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..

Boggy Creek Farms

October 12, 2013

Today, I ventured out to Boggy Creek Farms.   A local farm located in the east heart of down town Austin just off 7th street.  The farm grows a large selection of veggies and greens as well as fresh eggs!  Of course we can always find a variety of scenic spots to paint as well like neat garden patches, chicken coops, and parked tractors.

By paint out norms it was a very brief painting.  More of a impressionable sketch of  the garden statues.

Boggy Creek Farm Garden.  2013_10_12

Boggy Creek Farm Garden. 2013_10_12

This morning I offered to take my son along for painting too.  We could share painting and time together.  But the morning brought a few more challenges to consider.  It was indeed a Boggy fall morning with muggy heat and swarms of mosquitoes lying in wait.  *yes, that was with mosquito spray.  I think they were immune or very hungry.

So out of self preservation, it was a very short paint out , but I am pleased with the expressive paint strokes.
A nice gesture to inspire another larger painting soon.  Once I stop itching…

Archway to the Oasis.

October 8, 2013

Archway to the Oasis.

Archway to the Oasis. 6×6 2013_09_21_02

Click here to bid!
The Oasis offers panoramic views of the Texas hill country as the Colorado river winds its way to the dam, even in our record droughts, it is still beautiful.  But all must enter through this archway to the Oasis.  I felt drawn to painting it as the morning sun began to warm the stack stone work and the people began to trickle into grab an early lunch on the balcony.
The Oasis on has a long history of great views on Lake Austin.  The original structure burned down some years back and the family rebuilt the existing complex of multilevel balconies and scenic views.  Good to know that there is still a great place to see our hills stretch far into the horizon over a bite to eat.

Painting at the Oasis!

October 5, 2013

Wow! I painted…

Oasis view of Bagby Beach 6x6 2013_09_21

Oasis view of Bagby Beach 6×6 2013_09_21

Click to Bid here!
The rains have had a welcomed cooling effect for us.  For a moment, the rain looked to dampen any planned paint outs.   But I was willing to risk painting rain or shine.  Good thing we had lined up painting at a great spot regardless of the weather.

Non other than out at the Oasis west of Austin, TX .
The Oasis offers sweeping west views of the Lake and all its Texas size hills rolling off into the distance.  We were graciously shown to a 3 floor balcony with amazing views of  the lake.The crisp autumn weather greeted us with lovely lights and shadows playing across the hill scape.

The challenge is settling on a spot to paint with so many views to choose from.    But I found it intriguing to watch the light play along the rocky shores echoing the water line and ridges of the hills playing along the Colorado River as it snakes down to the dam.  That was my inspiration for this first painting.

Water Gardens

September 9, 2013

Water Garden Vase

Water Garden Vase 6″x6″

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Week end paint out inspirations right in our own community.  The local water garden and nursery features a number of spots that offer a quiet shady spot to paint in the last of the summer heat.  Koi ponds, water fountains and plant arrangements to inspire the gardener as well as the painters in all of us.  Not to mention plenty of room for my Easy-L easel.

I love how this sweet little gem came together for my painting.  It was a bot bumpy at first but I refined my focus and re-sketched me composition & washed it in.   The light played a good deal of hide & seek, but I captured the vase form, water splashing in the pond quiet successfully.

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!