Angela Bentley Fife's Artworld:

ANGELA BENTLEY FIFE'S ARTWORLD: all things right-brained.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Craft Number 1

For Christmas for the Grandparents, my sister had the genius idea of buying them a tree and having the grandkids make ornaments for the tree. Every year they will add to the tree. I enjoy art craft way too much. So we made a little salt dough, sculpted it (the muses really did their own faces), ok not the baby, baked them to oblivion, then painted and sprayed them. I am actually in love with these and my kids want to do more.  Maybe I will have them do sculptures of me and the husband. They are about the size of a mini cutie orange. Seriously, baby muse was much too enjoyable for a 30-something mother of 3 to sculpt.....2nd grade anyone?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paper Paintings

Everyone seems to be doing 'small works shows', so I finished these small paintings on paper for Pickett Fairbanks Gallery. I have been so busy, like everyone else I know, and had procrastinated so long, that I started these on Tuesday to finish, frame and deliver by Friday. Do oil paints even dry in 3 days? No, I don't think so. But, it is what it is (my dad's new favorite saying). So, I figured the best chance I had of being able to crank out 3 paintings was to paint on paper. I love painting on paper. It somehow has a totally different feel. It feels loose, and sketchy somehow and I love to see the pencil lines under the thin washes of paint. And I don't understand how, but they dry faster. They almost look like watercolors. And they are fast. I had to work from photographs seeing as almost everyone I know either has plans or real jobs. So I dug into my stash of past photos and found some good ones.  I was pretty happy with my resourcefulness and delivered my paintings a day early, on Thursday, to find out that the gallery in the avenues is closing at the end of the month. My first casualty of the recession I figure (other than slow sales). It has been a pleasure to show with such amazing artists there and hope to find another gallery in Salt Lake that I can be as proud of.....Thanks Lane and Zach for inviting me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

3 Little Birdies

3 Little Birds for Terzian Gallery 'Small Works' Holiday Show. 'Glass Nest', 'Morning Bird', 'Salt, Pepper, and Cornmeal'. After painting the last one (glass nest), I think I will do more of ceramic birds in all kinds of "nests". These are all 8 x 10" which is a fine size for small shows. I have one more gallery small show to paint for. I love the small format for a change, they are immediate and I feel so productive when I finish one during a baby nap.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holiday Show

These are the paintings I took this week to a Holiday Show at the Bountiful/Davis art center. It is for works under $500. I have never done this show before but I love the idea. Every artist also donates an ornament for the Artists' Tree. I actually like the ornament....maybe I will make some for my tree with my favorite paintings. The cute frame was only $4. The paintings are 8 x 10" and are an extension of the booties I painted for my new nephew. I am liking the small paintings of shoes straight on.  I seem to lose interest quick so I don't know how many little shoe paintings I will actually end up doing.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

As promised (book club), here is my pumpkin cheesecake recipe. An old friend named Jenn made this for us one Thanksgiving probably 10 years ago and still, every year when the weather starts to chill and Halloween comes to a close, the husband and I start to crave this cheesecake. Here is the catch...I don't like cheesecake (I mean everyone likes cheesecake, but I can turn it down, unlike many other confectionaries) and I don't like pumpkin pie, but somehow this combo is irresistible to us. Oh, and it is the easiest, fool-proof cheesecake I've ever baked. So, try it out this Thanksgiving or any old Wednesday when you need some comfort. (I hear Oprah and the words 'emotional eater' in my head when I say that). I am not going to tell you what I have for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!
I think I will start a recipe segment, cooking is right brained, yeah?....and share any good recipes I try and love...bon appetite!
Crust: 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
Combine. Press into 9" cheesecake pan and half way up the sides. Bake 350 6-8 minutes. Don't let it brown. Remove and cool.

Cheesecake: 1 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
16 oz. can of pumpkin
1 1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 eggs
3 pkgs cream cheese (softened)
5 oz. can evaporated milk
2 T. cornstarch
Beat cream cheese, sugar, br. sugar until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin & eggs & milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg. Beat well. Pour into crust. Bake 350 55-60 minutes until edge looks set.

