Welcome Along on My Journey -- Please Enjoy & Come Back Again

Welcome and enjoy. To look at any painting or photo please double click on the picture to take a closer look and if you'd like to purchase please email me at neelygomezartist@yahoo.com

I welcome your comments and hope that as we journey together you will find, as I do, that it's more fun making a journey along with others and with each new work or adventure there is also growth and expansion. Come back again soon.



Friday, February 12, 2016

#24 Through #30 Challenge "30 Paintings in 30 Days" and Lessons Learned

#24 was actually my Challenge 2 painting for "Let's Paint New Mexico" that I thought I would also use as a challenge painting for my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. A photo was sent to all participating artists for LPNM and we paint our own rendition in whatever medium we choose in our own style of painting for each challenge painting. I painted this very late at night as I was staying up painting most of the nights towards the end of my 30 paintings challenge. That morning I visited my dear friend and we went for a walk in the Bosque. Sandhill Cranes were at her house when I arrived that morning and surprisingly as I got out of my car started walking toward and up to me. Usually they go the other direction. I was able to take quite a few photos of them. I decided to distinguish my own LPNM challenge painting from the others I would add some cranes to this painting. This painting "Bosque Cranes" on 10'x8" canvas is typical of this area because of the cranes wintering here in the fields and Bosque. This painting is now framed and available for purchase at Essence Gallery and Boutique in Old Town Albuquerque.

#25 "Sunlit Canyon" an original oil painting on 10"x8" canvas was something that came straight from my mind. As I was painting these challenge paintings I realized I was putting immense pressure on myself to paint quickly to be able to finish the challenge on time. In the midst of that pressure I realized how much respect and appreciation I have for artists who can paint fast and produce many paintings though for me when I do that my paintings sometimes lack the quality and inspiration my paintings do where I take my time. This painting was done as well as #24 posted above after I took some time for myself, did some journeling, meditation and prayer.

#26 "Highway 4 Jemez" is my original abstract on 8"x10" canvas. By the time I was to this part of these challenge paintings I have to say that I was very aware that rushing myself while painting is not conducive to my own good health, creativity and serenity. I just wanted to catch up and finish the challenge.

#27 above and to the right is a watercolor on 6"x4" watercolor postcard which I have not titled yet. I was hurrying and trying to catch up as I did this little painting.

#28 to the left started out as a watercolor. As I painted this I was not happy with parts of it and decided to use acrylic. At one point it seemed to be finished and I added the gold pen embellishment. As happens at times, the perfectionist artist in me came out and I kept trying to "fix" the facial features. I know that watercolor is not forgiving or easy to go back and fix though being rushed and feeling pressured I wasn't about to start over on something else. So ... the lesson in this little painting "50's Dancer" on 6"x4" watercolor postcard was "leave it alone and step away from the painting" (which I obviously didn't do, but what a great lesson it was).

#29 "Hollyhocks of New Mexico" watercolor, acrylic and pen and ink on 6"x4" postcard was inspired by the photo for a challenge painting by LPNM that I wanted to try in a different medium. To be honest with you I was so very tired, almost to the point of exhaustion by the time I finished this painting I was happy that it turned out as well as it did.

#30 A watercolor, acrylic painting detailed with pen and ink on 6"x4" watercolor postcard was inspired by a hanging plant in my backyard and my final painting for the "30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge".

I challenged myself doing these paintings. Some paintings turned out very nicely and others were ones I hesitated to even post. It was a challenge, a personal challenge for me. Perhaps had I been able to paint one painting a day I would have made this challenge much easier on myself. Life happens, I had many obstacles after deciding to do this challenge and losses of friends and family members. Painting so much helped me to release and express some of those feelings and that is always good. The lessons learned are that as an artist I don't need to "compete" with any other artist or try to paint like anyone else. I also don't need to paint quickly as it only stresses me out and the results lack the quality, inspiration and uniqueness that is ME. What a wonderful discovery to make. I am genuinely grateful and appreciate all my artist friends with their different styles of painting, unique obstacles and successes. I think before doing this challenge I may have been a bit envious of artists who can paint quickly and produce many paintings. What I now know about myself is that as I take my time and paint what I love I am using the talent my creator has given me and it is my PLEASURE to share it with others. I live and I learn. I hope to never stop learning and growing. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment and encourage me. I am forever grateful for all those positives in my life on my journey to becoming a better artist and person.

#13 through #23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge Finished January 30th, 2016

#13 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge is an original oil painting on mini 4"x4" canvas which was inspired by a trip my husband and I took last year in our fifth wheel and while camping at Jemez Falls Campground we got a permit at the Valles Caldera to drive deep into the Valles. I believe it was the second day after opening up the Valles Caldera to the public. This RV trip turned out to be our last one in our fifth wheel as we sold it to a dear friend the last part of the year. I am always so inspired by the Valles Caldera and just loved this little cabin set in it. I know that the show Longmire was filmed in the Valles Caldera though not sure if this cabin was included in that filming.

