Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 2017 Newsletter

News from Barb Mowery Fine Art

It’s my (mid-) October newsletter, in which I stop and smell and paint the flowers; I introduce you to one of my fabulous collectors; and I masquerade as a photographer. Spoiler: I am *not* a photographer. Read on…

Featured Collector

This month I shine the spotlight on Amy, a Pennsylvania collector who loves the outdoors. When she selects artwork for her home, Amy’s goal is to bring images of grass, trees, and water indoors to surround her family with nature. With that in mind—and with a big promotion to celebrate—Amy and her husband Mike recently added “Birdsong and Cicadas” as the focal point of their dining room. But the photo I’m sharing with you is of my small gouache painting of their beloved dog Millie, which rests prominently on a table in the living room, not far from real Millie snoozing on the couch. I am so grateful for Amy’s continuing support. And her dog is truly the best!

Flower Power

I’ve listed a few new  floral paintings in my Etsy shop. Between landscape projects, when need to clear my head and change my perspective, I set up flowers to paint. In the studio it’s blessedly warm and dry; the light never changes; and my subject holds still. Flowers are full of weird shapes and details, and it’s tempting to get fussy and use teensy brushes. But I like a challenge! And I must confess that I also like having an excuse to have fresh flowers in my studio.

Challenge Accepted

My friend Maureen drew me into the Seven Day Black and White Challenge. Have you seen this going around social media? The idea is to post one black and white photo of your life each day for a week without any people pictured or explanations. And each day you invite another friend to participate. Here’s my photo from Day 1. Right now I’m posting them on FaceBook and Instagram—at the week’s end I will post the group on my blog.

And if you would like my newsletter conveniently delivered right to your inbox each month, subscribe here.

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 2017 Newsletter

News from Barb Mowery Fine Art

This month’s newsletter is an emotional rollercoaster: Hooray, there’s a few extra weeks to see my exhibition! Oh no, I withdrew from a painting event because life happened. And I sincerely invite you to come to Solomons in 2 weeks for a charity painting event. Read on…

Close to Home Exhibition

Last week my show at Bishop’s Stock closed, and I’m sending my heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to see it. I am especially grateful that several paintings went off to new homes. Thank you, collectors! As if the honor of showing there isn’t enough, the gallery asked to keep 10 of my suburban landscape paintings hanging this month alongside the September show. Of course I said, “Yes!” If you stop by the gallery this month, you will find my work near the wine (& perhaps in the loo!).

But the real treat is the exhibition of paintings by Christie Taylor and Fred Sprock. Both artists have a lifetime of learning, observation, and creative practice in their wheelhouse and the vitality to use it to its full potential. Linguist and anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson described this phase of living and working as “active wisdom.” You will see their intrepid, quiet confidence at the gallery this month.

Chincoteague Plein Air

I should be painting in Chincoteague, VA, right now. But life happened. My 6 year old has had a tough time with my husband’s work travel this year, and this week NOAA sent him off to prepare for hurricane Irma. Although we worked out several days of childcare, both of us traveling would unfairly double our daughter’s anxiety. So I withdrew from Chincoteague Plein Air. While I was looking forward to the painting trip, I’m not as disappointed as I expected. I am where I need to be.

I’ve been watching FaceBook and have seen some of the terrific paintings artists are creating there. If you’re in the neighborhood, the Plein Air Art Show is tomorrow, Saturday, September 9th, 6-9pm, at the United Methodist Social Hall on Church Street.

Solomons Paint the Town

There is more fun around the corner for artists and spectators alike. Part of the Solomons Plein Air Festival is a charity event called Paint the Town for a Cause.

Art lovers can watch artists working along the length of the Solomons boardwalk, enjoy a crab cake, and even take home a favorite painting. Artists of all ages and experience can participate for FREE and compete for prizes and bragging rights.

The event is Saturday, September 23rd, 9am-1pm, in Solomons, MD. Proceeds support 6 local Southern Maryland charities. I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday. More info & the registration form for artists is here.

And if you would like my newsletter conveniently delivered right to your inbox each month, subscribe here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter

News from Barb Mowery Fine Art

In which the show at Bishop’s Stock opens, I give you the inside scoop on my suburban landscape series, and I take you on a quick video tour. Read on…


I sat down to write this newsletter more than once this week, but all I got done was the sitting part. I am dazed and delighted by the reaction to the show.  Over 100 people came to Bishop’s Stock on First Friday to support Carole Peirson and me.  I had so many lovely conversations around the oyster shucking table. And as of this moment, several people bought paintings. Thank you!!!

