Finally up and running!

Have you ever attempted to do something and been extremely frustrated, and you find yourself wondering if there really is any grey matter left up there?  This was my situation this winter as I have been busy creating a new website.  This has not been an easy task for me, giving full credence to the left brain/right brain discussion, but I kept at it and finally got it done.  My first website was an awesome thing in itself.  My good friend Lavana was the webmaster of my first site and did an absolutely FANTASTIC  job at creating it.  (I now have a tremendous appreciation for those that are able to build sites from the ground up and now know why they call it “code“)  Two things hindered me with it though, the monthly fee to have it running and my lack of computer knowledge to be able to run it myself, as in it took me three days to figure out how to change a photo (I paint, I don’t do code).

As artists, we are constantly wanting something on our websites changed, like photos, prices, you name it.  Often times on a daily basis.  I thought about long and hard and decided the proper thing to do would be to have one where I could easily do what I needed to myself.  I had started following Cory Huff with the Abundant Artist back in the fall and oiala!  Cory posted a blog about how to create one using WordPress.  Plus, it is easy for artists to use and it costs about a third of what I was already paying!!  Thank you God!!!  Even though it was still a bit of a challenge for me to get this up and running, Lavana helped me once again and I now have a beautiful site that I can work on myself, successfully.  Thank you Cory and Lavana!!  I have posted paintings, etc at least once a week, and even have the social sharing buttons on there.  (Fred reminded me that I forgot to put the facebook like button on there, so this morning I even fixed that!)

Now that I have told you my story about how I got this site, I hope you will visit it at www.MartindaleArtworks.com And be sure to like us on facebook and twitter!  Remember, you can do this too!  Now to get painting!

Plein Air Paint Out on the Natchez Trace Parkway

     Being a pet portrait artist, I am in the studio more often than not when I paint.  I have been wanting to experience plein air painting now for quite some time.  I guess I caught the bug to do this when Chestnut Group member Kim Barrick came to give a talk at the Tennessee Art League in Nashville, TN a year and a half ago.  I never seemed to find the time to do this, until my husband and I went to Taylor Park, CO about 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains.  I had thrown in the acrylics and a couple of canvases, so that my aunt (my aunt and uncle met us up there) and I could try it.  Neither of us had ever done this, so it was definitely uncharted territory.  There is no humidity there, so it was interesting at first to get the paint to the canvas, as acrylics dry quickly anyway.  Needless to say, we were proud of our first little plein air paintings!

       Then, in March, a good friend and I were invited to a plein air paint out put on by the Tennessee Watercolor Society.  I went with pastels this time, and it was wonderful to be out in the fresh, albeit chilly Spring air.  The old shed and flowers I painted was not bad either.  My friend Ann and I offered to host them to a paint out on the Natchez Trace Parkway in June.  They heartily accepted the invitation.

       Now, to June 14, 2008.  The paint out was scheduled for 9am at the Garrison Creek stop of the Parkway.  It rained all night, and the skies were pretty grim.  Thunder rolled a couple of times at 6:30am.  I packed up the gear anyway.  We had discussed cancelling the event the night before, but we decided since there is a pavillion, we could at least paint the hills and trees.  At 9, the skies were trying to brighten a bit, so we headed up to the Trace, and met Bitsy and Noriko from the Plein Air Nashville and Tennessee Watercolor Society groups.  We painted under the pavillion, chatted with cyclists coming in from the short-lived showers, and had a really great time.  Other artists slowly made their way in, and everyone painted the beautiful scenery.  When the skies parted after lunch, we made our way down to the creek and painted along side the gently rolling waters.  Needless to say, painting nature is terrific!  If you decide to do this, make sure you have bug spray! 

     As an artist, plein air painting is a great experience.  I feel it can only enhance the creative process, even  when you get back to the studio.  Happy painting to all!