Friday, March 30, 2007

All of a Sudden....

Tucked In Between, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10

.....I am in a very surreal position. Every piece that I am painting lately (except the bad icky ones that go into the sand down pile) is slated to go out to a gallery or an upcoming show.

This is new to me. Even last year when I was so crazy busy, I overproduced and ended the year with stacks of extra work in my studio. This weekend though, I will be delivering much of that work, plus some newer pieces to two galleries in Massachusetts.

From then on a jpeg of every painting that I do in the next few months will be emailed to various gallery directors so that they can claim the ones that they want. Or paintings will be put aside for the solo show that I have coming up.

I had no idea that any of this would happen when I decided to sit down and see if I still knew how to paint on the day that my youngest daughter started school. I figured I'd push some paint around and maybe show in a few little art shows in the area.

So this is all very exciting, of course, but like I said, surreal.

However, before this sounds too self-congratulatory (too late maybe!) I should add that not everything sells. My return rate of unsold work is way higher than the zero that I would prefer! So I gotta work on that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


My blog is worth $37,824.18.
How much is your blog worth?

Holy cow! Now I can build a new studio!

While cruising the blogs I found myself here and found that I could go here and see how much my blog is worth. Not bad for a year's work.

Oh right. It's pretend.

Never mind. (She said, in her best Rosann Rosannadanna voice.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

About New York City Part 2

Gordan Matta Clark, Splitting, 1974

On Saturday, I took the subway up to the Whitney. I had read a few articles here and there about the Gordon Matta-Clark retrospective and so I was very excited to have the opportunity to see it.

As other have written far better than I could about his life and work, go read this, this, and then this, and then come back. And then google him later if you still want to know more.

I loved this show. Somehow I felt an affinity towards the artist and his involvement with creating an art community in Soho, his quirky projects such as growing his hair out, cutting it off and then sewing the cuttings back into a wig for himself (an unfinished project, but still, an interesting concept), collecting bottles and melting them down into glass bricks to use in building projects, and his experiments with agar. His energy must have been endless and his interests were varied. His work was well documented with drawings, cibachromes and film, which become the art he made as well, especially valuable since so many of the original works no longer exist.

There were several films continuously running and they were all fascinating. I watched the artist and his friends and assistants split a house down the middle with chainsaws, cut down the foundation on one end and I had goosebumps when the house shifted and daylight spilled out from one side of the structure to the other. (Splitting, shown above)

Another film that I really enjoyed was a documentation of a day in the life of the restaurant, called Food, 1972, that Matta-Clark and several other artists and performers founded and operated. It was a pretty low-key and rather mundane film but I loved seeing a real representation of that particular time and place. It began with a trip to the fish market, then showed the all day preparations for the day's menu, including gutting and preparing the fish, cutting and chopping vegetables and the cooking of some very suspicious gruel like substances. Before the dinner rush, the employees stand around and smoke a joint, then later the customers are shown eating. At the end of the day the employees congregate for their meal at one long table in a flush of community spirit and friendship. The film ends in the small and silent kitchen while the baker prepares loaves of bread for the next day.

Food was located at 127 Prince Street, just a few blocks from where we were staying. On my way back home, I stopped in. Although it is now a kid's clothing store I could get a good sense of the space I had just become so familiar with on film. Ok, a little weird but I love spaces with history and I enjoyed going there. The nice thing about NYC is that you can go into a store, stand around looking at the walls like a dork and no one pays any attention. Especially if you are a middle aged woman. Heh.

I have always been intrigued by structures, old houses and dwellings where people live and spend time in. I think this is because I have lived in such a wide variety of homes over the years, including numerous apartments, old and new houses, mobile homes (yep, it's true, I spent my early teenage years living in a trailer park), lofts, row houses and even in a high rise. Perhaps my brief time in so many different environments that either don't exist anymore or are now significantly changed helped me to connect with Matta-Clark's alterations, most of which have been destroyed.

