We soon will be building a new house and studio on our 12 acres in Mississippi and are trying to nail down house plans. This one is my dream plan, but somehow I don’t think anyone except another artist would agree to it.
Well, it doesn’t hurt to dream…
A page from my current art journal.
We’ve been running around trying to see what’s available in flooring for the new house. We knew already that we wanted wood floors in the open living/kitchen area and in the bedrooms, with ceramic tile in the bathrooms, utility and mud rooms. I want to keep things relatively neutral so I can easily change colors and textures when the mood strikes me.
I had been dreading being bombarded with all the choices available, but was pleasantly surprised to find these things pretty soon after beginning our search.
We were hoping to be able to leave the concrete floor in the studio bare, but in order to pass the final inspection, the floor must be covered or finished, so we settled for stained concrete there. The builder says he will coordinate the color with the wood floors so we have continuity throughout.
Then, on to the brickyard. We knew we wanted this Burnished Slate color for the metal roof, so kept that in mind when choosing brick.
We both quickly gravitated to the Shellman Bluff brick and decided it was the right one.
So far, things are falling into place more easily than we thought. Of course, this is only the beginning and there are SO many more choices to be made.
I’ve been snapping a few photos as we’re preparing to build our new house and studio. I want to share them here on my blog to keep a record of the process.
My husband, Danny, spent 40 years as a heavy equipment operator before he retired a few years ago. He loves running equipment and I know he misses it more than he will admit. He got the chance to climb back on a dozer for a couple days while the dirt was being hauled in for our house pad. As the trucks were dumping dirt, he was spreading and packing it and shaping the pad. It was fun watching him doing something he loves so much and does so well.
He says he’s “old school” and that operators like him are a dying breed. He scoffs when we drive by a construction site and see a dozer equipped with GPS units that control the positioning of the blade. He’s proud of the fact by he has the skill to grade “by eye” and have it be near perfect.
It’s a good thing when a man is proud of his work.
Have been wanting to paint a feather, so I played around with this shape and added some graphic elements. The page looked bare, so I dug through my ephemera stash and found this handmade seeded paper that had just the right colors in it and I glued it to my page. Guess I’ll never know now what kind of flower seeds were in that paper…
Whooo’s been playing in my yard?
Honey bees, crawdads and whitetail deer, that’s who! These were sightings from yesterday’s walk around the property, gathering reference photos for drawing and painting.
I love being a country girl!
I want to work more in my sketchbooks this year and found this partially used mixed media sketchbook when I was unpacking a few of my art supplies. The paper isn’t the best, but it will take watercolor and marker without bleeding through, so I’ll use it to do some doodling and designs.
I sketched sections of this design in pencil using HB lead in a Staedtler lead holder. LOVE my Staedtler lead holders. I keep HB lead in one and 2B lead in the other.
With the sketch finished, Winsor & Newton pan watercolors were used to lay in the color. This is my favorite watercolor palette, the Martin Mijello airtight palette.
The watercolors were allowed to dry, then Pigma Micron markers in sizes 05 and 1 were used to emphasize the lines.
I am now R-E-T-I-R-E-D from the US Postal Inspection Service! Great job and wonderful folks to work with, but I’m ready to have time to spend in the art studio.
I gathered my watercolor supplies and have been dabbling on a couple projects. Worked on this sketch while we were staying in a motel, waiting to close on our house in Alabama. Was harder than I thought it would be, picking up my brushes after 20 years of not painting. Felt good to get back at it. Mmmm, I love the smell of watercolors on Arches paper. (Am I weird???)
My latest project was to design a logo for my son, Chance, who makes spinner baits and fishing lures. I wanted it to feel hand drawn and hand painted, so I didn’t clean it up much before handing it over to him. This was good practice.
I’ll be practicing more now that we’ve gotten a bit settled after moving home to Mississippi. Still must build a house and studio here and most of my art/pottery supplies are packed away in storage, but I’ve found enough to begin my drawing and painting practice. Very excited to get back into my art.
Today was Labor Day and a holiday for me. Danny (hubby) was in Mississippi getting the dirt work started for the house we will build there when we move back home. He said he made good progress. We’re excited about being back amongst family and friends in about 5 months.
SO many things I wanted to do on my day off, one of which was to practice my pointed pen calligraphy. I’m practicing based on copperplate, but I’m not abiding by all the rules. I got in several sessions of practice, totaling about 3 hours. The writing is coming more easily, but I have so far to go.
First thing learned – getting good at this will take hours and hours and hours of practice.
I then switched over to practicing a more contemporary style of lettering and filled several pages with a looser style. I was very proud of this rendering of my own name and address and set it aside to dry before filling the rest of the page. After taking a break, I picked up my paper and, before taping it down, smoothed it with my hand. Arrrrgh! The ink wasn’t fully dry!
Second thing learned – Calligraphy ink takes a looooong time to dry. Perfecting your execution is only a part of learning the craft. You must also know your materials.
All in all, a good day at home, though. I’m enjoying the lettering and thinking maybe I can hand letter some designs to make into stamps for my pottery once the new studio is up and running. I think hand lettered stamps would be awesome on handmade mugs. Yep.
In preparation for moving after I retire from the day job in a few months, the pottery studio is packed away and in storage, which means I have more time for knitting and art. I’ve always loved words and drawing, so lettering seems a natural choice for exploration. My research has lead me to both hand lettering and calligraphy.
I had never heard of hand lettering. Calligraphy, yes, but not hand lettering. Seeing hand lettered work like this piece by Sean McCabe from seanwes.com got me really excited about checking it out. It’s much like drawing because you’re drawing the letters instead of forming them using prescribed techniques, as in calligraphy. This type of lettering makes my heart happy. I will be watching lots of tutorial videos so I can begin practicing hand lettering.
I spent some time checking out calligraphy styles on Pinterest and actually tried out a few of them.
I’m not much on hard and fast rules when it comes to my art, so I don’t want to strictly follow the rules of a particular calligraphy style. My thinking is to loosely follow a style that I like, using bits and bobs of it to create my own lettering style or two (or three). I’d better get to the studio and start practicing!
I decided to try out this Basic Norwegian Star Hat pattern by Cara Jo Miller using some big-box-store yarn I had in my stash and I actually am loving it. The name of the yarn is “I Love This Wool”. The colors are Umber, Biscuit and Grapevine.
This 100% wool yarn has a surprisingly rustic, earthy feel that appeals to me. I have enough for a couple more hats. Getting ready now to try out another pattern!