As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Repair, redo, rest. Repeat.

I'm in the final stretch of a forced basement remodel. We had a small slow leaking flood in the laundry room which left us with black mold and a task: Redo the basement how we have always wanted it, but never got around to because there was no emergency. Completely DIY, so it has taken months longer than I would have liked, but girl, has this girl got skills! I can hang dry wall, mud, put in molding, caulk, hang cabinets, tile and grout...and paint - of course, I already knew how to do that, but practice does make perfect! I bought a new angled brush that really cuts well and I found that I can trust my hand a little more on the edges with it, although I still taped quite a bit. Heck, I'm a regular jack of all trades these days.

So, my studio is there, in the basement... It was cluttered and dark and lacking in all things that inspire. Now, I've got bright can lights, bright tile floors and an empty room to fill up again. I'm not putting everything back, which will certainly cause another remodel somewhere else in our home, but for now, I need to create the perfect studio out of this small 12'6" x 12'6" room.



In progress, back recovering from tiling.

Little by little, things got done and now, after all these months, it has shaped up, into something for which I've been waiting many years; a creative and happy space to work and be inspired. I'm ready for re-entry. I can't wait to sit down at my desk and feel energized again with that verve! (Actually, I'm doing that now, writing this post.)

Today, the rug I've waited two weeks for arrived and the installation is complete. A studio that is brighter, finished, cleaner, neater, and full of less stuff. (Lots of stuff, but less stuff.)

Here's a pic with the rug down, which is my final large addition to the space. It has lots of fun colors to keep me happy and pulls the yellow walls and the red and gold chair together. It was cheap enough I don't care if it gets an occasional paint mess on it, and it's washable, too, which is good because there are two to three canine companions hanging out with me on any given day. So, voila....my new space!

After; the finished studio, all ready to get back to work!

I used to say, "I'm going to the dungeon!" when I was headed off to work. That was when the basement still had concrete floors and a $20 gray throw mat on them, with a window that had no trim molding and raw wood, baseboards that were never installed and plenty of little cracks which invited in the spiders. More than that, I had no place elsewhere in the house to put all my stuff, so I resorted to buying more and more bookcases and shelving units until the perimeter was completely stuffed with, stuff.  My husband, when he saw the sheer volume of my displaced stuff (all of it necessary-that's what an art supply hoarder says), exclaimed, "You never had a studio, you were just painting in a storage room!"  Truth. Pfffllbbttt.

Before; a terrible cluttered, dark and complicated place.

By the way, the guest bedroom is now the storage room, so if you want to stay over, you may have to climb on the bed to get around it. In fact, I haven't opened the bed yet to see. Hope that works out. Well, I'm off to buy gutters, which will be used for leaning art. More pics and panoramas in the next post!

Have a nice day,
Rebecca


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Friday, February 28, 2014

Things that are working for me; note #2

Flowers.

Acrylic on wood panel

This is officially the last available panel of my Ethereal Flowers, Series I.  I thought I was sold out, but this little 6x6" panel was hanging out in a flower show downtown at the Artists Atelier Gallery & Studios, a neat community of really good fine artists, whose workspaces and showspaces are combined and delightfully in full view of the patron-visitor! Stop by Tuesday - Saturday, on Miami Circle in Atlanta and take home a work of art from the hands of a local artist. So, the flower show ended today and I was able to bring this piece home and offer her to you.  

I have recently opened a little gallery on Daily Paintworks, where you'll find only original paintings from painters all over the world., and me. I'll be offering paintings that occur in a series. I hope you'll visit my shop. I've provided a link below, which will continue to be available on the sidebar after this blogpost has moved down the list into oblivion. 

Have a nice day, Rebecca




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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

AC/DC and other inspirations for painting

Custom hand painted glass ornament
Made to order of your favorite furry friend!
For more info: Smelly Rhino Studio


Yesterday was so balmy, incredible. A day not to be inside.  Today was a great studio day.  Overcast, plus, I had a dose of sunshine yesterday so I felt like being cooped up!

So, into the studio to work on some custom orders.

After perusing Facebook a while to procrastinate before committing to my paintbrush, I read a post from a childhood friend asking what heavy metal song is my favorite.  I took that to mean back in the day, which for me would have been the 80's.  He struck a chord in me, and I promptly went to iTunes radio and chose the AC/DC station, which in turn started up my favorite rock song, one to begin a decade, (1980.) "Back and Black"-- It isn't even heavy metal! HA!  I have zero idea how this came to be my favorite, but I never tire of hearing it, even though I was the teenager who loved the B52s and Cindy Lauper and all things New Wave, and couldn't have cared less about hard rock at the time.  Still, AC/DC stayed with me. weird.

