Today’s Maters.

August 26, 2013

Today's Maters.  6"x6" ID#

Today’s Maters. 6″x6″ ID#

Available soon! – Click here to Bid!

Today’s Maters are today’s paintings.
This trio of tomatoes offer another chance to explore complimentary balance of cobalt and cadmium.  Though the ellipses and lighting tones of the plate proved a bit of more tricky.

Glad to have time to work through paintings again.
Need to acquire more produce to fill my bowls for new paint inspirations.

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Course I needed a plan for gaining storage space and preserving painting space.  In order to gain desired work space, I would have to build in shelves to gain storage space. I figured if I could build frames and stretch canvas, I could build my shelves.  Luckily, I have a small 3’x4′ closet attached to the extra bedroom that was to become my studio. I plan to store all my immediate materials in the closet to decrease studio clutter and increase creative space.

I started calculating shelving dimensions to fit the majority of the art bins I already had loaded and waiting for a home.  I prefer to use clear storage bins or plastic drawer trays (like the ones made by rubbermade or sterilite).

Clear bin for paints.

Clear bin for paints.

Clear bins allow me to quickly take a visual inventory, access my supplies as well as know where I stored them.   I determined that shelving height could be no smaller than 12 1/2″ to allow for clearance during installation inside the closet. This height neatly allowed for the larger art bins.  I salvaged the leftover pieces to make a smaller 6″ shelf perfect for the smaller stuff.

I double checked my measurements for the right and left side of the closet walls.  I sketched out my plans and set to prepping, priming, painting, and installing the shelves. I used primed and painted 1×12″ pine boards for weight distribution and easily clean up spilled paint.  I used 1×2’s and 1x3s for support bracing.  After a few days work I have completed the shelves and was ready to sort and store the last of my art supplies. 🙂

shelving installed.

shelving installed.

Yes, I am pretty proud of my work.  The only tools I needed was a chop saw, drill, wood tapping screws, lumber and paint, my brain and a bit of math.  All
It will soon be time to paint, next…Lights!

All In Boxes…

July 3, 2013

Someone recently asked me to describe the last 3 months of my life.  “All in boxes” pretty much sums it up.

It is no secret that we recently moved to a new house.  The past three months, my painting process has been pretty much boxed up as well.  I have been frustrated wanting to “do something” and then realizing that it was under the dust and debris of stacked boxes, packing materials and more dust.  The garage which usually functioned as my creative studio space, had become the storage and staging zone for all of the packing materials, which of course did not fit inside the house.  All my studio and painting materials had been packed up awaiting the “Big Move”.  I did reserve my plein-air easel and a small amount of paint and brushes for paint outs. Though, free time proved even rarer event with all the packing, construction deadlines, or work and family needs.

Everyone thinks “new studio, exciting!  Ha, I think, “Crap, where am I going to store all of it?”
I want to actually work without having to invest creative energy into cleaning up my studio just so I can paint.   Which generally happens in the garage space and results in poor painting quality if any at all.  Over whelming to say the least.  Moving my studio has proved to be quite the undertaking.  Thanks, to a few good friends and my weekly yoga, and more than month later I managed to breathe through it.

Logically, with such a big move, all my studio and painting stuff had to move as well.  But what was I really going to need and use in the new studio.  Everyone I asked that had a home studio suggested I would need lots of storage, good light, and work space.  The first challenge was to get it all reduced down from what was a 2 car garage space to a single spare bedroom.

Garage studio space.

Garage studio space.

I intended to keep and store paints, paint surfaces, drawing materials and basic framing equipment.  I reduced my studio supplies to the primary materials.  I was giving up many of the old shelves and storage b/c they would not fit or move.   This forced another purge of inferior art I had produced over the past few years during my fast paced graduate classes. It actually took most of 3 weekends to eventually pack up the studio and another day of realizing it was futile to try to keep the crap work for later resurrection.
Purging proved just as stress full to realize  the pile of painting failures, I intended “to fix” someday was larger than I intended.     (Little voice in my head repeats its mantra” not failures, learning cycles”).  I did not need to preserve them for future sales.  I had practiced the intended lesson.  I could move on.  Don’t worry, I still have plenty more to work on and eventually sale.
Yes, purging is good for art growth.  It can be very emotional if you don’t have a good friend to help you separate all the stuff from the precious and best.  It can definitely leave room for many more painting projects, big and small.

The next few blog posts will feature stages of sorting out my studio.

Spring Break Inspirations

March 13, 2013

Well it’s hump day of our spring break here.
Since my Easy-L tripod is in the shop for repairs I am limited to painting at home this week. So I started looking for fun painting inspiration here at home.   A good day for peanut butter sandwiches and painting!

Still life for lunch.

Still life for lunch.

Course lunch time can not be missed, and must be served on the favorite blue plate with rectangle sandwiches. ~for fear of the tummy monster might unexpectedly visit.

Thus today, I found inspiration in my son’s lunch. 🙂
After scraping my palettes, I laid out fresh clean paint.  2 yellows, 2 blues, 2 reds. Specifically: cad red light and cad red medium and white.  I laid out my under painting with a wash mixture of cad red light and violet (alizarin & ultramarine).  Then borrowing a few notes from a recent workshop with Carol Marine I set to painting islands and oceans of clean grays.

