30 Days of Aqua - Pairings

Now that my 30 Days of Aqua paintings are complete, they are finding themselves pairing up with their mates. Something about their natural affiliations make me happy, like finding one's tribe.

Even though the color Aqua is the tie that binds these paintings together, I wanted to be free to explore different strokes, and include imagery, or whatever I felt inclined to do in the moment. Sometimes just one limiting factor can throw the doors of freedom wide open.

But too much choice can be paralyzing and debilitating, especially in the creative process. It's always a fine line  - choosing just one theme/color/subject when there are infinite possibilities might seem like an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction, yet I'm productive, focused and free in the making. Whatever it takes! 

 30 Days of Aqua #30, 28. 6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75" Acrylic on panel. ©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua #30, 28. 6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75" Acrylic on panel. ©Amy Guion Clay

 30 Days of Aqua #24, 7, 16.  6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75"  Acrylic on panel.©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua #24, 7, 16.  6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75"  Acrylic on panel.©Amy Guion Clay

 30 Days of Aqua #11, 12, 14. 6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75"  Acrylic, toner on panel. ©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua #11, 12, 14. 6"x6"x.75" and 7"x5"x.75"  Acrylic, toner on panel. ©Amy Guion Clay

Fire and Ice - dreaming of Iceland

 30 Days of Aqua #26  Acrylic on panel.  2018   ©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua #26  Acrylic on panel.  2018   ©Amy Guion Clay

The heat is already bearing down, the skies hazy with drifting wildfire smoke from miles away, and my default guidance system pulls me north. Could be my genetic predisposition - 98% British Isles, Irish, French and Scandinavian. I'm not built for heat and glaring sunlight. 

I did a residency in Iceland back in 2012 at Gullkistan, and wrote this passage in my sketchbook while there:

"To be in Iceland, the newest land mass on the planet - the rumbling belly of continents. Breaking, stretching, gasping open. Bleak, scoured, fertile. The clouds pan across the flatlands - spreading light here and there. Love that islands lay low beneath the heavy atmosphere. Like Ireland, England, Scotland - my genetic homelands. 

Even though the dankness can bite when it moves in, even though I resist the chill and damp, I'm at home with its melancholy tug. I am most my own in that undefined longing place. Longing for nothing really, just the inherent bliss and grief for the passing of form and time. The low guttural wailing of the lonely wind, and when the heaven's liquid wrath falls mercilessly, I curse the skies, all while secretly in love with the falling gods."

 30 Days of Aqua paintings #10, 21  Acrylic on panel 2018 6" x 6" x .75"

30 Days of Aqua paintings #10, 21  Acrylic on panel 2018 6" x 6" x .75"

I've been focused this past month on my 30 Days of Aqua painting challenge for good reason. Something about the color of aqua brings relief from the climbing thermometer. So no doubt this color will continue to inspire me in these summer months. My natural response to aqua is also to reach for its near complement - various shades of orange/red. The dynamic relationship between these opposing colors brings a vibrational energy to the painting. In my classes I talk about color relationship frequently, as no color exists in a vacuum. All color is in relationship to its neighbors even if that's the color of the white paper or canvas. But for now I'm thinking of the 2 sides of this particular coin - hot and cold, fire and ice, red and aqua, and feeling its contrasting elements.

 Dock and life preserver in the Glacier Lagoon - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

Dock and life preserver in the Glacier Lagoon - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

 "Fire and Ice 1" Acrylic on paper 10" x10"  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

"Fire and Ice 1" Acrylic on paper 10" x10"  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

 Glacier Lagoon with red jacketed zodiac travelers in the distance - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

Glacier Lagoon with red jacketed zodiac travelers in the distance - Iceland  2012   ©Amy Guion Clay

30 Days of Aqua - a painting challenge.

Sometimes I set myself a painting challenge, to create boundaries in the candy store that is art-making. As summer heats up, my gaze turns to the cooling effect of Aqua. Doesn't matter in what way it shows up, but in land-locked Colorado, it gives me a a sense of water, flow, diving in to something that isn't rock.
These paintings are fast and loose, pint sized and purposely affordable. I love working small - there is less…

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Weekend Workshop - Courage vs. Confidence

As I prepare for my weekend workshop here in Boulder, I'm reflecting on the title and focus of this workshop. I first heard the quote "Courage is more important than Confidence" from the designer Debbie Millman. It struck me immediately that courage is the key to all creative pursuits and is critical in the broader context of ALL life choices.