Anyway, I was so invigorated after seeing all of that. I did go through the rest of the Whitney, but it felt cursory, though it was nice to see two beautiful paintings by Willem de Kooning, and I ended up going back to the Matta-Clark floor again and spent another hour or so there.

Finally I left and since I haven't been to the Guggenheim in about 20 years I decided to go there. Alas, when I walked into the lobby, there were about nine million people waiting in line. Since I was still on an Matta-Clark high and didn't want to lose it, I decided to skip it and so I headed back to Soho. I went to Doug's store but he was busy with customers and so I walked around and looked into a few more galleries. Ordinarily I would have been interested in seeing some paintings, but I couldn't get into it. I just kept thinking of the work of Gordon Matta-Clark.

And now it's still on my mind. I don't know if it will really affect my own work, but since I am already heading towards more structure oriented imagery, who knows? I have spent some time reading more about him on the internet and each evening I have been poring over the exhibition book that I bought at the Whitney.

So I am certainly obsessing about a kind of art that I am usually not so interested in. Sounds silly and melodramatic but I feel as if I have been changed a bit.

Monday, March 26, 2007

About New York City

Me! In a window! In a gallery! In Soho! In NYC!

We decided to drive the whole way into the city last Thursday instead of taking the train. I had some paintings to deliver, Doug needed to deliver a fossil to a client on Saturday and we also planned to pick up a load of birch panels at Soho Art Materials on our way home. And since we left later than planned, we drove into Manhattan at rush hour. Yay. Although Doug is a good driver, I was filled with terror. I don't think you could pay me enough money to drive through that city.

Anyway, we stopped at Doug's showroom and then went down to Multiple Impressions to deliver a few paintings. It was nice to look at the other artist's work as well as to finally meet and chat with Betty, the owner. We settled into the loft space that Doug's company had rented for the month and then went out for a really nice dinner, where the waiter only had eyes for Doug. Literally. He never looked at me once and he practically rolled his eyes when I spoke. And despite the fact that we insisted on no desert, he brought over a piece of cheesecake, for Doug, of course. When we left he looked right past me to say a heartfelt goodbye to Doug. I would have felt offended except, well, it was funny.

On Friday we met up with Chris Rywalt in Chelsea and visited about 859 galleries. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Chris, he is very funny, silly and smart all at the same time. Doug and I totally enjoyed seeing so much contemporary art and the highlights for me, were seeing a few of Jeff Cohen's paintings (I used to read his blog, which seems to be gone now), Ron Ehrlich's work at Stephen Haller Gallery, and David LaChapelle's photography at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. I really connected with the show at Dillon Gallery. Michael Ryan's paintings remind me of my own, but are much much better. Bigger, more colorful and more abstract. I loved them. Another show I enjoyed was at McKenzie Fine Art. The work of Marietta Ganapin should be seen in person as it is incredibly and wonderfully obsessive. In a very good way, of course.

After getting back to the loft, I dozed on the sofa (I never sleep during the day, but I was beat and what the hell - I was on vacation!) and my husband, the workaholic, went to the showroom and spent a few hours working. We ordered pizza and watched tv for the rest of the evening. Pretty exciting night in the city, eh?

Tomorrow I will write about my visit to the Whitney, which was life-altering!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Off for the Weekend

Pink Barn in Back, 2007. Oil on Panel, 18x24

Doug and I are leaving tomorrow to spend a long weekend in the city. So today I am busy getting everything organized for the kids and the babysitter, grocery shopping, and finishing up a few paintings that I will be delivering to the gallery while we are there.

Today's image, shown above, is based on a house and a barn that we saw in New Hampshire last summer. I have painted it several times with quite different results. Below are two of them, painted last fall.

See you Monday!

Cast Shadow, 2006, Oil on Panel, 16x20

New Hampshire Barns, 2006, Oil on Panel, 12x16

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Best Friends Forever

BFF, 2007, Oil on Panel, 24x24

I have been wanting to put purple and red together for quite some time. While I use each of those two colors often, I have rarely put them right next to each other. It can be a tricky combination as I have found. Many previous paintings have been scrubbed back down to the underpainting because I couldn't get the right red and the right purple AND get them to harmonize rather than clash or cancel each other out.

