Archive | April 2019

New Under the Sun

My studio looks out onto our front entry, an atrium. This was my view when we moved here:

 

A brick wall is not very inspiring.

Then I added a big metal sun. I love suns and have quite a few around the entry.

At least it was something to look at besides a brick wall.

When we were in Bandera a few weeks ago, some of the antique and western art shops had old or distressed furniture. I was thinking a table or old stepladder would be nice under the sun, with a plant or two. Not wanting to pay $25 or $30 for an old table, I looked in thrift shops here in Kerrville and found this table (at the appropriately named shop, Finds*) for $2. It’s truly junk, particle board with veneer peeling off and blobs of wax on the top. With so little to lose, I knew I could just have fun.

One ugly table, $2.

The legs were a bit wobbly, so I shored them up with Gorilla Glue.

C-clamps are so handy!

Stripped off the loose veneer, cleaned it up and spray-painted it dark green. When that dried I painted over the green with thinned-down yellow acrylic paint and wiped most of it off. Next I tried spatter painting, but I ended up with more drips than spatters, and not Jackson Pollock-level drips, either.

Using a big rough masonry brush, I stippled with yellow, brown, gold and a little red. A couple of coats of varnish, and voil√†, our “new antique” for under $10:

I’ve had the yellow pail for years. Finally found a place for it.¬†

Don’t you think the sun seems happier now?

My new studio view.

* Finds consists of two adjacent stores. One is more boutique, with good china and furniture. The other has just about everything else, from tools to yarn. Sadly, they no longer carry clothes. This table came from the cheap side. In a previous post about furniture restoration, the shelf came from the boutique side (and cost a lot more).

 

 

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Art days = hens’ teeth

Like almost every retired person I know, I find my days fill up quickly. Appointments, meetings, exercise, household, yard and pool chores, pet care (yes, I have help in all these areas), usually take up most of about four days a week. (That’s not to mention the 12-year-old granddaughter and a husband with a chronic illness.) I also volunteer with two local arts centers, which at least counts as “art.”

So I manage to squeeze in a precious art day now and then. Recent output includes a painting and some postcards. When I finished the painting, I didn’t care for it much, but after it dried I decided it fit nicely in our foyer, with its touches of blue and gold.

The lava lamp is a recent garage sale purchase, for a couple of dollars.

“Bluedrops” – Acrylic, 12″ x 12″

 

I did this photo-collage as a retirement gift for our minister–images from the church’s interior.

Here are postcards since my last post:

“Springtangle” – pens, Prismacolor pencils

Paris from Montparnasse Tower” – original hand-colored black and white photo (taken on our October visit to Paris).

“Spring 2019” – Watercolor and pen (sent to a friend in Canada to brighten her winter days)

 

“Ganesha goes to Bali” – Collage (sent to congratulate a friend on her 100th birthday)

 

“Get Your Feet Wet” – collage, including day and night images of Kerrville’s splash pad.

Finally, I dug out a stashed box of papers I’d almost forgotten about,

Fun with an old friend, Color Aid, a beautiful matte silk-screened paper that comes in more than 200 colors a pack.

and created this collage, limiting myself to only these scraps of (not necessarily harmonious) colors. It turned out better than I expected–sort of an homage to Matisse’s cutouts. (I have seen two exhibits, one at the Hirshhorn in Washington in about 1977*, and a fabulous exhibit at MOMA in New York in 2014.)

“Finding an Old Box of Color Aid,” collage.

* Funny story: I saw the Matisse cutout exhibit with my mother and then-4-year-old daughter. While Mom scoffed that “a kindergartener could do this” and the guards warily eyed the child, I tried to enjoy this incredibly beautiful “kindergarten” art. (Matisse was quite old when he did the cutouts.) Finally my mother offered to take the child out so I could peruse in peace, which I did. When I saw the ’14 show at MOMA, there were school kids on a field trip, enjoying the art immensely. It was wonderful.