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Nov 21, 2015

New Studio



I moved and I am getting a new studio set up! Lot's of work to do on it still, I'm working full-time and I don't have the internet at home but I will do my best to keep you up-to-date. This is my first painting experiment in the new space, I am very excited to have a whole art room and to have all my art supplies in one place.

Sep 10, 2015

Recycling Art



I have a closet full of art experiments and paintings that aren't destined to be finished.
I would like to cull most of it out to keep things simple but I have trouble throwing things out that have such delightful colors  and patterns. The other day I decided to make some of them into portfolios. It was fun to be crafty and the folios are really useful for storing collections of sketches. I have one near my desk that is full of tree sketches I use for reference, another that is full of all the little handmade design bits I use for blogs and such.

If you have old art experiments I highly recommend trying this out!



Attempting Allegory



I love allegorical paintings so I thought it was time I started sketching some ideas for my own.
I have to admit I felt like I was being pretty gimmicky and contrived so I think I will put the allegories on hold for a while.


Sep 8, 2015

Sep 4, 2015

The Search







Outside, after weeks of thinking about resumes 
and salaries 
and typing speeds 
and ironed slacks
Of thinking about little else,
finally,
I walk outside and my body feels 
as light and sparkly as the bleached grass 
between the barn and the old plum trees. 
There is rain on the stalks, still in their uneven clumps 
and the plums, over-ripe, are the deepest, dustiest purple. 

The neglected water sprouts bow to the ground 
with heavy, uninterrupted rows 
of fruit nestled tightly in the cover of leaves. 
These trees are old, unpruned, 
and still they make more food than we can eat.
I feel so earnest, 
plucking sustenance from their craggy branches 
under the cover of clouds. 
They do not even ask for my resume.

Jul 24, 2015

From the Studio...


I have been spending a lot of time looking for work but do manage to get a little painting in here and there. Here are my favorites of late.

Studies of a common yellow throat, above, and an Oregon junco, below.



I have some new treescapes up on facebook and am reworking treescape 6, below.



Jul 11, 2015

Business Plan

After reading several business books for artists I got fed up with how easily I forget my priorities and get caught up in trying to figure out how to make money. I don't see this as a personality flaw as much as I see it as a sign of the times. More and more aspects of life are getting monetized so we need more and more income to get by. I'm looking for a full-time job and very excited about the prospect of being able to do art for love instead of trying to figure out how to make it into a sustainable career.

Of course, I still want to leave room for my talents and passions to evolve naturally into a career so I made a business plan that's priority is keeping my values straight. It feels good to let go and make life itself the priority. It's a lot easier for me to enjoy where I'm at because I no longer am attached to a context where circumstances now aren't connected to the circumstances I am trying to create.

Jul 10, 2015

Simplicity Envy


Lately it seems that simplicity is all the rage. I am glad people are getting fed up with conspicuous consumption but if simplicity comes into our lives via the same technology that too much stuff did will there be any real impact to our lives and the environment? The technologies I'm referring to are the glamor, envy and obsolescence invoked mostly by manipulative photography...aka advertising.

A small-time fashion blogger may not be selling their own line of clothes but they can't get my attention if their images don't compete with the compelling photos I see in advertisements. They are unwittingly inciting envy in me...why can't I have a spacious closet tastefully occupied by a few hip and versatile clothing items?

Sure, having less stuff and being more organized in itself will improve my life. But I am entranced by the fashion, by the idea of being the type of person who always looks good, whose closet always looks good, who is so fashion savvy I only need a few clothes to always look good. Under this spell am I really going to simplify? No, I am going to put my current clothes in a crate in the garage and go shopping for a perfect tiny new wardrobe that will look nice hanging in the closet, along with a couple charming baskets so the junk I can't throw away will look earnest and organized amid my new wardrobe.

I do think there is value in these articles. Readers who are fashionistas probably learn useful information. People who hoard clothes might have a life altering experience following the advice. but I assume there are many others like me who are lured into envy but have no actual capacity or need to create a functional versatile wardrobe of just so many pieces.



