Friday, February 27, 2015

Designing Your Art Studio: Natural Light, Storage and a Door!

What do you need for a Studio space? Are you trying to set up a space to call your own? Where you can paint, or otherwise create? Where you can leave a painting to dry and know that it will not be disturbed?

I have had a space to call my studio ever since I was a teenager. My first "studio" was in my parents' basement. It was cold and full of spiders. This was by no means a finished basement. It was more accurately called by the old fashioned term: the cellar. But it was mine and I loved it. It's where I spent hours creating horrible teenage art.

After college my studios were wherever I could find a spot in my current dwelling. My living room served as my studio in my first apartment. When my cat walked through my palette, and then proceeded to romp across the carpet I knew something had to change. I needed a studio with doors. At that point I realized that the only two places in the apartment with doors (the bedroom…too small and bathroom…no!) would not serve as studio spaces. So I switched to dry media.

Yes, you read that right. I actually changed my media to suit my "studio". Hopefully you will never have to do that.

After that point whenever setting up a studio I looked for three things: good natural light, storage space and a door. I currently have two studios, one at home (pictured here) and one at camp. My home studio actually does not have a door; it's a loft space. But it does have plenty of places where artwork can sit undisturbed. And the storage is excellent!

As you can see from the photo I have a countertop made from a door (hey I do have a door!!!) which I use for sketching, planning, watercolor or paperwork and an easel for acrylic painting. And that's basically all I need. A place to work, good lighting and storage. Door, optional.

What do you need in your studio?

Related posts for Windy Hill Studio Make-over Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Joan Applebaum's Art Going Green for St. Patrick's Day

In honor of the upcoming holiday season (yes, St. Patrick's Day is a season when you are Irish) I will be posting Irish and Celtic themed paintings on my blog.

I had thought about re-naming my blog 50 Shades of Green, but Associated Artists of Syracuse had already selected that name for their show at the end of March. So I will just refer to this as Going Green or maybe getting My Green On.

So beginning March 1, my blog will be populated with watercolor, pastels and acrylic paintings featuring Ireland's dramatic scenery, Irish dance and Irish parade scenes.

Stay tuned…Joan Applebaum's Art Going Green begins March 1.
Above is a preview of Going Green, a watercolor titled "Hint of Spring in the Air".

Related Post No Details Today...I'm Painting Atmosphere

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Art Meets Craft

What if you took all those really cool scrapbooking doodads and combined them with more traditional art materials? Like watercolor?  Or colored pencils? And then added some stamping, maybe a few "scrabble-type letters", some interesting glass tiles from the hardware store?
What would you get? Well I hope it would be art! 

In our upcoming Spring Session at the YMCA Arts Studio I'm teaching a class on Wednesday mornings called Art Meets Craft. We will be working with collage and artist book ideas with a few crafty elements thrown into the mix as well. Watercolors, colored pencils and decorative papers (and the aforementioned doodads) will come out of the cabinets and onto the table in a grand mix as we put the elements and principles of design to work.

Pictured here are a couple of samples from the class which will meet for 6 consecutive Wednesdays 9:30 am - 11:30 am starting the first week in March. You can call the Y Arts Studio for more info: 315 637-2025 ext 216 or message me. 

Hope to see you there. I'll bring the supplies, and the coffee. You bring the inspiration.

Above: "To Sleep Perchance to Dream" collage.
Below: "Before We Were" section of star-shaped artist book

Monday, February 9, 2015

What Made You Paint That Picture???

What made you paint that picture??? It's a question I am often asked. As an artist, I am known for my colorful treatment of landscapes, and street-scapes. But every once in a while there is something that just grabs my attention. Something different from my usual subject matter.

