Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Dexter on Christmas Day

(The "stadium" he's referring to at the end of the video was his term for a manger for our tiny nativity scene. We don't have a "stadium" for them.)

Hope you all had great holidays! The snow was fun, until it wasn't any more, but I used the enforced time at home to add some much needed color to the house. My first project has been a half bathroom off our dining room. This is not where I would have put a bathroom, but a previous owner made it (somewhat sloppily) out of a former pantry.

I had started redecorating it a couple of months ago when I covered the ugly plastic coated floor with a collage made from magazine pages. I later glazed the floor with a burnt sienna wash and sealed it. I used some leftover green paint for the walls, but it didn't look so hot. The floor looked like the worst of the 70's and didn't go with the walls.

While in Mexico, at artist Eve de Bona's home, I had looked at a book called,
Maya Color.
When we got back I ordered a used copy of the book, which came promptly. The pictures were so inspiring. I used one of the photographs for inspiration and in one day transformed the small room into a bit of Mexico.

Previous Work on Bathroom (Before)
Here's our newly Mexican-ized "powder room." (After)


I removed the old picture from a vintage garage-sale frame, and printed this one out from the internet. This is, of course, the Virgin of Guadalupe, beloved in Mexico and New Mexico, and one of my favorites.

Wall left of sink

The mirror above was already in the room. I added framed copies of a collage and a photograph I took in Mexico. The shrine on the mirror (which I later put on the counter, instead) was one my daughter made of Dexter and gave me for Mother's Day one year. Dot helped me choose the colors for the bathroom the night before I transformed it. The first layer was a yellow-gold and the second a ragged wash of reddish-brown.

Wall right of sink

At this point in composing, I'm asking myself if this is totally boring to others. If it is, feel free to stop reading without guilt! I am inordinately excited by my bathroom creation--as much as if I'd painted a picture. I hope to paint on canvas or wood again one day soon, but it all comes from the same place! For those who decide to keep reading, I'll add that part of the challenge and fun of this project was in using only items I already had in the house. I dug out the wooden cross, which I had bought years ago at a studio sale of Mar Goman's. It was a perfect size and color for the room and it says "Spiritus Novus" which is in keeping with how I'm feeling this New Year. The picture of the apples in the center is actually covering the wall fan.

My great-grandmother's painting near the door. I've sent for a tin switch plate and then all will be finished, this time around.

Starting next week, I'll be showing work at Twin Paradox cafe for January. Hope you'll stop by and have some of their delicious treats, such as yummy home-made soups and heavenly desserts. I'll be showing some small hand-embellished reproductions ( very affordable) as well as original work.

Further exciting news for me this year: I've expanded my teaching venues. In addition to classes at The Art of Your Life Studio, I'll be teaching at Art and Soul Retreats in Hampton, Virginia and Portland, Oregon. I'll also teach classes at the Village Gallery of Arts and at Paperdoll, both in Portland. Scheduling is in process for both the Village Gallery and Paperdoll. I'll update the schedule on my website as it develops. I just learned about an amazing site that connects students with just the classes they are looking for. It's called TeachStreet and I've put all my classes on it. Each teacher listed can include many photos of their work and their student's work. Check it out! Thanks to Shelly of Village Gallery of Arts for telling me about this site!

Here's my next class, which has one opening!

The Forgiving Medium

No, I’m not talking about a compassionate clairvoyant, but a fun and supportive acrylic workshop for beginners or those who want to try new methods! We’ll cover many ways to use acrylics and mediums. Bring your enthusiasm and leave with two or more paintings!

January 11, 2009: 11-5 PM

Tuition: 90. (Supplies included)

The Art of Your Life Studio

1210 SE Oak St. Portland

Register online at my site

One of my goals for this year is More Color! What some of yours?

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