Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Studio space ready!

This past Sunday, I finally went to Home Depot and bought a drop cloth to protect the wall in the studio from any paint splatters. Since we rent our apartment, I have to think twice before I attempt any large scale work that might damage the wood floors or leave too much paint on the walls.
I managed to find a drop cloth that was white and not beige or canvas colour or transparent plastic. I wanted something made of light material that wasn't too heavy or bulky or too thick. The last thing I need is to drape a heavy piece of plastic coated canvas on the wall and make the studio look small again and stuffy.
What I found was a 4' x 10' drop cloth by SCOTT (yes, the paper towel people). It's very light and thin. One side is coated with plastic and the other with what seems to be unbreakable paper material. It only costs $6.49, so if it gets ruined, no big deal. I can always buy a replacement. But it seems quite sturdy and I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of it.
To protect the floor, I found an old piece of muslim canvas that is also thin and light, but sturdy enough for me to stand on while I paint.
In the picture above, the cute red metal table with the wheels was being used as a night stand in our bedroom. What a perfect piece to put my paint palette and brushes and I can wheel it around all over the room.
I also bought 1/4" masonite board and cut it to size (24" x 32")...perfect to fit standard 22" x 30" drawing papers. I want to continue my drawings on paper, but need to make them bigger like I used to when I was in university. I think the galleries will prefer these larger sizes.
So yes, the studio is finally set up and ready to go!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Domestic bliss

This weekend, I cleaned and cleaned and organized the apartment. Sometimes, I have a strong need to do this before I can continue any further with my painting. I need my space free of clutter otherwise my mind wanders and so does my art.
It all began Saturday morning in anticipation of our new mattress arriving. All of a sudden, I saw the opportunity to finally get around to re-organizing my studio space and in turn the rest of the apartment, including both kids' rooms. A certain furniture piece that wasn't working in one room got a new life and use when moved to another room in the apartment. By the end of the day, everything looked brighter and airier. Even the plants were happier.
Sounds boring and domestic?
Not to me.
I'm one of those people who hyperventilates just watching a tv episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive.
I need my space. And I need everything in it's place.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday Post # 6

Frankenstein's been feeling real good these days doing his spring cleaning and checking off his to-do list.
Here is an appropriate quote for this time of year.

You can't think clearly if your place is a mess.
                                                             -Josephine de la Baume

Friday, April 26, 2013

Anemone flowers

Anemone flowers series #6 and #7, casein paint on gessoed Stonehenge paper, 7.5" x 11",  2013

From now on, whenever I decide to buy cut flowers or a plant, I will make an effort to get the proper names of them. I am horrible at remembering people's names and even worse when it comes to flowers. I think this will help to improve the quality of titles for my paintings immensely. And I get to learn something new at the same time.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This was my to-do list a month ago. Got around to doing everything except # 2 and #3.

  1. haircut
  2. throw away old pyjamas
  3. start running again
  4. start swimming again
  5. go to the fruit market and the Italian food store in Little Italy and stock up on staples like parmesan cheese, eggs and olive oil
  6. buy a new mattress
  7. get bikes tuned up
  8. stop taking the bus and bike to anywhere I need to go

I love lists. And I like using an old fashioned pen and paper to write them down.
I never go into a grocery store unless I have a list ready, otherwise it leads to unnecessary purchases of food that are typically tasty but not good for you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Terraskin paper

I recently discovered a new type of paper...terraskin. Sounds like a medical procedure for plastic surgery, but no, it's paper made from stone. Yes, stone. Not sure how they make it, but terraskin is water-resistant, tear resistant, acid free with no fiber. No trees, water or bleach were used in its production.
You can use oil, acrylic, ink, pretty much any medium you want directly on it.

