Artful Island

My art supplies have/had multiple homes. The entertainment unit in the living room has two cupboards full of supplies. The office had a huge cabinet that had more supplies…plus the closet in the office…and behind the door in the office. The room that we call “Lucy’s Room” has the dogs kennel (it’s a big kennel for an 85 pound dog) a freezer, a cabinet and closet for extra kitchen stuff and shelving for more art supplies.

So I started moving all that stuff downstairs when we started doing the flooring. The intent is to have a functional, working studio that is organized and holds everything that I want.

I need a table for working, a space for my laptop, a sewing space, supplies storage, fabric storage, canvas storage and a place for the treadmill.

Luckily the basement space is huge and I already have spaces delineated for studio, sewing and books.

However it now looks like this….prepare yourself…

IMG_0468.JPG

IMG_0472.JPG

The cabinets that I already have are not being used to their best potential and everything needs a proper home. So the first task was to make an island for the centre of the room that will hold all my canvases and paper and give me a workspace that can take whatever I throw at it.

And I don’t want to spend that much money.

We started with repurposing some bookshelves. Luckily I had 4 that worked together and that made it as big as I wanted the island. I’m tall and I didn’t want to hunch over a table so the table is quite high.

We screwed them together and then added a 1×4 frame around the bottom.

IMG_0476.JPG

IMG_0474.JPG

Then using 2×4’s we create a structure that we could lay shelving on so that the inside of the island could hold paper and canvases.

IMG_0477.JPG

IMG_0479.JPG

IMG_0478.JPG

Next we had to make a sturdy top and link everything together. More 2×4’s and another frame structure and a whole bunch of screws and we had a good space to lay our top on.

IMG_0485.JPG

IMG_0484.JPG

I forgot to take picture but we did add dome vertical 2×4 supports under the frame that we made…just in case I decided that I wanted to dance on top of the island…not likely but you should always we prepared!

Next we added a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood that we cut down to overhang by two inches all the way around.

IMG_0489.JPG

The final step was to add some 1×2 all the way around the top to disguise the edge and make it look like a finished top.

IMG_0493.JPG

IMG_0492.JPG

So now I have a 6 foot long and 3 foot wide art island. I did paint the raw wood light grey. Simply because I didn’t want to go too crazy on the colour on the top. I did consider a funky colour but thought it would be a bit much.

Yay!

The cost ended up being under $80 with the most expensive thing being the plywood for the top. The 1×2’s and 2×4’s were not that expensive and reusing thing we already had really made the biggest difference.

So the next post is going to be the completed room. Soon after the island was built it was stacked high and I was unloading and reorganizing and the whole place is/was a chaotic, hellish mess. I know that it has to get worse before it gets better but…whoa.

Desk Makeover

As we were working on doing the new floors we also decided that it would be a good time to declutter some of the rooms in the house. Part of that meant getting rid of accumulated stuff such as old paperwork and organizing the HUGE amount of yarn that we have. I also had to start moving more of my art supplies downstairs where I am going to be setting up a proper studio.

One of the things that also needed a makeover was a desk that I have had since Grade 8 or so. Mom and Dad made the desk for me and I have hung onto it for (cough,cough) 25+ years…that sentence hurt to write!

Originally it had a rectangle of pink on the top and the drawers were painted pink. Sometime in the 90’s Mom decided to paint it and it stayed like that ever since.

IMG_0429.JPG

Sorry I forgot to take one with the drawers in. The top was its own particular brand of hideous. It had this weird texture to it and sort of looked like mould. I never liked it (sorry Mom!)

So the first thing I did was paint the body and drawers dark grey.

IMG_0431.JPG

Do you like my new apron? It’s for work…I enjoy the cats and my previous one had owls on it but was quite well loved.

IMG_0434.JPG

The idea was to sand the top and see what happened. I was hoping that whatever paint mom had used would come off easily. Wishful thinking! After two hours of sanding I started to think that I could like the layered weathered look!

IMG_0437.JPG

IMG_0436.JPG

So then my goal was to make sure that I had plenty of layers of paint showing through. I do like that I didn’t obliterate all the previous work done on the desk before me. The pink from Grade 8 is still there. The layered, textured weirdness transformed into something interesting with the sander. And I added my own touch to it.

IMG_0438.JPG

Once I liked the top/was totally sick of sanding I decided that I liked it but it was a little too “candy” so I wanted to knock it back a bit. Since there was plenty of wood showing I pulled out some black wood stain and applied a layer over everything.

IMG_0443.JPG

Yay! So happy!

So next the adding of the new knobs was handed off to Mom since I suck at measuring and I just HAD to have the pulls with two screws.

So here is what the top looks like now.

IMG_0498.JPG

IMG_0499.JPG

The overall desk now looks like this.

IMG_0497.JPG

And the drawers look like this now.

IMG_0500.JPG

There are a few decorating thing still to do in the computer room but I am really happy with how it looks.

So next time I will start to show you what my basement studio looks like. We built a work bench/ storage island for under $100 so I’ll be posting about that. Be prepared for a little hoarder-sequel photos though. Moving over thing into one place really has highlighted how much stuff I have. I think I am going to have to quit buying supplies…nah.

Sketchbook Progress

Summer is progressing along and I have been filling my days with house projects and trying to stay caught up in making some art. The house projects are going well ;)

I made a 14 page journal a couple of weeks ago and filled it with whimsical drawing that I completed all in one sitting. I did them quickly so I finished 14 of them in about 45 minutes. I wanted them to be spontaneous and creative. Not having to “think” about the direction and just go in a direction.

