Up and Down, and On and On I Dance...

While I'm taking a let-it-dry break from painting a hairy coo, I think I'll catch up with you. I've been in my studio more than usual. Partly because I've had some requests from my galleries, and partly because I've recommitted to being in there every day which mostly happens but not always. But really because I find the more I paint, the more I want to paint. (I had been in a bit of a slump) I've spent a great deal of time lately also applying to shows, new galleries and another artist association. Thus the title of this blog entry. For example, today I heard back from the association and it was a resounding no, with a few criticisms thrown in. I have to admit, I asked for feedback, but wow. While it definitely stings, I will take the comments in, let my bruised ego heal and work on the things they said. I will apply to the organization again when it comes around again, and hopefully I will have grown in my work. We all need this at times. The kick in the pants that turns us in the direction we need to go, but I won't lie, my sails deflated. And now for the ups...I also found out I was accepted to a couple of summer art shows I applied to and received a commission from one of the galleries today, and a very sweet note from someone who just bought one of my pieces in Estes Park, as well. Sometimes the ups and downs are stretched into a gentle rolling curve and then there's today when I basically felt like Coyote being launched off a cliff only to lift my beleaguered bashed in nose out of the road to be shot back up on the giant rubber band of life. Just thankful I ended at the top of the cliff instead of the road, and up and down, and on and on I dance...until next time. 

"Firefly Dance" recently sold at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery

"Firefly Dance" recently sold at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery

A few announcements...

Since my last posting I've been really busy, of my own doing. I've been in my studio every day, and actually accomplished some things. I still think about Watson every day and miss him like crazy, though. Anyway, I've been applying to shows.  I was recently accepted into the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts 45th International Art Show, the Loveland National Art Show, and the Art League Rhode Island International Show- Boats, Surf and Beaches. I'm so excited and honored to have been chosen!! Now to get it all prepped and shipped. Until next time-

Moving past a loss

A week ago we said goodbye to our dog Watson. It was sudden and awful and I've been having a really hard time with it. Watson has been my almost constant companion since moving to Colorado nearly 5 years ago. Even though my days were busy in the studio,  at my computer or just dealing with day to day stuff, he was always there. Until he wasn't. There were very few warning signs, and those didn't come until he went in for what I thought would be a stomach bug that they could give him some meds for and he came out with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. We were all heartbroken. My husband and I kept busy that whole weekend with day trips to the zoo and up to Estes Park, but then he returned to work and the house has been so quiet. My studio has sat exactly as it did with dirty paint brushes in gunky water and the appearance that I might be working. But I haven't been. I have had a really difficult time feeling creative and haven't really felt like doing a whole lot of anything. I know I can't continue like this though. I have deadlines coming up and things I have to get done. So today I cleaned it all up and started a new piece. Well, I've drawn it out on the canvas. The hardest part was trying to decide what I wanted to work on, since I still don't feel much spark. It actually felt good to be in there and doing something productive. I know with time it will get easier, I won't cry every time I think of him and we'll even think about another pup. But we're not there right now, and I'm not there right now and so I'll just be satisfied with baby steps. In fact I haven't cried while writing this at all. That's a good sign. Until next time...

Watson...my friend, my companion, my studio dog

Watson...my friend, my companion, my studio dog

Painting pigs, and other oddities

I haven't blogged in quite a while I see. Since I've been away from it, I'll do a quick catch up...holidays, family, new year, birthdays, and finally back to work. That about sums it up! I've actually been busier than that, and have gotten some good news on all those applications I was waiting on back in the fall. I was accepted into the National Association of Women Artists and took some time to go to New York for my induction. I was really happy that most of my family was able to come join me and be a part of it. I am pretty proud of membership in such a prestigious association. Also, I had applied for the Colorado Art on Loan Program again for the senator's offices in Washington DC and I finally heard back on that and two of my pieces were chosen to hang in Senator Bennet's office. I couldn't believe two were chosen. So, I'm still pretty excited about that. On the downside, I was not invited to join the Governor's Art Show. I'll try again next year, though. Now, about those pigs. Fortunately I'm not working on the real thing, although that might be pretty wild. I painted a happy little pig that someone bought right away, then another person wanted a happy little pig and that one sold and now I'm on my third happy little pig. I guess happy little pigs make people happy. I know they make me happy working on them. They're not all the same pig, because I'd get pretty tired of looking at that same happy little face, but it is uplifting to see those little piggy smiles I will have to admit. I've also been working on some abstracts, which I find a bit more challenging but also pretty liberating. The oddest thing for me, however, was a mask I created for our art museum's annual major fundraising effort. Artists each take a mask form and then transform it and they are then auctioned off.  The really cool ones go to a gala event. I would looovvveee for mine to be chosen, but that won't be until April or so. I'll leave you with my most recent happy little pig (note it's not complete) and my mask entry. Until next time...