The underpainting that I posted yesterday was a good candidate as it only has two structures. Last week I found out how difficult it can be to coordinate three different colored structures so I wanted to stay away from that particular challenge this time. I started with the red on the back building and then added the purple on the front structure. After I added that, I decided that the Perylene Red wasn't right and I went back to my trusty Cadmium Red Deep. I still wasn't sure about the colors together but I decided to add the surrounding colors and then reassess. So once I added my worker bee colors, usually blues, yellows and greens, I thought the purple and red were fine. But the roof on the front building, which was initially dark purple, bothered me and so I partially wiped it off. Once I did that the light purple side of the building really popped and gave the piece a different look. Not better necessarily, just different. So the roof probably could have gone either way, dark or light but I decided that I liked how the light roof affected everything else and I am calling it finished.

And because I am pleased with the results I will probably beat this combination into the ground for months and months. Heh.

PS. You'll have to take my word for it that the colors are working together. It's kind of a dark day and it was tough to get a really accurate photograph. I'll try to get a better one later.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Art Star Status

More houses on deck for today. I did this underpainting last week.

Despite trying to spend less time on the computer I ended up in a blog and internet-reading marathon on Saturday.

(By the way, I completely jinxed myself with the post on Friday. I said our snow was melting and then we had a storm that day that dumped almost another foot on us. I said I was going to have the house to myself all evening, so then naturally the circus was canceled and I watched a movie with my husband with 3 interruptions involving the most trivial of childhood disagreements-who did what to who first and who gets to watch what on the other TV. I said the sick chicken was doing ok and then she died on Saturday afternoon, during the one hour of the day that we left the house to go to the neighbor's maple sugaring off party. God only knows what will become of my painting when I try to get back to it today. Heh)

Anyway, I got a kick out of my -30 score on Lisa Hunter's Art Star Game. Clearly I am not art star material. Darn! Luckily though, no one that I have worked with as of yet, has ever been concerned with my age, my looks, my degree or my waistline (except for me, but that's a given). Of course I am not in the blue chip, NYC art world, and I suppose things are different over there, but I don't really care about all of that. And actually being an art star sounds like a pain in the ass. Twenty years ago I might have been interested but now I realize that all of those distractions probably wreak havoc on personal relationships, family, studio time and whatever mental issues one already has. I just want to raise my kids properly, paint, and hopefully make a half decent living at it.

Speaking of painting, I must get to work early today. I have a number of pieces that I must finish up this week, and since Doug and I will be going to the city on Thursday, I only have a few days.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Every Other, 2007, Oil on Panel, 20x24

A few super thrilling updates on life here in the country.

The chicken in the house (the laundry room to be more specific) is still alive. She isn't exactly better but she isn't worse either. Which leaves me in a bit of limbo. She can't go back into the coop because she still seems to be unable to walk very well, but I am not sure how long we should keep her in the house either. It doesn't seem to bother her to have numerous cats staring at her all day or a bird dog sleeping in the crate below her, so I will give it some more time I guess. She is eating though which is a good sign.

We have had enough rain and warm temperatures in the last week or so to make some excellent progress in getting rid of a lot of our snow. The huge drift on our patio is still pretty big, but it's much easier to get around to fill the bird feeders and get to the chicken coop. I felt giddy the other day when the front sidewalk became visible.

Painting? Oh right, this is a painting blog. I have been working each day, still at a fairly slow pace and starting too late in the day to be really productive. Yesterday I worked on another house painting, got the whole thing painted and then decided that the colors weren't working. So I rubbed off parts of it thinking I could try a few different colors to make it work but finally I just took all of the paint off and will go back to it today. I am not as frustrated as I probably should be, because I had this hinky feeling the whole time that I was working on it and was not in the groove at all. Which is totally no fun. So I am glad to be able to start again today as it is a nice composition, worth saving.

Despite working so slowly when I was hibernating and should have really been able to crank out some paintings, I actually have quite a bit of good work stacked up, waiting to be delivered to various galleries. I will be taking a short trip soon to do that.

