeking Shelter series. That particular series came out of all of the work that I did in grad school. I spent the whole time working through ideas and media, and Seeking Shelter is the culmination of all of that work, and it just happens to be created in encaustic.

I know Joanne Mattera has written about not wanting to be labeled an "encaustic artist," and I can understand and respect that. About not being defined by your medium. And it's never bothered me if someone called me an encaustic artist. [I don't care what you call me, just call me, right?]

But I'm afraid now that I've pigeon-holed myself. I've created a few new pieces in the Palimpsest series that are not encaustic. I've been experimenting with acrylic, oil, and pastel. I think all of the pieces go together as one body of work and I don't think acrylic pieces would look out of place next to encaustic pieces as long as they seem cohesive in style, subject matter, etc. But when I was talking with a gallery owner about sending work to him, he seemed hesitant about me sending the non-encaustic pieces. He said I have become "known for" encaustic.

I'm going to send them anyway and see what happens.

So I'm curious. How do you handle working in different media? Or introducing work created in a new medium? Have you had the experience of being labeled as a particular kind of artist or expected to only work in a certain medium?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Don't Really Want to Be an Expert on This...

I was recently interviewed for American Artist Magazine for an article about rejection.

The article will appear in the June issue.

You can read it now online:
Putting a Positive Spin on Rejection

Saturday, April 05, 2008

More Shameless Self-Promotion

Just wanted to post some info on recent shows. I'm noticing a lot of artist book activity lately and I like it!

Deanna Wood - Palimpsest: Secrets Revealed, photocopies, colored pencil, Canson paper, staples, and wax

Secrets and Lies, National Juried Artist Book Exhibition
23 Sandy Gallery
Portland, Oregon
March 20 - April 26, 2008

I created this book specifically to enter in the show. It seemed serendipitous, as it fit into my recent body of work so perfectly. I will definitely be doing more books as part of this series.


Deanna Wood - Bicycle Andante, inkjet prints, vinyl, metal tape, reflector

Deanna Wood - Desk Drawing, color copies, spiral binding

Merging Visions - Collaborative Art and Poetry Exhibition
Visual Arts Society of Texas and Denton Poets' Assembly
Emily Fowler Central Library and North Branch Library
Denton, Texas
April 1 - April 30, 2008

This exhibition is a really fun idea - the poets made poems available to the artists and the artists made artwork available to the poets. The poets looked at the art and found pieces that either reminded them of poems that they had written, or they wrote poems that were inspired by the artwork. At the same time, the poets made their poems available to the artists, who paired the poems with existing artwork or created new art based on the poetry. The pairings are displayed at 2 branches of the library, in celebration of National Poetry Month.

My friend Beth Honeycutt, who is a member of the Poets' Assembly, gave me some of her poems to read, as well as her daughter, Stephanie's. I was drawn to one poem by each of them, and created the artist's books pictured above. Beth wrote a poem in response to one of my paintings.

More images of Desk Drawing and Bicycle Andante in this Flickr set.


One last artist's book-related event - I'll be speaking about artist's books to the Dallas Area Fiber Artists on April 28, at 7:15 pm at CC Young Cultural Arts Center Auditorium, 4829 Lawther West, in Dallas. I'll also be doing a mini workshop before the meeting.


I'll be speaking to the Women of Visionary Influence Artist Ring about my path as a full-time artist on Wednesday, April 9, 9:30-11:00 am, at la Madeleine on Belt Line and Montfort in Addison.

Now playing: Joshua Radin - Everything'll Be Alright (Will's Lullaby)
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Party!

Alyson Stanfield speaking to artists at my studio

This past Sunday, I was excited to host Alyson Stanfield, creator of at my studio for a book party. She's visiting artist's studios to talk about her new book, I'd Rather Be in the Studio.

There were about 13 artists there to meet Alyson, buy her book, and ask her questions about art marketing. Everybody wanted to hear everyone else's questions, so it ended up being a group question and answer type format.

Alyson was very genuine, funny, and generous with her information. I really enjoyed meeting her.

Her book is wonderful - full of helpful information to get you started or to help you focus on what you're already doing. And I was overwhelmed with the amount of online resources that she shares with the buyers of the book. It's such a great supplement to the book. You definitely need to read it!

And, just a reminder - as part of her blog tour, Alyson is stopping by my blog on May 27. Stop back by then for more with Alyson!