Topping: 1 t. vanilla
2 c. sour cream (room temperature)
1/4 c. sugar
Combine in a small bowl. Spread over warm cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool on rack. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

creepy halloween craft

Don't be scared. These are our shrunken heads. Me and my 2 older muses carved these apples, then baked them all night and woke up to some seriously creepy faces. We were all laughing as we were gluing on the teeth. They are funny and scary and hanging above our kitchen table. I told the muses we could make these every year and by the time they are adults we could have hundreds of them. Do I have to take them down now that Halloween is over? Maybe they could double as Easter decorations. hmmmmm.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Birthday

For my birthday a few weeks ago, I asked for a photograph by my photographer sister, Amanda. She has great ones of my Grandma. When Grandma Muse saw this she screamed and sayed "Ahhh! It looks like I saw a ghost"..I think she looks pretty and sweet and I love the composition. Thank you Amanda (& Mom who paid her for it). I am featuring Amanda in my 'Artist to Look Up' so check her out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A baby gift

My oldest sister has waited 13 years and finally had a little baby. A boy this time. He is 2 months old and is named either Jeremy, Joshua, or Joseph (they can't decide). I never do paintings with boy themes, so I couldn't think of many ideas. When going through some old boxes I found some of husband's old baby shoes. They look so ancient, I am wondering if he is older than he thinks. Anyway, a gift for our newest sweet pea, whatever he is named. Congratulations Belinda!
I finished and delivered this painting to Springville last week. It is 18 x 24" which is a great size, in between large and small. This and the painting of my Muses with halos will be shown at the Springville Museum From Halloween until Christmas. It was a different emotional process to do a strictly spiritual painting. Some of my paintings have spiritual undertones, but to do one that is in your face was interesting to me and a little uncomfortable. I struggled to title it, but finally decided "Penitent Submission". She looked repentant, but clean. And seemed to be yielding herself to a higher power. It looks to me like a private moment between woman and God. And by 'she' I guess I mean me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mom is artistic. too

We went to lake powell a few weeks ago and my mom brought her new hobby/obsession: face painting. She rewarded anyone who would let her practice on their face with candy.....(isn't face painting a reward enough? the kids seemed confused, but enthusiastically obliged)....So they had new faces everyday, sometimes twice a day, to be quickly washed off when they went off the slide into the lake. It was great artistic fun.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Portrait Finished!

'3 Common Miracles: Joy, Innocence, Wisdom' -- finally finished. I got to a point where I didn't know what to do with it, but then realized the deadline for the show is tomorrow so I sat my butt down and worked it out. I think I really like it! It is  little different that my usual paintings, as it is a formal portrait (I officially don't do them) and I chose a very narrow palette (color scheme). This was my finishing week as all the deadlines have snuck up on me. Actually might not sell this one, might just keep it for myself. It is 24 x 24".

More Sunglasses

These 2 make 6 sunglass girls. And I plan to do 3 more, but as winter is coming, it seems less relevant, so I thought I better get them to my gallery pronto. I have so many deadlines right now, I had to make a list (on some random receipt--in true artist fashion) so I could organize my brain. So 8 paintings to Terzian Gallery today, enter a competition with the portrait above by tomorrow, enter another to Springville next week (spiritual painting below), paint a little "baby" painting for my dear sister who had a boy last month for her shower in 2 weeks, and paint a few for my other gallery for a special showing next week. Seriously? Where did this all come from.....It might be time to finally buckle down and call merry maids. Oh, and maybe enter 'art and soup' if I have time. Did I mention donating a painting for the Legal Aid Society Gala this Friday? And don't forget to breastfeed, and sign permission slips for field trips, and pick the tomatoes right before the first frost, and finish the last 200 pages before book club tonight. I have officially stressed myself out. Zanex please.

