Artsy Happenings

Opening! A Winter Exhibit.

Hello friends! Popping in to tell you about a new show featuring my work, opening today!  A Winter Exhibit, a three person show featuring work by Seattle area artists Mya Kerner, Najia Omer, and moi, opens today at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center gallery.

The show features work from my ECHOES series, including 4 new paintings created just for this show. If you’re not local to the Seattle area, you can see the work from this series, including the new paintings on the ECHOES page of my website.

There will be an artist’s reception this Thursday, January 11th from 6:30pm to 8pm. Unfortunately, since we’re currently in Spokane for hubby’s work contract, I won’t be able to attend (I’m so bummed!!). But if you’d like to see the show, please do go and meet the other 2 wonderful artists!

The gallery is located at 8236 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA. Gallery hours are M-F 7am-9pm, Sat 8am-9pm, and Sun 11am-5pm.  The show will be up through February 23rd.

This Artsy Life

Locality.

We enter 2018 settled for a bit in Spokane, WA. Doing this travel thing for the last (almost) 7 years has been a strange sort of life for a number of reasons. Since the contracts are usually at least 3 months long, often extending longer, we have the experience of not just visiting but truly living in each place for a time. Of becoming “a local”.

Let It Wash Away by Lesley Frenz in Edmonds, WA

But even on the longer stays, we always know it is just temporary. We aren’t truly local, just visiting.

We often talk about how weird it is to stake a claim in one place– especially if it is a place you were born into, that you didn’t choose yourself. How strange that governments and principalities decide where lines are drawn on a map and we swear allegiance to the lands between those lines. We want to truly choose where we decide to call home.

One thing traveling has taught us has been that you can make a home, make a life, wherever you decide to be. We’re looking forward to finding ourselves in one such locale, wherever it may be, in 2018.

 

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Artsy Business

Review 2017.

Another year is nearly in the books, ya’ll!  This year was one of the most “settled” we’ve had in our nearly seven years of traveling– we were in Tacoma until the end of November and I had my own little dedicated studio space for all that time.  It was very good for my creative energy  and artistic well being!

As much as the travel and new places fuels my inspiration, the stability of being in one place helped give me the time and space to work out lots of ideas in the studio!

Lesley Frenz ECHOES Lesley Frenz ECHOES Lesley Frenz ECHOES Lesley Frenz CAESURA Lesley Frenz SCINTILLA

acrylic paintings completed 38

 While the number of completed acrylics this year was lower than last, I explored abstraction more than before and felt more emboldened to try out some different ideas.  I found my groove in the reflection inspired ECHOES series, completed a second round of the tiny SCINTILLA series, began a new wilderness inspired series LEMOLO, a conglomerate of my CAESURA explorations and my earlier LATITUDE series.

Lesley Frenz watercolors

Lesley Frenz watercolors

Lesley Frenz watercolors

watercolors completed 40

2017 found me diving more into watercolors after my #the100dayproject last year. I explored a range of techniques and forays into abstraction with watercolors this year. In addition to the larger watercolors, I continued my almost daily #watercolorsandcoffee practice.

A goal of mine for 2017 was to increase my experience with commissioned work and I’m proud to have completed 3 commissioned pieces for clients in Florida, Boston, and Vancouver, BC.

Lesley Frenz commission

28×36 acrylic commission

Lesley Frenz commission

36×44 watercolor commission

Lesley Frenz commission

60×36 acrylic commission

Be on the lookout for a new Commissions page on lesleyfrenz.com with more info on past commissions and my process for working with you on a commissioned piece!

This year was busy with shows and events, too– Enormous Tiny Art #21 & #22 at Nahcotta in NH, ICON at Lynn Hanson Gallery in Seattle, and a Pop Up with Seattle Art Source.  As well as new representation with Seattle Art Source and Stellers Gallery Ponte Vedra.

I’m in the throes of beginning a new series and am excited to see where this new direction and new year will take me!

Lesley Frenz #watercolorsandcoffee

See you in 2018!

This Artsy Life

Holiday.

Frenz_Sanctuary VIII_watercolor and cold wax on cradled wood panel_10x8x1

Christmas greetings from snowy Spokane, Washington!

Wishing you all the loveliest of holidays!  

Live the Artsy

Dreaming. An Art Studio Reading Nook.

It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

What to do while the paint is drying?  If I have a comfy spot, I’ll grab a book and catch up on some reading. 

As I’m daydreaming (a lot these days) about what my permanent studio will look like, I’m definitely conjuring up a cozy reading nook tucked in amongst the paint and canvas.

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Here’s how the perfect studio morning would go– I step out my backdoor and take a leisurely walk to my studio among the trees. 

