Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Art Clearance

So my art show is all wrapped up with pretty good success! I sold a few paintings and received two commissions that I am presently working on.

The rest of my "inventory" is now 50% off from their original prices. I am making room for new and upcoming projects.

Please feel free to visit my commercial site,, to see the remaining pieces from my show.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 23, 2011

With This Ring

"With This Ring"

6" x 10" watercolor

For this months assignment over at the Calypso Moon Artists Movement, we were to study the videos from the Royal Wedding and using them as inspiration paint something Royally wonderful.

I won't wax poetic about the Royal Wedding as that has been done ad nauseum, but I will state a few things I learned from the viewing and completing of this painting:

1. The Royal fingernails were superbly done. Short, but not too short nails, no colored polish, and not a cuticle to be seen. I wonder if the Royal Manicurist gets the Rack if there is dirt under a Royal fingernail?

2. Details, details, details. In an era when a video can be paused, zoomed in on, copied, pasted, and painted, it's a good idea to make sure all details are perfect. No lint, no dirt, no stray strands of thread, no dust, no NOTHING. There is no more hiding imperfections when every minutiae of your appearance can be panned and zoomed for nit-picking.

3. I officially know the hands of the Prince of Wales better than I know the hands of my husband.

4. He had one heck of a time getting that tiny band onto her finger! I wonder what he was thinking as he pushed and shoved the ring over her knuckle, "Get on there you bloody pile of rubbish! Brilliant. Just brilliant. In front of 2 billion people and I can't even get this bloody ring on her finger!"

5. There was a moment where Prince William seemed to be falling asleep. I bet the Archbishop of Canterbury is a real bore. How fun would that have been! And the headlines read: Prince William Falls Asleep During Royal Wedding, But No one Noticed as They Too were Asleep!"

6. Katherine's sister is gorgeous and her dress was stunning! (Of course so was Katherine's!)

7. Poor Prince Harry. He looked as comfortable in all of that Royal Regalia as a stuffed Christmas goose. Will he get the same pomp and circumstance when he gets married as he's not the Crown Prince?

8. The hats. Oh my, the hats! I think they're superb and should be in fashion here in the States!

9. The Royal Baby Timer has officially been set. Eight months and 2 weeks to go.......

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Matchbox Car Mat

This is a car mat that I made for a friend's son's birthday. It's an acrylic painting done on a sheet of mat board (the stuff that picture frame matting is made out of.) Josh has one, though a tad less detailed, and when he has friends over, the play mat is one of the favorite toys.

It's for Matchbox cars, Hotwheels and the like.

I really try to make birthday presents special. I've seen Josh's friend play with Josh's car mat a dozen times, driving cars around the streets, parking in the parking spaces, and then flying the planes off of the runway.

I had a spare mat board laying around so I thought, "Why not?"

Here are a few close-ups of the "attractions":

McDonald's. Always a kid favorite! And an upgrade from Josh's car mat McDonald's; a drive-through!

A community swimming pool, conveniently located on the same cul-de-sac as the house!

A playground with swings, monkey bars, slide, and a merry-go-round.

An apple orchard. I'm a Yankee at heart.

There's home!

No community of Air Force families would be complete without an airport! Here's a short little runway wide enough even for a B-52!

And a fishing pond.

It was a lot of fun to paint, quite fast as the details were quickly done, but the outcome is great! I hope the little boy is enjoying his new car mat!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Art Show Results

Last night was my first ever art show! I had 23 pieces on display in the "local artist" gallery at The Firehouse in Del Rio, TX. On display in the main gallery were the works of the contestants of the annual Del Rio Artist League's Judged art show. I had four pieces entered into that contest, separate from my private showing.

And guess what? My painting of the robin on the wire, "Freedom to Soar", won second place in the oil/acrylic landscape category! Yippee! I was really surprised to see a ribbon on it, but how exciting!

There were a few hundred entries in the entire show, and there was some fantastic art represented. The winner of the "Best in Show" was also my favorite, a watercolor of a basket of southwestern looking vegetables spilling onto a table top. It was by far the best piece of art I have ever seen. EVER.

