Bird in Flight

Studio News


01/03/13 Reproductions of MAGIC are now for sale

MAGIC, my monumental painting, (six feet tall and twenty feet wide) was completed in August 2012.  The effort required to finish this project was extraordinary.  It absorbed my total concentration.  The last months were filled with fifteen-hour work days.  For me, the results of this work are thrilling!

After its September 1st unveiling at the Anderson - Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, MAGIC went on to Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  There it was greeted by hundreds of thousands of visitors.  MAGIC was featured in the newspapers, and I was interviewed on the radio.  Even though MAGIC did not garner a prize, it was a happy, happy experience for me to be among the 1,517 competing artists from 56 countries and 45 states.  For almost three weeks, Art Prize offered artists and visitors alike an amazingly joyful celebration of original art.

Now, back in my studio, I am preparing presentations about MAGIC, --its process and stories.  Events for January and April 2013 are already on the calendar.  I am also making decisions on choices of reproductions that are available for purchase.  I am mindful of the assistance I have had from the ballooning community throughout this project, and will be donating a portion of the profits of sales to the Balloon Museum Foundation.

02/23/12 Presentation booklets about my painting have been shipped to the Grand Rapids area.  Each booklet has photos and information on MAGIC.  My friend in the area will personally deliver each booklet to the Art Prize representative of the chosen venues.  This is the way to enter the competition.  I expect that it will be weeks before I know the possibilities.
02/12/12 The Rooster from the Netherlands is in panel two.  This balloon is so full of vibrant color!  It is like a puzzle to figure out the pattern and shape of the colors.  Also, the material of the balloon glistens in the sun, which adds an extra dimension to the painting process.  It is a glorious balloon!
02/10/12 For a number of days, I've been working on the people in panel one and two.  The prominent characters are modeled after people I know.  I've worked in neighbors, two grandchildren, a brother, and more.  It is fun for me to see them come to life in this exuberant scene!
01/24/12 I was invited to the meeting of the the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association tonight.  This is a large group of balloonists who gather to share information on the skill and art of ballooning.  At some point I may present a program to them about my balloon painting.
01/22/12 I revisit areas in panel one and two from time to time, when I see an effect I want to emphasize or temper.  I understand that this painting will remain a "work-in-progress" until it is really done.
01/18/12 The Art World has swallowed me up!  I love being in this world ...beautiful balloons and happy people everywhere.  And now I have a title for this piece.  I woke up, and there it was in my head ...drum rooooolll    MAGIC
01/12/12 I'm pleased with the fire that is going into AirRageous in panel one.  It looks really hot!  I like how it is blue and then explodes into color.  The Centennial balloon has demanded my attention to technique.  There are shadows coming from two areas, and the colors of the design require separate handling.  Now, as I step back and look at the shadow on it from the Window on the World balloon, I see this wonderful rich gold color.  The way the shadow deepens at the closest area of the balloons, seems just right to me.
01/11/12 I'm getting ready for another evening session.  Lately, it is customary for them to go on until midnight, or later.  Tonight I am working on the stippled-effect of the sky.  As I work on the sky in panel two, I will find a place for the ghost of the first practical balloon, invented in 1783 by the Montgolfier brothers.
01/09/12 I've been working day and night, and it feels fine.  Connections with the balloon people fuel my fire.  I'm checking on the cost to ship the canvases to Grand Rapids. ...I need a title for this piece!
12/02/11 Most days, and many evenings I am in the studio.  Just recently, I am seeing what I have been working toward on the canvas, the people, the action, the color.  That part feels really good!  Adjusting to the scale of this painting has taken a bit of focus and concentration.  I have placed a symbol of the sun, a yellow piece of paper, in the highest point of the vault of the studio ceiling.  It is at the angle at which I imagine the sun to be as it comes over the mountains to the east.  I enjoy shaping the balloons and people with shadow and light.  I remember the moment when I sensed that the red and blue balloon with its vintage gondola was actually over my head!   
11/11/11 A happy event this afternoon ...  A visitor came into the studio curious about my balloons.  I loved his reaction!  "I feel as if I am on the field at the Balloon Fiesta!" he exclaimed.  For me, it was perfect!  I must be on the right track.
10/31/11 It has been another long evening with very large hot air balloons.  I'll be at it again in the morning.
10/16/11 A package with lots of Grand Rapids Press newspapers arrived today.  I now have stacks of local news from the 2011 Art Prize event.  I'm getting continued support from my friend to enter this competition. 
10/12/11 It is my hope that the first destination for my painting will be Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of Art Prize, the biggest art competition in the world.   A friend of mine from the area has been strongly encouraging me to enter.  Art Prize is innovative in design in that it is open to any artist in the world, displayed by any location in the downtown area, and voted on by anyone who attends.  The overall goal is said to be for the general public and artists to collide, exchange ideas and come away changed.  The cash awards are the catalysts that bring everything together.  In 2011 there were 1,582 artists from around the world competing, and almost 400,000 thousand people attending.  Understanding that prizes are at best uncertain, my personal goal would be to enjoy showing my work to hundreds of thousands of people, and eventually have someone buy it.

