Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My bounty

I had great intentions of spending evenings in my studio this week, cleaning and organizing. Unfortunately, a miserable cold is leaving me less than inspired. But I got a start this past weekend when I bought a few new bins and started re-organizing things. I sorted my acrylic paints, according to color groups into a 5-drawer bin. What a lovely sight! Even more exciting, I sorted, by size, all my blank stretched canvases. Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit...but no, I am proud to say I possess a great bounty of canvases just waiting for my loaded brush. Um, some 80+ canvases, in fact. In my defense, most are on the smaller side and I just stocked up during Dick Blick's semi-annual sale. Here they are pictured above...I have this great workstation that holds them all.

Seriously, I got excited just looking at them. I realize that I have a bit of an addiction these days to buying art supplies...but making art is what I do, it's what makes me happy. I don't go out to party and I don't spend a lot on clothes. I much rather buy a few tubes of paint than a pair of shoes.

For many years, when I was a single parent struggling to raise my kids, there were not a lot of extra dollars for art supplies. I feel blessed that I am now at a point in my life when I can splurge on this stuff. And I know that having the supplies means that when I have a moment of inspiration, I am able to get to work and create whatever I'm feeling/thinking.

There is no holding me back.

So, as soon as I recover from this nasty cold, I plan to get back in the studio, finish organizing, and start painting. I will post photos soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patty's

Everybody loves a parade, including me! St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in Saint Paul, so if you're a wee bit Irish you go to the parade...even though it starts in the middle of the day. It's a fun day of people watching and picture taking. (If you want to see a few more pics, you can see them here)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Play Date

I refuse to post a winter picture. Here's a shot of a beautiful, vibrant flower I took at the State Fair last year!

I've been living in the land of Blah, which is located in the state of Winter. Seriously, this current blast from the North Winds is really more than I can bear. (Our high temp today was in the single digits. Windchill below zero) I have not been sleeping well, which just adds to my doldrums. I have no energy. I feel fried at work (the day job) and frustrated at the studio. This is starting to suck.

I took today off for a "Mental Health Day". (My boss knew I needed it). Actually because of the weather, I went home early yesterday. I felt crappy yesterday, with an upset stomach. I fixed myself a "comfort" meal...a healthy "everything" pancake with ground flaxseed, dried blueberries, banana, and chopped pecans. Yum. (I saved a second one for this morning's breakfast. Double Yum).

I tried to sleep in this morning, but woke up at 7...earlier than I do somedays when I go to work. This was not the start I was hoping for. I felt crappy still, so I just lounged around, surfed the net, and felt like I was wasting my day off.

For lunch I made some chicken soup, which seemed to help my stomach. Finally close to noon, I ventured out in the cold to make it over to the studio.

The first hour or more at the studio was a struggle. I've been trying new stuff, trying to "stretch" and it doesn't always feel comfortable. I'm not always sure what direction I'm going with things or if I like what I'm doing. At the same time, I've been putting pressure on myself internally to finish things...either for Etsy, the art crawl in April or a few shows I'm thinking about entering. With all of that, the joy in painting seems to be a bit elusive these days.

And then I decided--the hell with it all. I just wanted to have fun. I decided I needed a playdate with myself. So I put aside the larger canvas I was laboring over and pulled out a stack of 5x7 canvasboards. I started laying down background colors--4 in orange/pink and 4 in robin's egg blue...I definitely wanted a vibrant spring feel. After painting, I pulled out some paper and started cutting out bird shapes. I found some other things I had laying around that I could use as embellishments.

And so I played till 6:30, making fun "cards" to share with friends. I got 3 done...and there are 5 more that I just got started on. They were simple, but fun. It was good to not worry about the final product and instead just focus on making something I could share with others.

Let me just say, even adults need playdates!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The current state of my studio

Fellow blogger and artist Kim recently shared with her readers a few shots of what her studio looks like these days. She inspired me to snap a few shots of my studio today as I was working on some new pieces.
I took these pieces when I was at a very frustrated place...not sure what I was going to do with the piece I was working on (it's the bottom piece of the lower photo). Honestly I was near tears. I worked through it...or thought I did. I went back and forth...liking it, hating it...When I left the studio, I was feeling somewhat ambivalent about the piece. It definitely isn't done, but I'm not sure what I want to do with it.
My hope when I went to the studio this afternoon was to finish a few pieces and feel good about them. I wasn't feeling good physically. My full-time job wore me down this week and I needed to feel good about something. Surely I could count on an afternoon in the studio to make things right.
It's o.k. though. I'll head back to the studio tomorrow and keep working.