Monday, December 20, 2010

It's About the Present

 New Beginnings © 2010 Amy Hillenbrand
14 x 11 oil on canvas


What do you give a fellow artist for Christmas? A painting of course. This is one I gave in fact. As my friend Paula opened her gift, she exclaimed that it made her think of new beginnings.  And by golly, it made me think of new beginnings, too. My mind always seems to be racing to the next thing to do, or the next thing to plan...even though I haven't even finished this holiday season yet.

I wonder if those little chicks inside those blue eggs are thinking about what they are going to do as soon as they break out, I doubt it. Nope, I bet it's pretty peaceful inside those little eggs. So perhaps I'll give myself a present and be present to the present. I'll report back...

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Body Over Mind"




Lean on Me  © 2010 Amy Hillenbrand
18 x 14 oil on canvas
 I saw them standing there all cuddled up enjoying each others company and I quickly snapped a picture while they we're having their intimate moment. They look like such a good pair, rugged yet elegant, sassy yet serious. If I lived in snow country, I would definitely have to adopt these boots. I would just hate to separate these two. Ya know?

For some reason, this time between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I have a hard time thinking about painting.  My mind is busy with all these things I "need" to do,. Whether it's planning or cooking or buying or attending or.....   And despite all this, my body, not my mind, pulls me into the painting studio.  I thought about this somewhat mysterious phenomenon, and the words that popped into my head was muscle memory. This is  how Wikipedia defines it: 

"When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task; eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems."

I know this doesn't exactly fit the definition, but  this is what it felt like inside me. So even though my mind has been busy with all the holiday stuff, my habit of painting everyday just pulled me right into the studio.  Oh how happy it makes me. The smell of the oil paints, the way the paint feels when you mix it, the zoning out...maybe that's the best part of it all.  Just me and the painting and the present moment.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Opening Night

 The Austin Art Salon 5 at the 
Wild At Heart Reception

So last Thursday night, my art buds and I had our first group show as  the Austin Art Salon 5.  at the Prickly Pear Gallery in Austin.  That's us above.  On the left is yours truly, then Kim Brill (kilnformed glass), then Debbi Smith Rourke (oil ), next is Nancy Michalewicz (oil ) and on the end is Paula Simpson (chocolate). Yes, you read the right, she creates paintings out of pure chocolate, frame and all. They smell and look delicious.

It was a fun night and we had a nice turnout, which always makes an artist happy, right?  The exhibit will be up through the end of the year. Okay, now I gotta get painting! Because as y'all come see the exhibit, the paintings are going to fly off the wall....you know, when you make your purchases.  Then I'll need to fill that space on the wall that is now empty. An artist work is never done. Whew!