Friday, October 23, 2015

Studio Update

Never apologize for your studio.
                     ~ Denise Bezanson


You may remember the chaos in my studio when we first moved into our house. This Fall I've been slowly and steadily working to make the space as user-friendly as possible. The studio isn't finished yet, but it's come a long way and I thought I'd share the progress. So, starting from the left corner of the room and spinning around to the right: 

This is the sitting area, with cat-friendly but not terribly photogenic coverings for the chair. The 1950's era built-in closet and drawers on the left provide lots of space to store big pads of paper and canvases. Plus I love all the natural wood.

Painting space and work table. The cart to the right of my easel was designed for kitchen use, but it is perfect for in the studio. It's on wheels, has a drawer, shelves and room for my palette on top. Thank you, Ikea! 

Shelves for still life stuff, and Tikka's look-out tower. I may extend the shelves along the top of the right-hand wall as well. It's great storage without taking up precious floor space.

And last but not least, here's the area where I put on my graphic designer's hat. Tikka's food dishes are cleverly hidden under the printer stand on the right and her (enclosed!) litter box is to the left of my desk.

Wanting to squeeze a sitting area, work space, and computer area, along with the cat's litter box, food dishes and cat tree into a 9' x 11' space was challenging, but I was very motivated. For the first time in my 26 years as an artist, my paints and computer are not sharing a guest room/office with my husband, or on the dining room table, or in the basement wedged in between the furnace and washing machine. At last I have a room of my own! (Well, okay, I'm sharing with the cat, but technically it's mine...)

Disclaimer: My studio is never this tidy. I cleaned moved stuff to another room for the photos.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Bad Day of Painting Is Better Than a Good Day at Work

The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time.
Always listen to the art.
                                                                                                             ~ Junot Diaz

The camera made the sky look more deep blue than it actually was.
It was still pretty darn beautiful though.

What with moving earlier this summer and now work on the house, it's been too long since I've been able to get out and do some on-location painting. I was lucky enough to get a weekend to myself, and the weather report was telling me I'd have two calm and sunny days before the next system rolled in, so I packed the car with my painting supplies and headed out into the wilds. The fall color was stunning, particularly the groves of cottonwood trees along the rivers, and there were so many beautiful spots to choose from. I wasted a lot of time going from spot to spot, wondering if the next one would be even better. I told myself that at least I was scouting the locations for my second day out. (A quote from Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back jumps to mind "All his life has he looked away, to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, hmm?" - That pretty much describes me, too.)  

Cottonwoods Along Rock Creek - approx. 6" x 6", oil on canvas.

Well, it turns out this was the only painting I managed to complete, as the weather reports lied and on the second day a strong wind was thrashing the trees around and rolling tumbleweeds across the roads. Some die-hard plein air painters would still work under those conditions, but I'm a wimp. So regretting all those "scouting" stops the day before, I sadly turned my car around and headed home with only one (not terribly successful) painting to show for my whole painting weekend. Then again, painting one mediocre painting is better than not having gone out at all.