Striped Sock Monster!

January 8, 2014

Attack of the striped Sock Monster on a cold winter day!

Striped Sock Monster 6x6 #2014_01_07

Striped Sock Monster 6×6 #2014_01_07

Click here to Bid!

Found: 1 lonely sock in our laundry with no mate.  It is all alone.
Stripe Socks! What better inspiration for painting today?

I really did have fun just playing with the patterns and shapes for this one. I am still trying to focus on looser play between shapes and shadows.  The colors were a bit challenging to get the warm colors I wanted.  I love the contrast of the stripes playing against the bright and cheery backgrounds.

I already have a few other ideas kicking around for the next painting.  🙂

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Working Studio! …(part 3)

December 23, 2013

It has been most of six months and quite the progression for my fitting my old larger studio into my smaller home studio (10’x12′ room).

I recently completed a moderate “weekend” build project constructing my new wall easel.  It has been a few weeks since finishing it out.  I have had the chance to paint on it a few times (mostly smaller projects).  It accommodate new ideas quite nicely and quickly, too.  Thus far, I have just 3 vertical masts for the wall.  The shallow profile allows me to easily move my larger easel to ether side of my studio without hindering desired painting space.  I am rather pleased indeed with the brain child of artist Jason Tueller’s easel design.

Studio - still life setup.

Studio – still life setup.

After stumbling into my larger space rover (43″ long x 18 1/4″ deep x 72″ high) far to many times, I decided to down size that too. I settled for a more mobile cart from the IKEA kitchen department.  It’s all metal components offer forgiving clean up and flexible palette space.  It is perfectly sized for hosting my masterson palette, paint tubes and other materials as needed.  It even has a roomy drawer for my brushes and palette knives.   Even better that it did not break my budget.

I also added a few floater shelves for displaying smaller panels and  a second narrow book case to host my additional art books and collections.   The additional book case offers a nice spot to set up still life objects for painting.  I plan to add a smaller shallow writing desk for my laptop and eventually a drop leaf drafting table to accommodate watercolors.

Figuring out what I needed in my studio has been a longer process than I anticipated.  I have had to cull more than I believed, and build more of what I needed to fit the purpose.

But I am pleased so far, small and functional is the key to getting my studio back to work here.

Cheery Inspiration!

December 20, 2013

It has been a few weeks (I think ) since I have had something new to post here.  I have been in a bit of pit.  Most everything I have started, I have ended up scraping off and washing off.
A few days ago I snagged a few more baubles and bits from the tree and bin of boxes & bows.  I have been rearranging these things for a few days trying to settle on an exciting composition.  Seriously,  I have stated and scraped at least 4 studio paintings in the last week.

Baubles n Bow 6x6 2013_12_20

Baubles n Bow 6×6 2013_12_20

Click to Bid here!
Finally, something clicks!  Try something new with the studio still life.
O.k. um, Bird’s eye view and something playful for a change could do wonders.  Finally,  I started to feel the composition might work with the paint again.  I roughed in the composition.  Establish the main color balance and then took a long 2 hour  break.  ( I had to volunteer for my child’s holiday party.)

Then I came back to re-established a few color spots to work more consistently.
I focused on the high key color scheme and played with the visual diagonals.
This one was definitely a challenge for jumping back into the studio again.  I am quite pleased with the results.

My wall easel is done and all ready to accommodate larger paintings awaiting my attention.  The wall easel has a minimal depth requirement but can accommodate a 7’x8′ painting easily enough or multiples pieces at the same time.

Wall easel & Clamps complete!

Wall easel & Clamps complete!

Two weeks ago, I started building the wall easel for my studio inspired by artist Jason Tueller’s design and handy work.  The first weekend, I knocked out most of the build project, installing wall braces and vertical rails in an earlier blog Oct 14 (Studio set up).

However, I still needed to make the clamping bars to hold my paintings on the easel.  It has been slower process to fabricate those parts.

Canvas clamping bars

Canvas clamping bars

I had to trouble shoot how to notch out the back part of the clamp to fit around the vertical rails.  I definitely wanted to have them adjustable in height to accommodate small and large pieces.  So I had to plan my process to keep the wood blocks true during and after the build to provide a better fit on the vertical rails.

I have limited tools.  I have a circular saw, a drill and other basic carpentry tools.  I did not have access to a table saw or sanding table that might have made quicker work of the pieces I needed.

back plate

back plate

I am a smart girl, so I used set the depth on my circular saws to score out a 1/4″ deep notch. Then set to removing a six-inch section were needed.  Sanded it a bit to remove any splinters.  Then clamped the matching pieces, drilled peg holes and securing threaded flanges.

clamping the pieces.

clamping the pieces.

I will admit they many not be flawless, but they definitely work!  Now I am all set for starting and finishing my next big project!

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..