Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why Write an Art Blog? What's it all about?

Roses and Feathers, Annette Goings

A couple of years ago, in the middle of conversations, people would stop to ask, "Have you ever considered writing a blog." Those questions frequently occurred.  Admittedly, when talking about topics of interest, I become enthusiastic.

Morning Pears
Writing a blog was a new thought for me and something I had not considered. Knowing little about the subject I did a Google search to learn more. A blog is essentially a weblog, a digital magazine or an online diary.

Supplied with more information I began to contemplate a blog. My first thoughts were, me, write my thoughts for others? Pens, pencils and paper, Oh, My!! To be more technologically current, keyboard, internet, and blogger, Oh, my!! Open myself up to a much larger audience? An even bigger Oh My!

For awhile, I didn't give these suggestions much attention. However, as time went on, people consistently gave me this advice. I began to feel as if someone were trying to tell me something. Finally, I made the decision to investigate further and perhaps give it a go.

My reluctance with writing a blog had to do with my thoughts about writing. In high school, grammatically speaking, language structure, diagramming, nouns, and verbs confused me. They still do. I avoided writing whenever possible. It wasn't until after I was accepted to the University of Washington that I had to devote more time and energy to writing.

Lake Weir Sunset
Entering the UW, my plans were to major in Art. I was looking for a more traditional approach to an art education. Not finding what I was looking for, I switched majors to Political Science and considered a law degree. The course load was heavy and unbeknownst to me, I would begin to write full-time. Language structure aside, I soon learned it was more important to communicate a message.

Once I made the commitment to write a blog, there was much to  do and many technical issues to address. More important though was "what did I have to say?" One of the things on my to-do list was to rekindle my long unused writing skills. Hint: it's very easy to talk on and on about something versus writing about a topic in a meaningful way.

After more research, I learned most blogs have a theme, a purpose or a mission statement. There were many more questions asked than answered in the beginning. One primary question was what do I want to offer readers?  In the beginning, I didn't know what my message was nor what I wanted to address.

At the time, I wasn't quite sure of the answers to any of those questions. What I do know about myself, however, is, if I have to know everything before taking action it probably won't get started. Serendipity, spontaneity, mystery and miracles are also a part of the journey. Assembling the pieces as you go, sometimes works best for me. As you move forward, more pieces reveal themselves and things do fall into place. 

Pawleys Island On the Creek
While considering what to write, I looked to friends and colleagues for guidance on the technical aspects of starting a blog. Cecelia Campbell, an experienced blogger, lent me her assistance. Cece came to my home one day, and spent several hours holding my then non-techie, non-blogging hand, and helped assemble the first template for Living the Artful Life with Annette Goings. On October 28th, 2013, my first blog article was published. It's interesting to visit my first blogs and see the transition and changes that have taken place.

What is An Artful Life? What does it mean to you? To me, it's living a life that includes beauty on a daily basis. We see Portraits, Still Life's and Landscapes every day when we look into others faces, travel the roadways and decorate our homes.  

An artist is a translator of these images. When an artist paints an ocean scene, we see it afresh through their eyes and perhaps share some of the feelings the artist felt while painting. When we bring that painting into our home and hang it on the wall, we give that ocean scene a new meaning. 

Art is about connecting others to something that matters to them and people finding meaning in something beyond its ordinary significance. 

Purple Hydrangea
How does this translate into a personal diary or an online magazine? This past year I've shared places I've visited, updates from workshops, the work of other artist, and my artwork. The character of the blog is feeling more like an art journal.

Innumerable ideas roam around inside of me, almost to the point of being overwhelmed. Those ideas appear to come from the part of me that has so much to say, but the words can't flow onto the paper as quickly they can spill from my brain and voice.

Writing slows the thought process and requires me to think more concisely, to focus and select my words and thoughts with more care.  It's often said in painting make every stroke count.  In writing, the same is true, it's about making every word count.

