Back in the Atmosphere!

February 21, 2015

I’m back in the atmosphere…of Plein Air painting that is.    It did take a push and a shove but I am getting there.  So I am learning to make the most of my time to enjoy what I love most.  Painting and visiting new places…so en Plein Air it is!

Today, we were graced with awesome weather and even a spot of sun now & then.  So I ventured out to the stomping grounds of older Austin – Hyde Park. Oh, but what will I paint?  There was so much to choose from, I finally just started painting where I was standing.

Quacks Corner Table - Hyde Park, Austin

Quacks Corner Table – Hyde Park, Austin

The trick is to find an agreeable spot, off the sidewalk jet not obscuring the painting view.  The limited sunlight did prove challenging in mixing accurate colors.  But I mustered my brushed and pushed paint.

The neighborhood is so active and hospitable!  I was so busy painting, I did not have time to take in all the yummy smells from the well-known restaurants.   There is so much more to capture.  Yes, I shall go back.

For now, I hope you enjoy my posts and stay tuned for future painting ventures.

 

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Lost creek cliffs…

October 17, 2013

The recent rains have overflowed many of our creek beds including Barton Creek.  More importantly we are beginning to see the edges of fall colors too!  But not before the wildflowers have one more crazy burst of colors.  So I ventured out to Lost Creek to find a bit of inspiration from our great weather and local terrain.

Lost Creek Cliffside Trail 2013_10_17

Lost Creek Cliffside Trail 2013_10_17

Click to bid here

Thursday paint out  offered a chance to capture the play of morning light on the lower cliffs along the swollen rushing creek bed of Lost Creek in the west hills of Austin.
It was a bit crisp for an early start but the warm sun very energizing.  It was a nice change to paint the early kiss of fall colors beginning to transform our landscapes.

Studio set up…

October 14, 2013

Any studio space requires few specific component: lighting, easel (work space), and storage for materials.  Arranging them all to fit the artist needs is quite the challenge, and can drive some of us simply mad.It has been nearly five months since I moved to my smaller blank studio. It has taken me most of that time to research studio setups, build in storage, set up lighting.

I recently started building in a wall easel to accommodate larger paintings without sacrificing floor space.   It is effectively a large 8′ x 8′ easel with multiple vertical masts to accommodate BIG paintings or multiple panels side by side. Thankfully, the simpler design requires very few major tools.  I did find the auto leveler quite useful for the 8ft expanse.  I still need fabricate the bar clamps (awaiting parts), but I am excited about it!

Wall easel framed out.

Wall easel framed out.

The wall easel is quite brilliant and inspired by Jason Tueller http://paperbirdstudio.net/wall-easel/.

Meanwhile all this time, I continued to struggle to really get a feel for what my studio space should be.  So much to my frustration even after installing the wall easel, my studio still felt out of sorts.  I kept turning around to find myself walking back out of the cave, even more frustrated.

So this morning, I resolved to flip the layout of my studio in hopes of opening up the space.  We took down the wall easel (sanded down any fussy spots) and reassembled it on the opposite wall.  This required me to relocate the lighting to the opposite side of my studio.   I have also realized I should down size my giant taboret to soon to something more smaller.

Studio Flip

Studio Flip

After much help from my loving husband, I have achieved a better layout and better energy for working.  I have room set aside for future still life area,more shelving, a work desk and a resting / thinking spot.  I even worked in a short still life study to find myself positively happy even after whipping it off.

Tonight, the studio feels so much better with open wall space and balanced lighting.
Success!!

Studio – Lights (part 2)

October 14, 2013

Stage 2 for my studio – Lights!

Every studio requires sufficient balance of warm and cool lighting.  Most painting artists prefer the northern light balance, however, not every studio has norther windows to provide sufficient light.  Fortunately, today, fluorescent lights come in a wide range of color spectrum.  So it is easier to manage daylight northern light spectrum inside any space with a simple install of light fixtures.

Next step was to upgrade my studio lighting.

Fluorescent light strips are set!

Fluorescent light strips are set!

I hung two 4ft fluorescent fixtures to run parallel my easel space.  I installed daylight spectrum fluorescent in each fixture.  I was sure not to cast multiple light angles or shadows.  A giant upgrade from the standard incandescent 6owatt fixture.
Side note, Though I love my large window, I soon found that the double pane window was bouncing the natural light as well.  So I hung a light blocking drape to better control the light balance.

Tah Dah, there will be light!
I can accurately mix and gauge true color mixtures!

Updated lighting arrangements in next post..

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.

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!