Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Name Your File before you Submit it to an Art Show

FYI: I'm using my blog post today mainly to help my AWA ladies. With the upcoming new year and new shows on the horizon, yes, there are submission deadlines within the next two weeks, one to Brush with Burden and one to the LSU Vet School Show - I wanted to get this to the membership now. 

As VP of AWA,  I decided to put together a video for our members who may not be as "tech savvy" as I am. Hahaha! I love that. I'm not that tech savvy but I do know a few things about a few things. Some of which includes art stuff. 

Anyway, I am including in this post a short video on how to rename file names for the benefit of our AWA Members. I do hope it makes sense. (See at the bottom of this post)

Basically, you chose the file that you want to rename. Click on the file and rename it as follows:


If not for sale then instead of Price you would put "NFS".

PLEASE NOTE: There may be additional ways specified by each show. ALWAYS refer to a show's Prospectus for submissions before you submit your artwork!

Brush With Burden filing deadline is January 20, 2016. Link to their info page is here. And the Call for Entry link is here.

LSU Vet School Animals in Art Show filing deadline is January 8, 2016 through Entry Thingy. The link for Entry Thingy is here

You will have to register with Call for Entry before making submissions on their site. You will have to register with Entry Thingy before making submissions on their site as well.

So, GOOD LUCK and let me know how it goes!

If you are interested in signing up for my blog posts you can look to the RIGHT COLUMN here at the top on my Blog and Sign Up. All you need to do is enter your email address. Each time I make a blog post on Nanci Charpentier Art, it will come to your email in box.

NOTE: For a larger image of the video click on the "square" in the bottom right corner of the video screen. This will enlarge it to the size of your computer screen. Please note that the video quality is then reduced and will be somewhat blurry quality.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen....

Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?  I can now. But back when I was a kid my Daddy challenged us one year to name all of them for him for a dollar.  I'm just saying the competition was a little tough when you're the second youngest and the older ones had age and knowledge as an advantage over you. I don't know who won but I'm sure it wasn't me. 
Christmas Chaos as we try to take our annual family photo

This time is great for remembering Christmases and holidays past and looking forward to making new memories with my family again this year.

I'm hoping to make your gift giving more enjoyable and easy so that you can spend more time with family and friends. Well, maybe not all of them. 

"The New Bridge at Sunset"
19" x 31"
Oil on Birch Panel (Cradled and Ready to Hang)
Available at Rue Cou Cou Gallery

Spring Blossom
Oil on Birch Panel (Cradled and Ready to Hang)
Available at Rue Cou Cou Gallery
The Levee View
Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Available at Rue Cou Cou Gallery

  Tis the Season...

Red Bud in Vase 4
Oil on Birch Panel
(Cradeled and Ready to Hang)
Available at Rue Cou Cou Gallery
Buying an original painting is the perfect idea when you are shopping for the personal gift for someone you love, or maybe you just like them a little bit, or even if you want a cool idea for a fun white elephant gift. Art is the way to go. Every year I have a few people where I pound my brain wanting to get them something unique as their gift. Art fills that place.

Paintings vary in size from 7" x 7" on up to 19" x 31".

Want Prints?

To order a print of one or more of my paintings that's already sold, click over to my previous blog post to see the details on how to do that. 
As always, you can go directly to my website at to see more of my work.
Copyright © 2015 Nanci Charpentier Art, All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas

Yes, the holidays are now upon us and we're making lists of things to do and things to give and, of course secretly, things we want to receive. To maybe make some of this easier for you, I'm offering prints of some of my original art works. The originals have already made their way into their new homes.

Of course you know I am hoping that when you think of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or any of the many days this next month, you think of each of us artists that puts a little something of ourselves into each piece that we create. Yes, we are hoping you will give the gift of art this Christmas. Find something that speaks to you or makes you think of the one you want to give to.

The prints I'm making available start at $36/each for a 10"x10" and go up from there. If you want one shipped, I can do that, too, for an added shipping cost (TBD).  Prints will be made upon request so expect a few days between your order and delivery.

Email me at or if you're on FB, message me through my page, Nanci Charpentier Art, or my personal page, Nanci Charpentier.

The following prints will be available (there are 12 in all). If you want a print of a painting that has sold and is not shown here, please contact me directly and I will let you know if I accommodate that request. 

Of course, if you want one of my original paintings you can always go by Rue Cou Cou Gallery located on Government Street in Baton Rouge where they have several of my most recent works.

Wishing you a very merry season.

