2018 – A Recap

As is habit I, like many, generally reflect on the year past as I travel into the freshness of the new year. So looking back at my artistic accomplishments of 2018 I’m reminded that I’ve completed 9 paintings and a series of sketches throughout the year – a bit short of my usual goal of 12-15 paintings per annum. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I declared last year this time to slow down and put a little more concentration into my work. Also, my participation in Inktober2018 was a new and challenging effort that took me from my comfort zone and helped me think outside the box.

I tried some new techniques and new materials that I will continue to experiment with in the coming year. I also bought some clay, a medium that I’ve never worked in but am stoked to try. The clay is as yet still unopened but you should look for something very new from me in 2019.

So, without further ado, these few are my top picks from 2018, not so much because I think they were executed well but because I thoroughly enjoyed painting/sketching them and I learned something of myself in the process. Of course you can review these and more on my Gallery page or purchase a print or the original if still available. Did you have any favorites? Let me know below.

I look forward to continued creative escapades in 2019 and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I. Here’s to wishing all of you a healthy, happy, and artful New Year.

A Measure of Success

How do you measure success? For me, the measure of my success is gauged by how much I’ve grown in a specific area. Like a fitness plan, if the goal is to lose weight and I can see the pounds coming off, then voila, success!

My constant goal is to be better at executing my art and in that vein, I subject my paintings to constant comparisons – sometimes to that of other artists but more often to art I’ve created previously because I am only as good as my last painting. We all have our favorites and then there are those creations that are recycled or painted over – much to my husband’s chagrin – because I have no desire to hold on to works that I feel are subpar or that I’ve lost interest in.

Then there are those that, at the time of creation, I thought were fairly good (sometimes great). Those are the pieces I hold onto even though I sometimes cringe as they pale in comparison to more recent work. I keep them because they are great indicators of my growth, therefore my success as an artist.

When I think of growth, I’m not talking changing my style of painting or making art. A change in style is acceptable and expected as an artist matures, but a noticeable change in technique, composition, color harmony, etc., are, I feel, better indicators of growth, therefore success. Often when I look at some of my earlier works, I think “do over” and challenge myself to a rematch.

There are not many things in life that allow us the privilege of a do-over. Luckily for us artists, do-overs are available at any time. All we need is a fresh canvas, piece of paper, sketchpad, chalk board, piece of clay, wood, some wire, cloth, yarn – whatever our medium, and we can start again, and again, and again until we think we’ve got it right…

Until the next time we stop to measure our growth.

Which brings me to these two paintings. I am still not overjoyed with my execution of the hands on the lower image, but boy oh boy, I think I’ve traveled a great distance towards crossing the line of success with this painting. As for the top painting, which is well over 10 years old, I am planning a do-over very soon. I’ll keep you posted.

As long as I continue to work at my craft in earnest and I can see some growth, I am happy. Sometimes I grow by skips and hops, other times by leaps and bounds! Either way, with growth success is eminent.

What yardstick or scale do you use to measure your success? Drop me line below.

What’s going on?

Can you believe that 2018 is almost halfway over? Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions? How has that been going for you? Or are you like me – instead of resolutions I set certain goals to accomplish throughout the year. And my goals usually revolve around creating a certain number of paintings each year (7-10) and of course have more showings and hopefully make a few sales. I am always trying to move my art forward and learn more about myself in the process.

Quick recap of 2018 thus far: In January I submitted to and was accepted to a juried show at Limner Gallery in Hudson, NY. The exhibit, Neoteric Abstract, ran from April 5-28, 2018 and my painting RAINFOREST was hung at the gallery entrance, the first piece to catch one’s eye. 😍

In February I answered the call to exhibit at Market View Arts in York, PA. I created a new painting specifically for this exhibit titled SPIN CYCLE (see my earlier blog post of the same title). The exhibit, Generations, ran from May 4–26, 2018.

I recently submitted to two other exhibits in York, PA. I just received word that I was not chosen for one but if accepted to the other, I will be exhibiting again August/September. I hope by year’s end I will have secured an exhibit space/event in Philadelphia. In the mean time I have just completed a commissioned painting that I hope my client will be thrilled about, I have 2 other paintings in varying stages of completion, and 1 brewing in my head.

Another goal for 2018 was to be more active with my social media. In that vein, I’ve uploaded a couple time-lapse videos to my new YouTube channel  Handy Concepts Arts with more to come, perhaps even a tutorial in the near future.

