Sunday, February 17, 2013

Phase 6 - start with what you know and build from there (or practice, practice, practice), update 2

I went to the NAWA opening! I forgot my camera (actually, I remembered the camera but had conscientiously put the battery in the charger the night before...the best laid plans, ha! Thank you to Austin for saving the day!) On a more thoughtful note, though forgetting the battery was no disaster, it made me realize how challenging it is for me to leave the house right now, and I've been rethinking my goals for the summer. Usually, I apply for grants/fellowships for summer art programs (I try to learn/perfect a technical skill each summer), but this year, I maybe I'll stay home, work, and try to take some day trips or attend a local workshop.

drawing on block
Speaking of technical skills I've been wanting to make etchings. While I know how in theory, in practice, it involves some specialized materials (some of them toxic/dangerous); so, I've been thinking through carefully how best to approach. In keeping with phase 6, I'm starting with relief prints to get the tiny press up and running. I joined the local artist association recently, and they have a juried show coming up for collage. I'd like to enter - I love collage (like the Queen of Hearts last week), and for this, I'm planning to cut out the printed wings (...stay tuned :)).

in process
Also, in terms of practice, I got this (my feline assistant has already claimed it). Yes, it's a faux-black velvet, color-your-own poster. Now, one might think: "No, Tatiana, even on clearance at the big box store we love to hate, this was not a good purchase." But - I have an idea (uh oh :)). In a lot of my "real" work, I generate patterns. I draw on patterns I've seen around me or in books, but I got to thinking - in terms of practice - I bet I could use drawing to learn patterns better, hmmmm. So the goal here, in keeping with phase 6, is not necessarily a lovely, neon poster (or new kitty napping spot), but to practice drawing patterns so that they become part of my beyond-conscious vocabulary so that they come more easily to my "real" work. hmmmmm - we'll see.

(feline assistant says: "I'm glad you have come to see this situation the right way,
that is, my way."

in process

I also worked on the kitchen. It's been on my "to do" board for a while. In terms of practice and habits, I'm not exactly sure how many times I've moved in the last decade or so (I get confused about what "counts"), but, on average, more than once a year, about every 9 months. So, I have some practice at "homeyness-ifying" very quickly, but not so much at making slower, longer-term decisions. After getting some help to take down the cabinets, move the fridge, and instal some track lighting in November, I haven't done much. It was too overwhelming; so, instead of going task by task, I decided, to go with phase 6 and use a method I sometimes use for painting and music. I started in one spot (the left corner, where I stand to make breakfast each morning) and am working around the room, left to right, finishing each spot before going on to the next. It's probably a little weird to just paint one cabinet or half a window frame, but it's getting done, and I don't really mind having lots of paint cans open or cleaning extra brushes. 

That was the floor - sadness!
I'm especially proud of the floor - since "the big flood" this fall, I've been gradually peeling back 5 layers of flooring. Despite my efforts, the last layer is tarred down, and I'm having trouble getting it out near the cabinets. I've given it some thought and have decided to try something else (that doesn't depend on strength, but uses paint instead ;)) - I'm  faux-finishing the floor. The right side is painted wood; the left side is linoleum (from the 1940's! visible on the upper left); my faux-wood finish of the linoleum can be seen on the lower left. I'll need my super-sanding skills to join the seam, but I think it is turning out surprisingly well (fingers crossed). Other "cheats" in the kitchen - the stainless steel back splash is actually contact paper on poster board - I'd feel worse about that if it weren't totally functional :)) I spray-painted the outlet cover silver and covered the refrigerator cord in silver tape.) The shelf came with me; the jars and handles are from the dollar store/ big box store, and the curtains and plant were on final clearance. (I  stalked the curtains a little knowing they'd be discounted - a fancy coffee and a half! (pats self on back :)))

faux-finishing experiment