Posts Tagged ‘garage’

Carving out New Studio Space in the Man Cave

May 13, 2012

Man Cave Reformation

I didn’t retire to bed till around 3:00 a.m., I was enjoying so much the adrenaline that comes with a new project.  Of course, I’m a little sluggish today, because this “project” has taken on a life of its own, and has found ways to extend!  I was sure that my new garage/art studio/man cave would be finished yesterday.  Now, I’m convinced that it won’t be finished today either.  Sigh.  But I am enjoying the process, so I guess that counts for something.

Some wonderful friends gave me a precious gift of a vintage drafting table, 4 x 7″ and fully operational.  Late last night, I got it dragged to its current location, and then slowly began building my studio around it.  What I cannot squeeze into this photo yet (I’m a poor photographer) are the antique doors (seven of them) that have enclosed this area into a nice intimate space for making art, reading, journaling, eating, watching TV and listening to my stereo.  Today Anita Baker is serenading me from her Rapture album that I have on vinyl.

Breakfast the first morning in my new, emerging studio

The  morning started on a terrific note.  Even though I retired to bed around 3 a.m., I slept soundly and awoke without an alarm at 8:00.  I took my time making breakfast, and then decided to enjoy it in the new studio, with the garage door up and the beautiful cooling breezes filling the space.  I also took time to look over yesterday’s plein air sketch of the Ellis County Courthouse.  I now have some ideas of what to do in order to finish this up and sign it.  But I can honestly say I’m conflicted between making art and continuing to putter around, arranging the furnishings of  this emerging studio.  To close on a sad note–this is Texas, and I am fully aware that by the time this studio is ready, that I’ll have to abandon it until September.  Texas suburban garages are not places to work in the summer months.

Thanks for reading.

A Close Second to a Parisian Sidewalk Cafe

February 24, 2011

Sidewalk Cafe Life at Eureka Springs

Texas temperatures are getting better–80 degrees and sunny today.  My garage has turned into an art studio/man cave for me, with a portable TV/VCR playing an assortment of tapes for my listening pleasure while I paint–lectures on Friedrich Nietzsche, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams to name just a few.  I feel myself entering this composition that I’ve tinkered with for several months now.  I can almost hear the voices around the table discussing poetry, philosophy, theology, books–all the artistic elements that keep us alive and alert.

This setting is in downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where it was my profound privilege to teach a week of plein air watercolor classes for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  It was my first time, and I have an application pending there now, hoping with all I have that there will be a class again this year.  My two favorite towns so far are Waxahachie, Texas and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for on-site watercoloring.  Both towns boast streets lined with Victorian architecture, flower beds, cute shops around the downtown district, and compositions for painting in any direction one looks.

This particular painting is huge by my standards–30 x 22″–and it involves elements that are outside my comfort zone–people and a myriad of details.  I have avoided genre painting for a number of years, realizing that there are countless artists “out there” who do it so exceedingly well.  But I recently read something from the Journals of Henry David Thoreau that convinced me to go for this: “There is always room and occasion enough for a true book on any subject, as there is room for more light on the brightest day, and more rays will not interfere with the first.”  All I had to do was substitute “painting” for “book,” and I got his point.  My contribution to this genre of painting will in no way diminish what has been done by others, and yes, there is room in this world of art for me to contribute as well.  So . . . with that in mind, I was liberated to go after this composition.

Today was quite a full day–high school classes by day, a trip to the veterinarian this afternoon, and a college class tonight.  But there is still time to engage in the arts, and I so love returning to my studio, even when the day has been filled with “work.”  Thoreau said (I believe in Walden) “To effect the quality of the day is the highest of the arts.”  That I must remember.  Though packed to the rim, today has nevertheless been “artful.”

Thanks for reading.  Talk to you again tomorrow . . .