What’s Inspiring…

October 13th, 2011
Thank you to all the inspiring birds who have graced my life.

Birds inspire me over and over again

Inspiration starts at home: Last weekend I had a chance to go kayaking in a local marsh which drains into a big lake near my home. The lake is pretty but lined with houses and often filled with loud speedboats. Since we thrive on peace and quiet more than speed and noise, my husband and I chose the marsh. It was meandering, empty of people, and surrounded by forests of trees in just-about-peak foliage. In other words, deeply soul-soothing.

This place where I live is inspiring. Most of my work, in one way or another, is an effort to celebrate it and preserve it. Nature feeds my spirit.

People inspire me too. I also spent part of last weekend visiting other artists who were part of the Monadnock Artists Open House Tour. I love seeing what other artists are doing and their unique spaces. I made a point of visiting Luann Udell — a very talented woman who lives in Keene, NH. Luann not only makes amazingly beautiful, animal-inspired jewelry and wall-hangings, she writes a great blog too. I have learned so much from her and am so appreciative of her sunny nature and positive outlook. AND she gave me one of the best hugs I have had in a while — so thank you Luann! You rock.

And of course wildlife. Obsessions can be unhealthy but I think it can also be the fuel that keeps your engines firing too. I find animals — both the wild and the mild ones — so incredibly fascinating. I can’t imagine living on this planet without them. This year I have been painting birds and wow — the shapes, the colors, the variety! Simply mesmerizing. Thank you great creator for birds and the many ways they have blessed my life.

 

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!

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!

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…

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.

A Bump in the Road…

April 24th, 2009
350 -- Flying Squirrel

350 -- Flying Squirrel

Life has thrown me a rather strong curve-ball recently and so this project will have to take a backseat for a while. I’m still determined to get it done, but it won’t be getting much attention for a while.

So here’s a creature that manages to sail through darkness with grace and apparent ease. Seems like a good metaphorical note to pause on.

Bunny Love

March 30th, 2009

350 - snowshoe hare

I always think of snowshoe hares when I hear the sports guys on the radio talking about “March madness” because this is their mating season (the hares, not the sports guys!)

And believe it or not, hares get pretty crazy. There’s leaping and cross-peeing and all kinds of lagomorph lunacy. I wrote a “Something Wild” spot about them once. It had the best alliteration I have ever used (to date) in describing how the males impress the females with “boisterous bouts of bunny boxing.” They do actually stand up on their hind legs and trade jabs with their front paws.

So I have arrived at the Vermont Studio Center where I am beginning a one month painting residency. I am one of 50 artists who have won fellowships to do nothing but work on their art. It’s totally awesome — the food is great, my studio is big and bright, and everyone I’ve met so far is really wonderful. I love talking about painting over dinner.

(Not that my husband doesn’t indulge me and let me yammer on about my work, but it is different when you have a room full of people who are all painters, sculptors, and writers.)

I’ll try to add some pictures when the sun comes out — hopefully tomorrow. Mud season in Vermont isn’t terribly picturesque but it does make you want to stay inside and paint!

Cuddly Kitten Day?

March 23rd, 2009

I actually heard on the radio that today — it is “Cuddly Kitten Day” and also, “Cute Puppy Day.” But since I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, I thought I’d post two wild cats for you. The Canada lynx, on the left, is from a beautiful animal I met during a wildlife art workshop I took in Montana two years ago and the bobcat is from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center here in New Hampshire. Not sure these qualify as “cuddly” or “kittens” but that’s OK!

Less than a week until I leave for the Vermont Studio Center! Thanks for all your good wishes of support and encouragement…

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