Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring has Sprung at my House! by Lenall Siebenaler

I have come to look at my yard as part of my art. It is full, full, full! It also reflects riotous color. Like my art it can be somewhat whimsy and eclectic and it has gobs of texture. I have always spent a mint each year adding to my collection of plants and have got to the point where I should probably stop but, of course, can't. I still buy and actually went to a local plant sale on Saturday where I purchased 3 boxes of very healthy plants at great prices! I am also lucky to have friends who also have a lot of plants and totally enjoy exchanging with them.

 This past Fall, I purchased a few more red and yellow tulip bulbs to add to my front yard bed along my driveway. I'm really glad I did as it looks so pretty! I just had to share! Later in the summer I will share the back yard. The perennials are getting taller but not quite there for your viewing pleasure. Till then...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Prepping for the faire

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!

Well, the fair season is about to kick off for me next weekend with the Society for Creative Anacronym’s Faire in the Grove.  It’s a fun weekend in Forest Grove with the McMenamin Grand Lodge’s park-like grounds transformed into Medieval Europe. 

To get ready, I’ve been busy in my studio making books. 
They’re everywhere! 

I got the leather cut and paper folded last week.   With only a few days left to get ready, I’m heads down with my sewing.

Be sure to stop by and enjoy the activities.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Virtual Studio Tours--Debi Koenig

I recently decided to convert the guest room into my studio. Before that, I mostly made art in the living/dining room. All my messy paint “stuff” was stored in this main part of the house. I had replaced the dining room table with a long, wide, heavy “school” table which worked really well for painting my large paper pieces. I’ll still do some creating on that large work table; it’s a great place to spread out to paint a lot of paper or have friends over for an art play day. But, now that I have created a cozy studio space, this is where I like to work. And, I can just shut the door on my studio when I want to contain the “stuff”. As with most things in my life, my studio is a “work in progress”.

1. What sort of artwork do you do and what are you currently working on?

Like others, I’ve tried many different types of art (quilts, doll making, paper, jewelry, soldering, collage, etc, etc, etc!). The last few years I have mostly been creating paper, doodling, and art journaling. I use the paper I decorate to cover journals, planners, stars, and other items. I have always loved fabric, and have recently started painting fabric, sewing, and making quilts again, too.

2. How do you need your studio to function? Give a brief description of your working space.

I love the visual stimulation of color and texture, and I am inspired by many things. I have art and color and eye-candy all over my home. While I do like to be surrounded by inspiration, the most important thing in my studio is have the space “user friendly”. I kept two goals in mind while setting up this studio; 1) supplies need to be within easy reach, and 2) supplies & inspiration need to be visible. I am an “out of sight, out of mind” kinda gal. Things need to be out where I can see them, or I forget what I’ve got!

My paper, art journaling, and fabric painting are all wet and messy, and I love it. But, I don’t want to get paint, dye, etc on the nice clean sewing/quilting items. I try to keep the “wet/messy” away from the “dry/clean”. This can be quite a challenge since I only have one work table set up in my studio and I like to work on more than one thing at a time! My house is very small, but, in a pinch I can set up a second table, or move out to the dining room. If I start doing a lot more sewing, I’m going to have to consider setting up two separate areas on a more permanent basis.

The next photo shows the view to the left of my desk. I have all my paper painting supplies (paint/ink, paper, stencils, rubber stamps, mark making tools, etc) in one metal shelving unit, within easy reach.

Next, see the view looking to the right of my desk. The “eye level” shelves hold my art journals, tapes (gotta love the duct tapes and washi tapes!), paper and other journaling supplies.

The photo below shows the larger view of the shelving on my right side. This second metal shelving unit holds the art journaling supplies and my fabric/sewing supplies. I organized both of the shelving units so the items I use most often are within reach from my table, allowing me to keep on working.

3. What do you love about your studio?
Several years ago I found a wonderful bright blue wooden “cubby” unit, rescued from a preschool/daycare. Still one of my favorite things, and I got it for $5.00! It is sitting under a window in my studio, filled with my books. I also love all the light from the two windows.

Recently my husband extended the window sill above my desk, making it into a very useful shelf. Now I use it to keep pens, markers, and tools in colorful containers . . . visible, easy to reach, and off my painting surface!

4. What would you like to change about it?
I wish it didn’t have carpeting! Carpet and paint . . . always a disaster waiting to happen! I did put down a colorful area rug under my desk, and that helps.

Organization of “stuff” is always a challenge for me (my sister got all the organizational genes in our family). There are two closets in my studio. They are full (I’m afraid to look?!), but there is great potential for more studio storage space. Also, I need to add labels to many, many, many more containers! I still spend a lot of time looking for things. But, I make some “happy discoveries” while searching, so this doesn’t bother me too much. Someday I’ll make some colorful happy labels for all my bins/boxes/tubs/etc . . .perhaps ;-)

5. What would your dream studio contain?
My dream studio would be large enough to have friends over to play, have lots of windows for natural light, have non-carpeted floors that might welcome a paint splatter, and, have huge double garage doors that would open up to let the light and outdoors in on a sunny day. I would also have a sink and water available, plenty of storage, and heat for the cool winter days.

6. Do you have any organizational tips?

The photo below shows my inspiration board, currently covered with some canvas I painted. It’s made out of an old bulletin board, and sits on top of a dresser. It is not attached, so I can store it behind the dresser when not in use. On the cork side, I tack up inspiration. When I need a design board for quilting projects, I flip over the board. I have covered the back side with flannel. I have art on the wall behind the board. This board takes up very little space, but is very useful! I love this sort of “multitasking” space, especially in a small studio.

On my paper/painting unit I left part of one shelf rather bare. It seems I always am looking for more space when I work! This empty shelf is within easy reach, but doesn’t take up “valuable space” on my work table. One of the things I use this shelf for is my dye inks. Normally, I store my dye inks (and spray bottles, sponges, alcohol, etc) in large shallow boxes on the very top shelf of this unit. I am very messy, and the permanent ink can quickly get all over everything. Not as easy to clean up as my acrylic paints! When I am using these messy things, I bring down the whole shallow box, and set it on this lower shelf. When done, back it goes to the top shelf, contained and out of my way. I also use this empty shelf for a drying rack while working on multiple art journal pages, or anytime I need something “handy”.

Thank you for visiting my studio! As I mentioned, it’s a work in progress. Perhaps next time you visit, I’ll have conquered some of my organizational “challenges” . . . or perhaps my organized sister will have come for a visit! In the meantime, let’s all make art and have fun.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Field Trip: Seattle Art Museum

Ten members of the Portland Art Collective headed to Seattle last Friday to the Seattle Art Museum to see the limited engagement Gauguin exhibit -- Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise. We rented a 12-passenger van and hit the road bright and early.

We had lunch at the museum's restaurant, TASTE, before entering the Gauguin exhibit.

Glimpses of the Seattle Art Museum.

No photos allowed inside the Gauguin exhibit, so this will have to do.

After leaving the Seattle Art Museum, we spent a glorious day roaming around downtown. The sun was out, the streets packed with people, the energy electric. Did someone say chocolate?

And then we began the long drive home. Showing clips from Saturday Night Live on an iPad was just one of our many activities!