So, after nearly 30 years, you can imagine how overjoyed I must have been when movie makers chose the song for the beginning of the first Ironman movie, which is my favorite superhero movie of ever, bar none! I left it on the station all afternoon and a plethora of 70's and 80's tunes, which apparently are considered "likeable" if you also like AC/DC, graced my ears -- Ozzie Osborne, Led Zepplin, Def Leopard and Guns N Roses. I know, Hair bands don't really qualify as heavy metal, but hey, I already mentioned I wasn't on a heavy metal channel.  It was awesome for my nostalgia seeking heart.

So, this ornament is what got finished during my reign of hair banditude. (yea, I made up that word.)

Ps. Hard rock seems to have a similar effect on me as heavy metal while painting; productive.

Have a nice evening,
Rebecca

For more information on how to order your own custom ornament, visit my Artfire shop or my Etsy shop and shop securely with confidence and checkout with Paypal or try direct checkout!


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

A little Patriotism on a quiet winter morning

View from my studio after Atlanta snow


This is the view from my studio window, looking past the backyard through the trees, after a 3 day ice and snow storm which has kept all of Atlanta indoors.  The winter morning has been quiet, with nothing but a bird and a squirrel to interrupt the serenity of the scene.  I took some snap shots on my phone to text to friends with hopes of seeing their views in return.

Eventually, I made it down to my studio, which I lovingly call, "The Dungeon," even though it's in a daylight basement with a window.  This morning, though, it is my fortress of Solitude.  I continued to marvel at the beautiful snow covered scene from this vantage point, and as I gazed, listening to my morning Mozart, I discovered something rare and precious.  What looked at first to be a nearly black and white photograph, suddenly revealed the most startling tiny and wondrous spot of color.  Out through the woods, far off in the distance, across a road which is camouflaged from view, there stands a lonely flagpole, upon it flying the lovely red and white stripes and blue and white stars of the American flag.  "Wow!" I thought, with real awe, "How beautiful is that?"

I find it fitting that this scene would present itself to me during the Olympics, when I am most likely to feel Patriotic.

Small moments like this make me want to slow down just a bit more to enjoy the view, pay just a little more attention to those nearly hidden little gems of contrast that make things more interesting. My husband will be happy I pulled out my new camera (for the first time since receiving it at Christmas) to take this 300 yard shot of this one small but precious moment in time.

Have a nice day,
Rebecca
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Shoprags, and other things that are working for me...

I know it's already February, but I haven't taken a moment to say Happy New Year yet.  Unbelievable! I have been habitually accustomed to an end of year message, and then a sparkling next year's message inciting problems establishing good habits and breaking old ones, and my particular brand of obstinate laziness, aka, procrastination, followed by the fluff of my intentions for the year.

This year, I want to do something different. No. I want to do a lot of things differently. I want to improve, as I think I do a little each year, but I also want to remember some really great things that worked for me.  So, that's how I begin the year, with little posts about things that worked and how I plan to improve them!


Shop rags, freshly folded out the dryer.  My trusty companions in the studio. They carry the stains of my efforts, the memories of every painting I've painted in the last 6 years since I began my career as an artist.  It's pretty cool when I think about it, and really, it hadn't occurred to me until I began folding them just about 15 minutes ago, that they really do have the marks of all of my combined works since 2008.

The first major success I want to mention, one that has been steadily climbing the past three years in a row, are my custom painted pet ornaments. Yep, painting those cute little critters have REALLY worked for me. My customers even seem to enjoy the ordering process as well as receiving my work. They even enjoy sharing their little treasures with others, which has proved to be a wonderful referral business for me.  The only downside to painting ornaments is handling the volume that comes in late in the year. I even had to extend the deadline from Halloween to November 15th in 2013 because people still weren't in the mood for Christmas shopping. But, then, the floodgates opened and wow, what a year I had. What a delight to paint so many sweet lovely little creatures, but I was so swamped that I hardly had time to enjoy my own holiday. I was also disappointed to have to turn away a large number of ornament orders, because many found me very late in the year and there just wasn't enough time to paint them all. Fortunately, there were a number of clients who opted to receive a gift certificate or who were willing to wait for delivery after Christmas. I learned that I need to better understand how to reach people year round so I can be painting these ornaments all the time. So, my goal for improvement is to reach my audience earlier, continue to deliver an outstanding product, delight my customer, and enjoy every part of my holiday to the max!


Thank you for giving me the joy of painting as I begin year 7 of my adventures in painting. If I could share with you how happy this makes me, it would be in the form of a gigantic smile and big hug.

Have a nice day,
Rebecca
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