Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pigments were a flyin'

I'm on a total Painter's high. Probably should clarify that a bit least someone gets the wrong idea. Flying pigments NOT sniffing pigments. It's like a Runner's high. You know, a natural high. Anyway, I'm still too wound up to write so here's the visual scoop.

Art Cart locked and loaded.

5 foot by 12 foot canvas stapled in place. Art Cart in position.

Breaking the ice. No more dreaded blank canvas. Plus I got to try out my new paint marker.

Oops. Pigments miss their approach during landing attempt.
 (Why yes, that's some Air Traffic Controller Speak I picked up from The Husband.)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Proper working setup and ....

.... a peek into my journal.

Brushes, paint, water jars, journal, and feLION Studio Assistant. Why yes, there were tiny little black hairs in my watercolors. Why do you ask? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Virtual Studio Shopping Saturday

Saturday is an excellent day for a little shopping. Because I've got the love for all things Studio going on, let's shop for Studios. Please fasten your seatbelt, keep your hands in the vehicle at all times, no screaming, no crying, and remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. Wheeeee! Okay, we're here at Kanga Room Systems. Enjoy! I found the kitchenette and bathroom layouts and all the pricing information very interesting and helpful.  

Modern style. Photo "borrowed" from Kanga Room Systems' website.

Country Cottage style. Also borrowed from Kanga's website.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Presenting The Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio

I mentioned that I've learned a lot in the first thirty days of having a studio.  What I really need and want in a studio is slowly unfolding and revealing itself to me. One of the biggest surprises has been how much space is enough space for me. Studio 319 is HUGE. I'm only using the front half of the building. I hung the canvases on the wall, parked my painting cart within easy, convenient reach; and the area just swallowed them. Space is good though. I feel like I need space to think, create. I especially appreciate space above my head as if that's where the ideas are all floating around. Studio 319 has tall walls. Every studio is unique to each individual artist. Studios are VERY personal. If you ever have the privilege of being invited in to see an artist's work space, you should proceed as if you are peeking into a boudoir. I'll be sharing more of my discoveries, but for now, I present The Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio.

Big, happy gasp. Girly squeal. Ooooooooo. All that's missing is the little cardboard sign with "No Boyz Allowed" scrawled in black crayon.

Photo: Martha Garstang Hill

Gasp. Ooooooo. LOVE this layout.

Kitchen! Nap spot! Pigments could really fly in the Studio area. For my needs, the back wall would be my painting wall; no desk; no book shelves and put the windows up higher where the shelves are currently pictured. 

Indoor facilities! The Husband would never see me again. Yes, I realize this makes me the perfect wife. There is a loft over the bathroom too. I would use this for finished works storage. I'd be tempted to add a little green house room off the bathroom for a claw foot tub. Sigh. I'm in love. Totally.

For the full article in Fine Home Building Ultimate Lady Cave/Studio

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

NEVER pull a loose thread and....

Isaac Newton's First Law (of three) of Motion. The Laws of Motion describe the effects of forces on the movement of common objects. Every woman being a force to be reckoned with is familiar with these laws. The first law, which takes Galileo's inertia concept further, states that an object at rest, remains at rest unless it experiences a net external force. In other words, don't pull the loose thread on your sweater and it won't unravel. This also apparently applies to string that one might find laying amongst the weeds while spiffying up one's studio. I was pulling weeds like a machine and then, I found a string. Pause. Look around. Don't be obvious about it. Make sure no one is looking. Pull the string anyway. Pause. Look around some more. Still, trying not to be obvious. Schew. Everything seems fine. The Thurners Building, which my studio is in, is for sale and gets a little more attention. That's good motion. But then, about a week later....

CRASH! The roof of the beautiful and historic sandstone building next to the studio caves in and takes the second floor, first floor, and the facing on a small section of the sandstone down with it. Oops. Kind of feeling a teensy bit like Cat Woman where the building is blowing up behind her. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Anyway, in all seriousness, it's terrible. Calumet has these beautiful, historic, architecturally significant sandstone buildings. The tourists go nuts over them. They stop, get out of their cars, almost get hit by traffic as they are drawn in for a closer look at these buildings, snapping picture after picture of them. And then there's the memories. As I was weeding, quite a few people stopped to chat and I was privy to the stories of this particular building. It used to have a bowling alley in the basement. A lot of the locals used to bowl there or worked there as kids. Unfortunately, this is just one of quite a few of these buildings that are in serious need of hitting the lottery. The Husband and I looked at what seems like all of the buildings that are available on 5th Street. Nothing is within my budget. By the grace of our Main Street organization, I was able to rent the north garage of the Thurner's Bakery Building. I'm coming up on having had the studio for a month. This whole first month has been about creating the space for me to paint. I can NOT believe how much I've learned in just a month. It's been amazing. I'm beginning a project in the studio on August 26th. I've got a couple more things to do to prepare. Definitely nothing that involves string.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Evolution of Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly

Once Upon a Time, in a land way Up North, there was a sad and lonely building. The Thurners Bakery Building to be exact. 

