Sunday, February 15, 2015


My husband has started bringing home the weekend Wall Street Journal from the grocery on Saturdays. I don't know how they manage to put out a paper everyday. I can barely get through everything in the weekend by the next Saturday.

I think as an artist or anyone who has always been a visual person there is something wonderfully tactile about a newspaper. I feel like I've experienced the article more completely as opposed to just reading it online.

It's even more fun when it's like a new discovery rather than just getting the latest on some crazy world event.

Something you genuinely knew nothing about before reading it.
An experience that enriches and informs you.

Artwork by Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan went through her own discovery of art and language when she moved from Beirut to France and then to California. I won't paraphrase the article. It's worth a read here.

An artist who worked all her life. Doing what she loved and without much notoriety. 
Suddenly the art world is smitten. 
Why does that give me comfort? 
Even if no one ever knew about her work. She kept working because she needed to. 
Not because it made her famous. 
Not because it made her rich. But because to be a whole person she had to write and create. 
She needed to express herself. 
Or maybe just because she liked it. Not because she wanted anyone else to like it. 

I seek that in myself. The quite satisfaction of creation for creations sake. 
Without expectation or assumption. The Zen of making art.

Photo from Wall Street Journal

And I'm kinda obsessed with her little library. Is there anything more cozy than well loved books and antiques set off by contemporary art?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Canvas Time!!

I have been going through a job change lately that has just totally absorbed all my energy.
So I was glad when I had my family come visit. Sometimes you need extra help to get moving right?
I finally got around to one of my resolutions, to build my own canvases. I'll say I mostly assisted while my Dad built three frames. I got two of them wrapped with canvas. One more to go.

I decided not to do a step by step on that process.I'm not big on trying to take pictures while also focusing on using power tools. I want to keep all my my fingers.
I pretty much remembered the process from art school, but I did search around the internet just to get my ideas in order. I loved this guys process, and of course You Tube offers plenty of instruction.
I did however get pics of the canvas stretching.

The supplies shot: 
Coffee w/ Hot Chocolate (this was a cold morning project) 
scissors, hammer, good staple gun, staples

Believe me just spend the money and take your time picking out a good staple gun. I made sure that this one would be easy enough for me to  handle (they can get big and unwieldy) and most important not too hard to squeeze. After about a hundred times you will have a major hand cramp if it is too difficult for your strength. 

Here is a close up of our handi-work. We used 1x2 and quarter round for the lumber and corner brackets for additional support. I cut my canvas a few inches larger than my frame on each side.

Action shot courtesy of my Mom. Working opposite sides from the middle out I stretch and I staple.
The corners you treat like a package fold them in creating a nice angle fold along one side and all the fabric is inside the frame. 

Because not all staples will go in flush with the frame you will need to hammer them in to make sure they lay flat. I actually do this as I go.

I must make myself finish a couple paintings before I start on new ones. My old habits die hard. I have three new paintings, NEW ones, at 75-80% done!! aahhh so frustrating. Oh yes and that project back in the fall to finish old paintings, not complete either.

I have since finished my commissioned piece and I'm really excited about it! It's nice to have that extra pressure on you to pay attention to the details. It doesn't have to just be good enough for me. It has to be perfect to hang in someone else's home. I hope to have some pretty fabulous pictures of that one hanging to share eventually.

It feels good to keep working. I have let myself become overwhelmed with the bigness of everything. I've got my perspective back!