Tools

Solution. Genie Canvas.

Our gypsy life can put a serious damper on my studio practice.  Not the actual practice of creating but finding space to store my work and the high cost of shipping to galleries and clients.  Until recently, I’ve been working on paper and small panels, though I’ve always worked larger and was itching to break into painting BIG again.  But there was the problem of storage and shipping.  Then I discovered Genie Canvas.

These collapsible canvases seemed like they just might be the answer to my go bigger dilemma.  So I reached out to Genie Canvas and they graciously offered to send me one to try.  As it’s been a while since I painted a large canvas, I went with one of the smaller sizes they offer, a 36×36 ( sizes range from 24×36 up to 60×96 ).  The collapsible canvas arrived neatly packed in a 50x6x6 tube, including 1 1/2″ outside stretcher bars, inner stabilizer bar, and heavy gessoed cotton canvas.

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Easy to follow detailed instructions for both assembly and repacking for shipment were included, but being a visual learner, I opted to follow the instructional video on their website.  The canvas arrives with two of the stretchers pre-attached, so all you have to do is fold over the other sides, attach the installed velcro, fold the corners, slide in the hinged support and voila, you have a tightly stretched canvas ready for paint!

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I wasn’t sure about the velcro but I’ve worked on the canvas for five days, moved it around, on and off the easel and it remains as tight and firmly in place as it was when it was first assembled.  I haven’t had the need to ship this canvas out yet ( though we’re leaving Idaho Falls sooner than we thought, so I’ll be packing it up in a few weeks! ), but I’ll post an update to let you know how it went.**

**Update!  The 36×36 painting shipped easily across the country from Idaho to South Carolina for only $45 including insurance.  It arrived safely with no damage to the painting and was reassembled and ready to hang in minutes!  I’ve ordered 4 more Genie Canvases. 😉

In the meantime, I’ll share the finished work I created on my Genie Canvas

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This 36×36 painting is a sneak peek of the body of work I’m creating for my solo show at Art & Light Gallery in March, Latitude.  I’ll be sharing more sneak peeks and info on the Latitude show and series over the next few months. Stay tuned!

If you are an artist who works on and routinely ships out large canvases, I would highly recommend you give Genie Canvas a try.  The initial cost is greater than a traditionally stretched canvas, but the savings on crating and shipping ( not to mention the hassle of creating boxes! ) more than make up for it.  Tell ’em Artsy sent ya!

Genie Canvas sent me one of their products free of charge for review.  All opinions are my own.

This Artsy Life

Wayfinding.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack.

We aren’t all outdoorsy and it can truly be a challenge to give up the luxuries of beds and showers for a few days.  But if you’ve never strapped on a pack and walked into the wilderness, as an artist, I can tell you the benefits will far outweigh the short term sacrifices.  I have a love/hate relationship with backpacking.  The whole no toilet/no shower thing isn’t my fave.  Neither is carrying a big pack while hiking.  However, I love the feeling of being on the trail, sleeping under the stars.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Top of the World trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

Last weekend, Mr. F and I took off into the Grand Tetons for a night and it got me thinking of all the ways backpacking can benefit us as artists.

A literal change of scene.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

Artists tend to be solitary creatures.  We toil away in our studios, sometimes forgetting to go out, eat, even talk to other human beings.  We can get so wrapped up in what is going on within those four walls that we begin to overthink, overwork.  Backpacking is a fantastic way to get a change of scene, to physically and psychologically distance yourself from the work.  You’ll go back to it with a refreshed vision.

Quiet your mind.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

No iMac.  No iPad.  No iPhone.  The only I is you.  Getting out and leaving technology and distractions behind, allows your mind time to calm.  As your feet take you down the trail, your mind is free to wander, to look up, look down, look around and notice the beauty in the three dimensional world around you.  You may even find new ideas flowing fast and furious thanks to a bit of peace and quiet.

Find room to breathe.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

Those four walls I mentioned earlier?  They can be suffocating.  Especially when tied to pressure, responsibility, deadlines, all that adult stuff that goes along with being an artist.  The longer you hike, the farther you go into the wild, the farther away from those four walls, the more air you’ll feel going into your lungs.  Despite the weight of a pack, you feel lighter than air, your only concern is one foot in front of the other.  There is finally room to breathe.

