Full show online
I've got the full Water's Edge show (up through January in Memphis at Eclectic Eye) up with sizes and prices in case you're not local to go see it in person. It feels so good to have several years' worth of oils that I've been working on in a series out in public and hanging up for folks to see. It's been a long period of making art at home with no one to see, though I'm so grateful to everyone who follows along here or on social media. There's just something about having your art "all dressed up" and out on the town that is deeply satisfying. I've got a good range of sizes, including some pretty small, holiday-present sized ones, and they can come down before Christmas if needed. I've been working a lot and have more I can plug in.
If you scroll down from the show, there are some other small, recent oils that are also available. I'm in the midst of a series of deadlines at the moment, but I'm looking forward to doing more small, immediate gratification oils soon. I've got both sketchbook pages and some images from recent morning walks that are calling my name.
I've been working flat out on several corporate commissions this week, so I haven't had time to make any art for public consumption here (though that's a lovely problem to have). Here instead are a couple of small oils from the show at Eclectic Eye that's up in Memphis through January. These two are both 9x12" and $275. I have several small, Christmas present (for someone you really like) sized pieces in the show as well as some of the largest oils I've done in years. It felt good to stretch out to that size again (36x48"), but I've also deeply enjoyed doing the tiny, fast ones either from my sketchbook pages or from my recent morning walks while the memory is fresh. These two are from my summer out west.
My show at Eclectic Eye in midtown Memphis is up. I’ve been working on this series of water centric oil paintings for several years now, and the pandemic interrupted my search for a place to put them out in public. I’m grateful to Eclectic Eye for their beautiful space and the generosity with which they treat their artists. It’s a real treat to see these on the walls, and as a bonus, the green color scheme of the building is absolutely perfect for this body of work. The work will hang through January, so there’s lots of time to pop in and see it if you’re local. They’re used to folks coming through just to see the art, since they’ve become a really lovely art center for the community. A couple have sold in the first day, but most are still available. I also have a few pieces I can swap out (and some smaller canvases in the for-people-you-really-like Christmas present range) if you need one off the walls in time for the holidays.
Morning walk painting
I am working to get two shows ready to hang, one this week but also some key information to WAMA about after Christmas. So it’s a business kind of week instead of a creative one and will only get more busy from here. I’d been carrying this painting around in my head for several days after seeing this image on a morning walk (and taking a photo to lock some of it in). My treat to myself this morning was to take time away from the necessary stuff to paint just for myself a little. It felt great. This piece is 8x10”, so a very achievable size in a crazy week. I’m really enjoying this small series of morning walk images. Gideon and I go out early, before I bring in the paper, and go around a few blocks. The world is magical at that time of day (well, really always) and I’m enjoying his getting me out to remember and enjoy it instead of me just sitting at the counter in a daze reading the paper. That comes later.
Beautifully, I snapped a couple of photos and posted it on fb to celebrate, and before I could get my brushes washed, I had heard from a friend. This one grabbed him, and it was sold on the spot. It’s always such a great feeling when people want to take my art home and live with it, and I’ve enjoyed making this impulse purchase size of paintings. The brushstrokes can’t get too picky, it’s harder for me to over do them (though not impossible), and it just feels nice to finish something with a bunch of larger projects waiting for me.
I don't do a lot of this. I have been known to sketch an occasional wedding, but I haven't wanted to get more fully into that business because it's mentally exhausting, and you generally have to book a year out, which my traveling life style simply doesn't allow for. However, when my church's new pastor said that the gift he wanted from the committee was for me to live sketch his ordination (they knew he liked my work and offered him several options within that framework), I was delighted. I've been hesitant about large live events, and we're still streaming church as well as having it in person, so for the first time ever, I could work at my art desk with a huge table next to me with the space to let sketch after sketch dry instead of trying to fit myself and my work into a pew somewhere. I was tied to the video and couldn't see the "offstage" stuff, but the offset was a LOT more freedom and range of movement to sketch and discard quickly instead of awkwardly balancing in my lap and having no drying areas. I'm still limbered up for dip pen and ink from Inktober, so a lot of the really rapid ones are ink. I feel like I did a better job of being nimble within the service than I ever have before. I wanted to be able to include all of David's special people who were invited to participate in the service. I haven't even counted, but I had a table full of sketches when I was done, and I think they might make a nice scrapbook for him.
I'm still scanning in work, but here's a preview of what I did.
My last Inktober sketch ended up on a double page mash up from a couple of different sessions. It started as a sketch of Gideon, but I didn't even get his head finished before he left the couch. I miss Mr. Darcy curled up for two hours letting me sketch him as much as I wanted, but all dogs are going to be different. Gideon is a little less cut out for muse work, at least at this young age. So I moved on to the room, and then I added my morning tea service. I decided my crazy-fancy, brass teapot from a street market in Paris would be just right in walnut ink, as well as having a nicely celebratory feel for the end of this run. I got out my great grandmother's violets and daisies china for the same reason. Also because it's nice to just use and enjoy the "good stuff" once in a while if we're going to house it at all. I love my pottery best, but it's fun to mix things up, and this china is truly lovely. k
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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