Easy-L palette at work.

Easy-L palette at work.

Turns out it made a great complimentary study.  Yes, Blue and Orange or opposites on the color wheel.
2013_03_13 Spring Break lunch 6x6
I think I had just as much fun painting the bread and crusts of the sandwich as I did defining the orange.   It was a good painting hump-day indeed.

 

 

Pushing Poppies

November 27, 2012

Last week, I realized I had a large old canvas that I had started with but the painting never finished to my expectations.  It had lovely spots but as a whole never synced.  It had the color spots for the poppies painting I had been planning out.  So I picked it up, dusted it off.  Yes, that’s the nature of my garage studio space.  And started laying in the ground work for the new painting.  Looking back I wish I had photographed it more through the process.  But I was set on working it through rather than documenting it at the time.

I riffled through my reference stacks for any poppies. Cropped in to layout the desired composition and sketched a rough layout.

Cropping in on Composition

Roughed in sketch for Poppies.

This time rather than pre-prime with more gesso or extra paint I set to roughing in a loose abstracted pattern of the composition in limited gray values.

It was quite liberating to just push, carve and scrape thick buttery paint around on a large canvas again!  All with the simple intention to push the shapes so that they push and pull within them selves.  It’s coming together a bit better than I expected.

Pushing Poppies in Progress. 30″ x 40″

Pushing Poppies is a welcomed paint break started to simply just push the paint around again.  It has been a while since I have had the time and detachment to so on a canvas.  It was a much needed break from all the tight bottled up spaces I have been dealing with here lately.

It is evolving each day just a little more. But I’m ok with where it is taking me just now.

This Little Piggy…

September 13, 2012

Drawing inspiration from the child hood rhymes:
and an adorable stuffed pig with personality we have the makings of a series of fun little paintings.
This Little Piggy… 

So much potential subject matter to yield lovely simple little paintings that lend to great paint passages and expressive compositions.

This little piggy just wants to stay home and hide her head under the blankets.

This Little Piggy Stayed Home. 5×7. #2012_07_12.

Early morning light and deep shadows really helps push the composition.  The light both softens and warms up the compositional balance of negative shapes. A few more layers of paint composing the rounded feet and curly tail add just a touch of whimsy and dimension.

This Little Piggy Snuggled. 5×7 #2012_07_13

This little piggy wants to snuggle in the morning light with her favorite monkey.  Again the lighting and shadows help define the composition while a similar palette of warmer pink and cooler blue values establish the rounded forms of the plush piggy.

Five more minutes… 5×7. 2011.

Five more minutes was the first of this series.  So it is understandably a bit more simplistic.  However by changing the lighting, I ended up with a darker mood and value study.

These paintings are more color, light and compositional studies while really working through a new medium and discovering its various characteristics.   So these are just a few of a growing series of studies to work out.
I wonder what This Little Piggy shall do next?

Mommy, Why do you paint?

August 18, 2012

Reflection of who am I.
Most mornings I wake sore muscled and wonder what the day has in store.
Will it be grocery day or laundry day? What will I make for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner?  Will my 5yr old eat it today?  Will I have a chance to paint something today?  What am I doing with my career?
“Mommy, you have a job. You paint.”  (the voice in the car seat behind me).

Occasionally, I manage to escape and adventure into our wonderful hill country to paint what I find.  This summer has been a bit more problematic so there has been a lot less painting.  Only to realize the summer is fast coming to an end and my little boy will be starting school this year.  I know that I have been blessed to spend a great summer with him and remembered to include trips to feed the ducks, walk where dinosaurs may have walked,  climb big rocks and see small mountains that are now dormant / extinct volcanoes.
I have still managed to be somewhat productive and score an occasional painting.  I have even shared the process more this summer with my son.

Little helper toning canvas.

Teaching him is always a new challenge for both of us.  He can often see it in the simpler form faster than I, since he has different expectations.

Painting his waterfalls and lava!

Yet, each day I wonder, what am I doing?  How am I going to get to a point where I filled valued as an artist (before I kick the bucket)?  So I keep practicing what I know…painting. Values, colors, compositions, drawing.  more practice.  All the while hunting for jobs to help cover our bills, that will work with my skill sets and mommy schedule.  Some day, I will get to teach the art of painting shapes & forms to reflect what we see and feel.

Then, there in the dark is the universal question through the voice of a 5yr old whom is wiser than he knows sometimes.  The same child that struggles to eat veggies and share his toys asks:
“Mommy, Why do you paint?”
~Because, Mommy, needs to paint what she see and how it makes her feel in the colors.  It’s what I know I need to do.  (I follow the colors in the light and dark).
“Ok. Mommy. I think the next time you go I want to go too.”

Clarity.  My son’s reflection of who I am as an artist already is pretty awesome.
Learning to accept the good I have acquired is harder… That I can paint, and to enjoy that part as my life with my family life.
~yes, it’s time to share and enjoy the painting adventures too.