Into the Maker Space

Into the Maker Space

I moved my C3 Lab studio from a private office into the shared maker space.
I left the four grey walls, temperature control and the door with my name on it.
Now I’m in a giant garage-like space with a dozen other artists and makers.
This space has neither AC nor heat.
It’s hot in the summer and frigid in the winter.
There’s sawdust everywhere.
And dead bugs on my windowsill.

If you know me,
You’re probably thinking this new space triggers all my obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
Upon arrival each day, I do spend the first 15 minutes wiping and sweeping sawdust off everything.
But you know what?
I LOVE being in the maker space!

I love being surrounded by all the artists and makers.
I love the variety of talent, skills and projects around me.
And the energy that, much like the ubiquitous sawdust, permeates the room.

I am SO pleased to now be smack dab in the center of it all.

The Chairs

The Chairs

Finally ready to share about the three paintings I so worked hard on last month:

“Forgotten” (Oil on 16×20 inch canvas)

My first painting was “Forgotten.”
Inspired by a photo, the creepy art I did for my “Spooky” collection and a red chair.
Remember that red chair from a painting assignment back in June?
Initially, I thought it was a ratty, ugly chair and I hated it.
By the time I finished the exercise,
I knew it was a ratty, ugly chair and I’d developed a strange emotional attachment to it.

These paintings were for the “Intersection” art exhibit at C3 Lab.
I mentioned it in an earlier post,
but in case you missed it –
My studio is now located at C3 Lab in South End (Charlotte, NC).
I love the energy there.
Feeling SO lucky to part of something this cool.

Back to the chairs…
I still wasn’t finished with red chairs after I painted “Forgotten.”

“Waiting” (Oil on 16×20 inch canvas)

So it was back to the internet to look for photo inspiration
I added a second red chair to this set.

I should be out in real world making thumbnail sketches and taking my own photos.
Frankly, I’m just not there yet.
I’m still using other people’s photos as painting references.

“Worn” (Oil on 16×20 inch canvas)

Third and last chair:
This one is my favorite.
Once again, I started with a photo found on the internet.

I loved, Loved, LOVED the backdrop in this photo.
I was smitten with the indigo, brick red, grey and yellow color combination.
I had a lovely time painting “Worn.”

When I finished this third painting,
I was still so inspired with the color palette that I cranked out the “Indigo” paintings.

Painted for the Gallery C3 Intersection Show

Here they are together.

All three painted in under three weeks.
Which was quite the lesson in focus and discipline.
Speaking of which,
It’s past time to get back to my easel.

Artist Statement, Version 2

I needed to rewrite my artist statement this morning.
You know I hate that, right?
While I can blab all the live long day via this blog,
I have a really hard time trying to “distill my artist essence” into one concise statement.

Now that I’m done torturing myself over it,
Here it is:

My goals as an artist are to inspire and to be inspired.

I try to draw, paint or make something everyday.
Some of my results are successful.
Others are not.
Some are such spectacular failures,
I can only laugh at myself,
label it #uglyart,
and move on.

I really think it’s about process, not product.
It’s about imagining, experimenting, playing and sharing.
By sharing, I mean sharing ideas and techniques.
Want to know what mediums I used and how I I made it?
Curious about where I got an idea?
Please ask me.
I’d be thrilled to talk art with you.

Recently, I’ve been working a lot with oil paints and pen and ink.
But the truth is,
just about every type of art and craft medium beckons to me.
Why not try it all?
Every new art or craft technique learned becomes a potential tool in future creative endeavors.

I think the best days are the ones with a little art sprinkled over them.

In the Studio – the Good and the Bad

In the Studio – the Good and the Bad

The “Spooky” Collection on display through Nov 3

What to share first?
The good or the bad?

I’ll start with the bad news:
You know my studio in the Charlotte Art League?
The one that I worked so hard to set up all summer?
Unfortunately, the Art League has lost its lease.
Our “get out” date is January, 2018.

I knew the risk when I moved into my space,
The building had been sold.
But the lease was supposed to go another year.
I was betting on enough time to create four different art installations.
I was wrong.

I think the Art League will be fine in the long run.
They are out searching for new space & have all sorts of plans.
But their search is leading them further up and out from the train line.
My commute from home to train station to current location already takes 45-60 minutes.
And with my life long fear of driving?
I won’t be moving with them.