In the case of these two images "Golden Moment" and "Dale" it was the reflection in the goggles and sunglasses that first caught my attention. Both paintings were based on newspaper photos. In the image "Dale" (the late Dale Earnhardt) the crowd around him is reflected in his sunglasses. The newspaper photo showed a portrait of a man easily recognizable due to his fame. But instead of seeing his eyes we see reflected in his sunglasses, the people surrounding him.  His face is in repose, and all the action is in the sunglasses. In transferring this idea to a painting I placed just the most important elements of Dale's face against an abstract, rather splotchy, watercolor background. The face and sunglasses were done with colored pencil. The active background provided balance to the action in the sunglasses and completed the idea of the man in the midst of a crowd.

"Golden Moment" is based on a photo of Lindsey Vonn's 2010 Olympic triumph. Again I was intrigued by reflections…this time in ski goggles. Lindsey's goggles reflected all sorts of great colors and her Olympic ski race suit and helmet were just as dynamic. I wanted to capture the idea of a cheering crowd around her but didn't want to add that to the painting. Instead I placed my image on a bright orange background to contrast nicely with the various shades of blue in the ski race suit. Complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange) always add a dynamic element to a painting when placed next to each other. The snow flying up all around her adds excitement and action to the picture. Her smile and body language show triumph.
The cheering crowd is implied.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

So Much Good News at Windy Hill Studio

It's been a great week here at Windy Hill Studio. I have so much good news to share. My watercolor "Cardinals" was awarded a Blue Ribbon for Staff Pick at the Art of Winter Show at the Thousand Islands Arts Center. Naturally I was thrilled.

I have two other pieces in the show: "Frozen World" a watercolor and "January Chill" a mixed media piece. Pictured here is "Frozen World". I know this is a familiar scene to year-round residents of the Islands.

While I was up in the Thousand Islands area I stopped by the Lyric Coffeehouse where I show and sell my artwork. The owner asked if I was interested in participating in the Thousand Islands Studio Tour and using her cafe as my "studio" for the event. Since my studio at camp is in a somewhat remote part of the Indian River Lakes, I jumped at the chance to be right in town where the action is. The Thousand Islands Studio Tour is a yearly event which involves artists and artisans from both sides (US and Canada) of the St. Lawrence River. For that weekend studios are open to the public so you can meet the artists, purchase art or commission a special piece just for your space. I am really looking forward to being part of this great event. A few years ago I participated using Better Farm as my "studio". Better Farm is an Arts, Education and sustainability Center just down the road from camp. I had such a great time meeting and greeting the local art lovers.

Another good bit of news was having The Healing Muse Cafe blog tweet my entire gallery page from their website! Yes!!! The Healing Muse is a literary and visual journal which comes from Upstate Medical Center for Bioethics and Humanities. I have been a contributor to their publication for 14 years.

And one more item…this one really took me by surprise. My son told me that a few of his friends would like to purchase my Grass Lakes Throughout the Year calendar. I had thought the calendar would only be of interest to lake people. Boy was I wrong. Gotta search my studio now for left-over calendars.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Green Beer Parade a Favorite

This blog post could be subtitled "Epilogue to the Winter Recipe  Show".

The Winter Recipe Art Show opened on Thursday at the Tech Garden to a large receptive group of friends, family, fellow artists and art collectors. I believe all 16 artists were present and had their pictures taken with the show's co-ordinator Steve Nyland who put his heart and soul into the endeavor.
You can look at my previous post for more information on how the show came together.

The show is a mixture of many different media and styles of art ranging from abstraction to traditional. My selection of  "Syracuse paintings" were well received especially the Still Ni Mo to Me pastel and the Green Beer Parade painting. I wish I had a jpeg of the NiMo (National Grid) building, but unfortunately that is one of the few paintings I do not have in a digital representation. I do have a jpeg of the Green Beer Parade and here it is!

Everyone contributed to the reception table which was loaded with healthy food on one side, cookies and goodies on the other. Wine in the middle. Naturally I worked my way across the whole table just as any painter works across the whole canvas. Yup, that's an artist joke.

If you haven’t seen the Winter Recipe show, by all means check it out! The Tech Garden is located at 235 Harrison St. in Downtown Syracuse. Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

And here is a link to Steve Nyland’s blog post with lots of photos from the opening reception. Enjoy!