Sunday, October 30, 2011

Studio #21: North Wall

The Morgan Block Building in Historic Fairhaven and is owned by the People's Land Trust.  We, the selected artist's run the building, have monthly meetings were we make decisions about repairs, work hours, mutual art openings, etc.  And we spend many hours working on our given artistic expression.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we'll have an open studio complete with hot cider and cookies.  You can see my studio then and enjoy the art of my fellow painters, jewelers and potters.

This is the north wall of my studio.  As you can see I have a couple of windows that open into a window well that used to be open to the roof, so lots of air circulation.  We had leaking problems into Artwood below, so we had a skylight installed over the top.  We still have some cross ventilation if the other studios also have their windows open, but very little otherwise.  Still, it adds extra light and beauty.

I love this old building, lots of wonderful woodwork, wainscoting, pressed brass hinges and ornate knobs.  Come see me at 1000 Harris, #21 on Dec. 3rd. 10-3:30


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Studio #21: North Wall

I began painting in my attic bedroom when I was in gradeschool.  Sounds funny, I know.  But I was only 12 and it was that or my brother's basement bedroom, or the kitchen table (not private enough).  I loved the color of Spokane sunsets, so I painted the silhouette of a Ponderosa Pine with a gorgeous orange sunset behind.  Unfortunately, I ran out of oil paint--it a Christmas gift, you know those little tubes, a wooden box, some brushes.

As an adult, I painted in many different set-ups: dinning room table, a small enclosed back porch, and a freezing upstairs bedroom. Eventually I built an amazing studio, 20 x 20, overlooking the shipping lanes of Puget Sound.  This place was great, complete with a bathroom.  I lived and worked there for six years before divorcing and moving to Bellingham.  Finally, I ended up in the Morgan Block Building, an artist co-op in Historic Fairhaven.

In this photo you see a 4' x 6' acrylic painting that I used an orchid plant as a model.  Orchids have great twisted air roots and wonderful pods that hold water for later use.  So fabulous.  The style I've used here is layer after layer of transparent paint, which makes for a lovely texture and lots of depth.

My studio is located at 1000 Harris.  If you want to come visit me, call and make an appointment: 710-7139.

Studio #21: South & West Walls

I feel most myself in my studio.  When I walk up two flights of stairs to the third floor, unlock my door and step inside, I let down.  I live across the street in a small condo, and while at home, which is also a place where I live with my art, I feel this ongoing pressure to clean up, or cook, or do wash, check emails, watch TV, etc..  In the studio, I sweep once in awhile, I take out the trash, or I go through my paints and discard the tubes that have dried up--but mostly, I create.

The pictures are of the South and West Wall of my studio. Yes, light comes in from the south.  South light for a painter is difficult, as it changes quickly, moving around the room and the spot of light you see, could fall on my canvas, which doesn't work.

North light is the ideal.   Plus, with bright light the eye, which is like a camera light meter, closes its aperture.  Then the lights and darks of the painting get skewed--because I can't see the values as well.  There are corrections that I can make in lighting.  One is, hang rice-paper shades on the windows.  I'll be hunting some down soon--I heard they have them a Home Depot.

The painting on the easel, Reflection at Padden Creek,  is from a new series: Reflections through the Seasons.  The one on the shelf, Skunk Cabbage, is also in the series. I've taken a number of photos on my Mt. Baker hikes to use as research for this series.  I'm excited and challenged by the task of capturing light on the surface of water, what is beneath the surface, and the object being reflected.  Very much fun and just like life, don't you think?