Turning Inward

October 31st, 2010

Acrylic on panel, 18 x 24"

Fall is my busiest season for getting my art (and myself, really) out into the world. I really enjoy meeting the people who like my art — of course! And I love just being outside too, at this time of year. It truly is one of the most beautiful times of year to live in New Hampshire.
But the days are growing decidedly shorter — I must admit that I’m fairly obsessed with checking the amount of daylight in the newspaper. We are moving rapidly towards less than 10 hours from a high of 15+ in June. But I don’t really mind — like the black bears preparing for hibernation, I too am slowing down now that my annual open studio is over.

I’m even preparing a cozier den —  some very exciting renovation work begins next week in my studio. It’s going to be a lot of work but I’ll soon have a more comfortable floor, plumbing (!) and better storage. My plan is to really get back to painting in a big way come January. By then the light will be returning too, along with my focus. And to keep the metaphor going, just as many black bears will be giving birth in the deepest days of winter, I often find myself doing my most creative work too. I too hope to emerge in the spring with some new offspring —

In the meantime, I have a couple of freelance articles to write, my weekly painting class to teach, and a stack of books to read. Most of them are related to a brave new series I plan to start in the new year. I’m trying to take a more philosophical approach to the underlying story in my work.  I’ll try to post a review of at least one of the books soon!

Getting All Experimental-ly Like

June 30th, 2010
It's been that kind of year...

Trying out some new ideas is always fun...

I suppose it’s understandable that after a year like this one, my art would see some changes. I have been doing a lot of experimentation and have been a bit shy of showing it to anyone. But what’s the worst that could happen? You hate it? Oh well. I like them all so the heck with you! (Only joking.) But I feel brave enough to put some of them out there.

But I am working on a new series that is really really different and very personal. Not sure when I will share that one.

But please visit my site and click on the experimental section to see what’s new and available…

And let me know what you think!

Sign up for my new painting class

March 25th, 2010

aka Miss Billie Holiday

So the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough NH has invited me to teach an Introduction to Acrylics course this spring. It’s a 6-week course in which I will lead folks through the many wonders of painting with this versatile medium. No experience is required and I’ve designed it so it is appropriate for experienced watercolor or oil painters too. Here’s the course description:

Exploring Acrylics

Rosemary Conroy

MAY 4–JUNE 8

SESSION 1: TUESDAYS, 10AM-1PM (P4A) / SESSION 2: TUESDAYS, 6-9PM (P4B)

Acrylic paints have come such a long way—the harsh colors and plastic-y look is totally a thing of the past. If you’ve always been curious about acrylics but didn’t know where to begin, then this class is for you. We’ll explore their incredible versatility and have a lot of fun doing it, to boot! You’ll get a chance to put the paints through their paces, discover how to achieve a variety of different effects, and see how well acrylics mix with other media. It could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with a whole new kind of painting—or just the inspiration you need to take your art to the next level. All levels welcome. Materials fee payable to instructor: $20. M $145, NM $165.

To sign up, click here, or call (603) 924-7256. And of course, you can contact me for more information about the course.

Branching out into Western animals

March 4th, 2010

I love being an east coast girl except I wish we had more charismatic mega-fauna like this...

Thanks to the fabulous photographer (and my former neighbor) Brent Doscher, I have finally got more of my latest painting shot and uploaded on my website. And did I mention that my website is all new and improved too? Check it out folks — I’d love to get your feedback.

So I’m pretty happy with the latest 350 paintings — and I’ve even pulled out a few that I am really, really happy with.But I’m not going to show them all at once — what fun would that be?

So it’s been a busy and productive few weeks — yay! And New Hampshire Magazine assigned me to write an article about grass-fed beef and I even did a painting to go along with it! Despite being without power for three days, I managed to pull it off.

So that’s the latest news here — it’s hard to make time to blog, I have to say. It feels so dear diary. Guess I am not as loquacious as I thought I would be… Could be worse, as they say in New Hampshire!

Um, Happy Year of the Metal Tiger?

February 13th, 2010

Tigers? We don't need no stinking tigers in North America...

So, apparently metal tigers aren’t that lucky. But ONLY if your lucky element isn’t metal. Happily, mine is, thank goodness. Whew — I feel like I could use a little luck this year!

So to update: After a bright and determined hit on the re-start button, my enthusiasm for my 350 project came to a crashing halt in the darkest days of January. But after some interior regrouping, I am back at it, albeit with some adjustments. For a variety of reasons, (my sanity being first and foremost amongst them) I am extending my deadline for the project. Originally I picked Earth Day 2010, but quite frankly, that will make me crazy. I didn’t want to admit, but there it is. I’ve done crazy and, despite it’s reputation,  it isn’t that much fun.

And I’m discovering that I want to paint more than just 6 x 6″ portraits of animals.

BUT I still want to complete the project! So I’m making Mondays “350 Day” and the rest of the week are “paint whatever I want” days. So far it’s working really well.

When will it all be done? Who knows?! The journey has to matter as much as the destination…

Back to work (again!)

January 5th, 2010

Yay! it’s finally a new year and 2009 is officially in the past…

So I’ve started my new schedule: four days of focused painting and one day of teaching/networking/adminstrative/blogging/etc. (Not all at once of course.) The way I figure it that will give me 24 hours/week of solid painting time. Is this enough? Not sure.