Here are a few of them

IMG_0410.JPG

IMG_0409.JPG

I them decided that I would, for now, work in stages on the paintings. Draw then base coat and then finish with some mixed media goodness.

I started tonight with the painting that looks like this.

IMG_0417.JPG

The double pages look like this

IMG_0418.JPG

I used pencil crayon to develop the face and sharpen up some of the edge details.

IMG_0422.JPG

IMG_0421.JPG

Pretty happy with her and tomorrow I am either going to prep some more pages or work on one of the painted pages.

Here are a couple more painted pages that are just waiting for some finishing touches.

IMG_0428.JPG

Thanks for looking!

Creative Heatwave!

It doesn’t normally get very hot where I live. Usually it’s quite nice and manageable but last week we had a couple of days that hit +30…not very usual for us.

Of course that’s when we decided to rip out the old flooring in the house and install new stuff. Luckily the people that installed the linoleum and tile didn’t do a good job so it was really easy to pull out!

Here is a picture of the old stuff and the new…and my little Shih Tzu getting into the middle of everything!

20140719-190218-68538359.jpg

It took us a couple of days to get the kitchen and living room done. We still have to do the hallway and three bedrooms so next week is going to be busy.

With doing this flooring it was hard to fit in doing any painting. And honestly I didn’t really feel like it, so I took a break. However that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do creative “things”. I wanted a new skirt so one morning I made a cute skirt…sorry for the poor shot!

20140719-190641-68801073.jpg

Then I decided that I wanted to bring up a wool rug that we had downstairs but I wanted to try over dying it. So I took the rug outside and it looked like this.

20140719-190803-68883108.jpg

I wanted it to be a darker turquoise but it ended up being more blue. I still have to let it dry some more and it is currently hanging in my stairwell.

20140719-190929-68969464.jpg

I finally got back to painting yesterday and spent some time on this painting.

20140719-191032-69032898.jpg

Quite happy with her and I decided that I would spend some time on backgrounds instead of worrying about creating a 100% complete work. Today I made four backgrounds. Two on canvas and two inside my art journal.

20140719-191243-69163135.jpg

20140719-191244-69164082.jpg

20140719-191244-69164828.jpg

20140719-191242-69162241.jpg
Next week I have to finish painting the hallway and start moving stuff into my studio down stairs so we can finish the flooring. After the flooring is finished then the big job of organizing the studio starts…not looking forward to that!

Art Prints and Originals

I got excited when I bought my lovely , new Epson scanner and started scanning artwork that I had previously made in sketchbooks. Some of what I had done in sketchbooks is larger than the printer bed or had the seam of the binding showing so then I had to start playing with photoshop to figure out how to stitch the work together so that I could offer it as prints in my Etsy shop.

I have been painting this week but I little less. I have been working hard trying to install the new laminate flooring that it going everywhere upstairs in my house. While it is looking great and installing easily enough it also means that I really don’t feel like doing much else after I am done for the day.

But I did spend some time updating my Etsy shop today so I thought I would share some of the pictures with you. Clicking on the picture will take you directly to Etsy where you can purchase my original art or a print.

Thanks for looking!

Creative Languages 8x10 Etsy

 

Cheezies Etsy

Listen etsy

 

Mushrooms Etsy

 

Continue Creating!

I have been creating paintings like a mad woman and have really been enjoying doing it. What I have been struggling with is keeping the blog updated with my progress. I’ve been doing it but it has started to feel more like a chore and I have only been giving it minimal effort. So I decided that more effort but less posts was the way to go. I will want to make sure that I am posting regularly but not having to spend a significant amount of time getting everything organized EVERY SINGLE DAY!

I have spent several, frustration filled days trying to get my printer to work properly. One of the goals that I had was to not only sell the original paintings but to offer prints of the paintings so that I can have some larger sizes available. The new scanner is awesome and I love it so much I want to hug it…but I won’t…the minute I love an appliance enough to hug it is when it decides to go to appliance heaven. My printer is and Epson Photo Stylus R1800 that I have had for a couple of years. I cannot find ink in the little town that I live in so I have to either order it or travel to go get it. So earlier this week I made a trip to get ink…and go to costco!! So I picked up my ink, some lovely art supplies and a whole bunch of food stuffs from costco.

However, to my frustration, the ink that I bought was DRIED OUT! I travelled 2.5 hours each way and the darn ink that I bought lasted 5 head cleanings. Grrrrr. One of the more frustrating things about my printer is that it has been designed to not work once you run out of one colour. I was held hostage by my printer and it taunted me with “nah nah nah na na nah” So off to Amazon.ca to order MORE ink. I might as well have just through $20 on the ground and jumped up and down on it, laughing manically, for all the good it was to spend money buying an empty ink cartridge.

Not only was I held hostage but then I had to figure out why it would only do “quick prints” prints with lines in them and not any type of quality. I ended up having to google “why is my epson r1800 not printing” before I found a page of people that had similar problems and scrolled through about 4 pages of ideas before I found out what would work. In amongst all of this I have been painting and reading and enjoying the start of this lovely summer.

So from now on I will be posting several days in a row of artwork, rather than everyday. I have also included links to my easy store should you wish to purchase one of the paintings…or 2 or 10…I would love you forever and send Christmas cards every year if you bought 10 paintings…just saying :)

Purple Lollipop Painting Purple Etsy     Green Lollipop Painting  Green Etsy   Yellow Lollipop Painting Yellow Etsy Orange Lollipop Painting Orange Lollipop etsy   Gummy Bears Painting Gummy Etsy