Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Working in the studio, I am using a lot of imagination as I move things around, tossing things and rearranging my creative space.  You would think that a space this large would have lots of space around it, but it doesn't.  I am a creature of comfort and coziness.  I love LOTS of stuff in a space. 

Thinking of how to arrange it for maximum efficiency, the only drawback is that it has been a certain way for almost 5 years...it was working pretty good...I knew where most things were.  Now, with my REORGANIZATION - which is 'like things' in places together..I may be lost for awhile.  But oh well. This task has taken me a LONG time to get going. 

Each day I said that old Nike motto to myself, "Just Do It".  Didn't work.  I jump started it yesterday and today by moving my concrete block bookcase and reorganizing it.  Oh my aching back...but it WILL be done by week's end and the new year. That is my goal!  Check back to see if I did it! 

Just brought in some magazine racks, from the trailer we used to pick them up.  We got the shelves from my bro and sister-in-law in KC, who bought a house from a guy who sold office furnishings.  Primo items he left there - including a treadmill that will be part of the New Year's res.  Once these cool shelves go together - and they are fun to assemble (rubber mallets make one feel the power..."ooo-ooo-ooo!") -  I can get all my art mags organized, I should be off and running, because in one breath I can recite what has to be moved and where.  I made a little grid out of grid paper, with little furniture to 'scale'.  Tried software online, but it took too long, so I measured things, sat at the drawing table and made my little paperdoll room in several possibilities.   Found one that I liked - taped it down and went with it. So far, so good.  Maybe watching hours of HGTV have helped lately.  Love those shows where they redesign spaces.

One thing that I find interesting, is you move stuff around, neatly put things away with more organization, making it look neater and less cluttered, and you end up with this glut of stuff you don't know what to do with.  It's definitely separating the 'needs' vs. the 'wants'. In that respect it's like the "Cleaning Spaces" show with Niecy Nash.  I am one of those people on that show and have been for most of my life.  Not quite to 'hoarder' status, but a very close second (and hey, don't they say that you are a true artist, if you have a lot of stuff and you are usually in disarray?)  You just never know when you might need that old VHS rewinder, or those 'teaching files' from 5 years ago.  Talk about clutter!

I think I am finally starting to see what it's going to be like. Yeah!
5 Beatles CD's on 'shuffle' really help!
(and yes, I rewrote this from yesterday's post.  I sometimes get in a hurry to post and don't think about explaining myself)
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where I Stand Saturday

As you may know, this post is usually "Where I Stand Sunday" however, where I stand today (Saturday) is usually where I stand tomorrow, when I am home.  The studio needs some rearranging and organization and just plain revamping.  Boxing up things, so heavy stuff with removal of things off of shelves and out of drawers can be moved more easily. 
"Seaport Sunflower"
8" x 10"
watercolor/gouache
Arches coldpress
If interesting in purchasing this or any of my art go to my Etsy shop.
I am still in the watercolor mode.  I find that I have trouble leaving the paper white - like around the sunflower - it would have helped with the brightness of the petals, but I ended up using white gouache to bring it back up into the light.  Working background to foreground works OK, but lighter then darker, or transparent layers - often doesn't and I end up painting into the light that I wanted to leave.  I have such a mindset in dark to light.  I tend to go too opaque (and I know that sometimes watercolor can be opaque - but I'm going for that transparent look).

I am giving this medium some time and so onward with practice.  Artistic struggle at the most.  And I realize...sometimes - even though you want your work to be a certain way, it isn't.  Does that ever happen to you?...and even if you rework and have it there, it is sometimes just NOT THERE.  But when you ACHIEVE WHAT RESULTS YOU WERE AFTER and you know it, there is nothing better!  Lots of books and magazines and DVD's to learn with so maybe I can have that feeling with watercolor some day. 

