Sunday, February 10, 2008

Explanation of Portrait

This is an example of my portrait work. The young ladies are sisters and my great-nieces. They were getting ready to attend a party. This painting will represent my artwork when I am a juror for the San Diego Watercolor Society in early March.

Keefe Lasses - watercolor

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Creating the Space article

Creating the Space. It’s a work in progress.
Part one in a 7 part series.

The Dream
When we bought our house I was thrilled with the north light that flowed into the kitchen and the two story family room next to it. I was finally going to have the studio of my dreams.

The Reality
My studio was not compatible with creativity. That well-lit room is also the core of the house; everyone entering has to pass through it. There were lots of interruptions. Covering the kitchen/art table to protect it from art media meant uncovering it for every other occasion. The table was too low for me to work at comfortably. Sometimes we cleared one end and ate among my art supplies. When guests came, that is where everyone gathered. Each time my art supplies were cleared away and stored in cupboards out of sight it meant walking into that bare space the next morning. It was daunting.

I got very little art work done and all of it was on a small scale. There was no wall space to hangs works in progress and I was constantly rummaging to figure out the next project. There was no room for framing supplies so they were stored in a basement closet and had to be brought upstairs and set up every time I wanted to finish a piece. And, with constant access to the kitchen, I found I was rewarding myself with a little “something” too often and I put on weight.

The Solution
I moved my studio into the basement, previously considered the TV room. I realized what a great space I had been overlooking. It is carpeted in a durable neutral shade, is surrounded by cupboards which hold my supplies, has a sliding glass door that provides a view (facing north), and has an attached bathroom. A couch and chair were angled toward a corner for casual times. With a kitchenette and tea pot to keep hot water ready for tea and a pellet stove, the room is very cozy.

I created and art table out of a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood and three sawhorses on risers and use stools for seating for me and my students. One large wall is suitable for hanging multiple works-in-progress. Having my art on display energizes me and keeps my ideas flowing freely. All I needed to do was enhance the lighting which we accomplished with three tracks, and 12 lamps. A separate small room is set up for framing and it is always ready for use.

I’ve had friends, clients, fellow artists and committees meet in this room. I no longer have to apologize for the space, clean it up ahead of time or convert it. It looks like what it is, a studio. My dream studio was there all this time. And, I know I will be making changes as my needs change. The perfect studio is a work in progress.