Tuesday, April 15, 2014

~*Happy dance*~



I’m so excited I can’t sit still. I am moving my studio out of my home and into Riverview Station in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC!



In May I will begin gradually moving things into Studio #221, and I should be ready to roll by the first week of June. For those not familiar with Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD), the area contains more than 170 artists with working studios in 22 former industrial buildings along the French Broad River. The studio will provide a much larger working space, a long wall (with track lighting!) for display, an amazing skylight, and some much needed community with other creatives.

Following are some pics I took of the studio on the day I signed up for it. The previous tenant still had some furniture and fixtures in it, but you can get the idea. It is an L-shaped studio with the widest section by the entrance.


Standing in the skinny part of the L looking back at the entrance. The unearthly glow is from the skylight. Might not want to leave any important papers directly under that!











The display wall – the blue paint will be gone before I get in there. It will be painted to match the wider section.
















Looking left from the entrance                                                      The hallway outside the studio



One of the cool things about this place is that there is a dog obedience school located in it, so it’s a very dog-friendly space – I can take Gracie with me!

Riverview Station is the first building you come to in the River Arts District if you are coming from Biltmore Villages – the last one if coming from Patton Ave. (the green building in the lower left of the map).

RAD map

I’m planning a grand opening to coincide with the RAD Studio Stroll June 14-15, 2014. I hope you’ll come if you possibly can!

And one last pic – to show you one of the many reasons why I love Asheville so much:



Friday, April 11, 2014

First world problems.

I need a vacation. From vacations. Once again I’m hurrying to finish a piece. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

This year, I know why, I guess. Circumstances have put several trips in too short a period of time. And you know how it is, the couple of days before and after travelling are NOT productive in the studio.

I am happy to have finished up to the point that I had set as a goal for today. As long as I can keep up with my goals on each day I have left to work on it, I’ll be ok. But it would just be so awesome to stop making myself miserable!

detail april14

Sometimes I’ll lay out a few things before deciding whether or not to glue them down – what do you think? Should I glue this one down?

sophie april 14

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Video progress report

I have a little video I made to show (and explain) what I have going on in the background of the mosaic I’m currently working on. If you remember, this one is inspired by a photo I took a few years ago in my garden.

I’m adding more green leaves in the mosaic (I don’t know why – because I want to), but I do love the background in the photo. You can tell those are leaves behind the flowers, but they are only suggested by incomplete lines and shadows.

So here is the video with excuses explanation.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Getting my leafy greens.

I have been working on the leaves this week. I’m going to try to get some of them to almost blend into the background (which will be blue) by shifting from greens at one edge to blues at the opposite. Keeping the andamento in the leaf will hopefully keep me from completely losing that edge, but the colors will be just like the background. Here’s my first attempt at that – we’ll have to wait til I get the background in to see if it worked!

leaf detail 1

Here is another leaf with a hint of blue/green shift.

leaf detail 2

And these are foreground leaves that are all shades of green.

leaf detail 3

Next week I’ll get a few more green shifting to blue put in, then a couple that are all blue, then start the background (hopefully).

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Monday, March 10, 2014

A little bit more done.



Not ideal lighting today – the lamp on the left washed out the colors of the leaves quite a bit – they are definitely darker in real life. Also have some severe shadows on the flowers in the upper left, but I took this photo primarily to check the balance in the composition before moving on.

Back to work …

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What a wiseguy … emphasis on wise



I’m going to print this LARGE and post it on the wall of my studio.

Waiting for inspiration before making art is like waiting until you lose weight before you start an exercise program.

You’ve put the cart before the horse. The effort has to come first.

It’s not until you’re in the studio, puttering with your materials, looking at the pictures you saved and the art you’ve already made, that you think “Oh! That’s a cool idea, but what if …”

What are you waiting for? Get in there!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Next best thing to a warm sunny day

So here we go – decision made. (Actually, not really, but more on that in a minute …)

Bellafiore is back on the worktable.


I love this one. I don’t know what it is about it compared to others I’ve done, but this one will be hard to part with when the time comes.

Just finished the leaf in the lower left, although it will need a little tweak after everything is dry (so I can pop off a couple of tess without messing the whole thing up).

And the reason the decision on which to go to next is not really made?