Instead of JUST COLD, it decided to snow a little here today.  Just a dusting.  I am ready for more.
Thanks to my floral designer daughter, I have lots of flower resource material.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mixed Media/Watercolor-Pastel

"Poppies II"
watercolor and pastel
4" x 6"
Canson watercolor paper
Experimenting with these two mediums. The pastel needs a 'tooth' to set down on the paper and there isn't any.  The surface is pretty smooth.  Once I spray fixed it 'on purpose', I added pastel into the wet surface and it made for an interesting finish, feels and looks almost "impasto" and a little abstract.  I also realized that my Photoshopping efforts weren't making my photos bright enough once blogged, so this one seems a little pumped up bright to me.  I am trying to get this 'watercolor' painting idea - in the meantime - so different to use if you are used to oil or pastel.  Lots of practice and 'duds'  - a title my brother used to give to his firecrackers that didn't explode when he was a little boy. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

Visiting family in KC, delivering art, picking up some furnishings - to keep or pass-on...thinking of a reconfigeration of the studio.  COOOOLD here..snowed a little, and as always - enjoy the company and the extra added pleasure of reading a REAL newspaper. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Holiday Photo Card - the Making Of...

While on our trip west, we decided to take our family group photo in Wyoming.  We have done this photo (last year's was at home) a couple of years in a row.  Each year, it is comical to think about how it would be possible to get every dog looking towards the camera, being still and me being ready for the flash of the shutter.  Here is a shortened sequence of the event...
Getting the scenic composition set-up..
Next wrangle the dogs, as soon as I get get the camera ready for a timed shutter release...

Oops, that one didn't work...
we've got to be a little quicker!
Hmm, Chaco, I don't think this one will do.
And after about 7 more..
This is the best one!  After some Photoshop crop and color, lighting and contrast adjustment and VOILA!

Happy Holidays from Pattie and Gene ~
Bailey, Chaco and Herman (RIP), too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Mixed Media Painting

"Agavetito"
4" x 6"
mixed media - watercolor and pastel
on Canson XL watercolor paper
I have been feeling like painting in watercolor.  To achieve a more brilliant contrast, I added pastel on top.  Once I used spray fixative, the darks darkened and the lights got richer.  I don't usually spray fix..but found it important for this piece to 'do it's thing'.

Comes already framed..
with matboard and glass.
Check it out on Etsy .

New Digs to Hang With

I live where there aren't a lot of opportunities to show locally.  The coffee shop in Downs, Kansas, closed awhile back which left a big whole in the world of "being out there".  Until now...
A fairly new place is open and alive in Osborne, Kansas...that's about 35 miles away from  me.  My friend Jan Schoen and I...have work hanging there for show and sell.  There are a few other artist's who have hung their work, as well.
If you live in the North Central Kansas area, stop in.  Dave makes great coffee and food!  It's a little taste of history in this old building. 
Our pieces on view (4 each for now).  It's a nice bright, sunny spot on this wall.
We are looking forward to the exposure and further interest in our work and Harvey's!
Here's the lunch menu if you are interested.

Great specialty coffees, teas and drinks as well! 
We plan on stopping by for the live music some Friday evening!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where I Stand Sunday

While watching a very poorly played football game on Denver's part, I took the liberty of beginning a little holiday knitting...better late than never.  Have a request - new coat needs a chapeau!  So, grandmother is away with her needles!
Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me and a few others (who faithfully post this day) by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave me a message or a comment and we will include you in our fun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Wintertime Focus

A new book came in the mail today...I think I will hunker down with this one for many days and weeks to come.  James Gurney - creator of Dinotopia (awesome) has put together a very interesting guide to color and light, two very important fundamentals for artists.  Gone are the days of getting a book from North Light Book Club (not long ago) and discovering that the book you purchased has very few color plates in it.  This book is filled with examples of vivid paintings!  I can't wait to dive into it!! 
If you care to check out James' blog you can visit it here:



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Watercolor for Today

"Trois Paires de Bottes"
watercolor on Arches cold press
8" x 10"
Layers of transparent watercolor is a lot of fun, hairdryer in hand..makes it quicker.
Is it snowing in your area yet?  I have been watching the weather in the East U.S. and brrr...makes me cold and want to hunker down for the winter already!  Take care up there!