Posts tagged #Artist Blog


On this day 13 years ago, It was a Monday, and Crow Fair had wrapped up. Recently back from his big weekend, and anxious to hit the ground running for the work week, the hubbs wrestled with the idea of making time to drive the 50 miles to Billings to come meet me.


Thanks to the coaxing of my Aunt Christine, he agreed to meet her niece.


We met for a beer at the Rex, went on to enjoy shuffleboard at the Rainbow, and wrapped up the evening sitting at the end of a beautiful tapas table he had only just built for the newly relocated Walkers Grille.


I'll never forget how he reached out to grab my hand as we walked down Montana Ave. or how he complimented my feet. You may laugh, but it meant the world, as I've always felt insecure about my long and skinny size 10s.


We went on to enjoy 2 more dates, out of the 4 days I was in Billings. The final day he ate dinner at my grandmother's house, I met his parents, saw the space we now live, and went on a horseback ride. On that final date I knew he was "the one". I had never had a  feeling of surety come over me like that.



While our path can sometimes feel bold and exciting, and sometimes take us down a side street that feels scary and uncertain, I still know that feeling was right. Just because a person knows that it is right does not make it easy. It's been quite a journey, and I often daydream about what we will go on to accomplish in the next 13 years together...One day at a time.


Cheers to you Troy Evans for giving me freedom to achieve my dreams, thank you for all of the forgiveness you extend without condition.

I am grateful for you. ❤️


Artwork: Michael Blessing

I love this piece Michael! I am reminded everyday how blessed I was to have a life changing encounter there. Thank you for making it. ❤️


The Power of Art - We Didn't Start The Fire

Friday night we met friends out for an hour or two. Short evening. We stopped in to hear people sing karaoke. We sang "We didn't start the fire" by Billy Joel. Not my idea - hubbs. 


As I was singing. A terrible singer mind you. Yes, I'm one of those! But there were back up singers for the melody, so I'm hoping it saved the audience a bit. As we were just going through the motions, be bopping the words out...I could really start sensing the importance of the words and how relevant they are...I've loved this song since I was a kid! I knew it was politically charged. I knew part of the history, but never really looked up any of the history behind the lyrics. Only recently did I learn who the Rosenbergs were. Thanks to 60 minutes.


Of course, the older I get, the more I learn, etc.


With this election and watching the debates, I've been working to figure out who is the best candidate for me. Trying to focus on the issues that are important to me, while looking at what is best for the country as a whole. I do not feel proud to cast a vote for either of these people.


As I read these words aloud, I could feel this innate sense of anger well up..I wasn't merely saying the words, I began to feel them, and by the end of the song when it reads, " I can't take it anymore!"

I yelled it out followed by solid profanity!!

It felt good to get it out! 


I do not feel especially proud that I yelled in public over a microphone. That people were subjected to my rant. But I did.  And maybe I yelled what everyone is thinking or feeling. I did not begin my evening with frustration and feeling disgruntled. In fact I had a terrific day!

But it was obviously in there, as it came rolling off of my tongue like a freight train without brakes. 


I'm left feeling surprised Billy Joel's song didn't have more angst to it. I'm wondering if his producers reigned him in. Those words are so powerful. I feel surprised he wasn't screaming at the top of his lungs during recording. Or maybe he does when he performs. Or perhaps he saves that for himself...when he's in the throes of writing or singing in his own privacy.


This madness! 


This manipulation! 


Testing our values, and logic, and putting us in boxes with labels that would have each of us with different views or opinions turn  on the other like rabid animals. Trying to make us feel inept, bad, corrupt, you know this list goes on. Even urging us to feel the end of the world is surely imminent come November 9th. 


Really?!?! Yes! It's coming all right...maybe tomorrow, or the next day, or 109 years from now. 


Until then I shall continue following the path I'm on. Continue to make a daily effort toward gratitude. I can only hope one day I can make art so powerful it can affect generations to come.


Finally, I'll be more mindful about  singing politically charged songs during election season - ha!







Courage gaining - A slightly edited text to my cousin

So, I think I keep sending you these things (out of love and encouragement)...because I need it too.