There's an assumption that we must lead with confidence. That…

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River Seeks Ocean

Many days I cycle down to Boulder Creek to sit on my certain rock, now partially submerged from the high country run-off. This morning as I watched the frothy flow of water rushing by, I felt the urgency of the river seeking the ocean. And I thought of the human condition, always seeking connection with Source. It's the PULL of the Source, and when we allow our innate guidance to raft on the stream, there's no effort, it's easy to flow, and thrilling too. 

This is true in the painting practice - it is a form of meditation in that way. Deep listening to the guidance, the flow, the…

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Speaking of Freedom

Freedom is my M.O. Everything I do gets run through the freedom lens. It's the pinnacle of my pyramid, the joy and challenge of my life and work, and at times, my curse to bear. I'm restless when restricted, confined or subjected to other's expectations. I rebel at the smallest fences, and the longing to head for the horizon is almost always greater than the security of staying. And it's just how I like it.

But what does freedom even mean? Your definition will most likely…

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Gaps in the Flow

Some people are steady at the helm of their creative activity, and are regular like roughage. That's not me. Try as I might there can be long gaps between painting sessions. Such as it is now, after the solid month of painting at my residency at Brush Creek Ranch. Sometimes I return from a residency - spent. Other times, energized, but am pulled away by life's other needs.

The longing to get back at it is a blessing and a curse at times…

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ARTSYSHARK.com Featured Artist Article

Thank you to Artsyshark.com for their feature artist article - you can read more on their site. Click the image:

"In life and art, I long for the horizon. There is an invisible tether that pulls me toward the unknown, and this is reflected in the artwork that I do. Even in my purely abstract paintings, it’s always about a mythical journey of discovery. I always want to know…”

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Waning days at Brush Creek Ranch Artist Residency, WY

Just a few days left of our residency here at Brush Creek Ranch. Time stands still and whizzes by, simultaneously. This vast landscape inspires and intimidates at times, even being from Colorado. Our daily hikes have added dimension to our isolated camp, and from the high perches, there is a sense of scale and orientation, sometimes missing from the low valleys.

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The Creative Pit

I've noticed a pattern while at a month long residency, that almost without fail repeats itself. Currently I'm at the midpoint, where I feel that nothing is working, and I can't paint!

The first week is full of vim and vigor, as all the artists get to know each other, we set up our studios and get cracking. The second week builds on that momentum and the studio begins to fill up with, at least, works in process. Then the midway point happens - suddenly

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My online course about Artist Residencies is now open - join me!

All about ARTIST RESIDENCIES - how to find the right one for you,create a compelling application and become an artist in residence.  EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

For those who are creative and love to travel, artist residencies are the Holy Grail. From Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and everywhere between, artist residencies are dedicated places for creatives to focus on their work, travel to cool places and 

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Horizons Everywhere

Something about the horizon line keeps showing up in my work out here in the wide open spaces of Wyoming. This is not the first time - the horizon is a composition I naturally gravitate to, in many ways - literally and metaphorically. There is an invisible tether that pulls, and sometimes yanks me toward the horizon, ever longing for the unknown.

This I think is partly the human condition, to be

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Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Ranch, WY

"Warning - extreme blowover danger!" The flashing signs crossing Wyoming on HWY 80 meant business. The 65mph + winds rattled and rocked my little Mini Cooper Clubman. But she held steady, helped I presume by the weight of 10 heavy panels for painting and a few hundred pounds of art supplies and other stuff. Art saves lives!

I was met by my host at the gates to this 15,000 acre luxury working cattle ranch in the

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Online painting sale day 20 until Dec. 6 SOLD

For a limited time, I am offering one painting on paper per day for a reduced price. Each painting is only on sale for 24 hrs. I will post on my blog each morning one discounted painting for sale. Check back daily and please share!

To purchase, click on the image below. I accept all major credit cards and Paypal. The painting will ship out within 3 days. First come, first served.

Online painting sale day 18 until Dec. 6 SOLD

For a limited time, I am offering one painting on paper per day for a reduced price. Each painting is only on sale for 24 hrs. I will post on my blog each morning one discounted painting for sale. Check back daily and please share!

To purchase, click on the image below. I accept all major credit cards and Paypal. The painting will ship out within 3 days. First come, first served.

 

 

 

Online painting sale day 7 - Dec. 6 SOLD

 For a limited time, I am offering one painting on paper per day for a reduced price. Each painting is only on sale for 24 hrs. This one is a solar plate etching I did at a residency at the London Print Studio back in May 2017. I will post on my blog each morning one discounted painting for sale. Check back daily and please share!

To purchase, click on the image below. I accept all major credit cards and Paypal. The painting will ship out within 3 days. First come, first served. Thanks!