About ‘Close to Home’

The scenes in this series are all within walking distance of my home. They are a snapshot of a time when my children are small and the orbit of my life is equally small. The result is a very personal project, which I intend to continue until I’ve made 50 paintings of my neighborhood.

However, the work is not all about the subject matter. Someone at the reception asked me if my neighbors would recognize their houses. Probably not--because I have been using this project to consider whether correct values (light & dark) are more important than accurate colors. And, if they are, how far can I push the color before a painting falls apart?

Video Tour

If you have not had a chance to stop by the gallery, here is a quick tour of the show.

The exhibition continues through August 30th at Bishop's Stock Fine Art, Craft & Wine in Snow Hill, MD. Please direct all purchase inquiries to the gallery (410-632-3555).

And if you would like my newsletter conveniently delivered right to your inbox each month, subscribe here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Exhibition prep

I delivered artwork to the gallery director on Sunday, and there's only 1 week until the show opens at Bishop's Stock. For me there's a tiny lull until opening night, so I would like to share with you some of the work that goes into preparing for an exhibition.

First I take photos of all of the finished artwork. Well, first I finish all of the artwork. Then I wait for a nice bright day and place a sheet of foamcore up against the picture window. I use smaller white panels to bounce the light around and shoot straight down at the picture. I use a photo editor to make adjustments. Then I use the photos for my own records, for newsletters and social media posts, and for printing business cards and postcards. I also share the images with the gallery to use for promotions and to email/text to interested collectors.

Framing time. Franken Frames in Tennessee custom makes all of these beautiful maple floater frames for me. I affix each panel its frame using a special epoxy. I call this stage "Framesgiving" because I raid the pantry for canned goods to weigh down the paintings.

A few days later the paintings are ready for hardware. I always underestimate how long it takes for this step: careful measuring, pilot holes, d-rings, tiny screws, cutting and twisting wire, and labeling.

And then another photography session. I like to photograph everything framed, too. "Skeleton Key" is all dressed up for the party. The black frame really makes the bright, playful colors pop. And the floater--that 1/8" space all the way around the edge of the panel--adds a teeny pause, an inhale, a moment.

Meanwhile, I started doodling. The coloring page started as a photograph of my house. I used my light box to make a pencil drawing. After making adjustments and embellishing the corners with the black-eyed susan and lavender from our flowerbed, I went over my pencil sketch with a black pen and erased the pencil lines. You can see here that I was too impatient about erasing and smeared the ink. That's okay. When I scanned the final drawing into the computer, it was easy to manually clean up the smears. (You can download the free coloring page HERE.)

I carefully packed up all of the framed paintings for delivery and couldn't resist using my cute, zigzag duct tape instead of plain old packing tape. I hand delivered the paintings, which is way easier and less expensive than shipping. I drove up after work on Sunday--yes, I do have a part time non-art job that I love. I got to visit with the Coates family and meet their new puppy Rye. Squeee!

My studio was suddenly very empty. So I got to work making a fresh mess. I primed 40+ small panels. Now I'm ready to jump into new work.

I also had time to daydream about how my work would look hanging in The British Museum. Not too shabby. They should call me. lol

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Opening Reception

Friday, August 4th, 5 – 8 pm
Bishop’s Stock Fine Art, Craft & Wine
202 W Green Street, Snow Hill, MD 21863
(410) 632-3555

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I made this free coloring page just for you!

Take a few minutes to relax this weekend with a coloring page. Free to download & print.  Read on…

Coloring page image of a house with flowers made by Barb Mowery for Bishop's Stock Gallery.

This year I have been busy painting my neighborhood. So I made a picture of my house for you to color. Fun for ages 2 (pictured above) to 102!

This is a FREE downloadable coloring page.

And I challenge you to also draw a picture of the place you call home. I would love to see your coloring, and I can't wait to see the drawing you made of your home. Please feel free to post images on my Facebook page (Barb Mowery Art) or tag your pictures in Instagram (#CloseToHomeArt).

Have a great weekend!

* * * * * * * *

Opening Reception

Friday, August 4th, 5 – 8 pm
Bishop’s Stock Fine Art, Craft & Wine
202 W Green Street, Snow Hill, MD 21863
(410) 632-3555

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Do you know someone else who likes to color?