The "Gift" & Gabrielle's Dress, 12x9

"Gabrielle's Dress" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper, ┬ęBrenda Boylan

The "Gift".
No, I'm not talking about giving art for Christmas, although it's a great idea, given the season. What I'm talkin' about here is the source of creativity.  Let me explain.  I remember as a child my mother telling me I had a "gift" and that it was pretty darned special if you had it and it doesn't come to everyone.  She told me I had to nurture my gift, regardless of her sanity, (she was mentally ill) and to practice it, play with it, use it.  I took these words and always felt that it was something to treasure, guard, and feed. But more and more we as a society are losing on art.  We see it all the time.  The schools eliminate art programs, be it music, dance, photography, choir or art and so our young never get exposure to it's beauty, leading to lack of appreciation. What will it be like if our nation didn't appreciate art?  SCARY thought? Yeah.

This brings me back to the "gift".  Let me go back a couple of weeks here and tell you about a gift that I received that truly made my season.

My son was invited to a classmates' birthday party and as the date was upon us, I was hurried to come up with some sort of a gift for my son to give, and quickly.  Being that it was the height of shopping fever, traffic was thick, and time was short before we had to be at the party, we had to improvise on gift giving.  Call it procrastination or desperation, I had to figure something out.  Knowing that this young lady was interested in making art, I dug through some old'er' art supplies and came up with something she'd hopefully like.  Now these 'older' gifts just said "used" all over them, even though they were still in great condition and completely usable, but kids can tell by the plastic packaging if they've previously been opened up. So, I thought to myself, I'll drop a pastel lesson in the mix to make the supplies have meaning.  Done.  Shopping is done.  So I wrapped my lesson note with the supplies of pastel paper, some student grade pastels, a little frame, and an old pastel magazine and called it good.  Well, let me tell you the gift gave back and bit pretty hard!

That night, I received a call from the birthday girl, and in tears, she explained that this was the best gift she ever had.  I'm happy beyond belief that she really appreciated the gift too. I'm not trying to toot my horn here and slobber that I'm a great gift giver.... No, not even!  What I'm saying here is that kids need art. They are starving for art and time to create, time for individual expression, and time to just make something out of nothing.  This made my heart just plump full of joy! What a gift!

Now, go and make your mark!


Old Friends, 12x12

"Old Friends" 12x12" Pastel on sanded paper  ┬ęBrenda Boylan

This past week has been pretty crazy preparing for the holidays with my family as well as me not feeling so well, so I'm posting a painting I did some time ago.  It was painted in late July of 2010, at the farm house of my artist friend Donna.  There was so much to paint on her property, I'd love to sometime spend a week there painting it all!

Recently, I was asked how often I get to paint while also having to raise a family.  Well in all honesty, it's pretty hard to juggle. I compare it to juggling bowling balls, or spinning plates like a circus clown, and at times it really feels like I am.  I fit my artistic time in like a neat little puzzle piece or a spoke in a wheel.  It just has to be a part of my life, just like food or sleep.  Although I sometimes feel deprived of sleep from staying up late or waking up early for those beautiful sunrises, the same goes for my art making.  This week is one of those!  Nearly two weeks have gone by and I'm finally getting my energy and time back. I have a clean studio and a new large panel on the easel, I've got a good two hour stretch ahead of me so I'm running into the studio right now!  What keeps you from creating?

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Red Head

"Red Head", 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper

Even though I never embraced it as a focus in my art, I've always loved drawing people. As a kid I'd use family members as my models, as long as they were in agreement to sit long enough for me to draw them. I remember as a child being reluctantly dragged to church services only to be entertained when the preacher would give his sermon at the podium. There he would stand long enough for me to draw him because, well, I was bored. In my corporate days as a designer, long meetings meant sketching time too, and sometimes it was only the back of someone's head. I love it when I can be the "spy" and make something of my time. Here is a model from a couple of weeks ago, a red head. I'm not entirely happy with it but heck, I do like her saucy red dress.

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Collector's Art Event success!

James McGrew, Eric Bowman, Brenda Boylan(me) & Thomas Jefferson Kitts

Over the past few weeks I have been working with a small group of three well established artists to host a show different than any other. With the local collector in mind, we gathered our lists of nearby patrons to a private showing of a mix of recent works, including many paintings unveiled for the first time, as our thanks for their patronage. Because none of us have local gallery representation in the area, we thought it would be a little fun to hold a party for those collectors in the area whom we know and to reward them with an art inspired evening of conversation, wine, music, and well, some new work! Our show was a success and many new friends were made over the course of the evening. Many thanks to James McGrew for the concept and providing the office space for the show. It was such a pleasure to work with each of these incredible artists, each bringing their ideas and help to make the show a success. Please visit their websites to see their incredible artwork.

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