Sunday, June 29, 2014

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I've been so busy getting ready for my July art show at Storyteller's Bookstore here in downtown Wake Forest, I've kind of neglected my actual drawing and painting over the past several days. But I did manage to squeeze in some time - between kayaking last evening and mountain biking this afternoon - to do a couple of watercolor sketches of Fry and myself on the lake.
©2014 Tammy Kaufman
©2014 Tammy Kaufman
And another sketch of the sleepy boy half-napping on his pillow after a long day on the water. I love the adorable way his cute little tongue sticks out just a tad when he is really tired. :-)
©2014 Tammy Kaufman
We've almost completed preparations for the opening reception of my pastel exhibit at Art After Hours coming up in a couple of weeks, on Friday, July 11. Most of the matting and framing is now done, with only a couple more left to do, and everything is labeled and priced. So once the rest of the framing is completed, I'll be ready to take all the works over to Storyteller's next week. I'm really looking forward to this show, and hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Celebrating Steve's Birthday on the Lake

To celebrate Steve's birthday, we took the boats out on the lake today. Fry had a good time riding in the sit-in with Daddy!
I paddled over to get a closer view of my guys.
Despite the intermittently darkening skies threatening rain, the lake was the perfect place to spend the afternoon, and we saw several other kayakers out as well - seems like a lot of us had the same idea.The fluffy clouds made a beautiful backdrop to the forests surrounding the lake.
Fry indicated an interest in my boat when we got back to shore, so Steve took him for a brief ride on the rear deck. He looks pretty happy there, don't you think?
Happy Birthday Steve!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The View From Here

It's been a crazy weekend at home, so relaxing on a calm lake with a gorgeous view seemed like the perfect way to wind down this evening.
Yesterday, we went ahead and had the skylights replaced with new ones, as the leak we thought we had previously repaired in one of them wasn't. In addition, we made it about halfway through getting the paintings matted and framed for my art show coming up next month at Storyteller's Bookstore. I'm very excited about this show, and especially the Art After Hours reception Friday evening, July 11 from 5-9 p.m. My postcards also got back from the printer and they look wonderful, if I do say so myself. Once the remainder of the framing is done, I think I'll have everything ready - but I made a checklist just to be sure. I plan to have a variety of sizes of pastel paintings (some matted and "sleeved" and the rest matted and framed), from 4" x 6" up to 16" x 20", as well as the postcards, for the show. I look forward to sharing my passion for art with you and hope you can make it to the exhibit!

Dealing with the skylights and the art show preparations yesterday pretty much tied up the first half of the weekend so I didn't get any outdoor exercise done. I had planned to mountain bike or hike today if the rain held off - which it did - but unfortunately I must have pulled something in my back yesterday. I've been experiencing nearly crippling pain in my low back ever since first arising from bed this morning. Several ibuprofen and some muscle balm helped loosen it up just enough to crawl into the kayak for a short easy cruise down the lake, but I'm still experiencing intense pain and ache. Hopefully a hot bath along with some more balm and ibuprofen will take care of it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Won't Be Afraid

Whew! That was close. I almost – almost – gave in to fear…again. As noted in my previous post, I’m scheduled to be the guest artist for the month of July at a local gallery, The Storyteller’s Bookstore, as well as participating in the Wake Forest Tour of Artists this fall. But after hearing some local professional artists with many years of experience expressing sentiments of self-doubt about showing their own (quite beautiful in my opinion) works on the Tour, I began to hear those old familiar negative voices rising up in my own thoughts. After all, I am definitely an early-stage aspiring artist, only having started painting and drawing late last June, so if experienced professionals have such insecurities, what on earth about a newbie like myself?!?!? The self-doubt arose fast and furious: What if I can't do this? What if no one likes my work? What if I'm not knowledgeable/talented/creative/educated enough? What if, what if, what if? 

And while my inner child’s soul cowered in a sobbing heap on the floor admidst all the negative self-thoughts, the most beautiful, glorious, restoring words appeared in my email inbox, a silver lining to my dark cloud of insecurity. I’ve never met Dreama Tolle Perry, but reading her inspiring and encouraging blog makes me feel like she is a cherished friend. Her “Acceptance” post was precisely what my frightened soul needed, crying out to hear the words she so eloquently spoke: “What is it that we fear will happen if we accept our work as beautiful, meaningful and wondrous—just as it is now, in this moment?”
© 2014 Tammy Kaufman - Here Comes Trouble - soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper 4" x 3"
Her post reminded me of times past when those same negative internal voices tried to drown me in fear, but I somehow managed to embrace my imperfectly perfect self and press on: when I was in my mid-thirties and decided I wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time; the embarrassment of being a grown woman struggling to figure out simple gears and brakes and pedaling. And the list goes on and on. Despite being “too old” and “inexperienced”, not only did I learn to ride, but three years later I was competing successfully in 12-hour mountain bike races and two years after that, 24-hour races. 

24-Hour Endurance Race, Greenville NC
Well into my forties, I was racing both endurance and downhill and many times standing atop the podium both locally and nationally, in spite of the negative voices screaming that was only for the young, fearless and lean – none of which described me.

Now, thanks to the lovely reminder from my friend – thank you Dreama! - I’m kicking that insecurity and fear to the curb once again, lifting that precious inner child back up and continuing to paint what I love and love what I paint. I look forward to sharing my joy of painting with you at Storyteller’s Bookstore in July and on the Tour of Artists in September.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wake Forest Tour of Artists and Other News

It's official - I'm now entered as a participant in the 2014 Wake Forest Guild's Tour of Artists! The Tour is to be held Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, and is shaping up to be a terrific event again this year. My exhibiting studio is still to be determined, but I will post it as soon as we get the location pinned down. I will also be doing a demo of pastels during the Tour and will post the time schedule for that as well once I have it, so if you're in the Wake Forest area that weekend, come on by - you just might get the opportunity to try your hand at pastels! My official Tour "page" with some samples of my work is now up Here. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Tour last year and am beyond excited to actually be a participant this year, and look forward to seeing everyone there.

In other artsy news, this week I submitted two paintings to the Yadkin Arts Council Eye of the Artist 4th Annual Juried Show. This year's irresistible theme is "Happiness Is...", so of course I submitted a smiling dog painting...
© 2014 Tammy Kaufman - Can You See Me Now? - soft pastels on Canson Touch paper 11" x 14"
Along with an acrylic spring floral that was a joy to paint. Notifications of accepted entries are to be made the end of this month, so wish me luck!
© 2014 Tammy Kaufman - Heartsong - acrylic on canvas using palette knives 11" x 14"
Finally, I've been informed by The Storyteller's Bookstore here in Wake Forest that they want me to be a guest artist for the month of July! So I've been busy getting some pastel paintings finished and framed to have them ready for that show. The opening reception will be at Art After Hours on Friday evening, July 11, and I'm definitely thrilled and honored to have my works shown there. Storyteller's is home to some extremely talented local artists, and it will be a privilege to have my works hanging alongside theirs next month.