Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Acapella Solo in the attic

I sat without a brush in my hand many rainy days just waiting for something.

Then one day when the rain stopped, I put on my rain boots and walked the long way around the tank dam to The Garden Palace. I needed to go and sit in the attic studio. And I needed to cut more cardboard cells for the grid. 
I was excited about a bit of inspiration that floated by while looking at Alissa's painting. It was the windows. When I saw them I knew immediately windows would be a perfect addition to the choirs in The Grid. 

Each cardboard cell has to be measured and cut for a specific spot. So, I decided where I would paint the first window. Being there made the window vision so much clearer. I measured and cut these three cells and returned to the studio in the big house.

I don't know what happened but I didn't even argue with her. I haven't mentioned her in a long time and every since this argument, I mostly just listen and paint.

Well actually, I do know what happened. I discovered two new artist of the Art Nouveau period. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh

Painting "flat" without depth doesn't satisfy me so much. But once I got my brave girl attitude together and picked up my Chinese calligraphy brush, I started adding the black layer of lines. What fun that was once I got the hang of it. I think this soloist waiting for her acapella moment in the attic grid is a great addition to the choirs up there.

I'm still excited about the windows in the attic grid and you know what? There are many more perfect places for windows.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Singing Choir


Today I have no words about this Singing Choir except I painted it the first week of November. I'll be back. 

Here is what they are singing:

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Another Choir

 Oh dear! There is always one unhappy singer. She, the unhappy one, is a good example for not painting figures straight forward. Face, eyes, shoulders straight on is so confrontational. And she is. But I left her there because she is a critical part of this choir. 

I'm guessing she sings with the lowest vocal range. Can you guess which one sings soprano?

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

About The Grid

And this thing I do "in my head."

A dear friend told me one time that I just needed to get out of my head. I don't remember why she told me that. Honestly, I really did not know what she meant. 

So, I got "in my head" to try to understand what that was about. It has taken me a long time to recognize when I do that "in my head" thing and maybe even why.

Simply put, I am a problem solver. And I do it in my head. All the time. It never stops. On and on and on. Constant over thinking. The only way to stop it is to proceed by going forward in some small or big way.

I problem solve everything. I do it for me. I do it for you. I do it for my children. I do it for my dear husband. I can't stop it but I have learned to keep it to myself. They all appreciate that.

This is The Grid. On this day dear Son and I installed the floor in the attic. Here he is brainstorming with me outside my head.

The problem:
  • What or how to cover the ceiling.
  • The screws holding the tin on the roof were dangerously protruding.
  • Every cell of the grid is a different width and height.
  • Did not want to do anything that would make it dark.
  • Did not want to cover the vertical wood.
There are 198 cells in The Grid. He saw it as an opportunity for art painted for each cell. WOW! That he thought of it blew me away.

The problem:
  • On what
  • How to attach
  • The protruding screws would still need to be snipped off
And so on and on and on. Each one of those bullet points leads me down more problem paths to solve.  You get the point. On this day I was lucky enough to have someone outside of my head.

Most of the time it is just me going down every problem path until there is a fork in the path. Before every fork there is a new obstacle. Each path is a new solution. And then more obstacles. And more solutions. And so it goes.

Eventually, it has to stop! The solutions become complicated, time consuming, costly, and impossible. The solution becomes a chore that is no longer something to look forward to. I have learned to turn around and go back and simply remove all of the obstacles because after all, "they were just in my head".  I figured out what "in my head" means.

It means, I have come up with so many solutions or options that it all turns to muddled mush. It is confusing and I feel totally disorganized and defeated.

So about The Grid. I spent about five month in my head after brain storming with my dear Son. Then I ordered five bundles of 36" X 48" heavy duty cardboard that had to be delivered on an 18-wheeler that would not be able to turn off of the farm-to-market road into our drive. Yep another problem to solve.   

Before I started painting the above last November titled, "Who are These People", I resolved that I would only use pastle colors. I would not use collage. I would not paint faces.

And then, the first piece I painted had faces. And then, when I picked the piece up again in March, I reasoned that napkins would not add weight so I collaged. And then I worked on four other cells before putting it down again and more phantom faces showed up. I will share those when Installed.

And then, I went back "in my head" until this past Sunday. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to paint. I was unsure if each cell should relate to the one next to it. I thought I wanted to paint in a more abstract fashion. I thought each cell would have a floral theme. I even reasoned that each cell could be a journal page.

But. I did not want to paint a mural. I considered several ways each cell could relate without becoming a mural. I know nothing about abstract and there was a little voice that kept saying, "now is not the time with a project of this magnatude."  After painting the flowers on the floor cloth, I became unsure about that idea. And you know and I know that I simply suck at journaling. Yep, time to turn around again.

So basically, I came to terms with painting faces on the ceiling by first accepting the phantom people that showed up in the first cells and deciding to accept their presence up in the peak of the ceiling. I was fully expecting more to show up and would welcome them.

I was still in my head Saturday when I thought to revisit my big book on Gustav Klimt and his work titled, The Beethoven Frieze.

I absolutely love the sections with the horizonally floating figures who appear to move their hands in front of them as if swimming. They blend into the gray fresco wall. Not that I was going to create anything like that, I was very excited with inspiration and to get my brushes in my hand.