And Doug is finally home, which we are all very happy about, believe you me! He was in the city for two weeks doing back to back trade shows and even though we are used to how much he travels, this was a bit much. The up side for everyone now is that he is totally in charge of everything this weekend. Darn, that means I'll be missing the (lame) circus to be held in the high school gymnasium tonight. I'll be so sad about that while I sit home in a quiet house and watch a DVD. Without interruption. I am practically in tears just thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A few close up shots of The Suburban Edge.

The Suburban Edge

Suburban Edge, 2007, Oil on Panel, 18x24

I have been working very slowly on the four underpaintings of houses that I did about two weeks ago. Whenever I look at them, I feel enthusiastic but when I actually get in front of them with a brush in my hand and the paint all ready, I freeze up. Where to start?

Usually, in the barns and landscapes, I find that the busier the image is, the less it works for me, so I simplify. The house images have so many more elements than the barns or the landscapes and so I struggle a bit with what to do and where to go. I am not used to thinking about color so much! Usually I just pick a color and the rest flows from there.

And coordinating the colors has been the biggest challenge. In this piece I had initially painted the house on the left a beautiful purple and the house on the far right was the same red that it is now. But the middle one wouldn't cooperate with what I wanted it to be. I probably painted it five different colors, white, blue, green, yellow, pink. Nothing worked to bridge the red an purple. Finally I wiped all the paint off of that house and left it until the next day.

When I looked at it the next day, the the answer seemed obvious to me. Even though I LOVED the purple house, that color was the real problem. I painted over the purple and changed it to the yellowish orange you see now, which allowed the initial color that I had envisioned for the middle house to work. So I ended up painting it almost exactly the very first color that I had tried the previous day-white (actually Naples yellow) with blue shadow.

It still needs just a bit of refinement, but it is basically finished and I am quite pleased with it. And it was good to be reminded of how important surrendering a part is to make the whole piece, well, whole.

Now I am off to try again with getting a purple house into this series.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Sick Guest

We have a new house pet today. One of the chickens has been invited into the main house.

She's not been right for a few days and so finally I decided to bring her inside to see what I can do to save her. She was kind of out of it the first night and couldn't seem to move or walk normally. I put her in a cage the first night, pretty sure that she would be dead in the morning. I didn't sleep well, waking up often wondering if there was a DEAD CHICKEN in the house!

But she was still alive in the morning and seemed to make some progress yesterday. She seemed more alert, ate and drank water and even walked around a bit. I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to find out what she might have and although she does have symptoms for a few common chicken aliments, they don't seem conclusive for any of them.

Today again she doesn't seem well. I am getting used to the idea that she may not make it and that I am going to have to deal with a dead chicken body. I am not sure I am cut out for a farm life that includes livestock, as I find this part of it to be fairly stressful. I am also reconsidering our plan to get sheep and maybe a few goats. The last few days have made me feel sure that I can't and don't want to handle this stuff.

Wait! I need to remember to just buck up and deal. Of course I can handle this. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks with animals. Our cats are the best lap warmers ever, Penny follows us around with complete devotion in her eyes. I love watching the chickens and their antics, their eggs and how they are so happy to see me each morning. Even if it is because I bring food.

So I will keep the chicken inside until she either dies or gets better. If she were suffering I would probably put her down, or to be more precise, I'd get someone else to do that part, but she isn't yet so I am just going to see what happens. I never considered myself to be such a bleeding heart when it comes to animals. But we have these animals and now I find myself washing off chicken butts, clipping hamster teeth or holding a cat's mouth closed until they swallow a pill (that's a story I haven't told here).

I managed all of that just fine, I guess.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The More Typical Day in the Life, Lately

Standing Guard, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16

I worried all weekend that after Friday's post (clearly I need a life), ya'll would think I am always that busy. Sometimes I am, but that kind of day only occurs once in awhile anymore. Since the beginning of the year, I haven't had much going on and whatever work I do have to do, I am just squeaking it by.