Naomi 2, finished

'Fragile Play-thing'. #2 in the Naomi series. It came up pretty quick, 11 x 14", and I took it to my Park City gallery today. I am happy with the series and have drawn out #3 a little bigger, 17 x 23". Muse #1 is asking when I will do her's coming next apparently.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Burnt Waffle

I went to Grandma Muses' house the other day and this was sitting on the outdoor patio. I took me a minute to realize that this was part of her bird-feeding obsession. Probably 5 times a day, she feeds the birds. Usually it is a pile of bread crumbs on the edge of the porch, where any other old lady would put them. But to my delight, she had an extra waffle from breakfast and threw it out the sliding glass door right where I was about to step as I went out.  Didn't even take the time to break it up for the timid little birdies. The amazing part:  you better believe that by the time we were done with our fried-potato lunch (her favorite), that rock-hard burnt waffle was gone. Those grubby little birds love Grandma's porch! I wonder if they are getting a little too bold. I think I will rent 'The Birds' for her so she is aware of her dangers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spiritual Show

I received a card in the mail yesterday for a call for entries for a religious/spiritual show in Springville. The only catch is, it is in 2 weeks. So I started this today in hopes I can get it done. Something about bathing in God's Glory......still thinking.
"Husband, hurry take some pictures of me looking at the sky before you go to work!" -a serious good sport.

Naomi 1, finished!

I haven't put the finish coat on it yet, but I believe it is done. The painting with the 2 birds is the same painting, but 1/2 done. I didn't like the tree and the birds seemed too far away, so I painted one bird above her head with no tree to rest on.Maybe you cannot tell yet, but i love to start paintings, but have a harder time finishing them (the one of the 3 girls, getting dust on it). But i have lived with this one on my mantel for a week or so and am really happy with it. That is how i can really tell if it is done, I have to live with it and look at it everyday, I almost always revise and revise and revise. So, I still do not have a title. Something about the curious cat that is naomi. Any ideas? I think this is headed up to my Park City gallery after I start and finish 1 - 2 more in the series. It is weird to take just one, I like them to have pairs of the same.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Muse's Mother, Millie

My great-grandmother Millie. Serious farm woman. I remember her a little, but have heard some amazing stories about her and her 13 children raised on a farm in Benjamin, Utah. She was so tired at the end of the day she would fall asleep in her clothes and apron.

My Mom

My favorite picture of my mom. So cute. I don't know how old she is. Little pixie.

Grandma Muse (wedding day)

This wonderful photograph is of Grandma and her husband on her wedding day. She was so beautiful, I love this picture. She told Reed she would marry him if she could still date. She still wanted to date other men until they were married.....what? She loved the dances. She is a character. She has a million stories which all add to her muse quality.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Naomi Series

I have so many great pictures of Naomi from the photo shoot we did last month for the larger portrait. I wanted to paint this one. I'll show you the finished product soon I hope. This is how I start with a pencil or charcoal drawing and a color glaze and then I start laying in the color. She is fun to draw and paint because I think she is an old soul and I can see it in her eyes and poses. I want to paint something in the corner, but haven't decided what she is looking at. 
Naomi critique: "Mom, are you going to sell this?"
"I don't know" (inside my head....Yeah!)
Naomi: "I think you should, because everyone is going to want it!"
If only we all had that much confidence. I am planning to send this to my gallery with other thoughtful child paintings.  I am excited about this little series. Hopefully it will bring in some dough. $$$. I have a playroom to redo (we'll talk about that later).

Dress Commissions

These are 2 commissions I painted for a client with her own sentimental clothing. I wasn't thrilled when I saw the jacket was 'hannah montana', but I dressed it up to my liking and I am happy with how they came out. Sorry the images aren't great. It turned out to be a fun commission to do for the client's daughter. I wish I could do more....if you know anyone who wants some, I'll give you a referral fee.....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

10 lbs down 20 to go!

My most recent weight-loss acquisition. This beautiful painting is a Juli Augison creation. She lives in SLC and shows at Pickett-Fairbanks in the avenues. She is so sweet, quiet, sensitive and unassuming, and so are her paintings. I could look at this all day. There are so many layers and intricacies (is that a word?), the photo doesn't do it justice I am sure. Thank you Juli!