Glass Gardenias  |   Purple Iris
Magnolia Sky   |   Lilies of the Morning

Across The River   |   Plume
The Far Shore   | Tree By The Levee

Red Flowers   |   Sunrise at Seagrove
Wally   |   Magnolia 4

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Pollyanna Moment with Color

How many of you've heard of ROY-G-BIV or ROYGBIV? How many of you have seen Pollyanna, the Disney movie with Haley Mills (from way back when)? Anyone remember when she takes the prisms from a lamp and hangs them in the window for the lady who couldn't leave her bed? They cast the colors of the rainbow for her to see and brighten up her days. They were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. 

Mixing my 12 color charts over an 8-day period was like that for me. I was able to see what was there in front of me all along but without the proper understanding on how to make one thing into another. I couldn't see it until now. My color world has expanded.

My birthday present (which I asked for and ordered myself) was Richard Schmid's Alla Prima II and the companion book by Katie Swatland. I used the Alla Prima II colors charts Richard provided as my guide through the process.  Also note that this was on my To Do List at the beginning of the year. Check another item off the list!

My charts are slightly different than Richard's where I had a different brand or slightly different color (yellow ochre pale vs. yellow ochre light). I imagine they may be the same but I doubt it. I know that from the subtle differences I found when making comparisons to his charts. But the great thing is that my charts weren't required by him or by me to be identical to his. They are my charts and my guides and it's what I'll work from. I like to think of them now as my color cheat sheets. 36 hours of time making these cheat sheets. 

I've bought color charts and books on color over the years and they've been guides for me. But for me to sit and make these charts was they best thing I've done so far for color. It was my ah-ha Pollyanna moment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Field Trip. Woo Hoo!

Last week - wait, I think it's been two weeks now. Wow. Anyway, I went to Brentwood, Tennessee. And to Franklin, Tenn and Leiper's Fork / Leiper's Creek. All of these places in a geographical triangle just south of Nashville. It was gorgeous! And relaxing. I'm not implying that without my kids, husband, and dogs I was able to relax. I'm actually going to state that right out loud. It was. And I don't feel bad about it at all!

PHOTOS: I've got so many more photos on my website so you can click on my website link to see the rest.

Here we are getting ready for the drive north. We went up there for Anne Blair Brown's plein air workshop with about 6 other artists (they were from the Tenn area except one from Maryland). We spent three days watching her demo her paintings skills for us and talking us through the ins and outs of plein air painting. You've got to see her work. Take the time to go to her site and see it at She's one of the tops in the country. I also must mention that her mother, Rachel, was so welcoming and helpful. As a former caterer she fed us two out of the three days and it was so healthy and yummy and delicious and oh - I forgot - I need to get some of her recipes! Oh yeah, it was that good.

Each day was a new adventure with a new painting exercise for us. The first day was all about values and breaking compositions up into four values and four major shapes and them working from there. We went to a rural piece of property owned by a former latin teacher and her husband who love to paint. What a great property. There was even a small barn building on the property that was actually built by German soldiers during WWII while being held here in the United States. Some of them actually ended up staying in the area because they loved this part of the country. One of them married a local girl. (History footnote.)


Day 2 was in Franklin right in the middle of town on Main Street. Such a great little town. All these houses on Main Street have historical value. It's fun to see how many people strain to see what you're working on. Sure was good practice to work in the middle of lots of activity. Well worth the trip. Eating in town was great, too. One of the artists actually lives in Franklin and raised her kids here. Small town America. Hard to beat that.

Day 3 found us in the middle of cattle ranches and horse farms. Headed out to the LLL Ranch. Try looking for the "Triple L" Ranch when it's actually the "LLL Ranch". I missed the sign twice for the turn off. I'm an idiot. Sometimes. The day started out overcast with a little chill in the air. So, we started out thinking it was going to be challenging. Instead the morning was really lovely with the cool air and Anne doing her demo. There was a small creek gurgling next to us. 

Here's a link to an instagram account of one of the artists which has a short video so you can listen to what we listened to that day. Very soothing.  It's @courtneyleepaints

Here's a second link from later in the day when it started raining. So glad she took these videos. It's a reminder that if you're motivated enough you can paint in any conditions. (Bring the umbrella, of course.)

The afternoon was the challenging part of the day where I spent my time under the cover of the hatchback of my honda pilot painting.

At the end of the day and on our way back to "town" we discovered the Loveless Cafe. Eat the fried chicken. It's so worth the calories. So are the homemade biscuits and jam. It was the right way to end the workshop. It's probably the right way to end all workshops. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Best summer. Ever!

It's done. It's over. Summer vacation is gone. But it was a really, really good one. From the moment the kids got out of school until yesterday. It was good. Well, except for the jaw surgery I had in the beginning of June. So, other than that excruciating pain for weeks and the inability to eat solid food for 6 weeks, it was a really good summer. 