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After painting for a few hours, as I wait for the paintings to dry, I make a cup of coffee and curl up in my reading nook with a book.  Maybe an artist biography (this Joan Mitchell bio is so good) or maybe I’ll just flip through a book of work by a favorite painter, like this book of Georgia O’Keeffe watercolors.

Of course, I dream about what that cozy little space will look like!

Studio nook collageimages found here here and here

Light walls, wooden floors, fresh, cozy, textured, warm.  A place with plenty of natural light (good for reading and painting!) and an atmosphere of sweet calm. 

Since I’m daydreaming, why not be specific?  So I spent a little time on the Arhaus website and put together the elements of my dream studio nook!  PS- Make sure to check out all their lighting options— so important for good reading! AND during their storewide sale this month 10% of the purchase price of all lighting and accessory mirrors will go to Global Dental Relief. 

Arhaus collage finalI think if you can’t go just a bit funky in an art studio, well, where can you?  And a few of these may be a bit too nice for studio life, but a girl can dream right?!

  1. Painting, Shadow On the Wall by Lesley Frenz. Must make sure furniture matches the artwork!
  2. Rug, Zayne 8×10 Grey Rug by Arhaus.
  3. Chair, Dori 31″ Upholstered Chair in Madeline Gold by Arhaus. For guests, but more likely the cat.
  4. Light, Wooden Prism 22″ Chandelier by Arhaus. Don’t forget, buy this baby & that’s almost $70 to GDR!
  5. Pillow, Boho Ivory Applique Pillow by Arhaus.
  6. Sofa, Fiona 97″ Upholstered Tufted Sofa in Brussels Rosewood  by Arhaus. I dream of velvet tufted sofas!
  7. Chest, Teal Ming Cabinet by Arhaus. For book & blanket storage, obvi.
  8. Ottoman, Gentry 50″ Upholstered Bench in Aliz Indigo by Arhaus. Somewhere soft for the tired footsies.
  9. Mug, Black & White Tumbler by Studio Joo. Coffee tastes better when sipped out of something beautiful.
  10. Throw, Faux Fur Brown Feather Throw by Arhaus. Something extra cozy for cold days in the PNW!
  11. Pillow, Stone Washed Velvet Rectangular Pillow in Stone by Arhaus. Never enough pillows in my world.

Just thinking about this space and doing this exercise has me so very excited to settle into a permanent studio next year! I have no idea what it will look like or where it will be, but there will be books and coffee and pillows. Oh yes, there will most definitely be!

Image sources linked above.

 

Artsy at Work

Wearing. My Studio Style.

Every artist has their own style, not just in the work itself, but in the way they work.  What we wear in the studio has as much to do with our personal style as it does with our working style.  Messy painters and sculptors probably don’t wear precious clothing or jewelry in the studio!

My own personal studio style is an extension of what I like to wear every day.  I don’t like changing clothes throughout the day and since I work freelance from home, I can pretty much wear whatever I like.  I do, however, like to feel “ready” to work– I never roll out of bed in my pjs and get to work.  Putting on my studio clothes is as much a signal to get down to painting as putting on my favorite music.

So what do I wear in the studio?  Comfy clothes and shoes for a start.

My favorites are a t-shirt or tank under an oversized flannel or chambray with stretchy leggings.

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I layer up because mornings here in the PNW are usually chilly but if I’m working hard, I’ll soon need to strip off that top layer. Fashion faux pas or not, leggings let me move easily and comfortably and they are my fave.  I buy the cheapies from Target so I don’t feel guilty when they end up with paint on them. 

Since living in the PNW, I can wear my most comfy old boots in the studio for most of the year.  

Photo Sep 22, 2 22 12 PM

In the warmer summer months, I opt for cheap flip flops I don’t mind getting paint and medium all over.  Although, this year I’ve noticed a difference in the way my legs feel after wearing the flip flops in the studio all day so think I need to find a more orthopedically friendly choice.. ugh. Getting old is for the birds, ya’ll.

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I always wear an apron in the studio– since we’re traveling light, my clothes need to be able to do double duty, so I can’t really have a set of clothes just for the studio.  A sturdier apron works best for me, since I tend to use a lot of glazing medium, which has a heavy, glue like consistency and will go right through thinner aprons (which I discovered the hard way).  

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I rarely remember to remove my rings and watch before I start working, but find that acrylics clean up off them easily enough if I get super messy. 

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How about you? What’s your best get down to work wear?

Side note: All those artists I see on Instagram painting in bikinis or cute dresses and heels? No way you’re actually painting in that.  Let’s be real with ourselves and each other.

