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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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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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Quick DIY art-hanging tricks!

Quick DIY art-hanging tricks!

Spring is in the air!  Get ready to freshen up your spaces with new color, new art, or a simple re-arrangement.

On a budget?!  

Take a look at my artwork and browse the work of MANY additional artists for great prices, high quality prints, and a satisfaction guarantee.

http://www.imagekind.com/art/stunning/mcgree/artwork-on/fine-art-prints

What is the best way to position my art?

Measure the amount of wall space you have to work with and work out your arrangement on the floor. Don’t forget to include lamps and wall sconces into your arrangement.

Is my art going to be too big, too small??

Consider proper scale when decorating your walls. Support large furniture with large wall hangings and small furniture with small wall hangings.

How high should I hang art?

When hanging pictures above furniture the general rule is between 6 and 8 inches. If your art is not going to be above furniture, hang your pictures at average eye-level.

Happy decorating!

xo

A

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Let’s have an ART PARTY!

Did you know that I teach a variety of private and group art lessons?!  🙂

And!

TRAVELING ART PARTIES

Off site private events can be booked ANYTIME!

Grab your favorite people, some food, a drink of your choosing…and prepare for a great time!

The painting time is approximately two hours of art-making fun. 

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

I will arrive early to set up and help with the painting clean up.
– You choose the painting!  If you need help with inspiration, I would be happy to send you ideas.

– There is a 10 painter minimum to come to you.
– The cost is $35 per adult painter (15+), $30 per student artist (under 15) and includes all materials- a canvas, paints, brushes, etc.

 

Outside of Bozeman?!  I can come to you! 
– There is a $150 travel/set up fee for travel anywhere more than 30 miles from my studio in Bozeman. This also includes set up for art materials- paper for your tables, water cups, napkins, and easels and aprons.

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Walls Crave Color Too

The sun is out, days are longer, and color is returning to our lives!  What a fresh breath of air.

Out with the old, bring on the NEW!

Update your walls or office with a custom mural, painting, or print.

Wild or calm, large or small…

Nursery, hallway, or kitchen…let me help bring art into your world!

Check out the gallery above for 11 ideas ranging from classroom collaborations, home decor, color at your place of business, and art in original places.

Are you an interior designer?!  Contact me, I’d LOVE to work with you!

Interested in a creative upgrade?!  Comment here or message me for a free 15min consultation including a zero commitment art estimate.

 

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Spotlight! Artist in Residence information!

Art is important, for so many reasons.  

Are you looking for more art in your life, or in are schools??  Read more to learn about the variety of residencies I provide.

The arts help to expand cognitive abilities and develop creative thinking skills at a young age that will carry over through the process of education and into adulthood.  Creative problem solvers will be the next engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovative individuals.  We must train our students to succeed in education.  This means teaching to all of the various intelligences and allowing the most authentic voice of each individual to be heard.  Everything is possible in our lives, and art showcases the bewilderment of the great unknown more than any other subject matter.

School Art Programs

Montana Artist in Residence MT State info

As a Montana State Certified K-12 Art Educator, the possibilities of school residencies are endless!  I have taught year-long drawing classes, collaborated with entire schools to create murals, connected art projects to a local gallery, art history, and national exhibits in addition to having a great amount of practice creating specialized projects.  I have experience combining technology with education, and I have taught art to a K-grey audience.  I would love to connect art to your current school curriculum and standards or design an independent project specific to your needs.  Though my personal love is paint, I teach a variety of media.  Please contact me for questions, a list of project ideas, or for a referral from one of my current residencies.

Arts Standards according to grade level: http://opi.mt.gov/pdf/Standards/16ArtsStandardsGradebyGrade.pdf

$60/hour

.56 cents per mile

Supply fee depending on lesson

Grant Funds are available

 

Residencies (references available upon request).

Butte Central Schools, Butte, MT

Great Beginning Montessori, Bozeman, MT

Hawthorne Elementary School, Bozeman, MT

Emily Dickenson Elementary School, Bozeman, MT

Belgrade Intermediate Schools, Belgrade, MT

Hawthorne Elementary School, Helena, MT

Hylight Elementary School, Bozeman, MT

Lamotte Elementary school, Bear canyon, Mt


Healing Art Programs

Arts and Healthcare Residencies

I offer a variety of art-making offerings depending on populations as well as their goals, needs and abilities.  Focus will be on art as a process of self-discovery, fun, and practice.  I work with therapists and other professionals as the “art guide on the side” helping to use art to heal and bring about happiness.

All ages and abilities welcome.  Can’t visit my studio?  I can travel to you.  Contact me for more details.

$60/hour

.56 cents per mile

Supply fee depending on lesson

Grant Funds are available

 

Additional in- house or PIR day residencies are available for teachers as well as other populations.  

The options are endless, let me design a program that works for you.

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Artsy Shark Featured Artist Article and new work this week.

