Tag Archives: southwest

A Succulent Affair

I admit that I have an obsession with succulents. Thankfully, its not a fatal attraction. Its hard to kill one…even the leaves will start growing roots! My attraction has produced several paintings. If I get a good photo sometimes I paint it more than once.

I like to experiment and use different mediums, change the composition, and see what I can do with it. Sometimes, the combination is so successful that I produce a series using the same concept but with different photos, like my Shadow Dance series. I have this amazing agave that is producing pups like crazy. I took some photos of it and the shadows on all the pups just really stood out and when I painted them, they turned into the focus. These little gems are painted on an upcycled panel from an art crating warehouse that ships art for museums. I love these little panels. They are covered in a brown paper that I primed so I could paint over it. The brown paper is what you see in the background.

ShadowDanceCollage

Another painting I’ve done 3 different ways is the Prickly series. I just liked the photo so much that I kept painting it. The first one I painted is the pastel on black paper in the middle. I love the texture in that paining. The second one was a commission that I did and its a very large oil paining (3’x5′), the details and soft color changes in the agave’s petals are beautiful, you can really get lost in it. The last one, on the right is my most recent rendition. I have been working on a series of small paintings on paper with acrylic. With all the different mediums and surfaces, the effect produced is entirely different.

Prickly Collage

I was asked to paint a series of my agave and succulents on paper for a show at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery this past July. I had seen some new paper from Arches at Blick that you could paint with oils on without any additional prep work. So I bought several sheets of it and created these paintings.

MolayemCollage

The original paintings are available on my website athenamantle.com. You can find these and my other southwest prints on FineArtAmerica.com

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Succulents

Good Shepherd Charity Design Project

Today designer Mollie Ranize picked up my painting “New Blue Agave” for her design project at the Good Shepherd Homeless Center for Women and Children where she is beginning her transformation of one of the many rooms that are part of the Good Shepherd Design Project.

Mollie makes sure to stay connected with the design community through her professional memberships with ASID, NKBA and USBGC.  She is also a regular contributor to many environmental, animal and human welfare organizations.

Her interior design studio ranges from large scale residential renovations, exclusive photography and production studios, restaurants and lounges to highly publicized health and fitness centers. dmar interiors is a well versed design company with impeccable attention to detail, respect for budget and belief that customer service is what makes the most positive outcome on a project.

I’m excited to see how she incorporates the piece in the renovated room.  I’ll share some photos when we get the big reveal!  Happy Designing Mollie!

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Filed under Art Work, Charity, Oil Paintings

Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California

The Women’s City Club of Pasadena at The Historic Blinn House is pleased to announce “Spring Forward – Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California.”  The exhibition, which runs from May 1 through July 30, 2011, features fifty paintings by seventeen Southern California women artists.  It will be the first exhibition produced by Margaret Danielak, The Women’s City Club of Pasadena’s new Curator of Exhibitions.  

The “Spring Forward” exhibition features the work of artists Ruth Olenick, Beth Summers, Carol Steinberg, Elizabeth Wallace, Linda DuPas, Frances C. Muenzer, Ellen Brown, Barbara Thorn-Otto, Julie Snyder, Kate Moriarty, Beverly Lazor, Athena Mantle, Anna T. Kelly, Judy Taussig, Marian Fortunati, Merrilyn Duzy and Robin Neudorfer.

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The Blinn House was built in 1905 for lumber baron Edmund Blinn and his family.  The Blinns hired popular Chicagoarchitect, George Washington Maher to design their Californiahome in the Midwestern Prairie School Style.  The building has been home to The Women’s City Club since 1945 and continues to serve the Pasadena community as a meeting place for civic, cultural, and educational activities.

“Spring Forward” will be on view from May 1 through July 30, 2011.   The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, CA  91101.  Parking is accessible behind the building from Madison Avenue.   The phone is 626-796-0560 and website is www.womenscityclub.com

 The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is open for art viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  During the run of the exhibition, Curator Margaret Danielak will be on hand for special viewing hours on Fridays from 3 pm until 5 pm and by appointment.  Margaret Danielak may be reached through her blog at www.gallerywithoutwalls.blogspot.com , via email at Margaret.danielak@gmail.com or via phone at 626-683-9922. 

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Pastel, Plein Air Painting, Succulents

Making Myself Into A Twitter Ninja

My Tweet Story:

How I Got Two Friends Featured In Southwest Art Magazine

Last year I joined Twitter after learning more about it during an art marketing workshop put on by The Art Engine.  The basic strategy I was given was to follow those that you want to follow you.

So I joined and started following Southwest Art Magazine and it’s Associate Editor Courtney Carpenter because my art has a bit of a Southwest feel to it.  A few weeks after I signed up I saw a tweet by SouthwestArt that said:  We’re looking for figurative artists….any ideas? So, I replied: @SouthwestArt check out www.juliesnyder.com and www.kellyreemtsen.com both wonderful in different ways.