Sunday morning, I walked into the dark living room with my big piece of cardboard that I had painted a dove gray and white background on. I had a tiny piece of charcoal in my hand and I pulled out the piano bench and sat down across the room from the very large painting I did a couple of years ago. It is the one with the five girls with flower head pieces. I sat in the darkness with purpose so I could not see much detail. I just wanted to quickly sketch the shapes and placement of the girls. But the mood of the dark room transported me back to a sketch exercise assignment that Misty gave during my first trip to Orvieto. She had us scatter throughout the convent and I chose the enormous dark ballroom where the only light was from huge windows that cast warm rays across the floor.

In my own dark living room, I felt the peace of the room and the confidence to paint. It excited me and I sat down and just did it. There were no obstacles and I restrained myself from perfection and details because, for one thing, when installed in the peak of the ceiling, it can never be viewed any closer that about six feet or so. Another thing, with 198 cells in the grid, my mission is to be quick about it. And, I'm not going to get into my head about what quick means. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Parlor Buffet

Every item I have purchased since the day I purchased my daydream  was a "project". Somehow in my mind I could justify the purchase if it was not perfect, if it had to be fixed, painted, or if it was someones discard.

This tiny red buffet is the exception. I found it just like this about eight years ago and had to have it. Of course the Garden Palace had been abandoned but I knew someday.......would come.

Someday would come when I would be ready to move my tiny red buffet to the Garden Palace. 
Project No. 131:  Move red buffet to G.P. √  10-17-15

It was on the project list and the day came. Actually, I had a very perfect place for it in the big house and struggled a bit with the decision to move it.
I call it a buffet because that is what it looks like to me even though it would not serve much. Maybe a desert. Maybe a tea service. Or maybe, for now I will just call it my spoon buffet. Yes.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It Keeps Getting Better

Project No. 137: Make shelf from table cut-off and Paint. √ 10-15-15

Project No. 138: Hang shelf above parlor desk. √ 10-16-15

Project No. 132: Apply screw eyes and hang 100 faces. √ 10-10-15
Project No. 139:  Repaint frame for painting from Hill workshop. √ 10-07-15

Project No. 141:  Hang painting above shelf. √ 10-16-15
I did it. You may remember from this post, I cut eight inches off the table top and reserved it for an above desk shelf.

I have been enjoying the pleasant weather we are having and spending time at the Garden Palace. Therefore, this project finally moved up on the project list. 
I am thrilled with the result. I was so anxious to get it installed that I rigged up a way to set a chair on the desk to hold the heavy shelf up in order for me to screw it to the wall. It was a bit more involved than that. You should have been there. I could have waited for help but I could not wait. Needless to say, having found a few new muscles, I spent the next day (yesterday) in the chair zone. 
Before taking photos, I stepped over to the red bookcase that holds stuff-in-waiting. I love this set of antique birdie wall pockets. I think they are perfect here!
The turquoise blue vase is also perfect. And just so you know, I'm using dried basil flowers in the vase and pockets.
Also, just so you know, the vase is strategically placed to hide her way too skinny leg. 
If you want to see the way too skinny leg and the painting without the reflecting glass, pop on over to the post where I attended the Hill workshop.
It is impossible to get a photo without reflections but in my opinion, reflections and shadows give life. 
Did you notice how my brush holding teapot and the lime green desk organizer echo in the painting? As does the vase and wall pockets. It just keeps getting better.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Have a Seat

I'm undecided about which room to use the bench in. It works nice here under this front window but it also works pretty good in the Morning Glory Garden Room under the window behind the table. Should I ever need seating for more than four guest, I can just pull the bench up to the table. Actually, those are the only two options.  
Here it is before I waxed it and after I scrapped and sanded it. But up until the moment to get going on this project, I was absolutely sure that I would paint the bench. Then, one day while I was sitting at the art desk over there and thinking about what color, I realized the only thing that made sense was to just clean, sand, scrape and wax it. 
If I used it in the room with this table, it matched nicely.

If I use it here in the Rose Garden Parlor, it matches nicely. 

Did you know that Tim's Cloth is finished? I worked on it for more than five years and finally, it is all done. Here it is on the bench after my washing ceremony. I wrote about that here on my blog, The Cloth Side of Me. I invite you to take a look. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reaching to the top

Looks like the ladder fills the tiny room and It almost does. You may remember the first thing I did was purchase this 10 foot ladder so I could reach the 12 foot ceilings.

The project:

Hanging this cute little antique fixture that was gifted to me by a sweet friend. It so perfect for this tiny room. I think it came from her childhood home and if I remember correctly, not long after getting my daydream moved here, her Mom suggested they share it with me. Thank you Renee.

Oh how I love this window.

All I did to the fixture was remove the electrical wires, wax it and paint the little rusted cups that hold the candles. I made a huge effort to find the glass hurricane replacements that held the shades that were part of the fixture. I gave up. Actually, I thought I found some but when they arrived they did not work. 

It feels so good to get this project done. Now all three rooms have hanging fixtures that I have had in waiting for a long time. I'm getting real close to being able to move the 10 foot ladder out.

In this older picture you can see the fixture and shades on the cabinet. The cabinet is still in the tiny room but I've moved it under the stairs.