Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Again!

I want to wish you and your family and wonderful, safe and very special Christmas. I'm excited about this Christmas this year and have just made a recent move to Indiana. I'm be reporting on the local art scene in Indy and new art projects for 2011. Do you have new goals for 2011? Love to hear them. Please stay tuned for a new year of adventures in travel, art exhibits and shows, and my passion for painting.
Merry Christmas, may your days be bright and full of color. May you see creativity everywhere around you.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

My experience with a "Sarasota Sunset".

Hello! I know it's been cold in most parts of the country, so I thought I'd post a painting that will remind you of something warm, a "Sarasota Sunset".  I was fortunate while living in Sarasota, Florida to attend Ringling College of Art and Design, I was able to enjoy the sunsets often at one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S., Siesta Key Beach. This abstract painting was inspired by those beautiful sunsets and my experience.

As a newcomer, I watched how the locals would bring a nice packed light meal which usually included a crusty bread, cheese, fruit, and of course a good bottle of wine. A small table would be part of the decor with a beautiful, but simple tablecloth. Friends would gather just the right time and prepare the perfect viewing spot.

From the parking lot, locals and tourists alike would start pouring in and onto the beach, in a fresh change of clothes. Now ready, they carry their chairs across the cool sand to enjoy a glass of wine with dear and new friends. Fortunately, heat and humidity from the day has left and they relax in the cool refreshing gulf breezes. As the conversation begins, the guests ever-so-often, take a glimpse at their watches and the positioning of sun for the timing of the sunset. They stay close by, as to not miss the event.

Bread, cheese and wine are being shared and enjoyed as the sun begins it's welcoming of the evening. The muted colors from the bright hot day are gone and now the intensity begins. The show is off to a great start, the puffy white clouds have moved out of the way, knowing it's the sun's turn to show off. Everyone feels great in this moment. Life is good. Friends tell jokes, comment on the beauty, and reflect on the day. There are no worries at this moment, just laughter and awe. The sun finally sets and the colors in the sky, intensify and radiate up and outward. There's nothing like it and everyone agrees. It's amazing and yet, we all know it's going to happen all over again the next evening. They toast to a beautiful day in paradise and how blessed they are to share it with good friends.

This abstract painting was made with oils, some of the paint was left to dry and other sections of paint while wet were rubbed off. The colors in this painting were turquoise for the water, warm yellows, oranges, reds, and golds for the sunset. I hope you enjoy it. This is one of my favorite paintings. Inspired from a wonderful experience made by nature. Feel free to post your sunset experiences and/or comments. Wishing you many great sunsets, Allison.

"Sarasota Sunset"
24" x 24" 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Inner Workings"

This abstract painting was part experiment and partly my thoughts about the complexity of our problems. Or should I say, the details behind the scenes. I likened it to the inner workings of our brain. We think, imagine, and all this time, the brain is making connections to everyday thoughts, memories, feelings, and facts. So I call it,"Inner Workings". Honestly, I was never truly satisfied by the result, guess I'm not a cubist. What do you think? Allison

"Inner Workings
"24" x 30"

Sunday, December 05, 2010

"The Abyss Recreated"

Do you remember the movie, "The Abyss" from 1989 and directed by James Cameron and starred Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio? For some odd reason that movie made an impact on me, or I should admit, scared me. And I did give that movie too much time in my thought life. But anyway, I entertained those particular thoughts further and imagined what if the abyss wasn't that scary after-all. Let's say something happened down there and the abyss was recreated. The abyss instantly was recreated from a black bottomless pit of despair into a place of endless beauty and new life. Thus, this painting came to be.

I painted with oils using soft feathery brush strokes to show the gentle movement of the water. The colors choices were intended to be vivid, brilliant and dramatic because of the new energy that bursts forth. Well, that's what I imagined. Thank you stopping by and always feel free to comment. Allison.

"The Abyss Recreated"
18" x 18"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Out of the Flames" comes the beauty

Hello! Now that I'm back to my daily routine after the Thanksgiving holiday, thought I'd give you a glimpse of what I've been working on lately.

It's interesting to me how creative ideas come at the least expected times. That's what happened to me during the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal. I do remember when in art school, the instructor would say when you are in a creative block, do something totally routine, mindless even. It allows the mind to go into neutral and relax a bit, freeing it up. I think that's exactly what happened while cooking the our Thanksgiving dinner.
It was the usual meal so no real thought had to be put into it. Right then creative ideas started coming, in fact, they didn't stop during the rest of the holiday. Then I became frustrated not being at a place to stop and pick up a pad and pen to write down each idea . Have you ever had that happen to you? And most of my ideas were in images this time, not words or technical processes. Usually it's the creative technical process I'm going over in my head. What to try differently next time.