Here I am in front of my bird! I'll tell you, I felt slightly like a small town celebrity when I first entered The Firehouse. My showing wasn't to start until 7, but when I arrived at 6 the place was hopping! There were a few dozen art league members studying the artwork, chatting, and getting things set up. When I introduced myself to one of the ladies, she yelled, "PAULA REYNOLDS?! Hey, ladies! Paula Reynolds is here!" After a brief pause, the same lady continued, "You know, the one who painted the BIRD!"

Suddenly I was half-surrounded by a bunch of very tiny little old ladies all smiling and shaking my hand. "We were hoping you would come!" "We just LOVE your painting!" "It's so new and fresh, so unlike anything we've seen here before." "We've all been painting the same thing for years for the art show and it's great to see some new work!" "I knew she was young! You can just tell from the style of painting."

I tell ya, my ego got a bit of a boost last night!

Everyone was so incredibly friendly, outgoing, and sincere that even though most of the members were old enough to be my grandmother, they felt more like new friends. I am glad to be their "new, young blood" into their "little old lady" art club!

Here are some pictures of my smaller gallery space, before the show got started. The paintings were arranged by color, mostly; blues, brown/green, purples.

Some of the paintings have been done within the past year, others as far back as ten years ago. I figured if there was wall space needing a painting, I may as well put it all up!

The paintings looked nice on the walls and under bright fluorescent lighting. The lights made even the ones I've been staring at for years seem new and exciting.

The opening was quite busy, especially with the flow of people coming in for the Judged art show. Maybe 100 people or so came in and of those, I spoke with probably half. I tried to be approachable but not pushy, so if someone loitered around a painting more than another I would gently start a conversation about the painting they were looking at. I met quite a few very kind people last night.

The paintings that garnered the most interest were:

1.) The desert landscape with the four season sections. I heard over and over that "this could be a painting of my backyard!" I pointed out how from afar the desert looks dead, brown, uninteresting, but when you approach it and really more closely, all kinds of colors, details, and life appear. Apparently, I even accidentally painted "The Sleeping Lady" mountains of Mexico in the background. Cool!

2.) The dandelion painting. There were quite a few people who came to look at the painting a few times, commenting kindly on it. One man came back over and over, and when I approached him, he had a wonderful faraway sentimental look on his face. I won't give away a strangers story, but I was thrilled that a painting I had done could evoke such emotion and sentiment in a complete stranger.

3.) Mrs. Starkers. You know, the naked chick running through the field. I was hesitant to put her up. I wasn't sure if her nakedness would be a problem, but I figured what the heck. It's not like you can see anything. At first, when the young children came through with their parents, the kids would run over laughing and pointing at her while mom and dad tried to get them to look away. It was kind of funny. Sorry, parents! But when the kids were gone and the wine drinkers started coming, small groups of women would gather around Mrs. Starkers, smiling and laughing with each other. Each time that happened I would go over and gently enter their conversation by asking them what they saw in her, all naked and running. I got the same answer from each lady. (I think it's a tad revealing, excuse the pun, about the nature of our culture.) Here's the gist of Mrs. Starkers from a strangers perspective:

"She's free. Total freedom. Free from childcare, housework, business work, everything. She's so free she's not even hindered by clothing."

And then they would get this far away look on their face, like they were imaging themselves being free from childcare, housework, business work, everything.

I'm certainly glad I brought her along to the show. She stole it!

Of the 23 paintings I brought, 4 sold. And they were the four that I painted within the last two weeks. Now, I hope I wasn't cheating or putting bad art karma out there, but a few weeks ago I realized that most of my pieces were quite large and expensive. So I painted a triptych and a single daisy that were small, fast to paint, and had proven themselves sell-able as I'd sold ones similar to them before. I was simply hoping to have a few pieces say "SOLD" so other patrons might feel more comfortable purchasing art from an unknown artist. You know the thinking, "Oh, she must be good if some of her art has already sold!" Something along those lines.