Please note that although I did not paint much at all this summer I did paint. While recovering from surgery to overcome the boredom of daytime television and constant liquid pain medication and smoothies, I sat in a chair in front of my easel and painted. I took my time, too. Had to. And I enjoyed those moments.

But this summer was really good. My husband was home all summer with us (one time deal with work), my kids were more independent, they actually got along really well on all the trips we took no matter where we went. We spent more time together as a family over a longer period of time than ever before and it was priceless. 

And lucky me, I got to go to Austin, Texas for a sectionals swim meet in the middle of all of this. I spent four days in that cool city. Ate some good food and visited some nice galleries. Plus, I was lucky enough to see the work of Robin Cheers in person. Love her work. Also, got to see a Saliha Staib (Baton Rouge artist- originally from France) painting in person as well. Gorgeous. Got to meet cool gallery owners and managers and chat about the artists and their work. What a rush for me. I'm glad my daughter is a fast swimmer!

We did the college tour thing, too, and went to 6 colleges in four days. Thank goodness, we ended up in North Carolina at gorgeous Lake Gaston. I realized while there that my sister has more of my artwork in her house than I do. Actually framed and hanging on the walls in her house. Kind of weird and fun to see my work on display like that. Loved it. 

One of the fun, short-lived, experiences was leaving the Biltmore estate properties and seeing fields and fields of sunflowers and two plein air painters out there enjoying every minute of it. I wanted to pull over and talk to them and pull out my own easel but there was a resounding "no" from the three others in the car. I believe they were hungry or something. I just know how lucky those guys were out there painting in low humidity, under the shade of big trees, gazing across this beautiful field of sunflowers and painting. Is my jealously showing?

So, from St. John, US Virgin Islands to jaw surgery, through Austin, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and back to Baton Rouge, I painted, but very little. I was able to secure, however, one new commission (a secret) and one not-so-secret commission plus a sale. 

But this week, I've been back. Back to painting and it feels good. It feels better because I spent a lot of time with my family. I did a lot of thinking and reflecting and figuring out this painting thing. We did cooking and canning and cleaning and traveling and garage wall painting. But now, I'm back at it. I'm back at the easel each day and I'm more grateful for it.

So this time I'm posting a bunch of non-paint related photos of my summer. You know you want to see them! And then I'm going back to painting.

My new summer home. Well, not really, it's the Biltmore.
But they should rented it out to me for a small fee.

Selfies never work out like I think they will. That's me on left. Child on right.

Sugar Mill in St. John. Rum mill sounds better.
No selfies have been taken by me because teenagers think I can't see straight.
Doesn't matter that they're right. (see glasses on my head)

Beautiful Leinster Bay, St. John - Has a coral reef trail that we swam.
Saw an octopus!! "Look, a starfish!"

Canning figs into preserves and "strawberry" jelly! YUM!

Cool graffiti tunnel at NC State. "Don't stop, Mom. Keep moving with the tour."

Most mornings post surgery. Cold packs for a few days and then warm packs.

Me taking a selfie. Told you it never works out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Be As You Are, Kenny Chesney.

Kenny Chesney has an album from 2005 titled "Be As You Are (Songs from An Old Blue Chair)". I love it. The catch is, the first time I listened to it was once I got back from the place, I believe, inspired this album for him. That place is St. John in the United States Virgin Islands. My family and I spent 9 days down there last week and it was amazing. We rented a jeep, although you don't really need one, and explored the northern coastline visiting a difference beach and bay everyday as well as seeing a old sugar mill where cane was processed for sugar, molasses, and, of course, rum way back in the day. We swam and snorkled and skipped stones, chased fish and dared each other into dark cave spaces, sailed and powered boated around some of the BVIs, found an underwater ship wreck, and drank a Painkiller or two.

Of course, you know one of the things I was prepared to do was paint, if I had the time. I didn't have much time for it as you can probably see. But, that's okay. I did find a small book store 5 minutes from our place and my husband bought me a journal. So, each morning I wrote my reflections on the balcony while staring out at the southwest waters while the others slept in. As I started writing and the sun was coming up I kept being amazed at the clouds and the way these massive formations just hung out over the waters. So, I sketched these clouds and more each morning instead of painting. I don't just sit out and sketch with only the sketch in mind. I'm always thinking about getting ahead of myself and painting. This time I did. It was a great week of study of lights and darks and compositions and ideas.

Sketch 1
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

Sketch 2
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

Sketch 3
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

Painting, "South of Cruz Bay"
8"x10" Oil on Canvas
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

Also, I learned that God has a lot larger paint palette than I do and it's got gorgeous colors on it.

