Friday, May 02, 2014

Good Clients Make the Process A Pleasure


I've been working for several months now with the same client as she moved into and furnished/decorated her new home.  Cynthia hired me as an artistic consultant based upon our working together several years back on projects for her former home.  We had a good working relationship that has turned into friendship. I am honored that she trusts me to advise on - and then to execute many paint, finish and art projects for her.

I would never call myself a decorator.  What I do is ask questions, offer courageous color options, and often just explain why something will or won't work in a given space.  My philosophy of one's living space is that it should make you smile every time you enter.  Serenity and comfort are important - but just feeling good in the space is paramount. I don't follow any rules, nor do I advise decorating for "resale" value.  It's all about making it personal and meaningful, and understanding how our perception of our environment works physiologically gives courage to decision making.
60" round table with three leaves.  Ordered unfinished and painted with a soft white glaze that lets the wood grain show.  To give the table smaller scale and interest, a black ring with filigree was added.  The pedestal legs are aged slightly to show off the curves.  All the chairs are mismatched natural wood.  In the background you can see the refinished kitchen cabinets and part of the faux/decorative hallway.  More on these next time.
Detail of painted circle.
Granite countertop was added to the island, replacing tiles.  The soft dark gray is brushed with black tones and some of the wood left showing through for a casual rustic look. 

This sofa or side table was refinished to work with other furniture in the room - apologies for this photo.  Definitely not not properly set up for a photoshoot!
And because no posting is complete without one of the kitties - here is a pic of Mr.Cheddars at four weeks of age.  Cuteness overload.  I started fostering him at 3 days old and now I can't give him up!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring = Hard work

I picked up a biography of Paul Simon last week for $1.00.  Brand new book, found it at Dollar Tree of all places, and I figured how bad could it be?  Filled with photos and way too many (for me) music facts (I listen, but am ignorant about studio musicians, processes and lists of songs) but a really good read, nonetheless.  As I read, and between reading sets, I find myself singing and humming the great Simon and Garfunkel songs of my generation.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters was "my" song when I was wed many years back.  And today I can't get Graceland out of my head.  There are worse things to have stuck there...  Just as good - only different!

When did the days get so short?  Seems like I'm just getting started and it's 7 o'clock, and I'm all tired out - and hardly anything is finished!  Time seems to slip on by.  I know I'm not as quick - nor do I have quite the same stamina as twenty or so years back, but really!

So much yard/garden work to get done, furniture jobs to finish, house needs Spring cleaning, painting,,,  and then there are the kittens I am fostering.  Add to that a huge project for a local animal rescue and it's no wonder I've not been painting for myself as much as I'd like.  Going to remedy that; put myself back on a schedule. Otherwise I tend to just putter in the yard, pulling up poison ivy, planting, weeding, burning brush - all the things that I can find an excuse to do because the weather is so beautiful.

Power and Glory . 24 x 24 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas . $475.
Found time to finish this for the current Sautee show.  Finished a couple of animal portraits, and have three more to do in the next couple of weeks as well as a commissioned landscape.  So I'm busy!  Just not getting to do much "personal" art.    

Rescue Dog - 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas
Rescue dog - 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas
Out walking last week - still lots of Red Bud in bloom...  no Morels, though..sigh.

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Madison Square Garden,...

Sunday, March 02, 2014

March Roars In Gently

It was such a fine, fine, fine day.  Temps in the 70's, sun shining, daffodils blooming all around the yard - I even had a fab lunch of fresh sliced chicken breast on 9 grain bread and strawberry-rhubarb (my favorite) pie for a mid afternoon snack.  I worked hard in the shop with my friend Carol, clearing out in order to make changes for re-opening.

That's a lot of good stuff in one day!  And it got even better tonight, when I got a call from the director of the Sautee-Nacoochee Gallery to let me know my altar piece So Fragile A Fire is the first purchase of a special exhibit at Yonah Mountain Vineyards
So Fragile A Fire - Mixed media: acrylic paint, poplar, Crepe Myrtle wood, feathers, pearl grapevine  tendrils.  Approx. 28 x 14 x 3.