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"It's so obvious you're afraid of color..." LOL

Says a gentleman, tongue in cheek, last week as I began laying in colors for both a cow and aspen painting. He continued, "If you could just get past that fear". LOL! I do think many artists are afraid of color. I'm not one of them, but I can see how it happens. There is so much involved with color in a work of art. It sets the mood, conveys emotion, reflects the artist's thoughts about his/her subject, etc... Perhaps if I were trying to convey realism, I too, would feel some fear. But for me, there's something very freeing in the use of bold, vibrant colors. The hardest part for me is often the first swipe of paint across the canvas. Once that moment has passed, it usually flows. But, there are times...and when it happens, gesso is my friend. At some point my style may evolve, it's actually inevitable and necessary. I may decide to try my hand at more realistic colors. But I'm not there now, and don't see it in my near future, and I'm good with that. I'm happy in my creatively colored world, and think Van Gogh would approve. He was never limited to using the colors that "reality" dictated. Very often, if you look closely and give yourself time to really see the sky, or animal, or whatever it is, you will in fact realize that raven you spy is not just black, but rather black and blue and purple, too. That heifer in your barn is not just rusty red. In the sun, she's burnt orange, with flecks and specks of golden yellows and deep reds also. All of the colors are actually all around us all the time. It's just a matter of which ones are absorbed and which are reflected that cause us to see a particular color. I just prefer to show a broader spectrum. 

Happiest of holidays to you and your family! May your world be filled with amazement and color-Until next time...

Waiting, Barbie and Schrodinger's Cat...

So, I recently applied for a few things that I won't hear back on for awhile. I hate that!  I want to hear back right away!  Waiting is the worst. I've been that way since I was a kid. I vividly remember waking up in the middle of the night to play with the toys Santa had brought because I just couldn't wait until morning, and then freaking out when I couldn't get the barbie back on her stand the right way and knowing my parents would find out I hadn't waited. They were probably standing in the hall watching me the whole time, but that's beside the point. I hate waiting. Of course, my sister was the same way. She unwrapped my present to her, which was perfume, used it then re-wrapped it and put it back under the tree. I suppose it runs in the family. Have I mentioned I hate waiting? Of course the responses I'm waiting on could be rejections. Which I don't really want to hear, so if I haven't heard back then I'm also probably just as likely to hear that I'm accepted. Just think of me as Schrodinger's cat, only it's not life and death. Hmmm, I wonder what Schrodinger's cat's name was? Rabbit Trail here. OK, I'm back. In my thorough (quickie google search) research, it appears Schrodinger actually did have a cat named Milton, but there is no evidence that the cat in his theoretical explanation  had a name. :-( Great, I'm still waiting, which we've established I hate and now I'm bummed that the poor limbo kitty is just forever referred to as, "cat". That's all for now-

Applications, applications, applications

OMG, submitting applications is a time consuming task! I've spent all day today filling out two applications. I've applied to the Governor's Show in Loveland, which is a state wide juried show, and I'm in the process of finishing up my application to the National Association of Women Artists, Inc. I would be over the moon excited if I get accepted to both, still over the moon if I get accepted to one, and totally brought back down to earth if neither one works out. But, I realize that both are also highly sought after by a LOT of artists, so I'll be in good company if I don't get in. I'll keep you posted, but it will be awhile before I know anything about either one. That's all for now-

Time flies

Wow! Where has the time gone since my last entry?? I didn't realize it had been so long, but sure enough, my last entry was in December. I've been really busy in my studio, and with life in general. I've sold several pieces at Aspen and Evergreen and needed to create some new ones to replace those. My husband and I went to Sedona in March. My first time, and oh my, it won't be my last. I loved it. A week in Vegas in April. No, not for blackjack, he had a conference.  And, well, I played blackjack and shopped, and relaxed. That pretty much sums up my year to this point. I'm working really hard to get some stock built up for the Fort Collins Studio Tour in June, and some art shows throughout the summer. Our youngest graduates from The University of Texas in a couple of weeks, and then I'm wheels up again to New York and helping her and my oldest find places to live in Buffalo and Syracuse. I'm wiped out just typing this. Pop over to my Facebook page,www.facebook.com/A-Hutto-Artworks-812527538860895/, and check out some process videos I created when I was recently working on some aspens. Each one is about a minute. Until next time-