What am I wanting to accomplish with my writing? - To make every word count, to connect with others through these articles, and to share what I love about the beauty of this world. There are endless possibilities we have to enrich our lives and create a more beautiful world together. This blog enables me to reach out to the world and do this.

What's coming next? At present my aim is to write articles of interest for artist and art lovers of all types. My hope is that something I write or share will inspire others to tap into their own creative, imaginative aspirations and bring that energy into their everyday activities.

What's my message?  What's my platform? Not sure yet. I just answered a question. In the meantime, I am exploring why this has and will continue to become an important part of my experience.

Life, learning, creating, inspiring others is supposed to be fun. Please join me on this journey of Living the Artful Life.

Thanks for joining me, and please continue to send me your comments. It's wonderful bringing this to you, and I've enjoyed receiving your emails and comments on the blog and Facebook. Also, if you like this article, please share it with your friends or on Facebook.

Artfully Yours,


Please click to visit
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Exploring the French Quarter Art Walk in Charleston, SC

The Forge, Robert Liberace 40x60

Last November a friend and I went to the French Quarter Art walk in Charleston.  The day was perfect, sunny with just a touch of fall in the air, we walked and visited galleries until we realized they had all closed.  

The art walk is a lovely way to explore Charleston. The French Quarter is located within the original walled city of Charleston. The area is well known for beautiful architecture, historic homes, art galleries, small businesses, gas lamps, and tree-lined cobblestone streets.   

Around Thirty galleries participate and all are within walking distance of one another. The atmosphere is always fun and inviting as you step through the doors to see what's inside. 

Charleston has become known as an arts destination. Galleries graciously open their doors to art lovers of all types. On their wall hang fresh paintings by local and internationally known artists. Exhibiting artists are often on hand giving you a chance to chat and hear their insights pertaining to their works.

In Front of the Plaza, Betsy Havens
Start wherever you like. Self-guided maps are, available and help you navigate the gallery tour. If you were as ambitious as we were, consider your footwear before heading out.

We began early in the afternoon starting with our list of must see galleries. We definitely wore comfortable shoes.

Sylvan Gallery
We parked on Queen Street and started on King Street at the Sylvan Gallery. We wanted to see the current work of our friends and teachers Betsy Havens and Jim Calk. The Sylvan Gallery also had a wonderful display of Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick's work.   

The Principle Gallery, Post Show

Harvesting, Lina Liberace

The Principle Gallery, exhibit was titled "The Ties that Bind" a mentor-mentee exhibition.

The show consisted of eight featured artists  and their mentees. Both mentor and mentee were asked to paint a piece for the show. The paintings were hung on separate walls (see photo above) with colored string running up the wall across the ceiling and down another wall connecting the mentor and mentee.

Purple Plums and Lavendar Butter,  Lina Liberace

One of my own mentor's work, Robert Liberace was on exhibit, Rob had picked Lina Liberace a very talented artist and his wife as his mentee.   

Horton Hayes Gallery
After visiting the Principle we headed down Queen Street to Horton Hayes, one of my favorite galleries.  Here, Mark Horton had a wonderful display of paintings. Most, if not all, of the featured artists, had traveled to Charleston and were in painting and talking with gallery goers.  

Horton Hayes Gallery
This side story is titled:  "Marc with a "C"
Pardon the side story but's it's very funny and full of serendipity which I love. On Monday morning the week of the art walk, I opened my Facebook page and saw a funny post from a friend in Arizona. 

She knew a friend who had gone into a coffee shop, ordered a coffee, and when asked his name, he said Marc with a "C".  When he received his coffee the cup had "Carc" written on the side. The FB post showed a picture of the cup. 

This Facebook posting wouldn't leave the top of my home page and it remained there most of the week. 

Friday night I was introduced to Marc Hanson, a Horton Hayes featured artist. Something was so familiar about him. As we talked we tried to find the connection. We went through a list of other artists we knew. Still nothing. We talked about how small the world of artists was becoming or at least the ones we knew. 

