Tag Archives: art

I am SO in love with…..my garage???

We moved into our new place about a month ago now, and it’s nothing less than AWESOME. Keep in mind that I’m coming from a tiny third floor apartment, so moving into a house is quite an upgrade. It was built in the 50’s, but it was completely renovated on the inside, so everything is new, and sparkling clean, and all the appliances are functional. Oh, and we have a GAS stove, which is thrilling for someone who likes to cook, especially after years of crappy electric stoves. Oh, and now when we get groceries we can simply carried them 10 feet to the door instead of making four or five trips up and down all those freaking stairs. It pretty much rules.

Among the other things that I’m super stoked on is that we have a garage now.  Joy. A place for Christmas decorations and tools and empty boxes, and all the stuff that you want and need to have, but don’t necessarily want in the middle of your living room. The garage has a storage room where all that stuff went, which means the rest of the garage is empty.

For my car? I think not.

I probably WILL park there in the winter when it’s freezing cold, but since it’s just now turning to spring that’s a long way off. No…I shall do no such thing as boring as PARK in my garage.

(and this brilliant idea came from my boyfriend, who actually suggested it not at ALL expecting me to go along with it)

♥ STUDIO SPACE ♥

I actually LOVE this idea. The space is roomier than I could possibly need, I have an old kitchen supply rack that I bought at Target back in the day when my kitchen had no cabinet space and I needed a place to put things, which is PERFECT for art supplies. Cases full of markers, pencils, pastels, etc on the bottom. Scissors and rolls of tape hanging from the hooks. Cans of spray paint and spray mount and fixative and jars of brushes and bottles of gesso and all that fun stuff on top. And of course, my easel right next to it. I put everything together on Sunday afternoon, and honestly, it makes me happy just to go out there and look at it. I’ve been wanting to learn how to do screen printing forever, and now that I have a space to do it I got a kit for my birthday.

I can be messy. I can spread out. I love seeing all of my supplies consolidated in their own space. I’ve had them in drawers, on bookcases, inside closets, but never everything out in the open where I can see it all at once. It makes me remember how much cool stuff I have, and even better, it makes me want to dig in and USE it.

We got new couch for our living room, so we dragged the old couch into the garage. Another win. Cha-CHING! I have big plans. I want to hang up some stuff, like a bulletin board to post all of my references and sketches. Another cabinet to hold some more misc supplies. A dock and speakers for my ipod so I can play music out there. And when it’s nice out, I can open up the garage door and paint “outside.” The potential is ridiculous.

To quote Ren and Stimpy…..

Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
HAPPY HAPPY JOY! JOY! JOY!

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toys and art and fun and whatnot (or why Spirograph is one of the coolest toys ever)

Spirograph - the old school 1980's version

I had a blast from the past yesterday that left me wondering…how much of our artistic future is seeded in our childhood toys?

My mom got my daughter a Spirograph for Christmas. Remember those? You probably do. I even vaguely remember my mom saying that she had one as a kid. I remember the one I had as a kid had this little clip with spikes on it that you used to keep the ring from sliding all over the paper. No matter how cool your design was, you always ended up with these two holes punched into the paper…an ugly scar on your beautiful creation. You got an assortment of various sized rings, circles, and other various oddly shaped gears that could be rather difficult to trace around the ring. Sometimes the gear got stuck, or your pen slipped, and you ended up with an ugly imperfection in your design where the lines no longer lined up in perfect symmetry. You also got a couple of colored pens that dried up almost immediately, and it was always an ordeal to find another colored pen that fit into the tiny hole on the gear. Crayola markers were usually too big to fit, and who wanted to make an awesome drawing using only black or blue bic pens? Not this girl!

...and the slick new 2011 version

Despite all it’s flaws, that toy was nothing less than awesome. I would spend HOURS experimenting with the infinite combinations of shapes and patterns that could be created. I filled out page upon page with beautiful kaleidoscope like circles, each completely different from the next, just by altering my technique in some slight way.

Fast forward to the present. I’m working at a painting at the kitchen table, and my daughter digs her Spirograph out of her arts and crafts cart. I’m immersed in my own work and don’t really pay much attention to what she’s doing, until I look up and see that she’s just tracing her pencil inside the stencils that came with the kit (they didn’t have that when I was a kid) and around the various sized circles. I don’t really think she understands how it’s supposed to be used. So I show her.

She was AMAZED. Intrigued. SO PROUD that she can create something so intricate and complicated all on her own. She played with that toy for the next hour and a half.

Until she got one, I had completely forgotten that Spirographs ever existed. Now that we have one in the house, I can’t help but think it might have had just a little influence in the artistic direction I embarked on. You be the judge.

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jack of all trades, expert at none (or why I can’t paint monkeys in space suits driving 1964 VW Bugs)

I’m interested in too many things. It’s a problem.

Why? Because everything you read about establishing your career in art gives the same advice: Focus, focus, focus. You should create work that’s instantly attributable to you and only you. If you paint, paint pictures of one thing. Painting cars? Not focused enough. Painting Volkswagens in acrylics? Still not focused enough. Painting 1964 VW Beetles driven by moneys in space suits in orange and green acrylic paint in an Art Noveau style? Possibly focused enough…but probably not.

I can’t do it. The problem, and one of my biggest fears, is that I just can’t focus that much. I want to do too much. I want to be good at EVERYTHING. And being good at the things I already know isn’t enough. I want to be BETTER. And even that isn’t enough. The list of things I want to get really good at keeps getting longer and longer, and I know that for every one thing that gets crossed off, two more (at least) will pop up to replace it.

The more you know, the more you realize what you DON’T know. And WANT to know. And HAVE TO know. It’s very easy for me to see how people could spend their entire careers as academics. I honestly love acquiring knowledge. I would be a professional student, if I didn’t need to have things like….oh….food and shelter.

So, here’s the list of everything that I want to be amazing at. Some of them I’m already pretty decent at, some I dabble in but want to get better, and some of them I’ve never even tried. I figure if I just get the list down, and out into the universe….that’s a start.

  • Glass blowing
  • Stained glass
  • Video editing
  • Photoshop
  • Silk Screening
  • Oil painting
  • Acrylic painting
  • Photography
  • Cake decorating
  • Ceramics
  • Interior decorating
  • Metalworking/jewelrymaking
  • Animation

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Birds on the Wire

There’s something to be said about digital art when you’ve got little kids in the house. No having to worry about cleaning up the mess, and it’s easy to work on for five minutes here, five minutes there.

Variations of this image have been bouncing around in my head for weeks now as I cut through the forest preserve on my drive home from work. The colors got a little funky when I uploaded the file….sad.

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