Monday, 20 July 2015

 Ramblings in a studio 

The trouble with living in a small home is that every space has to fulfill the duties of three or four spaces. 
My studio is the study, is the store room. If you don't have a garage, this is where your husband stores his tools. And the space where he works on his hobbies. It's the place old boxes go to die - also sadly the space my cat's escapee lizards go to die, to my horror. 
Dust bunnies thrive there. 
It's the place you store old paintings and new canvasses, arb pieces of wood that might become parts of furniture in the future etc. And if that space is where you have to spend most of your time being creative, it can be a bit of a bummer. And if you have to bring a prospective client into the studio, and they have to step over a drill and move over some sanding paper to get to a chair, well, it doesn't feel very professional. 

Also: The walls were margarine coloured. MARGARINE! The colour of heart disease. To add to the gloriousness of that sick yellow, the curtains were sort of a caramel colour, that had been fading and somehow brightening because of sun damage, and as such faded from caramel to bright yellow. Like ombre. That didn't help.

So. One of the reasons I haven't been super productive, is the gradual removal of all yellow from our lives. I painted the room - a story in itself, involving masking tape that took off all the white paint from the ceiling in a 5 cm border, and a groundsman who found my work most entertaining, and took to taking breaks in front of my window, to watch me balance on a desk to paint the walls. I was not amused. 
Shelves now span the room - a story involving many broken drill bits and much cussing - and the tools are all in crates. Charcoal curtains (with the surprising glossy texture of a 90's suit) frame the window. No tools on the ground. No canvasses lean against the walls. No petrified (in both senses of the word) lizards hide in the corners. No clutter. No yellow. 

The room is very much still a work in progress, but already it yearns to embrace you with ideas and successes. 
My hubby is into miniatures - used to be Warhammer 40k, now Infinity - and so he assembles armies and paints them. We're in the process of creating a painting nook for him in the opposite corner from my easel, where the airbrush and compressor will live. Which might give you a better idea of the two types of art that have to co-exist in that little space. Last week we started spending evenings painting together, with audio books or movies on in the background. It's fantastic to share that, to work together for hours without having to banter, and to share insights on certain shades of red or about glazing and varnishes. And to occasionally try to figure our what shade of gray the shelves want to be.

The angle I usually post of WIP's: Just to give you an idea.

Science Fair still life  |  20 x 20 cm  | Acrylic on Canvas

ALSO! I've been lying to you all along.

For years I've been telling people that my paintings don't need to be framed, the edges are neatly painted, they look great as they are. 

And then I got one of my paintings framed.

And I lost about a week of my life, just staring at the new painting. The frame made SUCH a MASSIVE difference! I now admire it, as if I had no hand in creating it! I don't mean that in an arrogant way, but you feel a sort of kinship with one of your own paintings, you know it in and out, and you look at it differently than other people do, you look at that one shadow that you struggled with for 2 days, at that shade of green that took days to perfect and so on. Now I look at it as a complete work. Not like something I made. Does that make sense?
I used to have that painting on the wall because of sentiment, now it's a 'piece', a beautiful thing. The downside however is that I need to frame all the things. I'm somewhat obsessed. It's a problem.

If funds allowed, I'd frame all my paintings before consignment. But we're not quite there yet.

This was framed by The Framed Feather, in Boston, Bellville. Go there.-


- I don't hate yellow. But I like moderation. And too much of a yellow thing is bad.

- I seem to be insinuating that  a) my husband is to blame for much of the clutter and b) I don't like to banter with him - he's not, I'm a terrible mess-maker, and I love LOVE bantering with him. But being productive with someone is a great thing. And there's a wonder in productive silences.

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