Faux Painting

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Changing gears again! I haven’t mentioned for a while that we’re still in the process of remodeling due to the disaster at our studio last January. After getting a new roof, new ceilings and lighting, we’re finally getting to the point where I can lend a hand — repainting the walls that were damaged by water.

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The room where the sprinkler system exploded used to be bright yellow, but now I’m painting it with a green-blue combination — a light green base, layered with periwinkle blue and two variations of green glaze. The layered glazing gives the hand-textured plaster a kind of rich, aged patina.

Faux painting is a great calorie-burning activity because I have to run up and down the ladder three times as often — once for each paint!

The photo below is from my scrapbook of other unique projects. There were five metallic colors layered on top of black walls. The brass tiles were all hand-polished with circular designs by Russ, I think there were thousands…

Oddly enough, some things I’ve learned from faux painting large surfaces seamlessly has helped me to develop some techniques to cover big areas in my quilts with stitch patterns. Some day I hope to also use some of this paint experience to design cloth for my quilts, but for now I’d just be happy to get our studio back together and looking good!

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Working for Inspiration

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Jane posted a great quote by Henri Matisse after one of my recent posts: “Don’t wait for inspiration, it comes while working.” I should have that tattooed on my forehead so I’d see it every morning when I look in the mirror.

This is a mixed media collage on vintage columnar paper. I started this because I’ve been thinking about using Lisa‘s technique of making an art goals spreadsheet (but more about techniques I want to try and images I want to create) but as you can see, I painted it so much that you can’t really see the lines on the background paper.

A Small Painting

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Here’s the finished acrylic painting, and it’s small — only 8″ by 10″. For some reason right now I have the urge to make some small, intimate pieces. And the way I’m currently constructing my quilts, I can’t make something this small with detail. Maybe later I’ll play with painting on fabric, but for now I like using a small edge-wrapped canvas.

Lesson from a Writer

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Where have you been? you’re probably asking… I don’t know really, just bouncing off the ceiling like a silly thing. Seems lately I’ve either had the opportunity to meet creative people or just take a big bath in the wash of their creations.

In the studio, it’s been hot hot HOT, so I have had little inclination to fire up an iron or turn on a sewing machine. In the meantime, I’ve been playing with paints. In the photo on the left you see a gouache experiment and on the right an acrylic. Also just got back from an Uncommon Threads retreat where I played around (and already washed some essential parts down the sink drain) with my new Airpen. I’ve also just finished revamping my Quilts and Drawing webpages, so check them out and send me some feedback, please!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by children’s author David Harrison, who has published 73 books. It was inspiring to learn the story of how he’s structured his business life around his writing habit. One of his points that caught my attention — when he was younger he said he chased every single idea. Then as he became a more seasoned writer, he realized writing was a lot of work — so he only pursued ideas that he was really enamored with and were solid, going somewhere kind of projects.

Part of being an artist is play and experimentation. I’m a firm believer in that. But artists can also take his advice to heart, and knowing when to use it is the key.