Join us! We'll be at Nashville Pilates Company in the Houston Station building for the Art Crawl on Saturday, December 2, 6 -9 pm. (flyer is being updated with correct date) There will be lots of art is cool spaces in this retrofitted industrial building. Thanks to Barbara Dab and Amy Butler of Nashville Pilates Company for the invitation.
Exploration of different painting techniques is adventurous and fun. When I was a new painter, a bit scary would have also been in the mix of feelings. I enjoy many different expressions of art and painting styles, and I couldn't wait to get to the easel to paint after being inspired by Tibor Nagy's work. I am challenged with communicating so much detail that I sometimes feel I lose the painterly feel that I want to convey. Having an architectural drawing class before having any fine art drawing instruction, I tend to focus on the details or, maybe that’s just how I’m wired. This small painting of roses was fun to paint, and I look forward to further exploration of "loose" work.
Art Show & Sale
To Benefit Radnor Lake
Friday, Nov. 3 – Sunday, Nov. 5 * 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Walter Criley Visitor Center at Radnor Lake
Thanks to our neighbor, Strong Tower Bible Church, free parking and shuttle service: Strong Tower Bible Church, 5253 Granny White Pike, 37220, November 3-5, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Map it
Kymberlee Stanley and Renée Bates invite you to see
their latest paintings and some old favorites.
Support local artists who paint plein air and studio pieces.
Saturday, July 29, 2017 6pm -9pm
517 N. Wilson Blvd Nashville, TN
Refreshing beverages and appetizers will be served.
RSVP appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashleigh Smallman (left) with her apple still life from 2016's class. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at painting?Read More
Tax deductions, we all need them, right? For many of us, miles driven for business are deductible on our tax returns. According to the IRS, beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015. 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015.
An easier way to document miles is right here on our smartphone. I recently learned about this helpful app from The Rayna Corporation’s Lori Gonzalez (thank you). Lori seems to have a shortcut for just about any business task. It’s good to know people like her. The application, MILEIQ, downloadable from Google Play or The APP Store, has automatic drive detection; making it easy to capture every mile I drive – yes, automatically. Every drive can have a purpose; “a swipe is all it takes.” I will mark them as business, personal, medical, charity or any custom category I wish to label. I can log any additional details that will be needed for reporting mileage expenses to any specific job or simply mark for two categories: business and pleasure. Deducting mileage for my art business will be easy to prove. Since the IRS requires you keep a log when you are taking the deduction, there will be a lot less effort in documenting from now on.
Anything that makes life easier, and every dollar counts, right?
Originally published at http://hersavvy.com/
Working as a creative person, I identify when hearing other creatives’ experiences and struggles. Elizabeth Gilbert is one such person. Her book Eat, Pray, Love, which chronicled her adventure of travel to pursue the three things that she most wanted to feel and be immersed in, connected with millions of people.
Her latest book, Big Magic, was a good listen for me. She went through all the funky negatives we tell ourselves that keep us from creating. She also gave examples of beloved pieces of art where people carved out a few pieces of time a day to create them. I like the way she encourages us to create, not for money, not for success, but just for our happiness.
People talk to me about my art like I have a special gift. I see how people are moved when I tell them about my experience of taking a painting class for the first time, and how I embraced it and knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I appreciate that people are moved and inspired, and I understand that I have an ability to do what I do, but I don’t believe that I have
So Elizabeth’s book is another tool, of encouragement, of permission to continue exploring, working toward something I want to achieve.
I hope you will give yourself permission to explore your interests.
August 1, 2016
The Chestnut Group and the Harpeth River Watershed Association will come together for an art show, Scenes of the Harpeth, on Friday and Saturday, August 19, and 20, from 10am-6pm at The Factory in Franklin. Along with other Chestnut Group members, I will have several oil paintings included with significant proceeds of sales benefiting conservation of the Harpeth River Watershed. I will also be on hand for much of the show and hope to see you there.
Since becoming a full-time artist, I spend a lot of time working alone. When I worked in an office building, I sometimes hummed while working, or played the radio. I tried to keep the humming confined to my personal office. Now that I am working on my own, I often listen to music or audiobooks, enriching the day, making me feel happier, and engaged, or something. I tend to use particular types of music at varying stages of a painting. At the start, instrumental music of the classical nature, or contemporary stringed instruments. No lyrics to distract, just instrumentals to inspire. After I am well into a piece and feeling the direction is solid, I move to pop or rock, something with a good beat. When feeling free and focused while cooking or cleaning, I sometimes turn the rock up loud. Music has always played a major role in my life, having begun playing piano and violin in grade school.
Curious if others used music as a tool to achieve certain moods or effects, I polled some friends. A professional therapist said she did not listen at work though she used classical, instrumental music to unwind and the hearing of her favorites station invoked a visceral relaxation effect.
