Happy Holi-daze

Whoa.  We just got back a few days ago from our holiday crazy bonanza of travel.  We had six Christmas celebrations and one college friend reunion.  Here are some shots from the last week of travels!
{Check out the adorable sweater I made for my equally adorable nephew.}



And, last but not least, my favorite gift to give was this one:  A little painting I made of my nephew for my sister and brother-in-law.
Xmas 2012

Hope you all had a happy, healthy, and fun holiday!


Now that the weather has cooled off and my schedule has become a little less insane, I finally re-started our knitting night!  I started knitting when I was in college and haven't stopped.  It has been a great way to meet new people.  When I moved to Sycamore, IL for grad school and when I moved here to South Dakota - some of the first people I met were fellow knitters (who I found through Ravelry.com - a great resource for fiber artists!).
Last week I had the honor of teaching my new friend Kacie how to knit (and she's already halfway through her first scarf!) at our Stitch & Bitch.  It is fun to teach people a new craft.  I've probably taught about 50 people how to knit in my lifetime, and I really love seeing the directions they go with their craft!  Making things with your hands can be so rewarding and relaxing (once you get the hang of it).  
{Jacy looking pumped!}
I also love how craft can bring people together!  :)
I worked on a pair of legwarmers made from some recycled wool yarn - they are finished now, and I've worn them almost every day since then!
I've also been working on dismantling a few other sweaters to 'harvest' their yarn.  
Turning a sweater into yarn !
It is my favorite way to get yarn. :)  
Well, I better get back to my grading!  I've got another day's worth then I am done!!!

In the Studio - Progress/Process

I feel like things have really been moving along with a great flow in my studio.  I think I've gotten to the point where my painting practice is completely ingrained into my weekly routine.  This is probably a good thing as I've got a lot of shows coming up in the next six months:
   Jan-Feb: Solo exhibit at the University of Sioux Falls, SD
   Feb-March: Ipso Gallery with Mark Stemwedel, SD
   March-April: Solo exhibit at Deer Run Art Gallery, CA
   June: Solo exhibit at Brookings Community Cultural Center, SD

Here's a bit of what I've been working on:  



Work work work


Keep your fingers crossed that I keep my sanity in the next few months! :)

The Neon Museum - Vegas Adventure

One of my favorite things we did while visiting Vegas was go to the Neon Museum.  It is a museum that collects all of the old signage from torn-down and defunct casinos, hotels, and restaraunts.  This place is an artist's dream.

Here's some of my photos from the tour. :)
Vegas 2012-171

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If you are in Vegas I really think this is a must-see.  The museum itself is an effort of a group of young, energetic, wonderful people who are trying to re-new the 'old' vegas and reinvigorate the old downtown areas.  They are slowly re-wiring and restoring some of the older pieces and installing them in different locations across the city - preserving these wonderful examples of old signage and lighting for everyone to see and enjoy.  

Check it out here:

Recollection - Cassie Marie Edwards - Counterspace Gallery

Vegas 2012-12
Last week I was in Las Vegas for my solo exhibition at Counterspace Gallery run by Tony Flanagan and Michael Monson.

Vegas 2012-23
The gallery is part of the Emergency Arts building  - a medical center that has been re-purposed into a budding art center in the Fremont Neighborhood in Downtown Las Vegas.

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I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to attend the reception for the exhibit which was held on First Friday.

Vegas 2012-18
It was wonderful to meet so many new people.  One of the things I love best about traveling to new places is the opportunity to get a glimpse of the art community that each place supports.  Thanks to all that attended my reception and came out to say hi - it is very much appreciated!

Vegas 2012-14
The show will be up until the 21st of November - so if you are in the area please make sure to stop by!

Vegas 2012-15

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And also, a huge thanks to Tony (shown here) and Michael for organizing this show and supporting my work - you guys are the best.

Palisades State Park - South Dakota

Nate and I had the chance to go to Palisades State Park about a week and a half ago to take some footage for our film.  I also took a few still shots while we were there:

It was a beautiful (albeit chilly) afternoon.





