Sunday, January 31, 2016

For the first 2-1/2 years I've lived here

I didn't do a lot of looking out the window that faces the street on which I live.  For one, very briefly my daughter Lyn used the room as her bedroom.  Then shortly after, Josh the oldest grandson moved into the space. 
     When he left almost 9 months ago ( doesn't seem that long) I didn't know what to do with the space. After a few months I finally decided that I should move some of the stuff out of my "real" studio space which looks out through sliding glass door to the back yard and wet land/green space beyond and expand into this, then empty room.  For a time I used it as sort of storage closet.  And I used the table with adjustable height legs  for squaring up pieces and assembling kits for the classes I teach.  In the Summer with the curtains pulled back and the blinds open the room  can be too bright and too warm even with air conditioning and the ceiling fan going at top speed.
     But this winter my use of the room has increased and I find it really is a good place to paint, especially when painting large and  using an easel.  Yesterday,  taking advantage of the sunshine,  I got a lot of painting done.  Three pieces. Not back for a days work.
From the windows  today the sky is overcast as seen through one of my three little windows above my design wall area.,

When I was in the painting room (front room-studio annex) I noticed there was a lot of activity in the street.  Kids were playing, couples were strolling, a dog walker passed by and thankfully picked up his pets poop, there was a lady jogger,,,,, and then came a bird. 
     For that, I had to grab my camera. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Over the last three days the view through my window has changed for

the better.

It rained all day.  YUK.
The sun came out but I didn't paint, instead a friend called early in the day before I got started wanting to drop by and she did, then we went out to lunch.  So I began quilting on the purple flowers I posted images of in my last post.  My friend Lynn hadn't been to Fred, my new favorite place to eat when I want something hot and tastes like a southern  Mom was in the kitchen cooking a Sunday after church meal.  When I returned home with the shortened length of good day light being limited I opted to .continue quilting.
The sun is shining again.  O joy.  I finished quilting, blocked and squared up the purple flower piece.
Love when a piece is small enough to use these right angles.  Makes the task of squaring so much easier.
Here is the piece ready to be faced.  Currently measuring 14" x 21".  Will lose and inch in both width and length when it is faced. 
It is already past noon but I am going to see how much painting I can get done before Rene comes to pick me up around 4:30.  Going shopping again with Sis-n-law and out to dinner.  What do you want to bet that she will want to do Fred's. 
Oh well collard greens and fried green tomatoes two days in a row isn't a bad thing. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rain, rain, go away

has been my mantra for several days.  I need good light and sunshine to work at my easel, which is where I paint anything larger than 20" x 30".  Usually the light in this room, that looks out on the street facing west is really bright.  But not today.

     I finished quilting and facing these two small pieces I painted.

 Today, wanting... no needing to paint something larger than 8 x 10 inches I decided I would gather as many of my table lamps and a shop light and create my own sunshine.  Could only generate enough light to paint a 15" x 20"  piece which I can quilt tomorrow if the sun continues to be a no show here in central Florida.

     Went out early in the day to the Post Office up the road to  mail the small quilt to SAQA and then to the marker to  pick up a few things. 
It was in the mid 60's rainy, a good day for soup, so I made white bean and spinach soup for lunch which hit the spot on this dreary day.  There's enough left for dinner. 


This is what I painted today.  Not great lighting in the studio space at 6PM even with the ceiling pot lights on.  I will give you a better look see tomorrow when there is daylight, hopefully sunny daylight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I don't as a rule put in studio time on Sundays

But this past  Sunday I did after I couldn't settle into a book I had started reading way back last November.  So what the heck I said and started cutting strips to face the smallest of the three pieces that have been pinned to the design wall for a bit waiting for me to get around to facing them.  I really did not want to put them away without facing them  before I started something new.  Now they are put away. 
    Put away does not mean complete, as in done, finished,  because they aren't,.  All three  still need sleeves and labels as does at least 12 other pieces in my closet do. I really don't mind doing facings, but sleeves are something else.   Sewing a sleeve on is not one of my favorite things to do as you know and in most cases, sleeves don't get put on until a piece has a place to go or I am really, really bored.
     Sunday I finished the smallest piece and got started on one of the two larger ones.  Then on Monday I finished what I had started on the second piece  and the third one was completed  before bedtime. 
     Maybe an empty design wall coaxed my Muse to return and by Monday night creative energy zinged  and  ideas buzzed and I went in searched of upcoming quilt show dates and contest entry deadlines instead of calling it a day and going to bed.  Of all the shows with contest out there I settled on making  something or some things for Houston.  Time permitting. 
      With those deadlines in my head, today, I started working on line drawings for several new paintings.  Before lunch today  I enlarged and printed out four line drawings I am excited about painting.
     The line drawing  come from my printer on regular letter size paper which means I have to trim and glue them together.  Not hard work just necessary and time consuming.  A task that goes faster if listening to a book on tape or you are singing loud and off tune to some of your favorite songs.     I got one line drawing glued together  for a piece that measures 30" x 40.  That one got  traced on a piece of silk and pinned to my largest paint surface.  By then the sun was going down and there wasn't enough light to paint by.  So I hope I am  able to get start painting on it tomorrow.  Today the sunlight was great here in Central Florida,  ideal for painting,  Tomorrow it is suppose to rain,
    I was not ready to call an end to my studio day at 5:30  so I turned on all the lights in the studio and decided to paint two small pieces before dinner.  So if the sun doen't shine tomorrow I guess I will quilt these two really  small 9" x 18" pieces instead. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sometimes it is easier to get started when there is a purpose

