Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life as an Artist

Being an artist is one of those jobs that requires flexibility. It almost helps if you are a little A.D.D. That way you are adjusted to jumping from one thing to the next without any problems. It's just the way your life works!

For instance: Today I plan to spend the day in the studio! But other things will come up. Truly as I write this I just remembered that I need to follow up with a friend /collector by making an appointment to visit her home.  She needs a painting, and wants me to see the space. But that is a good thing!

Yesterday I spent a good while in the studio painting a delta scene that I am considering for a larger piece. It is loosely based on High Cotton - a painting that I did a few years ago.  I'm in the process of getting ready for a solo show at Southern Breeze Gallery in October and trying to get about 20 paintings ready between now and then. The opening is on October 20 - (SAVE THE DATE!) - and it's the same day and time that we are hosting Roger Dale Brown's evening lecture at the opening here for his workshop. So I will go down and come back same night of the show to be here the first full day of Roger's workshop. He's been here so much he's like family and can do it himself anyway- besides Jackie will be here and he is used to running the workshops and is a great host and can handle anything! 

Most days for me are not just spent "behind the easel."  

I also have business correspondence an other projects that I'm working on and I rotate these projects. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the "real" artists life: things that I have worked on in the past several days. 

Last Friday 
I signed a contract with a new gallery! (more on this later) ...
That evening, I attended a show for the Mississippi Painter's Society at the Oren Dunn Museum in Tupelo.
I won first place! While there I spoke with Bob and Robbie Boyd about Bob's company doing a video to use for my workshop participants. That will be a future project, but thinking that it would be good to have one to give to my workshop participants to cover the main topics I try to cover in my workshop- or better yet: Things I do not have time to cover in the workshop!
Chores Come First- ©Dot Courson 2010 - Winner First Place - Mississippi Painters Society 2011

Over the weekend 
I painted some, but there was a frame sale and I ordered some small frames  and bought some photography books from Amazon to use for photographing with a digital camera. The book set was one recommended on the MS Artists Page on Facebook: Scott Kelby's Digital Photography. It was well recommended so I ordered it as I take a lot of pix and don't know what I'm doing. You honestly would be surprised to see the awful photos I use to paint from! I'm insulted if someone says that my painting looks like a picture. 

Taught my class that I teach 3 Mondays a month in Tupelo. That always is a fun time. They are really good students and I love my class! I helped them all work on their various paintings and covered some terminology with them from a book.Then I went to Office Max for supplies and to Hobby Lobby and picked up some artificial (but good looking!)  sunflowers to paint while they were 50% off. In the meantime, Jackie prepared some new panel surfaces for me and got them all prepped ready to paint! He's good!!! 

Painted and also cleaned my studio and washed brushes. Normally when I finish a paint session, I wash my brushes thoroughly in a Mineral Spirits bath that is in a resealable air tight ammo box that is Army green (Army Surplus store) that I saw Bob Harper use when he was here. I then soak them in Brush Oil and use them before I wash them weekly in a soap called "Really Works"  that David Leffel let me use once at his workshop. Yes, it really works! Jackie spray varnished a couple of paintings that I had ready to frame. (Did I tell you he's great?)

Finally finished a painting of the Grand Canyon for and continued to work on my little scene from the delta with a church in a cotton field last night and before I went to bed I updated my website that is on FASO and used one of their templates to re-design it. Check it out! I also added a few recent paintings. I would have uploaded more newer paintings I have not uploaded, but it took too long. Here's why: we are on a satellite internet as ATT does not have internet available where we live and none of the cable folks either so  we do not have any internet unless we use dial up or the Hughesnet satellite - which is what we use. It is still slow. I truly think that it's inferior to my smart phone's internet connection! 

Wednesday (yesterday)  
Signed Yellowstone Falls (see below) and Grand Canyon - two paintings that are going to a show next week in the Gumtree Museum in Tupelo and worked on the delta cotton/ church painting some more. These two are ready for retouch varnishings this week. I also picked out frames for them and received a frame order from UPS that came in and updated bills on my Excel spredsheet.
The Grand Canyon  Oil.  ©Dot Courson 2011

Since it was on my mind every night when I go to bed... I also started making notes about my contribution to an art book that will be published next year... because I don't know the deadline yet and want to be prepared! I have to admit it's a huge honor - but truly kind of daunting to be a part of a book! That's permanent. It needs some thought!  

Yesterday I also sent emails out about the Women Painter's of the Southeast where I am Secretary and on the Board and am helping plan our first juried show next year to be held at the Corse Gallery in Jacksonville, Fl., and I also called the new President of the Delta Art Association to declined a lunch there next week to plan the DAA show. She understood since I live over 3 hours from them. Then I mailed them money to use for food/ wine for the show and penciled it into my calendar and updated my calendar and realized I'd missed a meeting in Jackson with the Mississippi Art Commission that I was registered to attend last week! That jarred my brain and I also looked up a show in Memphis that I want to be in with the Memphis Germantown Arts League this fall ( and BTW - now I'm wondering if I put it into my iPhone calendar so that I won't forget that deadline! )

Finally, I spent some time on Facebook and replied to some messages from some dear artist friends...because....

 A girl has gotta have fun!!! 


  1. Oh, my! Dot, how dooo you do it all??? Wow, what a whirlwind your week was. Amazing things going on in your life, girl! :)

  2. Teresa- Thanks for the note... Hard to keep "all the plates in the air" at times! -Dot