Sometimes the best things happen when you paint over an old painting! There is a history there that I think only enriches the final image. Recently my husband and I got to spend a weekend visiting our daughter and her family in Rio Rancho NM. It was a great weekend hanging out with our grandsons and enjoying their craziness. In the middle of it all my daughter Alison and I redesigned a new 6'x12' mural for her living room and painted over the old one that she wasn't satisfied with.
The mural is a stylized landscape complete with pink New Mexico clouds. Alison loves the skies in Rio Rancho more than anything else there. She says they are constantly changing and as a talented photographer (you can see her work on Instagram at alisonhatchphotography or alisonhatchphoto.com) she appreciates the way the changing light affects everything in the landscape. It was a wonderful mother/daughter creative time together. The new painting covered over the old painting while parts of it can still be seen. Layers of paint, layers of memory.
Remodeling at the best of times can give you the blues...and the reds...and the yellows. It seems like tearing things down only to build them up again can make you run a gamut of emotions. I thought I would go crazy during the demolition stage - all that ear splitting noise and tons of dust. Thankfully that is over and after 12 paint samples finally found just the right shade of soft neutral grey for the walls which are now 7/8 finished! Kitchen cabinets are next but will take a few weeks so everything is slowing to a stand still. We are living in our bedroom (now our apartment) and the laundry room is a makeshift kitchen with microwave and crock pot so we are really doing just fine.
I have enjoyed the creative aspect of the remodel of our outdated and "desperately in need of TLC" kitchen and great room. It has been fun to pick out samples and only slightly stressful trying to merge my husband and my aesthetic sensibilities haha! But we have come up with an awesome plan. I have found amazing Geamenti ceramic tile for the kitchen from Wayfair.com and I'm in love with Arizona Tile's Statuario Nuovo quartz. We are undecided on the hardwood still, but we are impatiently waiting to see the end result:))
One of my least favorite things is doing inventory! But for the last several weeks I have been cataloguing and photographing and entering information about the paintings, drawings and encaustic work I've done and have available for sale. And now I'm very HAPPY to say it is done! Yay!!
Very soon I will have work available for sale both on Facebook (Fiona Phillips Fine Art), Instagram (Fiona Phillips Art Studio) and here on my website. You can also buy my paintings on the incredible Saatchi Art website. Just look for me by name. I will have lesser priced small pieces all the way up to large pieces that would enhance an office or home. I'm excited about this sale because I think it has something for everyone! I will be posting special sales from time to time between now and Christmas so keep checking here and on social media. Enjoy!
Back home after the opening of my show at Dixie State University and enjoying just a little time to reflect and hopefully to play. I have bought some cold wax and tools and am anxious to get in the studio again and begin working - no, rephrase that - playing! Some good advice I got once was that after a big project you need to allow yourself time to play, to experiment and not to worry about making "successful" work. Maybe I'll show you some of my "experiments" in my next post... we'll see.
I'm still trying to get the word out about the importance of mental health and the detrimental affect of the stigma of mental illness. I have uploaded the longer version of my Defacing Stigma video to my Facebook business page: Fiona Phillips Fine Art and encourage everyone to take 11 minutes and view it - the stories are so powerful!
The show runs until November 16th - so lots of time to stop by if you are in Southern Utah!
Over the last two years I have met or reconnected with fifty people and what an amazing experience it has been! I think getting to know them and trying to understand them has been a crucial part of this project and I have loved trying to translate that through paintbrush and color on canvas. I feel like I have made many new friends and in the process have found a deeper understanding of the trials and suffering of those of them who have mental illness. I have also come to realize through the experiences of these wonderful people how mental illness also affects friends, family and caregivers of the mentally ill. One in five of us have to deal with this daily struggle and I hope we can all be more aware and empathetic so that no one need hide their illness or feel ashamed.
I have finally finished the video for my show! Being a little technologically challenged it has taken me way longer than it should have...but that's ok. I did a short version and a longer version so we will see which one the curator will want to show. There is to be a tv and some comfy chairs in the gallery where people can sit and watch. The video has quotes from the people who modeled for the portraits in Fifty Faces: Defacing Stigma. They are touching and revelatory as people with mental illness share their experiences, hopes and thoughts. Also included are quotes from caregivers, family members and other concerned citizens regarding mental illness. The photography in the video was shot by yours truly and I hope it will enhance the viewer experience.
Its been 3 months since we moved to sunny California and left the beautiful mountains of Utah behind us. I'm loving the palm trees outside our back door!
Moving is so horrendous! But I am feeling pretty well settled into my new studio now. It has been a bit of a challenge since my studio space is quite a bit smaller than my previous one. But I took notes from my son's experience of living in a tiny studio apartment in San Francisco. He and his little family's space saving techniques were inspiring! I have figured out where to put everything except painting storage... Hence the upcoming studio sale. Sorry, no dates yet for the sale because I have a major solo show coming up in a month and have to have 50 paintings plus an installation and video to the Sears Museum Gallery at Dixie State University by September 7th. I am so excited to have this opportunity to show and also to try to raise awareness for mental illness. So just a few more things to accomplish and then my 2 year project will be complete. Happy day!!
When not in my studio I like to spend time with family, go to nurseries, the beach and farmer's markets, eat really good food and dance in the kitchen. I believe in kindness.