Studio in progress

I have had quite the busy week. I am finally fulfilling a dream of mine. I've been setting up a studio in the extra/laundry room downstairs. This has required moving furniture around, sorting through a myriad of belongings, etc. Right now, the space is an unholy nightmare - boxes and boxes of stuff needing to be unpacked, organized and put away. They are just piled on and around the tables and storage cubes in the area. Plus I have two easels taking up room, too.

It had become quite obvious that in order to make any sense of this mess, I needed a lot more storage containers and perhaps even a plastic cart with drawers or two. So I dedicated my Saturday to visiting thrift shops around town. I needed to do this on the cheap, and quite frankly, I'm not too concerned about getting nice, new, matching things. Yes, it would be nice, but I don't want to be worrying about messing up my pretty new things. With this stuff, I can just concentrate on creating and who cares if it gets splattered with paint and hot glue. :-)

I had a BRILLIANT time! I ended up going to five different thrift shops and I scored some awesome stuff. My very first stop, I scored the plastic three drawer cart I wanted for only $5.25! Turns out Salvation Army (or Sally Ann's as they're now being called) was having a 50% off sale all day. :-) So of course I visited two more of them, along with two others in town.

I found bins and little storage boxes, big stacking drawers and all of this for less than I would have paid for just one new three or four drawer cart. I even found a huge frame with glass that I could use to make a big palette for my paint. I turned it into that palette last night and as soon as my studio is up and running, I'll get to start using it. YES! I will finally have plenty of room to mix up all the paint I need. I've been using a 16x20 palette, but I keep running out of room. Not any more. :-)

So now, all I need is the energy and perseverance to go through all of this junk and get it put away. It feels good to know that I'm getting closer and closer to making this dream a reality.

Awesome new art blog

I love to paint. Especially portraits of women. I like to do fun decorative paintings, such as the flowers and sun that I blogged about earlier, but I'm most passionate about painting women. Even as a child, that was what I preferred to draw. So when I found this newest art blog, I was thrilled. It's called Women Painting Women: Favorite paintings of women by women, with a focus on contemporary, living artists.

It's providing me with much inspiration. Do check it out! I'm being introduced to many new artists through this and hopefully you will, too. :-)

First portrait from class

Just wanted to post a picture of the nearly-finished portrait from my class. There's one more, but it's still a work in progress. It's amazing how much I've learned from this class. Loving it!



Plus I've become obsessed with some flower sketches I've been working on and as soon as I finish up this next portrait, I'm going to start experimenting with them. Lots of color - bold and vibrant!

Sharpie Doodle ATC's

I mentioned sharpie doodles in my last post and thought do a quick post on those. I have recently become obsessed with doing sharpie doodle artist trading cards. They're easy, fun, and let me stretch a bit with the imagination. Plus I can do them while I watch my favorite shows. :-) This is the first batch I did:



This is the second and latest batch that I've finished:



I've got a bunch more that I've started. Fun little things and very addictive. Plus I'll be able to use them for swaps!

Finally!

I am finally able to log onto the internet! I've missed it. On the other hand, I think it was actually quite helpful. I was freed from the temptation to waste hours and hours of time on the internet and instead, I used many of those hours to do all sorts of creative projects, from artist trading cards to sketches to making my resin covered magnets/pins/pendants/keychains to painting. It's been good!

My Portrait Painting in Oils class has been wonderful. I mean, I am learning SO MUCH from it. I just finished up my first portrait from the class. It's a 20x24 portrait of a model named Holly. And I would post a picture of the portrait but... when I went to my house this afternoon, I remembered to take my camera so I could get a picture, but I forgot to get the memory card from my laptop, which meant I couldn't take a picture. GRRRR! But I will hopefully be posting one in the next day or two.

A week ago I started my second house sitting job for my sis Alicia and her darling kitten Penny. I decided to take three days off work to paint. It was the best decision! Dedicating that time to painting just did wonders for me. But having to go back to work on Thursday? That was hard. It was so painful to tear myself away and go back to the normal routine. One day I'd love to have the painting be my normal routine.

Monday I didn't get any painting done, but I did go to see the movie Slumdog Milllionaire. Loved it. Tuesday and Wednesday I painted, painted, painted! The only painting I'd been doing for a while was the portrait and I needed to take a break from it. So I took some little sharpie doodles I'd been doing and decided to do some fun decorative paintings with acrylic.





They came out pretty good, but I'd like to try them in oils. I do better work with oils. I did do backgrounds on two other canvases and I think I will do both of those in oils. They'll be flowers, too.

I started a new portrait in class on Wednesday. I did the underpainting in sap green and I sketched it out on the canvas. The paint is pretty dry now, so I'll be starting on the actual painting soon. I'm trying hard not to think of the class ending this month. I hate to see it end. This class in particular has been the most helpful. I'll have to keep my eye out for additional courses and in the meantime, keep up the painting.

Linda, the artist teaching the course, recommended a couple of books by a teacher at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. That's where Linda took a workshop in portrait painting in January. I received them in the mail Wednesday and have been delving into them. I'm starting with "Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Tradional Studio Practice" and then I will continue with "Classical Painting Atelier." They are quite fascinating and the art inside is inspiring me.

I need to focus more on my drawing skills. I've been sketching a lot lately, but it's vague ideas for paintings or my sharpie doodles - like the paintings above. I've always preferred drawing/painting people over landscapes, even as a child, so I need to realy start sharpening my skills by doing more figure drawings. I know of a place or two in town where I could attend some figure drawing sessions, so I'm may try to get my courage up and attend.

I think my experience with them in a previous art class has me scared about it. I felt so inadequate, I was floundering around and doing a crap job with a lot of the assignments and the figure drawings. (It didn't help that partway through the class my life kind of blew up in my face and I was really struggling emotionally. It was BAD.) We had to work with charcoal A LOT in that class. Charcoal and I HATE each other. I despise using it and just can't get the hang of it. Plus I felt like the information presented in the class wasn't always the clearest or complete. But it wasn't all bad and there were times when I was pretty happy with the results. Like this:



This was my favorite of the figure drawings. But honestly? I want to do better. And I know I can. And that blasted fear of doing more figure drawing classes is a sure sign that I really do need to take them. I hate the way that works!

Anyway, it's past 1:30 am and I need to go hit the sack. I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. :-)

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