Saturday, February 18, 2012
Welcome to my creative space: Alley Art Studio!
1. What sort of artwork do you do and what are you currently working on?
I do a smattering of a lot of things. I love to paint and I do so in visual journals, with wax, and on canvases of all sizes. I love using texture with my paintings, including collage elements, but my favorite medium is using plaster, which can be stained, sanded, painted, carved into, and reworked again and again. I also work with metal and found objects, creating my Funky Junkyard Birds, which are made from recycled tins and metal bits. I have also developed Curious Elements, which are made from recycled wood that is textured and painted, and then I add crazy metal bits and pieces. Curious Elements satisfy my urge to use plaster, paint, and also gives me an excuse to go junking for found objects.
When I'm working on a batch of Curious Elements, I set up three big tables in the living room of the studio and create stations for the various processes involved in creating them.
I also love inviting friends over for visual journaling groups or special projects (like painting clown shoes), so the large tables are used in a different way.
My plan for the new year is to work big, so I've converted my living room into an area for working on large wood panels and canvases . This is a portion of a plaster piece I created last year.
2. How do you need your studio to function?
I need lots of space because I work on multiple projects at one time. I sometimes have the workbench in the kitchen covered with a new batch of boards to be plastered and painted, while a table in another room might be covered with metal bits and pieces to be used in various projects. A side counter is almost always reserved for one of my visual journals so I can easily add a collage element or get rid of leftover paint on my brush. Here's a few photos of my kitchen work space looking pretty darn neat and tidy!
I even funked up my bathroom, although the doll on the back of the toilet does freak some people out!
3. What do you love about your studio?
I love that I have an entire house! Formerly a little one-bedroom rental, about three years ago my husband suggested I take it over as my studio (I was sort of encroaching on our living space at home, also a small living space). So we painted every inch, added shelves and storage units, and converted the house into Alley Art Studio (a name developed when we used to live in a house on an alley). The best part of my studio? It’s on an alley and right across the street from a park.
(And it also have a pretty cool fenced in back yard where I do art in the summer).
4. What would you like to change about it?
I wish I had a bigger area to do large paintings – and a floor that I didn’t care about! Otherwise, it is perfect. When I'm wanting to work big, I just throw down a big painter's tarp. Here's the living room sans tarp and then with tarp and ready for some paint to get flung.
5. What would your dream studio contain?
I think I have my dream studio.
6. Do you have any organizational tips?
I’m a big organizer and I work best when I have a general idea of where things are. Probably the best tip is using glass jars to store bits and bobs – you can see what’s inside and they look pretty cool all lined up and stacked on a shelf (or shelves as the case may be). I also love using a metal crib mattress springs for displaying photos and odd objects. Here are some examples of my organization -- jars and cubbies in a hall, metal crib springs, and the back bedroom used for general storage.
You can see my art and follow my art wanderings at my blog:
Alley Art Studio
A couple of fun studio facts:
My studio was featured in Fall 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios.
I was on the Artists in Action Studio Tour in September, 2011
I'll leave you with a few studio vignettes:
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Every year we do a little Valentine's swap at our Feb. meeting. This is the one I made this year.
This was inspired by Jude's cloth weavings, using some of my hand-painted fabrics for a bit of a graphic touch and both machine and hand stitching. I copied some of my painted fabrics on paper and used it for the background.
Happy Valentines Day!
Friday, February 3, 2012
Four PAC members are participating in the 100 Artists Show at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem, The Art of Communication. The members are Tory, Steph, Melissa, and Dayna.
Mary Lou's website offers a complete description about the show, but here is brief explanation:
During the month of February, the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery will be presenting “The Art of Communication”, the 10th annual 100 Artists show. Participating artists received a blank letter through the mail and were asked to write a thought, a story, or whatever they so choose and then send to their “partnered” artist. The artists had over three months to transform the writings into their work of art.
A pre opening dinner at a local French restaurant, Napoleon's, with all four participating PAC members: Dayna, Steph, Tory, and Melissa.
The opening reception was Wednesday evening.
Check out Mary Lou's website for photos of the over 100 pieces of art donated for the auction. You can place your bid in person or by calling the gallery.