Artist Residency: Day 9

For the 9th day of my in-studio artist residency, I approached the studio with a sense of urgency — I had to complete these next two paintings by tonight in order to achieve my goal of 6 paintings, because tomorrow, my artist residency ends. Tomorrow my life returns to the usual obligations, tasks and distractions. I have today…I have right now.

So without hesitation, I jumped into my painting apron, and started right away on touching up the drips on the autumn rain painting — using a fan brush to feather out some of the hard lines as the colors had dripped side by side.

IMG_1315I needed to start in on my 6th canvas, so I moved the spring rain painting, which was mostly dry to the touch (albeit a little sticky), to the drying rack to join its friends winter and summer rains. I began added paint daubs in sunrise colors to this newly blank canvas — oranges, golds, reds, and dark deep purples and ultramarine blue.

It came time to start the “smear campaign” on the sunset painting, as the paint daubs from yesterday were still wet. I dribbled stand oil lightly all over the canvas with a palette knife, then lightly pressed into the painting and dragged downward in vertical lines from top to bottom, cleaning the palette knife in between.

IMG_1305Then I moved to the sunrise rain painting, added stand oil in light drips across its surface all the way from top to bottom. I left the stand oil to drip while I grabbed a quick lunch and finished writing and publishing yesterday’s blog post, then I went to work feathering out the drips on the sunrise and sunset canvases.

I think that sometimes an idea turns out just the way you had envisioned it, and sometimes it doesn’t. The colors looked great for the sunrise rain painting when I had blended in all the colors together using a dry brush technique before applying the stand oil. After a few hours, the stand oil had dragged the navy/ultramarine blue color all the way from the top down to the yellow at the bottom, causing the colors IMG_1313to run muddy, and dark, looking murky and dirty — which is not the effect that I had hoped to achieve. It this were a clay creation, I would have rolled it up into a ball and started kneading it all over — but it is a painting. So the next best option I had was to apply odorless mineral spirits to a rag, and rub away some of the dark muddy paint mixing, much like an eraser. Once those dark drip lines were gone, I was much happier with the outcome. Instead of trying to re-drip the stand oil on this particular canvas, I will instead wait for this layer to dry, then I will apply thicker paint dubs in this colors, and then apply the stand oil and smear. The viscosity of the stand oil has generally keep the colors from mixing in a dark, murky tone.

As this artist residency draws to a close, I have mixed feelings. I’m joyful and blessed that I’ve been able to spend 9-10 days intentionally in my studio to produce the beginning of a solid body of work. I’m thankful for the lessons that I’ve learned in making sure that my paints are taken care of, that my brushes are cleaned each night, and the discipline it’s taken to write a blog post at the end of each day to keep people apprised of the most recent day’s developments. I’m also feeling a little resentful that I can’t always spend this amount of time in the studio every day — I wish I could, and I hope to, at some point. But for the current time, being involved in a variety of different organizations, projects and being part of a community are all good tradeoffs for now. I will schedule another in-studio artist residency at some point again in the next year, as I found that it has reinvigorated my artwork in a way never before experienced — I felt like I was in art school again, working on something every day with a deadline and a fervor of eagerness to create. I’m going to hold on to these inspirational feelings and turn them into motivational actions to be more intentional in my daily art creation going back into my “regular” life.

Thank you for following along with my adventure here on this blog, and thank you for the many words of support and encouragement that I have received along this journey from the people in the blogosphere, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and from my community of friends, family and colleagues. Thank you for supporting and encouraging my art-making.

Artist Residency: Day 7

I can’t believe it’s already day 7 of my artist residency — I’ve been doing this now for one full calendar week, and I still have 2 days left. I started off by checking on the surfaces of the summer, winter and spring paintings — to see that there are no marred areas of the surface, and to check to see how dry/wet the surface still is. When checking the surface, I found that a few tiny bugs were also appreciators of fine art — they had attached themselves and immersed themselves into the art.

 So I took a small flat brush, dug them out of the paint, and then used a fan brush to lightly blend over the mark that their extrusion had created.

I reworked some of the surface of the spring rain painting, adding in some brighter spring colors over the stand oil and blending it in with a mix of paint and stand oil with a fan brush. I’m pleased with how the drips are coming along.

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Since I created the summer rain painting now 7 days ago, I thought it was just dry enough to move from my main canvas to the drying rack. I very carefully moved it from easel to drying rack, being careful of the pools of stand oil that had accumulated on the very bottom of the canvas, where the canvas rested on the easel base. Fortunately, even though it was sticky, it was no longer runny.

