Detritus, aka Making the Art Sausage

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Note: This entry first appeared on my Patreon page. Join to see the newest news and receive art rewards!

When we see a work of art hanging on a wall or seated on a pedestal, it looks like it appeared there by magic. You might get a hint of the work that went into its creation - brush strokes, fingerprints, chisel marks, and so on. But what don't you see?

The process of making a painting bleeds over into my surrounding workspace. There are a lot of leftover bits. Why let them go to waste?

Paint on the Palette

I'm using a glass palette these days for my acrylic paints. It's easier to clean than plastic, but there's an awkward side effect. When my acrylic paint begins to dry on the palette, it forms flakes that absolutely do not mix with wet paint. Grr.

My solution is to take a paper towel, fold it in quarters longways, saturate it with water, and squeeze out my paint onto that. I still use the glass for mixing color, and clean the mixtures off when I'm done.

If I unfold the paper towel carefully, the next day I have this cool object that's just begging to be collaged somewhere.

All the Trimmings

I've been using my extra paint to make postcards. They are standard-size and ready to be stamped and mailed. Or you can just set them on a shelf and enjoy.

I make these by cutting 9 x 12 Bristol board into quarters. However, there's a half-inch that needs to be trimmed in order to meet the USPS' standard postcard dimensions. I've been making a lot of postcards, and these strips are really accumulating. What will they become?

Trading Cards

Are you familiar with Artist Trading Cards? They're made where are collecting and business cards intersect. They're tiny - 2.5 x 3.5 inches - and that's where the standardization ends. I use ATC's as a great place to use up extra paint, switch gears, relax with a small piece, and then have something cool to give away or swap.* Will my Patreon patrons be getting Artist Trading Cards at some point? Signs point to Yes.

* You can buy ATCs on eBay. But I prefer them to be gifted or traded hand-to-hand.

Deep-cleaning the Studio, Part 2

I've been away from the easel for the past several months on a self-directed quilting sabbatical. Now that it's 2016, I'm back into painting mode. I have a big exhibition coming up this fall, so I needed to get my painting space back in order. Read part 1 here. clean shelves 2 500

First up, cleaning the shelf units that hold up my worktables.

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A dust-free place for everything.

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Index cards, indexed by type AND size. It's who I am.

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In transition, taking the workspace apart...

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Ready for the nasty dust pics? Here they come.

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The horror. The horror.

But things got all better.

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Ready to work at my workspace.

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Let's do some painting!

You may also enjoy: Prescription for an Installation Tools I Use: My Favorite Pens

Deep-cleaning the Studio, Part 1

It's a new year! And I've got a lot to work on in 2016. Time to properly clean the studio. Mostly that means dusting. But I'd also like to reduce the general visual clutter in here. Smooth out the lines, if you will. Quiet environment, quiet mind.

Quiet cupboard, quiet mind.

That little sign says "Bad painting is better than no painting at all."

Quiet bookshelf, quiet mind.

Does anything collect dust quite like books? Oh, yeah, wooden bookshelves do.

For the first time, I've organized my books by size rather than subject. Smoothing out the lines. However subjects are still organized by shelf.

From the top.

Genre fiction, skewed toward science fiction & fantasy, plus books I loved as a kid. Bingo & Yahtzee are here too.

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General fiction, poetry, essays & memoirs, travel, reference. Yes I put Ready Player One in general fiction and not with the sci-fi. Don't judge.

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Strange bedfellows, or perfectly happy ones?

A deep and endless ocean.

Graphic arts, a brief stop in Southwest American & Spanish Colonial art, on to Modern & Contemporary.

Down where the heavyweights live.

Quiet bookshelf, quiet active mind. Ahh.


Now on to things like ...this.

See how it all turned out.

Prescription for an Installation

This week I'm headed to Norman, Oklahoma to install my newest series, Wyld Flowerz, at STASH. Here are the tools I'll be taking with me. Prescription for an Installation Click image to embiggen.

1. Packing tape for keeping boxes closed

2. Painter's tape - the blue stuff - easily removable

3. Extra picture-hanging wire just in case (Many of these items are just in case.)

4. Scissors

5. Wire cutters

6. Needle-nose pliers

7. Hammer

8, 9. Screwdriver & bits

10. Ruler

11. Scraper

12. A pen that writes on (just about) any surface

13. Pencil

14. Eraser

15. Extra D-ring hangers

16. Level

17. Screw eyes, small

18. Screw eyes, medium & large

19. Finishing nails, tiny

20. Finishing nails, small & medium

21. L-pins

22. Common nails

23. Scotch tape

24. Picture hanging hardware, various

25. Blade

26, 27. Dots. They go on the backs of pieces to protect the wall and keep the art from sliding around.

28. Microfiber dust cloth

Not Pictured:

- Art, packed up nice & snug

- Business cards, postcards, other promotional materials

- White gloves

- Measuring tape

- Visual inventory: includes thumbnails, titles, sizes, prices, my contact information, and a place for the artist and gallery to sign at install and pickup. I make 2 copies - one for them, one for me.

- Labels for the wall. Sometimes the venue provides these, sometimes not. This time I made them myself.

Let's do this thing.

What's Cooking Inside While it Cooks Outside

Yep, it's what we call the Dog Days. While the world outside bakes to a nice golden brown, I'm in the studio gearing up for Fall 2015 ...and beyond. underpainting 72 500

Ah, the pleasure of that first underpainting. Sometimes I don't want to cover it up.

CHAOS is on display at Ro2 Art in Dallas through September 12! Don't miss it.

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Black-Eye Susan and Shrinking Violet, acrylic on panel, 5x5 inches each (9x9 framed).

Save the Date!

Wyld Flowerz, an exhibition of new abstractions, will open at STASH in downtown Norman, OK on Friday 9 October 2015. More details to follow.

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Here's a different view of that underpainting, a few layers later.

I'm pleased to share the news that my relationship with Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas will continue into 2016. More news as the situation develops.

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I've been sewing quite a bit. I've begun volunteering with the Community First! Quilters, a connection made through the Austin chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. These are my variation on the traditional flying geese quilt block - I call them flying bats. We see those here from time to time.

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This will be Tough Cookie. Right now she's only half-baked.

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I do get out sometimes, and go places like the Red Room Lounge.

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I do make dinner sometimes, like this caprese salad with marinated zucchini.