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Studio Dog Days!

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Studio update--fall 2018--my process and production notes.

Tulip "helping" in the studio.

As you can see from this photo, Tulip and I have been hard at work over the last few months in my art studio. Our agreement is that she does her job, which is to keep me company and stay out of my way; while I do mine, which is to work on my paintings and other creative pursuits. It's nice to have her there as company, as it can get a little isolating when you work alone in a studio all day. Plus, she's a good conversationalist, and I promise that I only stop occasionally to take a nap with her : )

Handmade "tabs" created in conjunction with a larger art book that I have been working on in the studio.

My creative process is multi-layered and uses many different mediums--including collaged elements and multiple types of paint and pigment--and can require a lot of drying time in between the layers. So I usually have many projects, at various stages of completion, going at the same time. This allows me to keep working when I get to a point on one project that requires drying time.

The photo above is of a series of smaller "tabs" that I created along with the larger book pages for a handmade "art book" or "visual book" that is inspired by my dive into color theory this semester.

The book (along with the tabs) is a visual representation of the information that I obtained through my readings on color theory, as well as the history and symbolic meaning of color, and encompasses my experimentation with color mixing and simple monoprinting techniques.

I have also come to think of this project as a form of memory keeping, as it has allowed me to collect the ideas and information that I want to remember and to put it into a tangible and visual form. For as I have gotten older, I am more keenly aware of how I process and store new information, and I have realized that I do this most efficiently in a visual and hands on way. I guess it's no surprise then that I became an artist!

A sneak peek at a work in progress.

In conjunction with the creation of my art book, I have also been working on two larger "color wheel" paintings on paper. These paintings, along with a few smaller ones, are an extension of my exploration into color.

Just some of the supplies that I use in my art practice.

As I worked with the color wheel, I found it easier to deal with all of my supplies when I separated them by color into individual bins. I also did this with my collage papers and other creative ephemera that I have collected over the years.

This has helped to keep me organized and "semi" structured in my creative process. I don't have a ton of room to work, so I need to at least try to keep things contained. It is nice to have the different mediums all together in one place and right at hand when I need them. I think I am going to keep them this way, color-coded instead of stored separately by individual medium, as I have in the past.

It's interesting to see how my studio practice is evolving and changing as I spend more concentrated time on it.

WIP--a new group of my "Tiny Abstract Paintings."

Something else that I have been working on is a new grouping of my "Tiny Abstract Paintings" which are, again, an extension of my look into color this semester.

This series has evolved from a part of my studio practice that developed because I hate to waste leftover paint. So I keep some heavy-bodied (thick), hot-pressed (smooth vs textured) watercolor paper on hand while I paint. Whenever there is leftover paint, I add it to the papers in various random ways. I do this in a very fast and intuitive way, not putting a whole lot of thought into it. The idea is to just use up the left over paint.

Then at some point, when there is enough paint coverage on the 9" x 12" paper, I cut the paper into smaller 4" x 4" squares. After I cut the pages down, I then spend a lot of time looking at each individual piece and add new layered elements of interest to them over time.

It is always amazing to me how a total chaos of random color on the bigger page, can become an interesting mini abstract when cropped down into smaller chunks.

Even though these are very small paintings, because of how I create them, they can actually take quite a lot of time to develop and evolve. The key is patience! The tiny abstracts in the photo above are still works in progress (WIP), but will be done in time for the next residency that I will attend this upcoming January.

Tulip likes to "help" me with my academic work too!

I thought this picture was a nice bookend to the first one. This is Tulip's favorite place to sleep, behind me on my desk chair, while I work at the computer. As you can see, there is not a whole lot of room leftover for me. So I have started to put her on another chair that sits behind my desk chair. This usually works out, although, as I write this blog post, she is right back behind me on my desk chair again. No wonder my neck and back hurt! She's lucky that she's so cute. Also, I guess she can't help it because it has been bred into her. The French bulldog was originally bred to sit on French lacemaker's laps inorder to keep them warm while they worked.

Stay tuned for my next post about all of the great exhibits, artist talks, art openings and parties I have been to recently!

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