Thursday, October 08, 2015

still working with gourds

and so far it's not working for me
i have to set up in the studio and i have to make sure the lighting stays consistent-
meanwhile i have a bit of a fibro flare, this one i think is stress induced, and is mostly my shoulders and my energy levels
even now after 12 hours sack time, i could lay down for another 6 it feels like
meanwhile i am trying to figure my gourd paintings
and i am trying to justify energy levels that even make painting hard with trying to clean the house
so far painting is winning out
but the guilt is crippling too-
now other news
cheapjoes is having a free shipping on brushes.... damn
i could use more gouache brushes too
but i'm going to have to pass
and i am going to have to pull out the gouache probably today for individual gourd paintings
although i think that even with them the lighting i want for the group is going to have to be set up.....not roughed in and imagined
i want a particular light

and eventually if/when we do the studio roof i swear, i am getting a north facing skylight....
for that particular cool diffused light

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


i posted on fb the paintings that are at the printers.....
we were only going to scan them as we can't afford to print without prepaid orders.
well i got some orders
so we are going to be printing the two pansy paintings...... 80.00 a print and 5.00 shipping
i am working on a price for the original paintings as well
since i am now getting asked for them
this is all very huge and very scary for me
but i'm doing it
as was pointed out to me, if i don't.....most likely eventually my paintings will end up in a landfill
so better that they go to good homes now

meanwhile bernie's cut back the trees, which means i can light the woodstove, so naturally the weather has gotten very warm again!
i'm ok with that.....
actually i am ok with a snowy but mild in temperature winter where the lows are around 25.......
** hear that mother nature?***
i'm not thrilled with my paint water having ice on it in the morning IN THE STUDIO
you know.....WHERE i paint!

so anyway..... today i am to take many more photos of the gourds
and we'll see where we get to

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

gourds, branches, and the printer

yup winter is coming...... even though the trees are still mostly green.
bernie's cutting back limbs so the chimney from the woodstove is safe 
but this does mean winter is on it's way
---still on the list is insulation and crack filling...oye-along with covering windows in the studio and the door wall in the duck room
more wood and a tank of oil

today, we pick up 'two foxes' from the printer
and amelia and company as well, which is a pen and ink, on rag bristol.
(and their digital files-but no prints) 
while at the printer, i will drop off the first chicken for scanning, that is going to the bird farm to thank them for their hospitality and allowing us to descend on them to photograph their birds and to have them share photos they took with me.
at this point i have two more chickens due to be scanned.....and 6 more to be painted
along with gourds and corn and pumpkins
i wish i could be painting a witch too but that's not to be i guess this year

also in studio news, i am trying to figure out a way to get steady north light for some of the work i am planning... short of installing a sun tunnel.....which i would love to do- the closest i can figure would be a cool white led light hung from HIGH over head?
but i don't know if that is going to work for what i've got in mind (high overhead is a joke as the ceiling in the studio is only 7'2'')

but the thing is.......i am getting more and more intrigued  by the overhead cool north light i see in old paintings, and how it affects colors.... so i am really wanting to work with that for a while
i swear i should have my studio in a glass house..... and i so would if i could afford to and afford to keep it comfortable while working

now i am supposed to be getting my shower, to go to the printer, however i am sitting in the studio sort of listening to bernie cut the trees back, as in case of an emergency i can help him
yes i know
yes i do this all the time
yes even he thinks i'm nuts

Monday, October 05, 2015

gourds have arrived!~!!

thank you so very very much.....

i am going to be taking them outside shortly and photographing them with some corn and leaves and if the pumpkins are ok.....them too
and also individually
i have lethargy though today.....
tomorrow is the printer
(after poor bernie cuts back trees so we can use the woodstove-branches too close to the chimney)

 meanwhile i've been sort of cleaning and reorganizing, rethinking my studio work area
and i realized i have it all sort of..........half baked
some things need to be where i can easily reach them from both the easel and the drafting
and to do that i need to move them and also move my easel........
so the new layout which i am going to try and finish up this fall will have my easel in the corner...... move the cds/cd player and the tool caddy, and camera to the center and further break up the paints.....gouache is going to be going into a smaller plastic drawer unit, leaving the wooden drawer chest for transparent water colors
colored and graphite pencils stay in the same place... sketch pads move over..... cut paper boxes get centralized as well
and somehow the shelves need to be hung...right now i have them stacked on coffee cans..... and that is taking up too much space now if i had just a BIT more floor space, i could set up a still life area that is easier to deal with-and to light........
as it is i am going to see about moving stuff down towards the back of the studio about 18''......that won't cover the ac in summer or the back up heat duct in the winter

i wish i could just open that area totally up but with calpurrnia still territorial marking (since that stupid jackass neighbor with the 7 un-neutered male cats spraying all over-she's never gotten over that) .....i can risk her getting into the painting area easily

so there you go....further small progress in re-organizing the studio's work flow......

