May 30, 2012

Lots Going On

My husband and I spent the morning at the American Fork High School graduation because there were several kids there that we love and wanted to support. It was a beautiful day and I am so proud of those seniors. It brought back many, many high school memories for me. Afterwards I returned to the studio to work in front of the easel, where I am most comfortable. I really do love painting. Life has worked out for me in this regard: fifteen years ago at my own high school graduation I wanted to be an artist, and today that's what I do. 

This is one of the palettes I have going on right now. It is for a painting that I am very excited about and I will reveal the finished painting hopefully on Friday, June 1st. 

These are my favorite tools. Without them I would not know where to start working. I have a cool story to share about my favorite palette knife: When I was in college, I worked for an artist named Linda Curley Christensen. She was the head artist and I was her assistant, and together we painted ten murals over a two year period (thereabouts) that are installed in LDS temples around the world. One of my main jobs was to mix colors for Linda's palette. When you're working on a 16x20" painting one doesn't need to spend a lot of time mixing the paint, but when you are working on a 6' x 15' (thereabouts) mural, you can spend an entire day mixing paint colors you need and never ever get to the actual painting part. I got really good at mixing enormous piles of paint and matching colors exactly. I used the same palette knife every day. I even named it "Ol' Trusty." I know, corny. One day after months and months of murals and murals, the knife had been worn down so thin from use that it finally died. The metal mixing blade just snapped in two. I looked at it from the side and couldn't believe how worn down I had made the knife. That, my friends, is a lot of mixing. 

Why be an artist with an art studio behind your house if you can't go to work in your slippers? If I'm not painting in slippers, I'm painting in my Chacos (best shoes ever). 

I worked all (and I mean all) day last Saturday. Ten hours of painting. Thankfully it was cloudy, windy, and generally the perfect weather to cozy up in the lit studio and work away with the music on. It's really hard for me though to work long days inside when the weather is gorgeous and I can see it out my windows. 

I live a few blocks away from an outdoor swimming pool that is up the hill. The sound carries to my backyard pretty well and I can hear kids jumping off the diving board. I admit, if I could, I'd go to the pool every single day with a book and a packed lunch. I will have to see if I can work some serious pool-time into my summer this year. Mom, I'll wear sunscreen. 

This light is brand spankin' new and I love it. It makes me so happy to see it all lit up and saying hi when I look up from painting. It doesn't do much except look pretty, but that's OK. I have other lights for painting. Thank you Matt for hanging it for me when you had other work to do in your office. 

This is another project I have on the easel right now. At my last art show I received a commission to paint a 35 x 52" version of Cinderella, a painting that was already sold at the show. This is that 35 x 52" commission in progress. I am so excited about painting this reference again. 

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