or goal or deadline looming.  This morning as I do most mornings, I read a blog post by Kathy Loomis.  In it she was talking about sending a small piece of art to SAQA for an auction that will be part of this year's SAQA conference in PA.  In the past I have supported SAQA by sending a piece for the Auction they hold in Houston, but I have not done one for the conference.  Not sure if this is something new for SAQA or possibly I was simply unaware.  The Houston auction requires a finished 12" square piece, this one, asked for a 6" x 8" unfinished edge which they will matt resulting  in a viewable size of  4.5" x 6.5".  Small, really small.  I don't as a rule do small.
   But since  my muse wasn't up to tackling anything significant, something in the 3 ft x 4 ft range,  I thought maybe I could induce her to work up a little enthusiasm for something really small and guess what.  By lunch I had it painting and by the end of my studio day it was done and sealed in an envelope ready to mail.
     I think I will put  it in the mail next week.  I hear the mid-Atlantic states are going to get creamed with up to 2 feet of snow in a few days.  So I won't add more work for the post man right now.
Here is what the piece looks like measuring 6 in x 8 in
This is  approximately what it will  look like matted to 4.5in x 6.5in 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I was going gung ho for the first two weeks

of this year, then I hit a brick wall by the name of Brenda Joyce Bolton, my sis-n-law, or my late husbands oldest sister.  She sold her home in LA along with everything in it except some clothes, shoes, and boxes of family and friend photos.  She was my house guest for 8 days. 
     Trying to make the task of getting her settled here so she would be close to family, six miles from me, three from my daughter Rene, we found her a condo and got the buying process underway before she arrived thinking that would give us fewer headaches when she did arrive.  WRONG. 
     She arrived on the 8th and for nine days it has been go, go, go and shop, shop, shop.  Although the condo was recently renovated, there was still stuff she wanted done, like installing ceiling fans and light fixtures.  Her choice of new furniture dictated that the walls should be painted a different color.  A washer and dryer was added to list along with everything else from living room to den to bedroom furnishings and of coarse window treatments. 
     I wish I'd been wearing a Fit-Bit, I know I did more than three miles or more  each and every day.  Needless to say, there was no studio time during that time.  All I was fit for at the end of each day was coming home and falling into bed only to roll out early the next and start going again.
     So my part of helping her get settled is done as of Sunday but I needed Monday to recoup.  Today I was in the studio and  I tried to find my muse, but she was nowhere to be found.  I leafed through some of my sketch books, and looked at some of the photo images I have of flowers on the computer, nothing.
      So I thought I'd update my blog, have a cup of tea, a light supper in a few minutes and call it a day.  Maybe after a good sleep tonight my muse will show up tomorrow, oh please, oh please.

 As I was sitting at my computer, I looked out the window and these leaves in the shadow of the house against the bright green of the lawn that was sunlit caught my eye.  Hmmm.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

A piece is not finished until the facing is on

and in the case of the piece pictured above, the facing hasn't been cut yet.  so as I said in the last post I thought it needed more.   I added more.   Still not satisfied, but getting there with the addition of some acrylic paint, stamping and stenciling. 


Here is my latest piece. #3 for the year.   After I took the picture and uploaded it I think the uppermost flower center is too dark so I am going to stitch back into that area with a thread of lighter value
Most of the time, I turn my images into B&W in my photo program to check how the values are working.  I think the center should be somewhat closer in value to the center in the second flower down

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

I was free motion quilting

at mid-night when 2016 arrived.   I wasn't working on anything of importance because my old eyes

 prefer natural light.  This is what I did,  making it officially the first completed  project for this year.  Today before I stop for lunch I finished quilting project #2, the piece below. I blocked and squared it.  It is hanging on my design wall.  I think it needs something more in the background and some adjustment in the value of the shadow to the right of center, seems too dark to me now that I am seeing in here.  So I will live with it a few days. 
This is my next piece in line to be quilted. 
I used my  last piece of prepared silk for the above piece and on
 Sunday I soaked  five yards of silk broadcloth in soy milk and hung it on the cloth line in the garage to dry.   It's been a little nippy here in Central FL the last couple of days.  Long pants, socks and long sleeve T were called for.  I am not complaining... the sun has been shining, yeah.  A good start to the New Year.