I started the design process for the glass on glass piece. I usually don’t do a complete (or at least terribly detailed) drawing before beginning, but I think I will on this one. I have three tempered glass shelves that we saved from an office shelving unit when one of them broke. There are three different widths and I had intended to use only the widest of the three, but I’m really tempted to use them all and make a triptych. They are a very pale mint green with a slightly frosted side which will make for a nice neat look on the back. The one in the photo is the widest.



I started a design board on Pinterest to collect images for inspiration. You can see them here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Goodnight, moon

I’m going to put this one to bed for awhile. I can’t seem to stay focused on it. I feel as if it is almost, dare I say, whimsical. (Whimsical is borderline cute, and I SO hate cute).

When I’m not in the same room with it, I think to myself that I just will have to give up on it and try another interpretation of that poem that isn’t so, well … whatever you want to call it.

But when I go take a critical look at it up close, I can’t seem to find anything in particular that is rubbing my fur the wrong way. So there you have it. I’ll just have to move on to something else and see what happens after this percolates in my subconscious for awhile.


I may now go back to the large mosaic from a photo I took of rudbeckias in my garden.


Or I may start the glass on glass project I’ve have in mind for a couple of years. The reason I haven’t started that one yet is that I can’t decide how to frame it. I want it to be displayed in the garden so it will be backlit with sunlight, but I think that will require a specially made wrought iron frame and stand. Hmm.


Monday, February 17, 2014

I think I need an intervention.

I believe I mentioned that I am one of a group of local artists who have decided to get together once a month to discuss our goals, both artistic and business related, for support and networking.

I LOVE this idea. Especially because I work out of my home, and am therefore one of the pitiful people who rely on Facebook for interaction with other humans. This could be a tremendous help in working toward staying more accountable, defining what it is I really want to accomplish, and meeting more artists in the area.tumblr_kxrgi3qcoe1qalg37o1_1280_1024x1024

But I must admit, what this has really done is emphasize my ADD.

I spent some time before the first meeting putting together a list. List are wonderful, aren’t they? You feel SO good about yourself while you’re compiling them, but once you look back and realize that all you did by spending time on list-making was justify not actually DOING anything, that feeling fades pretty fast.

I spent an entire evening compiling a list of specific short-term goals, specific mid-term goals, specific long-term goals, and some general things I wanted to put more focus on. I then spent several days revisiting and refining my list.

And tomorrow we meet again and I have to explain (at least to myself, if not to the others) why I have accomplished very little in the studio. And by very little, I mean almost nothing.

I did accomplish a couple of business related items on my list, but without the studio work, the business related items are pretty pointless.

And today, instead of working in the studio, I’m sitting at the computer whining to you.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Congratulations Bill!

I became acquainted with Bill Guffey about 3 or 4 years ago when I discovered his Virtual Paint Out blog. It is such a fantastic idea: use Google street view to visit and paint scenes from all over the world. The neat thing about his blog is that he chooses a place and those who want to participate select a scene from that location to paint, so it’s almost like being together on a paint out! Take a look at the blog and see how cool it is here.masonville

I also began following his Facebook page, where he astonishes with daily plein aire studies. Seriously, this man makes me feel like such a slug! He is out in all kinds of weather, and his work is always inspiring. (At right, one of my favorite of his palette knife paintings)

Masonville, Colorado                             
© Bill Guffey 2013                               

Anyway, Bill is the featured artist in the Dick Blick ad on the inside cover of The Artist’s Magazine! Yay Bill! A well deserved honor. See his inside front cover feature and more of his plein aire studies on this blog.

About a year ago he told a story about being on a paint out and being approached by a young man who told him that his dad was a painter too – in fact he’d become sort of famous. According to the young man, his dad painted photos. Bill said he hoped he had misunderstood what the guy was telling him, and that he painted from photos. But coincidentally, I went to Asheville about a week later and visited Blue Spiral gallery, and guess who was the featured artist?!? Mr. “I paint ON TOP OF PHOTOS.”

Yep. For realz.

He prints off a photo and then paints on top of it. And somehow he managed to finagle a solo show at Blue Spiral, AND a feature in The Laurel of Asheville, the local arts magazine.

As Bill said, it hardly seems fair that a hard working artist who is willing to stand outside in all sorts of weather and diligently hone his craft should labor in obscurity while a lazy cheater gets noticed (actually, I think those were my words, but the sentiment was there). But all that’s changing now!

Good luck Bill – you deserve all the best!


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