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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chair with message

This small acrylic painting is done with OPEN GOlden acrylics- and so it has a glazing effect that captures a luminous light unlike regular acrylics. This is a test image so offered on ebay.
Sometimes we should just sit down...
BUT... there are those doing incredible work- read the Hopital Albert Schwietzer's (HAS) blog about earthquake relief in Haiti.
Very poignant and touching stories of patients and families in outlying regions of the country. My parents worked at HAS for many years when I was a child. My sister was born there. My heart goes there right now. I want so much to reach out and help, and nothing I do conveys the sincere investment I'd like to make. This is something I have to continue to think about. Does anyone have any idea? Does anyone feel the same way? What can we do?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thank you

Thank you to the artists who responded to my question of why they make art... there is tons of stuff, a lot of variation, and yet a common thread...

I am so thrilled to be part of the Dutchess County Arts Council...Thursday night was the annual meeting and election. Everyone was so fascinating. It's a wonderful and artist-empowering organization. Every artist in the county should join. For the basic membership of $50 there are so many opportunities and skills strengthening sessions available, not to mention a calendar of events, a regional magazine subscription, and a network of professionals. If you have questins feel free to ask me- there are no stupid questions....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why do we make art?

Gosh, this is a constant buzz in the back of my head... it's different from the question of what I want my art to be. Here is a "map" called no way around it, that started with a close up of a wing drawing... and became a maze to walk through to the other side... still in process.
So, why did I start this?
- Carolyn Carr, Alice Neel, page 5. "Art was the arena to which Neel retreated when she was confronted with an emotionally troubling situation or an event she could not control. It was the source of her psychic salvation. As she candidly admitted, "the minute I sat in front of a canvas I was happy. Because it was a world, and I could do as I liked in it."
I make art as a way to express things that would make me go mad if I couldn't get them outside of me. I make art to find answers to things that bother me, or gain insights to situations at hand. Most of the time the finished artwork is less important than the act of making it. That is why I so readily sell them inexpensively. I make art almost every single day. It's a way of proving I'm alive, of marking the time as it flies by, of saying something only my soul can speak.
I believe artists make art for a million different reasons. And that's interesting.
Why do you make art?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

thoughts from the studio



DON'T FORGET 2 MAKE A LIST OF WHAT MAKES ME FEEL RICH.(my kids, heating oil,money, paint,organic food, museums, buying gifts for others,...)

INVITE GOD INTO MY DAY- I can barely see the road!




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One winged woman

It's still changing.
Spent the day learning about Gamblin paint history and tricks to using Golden Open Acrylics. There is so much to learn. That's one of the fun things about being an artist. Just browsing an art supply store can incite you to go mad in new directions and charge down roads of new techniques.
This painting already has about 4 layers where I could have stopped. The process has been like dancing with different partners... you switch, and sometimes feel a bit wistful about the previous partner, but the current partner is carrying you across the floor...

Just uploaded new images from my MONTH OF SUNDAES series to my Fine Art America account. It is a good place for printed cards and posters. Check it out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blowing in the wind like a chicken

Today started out with an intense wind- then warm rain. Now, most of the snow has been washed away. I have to confront someone who was blowing cold, then hot, and now cool again. The unpredictability has me unsettled. I am terrible at holding my ground, especially at the expense of someone else. Just don't have the courage to do it.
So I painted this little rooster weather vane with directionals...
5 x 4 inches, quality acrylics on canvas, on eBay

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chickens at side of road

This is a block of wood I started in 2007 and only (THINK) I have finished today (2010)
It measures 4 x 5 1/2 inches with a depth of 1 1/2 inches.
The subject is a question of risk.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

WORK in the studio

I AM PRAYING FOR A MESSAGE- A SIGN- and it only gets muddier...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to the studio

small wood panel painted in acrylics 8 x 10 inches.
My mind is a scatter. It's been a stressful week, with the earthquake, financial news. a sick child, and confrontations with the spouse. I am going to hide out in my studio now before I totally lose my mind.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Deer for Sinterklaas a Toast for Barrett House

Finished this 12 x 16 inch canvas for the Sinterklaas auction. Thought you might like to see it. It's playful. The smaller work is for the Barrett House (art organization) auction to benefit it's rent issues. I have a donation policy of limited works available to give away in one year for free. After the requests have depleted my cache, I will have to insist on some purchase. Looking back over the years- and in particular last year, I am stunned by how much I gave away. I said yes to everything. And though I do not regret it, I know it is an unsustainable practice. So please understand when You ask me. I am an artist. I have to eat. I need to turn my paintings and drawings into currency because the utility, food, and credit companies don't accept paintings. Thank you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hen art for Haiti

Auction work-
for sale on Ebay
- 20% will go to help Haitians in this earthquake disaster.
4 x 5 inches wrapped canvas painted in acrylic.

