Friday, October 27, 2017

Drying Cupboard

One of the hazards in an artist's studio is the vapors from drying oil paint. There were days when the paint odor was so strong in my studio that I had to open all the windows and run a fan for a few hours before I could comfortably and safely work there. This was especially inconvenient in cold weather. Now we have solved the problem.

My husband converted this beautiful two-door oak cabinet into a drying and storage cupboard. It works perfectly and the air in my studio is now fresh and clean. 


Inside the cupboard he mounted a small exhaust fan at the rear of the top shelf, vented it through the wall and into the garage. Now all the vapors from the drying paint are removed from my studio. This is a small electronics fan designed to run continuously and quietly.

I have always stored my palette and tubes of paint in covered plastic boxes but it was the drying paintings that caused the problem. Now I store all my new paintings and works in progress vertically (separated with clothespins) or in racks in my new cupboard, close the doors and the fan does the rest. 

Oil paintings take a long time to dry completely. Even when they are dry to the touch, they continue to emit vapors while the paint cures. And when you have a large amount of paintings in various stages the odor is very noticeable.

There is also plenty of room for supplies. The shelves are adjustable and I can easily add another shelf if needed. Goodbye clutter.

I feel like I have a new studio.

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Art Class Remembered

Looking back over my art career, some of the best times were spent in the classroom. Over the years my students have ranged in age from 9 years old in my Junior Class to over 80 years old in my Adult Class. My young students came once a week throughout the school year and it was a joy to watch them grow from children to teenagers to young adults.

Originally my painting classes were held at my gallery in Belfast, Maine, but as the gallery grew and we needed more space, I gave up my classroom and moved classes to my home studio.

My Adult Class has seen many students come and go but I had my main students that were with me for many years. They were my dedicated “crew”. We met weekly and worked very hard to incorporate the principals and theories of oil painting into our work. They were a very special group and our sessions were filled with laughter, sighs and music.

One of our very special students was Genie Francis, from the TV Series, General Hospital. She has a summer home in Belfast and it was our good fortune to have her join our classes for a few summers.

 We also had many outdoor adventures, some quite memorable.

It was my greatest pleasure to see my students enter shows and win awards. To see the smiles on their faces when they brought their ribbons and awards to class was priceless. We all celebrated together because we understood the hard work and commitment that led to this proud achievement.
When I was teaching at the gallery, summer visitors would often stop in and ask for a few lessons. They had just bought their first paint set and wanted to learn to paint. They were the most difficult students, as they didn’t understand that it takes many years to grasp the principals of painting and more years of hard work to put these principals into play. I knew they would leave frustrated but hopefully these first few classes would peak their interest and they could go on from there. They also left with a greater appreciation of the art we displayed at the gallery.
I taught for over 15 years and have now retired. I sometimes think of teaching again, but life has a way of moving on. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my students. We were a family and together we shared joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures. We still keep in touch and paint together and their voices still echo in my studio.

Thanks for visiting,

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017 Newsletter

October Thoughts.

October in Maine is colorful leaves against bright blue skies. Crisp mornings with a touch of frost, warmed by the sun and cool, clear nights. It marks the end of another busy summer.

Time to get the gardens ready for winter and bring in the houseplants that have flourished so well outside. (But where to put them is another matter.) Time to check the wood stove and get out the heavy sweaters. Soon it will be winter again....

September was a very busy month with Leslie Saeta again offering her 30/30 painting challenge. Thirty paintings in thirty days is a challenge. Add to that the photographing and posting each day. I was pleased to complete 26 paintings. I posted them daily to my Blog and my Ebay Store. Happily some are now sold.

Our September Virtual Paint-Out Group traveled to Southern Florida but because the month was so busy I was only able to complete one small Florida painting. I have a larger one started that I am looking forward to working on. Our travel group is now on vacation until January. That will give me time to catch up and I may take a virtual trip on my own.

I was very pleased to paint with my friend and long time student, Rev, who spends her summers here. She is returning to Miami this week and I will miss her. Rev is a remarkable lady, as my students will remember, and she is taking a great painting back with her.

My newsletters maybe brief and infrequent but I make up for it with my Blog. I try to post a few times a month but I posted almost daily in September because of the 30/30 challenge. I enjoy receiving questions and comments about art and art theory. I'm an artist and a teacher and I enjoy sharing what I have learned over the years from books, from other artists and by trial and error. I thank all the artists who have shared their knowledge with me and I try to pass that knowledge along.

I invite you to subscribe to automatically receive my posts in your e-mail. You may unsubscribe at any time but I hope you will find my posts interesting and informative. And if you have any questions or topics you would like to discuss, please let me know.

Thanks for visiting with me. Wishing you all joy and peace.

Happy painting.

Some links you may enjoy.