And it seems like my initial idea was right on. Within an hour I had sold both the triptych (Live, Laugh, Love) and the small, red daisy. They were inexpensive, $65 and $60 respectively, so I made only a small amount, but those big, fat SOLD letters printed in red are what I was after by putting those pieces in. We'll have to see if it equals more, and larger sales down the road.

So now it's over. The paintings will stay up through the end of May and then the unsold ones will come on back home with me and resume their places on my now empty walls.

This whole process has been exciting, stressful, fun, interesting, and so totally worthwhile. I'm already concocting some ideas for new paintings, and I've already reserved the gallery space for next May.

Only 364 days to go. I better get started...........

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Art Show

Here is the flyer for The Firehouse, advertising for May's art show line-up. The Firehouse is a refurbished firehouse that was used over 100 years ago. The pottery studio is actually located in the old county jail!

There are two galleries in the Firehouse, the main gallery will host the Del Rio Council for the Arts annual judged art show, and the smaller gallery will host the art of Paula Reynolds: ME!

My show is entitled "Freedom to Soar", based on the robin painting I completed for my Parent Trapped blog. There is a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes represented in my show. I'm excited for the opening tomorrow night!

Here's the bio I gave them for the show:

Outsider Art; an Ecclectic Mix by Paula Reynolds

There are many artists who have studied their craft for years, perfecting techniques and applications with the aide of art instructors. Some go to art school, some study art at college, while others take private art lessons either in person, and now more frequently, online.

And then there is the “other” type of artist. The artist who never studied art, technique, or application. The artist who picked up a brush, pencil, or sculpting tool, and discovered a love, a desire to make something beautiful, creative, inspiring. These types of artists are called “outsiders” because of their lack of traditional and structured art instruction.

As for me, I started painting in my early 20's while finishing my undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. One day, out of the blue, I decided to paint some butterflies onto the walls of my apartment. After completing these first attempts at painting, I was thrilled with the process, the relaxation, and the results. It was too late to take formal art classes at school, so I began learning and practicing art technique on my own. I won't tell you how long it's been, but here I am, still painting!

I enjoy painting still lifes, landscapes, and sky scenes, along with other eclectic subjects, using acrylic, watercolor, or gouche paints. My style is mostly realistic, though I have branched out to try the “other” type of art: abstract. I have sold paintings for the past three years through my website, recommendations, and commission. I am very excited to have my art on display at The Firehouse for my very first public showing.

Whether from a studied artist or an “outsider”, art has the ability to calm, excite, remind, and stir the emotions of the viewer. With this in mind, I continue to practice and perfect my humble version of “outsider” art, for the enjoyment of future clients, but mostly for myself.

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.” - Federico Fellini

Look for art by Paula Reynolds on a wall near you!

On the first Friday of every month, The Firehouse participates in the First Friday Artwalk where art patrons can see the new openings at the Firehouse, Casa de la Cultura (a local Mexican heritage arts center), and the Lee-Bunch Gallery (a private art gallery). All three venues are within walking distance, so for two hours art lovers can walk from gallery to gallery and see all of the new art.

Man, are there some fine artists in this area! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one inspired by the beauty of this dry, bright, brown landscape!

I'll post pictures of the opening next week so you all can see me shaking hands with people I don't know and trying to explain my art to them. I've never had to do that before. I am not versed in what I'll call "art speak"; I don't know about technique, colors, styles, or art periods. I just know what I like, what inspires me, and on what I'll spend my time painting. And I couldn't tell you how those things come out of my mind, through my hand, and onto a canvas. They just do.

And I am thankful.

I'm ready for this showing as it's been in my mind for 8 months or so. I'm excited for this next step.Italic

And I'm already planning my next show. I have a theme in mind already and a half dozen paintings stirring around in the depths of my imagination. I'll give you a hint: They will be more divinely inspired, and a few will feature The Rock. (And I don't mean Dwain Johnson.)

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. - John 21:7

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of my art in the past. This online art community is so inspiring and supportive. It's hard to imagine it! But again, my thanks go out to all of my art friends. Art is more fun when enjoyed together!

See you next week! Wish me luck!