Saturday, December 10, 2016


I'm having a hard time getting here to write... but will.  One reason is all the outside of painting, extra paint-icular activities business related that take so much time.  If only we could "just" paint.

One of those activities had to be to figure out how badly I overbooked workshops, painting events, life in general.  Not too bad, I seem to have some breathing room in between scheduled teaching and painting gigs.

So for now, although there will probably be an addition or two to this list soon, this is my 2017 Workshop Schedule.  If you find one of interest on the list, there is a link under each one listed that will get you to a website where you can look up my workshop.  You will need to copy and paste it into your browser window as they are not hyperlinked, this is a .jpeg.  Some may take you to an overall workshop page, some more directly to my workshop listing, and some may not be up just yet.  In that case, contact the organization about the workshop.

I hope to see you at one of these classes in 2017... Thank you!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

“Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we're not poets.” ― Dudley Moore

I'm not painting today because I am getting supplies ready for an intense week of painting coming up.  I am listening to music, music that is full of soul and poetry.  Doing that is not easy when the beloved creators of the music, who have shared with us their heartfelt genius and allowed us to pour the sound waves into our own life space, are gone.

We've lost two more, Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell.  Perhaps two different beings in many ways.  But both of them have given us their Art, their Poetry; poetry that is likely to be with us long after we ourselves are gone.  

R.I.P ... Leon and Leonard.

Hummingbird - Leon Russell

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 2 AF (After Facebook)

Is there a 12 step program to help with the shaking, sore stomach, feeling left out, sweats, slipping in and out of consciousness, the lack of desire to be alive that leaving Facebook has wrought?

Ok... That's just bullshit.  Just kidding.  But I do admit to feeling a little lost yesterday without the comfort (comfort meaning the contact with people I actually do know, but who live long distances away) of the familiar wake ups, the daily grinding out you all do, and the familiar rants and arguments that never seem to change.  There is comfort in all of that.

Comfort is my son, Freddy with an ice cream cone.  He's expressing exactly how I am feeling. 

But let me tell you what "comfort" really is, if you don't mind? (see photo above of my son)  Comfort is not waking up feeling like you MUST go and see what is going on there, it's heading out early to paint, to rake leaves, to see the day move a little more slowly because time isn't being measured by the opening of an app or website to watch what others are up to.  It's time to listen to music, to think about life, and to write about it.

Simply, it's the sweet time of becoming more involved in your own life more than in others' lives.

It's so ridiculous to think of what FB has become to so many of us.  Yesterday I was remembering back to a time without it, not too long ago in fact, when you had to either go see people IRL, or write an email, or talk on a phone, to make the connections you needed to make.

That's where I am again, enjoying the space from the feeds.  But I do also now have a nice little café, called Instagram, to hang out in when the art fix is needed.  All y'all (I'm trying) artists are feed for the soul.  Glad to see you there!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to get photos on the computer to Instagram!

Sometimes someone says something to help you out that is worth a big hug!  If I knew her, I'd give fellow artist and blogger, Jessica Kirby, one right now!  I asked in the comments on the previous post if there was a way to get higher quality photos off of the computer, onto Instagram from the computer.

Jessica replied that you could use Dropbox... huh?  There is a Dropbox App (I may be the only one who didn't know this) that will allow you to access your Dropbox files on the computer (where I keep good photos of paintings taken with other than the iPhone camera), save them to your Photos App on your phone, and simply use them to post to Instagram on the phone!  Seemed too good to be true... It's not!  It works like a charm.

To make it a little more clear for all of us visuals out there, here is a short 2+ minute video to explain it simply.  I did just as this guy suggests, and was posting in about 10 minutes from Dropbox.

Love when this works like this...

3,679 Miles Later... No more Facebook!

For the last two weeks I have been on an unusual trip, the purpose of which was to be an Awards Judge for two different events.  The first one was the EnPleinAir Texas painting event in San Angelo, TX.  The second was the Oil Painters of America (OPA) Western Regional Exhibition in Scottsdale, AZ.  Both events also requested that I perform public demonstrations of painting as well as the selection of awards for them.  As enjoyable as it was, let's just say it was both a nerve wracking and grueling experience.  I can safely say that the quality of artwork being painted in these events these days is increasingly sophisticated and expertly rendered.  The best pieces also had 'Soul', had that unspoken quality that took them beyond just being painted well.  It really was an "honor" to be asked to do this.  It is a weighty responsibility to take on.  How do we judge one over the other?  I'm going to save that thought for a future blog post.  But I have to thank those involved in both events for putting their trust in my ability to make good choices, their faith in me to see what I considered to be the best choices.  As I told everyone at both events, degrees of difference (thousands of a second in horse racing) were what separated one from others in many cases.  The good news for everyone is... the Art World that I am a part of, is continuing to push at the edges of what is the norm.  Painters are looking harder to see beyond the normal approach to the subject matter in many cases.  The practiced skill of many of these painters is growing fast, making the results interesting and exciting to see.  It has been a real treat to be with them all.

