Busy week ahead!

Lots of things going on! (photo by Tim Lingley)

Lots of things going on! (photo by Tim Lingley)

It’s a good thing I had most of last week’s posts done ahead of time, because I was sick and wouldn’t have gotten them out otherwise. Because of my feeling ill, a little bit of homework has piled up and I’m working diligently to catch up. You may not hear from me on Wednesday or Friday, but I’m hoping to have things back on track next week. The above photo by the awesome Tim Lingley (care of his brand new 5D Mark II!) gives a bit of a glimpse of the several things I have on the go. Teaser: beads, feathers and color wheels oh my!

While I’m frantically arting away, here are some snaps from Instagram (technically Statigram because they make it easier to share) of my new art life!

Wooden Shelving with Copper Circles and Buckets

Wooden Shelving with Copper Circles and Buckets

Drawing has been the most challenging class for me so far. It’s very technical and forces me to slow down and really draw accurately. Both classes and homework assignments are time-consuming, but extremely rewarding. I feel like I’ll see the most improvement over the year through this class .

Origami Greyscale

Origami Greyscale

Art isn’t just the subject of choice at this school; it’s a way of life. It’s celebrated both inside class and out, even in the lunch area. Every once in awhile I’ll see a sculpture hiding above a door, or creatively drawn notes on the bulletin board, and it makes me smile. I’m so happy to be in such a wonderful inspiring environment. So much love!

Beautiful building on Barrington

Beautiful building on Barrington

I’ve been down Barrington street many times, even before moving to Halifax, and this remains my favorite building on that street. Even the broken down abandoned buildings are turned into pieces of art. There is so much art within Halifax and so many galleries that no matter what your taste, whether low-brow or high, fine art or commercial, there’s bound to be something for you.

Hope everyone has a great week! The autumn colors are starting to peak through the leaves and the air is crisp; enjoy it while it lasts!

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Grey Walls Don’t Have to be Boring!

As I showed you all last week, we painted our studio walls grey. On its own, grey is very subdued and can be a bit dull if there isn’t enough variety in decor to accent it. While I was pitching grey as a wall color to Tim before we painted, I looked at several spaces using grey as the wall color to prove that it can be done and it can be fun! It’s especially appropriate in a setting where both of us, for painting and photography, will want to hang lots of work up and edit work in a neutral space.

(via Refinery 29)

(via Refinery 29)

Every color here really stands out from the grey, even the white furniture. Having clear furniture is nice in a small room to give the illusion of more space, but any color would work just as well since the walls are so neutral. When sitting at that desk I’d be more apt to focus on the task at hand, since everything would look so in focus against the grey.

(via Apartment Therapy)

(via Apartment Therapy)

I love how bright the roses on those pillows are and how much they stand out. Almost anything goes for print or pattern in a grey space! We don’t have curtains in our studio yet, and will have to find some, since the sun beats inside in the afternoons and it gets really warm. Those chevron curtains above look perfect for the space, so chic!

(via The Decorista)

(via The Decorista)

Going light is definitely easier to stomach than going dark, since dark walls run the risk of shrinking a space. Something like a floor rug could be the focus point in a space like this. Seeing the flowers and that gorgeous chair, I think I may be a little bit of a sucker for pink in a space, what can I say? Thanks to a recent sale at Kent’s I was able to pick up a pink computer chair, which had me over the moon. That industrial spiral light fixture is superb. Wish I could get my hands on some spot lights, or other industrial lighting…

(via Design Sponge)

(via Design Sponge)

The framed prints on this warm grey wall really stand out. Tim could get a set of prints framed, or I could frame a set of marker drawings and achieve a very similar look. Those prints are an example of how matting something (the white area around the image itself) gives it more presence. Light and bright colors in particular work best against a grey, which is fortunate since I love to work with those colors most. Having the neutral furniture really draws your eye to what’s on the walls. What a smooth, relaxing space.

(via Kitschy Living)

(via Kitschy Living)

This dresser made from milk crates is just awesome. Doing research into grey spaces made me realize how much of an ideal color it is, especially for those just starting out in the renting game! If you find yourself with lots of mismatching furniture, photos and art, but don’t have enough money to rush out and buy color coordinating everything, choose a neutral color for the walls to tie everything together. The decor above is a bit eclectic, but works well in this space. If pure grey looks yucky to you, you could choose a grey that leans more towards purple, or green, or blue.