So, I’ve been keeping busy and working towards my goals. I hope you are also moving forward and making great progress. If not, be encouraged, there is still plenty of year left to make some things happen.

Spin Cycle

(2 rights don’t make a wrong)

Fathers and sons
Caught up in a spin cycle
Heavy loads with
Temperatures rising
Debating euphemisms
And imagined truths
Ideologies
In a whirlpool
spun out and
Hung out to dry
In a world pool.
No fluff.

Ancestors agitated
Visionaries aggravated
Fruit-of-their-loins
Clotheslined by
Societal “norms”
So oxy clean
They’re oxymorons.
More on principle
More fodder for the principal.
Old school
New school
Home schooled
School of hard knocks.
No time for recess.

Cool down
Tumble
Tumble
Low heat
But never quite dry
Never really clean
Slowly revolving
Quickly evolving

Wash.
Rinse.
Repeat.

 

Happy New Year

Artist photo
Welcome 2018

Greetings of the day and welcome to my new site. In the coming month I will be transitioning into this as my primary site to showcase my art work. I plan to have more items for sale here and be more active with my blog.

Please be patient with me and my humble new beginnings. I look forward to interacting with you in 2018 and forward.

Meet the Artist Reception

William “Chilly” BramletImage

 Enjoy a laugh, a story, a glass of wine and light refreshments while taking in the spectacular artwork of William “Chilly” Bramlet.

With no formal training, Chilly began painting and experimenting with different media and techniques just 5 years ago and has accomplished a stunning collection of paintings and objects d’art that will simply awe you.

Please join us in giving Chilly a warm welcome during his premier exhibit at Handy Concepts Art Gallery on October 7, 2012, from Noon til 4:00 pm. We are located at 150 Country Club Road, Red Lion, PA on the lower level of Kerry’s Green. This event is open to the public and we hope to see you all there.

Welcome to the Enchanted Forest

Image

“Tree Aerobics” by Chilly Bramlet – 12×16″ mixed media on canvas

“Once upon a time in a land far, far away…”  This is what comes to mind when I look at William (aka Chilly) Bramlet’s work. He returns me to a childhood full of wonder and imagination. His woody landscapes are full of color and sparkle and mystery. I can totally see myself, skipping through his incandescent forests looking for mythical creatures to have adventures with.

Although Chilly’s paintings are by no means all child’s play, they do appeal to all ages. My 5-year old granddaughter delighted in his rendition of “Scream” (my title) “What the…?” (his title) while her father was captivated with the light literally flowing through the paintings. You see, many of Chilly’s paintings glow in the dark or shine brightly under black light. It’s very much like getting two paintings in one.

As an added bonus Chilly is not all whimsy and surrealism.  There is also a very realistic side to Chilly, evidenced in his portraits with eyes that shine and hair you can touch, all created with stunning detail.  Realistic or fanciful, all of his works are pieces that require more than just a passing glance. Spend a few minutes in front of one and you’ll find yourself pulled in and swallowed up by the sheer fun of it all. 

Please come out on October 7, 2012 and let us introduce you to William “Chilly” Bramlet. Enjoy a glass of wine and some light fare while losing yourself in these wonderful paintings. If you come early, for a nominal fee you can enjoy a full brunch buffet put on by Kerry’s Green before you head downstairs for an exhibit of a lifetime. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Date: Sunday October 7, 2012

Time(s): Sunday Brunch, 10 am 2 pm  –   exhibit only, Noon – 4 pm (Gallery open during brunch)

Place: Handy Concepts Art Gallery at Kerry’s Green, 150 Country Club Road, Red Lion, PA 17356

The “S” Word

There are a few things I know for sure.

I know the value of hours of tedious work. I know the quality of hand crafted items. I know the satisfaction of a job well done. I know that when it comes to artwork there’s nothing more awe inspiring than to see pure talent brought to life.  I know that to own an original painting or sculpture or piece of pottery – the only one of its’ kind – is something special.  No, it’s beyond special, its damn near priceless!

I know these things because I am an artist and a collector of art. I also know the cost of materials and tools and studio space and sleepless nights creating after work or only on weekends. I know the sacrifice it takes just to do something you love, create something wonderful, and then to give it away. So I usually cringe when the word “Sale” is nestled up to original artwork like natural bedfellows.   