An attorney friend said she didn’t listen at work because it was difficult to focus and her mind would shift away from the task at hand. For cooking she enjoyed classic rock & roll; for resolving angst, Bonnie Raitt or other blues artists and for background music for parties, it was folk rock or classical. She pointed out that music lifts spirits and is a great way to connect with other people.
Another attorney listens to specific classical composers, technically baroque music. “It perks me up and makes me feel happier,” she said. She uses classic rock like The Beatles, to inspire housework. Particular music was so tied to an activity that actual pieces affect her mood and thoughts. For example, some classical guitar that she listened to when reading a favorite author could bring her thoughts immediately to plot points in her books. Some Bach pieces for cello reminds her of the soundtrack from Schindler’s List and produces a “downer” feeling because of the atrocities of WWII and Auschwitz.
A business consultant friend listens to jazz, mostly contemporary jazz, and if she needs to concentrate deeply, complete quiet. For relaxing, she chooses the smooth jazz of Boney James, Walter Beasley, Marion Meadows, and Chris Botti, to name a few. She noted that her 22-year-old son listened to jazz through headphones while studying. Ah, youth!
What are you listening to for effect?
I had a painting workshop recently that moved me a lot. The teacher told us flat out, “You need to be teaching. Share what you know with others, it solidifies what you have learned.” The teacher also shared their opinion that we are creative beings designed by a creative Creator who delights in our work. I learned a lot that day because I opened my mind to possibility. Wasn’t it Emily Dickinson who said, “Dwell in possibility”?
Over the course of my short time as a painter, I have taken a lot of workshops from several different teachers and though I am sure on some points I was instructed in the same information more than once, I learned new things in each and every class. With all instruction, being gentle on myself and accepting of the truism, "I hear it when I am ready to hear it, and I see it when I am ready to see it", is helpful. Taking lots of instruction exposes me to new and old ways and different techniques of transferring and applying information. Each of us has our own learning style.
Another truism I embrace, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” So, I opened myself up to the idea of teaching and call it fate, destiny, chance, whatever you will but in November I was visiting an art show with a friend and from it came an opportunity to teach for the first time, coming in February. I am grateful, I am challenged, and I am happily collecting the basic tenets of what I have learned about oil painting for the class. We are going to focus on opening up, turning off the “what I think it should look like” image in our heads and explore what we actually see to transfer it onto canvas. I hope to help turn back the clock in our heads to our young six-year-old selves, to a time before what other people thought about what we drew or painted became so important and limiting and shut down many of our creative leanings. I am grateful and think that I will likely learn as much as the students. If you are in the Nashville area and would like to explore creativity with us, you are invited to register: USN Evening Classes, Beginning Oil Painting. The class number is #701.
This August I crossed one off the bucket list: swimming with dolphins. Well, two actually, the second was riding a catamaran on the ocean. I have wanted to sail again since I was eighteen, loving the exciting tipped on its side ride, tacking, and hearing the sound of the wind in the sails. It was my cousin’s wooden sailboat at our local lake. While the boat we were traveling on this day no longer sported the mast and white canvas, instead using engine power to traverse the surf, the excitement of negotiating the rolling waves was still there. For snorkeling, I learned that big waves are not a big deal when you are in the deep water, as opposed to being beaten up with “the breakers” at the shoreline – on the water you just roll with it. I did feel brave jumping into that water where big things live. With flotation belt, mask, snorkel and fins, I was plenty well suited for braving this new world.
Our competent, ecologically respectful guide, Elizabeth, gave us thorough preparation and education about the dolphin’s feeding and rest cycles, and how they rest one side of their brain at a time, alternating between the sonar and analytical sides, as exhibited with closure of the opposing eye of the side of the brain which is asleep. We learned how to visit in a low impact way and not chase or touch the docile and loving creatures. A small group of three couples, upon our first encounter we beheld about twenty dolphins as they played, rested, and lazily moved to and fro zigzagging the coast in their rhythmic movement, sometimes on the bottom, often on or near the top, in 40 to 100 feet of water. We later noted in the car on the trip back to our hotel that each of us had been mesmerized by the Aurora Borealis-like shafts of light permeating down through the depths in glistening light patterns. Adding to our pleasure were intensely warm water currents influenced by El Nino, followed by refreshing cool veins of sweet relief. As an artist, I am looking more at how light reacts on objects, and the pieces of the shapes on those objects. There was so much to see.
Hours later, I was still exhilarated with the excitement of it all, especially seeing the graceful dolphins in their home, and learning first hand about their loving, community nature. As we moved from the snorkeling with dolphins site to the turtle site, the dolphins rode our bow, racing ahead as they are so adept at leading. From the 2-week-old baby swimming against mom’s side, to the 4 teenagers “hanging loose” and swimming slowly, like teenagers do, we enjoyed every minute. Others were exhibiting raucous, tail flapping fun, spinning, relaxing and mating. It was nature at its best. On the trip out we spotted sea turtles and flying fish. On the way back to the dock, we stopped twice to swim with the turtles, getting good views of several adults together on the bottom coral. I was at once surprised to be 5 feet away from a sea turtle as it emerged, so close I could smell its algae covered body or its breath; I’m not sure which.
