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.

Summer Tomatoes!

August 25, 2013

Summer Tomatoes. 6"x6"   oil on panel.  ID#2013.08.25

Summer Tomatoes. 6″x6″ oil on panel. ID#2013.08.25

Click to Bid here!
Got to love the local farmers markets.  You never know what you can find.  Daily dose of vegetables leads to daily painting. 🙂  I have been waiting to paint these summer tomatoes since yesterday morning!  I love the subtle under tones of cadmium and thought it would be a fun contrast against my favorite blue bowls.

So after a few sketches and wipe offs, I settled into this birds-eye composition.   I focused on simplifying the shapes and layers to build up the depth.  While playing with the balance of the complimentary color scheme. Turned out nicely.

Complimentary Quarters

August 12, 2013

Yay!!  I started and finished a new daily painting yesterday!!!  Yay!

Complimentary Quarters. 6x6. oil on panel.

Complimentary Quarters.
6×6. oil on panel.

Click to Bid here!

It has been nearly 3 months since I have had dedicated time for painting.
I can hardly believe 3 months summer vacation has flown by with home and studio projects here.   But all the labor is painting off with a studio that is starting to come together.  I still have plenty of work to do in there, but I have dedicated work space, dedicated lights, and room enough (I hope) .   Space enough to open up my small Easy-L easel and get some fresh painting mixed on a small study.  A chance to renew dedicated paint space and times.  Yay!!!

Moments later… my six-year-old wants to share and paint with mommy – the real paint, too. Hmph.
My son declared this past week that my studio was too small and had no room for him to paint.  So yesterday’s morning started out slow reconfiguring still life and joint paint space for the two of us.  In the pinch, I resorted to using a set stool for his easel set up.

IMAG1216

Painting and teaching my six-year-old at the same time, not so much.  Left brain/ bright brain…Teach or paint, not both in same space / time.  I can demo sketching and roughing in the painting for him.  So I set to instruct him in minors ways and come back to try painting later in the evening.  Accurate paint mixing requires a dedicated right brain activity, to which does not respond well to the chatter.

After bath time routine, I did manage to sneak away to my studio.  I wiped off the panel, sketched a fresh composition, and set to mixing fresh clean paint.  These are what I managed, sketches, painting… etc.
Happy start on daily painting here…  second start for the day to end the day.

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!

New place, New space.

July 7, 2013

A new place offers a clean slate for setting up a working studio.  New studio means new space layout.  I am lucky enough to have a spare bedroom with a decent sized west window and an attached sink.  Well, it will have to do.

However, starting with a blank room is a bit more of a challenge than anticipated.  I have nearly twenty years worth of art supplies, a large easel, art taboret, drafting table and assorted materials.  I had to purge quite a lot of it in the move.  Everything I had deemed necessary was boxed and promptly stacked in my studio.

More studio boxes.

More studio boxes.

In the new studio space I did not have existing storage of any kind to begin organizing any of it.  I spent most of a month unpacking and re-evaluating the remainder of my supplies.  Equal time was spent considering the best way to store my materials.  More importantly, supply accessibility and ease for future painting or framing or whatever.  Many nights were spent researching studio storage options.

One of the most important tools for an artist is a working Studio.  The studio is a designated space for facilitating the creation of their preferred art.  I quickly realized I needed to prioritize what I would need in my studio.  I am a painter, thus, establishing primary paint space, primary medium, and secondary work space is important.  First, I need space. Good clean space to process and work through my paintings, large and small.  Second, I need good lighting.  Lighting temperatures effect the true color (hue) and value of paint.  Third, I need storage, to keep all my materials and tools accessible.

setting up new studio.

setting up new studio.

I was sure that I wanted to maximize storage and grow room while preserving the top half of the walls for working space for paintings and/or drawings. Yes, IKEA always offers storage options.  But considering I have a tight budget and am somewhat more limited in finding what I need.  I quickly realized with a blank studio, I just might have to engineer some of the things I was envisioning to make my studio effective.

I have tools. Challenge accepted!

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.