Back in the studio

This large canvas spent a few months in the closet waiting on some inspiration.  Paul Cezanne once said 'It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.'   For this exact reason, I still have a blank sketchbook that I bought eight years ago in Italy.  The pages are perfect, too perfect, so I've left them empty.  I didn't want to do that with this canvas, so I pushed aside the idea of messing it up and just started painting.  What I love most about acrylic is that you can always change it, unlike a drawing which can only take so much erasing (though I love this) or a color woodcut that can be ruined by a shift in registration.  Painting in progress, 24" x 30" acrylic & pearlescent ink.


Painting class & a new work in progress

Recently, I began teaching a course in advanced painting at a local senior center through Bihl Haus Arts.  On day one, I began with a brief lecture on inspiration, visual resources and the importance of a sketchbook.  I brought in my own sketchbook to show them, along with a handful of books that I like to draw and collage from.  On our second day of class, we talked about image development, composition and I showed them how I work in my own studio from sketchbook to canvas.  Part of my job is to inspire and engage already technically skilled painters...this got me motivated to get back into my own studio and work on something a little different.  

The first painting of 2014 is still in the idea to image phase, and I think I've finally settled on the composition.  I've been working on a tracing paper overlay, to get a feel for how the imagery will exist in the space of the painting.  All that's left to do now is transfer the lines and begin blocking out the main subject matter.  The cactus is drawn from a photograph I took on our honeymoon and a reference to our Texas home.  The white picket fence is an obvious and comforting symbol that will be partially obscured behind the plantlife.  Originally, the angelfish were floating in the sky and seemed a bit lost.  I gave them hot air balloons to take them on their next journey. It will also add a pop of color to balance out all of the green that will eventually take over the background.  Below are some pics of the work in progress.  Stay tuned for the next layer of color...



New Studio Tour

The new studio at our house is finally unpacked, setup and ready for making some art!  This room has taken the longest to arrange and a challenge to situate because it is almost octagonal. To make the most of the space, I consolidated my supplies and got rid of some old storage bins that were no longer necessary.  Watching one too many home improvement shows, I had quite a few projects in mind for my studio. Dad helped me to build and rebuild functional studio furniture.  Actually, I mostly supervised, provided the hot tea and Christmas music. We started with the letterpress cabinet my parents salvaged before they left Ohio.  It was about a foot taller and missing 6 drawers.  We cut it down by a foot to make it usable as a press base.  The drawers were also rebuilt, their musty particle board bottoms replaced with fresh birch plywood and given a coat of glossy white spray paint. This July my girlfriends and I are reuniting for Frogman's Print and Paper Workshop in South Dakota-it's time to get the press up and running. 

The letterpress cabinet rebuild, before and after.

My favorite part about the studio are the big windows-so much light comes in and makes it feel very airy and fresh.  I wanted everything to have that light and airy look, so painting the disparate pieces of furniture was a must.  In Texas, you can still buy oil based paint in all of its shiny, glossy glory.  I used it to refresh the letterpress cabinet, a rolling storage cart and a worn chair from my dear friend Marge.  Giving the studio furniture a coat of paint, putting some cheerful patterned contact paper on the metal flat files and legitimately organizing my supplies makes the space functional and inviting.  My plan was to make the most out of what I already had but still make it feel new...to that end, I repurposed a 5 foot piece of scratched plexi from my grad school days in 2007.  It has moved through 3 apartments and lastly to our house; I couldn't bring myself to toss it, but didn't want it shoved in the back of a closet anymore, either.  It was too banged up for framing at this point, so I cut it down slightly to make a solid and shiny drawing surface on my work table.

Since 2010, paper cranes have been a major theme in my artwork.  Steven and I even collaborated on a few works of art for our Wonders & Blunders exhibition in 2011.  When we got engaged, we decided to fold 1,000 together for our wedding.  Now the ceremony backdrop lives on the back wall, a sweet reminder of our wedding and a source of inspiration for future works of art.  The final project for this room was a pegboard display, to hang paintings in progress and keep them off my work table in the meantime. Steven had leftover peg board from a tool storage project and I was inspired by a DIY I found online.  It was easy to put together using a nail gun, miter saw and spray paint. Many thanks to my Dad for working on these studio projects and helping to move some seriously heavy art equipment up here with Steven.


Art Walk at the Bandera Road Community Church

 Found Here Studio & Press set up shop for a night at the Bandera Road Community Church Art Walk.  There was live music, food trucks and lots of artists set up throughout the venue.  Mom was my trusty assistant, helping to wrap art sales and scope out the vegetarian offerings from the food trucks.  I created 7 Day of the Dead paintings specifically for the event, and they were a hit.  The art walk organizers did a wonderful job of arranging this event and I was so happy to participate!

Christmas Commissions

Hello and Happy New Year!  It's been way too long since I wrote a proper post-between our honeymoon, holiday visitors and unpacking (only three boxes left!) the month of December flew by.  Both sets of brothers flew in to visit and celebrate Steven's birthday and the first holiday in our home.   Before the festivities began, I received some pet portrait commissions for the holidays, which I can post now that the gift giving is through!  It was so fun painting these sweet dogs (and one cat).  The sizes range from 4" x 4" x 1" to 8" x 8" x 1", acrylic on wood.  If you're interested in a portrait of your own, you can email me  foundherestudio@gmail.com or check out my online shop, www.foundherestudio.etsy.com.