A Day in Estes Park

Today was a chilly day in Estes Park, with grey skies and a fresh layer of snow slowly melting revealing just how bad at parking everyone is when it snows. But, it was a perfect day to be inside Aspen and Evergreen Gallery working on a red fox. Foxes are just darn adorable, especially when they're sleeping; their noses tucked tightly into their fluffy tails, dreaming of tasty treats hiding beneath the snow. It was nice to visit with people from all over...one couple from Alabama, one from Chicago, and one Texan from Friendswood, along with many others from near and far. Some paused to visit and watch, others just paused to watch and others just passed by, but most were somehow engaged with what I was doing. I love that interaction. It's one of the things I miss about being in the classroom. But... the peaceful solitude of my studio is pretty great, I'm not going to lie.  I'm sure I'll be back again, to paint, create, and talk to people for a moment in their lives, either as part of their visit to a place I've come to enjoy so much or one of the locals who are lucky to call Estes Park home. Perhaps my little red fox is just happy knowing he made a few people smile today.  I know I am.  Until next time-

All in the family...

I have been surrounded by and inspired by the incredible art that my father and sister create my entire life. We have all taught art in the public school systems of Texas at one point, and my sister is still at it.  I wanted to share her website with you.  I hope you'll check it out, she's really very talented and has such an eye for color!

 

http://www.cfreemangallery.com/

Back at it-

My trip to Chicago was AWESOME in so many ways.Had some incredible deep dish, Malnati's is still my fave, and met Jean Leigh with The Leigh Gallery.  I felt really good about leaving my art with her.  Since I've been back home and in the studio, I've been working on a llama, and an owl.  Those are finished and I'm working on a home for them. I had such fun with the llama's expression and the owl's feathers. It's kind of hard NOT to make an owl look po'd, but I like this little purple guy.  My dog Watson is not a fan of owls, and we have a couple of huge ones that like to sit on our roof and the neighbor's, and just hoot the night away.  He can't resist barking at them, so every couple of hours he sounds off.  Reminds me of the nights I use to wake up every couple of hours checking on a crying baby...how did I do it night after night?!? Guess I was a lot younger then.

And I'm In!

I'm so unbelievably excited right now!  Three of my pieces were accepted at The Leigh Gallery in Chicago!! Check out the gallery here: http://theleighgallery.com.  I'm headed that way soon and will deliver my work sometime while I"m there. I'll def write and share pics. Now to find boxes in which to ship...which is turning out to be easier said than done. Until next time-

Click Send, Cross Fingers, Start Waiting...

That's what I just did.  I clicked send on an email with images for submission to the Chicago gallery I was talking about in my last blog.  It's really hard to type with my fingers crossed!  I'm also fighting the urge to check my inbox, since it was literally 5 minutes ago that I sent it, so I will wait at least 10.  I think that's reasonable. Even if these are not accepted, I'm still really excited about going to Chicago.  I'll try to write about all of the fabulous art adventures I have while I'm there, and not just the fabulous food I'll be eating, but if you're one of my FB friends, you know there'll be a lot of food pics. I'll at least try to make them artfully taken. I'll let you know when/if I hear from the gallery.  Until next time-keep your fingers crossed!

Wow, am I busy!

Busy is a good thing.  In small doses.  I happen to not have small doses of busy right now, but it's all good.  I am working on a commission, which is actually two pieces.  A 36 x36 aspen and an 18x36 companion aspen.  I'll have those finished by today so I can drive them to Estes Park and deliver them to Aspen and Evergreen Gallery tomorrow. This weekend is the Loveland Studio Tour and I'm working Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning at The Lincoln Gallery handing out tour packets since the gallery is a major sponsor of the event, and I have four pieces in the gallery as well. AND, I'm trying to complete three works to submit to a gallery in Chicago since I'm going at the end of the month and I'm hoping the gallery owner is going to fall in love with them and say bring them!  I know, that's a lot of wishful thinking, but it won't happen if I don't try. Busy is better than the alternative, and even if the Chicago deal doesn't pan out (suddenly I'm thinking about deep dish pizza...) then at least I have the works done. (The works...mmmm, I really need to get to Chicago and hit Lou Malnati's for some za.) Until next time...

Good news!