Especially since I just calculated that I have to average 12 paintings a week to make my slightly adjusted deadline of May 1. Gulp.

But believe it or not I think I can do it! These are mostly 6 x 6″ paintings. And many of them, if I stick to all of North America’s mammals, will be rodents. Portraits of rodents — little pointy faces with black beady eyes. Piece of cake!

Hmm. I may have to reconsider that one. Not sure I can handle that much rodentia, despite the temptation of ease of execution.

I think I will end up doing some birds too…

So I took out twelve canvases and put them on my work table yesterday. It’s not that bad. I can do this!

But I did take out some I already started to help me ease into the new year.

Yeah they’re my rules and I can bend them. As long as they get done right?!?! Right!

I can do it!

I’ll post a picture next week of the best of the twelve…

A new word for a new year

December 14th, 2009

For the past few years, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I simply pick one word.

I got this idea from Christine Kane, one of my favorite musicians and blogger extraordinaire. For 2009, I picked the word “ACCEPTANCE” because I wanted to work on accepting people as they are, instead of how I wish they could be. A lovely thought, right? But boy, did this year turn out different than I thought – I had to do a LOT of accepting: Of my mother dying suddenly; of having to clean out her house; and then subsequently selling it (50+ years in the family); of having that, my last connection to my hometown of Brooklyn, NY severed forever; and, last but not surprisingly,  of not being able to work on my 350 project. Oh yeah, and I got laid off from my Something Wild gig.

I did not accept any of this very well. In fact, I raged against it all. I let the grief swallow me up. I barely painted. It was all very natural but much of it was not welcome, not wanted, and definitely NOT what I was planning on happening for this year!

But eventually, with the help of my darling husband, my family, the support of many wonderful friends, the wild bears I met in MN, and an absolutely amazing weekend workshop at Kripalu; I am finally coming to terms with it all. Yes, acceptance was the perfect word for this year.

So what will be the word for 2010? I want it to be a word that is not as heavy, not as self-improvement-y, not as serious. Because I really really hope that 2010 won’t be any of those things. I plan to get back on track with my 350 project and I have all these cool ideas swirling around in my head for a new body of work too. I want to paint paint paint! I want to dance more and laugh a whole lot more than I did in 2009.

So it’s official: my word for 2010 will be CELEBRATE. Because despite all the sorrow and losses, I still have so much to be joyful about. And above all, I want my art to celebrate the things I love about this world. And I have great friends who are really great to have at parties. It’s a darn good word. And even if 2010 isn’t perfect, this word will remind to focus on what is beautiful and magical about my life.

My next post will probably be in January! So Happy New Year, Happy Solstice, and don’t forget to CELEBRATE all the good things in your life — past, present, and future…

Open Studio A Big Success!

October 27th, 2009
Rosemary Conroy's 350 project

Here's what the paintings looked like at my open studio last weekend

Whew — Close to 200 people showed up at my open studio on October 24 & 25th! It was the grand unveiling of my 350 project and everyone seemed to be impressed (or thought I was crazy.) It was great to see it up on the wall and I am pretty charged up to move it forward. And thanks to all my wonderful supporters, we raised a nice bit of change for the Piscataquog Land Conservancy.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to really focus doing more of the 350 paintings for a few more weeks… I have a commission and need to get some paintings done for the Sharon Arts Gallery Holiday Show. As much I want to finish this project, the chance to make money now can’t be ignored. Plus, paying for 350 panels and paint and stuff adds up, you know.

Besides, my new goal is Earth Day 2010 — plenty of time!!!

An Auspicious Autumn

September 23rd, 2009
A painting that I worked on in between my 350 project paintings -- it's metaphorical of course.

A painting that I worked on in between my 350 project paintings -- it's metaphorical of course.

So yeah — auspicious. That’s what I’ve decided this will be. I’ve been working on getting ready for my open studio at the end of October and I’m really getting excited about it. It’ll be fun to show people all of my 350 paintings to date (I think I’ll have about 45 by then, plus a few from my co-artists.)

Part of me sighs when I think how far I had hoped to be by now, but in the interest of cutting myself some slack, I don’t think this project will be irrelevant just because it won’t be finished this year. Listening to the news, it kind of seems like it may take a while to get a world-wide consensus on what to do about global climate change anyway. Of course I HOPE they can pull their act together when our great world leaders meet this December in Copenhagen — this is, after all serious stuff!

In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away towards having a show of all 350 paintings by the spring of 2010…

Off to see the bears…

July 14th, 2009
Recent painting on yupo paper

Recent painting on yupo paper

I’m heading to a black bear workshop this week and hoping to restart the 350 project (in a slightly revised format) when I get back.

I’ve spent the last few months processing all the events of this past spring — soul-altering stuff. But I guess, as they say, that which doesn’t kill makes you stronger!

I have done some painting — just not the 350 stuff. For some reason, I often turn to bears when life gets hard.

By the way, my open studio will be held on October 24 and 25 this year and will feature a sneak preview of the 350 project! Don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter so you can get a reminder email.

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