Monday, August 31, 2015

Pursuing Consistency

There are a few kinks in the master plan. Besides the everyday touring of Le Valais, there remain unpredictable hours in each rendezvous. My husband and I are enjoying a delightful time in the Swiss alps, visiting family, friends and generally carousing. That could be the other link in the question of consistency with daily sketches…. Long days, short nights and chilly venues create heavy colds. Between sneezing and sniffling, dizziness and nausea there have been some very memorable moments. Heavy doses of vitamin C among other things seem to have done the trick. Next: Italy. We know no one in Italy…. This is good. I may even do two or three sketches per day, maybe even in colour! Ooooo…. Delicious. Life is good.

Monday, August 24, 2015

After Frame

Some artists wonder what to do with a drawing or painting after it has been taken out of the frame. With watercolours and mark making it is a frequent occurrence. I am in the midst of preparing my own work for exposition without a frame. The local hardware store is questioning my sanity as I purchase quantities of shrink wrap (used for insulating leaky windows). Perhaps it would be better to get new windows…. The pieces I am enclosing in plastic are quite large so I purchase the largest roll which happens to be just the correct width for the length of the matted work. Once cut I remove the artwork and open the folded plastic then replace the art face down so that the messy taping is done on the back. Using clear packaging tape I draw the plastic as tight as possible without creating too many wrinkles then I begin to blow dry it. The heat from the hair dryer causes the plastic to shrink. This takes quite a while as I begin at the edges under the tape where most of the sheet is gathered. After it has been tightened to my satisfaction on the back I turn it over and again work from the edges into the centre. I now have a substantial inventory to display in a rack rather than on the walls. Things are coming together. Life is good.   

Monday, August 17, 2015

About Daily Sketches

Here is another example of my daily sketches. As with most things in my life being consistent means doing things in clumps. There are days when I simply do not get anywhere near pen and paper. Instead of beating myself up about it I draw two or three sketches to catch up. Today is a three day. Having company come is delightful. It is also tiring and distracting. Often after a full day I crawl into bed and remember, ah, yes, the sketch. Tomorrow will be a better day. Well, there is a limit. Three is my limit. One thing I have noticed is a distinct improvement in my drawing. There is also the added feature of a calmer pace as I take the time to get lost in the mark making: what to leave white, which direction to hatch, how dark should it be? Endlessly soothing to the soul. Life is good.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Highway to Heaven

Earlier this summer we had an opportunity to buy some cement blocks for very little money, twenty-four of them. Personally I had lost hope of actually placing them from the back step to the door of my studio but they ended up being in the way of another pressing project: re-staining the fence. Since they needed to be moved we decided to throw them down on the ground in hopes they would be more or less level and that would give us an easier path to shovel this winter. You can see the recycled electrical cord being used as a sketching tool. Twenty-four is not enough quite. We are planning a patio too, sometime in the future, so we definitely could use some more. The planks of wood we have been using to keep us out of the mud do provide a wide entrance way to the back step and I am happy for now. My wonderful husband who helped me place the slabs looked out the kitchen window and suggested we had built a highway to heaven. My heaven. I am such a lucky woman. Life is so good.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Technical Difficulties and Triumphs

I did schedule my blog last week…. Apparently only three people received it. The process is actually done manually. I am technically challenged. Sigh. On the bright side I have finished installing the hanging system for my gallery. I am so thankful I am not afraid of tools. It is a simple system using toothless carpet edging. The S-hooks rest on the lip so I installed it with the lip down. The holes were no problem to drill, larger than the screw so it would not bind and smaller than the head of the screw so it would hold. Holding the drilled edging against the wall I penciled in the holes put down the edging and took up my drill with a smaller bit to drill the holes in the wall. Makes screwing in the screws easier. I discovered the top of the wall has a two by four all the way around so there is something solid to screw into and than makes for a very strong system. I did use whatever screws I had on hand so I broke my rule about mixing product…. I prefer Robinson screws and I ended up finishing with Phillips. All I need now are the chains and the S-hooks. I have a few and a roll of chain on order. I managed to hang one painting. Life is good.