Riding to and from the harbor was a great adventure on the high seas, better than a ride at Fair Park. On the trampoline-like net across the front, I was holding on tight and getting splashed, rocking up, once airborne, and dropping back down again against the deep blue mountains of water as it splashed through the net. It felt like we were at a rodeo. I haven’t had that much fun in forever.
Extra special about this trip was getting to experience it with my soul mate, David, on our celebratory revisit, having married there on Oahu in 1985, one hour east and thirty years before that sun-filled day.
Next on the bucket list: getting up close to a humpback whale. You will certainly hear about it as it happens.
The company we explored with on Oahu: www.sailhawaii.com.
Renée contributes to a collaborative blog with other "wise women working". Feel free to explore HerSavvy by clicking here.
Here's your tip for bringing...Read More
Renée contributes to a collaborative blog with other "wise women working". Feel free to explore HerSavvy by clicking here.
Loss and Renewal
My mother passed away just over three months ago. Though she had been having some health trouble, her passing came as a surprise to family and friends. She was tough and withstood tremendous discomfort. Heard often to say, “Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day,” she was cooking her breakfast on Friday morning, went into the hospital in the afternoon and passed away on Tuesday evening after just two and a half hours in hospice care. I miss speaking with her every day, hearing her daily synopsis of the news, what was going on with family, and her laugh. I miss sharing the birds that I have seen, and taking her for car trips to see the birds and other wildlife. Mother was dramatic. When we would see a hawk perched on the Vine Street Christian Church steeple, along the roads or soaring overhead, she would often exclaim, in her delightful southern drawl, “Ohhh, ah do love the fowl”. I miss her entertaining ways. Our family misses her way with words and phrases. Mother had more colloquialisms than you could shake a stick at.
I have heard that the depth of loss doesn’t sink in until some time has passed. I believe that to be true now. It has had its stages with me and will continue evolving. Having lost both parents and three of my four brothers, I can say that even though it is difficult to let go, there is a beauty surrounding the event like nothing else I have experienced. When we have had loss, everyone is unified, grieving and pulling together, loving and supporting one another, as at no other time. Let me say that I do not want to lose anyone else to experience this again, but I am more accepting.
Because there is time freed up with no longer looking after mom, and because I jumped right back into work after she passed, I recently took a week-long sabbatical to the mountains and did something that I have never done but always wanted to do…I took a painting class. It was lovely because of the teacher, the talented and inspiring artist, Kim Barrick, was encouraging and generous. I rented a small cottage all to myself and had the luxury of time to fully dedicate to creating and learning something new. I made new friends and to my surprise saw an old friend. In the mornings we hiked, in the afternoons we painted. It was heavenly to have space and time all to myself in the evening. My cottage had a screened-in patio with a lawn and old growth forest beyond.
Of course, birds were everywhere in the mountain village. My mother would light up when you mentioned a Wood Thrush. I had not seen a one in probably 15 years. For the entire time that I was there, a Wood Thrush sang to me. The first morning that I heard the varied and beautiful song, I wasn’t quite sure if it was the Thrush. In the early morning of the second day, I stood inside the patio and wished and watched for it to fly into view, hoping to get a glimpse. Sure enough, it briefly flew into the yard. It was a Wood Thrush! Not only did I have the melodic song almost nonstop from dawn to dusk, I had Pileated Woodpeckers, Towhees, Wrens, and tons of Robins (in the thrush family, much more common.) There was also a Cooper’s Hawk that I was alerted to when I heard the whole community of birds squawking.
They were doing their best to run him off as he tried to steal the babies from the wren’s nest, unsuccessfully, I will add. This collective of art and nature was a spiritual experience and life changing. I felt, and still feel wholly loved, taken care of, and that I am doing the right thing. I found that I actually have some ability to paint and want to learn more techniques. I want to grow this. I have begun working through a twelve-week course, ‘a spiritual path to higher creativity’, with a book titled The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I will relish the renewal. Though I won’t be able to physically show my mother the paintings, I think she knows just what I am doing.
They were doing their best to run him off as he tried to steal the babies from the wren’s nest, unsuccessfully, I will add. This collective of art and nature was a spiritual experience and life changing. I felt, and still feel wonderful, wholly loved, taken care of, and that I am doing the right thing. I found that I actually have some ability to paint and want to learn more techniques. I want to grow this. I have begun working through a twelve-week course, ‘a spiritual path to higher creativity’, with a book titled The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I will relish the renewal. Though I won’t be able to physically show my mother the paintings, I think she knows just what I am doing.