But this time, it was images and flashes of particular colors. And the more this continued the more I wanted to retreat to the studio barn and paint. I wanted to explore new options with color and textures this time. But I had to be patient and wait. I feared over time I would lose those creative ideas and images I had seen in my head. Fortunately, when I did get back to painting after family had left, I still had the inspiration and ideas. More and more I'm learning to trust my creative bursts and instincts and even going with the mistakes at times. Working the painting until I feel issues are resolved and it just works. What a good feeling once I've arrived there. It becomes a natural high and I want to do it all over again. At times, I go through a lot of paint and plenty of frustration but with patience and trust it all resolves itself. Kind of like life I guess.

I titled this painting, "Out of the Flames" due to the beauty that comes from each flicker of flame. Don't we all love to watch a nice fire in the fireplace and the color that darts around and through the fire is simply beautiful. While opening the stove door, I thought about the good that comes from fire. The process and the creativity that comes from just a spark of fire. And we all need that spark to keep us going.
Here's a few photos of most recent acrylic painting. I used a good layer of slow-dri medium on the canvas which helps the acrylics to slow down it's drying time and allows me to manipulate the paint more. It also gives it the look of oil which I prefer.
I hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave comments.  
To buy this painting, click on this Etsy link.  Thank you! Allison

"Out Of The Flames"
18" x 20"

Close Up 
To buy this painting, click on this Etsy link.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Movement I"

"Movement I" is a 6" x 8" mini abstract painting. The blending of acrylic paint and brushstrokes create the slow to medium movement seen here. There is some contrast of cool and warm colors, but the overall feeling is of a cool and tranquil flowing sensation. I still get excited when I seen the final blending effect of the paint. To take one paint color and add another and then see what happens when the two touch each other is still amazing to me every time I paint. Simple pleasures, right? I hope you enjoy this painting, please return to see future paintings. Feel free to post a comment.  Allison.

Title: "Movement"
Medium: Acrylic on canvas board 
Size: 6" x 8"

"Movement I"

Close Up
Even Closer

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My "Gulf Waters" painting added to Etsy's local treasury.

Sometimes sweet little things come in a form of an email to me. And this news that my painting, "Gulf Waters" (the middle one on the first row) was picked to be part of Etsy's local treasury shop delighted me. I don't really care to do self-promotion, but I understand it's necessary. However, it's wonderful when someone does it for you! Right? Also being a part of something larger than ourselves is a good feeling. Thought you might like to see this local treasury of handmade items. Enjoy these artists from Asheville to Raleigh, NC. Thanks for visiting. Allison

'Home Away From Home' by ajoeynamedrootoo

Great items for the holidays from my two stomping grounds, Raleigh and Asheville, NC. Great greens across North Carolina. Enjoy!

Vintage Brass Fan Earri...

Gulf Waters Oil Paintin...


Leaves of Green, a Pain...

Cinnamon Poppy Bagel - ...

Ginkgo Leaf Wedding Inv...

Blue Urchin Bowl

Pea Pod ornament

blowing Tree branch Gra...

Pastel Blooms Pendant, ...

Hand Dyed - Cowl Neck -...

custom family tree -- b...

Swirling Water - Sterli...

Pine Fern. Cream Linen ...


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How can art help others? Can my art help someone?

I heard something the other night on TV, that actually got me thinking which TV usually doesn't. But anyway, it posed a question to me as to how art can help others. First of all, we know it can inspire, uplift someone's mood and giving them encouragement or hope. Or bring awareness to a particular social issue, and communicate in ways words can't. So that we all know, right? And yes, we've all heard of art therapy, where a troubled adult or child can use a creative medium to communicate when words aren't available. Expressing unsolved emotional pain via creative means can be very therapeutic.Yet, I wonder, can my art help someone? I mean, it's just a painting, an image; how is that going to help someone?
Good question to ponder, right? I thought so. Rather than using art to say, look at me as a artist and what I can do, but can my art help someone else? 

For example, take my latest invitation to a charity art event in Moss Norway. One fine artist from Norway, had an idea and shared his idea to a local public library. Now over 200 artists are involved and have painted postcard size paintings to be sold for $34 each. The proceeds of that event will fund the purchasing of children's books for the public library. The obvious goal is helping the library buy books for children. You see, this is a multi-fold win/win situation. The library has a new charity event that is exciting for everyone. The children get new books to read, that's pretty exciting in itself. The buyers get a good deal on an original painting to take home and enjoy, plus feel good about their participation in the event. Us, artists enjoy the gift of giving and the satisfaction of how our art made a difference.

