Monday, April 9, 2018

April Sale

*Sale alert!*

All of my plein air (outdoor) paintings are marked down 20% during April 2018! Read on…

Artist Barb Mowery has marked down her outdoor paintings 20% for the month of April 2018.

Did you see snow flurries this morning?

The calendar assures me that it's spring. And for me--flurries or not--spring means getting outside to paint. In honor of spring, the plein air paintings in my Etsy shop have been marked down 20% through the end of April. Shop the sale. 

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Do you like to color?

I haven't mentioned this for a while, but I like to make hand drawn coloring pages. I created a coloring page of the houses in my neighborhood, kind of a suburban labyrinth. If you would like a copy of your own to print and color, just complete the form below, and I'll give you the PDF. Easy-peasy!

Get a free coloring page!

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 2018 Newsletter

I finished a month-long painting challenge, and the fruits of those labors are available in my Etsy shop. And I have some upcoming events to tell you about at Jefferson Patterson Park, Paint Snow Hill, and Touchstone Gallery. For all the news, read on…

This is a collage of 30 small acrylic paintings of flowers by Barb Mowery completed during January 2018.
All of these paintings are available in my Etsy shop.

30 Paintings in 30 Days 

Another challenge complete! I planned to set up flowers in my kitchen, make observations and sketches there, then do all of my painting work (without the sketches) downstairs in my studio. But not having drawings to work from made me crazy. So I changed the rules around day 8. My most successful paintings were the ones in which I let go of the motif the most. That's where I wanted to be with this experiment: more expression, less painting each individual grain of pollen.

Day 27: "Renounce the Moon," 6 x 6 inches, acrylic on birch panel, available HERE.

All of the January paintings--and all of my other small floral paintings—in my Etsy shop are marked down to $100 (regular price $175) through March 31st.  That’s 43% off and free shipping!

I also made a musical slideshow. Enjoy!

***Coming Attractions***

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
Beginning in April my paintings will be available in the newly redesigned gift shop at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, in St. Leonard, Maryland. Jefferson Patterson Park is the State Museum of Archaeology. My interest in suburban living complements JPP’s study of native, colonial, and prehistoric life in our region. It’s going to be a good partnership.

Paint Snow Hill
The 3rd weekend in April is Paint Snow Hill 2018. And for me it’s bittersweet: this is the 15th and final year for PSH. Last spring I made a short video about how much this event means to me and has meant to my development as an artist. I love the organizers and the community and the other artists so much--my little heart might explode. If you have been meaning to come to Paint Snow Hill, this is your very last chance. The reception is Saturday, April 21st, 6-8pm, at the Old Firehouse on Green Street.

Touchstone Gallery
And looking ahead to the end of the year, I am participating in a group exhibition at Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC, in December. I will share more information on that show as we get closer.

Details on all of my upcoming events are on my website.

Day 29: "Show Me," 6 x 6 inches, acrylic on birch panel, available HERE.

If you would like my newsletter conveniently delivered right to your inbox each month, subscribe here. When you sign up, I will send you a free, printable coloring page as a little thank you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Studio clean-up in progress

Your eyes do not deceive you: that's a griddle, slide projector, sewing machine, pool noodles, 10+ year old paintings, cardboard boxes, clip lights, and sooooo much paper.

This is a before picture of my studio with existing mess plus the full contents of the closet. Self-shaming is a useful tool. I've been chipping away at it, trying to establish order and banish all the things that simply do not belong in that room. How does this happen?!

Beginning March 1st, I am joining Artists Working Group International member Jean Wilkey in a 30-day Spring Clean Studio Challenge. She will lead us in a proper spring cleaning and purge of our studios. Join us and make your studio a little bit of heaven, too!


Friday, February 2, 2018

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: Wrap-up

30 small floral paintings by maryland artist barb mowery available in her etsy shop bbmowery

You guys, I did it!* For the third year in a row, I created a small daily painting every day in January. And wow, am I glad that it's over. Above is a collage of all the finished paintings, and below is a slideshow set to music that takes you through all 30 days.

(*Except for Day 8. It was a real stinker. I decided that my "demo" painting could count toward the 30 paintings total, rather than doing a make-up day.)

I planned to work from indirect observation, with my flowers set up in the kitchen and my painting work taking place downstairs in my studio. Robert Henri wrote about this exercise, "[The artist] could also make any sketches he might desire to make—for information—but these drawings are not to be carried into the work room. Into this room he only carries what he knows."  And that's how I started.

small floral painting by maryland artist barb mowery available in her etsy shop bbmowery

About a week into the challenge I found myself chafing at this structure. It's one thing to set up the still life in a different room, but it's something else entirely to not be allowed to use my sketches in the studio. When I make a preliminary thumbnail sketch, I am looking for patterns and mapping out similarities within the motif. Referring to my sketch, rather than back to the subject, helps my painting stay true to my initial impressions. When the rules prevented this, they made me rely more on direct observation of the flowers (which is TOTALLY not what I thought the point of this exercise might be). And my paintings got really fussy.

Well, it's my project, right? Henri can't tell me what to do from 100 years ago. He's not the boss of me!

small floral painting by Maryland artist barb mowery available for purchase in her etsy shop bbmowery

So in the second week I allowed myself to carry my sketches into the studio. Ah, much better.

small floral painting by artist barb mowery available in her etsy shop bbmowery

The most successful paintings this month were the ones in which I let go of the motif more. That's where I wanted to be with these observations. More expressive, and less painting-the-whiskers-on-squirrels.  And still the flowers never melted off the side of the panels. I could have pushed it all further.

small floral painting by artist barb mowery available in her etsy shop bbmowery

But the biggest lesson I learned in January has little to do with painting or flowers. It's more like something you'd find on a cheesy motivational poster.

"Most of life is showing up. You do the best you can, which varies from day to day." -- Regina Brett
I fully admit that I was simply not into this challenge, even though I had enthusiastically planned it out for months and persuaded a half dozen of my friends to paint along with me in January. And once I got into it, I felt very blah about the whole thing. Not at all how I expected to feel.

But I realized how grateful I am for having created forward momentum for myself, the momentum of routines.

In January I make 30 paintings, so I did that.
I need to photograph the paintings, list them on Etsy, and update my blog, so I did that.
I write a monthly newsletter, so I did that.

Small floral painting by barb mowery available for purchase in her etsy shop bbmowery

I didn't do it with joy. But I did it. The doing didn't stop. Because it's my job. And I get up, and go to work, even on the days I don't feel like it. I keep that date with myself.

And the paintings are fine. There's no dark cloud hanging over the work. If I hadn't told you about my flagging motivation, dear reader, you would never know from looking at that exuberantly colorful end of month collage.

I consider that a very happy ending.

Each of the paintings this month measures 6 x 6 inches and was painted with acrylic paint on birch wood panels. They are available for purchase in my Etsy shop for $100 each, along with several other small floral paintings of mine I marked down for the occasion.

Information about this project, purchasing, and shipping is here.

Also, if you want to see what my friends made in January, check out the AWGI blog here.