Marc with a "C" and Me by one of his wonderful paintings
There were two Mark's at the gallery that night. As Marc Hanson and I were talking someone referred to him as Marc with a "C". What fun, all of a sudden the world became much smaller. I said. "You are "Carc" and he said he was. We had found the connection.

The friend who shared the posting on Facebook lives in Arizona. Marc lives in Colorado and they met in Texas at an Oil Painters of America Event. All week on FB I kept seeing his name. Little did I know that in a few days, I would get the pleasure of meeting Marc in Charleston, SC. 

Pat took pictures of Marc and myself with each of our phones. At the same time, we each texted pictures of us together to our friend in Arizona. I so love those moments in life, truly one of my favorite things.

Shortly afterward we went to the Galleries on Broad and I believe we visited every gallery.

Spencer Gallery
My friend Pat Puckett is a talented artist and represented in Charleston by the Spencer Gallery. We stopped by Spencer for a while giving Pat time to greet people. It was late and I was happy to find a chair, sit and enjoy the paintings. 

Pat S. Puckett
Afterward, we went to dinner and discussed our day; our favorite gallery, favorite still life, favorite landscape, favorite figurative piece, most energetic Gallery Director. We had a blast - an art blast! 

Head to Charleston to visit these galleries and more. You may find something perfect that works for your home. If you can't visit Charleston look around your community and spend an afternoon visiting local galleries and interacting with local artist. 

Locals to Pawleys Island can enjoy Cheryl Newby Gallery, Island Art Gallery and the Seacoast Artist Gallery in Myrtle Beach. Island Art and Seacoast specialize in local artists work. Betsy and Jim are represented locally by Island Art Gallery.

Thanks for joining me, and please continue to send me your comments.  I have been receiving emails, comments on the blog and on Facebook. I enjoy receiving your ideas, questions, and input. It's great to be bringing this to you. If you like this article please feel free to share this post with your friends or on Facebook.

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Artfully Yours,

Please click to visit
Annette Goings Fine Art Website

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One last painting from Rob

Robert Liberace

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tales from the Emerald City, Seattle Washington, Part 2

Seattle International Airport, Seattle, WA

Tales from the Emerald City, Part 2 continues the story of my recent trip to Seattle. Please refer to Tales from the Emerald City Part 1, if anything is unclear.  

The day after visiting the Frye Museum I decided to write an article about the visit. While doing research on the both the Frye and Gage I learned of the Gage's community-based approach. Several events were scheduled at the school the following day and open to the public.  

Gage Academy of Art 

Several events interested me; ArtTalk a lunchtime lecture featuring three of Gage's Artist Teachers, Mitch Albala, Barbara Fugate and Terry Furchgott, an evening class - Photographing your Artwork; and an Exhibition and studio sale at the schools, Steele, Rosen and Entry Gallery.  

Juliette Aristides
Juliette Aristides of the Aristides Atelier is how I originally became aware of the Gage Academy of Art.  Juliette is a classically trained artist whose work I have followed for several years.  At the Portrait Society's 2014 Conference in Washington DC, Juliette and I met had the opportunity to meet. She was at the conference to teach and paint in a painting demonstration.

"I have a simple belief that the goal of learning to draw and paint is attainable by anyone who is willing to pursue it.  It is as accessible as learning to write or play a musical instrument. There is more than one path a person can follow to be a well-trained artist. What is necessary, however, is a passion for excellence, discipline, and an unflinching desire to pursue truth." Juliette Aristides            

Arriving at the Gage, I saw Juliette and took a moment to introduced myself and spoke of our meeting at the conference. Juliette then offered to give me a tour of the school, and her studio. She showed me a few  paintings she was working on and invited me to attend a life drawing class the next morning. 

