| Susette Billedeaux Gertsch M.F.A.|

On Saturday, May 9, 2015 I arrived in St Petersburg Russia.  It was Victory Day celebrations there and people were out having a splendid time.  On Sunday and Monday I visited the Hermitage (French and Western European collection) and the State Russian Museums.  On Tuesday I walked from the Hermitage Hotel to the shopping center of the city and enjoyed various adventures which included the fabulous Russian foods!!  This photo is taken with a handsome Ukranian costumed waiter at the restauraunt our tour group dined at.

It was a busy art week for me with 4 nights out to art events.  Tom Alder gave a very practical and informative hour talk to artists of the IAA (Inspirational Art Association) on Thursday, May 15.  He shared insights on how to submit to a gallery, what sells at his gallery, the difference between work for a museum and a gallery and many other aspects that kept us asking questions.  


His current show for this month's gallery stroll includes many pieces featuring the red rock country of Southern Utah.


bg_41581400519218.jpgTom Alder 






Saturday I drove down to the BYU Art museum, Provo, Utah to catch what I thought was the last day of a tremendous exhibit, Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann, & Frans Schwartz. It turns out the exhibit has been EXTENDED through Monday, May 26.  And it's Free, but they want you to get online tickets.  As always the reproductions are barely a nod to the scale, beauty, inspiration of the originals.  If you live in Utah and if you haven't seen this, whether you are religious or not... just Go... you'll be glad you did!

Next to the Sacred Gifts exhibit, the museums is showing a strong selection from their permanent collection including a great portrait painting by Sargent and others.

And two more painting exhibits on the lower level are well worth a visit for their own sake: "Simpler, Brigher, Stronger", (the collection of Sam and Diane Stewart), plus my favorite, the Minerva Tiechart exhibit.

I thought I'd be there an hour, and it turned into almost 3! 




The warmth of St George on April 27 through May 3rd infused me with enthusiasm for a new round of plein air work.  I can't tell you how healthy I felt and how eager to explore the beauty of that area.  To my surprise it was not the red rock that called to me, but the flowers that were bursting to their peak life around the classic homes.


While I was working from a rose filled yard, Katie stopped by while handing out flyers for her young husbands barber business.  Later that day she posed for me in another beautiful setting and told me about her life as I painted.  Jewell, the home owner was a gracious and friendly lady who worked near us in her garden which is quite well known in St George. I took photo's of her to work from later.


On Saturday, May 3rd, several members of the PAPU (Plein Air Painters of Utah) set up our easels outside the doors of the Fibonacci Gallery and painted and enjoyed each others company for a few hours before the opening of our silent auction show.  


At 7pm the main gallery hall filled for a grand piano concert performed by Josh and Lindsey Wright, a delightful husband and wife who have extraordinary skills.  Josh played unbelievably powerful solo pieces and Lindsay added her own beauty with their duets.  It was an evening I will remember for a very long time!


bg_41441400511076.jpgSt George Roses - April 2, 2014

bg_41451400511101.jpgPlein air in beautiful St. George

bg_41471400511155.jpgKatie Reading and Roses - oil 9 x 12" 

bg_41481400511174.jpgKatie and the finished painting



bg_41371400510500.jpgPAPU friends

bg_41381400510517.jpgKimball Warren

bg_41391400510534.jpgMoi - Fibonacci show May 3, 2014

bg_41401400510555.jpgDr. Robert Benson, gallery owner and fine arts mentor 


Josh and Lindsey Wright 




Coming and going from Monterey Plein air Convention, I stayed with my 83 year old mom, Donna.  I missed her a lot as a child but did have a very special year with her when I was a Senior at Antioch High School.  She was a fairy queen in my head for many years and I adore her.  At this point, life is slow and sometimes tough but she has a very special light that shines from her heart and our moments together really count.


She grows the most beutiful fragrent roses you could imagine and I set up on her back deck to paint and enjoy her company.  It's great to have a mom who says, "Oh honey, that's beautiful".   






"Mom's Favorite" - Oil - 8x10" - Mothers day gift 2014

bg_40891399998390.jpg"Sally's Roses" - Oil - 8x10" - to my Sister Sally who cares for mom.  Her devotion has made it possible for our mom to have her wish and continue to live at her home.



Note:  You can see my other posts by clicking the "New Art Blog 2014" button on the left column, then scroll up and down as you wish. Thanks for visiting!

Painting at Point Lobos State Park is one of the highlights of all my plein air travels.  On Thursday any artist that could squeeze into the park (it was full and the line was long), could revel in the soft and silky atmosphere there.


A park ranger pointed out one of the last spots to park and the Very last spot was also shortly filled.  To my great surprise and delight, Jim McVicker and his wife emerged.  Jim is a plein air hero of mine and I've watched his youtube video, "A Way of Seeing" numerous times.  This chance meeting was a gift and he generously agreed to let me paint nearby and watch as he worked.


I couldn't resist the urge to use him as a subject and what a moving target he was!  I learned a lot that day.  As we returned to our cars after a great painting session i inquired about his paintings and he showed me a few and even suggested a trade.  He said over the years he has been painted many times and has a little collection of those paintings.  Wow, that was more than exciting!


I selected a painting with color and brushstrokes that I could study from one great plein air painter.  Thank you Jim!








Note:  You can see my other posts by clicking the "New Art Blog 2014" button on the left column, then scroll up and down as you wish. Thanks for visiting!

I love road trips!  In April I traveled to the 2014 Plein Air Convention in Monterey, California. This was my 3rd year and I like the new format where stage lectures take up part of the day, then everyone heads for the beach to paint.

I quickly took a detour when I saw the street full of booths.  And while others were discoving the coastal fog at Asilomar beach, I set up to paint at the Tuesday Monterey Market.  The flower booth offered a colorful subject and I had a chance to chat with some very nice local shop owners who offered me samples of food and drink.  

It was crazy, busy, crowded and I enjoyed every minute while trying out a special new gift, a 9x12" gorrilla painters box.  Thank you David!


Note:  You can see my other posts by clicking the "New Art Blog 2014" button on the left column, then scroll up and down as you wish. Thanks for visiting!

Plein Air Painters of Utah is a professional group who get together once a month.  President Steve McGinty has picked places all over the Wasatch front (and back).

April's paint out was Morgan, Utah, about an hour's drive for me.  


The day was cool and a bit rainy, and the local fields were wet and richly colored. The smell of the grasses and earth made the day even better. I dragged out gear for rain and I won the dorky-dress prize for the day, but I didn't get wet!  I found out those $1.49 straw hats are totally waterproof!


Snow patches can be a very useful and interesting part of the landscape design, and I picked a spot where they created a swirling pattern into the scene.  


The muted colors, soft velvety grays, browns and ocher tones next to the equally muted whites which, on a gray day, can be extremely beautiful.


Let it rain!

Friend and fellow PAPU painter Rachel Pettit catches the opposite side of the road.
Note:  You can see my other posts by clicking the "New Art Blog 2014" button on the left column, then scroll up and down as you wish. Thanks for visiting!

my . artist run website