New Old Wig

I went to Grandma Muse's house for lunch on Thursday. She came in the kitchen and yelled "Look!" and we all started laughing at her wig. She said she couldn't find any of her wigs and so she pulled out this old one. I was laughing so hard and then she got the giggles. It came out from her face at least 2 inches. So bad, but she still thought it was better than no wig....Her gray cotton hair was peeking out by her ears. I could not take her seriously all day. She would talk about politics and I would just start laughing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scott's Peck Dance

Yes, this is the art of abfife on this man's chest....during our family cruise talent show Scott Nicholson (cousin husband) loves to show off his peck dance to some crazy techno music. Someone had the idea to draw smiley faces on his pecks to make it more visually interesting....I excitedly volunteered,with my assistant, allison, to practice my drawing skills. It seriously took an army to pull this off. One agent and music technician (wife), a make up supplier (julie, cousin), an artist (me), a shaver (?), and an assistant (pupil drawer). I left any unpleasant tasks to her, and didn't feel the mojo when I had to color in his nipples. Needless to say, it was a hit, and I am still not sure what Grandma muse thought about it, I think she blushed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monet to Picasso

I went to the "Monet to Picasso" exhibit at the U yesterday. It is truly amazing to have so many historic paintings in one place in Utah. We are so fortunate to be able to view these without a plane trip to NY or Chicago. If you have not have a responsibility to support the you don't, but I do and if you want an afternoon of beauty, pack a lunch and head to the foothills. It is $15 per person which includes an audio tour (ok, not the best ever, my ADD got in the way of listening straight through, but at least it is free...sort of). It was kind of crowded, ugh, but worth it. And I think it is only there for 1 more week. Definitely worth the gas money and the cost of numerous postcards I bought for my studio wall.
My favorite of the entire show 
was Van Gogh's "Two Poplars". To see his paintings in life is a completely different experience than out of a book. There is so much life and passion in his paint. So Inspiring. I also thought I might try a landscape 'cezanne' style. (top painting). The little girl portrait is Renoir's earliest existing painting. And I bought a magnet, postcard, bag and notecards of Modigliani's! The window painting is Monet's, a little haunting , which you know i love. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pricey Little Prize

I found this little pleasure on some cool website somewhere, and her name is Naomi. I want this little plaything, but my self-control kicked in and reminded me it would be silly to buy a $50 handmade little doll even though it is named like my daughter....Her best friend has light skin, a blue dress and is named Stella. So precious.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Little Paintings

I have been working on a number of these small figure studies to speed up my skills in figure painting from life and to feed my galleries. I try to spend 1 1/2 - 2 hours and do it in one sitting. So if it isn't working, instead of leaving it for another day, I force myself to work through it. They are perfect for me because I can do one during a baby nap or at night after everyone goes to bed. But, I am starting to get bored and need to move back to the portrait of my kids....These are 7 x 9". So, if any of you want to come over to a quiet house and watch a movie (or read your vampire book) with sunglasses on, I'll fix you lunch...and I'll be very appreciative.

Muse 3 Amuses Herself

While I spend hours of painting and the older muses are away learning science and math, the babysitter, I mean mirror, keeps Genevieve busy. It is just too enjoyable to spend my days with the perfectly happy baby in one arm and a paintbrush in the other. I must have washed my hands 27 times today to get the paint off before I played with her....I need a good moisturizer. I have a feeling this non-mobile stage is going to end very soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School Starts!

So, the first of week of school has almost come to an end. My 2 older muses are there all day. The house is eerie quiet.
Naomi wondered what I would do all day and if baby cried all day without her sisters home. After day 1 she asked "Were you so bored and sad today without us?" and I said "Very"....(wink, wink). It has been a long time since I was able to paint long sessions 3 days in a row. My gallery in the avenues asked for some paintings for a SL magazine advertisement, hence the landscapes. I have been wanting to get back to the landscape, but haven't done it with the new baby. It was delightful to paint plein air again. These are all small, immediate paintings--about 2 - 3 hours each. At this rate I might run out of ideas, or worse burn myself out, or worse get cancer from the paint on my fingers as I munch on chocolate chips while I paint, or worse, forget I am a mom and be outside painting at 3:30, or worse never clean my house again, or worse swear off anything trivial and paint every second of every day...Ok, let's not get crazy! But these quiet days of painting and watching my 'Bravo' Reality competitions are really agreeing with me. And then I get everything cleaned up, brush my hair to welcome the muses home at 3:40. Glorious!

Grandma Muse turns 96!