I even got a chance to paint a bit.  I'll try to get my painting scanned and posted soon. :)  It was chilly though!  It has been dipping down under freezing at night - I suppose that is what we get for having such a mild winter here in South Dakota last year.  

In the Studio - Small Gouache Figurine Paintings

Hey guys, I've been busy as a bee with teaching and painting.  I'm working on framing a few pieces to send off to University of South Dakota for the 'Politicizing Aesthetics' exhibition and also working on a few last pieces for my solo exhibit at Counterspace Gallery in Las Vegas next month.

I'm trying to get at least six of these little guys done before I ship off the work in the next few days.
Working on some small gouache paintings today for my show at Counterspace next month.  :)
The center circle is about 6" wide and they are Gouache on 8x10" BFK Rives paper.

In progress. 5x5" - gouache
This one is in progress.

Four down, two to go.
Here are all of the finished ones, and I've got a few more in the works.

Cloud and Mountain - Finished Oil Painting

Just finished this piece about a week ago, and finally got it photographed:

'Cloud and Mountain'
Cloud and Mountain - 11x14" - Cassie Marie Edwards
11x14" - Oil on Panel

Right after it dried it was shipped off to LA for "Where My Cones At?" - an exhibition featuring small scale black & white pieces by some great artists who I'm really honored to be showing alongside.  The show was organized by Ryan Travis Christian and is located at POVevolving.  The opening is this Saturday so if you are in LA, make sure to check it out!

Here's a link to the event page on Facebook:  Where My Cones At?

Artificial Landscapes - Cloud and Sea

Sea & Cloud
Sea & Cloud - 12x12" - Oil on Panel

This is an idea I've been playing with in my head for a while - I'm glad it has finally found its way out.  I've really been loving still life paintings lately.  I'm trying to capture a lot of ideas using only a few objects.  I'm still wrapping my mind around what direction I want to take these, but in the meantime I'm going to just keep working.  

Lately, this has been my mantra:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.” 

-Chuck Close

In the Studio - A New Painting and Some Lovely Stretcher Bars

I've been busy lately in my studio getting work together for my next shows! (more on those later)

I finished this piece a few days ago:
Cows - 8x8 - Oil - Cassie Marie Edwards
Crossroad - 12x12" - Oil on Canvas

I like the direction this series is heading - some are slightly serious, some are funny, but they all are really taking on their own personalities.  I've been having so much fun making them - it is nice to be on a bit of a roll.


I've been pretty good about keeping records of my paintings too - I have been keeping up my painting journal with information on color mixtures and colors used for each of my paintings (along with general information about the piece).


I've also been hanging out with the cats a lot.  The school year has started which means I'm teaching from home (I teach online) and Nate is gone all day.  I miss having him around all day!


Lastly, I finally got around to testing out my router!  I made these canvas stretcher bars the other day.  I made 4 sets of 4, and I'm going to be sanding and gluing them together today.  I can't wait to get them assembled and primed.  I'm thinking of also doing a quick video tutorial on how to build and assemble these.

Mr. Rock Painting and Other Studio Goodness

8x8" - Oil on Canvas
Just finished this guy.  He cracks me up.

I've also started this painting:
Painting in progress.
11x14" - Oil on Panel
I'm trying to play between the lines that define painting genres.  This is my attempt at making a landscape/still life.

It is also in greyscale.  It will be leaving my studio in under a week for a show in LA!  More on that later though.

I also recently picked up a router.  I'm going to be using it to create some really nice stretcher bars for my paintings.  I'm planning on doing some larger paintings, and I really don't trust pre-made canvases/panels for anything larger than 20" in length.
Oh, hey there sexy.
I set her up in my mini-shop and routed my first test piece - everything went smoothly!  I can't wait until next week when I can start assembling some big canvases.  :)  I have a serious love affair with power tools.  

Lastly, I'm also midway through this painting: Second layer down.
12x12" - Oil on Canvas
Things have been really going well in the studio lately, I feel like I've finally got a great schedule of work vs studio time.  My only downfall lately has been that sometimes I can't stop painting and end up staying up until 3:30am.  Whoops!  No pain, no gain - right?