Friday, November 29, 2013

I forgot to "KISS "

Dogwood Abstract # 4
So, it turns out I'm working on a series.  Not fully intending to, I have found comfort and inspiration at the same time in these elements, which started from a fairly realistic macro of a dogwood blossom. This one was drawn and painted in no time at all, half sheet, as a way of 'breaking the ice' in the newly finished studio. It certainly accomplished that, although I didn't think about  it long enough. What I learned already from it is KISS - keep it simple, stupid!   I used (attempt) to apply that when designing computer applications but you can see that I lost track of it here.
The next one has been designed and a few of the shapes already painted (washes are drying right now).  I hope I simplified enough.
This is the first time I'd call what I was working on a series, and I'm wondering how long I'll want to keep it up.  I seem to be in love with the colors (cerulean and quin burnt orange on the light and bright shapes, indigo, washed with hookers green dark, for the "background"), and am not ready yet to abandon them. And the shapes themselves, and the patterns, are becoming comforting, like old friends. I expect I'll get myself into a rut pretty soon and will have to rock the boat somehow. Just not this month.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Studio I EVER EVER hoped for!

Won't take a lot of time to write, because it's time to get painting again. ESPECIALLY as I now need to justify this wonderful room that has been made over. Mostly it's the floor making the difference, but it's been reorganized and redesigned too: As I had to find places elsewhere in a small house to temporarily store stuff, I found it a great time to review what's really wanted and needed.  And as everything got moved back in, it was a great time to think about where things should be, instead of just sticking another shelf on an available wall.

I love it.  No longer disappointed that I must "settle" for a basement studio.  I want to spend all my time there now (and isn't that the whole point?). Bye now: back to that half sheet you can see that I've just started on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Half a Studio is better than None

I decided to  be creative for the floor, choosing a diagonal checkerboard of the standard (in-stock) colors I found at Home Depot. I was afraid the white was too bright and the beige too dark!

I found an excellent demo from Armstrong floors on Youtube which I watched several times. It reminded me that one had to start in the middle of the floor and work to the edges.  There were wonderful geometry-like steps to make a perfect diagonal starting from the middle, and they worked perfectly.   I just wish I'd paid more attention to which half of the floor to start on.  I spread the glue on the back half of the room and waited. And waited. And waited for it to be tacky-dry enough to start. Then laid the tiles you see. Don't they look wonderful?

So, the next step is to spread glue on the rest of the floor. Wait for it to dry enough. And again, go back to the middle to lay my next tiles. 

Are you asking yourself  how the @#$^$# am I going to get BACK to the middle, across that very strong glue?  I sure am. Stay tuned. I think this project is stretching out a bit longer than I had hoped. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thank you so much!

To all the lovely and special friends who were able to come last night to the reception and wine tasting, and to see my artwork, a hearty thank-you! I was terrified - something like stage fright? -  but you all made it into a happy and memorable evening: I only hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did!

 A special thank you to my Big Sister Sally for the generous and delicious provisions she brought  - and served  and maintained etc - all the way from Ann Arbor's famous Zingermanns - oh my, Sally: you've outdone yourself.

Thanks of course to Pat of Fieldstone Winery whose wines made all my paintings look so much better. And to Christine who made it possible.

I do apologize to every one of you: the turnout was so nice that I wasn't able to spend as much time with each of  you as I would have liked.  There were countless times when I rudely interrupted a well-begun conversation with you, to greet the next newcomer - so many unfinished conversations: we will need to manage to continue some of them, and soon.

My artwork is still on display at Fieldstone Winery in Rochester, and will be through the end of  November.  I hope that if you were unable to join us last night, you will still manage to stop by during the month  and take a look at what I've been painting in the past year.  While you are there, try a glass of Pat's Tempranillo: it's a lovely red with the peppery character that I always enjoy in a wine.  I'm trying to resist opening the bottle I brought home tonight: need to save it for a special occasion. Although maybe having the reception behind me could be considered that . . . .

And finally,  a glimpse of the end of the evening: that's my dear husband Michael and sister Sally, recuperating a bit after cleaning up.  And a better view of the wall where the paintings were hanging.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What 's Happened to My Beautiful Studio???

Lew inspects the progress.
Well, I DO know what happened.

What with the show at the winery, this seemed like a good time to endure a makeover.  Our small ranch house has half a basement unfinished - painted concrete floors that my husband would like to tile.  The other half of the basement is "finished". Over the  years we've been here we've already torn down the paneling which held the damp against the cinder block. We also tore down the (too low) drywall ceiling, leaving studs and rafters.    What was left was the floor, still covered in very old industrial carpet and very VERY old linoleum tiles.  So that's going too, finally, and Good Riddance Indeed.  Others may not define this as a finished basement anymore, but it feels so much cleaner already.  Never quite knew what lurked above the ceilings, behind the walls, and under the carpet. 

We'll do a bit of patching with hydraulic cement, repaint the cinder block with Drylok, and finally install fresh NEW linoleum squares, the kind you are meant to have in a not perfectly dry basement.

And THEN I get to have my studio back.  I can't wait!