Tag Archives: studio art

Studio Redo 2014

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Studio Redo 2014

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I hung some small branches with fairy lights over the window to brighten the Portland winter days before spring arrives.  You can see I stuck some stars in here and there!

I have a compulsion to clean up my studio about once a year (should probably happen more often) but once a year I take everything down and move everything out, dust the corners, wash all surfaces, put a plant in the window which will be dead by March because I forget about it, and voila a fresh studio for the year!

This year I chucked my old scarred kitchen table for a new (old) utility table, one of those heavy old things with metal folding legs, seen in school cafeterias, business back rooms, convention centers – you know – any place functionality trumps  style!  Well I found one on  craig’slist and brought it home with assistance from my architect son-in-law, who also told me about drafting table coverings! So I purchased a lovely smooth cover for from Amazon.  Now its the perfect work table!

Isn’t the top amazing!Studio Redo 2014 003 (2)Now I have no excuse not to get some art done!

My Junk wall – can’t seem to get away from all my scraps and found items – but I really did clean it up – and its now on one wall only!  As soon as I figure out how to make the printer wireless it will go on one of these shelves!

I have only a small extra bedroom for a studio – but it seems grand to me!

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I’ve room for my easel now since I moved the table to the opposite wall.  I used to drag the easel into the kitchen, but I was always running back and forth for supplies.  This is much more practical.

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The computer table got a bit of the cover from the work table too.  You can see the edge of the easel.  Also the plant in the window!

Now it looks so nice – its like a nice big sheet of clean white paper – I don’t want to mess it up, but I will and it will get messier and messier as the year progresses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry and Bright…

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“May Your Days Be Merry “

Journal page – watercolor and oil pastel 5 x 7 inches

Wishing you all a happy Christmas!  I’m flying out to Denver tomorrow to have Christmas with my 5-year-old grandson!  He has a lot of plans this year: 1.) hoping to catch Santa in his task of stuffing stockings, so possibly sleeping under the Christmas tree Dec 24, this undoubtedly includes me as well.  2.) A visit to see Santa and we won’t tell him our plans to surprise him!  heehee

 Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year ahead!

Sketchbook Pages

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I have been working sporadically in a thin sketch book – hoping it wouldn’t be so daunting to fill up the pages.  I seem to have lost momentum this year, and have very little to show for myself for 2013.  I can’t say specifically what the problem is, because I honestly don’t know.  Whatever it is, I hope is works itself out soon and I will emerge with a more clear idea of what I want to say in my art.  For now I jump all around and and envy everyone else for their ability to concentrate, to produce, and to know what they want!  Watercolor, charcoal, graphite.

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The summer Crow Wars seemed to have calmed down a little with the beginning of autumn.  They fought like crazy all summer, often leaving small caches of feathers beneath my deck.  The sparrows fought with them, the jays fought with them, and the crows fought with vocal curses at one another all through the sky- blue days of summer. Watercolor and graphite.

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I don’t know what this is about – just some sadness that came over me one evening and stayed around until I sketched this out. Charcoal and watercolor.

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The Fawn’s Child.  Pastel, oil pastel, graphite.  Sometime I try to imagine what it would be like to live outside all the time.  To know the darkness as well as I know the circles of cast light in my house.  To know time through the seasons of the earth.  It seems so magical, so impossible with all our contrived conveniences and measured time.  But still, I can imagine a great unknown forest with creatures defined by that space.

Pearl

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“Pearl”  24 x 30 inches.  Acrylic on canvas.

“Pearl” began life with the ocean in the background and a house beneath her feet, holding hands with her mother and the painting was to have been called “Pearl’s Mother.”  One afternoon I was staring at the unfinished canvas knowing it was all wrong, but couldn’t figure out what to do about it.  The parts worked separately, but all together they didn’t say anything.  So I took a palette knife and began painting over most of the painting with white paint.  The palette knife was a new experience, and I really liked how you could build layers of colors one on top of another!  I painted “Pearl” fairly quickly with the palette knife then went back and added details and painted over with the palette knife again until I liked what was happening.  The Great Blue Heron in the right upper corner I had already painted in and I left it, and the redwood trees beneath it.

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She is holding a eucalyptus branch.  I was thinking of the central coast of California, with the redwoods, the eucalyptus trees and the great blue herons, that are glimpsed only occasionally, these days.  I used to see them flying very high like  great long-legged angels moving across the blue skies.

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I preferred Pearl without any hair.  I did paint some in, but it took away from the intensity of her gaze and I covered it up.  It summarizes her essence  more this way.  Her very human longing for some unspoken thing hidden behind her eyes. I’m not sure if Pearl is yet a child, or if she rests carefully on that cusp between woman and child.

Small Things of Wonder

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Moths bumping against the screen on a summer night.  Seeking the light from indoors.  What does it look like to them?  Is it a bright star they are mysteriously drawn to?Moment in Time 002

I’ve been working on another handmade book – a smaller project than the last one.  Was thinking about the little moments in-between the spaces of our lives. The small transitory and easily forgotten things we see in a blink and file away to be remembered or forgotten, but none-the-less, recorded by our brains.

This book is made mostly of recycled materials.  I used recycled paper from cardboard boxes that I soaked in water until I could strip the paper from the corrugated box sides.  Its a really nice heavy brown paper, that takes a lot of water and rubbing and sewing into without buckling or tearing.  I’ve had these small pieces saved in a box for the longest time – but I knew I would find a way to use them eventually!

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Found objects , leaves, stones, twigs, old pieces of darning…whatever seems right at the moment.  I’m sewing the pages together and binding it with cardboard backing.  For the backgrounds I’m using mostly watercolors and oil pastels – my two favorite mediums.  I’ve only completed a few pages which I’m sharing with you today.  I drew the moths on some scrap papers leftover from the last project.  I bought the bunny at a flea market – I think its from an old cuckoo clock.  He has a nice little red bead for an eye.

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The mountains were made from the paint over edges when I made paste papers.  They were the papers laying on the work surface to protect the surface from the paint.  I’d torn a piece from the edge and folded it down so it was the white torn side against the paste paper over brushing and I thought it looked like mountains.  I glued it over the scraps of over brushing, and painted it in blue, purple, and gray. I think it does look like mountains in the background, and strata in the foreground. I outlined the torn edges a little so they would show up more.

I’ve still got more to do – more to color  and layer over the brown base.

Journal Play

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Now that I’ve finished the artist’s book project – I’ve been cleaning up my studio room, and playing with paint and some fire in my daily art journal (which is rarely daily!)  I have a sheet of heavy paper that has strings running through it, and after I finished this profile sketch I decided to cut some holes in a strip of the paper, but the holes were too uniform so I lit a candle and held the hole over the flame for a second to burn the edges – I think it was just what I wanted to happen.  Before I did the sketch I had pasted down a bunch of leftover “aged” paper from the book project.  I love the brown color.  That little face upper left was a paint blob that I had to draw in.

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This was the same background, but I painted indigo blue watercolor over it.  I used the cutout circles from the strip I burned.  I don’t know what kind of paper it is, but I’ve had it forever and now I wish I had more of it, but I’ve no idea what its called.  If anyone knows, please let me know.  Its a natural color, heavy wt, but soft, and there are vertical and horizontal threads running through it.  It burns pretty quickly too!

These pages are 8.5 x 6 inches.  Handmade watercolor paper, about 200 lb.  Made in India.  Its very bumpy so it isn’t very good for drawing, but its very nice for watercolor and gouache.  Paint puddles and runs creating interesting patterns.  I used oil pastel, pencil and some brown and some blue watercolor for the sketches.