Friday, February 18, 2011

Setting Up Studio Space

Savannah's 'new' studio space.
Q: Does that Glennfiddich cannister still have a bottle?
A: Sadly, kids, no it doesn't.  
It's gorgeous here in the panhandle. The birds are singing. They have completely mugged our bird feeder. There's cracked corn all over the front porch. But there is a scent in the air that tells me it won't be long before I'll be playing in the dirt again. It's a beautiful thing.

So...what are these photos of, you ask? Studio space, kids. We're back in the painting business. Maybe the painting will re-ignite my desire to write fiction, which, right now, feels deader than two-day-old roadkill. My teeth have been kicked in with my fiction so often now, I feel them somewhere down in my lower intestinal tract, clacking. (Incidentally, since I couldn't find it a home elsewhere, I posted a story at Fictionaut that I've been sitting on. You can read "Quid Pro Quo" here. It involves a steel mill, a casino, and a beautiful albino dear, with eyes like shimmering cataracts, that--hint, hint--symbolizes death.) I've got plenty of other 'homeless' stories, but they're still out in slush piles near and far, so I'll wait until they're formally rejected to post more at F'naut.) Anyway, it's high time for a switch up. Let's see what other realities we can make with pigment and line.

'New' studio space.
Q: Are you standing by the furnace, Savannah?
A: Why, yes I am.

So, the drawing/monoprint that I included in my last post sold on Etsy on Wednesday night, and I was (and still am) really excited about this. I did interpretive dance in the living room, when I got home from work and realized it had sold.

This morning, I set up studio space (pictured here...rough, I know, but it's a start....and yes, I really do know know that the hanging canvas needs to be re-stretched before I can actually start painting on it).

Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo, from the movie Frida
(photo credit)

I started thinking very seriously about painting again at Christmas, when they re-ran the movie Frida on cable. It was a visually opulent movie that glamorized just about everything, even Frida's physical and emotional pain (then again, don't most biographies offer a retrospective gilding, when the historical figure is celebrated?). Still, the movie made me see a studio again and remember the creative process, which is a kind of high all on its own...that is, when you're painting well. Also, Michael and I were back at my Mom and Dad's, where I got to see some of my old paintings, which put a little tickle in my brain--that sensation I get when I see something can be improved and that I am capable of doing it. When I look at Modernist works, I can sometimes feel the brush between my fingers and how I might move the paint to achieve a particular effect. Sometimes, I know the consistency needed to achieve a wash or a contour that is pale and finely limned.

The real Frida Kahlo in her studio.
(photo credit)

Okay, so enough talking, and a little more doing. We'll see what I can accomplish today, tomorrow, next week....In the meantime, enjoy a gallery of images by artist Meagan Donegan, who stains her pages with Blue Bottle espresso....look at the detail. Every whisker on the cow's face is evident, every dred-locked knot on the sheep's body is practically tangible.

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