Wednesday, September 20, 2017

So I've been thinking about classes...

Jean Haines has written a terrific book called 'Paint Yourself Calm'.   I've been doing a lot of the activities and I can't say enough good things about it.

Her focus is on using watercolor painting as a type of meditation, if you will, to lift your spirits, center you in the moment, help you exercise mindfulness, etc.

As I was thinking of all I have learned from the book, I really started to want to share it in a way that is collaborative, so that the members of a group can support each other in shifting the focus of an art activity from 'I must make something gorgeous or I'm a failure.' to 'Oh!  Look at what the paint did there!'

So I'm planning a class called 'Watercolor for Relaxation'.   Here's a description.  Please let me know if you'd be interested in a class like this:

Class:  Watercolor for Relaxation

So often we sit down to creative work with the heavy expectation of creating a masterpiece...or at least something that will bring compliments from viewers.  The purpose of this class is to let go of the expectation of creating something perfect and finished and replace it with the calm of simply observing what the paint and water do together.   No expectations, just fun.  

We will play with color, learn how different pigments react with water, experiment with salt and plastic wrap effects, play with abstract compositions and a few other surprises.  

This class is appropriate for all levels of skill, including people who have never touched watercolor before.  [It will probably be hardest for people who are used to trying to paint 'something' instead of just playing].  

Cost:  $60.   Materials included [though you may bring your own things if that is more comfortable.]
Dates:  TBA
Time:  1:30-4:30pm [May go longer if you're having fun]
Location:  Robin's Studio.  6877 E Bland Rd. Solsberry, Indiana

Monday, September 18, 2017

Studio Transformation

As you know, my other business is dyeing yarn, and for years I had a job weaving saddle pads on a giant loom.  Seriously, the loom was the size of my car.  In my studio.  ACK.

In addition to the giant loom, I had tall shelving along all the walls to hold Etsy inventory and supplies.

This summer, I ended my job weaving which meant the loom would be gone and I decided I needed to convert some of that wall space to gallery space for my artwork.  I love having people out to the studio and I want to schedule some open studio evenings next year for people to come see the artwork.  Eric and I thought long and hard about how to make the transition.

We took out the tall built-ins and book shelves and put in heavy duty rolling shelf units that are much shorter.   Then my brilliant husband took the wood from the old built-in shelves and turned it into table tops for the new units.   We love salvaged wood! You can just see some of them on the carts to the left of the tall lights.  They still show some pencil marks from their original purpose.

Eric also built and installed a narrow shelf to hold artwork on the back and west walls.  This way I can display a lot of my art at one time instead of keeping it wrapped up and hidden.

The cart shelves can be wheeled away from the walls whenever we need and I will be adding simple fabric curtains to hide the boxes when we have more formal studio events in this space.

All of the dyed yarn is in the carts, which means I can reach every skein without a ladder.  Yay!

My studio couch is no longer surrounded by boxes and stacks of stuff.  It's a comfortable place to sit and visit, rest, sketch, or browse through some books for inspiration.  I love that couch.  It folds out into a futon as well, which makes the studio a guest house as well.

One of the things I'd been tripping all over was the set of lights I use when photographing the art for the web.   They fold way down, but I didn't want to have to rebuild them every time I needed to take a quick photo.

I arranged things so that the lights can fit back against this section of carts, which is always set up for photographing.  There's a wide walk around so the feet aren't in the way.  Much easier and no tripping.

This is my painting corner.  Not much changed here, except that the rest of the room is much more open with the loom gone and that really affects how I feel when I paint.

The light is a chicken lamp, with a fluorescent bulb.  Very bright and a great feature until we get some track lighting up there.

Another change was to the dye and classroom area of the space.  It will never look like a magazine studio, but there's more table space now for classes and the sink and stove are right there, keeping the mess confined to that area.

The door on the left is to a small bathroom - essential for us since the current house only has one bathroom.   [A second is in the works.]

I keep reminding myself that this is a working studio - a hard working studio - and it's okay that it's always in flux.  We've got multiple projects going all the time.  [That's an antique table in pieces on the table there.   All stripped and sanded, ready for a final gluing and shellacking.]

All in all, I am thrilled with the new look out here.  It feels great and is conducive to peaceful, creative work.  If you're interested in coming to the studio to see my artwork, please let me know. We'll set up a time for you to come.   In addition, I'll be offering many classes here again next year and will be posting the schedule soon.   Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Gallery Walks

Photo:  Claire Jenness
It's been great to see more places offering gallery walks once a month.

What is a Gallery Walk?   Once a month, all of the galleries, arty-type shops, etc. in a town stay open for a few extra hours one evening [often a Friday] so people can stop in and see what's on the walls. They are usually close enough together that you can park and walk around to them all.

What's really nice is if the town has organized the gallery walk with a map, so you can see just where each place is and plan your walk for maximum enjoyment.

Bloomington, Indiana has 11 places listed on the official Gallery Walk Map.

It's a great way to see what kinds of art you like [or don't like], meet the artists, and get to know the galleries. There are often delicious treats and drinks of all kinds to enjoy while you're looking around. Galleries change art pretty frequently, so every month you are sure to see something new or find a hidden gem of an artist.
Photo:  Eric Jenness

At last Friday's Gallery Walk, I had the chance to demonstrate watercolor for a couple of budding artists in the community. It was really fun to spend some time talking to these children about just how we do what we do.
So here's the thing - the purpose of the gallery walk is not to buy art, it's to enjoy it.  So much the better if you find something to take home with you, but if you and a friend or your kids have spent a happy few hours celebrating the creativity of some local artists and getting inspired to try your hand at creating something yourselves, that is time very well spent.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Five Silver Silos

© Robin Edmundson, 'Five Silver Silos', watercolor, 18 x 24 inches.  Framed.  $650.

This is my newest piece.   It's hanging right now at the Vault at Gallery Mortgage if you'd like to go see it in person.

Silver silos are a thing out here in Indiana.   We see them everywhere.  The new ones are all the same size, in neat rows and connected at the tops.   On older farms, where they added them slowly, they are different sizes and usually require a portable elevator to move the grain.  I love them because they glow and you can see them for long distances at all times of the day and they reflect the light in wonderful ways.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Clue! A Clue!

Tomorrow evening [Friday, Sept 1, 2017] is the Bloomington Gallery Walk.

If you didn't get a chance to come to the opening party of my exhibit at the Vault, then here's your chance to come party with us one more time!

The Vault at Gallery Mortgage
121 E 6th St. Bloomington, IN
Regular Hours:  Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm
Sept. 1st Gallery Walk:  5 pm - 8 pm 

Here's some of what we have planned during the Gallery Walk:

  • Treats:  Light refreshments and drinks of all types. 
  • Great Art:  Almost as good as the treats.  I have some brand new art on the walls, too!
  • Demonstration:  I'll be painting up some simple greeting cards.  Feel free to watch, ask questions, etc.
  • A giveaway!  I'll have a matted original watercolor in an autumn scene for a lucky recipient!  Make sure you register when you come into the gallery.
  • There are prints of 17 different pieces to purchase [$35 each], plus some notecards of my favorite Tree Studies [$4 each].  

As I mentioned above, I have some brand new art to unveil on Friday.   One piece I finished just yesterday.   The pic above and the one below are two small details about 2" x 2" each -ish [The entire piece is 18 x 24 inches.]   

Yes, they are in the same painting.  Feel free to guess what you think the subject is.   

I'll give you a hint:  It's a rural scene.

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