Happily painting in my studio this week has been AMAZING.

I’ve started a new series entitled “Dear Universe…”  

 

The new year offers new beginnings.

…and with it, many, many, more questions.

How do you process?!  

I find painting it out works wonders.  

Breath. of. fresh. air.

Add in some great music and my day is made.

So I’m writing questions, thoughts, dreams, pain, conflicts...and anything that comes to mind on my canvas.

…and then I paint!  

Want to learn more about this process?!

In amazing serendipity, Artsy Shark published a Featured Artist article about me this very morning.  Take a look to here more about my process and my story.

Link: http://bit.ly/2k9cJCh

I highly recommend to seek out a creative outlet, source of flow, place  of meditation.  Actively find and nurture your own peace. 

Run, hike, move a barbell, sit in the sunshine, write, dance, rebuild a car, build a house, check out Headspace (I love it)!  Paint. 🙂

We all don’t have to find our place in the same way, and obviously change it up as necessary.

Once we can wrestle with our own darkness, the world is much more filled with light.  Shine from the inside out, as my wise sister has shown me…

Find the light dear friends.

-xo

A

 

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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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Hello November!

“There is something beautiful and revitalizing about autumn. When the leaves fall the world is surrendering. Letting go of the pieces and parts that can no longer serve in a positive way. Trees hold strong to their core and survive the storms; but every good tree knows that as time goes by, the leaves will come back and we all get to start again.”

red-moon

This time of year forces a slowing down; shorter days, cooler temperatures, and change on the horizon.

 

Autumn is a season of transition in many ways. For me, it’s a chance to remember to live on purpose (and not to get swept away in a hamster wheel of motion). Slow Down, find the flow, focus on the sweetness of the present.
Be Present.
Be Open.
Be Faith-filled.
Be Truthful.
Refine, refresh, refocus…
Be Brave.
This holiday season I will be putting SUPER Allison effort into both holiday shows and giving as many amazing holiday deals as I can muster to you. Make sure you’re on my newsletter and I hope you find some new art to start off your (or your loved one’s) 2017.

In the Studio:

  • Holiday Art Sales (make sure you’re on my mailing list)!
    Shop online for prints or originals, order commissions or visit my studio (Downtown Bozeman) by appointment!(406) 431-6911    amcgree@gmail.com
    Get great deals on original artwork!
  • Holiday Open Studio ART Party
    • Please join me in my studio for your holiday shopping!
    • December 9th (5-9pm) and 10th (10am-4pm)
    234 E Babcock Studio 2I
    Bozeman, MT 59715
  • Holiday Windows, Holiday Cheer, and Holiday Painting Parties!
    Booking now! Call or email to get signed up or to ask for a free estimate!

 

LASTLY!  If you made it this far, you rock.  Please keep this coupon as my November thanks to you!

20% off all originals, cards, in-house prints with FREE SHIPPING in the USA!

Visit my online store or my studio in person.  CODE: thankfulseason2016

Unfortunately, if my prints or art swag is not in house, I can’t extend this discount.  My apologies.

Offer ends at midnight on 11.30.16

Happy November.  🙂 Let us all seek out gratitude and flow this season.  xo-Allison

cropped-McGree_Allison_PROCESS.jpg

A sneak peak of life in the studio.

layers-of-flow

Layers of Flow

Original Oil on Canvas

2016

allisonmcgreefineart.com

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Corks and Canvas is a blast.

Art-making, in all of its forms, is a magical process.

I see a value in all of the ways we can create, one VERY fun way is a night out with great friends, food, wine, and a paintbrush.

Last night, at Riverside Country Club, I guided twelve ladies through a dandelion-inspired springtime painting.

Blue sky, bright colors, sunshine, and a slight breeze blowing the dandelion across the canvas…

Here, we begin by filling up the background with blue, yellow, and white.

corks blueKey thoughts- just jump in! 🙂

“An Artist never makes a mistake, they just change their mind.”

As the years go by, somehow we become amazingly fearful of risk-taking.  Even when the consequences are a canvas, we worry incessantly about right or wrong.  My advice, let loose, and AIM to be at least a little bit uncomfortable.  Celebrate that!  That uncomfortable feeling is the sweet spot to learning and growth.

After the background and edges have a full coat of paint on them, we start to plan out the dandelions, stems, and grass.

corks

Color!

This might be my favorite part, the layers of color and slow buildup of depth.

From larger brushes and broad brushstrokes we slowly transition to smaller brushes and more detail.

AND

TA-DAAAAA!

corks done

Beautiful art created by beautiful people.

My job is done, though I’m not sure I can really call it a “job” if it’s this much fun. 🙂

  • Next class at Riverside is a mini-artists (aka kids) only class on May 3rd.
  • Corks and Canvas for adults on May 1oth.

Join us!

A huge thank you to Riverside Country Club and the one and only Mandy Dredge for making these events happen!!