I am in the throes of summer and my outdoor studio is in full swing. Yes, I live in lower Alabama and YES, it is hot as Hades some days, but there are reasons that it is the best studio ever for me.
First: I made a decision to paint BIG this summer and had no personal studio large enough to accommodate a 6′ by 4′ canvas. I could have said, “I just can’t do it, I am not equipped.” But I gave it a lot of though and figured if it was good enough for Van Gogh outdoors could be good enough for me…and I am determined to get this done.
Second: My husband works on our property every day, creating an amazing place for us to live and retire by building a handmade house and I really wanted to spend as much time with him as I could on my summer break from teaching.
Third: Nature is a huge force in my inspiration, and I get all I want here….including crickets, foxes, squirrels, birds, owls, dogs, horses, caterpillars, lizards, baby bird hatchlings, daddy long legs, and yes…the dreaded yellow flies. In fact, there is so much nature within inches of my work tables it is easy to get distracted just being mesmerized by it all.
I am a mess when I paint big. I sling paint, I drop things, spill things, and move through canvases quite often so this type of studio is perfect for me. As long as it isn’t pouring, I am good to go!
Here are a few snapshots of my set up!
I have also set a few very specific goals this summer to begin laying the foundation to build a body of work for gallery representation on a national scale. It has been exhilarating and daunting, but worth every bit of sweat and work that I have given to date. When I considered what type of subject matter I wanted to focus on I really wanted to move to a softer, peaceful color palette with a thread of summer and coastal spirit intertwined. I also knew I wanted to make an impact with marks, step out of my comfort zone, and connect these pieces to my daily practice of writing and praying/meditating to begin each day.
WORKS ON PAPER
“The Extinction of Fear” (sold)
“An Underlying Strength” 22″ by 30″ acrylic on paper
“A Walk Through Dulcinea” 22″ by 30″ acrylic on paper
“One Potato, Two Potato” 9″ by 12″ acrylic on paper
“Once Upon a Summer”
“The Determined Mind” 22″ by 30″ mixed media on paper
“Violet Loves to Swim” 12″ by 16″ acrylic on paper
“Cracking the Surface” 22″ by 30″ mixed media on paper
WORKS IN REALISM
“Bourbon Without a Twist” 8″ by 10″ acrylic on canvas
“Bourbon With an Ice Ball”
WORKS ON CANVAS
“To Be Seen As Beautiful” 24″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
Between the Spaces of Time and Place
24″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
The Birth of Creative Energy
24″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
Into the Heavens
As I head into July there are more big changes on the horizon! Art(ology) will be adding two incredible new members and I will move into a half member position to alleviate my full time work load. I will continue working towards building this body of work along with my “The Journal Speaks” series and I shall begin prepping my curriculum for the upcoming year. Mixed in with all of that will be slinging paint with a magical little one, reconnecting with friends and family, and the continued work on our retirement home. Being a full time artist is deeply rewarding, but at the same time, a bucket load of hard work. I am deeply grateful these days to be well enough to accomplish what I have and am looking forward to more growth on the horizon.