Donating Art & Resting Pears II, 8x10

Many times over the course of an artist's career, organizations ask for art donations to support their causes. There are but a few organizations that I strongly believe in and was recently asked to donate to their yearly auction. Of course I said "Yes!" In most cases, I ask for a 50/50 split in auction situations to cover my costs of materials, framing and shipping. Donating art can be a great marketing tool with exposure to new patrons and art lovers but, only if you have plenty of inventory to spare.

There are disadvantages to donating. The tax laws do not let us write off the 'value' or sale value of the work due to different perceptions to the actual 'value'. We can though, write off the costs involved with the production of the art. But be sure to do your research before you donate and know where the money is going. As a general rule, I give where my heart is. It's not a bad feeling to know you are helping a worthy organization to accomplish their goals.

'Resting Pears II' is headed to my daughter's school auction. Her school is an art's magnet academy with plenty of talented young adults who do incredible things. Along with the usual demanding high school curriculum, they also study one or two areas of art: writing, photography, dance, jazz, classical music, poetry, ceramics, painting, graphic design, set design, and theatre. What blows me away is that the instructors all are vested in these students and it's a public school, so they have a very small budget. My daughter plays classical flute as well as a prolific writer. Here is a video of a recent flute recital, for your sensory pleasure....

"Sonata for Flute" by Poulenc

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Edges and Rows, 24x24"

Edges and Rows, 24 x 24" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

A while back I was working on a series of work on seasonal paintings of my family farm located in the Eugene area of Oregon. I had worked on this one with the intention of keeping it for my own home so I could enjoy the memories I have from a child. I hadn't finished it until this week, trimming the sides to fit the square format frame. But I have since changed my mind and it is headed up with the other pieces of the series to The American Art Co. in Tacoma, WA.

This is the view facing south just where the trees line the edge of the property. I've never much ventured over there, but the last time I was down at the farm I wandered over there with my dad and discussed all the arrowheads he used to find in the field, the frogs he'd catch from the neighbor's pond on the other side of the trees, and managing the pickers as they harvested the green beans. His life was spent working hard on a farm as a boy as he worked his way through college, but now he is back on the farm, retired and just leases it out to a farmer who keeps things interesting. It's nice to visit. My sense of place puts me at rest when I step onto the property...all worries melt away from my city life in Portland.

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So. Cal Sentry, 6x6

"So. Cal Sentry, 6x6" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

Have you ever tried Googling '6x6" paintings'? Well I did, and I found this popular size/format has 1,370,000 posts! Could it possibly be because the economy has artists painting the smaller size for a smaller price? Or is it because it's small enough that it only takes a few hours to complete? Maybe because the square format is just, well, different? Regardless, there are plenty out there and now I'm adding #1,370,001....'So. Cal Sentry'. I just love the funky 60's framework that is similar to the Lem on the moon missions. Makes me wish for those days when I'd go with my girlfriends to Santa Cruz for the entire day and just sun-bake, drink wine, eat potato chips...and wish for some good looking lifeguard to resuscitate us! HA! Memories!

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Seating for Plenty, 6x6"

"Seating for Plenty" 6x6" Pastel on sanded paper

What a busy week I had that I'm going to say it for my first time ever that I'm glad it's Monday!

Being a parent of young kids and also conducting life as an artist is kind of like spinning plates in a circus show. Every night this past week we had some sort of event: daughter and her 2 flute recitals, an art reception, baseball tryouts, my Dad coming to visit, and teaching after school art to grade school kids...there's more, but I won't bore you with that. Suffice it to say it's Monday and I'm back in the studio posting to my weekly blog. This blog is probably the only real consistent thing in my life, everything else is, well, just a busy life!

Here is a small painting that was painted from a visit to the Cruise-In Country Diner in Hillsboro. I painted the small country intersection of this greasy spoon restaurant a while back called The Cruise In Crossroad and then took my Dad out there to eat one day. I was really surprised to find that they serve up organically raised food, from the beef to the lettuce on the bun. The service was fabulous, a very 'homey' diner indeed. I love 50's retro and here is my way of remembering it. And no, it was not painted by memory, but by photo reference this time around.

This past week I also was accepted into a gallery in Tacoma, WA called The American Art Company. Yeahoo!

Enjoy your Monday!

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Memory Painting, 16x12

Memory Painting, 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper

My favorite blogger, Loriann Signori, has been posting what she has been learning from the writings of the tonalist painter John Carlson and painting daily work on her studies from memory. Loriann is creating some really beautiful work and is inspiring to see her work unfold as she deals with the process. The other day she challenged her fellow readers to create a piece from memory (with a few guidelines in place so we don't cheat) and so I thought to try it too. I was surprised at what I came up with. As I was painting it I worked and re-worked the part that I remembered the most vividly; the bright sunlit edges of the cloud cover. I'm pretty happy with this experiment and may have to try this again. Today, I was working out at the gym and the west facing window has a row of trees that I memorized while I'm on the treadmill. I think I have looked at these trees a million times, but they looked different today. Hoping to put pastel to paper with this memory.

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Caswell Gallery 'Cityscapes' reception

Discussing with gallery sales, Whitney Layton, the art of framing pastels.

This past week I was in bed with a bad cold topped off with some sort of allergy, so I didn't do any painting for the bulk of this week. I always feel 'odd' when I'm not in my studio creating. Almost a sort of guilt thing going on here. But by Friday I was finally feeling well enough to attend the 'Cityscapes' show at The Caswell Gallery. Artists Gene Gill, Mike Kowalski and Christopher Mooney also had work in this show, all of whom are well known for their city themed work.

Rip (the owner) had wine and some incredibly smooth chocolate tasting along with live music for the First Friday Art Walk in Troutdale.

Gene Gill with a celebratory hug!

You can see the huge space that hosts Rip's incredible bronze sculptures, you can get lost in there! What a gallery! Anyway, I'm still taking it easy resting more than expectedbut hope to produce some work this week. Until then, keep healthy!

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