And thank you, Kenny Chesney, because now I can go back to that place in my mind whenever I listen to your music. I only wish I had know of it sooner because it is a place that let me Be As I Am.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Uh, this is a looong post...and it's all about an artist's statement.

Trying to figure out an artist’s statement.  Saying something about your own work that is meaningful and can capture what it is that you are trying to capture every single day that you stand before a canvas, whatever type of canvas it is that you’re working on, for any artist. This is the most troublesome piece of writing that I’ve ever had to do, that is, put together an artist statement that can explain my work to the public. And just how am I to figure that out? How do I delve into my own mind, unedited, and lay it out for you? I don’t know how to do that. Everyday I am editing what I think before it comes out of my mouth. How can I now lay it all out for you to see? I am inspired by so many things in my life. There are the good things and the bad things that inspire me. I once painted an abstract painting in my advanced painting class at LSU a few years back that was an emotional response to the tough things my son has had to endure in his education. I titled it “Beautiful Frustration”. 

On the flip side of that, I found great beauty in the every day with him in his discovery of turtles, birds, dragonflies, green lizards all in our own back yard. One of those such paintings is “Morning Discovery” which now hangs in my husband’s office. 
"Morning Discovery"
Oil on Panel
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

His fascination also led me to paint “Wonderment” which is based on a photo I took of him when he found a large dead moth and was showing it to all of us one afternoon. I turned it into a live butterfly and then some. I love nature. I love it’s beauty. I love that I can’t figure how it all came to be here. How can we have one thing and there be so many of that one thing. Meaning, how can life have created a butterfly but, according to the North American Butterfly Association there are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies. (Yeah, I googled it.) 20,000 different kinds of butterflies. 

24" x 24"
Oil on Panel
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015
Do they all get along with one another, I wonder. The painting depicts a unique butterfly in the hand of my son, but all the other butterflies in the painting are monarchs, curiosity overwhelming them as it did for my son for that moth. A tree, one thing. How many different types of trees are there? Flowers, same thing. I’m fascinated. There seems to be no order but there is order. Japanese magnolias. Love this flower if you can’t tell by all the Japanese magnolia paintings I’ve done over the last couple of years. I’m still fascinated by the fact that they all look alike, you know one when you see it, but I’ve yet to paint two that are exactly alike. Isn’t that what they say about snowflakes? Doesn’t this make you want to look at them more closely? 

I don’t go outside enough. I know that. I am outside a lot. But as a child, I was outside ALL THE TIME - that is if you don’t count the time in a classroom or the hours spent in my bedroom punished or the thankless hours spent doing my chores. You’re welcome, Mom. My mother made us all go outside on weekends and summers, whether hot or cold. She would lock the door and send us out with a pitcher of water. We’d be sent to the local swimming pool for hours. We were allowed to come back inside for lunch, naps, reading time, and dinner. As I look back, I remember playing jacks with my girlfriends across the street under their carport. The carport was smooth, flat, cool, and covered as opposed to the driveway which was bumpy and hot. I can still sense it and those moments. We played with our jump ropes, double dutch when we had enough people to turn the ropes - but also, it served as a rope to tie each other up to the basketball pole when we were playing chase and our version of “cowboys and indians”. 

Some of the best times I spent with my best friend, Lisa, who I spent countless continuous days with from age 2 to 16, were spent lying on our backs in the middle of the cool clover patches in the yard staring up at the clouds passing by. What we talked about at those times was about everything and nothing. Try going in your own backyard and not worry about whether someone is watching you or not. Close out the rest of the world and then close your eyes. Look up. Can you feel the clover? Can you hear the honey bees humming, cause you know they’re there. They always are. Wait for the cars come to a stop at the stop sign right there at the corner of your front yard. Do you feel it? Do you smell it? The clover? The air? 
Oil on Canvas
Available for Purchase through Rue Cou Cou Gallery
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015
I painted “KatKat The Bubbles Girl” of my niece. She didn’t realize I had been taking photos of her while she was blissfully blowing bubbles while we were in the boat out on the lake. It’s moments like this that need to be held onto. 
"KatKat The Bubbles Girl"
Oil on Panel
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015
I’m on a journey with my painting. I want to capture back all of that. Problem is, there’s no logical path to doing that other than trying to do it. There’s the logical side of me that wants to paint and learn the best most efficient way to paint the best I can paint. Does that make sense? I’m always looking at other artists’ work and trying to figure out “how did they do that?” But there’s an emotional side of painting that I can’t ever seem to tap into completely. That’s the part of painting that needs the most work. I have so many feelings that I need to completely wash myself in and I don’t. I blame it on adulthood. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I base it on my own reality. My youngest brother once said to me about 10-15 years ago (I’m now 47), that I was the most responsible I had ever been in my life. I often think, damn, how did I let that happen to me. Are my daydreaming days over? Are they gone forever? Why did I stop jumping in without looking for the consequences. I let it happen. No one else did. I did it to myself. Has it all gone away from me? No, those things keep peaking in every now and then. I do just keep pushing it to the side, however, so that I can function in adulthood reality. Balance is tricky in this life. Balance between emotional daydreaming and adult responsibility. Painting - that’s where I want to put it all back together again. That’s where my paintings merge. 