New Studio and Finally Some Painting!

Last weekend we finally put away the boxes that were piled up in the middle of the 2nd bedroom. We’d piled them in the middle because a) it’s like the first place to pile boxes when you get in the door and b) so we could easily paint the walls. They’re not exactly unpacked yet (we just moved some to the dining room lol, but those are Tim’s boxes!) but the important thing is that we both have space to work. Rather than him or me taking the entire room, we settled on sharing it. Without further ado, here’s the tour of our new studio!

Here's our brand new studio!

Here’s our brand new studio!

Drafting table by the window cast in a nice light.

Drafting table by the window cast in a nice light.

Tim's photography corner, still in progress.

Tim’s photography corner, still in progress.

We chose a coolish grey for the walls so that anything we hang, be it photography or paintings, would have colors that really pop. The other great thing about a neutral for the walls is that anything looks good as an accent: black, white, silver, gold, polka dots, neons… anything! We’re going to have some fun with colors for the bookshelves!

Shelf full of books. We have so many books.

Shelf full of books. We have so many books.

My art corner! Drafting table by the window, computer desk right beside it for references/blogging.

My art corner! Drafting table by the window, computer desk right beside it for references/blogging.

Since there’s now space for me to paint, paint I did! I haven’t done much art since getting here; I dug out the sketchbook on Saturday night and forced myself to draw, just because I haven’t in… weeks. Ugh. I’ll confess that painting felt a bit foreign today. I’m confident, though, that if I keep at it regularly it’ll come back to me pretty quickly.

Every inch of canvas is now covered in paint!

Every inch of canvas is now covered in paint!

Hair Colors

Hair Colors

I’m happy to finally have the entire under-painting covered! I still have a lot to do, so I made a list of all the things I saw that needed work, off the top of my head. I decided to start by painting the hair, something easy and fun to get me back into the spirit of painting. I really enjoyed painting those brights colors over the browns and look forward to refining them further when these coats dry.

From here on out I’ll likely be jumping all over the place, as there are so many little details that I need to work on. I’m hoping to have this finished before I head to NSCAD in September (3 weeks to go!) so I can start back to school with a clean slate.

The other reason it’s so important for me to get in the habit of drawing/painting every day is that I’ll be doing that and more at school. In order to improve I’ll need to eat and breathe art, so I’m trying to condition myself to it now so that it won’t be such a shock when I get there and have 10-20 sketches due for homework.

The settling in part of moving is still in progress, but having a dedicated space for art really helps.

Small Cozy Workspaces

It can be a downer to think of spending the majority of your week in front of a computer or in an office, but it doesn’t have to be all that bad. If you’re working from home or have the choice of where you work, there are lots of things you can do to make the space more comfortable and inviting.

(via Made By Girl)

(via Made By Girl)

If you’re stuck with a small office or with a bedroom office, there are still lots of options. Keep the clutter to a minimum (could be a motivator to keep the bedroom tidy!) and park yourself by a nice big window. Flowers add a simple pop of color to any space and make the room feel more alive. I would keep the paint colors more subtle and pale to keep the area from being over-stimulating, to make it easier to spend long amounts of time in without getting eye-strain. Magazines about subjects in your field add a nice touch to the room as well.

(via blushingapples on tumblr)

(via blushingapples on tumblr)

This office is very similar to the one above, with a simple desk set in front of a beautiful floor to ceiling window. Rugs are a great way to add color and warmth to an area and blankets or shawls hanging over your chair are great for those chilly winter days (and also go great with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea).

(via Apartment Therapy)

(via Apartment Therapy)

Art can be either hung directly on the walls or placed on shelves, adding style to a space as well as inspiration. I like how the art here directly complements the space; the wood of the desk against the blue wall echoes the beach motifs in the paintings above it. It creates a very relaxed vibe, good for balancing out a stressful or deadline-driven job. Large sea shells would be a cute addition to this desk and could hold various odds ‘n’ ends, even business cards.