I've done it, deactivated my Facebook account!  Yesterday, while driving the last 4 hours on my way home, I decided that there is more to life... period.  You all know the reasons, we all feel them, we hear and read news stories about them, we talk about them with friends, then go back and log onto our Facebook feed. 

My problem is that even though I've become acquainted with many, many people on Facebook, and some have become friends, Very good friends, for the most part it's the same old same old... same old people who I find myself interacting with, same old people coming out of the woodwork like marauding sharks when something is expressed that doesn't agree with their own world view, same old back up when it does.    Much of it is entertaining, some if it discouraging, all of it a time sucker!

Lately, I don't have to tell anyone how volatile and vile that place has been.

That is not why I decided to deactivate.  The rhetoric was part of the reason.  It wasn't inspiring or uplifting anymore, in my view.  Much of the flow down the stream on my newsfeed was false, false information, made up even.  Or it was trivial garbage... THAT I WOULD SPEND TIME VIEWING!!!  When you begin to feel a pall of disgust about something that you are involved in, it's time to reconsider the activity.

My demo at the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition last weekend at Marshall Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. It is an oil on canvas, 18x36, and was painted up from the previously posted painting, "Ditches and Dust".

I already blogged some about this, so I won't beat it to death.  But one change of mind here... I am going to begin using Instagram (marcrhanson) for "pocket viewing" as I call it, and perceive the reason and habit of it and Facebook.  I have my account straightened out now so that I can use it properly, and will be for sharing artwork.  That's what I realized is the good part, a quick place to share art.  I don't want to leave the wonderful world of what my artistic comrades  are up to, that's 'I'nspiration that I need.

There is a great sense of accomplishment that comes from showing our work to others.  If we go day in and out and don't put the paintings out there, then who are we communicating with?  The making of Art is a communicative act, communication is a dual action.  It takes more than one person.  Between this blog, my Newsletters, email, and Instagram (and yes, I am checking out Pinterest too), I think I will be able to stay out of the wilderness  and communicate with the sharing of art.

I'm looking forward to more reading, writing, home work (repairs), fly tying, archery, fishing, meeting of the neighbors, enjoying a cup of coffee without worrying about frying the computer with it, more time in a day... that's a big one... MORE PAINTING without feeling like if I don't get it up on Facebook, it won't be real.  It wasn't really that bad... really... I don't think?  See you here on the blog and Instagram -close-

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Time to return to the sanity of the Blog World.

"Ditches And Dust"  - Oil on canvas - 12"x24"

It's been quite a while since I devoted any real quality time to keeping this blog up to date, relevant or anything but fodder for cricket noise.  I have decided to calm down the crickets, get relevant and update things Art related, with a touch of life thrown in, and resurrect this dinosaur.

What brings me to this place?  Well, I am thankful for Social Media, Facebook in particular, for what it has brought to the table in terms of Connections with old and new friends, and the  Inspiration that has been to me.  Facebook has been very satisfying, serving as a surrogate crowd to help turn down the quiet of the studio here in Mississippi, and elsewhere.  It has supplanted the 'alone' aspect of our work as artists with many hours of camaraderie.  But for me, it has become like a Roman Colosseum where too many peasants are thrown to the lions, too often.  It's too loud.

I'm going to attempt to funnel viewers and followers of my art, back to this platform, where there aren't obnoxious ads, the constant rush of extraneous, petty subject matter, and all the traffic that jams up and diverts the true meaning of anything that you might want to say about art, painting, or life, on Facebook.

Before the advent of Facebook, this blog stuff was calming, comfortable, and for the most part, a friendly place to share, chat, inform, learn and make connections with collectors and artists.  Many of you have become dear friends, we've shared experiences, art, and life in some cases.  I'm sorry that I have left it behind like I have.  I enjoy other's blogs, and have been noticing a little bit of a return to them with some of the artists who I like to follow.

I know this is old fashioned, Instagram is where most people head now for the instant satisfaction of either sharing or viewing what else is "instantly" (name sake, duh) being shown and shared.  Frankly, Instagram doesn't satisfy my need for the visual experience of seeing art large.  I know I can access it on the laptop, but you can't post to it from there.  Maybe it's the older eyes?  But I can't stare at paintings on a platform that fits into my front jeans pocket, without feeling like I'm not getting the whole enchilada.

The fact that the blog platform isn't "instant", is Exactly why I for one am returning to it.  If there is anyone out there who is not a cricket, stay tuned...

I have been thinking about this since this morning.  I only speak for myself, I'm not trying to suggest that any of this isn't good for someone else.  The other reason that I am really interested in getting back here to the blog is that I think it will slow down my own tendency to post Anything and Everything before I even wash out the brushes or clean off the palette!  I used to really enjoy the chance to show process immediately.  But it is wiser, I think, to allow some germination of an idea before just "blasting it out there"!  No more just snapping a shot and plastering it all over without regard for the quality of the image.  I don't think it's good for how my art is presented to do it that way, and it's not good for the viewers who don't really see the truest representation of my images.