This is a more typical day lately:

I do all the same stuff in the morning, up at 6am, kids up at 7, out to the bus by 7:30, and then do the chicken chores, done by 8am.

Then I basically sit at my computer until around eleven or twelve (my how the time flies) answering emails, reading and commenting on blogs, reading the news sites, googling things that catch my interest and whatever else that doesn't require much effort and that I can do in my comfy desk chair.

Finally I decide to get up and consider doing a variety of things, drive into town to take care of some errands, or to take a walk or to ride my spin bike. Maybe prepare some new panels or clean out my painting storage cabinet.

Usually I end up deciding that all of those things can wait until the next day and I decide to get to work in the studio instead. Um, after lunch, which I eat at my computer which kills another hour.

By around one I get fed up with myself and finally get started in the studio, after checking my emails one more time, of course. After an hour or so I started to get in the groove and then soon after that the kids get home and I have stop which can be very painful. Mostly because I know that I could have gotten more done if I started earlier.

The rest of the day is the same as the busy one, although I do tend to let a few things go lately. Washing the pots and pans and scooping the cat litter can often wait until the next day.

What the heck.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Day in The Life

The Road to Town, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16

5:55am The alarm goes off, I get up out of bed, shower, feed the pets, work on my post, and answer a few quick emails.

7am Get the kids up.

7:12am Publish my post to the blog.

7:30am Herd the kids out to the bus stop and do my morning hike over the 10 foot snowdrift in order to gather eggs, throw some scratch down and give the chickens fresh water.

9:01am Chris Rywalt posts a comment, theorizing why a link in my post doesn't work. We spend the morning going back and forth, with Chris valiantly trying to explain HTML, line breaks and other such nonsense to me. I am left feeling like an ancient relic of the not so distant past when the word computer meant nothing to me but a machine that screws up my bank account.

8:30-Noon I struggle with painting, despite being really excited about the pieces that I have ready to work on. I drop a loaded paintbrush onto the floor and finally have to spend 20 minutes cleaning out my jars of turpenoid because all three are so bad that when I rinse my brushes I am rinsing them in red sludge. I don't really make any progress on the paintings and what little I do make is less than exciting.

10:10am I receive a rejection from a gallery, by email, in response to the submission (also by email) of the link to my website. I knew it was a long shot that they would be interested but it still stings just a little bit. It reads as follows:

Thank you for your submission of images of your work for my consideration. We have a small stable of artists in the gallery and I am not interested in adding your work to that group. I very much appreciate your sending me your work and wish you all the best with your career.


12:20pm The kids get home and my studio time is essentially over. Probably a good thing anyway.

12:55pm I take our youngest daughter and go to the grocery store where I spend $275. Cripes. And my daughter spends $3 getting tiny plastic dogs from those machines that sell stupid junk that I always end up stepping on in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom.

3:22pm I get an email from a blogger friend (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) who was concerned that he had overstepped his bounds. He had suggested me and my work to the gallery director of a gallery I have been eying for awhile. And who loved my work, by the way and so a new opportunity falls into my lap, which totally makes up for the earlier rejection.

3:42pm I email my blogger friend and assure him that I am not upset and that in fact, I could possibly be in love with him.

3:43pm until 7:30pm A flurry of kid related activities and small dramas plus laundry, baking (chocolate chip cookies, which were excellent) and a homemade pizza that the dog wouldn't even look at. I supervise while my son makes Eggplant Parmigiana for a school project, which smells really good in comparison to the cereal we all end up eating for dinner.

7:30pm I clean up the kitchen. And my dear son washes up the pans that he used while cooking, while I congratulate myself for training him so well.

8pm My favorite TV show Jericho starts. This episode is kind of stupid and I think that even I could have moved the truck off of Jake's leg so he could get out and not have to nearly die from hypothermia because of the approaching winter storm, after the marauders ran them off the road and then stole all of their supplies while Stanley, Mimi and Jake were on their way to go hunting to find food for the town. However, this plot device did allow for Jake to tell his father about the young girl he killed while he was in Iraq, and his father understood about war and so everything turned out peachy keen, except well, the USA is still nuked, and winter is coming and there is no food or oil. But I digress.