Marleau the Cat's studio (via LifeHacker)

Marleau the Cat’s studio (via LifeHacker)

This looks more like a living area than an office, which can be good or bad depending on what motivates you. Working at home has a lot of advantages like flexible hours and convenience, but separating work life from home life becomes a lot more difficult. Having greenery in or near an office can help make it feel less sterile, keep it feeling refreshed. Talk to your local plant-shop about greenery that is easy to take care of if you struggle at keeping them alive, like I do. Like above, I also have quite a few books by my computer when I need to get away from the bright screen for awhile. Getting lost in a book can really take my mind off things, whereas reading them on a computer can be filled with distractions in the form of facebook, twitter, email, etc.

(via Decor8)

(via Decor8)

Surrounding yourself with art and design you like can help keep you motivated. Keeping a clean and organized space is important; when I go to start a new project I usually begin by tidying up the space. This helps give me a sense of closure with the other project and gives me a nice clean encouraging space to start the new one. If your space is looking a little drab, you can throw small accent pieces into the mix to spice it up, like colorful pillows or a pink office chair like the one above.

It’s going to rain all weekend so I might get some more painting in. I’ve been avoiding the models painting for a little while, it deserves some love. While I’ve been working away on this blog, my husband Tim has started his own photography blog, track his 365 as well as the various places he finds inspiration. Go check it out, and have a great weekend!

Local Pop Art

Before my recent road trip I learned of a pop art exhibit opening at our local art museum: Hot Pop Soup.  It’s on until June 10th and if you’re in the Fredericton NB area, I strongly recommend you check it out!

I’m starting to think that rainy days are some of the best days to visit galleries. When you enter the gallery from the grey skies and cold rain, the paintings seem even more alive and colorful than usual. On the day I went to see this exhibit I was in a poor mood and feeling down on myself. When I entered the gallery and saw the first painting, I was immediately uplifted and smiling.

Beaverbook doesn’t allow photography as a rule, but I can show you a few pieces from some of the artists in the exhibit that I’ve scoured from around the internet. These photos a) aren’t my own and are sourced as such, and b) are not the exact paintings you will find in the gallery. You’ll have to visit in person for those. That being said, here are a few of the featured artists in this exhibit:

LITTLE DANCING SUPERHEROES  by Alexandrya Eaton acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 in. unframed (via Gallery 78)

LITTLE DANCING SUPERHEROES by Alexandrya Eaton acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 in. unframed (via Gallery 78)

WOMAN ON THE EDGE by Alexandrya Eaton, acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in. framed dimension: 38 x 38 in. (via Gallery 78)

WOMAN ON THE EDGE by Alexandrya Eaton, acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in. framed dimension: 38 x 38 in. (via Gallery 78)

I really enjoyed Alexandrya Eaton‘s paintings because of the repetition of the subject, something I’m sure was inspired by Andy Warhol. Having a subject repeated using different palettes forces the viewer to see the subject in a different light, in a different way. Having some of the repetitions overlap creates a sort of optical-illusion effect. Seeing pop art like this brings a few questions to mind: how did she choose which figures overlapped? How did she choose colors, and how to color them, and even what kind of texture?

The Crimson Canoess by Peter Manchester

The Crimson Canoess by Peter Manchester

The smile on my face continued as I browsed Peter Manchester‘s paintings. He combines soft realism in seemingly calm backdrops with completely absurd situations and subjects, aliens and sci-fi being quite popular. His images have the campy fun vibe of old sci-fi movie posters and describe amazing stories about their subjects. His works are extremely enjoyable as you try to piece together what’s happening, and what’s real versus what’s not.

by Jean Rooney (via Artists Wanted)

by Jean Rooney (via Artists Wanted)

Jean Rooney‘s piece in the gallery is absolutely huge! I love seeing works that span multiple canvases, wall to wall. The image above is only a fraction of the entire painting. Upon seeing it, I was hit by a wall of nostalgia. Growing up in the 90’s means the neon colors and cassette tapes resonate with me; they brought me back to simpler days, walking to school with the tape-of-the-moment in my walkman (Weird Al’s Allapalooza and Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill, if I remember correctly.) Her works as a whole are extremely bright and demand to be noticed, whether they’re funky portraits or rolling landscapes. Shapes and patterns pop out at you, weaving different parts of the painting together in a surreal way. Work of this nature begs a closer look to take in the wonderful hues and imagery. Some of her other works are available online.