For the inspiration.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists 5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

This one seems obvious, especially if like me, you are an artist for whom nature is your muse.  But even if what you do isn’t remotely involved with nature, there are still mountains of inspiration to be attained.  Watch the changing light, notice the textures and shapes at play, the juxtapositions of color.  I dare you to come away uninspired.

For the adventure.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

How often do we get to go on adventures?  Our grown up days are usually filled with the monotony of errands and responsibilities.  Backpacking will get you back in touch with your inner Huck Finn.  There is adventure and possibility around every bend in the trail.  Tackling a grocery store run with kids in tow will seem like a piece of cake once you’ve climbed steep switchbacks with a pack on your back.

5 Reasons Artists Should Backpack | artsy forager. Marion Lake trail, Grand Tetons NP. #hiking #backpacking #grandtetons #artists

If you get the chance, take to the trail.  Your legs might hate you but your mind, your spirit, and your work will thank you.

All images by Lesley Frenz.  Images from the Top of the World trail to Marion Lake and Granite Canyon, Grand Teton National Park.

Artsy Happenings

Moving Forward.

Change move grow

It seems like a long time since I’ve caught ya’ll up on what’s going on with my studio practice.  Has it really been a year?  Yikes!  If you follow along on social media, you know that I’ve still been diligently painting away, have launched my own artist’s website, and now have work represented by Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC.  So much exciting growth in the last year, I can hardly stand it!

As my studio practice grows, I’ve found myself wanting something different for this space.  For the last four years of writing Artsy Forager, I’ve focused my attention more on the work of other artists.  Perhaps because I doubted that I had anything compelling to say as an artist myself.  But like a baby bird, I have been finding my voice and am ready for my song to be heard.

Beginning this week, Artsy Forager, the blog and social media platforms, will be shifting direction.  While Artsy Forager has in the past been concentrated on other artist’s work, moving forward I’ll be sharing more of my own artistic journey– my work, my inspiration, our travels and adventures and what it all means to me.  And with a solo show at Art & Light coming up in March 2016 (eeeee!!!!), I am making more time to paint, and with that my posting to the blog will be less frequent– once or twice a week instead of daily.  I’ll still be on Instagram & other social media daily, though!

I will always be an encourager and cheerleader for my fellow artists and count them among the catalysts that have propelled me forward.  I completely understand that some readers come to Artsy Forager to discover new artists ( follow me on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for that– I’ll continue sharing my favorites on those platforms! ) and this new direction may mean a loss of readership.  That’s OK.

For the first time in over four years of writing this blog, it will truly be my voice, my vision, my soul being shared.  I hope you’ll continue on this journey with me!

Daily Artsy Figurative Paintings

Cages. Bradley Wood.

Every person’s cage is of a different sort.  We may feel trapped by our jobs, our circumstances, even the things that we own.  Even the most opulent and luxurious of places can seem like a prison.  As I begin contemplating a new body of work, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of freedom, of space to move.  A feeling of space doesn’t necessarily correlate to a large building– depending on our state of mind, we can feel more free in a tiny studio than an extravagant mansion.

Bradley Wood | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Bradley Wood | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Bradley Wood | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Bradley Wood | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Bradley Wood | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

For us, feeling confined correlates with traffic and overpopulation.  We feel most free surrounded only by  trees and mountains.  But for you, it might be different.  The thought of being out in the wide open wild might seem incredibly imprisoning.  The important thing is to be able to identify what it is that makes you feel free and then run headlong straight for it.

Paintings above by artist Bradley Wood.  To see more of his work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Abstract Art Daily Artsy Paintings

Seizing. Benjamin Britton.

We know that we have at least three months here in Southeastern Idaho.  But we are now into Autumn and the season can be short lived at the higher elevations where we most want to explore.  So Mr. F and I have been up before the sun each Saturday to drive up to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, to seize the opportunity to explore before the snows set in.

Benjamin Britton | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Benjamin Britton | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Benjamin Britton | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Benjamin Britton | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Benjamin Britton | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

In each new place we find ourselves, there is a sense of urgency to see as much of the area as possible, for we never know if or when we’ll be back that way again.  It creates in us a habit of seeking out the best in each place, of seizing every opportunity.  Every time we are surprised by the locals who hardly ever venture out, who’ve never even heard of places we’ve been in their own backyard.  I hope that even when we settle down, this sense of urgency to explore will never wane.

In his work, Georgia based artist Benjamin Britton is “making paintings which foreground an experience of the senses, and where moments of adventure and wonder are privileged over other moments.”  May they always be so.

