Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Blue Heron Dance will be performing May 8-10. Just finished up the set painting with the help of my friend Jan. When I showed our creative director my mock-ups, she said "I wasn't expecting it to be so dark. You know it's a comedy. We wouldn't want it to be at all spooky." Of course, she was right. I had chosen a palette of three colors, the coolest in the back layers and a warmer green in the foreground, to give a sense of depth. But indeed, after 2 days of painting flats at the cavernous O Space, it was looking pretty spooky and I was feeling pretty nervous. I kept telling myself it would cheer up with the addition of those warm colors. But it can feel very sink or swim working on such a large scale (7 thirteen foot tall flats) with so little time. And then voila, it suddenly all came together. Then the dance dads put them up and Jan and I touched up the seams. And now it's showtime.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's back to the old...kitchen table

Living back in the city and loving it, the footprint of my home is more of a thumbprint. My first artmaking in this new space is for the set of Blue Heron Dance's spring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I had a couple of sets I was using as inspiration, which I now can't find the pics of.  So I just started working from scratch, using paint colors from past sets (the blue of Romeo and Juliet, the Purple of Firebird, the green from Giselle, the turquoise of my dining room walls which I am just in love with) to create a night woods landscape. In a week or so I will start painting these onto flats that are 4 feet wide by 13 feet tall, to be assembled by a bunch of dance dads the week before the production.

I haven't posted any blogs in a year.  Not since I was poised to move into my new art studio.  Oh who needs a big fancy island art studio with a water view, right?  Sure it can be a great place to meet your friends while wearing black turtle necks and sipping expresso.  And it's good for a blog post or two, theoretically, until your boyfriend who owns the art studio turns out to be Jack Nicholson, and you are Helen Hunt.  Theoretically. (Run Hellen, Run.  No, this is not as good as it gets!)  Then it's time to pack up your oils and get the heck out of dodge.

I started this blog to chronicle my return to artmaking after a long break filled with teaching and parenting.  A big part of that return was finding time and space devoted to art.  Four years later and now in my re-return, I am discovering that all I really need for an art space is a kitchen table and shelves for supplies. That is, until it's time for dinner.



West Seattle Elementary School Mural

Here is what it looked like before.  A great start from a summerschool/afterschool project:

It needed a little updating, especially with the addition of mosaic fish art climbing up the staircase.  Here is what it looked like during:


One year later, still no after picture.  With such a big canvas, I wanted to leave places for the next class of artists to leave their mark.  To be continued...

Firebird Set -- Blue Heron Dance -- May 2014




Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Art Studio: the "before" picture

You know how in movies, or Brady Bunch episodes, they will have a nerdy character who gets a makeover, revealing (surprise) the beautiful swan hidden behind horn rimmed glasses? In other words, if you wipe the dirt off of Eliza Doolittle's face, you get Audrey Hepburn. Isn't that cheating?

My new art studio has that same raw material (though you wouldn't know it from the outside). This means there is a good chance I will actually make it look worse, once I get my paws on it. Unfortunately, unlike Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease, my studio smells old and wet. If these were scratch-and-sniff pictures, you would smell the mildew trapped in that shiny floor. How can something so pretty be so stinky? Even so, the hope is to be fixed, up and running, with walls of work for the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour, December 2014. Ready, set, create.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Boy's Room Cleans Itself


Just a little something I threw together.  Over 460 photos and 4 hours created this video.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh, Tchaikovsky, you little rascal.

Ready, sets, go.
Amazingly, everything I intended to do with the sets this year got done, including repainting the iconic grandfather clock. I am always so happy when it is time to just join the audience and enjoy the show.  Changing venues created new challenges, which means more opportunities to say "well, I guess it'll have to do." Its good practice for perfectionists. "The show must go on!"



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nutcracker 2013

Let's consider this the "before" picture of the Nutcracker set, 5 days before opening night (December 6th)!  The flats lined up at the back of the stage will be completely painted over into the Land of Sweets. Stay tuned for updates.
This will be the first time the Vashon Center for Dance performs at O Space.  Get your tickets today.



Do these curtains make my butt look big?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trinke Liebchen, Trinke Schnell

Back in the set barn, at work on die fledermaus, being put on by the Vashon Opera September 20th & 22nd. The set decor will be Art Deco, a favorite for me. It is less painting-intense than the last operas, which  allows more time to enjoy the process. I am working on creating a faux stained glass window and door while other volunteers create fake wood grain. Don't I look like I'm having fun?






Monday, July 15, 2013

Priming the pump

I'm not sure why it has been so hard to start my summer art projects, but there it is. These pets were a good place to start. The photos I was drawing from were high quality, high contrast and well composed. From there it just took a little Al Green in the background, and I was happy to gaze into the eyes of these precious beasts.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back on the chain gang

I have been doing some set work for Drama Dock's production of Into the Woods, running July 19-21 and 25-28 at Bethel Church. I was back at the barn, painting a tree on an especially rare, sunny day. Déjà vu spring 2013. One main difference is that I am just copying someone else's design, free from having to make any executive decisions. Phew.

I took a picture of the warm, pastoral landscape outside of the barn, proof of my artistic dedication (or proof that I don't know how to say "no").

I wish I could take credit for this painting/design, but all I did was to copy the image.  I used multiple glaze coats to try to capture the feel of the original ink illustration.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Fat Liar

This is what my garden looks like if I am too busy making art to garden. That's what I tell myself. As if there are two choices: art or garden. The truth is I have no time for art or garden because I have been too busy rearranging the furniture and watching foreign films.

Those Dr. Seuss-ish pods are leeks going to seed, by the way. And then there is the tower of lettuce.