In the Studio Today... Tiny Cow Painting 6" x 6"

September 26, 2010
"Black and White Cow in the Red, Yellow, Blue Sunset", Pt. Reyes, CA 6" x 6" o/c

This is a small painting I did tonight.  I am working on some affordable works for the "Art on the Farm" show at Pt. Reyes Winery, October 24th.  I am going to be selling my older works from previous farm paint outs 2008-2009, at very discounted prices for originals.  The goal here is to have some of the art purchased with 50% going back to Marin Organic Farmers Loan fund.  This little one will be priced around $150., with half going to the cause, half to the artist.

In the Studio Today... Marin Arts Council Gallery: Teamworks Exhibit

Sept. 24, 2010

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of Gallery Sitting at the new, Marin Arts Council Gallery and business location on 4th Street in Downtown San Rafael.  It is right next to Crepevine, and close to so many great local businesses.  Due to this move, they now get many more visitors to the gallery space, and the sales of the latest show have been very good.

The Teamworks exhibit is a 10 year retrospective of the work of Katya McCulloch and Patrick Maloney, who have been working with teenagers in the Juvenille Hall and alternate high schools for at risk teens.  This year, four artists were involved as teachers. The results are incredible.  This is something you have to see, and it is only up for 5 more days, ending on September 28th.  If you'd like to make a purchase to help the Teamworks program, all of the money goes back into the program itself.  There are still some wonderful pieces available, and some for as little as $10.- They have a collection of "Clothespin People" that would make adorable puppets for kids playing with a puppet theater.  I think my sons would love these.

In the Studio Today... San Anselmo
"Art on the Farm" Pre-show

"Preview" show at Marin Coffee Roasters, San Anselmo. Photo: K. Kingson

I helped hang this show in San Anselmo yesterday.  Tim Mock, owner of Marin Coffee Roasters, has always been truly supportive of me, and other San Anselmo artists who have wanted to share their art here.  When Brian Stubblefield and Ed Walls owned the Coffee Roasters, I began painting bicycles in Marin County, and this very shop hosted my first paintings I created in 2005.  The first was a painting of the original Roasters shop with the backyard garden, and later, several paintings of the Serpentine Trail at Camp Tamarancho; a popular single-track trail that is know by most mountain bikers in the Bay Area.  The town loved the old shop so much, that when the new shop opened in its current location, across the street, they raised money from town members to purchase my painting for Bryan Stubblefield to share in the new shop.  It still hangs in the shop today, along with a plaque we had made for those who helped purchase the painting.

The current owner, Tim, agreed to let our group hang a "mini" preview show of 12 paintings to promote our upcoming Art on the Farm fundraiser show, October 24th, at Pt. Reyes Winery; a benefit for Marin Organic Interest Free Loan Fund to Farmers.  San Anselmo show is a very small sampling of the 100 or so, Bay Area artists that participate in "Art on the Farm".  This show includes a dozen paintings, flanked by our October show posters.  More info here, on the group blog.
"Ride to the Roasters", original oil painting by Colleen Proppé

In the Studio Today...Historic L Ranch Paint-out

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I had the privilege to visit a private beach today on Tomales Bay; a spot that is right across from Marshall, CA.  The beach is owed by the Doughty family, who run Pt. Reyes Winery, where we will be having our October 24, group show.

What a lovely spot it was today! Some of their extended family were there, celebrating a Birthday today, just enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beach views.  Two of the toddlers came up to me and wanted to paint.  I had some small, 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 canvases, so I let them each take one and paint some strokes.  It was really great how enthusiastic they were.  The little boy even painted on my painting, and it was no problem, as I was just getting started.  He really wanted to help me out!  I think it is wonderful how children have no fear of painting, and just burst right into it.  Had my sons been there, I'm sure they would have wanted to paint too.  I overheard the family saying how nice the kids canvases were and how that was such a great Birthday present for their mom.  Too cute.
I also was lucky enough to be able to bring my dog today!  Mesa loved it.  This painting of me with Mesa is by Kathy Kingston, who is doing a great job with PR for our next show.  I took a photo of her with her whippet, "Lyric"... below.  I will post my painting when I have some more time to work on it, but here are some photos of the beautiful day on Tomales Bay.