The lunchtime ArtTalk was a presentation of slides and a discussion by each artist about their work and processes.  The three artists were diverse in their artwork and their thoughts.

Mitch Albala, the first speaker began by reviewing slides of his work. As he spoke about his methods something seemed deja vu but I couldn't decide why. Mitch focuses on simple compositions with simple shapes, and looks for patterns first. He loves the abstraction of pattern and the losing of the subject not just lost edges.  Artists he considers his mentors are Turner, Monet,and Vuillard.  

Mitch began to speak of Notan the arrangement of dark and light patterns that serve as the foundation of any composition.  The deja vu feeling was over.  He had written 2 articles for International Artist on "The Power of Notan in Landscape Composition."    

The next speaker Barbara Fugate, works from observation, never using photos. Barbara likes to work large and gesture is the basis of her work. She likes the intensity of quickness and avoids being calculating - wanting everything flexible - and likes the idea of being loose with an accurate sensation of a form in space. She wants each mark in a piece of work to be meaningful. She wants to know how that form exists in space, the rhythm of the edges of the object, the edges of the paper,  the edges of colors and the shifting of positive and negative space. 

Terry Furchgott loves the narrative relationships in her work and blends eastern elements into her paintings. Terry wants to present women positively in art, to show strong women, from a woman's point of view. "The traditional male dominated view is turned on its head in favor of a strong female subject." (Terry's website)  Her work is bold in color and style, blending elements of Persian art and story telling. She works to use color to enhance emotions and believes color is intuitive. She is interested in the women she paints, who you are and what society does to women.    

After the lectures, I visited the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. Later I went back to the school and attended  the evening class given by Scott Moore of Bellevue Fine Art.  That evening driving home across Lake Washington an incredible Supermoon rising over Bellevue a spectacular way to end the day. 

The next day I arrived for the life drawing class, led by David Dwyer. Two second year students whom I had met at the Frye were also in the class. The class welcomed me, loaned me supplies and the session began. While everyone worked David walked around working with each student.

After class, several people commented on how brave I was to join the 3 hr session. Admittedly I had been a bit anxious but concluded it was a good opportunity and had been a nice offer.

The trip was eventful and I enjoyed my time spent at the Gage and meeting so many new people.

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Thanks for joining me, and please continue to send me your comments. I enjoy receiving your emails, comments on the blog and Facebook. If you like this article, please share this post with your friends or on Facebook.

Until next time...

Artfully Yours,

Please click to visit
Annette Goings Fine Art Website

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Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 The Art of the Portrait Conference

Juliette Aristides, Portrait painted during Face-Off competition

This past spring April 24-27, 2014 the Portrait Society of America held their annual conference "The Art of the Portrait" in Reston, VA. This year marked the Portrait Society's 16th annual conference. Next year the conference will be held in  Atlanta, GA, April 30 - May 3, 2015. 


Tony Ryder

The atmosphere is fast paced and exciting because there is so much to do. 2014 was my second year to attend the conference. As artists, we often spend large amounts of time alone in our studios working. The conference can be a time of community with other artists. It's a time to meet new friends, participate in classes and workshops, and enjoy discussions and lectures. 

The vendor centers allow you to shop direct from top manufacturers such as Richeson, Rosemary Brushes, and Gamblin paints. d have your portfolio critiqued by nationally known artists. There is an optional museum trip, and an awards gala evening that tops off the fast-paced conference.

James Gurney
Anthony Ryder owns and operates the Ryder studio in Sante Fe, New Mexico and wrote and illustrated "The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing" an invaluable book.

James Gurney is always seen sitting near the stage of any demonstration. Here he is painting a watercolor sketch Tony Pro a demonstrating as
Tony Pro paints during the face-off segment. James is an author best known for his series of illustrated books "Dinotopia". 