"Boo hoo, nobody loves me. I'm weedy and trashy," said the sad and lonely building. 

Then one sunny, cloudless day, a sad Artist with no place to paint waved her magic paint brush around and knighted the North garage of the Thurners Bakery Building as Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly. Cue the Angels on High track.

"Cripes, seriously, somebody hug me," cried the sad, lonely building.

"You see a wall, I see a CANVAS," said the Artist.

"Huh?" said the sad, lonely, now worried building.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

"Oh. Feeling a little less lonely," smiled the still worried building.

"OMG! THAT'S UGLY! We have to cut the weeds down from the side of the other building," said the aesthetically offended Artist.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

"Dang, I'm looking good," said the happy building.

"Definitely a CANVAS," said the happy, excited Artist.

"NO!" said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

"Flowers! I'm totally styling," said the happy, loved building.

"Ah, color," said the happy Artist with a place to paint.

"You were right about the weeds on the other building," said the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband.

And despite the Artist's stick-in-the-mud Husband, the Artist painted happily ever after in the styling, smiling building knighted Studio 319 Where Pigments Fly.

The Beginning....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Adam approximately 2007 - August 4, 2012

Adam was humanely euthanized last night due to a sudden, shocking, and very brief illness that turned out to be FIP. Adam is believed to have been born in Gibsonburg, Ohio. He was discovered just hanging around Mike and Bheki’s Gibsonburg farm in 2008. Adam was named after Ansel Adams the black and white photographer because of his black and white fur coat. Adam had a definite "cool cat" vibe and was a complete joy to be around with his amusement and delight with the whole "house cat" concept. He looked to his fellow FRAT Roommates whenever in doubt about proper "house cat" protocol. He also spent time admiring the beautiful Sissy. Adam was estimated to be 5 years old and is survived by his humans, Mike and Bheki, his best feLION friend, PHIL!; and his FRAT Roommates. He will be sorely missed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Like cool colors

When The Husband and I were discussing the whole mixing my Art adventures with The Secret Cabin blog thing, where we're at with living off-grid came up in the conversation. It reminded me of when I'm splashing colors around on the canvas. On a very basic, general level, warm colors appear to advance and cool colors recede. That's what's happened with the alternative energy we live with here at The Secret Cabin. We're to the point where it's receded into the background. It's all become a routine we don't even think about. It feels like we've reached another milestone in living off-grid.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Another strike against wind

More accurately and specifically, against spending our hard earned money on a wind turbine. That whole economic principle of opportunity cost where if resources are put into one area (wind), the resources aren't there for another area (food, art studio). Anyway, the neighbor's turbine that I covet is not spinning. I don't remember when we noticed but it's just been a yard sculpture for what seems like a month. Who knows with the way Summer is blazing by. A bearing is out so there she sits NOT feeding the grid. At least, they're grid tied so they're not sitting there like a spent RV after a two week vacation of partying like rock stars.

Zxeres is allegedly standing behind their turbine and has sent the replacement parts. However, there's the issue of actually repairing it. You know, someone coming waaay out here to the UP and climbing Mt. Tower. That's the problem we had with the Loewen windows and doors. They didn't want to pay for someone to come waaay out here and do the work. I want to emphasize that was our experience and NOT, to my knowledge, what is going on with the Zxeres. Tower height and parts availability has been something The Husband and I have discussed. Bergey has a reputation for getting the parts to you ASAP. The Husband and I have discussed at great length, tower height and aesthetics. This Zxeres is a big bird. We're looking at a much smaller turbine. Is it going to get it's turbine ass kicked in the winds here? It's like pulling teeth to get anybody out here to do anything. We've been bantering around the words "tilt-down" tower. We're not in any position right now to add wind so we've got plenty of time to think about it. But, if Bergey wanted to ship one here out of the kindness of their hearts in exchange for undying gratitude and some heavy duty publicity, we'll I'm not ashamed to admit that this girl does love gifts!

We received a somewhat juicy tidbit of info that's worth passing on. A meter reader reported to a mutual acquaintance that people that have solar are happy with their solar and people with wind turbines are not happy with them. More pause for thought.

However, when you're off-grid and "need more power, Scotty," what are your options? The Husband and I have thrown on the table the possibility of tying into the grid and planting some more sunflowers (PV arrays). We'd still have our batteries in the cabin so we could keep going when the grid goes down which it's always doing out here. I fired the first electricians/company we had out here at the cabin and those people do work for the electric company so we'd definitely want to be able to stand alone when the grid goes down. We make solar power hand over fist in the Summer. We dump power after 10:30/11:00 am every day in the Summer. Could we produce and feed the grid enough in the Summer via solar to still have a zero electric bill in the Winter? Hmmm?

On another note, kind of a fair warning, I will be doing my Studio adventure posts here on this blog. I have been hesitant to include much of my art life here but I've found that trying to segregate my art life from The Secret Cabin blog doesn't work for me. I will clearly mark my Studio/Art posts as such so you may skip them if you wish. Hopefully, it won't be too inconvenient or bothersome for anyone.