See you in 2014!
Have A Safe and Happy Holiday Season :0)
Just a quick recap of the past week:
This past Saturday was the opening of my show at The Bowlus Fine Arts Center. A collection of oil painted portraits on stretched canvas.
I can not say enough good about the staff at The Bowlus! The day we were to hang the show my back was out, and I was walking like a bent-over-little-old lady. It reminded me of a “Evolution of Man” chart. The more vertical throughout the day, the straighter and more upright I became. But the employees were all extremely helpful, positive and dependable.
We had a decent turnout and other than my social awkwardness things went smooth. Note: I am much more comfortable in front of an easel than I am in front of a crowd.
Tip: I forgot to designate someone to take photos that evening. I wish I had! Hubby and I were so caught up in everything we both overlooked it. So if you can find a trusted friend to take some candid shots during a reception it is a good idea.
For a long while now I have thought, “If I can just get this show together it will be smooth sailing for a bit”. HA! Was that ever a chance for God to laugh at my plans.
The very next morning (Sunday) my Dad was admitted to the hospital, in ICU sixty miles away. By the time I got there, an hour later, he was sitting in bed joking around with nurses. By Tuesday he was released and going for his daily walk at the local Wal-Mart. (SMH) Thankful, but NEVER boring around here for long!
What is next? I want to finish up a couple of pieces that I wish I had had completed for the show. Try to take things up a notch as far as size and skill. The immediate time pressure is off on these two so it will be interesting to see if they come out as I envision.
Still obsessed with knitting, and now that it is getting cooler it is calling me louder. I am sure lace will not add much warmth in a Kansas Winter, but that is what I am hooked on of late. It helps me clear my head. This is particularly true of knitting shawls. They are large enough to hold my interest between painting, but small enough to carry with me.
Also, if there are any writer’s reading this I am sure you are aware that as of today it is National Novel Writing Month! If you are not familiar with NANOWRIMO, it is a non-profit program that encourages people to write fifty-thousand words during the month of November. I have participated in the past, and want to this year. But my want, and hours available are not cooperating. I have not openly committed to participating yet this year. Then again, November isn’t over yet either.
Last but not least, in a little over a week I have vacation time from my day-job in a public library. Nine days in a semi-open time frame to paint, knit and write! Aside from a day trip to Wichita and perhaps KC, I plan on being in full hermit mode the entire time. Ahhhh bliss!
Today was spent boxing up all the work that is ready for a show that will be hung Monday. I also updated inventory lists and made sure marketing materials are up to date. There are still three paintings I could not pack up as they are still drying in some fashion. But they will be ready to go and walk out the door by Monday.
Below are two items that will be included.
So the big question now, what is next?
But for now, I need to get this studio back into shape. Every surface in here is covered with books, photos, notes and painting supplies. Then I want to just sit down and knit for a few days, without interruption. To clear my head and further challenge the analytical part of my brain…..while eating chocolate. Who knows maybe I will design a thing or two while I am at it. :0)
Tutorials will begin again soon, I promise! For now I have deadlines on paintings that need to be completed. Below are a couple oil paintings that are currently in progress.
A scarf recently completed that I am rather proud :0) So soft, so fluffy, so light, such a good head clearing project when painting is not going the way I want!
In a little over two weeks I need to hang a show. So this means right now I am busy putting eye screws and wire on canvases for hanging, considering doing a few last minute pieces and wishing I had more time.
I have known I was doing the show for over a year now. But as is often the case I think of things to do at the last minute!
Recently I have noticed trouble maintaining my motivation to paint. I work a day job at a small rural community Public Library, where being motivated is rarely if ever an issue. I just do what I need to do and go home. But at home in the studio it is more of a challenge. it can be tough to stick to a working schedule when the reward is may not come for months, or even years.
For me I see myself as a marathon runner. At first it seems easy. as long as you put one foot in front of the other I will eventually arrive at my destination. but as you near the finish line the motion can be as if you are slogging through molasses.
I posted this quandary on my personal Facebook page. Here are some of the suggestions given to “…pulling yourself out of a funk and staying motivated”:
Another activity that has been consuming my time of late, is knitting. Yea I know, what does knitting have to do with painting and fine art? Well I could elaborate on the fine art aspects of the craft but I will leave that for a future post.
If you are not familiar with the Knitting Guild Master Knitter program, you should go to The Knitting Guild Association website and read up. In a nutshell it is a three-level correspondence course that goes through the technical aspects of craft of knitting. Once you pay for the course you are required to do a slew of swatches and research to master the craft.
I myself am NOT signed up for the Master Knitter program. But when I first learned about it, I was able to poke around and find out the gist of what each level required. Since then, much of that information is not available online, so my lips are sealed! With a great deal of research and digging I came up with my own self-study program based on their guidelines.
So far I have completed a Level-One notebook and am in the middle of Level Two. I stopped working on it a year and a half ago, but I did dig out my notes and information the other day. I have also started a lace scarf I had planned on using as a gift. (Rethinking the gift idea after experiencing the learning curve of picking it back up)
So what is the reason for posting on this blog about knitting? I am questioning my past external and now internalized need to only focus on one or two areas of creativity. In fact we have a “Knitting Socks for the Absolute Beginner” ebook here at Artist-How-To Publications it is also available at Amazon.com.
In the back of my mind I am considering rewriting or perhaps creating an entirely new publication involving knitting. Sometimes temporarily shifting to another activity helps to feed my creativity.
Over the past few weeks I have been re-releasing tutorials from the old site. A few of them include:
I also have been painting, and adding new work to the collection for an upcoming exhibit at the Bowlus Fine Art Center! The show is due to go up October 20th, giving me just over five more weeks. This is very doable! Wish me luck <3
Last month I showed how to make a simple light box with a cardboard box. Here is another example, made from manila file folders.
A light tent can be purchased, but of course I prefer to just make my own. Here I started with 2 discarded manila folders taped together so that they would stand as shown. The extras are lying in front of them but only two were used for the main frame.
Folders are not terribly strong so you may want to use a thicker cardboard if you will be using it a great deal. Foam core works well, is inexpensive, comes in white and can be cut down to size.
In order to cut down on the yellow color coming through I covered the surface with 11” x 17” white printer paper by folding it over and taping it to the back.
Next a large piece of white fabric was laid down and over the top edge, press out wrinkles as you do. I put a cloths pin on the top edge to keep it from dropping down, then folded it back over itself to drape over the top. I have seen folks use white trash bags, paper, tissue paper or whatever was available to get the desired effect.
I set up the tripod as shown in the camera testing example and then draped the material over the top of the camera. This created a ‘white container’ to take the images inside.
After taking a few shots similar to the previous test, the image below was determined to have the correct setting at ISO 80, Macro setting, -1 flash.
Not bad, but I would like to get rid of the grayness of the white fabric.
To do this I need to play with the exposure index. After trying out -2 through +2 test shots this is the end result. I have to say that I like the change in the second photograph.
Continuing to experiment and see what works.
Just for comparison the image above was shot with Macro, -2 exposure, -.75 flash and a view of the image in black and white
In my opinion the diffused light from lamp, on black, and same settings as above makes it appear much more three dimensional when compared to the other example. But I found some people preferred the images taken in the light tent and found it ‘softer’.
Hand blown glass paperweight shot in light tent compared to taken with flash on white background (paper towel)
Of course with some tweaking I am sure one could get much better shots here!