Safe With You

Safe With You
This large 36" x 48" oil painting on stretched canvas is a departure for me. I enjoyed the experience of painting a simple concept just for myself. Ahh.
Haven't framed it yet, but it's drawn lots of positive comments from visitors at the gallery - always nice to eavesdrop on.

Thank you for dropping in on my blog!

September 30- One Day Portrait Workshop

One Day Portrait Intensive Workshop with Susan Carlin
for both oil painters and pastel painters.
 Whether you've painted hundreds of portraits or never have had the nerve, spend the last day of September moving your skills forward!
Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nueva Street Gallery
in La Villita, San Antonio’s Historic Art Village by the Riverwalk.
507 E Nueva Street, San Antonio, TX 78205

Workshop limited to 15 artists.
Register by check or email: susan at to receive a PayPal invoice.

Please arrive 8:30-9:00 a.m. to set up. Workshop will begin at 9:30. 
Morning session– 9:30-12:30
Lunch 12:30-1:30 Bring your lunch or lunch on the Riverwalk
Afternoon session– 1:30-4:30.

We will be working from your choice among photographs I will provide. 
 Further details- supplies needed and parkng information, etc., will be sent upon registration

We’ll work our tushies off, learn a lot and have a blast!

Gallery: 210-229-9810
Nueva Street Gallery
507 E. Nueva Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

email: susan at
Cell phone: 210-602-8562

Happy Freedom

New Schwinn Admiral 700c at Whistle Stop Corner

Parked at Nueva Street Gallery- Sculpture?!
If you could see me right now, you'd be blinded by my big grin. 

The thing we kept saying when we found the property that would become Whistle Stop Corner is, "We can bicycle to work!"  And this week we have finally begun! 

First, I did my usual uberFrugal thing... and consulted the listings in Craigslist.  We met a man at a parking lot midway and I jumped right on the blue bicycle he was selling for oh-so-little. Even though I'd noticed that he'd Armor All-ed the heck out of the tires and even though it was an asphalt lot at 2:00 p.m. on a hot late-August day in Texas, I still took the first turn too sharply and the slick tires slid across that hot asphalt and I went right down on my keister.  My pride was the biggest thing hurt.  My keister was the next biggest thing.  Oooch.  But I paid the man and rode it to work the next day.  Imagine my glee!  I did love the idea of the bike, but not the actual bike, turns out.  I still found myself looking at bicycles online.  Apparently I had not married the blue bike... we were just dating.

On Sunday I found The Shiny New Schwinn.  I also got Accessories: a cute white wire basket that comes off and has a handle for carrying, LED headlight and taillight, a Dddling-dddling-dddling bell, and a Kryptonite bike lock.  She's white with red lettering, red sidewalls and red piping on the seat and red cross stitch on the grips.  She's a rolling peppermint! Hey, that's a good name for her, don't you think?  Peppermint, it is.   I have an electric bike, too, named Peggy Sue:  the down-home version of Pegusus... get it? ;-)

It takes 10-15 minutes to get to Nueva Street Gallery or to get home to Whistle Stop Corner, depending on lights and those minutes are spent smiling and saying Good Morning and Good Afternoon to everyone I pass, feeling the self-made breeze and the freedom and instant time travel to my youth. 

My happiest Christmas was 1966 when I was 11 and my parents gifted my sister and brothers and I with new Schwinn bicycles. Mine was pink and white. I loved it so. It put wings on my sense of freedom and expanded my territory in a big way. I'm 57 now and still can appreciate that feeling.
What does this have to do with painting or art?  A happy artist makes happy art?  Another action taken to fulfill our dreams makes us more of who we are?  I don't know... It does feel like it's part of my dream as an artist somehow.   It's also less gas used and fewer parking fees paid... always good.  But a sense of happy freedom - The BEST.

Still Kickin'

I'm pretty sheepish about how little I've posted to my art blog, even though friends have assured me they understand.  I do miss it, though! I miss the connection to my artist friends which I always felt when we commented on each others' work, encouraging and acknowledging each other's efforts.  I'm looking forward to feeling that again soon.

Also, we've posted to our Whistle Stop Corner blog today, since WSC has gotten all our time and energy lately.  A wonderful article was just published about our venture, which you might like to read here

Please don't give up on me if you've been checking in here occasionally for news. I'm still kickin' and I can't wait to renew our friendship!

The Secret

The Secret, oil, 11"x30"

My life for the last 5 weeks has been a whirlwind of pre-rehab demolition, chatting with visitors at the gallery, shipping artworks off to their homes and businesses, hosting my father for a week while he helped with drywall removal and pulled thousands of nails from the wood beneath, watching numerous episodes of "Income Property" on HGTV which we record to watch when we drag home and collapse on the sofa in the evening. I hope you can picture me grinning ear to ear!  I've only gotten to paint in spurts during this time and thought I'd show you a couple of paintings I like a lot. The one above is an idea I've mulled on for about four years.  The little girls who modelled for my reference photos were wonderful.  I'm considering a series with this theme. The Secret sold so quickly I didn't get to enjoy it very long before it went off to Connecticut along with the portrait I painted of John Pototschnik, the landscape painter from northern Texas.

Detail of McCaul- commissioned portrait, oil, 16"x20"

The one above was a commission for a fellow in Ohio who wanted to surprise his wife with it. I hear she liked it very much.  So did I.  I made a few requested changes- shifting her gaze to the viewer from the reference photograph's gaze of up and to the viewer's right. I also did a bit of simplification of her outfit.
I have a few more commissions waiting, then- watch out!  I'm bursting with a need to paint landscapes.  Brace yourselves... they're on their way!

An Anniversary and A New Adventure

Today is an important anniversary for me, and also the day we're launching a new adventure.

Four years ago today, I opened Susan Carlin Art Studio And Gallery after retiring from my 22 years of practice as a chiropractor.  That February 2nd, in 2008, marked a thrilling return to making my living as a full-time painter and, for the first time, a gallery owner. A year and a half ago, in September of 2010, I dove in deeper yet and traded up to a much larger gallery and to representing now over 20 other artists. I have a busy schedule of commissions and spend my days in activities related to the making of art and to helping artworks find the perfect people to love them and take them home.  You'd think that would be enough to keep me occupied, right?
Well, I'm diving in much deeper yet again.

Today, February 2nd, 2012, my partner and I have purchased a property with three buildings, one built in the 1920s- a grocery store for over 70 years (seen above), and two built at the end of the 1930s- an apartment building with eight garages, and a tiny cottage.  All three have been boarded up for ten years, just waiting for two artists with VISION to come along.  If you'd like to see and read a little more, please hop over to our blog we've started to chronicle the revival of these special buildings and the creation of an event center which will host art workshops, the making of a guesthouse for the lodging of artists who attend them, and the evolution of an apartment building, from a retro past to a high-tech present: "retrotech" residences.
All three make up Whistle Stop Corner!