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Art Monday!

NEW GALLERY!

An online gallery showcasing paintings both current and from the past.

If you want to see a large body of my artwork in one place, this is it!

 

mcgree art gallery

In progress now…I have many more images to upload, many more paintings to paint.

WHERE?!

 Follow me on Instagram (McGree Art Gallery) to see all of my original paintings.

 

I’ve been painting my entire life.

However, in the past 20 years I have followed art and painting as my passion and profession.  Learning and growing from each and every artwork, every brushstroke tells a mini story of my life.

Looking at them in one place is like looking through an old photo book of memories.

Some good, some shades of darker, some elated moments full of energy (and color).

Join me for a little trek down memory lane and check it out.  Comment on the pieces, share your thoughts, and reflections.  I’d love to hear.

In my paintings… Look for the seasons of my art world. 🙂

  • My obsession with light and reflections that started at Gonzaga University (and shows up in many, MANY, spittoon and motor paintings).
  • My love for Montana and the great outdoors, ESPECIALLY changing weather and seasons.
  • My years as a raft guide and ski instructor on the Gallatin River and in Big Sky, MT.
  • My adoration for sky, weather, clouds and big open spaces
  • Storms.  Because life isn’t always calm and pretty.
  • Mixed in with the easy beauty of simple flowers
  • And then, my more recent study of the inner landscape leaning toward abstraction.

All of these paintings are me.  A piece of me, a moment in time that was celebrated (or gotten through) via paint and a brush.

Pretty amazing to have my story documented in paint.  🙂

Thanks for being here art-loving friends!

Until next week!

xo.

A

 

“Be not afraid of growing slowly;

Be afraid only of standing still.”

Chinese Proverb

 

https://www.instagram.com/mcgreeartgallery/

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New ART Monday!

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  -Ronald Dahl

Another FULL week!

The grass is greener, the trees are sprouting!  We are all celebrating the start of a beautiful, warm, spring in Bozeman, MT!  🙂 🙂 🙂  I can’t wait to get outside to paint!  I am almost set-up, so expect some paintings en plein air next blog!

This past week I started a few new paintings, finished one Monument, and had a great time collaborating with students at Hawthorne Elementary to paint their Cornhole boards for the Celebration of the Arts!  To top the week off, we had a sun-filled class at Dry Hills Distilleries’ Sip and Paint night (call them to sign up for our next one on June 1st)!

 

Enjoy the gallery!

Don’t forget to get your mini-artists signed up for summer camp!

Until next week!

A

 

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New ART MONDAY!

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”  -Pericles

 

What a busy week!

New brushstrokes, new art lessons, LOTS going on!

Let’s begin with my own art practice this past week.  I continue to contemplate Monuments and how I want to represent them, how I feel about them.

It’s tricky because I don’t want to JUST paint what I see.  I’m striving to share the soul of the place with you, the viewer.  These Monuments are beautifully warm and energetic landscapes…the dance between them, my brush, and your eyes captures my heart and attention.

We’ll see what happens as this series progresses…  I am grateful to have this time at my easel.    

So many AWESOME Artists the past week allowed me to be their Art Guide!

  • We painted our fur family members at Paw-Casso (hosted by Dee-O-Gee) on Wednesday!  At each class, I have adults come to paint despite what their nerves might be telling them.  They are uncomfortable…and they show up anyways.  There is so much to be learned on the other side of fear.  Cheers to everyone who took the risk and created with me!
  • Mini-Artist’s created landscapes with layers of color, pattern, and repetition at Great Beginnings Montessori on Tuesday!  These kids will try anything, and they are immersed in the present.  I love teaching them and seeing their creativity explode and grow!
  • Collaborative Art Projects are one of my favorite processes!  Watching, and helping, a group work toward a singular artwork is absolutly inspiring.  We are better together!  They learn and grow so much from one another. This week, we painted a vibrant landscape full of jumping trout and blue waters…on a saw!

Another amazing week filled with my own art and sharing art with some amazing people!

This week!

Join me at Dry Hills Distillery for Sip and Paint night this coming Thursday night (May 4th).  
More cool collaborative art projects coming up at Hawthorne Elementary School before the end of the year!

Whatever you can do to create this week…cook, dance, paint…just get out and do it.  You’ll thank yourself afterwards.

Until next week!

Don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter (once a month updates) and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Patron too!

-A

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Contemplating Monuments, New Work Monday!

Contemplating Monuments

“Go outside…amidst the simple beauty of nature…and know that as long as places like this exist, there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.”  Anne Frank

My life has been a whirlwind of teaching, traveling, and art-business these last few weeks.  But I have finally found my way back to the easel.  Not nearly enough hours with paintbrush in hand, YET!  But space, time, and contemplation are a part of the painting journey.