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS is the best at this time to contribute to.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

woman on couch, 8 x 10 in

This is a "study" of sorts for the larger work that is still in process. The image is dream like...Not sure, not sure, not sure what any of it means. 8 x 10 inches, acrylic on panel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WORK in the studio

Going bigger means more paint (I am almost out of yellow!), bigger brushes (what?!), and a question of rights. Do I have the right to take up so much space? I feel unsure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hibernating for inspiration

I haven't put in the hours I need to yet in the studio- just getting the house in order, writing articles , attending meetings, crafting my statement, applying to residencies, and feeling low energy. My biggest pleasure, in addition to the sofa, is cups of tea. I received several different kinds as gifts this Christmas. They bring me tons of joy and comfort. I am waiting for a good idea...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 goals

Seeing these in writing will only help. I have been carrying two sheets of paper for a week or more. I have even been helping other people figure out their goals. I keep thinking that I may have forgotten something and feel afraid to commit myself! I want them, over all, to be realistic and healthy.
My first goal is to stay optimistic (and I have a whole spread sheet of strategies for doing that). I need to balance my increased alone time with social events, friends, and monthly travel opportunities.
In the studio I am going to paint fewer paintings- much larger- and possibly exhibit less. AND I am going to paint smaller and faster and try 6 months (five left) of eBay sales.
I want to make $60,000 (hey, why not?) and improve my networking through both snail mail and email. Do I revisit Twitter?
Also, I will take advantage of the invitation to write for the local paper about art events that I attend. I plan on being a more active member of the Dutchess County Arts Council. I will continue to develop programs for the local Indian Rock School and help organize the annual Arteast studio tour. I will NOT volunteer to do more.
I am going to apply to at least 6 residency programs just to keep my statement up to date and polished, search and apply for lucky money grants, dust my teaching resume and try to get a full time job in the fall.

On a personal note, I think there is a strong possibility I am going to get a legal separation from my husband, travel with my youngest son to Europe and be forced to move before the end of this summer.

here goes!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Auction works

As I wait for prime to dry and muse about my empty house, I find old gems to post on eBay. These two plates made of wood and painted and carved and added to, are from an old show, back in the early nineties, at a local Pizzaria. I loved the idea of travel through food. Still love it.
It makes staying put quiet a fine way to live.
These measure 10 inches across and about 2 inches deep.

Find them on eBay- search for "Tilly Strauss"

Friday, January 8, 2010

EFFORTS to create a masterpiece

There are so many preliminary steps to take...
this is dragging out! But my panels are going to be REALLY REALLY nice.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Auction works


These two cup on map paintings are for sale this week on eBay. Search for me by name (Tilly Strauss)
Working on my 2010 goals and hoping they are realistic. This is what I have come up with so far:
I am going to continue putting older, and some small new, works on eBay every week for the next five months. This keeps me working daily, and also clears some of the cobwebs. At the same time I am raising all my prices substantially and expecting my new work to be in larger scale and less prolific. The low prices have been unsustainable for me, and my new circumstances mean I need to support myself. The private small group art lessons in my studio on the weekends (starting January 23rd) are helpful and inspiring for me. I will be looking into renting my house this fall and moving to a smaller place, as well as looking for a full time teaching job. If you know of anything possible please share the information with me. I am willing to relocate, move into a dorm, consider anything within an hours driving distance of my family farm in Dutchess County. As I look over my list of things to consider this new year, I am thankful for my good health and my sons. I have scheduled time each month to visit one of them and also to get some rest. My sister Suzy bought me a car air fresher that says- "Keep me from volunteering again". It is a nice reminder of the limits to sanity.
Please take advantage of the good deals I am offering on eBay as well as the time to look at your own life and establish measures to protect your own space in this wild world.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Confessions of an art litter bug

my studio last year this time

what was I crazy????!!!!!

A new year full moon and fresh start

I hope for everyone, not just myself, that this new year can actually be a new beginning.
The full moon on the last evening of the 2009 calendar was glorious and magical. The studio brushes are soaking.
Soon I will be painting.
My goals are two fold for the studio. I am going to paint bigger, fewer, and better. My prices are going to be raised substantially.
I am going to paint smaller, quicker, faster, and place those miniatures, as well as some old inventory, on EBay.