9pm Criminal Minds is a repeat so I watch the news, knit and do a bit of reading for the rest of the evening.

11:15ish Lights out and sleep until the whole thing starts all over.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Visiting Day

Lining A Field, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16

I must be brief today. The kids have only a half day of school and will be home around noon. If I were to actually get to work right away this morning, rather than fritter away the morning on the computer (like usual) I could get a respectable amount of painting done. So I am going to send you elsewhere, to check out a few blogs that I have been enjoying lately.

I have to put on my thinking cap when I visit Musings on Neurology and Lenitives in Simplistic Art Whatever Sunil Gangadharan is talking about over there is fascinating though and somehow always gets back around to art. His work is really interesting as well and worth a look.

Casey Klahn found me awhile ago and it seems we have much in common, including a similar color sense as well as an infatuation with pastels and Wolf Kahn. The photographs he has posted of pastels make me drool. Every time I visit The Colorist I come away swearing that I have to get out my pastels and spend some time with them again.

I don't recall how I came across Hazel Dooney's blog, Self vs. Self, but am sure glad I did. She is evidently a very successful and well known artist in Australia and I have the impression that she can kick some serious ass. If I knew her in real life, I am pretty sure I would be totally intimidated by her in a hundred different ways. From what I gather, she has worked primarily with enamel paints, but due to health issues she has recently switched to different mediums and I look forward to watching and hearing about that transition.

Now go visiting, but don't forget to come back to me, your first true (blog) love. Heh.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Just realized that the book I was referring to in the previous post was Improve Your Vision Without Glasses or Contact Lenses. This one has the exercises, while the other one is a bit more technical and descriptive. If you only get one book, I'd get this one.

Sorry about the mix up. I read both at the same time and confused the info a bit.

Artistic Vision

Sliver of a Pond, 2007, Oil on Panel, 9x12

About 6 years ago, several things concerning my vision happened in the space of just a few months. I had to take the vision test in order to renew my driver's license and I just barely squeaked by, which kind of surprised me. I noticed at the figure drawing classes that being in the front, closer to the model was working better for me, not good for a confirmed back of the classroom kind of girl. And when I tried on Doug's new glasses, needed for his long distance vision, and could immediately see that the kids in the back corner of the yard weren't dancing and skipping, they were actually throwing dirt at each other, I realized it was time to see an ophthalmologist. Turns out my loss of vision was fairly minor, age related-and considered normal. I came home with a pair of prescription glass plus a pair of sunglasses as well. For several years I only used them for driving and watching movies in a theater.

In the last year or so I have noticed a marked decrease in the effectiveness of my glasses however. I began to wear them more, to watch tv, when shopping and at figure class, even though that is a bit of a problem as it bothers me to wear them while doing close things, but I need them to see the figure properly (don't even talk to me about bifocals!). Very irritating.

And so while it seemed clear that I need stronger glasses I am not exactly the type to simply accept what I am told either-that my eyesight will continue to worsen as I age, that it's normal. I have heard over the years about exercises that can improve eyesight, so I did some research and found a few books that looked interesting.

After reading Improve Your Vision Without Glasses or Contact Lenses. I began to do the daily eye exercises that the author recommends. He suggests doing them while waiting at traffic lights, but since our town only has one blinking light, and I don't even leave the house on some days, I do them in the evening before I go to bed. I have been doing them daily for about 2 months and there is a noticeable difference in my vision. I no longer wear my glasses while shopping, my driving at night vision is MUCH better (I still wear the glasses for driving of course) and I can almost read the scrolling news at the bottom of the news channels. An added benefit is that I am less tired and have had fewer, if any headaches since I began the exercises. The author also suggests a few lifestyle changes, such as diet, sleep and less "screen" time that will help with improved vision and um, well I am working on those. Kinda. Sorta.