Novella   oil on canvas   24"x30" (by Cliff Turner)

Novella oil on canvas 24″x30″ (by Cliff Turner)

by Cliff Turner

by Cliff Turner

My readers may have seen me mention Cliff Turner before and will know that I’m already a fan, so seeing his name on the list of artists for this exhibit really sealed the deal. His pop art paintings (some from Technicolor) evoke different feelings in different people. Some of us get nostalgic about certain kinds of food, some of us with color palettes, some of us with cartoons. Because his paintings involve so much different subject matter, there is something for everyone to focus on. It sort of feels like what you’d get flipping through a magazine in the 70’s, all captured on a single canvas. His stunning realism continues to impress and looks especially good on the larger canvases in the exhibit.

Seriously, go check out this exhibit if you can! There is so much more there than I could describe in my tiny pokey ol’ blog here.

Though I don’t have a progress post today, there will likely be one next week. After seeing this exhibit I finally decided to start a pop-art piece of my own, an idea I’d been toying with for awhile. This will give me something to work on in between layers of the large oil painting I’m working on.

Have a great weekend guys, HAPPY JUNE!

Time-lapse paintings by Ursula Young & Tara McPherson

Quickie post for the weekend to make up for the lackluster week! The videos below show female artists as they work on their paintings. I get so inspired watching other people paint, because everybody works in their own unique way. The first video is short, mainly Ursula Young plugging her latest show. I love the bright colors and thick lines she uses. Her style is very cartoony/anime/surreal, right up my alley! The second video is quite a bit longer, taking you through an entire painting, done by Tara McPherson. Very educational and the music is pretty cool as well. Part of the video angles the camera by a window, so you can get a feel for how many hours of work go into something like this.

Enjoy, and happy Saturday!

Ursula Young Solo Show @ Fabric8 from Martha Traer on Vimeo.

Time lapse painting of ‘Safety of Water’ by Tara McPherson from Cotton Candy Machine on Vimeo.

Studio Spaces 09-03-12

Seeing how other artists have their studios set up is exciting. I get a taste of what they experience when they create their work. Each splotch of paint or dent tells a story, and each artist works in unique conditions. I like to have dedicated space, but other people can sit down and do their thing wherever they please. Some artists even prefer plein air aka working outside but this is something I’ve never been comfortable with, likely being I hate any kind of cold weather and I’m paranoid about bugs/insects. Anyway, onto some studios!

Richard Kooyman, Chicago, Illinois (site)

This space belongs to Richard Kooyman in Chicago, Illinois. I love the huge windows which much let some beautiful natural light in there. He picked a great time of day to take this photograph, too (the windows themselves look like giant paintings). The space feels warm and inviting with brick walls and hardwood floor… I like that it has an “unfinished” feel which makes it less stressful or sterile. He has lots of room to work on the wall or on tables. It looks like it has good ventilation as well which is imperative if you’re working with oils or other toxic mediums.

studio space of Kirra Jamison

studio space of Kirra Jamison

Kirra Jamison lives and works in a loft. Having a huge open layout brings a unity to the entire area. She has a lot of her supplies and palettes set up on a rolling trolley, making it easier to move around on a larger piece without running back and forth to her palette. Having all the walls painted white makes this space larger than life. It’s almost like she’s living in a gallery! I love how the floor has splotches of paint all over; rather than looking messy it looks like a properly used space.

Jeff's Garage to Studio Conversion

Jeff's Garage to Studio Conversion

Here we see a garage converted to an art studio. The open space is partitioned off into sections, which organizes the space without making it claustrophobic. Jeff says he prefers to work on a long table so he can spread things out and work on several projects at once. To fully finish the space, he hired contractors to finish/insulate the walls and redo the electrical: smart move. There is lots of room in here for his own art as well as art from others, any collections he may have (like the bears in the top photo) and all of his technology (including a large format printer, jealous!). Click the images to go to Apartment Therapy and see more of this space.

via Tumblr

Unfortunately I was unable to locate the source of this one. What a beautiful space! The colors remind me of Greece; I miss it so much this time of year with the cold, wind and snow/rain. The walls are nice and bright but the greenery up above helps to balance it out. This space looks like might be used for teaching. Having fresh air and natural light so close by would be very refreshing to work in.

Hopefully this weekend I will, at least, be able to finish owl drawing #1. Wish me luck!