Though the subject matters nature and kid portraiture don’t seem related, they are. It brings me to a place and time. Away from paying bills, checking homework, cooking dinner, watching curfew, lecturing my kids on a variety of lengthy values and morality topics such as “why you shouldn’t have headphones in your ears from the time you leave school, through the whole time you are doing your homework and taking a bath until you go to bed at night.” That is a repeat topic, by the way. Another is, “yes, it’s morning but why do you have be to such a bitch about it?” I’d rather change the focus from there to where I am in my paintings. 

The day I snapped I don’t know how many photos of Abigail for “Swag2K14”. My daughter actually was out with us so she could hold a large foam core poster board behind Abigail. I didn’t want anything else in the photo but Abigail. We did it outside, of course, because I love the natural light, and the wind was blowing a little, too. The board was probably 4 1/2 feet tall and even my tall daughter was having difficulty with it and the two of them kept cracking up at being stupid (in a good way stupid - not, oh you said the “s” word, Stupid). I loved it. They were being goofy kids and that’s what I was trying to capture. There are so many moments in their lives that they behave this way. I just don’t get to see it as much now that they’re older. I want so much more in my work. I want to immerse myself in my work. I want to reach inside my son’s poetry and put it on a piece of wooden canvas. The adult side of me says I need to write down all the things I need to do to prepare myself for when that moment happens. It will come, as it has in the past and as it does here tonight at 11:30. Letting myself go and falling in. It’s something as simple as having the right canvas ready for when the right idea comes rolling in my mind. Be Prepared. Still a Girl Scout at heart. But, it also comes this late at night when I can push those other thoughts from my head and visualize how it’s all going to come together. And when those thoughts come to you, or me, in this case, I embrace them and write them down because I don’t want to lose them. It’s imperative that I don’t. I’ll seize it and pin it down and feel these ideas. Perhaps I think too much about all of this, and perhaps I don’t think enough about it. But whatever it it, understand that the artist in me is only at the beginning of a journey. I have so much more to figure out, that I want to figure out. I want to let go of some things and hold on tightly to others. Some paintings are mediocre, some are pretty good and still others, crap. That’s just the way it goes. I want to give it up. I want to keep going. I want to sell something. I want to keep all of them. These are the kinds of things that ramble around in my head late at night. These are the thoughts that run crazily through my head when trying to figure out, what the hell am I going to put concisely into an artist’s statement? Seriously? 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Newsletter for the Spring!

Amanda and Me at the Lake!
Nanci Charpentier (c) 2015

To find out more about this photo of me and my Godchild, Amanda, you can read my latest newsletter, go to


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

That could get me down, but we turned a rainy day into a colorful one. Instead of heading out to paint, we watched a Lori Putnam video that Marylyn recently purchased. I took a screen shot of her website if you want to see more about it. You can also click the above link.

I didn't realize what a limited palette of colors she uses to paint with and how she is able to make so many variations in color in her paintings. So many neutral greys make the colors come alive. Love her work and I was really impressed with the DVD. I've seen other artist videos and this is so much better on explanations and showing the work that she's doing. She talks most of the time and it's enjoyable. She makes it look so easy. I will definitely try to work with a limited palette of just the six colors and white and see what I can produce. Another way to push myself to see something I hadn't discovered on my own.

After taking Marylyn to lunch for her birthday, we headed on over to Marla Hoppenstedt's new studio space and framing gallery, Studio de Chene. Marla is also an artist and one of our Associated Women in the Art's members. That's how I met her. Marla has been in the framing business for a long time and finally opened up her open framing shop, part of which is her art studio. We basically just showed up at her door to check out the new space. What a great space. They are still getting things in order, however they are open for business. They are located on Perkins Road near Essen/Staring across from Albertson's if you need something framed or want to see her work. Here's photos from our "tour". Thanks, Marla, for indulging us!

Marylyn, Carole, and Marla

One of my paintings framed by Marla
"Red Flowers" - SOLD
(Photo Courtesy of Debbie Densdorff)

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