Saturday, October 03, 2015


i'm sort of getting ready to start another round of painting,
moving things around in the studio a bit
thinking about how i work and where i can put things so i can maybe work on two pieces concurrently.
in the midst of this i spilled milk on my cobalt palette, as well as on my cadmium palette-i was not happy about that at all
well ok now i have washed them bit all that pigment and mixed pigments wasted.....

and i am thinking that the floor in that area is going to need peroxide too...
anyway some of the thinking i've done is how to set up so i can reach supplies from either the easel or the drafting table.. or should i just locate gouache on one and transparent watercolors on the other?
i need more lighting there as well
up lights would be optimum, but i am thinking a light bar, with clamp-on lamps is probably what is going to happen.

i also am trying to see what direction i need to take my paintings in next....
i am thinking that gouache needs to continue to explore how light falls on subjects, and what it does to colors.... i was so shocked when i figured out the actual blue of shadows at one point- i have to keep reminding myself to paint what is really there, not what i think i see-
gouache on dark paper forces my brain to work one way *reserve the darks for shadows*
transparent watercolor on white paper is directly opposite, *reserve the whites for light*
switching back and forth is a trip! as they both demand that you think about what you're going to do, how you're going to do it, and when in the process certain things have to happen. like when you need to mask out an image as you are going to be doing stuff to the background..... then lifting that mask to work on your main image.
now some people think that should NOT be done, but i know that for me, whatever works, works.... cause see i have this finished image in my head i'm also working towards

and the transparent watercolors, i think i need to go back to telling stories with, as the paintings that i don't hate as much are the ones with a story-
i think i'm ok that the gouache is about how to see, and the other is about overseeing sort of
i also am thinking i need to do both...
i could also with the gouache do one subject over and over if i had to in different lighting and different limited palettes
until i learned what i am looking to learn --- maybe the answer is....same subject, one in transparent and one in gouache?

i think that's part of what you ask 'what if.............' and then you do it to answer the question-no?
that's how i approached porcelain work..... 'what if i try this, would that give me a better finish? or do i need to modify that'

i wonder if there is a grant for studio expansion? there seem to be grants for EVERYTHING else...
me having a body of work at the end of a grant period is not a problem as i am prolific, but finding and writing a grant app may be a bit of a problem.

i do long to do etchings again, (and porcelain work) i loved the atmosphere of etching... that slight haze of ink not quite wiped off the plate- really i need a bigger studio and it needs to be on a slab to support a press -

i keep wondering what a studio would look like for the work i want to do and i think it should be round...... and i think that the perimeter would be where the work actually happens because of that being where the windows are... and the center of the circle is a good spot for a desk/table read/plan projects, do research....... (mat/frame/package-order supplies)- and when i have down time, i think of how i would set it up....where would the storage go, where would the slop sink about the drying racks, or the acid vats and vents....?

no wonder i am having trouble remembering what i ate for breakfast, with all this stuff swirling in my head.....

for now in the next foreseeable future, i have to just decide about the corn/gourd series..... continue the corn in transparent? or go onto gouache, and do the fall series ...and if i do that..... do i continue on the black or go onto the other colored grounds?
i have the other indian corn in transparent..... i could do both i suppose, corn in gouache AND corn in transparent
ohohoh, i would LOVE to do various heritage corns (the not white or yellow ones) THOSE i would do in transparent, and have them labeled with their names
i have a cob of oaxacan green corn- but it's not a complete one.... i would like to do a complete one, and i have a deep red dent corn.... plus a not filled in cob of what could be stained glass or candy corn.....
not quite enough to do what i was thinking of
*i have written to a few seeds banks to see if i can get growers to sell me heritage ears but no luck*
this, and the frog project will be on indefinite hold, due to lack of materials/models...
both of which i could really it's a shame but it is what it is and i'll make do

so there you go.... a sorta of 'state of the studio' address..... more or less?
and tomorrow it looks like i lay out the next chicken

Friday, October 02, 2015

a bit less meh.....

although it's a lot colder today..... i am coming out of the blahs..
today i put up the first real soupie of the season, cause it's very cold here
i am making chicken and dumplins
right now i am also poaching two extra chicken breasts in the broth for bernie to slice for chicken sandwitches at work tonight
and i am seriously hoping that tuesday he cuts back the trees cause it's freeken cold here- and i need to put the stove on
we need to break it in too so a low fire
i am trying to decide if i should do the corn and gourds on colored grounds in gouache or on white paper in transparent watercolors.....

and we may have found a body shop for less then going through insurance and the deductible
so while i am not happy about's better then 500 deductible

so then...... that's life in my little corner of pa
oh and.......we maybe have narrowly missed this current hurricane........joaquin ?
jersey and the coastal areas of course are taking a huge pounding.... but that's part of being a coastal area i guess

meanwhile we (me and the cats and budgie) are pretty cold..... i am going to give them some hot cat food to see if that helps them at all
i couldn't find the millet for captain cuttle.....i'll have to ask bernie where he put it
but hot cat food i can do

stay warm everyone, stay dry and safe

Thursday, October 01, 2015


i need to get back to work, but for some odd reason, i just don't feel like it
i did hear that my corn should be on it's way-
the replacement paper should be at the po today
(bernie will have to pick it up tomorrow)
for some reason though, work.... no energy for it

i don't know if it's the weather, which is cool, but humid and clammy, which makes it difficult for me to breath.
or, if it's just that i need a break..... some time out away from home/work
some sort of change in scenery?

i have to redo the buff orpington chicken then start on the black orpington and the white orpington.....
with corn and pumpkins interspersed, and probably leaves as well

i sort of wish that my studio had an etching press as i would work on etchings then while i waited for the omph to come back to painting.
and i also wish i was still set up for porcelain work..... that too would yield a nice break

so meanwhile right now, i am sleepy (either weather related or i am getting sick) ..... and sort of meh about work
not the best frame of mind to start a new painting in huh?