The night that I was deciding what to paint for #14 of my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge I realized I had gotten behind quite a few paintings and started feeling a bit pressured (by myself really) and if I was going to catch up I needed to have a strategy for doing that. So ... one of the challenge paintings from "Let's Paint New Mexico" I had done didn't seem quite finished to me. I decided to use pen and ink in finishing that off. Hence #14 to the right is the detailed pen and ink to finish "Folklorico Fun".

#15 was another original oil painting inspired by the Valles Caldera mentioned in the posting for #13 above. This was further into the Valles on our drive and this painting is on 10"x10" gallery wrapped canvas. I still have the sides to finish off and wire it before offering it for sale.

#16 was another "strategy" of mine in catching up and this one is another miniature painting, an original oil on 4"x4" canvas I decided to call "Mini Muted Experiment". Even though I was doing this quickly to catch up, when finished I really liked the flow of this little painting. I etched into part of it and that was what I considered to be, on my part, a bit experimental.

While in Old Town Albuquerque one day in the summer of 2015 I took a picture of some of the beautiful flowers there against a backdrop of dark dark bluish black and #17 is another miniature painting. It is an original oil painting on 4"x4" canvas. As I finished painting this one for my 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge and hadn't thought of a name for it I learned a dear cousin, Angela, was in the hospital. She messaged me that she just loved this little painting and thought a good title for it would be "My Secret Garden" and so that became the name of this painting.

#18 was painted thinking of my cousin, Angela, and is an original oil painting finished with gold pen embellishment on 8"x10" canvas "The Bright Spot in My Life". Since painting this I'm glad to say my cousin is home from the hospital and this painting due to arrive at her home this very day. I hope the reminder there is always a bright spot in our lives, even when things seem bleak or overwhelming, will help to also know others have experienced huge obstacles and moved through and past them. You just never know what is around the very next corner in life. I'm very grateful to have the family and friends, as well as rock in my life, God, to remind ME of the places I've been and obstacles overcoming in having the wonderfully positive, blessed and creative life I do today.

#19 is another inspired original oil painting on 10"x10" gallery wrapped canvas by the Valles Caldera in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. This was a different log cabin in a different area than the ones painted in previous challenge paintings.  The terrain in this painting was similar to #15 posted above. This painting remains untitled for now and also needs finishing by painting the edges and wiring it to make it available for purchase also.

#20 is an original oil painting on 10"x8" canvas "Light Mountain Hue". I think because of the tightness of my #19 painting I wanted to do a more abstract painting and looser when I started painting #20. This painting was inspired by the Sandia Mountains. I see these mountains all the time as they are the backdrop of my drive from my home in Rio Rancho, New Mexico south to Albuquerque.

Before going on to my next challenge painting, I decided I wanted to finish up my #9 painting "Couse's Back Studio, Taos" as the annual "Hearts and Stars" auction and benefit event was fast approaching and I wanted to send this to Rob Nightingale of Wilder Nightingale Fine Art Gallery in Taos in time for their event the beginning of February. So to the left is my finished painting. Because I am writing this update for my blog in hindsight, I realized after finishing this that their requirement was for 8"x10" or smaller painting and this one is 10"x10". I also learned that "Hearts and Stars" was cancelled due to Rob becoming very ill. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and friends that he will recover.

#21 was another small original oil painting this time on 6.25"x4.75" canvas sheet "That Mountain Off Highway 550". I see this mountain all the time as we drive up Highway 550 from Bernalillo/Rio Rancho up toward the cutoff near the town of San Ysidro that takes you to the Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera.

I guess you've probably figured out that because I was still a bit behind my strategy in catching up was to paint small. So #22 is a small original acrylic painting with pen and ink embellishment on 6"x4" watercolor postcard "Take Time to Smell the Flowers". I actually thought the title was somewhat ironic as I was feeling so much pressure (from myself) to catch up and be able to finish this challenge and was becoming pretty stressed and felt rushed toward the end (smile). I love my "pink lemonade honeysuckle" in my backyard which did inspire this little painting.

#23 "Visions of Hollyhocks of Spring" is another original acrylic with pen and ink embellishment on 4"x6" watercolor postcard. We have had a wonderful wet, snowy and cold winter here in New Mexico, although by the time I was painting this near the end of January I wanted to find bright, warm and cheery things to paint. The last two posted challenge paintings are more in the style of painting I use to paint birdhouses and somewhat folk art type paintings on gifts I give to my dear friends.