Anyway, I don't have to say how important vision is to an artist and to all of us in general and I am so happy to have come across this information, so I wanted to share it. Many of our problems with eyesight are the same as other health problems-lack of exercise. By strengthening the muscles around the eyeball, which is way, way, way easier than going to the stupid gym every day, it is possible to take some control back over a worsening situation. I am not sure that I will be able to throw out my glasses entirely but I will be happy if I just don't lose any more ground.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Mostly Yellow, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Progress is being made on several fronts around here lately.

Up until yesterday and today (more snow!), the pavement on the roads was visible and the snow was beginning to melt, creating the most impressive icicles. So just a few inches closer to spring, but I'll take it.

Doug ran into the the owner of Multiple Impressions (the NY gallery that is trying me out) last Friday and she told him that she had just sold two of the three paintings that I had sent her. Very good progress there.

And in the studio I am feeling really excited about painting again. Despite painting at a snail's pace in February, I am very pleased with the quality of those pieces. After working at such a feverish pace for so many months last year, it has been quite an adjustment to slow down and look at everything in a different way. I had gotten to the point of feeling that I had to be crazy busy working towards a deadline in order to do strong work and I am very happy to find out that working slowly is effective as well. That is the best progress.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

We Don't Use That Door Anyway

Yesterday the snow slid off the roof of the garage onto the patio. Clearly, spring is just around the corner.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Cleaning Day

A few of the eleven underpaintings patiently waiting for color.

No real post today. We had an ice storm and school was canceled, even though the storm ended up being not as bad as predicted.

The satellite for the computer has been down all day, which meant I had to do something besides wasting half the day at the computer. So it seemed like a good time to clean out my dresser drawers. Which led to dusting the baseboards and vacuuming under the bed and the other furniture. Which then led to reorganizing the storage space behind the knee wall (so I could fit more crap into it) and cleaning out the closet space and sorting through my clothes. The real treat was cleaning our bathroom, cabinets and all. Woo-hoo.

This is the kind of stuff I used to keep up with before Doug bought me a shiny new computer last year and I found art blogs.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I Love My New Panels

I have been mostly painting on Ampersand Gessobord for the last few years. While I liked the surface I wanted to use a better, more substantial support, so I am in the midst of switching over to cradled birch panels. I am using up my gessobord inventory on the box paintings that I have been (slowly) developing and am now exclusively using the new panels for gallery bound work.

There are a few drawbacks to this, though. First of all they require much more prep. I apply 2 coats of urethane on the backs, then 2 coats of wood primer on the sides and front, and then a thick brushy layer of gesso for the painting surface. I also sand between each layer, something that I have spent my entire life trying to avoid. I had to set up a permanent table in the office to do all of this, and it seems as if I am continuously prepping panels now. Yuck.

It is also much more difficult to get them. I used to be able to just order the Gessobord panels, 30-40 at a time, get them shipped and have them at my front door in a week. Soho Artist Materials is located in Soho (duh) and is just around the corner from Doug's store, and that seemed like a real plus. Until the parking lot where he usually parked when he drove to the city closed down. Now it has become really hard for him to find a lot that will take his big stupid Chevy Tahoe (yeah, yeah, I know he should get a smaller vehicle, but it's paid for, it still works and it's big enough to handle the fossil murals that he needs to haul around) so he doesn't drive down very often anymore unless I beg him and offer lots of free sex. Heh. Last week I was desperate for some panels and when he was in the city he picked up about a dozen smaller ones and then had to carry them on the train (free sex did not outweigh finding a parking spot on the snow filled streets). Not very convenient. There is also much more planning involved and if I want to order custom sizes, they take 2 weeks. I go through a lot of panels and they never seem to have enough of the sizes I want in stock and so I have to special order those too.

The birch panels also cost quite a bit more, which of course is understandable, as they are really well made and much more solid than the gessobord cradled panels. The price is kind of a wash though, as I had a price increase in January which has offset the higher costs.

But the painting part is heavenly, and I just realized yesterday that every piece I have done since I switched over has "turned out." Nothing for the sand down pile yet! Totally worth the extra work.