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain as much as anyone.  However, I’ve always felt that cutting prices (that are already reasonable mind you) on original artwork is sacrilegious and that it undermines the artist’s hard work. Yet here I am offering you a sale.

I’m not so out of touch with my clientele or my artists to know that right now a sale would do us all some good. Like anyone else artists must practice their craft in order to get better, but mostly to stay sane. Collectors are watching their pennies but they still have an eye and a space for that one-of-a-kind conversation piece. So to keep my artists creating and happy and my collectors artistically engaged, I know I must sell the inventory I currently have. To reconnect with old customers and attract new I know I must offer you prices and payment plans you all can live with.

I know I have to have a sale.

The website is currently being updated with reduced pricing so if you see something that is not marked down, please call or email me for your special price.  EVERYTHING in our current inventory is being marked down. We want to share our art with you but more importantly we want you to experience the pleasure and prestige of owning an original. 

I won’t say that this topic will never come up again.  Never say never (in my Justin Beiber voice). Occasionally you can look forward to promotional events or a coupon or two, but I do promise you it will be a very long time before I mention the “S” word again. 

I know that now is the time to take advantage of a great opportunity. You won’t want to miss this. Visit www.handyconcepts.com and check out our gallery page.

Image

(“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – original painting, acrylic on canvas. Originally $600.00 slashed to $350.00)

“Wood” you be mine?

As we near the end of the month of August my eye wanders around the gallery and I am drawn to the wood. Such a versatile medium to work with. There are soft woods, hard woods, light woods, dark woods. Rough and smooth. Young and old. Wood reminds me of people. There are so many different varieties and colors and personalities. Wood has attitude. It has character, and if you pair a good piece of wood with an artist it gains a soul.

Full Count
"Full Count" Driftwood sculpture by Bernie Houston

Decidedly, Bernie Houston is a gallery favorite. His driftwood sculptures are definite crowd pleasers. Just the mere mention of driftwood and people are oohing and aahing over the artistry that is borne of nature.

 As when we were children and looked up at the sky and the clouds turned into horses, and faces, and lions, and ships, Houston has mastered the art of bringing out the natural imagery inherent in the wood itself. Bernie’s use of finished and unfinished wood is so appropriate to the medium and quite alluring.

wood chest
Hand-crafted Rosewood, Cherry, and Tiger Maple chest by Felix Milner

Then there is the exquisite craftsmanship of Felix Milner.  His hand-crafted fine furniture are truly works of art.  Though the top drawer is fitted to hold the family’s silverware, this lovely chest lends itself to fit-in in any room. Each drawer is felt-lined in black. Constructed of rosewood, cherry, and tiger maple with decorative inlay this functional treasure is one to pass down from generation to generation. It will one day suddenly become a marvelous antique.

From representational, to literal functionality, to the abstract – there are three pieces of rain tree wood lounging in the jewelry case. Raintree woodLight in color and weight, the smoothed exteriors turn to rough and jagged interiors but with a simplicity that is sheer magic. From them I get a very calming effect and I think I can actually hear the rain. 

All are available for purchase and can be seen at the gallery at Kerry’s Green and on the website at www.handyconcepts.com. Do take just a little time to bask in the wonder of it all and perhaps choose a piece and ask, “Wood you be mine?”

Fancy That

snow-fairies
Snow Fairies

Featured in the gallery this month of August is award-winning artist and illustrator Ellen Killmer of Red Lion, PA. Working in acrylic and watercolors Ellen creates whimsical, lighthearted paintings that call our inner child out to play. There are bunnies in a marching band, a bagpipe playing dog, a cat in the hen yard and fairies everywhere!  She’s so talented she can even make rats look like fun.  “Alphie’s First Snow” and “Sing a Song of Sixpence, the Baby King” are both award winners taking Best of Show and Director’s Choice awards.

Bunnies and Fireflies

Much of her inspiration comes from literature, poetry, and places that she’s visited. “I feel that every animal and person has an inner character that needs to be revealed,” she says.

rats
Another man's garbage...

Come out to see her latest works along with a couple of old favorites. Ellen is available for personalized pet portraits and children’s book illustrations. Contact us if interested in custom, commissioned paintings or illustration. Call 717-417-6341 or send email to info@handyconcepts.com.

Your feedback is welcomed.