What is a MONUMENT?!

 

Photo Credit to Blair Speed

 

I often need Webster’s help to dig up a simple definition…this one was illuminating for me.  Watching the sunset on these amazing sand structures has a mightiness that takes your breath away.  You can’t help but feel connected to both the land and the beautiful calmness that occurs when you’re in the presence of something bigger than you…something absolutly magical.  Peace through nature.  Everything is relative.  Get Outside! 🙂

A monument can be built by man, or nature.  Either way, it is a reflection of the past.  Both a gravestone and a powerful site like Monument Valley (that took nature 300 million years to create) highlight the steps it took to exist in a present moment of celebration.

Celebrating the lives that are no longer with us, and the ultimate power of nature over time.

In our culture of instant gratification, we oftentimes forget to give space to the slow and methodical.  Some things simply take TIME.  The importance of the slow and continuous work of sand, erosion, water, and weather is literally what MADE these amazing Monuments.

Paintings take time

Decisions take time

Grief takes time

Change takes time

Rivers take time

Healing takes time

Goals take time

 

May we all remember to give ourselves more time, more patience, more recovery while knowing that the beautiful Monument is on the other side.

ANYTHING is possible.  One step at a time.

Contemplating great people among the Monuments.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

I am inspired by the entirety of life, therefore so are my paintings.  People, places, time, weather, movement, music; there is glowing inspiration in everyone and in everything.

Sit in the quiet and find your own way to shine.  Shine in a way that only you can.

Cheers to whatever that means for you!

For me, I’m off to paint (and to continue to contemplate MONUMENTS)!!

If you want a little more information about the formation of Monuments like those at Monument Valley, click here for a short video. 

Shine on,

A

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Running and Art…and Fear

The ART of Growth

Being Comfortably Uncomfortable

This Monday I’m going to switch the blog up a little bit.  One, because last week was filled with amazing teaching experiences and extremely little time at the easel.  So this week’s “new work Monday” will invite you to join me in a section of my life that parallels my art world.  

In addition to my adoration for color and paintbrushes…I also love physical movement and growth.  Outside of my studio I am a CrossFit Trainer, Eat to Perform Nutrition Coach, and a lover of adventures.  Including, but not limited to running, biking, swimming, hiking, skiing…you get the idea.

 Movement=FUN!

I love to paint my impressions of the places I go.  You’ll see mountain ranges you recognize as well as colorful abstractions that reflect my inner self.

This week, I wanted to share an article that I recently wrote for the amazing gym I am a part of in Bozeman, MT  (Altitude Athletics/Coldsmoke CrossFit).  It is absolutly connected to my art musings, but it is specific to my recent race, the Monument Valley 50k trail race.

Enjoy, comment, share!

Next week, you’ll find some artwork that reflects these feelings as well.

 

Training for an Ultra.

By Allison McGree

“Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.”

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Believe in the possibilities you can’t yet see.”

“Starve your distractions, FEED your focus.”

“Breathe, trust, let go…and see what happens.”
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

 

These are words I wrote in my journal BEFORE I ran a 50k.

…because running a 50k terrified me in such an all-encompassing way-

 I had to do it.

Other entries from this past winter training…

“Shit.  Those were some snowy dark miles.”

“Below zero, I can barely get air in under all of my layers and my hands are freezing.”

And my continual battle with recovery…“Just got coach’s orders, to rest… ugh, resting sucks.”

The miles were dark and long but they taught me a lot about delayed gratification, dedication to something big, and the importance of recovery.  Recovery.  Recovery.  Recovery.  (I’m still learning).

I can laugh now.  Because now it feels so simple (and wild that I was terrified to some degree every moment before I started running the race).  But that’s the journey I guess; finding something that scares you to your core, wondering why…and doing it anyways.  Or, doing it because being scared means you’re growing, changing, evolving; a little bit of fear is great for the soul.

Looking back, it’s pretty overwhelmingly awesome and (again) so damn simple.  Just do the work and, “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it in yourself.”

Literally HOW did I run a 50k (my furthest race to this point being a half marathon) I asked for help, from giants.  Then, I put in the miles and recovered hard in between.

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of GIANTS.”  Isaac Newton

Two points to this quote, my PHENOMENAL (zero exaggeration) running Coach, Blair Speed, knows how to train the mental and physical…and she coaches both…because both are equally important if not the mental being more so.   I was asked to contemplate my giant (to help me get through potential dark places that can come up in running 7 plus hours).  In doing so, I realized one important fact above all else.  Not one damn person is a super hero alllllll of the time.  They/we are human.  Human giants are who we stand on, who we learn from, who we lean on…and who we are friends with; they coach us, challenge us, make us grow.  Cheers to the “Jane Doe” of Giants in us all.

