(Okay, I don’t normally bring up blog analytics in posts, but in the last week or so my Zebra post got dozens of hits and I have no idea why. It’s very disconcerting.)
Like many artists, I make art as a form of self-care and restoration. I am calmer and happier if I get a little painting in. Recently I have been getting more stressed, because I am doing less art.
The reason for that is that I normally do art on our dining room table. And nowadays if I pull out art supplies on the table, the girls want to come do painting too. And I love painting with the girls, but it is a high-maintenance activity and it is not restorative in the same way.
(I’m not sure what changed recently that this feels more problematic. I think one part was that my sister was taking Kitten for an hour or so on Friday mornings, so I could paint then. Now that she has a job (hooray!!!) she isn’t free to do that. And Beauty is probably demanding more attention, and the weather isn’t helping anything.)
So the other evening Hero wanted to watch part of his grad school lecture, and he set it up on the laptop on the bed. So I grabbed some paints and a piece of plywood and sat with him. It was really nice, though hard on my knees. Maybe they were at a weird angle.
So that experience, combined with my new practice of abandoning Beauty in the front of the house so we can both get some time alone while Kaylee naps (I keep an ear out, of course, but we are both calmer when we’ve had some time to daydream), plus the fact that I got some new acrylic media for my birthday and the paint drawer is getting full, makes me think that I should be looking for ways to paint in other rooms.
So today, I painted in the study:
I put the piece of plywood on the piano bench, to give myself space to work and to protect the bench. The chair is an inch or two lower than the bench, which is lower than a table but okay for working. Actually, it was close to the angle I’d be at if I worked standing up at a normal table, which I often do. A little shaky, but it worked okay.
Of course, it would annoy Hero if I left art stuff all over the study. But if I transfer the acrylic paints to a duffel or knapsack or something (and as I said, the drawer they are in is too small now) then cleanup would be fairly quick and might even happen most of the time.
Well, it’s possible.
And that would let me dedicate the three-drawer unit in the dining room to Girlie Art Supplies, which certainly need more space and accessibility. I’ve already been slowly organizing my art supplies and moving less-used ones into labeled containers in an appropriate closet. I am very proud of myself for doing that, as organizing does not come easily to me.
The painting is a work in progress:
I think it’ll get come collage elements next? I did a couple of thumbnail sketches before I started, but now that it’s in front of me I don’t know if it will stay with what I sketched. It was sort of inspired by Earthlyric by Georgia Mason, which I saw on her website after coming across her name in the Google Books version of Journeys to Abstraction, which popped up in a search for something completely unrelated. The book didn’t answer my question, but she’s got some very lovely abstracts.
The canvasboard is one I’d experimented with for a previous artwork, which means that there was some tissue paper glues over certain sections. I gesso’d the whole thing, and the extra texture is quite nice. The “rays” are mostly various homemade stamps made from cardboard, yarn, and craft foam.
Maybe the lightest patch needs more on it before I add collage stuff? I’m planning on putting some dark circles there, so maybe the strong contrast will work after all. I suppose I could cut them out and see what it looks like.
Linking to Paint Party Friday.