In the Studio Today... Plein Air at Tomales Bay

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rocky Shore at Elephant Mt., originally uploaded by cproppe.

I will be painting with "Art on the Farm" today at Historic L Ranch on Tomales Bay. Hope to stop by the last day of the Box Show at Gallery Route One as well. Enjoy the day, folks!

In the Studio Today: Blog Design for WT Lapathon

September 8-9, 2010
I have been working on a fundraising blog for a local school this week.  Click the link, below to view the site.  Make a donation, if you'd like!

Wade Thomas Elementary School: Lapathon 2010
" The Wade Thomas Lapathon is the only school fundraiser just for Wade Thomas School. "

In the Studio Today... The Art of Moving On

September 9, 2010

I was married once, to my college sweetheart.  He was charming, adorable, spoke several languages, windsurfed, loved so many things that I loved too.  It's been 10 years now, since we parted in a horrible way that I wish on no one.  It didn't even make sense.  It was wild, crazy and unimaginable for both of us.  I think about this person at least once a week, if not more, to this day.  No matter how hard I try, he is still with me, as if he was a true family member that I think of from time to time, wondering how he is doing, just as I wonder how my friends and family are each day.  Via the bizarre world of social media, I have managed to find out where he lives, who he lives with and that he still windsurfs and eats chocolate.  I've even heard some of the music he has listened to.  Who knows if he has seen any of my paintings online, or my kids or anything I do now, but obviously if he was interested in knowing, it would be easy enough to find these things online.  I don't really seek him out anymore, but now I just wonder if we will ever bump into each other someday, and what in the world would I even say to him now.

Once in a while, I think we just want to share our true feelings about things with the world, whether it's right or not.  We want to be heard and acknowledged.  I want to let out the pain that I still feel from losing my friend, and just say how much it stinks.... How much I miss this friend.  I think of my childhood friend's mother, who lost her only son in an airplane crash.  I think of how much she must still hurt every day, and yet she has to go on.  She has many grandchildren now, and I know they keep her occupied.  I have wonderful children myself that give me so much to do, and love.  Yet I still miss my old friend so very much.  It is an impossible and frustrating pain to have to deal with.  Ten years of my life with someone that I really loved, and then it just went "poof", and he was gone.... never to be seen again, except in a few images online... a few blog posts.  A blog by his girlfriend, that I couldn't bear to read.

I have been working on moving on for a long time, and I do my best every day, but I am not immune to the pain of my past.  A simple picture or a song or even a word can bring me to tears once every few months.  This was the best friend I'd ever had, and I haven't had that closeness in my life since.  I haven't been able to let love into my life again yet in that capacity, except for in my painting.  When I paint something that I love, I give it my all.  I give it my care, and my time, and all my compassion.  My heart goes into my work now, and my kids, and my friends.  I miss my husband very much, but I am still hoping to grasp the art of moving on, and find the magic I once had with my old friend again, perhaps in a new place, or in a moment when my sons are giggling.... my dog is wagging, or my paintings are selling.  It's all good, but it's not the same as what I had, ten years ago.

Missing my old friend, and wishing him all the best.

In the Studio Today...
Red Hill Farm Sheep; Day #2

Red Hill Farm, "Mother & Child", originally uploaded by cproppe.
Updated painting of the Red Hill mommy sheep and her baby.  I added details in the sheep's wool and faces.

In the Studio Today... "Art on the Farm" Exhibit;
October 24, Pt. Reyes Winery

September 5, 2010

Red Hill Farm, "Mother & Child"

I am working on some new paintings to show at the October 24th, 2010 annual exhibit of "Art on the Farm".  This is a great group of Marin, and mostly Bay Area-Sonoma painters that love Marin Organic farms, and travel to the farms to paint during the year.  I was away most of the summer and unable to attend many of the paint outs, so I am now working from photos I have had from previous years that I never got around to working with in the studio.  Today's image is from a shot taken at Red Hill Farms.
Colleen with the painting in the background... photo by Aidan Costello, Age 8.