So, to answer the beginning question, yes, art can help others. And, I for one, am pretty excited and amazed how we can all come together as artists and make a difference.
Here is my postcard painting sent to Moss Norway Library to raise funds to purchase children's books.
This abstract painting inspired by the beautiful sunsets over the Sarasota, Florida Gulf of Mexico waters.
Medium: Acrylic

Close Up of "Afterglow"
Final note, now how can your art make a difference?
Here is the link to this event's details:

Final notes: In these times of financial recession, I believe it's the creative workforce that moves us beyond our limited parameters. Possibly it's time to rethink our art. Instead of how I can sell another painting, perhaps look at it at from a different perspective. What can I do with my artwork? Please feel free to post your comments. I'd love to hear how your art has help make a difference. Hope to hear from you, Allison.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Call for Artists. Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss Norway for Charity


Call for artists! Twitter art exhibit in Moss Norway for charity.

Fellow artists on Twitter.

It is my great joy to introduce a new and exiting project: A real life Twitter art exhibit.

A while back I talked to @Artythings @dpringle @EthanCrankeArt about how fun it would be to exhibit something together. We first concluded it would be tough to transport and organize, but the seed was planted and we kept discussing. @EthanCrankeArt suggested 140 artists (representing 140 characters), and we concluded it had to shown at a public place, as Twitter is open to anyone with an account. It all seemed so right, so current!

For a while the project seemed impossible. How would one coordinate such a thing? But then a few weeks ago, I read an article in the local paper, saying how the public library had gotten it's funding cut and wouldn't be able to order the children's books they needed. It then struck me this was the perfect venue for a twitter art project. And soon the idea of a wall of art work at the library, where it's proceeds would go to charity/children's books, was stuck in my brain. But how would I gather all the work? The answer felt as swift as Twitter itself: Have each artist send a postcard (symbolic of a tweet), with hand-painted original artwork. The postcards would then be posted on the wall and sold for 100 kr each ($17.00), and all the money would go to children's books. This amount would make it possible for nearly everyone to support the public library, and if we collected enough artwork, enough money would be raised.

The next day I called the library director and asked for a meeting, where I presented the idea later that day. "This is simply wonderful," she said, "Lots of people here use the computers for twitter and I'm sure we'll get a lot of media attention...But I need to check the politics first and get permission from the local government." And now a few weeks later, we have gotten the go ahead, and I'm exited to announce this event will take place. So this is your chance (wherever in the world you are) to contribute to this cause, and also promote your work to a new audience. Moss is known for its galleries and people here love art!

So please join me in at this wonderful event - A real life Twitter art exhibit! Please write to me if you have any questions (e-mail listed below). I look forward to working with you.

Best Regards,
David Sandum

Now here is the postcard size abstract painting I am submitting to David's Twitter Art Exhibit.
This is an abstract painting of the beautiful "afterglow" you experience right after a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Hope you enjoy!

Notes about this mini painting: I was so inspired by the sunsets over the Gulf Coast, which made such an emotional impression on me. This painting is the afterglow that quickly pops up right after the sunset, hence the name, "Afterglow". Th colors are usually yellows, golds, purples and pinks. The acrylic painting is thick and directly applied to the canvas board, no other mediums used. As one colors touches the other and blends, that's when I get excited. Something magical happens, you know. Like when you when you were a child and learned about mixing colors. Red and blue = purple, yellow and red = orange. Just the other day, my 5 yr. daughter found an art project she wanted to make. You take a paper plate, cut out the circle part and divide into 6-8 sections with a rulers. Then color each section alternately with two colors, like red and blue. Poke a hole in the center of the circle and insert pencil and tape to back of paper plate. Hold pencil in your hands flat and spin. Now you see the results of the two colors being "mixed". Good color experiment. 

If you are an artist and would like to be involved in this wonderful childrens' charity event, then click on this link for the details.  Twitter Art Exhibit for Children in Norway

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Autumn Trip to Asheville, North Carolina

Something different for you this with this post! Perhaps you'd like to go down memory lane with me. Now that it's autumn and what better time than this? I was raised in Asheville, NC and this fall I went back home for my 30th high school reunion. It was better than I could have imagined. My hat is off to our organizers, truly a high (not pun intended) class weekend event. The weather was awesome and the people were too. I wanted to share with you photos taken from my trip and high school reunion.

Fortunately, Asheville is not the same city I grew up in, it's better! The downtown area is a thriving hotbed of artists and restaurants of all kinds of cuisines. Asheville has always been a tourist town, from the campers and Floridians filling up our Blue Ridge Parkway during the summer months to skiers heading for the local ski slopes in the winter.