To see more of Benjamin Britton‘s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Abstract Art Daily Artsy Paintings

Space.  Tom Climent.

Now that we are settled in for the next three months in Idaho Falls, we’ve been exploring the surrounding area every weekend.  This part of Idaho is a close neighbor to Wyoming and Montana, Big Sky country.  That hemmed in feeling that we’d been experiencing in the Bay Area seems like a far away memory when standing in the middle of a Yellowstone valley, with only the bison for company.

Tom Climent | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Tom Climent | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Tom Climent | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Tom Climent | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Tom Climent | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

These paintings by Irish painter Tom Climent “reminds us of how our spatial ability becomes spatial knowledge as we navigate our world and with this knowledge we create a place for ourselves.”  Most of us have it within our control to decide what our place in this world looks like.  The places we occupy, whether permanently or just for a time, effect our psyche, offering chaos or peace.

To see more of Tom Climent‘s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Daily Artsy Photography

Transitioning. Sarah Illenberger.

Today may officially mark the last day of summer, but for weeks now, summer’s glow has been slowly fading.  The hots days have grown weary and we’ve rejoiced in a new, cooler breeze.  It is always an interesting time, this changing of seasons.  But if you’re like me, you enjoy the shift.  Each season brings its own joys, its own rewards and embracing them each for what they are helps to usher in the new.

Sarah Illenberger | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Sarah Illenberger | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Sarah Illenberger | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Sarah Illenberger | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Sarah Illenberger | artsy forager #art #artists #photography

The beginning of a new season offers the hope of a fresh canvas, a new start.  I’ve been thinking very seriously along those lines where this little blog is concerned.  This Fall will be a season of transitioning in many ways, including here on the blog.  I’m excited to share with you a new vision!  Some things will remain, while others will fade like the leaves.  New seasons bring new opportunities and we must embrace the transition in order to reap the rewards.  Stay tuned for details next week!

Images above are photographs by multi-disciplinary artist Sarah Illenberger.  To see more of Sarah’s work, please visit her website.

Images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Little Paper Planes.

Daily Artsy Figurative Paintings

Strength. Courtney Murphy.

For centuries, women have been defined as the “fairer”, even the “weaker” sex.  Daintiness, extreme ideas of femininity were valued and celebrated.  Yet it is in exactly what defines us as feminine in which our greatest strengths lie.

Courtney Murphy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fashion #figurativeart Courtney Murphy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fashion #figurativeart Courtney Murphy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fashion #figurativeart Courtney Murphy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fashion #figurativeart Courtney Murphy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fashion #figurativeart

Praised for their curvaceous beauty, our bodies are capable of growing another human being, they expand and do miraculous things for the sake of giving another life.  That same body nurtures, arms provide a loving embrace, feet stand for long hours at work, and at home.  Sometimes, what makes us female becomes our enemy, as women who have suffered through breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer will tell you.  Yet in that feminine weakness, is still found their greatest strength.

Paintings above by Los Angeles artist Courtney Murphy.  To see more of the artist’s work, please visit her website.

 

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Skidmore Contemporary.

Daily Artsy Landscapes Paintings

Canopies. Shannon Smiley.

In our discussions regarding our final landing spot, Mr. F and I have an ongoing dilemma.  He is drawn to the drama of being surrounded by super high mountain peaks, while I feel most at home among the trees.

These paintings by Australian artist Shannon Smiley bring to mind the lushness of the forest canopies I am so drawn to.

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To see more of Shannon Smiley‘s work, please visit the websites of his representing galleries, Dianne Tanzer and Hill Smith Gallery.

Images via the artist’s representing gallery websites.

Abstract Art Daily Artsy Paintings

Screens.  Chris Trueman.

In my new little studio ( I do mean little, it’s about 50 square feet ), I have a lovely view of treetops and rooftops in our neighborhood.  The sunsets from the west facing windows are often spectacular and I would love to capture them from my roost, but there’s a bit of a problem.  Screens.  The window screens allow for leaving the windows open without risking bugs coming in, but they get in the way of clear vision.

Chris Trueman | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Chris Trueman | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Chris Trueman | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Chris Trueman | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Chris Trueman | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

The abstract paintings of California artist Chris Trueman with their undulating layers bring to mind the view through veiled cover.

To see more of Chris Trueman‘s work, please visit the website.

All images are via the artist’s website.