Tony Pro

Tony Pro a nationally known artist and resident Professor of Art at California Lutheran University in

Chris Saper 
2 Hour Demonstration 
Chris Saper's portraits are currently held in private and corporate collections. Chris is very active in the Portrait Society, the Cecelia Beaux Forum and art community. She is the author of several books, instructional DVD's and a regular contributor to periodicals. 

Chris Saper painting Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson by Chris Saper

Ho - Hein
Parallel perspectives, Quang Ho and Jeffrey Hein painting the same model. At the conference, several dual painting sessions are offered. The process is interesting, to watch as each person starts and works on the portrait very differently. 

Jeffrey Hein                                     Quang Ho

Hein                               Ho

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this glimpse at the 2014 conference. If interested the 2015 is just around the corner. For more information please visit the Portrait Society's website.

Thanks for joining me and please continue to send me your comments.  I love hearing your ideas, questions or input. Please leave responses in the comments section below or on Facebook. 

Please click on any of the artist names to go directly to their website for more information about them and their work.

Artfully Yours,


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Tales From the Emerald City, Seattle Washington, Part 1

The Frye Museum 
  the Gage Academy of Art and Aristides Atelier

The Frye Art Museum

"Art" seems to find me these days and fun things happen.  On a recent trip to Seattle to visit family I spent time at several museums and the Gage Academy of Art particularly with members of the Aristides Atelier.  

Seattle is a city full of diverse happenings and one that actively supports a thriving  artistic community.  The Frye Museum is a good place to start. It's in the heart of downtown and a free for those who visit. The current exhibition at the Frye runs from Oct 4 – Jan 4, 2014. This exhibit was "Citizen Curated". During two weeks in August 2014 people were asked to like and comment on their favorite paintings via social media.  

Peacock by Julius Scheurer

The 232 paintings in the founding collection were posted on the internet for global voting and on select social media sites.  “You are the curator” drew the participation of 4,468 people and produced the current exhibition which contains around 40+ paintings. Below each painting in the exhibit is the number of votes received and comments. 

So who was the big winner?  ”Peacock” painted in 1907 by German artist Julius Scheurer. Peacock received 3525 likes, winning by a very large margin.  

 Members of the Aristides Atelier

While walking through the Frye Museum artist began appearing and setting up easels and worksites. A security guard shared with me about their painting policies. That particular day was the first time painting had been allowed in the museum. It was a trial program between the museum and the Gage Academy of Art.

David Dwyer, Church Towers by Franz-Xaver Hoch

For those unfamiliar with the Gage Academy of Art, the school was started 25 years ago.The school provides classical training for contemporary artists. It is a non-profit school located in a historic building in the Capitol Hill district overlooking downtown Seattle Their mission is based on the belief that artists are made not born.  

The Gage is dedicated to providing community-based programs for students of all ages and abilities.  Within the Gage are five Atelier programs each led by a particular artist. Aristides Atelier led by Juliette Aristides is a well know and respected 4-year program. As well the school welcomes well-known guests artist for workshops.

Rebecca King, Seascape with Figures Dubovskoi

When traveling and visiting museums it's always a treat to watch artist painting from the original paintings. After people had set up their easels and had begun painting I struck up a conversation with David Dwyer an alumnus of Gage Academy, a teacher with Aristides Atelier and Gage Board of Trustees member. 

As we talked David explained the importance of this program and the potential to create more opportunities for artists to paint in museums on the West Coast. The pilot program lasts 10 weeks. Students choose a painting to study and copy as a part of their coursework.

Later in the week, I spent additional time at the Gage Academy sitting in on a lecture, attending a class and joining a life drawing class. I will write more about this in Tales from the Emerald City Part 2. 

Here's one more photo of an exceptional painting from the museum.  When visiting Seattle the Frye Museum has a nice collection and worth adding to any list of must sees.
Venice by Hermann Salomon Corrodi

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Thanks for joining me, and please continue to send me your comments. I enjoy receiving your emails, comments on the blog and Facebook. If you like this article, please share this post with your friends or on Facebook.