I want to's the likely next step in my business. I think of good ideas, titles, etc. But.I.Just.Will.Not.Do.It!!

So weird!

But, I'm gonna try. I must. I'm stepping out on a precipice of faith. Scaling back my massage business by 90% give or take a little. I have no choice if I want to make the gallery work. If I want to make my art give them a fighting chance. The gallery needs it. I need it.

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking maybe I'm actually blogging to you. In this moment. Maybe this is how it starts - No need for complexity.

It feels scary, and naked, and vulnerable.

No wifi at home. Because. I'm not supposed to be working from home. This work is meant to occur at the gallery. Ironically, I'm standing in my bathroom (standing. not sitting. Freshly washed hands of course). Meanwhile my nacho dinner (most recent obsession) is getting cold in the microwave. Ha!

Let me know if you would like to navigate these waters together. I hear its good to have someone that can help hold a person accountable in these cases. Ha. Ha.

Dear audience, thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for following my work.   There is more to come in these coming months, as I am very excited about a project that I'll be working on this winter. I sense it is very important, and am grateful for the opportunity to document modern day history.

Please continue to follow as I strive to make the transition from a part time business that I very much love, to another business that I love even more. Artist. Gallerist.

Warm regards, Coila

#LoveWhatYouDo #DoWhatYouLove #Grateful


The Art of Seeing.

The Art of Seeing.

Could it be comparable to the art of stopping?

Perhaps the art of finishing?


Recently, I have been devouring podcasts on art and on business.

I enjoy both as they feed both sides of my brain. A person cannot have one without the other, no?

The artist must create. Create. Their. Very. Best. Work.

The artist must also know how to sell their work.

Sell directly to patrons, OR to a gallery.

As it turns out, I am both artist and gallerist. Responsible for the sales of my artists, for myself and my husband.


But, back to the art of seeing.


I have been listening to this podcast with Quang Ho:

Quang Ho is one of the artists I am most fascinated by. He talks on the art of seeing and what that means. I've listened to this podcast 3, maybe 4 times, in the hopes of gleaning insight to help my work evolve.

The latest and perhaps most important information I have replayed countless times is the bit about light and shadow, and Rembrandt. How the science of light and shadow in 7 steps is so profoundly simple an 8 year old could understand. As I listened  over and over to these steps - I painted. I painted a wonderful start on a self portrait I am working on to meet a deadline.  As I painted, my focus was on letting the value of colour turn the form, creating a more 3 dimensional shape.

I felt so happy with Sunday's  outcome, Monday I completely dove in to painting while listening to Phil Collins Easy Lover and Groovy Kind of if his musical mastery coupled with nostalgia would help me complete this new work. Without too much time passing, I ruined it. I erased, repainted, erased, repainted, and erased and repainted one more time before I picked up a new canvas to lay down a wash of color to tone the back ground. You see, I was painting without any intention...other than from the feeling of spontaneity as the notes of the music echoed through the studio.


I decided that I was having too much fun listening to music, and immediately went back to "studying" via podcast. 


The ability to study a subject, and paint what I see without force, is undeniably the most difficult thing I have tried to achieve. The portrait and the figure (in my opinion) are the most difficult subject to pursue, as the human eye can detect a flaw in one quick second...even if they are not able to pinpoint the flaw, the human eye knows something is off.


While I am certain I will always be on the quest of "seeing", it is plain as day I was well on my way to making the self portrait muddy and over worked. 


Monday's  lesson: know when to start so I can know when to stop. 

                AKA: painting with intention.




After a long conversation Sunday night with veteran artist, Neil Jussila, from Billings, MT, I have finally decided to blog. While his work is completely opposite of mine, I greatly admire his work. He recommended the benefits of journaling...he told me himself he is half way through his 73rd year. Who am I to question such sound advice. After all, this is a practice that has proven to stand the test of time. Without journaling we may not have ever known Anne Frank.


Thank you for reading. Thank you for following my work.


Cheers from ⭕️⬆️, MT.

Coila Evans

Artist. Proprietress.