Asheville has been a destination for the seeing the colorful fall leaves, and the famous Biltmore House, with the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and parkway. Here are a few photos of the leaves on the parkway in full color.

Last year, we drove up to Mt. Mitchell and it's worth the drive and walk up to the top. There's a great new observation lookout area at the top.

Right at the entrance to the walk up there, you'll also enjoy the fresh smell of the balsams, which reminds me of Christmas. A great side note here, Asheville is a great place to spend Christmas. The Biltmore House is so lovely at Christmas and the whole city makes it really feel like Christmas. Western NC is a top producer in Christmas trees, as well.

 Here is the observation overlook at the top.

 Back to my life growing up in Asheville, it was a quiet town. But, that's not the case now! The city is no longer a sleeping giant, but a bustling, hip, happening, artsy town.

It's been said Asheville is the Paris of the South. The city's rich architectural legacy with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles is the perfect retro-urban backdrop to the edgy energy. You can get your fill of European and Bluegrass culture, at once, from the elegance of the Grove Park Inn to the Shindig on the Green on the Pack Plaza. You can walk to an exciting array of eclectic historic shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants, many with the view of the mountains. Here's someone enjoying the outdoor cafes.

(My Mother holding my daughter's Sarah's hand and my Mother-in-law Norma at Grove Arcade. I'm the tall one on the background.)

You can eat organic, vegan, vegetarian, raw, southern cooking, country cooking or any other worldly cuisine.

Above is a photo of Laughing Seed Restaurant downtown on Wall St. It's a fabulous modern vegetarian, vegan and raw restaurant. Voted  Best Vegetarian Restaurant for eight years. Here's the pasta dish my husband had for dinner. Awesome food.


 My dish, but I don't remember what it called, but it was so good! Oh, and their iced teas are excellent. I had the lemon bomb, my husband had the berry. We both recommend them.

One of our favorites on the menu where the Jalapeno and Onion Fries. Naughty,... but yummy.

After dinner and a little walking around, Mike and I went to French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
On the weekends late at night, be prepared there's a line out the door, but it's worth the wait. Awesome drinks and desserts. Of course, what could be better than chocolate I my shock and surprise, Mike ordered cheesecake with raspberry sauce. I tasted it and it was so good.

I went for their specialty, decadent Chocolate Cake. Oh my! Words don't describe. I also had a cold chocolate drink made with coconut water... awesomeness.

 12 Bones restaurant, where President Obama ate a few years ago. Voted #1 for Barbecue. They catered our high school reunion lunch. Excellent food, I don't know how it could have been any better. The smoked coleslaw is delicious and unique. It's a don't-miss-this-one, if you love barbecue.

This is Sunny Pointe, voted #1 for Breakfast. Great outdoor seating and always busy. Yay for me, just a short walk from my parent's house and across from their church on Haywood Rd.

Voted #1 for Hamburgers, Burgermeister! I haven't been there yet, I'll let you know next time I visit the folks. (And again, I can walk to it from my parent's house. How cool is that?). Memory side note: this use to be the convenience store where I would ride my bike to get my Icees. Do you remember when after you drank the Icee you cut out the stamps of the side of the drink cup to send off for junk? I don't think I ever did...well, Okay, truth be told, I did cut out the stamps but never sent them off.

Okay, next of our family traditions, The Farmers' Market! Yay! Sorry, I get excited about farmer's markets, they're so... what's the word? Americana! You can buy almost anything here.

                                                Fresh Western NC Apples!

                                                 Bittersweet Wreaths

                                               North Carolina Pottery

So as you can see, the city is not the same and I'm glad it's not! Even my high school is not the same school, well okay, a few things were still the same. Like the auditorium that is last on the list to renovate. Lastly, my high school reunion photos: it is truly a beautiful school. And no, I won't go on and complain about all the new buildings, studios, plenty of options, new cafeteria with HD tv's ...let's see, what else? that the students have at AHS that we didn't have. (No, I'm not resentful.)

Okay, now to Asheville High School and my reunion. First a bit of history for you. Dedication of AHS was on September 25, 1919. The high school was designed by architect Douglas D. Ellington in the Romantic/Art Deco style. It was made out of granite, called "Balfour Pink" which was quarried out of mines near Salisbury and white granite from Mount Airy. Also slabs of orange granite from the Smokey Mountains.

 Front of Asheville High School

The back of AHS and Friday night football game

There we are, the AHS Class of 1980!

On a personal note I have to say, what negative memories I had from my high school days vanished after attending my high school reunion. And the positive memories were celebrated. Thanks for going down memory lane with me. I hope you enjoyed the trip!


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