Recently I began submitting my artwork to galleries.  Such a process...compiling it all, writing a bio and artist statement, researching and reaching out to galleries and then the waiting....waiting to hear anything, something, hopefully that my work is just what they've been looking for.  And I did hear!  Aspen and Evergreen Gallery in Estes Park said that very thing.  I can't tell you how that makes you feel as an artist.  I also can't tell you how it makes you feel when other galleries don't even respond. I get that not every gallery is the right fit and when you find the one that is, it was as if it was meant to be.  I feel like I've found that in Aspen and Evergreen.  I feel like my work was just meant to be there.  Such a great feeling!  I've actually already sold a piece, the Colorful Aspen, which is one of my favorites.  I will paint other aspen trees, I can't not,  but no two are ever alike, just like the trees themselves. It is impossible to recreate the exact same thing, and I don't even want to.  That's the beauty of painting...every single brushstroke brings about a new creation, one that didn't exist before. As for the other galleries?  The wait continues...............    Until next time-

What's new...

It's been a while since I last wrote.  I've been super busy, but that's no excuse, really.  Since my last show, Art in the Park, I've switched out work at the Lincoln Gallery in Loveland and been a part of another show at the AANC Gallery here in Fort Collins.  This time as one of eight other artists.  We held a reception on the First Friday of September and had a great crowd, PLUS I sold a print.  The show is ongoing throughout Sept. and the gallery is open on Friday and Saturday each week.  If you're in town, pop in and check it out.  I've also been getting several pieces professionally photographed and printed and you can find more info on those throughout my site.  I took a large order to Tulip, a specialty art/gift shop in Denver which is still in the process of setting up and will be having a reception sometime in October...I'll keep you posted.  Oh, and how could I leave out that in between I made a driving road trip to Austin with my daughter to help her move into an apartment for her senior year at UT. She was really excited to have her own place this year and super excited to bring her beloved Gracie Lou Freebush Hutto (rescue kitty) back to Austin with her. Gracie showed her excitement at the thought of a long road trip by barfing before we ever left the city limits. Yay, Gracie!  I miss them both so much already.  Yes, I actually miss that cat.  There, I said it. Until next time- Hook 'Em!

Grey Wolf/Plum Wolf

Spent time in my studio today, sipping a cranberry margarita and laying in the first layers of colors in the grey wolf I started a couple of days ago.  Decided on plums and purples, which I'm loving.  Not sure if the paints inspired the margarita, or the margarita inspired the paints. Either way, I'm happy.  Until next time-

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A trip to Denver

Today was a fun day in Denver.  I had a meeting with someone who is interested in carrying my work in a new shop on Colorado Blvd. So, instead of going by myself the whole fam decided to join in.  The meeting went very well, and I've decided to include my work in their shop.  More info on that later... As it happens, I decided to bring my daughter, Megan Hutto's art along to see if she would be interested in her work for the shop also.  She was!  So now we'll both have work in the same store. :-)   Check out Megan's Etsy shop, A Crosshatched World to see her work and order prints.  After that successful meeting, we went to Hopdoddy Burger Bar for some noshes and then to the Denver Art Museum.  It's a great museum!  I particularly enjoy the installation piece, "Fox Games" by Sandy Skoglund.  Visit my Facebook page, ahuttoartworks, for more info on that really cool work. You should make plans to visit the DAM soon.  Or, if you're not nearby Denver, check out your closest art museum.  I'm sure you'll find really amazing art you might not have seen before. Oh, and take your family along too. Even if they gripe about the floral still life exhibit as much as mine did, it will still be fun. I even treated myself to a membership.  Until next time-

A Grey Wolf in the works...

It took me a really long time to settle on my next subject to paint.  There are so many things I want to do and it's hard to choose which one to focus on first.  So, I enlisted my family in the process.  I laid out my inspiration images and they unanimously declared it should be the grey wolf.  I think I wanted them to pick that one all along.  The grey wolf is a beautiful animal.  I looked at wolves in groups, in the snow, solitary, among the aspen, etc...and have a few I want to do, but I chose an up close straight on view of one that is particularly striking.  Now if I can just convey that in my interpretation that would be awesome. Until next time-

Studio cleaning day!

Ugh! My studio is a wreck...the last couple of weeks I've been so busy with shows and events, the place I usually look forward to being in has become the place I've just closed the door on so I don't have to see it.  Enough of that---- time to clear, clean, organize and store so I can get back to the really fun stuff...creating!  I've really missed painting.  It's a huge part of my day, it's what I do, who I am.  Is it the only thing?  No, not by any means...but, it's something that makes a difference in my life, and it can't do that if I can't even walk in there and find my brushes.  So, it's studio cleaning day, so tomorrow I can create. Until next time-