The irony is that this piece had been at another gallery for over two years at a lower price.  When I picked it up, I determined not to undersell these pieces any more.  I spend so much time on them compared to a "normal" painting, and I hate to let them go.  I raised the price considerably, rather hoping this one would not sell so I might keep it.  Lord knows, I need the money, but I think it's important to keep the ones that are most meaningful to me.
Detail of the medallion - feathers, leather, mother of pearl and pearl. 
Detail of painting
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Multiple motif dresser for a client

I used to do a lot of painted furniture - and I still do quite a bit - but I don't often get called to do something this elaborate and colorful.  This style was very popular during the 1990's, but it is relatively expensive due to the length of time involved in constant taping and/or touch up as one color is laid next to or over another.

The client found a pair of these small dresser/side tables made in 1970 and all solid wood, painted white by someone.  The piece was only $159.00!  I had great fun doing this and the client loves it.
I still have to put the top coat on and this little piece is so heavy I'm keeping on the dolly til done. 
Below are a couple of multiple motif style pieces by some well known designers
A Tracy Porter set.

A piece by Mackenzie-Childs

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Back to the 50's, Images and Verse, and a tiny avian.

This picture is bigger than the painting!  It's a 4 x 4  - Singing of Spring (I hope).
On to thrift shop adventuring!!

I am rarely able to pass up the chance to rummage about in the books at a thrift shop or yard sale.  There's just something magical to me about finding a best loved author or a new discovery amongst the tons of Reader's Digests and Harlequin Romance rubble.


Last week I happened to notice the word Poetry on the spine of a shabby book.  Since poetry books of any kind are rare hereabouts, I eagerly pulled it out for a look.  It was a 1954 Public School Library book called the first book of poetry published by Franklin Watts, Inc., with pictures (charming line drawings) by Kathleen Elgin and poems "selected by" Isabel J. Peterson.

I wasn't yet in school in 1954, but I found a few of my favorite childhood poems included along with many unfamiliar poems and authors.  And I found that the illustrator, Kathleen Elgin, was a gifted, versatile and prolific artist working throughout the 1950's and 1960's.


 Here are a few of her drawings:

One of my favorite childhood poems - with a perfect illustration,   

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Butterfly Effect...

 People often ask me where I get my ideas. When I make something, I'm not thinking of any one thing, but rather a myriad of possibilities and meanings.  Of course the work should be attractive.  I mean that quite literally; it should attract the viewer, drawing them in for a closer look.  Varying textures, colors and style of painting contribute to making an interesting and attractive work.

But for me, the work must have meaning on another level.  Often my paintings and assemblages are based upon my interpretations of natural phenomena; science and the weather.  I prefer to think of them as "atmospheric".  I often add quotations to the titles, or inscribe the backs with poems (sometimes my own) and quotations that are clues to what I was thinking.  Sometimes I let the mystery be.  I'm fine with having the viewer interpret a piece any way they wish.

Here a few shots of a commission in progress.  The client wanted a cheerful transition from her kitchen to her study; something that would make her smile.  The guest powder room is off this hall as well, so she wanted something pretty and noticeable. I've based the overall design on the theory of the Butterfly Effect and how it relates to spirals, whirlwinds, chaos and fractals.  Thus, I have had a bit of fun making a swirly faux finish and overdressing it with vining spirals that end in colorful leaves and tendrils.  The client loves birds and butterflies, and several more will be added to symbolize nature at its most ingenious. 
Small decorated hallway.  Can you see the nest?
Some iridescence on vines and leaves...


Singing...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Altar Series and going home...


It's been a long year.  Lots of crap - but ending with much happiness, many accomplishments, contentment in creating, the promise of new friends and further adventures with old friends.   I'll be heading off to Southern Illinois next week.  If you see me on the road, I'll be the one doing 50 - 55 mph on the two-lanes whenever possible.  I hate interstates.  I hate crazies flying by me at 75 and 80 - and I hate those giant trucks that box you in or see how close they be to your bumper.  I like to poke along through the small towns and see how others live, the landscape, the sky, the very atmosphere of taking a trip.  It's the journey as much as the destination.  See you all in 2014.

Altar Series:  Birds Watch., mixed media, 29 x 16 x 3.  $450     

This piece is currently showing at the Sautee Nacoochee Center Gallery.  


Yesterday I traded out work that had been at the Tallulah Falls Gallery for some time.  I'd forgotten that one of my altars was there and I am pleased to have it back - for at least a while.  I'm very attached to these works, and thus far they've all sold (which surprises me) so I've not been able to keep one.  I think I'll keep to "So Fragile A Fire".

Inset painting


Detail of feather and pearl emblem/medallion