All images by me.

 

Artsy at Work

Finding ECHOES. The Soundtrack.

Subtle. Melodic. Mellow. A few of the keywords describing one of my favorite songs to listen to when painting my ECHOES series. 

Photo Sep 12, 12 59 14 PM

Music plays an important role in my creative process.  Putting on my favorite Pandora station triggers my brain that it’s time to paint.  Listening to music that suits the feeling of the work I’m creating helps me get lost in the act of creating, to find that state of flow. 

I wanted my ECHOES work to be peaceful but luscious, deep and mysterious.  The music I listen to has a lot to do with how those pieces come to be.  Here are a few of my favorites that help me realize just the right atmosphere to create an ECHOES painting–

If you’d like to create a similar station on Pandora, I began with Wailin’ Jennys as my first artist, weeding out anything too twangy/country/corny and opting for softer, more melodic folky music.  Other artists I love on the station in addition to the ones above– Patty Griffin, Crooked Still, Norah Jones, Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, The Duhks, Grace Potter.. I could go on and on! 

I’d love to hear what music you listen to while creating and how it influences your own work.  Tell me all about it in the comments!

Fun fact:  The titles for my acrylic paintings are all song lyrics.  See if you can figure out where your favorites come from!

sweet peace I & II, acrylic on canvas, 36×36 each

 

Artsy Happenings Exhibitions

Showing! Pop-Up at Seattle Art Source

September has been a super busy month, ya’ll!  My work has been poppin’ up from New Hampshire to Seattle, but this coming weekend, it’s an actual POP-UP!

Popup1 Popup2

Friday & Saturday, September 22nd & 23rd, there will be a one-time Pop-Up show of my latest work at the Seattle Art Source showroom in the International District in Seattle.  New acrylic paintings from both my ECHOES & LEMOLO series, as well as large & small watercolors on cradled panel will be on display inside the SAC showroom, showcased with Plank & Grain’s gorgeous reclaimed wood furnishings.

I will be in the showroom gallery on Saturday, 9/23 from 11am-1pm and would love to meet you in person!  I’ll have my watercolors with me, so you may even catch me doing a little watercolor sketching!

For directions to Seattle Art Source and showroom hours, click here.  Hope to see you on Saturday!

Images by me.

Artsy Happenings Exhibitions

Showing! ICON at Lynn Hanson Gallery

Hi friends and especially Seattle area folks!  A new painting from my LEMOLO series has been chosen to be a part of the juried group show, ICON, opening at Lynn Hanson Gallery on Thursday, September 7th.

Photo Aug 20, 2 22 17 PM

The Mountain Comes To Me, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 20x20x1.5

Since being in the Tacoma/Olympia area for nearly a year, we’ve spent a good bit of time exploring around Mount Rainier.  This summer, while camping at Cougar Rock, we took a few strolls at dusk at the base of the mighty mountain and I was awestruck once again by her presence.  The Mountain Comes To Me was painted the following week.

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view of mount rainier from the nisqually vista trail at paradise

The ICON show opens during the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square where dozens of galleries and venues stay open late for your art browsing pleasure.  Lynn Hanson Gallery will be open for First Thursday from 5pm-8pm and there will be an Artists Reception & Awards event on Saturday, Sept 16th, from 4-7pm.  I won’t be able to make it to the First Thursday opening, but Mr. F and I will be at the gallery for the artists reception on the 16th– come by and say hi! 

If you’re in Seattle for First Thursday or if you’d just like to see the show in person, drop by Lynn Hanson Gallery, 312 S Washington St, Sept 7-30th to see the show! For purchase information, please contact Lynn Hanson Gallery at 206-960-2118.

Images by me.

Artsy Happenings

Opening! Enormous Tiny Art #22.

Since beginning the #100littleartworks project way back in 2016, I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into my love of watercolors.  I’m excited to announce that six new watercolors on Aquaboard panel are part of my second showing with Nahcotta Gallery in Enormous Tiny Art #22 opening this Friday, September 1st!

Photo Aug 15, 4 06 49 PMwaterbound I and VI, watercolor and cold wax on aquaboard panel, 7×5 art in 10×8 white float frame

I’ve been exploring watercolors beyond paper and have completely fallen for Ampersand Aquaboard panels.  The surface reacts much the same way as watercolor paper, but unlike paper, they can be displayed without glass once sealed.  These watercolors on panel are sprayed with fixative and then, for extra protection, coated with a cold wax finish.

To see all of the Waterbound series available at Nahcotta, check out my artist page on their website.  Work is available for pre-show purchase now and the show will be up in the Portsmouth, NH gallery until September 30th.

Image by me.