I made a few small portraits on terraskin last week and it works beautifully. The paper has an odd feeling of weight to it. It feels heavy and dense. I guess just like stone.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things take time

Landscape # 1 (Winter series 2013), acrylic paint, photo collage on gessoed paper, 11 x 14

This landscape is one of five that I made this past winter. They are inspired by photos that I took of the passing landscape when we drove to Ottawa last December. It was the beginning of winter and very cold, but the landscape varied from very white snow covered trees to very dry stalks of vegetation the colour of ochre.
I love it when my small little Fugi camera can correctly capture what my eyes see.
I photocopied a selection of these road trip photos and collaged one on a blank paper and used that as my starting point.
I am quote satisfied with the outcome and have plans to work on a larger scale if and when I can finally get my wall set up in my studio.
Things take time even in the art world.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ingeborga clay series

INGEBORGA series, acrylic on clay, 2013

Sunday was a productive day in the studio and I managed to finally finish this latest batch of clay sculptures. I hate the word "quirky" and I'm sure many people will use it to describe these clay figures, but I prefer to see my latest clay works as an exploration of the human face. I want to push the so called status quo of what is considered "human features" and see how far I can go until they become something else. What that is, I'm not quite sure yet and I still need to figure why I make clay sculptures and what my fascination is with making them and how they fit in with the rest of my art that I produce.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mattress with pocket coils

I bought a lovely bouquet of flowers on Thursday with the intention of painting them on Friday. But Augusto and I went mattress shopping instead (our old mattress is past it's prime and sleeping on it is no fun anymore). This wasn't our first mattress shopping expedition. It's been about a month that we've been checking store flyers and going to specific stores. You'd think it was an easy buy, but it's been more than 10 years since we bought our last mattress and since than the mattress world has changed dramatically. I actually did research on the internet to find out what the differences were between different mattresses, because the store salespersons are helpful, but not really forthcoming or straightforward.
We ended up with a Sterns & Foster (made by Sealy) luxurious firm, tight top. Combination of coil pockets (individually wrapped coils) with latex foam.  Got it at 60% off, plus an extra 10% discount, free delivery and a free mattress cover. Not too bad a deal. It'll arrive next Saturday. Can't wait.

So back to my painting.
Friday was a no-painting day. Saturday was supposed to be all-day painting day, but ended up being a late afternoon session in the studio. I set up my flower still life and began an acrylic and ink drawing of it. Midway, I became frustrated with the results, but my son liked it and thought it was good. I should have heeded his advise, but instead continued to work on the drawing using oil sticks and ended up with a crappy piece of art that is now sitting in the kitchen garbage can.
Not one who likes to waste (I had lots of paint left on my palette), I took out another piece of paper and did a small portrait drawing.

That's the wild card in the creative process. You start with an intention or an idea and sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't. Thing is to keep going and not freak out that you've lost your touch or that you don't know how to paint anymore. There's always more art waiting to be made.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday post # 5

Frankenstein has been trying to get back on track with things, but spring time brings warm weather and more excuses to go out. Not that it's a bad thing to go out and enjoy yourself, but it can delay any plans that one might have to work harder and get things done.
So here is Frankenstein's quote for today:

The best plan is no plan.

Plans are great to make, but one has to have a good sense of humour because plans have an uncanny way of changing on you most of the time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

That pesky flu

So, those pesky gnomes have been at it again and gossiping about everyone and everything.

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything. I caught the flu from my kids and passed it on to my husband, so we were all sick at the same time. It all started a few days before Easter weekend. No Easter eggs or chocolate for me. Everything tasted like cardboard and eating anything just made me more sick. I am only just now starting to feel like my old self again. Still got a little nagging cough, but that too is dissipating and should be completely gone this week.

This week is supposed to be sunny and warm with some rain, so spring is finally here (I think). I put all the winter boots away this weekend, so I really don't want to hear about anymore snow storms.

On this week's agenda:
  • Finish those clay sculptures that I started a few weeks ago
  • Get a haircut ( need one very badly)
  • Bring the bikes for a tune-up so that we can start commuting to work by bike instead of the bus
  • Start running and swimming again
  • Open the windows in the apartment and let in some fresh air

Have a great week!