A few days later she sent me a message asking: @AthenaMantle Hey, do you have any idea where Kelly lives? Her work is so different and fun! Thanks for your suggestions! So I replied: @SouthwestArt Kelly lives in Los Angeles. and started thinking…this could really lead to something!  I sent my friend Kelly (who’s not on Twitter) an email saying: Hey, if you get a call from Southwest Art Magazine asking for an interview or something you have me to thank!! A week or so later I saw a post by Julie that said: I’m stoked! Just got interviewed by Southwest Art – January issue. Thanks @SouthwestArt Now, I got to thinking….did I do that?  I didn’t know Julie that well at this point so I tweeted Courtney and made sure to include Julie:@courtney_swa @ArtyJulieSnyder Courney, did you pick Julie for the mag because of the recommendation I sent you on the figure artists? and she said:@AthenaMantle Yes I did!! I actually am including Kelly too—I just haven’t gotten ahold of her yet. We’ve been playing phone tag! Now, I knew that I had just gotten my two friends into a national art magazine, wow…I was just beside myself!

Now you tell me that Twitter is a waste of time!  I think not!  Here is a scan of Kelly’s feature in the magazine that was published in the January issue.  Julie’s is coming out in March.  I have to say I felt pretty good about my good deeds!

My Turn, Making Twitter Work For Me

Keeping a keen eye on my tweet thread, I saw a post looking for artists to feature in a gallery with only a phone number listed.  I called, set up a meeting and landed myself a solo show.  Not too shabby for a few weeks on Twitter!

Anyone else have any Twitter stories?  Follow me @AthenaMantle…tweet you later!

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Filed under Art Marketing, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Uncategorized

An Unlikely Muse

An Extra-Ordinary Street

The Lake Avenue street median in Pasadena has been catching my attention ever since they landscaped it with some really unusual curly agave and a large variety of other agave and succulents.  I secretly scheme in my mind ways to go steal pups from the plants in the middle of the night.  It’s become a joke between my husband and I because every time we drive down that street I point them out as if he had never seen them before.  He turned it around on me and started pointing them out to me, “Hey, did you see THOSE?” he’d say.  It gave me a good chuckle.  The truth is I could sit on that street and stare at the plants for days and be perfectly happy.  I find something new to admire each time I pass by, they are just mesmerizing!

I had my camera with me one day and took some photos.  For some reason I didn’t paint them right away as you might expect.  Maybe I had too much built up in my mind about what great agave paintings they would make or maybe I just hadn’t formulated how the heck I was going to pull it off. Who knows my motivations…certainly not me!   I didn’t photograph my favorite curly agave because the late afternoon light was blocked by the office buildings.  Oh darn, I’ll just have to go back and look at them some more. But these beauties caught my eye so I snapped a few shots.  I started the drawings for these weeks ago and today I went for it with the paint!  I am doing a diptych (or a series of two) so I painted them simultaneously.

Here are some in progress photos…

I’d love to know what you think.

Lake Avenue Agave step 1

Lake Avenue Agave Step 2

Lake Avenue Agave Step 3Lake Avenue Agave step 5

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Filed under Art Work, Oil Paintings, Succulents

Going Green

Inspiration comes from unexpected places.  I received an email from an old friend who recently found out I was painting full-time and was focusing on desert plants.  The email contained photos of some plants he came across while he was out and about.  He thought of me when he saw them and took the time to take photos and send them to me, how thoughtful is that?! Awesome guy! Thanks Steve you’re the best!

Last month I was looking thorough my many photos to find some inspiration and I came across his.  I had also been thinking of experimenting with working on paper. Paper and plants…what could be more green? The result is something I’m quite fond of…I hope you like it too.


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The Art of Giving

Happy Holidays!

It’s hard to believe that it is already that time of year again! ‘Tis the season of gift giving and this year you can give those special people in your life something that they will treasure….art!

Why art? A beautiful painting hanging on the wall will be a constant reminder of how much you care, long after other gifts have been used up or forgotten. This art is beautiful, unique and can not be found at Target!

My paintings are now available as high quality fine art prints through Fine Art America. Sold in a variety of sizes as stretched canvas prints or custom framed with thousands of mat and frame combinations. Click on the link and order yours today!

As a thank you for your support I’m offering a 25% discount on my prints. Use discount code: FKTDRX at checkout. Offer is valid through December 31st.

Original paintings are available at www.athenamantle.com or at Modest Fly Art Gallery 7576 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga, CA www.modestflyartgallery.com. Desert Jewels will be on display through December 20th.

Great Stocking Stuffer!
I am offering a desk calendar with the Desert Jewels painting series for $10.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these send me a message through my website. Or you might also like succulent canvas prints available through Fine Art America!

Desert Jewels

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Filed under Art Work, Fine Art Prints, Oil Paintings