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Artfully Yours,

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Paul S. Brown and His Classical Realist Friends Exhibition

Pinehurst # 2 Second Hole, Paul S. Brown

Paul Brown 
Exhibition dates for this show were June 6th  - July 11th, 2014 at the Campbell house in Southern Pines, North Carolina and sponsored by the Arts Council of Moore County. Exhibiting in the show were: Paul S. Brown, Olena Babak, Carmen Drake Gordon, Jill Hooper, Kamille Corry, Gloria Carrera, Evelyn Dempsey, Joanne Kilpatrick, Patricia McDevitt, Elizabeth Strazulla and Frank Strazulla Jr. 

I learned of this show from a friend Carmen Gordon at Oak Hollow Studios in Carthage, North Carolina. I had attended workshops at her studio.

Paul Brown

My first workshop at Oak Hollow Studio was a surprise. All of the attendees, including the model, had studied with or taught at the Academy of Classical Design with D. Jeffrey Mims. Also most were ongoing students of Paul Brown. 

Paul  Brown was raised in North Carolina but has lived and worked in London since 1994.  Currently, he lives and paints in North Carolina. Paul makes his own oil paints with carefully selected pigments and uses old master techniques and mediums working from life. 

Paul studied and apprenticed with Jeffrey Mims, and the  Studio Cecil- Graves in Florence Italy.  He has traveled extensively, painting his way through museums in England and Europe. Paul helped Daniel Graves open the Florence Academy of Art. Paul has also exhibited in the BP Portrait Award. 

C. Gordon

Carmen Drake Gordon owns Oak Hollow studios in Carthage North Carolina and attended the Academy of Classical Design, first as a student then as a student teacher. Carmen has most recently studied under the direction of Paul Brown.

O. Babak

Olena Babak a classically trained artist originally from the Ukraine currently lives in Maine. Olena has a studio art degree from the Kharkiv College of fine art and also studied with and was an assistant teacher at the Academy of Classical Design. She teaches  ongoing workshops at Olena Babak Studios. 

J. Hooper
Jill Hooper's work has been exhibited in Europe and the United States and is permanently collected by 3 museums.  She has studied in Florence Italy, the Academy of Classical Design and apprenticed with Ben Long. Her self-portrait traveled with the BP Portrait exhibit in 2007. She is the artist in residence teaching at Lavender Hill Studios in London.    

K. Corry

Kamille Corry a realist painter who currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She studied primarily at the Cecil-Graves studio in Florence Italy and studied extensively with Jeffrey Mims. In 2002, she started an art academy for intensive studies in the figurative arts.   

G. Carrera
Gloria Carrera, originally from Montreal Quebec, currently resides in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  She credits the Academy of Classical Design, where she was a student and teacher, and Jeffrey Mims as being among her greatest influences. 

J. Kilpatrick

Joann Kilpatrick lives in the Southern Pines, Pinehurst, NC area and attended the Academy of Classical Design.  She studies with Paul Brown at the Oak Hollow Studios.

F. Strazulla

Frank Strazzulla lives in Boston Massachusetts area.  A new England painter graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, he attended the Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence.

E. Strazulla

Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla paints poetic and precise landscapes and still lifes. Her eye is uniquely developed to see both the architectural and spiritual essence of her subjects and to find in them beauty, peace, and harmony.

Paul Brown
The exhibit was worth the trip. 137 paintings were in this exhibit and for purchase at that time.

The Ann Long Gallery in Charleston represents the following artists: Paul S. Brown, Kamille Cory, Jill Hooper, Frank Strazzulla, Carmen Drake Gordon, Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla and Jeffrey Mims    

Thanks for joining me and please send me your comments.  I'd love hear your ideas, questions or input. Please leave responses in the comments section below or on Facebook. If you like this article please feel free to share this post with your friends or on Facebook.  

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Artfully Yours,

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