Point dos (two).  Human giants are freaking phenomenal.  They have a gift, an eye, and a heart.  If you were to ask me the two main factors of how I actually was able to (happily and pain-free) run 32 miles.  Blair Speed and Shelli McClung.

  • Speed was born to be a running coach, it’s literally her name. Coach Speed held me back when it was necessary (and horribly painful for me); she coached ME in a way that was amazingly ALWAYS exactly what I needed.  It’s hard to describe in words; Blair has a gift.  She can read people, push people, hold them back, empathetically understand them…and she can see greatness and potential in others that they can’t yet see themselves.  She has an open-ended belief in the brilliance and limitless of the human potential.  Her spirit is the same reason the four minute mile was broken, or why Ultra running ever started.  We all have so much more in our wheelhouse that we think we do.  She is a giant, and luckily, a great friend as well.
  • Mater PT Shelli McClung freaking saved my body.  If you have an ache or a pain or ANYTHING that comes up…she too has a gift.  Without all of those damn mobilizing PT workouts to complete and her amazing eye helping me every step of the way (believing in me was key too, not once did she tell me not to run or that it was bad for me).  She is a freaking PT giant and she helped my body move fluidly for the entire race.

I could tell you many, many stories about the funny mind games that I played counting up miles and down miles like I count down reps in CrossFit.  Getting to a place where the work is a game and my mind was alert running a series of “mini” races was a blast.  The odd elation I felt around 23 miles when I only had two more “mini” races to run was the same way I feel when I get to round 3 of 5 in a horribly amazing metcon.  The biggest difference for me during the Ultra was focusing on enjoying the present moment.  The beautiful scenery, the rhythm of my feet against sand, the views, the breeze, all of the amazing souls on the same journey; these things were my focus.  Enjoyment over pushing my limits of power and speed helped me be part of the entire adventure.  That is, until I saw Speed at the top of the last hill before the finish line…at that moment, I ran as fast as I could with every bit of energy I had left. ☺

To sum it up, my Ultra experience reminded me to be comfortable being uncomfortable, to believe, to focus on forward movement…no matter how slow it seems to be going.  It also reminds me how important having an awesome community of support is.  To everyone that I took with me on this wild run, I thank you for all of the amazing positive energy that propelled me every step of the way.  Yes, it was just a race, but somehow it’s so much more than that too…

To quote Coach Speed- #thereligionofthelongrun

It’s legit.

Now, let’s all start finding reasons how to do things instead of excuses as to why we can’t. ☺

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New Work Monday!

Monday Morning!

New Week, New Artwork is evolving!

This past week I returned from the amazing beaches of Hawaii to a beautiful, albeit chillier Montana Spring.

Back to the studio and my “Dear Universe” series of paintings…

My first markings on this painting, “Dear Universe, THANK YOU…”  There is so much to be thankful for and it is so nice to pause to do so.

This BLUE inspired ocean scene filled with gratitude is starting to come together.

I’m dreaming of the ocean waves and the warm, salty waters of Kauai where I was sitting at this moment one week ago!

Thankful for time to enjoy the powerful impact of the ocean.

“Going with the flow” seems to be a more fierce a statement while watching the ocean tides and roaring waves compared to sitting near a cool, calm stream.

Nevertheless, smoothly inspired  persistence and patience seems to be reigning at the top of my current life’s ponderings.

Cheers to another week filled with flow friends.  Crashing waves or spring melt…may we all find a pace that gets us where we’re going.  🙂

-A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ENJOY the Ease of Day… New Work Monday!

 

 

  • Ease of Day
  • Oil on Canvas
  • 36x24x1.5 gallery wrap
  • $1500
  • Prints available as well.

 

It is gift to be alive.  To experience in the present moment all of the rich colors the world has to offer for our one trip through this life.

Too often we look to something outside of ourselves for our spark…but I think it could be within us all along.

Dream

Hope

Find Peace where you can…

Hold onto your destiny, it is in fact YOURS.

xo

A

 

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New Week, New Work

The whole culture is telling you to hurry.  While the art tells you to take your time.  Always listen to the art.  -Junot Diaz

12×36 oil on wood panel

 

This painting depicts my love of atmosphere and color.

It celebrates both springtime renewal and pays homage through thoughtful contemplation to all of the amazing souls who have come before us.

As spring approaches, vibrancy and light increase (thankfully)!  This makes both our inner and outer worlds radiate with hope and renewed vitality.  A new beginning, a new season, potential…and a chance to use the dark contemplative energy of winter to spark something inspired and AWEsome in each of us.

The Rainbow Sky in this painting is a heart-filled ray of color and remembrance.  Rainbows remind me of loved ones who are no longer with us.  This painting celebrates the people who will forever be in our hearts.  The GIANTS of our past.  Individuals whose impact lasts much longer than one lifetime.  Individuals who have left footprints on our hearts forever.