What a marvelous time I had last Saturday.  I met some of the pilots who will have their balloons in my painting, Gizzmo, Silver Star, Firewalker!  I had my still camera, and a video camera.  I think that the Fiesta broke their record of number of balloons launched in an hour.  I know that it was over 350.  And then, there was a second wave.  The weather was glorious, the colors were vibrant, and the smiles were everywhere.  I must have been grinning, because this perfect stranger tapped my arm and said, "Doesn't this just make you smile!"

I had arrived early enough for the Dawn Patrol, which takes place when it is still dark.  There were about a dozen balloons aloft.  They all had blinking red lights on the bottom of their gondolas.  As they activated the burners, the balloons would briefly light up in all their colors, and then they would disappear in the night.  They looked like the most amazing fireflies!  As I tried to photograph the event, I never knew where the next light would appear.  The Mass Ascension began a 7 AM, as the sun came over the Sandia Mountains.  AirRageous was about 3/4 down the first wave.  When the crew left to chase the balloon, I stayed behind to continue my mission of photographing vignettes as resource material for the painting.


At 5 AM tomorrow I'll be meeting the AirRageous balloon crew.  I've been invited to join them at the Fiesta.  It will be Opening Day.  Quite a few of my chosen balloons will be there.  I will get to meet the pilots/owners.  Before the mass ascension, there will be a fly-by with a "missing man" formation to honor Fiesta founder, Sid Cutter, who died in May.  I had talked with Sid in April, and he was pleased to have me include him in my painting.

Suffice it to say, I think that the whole time will be an incredibly busy, meaningful, smiley experience. 

09/26/11 On Saturday I was invited to be on the Balloon Fiesta field at what they call "dark and early," to photograph AirRageous.  I got lots of photos of the inflation.  When the balloon came upright, just as the sun was coming over the mountain, Don yelled, "Jane get in!"  I certainly did.  It was a lovely, serene ride that eventually ended with a gentle landing.  The gondola didn't even tilt!
09/21/11 This weekend, I will meet the owner and crew of the AirRageous balloon on the fiesta field.  It will be a good time for me to study and record the inflation process of this particular balloon.  AirRageous will be depicted in panel one.   

Exactly seven months ago today, I committed myself to a monumental art project that involves the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  I am creating an oil painting that is six feet tall and 20 feet wide.  The image is composed of five panels.  Each panel is six feet tall and four feet wide.  Since I love working with authenticity, and from a historical point of view, I have the permission of balloonists from around the world to include their balloons in this image.  I also has the permission of celebrated Albuquerque balloonists, or their families, to include their likenesses.  My plan is to create, on canvas, not only the exciting atmosphere of being on the field at the Fiesta today, but to provide the recognizable faces and balloons of the people who blazed the way.

In ten days the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will begin.  I will be there.

03/09/11 Jane is conducting a two-hour presentation, Merging Art with History, for University of New Mexico, Continuing Education, CE North Building. 9:30 am - 11:30 am. Contact: 505-277-0077
03/11/11 Sponsored by University of New Mexico Continuing Education, Jane is conducting a tour to the Sandoval County Judicial Complex and the Sandoval Country Historical Society. A no-host lunch will follow at the The Range in the town of Bernalillo, NM. Contact: 505-277-0077

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