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Now I had a blank easel upon which to add a new blank canvas. I put my fourth canvas up on the easel, and toned it with a golden yellow color. This next painting will bring the series around to its seasonal full-circle, back to Autumn Rain (the one that inspired the rest of this series).

While I waited for some of the paint to dry a bit more, I took some time to add the “Art in Interior Spaces” section to my website, a page that shows some simulations for how some of my paintings would look “living” in different types of spaces: living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, offices, etc.

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Having put up 4 canvases for painting this week, it was time to buy more canvas! I took a trip to my local art store and found the 40″x30″ canvases on sale for 50% off! I was so excited about the sale and about the new canvas that I bought all 6 of that size left in stock. While I was there, I also picked up a new, sturdier portable easel that can handle tall paintings.

IMG_1189Upon my return from art-supply shopping bliss, I donned my painting apron and added paint daubs of yellow ochre, yellow-orange, orange-red, cadmium red and alizarin crimson in mixed hues to the autumn rain canvas.

Feeling productive for the day, and also wanting to catch up on the sleep that the lack thereof seemed to ruin yesterday, I cleaned my brushes and went to sleep a bit earlier than the nights prior (after watching a quick episode of Bob Ross on Netflix, of course).

 

Artist Residency: Day 1

Today I began my 10 day in-studio artist residency. The goal of these 10 days of dedication in my art studio without distraction is to produce 3-5 paintings, and to take care of some other tasks I need to dedicate time for my art business.

My first act in my artist residency, after cleaning the studio was to make a cup of tea — some of my most artistically inspired moments came after contemplating over a cup of tea. Then I got to work on finishing painting the edges of the commissioned painting that had just recently been revealed to its recipient (read more here about the story & the big reveal!) I deconstructed the special framing I had improvised for putting both panels of a diptych on the same easel and separated them for the first time since birth — since diptychs are, in many ways, like conjoined fraternal twins.

AIMG_0917fter completing the edges (which took about an hour more time than I had planned), I moved onto setting up my new guerrilla painter pochade paintbox. At an art event tomorrow I will be trying it out for the first time when painting plain air, so I wanted to give it a test run in the studio first to ensure that all the parts would fit together properly (they originally sent me two left-side panels, so the box wouldn’t close until they sent the right part). I began a multi-part painting that is going to be an interactive piece with the public tomorrow at the outdoor festival at which I’ll be hosting a booth of my art.

In preparation for starting my first 30″x40″ “abstracted rain” series painting,  took the plastic off the canvas and mounted it to my French easel in the corner of my studio — it’s a lot larger on that particular easel than other canvases I typically use. I toned the canvas using a bright and warm shade of yellow. Tomorrow I will begin placing the paint daubs of the rain colors while I’m in my art booth from 8am to 5pm.

Overall, it was a productive start to what I am hoping to be a productive artist residency.

Artist residency begins! 


I’ve blocked out my work plan for my in-studio residency over the next 9-10 days. I’ve got a lot to accomplish — time to get to work!

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Artist Residency

I’m preparing for an intensive 10 day artist residency from June 26-July 4, 2016. I plan to use this to devote 10 full-time days of working through the beginning few painting of my new “Abstracted Rain” series. I’m looking forward to this time of undivided time and attention to put towards this exciting new series. As a practicing artist, it can be all to easy to have my spare (and un-spare) time divided by the need to take care of what seems like a million obligations, deadlines, paperwork, documents, organizing, and social media.

I find that I’m most productive when I have unplugged from my cellular devices, have a freshly brewed mug of tea in hand, and have thoughtfully pre-planned how I anticipate I will break up my time. Giving thought in advance to what my goals are to be achieved during any specific period of time is always more productive than going through busy-work without an end-vision in mind. So for this ten-day period of artist residency, my goal is to develop four 30″x40″ paintings and a series of color and texture studies for the rest that I anticipate will follow in the series.

During my residency, I will only log onto my internet-capable computer only two times each day, and only for 20 minutes each — setting a timer.

I believe that this limitation will keep me from the endless black hole of social media posts and email to reply to. I will begin each studio work day at 7am, and I will end each studio work day at 9:30pm, concluding with a very brief blog entry detailing my highlights, struggles, and some details from the work that day.

If you would like to follow me on this adventure, please sign up for my email newsletter here (if you have not done so already). I will send an update with links to the blog posts within a week of finishing the artist residency.

A special thanks to my husband for his support of me and my art as I stretch to push myself to reach higher goals to achieve in the journey of my art career. I could not do this without his unending love and support.

Follow me in this next step in my ongoing art journey!