Friday, December 31, 2010

Going, Going ------

Almost gone - that's both the snow and the old year and, to tell the truth, I'm not at all sorry to see either go. 

You know my feelings about snow and even though 2010 hasn't been a really awful year for us, it's just time for a new beginning with a new year, don't you think?  I  have a good feeling that 2011 will be a great year.  And I wish for a super year for all of us artists as it's also time for art sales to recover.

So, may I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year filled with every good thing life has to offer!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Colourfix Suede!

I'm very excited as yesterday I saw that Jerry's Artarama and Dakota Pastels both have Art Spectrum's new Colourfix Suede pastel paper listed in their online catalogs!  I checked Dick Blick's website but they still don't have it listed as of yesterday and I haven't check Cheap Joe's or any other online vendor that I order from.

I called the Raleigh Jerry's store but they do not have it in stock at this time - bummer!  I was going to go get at least a sheet in spite of the distance and the snow still lingering in the shady areas around here.

I just haven't had time since I found out about the paper being available to figure out what I want to order but plan to do so today.  In the meantime, here are links to Jerry's and Dakota Pastel's catalog pages for it.  At least you'll be able to see the colors available and the current price.  When I get my hands on a sheet and have time to work on it, I'll report on what I think of it. 

And if any of you beat me getting a sheet of it, please let me know how you like it!

Now, here are those links:

Jerry's Artarama
Dakota Pastels

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back To Normal?

Well, the snow is finally melting and the roads are clear at least.  There's still quite a bit of the white stuff around but the patches of bare ground are getting bigger all the time.  The weather forecasters say we should be up to around 70 degrees by the weekend!  Whooo Hooo!

In the meantime, I'm still trying to clean up and organize my studio when I really need to be painting.  I have several paintings to do and have got to get cracking on them soon - I just need to be able to find my table so I can paint!

So, I want to take this time to wish everyone a wonderful coming new year.  I think I missed wishing you all a merry Christmas but I hope you had one anyway.

All the best in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

That Four-Letter Word Again!

You can call me a whiner, I don't care, but I don't like snow and cold.  I even moved to the southern part of the country to escape it but we still get some from time to time.  Usually we get a few flakes then the sun will come out and it's gone within a few hours.  But we got dumped on Christmas night and it's still here 2 days later!  That's not what I bargained for when I moved here!

So, I've stayed inside and finished painting my new cabinet and am in the process of filling it up with all my various art papers.  Right now, my studio is a royal mess as everything was piled on my art table to make room for the new cabinet so I've got to sort through all of that and decide where each type of paper should go.  This is NOT the fun part as I'm notoriously unskilled at organization.  Once something is organized, I tend to keep it that way, but deciding how it should be organized is giving me a brain freeze!

That's why it's taken me this long to decide what I want in the studio and how I should arrange it.  My husband gave me carte blanche in the home improvement store for Christmas and insists I get cabinets and counters ordered.  That's great but every time I tell him what I'd like, he comes up with a reason why it would be impractical!  Like, there's a short wall that I think would be ideal for my computer desk and peripherals table or a counter but my DH has pointed out that the phone line is on the opposite wall across the room.  Since I use the phone line to connect for DSL internet access, I really need to have my computer close enough to connect to it.  I'm not so sure that's a real problem though as I'm sure the phone line can be moved.  I'm also sure my DH wouldn't be thrilled to have to do it since it would involve crawling under the house!  I could have the phone company or an independent contractor move it, but I know my sweetie would rather do it himself even if it means crawling through cobwebs in a dark place.  I can just see him moving the phone line then I find out later that moving my computer to the new area just isn't working after all!  He's a wonderful, patient and indulgent man but I think that could cause some major words between us!

So, these kinds of problems keep me in a dither about how to organize and I tend to do nothing instead of forging ahead and maybe making a mistake!

Are any of you out there any good at organization?  Any suggestions would be more than welcome!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Early Christmas Present

Again, I've been negligent about keeping up my blog but I've been extremely busy plus, I sometimes wonder if anyone actually reads or cares whether I've posted anything or not!  But, that's beside the point right now.  I wanted to show you all a fabulous Christmas gift I got yesterday from some very dear friends.

Dave, an excellent woodworker as you can see, made this storage unit after Joy, his wife, designed it.  My husband added his input also and everyone kept it secret from me for weeks!

This unit is so perfect for storing my papers although I need to finish the shelves to block any wood acids from affecting my papers (Dave ran out of time plus no one was sure if I would want the unit painted or stained).  The top shelf is plenty big enough for even large sheets of matboard and the shelves on the viewer's right are perfect for large sheets of watercolor paper, PastelMat or other large sheets and the shelves on the viewer's left are perfect for pads and odd sheets that I use.

The drawers are deep enough so that I can store aerosol cans of fixative or other tall items.  I'm even going to try to put up a rack or holder of some sort inside a drawer to be able to store brushes point down away from any dust.  I don't know if it will work but it seems like a good idea anyway!

Anyway, I'm absolutely thrilled with this very generous gift.  It's taken me over three years but I'm finally getting a handle on what I need and want as far as storage and workspace here in the studio goes.  It will take a while longer to get it all done but, if anyone is interested, I'll post the finished result here.

Now, I'm off to figure out what I need to finish the shelves and drawers and to get to work finishing them!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Card - Iris Folding

I've finally gotten the photos for another commission but while I was waiting, I decided to try a new-to-me craft.  I haven't done much crafting in the past few years because painting has taken all of my time and energy.  But, after finishing several commissions, I was sort of burnt out on painting but wanted to do something creative.

Carole, from Art Plus, got me curious about iris folding with the beautiful work she does with it.  So, when I happened upon a pattern and some basic instructions, I decided to try it.  This little bell still isn't finished as I don't have the supplies that most paper artists use.  The paper I used for this is actually just some Christmas gift wrap that caught my eye when I got it out of storage.  The examples I've seen of various iris folded cards use 3 or more colors/patterns for the different areas of the design.  As I said, I didn't have any specialty papers on hand and it's really too far to go to get anything decent.  However, I really enjoyed doing this and will keep my eyes open for papers I can use in future projects.

Now, on to the next dog portrait!