My thoughts?
Make hay while the sun shines!
I am looking at my own options.
But I still have til the end of the year in my current space.
That’s enough time for two more installations.

Here’s where I switch over to the good.
Just in time for Friday night’s art crawl,
I took down my “Happy Go Lucky” summer art and hung the “Spooky” collection.
Much to my delight,
the “Spooky” stuff piqued quite a bit of interest and conversation with folks attending the art crawl.
Everyone seemed to especially like this skeleton I drew across 8 square canvases.
Many people asked me how I’d created the sketches.
Like me, most of them were amused that I’d used pages from an old prayer book to build background for my drawings.
Only one woman commented that she might have an issue if I’d drawn “lewd” things on those pages…
Which, honestly, I can’t imagine in what world I’d draw anything lewd…
(Should I chuckle or shake my head?)

You know what I really want out of this whole public studio thing?
It’s not selling my work.
Though I wouldn’t complain if folks wanted to buy…

The truth is,
I just want to make people look.
If possible, I want to make them
Look twice.
Step closer.
Be a little surprised.
Possibly amused.
Or maybe a little creeped out.

On Friday night, I made them look.

So you know what?
Even if my stint at the Charlotte Art League will be of the “Pop Up” nature,
I’m still glad to be there.
It is still quite the opportunity.
And there’s still a lot of art to be made and shared before the end of the year.

Now the question becomes:
Where will I land next?

Last 2 Summer Paintings

Last 2 Summer Paintings

 Remember last month when I thought I was done creating the “Happy Go Lucky” installation?
Well… turns out I wasn’t quite finished after all.
Fortune smiled on me & I sold two of the summer paintings.
Which was awesome!
Now when people ask me if I’ve sold anything, I can say “YES” with confidence.
Then I upgraded to that full studio
And suddenly,
I had a ton of empty wall space.

On the one hand,
I’m a fan of wall space.
Arranging art across a wall or room is like figuring out the composition for a new painting.
You want the viewer to be drawn in.
For their eye to move across the space.
Catch on certain “sweet spots.”
Be enticed to walk in and take a closer look.
Cramming too many paintings and drawings on a wall can overwhelm the viewer.
So some empty space is good.
But too much wall is no good either.
Which is the situation I found myself in.

“Patches” (Oil on 12×24 inch canvas)

Even though I was chomping at the bit to get started on my fall installation,
I had to put that on the back burner and pull the summer colors out again.
I didn’t have any particular subject in mind.
My only thought was to go abstract and orange.
“Patches” was the result.
I liked it enough to paint a “sequel”

“Patches 2” (Oil on 18×24 inch canvas)

Here it is:  “Patches 2.”
I think this second one is not as successful as the first.
Maybe it’s the canvas size?
Or that it wasn’t spontaneous?
Is any sequel ever as good as the original?

Both paintings are now on the wall in my studio.
Along with the original line up.
Some crafty stuff.
And those dream catchers.

This time I really am finished with the summer crafts and art.
It’s past time to get “Spooky.”
(In my studio September 1 – November 3)



A Studio of Her Own

A Studio of Her Own

This week’s excitement?
I’ve upgraded my studio from a half space to a full studio at the Charlotte Art League.

Initially, I was happy simply to have any space at all in the League.
The 7 feet by 15 feet I started in felt like enough.
But I quickly realized it wasn’t.
My vision and style clashed horribly with that of the other artist in our shared space.
My idea to create a different mood and feeling each quarter would never fly in a half studio.

Luckily for me,
I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

It’s a little bit like a game of “musical chairs” at the Art League.
Artists come and go.
It’s a continuous dance of expansion and contraction.
One person might downsize in studio size.
Another might choose to switch venues altogether.
The other day, I noticed two artists had vacated their shared studio.
I seized the opportunity & requested to move in ASAP.

It measures a little more than 15 feet by 15 feet.
The lighting is excellent.
The walls just right to display the mixed media works I have in the pipeline.
There’s also a nook where I can work undisturbed.

I can hear everyone wandering through the Art League.
I can socialize whenever I like.
But I can also enjoy the privacy of my own space.

But still part of a group
With potential to connect to a myriad of people.
I love it.

I feel so fortunate to be able to “Play A Little Everyday” here.

For this last month of summer,
My “Happy Go Lucky” works are on display in my studio.
I’m hard at work prepping for the fall theme:  “Spooky.”
And with this new space,
I have some ideas to make things quite spooky indeed.