Sunday, February 27, 2011

Peacock Painting #2

For Christmas, I painted a Peacock painting for my daughter. (I wrote about it here)  I enjoyed painting it so much I decided to paint another, only larger. I finished it a few weeks ago. This one is 30x30 (the earlier one was 24x24).

I enjoyed working with the rich, royal colors...quite a contrast to the sea of white that makes up our winter landscape. 

I also like the movement and energy of the feathers swirling around the peacock's head. 

I'm not certain I'm done with the peacock theme just yet. I may need to paint another peacock painting somewhere down the road. I have visions of a painting with a woman and a peacock...haven't started it yet, but the idea of it keeps swimming around in my creative brain. 

I do intend to sell this painting, but for now, this painting is adorning my studio, providing inspiration...and waiting for its new home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting my Groove back!

Just a quick update here (I know it's been a while!):

I sort of re-discovered my painting groove a few weeks ago, only to "lose" it again when I started working my new job. Last Friday I started my new gig as a Visitor Assistant at the Science Museum of Minnesota, specifically for the King Tut Exhibit. The most immediate adjustment has been dealing with the aches and pains of the job--I stand for my entire shift (6-7 hours), save my lunch break. Not easy on this 50-year-old body! I bought new cushion-y shoes and 2 days later bought new cushion-y inserts for the new cushion-y shoes. It's helping, but at the end of the shift, my back and feet are hurting. (Other than that, the job has been great!)

So I've been heading to bed early and chilling (stretching!) before work. Oh ya, we also had a snowstorm (15+ inches) this weekend. It's been gray, cold, windy...might I say, a little depressing in the weather department!

This morning I woke up to the sun streaming through the windows...a definite day brightener! It's amazing how much a sunny day will put me in the mood to paint...and so I did...and I'm happy to report--Risa got her groove back!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Studio 107: In progress

Despite all the craziness at our place last week, I have been settling into my new studio space. Well maybe, it was all the craziness that made me lock myself into the studio and start working again. I decided I needed to mix in some painting time with all the time spent cleaning, organizing the space. Painting saved my sanity.

I went back to work on a series (working title: Abstractions in Gray?) that I had started this past fall. The color of these paintings is not as bold as the colors I usually work with, but there is still a depth and warmth to the color. I found the work very soothing.


The space is far from organized (it is also a work in progress), but the space is very functional. I brought in my big shelf from my Jax studio, as well as the same fuchsia walls might be white, but I will still feel the space with color!

I will continue to post pics (both of the studio and paintings in progress) as work progresses. But for now, it's back to the paints!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tearing it up!

It was a little crazy at our place last week--as they were tearing up chunks of our floor boards!

Our building, a warehouse converted into artist lofts, has pine floors that haven't really stood up too well. Our new unit had more than the usual splintered boards, but our bigger concern was that a number of boards were "sinking" when you walked over them due to the sub-floor being in poor shape. The management company agreed to replace boards...about 50 in total.

Of course, this project would have been much easier to accomplish the month the unit sat empty before we moved in...but that would be too easy! So on Wednesday, we moved all our furniture to the side, packed up fragile items, threw drop cloths over just about everything and the work began. What a mess!

Things got a lot more stressful on Thursday, when we saw that nothing was being done to fix the sub-floor ... even in the places where you could clearly see how the floor would sink with any pressure on it. And then the boards came in...Now I wasn't expecting a match, but the new boards were very light in color compared to the old boards. And we were told the boards wouldn't be stained or varnished for quite some time! 

Every time I looked at the work in progress, my heart sank. This is after all my home and space that I open up to the public for open studio events. And to top it all off, within 24 hours we saw boards splintering where the sub-floor was in the worst shape (and is the walkway to the bathroom).

We invited management in when the project was completed Friday afternoon and have, I think, negotiated some sort of resolution. Unfortunately, some boards are going to need to be ripped up (again!) and the sub-floor be repaired somehow. We'll probably need to do a bit of sanding (more dust!) and then try to stain the boards a bit to bring them closer in color to the weathered boards. Finally, we will need to varnish...which may mean we need to be out of our unit for a few days. Yikes!!!

But for now, we've removed the drop cloths and furniture is back in least for a little while!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back to Work

Besides all the moving, there have been other big changes looming in my life. I am dipping my toes back in the working world. I have just started a temporary, part-time position at the Science Museum of Minnesota as a Visitor Assistant for their upcoming King Tut exhibition.

New beginnings always come with some anxiety and adjustments.  As I said, it's a temporary, part-time, and I may add, low-pay, it doesn't completely resolve my employment issues. And I haven't walked into such a new, unknown work situation in over 14 years. But...I think it will work out just fine. It's close enough to home that I can sometimes walk (or be dropped off by hubby or ride the bus five minutes). I will be working evenings, including the weekend...which will still give me plenty of time to paint! And I get to work in a museum (love that!), be surrounded by cool, interesting stuff and help solve simple problems (vs. helping people resolve huge life dramas in my social worker job). I think it will be much less stressful.

I worked my first training shift last night. It helped resolve some of my anxiety. I will be spending a lot of time on my feet, so I need to buy some new comfy shoes (that fit within the uniform guidelines). I'd post a picture of me in my uniform, but I'll save that for a day when you all need a good laugh!