Artwork allow us a beautiful pause in order to experience it.

Our lives are so busy, our days are so full.  In a rush to constantly do MORE to reach a goal, I think it’s important to pause…

Pause, look at something beautiful and BE happy right now.

 

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2017. Believe.

Happy Happy NEW YEAR friends!

I promise to send out a newsletter this week with more information (make sure you’re signed up)!

For now, a quick blog of exciting events starting this year off right.

“Believe in the possibilities you can’t yet see…”

December was wild!  Busily trying to make sure stores were stocked, my studio was ready for its inaugural art tour,  2017 calendars were out, art was up online and in stores…I was running so fast I lost track of my sense of BELIEF.  Belief that I was moving forward (and not in seriously fast circles), in the “right” direction and that sometimes the most important progress is slow and steady.

So I’ve been doing some dreaming and scheming (thanks to Molly at Stratejoy, look it up if your soul is searching for some direction.  This is my second year in her HOCO (Holiday Council) and I LOVE this process).  #hoco2016

My plans for 2017 are bold, brave, beautiful, patient, present, and heating up nicely. 🙂    

Exciting news already!

  1.  I was signed by an amazingly spunky and vivacious new(ish) gallery in Downtown Bozeman, Style a. 

It was love at first sight… bold, wild patterns, enormous artwork and the color!  WOW.  

Plus they feel like a great fit.  I’m thrilled.  Pop in and say hello.

Here are few of my paintings looking much more hip than I ever will. 🙂

2.  Re-commitment to goals for myself, my business, my studio, life…don’t downgrade your goals, upgrade your conviction… noted.

My online website/store is being upgraded NOW.  Head over to www.allisonmcgree.com and let me know what you think in the comments!

I would LOVE to hear what YOU want to see.  Truly.

3). I had an AMAZING holiday.   The Bozeman Open Studio tour was a fun (and snowy) few days.  I enjoyed having so many friends and family visit my little world of color.  Keep your eyes peeled for the next one!

4)  Growing up in Helena, MT I have always been in love with the Holter Art Museum.  January 1st marked an exciting date for me as an artist.  I am now showing at the HOLTER. 🙂

Stop by to see 20 paintings anytime between January1st and the end of February.    Opening reception Friday 2/3/17 5-8pm.

5) I’m (FINALLY) able to spend some time dipping into oil paint again.  And.

If you can imagine a full body breath released into utter bliss… or, a cool dip in a lake during the heat of the summer.  THAT is how I feel.  I’m ready to see what 2017 has in store for me.

THANK YOU for being on this journey with me.  I’ll hope to see you in my art world soon.

For now, if you’re stuck or frustrated, or overwhelmed…keep moving one foot in front of the other.  There most definitely is a sunny side. 🙂

xo-A

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5 steps to enhance creativity!

 “We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted…it enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.” 

Annette Byrd of GlaxoSmithKline

BL_3686 mcgree, 5/25/15, 12:32 PM, 16C, 5624x7359 (101+555), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/15 s, R65.1, G40.0, B61.3
“Rays.”  Oil on Canvas 2016 allisonmcgreefineart.com

Creativity.  Learn to think outside of the box. 

5 steps to take to enhance creativity:

  1. Try something new. Set your music to a new station and spend the day exploring new and old tunes.  Try a new recipe, seek out a new restaurant, get artsy and MAKE something.
  2. Meditate.  Yes, daily meditation has amazing benefits.  But it might be difficult to jump right into.  For now, just TRY out the idea.  Spend 10min on a walk without music or your phone to distract you.  Simply observe the world around you.
  3. Say “YES…and.” Become an open-minded Improv actor by using the technique of “YES, and.” This simple tactic will do wonders toward having novel thoughts and ideas.  Make it a game!  Try saying yes for a full day and see how the world unfolds for you.
  4. Move! Get out and move your body. It doesn’t have to be aggressive, sweaty, or difficult.  Find a way, ANY way, to move your body for 30min.  Your creative brain will thank you.
  5. Soak up inspiration from others. Read a great article, find a new book, explore podcasts (there are so many amazing ones!)…listen to a Ted talk.

 

Creativity is about slowing down in order to see the world from a new perspective.  It is a beautiful way for your mind to connect with itself and the world around you.  We all, in every field, would benefit by learning to “think outside the box” aka be more creative in order to be able to move with the ebb and flow of life.  Life WILL happen, things will not always go according to plan.  There is more than one way, one method, one answer…Whenever you find yourself backed up against a wall, creativity will be your window out.  Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, and to see or learn something new!

Plus, it’s best to tap into your creative powers now to get them primed to work for you when you REALLY need them!

 

Leave a comment below with three of your favorite ways to get your own creative juices flowing!