Then of course there is the tiny house movement. Which I love, but how often do you see a picture of a tiny house while someone is actually cooking or having a busy week...that photo series could probably kill the movement in a week. In fact any real life photo would could kill our envy of any fashion ad instantly.

Despite my understanding of the power of composed images to create envy and unrealistic expectations I have still been fretting over how to have a simpler life. It is, in itself an earnest desire. I decided to try something a little whimsical, to see if I could simplify things inside myself...aka meditation. I can't tell you that my closet looks different, that I look younger or happier, or any of that. It does feel really good. I do find that the things I already have are enough for now. I do notice that there are less things I feel I have to do on any given day and I can spend a little more time just enjoying myself, one evening that even included spontaneously cleaning out each of my dresser drawers.

If meditation doesn't sounds simple, it can be. I used to meditate for an hour, sitting cross-legged, trying to be enlightened. Now I feel its perfectly acceptable to just bring my awareness within me with the intention of letting everything go and just see what happens. I do it when I go to bed for a minute or two, when I wake up for a minute or two, and anytime I'm getting wound up and it occurs to me I could relax. This may not ever make me into a Buddha but it is pretty delightful. I'm not trying to start a tiny meditation movement but I bet everyone has their own unique and simple approach to inner peace.

May 31, 2015

Stuff

http://pixels.com/art/all/alexandra+schaefers/throw+pillows


Chances are good that you have enough stuff, possibly too much stuff. But if you happen to be in the market for, say...a pillow, mug, phone case or tote bag you can now purchase those with your favorite Alexandra art piece on them.

Woodland landscape and poem paintings merch is available through pixels.com.


http://pixels.com/art/all/alexandra+schaefers/iphone+cases




Illustration and abstract paintings are available as stuff at Society6.








Of course you can also buy prints at these sites too.

May 19, 2015

In Process


I am working on a remix of this treescape from Owen's Open Space. I like it but I don't feel like it's done yet.




I am starting a new series that will be named something profound like Remnants. I am taking various experiments I made and finishing them as pieces. It's a way to express the inadequacies of language. I love working with poems and text in my art but sometimes when I spend a lot of time wrapped up in a piece the writing loses importance and meaning so I want to explore that part of the process too.





And here is an under painting for my next poem painting.

Meditations in Blue and Purple


I decided to start making my painting meditations on handmade paper so I can mount them on panels and frame them. I love the texture of the handmade paper.



May 11, 2015

May 6, 2015

Apr 29, 2015

Apr 27, 2015

Choreography at Corrine Woodman


Choreography is up at the Corrine Woodman Gallery in The Arts Center. It looks great, I had a lot of fun making replacement parts (I recycled some of the original pieces one year when I was cleaning out my closet) and I had fun installing it today. Thanks Hester Coucke for the expert help!

You can see it Tuesday through Saturday form noon to 5pm through the end of May at The Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave,Corvallis, OR 97333. There will also be an artist conversation on May 7th at noon, hope to see you there!



There I am trying to blend in...





Apr 23, 2015

Apr 18, 2015

Press



Here is a very delightful article about Mythic Voices in the Corvallis Gazette Times. The show is up through the 30th of this month.
Photo by Andy Cripe.

Apr 15, 2015

Demo


My first art demo went really well. I had a great crowd and received some encouraging feedback. It was really fun to share something I love with other creative people. I am looking forward to the hands on class this Sunday and will be looking for new opportunities to teach.



These are photos or the book I made during the demo. I had a very funny moment when I first started to paint. I was completely in instruction mode and I could not access the part of my brain that paints. It felt like showing up at a canvas and putting the brush down to make your first stroke and realizing you are holding a stick with no bristles. It was totally disorienting. I just pretended to paint like normal and the audience was super understanding but it felt really weird.


There is still room in the class this Sunday!


Apr 13, 2015